Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Neighbors

Fall is definitely here! We had our first frost last night. I'm loving the crisp air, wearing sweaters and seeing the colors around our house.

Another fall change is that we have new neighbors in the lot next to ours. They moved in about two weeks ago. So far, they seem to be very quiet and polite, although they are a bit nosy and keep watch on all our comings and goings.They're snowbirds, just in for the cold time of year, so they're getting settled in for the winter. We haven't talked much, but we have discovered that their favorite hobby is Meditation.

Not the eastern kind of meditation, this variety of is distinctly Midwestern.

Here they are, our new neighbors, the snowbirds! Or perhaps that should be snowcows?

By the way, did you know that cows mooing one lot over can sound an awful lot like a cell phone on vibrate? I learned that after moving down here this spring. I must have had ten false alarms a day until I learned to tell the difference!

Strange, but true.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Girl's Generational Getaway

For the past few months, my Mom has been wanting to take my Grandmas on a little getaway weekend. After much investigation and planning it finally happened! Kyle and Grandpa Bud watched the home front while we ladies escaped to a little vacation house in Grandview. What fun it was!


After dropping off Grandpa and seeing the guys get settled in, we drove to Grandview, go unpacked, and staked a claim on our sleeping quarters.

The whole place was beautifully decorated and very convienent, with a kitchen, gas fireplace (which we used!) and everything we needed. We had talked about running into town for a few things, but were so comfy that we never left the house!

That first evening we mostly talked - catching up on things and hearing the Grandma's pregnancy stories. ;-)

Mom and Haley brought everything we needed to make our own meals, and boy did we eat well! Lasagna, salad, cottage cheese, grapes and for dessert, chocolate of course.

I think we had lights out at about 1am - we just couldn't bring ourselves to go to bed!


We all brought pink and pearls to wear on Sunday. What's the good of getting girls together if you don't dress up? ;-)

Ta da! Four generations in Pink and Pearls!

Since we were a half and hour away from home and there was just one bathroom for five ladies, we knew we wouldn't make it to church. So we had a devotional time led by the Grandmas, then we listened to John Piper on the Ultimate Meaning of Womanhood from the True Woman '08 conference. It was such a wonderful time!

More food! This time it was Praline Mustard Chicken with Wild Rice. That night Haley made us her Indescribably Delicious Apple Dumplings (tender apples wrapped in a delicate pastry crust and smothered in a carmelized suger/cinnamon sauce). Yes, you should be drooling.

We wanted to have a craft to do while we were together, so we decided to make Autograph Albums. I got the idea from the Little House books, where they describe their albums and the little poems and saying that they wrote for each other.

First we made our albums, then we picked a poem, verse or message to write in each others books. It was great fun, and we worked happily on it for a long time - although we did manage to sneak in a girl movie before bedtime!


We finished up our albums. They were so pretty, and each reflected the personality and tastes of the maker. We even made an extra one for the baby, filled with sweet messages from her Great Grandmothers, Grandma and Auntie!

L-R Haley (the bird's) book, Gramma Sisson's and Gramma Lainio's

Mom's, mine and Baby's. It sure would be a surprise if we had a boy after all!

We we packed and got out in record time, just ten minutes shy of our target time. Amazing work ladies!

Home again, home again, jiggety jig.

Fun to be away, good to be back. What precious memories we made!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


We had two beautiful days for harvesting down at the farm. It was quite an interesting process to this non farm-raised girl. Kyle was in his element!

Is that Spiderman atop that grain bin? Nope, look again! Kyle and Kenny set up the unloading mechanism. There is actually a lot of prep work involved before things get going!

I think you have to be there to appreciate the beauty of those hill surrounded fields!

Kyle and Renee problem solving. David and I were sweeping out the barn, which we decided was a safe job for in-laws! ;-)

In go the soy beans.

Farmer K. hauling in the big wagon. That equipment was gigantic!

The unloading set up: from the big green wagon, to the little red wagon, to the unloading augers and up into the bin.

This picture was about as friendly as I got with the machinery. It's too valuable for me to feel comfortable doing much more than riding in it! However, Kyle did leave me sitting in one of the tractors once with instructions to "pull the yellow lever if anything goes wrong". Thankfully, nothing did!

Kyle and David waiting for things to unload (or was that holding down the grain bin? One of the two.).

It's actually a fairly noisy process.

This is what I did most of the time: ride in the tractor with Kyle! It was great fun!We discussed politics and he answered various farming questions ("What's that disk sticking out from the side of the drill for?"), but most of the time we just enjoyed being together.

I'm glad we got the chance to go down. Now I know why Kyle likes harvest time so much!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just Married!

I love weddings! What a treat to attend the marriage ceremony of Kyle's cousin Scott and his lovely new wife Rachelle. It's been a big wedding year for this side of the family, as another of Kyle's cousins, Tyler Andrew, married his bride Karol this summer. I very cleverly left my camera at home, and didn't get any pictures of that gorgeous event. :-(

Scott and Rachelle went with a red color theme, but they had little touches of fall throughout: leaves on the program, two jack-'o-lanterns with their names at the church, and containers of brilliant fall mums scattered around!

Congratulations to a very happy pair! It was fun to get to chat and compare notes. They're headed off to Mexico for their honeymoon too!

Wish I'd gotten more family pictures at the reception - too busy talking again. :-}

We got to see Gretchen and Sheila, as well as some of the extended family. It's been nice to have these events and get to chat with Kyle's aunts, uncles and cousins a bit. There just isn't enough time for getting to know folks at your own wedding!

After sharing this lovely celebration, we headed down to the farm to work on the harvest with Renee, David and Kenny. For more on that, check in later . . .

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fall and Friends

I think Fall is finally around to stay. How fun to get to enjoy the beauties of the season with Faith and Melody H. !

I had so much fun during their visit! We talked, cooked, talked, ate, talked, played games, talked, watched a girl movie, and talked. Ladies, you've probably spared Kyle from listening to a couple thousand extra words! ;-) It was fun.

We also got out to Walnut Point for an all morning hike - exercise and scenery all rolled into one! Pictures in the woods:

Sisters, sisters . . .

Okay, so we're goofy. We have lots of fun!

Behold: hills in central Illinois!

Lovely ladies at a lake. The trees were just beautiful!

I'm glad I asked you two to bring your own games. We had so much fun (and such interesting conversation) trying something new!

I'm glad you were willing to clear your schedules and make the trip! It was SO much fun to have you down! Friends and family are treasures you can't buy - and I am definitely rich!