Saturday, July 28, 2012

Up in the Trees!

We got some much needed help last weekend from Amanda on our little project.  As you can see, it took 3 to handle this part of the project.  Josh took the most daring job and spent much of the afternoon on top of the trusses.  Amanda worked from the scaffolding, and Randy (reluctantly) manned the ladder.  What was my job?  I was the official, drink getter, tool hander, kid checker upper and photographer.  We are thinking about actually hiring someone to install the metal roof.  My heart can't take much more seeing the ones I love do this kind of work!  It is somewhat cooler here today (high in the lower 90's is all), so Randy and I are going to stay close to the ground and work on installing part of the railings.  Did I mention that I will be glad when this project is completed?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Shelter Me, Part 2

Maddison and Mason have been sooooooooooooo much help on our little project!  It is amazing what they have done with hammers and nails!  More photos to come.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Shelter Me!

Well, I have finally decided to blog about our little summer project.  You know the one that will take about a weekend, two at the most?  Oh, and the one that will cost barely anything?  I see, you have had those kinds of projects at your house too!
For a couple of years now, we have been wanting to put up a little deck, gazebo type structure in our back yard.  We have a lovely tree lined back yard that is hotter than the blue flames of a fire in the afternoon and early evening.  Our back deck/BBQ area has no shade and gets the full afternoon sun.  So, we decided, why not take to the corner of the yard and "tuck" a structure in the trees that could act as a picnic/campfire area.  We put this off from last year because we took 3 major trips and didn't want to spend the money on this project.
Sometime in late May (when the temperature was a tolerable 80 or so), we cleared some limbs, borrowed a post hole digger and began what we thought would be a quick, cheap project.  Well, several thousand dollars and months later, we are making progress.  The main obstacle in our way seems to be the 4 + weeks of near, or over 100 degree days we have had.  After taking several weeks off, waiting for the heat to break, we resumed our job last weekend.  Of course we had stopped at the worse possible point, having half of the rafters done.  And, did I mention that the temperature topped 100 all weekend?

As you can see, our construction team is comprised (mostly) or our son, Josh and a few pieces of Randy's prized farm equipment.  There have been some "guest" laborers (which will be shown in a future blog), some daring heights and some awkward moments.  We have changed a few things, added some features and mostly can't wait until it is finished.  There have even been several "what the heck were we thinking" conversations.  But, all in all, I think (hope) it will be something the family will use and appreciate in the years to come. 
Since my computer is downloading as the speed of a snail 500, I will have to continue this post at a later time. . . Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July, the Birthday Month!

There are lots of birthdays in the month of July. . .  I know, you know, since I have been blogging about them for awhile!  First my great niece, Rylee (turned 7), and then my brother in law (57?), and my daughter, Jessica and then my grandson, Mason and my nephew, Tristan. . . I hope I didn't forget anyone!  The top picture shows Jessica and Mason and their ice cream cake.  The bottom picture is of Maddison and her friend, Macy at our cousin Gail's 50th birthday celebration.  We don't have any birthdays in August (my Grandmothers was, as was my mother-in-laws).  However, in August we celebrate lots of anniversary's.  My sister and brother in laws (August 2nd) Randy and my anniversary (33rd) and Jessica and Scott's (3rd) happens on August 14th, which was also my inlaws anniversary.  We are going to keep celebrating on into the fall!  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mason!

Watch out world, Mason is turning 5 today!  He is an active, friendly, chatty, sweet little boy.  He loves superheroes, following his sister around, roughousing with his dad and swimming.  Oh, and I forgot to mention, he is crazy about playing on the I-Pad (or other electronic apparatuses).  Happy Birthday Mason.  I love you!

Also a shout out to my nephew, Tristan, who turns 23 today.  As a kid, he loved dinosaurs, dirt moving equipment and home cooked meals at my house.  I rarely see him, and miss him a great deal.  He is living his dream of being a "worker man" on heavy equipment.  I hope someday we can reconnect and see him a little more.  Happy Birthday, Tristan!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Miss Bea!

This is a picture of my beautiful daughter, Jessica.  She will be _ _ years old tomorrow.  It is hard to believe that she is a grown woman now.  It seems like yesterday I was fretting about her teething, and learning to ride a bike, starting school and going off to college!  She is smart, creative and caring.  I love her more than she will ever know and count my blessings every day that she is my daughter!  I love you Miss Bea.

Moving on. . .

 Mason is almost constantly in motion.  I love this picture of him with his cousin, Rylee.  Rylee and her brother, Ryan came to visit recently and Maddison organized a game of "drip, drip, drop".  Think duck, duck, goose, only with a sponge and water!  Well, one thing led to another and soon all 4 children were soaking wet.  Oh well, it was hot and dry, so what better way to spend the afternoon?
What a slave driver I am!  Maddie seems to find herself in my kitchen whenever she comes to visit.  She is crushing oreos for an ice cream cake we made for a birthday celebration.  We have two birthdays this week, and we cannot seem to find an open evening in which to celebrate.  The kids have 4 ball games this week, and Josh is working several nights.  Combine that with Amanda working late one evening, Jessica putting in long days which go into evenings and you have an issue of availability.   Well, whenever we decide to have the occasion, the cake will be ready?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hot Weather Project

What do you do when the temperature reaches 107?  You stay inside and put together a collage of your favorite things.  In Maddison's case, this mostly involves animals, specifically, horses.  She is saving her money for a horse of her own, which makes her Grandpa very nervous!
Maddie and I gathered some old magazines together, got out the scissors and glue and spent almost 2 hours working on our collages.  It was such a fun and special activity, I am ready to do it again.
I couldn't get Mason interested in participating (which is a surprise, since he has always loved to cut and glue), so he played a game or two on the Ipad while we were working.  Maddison is planning on hanging hers up in her room.
The temperatures have dropped a little today, and we got a "smattering" of rain this morning.  10 minutes after the rain stoppped, the sidewalks were dry.
And I know that I am biased, but isn't Maddison is growing into such a beautiful young lady?  I think she has grown 2 inches since summer started, and her hair is getting so long. 
Randy and I both head back to work tomorrow after being off for 5 days.  That is not going to be easy!  Hope your weekend was cool and relaxing.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Oh Dear!

We have a pair of deer that like to venture out in our front yard in the evenings.  They come out of the woods, cross the yard, take a drink in our pond and then disappear again.  It has almost gotten to be a nighly ritual here.  Our dogs have been barking at them, but surprisingly enough, they don't seem to be afraid of the barking.  Our young puppy, Moose, sometimes charges them but they stand their ground until he retreats (he is mostly bark, no bite).
On a separate note, like most of the country, we have been experiencing record high heat this past week (many consecutive days of 100 + temperatures).  Yesterday our air conditioner quit working.  The repair men came out in the early afternoon, and had it working again in about 3 hours.  A part is now on order, but they managed to bypass the problem on a short term basis.
If I did not appreciate skilled laborers before, I sure do now.  And air conditioning. . . . I am trying to remember what we used to do without it.  Because I am definitely from the generation that grew up without it!  I remember sleeping on screened in porches (and in the yard a night or two).  Afternoons were spent resting in a dark house in front of a fan.   Our mother would read to us and we would listen to music while we rested and tried to escape the heat.  In the very early mornings we would pick produce from our garden and help mom can the tomatoes and green beans.  After lunch there would be no more activity until it was time to fix supper (which was mostly done without the aid of the oven).   That is when I learned to play rummy and love to read. 
Yesterday, right before the air was working again, our house temperature had climbed to over 80 degrees.  I was beginning to be uncomfortable and worry just a little bit.  We don't even own a fan anymore (except for a few ceiling fans).  The kids were with us and we played some games and they played on the I-pad. . .  this is the new face of a new generation. 
Even though I don't enjoy having to pay to fix the air or be without it, I think times like these can be seen as opportunities.  The experience taught me to appreciate a little more, to remember a little more, and to use my imagination a little more.
Our house has returned to its comfortable state and I can carry on with my plans of changing beds and cooking for the week.  But for just a few hours yesterday, I was transported back to a time when we had never heard of central air or enjoyed any kind of air conditioning.  A time, at least in my mind, of a simpler life, full of lemonade and friends, of family time and books, of fresh produce and card playing on the porch.  A time of heat and summer fun, a time of learning to make the best of a difficult situation and a time to enjoy all we had and not worry about what we didn't have. 
Stay cool and enjoy each day.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pool Time!

I love this picture of Mason getting ready to try out his new pool.  Mason will turn 5 soon and for his birthday, the family got a pool.  His birthday party will consist of 5 little boys enjoying that pool (with a superhero theme!).  In a quite unusual Independence day, Randy and I spent the afternoon at Maddie and Mason's house and enjoyed some barbecued ribs and swimming.  Later in the evening, Scott and Jessica joined us at the park for some fireworks.  They had to work and couldn't make the afternoon event.  For the last several years, we have hosted family and friends at our house for the 4th.  It was nice to just float in the pool and enjoy the day!

Monday, July 2, 2012


I wanted to add a couple more pictures from Amelia's baptism.  I really love my family!