Tag Archives: Family

How do I even begin…

We returned to our RV two days ago (from our longest ever Cabin stay) and I’ve been staring at this computer screen off and on for the better part of those days, trying to figure out how to consolidate the amazing, wonderful, joy-filled family reunion into a blog post. I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t. It’s an impossible task, and I don’t need to even try! What I will try to do over the next few posts is share some highlights. So many precious memories were made at the pond,
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or on the swings,
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or during a massive Bingo game!
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But whatever the activity, the magic ingredient was always this –
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So.Much.Love.

Being Crafty

I fear I have set a new precedent. As you probably know, I really enjoy sewing. And sewing for my kids always brings me joy. When there’s a new baby on the way, I usually make one for throw-on-the-floor use before the darling arrives, and then another more keepsake-y (though still sturdy) for after his or her arrival. (Of our 12 grandchildren, 6 were “wait until they’re born” before we knew if it was a boy or girl.) (Here’s a post about the last two I made!) Once we get past the baby stage, I do one twin size quilt after they move into a ‘big bed’. I started strong with our Ellie’s bed quilt – she got it for Christmas just before she turned 4.
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The last one I completed was for Reis, who was 5 at the time.
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Next up is Alexandra (who will be 7 in October!!). While I was waiting to find the opportunity to go shopping with Alex’s Mom, I decided to make a Graduation Quilt for Ellie (the recipient of all the ‘first’ quilts!). I didn’t want it to be a big deal (since once I started this route there would be 11 others following) so I decided to do it a in a smaller ‘throw’ size, with nice cuddly fleece on the back. I found a fabric line I thought she would like, picked up a ‘layer cake’ (forty 10″ squares) in that line, and went about making my first Graduation Quilt!
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See the cozy fleece on the back?
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So the sweet little girl holding the pillow in that first picture –
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is all set with a snuggle blanket filled with Gram’s love as she heads off to college!
Meanwhile….
My youngest niece is having a baby boy next month (her first), and I was invited to my very first virtual shower. Since I had some nice grays hanging out in my stash (and I knew his room was done in gray), I was able to put together a little quilt for this newest member of our family in time for the party.
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I loved the fun backing too!
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(I think there are some matching pajama pants in someone’s drawer from a couple of Christmas’s ago!)
At any rate, it was a joy to send off a bit of Aunt Steph love to this sweet family about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime!

And finally – I did get a chance to hit a fabric store with Lara when we were in Ohio last month, and Alexandra’s quilt has officially been started!
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It’s going to be bright and cheery – and hopefully will be on her bed by the time she turns seven!! I’ll keep you posted!

So the machine’s been out quite a bit lately – and I’m thoroughly enjoying it! It’s been good to get the quilting juices flowing again!
Thanks for reading through all this Show and Tell. I probably should’ve put a “Craft Warning” in the opening paragraph! =)

Steph

O.H.I.O.

So Ohio was great! We were so excited when we learned late last year that an Ohio ministry had joined our SOWER family! And especially pleased that it was only about 45 minutes from our Ohio kids. Not in the same direction, mind you, but still. We didn’t make any weeknight jaunts (we are, after all, working folks during the week) but during the weekends we did manage to get in a couple of sporting events,
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a Kentucky Derby Party
Kentucky Derby hats!
a lovely family Mother’s Day gathering
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and even a purple manicure from an experienced technician.
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Oh, and did I mention there were some fun games on the deck
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and some lovely snuggles.
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Being able to work at Heartland this May was especially fortuitous because it coincided with our oldest granddaughter’s high school graduation!
Ellie’s graduationNot sure where the years have gone – but we were delighted to be able to share in the festivities. Although we weren’t sure we’d be able to actually go to the ceremony with all of the COVID restrictions, at the last minute the family was granted a couple of extra tickets so 6 of us (7 counting the daughter in the band and already there) were able to be there in person.
OK, it was kind of a far away in person sort of thing, but it was still thrilling to see this young beauty take this momentous step.
Ellie’s graduation
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(Pops stayed home with the boys and the baby and watched it on the TV!)
I loved watching the three oldest girls interacting together down on the field after the ceremony –
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But I think maybe this one is my favorite!
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Because, well, they’re sisters! And God made each one of them delightfully different!
Another highpoint of our time in Ohio was our last day when the whole clan (except Ellie B) came up to OUR Place for a picnic!
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We took a fun hike
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and the kiddos had a great time playing in the creek!
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After we stuffed ourselves and folks began to pack up for the trek home I even remembered to get some group pictures before we said our final (for this time) good-byes! (Lord willing, we’ll be seeing them all in July at our Family Reunion at the Cabin!!!!)
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Man, I love these guys! I think we might just have to volunteer at that Ohio project again!
The next morning we packed up and hit the road. But more on that later……
I know this has been long, and more than a little photo heavy, so thanks for persevering to the end! I did spare you from SOME of the photos, so if you’d like to see the rest of the set, you can check them out HERE!

What’s Next?

We had a busy last week in Ohio – besides wrapping up work at Heartland Retreat Center there was also The Graduation of our oldest granddaughter (whoohoo), and then we had the entire gang (less one) up at the campground for a fun final day picnic. But before I get into all those pictures (oh, and there are plenty of them!) I thought I’d just let you know What’s Next for us –
Montrose to The CabinThis summer our main focus is our family reunion at the Cabin, scheduled for the middle of July. We’ve parked the coach at our favorite PA project – Montrose Bible Conference, where they are kindly allowing us to leave her while we traipse back and forth to Vermont. Gary has a number of pre-reunion projects in mind, so we leave tomorrow (May 26) and will be staying until June 7th or so. Then it’s back to Montrose where we’ll work for a bit to earn our keep, and then back up to the Cabin by July 1st. While it’s technically R&R (from SOWER work), I’m pretty sure it will be more Rebuilding and Reconnecting than actual Rest and Relaxation. Though I dare say there will be a nap or two happening as well! And oh-so-many family hugs!
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The gang from our last reunion at The Cabin – 2012!

We’re looking forward to a great summer! The Cabin (my happy place), Family (my happy people), friends (ah, beautiful friends), and a bit of work for the LORD to round things out!

Spreadsheets to Bed sheets

And just like that, our May project is over! During the first of our three weeks at a project we’re finding our way, scoping out the new surroundings and getting to know our co-servants. During the second week we’re in our stride.  Our ‘new’ neighbors have become good friends, and we have a pretty good understanding of what we’ve been doing and what we’ll be doing in the days ahead. Then the third week hits. It’s like – WAIT. It’s almost over? But, but….didn’t we just get here? This month was no different! Thursday was our final official work day and already one of our neighbors has returned home.  So I before get too maudlin over these ‘leaving’ days, here’s a bit of a recap of our time here at Heartland Conference Center!

As mentioned before, I started out in the Health Office, helping to organize registrations and health forms that came in daily for summer camp. (YEA for summer camp this year!!!)
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This last week I moved from spreadsheets to bed sheets as I joined the other ladies in housekeeping – transforming this
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into this!
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It was fun to work as a team as we got the rooms ready for the next batch of visitors!
Since I had my sewing machine set up, I also mended about 10 of the spreads that were showing some wear and tear.
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But lest you be too impressed – I was really only stitching a small void in the binding – trying to prevent further ‘unsewing’.
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I truly did enjoy working with these sweet ladies!
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The guys worked on a variety of painting and plumbing projects, but I think the most memorable “guy job” on this project was the mowing on those fun zero-turn mowers!

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They were on those mowers at some point most days that the weather allowed it, ’cause folks, there is a LOT of grass here!
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(and this is only the view from our coach!).

Although it was work, I think it was just a bit like playing on go-carts for them as they’d drive them to break and home for lunch!
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The Mowing Team – spruced up for pictures!
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In the three short weeks we have been here, the trees have filled out,

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and so has our circle of SOWER family (also known as friends!)! We welcomed a brand new SOWER couple (whose last name is Sowers – how crazy is that!), and got to know a couple who reminded me of Gary & I ten years ago (high school sweethearts, three kids, full-timing, etc…)! Today we’re wrapping up loose ends, tonight we watch our beautiful Ellie graduate from high school, tomorrow everyone is coming here for a post-graduation/last day with Grams and Pops picnic, and Monday we pull up stakes (or levelers as it were) and hit the road!

What a stellar month it has been – filled with family and friends and a good bit of Kingdom work!  Thank-you, LORD, for this adventure you have led us on!