December 16, 2006

Sunday lunch at Myron Brubakers Mark H. preached the message on Sunday morning on "Our Foreign Identity".  Ina Sue fixed Benji Brubakers lunch for today to help out with their new baby.  For our lunch we were invited to Myron Brubakers.  They have been working at renovating their kitchen/dining room.  It is really looking nice!  Chad & Kendra were there and Daniel's girlfriend Karen Keller was also down.  Jane fixed us quite a feast with grilled pork loin and all kinds of other goodies.  When we got home we took a short nap then went back to church for a program given by the Carolina Chaplaincy Program.  An interesting and challenging evening.
Daniel & Karen Monday was the normal washing, ironing, folding, taking care of babies day for Ina Sue.  I spent a normal day at work.  In the evening Ina Sue worked at signing letters, stuffing envelopes and attaching postage.  I've been continuing to work at organizing the old pictures I scanned in from Grandmother's collection.  In the process I have begun doing a bit of online research into our genealogies.  It is really amazing what you can come up with on the internet in this area.
Stuffing Christmas letter envelopes I went in to work at 5:30 on Tuesday to prepare for our meeting.  Ina Sue got up a little later, finished the ironing then worked with Carolina Sue to finish up our Christmas letter.  They should all be in the mail now...  Ina Sue and the children met me in at the shop around 1:30 and we drove over to Augusta to do some Christmas shopping.  Went to Dollar Tree, Lowes, & the Augusta Mall.  Finally we finished up at "Olive Garden".  We had some stuff that Daryl Bru's                                                    left with us to get to Hephzibah, so Laura came in and met us for supper then we loaded the boxes into her car for final delivery.  "Olive Garden" is one of our favorite restaurants and we all ordered pasta dishes for our supper.  Delicious!  We were able to get home before 10:00 and got to bed in good time.
Christmas shopping I had a service call in Denmark Wednesday morning so I didn't need to leave quite as early.  After I left, Ina Sue bundled up the children and went to "Freds" and "Peeples" for some last minute shopping.  In the afternoon the ladies worked on wrapping our Christmas presents.  Carolina Sue is enthralled with the process and keeps carrying the presents around from room to room.  She knows who each one is for.   When I got home from work Ina Sue had lemon glazed chicken over rice ready for supper.  Scrumptious!  She also had a batch of sugar cookie dough made up and ready to go, so after supper Carolina & I cut out and baked the cookies then I iced them while Mommy helped Carolina Sue decorate them.
Supper with Laura at "Olive Garden" I spent the day Thursday at work on service calls.  Carolyn Heatwole came over this morning for a while.  She is a huge help in keeping the children entertained.  Ina Sue made a batch of chocolate peppermint creme cookies.  They are one of my favorites.  Ina Sue went shopping at "Freds" and "Peeples" AGAIN.... :)  for more last minute Christmas shopping.  (I didn't know about this shopping spree until I read over her diary entries.  She clearly loves Freds :)  Bonnie Peachy brought by a set of very cute gingerbread houses and a barn that she and Kristen had made for us.  I thought it was extremely kind that they took the time to spice up our Christmas time like this.   After supper I worked some more on the old pictures layout.  Ina Sue iced her cookies that she had made earlier.
Cutting our Christmas cookies We got up in good time on Friday and Ina Sue made us breakfast of scrambled eggs while I worked at trimming and edging more of our family pictures.  I went in to work at 8:00 for an employee meeting.  It was a lovely day weather-wise.  It is hard to believe it is December.  Ina Sue did the cleaning in the morning then took the children for a walk in the afternoon.  They visited with our neighbor Ms. Margaret for a while.  When they got back Ina Sue spent the rest of the afternoon making Christmas cards to give out at church with our pictures. 
Caroline entertained Carolina on Thursday I called home during the afternoon and told Ina Sue that I would make supper for us.  I stopped at the grocery store on the way home and bought some asparagus and ham chunks.  I made up a batch of eggs benedict with the ham and asparagus over biscuits.  It turned out very well I though but perhaps I made a bit too much.  It was only after almost running over my server bowl that I realized that the recipe I was using was entitled "PotLuck Eggs Benedict"  Evidently the recipe was meant to serve about 20....  We will have plenty to eat for several more meals:)  After supper Ina Sue bathed the children while I worked some more on the picture project.
At the Strite Christmas celebration We got up at 6:00 Saturday morning and as soon as it was light enough Ina Sue started cutting my hair.  It was still pretty chilly outside and I nearly froze before she finally finished.  We got the children up and ready and got left for Hephzibah around 8:00.  This was the big Christmas celebration for the Strite family.  Thankfully it was a gorgeous day and the children were able to spend a lot of their time outside.  With about 18 grandchildren in the family now, it can get pretty tight and noisy in Grandpa's house...  Dad fried up a turkey in his cooker and Mom made up a delicious meal with bread, dressing, black-eyed peas, collards, creamed onions & carrots, Italian creme cake with orange curd, and angel salad.
Dad fried up the turkey After dinner the guys did the dishes (according to tradition) while the ladies picked out material that Mom had brought back from Guatamala.  Finally we got around to the gift exchange.  The children had exchanged names separately from the adults.  It takes quite a bit longer to get the whole way around than what it used to.  Lots of fun though.  I received a Southern Living cooking tip book (very interesting) from Laura and Kay K. gave Ina Sue a beautiful set of pillowcases.  One of the most interesting gifts was the branding irons that Milton had made up for Kent and Duane to brand their steaks with.  They were each made with a custom (initials) brand and hand-turned wood handles.  Very nice! 
We ate buffet style Carolina Sue got a new nightgown and a book from Jenna.  She is thrilled with the nightgown.  She says she is a princess when she wears it!  Mom and Dad gave us a really nice coverlet for our bed and gave Carolina Sue a cute little doll from Guatamala and a new cover for her bed.  We had a really nice time together with family but left a little before 6:00 to head for home.  We made a quick stop at Walmart for some groceries and got home in decent time.
The gift exchange keeps getting bigger...