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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


Glimpses of spring

We are seeing a number of signs of spring here this week and I thought I'd post a few recent pictures from around our house and yard today.

Don't you just love the smell of hyacinths? One flower can perfume an entire room for several days.

picture of Hyacinths 2011

Rob planted Hellebores on one side of our house which is very shaded. We have several varieties in shades of white, green, and purple. They are a bit tricky to photograph since the flower heads often hang downward.

picture of Hellebores 2011

Here are a few different varieties:

picture of Floating Hellebores

Our lot is pie shaped with the back of the lot the widest part. There is a drainage ditch that runs the entire width of the back of the lot. Rob and a couple of friends and neighbors have spent many hours hauling rocks and pouring cement. Rob also planted Liriope, Daffodils, and Daylilies in the back of the ditch closest to the fence to beautify the area. He has chronicled some of this project on his blog.

picture of Daffodils 2011

In our front yard we have a large flower box which has some pansies which have overwintered. There are also a few tulips and some hyacinths in there which haven't bloomed yet.

picture of Flower Box 2011

I know some of my readers live in areas which are still snow covered. My desire is that these pictures will give you hope that spring is on the way.

Another thing that is fast approaching is Nora's wedding. Here are a couple of glimpses of things to come:

Here's a little peek at her gown:

picture of Noras Gown

And, finally, here's a peek at the final bridesmaids dress. My sewing machine has been getting quite a workout for the last few weeks.

picture of Final Bridesmaid Dress

I hope you all either are or soon will be enjoying glimpses of spring in your neck of the woods too.


Nora’s bridal shower

We received some pictures from Nora's bridal shower this week so I thought I'd post a few today.

Here is Nora and her former boss, Theresa, who graciously hosted the shower. Don't you love her red door?

picture of Theresa Nora Shower

Here is Nora and some of the shower guests:

picture of Nora Shower Many Friends

Here is Nora and a couple of her close friends:

picture of Nora Shower Friends

Here is a shot of the beatiful refreshment table. The girl who made the cake is also making the Groom's cake for the wedding.

picture of Nora Shower Food

Here is Nora with some of the lovely gifts she received:

picture of Nora Shower Gifts

Here are Nora and I:

picture of Becka Nora Shower

And, finally, here are Nora and Topher. He came to help convey all the gifts to their new home.

picture of Nora Topher Shower

Six weeks from now they will be wed and on their honeymoon! We have a few details to iron out between now and then.


Happy Valentine’s Day!

picture of Valentine Table

We've had a very busy week here--lots of stuff going on at school and work and home. I've had a sinus infection which has slowed me down a bit and made it harder to keep up with all that's going on.

Rob was out of town all day on Saturday at a foreign language teacher's convention--he had to leave the house at 5 AM! Nora and I spent the morning and early afternoon at her bridal shower. It was lovely and her friends truly showered her with their love and many beautiful and thoughtful gifts. I will try to post a few pictures later if I can get some from her friends. I was so busy talking that I ended up taking only a couple. 🙁

The wedding invitations have been mailed, three of the four bridesmaid's dresses are ready for their final fitting, the wedding gown is being altered, the honeymoon has been booked, and of course there are still lots of other tasks to be checked off of our lists.

So, with all that's going on we are having a very low-key Valentine's Day at our house. We had Mark and Katie over for lunch today. We are all eagerly awaiting the birth of their little boy in just a few weeks. He's actually due the same week as Nora and Topher are getting married! Here was today's menu:

picture of Moms Potatoes

Ham Loaf
Deviled Eggs
Mom's Potatoes
Frozen Cranberry Banana Salad
Valentine Cupcakes

I have posted all these recipes in the past except for the potatoes. I don't know the real name for potatoes cooked this way. There really isn't a "recipe" for them, so I'll just tell you how my mother used to make them. They are one of Rob's favorites and I really should make them more often.

Mom's Potatoes
small red potatoes, 1-2 per person
cooking oil
salt and pepper

Scrub the potatoes and then boil until tender. Let cool and then peel the potatoes. At this point you can refrigerate them until about 20-30 mins. before the meal. Heat a skillet until hot and then add enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. Add the potatoes and cook until the potatoes are browned and warmed through. They should develop a nice crust on the part on the bottom of the skillet before you turn them to another side. Keep turning until they are warm and browned well. Salt and pepper to taste. We like these with ham but they would be good with just about any meat and they are quick and easy when you have some boiled potatoes on hand.

picture of Valentine Cupcakes

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!


Gluten-free cookies

We don't have anyone in our family who must avoid gluten or wheat, but there are quite a few students at school who have this dietary limitation. From time to time I like to make something sweet for them since they cannot eat most of the desserts which are offered.

Betty Crocker and King Arthur Flour have recently come out with some gluten-free mixes which are available at our local grocery stores and I have found quite a few recipes using those mixes as a base in recent months.

picture of Gluten Free Cookie Mix

I made these Monster Cookies this week and I thought they turned out nicely.

picture of Monster

Here's the recipe:

Monster Cookies

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 box Betty Crocker Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookie mix
3/4 cup M&M's (I used mini Reece's pieces)
1/2 cup Rice Chex Cereal

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In mixing bowl blend together the butter, peanut butter and egg. Stir in the cookie mix and mix until well blended. Then stir in the candies and the Chex Cereal. (I was using the mixer and let it mix enough to break up the cereal.) Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets and bake for 11-13 mins. or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown. Let cool for a couple of minutes on the cookie sheets to set and then remove and let cool completely. I got four dozen small cookies from this recipe.

Do you know anyone with Celiac disease or a gluten allergy? Would you like to share any of your favorite recipes or menu ideas?