Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Skating Party

Tonight was the night!
The all school skating party at the skating rink in Warsaw.
This is THE BIG DEAL at school! Who's gonna ride the bus? Who is the boy/girl you're gonna sit beside on the bus? (My children DON'T ride the bus!) There was a kissing issue the last time, even with parent chaparones. No way will my kids ride the bus!
I guess when I was in elementary school, this was a big deal. I remember begging my parents to go year after year. We didn't always go, but we did go once in awhile. We went to this same skating rink...that's what I can't believe!
Because this is a PTO sponsored event, I'm required to go as PTO president. Grace likes to go, however, so we go anyway.
Evan opted to go home with his best friend and spend time playing rather than hitting the rink.
Year by year, Grace has gotten better. She's not so clumsy on the floor.

This is the night all the popular songs are played, the lights are low so the disco ball can shine,

relays are run, and everyone is smiling, unless they're hitting the ground!

Thank goodness it's only a 2 hour deal. Thank goodness for the other mothers who go, so I have someone to talk to. Thank goodness it only happens twice a year!

I guess I need to look at it from Grace's point of view, my old point of view as an elementary schooler.

She had a great time, that's all that matters.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring is here?

I started out the day with an imaginary to-do list in my head. Because it was going to be a somewhat sunny/warmish day, I wanted to get some outside chores done. This was the first Saturday without an Upwards basketball game, and we could FINALLY get something accomplished.
So, I started out with some clean laundry.

Nothing smells quite as good as some freshly dried, sunshine filled laundry. Even if it does reside on two John Deere green clothesline posts which my hubby thinks are divine. Please!
Next I put on my new boots...

Cute dontcha think?
And decided to get rid of the field stones that have been lining all my flower beds since we moved in in 2006.

This required a little help from the little people living in our house!

I wish I could say this task was done quickly, but I think we took at least 4 loads of rocks/weeds back to the ditch. Evan told me, "Mom, I love helping you when it means I'll get money." I guess his priorities are set, huh?

My wonderful hubby also put out my cold frame that he made me last year. I'm totally ready to get my seedlings growing in the basement out to this frame in the next month.

After he put out the cold frame, Brent rolled the lawn, and then Grace, Brent, and I spread out the chicken manure from the hen house in the garden. This proved to be a highly STINKY job. Seriously. I've never smelled worse. We were in the thick of it. I can't believe how much manure 23 chickens produce!

I had noticed earlier in the week that our neighbors have already planted their lettuce and peas, so I asked if Brent could till up the garden. First he told me to stop looking at what the neighbors are doing, and then he said ok.

I've never loved him more. Just look at that dirt getting moist and fluffy.

Literally about 3 minutes after this picture was taken, the tiller BROKE!!!! UGH! Are you kidding me?

So, we have piles of chicken manure all throughout the garden, ready to be tilled under. I am anxious to plant my peas and lettuce. My hands are itching to get in the dirt.

So, I weeded all the flower beds around the house, and moved some plants around, and noticed how big my irises are getting.

I just can't wait until they bloom. I'm tired of this pasty looking landscape, I'm ready for the flowers. Bring on the flowers!

So, today overall was a good day. We were outside all day, and Brent and I even got some red cheeks from the sun.

All the plants popping through the dirt are making me excited. Is Spring really here?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Where would we be in the world without followers? We have trend setters, sure, but they wouldn't be trend setters without the followers, right? There are definitely people who lead, and people who follow.
There would be different times in my life that I've done both. My husband would say I TRY to be the leader....ALL the time. I would say, I'm not comfortable being the leader, I'd rather be the follower. This year has really been a growing year for me. I am the president of the PTO and the chairperson for our school's fish fry. I've had to get up in front of people and talk, assign people to certain tasks, make uncomfortable phone calls, etc. It's not been easy for me, but it's helped me be a little more assertive.
I'm seeing both leading and following tendencies in my children. We're starting to get into the peer pressure years. We're still on the early cusp of that, but I sometimes feel it's effects.
Just look at Grace.

She's a sweet natured girl, but I'm still not sure about her. When I see her at home, I would say she's a leader. She definitely likes to boss her brother around! I'm also told by some people I work with that she's a leader. She has alot of friends (about 9 girls have stayed together since kindergarten), who like to follow what she does, but when we go out to a store and see one of her best friends that she's known for years, she hardly speaks to them and acts like she's the shyest girl on the planet.
We're also hot and heavy into the "fashion trend" years. I never understood how this must've drove my mother crazy when I was doing the same thing. (Sorry Mom!) She had to deal with the 80's and the GIANT hair, and the neon colors, and the leg warmers. Heaven forbid....the legwarmers!
We're dealing with

peace signs on clothing, shoes, etc. We're also dealing with cell phones and the technological age that I wasn't in on. My 4th grader wants a cell phone BADLY! She claims ALL her friends have one. I try to reason with her and tell her, "You don't know many people other than your parents, so who would you call?" This is an argument that comes up about once a month. It's already getting old.

Then there's Evan.

My sweet boy who only really cares about Sonic and the color blue. He's not a trendsetter, he's a follower, and I hope this suits him well in life and he doesn't feel trampled on...ever.

Let's see, where was I going with this post? I didn't intend for it to get so deep. I really wanted to just say to the 15 followers on my blog....THANK YOU. Everytime I see that number go up I get chills. For all the rest of you who may read my blog, sign up to be a follower....it's really an ego boost. Someone out there really is reading what I say! You all make me feel so special!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Is this why we are the way we are?

I hate snakes. Let's see, did I make myself clear? I HAVE AN INTENSE FEAR of snakes. It might be because of this place.

I've even went so far as to tell my children if they ever see me laying in the yard or pasture on my back (cause who would do that, right?) I've probably had a heart attack because I've seen a snake. They think it's funny, but I don't.

Maybe I could relate this fear to when I was little and saw my father chop a snake to death with a hoe when the snake had wrapped itself around one of our trees.

Maybe it's when my Grandpa Leatherman (who I love very much, but is quite a teaser, like when he would take out his false teeth for my sister and I when we rode with him in his tractor cab, and we would scream and scream, and then beg him to do it again!) But that's not what we're talking about..... Maybe it's when Grandpa Leatherman used to take my sister and I and mom on walks to this quaint little cabin.

His friend owns this, and it's right down the once gravel road by my Grandpa's house. I remember walking by the woods on the way there and seeing bleeding hearts, and a flower, I don't recall the name of, but it resembles an old fashioned pair of women's bloomers hanging on a clothesline, maybe "old man's britches?"

I remember going into this cabin and up the rickety steps inside to see the small room at the top. I thought it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen.

Anyway, we would take this walk, which was probably only 1/2 mile long, but seemed much longer to a kid with short legs. (I still have the short legs, but can walk longer distances :-) ) One time as we were walking, my grandpa (the teaser, remember) found a garter snake and threw it at us. I screamed at the top of my lungs and ran away hearing his chuckle behind me.

I forgave him of course, but haven't forgotten the act. It still makes me shiver. I can't even look at a picture of a snake in a book, it just gives me the willies. I don't know why, but I can probably honestly say, If I had been Eve in the Garden of Eden, there is no way I would've talked to that dumb snake!

Have you ever thought that maybe some, if not all of our intense dislikes are because of a certain thing that has happened in our past that we might have buried, but just can't seem to shake? Think about how teachers, who have their own babies don't often name them a name of a naughty child that has once graced their classroom.

I can't honestly say my intense fear of snakes stems from the two very vivid instances I mentioned earlier, but maybe.

I pass this cabin almost once a week. It's still by my grandparent's house, but it is in bad shape. I wonder if the steps inside are even still standing. I'm sure there are PLENTY of snakes roaming around it, but I'm not gonna be the one to go check. This cabin will always hold good memories for me, and the walks my grandpa and I once took.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I've been too busy lately to think of a good post, so here is just some pictures of my wonderful kids. They are the best thing I've ever done.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Kitchen Floor

My baby was 9 yesterday. I remember his birthday well. He was born on the kitchen floor.

Now, we're not amish or anything. My last name is Yoder, but still......

Evan was 4 days late. I had a doctor's appointment scheduled the day he was born, and I DISTINCTLY remember that I wanted to tell the doctor that day to GET HIM OUT, whatever way you can.

My daughter, was 13 months old, and in the middle of the night (1:30am or so), I called my mom and asked if she could come stay with Grace so we could go to the hospital. We lived probably 8-10 minutes apart, but I think she got there in 3!

Not more than an hour later, Evan was born on the kitchen floor and my mom, the 911 operator, and the Brentster had delivered him, BEFORE the ambulance had arrived. (The fire station/EMT station was about a 2 minute drive from our house.)

Yep, I'll NEVER forget his birth!

This is the first year that he's asked me about the story.

We started the day with presents on the table and a chocolate cupcake with a candle in it. (heck of a year for me to give up chocolate for Lent, right?)

He was so fast blowing it out, I hardly had time to take his picture!
And yes, I let my daughter have one too.

Before school, on a FRIDAY, people! It was a celebration after all!

Ev opened up his presents....Sonic items, of course.

He loved all of them, and told me I was a wonderful mother. (boy I love this kid!)

We all went to school, and he got to have his b-day at school too. With MORE cupcakes!

He had a great day. We even had his favorite meal last night...Ham and Cheese stromboli with homemade applesauce and mac & cheese.

He was on cloud nine...literally! :-)

Happy Birthday Ev!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

He is in all things

We're trying to teach our children the "right" way to pray. This has become a challenge.
It's not that our kids are "bad" pray-ers, it's just that there is too much "I" in their prayers.
We tell them, "Talk to Jesus like he's your friend." They seem to not be able to grasp this concept quite yet.
So, this is on my heart alot. How can you TEACH someone to pray?
I find myself praying alot throughout the day, some more than others. I pray when I lose something, and then again I pray a thank you when I find it. I pray for my co-workers, my family, my kids, etc.
When I drive to school, I'm praying for the day, and today, I was looking at the clouds. I kept stopping on the road to take pictures, and the kids were dumbfounded.
This is the first view I saw this morning...

Hello day! This warm weather, by the way, is making me very excited and ready for spring.
Here's another one I saw on my journey to school. It looks like a miniature sand castle.

I saw this one on the way home from school.

The rays scream "I AM GOD!"

And lastly, this I saw on the way to church tonight.

Looks a little like an explosion.

I truly believe God is in all things. I hope you notice it too!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Road Less Traveled

My road really is less traveled. It's TRULY a dirt road. Not because we want it to be, but because the County has forgotten about us. We've had these ruts in the road for a couple months now..

Not just baby ruts, but bury your car in ruts. ALL OVER THE ROAD. I think we're on the County's hit list, actually. All winter long, when it snows and drifts, our road gets drifted shut. One of the five of us on the road, calls the County, begging to have our road plowed. We have to do this about everyday until they actually bring the big orange trucks down the road. Hence, the Hit List.

So, the ruts in the road, we've had to get used to. Just don't come flying down our road, thinking it's a shortcut to the next.

Anyway, where was I going with this........

Yesterday, this is the scene that greeted us on the way to school.

Really is a little eerie, considering this was at 9:30, AFTER our 2-hour delay. It still was this soupy. The weeds along the road were pretty though.

Too bad they are weeds!
The tour hour delay, however, allowed me some extra time to get Ev's friend party invitations finished so he could pass them out at school.
He's inviting 3 friends over next Saturday after his Upwards basketball game. He asked me ever so nicely the other night, "Mama, (he calls me this because, and these are his words, Mom is just a little boring, so I want to call you Mama!) I know that I had a Sonic birthday party when Grandma and Grandpa came, but can I have one with my friends too?" How can I say no, when "Mama" is thrown into the conversation.
Now, I love my kids dearly, but the choices they pick for birthday themes get harder and harder every year. They both have the uncanny knack for picking characters for their parties that were either, popular a couple years ago, so they are no longer in the store, OR, characters that they don't make birthday party favors for. SOOOOOO I'll have to draw Sonic on his birthday cake again, and that's why I had to whip up something for his invitations.
He's thrilled by the way!
I also had some time with the 2-hour delay to get my seed starting supplies ready.
I laid out all the seeds that I would be starting in the basement.
and the seed starting mixture and make-shift pots.

Now, this is the plant that my family continues to make fun of me for.
I ALWAYS plant too many of these and have zucchinis coming out of my ears all summer. I'll go out one day, and there will be tiny zucchinis growing, and the next day, they have grown to the size of baseball bats! We love to use zucchini for bread, muffins, chocolate cake, and just to eat fried with Ranch dressing. (YUM) I have a irrational fear that the plants will not produce enough zucchini for my needs, so I over plant. I VOW to not do that this year. I promise.

This is the seed I haven't planted for awhile, because it seems to have the same effect.

The Brentster is the only one in the family who really likes these. They are ok on little sandwiches, but to eat them plain, no thanks. So, there will only be one plant of these in my garden, but that plant will produce what seems like THOUSANDS of cucumbers.

This is going to be new to my garden this year.

I plan on making pesto and freezing it.

I didn't actually have time to start the seeds yesterday morning, that's on my to-do list for this weekend. I am getting very excited. The warm sun makes me motivated to get this project underway.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sometimes you just can't fight it

Story of my life.

A couple Sundays ago in church, our pastor announced near the end of the service that it was the first Sunday of Lent.

I was a little surprised. I hadn't seen it marked in the bulletin, and I guess I just couldn't believe we were already that close to Easter.

He proceeded to say that the ushers were going to be passing out pink pieces of paper, and on those, if we wanted, we were to write something that we would want to give up for Lent. Then, we would bring them down to the front of the church and place them in 1 of 3 vases, and the pastors would pray over these things for the course of Lent.

Now, I know all about Lent, but I've never been one to "give something up" for the duration.

However, that morning, I was "feeling the fire within" and decided to write, not one thing on the little pink piece of paper, but two things. I wrote, and if you know me at all these were the two hardest things for me to give up, late night snacking and chocolate!

You see, I grew up a Sommers. In the Sommers family, chocolate, and bread are LOVED!!!!! I am a TRUE Sommers. I love them both equally.

Right now, I am dying about the chocolate. And you know, Satan really does know how to pack a punch. Not more than 2 days after I signed my life away on that pink piece of paper, my amish neighbor sent home a plate of chocolate whoopie pies with me for my family. ARE YOU KIDDING?????? I wanted to say to her, but I just smiled and said, "Thank you so much!"

I secretly put one away in the freezer just for me, AFTER Easter.

But, the moral of this really is......I should've started giving something up LONG AGO for Lent. Every time I see something chocolate and I feel tempted, I say a little prayer. It has really made me accountable.

I'm glad I decided to do it, even if it was on a whim.

My husband, however did not write anything down on his little pink piece of paper. I'll leave you to your own conclusions about the Brentster.