Archive for August 2011

Pickles!   Leave a comment

Although the deer have consumed most of our garden this year, they have left alone the cucumbers.  This is one of our favorite recipes for pickles, and they can even be frozen for winter enjoyment.  Yum!

Aunt Shirley’s Refrigerator Pickles


I large onion

1/4 cup salt

3 cups sugar and 2 cups white vinegar

1/2 tsp. alum ( optional )

Slice enough cucumbers to fill an ice cream pail or 4qt. container.  My friend Ruby used to run the tines of the fork down the cucumbers to make them look fancy and sometimes I do that.

Slice one large onion into thin slices.

Layer cucumbers and onions into pail and cover with a sprinkling of salt over each layer.  Cover with very cold water.  I like to throw in some ice cubes to make sure it is really cold.  Put aside to soak for 4 hours.

Combine sugar and vinegar in pan and stir will while bringing it to a boil.  When sugar is completely dissolved turn off the heat and let is cool completely.

After 4 hours, strain the cucumbers and rinse to make sure they are not too salty.

Pack cucumbers and onions into jars.  This is a great time to use recycled jars in fancy shapes.  Let sit overnight in the fridge and then enjoy.  They do not last long in our fridge as they are great alongside supper and in sandwiches as well.

You can freeze them in jars as long as there is plenty of head space left in the jar for expansion.



Posted August 27, 2011 by joyfulhouse in Recipe Place

Beautiful August morning   Leave a comment

I am loving these beautiful, cool mornings, with  breezes blowing through the windows.  The sky is so very dark at five in the morning and as Rick and I sat together this morning we saw the ominous pink in the sunrise that usually means we will see some sort of strong weather today.  They are predicting thunder storms and the rain would be a blessing.

We are missing Kristi, there is a noticeable difference in our home without her beyond setting the table for only four.  We talk to her every day and she is doing well, praise the Lord.  She has skyped with her siblings and I saw pictures of her room yesterday, that Mandy showed me.  Her classes are going well and she is busy.  She was in her bunk when the earth quake hit VA and she felt her bunk and dorm shake!  Another child going through earthquake tremors.  Today or tomorrow she will experience the bands from the tornado Irene which should bring rain and winds across the state from what I understand, not terrible, but the affects of that storm.  All this makes us feel that Door County is indeed a safe place!

Our days are busy too, I have cleaning to be catching  up on and have started that process.  I will finish the laundry at one of the houses today, and get the pressing and beds all made up again.  I also put together the music for Sunday which always takes longer than I think it should!  We practiced on Wed. night and it was sweet worship.  Yesterday Annie and Melody and I went to Appleton to be with Mandy and get some shopping done.  There were many great sales and the girls were able to get some much needed clothing.  I bought one shirt in a beautiful blue.  I had another shirt in the basket but the sale price was still over $20 dollars and I really do stick to a rule of never paying over $20 for any item of clothing unless for a special occasion.  And $10 is more my limit for a shirt, even a nice one.  I then left the girls shopping and went second-hand shopping and was able to find a cute skirt and some dresses and skirts for the girls.  So, we are doing well in being ready for fall as far as clothes.

Our first stop for shopping was Fleet Farm, same as Tactor supply stores in the south.  The girls insisted that they did not need to go in to that store…  I told them the reasons that I did not want them to be sitting out in a parking lot while I was inside, regardless of having a cell-phone.  They finally got out of the car and headed in.  I knew that they were trying to avoid a habit I have of pointing out the nice gentlemanly farm boys that are there as well as working the check-outs!  They just die when I choose a checkout where a farmboy is working!!!   Isn’t parenting just a blast?  🙂   Since they had argued with me about coming in I told them they had to find coyote pee for the garden, did I mention I am having an outrageous problem with deer and that they have eaten a good portion of my garden despite the fact that I left lots and lots of weeds in the garden as a decoy?   Although I have never read an article on weed decoys I thought I would give it a try this year, as time for weeding has been limited.  So, back to the story.  I went about getting jeans for Rick and then into the canning supplies and never catching a sight of my girls.  I was wondering where they were when they rounded the corner and came my way, minus coyote pee.  I asked where it was and they said they could not find it and when I asked about there getting help from a store clerk, they said they didn’t ask, in other words, they did not want to say coyote pee to a clerk.  If I could have remembered Liquid Fencing I would have, but that would not have been as much fun as saying coyote pee!   So, I bought boxes and boxes of canning lids for half the price of what they are up north in our neck of the woods, Yeah!  We went to the gardening aisle and found the Liquid fencing.  I also bought a bag of those Pepto Bismal pink wintergreen mints, because I remember having those on my grandparents farm.  We left the store without seeing one farmboy, much to the girls relief!

Time with Mandy was wonderful and we laughed and even teared up as I told her of saying goodbye to Kristi.  She loves her family deeply and we miss seeing Mandy as her job keeps her so busy.  She is also fun for the girls to shop with because I am not a shopper, especially with malls.  I took the time while they were browsing to call my mother and visit with her and then to just sit and think and people watch, enjoying all the beautiful people that God has created.

Today will be catch up day.  I am about to fill the board with the list of jobs we need to accomplish then I will get to it.  It will be a full day.  We will have marinated pork chops and fresh corn on the cob for supper, easy meal and quick since the Packers play this evening.  We will also have two young men over for supper and the evening so their parents can have a date night.  The younger guy is a visitor to the family and just getting to know all of us so I am glad for the opportunity to play games with him and get to know this young man.

This is what I read in Daniel 6 this morning:

He is the living God and He is steadfast forever and His kingdom is the one that will not be destroyed.  He delivers and rescues and works signs and wonders in heaven and earth!

Love it,  that is the God I want overseeing my life today, that is the God that I can believe in and I am so thankful that I can be a part of His Kingdom.

Choosing joy today


Posted August 26, 2011 by joyfulhouse in Door County Life, Family, Photos

August means change for our family—   Leave a comment

This is what I found on Kristi’s day off, I thought she was packing, instead she was having some last moment bonding.

Acts 17:26-28

And He made form one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God in the hope that they will make their way toward Him and find Him.  Yet, He is actually not far from each one of us for “In Him we live and move and have our being.”

LOVE this verse.  As I sit in Lynchburg VA, preparing to leave our beloved daughter here, this verse gives me such peace.  God knows her life, and although this turn of her leaving our home and going over 1000 miles away to attend Liberty U has caused struggles in her father’s and my heart we are at peace with this.  She is seeking God and following Him where she hears Him leading.   He even knows how long she needs to be in VA and where in VA she will go.  I can rest in my beloved Lord.

Hugging her brother goodbye!

It was last Sunday we left for this new adventure in our family’s history.  Kristi had worked all week at Charlies beside packing and getting herself ready for the trip.  It was a busy week.  I kept busy with cleaning jobs, preparing our house for my leaving, going over menu plans with Annie and Melody who were staying and caring for their dad and the house.  On top of all that, I was dealing with the emotions of being away from family, being away from Rick which always throws me for a loop emotionally and knowing Kristi would not be coming back with us.  As we stood in our family circle for prayer which we do whenever we are leaving each other, Rick prayed and I cried.  Kristi teared up at leaving the family, her home and her Jazmin.  But we gathered ourselves together and headed out on the road while the rest of the family headed to church.  Our first stop was in Milwaukee where Jeni and Jason made us a delicious lunch of veggies and salads and grilled chicken.  It was wonderful to visit with them and be blessed by their love, then off we went again.  Our first hotel was in Merriville Ind. where we stayed at the Red Roof Inn, a familiar stop for our family.  We had a list for Wal Mart of things she needed as we do not live very close to any stores, so off we went.  It was obvious that it was back to school shopping for school starting the next morning and panicked parents and fussing children surrounded us.  We were able to purchase most of what she needed but knew that some things would need to wait until Lynchburg.  After a good night sleep we headed for our next destination of Charleston West VA.  It was a long day but the sites were beautiful.  I have not been east since I was a young child and being the adventure lover that I am, I enjoyed seeing all the wonderful sites and scenery.  Another Red Roof Inn for sleep and then we really headed more mountains.  I really can not express enough the beauty of West Va and Va.  Seeing mountains instead of Lake Michigan was a beautiful change of God’s creation.  Kristi and I could not stop from saying “wow!” as we came over every mountain or around the curves looking into valleys.  What fun.  It was a wonderful trip, traveling with my beautiful daughter, listening to great teaching, watching Pastor James DVDs at night, worshipping and singing together as the miles passed and talking, listening to Kristi’s thoughts and ideas.  Loved every minute.


I wanted to title this picture  “Things that make a mother cry”  but my heart was so big with love for this beautiful young woman that I think it would better be titled ” Things that make a mother proud!”

Here we are together — celebrating!

As we started the final 30 miles Kristi put in the Kutless worship cd and we sang harmonies together but I could not stop a tear from falling now and then as the pull of togetherness was being stretched to separateness and every cell in my body could feel it.  My mind was flooded with memories of other times just like this, when her three older siblings left home to follow their hearts, I remember all the feelings I felt then and also the remembrance that God has taken me through this before, met my heart where it was at, held me tight and walked me through it in His own sweet gentleness.  Doesn’t make it any easier, but gives me great hope.  We drove to the hotel and settled in before heading over to start the checking in process.  It was fun to see all the students and to see her dorm, her future home for the next nine months.  We met her RAs and talked with them.  We went for supper and then back to the hotel.  Kristi shared some verses from the Psalms with me that had blessed her recently and we talked while she check our last minute decisions that needed to be decided.  It was sweet.

We had a picnic in the stadium and these guys were the welcoming committee, even parents were welcomed this way!

Kristi’s room mate is in the marching band and we enjoyed watching her perform

Wednesday morning we had breakfast here and then packed up to head over to the college.  I love the fact that she was in no great hurry and was calm about heading out.  We both knew without saying that this was it and the time was precious.  We started the day standing in lines, and standing, and standing….  It was after lunch when we finally got her things to the dorm where she started un packing as I went back to dealing with book issues.  We met her roommates and visited and then headed out for  bite to eat before she went back to the dorms.  She shared her concerns and her feelings, always articulate and honest which I love about her.  I encouraged her and then dropped her off for the evening.

I would love to say that I shed a few tears and then was fine, but it was an evening of quite a few much needed to be let out tears, and prayer, and tears.  It was good and I now two days later am so thankful for that evening.  The worst of the emotions is dealt with, I talked it out with God and let Him know my mother’s heart, as if He did not know already!  🙂   I went to sleep able to rest in whatever happens — in God’s holy sovereignty.   Praise the Lord for tears —

Kristi and her father outside of DeMoss–

Where it all began — Jerry Falwell

So the week has gone by with Kristi learning her way around campus, attending mandatory classes and sessions, runs to Wal mart to get more needed items and my watching this beautiful daughter adapt, pray and deal with situations that are less than perfect because it is college and things are the way they are.   She has made me so proud of her with choosing to love when it would be easier to ignore and being the one to go and greet others and introduce herself.  She shines so bright.  My sister reminded me that she comes by that genetically because all of my family have no problem meeting new people and enjoying the process.  This is true!

I wish I could have remembered what he said, he had us cracking up with his dry sense of humor

I begged Rick to sit in one of these seats so I could take a picture and he was not having it…  you see, we have a longstanding joke in our family about who has the most drama and recently the head of our home has been given that honor as he is funny!   I thought a picture of him in the theater seats would be a classic picture.  He said that he never went to drama class in school and I replied saying that he didn’t have to, he created a drama class with his six children!

Kristi leading her daddy down her dorm hall

Rick arrived last evening and I am enjoying driving him all around.  It was so good to see him.  We hugged and kissed at the airport and then when he pumped gas I got out and just hugged him again and again, he didn’t mind at all!  🙂  We do so much better together than apart!   We connected with Kristi and took her out for ice-cream where she sat and told us everything that had been happening which was so much fun.

Bringing her Packer spirit with her

Kristi’s bed,bright and colorful and God’s Word used as decoration — Love It!

Today we toured the campus with Rick and Kristi took us all over, showing her daddy everything about the place.  He was a little tense at first as this is really hard for him.  Then, after a bit, he started to crack jokes and laugh with her and ask her lots of questions so I knew he was feeling better about everything.  I know my man well, and although there are many very nice and probably many godly young men here, he was giving so many of them a good looking over and I think he was thinking they are probably all punks — that is a protective Daddy’s assessment covering up the fact that he knows there are young men here who might catch his daughter’s eye, if the Lord wills.  It was so fun to be together showing him what will be his daughter’s new home.  He was a delight.

We are now waiting for Kristi to finish a test and then Rick wants to take her out for dinner.  We will say our goodbyes in the morning and then head out for the long drive home.  Tears will fall but all will be balanced with the peace of knowing that God loves our daughter more than we can ever imagine, He knows where she is and He will take care of her.

Blessed with peace, choosing joy


Posted August 21, 2011 by joyfulhouse in Family, Photos, Spiritual Life

Life in July —   1 comment

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Posted August 2, 2011 by joyfulhouse in Uncategorized