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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jalapenos and Hibiscus

I LOVE alliteration and although these to words don’t LOOK like they  would – um- alliterate? – I think they sound fun together :-)

It is HOT outside today.  I mean…HOT!  And humid.  Like you step outside and hit a wall of heat and your glasses steam up and you kind of wilt and instantly are soaked with sweat kind of hot and humid.  AND I LOVE IT!  (especially when I return to my air conditioned house, LOL)  I just LOVE summer and the heat and humidity. I’m just so happy.

And so is my hibiscus.  It is definitely getting the hot, humid, wet, tropical weather these days.  And it shows!


I picked this hibiscus tree up at Sam’s Club this spring.  It hung out in my bathroom for a while, ‘cause the temperature outside wouldn’t stay above 50.  I worried about it for a while, because all the flowers bloomed and then fell off and it was just this plain tree.  But when I moved it outside and it got LOTS of rain and now the heat…well..just LOOK at what it has done!  SEVEN beautiful blooms on it!



And speaking of HEAT….


we are sure hoping these babies produce some!  LOOK at what came out of my GARDEN today!   Aren’t they beautiful????  We are hoping for lots more off of our 8 jalapeno plants :)  But we are thrilled with this beginning!


Ahhhh…summertime.  I am SO happy!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mall of America—revisited

Since we have 3 kids working at the pool, it is REALLY difficult for them all to get any length of time off together.  So our “family” vacation this summer consists of doing things individually with each kid, as they come up with ideas.  We spent that week in South Dakota with Ethan (and he went to Ohio with me, and then again with is dad…he’s almost as much of a traveler as Ron and I are this summer!)  Ron took Cameron fishing yesterday, and they’ll probably do that again a few times (as soon as Ronnie replaces that fishing pole…yeah…things didn’t go so well yesterday :-) 

Rachel’s idea was the Mall of America.  Ron suffered through it once already this summer with me…and that was more than enough for him.  So, Rachel and I took off on Wednesday morning and headed a few hours north. We hit IKEA ( LOVE that store!!) and Kohls (no tax on shoes or clothing in MN, ya know!) and then relaxed at the hotel for the evening (well…by the time we got done at Kohls, there wasn’t much evening left…we pretty much crashed.

After getting up on Thursday just in time to hit the hotel breakfast, we headed to the mall with a “shop til we drop” mentality.  We had a great time!  We mostly browsed (except at Old Navy…the girl NEEDED more flip flops, ya know…she’s only got a dozen pair or so!) and enjoyed our day together. 

In the …well…it used to be Camp Snoopy, but now it’s Nickelodeon something…area, there is a butterfly garden that you can go in for just $2.  THAT was fun!  Here are some pictures from that.











I think this is my favorite one!  I love this setting on my camera!  Doesn’t it just look COOL?



We left the Mall in the early evening, headed back to our hotel and did the hot tub/pool thing for a little while.  Then crashed early, ‘cause we had to get up and hit the road the next morning for Rachel to get to work at the pool.  Whew…what FUN we had!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Wow…19 years!  Where did the time go?  It seems like just yesterday when you were

Caleb 001

Caleb 055

Caleb 023

Caleb 012

And just look at the young man you’ve grown into!


You are strong, intelligent, kind and thoughtful and I’m so proud of the young man you are!  I can’t wait to see what God has planned for you next!

Ron and Ethan are at my sister’s in Ohio tonight, so they missed out on all the fun!  We missed them!  We went to Planet X in Cedar Rapids.






Oh, this just makes me laugh out loud!  The game SO wasn’t going her way!



Love my kids!  Miss you, Ethan! 


They also did this spinny bike thing…to see how many times you can spin the bike completely around in 1 minute!



Isn’t she just so CUTE?  :-)



Caleb finally got birthday treats at about 11:45 pm!  BUT…the accordian was worth the wait!


it was a GREAT sister who made the treats for him! 



Happy Birthday, Caleb!!

Lunch at the Barn

Absolutely NOTHING beats Sunday dinner at the Barn Restaurant at Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio, unless it is Sunday dinner with GREAT friends and CUTE babies! Well..I can hardly call Autumn a baby any more…she’s gonna be a big sister VERY soon!

Lisa and I enjoyed the buffet lunch with Dad and Dorothy and our dear friends Steve and Kathy, Travis, Landon, Kasey and Autumn.  We missed Ashley, Anthony and Mason…but they were busy making hay (while the sun shined, ya know :-)


Kasey and Landon


Travis, Autumn and Steve. 


and we added Kathy in this one :-)  Thanks for coming to meet us for lunch!  It was GREAT to see you all!

Happy Birthday Party Day, Sue Ann!

Lisa and I arrived at Sue Ann’s party right around the 5:00 pm start time!  My brother-in-law saw me and said “Hey!  You aren’t supposed to be here!”  My sister just said “Well!  If you were trying to surprise me, it didn’t work. I’m NOT surprised you came! I figured you would get here if you could!”  Madi, my niece FLEW … almost literally…I don’t think her feet hit the floor from all the way across the room!  SHE was surprised!  As was my nephew Jordan.  He heard me call his name, after he arrived from his baseball game, and said “Hey!  That voice sounds familiar!”  What fun birthday parties are!  My dad and step-mother also said “We thought you would try to get here if you could!”

It was really fun to visit with Sue Ann’s friends, my family and also a couple of old friends from my youth group days at church!


me and Madi Lou!


me and Jordan


David, Sue Ann, Ross and me



I’m not telling WHAT birthday it was…but it was a BIG one :)



Dad and Dorothy


Ross and Sue Ann



Thankfully the photographer was zoomed in and you can’t really SEE the bunny ears!



Sue Ann, Dorothy, Dad and me



I’m thankful that Lisa made the road trip with me!


You don’t wanna KNOW how many pictures I had to take to get one where Bill wasn’t doing something…well…STUPID!  :-)


yeah…I don’t know…




Happy “almost” birthday, Sue Ann!