Category Archives: Family and Friends

Pictures and stories of our dear family and friends

South Dakota in October

Tomorrow morning we head to Galveston with our grandson Weston for his Great Galveston Adventure! Guess I better get this South Dakota goodness written down before I once again sink into Blogging Never-Never Land!) So –
Here, in no particular order, are 10 South Dakota October Things we love!
1. Harvest Time. Oh, my! The combines!!
We learned a lot about how the combines work, how both corn and soybeans are harvested, and how hard the farmers work out here (and everywhere! Farming is HARD, folks!). Not only did we get to watch combines in fields as we traveled around, we even got to watch them in the backyard field! (They were working at 9 o’clock at night and I didn’t get any pictures of those headlights. But here they are getting ready for the dew to dry so they could start again!)

2.Long Walks. Long Straight Walks. Long straight soul enriching walks.
‘nuf said

3. The Community Dinner. Howard is a small town – well under 1000 folks at the last count. And like most small communities, they take good care of their neighbors. The first Wednesday of each month there is a Community Dinner at the local Methodist Church, hosted by a variety of local organizations. October’s ‘organization’ was a neighborhood group that Don and Jenny are a part of. SO – we got to join them in preparing Chili with all the fixings for about 50 folks who came out to enjoy the evening.
What fun to get to know their neighbors and to see a bit of ‘love your neighbors’ in action!

4. The Corn Palace down the road a piece in Mitchell-
The palace itself was closed when we were there, but we still got to enjoy the amazing murals all made from (wait for it….)CORN!
It was especially fun to see one that was still in progress –
Can we call that “Corn by Number?”

5. Games – We can’t get together with SOWER friends without some game playing!
Don & Jenny introduced us to “Fast Track” – which is like, but not the same as, Pegs and Jokers, which is like, but not the same as SORRY. Confused yet? Think how we feel! Glad our aging brains could be taught some new tricks, though!

6. Bawling calves. While this might not fit into the “Things we love about SD” category, it does fall into the “South Dakota in the Fall” column. About this time every year the area ranchers divide out the calves from their mommas. The mommas are moved to their winter pastures, while the young’uns learn to live life without mom nearby. Needless to say, when that happens to about 250 pairs of cattle on the next farm over, there is a bit of an ongoing ruckus as the ‘babies’ are moaning about being deserted. Rumor has it that the mommas are over in their new pasture feeling like (some) moms feel when school starts in the fall!
(Full disclosure – these are not the bawling calves. But they are representative of the cattle in the neighborhood!)

7. Dignity. We took a little road trip to see this well-known statue located in a rest stop in Chamberlain, SD. So stunning!

8. Also in Chamberlain is the St. Joseph’s Indian School and the Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center.
Very interesting and well worth the stop.

9. Sunsets
Does my heart good every single time!

10. Dear Friends! How kind our God is to enrich our lives with beautiful friends around the country!!
For us, the best part of South Dakota are these good friends, who share devotions with us, laugh with us, support us in prayer, and love on us regardless of where we are in the country! So glad we could spend this week with them!

If you’d like to see some additional photos of our time in South Dakota, here is a little slide show or you can check out the album HERE!

Thanks for coming along for my Ten Things! These just really scratch the surface of South Dakota in the Fall – you should check it out sometime!

Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you after our Great Galveston Adventure!

Quick Catch-up

Week One – Pre-meeting stuff at the SOWER office and some general down time.  Kinda laid back and all good!

Week Two – Meetings for Gary, meeting support for me.  A bit exhausting, but still a blessing. Naps were a necessity.


Week Three – Spending time with friends in South Dakota. More details to follow!


Week Four – Arrived in the Waco Area to spend a week with our kids and four grandsons.  The adventure is unfolding……



Stay tuned……

Texas Interval

Although we won’t be doing an official SOWER project next month, it’s not really going to be one of those sit-back-and-relax months. It’ll be full of airplane rides, meetings, quilts, grandboys, and chickens. (Check out the “So Where are We Now” page for more details on that!)

But before we get started on that, here’s a little slide show of our trip from New Life Ranch, Frontier Cove (NW of Tulsa) to the SOWER Office (90 miles east of Dallas)) via Yukon, OK (just a bit west of Oklahoma City). The Yukon “via” enabled us to connect with friends from our ‘previous lifetime’ whom we hadn’t seen since we waved good-bye from the church parking lot in August ’04! So sweet to catch up with them!

Mondays are for memories…Circles of Grands

Over the years I’ve tried my best (often to the annoyance of the subjects) to get a certain photo of the grands when I have them all together. It started with the three (2008)
and then four (2011)
then five (2013)
and before we knew it we were up to seven! (2013)
By the next time we did the Grand Circle, we were at nine. (2015)
Grandkids 2015
We held steady at nine for the next reunion (2017)
and this summer (2021) we bumped it up to eleven, only missing our Ellie B!

This last picture the ages ran from 18 down to 1, so I’m not sure just how many more years I’ll be able to convince everyone to join the circle.

Or if I’ll be able to find a ladder tall enough to get everyone in!

But you know I’ll keep trying, right?

Noah’s Delawarean Adventure

It’s been 8 years since we took our first grandchild on their Adventure with Grams and Pops the summer they were 10. We’ve been to Washington, DC, Baltimore, Lancaster, Knoebels, Niagara Falls, Toronto, and Williamsburg, VA.  Each one was unique and special and made sweet and lasting memories.  For them and for us! This summer, as we were anticipating taking grandchild number 4 on his (our first boy!) adventure, we reviewed what we had learned.

  • Spend more time in one place. Spending days driving in the RV isn’t really that exciting for a 10 year old.
  • Be flexible with your planning. SO MANY things can impact plans.
  • Don’t shop for food until after you pick up said grandchild.  And don’t be surprised if they order chicken tenders each time you go out for a meal.
  • Throw in some educational activities, but make sure there’s some good adventure options available too!

Given our logistical constraints and a bit of input from Noah (he was interested in amusement parks, the beach and scuba diving (!!!)), we decided to spend our week doing All Things Delaware.

Wait, Delaware?

I know – it doesn’t sound all that exciting, but as I checked into Delaware options it really seemed to fit the bill.  It’s got  historic/educational (it is the first state, after all) value, it had beach options (with boardwalk amusement rides), and while we couldn’t manage the scuba diving, we did venture high up into the trees with an almost four hour high ropes course.

We started our adventure with a bang (or a leap as it were) at the Go Ape Adventure course located right in the state park where we were camping. Since Noah really wanted to do the Treetop Adventure (“This is the big one! Our original Treetop Adventure in the canopy. Looking for 50 foot high tree-to-tree crossings, super long ziplines and heart-stopping Tarzan swings? Search no more. A 2-3 hour adventure like no other awaits you.”) and he needed an adult to accompany him, we decided that both of us we take the plunge.
To say that this was outside of our comfort zone would be an understatement!
We were stretched to be sure – but we all lived to tell the tale.

(I’m going to add high ropes/ziplines to my bucket list just so I can cross it off!)
The middle days of the week were filled with museums
Children’s Museum of Wilmington

Air Mobility Command Museum

and nature walks

and mini-golf!
We filled our last full day with Beach Goodness –
Time at the ocean,
on the boardwalk rides,
and finally at the waterpark.
Where we would wait patiently at the bottom of the big waterslides to see which chute he would come out of! (Well, when we weren’t floating down the lazy river ourselves!)

Phew. What a day! So fun (and minimal sunburns!).
Saturday we left our sweet parking spot (Lums Pond State Park) and regrouped back at Potomac Park, our August SOWER project location. But before we returned that beautiful boy back to his parents, we had one final bit of fun – spending the evening with his newly discovered (for him – not for us!) second cousins (thanks to that family reunion in July) who live nearby.
Such a sweet finale!
Sunday morning we packed him up (along with miscellaneous items (like those Cocoa Puffs) that we’d collected for him along the way)
and returned him to his parents.
It was a grand week! It was wonderful to spend that one on one time with Noah and many precious memories were made. We’ve definitely noticed that we’ve aged some since we devised this plan 8 years ago, but I don’t think we’d trade it for anything.

Maybe just factor in a few more naps!

Thanks for coming along on our Delawarean adventure!
PS – The whole batch of Noah’s Delawarean Adventure photos can be found HERE!