Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Those Three Words - A Book Review

I was so excited when I was asked to read this book
and write a review!

Our children at home have became avid readers
but somehow
I can't quite find the time to sit down and

This was the perfect reason for me to get a chance to READ!

I told them...
Mommy has homework!
I get to read too!

I am going to be completely honest!

I couldn't put it down...
except I had to
because I have 21 kids, 3 "in loves",
2 girlfriends and 5 grand children.

So instead, I carried it everywhere I went
and read it anytime I had a free moment!

It deals with some hard life issues...
an unplanned teen pregnancy and the life changing decisions that follow.

The excitement of the new found freedom that college has to offer
along with the responsibilities that come with it.

The dream that a young college student has
and the reality of the direction her life is going in...

The depth of love within a family
and the intricate communication styles amongst family members.

The book flowed and was a very comfortable read!

It felt familiar to me because the setting was in Minnesota.

I loved the faith aspect of it.
No preaching but definitely a God journey.

Our lives are not a straight line...
events cause it to twist and to turn,
so many unexpected surprises
both welcomed
and unwelcomed.

It's all leading us somewhere
and it's all for a purpose...
HIS purpose.

Things happen for reasons
we do not always understand
until we look back and the dots begin to connect...

As we travel our own journey called LIFE -
 let's show compassion on others
 help them with tenderness and kindness.

Thank you
Christine Bauer
for sharing your LIFE with us!

I'd really LOVE to meet you someday!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Hello Blog... I've missed you!

I just might be ready to start blogging again!

It has always been so therapeutic for me and
brought me so much joy!

(Kids picking apples from the apple tree in our yard. Now I know why they trim them and keep them small at the orchards... it's impossible to get to most of the apples...)

Blogging helps me to look beyond the chores, the to do list 
and how I am falling short or missing the boat...

 Instead, I can focus on the fun and the joy that we have with our children 
(and grand children) both young and old!

Emma and Ellie going to their first day of school (early September)!

Mia will be starting public school in a couple weeks! 
She is having testing done now and then an IEP 
so the school will be ready to help her from where she is at!

Mia (far right) has also agreed to work on some of her past issues 
with trust, control and anxiety.
We're proud of her and happy that she is moving forward!
She is also applying for jobs and
has her first interview this week!  

There are many festivals going on in the fall!

We visited James J. Hills days and then ended 
with an ice cream cone from Ben and Jerry's!
Sarah just happened to be working!

Then on to (the next weekend) LOVEWORKS Academy / Fall Festival 
at St Margaret-Mary Church in Golden Valley!
We went to the church service, played games at the festival,
watched the Loveworks children perform and ate a delicious lunch!

One thing that has changed in our family is that we are ALL
in a different season of life.

(Ben is shaving!)

Very funny Dad and Ben!
Thank goodness he did not cut himself shaving!

We just don't have little kiddos living with us anymore...
The children are now ranging in age from almost 10 to 18.5 yrs.

We are experiencing multitudes of tweens and teens in our home!

Kids are desiring more independence
through jobs, education and schedules.

We still do a ton of things together but
sometimes we all just can't be at everything.

It took us a little bit of getting used to-
both ways.

Sarah couldn't believe we had a cookout with out her
and it didn't feel right going bowling without Em and El
that is the trend of the future 
and we just have to embrace it!

Right now I am blogging and they are making lunch...
Okay... I think I can do this!

Who need a cooking class when 
everyday is a cooking class at our house!

I went on an amazing date with our son Billy!
What a special treat it have time with just him!

In August we started square dancing with the 
West-tonka Whirlers!
We are having such a great time!

They are so welcoming to our large family!
And so patient with some of our special needs kids!
The square dancing angels each take a child and dance with them!
Each week we are learning new moves!

Last week Jenny had the screw in her elbow taken out.
It had been in since July 2017 when she broke 
and dislocated her elbow.

It was beginning to bother her and so close to the skin.
The screw was bigger than I anticipated.

She has a 2 week recovery.

Some of our kids are participating in an outdoor nature class.
They love it no matter what the weather is like...

The cats love the extra attention they get from all of the kids!

We love the apple orchards in Minnesota!

Definitely, an abundant harvest of apples this year!

And a what a wonderful snack to have while we worked and played!
(They said it was okay to take an apple while we worked!)

Honey Crisp are our favorite!

Yes... we bought ALL of these apples and more!
Missing two kids here...
Ava and Anna, where did you two go?

We LOVE Applejack's Apple Orchard!

Playing on the bales of hay!
It doesn't matter how old we get-
we just love to have FUN!

On the way home,
we had to stop at another farm
that had raspberries, pears, corn on the cob, 
tomatoes, onions and homemade jam!

Pick your own raspberries!

And we have the team to do it!
The kids loved it!

I'm going to be honest...
being 60 is not my favorite...
We have decided to really embrace life!
Get closer to God.
Go on dates when we can
and just enjoy this season of our lives!

We are making ourselves and our marriage a priority!

And we have the crew to EAT them!

The kids teamed up into groups of two
and worked together!

Rainwater works, when there's no running water!

Of course, first we put soap on our hands bc we thought it was sanitizer...
Thank goodness this place collected rain water!

The doggies LOVE it when the children play with them!

Two doggies are on the platform of the swing set!
They slide down, too!

It would have been the perfect weekend..
except we watched the Viking game the next day...
and it was a huge loss...

Oh well!