Friday, August 26

Last Day of Threedom

For this girl.

She turned 4 today- and like most parents I can't believe it.
But there is something I want my little Ruby to know.
Ruby- when you read this in later years- I want you to know that I truly, really, with every piece of my heart and soul- love your little four year old self.
There is so much to love about you.
I love how you pray- you only use the word thank even when you are asking for something- 'We thank thee to bless the food'  It reminds me to be more thankful.  You also thank Heavenly Father for the best things when you pray.  'We thank thee for the sky and that it isn't just a picture'  'I thank thee that my Rapunzel dress got finished in time'
Oh to look into your little brain and to know your thoughts.  It would be quite the entertaining time.

I love your desire to learn- you just want to know everything and do everything.  You want to know how I know what I do- and you are so inquisitive.  I love it.  I just wish I knew the answer to everything that you ask me...  Luckily we have google!  You really are a smart girl- you amaze me every day.

I love how you call insects 'creepy crawlies'.  It makes me smile.

I love that you want to help me.  That you help me to clean and make supper and sew.  You are just wonderful.

I love that you are funny- you are always making us laugh- sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.

I love that you love to sing.  And especially that you love to make up songs.  It is one of my greatest joys in life to hear you singing.  You sing loud and you own it and I think it is wonderful!

My greatest wish is that I could video record your whole life.  We do our best to get as many moments as we can but I fear that we are missing the best parts.  I just want you to know the little four year old you- as we all know you.

I love your spunk.

I love your cry face.  It reminds me of baby Ruby.  It still looks exactly the same as when you would cry as a baby and it is just as cute.  It is just so darn adorable, a face that is all scrunched up with a HUGE mouth.  So cute.

I love that you love going to church.  I love that you want to dress modestly and that you make sure that you do. I love that you love primary.  I love that you love to pray.  I love that you love Myers.

I love you.  I hope that you know that every moment of every day.  I hope that you feel that every moment of every day.  I love you- and I always will- at every age, but right now, at this moment, I am really in love with four year old you.

I want to remind you of forever, and that my love will never change
 (from Hilary Weeks, If I Only Had Today- Everyone should try to listen to it, such a great song!)

Thursday, August 25

Slippery Rock

We were recently able to reconnect with some of my Mother-in-laws family.  As it turns out Lori (my Mother in law) grew up a mere hour and a half from where we live now.  She grew up in Slippery Rock, PA.  So when they were here it was only natural that we would take a venture out there to learn a little bit more about our family and their history.  Plus it was only 10 minutes from some huge outlets so we were sure to stop in there too!

 This is the house that Lori grew up in!  It is a very historical spot and is very old!  We hear some of the stories of its past and they were so interesting.  I can't remember exactly when it was built but it was well before indoor plumbing, electricity, and modern conveniences!  I believe it was before the war of 1812.  (Am I correct Lori?)  Recently it was sold to someone outside of the family but they have agreed to keep the Kiester House sign up and have done some remodeling on the inside.  It looks beautiful.  Above is a picture of the Kiester descendants.  Myers, Justin, Ruby, Lori, Jon, and Auntie Donna (grandpa Kiester's sister) 
And one of just the men in front of the house.  (Probably the hardest thing in the world is to get 4 Snell men to all be focused on taking a picture at the same time- pure torture.  This is the best I could get.)

We met many relatives and I was especially glad to meet Auntie Donna.  She has done so much research and work on genealogy.  She knows all the stories and has all the pictures.  She has compiled a whole bunch of letters that were written by Kiester ancestors during the 1812's.  She knows every story and was able to give us some insight into Grandpa Kiester.  It was really neat and I am glad that we were able to go.  It was interesting to be able to see the area where the Kiester's have made a great impact.  There was even a road there named after them- that is how important they were!  And it is always neat to see where someone you know and love grew up... and to see them rediscover it.

Monday, August 22

A Venture Into Amish Country

We live about an hour from the heart of Amish Country.
And I am loving it.  Not only do they make some really cool things but their food is delicious!
And even the kids love it- they get to see lots and lots of horses and buggy's!
So we made sure to venture into Amish Country when Justin's parents were here.
I don't have many photos of our time there- but we will be back!
I was too busy enjoying everything I guess!
They had the best thrift store there with lots of goodies!
What I do have are these.
That is a pink pickled egg.  I had to get one from the buffet.  I have never had a pickled egg and even as I sit here I can taste it.  It wasn't that good.  It wasn't that bad but I think I could happily go the rest of my life without another.  It was cool though because it was pink!  They also had yellow ones.  Ruby was a little hesitant as you can see in her face- but she did eventually try a bite- and I think she feels the same way as I do...
Take all of this in- just look at the pure joy that is set before you.  That is Zinck's Fabric store.  Just a small section of it.  Filled to the brim with incredible fabric at incredible deals.  I cannot even express to you the size of this place.  It was huge.  Imagine walmart- filled with fabric.  Pure bliss.  We didn't have a lot of time in there and I didn't come out with much fabric but I got some grey striped stuff and some blue and red striped stuff for a mere $1.83/yd.  I will be going back....  SOON!
I only got 2 photos of the place.  I didn't know how they would feel about me taking photos so I did it discretely.  And then I just felt weird so this is all you get.  But there was MUCH MUCH more.  You should have seen the trims section....
And of course a picture of Ruby's country store!  We didn't actually go in- we were stopped to get some icecream but I am sure it was an incredible store!

I really liked Amish country- it was fun.  Next time the plan is to go and actually learn about the Amish.  I am ashamed to admit I do not know much.  I could google it but I would rather receive the information first hand.  So Justin and I will head back there soon- they are having a rib cook off and sidewalk sale in september that sounds very tempting.
While we were there we did see a horse, that was pulling a buggy and family of 6, just collapse in front of us.  It was sad and scary- but it was rather interesting to see the help and service that the family in the buggy received immediately from that Amish community.  There were no questions no hesitation just instant help.  Before we even had a chance to think (not that I would have been much help- with my elaborate knowledge of horses and everything) they were surrounded by 3 or four Amish families that were just passing by and offering their help.  I guess there are many lessons to be learned from that.

Cleveland Rocks!

Justin's parents came for a visit recently and we did some sight seeing.  One stop we made was to Cleveland. I fell in love instantly.  I have been to lots of really cool cities like NYC, Chicago and Montreal and I loved this one just as much.  It seems to be underrated in my humble opinion.  It wasn't crowded or crazy and it had incredible architecture.  Not to mention it has the 'A Christmas Story' House.  YES!  I know- I couldn't believe it either.  My family is going to flip- we watch it every year- and yes- we love it!!  We didn't visit it on this trip but it is a must see on our next cleveland adventure.  
This time around we stopped at a restaurant that was featured on the show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  Lucky Cafe.  It did not disappoint.  The macaroni and cheese was DE-LI-CIOUS!  The neat part about this restaurant is that they have a garden and this is where they get the produce for their recipes.  They either grow what they make or they buy it locally.  I thought it was awesome.  The kids did too!

We took a leisurely jaunt around the gardens- take a look at that picture of Ruby- did you know that eggplants grow purple the whole time?  They don't start green and then mature into color- like tomatos.  They are SO CUTE!  Ruby loved them.  As you can tell by that smile- right?
Here we are outside after our delicious meal of deliciousness!
We then headed out to do some sight seeing down town.  It was beautiful.
I loved this photo of Uncle Jonny and Ruby.
And this one of Justice and Noni....
We had the privilege of meeting a million birds.  This guy was feeding the birds and Noni just couldn't get enough.  He was really interested in them but he was also a little stand-offish.  But it was still cute.  And Grandpa Don loves that he shares his love of birds....

We had to stop at the hugest candy store EVER.  It was a must see according to the internet- and it did not disappoint.  Noni had a great time!
Ruby fell in love with these suckers...  There were much MUCH larger ones but we were able to agree on this little one.
It was really fun- we had a great time and we will be sure to go back to explore more when Justin has some time off... Oh and when we can make time to go to the Christmas Story house!

Friday, August 19


We had a serious couchtastrophe recently.
What?!  You have never heard of a couch-tastrophe?
Oh- well it is when you completely and utterly ruin a beautiful couch that you found for really cheap from a rich lady that was moving.  The worst part is that you have gone atleast a month without anything to sit on in your living room and this was the perfect and the best used couch you had EVER seen or smelled- for that matter.  OH- and you were having people over- the first semblance of friends you were able to find- THAT VERY DAY that the couchtastrophe began.

So you decided to wash the cushions of said couch- and you ended up with this.

(I wish I had a before picture for you- but I don't.  Probably because I didn't expect to ever feel the need to post about my couch...)
A true and utter couch-tastrophe.
So what else is there to do but- CRY.
A lot.
Until you finally decide that your children are scarred and scared enough by said crying so you pick yourself up, wipe yourself off and clean the rest of your house.  You make dinner for guests previously mentioned and you cover your couch with a blanket.

Yes- you now have a weird couch that no one would ever want to sit on- because really there is only one reason you cover a couch completely with a blanket- and that reason would be that you are HIDING something.

Which we were.
Couches that are completely covered with blankets just creep me out.  And here I was with one of my very own.

When we were able I went and bought that grey fabric that is in the above picture and went to work recovering the couch.
It was a long time coming and many measurements and buttonholes later that I came up with this.

I like the buttons on the side- and I like that it isn't ripped or shrunk anymore.  I do feel like pictures just don't do it justice.
I am happy with the results, though I hate that it gets 'out of shape' and a little saggy and wrinkled.  But hey- it works and it is cute enough- and I DID IT!  And we are only here for a year- so we can love it for that long.
Now the question you may be asking yourself is why didn't we just get a new couch?
Because I didn't want to.
This really was the perfect couch for us and I am really picky about used couches now.  (Those of you who knew me and my couches in waterloo may be wondering what I am talking about- but I have learned from that and hoped to rectify my used couch situation) We had been searching for a cheap used couch that was not stinky and not ripped and not stained- and we had finally found one- and I washed the cushions and wrecked it.  We did not want to wait another month or forever before we found another couch like it.
Plus it has really cool leg detail like this-

You would want to keep it too- right?
Anyway- it is now recovered and we love it even more.  It is definitely a step up from the blanket.  Plus the cover is 100% wash and dryable.  No more shrinking and ripping for us!!  And here's to no more couchtastrophes in the snelldog future!!

Justin told me the day that I wrecked the couch that I would laugh about this some day.  I didn't believe him.  It didn't take too long before he was right.  I was laughing about it that night.  I mean it is just a couch, right?  I recently read this- and I love the message.  We all need to learn to laugh and be happy despite hardships.  Read it.

Tuesday, August 16


'And what can I get for you?'
'The Big Bowl Please..'
'The what?'
It was a moment of pure genius when Papa Snell (my father-in-law), not to be confused with Papa Smurf, brought us all to Heggy's Ice cream Shop and reinvented 'the kitchen sink'.

They had never seen anything like it and had definitely never had a request for one scoop of every ice cream they have with a double dose of the cherry m&m in one bowl.  That was a total of 17 scoops of ice cream. We played it safe in the toppings area- knowing that less truely is more- so we stuck to the hot fudge, whipped cream and a few maraschino cherries.
It was incredibly delicious and wonderful.
You could taste a little bit of every ice cream and they were all delicious.
The workers were in awe of our request and had to take some pictures for the Heggy wall.  We will now forever remain in infamy here in Alliance.
You should all come and visit so we can get another one.  It is a little much for Justin and I to do alone.... Myers and Ruby try hard but lets face it- they can eat only a fraction of the ice cream that an adult can eat.
Though you wouldn't know it from pictures like this:

He was a little crazy before the ice cream came out.  We couldn't get him to sit down.  But that huge bowl of deliciousness sure got his attention!

Ruby made sure to get her fair share as well!

She was working on crowding Uncle Jon out so that he would stop eating so much!

And we all know I enjoyed myself!

My favorite was the turtle flavor- delish!
Justin loved them all!

There was nothing left in that bowl when we were done!  Justin did refrain himself from licking it out when we were done- maybe next time....
But, like I said, we need someone to come help us.... We can't do it alone....
We are still looking for better names for it...  I liked big bowl but I feel like it lacks pizzazz...

Sunday, August 14

A Biking We Go.

I love this contraption.

It has been years since I have been able to get on a bike- and this contraption makes all my wildest dreams come true.
I can now bike again!
Justin and I found super cheap bikes at garage sales- $10 each.  Mine isn't much to look at but its purple, it rides and it has the most comfortable bike seat known to man.
It isn't my dream bike- but it IS my dream price so it'll do.
The bike trailer on the other hand IS my dream bike trailer.  It has padded super comfortable seats, a 5 point harness, it can recline, it converts to a jogger, it looks cool, and it was on a sale when we bought it.  We ended up getting it for 80 dollars less than we planned.  So it was great!
This is how Noni feels about it...

(He's cheering)  He also loves his helmet.
We love it.
And it makes it really fun to go on family bike rides!
Ruby rides her bike that Grammie Ruby and Papa Ken got her before we left for Ohio.
She LOVES her bike and she loves to bike ride- LOVES it.
Here she is in action.  She likes to ride in circles so we headed over to the church parking lot to fulfill her every dream. 
 Here is Noni- he holds his helmet the whole ride.  I thought it was because he didn't like his helmet- but he screams if I try to take it off.  Safety first- that is what he always says.
 It was super hot that day- I don't know what we were thinking.  We didn't last too long outside.  It was about 92 degrees and 92 percent humidity.  I am talking about craziness.  So we headed home and had some much needed freezies.
 That kind of weather can produce some major sweat head.  Seriously- if he isn't the definition of sweat head- then I don't know what is....

And I LOVE freezies too!!!
Justin didn't make it in to this post- but I promise he was there too.  I guess he thought that since I did all the hard work of pulling the trailer and Noni then he would take over the job of photographer.  He did an amazing job too...

Noni and I like to get up at 6:30 and go for a bike ride.  (well Noni likes to get up at 6:30 and I like to get exercise so this is the compromise we came up with.  I love the bike trailer.  LOVE it!)

Thursday, August 11

Just Diggin'

Here is how you can find Noni most days.

Rain or shine.
Hungry or full.
Just sittin' diggin' fer gold.
I do hope he finds some... and before his nostrils are too misshapen.
Luckily he has little fingers.
Hopefully I will break him of this habit before he is 16- it just gets awkward when you are that old.

Wednesday, August 10

Family Portraits

This Girl of mine LOVES to draw.
And I love to let her.  She really has a knack for it.
This is her latest endeavor.
A drawing of each of us.
From Bottom Left to top Right.
The first would be me- I hate to admit that my hair may or may not have actually looked like that today.  It is this dang humidity- it does crazy things to my hair...
Then Justin- I just love it- I look at it and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
The next is Ruby- she wrote her name all by herself- she is getting pretty good at it too.  The letters are finally becoming a uniform size- that is a huge step forward!  And doesn't she look adorable?
And we will end with the likeness of Noni-  in size proportion of course- and armless but I will say it does capture his total and utter cuteness.  Isn't that picture the cutest thing you ever did see?
The other drawings are of flowers.  I love them too....
I just want to keep all of these pictures they are WAY TOO CUTE!
I really need to think up a good way of displaying them- my fridge is just too small....
She has really honed her skills and come a long way since this...


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