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 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

What a Summer

It has been a different kind of Summer for me.  I have not accomplished near what I have wanted to concerning the old house and getting it ready to live in, and mostly due to be ill.  I have decided that the illness has been caused by the dust of the old house; at least much of it.
My wife (Madge) and I have decided to buy a double wide manufactured home, and set down on the old farm stead.  We are waiting now for everything to get approved and such.
It won ‘t be too long and school will begin again.  I have had my physical and passed it and looking forward to the new School year.
It has been a great Summer in that we were able to go to both Youth Camp and Children’s Camp at Baptist Hill in Mount Vernon, MO.  We were blessed to serve the CGL’s and campers as cooks and kitchen help.  It has been our privilege to do so for the past four years.  We hear that there were 24 children who trusted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior in Children’s Camp, and a few less than that at Youth Camp with other decisions being made as well.
If things go well I may use this site as a daily log of driving the bus during the School year.  If I don’t every day, maybe I can at least once per week.
My wife and I celebrated our 37th Wedding Anniversary just last week.  We went and spent two days in Branson.  Nice place to visit, especially in November through February, but rather busy in July.  Really Branson is a great place to visit for family relaxation and fun.
See you next time.  Continue to have a great Summer.
-Tim A. Blankenship

Summer is Nearing

I haven’t wrote anything here since January of this year.  Much has happened in  my life and the life of the world since then.  Earthquakes that have left many thousands dead and many more homeless in Haiti, and Chile, and China.  Floods have hit in many parts of this country [USA] up North in the South in Nashville, (Country Music City), and much chaos in the gulf from BP’s blunder with the oil well.

 

Since my last post my wife and I have moved.  We are now living with my parents, hopefully helping them out while helping ourselves be nearer our work on our own home which is nearby.  We have also planted a garden, and we spent time with it today; tilling the rows of potatoes we have planted; and they are growing quite well with blooms on the plants and new potatoes growing under the soil.  I brought some of them home this afternoon, which I accidentally dug up while tilling the ground.
It seemed that the whole 2009 – 2010 School year moved by quickly.  We are now out for the Summer vacation; and boy am I relieved.  I was ready.  I think every other bus driver was ready too; and not only the Cassville drivers.
It was sure warm; maybe even hot as Madge and I planted three rows of corn today.  It didn’t take us long, but boy were we worn out, bushed, beat, and nearly busted of all our strength.  We’re not that strong any way, and that sun beating down on us didn’t help.
I don’t mean to sound as though I am complaining; I am actually quite thankful.  Thankful to our Lord that He has given us the strength to do what we can do; and leave what we can’t do up to Him.  Sometimes even that which we think we can do we must let Him take care of too.
Looking forward to a grand and glorious Summer.  We have Youth camp next week; and Children’s Camp in July.  What a wonderful Summer it will be.  Every day is wonderful when the God of all creation is in it; and He is.
-Tim A. Blankenship

Summer – Well Underway

The last I wrote here it was the end of May, and it was late Spring though Summer vacation had begun for many students of schools.
As of the last writing my wife and I had been cooks at the Youth Camp for Barry County Baptist Association, actually helpers in the kitchen. It was a great time. We were also looking forward to the birth of our eleventh grandchild, and third grand son. Eli Andrew was born June 30, 2008; around 10 a.m. at the mammoth weight of 7 pounds and 14 ounces, and was the grand length of 22 inches.
On July 4 we participated in our families annual fourth of July picnic down at the old swimming hole, had food, and fireworks, and fire arms sounding the sounds of the revolution. On Sunday evening of July 6, following our evening worship at Carr Lane Baptist Church; Madge and I went to Baptist Hill Campgrounds to help cook for Barry County Baptist Children’s Camp. That was a great four or five days. There were five decisions to trust Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior and about 20 other decisions with four of those being rededications to Christ, and the rest pretty much relating to surrender to Christian service.
The Summer is going good, getting hot, but it sure could be hotter. God is good. God is greater than our thoughts, greater than our deeds. He alone is worthy of praise and glory.
I am thankful for this Summer and every day God gives us.
Live the rest of the Summer for the 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