Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Grandparents Day

Friday was Grandparents day at school. Ethan was very excited to have visitors at school! He told me that Grandpa & Grandma Van Den Broek came, Grandma Boender and Great Grandpa Boender. He enjoyed making a craft, playing games and eating lunch with them. They K-4th grades also did a music program for the grandparents in the afternoon and again that night for parents. Here are a couple pictures from the day.

The pictures from my mom didn't download correctly. But they are of Ethan playing soccer with Grandpa and his classmates at recess and him making a craft with grandpa & grandma.

A group shot of the K-4th Praise Rocks program at night.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Planting Progress

Hi this is Mark,
I have been persuaded, coerced, forced by Stacy to fill in some information on how planting is going this spring. It's going good! Well that pretty much sums it up.

OK, so that wasn't exactly what I was looking for when I nicely asked Mark if he would like to write on the blog about farming. I'll give a few details. :) We've had windy, dry weather until this weekend which made it possible to get lots of work done. Corn is pretty much wrapped up and Mark has moved on to planting beans. We are down to one tractor doing anhydrous near Knoxville. We had 2 inches of rain over the weekend and it was wet again today. So it will be a couple days until things start rolling again. I think we were all ready for a break! It's so nice to have Mark home in the evenings!

Planting corn near Beacon.

Mark fixing a hose.

Planting beans at our home farm.

Ethan helping Dad check things out.

Everyone wants to ride!

Three little helpers.

Planting around our house.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I have to play catch up a little, it's been a busy week outdoors for us. I am so happy to be working in the garden and cleaning up the yard! Last weekend Ang came over and we went fishing in our pond. The kids caught five sunfish that we relocated to a little pond Mark built this spring. I caught a large snapping turtle. Our plan was to drive him down the road to the Muchakinock Creek. But after leaving Mark, Ethan and Amelia on turtle patrol while Ang and I ran back to the house. He escaped and jumped in the pond again.

All geared up for fishing.

A shot of the vicious snapping turtle I caught in a 5-gallon bucket. He did try to bite several times.

Getting fishing poles ready to go.

A happy boy that loves the outdoors!

Amelia caught the first fish.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


This weekend the kids and I headed to my mom and dad's to hang out while Mark was in the field. We went out to the timber near their house to pick wild daffodils. Picking daffodils was one of my favorite things to do as a child. I thought the kids would enjoy this too.

Amelia showing us a nice yellow and white daffodil.

Both kids gathering their bouquets.

Grandma and Aunt Ang helping the kids.

My favorites!
The kids and I showing off our bouquets. Our house smells so good with all these flowers!
On a side note.
The ticks are out! :( Ang had one crawling on her and screamed and swatted him off. We all looked a little over each other a little to make sure no one else had one. Ethan was curious about this bug and asked what it was. I told him a little bug with a pokey sucker that drinks your blood when he pokes you. (This was to much information.) Later I found a tick crawling on me. So we all looked each other over again, no ticks. Poor Ethan asked twice that night about ticks. Once he came to me and said, "I think a feel a tack on me." :) the other time he got out of bed to tell me that Grandma said I needed to check him for "tacks" when we got home. I'm happy to report that they didn't have any on them. But poor Aunt Ang found another one on her. :)


Here are a few pictures from Easter. Saturday night the kids and I made Easter Story cookies. This was a great activity for them and explained the true meaning of Easter, unlike the easter egg hunt we did on Sunday. :) Ethan was especially excited to open the oven to see how our cookies turned out Sunday morning. They were hollow and empty, just like Jesus tomb was empty! We were so happy not to have anyone sick so that we could all go to church together for the first time in two weeks!

My parents came over for a couple hours in the afternoon. We had a little egg hunt in the cold wind. The kids didn't mind they love to find eggs!

We will have to come up with something different for Ethan next year. He finds things way faster than Amelia.

Amelia looking for eggs.

The kids excited to see what Grandma filled the eggs with!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

10th Wedding Anniversary

Today is our anniversary,wow, it's hard to believe that we've been married this long! The last 10 years have been great and full of blessings. We have a great marriage, three wonderful children and a beautiful farm to live on. God has truly blessed us!

No romantic get away for us this year. The kids and I are going to ride along with Mark while he plants corn. :)

Mark & I on our wedding day.
Our wedding party.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Our family started work in the garden last week. Mark's involvement was dumping two piles of dirt in the garden with his skid loader. Many years of picking veggies left us with a low spot in the garden, which turns into a pond when it rains. We probably won't see Mark in the garden much more. Unless it involves his skidloader or power tools. :) I enjoy gardening and will do all the planting, weeding and harvesting. The kids will "help" whenever they see me out there. In this picture Amelia and I are busy planting potatoes and three types of onions. Amelia loves onions! We also plant to plant sugar snap peas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, green peppers, watermelon, cantaloupe, acorn squash, pumpkins and gourds.

Ethan and Amelia played in the freshly tiled dirt. This is Ethan's favorite part about gardening, that and harvesting our veggies.

Amelia watering in the onions. This is her favorite part of gardening.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Birds

Our chicks and ducks continue to grow and grow. I had know idea ducks grew so fast. They are nearly the size of full grown chickens! Amelia especially enjoys them. She loves to hold the chicks, which now have their feathers and look much cuter. :) We only have three ducks but they make a lot of work. They are constantly spilling their water so I have to give them new bedding twice a day. Oh well, I knew ducks like water. :)

Amelia likes to hold the ducks, but the ducks don't like to be held. They make a horrible quacking/honking noise anytime you remove them from their pen.

Amelia put this chick on the 4-wheeler I thought she was kind of cute.

Elijah is riding on a concrete rooster that I saved from my brothers trash. See Alex not only is this rooster a lovely garden ornament it's a fun ride-on toy! :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Jeep Club

Mark always enjoys using his track-hoe and dozer in the coal mine. He's built motocross tracks and lots of other jumps and places to ride. But motorcycles and 4-wheelers aren't the ones that come to ride! Here are a few pictures from the Jeep Outdoor Club of Central Iowa (JOCCI). They visit our farm regularly and are always entertaining to watch. The pictures below were taken from their website. Most of the pictures were taken yesterday and a couple from last month. If you like this kind of thing or are just curious what they do at our place, check out their web site they have 100's of pictures and a bunch of videos. The Farm is what they call our place.

Part of the JOCCI club here yesterday.

This was taken last month.

Part of our coal mine.

On the mend

It was a pretty rough week at our house with all three kids having fevers. Ethan got sick last Saturday/Sunday during the night and today was the first day in a week that he didn't have a temperature. He missed five days of school. :( His teachers and classmates all made him get well cards, he was so excited to receive nearly 30 cards from his class. He is looking forward to going back to school tomorrow! Amelia got sick on Tuesday and still had slight fever this morning but has perked up a lot. Elijah hasn't had fever since Friday night but is a crab. Needless to say we are all sick of the house and each other. :) Hopefully we can get rid of the coughs and be done with illness for awhile!