Monday, June 23, 2014

The Birthday Grad Party!

Michelle had a combination Graduation party and 19th birthday celebration all rolled up into one big event!  We had a wonderful time!  The weather was perfect.  It was about 73 and sunny by the time the party started.  We had worked hard the last week or so to get everything ready.  There was still lots to get done at the last minute though.

My DH's Mom is staying with us and she got all the candy and treats in the bowls to go on the ice cream bar.  Elizabeth worked with her.  There were a number of kinds of candies and nuts and other treats and sauces to go on top of the ice cream.  We had fresh strawberries too.

My children had decided that they would redo the back hall bathroom for me for Mother's Day.  Somewhere along the line the project got stalled.  It was the day of the big party and here is what it looked like.  Paul had repaired the walls so that there were no big holes or anything, but it wasn't painted, and the bathroom itself still needs a lot of work.  We decided that the way it looked really fit the party motif of 'shabby chic'.  It even had a lot of the matching shades of blue.  No sweat!!!

Michelle was blessed to have her good friend Josie be able to fly up from Virginia for the long weekend.  They worked together really well on the food and decorating.  They really enjoyed their time together.  

The Boss strode around fixing things and getting things ready to show for the guests.  He really enjoyed giving tours of the farm and the house.  He even gave tours of the garden.  

Michelle worked hard on getting all her accents ready.  This was an old metal table she found in the barn.  She painted it and then overpainted it with lace curtains to give it the appearance of lace.  I thought it looked very cool!

We were ready for the party about the time the guests showed up.

Here is what the guests saw as they pulled in.  The yard was freshly mowed and everything was green from all the recent rain.  It was dry enough to be able to park on the grass though.  That was a blessing!

T-Bob is back and rested from his trip to the Philippines.  He was given the job of limeade maker.  He  and Thomas kept the beverages flowing.

Someone asked me how we got everything ready on time.  Here is part of our secret answer.  Have a large family with lots of hard working children come about an hour early to help.  The Stauffers helped get the food ready to be put out, set up the chairs, pick flowers for the arrangements, put on the table covers, and help set up the swingset and volleyball net.  There were other jobs that they helped with that I am probably forgetting right now.  They were such a blessing to us!!!

Chalkboard paint has become a staple here.  We even used it on the back of our 'shabby chic' bathroom door. It is a lot of fun!  Very useful stuff.

Josie and Michelle dressed up for the party and were soon ready to greet the guests.  

One of the projects we accomplished on Saturday morning was to get the swing set from the other house set up.  It was used by the kids almost the whole day!  So glad it was accomplished! 

We set up the tables under the trees for those who wanted to stay cool and also had some set up in the sun, for those who wanted to be warm.  There was plenty of room for all!

For the food we had Burrito Bowls, or as the Amish call them 'haystack'.  There was white and brown rice, with ground beef or pulled pork to go on top.  There was all kinds of toppings.  We had fresh tomatoes, lettuce, two types of salsa, sour cream, pinto beans and chips.  We also had watermelon out.

There was also an ice cream bar with brownies and all different kinds of toppings.  It was super yummy!  Michelle had done a lot of work making fabric streamers to decorate with.  I think she may try and sell them now that the party is over.

There was a nice group of relatives from my Dad's side.  It was really good to see them.  One was my Dad's cousin from Oregon.  My Dad's Sister and  a niece were also there. It is always a blessing to have family around!

Michelle used pallets to set up her board.  She had lots of pictures from her bow business as well as pictures of many of her amazing baking projects.  There were the usual pictures of her growing up.

During the day there were several soccer games that were played, some volleyball, and come croquet.  There was even some frog hunting in the evening.  One was cooked over the camp fire.  They decided that they didn't taste like chicken, but rather more like scallops.  Hmmmmm! Go figure.

My DH's sister Debbie came for the weekend and had a lovely time visiting with Mom.  She was spying out the land to see what there would be for her kids to do when they come for the Memorial weekend for Dad.

My DH had the wonderful idea of pulling the cool toys out of my office waiting room and letting the children play with them on the little piece of driveway.  They had a wonderful time and it seemed to keep them occupied for quite awhile without any squabbles.

Miss Pres was wanting her picture taken.  She was making lots of silly faces.  My brother requested that I take and save a number of such pictures for her graduation and wedding.  Not just the cute photogenic ones.  Here ya go bro!  She is still terribly cute.  I love her freckles!

Whatever Miss Pres does, Sally does also.  Here is Sally's attempt at a silly face.  I have such fun nieces.

The girl's were babysitting for one of the little ones.  They decided she was a 'good baby' since she didn't cry when they dropped her.  Of course, they are small so it wasn't much of a drop.

Everyone left by 10:15.  We had quite a bit of clean up to do.  DH's sister was a real help with that.  Once the majority was at a stopping point, Michelle opened up her gifts.  She was really blessed by people's thoughtfulness!  Thank-you all!!!  

It was a wonderful day and a wonderful party!  It was something we will remember for a long time.  Thank-you for helping us make such fantastic memories!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Father's Day on the Farm

This Father's Day was different than most.  Usually we enjoy a big dinner together at noon on Sunday.  This year, other plans had to be accommodated, so we had a 'meal' of appetizers and dessert.  Everybody seemed to enjoy it.

Michelle had to take it easy as she had an injured foot.  We were so amazed at how quickly the foot has healed.

Everybody sat around and visited while the kids went outside and wrote a 'play'.

Car and Sally started off the show by singing together.

They even set out chairs for the adults.  There was a tarp drying on a line, that they used for their stage.

Sally and Miss Pres. danced...

...and sang together.
They did really well.

The other kids hung out at the edges and laughed and watched.

Thomas joined the performance and did his presentation of 'The Pied Piper of Hamelin'.  He had it all memorized.  He was sensitive enough to move his performance off to the side so that the sun wasn't shining in his audience's eyes.

The Car guy sitting on a car, of course.

My Mom

My other Mom, also known as my DH's Mom.

Grandma and Car trying to see who could scare each other first, by yelling at each other.  Pretty funny.  Grandma won.  Everybody laughed!

Paul was the 'bad guy' riding around on the bike while the children chased him running and trying to catch him and put him in 'jail'.  It was neat to see little and big cousins playing together.

This is my Dad.  He is a very loving, faithful man.  I am blessed to have him for my father!

Monday, June 16, 2014

This Week in Review

The week started off with a graduation ceremony/service at church.  Different men shared advice and biblical truths with the graduates.  

At the end of the service all the men came up front and took turns praying for the graduates.  It was a wonderful service.

We have a very large hop toad that lives in the driveway or on the manure pile by the shop.  We see him frequently.  Nothing bothers him, not cats, dogs, or chickens!

Michelle and Thomas

Michelle has been busy putting together her stuff for her graduation party this weekend.  She has been looking at old photos.

Paul has spent several days on the tractor discing the fields and planting them.  He has been very diligent.  We have been very grateful for our neighbor loaning us his tractor.

Michelle is decorating in a 'shabby chic' style for her party.  She has been very busy with the spray paint.  Painting picture frames and putting together photo displays.

Making message boards with blackboard paint.  People need to know what the menu is!

Raiding the barn for old furniture that was left behind when the previous owners left and then painting it.

Elizabeth and Grandma M have been spending a lot of time on the front porch reading.  Elizabeth was pretty pleased that the cat likes her well enough to climb up on her lap.  Marbles seems to be gradually recovering from his fight in the barn.  For awhile I thought he might not make it.  He is an old man, at least 15 years old.  Some echinacea and egg yolk with fresh milk has him back on his feet. He was doing well enough to hunt down all the baby squirrels.  This left me with mixed emotions.  

My dear Mom-In -Law came to visit us for a month this past Wednesday.  She is doing really well for someone past 85!  She gets around well, and is still mentally very sharp.  She likes to read and do puzzles.  We are so glad she is able to come visit us on the farm!!!

The fishline strung between poles and around the outside of the garden seems to be working very well.  I have only seen one bird in there since we put it up. That was such a relief!

Here is what the seed mixture looks like that we are putting on the fields.  It is a blend of about 15 different seeds.  It has gone on very well, even using a spreader. (It is spread out on the floor like this thanks to a raccoon in the barn who was curious.)

Here is the compacter that we run over the fields to increase soil contact with the seeds.  The neighbor loaned us all the equipment!

The tractor.  We are racing to get done before the rain starts.  A storm is on the way.  All last week the weathermen kept predicting high percentages of rain, but we didn't get any.  The upside of that was that we were able to disc and get the seed in the field, the downside was that we did have to water the vegetable gardens.

Another beautiful week on the farm!