Saturday, June 29, 2013

middle of the pan type of girl

It's a joke with some people I work with that when they see a piece of ______ taken out of the middle of the pan- they know it was ME who did it.

So, when Gracie made chocolate chip cookie bars today and asked if I wanted one, my answer was, "YES!  But, I want one out of the middle."  
Apparently, she didn't hear that part of my response and expected me to get my own.  This is what I saw when I got to the pan to get my own cookie bar...
 I just had to laugh...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

out in the open field

We've been pretty stressed here lately.
So, when we had a chance to go out to harvest, we went!
 On the left side of the picture is mom and dad's house.
Jada isn't an outdoors kind of gal, so she always stays with Nana while Gracie, Trey and I go out to the field.
Trey said his favorite thing is to ride in the combine.  See him in there with Uncle Robert?  Robert said he was getting pretty sleepy and was having a hard time staying awake, but he stuck it out for a while.  
 Gracie and Trey took turns riding the combine and the tractor (with my cousin Jon- Jada sometimes refers to Jon as "Uncle Jon.  I'd take him as my brother.  He's a good guy.)
While they were taking turns "helping out," I got to talk with my other cousins, Kevin and Tim, for while.  Gracie and I took a load of wheat to town with Kevin, and then I we hung out for a while as they filled up the trucks.

 For the first time this year, I let Gracie go up on top of the wheat truck and play in the wheat.  It was funny watching her slide through it and play in it just like I did when I was MUCH smaller than her.  The trucks are bigger now, and it was a little frightening standing on the cab watching her.  We saw a ton of ladybugs and some other ones we couldn't identify. Later, when we were cleaning up at Nana's, Gracie was amazed at all the "places" she found wheat!  HA!

 And then I got some alone time to just sit.
Out in the open field.
And talk to God about what was on my mind.
It was so peaceful.

I love harvest for so many reasons, but this year was different.
My heart needed repair, and a small piece was repaired two days ago out in the open field.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


She's 10.
Double digits.
How did that happen?

We always decorate the dining room for each kid's birthdays.  Then, they get to wake up to streamers and balloons.  It's kinda a thing for the kids...

Gracie is a pretty fancy girl, so she picked Ci Ci's pizza for supper ON her birthday.  We love that everyone has a favorite and it's really cheap for our family to eat there!  :)
She hates fire, so here's her birthday candle that she made from a straw and paper.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRACIE!

Gracie's favorite thing to do right now is roller blade. She got new roller blades, a few blank books she can write a story in and illustrate, knee pads, a helmet, a KU necklace, fingernail polish, and lots of money!  Her friends are still into American Girl dolls, so she bought a knock off one at Target, and a chair to go with her.     

Chad and I took our kids, and Gracie's friends to the skating rink that he and I used to go to for our birthdays, but it wasn't a hit.  I felt really bad.  Most of her friends didn't know how to roller skate and weren't really willing to give it a try.  It made Gracie sad.  And then a mean girl (13?) was really snotty and said some really mean things to Gracie.  So, we left and went to Bogey's for ice cream.

It was fun watching Gracie and her friends talk about how late they were going to stay up, and what they were going to do once they got back to the house.  Little did they realize, with two younger siblings in the house, it's not always easy to be as loud and giggly as you want with a mother coming down and "checking" on you every so often.  
But, they had fun.  They stayed up late.  They really made Gracie happy.  :)  And I'm happy that she's finally letting me take pictures of her again.  

Monday, June 17, 2013

1, 2, 3....

Beautiful evenings in Kansas= family walks.
 This family walk happened to have a purpose to it. 
We wanted to seek out markers 1, 2, and 3.
(Of course this was my plan all along...
I just love to see their surprised faces!)

So, we drove to Bethel and set off down the bike path.
Soon we came to... #3!
 And after we walked awhile more, we came to...#2!
 And then waaaayyyy down the path behind Gracie we came to...#1!

Trey pretended to be Spiderman sticking to the 1 sign.
Jasper had a hard time since he doesn't know how to walk without choking himself.
The weather was perfect.  
8:00 p.m. in Kansas is the most perfect time of day.  
So glad it's not super hot yet.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


'Cause we all make mistakes sometimes
and we all step across that line.
But nothing's sweeter than the day we find, we find

It's hanging over him like the clouds of Seattle
and rainin' on his swag fallin' deeper in his saddle.
It's written on his face.
He don't have to speak a sound.
Somebody call the five-O for we gotta man down.

You can go and play it like you're all rock and roll.
But guilt does a job on each and every man's soul.
and when you're head hits the pillow at the nightfall,
you can bet your life that it's gonna be a fight y'all.

'Cause we all make mistakes sometimes and we've all stepped across that line.
But nothing's sweeter than the day we find forgiveness.

And we all stumble and we fall,
bridges burn in the heat of it all.
But nothing's sweeter than the day, 
sweeter than the day we call out for forgiveness.
We all need forgiveness.

My momma told me what I would be in for,
if I kept all this anger inside of me pent up.
My heart been broken, my wounds been open.
And I don't know if I can hear I'm sorry being spoken.
But those forgiven much should be quicker to give it,
And God forgave me for it all, Jesus bled forgiveness. 
So when the stones fly and they aimed at you,
just say forgive them Father, they know now what they do.

No matter how lost you are, you're not that far.
You're not too far.  No matter how hurt you are,
You're not that far.  You're not too far.
No matter who you are, you're not that far.  
From forgiveness.

We all need forgiveness...


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Scavenger Hunt

We don't have the summer list up yet.  
Actually we haven't even started.
But, we have lots of ideas to put on our list.
And we came up with one tonight as we headed to the Bethel trails for a walk.

I'm trying to keep us active this summer- to be healthier, to explore more, to spend more quality time with each other.
So, we started off with the trails.
When we walked on a trail sort of across the road/field/parking lot (?), we noticed these big markers that had numbers on them and thought it would be fun to find all of them.  We knew, when we fed the horses, that we had seen numbers 6 and 7, but we had no idea where the other ones were.

Tonight we found our answers.
They were at Bethel.

 So, we started a scavenger hunt to look for them.  But, quickly decided to take a "break" and climb up the castle stairs.  As you look at the next few pictures, just imagine two princesses and a prince walking down elegantly down the staircase and posing in their windows.

Our mission, if we all accept, is to look for numbers 1-3 tomorrow.
Not sure what to call this trail-marker-scavenger-hunt activity on our 2013 Summer List of things to do, but it made for one out of (hopefully) a ton of fun things we'll do this summer.

Oh, and what's that?
Jackets in June?
Yep.  It was chilly in the shade- which was what the trail path was mostly in this evening.  It was beautiful!  Perfect way to end the day!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Sunday that Sophie went home...

The Sunday that Sophie went home was busy.
Pancakes for breakfast with an unexpected friend!

Lunch with two American friends, Nana, and the family.
Then, the dreaded airport.
  The tears started pouring after check-in.
They continued until it was time to say our final good bye.

And then, she was gone.
She went up to the security check.
Chad said, "She made it through."
And it hit me then.
She was gone.

Life for the last 10 months has been very different.
In a good way.
We now know what it's like to have a teenager in our house- a responsible, respectful, caring, helpful, loveable teenager.
We were spoiled with Sophie.
She's made a permanent mark on our Kansas hearts.

We got home and there were arrows on the floor from the door leading into the house from the garage...
all the way down the stairs...
down the hallway to her bedroom...
and this is what we found--
 Handwritten letters to each one of us with a picture of her and each of our children.
The gorilla she got for Christmas- but couldn't take home with her- that she asked Trey to take care of for her.  
A scrapbook of all her memories she made in America with us and with other people.
And German candy she had her family send because she knows we love it.
See what I mean?
How could you not love this girl?

It hasn't quite sunk in yet that she's not coming home in a few days.  It feels like she's just on a trip.  But, she's not.  I know that because she sent a text two hours ago saying she was on the plane to Frankfurt.

She's gone.
My heart is broken.

She plans to come back and see us someday.  
Thank goodness for Skype.
Otherwise, she'd miss hearing Trey's squeaky voice, and seeing Jada's piano playing, and Gracie's first song on the violin. 

We love you Sophie.
Our house will always be your second home.

"Bring your heart to Kansas, and Kansas will love you back."

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Saturday before...

On the Saturday before the Sunday that Sophie had to leave America, the family laid around all day, fed some horses, had pizza for supper, and Braums for dessert.
Gracie put flowers in the horses' hair.  So cute.
 We went for a walk. 
We watched the movie, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."
The girls played Barbies.
 There was a pet store in the living room where several family members bought several types of pets.
Tomorrow is going to be a tough day...
Not really looking forward to it.