Breaking Amish

How exactly did I get this busy?  I never finished blogging about summer and along comes fall.  It’s November 4th already???  Well, I will tell you one thing.  If I have not been very proficient in my blogging, I have been proficient in doing one thing.  Each month, I am for mid-month, I bake/make something.  Something I may have never done before, or something I have not done in a long time.  I started the adventure  in september with bread making.  it was an overall success, if not boulangerie worthy.  I didn’t take pictures of the process, but enjoyed it enough to try it again and will document it when I get time to do it.

This past month I attempted applesauce.  we took our annual trip to an apple orchard and plundered the trees to bring home a 1/2 a bushel of apples.  I won’t talk about how many we ate while out in the field….

Applepick Applepicks2 Applespicks1 Kids LuLu AppleNow the applesauce recipes I read all stated that one would peel the apples as part of the preparation.  However, my dear friend whom grew up in Eastern Germany, (yes they used to be divided and a communist state!) stated that once they are cooked, the skin will easily come right off when you press the pulp through the sieve. Hmmm….. well I am perpetually lazy so no peeling! So this is how it all went down……

ApplesFirst you get a bag o’apples, about 4 pounds worth.

Apples2Let them soak for 10 minutes in a mixture of cold water and vinegar-to clean them.

Apples3Slice and core. Slice and core. Slice and core….

Apples4Toss them in the pot.

Apples5Add cinnamon stick, sugar, dark brown sugar, lemon peel and lemon juice.

Apples6Bring to a boil and then lower to simmer, covered for 20-30 minutes.

Apples7Scoop and pour and smash and pull out skin and smoosh and sigh a lot.

Apples8pour into jars.  The end.


Overall, applesauce making is sticky.  If you are not Amish, perhaps you should avoid this.  If you enjoy peeling apples maybe you are Amish.










Summer Synopsis, I

Hello out there!!!!  Oh my goodness, I had no idea how long it has been since I was actually posting.  What happened to me?  Oh yes, I remember, life.  Not an overwhelmingly exciting full of exotic adventure, but just rather life.

I hope everyone was able to squeeze out all the joy of summer and then can some for mid January.  This is the first back to school year where I really was not super organized.  I made up for it in a weeks time, but I guess my heart was not in it.  However, the last two weeks of summer, with my kids staring at me,  with an occasional wide eyed blink, made me realize that perhaps they needed to be at school.  Or somewhere else.

Our summer did not have a grand vacation, but rather a couple of adventures.  I had a couple of my own, as well.  We had too many to just sum up in one post, so I will inundate you, repeatedly, with antics of our summer.  Aren’t you lucky???

School’s out and Rowen has a birthday and a piano recital. We have a neighborhood pool party and India wraps up her gymnastics career.

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Say hello to Enderman.  enderman, say hello to everyone!



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Not sure if he looks more like Mozart or Beethoven….


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This guy, or girl, hung around most of the summer in one of our flower beds.  The one right next to the driveway, where I park my car and when I would get out in the evening  he would scamper around inside the leaves and scare the crap out of me.  I am pretty sure he was giving just what he was getting.  Touche, little turtle.



Olympic hopefuls can now relax, Miss India is opting to head back to horseback riding.




Stay tuned for when the excitement never ends……

Because I Cannot Contain It.

A few weeks before Christmas I spent a couple of Saturdays taking free portrait sessions for people of various walks of life.  The first  Saturday I spent downtown Pontiac taking pictures of families from an elementary school that our church mentors and helps out and for individuals and families of Grace Centers of Hope.   Grace Centers of Hope is a place for the homeless, the addicted and the hopeless to find new life.  I met some amazing people that day.  I will not post any images of these people, to protect their privacy and this post really isn’t about that at all.

This post starts, really with the second Saturday.  Awhile back I heard about this guy, Michael, who decided to move into a trailer park across the street from a dump.  He did this because he felt God telling him to.  And God made it all happen. I had the opportunity to meet Michael and many of his friends in the trailer park on that Saturday.  There were all sorts of characters I met, but Michael has the most lasting impression on me.  He has become a tutor, a big brother, a mentor and a life saver to so many people there.  He is a combination of Fozzy Bear, Animal and Kermit all rolled into one.  I am sure he would not relish in that comparison, but who doesn’t love the Muppets?   He is an inspiration and really just a totally rad dude.  Not just cool, but Radical.  Jesus was Radical.  can’t quite wrap your head around what Radical looks like?  Read Michael’s latest blog entry:

I told my husband recently that I just wanted to be a bit more Radical.  I think Michael will have to be my earthly representative of what that looks like.

A New Year

In the chaos and excitement of the holidays, my time, energy and blog went by the wayside.  I spent a lot of time just thinking about what I want to change this year.  I heard the question, “what can you do in 4 years?”  I found it intriguing, as there is so much you can do in 4 years.  I am hoping to compile a list of what I would like to achieve in 4 years and have it ready by inauguration day.  I figure that is a good way to gauge my progress.  Me and Barak can compare notes and monkey wrenches.

One thing I am sure of, that I intend to do, is start another photo challenge for myself.  It is  52 self portraits.  I heard once that if you want to take good portraits, you need to be able to take a good self portrait.  But, another reason is that I am struggling a bit through the self image/aging process.  I don’t mind getting older in the mental and emotional sense, but I am struggling with myself physically.  I plucked 7 grey hairs out, I know I am lucky to be 42 and just starting to get grey hairs, but when your hair is one of your best features and it starts to fade, my spirit wanes a bit as well.  I am struggling to lose 15-20 pounds that keep re-appearing and staying longer than I like.  So, this challenge is a bit of an attempt to get all Jillian Michaels in your face and start accepting what I cannot change, change what I can  and embrace it all.  That and getting a better grip on lighting and figuring out how my stinking self timer works.

Here is my first self-portrait, and yes, I know my brows need to be trimmed and shaped.  I have yet to find someone to do them and do them well around these parts.



Happy New Year!

The Reveal!

We thought we would have missed the reveal, but still would be able to enjoy the celebration.  After a long week of hard work, time and dedication, it was finally done, and finally here.  The neighborhood came out to enjoy the celebration and welcome their new neighbors.  But when we got there, we recognized that we had something in common with the owners.  They run on Pinkel time!  So we had some time to wait for the reveal!

Part of the Kensington Community Church tradition, whenever they break ground for a new church, is to drive a stake into the ground to claim the land for God.  That day, they along with volunteers and a new pastor in the area, trying to start his own church, drove a stake into the ground of the park.  The same park where they host free bbq’s in the neighborhood, establishing that they are committed to helping and giving to a community that so richly needs it.


Jim Pritchard was the director of the house build.

Larry Allen of Grace Centers of Hope.  A wonderful organization and a wonderful guy!

The new pastor in the area!  I can’t remember his name. Ugh.

It was just like on tv!  Only without Ty Pennington!

I was lucky enough to be right in front of everyone to get their faces when the trucks moved and try and capture their emotions.

Behind the trucks were multiple family members there to welcome to their new home and join in on the celebration for and with them!



Final Stretch….

Last evening I swung by the house build to see what was happening.  The outside looked a little bit different then the day before, but only a little bit.

But yesterday, I got to go inside to see what was happening.  I told you before that I knew the drywall was being put in, but when I got in there, the primer was done, the light fixtures in, the kitchen cabinets in and color had started to appear on the walls.  OH!  And most importantly, the HVAC was complete!

And the view from the front porch.  I’ll be back tonight for more pics, but tonight, I am working.  I cannot wait to see this finished!