Weekend Fun: Tractors, Trailers, & Traditions

  Did you all have a great weekend!?

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Ours was busy, but fun.  It was warmer than it has been, thankfully the ice is melted and we are enjoying 50’s and 60’s again.  That means there are LOTS of chores to do outside in preparation for gardens, our up and coming cow purchase, and even some branch clean up from that yucky ice storm.

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  God answered a really big prayer of ours, and provided Dale’s father, Don, a beautiful camper trailer to live in while he goes through chemo.  If you follow us on Facebook, you know he has stage 4 cancer and we are asking God for a miracle.  We did a family photo shoot that I will share with you on Thursday, so you can “meet” him then. 

 This camper is nice and big with a slide out, open kitchen and living area, washer & dryer, nice storage areas, including 3 closets, tub-shower and more.  Way nicer than anything we had found before, and exactly in the price range that was set.  A TOTAL God-thing to say the least!!!!!! 

Papas new home

  We are going to clean it good, and get him moved out here soon, so I can help care for him, if necessary.  Or, at very least, check on him now and then.
He lives in another town, but had recently purchased the acreage right next door to us, in hopes of building there someday.  Soon we will move his camper over there.{First we have to hook up water and all that.} It will be so fun to have Papa right next door!

  This Weekend was also the MCC Sale.  It’s a Mennonite event that raises funds for disaster relief all over the world.  They auction off beautiful wood crafted items, tractors, bikes, campers, marble sets, and gorgeous handmade quilts from the local Mennonite ladies! 

We love to watch the ladies make Pysanka, Ukrainian Easter eggs. 

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  Of course the MCC Sale offers amazing German food, like Vereneke {pronounced Verenika} and ham gravy, zwiebach, cherry or pluma moos, borscht, and bonne berogi.  My friend Stephanie, posted this photo of her supper on Facebook, she said I could share it with you today. 

  This is the traditional German meal, dubbed “The Feeding of the Multitudes” at this particular event. There is a reason it’s called this, cause you all, the line seriously goes the entire walkway in front of the building, and down as far as the eye can see.  We have never braved it with the kids!

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   We typically go as a family after school for snacks of some Vereneke to share, along with meat, crackers and Cheese Curds! {aka Squeaky Cheese}

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Due to the SPECIAL nature of this oh-so exciting yearly event, I let everyone pick one sweet treat. Oh, were they excited about that part!!!!!!!

  Destiny was clever and waited until the VERY end of our time there, to pick some Kettle Corn and eat it on the way home. {no pic} She said she chose that because it lasted longer than other sweet treats.  Like I said, CLEVER! :)

  The other kids thought she was nuts, they didn’t want to wait at ALL!  mcc 5

  There are some Amish girls there that make the most melt in your mouth AMAZING fresh-baked Cookies and Whoopie Pies you have ever tasted! 

Paxton agreed!  Last year I wouldn’t let him have a Whoopie Pie, but I did find some sweet photos of him eyeballing it! He was SO little last year.  My baby is growing up! 

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Lets just say, that he thoroughly enjoyed his first Whoopie Pie!

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   I grew up in the Mennonite church, and have gone to the MCC Sale every year as long as I can remember!  I hope my kids have fun memories of us doing the same.  I wrote more about this Sale and what great things they do with the money they raise last year and even the year before that!!!!

 I am SO predictable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully you aren’t tired of me blogging about this yet.  :)

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  After that we walked around and did some of the kids activities before heading home for bedtime.

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   The next day, I got to go BACK!  Dale was sweet to stay home with the kiddos, so I could go with my BFF, Kasey, for GIRL time!  That never happens anymore!

  Isn’t it funny how you can go the same place twice, once with kids and once with out, and it’s like a whole NEW event!?  We had so much fun sitting at the auctions, visiting and eating, and we hardly knew what to do with ourselves, not taking kids potty or doing head counts. No photos of our girl time though, I was off the clock! lol :)

  This weekend was also Dale’s 32nd birthday!

blog 3blog 4He didn’t have any big requests, so we made him his FAAAAVORITE Lemon Pudding Dessert, which we have EVERY single year on April 14th.  

Lemon pudding dessert

  Hey, its creamy, its good, it reminds me of Spring, and it’s better than his other choice:

PLAIN chocolate cake drowned in milk.  

NO frosting at all! WHAT????

Cake without FROSTING!?!?!?!

Forgetaboutit.

  I’ve never officially blogged this lemon dessert, or typed it out on Tasty Kitchen, because I think EVERYONE already has it.

Yes? No? Maybe? Let me know, I’d be glad to share it soon.

  Tonight, I am making him Man Casserole for supper since last night was Sunday Night Snack Supper.  This casserole is one of his favorites! Looks crazy, tastes amazing.

  We don’t do much for grown up birthday’s at our house, we have so much to be thankful for and really don’t have any thing we “need”. 

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Simplicity makes me happy, and it really is the little things that mean the most……like being together!

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  Happy Monday!

~T

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Back to Life, Back to Reality

    I have the song stuck in my head today: Back to life, back to reality.   Ugh.  Winter Break was great and I am SO sad to see everyone back to school and work routine! 

  I think I enjoyed this break extra much, because after a busy end of the year push, I am all caught up on photo editing for the Season.  That means I am actually enjoying taking photos of my own family again. {This is something I want to take into consideration next year when taking sessions.} 

  After all the Christmas Celebrations passed, we had lots of time left to just enjoy each other before the break was over and Daddy had to go back to work.  We didn’t make any big plans, just hanging out, reading, doing crafts and playing games.

We introduced the kids to the game Guessturesthat my mom has from back in the day. They still make it, so it must be a keeper.  It was so fun!

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  There was lots of Lego building and Lincoln Log constructing over break.

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Thank you Sock Bun, for making it look like I have time to curl my daughter’s hair!

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Wednesday night church party:

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Dale decided to teach me Texas Hold ‘Em over break.  Lets just say I kicked some booty!  I like Beginners Luck!  Poker Collage txt
Second and third night we played? Not so much beginners luck leftover, bummer.

The girls got this cute kitchen for one of their Christmas gifts from us.  After they went to bed one night, I decided to play a trick on them.

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I had their Dolls trash the kitchen and raid it of ALL it’s sweet things!

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 Oh such NAUGHTY little girls!  I think they have tummy aches.
My girls thought it was pretty stinkin’ hysterical!

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  We went to the library for new books, and I even got some!  I spent a few quiet nap times with a bowl of soup and a super good Christian fiction.  Oh, how I have missed reading a grown up book!

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  There was plenty of time for Crafts after 2 days of beautiful snow, YAY!  I will share more about this particular snowy day craft another day.  

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There is always time for a chapter book before bed, this time it’s The Mouse and the Motorcycle

And lets not forget all the Plays that were put on!

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Tomorrow will feature 4 frosty little Fergusons, from our snow day fun!

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~T

Just a Minute

  After talking about this in Sunday School twice, I just knew it was something important to share.  I think it’s something we all struggle with, if we are honest with ourselves……..

 How many times do we tell our children “Just a Minute,” but then never get to it? 

“Read me a book, Mommy!”  Just a minute.

“Can you hold me?”  Let me just transfer this load of laundry first.  (and make lunch and take a phone call and never get to it…..)

  What if our “Just A Minute” words (or our excuses) were replaced with the words:

“I don’t love you enough to stop what I am doing right now.” 

-Or-

“You are not more important than my _______.” 

                                     Fill in the blank: chores, facebook, cell phone, tv show.

  I know that is harsh and not at all the case, but have you ever seen those sagging shoulders and sad little faces as they turn and walk away? Don’t you think that despite what we are saying, that this may be what they are HEARING?!

  We can “just a minute” those kids right out the door, grown and gone before we know what happened.

  Do I always stop the second a child asks?  No.  Do I wish I could ?  Yes!!!!! 

  But, here is what I CAN do:

1)  Commit at least a half hour an hour a day to just sitting with them, holding them on my lap and reading them a book before nap.  Or rolling a ball back and forth between our legs.  Or laying on the floor together and coloring a picture. For us, morning time is best, or sometimes, between after school chores and supper prep.    Do I have a million things I COULD be doing during that time?! Of course. 

   Playing is hard for me, I am goal oriented and have a list of a million and one things I want to accomplish before the day is done.  But I will NOT go to bed feeling guilty anymore for lack of play time with my kids.  I am going to do better.  I want my kids to know they are loved, not just by my words, but by my actions as well!

2)  Stay off the computer when the kids are awake!!!! 

  This used to be my rule, but as I have started this blog, answering emails, writing new posts, and editing photos have become very time-consuming, I want to do better at balancing it all! 

My goal is to do as follows:

~Check morning email during TV time only. As soon as they are done, I am done.

  I have to come to my office to get on the computer, so it takes effort to come in here and check.  If you have email/facebook on your cell phone, set it down in another room when you are with your family, so that they have your FULL attention.  Mom’s FULL attention for 30 minutes is better than her half-hearted attention with wandering eyes looking at her cell phone, all day long.

~ Use nap time wisely, so that I can have time left in the evening to be with Destiny when she gets home from school, and time with Dale after the kids go to bed. 

Laundry, photo projects, editing, supper prep, whatever! The more I can get done during nap time, the better!!  Those are ‘free hours’ when no one needs me.

~Keep my priorities in order and ask myself:

“Does this activity promote the following?”  God first.  Family second.  THEN all the other things.

  ~In the evening, we try very hard to start bedtime EARLIER than we think we need to, so that we have time to read a Bible story, sing a few songs and pray together to close the day.  The kids LOVE that time and cry when we have to skip it due to a late night.

  After that, I blog and email and Dale watches a documentary or something on TV.  We have to be careful to shut those both down at a good time, so we still can have our devotions, prayer and talk time before we fall asleep.  This has been hard for us, since 10 pm sure comes quickly!

  Satan loves for us to be “too busy” to pray with each other, seek God together and converse and be friends with our spouse.  In fact, I think busyness is one of his sneakiest weapons!

  Don’t let social media and busyness rob you of the precious moments you have with your family.

   Your kids only spend so many years seeking YOUR attention, then you spend the rest of your life, trying to get theirs.

~T

Just For This Morning…..

 

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Just for this morning, I am going to smile when your whining at my feet, & laugh when I feel like crying.

Just for this morning, I will let you choose what you want to wear, and smile and say how perfect it is.

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Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick you up and take you to the park to play.

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Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.

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Just for this afternoon, I will set down my cell phone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the backyard and blow bubbles.

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Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble. Even when you scream and fuss, I will keep my cool and deal with it in a calm manner.017

Just for this afternoon, I won’t worry about what you are going to be when you grow up, or second guess every decision I have made where you are concerned.

Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me bake cookies, and I won’t stand over you trying to fix them.new sis

Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about how you were born and how much I love you.

077Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry.

Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars.

Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you for hours, and miss my favorite TV show and computer time.

Just for this evening when I run my fingers through your hair as you pray, I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever given.0363

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I will think about the mothers and fathers who are age 2searching for their missing children, the mommy’s and daddy’s who are kneeling beside their children’s graves, rather than beside their beds, and the couples who are in hospital rooms watching their children suffer senselessly, and screaming inside that they can’t handle it anymore.ava2

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And when I kiss you good night I will hold you a little tighter, a little longer……

It is then, that I will thank God for you, and ask Him for nothing, except for one more day.

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