Category Archives: Fun

A trip to NE 2017

Mike’s parents invited Mike & I to go with them to Nebraska after we finished milking for this season. Mike’s brother and his family live out there, and the twins would be turning ONE!! So grateful that we could go on this journey…โ˜บ๏ธ

This post will be my “scrapbook” of the memories.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

We decided to travel a southern route west instead of driving the turnpike. Thought it would be fun to surprise Mike’s dad with a stop at the town(s) he grew up in: Piqua & Covington, OH. Thanks to the help of Andy’s older brother, we were supplied with detailed maps and descriptions on how to navigate around the area. He also shared family history with us that we enjoyed talking about with Dad. We drove by his childhood homes and stopped at the baseball field he used to play on in high school. Found out the field has been named after his old coach!โค๏ธโšพ๏ธ

This cute kittie just showed up and wanted some attention. Made Andy smile as it reminded him of one of the cats he had growing up…๐Ÿ˜ป

This outdoor orchestra shell holds many memories… Andy’s dad was a conductor/teacher and very passionate about music. It is in really good condition, and looks like it is still used today.๐ŸŽถ

Next stop was to Bear’s Mill. Found it when searching for places to visit on our route, and knew it would be a great stop for us. [Click here to see our posts about the steam powered Algonquin Mill that is near and dear to our hearts in Carroll County, OH.] Bear’s Mill is not powered by steam, however – it’s water powered, by a turbine. We enjoyed the self-guided tour. Here are some pics:

Of course you take a picture of random ducks swimming under the mill, lol…๐Ÿฆ†

I was trying to take a picture of the water below, but the sun/shadows were making it a challenge. Then I realized how cool the shadow was of Mike & I. So we just had fun with shadow pictures, lol! Love this man!๐Ÿ˜

Pictures like this are necessary when you are terrified of mice (all rodents๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ™„), so that your sons can make fun of you upon return…๐Ÿ˜

No idea why there’s a covered wagon inside the mill, lol. Appeased Mike by climbing up for a pic!๐Ÿ˜‚

Next stop was at the KitchenAid outlet store in Greenville. My family has used these mixers and many of their attachments over several generations. We LOVE our KitchenAid mixer and have been through several over the years, so it was fun to browse through their little museum and showroom.

Here’s a cute, hand-painted mixer they had on display for the holidays.๐ŸŽ„

A fun mixer we knew our patriotic son would love… ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธโค๏ธ

And our last stop of that area was for lunch at Maid-Rite. The boys had seen it featured on a tv program several years ago, and the last time they traveled to NE with Grandma and Grandpa, they stopped and ate at one. They serve a steamed, loose-meat burger. Ever since then, they have wanted Mike & I to try one. We had our opportunity, and it was a nice lunch.๐Ÿ˜‹

The outside of the building was a bit unique.๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Wondering what all the speckles are???? CHEWED UP PIECES OF GUM!!!๐Ÿ˜ท๐Ÿคข

The scenery for most of the drive was pretty repetitive: lots of flat land, grain farms, and windmill farms….

Spent the night in Hannibal, MO. Plan for the next morning was to visit the Lock and Dam No. 22 (on the Mississippi River) in Saverton a few miles south of our hotel. Read there was an observation area to see bald eagles, so we brought our binoculars to check things out. WELL, we found the area, but not any public viewing area. (And we didn’t want to spend any more time searching.) There was restricted/gated area for employees, and this funny sign. Took that as our “sign” we would just move on!๐Ÿ˜‚

Stopped at an antique mall in St. Joseph, MO to stretch our legs and grab lunch. Mike found some treasures from his favorite actor that were a bit out of our price range, lol, so we took pics instead, lol…๐Ÿ˜Ž

And finally – we made it to Lincoln, NE! What a joy to see our family and capture some moments on “film”. โค๏ธ

Had fun showing them some of our pics from home…๐Ÿ“ท

With the twins having such light hair, they match well with Mike & Ben, lol!โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

Sawyer especially loved looking at Uncle Mike’s pics from the farm and of his cousins back in Ohio.โ˜บ๏ธ

Mike’s sister flew in from Mississippi to join in on the fun, too…โค๏ธ

Feeding moving targets is quite the challenge, but Grandma was up for it!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ (Probably didn’t help that Aunt Dawn was distracting with picture taking, lol…๐Ÿ˜‰)

Stayed in a 3 bedroom basement of an airb&b home while we were in Lincoln. Overall, a good experience (and definitely cost effective), but not without some drama/laughs. Had to get aggressive with an unwanted-banana-eating kitchen “visitor”…๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿญ๐Ÿ’ฃ

And learned our bed was held up by a lone stilt…๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿคฃ

But it did get upgraded to 4 stilts the next day.๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Did some shopping and ate lunch at Noodles with my sisters…๐Ÿ˜

Ben took Mike, Dad, & Sawyer for a drive in the country. They stopped at the Haymaker District so Sawyer could show Uncle Mike a BIG train…๐Ÿš‚

Celebrated Christmas on Saturday, so lots of laughs, games, eating, and snuggles!๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽโค๏ธ

After worship and a great message at Lincoln Berean, we took advantage of the 55ยฐ day with a walk to the park.โ›…๏ธ

And ended the day with celebrating the twins’ first birthday. First was a big family meal at Lazlos…๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ˜‹ The Grandmas: The Grandpas: Ended the day with presents, cake, and BATHS…๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ‚๐Ÿ›

The trip back home…๐Ÿš™ We were on the road early since Aunt Jenny had to leave before 5 to get to the airport. Always love catching the sunrise!๐ŸŒ…

Got to cross the Mississippi River in daylight this time…๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

Stopped for lunch in Springfield, IL. Looked for something non-mainstream-chain and found Dew Chilli Parlor No. 2. (This place didn’t have old chewing gum around the outside, but it did have a neat, penny floor!)๐Ÿ™‚

Passed by a Nestle plant, and snapped a pic…because it’s not everyday you see a giant Bugs Bunny on the side of the highway, lol…๐Ÿ˜‚

Spent the night in Decatur, IN. That left us with just a 4 hour drive to get home on Tuesday. Thought about driving straight through, but decided we’d rather not arrive home completely exhausted. These bodies enjoyed the break, and felt refreshed for the final leg…๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ

Caught this fun city-sunrise pic after we left the hotel…

Mike and I LOVE finding small-town coffee shops. Both to support local small businesses and because we love coffee…โ˜•๏ธโค๏ธ

Found this gem in Downtown Decatur…

My favorite part were the loyalty mugs! My mug would be here if this was in my neighborhood – just sayin’…๐Ÿ˜‰

Kinda fun to see the line of lake effect snow ahead of you while you watch the radar on your phone…โ„๏ธ

And our final stop before home was at Bob Evans outside of Mansfield.๐Ÿณ๐Ÿฅ“

Thank You, Lord, for giving us this opportunity to travel with Mom & Dad to see our family in Nebraska. We are grateful for the clear path You set out before us, and for how You equipped our sons to take care of the farm around their work schedules at home. Though our family members are spread all around the country, You unite us through modern technology; but boy is it a blessing when face-to-face moments arise! Continue to grow each one of us closer to You with every step we take. In Your Name, I pray. Amen๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

Prom 2017

Since this blog is the closest I’ll probably ever get to scrapbooking, I thought I’d best get these pics up. Memories from Prom 2017 in a somewhat random order.๐Ÿ“ธ

Grandma & Grandpa were kind enough to let us use their place for pictures on a drizzly, cold day…๐ŸŒง 




So fun that Aunt Jenny flew in to surprise the boys this week!โค She got to see one baseball game and then shared her fashion expertise with us prom rookies, lol…๐Ÿ‘”๐Ÿ˜Š


















Then we all headed to the high school for the Promenade…๐Ÿ˜€  

A few pics of two super special, beautiful couples (not that I’m biased or anything)…๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜




Can you see the mental prepping going on?๐Ÿ˜‚


Priceless expressions, lol!๐Ÿ˜‚


It worked!!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ


Love all these kids and am thankful we had the opportunity to capture these memories this weekend.โค

Farmily fun with Flat Stanley

Got a fun assignment from Arizona last week… ๐ŸŒต

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I decided to turn it into a blog post for a couple reasons. First, because I am THE WORST at being prompt at mailing packages out. [Like birthdays, for example. I still have my mom’s August 25th b-day gift sitting on a table waiting to go to the post office. I mean, the gift is DONE and ready…all I need to do is mail it! ๐Ÿ˜”] And second, I am THE WORST at getting pictures printed… We don’t have a color printer, so the procedure to get a picture printed is just more than I can handle, lol… Especially when the printer at our local Rite Aid doesn’t seem to ever be able to read our travel drives! ๐Ÿ˜ก

Soooo, to my brother, Mark: Hope this post can count as completing Abbi’s assignment – and if you want to print any of these pictures out, you’ll get them quicker than any I’d send from here! ๐Ÿ˜ฌI’ll place Flat Stanley and his new wardrobe in mom’s package and try to get it shipped tomorrow… ๐Ÿ‘

Now: on to our adventure! ๐Ÿ˜Š

First thing we had to do was prepare Flat Stanley with proper “farm” attire… Custom-made a pair of muck boots for him and introduced him to the dairy girls during the morning’s milking. ๐ŸฎHere he is with the boys and ScotchTape:

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Next he helped me hand milkers to the boys…๐Ÿ‘

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Then he “hung” with me in the milkhouse… ๐Ÿ™ˆ

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And he helped me bottle the milk. He MAY have taste-tested the milk when I wasn’t looking…not sure how else he may have gotten a milk mustache… ๐Ÿ˜ง

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He liked our cats, too. Though they weren’t interested in sharing their milk with him…๐Ÿ˜ผ

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He wanted to get an up-close look at the calves, so we brought him to see them… ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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He chose the wrong wire to hold onto and was a little “shocked”… [It was a “hair-raising” experience! ๐Ÿ˜‰]

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Then he almost turned into a snack, but Uncle Mike saved him… ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

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Didn’t take long and everybody just went back to business… โ˜บ๏ธ

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Then he helped me frost Uncle Mike’s birthday brownies… ๐Ÿซ

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And posed for a selfie with Michael… ๐Ÿ˜

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He fit perfectly in Uncle Mike’s phone pocket on the 4-wheeler, so he was ready for a ride with the boys…๐ŸŒž

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They took him to see the dairy girls grazing in their field…๐Ÿ„

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Fixed him up with a Terriers shirt to root for Michael’s baseball team, and then he partied with us as we shared a dessert celebration for Uncle Mike after the rainy game. Even Aunt Jenny got in on the fun! ๐ŸŽ‰

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That’s it! Some farm, some family, and some fun. Thanks for sending Flat Stanley to us, Abbi! ๐Ÿ’Œ

๐Ÿ˜˜,
Aunt Dawn, Uncle Mike, Michael, & Paul

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Paul – 14

Celebrated Paul’s 14th birthday this weekend. After browsing through his birthday post from last year, I’d say he’s grown another 3-4 inches since then. He’s a couple inches taller than Mike now… Probably puts him at 6’3″ or so. Every time I go to hug him I get less face and more neck, lol… ๐Ÿ˜‰

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To kick off Paul’s b-day weekend, both boys enjoyed a Friday night out with Aunt Jenny & Uncle Matt…LOTS of food and a Mighty Ducks game. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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Tryouts for 2015 Stark County Terriers began this weekend, and both boys are trying out for the 16U team. Such PERFECT weather for baseball! We always enjoy watching Michael & Paul on the field together. Whether they make the team or not, it’s been a good experience so far… โšพ๏ธ

Aunt Jenny’s birthday is just 2 days before Paul’s, so we celebrated them both together yesterday. ๐Ÿ˜

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And today we took Paul to get his very own SabreCat Bat made. His is the same size and weight as Michael’s, but his color and finishing details are a little different. He’s excited to try it out in the cages soon. โšพ๏ธ

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Here’s a shot of the boys at lunch, while we waited for Paul’s bat to dry… โค๏ธ

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And now my 3 boys are ending the day at a movie in the discount movie theater, and I sit in the parking lot of statcare around the corner to take advantage of free wifi, lol. Feels good to have a few minutes to blog again. ๐Ÿ˜Š

a SabreCat bat

We had a wooden bat made for Michael’s 15th birthday this weekend. How can he be 15??? ๐Ÿ™‚

One of the teams Michael plays on (Canton Terriers-16U team) recommended SabreCat Batsย  for a good, quality, wooden bat.


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We really enjoy supporting small, local businesses when we can. It was cool to be able to watch them make the bat from beginning to end. ๐Ÿ™‚

Michael’s bat is made from ash wood, 33″ long, and 30 oz. weight.

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Cutting the end off…

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Michael with the two owners, Rob Roberts and Eric Thorne.

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We went out to lunch while they painted the barrel red…

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Came back in time to watch it get laser engraved…

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“Cupping” the end of the bat…

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A boy and his bat… ๐Ÿ™‚

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Thanks to Ohio HB-59, he’s able to try out for Sandy Valley’s team, too. Here he is, trying out his new bat that’s just a couple hours old!

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Snowmen from old socks

This idea was originally from a Facebook craft post that was circulating last year – snowmen made from old socks, filled with rice. It seemed like a doable idea for us, since we always have holey socks… AND I’ve been searching for a craft to use up some old dried beans that I had bought before we started growing our own a few years ago. Soooo, my snowmen are filled with dried beans, instead. Worked like a charm! ๐Ÿ™‚

Besides the rubberbands, I also tied string around them as a safety precaution. (Because at our house, rubber bands break quite often and usually at inopportune moments, lol!) ๐Ÿ™‚

By far, this was my favorite craft this Christmas! Just some tacky glue, my hot glue gun, and a plethora of miscellaneous odds and ends I keep for future projects. I’d STILL be makin’ them, but I ran out of beans, even after buying 10 more pounds of them at the Dollar Store, lol! I have a feeling I may cave and buy more beans so I can create more of these cuties during the year… ๐Ÿ™‚

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