Tuesday, June 30, 2009


So I guess Jacob likes marshmallows...

excuse the horribly messiness that is my house!!!

Harvest Time!!

Alright, alright! Here's the harvest post Binga!!! :) And Mia, I cannot believe you don't know what a combine looks like!! Tell your Daddy he should be ashamed! ;)

We went out west for a couple days to "help" with harvest. We got to ride with Aunt Cara & Uncle Terry and Grandpa Frank! They happened to be cutting close by, so it was easy to see both of them in the short time we were there. I love harvest. That was probably my favorite thing about summer growing up. I mostly rode in the wheat trucks with either Mom, my great Aunt Lois, or my cousin Becky (sometimes Beth). Once in a while I'd ride the combine with Grandpa Frank or Dad (those are the harvests I remember, anyway! I know I rode with Grandpa & Grandma Stinemetz during harvest, I just don't remember). I just feel so at home out there. It's peaceful and it feels good to see something that big accomplished!

So anyway, this time I convinced Kim to let us take Jake along!!! Anna and Jake were beyond excited! Although neither one of them had a nap Sunday afternoon, they didn't sleep on the way out there! They were much too excited! I think I might have to end every sentence in this paragraph with ! That's how excited they were! :)

We arrived around 5:30 Sunday evening. We stopped on the way and grabbed supper. I think I was asked at least 20 times "Are we there yet????" We hadn't gotten 5 miles out of town and Anna saw a combine. She got excited and said "JAKE!!! That's my combine! We're almost there!!!" hahaha She still had an hour to go! :) I think Aunt Cara was just as excited to see us!

Jacob surprised me...I figured he would be over-the-top excited about all these huge wheels and tractors. But I think it was a little too noisy for him. Once we got inside the tractor and sat down and started moving, he was fine. Then he got excited about seeing the combine pass by.

Jake and Anna rode in the combine with my cousin TJ and his girlfriend Marissa. They were so excited (I think I'm going to use that phrase a lot in this post!!!).

Hi Mommy!!!

So excited, in fact, that they didn't even make it 2 rounds before they fell sound asleep!!! HA See how Jake is still holding on to the door handle?! Isn't that funny? I honestly don't know how the drivers stay awake. There's something about a combine in motion that is very soothing and methodical...puts ya right to sleep!

Marissa was a champ and held them both in her lap, sound asleep (that's about 65+ lbs. of dead weight!) for quite a while.

Grunt! (translation: I'm so excited! I see a combine!!!)

I just love this one.

I wasn't prepared for staying out in the field for so long Sunday evening (I don't know why I thought we wouldn't!). So I didn't bring any extra drinks or snacks! Luckily Cara's got some extra cans of pop with their suppers, so Jake & Anna shared a Pepsi. They were THIRSTY!

They also shared their cookies with the kids. I told them "Look at me!" so they did...and looked right into the sun! I wasn't thinking!! Jake looked up and said "Ooohhh! Dat da sun!"

Anna got these cowboy boots a long time ago, and even now, they're too big. But she loves them. And I love her in them! :)

Riding with Uncle Terry to go dump the grain cart.

Oh boy! Look out!! Jake's driving the "brrrum brrrum"! :)

I think this might have been all the kids' favorite part of the trip...riding in the semi! Anna and Jake sat in the sleeper and just thought it was the greatest and funniest thing in the world! Jacob sat on my lap up front and had his arm up on the widow checking everything out. He LOVED the horn. He did his perfect "o" face and looked around to see where the noise came from. I'm not sure if Jacob or Uncle Terry liked it more! :)

Gus. The giant Anatolian Shepard! For as big as he is, he loved the kids. Anna & Jake were scared to death of him, but Jacob wasn't the least bit scared! Gus loved to have his belly scratched :) He also loved to lick, which sent Jacob reeling!

Look at those paws! Practically as big as Jacob's head!

All excited, waiting for Grandpa Frank to come pick them up!

Running to get on with Grandpa.

You can't see them, but Jake & Anna are in there with Grandpa :)

After a very long afternoon/evening (I'm not telling what time they got to bed!), these two were out cold in no time! Aren't they so sweet?!

Day 2, hanging out waiting for the cutting to begin for the day.

Anna collected a bouquet of leaves while she waiting. And no, they aren't weeds! Or so the princess in green cowboy boots informed us all!!

So many memories in this red truck! :)

This field was hailed out, so they had to cut close to the ground. Therefore, there was a lot of straw left behind. They bailed most of it.
We had more fun than I can describe and I really wish we could have stayed all week! Maybe next year. Thanks for letting us come out! We had such a good time!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Anna's Birthday Week

Okay, so blogger is being obnoxious and won't let me move my pictures around! So they're backward in order. Anyway!
Anna is her father's daughter. She is milking this birthday thing for all it's worth!!! It doesn't help that she's had a week between her actual birthday and her party! We were kinda low key on her actual birthday. We made cupcakes but that was about it. Oh, she got to choose what we had for supper. Aaron made the mistake of saying something about how much she's going to love her present from Mommy & Daddy (that she'll get at her party Saturday). She got so sad and said "But it's my birrfday today. No present on my birrfday??" This was after she woke up, asked if it was her birthday and ran out to look at the kitchen. When she didn't see any decorations, she came back and with the biggest lip sticking out and said "No decorations? It's my birrfday." So guilt was really piled on when the whole present thing happened!!! Thank you Dollar General for being open past 8pm! I ran up and picked out a little something for her. Daddy felt really bad, so he said after baths, Mommy would be back and they could go on a scavenger hunt for her surprise! She was so excited!

I found a fun little mixer that I knew she would love. She did!

So did Jacob! He thought it was awesome how the beaters actually spin around and a little light comes on!!

I couldn't believe it...not 10 min. after getting her new, special surprise, she--completely on her own--let Jacob play with it! She's such a great sister!

She's been baking up a storm! :)

This was after she found her first surprise (some wall stickers). I gave her 2 hints about where to find her next surprise (the mixer)!

I got them cute flower and lady bug wall stickers for $1. She loves them. Of course, so does Jacob! :)
Okay, that's all for now. I've got another post to do about HARVEST! We had so much fun and even got to take a special friend with us! I'm exhausted, though so I better finish my actual work and go to bed!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

He's Our Special Boy

I've said it before and I'll say it again....Jacob is "special". He never gives us a dull moment and he is a stinker! For some reason, he thinks it's just hilarious to put this bucket over his head. This time (several weeks ago), he actually tried walking a bit. He barely touches a toy cooking pot with his toe and he says, plain as day, "Oww!" Such a goofy kid. I have no idea where he gets that!

Healing Hearts Ranch

I've posted before about my cousin's horse therapy ranch. And since I'm pretty sure most people that read this blog are family, I won't go into details about his place! :)
We recently got their update email. The Lord is working in so many broken lives through Scott and Amy. I am passionate about kids and horses, so I love hearing about their work! We live in an incredibly broken world. It seems to get more 'broken' as the hours go by. So many people, especially children, are hurting and lost and broken. And Healing Hearts Ranch is a safe haven for them and a place where they can learn to love and trust again. I can't say enough about the awesome things Scott and Amy are doing!
A group of ladies from church have started meeting on Friday mornings for "Prayer in the Park"...sort of a Bible study/prayer time focusing on praying for our families. We've been specifically looking for Scriptures to pray. I came across a verse in Philippians that I have started praying for Scott, Amy and the ranch. Maybe it only makes sense in my mind!
"And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense til the day of Christ."
Philippians 1:9-10
I've worked with special needs kids before (minimal compared to what Scott deals with), but I know how much it can take out of you emotionally. Ups and downs, joy and frustrations...all to the extremes on both ends. I just pray that the Lord would renew their spirits every minute of the day, that He would cause their love to abound even more in knowledge and discernment as they deal with, teach, and love these kids and families.
I also want to ask all of you to hold Scott and Amy and the ranch up in prayer. You can go to the website for some specific needs they have there.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Daddy's Down Time

A good "down time" for Aaron is his softball team. He plays in the town rec league on the same team he's been on for 3 years now. He's very proud of the fact that they've only lost 2 games in that time. :) He has a lot of fun and the kids love to go watch him and play on the playground. We don't make to a lot of the games (they play 2x a week), but Anna wanted to go tonight for her birthday:) It was so miserably hot. Ridiculously high humidity with absolutely no breeze. Luckily the Bullets whipped the other team and the game was over in 30 minutes!

I CAN'T Have a 4 Yr. Old!!!

It's just not possible. My baby girl cannot be 4 already. But, the calendar (and Anna!) says she is. Four years ago today, I was never so glad to get that girl out of my belly! I had no idea what a joy she would be...or what a challenge.
My sweet Anna Rose,
You are the most precious little girl...at least you are to Daddy and me! You're still a great big sister and you've been asking for another baby! You're gonna have to wait on that one for a while girly...sorry! :) You still love all the girly things you did last year (and the year before that and the year before that!). Your dolls and kitchen set are your 2 favorite things to play with. You and Jacob play fairly well together. He lets you mother him and you let him play with your favorite things. Even tonight, after you got a birthday surprise you didn't hesitate to let him play with it right away!
The thing that blesses my heart the most is your love for Jesus and awareness of God and His majestic creation. You remind us to pray before our meals -- you're the one that usually prays, too -- and you don't have to be prompted to pray before bed. Every day you ask God to show you "one of Your beautiful rainbows"! Remember when we made that rainbow out of the beads? You said you wanted to make it for God to say 'thank you' for the beautiful rainbow we saw on our way to the VBS program. Your heart is so tender! Daddy & I pray that you will continue to be sensitive to God and His will and calling for your life.
Jake...he's your bestest friend! You two have such a blast together and I just love how he calls you "MY Anna Rose". Somehow, you can understand almost every word he says! Neither one of you wants to leave from our playdates!! I think being able to play with Jake almost all day today was the best birthday present!
You are such a blessing to your family. We couldn't love you any more, but I know that each year we will!
You had SO MUCH FUN playing at Jake's house all morning! You thought that slide was pretty cool. And even though the water was so-cold-just-out-of-the-faucet, you kids didn't seem to mind!

That was your face every time you came down that slide!

Such fun!

After a swim, you all sat down with a snack for a movie. Aly is the only one that lasted more than 5 minutes! :)

Then after naps, Jake got to come over to our house and swim and play! You guys didn't swim very long, but you sure had a lot of fun playing with your cash register and whatever random toy (or non-toy!) Jake found to "buy". It was fun to watch you play!
So, happy birthday sweet girl! You did so good accepting that even though today is your birthday, your party isn't for another week! You are beyond excited that your cousins Mia, Kaedyn, Bryce and Hudson will be at your party! You can hardly stand to wait so long to see them!! You even told someone last week that your birthday starts in 5 days. Just like Daddy!! :) We love you Anna Rose!
Mommy, Daddy, and Jacob