Monday, June 20, 2011

Remove not the ancient landmark

This is Mr. Handsome's 11th Father's Day as Dad, Daddy, and Daddum. We were reminiscing today about the "early" years. I know some of you are already zoning out but we drive past our "old" neighborhood everytime we are out. But today was different. I forget what subject we were on but I know it had to do with God's blessings and not forgetting what He has done for us. We were probably commiserating about something our brothers had done to irritate us!! So much for any depth of lesson learned!! We got on the subject of our home and where we started. Our home today is so unlike where we started but I wouldn't change it for anything. Our first home is our landmark. I even remember Taylor coming to work and discussing with me what he thought a wife would like in a home. I chose wrong!! I did. Not kidding. But that was because he was looking in a neighborhood where some dear friends lived and I wanted him to live there!! But he chose a brand new neighborhood that one could very easily get turned around and lost. He picked a boring house with awfully boring colors - blah beige!! And green shutters. It only had two bedrooms - this led me to believe he probably wanted a small family. But one thing he did that really earned my respect (I still was not interested in him, though) was that he would not let his parents help him pay for the house. He was determined to trust God for it. Oh, and did I say that it was only 900 sq. ft.!!! Yup, that's IT!! Who in their right mind would buy a house that is ONLY 900 sq. ft. Well, of course, my sensible husband. Fastforward to today. We live in a much larger house, WITH a much larger family. We - meaning Mr. Handsome, who I was trying to help find a suitable wife and it turned out to be me - use our first house as our ancient landmark. It's only 12 years ago I moved into that home. And it was a home. It may have been a house but it stands as a beacon of how far God has brought us. Just like Proverbs 22:28 says: "Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set." Mr. Handsome had a vision long ago of what he wanted - what God wanted - and God gave him the blessings we have today!! I wouldn't change a bit of it.

All right, all right, I know all you want to see are photos of last week. And boy was it a crazy week. I took so many photos on Monday that I thought I would have to post everyday this week but decided that would be rather boring and tedious so I am doing it now! At 12:00 at night. Since school is done and I have nothing to wake up to in the morning, I can stay up and relax for a bit longer.
Monday started with a roar!! One of Maddies' friends spent two days with us because her Mom was not done with school yet. She arrived about 6:30 - yup, AM!! No worries, though, she just goes to sleep on our couch until the Little Girls and Lindsay wake up to stand around her, staring at her until she wakes up. They love when she comes to visit and are always fascinated that they find her asleep on our couch!! She will open one eye and stare at them and then go back to sleep while the three of them watch TV until I wake up. After I woke up, we ate breakfast. I think I made pancakes today. Not Norwegian this time, though the children ask for them quite often and now that I have become accomplished at making them - mix flour and milk first THEN add eggs - they are a lot of fun to make. I am not as fast as Grandma Hansen or my Dad but I can get about thirty done in a half an hour I guess. I've never actually counted so don't hold me to it. Anway, after breakfast, I leave Maddie, her friend, and the two big kids at home and take Beaker and Beatrice shopping with me. Have you ever gone shopping with just two children? It is like a Caribbean vacation. I can hardly believe it!! I get to shop with ONLY two children. We arrived home right before lunch and headed up to Mom and Dad's for lunch. Mom recommended I let the big kids swim in the waterway. And here they are!!
Robert in the waterway - a bit apprehensive

Maddie and her friend also a big apprehensive - what's the big deal guys? crabs, oysters, sharks, ahem, yes, sharks!!! Just kididng no sharks today.

The three of them horsing around - finally got comfortable out there.

We told Lindsay no girly girl allowed here!! She was painck-stricken and sure something was going to come up from the depths and eat her. Nothing did - she survived and ended up having a great time.

Maddie's friend - well all of our children's friend. She is smiling because she is having fun now but they were all so pitiful when they started!!!

Our Maddie the brave and fearless one of the bunch.

You are probably wondering what the life jackets are for and the VERY long - 100' to be exact - ropes are attached to their persons. In order to be sure no one drifted off to sea, they were tied to the dock, which they thought was really cool. Although, they never got into water above their waists and it was rather calm, the waterway can be very, very, very, very, very rough. So Safety Cop, aka Mom, prevailed!!

We arrived back home just in time for my friend to pick up her daughter. After they left, the fun began. We were planning a surprise birthday party for my friend!!! I love surprises and here are the photos of the party which we had on Tuesday:
Remember the cake I mentioned from Monday? Here it is!!! Maddie and her friend made and decorated it - from scratch - no boxes were used thus no trees were harmed!!

Here is the table all decorated and waiting for the guest of honor to arrive.

Robert the Ham wanted to be sure to get in the photo. I thought I took a picture with Maddie and her friend holding the cake but I guess I didn't. Oh, lots of trees were harmed in the decorations. :(

Here she is!!! The one in the background is the Gues of Honor!!! And she is VERY surprised. She had no idea. It was lots of fun to plan and have the party. We don't throw big soirees - I adore them but that is waaaaaaaaay too much stress and work for me, as you will see when we get to Wednesday.

Moving onward and upward: Wednesday was a big day and my week would not have been so stressful if it hadn't been for Wednesday. I know I have mentioned before that we go to the nursing home every Wednesday. It has become a great blessing to us and we are getting to know the residents. Well, because of this, we decided to have a fifth grade graduation party for our Maddie. I forget all the important milestones for school since we homeschool and realized Maddie was finishing up elementary school this year!!! So our pastor was glad to oblige and do the honors of conferring upon her a certificate of completion for fifth grade. And we invited some people to come celebrate with us. What fun it was!! We invited a dear family who have four children, with three being our childrens' ages - one a couple years older but enjoys spending time with us too. So here is our Maddie graduating from fifth grade:

You can see Mr. Handsome with the purple shirt on. and the man in the white shirt is our pastor. He gave Maddie her certificate. She was so thrilled. All the children present got up and sang a song. One hilariously funny story: I was so nervous because you know how old people can be. Were they going to be glad we were there??, would they be annoyed that I was making them eat cake and drink capri suns (old people have the same trouble with the straws as little people, by the way!!), would they just be put out part of their Wednesday service was being taken up by this??? All my fears were confirmed when NO ONE was there at 11:00 but one dear lady. When I told her we were going to have cake and juice for Maddie's fifth grade graduation, she balked and  yelled, "SNACKS!!! SNACKS!!! I'M SO TIRED OF SNACKSS!!! ALL THE DO IS FEED US SNACKS!!! I'M NOT HAVING ANY CAKE!!" And she walked away - well, as fast as one can walk away in a walker anyway!! Then she told me she was going to round some people up and left. At that time, Mrs. Charlene, the nurse, came in with the regular group of Alzheimer's patients. They are always glad to see us - well, for five minutes then they think we just arrived and are just as happy to see us again, even though they don't remember they've seen us and the circle starts over and over again. So anyway, wanna know how much cake was left of a half sheet cake with very small pieces cut because the residents eat right after the church service? A 2 inch wide piece the width of the cake from top to bottom!! And the lady who didn't want snacks? She took a piece AND a capri sun for AFTER lunch!! OH - and Lindsay and Robert went home with our friends who have the four children and spent the afternoon. We picked them up at church that evening. But they missed all the fun at dinner. We had artichokes - WHOLE artichokes. And here are the results:

From the bottom two pictures, you are probably thinking we told Beaker that she had to eat her artichoke or have it for breakfast. Well, we didn't - though we're not above that. She was enjoying her artichoke and at precisely the wrong time she saw the choke - and it scared her to death. So, for your enjoyment, here she is - scared of an artichoke!!!

Thursday was another fun day. We love Thursdays because all of our friends come over for knitting crocheting, and sewing. And today was a big day because one of my friends got a new sewing machine. And another friend of mine and I taught her how to sew on it. She went home and sewed all afternoon. She was kind enough to leave her son, whom we at our church have affectionately dubbed Chicken Wing, or if you prefer something a bit more  civilized, Bubba!! Well, we in our house, we have dubbed Robert, Chicken Leg. So here is Chicken Leg and Chicken Wing. Now if we could only find Chicken thigh and Chicken tender!!!
Chicken Leg and Chicken Wing

Chicken Wing spent the night and we took him home Friday morning. Friday was shopping day but we decided to play hooky from some of our shopping and go to Jungle Rapids. I will try, try try to remember my REAL camera and waterproof case to take photos. Beaker and Beatrice both got brave and went down the BIG rides which was hilarious because they are so tiny and looks so funny walking up seven flights of stairs THREE times to ride this one ride that is nicknamed the toilet bowl. Never thought a ride named that would be fun. Saturday Taylor went surfing in the morning, came home and mowed the lawn, then we went to THE pool, and came home. Robert made his caked for his Dad for FAther's day and for Beatrice's birthday. Below is the cake.

I can't believe I am going to admit this but it's so funny and ironic that I can't help myself. Being the purist that I am when it comes to cooking, I would NEVER EVER use a piece of cooking equipment for something it is not intended to be used for. For example, I would never use a frying pan to boil pasta. That's crazy. But I did use a pie plate for the first layer of Robert's cake so it looks like an old lady's hat in person!!! I know you're laughing hysterically at me but the idea is not mine so I can't take credit for it and I can assure you I will never, ever do such a thing. It went against all my sensibilities and Julia Child admonitions that have been beat into me over the years!!! But Robert was glad to use it and his cake not only turned out, well, very creative, it tasted lovely: mocha cake (no boxes here, ladies!), fluffy white frosting tinted appropriately, and enough spirnkles to ruin anyone's day that has dentures!! Signing off, Good bye and Good night!!

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