Thursday, August 1, 2013

Happy Faces!

Aren't these sunflowers just the most cheerful flower? There is this HUGE and I mean HUGE field of sunflowers on our way to the lake. For the past two weeks I've been meaning to stop and take a picture and this morning, about an hour ago I did. They make me happy just to look at them. Do they have the same affect on you?

So, I must "fess" up. I've not been crafting much during the past few weeks. Oh, there has been a knitted row here and there and I did make a little bunny for Miss Piper that was inspired by Teresa's bunnies she made for her granddaughters, but nothing much compared to my usual output. My reason is simple, I've been at the beach reading and swimming. It's been really, really hot here for the past two weeks and it's been perfect swimming weather. Not knitting weather. :-) So I've been carrying a bag of water, sunscreen and books to the beach every day and taking a dip to cool off, then reading for awhile, taking a dip to cool off, repeat the cycle. Anyway, you get the drift. No knitting. No crocheting. No needlecrafts at all except a row or two on the baby blanket in the evenings while watching "America's Test Kitchen" on PBS. And that's okay. These wonderful summer days won't last forever and then I'll be back inside, confined by snow. Today is much cooler.

Chloe and I came home this morning to do a mountain of laundry and have Bible Study tonight. Tomorrow, bright and early, we'll be back a the lake for just a few days because Tuesday morning early, my dear MIL will be arriving for two weeks. Alex will be here from Japan on Wednesday and Mandy & Jamie and families will be here Thursday. Our little Japanese girl, (she's 36!), who has stayed with us for the past two years is with a different host family this summer. (They drew the line at the same family 3 years in a row.) However, we're picking her up early Sunday morning so she can go to church and then spend the day with us. Her name is Yoshie and I just love her. Do you remember her? She helped me pack all the contributions for the tsunami victims two years ago and her picture was on my blog.

This is a photo of when I arrived at Narita Airport in Tokyo two years ago. In the picture are, Mayako, (another girl who stayed with us-she's 14), Yoshie, (the groups translator and tour guide), myself and Alex, (our son). It was sweet of Mayako and Yoshie to make the trip to Narita with Alex to meet me as it's about 40 miles outside of the city. I'm sorry I can't find a photo of just Yoshie at this moment.

I had thought Mom was getting here late in the afternoon next Tuesday, but I just looked at her itinerary. Nope. She'll be here around 9:00 a.m. so that means I need to be at home Monday to buy groceries and get things in order. I'm stymied on what kind of meals to fix with two gluten free grandkids and one lactose/dairy/soy allergic child/mom. All of the usual fare is out. No burgers, pizza, waffles or pancakes. I usually make a braided yeast bread with fruit in it for breakfast, as it can raise overnight while we're sleeping and I can just pop it in the oven in the morning. That's out now too. The time for procrastination is over though and the visit is upon me and I STILL don't know what to fix. I think it will be bacon and eggs every morning and I'm told I can buy a gluten/dairy/soy free bread at Costco so maybe sandwiches for lunch. Kabobs with chicken, tomato, pineapple and potatoes for dinner one night. Any other ideas from you my friends? I don't want to spend a lot of time cooking since we only have two days with the entire family together, I want to enjoy and play with our grandbabies, not be cooking all the time.

I'll leave you with a few more pictures of our "garden" at the lake. All of you southerners, don't laugh. Our zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes are just setting on because our cold weather lasts so long up here. Remember, the lake is only about 70 miles from the Canadian border!

The first picture is, from left to right, cucumber, zucchini, summer squash. The second is our tomato plant. The last two are a few of my happy little pots that are placed here and there around our site. Eighteen of those pots, to be watered twice a day in the heat. I'm not sure I'll plant so many next year!

Have a lovely day my friends. "This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!"




  1. It's (thankfully) cooler today here too--in fact it felt like one of those mornings I remember when camping years ago.
    Wishing you a great time with your family--many stores now have a whole section of GF products--Bob's Red Mill makes some. And, I've seen some pre made baked items also--mostly bread there too.
    I wonder if you could substitute either almond, rice or coconut milk for regular milk? I am lactose intolerant also but can eat yogurt, cheese and limited other dairy products. I've also seen those in the 'natural foods' section of the grocery store.
    Finally, there are GF blogs I have seen-they may be of help.
    PS: How's little Piper?

  2. Sorry about the second comment--I wanted to say I LOVE the photos of the sunflowers! I never tire of seeing fields filled with them:)
    Thanks for sharing...and now it's work-time for me.
    Good luck with your preparations--love your verse!

  3. Aimee-Don't apologize for second comments...I love them!

    I buy Almond Milk for Mandy because of Piper's allergies. I'm planning to do a lot of reading today and tomorrow and try to get some gluten free breads, etc. for Kyleigh and Caleb.

    Thanks for asking about Piper. She went to see the G.I. doctor on Monday and will be going to another one soon. Not a lot of change. Still no milk, dairy, or soy and dealing with the acid reflux. On a brighter note though, she IS gaining some weight with the new, EXPENSIVE formula they're trying.


  4. I am so excited for you that everyone will be together. Yay! What a true blessing.

    I know Alex has to be excited too with being home for a family visit. He's so adorable, he looks just like you!

    Keep swimming and enjoying your book reading, the crafts will be there when you're ready.

    Sending hugs and blessings to you sweet friend.

  5. Oh, and yes the sunflowers most certainly make me smile. :)

  6. Sometimes, life keeps us busy with other things! Your days are sounding wonderful!!!
    What fun it must be to have had exchange students! When I was young, our family always went to the base and brought home a few soldiers who didn't have anywhere to go for Thanksgiving. It was so fun to keep in touch with them, years later.
    Your veggies are coming along just great!
    Enjoy your MIL!!!! Good luck with the cooking though!!!
    xo Kris

  7. Thanks so much for the sunflower pictures! They do make me smile :)
    I'm so glad you are able to enjoy lots of swimming and reading...perfect occupations for hot summer days!
    Do you have a Fred-Meyers store near you? They have a good selection of gluten free products. Since I am avoiding gluten, soy and milk products I can appreciate your concern. I use almond milk. I often use lettuce to wrap my hamburgers. Potato chips and tortilla chips can be gluten free and corn tortillas as well. A taco casserole using corn tortillas is a possibility. A local bakery makes a yummy gluten free raisin bread that I enjoy at breakfast. You could make a breakfast quiche with almond milk and add potatoes instead of adding a flour crust. I have also used shredded zucchini as a crust.
    I am rejoicing in this day the Lord made :)
    Love with hugs,

  8. Betsy, those are wonderful photos of the sunflowers! I bet they raise them for the seeds and oil. I'm so excited for you about the family reunion! I do hope you share some photos with us. Lastly, I was amazed and blown away by your photo in the airport! You are gorgeous! Beautiful hair! Pretty pretty, you. I look forward to seeing you again soon.. and thank you for the sweet message about my Lucy. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  9. Betsy, I just love the photo of you, your son and those beautiful young women. You are resting up for a lovely visit with your family. I can't wait to see your photos and hear your stories.
    Hugs to you my dear friend,

  10. Thank you for your comment. You are always so sweet. I don't always comment as I should, but I am here reading and enjoy coming here. Hugs.

  11. simply beautifully captured shots...lovely!

  12. Hello Betsy
    Gorgeous sunflowers which make me think of beautiful golden maidens happily nodding their heads to each other! We get them here but not a lot in this area of Spain. However the "pipas" the seeds are a popular snack and the children love them.
    Quality time...make the most of it and in actual fact because it is so hot here as well I do the same as you ...a dip....sit down for awhile....and then another dip however I do my crochet too even on the beach LOL!

    Giveaway now open!

    keep well

    Amanda xx