Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Quarterly Update. .

Hey family and friends!
I had enough of a break in my schedule. .
that I thought I might change out my pictures and update our story. .
 I think I last updated about 3 months ago. .
I'm not sure that a ton of things have changed. .
But here's what we have. .
Tristan is outta here. .
This mom cried for several weeks. .
and still cries every time he leaves.
It's been really weird. .
But I would say that we are adapting.
He just finished his first semester as a college kid.
Jeremy and I hope to go up after the first of the year and check out the house that his carpentry class is building.
Tristan and the two roommates that were there on move-in day!
He works a few odd jobs at college. .But is glad to be home for a month to replenish his bank account!
They have started some intramural basketball in the evenings. He reports that it is a lot of fun! He passed his college math class. .which was everyone's biggest concern. .And is left with only one general ed class next semester. .which is speech. .And for a veteran 4-H kid who also loved forensics. .I would say it should be smooth sailing!
Speaking of 4-H. .
He and Grant both achieved the Key Award for their last year of 4-H. This is the highest award that the kids can get based on their level of involvement in the 4-H program. About 2% of the kids in 4-H nationwide will achieve this award!
Mr. Grant. .
Thoroughly enjoying his senior year.
Took senior pictures in late September. .He let me go and watch. .and I had to laugh as the photographer asked him about posing one way or another. .and his dead-pan response was "I don't know, you'll have to ask my mom. .This day is all about her." We kept joking back and forth about the fact that he didn't want to take pictures. .and I continually told him. .that it wasn't even about him. .just about the senior mom! I think our constant bantering wears Jeremy out!
We also bantered back and forth all summer. .
about him running cross country.
I thought that he would be a great runner. .
He thought that he would hate to run.
For some unknown reason. .except that he claims to be a people pleaser. .
He finally decided that he would run. .
And really enjoyed it. .
He hates it when I am right!
He did great for a kid who hasn't run a race in 4 years. .
And agreed that he liked it well enough. .that if he hadn't been graduating. .he would do it again next year!
He will work for his dad after school all winter. .
And then plans on golfing in the spring. .He sure would like to golf at State this year.
And then graduation in May!
Next fall he will head to Topeka to study Diesel Mechanics. .
And has an open mind on where he wants to go. .and what he wants to do after that.
I'm glad that both boys are open to wherever God leads them!
Devin. .
100% junior high this year. .
He enjoyed going out for football as a 7th grader. .they don't let 6th graders go out.
He learned lots and had fun being a part of the team.
He is now in basketball and loves being involved in everything.
I had some awesome parents that agreed to help us host a junior high Halloween party at our place in the country. We had the most beautiful fall night night you could imagine. .and we played games in the dark by the light of a fire and tiki torches. Then they hunted candy corns with flashlights in the dark while parents and teenage siblings took advantage of the opportunity to scare the socks off of them!
A pinterest idea. It's layered Mexican dip. .arranged to look like vomit. I laughed for like an hour after I finished!
 The Fear Factor food game was a hit. .with a whole new level of nasty looking foods with horrid names! The cats had a good night!!
 I got a little panicked about the whole party thing about a week in advance. .realizing that we had the potential to ruin the kid's reputation for life if it was a bust!! BUT. .the kids had a blast. .and Devin told me a few days ago. .that several of the kids remarked that they had had so much fun at the Halloween party. .that they were hoping that we would do a Christmas party too :-)
He shot his first deer last Friday. .
A 10 pointer. He and his dad have been making deer jerky, and everyone seems to like it pretty well!
These two and I finally made it to the Peace Treaty in Medicine Lodge. .I've wanted to go for years. .and never made it. We had a great time!!
Cami. .Loves 2nd grade. .She is getting so grown up! She can put her own mop up into a pony tail (if she has to), can read books in her head, and can change her own earrings! She has gotten to go to the mini-cheer camps at the high school twice this year and loves doing that! It also means that she gets to do a 1/2 time performance to show off what she learns!
She "auditioned" for a part in her music program. .and had both some speaking lines and a "rap song" solo. She said she was nervous until her first word into the microphone. .and then she was just HOOKED! Our church is putting on a Christmas program this weekend during worship service time. .and she has been practicing a solo. She is excited!
8th birthday. She was very specific in her cake directions to grandma Pat. .A brown horse, standing on his back legs with clouds and grass. She got 'er all in there!!
 She also talked her dad into getting a puppy. Apparently some fool told the girl. .that when she was 8. .she could get a dog. WHAT?? So. .right before she turned 8. .she started asking. Grant's girlfriend's family had a litter of 10 pups this fall. .and so we took 2 of them. .so they wouldn't get lonely!
They are 1/2 Rottweiler and 1/2 Pyranese.
They are laid back and sweet! And we all love them. .Especially Tristan. .who reports that HE had wanted a dog F-O-R-E-V-E-R. .and never got one! He may be holding a minor grudge!
The rest of us. .
are up to nothing different!
I am finishing up a year long study in the four gospels. The online bible study went well. .It takes most of any extra time that I have. .hence the neglect of this blog. I think I am about ready for Christmas. .shopping is done. .wrapping is mostly done. .baking and candy making are done too. .Cards and letter written and mailed. .We have family pictures this coming weekend with my inlaws. .We haven't done it for years. .so I am looking forward to that!
 Jeremy just keeps doing what he always does. .
He hates winter. .and is already for spring. .
Sue. .he would NEVER survive your Michigan winter!!
Finishing our big family project from last Christmas. We used our hands to make snowpeople on a small canvas. .He was the last one to finish up for me. I'll have to take a picture of my whole board full of them!
 I'm not sure that I have anything else that exciting to report. .
So I will sign off. .
From our house to yours. .
We wish you a VERY merry Christmas. .
and a blessed and healthy New Year!! 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Well, Hello. . .

Hey. .
Remember us?
I think I promised to get some vacation pictures posted before Christmas. .
Which. .
is happening now!!
We took another week and spent it at Grand Lake, Oklahoma.
We enjoyed July 4th there so much last year. .
That we opted to go during the same time frame this year.
It was good to get away. .
But hands down. .
The worst vacation ever!
With the exception of my sister and her family coming over 4th of July weekend. .
And the two days we spent on the lake playing. .
It rained for THREE solid days.
Which led to cooped up, cramped up, grumpy campers!!
And when my husband offers to take me antique shopping. .
AND my children oblige with no complaining. .
you KNOW it was bad!!
In fact, it rained so much. .
That the water level on the lake rose (by our closest account) by about 4 feet, and the flood gates were wide open letting water off downstream!
We did enjoy two nights of fireworks. .
Well, the ADULTS enjoyed two nights of fireworks. .
The little kids were over it at the end of the first night!
We enjoyed looking over all these cool old WW2 planes at an air show in Ketchum, Ok. .
Some did flips and turns. .
And some had people jumping out of them.
These two little monkeys ran around like crazy, trying to take it all in!
I will add that they were VERY impressed!
Because the lake showed their busiest weekend in HISTORY. .
We didn't get on the water much while they were there. .
But we did enjoying swimming off the dock and floating. .
And partook at an all you can eat shrimp boil.
The first day it rained. .
We drove into Tulsa and spent the day at Incredible Pizza. .
which was. .
We played bumper cars, laser tag, go cart racing, arcade games, video games and ate ALL day!
The boys got bigger play packages. .
So Cami got to take a turn in the trampoline room.
She enjoyed her 15 minutes in there!!
After vacation came the County Fair. .
A couple trips to Lake Canton, one being a camping weekend. .
Lots of drag racing in Great Bend. .
And moving Tristan to college.
Wow. .
If THAT wasn't rough on this mama!!
He found it to be a little bit of a tough transition as well. .
But he enjoys his classes and is making new friends too. 
This guy is a senior now. .
He decided to try running cross country this year. .
He hasn't enjoyed the meets yet, but he really enjoys running in practice! 
His personality is really blossoming since his brother left. .
And that has been fun to see. 
His pesto bread loaf netted him overall Grand Champion of the 4-H food class at the fair. .
And his opportunity to sell it at the Premium Auction netted him some extra dough. .
Devin is in 7th grade. .
He is playing football for the first time ever.
He likes it.
 He also switched from percussion to saxaphone over the summer. .
And I will be anxious to hear him play with the pep band at the first home high school football game tomorrow night. 
Actually, all three of the boys did well enough on their cooking to take 1st or 2nd place in their food levels at the fair. .so ALL of them got to sell their product at the Premium Auction!
This little mama. .
Learned how to ski this summer. .
Last year she was able to get up and stay up briefly, but THIS summer. .
She was GOOD! She also learned how to surf too. I was against even letting her try because the board is so big and heavy, but with Grant helping her in the water to get the board under her feet, she was able to take right off. I wish I had that picture on here. .because her smile was ear to ear. .the ENTIRE time!!
She is in 2nd grade and LOVES school. Though she was a surprise package for this family. .I frequently thank God for giving her to us. .She is a delight most of the time!! I look forward to all the fun things that I can enjoy with a daughter in the future. 
And. .
I really DO love my boys!! 
All of them!!
This old lady. .
is getting mellower and slower every year! My gardens are not looking great at this point in the season, but what is out there. .is becoming more established and filling in. .I really love the bones I have going now. .in a couple more years. .I will have some great stuff to work with when I find that extra hobby time that I am missing right now!!
I still work multiple places, teach high school youth group every Wednesday night, recently started teaching high school Sunday School at church, and am in the 9th month of leading an online ladies bible study through the 4 gospels in the bible. That has been AWESOME. .and has given me a lot of opportunity to minister to and bless others! 
This old guy. .
stills works like a dog. .
He crams in absolutely as much lake time and racing weekends as he can. He shows up to take his bride out for lunch nearly every Wednesday. He has been helping teach a junior high youth group in our community too. His grandma helps us out by eating dinner with Cami and hanging out with her every Wednesday night. .It's a good thing for both of them! I wish I would have an opportunity like that with my own grandmas. .I know she will cherish it forever!!
So. .
There ya have it.
It's our lives in a nutshell. 
Thanks for checkin in on us. .I'll try not to stay gone so long. .
But I won't make any promises either. .
I know ya understand!
Much love from our little ole part of the world!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Ha!! NEWS!

OK. .
So my computer was crashed out for 2 weeks. .just as we got back from vacation. .
So though I WANTED to update ya'll. 
I COULDN'T get my pictures!
I'm heavy on the photos tonight. .
So bear with me. .
It's what happens when you try to update 6 months worth of life!!
This guy did it. .
He graduated. .
He is moving forward with his life. .
And excited about it!!
He leaves in ONE week. .
headed 3 hours plus. .
north of us. .
to Beloit Kansas.
The plan. .
Study carpentry for a year. .
and then move on to heating and air!
He had a great senior year. .
And was involved in multiple groups and activities.
He worked part time when he could. .and full time this summer. .
for the carpenter that he has worked with for the last 3 years.
I am excited that he will have so much foundation as he goes into school. .
and trust that base will make his education transition a little smoother!
I hope he uses this deep thinking look he has developed. .
as he studies next year!
But just sayin. .we never really appreciated it on his face very often!!

Our little red-headed "step-child". .
or the very lovely lady pictured above. .that our family would love to adopt out of her own family if we could. .
Is headed to Sterling college to finish up her music education degree!!
And I will miss that "daughter" to sit up and talk with. .
And Cami and Devin especially. .
will miss their "sister" too!
Grant. .
will be a senior. .
Ugh. .Two down in two years!
How will a mom survive??
I am coercing him daily to go out for cross country running this year. .
And much as he loves to needle me. .
I can't tell if I am making progress or not. .
SEE. .He has the build of a runner. .not a golfer!!
He has spent the summer working for his dad in the mechanic shop. .
And acts more like the man every single day!!
The boys went with me to Key West Florida in May. .
I had some schooling I wanted to do. .
And it was our gift to Tristan for graduation. .
Their first airplane ride was priceless. .
And they did and saw a lot of things that we can't do in Kansas, Toto!!
This is one of my favorite pictures from our trip. .
Mostly because I didn't see the lady in the background until after we got home. .
It makes me laugh every time. 
This gentleman. .
Is one of only about 40 some professional sword swallowers in the world. .
I wonder why!!
We took a guided kayaking tour. .
at dusk. .
and eerily, after dark we kayaked back using headlamps and tail lights!
It was definitely my favorite activity of our trip. .
And we watched all sorts of different bird species fly into that grove of trees in the distance of the picture. .
The bird song coming from within the grove. .
was amazing!! I can only imagine how many birds were in there!!
We also took a catamaran out to see the dolphins play. .
which was fun. .
And did some snorkeling at a coral reef near there.
The boys LOVED the snorkeling, me. .not so much. .
but THAT is a long story for another day!!
We also ate some GREAT food. .
trying different types of fish, ceviche (a raw fish salsa), Cuban food, including fried plantains, and Yucca fries.
It was a great trip and a fun experience!!
Devin will be in 7th grade this year. .
And is looking forward to trying football. .
This summer he decided to switch from drums to the saxophone. .
so we borrowed one from the school and he has taken lessons all summer. .
The instructor thinks he is picking it right up. .
His practice with her must go better than the practice that this mom hears!!
He played baseball this summer and enjoyed it greatly!!
And spent a lot of time working for his dad in the shop, mowing for his great grandad, and swimming at the local pool!
He enjoyed 4-H camp this summer. .
and only mildly resented his brothers getting to go with mom for vacation while he stayed home!!
And Cami. .
is heading to 2nd grade!
Got to attend her first year of 4-H camp. .
Loved every minute of it. .
except the dark minutes. .
and ended up sleeping on the extra cot in the nurses station with her mom!
Hmm. .maybe next year!
She has learned to dive headfirst into the water, most of the time. .
vs jumping into the water with her feet first. .and her hands in the position that gives the illusion that she was going to be doing a dive!!
She also learned to water ski. .
And LOVES it!!
She thinks she is big. .
And since she has learned how to make a smoothie ALL. BY. HERSELF. this summer. .
We are thinking of graduating her early!!
And these two old people. .
Celebrated 21 years of doing life together. .
And are preparing to drop kick the first baby bird out of the nest.
Jeremy wonders why I cry about it all the time. .
cause as far as HE is concerned. .
this is the BEST time of our life!!
They are leaving!!
And the phrase "And then there were TWO" is resonating through both of our heads!

We are ready for our weekly lunch date to resume next week after school starts. .
Crazy busy. .and just plain crazy. .
Its the name of our game!!

I actually did upload some of our vacation photos to my blog. .
So one of these crazy days. .
I will pull those out for you. .
Hopefully well before Christmas!!

I LOVE the sweet comments you all leave. .
and the ones that check in with me via email or via comment when it has been too long!!
I have not even pulled up anyone else's blog. .
and for THAT. .I apologize!!

Thanks for checking in. .
Have a blessed weekend!!