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Back to Ocala, with Grandpa Phillips and my parents and Abigail

20 May

We stayed for service on Sunday down in Sarasota (Reuben and Candace stayed as well), and after a really nice service, we stayed for leftovers (at the request of the Doucettes), and enjoyed a couple more hours of fellowship with our dear friends.

Afterwards, we headed back up to Ocala for the night, as that was our last night in Florida, and Grandpa Phillips was in town, something we didn’t know was going to happen until after he had already flown in! Dad arranged for grilling steaks with baked potatoes, and when we showed up, we found that Grandpa Phillips was there!

A short bit later, Reuben and Candace showed up with their two dogs. The dogs had been cooped up for a while, and they don’t have much of a yard, so when they were let loose in the roomy fenced in yard of my parents, they let loose and ran all over. It was so much fun to watch them.


Lydia, being more their size, was a bit inclined to either be jumped on or ran over. ๐Ÿ˜€ She had fun chasing the dogs…

… as us *cough* adults sat around and talked and watched them having fun.

Lydia here with Great Grandpa Phillips (L) and Grandpa Tamblingson (R).

Later, Dad started a bad habit with Lydia. ๐Ÿ˜€ He showed her the “flying bear”. She lays on the bear and is flown through the air by the Father figure. ๐Ÿ˜€ (aka…when Grandpa Tamblingson isn’t around, Daddy Jordan gets to do it.)

Needless to say, she thoroughly enjoyed herself!

We really enjoyed getting to spend some time with my parents, Grandpa Phillips, Abigail, Reuben and Candace. Alas and alack, to the airport the next day to fly home.

The first ice cream churn of the summer!

13 May

My sister Sarah sent me a newsletter back around Christmas time, telling of how she had been making ice cream that previous year, and that inspired me to make some of my own. It just sounded so yummy and refreshing. I checked out the various ice cream books at the library, andย I had picked up the Ben & Jerry’s official recipe book for their ice creams. I wanted to share it with Jordan’s family, where we usually eat between services on Sundays. So, taking inventory of my ingredients, I decided on Ben & Jerry’s Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream.

Boy was that good! I sweetened the peanut butter with honey, and I used a raw cane sugar for sweetener. I know, I just made all you food junkies groan, but one can have health and sweets intertwined.

So the ice cream was going to be my project, but Jordan decided he’d better lend his expertise to the event, so I was more than happy to hand him the ice and the rock salt. (Mental note: never give a man ice and rock salt, especially large quantities of rock salt, especially around an ice cream machine.)

Lydia was quite interested in the whole deal (plus she got to be outside), and this strange thing that made a lot of noise and moved around had its intrigue.

We used up all of the ice in my ice maker, which I had been stocking up on as I knew I had wanted to make ice cream sometime in a short period of time.

Lydia stole what ice she could (and what ice that wasn’t salty), and made off with it, usually throwing it down on the ground because it was cold, regardless of the fact that she had a cup she could have put it in.

Then came the inevitable picking up of the ice that was thrown down. *sigh* Oh well, as my dad has pointed out to me, ice cleans itself.

MMmmm…ice cream!

Newsletter time!

24 Mar

This year I took on the task of writing a newsletter, sickness just like my Mom always did. Fortunately, I did get some assistance.

Here our editor in Chief walks around contemplating the choice of words that I used.

Our faithful Public Relations Specialist works diligently on making sure the first printing goes out to the correct people. What would I do without him? ๐Ÿ™‚

Lydia’s birthday celebration

29 Jan

We did a simple celebration for Lydia’s birthday, as it was Sunday, and we only had a few hours between services. We made a cream puff tower, and had 2 dishes filled with Blackberries, blueberries and strawberries, with more cream puffs in the center.

Auntie Hadassah taking a momentary break from the intriguing conversation.

Lydia and Grandma P enjoying a special moment together.

Lydia awaiting her birthday treats.

Join the celebration!


Serenity’s Birthday

29 Dec

A few weeks ago Aunt Elizabeth Wallace had asked me to make a “golf themed” cake for Serenity’s birthday party that they were going to have after Christmas when all of the cousins were in town. Thanks to Jordan, Bethany and Lilliana (and anyone else who helped me), this is what ended up being.

This is the backside of the cake

The first hill

The water

A better look at the Waterfall and water

Now…you may have noticed that there are little holes in the side of the cake. There are straws running through the cake which allow a BB pellet to run down the golf course. (The BB’s were clean, naturally.) It took several hours to get the slant right, as well as the fondant and cake in the right position), but it was well worth it to see everyone delightedly watching the BB run down the hills.

BB going down the Big Hill.


BB going down the smaller hill and under the water.


It was an intense cake to make, but it was fun.

Lilliana was huge in helping color the fondant, and making all of the little rocks that surround the water. I couldn’t have done it without her! Thank you Lilliana!

Lydia’s first Christmas

26 Dec

We started off Christmas with Lydia opening her first gifts from Uncle Jonathan and Aunt Sarah Burley.

She’d never opened a package before, so this was fun. Lydia got a very beautiful handmade dress and a very clever (and also handmade) wooden baby toy that rattles. Jordan and I were very impressed with the quality of the workmanship on both.

Then we traveled up to Tucson to spend Christmas with Jordan’s parents, Grandma and Grandpa Phillips, and the Sangers (all his Mom’s side of the family). We arrived right in the middle of all of the festivities of putting together Christmas Dinner. Here is the table where the married couples sat.

Grace decorated the table, and I thought she did a very nice job.

Here we have the younger girls doing a photo session.

Lydia is now tall enough to reach the keys on the piano. ๐Ÿ™‚

The men doing the dishes…(okay…Dad P. was doing the dishes while Uncle John and Austin looked on. ๐Ÿ˜€ )

Chloe and Grandpa Phillips deboning the Turkey while the men stand around and talk in the background. Note the size of the crockpot…18 quart! Fits a whole turkey.

Lydia opening a gift from the Sangers (with a little help from Mommy. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

A Fuzzy sheep! A blanket rolled up inside a sheep pillow. Very cute! We loved it!

Uncle John and Aunt Rebekah enjoying watching everyone open the gifts.

We were overwhelmed with everything everyone gave us. We were given Honey, a honey pot & dipper, kitchen utensils, homemade caramel corn, old recipes that had been laminated, clothes, a very special red wagon for Lydia and many more things. We just can’t say thank you enough to everyone for all that was given to us.

Jordan took to task that afternoon of putting together the red wagon with Enoch and Lincoln, while Lydia eagerly watched for any bits of plastic that might end up her way.

Someone ended up giving her some bubble wrap so that the boys could work without her taking any little screws or anything.

Christmas was very nice, not necessarily for the gifts, but for the love and warmth that was there. A family, together, loving each other. What better way is there to spend Christmas?

Gulf of Mexico

30 Nov

We spent a few days with my younger brother Isaiah and his wife Katie down in Clearwater. Katie took us to a spot at the beach. Unfortunately, we had picked the coldest day of the year so far to go to the beach!

Here we are huddled together for a family shot.

Jordan walks the beach with Lydia.

One of the beautiful resorts beside the beach.

Jordan sheds his shoes and socks for a cultural experience…

…walking Lydia in the surf.

I love water!

Jordan deciding it’s a bit too cold to be doing something like that!

We piled back into the van to stop by Isaiah’s place of work, passing by the elegant houses beside the water.

There were some oriental men fishing on the pier…

…with several birds standing by!


28 Nov

The reason why we went to Florida was family, ask and family we did! ๐Ÿ™‚

Aunt Ruth shows Lydia a video of Lydia crawling.

Great Grandma shows Lydia Lil Dawg.

A 5 Generation picture. L-R Grandma, there Great Grandma, Great Great Grandma, Lydia and Mom (Me…wow…that just felt weird to type Mom and realize that I was referring to myself! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ).

Lydia plays peekaboo.

Grandma acting goofy to get Lydia to smile.

Lydia play acting.

Great Grandma and Great Granddaddy with Lydia.


24 Nov

Lydia got to meet some of her cousins over Thanksgiving. My parents had the biggest Thanksgiving they’ve ever had since I remember. Jordan, Lydia and I were there, as were my grandparents, Aunt Terri & Cousin Daniel, My sister Ruth and her boyfriend JD, Mrs Richard (next door neighbor), My oldest Sister Anna with her husband Steven, and their boys Hagen (3 yrs) and Weston (1 yr). Talk about a full house! ๐Ÿ˜€

I think Lydia likes Hagen. ๐Ÿ™‚

Weston with a Tangelo (?)

Hagen playing with Grandma’s ice cream toys.

Ruth (background) and Anna working on dishes.

Here comes more food! My GrandDaddy, Grandma, Aunt Terri and cousin Daniel show up.

Hagen gets a “Hoo-hoo” (Yoo-hoo) from Great Aunt Terri.

Mrs. Richard seemed to be the silent guest, slipping in and out.

Daniel has a stimulation conversation on Lydia’s play phone.

Hagen talking to “Uncle Jord”.

Daniel takes Hagen for a ride.

Aunt Ruth holds Lydia.

Weston is excited about all the attention he is getting, while Mama Anna looks on.

Hagen telling Uncle Isaiah “Bye.”

Hagen telling Aunt Ruth “Bye”.

Steven and Weston make a beeline for the door so that they can be home in time for Steven to go deer hunting in the morning (or so we found out later. :D).

All in all, a good Thanksgiving. ๐Ÿ™‚


21 Nov

So…inspiration usually is deceptive, as it often will involve more than you think. Here we have a pasta inspired meal. I was in Tucson as Jordan, Lydia and I were going to fly out the next day to Florida for Thanksgiving. Grace inspired making pasta (we made raviolis), and the next thing we knew there was dinner plans going full swing.

Lilliana is standing behind the table that she decorated.

The flowers were her creation (along with some help from Hadassah).

Here Enoch is helping Grace turn the pasta machine crank.

They are feeding the pasta into the machine.


Lilliana’s inspiration struck even further, and she folded napkins into the shape of envelopes, and placed a name card at each place.

The menu consisted of Antipasto (Artichoke hearts, tomatoes from their garden, olives, basil (from the garden), garlic and olive oil.)…

…Salad, breadsticks, sauteed green beans and Eggplantย and the Ravioli on a bed of Rotini pasta covered in Marinara sauce.

The Ravioli were stuffed with homemade ricatta cheese, basil, and parmesan cheese. It was a thoroughly satisfying meal (though now I know why the Italians eat so late in the evening!!! We didn’t sit down to eat until after 8pm!)