Family Picnic


Every month I team up with U.S. Cellular and share a little about my Samsung Galaxy S8 Smart Phone. This is one of those posts.

Each year my extended family gets together in August for a family picnic.  I love going and actually always look forward to it.  Each year we go to the same location, Pilot Knob State Park.  It’s near Forest City.  Long ago when part of the cousins lived in Iowa and park in Minnesota, it was deemed the “central location”.  It still is for the majority.  Of course we’ve had some move off to other states but for the majority, it’s not a bad drive.

This was Carver’s first time coming.  He got to see his aunts, uncles and so many more.

Pilot Knob-

My kids love seeing their cousins.

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I enjoy seeing mine too.

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The people I go most to see though are my Aunt Agnes and my Aunt Betty.  They are the two left from the oldest generation.

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It’s fun to see my cousins kids growing up….and even their kid’s kids growing up.

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The highlight this year for me was when my cousin John brought a box of family memorabilia.  Much of it hasn’t seen daylight for years….pictures of my grandparents and some of my dad when he was a kid.

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I didn’t go on the trip to the tower this year…typically I’ve relegated myself to the older generation that stays off the trails and simply visits with each other.  Kalissa and my sister in law Wendy made the trek.

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So did Carver.

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He loved the wind!

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Isn’t this the cutest picture ever?? [Read more...]

Love Baby Quilt


Earlier this week I told you that I was able to finish the “Love” baby quilt that I was working on for my niece.  I finished it on time and took it to the family picnic.  Ariel wasn’t there as she was three days over her due date and the picnic was a couple hours from home.  It made more sense to stay home “just in case” baby McGinnis wanted to make her appearance.

I passed the quilt on to “Grandma” and she delivered it to “mom to be” that night….and here it is.  The pattern came from the book A Piece of Cake: Sweet and Simple Quilts from Layer Cake Squares by Peta Peace.


Only problem…I can’t find the other pictures I took of the quilt.  UGH.  I think I thought I already transferred them to the computer but apparently I hadn’t.  But by the time I figured that out I had already deleted the originals so too late.  The quilt is gone.  In the end, this is the only picture that matters to me so I’m glad this is the one I have to share with you.

It makes for a boring blog post though so I’ll jazz it up with pictures of Kayla projects that she shared at the picnic.  For those of you who don’t know, Kayla is my second daughter.  She is the knitter and crocheter of the family.  She takes Red Heart and other similar type yarns that are donated and thrifted and makes WONDERFUL baby afghans with them.  I look at them and simply admire.  My niece Jody who knits and crochets asks all the interesting questions….This Kayla made like a giant dish cloth.  It drapes beautifully as it’s double yarn.  She starts with two colors then as one runs out, she adds another.  That gives the blended look.


She did the one below in same fashion only different colors.


The yarn for this purple and teal one was donated by a blog reader.  What do you think? [Read more...]

What I’m Reading: The Magnolia Story


I just finished up listening to The Magnolia Story by  Chip Gaines, Joanna Gaines and Mark Dagostino.   Most people know that this is the story about Chip and Joanna Gaines the due behind the HGTV show Fixer Uppers.  I’ll admit that I did a little binge watching of Fixer Uppers last year when I was on the couch with my foot surgery.    Although it’s a cheesy show, I surprisingly found myself not minding watching.  

I saw that they had a book out and decided to give it a try.

It’s kind of fun to learn how people get to where they are.  I was on the waiting list for a long time and happily this book came just when I needed it.  I had been listening to a lot of heavy WWII books and although I like them, sometimes I need a little fluff.  This was perfect.

Here’s what Amazon had to say: [Read more...]



A post from Kelli–

Reember a while back when mom told you all about making strawberry pie?  Well I had the pleasure of delivering and helping to serve the pie to the Ragbrai riders as they came through my adopted hometown of Castalia.

Prior to the Ragbrai Riders coming through town, my church discovered that they would need to do some extensive repairs to their steeple and had decided that selling pie when Ragbrai came through would be a great opportunity to raise money to do so.  There were a few different groups that got together to make pie in the days before Ragbrai and boy-oh-boy were there pies!

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This was about halfway through and only one of three tables upstairs and another downstairs.  I believe that their goal was 1000 pieces of pie, but that was definitely surpassed.  They ended up having closer to 1250 pieces I believe.  I headed up there at about 8 to sell pie as I had to work the overnight that night and I would be able to sneak home in the afternoon to grab a quick nap before my weekend of overnights.

Ragbrai rider had already been going through since before I got there.  This meant that they had about a 40 mile bike ride already done for the day.  As the morning went on and turned to lunch time, there were more and more bikers.

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Castalia is a very small town–population 173 at the 2010 census kind of small.  There’s a church, a bar, and a post office that is open a few hours each day.  It almost seemed like the population was doubling every 10 minutes or so!

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If you look close, there was a gentleman riding more of an eliptical styled bike in the red shirt.

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There was even a family riding!  The little girl that was on the back of this bike couldn’t have been any older than 3 or 4!

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Oftentimes, groups come up with fun costumes too–All the ladies here had glitter sequined skirts!

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This is where I got to hang out most of the day–Selling pies!  It was really fun to see where the riders were from and how they ended up hearing of Ragbrai.  Most explanations included a family member from Iowa or a relative from Iowa that they were joining!  How fitting that the stopped in our little family friendly town.

A not so little known secret about mom is that she likes to cook.  One thing that she does is decide that she is going to master something and then will continue to make and tweak it until she has it perfect.  Pie is one of those things that she has worked hard at mastering.  One of the coordinators of the pie sale said they talked to someone and they said that in the many years they had ridden Ragbrai, the strawberry pie that she had made was the best that he had ever had–hands down!  Needless to say, I think we can place “Pie Mastery” on her list of accomplishments!