york swirls

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happy Anniversary

June 27, 2012, marks our 25th anniversary.  We went out for supper at the Beef House in Covington tonight because we're busy tomorrow with baling hay and church.  On the way home, we went to Foster Park in Goodland where we were married in the gazebo.  They've since torn the gazebo down and replaced it with another one made of that white plastic that looks like boards from a distance.  We found the spot where the old gazebo stood and took this picture in it.  It's a poor picture, but it captures the moment.  We walked around and sat in the swing and talked until the mosquitos came out.  Gary also bought me 25 beautiful, red roses.

June 27th is also my mom & dad's 47th anniversary, my sister, Lynnette, & her husband, Paul's, 20th anniversary, and my sister, Aimee, & her husband, Josh's, 15th anniversary.  June 27th is a good day for weddings.

Grocery Shopping

Does anybody else get depressed when they go grocery shopping?

Gary & I went to visit a friend in the hospital in Lafayette tonight, so we picked up groceries while we were down there.  I never waste a trip to Lafayette where I'm near Sam's Club and Super Walmart, my home-away-from-home.

We needed toilet paper in both bathrooms.  Now around here, we go through more than one double roll in each bathroom every day.   Gary & I like to use Angel Soft in our bathroom.  The girls like to use Walmart's brand that compares to Charmin.  Neither one of those are really expensive, but I spent nearly $25 to put 24 rolls of toilet paper in each bathroom!!!  As we were walking to the car with our cart full of groceries, Gary was figuring up the cost of the toilet paper.  He exclaimed, "$25 to just flush it down the toilet!"

Then there's shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.  I spent nearly $18 on those items.  In a household of 9 girls, most of them have to use a different shampoo or a different scent of body wash than the others.  With the youngest girls, I can get by with using the same cheap Suave shampoo.  But one girl has trouble with dandruff and one can't use the Suave because it makes her hair greasy and another spends so much time in the sun that it bleaches & dries out her hair.  I don't know how many guests have commented on the number of bottles lined up in the shower!  If you use our shower, you'll be able to choose from shampoo for fine hair, shampoo for colored hair, shampoo with UV blocker, dandruff shampoo, curl care shampoo, shampoo for more body.....  I told Gary, "When I was a kid, we used whatever kind of shampoo my mom had a coupon for...usually V05."  Times have changed and so have our options at the store.

How can I manage to spend $300 at Sam's & Walmart, and when I get home they all say, "There's nothing to eat!"?   Guess I'll have to stop buying toilet paper!!  Anybody have a Sears & Roebuck catalog?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Camping at Ouabache State Park Again

 On our way over to the state park at Bluffton Thursday, we stopped at a park in Huntington to have a picnic lunch.  We've been past this park a few times, and the girls have always wanted to stop because they have a big plane and tank out near the road.  They enjoyed playing for a little while after eating.
 Laura on the tank
 Kara on the tank
 On Friday morning, we went to Geneva to the Limberlost, home of Gene Stratton Porter.  We thoroughly enjoyed the tour of her home.  For those that aren't familiar with Mrs. Porter's life and writings, she was a naturalist and her books reflected that.  Her home is filled with moths and butterflies in glass cases and stuffed birds.  As the kindly, older gentleman was giving us the tour, Laura answered most of his questions and interjected many facts of her own.  At one point when the man was expressing his surprise at how much Laura knew, I told him that she knew all the answers to his questions, but she couldn't remember 6 times 4.  After we'd been through 3 or 4 more rooms, he was asking a few questions and out-of-the-blue, he asked Laura, "What's 6 x 4?"  She just looked at him with a blank look on her face.    When I prompted her what the story was on her flashcard, she knew the answer right away.  (I ordered material and flashcards for right-brained children this year.  Each flashcard has the number sentence embedded on a colored picture along with a story.  This helps the right-brained child to remember the facts better.)
 When Mrs. Porter had this stone fence built around her home, she had the workmen make it with holes in it for the little animals to be able to come and go easier.  
 We keep paints, sidewalk chalk, and games in the camper.
 Laura used the paints to paint the veined side of a leaf.
 Then she turned the leaf over and pressed it onto a piece of paper.
 She used different colors and different shapes of leaves to make many pretty prints.
 We got this idea out of a camping book I bought Laura for her birthday last year.  She takes it every time we go camping or when we go on long trips to study it.  I think that's where she got a lot of her information she used to answer the questions at Gene Stratton Porter's home!
 Playing Sequence States & Capitals
Father's Day dinner--rib eye steak, the potato recipe I gave you a few weeks ago, and canned peas--a delicious meal cooked over the fire.

The main purpose of this camping trip was to see our friends, the Whisnants.  They were giving a concert at the Gospel Barn in Bluffton on Saturday night.  We enjoyed lunch with them on Saturday at Pizza Hut in Bluffton and the concert that evening.

It was a weekend packed with fun activities and relaxing, family time.  Good memories!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bearly Sleeping

Aunt Meagan bought Ryan some new jammies with bears on them.  His shirt says "Bearly Sleeping".  They couldn't get him to smile for the camera.  I guess he knew it was time to go to bed.  Doesn't he look like such a big boy all propped up in the corner of the couch?

Ryan is doing just great staying with Gammy since his mommy started back to work.  He's such a good baby.  He sleeps for 10 hours every night.  He loves to play with all of his aunts.  He likes to lay under his play gym, ride in the stroller, and be carried around in the baby backpack.  He is over 3 months old now.  He weighed 14 lbs. 14 oz. on our baby scale tonight.  You certainly can't tell he had a rough start three months ago.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

All in a day's work...

Gary started cutting hay on Wednesday.  He cut for two days in 12 different patches from Goodland to Morocco to Kentland to Remington, a 25- to 30-mile radius.  Then Nathan & Roy took our two hay rakes and started raking the hay into windrows.  Next we got out the round baler and the small square baler because some people needed one size and some needed another.  The round baler will make anything from a 3-ft to a 6-ft diameter bale, 4-ft wide.  He ended up baling 88 round bales and about 200 square bales.  These pictures are of the last of the hay they baled on Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

 Weeding the sweet corn patch
 Weeding the garden
 Meagan rototilling the garden
 Nice, clean, neat rows in the garden
Meagan's "truck patch" -- watermelons & pumpkins

We put in a hard day's work today!  We weeded our 16 200-ft. rows of sweet corn.  Then we went over to Grandma & Grandpa Cooper's to weed their garden.  While Laura was finishing up the onions, Erin was working on some gravel under the swing, and Meagan was running the rototiller, the rest of us went across the road to check on Grandma & Grandpa Sanders' garden.  We ended up doing some weeding over there & helped put the cages around the tomatoes.  And all that before noon!  I won't tell you everything we accomplished in the afternoon & evening.  It was a very productive day!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Just a coincidence?

Yes, that's a limo...a 35 1/2-foot long limo...only 4 weeks old...only 3700 miles on it...a 2012 limousine....parked at the end of our driveway.  Why?  That's what I wondered!!

Erin, Heather, Laura, Kara, Leah, Nanna, & I spent the afternoon at church today setting up for our rummage sale this weekend.  As we were coming past the grandparents' houses just around the corner from us, we all seemed to notice at the same time that there was a shiny limo parked at the end of our driveway.  The girls all said, "Hurry, Mom!"  We rounded the corner on two wheels!  

As we got close enough, we saw Gary standing beside the limo with two men...one in a black suit and one that looked like a hitchhiker with a backpack!  Gary's tractor & the sprayer were parked beside the fuel barrels at the end of the driveway.  Now what in the world was going on?!!  I couldn't figure it out.

After we backed in our parking spot, the girls all jumped out and ran to the end of the driveway to see the limo.  I started walking that way too.  Erin was lagging behind me.  Gary kept telling her to hurry up.  Once we got over there, he asked the girls, "How'd you like to take a ride in the limo?"  Well, what do you think they said?  The man in the black suit asked, "Would Mom like to go too?"  Of course!  Just at that moment, Meagan came driving up on the mower.  She had been in the backyard mowing.  I said, "Come on, Meagan!  Let's go!!"

At this point, all I knew was that this limo belonged to someone from Kankakee named Mike Wheeler.  We know Mike!  So I'm wondering, "Why did Mike Wheeler send his limo over here for us to take a ride in?  Who is this bum with the backpack?  How did he get to ride in this limo?"  I had no idea what was going on, but Gary said not to keep the driver waiting!  

So the man in the black suit opened the door for us to climb in.  Oh my!!  Talk about squeals and giggles and non-stop chatter!!!  We drove around the corner and saw Grandpa Sanders outside working on his pickup, so the girls wanted to stop there.  The driver (We never did ask the nice man's name.) went past the driveway & backed in.  We rolled down the window & Grandpa came over to see who it was.  He thought it was someone asking for directions.  He couldn't believe it when he saw his oldest daughter & seven of his granddaughters inside!  He asked me what we were riding in the limo for, and I answered, "I don't know!"  He said, "Oh, come on!  Why are you riding in here?"  I said again, "I really don't know!"  I had just gotten in when Gary told me to.  I didn't know why or how this came about!

The driver pulled out of the driveway and headed back towards our house.  Just as we were getting to our corner, he burst out laughing.  I had been talking & not paying attention to what was going on towards the front.  I stopped mid-sentence and demanded, "Who said what to make him laugh?"  Heather admitted she had just said, "Us hickerbillies are riding in a limousine!"  So the driver said he was a hillbilly too and he was a farmer too, and proud of it!  So we all had a good laugh!!

Once we got back to the end of the driveway, he put the limo in park & the doors unlocked.  Of course, he saw in his mirror that we were reaching for the doors.  He said, "Wait!"  Then he got out and came around to open the door and assist each of us out.  Just like Cinderella!

So I know you're all wondering how in the world a limousine came to be at our house.  When we sold our last two semis, they sat in our driveway for several weeks with no word from the man that bought them.  Finally, we found out he had sold them to someone that was taking them to Mexico and that person was supposed to be picking them up.  Finally, after several weeks...actually it's been months...someone came last week and picked up one of them.  They came to pick up the last one today.   The limo driver explained to me that the guy had ridden a bus from Texas to Kankakee.  Then he had called the Reliable Limo Service to get a car to take him to our house.  The limo service had been very busy today and the only car that was back there was the brand new limo.  Usually they would have used a sedan, but that was the only car available.  So is it coincidence that a total stranger from Texas would buy our truck & take a bus to Kankakee to take a limo to our house that's owned by someone we know...and it just happened that there were no cars available, so they had to use the brand new limo....and we got home at just exactly the right moment?  I don't think so!  I think God had to put all those "coincidences" together!  What an exciting day for all of us hickerbillies!  :-)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Happy birthday, Krissy!

Today is Krissy's 20th birthday!  I made her pause in her rush this morning before church to let me take at least one picture.  We hope she has a great day!  Love you much, Krissy!!

Making Ice Cream

 Autumn helped the Farm Bureau with a program where they made ice cream in a bag with 4th grade students.  After that day, she wanted to make ice cream with her little sisters.  She planned to do it after a hot day of baling hay, but since it was 8:00 in the evening before we were finished for the day, we waited.
 Autumn came over Saturday afternoon, and they made ice cream.  Their hands were red and aching from working those bags of ice.  It was so noisy with 9 of them working plastic bags full of ice that Elly was barking at them.  
 None of them were very impressed with the flavor or texture of the ice cream...well, except maybe Elly...but they enjoyed the experience.