30 November 2011

thanksgiving week

Last week was a hard week...the first holiday without Dad, his farm sale & Mom found out she has/had a stress fracture in her foot and is thus in a boot cast & on crutches...needless to say, many emotions went through my head & heart.

Sale day was yucky...rain, cold, sleet & then icy roads, but the sale still went on; regardless, a fair amount of farmers, friends & community members still showed up and it went well.
All of Dad's farm possessions were polished & shiny for the sale and so many thoughts went through my prayers as I realized this all has vanished for my dear Daddy and he no longer is caring about his beloved tractors in the heavens; yet to us still here, we see the hard work, the diligence in taking care of his machinery & what our Dad stood for while here in this world...so emotionally draining.

On Sunday night, Mom hosted an appreciation dinner for all those friends & family who helped Dad plant & harvest his crops this past year; it was held at a nearby winery in NW Iowa (yes, we have those too!) and it was a neat night of sharing & remembering Dad. Haven had come down with a 24-hour bug so Arlan stayed home from church & the dinner to take care of her before flying back on Monday morning to be with his family on Thanksgiving.

Mom did well despite her handicapped state & Haven and I enjoyed staying through the Thanksgiving holiday with her and spending time with cousins. Continue to pray for my dear mother...it's daily prayers & grace sustaining her.

25 November 2011

Friday's Funny-cousins

Haven & Lucy (Curtis & Cathy's)

Haven & Mali (Lonn & Jammie's)

17 November 2011

hanston john

My cousin Betsy is now a mommy of 2!
Hanston John Strahm was born on Tuesday night, weighing 8 lbs. 14 oz & is 20.5 inches long.

Congratulations John & Bets...anxious to smooch those cheeks!

14 November 2011


So while we were away for our couples weekend to Michigan, Haven received ROYAL treatment from my Mom who flew in from Iowa AND her two sisters from Phoenix. Haven now chews gum (she prefers pink gum), says "oh nuts" or "oh sugar" when something goes wrong, and LOVES candy! Hmm...what a parent sacrifices for time away :)

Thanks again Mom & Aunts for watching Haven....it was so fun to have you here!

Chutes & Ladders and Memory are some of Haven's favorite games right now...I have yet to beat my daughter in Chutes & Ladders...I'm not sure what is more pathetic: the fact I'm 0-4 or the fact I'm NOT purposefully letting her win! :)

Haven and Aunt Vonnie tied during Memory.

Aunt Vonnie & Aunt Lo showed Haven how to really make a splash with her rain boots & coat :)

the Aunts & Mom even got in on Haven's first trick-or-treating...her outfit?
a garden gnome!
I mean, how other many garden gnomes do you suppose we saw?!

11 November 2011

Friday's Funny-pen pals

They hadn't spent quality time together in a while & yet...

Well, to be fair, Arlan had a stressful week at Watershed & Clint had only had 4-5 hours of sleep in the past 36...so I guess, this IS quality time!

09 November 2011

07 November 2011

the group

2 weekends ago, we traveled up to South Haven, MI, and spent some time with a dear group of friends...some have been friends for years; others we recently got to know; yet others either I or Arlan knew just one member of the husband/wife team...regardless, it ended up being a fun, refreshing, "starter" weekend for us six couples. Arlan and I had never been part of an "out-of-town potluck" and since starting a family and transitioning through many phases of life [moving, career change, children, grief, etc], we determined a spiritual/emotional/comic support group was needed. Thus "the group" was formed...we use this name because we couldn't determine a different title & we feel like there our plenty of other "out-of-town" potluck groups out there using that name to the max!

Thanks friends for making our first get together a special one & we look forward to this coming May/June with kiddos! Thank you to all the Grandma's, in-laws & friends who took care of children while we were away...it was SO appreciated!

(click here to see additional pictures from the weekend)

Saturday morning Bible study

the boys, ehm, spiritually focused on the Michigan/Purdue football game :)

meal time! Kim & Alesa were the food committee this time & made some delicious meals of pancake waffles for breakfast and homemade pizzas for lunch...yum, so good!

Sunday morning picture...we all attended South Bend, IN

04 November 2011

Friday's Funny - Doorneweerd cousins

This fun picture of Haven's 1st cousin, Maden (on the left) and her 2nd cousin, Jackson (on the right), was taken after Iowa State proudly beat the Hawkeyes this fall.
Too cute of picture not to post!

03 November 2011

birthday party

We celebrated Haven's 2nd birthday on her big day as Grandma Iowa was in town for the occasion. The birthday girl got some wonderful gifts: books, puzzles, a doll stroller, a few movies, new Slugs & Bugs CD's, a darling new place setting, fun toys....and the ehm, "scare" of the night was a hamster/gerbil cage, lovingly wrapped & given by Dix-ee. While thankfully there was NO live animal[s] in the packaging, the kids got a kick out of seeing Dixie's dog, Madden, tied up in the backyard. And of course, Madden didn't disappoint as he showed off many of his tricks.

Thank you all for making it a fun party!

01 November 2011

she's two

It's hard to believe our little baby is two already...the frequent saying "it goes so fast" or "it only speeds up" is now believable as Haven is her only little person ~ talking, singing, playing, dancing, having likes/dislikes & her own personality.

She is a trusting little girl who loves kids, puppies & will do just about anything for Dora fruit snacks or a "popsicle" (aka frozen gogurt!). Haven still loves her books, loves exploring & loves her cousins & friends, repeatedly praying for them over the course of the day. She likes music & dancing and enjoys her pacifier all too much for a 2 year old who knows all her shapes, colors, most numbers & even letters!

Haven ~ you are the apple of our eye & we are humbled, proud, and blessed to be your parents.
Happy 2nd Birthday sweetheart!