Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Third Licensed Driver in the House!

I can hardly believe I have a daughter old enough to have her license!

She has had her permit for quite awhile. There is such a process anymore in going through 2 segments of driver's ed, documenting driving times (daytime and nighttime), etc. Last week she took the test and then we headed to the Secretary of State's office. We were excited for her. It was kind of funny as we all walked up to the desk to present the final documents and to pay the fee... One of the ladies who worked there asked the lady who was waiting on us if we were all together. The lady working with us jokingly answered, "Yeah, we're going to do a family photo here in a bit." I think Clayton's just as excited as she is about it. I believe it was three- four days later before she actually drove anywhere by herself. Clayton likes to go with her. He makes a good "sidekick" I'm sure.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Summer Days... Raspberry Pie!

About a month ago now, I took on some house cleaning jobs. It's been interesting and enjoyable meeting new people and entering their homes in such a way.

One lady has several acres of land and probably at least 5-6 extravagant flower gardens, a bountiful vegetable garden, and a long row of black raspberry bushes on the south side of her property. She had told me recently that I was welcome to pick them when they became ripe enough. She mentioned that the birds and deer usually get to them first.

Just today I was amazed at how many had ripened since I was there just over a week ago. They weren't very big, but the did seem to be ripe. We (Amber and Clayton helped too) picked several today, and I had thought of how wonderful it would be to make a raspberry pie. It's been years since I've had one.

I guess I'll just go ahead and admit, it's been awhile since I've done anything so.... fulfilling to my culinary ambitions. (*smile) I make several types of cream pies, but I don't "do" fruit pies. My Mom makes an awesome apple pie, usually mainly for Amber- I think. Amber fell in love with it several years ago now. There will probably never be an apple pie like Mamaw's apple pie. Anyways, back to the raspberries... I wasn't even sure we had picked enough to make an 8" pie. I got them home, spent about 15 minutes looking each one of them over to make sure they were completely clean, rinsed them, and prepared them to cook. I even kind of felt good about my raspberry stained fingers and scratched arms! I cooked the raspberry filling and then had to let it cool for about an hour. What a process!! I felt like I was back in the olden days! Finally, it was all put together and I was able to bake it. And yes, I've been the only one to try to it so far!!! Dan didn't care for a piece. He's kind of a creature of habit, and raspberry pie isn't a habit. Ha! Clayton was a bit "iffy" about trying it. Oh well, this "Mother Hen" just ate a piece of homemade raspberry pie topped with ice cream, and it was absolutely scrumptious!!! Amber was on the phone and so I shared a bite of mine with her and she seemed to really enjoy it. I'm just hoping someone will come along for which I can share it, because I certainly don't need the whole pie!! Ha!

Here are some pictures. Don't let your mouth water too much. Ha!
I'm sure you won't when you see my fancy lattice work.
But, hey, I'm not well versed at this.

I really could have doubled the recipe for the raspberry filling, because there would have been room in my pie crust for another portion.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Pilgrim Youth Camp 2008

The highlight of my summer is still Pilgrim Youth Camp. It's a tradition I hope to pass on for many more generations. The past couple of years Pilgrim Youth Camp has been growing in number. Last year we broke our record and had 176 campers.

On a personal level, I'm involved in taking photos throughout the week. I have them developed nearly every day and then sell them to the campers. It seems to be something they really enjoy. I believe this year we sold about 200 pictures. The night of the banquet can be a bit overwhelming with trying to take so many pictures in a short period of time, but it's a lot of fun! I am usually involved with Bible Bowl too. This year I was a quizmaster. The experience is amazing... to see kids who have studied so hard get so involved! Our staff, specifically Ruth Nichols, has been on the cutting edge of adapting Bible Bowl to still be fun and relevant, even after many years of using this game among our youth. In recent years we have started inserting bonus questions from the evangelist's evening messages. These kids really are intent upon listening and then being able to answer the questions, sometimes even before the full question is given. Amber studied hard this year, but we had no idea she would be at the top of the list as far as points earned in Bible Bowl. I knew her good friend, Amber Petty, was certainly earning a lot of points for her team. So whenever President Zeigler announced the 2nd place winner as.... Amber--- I just automatically assumed it was Amber Petty. Anyways, we were pleasantly surprised to find out Amber Plemmons had come in second place, receiving a gift certificate to Wal-mart. And we were very excited that Amber Petty came in 1st, as Amber Petty is 19 and this is her last year.

More than any of these things, was the awesome sense of God's presence among our young people, many who are street kids who are in need of so much love and attention. The Tuesday night service has been talked about a lot, as it lasted around 4 hours. Some serious conversions took place. It was great to see some of them back at Family Camp testifying to how they had gone home and witnessed to their unsaved family members.

This year was extra special to me because my sister brought her son, Carson, to join us for the week of youth camp. He is only 11, so wasn't able to be a camper this year, but I thought it would kind of prepare him for if he was able to come next year. We had so much fun with him. He's such a good kid!! He really enjoyed himself.

Here are a few photos of my family. There will be many others available for viewing on the Pilgrim website.

1. Amber and the annual first night tug-of-war. 2. Clayton and Carson with those classic Pixie Sticks. 3. It was pretty cool, Carson and Clayton were asked to show the campers how to do this afterglow event of holding a ball between their arms without touching it with their hands. It was a relay activity. 4. Carson, Ryan Burley and Clayton 5. With Amber 6. Carson and Clayton, ready for the banquet set up for the "staff's kids". 7. Amber trying to get out an answer for Bible Bowl (Brandon Petty on right.) 8. Bro. Zeigler and Amber 9. Amber with her date (Seth Fish) for the banquet

Catching Up... The Grays Visit

It's almost hard to know where to start, as we were away for our camp meeting the last two weeks of June, and then made a trip back to Indiana over July 4th weekend. One of the highlights of this past month was the Sunday after Jen and Wes were married. We had several members of the Gray family at church on Sunday. Dan had asked Sylvan to give his life story.

It is a very moving account of a prodigal son who found his way back to Father's house. It certainly is a "faith booster" too. His parents pleaded over his soul, and God was faithful!

We felt so privileged to have Bro. & Sis. Eugene Gray in our home for Sunday dinner once again. And Sylvan was a hoot! We just had a blast with them! Sis. Gray fell in love with our dog, Buddy. She's quite an animal lover. Sylvan was fighting with Clayton over the last few pieces of sugar cream pie. And finally said he was taking home the last piece- and he did! Ha! Well, it wasn't quite that bad, especially since it was his and he was actually sharing with the others... We gave pies to the fathers for Father's Day and he just happened to get my sugar cream pie. He must love sugar cream pie, so it worked out very well.

Here are a few pics from that special day. The first is another memory to add to our hearts.

Just proving, Amber isn't too old to still receive one of Bro. Gray's dollar bills. (As Conf. Pres., when he would come to visit, the kids would always receive a dollar or two from him.)