Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Columbus Temple and Amish Country

 On Veteran's Day the courthouse was closed so we took the opportunity to go to Columbus to the temple.  As you can see it is a very small temple but it is very beautiful.  When we got inside we were delighted to see the Marietta Bishop's wife in the lobby.  She had names she needed help with so we were able to take some names through for her. Small in size certainly doesn't mean small in spirit.  This is a temple many people travel hours to get to and sometimes only are able to make it a few times a year.  The spirit in this temple is huge! The people who serve there are so humble and sweet. I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful chandelier than is in that tiny celestial room. What a special experience!  We hated to leave.
On our way home we went to Costco since the only Costco anywhere near us is in Columbus.  David wanted to get some sugar-free Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate.  Wouldn't you know, they didn't have it!  They just had the kind with sugar in it.  It's OK though, he gets it at Walmat, just not in the huge quantities.
On Saturday we went to the Amish country about and hour and a half north of Marietta with the Grammers.  We let them show us their favorite places.  We went to a cheese factory and tasted a ton of different cheeses (Yum)!  We went to a huge fabric store with super cheap bolts of fabric.  One thing they had I couldn't believe was 30 yd rolls of 5" wide lace for $5. No, I didn't buy any. I don't know how I'd get it home.  We went to an Amish bakery and David bought fry pies.  We went to an Amish woman's garage where she makes noodles and bought a bunch of her noodles.  Then we went to another woman's garage and Carolyn bought sleeves of canning jar lids at about half the regular cost. I think she said there are 30 dozen in a sleeve for $30.
There are small free newspapers available in most of the businesses that have lots of Amish recipes inside.  I have tried a few and they are worth sharing:
Pumpkin-Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 t. baking soda
3/4 t salt
1 3/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t ginger
1 C butter, softened
1 1/3 C packed brown sugar
2/3 C. sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 1/4 C canned pumpkin puree
1 3/4 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger for 30 seconds, set aside.  In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter, brown sugar, and sugar until creamy.  Blend in egg then blend in vanilla extract and pumpkin puree.  With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Mix in chocolate chips and pecans.  Let batter rest  5-10 minutes.  (This gives the oats time to absorb the moisture).  Scoop dough out and bake in preheated oven 12-14 minutes.  Allow to cool on baking sheet seeral minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
2 C dry medium egg noodles
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 T olive oil
1 medium chopped yellow onion
3 carrots chopped
3 stalks chopped celery
3 cloves garlic minced
2 14.5 oz. cans chicken broth
3 T. chopped fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 C butter
1/4 C + 2 T. all purpose flour
2 1/2 C milk
1/3 C heavy cream
Prepare noodles (you want the noodles to finish the same time the soup finished cooking) and drain.  In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, carrot and celery and saute until tender, about 3-4 minutes, then add garlic and saute 1 minute longer.   Add chicken broth, parsley, bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add chicken breasts and bring soup to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover with lid and allow soup to cook until chicken has cooked through, about 10-15 minutes longer (cook times will vary depending on thickness of chicken breasts).   Remove Chicken and allow to rest for 5 minutes, then shred into bite size pieces.  Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add flour and cook stirring constantly , 1 1/2 minutes.  While whisking slowly add in milk and whisk vigorously to smooth lumps.  Whisk in cream and bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.  Pour milk mixture into soup mixture and return chicken to soup along with cooked noodles and stir.  Serve warm with fresh bread or crackers if desired.
A typical Amish farm
Some Amish buggies

Today the truck carrying the National Christmas Tree stopped at our courthouse on it's way to Washington D.C.  The truck is a half a block long.  At the back of the truck there is a "window" so you can see the tree.  The High School choir came and sang a Christmas Carole for the event  The Grammer's granddaughter was in the choir.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Working away

David is getting pretty good at ironing paper!  He's ironed thousands of sheets of paper now and so have I.  If they don't lay perfectly flat when we capture them we will get blurring so while one of us is on camera the other is ironing.  So far we haven't gotten any of the divorce records back as re-work!   I'm sure we will but so far so good! We've done 7 out of 45 of the big white boxes so far.

Some of the stories are so sad and others a a little humorous.  One case I had to chuckle at a little was a couple in 1926, if I remember right.  They had both pulled guns on each other and shot at each other bringing the police into their domestic disputes.  The judge ruling in the divorce told them that they were both such horrible people that neither one of them deserved a divorce and the only reason he was granting the divorce to them was because together they were a hazard to not only the police but the entire community and only because of that it was better to separate them. He told them his worst fear was that they would just marry other people and that would just magnify the problem.  What a laugh!  We're so used to all divorces being granted today, but back then many divorces were denied.
Another divorce that was unusual was a couple with 13 children.  The husband left his wife and kids to take off with another woman.  What I hadn't seen before is this guy was at least nice enough to sign over the farm to his wife before he left. This one was also in the 1920's.

Alcohol is a factor in at least 90% of the divorces.  Men beating their wives is predominant in the cases before World War II and again about 10 years after World War II but during World War II and for about 10 years after there is a complete change.  During those years it is the women who are awful. During those years the divorces are over unfaithful wives, especially the wives of the servicemen. Women even abandon their children for affairs with men other than their husbands. I wonder what it was about the war that made them so crazy?

I sure feel the urgency of the work we are doing.  It's like I feel the spirits of these people standing behind me saying, "Go faster, go faster!"  It drives me crazy if we are a few minutes late getting to the courthouse to get to work.  And I'm pretty sure we're usually the last ones to leave. David calls me a 'workaholic' but it's just the urgency I feel of this work.  The days go by in a flash.  I can't believe we've already been out almost 6 months.

The Spencer Branch is on fire!  They are doing so great and we are so proud of how they are taking ownership of their branch and working to make it grow.

We love you all so much! We miss you and hope you are doing well.  We know the Savior truly lives and knows each one of us by name and wants nothing more than for us to know him.  He loves us so much!