Sunday, June 29, 2008

Going to the fair...

So for the past week, the Butler County Fair has been going on. Wednesday we went to watch Emily and Kelsey show their heifers and even witnessed Dave showing one. Noah had a dry diaper all day at the fair! Gramma Mavis and Grampa Neil treated us to ice cream at the dairy promoters booth. The following evening we were supposed to meet some friends at the fair, but they ended up having to deal with some stuff from the flood because their house was also flooded (different than the friends whose dog we are watching). So we went as a family and had a good time walking around looking at pigs, cows and rabbits at the fair. Noah did not think too much of the pigs even though mommy showed him it was ok to pet them. We got ice cream again and Noah just was a little ham eating it!

On Sunday it was back to the fair. Dave Jensen (Matt's 2nd cousin) and I were judges for the county fair cook-off contest and got to sample some really good grilling! We again got ice cream (only $1 for a double scoop!). This time Gramma Mary and Grampa Jensen treated us. It was fun to have ice cream three times in one week! This is a short video clip of Noah eating ice cream from a cone. It isn't quite as funny as seeing him do it in person, but you get the gist. He also refused to eat chocolate ice cream when there was strawberry and butter pecan to be had.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


For those of you who know the song, "Fishing in the dark" by the Nitty Gritty Dirt band, Matt and my rendition seems to be- "OO-OO-OO, you and me goin' gard-ning in the dark. Diggin' lil holes and thinin our plants, where the weeds always grow. Down by the cow lot in the pale moon light, we'll be squintin' really hard cause we need a little light, where the weeds seem to grow..."

Yes, that is right. This is actually the second time we have been working in our garden after the sun has gone down. Why you ask? It is a time when the pitter patter of little feet will not be seen trampling all of the plants we have worked so hard to get established. We go out after Noah's bath and bedtime and work way past dark. Last night we were out until 10pm thining and transplanting our lettuce. I think we probably have about 70 heads of Romaine and 50 bunches of Collards started; lookout farmer's market, here we come!

The other night escapades were when we planted our strawberry plugs. Needless to say, they were moldy when we took them out of the package and did not survive being planted in the ground. So no strawberries for the Bolin's this year- not home grown at least. We now have lettuce and collard green thinings transplanted to the area "where the red strawberries don't grow."

Monday, June 23, 2008


Just thought I would get a video of Noah out on a joy ride. When the camera comes out his normal routine is disrupted and he is not as much of a ham as he is in person. But I still wanted to share the videos with everyone cause they are funny!


I cannot believe humans can look at magnificent sunsets like we have been having and believe that the universe and everything in it happened by chance. Just about every night we have been having gorgeous sunsets. I know I posted one a few days ago, but I just can't help myself from posting a few more that I have capture recently. The glory of God is truly calling out to us every new day that dawns. I just hope I can do half the job creation does to testify to the glory of God.

Friday, June 20, 2008

This is uncanny I know

but I have one more thing to share... We have been doing so well with potty training lately that I am getting tempted to try training pants! Then yesterday, I decided I should tell Noah that he could go outside and he is really enthralled! He keeps wanting to go more even when there is no more to go. SO I break down and put a diaper back on him cause I do not want him to strain too much and hurt something trying to use his new found method. But when we switch to training pants I will surely have to document that and take a picture of Noah in his big boy underwear.

Since I am on a roll...

Well two posts in one day...Wow I know this could be overwhelming for some of you who know me well;) but anyway, I wanted to share with you one of the best things about living where I do. I push Noah out the door early in the morning and I let him play in the yard until it is time for lunch. I check on him regularly of course because he is 2 and I love him and would never want to hurt him or loose him, but this yard is such a blessing and the location is great too. If we lived anywhere busier, I would have to be out there with him and constantly watching so that no one would steal him (or I guess the correct term would be kidnap). Then after lunch he goes down for a nap and when he gets back up I push him back out the door. Now that is alot of pushing in one day I know, but I actually don't even have to coax him. He is usually running over to the door before his feet hit the ground from his highchair:)

Daily Blogging?

Well my friend Julie is so diligent in blogging and besides being home with her little guy, also has many chores on the farm to do. You can check out her blog ten Hoeve's It is amazing to me for anyone to be able to get this done everyday especially when there is always so much going on.

On Saturday, we will become foster parents for awhile for our friends Allie and Andrew's little dog Zara. These are our friends who are newly married and their entire house is being gutted right now because of the floods. Sandy and Zara have already met a few times before when the Potratz's brought Zara over to play and they love each other. It will be nice for Sandy to have a play mate for awhile and for Zara too I am sure. So our family is growing again for a while, but only with a little fur ball!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Matt, I just wanted you to know that you are the best daddy any little boy could have and I cannot wait to watch Noah grow up to be like you. Love you lots

Ashley and Noah

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Singing in the rain...

Well, as everyone knows since it has been in the national news, Iowa is full of water right now. We live between two rivers, 5 miles from the Shell Rock, 12 miles from the Cedar. We have friends who now have to gut their house, our church also has to be gutted, and Pam and Dave have to gut their basement. We have also had water in our basement, but it doesn't have any "guts" so no problems there. This disaster is very stressful for everyone in the situation, so I would ask that everyone that isn't in the midst of the stress, pray for peace...and I guess anyone who is here can do the same.

In this picture, the building I marked with one dot is our church. Across the street (which is under water) from the church with two dots is Fareway where we do most of our grocery shopping. Across the river with three dots is the Post Office and the building with four dots is the movie theater. This picture was taken on Tuesday about 8 hrs before the river crested that evening. This is the Cedar River and we are about 12 miles from the bridge in the middle of the picture. The ripple in the water is the dam. If you can't see the dots I am talking about, double click on the picture to enlarge it.

This is especially stressful for the farmers here, who have acres of corn and beans underwater and hay fields uncut, and no hay for their cattle, which is their lively hood. So just remember that when you are complaining about rising food costs, the people who are supplying your food have flooded houses and fields and wish food were cheaper too. For a little more on rising food costs, check out this website. It may be may already know the info, but just for good measure check it out.

On a lighter note, Noah found out what mud puddles are a few days ago and we caught it on video. Hope it makes you smile and remember to sing in the rain.

I also have a video of Noah really going on about a bird that flew into the window. It was rather entertaining when it happened.

Just a few pictures of a beautiful sunset we had this past Sunday. The farm and house you see in the picture is where we live.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Bath time giggles with daddy

Last night Matt had Noah laughing so hard and since little laughs from babes are so fun we figured we would share it with you

I am also hoping to get a picture of Noah driving. He just figured out that his car has steering and it is hilarious. Maybe later...

Another venture of Noah's is trying to conquer the picket fence.

UF B-ball here I come!

Well, all of his yelling and grunting could amount to something, especially if his name follows suit with the Noah before him. What am I talking about you ask? Not Noah in the bible, but Noah the former UF B-ball player. The video reminds me a little of Joakim Noah doing his thing on the court. Noah (Bolin that is) even makes 3 baskets in just 2 mins of game play...That is pretty impressive, but then again I am his mom and I know next to nothing about basketball;)

Warning: I get pretty excited when Noah makes his first unassisted may want your volume on low!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008 June!

Well the flowers are blooming here now that it is finally springtime. I am not sad to see the winter go away and have some resemblance of warm days...although it has been 48 a few mornings in the past few weeks (which would not qualify as warm if you were asking me a year ago, but after 30 below wind chills seems pretty nice, except if you consider the fact that it is JUNE!)

I just figured I would share a few of the blooms that are on display around our house.

Dandelions- seem to pop up over night. Noah was going around smelling them until the camera came out, then he had to ham it up.

Tulips- I planted the bulbs back in November just before the hard freeze for the winter that didn't unfreeze until around April. Only two came up at first, but then four more bulbs came up, but have not bloomed yet, so we shall see what happens with those...

Sandy stops to smell the...irises?
Leftover Irises- I call them this because they have been here for about 15 years or more. Matt was mowing them down last year, until I discovered what they were and promptly put an end to that. I was worried they would never bloom and all of the weeding I was doing would be for naught, but low and behold they are covered in blooms now.

We planted a garden with our friends Ben and Amy Dau. We put in Roma and Beefsteak Tomatoes, Green and JalapeƱo peppers, Sweet Potatoes, Romaine Lettuce, Sweet Onions, Collard Greens, Cucumbers, Asparagus, Basil, Oregano, Mint, Cilantro and Mammoth Sunflowers. We are looking forward to the harvest and if it is plentiful, we have been invited to sell at the local farmers market.

Besides our attempts to buy local produce and hopefully have some of our own, our cloth diapers and composting, and our commitment to recycling, our new green venture is to ride bikes when possible. Right now, we only have one bike that is terrible disrepair and so it makes it hard to do this. But this past Sunday, Matt determinedly rode the bike to church, 12 miles I might add. After the service, I rode it home. The bike's brakes do not work and the gears are very hard to shift and not all of them will catch, but nonetheless we are making our attempts at being more green. We looked into new bikes yesterday, but will definitely need to save up for that investment. This all comes with the news I got at a health fair I was participating in that I have Osteopenia and I need to exercise more. Besides being green, I need to be healthy so pray that we can get into an exercise routine to help curb the possibilities of osteoporosis for me!
Another fun thing that we did this week was a HUGE, and anyone who knows Matt's grandfather and the way he builds a fire knows I am not exaggerating, bonfire. After discussing a bible study group at Jay and Becky's, the weather was finally right to light the fire of a pile that would not have fit inside our apartment in Gainesville. Becky, Jay, Emily, Jenna, Andrew and Jon all came out for the event, and an event it was! Becky and Jay brought the Grahams and chocolate to pair with our jumbo mallows and we had ourselves s'mores. They were delicious! A burning tire rolled off of the pile at one point and through it all, Noah slept!
See how high the flames were compared to the silo!
Taken off the edge of the barn behind our house.
Our friend Jay standing about 100ft from the fire, I am about another 100ft from him
Becky and Emily

Jenna and me being crazy!

While we were gone, now almost a month ago, a little Robin built her nest just outside of our front door. She had one little egg in the nest the first day we were home and then a second one the next day. Unfortunately, another bird came and attacked her nest and ate her eggs, but I got a picture of it before the second egg was laid. I was really heart-broken for the little bird!

Some pictures of Sandy and Zara, our friends Allie and Andrew's new lil' pup.
Adorable pictures of Noah. He was doing these poses by himself...It was sooo Cute.
Memorial Day stuff. I cried through the whole thing.
Pledge of Allegiance
Great-Great Uncle Darrell (Neil's brother), Grampa, Noah, Daddy, Great Grandpa Neil, Uncle James
Noah's first mouth full of mud. He loved showing it off.