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.)


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


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)