Saturday, June 27, 2009

The highlight of Countryfest...

So, for those of you have never lived in, stopped by, ran through, got lost in, or couldn’t find your way out of Mercer County, Ohio…you will find this truly fascinating. One of the main attractions at Countryfest is….wait for it…
Tractor Square Dancing!
That’s right people, eight antique tractors that promenade, allemande, do-si-do and swing their partners like no other group can on this earth. It’s all at once amazing, fun, and somewhat strange. I mean really, dancing tractors?
For those of you have never had the honor, nay, the privilege, of viewing country festivities such as this at their finest; your time has come. And for those of you who have sadly moved away, and are in need of a hick fix, I’ve got just the thing for you!

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Shrine, Chapel, Museum

So as part of our visit to Country fest today, we went into the old convent of the sisters of the precious Blood. It is no longer used as such, but since it has immense religious and historical value has been placed on the National History registry. Outside of the museum upstairs, the beautiful building and gorgeous courtyard and grounds, there is a special chapel and Holy Relic shrine with almost 1000 different pieces of Catholic history. So as part of our Countryfest adventures, we decided to check it out.

This is the chapel on the grounds, attached to the convent. You can see off to the right people coming out of the entrance to the shrine.

This is the shrine.
And these are relics. I looked through the binder guide. According to the binder, there is a piece of the manger the Savior lay in and also of his sepluchre.
The last picture is of Elder Rasmussen. He was waiting for his companion to finish taking a few shots, and as he stood quietly by the door, and elderly woman came up to him and asked if he could please tell her some more about the relics and the shrine. He must have looked so official standing there in a white shirt and tie with a name tag on. I think it caught him off guard, but he just kind of directed her to the ACTUAL volunteer standing a few feet away…no name tag on though. In the meantime, I’m standing outside the shrine in the chapel trying not to crack up.

As a side note, we also went upstairs and did a quick walk through of the museum, which had bits and pieces of the history of sisters, and of the area. Very interesting, and it explains so much about why Catholicism plays such and important part of the community here. It really is almost something in the water. I also got to greet Sister Barbara Ann Hoying, director of the center, Her and I have met on several occasions fro different reasons. I inroduced her to my children...and the missionaries.
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Friday, June 26, 2009


So today we went and all got haircuts, except for Conner, because I shaved his head a few weeks ago. Ashlyn was extremely unhappy about this situation...big shocker. But as the stylist began snipping and clipping, her pouty little lips began to curve up into a pleasant little smile. She liked it!

Here are her before pictures...

And here's the after pictures for Maryn (she lost over 3 inches..,and we got her bangs figured out after she gave herself an impromptu haircut a few months ago)

And Ashlyn's after picture.
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Escaping the heat

It has been soooooooooo HOT! The last few days have topped out at 104 or so degrees with the heat index. The downside, last season the central air conditioner on our house had a nervous breakdown (well deserved…it’s over 30). So we were waiting until the Heating and Air Conditioning people could come and put in a new one (the old one wasn’t really salvageable) and of course a heat wave ensues. Of course..because I’m me. So in the hottest parts of day, it’s been very hard to do anything but sit and stare at the TV in front of a circle of fans. So yesterday we finally broke down and went over to Melanie’s and Kirk’s for the evening. While we were there, the kids went outside to mess with the hose, and Kirk joined them when he got home. He was still in his shirt and tie, so he didn’t actually get in a water fight, be he kind of cornered the kids with the hose up against the back French doors and sprayed them mercilessly. Here are some firsthand shots of the onslaught.

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To sleep... perchance to dream

Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing about you. ~Marsha Norman
Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives. ~William Dement

Some colors exist in dreams that are not present in the waking spectrum. ~The Quote Garden

I took some pictures of my girls wrapped in peaceful sleep. Mostly because I wanted to forever remember what it looks like when they aren't whining.

But also, because I hope thier dreams are very beautiful.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Please sir, can I have s'more?

So last week we had the missionaries over for dinner, and since it was one of Mel’s first real ventures out after the surgery, she asked if we could have a fire and make some s’mores. What exactly is it about smoldering marshmallows squished between two dried sweetened whole wheat crackers smothered in the squashed then melted beans from a tropical forest that makes life simply…better.

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Some thoughts on sisters

There is no better friend than a sister. And there is no better sister than you. ~Author Unknown

I don't believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at. ~Maya Angelou

A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life. ~Isadora James
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This is the way WE mop the floor!

Okay, so I have a very interesting way of washing the floor. I kind of discovered it by accident one day when the dishwasher overflowed and I came into my kitchen to find a small lake occupying the entire east end of the floor. I got some towels and kind of pushed the water into a corner then sopped it up. The floor looked fantastic! So I have since made a practice of “mopping” my floor in the same manner each time. It is much easier on my back.
One rainy day, my kids had a severe case of cabin fever, and I was mopping the floor. It occurred to me that I since I had just poured several gallons of soapy water on the floor, I could kill two birds with one stone…I let them put on their suits and slip and slide around in the sudsy water. They both got squeaky clean!
It has become a tradition ever since, and I hardly ever hear my kids complain about mopping the floor!
This particular incident was last week. Ashlyn is wearing one of Maryn’s suits because she “couldn’t find any of hers” (She has 3). It was in the laundry room in plain sight, just for the record.

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At the Park

The same day they took Lucky for a swim, they also went to the park. This is a beautiful little park nestled among some trees near the spiritual center and the Relic Shrine/ Museum and it happens to be our favorite. Here are some pictures of Conner, Ashlyn and Maryn having fun.
In this one, you can kind of see what I mean about how pretty the park is!
Smile Conner!
Some rather clever photography by Erica.
A (rare) moment of love between sisters.
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So last week, Erica and her brother Derek (another regular at our house) came and got the kids to take their golden retriever Lucky over to the spiritual center to go swimming. The kids love it! They throw the stick into the pond, and Lucky is more than happy to go get it and bring it back to them.

This is Lucky
Here is the fountain at the pond. You can see lucky heading out for his first lap.
And then Conner takes a turn retrieving the stick from the retriever so he can throw it and have her retrieve it again.
Maryn's turn.

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The world according to Ashlyn...

So, here it is, another Ashlynism. Her birthday is next week, and we were discussing her impending party. It will be her first birthday party actually, and is inviting family and a few friends. When I asked her who needed to be there, she started making a list.

"Maddie, and Dustin and Alexa and Emma ...and of course Claira has to be there! It’s her birthday too, she's my twin."

I must have looked at her kind of funny, because she immediately had another response. "We HAVE to be twins! We have the same pajamas!"
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Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Betterest

So earlier today Ashlyn noted that a little friend of hers had a nice, pretty mylar balloon...and she did not. So she asked me why her friend had a ballon, because she really wanted one. I shrugged my shoulders and she looked at me for a quick moment before replying (As if she was being illuminated in that split second), "Oh! Is it because his mom is the betterest?"

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Something you don't see very often

So, in this world there a list of things you don;t see very often; Bigfoot, LochNess, The government admitting they were wrong, and the scene below...a 7 month old baby being fed sweet potatoes from a drropper sitting on a bed in the middle of a living room.

Whatever ;)
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Okay,not really. Its just Amy's birthday cake. But 30 candles can create some significant heat. (Evidently, its enough to impress Alexa. Take a look at her eyes!) Its a chocolate applesauce chocolate chip cake that is being given a crisp wax frosting (Yummo!)

Happy Birthday Amy Marie! Love ya!
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