Established 10.30.10

Established 10.30.10

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer is here!

June has seemed like it has flown by...I can't believe 4th of July is next week already!  Here's what we've been doing.....

Karl's sister took some pictures for us.  Since we've been married, we've always done fall pictures - it was fun to pick out summer clothes for pics! Here are a few of my favorites (and the big one as the header of the blog):
Youth Group Mission Trip
The second week of June our group took off for Joplin, MO.  They were hit with an E-F5 tornado 3 years ago and they are still doing rebuilding there.  Their grant money runs out in December and they have 30 more homes to build before then.  We were able to help out with one and do a bunch of other odd jobs.  

Learning how to put the drip edge on....
My main job was to cut the shingles for the edges, bring shingles and nails to the boys and supervise the roof.  The first day it started to pour down rain and got really made me a little nervous but we all got down okay.  The second day we literally were on the roof for 5 minutes and it started to downpour....we got off as fast as we could :)
This is how much our group got done.  New roof, siding, put in 8 windows and a couple doors, and did some soffet (s/p?) and fascia.
After work on the last day one of the contractors told us about these falls that we just had to go we did!  The boys had fun looking for snakes in the rocks.  They were disappointed when we told them they couldn't go swimming....the current was pretty fast and I didn't want to be responsible for calling their moms to say they weren't coming home ;)
Note the caution tape: the boys had to put some caution tape around one of the holes at the house and then they made a sash for me - I kept it on til we got back to church that night :)
Apparently we were chosen as the couple to play pranks on.  The girls all wanted to chalk the vans when we got there, so we went to Walmart and bought chalk.  We told them they could chalk our truck but they didn't seem too interested....then, the last night we went to bed around 1.  Apparently the girls got ornery and chalked our truck, so this is what we woke up to on Friday for the drive home :)
We went to Oceans of Fun and spent the night in Kansas City as a reward for working hard.  Karl & I had to leave a couple hours before the group on Saturday morning to make it back in time for a wedding, so we told the boys to bring all the coolers of drinks/snacks back to our room so that we could load them up in the morning....we got back to our room and they stacked them 4 high :)  Some of those were heavy!! :)
Crazy kids!! :)  We had a great time and love that the kids can joke around with us.   We had a lot of fun working together, great devotion & sharing time and it seemed like the whole group was always doing activities together at night which was really great to see. We continue to be impressed with how kind, thoughtful, and hardworking they are.  Sometimes I think "this generation of kids" gets a bad reputation for being lazy or only on their "screens".  Not these kids.  They were awesome!! We got a lot of work done and hopefully made a positive impact in Joplin.
Karl and I were out riding around one Sunday afternoon and came upon a turkey sitting on her nest of 8 eggs!  She flew away when she felt threatened but we're guessing she came back once we left?  The boys were careful to mow around it when they cut our hay.
Niece Rachel at bat - I went to quite a few of her games.  She definitely improved from last year and I'm excited to watch her in the "bigger" league next year.  I think she'll do a lot better (and not get distracted) when it's faster paced ball!
We went and watched cousin Olivia and a few family friends play softball for North Mahaska.  Olivia did really well playing 1st base and hit a double when we were there! :) So fun to watch.
This is the ice cream shop in Ottumwa.  I think my dad would really like it!  I'm not sure if it can beat Dairy Barn in Grinnell, but it's a must-stop when we are in Ottumwa....well, let's be serious...if there is ice cream near by, Karl stops :)
My mom sent me this pic earlier this week.  When we were there on Father's Day we crawled down the ladder to see all the basement walls framed and then there was the main floor laid.  Now there is main floor walls - fun to see progress!
 Oh goodness.  Have I mentioned Karl loves his trees?!?!  On Saturday I was mowing the entire (our stump spots are still growing..) lawn for the first time in six weeks (we let the new grass from where the barns blew over & where trees made divots the yard grow out for 6 weeks)....I was so excited to be able to do one clean sweep...then Karl came home.  He started analyzing all these nice "oak trees" we have growing in the large part of our lawn now from when the trees fell in the storm.  He decided that we needed to save 3 of them.  Yes, that means putting 3 ft. stakes in the ground to alert me not to mow over them.  Just when I thought I could mow the whole lawn, now I have to mow around these...
 I mean really?! Does that look like a tree to you?  I thought they were weeds.  For real.  Had no idea they were trees...oh wait, that's because these things are as tall as the grass!!  Karl said "our house needs shade since the trees are gone".  Hate to break it to you hun, it's going to take a REALLY long time before these things shade our house... oh my.  The things you don't do for your husband.... :)

There have been a lot of really nice rainfalls so I haven't had to water my plants too much which I'm really quite happy about :)

We've been selling pigs for the past month as well.  I'm very thankful for brothers who help Karl sort so that when we have to go sell at 12, 1 and 2 in the morning we only have to sell and not sort beforehand...then I get SOME sleep ;)  The first couple loads went very rough and Karl said "I'm going to need knee replacement surgery by the time I'm 30 if this keeps up".  I guess 300 lb. hogs ramming into your aluminum gate that smashes into your knee hurts pretty bad!  So, the next day I went to Theisens and bought 3 different pairs of kneepads (ones floor layers would wear) and brought them home so that he couldn't say he didn't like them.  Karl picked out his favorite of the 3 and said "oh, I guess I'll try them"...because you know, men don't wear kneepads?!  ...He wore them for the next load and has put them on willingly for each load after - they definitely helped!!
June 25 - our corn is over 6 ft. tall on the outside rows - probably taller in some spots.  Always praying for a good growing season - there is a lot of time before harvest!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Busy Spring!

Hi! My name is Dexter and I'm super cute!! I came from the same family that my brother Kipper did.  I'm about 3 months old now and getting really big!  I came to live here the day before the "big storm" and have been a very good puppy!  I stay right close to the house, don't tear anything up and mom only had to kick me out of her landscape one time and then I realized I shouldn't ever go in there... I love to lay under the deck where it's cool, eat treats, and snuggle.
I had to go to the vet to get shots - it was okay though, I fell asleep- super tired - being a puppy is tough!
My dad is pretty cool.
Did I say I like to snuggle?  I think my mom was bored a couple nights when dad was spraying, so she let me go in the big dog house and sit with her.  She made me watch this terrible show with her so I fell asleep instead. 
Speaking of.... Karl has been spraying a lot and kept super busy - thank goodness for over an inch of rain last night- between starting to sell pigs and spraying it was time for a break! :)
When Karl is busy I just go make my own fun - usually it's with family and friends.  Rowan scored big at tulip time parade! What a cutie.
I curled Natalie's hair one day when she hung out with me - what a cutie!
Speaking of cutie.....
We went up to Des Moines to watch Taylor play soccer.  She did really well!
Jackson chillin' with the big boys...
Busy springs provide great opportunities for girls night!! (go figure it was the one day it rained so the boys were home that night...).  We did dinner and movie- great to laugh with girlfriends!!
This picture was taken about 2 weeks ago.  The 2 big sections of dirt is where the barns were.  We tilled, harrow and seeded them down.  They are growing really well and I'll let them grow out and seed themselves before I mow it - I want the grass to be thick!!
First daylilly bloom of the year!
My poor hydrangea bush.  I really did try hard at this whole landscaping thing... but I think winter was just a little too hard on my bush.  My other bush, that was planted at the same time last year is doing perfect- big green leaves everywhere but this guy just isn't doing so hot.  I think I'll leave it for the summer and see how it does next spring and replace it then if it looks this ugly again.
I had a coon dig up and completely demolish this plant 3 different times.  This is the 4th plant I bought.  I had bought that horrible smelly spray to put on it to keep coons away, and it worked, but then it would rain, I wouldn't get the spray on and the very next night it would be dug up.  This 4th time I put cayenne pepper around it and that stood the test of the rain....1.5 weeks and it's still planted in the ground -wahoo! :)
Did I mention I do try hard at this landscape thing?  By how many mistakes I've made you would think I was trying to kill them all.... When we took out all the mulch this spring and put down river rock, I was soooo careful to go around each and every plant.  So I thought.  A couple weeks ago at work the girls were talking about their hostas.  I thought to myself "weird, I haven't seen my hostas yet".  Yeah.  That's because they didn't stand a chance at coming up.  We accidentally covered them with black mat and river rock.  whoops!  I spent 2 hours trying to find my 3 hostas by moving rock, feeling around the black mat seeing if I could feel the stems/roots.  I was only successful at finding one of the three.  I cut the mat and thought I'd let it see if it can grow.  It is pictured below! It looks so good for being covered up for 3 weeks while trying to grow leaves :)
I like the looks of the rock.  Excited for my plants to (hopefully) bloom this summer.
The four stumps got removed and so we're trying to grow grass there as well.  No luck yet....

The corn seems to grow like crazy!  It's really dark green - love the color!  Our new implanted trees from this winter are finally started to get leaves...well, 2 of them are.  We're trying to be patient with the others.
Last, but certainly not least.  Emily & I took a "double selfie" (is that such a thing?) to document the day we self-declared ourselves farm wives of the year.  We went out to the boys' farm they rent together and picked up rocks, cement chunks, and metal.  It was a good way to a) get a suntan b) get a workout c) talk for a couple hours.....oh, and d) gain respect from our husbands :)  Kurt reassured that there is always job security there- there will always be more rocks to pick up.  They can thank us when there aren't combine repair bills this fall :)