What I Designed Today: NMDEA Black & White Program Ads

I’ve been doing reincarnations of this black and white ad for years. This year, my client decided to bump up the size to a full page. The sponsors are probably so relieved to have their name in readable-sized print! Lovely client. I wish all of my clients were as prepared and easy to work with as this one. I’m not sure which one they’ll choose but I’m sure whichever it is, it’ll stand out in the program!





Nebraska: The Good Life

I’m sitting in the car, blogging on the laptop, windows down, 75 degrees outside and breezy — THE BREEZE! — it seems there are never breezes in Houston. None of us wants to go back to Texas. I can’t even call it “home” — too hot, too many bugs. We are enjoying Nebraska and Iowa so much that even the kids don’t want to leave (and Cole’s spent a month on Papa & Nana’s floor!). The little boys have been rotating couches and seem to be fine. It’s amazing how kids can adjust. Three more days in heaven and then we head back to the sauna known as Houston. It will be great to see Don again — I think if he wasn’t there, we’d just move in and I’d enroll the kids in Ralston. Sure, we’d miss Gretna but I’d do just about anything to stay here. So many great friends are here, too. It was great to see ALMOST everyone. There were a few friends and family we missed. One thing is for sure: we’ll be back! Plus, we’ll be just as annoying and stay just as long!!!

Decks Decks & More Decks…Thanks, Walkers!

The inspector said we needed to brace the deck or have it looked at and every decking company could “fit me in” if we wanted to build a whole new deck but just to brace it or do a minor repair nobody would give me the time of day. So I decided to bother one of my most beautiful friends, Ilise (seriously – this woman looks good pregnant, not pregnant and everywhere in between – always beautiful) who married into the Walker family of men and boys and they bought a decking company in Papillion called Decks, Decks & More Decks. They came to my rescue! Her hubby, Robert, came out the very day after I called to measure and then his brothers, Chris & Jeff came a few days later to brace the deck. It made such a difference and they were so fast! It was so great to see them. Now I know two things about the Walker family: 1) they marry beautiful women (Ilise & Albanie) and 2) they do great deck work. Thanks, guys! Love from the Rolfsons always. If anybody needs deck work in the Omaha area – you can’t do better than these guys. And come and visit us in Texas!!! It’s not Costa Rica, but…we’ll do our best.

Contract Signed – Prayers for Closing!

clematis nice

We have a signed contract and signed counter offer. Now, pray that all goes smoothly (don’t you think we deserve some of that smoothness?) through closing. It has been a rough year. We have learned much about our limitations, of which there are many. Showing a large house with 4 boys for 10 months has been no easy task, and the last month without hubby has been lonely. Those who love me best outright lie and say that I’ve handled it very well. I highly doubt that, but my only real benchmarks are: nobody’s dead, the house did get clean enough to sell and we all made it to church on time most of the time. Even if one week Ben was in his camoflauge rain boots (it was National Rain Boots Week, didn’t you hear?). I am now in MESS mode – living proof that we do have lives and we don’t have to clean all the time!!! I will NEVER apologize for a messy house again – I will be proud to LIVE there with my complicated, busy life. Socks and shoes strung out all over the mudroom means that my kids are here, alive, healthy and playing and remembered to take their shoes off – good kids that they are. Books and magazines strewn about means we have a little time to sit. And think. And ponder. And perhaps even learn something. It’s only day one but I have high hopes for days 2, 3 and beyond…here comes SUMMER!!! I say, bring it on!!!

p.s. The clematis pic is from our backyard deck – we will miss some of the plants we have babied for six years. Don found a replacement “vine” in Texas but it was a little too Little-Shop-Of-Horrors looking for me!

The Eymann Family in Nebraska

Above: The Eymann Siblings in Nebraska. This is a picture of my mother’s mother and her siblings. Back row, left to right: Ollie, Daisy, Violet, Robert, Rose, Lillie Della. Front row: Lottie Ollie Thornton Eymann and Ernest Gottfried Eymann. Photo courtesy of Darlene May Jackson Bartlett’s personal collection.

Above: Lillie Della Eymann, photo courtesy of Darlene May Jackson Bartlett’s personal collection.

Genealogy. Family history. Whatever you call it – I just love it. My grandmother was Lillie Della and my mother tells me wonderful stories about her. She was a caretaker, friend, hard working individual. She was a medical wonder – she helped deliver babies and was the person everybody ran to if they had any problems. I hope to put up a Bartlett and Eymann genealogy website soon. I have so much information that I want to share in hopes of finding more! It is addicting. They say the Holy Ghost goes to bed at midnight but the Spirit of Elijah is just getting up about then…that’s why genealogy seems to include all-nighters doing research on the computer.

Baby It’s Cold Outside

It’s not Halloween anymore but it’s so cold outside, I kinda feel grouchy enough to want to wear something like this! Knitted by the brilliant mind behind Things and Ideas. She has great instructions over at her blog which I love because it’s about knitting and gardening and gardening and knitting. And she’s moving, too, so I feel like we’re automatically related. Except that she lives in Scotland. These international knitters have so much more style.

Nebraska Camping – Grove Lake & Niobrara!

More. Camping. Soon. It is so fun to be outdoors. There’s something magical about camping that transforms the all-too-common question of “So, what do you do for a living?” into a much more interesting and valid one: “So, how far have you come?” Always nice people and dogs to meet. We camped at Grove Lake and took a couple of side trips to the Ashfall Fossil Beds (extremely great place) and also to the Niobrara State Park for a quick hike (another great place – who knew we were so close to Yankton, South Dakota – with even more interesting things about Standing Bear and the Ponca Indians) and found a very small, old cemetery to document for genealogy as well as an historical monument built for Newell Knight, an old friend of Joseph Smith’s. It put many of his family’s stories (including the famous Provo resident Jesse Knight) in a new light! I’ll post pictures of the monument soon. Our newest 4G SDHC card isn’t being read by my old computer so this post will only have pics from the small 1G card.

The Applejack Festival in Nebraska City


Picking up the parents!


The boys taking a ride.


Adorable – I love this witch!


Yummy steak dinner afterwards – Jack looks afraid, no?!

This was one of the best years yet! Everyone was in a good mood and feeling good. We bought a bushel of apples and had the best time (hooray for homemade caramel dip). Homemade Caramel Dip recipe: 1 brick softened cream cheese (best at room temp), 1/2 c. or more to taste of brown sugar, squirt vanilla and OPTIONAL item a) half bag of toffee chips or b) broken up skor bars. Even my kids will down a bunch of apples with this dip – but it’s great for all types of fruit. Enjoy! It really does taste like caramel, I promise. It’s amazing!

Raw Milk from Branched Oak Farm



Lovely little farm. I drove quite a ways on dirt roads this morning to outside of Lincoln to find it. Legally they cannot advertise their sale of raw milk in traditional ways but I’m assuming it’s okay to critique the milk we just bought from them on our blog — it’s like drinking the best ice cream you’ve ever had. I have been reading up on milk issues (pro and con) for awhile now and have always wanted to try raw milk. We are loving it. This particular little farm has grass fed jersey cows and the milk is organic and not destined for big milk producers. Very clean, very good milk. If you want more information on raw milk, please visit realmilk.org. Yes, yes, we have read the warnings and studied up on the subject. I certainly wouldn’t get raw milk from a farm producing for a big dairy but I have to say, we absolutely love this milk! I picked up some kefir starter (my kids love this!) and grass fed beef there, too, this morning so I’ll have to let you know how it is later but I’m hoping spectacular.