Monday, September 16, 2013

Meeting Phil Vischer

This past spring, our FIAR group read Phil Vischer's autobiography, Me, Myself, and Bob.  The kids suggested this book, mostly because they wanted our activity for the day to be a VeggieTales marathon.

As a mom of VeggieTales groupies, it was, at times, a difficult book to read because we so love VeggieTales.  Phil Vischer is incredibly gifted and it was heartbreaking to read about the downfall of the company he had invested so much of his time, talents, and energy into creating.  But you have to keep reading because it ultimately is not a sad story, but rather a story of how God used the failure of his business to teach him some things, as well as to direct his path.

One of the other FIAR moms heard about Phil Vischer coming to the area to speak at a church this past weekend.  The church has both Saturday night and Sunday morning services, so we all met there Saturday evening to hear him share his story and some of the lessons God taught him through those bad experiences.  It was well worth the hour-and-a-half drive for us, especially when the kids got to meet him afterward.

It was a pretty big deal to meet him-especially considering Julianne's comments for her commencement program included the following:

I’m tempted to attempt thanking everyone who has helped my education thus far, beginning with Phil Vischer and Veggietales, or Tom Clark and his obsession with why.  However, in the interest of saving trees I think I’ll just cover the highlights.  You can all breathe a sigh of relief.


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Thursday, September 12, 2013

2013 Garden

It seems like an off year for our garden.  The weather has been different this year, and Clarence has been working on our bathroom a lot of the time he would normally have spent in the garden.  I haven't done any gardening due to some issues with my hands so I've been especially thankful for the help the girls have given us with weeding and harvesting.

When our beans weren't producing in July, as is usual, I started to think we weren't going to get much at all out of the garden.  Every time Clarence or one of the girls would bring in something, it seemed like a special blessing because it honestly wasn't looking very promising to me.

The beans eventually came on like gangbusters and, if I don't can any more than I already have, we'll have plenty. 

After I considered buying cucumbers from the farm market, Allison came in with a basket full of them that was more than enough to make the girls' favorite bread and butter pickles.

We got a nice amount of onions, which is better than normal for us.  The potatoes still need to be dug, but Clarence and Allison have already grabbed a few and it looks like we will have a good amount of them as well.

The tomatoes are ripening slowly and, if we don't get an early frost, I'm sure we'll be pleased with the amount produced.  There are some jalapenos and bell peppers ready to pick for making salsa, too.

We've had a fair amount of corn for dinner (I don't can or freeze corn), and beets are growing for a fall harvest.  Our zucchini hasn't done as well as years past, but we've enjoyed several of them as well. 

The basil has done beautifully.  Clarence brought in a paper bag of basil tonight and I was able to make this pesto.  He harvested it a while back, too, so I already had a few jars in the freezer.  (If you wonder why I have old dates and contents on my lids, I use old canning lids with my Foodsaver to vacuum seal the jars before freezing.  Sealing stuff in jars is my main use for my Foodsaver-it is well worth ordering the attachment if you have a Foodsaver.)

So, after such a slow start, our garden has done very well.  Oh, me of little faith.
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Sunday, September 8, 2013

New WalMart training

Allison picked some of Clarence's dahlias to enjoy in the house.  They have nothing to do with this post, except that I thought I needed a picture.

I don't venture into WalMart very often, but there are some items that are enough cheaper there that I make the extra stop once in a while.  This past week was one of those times.

The girls each needed a new planner for the school year and I wanted to get some other odds and ends while I was waiting to pick Julianne up from work.  Having time to kill (therefore, time to look around) makes for a much more expensive trip than being in a hurry and loading only those things on my list into the cart.

I found cute planners, but not notebook filler paper.  Big packs of index cards and, oh, yeah, the last time I tried using my white-out, it was all dried up, so into the cart it went.  Then off to the health and beauty department to get various things.

I finally arrived at the self-checkout lane and started scanning my items.  When I scanned my white-out, the register told me to wait for assistance.  Who knew they had to card you for correction fluid?

The checkout girl walked over, carefully punched in her numbers, then turned and very deliberately looked at my face.  I smiled and said "I'm 50."

She responded with "Really?  If you were buying booze, I would have carded you because you only look 35."

I laughed and thanked her-and as I walked away, I mused that I felt a lot better about my $80 bill than I had before she had to verify my age.  I'm convinced this was some sort of marketing ploy.  Well played, WalMart.
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