Thursday, September 25, 2008

Funky Chicken and Sunday Lunch

Above: Tim and Rachel looking thru Sunday paper
Below: Amanda, Alex (in the marshmallow chairs:) and Kiersty (w/guitar)

Last Sunday, our son Tim brought some of his friends home for lunch after church. It is such a fun thing to have a group of friends sitting around the table, eating, laughing, telling stories and getting acquainted.

This reminded me of the years that Ben and Daniel were in college. I would come home from church at noon and wait for the call from Ben, at about 1:00, asking if it was alright to bring to lunch the 2 or 3 or 5 or whatever the number of UW-Whitewater students who had rode with him that day to church in Madison in his van.
We also loved having our son Nathan and his sweet wife, Kristen join us for these Sunday-after-church get-togethers!

If I didn't already have something prepared for lunch, I would calculate how much KFC was needed and head off to fetch the chicken, mashed potatoes, and various side dishes to feed this happy bunch.
The "Collier tea" became famous far and wide- well from here to Whitewater. Those students have since graduated and scattered across the country, so I guess it is far and wide now. Collier tea is brewed, sweet iced tea. Sweet tea is a standard beverage offered in the south. We brought it with us, twenty-two years ago, when we returned to Wisconsin after living in Tennessee for seven years.

Anyway, back to last Sunday- a beautiful September day. Our guests were Alex, from Hartland, WI,-- Rachel, from Northern Ireland, and Kiersty directly from her grandparents home in California, who as the daughter of missionary parents, lived in Indonesia and also went to high school in the Philippines. It was so interesting to hear about their lives and families.

I had prepared a favorite chicken dish of our family that, for lack of a name, Ben, years ago called "Funky Chicken". With it I served mashed potatoes and corn. There is a gravy created in the chicken recipe that is yummy on the potatoes and chicken. For dessert we had chocolate cake with chocolate fudge icing. Alex had the honor of putting the icing on the still warm cake, which made for an interesting serving challenge, but they said it was delicious!

With tummys full and conversation winding down, Tim told everyone that the tradition was to head for the living room and relax. In our living room we have two leather reclining rockers that our family calls "the marshmallow chairs". They are soft and cushy, like, well guessed it. Usually, on the walk from the table to the living room, "dibs" are called for these treasures of afternoon relaxation.

Tim is known to be able to fall asleep in any position- usually on the floor, while conversation goes on around him. But, today, he stayed awake to read the Sunday paper. Rachel relaxed on the couch with sections of the paper. Kiersty (I hope I am close with the spelling?) played the guitar and sang. Eventually, Amanda joined in on the piano and Alex made use of my decorative stacking boxes as drums. I have to tell you that the music and praise songs sounded beautiful .

Above are pictures of the group in the living room relaxing that afternoon. I hope this is just the beginning of many more visits, complete with funky chicken and marshmallow chairs.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater

I am in the process of pulling out my fall decorations to place them around the house. This, of course, brought to mind harvest time and everything "pumpkiny".

Last October, Lon brought home THE perfect pumpkin from the grocery store. I was impressed. Lon usually doesn't bring home stuff like that. Then I realized that he didn't see it as a "fall decoration"-- he had a hankerin' for "real" pumpkin pie this year.

Okay, I said, but first it will make a nice Autumn decoration on our deck. So out to the deck it went to sit along side the pretty flowers.

We have a squirrel family that lives in our pine tree. We enjoy watching them scurry up to our deck, jump up on the roof of our garage and take a flying leap into our neighbor's tree.

Now I realize that some people hate these critters-- we do not. We think they are sometimes high entertainment. Then one morning we noticed that the pumpkin was not perfect anymore.

The squirrel was eating his way into what looked like a little pumpkin condo. See that chiseled out spot on top? ... skylight. They eventually ate all the way through that. Who wants to work in the dark? This furry-tailed rodent turned out to be an architect. Mike Brady would have been proud.

So my husband saw his visions of real pumpkin pie disappear. And we continued to watch the progress of two happy squirrels climbing inside and out, chewing on our perfect pumpkin.

By the way, welcome to my brand new blog :)