Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Thank Offerings


I will present my thank offerings to you.

For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling,

that I may walk before God in the light of life.

Psalm 56:12,13

Let us encourage one another- share your thank offerings with the rest of us by leaving a comment.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


We went to Bill’s parents this past weekend. We brought along a friend, Kiana, to share in all the fun. There was just so much to do; there’s A LOT of pictures!!

Audrey loves 4-wheelin’ much more than motorcycles. Kiana tried it (no pics of that) but I don’t think it was her deal.

4-Wheelin' Girls

Next, Kiana tried the tractor. Grandpa let her drive it around in an empty bean field.

Kiana Climbing UpKiana On Board

The girls were swinging on the rope in the barn and it broke. They got such a laugh out of it and were so proud at the same time!

Rope Breaking

A bonfire, then hayride with Grandpa and Grandma’s church. Here you can see Luke, Ben, and Kiana. Audrey was missing because she manned the gate.


Kiana decided she was brave enough to try riding a motorcycle (she told me it was her greatest fear). Bill gave her the how-to’s.

Getting Instructions

She strapped on her helmet and off she went.

GoingGoing 2

You really can see a smile under a helmet.

Smiling Going

As soon as she felt comfortable, she wanted to know where Audrey was. Well, Audrey was in the timber, so Bill took her down to the timber!!


If we are at Grandpa and Grandma’s, we are riding, including the little one. He still needs to practice.

Still Practicing

Especially the stopping part. If he catches himself with his right leg, he stays up. Left leg, not so much.

Going DownDown

But good thing Mom’s there. While Luke checks his ankle (he always grabs it, rolls it around, makes sure it’s okay and is a main reason why he wears riding boots), I pick up the bike.

Mom to the RescueAll Better

Wait, what’s this?

Backing Out

Could it be?

My Turn

That’s right! I drove another tractor! This time one that had a key, tilt steering wheel, automatic clutch, climate controlled. Nice.

Driving Green

I didn’t do any backwards driving ‘cause this one is a lot bigger and was completely intimidating even though it was very familiar. Plus, I didn’t want to crush these two who were taking pictures. At one point, Kiana noticed the rearview mirror. Can you spot them?

Spotted in the Mirror

I’m feelin’ pretty good. Nothing was injured in my tractor driving, my father-in-law survived enough to muster a smile at the end. Maybe next time I’m ready to attach something?

Grandpa Survived



Grandma was grabbing the late season tomatoes. This picture isn’t meant to be unflattering. Consider it an action shot.

Picking TomatoesWalking and Talking

In case you’re wondering how this next shot fits in, well, first notice the incredible blue sky. How blessed we were to have some beautiful weather for us to play out in.

Sky Ball

Then, notice how there are more than one things that don’t seem to fit: feed lot, basketball, cowboy boots, Ben not on a motorcycle. If he wasn’t riding, which he was the majority of the time, he was shooting hoops, even after then hayride!

Basketball BoysBasketball Boys 2Luke Happy 1Luke Happy

And because I can’t leave him out…


Our weekend at Grandma and Grandpa’s left us totally worn out, but we had so much fun!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

He’s Smiling Now, Well, Sort Of

Smile 1Smile 2Smile 3

Yeah, Uncle Bill’s pretty much taken with his nephew. Smile

With Uncle Bill 1With Uncle Bill 2

(It’s okay if you keep scrolling up to see Valor again and again. I do. Red heart)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Some Marriage Questions and Answers

In an assignment for my niece, Cora’s, AWANA’s program, she asked me to answer some questions for her. I thought I’d share it all with you

#1 How did you meet?

#1 Uncle Bill and I first met in college cleaning the seats inside Hilton Coliseum after it flooded one year. We found out we lived on the same dorm floor (co-ed) and that his roommate was one of my friends.

#2 How long did you know each other before you decided to get married?

#2 We dated 9 months before we got engaged.

#3 How long were you engaged?

#3 We were engaged 9 months before we got married.

#4 How do you keep God first in your life and marriage?

#4 We both live to love, enjoy and please God both for ourselves and together in our marriage. God is neither separate from life or marriage. You are either serving Him or you are not.

#5 What are some ways you and your spouse show that you love each other?

#5 Our words to each other are very important- I love Uncle Bill most when I lift him up with my words. We have lots of conversations. We like to spend time with each other. We work to share common interests, such as running, but also to understand each other's more separate interests, like for him, motorcycles, and for me, my crafting and music (and food and blogs and … Winking smile).

#6 What is the best part of being married?

#6 Enjoying what God has given me- a marriage. I have a friend and a lover. He knows me better than anyone else- he knows my good sides and my bad sides and we work to love and forgive and enjoy each other, the way God loves, forgives, enjoys us. The best part of being married is being married. You cannot have what the marriage relationship is like unless you are married. There are no other ways to it. Marriage is not just law-ordained, it is God-ordained.

#7 How many kids do you have?

#7 We have 3 children.

#8 What advice would you give to a new bride and groom?

#8 In no order:

  • The very first marriage advice I remember receiving was to have no expectations. That means don't expect someone to call if they are 5 minutes late or expect a certain task or duty done by the other person. For example, though I would like him to, if Uncle Bill doesn’t clean up the supper when I have to leave, I had no expectation that he would. If he does, then I can be thankful and express positive words to him, rather than negative. (Only a million things might have been the reason for him not cleaning up, like a sick kid, an important phone call, more urgent/important matters.)
  • Communication is absolutely essential. We cannot know God if we are not communicating with him by time in the Word and prayer. It is the same with our spouse. Communicate to understand. You’ve got to practice a lot because it isn’t always perfect. Not communicating is not communicating.
  • 1 Peter 4:8 says "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." This doesn't mean cover them up and never pretend they happened- it means love forgives and by the power of Christ, the power that raised him from the dead, we can forgive. Marriage needs a lot of forgiveness.
  • Ephesians 5 talks of wives and husbands. The role of the husband is to present his wife blameless and pure, without spot- which means he himself must be living his life in a holy and pleasing way before the Lord, including loving his wife more than himself (just as Christ did in Philippians 2). The wives are to be submissive, in love- which means not a doormat but under the husband. The husband as the leader, the wife as the help-leader, in unity. A healthy marriage is a powerful representation of Christ and the church (believers). (There is A LOT more to be said in this one bullet point, but I’m not going to go into all of it.)

And there I might stop because it's a lot.

#9 When you were a kid, did you think about whom you would marry? 

#9 I thought a lot about whom I might marry, daydreams- but they were all silly dreams and none of them included thinking about God in the middle of my dreams. I just dreamed about whoever I thought was romantic or cute or funny (not that those are bad things) but they aren't very good criteria for a marriage partner.

Have more questions? I won't mind answering them if I have time.


Aunt Mindy

Monday, October 17, 2011

We Read License Plates

At the very end of July, we went to Adventureland for a day of fun. As we were walking back to our car for lunch, Ben and I were noticing the many different state license plates in the parking lot. There were a lot.

Later on, as we were noticing more plates, I thought “Gee, it would be fun to play the states plates game, but then you gotta keep track of the paper, make sure it’s in the right vehicle, blah, blah, blah.” Then I realized there just might be an app for my phone and started looking.

You guessed it- I found one!! It’s called St8Pl8. It’s free from the Android market.

It’s pretty simple- mark the plates you see. It includes D.C. but no Canada plates or anything else. You can see what you have marked, what you have left to mark, etc. Enough product review.

I installed in on my phone at the beginning of August and we only have 8 state plates left!!! Wanna know which ones? Alaska, Delaware, D.C. Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Vermont, Wyoming. That’s it!!!

Bill wants to adapt the rules a bit- “If you see Alaska, you can pick any 5 states to mark off. If you see Hawaii, you win the whole thing.:” Me? I’m not sure I’m gonna go with that. I might hold out, in my usual stubbornness, until we see every blessed state plate! Smile In any case, you should see us. We’re relentless. We scan every vehicle that passes by. I can spot a Missouri plate from 100 yards away. Three versions of a Minnesota plate can’t fool me. A new parking lot? Don’t be surprised to find us cruising up and down the aisles, staring at cars’ rear-ends. Back to school time was a boon for us, since we live near ISU.

I’m just telling you all this for your entertainment, because here’s the thing- you can’t look for us. We have to see it ourselves. But pick up your free app for your fam and enjoy the drive!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thoughts for Thinking

Trying to keep my words short today. So I’m sharing what God is impressing on me. These images were all found via a Pinterest search. (Why yes, He does work in mysterious ways Winking smile)


Pinned Image





Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, October Boy

This boy is 6 years old today and it kind of catches my breath.

6 years old is still little, just not little boy anymore. It’s boy.

6 years old is still of wonderment, joy, and discoveries.

This 6 year old still loves a good picture book, sings freely, shares frankly (which is often humorous), turns on a dime, is developing his own sense of who he is and what he likes, loves a joke, is as cute as can be (it is still the missing tooth that tips the charm scale) and is a constant wonderment to his parents. We haven’t quite figured him out yet, but we love watching him unfold.


Happy Birthday, my sweet Luke!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Girlfriend Time

A few weeks ago, my high school girlfriends and I got together. Last year we met at Tassel Ridge Winery which is closer to Allyson and I, so this year we met at Fireside Winery, which is a little closer to Nicky and Sarah. As an added bonus, it is just up the road from the Williamsburg Outlet mall (so I left early and shopped a bit, of course!!).

It’s a nice winery, with a lovely view of the vineyards. I didn’t take any pictures of those, but I did take a picture of Nicky and Sarah attempting to start our fire pit fire. Unfortunately, they were both unsuccessful, even with Nicky’s fire safety background and Sarah’s vast camping experience. I happen to think that there wasn’t any kindling to start small with so it really wasn’t a failure on their part, but what do I know? I just sat back with Allyson and took pictures.


As we talked and caught up, we were entertained by the band, Pro Musica. They played a nice mix of songs and were all around great.

Pro Musica

Our favorite wine of the day was Brianna, a semi-sweet white. It was slightly more dry than sweet.


Again, we closed up the place. A few people even thought we were sister pairs: Allyson and Sarah and Nicky and I. After we explained, they encouraged us to continue to get-together, which we plan to do!

Fireside edit 2