27 November 2009

His 1st Day at Work

Scott is spending the day at work with his daddy. He's pretty excited about it. So much so that he was up 3 different times last night. Once he was asking where his snowpants were (I explained that he'd have to take his snowpants and gloves if he wanted to go fix cows with daddy). Once he was informing me that it would be his first day of work. Another time he was letting me know that he wanted to leave at 2...(short pause)...30 so he could watch some cartoons.

I think he was so giddy about his day with his daddy that he didn't get to sleep all night. He didn't wake up to easily this morning either. I can't wait to hear about his, and his daddy's, day together.

Things I learned shopping on Black Friday

I learned a few things this morning on my first ever Black Friday shopping adventure:
  1. Shopping in a rural town is much easier than shopping in the city.
  2. Shopping at a 24-hour store means you don't have to "camp out".
  3. Only shopping at one store seriously reduces your run-around time.

Okay, I shopped at only one store. One that is not my favorite store but my bank account seems to think so. Here's what I learned while shopping at our local wallyworld.
  1. In the 24-hour store, you can get there a little early and pick up the smaller items you want and just not check out until the official sale starts.
  2. It works best if you have two people teamed up together shopping. One can hold the cart and the other can weave in and out of the lines of customers to get what you want.
  3. Most of the big items (ie: flat screen TV's, powerwheel jeeps, etc) are "papered" items where they give you the paper, you pay for it at check out and then pull around to the tire and lube area and they load it for you.
  4. You should consider grabbing your smaller items before you wait in line to get the powerwheel jeep paper. Then again, you might want to get in line first. BUT, if you have an extra person, they can get in line for you while you pick up the smaller items.
  5. In the case you buy a big 'ol trampoline that they don't have as a papered item, and you have to manuever your oversized item in a cart through a line of people, you might want to pick that up last.
  6. If the powerwheel jeep is on major sale, make sure you pick up the one that's on sale.
  7. If you're getting smaller items, you might take your shopping bags with you instead of using a cart. It's much easier to get through the highway of people without a cart.
  8. And to wallyworld, I'd suggest you put that big and super heavy trampoline as a papered item so I don't have to lug it through your store. If you would have done that, I'm sure I would have spent more money manuevering through the store.

Overall, I had a great time. I met a few of the girls and Zach at 4am in town. We hustled up to Decorah meeting only car on the road which we passed cause we were women and a guy on a mission. Having been my virgin voyage with Black Friday shopping, there are definite things I'd do differently. I got some great deals this morning which means next year I should maybe wait and do some more of my shopping on Black Friday instead of two months prior. Dave would be proud of me doing that, and not of me buying twice as much. Next year I will also find me a shopping buddy so I can accomplish my mission with a little more ease! Considering I was back home by 630am and should be to work on time, I don't think I did too bad!

26 November 2009

Thankful

I started a post with a list of things I'm thankful for. In the middle of that, I lost my internet connection and couldn't even save a draft. So just real quick, I want to share something I'm thankful and prayerful for...

Monday Ryan's grandpa fell while trying to load a snow blower. He's 85. He went to the doctor and was sent home a stubborn and sore man. Tuesday morning when he woke his throat was swollen, he couldn't really talk and had been in horrible pain all night long. A trip to the emergency room determined he broke his 2nd vertebrae and his atlas (sp?) which is the stem that holds the skull onto the spine (from my limited understanding). The doctors determined that he needed surgery and then because of his age tried to see if they could avoid surgery. As of today, his only option is surgery. He's 85.

Please join me in praying for God's will to be done and for His name to receive all the glory. Whether that be a successful surgery, a difficult trip through recover, or Grandpa getting to meet his maker and Savior, to God be the glory.

24 November 2009

Yes, I Love Him

Normal morning routine this morning: I work out in town and shower at mom's. Ryan brings the kids to town in my van. This morning was a tad different though.

Ryan was a bit delayed. I greeted the kids at the door and ran out to greet Ryan before he hurried off to work. He was cleaning something out of the back of the van. I kissed him. I kissed him again. And a third time. Instead of the typical 3 kisses, I continued to kiss him and since he was in a hurry, he just picked me up and carried me while he walked and we kissed.

It was totally cute and fun. Until we got interrupted.

A local lady was out for her daily walk. She had come into the yard when she saw me to ask for an update on our adoption. I didn't know that she was standing there as I kissed and kissed Ryan. It wasn't like we were sucking face though I was a little embarrassed at first. But that didn't last long. I love my husband and am glad for people to see it, even if its when I'm kissing him in what I think is a private setting.

23 November 2009

Music to My Ears

Tonight while doing dishes, my sweet girl wanted to help with the dishes. I managed to talk her out of it this time. My guys were in the other room being rewarded with Wii time while Bethany and I hung out in the kitchen. I listening to Ryan's favorites on his ipod and of course Bethany was movin' to the music.

The song on the playlist: You shook me all night long by AC/DC.

Know what I did, cause I'm a good mom like that? I started the song over and turned it up. Yes, conservative little me.

It gets worse.

I then picked Bethany up and let her stand on the counter so we could be closer in height and we danced our little hearts out on the dirty kitchen floor next to the sink with boiling water. And it was fun! Now I know, especially now after looking up the song lyrics (which I promptly removed the link after reading the lyrics) that its not a song I want my daughter to learn. In fact, I much prefer her singing I love You Lord or Good Morning Beautiful instead.

It gets even worse.

That is the same song that plays when I call Ryan's cell phone. I thought it would be cute/embarrassing for that ring to be his wife calling. One of the guys in the office joked that Ryan sees the caller id and doesn't want to talk to me. That might be true. But it might also be that he leaves his phone in his truck because he doesn't want to hear that song when I call :)

This thought is not music to my ears! Hubby, maybe you should change the ringtone!

On a better note, let's see if I can add a video of my little dishwashing helper. Nevermind my random chatter. The cute part starts about 20 seconds in when Bethany talks to her daddy:



video

You're a Photographer if You Own a Camera

I attended the iblog conference two weekends ago. Haven't had a chance to write about what I learned there but I am trying to put it into practice.

One of the things I learned from Darcy at Graphically Designing was "you're a photographer if you own a camera!"

Saturday Scott and I enjoyed a beautiful fall day. We ran around outside, played on the swing set, chased each other through the pasture, ventured into (just a bit) the old barn, played hide and seek and generally had fun. When we went inside to check on my napping child, I grabbed my camera, my other kiddo and headed back outside. Wishing that I could take amazing photos, I started playing with my little camera and found myself flopped down on my belly shooting pictures up through the grass. Here's what I captured (with a little doctoring up on the computer later that night): this first one is a picture Scott took of an old pine tree in the pasture. Some don't like the electrical lines running across but that's life in rural america when you have a livestock barn beside the tree. Scott loves taking pictures and I really should just give him our old camera. He took a decent one of me that I might end up using in my next blog banner.

The rest of the pictures I took while we played around.





















19 November 2009

Ready or Not, here it comes!

Pretty soon, we'll be going from this beautiful (and a bit unusual) warm weather to our normal frozen fields and big eskimo coats.

(yes, my child looks like an orphan in her eskimo coat. Her daddy is getting better at putting hair clippies in her hair before he takes her to town.)

18 November 2009

Dissapointing Meal

I had lunch with a dear friend today to celebrate her birthday. We work in a small town so our options are limited. When I'm celebrating a birthday with a girlfriend, I'd rather not eat at the local pub, the bowling alley or the local mom-and-pop type of places. Fortunately, we have a few other options in town.

The place we chose was Finnely's Irish Pub. It looks cute and sounds fun so we parked out front and headed in. I was glad to see that they had incorporated a little breezeway to the place. The last time I was there was winter and each time the door was open, my legs about froze solid and fell off. We grabbed a quiet booth and plopped down. The menu seemed different than I'd remembered. A salad sounded healthy but I was eager to fill my belly with something warm since the weather outside is chilly.

The special was chicken gumbo. Chicken gumbo? That doesn't sound Irish to me. And I'd never (in my limited experience) heard of chicken gumbo. The waitress took our orders and I was dissapointed that nothing jumped off the menu to grab my attention. I order the roated chicken breast sandwich with french fries. The waitress returned with our drinks in hand and I continued chatting with my friend.

A short while later our food arrived and I must say I wasn't impressed with the presentation at all. Fortunately, I'm not usually too concerned about presentation as long as it tastes good. Well, they didn't quite have the taste thing figured out either. My sandwich was plain, boring and needed some sprucing up. My chicken breast was fatty and void of flavor. The french fries had potential too but also lacked attention. They were covered in grease and the only flavor I could taste was the sea salt.

Seriously, did I just pay money for that? My husband is a great cook. He's not had culinary training and doesn't prepare fancy foods. He does pay attention to the simple things. Ryan makes a tasty chicken breast sandwich in which he toasts the bun, adds a few strips of bacon, adds some ranch dressing and I throw a few pickles on it in addition to avocado slices, etc.

If you're driving through our small town and feel the need to stop at Finnelys Irish Pub, please understand that the ambiance is far better than the food!

Christmas List

Growing up, I don't recall ever having a Christmas list. In fact, I don't remember ever asking for something specific. (Disclaimer: this doesn't mean it didn't ever happen). Sure, I remember getting specific gifts from my parents. Gifts that I really wanted that my parents just happened to get me: a scooter, a Dallas Cowboys parka, uggs. But I don't recall ever having a formal list.

Is that just the way my family did things or has it changed in recent years?

These days, there's multiple ways of sharing your Christmas wish list with others. Recently Jody at IowaGeek shared her thoughts about having a list. You can also create a list at http://www.yourlistonline.com/ and have it emailed to your friends and family to give them gift ideas for multiple occassions.

So here's my thoughts on having a Christmas list. Some people (like my in-laws) appreciate having a list so that they get you something you like. Others (like my parents) have never asked for a list but have always given me something I like/want. Perfect example is the blouse I'm wearing today was a gift from my parents - not something I asked for but I love it. Personally, I can see benefits both ways. I like having an idea of what to get Ryan and have utilized his list more than once. The thing I don't like about the list is that I have to make sure with those I share the list with that we don't both buy the same thing. And really what fun is it when you're done opening gifts at the end of the day and none of the gifts are a true surprise. Sure, you may not have known who was buying which gift, but you still got the things on your list.

Twice recently I have started a wish list. Eventually I feel selfish and delete the list. Then I consider keeping one in my journal just in case people ask but never have written anything down.

Christmas is just a few short weeks away. I just might create a wish list afterall...

16 November 2009

blogging

Had a fantastic few days at the iblog conference. Learned a ton of new things there. Now I'm busy trying to digest that and make a plan for the future of my blogging...

Thanks again to Jody who organized and the speakers who taught me many things!

15 November 2009

Blog ladies I've met this weekend and like....

This is certainly all inclusive...

www.sincerelyjenni.blogspot.com

www.kangarooboo.com

okay, well there's more but I'm using Beth's computer and just saw that she's keeping notes on sticky notes right now... more on the new blogs I wanna check out again later.

13 November 2009

update to cori... and everyone else.

I don't get or take the time enough to keep up with some of my friends.  Today we did a little of that.  I got to learn about her new guy and she asked me about my kids.  I've been spending lots of time on adoption and don't share much about my kids.  I do spend time with them and still take some pictures, I just don't take the time to write or download my camera.  In light of that, I thought I'd share updates on each of my beautiful children as well as the high and low of yesterday since Cori asked (and I've already typed it):
 
Four words to describe Scott: Amazing memory (that counts for one word), compassionate, loves TV, demanding.  What do I think he'll be when he grows up?  I have no clue.  But I can say that at this point his little mind is developing so fast that he's going to be an intelligent thinker.  His mind is always working.  He can repeat children's songs he's heard once, can repeat whole children's books, and if you tell him a made-up bed time story and get the details off a little the next night when he asks you to repeat it, he'll let you know the correct details.  At the same time, he's compassionate and cares for others.  Sometimes too much.  He's protective of his sister, and concerned for his little friends.  He loves to give his money to God.  And though he has no concept of the value of coins or dollars yet, he's quickly learning to keep some of the money so he can buy something.  He loves, loves, loves to give hugs and kisses to us family members.  Particularly on the nose.  It's cute.  I think he's a miniature Ryan so far.  We have lots of work to do to continue to mold his little character.  He's learning patience and I'm trying to get him to understand that he can't demand me to do things. We're finally past the "if you don't give me a candy, then I won't eat my supper" type of attitude stage.  I haven't heard it lately so I'm hoping we're over that stage.  He's 4 and a big boy and he'll tell you that.  He still hates to poop which is drama non-stop and is a momma's boy.  We're also working on self-help skills like putting on his own shoes and coat.  I've done it for so long cause I'm in a hurry to get out the door that I've never made him do it.  He can but doesn't want to.  Meanwhile, Bethany has her shoes and coat on while we wait J  Finally, I think he has that down now that I'm not doing it for him. This morning he screamed at his crooked sock twice but finally got himself dressed and ready to go.

 

And a little about my sweet girl.  Bethany is a mini-me.  Not sure if that's a good thing or not.  She's loving but doesn't want to slow down long enough to snuggle.  She is INDEPENDENT.  She loves her daddy.  She's a smart little cookie too.  She likes to tell jokes "why did the banana go to the doctor?  Because he didn't peel good!".  She is strong willed – granted she doesn't get quite the training/discipline that Scott received simply because there's two kids now.  So, we're working on being more consistent with that.  Sometimes she's my girly girl and wants to wear a skirt and carry around her purse (she'll make anything into her purse if it has handles).  But she's not afraid of anything and quite the adventurous little thing.  She's loves other people but also knows how to play hard to get.  I have no clue what she'll be either.  I'm guessing that as long as we can nurture her in the right direction, she'll be whatever she wants and there will be no stopping her!  She's usually a content little thing and in the mornings when she wakes up (she recently decided she wanted to sleep in her crib again mostly because she wants to pick at Scott who likes to sleep with her) she sings to herself and entertains herself until I get upstairs to get her.  She's my precious crazy-haired little girl.

 

Hi and low of yesterday.  Funny question.  We ask this a lot at bible study as our ice-breaker.  Last nights high was probably visiting with my friend Jamey who watched my kids when my other sitter couldn't.  Jamey is a sweet girl who's laid back and simple.  She wears cowboy boots which I love and doesn't care if her jeans are tucked in.  She's simple like that and doesn't have to compete and be someone she's not.  So it was good to visit with her and real nice that she kept my kids and wouldn't let me pay her cause that's what friends do!  Low, not getting my voice mail on my new phone to work.  Because I'm on the vet clinic's plan, I don't have the power to make changes to my bill – apparently even if that simply means resetting my own voicemail password!



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12 November 2009

Raffle Tickets

Yikes, I have less than two months left and lots of raffle tickets to sale.  If we don't sale enough, we return the money back.  What a pain and dissapointment that would be.
 
Are you interested in buying in tickets?  How about helping us sale a few???
 
It's frustrating to me because I connect with a lot of people through my work but the rules there don't allow me to sale the tickets.  I'm not trying to make excuses and I'm trying not to worry but reality is that I don't connect with lots of people outside of work/church.  Pray for me will ya?
 
Along with praying for that, I've asked a few people to boldly pray with me for siblings/twins.  I would add to that request that God would also provide the financial means of adopting another child.  Yikes. 







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09 November 2009

I love nice weather!

This past week has been unseasonably warm.  About 20 degrees warmer than normal and I love it!  The local farmers love it too now that their crops are finally drying down and they can get in the field to harvest.  What a strange year for that... but I'm not talking work here...
 
This picture is no indication of our weekend but I wanted to share it.  A few weeks ago we joined up with some friends at their local diner (aka bowling alley) and played a game of bowling.  My kids know how to bowl thanks to the Wii.  Only holding a 8# ball is a little different than holding their Wii controller.  The two really enjoyed keeping score with us.  Bethany doodled and Scott wrote the scores in mostly in the correct spots.  He's not used to writing that small and did pretty good for a 4 year old.  This picture shows their sibling rivalry in wanting control.
 
We were busy little B's this weekend!!!!  Saturday Ryan and his dad spent the day installing the components of the outdoor wood furnace.  Who knew that our basement was 2 foot thick stone behind the concrete blocks???  Ryan sure got annoyed with digging a hole through that real quick!  The kids and I kept busy with numerous tasks that we made into fun. Scott helped fold clothes much to his dislike initially but he had fun doing it by the end.  Then since it was 60+ degrees outside, we played outside barefoot in the sandbox, picked carrots and a few gourds from the garden, cleaned out and washed the van (this was Scott's favorite thing to do and he's so proud of our "sparkly new van"), and went to the Chili Bowl (a fall festival of sorts) out at the school where they jumped in the bounce house instead of eating supper.  We got home in time to bathe the kids and get the sand out of their hair while Ryan sat for a few minutes after his 12 hour day in the basement working. 
 
Sunday mornings are always filled with church activities.  It was our second week of children's church in which our kids don't participate.  We believe in teaching our kids to sit still when they need to and to listen while the pastor shares the message.  Of course they don't get it right away but they are pretty good at sitting still and who knows when they'll start comprehending what the pastor shares.  Though we're sacrificing a little of our time to focus and an opportunity for them to learn at their level, we feel that preparing them for their future is also important.  And because of that, outside of church we have to make sure they're getting those opportunities to learn about God's Word.
 
Anyway, Sunday afternoon we had a quick lunch and headed back outside while it was nice.  Ryan took Bethany to run "errands" and she was excited to go cause she heard that he was going to "aaron's".  They still had a fun bonding time and she came back with a monster cookie all over her face and shirt.  Scott and I took the carrot scraps and went for a walk to the neighbors horse pasture.  He fed the horse the carrots and then we walked into the nearby field to pick apples off it so we could feed the horse some more treats.  Scott developed an allergy to something out there (carrots, apples, horse, tall grass) because when he awoke from his nap later, his big puffy eyes got puffier and he got a taste of benadryl.  It was a lazy Sunday afternoon for the most part and a great time to hang out as a family!


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06 November 2009

Last night our small group finished going through Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  I love and struggle with the last chapter.  What is God wanting with my life??? 
To love others?  yes. 
To give sacrificially?  yes.
To seek him?  definitely.
 
But how am I doing with all that?  I think I do well with those things but is it pleasing to God? Then there's a few others things that God expects of us...
To respect my husband.
To let no unedifying thing come out of my mouth.
To let your yes be yes and your no be no.
 
These are things I need to work on.  I'm so thankful to have a few people in my life who are willing to keep me accountable to that.  To question my motives in a loving matter.  I need that for sure!
 
I'm looking forward to the next study our small group does.  Thursday nights are tough for me cause by time it rolls around, I'm already tired from the week but I'm greatful that that time and group even exists.







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02 November 2009

Crazy week ahead

I'm glad that God has given me a flexible family cause we're in for a wild week:
 - TOnight: last minute hosting friends for supper who are in town for a funeral.
 - Tuesday: typical activities - guitar lessons and hosting a friend over night and taking her to a meeting in town.
 - Wed: No cubbies/Awana for us - were off to visit Ryan's uncle who's in town for a night.
 - Thurs: Parent/teacher conference for Scott's preschool then off to bible study group.
 - Friday: afternoon with the social worker for our homestudy and then having friends over for the evening/supper.
 
Whew, Saturday will be welcomed by time it comes!




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