My new bowl – this is not a good picture. The bowl is white and blue. I’m not sure what to display in it yet. I stuck this pinkeep in it for now!

My favorite antique store is closing. Suitcases is located in an old two story house in town that I always enjoy visiting. It’s run by the mother of one of my old classmates and she’s getting to the point where she just can’t keep at it anymore. It’s always a joy to visit. There’s always a group of women (and sometimes a man or two!) visiting Barb for coffee and the best times are when she is unloading boxes. I could sit and listen to them all day talk about the antiques Barb is setting out and reminiscing about them. The memories of old – things that before long will be long forgotten. I also enjoy visiting with Barb’s daughter Missy. She’s a sweet person and we visit about this and that.

I hadn’t stopped in for quite some time. If I don’t visit – I don’t spend money but when I saw they were having a closing out sale I knew I’d better stop in. They are hoping to be done by the end of May and with the What Cheer Flea Market coming the first weekend in May I knew I’d better stop by. The flea market draws people from far and wide and they stop in the local antique stores on their way to What Cheer. Some of the vendors will even buy things to sell at the flea market. That’s another fun place to visit – the What Cheer Flea Market. It is amazing!

My haul from today:

One small frame to be filled with a something stitched. I’ll have to dig into my stash of finishes. I will swap the old cross stitch picture into the other frame that’s hiding behind it. The one it’s in needs some TLC. Two small ironstone creamers.  A nice blue bowl – I love the design on the rim.  A small blue and white bowl. (It’s hard for me to pass up anything blue!) A beautiful smaller wooden bowl with a favorite prim shade of blue bottom  and my favorite – two old rag rugs. They are much brighter in the picture than they really are. They will be perfect on each side of our bed. How nice in the winter not to step onto the cold floor.  And not pictured – an old copy of the book Black Beauty. I’m slowly starting to collect old books and this is one that I loved to read when I was a little girl.

I hate to see this store closing. I hate that Barb is getting to the point that she can’t keep it going. There’s just something about an antique store that draws me in and makes me feel at home and this one especially. It’s a special place and will be missed.

The weather here has not been very nice. Today it’s chilly, windy, and rainy. It doesn’t look like things are going to be improving any time sson either. Drew checked last night and Miss Mindy has moved her kittens. I’m hoping she’s found a dryer, warmer spot. The spot up by the house was pretty exposed to the weather. Not good for those little ones. We’ll have to keep an eye on mama and see where she’s spending all of her time if we want to find them again.

Well, I think I’ll run to town to buy paint. I haven’t painted the walls in this old house for quite a few years and it’s definitely time for an update. I’ve joined a couple of Facebook groups that showcase prim and country style homes and have been getting a lot of inspiration. It’s fun to see how others decorate. There are some beautiful homes out there. Mine doesn’t come close to comparing but that’s okay. It’s my home and I’m content.

More New Babies

Look what Drew found last night! I knew Miss Mindy had had her kittens but never dreamed she would have them up by the house. It looks like there are seven of them to be exact. Now Miss Mindy is a feral cat. She sticks around because we feed her and water her and we are grateful she does because she’s a great mouser too. But because she’s pretty much wild (nobody has ever been able to catch her) I never dreamed she would have kittens up by the house. There is a feral tom cat living down by the crib that we see once in awhile and maybe she felt her babies would be safer closer if she kept them closer to us. She may move them now that Drew has found them though. I was actually surprised to see them still in the same spot this morning. These babies will be a new project for Drew if they stay around. He will work hard to tame them!

Prom 2017


I love this – sixth grade dance on the bottom Senior Prom on the top. My how they have changed. Beautiful women and handsome young men. Eric, Anna, Lindsey and Tyler. Hard to believe they are seniors. It’s been fun watching them grow and change. They are each unique strong individuals. I’m sure they will go far in life!

What a beautiful day we had for prom this year. The sun was shining all day, the temperature was cool but not cold, we couldn’t have asked for anything better! It’s hard to believe that my baby is a senior this year. He was my baby for so many years before we had Drew and we hadn’t thought there would be another child. So I still consider him my baby – not that he wants me to think that! He’s so ready to head out into this big old world. He’s just tolerating things like prom and high school at this point. He’s definitely counting down the days until the last day of school. He’s ready to begin his next big adventure.

Eric and his date Anna. A stunning couple! I love to see the kids all dressed up.
Pictures were taken at Belva Deer by the pond. A local favorite for many in our community.
Allison, Luke, Eric and Anna.
It was a little windy outside. These four went out to supper at Olive Garden in Coralville after our little photo shoot. They went out to the cemetery on their way back and visited the grave of their friend who recently passed away. Then they stopped by our house to see the baby chickens!
Tradition here is the kids pull up to the front of the school in all kinds of vehicles. There was a tractor this year, a golf cart, a semi and a group showed up sitting in chairs on a trailer! These two girls sat on the tailgate of Luke’s vehicle. The dad in the background parks the vehicles for the kids and keeps their keys!
They look so nice!
My pictures got out of order and I can’t get them where I want them to go. Oh well! Here they are having fun!
And a typical guy pose waiting on the girls. I love that they both have their hands in their pockets! Check out Luke’s shoes! Allison was wearing white tennis too!
After Grand March. Each couple is introduced and walks down off the stage to the center of the gym.  After each couple is announced they all around the gym before family and friends head down to the gym floor for more pictures!
Braxton and Uncle Drew. Braxton was more interested in running around the gym than in taking pictures!
Me and Eric and Dad. I love this picture – Eric is not a picture taker so I have to take advantage of any chance I get to get a picture with him!
Eric with Grandpa and Grandma Ward.
This is a favorite – Aaron, Braxton, Eric and Abby. Drew was missing – he went home with my sister to Norwalk to spend the night. They came down earlier to see Eric, went out for supper with us and then left so they wouldn’t be late getting home. Jeremy couldn’t make it either. He got busy at work. Was happy to have Aaron, Abby and Braxton there for Eric.
The senior girls in their beautiful dresses.
The handsome senior boys. Eric’s friend Will was missing. His girlfriend is from another town and her prom was tonight too so he went there.
2017 Senior Class. Don’t they all look wonderful! A great group of kids!

After all the pictures were taken the kids headed next door to the little gym for the dance while a group of adults spent that time here in the big gym setting up for After Prom. After the dance the kids are give a short amount of time to leave the premises and change their clothes. Then back to the school for After Prom. Once they walk back into the school they aren’t allowed to leave again until After Prom is over. If they do leave, their parents get called and they aren’t allowed back in. They have all kinds of entertainment, refreshments, give aways, etc. for the kids to do until 4:00 a.m. Eric got home around 4:30 after taking Anna home. This keeps the kids from partying and driving around and keeps them safe. I think Eric had fun. He slept until 1:30 then had to be to work at 2:00 until 11:00 p.m. so I didn’t get to talk to him much. Another Sigourney prom is in the books for us and it’ll be a few years before Drew goes to prom!

Yesterday Joe and I worked on the lean to he’s putting up to store fire wood. Then we headed to Pella to meet Beth and Drew. He had a great time. They got root beer floats Saturday night and had chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. Then they went fishing. He was full of stories! We ate at the Chinese restaurant in Pella for an early supper then a nice relaxing evening at home.

This week I’m focusing on graduation decorations for Eric’s open house. I have a pallet sitting out in the sun right now drying off. I’m going to round up pictures and different display items today. I have mason jars and twine and clothes pins and balloons and lots of black and gold. Our school colors and the University of Iowa colors are both black and gold – that works out great! Abby is making a banner and my niece is making cake balls. I think all I have left to buy is the food. Eric’s only request – pasta and fruit. So Alfredo and spaghetti it is along with meatballs, shredded chicken, lettuce salad and fruit salad. I will be glad when this is all over with. I wish I could say I enjoy hosting these types of things but it’s just not my cup of tea. Thank goodness for Pinterset and my mom and Abby! And now I’m off to gather up photos and get caught up in memories!

I Choose Joy

Its been slow going on this one – a lot of frogging for some reason. But it hasn’t upset me in the least – I just remind myself to choose joy and enjoy the process!

I fell in love with this pattern as soon as I saw it. It’s by Lori Rippey. She designs the most beautiful prim patterns. This one has really been a joy to stitch! It definitely is a choice and I’ve learned through the years that no matter what, you can choose joy and your life will always be better for it!

Besides the obvious things that bring me joy, God and family being right up there at the top, these are a few of the things that are bringing me joy right now:

The Bleeding Hearts are blooming. A spring favorite that brings me joy.
A worn out Pierre – five whole days of having Drew home is hard on a cat!
A new prim finish. There is something about the feel of pulling that needle through cloth that brings joy. And horses and flowers and old prim frames. Pure joy.
The newest book in the Bellingwood Series – just waiting for me to open it up and jump in! Do I read it now or wait three months for the next installment? I love having more than one to read so I can visit Bellingwood longer!
My turquoise and red dish cloth and hot pad. I find joy in using the things that I’ve made. These are headed out to the camper!
Candles and some splashes of blue – for some reason burning candles right now brings me joy and the color blue has always brought me joy!
My wonderful husband surprised me yesterday afternoon – he asked if I was ready for the camper to come home. Oh joy! Of course I was ready. I’m always ready for the camper to come home! So off to Pella we went on a road trip to get the camper. There probably wont be any camping in our future until after graduation but at least I can start getting this baby ready. Our second home!

And now I’m off to take care of the chickens. Another thing that’s bringing joy to my life right now!

The Girls Are Growing


Meet Beaky – the largest of the brood. She is so pretty with her black and white feathers.


Not sure who enjoys the new coop more – Drew or the chickens!
Esther, Ethel and Blackie. I cannot tell Esther and Ethel apart. Wonder if I will ever be able to? Little Blackie is the smallest of the girls and she has a sweet temperament right now. Drew likes to cuddle with her!
The Hen House.

Easter Fun


The bluebells were up for Easter! One of my favorite spring flowers are the wild bluebells that grow in Dad’s timber. Rarely does a spring go by that I don’t get down to the timber to visit them. They are beautiful and the timber is my happy place. There’s no place I would rather be to relax and unwind!

We had a perfectly beautiful day for Easter and it was so nice and relaxing. Just spending time with family, sitting down together at the table, being outside and playing with the littles. There’s nothing better.

Grandpa and Braxton hunting for eggs. Braxton loved finding eggs this year!

Teamwork – I love how these two are bonding! They get along so well together right now. I can’t even imagine what kind of trouble they will get themselves into in the coming years.

A beautiful end to the day.


Birthday Boy


A battery operated pencil sharpener. You never know what he’s going to ask for!

Wow – Drew is 6! Where has the time gone? It’s amazing how fast time flies. There was no school for Easter so Drew go to sleep in on his birthday! He opened up presents at home on when Dad got home from work and we took him out to supper. Of course he picked his favorite restaurant, Bubba-Q’s in Ottumwa which worked out great as we picked up the chicken coop while we were there. They have the best barbecue ever although Drew always orders the macaroni and cheese! He got to open more presents on Easter and we had birthday cupcakes for dessert after out Easter meal. Lots of fun for a six year old!

Drew loves Play Mobile and he had been asking for the tree house forever. I love Play Mobile too – I would have loved to play with this stuff when I was little!
Love all the details!

Later we went out to the shop and put together the chicken coop. We were actually able to put the whole thing together without any arguing – a small miracle for sure!

Its so cute – cant wait until morning to put the chicks in it! I think they are going to love it!

Easter Decorations

My dads childhood decorations.

The older I get the less I decorate for the holidays. I might be just a tad bit lazy. It’s fun to decorate but not so fun putting everything away again. I do have a few things scattered around the house for Easter this year. My bunnies, my dad’s childhood decorations, and some of my cross stitch pin keeps. After taking the pictures I see that I have more scattered around then I thought I did!

After making the Spring pinkeep I decided to make one for the little boys for their Easter baskets. I love the little chicks fluttering around under the wheelbarrow!

We Have Chickens!!!!

Drew’s sixth birthday is coming up this week and we couldn’t decide what to get him. So, we asked him if he could choose between three things, a new bike, a trampoline, or chickens what would he want the most. His answer – a battery operated pencil sharpener. I do not know why he wants a battery operated pencil sharpener but he does. And he will get one so he has a present to open on his birthday. Along with the Playmobile treehouse that he has been wanting and I picked up a long time ago.

But – much to my delight he also chose chickens! I’ve been wanting to get chickens for the past couple years and Joe keeps saying no. Drew asks for chickens and what do we get – chickens! I can’t remember what breeds the two black ones are. I’ll have to ask when I’m back at the store buying bedding. The other two are Rhode Island Reds. Drew named his, the black ones, Beaky and Blackie. I named mine Esther and Ethel. Now if I can only tell them apart. A whole new adventure for us. This should be fun!

A trampoline would have been a good choice – it would keep him entertained this summer. If we were to get one it would be our third. Storms, wind and trampolines don’t go together. And he’s outgrowing his bike so he really needs a new one. Bikes and camping go hand in hand so we’ll see what happens there. But chickens – they provide fresh eggs, and they teach responsibility and they are fun to watch. I think he made the best choice!

Spring Was Here Today!

We had a beautiful spring day here today! The sun was shining, the birds were chirping and the temperature was in the low 60’s. Normally I consider that the perfect temperature, not too hot, not too cold, but I didn’t spend much time outside. For some reason, I have been so cold the last few days. Chilled to the bone cold. I did open up a couple of windows this afternoon to let some fresh air in but if I’m not up and busy, I have to sit under a blanket and I’m still cold. I hope I’m not coming down with anything. We had a nice surprise at supper again tonight. Aaron showed up unannounced. He didn’t stay long but it was nice to have all three boys at the supper table! Tomorrow it’s supposed to get up to 73 and sunshine. We have a soccer game in the morning and then I plan to spend the rest of the day outside working on flower beds. Even if I am cold! I want to enjoy the day as it’s supposed to cool down again and rain most of next week. Since April showers bring May flowers we should have lots and lots of flowers next month!