Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Happy 79th B-day to Grandpa Sneed

Maybe I can share more at a later time. But we enjoyed a wonderful weekend in southern Indiana with my family. We had a party for Grandpa Sneed's 79th b-day. I believe there were almost 40 of us at the party. I have several photos, so maybe I can upload more later.

Friday, January 30, 2009


It's great to be in the routine of daily life after the Christmas and New Year hoopla. I love the holidays, but I tend to be a methodical kind of gal. We are moving right along with homeschooling this year. Dan helps with this, which is quite nice! I work 3-4 afternoons each week. I started cleaning houses about the middle of last year. I have really been blessed with some wonderful clients! One family has three children; I am there about 10 1/2 hrs. each week. They have really provided a great opportunity for me. This is the only place where I do laundry. Laundry is one job I really enjoy, so this works out just fine with me. The other house which I clean each week is very large, including 7 bathrooms. Fortunately, I only clean one level each week. The couple is absolutely awesome! She started really spoiling me by having on her modern-day player piano around the holidays. It's quite amazing! She likes some of the classical music that I enjoy, so it makes the work pleasurable. The other two cleanings are bi-weekly.

We have had our share of snow and cold weather. I believe we have had snow since Nov., with about 14" being the most accumulation. I love it!

This past Sunday we had our annual Sanctity of Human Life service at church. It's always good to be reminded of the value God has placed upon life. With tender compassion I would love to one day know that I have in some way been a persuasive voice for the aborted child or the euthanized elder person of our nation.

Quote for the Week:
"If we teach a young mother it is okay to take the life of her own child in the womb, we inevitably pull the thread that permeates the entire garment of the sanctity of life — forever."– Martin Palmer, pro-life advocate

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Easter!!!!!

I guess if I don't update my blog I might be wishing everyone a Happy 4th of July before I know it.

A whole lot of living has gone on around here since my last post... some great and wonderful days with family and friends, some sick days of being cooped up inside, some frustrating days with no electricity due to a wind storm.... But, alas, this is the "stuff" life's made of I suppose.

We did enjoy spending Christmas in Indiana, but we all came down with the flu while there. So I didn't really get many pics.

When we returned home late Monday evening, still not feeling very well, our electricity was out due to a wind storm. We decided to light some candles and a small propane heater and brave the cold temps. Clayton was so excited. He kept saying, "I like living off the land." However, when we woke the next morning and could see our breath in the air, he kind of had different feelings about "living off the land". Ha! So, the next night we made other arrangements, and a couple of days later, we were ever so thankful to have electricity!

I have a new position to fill this coming year at our local church. It seems kind of huge to me, but I'm excited about the prospects. Our very faithful missionary president of many years moved away to St. Louis, MO. recently. We miss the Black family very much. Anyways, I was asked to fill the vacant position. I'm looking for all the resources I can get my hands on for ways to promote the missions program in our church. We will major on some home mission (local church) projects here at the outset. I think I will use the theme "The Worth of a Soul" for our next Missions service.

In family news, my Grandpa Sneed broke a bone in his hip a couple of weeks or so before Christmas. So it seemed very different not to have my grandparents with us when we gathered for exchanging gifts, etc. With the condition of his mind, it has been a difficult time. From what the social worker said, he seems to be in the moderate stage of alzheimers. About 10 years ago when we first moved here to Rochester, Grandpa came to preach for us. He just didn't seem to be himself. Dan told a few of us when we returned to the house that he thought Grandpa had alzheimers. A short time later they moved back to southern Indiana from Illinois. He was traveling by himself at night with the moving caravan to their new home when he ended up almost at a former parishioner's house. Since then, different things have continued to happen which have made our fears a reality. One of the most sad things is that Grandpa has known at times that something is wrong. Such signs as putting on two shirts or leaving the car door open everytime he would get out of the car are just a few of the mild occurances that have taken place. It's hard to see someone you love go through this. I know of no one who has been so faithful to love and care for their spouse than Grandma. She spent every night with him in the hospital. She said he would have times of dramatically praising the Lord. Anyways, to wrap this up, Grandpa had to be placed in a nursing home this past Monday. The facility is a new one in Jasper, IN. The family reports that it is very nice, smells clean, etc. He seems to have adapted fairly well so far. Friends have been so wonderful to visit and send words of cheer. My thoughts and prayers are with them. They invested so much in my life when I was younger... I do wish that I lived closer to them at this time.

Here are a few totally random pics from the holidays.

1. Clayton with a fleece blanket I made for him.
2. Amber and Clayton waiting to eat one of Mamaw's delicious breakfasts.
3. Dad giving Grandma one of her gifts. (She had the flu, so was in her robe and hair net :-)
4. Grandpa with a gift.
5. Mom enjoying Bensen.
6. 2 sisters with cheesy smiles and electric skillets (which I'm enjoying and using a lot!)
7. Dan with his gift certificate to White Steamer... Ugh! But so glad he enjoyed it.
8. My nephew Carson (Boy did we have a time with him! He's so much fun!)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cookie Recipe

Never Fail Sugar Cookies

2/3 c. shortening
3 T. milk
2 eggs (well beaten)
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 c. sugar 1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cream of tartar

Mix dry ingredients as for pie crust. Mix in shortening. Add remaining ingredients and roll out at least 1/2 inch thick. Cut and place sugar cookies on cookie sheet. Bake at 350* for 7-10 min. until lightly golden.

Buttery Decorator Icing
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. shortening
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
4 c. powdered sugar
2 to 4 tbls. milk

1. In large bowl, combine butter and shortening; beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt; mix well.

2. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in
enough milk at high speed until light and fluffy and of desired speading consistency.

Icing can be made up to 2 weeks in advance and stored in tightly covered container in refrigerator. Bring to room temp. and rewhip before using.

Friday, December 5, 2008

This Week--- Recitals

Monday evening, Amber held her first piano recital for her students. She had worked really hard to make it an enjoyable time for those who attended and it paid off. There were between 45-50 there. The kids did such a great job! The cutest little guy, Zachary, won the trophy for most memorized pieces. A little Chinese girl, who was absolutely adorable, played "The Snowman". (If you upsize the group pic, you can see her in the blue checked jumper/pink blouse.) I doubt she could even reach the pedals, but she did such a fine job on her piece. Clayton has been taking lessons and is really enjoying it. He's a bit different than Amber; in that, she would become so nervous before recitals she would end up sick to her stomach. Clayton actually enjoyed it and said he wished he could have a recital every week.

Amber had made around 100 cookies in the shape of music notes to pass out. She placed two in each Christmas treat bag. The picture below was taken well after the fact, so the sugar is starting to melt, etc. Let me tell ya.... These cookies were SOOOOO good!!!! We have a friend who works at Cookies-by-Design and she would bring us cookies sometimes. I love their cookies, but I think these were very comparable to theirs. Amber made them thick, which I think really helped. She had several compliments the next day when she had lessons, so I know people enjoyed them too. She used the Buttery Decorator Icing from the Pillsbury book and it's very delicious!

Last night, we went to Cinci-OH area to attend the senior recital of David Harkopf Jr. He did an absolutely phenomenal job!! His accompanist was awesome too. It seems pretty amazing that when we moved here about 10 years ago, David was around 15. This year he is graduating with his masters from Miami University in Oxford, OH. We're thrilled at how God is using David's talents in some pretty big ways. It was also great to see fellow-blogger and friend, Melanie Kuhn Clemens! I kind of had to re-introduce her to my husband. Ha! Little girls have a way of growing up!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Happy Thanksgiving

We spent Thanksgiving Day with Dan's family. Here are a few pictures from the event.

1. Dan's Dad cutting the turkey.
2. Dan's parent's pomeranian
3. Dan's parents
4. Dan's brother, Don, and his two daughters
5. Dan's sister, Cheryl, and her son, Ryan
6. Dan's sister, Kathie, and her 4 kids
7. Our family
8. The grandkids

Friday, November 7, 2008

"Such a Time as This"

I have noticed that many blogging friends have been weighing in with post election topics. I've also noticed that nearly everyone has, in some way or another, turned back to the foundational truths of our faith... our hope is in God alone, our future is bright in Him and we will trust Him come what may. I've found comfort here!
I've been having such wonderful conversations with a Catholic lady for whom I work. (We were equally disappointed that proposal two was not defeated here in MI. It was a proposition for embryonic stem cells to be used for research in a number of ways.) As I understand it, she has only recently been permitted by the Catholic priests to read the Scriptures. So many things are coming to light for her. It's just wonderful! She says she wants to surround herself with all that is holy. Yesterday, we talked about these historic times and what it means to us as Americans. No one seems to deny the extraordinary events taking place today!
I'll admit to being a bit anxious as to what the future might hold; however, I was encouraged this morning when I read a devotional so pertinent for today. I was reminded that I was placed here "for such a time as this!!" I love the story of Queen Esther! I'm sure she had some misgivings about her tremendous tasks and unrevealed future, but she didn't cower to Satan and his tactics. She faced it with God on her side and she was an over comer!!

I'll leave you with an excerpt from the last paragraph of the devotional by Carol Hobbs:

"My life is not a fairy tale, but my story begins with "once upon a time" and ends with "they lived happily ever after." Between the "once upon a time," and the "happily ever after," there is a life to live and you and I are here "for such a time as this!"
The Christian's life on earth is "once upon a time" and heaven will be our "happily ever after."