Saturday, June 29, 2013

Our days

Thanks for those of you who responded to what I should write about...some said more about BRENT, which he whole-heartedly agreed to....but we'll see...

So, I just wanted to share some of us, during the day...

 fresh peas from the garden...

a dip in uncle Steve's pool...

summer storms rolling in...

and my NEW FAVORITE SALAD...(recipe below)

Apple, Walnut, and Feta Salad

12 oz. spinach (or salad mix of your choice)
2 whole apples, cored and sliced and chunked (gala are good, or granny smith)
1/2 c candied walnuts
6 oz. feta cheese
Bacon (your choice)

Candied Walnuts:
Add the walnuts to a non-stick skillet and toast them until the raw smell goes away.  Slowly add in maple syrup until coated.  Add salt to taste.  Stir until maple syrup is bubbling, and then take off heat to cool.  Store in airtight container.

1 HEAPING T dijon mustard
1 1/4 T maple syrup
2 t apple cider vinegar
1/4 c olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Eat and eat, and's a great summer salad.

Happy weekend ya'll.

Monday, June 24, 2013

I don't know...

What constitutes a worthy blog post?

Is is a great DIY project?  A yummy grocery list/menu for the week?  Or just hearing about someone's life on a daily basis?

This has plagued me since I started writing this blog back in 2010.

I've struggled with, should I take pictures and post them EVERYDAY?  Should I have a DIY project once a week?  A giveaway once a month?

To be honest, I just don't know.

I'm envious of the bloggers with thousands of followers.  I can't help it, but mine are VERY loyal.  VERY.

Who has the time each day to sit down and leave comments on a 100 different blogs a day, or network till I get 100 followers?

I'd REALLY, (without any sarcasm), like to know how that happens and is done.  (PLEASE tell me, you successful blog writers!)

You see, I'm totally addicted to about 6 or 7 blogs a day.  I read them everyday, just to see what is going on in their everyday lives.

Shannan...she inspires me in ways I can't even explain.  Her writing is perfection, and her stories are genuine.  I've met her in person, and she's BEAUTIFUL inside and out, and I'm totally in awe of her.  I feel like she's my next door celebrity.  Where has this shyness come from, I don't know, but I want to hear all about her...EVERYDAY.

Stacey...I've never met this lady, but I visit her town (Chicago) at least once a year.  Her style and mine are exactly the same.  Her house is the coziest I've seen, and I would like to go for a visit.  The ability she has to start up her own business with such ease is impressive.

Ree...well, what can I say...the famous blogger who started with just a little blog, and made it into a household name.  I admit, I have both of her cookbooks, and the book she wrote about her and her husbands love story.  She's addictive, and funny, and her recipes are to die for (some literally with all the butter!)  Her life in the country I can relate to, although hers is on a much bigger scale than mine.  Her husband is dreamy to look at, and her dogs are hilarious.

Leslie...I adore Leslie, even though we've never met.  Whenever I post something new, she usually comments in the kindest way.  Her children are adorable, and her lifestyle is very similar to mine, minus the horses she keeps.  We share the same values, and it's been very inspiring to read some of her posts.  She says just what I'm thinking.  I love her and her quaint little family.

Chris...Ah, Chris.  She does the most beautiful flower gardening I've ever seen.  I want to travel to the Pacific Northwest where she lives and photograph her yard all day.  She comments regularly on my blog, and we share a love of thrift stores.  You give me great ideas Chris!

Meg...she is the color in my life.  She adores polka dots and COLOR.  She inspires me to try new things all the time, and she has 5 kids!  Crazy!  She is a hometown Kansas girl who has my dream craft weekends for ladies throughout the year.  It sounds AMAZING if it weren't so expensive!  You HAVE TO check her out.

And lastly,

Rebecca...She has been a loyal follower from the beginning, and we live only about a hour and 20 min. away from each other.  We've never met, but her wee man is the cutest thing I've ever seen.  She is a teacher, and we've shared many discussions about my past job in a school, and her current one.  She completes DIY projects, and  sounds like an incredibly FUN person to meet.  I am grateful for her friendship.

After all this, why is it so hard for ME to post something?  I just read about other people's lives, is mine newsworthy too?

I have much to contemplate, and want to make my blog a blog YOU want to read everyday too...please help me out...tell me what you want to know...

For now, I'll share the fact that yesterday, I cried like a baby all morning.  Both Grace and Evan got baptized yesterday.  Once a year our pastor and his wife host our church at their BEAUTIFUL home for baptism and a carry-in meal.

18 people were baptized yesterday.  We sat under shady trees and watched all their lives be transformed.

At the end of the service, 18 white homing pigeons were released in honor of each person who was baptized.  It was beautiful.

I am forever grateful that I will see my children in Heaven with me.  I am so proud of both of them.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


The other day the kids and I were running errands.

Out of the blue Grace says, I think I want to paint the desk in my room.

"OK." I said.  "Um, what color?"  (Her taste is running a little on the ecclectic side lately.)

Her room right now is aqua.  A very BRIGHT aqua that she picked out, and which came out even brighter than I thought it would.

When we got to Lowes she picked out a pale pink.  I was very hesitant as to what the final outcome of these "accessories" in her room would be.

After chores and strawberry picking and a Church meeting for me Monday night, she and I went out on the porch to start painting.

We started with her desk, which led to her desk chair, and a magazine rack, AND a bookcase.

We let everything dry overnight until the next morning, when I heard it raining hard, and ran out to the porch to move everything in before it got damaged.

While I was busy today, Grace (taking a cue from me I guess...) moved everything back into her room and rearranged it as well.

It doesn't look as bad as I thought it might.

While we were painting, I took pictures for the before and after.  She said to me, "So, this will probably be on the blog, right?"

"Yes.  Probably." I replied.  "Are you ok with that?"

"Sure." she said.

Good, cause here it is.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Gettin' up THERE.

I remember when anyone in their 30's sounded old to me.

I think I was in high school.

My parents were some of the youngest parents in my class.  My mom was only 37 when I graduated from high school, and my dad was 40.

My gosh does that sound young now.

Yesterday I turned 39.


I have that saving grace.

I remember having a HUGE problem with turning 30.  I don't know why.  I had both of my kids before then, and I was still young.  30 just seemed like such a milestone.

I'm ok with 39.

I am.


Yesterday was a good day, save for the fact that I  had to rise at 4:30am.  I got the kids up at 5:15am and they got ready for a weekend Junior Youth working trip an hour and a half away.

I was rarin' to go by 7am, so I headed over to my parent's house to get my sister who is up with her family visiting from SC.

We headed to the BEST flea market/garage sale where I picked up a set of two end tables, (which became my new coffee table side by side) and some other small stuff.

Then we ran a couple of errands, I dropped her back off at mom and dads and I ran some more errands.


I got to pick the music on the radio and turn it up as loud (or as quiet) as I wanted.  I wasn't constantly telling my 13 year old daughter to take her earbuds out so she could hear me.


I think I took a small trip to heaven yesterday.

Then I got home, and my husband came home from work and asked if I was ready.

For what?

"Well," he says, "We need to go wrestle one of the sheep.  I need to see why she is limping."

Oh, great.  What a fun birthday present honey!

So we did.

Where we have our sheep grazing is the most peaceful place around.  A widow lady lets us graze her many acres all summer and into the fall.  She and her husband used to have sheep, and she misses that, and she loves when ours have babies.

We caught the ewe and he trimmed her heels so her feet would feel better.

Then we headed home, where we stripped off our poison ivy riddled clothes, changed, and sat down to a very delicious supper if I do say so myself.

Chicken enchiladas with our own lettuce, some tomatoes, and the BEST chips and salsa from our local mexican restaurant.

Then some of my very own strawberries for our "sweetness" part of the meal.

Then we watched a movie, I read some, and we sat outside on the patio for a little bit.

SOUNDS like we're getting old, doesn't it.

BUT, IT WAS GREAT.  Peaceful, just what I wanted.

Today, the work begins.

Weeding the garden before the supposed storm we're supposed to get, more strawberry picking and making jam, and cleaning the house.

I think I'm gonna need some coffee.  Stat.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The weekend that was

We haven't been on vacation with friends since Grace was 4 1/2 months old.

She's 13 1/2 now.

I know...

I don't know why we haven't done it since then, it was a BLAST.

So, back in April, we decided to do it again with our friends Ryan and Kristin Eby and their daughters.

We get together as often as we can now with our busy schedules, so we decided why not have a long weekend together in Chicago, right?

So, we did.

This past weekend.

We drove in separately and met at our hotel and then took the train downtown for supper and a White Sox game (Evan's FAVORITE team.)

We ate GREAT pizza, then a security guard came over and told the kids to get away from the fountain.

WHATEVER.  We laughed and laughed.

Then we took another train down to the stadium.

While we waited for the game to start, the kids got in a little batting practice at the "fundamentals" part of the ballpark.

We even had a fireworks show when the game was done.

It was a late game, so we headed back to the hotel pretty late, and hit the hay.

After breakfast in the morning, we drove into town for a day of shopping, AND eating of course.

The kids were all REALLY great about shopping in stores for each other.  Lego and sports stores for Evan, clothing stores for the girls.

Cheesecake factory...YUM!

We talked CONSTANTLY, and laughed ALL THE TIME.

Their girls, Courtney and Kaitlyn are just about the same ages as our kids, so they have a great time together too.

Our last stop downtown was Navy Pier.

We did a lot of people watching, and the kids rode the Ferris wheel.

We said our goodbyes to the Ebys once we left Navy Pier.  They headed back home to Indiana, and we took the train back to our hotel for one more night in Chicago.

It was a POWER weekend, but we had SO MUCH FUN.  

We all decided this should be something we do again.  If only for another weekend somewhere.

Too bad it's over, but it sure is good to sleep in your own bed again!