Monday, May 16, 2011

A few new house pictures

As we are getting closer to the end of the remodelling, or I like to hope that we are, I thought that I would add a few pictures and give an update. As of today, I have 2.5 partially working bathrooms, YAY! We have all the flooring that we are going to finish done for now. We have fell in love with how well the refinished 'old original flooring' looks, so have plans to have our flooring contractor return in August while we are at the State Fair and finish the dining and living room. We have purchased a new area rug and will have take up the old carpet and prepare the floor for him to do this while we are gone. Looking forward to it! We carpeted the three new kids rooms, haven't made any decisions on the two bedrooms that are in the orginal house, they both have hard wood under them and carpet that isn't in that good of shape, we could use new flooring in our kitchen as when we figure out if we have used up our loan money, that will probably help us decide what flors get more work and which things get added to the 'to-do' list....... hoping we can afford to do them all. I can't wait to get kids reshuffled to their rooms, the odds and ends 'projects' for updating their furniture done, etc............but is it ever ALL done, nope, not so far. Guessing that won't ever change either! Well I have door frames that need to be varnshed calling me from the basement, I should probably go and spend some time with them.

Thinking I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and hoping its not a train,

From Tulip~



PS--the picture of the 'hallway' is the original old hard wood floor, the pic with wood flooring AND carpet is all new stuff, and the vanity is in our new 'half bath'

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Looking Forward

SUMMER'S COMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know it is. Early indicators have come and gone. Cool days are fewer. Lawns have come to life. Our gorgeous and lush green pastures are generously sprinkled with beautiful black baby calves.

School is winding down. End of the year events are occuring daily. The Chapter FFA Banquet is history. So is the Prom. The coming week begins class picnics and field trips. Graduation is but a few days away and marks the culmination of the public school career. Goodbyes and tears, but also a celebration of life and its forever changing pattern.

The kids are spending more time in the barn. They are getting to know their summer romance--the show calves. While Summer does mean swimming, fishing, camps, and BBQ; for my family summer means fairs and cattle shows. We don't go on a traditional 'tourist-type' vacation. Instead, we take ours a day or two at a time all summer long. We put together our gypsy caravan--the stock trailer, the calves, lawn chairs, coolers, cookies, watermelon and so much more. I just can't wait.

By the end of most seasons I am always excited to embrace the next one. Winter was long and painful. Spring was sort of non-existent, and definitely short. The pains of winter have slightly dulled, but always present. Certainly realizing that new normal isn't necessarily a great thing. But I know there's someone who is so proud of our crooked rows of veggies in the garden and the black calves that will walk all over our yard daily and love the warm of summer at Hasekamp Farms.......

Two more weeks of school, then we will happily embrace---SUMMER,

From Tulip~



Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May the 3rd is a Special Day

I think if I did my math correctly today would have been my Uncle Hank's 54th birthday. It's been 18yrs since he's been gone, and sometimes its hard to keep track of everyone's exact age in a large family. But this is one birthday that's easy to remember. My Uncle Hank was a special person in my life. My parents are the oldest and second oldest siblings in their families, so I have not only one, but two uncles that weren't gobs older than I was, Uncle Hank was 14 when I was born and Steve (he doesn't even get called uncle, sorry Steve) were sort of my big brothers.
My Uncle Hank was my dad's youngest sibling and only brother. While he loves his sisters, he and Uncle Hank were very close, so through that relationship, we were all pretty close. Now Dad and Uncle Hank liked hunting together and fishing and about all things outdoors. The love Uncle Hank and I shared was softball. I always looked forward to getting together with him and Aunt K and their boys as they came along, because chances are, a softball game would errupt. While it might be as basic as 'batting practice' which he was always great at helping me per-fect my stance or whatever issue I was having as I evolved as kid in the game. Or it might be an Angle Family Reunion most of which in my growing up years were held at Wilson Park in Granite City IL. There you can be 100% sure a baseball game would happen. Some of my happiest memories of childhood are of softball games and Uncle Hank was there.
Uncle Hank loved sports of every kind. He and Dad would always have to discuss the Missouri Illinois border wars game. They enjoyed MU football games, we all went to several St. Louis Cardinals games when I was a kid, back when you could carry in your picnic basket and cooler. He loved hockey, wrestling, and even played a little golf. Once his boys were born and got old enough to start playing sports, he added soccer to his long list of sports that he loved. I am not sure that there was ever a sport he didn't try if given the opportunity.
We lost him entirely too soon. He passed February of 93 at the age of 35 yrs old. He was playing a hockey game at the time. Loved his sports right up to the end. I think of him when I play ball with my kids. I think of him EVERY time I watch, Field of Dreams, another thing we both loved, that movie. I think of him (and Grandma Angle as well) when I listen to StL Cardinal baseball on the radio. I think of him when Missouri and Illinois play each other. And many other times. When you lose someone you love, normal is never the same, a good friend told me that and she was so right.
His family has progressed through this life in so many ways that he would be proud of I am sure. I think of 7 yrs ago today, when we all found out he would have been a grandpa, to the Angle Tripletts. I remember thinking at the time how Chris and Amy tried so hard to have a family and of all days to find out for sure, they did on his birthday and he sent them triple the blessings. Happy Birthday Uncle Hank, I know you are playing ball or fishing up there, the weather is perfect and someday we will play together again.
This is the Day the Lord has made, let us Rejoice and be Glad in it,
From Tulip~

Thursday, April 28, 2011

So many projects, so little time........

I was cleaned up a little in our office today, or at least attempting to rearrange the stacks so that it looks as if I have cleaned. And in that process I got very distracted with fabric, it happens, to me A LOT. See our farm office is ALSO my sewing room, maybe not for much longer, haven't decided where its going to be, or if the sewing stays and some of the other misc that also occupies our office will go, time will tell. Because much of my free time has been taken up with errands and chores related to remodelling our house, I haven't gotten the time to sew near as much as I would like. Not that it has stopped my 100mph creative side of my brain from taking a pit stop, oh no. So here are some recent sewing updates to share. Recently sent to the quilter were Marshall's Farm Quilt and a Graduation Quilt, that also served as sample for a recent sewing class. Currently in the works, Mom's birthday quilt is being bound, when I get five minutes to sit WHEN it is daylight outside, so yes you ppl who know her birthday is in June, and for those who might not know the whole story, this quilt was LAST YEARS gift! YIKES, but my momma got a lot of my time, handquilted, which next to NEVER happens! :) A tote that I am not really sure who is getting, I have a person or two in mind, we'll see. Another tote that has a potential 'owner' its one of those, why did I start out making this project this way, kinda things, I am stipple quilting it on my machine, which just typing the words stipple made my shoulders momentarily ache....... Let's see have special orders for a Apron for Jennifer, that she has been waiting on very patiently for quite some time, Lanyards for Billie Sue, and Graduation quilts........oh my, let's see there's Sloane, hers is about done, there's Jon, hopefully soon I will be able to say his is about done and then there's poor Andrew, I have your fabric buddy, and my rotary cutter is just sitting there itching to start cutting, hopefully soon. Let's see while I am on the subject of quilts, lets just throw out a Wedding Gift and my sweet Aunt E's birthday........ those are just the ones that are leaving our house that are in process. I have two friends wanting quilts made, hopefull Betsy and Toma, you will be on my list for summer! Now for my hopes, dreams and plans for this house.........Jenna and I have been making her a quilt for a while now, she's doing most of the sewing, so its taken a while, made one for Sam last fall that will go on his bed, Cody's is cut out and a few squares are made, and poor little ol' Seffy, well sweet pea, your fabric is here, and your momma hopes to complete your quilt before you lose interest in the cute western cowboy fabric that has been purchased for this project. Oh, there are many other projects in the works, in my mind yet, like the fabric that I purchased for someone very special to me. I bought the fabric thinking of her, and lo and behold she recently announced a quilt giving occasion that is coming up in her life, so need to put the stack of fabric to work......

Now for our house and the sewing that I have in mind creating for it. Guess I should have mentioned in the 'quilt' list, I would like to get a quilt made for our bed. I have certainly had the fabric long enough, I wanted to make it for our 20th wedding anniversary which was LAST summer, MAYBE I will get starting cutting it out before our anniversary THIS summer, who knows???? I have fabric for Jenna's curtains, Seth's curtains and ours. Not sure what is going on in Sam and Cody's rooms, but the backlog of unsewn fabric is getting tall enough that I am not feeling to bad about not having purchased theirs yet. All of these projects makes me look so forward to summer, not so much because I think that there's any chance that the kids will help me with them, or actually in my anal retentiveness I would let them. I know when summer hits, I will be able to work on MY schedule, and sew until dawn if I choose to and not have to worry about the early morning, can you sub today call?

Some upcoming projects I am dreaming of are a Sunflower purse for my sweet neighbor Janey who loves her sunflowers. It's a fun project that included the Clover Yoyo templates that I purchased at Material Girl Quilt Shop. I have fabric, well fleece for a 'football blanket' for us. It's black and white pawprints, and plans for that are to have some thing warm to either sit on or under at football games this fall, of which we will likely be attending 3 per week throughout Sept and Oct and hoping to see a few in Nov as well, yes it will be a 'season pass' year for us, with Sam in Middle School and Cody probably playing both JV and Varsity, but I look forward to it.

Well I think I have rambled on until my pics uploaded, if what I THINK I uploaded is all here, you should be seeing pics of Seth's fabric for his cowboy quilt, Andrew's 'batiks' which I am planning to sew into a 'Contemporary Nine' and the fabrics for one of the quilts I am dreaming of making, that one doesn't have a pattern yet............. Okay back to the real world for me, more 'remodelling stuff' and this week I am baking up a storm for a catering job, so its not likely that I will progress on any of this for a few days, but I have enjoyed thinking about it while adding this post.

Hearing the timer go off and loving the smell of cookies~

From Tulip,



Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011, just some thoughts

The time of renewal.
The time of new life for Christians in the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ.

Easter brings about such precious memories. Some of my earliest ones are of Easter baskets, a new dress and a bonnet, probably not unlike most children. I fondly remember one year when we hosted an Egg Hunt. I remember Mom making baskets out of construction paper. It was a lot of times a weekend that Grandma Angle came to visit, sometimes some of my Angle cousins as well. I still have a few ceramic eggs that Grandma gave us in the era. I remember the year I got a stamp collecting kit which started a childhood love of history and government that was the basis of my interest in both still today. Memories of family dinners with Grandma Barnes making her traditional Angel Food Cake, but decorated with green coconut 'grass' and jelly beans.

As I got older, I too, began to embrace the joy of cooking and crafting in preparation of Easter. The first time I attended Hasekamp Easter, I made my first 'Easter' cake to bring along, covered in coconut and decorated to look like a bunny. (I HATE coconut, LOL) After growing up and marrying, Church Services switched from Sturgeon First Christian to Tulip Christian Church. The tradition at Tulip was an egg hunt at the end of Sunday School Class. The first year we were married, David was Sunday School Superintendent. We learned the hard way not to wait to buy Easter candy. In the following years we started being green before it was the in thing to do, we bought the plastic eggs to fill and recycled them year after year.

After we started our own family, we started some of our own traditions. We dye Easter eggs. We make Easter Story cookies. In the last several years we have hosted a large family dinner, at supper time. For the first several years it was only our own children hunting the eggs, but in the last few years the hunters have grown, now our nieces and nephews hunt with the kids. It's sometimes the first 'outside' gathering we have had, so we like to barbeque or fry fish, that has sort of become a tradition as well as Easter Bunny Kathy gets all the kids new swimming suits.

Our children have offered many Easter memories. One that comes to mind would be the Easter of 2002. Our family was getting ready to grow although no one knew it. YET. During the childrens sermon, our pastor at the time Bobby Stanford started his lesson with 'Have you ever had a secret?' To which Samuel (then about 3 and half) frantically raised his hand and began 'Pawecha Bob, Pawecha Bob' Trying to ignore him a little, Bob tried to begin the lesson, Sam wouldn't be denied, so he called on him. Sam blurted out loudly and plainly 'My Momma has a BABY in her Belly!' You could have heard a pin drop. Eyes looked around at us from all over the church. The look on Bob's face was priceless. He looked out at the congregation, repeated his original question, 'Have you ever had a secret? How do I top that?' :)

Easter memories are sweet ones. That's probably why this year not getting to add to them has made me so sad. I did however look forward to this mornings' message of hope in the Resurrection, can still hear the music and congregation singing while Susie played 'Up from the Grave, He Arose'

Still learning to accept 'new normal' and not particularly thrilled with it,

From Tulip~


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I'll take mine Well Done, PLEASE!

Do you ever wonder if as a parent you are doing your job well? Notice I didn't say right or wrong, as there are so many varying opinions as to what is right or wrong as there are individual parents in this world.
But how do we define a job well done? What is a picture of success? Especially on a subject like parenting. One that is held in the highest of regard by some. One that is abused and exploited by others. It's kind of like the Army used to say 'the toughest job you'll ever love'.
What are the rewards of a job well done? What are the drawbacks of not constantly striving to be a success?
Rewards can be as small as a smile or a snuggle with your child. They can be as big as your imagination or that of your child can take you--truly the sky is the limit.
The drawbacks can be as small as maybe not getting the rest you need or eating a meal at the time and temperature you prefer.
Bigger drawbacks come in the form of emotions. Like saying goes, 'to be a parent is to forever know that your heart has the ability to walk outside your body.
Oh I could get nitpicky and list off other things, I suppose. But the thing is most people who are truly striving to be good parents don't generally see any of those things as major drawbacks. In the heat of the moment while arguing with a teenager about curfew or being so sleep deprived you wonder how you will be able to continue to walk the floors with this newborn--we might all momentarily question--but most of us don't see those things as bad things. Just part of it. As we realize there are many people who wish they were in our shoes and soon enough we will trade the 'tennis shoes' necessary for the active life of parenting small and growing children to the more comfortable shoes of a parent of grown children.
I've mentioned the good, the bad and the ugly that is experienced on the personal level. While personal success is important: What are some outward examples of success or a job well done?
We seem to be a results driven society. Raises at work are many times based on the successful accomplishment of goals. Good looks and charm will only get you so far. But with parenting sometimes its hard to see if you are truly doing a job 'well done'.
I read somewhere that taking care of children is like shoveling the snow before the storm is over. And yes the dog days of childhood may seem redundant and boring at times for adults; it seems to me that the happiest and healthiest children are those little 'creatures of habit.' So if as a parent I do the same thing everyday, over and over---where's the success?
I think that success is measured many ways. From potty-training and learning to tie shoes to teaching them to drive and balance a checkbook. I think we can call ourselves a success as parents when you can look at your child and know that you've taught them to not only survive but THRIVE in this world. We as parents can point them toward happiness--when they seek and find it; I think that's a job 'well done'

Just letting the thoughts roll out tonight,
From Tulip~

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring, Signs of Life and Sewing

Well after a long dark winter, I think I can safely say that Spring has sprung. The winter was harsh in so many ways. Bitter cold, lots of snow and saying goodbye to one we love so dearly. Maybe it was appropriate that Bob left us in winter, at the end of the life cycle. Now as we look towards Spring and its renewal, we realize the cycle of life just keeps turning. Renewal and revitalization are wonderful things to look forward to. With Spring has came, little calves everywhere, a new niece, the beginning of the spring planting.

Some things are wrapping up that were what kept us plugging along through the winter. Wrestling concluded, a little before we were ready for it too. Sam ended up qualifying at the Regional Tournament, but his 5th place finish, while considering the competition was good, wasn't high enough to advance him to State. Seth tried wrestling this year, thinking he's maybe a little young, as he wasn't particularly interested in the actual wrestling but loved running during the conditioning part of practice. Everyone has to have their own thing, right?

With Spring the school starts coming to a close with all the hub-bub and activity that entails. Cody is playing golf. Shooting in the mid 40' ability must skip generations, Dad loves and Cody does, I used to like to play, but this thing called, life and kids have made it a near impossible activity, but I am glad that they have a sport that they can play together and enjoy doing it. The schools are getting ready for MAP testing next week. I have been subbing quite a bit so I have seen firsthand the work the teachers and students put in to prepare for it.

Sam got to try his hand at turkey hunting this spring with my Uncle Steve. They didn't get one, but enjoyed the time spent together. With the abundant wildlife on our farm, I wouldn't be upset at all if my boys want to continue on this new adventure. This year after deciding not to participate in the County Fair Sale (so for us, no ham curing this year) Cody and Sam took shooting sports through 4H. They each are trying a different discipline, Cody with archery and Sam with rifle. They both got their Hunter Safety cards and are looking forward to time in the woods.

For my littles life isn't quite as hectic, thank goodness I say! Jenna is our resident Barn Diva and out checking on the show stock and keeping track of new calves. She loves them all, thats for certain. She has a show heifer and potentially 2 steers, depending on how many we get broke to lead. She's taking part in the 'calming down process' and can get a hand on most of them and has starting combing them most days when Dad and Uncle Jason remember to tie them up, I know with her it won't be long and she will be tying them herself.

Jenna got picked for a special local honor this spring. My Mom has worked at Shelter Insurance for many years. In front of the home office is a fountain that every year some child or grandchild of an employee gets picks to turn on the fountain. Mom says that every year when she has had a child or grandchild between the ages of 5 and 10 she's put their name in and this year was the first time one of us had gotten picked. So at a little local mini celebration of Spring, Jenna got to turn on the foutain.

Seth is still getting used to life as a fulltime school student. By the end of most weeks, he still takes a nap when he gets home, and bedtime is never a hard sell to him. I think that he likes school and loves his teacher almost as much as she loves him, I worry about that woman, ha ha, love ya, Laura! :) The Kindergarten has their Spring Musical performance next week, where Seth will be Tikki tikki timbo, no sa rembo.....etc etc, I can't remember the whole name, bu the has his lines and the rest of the kids' all memorized, so we look forward to that.

Spring means graduation, and for me that means sewing. We have some kids who are special to our family who will receive quilts, if I get them done, and amongst the million other things that go on in my day, I am making progress, one almost complete, two others in the progress, but two more to do, YIKES, that stresses me out, putting that on paper....... :/ I have big plans of curtains and quilts for the kids new rooms that are finally getting closer to completion. I keep thinking I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel on this remodelling odessy we have embarked on.

My pictures long kind of jumbled at the top of my blog in this edit mode and I never know how they are going to come out in the finished project, so I will explain what they are, hopefully you can make heads or tails out of it all. There is a picture of Jenna holding a quilt (yes she's standing atop a ladder!) There's one of her in front of the fountain (they had facepainting that night as well) A picture of Sam after winning a match. Never get tired of seeing the referee raise their arm in the air! There's a picture of my baby holding a baby, Seth held Lynzie, with Uncle Jason's help. He was so cute that night at the hospital, he wasn't satisfied to only hold her once, he needed to hold her a second time. And the last or maybe the first, depending on how they come out is of our neighbor Leonard Armontrout. He is a World War 2 veteran and got to go on this Spring's Central Missouri Honor Flight, which means that he and a plane full of vets, got a trip to Washington DC to visit the nations war memorials. Quite a neat honor.

Well its a rainy Friday morning and I have already worked on the new rooms and got laundry going, but that's only a start of what is ahead of me today.

Sitting in my downtown office,

From Tulip~



Friday, February 18, 2011

Got Change?

Disclaimer: Sort of disconnected and scatterbrained, kinda think that is just where we are right now in our grief, but had some thoughts and decided to attempt to put them together.

Have you ever noticed that the only consistent thing about life is that is constantly changing? While generally I like the challenge change brings about. Whether its a new improved way of doing something or learning how to program my new cell phone, the education offered in change is a good thing.
As we travel through life, not all changes are welcome. We recently went through a change in our life. Two weeks ago, my dear sweet kind hearted father in law said goodbye to this earthly world in order go onto his reward in paradise. While the brain comprehends the inevitable change and end of the cycle in which cancer had eaten away his earthly body and riddled it unrelentlessly. The heart breaks in sadness, for OUR loss. It's hard to stay focused on the good things that change meant for Bob. The end of his earthly suffering. An eternal life with his Heavenly Father spent enjoying the rewards of paradise.
For us, especially David, the loss is overwhelming. People say, you'll get back to normal. A good friend recently said normal is never the same and she's exactly right. While the day to day quickly enough falls back into a routine, that sense of loss is always there.
Our capacity to love many special people in our lifetimes, is quite extraordinary. While we easily add more people throughout our lives, there are just some people who are irreplaceable, two groups in particular are parents and children. I think part of that are because those are the two most common examples of unconditional love/
If you have been blessed enough to experience that in life, embrace it, it can be fleeting, change is always right around the corner. I feel blessed to experience that love with my parents and certainly feel that with my kids.
I have rambled kind of 'scatteredly' (is that even a word?) between change, love and relationships. I will attempt to tie it up now.
The consistent ever evolving change through the various stages of life does offer us balance. The bad reminds us just how great the good can be. As my family evolves through this painful, 'never the same/new normal' that our recent loss has presented us with; the constant 'turning of a page' is getting ready to once again expand our hearts with a new hope and a new life to be a part of and love. In about a week, our little niece will enter this world, ironically right down the hall from where her Grandpa said good-bye to us. Guess that's balance of life, good changes and bad.
Kind of an odd rambling blog that has made my 3rd graders wonder why there are tears in my eyes,
Rough draft while subbing at CIS,
Blogged at home,
From Tulip~

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bob, a life richly blessed

Over half my lifetime ago, I met this wonderful person. While I think his son is pretty great, but I am talking about my father in law, Bob Hasekamp. You know a person is pretty lucky to have extra parents in their lives. If there’s a person is as much a father to me as my own father, it’s Bob, and rightly so, I suppose. Throughout our marriage I have learned to seek his advice on many a thing, as it was always thoughtful and thought provoking. It was always practical and never self seeking. While I love my own parents so much, I have always been amazed at the depth at which my husbands relationship with own parents is. I have come to realize over the years that Bob and David are not only father and son, they are business partners and best friends. Advice from Dad is not only a sign of respect for my husband, its just the way he does things. I will admit from time to time that has frustrated me, but looking back, he’s never steered us wrong. I hope that our children will always think that highly of us and I sure hope we never disappoint them. Bob the father is a beautiful aspect of who he is, but there are so many more. Bob, the friend, is a person I would say that all around him would agree has been a blessing in many lives. Examples that come to mind are many. The one that I will mention is Bob’s relationship with Bill. No two guys in my opinion more clearly define friends and neighbors than those two. In good times and bad, they are right there together thankfully enjoying the blessings God has offered, each has attended each other’s parents funerals, each other’s children’s weddings, they worship together, have worked side by side together at fairs and so many more things, I am positive I would never tell you if I talked all day all the ways that they shown their devotion to each other as friends.
Bob, the family man to me, means more than just us kids and grandkids. Bob was an only child, with 5 first cousins. So the meaning of family is more extended for him than it is most. His cousins were growing up and are today his siblings. I know that I love my cousins and we are close, but we can’t hold a candle to the relationships that Bob has had with his cousins. Richard and George are the younger brothers, both always ready to share stories and laughs. Mary E, MarySue and Sara, the sisters, of course, who Bob has always loved bragging up their cooking or whatever else came to mind at the time. See Bob was lucky, he had those ‘siblings’ and got to enjoy all the love, but didn’t have to suffer through the day to day sibling spats that the rest of us have had. Because of this relationship he’s held for his whole lifetime with his cousins, we’ve all been blessed to have a closer relationship with their families, one that had Bob had brothers and sisters, we may not have ever known. For me, within my closest circles of my own friendships are three members of that group.
Bob the church and community minded neighbor has been a blessing in many lives as well. When something needs to be done at Tulip, I can say without a doubt for the last several years, my father in law, has been right there ready to go. He’s had a smile on his face and a willingness to serve his fellow man that is unmatched by many. He’s consistently worked in many capacities in our own church, over the years on MFA boards, working at the local and county level with 4H and FFA during fair time or any other time, rain or shine, he’s right there asking what else he can do to help.
Bob, the man of God. I am not sure that I have known to many people who have been as accepting of God’s will in their lives as Bob. As long as I have known him, which was barely a third of his lifetime, he has always been the example I go back to again and again, when I think of living a true Christian life. He’s been God’s servant in so many ways. He’s taught Sunday School, been a role model and advisor to many on their walk through faith. Even when personal times were tough, he’s never blamed God to my knowledge when a lesser person might have. And Bob has endured some pretty rough times and held his head high and kept traveling down lifes journey, all the while amazing us all.
Maybe God made Bob a farmer for all of these reasons. He’s persevered through many things in his life, not all of them easy ones, and we certainly all know the life of a farmer isn’t an easy one. Hard work and dedication are certainly the name of the game. I have always thought that farmers are closer to God than a lot of other professions, he’s kind of our business partner. One that many farmers talk to daily. Thanks for the needed rains, thanks for group of heifers who all calved easily, or the requests for help when the rains came and weren’t needed or we had to pull all the calves that spring. Bob has always been such an accepting person of whatever the outcome was, good harvest or not so good. Twin calves that the cow raised, or pulling them both, maybe losing one and have to bottle feed the other. It’s always been Gods will that ruled Bob’s life. A lesson that we could all take from him, that’s for sure.
Now I come to a part that I knew for me would be hard, so saved it for last and pray that I can get through it. Bob, the grandfather. There are 5 lights in his life, he’d tell you. He’s certainly always been a proud and supportive father, but he has said so many times that being a grandfather has been something that has amazed him beyond words. If you wanted to see his face light up regardless of the situation, just let one of those kids come into his line of vision. He was our helper last fall when Cody started HS and needed lots of extra rides into town. His health had hampered his full bore all day work hard work day of a farmer, so he was able to enjoy driving in to take Cody to school activities, it was a blessing for us as we juggled get the other three kids to their things. I think that it was blessing for Bob and Cody as well. Cody has matured to the point where he and Bob could talk on an adult level about so many aspects of life. I know that over the years, Cody will look back at some of those talks and realize that blessing over and over. Sam has always tickled Bob, with the similar quieter personalities, I think that Bob ‘gets’ Sam, probably in a way, that I know I don’t always understand myself. He was always so proud of the young man he’s becoming. Growing up on a farm, there’s always little helpers who from varying degrees at different ages loved to help Dad or Grandpa, but I think the helper that Bob got the biggest kick out of has been Jenna. Their rides over to Amish country to deliver hay were always educational in his report, to which David and I always wondered just what all she said and were secretly grateful that they didn’t return with a pony. ‘Ram=pa’ and Seth have gotten closer in the last few years, since his older siblings have all been in school. I am sure that ‘educational’ would be one way Bob would describe some of their talks. Then there’s our little nephew Marshall. Lunchtime at Grandma and Grandpa’s and four wheeler rides have been some of the outward highlights of their time spent together. Marshall is definitely an eager and willing worker, just like Pa Pa, especially when it comes to riding on a tractor with him. He’s looking so forward to our niece being born, I hope and pray they get to meet face to face.
I know that I could talk all day about the amazing ways this man has blessed our lives, but part of that blessing is that each of you have so many wonderful memories. His legacy of love, friendship, and service will be felt for beyond his lifetime. I know I count him as one of my many blessings.
Praying for my Father in Law,
From Tulip~

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's Wrestling Season

It's that time of year. The roads are slick and nasty, the evenings are long. It's winter. Kinda dismal and icky to most. I would tend to agree. Until I start thinking about that along with winter comes WRESTLING SEASON. I am not sure that I love it like I do Football, but it is right up fighting for second place with professional baseball (which isn't far away, thank goodness!) This is the time of year when Sam can

tell you what he weighs down to the ounce. When we go to bed early on Friday nights as we have to get up long before the sun rises and head to a gym somewhere at least an hour away, to spend the better part of our day with hundreds of other devoted wrestling parents. Ten hours of sitting for ten minutes of wrestling. When your son is having a good year, which Sam is this year, its not even ten minutes of wrestling. But that's okay. Like many of the other activities we are in, we have made our wrestling friends. We have our cattle showing friends, State Fair friends, friends of parents in each of the kids classes, so sure we may as well have our wrestling friends too. It's that parent who's child wrestles yours every week, sometimes we win, sometimes they do. They stand in the bullpen laughing and telling jokes, then they step on the mat and its all business. As soon as the match is over, a handshake and hug and on to the next match.

With all sports and many other things in life, we see examples of the best and the worst humanity has to offer. Yes sadly there's that dad hollaring at the kid after the match, but thankfully that is rare. The things that I find most heartwarming is watching two boys leave the mat and the mom of the winner hugging and comforting the young man who just lost. I don't think that kids who only participate in team sports can ever truly get wrestling. It's so personal. When you win, YOU won! And when you lost, yes YOU lost. There's no one else to blame it on. It's glaringly obvious. But thankfully the brotherhood of wrestlers and their families all realize that and win or lose, the whole group is right there supporting those kids in an intensity that I really do not believe exists with other sports. I played basketball and softball growing up and while yes our parents cheered and supported us, we did it as a team, and you never felt alone. I can't imagine how it feels to walk off the mat as the referee holds your opponents arm in the air.

All of that being said, the adrenaline rush of wrestling I have to think is hard to top. I know as a parent and a spectator its pretty intense. Like a friend said, its a fight with rules. It gets under our skin at a basic level, survival. To be successful has to be the greatest feeling in the world. To learn the discipline to also lose like a gentleman is a life skill that will take these young men far as well.

I will admit that I mourned the loss of basketball in my life 5 yrs ago when my boys started wrestling. But I am proudly a 'Mat Momma' now. Sam is having a great season, only two losses. I believe he has around 6 pins for the season. He wrestles again weekend after next at Jefferson City Jays tournament, and possibly one or two more, then its Finals time in March. Here's hoping we have 'plans' the last weekend in March, and we make it to the Hearnes Center for the State tournament.

Sitting in my office, listening to my supposedly sick littlest grappler run up and down the hallway of the 'new part' of the house (is there Crack in a Z-pac?)

From Tulip~



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Our Home

I don't know that I have shared on my blog that we are building onto our home. So here's the story: We have lived in this house for a little over 12 yrs. We moved in when Sam was one month old. This is the house that David grew up in. When we moved in here, we traded houses with David's parents. I remember thinking how empty the house looked when Bob and Gladys moved their stuff out and it was just our things in here.

Since the boys were little, we put them into a bedroom together and then they had a playroom as well. We had a huge spacious bedroom.

Fast forward 12 yrs, add 2 more kids and GOBS more STUFF. Our two-three bedroom, ONE BATHROOM house seemed to almost burst at the seams. We had talked for several years about adding onto our house. We finally drew it up, tweaked it and took the plunge. Crowded-ness was factor then, so was 'old house' the south wall of our basement had started cracking and the cracked area had began to bulge, which of course concerned us that some day we would find ourselves in the basement......YIKES!

Last summer, we started the process of adding onto our home. We are adding about 25 feet onto the entire south side of our house and extending the basement, adding 1500 square feet to our home. When done, each child will have their own room. We will go from 1 to 2.5 bathrooms and just generally have some elbow space. :)

Currently we are waiting to get the dry wall taped, mudded, sanded, etc....... then the finish work is about all that is left. I am not a huge fan of painting and I have figured out that basically 2/3 of our house will end up getting painting, something I am not excited about, but am looking forward to as it means the project will be closer to complete. So if you like to paint, LMK, I can put you to work!

Awaiting the 'promised' snow storm and hoping the weatherman is wrong,

From Tulip~



Sunday, January 9, 2011


The pictured project this week is a pair of coordinating pillowcases I made for a friend. She one of the people who have reaped the benefit of my PIF (pay it forward) campaign. They went to Alicia Hancock. I have known her since she was a small child. Her family lives at the corner of Hwy EE and 151 (Mom, they live in the 3 dormered roof house, you and Dad love!) I first met her mom Bonnie when I had crafts in the 'Gingerbread House' which a craft co-op shop in the 'old Kinkead's bldg, which is currently the home of 'In Full Bloom' flowershop. Alicia grew up and is now the 8th grade language teacher at CBMS. We have gotten to be friends with our mutual love of the 'Material Girl Quilt Shop' and sewing. I posted a 'shout out' to friends whom I had completed some gifts for the other night on Facebook and she called me on it. So to do her one better, I added her to my list. A little facebook stalking helped me to discover what colors and fabrics would go with items already in her house and darn if my favorite fabric, a piece I have been keeping for a few months now, was the one that went the best with it. She mentioned she'd like pillowcases and of course I didn't have enough to make two identical pillowcases, but made two that coordinated with each other instead. So happened that the green and cream pieces were both in my stash as well. With that thought in mind, I am thinking that I will try to make as many of my PIF gifts as possible from my fabric stash, what a great way to use those pieces I like but didn't have specific projects in mind for and then when the stash is getting low, HA! What a great excuse to work on replenishing it! :)
The pattern I used for the pillowcases came from This is a website that I think I have mentioned before. It is sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens, the goal is to create 1 million pillowcases to be donated to charities throughout the country. Pillowcases go to sick children, older folks in nursing homes and peopl in crisis throughout this country. I have made a few and donated them, hope to make a few more. Our local charitable group that makes items for local kids has decided that Christmas 2011 will be pillow year, we are going to make pretty pillowcases with a new pillow inside and the usual other goodies.
If you are interested in participating at any level, go check out this website, there is much information to learn, PLUS it has a gob of FREE PATTERNS for many variations of the basic pillowcase.
It's been a busy weekend and the week ahead promises more of the same~
From Tulip,

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I love a NEW year

Why is it that we are all always so fired up about a New Year? We make resolutions, start diets, etc........with such reckless abandon, its really kinda entertaining. I don't always necessarily make specific resolutions, but have had the same goal for years, organize and simplify my life and keep it maintained, sounds simple, but not always attainable. I remember very distinctly ten years ago, the year I turned 30 was such a year for change in my life. I finally felt like I had my head above water, Cody was 6, Sam was 2. I was ready for something. At the time I had no idea what (mostly that two more blessings were yet to arrive, but that's a whole other blog in and of itself, love my Jenny Kamper and Seffy Kamps!) I can remember having this feeling of I am finally 'old enough' I felt so comfortable in my own skin, satisfaction or contentment maybe, I don't know. It was a year of change in that I started doing daycare, on a very small scale, I started taking care of Nicklaus, as he was born that spring. We bought our first home computer.
9/11 happened. Wow. Doesn't that seem like yesterday? I know our parents said the same thing about Kennedy assassination, and Grandparents about Pearl Harbor. Always interesting to me to think about where we were in our own lives when those moments of history occured.
Fast forward 10 yrs. We have added 3 'in laws' almost 4 nephews/nieces (2nd niece will make her appearance in March) My parents are business owners. David parents have declining health. Our immediate family is MUCH bigger. Our home is in the process of 'growing' to accommodate that. It's been a 'year of change' already for me. All of my kids are in school. I am working not one, not two, but THREE part-time jobs. Ten years ago, we were 'barely' involved in activities, now 4H, FFA, football, wrestling and SO much more are a part of our daily lives.
As I enter this new decade, I feel that urgency of 'change' again. I embraced it ten years ago, and happily do so again today. I am glad its gradual and easy to slide right into. I certainly haven't simplified my life, but I am making great strides on the organizing and maintaining aspects of that goal mentioned above and you know I kinda love the chaos.
In this New Year and 'dawn of a new decade' for me (we have till July before its official) I am doing things now that I never thought I had time for in my simpler life of fewer kids, fewer activities that make my heart so happy. I have started exercising again (WOW have I ever NEEDED to do that!?!?!) and doing things for others, just because I want to (that one makes my heart really happy!) I am kinda making a few resolutions, but shhh, don't tell. Some things I have been adding lately are: when I get on facebook, I look at the friends that happen to pop up along the left hand side of my profile page and say a PRAYER for them, no I don't always know what their particular trials are, but that's okay, God knows. The few times I enter a drive-through lane to get something convenient for our day, I buy the person behind me's meal. Have done that about 5 times in the last two months! I have to say, I love that 'honk' I have I gotten! :) On facebook just yesterday, there was a pay it forward post, and I who NEVER participate in those, DID. I have a list of about 6 friends who commented and I am aleady thinking of fun things that I can make them. I picked up two free patterns for a couple of friends at a fabric store yesterday that feature items each have mentioned wanting to make, YAY! Have been very excited thinking of all the 'pay it forward' things I am GOING to do this year. I have already logged 15 miles of exercise this year! and its only 5th!
I am looking forward to this NEW YEAR, and even more excited about the new decade that is coming soon. Heck I have BLOGGED twice this year, yeah its gonna so rock in 2011.
Listening to the contractors climbing around on my roof and smiling thinking of the finished project~
From Tulip,

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! Welcome 2011

Having not been a regular blogger as of late I have no excuse, but will offer a few, we are remodelling our home, adding 1400 sq ft, I have started 3!!! parttime jobs (sewing instructor, substitute teacher and working at Dad's pool hall) to my already crazy life and taken back up a hobby that I have had off on since I was a kid, I have been sewing. Alot.

I decided that a New Years Resolution might be to blog once a week about a project that I have completed, hopefully that will get me back in the 'blogging groove' and I can start boring you with all the stuff that I find interesting. Cross your fingers.
The picture I am sharing today is of the the Tote Bag I made for Seth to give his teacher. We have been blessed this year to get Laura Warbritton as his Kindergarten teacher. While I believe that all of the options on the Kindergarten team are great, I was thrilled to end like we started (Cody had her as well!) Laura and I have kinda gotten to be friends, between the 10 yrs since she had Cody, her son Alex (aka to the kids Bob) and Cody both play football, we follow the boys to many a game. Laura has started sewing, so we have been known to hang out with the 'cool kids' at Material Girl Quilt Shop. And of course my many years of being a room mom or various other volunteer at Chance Elementary has offered us occasion to get to know each other. I feel blessed that this woman is in my sons life, she's not only his teacher, but one of his biggest fans (she gets his humor! YIKES!) I know that she really loves her little students and makes the beginning of their school career a special one. Thank you so much Laura!
Now a little about the bag. I have become a big fan of Moda Fabrics thanks to the influence of my good friend Meredith, owner of the local quilt shop, Material Girl Quilt Shop (another plug for you sister!) Moda has a wonderful blog called Moda Bake Shop. (go check it out sometime, its WONDERFUL!!! GOBS of FREE PATTERNS!!) I have been visiting the Bake Shop for quite some time and last summer I found a great tutorial for the 'Charming Tote' its based off of one of Moda's precut fabric packs, the 'Charm Pack' The size of your tote is based on the amount of charms you use on a side. Very basic construction and goes together in a snap. The first one I made was more of a purse size with 9 charms on a side, I have made them with 12, 16 and even 20 on a side. This is a simple purse that I have made over and over. It looks cute everytime. I have discovered magnetic snaps that can be purchased at Jo-Ann fabrics. The brand name is Everything Mary. They are available in many sizes and colors. The company also makes other purse accessories and findings from 'feet' for the bottoms of purses to lanyard hooks. They are reasonably priced as well. The fabric series from Moda is called 'Punctuation' by American Jane Patterns, Sandy Klop designer, most of her fabrics have a home-y feel to me, she had a cute camping series a few years ago, just something about the fabrics remind me of growing up.
I taught my version as a basic tote at my Beginners Sewing Class last week. Had one student make hers into a diaper bag for her niece. For anyone interested, I teach these classes at least once a month and am open to doing private classes for groups of three or more. I am planning our January class right now, which is tenatively scheduled for Jan 16th, 2pm to 5pm and the project will be placemats or a table runner. Please feel free to contact me on here, via facebook or email or of course you can give me a call if you are interested.
Again I say Happy 2011 enjoying the warmth of our home while looking out at the sunny, but cold New Years Day outside,
From Tulip~