January 3, 2009

Children playing at the Ed Showalter Christmas dinner. Our children were pretty restless/fussy Saturday night/Sunday morning.  We are all stuck in one bedroom and it makes for a less than restful night...  We got up and went to Mt. Pleasant for church.  Bro. Elvin preached a New Year's message from the chapter in Acts about Paul's journey to Rome as a parallel to our lives.  After church we went to the Hickory Hollow school for the Ed Showalter get-together (Papa's side).  There was a really good turnout and a delicious dinner.  We had a nice time visiting while the children enjoyed playing with their cousins on the play equipment.  Went home and took short naps then the whole family had supper together.  Mother fixed us Louisiana gumbo, spinach salad, cheese ball and a jello ribbon salad.  Jeanne made up a "Ultimate Fondue" with crab meat for us to enjoy.
The Kenny Showalter Family (Click here to enlarge) After supper we all posed for a family snapshot, then got ready for our family "Christmas".  I have a bit of a problem with the concept of calling giving of gifts "Christmas", but who am I to buck tradition...  It was so enjoyable to see the anticipation and joy on the faces of the children.  Landon got a nice wooden play fence and a bunch of animals to play farm with.  Carolina Sue got a storybook and a paint book.  Aunt Lori made Carolina Sue and Sara Lynn both little miniature coverings (like mama)  They were both pretty thrilled.  Later Papa and Mother gave out some really nice gifts to the children and grand children.  Landon was absolutely thrilled with his new skidloader to haul his animals around the farm.  Some of us children played a couple games of Apples to Apples then visited until bedtime.
Landon playing with his Christmas gifts.  I made the barn for cousin Andrew several years ago.  Keith's brought it down so I could get measurements from it to make Landon his sometime... Our night was an answer to prayer.  I don't think we hardly had to get up once with the children.  We slept in a bit Monday morning then started packing up our stuff.  I fasted again today.  It was really hard while the rest of the family was eating breakfast burritos but I am afraid I over indulged at some of the family get-togethers.  My will-power only goes so far...  We got packed up and left for SC by 10:00.  Had a pretty good trip with the children doing very well until about the last hour.  Got home at 5:30.  Spent the rest of the evening unpacking and unwinding.  Great to be home in Govan.
The Showalter cousins trying to wait patiently for the gifts. Tuesday was a really busy day even though our shop is closed for today through New Years.  Ina Sue started on a really big batch of laundry.  I got on the scales this morning and was extremely disappointed to see that I still wasn't down to my target.  So another day of wearisome fasting... :(  I went in to work around 9:00 and worked with John doing inventory and cleaning up some areas that really needed it.  I got home around 4:30 and helped Ina Sue finish up folding clothes and putting them away.  We had a restful evening with the children.  Savannah is really starting to sit up by herself now.
Our little "sanctified" girls.  Aunt Lori thrilled them with this gift. Wednesday is the last day of 2008.  Where do the years go????  I stayed home today to help around the house.  Actually, I decided to tackle a very unsavory job.  But before that, I made us a delicious breakfast of sausage & peppers over cheese grits to break my two day fast.  Then I kept the children while Ina Sue did a little painting in the kitchen.  Then I took the oldest children with me up to Bamberg to pick up some insulation for my next job.  Our little family room in the back of the house has a lowered floor that is only about 12 inches from the ground.  Because of the fungus problem we had under the house several years ago, we had never put insulation in that section.  Ina Sue and the children often complain about how cold that floor is. 
Dad & Mom Strite made this gingerbread house.  Notice the porch columns Dad made by sanding pretzel sticks. I had gotten a quote from a local insulation contractor to install insulation in that section as well as under parts of the rest of the house.  Unfortunately when the crew actually got here to do it they decided that it wasn't feasible.  Too tight and parts of the floor system have joists more than two feet apart.  So they gave it up.  I decided that I would at least get insulation put in under the family room.  So after suiting up with a long sleeve shirt I started wriggling in.  It was very tight and I had to wiggle in on my back because there was no way I could roll over.  Then pulled the bats of insulation in over top of me and installed them one by one in the floor system.  Needless to say, the job was not pleasant.  I think I got some fiberglass pieces in my eyes...  I surely hope it helps.
New Years lunch of hogmaw (stuffed pig stomach)  What a wonderful tradition! In the afternoon Ina Sue washed the car while I planted some more pansies, watched the children and helped clean the house.
An afternoon game of Rook with the guys Thursday was New Years Day.  We got up and around in good time and left for Dad's around 9:30.  We stopped at the shop so I could show off some of my recent cleaning to Ina Sue.  We got to Dads around 11:00 and visited until dinner was ready.  Mother fixed us the traditional dinner of hog maw.  What a delight!  Also, broccoli casserole, corn, salad, and two different delicious pies for dessert.  My favorite was a wonderful coconut creme pie with raspberry topping.  We spent the afternoon visiting and playing games then had a carry-in supper of all kinds of sundry delicacies.  I'm afraid my fasting earlier in the week has all been for naught.  We left around 9:00 and got home at 10:30.
We all brought fingerfoods for supper.  A delicious (and fattening) spread. Friday was another busy one.  This was the first day the shop was open after 3 days being closed.  It meant a bit of catching up for us.  Ina Sue cleaned the house.  She wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry when Carolina Sue came to her in a panic part way through the day and said the "toilet was throwing up". :)  She tried to plunge it with no success.  I'll admit that when I did it after I got home I had to really work to get it flowing again.  We wonder if Landon threw something in that he shouldn't have.... 
Karen & Rhonda. Carolina Sue and I left for Hartwell, GA Saturday morning at 5:45.  I have been helping with the phone system for Heritage Bible School for the last 8-10 years and go up each year to get everything setup before Bible school starts.  We met Nevin & Christopher in Augusta and they rode up along with us.  Carolina Sue and Christopher are real kindred spirits and it was entertaining listening to their non-stop chatter nearly the whole way up.  We got there around 9:00 and started to hook things up.  It didn't take me long to detect that something wasn't working right.  After a bit of disassembly I found out why.  Lightning had evidently struck the system sometime during the year and blew out both the main board and the expansion card rendering the entire system unworkable.  Definitely not what I was hoping for...
On our way home from Hartwell we ate our lunch at the Taco Bell in Elberton. We tried to figure out the best way to get things going until I could order in a new phone system.  I ended up driving in to Hartwell to find a two line cordless phone but ended up having to drive the whole way to Anderson to find one.  While I was gone Nevin worked on getting the bells and the intercom tested.  After I got back we hooked things up the best we could then we headed for home.  Stopped in Elberton at the Taco Bell for dinner then drove straight through.  Carolina & I stopped in Barnwell for some groceries then got home around 6:00.  Ina Sue said that Landon really missed his sister today.  He kept saying "Nina home?"  Ina Sue made us a chicken club sub for supper and I fried up a batch of deep fried dilly beans for a snack.  I thought they turned out really good with some homemade ranch dressing.  Spent the evening cleaning up and getting the children their baths.