Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Allison!

Happy 10th birthday to our granddaughter, Allison! Allison was born on my 60th birthday! Since, moving to Kansas, I've been blessed to share our birthday on several occasions. More than I ever dreamed!

Allie is Jeff and Caroline's fifth child! She has a very fun sense of humor with a cute laugh! She loves to play soccer and had the fun of playing on all-stars this past season. She also runs track. She is home-schooled and next year will be the only child at home with her mom since her brother will be in college and her sisters all at Oaks Christian. That will be very different for them! When I visit California we have fun going to In 'n Out, working in the kitchen, and just "hangin' out".

Allie I pray these scripture verses for you:

"Let Allison keep your words and store up your commands so that she will live. Cause her to guard your teachings as the apple of her eye, and let them be written on the tablet of her heart."
Proverbs 7:2-3

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Today was the MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) Relief 5K Run/Walk. Esther and Moira ran it last year and Brett, Audrey, Isabel, and I joined them this year. I decided that this would be a GREAT way to celebrate my fast-approaching 70th birthday. If I had a bucket list, this would be on it! We are expecting very severe weather, but the morning was actually great for a race, cool, slight breeze, overcast. Didn't the girls look cute in their race outfits? They found them in their Easter baskets.

It was a little chilly - for me, Rich said I was the only one "bundled up!" :)

Isabel and I had planned to walk, while the rest of the family was running.  While waiting to begin, I said to Isabel, "Now remember you have to keep up with me. It will be a fast walk!" Her response ... a big smile. At the Go!, we both took off running. I ran a few yards and she was gone. I didn't see her again until she had made the turn and was running back to the finish line! So much for keeping up with ME!

Brett and Esther ready to go.

Rich was so good to get up very early to get me to the race. He watched Maeve while the race was on and was the photographer du Jour!

Esther was first of the family in with a time of 26.27! This was a tune-up for a half-marathon which she will do the end of April.

Next was Moira who took first place in her division with a time of 28.11.

Then Isabel who took third place in her division with a time of 42.37. I hear that when she got and home and was to take a bath that she wanted to wear her medal!

Audrey finished with a time of 45.44. She reached her New Year's goal of running in a 5K!

Brett's calf muscle popped during the race, so he waited near the turn-around point and was the cheerleader for each of us. When Audrey, who had begun to walk, reached that point, he walked a bit with her and then asked, "are you walking or running?". Without missing a beat she said "running" and took off for the finish line. He waited for me and we finished walking together. What a delight for me! See those two girls behind us??? We actually passed them, so I can say I passed two walkers! I probably wouldn't have done that if it wasn't for Brett, who had pointed out that we were gaining on them.

I returned with a time of 56.53. My goal was to do the walk under 60 minutes. I beat my goal! Brett has challenged me to do it in under 50 minutes next year. I said let's do it in "5's", so under 55 it will be.

Brett finished with a time of 56.58. I wish I would have been a "good Mom" and finished with him!

What a great day! And now we prepare and watch for what are predicted to be "life-threatening" storms. Oh, Lord God, please protect us!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I've taken last year's geraniums out of hibernation! I did this last year after a friend's suggestion and it worked great, so here we go again.

In October-November I took the plants out of their pots. (You can't enjoy them all year long here in KS like you can in CA!) Leaving a clump of dirt on each one, I put a couple of plants in a brown grocery bag. Had eight bags in all. Took them to our warm, always dark mechanical room in the basement. In February  I took them up to the garage to begin acclimating to a cooler environment.

My make-do garden work bench! I put them loosely in pots, gave them a good drink of water and let them have sunshine and fresh air for a few hours. I'll repeat this process for a few weeks and then when new growth appears, I'll trim them back and give them some good soil. It will be fun to see how they come back to life!

And this is how they look today! Dead stuff cut away, fresh potting soil, a drink of water and some plant food! It's been cool, cloudy, and rainy, which we don't complain about, especially the rain, but like us, they are waiting for some warm sunshine! I ended up with 11 nice plants. I can hardly wait until their beautiful red  blossoms appear and I'm counting the pennies I saved in new plants!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

He Is Risen, Indeed!

Easter greetings to our family and friends.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

We went to Hope Mennonite in Wichita for Easter Sunday service. This is a glorious new tradition for us! The music was celestial. The congregation singing was mostly a cappella, with the resulting sound of the entire congregation as that of a choir. I've never heard "He Arose" quite like today - the verses very quiet, thoughtful, the chorus and last verse very celebratory. It was so worshipful and our hearts were blessed! Of course Pastor Brett's message was very good! :)  Hope has the long-standing tradition of celebrating after the service with fruit and pastries. There's lots of fellowship as the Hopeful Blues, their five-piece jazz band plays fabulous music. Songs like "He Touched Me", "Power in the Blood" and several others. We left really celebrating the Risen King, our Savior Jesus!

Rich had wanted to take us out to eat, but I asked him to reconsider. I love cooking for my family and it seemed like it would be less stressful than waiting for a table in a restaurant. So we came home to a ham dinner, complete with a mound of mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, and a salad prepared by Brett and Esther. We finished off with chocolate cake and and chocolate chip ice cream. The girls had really enjoyed the fruit and pastries earlier, so their tummies were pretty full. In fact their cake went home with them! Not typical for a Dewey! :)

Is there ever a family dinner without a little one eating black olives from finger tips??? I think not! Can you tell Maeve ate her chocolate bunny before coming for dinner?

Thank the Lord for the blessing of family! Thank the Lord for His great love for us!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bible Study Brunch

I hosted brunch for my Bible study on Wednesday.

Here's what I served:
Chili Cheese Souffle, deviled eggs, Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Cheese Crispies, and a fruit bowl. A couple of years ago I won second prize in the Wichita Eagle Holiday Cookbook contest for the Chili Cheese Souffle. I gave credit for it to my sister, Kathy. When my sister, Cheryl, heard about about it she said, "that was my recipe!". Well I think I'll rename it Sisters' Chili Cheese Souffle. The prize? $50 gift card to a restaurant in Wichita so when Kathy came for a visit she, Rich, and I went there for dinner. The recipe for the Cheese Crispies is Cheryl's. They are a yummy little savory bite to serve as an appetizer or as call them, a "go with". I've had the recipe for the coffee cake for years. It came from a lady in the church where Rich served as choir director when we were first married.

Here are recipes.

Sisters' Chili Cheese Souffle
1/2 cup melted butter
10 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Dash salt
2 4-ounce cans diced Ortega chilies (not jalapenos)
1 pint cottage cheese
1 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 deg. Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray. Beat eggs. Add butter then dry ingredients. Mix well. Stir in chilies and cheeses. Mix well. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until nicely browned and set. Serves 15.

Cheese Crispies
1 stick butter - at room temperature
1 cup sharp grated cheese
1 cup flour
1 cup Rice Krispies
Dash Tabasco

Blend butter and cheese with mixer. Add Tabasco. Add flour and then rice krispies. It will be best to blend together with your hands. Shape into 1" balls and place on ungreased baking sheet. Press tops with a fork to flatten. Bake 15-20 minutes, 325-350 degrees. Makes about 20. I usually double the recipe. Store in air tight container. I layer with waxed paper.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
2 sticks butter
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs - well beaten
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts (I actually used 1 cup)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cocoa

Mix streusel and set aside. Grease and flour a 10" tube pan or a Bundt pan. Cream butter and sugar. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda. Mix well. Batter will be fairly stiff. Place half of batter in pan. Add half of streusel. You can swirl lightly with a toothpick. Add rest of batter and streusel. Lightly swirl with toothpick. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack. To serve be sure top of cake was the top in the pan. You can dust with powdered sugar, but I usually don't. Serves 16.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Our Prairie Fire Crabapple tree has been especially gorgeous this spring. It is also home to a fairly large bird's nest, a sparrow, I think. Such a big next for a little bird. The lovely thing about this tree is that it bloomed after our week of rain! Oh, how we have enjoyed it! But now, alas, the blossoms are gone. It was a spectacular show while it lasted!

We have so many birds at our feeders, sparrows,  purple finches, orange finch, then the aggressive (and I think, nasty!) grackles. Also have robins and mourning doves. I wake to their singing! Both front and back yards are hosts to these lovely creatures. They bring lots of pleasure!

As the song says, "For the beauty of the earth..."

Spring - it's our favorite time of year!

Monday, April 2, 2012

California Visitors - Part 2 - The End

"If you're happy and you know it clap your hands. If you're happy and you know it clap your hands."

"If you're happy and you know it then your face will surely show it. If you're happy and you know it clap your hands." Does Maddie ever love that little song!

Our last morning we made her stepping stone footprint. I'll be adding it to the garden soon!

The rain stopped! (Though we can't complain about it because we needed it so desperately, but it surely cramped our style and kept us inside more than we planned!) Esther and I took the girls to the park while Brett went to work, Rich, Jeremy and Renee went shopping at Ten Thousand Villages.

The girls had such fun!


Maddie loves the slide and the girls very carefully took her down the "big" slide.

As soon as we got in the car to come home, Maddie said, "Nap. Nite-nite. Cuddles. Cuddles. Cuddles. Cuddles." Cuddles all the way home! Of course, this grandma was all too happy to oblige. A rocker, blanket, paci, cuddles and she was asleep! My heart was filled!

My three kitchen helpers!

I have 10 bears - one for each grandchild - on a bed in a downstairs guest room. Maddie grabbed on to the panda (which is actually Maeve's), and carried it around all week. "Panda! Panda!

Many have asked how Maddie is doing after her rough first year. As you can see, she has gorgeous big blue eyes. She's worn her glasses since she was six months old and copes with them quite well. She's had several pairs due to breakage, as one would imagine. One eye is more open than the other, but we think she is doing really well and her doctors are pleased. She is blessed with a wonderful disposition and anyone who sees her is very drawn to her. I believe God has something really special in store for her!

We loved having "our kids" here and are blessed that they spent a week of their vacation time with us! Brett, Esther, and their girls loved the visit too. We are blessed by a very precious family! Thank you Lord!!