Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Back to School--Aug 2014

We have had an exciting August!

Our foreign exchange student arrived at the beginning of the month. She will be here for the school year.  She is a perfect fit for our family.  She has red hair and likes music. :)
Ryan, Meg and Yuliya--DM airport Aug 2014

You can tell by this picture that she fits right in with the Carson kids...

I'm calling her my long lost daughter.   :)

We have had fun showing her what life in Iowa is like. We have taken her to the Iowa State Fair and our favorite restaurants. We like sharing our favorite movies with her as well. 
But then school started and schedules filled up for the three high school kids:
First day of school--Aug 2014
Yuliya 10th grade, Meg 9th grade, Ryan 10th grade

The are all in marching band...

Yuliya is in volleyball as well, so her schedule is pretty full.

These two kids are at Iowa State University. Its fun to have them on the same campus this year.
(Ellyn transferred to ISU over the summer after spending her freshman year at University of Iowa.)
First day of classes for the Cyclones!  Aug 2014

I'm keeping busy feeding people...

Hope you've enjoyed August--its almost over!!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Our Vacation to Wyoming

We returned to the Tetons in Wyoming for our family vacation this year. We just love that place.

Here are some pictures of the beautiful scenery and wildlife.
For our last couple of days we went to Cheyenne for Frontier Days and went to the rodeo. It was a lot of fun.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My Dad

My father passed away the last week of April. He was 69 years old, which seems entirely too young.
It was sort of sudden, but then again, not.

He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease almost 10 years ago, around age 60, and had gradually declined. We had been losing him for quite some time, even though his body was still relatively healthy. He had gone into a nursing home in mid-January of this year.  My mom had cared for him at home until this point. We thought he might be in the nursing home for several years since his health was generally good, but it was only a few months.

My dad's final two weeks went fairly quickly. People around him starting noticing a change.  I am thankful that the nursing home staff prepared us that the end was near, and we were able to be with him the last two days of his life.

He left this Earth with his loved ones surrounding him. In his last hours, we held his hands and prayed over him. We visited among ourselves and talked with him--my mother told him we would all be ok without him, giving him permission to go.  My brother played my dad's guitar, filling the room with the sound of music that had been such a huge part of his life.

As he took his last few breaths, his eyes flew wide open, and they were clear and shiny. They seemed to look at something beyond the room. I believe that he saw his Savior--the one my dad first came to know when he was in his late 30s.

We were sad to say goodbye, but rejoicing that he was finally free of his Earthly body. No more suffering or frustration, pain or heartache.

Thank you, Jesus, for preparing a place for us. Thank you for the hope and promise of Heaven.

One of our favorite pictures of my dad...
May 2012

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter 2014

I don't even know how to catch up on blogging from the past two months!
So for now, a picture of my loves from Easter Sunday outside the doors of our church:
Easter 2014

We had extra friends in the house most of the weekend and enjoyed WAY too much food. The weather was perfect, which allowed us to be outside on the patio Saturday night--we had our first s'mores of the season!
Here's a shot with a couple of the extra friends:

I am so grateful to have such blessings--a wonderful family and a crowd around my table to celebrate Easter. And the greatest blessing of my life--my Savior Jesus.

Hope you are enjoying the spring weather--Spring finally arrived in central Iowa!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

How to bring some life to a long, cold winter...

This winter has been a cold one for central Iowa and much of the country.

Do you have spring fever yet?

I planted paper whites to help me get some signs of life in the house, and I love the springtime feel they bring to my kitchen.

These bulbs were blooming within approximately 10 days from planting.

To plant some yourself, fill a container with small rocks (no need for messy potting soil) and cover the bulbs at least halfway. (roots down/green shoots up)

They need enough water to reach the bottom of the bulbs, but not much higher. If there is too much water, the bulbs can get soft and rot. I have only watered them a few times in the past 3 weeks.

I love the quick transformation...

I also made a couple of terrariums. My great-grandmother made terrariums and sold them from her home in the 1970s. She would have been in her 70s at the time, which is amazing to me.

I googled instructions for making a terrarium. You need rocks, charcoal, potting soil and small plants. Almost any glass container will work. I had fun picking out some pretty ones.

Get in touch with your green thumb and plant something!   It feels wonderful during this long winter!