Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hertzler Doings~June 23-29, 2014

Mon.-Here we go again. Trying to write Monday's Day on Wed. Eve. Let's see. Well, the Bantons are here with us. With all of us working, we cleaned up pig roast party effects and I took the girlies for long gator rides searching for berries. Later in the eve. we went to the softball picnic and the Bantons met many old friends there.

Tues.-More gator riding. Spent several hours down at the river. Ben Philip slept in the back of the gator for almost 2 hours. Gil came down and fished and Susan jogged down with Lucy just as we were leaving. Had a cook-out with just our families and later, Kelly Ship---came over to print some tickets and then she worked on Susan's wrist and my feet. So nice when the CA neighbors from next door who came to visit have a chiropractor in the family. Flies are everywhere. We finally figured out it is from the chicken manure Phil purchased and spread as fertilizer.

Wed.-Bantons left this morning. Felt a sob coming on when I said good bye to them. So much like family that the neighbors next door thought they were our family. Still think that as far as I know because I never corrected them. Washed lots of sheets and blankets from the mancave. Made some food that the neighbors brought over because they were flying out today. Susan went to work. Alli and Nathaniel came over and we watched Anne of Avonlea and I held Nathan and got a smile or two or three. Oh, how I love him. Steve M. came over today and helped start up the model A. The guys drove it around and sang "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and posted a video on face book. I went over to HV to clean out the fridge and heard the air conditioner going. It was at 67 and running strong. Turned it off. Hitting the sack early tonight. Susan and Philip went to youth group.

Thurs.-Sore throat and exhausted. Janelle talked me into going to Holliday Lake and meeting her and her two aunts there. It's sort of a yearly tradition. We started it two years ago and I missed last year. :) They make me laugh. Came home. Got ready. Went to ball. Last game of the season. Kept playing until the green team won and the rains came. Went to Cook Out afterwards. Have been using the car Susan drives this week since the caddy is under the weather and her doc can't see her until Monday.

Fri.-Slept in til 9. Did some stuff I haven't done for awhile like had a quiet time and exercised. I miss our 'family' that left. I miss the direction of each day bent on preparation for the pig roast and prior to that, a baby being born. But it was nice to have a chance to read and stretch. Went out to NL to think  and talk a little. Then went to Judy's, Food Lion, and Walmart. Came home and M and M were here to help put things away. We chatted a bit and they headed to the river. Philip and Susan went to his ball game in FV. Phil worked in fields. I read Nouwen and fb and tidied the house. A man stopped in to get some references for electrical work, etc. for his house. Phil stopped rototilling to talk to him. Clouds are a'gathering. Is it going to storm? Oh-I also stopped at Goodwill and got some books and some videos. I love getting 8 videos for 12 bucks.

Sat.-Relaxing day with Nathan and Alli. Phil took a day to rest too. Susan mowed for several hours. I gave everything a lick and a promise and held Nathan.

Sun.-Great service at church. Visited with Tim and Sandy Smoker-Kyle's parents. We sang in Choraleer's together back in the day. Came home, ate pizza and salad, and watched two movies with the fam. and M. Free and Alli and Nathaniel came for about an hour just when my arms were aching to hold him. Phil, Philip, and Susan, went to Tommy's grad party. I am still very tired. Tidied up and about to go look at Happy Valley through the eyes of Californian friends and see what they wish they could be seeing. Checking out blackberries that weren't quite ready last week. Want to start blogging Pastor Bill's sermons. Hoping to start when I get back from my gator drive.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Morale Boosting Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches~

The week before the Pig Roast.
Hot. Busy. Tiring. Inspiring. Hot.
So, every year, I try to make morale boosting foods.
Like macaroni and cheese.
Or Mexican tortilla mix.
Sweet tea.
And this years new addition,
Homemade Ice Cream Sandwich.

First, you make the chocolate cookies.
Then, when cool, you put a scoop of ice cream in the center of one
and top it off with another cookie.

I tear off a lot of pieces of wax paper (about 12 inches long)
and build the sandwich right on top of the sheets of paper.

As soon as it is made, 
I wrap it up and pop it into the freezer.

You can fill them with any kind of ice cream.
Mint chocolate chip.
Butter pecan.
Moose tracks.
We like plain old Breyer's vanilla.

If you made a vanilla sugar cookie,
you could fill it with orange sherbet,
or rainbow sherbet,
or chocolate ice cream.

After the cookie sandwich freezes overnight,
the cookie softens a little.
And it's perfect.
For breakfast.
Before lunch.
After supper.
Any time anyone needs a quick pick-me-up.

Here's the recipe I used. It's from "The Best of Mennonite Fellowship Meals"
cookbook compiled by Phyllis Pellman Good and Louise Stoltzfus.
I worked for Phyllis and her husband Merle, the summer I was 16.
I acted and sang and gave lectures on Amish and Mennonites.
It was great fun and they were great employers.

This recipe is called "Chewy Chocolate Cookies" and it was given
by Sharon Hartman.

I doubled the recipe and used butter instead of margarine
and used miniature chocolate chips instead of regular chocolate chips
which are easier to bite through when frozen
but here's the recipe according to the book.

1 1/4 cup margarine
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
3/4 cups cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups (12 oz. pkg.) chocolate chips

1. In a large mixing bowl cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.

2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Gradually blend into creamed mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.

3. Drop by tsp. onto ungreased cookie sheet. (I always spray on a little oil.)

4. Bake at 350 for 8-9 minutes. (Do not overbake; cookies will puff while baking and flatten while cooling.) Cool slightly before removing from cookie sheets. Cool fully on wire rack.)

Match cookies in size as closely as possible.
 Get a dozen or more sets ready before you get the ice cream out.

You will put smiles on the faces of your family
and they might even brag about you on face book
and others may even ask if they can be adopted into your family.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Hertzler Doings~June 16-22.2014

Mon.-Busy day. Got jars ready for harvesting honey. Did wash. Ordered Melaleuca. Picked green beans. Tidied up back room. Babysat Nathan while Alli went to town. Susan's in love. She fed him but thought I should change his diaper. He slept in our big bed on his tummy and loved it. Susan mowed and weed whacked at Happy Valley. Went to softball. Susan's team won. Sat with Jenny Murphy and laughed a lot. Got more groceries. Picked Susan up in the middle of the second game. Came home. Hoping to get to bed before 10:30 tonight. Foot is bothering me. Hoping Dr. F. can unjam it tomorrow.

Tues.-Such a busy day. Cleaned the man cave and got the beds ready for the Bantons. Cleaned the bathroom out there too. Picked green beans and super cleaned two coolers to hold the ice for the pig roast. Cleaned up one section of the garage. Made two roasts, Mexican tortilla mix with bear meat, hard boiled eggs, chocolate chocolate chip cookies, (I used these to make homemade ice cream sandwiches),  cooked some broccoli, did some wash, caught up with a childhood friend on face book, etc. The guys worked around here and Happy Valley, getting it all spiffed up for the Lucas's and Shippey's who are arriving today some time. Susan worked at the BH, went to the gym, and mowed around here. We both went to Dr. F this morning. I think my foot is just about back where it should be. Was able to be on it all day. Phil went to a meeting tonight and Michael went to practice some songs with Chace for the pig roast. Philip, Susan, and I, watched several Monks and hit the sack almost early. Today is the first day I didn't see Nathaniel. He is two weeks old in an hour and a half. I miss him.

Wed.-What a day. Hot. 97 but felt hotter. Mulched the front garden. Had to. Davi had torn up 3 of the 5 bags of mulch. Washed the honey extractor. Later, after work, Freeman, Michael, and I, extracted 21 pints of honey from 10 honey sleeves. Phil worked in the fields all day making hay. The guys worked around here, weed whacking, cleaning up, moving equipment, etc. I cleaned up 3 days picking of green beans and cooked them, cut up a watermelon, made a big batch of egg and olive salad, and tried to keep ahead of the game. Little Nathan and his mama came for several hours after lunch. Earlier, I did my exercises to a cooking DVD and we kept it on for the whole time they were here and the guys were into watching it too. Nathan is so happy these past few days because Mommy stopped eating cheese. It's made his tummy much happier. He smiles now when he nurses and when he is held close. He loves to be held, and if you sing to him, he falls asleep in less than a minute. He's out of his newborn clothes already. Seth Martin came over to help Phil in the fields this eve. Philip and Susan went to youth. Michael started working on writing a curriculum he liked to teach on Apologetics. I want to get back to writing a bit more. I want to start by blogging Pastor Bill's sermons. They are practical and wise and if we followed his advice, our families and churches would be all the stronger and better for it.

Thurs.-Busy day with everyone cleaning up everywhere and getting ready for the pig roast. Susan went to the gym, then to work, and came home and weed whacked and mowed. Phil and Roger are out practicing songs in the garage and Susan is singing bluesey songs. Man, can she sing. The Bantons are arriving around 10:30 this evening. The Lucas' and Shippey's are at their home across the waters. Alli called and told me about Nathan's doctor visit. He's gained 2 1/2 oz. every day. I'm headed for bed. XO

Fri-Sun.-Busy few days getting ready for the pig roast and visiting with the Bantons, Shippeys, and Lucas's, Sandy and Eldon Stoltzfus and Helen and Joanna Balmer and her son, AJ. These are just the folks who came from out of town for the pig roast. Had a great pig roast. Interrupted by tornado warnings. Wonderful eve. in our packed house listening to our kids sing the songs they had prepared plus the Lucas's and Shippey's and Blaine and Sloane shared songs. Met the Stoltzfus's at the BB for breakfast early this Sunday morning. After church took a nap and then we had a supper of leftover pork sandwiches plus some coleslaw, baked beans, and mac. salad plus ice cream. Tim and Jodi Schauer came to the picnic too but had to leave soon afterward due to the ominous black clouds and winds. I am not doing this weekend any justice but it really was a wonderful time and so many dear friends were here. Newton and Elsie Beiler came down and were visiting with the Shwanks who were here also. Alli and Freeman have been over too (and Nathan) and Jordan W. and M have been here as well. Great neighbors and friends and church family. My heart is full. Again, I think how quickly things can change. Dark clouds change plans quickly. I'm glad this community of folks are learning to enjoy each other while the sun shines because dark clouds do come quickly and we have to know how to help each other get to safety as quickly as possible. I love these people. I love my family. And I am thankful to be loved.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Steadfast Love of My Dad Never Ceases

When Freeman was not quite one year old
I wrote a song for Phil for Father's Day.
I put words to the music "The Steadfast Love of the Lord Never Ceases."
I think it was Dean Landis who accompanied me on the guitar.
I held Freeman and stood in front of New Life
 -a Downingtown, Pa. outreach of Hopewell Mennonite Church.
  And I started to sing.

Freeman was sensitive to minor chords and his lips began to quiver as I began to sing.
Soon he began to wail sadly and the congregation couldn't help but laugh as they were crying.
I think Phil came and rescued Freeman but I am not sure.

This Father's Day evening our whole family has been together.
We had a special meal of chicken thighs wrapped in bacon that Susan made,
green beans, salad, watermelon, and ice cream.
We shared things with Phil that we appreciated about him.

Susan, Philip, and Michael played some card games.
I held Nathaniel almost to my heart's content.
There's been lots of guitar playing and practicing songs for the pig roast.

Since Nathaniel was born, the little songs I wrote for Freeman have been coming back to me.
I remembered the words to the song 'Freeman' sang to his dad for Father's Day.
And today, Phil played the guitar, and I sang these words to Freeman.
He smiled instead of cried this time around.

The Steadfast love of my dad never ceases,
He prays for me from the morning till night.
And he loves my mommy,
Loves to kiss her
Makes me laugh to see them hug.
I run and hug them too.

My dad's so strong he can lift me with one arm
He holds me way high up in the sky
And he crawls on the floor and pretends he's a doggy
Barking after me so loud
But I'm too fast for him.

Sometimes my daddy rocks me to sleep
When I've been sick or mommy's too tired.
He sings in the Spirit and I start feeling better
Nestled close up in his love
I feel close to Jesus, too.

I love you, Daddy, you know that I love you.
I'm so glad God made you my Dad.
What more can I say than I love you Daddy.
My heart can only sing one song
I love you, from Freeman Ray.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hertzler Doings~June 9-14, 2014

Mon.-Held Nathan. Went to homeschool soft ball.

Tues.-Primed Susan's room. Judy (and Sammy Jo) helped paint it a beautiful turquoise and Susan helped when she came home from work. After supper, I drove down and held Nathaniel for about half an hour and fed him his bottle. He giggled and smiled in his sleep. Freeman said it was gas but I think he was having sweet dreams. In about half an hour, Nathan will be one week old. I wrote him a little song yesterday as I held him. It has a cute tune and the words came with it.

"What are you doin? Where are you goin'? What are you thinkin' Today, Today.
How 'bout some huggin'? How 'bout some kissin'? How 'bout some lovin' today."

When I held him tonight he looked at me and said, "Oh, there you are." And he looked at me for awhile, drank his bottle, and went back to sleep. I am thoroughly and entirely in love.

Wed.-Went with Alli to the pediatrician. Nathan gained back the 10 oz he had lost and gained almost another pound. She said that normal weight gain is an ounce a day. Yay for Mother's Milk. Came back and held him for awhile and then came home and cleaned up, did some jobs, picked green beans, wrote some checks, and then met Susan in Appomattox around 2. We took my car and went shopping-Ollies, Rugged Wearhouse, Penney's, TJMax, Old Navy, and Sam's Club-where we got the paper goods for the pig roast and some food for when the Banton's are here! Came home. Put things away. And it's already time for bed. Shopped till we dropped. Last night there was such a wild storm around 2:30-3. Constant lightning made the phone ring and high winds and rain and thunder just added to the excitement. Some folks nearby had hail. This eve. there were more storms and some folks in Farmville have been without power for over 3 hours. Forgot to say earlier that Lucy has a male friend with her. They've been getting acquainted for the last few days. We're hoping for some puppies before long.

Thurs.-Busy day-cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, and holding Nathaniel! Went to homeschool ball in the eve. Susan went to the gym and then the Babcock House and then mowed at Happy Valley. She got to hold Nathan for a minute or two just before they left. Diane Horan sent a card in the mail and enclosed the very photo I had been looking for this week. One of Susan when she was a baby and I was holding her. Susan looked at it and said, "You look like you're in love." "I AM in love," I replied. Phil bought me two dahlias. They were on the table when I got home. Red ones. And I had been looking for a red flower every time I've been out the last week or two. A photo. A flower. A snoring baby. Such blessings from God my Father.

Fri.-Cleaned back porch. Went over to be with Alli and Nathaniel for a few hours. Took a good nap with Nathan on the sofa. Ran to Farmville and did banking for Phil, bought chicken pellets, stopped in at Judy's. went to Food Lion and Walmart. Finished now with buying things for pig roast and Banton visit. Came back. Em, Jonathan, Wendy, and Jr. were here with Philip and Michael playing with loud banging things. Ankle and foot is really hurting. Philip went to Tommy's ball game. Susan was with Julie. Cute picture of Freeman and Nathan on fb. Both looked completely content.

Sat.-Cleaned up our bedroom. Made food. Went to Dennis and he worked on my foot, ankle, right side, and vertigo. Much better. Talked with Naomi and Judy. Dusted, vacuumed, washed floors. Swept out cottage. Rode around in gator with Davi. Susan took Lucy's boyfriend back home. We shall see.... She also cleaned her room and worked at Happy Valley and then went to Philip's first ball game. They won 16-1. Phil's been doing farm work all day. Michael and Philip were helping him. Special treat to come home from physical therapy and have Alli, Freeman, and Nathan here. They got here soon after I left. So, I got in a few minutes of lovin' the lad. Alli and Freeman post pictures of him on face book and I always say, "I miss him." Even though I just saw him. And I do. I do miss him. Even though I just saw him. I must be in love.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Hertzler Doings~June 2-8, 2014

Mon.-Baby's due date. Took Alli in for her appointment. They hooked her up on the monitor to check if contractions were consistent and sent her home after an hour. So his heartbeat sounds wonderful. We can't see him but we can hear him and I love that 140 plus rhythm. Came home and put groceries away, cooked meat, finished wash, watered plants, gathered eggs, etc. and then went out to meet Susan at her ball game. She had come out earlier. Michael is working around here and chasing off crows from the corn fields.  Travis M. had a cycle accident last night. Pretty scraped up and at least one broken wrist. He is home now. Ron showed me pictures. I'm so glad it wasn't worse but he'll need to take it easy for awhile.

Well, the week is about over and I haven't written anything.
June 3, 2014, at 10:07 Tuesday evening after his mama went through nearly 24 hours of labor.
He has stolen my heart and I am over the top.

Alli is such a good mama and Freeman is a wonderful father.
Nathan has had some jaundice and Dr. D. has been helping by being the great pediatrician that she is-available and wise and kind.

I was laying near the sunshine with him while his mama was resting
and a little poem began to solidify in my mind and I think this may be it's final tweaking.
"This Moment"

Who you will be
Someday we will see.
But now, who you ARE
Is greater by far!

We've had some trips to the hospital to get blood work done and thankfully with the good mama's milk he is getting plus some initial formula and time in the sun, his jaundice is improving.

I show anyone-whether they are interested or not-the picture of him in my arms.
I'm going to get it made into a canvas.

For two years, I have been relieved that my mother went to breathe heaven's air,
especially with her struggle with pulmonary fibrosis.
But this week, I began really grieving my loss of her.
Oh, how I wanted to call her and tell.
Oh, how I miss her.

Susan's heart is gone too.
She looks even more beautiful when she is holding him.
She gets this certain look on her face.
An in-love-ness that makes her look regal.

Michael teases and says he is going to get Nathan to call him "Captain Mike."
Philip can't wait to take pictures of him with guns all around him and add some words that say,
"Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old he won't depart from it."
Phil is so happy to called 'Grandpa.'

In other news,
we went to New Life's graduation especially to see Savannah graduate.
Then to the homeschool grad the next day.
We knew so many of the kids.
We went to a supper in the eve. at Tom's for Tommy.

Sunday, today, the five of us went to eat at Chinese.
Susan then went to Tyler's grad party and the guys went to Chace's place to hang out with Chace and Jordan. I drove Phil down to the low grounds and he is sitting down there waiting for the crows to come in. Freeman is slow cooking ribs from the two pigs they butchered yesterday. Alli, Freeman, and Nathan will come over later for supper. Alli's family is visiting them today.

Besides the little poem, I posted some other things on face book.
"Yesterday, when I was holding Nathaniel, I discovered that Rob S's. contemplative looks is a genetic skill." and later "eyebrow up...eye half open". People who really know Rob liked that one.

Another post, earlier, "I love face book because everyone gets to see the new one I love. Also, I have to brag on Freeman and Allison. When he called to tell us Nathaniel was born, he said that Alli had the strength of a thousand lions and that she was Amazon Warrior Woman. (during labor and delivery). Today, Nathan was crying because his diaper was being changed and he was saying, "What the world?!" and then his daddy came and gave him his finger to wrap his hand around and started to sing, "You are my sunshine.." and right away Nathan quieted down. The nurse said, "Oh, you're the father who sang to his baby right after he was born." (141 likes and 25 comments) :)

I had such a strong nesting urge for the last two weeks and got lots done and it's a good thing because I just want to be with Alli and baby. (Don't worry. I'm not being a pest. ) I still have a few things to get ready for the pig roast and if they get done, they get done.

Have a great week.
Nathaniel's Grandma