Monday, October 28, 2019

Weekend Wanderings

    One of LV's cousins and his wife invited us to go on a little day trip with them. It was something they have been wanting to do for a while already, and finally on Saturday we ventured out.
    Our first stop was at a tiny church house. Proclaimed to be the smallest in 48 states. It was cute, and after spending a few minutes to look at everything, we were on our way again.

    Next we stopped at Black Water Falls. It was raining gently. We didn't have rain gear so we didn't dawdle, which meant by the time I had climbed back up the stairway of 200+ steps I was ready to collapse in a panting heap in our vehicle instead of browsing the gift shop.

    The final thing on our list for the day was driving through Dolly Sods. The narrow winding road with hairpin turns and steep drop offs was not my idea of a relaxing drive, even though the fall colors were spectacular. I spent a lot of that drive with my eyes squeezed shut trying to calm the butterflies in my stomach. I don't have pictures to share from there.
    I was glad to get back home, but I'm already looking forward to our next outing.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Roll and Color

    Several years ago I found a little coloring game on Pinterest. I printed it out and Steven and I played it that evening. We both loved it. He won.
    It became a favorite of his, and we went through hundreds of them, and I'm guessing it would be safe to say he won at least 90% of the time.
    It has been a few months since the last time we played this, but with it being cold and rainy outside it seemed like the perfect time to sort through my bulging files of school related papers and decide what to keep and what to pass on to someone else.
    In the process I came across a folder containing eight of these gingerbread men. Steven saw them and ran to get crayons and a dice. We sat down at the school table and proceeded to play.
    Surprise, surprise ... he still has his winning touch.

    If you'd like to play this as well you can read the instructions for this simple roll and color game, and download the cute gingerbread man, by clicking here.

Monday, October 14, 2019


     Something I have discovered about myself, is that I follow through on my want to do's a lot better if I present myself with a challenge.
     For example, I challenged myself to post a photo every day for a year on Instagram. I'm at day 188 of posting daily. Before that I would tell myself I want to post more, but didn't follow through.
     Example 2: When ever I do the April A-Z challenge I am able to blog every day, except Sundays. We all know that doesn't happen without a challenge like that.
     There are quite a few other examples as well. Knowing this about myself I have been preparing some more challenges I want to do.
      Then last week I picked a book up from the library, called: The Big Book of 30-Day Challenges. A few of the challenges, I can see myself attempting. Others though, amused me, but will not be attempted. Such as the 'rejection challenge', where the rules are to be rejected by one person per day for thirty days. They gave a handful of ideas to get you started on this particular challenge. It included knocking on a stranger's door and asking to play in their backyard.  I can't even imagine trying that one. Other than the definite rejection, I can only guess what other reactions might accompany their response to a request like that. None of which I would care to experience.
     I'm on to other challenges that fit my life more. I'll leave others such as the rejection challenge to braver souls than me.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019


Reading ... through the book of Acts in the Bible, as well as a few Psalms.

I don't have a fiction book going at the moment, but in nonfiction I'm really liking You Who: Why You Matter and How to Deal With It by Rachel Jankovic.  Besides it I have a stack of Taste of Home cookbooks that I'm looking at, choosing recipes, and creating menus and shopping lists. I love how every recipe I have ever tried from Taste of Home has always turned out well. They may not be the trendiest, but they're delicious!

Listening ... to the sound of an exuberantly happy bird singing in the tree here in front of the house. Sharon and Steven chattering away as they make the beds in the boys' room. The soft hum of the refrigerator in the kitchen. And the loud ticking of the clock on the wall next to me.

Watching ... not exactly watching, but I am glancing out the window every so often to see the progress that is being made on tearing out the fence around the cow pasture. A new one will replace it, but right now I'm liking how things look without a fence.

Cooking ... for supper tonight I'm planning to have Mexican rice and enchiladas. It's a family favorite that I like making several times a month, and today feels like the right time.

Cleaning ... other than the daily dozen, we're adding in a bigger task or two each day. Today that happens to be wiping the baseboards on the main level of the house and washing the windows.

Playing ... Lumberjack. It's Steven's favorite game and he requests it every day. We don't play it quite every day, but that doesn't keep him from suggesting it hopefully every evening.

Loving ... the weather we're having. We finally had a nice soaking rain, and now the skies are blue, the air is crisp, and the sun is shining brightly. Combining it with colorful red, orange, and yellow leaves, is it any wonder that I love fall so much?!

Disliking ... this cold virus thing we picked up somewhere. Sharon was determined she is not going to get it, and managed to avoid it for a week, but she has joined the rest of us now with all the coughing, sneezing, sore throat wonder that this virus provides.

Crafting ... Steven has been cutting up empty cardboard boxes to build himself a hot-wheel track for his cars. It's messy ... and totally fits my blog name.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Anniversary Memories

    Today marks the one year anniversary of when we said our final good-byes to Mahlon. I won't remember every little detail of his day, but some moments were so vivid that I'll carry them with me for always.
     It was a dreary day. The weather seemed to match our emotions. I asked God for a rainbow, but the sky remained gray.
     I'll always remember the shoes. Hundreds and hundreds of shoes. I couldn't make myself look up to see who the people were who were walking by to say their final farewell. The shoes kept marching by. Big shoes, little shoes, shiny new shoes, old cracked shoes, wide shoes, narrow shoes, dusty shoes, plain shoes, Sunday shoes with their embossed designs on their toes, ugly shoes, pretty shoes. Shoes, shoes, shoes marching by in a solemn line.
     I'll never forget the sight of my four remaining brothers taking a turn together to gently fill the grave. It was the final activity the five brothers would ever get to do together
     I'll cherish the memory of how David and I remained behind when the crowd left to go back to eat lunch. The Amish part of the funeral was now over. We played some music for him, and finally we too had to leave. It still doesn't feel right or real that the three of us ex-Amish are now only two.
     Everyone was almost done eating by the time we got back to Dad's house. The afternoon passed in a blur of people wanting to talk.
     We left early that evening for our long drive home. In the middle of the night we stopped at a rest area. I broke down crying again, asking God why this all had to happen, and why He didn't give me the rainbow I had so wanted. It wouldn't have had to be spectacular, any little rainbow would have been fine. I tried to pull myself together and went out to where the rest of the family was waiting for me. On our way out of the building Kenneth stopped by a vending machine. I didn't pay any attention to that until he turned and gave me a pack of Skittles. I looked at it and had to pause for a moment. There was my rainbow.
     These past few days over this four day anniversary I've had little rainbows pop up in unexpected places. On my lap as LV and I were driving down the road, on the floor in our laundry room, as well as other spots where I have never seen rainbows before. I'm finding them to be so comforting.
     Though I miss Mahlon so much, I can still say, "God is good all the time!"