Weekend Fun: Spring Has Sprung

Oh, praise Jesus for the sunshine this weekend.  We NEEDED that in our lives! Spring has finally Sprung, RIGHT?!
IMG_8135IMG_8132IMG_8140 Nope.

  Sadly, it was short-lived.  It’s currently forecasted to be 33 degrees with a chance of snow.  Blah.

Longest. Winter. EVERRRRRR.

I can’t wait to get out in the garden and plant, but alas, we shall wait.

  Did you see on facebook, we had another freezer die?!

ACK! Is this an almost 12-year-old marriage thing?  I can’t complain, because they were all given to use for FREE. 

Best part of a new freezer?

  THE BOX, of course!  It makes the perfect house!box house

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Family room and outside side view

  Paxton is the strong man on the TV Show because he “ate his Beggies and has strong muscles!”  {veggies in Paxton-speak}
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  The weekend was totally wonderful; I napped on my lawn chair in the sun, we blew bubbles, hit around some golf balls, watched Daddy filet the fish he caught at the lake, and went to the MCC Relief Sale. I write about it every year, so if you have no idea what MCC Relief is, check this blog post out from a few years ago.

  It’s tradition and apparently both Dale and I have been going since we can remember, because while we were walking around the MCC Sale we discovered something AMAZING!

  I was telling the kids about the “good ol’ days” when I was a kid. We’d bring our motorhome and stay overnight, from morning till night, I would run around with my friends and have a grand ol’ time. We loved to play under the stage by the pond, and there were always CUTE boys under there for us to follow around.

Dale turns to me with big eyes and says, “We came all weekend too because my dad worked a booth. And we always hung out under the stage by the pond.”

WHAT!? No stinkin’ way.

  Then I ask him about the year it rained so hard, those same cute boys we saw every year, wore white trash bags as ponchos. He is like “Yup, we went to my dad’s booth and got them to wear so we could stay outside.”

HOW CRAZY IS THAT!? Guess I had good taste in men even as a 6th grader?

MCC Sale photos:

Amish Whoopie Pies  {swoon}
Oh! And they sell homemade cookies and a big glass of milk.  Mmm! Maybe next year.
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Fresh New Years Cookies, think glazed donut with raisins inside.IMG_8153IMG_8146IMG_8149IMG_8150IMG_8154IMG_8152

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  Did you know we planted some Trees in Papa’s honor? 

  2 Cherry, 2 Apple, 2 Pear and 2 Peach!  When Dale came to me with the idea, I declared it the PERFECT way to honor his father.  He was always the one to bring the fruit to every function anyhow!  🙂

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  Well, that’s it for now.  I have got to run to the store to get a few things for Dale’s Birthday dinner tonight.  He wants Steak and a butter-sauteed hash of Asparagus, baby bella mushrooms and zucchini for supper.  And then of course, LEMON Dessert. 

Actually not this one as tradition states:

Lemon pudding dessert

We are saving that one for Easter.

 He wants THIS one, a new favorite.

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Happy Birthday to my Sweetie pie!!!!  

You fill our home with your deep chested laugh, strong arms that throw kids high in the air in fun play,

You are my voice of reason, my safe place, my best friend and the love of my life…..

Today, we celebrate YOU!  

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  Have a great day, everyone! Happy Monday…

~T

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Pictures Tell the Greatest Stories…

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

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  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.
{SIGH}

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! 🙂

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   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….

Paxton!

PAXTON! COME HERE!

“Are you calling meeeee, Giant Mud Puddle?”

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I mean, WHAT is a boy to do?

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Oh wait, that’s right….

WALK RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF IT WHILE DADDY AND UNCLE DAN WATCH.

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

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Pictures tell the greatest stories, don’t they?

~T

Pax vs Mud puddle

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!!!!!! 

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  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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Basement Birthday, MCC & Ree Makes 3: Part I

  This is a fully loaded blog post title if I ever saw one!!!!  And talk about photo-laden. Phew! Brace yourself people!

   We had a FABULOUS and crazy weekend! First up, the MCC Sale, which Dale and I have gone to every year since we were kids.  We both remember hanging out under the stage by the lake all day with our friends and can’t BELIEVE we don’t remember meeting.   The relief sale is so fun, and all proceeds go to help those in need across the globe…..I talked more about all of that last year.  We are always looking for fun places to go walk around as a family!

   And let’s not forget eating that yummy food! We don’t eat supper there, but do pack a few things to have snack time with their oh-so famous Cheese Curds and New Years Cookies!

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  Destiny’s 2nd cousin, Brooklyn, got to join us.  Here are the photos from our evening:

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Freshly made Whoopie Pies. OH MY YUMMY GOODNESS……

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I’ve apparently raised Paxton right, to have SUCH appreciation for these sorts of things……

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But no, I wouldn’t let him have any. Come on now, he had already had a New Years Cookie!

Check out these 8 years olds, talking on the Brooklyn’s toy cell phone, like a bunch of teenagers…oh boy!

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“Me too, Momma.  Take my picture while I do it just like big brother.”

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  We had a picnic snack in the grassy area by the lake and stage, and the girls put on an AMAZING dance and singing show!

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Playing with the zoom on my new lens….Guess it’s Ty’s turn for the toy cell phone?

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Still playing with my lens. I present to you, “The many faces of Dale.”

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Time to go, it’s getting late and our rule is “Always leave while everyone is still happy!”  🙂

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Dale celebrated the big 3-1 on Saturday, and of course I made him his FAVORITE, Lemon Pudding Dessert!  That old post made me giggle when I re-read it.  (Might have been the image of me chasing a fox down the driveway in robe and slippers.)  AND, I couldn’t believe how much Paxton has changed, or my dessert photo!

  We partied it up down in the basement of my Uncle’s office, since there were HORRIBLE storms all through the mid-west, and we don’t have a storm shelter or basement!

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This article, shared on facebook Saturday afternoon says:

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“In an unusual move, national weather forecaster have issued an early warning, that conditions are ripe for violent tornadoes to rip through the Midwest this weekend. The expected weekend storms will stretch from Texas to Minnesota and could be a “high-end, life threatening event”. 

This is only the second time in history that the Storm Prediction Center issued a high-risk warning more than 24 hours in advance…….

The worst weather is expected to develop late Saturday afternoon between Oklahoma City and Salina, Kan., Other areas also could see severe storms with baseball-sized hail and winds of up to 70 mph, forecasters told the AP.”

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Have you every tried to pack 6 people for an unknown amount of hours to go to a location with no toys or beds? This is what it looks like. IMG_7588

Plus a big bag of water and snacks. And a bean bag. And a trike. And the dog and cat. 

Ok, not the dog or cat, but the kids would’ve loved that. Oh, and in the end no bean bag or trike either. We quickly ran out of room in the Tahoe.

  While we were there with family, we went ahead and made the best of it, and had a mini celebration for Dale’s birthday!

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We played Monkey in the Middle on the stairs and other games, too…..

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The kids got to watch a movie, and I got some crafty stuff done.

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 We were in that office basement from 5:30 to almost 10. At the time, 50 tornadoes had been sighted all around us, but all seemed to calm down after that, so we decided to head home.  Paxton snored the whole way, and as soon as we got there, Tylan crashed on the living room floor. Poor sleepy babies!  10:00 bedtime is A LOT different from the norm!

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  Just as we unpacked the very full car, and had gotten all the kids down, a whole new batch of storms fired up SW of us.  At one point they thought they were coming to our town……GREAT, and we just got home, too!  We decided to keep an eye on things and just use our play closet for shelter if something changed.  Praise God, nothing happened!  {YAWN} That was a short night and a LOT of weather-channel watching!!!!! 

  The God we serve is such an AWESOME God!! Hearing reports of how tornadoes lifted just in time to miss entire towns…wow!  He hears our prayers and works in mysterious and wonderful ways!!  Now, while we are talking about praying, let’s pray we don’t have another night like that for a long time! Phew!  Over 100 tornadoes touched down all around us, over the course of the night and early hours of the morning. A nearby county reports an estimated total of $280 million in damage.  😦

   Windows Live Writer won’t let me post anymore, so the “Ree Makes 3” part of this post will be have to be continued…….

In the next post! 🙂

~T

Squeaky Cheese, Kenyan Bikers & Weekend Fun

  This weekend was the MCC Sale.  I’ve been going to this sale, held at the fairgrounds, since I was Destiny’s age, except we used to drive up from Hesston and stay the weekend in our motor home. I LOVED IT!  Dale grew up going each year too.  This is something we plan to continue to do with our family for years to come!!!!

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    mcclogo3MCC stands for Mennonite Central Committee and has been around for 90 years. Each year all over North America, thousands of volunteers come together to raise money for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) for the relief of suffering in the world.

  For example, over $5 million was raised in 2005 with 88 percent sent to the 0086field.  Amazing!

  There is something for everyone at this sale – quilts, artwork, 0059crafted woodwork, homemade foods, antiques and crafts. Often there is music and lots of fun activities for kids including an auction just for them. 

  There was a kids building full of inflatables and mini golf so that was our first stop, of course!!!!!!

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  Next, we were off to find something to eat…..

085 The MCC Sale offers a full German Dinner buffet, called 091the “Feeding of the Multitude”.  It features verenika, ham gravy, sausage, bohne beroggi, borscht, cherry and pluma moos, pies, bread and butter and relishes.  The line stretches down the sidewalk as far as the eye can see around supper time! (Thankfully, we were LONG gone by then!) 

We went for snack time only, getting the children the much-anticipated “Squeaky Cheese”, or Cheese Curds, we buy each year.

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  I packed crackers for our cheese curds and we got some New Years cookies to go with them.  YUM!  What a fun picnic!

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Nana thought this wasn’t a very healthy or filling choice, so she bought us all some Verenika.  Sure, let’s add some more carbs to the mix, why not?!

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You might remember me talking about Verenika from the Central Christian German Supper post.  They are fantastic!

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  While we ate our picnic, the kids put on a show on the empty stage…..a little pig tail twirling and a little tap dancing ensued.

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  Paxton, instead of napping as planned, decided to slide down his seat and get stuck.  Stinker!

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Next, we stopped to see the Ukrainian Pysanky Eggs.

What originally began as a way of entertaining people standing in line for food at the sale over twelve years ago, has now become one more way of creatively raising money for Mennonite Central Committee.  109We were able to watch them demonstrate the painstaking intricate art of decorating psanky (Ukrainian Easter eggs). 114 The eggs are hand decorated with an ancient wax-resist process using a brass funnel tool, bees’ wax, and dyes. The designs represent aspects of Christianity or other parts of life. Ideally the process starts with a farm fresh egg, its contents to be blown out when the decorating is complete.  They are beautiful!!!!111104110 010   The kids save their money all year-long for this event, so after snack time, we204 headed to the Ten Thousand Villages Shop which features amazing handicrafts from countries spanning the globe.  All funds go to help world missions, for example $6 can buy a needy family a nice supply of milk.  There were so many beautiful things…… it was hard for the kids to make a choice! 186183188195194187191    They even had these awesome trivets and bowls made from old magazines.  192193197After much debate, all 3 kids decided to get Bikers from Kenya that you can push along in front of you as you walk.

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   By the time we got home, cleaned up and put everyone in pj’s, the kids were starving all over again, so we let them have a popcorn snack before their sleep over……4 kids and 3 Kenyan bikers, all in one room.  🙂   005

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   Saturday dawned gorgeous, so we decided to plant our garden. 

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  After being on bed rest all last summer, I have been dying to get out and dig in the cool soil, so as soon as Pax went down for morning naps, we headed out. 

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    This is the first year Ty and Avery were able to help and really get into it.  It was so fun, but I gotta tell ya, keeping all 3 of them busy proved to be a challenge of its own.  After the first row of onions went in, we found a system that worked for all my little helpers. 

  Next on the agenda: a picnic lunch and then nap time!

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090 Grandma Eileen sent Dale home with 5 beautiful bushes to transplant from her house, so while he was still filthy from our garden project, I put him to work in the front flower beds.

 

 

Before & After:

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  This brown one on the bottom left, will bloom maroon next year.  And there is a little bush way in the right corner that isn’t showing up in the photo. 

It looks SO much better!  Thanks Grandma!

  So, call me a homebody, but I LOVE weekends like this: one fun outing, followed by a home day and church on Sunday, then a lazy afternoon at home….perfect!  🙂

Happy Monday!

~T

  

  This post linked to Smockity Frocks.