Sunday, July 16, 2017


If you have been following my blog for a while (or maybe since the beginning over 10 years ago...WOW!) then you have watched my girl grow up! She turned 16 this past week. My husband and I are blessed to have her as our daughter! 

We don't do big birthday parties every year...but I promised her one for her sixteenth birthday! So, Saturday night...we  had a lovely gathering of family and many of her friends. Madelyn did not just sit back and expect the party be thrown *for* her...she dug right in. She helped make food, purchased things that she wanted for it and was a great help!

 She bought enough glow sticks for her friends...

We had a board for her friends to write messages and such to Madelyn on!

It worked perfectly! Her friends had it all filled up with drawings, autographs, messages and love (I didn't take a picture of it finished....but it is now hanging in Madelyn's room!)...

We threw the party at Pa's pavilion. It's super windy back there so I had quite a time trying to get the table coverings on...starting with scotch tape then moving on to duct tape!!

Because it is so windy (and glaring sun as it sets in the evenings) Chris and our Brother-In-Love hung up a couple tarp signs that they had (I have no idea where they got them). They aren't pretty....but they really help block the wind and sun when necessary! They also help if it starts to rain! So that is the reason for that ugly tarp in this picture...haha! I took this photo though to show the bags of chips hanging up...they were for walking tacos. The party was themed around Madelyn's favorite things...(she loves tacos, macaroni salad, potato salad, mint flavored things, pierogies etc.). Walking tacos are made when you open a bag of doritoes and add meat, cheese, lettuce and other toppings in it and eat! :)

Friends and family arrived, Chris prayed, and the party began!

See those flower balls above? Madelyn made those! :) It was a pinterest find!

 Madelyn also loves cranberries and chocolate...and mint M&M's!

There's Pa (Chris's dad) in the red..and my dad beside him...

Christian friends are such a blessing. They are not perfect....but the acceptance and kindness they all share for each other is just wonderful! I am thankful my children have such great friends (Yes...most of them are homeschooled too!)...

 Madelyn wanted Andes candy cupcakes and cake so we made them together! I didn't try it (although I wanted to) but Madelyn said it was the best icing ever! We homemade a mint icing (another pinterest find) and apparently it tasted wonderful with the chocolate cake! Chris made homemade ice cream (everyone's first time trying my Grandpop and Grammie's homemade ice cream recipe) and it was a huge success!! Everyone loved it!!!

Before her party, Madelyn let me know she didn't want anyone to sing to her. It was just too embarrassing for people to all be looking at her. Well, being the silly mama that I am ~ I told everyone how *excited* Madelyn was for us to sing to her!! Her friends all belted out in tune and she was embarrassed (but happy)! :)

Madelyn with her friend Lindsey...

Mad and her friend Abby...

 The kids all played a fun game of kickball!

Madelyn made props for fun pictures! Her friends took advantage of it and had some laughs! Love these girls!

Below: a picture of my Madelyn and me. I know I look rough... The lighting was bad and I was absolutely exhausted (and the party wasn't even over yet!). It was a long day but I had great joy because I know Madelyn had a good time!

There was a fire for hotdogs and s'mores...

 A funny group pic of the teens...

Some of Mad's friends had to work and showed up late so they aren't pictured! But this was the main crew! We are so thankful that they all could come and celebrate with us! We told them gifts weren't necessary but some brought them anyway and completely blessed Madelyn with their kindness! :o)

Thank you for reading this post and sharing in our celebration as well! I am still trying to process the fact that I am the mother of a sixteen year old....I'm not sure when that will sink in! I am incredibly grateful though. *Such* a blessing she is to our lives! We praise God for giving us the gift of Madelyn and the responsibility to raise her up as a daughter of the King! :)


Saturday, July 15, 2017

My Nephew is Here!

My sister and her husband, after 3 beautiful little girls, have now been blessed with a son! I guessed during her pregnancy that it was a boy and was excited to find out I was right (for I was quite wrong with my guesses with her other pregnancies!). He is just perfect and I love him to pieces already. I got to hold him in the hospital ~ which was wonderful ~ but since they got home their middle daughter, Dinah, got a stomach bug. So Devon and the baby have basically been quarantined into her bedroom to keep them from getting sick while Cory has taken care of the girls. It was such a blessing that he could take time off from work!

Anyway ~ you may be wondering my newest nephew's name! It is Dusten Matthew! (Dusten is Devon and my dad's name! He loved hearing he has a namesake!) Little Dusty was over 8 pounds at birth and to this auntie ~ is absolutely perfect! We praise the Lord for this newest life He has made and look forward to watching him grow!

As soon as sickness has exited their household ~ we are all anxious to go visit! First, we always love visiting with Eloise, Dinah and Audra. But now we get to hold sweet baby Dusty too!!! Yay! I can hardly believe he is here and yet now that he is, couldn't imagine him *not* being here!!!

I've gotta run! Today is a BUSY day! I teach spin class this morning and then Madelyn's 16th birthday party is tonight! We have lots to do to prepare so I gotta go, go, go!!! I just wanted to share with you this special blessing!


Sunday, July 9, 2017

"Rest is not idleness...

...and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time."

~John Lubbock

Rainy summer days are usually slower...

Candles make things more cheerful and cozy on those gray rainy days!

My raised beds are doing well....I planted some things much-too-close together but we'll see what happens!

Weeding for a just a few minutes each day helps keep up with it all. There is nothing worse than letting the weeds get overwhelming. Once they get that way, I feel like I can never get it back-to-good. For me, doing a little each day is the easiest way to keep it all tidy!

We've got zucchini growing, peas climbing, beets, radishes, pumpkins, lettuce and green beans all growing beautifully!

Previously I posted about re-mulching my walkway. I added some more mulch and also doubled the row (after asking my mom's thoughts on it! One row of stepping stones just didn't seem to be enough and my mom agreed. I like it better this way....

 Xavier and my nephew got a fire going Saturday evening...

The pictures I posted of the raised beds above were from a few days ago....this is from yesterday! Look how quickly it is growing!

Chris and our Brother-in-Love worked all afternoon into the evening Saturday on the roof of our back porch! It is coming along so well!!! I am *very* excited for it to be finished!!! The men are doing such a great job!

Hanging out at the fire with Jaxson...

Today we enjoyed worship at church with our brothers and sisters in Christ. We came home to have soup and sandwiches for lunch then I went up to snuggle into my sheets for a lovely afternoon nap. Chris and the children went to the pavilion to work on some things and relax. After I woke, I put on my backpack and walked down to the pavilion to join everyone...

Xavier loves to drive the tractor (he loves to drive *anything*!) and he needed to move it this afternoon. I was glad to have my camera on me to snap a few photos! I always love seeing my guys on the tractor!

Porky, the calf (yes, he's the one who kicked me in the butt ~ literally! I still love him)...

Some more tractoring... (yes...I just made a noun into a verb. I tend to do that a lot! Ha!)...

Porky with Lucy (Pa's dog)...

My boy is growing up! Doesn't he look so grown up here? He's almost 14!? How did this happen? Speaking of which...Madelyn turns 16 this week!!! Yes! 16!!! I know....I can hardly process it either! I'll post more on that later this week! :)

I just loved snapping a pic of the boys driving the tractor with the chickens out in the field too! ;)

I have some news about my sister...Yes...she had her baby! I'm not going to post about it until I have the "OK" from her though! I can't wait until I get to though! Children are *such* a blessing! :)

It's been a long day (while at the picnic at the pavilion, my sister-in-love and I went on a fast walk. It was nice but now I am ready to just relax with my family!). Thanks so much for taking a peek into my days! Have a great week ahead! I will post soon about Madelyn turning 16 and also on my sister's new baby!!! :)