Saturday, May 29

Boys will be boys

Or grown men will be boys, I should say.  Here's some shots of a couple weeks ago when Bill went with some guy friends to a cabin up nort for a weekend.  Four-wheelers, mud, steak, cards, sauna, fartin' and giggling.  It just doesn't get any better than this, I guess.

The sign on the outhouse.......

I'm pretty certain they had a great time, wish I could have been there actually, sounds like more fun than shopping or painting my toenails.  I am so glad Bill has such awesome friends that he spends time with in Bible study and out being boys, even though some of the things they do are potentially hazardous, dangerous and risky-- good thing two of the guys in the group are doctors!

Wednesday, May 19

18 years ago today.....

With much effort, and I am talking MUCH effort,
Brian Jeffrey Oakes was born 18 years ago today.........
He was amazing of course.  And adorable. 
Just look at those cheeks and that cute smile, and those eyes, and that neck....
But he didn't stay all cute and pudgey (sp?), he kept growing and the birthday parties kept happening......
I seem to have misplaced a photo from birthday #1.  Was there one??
But here is #2-
we had a family party this summer so Brian had two candles and Landon had four on their Ernie and Bert cake which I made myself if you can believe that.  Wish I had a better picture of it!  It was awesome. :)

For some reason I couldn't find birthday #3 either (?) but here is 4......

When Brian was four, he asked Jesus into his heart with Landon's help-
so we had a treat to celebrate this BIRTHday!

Birthday #5.........
notice his spiderman shirt-he was VERY into spiderman at that age. 
And ANY other sort of creepy, crawly, slimy thing he could find!  Thus, the worms and frogs on the cake.....

Birthday #7..........can't seem to find #6 either !? 
This cake had at least one snake on it.

Birthday #8...............

And #9..................
And #10..............

And #10 again??  I count 10 candles.  I am confused at this point. 
That's what happens when you don't write on the back of your photos!

Birthday #12.....this was the last of the official birthday parties.

He's a big boy now, an adult.  Ruler over the wind and waves.....

the flames..........

the waters.......

Able to leap tall cliffs........... 

A creator......

A dude............

A man.....
 We thank God for Brian, he's cool, he's funny, he's thoughtful, he's deliberate, he's talented, he's kind, he's disciplined, he's loyal, he's smart, he's a jolly good fellow which nobody can deny!  He's 18!!!! 
Love you, Brian!

Sunday, May 16

Misc. Sunday Sightings

They're ba-ack!

And a few other shots from my walk today......

Here's the mosquito hatchery to the north of our house,
it does dry up by late spring.

One of the first things we did after we moved here was put up the tree swing in the old oak tree-
 and it has provided tons of fun and not a one broken bone!
Had to bring some fragrant blossoms inside to enjoy. 
That's all she wrote!

Thursday, May 13


I had the privilege this last year of being a small group leader in our youth group and I just have to say they are such a great group of girls.  They impressed my socks off.   Such maturity and insight for their age (15-16) and a real desire to seek God and His will for them.  They are WAY beyond where I was at that age.  Some good parenting is being reflected.   I'm not sure what they learned from me if anything, but it was fun to get to know them and tell them some of my experiences as a teen.  We had some really good discussions on lots of important topics.  And they giggled a lot.  :-)
This is a card they made for me on the last night.  Isn't it odd that my own daughter who is the same age doesn't think I am as amazing and inspiring and full of wisdom as these girls do??
She'll realize it someday, right?  Right?

Sunday, May 9

The ups and downs of Mother's Day

When I looked out the window on Mother's Day and saw the frost on the car, I gasped --nooooooooooo! I have three hanging flower baskets and took them outside yesterday for a little sunshine and FORGOT to bring them in !#$*.  Not sure how cold it got but it must have been below 30.  BUMMER!  I had a fuchsia that was going to be big and beautiful and now it is dead and ugly.  :(    Sniff.
But the day got better.  I think the other two plants (the ones from Kmart!) might survive.  : )  Bill went grocery shopping for me as my gift and whenever he does that it is VERY MUCH appreciated.

Landon made my favorite- Angel Food cake and I don't mind if I DO have a huge piece, thank you. 
With strawberries and ice cream thank you!

After that, we definitely had to go for a walk, a looong walk.  Leanne and I and R.J. who LOVES to go for walks.
We had to say hello to our neighbors across the road....

R. J. led the way...

The Necktie River that winds near our house...

R.J. treed a porcupine.....

Thankfully, the porcupine stayed in the tree.  And of course the dog has to check out every culvert for skunks....
thankfully he didn't find any of those today!  Did I mention he LOVES to go for walks?

The sun setting over the pasture....
And now we are watching Extreme Makeover, which is one of my favorite shows and after that a game of Settlers of Catan and then a sauna and thus ends a good day. 
Thank you, Lord, for my family, for the ups and downs, for all You have given to me.  Amen

P.S.  It was Bill's birthday today too, but instead of sharing, it's all about him tomorrow.  :-)

Here's to Mean Moms!

Someday when my children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates a parent, I will tell them, as my Mean Mom told me:
I loved you enough . . . . . enough to ask where you were going, with whom, and what time you would be home.

I loved you enough to be silent and let you discover that your new best friend was a creep.

I loved you enough to stand over you for two hours while you cleaned your room, a job that should have taken 15 minutes.

I loved you enough to let you see anger, disappointment, and tears in my eyes. Children must learn that their parents aren't perfect.

I loved you enough to let you assume the responsibility for your actions even when the penalties were so harsh they almost broke my heart.

But most of all, I loved you enough . . . to say NO when I knew you would hate me for it.

Those were the most difficult battles of all.  I'm glad I won them, because in the end you won, too.

And someday when your children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates parents, you will tell them.

Was your Mom mean? I know mine was. We had the meanest mother in the whole world! While other kids ate candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal, eggs, and toast.

When others had a Pepsi and a Twinkie for lunch, we had to eat sandwiches. And you can guess our mother fixed us a dinner that was different from what other kids had, too.

Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times. You'd think we were convicts in a prison. She had to know who our friends were, and what we were doing with them. She insisted that if we said we would be gone for an hour, we would be gone for an hour or less.

We were ashamed to admit it, but she had the nerve to break the Child Labor Laws by making us work. We had to wash the dishes, make the beds, learn to cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry, empty the trash and all sorts of cruel jobs. I think she would lie awake at night thinking of more things for us to do.

She always insisted on us telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. By the time we were teenagers, she could read our minds and had eyes in the back of her head. Then, life was really tough!

Mother wouldn't let our friends just honk the horn when they drove up. They had to come up to the door so she could meet them. While everyone else could date when they were 12 or 13, we had to wait until we were 16.

Because of our mother we missed out on lots of things other kids experienced. None of us have ever been caught shoplifting, vandalizing other's property or ever arrested for any crime. It was all her fault.

Now that we have left home, we are all educated, honest adults. We are doing our best to be mean parents just like Mom was. I think that is what's wrong with the world today. It just doesn't have enough mean moms!

A Very Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful, dear, sweet, loving, mean moms!!

Friday, May 7

HB to my big sis....

Today is Connie's birthday.  She is my oldest sister, but not old yet, early 50's I think.  :) 

  Connie is a very wise, godly woman, full of grace and beauty.  I aspire to be more like her.  She is also a master gardener.  I mean it, she knows everything and has the most amazing gardens around her house.  You will want to check out her gardening blog "Notes From A Cottage Garden" at if you haven't already! 

~Happy Birthday, Connie~ hope you have had a wonderful day!

Thursday, May 6

phewff-tah! (that's a combination of phew and uff dah for any non-scandinavians)

I'm back!  It's taken me a few days to recover from the disco fever.  I'm feeling much better now, thanks. 

My friend, Gwenn, and I were in charge of the prom alternative that our youth group puts on every spring.  It has been a little bit all-consuming, the last couple of weeks at least, just ask my family (do you know what happens when dirty laundry and dishes and everything else piles up for days in a row?  people get sorta grumpy), but it went well and was a great time.  We rented a beautiful facility in town here, and the event included a nice dinner, lots of dancing, lots of snacks, some glow sticks and disco balls, a good movie, staying overnight in cabins, breakfast, and an informal woship service the next morning.  We had 80 students and about 15 adults.  The only disappointing thing was that I was so busy with other things I didn't take very many photos.  I hope to post more after I get them from our official photographer, but here's a few......

"Disco Fever" was our theme!!!

Our "barbie doll" Leanne and a friend.....
a BIG thank you to another friend, Kylie, for loaning her that gorgeous dress to wear!

More of Leanne's friends...

Brian and some of his friends...

Leanne ALMOST won the limbo...
I think it might have been the dress holding her up with all those layers!


Brian and best friend from way back, Micah, who graduates soon. 
Brian is really going to miss him!

The B.S. groupies....when did they all grow up for pete's sake?? 
We were just changing their diapers yesterday!

Dancin' the night away....

It takes some work to make it happen, but I know there are a couple hundred other parents besides myself and LOTS of students who are grateful for the option of the alternative Winter formal and Spring prom.  So we will keep on doing it, but I am taking a little break before starting the planning for the next one.  Peace out!