Monday, August 30, 2010

The latest blooms

My best friend liked Julianne's shirt skirt so well that she made one for herself. A while back, she asked if Julianne would be willing to make her a cute flower to use as trim, like Julianne used on the one she made.

The 2nd flower from the left is the one made to order; the rest are what Julianne decided to create with some of the remaining floss. I just love those little forget-me-nots, whatever color she uses to make them.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Girls wanna have fun, too!

Clarence sweetly shared the big toy with the rest of us while it was here. I wasn't willing to try it when he was digging right next to the foundation but, once we started digging the hillside, I was ready to learn. It is as fun as it looks.

The girls have already operated their grandpa's backhoe (um, no, I didn't know that until they told me last week) so they were both eager to try the excavator. Some instruction from their dad and they were ready to go:

Boys shouldn't get to have all the fun, right?
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Water, water everywhere

We've been getting water in our basement and garage when we get heavy rainfalls. Clarence knew what we had to do-dig out and repair the foundation, then re-coat it to waterproof it. Then we started having issues with our well pump and had a new source of puddles in the basement.

I had told Clarence that I'd work on digging around the foundation. I'm not too skilled with most home projects, but I figure I can dig. I started dismantling the stone wall next to the garage and filled a trailer with rocks. Then it got hot and humid and I quit.

Clarence decided to rent a small excavator to do the digging.

He dug up the front yard around the well. He has since realized he didn't need to do that but I'm hopeful he may have finally eradicated the ivy I've been trying to dig out up there for years.

Next he dug out around the garage, which is built into the hill. I'm not going to be pulling the car up here anytime soon.

The excavator did the job well. Clarence found all clay as he dug this. Even without the heat and humidity, I never would have gotten far with digging that. He thinks the clay may have caused the water troubles in the first place so we'll be getting sand to backfill this when he's done.

The garage wall needs a little work.

Then there's still the issue of the well. After quite a wild goose chase, he is hopeful that he has the right parts to fix the pump.

I so appreciate all the hard work he does to keep things running smoothly around here.
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Family Reunion

Clarence's dad has some cousins who are very good about making sure the family gets together once in a while. We had our last reunion a couple years ago, so it was definitely time.

Allison met a younger cousin who was also named Allison. Little Allison was so excited to learn there was another Allison there! Little Allison came up to Julianne a few minutes later and asked if our Allison could ride in the trailer with her. I was chuckling a bit that she thought Julianne was the mom she should ask permission of. I guess, at three or four years old, Julianne looks old enough?

Our Allison wasn't thrilled to go for the ride, but little Allison was just so cute she couldn't say no.

Really, how do you resist a face like that?
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Friday, August 20, 2010

Another year older?

I celebrated my 29th birthday a couple weeks ago. Again. My mom and Allison insist on figuring out my supposed actual age but when I turned 29, I decided I'd had enough of remembering how old I was. It gets tough to keep up with the numbers when it changes every single year! Do you ever just get tired of doing the math?

Julianne wrapped my gift in newsprint that she decorated herself. I loved it!

I saw this when we went to Salvation Army a couple weeks ago. The girls went to the car for my camera and got a picture of it. Snoopy is my favorite anyhow, and this expresses my philosophy perfectly!

Julianne made me a cake like her friend Chelsea made that had me drooling a while back. Under the cake, you get a little glimpse of the table runner Kathy made for me.

My best friend made me a butterfly bracelet. I can't seem to get a good shot of it but, trust me, it's adorable in person.

It was a wonderful birthday. Since I had such a nice day, I think I might just turn 29 again next year.

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Friday, August 6, 2010

Flamingo friends

As a fundraiser at camp, you could send a flock of flamingos to a friend. Clarence ordered some for our friends, then signed Allison's name to them. Kind of an extra birthday present for her, since she enjoys this game so much.

Leta loved the flamingos. She visited them at our friends' campsite.
When another friend sent some to us, Leta was delighted. She was pretty sad when they came and picked them up again.
I think this may become another fun camp tradition.
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Thursday, August 5, 2010

The chickens go to camp

We had our trailer at camp while Allison was at ranch camp. It allows us to catch a glimpse of her once in a while (at the bathroom when the kids are there to shower each night) and gives us time to settle in a bit before Family Camp begins.

A quick trip home to do Allison's laundry after the showdeo, then we were back to camp. She and Julianne didn't waste much time after that. They spied on our friends and knew when they were away. Then out came the chickens that Allison had so lovingly made, just for them.

20-something chickens later, their campsite was looking lovely.

But, that wasn't enough.

There was a fundraiser going on for a teen ministry our conference has. I'll have to share those pictures next time.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ranch Camp 2010

I think it's safe to say that the best week of Allison's year is the week she spends at Ranch Camp.

This year was particularly good for her because enrollment was down-so the kids didn't have to share their horses. That meant they got to spend more time with their horses, especially in the barn, because they also didn't have anyone sharing the chores.

At the end of the week, there is a "showdeo" so the campers' families can see them ride a bit. This was the part that made me glad enrollment was down. It gets tiresome to watch so many kids do exactly the same things as they circle the arena.

They start out walking the horse, going over some logs, and then they pick up the boot on the railing and move it to the next section of the fence. Some kids can't manage it but most are successful. It's probably good that the spectator section isn't placed so we can watch our kids leeeean over to pick it up and put it down.

After they place the boot, they can trot for a short distance, then manuever through some cones.

Then they head out to the middle of the arena, guided by yet more cones.

Allison on Buttercup

This year, for the first time, we saw a child get bucked off their horse (thankfully, she wasn't hurt). I was impressed by the way they dealt with it and got her back on the horse to finish her turn but I couldn't imagine how her parents managed to stay in the stands. I have to work to overcome my worry every year when Allison goes-I don't share her passion for horses at all-but she glows with happiness when she's around horses, so I have to keep praying and trusting that she'll be safe.

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