Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Fall Day on the Farm

We spent part of our day outside puttering around the farm. Last week Ethan and I raked up pine needles at our city park. Today I put them around our blueberries tucking them in for winter. Scott fed the elk corn stalks from our garden. When they see him head to the garden, they come quickly to the fence, knowing it's feeding time. I look out and the hills are turning a burnt orange color....how I love fall. Happy fall to you and your family:) Miss you Randy and think of you all the time!

Scott feeding Samson


Baby Rachel

Rachel and Sarah

Our roosters....they bring on the morning with their crowing. When I'm outside, they follow me around the yard like I'm their mother:)

The blueberries all tucked in for winter.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My Quilt of Many Colors

I finished my summer project several weeks ago; a quilt for our bed....colorful isn't it! I used fabric on hand so it didn't cost me anything to actually make it. My dear friend, Lisa, machine quilted it with lots of squiggly lines, making the quilt machine washable and durable. The quilt is on our bed now and the first thing you notice when you enter our room....oh yeah, it's colorful!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Myers Pumpkin Patch

Enter if you dare, scream if you must. Your night of fright begins at dusk.... Tonight Charles, Brittney, Shawn (Brittney's brother) and I braved our way through the haunted corn field at Myer's Pumpkin Patch. We went through five acres of cornstalks 10 foot high with zombies, goblins, evil scarecrows and clowns spooking us and of course lots of chain saws. The creepy part was entering the barns, sheds and graveyard. Shawn's arm is probably bruised as I held on tight the whole way. Great first impression as this was my first time meeting him. After the haunted corn field we headed to the corn maze. It was getting late and we were the last group taken out to the field; we had to be out by 11:00. Didn't know they could grow corn so tall. We had three options..easy, medium or hard.. We chose the medium first. We turned all our flashlights off and went by the light from the stars which were brilliant overhead. We made it through in about 20 minutes. Surely the hard one would not be so difficult. Part way through, the guys pretended to leave me. I kept on walking and thought I'd just get out before them. We were separated in a second. It was kind of creepy being in a corn maze in the middle of nowhere all by yourself....I kept on walking. After about 20 minutes I heard them calling. I heard Charles say "Stay where you are!" Was I happy to hear his voice! They all cut through the corn maze in order to reach me, right through a bur patch. You should have seen Brittney's hair. It looked like a horse's tail filled with burs. After spending time removing the burs we all stayed together. Charles started marking the paths we tried with an X using cornstalks. We finally made it to the exit, with 36 minutes to spare. We were in that corn maze for 1 and 1/2 hours...it was a challenge to find your way out of 24 acres of corn, especially with your flashlights off. We'll all remember this night for sure.

This picture was taken right before we entered the haunted corn field (Shawn, Charles, Brittney and Becky).

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Cup is Full

Well, Becky and Ethan are heading back to Tennessee. I have learned through years of visits to not plan too much for a couple days after she leaves as I re-adjust again to life without her here. We took her to the airport in my pjs, then came home sad and slept. It felt good to embrace the feeling of missing her [Scott, Charles, Randy & Ethan too]. Would I considered my cup half full or half empty? In my relationship with Becky, it's full... and that helps me on the days when my cup feels half empty in other areas of my life
-Brenda



Final Day

Memories of our last day:
Visiting Katie's home and helping to hang pictures. Conrad likes to sit near Becky and hold her hand. Conrad read us The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear. Walking to Ashlee's. Thank you Ethan for mowing the lawn. Doing plenty of grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning for the OHS Sadie's Hawkins dinner Friday night... Abby & her group of 14 kids. The guys taking turns 'hunting' on Becky's ipad, Conrad smashing ants and putting together puzzles on Becky's ipad.
-Brenda

Uintahs

We headed up to the Uintah's today. Is there anything better than outside fresh air? Especially for the ones that made the long drive with Phoebe in the car. We first stopped at the Upper Provo River Falls then headed up to hike into Clegg Lake. With the storm we had last week, I don't know how I could have been been surprised with the 5+ inches of snow at the trailhead... down to 45 degrees too. With the little kids, we passed on that and headed to Mirror Lake to explore and walk around. Days are counting down 'til Becky & Ethan go home, so we all took our picture with her, as we do each trip.

Have you ever had one of those places that you drive by for years and can't figure out? Well the Beaver Creek Nudist Ranch in Kamas is just one of those places for me. I think we have driven passed it for 35+ years and it makes me smile. We stopped by the sign for pictures and believe we will be better prepared next time we pass by in warmer weather [I think they have a gift shop]. Imagine that. We know we are far from being their ideal poster girls, but it is tempting :)
-Brenda






Anita & McKell Visit

Anita & McKell came down to see Becky and we had such a nice long visit. We counted them up... we have known Anita now for 40 years. Lunch at J-Dawgs in Provo. Ultimate Frisbee at Cascade Park. Pizza & hanging out together, a real good day.
-Brenda
McKell, Becky & Anita




Lazer Tag

Walking Conrad to preschool. Going shooting. Lazer Tag teams boys vs girls... yes they were victorious against our girl power, but it sure was fun. Yummy White Chicken Chili at Lindsey & Tyler's. Celebrity clencher: Rod Stewart and Russell Crowe.
-Brenda


Becky & Ethan Time

Memories of the day: Going for a walk [Becky] / bike ride [me to keep up with her] and talking to Greg Davis. Playing Speed Scrabble with Ethan. Working at Pebbles while Becky had lunch with my Mom and sister Bonnie. Making breakfast for dinner. When Becky comes, the kids gather. Conrad has eyes only for his Becky, Becky, Becky. Playing Mafia. Thinking about life and trying to accept some things the way they are, better on some days than others. Counting my blessings.
-Brenda

Fall Leaves

It's amazing how quickly we have said goodbye to summer and hello to fall. I love the cool fall weather and hope it stays for a long while before winter hits us. Today we went to church (we hold our breath because fast & testimony meeting can be a surprise with visitors), made panini sandwiches for lunch, had a nap and went for a drive to see the fall leaves, but the colors were not too spectacular and with all the cars driving through the alpine loop, it was impossible to pull over and take a good picture. We missed the best of the fall colors in the mountains this year. Larry showed great patience as I was a horrible co-pilot mumbling under my breath every time we passed a good place to take pictures... of course there was no place to pull over. We came home to a roast dinner with Becky's homemade biscuits and Ashlee's fresh peach jam.
-Brenda
Ashlee & Paul's porch



Home Sweet Home

Today we spent the day at home together... chopping buckets of peppers for winter meals, spreading compost & dividing up flowers, baking a chocolate buttermilk cake and cream cheese / pumpkin muffins and making chili for dinner, rummikub (yes, Becky won which brings her a great deal of satisfaction) and Lucky Unders. I am grateful that we find our happiness in just being together... my favorite place to be. My nephew Ethan is a remarkable young man and we love having him with us. He has two brothers, so spending time with our five girls can always be eye opening for him. While Becky is here, the world feels like it has stopped for awhile.
-Brenda




Becky & Ethan are here NOW!

Ethan and I got home from Utah safely. We had an awesome trip! The days went by way too fast...I can't describe how good it was to see and hug my dear sister and family/friends. Brenda took lots of pictures and blogged our time together so I've copied all the blogs for you. I love you all so much and thank the Lord for the best visit. If I could only make the distance that separates us disappear! Here are the posts...

I have had October 10th circled for months... counting down in my head throughout the days, waiting for my sister Becky & Ethan to come. I went to Pebbles this morning with '2 more days' in my head, knowing I had the weekend to raise my homemaking bar at home. So, I was quite surprised when I got a phone call from Becky about 1pm.
It went like this:

Becky: Hi! I just wanted you to know we made it to Memphis and our plane is on time
Me: Huh? What are you doing in Memphis?
Becky: Why, Ethan & I are coming to see you
Me: But, aren't you coming on Monday?
Becky: You're kidding right?
Me: Of course (uneasy laugh)
Becky: You are such a tease. See you in a few hours!

Thrill & panic set in, followed by complete joy. Katie, Ashlee, Kelsie & Josh, Lindsey and Abby were all called with the happy & surprising news and I could see they thought I had lost my mind. I felt like I did. I still do. How could I have gotten the dates so wrong? Katie kept telling me to breath. Everyone quickly pitched in with grocery shopping, making beds, laundry, cleaning bathrooms & kitchen, sweeping floors and even picking up product for Pebbles. Everything that was out of place was thrown back into our bedroom (again) and we headed up to the airport to pick up Becky & Ethan. When we got home, we all had homemade chicken pot pie that Katie & Kelsie made. A crazy, happy day and I am still pinching myself that they are here.
-Brenda

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Clinch Valley 12 Mile Yard Sale

Today, my friend Susan and I ventured out to the annual 12 mile Clinch Valley yard sale across the mountain not far from Rogersville. We were there before 8:00 am with all the other yard shoppers. For 12 miles on Clinch Valley Road all the houses have their sale items out...in their yards, barns, cars...you get the picture. We stopped at the ones that looked interesting and checked out some baked goods at a local church house. I even ran into several people I new...imagine that! It was our first cold day in Northeast TN, with the wind blowing some and clear, crisp air making that sky so blue. The trees are just beginning to turn here. We plan on going again next year. We each found a special "find" so our day was successful.


Here I am with my dear friend Susan and her girls.

A typical yard sale.

Here I am with my special find..three shepherd crooks for our church "Bethlehem Night" this Christmas.