Monday, September 24, 2007

Apple Butter

This is my variation on a Betty Crocker recipe. I have had several requests for it. It is easy and done in the crock pot.

12 apples cored and quartered

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1 cup splenda

1/2 cup apple juice

1 Tbsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp all spice

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

Place all ingredients in the crock pot(5-6 qt). Cover and cook 10-12 hours on low ( 5-6 hours on high). When apples are tender place in the blender and puree. It makes approximately 4 cups.

*Note if you are not a splenda fan you can use all brown sugar or a combination of brown and white sugar.
*Note if you do not have a blender peel the apples and use a potato masher after the first time period and cook down an extra 2 hours.
*Note I play with the spices I have made it with some or all the spices removed or adjusted except cinnamon. You can add more cinnamon but don't get rid of it all together.
*Note I have done up to a recipe and half at one time in my crock pot.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Amanda's case of Nesting

Just a couple of pictures of Aaron's room to be.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Life's Adventures

It has been awhile since I have posted but it has been an exciting week.

On the work front, we are getting a new computer system. I spent Wednesday in one of our stores using the new system. It was a challenge but we had the benefit of an early store that had made the conversion so our day was better than theirs.

We also had the pleasure of having my brother David and Kim and Anthony up for a visit. Gabe and Dee came in as well. It is always fun to have a house full of people. We commandeered Mama and Papa Bond's large table and had a lovely lunch after church. Grandpa Graffius was also in town. We passed the baby(Anthony) and he was such a good sport. Kim got several good generation pictures which I hope to get a copy of. We ended our wonderful weekend with a trip to the Meadows. (For those that don't know this is the best soft serve around and you have to get a calender to know what the flavor of the day is) David and Kim, as well, gave us some wonderful baby gifts and some practical advice on what works for them.

My husband and I have renewed our attempts to learn Spanish. I think it may be like trying to quit smoking. For most people it takes more than one try. We are using a tutor this time because the local community college is not offering the next level of classes. I may learn my alphabet yet.

The other thing is Perry and I made some big purchases yesterday. We bought a car seat, a mattress for the crib we had gotten at a yard sale and some bedding. This is exciting and scary at the same time. We don't know exactly when Aaron is coming home but we hope it will be sooner than later. It is hard to be patient and know exactly what to plan for...we know that we won't need newborn things but beyond that it is a guessing game. He could come home at six months or 1 year. I am biased I am hoping for the 6 months.

Finally here is a picture of Aaron.

This is about a month ago (2months old)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

One of the pleasures of living in the country is a garden. But the garden also means work. Today I will be freezing corn. A messy process but definitely worth it. You boil the corn and then cut it off the cob and put it in quart bags and you have enough for a family of four or leftovers for a family of 2. I also froze whole cobs this year. We will see how that goes or should I say tastes.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Guyana Pictures
These are only a couple of pictures of our trip but as in most trips of this nature we recieved more than we gave.
The worship was a wonderful experience. Church here is not a couple of hour experience it is an all day experience. People paddle or speed boat in unless you are in a major town. Then you might drive. This particular Sabbath several of the churches worshiped together. It was a joyful occassion. The week before the team split up and was able to attend 3 different churches one of which required speed boat travel.
Small things can make a difference. This is Perry playing with bouncey balls we brought. The kids were thrilled with them. I want to take a moment to say thank you to our youth group. They helped us pack over 200 bible coloring books and crayons. I can't say how much that the kids enjoyed them and helped the time pass as they waited. Also the Washington DC church sends barrels of things down to Guyana regularly and on this trip we got to be the delivery people. There was clothing, regular bibles, study bibles for pastors and other items.

Clinic had many different settings including outside, in churches and in homes. Many of the people we saw were in pretty good health but others were not.

During the week we traveled by boat. It was a fun if occassionally wet way to travel. The pastors that drove us knew the river like we know the back roads.
We owe a big thank you to the Guyana churches: they fed us and housed us and allowed us to visit their beautiful country. There are many needs in Guyana but Perry and I hope to work on meeting two. One is sandals. This sounds silly but in the Ameriindain villages we saw many foot infections and cuts. These could be reduced with a simple pair of sandels. Second in the Georgetown area they are trying to start a reading room. When they had bible school they discovered that many of the kids struggled to read. So they wanted to provide a place where kids can be read to and practice their reading. Not a library in the fact that the books stay there. They are looking new and gently loved books of all kinds. We can send these items in the next barrel.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Weddings and Picnics

This weekend I had the pleasure of going to a renewal of the vows service (they called it a celebration of marriage). One of my best friends had been married in Nigeria and none of us in the United States were able to be there. Samantha and I went over later but not for the actual wedding. Brandy had always wanted to do fall colors. We had it in Brandy's parents backyard. The service was beautiful and informal. The wedding party include friends from school (college and high school) and Paul's brother. We were in Nigerian dress. I don't have a picture of it but we traveled from the parking area to the house via a Model T car. Paul's father is the antique car guy and his brother too. Brandy's cake was made by Linda our pastor's wife she made my cake and Sam's. Brandy and Paul did a great job visiting with everybody.

Now I did say picnic. Sunday evening after Perry finished working we had a Labor Day picnic. Yes I know it was a day early but Gabe and Dee have to leave early today and Perry works all day. So we had Grandpa Graffius, Mama, Papa, Mom, Dad, Gabe, Dee, Pastor Paul, and Linda for dinner on the deck. We saw deer as we ate and Perry did the grilling. I am so spoiled everyone brought something so there was little to do thanks to everyone. I however can not count and we had to bring out another table. There were eventually seats for everyone.