SmileWhen we were in Colorado two years ago, Oma bought this cowboy shirt for Megan. Because the shirt still just fits her, we brought it along in hopes of getting a good cowgirl picture of her.

I think this is her “I am a rough and tough cowgirl and you can’t make me smile” look.


Prairie Girls

After reading the Little House books and a few others from that time area, Andrea wanted to make some prairie girl dresses. She planned to wear them for the traditional tea party.  We also thought it would be fun to try to take some pictures in “the Wild West”, as Adrian insisted on calling Colorado the whole time we were there.

Prairie Girls
Aunt Bonnie let us borrow her dog Holly for this picture. The girls are pretending to be Carrie, Mary, Laura and Holly the dog is Jack.


They also had fun wearing them while playing or doing chores around the house too.


CaughtWhile at Grandma’s house, we all enjoyed walking up down the driveway. Sometimes the kids would run, other times they would just saunter  along talking.

Andrea and Mark were walking ahead of the rest of us enjoying a private conversation. I was glad that I had just taken a picture of their backs, when they turned around, saw me with the camera (caught!) and took off running.


Sand Dunes

Sand dune

When Allan and I were married, we went backpacking.  One of our stops was at Ogallala Lake in Nebraska.  It is a park where you can camp on the sand dunes.  Unfortunately, after getting our car stuck (and unstuck) in the sand, we noticed ominous storm clouds, so we ended up in a horrible hotel, made worse because we both really wanted to stay at the dunes.

On this trip, we decided to try staying there again.  After exploring, we could not find anyplace that looked like what we had discovered years ago.  We did learn that nearby Lake McConaughy also had sand dunes that we could camp at, so we stopped there.

The kids enjoyed camping on the beach! If we had more time, we all would have loved to stay and explore for a few days.  It is on our be-sure-to-stop-again list!

Driving Through Iowa

Windmills in Iowa We were able to take just over  a week off for a mini vacation and family reunion in Colorado. We had a lot of fun!  We left after work on Friday night and drove until very late, so we could enjoy a slower pace on Saturday.

We did not stop much until we saw the wind turbines in Iowa.  Megan’s eyes got huge and she called them flowers.

While in Iowa we stopped at the “World’s Largest Truck stop”.  If it had been earlier, I would have taken a picture of all the trucks lined up.  It was a good touristy place to stop, but nothing special except for some really neat old trucks on display.

We visited a pony express cabin and reviewed some of the things we learned in history. The sod house museum nearby had just closed, so we unfortunately missed that.

The kids traveled very well. We enjoyed reading books and listening to stories on tape. The first full day flew by.Cows and Wind Turbins



Mark smileMark is going to be a Freshman this year.  We are looking forward to starting high school, but we are also a little apprehensive about it. There is so much he needs to learn!

But he is excited that we are turning the focus more. We have been praying about what God has planned for Mark and will start moving toward that goal.

As we watch Mark turn into a man, we will give him time to practice skills men need to be providers. With Daddy’s help, he built  raised gardens, but he filled and maintained the gardens mostly by himself this summer. He has outdoor chores that he loves doing. He has told me often he would rather be outside moving wood then working inside.

Mark will also have time to explore his different interests.  We know that making time for hobbies is a good way to relax!Mark Hands

I look forward to seeing Mark’s growth this year. I see him “sprouting his wings” and, while he is not ready to “fly” yet, he is getting close.




Adrian smileAdrianAdrian has been learning to be a big help lately. He loves to help wash dishes and he is learning to cook good food. He is Megan’s helper and makes sure that she is well taken care of.

He is starting second grade this year.  But even more exciting is his gapped tooth smile and two other teeth that are wiggly!