Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Little League has begun!

Little League began this week!  Matthew is one that loves to play baseball and does enjoy little league.  He loves to play the game but really, honestly, he loves it the most when he is playing ball with his dad.  He loves it best when both of them have a glove on their hands and are throwing back and forth.  Or when Mike pitches and Matthew hits a five gallon bucket full of softballs in the back yard.  It's something they started doing together again this spring and it really makes a big difference in Matthew's game.  Practice really does help and he played great at his first game last night!!!

Matthew and Hadassah both need new gloves and they have been taking turns with taking Mike's ball glove to school.  They both know to be responsible with it because Mike also still needs it and uses it!  Before Matthew's game time last night, Mike made a stop at the neighborhood sports store just down the road and Matthew was delighted to get a new pair of spikes.  His other ones are too small and he went up two sizes.  I am seeing another growth spurt in him! 

Matthew hit and fielded great last night.  The first few games are always on the chilly side and Ashlyn and I wrapped in a blanket as we cheered and watched!  Mike was the pitcher for the Rockies!  Hadassah also enjoyed the night at the park with some of her friends.

 Team pitcher ... the best ever!!!  :)

 Got on second base ... twice!

Watching these boys play last year together and then watching them last night, I was impressed how much better they got!  It's just the start of the season but I think these little men will have a great team!  We will be spending lots of time at the ball parks this spring and summer.  Between Matthew's games, Mike's games, and Mike coaching the Gators ... it will all be fun!

Way to go Rockies!!!  Winning your first game is a great start!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Celebrations!!!

HE IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD!!!  JESUS IS ALIVE!!!

Easter is such a special celebration for me!!!  For all of us actually!  Reading again the story of Christ's crucifixion makes me so grateful that He died so we may live!!! 

Our weekend was packed full of fun!  The kids had an early dismissal at school on Thursday and I was thankful for their help with cleaning dad's shop and getting our bags packed for the mountains!  Thursday was a very busy day for me with many things on my "to do list" and so by evening, I was ready to relax.  Mike slipped out for a quick ballgame to coach while the rest of us here at watched more of Jesus life on TV.  We are really enjoying watching some 'real life' on the life of Jesus as a little boy and growing up so He can die for our sins!!!  We watched "Mary, the mother of Jesus".  It was the story of Jesus' life but showed lots of views from his mom, Mary.  I can't imagine all the pain and heartaches she went through just watching her son get beaten, spit upon and die!  As any mother's heart, I'm sure hers was breaking into many pieces!  Then three days later to see her son risen from the dead!!!  I would love to read her diary!!!  :)

Friday morning. we sat together as a family and read about the crucifixion and terrible death of our Lord!  Jesus died willing but not without much pain and grief!  He was buried.  In the grave for three days and then rose again!!!  Oh what rejoicing there must have been for those who believed!!!  What confusion there must of been for those only seeing with their eyes and not believing in their heart!  The guards, the towns people, the Pharisee's, the governor and many others surely tried to make sense of it all.  Even the disciples were not all sure of all the happenings!  One thing for sure ... Jesus died and now lives!!!

The kids were eager to get on the road and head north for a quick cabin getaway with my family.  We loaded everything up after lunch, dropped Ginger off at Sadie's, and then headed for the mountains.  It was a sunny, lovely day and when we arrived ... everyone was there to greet us.  Mom and dad had an Easter egg hunt for everyone.  The kids got eggs with candy and the couples got a big egg with $$$!  Fun!  We played lots of games!  Dutch Blitz, Kan Jam, kick ball, Frisbee plus took rides on the golf cart and four wheeler.  Every day was beautiful giving the men time to work on their food plots.  Mike usually likes to ride the tractor and mow dad's huge field.  Jason did most of that this time but then suffered from back ache from all the bumping around on his seat.  The food was amazing ... especially breakfast.  The kids played so well together.  Ashlyn and Shakia were good friends and twice got caught before there was trouble.  I caught them just getting ready to play with some four wheeler gas.  They had spilled a little on their clothes but I put a stop to that!  Then Mike caught them with a tube of grease that they thought would make good lotion.  A close eye on them was needed but they had a blast.  The twins played with the toddlers too.  Hadassah and Morgan had fun!  Baby Shaelyn did great up there.  The boys loved the outdoors and the four wheeler!

(This was Matthew on Thursday at his school Easter celebration!!!)
 
 Addison at the cabin!!!  We got the biggest charge out of this girls energy!!!  She doesn't hold still for a minute!  She's such a blast and watching her happy, busy little body go and go is very entertaining!  :)  Darling!

Taking a ride on the tractor is always fun!!!

Mom and Dad lined up buckets for each of the kids before going on their egg hunt.


She played and played with the corn cobs that were out for the deer.
Hunting for her eggs!!!
 


 Mom and Dad hid one egg for each couple to find.  We were trooping all over the woods to find ours!  We ended up by the wood pile to finally claimed our $20!!!  Thanks Dad's!  :)



Every year, Mom gives Dad a big chocolate bunny because there is not many people I know that like candy and chocolate as much as my dad.  Then she gave each of the children chocolates too.


The campfire was going 24/7.  I can't wait to have more campfire gatherings around home!


LaVern throwing the boomerang while he gives rides.
 They both adore each other.
 Matthew with his bucket of goodies!
 Morgan had a birthday up there so we ate some cake and gave her gifts.  Happy Birthday Morgan!  Melanie had her hair done up with lots of ponytails and a neat basket weave in the back!!!
 
 
We stayed at the cabin till Sunday after breakfast.  Then we loaded up again and headed home so we could be on time for another Easter dinner!  Mike's mom and dad had the whole family over for nice meal, more eggs and candy and time with cousins and family! 
 
Mike's mom always gets the kids Easter baskets and fills them with candy and accessories.  Then she hides them outside and the kids need to find their basket.
 
We sat and chatted and enjoyed the children till well after dark.  They had mom's toys all spread out and everywhere but by the time we were ready to head back home, her house was cleaned up.  It's such a blessing to have loved ones and family to share special celebrations with!!!
 
Sophia and Ashlyn running to find their baskets!!!
 Keep looking ...
 I combed Ashlyn's hair like sister Jody had Melanie's at the cabin.  This is how the back looked.
 Sisters ...

Matthew got a basket and a big chocolate bunny!  Jeff and Hadassah still loving the gifts from Mommy!!! :)
 
It may seem like we think Easter is all about eggs and chocolate.  Well, we did have fun with them but really we do know the real meaning!!!  We try hard to not let the real meanings of all our celebrations get distracted with other fun!  Easter is a wonderful celebration!!!  I am thankful for Jesus!!!  I am thankful that He died to save me from my sins!!!  For the empty tomb!  It's only through Him that we can have eternal life in heaven!  Praise Him!!!
 
Happy Easter and celebrate that He is alive!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Day with sisters" ...

Yesterday, I had the day out with my sister-in-laws!  We have lots of April birthdays with Mom, Anna Ruth & Linda being some of them.  Lena planned a lunch outing for all of us and it was fun!  Even though it rained and rained all day long, we made the best of it and still went from store to store after lunch with our umbrellas assisting us.  :)

We ate at a place called "Cosi".  I never heard of the place before but I really liked it!!!  They make their flat breads right there in a fire oven.  I ordered a flat bread sandwich and a side salad.  Both were very tasty!!!  I also got a raspberry, lime, lemonade drink.  From there we went to Old Navy & Home Goods.  I was pleased with my buys!  :)  Linda had to leave a little earlier to get Celine at school so that left me with the rest of the ladies to take home.  Rosie and Bobo live nearby the restaurant so they went on their merry way as the rest of us drove home in the pouring rain.  It was good to be back home and out of the rain.  My feet were wet and I was so into spending the night inside or cozy home!


Mike got home from work and we enjoyed some subs and hot potato soup!  Soup just seems to be a must on such a rainy day!  :)  The kids looked at books, had some electronic time and then we again watched some of the life of Jesus.  With Easter being right around the corner, reading and watching about the life of Jesus is perfect!  When we were ready to tuck the kids into bed, Mike looked outside and it was snowing!!!  Huge, big flakes!  The weather turned really cold too.  I hope the flowers that I planted this week are OK?  The greenhouses say geranium and petunias can take the cold!!!  My spinach seeds may have floated to a different part of my garden too?  So much rain yesterday! 

This was our back yard and my flowers after the small snow shower last night.



I called and ordered our mulch the other day and it arrived today!  In March, I was so ready for Spring and I just itching to get my outside work done!  Now with all the rain and windy days and this cold spurt, I can't believe it's time to mulch already!  I have a busy next couple of days so the mulching work might have to wait till next week!?!  My flower beds will look so much better because they beg for a fresh coat of mulch every Spring.  The grass is getting green and thick and the little bit of snow in the back yard needs to melt before I take the mower over it again!  :)))  Unbelievable!  It reminds me this morning of the manna God provided for the children of Israel.  They prayed for that supply of food and He provided for them.  However, I did not pray for this little snow shower but I'll take it as a blessing.  :) 

Sunday evening the kids were into something quick and fast to eat.  It so happened that I had four hot dogs in the fridge still from the other weekend grilling.  I saw in an old food magazine of this fun food creation.  Hadassah helped me assemble these cute "butterflies".  All you need is hot dogs and crescent rolls.  Unroll the crescent rolls and divide them into the cut out triangles.  Then divide each triangle into two giving you a total of 16 small pieces.  Make small balls out of each piece.  Split the tops of each hot dog and place on a baking sheet.  Put four small roll balls around the hot dog to make it look like a butterfly and then flatten the balls just a bit.  Bake at 350 for 12 minutes (or until brown).  Dab on some "eyes" with ketchup and enjoy!  Yield:  4


We have this robin bird that sits in our front tree every morning.  I see it when I open up the window blinds.  I think it was cold this morning and I wonder if it is impressed with the snow?  :)


Even though we had snow last night ... Spring is still here.  I hope the warmer tempts find us really soon again!!! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Digging in the dirt ...

The weather today was warmer but windy.  We are really enjoying the warmer days and going outside without jackets and bare feet are becoming a normal.  I am trying to get determined about my running again.  Thankfully our weather is cooperating!  We love it that way!!! 

We had a busy weekend!  Friday night we picked Mike up at the shop because he worked a bit later because of Customer Appreciation Days at the shop.  Usually we get something to eat in town when Mike has this event.  The kids cheered for Chinese and although I frowned, we went with the idea.  We ate at a Chinese Buffet and after seeing our bill and not being very impressed with the food, we concluded that we don't need to go back there again.  :/  We came home and all relaxed together as we watched some parts of Rio and The Ten Commandments movie of Moses life.  The life of Moses and seeing all the plagues and the children of Israel crossing the Red Sea, was amazing.  Sometimes we read these stories as if they are just stories.  It was good to be reminded of all these amazing events that were actually "real life" back then!!!  I love it that their awesome God is still our awesome God today!!!  We were are intrigued by the movie and Matthew really liked it.  Because the whole thing was three hours long, we only got to watch a small part.  Maybe sometime we can watch the entire story!!!

Saturday was a busy day for all of us!  We were out of the house by 8 AM and went for a few more food items and then to the shop to help serve food for our Customer Appreciation Days!  Mom and I took charge of the food and so we cooked hot dogs and kraut, popped popcorn, had fresh homemade donut holes, chips and drinks!  The day was gorgeous and the children took along balls to bounce around.  The day went well but we were all ready to be home to refresh before heading off to Mike's parents for the evening to relax!  Ervin's joined us and we ladies got swooped in six handed Rook.  Sigh.

Sunday was a spiritual refreshment!  We went to church and heard a lot about creation and how creative our God is!  Making all the many different kinds of animals, speaking the planets and stars into existence and then creating man is something only a living God can do!!!  Then we heard about some of the old testament characters!  We were also reminded to enjoy 'today'.  Have joy in 'today'.  Take in the moments of life and let our children be children.  Let them 'play in the mud' and join the fun!!!  Life is serious but to always be serious and never have pure joy and laughter is not good.  Laugh a whole lot.  "This is the day that the Lord has made!!!"  Knowing that this was "Palm Sunday" I read about Jesus riding through Jerusalem on a donkey.  Such a celebration for our King!!!  I can only imagine how excited the children and people were to see 'their king' ride through town.  The excitement only lasted for a short time though.  The Pharisees and corrupt men soon sought to kill Jesus.  This is the start of the Easter Story.  (To be continued.)

Now because today was another warmer day, it was time to visit a greenhouse!!  Acutally, two greenhouses!  I bought the first set of my flowers!!!  Petunias (lots of the bubble gum kind), other variety of petunias, some collies and geraniums.  Mom, Jody and Mommy D. went along too.  We packed the Yukon full of pretty flowers and I couldn't wait to get them planted!  On the way home, Ashlyn and I stopped for groceries and there was another small greenhouse right beside the grocery store.  I couldn't help but take a peak!  :)  I grabbed four tomato plants and two Easter lilies for my mom/mother-in-law!  After the groceries were all put away, I went outside to start my digging!  I planted my many petunias in the ground.  I planted the red geraniums.  I put together a big pot of more petunias, collies, and verbena.  (I will need to keep this inside a bit longer though because we are supposed to have some cold nights yet this week.)  With some flowers now in the ground, I am ready for our mulch that is so arrive on Wednesday!!!  I love Spring!  :)  Mike also filled my box in the garden with more dirt and now my spinach and cut lettuce is planted!!!  I'm so happy to see the radishes and sugar peas peaking through the garden dirt!  Matthew and Mike hit lots of balls in the back yard tonight.  Hadassah studied for her science test and bounced the basketball around.  Matthew filled the basketball net stand with sand and now hopefully, it will not keep falling over!  Ashlyn trooped around the house and rode her new bike she got from John Mike and Mim for her birthday.  Firing up the grill tonight and grilling fresh fish from Florida was a treat!  We are so blessed!

It's now time to get to bed because we are planning to get up tonight at 2 AM to see the eclipse in the sky!

Cheers to the warmer weather!  Double cheers to have flowers planted and I am looking forwards to their display of beauty all summer long!



Friday, April 11, 2014

Life with children!!!

I would never, never, EVER want to live without children!!!  Especially ours!!!  They are sweet.  Innocent.  Cute.  Full of energy!!!  Live for the moment.  They never fear what might happen tomorrow with our nation.  They have faith that every single prayer will be answered because they know that God does really answer prayer!  They say 'how it is'.  Sometimes bluntly.  Their laughter and joy is what us adults need from them!!!

Yesterday, my day was surrounded with all this energy and chatter!  Sister Jody's twins came for the day while she cropped.  (I was a bit jealous because scrap booking is something I didn't get much done this winter.  Sigh.)  They played and played with Ashlyn.  We picked up Shakia too while her momma took care of newborn Shaelyn and herself.  The girls were so pumped as we picked up Kia and brought them all home to play all day together!  They piled blankets and pillows in the living room and jumped around.  They sat around the table eating cheese curls and string cheese.  Then lolly pops.  They played with the tinker toys and kitchen set.  Because it was so nice outside they drew all over the driveway with the sidewalk chalk.  They rode the trikes inside and outside.  Their energy just kept going and going.  I realized I was out of milk, so we made a quick stop at Lapp Valley before the school children came home.  I picked up Jody's older kids and brought them home just before Hadassah and Matthew got dropped off.  This was a circus for a little bit.  Everyone wanted a snack.  Cereal.  Good thing I went for milk!  But I don't have many cereal options right now (not that I'm apologizing though).  Some settled for the little bit of fruit loops that we had and others went with rice krispies.  I cut up an apple and set peanut butter on the table.  Things got devoured.

My Spring flowers are popping!  And smelling so good!


 I thought it was so cute that these two grabbed their swimming goggles for eye safety!
 
They always have fun together ...
 
Then the kids went bouncing outside to enjoy the sunshine.  Matthew was so excited to show the boys his new air soft gun.  He's been saving up for this for months and on Monday night, Matthew and Mike went to Cabela's to get his buy.  Boys and their guns ... I'm not always sure about it???  Safety first.  Always!!!

With all these children in the house it reminds me of how important it is for us parents to be good trainers.  I said to myself the other day that I will be veerrrry patient (especially with our toddler) and not put on "my angry eyes".  Ashlyn keeps mentioning about "angry eyes" when we talk stern or when she needs reprimanded.  Having obedient children is rewarding but it comes with so much patience and training!  We seem to have to go through this same routine every morning when it's time to comb Ashlyn's hair.  She hates when I brush out her hair.  But I need to, right?  I said that "yes" I am going to brush out your pretty, blond hair.  I tell her that little children need to listen on their parents.  In fact big kids needs to listen too!!!  :)  I went through this toddler stage before but many times I feel like it's my first time.  Live and learn.  Learn again and again.  The older kids are being reminded these past few days that the balls now need to stay outdoors.  With the warmer tempts outside, the soccer, basketball and tennis balls all belong outside!!!  The other day I was cooking supper in the kitchen and suddenly heard a bunch of glass breaking.  Matthew threw a tennis ball against the garage door and broke a window.  Nothing that can't be replaced ... again.  :)

We had a good day with all the extra little girls in the house yesterday but be sure of one thing, it meant lots of caring and sharing!  Ashlyn brings so much spice into our lives and when I came home the other night, after having coffee and girl time with some of my bestest girlfriends, she was so full of hugs and kisses.  She came running up to me and said over and over, "Hi, Mom!!!"  Like she didn't see me all day.  :)  I love her so much!!!

This girl loves, loves to paint her nails!

______________________________________

On a different note now, baseball season has begun!!!  Mike had his first game on Wednesday night.  He is helping a team made up of many guys he played ball with for years.  Matthew went with him to the game while the girls and I snuck out for some girl shopping!  Hadassah thought that if Matthew had a night out with his daddy at Cabela's on Monday, then we should do a night with just us girls.  I was into the idea!  We all met at the ball park later that night.  The first few weeks of ball are usually chilly, so we were ready to head home to our warm house!  I look forward to many more summer nights watching ballgames!

The other night with girlfriends.  It's by far not the best picture (using my phone always results in poor pics!!!) but it's proof we were together!  It was a birthday gathering to surprise Ruthie!  Always good chatter with these ladies!!!  :)


I also did some Spring outside work this week!  I raked out from under the pines and got so many little twigs out!  I trimmed the rest of our rose bushes.  I even mowed the yard!!!  It looks really nice and turning into a gorgeous green!!!  Mowing the first time is always all about picking up any winter dirt or small leaves or twigs that get laid here and there in the grass.  Not so much cutting of the grass.  I know that mowing will soon become a weekly task.  I love it!  I still need to edge and then order our mulch!  I hope to visit greenhouses next week!  I am so excited that it's soon time to get flowers planted and watch the colors explode!!!  My spinach needs planted yet too.  I can't wait to harvest my fresh grown greens!!! 

I love spring and summer time!!!