Pumpkin fun: Louisburg Cider Mill with Annabelle & Violet

I had promised our granddaughters, Annabelle and Violet, to do something fun with them when this new year started. So I took them to the Louisburg Cider Mill pumpkin patch. I had no idea they were having a festival this weekend and it was so crowded–and hot!

First, though, I had lunch alone with our beautiful daughter Heather for us to talk. We tried out a new coffee shop in Belton, Kneaders, which also serves pastries and sandwiches. Heather and I both ordered the turkey-avocado-bacon sandwich. It was so yummy!

Lunch with our beautiful daughter Heather
Lunch with our beautiful daughter Heather

 

Turkey-avocado-bacon sandwich at Kneaders
Turkey-avocado-bacon sandwich

Here are Annabelle and Violet at the Louisburg Cider Mill. Such pretty girls and they are growing up so fast!

Annabelle & Violet at Louisburg Cider Mill
Annabelle & Violet at Louisburg Cider Mill

The line into the store which sold the apple cider and cider doughtnuts was ridiculously long, but it went fast. Naturally, it went all throughout the store so you’d be sure to buy things! I bought some postcards for family, and our cider doughnuts and drinks.

Violet commented on how rich the owners would be with all those people buying doughnuts. Yes, I wish I could bottle their secret and sell my books like that! Maybe I should get into the doughnut biz! ūüôā I thought this sunflower coffee cup below was really cute.¬†

long line into store
long line into store

 

sunflower cup
sunflower cup

I ordered 2 dozen doughnuts for our family. We sat in the shade on hay bales to eat our cider doughnuts and drink our apple cider. They were delicious!

Enjoying our cider doughnuts!
Enjoying our cider doughnuts!

 

Apple Cider
Apple Cider

As we ate, a band was playing bluegrass music with banjos. It reminded me of the TV show HeeHaw, which my father used to watch as he relaxed at night, drinking beer and eating salted boiled peanuts (boiled peanuts are a southern thing!). The girls and I listened awhile, although that’s not my style of music!

Crowd listening to bluegrass
Crowd listening to bluegrass music

There were lots of vendor booths at the festival. The girls wanted to get their faces painted. Violet chose a pretty flower and Annabelle picked a lovely butterfly. The young woman who painted these was so talented and sweet.

Violet with her flower face painting
Violet with her flower face painting

 

Annabelle with her butterfly face painting and the artist by her
Annabelle with her butterfly face painting and the artist by her

Violet and I noticed the white pumpkins and other unusual-colored ones. She said they looked painted. 

pumpkins
pumpkins

I did stop by another booth before we left to try some fresh-squeezed lemonade. It could have used a little more sugar, but was cold and tart.

lemons
lemons

Afterward, I babysat our precious granddaughter Piper, while her dad Craig and her mom Eden went out to Longhorn Steakhouse and to shop at Target for their two year wedding anniversary. I was happy that Piper said my name, “Nana.” When Violet and I clapped after she said Violet’s name, my name and other family’s names, Piper clapped, too. So cute!

Craig and Eden are expecting their new baby soon, so it may be awhile before they can go on regular dates after the baby comes! We’re excited about the new addition to our family!

Violet & Piper
Violet & Piper

 

Our daughter Eden & her husband Craig
Our daughter Eden & her husband Craig

Overall, it was a fun family day for me! I hope the girls enjoyed it, too.

Girls and me
Girls and me

I’m planning to do more fun things this year with my family.¬†How do you make memories with your family?¬†Ber sure to keep writing and doing your bucket list! Leave your comments below.

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Leah riding the KC Streetcar for the first time

Earlier this summer I rode the Kansas City Streetcar for the first time with our daughter Heather. It was such a blast, and I wanted to do it again and take our daughter Leah, who had never ridden it.

Kansas City Streetcar
Kansas City Streetcar

Although summer is the peak time, especially for the Kansas City Market with its bounty of fresh produce, beautiful flowers, and vendor tables, the streetcar runs all year long. It is also free and so much fun!

When I asked Leah what she thought of the ride, she said in her calm, easy-going, non-emotional, Leah-like way: “It’s a streetcar.” LOL! But she said she liked it.¬†

Leah riding the KC Streetcar
Leah riding the KC Streetcar

Leah recently had her hair cut in a modified pixie.¬†She said it took her a long time to decide to cut her hair short, but she’s so glad she did. Here’s a better picture of her than the one above. She’s so beautiful!

Beautiful Leah with her pixie cut
Beautiful Leah with her pixie cut

The KC City Market was surprisingly empty, compared to this summer when I went with Heather, although there was some fresh flowers, produce, and the international restaurants (Mediterranean, Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese) open.

KC City Market looked bare!
KC City Market looked bare!

These giant daisy flowers were gorgeous and unique at one flower vendor!

Giant daisies
Giant daisies

 

Flower vendor
Flower vendor

 

These tall, colorful giraffes and big zebra at the flower vendor were unique! I asked Leah why anyone would buy these, especially since the smaller giraffe cost $150. She said, “Because it’s artsy.” (She’s an artist.)

Tall giraffe
Tall giraffe

 

Zebra
Zebra

 

A Marine (Navy corpsman) for over 14 years in the military and gifted in spiritual warfare, I thought my husband Ray would like the medieval knight. He’s always been fascinated by this time period in history.

Medieval knight
Medieval knight

The market had some fresh produce, although not nearly what there is the summer time, such as pumpkins, peppers, and strawberries. 

Pumpkins
Pumpkins

 

Peppers
Peppers

 

Strawberries & cilantro
Strawberries & cilantro

An animal lover, Leah enjoyed seeing a variety of dogs at the market. (You do have to keep them on leashes!) We both enjoyed talking with the funny, chatty streetcar security guard named Sierra, which is also the name of a calico cat Leah used to own. Sierra the guard is a single mom of a one year old daughter, and has a fiance’ in prison. She said she told him if this relationship doesn’t work out, she’s finding a new man.¬†

When Sierra found out where Leah lived, she told her about the Salvation Army store which has a 50 cent sale each Monday. She’s bought her daughter lots of clothes and toys there. She was so surprised to find out that Leah was almost 23 years old, thinking she was still a teen living at home. We laughed at Sierra’s expression of shock, and she reassured Leah that when she gets older she will “look good and much younger.”

Jazz player
Jazz player

 

Couple at cafe table
Couple at cafe table

You can see all walks of life in Kansas City, like this senior citizen woman with heavily-tattooed arms. 

Tattoo lady
Tattoo lady

There’s lots of international restaurants at the City Market and cute coffee cafes, but Leah didn’t want to try them. So we had Mexican for supper, which is a favorite for both of us. (I’m addicted to chips and salsa!)

We usually go to Jose Pepper’s for lunch every couple of weeks for a “mom-daughter” date, but this time we ate at another Mexican place in Raymore, MO.

I’m so glad we did this, as it wasn’t very crowded and it enabled us to talk (without having to shout to each other and we could hear). The salsa was also delicious!

Chips and salsa
Chips and salsa

 

As we ate, Ray texted me that the weather prediction was a severe thunderstorm with winds up to 60 mph and to be careful. He had just worked a rollover car wreck.¬†Thinking of the recent hurricanes (although we don’t have hurricanes in the mid-west, but we do have tornadoes!), I asked our other daughter Heather if I could spend the night, as we were close to her house. I hate driving in storms, but it wasn’t a good time then for me to stay over.

My own daughter didn’t care if I was driving into a tornado?¬†Just kidding. Heather thought I’d be okay if I left then; she wouldn’t really refuse if she thought I was in grave danger!

As I drove the 50 miles to my house, God encouraged me with a “sign” of His protection and promise: not only a rainbow, but a double rainbow, which I’ve never seen before!

It really blessed me. Thankfully, although there was bad lightning, I arrived safely home. It’s a little hard to see the double rainbow in the second picture, but I did get it on camera.

Rainbow
Rainbow

 

Double rainbow
Double rainbow

Then today, Ray went out of town for a dental appointment and brought me home Mexican wedding cookies and milk chocolate from the International Market store. The chocolate is divine!

I’m allowing myself just a couple of the cookies and sending them with him to his work for others to eat!

Mexican wedding cookies & chocolate
Mexican wedding cookies & chocolate

It was so much fun riding the streetcar with my daughter Leah on her day off work.

You can easily explore Kansas City riding it. It has 16 platform tracks and 2 miles of track. There’s plenty of places to park along the way, although in some places you have to pay to park. I don’t advise using the parking meters on the streets if you want to spend a lot of time at the market. (I paid $10 at a parking garage that day.) I used my iPhone’s GPS to get there, as I’m very directionally challenged!

You can find out more information about it here.

What is left on your bucket list this year? Keep adding to it and doing fun things! Leave your comments below.

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Our 25th silver wedding anniversary & home purchase party

Ray & me at our party
Ray & me at our party

Ray and I recently had our 25th “silver” wedding anniversary and bought our home. I wanted to celebrate with our children, grandchildren, and a few friends who prayed for us to buy the house. ¬†God answered my prayer and our 3 beautiful daughters were there. Our grandchildren being there were the cherry on top, and I believe it is what God wanted, displaying His glory of what He has done for us.¬†

Table set for party
Table set for party

I was so happy to have our three beautiful daughters and four precious grandchildren (with one on the way) at the party. This made my whole day and filled me with joy.

‚ÄúFor you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” – Isaiah 55:12, ESV

Our family, from front to back, L to R: our grandson Jacob, granddaughters Annabelle & Violet, our daughter Leah, Our daughter Heather, granddaughter Piper, me, Ray, daughter Eden, Ray's parents Charles & Sue Jones
Our family, from front to back, L to R: our grandson Jacob, granddaughters Annabelle & Violet, our daughter Leah, Our daughter Heather, granddaughter Piper, me, Ray, daughter Eden, Ray’s parents Charles & Sue Jones

 

Since the party was on Mother’s Day, I gave our daughters a hand-written, floral note card and little yellow roses inside a teacup that reads, “Live, laugh, love” to tell them how much I love them and thank them for the honor of being their mom. I’ll post more about Mother’s Day and the gifts they gave me in a separate post.

Me giving our daughters their yellow roses & card
Me giving our daughters their yellow roses & cards
Pretty yellow roses I gave our daughters
Pretty yellow roses I gave our daughters

Ray’s dad and his stepmom Sue Jones drove in from N. Little Rock, Arkansas for the party and to visit us. We enjoyed their stay.¬† I’m not so sure his dad enjoyed it as much, as he was busy fixing things around our house, like installing an electrical plug by Ray’s work bench in the basement (he’s a licensed electrician) and helping Ray reattach the evaporator to the furnace, which had fallen off last week suddenly (this was quite a job!). Sue blessed me so much with encouraging words to minister to my heart.¬†

Ray's stepmom Sue & his dad Charles Jones at party
Ray’s stepmom Sue & his dad Charles Jones at party

I bought wedding bells, silver and aqua decorations at Dollar General for our “silver” 25th wedding anniversary. I thought they were really pretty. I still have the original cake couple topper in white and red that was on our wedding cake, and set that out, too.¬†

cake topper
cake topper
wedding bells
wedding bells
silver plates
silver plates
silver and aqua napkins
silver and aqua napkins

I also set these out as decorations, too, on the bar at the party:

  • my wedding album and original wedding guest book;
  • the blue roses carried by one of my bridesmaids;
  • my black garter (now faded black and purple);
  • the 7 silver, one-dollar coins a friend gave us as a wedding gift;
  • a gorgeous sunset-colored rose I received at church on Mother’s Day with the other women from the pastor;
  • a white candle and anointing oil from Jerusalem, Israel, that Ray’s friend sent us as a house-warming gift;
  • and the Mother’s Day gift Ray gave me, an “Our Home” picture.

I asked our guests to sign the original wedding guest book, and said that if Jesus tarries, guests can sign it again at our 50th anniversary! (Grace, God!) I also bought bubble wands for our grandkids to play with at the party. 

Wedding album, guest book, rose & Our Home picture
Wedding album, guest book, rose & Our Home picture
The rose I received at church for Mother’s Day
Ray's gift to me on Mother's Day
Ray’s gift to me on Mother’s Day

The “Our Home” picture reads:

“God chose this very house for us, to be our special home. A place that we can fill with love and call our very own. This house will hold our memories, our laughter and our tears, and it will be a place that’s safe to talk about our fears. And so we pray that God will make this house into a home, and we will give our praise to Him, Our Cornerstone.”

Our children bought us beautiful cards and gifts: a card on papyrus paper about the hummingbird, a large flip flop picture, white candle with a shell, and shell picture for my ocean-theme bathroom upstairs. The papyrus paper card was very pretty and unique!

I love the flip flop and shell pictures and candle; they went perfectly with my bathroom colors! The pic reads, “Life is always better in flip flops.” Amen! Although I love high heels (which I wore to this party), I am a sneakers and flip flop, beach kind of gal!

Papyrus paper card
Papyrus paper card
Flip flop pic that our children gave us
Flip flop pic that our children gave us

 

shell picture
shell picture
Shell candle
Shell candle

My in-laws bought us a beautiful silver and purple card with money inside and a lovely glass 25th wedding anniversary picture frame with a picture of Ray and me when we were by the Sea of Galilee on our Israel trip several years ago.

silver purple card
silver purple card
silver anniversary picture frame; Ray & me in Israel
silver anniversary picture frame; Ray & me in Israel

Our friends Dan and Liz bought us a really pretty silver card  with red hearts (I love hearts!), with an Olive Garden gift card inside it. OG Рyum! Ray and I will have to go on a date soon! 

silver card
silver card with red hearts

All of these were very thoughtful gifts and I loved them!

Here’s some pics of us with our guests:

Piper feeding her mom Eden at party, haha
Piper feeding her mom Eden at party, haha
Jacob at partry
IOur grandson Jacob at party
Ray with our friend Dan Zacharias
Ray with our friend Dan Zacharias
Our friend Liz Zacharias with Ray's stepmom Sue Jones
Our friend Liz Zacharias with Ray’s stepmom Sue Jones
Dan getting food, me making sure all is ready, Ray
Dan getting food, me making sure all is ready, Ray
Our daughter Eden talking as usual, lol, Ray, our granddaughter Piper handing Ray his pushup handles
Our daughter Eden talking as usual, lol, Ray, our granddaughter Piper handing Ray his pushup handles
Ray holding our granddaughter Piper--precious!
Ray holding our granddaughter Piper–precious!
Us singing happy birthday to our granddaughter Violet & friend Dan
Us singing happy birthday to our granddaughter Violet & friend Dan
Violet opening her birthday gifts
Violet opening her birthday gifts: a pretty summer dress, an anklet & toe rings, and daisy flower hair bands
Violet not knowing what an anklet is, lol
Violet not knowing what an anklet is, lol
Violet in her dress
Violet in her dress
My friend Liz opening a gift from me at the party
My friend Liz opening a gift from me at the party: a decorative box & pretty necklace
Our tall granddaughter Annabelle (standing) and our 3 daughters with Piper
Our tall granddaughter Annabelle (standing) and our 3 daughters with Piper
Our 3 beautiful daughters with their yellow roses in the teacup I gave them
Our 3 beautiful daughters with their yellow roses in the teacup I gave them
Me giving Ray his gift - sterling silver cuff links
Me giving Ray his gift – sterling silver cuff links
Me & Ray opening gifts at the party
Me & Ray opening gifts at the party
Me & Ray - 25 year silver wedding anniversary & home purchase party
Me & Ray – 25 year silver wedding anniversary & home purchase party
Ray & me and our 3 beautiful daughters, Heather, Leah & Eden (and Piper, our granddaughter)
Ray & me and our 3 beautiful daughters, Heather, Leah & Eden (and Piper, our granddaughter)
Our family
Our family: I’m so thankful they all were there! Thank you, Jesus!
The party cake with a silver border & purple flowers. It reads, "25 years & a home. This is God!"
The party cake with a silver border & purple flowers. It reads, “25 years & a home. This is God!”

The cake says it all. It’s been a long, hard journey. But by God’s grace and mercy, Ray and I are still together, married 25 years, and we are now home-owners. This truly was the work and miracles of God!

*******
You can read about our very difficult marriage in my book on our marriage, Stained Glass & Marriage: Reflections of Light & Hope by an Imperfect Wife, at Amazon that is on sale now for just 99 cents, by clicking here:

 

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