Friday, June 28, 2013


As I recently mentioned I love weekends - especially Saturdays!!  This one is slated to be a beautiful summer weekend and I plan to prepare for the upcoming 4th of July Henningsen BBQ!!  One project goes back a few months when I purchased Red White and Blue bandanas for a tied blanket! Thought it would look cute and festive thrown over the sofa when people walked in!

Dodger has other ideas I think  . . .

I am also planning to prepare some food for the freezer - just a couple dishes - and of course do some last minute cleaning.    

It's been nearly a year in our new home - and just tonight we finished trimming up some trees and to finish that off we will grab some river rock tomorrow and do a little landscaping.    Is the work ever done?

Then a friend and I plan to do some R and R at the Chataqua Swimming Pool - relaxing in the sun and exercising down the Lazy River . . . 

It's harvest time in North Central Kansas - so hubs will be working most of the weekend - so I can finish off the weekend with some reading - playing with the dogs - laundry - and oh maybe even a 

What are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mud pies anyone?

                                                              MudMud! Glorious mud
                                                 Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood.   
                                                  So follow me, follow, Down to the hollow, 
                                                  And there let us wallow In glorious mud.

Considering that the state of Kansas has been in a deep state of drought for several years - and parts of the Sunflower State are still - - - I should not speak these words - - - but I hate mud!

Recently we have been blessed with rain.  One night in fact it came so quickly and rained so hard that our back yard got a little scary . . . We had not witnessed that much water since moving here a year ago.  Water came from our neighbors who are higher up than us and ran between us and the neighbors house next door - picking up their new cypress mulch and a baby bird - and swooshed through our yard - right up to our back door - - - and off our patio.  Didn't last long - nothing hurt - well except for the bird - - - but mud - yuck.  You see our yard is not all grass - it has some large areas of dirt - anyway - you get the picture - water - dirt - - - mud.  

I love that God gives us some great lessons in nature though, don't you?  Tonight as I finished cleaning up around the yard - and my flower gardens - I decided to grab the shears and trim the rose bushes - With all of the rain and sunshine they had grown like crazy.    I quickly snipped away in the front of the house and hauled the prickly thorned rose stems into the trash can near by.  Heading out back - I trimmed up the small climbing rose bush - making quite a little pile of thorny (real thorny) leaves and stems.    Shoot forgot to grab the trash can - didn't have a sack - or anything to put the piercing little stems in  - - and I was so tired - didn't want to walk one more step to go back to the garage for the trash can - - - so I thought to myself . . . hmmmm . . . maybe if I gently touch this mean looking pile of needle like thorns  very lightly very carefully with very little pressure - carefully, easy, surrounding the entire pile with gentle hands and careful moves - - - I wouldn't feel any pricks and could inch my way to the garage . . . Get the picture???   It worked!!!  I easily lifted the entire pile up off the ground - the stems stuck to each other I guess - and not to me - - - and I was struck with this thought . . . 

Maybe those "thorny" people in life that we face each day should be handled the same way?  Like I said - God speaks to me in nature and his creation - and the lesson I took was that sometimes people who are rough around the edges just need to be handled with gentle caring attention - maybe it is best for me to take a soft approach - and then nobody gets "stung"!!    It certainly worked tonight with some angry looking roses -and after all, aren't  people who are "stinging and barbed" on the outside - still a beautiful rose in God's eyes.   Handle with  Care.

Blessings tonight in mud and thorns.


“He who slings mud generally loses ground.”

    Adlai E. Stevenson


Sunday, June 16, 2013

The fun is in the planning . . .

Recently I quoted someone's words about "best laid plans" and reported that I have not been good at following through with all of my plans - but for me planning IS half the fun in many cases!

Recently the 4th of July has become nearly my favorite holiday!  I love summer and I love flowers and I love red white and blue anything!  I love fireworks now that my kids are grown!  I used to be one of those "worrisome" moms.  The ones who didn't want to leave their kids alone with firecrackers, To blow up coffee cans and cool whip containers and 5 gallon buckets while they sat on them.....:)

In the past 5 years it has become a tradition for the kids to come to our house for the 4th of July.  Or at least for our daughter and her family.  Our son Todd living in South Texas does not make it home for every 4th - it doesn't always fall into the schedule that we have of getting back and forth to see each other.  And might I say - no matter what - - - although I know he is happy and has loving family there too - - - we miss them all and there is always a little something missing when they aren't with us!  Sidebar:  we are making plans to meet them in San Antonio, Texas for a weekend very soon!  To continue on . . . We have rented a pontoon before - - - they fish - - - I don't - - - they golf - - - I'm learning - - - and we have the traditional BBQ with steak and vegies.  Lately we have learned from Todd how to grill baby back ribs - so that is a new fav!  

I'm going all out this year - it has been a while since the kids have been able to come here and stay due to busy schedules and so it's parrtyyyyy time!!!

I'm asking for ideas - - - I'd love to hear your traditions for the 4th of July - decorating ideas - favorite foods - activities/games - At this point we have an agenda that looks like this:

Something new!   4th of July at a baseball game - pretty great American Tradition right??  Kids heard about 40$ all you can eat seats - which includes tickets to the game - good seats - and all the food and drink - well there are some limits - but at least we can have a good lunch at the game!  I'm excited about this! 

I want to do this in my back yard with our granddaughters red wagon.  I would use the one that we had for OUR kids but it was yellow and ended in a million pieces when said children and their cousin pulled the wheels off of it when racing it behind the golf cart.  Both wagon and golf cart succumbed to these children - :)  I think I can make this a thrifty decoration - - - I am guessing that by the first of July the greenhouse here will be down to the last remains and will be marking things down!   A couple of inexpensive small flags and I'll  be happy.  

Love to hear your ideas for decorations!!!  I am sneaking and sharing my sister Tami's front porch - - - I love it!!!

And lastly - I think this year we will add crafts and backyard games to the Henningsen 4th of July celebration.  These are a couple of borrowed ideas from Pinterest and I'm leaving game ideas up to my faithful readers to suggest!!!  

Happy preparing for your 4th of July!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Checking in and catching up . . .

What is that saying?  The best laid plans of mice and men . . . Not sure what it even means but I know I have failed the May Pin It Do It Challenge and My Summer Sand Pail List could fit in a thimble but life is about change and flexibility . . . I have been on the go and so I'm ready to accomplish a few more things on my list . . . but to hold myself accountable I will show you all where I'm at with this!

First of all I had 3 pins for May - - - I finished one - - - started one - - - and gave up on one.  You can check back here to see the tablecloth that I did get done and I enjoyed using it for a Mother's Day meal for my mom!  

This is the status of the red white and blue quilted throw that I will be starting on this Saturday - - - 

And the baby blanket for my great grandson - wow that makes me sound old - has not been started - in fact I have given it a second thought - - - but I still have time - - - I think I'll pursue it in a few weeks.

So that will wrap up the May Pin It Do It in June projects for me! :)

Next to report is the Summer Bucket -- no sandpail --  no Summer Half-Cup List for the Henningsen's.

I have had our granddaughter here for l0 days and did teach her to put together a quilt square.  I taught her the right side and the wrong side of material.  I showed her how to pin two pieces together right sides touching and how the pins help keep it all together.  We learned the on switch - the presser foot - the hmmm up and down lever for the presser foot :) - the needle - the thread - and how to thread the machine.   I taught Elaine how to sew a straight seam and how to trim the thread when done.  I taught the importance of ironing the seams when sewing and quilting.  Oh and the feat that proves to be the hardest on my machine is running the foot pedal - - - those suckers can be a little touchy - especially where a l0 year old and a sharp needle are involved.   Elaine was not really sold on sewing.  I'll have to try again another time.

Next item that can be X'd off the summer list is the front porch is being painted as this is being written! After much looking for the right paint - Clay discovered an old can that had been used before and this cleared up the decision making on whether we had to use oil or latex based paint!  Luckily Latex was the winner - much easier clean up!

I have not ridden my bike 25 miles in one day yet - I am working on building up my endurance!

Algebra I book is in the closet and after this weekend I will be starting a four week "experiment" with the textbook.   This was actually one of the 5 things I wanted to learn in 2013 but I scheduled it on the summer bucket list as summertime is when my daughter the math teacher can be of assistance!

As you can see I have a ways to go - but lots of summer left - 

We did as mentioned earlier in another post - make a trip to our sons in south Texas - and would love to do it again this summer!

 Let me know what you have planned for the summer and specifically for the 4th of July - It has been quite a long time since our family has been able to get together for a weekend here at our home - but plans are underway for a big Henningsen 4th of July Celebration!!!    I'm looking for ideas for crafts (family craft time exciting!) decorating ideas and fun games!!

Loving summer and the blessings it brings!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I need a vacation . . .

What a blessing I have enjoyed for the last 7 years!  I fell in love with Vacation Bible School when I had a granddaughter who could attend.  I started helping with VBS in our old church in Glen Elder and continued for the next many years.  Elaine has been able to come each year and spend the week with us as I take a weeks' vacation in order to help out!

So once again this summer we start a wonderful week full of one activity after another!

                                                     Quiet time around the fire . . . 

                        Something new this summer - a little backyard tent camping!

                                                 Pool Time with a New Friend!

                           Learning to sew!   Learning to make balloon figures!  Snuggles!


            And off to another family reunion this summer but made a new friend there also!!

We weren't ready to send her home and she wasn't ready to leave either  - Blessed to have the travel distance much shorter now and plan for several more visits this summer!!  So many things we didn't get to do!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Simple pleasures . . .


After a busy school year, it was great to find some time to spend with our daughter and son-in-law and their family.    We hopped in the car as soon as work was over Friday night and headed to Topeka.  Casey had been with a friend all day working on homework for her Math Master's program - and Tracy volunteered to surprise us all with a fantastic supper when we arrived!!

Not until we were all seated and prayer had been offered were we allowed to peak under the foil covered pans to see just what was on the menu!  It was worth the wait!!  Cowboy Pot Roast - cooked entirely over the heat of the grill . . .



After a relaxing and delicious meal we spent the rest of the night around the fire pit on the patio, chatting and telling all the family secrets with Ben and Angie and cousin Kyler.  Between the amusement of 3 dogs and the wild stories - - - we laughed the night away!

Saturday morning coffee on the patio in the chilly breeze and then the Konda men plus Henningsen headed out for an "ultimate" golf game at an upscale course in Lawrence.  Compliments of Ben and Angie and something they won!!  Don't they all look like they are having a great time even before they get started??


Casey and I spent some time shopping and catching up.  

We ended the short weekend with family supper at The Blind Tiger.  We headed back home but two more important things to do . . . 

Ben and Angie joined us for supper and we wanted to give them their baby shower gift as the shower was the next day and sadly we had to get back to prepare for VBS.  We are excitedly waiting for Baby Grayson to arrive in July!

Last stop - - - picked up our youngest granddaughter Elaine there in Topeka for a weeks' stay with Grandma and Grandpa!  Vacation Bible School! And much more is planned . . . 

  Back home - - - and ended a perfect weekend with some time around the fire!

  Blessings found in simple things - Time with family once again . . .