Monday, December 20, 2010

Snow and More Snow!

It is snowing out right now and I love it when it snows; especially during the day so I can watch and enjoy the soft, white fluff falling from the heavens.
There are two things that immediately run through my mind when it snows. One is the song from White Christmas when they are on the train singing, "Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow..." love that song:) The other is the poem called the "First Snowfall" by James R. Lowell; "The snow had begun in the gloaming, and busily all the night, had been heaping field and highway with a silence deep and white..."
There is something rather miraculous seeing snow fall and cover the earth. They say no snowflake is exactly alike--that is amazing too, although I wonder whoever took the opportunity to really check this out!
We were out in Los Angeles last weekend, and being it was only 2 weeks before Christmas, it was hard for me to get into the holiday spirit while there. Being from the mid west puts snow and Christmas in the same visual picture for me. Even though the stores were playing Christmas music, and had wreaths and poinsettias sitting around, it just wasn't the same for me.
We left there during record high temperatures and came back to minus 20 below wind chills and record amounts of snow here! Quite a change, that's for sure!
However, that was ok with me. I was happy to greet the white covered ground and heavily laden trees. It was beautiful!
Tonight as I walked to the car with my son and his family from my granddaughter's Christmas program, I was reminded of the time when he was young and he and I took a walk in the falling snowfall. It was a stroll in the winter wonderland--a chance to enjoy the beauty of our amazing earth. Those kind of moments are special and ones to be treasured...
Wishing all of you a wonderful blessed Christmas!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sweet Addie

All the kids were home for Thanksgiving this week and we had a wonderful time visiting, shopping, watching movies, eating and just hanging out. Today when they all started leaving one family at a time the atmosphere in the house changed very gradually ending with complete silence except for the sound of the Packer game on the TV. It's amazing how a person adjusts from one extreme to the other in a minutes time.
As I was thinking about it, I had to smile recalling what our 2 year old granddaughter Addie said right before she left.
I had given her a little sucker for her trip home and as she unwrapped it and started to lick it very slowly and carefully I teasingly asked her if I could have a taste? She replied very sweetly, "No." So I asked her again if I could please have a taste, to which she responded in her tiny, soft voice, " No, grandma, it tastes yucky," and then she smiled.:)
Now how smart is that? What a polite way of saying she didn't want to share--they learn so quickly don't they?

Hope your holiday was a fun one.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Trivia Question is...

I wake up each morning to my clock radio playing music and the morning trivia question of the day. It just amazes me where they get the stats for some of these questions!!!
For example; What food does your husband most remind you of?
I'm thinking, must be something manly like a hamburger...? Oh no, 45% of the response was....(you'll love this one) a potato!! Excuse me, what in the heck does that mean--he's maybe a couch potato?? I don't get it...
Today the question was, The more education you receive the bigger this becomes.
Ok, maybe your income, Wrong---then it must be your brain!! Oh heavens No, that would make too much sense. Ready for this one? Your signature!
Oh ya, how did I not get that right? Your signature--are you kidding?
For one, your signature is suppose to represent more your personality isn't it? Fun, relaxed people usually have a loose larger script, while uptight people have a tighter smaller script. Or something like that anyhow...I'm not really trained to know that but seems as though I have read that somewhere...
Well, that is part of how my morning gets started; with real mind boggling questions and even more boggling answers. How fun it that:)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Bit of This & That- Oh well...

Crazy month filled with a bit of everything, the latest being too much rain and water in our basement! Have been spending the past week moving things out of the bedrooms and office, pulling up carpet, wet vacuuming water, and trying to dry the rooms out. Tonight we are actually putting some things back, but have a ways to go. In the 32 years we have lived here, it is the 2nd time we have had an over abundance of rain in a days time and ended up with water seeping in the foundation. Oh well...

Lately I have been seeing so many talk shows about plastic surgery and all it entails. One of the show was actually pretty informative telling you how you can identify the persons who have had work done. I can't say I know of any one personally, but you can sure tell which movie stars have done overkill on their faces. One thing I did find interesting was the way you can tell if the person has had botox on their lips. Evidently, by nature your top lip is half the size of your bottom lip, so it you see someone who has a top lip equal size to their bottom one, or bigger--they have had botox! Now I find myself watching TV shows and staring at stars lips!! Crazy, I know, but I keep thinking why would you want a fat upper lip? I had a few of those as a kid playing rough and tough with my brothers and not only does it look terrible, it feels just as bad. Amazing that a person would pay to get a fat lip on purpose isn't it?
Oh well...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Apple Pickin' Time!

It is about that time again when the apples are ripe and ready to be picked. A couple of years ago my in law's apple tree had it's first abundance of apples. We were thrilled and began the process of taking the apples and making pies, crisps and bars. My mother in law said that she had been making applesauce and freezing it. I thought this was much easier than canning it so decided to give it a try. Unfortunately I didn't have the equipment to do this, so asked one of my church friends if they had anything I could borrow. She happily lent me this wonderful grinder that separated the peels and seeds while pushing out the juicy applesauce! What fun we had with this gadget...we made applesauce 'till the cows came home.' It was the great!
These past two years we have been disappointed when the tree barely produced a few apples. However, I have decided to go to the orchard and buy a bushel so we can once again make our own applesauce. It is so worth it!
Our kids are all coming home next weekend so I am hoping that we can go out and have an apple 'pickin' adventure:)
(Top photo-My daughter Kyr with grandson Connor, picking apples.)
(Bottom photo- Grand kids Caitlyn and Billy using the fun gadget.)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Missing In Blogging!

I am sorry it has been almost 2 weeks since my last post. These past 2 weeks have been a bit overwhelming. Not only has there been 2 reunions to travel to, and a family fun day we have also been in the midst of great sadness.
This past weekend my nephew died as a result of taking his own life. Tomorrow we will be traveling to his funeral to reunite with many family members and share in the loss of this young man who had always added an extra "spark" to our family. Please keep my sister and her family in your prayers along with his wife and their three small children.
I hope to be back next week.
In the meantime, hug your children.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Saddling Up For School!

You can tell school shopping is at a max right now as the stores are filled with parents and their kids trying on clothes and shoes. It's always interesting to hear stressed parents buying for their children..."Well, I'm not going to buy it if you aren't going to wear it..." Or one of my favorites-"It's this or nothing, make up your mind!" Great way to give choices :) -but looking back I guess I kinda remember those moments. ~sigh~
Watching kids try on shoes the other day made me remember my shoes for the first day of school. Back in the late 50's I got Saddle shoes! You know, those white and black laced leather shoes. I got to wondering where that name came from so looked it up. Evidently the Saddle shoe became popular in the 1950's. They were a sporty shoe like the loafer, and came about before the sneakers were popular. They have a black section across the top middle, resembling a saddle; hence the name Saddle shoes! How about that?

It would be late summer when my shoes would arrive via mail order from either Sears or Alden's catalog. What an exciting event that was when the mailman dropped off a box too big to fit in the mail box! The shoes were so wonderful; bright white with the black under the white laces and the new smell of leather. Usually my shoes were a little big as my mom said I needed them to have room to grow so they would last the year. Consequently tissue was crumpled up and stuffed in the toe so my foot wouldn't slide up and down in the heal. Even so, I usually ended up with a blister on my heal after the first day of school and had to wear a Bandade for a few days after that. After a few months the shoes were looking a little worn so out would come the shoe polish to paint them white again to try to make them look spiffy!
It's interesting to read that Saddle shoes were a sporty shoe as I wore them with my dresses too as seen in the picture with five of my siblings. (I'm the youngest girl:)
Guess they were as versatile as you could make them just as shoes are today.
I will always associate Saddle shoes with school shoes as it is tucked back in my memory from special days now long gone.
Interesting isn't it?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ni-Ni Baby

Now that my daughter Kyrstin has a house I am able to start giving her the many "things" that have been stored here at home. This week I ran across a box containing all of her dolls. After being stored for some 20 years now, they looked a little rough so I decided to clean them up before giving them back to her.

I scrubbed up their faces nice and clean, washed their clothing, mended any rips and tears, combed their hair and tied new ribbons in their hair where the old ones had disappeared years ago. Thank goodness Kinsey helped me as it turned into an all day job!
The most significant change concerned Kyr's "Ni-Ni" baby. She got this her first Christmas when she was 9 months old, and from that point on it- along with her "ni-ni "blanket, was tucked under her arm at bedtime and carried around during the day when she needed it. Needless to say, this little soft stuffed, pink, terry cloth dolly saw it's share of the washing machine and the wear and tear of being loved to death! By the time Kyrstin started finding other things to occupy her time, Ni-Ni Baby was without her glued on blue eyes, painted nose, stitched mouth and yellow yarn hair. Her pink body was faded, pilled, irregular in shape with her head flopping loosely from the stuffing being packed down. She had been repaired so many times I was at a loss of what else I could do to save her, so she was quietly, gently and loving tucked away with the rest of her fellow sister dolls; Blue Baby, Marlena, Delta, Sibyl, Edwin, Amanda and Leonora.

Well, this week Ni-Ni Baby became a challenge, but we got her to looking almost like her "ole self! Kinsey painted on new eyes, mouth and nose, and I worked on her hair and body; washing, stitching and stuffing her.
When all was done, I sat down and wrote Kyrstin a letter on behalf of the baby doll that was her faithful friend all of those years ago.
Here is the letter Kyrstin received today when we presented her the dolly that has been waiting to be loved again:)

Well, her I am,
all washed, stitched and clean.
Your mom and sis helped me
become as I use to be!

You loved me to pieces
till hair and face was gone;
But never did I mind;
'Cuz your arms had held me long.
With new hair in place,
my bib is trimmed too;
a smile and a nose,
blue eyes to see you...
The years have gone by,
past your childhood life.
But I stayed the same
as you became a wife!

But now it is time
to join you again.
A family you have,
it will be like "back when"...

Your chubby arms held me,
we were playmates, best friends.
You, me and Ni-Ni,
snuggling till nights end.

Except now I am fragile-
Perhaps I should sit
safe by your pillow
so you won't forget..
How special our time was...
Those precious years gone.
Now again I am with you,
Where I truly belong...
Your best friend, "Ni-Ni Baby"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Lifetime Gift

Last week a childhood friend of mine called telling me that she was going to sell some of her Mom's dishes as her children had already taken what they wanted so she would sell the rest. As we talked about some of the Fiesta Ware plates that remained she suddenly hesitated as if a great idea had come to her, then asked with sincere interest and a lift in her voice, what colors I had in my kitchen/dining area? She then went on to ask me if I would want a couple of the green and yellow plates/cup she had left!
I was so touched that she had even considered such a thing and told her I would LOVE to have them! It wasn't their monetary value that interested me, it was the sentiment behind it that moved me to the very core.

Lynn's Mom grew up next door to my mom in a very Bohemian farm community. She was a very sweet, kind and happy woman and I have wonderful memories of her, most of them revolving around being in the kitchen:)

Lynn was a year older than I, and even though we knew each other in grade school, it wasn't until high school when we were in choir singing in ensembles together that we got to know one another better and realized the connection of our moms.
Years later when Gary and I had our first son, his best friend and our best man at our wedding, called to say he was coming to see us and was bringing Lynn. It was then that we learned they were dating and from that point on we easily became immediate friends.

I believe God brings people into our lives for a reason--Lynn brings to me a friendship that is comfortable, familiar, fun and safe. We don't have to talk everyday or even once a month, but when we do, it is like talking to my sister. I think it is because there is something about a shared background and upbringing that makes our friendship special. We share a history that I think comes from our mothers being neighbors, the two of us going to school together and consequently marrying our hometown boyfriends!

I am humbled and touched when I look at these dishes as they remind me of where Lynn and I come from; people whose parents came to the states from Bohemia and worked hard at being an example of love, hard work, and the meaning of family.

A long time ago God brought together two little girls who lived down the road from each others farms; they went on to raise two little girls with the same type of upbringing that they had, and they are now lifetime friends. I don't need a reminder of the specialness of that, but seeing those dishes does stir up an emotion reminding me of how our friendship came to be.
What better gift is there than that?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Are You Unforgiving?

I just ran across another one of my slips of papers where I had jotted down something I read about forgiveness. I think this is probably one of the hardest things to do when you feel as though you have been wronged in some way. I have found these to be very helpful when I have been in that position.
~Being willing to unforgive is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

~Unforgiveness is a form of self abuse.

~ Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past would have been different.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Too Much Information...

Our new grandson, Alec is now settling in at home with Mom, Dad and siblings. We stopped in the first day home to see how things were going and April was changing Alec's diaper which caused some interesting conversation.
He was laying there so nice and I was impressed that he wasn't crying as many newborns do when they are uncovered and exposed. Our granddaughter Caitlyn was hovering over the baby and taking in all the conversation when April smoothly transitioned into a comment that he didn't even cry when he got circumcised! I went on to say how I could hear one of my sons cry all the way down the hallway when his was done, and April went on to say that she was glad she didn't have to hear that.
Caitlyn being confident about our conversation easily asked, "Did I cry?" We smiled, and said, "Oh honey, you didn't have one because you aren't a boy." She kinda stared at us, so I went on to gently explain what a circumcism is using terms like foreskin, and removing, etc... trying not to traumatizing her and ending it by saying that the baby is fine.
There was this moment of silence as she stood there looking at me with this blank expression, when she calmly said,

"Grandma...I was just asking if I cried when you changed MY diaper?"

Well of course we had to laugh, as I commented to April, "Well, I guess I gave out more information then I needed to!"
Isn't that just the way things just go sometimes:)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Announcing A New Miracle!

We had great excitement this weekend when our oldest son Boyd, and his wife April had a little boy on Saturday! His name is Alec Boyd and he weighed in at 8# 12 oz, 20 inches long. He joins big brother Billy and sister Caitlyn who are over joyed with this new sibling. As Caitlyn said, "Now I am finally a big sister!" What adds to this fun is the date he was born. Caitlyn's birth date is 5-15, Billy's is 6-16 and now Alec's is 7-17! No way you can plan that sort of thing-interesting isn't it? Must be the way the stars were aligned for this little family:)

This makes grandchild #7 for us and we couldn't be happier. While this is Boyd's 3rd child, this is April's first baby so she will be experiencing a world of new emotions and adventures. These are special days for all involved. Whenever I see a baby I am reminded of this saying;
A baby...To prove again if proof need be...God lives:) How perfect is that?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Windy Wordless Wednesday

I love hanging clothes on the line to dry in the sun and breeze!

This picture was taken at the farm and shows me, Kyrstin and my mother-in-law putting clothes on the line.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Why The Name?

I had an interesting chat with the receptionist at the eye clinic last week. I was making an appointment for my daughter and she commented on how she like the name. After confirming the birth date she again said, "I REALLY like that name!" I kinda chuckled, thanked her but she went on to ask how I came up with that name. I then briefly explained how we got that name.
I am often asked that question about my kids names. While they may be a little different, they aren't unheard of.
Our firstborn is named Boyd. I knew in high school that I wanted to name my first son Boyd after doing my family genealogy. The story goes that two young boys were sailing from Germany in the mid-1700's with their parents to settle an estate in the Carolina's. The parents became ill on the ship and before they died they turned their sons over to a man to care for them and the estate until the boys were old enough to take it over. Evidently the man was indifferent to the boys and did not treat them very well, so when they were old enough they ran away changing their last name. The two brothers were named Boyd (my 3x great grandpa) and William.
The name Boyd means yellow haired (Celtic), and he indeed was a yellow haired little guy! To add to coincidence, his first son is named William:)
Here is Boyd at 20 months in 1974

Our second son is named Blake. We had a couple of names that we liked when I was expecting him; Burke and Barron were our first choices. My husband said we could name him Barron Von Bodenburg- a good German name! We didn't intend to have another name start with a B, but those were the ones that just kept jumping out at us. About two months before he was born I noticed the name Blake in the baby book, and it just hit me. I must have seen it before, but this time it seemed perfect. I didn't know of anyone with that name, but it sounded so right. Years later there was a Blake Carrington of the TV show Dynasty, and I thought for sure there would be tons of Blake's after that. I have seen and heard of many since, but there isn't an overkill on it.
The name Blake means, Black or Pallid (Celtic), and once again, he had black curly hair!
Here is Blake at age 15 months in 1977.Our first daughter is named Kyrstin (pronounced, kearstin-long e, short i) There use to be a soap opera on called Love Of Life, which ended in the late 1970's after being on for as many years as I could remember. Towards the end of it's run, there was a little girl on the show named Kirsten. It was pronounced with the long e sound even though the Scandinavian spelling is with an i. Once again, I loved that name but the challenge was having people say it correctly. We played with spelling it phonetically- Kearstin - until a friend of ours suggested using a y instead. She had challenges with people calling her Kristin, but became good at giving her ear lobe a tug and telling them to think of "ear" when saying her name:)
The name Kyrstin means the Christian or anointed one, (Scandinavian) and is also a form of Christine. Coincidentally, we were visiting my pen pal in England when I found out I was expecting Kyr, and my friend's name is Christine!
Here is Kyrstin at 18 months in 1981.

Our next daughter, Tyne is the one the receptionist was commenting on last week. I think we had the hardest time coming up with her name. We went through all kinds of K names seeing the boys were B's, we may as well try to even it out. When the boys were little I had seen the name Tyne roll by on the credits of a TV movie and had kept it in mind. Finally, I suggested it, and even tho it wasn't a K name, we liked it. Later when the Cagney&Lacey show was popular on TV, I realized it must have been Tyne Daly's name that I had seen before she became well known. I also heard later that President Ford's daughter, Susan, has a daughter named Tyne. She gets many compliments on her name and often times has to spell it for them as they think she is saying Time:)
The name Tyne is an English nickname (Tine) for Christine, again, meaning Christian. Oddly enough, my pen pal from England lives by the Tyne River:)
Here is Tyne as age 24 months, in 1986.
Last, is our daughter, Kinsey. When Tyne was just a month old, I was shopping in JC Penney's, when I heard a mother call to her little daughter, "M'Kensey, come here." She probably said MacKensie, but I only heard what sounded like the "Kinsey" part and immediately said to my husband,"There is our second K name!!"
He responded with "Too late, and NO we are not changing Tyne's name.":)
At that point we thought we were probably done having children; after all 2 girls and 2 boys was a nice even number. Even so, I held on to that name just in case. Well, talk about the power of when I was expecting #5, I knew that if it was a girl, I had the perfect name!
The name Kinsey means royal, victorious one, (Old English). Who know, maybe she will marry royalty someday...? If not, we are royally happy she is a part of our family.
Here is Kinsey at 22 months, in 1989.

Here is a more current photo of them.
Left-Rt: Kinsey, Tyne, Kyrstin, Blake and Boyd.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Front Porch Moments

Sorry I have been "missing" for a good week! Gary took a weeks vacation last week and then we went to his Moms over the 4th of July for a four day weekend. It's always nice to go to the farm where time seems to stand still and a person can just kick back and relax.

One of my favorite things to do when I am there is to sit on the front porch and rock in the rocking chair ~ I sound like a grandma don't I?
The house sits on the top of a hill where there always seems to be a breeze blowing through the screened in porch that is attached to the front of the house overlooking the hay fields, woods and the neighboring farm.
I usually sit with my books and magazines, reading and enjoying the quiet with the wind chime clanging in the wind. Sometimes I just lay my head back and close my eyes, enjoying the peacefulness of the birds singing and the whispering of the evergreen trees as they sway back and forth.
When my babies were little I would sit out there to feed them and rock them to sleep.
Now, I often find myself being joined by my grown children and their families. We find ourselves reminiscing about when they were little, what it was like when I was growing up and asking Gary questions about living here on the farm. Most of the time we are laughing at the stories that we have forgotten about, or learning about things we never asked about at that time.

Usually time has no meaning on the front porch, as suddenly we realize it is well past bedtime and the rest of the household members have gone to bed, leaving us in our own little world on this now darkened porch that has taken us back in time.

~This photo was taken on the front porch in July, 1959 when Gary's grandparents lived in the house. Gary is the oldest on the right, with his Grandma holding his brother Paul, and brother Chris on the left. ~

~Here is Gary's grandpa on the porch holding our son Boyd,(his first great grandson to pass on the name) August, 1973.

August, 1988 finds our daughters Kyrstin and Tyne playing with their Dad's old farm set on the porch:)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Swimming Wordless Wednesday!

Last week was a great week for using the pool; hot muggy and in the 90's. This week has been much cooler but the kids just couldn't wait for the temperatures to get any warmer, so even though it's only 74 degrees out, they jumped in! Aunt Kinsey having fun with Caitlyn and Billy

Thursday, June 24, 2010

This Little Piggie

When our first grandchild was born, my husband Gary bought a plastic piggy bank and told me that he was going to started depositing all the coins and money he would find laying on the ground into this plastic piggy. The purpose of this was to save it for Billy's college education or wedding!
We all thought that it was a fun idea as he truly has a hound dog nose for finding coins wherever we go; parking lots, isles of stores, parks, you name it, he will come up with at least a penny every time!
So in 1999 his project started and at the time we questioned him if he was going to do this for each grandchild, and how? His response was, "I will worry about that when it happens." Three years later Caitlyn was born and a third grandchild was on the way. Gary counted up the change that was in the bank and he had over $100!! So, he decided to start by buying a $50 savings bond for each of the grandkids and continued collecting "ground change" for the next one.
Here we are 11 years later, and so far he has collected enough money to buy savings bonds for Billy, Caitlyn, Tate and Connor. He is close to getting Addie's and then will start on Easton's and grandchild # 7 due next month! Now, even the grandkids are picking up "ground change" and saying they want to put it in Grandpa's piggy bank and asking who it is for now? How wonderful is that?
On each of the savings bond envelopes he has written their names with the date, stating that this is to be presented to them to use for college or their wedding:) How special is that for these kids to someday receive this gift from their grandpa? This will be a story I hope they will someday pass on to their children about "Grandpa's little piggy bank." Who knows, maybe they will do the same for their grandkids someday:)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tears For Toys

Toy Story 3 came out in the theatres on Friday, and I have already gone twice to see it! I know, get a life...On Father's Day I went with my husband and daughter (his choice); and today I went with three of my grandchildren and enjoyed it just as much!
I love the Toy Story movies; they are so well done and obviously entertaining enough for people of all ages. Number 3 however, brought me to tears at the end. I don't want to ruin it for you in case you haven't seen it, but honestly there were three different times at the end that I cried, and at one point I had to fight really hard not to let out a big sob:(

To tell you how poignant it was, it affected me the same way the 2nd time I saw it, only 24 hours later!! My gosh-get a grip Peggy!! Needless to say, I highly recommend you see it. It is full of laughs, excitement, great graphics, and a wonderful story line about how life goes by so fast.
I only have one suggestion, take a Kleenex:)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Award:)

Thank you to Robyn for passing on the Happy Award to me!!
She is a wonderful blogging friend who has a beautiful family and takes amazing photographs. She has just received her 100th follower so take time to congratulate her!

Here are 10 things that make me happy!
1. Laughter
2. Smiles
3. Babies/children/young people
4. A good book
5. The feeling of a nice breeze on my face.
6. A good movie
7. Hugs
8.Spending time with family
9. Music to sing and dance to.
1o. God, who reminds me each day what a wonderful world I live in.

When you receive this award you are to-
1. Copy and paste the award to your blog
2. List who it is from
3.List 10 things that make you happy:)
4. Pass it on to another blogger and let them know about it!

I am passing this on to someone I just started following. Tiffany has a busy life with her children and writes interesting and warm posts. Check her out at --

Friday, June 18, 2010

Necklace Giveaway!

Notice a new button on my blog daughter Tyne just put one out and is having another necklace giveaway for those of you who enjoy decorating yourself with 4th of July jewelry:)

Tyne started her blog over a month ago; at first it was basically about her jewelry making but now it has grown into including fun and interesting comments and stories! I am so proud of her!
(I did a post on Tyne in May called- Somewhere Over The Rainbow... if you are interested in reading more about my thoughts on her.)
Take time to check out her blog at

Pool Time!

With summer finally giving us some warm weather, our attention has been focused on using our pool. However, after 21 years we were in need of a new liner. We considered ourselves pretty lucky to have gotten so many years out of this liner; last summer we had a few leaks and repairs so decided that was warning enough that things needed to be replaced.

We put our pool in 1989 to help occupy our 5 kids, then ranging from age 2 to 16 years of age. It was one of the best decisions ever and we have never regretted it. Now 21 years later, our kids still use it, as do our grandchildren. Two of them, Billy and Caitlyn are with us during the day while their parents are at work, so they swim every single day. We also have a second generation of our neighborhood kids bringing their children over to swim when they come back to visit us. It is a busy place from June thru August!

This picture shows the instillation of the pool in 1989. (The pool is 4 ft. on one half, with a 6 ft. deep end on the other--to accommodate all ages.)

Here is my husband and oldest son, Boyd putting a deck around it that same week.

This shows our kids, their cousins from Milwaukee and our neighbor kids a few days after it was filled.

Here is Tyne and Kinsey floating around in their new pool that first summer.

This photo was taken this week with the old liner removed and the men leveling out the sand.

Here is the new liner, and finally the pool filled and ready for chemicals and sun to warm it up!

Hopefully, weather permitting, I will be sending you some photos of us using it in a week or so!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Staying Family

After spending a fun weekend with our 5 children, their spouses, and their children, I become reflective... I always knew I'd love my children...but what I really enjoy is watching them love each other:)
It is inevitable, someday I won't be here and my wish for them is to stay close to their siblings; as brothers and sisters offer an irreplaceable perspective. In one another, they can remember where they have been and who they are.
As years go by and life becomes hectic and busy with families of their own, I hope they continue to pick up the phone and call each other on their birthdays, get together to share what is happening in their lives and reminisce about the days when they were young and the only family they knew was each other:)

Pictures originally taken 1996 & 1997

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Precious Treasure

A couple of years ago a dear friend of mine lost her husband. She had been a childhood friend of mine. Her younger sister was actually my best friend growing up, but somehow, Phyllis and I always stayed connected. We got married around the same time, had kids around the same time and just kept in touch because we had so much in common; a real history of knowing the same people and being raised in a very small town atmosphere with the values and moral that families had back then. It was a quiet, quaint way of growing up and when we get together we do a lot of reminiscing:)

After her husband died suddenly, she gave me a little teapot with this poem. I look at it every day and think of her. It means a lot to me...

The handle represents caring arms to hold you
with understanding and support.
The spout stands for the pouring out
of tears and laughter.
The porcelain signifies the beautiful
relationship we share-
a rare and precious treasure.

Thank you Phyl, you are a very precious treasure to me too:)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Take Me Out To The Ballgame...

This Friday we will be heading off to Milwaukee to see the Brewers play the Texas Rangers! This has become a family outing for our family these past few years. This picture was taken in '08 - Son Boyd, wife April, kids Billy and Caitlyn (the 2 taller kids in middle); son Blake, wife Beth, kids Tate(now they have baby Easton); Gary and myself; daughter Kyrstin-(expecting Addie,) (hubby Nick fishing in Canada that year), their Connor; Sitting-- daughters, Kinsey and Tyne. Pretty soon we will almost have enough to have 2 teams...working on that:)

On game day we all don our Brewer's shirts grab our gloves- in case we catch a foul ball, and head to the stadium early to do some tail gating. This includes playing catch in the parking lot along with grilling brats and hot dogs.

There is something so exciting about the atmosphere of a baseball game; the sounds, smells, vendors, and fans all add to the 'ole ballgame! I always get nostalgic and think of my Grandpa and Dad when I go to games.

They loved the game of baseball and were very good players in their day. My Grandpa was a catcher for the local hometown team as a young man in the early 1900's.

Pictured back row -last one on right holding catching gear

My Dad was a pitcher and it was told that he was asked to play on a semi-pro team as a young man in the mid 1930's but his Dad needed him at home to help farm. Always made me wonder what could have been...
Baseball holds a special place in the lives of my family, including nieces and nephews alike. I truly believe it is in your blood and if that is the case the love of baseball will go on for generations...I hope so, I think my grandpa would be pretty proud:)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Say As I Say?

"Give Away Necklace"-Check out my daughter's first give away!

I ran across this little story the other day while rummaging through some papers.
Hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.

After all her dinner guest were seated, a woman asked her 6-year old daughter to say the blessing. "I don't know what to say," her daughter replied.
"Just say what you hear mommy say." Replied her mother sweetly.
The child bowed her head. "Dear Lord," she said, "why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"

Have a great weekend, and remember to be careful what you say in front of your child:)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I Promise:)

This past Friday we spent the day helping our daughter, husband and kids move out of their house and relocate to another town. It was a busy day full of lifting, shifting, moaning, groaning and cleaning, but we got it done.

In the midst of all of this their son, our grandson, Connor was experiencing a new change other than the move itself. During his kindergarten check-up they discovered that one of his eyes was weak and he needed glasses! To put it mildly, he was not very excited about this, and there were many tears, folded arms and bottom lip pouts.

Friday morning our daughter called and warned us to not mention his glasses when we got there as it was his first day of wearing them and he was struggling with the adjustment.
When we got there,it was hard not to say anything as he looked absolutely adorable, kinda like the little guy on Jerry Maguire!

But we said nothing and all seemed to be going well until without a thought, I reached over to push his glasses up on his nose a little. Suddenly there was this pause...he looked at me and with a very firm, accusatory expression he said, "Grandma, how did you know I got glasses?"
Remembering my daughter's warning, I quickly responded with, "I didn't know about it!"He looked at me over the top of his lenses and suspiciously said, "Grandma... how did you know???"I very casually said, "Well, when I came today it was a surprise!"He worked his way around my chair saying, "Well, I don't want anyone to know that I have glasses, so DON'T tell anyone, OK?" I told him that I wouldn't tell anyone, and he said, "You promise? 'cuz I don't want ANYONE to know."

I could barely contain my laughter as we carried on this very serious conversation, looking at his big, bright blue eyes framed by those cute little round framed glasses. But if he felt secure that his glasses were invisible as long as I kept my promise and didn't tell anyone, then so be it. I kept his secret for the rest of the day:)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Friday Fragments #5

With a long weekend coming up I thought it would be easier to get a FF done than none at all!

This weekend is Memorial weekend as we remember the service people who have fought for our country. We have SO much to be thankful for. God Bless the U.S.A.!
I feel like I should break into song with, "I'm proud to be an American..."

I am happy to announce that our daughter Tyne (see this past Monday's post- "Somewhere Over The Rainbow") has her own blog now! Check it out:
She has been designing and creating beautiful necklaces and has been receiving many accolades!

We will be helping our daughter Kyrstin and her family move this weekend. Her husband has decided to become partners with his father in the building business. Kyr is a teacher who has taken time off to be a SAHM, so she posts the fun crafts and learning things she does with her kids at home. Check it out:

We are heading up north ~ya, I many of you, Wisconsin is already up north, but believe it or not, we are going even further up-- to northern Wisconsin!!

We will be visiting family and friends for a nice long weekend. Always fun to go back "home":)
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Yesterday was my last day of volunteering in my granddaughter's 2nd grade class, for this school year. Caitlyn's class presented me with these beautiful flowers with their names signed on the flower box! I went down the row giving hugs and squeezes to each of them; I can't tell you how much I enjoy each and everyone of those little people and the way they refer to me as "Grandma Peggy."
Isn't life just one beautiful moment after another?

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Little Girl

The shelf under my bedroom window holds a number of framed photos of days gone by... I love pictures of long ago; especially ones of family or ancestors. Of course there weren't a lot of photos taken back then, so the ones we do have are very special.

The little girl in these photos was named Albina Marie; a name that was pretty unique here but fairly common in the country her mother came from, which was Bohemia. Unfortunately her mother died when she was 18 months old. After that, her main caretaker was her paternal grandmother; along with aunts and uncles that still lived at home. Her Auntie Ann was especially attentive to her and this photo shows them sitting in a field of tall grass together. I would estimate that Albina was about 4 years old here. I love the straw hats they are wearing and her little hand that is resting on her Aunt's knee:)

This photo appears to be taken the same day and has her holding a big work horse whose head is the same size as Albina's whole body! It must have been a very calm, well behaved horse!
I was always intrigued about this little girl, so would constantly ask my Mom questions about her. It was told to me that Albina never remembered her mother as she was so young when she died. She did though, recall her Dad coming to the grandmother's house after work; he would pick her up on his lap and she remembered playing with his pocket watch.

I look at these photos often and wonder what her life was really like then...
Now that I am a grandmother I can relate more to this story and am comforted by the care and love she must have received from her grandmother and aunt. I am so thankful that this little girl had a loving family that helped raise her as Albina grew up to be a wonderful mother.
I knew her well; I called her Mom:)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Somewhere Over The Rainbow...

Every time I hear the song Somewhere Over The Rainbow, I think of our second daughter Tyne :) She loved the Wizard Of Oz ever since she was 3 years old. She would sit and watch the movie over and over, to the point where we had to restrict it to once a day!

I have a video of her singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow sitting in the rocking chair, and swinging on the swing set. She would start out singing in her sweet little voice full of it's baby lisps and vowel, consonant substitutions ... "There's a wand that I dweamed of, once in a wullaby." ~ Oh, how precious is that?~

Tyne is our 4th child. She was welcomed into the world by her big brothers Boyd, who was 11 1/2, Blake who was 8 1/2 and Kyrstin who was 4 1/2 years old. The boys thought she should have been a boy since they already had a sister, but "Oh well, I guess a girl is OK.." And Kyrstin was THRILLED to have a sister and thought we should name her "Marlena" after the soap opera star from, Days Of Our Lives.

As you would expect, Tyne got a lot of love and attention. She had the sweetest smile and twinkling eyes, and was my little shadow; if I sat down, she was like a magnet on my lap. Every night when I would rock her to sleep, I would tell her that she was my "little honey bunny," and she, with her adorable smile would reply back, "And you are my sweetie pie."

She grew up to be a great student who loved school, and excelled in all the activities; clubs, sports, music etc...

She is now an English teacher and sharing her love of books, and literature. Tyne is a wonderful aunt and has a steady boyfriend who by the way, loves Legos too, (See Wordless Wednesday) which endears her even more to her nieces and nephews:)

All these years later, upon hearing Over The Rainbow, I immediately picture our little toddler tilting her chin upward as she hits the high notes of the songs, and then at the end, she stands and takes a bow:)

We can all take a lesson from this little girl, as our lives should be like a song; sung with gusto with a few mistakes, but at the end - good enough to receive the applause and to take the bow.
Wishing you many "over the rainbow" memories:)