I'm just warning you, this got kind of long.
It's been a crazy, busy week. I guess that's what makes the time go fast. I haven't been so see the grandchildren since last week. So wouldn't you know that this would be the week April began, not just taking a few steps without help but, walking on her own. Her mom said she's going all over the place. I missed it. I'm going to see that sweet, growing toddler and her siblings tomorrow. It seems kids change so much when they start walking and gain that level of independence. Out of our arms and into the world, or so it seems.
Tomorrow, Saturday, is the big annual Arts and Crafts Fair in Hillsboro, Kansas, our old hometown. I remember the first year it started, and how it ballooned in the following years. Several years ago they had to block off more streets to extend out from the center of town. There were four booths deep, two back-to-back in the middle of the streets, and on the sidewalk in front of the businesses on both sides of the street. The highest number of booths were almost 400. That would make the 275-300 expected this year seem few in comparison. During the 41 years of the fair, the times it rained can be counted on one hand (that's according to my memory). That's a pretty good record considering how fickle Kansas weather can be. Most amazing is to see the Hillsboro population of 3,000 swell to 30-50,000 on this one day. At times you can hardly walk because of the crowd. It takes a lot of preparation and people to make it work, with parking and shuttle busses, emergency personnel and vehicles available, etc.
All the vendors have to have products they made with nothing store-bought. It's interesting to see what hot new item shows up each year. One year, and several years following, weather vanes were the craze. Paintings, wire art, wreaths, clothing and quilts, pillows and stuffed animals made from old chenille spreads and quilts, baby things, kitchen and Christmas decor, jewelry, wood, pottery, and candles are always popular. It's fun to see with what people keep themselves busy, and the high quality of workmanship. I hope to pick up some Christmas gifts.
Did I mention the 25-30 food concessions? German delicacies and meals are the order of the day with some non-cultural additions like funnel cakes, curly potatoes, walking tacos, Kettle popcorn, snow cones, caramel apples, to name a few. One of our friends makes gallons and gallons of New Year's Cookie, or Portzelke, dough and fries them all day long to sell singularly or by the dozen. Vrenika and Sausage with home-baked bread and Cherry Moose, pronounced "mose," or home-made pie is a popular menu. The sausage is made in Hillsboro and has a rich smoked flavor rather than being spicy like Italian sausage. Bierachs are also a favorite lunch or snack item. Green Bean Soup, made with ham shank or hocks, and Borscht (not the beet Borscht, but made with beef or chicken, vegetables and cabbage) are popular with Zwiebach (two buns, a small one baked atop a regular one). Peppernuts are a real treat for old and young alike. There are many different recipes but my favorite one is made with molasses and lots of spices including anise. They all range in size from as big as half a thumb to as small as the tip of a little finger. I'm reminded that I still have some dough in the freezer from last Christimas I need to bake. They average in cost from $6 to $8 a pound. My mouth waters just thinking about it all.
If you would like to see more go to: www.hillsboroartsandcraftsfair.com
Our daughter, now ten weeks pregnant, came to a doctor's appointment last Wednesday. She made sure the doctor checked the heartbeat to see how many there were since her father-in-law is a twin. I guess it's more likely to have twins if a mother or grandmother was a twin or birthed twins. Since it was too early to hear the heartbeat they did a sonogram and found only one.
We were beginning to seriously wonder about twins since the two oldest children had been mentioning twins in their discussions of the baby. Alana was asking Mom how old April would be when the new one comes. Amy told her two, almost to the day or within a week of April's birthday. Alana then said that the next baby should come in two years after the last one. Amy asked her if she didn't think four kids were enough. to which Alana replied, "If this baby is a twin there will be five." For a five year old she does pretty good math already. Then Derek, the three-year old was wondering if the baby would be a girl or a boy. When Amy said if it was a brother then there will two girls and two boys in the family, Derek said, "yeah, or if it's twins then there will be three boys and two girls." I hope a sonogram is more reliable than a stethoscope.
Some parents have been surprised when a twin was hiding during pregnancy. Dean & Amy's friends went to have one of those 3-D sonograms done which was done at a studio instead of a doctor's office. I've seen those advertised and they look pretty awesome where one can get a really good picture of the facial features and the babies activities in the womb. How cool is that? When this couple, who had 2 or 3other children, went for the 3-D, the photographer said, "You do know that you're having twins?" Would they have been surprised and unprepared at that birth!
On Wednesday we went to the funeral of our son's girlfriend's step-dad. He was a nice man who enjoyed life with humor and making memories with his family. Some people know how to have fun and he was one of them. My hubby is ornery like that.
Sunday evening we're looking forward to hosting our Community Life Group from our church. I think I'll make home-made ice cream, angel food cake or brownies, with cold cuts, veggies, and crackers. We have a time of study, discussion, sharing our joys and concerns, and praying for one another and others. No one is exempt from stresses and struggles. Thanking God for his blessings and asking for guidance and protection are a wonderful privilege I would never want to take for granted. May God bless your day and your weekend.
"What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen for his own." Ps. 33:12