Friday, December 7, 2012

Sinterklaas - Take 2

Wednesday morning when we woke, sure enough- Sinterklaas had left candies and chocolate in our shoes!

On Monday, we received three packages from Marieke's parents. With strict instructions: "Open on 5, December!"

Marieke's parents wanted to be part of her Sinterklaas celebration, so we made a "Skype date" after school- or 10 pm Dutch time.

The tradition is to write poems for one another, and Marieke's poem told her that her dear, dear friend was coming to visit! I have not seen a more excited girl! We cannot wait to meet Miss Marieke's friend Janneke she'll be here for a whole week in February.

We had invited two other exchange students, Elena & Shelly and their families to celebrate Sinterklaas with us. As they were telling us all of the tradition, how Sinterklaas comes to town with Zwarte Piet on a boat from Spain, and while Sinterklaas is on the roof with his white horse, Zwarte Piet knocks on the door with gifts for the good boys and girls.

Just at that moment, there was a knock on the door-

Two little Zwarte Piets! With little gifts for all the GOOD boys and girls!

We had a wonderful evening celebrating the European holiday with our beautiful exchange student.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Tonight is "Sinterklaas Eve" a very European holiday we are celebrating in honor of our Dutch Daughter, Marieke.

Rumor is, Sinterklaas will put some candy in our shoes as he drives by tonight.  We have our shoes by the front door, ready to go!

If you are curious, you can read more about this man HERE.

Back In The Saddle?

Harvest Moon
Fall 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Hi, my name is Sarah, and I haven't posted or read a blog in fifteen days....

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Things I Like...

One of the things that really bugs me about elementary school is all the papers. Oh, my goodness do we have papers.
What to save, what to toss... It's a big dilemma for a saver like myself.
And how to store what I've decided to save?  ARGH! It drives me crazy.
As for this paper that came home with Isabelle, I think I'll be saving it.

Isabelle loves all things "princess". If it's pink, ruffled, laced, glitter or sequined, she's all about it. Oh, and shoes. She loves shoes. So much, that she thanked God for them Sunday night at communion. Yes, yes she did.
I was a little surprised when she brought this piece of "art" home, and it was totally void of all the things she usually "likes".

When we were talking about each picture she put on her page, She said she likes to ride horses. mmh hmm. Princess ride horses.

A form-fitting cocktail dress? She liked the color.

And that, brought us to this:

Yup. She likes cowboys.
Singing cowboys.

I think her daddy has his work cut out for him!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bribery or Creative Parenting?

This poor lonely little blog.
Our life has exploded, and it's all I can do to keep these people in food and clean underwear.
It is my goal to get back to blogging on a regular basis. I need the quiet time! But my crazy life is not what this post is about. It's about Jackson. The baby of our family and how he gets "Whatever he wants".
When school started back up again, my friend Rita graciously agreed to watch Jackson for me while I worked.
Jackson knows Rita, and likes to go to her house. But neither of those things kept him from crying and clinging to me every. single. time. I dropped him off.  Ugh. Not the best start to my day.
So I decided to utilize a tip from my friend T.
I pulled out some fabric and whipped him up this great little drawstring bag:

I've been trying my hand at machine applique- I need some more practice.

The bag is just about as big as he is!

Then, I took him to the "Boy store" (Big R and Tractor Supply) to pick out some animals to take to Rita's in his bag. The Schleich animals are his favorites.

He was sure he needed a shaggy horse

and a horned cow.

Fifty dollars and a few animals later, he now has a bag of toys he leaves at Rita's house.

He hasn't cried since.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Our second date was baling hay.
Who knew eighteen years later (yikes!) we'd still be on a tractor together?
Irrigating corn.
Summer 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hot Pig in a Cold Tub

Earlier this summer when it was like four hundred degrees outside, I took some garbage out to the pigs. After tossing the bowl of goodies over the fence, I realized the poor little guys were out of water.
So, Jackson and I toted them some cold water. And by "toted" I mean we hauled it on the gator.
These pigs were so funny, I had to go back in for my camera.
They drank up the water with such enthusiasm, Jackson and I just laughed at them!
After they got their fill, they dumped one container out on the ground so they could lay in it.

This gal decided to just get in the tub!

Jackson and I had a good time watching her wiggle herself down in the container trying to get as much of her as possible in the water.
Crazy pig.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Day of School

It finally happened.
The year all of my children went to school!
 And yes, I'm still "catching up".  William and Isabelle are back at St. Bernard. Their first day was August 14th.
Isabelle is in the first grade now- 

She looks rather pained in this photo, but she was very excited!

All lined up with some of her classmates!

William is one of the "big" kids, he's in the 5th grade.

He couldn't have been more thrilled to see all of his friends again.

As for our big girls... Elizabeth is a 7th grader... her first year of public school. To make me even more nervous, the Junior high is in the same building as the Senior high. ugh. Marieke is a junior. They started August 17th, and were so very happy to have some days at home without William and Isabelle.

Logan is a junior too, but he started three days later than the girls, so no photo. bummer.

None of them were excited about school, but all were delighted to see friends every day!

Jackson, Jackson. My sweet baby boy.

He was all ready for school in the days before, talking about it, so happy to be a big boy.. but on the morning of his first day- not so much. He wanted to stay home with his daddy.

His teacher, Mrs. Dils was super sweet and let me sit with him for a minute. He tends to cry and cling to my leg when I need to leave him somewhere. Fortunately, Mrs. Dils has a combine and a field of corn that need to be harvested in his class room.

I was perfectly fine with all of them off to school. Even Jackson. Not a tear.

But, when I picked him up that first day, I got a little choked up~ he looked so grown up with his backpack on. *sniff, sniff*

Friday, August 31, 2012


The "catch up" post continue... ketchup? catsup? hmm.  ANYWHO.
Remember my nephew, Logan?
He came to live with us.

He's 17, and a junior in high school. He's funny and handsome. (of course)

Logan is flexible and easy-going. Willing to get dirty. Which Ryan loves.

Always ready for an adventure- Loves to pick on Elizabeth and William. That's what big brothers are for, right?

He can drive! He willingly runs errands for me and Ryan.
He drives to school, and these two girls couldn't be happier about NOT riding the bus!

He calls me "Aunt Sarah"
I love it.  and him.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Cutest Puppies In The World!

Remember those cute little puppies?
Well... they have grown up!!

Since I feel like Ruby looks, we are looking for good homes for these eight little cuties!
 Is your family ready for one of the cutest puppies in the world?

Monday, August 27, 2012


(Mah ree ka)
The silence on this blog is deafening.
We've been uber busy- but I'm ready to get back into our regular slow schedule. Ha! What a good joke.
I'm ready to start blogging on a regular schedule again too.
First things first, we are completely smitten with our new big sister. We are having a great time getting to know her better, and introducing her to our typical mid-western life style.
She's had a lot "firsts" in her twenty days here...

She was here 22 hours, and I took her to her first soccer practice.  She's the tall one.

Not 24 hours later, she milked a cow.

And then, climbed the silo. It's ok. She has the extreme sports insurance.

We canned peaches and made peach jam with Cousins Connie and Jennifer.

She ran a 5k!

First day of school. sigh. School is school, whatever country you live in...

She went to her first American football game,

Played in her first American soccer game. We tied, 2-2.

She likes ice cream, and is amazed that girls actually wear pajama pants in public.

Her English is fabulous, but has a tough time with "th" as in: "Mudder" and "Brodder". It's not a sound they use in her native dutch. She trying to teach us some dutch, I've got "Walnoot" and "Stool" (walnut and chair) as for "please" and "thank you"? It's all dutch. Ha.

She's learning that little brothers can be annoying, and incredibly sweet. She's also very happy she's not 13 anymore.

She's very tall, and very smart. She's respectful and helpful.

She's making lots of friends, and figuring out American high school like a rock star.

I cannot believe her parents let her come, but we're so glad they did!!