Friday, April 30, 2010


Have you ever heard someone who doesn't go to church say, I see God more in nature than in a church building....that's why I don't go to "church." I'd rather be out fishing or something. That used to bother me. ALOT. It seemed like an excuse.
I do go to church, in an actual building, every Sunday. However, I totally get what those people are saying also.
Sometimes I do feel closer to God when I'm out in his nature.
When my hands are in the dirt he created, I feel closer.
When I see the fruits of my labor, and his joy in growing things, I feel closer.

Just look at the detail in the petals. Really.
When I was headed to the store last Sunday and I saw these...

I actually thought, "Who DOESN'T believe there is a God?"

He can have the worst storms, and the calmest days, whenever HE decides.

I have to remember this everyday. I'm glad I remember this everyday.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Reading is my passion. I've always wondered if I would have a job that would allow me to read for hours on end. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that wouldn't pay very much.
This week, while the older kids at school are taking ISTEP, I'm giving the kindergartners their own reading test. It's monotonous to say the least. They all start at the same book, and if they can read that, they move up a level, if not, they go backwards. 43 kindergartners down. 43 near headaches for me.
It's not hurting my own reading, however. For those who know me well, you know that I'm not a morning person at all. REALLY. NOT AT ALL! I'd much rather sleep in till noon if given the opportunity, but each day, I rise at 5:45 to take my shower, and sit down to breakfast with a book, and have 1/2 hour of uninterrupted reading time. I'm the only one up. It's glorious! Unfortunately, it seems to be the only time in the day I can read in total quiet without falling asleep while I'm reading.
I remember as a 4th grader like Grace, reading the entire set of Little House on the Prairie books. I couldn't put them down. I also read every single one of the Nancy Drew books in our elementary school library. They were FANTASTIC!!! So, when Evan told me that there was a new series of books that the kids were reading at school, I was all for finding out about them and letting him get some.

If any of you reading this, have kids in 3rd grade or above, they will LOVE this series. I've read ahead of Evan, and each time I finish one before him, he wants to know all about it. They are pretty much a mystery series that features an 11 and 14 year old brother and sister who are on a MAJOR clue hunt. Each book is set in a different country/continent/state, and features a very important historical person. They are all written by different authors, but pick up right where the one before it left off.

Frankly, I'm just glad my kids enjoy reading. Brent doesn't read. Let me clarify that. He reads the Farmer's Exchange, and once in awhile a Louis L'Amour book my dad gives him to read, but that's about it. He's not much for story lines. I was hoping the kids would love books as much as I do, or be at least a good mix between us. It's a proven fact that it's much harder to get boys into reading something that interests them than girls. So, when Evan tells me he is interested in reading something, I'm ready to go get it.
Here's the little corner I keep some of my books. At least the ones I want to read over and over again.

Here are some of my favorite authors:
Some books on animals/country life/home keeping that I like:

and my very favorite book of all for those of you on a food journey of your own. It chronicles the life of the author and her family for one year, eating only the food/animals they raise (in the appropriate season), or eating as locally as they can get. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a "nature freak", "granola", or whatever you call those people that take it a little to the extreme, but I do like to know where my food comes from, and I don't mind raising it myself. And so, this book is great.

Then of course, for my decorating ADHD problem, I have to have a shelf of decorating books. This is only a few. I let one of my friends who is building a new house use some for reference.

These kind of books are my weakness and whenever I find one at a garage sale, goodwill, etc. I pick it up and add it to my collection.

I love to read, can you tell? Between my local library membership and my dad, I'm usually stocked up on books. I'm looking forward to summer break, so I can catch up on my reading.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Saturday was softball/baseball Opening Day.

Grace and her BFF Natalie are FREEZING! Literally FREEZING! It was cold and rainy. Why is Opening Day ALWAYS cold and rainy?

Grace got some new socks for the event.

She's totally rockin' these socks! Evan wants a pair because they have blue in them. Sorry bud, they are strictly a girl thing!

Speaking of Evan, he didn't seem to mind the cold.

He was having a good time the moment we hit the ball diamond.

Grace's game was first. This is her first year for fast pitch softball. Quite a change actually. She has played with the same girls for the last two years, and they've won the championship two years in a row. This year it's girls ages 4th-6th grade, and they are pitching to each other, which makes it really RANDOM, and sometimes dangerous, and unless they are excellent pitches, EVERYONE walks.

Grace's coaches have been training her to be the catcher.

She's doing well, it's just makes for a long game. She's up and down all the time. She has to whip her face mask off each time she doesn't catch the ball in her mitt, so she can see it better.

She's also a leftie, so this is both challenging and good at the same time.

She was pretty nervous, so her hitting was off, but she says she'll do better next time.

Evan's game was second. By then, it was raining....sometimes pretty hard. For a boy who doesn't like to get wet, he was having the time of his life!

His league hits from a pitching machine, and he did really well, hitting each time he was up to bat.

True to Evan's nature, he has fun when he plays sports. Sometimes too much, sometimes so much so that it's embarrassing to his parents. I'm not exactly sure what he's doing on first base, but he was pretty much runnin his own comedy show out there with cheers and all!

He did straighten up, though,

and score once or twice.

He even played catcher like sis.

His team ended up winning, and he made the last out of the game on first base.

We're gearing up for 3 more games this week. Ugh. The kids are excited, though. It can only get better from here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

This is what I'm ready for

I'm ready and a little anxious for this.....
blooming flowers...

lots and lots of blooming flowers.

I'm ready for long days (without school) with my hands in the dirt. Even though, I often have a backache from digging up weeds in the garden. I'm ready.

I'm ready to watch the corn come up around me.

I'm ready to plant flowers and make my little vignette on the porch with this rusty old wagon that was mine as a kid.

I'm ready to watch my kids chasing lightning bugs at 9:30 at night.

I'm ready for softball games that I don't have to rush to after work.

I'm ready to take it easy and chill with my kiddos and go on the vacation we've been planning since I booked the hotel in January. We're not going anywhere special, just to Chicago, but we haven't done that for a year, so it's about time.

I am feeling restless. I have been for awhile now. Spring Break is behind us, and we're counting down the days at school. Garage sales are calling to me, and I'm ready to darken up my very white pasty legs.

Summer....bring it on! I'm ready.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Egg Dilemma

Help a girl out! I'm overloaded with eggs again!

This is the fridge upstairs, and the fridge in the basement has just as many!
These wonderful chickens of ours just can't stop laying!

They're in the prime of their lives, and the more daylight we get, the more they lay. We're getting about 20 eggs a day. Some are even green!

No joke! We have 3 chickens who lay green eggs. Our easter egg chickens. They are the prettiest. If we were having a Miss USA chicken contest, they would win. They have the looks and the talent!

Anyway, come and visit us and buy some eggs if you live close. We're between CR 46 and 50 in New Paris. $1.50/doz. They're the best eggs you'll ever taste, and they are very big! Sometimes we can't get the cartons closed they are so big!

You could also come to visit these cuties too!

Just look at those eyes!

Sonic and Rockney are getting very tame. They just had some visitors yesterday, and they were showing off!

They think the sand in their pen is a beach, and not the workout room it's supposed to be!

I found them burying themselves in it yesterday. Who tells them to do these things?

Come on out!! Buy some eggs!!! Visit the "petting zoo" we call a farm. Comment below and ask how to get here!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My Day

I've been living at the ball diamond. Literally. I think when meals are packed and eaten at the ball diamond because there is no time to come home between practices, and practices back to back total 3-4 hours, we're in all measures considered living at the ball diamond.

Hence the reason I still haven't posted about my wonderful day off on Thursday. I wrote on Wed. that I was feeling guilty about taking the day off. Why is that, as mothers we feel guilty when time is spent alone w/o the kids? I've felt that every waking minute that my children have not been with me. Are they such an extension of my life that I don't technically have a life of my own anymore? I'm beginning to wonder.

I'm also "technically" with my kids 24/7. I work at their school, they ride with me to school, I see them throughout the day, they come to my room after school, and we drive home together, and then to whatever else we're doing for the night, back home, and into bed. I'm beginning to think trading places with my husband for a day, might be a refreshing thought.

But, where was I going with this...oh yes, my day off.

7:45 am - I started by driving my kids to school. Brent couldn't, because he was the "boss" at work for the week, so I drove them to school, knowing this would give me that much more time in the day to do what I wanted to do instead of sleeping the morning away like I REALLY wanted to do.

8:05 am - I was in Wakarusa, where my morning began. I saw that the Flower Patch Farm Girl (secretly my idol) was having a garage sale, and since I LOVE her choice of decorating, etc. I wanted to go there first. I got a sweater, a very cute shabby chic mirror of hers, and some of her adorable jewelry, which I couldn't believe she was parting with, and a scarf. I saw her sitting there, chatting with people, and I realized what some people must mean by "star struck." You see, I've been reading Shannon's blog for about a year now. I DON'T miss a day, and I am totally in love with her. Not in the wierd creepy way, but in the I TOTALLY GET YOU GIRL way. I wanted to say something to her, after all, she goes to my mom and dad's church, but I didn't want to creep her out too, and appear like I'm a stalker or something, so I said nothing.

8:20 am - I went down the road to my next very important stop. My new friend, Greta, who happens to be in the same book club as me, was also having a garage sale. To continue with my "famous sitings", Greta is somewhat famous in the scrapbooking world. She is a scrapbooking rep for various companies. Scrapbooking companies send her their products, for her to try and make layouts. She has had many of her layouts published in scrapbooking magazines. She, by the way, has a job that I would die to have. She gets all this product free, and it's ALOT!!!! So, once a year, on Maple Syrup Festival weekend, she sells alot of it. I filled a bag with paper, stickers, ribbon, embellishments, etc. for $34! In the store, I would've spent upwards of $100 I'm sure.

8:45 am - I made my way to the quaint little store, Grandma's Pantry. They sell items in bulk, and my son has had an incredible yearning for mini chocolate chip pancakes for months now, and Grandma's Pantry supplies me with mini chocolate chips in bulk. Also mini peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, and pretzel shaped graham crackers. Very cool. They were not open until 9:00, so I headed down the road to fill up my gas tank and get one of these.

A fountain Coke from McDonalds is the BOMB! I don't treat myself to one often, but they are GOOD. By the time I went through the drive through and got gas, Grandma's Pantry was open.

9:15 am - I had stops to make at Target, Aldi's, Meijer, and Martins yet to go. I headed to Target first. On my way, I passed this place.

It's on SR 19, and I've always wanted to stop, but never have. Their displays outside are very cute, and I'd love to go in, but I feared I wouldn't make it to all the places I wanted to go before I had to go back to school to pick up the kids.

9:30 am - 12:30 pm - I went to Target, Goodwill, Meijer, Aldi's, and Martins without taking any pictures. I had a blast looking at whatever I wanted to without hearing these huge SIGHs that I hear whenever I tell my youngin's to get out of the van one more time. I was able to get some much needed clothes for both of them, and Brent as well. Target had T-shirts for $3.49!!!!!!! Since I had Evan try on shorts just this morning and nothing fit, I knew I needed to supply him with some new ones. I got groceries and went home to unpack them all in wonderful silence.

I did some laundry and hung it out on the line. Fed the pigs and chickens, and just got some things done before I went to the school at 2:40 pm to pick up the kids. As soon as they got in the van and started talking a mile a minute, I knew my peaceful day was over. We drove home, did chores, packed a supper, and headed to the ball diamond till 6pm.

And that brings us back to today. I'm sitting here, filling my body with warmed up coffee to eradicate the chill from deep down inside from the 4 hours I spent outside watching softball practice today. I'm exhausted, and I couldn't tell you why. I need a nap, but what exactly is a nap???

Oh, and by the way, because of this tree...

I want a whole forest of these in my yard.

and this one too.

Aren't they beautiful?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I feel a little guilty

I'm taking the day off school tomorrow.
I get 4 personal days a year, and I never use them unless it's to go on a field trip with one of my kids.

So, I've decided....there are some sales I want to go to tomorrow, and I would like to go to the grocery store, in the middle of the day, without kids. That will be a pleasure for me. Really. I know it's only groceries, but there will be no reason for me to say, "Leave your sister alone." "Stop teasing your brother." "Get over here, I want to go down the next aisle." "I mean it!" Plus, with our schedule this week, and softball practice EVERY NIGHT for someone, there is no time for me to get groceries this week.

I've never gotten to experience a day when my kids were in school, and I was at home, or running errands. My husband had me going back to work as soon as both kids were in school. I've never had the joy of an empty nest in the middle of the day.

I'm feeling a little guilty that I'm going to get to enjoy the day while my co-workers are at school, but I'm trying to get over it.
I'll take some pictures and after ball practice tomorrow night, I'll post them.

I hope you all have a wonderful day, enjoy the sunshine they say is coming.

I'll leave you with a conversation Evan and I had on the way to school today. For some reason it seems like in the 8 minutes it takes us to get to school, we have the strangest conversations.

Evan: I wonder when the new Sonic 4 game will come out.

Me: I don't know babe, I don't know about the game at all.

Evan: I know mom, I was just saying it in my head.

Me: Yeah, but you said it out loud!

Evan: Well, I had to hear myself!

Makes you wonder exactly what was going on in his head.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Girls...Sugar and Spice and everything Nice?

Part 2 in the two-part series about my kiddos.
What to say about my oldest?
She's been independent since the day she was born. About a month before I was due with her, I got the flu, and went into early labor. They stopped it, but we had to stay in the hospital for a day. I think I went into the hospital with hard contractions about 4 times before she was ever due, so they decided to induce me 2 days before my actual due-date. We were there all day....thinking we'd bring home a baby that night. It DIDN'T TAKE!!!! Do you know how depressing that was? We were sent home, and I went into real labor 2 days later, on her actual due date.
I guess Grace is as punctual as her mother! :-)
She is as girlie as they come, and there is no fashion accessory that she won't try. Tonight for example, we had to do a two-tone color on her nails with dots to coordinate. Pink and brown baby!
Grace has not tried the dare-devil things her brother has, she just matter of factly does something. When it was time for her to learn to ride a 2-wheeler, she just went out one day after school and did it!
She is my serious student, who is an excellent speller. (Brent and I are not sure where this came from!)
I love her very much, and yet we are often at odds because we're so similar.
I do remember one funny story from when she was little, though. We were at Wal-mart and she was probably 3 or4 and we were in the checkout line. She was riding in the cart and didn't want to be there too badly. There happened to be a floating helium balloon of a 2 foot tall barbie right above the check-out. Grace looked at me, as serious as can be and said in a whisper, "Mom, that Barbie told me I could get out of the cart!" I laughed so hard!

In her 10 years we've watched her compete in gymnastics, soccer, basketball, softball, and tennis. She's a leftie like her dad, grandma, great aunt, and great uncle, this makes her a "hot" commodity in softball. I love watching her play, when her confidence is strong, she is really a good player.
I love Grace Claire Yoder with all my heart. She is beautiful inside and out. I hope I have a lifetime to watch her grow!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Boys will be Boys!


This will be a two-part series on my kids, I've decided. Probably only a two-part because that's all the kids I have!
Anyway, we'll get started with Evan. I don't know why we'll start with him, except for the fact that yesterday, for unknown reasons, random stories of what he's done in his 9 short years kept running through my mind while I was cleaning the house.
I guess you'd have to say, first off, JUST LOOK AT HIM! He's the most adorable boy I've ever seen!

Now listen people, I know I'm biased, but really, he is pretty cute!
I never thought I wanted a boy. He's got a big sister, after all. That's all I knew, dresses and frilly stuff, and then along came Ev. You all know his entrance into the world was totally unexpected (if not, read in a past post), and he's kinda been the same way ever since. When he's ready for something, he'll do it, if he's not ready, there is NO budging him! (unfortunately, just ask his teacher. Ugh! )

I've never known a boy who is so contradictory! When he was small, I'd find him in the most dirty situations! One time, and this is not his shining moment, I'd say he was probably 1 1/2, I found him out in the back room in the diaper pail, with poop, yes, I did say poop, covering his body! Gross!!!! While I was on the phone, he had went to the mudroom where the diaper pail was (and at this time, Grace was still in diapers) and he stuck his hand in the pail, pulled out a poopy diaper, and preceded to smear himself with it. It was EVERYWHERE, and the stench was HORRIBLE! I'm not sure how in the world I got him cleaned up without gagging, but I did. I called Brent at work, and all he did was laugh! The nerve!
Other times, I would find this little dandy of a boy sitting in a mud puddle in the driveway, in full clothes, no less, just throwing mud up over his head, and running down his face.
I was NOT prepared for a boy, but being how he's totally contradictory, now, he cannot get wet while his clothes are on, without having to come in the house and change his whole outfit. He can't stand to be wet! Really? We live on a small farm. This will happen!
He's also my most honest child. I'm not kidding! If he's done something at school and gotten in trouble, or at home for that matter, and I don't know about it, he will confess it every time. There are stages, however. He'll be totally mad at himself. Literally. He will clam up, and shut everyone out. I'll try to get it out of him, and in the process, get totally frustrated myself, and much later, he'll come, put his arms around me, and just sob and tell me what happened earlier, and how he's so sorry. It could be the littlest thing, but it totally eats him up!
This sweet, adorable boy, has also done some incredibly frustrating things to our home! They all seem to be centered around the toilet, however. When he was potty-training he would be so ashamed if he pooped his pants, that he would flush them down the toilet. For awhile, we didn't know what was going on, the toilet just would totally quit working. He did this 3 times! 3 times Brent had to totally take the toilet off, and go get a new wax ring at the store. These were not Evan's most memorable moments with his dad, let's just say. I was so glad when we convinced him it was OK to have an accident every once in awhile, just TELL US!!!
My mom can attest to this next fact, because she's had to shop for his birthdays, etc. When Ev is passionate/obsessed with a fad, he's totally INTO that fad. However, as is the case with both of my kids, they have an uncanny knack for being into a fad/toy that isn't sold in the regular stores when they happen to like it, which makes it VERY hard to find. Let's just list some of his past obsessions: Thomas the Train, Bob the Builder, Cars, Meet the Robinsons, Spongebob, Star Wars, Star Wars again, Legos, Lego Star Wars, and now Sonic. and Star Wars again.
When he's obsessed with these things, he draws them. He is a really good artist! I'm not just saying that. Ask anyone. If he looks at something once, he can replicate it into a drawing. It's amazing for a 9 year old.
So, to sum it up....I was not prepared for a boy, but I got a sweet, lovable, talented, joy. He surprises me daily, and does not have the drama that tends to follow girls around. He likes what he likes, and doesn't what he doesn't.
Every time I think about his birth, I just have to think about how lucky I am to have him. Things could've gone so wrong with him being born at home. I'm so glad they didn't. I love him with my whole heart. He's my little boy!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The pain in my side

This room is a pain in my side.

It was made to be a breakfast nook, but it's too small for our table, so it's become the office. I like the color of the walls and all, but the John Deere collection makes me cringe. You heard me right, love of my life, the tractors make me cringe.

In the almost 12 1/2 years that we've been married, the tractors have been in a box, or at my in-laws house, where they really do belong, I'm sorry, but really. Tractors that just sit out, and collect dust, and are valuable, but are not allowed to be sold......I'm having a hard time with this!

Anyway, so about 2/1 2 years ago, I graciously put them out one day. My husband was overjoyed. Since that time, however, the collection has secretly grown. Hmmmm. Wonder how that's happened.

Just look at the bookshelf in the corner. It's totally full of tractors of all sizes. It just eats Brent up that Evan is not at all into tractors. It's KILLING him!

So, back to the room. I posted awhile back that this room needed help, and you know about my decorating ADHD. I cannot leave a room the same for more than a couple of months, or I literally go crazy, so the other weekend, I moved things around a little.
Here's one last shot of BEFORE.

Ok, for the AFTER. Not really much different, but a little.

The white shelf that was full of tractors, is now on my landing upstairs, and I moved this grey filing cabinet to where the shelf used to be.

Next, I moved a shelf from the living room, into the office for the tractors.

It fits a little better than the last one, and displays the tractors a little better.

One last look at this side of the room...

It's a horrible room, it really is. It has two doorways, and 4 windows. What's a girl to do?

I just might come up with another look for the room this week...we'll see.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Bunny?

Are a 9 and 10 year old too old for an Easter basket? Mine don't seem to think so, although it's getting harder and harder to find stuff for their baskets.
Of course, they awoke much too early for me, but I made it to the table before they did, to capture their joy.

Don't be fooled, however, my children do really know the real meaning of Easter. Where would we all be without the wonderful gift Jesus gave us? What a sacrifice!

Since Daddy LOVES breakfast, especially on a grand scale, we all got ready early and made our way to church for the Easter breakfast before the service.

First, we had to take our annual Easter photo. I haven't missed a year since they were babies. They were not so thrilled, though.

So, we made it to church, and Daddy filled his plate HIGH with breakfast items. We went to the service, and later Grandma and Grandpa Yoder's for lunch. It was good, but very filling!

Around 4 ish, we headed to Grandma and Grandpa Sommers' for an Easter egg hunt and supper with Great Grandma and Grandpa Leatherman.

I'm not sure why Grandma Sommers made Grace and Ev wear these outfits, but oh well. They raced around the yard

looking high, looking

cute?? I mean, low...

and gathering as many as they could find.

while Daddy and Great Grandpa shot the breeze.

Then we all headed inside so Grace and Ev could sort out their loot...

and we could all eat supper.

It was a long day, a beautiful one, but a long one.