Thursday, May 26, 2011

Joy Ride

A favorite family activity for us is taking Ranger rides around our coal mine and neighborhood. The kids especially love to see wildlife while we're out and about. Last weekend we saw quite a few "little critters" and I was able to get pictures of a few of them.

This was our first find a muskrat swimming in the ditch along the road.

A snake sunning on the road. I'm sure we were a sight, all 6 of us hanging over the side of the Ranger checking out a snake.

This was a curious snapping turtle in our pond.

The kids just can't stay out of the water, even if it's cold!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tulip Time

This post should be my last one for catching up. I have a couple more ideas but those are more recent happenings. I enjoy going to Tulip Time each spring and so do the kids, Mark, not so much. I'm not sure if it's because he's an Osky guy, a farmer busy planting beans, or like most guys and doesn't care about flowers or parades. Thankfully my mom and sister gladly help so we can enjoy the parade and food!

A group shot of the kids in Sunken Gardens. I'm mean and told the kids the only way they could get a snowcone was to take a nice picture by the tulips. Sorry Ethan you can't use your own money to buy one!

Anton age 15 months.

Yikes! That tulip totally came out of one of your uncles yards!

Amelia looking very sweet!

Ethan a little blinded by the sun.

Yay, the sweet, cool reward! Somehow I missed a picture of Elijah. He didn't seem to be feeling 100% so we let this year slide.

Cousins Olivia and Andrew (back) playing for the Oskaloosa Christian Band.

The PC eagle came to give Anton a hug, but he wasn't very interested. He did enjoy the bands and floats and pointed at everything! I was very thankful he liked it because he isn't a crowd person at all!

A fun float of Thomas!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Mark and I were able to buy another farm this spring. We are very excited about the opportunity and have been busy fixing it up over the last couple months.

A first look at the field taken early this spring.

Mowing and fixing broken tile were the first jobs done to get the field ready for beans. We also cleared trees, brush and fence in a few places.

I'm pretty sure every tile running through this field is broke or full of mud. Mark is fixing a broken tile to help dry out a wet hole.

I just love this picture of Amelia throwing a dirt clod, she's so girly!

Planting beans before the rain!

We didn't quite get the field finished before the downpour.

Waiting for dryer days!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kid Stuff

This is a "catch up" post of what the kids have been up to over the last month or so.

Elijah enjoys "riding" bike. He actually just runs all over the yard pushing Ethan or Amelia's bikes, going up ramps and through the yard. It looks like a lot of work to me but he enjoys it.
Maybe we'll find him a bike with training wheels on a garage sale this summer. But knowing Elijah he won't want it, he'll just stick with pushing around someone else's bike.

Anton went through the "belly button phase" a month ago he was constantly lifting up his shirt and pointing to his button. He would also lift up anyone else's shirt and poke them if given the opportunity!

Boys need haircuts often and it adds up! We thought we would give shaving Anton's hair a try and he surprisingly did very well. Marks engine noises and references to picking corn sure helped the situation!

This is an avocado tree that we're growing. It's over a foot tall with 8 inch leaves! I found the idea to grow the seed in a old gardening craft book my mother-in-law gave us a couple years ago. The kids always enjoy experiments and crafts so this was perfect. There's just something temping about planting that huge avocado pit!

Amelia found a caterpillar a while back and stuck it in a salsa jar to live with her in her room. Of course she forgot about it and it ended up lost under her bed. The positive about the situation was that when she found it the caterpillar had spun into a cocoon! It was damaged and I didn't think it would hatch but sure enough the little guy made it and Amelia was very pleased to find her very own moth! The bad news is that when she went to release it outside it flew and landed right on the deck in front of the door and Elijah stepped on it. It damaged his wing and caused internal injuries but it did live until the next day. As far as Amelia is concerned his wing got better and he flew away. :)

Ethan had a little track meet the other day. He is getting faster and faster every year!

Anton is getting pretty good at sneaking out of the house if the doors aren't closed properly. Most likely the sand box is were you'll find him.

If I'm not able to watch the kids in ride in the coalmine I'll let them putz around the yard on the TTR. They have so much fun! Mostly they like to put the back tire in holes and give it gas to make grass go flying and wreck the yard, but at least they aren't fighting!

The kids actually got out of school for heat the other day. So they thought since it was "summer" they had to play in the water. Here they are making a mud hole to play in.


Finally, I'm able to upload again! Some of the posts are of old news but my sister wanted me to add them anyway. So my big project this spring is to clean up my garden. It's been neglected for the last couple years because I had Elijah and Anton and they took up most of my time. It's amazing how many weeds grow, how much plants spread and take over and the amount of dirt moles can move!

April 10 - The "disaster area" pre-cleanup.

This particular area was invaded by grass, vinca vines and a few other plants that had simply taken over. I decided my best option was to take Marks skidloader and dig the whole area out. Yes, I actually did it myself! Mark was busy in the field so I took three big scoops of dirt out and relocated them along the motocross track. Then scraped a couple buckets of dirt out of Mark's corn field to fill in back in. Here we are ready to re-plant!

This area was full of huge day lily's and a few others that needed to be split.

A bunch of plants ready to head south to their new home in MO! My sister took two packed car loads of plants home from my mom's and my yard!

Oh look, my very own garden gnome!

My garden as of today!

Looking much better, now if I can only keep it up!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Computer Problems

I haven't forgot about my blog! Unfortunately I've had computer problems for the last couple weeks and can't upload anything. Hopefully we'll get the issue resolved soon so I can update!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Preschool Visit

Last week I took time to visit Amelia's preschool class. I arrived during snack time and then we moved on to free reading time. I started reading a book to Amelia and a couple Boender cousins that are in her class, and ended up with half the class joining us. :) It was great to see them so attentive and fun to hear their comments. I'm sure preschool teachers hear it all!

Amelia was the leader on Tuesday so she got to sit on the chair by her teacher.

She is working on her turtle craft in the picture. Every turtle needs pink toenails, don't you think!

Putting the finishing touches on her turtle.

Classroom wall art, flowers with the petals saying what each child is thankful for.

You might wonder what a train has to do with preschool. Well, this in just another way God is trying to teach me patience. You see we live on the "wrong" side of the tracks, and I will often end up waiting on the train to pass. Sometimes it's quick other times 15 minutes, and it never arrives at the same time, so I can't even plan accordingly!