30 April 2008

Happy Birthday Cori!
I'm sorry we didn't get a card in the mail to you for your special day. I had it on my list of things to do to make you a card and have Scott help decorate it but we were busy last weekend with cleaning up water, going to birthday celebration, etc. I hope you enjoy your day!

Kids Questions

In the midst of a million questions this morning while Scott was in the kitchen with Ryan, I overheard this:
S: Daddy, can you play with me?
R: After breakfast I can.
S: Daddy, can DJ (our dalmation) play with me?
R: Yes Scott.
S: No, DJ can't play with me Daddy.
R: Why not?
S: Because he doesn't have hands!
R: Oh, okay

And because curious little boys ask a million questions, the conversation continued while Ryan fixed his breakfast. Scott wanted to know why/how DJ got on his legs and the answer "God made him that way" wasn't enough so he asked more and more questions until he was either satisfied with the answer or distracted with something else.

25 April 2008


When we took the Dave Ramsey course, one thing we recall being mentioned was Murphy's Law. As soon as you begin to save some cash for an emergency, Murphy's Law will test you. Well, we had just that right away. Car in the shop 2 or 3 times, etc. But recently Murphy has moved into our spare bedroom. With all the water in our basement last week and the need for a sump pump forced us to make some purchases. That meant either moving funds around in our budget as the month is almost over and we've got some wiggle room and then dipping into the emergency account. Yesterday Ryan found water standing in our basement. Oh, the sump pump is working great, we just have 3 other rooms in our basement with low spots. And when water is coming up through the concrete floor, its running to the low spot of each room and ponding. Sounds like Murphy got us again and Ryan will spend the afternoon trying to tile low spots to the sump pump. We're not excited about digging a hole in our floor but how long do we pump water out?

Dearest Murphy, we have an open door policy at our house. But you have joined the ranks of prohibited guests. If you need a friend, we've also prohibited Satan from our home and you may find him somewhere nearby.

Good Riddens,
Brick House Owners

The Sky is Falling

Okay, so maybe the sky isn't really falling but it is flooding around here. The rivers are running wild, claiming the crop fields and some residences. The creeks have become raging rivers and the road ditches are like the canals I grew up with - full and running swiftly. Fields are ponded, bottom land is flooded and mini ditches have formed in all the crop fields where there should be waterways (hmm, I wonder if that will increase my work load any). Life is good though amidst all that. God provides all of our needs and then some!

23 April 2008

What's that Word?

I'm so drawing a blank right now on a specific word that I want to use... I'll type my post anyway and maybe I'll remember while I type.

Several times this week I've seen/read something and then later that day something happened directly related to what I saw/read earlier... dangit, its hard to explain without that word. I thought it would be fun to share those two events.

1. Friday night as I drove home from work, I saw a place where a spring was flowing out of the hill side. It's not uncommon around here to see that but the fact that I'd not seen it in that location before caught my attention. So, I turned around, pulled out my camera and snapped a few photos of it. Water flowing in an uncommon place, hmm. Imagine my surprise when I got home to see water flowing in my basement. Unlike Ryan, I found it amusing and quickly found myself singing songs pushing the broom. God, you're funny like that!

I didn't actually take a picture of the flooded basement but you get the idea. 1.5 to 2" of standing water... do you really need a picture?

2. The second "God, you're funny" moment came Monday ish. I was reading Merritt's blog about snake bites. No doubt, I was intrigued by her post as I know not to feed a snake in a tank but didn't know how to get one to release once it bites. Later that night while I was putting the kids to bed, the phone rang. It was my mom telling me that my cousin, Corey, had been bit by a rattlesnake and was in the hospital. Not a fun experience I'm sure. Here's a picture of his finger post bite:

Spring Cleaning

scroll down to read the update I just posted

3 days of sweeping, pumping, sucking
$140+ out of our emergency fund
A long & tiring weekend!

Friday morning all was well in our lovely home and we headed off to our work days. Friday night, I arrived home and headed down stairs for something (can't even remember what it was now) to find water in our basement. Thanks to God for giving me children that play well together and entertain themselves because we spent the next 4 hours getting the 1.5" deep water out of our basement. I started with a push broom near the drain in the floor. Ryan joined me in the basement and brought his pump that he uses on cattle stomachs. It was slow going but we were making progress. We eventually got smart and started using the wet/dry vaccuum. Ryan has it plumbed into a 55 gallon trash can (thanks for that idea Eric) to use for sawdust. My did that thing come in handy. We dumped it way too many times before we had the water cleaned up. We went upstairs at 11pm to eat supper before showering and heading to bed.

It was no surprise in the morning when it had filled right back up. This is a basement that doesn't get water in it, at least as far as Ryan was told when he purchased the house. And maybe it never had before but we could have floated through the rooms that day. Ryan went to work and I decided to call for help. My folks were feeling under the weather so I called Ryan's parents (who actually had plans on coming down to bring some stuff anyway). They brought the enclosed trailer so that I, against my husbands desire, could unload all the crap from the basement and get it cleaned up. This caused a little bit of a disagreement with Ryan who's not a neat-freak organizer like me. Saturday we once again sucked up the water as we perfected the the vaccuum system. Ryan cleaned up water, I hauled crap out of the basement (think: Ryan's woodshop, storage, area that his wife doesn't touch or organize for him), Ryan's dad loaded it to the trailer to keep it dry should it rain, and Ryan's mom watched the kiddos.

...more to come, my tummy is hungry...

*updated April 23rd:

We eventually found a spot where the water was pouring in between bricks where the mortar was gone. It was as if someone had turned on a drinking fountain and let it flow. It was also coming up through the concrete floor. Mark (ryan's dad) worked and worked to keep the floor free of water hoping that it would slow down the flow. And it did slow some but never stopped. Tired and sore, we eventually left the basement. We went to bed that night and while we were praying together, I specifically prayed that God would either stop the flow of water for us OR that we would connect with someone that could help us out with a sump pump that they weren't using.

Sunday morning we woke to more water, but not as much is the morning before. Ryan stated that he would be watching baseball that afternoon and not be working in the basement. We do believe in the day of rest but in this situation, we needed to get it cleaned up. Our morning was filled with phone calls before we headed to church. Between my car and the church, I ran into our friend Chris who lives across the street. I told him what we'd been up to over the weekend and he told me that he had a sump pump in his basement that he wasn't using and we were welcome to use it. I was floored! I specifically prayed for that very thing and it was so cool to see how God divinely intervened on our behalf. That is not a coincidence! Anyway, Ryan spent Sunday afternoon working rather than resting. He ended up buying a new pump (they were on sale) when he bought the other items needed. Our friend Rhett had a concrete saw that helped tremendously. Our little buddy entertained the kiddos while I cleaned up water and Mark came down and helped Ryan put in a new sump pump. Oh the joys of spending money on "maintenance" type of stuff rather than fun stuff. As of this morning, the basement is still drying out...
Here's a few pictures for a quick review:

This was day 3, sucking out water, busting concrete and digging a hole all while water continued to poor in. Sounds like fun doesn't it?

My kiddos loved being outside. I couldn't get Scott to stay still long enough to get a decent picture of him.

21 April 2008

More Cleaning

With the spring cleaning comes a new face to my blog. I have work left to do on it, mostly adding links back in. And if I get brave enough, I'll figure out how to put a picture of my family at the top instead of the tiny one on the side.

18 April 2008

Grandma M

I wish I had more time today to write a post about a wonderful woman I call abuela (or grandma). She is such an amazing woman with all kinds of qualities that I wish I had. But, for lack of time, I'll just share the important stuff.

My grandma is having open heart surgery next Friday. She goes in early Thursday morning for tests. She's not ancient but she no spring chicken either. Please pray for my Grandma. Even a perfectly successful surgery will mean a long road to recovery.

17 April 2008

Conversation with Scott

I had two young friends with me last night when I picked up Scott. They adore him and he adores them. On the way home, I hear the following

T: Scott, what did you do at Grammy's today?
S: I fell down the stairs, but it didn't hurt.

Yes, my son is two and when asked about his day he talks about the stairs. Maybe it was because mom had just told me about it when I picked him up. She said he got right up. Told her it didn't hurt. Then rubbed his chin and said that hurt a little. Funny kid.

16 April 2008

Music to My Ears

When I got home last night (at 10pm, long day), the sounds of frogs were music to my ears as I drove past the pond. I just love that. Hammock weather is here! If it weren't so late and so windy last night, I would've climbed in the hammock and listened to the outside critters.

14 April 2008

Spring, are you here yet?

Two Fridays ago I took the kids for a walk after work. It was gorgeous out. And by gorgeous, I'm talking 50's and a light breeze. It obviously wasn't the high 80's and having margaritas by the pool like my sister is enjoying but we had fun together. Instead of the typical stop for ice-cream, we stopped and bought a twinkie to share on the main street step. Bethany demanded her fair share of the twinkie too.
Our little stroll though town didn't start out well when Scott thought he had to be in his stroller. I even so much as let him try to get in the basket below just to let him find out that he was better off walking. It worked and we went on our merry little way. We walked for a while, partly to kill time before heading to a friends for supper. It worked out perfectly. As we were walking past their house, Vanessa was pulling in the driveway for work. So, we continued on our walk with our friends. The kids wanted to stop at the park so we played there for a little bit. The picture above was taken there. I know, its not a pretty picture but WE WERE OUTSIDE and weren't in winter coats. Yipee!
Tomorrow we expect to get into the 60's. Yes, Aimee, you can continue sipping your margarita by the pool and although I'll be jealous, I'll be tickled pink that its warming up here!

Simply Adorable!

This is my precious little girl. I have loved before before she was conceived. Funny how that works. She has been a joy to have, even at 2am. This weekend was a tough one for her. She had a bit of a cold and was/is constipated. Poor thing, she just wasn't happy. Fun for me though, she was super clingy and liked to snuggle. Not fun for me though when I wanted to set her down. Last night at church, I pawned her off on a new friend (he has a grandbaby her age) and he joyfully held her for the remainder of the program. At one point, he looked over and asked "is she always this good?" Yes, I replied, a little grumpy today but always a good baby. Thank you Lord for giving us such an angel!

Scott Doing Dishes

10 April 2008

Will They Survive

Monday Scott came in the kitchen, grabbed my hand and drug me to the living room while saying "come look mommy, I can roll over Bethany." Yes, my son was steam rolling his 9 month old sister. It looked a little painful as he rolled over her face and she neither laugh nor cried. I allowed him to roll on her so long as he stayed off her face and she didn't cry. After several rolls, he went to the kitchen to grab his daddy. Ryan, protective of his little girl, told Scott not to role but I assured him that they were fine. Indeed they were. Bethany typically laughs at his the things he does like knocking her over, rolling her over, etc. Maybe they will survive.

Scott is recently becoming more of a climber, jumper, physical little boy. Bethany was still laying on the ground and Scott was standing at her side. I was enjoying their interaction. That is, until Scott looked at me and said "look mommy, I can jump". He jumped straight up in the air and landed on Bethany's back. She was on her tummy and pushing up to her knees when one of his feet dug right in. I gasped long and loud and Ryan came right back in to assess the situation. I can't even remember if Bethany cried. We spent the next few minutes trying to explain that he could hurt her (like a two year old understands that). Will they survive? The cute part of it was when we asked if he wanted Bethany to go away like Mocha (the dog that got hit on the driveway) and at first he said yes. But at the next second, he said "no, I love Bethany, I don't want her to go away". Yes, he truly does love and adore her... so far

"get it off mommy"

The other day I met my folks at the local drive-in burger joint to grab a bite to eat and pick up Scott. My son loves to eat at this place and his grammy and papa love to take him so it was a perfect place to meet up after Bethany's doctor appointment and grocery shopping. Of course, as soon as we got on the road, my plugged up baby started pushing something out. Sometimes she's not at all successful and sometimes she gets a little something out. When I met up with my folks, we hopped into their Tahoe and I brought along with me a diaper and wipes.

So, a quick change of the stinky diaper in the backseat isn't easy or simple to do. I got her changed and moved the stinky diaper into the middle seat while I finished dressing Bethany. Meanwhile, Scott was on the other side telling me about his day. I grabbed the diaper and wrapped it up while Scott began showing me his toys that were also in the middle seat. He showed me his shovel, then he grabbed his rake. Then he saw something else and grabbed it up. As he held the poop in the air, with a puzzled look on his face, he asked "mommy, what's this" as he squished it between his fingers. I soon realized that the poop from Bethany's diaper must have rolled out into the middle carseat and Scott found it. The squish got his attention real quick and he threw it down and then proceeded to rub his fingers together (all of the same hand fortunatley) while repeatedly saying "get it off mommy". It was stinkin' hilarious! He had it all over his hand before I could get a wipe out. I was trying to keep Bethany in my lap while at the same time trying to keep him from touching anything else. I tried my best to scrub his hand clean before his hamburger came.

It's probably a good thing he found it or it would have been a stinky mess in my parents Tahoe.

07 April 2008

Fun Website

My coworker seems to think I can find a website for anything. She must not realize that google is my most frequented site. With that said, I stumble onto a lot of sites through friends. Here's a recent fun one. Iowa Courts Search can entertain you for hours, if you let it.

The reason for checking out this website is one of the guys who comes in our building. Short story is that he's a snake in the grass. Someone commented that he was a felon and I immediately recalled Rhett telling us about this website. So, we hopped on and looked up the guys criminal history in Iowa. It was lengthy. Doesn't it make you wonder who's living next door?

03 April 2008

The Three Sue's

He Has Risen!

He has risen indeed!

A few pictures from Easter Sunday. I know that Easter is not about eggs or even the bunny rabbit. However, I thought it would be fun for Scott to hunt for eggs.

It was chilly outside. There was even a light snow falling. With no jacket on (I was determined for it to be spring) I froze.
We also enjoyed the company of a few friends. Naraa, is our newest friend. She's a Mongolian student studying at the nearby university for her bachelor's degree. We have a soft spot for Naraa because Ryan has been to Mongolia several times on missions trips. It's fun to spend time talking with her about Mongolia and looking at the maps with her, etc. We were blessed to have her join us for the Easter service at church and then lunch with my family.
[hmm, guess I didn't download that picture from my camera...]

Bethany Easter Pictures

Of course, the cute little spring dress should have been long sleeved and lined with flannel! I didn't want to stay inside and miss out on Scott hunting for eggs so I put Scott's pj's on over her dress, wrapped her up and took her outside. These pictures are after we came in and warmed up a bit.

Happy Daddy

Happy Birthday Daddy. Sorry I was crying for the picture. If you would have let me keep your cell phone, I would have smiled for the picture. I adore you Dad!
love, your little girl

Remote Control

Little Miss Bethany really likes the remote and the phone. Unfortunately, she also knows the difference between the real thing and the toy. The toy does entertain her for a while though:

Yes, she's dressed in neutral clothing... she's wearing Scott's Cardinals outfit and looks cute in it!

See you soon!

Grandpa & Grandma, we're really looking forward to seeing you. It's been forever since we've played with you.

Scott & Bethany

01 April 2008

...and its gone!

I had something good to post about this morning. But now, when I'm done with work and able to post, I can't remember. Crap!

*********** edited at 6:05 when my memory came back*********
So, these contacts... [I must be in a witchy mood lately].... have become a thorn in my side. Last week I somehow got a tiny problem in my contact. Friday, I had to take them out because it was irritating my eye, their touric lenses and rotate when I blink but that must have not worked with this little problem. No big deal since I had recently left a message at the optometrist telling I liked this second set and could order these. Because my optometrist is 40 miles away and I don't have the time or gas money to drive up there, I called a friend for help. They were headed up that way and would pick up my new lenses. Let me remind you that I've NEVER ordered them before so I'm not sure what all this entails. So, I call the office and ask them if my friend could pick them up. I explained that the situation and she said it was no problem. When I got to their house last night to get them, they let me know that Nick had to pay for them. I was ticked. Why didn't they tell me that they would need to be paid for first. Yes, I understand that we pay for things but usually they bill me for everything else so why not this time? So, I cut them a check for the $128 they paid. Yeah, that wasn't in the budget either. So, now we have two non budgeted items totalling $170 in a few days not to mention the baby gift that Ryan's making. This morning I go to put my new contacts in and they're not labeled. Well, they're labeled with the Rx but I don't know which eye is which. So, I get the paper with the Rx on it and it fortunately tells me. Only, it says "OS" and "OD". What the heck does that mean? Maybe I'm a moron but having not piddled with this crap before, I had no clue. You would think they'd do a little educating. And my coworker, said this morning that her people label her contacts and she's worn them for years. Yes, I had to carry my contacts to work, jump on webMD and find out which eye was which. Now I know.

So let me recap:
1. No education for a new user.
2. No follow up phone call about the order (price, time frame, etc)
3. Didn't inform me that my friend would have to front $128 for my crap
4. Didn't bother to charge me like they do everything else.

How's that for customer service?

Working Mom

For a while now I've thought about this whole working mom issue. I continue to struggle in my own head with all the benefits of both. And then I listen to family related podcasts and it only makes me have more doubt. People who stay at home with their children don't understand the working mom issues. Working mom's don't understand stay at home mom issues. Its not just a matter of 'the grass is greener on the other side'. Its an issue of watching my kids grow up. Of being at home to greet my husband when he comes home from work. Of having energy and time to give to my kids when all they want is to read a book or wrestle on the floor. Of being there when they reach different milestones in their young lives. But on the other hand, I have a good job. Good benefits. Decent pay. Flexibility. An understanding boss. And lately the question has become "do I truly enjoy my job?" I think I do. I love to do things I do at work when I randomly meet a landowner at a golf course. But is it simply my attitude? Who of us likes to do something when we have to do it? Why am I not motivated right now? Is it the weather? Will it ever warm up?

I'm gone from the house about 11 hours a day. Usually 45 minutes of that is spent at my mom's feeding Bethany and chatting with them. By time I get home, I don't have time to cook a meal, clean up, play with the kids, clean up after them, bathe the kids, get them in bed, do laundry or anything else that comes up. Thankfully I have a husband who does most of the cooking, plays with the kids, helps with bath time and I'm not left with doing everything by myself. But then throw into the mix that Wednesday and Thursday nights we're committed to outside activities. So what, that's only two days a week, right. Still, it seems never ending sometimes. Funny thing is that when we slow down, we feel like we don't know what to do with ourselves.

Which brings up another thought. One of my buddies commented on how well I do taking time out to spend with just Ryan. I don't think that we do well at that. Honestly, if we make time to talk, then we're asking Scott to be quiet while we talk. If we wait till the kids go to bed, we do a quick run down of our day, ask for prayer requests, pray together and fall asleep. So, put the kids to bed earlier, right? Remember, I don't get home till 630 and I need some time in there to spend with them.

okay, sorry for the rant... I'm tired and grumpy today.

PS, thank you Ryan for staying up last night and paying bills and working on our budget while I crashed!