Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Cards are done!

Well friends the cards are done! There are actually 2 so you will get one of the two in the mail with the annual Christmas letter by Jason. We are still working on the slightly humorous factor though. Merry Christmas!

Cool Gray Christmas Card
Make a statement with personalized Christmas cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Letter in the Making

Right before Thanksgiving we got the urge to get our pictures taken at Sears. Yes we had not taken Tana's 12 month pictures - we used one that Mom took at Grandpa's funeral - it is really cute! But really we needed to get an updated family picture done. Christmas is here and the letters and pictures need to go out. This is my favorite time of the year making the cards. Last year I decided that I didn't have time to make the design on our own computer so I turned to Shutterfly for our Christmas cards. And I haven't turned back - Tana's birth announcements were also done on there.

I don't understand why everyone doesn't do it this way. It is so easy. So cute. So much fun. I love the options. I love to play around with the settings! I do go a little crazy and make like 10 choices and then drive my husband crazy by asking him to pick the one he likes. He never picks the right one. I usually then head out to friends until enough say they like mine. This year I am trying to weigh in on Jason's favs but my fav is #3 on his list. Ugh.

I have to say on Shutterfly I am very impressed with the variety of choices and low prices! I think these cards look much more expensive than what they actually are!

I typically pick a photo card with several openings for pictures. This year I was also looking for a card that matched the pictures that we took. Our outfits in our family pictures were dark gray and bright blue. Unfortunately there weren't a ton of options in this area, but I found some I liked!

This one is really nice and it went well with our clothing - obviously that isn't us though :) I needed several openings. It had options to let me have three. This is one of Jason's favorites.
I really like this one, but no options for more than one picture. It is off the list. I like the colors and the fun non-traditional look.
I made a card with this one and it looks good, but Jason just didn't like it. I love the cool dots.
This is by far my favorite layout, but the cost when we have to buy 125 are a little much for me. I am working on it but Jason is the voice of reality for me.
This is on Jason's top list but I think the pictures will be a little small, but don't be surprised if this one is sent to you since I like it better than his other one.
This is my favorite, but it is Jason's 3rd choice. I love the black background that looks great with our family pictures.
So as soon as my cards get ordered we have to get the writer to come up with a great letter again. So coming to a mailbox near you will be the Willis Christmas letter.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Yes I realize some of you might have just gasped at the thought of me finally updating my blog. I have a list of 48 posts to get through. I typically don't like to post out of order, but I am going to have to so that I can show off my cuties.

Tana is growing like a weed and it is fairly humorous to look at her in the posts just previous to this on and her cute little piggies. She is growing like a weed and keeps me on my toes so much more than the other two. She is a little girl with a big attitude. Can you say drama queen?!?!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Grandpa Melvin

This is a hard post to write because today, March 27th (yes Ally's birthday), Grandpa Melvin went to be with his precious Savior and Lord Jesus. I have had a hard time about how to feel about his death - happy or sad. He was diagnosed in December with pancreatic cancer - and 3-12 months to live. He missed Grandma Arlene so much and just wanted to go to heaven. His health had been failing for sometime. He wasn't as sharp and witty as he was. He could still tell us some good stories from the early days - but sometimes they were hard to get out. So even though I will miss him greatly, I am celebrating his new life with Jesus where he can see and walk again!

He leaves a huge legacy - in family and friends. Everyone has a story about how Grandpa Melvin touched or taught them. He was one of the most godly men that I ever knew. I knew that if I was ever confused that I could always call him and he would share scripture that would tell me what Jesus wanted me to do. I might have been his grandchild, anyone who walked in the door was family to him. He loved to sing and loved it when we sang with him.

My friend Cam, put it well - he has been promoted to the "Good Ol' Iowa Farmer - sitting on the front porch of heaven club." Grandpa will be missed, but I am sure that he isn't missing this place!

This is a picture of his 90th birthday party. He was so thrilled to have 90 years to live here, but he was so ready to be with Jesus.


Tana is our third child and you can tell it by our actions. We would have NEVER done this with our first and probably a little later with number 2, but Tana - ahhh it won't hurt her!

Well let's just say that she LOVED the powered sugar donut! She is so proud of her self.

Another Attemp

I think that we got some good pictures for our card out of this sitting, but Tana is the girl of many many faces. Her face does not hid what she is feeling. We think that Ally is a Drama Queen, I think that in the future that Tana might out-do her - and that SCARES me.

The first two before bathtime didn't go terrible, but it is always fun to get pictures of kids in their PJs by the tree.

As you can tell, Tana didn't want to have any part of this...

Really - again mom - I thought I told you how I felt...

And we are done.

Some of you might remember us before kids - but we used to have these silly snowmen. We everyone has their own and we bought Tana's this year, they made the family Christmas pictures.


Here are one of many attempts at getting a good picture for the Christmas card. I know that I am biased, but these are the sweetest and cutest kiddos ever!

The Star - Year 2

Every year the star on the tree is the big deal - there is only one star and only one person gets to put it on. Last year the kids declared order. Last summer Drew reminded us that it was his turn.

Drew and his proud moment with the star.

Getting ready for the big moment on Daddy's shoulders.

Ta Da!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

I know that Brenda likes to post blogs in the order that they happened, but I felt like I should sneak in a quick one here to say Merry Christmas.

We had a relaxing day, finishing up a few random things to get ready for the next few days. The rain has not turned to ice or snow yet, so we made it to the Christmas Eve Service late this afternoon. It was a very good service and Ally and Drew sat very well through it.

After a quick super, we got to open the Willis family presents. I think we hit a few home runs with the gifts.

The kids are all asleep now and Santa's presents are under the tree and the cookies and milk are gone. We'll see who gets up first in the morning.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas with your families.

And last, but most definitely not least...HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I know that I changed my background to Christmas last night, but I think that Thanksgiving is good to have before the Christmas "givemes." I am so thankful for my husband and precious kiddos. Life would not be nearly the fun without them.

Our morning has started out by Jason taking a trip to Casey's to get the paper (for Friday!!!!) and some donuts. We are teaching our children young how to be organized about their Thursday looking. There is a spreadsheet out marking the great deals at each store so that we can plan our adventure tomorrow! By the way - anyone want to babysit three kids so that Jason can go with me - we had a lot of fun last year together - I was moving pretty slow with a watermelon in my tummy.

Tana is a moving machine. She did get under-feet this morning and got her fingers stepped on on her way to the dishwasher. She wasn't too happy with that, but did enjoy flying on the dishwasher before breakfast.

As we head to Grinnel to enjoy family today we remember all the things we are thankful for. Yes we can be thankful for all the things that God has given us here on Earth, but really I am most thankful for my Savior who brought me out of darkness. I am so excited to celebrate his birth in the coming month!

Hawkeye Game

This is completely out of the ordinary for Jason and has taken me several years to accomplish, but we finally went to a Hawkeye basketball game. We were watching Tricia Nesbit (a girl from our SS class in Ames - she was only 7 then - wow we are old!). We took the kids on a free night. Ally even got a t-shirt from the family in front of us. She was so excited.

Later the next week an electrician gave us some tickets to the men's game. Now those tickets are give-aways this year. They STINK! We were at half court in the third row. We had fun just being on a date and laughing at the doofusses behind us screaming at the refs - like that was going to help them win. Maybe they should screen correctly or put someone down in the paint. I might be a better coach.

I am sure there will be many more firsts for this Hawkeye family - (as I hear my husband growl...)

Daddy's Hat

I make everyone smile so much. My daddy doesn't think that he can handle any more of me, but I am so cute that it is hard to say NO!

Three Men in a Tub

This is a typical evening bath time for us. Tana LOVES being in the tub with them, but they don't like to share the room. For some reason the smallest takes up the most room and splashes the most. I think mom and dad get a bath too out of the ordeal, but we sure can run them through QUICK!

Rally Cap

Not sure who he was cheering for - probably the last couple Cards game - which were hopeless. I walked into my mom's kitchen to find him trying the rally cap - didn't work.

First Tooth Out

The first tooth at the Willis house has been lost, but it hasn't been lost by the oldest - but Drew. November 12th Drew and Ally came running up while I was changing after school yelling - it fell out! So here is my big boy with no tooth (and a messy face). He lost a 2nd a month later.


After Halloween, we went out and got some costumes for our dress-up box. This lovely wig is HILLARIOUS especially when it is on Tana. Someday she might have some hair!

Drew's Concert

Last years Christmas program was a flop - Drew refused to sing and cried on stage. This year he did great. Notice that he is the tallest kid in the back row amoung the 17 boys and 3 girls?

The sad part was that Ally had a concert the same night and missed it due to strep. It was a bummer since she was so excited about it.

I wish we had some video of the concert, but the camera battery died just after 5 pictures. Arghhhh - lesson - bring extra batteries. The positive thing - we had heard the same concert the last 3 years in Amana so we knew all the songs and could have sang a long.

Plumber Butt

This just made me smile about her little behind. Her pants are a little big and just slide off when she is on the move!

Chuckie Cheese

We had a hard time with Drew's party. H1N1 was going through right at the same time as his birthday and we were just waiting for someone to come down with it. Luckily we made it through! Drew wanted to go to Chuckie Cheese for his party. He choose 3 friends to take. Two of them got sick the night we went so just Rolen went with us. Those boys had a blast. I have never seen them eat so much pizza either - I think each ate 3 pieces which is COMPLETELY unusually for Drew.

Now I almost have another kindergartener!


My mom and sister stopped by before we headed out with the kids. They posed with Rachel. I think Rachel's costume is the scariest.

Tana was suppose to be a ladybug, but the costume (which was Ally's) didn't fit, so instead she was a lion (which was Drew's). She was so cute and didn't mind the hood!

Ally was Ariel (with a turtle neck on instead of shells. Drew was Bumblebee (a transformer).

Pumpkin Carving

Ally LOVES to carve pumpkins. My little princess is not at all afraid to stick her hand in and pull out the guts. She played with it and sorted tons of seeds. I had the intentions of making pumpkin seeds, but instead they are going to be planted next year in the lot next to us.

Drew on the other hand had to be forced to stick his hand into the pumpkin. He couldn't pick the face on the pumpkin unless he took 5 handfuls out. It was a long whiny process, but it got done.

Now I realized now that I never got any pictures of the final products, but I did get some good ones of my silly family.

Drew's FIFTH Birthday

Holy Cow, I can't believe 5 years ago we had a sweet shy little guy. Okay he isn't little by any means though - he weighed in 53# and was 48 inches short. He is still flyin' off the charts and a little sister that is following his steps. Drew still has the long eyelashes that any girl would die for.

Our little guy is changing so much. He loves pre-school. He is the star of his class. He writes his name so well and can count high. His teacher tells us that when she wants the class to do something - she tells them to watch how Drew is doing it. I am so proud of him!

He is also becoming a big boy and his interests are changing so much. He is into Bakugans, Transformers, Super Heros and many other stuff.

I wish I understood being a boy and loving dirt and jumping off things. I love my little snuggler!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Matt & Ashley's Wedding

We headed to Matt and Ashley's wedding in South Dakota. It was a long drive and a long weekend in a small hotel room, but a lot of fun with family that you don't get to see often.

Before the wedding the boys were watching the ISU v. Nebraska game. I can't remember who won? Do you know Amy?

Then during the reception we kept wandering into the bar to watch the Iowa game. I left the reception just as I thought Iowa had lost, but should have stayed for the rest - but instead had to watch the highlights on the news.

Somehow we managed to sit in a different row that our kids which meant that Aunt Amy was watching the big kids during the ceremony - which they were excellent. Tana was suppose to fall asleep soon after her bottle, but of coarse she waited until the last 5 minutes of the wedding. We did learn from the wedding ceremony that we should put on our underware of compassion.

After a quick breakfast at Aunt Lou's we headed on our 6 hour trip home. Thanks for a great weekend.

Great Grandpa John

Tana got to meet and sit with Grandpa John for a few minutes before we left South Dakota. It was hard to hold on to our wiggle worm - she gave him some sweet smiles and drool.