Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer Days

This summer has been the nicest weather-wise since I can remember! Really it has been incredible. Here is the view out my back door. It's the clouds that have been most astounding. Nearly everyday this summer we have been treated to incredible cloud formations.

The flowers make the back come alive with color and beauty. I always imagine sitting there and rarely get to but the thought that I could is still nice.

Rachel will be starting high school at a local Christian school next week! It's hard to believe. It will be a new experience for all of us since Michael and I were both homeschooled and Rachel has been until now. It turns out that golf is the sport that fit for our family so Rachel's been trying to learn all she can the last few weeks before practice officially starts. The nice thing about being a golf mom is you can sit outside in a beautiful and peaceful setting with no loud crowds (that I know of)!!!

"Dress Like a Cow Day" came last week and the kids cooperated with their outfits and we all enjoyed our once-a-year dinner at Chik-fil-a!

We managed to get all the 4h projects done and submitted (no small feat!!). Rachel's work finally paid off and after four years of entering knitting she is going to the state fair with her entry!!! (I will post details on the pattern later this week.) Andrew is also going to the state fair with his genealogy work!!!

We spent a perfect evening at the County Fair last week -- the weather was in the low 70's which was unbelievable! We visited all the children's entries as well as mine and then walked around the animal barns before ending at the archery building where the kids showed Grandma some of their skills!

It's now a tradition that we go to VBS at Grandma's church each July. The kids love it! This year there was a spy theme and David dressed the part!

Laura spent a few mornings home with Dad (she's too young for VBS) and kept him well fed and entertained.

I spent a few mornings (well, part of 5 mornings) at one of my favorite past-times -- shopping at the Goodwill Outlet where you "pay by the pound".  It had been months since I'd been. I find it a fascinating experience, not just a good place to find things for my crafts. I observed the "regulars" -- people who went EVERYDAY! (yes, I was one of those but just for last week!) I met and talked with the loveliest lady who drives a truck for Goodwill and she gave me all her linen-cleaning tips!

And I was blessed to find a lot! This was one day's traul: sweaters to felt, vintage linens to use and sell, a Gladys Taber book (!!!!!), a complete set of days-of-the-week tea towels, fabric, clothing, etc.

Laura came with me two of the mornings and of course we had a great time together!

 We love watching her care for her precious baby dolls. She is the best mommy to them!

And then she landed herself in the hospital overnight on Friday after tripping and hitting her head on the kitchen floor. This was her third ER trip of the year and we hated to go but she had too many signs of possible concussion to avoid going in. Thankfully, the CT scan showed all was fine but her heart rate was too low so they kept her overnight. Her heart normalized in the early morning and no one could explain what was going on and by the afternoon she was home again. Our crazy little baby!

 Craig and Em hosted the joint Grandma-David birthday party on Sunday afternoon. Lots of fun!

This was my favorite picture -- trouble is right! But, at least it is usually fun trouble!

Yay for the birthday people!

The grand babies all love Grandma:

We also celebrated 15 years of marriage last week! (We have about 6 birthdays and 1 anniversary in the same week in our extended family):

We managed to do some celebrating with a little get-away to downtown Indianapolis!

Some yummy food:

And a lovely hotel!

Looking a little different than 15 years ago:

The hotel we stayed at used to be a train station! Some guests could choose to stay in train cars! All I could think of was a Poirot movie.

And now we are home and catching our breath before we say goodbye to pure summer and dive into the next school year (yikes!).

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mondays are for Grace

"REST: a strategy for persevering rather than an escape from reality."

-- Tim Kimmel

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

South Haven Adventure

Saturday we left all the men at home and set off on a Mother/Daughter/Sister outing to South Haven, Michigan! (about 3.5 hours north of us) We had a wonderful day and probably packed too many things in! First we started with the farmer's market, full of gorgeous Michigan produce.

I wanted to bring those black raspberries home with me!

None of us bought any produce because we didn't think it would work well all day in the car.

The cutest sight in the market were these two dogs, eyes trained on their master, waiting for a possible bite.

Next we walked into the quaint town and visited a few shops including this one that sold all kinds of olive oils and vinegars.

Then we headed out to the pier and the cute little red lighthouse.

Enjoying the sight of the water and the accompanying sounds and smells we eventually headed back into town to eat some lunch.

Lots of visiting happening along the way:

After lunch we headed to the beach where mom and Rachel braved the cool weather and the freezing water to have a little swim.

The rest of us sat on the beach and enjoyed some new magazines and library books until a drizzle came on.

But the overcast sky made for an even more beautiful view:

And a good background for a sister picture:

I couldn't resist a sign for a garage sale and then, after we had bought two pairs of skies, a teaset, various knitting notions, another box of things, and a book or two we then had to figure out how to fit five adults and all our stuff in the tiny Honda Fit. Somehow we did it.

Back to town we wandered antique shops.

It was very tempting to bring this plaid drink set home with me -- winter picnics!!!!! (but I didn't)

Then we headed into the town's yarn shop and almost came home with some of this fun yarn:

Here's the front of the shop -- Needle in a Haystack!

Meanwhile Emily and Rachel were up to no good, buying candies to taste.

We ended at an amazing used bookstore where I spent my money (good thing I had resisted the other purchases). I found two Gladys Taber books to start off my collection and an antique book on a Joyful Life which I will tell you about in another post.

We ended the day with the best gluten free pizza I have ever had at a local pizzeria and then we made the long drive home. And now we all want to go back!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mondays are for Grace

"Joy is not the absence of suffering.
It is the presence of God."

-- Robert Schuller

Friday, July 11, 2014

Words and Wool

Not much has been happening around here this week besides 4h projects and readying things for the fair. I am happy to see that the children are maturing and each year things are easier to get them to do! For instance, knitting and quilting. It still requires a lot of prodding and reminding but this year the knitting was done a day before check-in and the quilt will be too!

A peak at Rachel's project:

One of my projects:

Another project:

And yet another:

I'm re-blocking my pink shawl to put in the fair:

And here is my library stack this week:

Fruitful: Four Seasons of Fresh Fruit Recipes by Nicholson and Huck is a beautiful book all about using seasonal fruits. Can't wait to spend sometime perusing it more!

Forever Music: A Tribute to the Gift of Creativity by Edith Schaeffer is a Schaeffer book I've never read (thanks Brenda for mentioning it!) but how can I resist when the subject is creativity!!!

Sara Midda's South of France: A Sketchbook also caught my eye. I can't remember where I heard about I do love looking through other people's sketchbooks!

Under the Wide and Starry Sky: A Novel by Nancy Horan is nearly finished! Right now Robert Louis Stevenson is at sea on a sailboat called the Casco. I am finding this a very good way to get an idea of what Stevenson's life was like.

And now, for more ideas on knitting and reading, visit Ginny's Yarn A Long.

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