When Family Visits

Once upon a weekend, my family came to visit.
We don’t live that far apart, so we travel West quite a bit, but to have them travel East is newsworthy! Almost everyone came, a few stayed home for various reasons and we missed them.

Of course we missed Tris, we wished for his loud, in charge voice to keep things rolling. We missed him in our late night laughs and hearing him loudly sip early morning coffee. We wondered what he would have done when all the other guys were on the roof because he hated heights. We missed him crashing onto the recliner with a thump. We knew he would have loved our weekend and we pretty much just missed him all the time.

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On Friday we all loaded into an RV and headed North. My Mom’s family lives in Holmes Co and we have spent our entire life visiting there. Our one in-law in particular had never really played “tourist” around there, so we gave the grand tour. It was fun, all packed in together, keeping the kids in line, stopping to see things and people.

By way of the rumor mill, we heard that Wal-mart sells cool Ozark Trail tumblers that are (almost) as good as Yeti. “Hey, we’ll go past Wal-mart, let’s stop and check.”
The guys and I made a mad dash in to see who could find them first and they proceeded to buy half the stock! We then spent the rest of the day complaining that our water was gone and the ice wasn’t melting and we had nothing to drink! Isn’t this what we wanted?

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We met some family for lunch and had a short little catch up session. We needed much more time than we had, but it was good to see them for a bit.

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My Aunt Irene wasn’t able to come to our lunch gathering, so we stopped to see her. It’s a rare occurrence for all of our gang to be together at her house, so rare that I thought it was photo worthy!

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Another stop here and there, to see this and that,
and then a visit with Ruby and her girls finished off our day.
whispers: We were feeling a little bit Amish
with the way we kept stopping to see all our relatives.

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When we are at Mom’s, this guy drives the dirt bike in the front door and out the back. When he is here, he just revs it up and drives right up the steps onto my front porch. I should have made him scrub the black marks off the concrete.

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Grandma spoils her babies!
They say, “Can we watch something?” and before their mom can open her mouth, Grandma says, “Sure, just use my phone!”
They may have been taking a selfie too, her grandkids taught her how to do that.

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These two! They have a love-hate relationship. He teases her, she pretends to hate it, but I think she really loves it. Before they came, we would ask her who was coming and the first person on the list was, “Max’s Dad.”

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Cousins and friends. They can spend hours together coming up with all kinds of things to do and daydream about. If they run out of things to do, they can always read!
We all love to see Katelyn wear her Daddy’s hat!

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Saturday the guys spent most of the day working on the garage.
The ladies… we did what all ladies do. kid care. food prep, fixing and eating. more kid care. talking. coffee drinking. more food and kids and lots of crowd control and clean up!

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A porch pow-wow with the kidders.

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This chunky monkey! He is only 5 months old and growing like crazy!
Other people’s kids always grow faster than mine do!

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We set up the teepee and the gang moved down there. Reagan organized them all and pretty soon she had her camp up and running.

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 Since it was warm and the guys deserved a break, we headed for the beach late afternoon. We had a hard time getting the kiddos out of the water when it was time to leave. Sun, sand and water, add kids and you have a good combo!

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This goober. He buried himself. ugh. I feel all gritty and dirty just thinking about it.
Later that night he wondered why there was sand in his ears?!

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This was the best! He needed help covering his arms so we were scooping sand all over him. He had his eye closed, so he never saw this coming, but here comes Nick with his little offering of sand to finish covering up his Dad!

A good time was had by all. (I think)
If you get to spend time with your family,
let them know how much you appreciate and love them!

“Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life.” » Lisa Weedn












Kids + Teepee

Everyone should have an Aunt Bethany.

Way back when, sometime before Christmas, Aunt Bethany asked Reagan, “So what would you like for Christmas?” Now anyone should know that is a dangerous question to ask a child. The wish list is usually long and daunting. Reagan didn’t need much time to think before she had an answer ready. I’m not sure how she worded it but I heard something to this effect, “i would really like a teepee but I know they cost too much!”

This must have started the wheels turning in Bethany’s mind because pretty soon word of teepee building started circulating among the moms in the family. The kids didn’t know anything was happening, except for the fact that no one was allowed to stop at Grandma’s the last few weeks before our Christmas.

Teepee Christmas

To say the least, Aunt Bethany was suddenly the favorite.

Ours took up residence in the basement. Reagan used it the most of course, imagination running wild while she played. Once it warmed up, I told them it needed to go outside.

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It only took the idea of having the teepee outside to get “Wild Child’s” brain working overtime. She soon had a ‘fire’ started and they were cooking up a meal. She left Little One to tend to things while she was out in the woods gathering roots and flowers.

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Chief Dakota was too lazy go hunt for their meat, he relaxed in the teepee playing with modern toys instead of smoking his pipe.

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Tasting her food before she serves her people,
no sense in poisoning the whole tribe.

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He’s adding ‘fire’ to the wood.

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As you can see around her mouth, she really did taste some of her soup.

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Little One does her share of the work.

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A visitor, “Reads a Lot,” introduced the tribe to modern technology.
A tribal council was convened to decide whether this is acceptable.

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She also introduced them to a newfangled horse,
one that is loud and runs on wheels instead of legs.
The Council is unsure whether she is a good influence or not.

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As you can see, this modern stuff confused Wild One and she was left wondering why her feather quill does not work on this fancy bark that lights up.

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She decided the best of life is out in nature
and modern technology is better left in the house.

As I said before, everyone should have an Aunt Bethany!

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!

Life ‘Round Here

It’s sunny and white out today,
freezing, but at least sunny.
The size of Mt Laundry is daunting.
The dishes are piled high and dirty,
the to-do list is long and endless,
yet here I sit, coffee in hand,
as though I had nothing better to do,
then chat with you.
So chat we will, because that stuff will not run away,
experience has taught me well.

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{Sunrise over the house I grew up in}
Yes, I said sunrise.
My small one would never allow me to sleep in,
especially not at Grandma’s house.

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We made a quick trip to Indiana over the weekend to welcome
the parents back from their trip to Haiti.

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It was a good, full weekend.
The best of times and conversations always happen around the table.
With this gang, the conversation is always stellar.
And loud, did I mention loud?
Occasionally we fuss about the men and their phones,
how they always pull them out to check this or that.
That night they weren’t on their phones,
the conversation was hopping.
It got so loud, the threat was mentioned that we might need to make them
take a minute, pull out their phone and read an update of some kind. 🙂
Good times. Love these people.


We have spent lots of days at home the last while.
I am totally fine with that most days.
Dragging kids out on a cold day is just not for me.
Other days all I want is
sunshine and flip flops and a beach!
I will survive.

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“Mom, you won’t believe this.
I just seen a parrot at the bird feeder.
It was a real parrot too.
A for real big parrot.”

You are right son, I don’t believe it.

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“Kennedy, put that back!”
“Kennedy! You can NOT say no to Koda!”

Hmmm, I think he may have heard that from someone else.

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Little feet. Little hands.
Oh, the places they go and the things they do.
You would not believe what they are capable of.

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People tell me I will miss this.
Some days I wonder how.
People say they don’t like to be alone.
Some days that’s all I want.
But I love them, I really do.

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This day, one that I didn’t love was the dog.
Oh, I was so mad at him.
I sent nasty texts to Eric about that dog, I tell you, I was mad.
Dakota went out to play and the dog was crazy wild.
He knocked D over and buried his face in the snow multiple times.
Finally D decided to swing to get away from him.
This was the results. ^^
Samson the huge dog,
knocked him off the swing and Dakota’s boot was stuck.
D was laughing for awhile, then ended up crying.
I ran out to get him loose and since Sam ran over to greet me,
I took the time to take a picture when he went back to lick D’s face.
And so for this reason I advertise a free dog,
(and for many reasons I won’t tell you.)
Come and get him during the night because for some reason,
these kids still love him even when they don’t like him!


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On Tuesday night we had Ladies Night Out at church.
We do this occasionally here,
(but not enough in my opinion.)
It’s a fun night for ladies and girls,
always something different planned,
always full of food and fun.

This time we had Game Night.
Everyone brought appetizers and games.
We had lots of good food and fun games to play.
It was simple, but I think everyone had a good time.

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If you don’t do this with your ladies,
plan one, they will like it.
A night out away from the littles,
good chats and laughs with other women,
and who doesn’t like good food!

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The next day you will be back with your littles,
and you will be able to smile at messy faces and hands
because your mind had a break last night
and was refreshed by friends!

I just noticed it’s too quiet around here.
That means something is happening somewhere.

The Winner

What an interesting week it’s been.
All week the comments have kept trickling in
5-6 at a time to start with,
then it slowed to 1-2 a day.
This morning at 5:20am the last one was written
before I closed it.

So many good ideas!
I don’t know if I’ll ever work through the whole
list and get all of them done.
I will be doing a post shortly,
compiling all them together to make it easier
for you to read through and find an idea to do.

I listed everyone’s name on my paper
and numbered them from 1-99!
We needed just 1 more.
My husband offered to leave a comment to even things out.
I asked if he knew I would be keeping the gift if I drew his name. 🙂
He didn’t comment, if you were wondering.

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I used Random Number Generator to pick a number
and it chose number 42!

Trish Hostetler

Congratulations Trish.

Her comment was:
Send a card just to say hi & I love you, praying for you, etc … probly cuz I love getting cards, so it’s what I relate to.

P.S. I love this idea – to encourage each other to reach out n bless others. I may just steal it for my SRC site giveaway sometime.

SRC stands for Stoney Ridge Candles.
Follow this link to her Facebook site.
(and buy something, they are wonderful)

Trish and I are related by marrying into the same family.
She is wonderful lady with a big heart for people.
There is no doubt she deserves to win this,
knowing her and all she does for others.

Congratulations again and hope you enjoy it Trish!

The Beauty of Fall

What happened to Fall?
Wasn’t it just yesterday it was 65* out?
It was a blustery 25* this morning.
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We did have a beautiful Fall this year.
I wanted to stop all the time while I was driving to take photos.
Once upon a time I stopped so long I had a buggy catch up with me.

The kids love this time of the year too.
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Every year when it starts cooling off, they ask about a leaf pile.
Playing in the leaf pile is one of the top actives of Fall,
who care about the pretty leaves.
This year one even went out to play in it with her pajamas on.
I know, I know. We need help.
Madison was less the amused with their antics and hid
under her green “tarp” with the Little One.

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Little One hated the leaf pile.
Cried and fussed every time her feet hit the ground.
They solved the problem by putting her into this little wagon.
As long as the dog stayed away, all was well.

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The pajama girl got hot and went to change.
Madison was still trying to protect her hair at this point.
Mr D is in there trying to dig an igloo. Wrong season buddy.

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The long version of this would be called
“Tackle Madison and stuff leaves all over her.”
I think she gave up staying clean after this.

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2 little happies! Love to see them play together.

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When the igloo of leaves failed, he took up swimming in them.
This was a running dive with the dog bounding in behind.

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And they all yelled, “Happy Fall.”
This was only the first time blowing leaves.
It takes quite a few times here in the woods to collect them all.

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In the middle of this beauty is the spot we call home.
Our road, I know, such lovely patching they do here.

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When we pull into the lane, Little One starts saying, “Home, home.”


My question of the day I have been pondering the last while.

Why do I want my prayers to be answered?

For my benefit?

Or to bring glory to God?

What are your thoughts?

Because We Can

Do you ever want to do things,
just because you can?
Just for fun.
For no reason but to amuse yourself or someone else.
You don’t need a reason.
You have today to do it, why not?

Your children are only this age once.
Enjoy them. Tomorrow they will roll their eyes at you!

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What did you do with them today
that they will remember later?

(anyone see the ball of bread dough?)

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Our amusement for today was sitting on the living room floor,
eating ice cream out of the bowl, sharing one spoon,
just because we wanted to.

(dough boy/ball is now a pancake)

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We propped up the camera, set the timer
then watched and counted the blinks while we ate.
Just because it was fun.

(dough boy pancake on the move)

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He got the biggest charge out of running to push the button
and hurrying back to watch it blink.

(dough boy holding still, afraid of being squashed again)

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And even funnier was when he pushed the button and we weren’t ready.
You should have heard him laugh.
It was a great 5 year old belly laugh!

(I heard the dough boy hoarsely whisper his fear of that thunder thigh)

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Next he wanted to hold the camera and push the button.
“Now Mom, just lean over a little bit so I can see you in the picture too.”

blog 11-5-14 (7)“Oh, I didn’t know I missed your head.”
And he laughed again.

(squashed dough boy is sneaking for the couch of safety)

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It was then he realized that all the time he’s been pushing the button,
Mom is eating ice cream and if he wants any
he better take it from her or there will be none left.

So was the end of the ice cream eating party.
Now my coffee is ready
while my bread bakes
and the house smells great.
just because i can.

Do something today, just because you can!