Sunday, February 28, 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

We "Aim" to Surprise

This is the sunset we saw as we headed toward Indianapolis on Friday evening. Pretty nice, but we are looking forward to a sunset over sand and sea instead of snow.

We were attending the surprise party for my friend Amy, who had a big birthday this week. Her friend Ginny hosted the party, and the decorations were in keeping with the big birthday theme.

Here is Amy, flanked by her sisters. Dede came from her home in Idaho/California via Hawaii, and Kathy came from way up north in Fort Wayne. It was a fun surprise for Amy to have them all together for the celebration.

Here are the three Miller sisters with their mom Peg. So cute!

Peg and her husband Stan came from their home in Cincinnati.

The party "committee" had done a great job with the 1960 theme, complete with retro foods like green jello and Rice-A-Roni. Here, Amy shows off a can of Tab. Who knew you could still buy it?

And a whole box of delicious White Castles. Yum-my! :)

Time for games, and our hostess, Ginny had prepared a fun trivia game testing our knowledge of 1960. We were tested all right!

Ginny explains the game and divides the teams. To make it more fair. I think.

TEAM AMY in one corner.

TEAM SUSAN SUSAN SUSAN in the other corner. Yes, there were three of us. What can I say, it was a popular name back in the olden days. I think there were 5 Susans in my kindergarten class. But I can't really remember....

We found the questions to be quite challenging, and the competition was fierce. Here is Larry celebrating after he checked the internet to find that his answer was, in fact, correct. Good thing it's not still 1960, or he would have had to check an encyclopedia. Or stone tablets.

Next came the hula hoop competition, er, exhibition. Yes, I can still do it. They thought I'd been practicing. Which I had, of course. Amy, put down my camera!

Amy prefers the over-the-arm technique.

Amy's friend Kristie was the winner. But I'm not sure it counts. She's YOUNG. :)

Ginny gives it a whirl.

Amy opened her lovely cards and gifts. A birthday girl wine glass... two actually.

I think this card was from Dede....

something about dentures.

Kristie had to help her read the fine print.

Amy's favorite, carrot cake, from the Illinois Street Emporium. It says "50 And Holding."

Candles are out! Whew!

Larry cuts the cake. Rich and delicious.

And before the evening could be complete, a little karaoke by the Miller Sisters.

and Amy.
Mom Peg was groovin' to the music. Did I just say groovin'?

I guess that's what we said way back in 1960! Happy Birthday Amy!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Vote for Joey + Rory!

Joey Martin worked for Janssen Veterinary Clinic (where Jennifer works now) back when our mare, Miss Ty Teddy was expecting a foal and struggling with founder. She came to our house with Dr. Janssen several times that cold winter as we nursed Teddy through her pregnancy. She sang for us at the Hoosier Horse Fair to entertain at the exhibitors' dinner. Adam was just a little tyke that year, and followed Dr. Janssen around as his "official helper." He got to know Joey, and I'm pretty sure Adam had a little bit of a crush on her. Can you blame him?

Joey left Indiana to head for Nashville to follow her dream. She met her husband there, and together, they have become the duo Joey + Rory.

Their Facebook page included this message this morning:

Today is the day! Voting is now officially open for the ACM Top New Vocal Duo award! Head on over to to submit your vote for Joey + Rory and be sure to check out this video!

I hope you will take a minute to vote for them!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spring is Coming

A sure sign of spring is the opening of Stagg's, the best place for ice cream treats in Rush County. I had heard they would be opening soon, and sure enough, when I passed by on my way to Arlington I could see the OPEN sign through the snow flurries.

Sooo, Matthew and Granny had to make our first stop of the season on our way home from school. He ordered a cookie dough twister, their version of a blizzard, and just as good.

He was anxious to dig in, but agreed to share a little with Granny.

However, I was not allowed to eat any cookie dough pieces, which he carefully scooted to his side of the cup.

I had to take these pictures with my phone, since he would also not allow me to take my camera into the restaurant. (Who's in charge here, anyway?) I had trouble getting a good shot with the phone since there is a little delay between the snap and the capture. That explains the cheesy smile since he had to stay that way a little to long. Or should I call it an ice creamy smile?

Even with snow on the ground, Stagg's was definitely the place to be after school. It was soon full of teenagers hanging out and enjoying some after school sweets. We'll be baaaaaack!

Monday, February 22, 2010


We hosted Connections on Sunday evening by celebrating Mardi Gras a little late. Jenny Anne graciously came to prepare her famous "Super Bowl Gumbo" for the main course. We also served Deb Sellers' potato soup. I have my own "connections" with some great cooks!

Meanwhile, I did my part by decorating the table. Masks, beads, and more beads.

More beads here, on the chandelier. I'm better at decorating than cooking. No doubt about that.

Josh, Erica, Nicole, and Jeremy dressed in bright colors in keeping with the Mardi Gras theme.

Sarah is sporting the always classic, always correct, old gold and black.

Kristen, Michelle, and Matt smile for the crazy camera woman.

What's left of the gumbo, made with chicken and sausage. Very tasty. Jenny hopes to try it with seafood sometime, but this version will always be the lucky gumbo. Who Dat!

And for dessert, authentic New Orleans King Cake delivered just for the party. The king cake gets its name from the three Biblical kings. The cake is baked with a small plastic baby inside, sometimes said to represent the baby Jesus. The person who gets the piece with the baby has various privileges and obligations (such as buying the cake for the next celebration).

Carefully selecting a piece of cake.

Nicole and Jeremy enjoy their dessert.

And Nicole gets the baby!

I guess Nicole buys the next cake!


Jennifer gave me tickets to see the Christian group, Selah, for my birthday. They are one of my favorites, and we were excited to head for Fort Wayne on Saturday to enjoy the concert.

After a quick dinner at Logan's to watch Purdue squeak one out over Illinois, and a little time getting lost in Fort Wayne, we made it to the concert just a few minutes late. It was actually a blessing, because they allowed us to sit in the lower level artists' circle where there were still some available seats.

Selah includes Allan Hall, Amy Perry, and Todd Smith. Their powerful music, shared from the heart, is both a blessing and an inspiration. If you are listening to the music on my blog, the first two songs right now are by Selah. You can learn more about their group, their story, and their music here.

One of my favorite Selah songs is their arrangement of "You Raise Me Up." So powerful. My other favorite is "One Thing I Know." It just speaks to me of God's great love for us. He will never leave us alone. Never.

Todd and his wife, Angie, are expecting their fifth daughter. Their fourth child, Audrey Caroline, was diagnosed with several severe health conditions while Angie was still carrying her, and they were told she would not survive. You can read about their journey, their sorrow, and their great faith on Angie's blog, Bring the Rain.

Todd asked if there were any of Angie's blog readers in the audience, and there were a few of us. He asked us to just send her a comment and tell her how beautiful she is. So sweet. If you check out her blog, I think you'll agree. Inside and out.

They sang another of my favorites, "Through It All." It is written by Andre Crouch, and it always reminds me of the time Amy and I went with Mrs. Huser to his concert when we were in high school. It was an experience.
The words also reminded my just now of our friends in Haiti,

So I thank God for the mountains, and I thank Him for the valleys,
And I thank him for the storms He's brought me through
Cause if I never had a problem,
I wouldn't know that He could solve
I wouldn't know what faith in His Word could do.

It was a great concert, and a great day. We were blessed by the music, and blessed by the chance to share a special time together.