Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Going down memory lane ...

We have been so happy the past few days because we got to spend some time with friends that we don't see too much and especially get to 'be with' them that often! 

It all began on Friday evening when we arrived at a benefit auction.  We pulled in the long drive, parked and walked in to find something good to eat for supper.  ShaLyn, a good friend of Hadassah, spied us driving in and found us shortly after we got some food.  We didn't know she was in town and so this was a nice surprise to us all but especially to Hadassah!!!  (It just so happens that ShaLyn's mom is my BFF!)  These two love to be together and it's a never ending beg when she knows Sha is around and wants to be with her.  They immediately started planning to spend the night together.  They decided to go with ShaLyn home and have a sleep over but then get up super early to help with the benefit breakfast the next morning.  Meanwhile, the rest of us finished up our supper and headed off to Mike's late night ball games.

Saturday, the girls helped with the benefit breakfast and did a great job!  They did good at sticking to the job and helped with clearing off tables and wiping down trays!  From there they went from one pool to the next swimming pool.  ShaLyn's grandma was the driver and this tickled me because a way long time ago ... she was doing this same very thing for Rosa and I!  Hadassah finally got back home late that afternoon and just in time to go with us to a family gathering.  We had a fun night of sitting around the campfire and then watching a game mixed from football and soccer.  Or so I think???  :)  It was another late night out with friends and family and our beds felt wonderful when we finally got under the covers!  Thank you AC for working!!!  :)

Sunday morning we got up later than usual and starting scrambling to get ready for church.  We arrived a little on the late side but again we were surprised to have the Dutch family there!  The girls giggled and the boys reacquainted.  Right after the service, they met and played.  We were pleased to get invited to host family lunch with Dutch and Rosa and their family, giving us a good time to sit and chat!  Thanks John and Naomi for the delicious eats!!!  That afternoon, Mike relaxed in his new hammock outside under the shade tree while I took a short nap in the swing right beside him.  We've been having warm tempts but the breeze was great and sitting in the shade was perfect!  We both decided that it's been way too long since we got a run in together, so we tied our running shoes and headed out for a quick run.  It was cute because Ashlyn wanted along too and she got on her new grey sneakers and called them "her running shoes".  Mike and I ran while Matthew biked along side of us.  The girls stayed back at home.  Running is something that I continually have good intentions on doing more and really all I need to do is get determined to "just get out and do it".  I have no excuses.  Running in the mornings right now seems to be the best option but I can only sleep in during the "no school days".  Sadly, my sleep gets the higher votes lately!  Uhh.  Anyway, the run with Mike did feel good and on our way back we walked.  That felt good too.  :)))  Later that night, we started up the campfire at our house and invited Dutchies and Matts for come for smores.  The kids were again super excited but then let down when we got the text saying that they were not coming after all.  (I know that when you live out of town, things can change your plans pretty quick.  You can't near always spend all your time with one family even though our children didn't get that concept as easily as we adults did.)  We still had a good night roasting smores with Matt, Lena and Hunter.  :) 

Rosa called the next morning.  Her and Dutch were going out on a business adventure and wondered if the kids could stay at our house?  Bingo!!!  The kids played so well and did great!  Mike didn't come home from work till a little later and at 7:30, we were all on the back porch.  The kids set up the baseball bases and played kids VS dad's.  They had Mike and Dutch sweating and played them hard.  Hadassah and ShaLyn treated the dad's to homemade smoothies!  We ended up sitting on the back porch till late talking about 'the good old days'.  So fun!!!  I love thinking and remembering all the fun we had together running around as teenagers.  Rosa and I did almost everything together.  Then when the men in our lives showed up, it got even more fun!  We double dated!  We watched ALL their ball/hockey games!  We went to Florida together.  We were BFF's.  Between me going to high school and Rosa working during the day (this is actually something we did not do the same), we made the most of our youth days being with each other and friends in the youth group.  We loved it and so a night of remembering was again bringing us to laughter and smiles!  We were Taboo bombs and I wonder how good we could still be if we played this game again?.  We can still sing our favorite songs together.  It is a huge blessing to have good memories in the single and dating years of my life!  Even though they now live a few hours away, it's refreshing to "go down memory lane".  Thanks Dutch and Rosa for hanging out with us once again!!!  Fun times!!!

Tuesday, we had another day together and swam!  Rosa invited us to Sue's pool and with two other families there also, we made some big splash's!  The water did feel good on a hot summer day!  Thanks Sue!!!  :)  I also bought a new pair of running shoes!  Maybe that will be my new running motivation!?!  :)

It's warm and it's sunny!  This summer is going way too fast!  I keep hearing that the school things are now back in stores but I refuse to think too much of school yet and stay focused on our upcoming fun summer days!!!  We love summer time!!!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

He turns 9!!!

Matthew just had a birthday and turned 9 years old.  It just doesn't seem long at all that he was a baby.  I remember his birth so well!  I was totally wore out after being induced, in labor all day, and then finally going for surgery at 11 PM.  He was born a healthy, big boy!!!  He was a very content baby!  He is still an easy kid and we love him like crazy!  He adds lots of balls and bats to the house d├ęcor'!  :)  He's all boy but loves his family and loves to spend time with his hero ... his dad!!!  We love you so much Matthew and we are so happy God blessed us with you!!!

Matthew started his day with pancakes with chocolate chips and candles!  We played our famous "happy birthday" song while he ate!!!

He really wanted his cousins to come over for the afternoon and hit some balls in the backyard.  (Which by the way, he is outgrowing the back yard!  His baseballs keep flying out into the farmers fields!)  It didn't work out exactly how he wanted but we ended up going to Mommy Lapp's to say hi to Jeff and Bobo.  Then we picked up Ryan and Tyler and Morgan and they came for a warm, fun afternoon outside.  The rains kept coming on and off and they hit balls in between.  They cleaned out the little 'studio' barn and added a loft.  Being with cousins is a blast!  The girls did crafts while the boys roughed it outside.  :)

We told Matthew that he can pick a place to go for supper.  He chose Texas Roadhouse and we were all happy with that choice!  The kids love, love the rolls and cinnamon butter!  Matthew ordered wings that he also enjoyed!  The experience was fun!  Matthew sat on a saddle while everyone in the restaurant yelled out a "yeeha" for his birthday!  :)

From there we went over to Khols and Matthew picked out a watch for his birthday.  He's been wanting a watch and is so totally happy with his buy!

Then we were else going to go mini golfing or bowling.  Because of the thunderstorms, we had to bowl.  Matthew was all into this and we played two fun games!!!

Little miss just watched us and was taking turns holding all the bowling balls.

She kept bringing more balls to our lane.  Some were heavy!!!  :)

The next day, Matthew went to the shop to do his work project Mike has him doing.  After he finished his task, Mike took him for a new bike!  He outgrew his other one and Mike couldn't wait to take him to buy another bigger one!!!  He's been riding all around the house with this new toy!

Of course, wearing his new watch!  He times himself going around the house!  :)  Yesterday, I made meadow tea and told him to tell me when 10 minutes was up.  He ran inside and told me exactly when it was time to get the tea off the stove and into my glass jars! 

Matthew is so special!  He's a sweet boy and we are excited to see him grow up!  Turning nine was a celebration!!!  We love you so much Matthew!!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Eating with our fingers and spending time with friends!!!

Matt and Marlene invited our "friend crew" over for a "trash can supper" and swimming yesterday afternoon.  The kids swam while us adults chatted!  This group of friends is always a blast! 

The food gets poured out right on the table and then we ate with our fingers!

Matt piled the foods on his cooker and when it was all cooked, he dumped it right on top of the table!  We all gathered around and with some dips and our fingers, we chowed!

Suz and Linda made the dessert and they were all wonderful!  My two big bowls of fruit was refreshing too!  Ruthie's brewed tea and Martha's party mix was awesome too!  We are so blessed to have good foods and great Christian friends to hang out with!!!  Thanks Matt and Marlene for the fun night and hopefully we didn't make it too tough when it came to clean up time!  It's hard to keep a place picture perfect with 21 children and 12 adults!!!  We make a crowd!

Thanks for the yummy foods everyone!

Beat the heat!!!

The way we can beat the heat outside around our house is to spend time in the water!!!  We've been at the pool's three times last week.  I think that's our recording breaker for this summer so far!  The first day at the pool was with sister Jody and her children.  The cousins ALWAYS have a blast and swimming together is not something that do a whole lot together ... so this was an extra nice treat for them!  Thanks guys for meeting us at the pool!

The next pool day was with two great friends!  Martha Rose texted me and said she is going to the pool and that we should meet her there!  We've been saying for a few weeks that we should met up at the pool, so here was our chance!  I needed to get the house cleaned first, the bed sheets washed, dried and beds remade, the cooler packed, etc.. before heading out the door.  The children helped me and we were splashing in the cool water right after noon!  Meanwhile, I said something to Suz about meeting us there too because Dave & Mike were both out of town.  (Together they went to tour a lumber mill in Minnisota.)  When she showed up, it was a surprise to Marts boys!  The older kids threw balls in the pool all afternoon while the younger kids played in the kiddie.  We all got another heavy dose of sunshine.  Sunscreen is a must on these warm/hot days!


We spent the evening here at home.  We missed Mike not being home with us but we did get to talk to him on the phone and they had a fun afternoon on four wheelers sight seeing.  We had another thunder storm go through after dark giving us a needed rain shower for the sunbeaten grass!

Friday was my mom and brother LaVern's birthday.  We had planned to take a picnic lunch to a nearby park and then go to a pond to swim.  We invited the sisters to all go along but it only suited Jody and I (and Mom!!!).  That morning we found that the pond was drained for a cleaning and so after our lunch at the park, we went to Aunt Ruth's pool.  It was hot!  It felt good!  It was loud with all the happy children splashing in the pool.  More sunshine.  More wrinkled up fingers and toes from soaking in the water.  More tan colored cheeks and sunkissed hair!  Isn't summer so fun???

Marilyn and I met at Dave & Suz on Friday night for pizza and campfire while we waited for the men to return home!  The kids once again got into their swimmies and took a few more plunges in the Zook's pool.  I took along a big tray of fresh zucchini and squash.  I cut them into pieces and then sprinkled on some olive oil.  Then I cut up some fresh herbs from the garden and tossed them on top.  I roasted them at 400 for 30 minutes and then topped them with fresh grated sharp cheese.  They tasted great!  The guys arrived safe and sound around 9:15 and joined us at the campfire.  They had a great time touring the lumber yard and the state of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Here's the dish of veggies I mixed up.  I never plant zucchini or squash because other's around me always have way more than they need!!!  I got these from sister Jody.  She walked in the other day with a bag full of squash and she said, "And how many did you say you need?"  I hadn't even said anything about delicious veggies but I was into having some to eat!  I wish my family would like them like I do.!.  Here I cut them in chunks, poured olive oil over them and tossed.  I went to the garden and cut some herbs (Thyme, Basil & Oregano) and sprinkled them all over the top.  Salt and pepper.  I roasted them at 400 degrees for 25 minutes and then topped them with some fresh grated sharp cheese.  They tasted great!!!

Saturday was another day at home doing my outside work.  The lawn got mowed, the weeds pulled, trimmed and blew.  It's still warm outside but a good breeze was in the air!  It was great having Mike home again after his short get away!  The kids love to swing with him in the new hammock!  We cooked corn on the cob and roasted marshmellows around the campfire after Mike went for a bike ride.  Matt's joined us and the night was lovely around the campfire!  Summer nights at home outside are great especially with Ashlyn chasing after lightning bugs!  She loves to do this!  We love summer! 

Enjoy summer!!!       

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer greats ...

Today it is hot outside and so we chose to go to the pool with cousins!  I called Jody this morning hoping that they will join us at the pool ... and they did!  We packed sandwiches and drinks and headed out for the day of wet and sunshine!  The kids all had a blast!

Thanks for joining us today girls!!!

Supper last night was the start of one of our favorite summer meals!!!  Corn on the cob!  The corn is just starting to ripen in our area and we got to enjoy the firsts of it last night!  So good!  Matthew slabs on the butter and salt!  Hadassah likes it sweet and salty too but is a little bit more conservative on the amounts!  Ashlyn saw her daddy sprinkle on some seasoned salt and she ate hers like "daddy".  I grilled some marinated chicken to go with the meal and that too was tasty! 

After supper, we headed off to Matthew's last little league ball game for the year.  He loved, loved his ball season and team mates.  They played well and only lost one game!!!  They were treated to Rita's after the game! 

The Rockies of 2014!!!

Summer time is the best time!!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Weekends ...

Weekends are so fun!  Most times they are relaxing.  Most times they are spent with friends and family.  Most times we go somewhere and do something!  :)

My whole family was at the cabin for an employee getaway (my brothers work for dad).  We were invited to come up Friday night and stay till Sunday but even though we love this little cabin in the woods, Mike was not into the packing up and driving that drive.  It was not real easy to be happy with that decision but fretting all weekend about it, I knew that wouldn't work either.  So ... we decided to have a good time right here at home!  And we did!!!!

Saturday was a gorgeous, warm day!  The kids slept in while I baked another batch of homemade blueberry muffins.  Reading devotions on the sunny back porch was heavenly!  Sipping on hot coffee and hearing the birds chirping in the trees added such splendor!  The printer was printing out church bulletins.  The washer was cleaning clothes.  Mike did some work around the house in the morning and then went to the shop for a few hours.  Matthew went with him and they made a stop at the bike shop and bought a few more accessories for Mike's bike.  Meanwhile, the girls and I gathered some snacks and got the swim gear loaded up.  We had decided to go swimming as a family and get more sunkissed tans!

We were just pulling out the lane when Matt Lapp texted and said to come swim at their pool with them.  OK!!!  We never turn that down!  :)  (Actually, Hadassah wanted me to call them earlier and tell them to come to the pool with us.  I knew better than that because I don't like when we invite ourselves to other peoples pools.)  The kids all cheered and ten minutes later we pulled into their driveway.  They were still working outside and I could tell by Marlene's face that she didn't know we were coming.  It didn't take them long to finish up their work and join us by the pool side!  We sunned.  We swam.  We chatted.  We laughed.  Ashlyn and Colson hit it off great and they were busy playing.  The older ones played games in the water as they swam.  We love to be with this family!  Thanks guys for the invite!  You guys are special!  We packed up the towels and goggles and headed home for supper.  I grilled some fish and shrimp and then by 8 PM, we called Matt's and said to meet us at Rita's for dessert!  They decided to stay at home but we went for custard and chocolates!  Our small town was busy with folks walking the streets and eating ice cream or drinking coffee.  Music was playing softly and it was fun!

We got another text from Brother in law Steve inviting us to their house for lunch on Sunday.  He makes really good brisket on his smoker and told us to come help eat it!  Again, we don't turn down these invites!!!  The food was great and the kids had fun playing.  We couldn't stay the whole afternoon though because Mike and Matt had planned to go biking to prepare them for their long upcoming bike ride in September.  Ashlyn and I napped and then again, Marlene told us to come over and let the guys meet us there for supper.  Again, the kids cheered, got into their swimmies and had a blast!  Turkey melts and hot dogs over the camp fire was our supper!  The guys came back tired from their 52 mile ride! 

Our weekend with no planned events turned out to be full of fun events!!!  Weekends are so fun!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Celebrating our Freedom!!!

Fourth of July is always fun!!!  We gather with the same group of friends that started a long time ago.  It's an old ball team reunion and we love to be with these people!!!  This year, Merv and Marie took their turn and we all met at their house for supper on Thursday night.  There was a bad storm brewing on the way there and so we all marched into their house to eat our yummy food!  Merv made this delicious chicken on the grill, Marie added some great side dishes and the rest of us brought foods to share!  The kids always get acquainted fast each year and they too have a blast!  After supper, the storm passed and we sat around the campfire while the kids played volleyball and set up camp.  We roasted smores.  Laughed.  Watched the children play in the grass with their glow sticks and drank cold tea!!!

When it was time to leave, Matthew wanted to sleep in a tent.  Originally, the Falcons usually camped over night but now it seems like those of us that drive and live close, choose to go sleep in our beds and return the next morning for breakfast!!!  Mike and Matthew set up a tent and while the boys camped out, Hadassah and Hannah came to our house to sleep.  Ashlyn was already sleeping on her daddy lap for a few hours before getting tucked into her bed!

Morning came quick and we headed back to Merv's for breakfast.  The boys ended up on the couches inside because another rain shower brought water into their tent.  :/  It was a breezy day but the men and kids went to a nearby pond and fished while the ladies finished cleaning up the breakfast dishes.  We sat around the campfire again and later cooked hot dogs and more marshmellows.  The whole event was fun and thanks to Merv's for opening up their house even when the weather was not pleasant.

 Matthew and his friends had a blast!
 Because of these men ... we gather every 4th of July!

 Hadassah caught a fish!!!  Her and Hannah had a blast too!

Ashlyn had a bite but it got away!

Mike and I had a double date night planned for that evening and so we picked up the sitter and Matt & Marlene met us at our house.  (Mike went for a quick bike ride first.)  We went to our favorite place to eat = Bonefish Grill!!!  Again, we were not disappointed with our choices!!!  Love this place!!!  They have great food!!!!  From there we went to the theater to watch the documentary called "America the Movie".  It was inspiring and the guys walked out so pumped!!!  They want our country to turn back to God instead of allowing more sin and worldly morals to rule and they try to make a difference in their own businesses/lives!!!  From there we headed home but decided to pull off and sit on the tailgate of Matt's truck and watch for fireworks.  We saw a few and heard lots of noise and booms but ended up just laughing at our attempts and went home.  The night was great.  Thanks for being such great friends Matt and Marlene!!!

The rest of our weekend is open and I know we will have fun with the kids!!!  Maybe go swimming?  Maybe go see more fireworks?  Whatever we do ... we want to do it together! 

Let Freedom Ring!!!