it seems that it's been so long since i've been here!
life has been crazy busy and fun and interesting and blessed.
virginia is great - we LOVE it.
once the natural disasters passed and life became *normal* (if that's ever possible) life here in the east became even more amazing.
**and Daniel joining us has only added to the greatness of it**
we have most definitely decided to NEVER, never, NeVeR be apart like that again. we've done it twice and said, after the first time, we'd never do it again. and then low-and-behold we did it a second time and remembered exactly why we said we'd never do it again!
while we were apart the girls and i decided to to make the trip back to iowa. visiting family (unfortunately, no friends this time) was nice. my dad is trying his hand at farming these days so he's purchased some cRaZy amount of land - something like 680 acres - and doing the whole farm thing pretty much full-force. we want land, but i'm not even sure i'd want tHaT much land, however it's beautiful there. quiet and dark at night and lots of room to breath all the time.
He's done well with it and the girls love to be there, but i'm certain that has nothing to do with the big *toys* he has around the place...
ZERO turn mower. they liked just playing and it was as close as they've been to such things.
ali was beaming that papa finally decided she was old enough to ride the four-wheeler all by herself.
syd loved being able to be the driver of the bad-boy-buggy too!
they helped papa make fresh venison summer sausage (and we were able to take a bunch home with us, yummy!) notice syd's attire? she thought she was freezing, but it was only in the 50's at that point.
and i helped too!
ali's face when papa added the fat to the mixture...
of course the playing of pool; the stakes? tootsie rolls and cherry candy slices, what else?
of course all the way there ali had to take many pictures.
since ali is such an amusement park fan (highlight being roller coasters), we decided to pass by one of the great lakes this time back - lake erie so we could go *see* cedar point!
we made our way to the gate's parking office and explaining that we weren't staying just wanting to *see* the park a bit closer the attendant allowed us to drive the road all the way around the park. we couldn't have been any closer withOUT actually being there! torment for ali, but she was able to get many pictures to remind of her of where she wants to go in the near future!
this old wagon wheel hung over the dining room table in our family's minnesota lake home for years and years until a recent remodel required it's removal. it rests aesthetically against one of the barn buildings for a pretty picture now!
we also visited my mother, but she doesn't like to have her picture taken - i don't even attempt it any longer! we had a nice visit with her too while we were there, with lots and lots of junk-food! girls are sure that is one of the many perks of going to visit family back in iowa! grandma pam and papa john with their brownies and cookies and grandma shirley and ALL her *yummies*.
precious memories made and stored away in our hearts, our hard drives (and our HIPS)!