elle turns five.

Elle turned 5 last week!

I wanted to do a bike trail party and then a kiddie pool party. But it was just so. hot. the week of her wedding. So we had a low-key, mom is really tired and unmotivated party.

Edit: Did I really just write wedding?! Now I can’t tell if age 5 is really hitting me hard, or if i am just that out of touch lately. Summer has been long and hot, it has really done me in. And I just have so many projects on my plate right now. (Call it early happy nesting.)

Children of the 1950s.

…Want to see a good old cake FAIL?

This might make your day brighter if you are feeling low.

Or full of self loathing- you can just turn all your distain onto me and my cake skills.

Pinterest Photo I was shooting for:




Yes, I can make that cake.

My cake.

Honestly, it looked uglier in real life. Kinda annoyed now that it looks half cute on the picture because I know you will say to me,

“Your cake was cuuute, it wasn’t THAT baad.”

No. It was weird. It was short and low. Not tall and stately and ELEGANT like that one on Misleading Pinterest.

I didn’t have a tiny cake mold so (insider alert) that top layer is 4 gross cookies from Dollar General. Yes, the brown of them showed through, so I slicked on more frosting and then it just got smeary-er and gooey-er. By the end of working on that dumb cake I made a vow.

Never. making. a. birthday. cake. myself. again.

There are too many other ways I can show love to my daughters. In hindsight though, I have to say Elle loved her cake. So really, maybe it didn’t matter.

Elle with her gifts from daddy and I. A doll, a chair, a watch, and some hip, hip glasses.

Listening to a birthday message on the phone.


Well, I really should go. While I was here posting: the girls crumbled their pop tarts into powder over the coffee table, Laila is gargling with my iced coffee. Elle decided her dreams of getting that certain $29.99 doll kit at Walmart should be a reality. She has been pricing all her ugly toys with stickers and writing backwards $ signs on them. I guess we are having a sale. Oh, dear, what to do? Is it just me- or is sitting on my front sidewalk selling junky toys just NOT what I had in mind for today?


PS. I don’t know why it says “Comments closed” at the bottom of my blog- I do love comments so it’s not me closing down the love. 🙂



Put-in-Bay Island Weekend.


When I get a chance- I’ll post more pictures from my miller family’s weekend getaway. Good times!

For now, here are a few…



The Violet Hour.


To me…
This is the most beautiful piece of music in the world.
It makes me think of a life,

of pain and joy,
of rain on a window pane,
a story told,

a certain wistfulness,
of time passing,
of walking through an old house, imagining it’s stories.

I often play is during the day if I want to feel:
Sometimes I picture a little eatery…. where I am sitting alone and it’s quiet.

Sometimes I picture a little house, beautiful in it’s aging.
The violet hour– doesn’t it sound so ‘Mmm yes’. I always think it sounds like something
Anne Shirley
would say,
The Sea of Shining Waters
and other pretty things she said.

What piece of music makes you feel this way? Please take time to link to the song you love- I’d love to have more to add to my every days.

{All images in this post are from this Pinterest board.}



K Family Weekend.

We had a very special time with our K family in Va…. A great little cabin-y complex with a bee-yoo-ti-ful clearing in the middle and a creek straight from God.

Sandboxing was a hit pastime.

The ones we call “ours”.

My G, Christian, his brother Sheldon, dad K. and little Brennan.

Like I said, a very beautiful, shady clearing in the middle. So relaxing.

Laila and Katy contemplate.

Grandma K. made little boats out of cardboard and duct tape with the little grands. They had a blast sailing them in the creek.

Making dams, villages, moving cargo- these children have great imaginations!

[Little Evan]

Annie sail yer boat.


Nothing like the pleasant memory of wet, splashy, bath-time with a best friend cousin.

Eating watermelon.

Little girls with Leesy.

Grandpa K. relaxes.

Happy memories. Watching the children growing, interacting, adventuring,  and becoming close is always a highlight.

And of course, good food and fun conversations around the fire.




(We like to take our own snacks and goblets to fancy hotels… No gouging for us! )

I shopped a lot, we visited the German Village one day, attended a Hiland baseball game, and of course, “bookstoring” is always a fave jaunt for us.

{ The ORIGINAL Max and Erma’s. }

(Not sure what is with the look and the stabbing)

(A terrible quality camera phone pic we took.)

Just a few shots from our FABULOUS “couple moon” we got to go on last month. We both said it may have been the most fun we have had as a couple to date.

Just so. good. to get away and just enjoy each other’s presence fully. He laughed at my jokes so much I finally asked him if he was on something.


Gotta run, sorry so short. jenny



Just a few moments from dear June.

{My husband is gone for a bit, so yes, I am trying to get caught up with my bloggy.}

{Bike trail}

{Sis Julana, sis Joy, and my mom}

At the bike trail, we had a picnic. Elle planned a week ahead to do a tea party for her cousins. She planned and planned and drove her mother a little nuts. She is one INTENSE planner. Here she is with her supplies. Also, I let her pick out whatever she wanted to wear that day. Even her hair-do was instructed to me very specifically.

She had this basket all packed the night before.

{The sources:

Green antique tea cups: a gift from my Aunt Ada Kay, very precious to me.

Pink china plates: thrift store- years ago.

Napkins: Target.

White vintage egg basket: inherited from my late grandma Wenger}

{Joy Bells and Olie- as Laila calls her.}

{A toad: entertainment for HOURS.}

{Laila: potty training= no pants}

I tore out the WORST overgrown bed of hostas here, and made it well, better.

Another flower bed I tore stuff out of and tried to make neater looking.

This corner used to be all boxed in with a huge picnic table. WE moved the table into the yard and it opened up this spot. Really makes our teeny yard feel bigger.

Galen was gone the other weekend. We decided the night before, to hit Lake Park Aquatic Center– we called a few friends but ended up going just us.

It was fun, but every now and then I heard:

“Are our friends coming?!”

“There is no one here THAT WE KNOW!”


“Oh, over there is my friend!!….. no, wait…..it’s not them.”

{Laila lounges.}

{water play.}

We had the bikes along so biked at Cochocton Park also.

This is a bad picture from my phone, but it still displays a certain feeling that I love.

One evening we ordered Chinese take-out from our favorite place here in town (Elle’s choice), and watched a movie together. It was a fun night- just us girls.

Texas Roadhouse for my momma’s birthday!

Texas Roadhouse has good salad!

The chicken critters were not the same as they were back in the day (that was for Nicole and Shelly). Man! TR holds so many old memories for me.

Dad, Joy, Laila and Jacinta. ♥

I love to see my little girls gazing for hours at pictures. Here Laila is still in the throes of learning potty (no pants).

Morning girls, still missing their daddy. 🙂

The girls had fun having friends Sophie and Payton come over.

A closer look at the baubles.


That’s all from me for now.

Watcha been doing this JUNE?

Love, Jenny


Circus in Amish Country.

Laila wishes.

Elle, so proud of her TICKET.

Cool typography.

G-man is hot. The line is long.

~We had fun hitting the circus…. (Wait, no, realistically it was not fun. I wrote that out of habit) … the other week. More on that later.

The interesting part was that this circus was held in a literally ALL amish country town. Mount Hope.

The sale barn there sells local produce, puppies, antiques, and cattle on Wednesdays. If you drive thru Mt. hope on a Wednesday, you will think thoughts of regret, and sit on your hand so as not to lay your whole body across your horn.

You just don’t honk at buggies clogging the road in their native town.

So yes, cultures collided at this Kelly Bros. Circus.

A few things made us smile, sneak pictures, and look curiously.

Such as:

Why do the amish shun worldy practices such as the county fair, the Swiss Festival yet FLOCK to the circus like migrating Canadian geese?

The “POPULAR” pony rides at the circus sat idle…. What amish person is going to pay for a pony ride when Bessie can take them on a ride at home for free?

Bessie may be more of a cow name now that I think of it.

Same for the camel and elephant rides. The women barker for the camel rides about tore her throat out trying to convince the mob of plain people (backed up in line to get into the show) to buy a camel ticket from her. Us included.

And. How can there be so many amish people here and yet, I (from amish background- my dad was amish until 8 years) do not see one person amish I know. In fact, the only amish I know, I realize, are girls I work with at the restaurant.

I was also fascinated with the beautiful, young, amish mothers. The only thing plain about them may have been their distinct dress- but even that was neat and attractive.

So much fascinating for this tourist from rowdy M-burg.

Oh, and the circus wasn’t really fun because:

We decided to eat supper after the show/bad idea!/mom forgot the family snack/girls whined to go HOME 20 minutes after we got there/circus started half hour late/they packed that place so tight mom thought she might get claustrophobic/mom is pregnant/it was so hot/everyone squished beside us was equally hot/mommy’s body was touching stranger’s bodies as she sat/mommy hates that/mom had to go sit in the car- she got so lightheaded/2 little girls cried for mommy and made daddy leave the circus halfway through/tickets were not cheap/mom and dad were not happy on the way home/it was super hot/there were only outhouses/elle came down with puking sickness that night/rest of the family went down like puking dominoes the week after/ mommy and daddy have vowed to boycott all circuses from now on.

that’s why.


Farm Date.

My Girl’s Club decided to do a play-date the other day- since sadly, even though us moms are best buds, the kids really do not know each other well anymore…

It was Shelly’s month and she picked Yoder’s Amish Farm in Trail, Ohio. It is really, really cool! You know, I hear tourists all the time talking about these kinds of places, and I think I always kinda thought in my head: lame.

Well, I was WRONG. As soon as we parked and got out, I thought: I want to live here.

Quilts on the fence.

Beautiful gardens.

Pretty amish girl weed-eating.

A creek with ducks.

Picnic tables and a little play area.

Stately white house. Stately in a simple way, of course.

Colorful aprons flapping on the line.

A small shot of the gardens.

Locals get to tour the barn for free they said.

Here they show the 8 Little Eagers the baby bunnies. (We didn’t even have NEAR all of our kids along either. Plus, Stephanie was missing. Boo.)

Many eager hands.

Took some FILTHY girls home. Had to strip ’em down!

Sack lunch picnic = fun.

These four are four. The Quadruplets as it were…

It was a hot hot hot day! But a fun one.



Baby Announcement Shoot.

I think they have something to tell you…

We love spaghetti- especially the Prego kind.

^ This little girl snuck upstairs for a long time one day, and painted her nails on one hand red and the other hand white. She got some on the sink as well. Just trying to explain the look going on here.

Laila is though.

Boo-tiful, Elle ♥

November should be a special month…

Thanking God for this precious gift today! He gets ALL the praise.



Nine Years.

The Kauffmans get smushy again– because we can.

Today is our 9th Anniversary.

No, I will not try to top my husband’s tribute to me (last post)– that was unbeatable, the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me, and very much more than I deserve.

So, marriage.

If you had to define your marriage in one sentence or one phrase– what would it be?

Ours is: Iron sharpens iron.

Even when we were dating– we had a very free to speak, opinionated, fierce, and feisty relationship. I called our fights “brawls” with a smile, because although he made me so mad sometimes I wanted to punch something… I NEVER feared him, and greatly respected that I could speak and be known in our relationship. And if I wanted to yell my point (as an immature bride), no one would fault me for that.

OR, pour water on his side of the bed when he didn’t come sleep when I wanted. (Did that twice.)

Awful bride! Whoever missed out on that one was a lucky man!

Do you know the Civil Wars songs: Poison and Wine or I Have a Friend? I think of us when we were dating, every time I hear those songs. Don’t read too much into it, just take it into consideration in a vague way.

In every way, he was my stabilizer. Even when we hit hard times, sometimes things that everyone/no one knew about. But I could always count on him to:

~ Do what was best for us.

~ Take into consideration what I thought/wanted. (He still to this day, asks for my advice on everything– things that have nothing to do with me at all. It is quite flattering…)

~ Get advice from others.

~ Sleep a few nights/weeks over everything.

~ Pray with me about things or find someone wiser than us to talk to.

~ Stick with me through it, and fight together about stuff.

~ Lead in a way that was utterly confident and manly.

And as the years have gone by…. that iron has rubbed, rubbed, rubbed…


“Are we ok?”

“You know I’m crazy about you.”


“Ha ha, did you think about it, we haven’t had a fight for weeks now.”

“I almost forget how. We are very close to perfect.”

Pinches hard.

“Ow! THAT was not adorable at all.”

“I wasn’t trying to be adorable, I was going for annoying.”


To my sister: “Yeah, I know, he was the duh one for picking me. But he seems quite happy with his choice.”


“That’s fine if you want to do chin-ups in the basement– just don’t go all ‘mid-life crisis’ on me.”

“Actually, can you please come down and watch me? It’ll go better …. And NO, you can’t iron while you are down here. Uh, Sit DOWN. You don’t have to multi-task ALL the time.”


“Seriously, your grouchiness has ruined my morning. Yesterday you made my morning with your jokes.”

“Oh, Jenny, look there on the fence post! A robin! That should make your day now.”

“That is pretty…”

“Plus you can’t count on someone else to make your day.”


“You know, the annoying, fuzzy, hovering, period that everyone uses–”

“You mean an asterisk?!”

(Ex: *breaths into a paper bag*)


“So what would YOU do if your wife became a prostitute, and went to live in a brothel?”

This was years ago and I still remember it.

“I’d come find you, and beg you to come back home.”


Over the years….

Our life together looks shiny and lovely, the constant motion of friction has brought forth a pearl of a marriage.

Today, on the first day of Year Number Nine, I call my husband the greatest gift God ever gave me. And I just LOVE and admire him to death.

Happy, happy Anniversary to us……




No more PDA posts, I promise.

I think we got that all out of our systems now.



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