Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Weekend Fun

Kyle and I had a fun outing this past weekend! We went to a game in Peoria with John and Greta H. We had a great time talking and swapping stories on the drive.

The ballpark was much smaller and cleaner than I expected. How nice!

We had seats on the second row! This was our view, right down the exciting home stretch.

We also go to watch the batters warm up. It was cancer awareness night - notice the pink bat!

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Bring in the Spring!

I love having flowers indoors so in can enjoy them during my daily routine. I also love the changing of seasons. So when I was out for my "power walk" early the other morning, I couldn't resist some of the flowering bushes that are in bloom! Kyle came out and cut me some branches.

I actually thought the white ones were berries, but now they've opened into tiny flowers! The pink are from cardinal bushes in our yard. If you slightly crush the end of woody stemmed flowers they absorb water better. These ones are drinking away!

Notice the minimalistic and oriental influences in the shape and density of the bouquet. ;-) These blooms have such a short life span, I love to have them in where I can enjoy them. Besides, what could be better than enjoying fresh flowers for free?

I was further inspired by Kyle's collection of antique ink and cream bottles. He found these tiny glass creations while digging around in his father's fields as a boy. A number of years ago, I skimmed through a book about bringing flowers into your home. It suggested making a mini arrangement of flowers in a teacup. I liked the idea, but either because of my lack of access to green floral foam or the tiny size of my flowers, it never worked very well. But these tiny bottles are the perfect size!

Using several bottles allows you to maximize the impact of dainty flowers like these violets I found in our yard. If you don't happen to have an antique cream bottle collection sitting around, you might like to try using a miniature teacup, doll dishes, old perfume bottles, or any other extra tiny container you can find. Group several together to make the most of your little blooms!

It's so lovely to be able to decorate my home with touches of God's beauty and to treasure the season while it is here.
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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Meditations: Living a Wasted Life

I know of a man who choose to spend twelve years of his life in prison. His offense? Preaching without a government issued license. All he had to do to get out was agree not to preach - something that very few people do regularly. Then he would have been free. But this man refused to stop, and so he sat in a jail cell for twelve long years.

When you look at his life, it's hard not to think "What a waste!". To be stuck in one room, cut off from all that is useful and living. All of that time when he could have been free, doing good, making an impact in his world! But there he sat. How sad! A wasted life.

At least, that's how it appears until you know the name of the man: John Bunyan. His book Pilgrim's Progress is counted as one of the greatest and most influential pieces of English literature, and it has never been out of print. I've been listening to an unabridged version on CD, and not only have I found myself being sucked in to the drama and humor of a very imaginative story, I've also been challenged and encouraged! Despite what it looked like at the time, despite what people must have said and thought and told him, his life was not a waste. John Bunyan has touched billions of people from over 200 different language groups, many of them, like me, living more than 300 years after his death!

I've been thinking about some of the things that our culture views as a waste. Putting God first in singleness. Being an excellent wife. Staying at home to train your children. All these things are looked down upon as a waste of time and talent.

Singleness, according to popular culture, is supposed to be a time of "freedom". Surely you'll want to earn lots of money to spend on fancy toys for yourself and enjoy these years of playing around, because you deserve it. Making the kingdom of God your priority in how you use your time, how you spend your money, and how you invest your talents and energy is seen as a waste. Yet if people are, as the Bible says, eternal beings, then any impact on just one of them is the chance to change not only the immediate future, but to change eternity.

You hear a lot encouraging woman to build careers, gain power and realize dreams, but not very much about being an outstanding helper to their husbands. Not surprisingly, our country is full of shattered marriages and broken homes. Yet investing in a lasting marriage brings better physical and mental health to the couple, as well as benefiting the community, nation, and, interestingly enough, the environment. Being a full time, stay-at-home mom is frowned upon at the same time as our nation experiences a record number of profoundly disturbed and hopeless youth. But what job could be more valuable than the shaping of an eternally immortal being?

Some things that are seen as a waste can actually lead to the most far reaching impact. Perhaps this has all been on my mind because it ties into the verse I've been memorizing this week.

"Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever looses his life, for My sake, he is the one who will find it." - Jesus in Luke 9:24

If God is calling us to something through His word, no matter what others say, you can be pretty sure it won't be a waste.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Quick Trip

It sure was great having the family and Grandma & Grandpa L. down for a visit this weekend! G&G had not seen Nitchfield yet so it was a treat to get to show them around. We had fun just being together!

Thanks guys for the snapdragons. They make the deck look much more "homey"!

We don't keep our skeletons in the closet. That's what root cellars are for!

Cutie Pie!

Just a hangin' out on the couch.

Mom force-feeding Gramma some rich, black dirt.

Gramma feeding it to Kyle - it must have been good!?!?

Sittin' and chattin' (please excuse my apron ;-).

Somehow I missed getting a picture of you, Grandpa, but it sure was fun going to the game with you. Nate, you were missed, but we'll hope to have you soon. Thanks for coming down everybody! Kyle and I had a great time, so let's do it again soon.
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Friday, April 18, 2008


Nitchfield before the earthquake.

Well, that was a first.

I woke up early this morning to find the bed shaking. On getting up to use the restroom I passed by the kitchen, where I could hear a glass clinking as it trembled on the counter.

Now, being the cautious, protective, intellectually curious type of person, what did I do?

Think "That was wierd" and go back to bed!

I actually thought that one of our new appliances had kicked into some sort of high gear and was shaking the house, or something. It's a good thing both our Moms called this morning to ask about it. If no one had said anything, I'm sure I would have forgotten all about it! (The quake was felt both in Zion and McClure. Quite a few folks around here woke up to it as well.)

Well, at least I know I don't panic easily. ;-)

Nitchfield after the earthquake.

Deep Newscaster Voice: Did you feel the quake? Tell us about your experiences right here at Nitchfield News!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Ongoing Saga of the Blueberry Usage

As you may have noticed, if you've been following this blog, I have been trying to use up our umpteen pounds of frozen blueberries. Well, blueberry cobbler was attempt #3, and it's NOT recommended, for the following reasons.

1. Frozen blueberries are tough.

2. Very.

3. Unless they are cooked in a cake or muffin.

4. Cobblers are made to showcase the delicious tenderness and texture of fruit.

5. See points 1&2.

At least the flavor was good, even if you did have to chew for a while. ;-) Fortunately, we fed most of it to company (sorry, you guys!). Our guests were very kind . . .
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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Out with the New, In with the Old!

Things are slowly but surely shaping up here at Nitchfield. We have been using a new card table that we got for Christmas to eat on, but Tuesday night we had dinner on it for the last time.

Our last meal (on the card table), stir-fry and muffins. (Blueberry, of course. I'm not posting the recipe, because I wasn't too impressed. I liked using my new heart shaped muffin tin, though!)

On our last visit to Kyle's folks, we picked up a hand-me-down table from Sheila and Doug.

It's wonderful! It looks and fits great, and it's going to be so nice to have room for food on the table as well as plates! We're feeling so much more settled in now.

I'm having fun setting it, using tablecloths, etc.

So, the old (but new to us) table replaces the new card table, and we're thrilled!
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Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I was so excited when I received a phone call from the G. family, to inform us that they were stopping by on their way home from their family vacation. What fun to see someone with a "home connection", to visit and to show off the house!

Mallory, Mia, Mrs. G, Mr. G, Morgan and Marissa. Michael was sleeping by that time!

The M. family had all of us over for a delicious dinner, and I think we all talked non-stop! Then, before heading home, the Gs stopped in at Nitchfield to get the tour. I had such a great time! What a treat. It was great to see you guys, come again!

Monday, April 7, 2008

In the absence of news . . .

. . . you write about other stuff. At least you do in the computer world. When nothing eventful has happened, but you want to reward all your faithful blog friends with a new post, then you resort to that other stuff that usually goes on sidebars. You know, "I'm currently reading Such And Such", favorite book lists, "I just watched this movie", etc. So, since I have very little to report (believe me, you don't want to hear about my errands this morning, they were exceedingly boring) you are now going to be treated to this information:

Currently Listening To

It is Well with My Soul
Hymns for Piano and Flute

by Faith and Melody Hemmer

It's a brand new CD which I just got recently. As a musician (picky) and a flutist (pickier) I have enjoyed it very much! I am very particular about flute recordings, sometimes if it's not well done it can have a tinny sound, but the quality here is excellent, and really showcases the beautiful tone and expression. The arrangements are delightful! They have a well chosen variety of favorite hymns, but the settings are fresh and pleasing. It's excellent listening, and great for background music if your having a dinner, tea, or manning a store. ;-)

Now, if you're wondering where to get your own copy, I'll tell you: I'm not quite sure. Mine was a gift. But since the musicians are also personal friends (I have hopes of getting my copy autographed), I might be able to find out if anyone is interested.

I've actually had the pleasure of playing with these ladies once or twice.

When I say we played together, I mean TOGETHER! ;-)

Ladies, it's been a listening pleasure.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Neat Pics and Abstracts

This blog contains wedding-related material and has been known to cause side effects, such as coughing, choking, gaging, convulsive eye rolling, severe headshakes, nausea, and other allergic reactions. Read at your own risk.

Okay, last series of wedding pictures for now. These are the ones I mentally classify as my "cool modern pics". Except the one in sepia tone, which is just as old fashioned as can be!

I was tempted to change my blog color scheme to black, just to set off the pictures. When I tried it, it did look neat, but it just wasn't as warm and homey as the old Nitchfield look. It's probably too soon for a makeover anyway!