Wild Weeks of Summer

Sometimes summer life gets so crazy,
you just long for those boring days of winter.
Did I just say that?
No, I’m not wishing for winter by any means,
just a little less on my agenda
and a little longer summer.

This summer has just been knock-me-out busy!
I am not one that does well with this kind of life,
so after a few weeks of constantly running,
I am getting snappy, as my family can attest to.
Don’t stop in until I’ve had a few days to recuperate.

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Once upon a time, a long time ago,
we manged to hit the beach for a day.
Cousins and friends and all kinds of good fun.

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We stick Madison in her happy corner
any time we are home for a bit.
She is now taking donations for a Kitchen Aid.
I don’t know why she thinks she wants one,
we have a perfectly good Bosch.

Life takes unfair and unexpected twists sometimes
and we got the call one evening that Eric’s uncle had passed away.
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Since we were heading West for this,
we made a pit stop at Mom’s to drop off the kids and help with corn day.
There were 3! Yes 3! trucks beds full of corn.
We thought we would never get done.
500 some bags later we finally did.

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On the way home from MO, in the blazing heat,
something quit on the truck.
Thank you Jesus for Auto Zone and brothers that stop to help!

The day we arrived home,
our future brother-in-law’s Dad passed away.
One’s family should never be left to grieve alone,
so we made plans to head south.
We had a few days at home between trips to smash some things in.
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Such as, tormenting small sisters.

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Hitting the library.

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A Dr visit for some out of control poison ivy!

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The south gave us a warm welcome indeed
after many hours of sitting.

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We may or may not have made more than one a pit stop here
in the 42 hours we were gone.

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And these guys solved the worlds problems
while we drove and stopped and drove and waited,
stopped, drove, stopped and drove.
Suffice to say, until all the traffic jams were conquered on the way home,
the “two round fleshy parts that form the lower rear area of a human trunk”
were quite numb!

Thankfully Grandma was stopping in for the night
and rounded up the tribe before we got home.
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Of course she brings things like chocolate cupcakes for kids.

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She says it was quite good.
I will let her be the judge of that.

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Mom also brought gorgeous flowers from the wedding they attended.
They were begging to be photographed.

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Little One came by for a sniff test.
She said, “Deese smell nummy!”

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So what do her hair remind you of? :)
This morning the horns would have been quite appropriate.

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Late at night, she ate popcorn to put off bedtime.
Of course the entire bag got dumped and I made her sweep it up.
That turned out to be quite a lot of fun she thought,
much more fun than sleeping.

Quote of the day:

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“Oh my word, Mom, look!
A Mommy ice cube is gonna pop out a baby ice cube!”

In the Whirlwind of Life

Roses

Sometimes life feels like a merry-go-round,
the wheel spins and away we go,
whirling around with no way to stop, no way to get off.
We’re along for the ride whether we want to or not.

Scenery flies past our eyes, too many things happening,
swirling together, moving too swiftly.
We hold on tightly, fighting to stay in the game,
but swiftly losing ground.
And then, at what feels like our last second,
we look up.

We look up because up is seemingly
the only thing not spinning in our world.

And when we look,
we see a hand reaching down for ours,
to hold strong, to steady our world,
to calm the storm spinning out of control.
We reach and grasp that hand, clinging tightly.

He grips our outstretched hand and peace returns.
Though the world spins on around us,
a calm reigns,
knowing with our hand tucked in his,
come what may,
He is our steady rock, holding us strong.

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Tonight, especially to those fighting the whirlwind of grief,
may Jesus be your strong tower!

Revving up Memories

Childhood memories …
Are there certain things you see or do that sparks a memory?
Maybe something you eat or hear?
Something triggers in there and you start thinking about
all the fun you had doing that when you were a kid.

One weekend in June we were in Indiana to see the family.
The ladies (and all the kids) were off doing their things,
and the guys (with not a child in sight) were off doing theirs.
No, we’re not bitter or anything but let’s just say
maybe next time they can see how that maxi van rides.

Anyway, getting back on track.
We both arrived home about the same time
and there on the back of their truck was a little dirt bike.

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When we were kids we practically lived on
a dirt bike, 3 wheeler, jeep or something like this.
Someone asked Tris when he learned to ride.
“Um, I don’t know. When I learned to walk!”
That’s about when I was thinking too.
I don’t remember learning to ride a dirt bike
or drive a jeep. They were just part of our life.

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(I may or may not have been begging for the first ride)

Now backing up a bit.
The guys were in town and found
a bike on Craig’s list, looked it up,
combined their cash and bought it.
On the way home they stopped to check out another one
that was leaning against a tree with a “For Sale” sign.
“We don’t have the cash right now, but we’ll be back!”
And they were.

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They came home and dropped off one,
asked Grandma for some cash and were off to buy one more.

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So now 3 guys are part owners of one bike
and Grandma is the proud owner of the 2nd one.

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Sat. afternoon and evening were pretty much a race track.
If you didn’t know how to ride before, you quickly learned.

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There were races on the road and laps around Grandma’s house.

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If you weren’t old enough to learn, you hopped on with someone for a ride.

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Sometimes the little bikes were on overload.

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They made a few rounds and stopped for the next guy to take a turn.

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On Sunday Tyson and his boys brought the two they have.
Now there were four, which meant much less time wasted waiting in line.

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Since I grew up riding, I thought my girls should learn also.
They loved it.
Problem is, now they have a short lists of “needs.”

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That Sunday was Father’s Day.
Since the guys took care of the dishes on Mother’s Day,
the ladies were generous and offered to do them for their day.

The guys looked out the door and almost offered to wash the dishes.
Kids of all sizes were waiting to start the bikes.

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But since it was Father’s day and all,
these guys went out and took the first ride.

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It was just a little bit like watching a circus.

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Madison said, “This is like watching all those little
cars in the parade that go in circles!”

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They stopped to line up for a race.

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There may have been some cheating involved
since the smallest bike was the first one off the line.

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They were kind enough to come back after awhile
and give their kids a push start.

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Eric decided Dakota is quite old enough to learn to ride.
And so he did!

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He was one proud little guy.
Only problem was, he learned on Sunday afternoon,
just a few hours before we were ready to leave for home.
Now it’s not just 2 begging, it’s 3.
(or maybe 4)

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Grandma generally has a nice looking lawn.
After that weekend, it was more of packed yard/race track.
We hope it recovered.

~~~

Dirt bike riding wasn’t the only thing we did that weekend.
It was just the only thing we did after we bought them.

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They had a lot of rain and the creek was just perfect for playing.
We spent hours playing in this creek when we were kids.
Now when we go back, my kids always hope for a little rain
to make the creek just right for a good splash.

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This gang created a body dam to stop the water …

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… from filling these guy’s bathtub.
One of them yelled,
“We don’t need a bath tonight since we took one in here!”

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We also filled up on ice cream that weekend.

Ice cream was pretty much a staple growing up.
We had home made ice cream parties with the cousins.
We ate it before bedtime, for dessert, a snack and just about any time.

When Tim bought an ice cream machine from a restaurant
going out of business, we had it up and running in no time.
Grandma bought every kind of cone, candy and cookie crumble
you can imagine to pile on it and the kids
thought they were in ice cream heaven.

~~~
Suffice to say, a weekend at Grandma’s is never dull.
Lots of memories for the next generation, coming up!

Ez & Edith and girls

Early this Spring, I received a message on Facebook.
“Would you consider doing a special kind of photo shoot?”
After hearing the details, there was no way I could turn it down.

A young family,
two beautiful little girls,
a sweet young Mama
and a Daddy fighting cancer.

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After spending an evening with them,
I haven’t been able to get them off my mind.

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Just watching them, you know they are making every moment count.
I was playing with the girls and taking some photos of them,
I looked over and saw this!

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Whisper a prayer for them.
He’s been in and out of the hospital lately,
and life feels tough, I’m sure.

Of Summer Flying By

I thought it was going to be a lazy summer.
I thought we wouldn’t plan much and just enjoy down time.
I thought we would hit the beach and pool frequently.
I thought … I thought … but it was not to be.
Yet.
I am still planning for it to happen, one of these days,
whenever I catch up around here.
Let me know if you ever catch up and want to go along.

As for life around here …
lots of things are happening.

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There is nothing more pleasing to a boy’s ears,
then the resounding screams of sisters.

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We hosted a celebrity one night for supper.
We still used paper plates and drank chocolate milk.

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We went to Grandma’s house one weekend..
(more on that in another post)
This was early in the morning and she marched out saying,
“I all ready to go to Gamma’s house!”

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There were endless days of swimming classes the last few weeks,
squeezed in between rain showers and a few rays of sunshine.

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This was one morning at class.
Jackets, sweaters and coffee, yes you are seeing right.
It was also 8am!

~~~
Somewhere in the middle of all of this,
I had another birthday!
The age will be undisclosed,
it’s a matter of the age of the mind from here on out.

I was gone for a little that morning and Madison was home.
I figured she was baking a birthday cake
because a few of her questions gave it away.
When I came home, she opened the door.
She was grinning and said,
“Come in and look at your cake!”
I couldn’t believe my eyes to see her laughing when I saw the cake.

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She had been carrying it to the table right before I came home
and somehow, she’s not sure what happened,
it all slid off and landed in a heap on the table.
She had the grace to pile it back on the plate
and laugh about it when she gave it to me.
We put it in a pan, poured the caramel sauce over it
and feasted away! It was delicious.

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We ate on the porch that night and the kids took a bunch of pictures.
Much to my dismay, most of them got deleted.
A lot of them were of a 2 year old howling about eating.
Just making sure Mom enjoyed her birthday.

~~~
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There was the beautiful wedding of an Uncle one Sat.
Lots of fun seeing family!

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Her flowers were gorgeous
and I was privileged to bring one home!

~~~
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There was camping for days over the 4th …
more on that in another post.

~~~

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Do not take a 2 year old to any store with these carts.
They will put everything they see in their cart.
They will be as proud as a peacock as they announce,
“I shopping like you, Mommy!”
When you get to the check out,
they will not accept any help placing items on the belt.
And then they will say,
I need you money, Mommy!”
After that they will not want to leave,
“Let’s get more, Mommy!”

~~~

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Yesterday was, well, just what yesterday’s are.
Not pretty.
We were all a day behind and one would have thought it was Monday.
The mom was overloaded with things to do and stressed.
It was our first day home all day in about 3 weeks
and no one wanted to do anything,
except for reading, watching movies and taking naps.
We managed to survive and today is better.
Or it was so far.
We had stuffed french toast for lunch
and I’m afraid we’re going to be dealing with a sugar rush all afternoon.
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Starting now,
with head stands on the furniture
by the one and only son!
Gotta go.

Blueberry Coffee Cake

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Occasionally the craving for a sweet treat hits
so we go looking for something to bake.
This is a favorite coffee cake of ours from
my sister in law Lisa.
It’s simple, easy to make and so delicious.

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It calls for blueberries,
but we substitute other fruits sometimes.
This time I used wild raspberries that the kids picked.
I’m planning to make it again this week
with some blueberries I have in the refrigerator.

Blueberry Coffee Cake

1/2 C butter- softened
1 C sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
-cream together
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C sour cream
-Mix well.
1-2 C blueberries
add & stir
Put in a greased 9×13 pan.

Topping:
4 TBSP butter – melted
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C flour.
-mix and crumble on top of batter.

Bake @ 350* for 25-30 min.

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Enjoy!

$2 Water

Once upon a time,
a girl set up shop outside the back door.
She carried out her chairs, a board
and many, many other things.
She made her signs, taped them with care,
and then sat down to wait on customers.

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Along came the first customer.
He needed a drink of fresh cold water,
“How much for a cup?” he asked.
“That will be $2.” said she.
“But I don’t have $2.” he countered.
She was quite firm on her price,
“You have a wallet don’t you?
I know you have more than $2 in there.”
“But I don’t want to spend my real money for water!”
“Well, then you don’t get any because I only take real money. I need $2!”

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It was sometime during this exchange
that their mother came upon the scene
and overheard this conversation.
She had a little chat with the seller of water
and convinced her that payment of leaves would work just as well.
A bit disgruntled, she agreed to sell for leaves,
but they must be big ones!

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And so it was that they brought their “money”
and gave to the seller in exchange for a drink.

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These sips of water were ever so much tastier
than water which ones does not need to pay for.

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Checking the size of the money to insure proper payment.
One can never be too careful,
siblings are known to take advantage of you.

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The buying and selling continued peacefully for a time
and many, many sips of water were consumed.

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While accumulating more money I heard,
“Mother, you’ve always said money does not grow on trees.
I have just proved you wrong!”

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The seller of water soon grew weary of her limited selection
and begin to add to her market stand.
You will now find a wide variety of items for sale
just outside the back door,
all for only a few big leaves.