Summer is Here

No matter whether the first day of Summer has got here or not it is Summer time; at least by the heat we are having here in good ole southwest Missouri. Our temps at our house has been in the mid nineties to near 100 degrees in the early afternoon. I love it.

I do love it; but as I get older it seems the heat does a number on my stamina and energy. I guess that goes with the territory of getting older.

To give an update on things around our house, we are still greatly blessed by our Creator. We also have some new occupants on our place. They are sure busy, busy little guys; and they have stingers. We have a small hive of honey bees and they are fascinating to watch.

I have been mowing around them each time I have mowed the yard, and they never seem to be too annoyed by the mower or me; and I mow right up next to them. I just came in the house a few minutes ago from trimming around them with my battery powered weed eater – it is a 60 volt – and does a great job. Anyway I trimmed around them and they never really bothered me. At first several of them came at me, but I stopped the trimmer and calmly backed away, and when they went on I continued trimming right up next to the hive with no stings.

We helped cook in the kitchen at Baptist Hill for the Barry County Baptist Association Youth Camp June 1 – 4 and had a great time of fellowship with the others who were there helping. Though we had decided not to go back I changed my mind and we will be returning for the Children’s Camp in July.

That is the way things are, on the banks of Flat Creek

`tim

The Month of Thanksgiving – Fourteenth

I am thankful today for my third born child, who is our firstborn son.

Timothy named after me for his first name, and my Dad Mike for his middle name. He was born in Springfield, MO in 1979.  It was such a joy for Madge and I to be blessed with a son.

Timothy has a wonderful wife Sarah, and they have four wonderful children; Naomi, Josiah, Eli, and Lydia. Timothy is the pastor of the Baptist Church in Stott’s City, MO, and is employed by Baptist Hill Campgrounds near Mount Vernon.

Timothy, Sarah, and our grandkids are truly a blessing from the Lord and we are thankful for them, their love for each other and their children; and also the love and respect they give Madge and me.

Thankful from the banks of Flat Creek,

`tim

The Hot of Summer

Now, with most of the country at or near drought conditions it is amazing that anything grows.  It is, however, good to see that even weeds; at least some of them; even struggle during these hot, dry periods.  It is a wonderful thing to have air conditioning in your home.

Last weekend, our family [Madge’s and mine] had our annual family get together – I guess you could call it a “Family reunion” – but that does not seem quite right for us, since we see one another quite often.  It seems to me a Family reunion is when the family comes together, after having  not seen one another for a year or so.  Our family seems to get together often.

From July 6 -8 we were on our way to our son Philip’s and Sarah Joyce’s  home in Booneville, AR. for the gathering on the 6th; eating, activitying various things, like Frisbee golf, swimming at the city pool, and bunches of other things; going to church on Sunday, and coming home.  We had a good time with Philip and Sarah Joyce, their three daughters; and our other kids, their spouses, and the other nine grand kids.

When I arrived back home my wife packed me up and marched me out the door :), for Children’s Camp at Baptist Hill, near Mount Vernon, MO.  We always try to get there the night before camp starts, so we can have all the kitchen supplies, food stuffs in order.  It is quite an experience preparing food for nearly 200 children and workers at camp.  Try cracking 35 dozen eggs for scrambling; and watch the guy, pour 2.5 dozen eggs into a cast iron skillet and cook them.  Actually it was two cast iron skillets he kept going while Jerry and me were cracking them.  Preparing gravy for that number was my responsibility, and I goofed up one meal; but all worked out fine; and with a few compliments on how good the gravy was.  That first time was for the evening meal of ham, mashed potatoes and gravy.  the second time was for breakfast biscuits and gravy and that evening was fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy.  I also helped with the potatoes.  It was a time saver to use packaged dried potatoes.  They were “real potatoes”, and tasted quite good.

It is good to be home.  It is a blessing to be able to serve the kids of camp, and have fellowship with some fine people around the area who are devoted Christian people.

The Summer is hot.  Thank the good Lord for the cool spots, and the rain we have received.

Now back along the banks of Flat Creek for awhile.

-Tim

A Full and Tiring Week

My wife and I have just returned from four days at Children’s Camp.  The camp took place near Mt. Vernon, MO at the Baptist Hill Assembly.  We served as camp cooks feeding a little more than 200 people children and adults each meal; three meals per day.

We don’t deal with teaspoons and tablespoon measurements; it’s more like in pounds and gallons.  We served gravy with mashed potatoes and ham, gravy with mashed potatoes and chicken; and sausage gravy and biscuits one morning.  It was my task to prepare the gravy.  About 18 gallons of gravy was prepared in total.

Yesterday morning 6/30/11 we prepared about 35 – 40 pounds of pancake mix.  There were about 10 of us working the kitchen, cafeteria; fixing drinks, preparing burgers, and cooking meat.  We had a generous donor who donated over 500 pounds of Longhorn beef for the burgers and spaghetti.  That’s great meat.  That’s also a very generous donor and wife.

There were several professions of faith in Christ too.  For that we are thankful, and blessed to have been a part of the work of God on Baptist Hill.

I was tired upon arriving home; but I took a walk with my dog, down to the creek and about.  That was relaxing, and allowed me to stretch a bit.  My back hurts a bit, but I am blessed.

-Tim

Second Week

I have began my second week of no driving the school bus.  Have I missed it?  Not yet.  I have been busy.  I spent the very first week working at Youth Camp at Baptist Hill near Mt. Vernon, MO serving as a camp cook.
I really don’t think that camp cook is a proper title for me.  I have put food in the convection oven, prepared chicken for the oven, bacon for the oven,  eggs for the scrambling – 47 and one half dozen as a matter of fact – that is Jerry W. and myself cracked that many eggs.  We also added lemon juice to keep them from turning green, milk to make them fluffier, and also salt and pepper to season them.  The eggs were for breakfast Wednesday morning.
We were feeding about 175 youth and workers.  There were 9 youth who called on the name of the Lord for salvation; 11 other decisions and one who decided they needed to follow the Lord in Baptism.
My schedule while I was at camp went a little like this.  I was up at 3 a.m., at the cafeteria by 4 a.m. making coffee for the workers coming soon; and when the head cook [Jerry] arrived we visited a while, drank coffee, then started prepping breakfast.  One morning following breakfast I did go to my room and took a nap.  It was quite restful; and one afternoon I went and rested for a while.  Each night I was in bed by 9 p.m.  Tired, tired, tired; ready for bed and sleep.
The second week; it is hot,  hot, hot.  I prefer hot to cold though.  This morning I went out and hoed around our potatoes.  Even at 7 a.m. it was still pretty warm out.  I have more taters to work.
I am thankful for the strength which my Lord and God Jesus Christ has given me.  Thank YOU Lord.
Tim A. Blankenship

Summer Break, YEAH!!!

For some you don’t know what it might mean by the term “Summer Break”, however, everyone who has about anything to do with School, and its yearly sessions knows, at least those who are working from around the end of August to the end of May. There are workers of public schools, such as the maintenance people who work all year round, and they only get a week or so vacation each year. Thank you maintenance people and all year round workers at the public Schools, yes, even the Administrators.
Summer break is great for those who face the students each year, teaching them Reading, Riting and Rithmetic; you know the “3 R’s”. I am afraid, however, that it has now gone beyond the three R’s to covering a lot of things that really should be left to parents, and churches. Then there are the Bus Drivers who always have their troubles behind them. Until you have driven a School Bus you have no idea how stressful the job is. The driver must always try and maintain a safe driving speed, keeping eyes on the road, watching the mirrors, and from time to time watching the kids. A sudden movement from one child can distract the driver, and if not careful can lead to a very serious accident, with a few children being seriously injured and, God forbid, maybe even killed.
I have sometimes wondered how I could handle it if I made such a grave mistake as to do something that would injure or kill a child while driving a Bus. I have determined that if I ever do, the School will not have to fire me; I would quit, and never drive a bus again. I pray that never happens.
Yeah! School bus driver’s need the Summer Break, as do the teachers, and all who work with students while school is in session. Summer is not officially here, but it is here.
My wife and I just returned on Friday May 30 from spending a few days at our Baptist Associations Youth Camp at a place called Baptist Hill Assembly near Mount Vernon, Missouri. We fed about 196 youth, camp staff and CGL’s for near to four days. We will return, the Lord willing, in July for Children’s camp. We are working with a good group of of people, about nine total, as cooks. It is such a joy to see their faces light up as you feed them something they really enjoy eating.
May all have a great, safe, and God blessed Summer.
-Tim A. Blankenship