Sunday, August 28, 2011

Where do I start...

I have been away from my blog for more than two weeks, and I hardly know where to start. We've had a lot going on, and  I really want to get it all recorded before it slips from my memory, so here goes!

--On Aug. 14, we had the "End-of-Summer Scavenger Hunt" with 4 other families. It was our second scavenger hunt and was a blast! I want share more about it, so watch for a separate post about how to plan a photo scavenger hunt with friends!

--On Aug. 15, we added a member to our family. A 17-yr-old boy named Levi, from the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota came to live with us for the school year...we're praying it will be even longer. Our church created an exchange program and brought 23 kids from the reservation to live with host families in towns around the area.

--On Aug. 16, we moved Brandon into his dorm room at Iowa State University. It wasn't too hard on me emotionally, since he rode back home with us after we carried in his stuff and got it put away. :)  We took a picture of Byron and Brandon outside of Byron's old dorm room, which is in the same building. The other pictures I took of the day don't even have Brandon in them! My good intentions of taking lots of pictures was spoiled by rain. I could have at least taken one of him in his dorm room, but didn't!

--On Aug. 18, my youngest two, Ryan and Meg, started public school for the first time.  All four school kids posed for this picture:
first day of school - 2011
Then, they hurried to jump in Ellyn's car to head off to school. Except her car wouldn't start and it was blocking my car in the garage. I slowly worked my car out and we rushed off to school with the kids in a panic that they were about to be late for school on the first day!

--That same day, I started a new journey (which was my 2011"one little word") of being home all day with only a dog to keep me company. I had wondered all year what this day would be like, so I had saved lots of errands for this first day of school and had scheduled an appointment to donate blood (in case the day got too long!). Instead, the time flew by and I almost didn't make it back on time to pick up kids at school. :)

--The weekend of Aug. 20-21 brought a trip to the Des Moines farmers market with all seven of us on Saturday morning and to the Iowa State Fair on Sunday afternoon (Byron, Meg and Levi).
--On Tuesday, I hosted a craft day with friends. I had wanted to host a craft day since reading about Meg Duerksen's craft weekend back in February. I started smiling the minute I saw cars pulling into my driveway and ladies getting out carrying bags of crafty goodies and sewing machines! We had such a fun day and took lots of pictures--it definitely deserves its own post.

--This past Friday, Byron, Ellyn and I left for Rosebud to take Levi back for a funeral of a dear family member. It was my first time to go to Rosebud, after first hearing of it 4 years ago when Brandon went on a mission trip there. This weekend was also the Rosebud Fair, so several of the host families made the 8 hour drive to take their students back home for some fair fun and a chance to see their families.
We drove 8 hours on Friday and 8 hours back home yesterday. Ellyn stayed and rode back with another family today.

We are pretty tired today, so I am glad to be having a lazy Sunday afternoon! And especially glad to be catching up on the blog. :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sonoma Chicken Salad

I tried a new recipe tonight, and we loved it. It's a perfect summer supper and was very simple.  A new twist on chicken salad for my family.
I found the recipe on this site: click here

Sonoma Chicken Salad
2 lbs. chicken breast, cooked and diced
3/4 c. chopped pecans
2 c. red grapes, cut in half
3 stalks celery, diced (I left out the celery)

1 c. mayonaisse
5 t. honey
4 t. apple cider vinegar
2 t. poppy seeds
salt & pepper to taste

Dressing can be made up to two days ahead and refrigerated.
When ready to serve, combine chicken, pecans, grapes, celery, and dressing.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Home from Camp

We had a great time at camp and survived the extreme heat. We came home sticky, stinky, and tired...but I think it's that way every year!
Here are a couple of pictures from our time away.

the favorite camp craft--tie dye:

after the crud war (food fight):

ellyn, always competitive:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Gone to Church Camp again...

I am away from most electronic devices and phones. I am at church camp with the two girls... I am sweating alot, but thankful to be sleeping in air conditioning! Enjoying every minute of camp songs, making crafts, tie dye, worship and teaching, memorizing Bible verses. Good stuff!
You can read more about our camp in an old post of mine by clicking HERE.