Thursday, June 23, 2016


Graduation Day 2016 arrived.

Two grandmothers.


Proud dad.

"Little" brother~who will be driving himself to school this fall...without his sister.

The outdoor ceremony had us all keeping one eye on the rainy sky.

"Little" sister.

Representing her high school journey~
"A panther on the outside, and bearcat on the inside."

Officially graduated from high school.

But not without a party.

Celebrating with photo booth fun!

A mother and her son.

A long way from the family farm where her deepest roots formed.

Family neighbors.

Our little girl is all grown up!


Kaiya is wondering (justifiably) about their sanity!

Crazy moments and somber moments filled the weekend~topped off with plenty of fun!

Congratulations, Miss Kiahra!

We love you!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A Day with Grandma

Grandma arrived to help us celebrate Kiahra's milestone~high school graduation.

So on a sunny afternoon, we piled into the convertible and cruised over to New Harmony
to explore small town Indiana.

The fresh leaves and new blooms make spring delightful here.

We did eventually find a few flowers to show grandma,
but the adventure was the best part.

It became a memorable afternoon~and I love these smiles!

Throughout life we will cross many bridges, but this day was a reminder to pause and enjoy the moment...

and appreciate the beauty of nature and passion of youth.

I loved her older sister's comment that this girl will soar.

 As a little girl, she loved to swing too.

Afterwards, we stopped for coffee and just chatted, enjoying the ambiance of the historic building and each other.

With the top down, we found our way home again with the wind in our hair 
and hearts full of happiness.

Then there was the rainy afternoon~but lunch was delightful.

Grateful for the memories of our days with grandma.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Day for Mother

My kids will tell you that mom loves covered bridges. 

I think it is the history that intrigues me, but the quiet country roads are probably part of the magic for me too.

Shortly after we arrived in Pennsylvania, we visited several covered bridges on a Sunday afternoon for Father's Day. 
(If mother is happy, so is father ;).
As I look at our "little" kids with their father, I realize it has been a few years.

This Mother's Day I was in Columbus with half of our kiddos, 
and I struggled to think of what I wanted to do, and then I remembered Ohio is famous for covered bridges too, so a drive on quiet country roads it was! 
Disclaimer: We had shopped the day before!

This bridge had been preserved in a park, but we still weren't allowed to walk across it~
age had made it unsafe.

My son insisted on scoping out the stream for potential fish.

Just watching my children happily scamper around the park would have been a perfect mother's day a few years ago...and it still is. 
That mischievious look on Kade's face as he attempt to "throw" his sister off hasn't changed much either.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A New Game


A stick and a ball.

A big field.

9 players on the field + a goalie for each team.

Minimal protective gear.

Speed is important.

Players attack.

Strategy necessary.

Throwing the ball back into play.

The rules are complex.
I was confused most of the season.
Our son figured it out and earned his varsity letter,
but what boy doesn't like a rough and tumble game?

Dawn of a New Decade


Birthday breakfast.

Warm waffles. Fluffy whipped cream. Fresh sweet berries. Crisp bacon. 

No pictures to assure you of the delightfulness, just adjectives. 

On this birthday morning, the cousins were wide awake and ready to tackle the presents again! Ironically most of my pictures were a little blurry.

Adding the candles to the birthday girl's favorite Dairy Queen cake was a serious task for this little lady.

The decorations were still up from yesterday.

The candle lighting operation proved to be challenging, as it was hard to determine if the candles were lit with the colored flames!

Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Nikela,
Happy Birthday to you!

Fare thee well teenage days.

As we celebrate the young lady you have become,
we do pause in wonder at how quickly you went from pigtails to college!

18 Strong

Birthdays are for sharing.

And birthdays are for presents, and Kiahra's youngest cousin was impatient about those gifts!

Lucky her gift crew was very proficient~though the paper had to be disposed of properly!

The curiosities unfolded bringing smiles...

and a 10 pound test of strength!

Winking for the camera.

Cousins and siblings.

She needed help with those 18 candles!

The evening lit by a warm fire surrounded by family and friends.

Happy 18th Birthday, Kiahra!

The best memories are created surrounded by the ones we love!

Monday, May 9, 2016


"A whole new world" sang Aladdin and Jasmine as they soared on the magic carpet.

A whole new world awaits a teenage boy behind the wheel of an ol' yellow jeep. 

A whole new world unfolds as he drives away~leaving me, his chauffeur, standing at the end of the driveway. 

Another license to drive brings the total to five drivers in our household.
The insurance company loves us! 
I, on the other hand, am not nearly as excited about my new premiums.

But I am excited for our son.
His enthusiasm is irresistible.

And I just hope he is careful, 
but I suspect that will forever be my prayer.

Happy trails!