Thursday, December 1, 2011


The last few years, I've done a daily Thankful post on Facebook for the month of November.  I have so much to be thankful for and am truly blessed in my life.  I feel like all too often, we get caught up with life and sometimes what we don't have, and forget to focus on what we do have.  I tried to post something each day (though I missed some because I'm seldom on the computer on a weekend) that I was thankful for, some days I posted two.  Some of those things were serious, some were funny, some were weird.  Here is the list, copied from Facebook:

Today I'm thankful for chocolate.

Today I'm thankful that after almost 15 yrs together, and lots of ups and downs, I still love Andy like crazy.

I'm thankful that not all of my dreams come true--last night's was strange, irritating, and quite frankly, it pissed me off.

I'm thankful that I am the mom to 3 beautiful, intelligent, funny, exasperating, dramatic, loving, crazy girls. I love you bigger than the universe, Alayna, Lilly and Mikayla!

Today I'm thankful for craft fairs and time with friends.

I'm thankful for all 4 of my wonderful, loving Grandparents. 3 of them have gone on to a better place, and one remains here on earth. However, today I'm especially thinking of my Grampa L. It's very fitting that today we celebrate All Saints Sunday on the first birthday we will have without him. Happy Birthday, Grampa!

Today, I'm thankful that I don't forget my contacts in my eyes every night! I totally forgot about them last night and woke up with itchy, red, goopy eyes and had to literally peel them off my eyeballs this morning! Ack!

I'm thankful for music. I love just about every kind, and listen to a wide variety on a regular basis. I've always got something playing or in my head. It plain makes me happy

I'm thankful my dishwasher at least gets the dishes clean, because it sure isn't "QuietGuard" like it says it should be. It's only 3 yrs old and SO loud.

I'm thankful for great friends and lasting friendships.

I'm thankful for my freedom and for those who fight, or have fought, to maintain those freedoms.

I’m thankful for my parents.  Thank you, Mom, for asking me if you could have the kids tonight. They will have a blast, and I REALLY needed a date night to get my mind off of a stressful week.

I'm thankful for fun socks. I can be having a crappy day or wearing the most blah outfit, but having colorful, funky socks just makes it all better.

I'm thankful I'm seldom sick (our whole family, actually). Last night was tough with my body aches and sore throat. :-(

Today, I'm thankful for 9-0!!!

I'm thankful my dishwasher is fixed and QUIET again! Woohoo! Had a local repairman come.

I'm thankful for a sturdy, warm house as we head into the winter months. I realize many are not so lucky.

I'm thankful for great books and movies that I can escape into. shall be Breaking Dawn. :-)

Thankful for naps.

I'm thankful for our local dairy co-op! Just a few miles down the road, I can buy all my milk, cheese and butter, knowing that it comes from local farmers. And the cheese is PHENOMENAL

I'm thankful for our little country church and all who worship there. We truly are like a big family.

I'm thankful for traditions.

I'm thankful for our wonderful pets, who bring us such joy--Sunny and Marley (dogs); Coonie, Sid, Mulan and Sleeping Beauty (aka Squirrel--all outdoor cats); and Belle, Chief, Bingo and Chloe (horses).

I'm thankful for warm, fuzzy jammies...and so are my kids! They had pajama day at school yesterday and thought it was the best thing ever!

I'm thankful for a day to slow down and reflect on all the blessings in our lives. As an aside, I'm also thankful that Urgent Care is open today--Mikayla's been up since 3 with an ear infection. I'm going on 4 hrs awake already at 7am...

I'm thankful for a great day with great friends.

I'm thankful for such a fun, busy, great weekend that I had no time to update my status!

I'm thankful my headache is gone, after about 20 hrs of it's wonderful presence.

I'm thankful for the elderly couple up the road, who every year put out a great lighting display for Christmas. My girls just LOVE going by there several times a week to look at the lights. I just made them a card to thank them for the lights and let them know how much we appreciate it! Now, we're going to drive by the house and get their address so I can send it (and hope the post office will give me their last name, so I can address it properly. We don't know them at all!)

Monday, November 7, 2011


 October was one of those months that felt like I went to bed on Monday and woke up on Friday.  We were so busy the entire month that it was hard to keep track of the days.  A lot of things happened, a lot of time passed.  And I was going to try to keep up with the blog better.  Ugh.  Oh well, here is a photo recap of the month.

 Lilly turned 7 on the 7th, which means it was her golden birthday!   She had 7 friends over for a party that included lots of outside play, a horse pinata, supper and cake.  They all had a blast!  (Marley also celebrated a birthday in Oct and it was her golden birthday, too!  3 on the 3rd!)
Lilly lost her first tooth on the top--literally lost it!  She doesn't like to pull her own teeth and will get them super loose, then have Dad pull them.  Unfortunately, he tied it with floss and when he made the knot tight to sever the last bit of whatever holding the tooth in, the tooth flew across the room!  Oops!  That was Friday and when we got to church Sunday, her best friend had lost the same tooth the night before!

 Alayna got an award through 4H for being the junior beef showmanship champion for the county.  She accepted the award in front of an auditorium of people and also has her name engraved on a plaque that hangs in the county 4H office.

 Alayna also got her braces off!  :-)

They girls didn't have school for a Wed-Fri in October, so we went on a mini-vacation to get some quality family time that had been lacking with all the busy-ness of the last several weeks.  We headed out Thursday morning for drive up to Ashland and around to Superior, where we stayed for the night.  We met up with our friends in Duluth for a visit to Enger Park and dinner.  Friday morning we woke up early to drive to Ely, MN, in the hopes of seeing a moose.  We didn't see one, but we still had a lot of fun driving around, checking out the shops, and playing at the park.  When we got back to Duluth, we did some shopping and then went swimming at the hotel.  Saturday morning my friend met us at the hotel with coffee for a visit, and we headed home late morning.  It was so nice to get some great family time!

The last weekend of October, we finally got our project day in!  We re-shingled our roof, put concrete in the barn, replaced my cracked picture window and cut down a tree in the yard that leaned toward the house.  It was so great to have everyone here, helping out and volunteering their time.  Thank you to everyone!

Of course, we ended the month with Halloween.  I don't know what's up with the picture, but I can't change it now.  Ugh.  Anyway, Mikayla was Belle, Lilly was Jasmine and Alayna was a punk-rocker.  The girls had a lot of fun and got WAY too much candy, but that's okay.  They already have plans for next year.  :-)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Girls Only!

Thanks to all the storms this summer and it being a normal fall, Daddy is now busy every weekend for about 2 months.  He's either shingling houses, doing farm work or putting up grain bins.  *sigh*  The girls and I just keep holding on, trying to find fun things to do and hoping Daddy will be done early on Sundays (which most Sundays he's been home around noon).  A few weeks ago, we decided to head to Duluth for the day.  I'm so glad that we did!

It was such a fun, beautiful day.  Duluth is usually cool, since it sits on the SW corner of Lake Superior, but it was in the 70s that day!  We have a family pass to the Minnesota Zoo, and it gives us reciprocity to the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth.  We started the day there, looking at all the fun animals and walking around the grounds, which include a great little hiking trail to a river and waterfall!

After the zoo, we ate our picnic lunch in the park next door.  The girls had a good time playing on the playground equipment once done eating, and I was attempting to keep my cool with all the seagulls that were invading my territory, hoping for some leftovers from our lunch.  I don't do well with wild birds that get too close.

When we were done playing, we headed to Enger Park.  Duluth is right on Lake Superior, and part of the city is at lake level while the rest rises above the city on a huge hill.  Enger Park is at the top of the hill and has a tall observation tower that you can climb.  At the top of the hill you can see for miles, but from the top of the tower it seems like you can see for days!  It's always a favorite place to visit in Duluth.  When we were there, there was one wedding party just leaving in limos, another was just arriving, and another party was taking pics overlooking the city.  The girls thought that was pretty cool to see all the brides and bridesmaids in their pretty dresses!

View from atop the tower (zoomed in quite a bit)

 View from the cliffs the tower is on (zoomed in quite a bit)

We were going to go into Canal Park, but I had checked with a friend and there weren't any ships coming into or leaving port for quite awhile.  So we just decided to head home.  We stopped for ice cream on the way home and then sang silly songs the majority of the drive home.  It was a great Girls Only day!

Our Youngest, Biggest Baby!

My youngest, biggest baby turns 3 today!  Marley has been such a wonderful dog.  I had wanted a Great Dane since I was about 10, so when Andy and the girls surprised me with tiny, itty bitty Marley almost 3 years ago, I was over the moon!  I am so in love with this dog.  She is gentle, she's fun, she's well behaved, she loves to play, she is protective of her family, she's smart as a whip, she's pretty...she also leaves piles in the yard the size of my foot, has some separation anxiety from me if I leave her too much (read--chews toilet paper) and drools all over right after she's been eating or drinking.  But we love her and life wouldn't be the same without her!  Happy (golden) Birthday, Marley!!  We love you!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rain and Bows

Mikayla is still having quite a bit of storm anxiety.  She is especially worried if it gets really windy or rains.  However, I think we've hit a turning point.  All summer since the accident, she's been terrified of storms.  She cries, shakes, goes pale, almost hyper's extremely heart breaking as her parents, for us to not be able to help her and have to see her like that.  We have been teaching her to take deep breaths, snuggle a special blanket or toy (or person), say a prayer asking for help to get through the storm.  It seems to work sometimes, not so much other times.

While camping Labor Day weekend, a quick "storm" blew up on Sunday afternoon.  We were outside and could see the entire cloud, surrounded by sunlight.  It would be here and gone within 10 minutes.  As adults, we knew that.  But we couldn't explain that to Mikayla.  As the first raindrops started to fall, she started crying and ran to the camper.  I was just coming out after preparing dinner and I talked her into sitting under the canopy with everyone else.  She was scared, but she agreed.  We sat there while it rained for about 10 minutes--no wind, no thunder, no lightning.  The whole time, we made a big deal out of how brave she was being and how it was almost over.  Then, the rain stopped and this showed up:

It was perfect!  We could see the entire rainbow, plus the majority of a lighter, double rainbow above it.  Most of us had never seen such a bright rainbow, with colors so vivid we could even make out the purple!  Mikayla was convinced the rainbow was just for her, for being so brave.  We told her that rainbows only come out after the rain, and that there was no other way they could be in the sky.  Only after rain can they shine like that.  It was just what she needed!  Now we hope that the memory remains for the next storm--we haven't had rain in over a week, which for this summer is just a crazy long amount of time.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

School's Cool

The girls have started school and for the first time ever, all 3 of my girls are in school on a regular basis.  Alayna and Lilly go every day, obviously, but Mikayla goes on the "days that start with T".  So far, they are all loving their classes and teachers.  Each day, they come home full of stories about things they've learned or friends they've made.  They love showing off their projects, especially Mikayla--everything is so new to her. 

For me, it's an adjustment.  It always seems so quiet and lonely with the girls gone back to school after a summer full of their giggles, stories and attitude.  But I've never been away from Mikayla on a regular basis like this.  I know I'll survive, I did with the older girls, but the fact that she's my baby does weigh a little heavier.  But she is so ready.  She has been wanting to go to school for years.  She knows her letters and her colors and shapes.  She can write her name.  She's ready, so I have to be, too.  (thankfully I have my daycare kiddos to keep me busy during the day!)

 Alayna is in 5th grade, Lilly in 1st and Mikayla in pre-Kindergarten (4K)

Mikayla got a little excited when she saw the bus (she's jumping and screaming) 

Waiting for the bus--it drives by, turns around and comes back so they don't have to cross the road 

Mikayla is on her way to her first ever day of school!

It's September...the start of my favorite time of year!

It's September, which is the start of my favorite time of year:  Fall.  Autumn.  Whatever you call the glorious season between summer and winter.  This is my time.  I love the colors, the smells, the temperatures, the sports, the activities...I love it all.  There is nothing better than jeans, a sweatshirt, shoes or boots and a bonfire or football game or horseback ride through colored trees.  I LOVE this time of year.  Apples, pumpkins, corn, scarecrows, school...

HELLO FALL!!!  I've missed you!

Monday, August 15, 2011


I have been very fortunate in my life to have known not only all 4 of my grandparents (all into adulthood, no less) but also my Great-Gramma.  I know several people who have never known a grandparent, or maybe only 1 or 2 for a short time.  My life has been so full of family and love from day one.  Unfortunately, as time goes on, people get older.  My Great-Gramma passed away when I was about 10, dad's mom passed away in fall of 2001 and my mom's dad passed away in early 2005. Now, my dad's dad has also passed away.

Grampa and I have always had a great relationship.  As a child, I remember anxiously waiting for him to get home from work at the saw-mill when Gramma would watch us so he would play with us.  There were always puzzles to work on their huge dinning room table.  Grampa would always have a smile and a playful joke or story to tell us.  When we would go to Great-Gramma's house, Grampa and I would "race" eachother on the sidewalk in front of her house--me about 6-10 yrs old and Grampa in his late 50s.  He was always one of the biggest men I knew, he seemed so tall and commanding.  When I was older, he'd always ask about school, or my horse, or my job.  Once I had the girls, he was quickly one of their favorite people.  They loved seeing Great Grampa, who would always greet them with a big smile, a huge hug and listen intently when they told him all the random things that kids do.  At his 80th birthday party just last year, he was running with the girls in the church basement, as they pretended that the nursery was full of spiders, bats and dinosaurs.  He lived on his own until just a few short weeks ago.  He's always been so strong and healthy and lively.

And now he's gone.  Grampa battled cancer early this year and we all thought he'd beat it, though we were apparently wrong.  The cancer resurfaced in July and he lost his battle yesterday.

Grampa--We love you and will miss you dearly, but we know that you are back with Gramma.  Just like I know Gramma is always with us, I know you will be too.  And when I smell woodsmoke or sawdust, I will forever think of you.  Thank you for all the years, memories and love.

Monday, August 8, 2011


I'm not sure which fore/four/for is used in golf, but we're going to pretend it's FORE because that's what I want to use because we went golfing!

This past week has been a very long one.  Andy worked 10-12 hours each day, not including his 1.5 hr commute each way, and 6 hours on Saturday.  I had extra daycare kids because my very good friend Karla had her baby, so I watched our friend's girls that Karla also watches.  We had late evenings and early mornings with extra kids and no Daddy.  Our family was in some desperate need for family time.

We started the day yesterday with church.  Not only was it great to see our new pastor in action, but the lessons and sermon were all about storms and how God is with us through them and will always be there for us.  Yeah, we needed that.  Mikayla was very talkative during the Children's sermon, relating how we need the rain for plants to grow, not all storms are bad, the lightning makes the grass green and the thunder is God bowling and/or telling us he's there.  Oh yeah, she's been listening to us while we try to calm her and her recent storm anxiety.

After church we came home to nap, clean and hang out to watch the Brewers game.  Then we brought the rest of our calves (8 of them) over to Andy's parent's house so we can make some improvements to the barn and hopefully get it cleaned and dried out (darn rain, again!).  When we got home, we headed in to town for dinner and mini-golfing!

We had a lot of fun.  Mikayla was starting to get the hang of it after the first few holes--it was hard for her to see us stand one way and then have it feel uncomfortable for her to stand the same way.  Andy and I are both right handed and Mikayla is left, but we tried our best to help her and by the end of the evening she was able to hit the ball pretty well.  It wasn't pretty, but it worked.  Alayna and Lilly had a great time golfing and were old pros--Alayna even got a hole in one!  After we were done, we had dinner at Dairy Queen, one of the girls' favorite places on earth!  It was a great, low-key day that we all needed to recharge for this week.

It's another girl!

One of my closest and oldest friends, Karla, recently had her third baby--a little girl they named Lydia.  She is just cute enough to eat and has those adorably smooshy baby cheeks you just want to kiss all day.  When we went to visit in the hospital, we were all shocked to see this baby who in the face looked so much like her older sisters, but had long, jet-black hair!  Both older sisters were almost bald for quite awhile (into the second year for the middle one!) and they have almost white-blond hair!  Lydia looks like such a contrast but I just love it and her.  I am so excited for their family and the new addition!

Congratulations Karla and family!  Lydia is just perfect in every way!

Monday, August 1, 2011

4H, Fair and Fun

This past week/end was our county fair.  It's something that we all look forward to each year.  The girls do projects and work with their animals, us adults help them and get things like decorations for the barn ready This year our house was command central for new barn decorations for 4 nights before we were finished with the new decs--red lattice cut and framed with white boards and a wooden 4-leaf clover on each panel.  They were a lot of work but looked great!  And I neglected to get a picture.  :-(  Anyway, it's a lot of work for everyone, but we all love the fair and it's so worth it.

ALAYNA took a lot of projects this year.  She didn't get her photography done, but she made a pillow, bulletin board, jewelry (bracelet and matching earrings) knit a scarf, made chocolate chip cookies.  She also showed 3 calves and her horse.  Alayna was a busy girl, but she did a great job and we're so proud of her!

 Judging her blue ribbon cookies

 her blue ribbon jewelry

 Alayna and Chloe--they got 1st blue and a trophy in Showmanship, 1 red and 1 white

Judging her pillow (red), bulletin board (blue) and knitting (white) 

Alayna showing her beef cross bred steer calf, Doof (blue in fitting and grooming, red in finishing, and first blue and trophy in showmanship--my camera died so I don't have pics of this but others took lots of pics for me!) ((I don't know why this is on it's side and not rotating...grrr)) 

Showing Ferb, her jersey steer calf (1st red) 

Showing her cross bred heifer calf, Isabella (against another in our club--she got 2nd blue)

LILLY is a Cloverbud, which means that she's a junior 4H member.  (The youngest 4H kids are Cloverbuds from K-2 grade.  They have a set catalog of projects they can do for their age but cannot show animals.  They get participation ribbons but aren't actually judged and don't get premiums.  The summer after 3 grade they are an Explorer, which means they can bring a few more projects and 1 animal exhibit.  Explorers are judged, but not as strictly as older ages, and they can get premiums, though they have a set project catalog as well.  After 4 grade, they are a full 4H member and can bring up to 23 projects total.)  She brought a plate of 3 cookies, 2 key chains she made in the arts and crafts division, and a drawing of an International tractor in a corn field.  She did so well with her little interview from the "judge" asking her about her projects.  We all had to laugh when the judge asked how she knew when the cookies were done and Lilly responded, "When it dings."  She also showed Alayna's calf, Doof, for Little Britches.  Little Britches is for kids too young to show an animal, so they can show an animal by leading them in the arena and answering questions about the animal to a judge.  They ask things like how old the animal is, what it eats, etc.  The kids all get a participation ribbon and a free root beer float at a stand on the fairgrounds.

MIKAYLA isn't in school yet, so she's not able to bring projects to the fair.  However, she is able to show in Little Britches, so she showed Alayna's heifer, Isabella.  She was so excited to show and did a great job.  She had all her information down perfectly and was very confident in answering her questions and leading the calf.  Even when Isabella got a little stubborn, Mikayla threw her entire 37 lbs into it and got her going again.

It was a great fair.  We are all exhausted, but it was a very busy week.  We were at the fair from Wednesday afternoon to Sunday evening, with each day in the 80/90s and high humidity.  We had some storms on Saturday, including a particularly fast forming one in the morning that took us all by surprise and was horrible for Mikayla, but we all survived.  It was her worst reaction yet and since we were in the barn, almost our entire beef/dairy crew from our club witnessed it.  Needless to say, few people adult and kid alike had dry eyes.  It broke my heart and we're praying that this stormy summer is soon over and the time winter affords us helps her to forget and get over her fears.  But besides that moment, it was a very fun and successful fair for the whole family!  Oh, and we bought a new camper last Friday and it was GREAT!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

So Much

I seem to be getting into the habit of not posting for awhile, then writing a catch-up post and posting consistently for about a month, then falling out of posting again.  Rinse, repeat.  I hate that it's been happening but some days I am just so busy.  Other days, I just honestly don't feel like doing anything with the blog.  Other days, like most this recent dry spell, I just don't feel like hashing everything out.   But here goes--here's a recap of the good, bad and ugly that has happened since my last post.  There is just so much.

*In May we had a hail storm that totalled Andy's car, almost totalled the Durango and camper, caused damage to the truck and resulted in us needing a new roof on the house/garage and our shed. 

*2 days after buying Andy's car back from the insurance company, something in the transmission broke.  We decided that at just over 300,000 miles, it was time to just let Rhonda the Honda go.  We retired the old girl and bought a new commuter car for Andy.  Then only a week later, the Durango (which we were only driving sporadically anyway) started having some issues in the rear-end.  Sigh.

*School ended for the girls and we started our summer non-routine of storytime, extra kids, sleeping in, playdates, softball games, 4H functions...

*Alayna attended a week of horse camp through 4H at the fairgrounds.  I went along as an additional adult to help with classes, workshops, food prep...basically whatever was needed.  Alayna and Chloe worked well together and had a great time.  The only downfall was literal--Chloe tripped while Alayna was working with her in the arena and they both went down.  Thankfully, they were okay and got right back up, Alayna got right back on, and they finished their lesson.

*We participated with a group of our friends and their kids in the Kiddie Parade for the local town festival.  The kids got second or third (I honestly don't seems eons ago) for their entry.  All the kids (22 of them from 9 moms!) were dressed as various farm animals, with strollers and wagons for the younger kids decorated as a barn, tractor, field, etc.  It was so much fun for everyone involved!

*We went to Milwaukee with our good friends for a weekend in late June.  We were just 40 miles from the city when we hit a ridge in the road from construction and broke a motor mount...on Andy's new-to-us car.  The next morning we discussed what to do.  We still had some of our insurance money, since the Durango wasn't worth fixing and Andy could re-roof the house himself, and we'd talked about buying a new SUV this fall or coming spring.  We decided to look for a new vehicle and if we found one, great.  If not, we'd get a rental to drive home since our car wouldn't be ready until Tuesday.  We got a great deal on an Expedition, a steal really for the shape/year/mileage (perfect condition, 2004, 80K miles) and drove that home.  Our friends were staying until Tuesday anyway and drove the car home with them.

*While in Milwaukee, we went to the Brewers and Twins game.  They are our 2 favorite teams, one being NL and the other AL.  The only time we don't cheer for the Twins is if they are playing the Brewers, our overall #1 baseball team.  The Brewers whomped the Twins!

*July 1 we were heading out to go camping for Fourth of July weekend.  We left the house at 7, after a severe  thunderstorm warning had expired by 30 mins and not left a drop of rain (it went north of us) or any wind at our house.  We got only 3 miles from home when we saw a wall cloud, and the wind went from nothing to breaking trees.  We got to a T intersection and turned around to head back home, since we knew we were at the front of the storm.  We went about a mile back towards home before the wind caught up to us again.  We attempted to make it to our neighbor's parents' house but the wind actually caught our camper and blew it over while we were driving, pulling the truck over with it.  It was the most awful thing ever, hearing the girls scream like that.  But thank God, we were all buckled up and safe--not a scratch on us.  The dogs were in the back of the truck and were okay, too.  After we waited out the worst of the wind still in the truck, Andy then pulled us all out straight up through the driver's window and we ran to a house across the field.  The next 2 days were spent going through and cleaning up our camper, now with only 1 wall standing.  Obviously, insurance totalled the camper and truck.  Ironically enough, our lawn-mower trailer was hooked to our camper and that never moved--it was on it's wheels and the straps never loosened, the mowers never moved an inch on that trailer.  100+ mph straight line winds swept through the area without any warning, causing severe damage to homes, trees, buildings, and taking the lives of 2 people.  A picture of our truck and camper on their sides was the top picture on the front page of the newspaper that covers our 2 area counties that week.  We never wanted to be on the front page for something like that.

*In the midst of everything, Andy and I celebrated our 30th birthdays.  To us, turning 30 wasn't a big deal like it is to some people.  We didn't have panic attacks or go out and do something that could be construed as an early mid-life crisis.  We just celebrated them low-key and moved on with life.

*Alayna and Lilly have been busy getting things ready for the county fair, which is coming up very quickly.  The are both bringing calves and cookies.  Lilly is also doing a report/poster on birds and a drawing.  Alayna is adding her horse, jewelry, photography, knitting, a pillow, and a bulletin board to her cookies and calves.  It is Alayna's first year as a full 4H member, so she can bring and do a lot more than Lilly, who is a Cloverbud, or junior 4H member.

*We've been dealing with some major storm anxiety with Mikayla.  She's now realized that the little box on the bottom of the tv screen means that somewhere near us, there is severe weather.  She is terrified of storms, where before she liked them, and will shake, break out in a cold sweat and sob if she thinks there is going to be one.  We have been working through it with her and she was getting better, but the other night we were at Andy's parents' house and there was a tornado warning, so we had to seek shelter.  That started her fears again and now she doesn't want to leave the house in the evening, convinced that it means it will storm if we leave.   It's heart-breaking to see her like that.

*The storm that triggered the tornado warning while we were at my in-laws' house caused one of their big pine trees to fall over.  It also produced lightning that hit a different tree in their pasture and killed 9 cattle (5 cows, 2 heifers and 2 calves) who were seeking shelter and shade under the tree.  So sad.

*Alayna is coming home tomorrow from a week at Bible camp with her best friend.  They were so excited to spend the week together, and I can't wait to hear all about it!  We've missed her so much!

*This past week has been the hottest week in a very long time in our area.  Our actual air temps were above 95 for 6 days in a row, with dew points in the 70s and 80s causing 110+ heat indexes.  We broke records for the highest recorded dew point and heat index.  I loathe heat and humidity.

So that's the quick but not so quick recap of everything that's been going on.  Of course, in the middle of it all, I'm still doing daycare, Andy's still working, we're still running here and there for everything under the sun.  Needless to say, I'm done with this summer.  I've had enough and just need things to settle down, cool down and be plain and boring for awhile.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Camping Kick-off 2011

This past weekend was our first camping weekend of 2011, and our first camping weekend with our new camper!  We were all so excited to get out there and play, relax, hang out...just have fun.  I was especially excited to be able to pack as the week went, slowing bringing things out to the camper and putting them in their place vs the huge pile that would sit in my living room, then be crammed around people, pets and lawnmowers to get to where we were going.

This Memorial Day weekend, we didn't go to our normal spot because Andy's cousin Bob had to work.  So all the usuals headed to his other cousin Chris's land to camp.  We laughed, we ate, we played, we rode mowers, we got rained on, we missed Bob and Shannon, we rode the was a great weekend.  And that camper lived up to it's promise!  I loved having a place for everything and plenty of room for us and our stuff.

The only time I remembered to take my camera out of the camper?  When we all were taking turns on the zip-line that Chris, Will, Andy and Kurt put up in the woods.  The kids had so much fun playing on it and flying from one end to the other (and maybe us adults did, too...)


Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day set aside to honor the men and women who have sacrificed their time and their lives to keep all of America safe.  I know I couldn't do it, so I am every thankful to those who do--not only the soldiers, but their family and friends, who sacrifice their time with their loved one in order for us to be safe.

To everyone out there who has given of their time, talents, family, friends for our freedom....

THANK YOU!  From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Day All About ME! (and all the other Moms out there)

I had a wonderful Mother's Day this year!  I've been meaning to post these pics for awhile, but honestly I forgot until my friend Lexey posted on her blog (thanks Lex!).  I posted earlier about how I was woken to Sunny and her run-in with some fishing lures, but nothing about my great gifts and love!  Alayna was trying to surprise me with breakfast in bed, but we didn't have enough milk for pancakes and only 1 egg (yeah...I needed to grocery shop)  Instead, we all had toast with peanut butter and raspberry jelly or cereal, and I opened my wonderful, thoughtful gifts from the girls.  They are truly the best kids I could have asked for to make me a Mommy.  Every day I am so thankful for having them in my life!

This first series of photos is from a book Lilly made for me at school.  She also made the handprint plaque.  Then it's a card that Alayna made, with coupons for me to redeem.  I didn't take a pic of my other gift, but it's the entire series of Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman on DVD, including the 2 movies they made.  I have loved that show since it was on TV and watch re-runs on GMC all the time.  The girls have really gotten into watching it with me, so we're going to start from episode 1 and watch in sequence all the way to the end.




(Anyone want to teach me how to do those cool collages that I see on other blogs?  I didn't want to do them all in a row because that would be forever long...)

Lilly's Book reads: Happy Mother's Day.  My mom is the most wonderful mom in the word!  Her name is Candy.  She's pretty as a prinses.  She is 29 years old.  She weighs 90 pounds and is 30 tall.  She has blue eyes and brown hair.  Her favorite food is guockamoly.  In the good old days when she was little, she used to rid hoersis.  I think Mom is funny when she goes cross eyed.  But I know she's really angry when I don't lisin.  I wouldn't trade my Mom for lots of candy.  I love my Mom because I love her and she loves me.  Happy Mother's Day, Mom!  Love, Lilly.  (She also made me a card that says To: Mommy from: Lilly.  I love you a lot!  Happy Mothers Day!  And you are the best mom in the world!  But it won't post pics of that for some reason)

Alayna's card reads: Happy Mother's Day.  You are the best mom in the world.  Love: Alayna  This flower coupon is good for: cleaning the living room, a daughter/mom movie night, and breakfast in bed.