Friday, June 30, 2017

Guardians and Friends

Most of the time when someone asks Abigail to do anything the answer is always, "I can't I have softball."  Tonight was one of those nights, but softball was cancelled and she was able to hang out with a few of her friends from church. 

The kids met up at the mall for Guardians of the Galaxy 2!  A super hero movie, pop corn and good friends makes for a great evening.  The group even remembered to take a picture for the moms! 

The law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.
Galatians 3:24

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Canning Breakfast Sausage

Another canning first in the books today, canned sausage!  I caught cases of Owen sausage patties on sale for $3.99/case.  Each case was 2 ½ pounds of sausage.  They were being clearance because Tom Thumb was no longer going to carry this product in their store. 

The first step was to cook the patties, draining off any fat.  While the sausage patties were cooking I took two quarts of pork bone broth, (or you can use beef bullion broth) and heated it up in my Instant Pot for packing the meat in jars. 

I cut up Parchment Paper to use between each patty.  In sterilized, hot, wide mouthed pint jars I stacked the patties.  Because this brand of sausage was thin patties, I was able to stack 10 patties per jar.  

Using a ladle I filled the jars with my pork bone broth leaving 1” headspace.   Always use a plastic spatula to remove any air bubbles.  Use a paper towel with vinegar to remove any grease or debris from the top of the jar to ensure a tight seal on your jars. 

Process the Ball Pint Jars in a Pressure Canner for 10lbs for 75 minutes.  I used the same process with sausage links and crumbled sausage.  

The biggest advantage to having these canned is it is ready to eat!  On the days when I’m in a hurry, the girl has a ball game and needs protein for breakfast, I’m ready!  I don’t have to defrost frozen sausage.  The patties are cooked and drained so there is less fat!  I only make a mess in my kitchen once!

To heat up the patties I can throw them in the microwave.  If I want more of a crunchy edge, I can throw them in a hot skillet for under a minute per side and they are fabulous!  The crumbled sausage is great to quickly add to a casserole or throw in a skillet and make sausage gravy!  

My yield at the end of this project was 12 pints of 10 patties per jar; 3 pints of 8 links per jar; and 2 pints of crumbled sausage for a cost of under $20! That's breakfast meat for fifteen meals! 

You say, ‘I will eat meat,’ because you crave meat, you may eat meat whenever you desire. Deuteronomy 12:20

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Canning Tomato Soup

I grew up on buttery, creamy grilled cheese sandwiches served with smooth tomato soup.  Now the soup I grew up on was the canned red and white labeled Campbell's variety.  A couple of months ago I came across a great recipe to can homemade tomato soup, so we gave it a whirl! 

Oh my goodness! It was so amazing!  The flavor didn't begin to compare to the tin canned version!  Our family has consumed all 12 pints and it was time to to get back to work.  

Armed with my favorite vegetable chopper, Frankie and the sale ad for Sprouts we set to work.  I used the same recipe as last time:  Canning Tomato Soup! No reason to make any modifications, it was that good! 

And yes, we had tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch! YUM! 

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!

    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Psalm 34:8

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Church Services with Caleb

This Lord's Day we got to worship at the congregation where Caleb is working.  He is loving his summer intern position at the Lakewood Church of Christ in Baytown, Texas.  

Being the Ministry Intern means that he has a nice variety of responsibilities, including teaching Bible Class, or doing the communion lead, preaching, visiting the sick, attending church camp, or whatever the day calls for!  

It was sweet to hear the kind comments from the members in the congregation about Caleb.  One of my favorites was an elderly Hispanic gentleman who told Jon, "Churches of Christ used to preach, 'this is what the Bible says, we believe it and live that way.'  Many people don's preach that way anymore.  Caleb preaches that way.  I like it!"  It's that whole 'Jesus said, I believe it, that settles it' mentality. 

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
 who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Church Camp with Caleb

Today the boy spoke to the 3rd-6th graders from the Lakewood Church of Christ at their summer camp.  The kids are spending the weekend at Gulf Coast Christian Youth Camp.  The theme for the weekend was 'I Grow.'  Just like Jesus grew in wisdom and stature with men and with God; the kids are spending the weekend doing the same. 

Caleb's lesson covered Jesus' early life.  In fact he even began by singing the lineage of Christ song that we learned when we were studying the book of Matthew. That was fun! 

After his lesson the kids same some songs and finished off their worship time.  After wards they sang Happy Birthday to Caleb! 

For dinner we headed to Tookie's Seafood for some delicious Mesquite grilled seafood, well except for Frankie who had a hamburger! 

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
3 John 4

Friday, June 23, 2017

Kemah Boardwalk

For Caleb's day off we headed to nearby Kemah Boardwalk. Kemah Boardwalk is a 35-acre carnival-like atmosphere with a 36-foot carousel, a 65-foot Ferris wheel and rides like the Aviator and the Boardwalk Tower. There are also plenty of arcade and Midway games. 

Kemah is just 20 miles from downtown Houston overlooking Galveston Bay.  Because we were visiting during tropical storm Cindy it was a windy day.  But it provide a nice wind coming off the bay.  The kids took on all of the rides and rode a few of them more than once. Frankie's favorite was the Hypno Spin (like the tea cups) that spins you ‘round and ‘round! 

Kemah Boardwalk has plenty of great restaurants including Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Aquarium Restaurant which serves guests a great view of our 50,000 gallon aquarium brimming with marine life. 

We had a great time hanging out with the not so babies! 

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 
yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.

Luke 12:27

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Boy by the Bay

Today after our pantry food pick ups we headed to Baytown to see the boy for his birthday.  Plano to Baytown is about a four and a half hour drive.  It's definitely a prettier drive than the one to Lubbock, though. 

When we arrived at the congregation where Caleb is interning he gave us tour and introduced us to his co-workers. The last time I was at the church building was back in the early 1980's when Uncle David was their youth minister.  

Caleb is staying with a family from the church near the church building.  The couple does mission work in Romania and are spending most of the summer out of the country.  So they have someone responsible to stay with the house and he has nice accommodations for the summer.  

In addition, several families in the congregation have invited him over for dinner or to family game nights so he has that 'homie' feeling.   

Caleb took us out to the Baytown Nature Center that connects two peninsulas, surrounded by three bays, located on the west side of Baytown. The nature center occupies about 450 acres of land with three bays that surround the nature center are Burnet Bay, Crystal Bay and Scott Bay.

The smaller of the two peninsulas known as San Jacinto Point has been designated as a recreation area.  The larger peninsula is being developed into fresh water and salt water wetlands, with mixed woodland habitat for animals, birds and other wildlife. 

From the Baytown Nature Center you can see the San Jacinto Monument.  It is a 570-foot tall column topped by a 34-foot star located on the Houston Ship Channel.

“I have no son to keep my name in remembrance.” He called the pillar after his own name, and it is called Absalom's monument to this day. 2 Samuel 18:18 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Berry Picking

Today Ms. Beth called and asked if we wanted to make a run up to Sadler, Texas to Wild Berry Farm.  They are a family owned blackberry and blueberry farm were you can pick your own berries. 

The kids and I visited the farm back in 2008 and picked buckets of blueberries to make jelly! We recently canned Blueberry Pie Filling and froze some blueberries.  So I have plenty of blueberries on hand.  Today I was wanting fresh black berries to make jam

The weather was beautiful and we picked about six pounds of berries.  Ms. Beth and Tessa picked about ten pounds!  All of the berries and produce are grown naturally with no chemical pesticides or herbicides.  

The price comparison is easy, the berry farm is $4/ pound.  Sprouts has organic blackberries for $2 per 5oz container, meaning $6-ish/pound.  Kroger has blackberries for $2.50 per 5oz container, meaning they are $7.50-ish/pound. 

We got our berries washed and in the freezer, we will tackle jelly making another day! 

Click HERE to see our visit in 2008! 

Gleanings will be left in it, as when an olive tree is beaten—
two or three berries in the top of the highest bough,
four or five on the branches of a fruit tree,
declares the Lord God of Israel.
Isaiah 17:6

Monday, June 19, 2017

Summer Sounds

Tonight Frankie and Abigail headed out to the Family at Allen's Summer Sounds.  Gracie is working with the Allen Parks and Rec again this summer so while Gracie is busy working Abigail, Frankie, Ella, Elaine and friends enjoyed the music. 

Tonight's concert featured country and blue grass performers Jolie Holliday & Sonny Burgess.  The parks and rec also offer free In and Out Burgers to the first 1,000 concert goers!    

What's not to like?  Dinner, music, and fabulous friends! Summer time! 

Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
    honor is not fitting for a fool.
Proverbs 26:1

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Dinner for Four

What canning looks like at our house, it's a busy day filled with food picks for the local food pantry, Next was paperwork for the youngest to attend community college classes in the fall. Next was piano lessons and softball practice.  

Some where in there I needed to feed our family of four and I had nothing laid out and hadn't even given any thought to dinner. 

This is where my home canning goodies come in handy!  I pulled a few jars out of the pantry and a homemade dinner was ready in minutes including BBQ Pulled Pork, Baked Beans, Cole Slaw, Spicy Dill Pickle Spears, Banana Peppers, and a few Pickled Jalapenos.  All homemade!  All incredibly tasty and delicious! 

For dessert after softball practice I opened a jar of canned Apple Pie Filling and sprinkled a boxed yellow cake mix on top and baked into an amazing cobbler! Literally everything was heat and eat and none of it had preservatives! YUM! 

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.  Malachi 3:10

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Canning Baked Beans

I am not a perfectionist but I really don’t like to fail at anything!  Let me back up, my sweet husband loves baked beans; particularly his mom’s baked beans.  I hate beans, all beans, except maybe the green ones.  In 27+ years of marriage I’ve never cooked baked beans.  Yesterday I decided I would make him baked beans. And because I tend to be an over achiever, not only would I make him beans I would can up a few jars of homemade baked beans that he could enjoy on another occasion!  You know with homemade BBQ sauce, fresh onion, bell peppers and tomatoes from our garden!

I called my mother in law for her recipe which included ‘open a can of Van Camp beans!’ But I was working with dry Navy beans.  Google will tell you if you’re working with dry beans to ‘soak them over night’ but another source will say ‘boil for 1 hour’ and a third source will say ‘boil for 10 minutes remove from heat and soak for 1 hour.’  The directions for cooking time and temperatures vary as well.  I’ll leave this paragraph with. 'after 12 hours, the crock pot, the oven, the instant pot and 3 trips to the grocery store we finally had baked beans.'  But the process was an epic failure!  

I have Googled, YouTubed, and read more about baked beans than I ever intended.  It’s hours of my life I will never get back.  In fact I lost sleep over the silly process, so this morning I woke up at 4:45am after soaking new Navy beans overnight and started all over with my new found knowledge and yesterdays experience. 
To begin, sort and wash dry beans.  Add 3 cups of water for each cup of dried beans and soak overnight.  

Prepare molasses sauce: 
2 cups bbq sauce
¼ cup mustard
¼ cup ketchup
1 onion whole
½ green bell pepper finely diced
1 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 whole banana pepper
1 ½ small jalapenos (seeded)
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
3 slices of bacon chopped
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

Add beans and molasses sauce to cover beans. Cover and bake 4 to 5 hours in crock pot on low. Add water as needed stirring about every hour.

OR Instant Pot 45 minutes manual on High,

Fill sterilized Ball Pint Jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process with 10 lbs of pressure in your Pressure Canner; pints for 65 minutes and quarts for 75 minutes.

So I still don't like baked beans but everyone else in the house loved them!  

Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself. You are to eat it during the 390 days you lie on your side.  Ezekiel 4:9

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Canning Crunchy Cole Slaw

I love that Pinterest sends me notifications that they have found new things that I would like, usually they are on the mark.  I love seeing new canning recipes, but I have to admit when I saw a recipe for canning cole slaw I laughed.  I like cole slaw but no one else in our house does.  I also thought the cabbage would get mushy but I kept reading.  It turns out the cabbage and carrots stay crunchy.  

So why not, I decided to give it try.  If it turned out I could have cole slaw on occasion in smaller serving sizes. Here is the recipe:

1 medium head of cabbage chopped
1 large carrot grated
1 medium diced green bell pepper
1 small finely diced yellow onion
1 Tbsp. Morton Canning and Pickling Salt

1 c apple cider vinegar
1 cup vinegar
2 c white granulated sugar
1/2 c water
2 tsp celery seed
2 tsp mustard seed

Shred and chop vegetables and place in a large bowl and sprinkle with the 1 tablespoon of canning salt.  Let it sit for 1 hour. Then rinse and drain at least twice to get out the excess water and salt out of the cabbage mixture.  This will pull the fluid out of the vegetables and allow them to stay crispy. 

While the cabbage mixture is sitting, mix vinegars, sugar, water, and spices in pan on the stove or heat it up faster in your  Instant Pot. Heat the mixture to a boil and boil for 1 minute to dissolve sugar.  Allow the mixture cool.

Add the cooled syrup to coat the cabbage mixture and toss. This is actually a double recipe of brine to make sure I have enough to cover my cabbage.  Pack into sterilized Ball Pint Jars leaving 1/2 inch head space. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes and remove from heat. 

To serve:  You can eat it straight out of the jar but it is more of a German Cole Slaw.  I prefer to refrigerate overnight then drain the brine and add Mayonnaise for a creamy sauce. 

I also found this recipe for KFC Cole Slaw Dressing that I will be trying! Remember to drain the canned cabbage first and then mix your dressing and let it sit in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours before serving. 

KFC Cole Slaw Dressing:
1/3 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1/4 Cup Buttermilk, Well Shaken
1/4 Cup Whole Milk
1 1/2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
2 1/2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper

The canned cabbage stays very crunchy!! It's not the same as a fresh batch out of the garden, but it is a quick addition to any meal without much work! 

Their idols are like scarecrows in a cabbage field,
    and they cannot speak;
they have to be carried,
    for they cannot walk.
Do not be afraid of them,
    for they cannot do evil,

    neither is it in them to do good.

Jeremiah 10:5

Monday, June 12, 2017

Pizza Delivery

Today was another Monday volunteering at the pantry but as we were getting ready to leave we got the call from the manager at Papa John's saying they had a few pizzas if we wanted to come by.  A few was an under statement! 

Jon and Abigail ran over and picked up almost fifty pizzas! It turned out the store had an order for a local business who cancelled the order.  Fortunately the company had already paid for the order so the store didn't lose any money.  And as a bonus, our guests all went home with pizza! 

Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker,

    but he who is generous to the needy honors him.
Proverbs 14:31

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Richard's Wedding Shower

Today we celebrated the upcoming wedding of my 'blonde son' Richard and his beautiful bride to be Melissa.  Almost a decade ago a member at church didn't realize that Caleb and Richard weren't both mine and referred to that she had given paperwork to my blonde son. The nickname stuck, from that point on Richard would be introduced as my blonde son.  

So today we let that blonde son know how much we love him!  Because the Gungans were such a big part of so many lives here in Plano for the decade they lived here there were so many people who wanted to celebrate the upcoming nuptials!  The Gungans and Melissa family drove down for the day and got to meet the faces that went will all those great stories.  

Many of the families that Caleb and Richard grew up with were together from first-twelfth grade and most are still in the area.  Our sweet friend Melody hosted the day.  Mel is the mom to Blake the third amigo in the Caleb, Richard and Blake trio that did Bible Bowl for so many years together.

It was a great turn out by church, homeschool, and sports friends. My favorite part was a journaling Bible for the happy couple.  Guests at the shower highlighted their favorite Bible verse and then wrote a sweet message in the margin.  I can't imagine a better group of people who I would want to give Godly wisdom to these sweet kids!  It was a beautiful day! 

A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24

Caleb's Sermon - Priesthood

This morning Caleb gave his first Sunday morning sermon at the Lakewood Church of Christ in Baytown, Texas.  Even better for this mom is the fact that it was streamed live and then uploaded to YouTube after the fact.  That means I can include the link on the blog too! 

You can tell he's feeling a lot more comfortable in this setting.  He did a great job, I love seeing him do what he loves! 

You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  1 Peter 2:9

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Camp Blue Haven - Day 7

Today the kids load back on the bus to come home! The photo in the upper left corner are kiddos who have been friends since before pre-K!  The two young men, Blake and Beau now live in Brownwood, TX but the four enjoy seeing each other at camp. 

The photo with the girls holding the blue t-shirts is Abigail's cabin who earned Master Cabin this year.  The honor is based on memory work, clean cabin points, and patches earned.  

Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai. 

Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain.
Exodus 34:2

Friday, June 9, 2017

Camp Blue Haven - Day 6

Another great day for these girls.  They have been in the same cabin together since third grade.  Several of the guys in their brother cabin are young men from church who have grown up with the girls.   Will, Andrew, Greg, Alex, Tate, Abby and Abigail all attend church together they attend six different schools; Blue Haven is a great time for them to be together. 

For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord
called to Moses from within the cloud.
Exodus 24:16

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Camp Blue Haven - Day 5

Today included another hike on Hermit Peak.  The Peak is named for the Italian religious recluse Giovanni Maria de Agostini, who lived in a cave on a narrow ledge on the southeast side of the mountain about one hundred feet below the summit. 

The cave can only be reached from descending from above.  Today the kids waded through thigh high water down into the cave entrance.

The cave has become the subject of pilgrimage my religious New Mexicans during Agostini's life.  

The peak is 3,129 miles high! Hermit Peak's rocky features forms a man's face looking to the sky. Left to right, you see a forehead, eye, nose, two lips, and a chin. The rugged trail to the top of the "nose" winds through the "eye." The view from the tip of the "nose" is said to include five states. There is a rock overhang known as "Hermit's Cave" on the "nose."

Your father’s blessings are greater
    than the blessings of the ancient mountains,
    than the bounty of the age-old hills.
Genesis 49:26

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Camp Blue Haven - Day 4

Another great benefit of being up in the mountains are shorter hikes where the kids have cookouts and even camp out in the woods.  Fun in the great outdoors while you cook your own meal in a meadow or among the trees on the side of a mountain.

The campers also participate in the recreational activity of their choice, including Nature Hike, Fishing, Air Riflery, Archery, Handicrafts, and a variety of sports including basketball, volleyball, tetherball, nuke’em, Frisbee, soccer, etc.  Imagine a week with sports other than softball! 

How beautiful on the mountains
    are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
    who bring good tidings,
    who proclaim salvation
Isaiah 52:7

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Camp Blue Haven - Day 3

Blue Haven is surrounded by National Forest. Hiking in the surrounding area allows campers to see God’s beauty while interacting with each other. Abigail took off on on half day hike and one all day hike. 

The kids have Bible Classes during the day and also an evening worship time.  Hidden Worship involves hiking up the hill to a “secret” place and worshiping together under the open sky canopied by trees and stars. Early Christian Worship imitates the worship of first century Christians hiding in the catacombs. Sometimes evening worship is “in the barn”, “at the lakes”, or at “Crowe’s Roost” with a view of Hermit’s Peak in the distance. 

On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled.

Exodus 19:16

Monday, June 5, 2017

Camp Blue Haven - Day 2

Camp Blue Haven has so many great activities including a low ropes course that is facilitated by trained staff.  They also have several elements that fall in the category of high ropes. They include a climbing tower with a zip line, a giant swing, and a “Leap of Faith."

The Leap of Faith is one of Abigail's favorites where the kids climb up a 50+ foot telephone pole and jump off.  Don't worry they are harnessed in!  Each year the fastest girl and fastest boy to climb up and jump off the pole get to go a second time.  My child is a little competitive so she has to be the fastest girl.  The average time to scale the pole is 1:36 minutes, Abigail made it up in :32 seconds, earning her a second jump! 

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Camp Blue Haven - Day 1

Today the group from the McDermott congregation made it up to Hermit Peak in Las Vegas, New Mexico home to Camp Blue Haven.  Congregations of youth groups from Brown Tail and Brownwood have been  attending camp together for eight years. 

Both congregations have families who attended McDermott and moved. This is the one time of the year they all get pack together.  Several are kids who participated in Bible Bowl with us prior to moving. 

The weather had been rainy but stayed at a nice low seventies during the day and in the 40's in the evening.  Each day the kids had Bible memory work, theme days, and great hiking in the beautiful mountains.

When we got home from church today I had the text that Abigail a crew had made it home safely. I also turned on the tv and saw Caleb leading the communion lead at Baytown.  You've got to love technology, it's not the same as having them home but it sure makes it easier knowing they are where they're suppose to be!  

On the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible
Genesis 8:5

Saturday, June 3, 2017

She's Off

Today Abigail took off with the group of kids from Brown Trail Church of Christ for Camp Blue Haven in Las Vegas, New Mexico.  It's about a nine hour drive so the kids take a chartered bus making the trip a little more comfortable and a little safer. 

When they get to camp they will meet up with about 200 campers.  Our youth group from McDermott will bring about twenty-five kids. 

It's going to be very quiet around here while she's up on the mountain top! 

The Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain.
So Moses went up  Exodus 19:20

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Hannah's Farewell

Today my girl had to say 'see you later' to another close friend, Hannah.  Hannah and her family are relocating to Colorado to be closer to extended family.  

For the grandparents, Hannah is that friend who has joined us on a hundred PEACH field trips. She and Caleb are a year apart and the kids have done everything together from Drama Club, Speech, to Book Club.  Hannah has a beautifully witty sense of humor and is an amazingly gifted writer.  

After Caleb and Richard left for college, Hannah made sure that Abigail was still included.  Abigail, Hannah and of course Gracie have formed a sweet bond with each other. But beyond the value of kindred spirits has been the lessons these girls have learned in the past two years and the Godly way they have handled themselves.  

Just because we homeschool doesn't mean that we are immune to the 'mean girls' or their 'mean moms'.  Two years ago the girls had to deal with a pair of sisters who were fine with lying to manipulate people, something we quickly realized they had learned from their mom.  These three were the target of the the mean girls lies and gossip.  

The mama-bear in me would have preferred to confront the mom and kids with the lies backed up by witnesses to the truth.  You know, prove the sisters and Mom were liars and make sure everyone else knew how ugly they were being!  But these three young ladies choose to take a higher road.  They knew the truth, the never gossiped, they never set the record straight or put the sisters in their place.  These three choose to let there actions speak to who they were despite the sisters lying lips. 

I'm so proud of how the girls handled all the strife. Time would bear out the truth no matter how many lies that were told.  The mean girls would move on and re-create drama with other kids, bearing out their true character.  

With the dignity and strength these three have grown together and it was a bitter sweet good bye today.  But because their friendship is grounded in His Truth I know they will continue to seek out each other's wisdom and companionship no matter where life takes them. 

Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
Psalm 34:13