Monday, August 13, 2018

Gramma Mimi Camp Day One

I will admit that when I held my first Gramma Camp with my very first grandson I did not factor in quantity of future grandchildren and age of the gramma. But camp it is and here it is. 


My theme this year was construction. I had ulterior motives. Grampa retired last year and I was thinking this would take some of the pressure off Gramma. Unfortunately, my best laid plans went astray when our truck lost it's brakes a week before camp and the parts store ordered the wrong parts and the garage workshop was off limits due to the deconstructed truck. 
 Gramma Camp, where two year old use power tools. 
We did set up a tent and cut out our bird houses. This took all four days and only one bird house got constructed. 
Lunch in a tool bag and back to work!
We used squirt guns to tie dye some pillow cases. This was a big hit. 


While the four littles took a nap each afternoon, the four bigs did an engineering challenge. Our day one challenge was to build a ping pong ball roller coaster from straws. 
After nap we painted the wooden tool boxes that we had built first thing in the morning. We had wanted the wood glue to dry. 
We made construction site dioramas with stickers. 
And after supper, we went to my daughter's house to tire them out in the pool! 

Stay tuned for further Gramma Mimi Cousin Camp adventures!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Sunday, July 29, 2018

The Bedroom Set has Arrived!

This lovely sight is the deliverymen from Ewald Furniture delivering my Amish-made bedroom set. I had ordered it in mid-April and it was supposed to take 8-10 weeks. Since I had previously ordered an Amish-made dining room set, I know that handmade, custom furniture takes it's own sweet time. My target date was (hopefully) September 1. This was a nice surprise!
The new bed, bed springs and mattress. We did not account for the height of the frame when we ordered sky high mattresses! I have to use a small stool. But so comfortable!
These are the nightstands. They are wider than the look and the drawers are deep, too. They are the bomb! I am using them as additional dresser drawers. 
I switched the drawers. I which I had done it when they were delivered. Even empty and with those pads underneath, it was like pushing semi trucks. My husband has the taller one, I have the one with the most drawers. 

New bedding.  

This would have been an all star day for my grandchildren - furniture men in the house! But there was competition. In January we were awakened to fire sirens at 2:00 in the morning. Our neighbor's house, right outside my kitchen window was on fire. Unfortunately the family of three passed away. 
Finally, seven months later, the insurance company and the bank have gotten their act together and were going to tear down the burned down shell. The night before my furniture delivery the family and neighbors held a brief prayer service and balloon send off on the property. 


The grandsons of the day were only four and two. They had no memory of the tragedy and were just excited about demolition. They had front row seats with their lawn chairs in my side yard. The garden in the circle is a memory garden. I think that story will be my next post. 



Monday, July 9, 2018

Church Festival

The Second Sunday in July is our Church Festival! Due to the unfortunate scheduling of July 1st on a Sunday this year, this meant the festival was only 4 days after July 4th. Barely enough time to get ready. 
Thursday I went to the grocery store. I have a terrific pie crust recipe that uses one bag of flour, one can of shortening, 3 1/2 cups of milk, 1 tablespoon of salt and 3 tablespoons of vinegar. It makes the best crust, very flakey; and can be rolled as easy as play dough. Depending on the day, I can get between 15 and 20 crusts from one batch. They keep for up to a week in the refrigerator or up to 3 months frozen. I made two batches and rolled them on waxed paper to save for Saturday. 
Friday we went out of town to check on the progress of my new bedroom set which is being built (very slowly) by the Amish. We also added a second new mattress and springs to our order after experiencing a few nights in our guest room while we painted. After we got home, I baked 6 single layer devil's food cakes as well as 2 dozen cupcakes. 
I got up early on Saturday to bake my first six pies. The first Saturday of the month is my regular lunch date with former co-workers, so I had to step out for an hour or two.  I write the flavor on the toothpick flag to aid the pie ladies when they are slicing. 
Final tally on Saturday night: 18 pies, 6 cakes and 24 cupcakes.  Our festival offers pit BBQ chicken and ham dinners complete with mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans with onions and bacon, roll and butter and your choice of a slice of homemade pie for the bargain price of $9.00.  And if you eat in our air conditioned hall, we include endless glasses of lemonade and water or coffee.  
We could not have been blessed with a more perfect day. Our church is on a country road and the weather was in the low 80's with a cooling country breeze. 
We have a regulation softball diamond on the property and sponsor both a mens and ladies softball tournament on festival day. You can watch from the bleachers, the picnic tables and we have even have a reconstructed antique barn which is roped off for the over 21's where you can enjoy an adult beverage while you watch the players. 
We have a kiddie tractor pull in front of the church steps. This was my grandson's first year in the 3 and 4 year old division. 
Then it was off to the kid's games and bounce houses. My husband and sons are the dishwashing committee and work 11-1, then 3-9. We had two hours to enjoy the activities before they were free for lunch. 
This two year old was making up her own rules. She had so much fun "winning" tickets that she was passing out post its to her dolls when she got home. 
Finally it was time for lunch. This two year old only wanted a roll and the frosting from his cupcake. 
All of my grandchildren chose a cupcake instead of a slice of pie. What am I doing wrong!
I am chairperson of the dinner ticket sellers so I was back to work myself. The festival does offer more than activities for preschoolers.  We have a large silent auction, a live auction in late afternoon, raffles, concessions, bingo, antique tractor displays, games of chance and even a "hog drop" at the end of the evening. No, we don't drop a hog. We place the hog on a lined bingo board drawn on the grass and wait for the hog to "drop" something. Hopefully on the square that you purchased. 

I am our church's representative on a charitable board that helps local families with emergency housing and utility assistance. At tonight's meeting we received word that due to national coverage of horrible aftermath of the migrant raids in our community, donations have been pouring into funds established to help these families. Many lost their only wage earner and those left behind are struggling with rents, electricity, heat and water, as well as groceries and medications and diapers. At this point the church community has been able to establish a safe system of application with bilingual assistance to enable the survival of these families, many which include American born wives and children. It gives me hope for the future that despite the actions of a powerful few, so many people do care about common decency and behaving like Christians and are willing to donate to help others in need. 

Miss Merry