Jennifer Ward Baby Shower

Saturday, February 27 –

How fortunate that Atlanta was in Texas when Jennifer’s shower rolled around. We drove over to Clarendon a little early to do some antique shopping. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find very much open in Memphis or Clarendon, but the shower was fun.

20160227_134503 20160227_134507 20160227_145330 20160227_145338 20160227_145344 20160227_145359 20160227_152013 20160227_152038 20160227_152050

Shower in Midland

Sunday, January 31 –

The ladies of Fairmont Park church of Christ in Midland, where Andrea’s father is the pulpit minister, showered her with gifts galore. Andrea’s grandmother, Judy, aunt, Denise, and cousin, Makenna as well as the Shannon ladies, traveled to Midland to be a part of the event.

20160131_133011 20160131_133121 20160131_133143 20160131_133341 20160131_133421 20160131_133427 20160131_135429 20160131_145933 DSC02316 DSC02317 DSC02322 DSC02323 DSC02324 DSC02327 DSC02330 DSC02331 DSC02333 DSC02335 DSC02338 DSC02339

Britt Brashear Wedding

Friday, August 7 –

We attended this beautiful wedding at Walnut Tree Weddings just west of Olton. It was a really neat spot. The weather was perfect and it was fun seeing some of my relatives, too.

DSC_0247 DSC_0248 DSC_0249 DSC_0250 DSC_0252 DSC_0253 DSC_0254 DSC_0255 DSC_0256 DSC_0261 DSC_0262 DSC_0264 DSC_0267 DSC_0271 DSC_0275 DSC_0276 DSC_0279 DSC_0281 DSC_0285 DSC_0287 DSC_0288 DSC_0290 DSC_0291 DSC_0300 DSC_0302 DSC_0304 DSC_0305 DSC_0306 DSC_0312 DSC_0315 DSC_0317 DSC_0318 DSC_0322 DSC_0326 DSC_0328 DSC_0334 DSC_0335 DSC_0336 DSC_0337 DSC_0340 DSC_0343 DSC_0347 DSC_0349 DSC_0351 DSC_0355 DSC_0357 DSC_0358 DSC_0367 DSC_0369 DSC_0372 DSC_0373 DSC_0374 DSC_0375 DSC_0377 DSC_0379 DSC_0381 DSC_0382 DSC_0391 DSC_0392 DSC_0402 DSC_0404 DSC_0405 DSC_0406

 

Wild Plum Jelly

Sunday, July 5 –

Yesterday, while at Cim & Courtney’s near Afton, we picked wild plums. We didn’t make any at our place near Northfield this year, but the Afton bushes were really loaded.

wpid-20150704_162918.jpg

wpid-20150704_162854.jpg

We had a lot of help picking.

wpid-20150704_163748.jpg

Elaine Phipps

wpid-20150704_163131.jpg

Brandi Buxton

wpid-20150704_164619.jpg

Carolina

wpid-20150704_163523.jpg

It’s not easy to pick these because the bushes grow all together in big groups, not to mention that the bushes are covered with thorns, the air is full of gnats, and since they get ready around the 4th of July, it’s usually very hot. Did I mention the rattlesnakes you have to watch out for that like to curl up in the shade of the plum thicket?

Here’s the plums we ended up with.

wpid-20150704_172317.jpg

 

When we got home Saturday night, we spread them out in shallow dishes so they wouldn’t crush each other.

DSC_0509

We had some special events after church today, so it was almost 4:00 pm before we got home. I decided I’d better go ahead and boil these down before they got mushy. First, I washed them, one bowlful at a time. The leaves rise to the top and can easily be tipped out with the overflow of water.

DSC_0512

Once they were all washed, then I put them in pots on the stove, just covering them with fresh water. Because I’m out of propane, I had to stoke up the woodstove. It was a hot day and by the end of it, I had run Nathan out and all the doors were propped open.DSC_0513 DSC_0514

When they start to boil, they only need to boil 5-10 minutes.DSC_0515

 

DSC_0516

The juice is bright red at this point.DSC_0518

Next I poured the juice into a collander with a large bowl underneath.DSC_0533 DSC_0537 DSC_0538

Nathan had to help with this big, heavy pot.DSC_0542

DSC_0524

I had a lot of juice when I got done. I had intended to store the juice in the refrigerator and make the jelly on Monday, but I really didn’t have the refrigerator space and since the fire was going and Nathan had brought me a pile of wood, I decided to just get it over with.

DSC_0543 DSC_0544

I started collecting jars and washing them.DSC_0545

Here I’m boiling caps and lids and starting to bring my juice to a boil. I used some new pectin that I bought through our Azure food co-op. It’s called Pomona’s Universal Pectin. One of the things I had to add to the juice was lemon juice and some calcium water that I mixed up (included in the pectin bag).DSC_0546 DSC_0547

The selling point of this pectin is that you have lots of choices for sweetening your jelly. Unlike the store-bought stuff which requires lots and lots of white sugar, you can use honey, stevia, concentrated juice and more. I was out of organic sugar anyway, so I decided to use honey. DSC_0548

The recipe said to add the pectin to the honey and have it ready to add to the boiling juice mixture.DSC_0550 DSC_0551

Here I am stirring it in. DSC_0553 DSC_0554

After it came to boil again, then I took it off and poured it in the jars. Then the sealed jars went into a boiling water bath for about 12 minutes.DSC_0555

I was very tired after I got it cleaned up, but glad it was done. The jelly was extremely firm which is unusual for jelly made with honey, almost too firm for me. It was also right on the verge of not being sweet enough. Since the sweetener went in at the boiling stage, it was almost too late to add more when I tasted it. I did add another cup of honey at this point, with more pectin, but by then it was boiling again and I had to take it off before I ended up with plum taffy or something. I guess the next time I’ll tweak the recipe a little bit and try to get it sweeter. The plum juice is very tart and the lemon juice made it more so. We like to keep the tartness and have it contrasting with the sweet. Everyone seems to like it so far, so maybe it won’t go to waste.

wpid-20150706_074736.jpg

 

 

The Fourth

Saturday, July 4 –

Today we went to Cim & Courtney’s for the afternoon and for supper. We picked plums, watched the kids shoot fireworks and play tag and visited. We had Mexican stack for supper with all the fixings and homemade ice cream for dessert.

DSC_0508

We took our jeep with us and it worked great for taking rides around the farm.

wpid-20150704_161810.jpg

On the way home we stopped by Roaring Springs and watched their fireworks show. It was a great day!

Check out this video I made for Marian while we were there:

 

Silver Falls

Monday, June 15 –

Driving home last night from Levelland, we pulled in to the Silver Falls roadside park between Crosbyton and Dickens on Hwy 70. It was about to get dark, but we took a quick look around.

20150614_211836

20150614_211547
The falls were quite swollen from recent rains.
20150614_211614 20150614_211830

Nathan had been thinking about bringing the kids here, so we decided that if it rained again in the night making it too wet for him to work, then we would come back on Monday with a picnic lunch.

DSC_0146 DSC_0147 DSC_0148 DSC_0149 DSC_0150 DSC_0151 DSC_0152

20150615_131415 20150615_131450 20150615_131514 20150615_134742

DSC_0154 DSC_0157 DSC_0158 DSC_0159 DSC_0161 DSC_0162 DSC_0164 DSC_0166 DSC_0170 DSC_0173

 

Meeting My Cousins Halfway

Saturday, December 27 –

We traveled to Halfway, Texas today to visit family and meet my cousin to pick up his daughter so she could come home with us for a few days. It’s so fun to catch up with everyone. I really enjoyed seeing several cousins and their families that I hadn’t seen in a long, long time.

DSC_0066-001 DSC_0071-001 DSC_0073-001 DSC_0075-001 DSC_0076-001 DSC_0077-001 DSC_0079-001 DSC_0080-001 DSC_0083-001 DSC_0088-001 DSC_0089-001 DSC_0092-001 DSC_0100-001 DSC_0108-001 DSC_0109-001 DSC_0114-001 DSC_0117-001

For more pictures, to download your favorites or to upload your photos of this event visit:

Christmas 2014 at Inez & Ray’s

Goodbye Uncle Charlie

DSC_0279

Wednesday, June 25, 2014-

My mom’s sister, Edie, married Charlie almost 67 years ago. Their anniversary is July 3, 1947. He had a great sense of humor and was a talented educator in a variety of settings, from elementary school to university. He’ll be missed by all his family. We traveled to Sherman today to attend his funeral service. It was nice to see some relatives and friends that we hadn’t seen in a while, too.

DSC_0330 (2)

DSC_0257

DSC_0258

DSC_0319 (2) DSC_0320 (2) DSC_0322 (2) DSC_0324 (2) DSC_0326 (2) DSC_0327 (2) DSC_0328 (2) DSC_0333 (2) DSC_0335 (2)DSC_0334

DSC_0336 DSC_0337 (2) DSC_0338 (2) DSC_0339 (2)

Of course, you know me, I had to snap a few sky shots during the trip. This was a strange cloud we saw on the journey to Sherman.

will hamilton and emma pharies hamilton 6-25-2014 10-43-56 AM

On the way home, we followed a gorgeous sunset.

will hamilton and emma pharies hamilton 6-25-2014 9-11-25 PM will hamilton and emma pharies hamilton 6-25-2014 9-02-031 will hamilton and emma pharies hamilton 6-25-2014 9-01-27 PM

Fun Day in Amherst

 

Sunday, April 13

 

We enjoyed visiting the Amherst Church of Christ on Sunday. Several of our homeschooling friends attend there. Their kids were presenting their entries in the upcoming Leadership Training for Christ event coming up next weekend in Dallas. Puppet shows, skits, song leading, devotional speeches, scripture memory and more was presented by the kids and young adults of the congregation. I know they’re going to do well next weekend.

 

No, this fuzzy guy wasn’t at church, but afterwards we were invited to the Rodger’s home and the girls fell in love with these Pyrenees cross puppies.

CameraZOOM-20140413182427458