Last night we enjoyed a meal with friends. It's been so long since we had company - we were almost out of practice. Our last time to practice hospitality was the farewell party a few weeks ago for our friends who have moved to New Orleans.
Incidentally, they could really use prayer. Specifically for a home - they are currently living in a less than lovely hotel, which gets old really fast. Housing rentals are quite high - like $1200 per month for a 2 bedroom. They are a family of 5 with 3 large dogs. Also, a job. The dad has been out of work for over two years, but last week he was interviewing for a good position in New Orleans - hopefully they will hire him! After being out of the workforce for so long (except for brief employments), it will be a big adjustment to get back to the grind of the work a day world, so we are praying about that too. I am hoping Michele will keep us up to date on her blog, but as it stands now, her computer time is taken up in house hunting and finding a homeschool group to get involved with, etc. Maybe you can drop by and send her a word of encouragement! We are really really missing their family!
So, back to having company. In keeping with our policy to keep thing simple, we chose an easy menu - with a theme! Do you do that? It's one of my quirks! I like to pick a theme and chose foods that go along with it! Last night's theme was 'Germanic' - as in Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, German Potato Salad, Bavarian Coleslaw, with German Chocolate Cake and Bavarian Mints for dessert. Too fun! I didn't take a picture, because my camera needs new batteries, but everything turned out nicely. As usual, I did a small raw veggie tray for the children and I, and sliced up a honeydew melon and some strawberries to go with dessert - a healthy choice. We ate out on the back patio under the pergola, which is a work in progress since I haven't planted my hanging baskets, put in my annuals or spread mulch yet, but it is still a pleasant place to eat. I also need to pressure wash the patio it's self - again - how does concrete get so stained? Our lilac is still blooming nicely and smelled wonderful as we were eating our dinner!
It was so fun to have friends over - Mrs. M and I are great friends, and I think her dear husband and my Historian have a great deal in common too. I wanted to give them a chance to get to know one another a bit! They are at a very different stage in their parenting journey since their boys are almost grown - one is graduating high school next week. We are still in the trenches of parenting with our 7 - almost 8 year old and 10 year old children! I'm sure they can share a great deal of wisdom with us.
I have to tell you about my great bargains on Friday - I had a whole afternoon of running errands by myself! I finally spent my gift card from C.J.Banks from the Historian - it was a Christmas gift! They had a good sale which applied to already sale merchandise, so that worked out well! I got a cute lightweight dressy cotton poplin jacket for $6.99, and cotton fancy track pant capri's for bike riding - or major illnesses - for $7.99. I found shoes for our Storyteller at Kohl's but had forgotten my coupon - by the time I got back with my coupon, they had put the sandals on an even better sale so with my coupon they were $4.99 for leather buster brown shoes! Yeah! I also found hot pink and white gingham cotton capri's for Dreamer - for $2 at Kohl's - I don't know why they were in the clearance area, but they were - since they handed my coupon back to me, I did the purchases in two transactions and got $5 off both. That works for me!
My best bargain of the day came through Mrs. M. who is great at scouring the local shops for bargains on her lunch hour. She called me and left a message ' I don't know if you are still looking for an ottoman, but I found one ...!' I rushed over and bought it! Yeah! I have been looking for an ottoman - a round ottoman in fact! I couldn't pay the $300- $500 they were asking for a new one, just to tear off the fabric and recover it with the matching couch fabric I have - and that's just too much for a place to put my feet anyway! After my vein surgery, I really needed an ottoman! She spied it for $30!!!!! It is in great shape - large and round - very sturdy - made by a good manufacturer- and not a mark on it! I'll post a picture when I get it recovered! I am soooooooooooooo excited! Can you tell? Thank you Mrs. M.! My Mum is my wonderful personal shopper in Canada, and Mrs.M is my personal shopper Stateside! Can you tell I don't get out much to do my own shopping?
I'd better end this rambling post! It is Memorial Day - we will be heading to the cemetery later. The children have been outside this morning trying to discourage our outdoor kitty Peppermint from killing baby moles. Apparently he found a litter of them and has been amusing himself at their expense this morning. The children are heartbroken at his cruelty and spraying him with the water bottle to try to keep him away from the moles! There have been two burials at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery this morning - mole 1 and mole 2. Many tears were shed and poor Peppermint is not a much loved kitty today. Over 150 years ago our little corner was called Mount Pleasant ( though it is just a little rise and not a mount at all) and there was a real cemetery on the corner - along with a tree nursery and a general store. We are toying with the idea of calling our homeschool 'Mount Pleasant Christian School', but we are not sure yet.
I must add that our new swing is being put to good use! The other day I was searching all over the house and yard for the children. My usual places to look - the sandbox, back woods area and playroom were all empty - but I could hear voices. I peeked out the open window in our bedroom and there where the children swinging away on the back patio. The Dreamer is reading 'Journey to the Center of the Earth' to her captive audience - the Storyteller on the swing. He interrupts once in a while to ask her questions, but I noticed how patient is was answering him. It a wonderful thing!
I do hope you have a pleasant Memorial Day with your family. We are just hanging out together and enjoying our last day of vacation before we put out noses to the grindstone and finish out our school year, officially. Our summer school session will be pretty light this year, but we will be focusing on Reading and Math with Storyteller and Spelling and Math with Dreamer. I am looking forward to the 1/2 day format and a little more freedom.