Boys and Their Toys

Jan borrowed the neighbor’s trencher on Saturday.

There’s nothing like a new toy to brighten up a weekend and get teenage boys excited, especially one that has an engine and digs cool holes!

My boys were grinning from ear to ear in anticipation as they unloaded the trencher from the trailer and studied it carefully.

Imagine the excitement the first time the engine turned over and started!

IMG_2968They were having such a great time digging the trenches for the wiring in the two outbuildings that I was afraid they might get carried away and I would have trenches all over the yard.

Not to worry.

It seems that every trench they dug had to be filled in by hand.

As in manual labor.

Party over.

Time to find a tractor or a riding mower….

Fall Adventures

Our suitcases have gotten a work-out the past month.

With my niece’s wedding and our annual family reunion almost back to back – I didn’t even get the suitcases back in the attic before we needed them again.

As soon as we got back from the reunion – Angel Girl had just enough time to wash her clothes and repack them before leaving on an epic adventure with three cousins.

11999053_903684599725264_6864385375566096415_nTo Disney World.

Yes. My baby girl flew on an airplane and is spending a week exploring the Magic Kingdom far, far away.

And she’s having a wonderful time.

I do get a daily text.

“Magic Kingdom, lots of rides!”

“We’re in line to meet Anna and Elsa!”


Meanwhile – back at the farm – we were busy getting Buddy packed up for his week in South Dakota at Teen Pact Survival.

While his sister is hobnobbing with Mickey and Goofy, he will be in the Black Hills dressed in camo, sleeping in a sleeping bag and learning survival skills.

And loving it.

IMG_2931He obviously didn’t pack lightly.

But I’m just thankful he had something to pack!

Would you believe that he outgrew almost all of his jeans over the summer? Talk about a growth spurt!

So yes, I am that mother who ran to town the day before he left frantically buying her son new socks, undies, and jeans. :)

And now, with my children in different parts of the country – I am that mother with a very quiet house – temporarily, at least.

Am I feeling left out on this adventure thing? Oh no.

I didn’t put my suitcase away yet either.

Jan and I have a 25th anniversary trip in the works.

Our turn is coming – soon! And my suitcase is ready and waiting!

But for you – I’m enjoying the quiet – because I know it won’t last long!

Gob Smacked

They totally did it this time.

They pulled off the ultimate surprise.

It was a normal Tuesday evening. We had a normal evening meal – just Jan, Buddy, Angel Girl and I . Dishes were done. I was settled on the couch reading when Buddy brought Jan in, followed by Angel Girl.

“We have a surprise for your anniversary,” they said as Jan settled in beside me.  “Wait right here while we go get it.”

(A surprise? But our anniversary was a few weeks ago. I told the kids not to get us anything!)

A few minutes later Dagmar walked in. (What? Girl you have class first thing tomorrow morning!)

Followed by Pedro. (Wait a minute? Don’t you work tomorrow at 7 am?)

Followed by Matt. (MATT!!! You’re supposed to be in Colorado? How did you get here?!!)


All of our children were home at the same time!

On a random Tuesday night.

How did this happen?

It was a surprise months in the making.

Matt drove 10 hours from Colorado, met his siblings in Des Moines and they drove home together, coordinating with Angel Girl and Buddy as they drove.

We were gob smacked.

Totally surprised.


IMG_2882Dagmar had to leave very early the next morning to get to class on time, but Pedro had a the next day off and Matt could stay for a few days.

It was so sweet.

So surreal.

From a quiet night on the couch reading to a room full of those I love most.

I kept asking Matt if he was real.

I almost wondered if I was dreaming.

IMG_3444But the laughter was real.

The smiles. The silliness. The teasing.

The ice cream and apple crisp around the table. (Buddy knew it was Matt’s favorite and made it for him that afternoon!)

We all stayed up way too late. Nobody wanted to go to bed. Nobody wanted it to end.

It was the ultimate surprise.

The prefect gift.

This mama’s heart couldn’t ask for anything more.

A Prairie Wedding

My niece got married last week!

Talk about exciting!

And – to add to the fun – the ceremony and reception were at my parents home.

On their prairie surrounded by mom’s gorgeous flowers.

And two of my sons were groomsmen.

They’re the handsome chaps on the right.

11948534_892079190885805_957635954_oSee those ties?

They were my contribution to the wedding. I made all four of them. It looked like such an easy pattern – I mean really – how hard can it be to make a bow tie?

Ha! You have no ideas how many times I messed up that simple pattern!

And yes – I teared up when I saw Lexie in her wedding dress.

11220081_10208139244345287_4520535201894319070_nBut I wasn’t the only one.

Her aunts and I were a puddle.

Seriously – it was just yesterday that she was a little tike running around Nana’s prairie with my kiddos shooting pretend bears with the bb guns.

And now she’s a bride – walking across that same prairie on her dad’s arm to meet her groom.


They grow up so fast!


25 Years Ago

Jan and I celebrated twenty-five years of marriage this week.

Twenty-five years!

It’s been a remembering kind of week.

I’ve pulled out the old pictures.

Marveling at how young we looked.

Anniversary Surrounded by friends and family.

I look in our eyes and see the joy, the incredible joy we felt that day.

He loves me!

He chose me!

And now – 25 years later -there’s still joy.


wedding photoAnd peace.

And contentment.

And more love than those two newlyweds could have ever imagined.

Forged in the day by day commitment of two hearts.

For better or worse.

For richer and poorer.

In sickness and health.

For as long as we both shall live.

“Come, grow old with me, for the best is yet to come.”