Dear Josie,
I hope you're not sad that I don't kiss your cheeks and bend your ear anymore.
Or call you Fluffy.

After I had my own baby, those mushy affections were taken from you and planted on little Leyla. Suddenly you seemed too old to treat that way. I felt a bit guilty, but I know you were most likely relieved. I do sometimes accidentally call Leyla "Josie", though.

Today, on your 18th birthday, I want to tell you there will always be a soft place in my heart for my baby sister.

Happy Birthday Josie!
Love, your oldest sis

P.S. That was a fun party tonight.


It was a really great Saturday frolicking around the local amusement park.
Not only did we have a nice time as a family, but we got to spend it with our church family. We do every year.

As we drove off, the kids waved goodbye to the ferris wheel and roller coasters in the skyline, saying there's no way they can wait a whole year to go back...

(P.S. As for my new friend, my hubby thought we'd look good in a photo together.)


They took us up on our offer.


Rewind: Labor Day Weekend - Part 2

Children at play. (While the adults sit and eat. Unless you count canoing down the river, but that's still sitting.)


Rewind: Labor Day Weekend - Part 1

We tagged along with some friends and headed south for a 3 night camp out. Their uncle lives on some property by the river that is a sight for sore eyes. The uncle has a wife and 3 kids. Boy, were they hospitable. At one point the count of tent pitchers and camper hitchers added up to 60ish people. Who knew that if you drive south for an hour, everyone suddenly has a twang in their voice. Even my husband's roots snuck up on him a bit.
Perfect weather, perfect company, perfect setting. We were thankful to be there.

The Scenery.

Stay tuned for more.


On the next chilly night,

come over to our backyard and warm yourself.

We'll roast ya some.

Just plop your chair anywhere.

Except not next to him. I sit there.


I'm super excited about the potential I now have.
It's bound to happen.

And then I'll turn the rest of my family into a supers.

So watch out world and watch out Incredibles.


The other morning I announced to the kids that we were going on our first field trip of the year. Chloe looked worried, "you're going to have to carry me, Mommy, because I don't like itchy grass."

She didn't know it, but she was actually right. We were going on a Farm Crawl Outing or a journey to three local farms.

Picket Fence Creamery

From their 80 jersey cows they offer natural and hormone-free milk, butter, ice cream, whipping cream, cheese curds, and beef.

Prairieland Herbs

I picked up some lovely vanilla lavender body mist made from their aromatic herb gardens.

Northern Prairie Chevre

They invite you to experience the marriage between the land and labor that is evident in their artisan cheeses.

And the other night...
"Mommy, your arm tastes like basil."

I suppose it's not too unusual for Caden to do something like lick my arm while I'm holding him... because he's a curious little boy.

Plus the fact he loves playing the part of "puppy dog" while his sisters play house.

I smiled at his silliness and then I remembered that vanilla lavender herbal spray I put on hours ago. No wonder.