Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Fantastic Discovery

OK, so today we were a bit frivolous. We wanted to go out to eat for dinner tonight, but we are kind of tired of pizza and burgers (the only two restaurants in town that would be open on a Saturday evening). So, we piled into the car and drove 27 miles to Phillipsburg where we were told there was a Chinese Restaurant. Well, we got to town and the restaurant was apparently closed (why was I not surprised). So we went to Subway -- I guess I was able to eat healthy after all. Since we couldn't justify driving all that way just for sub sandwiches, we drove around town to see what they had. As a result we found a fantabulous park that the kids absolutely loved. We took lots of pictures.
I'm sorry I don't have time to put together a slide show or to upload more than one picture to my blog, but if you would like to see the rest of the pictures click here. Let me know if you have any problems viewing the pictures since this is the first time I've used this feature.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Fields are White unto the Harvest

Daddy and Andy on their way to the combine

Yesterday we had the privilege to go out and watch some of the people in our church harvest their wheat. It was so neat to learn more about harvest, and it helped both JA and me understand the passage where Christ says "the fields are white unto the harvest." When the field is ripe with good grain, the heads on the wheat are a light color. The wheat is also suppose to bend with the weight of the head. When people who are confronted with the Gospel are ready for Christ they bend under the weight of their sin, and they are humbled before God. It's so awesome to be able to understand the Scriptures better in light of the harvest.

Can you see the blue hat in the combine?
That's Andy behind the wheel. He enjoyed two whole
hours in the combine (that's twice as much as the rest of us had).
Click on the picture to enlarge and you'll be able to clearly see Andy behind the wheel.

While we weren't able to be much help seeing as how we don't know how to drive the combines and such, we did have a great time. Each of us were able to ride in the combine and see how the harvest process worked up close.
Kara and I are riding in the combine

JA and Kara standing in the straw after the wheat's been cut.

While I didn't get a picture of Lydia in the combine, Lydia was truly my little farm gal. With short hair and hat, and bare feet, she was trampling all over the straw like it was nothing. She was having a blast. Every time a combine came near she wanted to run out and ride in it again.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Catching Up

Sorry, it's been awhile since I've blogged. Time just doesn't seem available to blog right now. I'm going to try to play catch up in this blog, so please excuse the variety of different things.

Monday afternoon, these two teenagers watched our kids for us while we attended a funeral of a 12 year old girl -- Leah Tompkins. While the gospel was not strongly presented, we really liked how the pastor began the service -- He emphasized that Leah's death was not the result of any one's fault. The Scriptures say "It is appointed unto man once to die," Leah's death was an appointment. Had it not been a car accident, it would have been something else. It was such a great reminder that every one's death is an appointment and not something we can blame on one thing or another.

After the funeral, we all piled into the van (poor Megan had to squeeze between two car seats). Then we continued our drive to Ottawa , Kansas where we dropped them off at Amazing Grace Baptist Camp for the week. After dropping them off, I took the kids over to spend a few minutes visiting with Sarah Burton before piling into the van and driving to my parents for the night. We must have driven through at least 3 or 4 different thunderstorms.

Thank you Aunt Amanda for the great outfit. I love it so much that I'm trying to take a picture of myself in it. Seriously, she loves this outfit. If it's in her drawer it's the first one she chooses. Sorry, I still haven't been able to get a picture of Lydia or Andy in their outfits. I will try to remember next time they wear them.

Last weekend Andy and I had the opportunity to go to Downs and stay at a bed and breakfast. A few weeks ago I was asked to be in charge of Publicity for our local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. So, last week we had a planning retreat to get things ready for next year. It was great. Friday night we had a delicious tea (I'll have to try to make some of the treats) and then we went out on a camera scavenger hunt (using other people's cameras, so unfortunately I don't have the pictures) After the scavenger hunt we stayed up till about 12 just chatting and getting to know each other.
Here is Melanie and Andy as we sat around chatting

Despite having this huge bed all to myself (Andy slept on the floor), I still had trouble sleeping.
Can you see us in the mirror? I just thought our room was gorgeous.
And finally, here is one of my roomie and me.
I had a great time, the food was delicious -- especially the cantaloupe soup - too bad I could only take a bite b/c of my allergies but Andy enjoyed finishing it up for me. He especially enjoyed all the attention he received by being the only child present and reminding all the other mom's of how refreshing it is to be away without children. Oh well, someday I'll find that feeling :-) Until then I'll enjoy my time with my kids.

Concerning my recent post where I stated my garden had been destroyed -- Thankfully I've discovered that was a bit of an overstatement. Even though my squash had been uprooted, I was able to throw some dirt back over the roots and it survived. I've already been able to harvest some small yellow squash and in a couple days will have some peas ready for picking. I'll post pictures when I can.

Now, please be prepared for another lapse in blogging since the harvest is soon to start, and we will probably be going out and helping some of the farmers. So, stayed tuned you may see Andy in a combine soon.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


JA and I have had the privilege to be working on several different projects over the last couple of months. We've had a lot of fun working together and spending time with each other while getting things done.

Here are some of the projects we have completed:

For Mother's Day, JA wanted me to make matching outfits for us girls. So I attempted to sew a sundress for each of the girls, and a skirt for myself. It ended up saving a ton of money -- The two dresses and skirt cost a total of $4

We purchased a beanbag chair for the reading corner in the girls room. However, it was an ugly grey. So, I took some fleece I had on hand (leftover from a tie blanket I made a few years ago -- Elizabeth, does it look familiar?), and I sewed a cover for it. Total cost -- $0
JA and I have so many books that we don't have nearly enough shelf space. So, JA built two bookcases (I only took a picture of one of them). The cost was a bit pricey at about $200, but to purchase two big bookcases like this would have cost a whole lot more. This was probably the project we spent the most time on, but it was a blast -- staining the wood, and putting it together. JA even let me drill and help put it together.
The girls bathroom has been without a curtain since we moved in. So, I finally broke down and bought some material and ribbon. Borrowing this idea from Alicia, I made a curtain for the bathroom window. I only covered the bottom half of the window so we could get sunlight in during the day and conserve on the electricity. Total cost -- $4
And this project was a no brainer. I took some of the left over material from the curtain, and tucked it in over the back of the toilet. Cost -- $0

Some of the other projects we've started/completed include building a flowerbed in the backyard, cleaning up after the storm (okay, so it's not a big project but it was necessary).Of course my garden that you've seen in other posts, and a few other small things.

I know several of you are wanting to see the quilt I've been working on for Andy's room. Well, that has had to take a back burner to several other things that needed doing. But, hopefully I'll have it done in the next month or two -- I'd better, b/c I'm joining a quilting group, and if I don't meet my goals on my quilt each month I have to buy everyone a fat quarter of fabric. And since I don't like spending lots of money, I'll be trying hard to meet my goals.

What are some projects you have been working on lately.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

My Poor Poor Garden

Understand, I am not complaining in the post -- I am simply making observations.

Okay, I have officially had my garden for a month now, and I haven't given it up -- Mom, aren't you proud! I even get down on my hands and knees to weed. My mom has a picture of me in elementary school sitting on a chair next to the garden with a rake in my hand just kinda raking the garden instead of doing the weeding I was suppose to be doing.

However, I have a question -- How in the world can you keep a garden going in Kansas?

Last week the hail took out one of my tomato plants, all of the eggplants, half my pumpkin plants (okay so there were only two to begin with, but half sounds big), and most of my cantaloupe.

Yesterday I lost half of my remaining garden. Not to hail, tornado, heavy rains, etc. I lost it to the wind of all things. one of my tomato plants got broken because of the leaves that got blown onto it. Four of my squash plants were uprooted, and the rest are definitely hurting from the wind. Half of my peas are gone (and there were about 20 of those plants). I even lost two of my lilies growing in the front yard -- the wind just broke their stalks. My corn and my carrots are yet unharmed -- although their is a baby rabbit that has suddenly decided to take up residence in our back yard. We've chased him out twice but he's determined to stay. So, will my carrots survive?

Thank you for listening to the ramblings of this gardener who had vowed as a teenager to never have a garden because it took too much work. Now I have a garden that takes very little work, but the weather is helping me to drastically reduce it's size. Praise the Lord for He is Lord over the wind and the rains (hail in this case). I know he will provide for our family, and in the meantime I am enjoying learning how to care and tend to the beautiful creation He has given us. I am thankful for being able to tend a garden with so few weeds and I am excited to see the fruits of our work at the end of this summer.

I do have a praise. I thought that all of our elm trees were diseased and on their last leg. Sandra from the K-State Extension office came out to take a look at our trees. They are at the end of their life, but if we keep them trimmed, and plant a new tree every five years (and remove one every five years) we should be able to keep our shade. Believe me -- This is VERY Important. For all of you who live in WI. This is just the first week of June and we have already up in the 90 degree weather. Yesterday the thermostat in the house read 84 degrees and we had the fans running all day.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Storm Pictures

Last Thursday we had a bad storm that sent us to the basement for about half an hour. About 15 mi from us they had six inches of hail and a tornado. Praise the Lord for his protection. We had some of the hail, and it bruised our air conditioner, busted some screens, and we won't know about the roof until the insurance man comes and examines them. Others in our church lost all their wheat, and windows. Here are the results of the storm in our home.

Unfortunately my garden got a bit bruised. My squash has recovered. I lost all of the eggplants, cantelope, one pumpkin plant, and one tomato plant. I think one of my squash plants keeled over. My peppers, carrots, corn, peas, and beans all made it through without a problem.

This was a couple hours after the storm. When it was falling it was about the size of golf balls. We could see it banging up against the basement window.

This huge branch busted off the tree, and popped the pool. So JA had to go get a new pool for the kids b/c today the weather was suppose to be about 90 degrees.

JA and Tim cutting up the tree branch

Here is one picture of Kara. She got to go to a SuperHero Birthday Party on Saturday. Here she is dressed as SuperKara.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Memorial Day

Monday was a fantastic day. Not only did we get a ton of things done around the house, but we also had a blast spending time together as a family.

This is Andy's second time in the pool --
first time he took a nose dive, so he's a little tenative now.

Monday began JA's first week of hospital chaplain. So, when he took off at 10:00 to go make his rounds, the girls and I headed outside for some fun (Andy was taking a nap).

First thing on the agenda was to tackle my Onion Patch. I had to pull up at least 20 onions b/c they had gotten too big. I planted the new sprouts at the same time. For some reason though, my new sprouts don't want to stand up nice and tall, but I have a feeling I waited too long to plant them.

While I was tending to the onions, JA came home and surprised me with a cappachino (the instant kind from the gas station -- we don't have any coffee shops in town :-( ). Then, we proceeded to argue over who would mow the backyard. Well, it wasn't really an arguement. We both wanted to. JA b/c he enjoys it, and me b/c most of the women at church mow their yards and I have never mowed a yard before. So, JA let me and I actually had fun. While I mowed, JA worked in the garage on staining the wood for his bookcase.

All this time the kids were having a great time running around outside. I finally found the secret to helping them have a good time outside -- Be outside with them. I do spend time playing with them, but usually I'm in and out when they are outside. Even though I wasn't right with them the entire time, they had fun coming and checking on my progress or seeing what I was doing.

After lunch we blew up the kids pool, and all three kids had a great time enjoying the sunshine and cool water
Kara was having a blast in the pool; however, Lydia didn't like the cold water, so she was doing everything she could to avoid getting in the water.

Lydia finally gave in and climbed into the pool. We had a hard time getting her to come out after that.

All tuckered out after playing in the pool. Just kidding mom, I was just resting my head.

This isn't so bad now.

Just a note, I found a washable swim diaper for Andy at Toys R Us. This washable diaper was cheaper than one package of the disposable swim diapers. The advantage -- I can use it all summer and it will hold the same messes as those disposable ones and save me money. I can even hadwash it and put it right back on. I'm looking forward to this saving me lots of money in diapers this summer.