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Saturday, May 30, 2009

My little girl is 14!

And a lovely 14 at that!  She had a great day today, I think!  We went to Waterloo early this morning, and she took her test to get her driver's permit.  (Yeah...we live in a whacky state that allows 14 year old kids to DRIVE!)  She passed!  Woo she now has homework for Monday's driver's ed class.  We got haircuts, and swimming suits and ate at Applebee's. What a great day!


Isn't she lovely?  CUTE hair cut!  We'll have to do some pics outside so you can actually see the hairstyle a bit better.  But I love it, and I think she does, too!



She is beautiful...inside and out!  She has a great personality, a strong faith, brains, a loving spirit and is just fun to be around.  God has richly blessed us with this daughter of ours!

One Summer Project....

DONE!  I've had this UpperCase Living wall decoration for a while now, and Rachel helped me put it up yesterday.  I love the way it looks!




sigh...I think I put it up just a hair crooked.  I measured...I marked...I looked...I prayed...and it is still just a smidge off.  Oh, well...I'm not re-doing it, LOL

No Words Necessary...



Memorial Day

We had a nice (windy) service at the cemetery on Memorial Day.  Our AmVets Post always does such a nice job with that event.

Rachel played in the band, and they did a great job once again.



Grandpa and Grandma were here for the occasion, too!




Our Amvet'st post arranged for a fly-by, by the Iowa National Guard.  That was SOOO cool!


Then, while we attended the service here, where Rachel was playing, the 2 older boys were playing with the HS band.  I took pictures of my friend Christy's daughter and sent them to her, and she took pics of my boys and sent them to me :) 





Thanks, Christy for the great pics!

Graduation Party FOOD!

Oh, was the food yummy!  We had...ummm...MORE than enough, and I certainly couldn't have pulled this event off without the wonderful help of my mother-in-law, Mary, my sister-in-law, Martha, and my sister, Sue Ann. 

The only thing I didn't get a picture of was the cowboy beans, and that wonderful recipe is from my friend, Kelly.  She made them for Ethan when he stayed with them when Ron and I were in Africa when Ethan was just 3 or 4.  She called them "cowboy beans" and he just loved them (and still does!)

Here is the recipe for "Cowboy Beans"

  • 1/2 lb cubed bacon, cooked
  • 1 cup onion, sauteed

Drain and put in a casserole.  Add:

  • 1/2 c ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 T. vinegar


  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can pork and beans, drained
  • 1 can lima or butter beans, drained

Bake at 350* for 40-60 minutes. 

This time, for graduation, we multiplied the recipe by 10, and stirred it all up in a roaster and just cooked it in that.  Delicious!

And now...the pictures...


Yummy and lovely cake from the grocery in New Hampton!



Brother in law, Bill and Caleb's Sunday School teacher and family friend, Jerry cooked the brats on the grill.


mmmm..does this just NOT make your mouth water?  Those two did an AWESOME job cooking these babies up. 


2 kinds of chips, Italian Pasta Salad *YUMMY*, and veggie tray.  The beans?  They are in the roaster in the top left corner of the picture.  I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of them!


Cameron made the least...the first time he did.  After that, he took off and let Grandma and the Aunts handle it!  1 box sherbet (any flavor, but Caleb wanted orange) and a 2 liter bottle of gingerale and a 2 liter bottle of 7-up)


The cake (topper from Great-Aunt Melba in Ohio!  Thanks!) Mints (THE world's best...made by Vivan W. They were DELICIOUS as always...Thanks!)  Cheesecake from Sam's Club (wow, did THOSE babies fly off the table!)  And punch...yum.



Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts.  ~Author Unknown

You don't choose your family.  They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.  ~Desmond Tutu


The whole entire clan!

Family Photos

Every special occasion (and you must admit, graduation is a SPECIAL day!) involves (much to Ron's dismay :-) family pictures.  Here are some from Caleb's big day.



Awww...just look at them!  Don't they look great?



Look how we all matched!  We didn't even plan it that way!

(And when did I get so short?)



Grandpa and Grandma K.


Grandpa and Grandma M.


Caleb, Cameron and Nathan


Uncle Bill and Aunt Sue Ann


Cameron, Caleb, Madi, Rachel, Jordan and Ethan


Caleb and Aunt Martha.  Now I don't feel QUITE so short :)


Friday, May 29, 2009

Graduation Day!

Twenty-five years after our OWN high school graduation days, Ron and I attended the graduation of our first born.  Those 25 years have passed so amazingly quickly! I just can't believe it!

Caleb is an amazing young man, and we are tremendously proud of his accomplishments these past 13 years of school.  His grades are wonderful, and he's graduating from high school with between 18-20 college credits (something like that...I don't know for sure, LOL) He has great friends that we enjoy and trust.  Caleb has a steady and strong faith that is evident in his life.  We thank God for what He has allowed Caleb to accomplish, and we can't WAIT to see what God has planned for him next!


Caleb received recognition for being on the High honor roll.


Caleb gives Grandpa M a hug.


The turning of the tassle


Caleb and Sam as they leave the ceremony.


Congrats, Caleb!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Middle School Fine Arts Night

Caleb isn't the only kid we're proud of, of course.  We are proud of all of them.  They are all friendly, nice, talented and smart children! 

We attended Rachel's Fine Arts night at the Middle School.  She received the President's Award for Academic Excellence, an award for reaching over 500 points in Reading Counts this year, and some music awards!  Way to Go, Rachel!  We're proud of you!




We got to hear a ROCKIN' jazz band performance,


some lovely vocal selections,



and the combined 7th and 8th grade band.  They sounded awesome!

YAY, Rachel!