Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Brazilian BBQ

Michael said we didn't need to have a party before he leaves, but he also said that Jonathan/David's party was one of the best memories he has of his big brothers and missions, so I didn't want him to be left out of the experience. (I'll put that other party on my list of posts to post.)
We had a good turnout on Saturday evening as the ward had a campout the night before and our party was talked about. Therefore ... everyone from the campout, plus, was at Michael's party.
I was a little overwhelmed with all the people, and although I'd been cooking nonstop for 2 days, I had no time to take any pictures once the party started.
Our home teacher and his dear wife were taken up on their offer to help us out and we put Doug (Pulley) behind the grill for a couple of hours, and Kathy (wife) in the kitchen chopping and doing dishes for at least 2 hours. I felt bad, but grateful to have such service on my behalf as the large group of party goers was a little out of my hands.
Our sone David showed up at 5:00 and said, "Put me to work."
He too worked for the next 3 hours solid. Making salads, straightening tables, cutting meat, stocking food, showing people where things are, and various other helpful things. He was my right hand man as his father, the Hubby fixed things around the yard, and made sure the guests were happy.
Next time I'll hire a couple of people to help.

...and maybe I'll get a new camera for documentation. So frustrating.

Menu?? For a Brazilian BBQ?
I looked things up online and found a plethora of great recipes by just typing in "Brazilian food recipes."
I found Feijoada which is black beans and probably the biggest staple food along with flavored rice, and collard greens.

I made many kinds of meat and like the typical Brazilian, just used a salt rub for flavoring. Our assortment included Beef New York roast style, Pork loin roast, Portuguese sausage, chicken thighs, (although tongue and feet are common), and we also added regular hot dogs for those picky Americans that may show up at a party.
My other favorite was the cheese bread or Pao de Queijo. It was made with tapioca flour, and farmers cheese and eggs. It was quite yummy if I do say so myself.
We purchased Brazilian flags for the tables and a large one for the flag pole on a large tree in our back yard. We also had several dozen balloons placed strategically around the yard for a party atmosphere.

Problem was ... our missionary Michael had a sore mouth from having his wisdom teeth removed last Monday.
His dorky smile is hiding the very slightly puffy cheeks. Most people wish they recovered as well as my children do from wisdom tooth removal.
A little soreness while eating and a few worried moments when he feels something is stuck in his holes in the back of his mouth are about the extent of his discomfort.
He only had 2 third molars to begin with which is the same number I had and one less than 2 others of his siblings.
Good job tough kid!
And wait'a socialize with the party goers too. I know that was difficult for you.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Elements of a Wedding Shower

 Last month I hosted a bridal shower for a friends daughter. I was in charge of the invitations and this is what I came up with. I got the colors from a Lenox tableware pattern that the happy couple had chosen to go with their new home.  They are fine musicians, and the bride is a singer from the word go, so I used two little love birds as the accent on the invite.
 This is a backdrop that I used for the serving table and it turned out okay, but didn't get hung very well.
I'm always trying to do too many things at the last minute, and this was one of those times. I hung this up without enough time to adjust the height and it looked quite mediocre.
Live and learn.
My lost camera has the main pictures from the party in it. Cindy Harmer made a great cake, decorated with singing birds and such. Susan Lucas made some great food to go with the things I had made.

Oh, my favorite other part was the lemonade served in small glass bottles with striped turquoise and red colored straws, and red raffia tied around the top of the bottle. It was cute.

Home Again, Home Again Jiggedy Jig

We tried to get the pool warm enough for a late summer swim with the grandkiddles, but it seems our solar just doesn't do the trick by the end of the summer. The sun position in the sky keeps the pool shaded by our large Green Ash trees, and it always bugs us that the solar can't keep up with the heating needs.
Maybe after we redo the pool this year the new equipment will be more efficient. We shall see.
So ... the grandkids were entertained by the sprinklers in the back yard quite well.
 Beach ball/soccer ball. It kicks very ball like anyway.
 The kickboard makes a nice shield for the spurting water.
 This kid finds the dirt where err it may be.
 At least he has fun doing it.
The girls concentrating on the trajectory of the water.
"Really GPa it isn't very cold, can we just play in the pool for a little while?"
"As long as you have floaties on your arms."
Now let's see the different levels of comfort in the water environment.
 Here's the #1. She was "being" a shark in the hot tub and is totally comfortable under water as long as she can touch the bottom.
 Here's #2. This is as far as her face goes into the H2O. But she is loving it more and more.
#3 just wants to participate and doesn't realize he needs to think or worry about turning upside down in the rubber duck intertube that he sits in.

Cute kids all around. 
Thanks for the pictures GPa.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Everything we visited on our trip to the east coast was named after the queen or king of the year.
When the settlers first came to America  to actually establish homes there, King James just happened to be the English King of the day. So ... everything from that first period is named after him.
James River, James Island, Jamestown.
What a well done museum and living museum.
 Ellery is the helpful big sister.
 She is also interested in what the Native American (Indian in my time) lady is doing.
 The inside of the houses in the Indian Village were quite spacious. They used skins for clothing, sleeping blankets, tables, and many other things.
 Let's crush some corn for bread and much other food.

 Onto the English ships. These are exact replicas of the ships.
 Ellery offering her hand so her Mom can get down the stairs better.
Oh, thank you.
 "Hey, there's GPa."

 Walking up and down the boatway. (I don't know what to call it. A jetway gets you onto a jet, so maybe a boatway gets you onto a boat. I know there's an actual name for it.)
 Aren't those legs just to die for? So cute.
 The family that rows together ....
The settlers had few nice things, but the workmanship on this piece of furniture is magnificent.  We were getting done at this point so the English settlement got a little sort changed with our time. It was way cool though.

Monday, September 12, 2011

More Williamsburg

Our trip to Virginia continues with a day in Williamsburg learning about how the colonists lived 200-300 years ago. (Wow, I can't decide if that was a long time or a short time ago. Depends on what your perspective is when you are thinking about it.)
 These ladies taught us about spinning wool and cotton into yarn. They also told us how the men dyed and wove the yarn into cloth. Of course this shop was one of my faves.
 And the cobblers shop was amazing. It was actually cheaper to import from England than to have shoes made here because the supply was so limited.
 Austin thought the magazine house was interesting. This soldier told us all about the ammunition and musketry.
 I mentioned the wonderful brick work. I was intrigued by it as we walked through town. Wait till you see Kathryn making bricks.
 Everyone wore wigs, and these women told us all about wearing horse or human hair, and the advantages associated with each.
 Silversmiths were important to the 17th century population. They did amazing, intricate work.
 These woodworkers still do everything the old way. Kathryn thought it would be too tempting to not just run out to "Ace" (hardware store) once in a while.
 This Cooper was nice to me because I was SSOOO smart.
 Getting muddy while mixing clay for bricks.
 K had a fun time trying to get some elevation without falling. The kid next to her fell right into the mud.
 Bricks can be made any shape and these are the forms.
 They are fired for 5 days and the inner bricks get darker and stronger than the ones on the outside of the pile. There are 3 fires on the base of this. One fire for every 3,000 bricks.
 More picket fences and a handsome father with his cute daughter. The SIL and grandchildren are in the car having naps. Actually the SIL is not napping, he is probably watching an iPod movie or something. Nevertheless, he is a good sport to go to the car with the kiddles.
 The Hubby with the phone at his ear. Not an uncommon site.
I asked this colonist if he was supposed to be a beggar and he took great offense.  Nice guy. They all have terrible looking teeth. They must have a protocol to chew herbs or something before coming to work.

All in all this was a fun way to see and hear how they lived lives 200 plus years ago.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


The power was coming back to most of the southern Virginia area by the time we investigated Williamsburg the first time. Michael had flown home and The Hubby had some business calls to do and so we decided to wait on paying admission to see all the best sights for another day. This way we could leisurely walk around to shopping dining and checking out where we might want to spend more time when we obtain tickets.
 My version of window shopping. Take a closeup so I can duplicate it in another life.
 Coco's version of how to down a corndog. YUMMMMY.
 Gardens are in fashion again.
 Better ideas for white picket fences than anywhere I've ever seen.
 Colonial attire.
 Cool rooflines, and architecture.
Cover thy head always.
 Ells loves the old fashioned stuff. I think the new stuff mixed in (bike racing past) adds to the uniqueness of the place, don't you?
 Do you think they should smile when their heads are about to come off?
 Soda pop in amazing.

She'd never had root beer and didn't want to let it go anytime soon. People were walking past taking her picture and laughing as she downed the sarsaparilla.