Around the Homestead, Social

Grandma’s 80th Birthday…

We had an eventful weekend.  It was my Grandma’s 80th birthday party so we had lots of family in town.  Thursday, Randy and I went up to Grandma’s to see my aunt, cousin, and her daughter.  Randy and I were really close to all of them when we lived in South Carolina.  We miss them so much, but neither is willing to move closer to the other just yet.

Friday night more and more people started making their way to town and out to Grandma’s house.  We had a potluck dinner with tons of food and great conversation. 

And plenty of kids to entertain one another.

Saturday, Randy and I worked hard around the house trying to get a few things done, got cleaned up late afternoon, and headed back up to Grandma’s.  The adults were going out to dinner and all of us cousins were going to order pizza and hang out to watch the KU/UNC game.  The adults got home in time for the game, so it was a packed house for the big game.

My Grandma does a grab bag once a year with things she has collected along the way.  These hats are out of the collection.  My cousin and I ALWAYS have a fun time together.  Humor tends to bounce back and forth off of us and back to the other.  Sometimes others find it funny, sometimes I think they find us annoying, but we have so much fun either way.

Notice the red lip?  I got popped in the face by a three year old that morning. 

Sunday morning was church, family pictures, and lunch with everyone.  Then we all loaded up and headed to the Country Club for Grandma’s birthday.  There were over 100 people there for cake, punch, and conversation.  Other than a pretty strong wind the weather was beautiful for the entire weekend.

Here are my two cousins, Mindie & Ali.  Ali looks a little different without her stylin’ hat.

Sunday evening most had headed home.  A few of us rode 3-wheelers, 4-wheelers, and hiked down to a pond on Grandma’s property.  It was so peaceful and the two “city” boys from Georgia enjoyed being able to run and play and explore a whole new world.

Monday was a dreary, rainy day.  I got up early and was out putting up electric netting at 6:30 in the morning, so I would be done by the time everyone else was up and at ‘em.  I went to Grandma’s and chatted with my aunt, cousin, and grandma for the morning.  My cousin and I finally got to sneak away for a trip to town and got to visit a bit.  Her and I share secrets with each other and have a wonderful relationship.  If only we were closer.  We share many of the same ideas on how to raise children, homeschooling, and just life in general.  I will really miss her and her mom (they fly home today).

The kids got to hold our baby chicks, feed bottle lambs at mom and dad’s, and see their donkey and our llama.  Life was good for the little ones.

One of my cousins has two little boys.  They were well mannered and just and sweet as they could be.  I could sit for hours and watch her interact with her children and admire the bond they have and the wonderful job she has done as a mother.  Her efforts were very much noticeable and noted by all.

It was an incredible weekend and so much fun to have all of us together again!

Around the Homestead, Social

Family Photos…

Okay, I had a minute this afternoon and thought I would post again real quick and share some family photos. 

We had Thanksgiving at my Aunt’s house.  She is WONDERFUL to take over the leadership role and being the glue for our family.  She is also the one devoting her full attention to my Grandma while she is in the hospital 60 miles (and in some cases hundreds of miles) away from her children and grandchildren. 

Before we went we got some family photos for a suprise scrapbook my cousin is making for my Grandma for her 80th birthday in April.  So, without further ado….

This is me and Randy, Koal (black, hence the name) and Ash (the Blue Heeler).

My brother, Craig, and his dog, Biff.

And the whole family.  Those are my parents!

He loves having his photo taken, especially with me can you tell :  )

You may not believe it, but there was a time when we had rules in our home. 

Rule #1:  No Dogs on the Furniture!

Rule #2:  Koal can get in his dog bed on the Furniture!  (notice the dog bed half on, half off the sofa)

Rule #3:  Dogs must lay on a sheet if on the Furniture!

Rule #4:  Dogs can lay partially on and off the sheet, but do not lay on the Chenille throws!

Rule #5:  Dogs can do whatever they want, I’ll sit on the floor!

Eh, does it really matter as long as they aren’t being rambunctious and noisy? 

Last but not least is a picture of Ash with her “baby.”  It’s a stuffed otter (actually I think it’s a beaver, but we call it otter).  She can only have it when we are around, otherwise she might devour it.  She carries it around like a baby, usually by the back of the neck, but this one has her by the head.  Too cute!


California trip…

We took a trip to California (driving) for my cousin’s wedding.  We left Kansas, drove through Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and part of Arizona.  Some parts were pretty, but for the most part a boring drive.  We made it to Grand Canyon, AZ late Wednesday night without a reservation.  Not a good idea.  We had trouble finding a room and ended up with an expensive suite for the night.  We got up early the next morning and headed to the Grand Canyon.  Amazing!  While we were there we acquired a buddy.

He was so tame you could get really close to him.  He made our day.

Here is my dh trying to fix our binoculars

From there we headed to the Hoover Dam and then on to Vegas.  A slight detour, but we wanted to see the sights while we were out that way.

My picture of Ceasar at Ceasar’s Palace takes a little bit of imagination.  I have an inexpensive digital camera that usually gets me by, but it has been doing some not-so-good picture taking here lately. 

We had a $10 limit each at the casino.  We’re not much for gambling as you can tell.  I found $2 on my way to the restroom when we got there and won $12 on my first slot machine, so I spent my $2 and called it a day.  My dh on the other hand spent his $10 and mine.  He won while we were there, but just couldn’t bare to walk away with more than he came with so he just kept right on pulling that handle, haha!

From Vegas we headed to California.  All would have been good except we hit road construction in the middle of the afternoon, in the middle of a desert, and it set us back just over 2 hours.  Not good!  We hit LA after dark which was a little scary, but we made it safe and sound.

The wedding was beautiful and so much fun.  My family was great to welcome us and make us feel at home.  We were the only family my uncle had there, so he was excited to be able to show us around (and show us off).  He was so fun!

On the way home we decided to take a different (hopefully less desolate) route.  We went through Utah and Colorado.  A little slower going, but well worth it.  The scenery was beautiful!  Utah is a sight to see.  We stayed the night in Gunnison, CO and even though skiing isn’t our idea of a vacation we both agree to visit here again.  The next day we stopped at the Royal Gorge and bought a dreamcatcher at a little store just outside the Royal Gorge (our only souvenir for the trip).  Here is a Utah shot as we are driving.

The Royal Gorge

And a fun catus at the Royal Gorge

We were happy to get home that evening.  The drive through eastern Colorado and western Kansas is not a fun one.  Especially when you are anxious to get home.  The wind was incredible and the feedlots were disgusting.  I will definitely be careful what red meat I eat and know where it has been.

It was a fun trip, but as always it is good to be home.



Almost forgot, on Thursday we went to a birthday party for a friend of mine’s husband.  He’s turning 30!  Turning 30 wasn’t really the big deal about the party.  The big deal is he is scheduled for surgery on Tuesday to have his kidney removed.  He’s having his kidney removed because he is donating it to his mom who has been battling and searching for a kidney for years and years.  She is already in Maryland at the only hospital where partial match transplants are preformed doing all the testing and preparing for surgery.   Please pray for him and his entire family as they go through this scarey time in their lives.  Here is a picture of him and his wife and their 1 year old daughter. 

Thank you so much!