Friday, May 27, 2011

The things you find at garage sales...

I'll apologize in advance-this is a long story-but it's one of those "coincidence" things that you just know in your heart God has orchestrated for you.

Two summers ago, the girls and I cruised through a subdivision garage sale near our home. As we left one house empty-handed, we saw the next house was also having a sale and walked over to check it out.

We found quite a bit of music, and picked some of it up for the girls to use for piano lessons. We started chatting about the music this young mom was selling and she mentioned that she went to college for voice and used to give lessons but had stopped. Somehow, we then started discussing homeschooling. They were thinking about homeschooling their young daughter and I had to mention how much we had loved Five in a Row for those early school years.

We left with her phone number on a sticky note, stuck to some of the music, so I could check back with her to see if she would be doing voice lessons in the future. The note immediately disappeared. I was disappointed, because Clarence and I had discussed finding someone to give the girls voice lessons in the past and now I didn't know how to reach her. I didn't even remember which street was hers-let alone which house she lived in.

Months passed. One evening last spring, as I was greeting a friend at the library, this family walked past who looked very familiar. She saw me and spoke, reminding me that I'd been to her garage sale. I apologized for losing her phone number and she kindly gave it to me again. But life was busy and I never got around to calling her.

Then, last fall, returning from a little vacation, we stopped to eat at a local diner. I went to wash my hands and passed their family sitting in a booth. I was embarrassed that I hadn't called her; she was, as always, sweet and gracious.

This time, I called and we made arrangements for lessons.

The girls love their voice lessons. Tiffany is incredibly encouraging while pushing them to be better.

Tonight was their year end recital. Since they aren't having a piano recital, Tiffany suggested they play as well as sing.

They each played the piano, then sang individually and together.

Tiffany also asked the girls to bring some things they've done this year to display. Julianne brought a frame she mosaic-ed, that gorgeous doily she crocheted for our anniversary, and her quiz trophy. Allison shared the DNA earrings she made, an origami box with rick rack roses inside, a kanzashi bouquet, and her quiz trophy.

We've been so blessed to get to know this family this year. Tiffany shared the story of how we met tonight and said that our conversation helped them make the decision to homeschool their daughter. They've tried Five in a Row, too, and love it as much as we do.

Believe it or not, once the girls started lessons, I haven't run into Tiffany anywhere again. Don't you love those little coincidences that aren't really coincidence at all?
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Trust me...

I know, I looks bad.

But, believe me, it tastes way better than it looks.

It's grilled romaine. And it is delicious! It has a touch of smokiness when you eat it, which makes for a wonderfully different salad.

I rinse my heads of romaine, pulling them apart a bit at the top so the water can get all through. I let them drain and try to shake off any excess water. Next, I cut them the long way and brush some olive oil on the cut side.

They don't take very long at all on the grill-you don't want to actually cook them. Some of the leaves get wilted but most of it retains some crispiness. And, the smoky flavor? Mmmm.

Since organic romaine tends to be small heads, we usually get two servings out of each head as a main dish salad. Oh, and you can thank me for sparing you the blurry picture of my salad once it was made. You're welcome.

Try this, now that grilling season is here. You won't be sorry. Trust me. Trust me.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Breadwinner

Our FIAR group read The Breadwinner in April.One of the moms of our group has a friend who spent several years living in Afghanistan. Her friend came to speak to us about life in Afghanistan-and brought along some props!

Can you tell who is wearing the burqua?

In the book, one of Parvana's jobs is to carry buckets of water up several flights of stairs for her family. The kids filled buckets outside, then carried them up the steps to dump into a washtub. It was a nice day and they managed to have a lot of fun doing it, unlike poor Parvana who saw it only as a dreaded, tedious, back-breaking chore.

I tried my hand at making naan bread for our snack. I made the dough, but the kids each rolled out their own for baking. Almost everyone liked it.

I somehow neglected to post about our book from March. We read Running Out of Time, which was a very interesting read. I didn't take any pictures that day, which must be why I never blogged about it.

For this book, we discussed dominant and recessive genes, human experimentation, and the ethics involved. The kids played a game similar to Taboo, where they tried to describe various modern items without using modern words like "plastic". We shared apple pie as our snack because in the book the family had apple pie for breakfast!

This book was different than most we've read, but we all really enjoyed it. I found it thought provoking while still being a quick, easy read.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 16, 2011

Starting the catch-up game...

Remember Easter? Yeah, it seems like weeks ago already, doesn't it? What? It was weeks ago?

Sigh. Late again.

Imagine that.

Recently Several weeks ago I promised our friend Molly that I would post a picture of the girls in their Easter dresses. Since this is just one post of several that I've planned on doing, I thought I'd better get it posted before Easter came around again. Enjoy, Molly.

Oh, and a can check out Julianne's new 'do, too.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 9, 2011

Regionals...and a little tale about Victoria

Saturday found us in Indianapolis for a regional Bible quiz. Some friends from our church moved to Indiana a few years ago and invite the whole team to stay with them every year so we were able to enjoy a nice visit with them Friday night.

As for the quizzing...

Julianne's team was in the Sr. Teen Vet B division and brought home a first place trophy!

Allison's team ended up in the Young Teen Vet A division. They earned a third place trophy.

We mostly quizzed against out of state teams so we didn't really see much of the kids we usually see each month, including Stephen (above), who is a coworker of my niece, Vicky, at her university dining commons.

Last month, Stephen mentioned to Julianne that Vicky had shut him in the cooler at work one day. Vicky was pretty indignant that he had told us about that and quickly explained the circumstances. We continued to tease her about it anyway.

Imagine my surprise to hear my name called out from a team bus as we were preparing to leave the quiz. It was Stephen, letting me know that once again, Vicky had shut him in the cooler! I offered to post about it on my blog...we'll see if Victoria decides to tell her side of the story in the comments.

I'm way behind on blogging-I've got some pics and activities I've been planning to post about but haven't found the time to do so. I'm hoping to play catch up soon and be a bit more active here and in leaving comments for others, too. See you soon!

Posted by Picasa