Friday, January 28, 2011

John's feast...

This is our fifth son, John. He is 14 and a bundle of incorrigible creativity. You know those movies where some precocious kid is constantly inventing these amazing contraptions? That's John. Full of confidence. Of course, things don't always turn out the way he plans, but he is never discouraged by past failures- just takes it in stride and tries again. I am certain that his mind never, ever rests. Sometimes I get a little freaked out by his inventions and we have to reign him back in (the blow darts come to mind.) He is happy and smiling 99% of the time. He has big dreams and big plans and with his winning attitude, I just can't imagine him not attaining them. Oh, I just love him to pieces.

His feast was awesome. No, really. It had the theme of "Awesome." He even wrote that word in duct tape across a table runner. He found every extra strand of twinkle lights he could find and strung them up all over the ceiling. Swags everywhere. He has a great sense of humor and pretended that his gift to the other children were little coupons. "Free Hug" was written on them, but for his older brothers, it was "Free Handshake" and "Free Wave." They all got a kick out of that. The real gifts were whistles for the girls and a dinasaur for Abe. The older brothers got whoopie cushions and something called Flarp- which I am sure if you use your imagination, you can figure out what it does. Bill read about 20 verses stating that our God is an awesome God. He'd point to a different child each time that the word "awesome' came up and they would say it for him. John served coffee drinks- containing icecream, topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup and caramel- with his appetizer of jerky, honey roasted peanuts, and dried pineapple. His main course he changed at the last minute to please his sibling. Fetticine alfredo with garlic bread. They each got their own bottle of root beer. John had a sundae bar for dessert. Paul said, "John, you have no idea how happy you have made me!" It was unanimous.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Paul's feast...
Paul is 16 and he's a very... complex guy. He thinks everything out and voices very little. I am pretty sure that he never says a thing that he hasn't thought through at least a dozen times. At least. He is the epitome of the strong, silent type but inside he is really very sweet and thoughtful. If he sees something that he can do to make your life easier- he's there for you. He gets a kick out of funny things that people do. He spends a lot of time studying and he seems to like that. Go figure. Paul is the self-appointed puddle police. Woe to you if you do not remove your shoes at the door. An all-around great guy and I love him to peices.
Paul had a "darkness" theme. Honestly, where do these kids come up with these things? Paul is like Johnny Cash in that he wears a lot of black. No, he's not goth, just very practical and insists that it doesn't get stained as easily. So... black it is. Black tablecloth, plates, silverware, napkins and cups. The floor was covered in black balloons (which I had to inflate as the asthmatic isn't going to be able to get that job done and his Dad has nerve damage in his lips and holding a seal while blowing was so funny he had Paul and I in stitches.) Black streamers from the ceiling fans and a black lantern on the table. It was downright dark in there when he invited his guests to the feast amid an eerie tune he recorded of John playing his keyboard. Will had to use a flashlight for the scripture reading(1 john 1:5-7 -God is the light and in Him there is no darkness.) His appetizer was After Dark Doritos and Chicken fingers with BBQ and Asian orange sauce. His meal was a heaping plate of shells and cheese. And his dessert was mini cherry pies with ice cream. He had every variety of Mountain Dew available. Paul went to the Army/Navy store and bought the kids their own MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) for later. We certainly couldn't have held another grain of food.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Evabeth's feast...

Eva is 11 years old and such a beautiful young lady- inside and out. She is sweet and thoughtful, and loved by everyone. She enjoys spending time with her little sister. She has a mothering personality. Nurturing and protective. When there is a job to be done, she is the first to roll up her sleeves and get to work. She is fearless. I have never seen her be intimidated or shy about anything. Ask her to do something and you can consider it done. Her favorite color is pink. She is an accomplished artist. She loves her big family and mentions almost daily how much she misses her older brothers and sister. And, yes, I love her to pieces!
Evabeth played the role of Queen Esther and invited her guests to a Persian feast. She had flatbread with zahowie for her appetizer. Rotisserie chicken(she contracted her Daddy to construct the spit and he did a great job improvising with some shelving brackets he had in the garage) with a salad and basmati rice for her main course and the gorgeous fruit tower for dessert. That fruit tower was a real eyepopper and between that and the spit the kids were duly impressed. And she thought up all by herself. Very creative. Her beverage was grape juice and her gifts to the other children were handmade ephods with glitter jewels. All 12 tribes were represented.
Rejoice with us! Yesterday, Eva had her final neurology appointment at Riley Children's Hospital. Things look very, very good in regards to her epilepsy. Aside from cautious living-ie: no high risk occupations, like piloting an airplane or operating heavy equipment(to which she said, "Why would I want to do that?") she is free to live her life. Avoiding sleep deprivation will always be a goal with her, but this is an excellent prognosis and so much more than we ever dreamed with the initial diagnosis being- "persist and evolve." God is indeed very good.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Feast days!
Each year, each of our children contribute to the holiday season with the preparation and presentation of a special feast for the family. This year, it will be 6 feasts- since we only have six children at home. Seems like a small number to us, but plenty enough to still have a wonderful time. All year, the children are planning for the feasts, changing their minds as many times as they can until they are settled into the perfect celebration. All is done behind closed doors in the secrecy of the kitchen. Each child trying to out-serve each other. Now isn't that a wonderful thing to contemplate? We have scheduled two feasts a week. Enough to hold the winter doldrums at bay. And before any of you think that the date on my posts is somehow off- yes, I realize that there's still a tree in my house. And it is most definitely the middle of January and I have no intentions of finishing up with the holidays until the middle of February. I might be a tad behind as far as the calendar is concerned, but, as any physics professor will tell you- time as we know it is an arbitrary measurement at best.
Bekah's Feast...
Sweet Bekah, my faithful sidekick. No mother has ever had a better companion in the mundane chores of each day. She is the happiest of helpers- and a very adept one, at that. At 9 years old, I daresay that she can outcook most high school graduates. She can stir up a mean pot of gravy and soups are her specialty. She never misses a detail and can rattle off ingredients for almost anything I cook. If I am in the kitchen, she grabs an apron and is there by my side. And such a joy to have around. She is a practical little thing- no muss, no fuss. Purple is her favorite color. She loves reading more than she loves cooking- the scarier the better. She has an amazingly dry sense of humor for one so young- upon hearing the same word in as many sentences, she says, "We get the point..." rolling her eyes. Yes, I love her to pieces.
Her feast had a "fire" theme. She decorated the dining room in "flames" of red and yellow crepe paper. Her meal was a zesty compilation: Salsa(which she helped me make last summer) and chips for the appetizer. Hot wings and BBQ wings with steak fries for dinner and Coke zero with vanilla and limes to cool things down a bit. She couldn't think of a zingy dessert so she settled for Key lime pie- Jack's favorite. In fact, at the dinner table he announced that if a key lime pie were a woman, he'd marry her! Recipe follows. Her gifts were glow sticks in assorted colors- some as swords and others as fairy wands. As usual, we had to be rolled away from the table.
Key Lime Pie
One- 9" graham cracker pie shell
One- 14oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
3- egg yolks
1/2 cup- Nellie and Joe's Key West Lime juice
Combine milk, egg yolks, and lime juice.
Blend until smooth.
Pour filling into pie shell.
Bake at 350* for 15 minutes.
Let stand 10 minutes before refrigerating.
Serve with whipped cream (or Cool Whip.)