30 December 2008

Playing with Gifts

Scott loves to help in the kitchen so I thought a little apron would be a perfect gift. He was less than thrilled when he opened it but as soon as it was time to serve dessert, he grabbed his apron and was the cutest little server. He left it on for hours and loved it.
Bethany got a little kitchen set that she just loves. Here she's feeding her Grandpa with a spoon. She has played non-stop with that thing, even when it was dark in the living room and the rest of us were in the kitchen. She is ADORABLE!

Uncle Eric is so great with the kids. Both Scott and Bethany love getting attention from him. Here Bethany and her Unky Eric are playing in a box and using it as a drum. This child is easily entertained if you refer to something as a drum. She loves music and noise in general!

Gift Opening

I make an honest effort for my kids to know and understand that we're celebrating Christmas as a holy type of day... the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the son of God who came to sacrifice. With that said, I like the idea of gifts because the kings brought gifts to baby Jesus. I love to buy gifts and spoil my children but we make a point not to do that. This year was difficult as I was out shopping numerous times and found some really good deals. I went just a tad over budget but we didn't do anything extreme for our kids. No BIG and spendy gifts, not loads and loads of things to unwrap. A little bit of effort can teach young kids a lot. Unfortunately, I'm not sure they learned what its all about this year. Scott was totally selfish and wanted to open another gift and didn't appreciate it when he unwrapped "just another box". Bethany was so tired she didn't care much. If it was a gift in a bag, she'd throw a fit. In her little mind, all she knew was that she wanted to tear paper off a box. Though we did the advent calendar, the advent wreath and other things to help influence their little minds, we have lots of work to do. I wanted to make a birthday cake for Jesus with the kids to try to help them understand the purpose of all this celebration but in the craziness of all the activity, we didn't get it done.

Here are a few pictures of the kiddos opening gifts (they managed to help everyone who had a gift to open):

Ryan said he's eager for the day when he gets to open his own gifts again. Since I don't like an audience when I open gifts, I enjoy the kids' help so they take the focus.
Bethany and Scott opened their stockings Christmas morning before we headed to Ryan's grandparents. You would have thought that Bethany was a poor child who'd never had a toy or a gift before. She grabbed up as much as she could in her arms and was not going to let go!

Nothing beats a crying kid when you're trying to take a cute picture. Little Miss Attitude was ticked that we wanted her to sit down in front of the Christmas tree. Apparently there was something else she wanted to be doing!

29 December 2008

DX Family

Ryan's Grandpa B owned the DX gas station in his home town for many years. To my knowledge, Grandpa B's dad owned it before that. In our home, anything with a DX logo has special meaning. The other night while waiting for Scott to be done on the toilet in the basement at Grandpa's house, I found this old hat. While it doesn't get much use any more, I thought it would make for a few cute pictures:



(this picture is of Ryan's cousin, Tyler. He really liked the hat.)



Beautiful

On a regular basis I make sure to tell Bethany that she's so beautiful. Also on a regular basis, after I've done her hair, I let her look in the mirror to see herself. Last night as we were getting ready to go to the Christmas program, I put a clip in her hair and picked her up in front of the mirror. In her small voice I heard her say "beautiful". It so precious to hear her say as I had not said it this time. Here's Bethany in a basket of clean, folded clothes. She never gets in a basket of dirty clothes and I've never seen her in a basket of clean unfolded clothes. She seems to only like the clean, folded clothes to rest her bottom on!

Snow people

What kid doesn't want to make a snow man on his front porch. We had 9 inches of fluffy snow during the night which is not the right kind of snow for packing a snow man creation. But for some reason, the snow on the South porch was wet enough to shape up. Of course, we also had to make one for Bethany too!




Star of the Christmas Program

My sweet little son was the star of the Christmas program last night. Not because he was an amazing shepherd or because he did the best at saying his lines. He's 3 1/2 and had one simple role. Carry the shepherds hook with you onto the stage and stand there. If only it worked so simply...

As the program was getting started, Scott wanted his shepherds hook and about hooked one of the adults as he moved it in front of him. Cute but no big deal. When he did get on stage, he made sure to grab everyone's attention by picking his nose. No, not a simple and discreet pick, the kid was digging and at one point had each of his pointer fingers in his nose holes! And when that was over, Scott couldn't stand there politely like every other child. He was turning in circles, facing the wall with his back to everyone, checking out the gifts under the tree, peaking under the blanket at baby Jesus, covering his eyes because the spot light was too bright, or something else. We mostly saw the back of his head the whole time. Who knew!

Lesson learned: Next time Scott will be before an audience, make sure his nose has no boogies in it!

Thanks to Scott's grandparents for catching this picture:

22 December 2008

oh and more info on the car

Oh and the car.  Just want to point out that we did is the "dave ramsey" way.  Received $4490 on the car for insurance.  Have more than that in our "emergency fund" that we could use on the car.  Instead, Ryan found a great deal.  We paid $4590 for it, only having to use $100 out of our emergency fun.  Its a 2001 Chrysler mini van with 62k for miles.  An older couple owned it and it was super clean.  I may not be a fan of mini vans but I'm excited to have a nicer looking vehicle with 50k less miles and seats more people for only $100.  Woo hoo!




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real quick

Life is beyond "holiday" crazy right now but a few things real quick:
1. Family is done puking
2. Kids are finishing up meds for pink eye
3. Much to my vain choice, we are proud owners of a used mini van
4. Salvage yard will pick up old car tomorrow.  How long does it take to siphon a full tank of gas out???
5. 80 miles of driving in "blizzard" weather in a new-to-you vehicle is not fun
6. Financial audit at work is tedious
7. Work, oh yeah, a place I go when I can get out of our driveway
8. My favorite family gifts to be handed out at Christmas are still in the design process and have little hope of getting done... are we seriously 3 days away from Christmas???
9.  My tailbone may be sore and my contacts may feel dry but I'm dressed cute today, dangit!


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10 December 2008

*wishing*

If I can't adopt a child by this summer, shouldn't I at least be able to go to an orphanage and rock the little babies? I better get that passport updated!

09 December 2008

Dear Cori

This started out as a note to my friend but I thought I might as well post it on my blog and so I added a few more details and have copied it below:
__________________________________
If I wasn't in the middle of this darned audit and WORKING all hours of the day, I'd totally call you.

I had a "I wanna go back to CA" moment last night. Left the office but not before sliding around in the parking lot first. It was glare ice! Thought the road would be a little better, it wasn't. By the grace of God (and you can bet I was praying like crazy) I made it up the hill out of town for smooth sailing, or should I say sliding. Got a mile down the road and thought I was crazy for driving but I certainly couldn't turn around. Debated on stopping and asking one of my farmers (Ryan is also their vet) if I could stay with them or drive a truck of theirs home. I continued on because God's perfect love casts out all fear, right?!?! I drove in 2nd gear at 10-15 miles an hour with my passenger side tires on the shoulder for some traction. They just re-did and widened the road which means there's no more gravel shoulder but fortunately the snow from Saturday hadn't been cleared off the edge and it was just enough to make the ice uneven and provide a little traction. I made it to Gunder in 45 minutes, usually a 12 minute drive, and was scared and without confidence. The next 4 of 8 miles would all be downhill curves which in my mind spelled suicide. I stopped at Gunder (town of 6-10 houses and 1 restaurant). Got out of the car, checked to see how icy the road was and sat in disbelief. How was I going to get home to my husband and children? Well, home wasn't an option with our wild driveway, but how would I get to my mom's and see my family? Thought, debated, prayed some more and called a friend who lived just down the road. No one answered the phone. I walked inside the Shanti, a place I'm very familiar with and owners that I know (Ryan just "saved" their dog last weekend). They offered me a warm drink and some soup but I was so stirred up emotionally that I declined.

Cori, you know me. I have the type of personality that no one is a stranger. I had no problem thinking that I'd have to spend the night at the Shanti or with a nearby farm family. Only, there was one problem. Aunt Flo is visiting and I didn't have enough "stuff" to keep her entertained. With Aunt Flo comes too much emotion for me and so I sat at the counter in the quiet Shanti where Kevin fixed a vacuum and Elsie put things away thinking that I was helpless. Ryan was miles away running veterinary calls (his 4WD truck with the weight in it can make it around much easier than my little dinky car). I couldn't get a hold of nearby farmers I knew, or Ryan or the other vet who lives down the road. I was stranded. At this point, I don't think I even considered praying unless it was me asking God to help me be strong and not cry in front of Kevin and Elsie (I don't know them well enough to ball like a baby in front of them). Kevin and Elsie were ready to close up shop and head home when a guy pulled in the parking lot.

He was a familiar face to the Shanti but not someone I knew at all. Kevin proceeded to ask him if he had 4WD and if he'd be willing to take me to town. All the while my cell phone was ringing with my mom calling to say that she'd send Ralph to get me. Jim would be more than happy to take me and I figured I'd let him deal with the roads since he was a native Eskimo, I mean, Iowan and more familiar with these driving conditions than us transplants from CA. We walked outside and the ground was covered with the most beautiful snow. Jim opened the door of his truck for me, cleared the seat, and off we went.

You know, its funny how God really does provide for us in big and small ways. I was safe, even if it was a bad idea to try to drive home. God did provide safe travels for me (no deer in site last night), calmed me a little, and even brought snow in the perfect time. As I neared Gunder, the freezing rain was turning to sleet and I could see the sleet on the road which was why I got out and checked to see how slippery the road was. As I sat inside the Shanti, the sleet turned to snow and beautifully covered the ground. It was likely safe for me to drive down the Reierson Hill which I had previously deemed suicide. The snow cover would provide traction. But it didn't matter, because God knew how little confidence I had in driving down that hill and provided a perfect stranger who didn't want anything in return but asked me to "next time make sure to do the same thing for someone else". God knew. God orchestrated. God be glorified!

I did not make it home last night but I did make it to my mom's where my two beautiful children greeted me with hungry mouths and open arms. Thanks to mom and Ralph for opening their home when our driveway prevents me from getting there. Thanks to Ryan for going home and packing items for the family (including entertainment for Aunt Flo) after a long day at work.

Thanks to Jim for getting me to Elgin even though he wasn't headed that direction. And thanks to God for being Jehovah Jirah, my provider!

05 December 2008

RE: [tuh-mar-uh] New comment on Let them cross, then go mommy.

A quick reply to Amy's comment:
you think you were being funny when you said mount it or freeze it.  What I find funny is that people would seriously do that around here!  First thing I got asked by several people was if it had a "rack" on it.  And a few others suggested tagging it and cutting it up.
 
It was a girl deer so no antlers.  And, I don't care for deer meat so I don't want to freeze it.
 
Last night it was pushed off into the road ditch a little.  For anyone who's interested, I'm sure the meat has been kept cold!  High of 29 today and it was 2 degrees when I left this morning!


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04 December 2008

Let them cross, then go mommy

On the way home last night, I was carefully driving on the snow packed roads and out of nowhere I was seeing eye to eye with "property" of the state of Iowa. Seems as though one of the state owned white tailed deer had a death wish and was trying to take me down with her. The doe didn't get to cross the road. I nailed her with the front corner of my car where she wiped out my headlight, folded my front quarter panel in half, dented up the hood with her head, and shoved her body into the drivers door.

Poor deer. I don't feel too bad.

I was startled but perfectly safe. I stopped about 100 yards down the road to check on my car. The bumper and headlight were dragging on the ground. It took me about a minute to unplug the wiring harness from the headlight to remove it (thanks dad and Ralph for teaching me about cars) cause I was still shaking.

Went on to mom's, then to Awanas then back to mom's before I called the Sheriff's office. It's quite a site to watch me open the driver door from the back seat. I'm just glad nobody was harmed.

Damage estimates over $4,000. Thank you Lord for insurance. I don't even know if the car is worth that much!

Drove by the scene of the accident. There was a dog checking out my dead deer. Good riddens pest!

Scott has had a few interesting comments after seeing my car:
1. Mommy, you're supposed to let the deer cross the road, then you go. Why didn't you let the deer cross the road?
2. Mommy doesn't have a light anymore. Daddy can you fix mommy's car? (Daddy "fixes" animals all the time so it makes sense to Scott that daddy can "fix" everything I guess)
3. Look mommy, the sun is coming up. It will help give you light since you don't have a light.

Friends, feel free to go online now and try to get licenses and tags to kill the deer, especially on the roads I travel to go home which are thick in deer!

Drive safe and like Scott says, "watch out for deer". (Yes, he indeed did tell me that very thing this morning with quite a smirk on his face)

30 November 2008

Tired of Thanksgiving Meals

Saturday Ryan smoked the turkey and prepared another Thanksgiving meal. That was much appreciated. I'm not much for left overs though and after having them for lunch yesterday, I couldn't force myself to have my 5th Thanksgiving meal. I opted for two rolls instead. I was sorry for it later when hunger made me sick. Gotta love that that happens to me. If I ever wanted to do a food "fast", my body doesn't allow it.

In other news, we had my inlaws over for the evening and it was fun to watch both of them play Guitar Hero on the Wii.

28 November 2008

I'm Full!

Thankful for a day off of work to celebrate with family and a new friend over plates full of food.



One of the Mongolian students joined us as did my mom and step-dad. It was quite enjoyable and I'm thankful that Ryan prepared most of the meal. Mom brought peach cobbler, one of my favorite desserts. We learned a little about Mongolian culture, played the Wii, and I ate more dessert :)



Later that afternoon, we put the kids down for a nap and then woke them up early to take them to a movie. Madagascar 2 was really cute and well worth the time and money. The kids sat well for it, although Bethany started to squirm a little after the first hour or so. It was a cute movie. Scott was thrilled to get a free Madagascar poster from the theater which we promptly had to put up when we got home.



By the way, Bethany turned 18 months old on Thanksgiving and I didn't get a picture of her... oops!

27 November 2008

Thankful

I am thankful for many things but here are a few:
- Parents that raised me in a loving home
- A big family, even though I don't get to see them often enough
- Ryan's family who accepts me as their own
- Not having to earn salvation
- The ability to to be forgiven and forgive others
- A tummy too full of food

26 November 2008

Thanksgiving Plans update

So I just talked to one of the Mongolian students who told me that they are going to WI to visit one of their cousins. I kindly informed them that when a family plans to feed them a big meal and have them over for a few days, that its offensive to cancel plans just before hand.

Ryan just called and one of the girls had sent him a text message at 420pm. We have a bunch of food we're preparing and we're looking forward to having them in our home. Now, we'll have a bunch of food and hang out with my parents which will also be nice. I know there's a big cultural difference but its difficult to not be upset at their decision.

but it will be warm and there will be food

Monday night we did laundry, dishes, and the regular house keeping items that need to be done after a full day of shopping on Saturday and a day of "rest" on Sunday. Last night was supposed to be the night I spent making the house shine. Know what I did last night? We came home, baked a frozen pizza, cleaned up the toys long enough to sweep and vacuum before the kids tore their toys back out. The kids went to bed and I curled up on the couch and finished putting the binding on Bethany's quilt.

I didn't mop the floor in the kitchen, shoot, I didn't even sweep it. I didn't get the spare bedroom that the girls will be sleeping in cleaned. I didn't scrub my shower but I did wipe down the counter and shove stuff under the sink. I didn't get my house in perfect order partly because I was lazy and partly because I'm learning that it's okay to be like that. The students and my parents that come over for Thanksgiving won't care. They'll be glad that the house is warm and there will be food.

Happy Thanksgiving friends and family!

20 November 2008

Mongolian Friends

Our family has a connection to Mongolia. The connection began when Ryan made several trips to Mongolia to do missions work through CVM with the local vets. We have continued that connection by supporting the Vet Net in Mongolia through prayer and finances. Through that support, we are able to read monthly updates from our friends in Mongolia. We would love to return to Mongolia together. Ryan is sure that I wouldn't go there because of the lifestyle in the country side. I've tried to assure him that I would do fine if I could bring PB&J or if I could stay in the city with the American misisonary.
For several years we have dreamed of adopting. And Mongolia wasn't exactly an option because of their requirements. Now that we've been married 5 years, a Mongolian adoption would be possible. We have yet to run that race.
In the mean time, we've sought to strengthen that connection to a place and a people that are dear to our hearts. Last year we became friends with the only Mongolian international student at our nearby university. This year, Naraa is still here and there are 3 more students. Reaching out to them is the least we can do. Last Friday Melody joined us for the evening. She took two years of English in high school and although she does excellent for the amount of English education she had, much gets lost in the translation of things. We loved having her over and the kids adored her. This weekend we plan to have the students join us for our trip to the city to do a little Christmas shopping. We also plan to have them over for Thanksgiving and stay the weekend since food services aren't available at the university. I'm excited and anxious for this reaching out of sorts. The two new girls are extremely home sick and certainly need some love and attention. The new boy student we have yet to meet but I'm hopeful that he'll come around as well. May God truly bless each one of us as we add them to our extended family in the coming days.

19 November 2008

Ryan is Headed to Jail

I just talked to Ryan and he said that he's headed to "jail". A few weeks ago, he was called by the muscular dystrophy organization because he's a business owner in the community. He agreed to go to help them out by going to jail. From what Ryan said on the phone today, he agreed to post bail ($1600) or spend an hour of his time calling people and asking them to donate. Since we don't have $1600 sitting around, he was donating his time. This is not at all Ryan's personality, not something he want to volunteer doing. I'm so proud of my husband for stepping out of his comfort zone and volunteering his time.

If you happen to get a call from Dr. Ryan the veterinarian, please consider donating today :)

17 November 2008

Life Changing

We've been reading a book with our small group called "love and respect". It has really opened our eyes on how we treat our marriages. An email from one of the wives this morning, got me thinking. It really has been life changing for us. I'm learning how to respect Ryan in ways that he spells respect. And Ryan is learning to love me in ways that I speak love. It's great. Ryan has been taking out the trash on a regular basis without my asking. To me, this is one of those things that he should automatically do. Recently I'm excited to say that he's doing it. Hmm, I hope there are ways that I'm showing him some/more respect.

Adoption

Today, I'm thinking Mongolia, Ethiopia or domestic. Start praying that we'd be obedient and that God would open doors!

Last night

Last night we watched a show where a family adopted 8 kids. Some from Haiti and some from the inner city. I was blown away by their love for others. Tears filled my eyes and I turned to Ryan and said something like "I wanna adopt".

13 November 2008

Thursday already?

I've had so much to blog about. Random things but that's how my life is right now. If only I had a phone with email on it so I could do a quick post when I'm stopped along side the road after watching a corn field burn thanks to corn stalks that caught on fire under my work truck. I wish I had the internet at home to post a quick video of Bethany jabbering like crazy when I was home with the kids on Tuesday or to tell you about her repeating "Noah, Noah" while she laid in her crib and a friend's baby, Noah, slept in the room next to her. I wish I worked for a private company that would allow me to blog about all the craziness of things at work, while at work. I wish I had the time at work (or the memory to do it after work) to tell you about the guy who complimented my wedding ring at least 4 times yesterday (Ryan, if you're reading this, Connie and I are sure that you probably paid him to say that so I would quit asking you about having my ring reset). But I don't.

I've been swamped with a million things going on at home. I have so much to do that it would be easy for me to be a workaholic. But, I know that I'm needed at home so I try to find the middle ground and not spend too much extra time at the office. I know that I should be home with my family but I also know that the extra hour at the office earns me some much needed vacation time.

I've been intrigued a lot by the lack of "care" that people have around my work environment. They care about their work but don't seem to care about how you are or who you are. I guess I'm just a little different in how I work. I know that my job is important and that it needs to get done but I'm also a firm believer in caring about people. Showing a genuine interest in who they are and how life is for them. I was out with a farmer earlier that asked me about my family and then talked a little about his family, how they chose to raise their kids, etc. I was suprised by it. And just a few minutes ago, I had a guy in the office who was diagnosed with cancer on his tongue this summer. And because of his health issues we're trying to make some changes to a contract he has. I helped the guy write his letter to the management folks who have the final say. He was so appreciative and said "I couldn't have written it better myself". All because I took a few minutes to ask and listen.

Recently a lady in our building resigned after dealing with too much stress, struggling with alcoholism and some health issues as well. She is my friend. I have since been asked by her boss (via my boss) to not talk about her while at work. I can understand that they want to get over the issues stemming from her resignation but at the same time, she's a person and there are several of us in the building who care about her. How selfish and sad to ask that I not mention her at all. And on top of that, how degrading for her to tell my boss that I spend time on her side of the building talking about said person. That boss is either mis-informed or making stuff up, either of which are a mis-reprensentation of my character. I don't talk about her all the time anyway. Should I be sorry for caring?

On another note, it is Thursday. I have bible study tonight and have yet to do my study. Whoops. Tuesday I was home all day with the kids but never had a minute to myself. Last night I had Noah and then some other friends came over until late. I guess that means I'll have to rush through it tonight. I know that I don't get as much out of it then, but its too late now.

07 November 2008

Healthy Eating

I ate a home-made ice-cream sandwich for breakfast this morning. It was good.

I have totally changed my eating style. No more going back for 2nds or 3rds. No more snacking all the time. No more drinking a slim fast and eating a granola bar. It was hard at first but now its good and I like how I feel, even if at my physical yesterday I still weigh way more than I want to. Last night we had bible study at our house. We served Wild Rice Soup and for dessert Ryan served home-made ice-cream sandwiches. They were yummy. So much so that I skipped the slim fast this morning and had an ice-cream sandwich.

04 November 2008

Free to Vote

I voted today.  Have you?

I was encouraged and frustrated at my local polling place.  Encouraged that so many were out to vote early this morning and frustrated that I had to wait 15 minutes to vote.  I thank God that we live in a place where we have the freedom to vote.  I complain about a 15 minute wait when people in other nations walk miles to the polling center and then stand in line for 4 hours to vote.
 
I hope you take the time today to vote not only for our next president but also for the local offices that will be filled.


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24 October 2008

Breitbach's Did It Again

Last Christmas Eve, a very popular local restaraunt burned down.  Breitbach's was the oldest running restaraunt in the state, if I remember correctly.  It has tons of history, including a neat mural on the wall in the bar area that was uncovered during a remodel process years ago.  When the place burned, the history went with it but people still wanted Breitbach's home style cooking, and atmosphere.  They rebuilt.  News this morning is that the new Breitbachs burned down early this morning. Can you believe it?  We hadn't been back since they re-opened.  Now I wonder if we'll have a chance to.  I hope Breitbach's survives and they can rebuild again.


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23 October 2008

Life Happens

A quick photo update:

Scott rubbing aloe vera lotion on his sun burned face. He came downstairs with it all over. It was too cute!
Bethany loves to go out in the shop with her grammy. She can be found sitting next to Grammy on a stool playing with "toys" while Grammy quilts. This and meal time are the only times you can find this child sitting still.
Daddy reads to Bethany just before she goes to bed.
Aunt Janie finally taking a picture of the tree with beautiful fall colors after talking about the tree for 5 days.
Great Gram, Aunt Janie and Scott go for a walk to the park.
I hate waking up to a dark sky and have a hard time dragging my butt out of bed when its dark. But the gorgeous sunrises I see as I head to work make it all a little better.
Wii weren't the only ones having fun with our new toy. Ryan's parents and grandparents could be found playing the Wii last Sunday at our house

Right after a nap is not a good time for Great Grandpa to hold Bethany... but a cookie might make all the difference.

22 October 2008

Way Behind in Life

I feel so behind at the moment. Since we stepped off the plane returning from California, life has been is fast forward it feels like. Our free weekends haven't been free and we've been going non stop during the week. Not that there's anyone to blame but myself. I have so much to do:
  1. Thank you's from vacation that have been in my purse since right after we got home. Some are done and just need to get into an envelope and find the mail box. Some are blank. And now that they've been in my purse for a few weeks and Bethany's little hands have found them, they're not in tip top shape. So, if you get a partially crumpled thank you, know that I'm better to send them that way so that they at least get sent. (with that said, I just handed out some of birthday thank you's from July that I found in my other bible that I apparently haven't used for several months.)
  2. I managed to partially clean Ryan's bathroom but it still needs a good scrub as does my own.
  3. Those dead flies in the window sills. I've kept up with the downstairs ones since I see those. The kids rooms though need some serious attention. As we continue to cool off outside, the flies are making way into my house somehow and dying in the window sills.
  4. We're running out of food at our house. I totally meant to bring the Once a Month Cookbook today to tweak their lists and make a list of the dishes I like best. Forgot the book so maybe I'll get that done tonight.
  5. Need to schedule my annual appointment. Should have done that in July. Thankfully Dr. Ryan gave me a 3 month extension but that's overdue now too. I called yesterday but can't get into her office for 6 weeks so now I need to call the other doc to see if he can get me in.
  6. Need to have our Mongolian student over but haven't got a hold of her... we're already 9 weeks into the semester and we've not had her over yet!
  7. Christmas is right around the corner and I need to start on calendars... eek!

Okay, that's enough of a list. I have gotten a few things done but there's lots to do around the house. Get out fall clothes, put away summer clothes, lose 10 pounds so I can fit into my fall clothes, mend some other clothes, figure out how to remodel that room, etc.

My inlaws were offerred a cruise with the sale of their house. They can apparently transfer it to us. Oh how I'd love that opportunity to take a cruise with Ryan and relax... it's going to be a crazy fall!

20 October 2008

Fireplace or Update a Room

I would like to think that some of our budget this month can go towards updating the carpeted room. But, after the chimney sweep guy left our house on Saturday, we learned that $350 of our budget was going to him instead. Yes, a little more than we expected but he also capped the chimney. I hope there's enough this month cause I just ordered some stuff for the kids at 0ldN@vy and a few books to share with some friends.

16 October 2008

Feeling a Little Offended

It's Boss' Day. Each year, our secretary takes care of getting our boss a little something. I remember last year being irritated that she buys something and tells us after the fact that we owe her money. It's usually 2 or 3 bucks a piece so its not a lot of cash but what irritates me is that she doesn't ask us ahead of time if we want to go in on a gift. Is it right to buy a gift and expect people to pay without asking?

This morning though was a little different. Our secretary is off today so I took it upon myself to make a card from the whole staff and buy him a big bag of his favorite candy. The secretary calls in and talks to one of the guys who tells her that I made a card and bought candy. She apparently didn't like what I'd done and asked him to go downtown and pick up a gift certificate and we can split the cost later. Now I'm irritated for two reasons: 1. Once again we'll be expected to chip in later, 2. My idea wasn't good enough.

Grr!

14 October 2008

Random Thoughts

  • Hubby went back to work to check on a dog on IV fluids. I love when he's home.
  • Scott is ready for Cubbies tomorrow night and can tell you his verse but he just pooped in his undies... we've told him he can't go if he does that. I don't like keeping him from "church" for being naughty.
  • I miss my friend Cori. She's a college buddy and we don't talk much but we kept up via blogs. She's not blogging now.
  • It's time for my annual review at work. That always makes me think about how much I enjoy my job. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don't.
  • I need to schedule an annual check up. I'm 3 1/2 months over due for that. Hate that appointment.
  • My grandma and aunt headed back home today. It's been a busy month with two weeks in CA and straight into two weeks of my family being at mom's and wanting to hang out there.
  • Thank you Lord for federal holidays!
  • Spent Saturday helping my inlaws with an artist show where they got to display, show off and sell some jewelry. He's amazingly talented with the projects he puts his hand to.

10 October 2008

Entertainment for Today

Had a spam email earlier. Didn't know it was spam. I only looked at the subject line and read:
"big peckers for sale"
I laughed out loud and proceeded to tell my co-worker about it. The email title wasn't so funny but it caught me off guard and my reaction was funny.

A few minutes later I hear said coworker:
so how much were they?

A few minutes later we're working with a guy who's a real piece of work. He's totally cocky. After the guy leaves, I comment to co-worker:
Right there was the big pecker.

Maybe it was one of those "you had to be there" moments. C, did I get the story right?

08 October 2008

Welcome to Our Home

Tomorrow night we host bible study at our house. This usually means that the night before is a cleaning frenzy or that Ryan is off at noon and can go home to clean and prepare food. Not this time. Not to say that we didn't do any cleaning, because we did, but it was minimal. I still haven't even vacuumed up all the dead bugs from our window sills (gotta love fall). So, what did I do last night?

After supper, I hurried Scott out the door to Cubbies and then went for a walk with my aunt, my grandma and Bethany. I left at 8pm to pick up Scott and as I got down the street, I realized that it was only 7pm. Man, that was a short walk! Instead of dropping his carseat off at the church so Ryan could bring Scott home, and going home to clean, I decided to stick around town. I stopped at my friend Vanessa's and we chatted for an hour. It was so good to have no agenda and just chat. At 8pm (it really was 8pm this time), I picked up Scott and headed home. While sitting on the toilet to poop (cause he has to do that in order to snuggle, works like a charm), I began cleaning the bathroom. Not because I wanted to clean, but because Scott started peeing while on the toilet and didn't bother to point that thing down. There was a rainbow stream across the bathroom, on the door, on the threshhold, on the wall oustide the bathroom and in the floor vent, not to mention all over the floor. Thanks Scott, like that's what I wanted to do tonight!
After finishing that task, I picked up the toy room (is that what it has become??? It was supposed to be a sitting room/library). Scott finally did his thing and proudly had to show everyone in the house and we headed upstairs. Put Boo-zilla into bed and then snuggled my little man. We read the same book as usual and like every night, he had to spell S-I-T-T-E-R each time we saw it in the book. Now that I was half asleep and not ready to clean anymore, we prayed in my bed before a quick teeth brushing and another prayer time in his bed and I tucked him in and was done with kiddos for the evening.
It would make sense that I'd go back downstairs and start cleaning since I'm having guests over for not only bible study but for supper. But no. Instead of cleaning I spent time with my kids and won't clean another thing before I go to bed.

Do you think there's a chance I'll wake up early and clean
or
that I'll leave work early to clean
or
that I'll welcome people into my very lived in home?

Let me know what you would do.

HELLO!!!!

Talked to a girl in town tonight. She's struggling financially - single mom, recently lost her job. She shared that they've been getting food from the local food pantry because money is tight. Nothing wrong with that I thought. She continued that she gets $1000 a month and her rent is $400 and her car is $350. My immediate response was for her to get rid of the car and buy a junker. She shared her reasons why she couldn't get a car and at the end of the conversation, she didn't have a leg to stand on. She NEEDS to get rid of the payment that's killing her. HELLO!!!!

Why is is that so many people can't figure out simple math. Don't buy a big fancy car if you can't afford it. Which then makes me think, don't buy a big fancy house if you can't afford it, even if the bank wants to loan you the money.

Email to Renae

The following is part of an email that I sent to my friend, Renae, that I thought would be a good update to share on my blog:

I'm doing good.  Have a constant feeling of going a million directions and being overwhelmed.  In the week since I've been back, I've spent several hours helping my in-laws with some business stuff for an art thing they're doing this weekend.  And I'll be up there Friday night through Saturday night helping with the art show.  Meanwhile I've tried to catch up after being gone (still haven't cleaned the dead bugs off the wood floors upstairs) and make time for my aunt and grandma who are here visiting.  It has been difficult to juggle everything.  And the last few days when I should be spending my lunch break working on thank you's from our trip and reading and doing my bible study, I've been eating with the staff because its Rob's last days at the office. 
 
So, on my to do list: tonight I should hang out with family but also should be cleaning house since we host bible study tomorrow night (am not helping out with the youth group this year and instead am trying to spend more time with Bethany).  Should also do my bible study... eek.  Thursday is bible study night.  Friday night we head north to help Ryan's folks.  May be taking one of the international students to help us with the kids.  Sunday should hang out with family but its supposed to be nice so I'd like to work in the yard.  Its full of leaves, flower beds are full of weeds.  The garage needs cleaned out (or have it fall down like its slowly doing) so I can try to park my car in there when the snow flies.  Really need to change my bed sheets and clean my bathroom.  Want to start planning to totally re-do the carpeted room.  Am thinking of a rolling wall in there that will act as a divider from the front door area and give people a place to remove shoes, etc
 
Still thinking about adoption but feeling like I don't have time to do the paperwork so I probably don't have time to care for another child.  Maybe we need Scott to get a little more independent.  We're working on that with him.  He's picking out his own shirt and underwear, is going to the potty without help including un buttoning his pants, etc. 


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07 October 2008

Isn't this adorable!?!?

I love this picture for multiple reasons:
  1. Drew did not appreciate holding hands with Scott.
  2. In the background are two sets of parents looking on as their kids walk hand in hand.
  3. Ryan told me to quit trying to marry the two off already. Honestly I'm not. I just wanted them to stick together so they were easier to keep track of while at the zoo.
  4. They're the same age and so cute. Scott adores Drew. This trip, Scott talked about Luke almost as much as he talked about Drew!

RE: to Amy's comment

They're really cool. I saw a couple of them at Ashley's house and asked her about it before I started. They start ~$45 for a 12x12 with 20 pages. Each additional page is $1.50 I think. But that's not bad considering paying for a scrapbook, the paper, printing pictures, etc. The things she didn't like about it: you have to spell check each text box and she did it on a whim and would have left some pages out, and she didn't like the leather cover. The cool thing is that you can create it and let it sit there and make changes later if you decide you don't want a page and haven't ordered it yet. You can also wait till they have a sale to place your order. So, like right now they have a 30% off deal for the books and I'm hoping that I can get mine done while they still offer the sale otherwise I'll try to be patient and wait for another one.

Shutterfly

Shutterfly... my new favorite thing.

I love to scrap book and have been saving for a new die cut tool. Shutterfly isn't perfect but I like the album product that you can make with it. I've started one for our vacation because I simply don't have time to do all the cutting, glueing, shopping, etc.

02 October 2008

TIRED

I'm more tired today after ~7 hours of sleep than I was yesterday with 3 1/2 hours of sleep. I so should have taken an extra day off to recover.

This morning I had two children with colds, one of which who was very whiney. Coupled with my tiredness, it wasn't a good combination!

01 October 2008

Gas Prices

I was glad to see that gas prices were down, even in California. I was quite surprised that most the gas stations charged you $0.10 more per gallon if you used your credit card. If you paid with cash, it was cheaper. I didn't know if that meant you had to start handing them $20 bills or what.

In the financial course I took from Dave Ramsey, I learned that you should use your debit card as a credit card to protect you. Dave doesn't even know his PIN so I figured I could do the same. Our trip to CA was the first time that I wish I knew my PIN so I could pay less for gas (and maybe a few other times when I wanted cash back). I purchased gas the first time and after that Ryan used his debit card so we could get the cheaper rate.

Anxiety

Our morning started out normal: 15 minutes late to breakfast with some dear friends followed by leaving their house 15 minutes late to the airport. And since we were late, why not stop at the local chain coffee shop to say goodbye to another dear friend. (Nicole says I can't post this picture because its a horrible one of each of us: she just finished working her 4am-9am shift, I went to bed with wet hair and packed my stuff so I look horrid and Kristine wasn't prettied up for a picture either).

Leaving town about 20 minutes late, we weaved through traffic to get to the airport. The airport is one place I will not arrive late to. Anxious about being late, I returned the rental van while Kristine drove off with her car seats and Ryan and the kids sat on the sidewalk with all of the luggage. I ran through the airport to help Ryan get the luggage to the ticket counter to find out that a guy was already helping him. I quickly dug through my wallet to find $4 to tip the guy and quickly started to check in for our flight. A bit more drama unfolded when one of our bags was too heavy (by 5 lbs) and we had to shift things around. My anxiety continued to build as we made our way through the airport screening area where I had several bottle of juice, juice boxes and yogurt for the kids (which isn't exactly to their standard I think). Just as I was passing through the metal detector, a very nice lady pointed out that my keys were in my pocket. We can't have those setting off the detector, right? Only it wasn't that simple.

The keys in my pocket were from the rental van. I hadn't returned the keys and checked the van back in. Ahh, what was I thinking. I quickly grabbed up my new cute purse, told Ryan to go through with the kids while I ran in my socks (my shoes had already gone through the screening) to the rental car place. After returning the keys, I ran back to the screening place. And something else happened there. I wish I remember what it was but it had to do with Bethany and Scott being with Ryan. Who knows. By now I was sweating and feared being stinky. More anxiety. We made it to the gate with plenty of time to spare but there were a few minutes in there where things were pretty hectic! And that was the start of my 20-hour day!

...

and did I mention that I gained 5 lbs while on vacation?!?! Yeah, this morning I'm back to my post pregnant clothes and glad that I can breathe again and don't need to scrape my jeans away from my belly.

there were multiple pictures taken on vacation that I felt the need to delete because I look pregnant in them. I am NOT pregnant and would appreciate not looking that way. However, I did enjoy having a caramel frapp about every other day we were there.

Fun Memories to Write Down

On our "big plane" flight, the kids and I were seated in the first row and Ryan was seated in the last row. With a 3-hour layover, I was in no hurry to get off the plane so we waited for Ryan. Just before Ryan started moving up the aisle, the flight crew had Scott up front and using the intercom. Over the intercom we heard his still small voice "bye daddy, daddy? Daddy, hurry up!" It was precious. The captain came out and handed Scott and Bethany a set of wings which we pinned right on him.


As my dad was leaving the house the other day Scott told him: "drive safe, watch out for deer". Yes, we have that problem here in Northeast Iowa but there are no deer to be seen in Central California on the freeway so it was cute.

Ryan, what else did I want to write down?

We're HOME

It felt so good to sleep in our own bed last night!

30 September 2008

Headed Home

We need to leave by 915am to return the car and catch our 1115am flight. We have two lay overs, one in Vegas and one in Denver before we get back to Iowa. According to Scott, we'll be flying on a little plane, then a big plane, then a little plan to get home. Our flight is scheduled to land at 1157pm. We'll have to find our car before we can load up and drive 2 hours home. Yes, it will be a long day!

***updated the morning after***
Flights all went well. We were delayed out of Vegas which was no big deal to us. Enjoyed the breaks in between flights when Bethany ran off some energy and Scott watched a movie. We actually landed in Iowa 20 minutes early. We were home and in bed by 3am. My legs and hips were so sore it took a while for me to fall asleep. I woke up at 630am and tried to sleep but finally climbed out of bed just before 7am and was only an hour late to work. Just pulled my contacts out since my eyes were bothering me - lack of sleep, maybe.

28 September 2008

having fun in the sun

Today we went to the zoo. All Scott cared about was seeing the elephants. We saw lots of animals and endured the heat. We spent the evening with my dad, brother (and Sage), sister (and Kaleb & Ryann). It was good to see them again as we're nearing the finals days of our trip. we all seem to be having fun but Scott has no problem telling people he wants to go back to Iowa.

... and my son is pooping on the toilet, EVERY night. Yup, for some reason telling him that he can't snuggle before bed unless he poops has the child stripping his clothes off and heading for the toilet.

... he's also picking out his own undies and shirts to wear and finally showing some independence and dressing himself. He may not be a ninny-baby his whole life. Praise God!

25 September 2008

Learning to Run

She just started walking a few weeks ago.  She's got it down now and is already trying to run.  Guess that's the encouragement of an older brother to keep up with.  She's so cute.  They are so cute!
 
Tonight as we drove home from a friend's house, Scott was singing the song "Awesome God".  How precious that was for us.  I wish we could have recorded it!


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a Few Fun things

The kids are hilarious. They make us laugh, often. The other night we put the kids to bed and decided to watch a movie in bed before we went to sleep. A few minutes later Scott was out of bed. As I tucked him back in, he said: "mommy, turn your light off, I'm tired and want to sleep". His door was shut, our door was shut, it wasn't really keeping him awake. Good excuse though for a 3 year old.

Another funny moment was when the recycle truck was dumping the canister (think big trash bin on the curb). We live in the country and don't have that so we made a deal out of it and had Scott watch how it worked. Only the truck grabber didn't get a good grab and instead of the top popping open, stuff falling out and the canister getting set back down, the canister slid right out of the grabber into the dump truck. The driver took out a piece of paper and peered at the house seemingly looking for the address before he drove off. Today there is a new recycle thing out front.

Bethany has a new nick-name. I know I don't like them but this is fitting. We've been calling her Bethany-zilla or boo-zilla cause she's into everything. I've found her playing in the toilet multiple times. Today I left the bathroom for a minute and when I came back she had dropped a phone in the toilet and was playing in the toilet water (Ashley, if you read this before I get to tell you, just know that we will be buying you a new one).

23 September 2008

typing while she sleeps...

...and as long as she sleeps, I will continue... but if she stirs, I'll have to be done... the baby needs her nap!



we've been laying low, not running around as much to allow for naps. a few things to highlight:


  • my cousin's house was robbedd in the middle of the day and she lives on the corner of a busy street. Cops think it was someone who knew she'd be gone, etc. Sad.
  • Same cousin and I walked to Starbucks for a coffee. They charged me way too much for a newspaper. The next day I stopped in and let them know (not because I cared about a couple of bucks but because I didn't think it was right to charge $5 when the paper clearly said $1.50 on it). They gave me the $5 back and wouldn't let me pay the $1.50. I promplty appreciated that with the purchase of a venti caramel frapp.
  • Went to my class reunion. What a fun time. I'll try to remember to make that a seperate post.
  • Have eaten sweet bread from the mexican bakery almost daily since we've been here. Umm, good. A few other foods I like that I've had is chips and salsa and tri tip.
  • Played at the park with the kids. It was a little rough going down the slide with Bethany... I kind of drug her down and around because her arm wasn't long enough, sorry dear.
  • Have played my cousin's Wii a few times. It's fun. The safety strap is important but they warn for that. Based on the bruise on Bethany's forehead, they also need to warn about your little kids standing in your swinging bath. I clocked her good and felt horrible. Sorry Bethany, again.
  • Scott has gone to "school" a few times here. My girlfriend has a daycare and they do school f0r 90 minutes each morning. He loves it and I love the art he's bringing home.
  • Had lunch with Dad today. Before that we went to a store that I've always loved. They have hand crafted stuff from the developing nations. I love that kind of stuff and the total cost today proved it! They are part of Ten Thousand Villages and have some really cool stuff. Plus, I like what they stand for. (They have a few places in Iowa that are tied to them, so check them out online. You can search for the store based on your zip code.)
  • Saw part of the group I used to study the bible with last night. It was cool to get together with those girls. Carol, who was our leader, continues to grieve the loss of her husband that died almost a year ago from a heart attack. He was my pastor right before I moved to Iowa. I have a great appreciation for both Carol and Dave.

I think that's about it for now. The rug rats are awake and its time to head out again.

19 September 2008

California in pictures... so far

Okay, so I uploaded some pictures from my camera. They are most recent to oldest (all 3 days worth)... The kiddos with my precious Grandma. She has had two heart surgeries in the last few months and I thank God that I had another opportunity to spend a little time with her. We ate lunch with Grandma, my cousin and my dad at a local favorite, Sal's.

Yesterday we spent the day shopping. We saw a few people briefly (my sister, my friend Amy, my uncle James) but we mostly shopped. I added a cute purse to my collection (thanks to Renae for sending me a few recently). This can double as a diaper bag and maybe even an overnight bag! It was quite the bargain at $12. Got it at a store that sells stuff the local malls don't sell right away. I also bought some cute shoes there but found out they were different sizes when I tried to put them on today. Guess I'll be going back there!

The next few pictures are from our trip to Pismo. Not seen in these pictures are Ryan (he took most of them) and my dad (I should have uploaded one more). We ate at the famous "Splash Cafe", and played on the beach. To my amazement, the only shopping I did was for a bucket and shovel since the local Wmart didn't have one.

You can't tell real well from this picture but I drew Scott's name in the sand and then he sat in the "O" for a picture.


Probably one of the most exciting parts of our trip was surprising my Grandma and Aunt Janie in the Denver airport. They had a short, short lay over so we met them at the gate and walked them to their connecting gate. We stopped long enough for a hug and a picture. Grandma's face when she realized the wacko lady that was talking to her was me: Priceless!


17 September 2008

real quick...

Real quick update:
- we made it to CA safe and sound
- I love Enterprise car rental, we got a free upgrade to a mini van cause the lady thought we'd like that better
- Being up at 2am central time makes for a long day
- Going to bed at 8pm west coast time isn't early enough
- When you're not used to a cat in the house, and you're really tired, dealing with a cat at 11pm is not fun.  (Ashley, don't worry, Jersey was fine.  We just closed the door to our/your room to keep her from bugging the kids and Jersey didn't like it.  At 11pm, we carried the food and litter box to the garage)
- It is so good to be back home!!!!


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11 September 2008

He's Three Much

Scott walked in the door to my mom's this morning and within a minute said: "how did you sleep last night grammy?"

It was so cute.

We often tell Scott that he's "too much". So, when you ask him how old he is, his answer was always "two much". Now that he's 3, he doesn't always know how to answer the question.

Questions for Ashley

Ashley, since you're locked out of your email, I'm pasting the email I sent you on Tuesday below:
_______

I can't believe its a week away!!!!!!!!!!!!  I feel like there's a lot to be in communication with you about, sorry I haven't done a better job of that.
 
Our flight lands at 233 on the 16th.  Kristine (last name with held here) will be meeting us at the airport to bring us car seats so we don't have to haul ours out there.  We should be in Kburg some time around 4-ish.  I don't have a clue what your work schedule is like and I was thinking (and may be wrong) that you work in Fres__.  So, we'll probably hang out at Kristine's for a while to give you a chance to get back to town.  But that's all totally up to you, I just don't want to inconvennience you (as if that's possible when we're invading your house).
 
A couple of questions I have:
- do you by some odd chance have a pack-n-play or a little crib at your house?  If not, I think Kristine has one that we've borrowed before.  I know that she uses it for her daycare so she may not be able to give it up for 2 weeks, I haven't asked yet.
- I think we'll be on the go quite a bit.  But for some down time, I'd like to just hide out at the house.  I talked to Nicole (name with held, think beautiful brown skin, big hair, loves the Lord, a year younger than me) yesterday and she wants to hang out too.  Would it be okay to invite people over to veg on the couch with?  I don't think that would happen very often because I imagine we'll be spending a fair amount of time with family and running around.
- What else should I know or be asking about... I've never stayed somewhere besides my dad's or mom's before.
 
How's the ADX picnic looking?  I did view the evite the other day.  I was totally bummed that Mandy may not be making it.  When is she due?  And Kristine, I totally wanted to see her too.  Those two were both pledge sisters so I was sad to see that it wouldn't work for either of them.  I know that Mel is in San Antonio now so she won't be home.  But, what about Deborah?  Have you heard from her?  And Natasha, does anyone talk to her anymore.  I got a note that someone named Natasha soemthing-or-other added me to facebook.  Maybe it was her, I don't know since I've not been on facebook for quite a while.
 
Where are you going to church these days? 
 
I think that's it for now.  Of course most of my questions come while I'm driving home or getting ready for work, not a time when I'm at email :)
 
Hope you're having a good week
tb



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09 September 2008

Scott

I suppose if Bethany gets an update, so should Scott, right? Let's just say that he's daily testing my patience. The child has a few new habits that are very displeasing to this mom:
- name calling. His "names" aren't even real words but the emphasis is definitely there.
- peeing in his undies. and thinking its funny. not sure if the child comprehends that its not funny and he's just being a snot or if he doesn't get it.
- not pooping on the toilet. he holds it in people. i tell him it will make his tummy hurt and he'll have to go to the doctor. but no, he holds it. i've even threatened to not let him go to cubbies on wednesday. last night, i put some of bethany's laxative medicine (don't worry, its OTC) in his juice which he promptly sucked down. he spent some time on the potty last night and finally pooped. yes, he was proud and even carried the potty chair into my room so Bethany and I could see it. Atta boy, son.
- He can spell his name and he almost has his phone number memorized.
- He knows his key bible verse for Cubbies. His grammy has been bragging to everyone that he had it memorized the next morning. Sweet Grammy, I informed her last night that he's known it for a year now.
- Scott loves his new shoes. We're finally forgetting about the crocs that he had to wear everyday. Sorry son, its getting cold out and crocs just won't cut it.

Bethany

The past two weeks have flown by. Some have asked about an update on Bethany post seizure. I'm excited to report that she's been fine. With that in mind, here's a quick update on my little wild one's adventures:
- the week of the seizure she was really starting to stand up more and would go from sitting to standing quite easily
- while on the phone with Ryan (he was in Kansas City) I told him about the standing and he said, "is she walking". I promptly replied "no" and as soon as the word came out of my mouth, she turned around and took 3 steps before grabbing on to the quilting machine!
- Bethany is mobile people, watch out! She's not walking quite yet but she'll be there before we get to California I'm sure. She will take 3-4 steps at a time and might take more if she wasn't so excited.
- The other night she stood up from her sitting spot on the bottom stair and walked half way across the room. It was so fun to watch her accomplish the walking. She hasn't repeated that yet!
- Friday night I sat her on the piano stool to play at the piano while I cooked supper. She giggled as she "tickled the ivories". A bit later, I heard a faint whimper and came around the corner to see that she had crawled up the piano and had one foot on the keys and one foot where the book goes and was holding on for dear life. That's my girl!
- She loves to stand and play on her bed. No fear of falling the 3 feet to the ground. It scares me.
- She likes to sing the Larry Boy song. You wouldn't have a clue what she was saying if you didn't already know but its pretty cute.
- Bethany loves music. She won't hold still during church worship time. It's kind of distracting but I don't want to discourage her dancing. She also loves to clap her hands and dance any time music is playing.
- I still can't get her to sit still while in the tub. She's always trying to climb all over, drink the shower water and stick the shampoo container in her mouth.

I think my mom is getting a kick out of Bethany all the while laughing at me and thinking "pay back, baby, pay back..."

umm, good

I'm a simple girl, especially when it comes to food. This morning as I dropped the kids off, mom invited me to stay for breakfast. As usual, I was in a hurry to get to work and thanked her for the offer. So, like the awesome mom that she is, she made me breakfast to go. Where I come from, almost anything can go in a flour tortilla. This morning on my way to work, I thoroughly enjoyed a fried potato burrito with bacon. I know you may not think its anything extravagant and its not. But I love fried potato burritos. It was so perfect... even though I didn't stick to my "diet" for the morning.

With that said, its my boss' birthday and he brought donuts... if you're gonna sway from eating healthy, you might as well make it worth it, right?

08 September 2008

fun with the kiddos

Last night we went to the park for a bit. Some friends were gathering for volleyball but I decided not to play. Instead I pulled the weeds in the one flower garden they have and it looks much happier now. When I was done with that and friends were all showing up, I took kid duty. We had fun. Z and B were having a "guy party" since their mom and sister were out of town. Their dad brought them toys to play in the sand and even thought to bring toys for Scott. It was such a sweet gesture. After they were done in the sand (mostly because Scott kept throwing sand at Z and B, naughty boy), we played on the swings. I wish I had a picture of it. I had 4 kids in swings and was running back and forth pushing them as high as I could, telling them to hold on tight, pushing their little butts back into the swing, pushing some more, listening to them giggle and getting quite the work out.

Not sure if my arms are sore this morning from the swingset work out or from loading fire wood on Saturday!

06 September 2008

To be fair to the neighboring office, I really do enjoy my time there. I made myself at home and found a corner cubible with a lap top. It made it much easier to work than trying to take over the boss' office. Everyone is laid back and has fun together.

It wouldn't surprise me if in the near future I would end up helping them out one day a week or something like that. If it weren't an hour drive, I might volunteer to do it more often.

05 September 2008

Update from the office

It's so good to be back in my own office, even if its been absolutely stir crazy all morning.

03 September 2008

Again

In neighboring office helping again. It's been fun. I like the people here. But an interesting thing today, I've heard 3 card gambling stories in the past hour... and all at seperate times with seperate people who walk through. Crazy

02 September 2008

New Purse

I've been wanting a new purse lately. I even stopped in a local shop that has knock-off purses. They were cute but didn't find one that wanted to go home with me. I saw a cute one this weekend but it was white and white isn't a fall color so I left it on the shelf too.

This morning I searched a bit on the net to find knock-off purses. After perusing a few, I felt hopeless. Will I ever find the perfect purse in my price range? I want one that is cute, has straps that will go over my shoulder, is shallow, and is big enough to carry all my crap (and some of the kids' too). Right now my purse is falling apart and is tall/deep so I feel like I'm constantly digging to the bottom to get to things.

As I was searching, I thought that maybe I should just make the one I want. Of all the things I have to do in the next few weeks, do you think I could find fabric and make a new purse?

Thank you Laborers

I thoroughly enjoyed my 3-day weekend. Saturday was a good day to play with the kids and give them my time rather than trying to spend the day cleaning. Sunday was a bachellorette party on a pontoon boat on the river - very relaxing and fun, followed by a nice dinner out. Got back to town in time to play sand volleyball with a few friends before I went and picked up my kiddos at their grammy's house.

Yesterday I spent about 8 hours preparing 13 meals, it was pure craziness to keep food cooking, dishes washed, etc. I managed it by myself in the morning but asked Ryan to help in the afternoon which meant the kids were left to play by themselves. It worked out just fine. Only had to intervene once!

Last night was a rough one. I was needing lots of sleep for my tired body. Ryan and I decided to watch a movie. It was a dumb funny (poor acting, etc) and I eventually gave up on trying to stay awake. Scott was up twice during the night and it was hot in our room. At 130am, I woke Ryan and asked him to turn the air on. I got 5 hours of wonderful sleep last night which was appreciated.

Here we are at Tuesday already. Yipee for a short work week.

29 August 2008

Bummer Dude

Remember this post? I was so excited to submit a poster knowing that I had a good idea and the extra cash would be helpful in buying the new scrapping toy I want. Unfortunately, I got word today that I didn't win. Bummer dude! I gathered from the email that the winner has quite the artistic side. I'm curious to see what her poster looks like. I might have to compare the two and let you guys decide who should have won... that is unless hers is amazing.

27 August 2008

Bethany follows in Scott's foot steps

Yesterday, there was some excitement at my mom's house involving Bethany. Yesterday around 5pm, following a full day of whining, not feeling good and constant fever, Bethany had a seizure. Thankfully mom knew how to handle the situation because we learned what to do in case of a seizure following Scott's seizure a year and a half ago. The ambulance was called and and arrived but Bethany, being an infant, was referred on to a larger transport company to care for her needs. She was taken to the ER at the local hospital where they ran blood tests and watched her until her fever came down. We think it spiked somewhere around 104.4 but dropped in a matter of 90 minutes or so. Just before 8pm, Bethany was back to her normal self and was hungry and laughing at Scott.

The febrile seizure was caused by the temperature. The temperature was likely caused by the ear infection. And the ear infection was likely caused by her teething issues. All seem to be related. In the next few days she will likely be on fever reducer medicine as her body fights off the ear infection and after that she should be just fine.

Praise God that mom knew what to do with her, that the ambulance company took good care of her, that she received excellent care at the ER and that she seems to be fine. And on top of that, I specifically thank God that I had left my office and met the ambulance at the hospital and that Ryan was on his way home from Kansas City rather than being on his way there.

The kids were playing nicely in Scott's room this morning and the ambulance toy was one of many that got pulled out of the toy chest. I couldn't resist a picture of her with her little bandage thingies and the ambulance toy

25 August 2008

Kids

Ryan has been gone since early Friday morning. In the mean time I've been flying solo with the kiddos. Ryan is helpful with the kids so its no surprise that things just haven't been the same the last few days. There are lots of little stories but only a few do I have time to share.

Friday night, kids are fed and I'm in the kitchen fixing enchiladas for Saturday lunch. At the same time I was cooking some mac&cheese for me to eat for supper. While all of this was going on, I'd been in constant discussion with Scott that if he pooped in his undies, he would be in trouble. All of a sudden when I should be mixing cheese, milk and noodles and while I have hamburger starting to cook, Scott decides that he has to poop. I'd sat him on the toilet several times with no result. So, I rushed to the bathroom and sat him on the toilet again. Being in the middle of cooking, I told him I'd be back in a minute and went back to the stove. Bethany headed his direction which would likely keep him entertained and at least sitting on the toilet. Over a period of about two minutes, I heard occassional giggles from both kids and was glad that they were entertaining each other. When I went around the corner to check on them, I was surprised at what their laughter was about. Fortunately he hadn't pee'd all over (did that the other night while sitting on the toilet, although I think he was trying to aim down; and had already pee'd in his undies and my floor just a few hours before). There was toilet paper all over the floor and Scott was grinning from ear to ear. Bethany was sitting in front of the cabinet that I tell her all the time to stay out of and was playing with mouse, hair spray and deoderant. Those little turds!

22 August 2008

Funny Conversation

Ryan and I had a funny email conversation the other day that I want to share but I must preface it first: with each child that we've had, a few weeks prior to the birth of our baby, we've gotten a new puppy. Crazy, I know, but that's how it happened.

me: Ryan, I really want to raise a puppy for a guide dog. Here's a link:
ryan: no comment

That night I asked him if he read the email. He hadn't.

The next morning:
me: Ryan, my salary has increased to X amount. Do you think the difference is enough to pay for an adoption? [this email was sent full of sarcasm as my salary had increased by about $1,000 at the most and it costs about $40,000 to adopt]
ryan several hours later: if we adopt a puppy does that mean we need to adopt a child?

Okay, you might not find the humor in it but I did. I want to do both things and his reply perfectly fit both emails and how things seemingly work for us: puppy = a baby at our house.

Happy Friday!

21 August 2008

WOO HOO!

I'm so stinkin' excited. We just purchased our airline tickets to California. We're going home for a full two weeks!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!

Arriving in CA: September 16th
Leaving CA: September 30th

Now the plans begin... Hume Lake, Friends, the coast, family.... woo hoo!!!!

20 August 2008

Did you know?

Did you know that since 1884 Iowa has had a statute that makes it a crime to discriminate in public accomodations? Do you know what that means? Long before Martin Luther King Jr., this 29th state had laws on the books to treat people equally. I recently read a short piece on Edna Griffin who has been referred to as the Rosa Parks of Iowa. She and several others had a situation where they were refused service by a local drug store who was known for discriminating even though the law required all people to be served. Edna's efforts led to picketing and civil law suits against the store owner who'd previously been aquited multiple times. Eventually the store owner was found in violation and Edna was rewarded $1. After several other run ins, the store owner finally agreed to stop discriminating.

What I find totally cool about this story is two things:
  1. that Ms. Griffin was bold enough to stand up for what she believed to be important. Her husband was a prominent doctor in the community and they risked his prominency for what they believed was important.
  2. That the state of Iowa has a long standing history of treating people equally.

19 August 2008

Places to go, people to see

I'm excited to go home but I know this trip will be a little different than previous ones. The last time I was home was almost 3 years ago. Scott was 6 months old and I flew out for my brother's wedding and Ryan stayed home. I had a little one to take care of so I wasn't out as late or as often but Scott went everywhere with me and slept in his car seat a lot. This time, we'll be going as a family but there are still places to go and people to see. Here are a few things on my wish list:
  • Seeing family: It's been 8 months since I've seen my dad. Last time I saw my brother he was getting married. By now, I have an adorable nephew I've never met. I also really want to see my grandma who has had two heart surgeries recently and my heart aches that I haven't seen her in almost three years. I also want to see some other official and unofficial family members that I miss.
  • coffee with Nicole and Paul. They were my church/missionary buddies
  • snuggling on the couch with Kristine. She is my forever friend and we have lots of fun memories together.
  • Hume Lake and Buck Rock Lookout, maybe even a memorial bike ride. Hume is where I went to summer camp. And the ride from Buck Rock to the lake is rough (yes Tony, I would likely puke as usual) but in memory of a precious friend of mine who taught me a lot in his life and in his death.
  • the class reunion of course. 10 years has passed, which doesn't seem like a lot when you're a mom to 2 kids.
  • hanging out with Becky. A junior high and high school buddy that took a different path in life and we didn't talk for 6 years probably. Two of those years I prayed often for her and it was so good to get back in contact with her after she cleaned her life up.
  • Riding wave runners on the lower river and/or heading up to the lake.
  • Will there still be fresh fruit?
  • Checking out the Fresno State campus, buying a new tshirt and visiting with Dr. Nef who I've kept in touch with over the years.
  • Katie, Cori, where are you? Will you be in the area so we can get together while I'm home?

I'm sure there's more but my lunch is about over so I better head back to my office!

18 August 2008

Trip to Californ-i-a

I started thinking more about the trip to California. Lots of stuff that I don't want to think about but I have to:

Airline tickets $475 x 3 persons (thank you God that Bethany is under 2) = $1425
Rental Car for 10 days (picking it up at 7pm, drop off at 9am counts as 2 full days) = $300
Mailing out clothes ahead of time (because you can't check squat for luggage anymore) = $50

We're looking at spending over $2000 easy and that won't even cover everything. We'll have food, fuel, and hopefully some fun packed in there to pay for. For trips like this, its too bad that we don't agree with debt. It would be so much more fun to plan if we could do everything the way we want and not worry about the price.

I'm glad that we won't have to pay for hotels or that would just add to the agony. Between family and friends, we should be good on space.

I can't wait to go home and see family and friends and check out a few places that I miss.

Week in Review

Here are a few pictures from recent weeks.





  • I survived VBS, or better yet, they survived me.
  • By time the week was over both of my children had colds and weren't taking naps.
  • I managed to get my back out of place on Saturday somehow and could hardly move.

With that said, I had a great week and a wonderful weekend. My little ones were such a joy to play with. To see their faces light up, watch them dance to the music and play in the canoe was refreshing. The last night Scott joined the bigger kid class since that class was missing a few kids. He loved it and was perfect for Tracy. At the Friday night program Scott was in a mini-skit with Tracy's class and watching him act as a "Levite" in the good Samaritan story made me forget that the role of the Levite wasn't an encouraging one. My kid was so cute, I forgot about the story all together!

Our weekend was good too. Ryan was off for the weekend and though he was gone till early afternoon, I was glad to have some time with him. I spent the day trying to balance cleaning with kid time and enjoyed accomplishing both. Saturday night we spent time as a family which was exactly what I needed. Nothing super extravagant but good quality fun time. We took a picnic to a nearby park and after eating our leftovers from lunch, we played on the toys with the kids. It was fun and it was free (except for the $2 burger we ordered for Scott since we knew he wouldn't eat crab wraps). Sunday afternoon we spent helping some friends move into their new apartment, a week after getting married. That was fun to feel helpful.

Tonight, I'm looking forward to a night of snuggling and watching a movie with the kids and planning our family trip to CA... there are lots of details to work out.

14 August 2008

Update from the land of Oz:

Okay, I'm not really in the land of Oz, but it sounded like fun. I'm actually kinda sorta at home. I'm actually working in a nearby office this week helping them with some contract paperwork, planning and reporting. It's an hour drive from my house but fortunately I get to stop at our area office (about 7 miles from my house), get one of their vehicles and head to the flat lands. My miles and time driving are all on the government dime. Here are a few highlights from this office experience:
  • I already know the staff here. I made plain to the boss here that I didn't appreciate feeling like I was expected to answer the phone when the secretary was out. HELLO, I'm NOT the secretary and I don't even work here.
  • Planning is so much easier when working in the flat lands.
  • Being able to work [almost] interrupted allows me to get a lot more done.
  • This office is much smaller and I'm working about 3' from the next guy compared to having my own corner to hide in at my regular office.
  • The boss here is receptive to change and makes a point to ask me if I need anything. I appreciate a little feedback from him.
  • People here cuss like sailors... maybe worse. Lots of swearing and using God's name in vain, which I don't appreciate.
  • Woo hoo, I might be saving a few dollars on gas this week.
I'm starting my day early and ending late (which is normal for me) to give me more time here. I get back to town just in time to pick up Scott and head to Vacation Bible School. Here are a few highlights from my week with the 3-Pre-k kiddos:
  • I quickly learned that God has not gifted me to teach 12 preschool kids!!!
  • I had one little boy pee his pants twice last night... and he's potty trained.
  • The creators of this material must not have realized that 3 and 4 year olds can't read.
  • It is way cool to hear Scott rattle off the different verses for each day.
With the hours I'm working followed by VBS with preschoolers, it shouldn't surprise you that I'm whipped each night when I get home. Last night was the first night this week that I was able to stay awake while Ryan and I prayed together before bed!

07 August 2008

Front Page of the Paper

A few days ago I received an email from a friend who saw Scott on the front page of the paper. I saw Meghan take a picture of him at Sweet Corn Days and gave her his name and age but was so busy that night that I forgot all about it. The news from Vanessa was exciting and I was eager to see the paper myself.

This morning a friend who works in the building and lives near the same town as I dropped by my office. The following conversation occurred:
D: [with a proud tone in her voice] do you know who made the front page of the paper?
me: [with an equally proud voice] MY son did
D: [with a confused tone to her voice] your son?!?!, no MY son did
me: [realizing that her son must have made the paper] cool, I'd heard Scott made the front page but maybe it's not on the front page.

We walked to the break room together where she proudly had the paper folded in half displaying Matthew with his grand champion beef cow. Debbie flipped the paper in full view and sure enough, there was my little cutie pie on the front page of the paper, just below the newspaper banner. How cool is that?

I took the paper and scanned it for Scott's scrapbook but also so I could show him off here. After a few minutes I decided against sharing the scanned newspaper. Most of you know who I am and where I live but for the rest of you, I'll just keep quiet on the location we call home. Really wanting to share the picture of my cute kid, I called up the paper (gotta love small towns) and asked Meghan to send me the photo. Thanks to Meghan for sharing the photo of my kiddo so I can share it with all of you.

yes, my son was eating watermelon at Sweet Corn Days. I think he ate 4 or 5 pieces that size.