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Posts from ‘March, 2011’

Scenes from the Sweatshop

My niece wrote last week and asked how things were going in Nora's sweatshop. Our house looks kind of like an explosion in a craft store at the moment. Every horizontal surface is covered with some craft material, food item, or serving piece.

Here's the top of the piano:

picture of Explosion

Everyone has been drafted into service this week trying to finish up various projects.

Megan worked on paper flowers, made a ribbon bouquet for the wedding rehearsal, and stamped initials on napkins.

picture of Megan Paper Flowers

picture of Ribbon Bouquet

picture of Stamping Napkins

Nora made lots of corsages and boutonniers and made pillows for the ringbearers.

picture of Nora Flowers

picture of Ringbearer Pillow

We made thirty-six dozen cookies, baked the wedding cake layers, and dipped pretzels in chocolate.

picture of Cookie Factory

picture of B and N Pretzels

Drew helped taste test the pretzels.

picture of Drew Pretzels

Drew also helped Nora and Topher with a number of other projects.

picture of Drew Helping Nora

picture of Topher Painting

Topher's Mom and Aunt Lonnie helped with the paper flowers.

picture of Becky and Lonnie Flowers

Nora's good friend, Rebecca F. made these cookies for wedding favors and Topher's Mom and Aunt Lonnie helped package them.

picture of Cubs Cookies

picture of Packing Cookies

Rob helped put together the wedding programs.

picture of Rob Punching

I doubt that I'll be able to post again before the wedding. We've got a lot of really last minute details to take care of at this point and most of the out-of town guests are coming in. We really do appreciate your prayers and well wishes.


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We’re getting closer

We have just over two weeks until the wedding. We have started purchasing a few more of the grocery items and I have begun making some of the cookie dough and stashing it in the freezer to be baked off closer to the wedding.

I've been trying to clean out my freezer to make room. I had some cooked beans in the freezer and made some Pasta Fagioli soup recently to use them up. A big pot of soup is a nice thing to have on hand during busy times since you can generally get several meals from one batch. They make this soup at Olive Garden and it is one of our favorites.

My friend Kathy gave me a copy of The Mast Store Cookbook a few years ago.

picture of Mast Cookbook

There are several Mast General Stores in North and South Carolina and Tennessee and they are really interesting places to shop at and visit. They carry a lot of unique items that you don't find elsewhere. We have one here in Greenville down on Main Street. The recipes in the cookbook are those that have been collected from their employees. The book also has many historical pictures and advice from days gone by.

Here's the recipe with my modifications:

Pasta Fagioli

1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 carrot, peeled and shredded (I used a julienne peeler)
15 oz. can Italian stewed tomatoes (or plain with 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning)
4 cups beef broth (or hot water with beef bouillon)
2-3 cups cooked or canned beans (I used pinto beans, but you can use navy or kidney beans or a combination)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup macaroni or ditalini
Parmesan cheese for garnish

Brown ground beef. Add onion and cook until tender. Combine in a soup kettle with the tomatoes, broth, beans, carrot, salt, and pepper. Simmer for about 20 mins. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and add to soup just before serving. Garnish with the parmesan cheese.

picture of Pasta Fagioli

This soup is really tasty and you may already have all the ingredients on hand to make it. Have a wonderful weekend!


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A quiet week

It's been a quiet week here at wedding central. The bridesmaid's dresses are awaiting the girls' arrival to have them fitted, some food has been ordered, some ingredients and supplies have been purchased and now we are just waiting to begin some of the last minute preparations.

Since we had a bit of a lull in activity I was able to do a some more work on the hall bathroom project that was started during Christmas vacation. Nora drew up a design for me and I was able to make a little window treatment:

picture of Bathroom Curtain

I also ordered this vinyl wall decoration and put it up on a vacant wall in the bathroom:

picture of Bathroom Birds

I ordered it from a website called A Great Impression.

My order arrived quickly and the instructions for applying the design were very clear and had lots of helpful pictures and tips. Mary has many different designs to choose from, including many different Bible verses. You can also choose your own color for the design. It was a fun project and I would like to try another one in my entry way some time in the future.

What spring projects have you been working on?


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Wedding preparation update

Well, we're in the home stretch now -- less that a month until W-E-D day. I am making good progress on the bridesmaid's dresses. I put the sleeves in the final dress last night and all four are ready for a final fitting. I will be greatly relieved when I know if they all fit properly. Three of the four girls live out of state.

Nora and Topher went this week to get their wedding license. This reminded me of another young couple who also married in April -- many years ago -- Rob and me. The town we were from in Ohio was not the county seat so we had to travel to Tiffin, Ohio to get our wedding license. When we found the office and went in to get the license the clerk told us to raise our right hands and then she said: "Do you solemnly swear that you are not idiots, imbeciles, or first cousins?" We both laughed and wondered (to ourselves) if we had been idiots or imbeciles, would we have know enough to admit it? She assured us that we had to answer the question and so we assured her that of course we were not idiots, imbeciles, or first cousins! We were then able to get the license.

We have asked many other couples that we know who got married in Ohio and we are the only ones who seem to have had this particular experience. I'm not sure what to make of this. 🙂

My question for you dear readers is this: Did any of you have a similar experience when applying for your marriage license?

I will close with a couple of pictures from our wedding:

Here's the happy couple:

picture of our wedding

Here is our cake:

picture of our wedding cake


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