Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Day of Mourning

Twelve years ago today, the Dutch Mill burned down. I had worked there for two years, 4 months and 3 weeks (to the day). Tonight, we went to the Corner Depot for supper in honor of the Dutch Mill. I ordered a sandwich that would have been the equivalent of the Dutch Boy (a Dutch Mill favorite), fries, a vanilla coke and a piece of Pecan Cream Pie. I'm happy to report, that it didn't even come close! There will never be another Mill. But it wasn't just the food that made the Dutch Mill great. It wasn't just the building with it's dozen dining rooms. It wasn't just the atmosphere with it's 50's decor in the Cupboard. It wasn't just the people. It was a combination of all those things. And all of those factors will never come together exactly like that again.

Long live the Mill!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Pictures 2009

Monday's w/ Michael
Here are some pictures from the past week. Enjoy!
Jane made me a Santa suit. Here I am with my 2 elves.

We had our family Christmas on Wednesday. For whatever reason, I couldn't find any pictures of that.

On Thursday, we went to my parents.

Here are the 5 guys enjoying an intense game of Uncle Wiggly.

Here is Deacon sitting in the sled that Uncle Ben and Uncle Joel got him.

Deacon also got his very own sleeping bag!

Friday morning, we opened our stockings before church.

Here we are in our Christmas pajamas that Mommy made!

You need to start teaching them early....

After church, we went to Grandpa & Grandma Yerglers for the afternoon.

Deacon enjoyed playing in all the trash.

Gavin showing Phoebe how to use his new mixer.

We spent Christmas evening at Jane's parents. Santa even made an appearance!

Santa with Jane's nephews, Lucas and Liam.

Deacon and Liam watching a cartoon.

The two brothers, relaxing after an exhausting (and very fun) day.

This was Finn's first Christmas. I think he enjoyed it!

Make it a great 2010!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Date

Monday's w/ Michael
Another Christmas tradition we have is taking turns planning a date night around Christmas. This year it was Jane's turn. So Saturday night, we headed up to Ft. Wayne. I had no idea what we were doing (other than doing some shopping). We dropped the boys off at Lee & Julie's to spend the night so that we could take our time and wouldn't feel rushed.
Our first stop was Headwaters Park for some ice skating. A few years ago, Jane and I bought our own ice skates, but we haven't done it much since. Even though we are both very inexperienced skaters, we had a lot of fun and neither one of us fell!
From there we started walking. Near the beginning of our walk, I asked Jane if we were walking to a specific destination or if we were just walking to walk. She was very evasive and it took a few blocks before I realized where we were heading: Coney Island! This was very sweet and sacrificial of Jane. She's not much of a hot dog fan, but she knows how much I like my coney dogs!
After our delicious supper, we did some shopping. We went to a few stores, the mall and Target. We somehow managed to avoid Jo-Ann's (which once again proves she planned this date with me in mind!) After Target, we headed back to Bluffton and decided to stop in at Walmart to pick up some last minute items. We didn't get home until after 1:00. We haven't stayed out that since we've had Deacon, so it was a lot of fun. Thanks again, Dad & Mom, for watching the boys so that we could do this. And thanks, Honey, for planning such a fun night!
Make it a great week!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Monday's w/ Michael
Last week, I talked about traditions. Today, I will talk about routines. My routine when I leave work is to take 124 to 301 to 100N. I could take 124 to Thiele to 100N. It would get me home in the same amount of time with the same amount of miles, but for whatever reason, I choose to take 301. I do this everyday.
Today, my mom called me at work. She had something to take to my neighbors and asked if I could pick it up on my way home. I said that I would be happy to take it there. She wasn't asking me to go out of my way at all. All I had to do was take Thiele to 100N and then I would drive right past my parents house. I drive past my neighbor's house multiple times every day, so what she was asking me to do was not difficult at all.
I called Jane around 4:45 and told her that I was doing that for my mom on the way home. Well sometime between that phone call and 5:00, I totally forgot. I followed my routine and took 301. I didn't even think of it as I drove past my neighbor's house. I didn't think of it until I had pulled into my driveway. When I realized what I had done, I ran inside and told Jane. Deacon wanted to ride with me, so I loaded him up in the car and we ran down to my parents.
Sadly, the story doesn't end there.... We picked up the package from my parents and headed to my neighbors to drop it off. Somewhere in that 2.5 mile drive, I totally forgot. I didn't even think of it as I drove past my neighbor's house. I didn't think of it until I had pulled into my driveway. Deacon and I zipped right out of our driveway and down to my neighbor's where we safely delivered the package.
Fortunately, our 1/2 mile drive home was successful!
I hate getting old.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Traditions

Monday's w/ Michael

As you all know, Jane and I love our traditions. And no other holiday has as many traditions as Christmas. For us, the Christmas season begins the day after Thanksgiving, as we battle the masses searching for the perfect gift on Black Friday. This year, we left home a little after 4:00 AM and got to Target before they opened at 5:00. We had a great day and made a lot of really good purchases. Thanks Mom & Dad B for watching the boys overnight so we could get an early start.

The next tradition comes the following day when we go pick out our Christmas tree. For the past couple of years, we have gotten our trees from the Fennig family at Holly Pines. http://www.hollypines.com/index.html They make it so much fun. They have a straw bale maze in their barn and a cute little gift shop in one of their other buildings.
They offer wagon rides.
They even have their very own Santa!
Deacon enjoyed helping us pick out the perfect tree. Unfortunately, his choices were a little smaller than what we had in mind.
Once we find the perfect tree, the next adventure is getting it home safely.
Later that evening is another favorite tradition: decorating the tree! Deacon was quite the little helper this year. Here he is helping Mommy with the lights.
He even wanted to stand on the stool so he could reach higher.
And he loved putting on the ornaments.
These are just a few of our fun Christmas traditions. This is such an exciting time of the year and we have so much to look forward to over the next 18 days.
Make it a great week!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Weird, Random Thoughts

Monday's w/ Michael

You know when you are almost asleep and your mind starts drifting and weird, random thoughts pop into your head and you have no idea where they come from? I've had a lot of those moments lately. As I'm feeding Finn in the middle of the night, trying not to fall asleep in the rocker, my mind comes up with some pretty interesting things. I've been trying to keep track of them. Here are actual thoughts that have entered my brain in the past few weeks and my best guess at an interpretation:

"The brown fur doesn't have bones. It gets its support from naps." - Hmmm...one of Bailey's puppies has brown fur. And I need a nap!

"Do you know the local paramedics?" "Yeah, I used to watch over them when I was in the front." - I think I intercepted a conversation between two angels. The paramedics watch over us, but who watches over the paramedics? Angels, obviously.

"Yeah, but with that face, she's got to be some type of perniacle scout." - "Perniacle"? Ok, not making sense is one thing, but when you start making up words, you know you are behind on your sleep!

"We'll work on that free throw after he wakes up in Pretty Mad County, ok?" - I think I was thinking about teaching Finn how to play basketball, but I'm not sure why he was in the county of "Pretty Mad".
I had originally typed this when Finn was just a couple weeks old. I had hoped to have many more weird thoughts, but now that he is sleeping through the night, I am thinking much more clearly.
Make it a great week!

Monday, November 23, 2009

It was just a dog.

Monday's w/ Michael
This family I know owns a dog. Their dog likes to run. It travels all over the neighborhood. Everyone in the neighborhood knows the dog. They don't mind that it visits them. It's a nice dog.
A lady I know happened to be driving through the neighborhood one day. She saw the dog walking along the road. There weren't any houses nearby. She was afraid the dog was lost. She stopped the van and opened the door. She was going to check to see if the dog had tags so she would know who it belonged to. Instead, the dog hopped right in the van. So she drove to a few houses in the neighborhood to see if anyone knew who the dog belonged to, but no one was home. So she decided to take the dog back to her house, since it was such a nice dog.
When she got back to her house, she made a few phone calls to people she knew that lived in the area where she found the dog. Still, no one was home, so she left messages. She decided that if no one knew who the dog belonged to, she would keep it. It was a nice dog.
Eventually, someone from the neighborhood called her back and told her who the dog belonged to. They explained that the dog likes to travel and that is why it was so far away from it's home when she found it. She loaded the dog back into the van and took it back to it's home. It was a happy ending for everyone involved.
It was nice of that lady to stop to see if she could help the lost dog. It was nice of her to want to give it a home if she couldn't find the rightful owner. But the more I thought about this story, the more I realized that it was just a dog. It was just a dog.
There are 143,000,000 orphans in the world today. More than 127,000 of them are in the US Foster Care. We see their pictures on the internet. We hear their stories. Yet most of us don't do anything to help them. Sure, we might offer up a hurried prayer. Maybe we'll even send some money. But I can't help but wonder how many of us would have picked up that lost dog, yet turn our backs on the lost, hurting, starving children? How many of us would be willing to give a dog a home, but not a child?
I encourage each of you to pray about it today. Sincerely pray about adoption. Sincerely pray about becoming foster parents. Sincerely pray about how you can help these children.
Make it a great Monday!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Yellow Lab or Golden Retriever?

As everyone knows, our dog, Bailey, loves to chase cars. Saturday the Highway Dept put a new yellow line down our road. Evidently, Bailey got too close to the truck.

Monday, November 16, 2009

"I would do anything for love"

Monday's w/ Michael

Jane has been wanting me to take her to a certain kind of restaurant to try a certain type of food for quite a while. I have always turned her down. But on Saturday, I surprised her and took her to:

So that we could try:

Here was our meal. The smaller white rolls are raw tuna. The larger green roll is an avacado/crab meat roll.

I'm reminded of the song by Meatloaf "I'd do anything for love". It ends with these lyrics.

"Anything for love,

Oh, I would do anything for love,

I would do anything for love,

But I won't do that." (Again).

Jane really enjoyed it. Me...not so much. The next time we go, I'll try the teriyaki.

The really sad part about all of this, was that there was a Rally's in the same parking lot. I could hear Big Buford calling my name!

Make it a great Monday!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Kids 2 Kids

Monday's w/ Michael

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Prov 22:6

My Aunt Angie and her husband Chip Topp have adopted 2 children. My cousin Katie and her husband Greg Isch have adopted 3 children. These 2 couples have done numerous other things to help the hurting children in the world. This passion to help children did not go unnoticed by their biological children.

Alivia Topp and Kayla Isch have created a website http://www.kids-2-kids.webs.com/ Most 13 year old girls dream about boys, cheerleading, clothes, etc. But not these 2 young ladies. Their "dream is to help the children who are starving, who go to bed hungry EVERY night." They are helping children across the globe by providing money and care packages for them. They even have a link on their website that allows you to donate rice to starving children for free! But be careful...it can be addicting!

These girls are amazing. I am so proud of them and I'm proud to know them! But this post isn't about them. It's about the 1 Billion children living in poverty. It's about the 6,000 children who will die today because of water related illnesses. It's about the 143,000,000 orphans worldwide. To find out more about how you can help these children, please visit http://kids-2-kids.webs.com/

Make it a great Monday!

Monday, November 2, 2009

National Adoption Month

Due to a virus on our home computer, this was not posted until Tuesday morning.
Monday's w/ Michael

November 2009 is National Adoption Month. Next Sunday, November 8th, is Orphan Sunday. Please visit http://www.orphansunday.com/

Here are 10 ways you can help:

1). Pray for them.

2). Speak up for them.

3). Provide for their needs.

4). Support those who support them.

5). Protect them from harm.

6). Visit them where they are.

7). Give sacrificially to them.

8). Encourage them to press on.

9). Adopt them into your family.

10). Mobilize your church for them.

On Sunday, Jane and I had the opportunity to hear the Children of the World Choir. There were approximately 15 young children from around the world who by God's mercy had made it to a Village of Hope. Now these kids travel across the country to help other kids just like them. They provided some startling statistics:

There are approximatelyh 2.2 billion children on this planet.

1 Billion of them live in extreme poverty.

6,000 children die every day from water related diseases.

$15 can provide enough water for 1 child for 20 years!
Every time we flush the toilet, we use as much water as the average person in Africa uses in an entire day! As of 7:37 on Tuesday morning, I have flushed the toilet twice, washed my hands twice, brushed my teeth, taken a shower, started a load of laundry in the wash machine for Jane and rinsed out my breakfast dishes. I've probably already used more water than a small African village!
These were good reminders to me. And I hope that they are good reminders to you too. But I also hope that this can be much more than just a reminder. I hope that this will inspire us to take action...to actually do something about these severe crises.
Make it a great Tuesday!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Howl-o-ween!

Every year, Michael and I have a Pumpkin Carving Contest. Visitors at our home are able to vote for their favorite pumpkin. Our first year, Michael surprised me and had a little trophy made for it. So he and I pass it back and forth as we each take our turns at winning! You still have a few hours to come out and vote!

Teenage Mutant Pumpkin Turtle and Surprisingly Scary (look very closely on the wall behind 'Boo')

Last year, Deacon was 'Flower' the skunk

I have never seen, nor, smelled a skunk so sweet!

This year I got to come up with not one, but two costumes! I decided on........

Deacon as a fireman and Finn as his little dalmation!
We LOVE these traditions and look forward to them every year!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Costumes...and a confession

Monday's w/ Michael

Last night, we had our 5th Annual Costume Party. Here are the pictures of the couples:

Michael & Jane as Popeye & Olive Oyle

Clint & Amy as Popeye and Olive Oyle

Joel & Erin as Dean & Holly (Erin's parent's wedding)

Rachel & Nathan as the Pillsbury Doughgirl and an Oven Mit

Jessica & Nick as .... um.... Cowgirl and Ostrich jockey.

Jenna & Andy as Little Orphan Annie and Daddy Warbucks

Sarah & Klint as Raggedy Ann and Andy

As always, we played some games. Guys vs. Girls. The first game we played was Lighthouse Lookout (the larger version of Dutch Blitz). It was brutal. The final score after 2 rounds of Lighthouse: Ghouly Girls 51...Ghostly Guys 1! The guys would have to make up a lot of ground on the next 2 events. Next we sent everyone out on the good deed for the night. We went to homes to collect items for A Friends House and Dove Harbor. (To find ways you can help visit http://www.afriendshouse.net/ and http://www.doveharbor.org/.) The teams had 40 minutes to collect as many items as possible. The guys were assigned south of 100N and the girls were north of 100N. The guys staged a dramatic comeback, collecting 83 points to the girls 37. (We had previously assigned the items different point values. For example, a laundry basket was worth 5 points, a canned food was 1 point). This made the game extremely close heading into the last event: Encore. Again the guys gained ground, singing 12 songs to the girls 9. The final score:
The Ghouly Girls won by 1 point!!! Congratulations girls! We'll get you next year.
Jane had the house decorated perfectly for Halloween and had a deliciously spooky meal for us. Thanks again, Honey, for all the work you put into it. I know I had a great time and I'm sure everyone else did too.
Make it a great Monday!
Oh, yeah, I have a confession. On Saturday I had to run into Walmart to get a few items. While I was there, I picked up a few extra items: a laundry basket, toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and lots of canned food. I conveniently left these items at my parents house. That was one of the first stops the guys made as we were gathering items for the collection. I didn't have 50 points worth of stuff, but I probably had over 20. But it still wasn't enough. I also saw Jenna and Amy at Walmart that day. I'm just glad they didn't look to closely at my cart!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Guys want to have fun too!

Monday's w/ Michael

Jane's last post talked about parties she has done for my cousins: a princess party, a tea party, etc. Well, I decided that I wanted to have a guy's party. I wanted to do something rugged. I wanted to do something manly. I decided on Paintball!!!

On Saturday, eleven of us headed down to White River Paintball in Anderson. I haven't been to an actual paintball park in a long time. It was really nice. They have 8 different fields and we were able to play them all.

Our Fearless Group - Klint Fiechter, Clint Gerber, Calvin Isch, Greg Isch, Joel
Drayer, Seth Fiechter, Nick Fiechter, Andy Stoller, Joe Leman, & Shawn Leman

I'm happy to report that there were no serious injuries and everyone seemed to have a great time. Hopefully, I will be able to turn this into an annual event!

Speaking of annual events, Jane had her annual sleepover with my cousins on Friday night. I'm sure many of you picked up on their theme from Jane's previous post: a fiesta!

The Beautiful Senoritas - Kayla, Lauren, Mari, Alivia, Jane & Nina
The girls had a great time. Jane picked them up and they went to El Camino in Bluffton (yes, they were dressed like that in the restaurant). Then they came back to our house and made some pottery, wrote notes to girls in Magdalena, broke a pinata and watched Beverly Hills Chihuahua. We even found Manzana (an Apple flavored soda popular in Mexico) in Ft. Wayne. I think I enjoyed it more than Jane or the girls. It was always a highlight of our Spring-break mission trips to Juarez.
So to the guys on the paintball trip, thanks for coming, I really enjoyed it.
And to Jane, thanks for once again providing a wonderful evening for the girls.
Make it a great week!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Girl's Just Wanna Have Fun!

For the past 5 years I have had a tradition of having a 'themed' sleepover for Michael's older girl cousins: Kayla, Alivia, Lauren, and Mari. I think they look forward to it and I KNOW I do-maybe sometimes more than them!

The first year was our Princess Party. Everyone came in their Princess gowns and we just had a 'ball'!

The second year, we had a Tea Party. I have a husband that would do anything for me, or anyone else for that matter and he made the girls feel pretty special by being my chauffeur and picking them up in our limo (the Volvo). He had the white gloves, glasses, and hat. Such a great sport! My niece McKaelon was in town so she was able to come to this party.

The third year we had a Sock Hop. I dug out my poodle skirt from middle school choir and off I was to pick up the girls. I surprised them and we went to Arnolds in Decatur. The whole restaurant was glued to the windows as they watched all of girls walk in in our poodle skirts!

The fourth year we had a Nancy Drew Mystery Party. The girls and I met Detective Malone at Pizza Hut so he could give us our special Mission. We had to find the Masked Armadillo because he was thought to have stolen Madame Fitzpatrick's pearls. After going on this wild goose chase and finally coming back to our house to talk about everything we had figured out, Detective Malone was here waiting for us. As we were discussing the case with him, the pearls fell out of his coat pocket! Case solved!

Detective Malone

Detective Malone's Sidekick, Little Malone

That brings us to this year. Tonight. But I will make you wait to find out about that until later. Though, if you find yourself eating at just the right restaurant in Bluffton tonight, I don't think you'll miss us! Hasta luego!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sports Quotes, Volume 1

Monday's w/ Michael
For Christmas last year, Jane got me a Sports Illustrated daily calendar. Every day, I read a different humorous quote from the world of sports. In June, I started saving some of my favorites. I hope you enjoy them.
Jack Haley, Chicago Bulls rookie center, on his NBA debut, in which he played one minute and didn't score: "I'll always remember it as the night Michael Jordan and I combined for 52 points."
Torrin Polk, University of Houston receiver, on his coach, John Jenkins: "He treats us like men. He lets us wear earrings."
Sean O'Grady, USA Network analyst, noting that many boxers go without showers for days before their bouts: "Talking to a fighter at a weigh-in is like learning to swim. You have to remember to turn and breathe, turn and breathe."
Chuck Nevitt, North Carolina basketbal player, explaining to coach Jim Valvano why he appeared nervous at practice: "My sister's expecting a baby, and I don't know if I'm going to be an uncle or an aunt."
Marquis Weeks, Virginia safety, after returning a kickoff 100 yards against North Carolina: "That was just instinct. Kind of like running from the cops."
Mike Cameron, Mets outfielder, dismissing the problems caused by the sun at Shea Stadium: "The sun has been there for 500, 600 years."
Weldon Drew, New Mexico State basketball coach, explaining the Aggies 1-3 start: "We have a great bunch of outside shooters. Unfortunately, all of our games are played indoors."
Joe Barry Carroll, Golden State's 7-foot center, on what it's like to grow up tall: "As a kid, I was big for my age. As I got older, I got big for anybody's age."
Tony Graffanino, Kansas City second baseman, on the last-place Royals performance this season: "I've never been on a team where everybody stinks."
Evidently, Graffanino has never played for the Cubs! :)
Make it a great week!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Random Pictures II

Monday's w/ Michael

Well, I was planning on listing each of our puppies individually, but I haven't had a chance to take their pictures yet. So, I'll just include pictures of various puppies and other random pictures.

Some of the puppies coming out to play!

Three of the puppies playing "Follow the Leader" with Deacon.

Deacon is tired of playing "Follow the Leader".

"Whew, keeping up with that kid makes me thirsty!"

"Ah, now this is more like it!"

Grandpa Reinhard won Deacon a doggy that won't bite.

The puppies aren't the only animals that are growing around here.

The chickens and the ducks seem to be doing really well, too.

On an entirely different note...many people have brought us meals since we had Finn. (And a big "THANK YOU!!!" to everyone who did so). One of those meals included cupcakes.

I ate 3/4 of a cupcake and decided to give Deacon the rest when Mommy wasn't looking. Do you think she noticed?
Who knew one bite of cupcake could make such a mess!

"Hmmm....maybe if I eat my veggies, Mommy will let me have a bite of her cupcake too!"

Make it a great week!