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Since most of my updating is done via Instagram these days I thought I'd add a section that links to my feed. Click on any of the pictures to get an enlarged version. I hope you enjoy the pics:

Friday, April 29, 2011

SMS Message - Edited & Explained

Quote from Nathan: No, we aren't going to Salina, we're going to the end of the world!

Yesterday, we went to Salina to do some shopping and visit with Marion's brother.  Since we dropped Abigail off in Smith Center for her first ever sleep over, we headed south to Osborne instead of going our traditional route.  And though I am very thankful we got to stop off at Harvey's Coffee & Kitchen, it made for a much longer trip to Salina!

Marion usually likes to take the longer route to get some place.  I'd rather get there and then take my time coming back, but hey, that is just the wonderful balancing God gave us in each other!  So, on the way down, we stopped in Luray to drive around a bit.  I got this cool picture:

There are lots of the rock posts and signs down in that area!

Going back to Nathan's comment, we had just gotten on the interstate and was headed toward Salina, when Nathan asked where we were going.  Marion patiently explained that we were going to go shopping and then see his cousins.  That was when Nathan made his declaration!

After we had finished our shopping and had dinner with M&K's family, we headed home around 8:15 or so.  As we were loading into the van, Nathan asked, "Mom, can you drive so it doesn't take so long?"  When I said no, Daddy would drive Nathan's response was, "But Mom, he'll take forever!"

As we drove, eventually everyone in the back fell asleep and there were no more adorable comments!  However, Marion and I were entertained on the way with the light show being putting on for us in the northwest as we drove.  It wasn't until the very end that I thought of trying to capture some pictures and by then the storm was clearly passed us and lightning was rare, but I did get ONE shot!

I know it isn't the best of pictures, but considering I only tried like 3 times and we were driving's not that great, but I had fun trying!

Now you know the rest of the story.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

E's Walking

Today, out of the blue, Ethan started walking!  I was in the kitchen and turned around to find him standing in the middle of the room and walking towards me.  He took nearly 6 steps then got shaking and sat down, but it was the most that he'd done and then proceeded to do more and more throughout the day.

In my efforts to capture this milestone, we had a very fun video that we took.  It is sideways as I forgot I was videoing instead of picture taking so you'll have to tilt your head, but it will be fun anyways! (and yes, I am scooting backwards as we video so that he'll walk farther...but I bumped into the chair behind me and everyone was's quite the video)

Since this video, he is doing much better, and I'll try to get another one that isn't sideways.  lol

(Disclaimer:  Since I got my new camera, I can't post videos directly so I have to use YouTube.  Please understand I do not have control over what videos they advertise or make suggestions on after you view the clip above.  And I do not endorse any video other then the one I post.)

New Printer

Well, the HP All-in-One that we purchased back in 2008 died on me the other day.  Actually, we'd been having some complications with it for a few weeks but then it just went bonkers.  SO, we needed a new one. We debated the options and decided to go a step up and add the fax machine in with it so that we could have more space on the cabinet next to the computer.  Our old Brother fax machine was well...OLD!  (and I mean ancient here)  Anyway, after review several, it came down to either the Photosmart Premium Fax AIO or the eStation.  I thought I'd made up my mind but just to make sure, I called HP to ask a few questions...and I'm SO glad I did!  Not only did it save us from getting a printer that would not have functioned in our wired home...but I saved and additional 15% off!  With all the incentives, I got a printer priced at $299.99 for about $100.00 when it is all said and done!  Not too bad if you ask me!  :0)

So here it is...the new printer...and for $'s okay if it only lasts another 2-3 years!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

So Sad...

I think my bread starter has gone bad!!!

I was JUST getting into a good rut with making bread twice a week and the kids (and hubby) loved the Country Bread I was making!  Unfortunately, I hurt my arm and was not able to knead or even stir the bread so it sat for  a week.

I still fed it and all, but apparently I needed to also dump some of it out...I'm in the process of trying to salvage it, but it looks as if I'm going to have to start over again...I'm so bummed!

At least I now know how to do this and can start over whenever I need to!  I have to admit...I was hoping to be able to keep my starter cultivated and someday pass it on to Abigail who would hopefully pass it on to her children....but realistically...I know that is dreaming!

So, today we are off to town to run errands.  My arm is getting better, but after working in the flower bed yesterday, I'm taking a slow day today.  I got nearly 1/5th of the flower bed cleaned off and a small section of the border readjusted.  Even though I used my left for most of the pulling, I can tell my arm needs a rest today!  We are making progress though and I have stopped wrapping it everyday as well as only taking pain medicine in the evenings now!  YAY!  All the kids seems to be healthy as well (well..E still has a bit of a runny nose...but not very bad).  I'm glad that the last two weeks are OVER!

I'll post pictures of the flower bed progress when I get a bit more done! Until then...blessings!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The newest Project...

I had intended that my next project would be either the game cabinet or the shelves in the bathroom, but considering the limited capabilities of my arm...that can't be.  However, after 2 weeks, I have to be doing something!  So I decided to start on the flower bed up front in our yard.  Now mind you, it has been probably a good 4 years AT LEAST since I have not been pregnant or nursing during a spring!  So the flower bed has been at the bottom of the 'to do' list for quite some time..though I have been able to maintain it is in serious need of help. are the before pictures:

I'm going to straighten out the border, add the second level to the left side, divide out the daffodils (when they die down) and re-mulch the whole bed.  Oh...and try to eradicate as much of the grass that has seeped into the edges...which seems to be the most complicated part of it all!

I'll try to take pictures as I go and post the progress...and YES...I'll take it easy with my arm...I definitely do NOT want to re-injure it!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter - Sunday - Family Hunt

After Easter Dinner with Marion's Parents and Brother's family, we held the traditional cousin's egg hunt!  Uncle M and Marion headed outside to hid the eggs:

Then the kids gathered at the front door of the's like the holding!  We let the little ones come out first and see if they can find any first:

Cousin C was pretty excited to explore, but Cousin E and Jonny had their heads in their baskets...
so Aunt K had to help 'unstuck' them!

Then...the littles were off!

Grandma brought E out to see the fun...but they didn't stay too long as it was a bit chilly still.

Then the older kids were let loose...each kid could find 26 eggs and one large one!  (We really enjoy the city egg hunt, but finding 6 eggs goes by VERY fast...with 26 to find...the kids actually get to enjoy the hunt a bit longer.)

Now THAT is adorable!

I don't know where Cousin E was...but apparently after the initial picture...he was on the opposite side of where I!  But I did get that really cute one of Cousin C!

When the hunt was over, we had the kids gather with their eggs to show off their finds! 

We had a GREAT of the best we've had (in my humble opinion).  From the Sunrise Service to the fun at Grandma's...a great Easter indeed!

And the best part of it all...we didn't have to sacrifice our desire to remember that above all...Easter is about our Risen Savior!  From opening the empty Resurrection egg before we headed to the Sunrise Service, to the He is Risen Rolls at breakfast, to the faded red dots on our palms from Good Friday, to the Church Service mid morning, and finally coming to Grandma's house to enjoy the Resurrection Cookies...the day was filled with reminders that our Savior died for our sins, but is NOW ALIVE and seated at the right hand of our Father in Heaven!  What glorious hope we have...and to be able to do fun things without taking away from the meaningfulness of the day...we are truly blessed!!

Easter - Sunday - Sunrise & Outfits

One of the things that Marion especially likes about Easter is the Sunrise Service.  We have attempted many through the years and they haven't all been very successful or pleasant, but this year...this year was a good year!

all bundled up with snowpants & boots
plus blankets galore!

The crosses that set out before us as we heard the morning lesson.

The kids wanted to go see the crosses closer up...
so Marion took them while I stayed with Ethan in the van.

Of course, we went to the cinnamon roll breakfast at the church after the sunrise service, but I didn't get pictures of that.  This year, I took the He Is Risen Rolls from the Mustard's Seeds site.  They were a hit...they didn't look like much compared to some of the fancy cinnamon rolls there, but once people tried them...they went back for seconds!

When we got home, the kids got dressed in their Easter Outfits and I ushered them outside on a cloudy day to try to get some pictures.  These are probably the best ones I got...the last one is probably the best expression...but unfortunately we started off with Abi behind the swing chain and so I don't know how to fix that.   Please feel free to vote for your favorite one:

LOVE E's expression fun!

Jonny, "What are you smiling about Abi?"

See...wouldn't this be GREAT if Abi wouldn't have been behind the swing?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter - Saturday - Decorating Eggs & More

After the egg hunt (and a nap) we headed to Grandma's house to decorate eggs with the cousins. 

Aunt K and Cousin B getting started
(cousin C was wandering around watching)

Jonny, Abi, and Nathan watching and waiting for their turn.
Decorating Eggs at Grandma's house has gotten to be a very fun tradition that we do almost every year (we alternate Easter's with my sister's family but we still get to decorate eggs alot of the time).  Anyway, for years now we've had these plastic sleeves that never get used because it just seemed to difficult to boil them in water to shrink them...but this year, we used a hair dryer and each of the kids wanted to do several of was kinda funny.  Anyway, here are the kids with their finished eggs:

Cousin B




Daddy came in when they were about done and helped with E.

Cousin E was out with his Daddy and Grandpa planting he did his at a different time.

After the eggs were decorated and dinner was done, Grandma got out the Easter Cookie story and make the Resurrection Cookies with the kids.  Considering the chaos, I think it went very well.

gathering around to listen to Grandma

beating the pecans

watching the egg whites whipped

Jonny got in trouble by touching the beating bowl and had to sit out..
this was his "i'm not happy" face

adding their pecans to the bowl

putting the cookies on the sheet...this was QUITE the

Then they taped the oven shut and waited until the next day to see what happened.

We are so very thankful that our children can enjoy these activities with Grandma and a few of the cousins.  Even though we all have different ways of celebrating, it always warms my heart when our children can make memories with Grandma and Grandpa that draw them closer to God too!

Easter - Saturday - The hunt!

Happy Easter Everyone!  The day is here!

Today we went to the Lebanon Easter Egg Hunt held by the 4-Oaks 4-H Club!  We ended up being the first ones there and I was able to talk to my friend Lori while we waited (I hadn't seen her for a while).  Anyway, here are the pictures I got from the event:

what a excited waiting.

Abi was separated off with the 'big' kids

while the other three were put together
(though not standing anywhere near each other)

I found one!

Run Quick...

Here's another one....

When they had their 6 eggs, they could get two Smarties from this girl.

Then it was Abi's turn...running fast!

a very tricky egg...

Reach high!

All done!

After the egg hunt, the kids all play on the equipment there at the park while the parents chat.   It was pretty cold out so we didn't stay that long, but they still had a ton of fun!

"Hi Mom"

This is fun...

my turn...

Ethan after his taste of chocolate from the hunt!