Winter Storage

Where we store our boat for the winter:


Photo taken the beginning of February. It’s about time to bring her out again.

Spotlight: { Mommy }

Daddy: Meri what is something you love about your mommy?

Meri: Rainbow ice cream! (whispered intensely)

Daddy: Mommy feeds you rainbow ice cream?

Meri: Yeah!!! (not whispered)

Caleb: Orange slices. I mean I love she feeds me oranges.

*Jacob raising hand*

Daddy: Jacob we’re going youngest to oldest.

Jacob: But everyone takes mine.

Katey: I love that mommy gives us hugs and kisses and makes stuff for us. Well, not sewing stuff. But she makes the food!

Drewby: I love mom because her smile. It’s really big!

Autumn: Yes? I like mom because she’s awesome. I can’t think of all the ways. …Yoga! And she’s a really good cook.

Josh: I love mom because she gives the kids an education before they go to public school. I also love mom for her Chicago deep dish pizza. And I also say whatever Jacob is going to say.

Jacob: I hereby forbid you from annexing my comment. But there is someone that is older than Josh and younger than me that needs to comment.

Duke: I love it when she gives me bacon fat.

Jacob: My turn…

Autumn: ooh, I’m excited to hear Jacob’s.

Jacob: I love mom because she’s always willing to lend me a hand. Whether it’s math homework or doing my chore or whatever. And I don’t mean whatever disrespectfully. It means she’s always there.

Daddy: I love mommy because she is willing to do the hard things that a mommy needs to do sometime to take care of her family. And she will always, well, almost always – give the last special treat away to someone. She also rarely thinks about herself before someone else – she’s selfless and I love that about her.

Caleb: And one more thing I like mom for… she let me stir the pancake batter today!

Becky is an amazing cook (that hasn’t been mentioned yet…), a lover of all things that are sparkly, loves everyday moments & capturing them and finds Ocean Spray CranGrape SodaStream refreshing & irresistible. Her favorite activity is enjoying a quiet afternoon in the sunshine with a good book.

Spotlight: { Daddy }

Caleb: I love you Daddy. I love your tickles!

Drewby: I like Dad because… um… um…

Daddy: Is it so hard to think of something?

Jacob: He’s trying to think from the eternity of possibilities.

Drewby: I like Dad because he smiles a lot!

Autumn: He is not a scowly dad! Josh is the only one brave enough to tickle him though.

Daddy: He has a death wish. I think I am ticklish because I got it from Grandma Pipes. She’s ticklish! Grandpa Pipes was not though. At all. It was so frustrating.

Autumn: I love Dad because of his cuddles and his whiskers!

Jacob: I love Dad because even though he is always busy with a bunch of work he always finds time for each of us and he gives us as much as he can.

Daddy: I try. Sometimes I don’t find enough time, but I try.

Katelyn: I like Dad because of his smiles and his hugs.

Daddy: Katey is so sweet. She always gives me a kiss on my cheek and a hug as she’s getting out of the car at school.

Josh: I love Dad because after searching the universe of endless possibilities I found out he is very reasonable and persuasive.

Mommy: Not sure how to add to those…

Josh: Wait! There’s something else I want to add on to Jacob’s. Dad spends his fraction of his time for me tickling me.

Daddy: Only when you’re asking for it!

Mommy: Daddy does have a great amount of love for each of us! He’s patient and kind and patient some more. Highly devoted! And he’s a huge tease that likes a good time. *Right now Meri is getting the tickling & her toes are being devoured.* He’s also one for a good deep discussion and a late night snacker. An amazing and willing masseuse and gets a sparkle in his eye when experimenting with photography. We love our mister!

Josh: What are we supposed to do while Mom thinks and types out hers?

Daddy: You can just reflect on how awesome I am.

Jacob: Okay… …that’s probably enough time.

Daddy: * laughing*

{Thankfully Daddy can take the teasing too.}




Thanksgiving morning our older kiddos went to grandma’s home to play with cousins. Meri stuck around to help me bake pies. She was such a sweet little helper. She loved putting her hands right in the pie crust and said it was “boingy”. Like a little trampoline she bounced a few of those crusts a few times. ;) Meri also loved rolling out her own little crusts and would pull small pieces off and say “Teeny!” It was so much fun to have her around making this delicious task even more yummy.

pie_helper-3 pie_helper-4

Started out by making lemon meringue. Jim Bob’s dad’s favorite. It also reminds me of Thanksgiving growing up when we traveled to Grandpa and Grandma Smith’s home. Aunt Lillian always made lemon meringue. Sometimes I would spend the afternoon playing with my cousin Emily at her place after the big meal was done. When I did – we always had leftover pie for dinner. That’s it – just lots of lemon pie. Good memories! The secret to the way Grandpa Pipes’ loved them is the graham cracker crust and putting in 1/2 cup of lemon juice instead of water in the first part of the pudding recipe. Gives it a tang that is irresistible.


The pumpkin recipe is the one straight out of the Better Homes & Garden cookbook. We made our own pumpkin puree though – from pumpkins grown in our garden this year. Yum! And because I always forget – 15 oz. of puree is 1 3/4 cups. ;) This year I also tried the Carmel Pecan Pumpkin recipe the next page over. So glad we did – delicious!


And a few photos of the apple in the process. I was afraid the light would be completely gone by the time we finished those. Two regular and two dutch apple. Just a little side note. While finishing the dutch apple pies I realized I forgot the 2 T. flour per pie in the two that were already baking at Mom’s. I figured not a big deal – what difference would 2 T. of flour make? Just so you know – a big one. Those 2 pies tasted good – but were so soupy and made a mess when trying to dish up and eat. After they were drained it worked much better. Another reminder that little things make a big impact.



And the final product. So much goodness. The leftovers were divine too.


Spotlight: { Meri }

Katey: What I love about Meri Jane is that she is cute and so playful!

Drewby: I love Meri because she laughs a lot.

Caleb: What?

Daddy: What do you love about Meri?

Caleb: Her kisses and her hugs. She hugs like this. And sometimes she falls down and gets hurt. One time we put cushions down by a chair and we all three (Meri, Katey and Caleb) fell at the same time and we did not get hurt. So I love 4 things about Meri.

Autumn: I like Meri… because… of her smiles. She is almost always smiling and her giggles!!

Jacob: I love Meri because of her vocabulary. She is such a fast learner and will use a word like as if she’s always used it.

Josh: One word that describes Meri? Cute. Lovable. Playful.

Jacob: Um, that’s three Josh.

Josh: Is this your comment or mine?

Drewby: Hi Mom. *wave*

*And now a full-on confession about how Josh and Drewby borrow Daddy’s socks when they can’t find any. News to Daddy.*

Autumn: I also love Meri’s personality. She is so adorable.

Daddy: Meri Jane.

Meri: What?

Daddy: I love your indomitable spirit and how you find things so funny!

Meri: Kitty, kitty!

Mommy: Meri is always up for a challenge or adventure. She is also a very good memorizer and expresses herself and feelings so well. My favorite is when she jumps in the air and says “Yes!!”, then crouches down again, jumps up her whole body length again and says “Yes!!”

We love having such a sweet & feisty sweetheart in our family. She can hold her own and is such a sweet cuddler and lover of long stories. She knows so many body parts including chin, elbow and bum. She also adores ice cream and knows how to get our family eating it more than we used to – little miss charmer.

Meri: Look!

The Yum


Sometimes I get a little conceited about the lunches I pack… I think the note worked – Drewby came home today and said it was his best lunch ever!!

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Armpit Fudge


The recipe from Scout Round Table last week: I knew as soon as I saw it that not only would my 8 & 9-year-old scouts love this, but my little ones too. I was sooo right. Fun, easy, yummy and a little bit gross.  Enjoy! p.s. You can totally just squish it up with your hands […]

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Painting Piggies

Katey decided it was about time to have her nails painted and took it upon herself. Toes: Fingers: Then she sat in front of the small box fan to dry them. When I came back a short while later I found her like this: Just gone. Nothing better on a late summer afternoon. {August 22, […]

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Spotlight: {Caleb}

Daddy: You ready? Please be thinking of something you love about Caleb. I will start! I love Caleb… Caleb: I love Dad because he eats hot dogs so fast. Daddy: Caleb, I love it when you help Meri and give her treats. When you share with her and help her do something that she needs […]

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Sleepy One


One of those sweet little memories I don’t want to forget. Jim Bob took the photos and wrote the notes: “Today Meri came home from church exhausted. She couldn’t even last through a short movie and crashed in the chair.” “Caleb came along and plopped down next to her, apparently oblivious as her sleeping body […]

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