Monday, January 25, 2016

Hockey Weekends

#24
Kade loves hockey,
so we love hockey.

We have become road trip weekend warriors from Evansville to South Bend and in between.

The new stretch of interstate to Indy delighted us!

The speed of hockey makes it challenging to capture in photographs~but here is a glimpse.

Pre-game stretching.


Faithful fans.


Preparing for a game at the Notre Dame Ice Arena~home of the fighting Irish!

Warm-up


Face-off


Action.


Constantly skating, seeking opportunity.


I love my "little" boy~and I cannot believe he just turned 16!


I hope he never loses the passion with which he embraces hockey, fishing, and life!





Monday, December 21, 2015

Our Duke



Handsome.

Beautiful blue eyes.


He could run like the wind.


This little boy needed Duke nipping at his heels to keep him in line.

A little boy that was three years old when he arrived in his life.


He travelled the United States good naturedly.


Portia and Duke loved daddy.


Loyal.



He loved our camping trips!

I remember the night Kade slept in the hammock in New Mexico, and Duke just wasn't too sure about him being out there alone.


A sweet treat...though chex mix was his favorite!


Portia was the bossy older sister (I can relate), but they were inseperable.


Through the years, Portia and Duke worked hard rounding up kids on the farm!


He always missed Portia after she was gone...


And he learned to tolerate the new puppy and would play for hours with him. I think he secretly enjoyed him, but Duke made sure he knew who was boss.


 A well-behaved boy, even embracing San Francisco with Nikela.

Except, he knew mama didn't allow him on the furniture, so when I was gone...or even when I wasn't watching, he would sleep on the couch, but he was off in a flash when he heard me coming. 


 Oceanside fun.


Always looking for love.


I miss those loyal blue eyes.

He always laid at my feet when I would write...and that is where he laid down last.

Nearly 12 years old, he had grown older in the last year...it is hard work raising a family! Even though our hearts are broken by his sudden passing, he is still there...forever in our hearts.

Little Koda is still looking for you.

He misses those hours of play.

He watches by the door.

Just like we all are.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Carving of the Pumpkins


Transforming pumpkins to jack-o-lanterns is another adventure.

First step: Cut the top off and "gut" the pumpkin.


Dramatic response necessary! 


Second step: Create a face/design and begin carving.


 The options are endless, and personalities are oft identified in the carving.


Third step: Finally, we light a candle and let the jack-o-lanterns glow into the night!



On Halloween night, over a dozen carved jack-o-lanterns lined our sidewalk. The sight elicited many comments, and the little trick-or-treaters peered at each one carefully as they walked by.

The best comment of the evening, "All these jack-o-lanterns are great~this is the Picasso of pumpkins."




Disclaimer: Once again I did not manage to capture all the pumpkins and participants, but merely the essence amidst the chaos.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

"Orange you having fun?"


The orange orbs dot the fields of fall.  An excursion through the pumpkin patch in search of the perfect carving pumpkin started when the kids were little enough to ride in the wagon. And through all the relocations around the country we have tried to cling to that tradition.

Even though the kids are growing up...


Senior friends gathered pumpkins and memories. 


Playful.


Sharing the tradition with exchange students!


Perfect pumpkins to be transformed into emojis!


As the 13 kids roamed the pumpkin patch I failed to capture all the smiling faces in the fading light, but we wrapped up the evening on a hay ride with plenty of memories for the heart!



Sunday Drive

As a young child, I recall Sunday afternoon drives on back country roads or through the Black Hills. Between fighting with my brother in the back seat, I would watch the random deer graze or the antelope sprint across the prairie. The magic of discovering paper by peeling the bark off a birch tree is still a vivid memory, but stopping for an ice cream cone at a drive-in on the way home was the best~I still love a chocolate/vanilla twist cone!

And I still love a Sunday drive, and now my kids banter in the back.

Several weeks ago as fall bestowed the first kiss of color to the landscape, we drove over to the Shawnee National Forest in Illinois where we stopped to visit the Garden of the Gods.

Tough kids!


Goofy teenagers!


Dashing ahead and scrambling up the rocks to wait~youthful fun!


Behaving for a brief moment!


Pondering life.


A beautiful hike


The boys couldn't resist the temptation to climb the highest outcropping where the crowds did not go!


And the tradition of Sunday afternoon fun continues.






Friday, November 13, 2015

Catching Up

The whirlwind of leaves tumbling to the ground today aptly represents life in the past few months.

A few days before school started in early August, we welcomed another daughter for the school year.


The first day of school our senior drove away for her final year accompanied by her brother, now a sophomore, and new sister, a junior.


Then I walked down to the bus stop with our 5th grader~her last year at elementary school.


The enthusiastic dash to the bus will ebb in the years ahead, I know.


A few weeks later college started, but our oldest daughter will be immortalized in her senior picture...only mom will keep you young forever!

Friday evenings were spent relaxing on the deck, including marshmallows roasted to golden perfection.


A new tastebud experience! She loves smores!


Partners in crime!


Friday night lights in the Reitz Bowl...


supported by the community.


And backyard sunsets.


The beginning of busy days with more adventures to come!