German Bundt Cake

  This one comes from my Momma’s recipe box!  German Bundt Cake PROBABLY could be a dessert, but I’ve never been able to eat it that way, because it was always served at Breakfast at our house. 

  Buttery, cinnamony and oh-so moist! YUM!

German Bundt Cake

{click title for printable}

German Bundt Cake txt


  • 1 box Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 box ( 3 Oz) Vanilla Instant Pudding And Pie Filling
  • ¾ cups Oil
  • ¾ cups Water
  • 2 teaspoons Butter Flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 4 whole Eggs


  • ½ cups {up To 3/4 Cup} Chopped Nuts
  • ¼ cups Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon


  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk
  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla
  • ½ teaspoons Butter Flavoring

Beat above ingredients until mixed well, adding eggs one at a time.
Grease bundt pan well, and pour in one third the cake batter.
Mix together filling ingredients, and layer filling, cake batter, filling, cake batter.
Bake at 350* for 45 minutes. Cool and invert onto serving platter.
Make glaze and drizzle while cake is still warm.

NOTE: This cake only gets better as it sits!!!! And look at this middle, delicious!!!!!

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I don’t love the use of butter extract in this, but have never been brave enough to make it without. Besides, some things are just better left alone, right!?!?!?! 🙂

German Bundt Cake Collage 2



Waiting for Paradise

We went to Hospice House for dinner Friday to be together as a family.  Out of respect for Grandpa, I am not going to share images of him, just the family around him, holding his hands and just murmering their love and affirmation of a life well lived.


It’s so hard to see someone you love slowly, painfully die.

Not really here, but not gone to Paradise either.

His head tilts back as he lays in bed, his eyes open and shut, but do not see.  His breathing raspy, gurgling actually.  He doesn’t talk much anymore, except….except on Wednesday, when I lifted the children up, one by one to kiss his forehead and say hi in his ear, his breathing changed, excited breaths followed by an exhaled HIIIIIII.  Oh so faint, so soft we almost missed it.  Again tonight, he said it to us except we were blessed to hear his whispered voice three times Hi, Hi, Hi….

{Instant tears}

 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

—2 Corinthians 4:16–18

A brave Papa fighting cancer, an oh so special Great Grandpa in Hospice, an adopted, and well loved “Gramma” Esther in another state, also in hospice waiting for Jesus to take her home, dying of the same cancer our Papa is fighting so hard against….so many loved ones on their way to Jesus.  And it’s my job to comfort my little ones, and answer their questions with accuracy and honesty.  In simple, but real terms to bring comfort in the truth of death.

But isn’t it funny, how sometimes THEY bring comfort to us, with their innocent understanding of life, death and a new life in Heaven.


  Avery is so excited for Grandpa to have new “bendy legs”. His old childhood injury, a smashed ankle turned rod in the leg, has given him a lifetime of pain.  She knew new legs would be a special part of his Heavenly body.  Paxton was most excited that he’d “Wun wiff Jesus!” {run with Jesus} The older two, quietly taking it all in, their thoughts kept quiet as they prepare to say good-bye to a Grandpa who was a big part of their lives and weekly routine.


   But we know, good bye is never really good bye, not when you have the hope of Jesus.  Good-bye is really just “So long for now”…..

And so we wait, life feeling like its holding it’s breath, anticipating yet dreading the day we get “the call” that he has gone.  Until then, we ask Jesus to ease his pain and take him home soon.

Because this Earth is NOT our home.

  *I wrote this post not knowing that the day I wrote it,  Friday, April 26th at 10:45pm, my sweet Grandpa would get to see his Jesus in Glory.  My mom and my Grandma each held a hand as he went.

  So long for now, Grandpa.

So long for now…….

No more sorrow, no more pain.

I sure do love you. 


  I also want to add, that this morning {Saturday} soon after 7, our beloved Gramma Esther went to see Jesus too.  She had been talking of a “reunion” she was planning all week!  Praise God her time of suffering is over, and she is in Paradise with my Grandpa and many others who have gone before them. What a REUNION!


Pictures Tell the Greatest Stories…

Once upon a time, there was a mischievous boy named Paxton.


  He was such a good, pleasant little boy, but he just seemed to get himself into messy predicaments.

A LOT.  

  Case in point, yesterday at Hobby Lobby.  If you follow us on Facebook, you already read about this.  Here was my status update:

Oh my goodness, whose naughty child is throwing ribbon spools and watching them roll at Hobby Lobby while mommy’s back is turned?
Oh wait. Mine.

Yup, that would be my Paxton.  He told me as he cleaned them up that they were “Truck Tires”.  I made him apologize to the clerk and got out of there asap.  My other kids NEVER did this kind of thing, I don’t even know where to hide when he does this stuff.  Someone on Facebook suggested I hollar, “Where are your parents?”  Haha, I liked that one! 🙂


   So on the particularly lovely day that this next story takes place, Paxton and his family were spending some time together walking around the Fairgrounds.

  They had a lovely time, but before he knew it, it was time to head home!  

   While Mommy was helping Avery with a mini crisis in the car for TWO STINKIN’ SECONDS, Paxton found an opportunity to meander over to a giant mud puddle. 

It was a lovely puddle.  And it seemed to be calling his name…..

Hey Paxton….



“Are you calling meeeee, Giant Mud Puddle?”

I mean, WHAT is a boy to do?


Oh wait, that’s right….


 You all, I am all about Puddle Parties, but not in nice clothes away from home! 🙂


Pictures tell the greatest stories, don’t they?


Pax vs Mud puddle

Not Your Ordinary T-Shirt Scarves

I LOVE making things and being crafty!  I don’t always have a lot of extra time to do it, or honestly, most times, I’d rather stick my nose in a book.

  However, when I came across a bag of GORGEOUS material I had purchased last May for t-shirt scarves {I was planning on making a bunch over the summer, yeah right!} I knew the time had come to put it to good use.

T-Shirt Scarf Time!


  There are a couple ways to do this, most people use old t-shirts that are lying around. That is great!  {Unless you are like me, and have a lack of t-shirts in your closet due to your extreme Girliness….just sayin!}

  I tried Goodwill but their shirts were $2 a piece and had very little usable material below the graphics.  I did find some non-graphic Tie-dyed shirts from there one time, that I loved.  I made them into Infinity Scarves found here. So, it can be done!!!!!

However, I decided to purchase that stretchy t-shirt material at the Fabric Store instead.  It came at a pretty penny, anywhere from $6.99-12.99 a yard, and the flowers and poufs anywhere from $3-9, but I wanted to give it a go.  If I ever do this again and sell some, I am afraid I am going to have to get my costs down.

  So when you buy a yard of fabric instead of using t-shirts, it requires extra steps:

  1) You can sew the yard of fabric in a tube shape with your machine.


2) Simply knot it after you cut it to create the circle necessary for loops. 


I learned to sew on my Mom’s Mean Machine JUST for this purpose, and it’s a real time saver.  All those knots took hours!!!!!!

Another time saver is using a roller vs. scissors.


  I used to hand cut each strip with my scissors, but now, sweet Dale cuts the fabric folded over itself, on a big cutting board with a roller.  I love sitting out in the living room with him in the evenings while he cuts and I create.  🙂

  There is a tutorial on how to make the actual scarf part here at My Blessed Life.  I don’t have the know how to record and upload a video for you all, so just watch hers. She did a great job!

Don’t forget to hide the knots or sewed parts with another strip of cloth wrapped around and knotted underneath where it won’t show on the neck:


Here are some of my finished scarves:


  Happy Creating!

A note from Tonya: Thank you to those who have asked if they could buy some scarves! I am SO SO honored! 🙂  However, I am selling them at a Craft Fair next weekend and need to keep a nice stock pile until then. That being said, if you see one you love love love, leave me a comment or email me a description of your favorite. {}  I will tell you if I have more materials for that scarf, or if I plan to make that one again for your future order. Thanks!

More T-shirt scarf posts here:

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Potato Pancakes with Sour Cream & Chive Horseradish Sauce

Are you sick of the same potato sides? Mashed and baked. MEEEEEE TOOOOO!

  So when Dale offered to smoke a whole chicken, I went on a hunt for a unique potato side dish, and this is what I found, by Anne Coleman

I have adapted her recipe below:

Potato Pancakes
with Sour Cream & Chive Horseradish Sauce

{click title for easy printable}

Potato Pancakes


  • 2 whole Large Baking Potatoes
  • 1 cup Onion, White Or Red Is Fine, Finely Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Pressed
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 whole Egg, Slightly Beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 5 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Additional Salt


  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Freeze Dried Chives
  • ¼ teaspoon Prepared Horseradish

Preparation Instructions

Wash and Scrub potatoes, do not peel. Shred and toss with onion, lemon juice, garlic and 2 tsp. salt. Let stand several minutes, then drain off any excess liquid that forms.
In a small, separate bowl, whisk together egg, pepper, flour, nutmeg and Parmesan cheese.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add enough oil to cover the bottom. Once oil is shimmering, shape a non-packed 1/4 cup potato mixture into patties, patting it flat for best results, and add into pan.
Cook for 4-5 minutes PER SIDE, until golden brown. Watch your heat, you don’t want the edges to get burned before the middle is done. Drain on a paper towel lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle each potato pancake with additional salt, I like coarse kosher, then keep warm until serving time.
Mix 1 cup sour cream and 1 T. chives with 1/4 or more teaspoons of prepared horseradish. Serve as dipping sauce for potato pancakes.

Bon Appetite’!



A Hospice House Piano Party

  Destiny had her first Piano Recital this weekend, called a “Piano Party”!  Her Great Grandpa Beckler, whom she is very close to, just got moved to the Hospice House.  Naturally, if he couldn’t come to her Piano Party, she was going to need to move the Piano Party to HIM.

piano party 1  Hospice House was amazing and so supportive of the idea!  It was such a special day, one none of us will soon forget.

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Time to start the show!

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Destiny did GREAT and if she was nervous at all, she hid it well!  She stood to introduce each song by name before playing it…..

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  After, she was rewarded with a Certificate from Aunt Kasey, aka The World’s Greatest Piano teacher, for completing her first set of piano books.  She was so excited! 🙂

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As a bonus, Destiny and I got to play our two duets together.  Chopsticks and Heart & Soul, she can do bottom or top hand, and we have had so much fun playing these together.piano party 13

 Not to be left out, Avery wanted to play a song that Destiny has been teaching her from the front of the book.  Such sweet sisters!

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We spent the rest of the morning together right into lunch time, hanging out and playing cards.  Lunch out then home for naps. 

We had so much fun and I am so thankful we have family near by!

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I loved watching these tender moments between my Grandparents…..

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  Paxton was VERY tearful this time about “Gweat Gwampa sick. He die.”
{Great Grandpa is sick, he is going to die soon….}

piano party 17

  I was blown away by the the level of understanding. He knew something wasn’t right with his beloved “Gwampa” who now stays in bed. 

  We explained that Grandpa was sick, and that he would go see Jesus soon. 

“Jesus? In Heaben?” 

Yes, and Grandpa is going to have a NEW body and be healthy, so he can run around with Jesus. 

“I go to Heaven and run with Jesus too?” 

Not yet buddy!  You stay here with Mommy, then someday we will all go see Jesus and Grandpa in Heaven.

  Later he runs up to me and says, “Gwampa run in Heaben with Jesus wike dis….” and he took off running in a big circle around the room with a big smile on his face.

  You are exactly right buddy!  You are exactly right…..

What a glorious day that will be! 

No more sorrow, no more pain….

  We sure love you, Grandpa!




A Different Kind of Photo Shoot

  Family shoots are usually fun, light-hearted events, but sometimes, we have to take a different approach to a Photo shoot.

  This shoot was different.

This shoot provoked laughter AND tears, because this shoot was taken out of urgency.

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The kind of urgency you get when you receive bad news.

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  Dale’s father, not yet 60, was just diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.  Scan_Pic0011

More spots then they can count on his liver, and spots in his lungs too.

We aren’t going down without a fight, both with the doctor and chemo, and natural remedies too. But it didn’t change our feelings on the timing of this Family Photo Shoot.  Some things you just don’t realize you need to do, until you think that maybe soon you won’t get the chance anymore.  

  We wanted to take Papa Dons photo BEFORE the Chemo took it’s toll on his body and his appearance. 

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  There have been many, many tears shed at our house and many difficult decisions to make, and paperwork to fill out.  

  There have been many serious talks, some with tears, some without, about what was happening to Papa.  

Because of this, the children decided to make Papa Don cards, listing all the reasons they love him. They worked so hard on their pictures.  


We decided at the photo shoot would be a perfect time to give them to him……

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  We are believing in Faith, in a God who is the Great I AM.  The perfect Healer.  And we will pray and fight with and for Don until the end, no matter what the end holds. 

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  That’s the hardest part about all this,

Praying and believing for the best, yet having to take all steps to prepare and plan for the worst.

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  But I know this, our Heavenly Father has plans for Papa Don, plans to bring him hope and a future…..IMG_4785 bw copy tight crop

  And until we know those plans, our job is to make each day count as if it were his last. 

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  But that’s the funny part about all this,

Any of us, at any time could be living our last days, minutes, moments.

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  So here’s to saying I love you,

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I care about you,

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You are an amazing example to our children,

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You make us laugh,

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We admire you and your quiet strength,

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Thank you……….Don 10

And here’s to spending just a few more seconds in that hug good bye each time you come over…..

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  For this Earth is not our home……

We are all here but a moment in time.


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Update:  God is so so good!  We have been pursuing both chemo and natural treatments via The Life Vessel and we have some amazing news.  Don’s markers in his blood were over 8,000 his first visit, and the doctor frankly told him he shouldn’t even be here.  2 months later: his marker count came back at 4,000!  Praise God for His healing touch, and may He continue to bring healing to Don’s body as he fights this cancer.  Thank you for your prayers!

Easy After School Snack: Oven Baked Triscuit Nachos

  Hey guys, it’s come to my attention, that a WHOLE slew of you who had subscribed several years ago, got booted from subscriptions!!!!  I didn’t change anything on my end, and I am super annoyed at WordPress for doing this to us! 😦  Anyhow, just re-subscribe at the right side of this page, and posts will again come to your inbox each time I put up a new one. Sorry about that!

I am always on the hunt for After School Snacks for the kids that are filling but healthy, fun but easy. 

  This is one I used to make in High School. I don’t know what made me remember it, but I made a big pan of them for the kids the other day, and they went NUTS over them!

  Now, they nearly jump up and down whenever they see that I have gotten out more Triscuits.  This reaction, from the kids that said these kind of crackers tasted like straw.  

That was before we tried them…………..


Oven Baked Triscuit Nachos

{click title for easy printable}

Triscuit Nachos


  • 1 box {13 Oz } Whole Wheat Triscuit Crackers
  • 1 cup Shredded Mexican Cheese
  • 1 jar {16 Oz} Picante Sauce, We Do Medium
  • 8 ounces, weight Container Of Sour Cream

Preparation Instructions

Make as much or as little as you’d like, using the following directions:
Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350*. On a pizza stone or cookie sheet, lay out as many crackers as you’d like. My kids can eat 8-10 each.
Sprinkle about a teaspoon of cheese on each cracker, followed by a 1/2 tsp of medium salsa.
Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and carefully add a dollop of sour cream to each cracker.

Serve hot to your starving after school kids for a hearty, healthy snack!


The Yell Jar

 Before we get to today’s scheduled post, I just feel like I need to take a moment and acknowledge the loss of lives yesterday at the Boston Marathon; some meeting death, others facing a life very much unlike the one they had previous to the race.  Lost limbs, lost love ones, lost hope….all things that require a time of mourning.

  It is my utmost prayer, that on their knees in their agony, they find Jesus.  That they feel His gentle touch as He gathers them in His arms of love.  The world we live in, is a dark, scary, sinful place….but friends, we always have hope in Jesus.  In His promise of eternal life after death, in one day coming back and rescuing the lost, taking His children home to be with Him in Paradise.  Oh, how glorious that day will be…….until then, do not lose heart, for He has overcome the world!

John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Now, on to today’s previously scheduled post:


Notice something new in my kitchen?


  Ok, ok, you are right.  That Kraft Cheese Box didn’t used to be there.  A new antique find from a friend, but nope….that’s not it.    It’s higher up on the shelf…..


You found it!

The Yell Jar


  So at our house, we work a lot on FIRST time obedience.  There are seasons of life we all do better about this.  Lately, I have been losing my cool with the kids. 

“I told you to do the DISHWASHER! WHY IS NO ONE OUT HERE DOING IT!?!?!?!?!??!”

  My point could be gotten across just as sweetly, had I walked into the playroom and reminded them to come do it.  This action would be followed up, by giving them all a strike on the Strike Board, because SLOW obedience is the same as NO obedience.

  Dale reads through the board at the end of the day and we talk about the choices that were made, and we discipline accordingly if someone got 3 strikes, or reward accordingly for 3 stars that are a sign of GOOD behavior. 

As you can see, Tylan had slow obedience this morning when I asked him to go get his shoes on and make his bed before school. 


  Anyhow, back to the topic at hand, yelling. 

  Honestly, I get lazy at times, and its easier to holler across the house, or get their attention by yelling my instructions again, LOUDLY this time!

Dale found himself doing the same thing, sooo, he came up with “The Yell Jar”.  Whoever yells, puts a dollar in the jar.

  HOWEVER, we have kids that forget to use inside voices, and they yell sometimes too, so at that point, THEY put a dollar in.  

The only rule is, NO making someone yell by provoking!!!!!  The provoker gets the dollar charge if this occurs.

  So far, so good!  Except if you look closely at that photo, you will notice that $2 of those $3 in there, are from me. 


  What can I say, I am a work in progress!


OH, er, um, I meant…….

Oh children, it’s time to clean up, please!!  🙂


 Someone asked a good question: What happens when the yell jar is full?
Dale says the answer is: Go out for ice cream and celebrate that we don’t holler anymore!!!!!
The Yell Jar

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!


   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!?!?!?!


  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”. 

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

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  Happy Monday!