ordinary… mostly

"We have nothing to offer each other, except a haven." — K. Nafziger



Here comes the fair!

Westmoreland Fair Banner

The end of the summer is here, and the Westmoreland County Fair has arrived right on schedule!

Westmoreland County FairLast year, we visited the fair for the first time shortly after we moved. It was a whole bunch of fun, and we immediately started planning to get more involved this year. At the time, I thought that maybe I should make some marmalade (partly because there was so little competition).

Fast forward a few months… Frequent readers may remember that I worked on pink grapefruit marmalade back in December. Also, the girls got involved in 4-H, and started working on sewing, baking, gardening, and art projects. And Ordinary Spouse came out of fair-entry-retirement*, and decided to work on a few sewing and baking projects.

* Here is a major side note… Ordinary Spouse was a professional fair entrant as a child. Check out her ribbons from back then…

All of OS's fair ribbons!

I’m guessing that other 4-H members saw that she was entered in the same category and immediately ran up the white flag in surrender.

Ok… the major side note is done. 🙂

All of our work reached its culmination yesterday. We woke up early to put the finishing touches on a total of seventeen fair entries:

  • Ordinary Spouse – a dress, a loaf of bread, and cinnamon rolls
  • Oldest Daughter – a blouse/culottes outfit (2 entries), a watercolor painting, and blackberry jam
  • Middle Daughter – flower arrangements (3 entries), a multimedia painting, cornbread, and stuffed animals
  • Youngest Daughter – a flower arrangement, a painted wooden fish, and pumpkin muffins
  • o(m) – pink grapefruit marmalade

Some scenes from the day…

Starting work on fair entries at 7 a.m. Get the coffee brewing!
Reading the rules
Oldest Daughter looks over the rules before putting finishing touches on her work
Kitchen counter
The kitchen is ready for baking
Get the dough rising!
Prepping the cinnamon rolls
Making cinnamon rolls. Note how they even get weighed.
Finished cinnamon rolls
Finished cinnamon rolls
Making pumkin muffins
Youngest Daughter making pumpkin muffins
Arranging flowers
Middle Daughter arranging flowers
Messy counter
By the end of the day, the kitchen was a mess

And here are the finished entries!

We had a four-hour window to drop things off yesterday afternoon…

Dropping off fair entries
The lines to submit fair entries

The judging happens this morning (I think), and we’ll go back to see how we did tonight when the fair officially opens. (Ordinary Spouse noted that there was only one other marmalade entered in my category, so maybe I have some hope!)

In the meantime, here are some things we can look forward to…

The midway
The midway – home of motion sickness
Fried food
Fried food heaven… or is it hell?

Stay tuned for more fair reporting!


My Charlie Brown tree

In last night’s blog post, I was thankful for the date night that Ordinary Spouse and I enjoyed, courtesy of a friend who invited the girls to her house for the evening. We played cards over coffee at Panera. The game was pretty lopsided, but instead of making me a nice trophy, she awarded me a minuscule star (with a hook so I could hang it on a Christmas tree).

My trophy
This is my trophy for winning our game of Five Crowns.

My sister chimed in and requested a picture of the star on the Christmas tree. Well, Extraordinary Sister – this picture is for you…

My Charlie Brown Christmas tree
My Charlie Brown Christmas tree

(Thanks to Ordinary Spouse for the tree and the star!)

A blessing for World Communion Sunday

The Best Supper
“The Best Supper”
by Jan Richardson

Our family has this beautiful work (“The Best Supper“) by Jan Richardson near our table. As a blessing for World Communion Sunday, Jan has written a wonderful poem:

And The Table Will Be Wide

Take the time to read the poem, to pray it, and to add your ‘amen’.

God is Love?

A while back, I discovered this mug…

"God is Love" mugI was either horrified or highly amused. Or both.

“God is love?!?!” More like “Godzilla is love,” if you ask me.

Ordinary, yet theologically adept, Spouse made the important and insightful bridge between ceramic and scripture:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church.

Ephesians 5.25

“Hmmm,” I thought. “What would that look like…?”

Husbands, love your wives.


(I just wish everyone was.)

The Mexican “culture box” (a.k.a loving our library)

The students of the Rainbow House of Learning were studying Central American civilizations in their history class this week. Serendipitously, through a search for “Aztec”, Ordinary Spouse discovered that our local public library has “culture boxes”. Evidently, a culture box is one of the really big Rubbermaid™ storage containers filled with “artifacts” from the culture of interest. The library allows teachers and homeschoolers to check these things out. Well – the women decided to bring home the culture box from Mexico.

Students of the Rainbow House of Learning

Oldest Daughter decided to create a museum in our living room…

The museum

… and create an Aztec sun-catcher on the front window.

Aztec suncatcher

Middle Daughter and Youngest Daughter collaborated on a dance…

(I have no idea why YD is in the laundry basket in that last pic.)

(Mexican costume, Spanish sword dance, and classical ballet! If the video doesn’t want to load, watch it on YouTube.)

Farkle trophies

The Ordinary Family enjoys playing farkle. It’s a dice game that doesn’t require much time or thought – five minutes is enough. Ordinary Spouse and I frequently play a few games after the girls are in bed for the night.

We played two weeks ago, and OS was the winner. She made herself a trophy:


Last night, we played farkle again. Once again, I was the loser. And OS decided to make me a Loser’s Trophy. But I said that I wanted a good one since I was the first-place loser…!/ktmmcc24/status/122152187672530944

Here’s what she came up with…

The Loser's Trophy

“The Loser’s Trophy” by Ordinary Spouse
Watercolor on recycled office paper, approximately 3″ × 5″, October 2011 

This trophy consists of a flat tire sprouting some kind of weird, red antenna dice. In the center, there is a stylish 2nd place plaque. There is a vessel of sour grapes (should I get hungry), as well as an eternal flame for being the eternal loser.

Nice, huh?

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