Tuesday, December 2, 2014

$100 and how to spend it

We put aside $100 for good causes this December.  I handed it to my oldest and said "Here is $100."  You should have seen the smile.  Then I told her that we have this money to help others.  We have to figure out what we can and can't help with this month.

She then started making a chart of what we wanted to help out:
Church Gift Shop - for teens
Humane Society - Blankets and Dog Treats
Lilly's School Fund Raiser
Salvation Army -toys

She made some allocations and we talked about what we had already promised to do.

Here is her chart:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

purring cat

Anna is napping next to me.   Shay is napping on top of both of us.  When I pet shay he likes it.  When I use Anna's hand to touch Shay he purrs.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Before we went to India we were Christians.  We believed in a 100 percent good God who wanted to be an active part of our lives.  Albeit in a passive be good, have good character, save us from a our own stupidity, wisps of a wind  kind of a way.  

Our time of India changed that.  Suddenly God was not as distant, He was near. He was not nearly silent He was clear.  We prepared, went to, and recovered from being in India and our faith was different, but the same.  I think our world view changed more than our faith.  
But our faith did change.  God did a lot of hand holding during that period of our life.  And now years later we are back to a life much like before we we even had a hint of going.  But our faith, my faith, I was paralyzed with inaction.  I expected marching orders as clear as what we had to go to India, a clear path and incredible events to assist us down a path.  But I know that was not true, I was told that was not true.  Life would become like it is, silent, quiet, work hard to raise good kids but otherwise boring.

With the adventure gone, did my faith go with it?  No.  My world view changed, not my faith.  Honestly I did not like a lot of the adventure of our time in India.  I dreamed of what I have now.  Yet now I dream of adventure like India?  I know of a REAL God, who holds our hand.  He is good, 100% good.  Evil exists in this world and he holds our hands when it is near.  He fights it off if it gets too near.  He sees more than we see.  He knows more than we know.  He cares.

India was a part of our lives, a place to reset our world view to one that is more useful to God.  The work we did in India is a foundation that has grown and matured and is still impacting India.  India changed us and we changed India both for God's kingdom.

Friday, October 10, 2014

It is October - Garden News

I have pulled up half our garden because we want to top dress it with some compost.  After a while it looks like you have a soil thief because the plants suck up the nutrients in the soil.

We have 3 separate sections and two spots have strawberries, red, white and yellow ones.  We are still getting white ones, I know since I ate one before taking this picture.

We are still getting current tomatoes, they are about the size of sixlets. They don't even get as big as a marble.

We have little peppers too!

Our thyme, parsley, basil, onions, and garlic are hanging in the basement now waiting to be used in the winter.

Jonathan is trying to grow trucks.  He is loving the leaves and playing outside. 

I bought some flowers on clearance in summer to find out what grows in this part near the garage and saliva is the only thing that produced and thrived.

We have 2 little gourds
 and we also grew a small sugar pumpkin.which is on my kitchen counter.  The cucumbers have been made into bread and butter pickles.  The beans have dried and will be soup some day.  

It is October 10th and the garden is still going until the frost hits, then ...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

BMC Quary

We went to the BMC Quarry this weekend for their open house. We got to see their big equipment.

I was amazed at the levels of the rock.  They use pumps to keep the water out.  Some day when they leave here will be a pretty nice lake. 

 Jonathan fell in the mud but still had a good time collecting rocks with the girls.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September in Mt. Pleasant ... Iowa

We got the opportunity to go down to Mt. Pleasant to ride the Jeffrey - the storage battery truck and also to spend time with family.  Ryan's brothers and families came in from Pella Iowa and Grandville Michigan.  We got to spend 2 days riding trains of all shapes and sizes.

Jonathan got wore out and Aunt Cheryl was soft and warm.

The brothers and the sons got to ride together with just the Jeffrey (SBT) running on just 4 Razor scooter batteries.  It ran fine.

Jonathan wants his critter to move soon.  He spent hours in it running around the track.  Even Lilly rode in it for a while.

Anna got to control the Jeffrey around the track, here she is coming into the yard.

Family helps with running our small train.  Here we are getting the big batteries on the SBT.  Brother Robb has the flat top, cousin Bradley is helping get Jonathan in the critter.  Lauren is behind Ryan and Anna.

Lilly didn't like how cold Sunday was and wrapped up in blankets until she either warmed up or woke up.

Uncle Robb is driving Aunt Cheryl around.

Uncle Robb is helping reconnect other batteries.

Occasionally finding something other than trains for a little while and finding new friends.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cat Harnesses- don't work

We have Little

Grey and Shay.  Little Grey wanted to go outside so much that we got each cat a harness.  The pet store was twice the price of Amazon so we got the Come with me Kitty ones.

We do the cat harnesses due to both cats having all 4 paws declawed.  We want them safe.

It was ok to put on once you get used to where the clips are.  The problem is that both cats have come off of them.  Shay being the scared one went directly to the front door to go in.  Little Grey ran away from me, down the driveway, under the porch and to the neighbors yard.  Even cat treats didn't get him back.  He is a total cat, his own sweet time.

After a month of using the leashes we gave up, now the cat spend all day outside off leash.  Shay spends his time in Amy's back yard.  Little grey goes further, tussling with all the neighborhood cats.  He is a big cat, and would be a powerful foe if he had claws.  Sorry little grey you are doomed to being a small player in this hood.  Grover has 20 bonus points.

Friday, August 8, 2014


For years we have been battling rain.  I personally like to be in the rain when it is warm.  We have had a few days of rain that seem more like flooding.  We just added 2 truckloads of dirt to our back after getting the driveway replaced.  We dug a trench to the garden so the downspout could lead away from the house too.

The blessing is we didn't get rain in that part of the basement this time.

Our newly planted grass did get a comb over.  I also didn't have to water or fill the pool today.

So this picture is when we were down in Mt. Pleasant on the track.  The one in the clear raincoat is Jeff and the other guy is Ryan.  I didn't  like this rain either.  We couldn't play on the trains.  Also I drove home so wet and the first thing I did was take a warm shower when I walked in the door.

Jonathan finally got to ride in the Tugger around the track twice and then it rained.  Jonathan was so mad he stayed in the Tugger on the track in the rain.  Ryan and Jeff took the Tugger under the tent and Jonathan ran back out to the track in the downpour looking for the engine so he could go around again.  He cried when the adults couldn't I think that day.


Lillian is now the size Anna was when she left India.

Sorry to say, Lillian will be the last kid of ours to wear this sari.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Why do these two girls bicker so much when awake but a thunderstorm comes and they will sleep intertwined?

Saturday, June 7, 2014


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Spring in Iowa

It is finally warm enough to go outside and play.

Dirt has the best flavor.

And the temperature rose another 20 degrees to shorts weather!

The flowers love the heat.

Thus we go back to the garden, a new arrangement of steps.

Windows open for playing on the new table.

And soon time to be on the rails with our freshly painted gondola and comfy upholstered seats.