Sunday, August 6, 2017

MUSIC AND BOOKS WILL SOLVE ALL PROBLEMS

Is there anything better than music and books?  (OK, there is a case to be made for adorable little kids who love you and give you amazing hugs... but music and books are pretty great!)
Shanae, Billy and Kiara at the Olathe Sweet Corn Festival
All you can eat sweet corn... YUM!
Kiara got to enjoy the sweet music of Rodney Atkins this weekend.  (And she got to pair it with delicious festival food - ie. Olathe sweet corn!  YUM!)  In her words, "IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!"  And she took lots of pictures for me!  Yay!  So I got to share in her joy vicariously.
Key Lime Pie got a new shirt.
All sorts of food to eat!  How delicious!
Waiting for the concert....
Ain't she cute?
Getting excited!
Rodney Atkins ROCKS!
Friends at a concert!  What a good life!
Unfortunately... Kiara forgot sunscreen....
She paid for it on Sunday.
Before I tell you about a life changing book....  I want to share a few pics from some of my favorite little people:
Raisin fell asleep at our house.
Scott couldn't resist shooting a few adorable baby pictures!
And I love that these kids come running for hugs whenever they see me!  I'm sooooo lucky to be their honorary aunt!
The pictures are a bit grainy - but I'm glad Kotten Kandy took them anyway....
Since Scott is still recovering from his surgery, we have been able to read together a lot.  It is one of our favorite things to do.  And when there is a wonderful book involved, it is even better!  We REALLY loved the book "The Vanishing American Adult" by Ben Sasse.  In fact, both of us felt that it is a game changer kind of book.  We learned a lot, thought a lot and discussed a lot of what we want to do to "finish" raising our daughters and help with our future grandchildren.  This book discusses the problem: That adolescence is no longer a transitional phase in our culture today, it is now the permanent goal.  It's a sad fact that many kids are being raised "soft" and not becoming productive citizens and human beings.  I love his simple solution on teaching five basic habits to our young people:  1.  Overcome peer culture.  2.  Work hard.  3.  Resist consumption.  4.  Travel to experience the difference between need and want.  and 5.  Become truly literate.  Number 5 was our favorite.  The whole book was a call to action to create more virtuous lives and educational opportunities for our families.  This book is one of Scott's and my "classics" now.  We will re-read it and use it and recommend it a LOT!  It is worth repeating:  This book is game changing!  We love it!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

CELEBRATING SUMMER

Me - Taffy - Kotten Kandy - Marmalade - Amy - Juice
Apple Pie - Taffy - Kotten Kandy - Marmalade - Nuts - Juice
Soooo... Amy and I had a magnificent brainstorm a few weeks ago.  We wanted to do something really fun, and extravagant to celebrate the end of the summer and the start of school with our kiddos.  Her children have never been to an amusement park and my daughter loves roller coasters.  We saved our pennies and spend Monday playing HARD!  We were exhausted at the end of the day... but it was worth it.  We laughed.  We rode.  We visited.  We danced.  We ran like gazelles.  We burned.  We carried.  We hydrated.  We ate funnel cakes.  We watched fireworks.  We bonded.  We joked.  We rode some more.  Mostly we enjoyed the company!  I love this family we've created!  (We just wish a few more of our adopted family were able to come....)  On a personal note:  I was super hyper and rode every ride (even the scary ones) which is a huge accomplishment for me.  I was going on pure adrenaline.  And I was brave because Marmalade encouraged me and set the example for bravery!  Of course, every time we were scared to ride something, it helped to "blame Taffy!"  He was a good sport and let us blame him....
Love the photo bomb in the back ground!
Is this not the cutest picture of two of my favorite adopted kids?
Sixlet Power - The six who stuck the park out until the bitter end.
Riding roller coasters is fun to do!
Me and my girl!
Taffy wasn't sure he was confident of Kotten Kandy driving....
Amy laughed so hard on this ride!  It's one of her favorites!
I asked my "big" kids for a picture with Snoopy!
They are great sports!
Love these two!
Key Lime Pie is still celebrating her summer.  It doesn't end until September.  My sister spoiled her and her cousin by taking them to the rodeo.  They had a blast!  And it was a terrific experience!  Thanks, GJ, for loving my daughter!  Rodeos are fun!
My girl is so fun!  And beautiful!  And happy!
Billy, Shanae, my girl, and Ken
Two of my best friends:  My daughter and my sister!
Friends!
HAPPY SUMMER, Y'ALL!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

EXPERIENCES

Shortbread/Shanae turned 19 last week!  To celebrate GJ, Ken, Shanae, Billy and Kiara went hiking to Hanging Lake.  It is a difficult hike!  But it is wonderful!  And worth the effort!  My sisters took beautiful pictures of my sweet, eldest daughter!  It is great to see her smile!  I sure miss this girl...
Billy, Shanae, Ken and Kiara
Cousins and Friends!
This is one of Heavenly Father's gifts!  Soooooo beautiful!
This smile melts my heart!
Feeding the wildlife.
Kiara and I LOVED these purple flowers!
Isn't she gorgeous?!
We also had a sad moment last week when Kevington passed away.  Kevington was our leopard gecko.  He was a good friend to both of my daughters.  Kotten Kandy buried him next to our dog, Kamelot.
We will miss you, Kevington!
Taffy and Kotten Kandy celebrated their first date exactly one year ago by recreating it at Laser Tag with Taffy's parents last Friday.  Kotten Kandy reported that "It was loads of fun!  And Taffy is beyond sweet!"  They are truly best friends!  😉 (Thank you, Maeva, for taking a few pictures for this mom's blog!)
These two know how to have fun.
Silly, wonderful kids!
My baby and Taffy
Scott had surgery yesterday.  In complete honesty, he needed the surgery 3 months ago.  He's been in a lot of pain.  But he's brave and doesn't complain too much.  All went well with the surgery.  He's home.  He's still hurting... but on the road to recovery!  I'm so grateful for this amazing man in my life.  And surgery makes me reflect on how blessed I am that we get to travel this mortal life together and I'm looking forward to eternity with my best friend!
Before surgery....  (6 AM)
Pre-Op and still smiling.
Service....  Kotten Kandy helping her father eat his first meal.
Cute - even with a "cone of shame!"
I love Blue Tongue Disease!  Blue Tongue Disease brings me joy!  I haven't suffered from this particular "illness" in a looooong time, but this cute girl convinced me to have Blue Tongue Disease WITH her!  I love you, Apple Muffin!

Friday, July 21, 2017

EXPLORE YOUR WORLD

Guess what?!  Amy and I have walked about 350 miles in the past 2 1/2 months!!!!  We are so excited about our accomplishment!  We try to walk 5 times a week 4-5 miles per day.  It's super fun!  And I love that our exercising is good for us: physically and emotionally and spiritually.  We have long, wonderful talks!  We plan our church lessons and help each other with parenting dilemmas, etc.  Exercise and friendship are a great "fit!"  And add a beautiful walking park - it's GREAT for the soul!  We also see lots of great critters at our "place!"
For the Beauty of the Earth
We saw about 6 deer on our walk the other night....
How cute, and tiny is this little frog?!
And this happy turtle was about the size of my hand.
We walked even farther
- and found this amazing train bridge.
So cool!
And I got new walking shoes!
I made a pie for the Sister missionaries on Tuesday.  Amy gave me an EASY recipe.  It was a TOTAL hit!
Lemon Icebox Pie
Combine 8 oz. softened cream cheese, 8 oz. Cool Whip,
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 cup lemon juice, and
1 tsp. vanilla extract.  Mix until smooth.
Pour into a pre-made Graham cracker crust.
Put in the fridge to set.  YUM!
And I got another adorable picture from Trek!  Thank goodness for people who take pics and give them to me!  I love this picture of my baby and her best friend!
Danish - Kotten Kandy with Taffy
Key Lime Pie completed Pathway this week!  I'm soooooooooo proud of her!  And she graduated with an A+ average!  And in one month she'll be at BYU-I!  Look at her graduating Pathway group (minus a couple who moved away)
And she's still enjoying her job at the dentist office as a sterilization tech (Steri-Tech).  She's a cutie:
And her hair has already grown long enough to put up:
I miss my oldest baby girl!  But I am enjoying the one at home!  She and I are re-watching The Mentalist together as I type this post!  I'm glad we can share this fun entertainment together!
BTW - We could really use prayers for Scott.  He's having surgery on Tuesday for his herniated discs in his neck.  I'll post pictures and updates.... 😉