Caroline – Almost Four

I’m so glad the Lord chooses to grow children up whether we want them to or not. I so love each stage that I’m afraid if I could choose, I’d keep our nieces exactly as they are. Woe to me if I’d have my way! I’d never know the joys that are around the corner waiting for us as they continue to mature, grow, and become dearer and dearer to our hearts.

And so it’s starting. The wonderful little things that children say to make our days brighter and our lives so much more fun.

Like walking into Michael and Jacquie’s house and having Caroline look at us with her bright eyes and say, “Let’s have a snack!” She’s learning that it’s fun to feed people. Fun to do nice things for people. She said it with such cheer in her voice. She runs over to the counter, pulls up her stool, hops ONTO the counter, and promptly pulls down her gummy snacks and passes them around for all to enjoy. The adults all smiles and enjoy – not the snacks, but the pleasures of a child.

Or how about singing “God Is Great And God Is Good” before meal time? The last line says, “Give us, Lord, our daily bread.” To which Caroline says, “Mom? Why do we have to say ‘Give us, Lord, our DAILY BREAD?’ Can’t we say ‘Give us, Lord, our MAC AND CHEESE’?” She definitely loves her mac and cheese!

Caroline 2013

A Late Announcement

Many of you would like to see a picture of our newest little niece.  Gabrielle Sophia made a wonderful, memorable entry into this world the day after my birthday.  Tammy and I were in Florida for our grandparents 70th anniversary.  (Yes – I said 70th ANNIVERSARY!  Incredible!)   We were ready to leave in the morning to begin a longarm training session in GA with a new longarm owner, when Jacquie called at 1 AM and told us the baby would be coming nearly 3 weeks early.  We couldn’t have been further away from home at the moment.  We looked at the clock and knew we were looking at a LONG drive ahead of us.  After 17 hours of driving we MADE IT!!  We were driving past their road when Jacquie called and said another little girl had been born.  We were so excited!

So folks….  For the maternal side of the family – that makes 3 generations of ALL GIRLS!  Amazing.  🙂

Best friends are we

It really blesses us to think of the special relationship these two will share.


Always my sister, always my friend

It’s been asked for many times…  Updated pictures of us!  The poor, old About Us page on our website is in great need of updating.  🙂  It’ll get done…  Just after a while I suppose.

The other night Tammy and I went shopping in Nappanee with some friends of ours.  As we walked out of one of the stores we decided to get a few impromptu memory shots.  Tam and I rarely get pictures taken together so we’re glad to have one to share with you now.  Which do you like better – the black and white or the color?  And by the way – the texture on the picture is the newest fabric by 3 Sisters…  Etchings  Fun!

Sisters-PW Screen.jpg

Sisters-BW EB.jpg

The Sunshine In Our Lives

For all of you who know us and for those of you who just like to see who we are, here is an updated picture of Caroline. She definitely is the sunshine in our lives! We went up to Michigan last week to meet some friends for supper. Knowing of a beautiful park near by, we decided to do a photo shoot of Caroline. She’s hitting a very active stage and isn’t too impressed at stopping her busy life for a camera. But we did manage to get some cute shots. Here is our all-time favorite…..

Caroline Cecilia

We're totally attached to this little miss!

She’s growing up fast. One of her favorite things to do when she come to our place is hold onto the handles on our longarm while it is quilting. I think she really thinks she’s making it go! So much fun….

Family Pictures

I know this is not a photography blog….  But I couldn’t help but post these pictures.  Tammy and I went to DeFries Gardens with Michael, Jacquie and Caroline to get their family pictures.  I thought you might like to see them. Our little niece is growing up and we are enjoying her so much.

Caroline Cecilia

Caroline Cecilia - 9 months

Hoover Family 2010

Michael, Jacquelyn, and Caroline Hoover

Hoover Family 2010

“Tornadoes”, No Power, and Digital Quilting Patterns

Some of you ordered digital quilting patterns from me a couple of weeks ago while we were out of power. I used back up measures to send them out to you as soon as I possibly could. This post is to show a few pictures of the mess and clean up process….  And to thank you for your patience!

We had two storms come through here only days apart. The first storm hit us pretty hard. No tornadoes were spotted, but the winds had reported gusts of up to 80 mph.  Thankfully no one was hurt and we had no structural damage. However, a few trees got pretty badly torn up and our neighbor lost 3 trees in their front yard.  One tree was a huge old pine. As it fell to the ground it caught the power lines, ripping them out of the neighbor’s house and damaging the lines to our house and the pole. It also covered the road in its massiveness.

It is an incredible amount of work to clean up that many trees.  Our church sent over a few guys with chain saws and Michael came, too.  By the end of the day our entire property was clean except for a huge pile in the front yard from the neighbor’s pine.  It felt good when time finally allowed and the remains of the storm were completely burnt.  What an enormous fire!

The second storm brought 4 tornadoes with it, but they touched down just a couple of miles to the north of us.  We had more branches down, but not the major damage that others suffered.  One man had his entire barn picked up off its foundation and moved across the street!  The hay and equipment was still standing on the foundation.  Now, how does a tornado accomplish such a thing?!  But it did show me  that “gusts up to 80 mph” are definitely a different story than a real, true “tornado”.

When looking at the following pictures, bear in mind that we forgot to take pictures until clean up was well under way.  It was even worse….  🙂

The bse of the pine

Here you can see the size of the trunk on the pine. It is sad to loose such an old tree.

The guys at work

The guys at work. I'm not sure how we would have gotten this cleaned up without their help.

Dad and Tammy unloading branches onto the fire pile.

Dad and Tammy unloading branches onto the fire pile. Thankfully, the store Dad is building wasn't damaged. That is not a barn in the background - it is a store in progress!

The view of the road

The view of the road after it had been cleared almost to the point of passing. I wish I would have had a picture before it was cleared at all.

Our front yard

The pile that was started in our front yard. It looks like a jungle!

The power company cutting a branch out of the power lines

The power company cutting a branch out of the power lines. It was a big relief when they came out and repaired the lines. You don't realize how much you depend on electricity until it's gone.

I’m glad that’s over!  Hopefully there will be no more tornadoes for a long, long time…………..

Adam’s Quilt

My cousin is getting married on May 30th so we have been working to finish a special quilt for him. The piecework is all done, and it is now in the frame being quilted. The center of the quilt came from “Meadowsweet Home” by Need’l Love.

Meadowsweet Home by Need'l Love

Meadowsweet Home by Need'l Love

It has an applique center with tiny nine-patches surrounding it that are set on point and alternated with blank square blocks. (I haven’t done any applique work in a while and really, really enjoyed doing it again. It reminded me of my fondness for handwork!) The quilt has a nice, scalloped border surrounding it to allow for pretty quilting. I spent more than a day working on digitizing the patterns for the quilt.

It was such a pleasure to finally load it in the quilting frame and see it start getting stitched out! The nice thing about this quilt is that we made TWO of them…. One is for Adam and Gail, and the other is for Jacquie and Michael. I’m glad the cousins will have identical quilts. I think it’s kind of special – especially since they both started their married lives so close in time to each other.

Check back for the pictures of the quilt. I plan to post them when it’s finished.

Caroline’s On A Trip


Our happy little niece

Our little niece is far away in Central America. We miss her sunshiny little personality! Of course, we miss Jacquie and Michael too, but somehow that little baby has managed, as small as she is, to take up a humongous place in our hearts and lives.

Michael had a cousin get married in Costa Rica so they decided to go down for the wedding and also stop in Nicaragua to visit some old friends and meet some new ones. We are very glad they had the opportunity to go, although our life here is a bit dry with them gone. 🙂 We live close to each other so it is normally (and thankfully!) easy to go back and forth with each other working together as “Three Sisters” like to do.

Jacquie has been faithful to email when possible. It’s been nice to get the updates on how everyone is doing. We’ll be picking them up at the Chicago airport on Sunday afternoon. It will be wonderful to see them again and catch up on all their experiences. Email is great, but nothing beats talking face to face!