Friday, October 25, 2013

Celebrating Adam's Game of Life

Happy Birthday to our 'baby', Adam Carter Stewart! He was joyfully welcomed into our family 23 years ago today.
He was named Adam Carter, which gave him the same initials as his great-grandfather Arthur Carter Stewart, who started the family seed business. Grandpa John Stewart always carried this photo in his wallet (maybe still does) to show and tell that child number 5 had to go without shoes and shirt. :)
 It looks like he enjoyed his cake on his first birthday.
He liked all things trains, trucks, and tractors, and the fire truck cake was for birthday number 5.
Our children usually got their first 'friends' party at age 6, their kindergarten year. These cute little cowboys enjoyed a barn party, complete with roping and riding on good ol' PeeWee.
Adam celebrates with Jonathan, David, Jim, Andrew, Caroline, Jennifer, and Nana. Notice the Drew Brees Jersey and the MNF cake. I think the year was 1999.
As I was doing some cleaning recently in preparation for painting, I came across this project made by  11-year-old Adam documenting his life. Wasn't he a clever kid? I'm guessing I gave him a little help in putting together the timeline. :)

Now he's a grown-up kid man with a real, grown-up job, earning frequent flyer miles and acquiring stamps on his passport. As he celebrates his birthday today I pray that his game of life will continue to be filled with love and laughter, trusting God through the bumps and thanking Him in the blessings.

Happy Birthday, Adam!
I love you!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

King of the Cob Pile

On Friday, Matthew got to experience a rite of fall for kids on our farm - the cob pile. When seed corn is harvested, it is brought in on the cob, then shucked and sorted. The cobs are discarded through a long tube, and shot out onto a big pile.
Needless to say, the mountain of cobs beckons the young ones to try to reach the summit. Matthew stopped part way up before deciding to climb to the top.
And climb he did!
A beautiful blue-sky day, white puffy clouds, and one of the biggest cob mountains ever!

 King of the mountain!

And after you reach the top, of course you have to slide down to the bottom.
While it helps if you have something upon which to slide (like a field sign, which, by the way, works on snow as well), it's possible to just slide by the seat of your pants.
Which is what he did.

Up he goes again.

Running across the 'mountain.'

In this photo, you can see the cob 'pipeline' from which the cobs shoot out onto the pile.
A slide down the back side brings the little cob climber back to the ground.
He found a rogue ear of seed corn on the ground, and our hob nob with the corn cobs came to a conclusion.
Happy harvest, everyone!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Don't Worry, Be Hodgepodge

It's Wednesday, and I'm making time for a little Hodgepodge after a couple weeks of missing it. Glad to be back among friends and always thankful for our hostess, Joyce, who provides the challenging and thought provoking questions for us to answer. Enjoy my answers, then click on the Hodgepodge button to visit Joyce and the others. And be sure to leave some comment love. :)
Here are her questions and my answers:
1. What was your biggest worry five years ago?  Is it still a worry?
Five years ago, our youngest son was starting his senior year in high school, and my worries were of college visits, his upcoming swim season, and how in the world could my baby be a senior already? Those are no longer worries, and while I try not to spend time in worryville, I do believe that moms just worry. Still.
After my mother-in-law died, we found Philippians 4:6 more than once among the verses she had written in her Bible. "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." 
Worry less. Pray more. Give thanks to God. Good words to remember.

2. Yesterday (October 15th) was National Grouch Day...what makes you grouchy? What cheers you up when you're feeling grouchy?
Grouchy: early morning alarm clocks, a sink full of dirty dishes, my team losing, forgetting things.
Cheery: a beautiful sunset, grandchildren, chocolate, counting my blessings.

3.  In one word, how does it feel to be photographed? Uncomfortable.

4. Besides your parents, who would you say had the greatest influence on you in choosing your life path?  Explain. 
I studied to be a teacher, and that was primarily influenced by my mother. Besides my mother, I think this path was further influenced by every teacher I had. I have rich memories of things I learned from each of my teachers from grade school up through college.

5. The crisp days of autumn are here ...what's something you like to eat, but only if it's crisp?
My current favorite Honeycrisp apple, fresh from the orchard.

6. What's the most useless object you own?
Hmmmm..... our treadmill? I really need to work on making it more useful. By using it.

7.  Share a favorite fall memory. 
Bright blue-sky harvest days,
happy Halloweens,
 and fun fall break trips.
That was 3 memories though, wasn't it? :)

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I snapped this photo of a family seated near us at a restaurant last week. They spent most of the meal like this. It struck me that we have at our fingertips a variety of devices to keep us 'connected', yet we spend less and less time connecting with those seated right next to us. I know I'm guilty of spending too much time with my phone in my hand, and I hope to be more intentional about putting it down more often. We become so concerned with updating our status, checking in, tweeting or instagramming what's happening, that we fail to see what's happening. At the park, in the car, at the game, on the street, in the bathroom, cooking meals, eating meals, rocking the baby, we're missing life scenes while watching phone screens.
And when I got home from the restaurant, there was this post by Ann Voskamp in my inbox. Cyber disconnect to soul connect. I know you will want to read her post, and since you won't want to miss the video, I linked it here as well. Food for thought. 

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Now put down that phone and step away from the computer and enjoy the day! And each other. :)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

100 Holes for Haiti

Back in June (seems so long ago) I wrote about David and Jonathan's plan to play 100 holes of golf in one day. They did it to raise money for Haiti, and called their project '100 Holes for Haiti.' Several members of our family have had the opportunity to travel to the mountain community of Fondwa, Haiti with Family Health Ministries. David and Jon decided to utilize their love of golf as a way to support the Fondwa community. The money they raised will go to build a home for a family in  Fondwa.

Since my friend Jamalyn is in Haiti this week, I thought I would do a recap post of the '100 Holes' event. And if you are so inclined, please offer a prayer for Jamalyn and her team as they work to complete their projects in Fondwa this week. They will be taking school pictures, building furniture for the new school, and putting a roof on a house. Bondye bon!

I did not attend the event (15 hours of watching golf is a little much for me, even if my own sons are playing), so all the photos were taken by their one-woman support team, David's wife, Shylah.

They started at daybreak, teeing off at the beautiful Miami Valley Golf Club in Dayton, Ohio.
Prior to the golf, they sent an email to family and friends, requesting support for the project. They were happy to have per-hole pledges or just a flat donation. They also asked that we consider an extra donation per birdie, eagle or hole-in-one.
Two other members of MVGC played for Haiti that day too, and helped contribute to the cause. Unfortunately, we didn't get a photo of them.
The sun's a little brighter in this shot.
Here is Jon doing his best imitation of Michelle Wie's table top putting stance. Not easy for a big guy like him.
Here they are at the 50 hole mark. They showered after the fourth round, changed shirts a couple times, and changed shoes and socks several times.
At the end of the day, they had played 6 rounds of 18 holes plus 2 additional holes for 110 total. They WALKED all 110 holes, and Jonathan CARRIED his bag for 90 of those. (And he had the blisters to prove it!) I did not have to pay either of them the $5000 bonus I had pledged for a hole-in-one. :) Maybe next time.
As it was, they raised almost $4500 for Family Health Ministries to use in Fondwa, Haiti, and surpassed their goal of 100 holes.
David's scorecard documents each hole played. I'm so proud of their determination and dedication to their game of golf, but mostly of their spirit of generosity and creativity in completing a project to benefit our friends in Haiti.

35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
Matthew 25:35-40

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hammer Down Cancer!

Time for another Monday recap of our Saturday at the Purdue game. This one was the first game for 7 week old Noah James or #noahjames as his friends call him. :)

We picked him up (along with his mommy and daddy) bright and early and headed to the tailgate lot.
Here is the obligatory flag photo, showing another blue sky day for the game.
Jennifer was sporting her cool Purdue shoes,
and getting Noah settled for breakfast with the Boilers.
The boys were ready for breakfast too.
Even Granny got a turn to hold Noah.
It was also special to get a photo of sweet 2 week old Nora Jane meeting Noah James at their first game. I'm sure they will spend many fall days cheering for their Boilers. It's in their blood.
They even demonstrated a little of what many Boiler fans are feeling this year. Even grown-up Boiler fans. :(
Nora and Noah with their proud Boiler mamas.
Noah with his mommy and daddy.
And just one of many crazy Cornhusker fans.

The Boiler fans were less enthusiastic. :) That's Jim on the right, a neighboring fan on the left.
Dr. Dave stopped by to say hello. Not sure what Jon and David are telling him here...
Of course we played some corn hole.
Jennifer's former roomie Janelle stopped by.
Batman and Spiderman were spotted in the area.
Some of us did attend the game, and we got to see cousin Teresa receive a Special Boilermaker award.  From the Purdue Alumni Association website, the award details are as follows:  "Established in 1981, the Purdue Alumni Association Special Boilermaker Award honors a member of the Purdue faculty or staff who has contributed significantly to the improvement of the quality of life and/or the betterment of the educational experience for a substantial number of Purdue students."
Congratulations Teresa! Teresa and I have a connection, because when Jim and I lived in West Lafayette I babysat for her son Jimmie. Baby David and Jimmie were good buddies. Also, Teresa's dad and Jim's dad are first cousins.

This game was the 'Hammer Down Cancer' game, and it was great to see the pink throughout the stadium.
It was a picture perfect day, even if our team is not quite close to picture perfect. See the flagpole to the left of the American flag? It is reserved for raising the 'W' flag after each Boilermaker victory. I'm afraid we may not see it again this year. That does not, however, keep us from supporting our team and celebrating the small victories along the way. We have a new coach, and we will give him a chance to turn those Ls into Ws! Boiler Up!
Jennifer was happy to see Mary, her friend and fellow AXO, and introduce her to Noah. Can you tell from the background we were playing Nebraska? So. Much. Red.
Bryan, Jennifer, and Noah enjoying Ross-Ade.
I liked the band's pink feathers. And I always like the flips.
The halftime show was an awesome tribute to loved ones we have lost to cancer, to survivors, and to those currently in the fight. They formed a huge ribbon,

spelled out Believe,
and HOPE, while cancer survivors stood in the stands and were recognized on the big screen.
I was thinking of my friends and proud Purdue grads Donna, who fought so hard, and Ruthann, who fights today. Let's Hammer Down Cancer!
Later in the game, there was a video trip down memory lane as we looked back on what we call 'the catch.' Our family remembers this game well.
Late in the game, our favorite quarterback, Drew Brees (in case you weren't sure), threw an interception which led to an OSU touchdown and put them up by 3 points.
With 2 minutes to go, Brees dropped back to pass and, on his third (or was it fourth) read,
found a wide open Seth Morales. TOUCHDOWN BOILERS!!
It still gives me chills. You can see for yourself in the video. :)

With the game well in hand (not by Purdue) we joined up back in the tailgate lot for some more socializing. Shylah took a turn with Noah.

Newlyweds Carl and Laura stopped by for a visit.
Kylee, Shylah, and Noah.
Here's a photo of cousin Teresa and her family. Jimmie and his wife flew in to surprise her to celebrate her Special Boilermaker award.
Kylee made friends with the Sigma Chis parked beside us, and they even gave her a t-shirt. They are fraternity brothers of the aforementioned favorite quarterback, by the way.
The clink 'n drink is a big hit. Thanks, Becky!
Kristin had to work, but arrived in time to have a turn with Noah.
Kylee thought we should have a Stewart family photo since all 5 kids were there. Unfortunately, by this time, Andrew and Darci had left, and David was visiting the porta potty.
So we just took what we could get for the photo. Oh dear.
We even had a visit from Anne Marie, Jennifer's sorority mom. So much fun!
After a diaper change in the van, it was time to head home.
Another game in the books, and many memories made.
Sweet dreams of a Boiler victory, Noah! One of these days.....