Love Is....

Love Is....

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Adding Natural Beauty

We loaded up the dogs and headed for Colorado early this morning.  When we arrived, I wasn't feeling acid was causing trouble so we stopped for a drink and potty break.

Watching the mutts during
their potty break.

Funny picture.  Drinks for Daddy.

Drink for Mya.

Drink for Briggs.

That Lovin' Feelin'

The place was loaded with people! We had come on a weekend of a tree sale. We were in search of trees to line our driveway! We also wanted a couple to go around the gazebo for shade and one Crimson King Maple to replace the big tree we had lost. The Crimson King is a purple leafed tree that we used to have growing up. They are absolutely beautiful and I have wonderful memories! I used to do my homework in our tree had at home! It was the perfect and logical place. I had a seat, a backrest, and a footrest and I could see everything that was going on!

Wow, what an experience this was at the tree farm today! The place was so huge that we had a personal guide through the trees. He was super knowledgeable and took us around on a golf cart to see the different variety of trees they had to offer. We had done some research and Heath knew what he wanted to line the drive with, so that helped narrow the choices down a bit. WOW~lots of trees! An absolutely gorgeous day with my hubby picking out trees that will add the natural beauty to our place and memories in the making!

We picked out Autumn Blaze Maples and Spring Snow Crabs for our driveway. We will alternate them along each side. The Autumn Blaze is a beautiful orange-red color in the fall and the Spring Snow flowers in white in the spring. We thought this would make a beautiful combination. Not 100% sure what we were looking to place next to the gazebo, we ended up with a blooming cherry of some sort. I don't exactly remember the names but it will be beautiful!

We had several gentleman wrap and load our trees. Thank you Garry for the use of your truck and Dad for the trailer! We were so grateful for the wonderful, knowledgable, helpful people that helped make this a wonderful experience for us!

Tied down and ready to roll!

If you look real close, you can still see our puppies through the jungle we created in the backseat! Before we left the last place, we grabbed a couple continually blooming lilac bushes to improve privacy around along the north side of our yard. We then stopped at one more place and found our Crimson King! Here I also found some $1 perennials. I had fun with that price!

We arrived home safely and got the trees unloaded. The doggies were so good today and were definitely ready to play when we got home.

A beautiful view with our new trees.  Heath just gave them
a big drink of water.

We concluded a wonderful day with a new smoothie recipe
we wanted to try.

Lots of color!  Natural beauty!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

*Bountiful* Harvest / Basket

We were blessed with LOTS of eggs (of all colors) and a very awesome Bountiful Basket.  (visit to find your local Bountiful Baskets site)  FRESH, NATURAL, and YUMMY!

Let me tell you a bit of a story on these eggs.  While I was out mowing by the driveway this afternoon, Heath came up and waved his arms signifying me to stop that he wanted to talk.  I turned off my blades and idled it down so that I could hear him.  He actually hopped on the mower with me and took me over to the barn.  In the irrigation part of our barn, he gently pointed out behind and underneath several boards was a nest with about 15 blue eggs!  No WONDER I haven't been finding them!  Then, he took me over into the stall part of the barn and there was yet another nest of at least that many or more!  I had just had a pep talk with my girls about their laying habits and come to find out, they were laying, just asking me to find them!  For the last couple of weeks, every time I went to the nest where they usually lay, there was nothing!

We hadn't been collecting them every day (since we didn't know we had to have an Easter egg hunt each day), we had to do the float test on all of the eggs to see if they were still good.  This test  is super simple.  It includes filling up a bowl with cold water and placing the eggs in it.  If the eggs float to the top they are not good to eat, if the stay under water and lay flat on the bottom of the bowl they are very fresh, and if they point straight up to the ceiling they are still good but need to be eaten right away.  You can use this test for both farm eggs as well as store bought eggs to see if they are still good to eat.  Here is quick reference guide written by someone on a blog with some good visuals to inspecting your eggs.

Lately, I have been really into trying to simplify things and be more 'natural.'  I found this laundry detergent the other day and thought that I would give it a try.  I was very impressed with the cleaning quality and it is SUPER cheap compared to the regular Tide.  It works in my HE machine and SMELLS very good!  It is clear, eliminating any artificial coloring!

Friday, May 29, 2015


With lots of rain and wonderful moisture, sometimes comes flooding. We experienced this when we got home from work. It looked like someone had sprinkled water all over our kitchen floor. Heath knew right away that something wasn't quite right.

Heath moved out our stove to get access to our dirt crawl space.  Thank goodness for all my daddy's hard work digging out tunnels down there earlier this spring.  Sure enough, it was exactly what Heath suspected, water....lots of it!

Determined to not let this ruin our supper, I talked him into leaving my stove plugged in so that I could make a hearty breakfast for supper meal. After all of his hard work under there, I knew he would be hungry! AND...we have lots of fresh eggs.

We used a five gallon bucket to pass up through the hole in the floor. He would fill it the best he could (space is super limited under there) and then pass it up to me through the kitchen hole (the secret hiding place). I would then carry the bucket full of muddy, watery mess through the dining room and out the front door to dump it AWAY from the house. Then, we would start over and while he was filling the bucket under the house, I would check on my eggs. :) TEAMWORK!

I don't deal well with messes, but we have good memories from this evening.  Marriage strengthener!

Supper turned out well despite the circumstances!

When Heath finally got as much as he could, he came up out of the hole and was covered from head to toe in mud. I sent him to our outdoor shower! WOW, is he a trooper!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Peaceful Morning Yoga in the Gazebo (with help of Mya)

Some cool flowers I saw today in a neighborhood!

Hopin' out of Heath's truck to get my car.
Happy Birthday Alicia!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Meanwhile, Back in Nebraska

Pa is helping us with the dead tree in our backyard!


Sad to see it go.  BIG nice tree, but not going to make it another season.

Isn't this gorgeous!?  My MAN is AMAZING!

What a Truly AMAZING surprise!

WOW!  Handmade with ~LOOOOOVVVEE~

The new landscaping around the shower Heath surprised
me with as well!

Enjoying the fruits of his labor! drag the tree to the paddock.

For size comparison.

BIG hole in the ground where the roots came out.
No cutting necessary, just pulled out by the roots.
The Senkel way.

Pa dragging the tree to the corrals.

It's a bit heavy.

New view with tree down.

Life is rough for this thing.  Hard day at the office.  :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Last night was wonderful with Granny!  As I was getting ready for bed, I texted my friends, the Monroe's, who live in Hannibal, Missouri.  Since I was so close, I really wanted to visit with them and see their new home.  As it turns out, I missed them on my way in but was hoping to catch them on the way out.  Liz said that she would be home and I asked if we could catch a run together.  I thought that would be a great way for me to stretch my legs for my roadtrip back home.

I got up early and was careful not to wake Granny, MapQuested Liz's location, and headed out.  Bye Granny, Love You!  As I headed to Hannibal, it was raining so hard that I wasn't sure if we'd be able to catch a run.  As I pulled up to their beautiful home outside of Hannibal, I was greeted by Duke, their sweet weimar and Liz!  We chatted as she showed me their new home and what all they had done with it.  It was super cute and very nice!  I even stole an idea (with permission) for my bathroom shower curtain!  YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE theme!!!!

By the time we finished the tour, my acid reflux was getting the best of me so, we decided to just walk instead of run.  We took Duke on the walk and on our way out, she showed me their garden and yard.  AWESOME work they have done!  Our walk was so wonderful as we caught up for the several lost years in there.  She is a cancer survivor and we talked about that and how well she is doing now.  I told her about Heath and how special he is to me!  All the time we are walking on a country oiled road that was curvy and lined with big beautiful trees.  Woah humidity, I have forgotten about you!  Sweat started rolling (in all sorts of places) when the sun decided to break up those rain clouds.  Curly hair, wow, haven't seen you in a while.  I never thought that I would miss humidity, but I do miss my curly hair!

I am so thankful for this wonderful, wonderful visit with Liz.  I am so happy to hear her story and to hear how wonderful she and Kyle are doing!  Praise God!

From the country oiled road that was curvy and lined with trees to
wide open spaces....welcome back to Nebraska!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memory Lane

So incredibly *BLESSED* to wake up to this beautiful scene in my childhood home.  It was like a dream!

Kristin and I spent alot of time like this (see photo below) catching up on the past 2.5 years!  Crazy how fast time goes by and how your sister can travel around the world and live in several different spots while you go to vet school, have two hip surgeries, and get married!

She gave me that flower ring sitting on the foot board of the bed.
It is from her and my Mama's trip to Bali!

Memory Lane ~ The Silo, Dare to Climb

Let me give you a quick rundown before I get too far along in my story.  This is my Uncle Greg and Aunt Kathy's undertaking.  With the help of my cousins, their kids, they were able to turn this old grain elevator into a rock climbing gym while I was in high school.  I believe it began somewhere around 2001.  It includes two 60' silos (sides) and one 120' silo (middle).  There are several runs inside each bin including some over hang work.  I don't know if you can see it, but there are a couple of runs on the outside (on either side of the entrance).  This elevator was a mess when they started.  They were either going to have to dynamite it down (this is right across the parking lot from their home and funeral home) or do some major renovating and turn it into, well....The Silo!  I can remember all of the animal poo they had to sort through to get that place cleaned up.  They then had to create all of the routes.  They had classes where you could get certified to belay another person and even allowed lead climbing.  Included in the experience was a front desk where you could purchase gear as well as a Powerade machine.  Anytime I have a Powerade, to this day, I still think of The Silo.

After a demolition derby one night the summer before my sophomore year, I became a rock climber.  My first climbing experience happened with the help of my old high school friend and boyfriend Kyle.  Since he was very good friends with my cousin John, they operated and kept staffed this climbing gym in Rochester, Illinois.  With his influence, I purchased a harness and chalk bag which I still have today!  Shortly there after, Kyle purchased me some climbing shoes to complete my ensemble.  I really enjoyed the experience and it kept me busy during alot of high school....climbing, helping belay at little kid birthday parties, and inviting friends to show them and help them experience rock climbing!  One particular night, I got to climb the outside run and see our little town from the top as the sun was setting.  What a spectacular sight to see!

The above photo is of a fresh natural spring that is just outside of my Mama's ole' stompin' grounds of Pleasant Hill, Illinois.  You can only see this natural beauty if you take a specific route to Granny Lee's.  Lucky for me, I chose the correct route.  Now, I have been to Granny's a thousand times before, but I don't know about you, if I'm not driving, I am not paying attention.

Crazy selfie with the fresh stream!

I have arrived!

BLESSED beyond WORDS to get to spend the evening with my mother's mom, Grandma Wandalee Kinscherff!  She is 91 years young and still living by herself.  She heads south each winter to enjoy the sunshine of *sunny* Arizona.

Wow, was it a wonderful evening!  Granny was waiting for me at her kitchen table and shortly thereafter, my Uncle Mike picked us both up to take us to the levy!  On our way to the Sny Level district, we stopped by my uncle's gas station, the PH Fast Stop, for a little soft serve ice cream.  (At this point with my hernia/reflux situation, ice cream was a good choice...smooth, cold, and yummy!)

This tour was nostalgic as it brought back memories.  I was fortunate to help with the flooding back in, oh, probably 2008 (not 100% sure on the year).  This was quite an experience as the whole town was allowed off of work (they even closed my uncle's bank) to help fill sand bags to take out onto the levy to try to stop the MIGHTY Mississippi from breaking through.  Everyone's lives and livelihoods depended on it.  The American Red Cross was there, Army Corps of Engineers, and several other organizations.  In fact, I worked with my uncles and a group of young men from the Mormon church as well as a group from the prisons.  I think my uncles were using me as bait to get them guys to work harder...LOL!

Our tour ended with the sun setting over the Mississippi and the bull frogs singing.  We surprise visited my Uncle Goat who was in the plucking/gutting shack (just cleaning some fish they caught that day), my Uncle Mark who was at his home, and Uncle Richard and Aunt Nancy who were also at their home.  I love my family and soooo look forward to my next visit!  Hopefully, Heath can join me!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Church and Coop Party

I got to enjoy a beautiful view with my breakfast out on the back patio.  Mama has these BIG BEAUTIFUL peonies growing in her yard.  These SO remind me of my Grandma June.  She had these lining her driveway at her old house.  You could smell their *wonderfulness* from sitting in her amazing hammock placed between two of the biggest trees you have ever seen!  I wonder if we could get these to grow in Western Nebraska!?!!  (P.S. Doesn't my Mama do a wonderful job keeping up all of that yard all by herself!?!!)

Can you see that large Christmas tree, tree in the background?  It's so large the whole thing doesn't even fit in the picture.  I can remember mowing around these trees back in high school.  They were  so tiny then.  Growth is one change that really reminds me how fast time is going by.  To live each day to the fullest with sights set on God.  His beauty surrounds us daily and if only I take a moment to be thankful before another day goes by!

Modeling an peony flower arrangement
with weeds!  My favorite type of

Crazy cool sunlight in this photo.
It is coming in from the back stairway that
goes from my bedroom down to the kitchen!


This afternoon we helped Mama prepare for our Coop party.  It was such a blessing to have so many of my childhood friends and family join us.  It is always so hard to get together with everyone you want to see in such a short time frame when you are home.  I absolutely love that, ever since I moved out west, I think every time I have been home for one reason or another, Coop has always gotten together.  This is SUPER special to me!  My cousin Susan even came with her family to visit.  Wow, have her handsome little boys gotten big.  Suz used to babysit us and we would have food fight wars and play school and Ms. Minchin and one of my all time favorite games, Forest!  I was raised in the country and it is hard for that piece of my background to ever leave me.  I cherish it and would love to share that with others.

Weedy arrangements = Natural Beauty!

Monroe's even came!!!!!