Monday, February 25, 2008

Valentines Party

I know it is frightfully overdue, but this is what we did on Valentines Day. (We meaning the non-sick persons!) *smile*
Our friend, Mikeala Yoder, was at our house all day and helped us celebrate.

Just a sampling of all the goodies!

According to tradition, the kids all went outside after the tea party to play in the snow. They are definitely taking advantage of the 50+ inches of snow we have received this winter thus far!

The snow-buddies!
* * *
Tho I don't have pictures to show this, you all should know that Chris came home that night with a red rose for each of us; Mom, Tiff and myself and candy for the other kids. We were melted! He is getting all practiced up for being a great husband.
Love ya, Chris!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Braid

Tiffany recently checked out a book from the library on 'Braids', Grace was her practice-client!

Ready... Set...


Tiffany is now ready for business!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

One Last Time...

We just can't leave that wonderful subject of what I will dub, for lack of a better term, California Week. As we mentioned, we followed the guys to Ames on Friday night, but first spent the afternoon with our absolutely amazing and out-of-this-world friends, Rachel, Abby, Elizabeth, and Anna Short. It was an very cram-packed, fast-forward-speed day, but it was well worth getting home at one thirty that morning!

Thanks for the fun dears! We love you all so much!!


Eating Papa Murphy's pizza very snuggly on the circle bench... way fun!!

Tiff and I with Rachel...

Our wonderful, half hour, shopping trip at the booming, mega-mall, Jordan Creek Town Center. Yes, Chris is just slightly, very slightly, out-numbered! But he was such an amazing sport! Yay you, Chris!!


Stay tuned for more pics and stories to come in the near future when Tiff and I go spend the night in Des Moines with Rae and Abby... first order of business is to shake this disease! *wink*

Monday, February 18, 2008

Another List

:: You Know You're Doing Better When ::

  • You start feeling like a caged animal and actually begin to pace like one!

  • Out of bordom, you search for new and inovative ways to beautify yourself -- like red polka-dotted toes!!

  • Stuff hits your funny bone in a way that makes you want to laugh at everything... even sometimes until eleven at night.

  • Your mom says your 'Happy Eyes' return.

  • You actually start caring about what's going on in the world beyond your own little couch.

  • You get dressed... out of pajamas I mean!

  • Mom finally lets you eat that Valentine's candy that's been screaming at you from your dresser since Thursday.
  • You at last break that Tylenol addiction... yeah! I made it one day!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


"True men of honor are absolutely enchanted by true, godly, feminine beauty - not the type that comes from a tube of lipstick, but the kind that comes from a meek and quiet spirit. Once a godly knight finds a true maiden of virtue, he may also find himself with the urge to slay a dragon or two on her behalf!"

Maidens of Virtue

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sick Lessons

'The sickness' continues to ravage our house... from what I hear, bugs of all types are plaguing the country. We have strong reason to believe that we don't have just a common bug, but rather something terrible that goes under the title of 'ParvoVirus'; or in laymen's terms, 'Fifths Disease'.

I am happy to report that from much mothering from Mom, loving assistance from the kids, and lots and lots of prayers from friends literally across the country, I am feeling rather on the mend. The sad part of this report is that Tiff has it. Beth is tettering on the edge. Prayers for them, and the rest of the fam for that matter, are forever appreciated!

Tiffany and I enjoy sitting down and listing out different aspects of what we are experiencing at different times of our lives. Here's one list that we came up with this evening. Watch for more to come soon!

* * *
You Know You Are Really Sick When:
  • You close your eyes and dream of ways to really truly blow, and I mean blow, your nose
  • The highlight of your day is taking a shower
  • You've been in pajamas for five straight days
  • You are so tired you 'nap furiously' all morning, noon and night
  • You realize the world really doesn't end if everything on your schedule doesn't get done.
  • You know that you really have the best parent/sib set in the whole world!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Please Pray

On monday night Nicole came home not feeling the greastest,the next day we knew she had some kind of we would really appreciate the prays for here recovery.I love you Nic,your lil sis

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

More on the guys...


So yes, we had so much fun viewing Kalona through the eyes of a new person. We showed the guys all the "amazing attractions" the Amish town has to offer, laughed over hilarious signs, introduced the guys to all our friends we happened to run into throughout the day, and fit lots of great conversations in between! I know I shared some pics yesterday, but couldn't resist a few more!

:: Peter, Sam and Chris riding the stationary bull ::

:: This sweet newborn calf enjoying Sam's fingers ::

(sorry Sam, I couldn't resist! *smile*)


We were sure to teach the guys all about the 'good stuff' while at our house. Stuff like John Deere tractors being the only kind to drive and that the Iowa Hawkeyes are the only team to cheer for in Iowa!

Chris bought the guys Iowa gear so they could go home in style! (Note: this great gear was given deep in Cyclone territory... for our out-of-state friends, the Cyclones are the Hawks biggest in-state rival!)

The guys taught us a few things to... like how huddling is the only real way to make a team decision! (This was a common scene when they were trying to decide things! "Huddle!!"


We were really encouraged by the godly example of Nate, Peter, and Sam while they were in our home! They displayed many acts of service, thoughtfulness, and brotherly love. It has already made a visable impact on our family and for that we are grateful!

Peter and Sam doing dishes after one of Mom's great breakfasts!

Peter stole Aubrey's heart while they were here. It's amazing what happens when a young person gives a little one some special attention. It only takes a couple stories or encouraging words to grab their hearts!


Wednesday night was when we pulled out our favorite games like Apple to Apples and Guesstures. (What's not 'bear' about this act?! *smile*)

In our highly competitive family, games like these can be stressful...

...but always full of laughs!!


- Mary - Nate - Peter - Nicole -

(Our little China reunion)

While following the guys to Ames where they shared about Bring Me Hope on Friday night, I was so excited to meet up with one of my roommates from China last summer, Mary Yoder! Ohhh, what a joyous reunion! Love ya, girl!

* * *

Well... there is so much more I could share, like all our code words for the week: "BRIDGE", "Guaranteed to work!", "Huddle", "The core issue!", "Uhh... you know... yeah!"... and so on. But we better quit for now. We are so grateful that God brought Nate, Peter, and Sam into our lives and home! They have such a heart for God and it showed... not in a preachy-sorta-way, but rather, 'He's-my-life-so-I'll-live-it'!

It's our prayer that we can be such an encouragement to those we meet. Thanks again guys, and remember, our door is always open!!! You never know when you'll be driving through the neigherborhood!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Why We've Been Absent!!

Yes, can you believe that we actually have a good reason for being absent from the blogging world this past week-plus?!
We were blessed this last week to have some friends of mine from California here in Iowa. I was with two of them in China last summer and they were here to raise awareness for the orphans. I just wish that you all could have been apart of our times together. If so, you would be able to appreciate the amazing blessing they were to us.
We - Nate Peter, Sam, Tiffany, Chris, Tim, and myself - stayed up until well after one pm both nights. Although exhuasted, we had amazing times of fellowship. We talked and talked and talked. We laughed. We encouraged each other. We bore our hearts and shared the deep things God has taught us. It never ceases to amaze me how God can throw a random group of His children together and with not much of a friendship before, but bond so quickly! All three guys were so hilarious... I wish we could have bottled up their joy and sent some via this blog to you!
But since that's impossible, we will try to communicate it as best we can through this post. So sit back and as you read the snippets and enjoy the pictures, imagine that you were a part of our group!
When the guys got to our house Tuesday afternoon, it was bitterly cold outside... and inside too. We felt so bad that they were coming from California and experiencing an Iowa blizzard -- inside and out!


Nate learned to play 'Amazing Grace' on the violin compliments of Christopher! He was an amazingly fast learner.

Sam and Peter were out-of-this-world guitarist! They could flat-pick to smooth and fast that you could only sit in awe. We had some great times of worship together at midnight!

The guitars seemed to follow wherever we went!

Mom made amazing food as usual.

Bethy making juice for our eggs/sausage, cinnamon rolls, and fruit breakfast


(That's tour pronounced 'tor'!)

We took the guys to the Kalona Bakery and let them experience a real cinnamon roll! Yummy!

Everytime we went to start another heavy subject, Nate would go for another round of coffee. I know, it's hard being the senior in the group! *smile*

"Does the Amish look go?!"

We went to the Cheese Factory and let the guys discover the simple joy of squeeky cheese curds.Bent-n-Dent: the great place to find crushed groceries. What can you say?? The price is right!


Our friends, the Bontragers, were gracious enough to give the guys a 'tor' of their farm. They learned the whole works. Sometimes more than you want to know! *wink*

They worked at demonstrating their manlihood by scaling all the hay-bale piles in sight!

And as fun as farm life can be, reality still hits sometimes. They decided to make sure this on was a gone-er!


- Snowball fights -

- Sword fights -

:: There is so much more to show and tell; but time is short today. Check back soon for the rest of the story::

- - -

Thanks again guys! These memories with be treasured forever!!