Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Spring is in full swing!

Well, March just flew by, and I didn't blog about any of it so I am going to give a quick recap!  We took a trip to Silver Dollar City in Branson over spring break.  The first day it was nice and in the 60's but the next morning we woke up to SNOW!  We cut our trip short and headed home a day early.  The kids had fun, but we didn't get to stay long enough, so we're hoping to go back soon!  I am so thankful we were able to buy season passes this year!

 
Poor Asher...Daddy convinced him to try the Great American Plunge again!  Click on the picture to see the cutest, but most terrified boy in the world!

 
Dancing with Daddy!

 
The Three Amigos!
(I still cannot believe we have three children!)
 
 
Because our Branson trip was so short, we headed back to Missouri at the end of the week to visit Roaring River State Park, in Cassville.  It was a beautiful day!  We took a picnic lunch, and then walked around the fish hatchery and the cave.  We had a really fun time, and we're hoping to take the tent to go camping on our next visit there!
 
 
Daddy and the littles looking at fish!  The water is crystal clear, and just beautiful!

 
Our pretty girl...she used those long legs to jump over the wall and onto a rock in the middle of the water!

 
I just love these kinds of pictures...hand holding with Daddy!

 
Hmm...never knew there were bears in the Ozarks...but apparently there are!
 
 
We also celebrated Evan's 7th birthday with the Wolfe family on St. Patrick's Day...so thankful for all of them!
 
 
Mike, Evan, Taylor, Charisse and silly Megs!
 
March was a busy month, and we have so much to look forward to in April too, Asher and Katie's birthdays, Katie's first Semi-Formal dance, celebrating Jesus's resurrection on Easter, and so much more I'm sure!  We are blessed!

 
 


Saturday, March 01, 2014

Our dining room...

Our dining room is my favorite room...because of the windows, natural light, and the patio doors.  I also love that it is large enough for our table to have all of the leaves in it and still have plenty of room...but I've been thinking...and dreaming of a few DIY projects.   The first photo was our dining room at it's "prettiest" current state...since then I have painted it a "normal" tan/beige color, and don't have the curtains back up yet since we moved back in.  I am ready for a change...so I have been looking on pinterest for ideas.  I am wondering if the 2nd picture would work, or if I could create some bookshelves to look built-in...just some ideas! I also would love to have a chair in this room, for snuggling and reading in the sunshine.



(Photo from lisamcdennon.com)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Spring is coming!

Spring is coming...and I am so ready!  I have a pile of items that need a fresh coat of spray paint, and I just can't wait!   I have dreams of a patio full of plants and have an ever-growing garage sale shopping list all ready to go!  I am ready for spring break too!  We are trying to plan a little getaway to spend some time together as a family...just having some fun :)  We need a little more fun, and a little less flu...ha! I am so thankful that spring is coming...it always fills me with hope and joy!

Monday, February 24, 2014

A few happy-ish things...

  • Our Claire turned THREE this past week!  Can't even believe our baby is so big! We haven't had a chance to celebrate yet...we have had the flu :(
  • The sunshine is beautiful this morning!
  • Our heater is working wonderfully (which is great...because it's very cold!)
  • I can hear Claire and Asher playing quietly and watching Veggie Tales in the living room.
  • We have almost survived this round of the winter stomach bug...Daddy and Asher are still down for the count, but I think they will be ok!
  • I have had a pair of cardinals visiting the bird feeder this morning-they are so beautiful and remind me of my Grandma Rench.
  • I have coffee.
  • Last night there was a beautiful sunset, and it reminded me of my dad.
  • I have a gigantic, ginormous, humongous pile of clean laundry to fold...and I am truly thankful for it :)


Monday, February 17, 2014

My Dad's Memorial

My Dad's memorial service was on Saturday, and it was just a really good day.  We were able to remember the very best things about him, and share time with family and friends, some who we hadn't seen in a really long time.  My sister sang, "No Other Word for Grace but Amazing" and my brother played the native American flute...they were both beautiful.  Our friend, "Uncle Mike" also said a prayer in Lakota Sioux language and it was so special. I was so privileged to give the eulogy and I made it through, without *too much* crying.  I wanted to share it here, for a little memorial to him on my blog:

Our Dad went to be with Jesus, and his family and friends that had gone before him on February 5th, 2014 at 3:52 pm.  Truly...it was the most amazing, peaceful moment I have ever experienced.  When he took his last breathe, my mom and sister and I could feel him "leave" the room..."leave" the earth...it was a really special and amazing moment.  Dad is in Heaven, with no more tears or sadness, holding tiny babies that left us too soon, getting big hugs from his friends who have gone before him, “Meatball”-Dean Powell, Tom McPheeters, Chuck Limos, and many others.  We know he is rejoicing with his sister and brothers, and his mama and dad, and even his in-laws, my Grandma and Grandpa Rench!

Our Dad loved people, he made them feel special, and he showed interest in everything and everyone he met.  He would talk to strangers for the longest time, and they felt comfortable talking to him.  He never turned anyone down, and picked up more hitchhikers than anyone I have ever known.  By the time he got the person safely to their destination, he knew and cared about their whole life story.   He was a great story teller, and shared much laughter with so many people throughout the years.   My dad was one of the most kind, gentle and caring people I know. He had the most forgiving heart, and loved his family unconditionally, even through the most difficult times.

Our dad fell in love with our mama when he was just 14 years old, and he pursued her love for 47 years all together.  He would drive around the drive in restaurant with her name spray painted on the side of his car…he loved her so much…even from the very beginning!  My mom and dad had their share of ups and downs, but stayed together for richer or poorer, and in sickness and health, until my dad made it to his home in heaven.  My mom spent every moment of the last 60 days of his life by his side, and I know he could feel her there with him, even until the very last breathe.

Our Dad was just born to be a dad, he naturally knew what to do with us…whether we were being ornery, silly, or heartbroken.  He had an amazing and admirable way of disciplining, always explaining the reason we were being disciplined, and always followed it by a hug and an apology.  He is the one who prayed with me when I accepted Jesus into my heart.  My Dad is the one who brushed and braided our hair, who built snow forts and snow men and tree houses, and made scarecrows and carved pumpkins, and stayed up with us when we had the stomach flu.  He cooked us big breakfasts, made the best grilled burgers, and loved sweet tea and ice water.  He loved us ferociously, scaring off rotten boyfriends when needed, and driving in the middle of the night to find us if we were talking to friends in McDonald's parking lot until 2 am.  He loved to have fun, and we leg-wrestled and WWF wrestled in our living room many evenings!  On Father’s Day, in 1985, my dad received the greatest father’s day gift anyone could ask for.  His boy, my brother, was born.  Together they shared everything a father and son should, sharing so many hobbies and interests together all along the way.  As a Dad to the three of us, he was truly an example of what love looked like.   

Our Dad was also an amazing Grandpa.  He would catch little critters for the kids, pulled them on many wagon rides around the yard with the lawn tractor, and horseback rides around the yard.   He always shared a never ending supply of lifesavers mints from his overalls pocket.  The kids would sit on his lap and check every pocket of his overalls and rearrange all of his belongings, but he didn’t mind a bit.  He was especially close with Tre, who shared his name, Robert Dale Weimer. He shared the same love that he had for his children with his grandchildren.

Our Dad was a very talented singer, and one of our very favorite childhood memories was sitting together in the living room listening to records and singing southern gospel music like Gold City Quartet, the Cathedrals, and the Imperials.  He could belt out those tenor parts, and I can just hear him singing in heaven now.  My sister and I can’t wait to sing with him again someday!

Our Dad loved riding his motorcycle, fishing, and going to mountain man rendezvous.   He was really proud of his Indian heritage, and made an effort to explore and learn more about this and share it with others. His Indian name was “Two Feathers”.  He enjoyed shooting his black powder gun, sitting around a campfire with Bobby, Uncle Mike, and our cousin Chris, and more than anything, loved being outside in God’s creation.  He wore overalls and a hat almost all of the time, and always a friendly smile. 

My Dad overcame so many health problems, beginning with having strokes in his 50’s and continuing until just a few weeks ago.  He also overcame anxiety and fear, and now has the ultimate healing.  During the past few years of his life, he would praise the Lord for every sunset that he witnessed, with a hearty, “Thank You Jesus!” no matter where he was or who he was with.  He gave the Lord all of the praise and glory, without worrying about what others would think.  I want to be more like my dad in that way, and in so many others.  I will miss you so much, Dad...we didn't have enough time with you, but Heaven gained the most amazing guy...we love you.

Friday, February 07, 2014

My Dad...

My Dad went to be with Jesus, and his family and friends that had gone before him on February 5th, 2014 at 3:52 pm.  Truly...it was the most amazing, peaceful moment I have ever experienced.  When he took his last breathe, my mom and sister and I could feel him "leave" the room..."leave" the earth...it was a really special and amazing moment.  My Dad loved people, he made them feel special, he showed interest in everything.  He would talk to strangers for the longest time, and they felt comfortable talking to him.  My Dad is the one who prayed with me when I accepted Jesus into my heart.  My Dad is the one who brushed and braided our hair, who built snow forts and snow men and tree houses, and made scarecrows and carved pumpkins, and stayed up with us when we had the stomach flu.  He cooked big breakfasts, made the best grilled burgers, and loved sweet tea and ice water.  He loved us ferociously, scaring off rotten boyfriends when needed, and driving in the middle of the night to find us if we were talking to boys in McDonald's parking lot until 2 am.  He loved to have fun, and we leg-wrestled and WWF wrestled in our living room many evenings!  He loved riding his Harley, fishing, and going to mountain man rendezvous.  He wore overalls and a hat almost all of the time, and always a friendly smile.  I will miss you so much, Dad...we didn't have enough time with you, but Heaven gained the most amazing guy...





Thursday, January 30, 2014

Worn

The past few days have been difficult.  My dad is very sick...and is in ICU.  He is on a ventilator, and the doctors are not sure of his level of brain function.  We are just waiting on tests.  Waiting on hope. Waiting on Jesus...to take him...to heal him...and I have felt so many emotions...unable to know how to feel...or even what to think at times.  I am tired...and grieving...and rejoicing when Dad does something like yawn, or squeeze a hand, or raise his eyebrows...just feel so confused...so I have just been praying for God's complete and perfect will.  Kris has been driving me to Joplin every day, and my friends have been taking care of my children...so faithfully.  My sister and brother, my mom, Aunt Gloria and Uncle Tom and I have laughed and cried and whined and whimpered and wept together for these three days.  Oh Sovereign Lord...we need your peace and comfort and intervention! I thought of this song by Tenth Avenue North this morning...and it just seemed to fit. My mom has to be completely and utterly exhausted, but she refuses to leave him...I know she is worn...

Monday, January 20, 2014

A few favorite slow cooker meals!

Someday...when Katie is in college, or has her first home, and she is needing a good recipe, my dream would be for her to come here...to my blog...to find some of the recipes that we use!  (So...future Katie...just know that I love you and I am so happy we made it through the early teen years :)

Here are a few of our favorite slow cooker recipes...which are super convenient, make your home smell wonderful while they are cooking, and are really very easy to make!  (Disclaimer: (lol) These are admittedly not our most healthy recipes, so please have a big healthy salad, a bowl of fresh fruit and a refreshing glass of ice water with each of these!)



Easy Crockpot Hash Brown Soup

1 26-30 oz. package of frozen, shredded hash browns (size varies depending on brand you use)
3 14 oz. cans of chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp. of black pepper
1 package of regular cream cheese

In a crock pot, combine everything EXCEPT the cream cheese.  Cook on low for about 6 hours.  One hour before serving, add the cream cheese and heat on low until melted.  Stir to combine.  Serve with cooked, crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, green onions, and sour cream!  Enjoy!

Crock Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

1 26 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce, your choice of brand/flavor
1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
24 frozen meatballs, your choice of traditional or Italian
salt and pepper
3/4-1 lb. cooked spaghetti
Parmesan cheese, grated

Mix all ingredients EXCEPT spaghetti and Parmesan cheese in a large crock pot.  Make sure the meatballs are covered in sauce.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours.  Serve over spaghetti noodles and top with cheese!  Enjoy!

Crock Pot Chicken, Veggies and Dumplings

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 small onion, diced
1-2 cups of chicken broth
2 cans refrigerated biscuits
1 bag frozen veggies (optional)

Place the chicken in the crock pot.  Mix together the soup and onion and place over the chicken.  Pour enough broth in the crock pot to completely cover the chicken and soup mixture.  Cook on low for 5-6 hours if chicken was thawed, or 7-8 hours if chicken was frozen.

Once chicken has cooked completely, remove the chicken from the pot and shred with a fork, or place in the kitchen aid mixer with paddle attachment on low until the chicken is shredded.  Return the chicken to the pot. 

2 hours before serving, stir in the veggies, if desired (let them thaw in the fridge while your chicken is cooking) and allow to cook for another hour on low.  1 hour before serving, cut biscuits up into bite size pieces and drop on top of mixture and allow to cook for at least an hour.  The liquid will cook the raw biscuits and turn them into dumplings and will be absorbed so that you have a creamy, delicious meal!  Enjoy!

Thanks for visiting...and future Katie...if you are reading this...call your mama!

PS-I will try and add pictures to this post the next time I make these---making the hash brown soup tonight and it smells amazing!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Made to Crave Online Bible Study!

I just signed up for an online Bible Study through Proverbs 31, and I am so excited about it!  I have always felt that I had a food addiction, or at least an extreme affinity for food...and I have had the the book, Made to Crave on my Kindle for a long time, and even borrowed the paperback before that from a friend...but honestly...I don't think I wanted to face what God wanted me to learn from it, so I have put off reading it.  So...I am going to try and start reading it...and hopefully turn my heart in the direction that God has for me...to crave Him...instead of the things of this earth. 

There is even an opportunity for a weekly blog hop, so I am going to try and link up to that each week!  We'll see how I do!

The first topic was to tell about your favorite scripture...and I have so many, but I wanted to share again about the scripture that my blog is based upon.  When I started this blog in 2005, and had only one sweet child, I never dreamed that God would eventually bless us with two more children...just no idea!  We had tried and tried to have more babies, and miscarried a baby in October 2004.  By 2006, I had given up on having more, and had that long conversation with God about acceptance...and contentment.  In 2008 I delivered our sweet boy, Asher, and then in 2011 our little Claire was born...God did immeasurably more than I could have asked for or imagined...and I am so thankful...that is why Ephesians 3:20-21 is such a special passage to me!

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!"  Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Our Valentine's Mantle!

I just couldn't wait any longer to get started on our Valentine's Day mantle!  Last year we were in our house in Rose Hill and I didn't have a mantle to decorate, so it's exciting to be doing this again back in our own home! 


The most expensive part of this mantle d├ęcor is the chipboard "love" from Making Memories, and it was $3.00 from several years ago.  I mounted it on red and white cardstock and have used it over and over again for Valentine's Day!  The little bird salt and pepper shakers and milk glass bird candy dish were sweet gifts from my friends Sabrina and Charisse!  Everything else was from garage sales or thrift stores!  The cute subway print on the right was free from Eighteen25!  I printed it out and mounted it on red cardstock and polka-dot cardstock from my scrapbooking stash.  The bunting is also made from scrapbook paper and baker's twine from the $1 spot at Target!  I think my favorite things I have ever collected are milk glass and birdie stuff...I think because they are so neutral, and can be used season after season!

 



 

Thursday, January 09, 2014

This one...


...writes on the wall, any chance she gets, with any writing instrument she can find---buts writes sweet words on our hearts, like, "I wuv you, mama" and "I wuv your hair."

...climbs all the way to the top of our upright piano almost every day---but climbs into our laps so many times a day...just to cuddle or tell us she loves us.

...wakes up at least one time (sometimes more) each night, and hasn't slept through the night in her entire life---but she wakes up every morning with the sweetest smile and the cutest, "Good Morning, Mama" or "Good Morning, Daddy" or "Good Morning Kakie" or "Good Morning Asher!"

...gets into every drawer, cabinet, box, tote, bag, and purse she can find, and usually empties it out completely before we even catch her...but she sure can get into your heart...and she FILLS it up! 

Claire Elise...you are our last baby...you are, by FAR, the most "two" two-year-old of all three of our kiddos, into everything, constantly "meddling" in something...BUT...Sweet Girl...you are the most loving, engaging, entertaining, and endearing baby I have ever met.  You are just such an incredible blessing...and we are so thankful for you.



Monday, January 06, 2014

Snow Day!

No school today because of the beautiful snow and freezing cold temperatures here in Kansas!  It is gorgeous outside but so very cold!  Whether they would admit it or not, the kids seemed ready to go back to school today, but they are enjoying being snuggled in for an extra day of Christmas break!  Right now all three of them have piled up all of the blankets in the house onto our bed, and have made a giant nest...it's quite sweet...and no one is fighting at the moment...that's bliss for this mama (who was also ready for school to start!)



Saturday, January 04, 2014

American Girl Doll Pillow Case Dresses!

A while back I decided to try and make some pillow case type dresses for Katie's American Girl dolls.  I used this handy tutorial, and the instructions were so easy to follow!  They turned out so cute!  I had some extra fabric scraps so we also made some headbands and handbags for them too!  We were really excited with how they turned out!  Please visit Cindy's blog to learn how to make these! 
 



 

Friday, January 03, 2014

Birthdays...

We have birthdays coming soon...Claire's birthday is in February and Asher and Katie's are in April.  I am always excited to start planning for their birthdays, and Pinterest helps so much with endless ideas and inspiration!  Last year Claire had a Dora the Explorer birthday, Asher had a shark themed celebration, and Katie's birthday was inspired by her obsession with Paris!  I wanted to share a few pictures of some of their decorations.  Some of the ideas and parties I see on the web are just amazing, but way, way, way out of our price range, so we try and keep our parties inexpensive but still lots of fun!  You can do a lot with balloons, streamers, a computer and a printer!
For Claire's party, I still didn't have a working camera, and we mainly celebrated with family, so I don't have many pictures, but I took several of the shark party and Paris party that I would love to share with you!