Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Saturday, July 21, 2012

37th anniversary and our July restaurant pick

Yesterday was our 37th wedding anniversary. 

Do you like the '70's styles?  Our moms sewed the matching dresses.

We saw these bridesmaids dresses in a store for $60.  That was really expensive back in 1975.  Too much for a pastor's salary!  We found the pattern and fabric in a store in Hutch and ended up sewing them for $12 a piece!

The common communion cup came with our immigrant ancestors from Russia.

Do you think we will laugh at the fashion of 2012 weddings one day?  Probably.  Leisure suits and polyester were awesome!  No ironing needed!

We decided to combine our anniversary with our restaurant pick of the month  (we try a restaurant we have never eaten at before each month).  Someone gave us a gift certificate to this place (thanks Mindy!) so this the place we went to.
It may not seem like much of a place for an anniversary, but our plan was to pick up sandwiches for a romantic picnic!

There was quite a long wait for the food -15 minutes or so, which is ok for sit down, but was surprised at for sandwiches.  Not complaining, just saying.  Have to admit it was quite busy.  A very popular place and lots of people came.  You can order ahead of time (on-line or call in) and that might be the thing to do if you are in a hurry.

 I forgot to get pictures of our food, but found these on-line.

Al ordered the McAlister's Club - smoked turkey, ham, bacon, sharp cheddar, Swiss, lettuce, tomato, honey mustard and mayo on wheat.  It was really good!  (We ended up sharing eachother's sandwiches)  

I ordered the Cobb Club - turkey, bacon, gorgonzola cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato, mayo and Parmesan Peppercorn sauce on ciabatta.

We put it all in a picnic basket and went to Prairie Pines.

We enjoy this place and go every year at least once, but sometimes more.  Depends on the programs and how busy we are.  This evening we came to listen to the New Zealand String Quartet.  You can eat here if you want as a dinner is offered, and we have done that before, but we think it is fun to bring our own.

 It is just a lovely setting.  And yes, Kansas temps are in the 100's, but it really did not feel that way here.  There was a slight breeze and with all the shade, it was quite pleasant.

We listened to the locusts, frogs and the waterfall along with the stringed instruments.  Very peaceful and wonderful!
The string quartet included Douglas Bielman, a local Wichita native who has immigrated to New Zealand and began this group.  They played  selections by Psathas ("Unbridled, Manos Breathes the Voice of Life into Kartsigar), Lilburn (String Trio), Barber (String Quartet, Op. 11) and Beethovan (String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 132).  Some of the pieces were very different, but my favorites were the souful songs of  the later two.  The quartet gave instructions and backgrounds of the songs they played which was quite interesting.

During intermission, we had someone take our photo and we meandered around the gardens.

If you ever go, you can sit in the barn if you prefer.  We have been in the barn many times and the acoustics is great!  The sound outside is really good too, if you don't mind the sounds of nature with it - which I don't at all.  I think it is very nice!  (I even have records and CD's that have music combined with nature sounds)
They serve coffee and tea at intermission and we got that and shared a piece of one of the best carrot cakes I've had.  

 A sweet way to complete an evening with my sweet one!

Friday, July 20, 2012


Ever go rodeo-ing?  Pretty Prairie has the largest night rodeo in Kansas.  Allen grew up outside of Pretty Prairie and attended school there all his growing up years.  When we can, we like to go "home" to watch the rodeo.  This year we took along our granddaughters, Hannah and Sophia and also some Japanese friends, Keiko and Toshi, and a co-worker of his, Aki.  They had never been to a rodeo before and neither had Sophia. 

We stopped at the farm first to pick up our tickets.  Since Al's brother and wife work at the rodeo, they get free tickets and they graciously gave them to us to use!

The girls were excited to meet the new tame kitty, Roscoe.

Here is the highschool Allen and I graduated from.  I attended here my junior and senior years when my parents took a short furlough from working in Japan.  Dad pastored the Mennonite church in the country for a few years before they returned to Japan.

The girls got to have rides on horses.  If you brought canned goods for charity, the rides were free.  Luckily my sister-in-law told us about that so we came prepared! 

Hannah rode Magic.

Sophia rode Cocoa.

It was stinkin' HOT!!!!  See how Keiko-san is wiping her face?  I wished I had had a handkerchief too.  The sweat just dripped.  In Japan, we call this "mushi-atsui" - sultry and muggy.  This is the typical weather where we lived in Japan during the months of July and August.

What a cute little cow-poke!

The Pretty Prairie saddle club rides around at the opening.

How very cool that our sister-in-law, Gayle and the Cousins Four sang the national anthem!!!  That was a surprise to us as she didn't tell us ahead of time.  Beautiful harmony!!

And the rodeo competition begins!

I don't know what happened to the color of this picture, but I thought it was hilarious!  Had to include it.  The horses head and the guy's mouth - funny!

It has been dry - very dry (as in drought) here in Kansas, but with the 107 temps this week, there were several pop up thunderstorms in the afternoon.  Short lived, but it POURED here.  Around 3 inches.  And the rodeo grounds were muddy!!  Look at the mud on this guys' back!

We like to sit on the east side.  Although we face the sun for a little while, we feel like we get a better view of the action.  I was so happy when the sun went down.  I thought it would begin to cool down.  But it didn't.  We continued to sweat the rest of the evening.

There was the mutton bustin competition where little kids rode out on sheep.  They all got belt buckles for participating and one lucky kid got new cowboy boots!  I hope their moms brought them a change of clothes!

One person gets to try to win $100.  The money is put in an envelope.  The guy is blindfolded and the crowd cheers him on to let him know when he is getting hot.  The clown put the envelope in the mud.  Gross.  But it could be worse.  He could have put it in a cow pattie.   Of course, there probably is a good share of that in the mud.  And yes, he did find the money!

The bulls at the end are the best! I was taking Sophie to the bathroom so I missed the best part. Al says a clown was thrown up into the air by a bull! (he wasn't hurt)

The rodeo finished around 10:30.   And it was midnight before we got the little girlies back home!!!  We told the girls to sleep in and to be cheerful and not grumpy the next day or their parents might not let us take them next year!  Ha ha!