Sunday, May 22, 2011


This was one busy weekend. Friday night Betsey, Micah, Emily & Dan came here (plus George & Zelda). It was GREAT to see them. Zachary had youth group too.

Saturday, Zachary had a baseball game in the morning. He pitched AWESOMELY (if that is a word). Saturday night Z, E, T & I went to a wedding. Zachary's youth leaders were getting married. It was a great time.

Sunday, Zachary was BAPTIZED! That was amazing! It always brings tears to my eyes to witness a baptism. But, even more so when it is one of your children. Our pastor allowed Tim to do the honors. Tim has now baptized all six of our children - what a privilege.

Pastor Eclov, Tim and Zachary in the baptismal:


We ended the afternoon with a cookout at the park. Our complex is amazing! While Tim cooked the burgers and dogs, the children were able to play on the swings, etc. It was hot (80 degrees), but the breeze was beautiful! It was a great day and a great weekend!

An amazing dessert made by Betsey:

Betsey & Micah gave Zachary his birthday present while they were here (it is always better late than never).

Our married children are on their way home. Praying for safety during all these storms.

Aren't we gorgeous? We missed you Erin, Tobin & Bristol!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Before the field trip, Elyse was busy making a shawl for her 18" doll. She made a sash, a skirt (for the doll) and a cell phone holder (but uses it for a pen holder). She is quite the knitter (and crocheter - if those are words).

Stockinette stitch:

Garter stitch:

Z, E & I went to see a play "Robin Hood." It was put on by CYT (Christian Youth Theater). Most of the actors/actresses are homeschoolers. We were a little disappointed in the acting ability, the singing and the script. It wasn't nearly as good as "Fiddler on the Roof."

We were told to go to the Kenosha Public Museum. It would only take two hours to see it all (actually about 30 minutes). The museum was free and right on the edge of Lake Michigan. The site out the window of the museum was amazing (minus the parking lot).

One little Indian:

Two little Indians:

The rules:

As usual, a disobedient boy:

Even Mom got in the act:

Don't ask me what it was or what the point was - I have no idea!

Gutting a woolly mammoth:

A trading post with a unique customer:

This is supposed to be a giant beaver, but we thought it looked more like the rats on "Princess Bride." Do you agree?

We didn't stay too long at the museum because we had to get Elyse to her tennis lesson. We got back in town and had 45 minutes to spare. I took a much needed nap. Zachary played basketball while Elyse waited for her class to start. Elyse is getting pretty good at tennis. Just wait until she teaches you how to be a pro this weekend!

Finally, we are home. We are rushing to get this blog done while dinner is cooking. Then we need to rush to Zachary's first baseball game of the season. If I get the battery in my camera charged up really quick, I might take pictures of the game (I usually forget to take the camera, or if I remember the camera, I forget to take pictures). No guarantees!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Today Z, E & I went on a field trip with the Hedges' family (that is Z & E's best friends from church and their mother). We went to Theresa, Wisconsin (pronounces th-race-a, not ter-es-a). It is a family owned cheese making factory that is made the old fashioned way. Everything is made manually. We walked through several refrigerators and freezers to get to the beginning of the tour. The first 15 minutes of the tour was a video that was very informative. Then Lenny came to talk to us and answer any of our questions. He also brought us three kinds of sliced cheese and one cheese spread with crackers. He was very helpful in answering our questions.

Lenny took us through the last refrigerator that is kept at 70 degrees with 90% humidity. I walked through the door and immediately turned back around. No way was I walking through that - it felt like walking through the jungle.

The outside of the cheese factory. Each canton was shown above the door. The owner of the factory was from Bern, his father was from St. Gallen.

Getting ready for our tour in our lovely hats:

After the cheese factory, we headed over to the chocolate factory. It is owned and run by a man completely blind. It was amazing what they could make out of chocolate. There were guitars, high-heeled shoes, suckers, graduation caps, diplomas, flowers - you name it, it was there. Elyse bought a guitar for Luke (sorry, Luke, she ate it). Zachary and I shared a peanut butter cup. The chocolate was to die for, but the peanut butter wasn't as good as a Reese's cup.

The famous guitar:

Our fearless driver:

Proof that Emma was there:

Crazy Chatham with his haul from the chocolate factory:

On the way home, we stopped at Culver's for lunch. We left our bag of cheese in the car (it was fine because it was pretty cool today). The boys sat at one table, the girls at another and Pamela and I at another table. We enjoy it that way - we can talk without being interrupted.

It was an amazing break from our school routine. Everyone had a great time. The parents are extremely tired - the kids are ready for another round. We talked about hitting Jelly Belly again on the way home. Three of the kids wanted to stop, but the parents didn't. Guess who won?

Monday, May 16, 2011


This is what you get when you volunteer for nursery work @ VCL.

Elyse had her first nursery duty last night and I think it will be her last...

Friday, May 13, 2011


You remember the picture of our tree in the last blog. Now the rain is knocking all the petals off the tree. Elyse decided to be creative with the fallen petals.

Under our gorgeous tree:

This is the deck covered with the petals:

Now Elyse's creation:

Aren't they gorgemous?

Thursday, May 12, 2011


No, the title isn't about me, lol.

Isn't this tree beautiful. Later in the year, it isn't so nice looking. The flowers smell so good. Elyse has picked a bunch and put them on our table. They really brighten up the room.

If you read the comments, Elyse complains about not posting her picture, so here it is:

Sunday, May 08, 2011


As I was minding my own business waiting for time to leave for church, my children interrupted my reading to wish me a Happy Mother's Day.

Today was a special day all around.

It began with homemade cards by Zachary & Elyse.

Elyse made a card with a bow on the front. You had to unsnap the bow to open the card (very creative). She listed several things that she is thankful for that I do for her. It was very nice.

Zachary made a card that thanked me for several things and then gave me 30 seconds of peace (which he is counting out in the picture). It was a nice 30 seconds.

The six children and five grandchildren put a bunch of pictures on a calendar for May 2011 to April 2012. Each month had pictures of one of the kids or grandkids. It was an awesome gift. Elyse decided to take it to SS and show everyone. After she showed it, I took it to my SS class. Everyone thought it was a tremendous idea and loved all of it.

Thank you Luke, Lacey, Grace, Caleb, Ava, Jaden, Dan, Emily, George, Tobin, Erin, Bristol, Titus, Rogue, Micah, Betsey, Zelda, Zachary & Elyse. What a wonderful way to celebrate today!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


We LOVE freecycle! Elyse has been super busy!

Elyse put this together all by herself.

Aren't you proud of her? Maybe a little jealous?

In the crocheting department, she rocks!

BTW, she didn't make the squares, we got them already finished off of freecycle. All she did was sew the squares together. She also got the instruction book, so she can practice and make another one some day...

Monday, May 02, 2011


Sunday we went to Long Grove for their chocolate festival. We were promised LOTS of chocolate. The festival was like Valpo's Popcorn Festival. Booths of stuff to buy, sample or eat all around us. One of the booths had about 50 jars of things to sample. Jelly, salsa, dips, etc. They offered pretzels and chips to taste everything. Then if you like something - you could buy a small (very small) jar for only $5. We tasted and then left.

Another booth had samples of dips. They gave you a handful of pretzels. The dips were in bowls that you could dip. There were signs everywhere "No double dipping or turnovers." I like those signs! The dips were expensive. They actually were powder that you added to either mayo or sour cream. We tasted and then left.

We walked several blocks and didn't see any chocolate. What kind of a chocolate festival is it without chocolate. Finally, we came upon strawberries dipped in chocolate. OR, you could buy a strawberry kabob dipped in chocolate. At $4.75 each strawberry, we opted out. Ridiculous. What do they think we are, tourists?

At least we got a lot of walking in - the wind was fierce - thus the hair blown all around. At least now we know to skip the chocolate festival from now on. Not worth the time. The only good out of it was doing it as a family.