Monday, July 31, 2006

Hoarder of Paperclips!

Have you ever taken over someone's position and found that they were hoarding supplies in their desk??? Or are you that person? This is my 5th day working in my very very hot room and I am starting to make a dent. I have unloaded all of my teaching books into the cabinets and now I am working on the supply cabinet. This teacher was a great teacher - at least I have been told. Her downfall - Paperclips! I have a pint plastic tub and at least 16 boxes in the cupboard. She also had a fetish for binderclips - I have 16 boxes of those. I have 3 LARGE boxes of chalk (at least 250 pieces in each). In my lowly 7 years of teaching I have gone through one and a half boxes of 12. (I use the overhead.) I tried out over 200 pens and about 75 percent of them were dried up. From past experience it takes at least 5 years to do that.

She had 7 rolls of overhead transparency - which made Jason jump for joy. Less cleaning!!!! I had 2 and usually took them home to unroll and clean - It is a fun process for anyone wanting the experience.

Therefore my job is long and hot (no AC) and only 3 weeks left to go.... Happy Cleaning!

Friday, July 28, 2006

A Hot Day in the Park!

It's finally Friday!!! Does anyone feel the same way?!?! We are heading back for the second to last time to Iowa (for all of us). So I am trying to get laundry done and wear the kids out for the car ride, but I think that I am more tired than they are. We needed snacks for the trip and quarters for laundry and money in the bank. Ally asked if we could go to her cousins park, but I said it was a little to far to drive. We settled on the blue slide park by the school.

I ordered some lemonade and pizza, but I couldn't get any ice cream until I had eaten my food. Sounds familiar!

Climbing to the top to see the planes. The EAA (whatever that stands for) air show is going on right in Oshkosh about 15 miles south of us. We see HUGE planes flying really low all day. Drew thinks planes are almost as cool as tractors.

I finally got a good picture of them together. Too bad I am using my cell phone camera and it isn't very clear.

On to cooling off with some lemonade and air conditioning.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

My Cousins are So Cool!

The kids and I headed out to visit Nathan, Karie and the girls today. We were hoping the trip would get changed to a babysitting trip with Karie heading to the hospital, but it seems that baby Shiloh is content inside her mommy's tummy. I might not come out either if I new what was out there. When we went a couple weeks ago it looked like rain, but we lucked out and got to go swimming, but we weren't so lucky this time.

We went to Riverside Park for the afternoon which had the BIGGEST wooden maze place set that I had ever seen. It sprinkled for awhile. When the heavier rain came, we (Nate, Karie, MaKenna and I) went inside a shelter to wait it out. The other crazies decided to throw rocks in the stream in the rain. Oh well water will dry.

MaKenna is so cute and loves to dance around. Drew and her weren't happy with having to share very much.

Do you see that baby that refuses to come out??? Let's pray for a surprise boy. I have yet to see an ultra sound wrong, but supposedly it happens. Five girlies is too much! Nathan needs a little man to help with manly chores.

Mom - that boy is here again and won't let me go up!

It was sprinkling when we got the the park. Taylar and Aubree were showing me all of their talents?

And here they slip and fall together!

Show off!

Show off number 2!

Drew discovered that some of the pants that mom puts on him can come off easily. He had already took off his shirt because we were going "swimmy." Taylar and Drew were playing tickling. Taylar is great with all the little kids!

Kylie (5) was hard to get a picture of today. I snapped this with my cell phone which means a poor quality picture. She said her tummy hurt. Ally and her had fun playing in the maze. Their giggles were precious!

MaKenna is the only one that doesn't look like Karie. She loved to smile for me!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

First Floor!

On Tuesday on our way back out of town, we stopped and took a few pictures and looked around the muddy pit we will call home. They have the first floor completely framed and the second floor decked. Which means to the average person - PROGRESS! Jason tells me that the fastest that it could possibly get finished (if everyone could show up exactly on time and no delays) about 9 weeks, but I am a realistic and know that when Jason tells me a time - I double it. Let's hope that isn't right this time!

For those of you that can understand what is going on. The house layout is very similar to our house in STL. I am standing in the family room (green couch room) and looking into the kitchen area. On the left the first outline is the mudroom and the second outline is what they call the powder room (or the bathroom.

They are suppose to be finished framing on Friday, but the forcast was for rain all day today so I wouldn't count on it. The room trusses are coming on Monday!


I think that I have mentioned that we have baby kitties. I am not a big fan of cats, but I am also not a big fan of killing anything either. BUT with Drew and Ally around I am not sure how long these kitties will make it.

The momma moved the kitties into our garage. After several weeks there, Jason moved them to another shed close to the house so we could close the garage door. The momma cat went with us for a few hours until she decided to get back at us and decided to move the darn things to our back door. Good grief!

Drew was estatic when we got home to see them there. "Kitties! Kitties! Kitties!" Run little things run the 3 foot giant man who doesn't know the word gentle is coming after you! I figured that we would try and teach the kids how to be nice to the cats.

After a morning of rain, I decided to let the little monsters (Ally and Drew) out while I was making lunch. In the midst of making lunch, I look out the door and notice a fur ball in Drew's hand as he flung it threw the rain spout. Screaming, I ran out the door, grabbed the kitty and tried to comfort it. At first I didn't think it was moving. Shaken it came back and looked at me like why did he do that to me....

So back in the house we went and I moved the kitties back to the shed during nap time. That lasted about an afternoon when they figured out how to get out of their box and the momma led them back to the back door.

Once again Drew was thrilled to have his playmates back. He treated them to a ride in his wagon. I am not sure they were having fun but I know he was!

It's a Start! - Basement

On Sunday after church, we headed out to see what was finished. Jason decided to knock on the door to see if anyone was home. We have floor joists (or as Bobby would call them the "nancies" and water puddles. Drew found the water first.

A Trip with Grandma Rhonda

Mom went to Omaha to visit Chris, Amy and Kaylee. She decided to take Ally with her. I am not sure who it was harder on - mom and dad, Ally, or Drew. Drew would ask, "Where Ollie (Ally)?" He did get some precious spoiling being the only child for the first time. I think that he was bored though with Jason and I. I think Grandma thought about taking both kids for about 2 seconds and decided that Drew would be out of her league!

Ally had a lot of fun with Kaylee. I am pretty sure that neither girl wanted to share their stuff. It is hard being little and in-charge. Both girls are so adorable with a spot of trouble!

I'm SOOOO Mad!

Have you ever read the Little Critter books? There is a story about everything going wrong with Critter. Dad won't let him paint the house, mom won't let him play tag with the goldfish etc... This is how Drew felt today.

Grandpa Charlie came over to feed the cows. Drew dashed out the door to catch a ride to the pen, but Grandpa didn't see him. Jason hadn't ever seen him run down the hill so fast to get there. He was so mad that Grandpa had left him. When Grandpa came out, Drew gave him the cold shoulder and mad face - I'm not going to talk to you. Well that lasted about 30 seconds. Grandpa left the tractor in the yard for Mom and Dad to play with.

The story ends that Critter is going to run away, but his friends ask him to play ball and everything is alright and maybe he would run away the next day. Drew was still mad at Grandpa for leaving without him - even though the tractor was in the yard - but everything was fine when Grandpa went with us to the county fair to look at the animals. Drew was determined to get this cow up!

One kids projects was to restore this old tractor. It didn't run and Drew was confused. "Grandpa - Ride"

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A Good Lunch Gone Bad

Today is the day we head back to WI for the rest of the week. I have managed to keep the house clean and the kids are sane! I decided to try and make something that they don't get everyday - grilled cheese or chicken nuggets. I know this isn't the healthiest lunch, but I threw in some fish sticks and french fries.

We had just come home from town (yes it is now a trip for the morning not just a quick errand). We were trying to get the baby kitties back to their home (another story soon to come) and it looked like rain so I was trying to pull in the toys that aren't SUPPOSE to be outside. Everything seemed to be going great. Jason called to let me know that they finished framing the first floor of the house. Drew was running around and Ally was watching TV.

I went to check on the fish and the oven door latch was in the lock position. ARGHHHHH. I had to hang up on Jason because this old stove was going to need some pressuring to get the latch loose. I finally got the latch undone - who knows how either of the kids got it to move. Then the oven is still locked. What?!?!? Did they break it? Don't want to tell Grandpa Smith that one. After talking to mom, I called the appliance store to ask. She told me that the oven would have to completly cool down before it would open.

Now in my hopes I thought cool down to about 300???? Well that was at 12:30. At 1:00, I gave in and made some peanut butter sandwiches for Ally and Drew. I just checked the oven and it finally opened at 2:45. It is a cold oven and rubbery fish!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Soda or Pop????

This is for my MO friends. I went to school today to clean out the old teacher's stuff and man there is a lot! I got thirsty and decided to run up to the store and get something to drink. As I walked into the store, I read the back wall: Beer Pop Water. Who knows if I will revert back to my 23 years of training of Pop or if I can keep the brainwashing of MO for soda. I know for one thing that I will NEVER call it that yuky "c" word.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Grandpa's Little Helpers

Grandpa kept the combine out today so that Drew and Ally could have a ride. Drew's eyes were so big when he saw the mean yellow machine. He wakes and talks of tractors. They rode to the field for their pictures. Ally liked the special seat for her. Drew prefers Grandpa's lap. Later in the day, they went in the hic-a-ma-truck (as Ally calls it) to go with Grandpa to clean the bean head out. Ahhh a little breather for me to clean up the mess we have created today!

Beauty Queen

I think that every mom's worst fear is hearing from the other room a situation that is something like this.

Scream scream scream, swat, "hold still Drew I need to cut your hair." Scream scream swat....

Jason told me to hide the scissors. After our trip to the salon, she would want to try. She didn't have scissors. She had her play plyers. She cornered me on the bed for a haircut and ohhhh did it hurt. My hair kept getting caught in the pivot thingy. Tonight after her hair was dried, I needed to get my hair done. As you can see, she needs practice. Any willing volunteers????

Can't Every Day be Like Yesterday?

AGGGGHHHHH it seems like my kids are on an every other day good/bad routine. Monday was completely awful and I told Jason that he might not have anyone left when he came home. I tried to go to the store with them and that was my first mistake. Drew figured out how to move the stroller while buckled in. I had parked him far enough away from clothes for him not to pull anything off the racks. I peaked out the door to make sure that the whining was just the desire to be free and not hurt when I saw him moving around trying to get in the dressing room before I closed the door.

After our long weekend, they both were sleep deprived and very naughty. Ally promised Daddy to obey that afternoon - hummmm not so much.

Tuesday was a day from glory. I needed it to remind me that I truly did love them and just hate the 2 bdrm apt. We played play dough and raced cars. We took good naps. Jason thought I was smoking something when I suggested that we all go at 8:00 to Fantastic Sams to get his hair cut. Maybe Drew could get one too???? It's been a good day - right?!?! Drew clung to Jason as they put the cape over him. He sat on Jason's lap. Ally and I snuck out to get some hair spray a couple stores down. When we came back, Drew was still sitting still. Amazing. The only time the boy flinched was when they used the clippers on his ears and neck - Drew is VERY ticklish! It was such a successful trip that we went to Culvers to get some ice cream. Besides the mess that they make when they miss their mouth - it continued to be a great night.

Wednesday was a disaster again, but it is any time we are leaving Wisconsin. Kids crazy - mom is even crazier and dad laughs as he scampers out the door after lunch. Drew never gets out of his bed during nap time - baffles me, but whatever. Today I walk in after 45 minutes of talking to find him holding one of the dresser drawers. He has put ALL of the clothes into that drawer. He didn't like my arrangement of their clothes. I wanted to giggle, but I wanted him in bed ASLEEP! Straight face, scold him, put the clothes back and put him back in bed. He stayed and went to sleep.

Thursday was a good day. Except for the long wait in the dr. office and nap time again. I guess the babysitter is up for a challenge tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Foundation and Walls

Mom went and took some pictures on Sunday so that Jason could see the walls before they back-filled. I think that they were suppose to work on the basement plumbing and back-filling early this week and then starting to frame it on Wednesday or so. Iowa hasn't gotten any rain hardly until the week we start building.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Man's Man

My little boy is growing to be a man. How do I know????

1. He found his pockets.

2. He is learning to do the dishes. He might not vacuum like Trip, but he is very good at making a mess in the kitchen like his dad.

3. He holds tight onto his bottle and won't give anyone a drink.

4. He likes his beer - root beer of course. Jason taught Ally to "slam" the bottle down and say "good stuff." (we didn't realize the little ears were listening) When we finally gave in to let Drew have a swig - he "slammed" the bottle down and said, "Good stuff!" Oh I guess Mommy is really going to have to stop saying "Oh Crap."

Wondering why so many blogs in one day???? We are in Wisconsin and have nothing better to do!

Noah's Ark!

One of my favorite vacations as a child was to Wisconsin Dells - Noah's Ark. We decided that we should go with the kids. It is the hugest (not a word, I know) waterpark. I would say there is over 60 waterslides, 2 wave pools, 2 lazy rivers, several smaller kiddie pools. Well it is a lot of fun.

I picked up a brochure awhile ago and Ally has been carrying it around asking when we are going to go to Noah's Arks house. It is always hard to guess Drew's mood without a nap (he usually sleeps from 1 to 4) but he did great.

They could ride on most of the rides. Several had height requirements or only one at a time, but there were many that we could do. Both of the kids liked the wave pool with its "bumps." The lazy river was relaxing. They could only sit on our laps and hope we didn't tip over into the pool - containment :)

Slidewinders was probably their favorite. They sat on our laps and rode down. There were three decks - small, medium, and tall. Jason pushed Drew down the small slide against his wishes. Drew took it personally and wouldn't talk to Jason. Ally went on the medium deck by herself at least 500 times I think. There was another slide that she could go on by herself, but she had a hard time holding onto the mat and got stuck in the middle. Below is Jason ready to push Drew down the little slide.

For obvious reasons didn't take our digital camera in to the park, but at the end of the day I got my cell phone out and took some crappy pictures. You will have to take my word for it that they are what I say they are....

Ally (the blur) is sliding down the slide by herself!

Ally swimming with the lifeguard to the side.

My Beach Babe!

Riding another train!


I think July is officially the 'knock knock' joke month around here. Thanks to our favorite (uh...I mean the kids favorite) episode of The Backyardigans, Ally has learned a couple of these classics and has pretty much mastered them since she tells them to us 32 times a day. Usually, knock knock time starts at a meal or in the car, when she has a captive audience and continues until we threaten her with no ice cream or an early bed time. Drew has also learned to 'tell' knock knock jokes and as soon as he hears Ally starting, he joins right in.

Here is what a typical knock, knock event goes:

Joke Number 1
Ally: Knock, knock
Mommy or Daddy: Who's there?
Ally: Banana
M/D: Banana who?
Ally: knock knock
M/D: who's there?
Ally: banana
M/D: Banana who?
Ally: knock knock
M/D: who's there?
Ally: orange
M/D: Orange who?
Ally: Orange you glad I didn't say banana? (yes we are very glad)

Joke Number 2
Ally: knock knock
M/D: who's there
Ally: tank
M/D: tank who?
Ally: You're welcome!!!

Joke Number 3
Drew: knock knock
M/D: who's there
Drew: A blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

Joke Number 4 (just learned this morning)
Drew: knock knock
M/D: who's there?
Drew: I don't know

Joke Number 5 (this one usually ends the joke session)
Jason: knock knock
Ally: who's there?
Jason: interrupting cow
Ally: Don't say that Daddy, that's silly.

Anyway, it is fun. I think we need to learn some new jokes though.

By the way, I am now officially a better Blogger than Chuck.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Wet Day

Today we visited the Children's Museum in Appleton. It was great! It opened back up last week after some remodeling. Not nearly as good as the STL one, but a close second. I think the highlight for the kids was the water area. Ally also really enjoys the fire engine and airplane. Drew enjoyed a ball obstacle. They had a Kwik Star convienent store, diner and gas pumps. Aunt Rachel wasn't working though.

Ally as the airplane pilot...

Drew driving the firetruck...

Drew playing with the ball maze...

Ally in the water area...

As Jason and I were making supper, we continued the water fun on the deck. A pan of water and cups can go a long ways. Drew would bring the pan back in every so often and ask for more water.

On Friday we are heading to Watertown to play with the Smith girls. Once again Drew will be outnumbered by all the chicks. I guess he will learn to play with dolls. Hope it doesn't rain so we can go to the pool. Karie is due now with girl #5!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Four Words in a ROW!

Drew is our little crazy man. He is far from little, but he is soooo sweet. Last night on the way back to Wisconsin, he said, "I wanna watch tb (tv)" Huh??? Usually he just shouts - "TB TB TB" Jason and I looked at each other astounded!

Later in the trip as we left Dairy Queen, Drew once again blurted, "I want my cup!" Jason said - that need to be in the quote book. So our little "cowboy" or superman is growing up. He still flirts with girls by fluttering those long eyelashes of his. He is into weird looks that are shy/sneaky smiles that just make us giggle.

He thinks that every tractor is driven by Grandpa Charlie - who is also the only person that can make the boy give his binky up immediately. Cows are amazing and cats are fun to pull by their tails in his mind. The boy also has to have a hat like Grandpa. The other night he refused to take it off for supper!

A couple days later - we went on a date and mom and dad watched them. Drew went to bed clutching his hat!


Our house is finally started! Jason stopped on Tuesday afternoon and they were going to be pouring the foundation that afternoon.

When we get back next week, we should see the start of the framing! Praise the Lord!

Do you know where we live?

I know that most of you know that we are somewhere between Iowa and Wisconsin for the summer, but we will spend a good majority of our time on the "home place" which is Grandpa Smith's farm. My mom spent most of her life in this house. Jason has lots of remodle ideas for the place. I am trying to keep him contained until he can work on our new basement.

The entertainment for this place involves a LONG lane to take walks on with a bridge and railroad tracks at the end. Also Grandpa Charlie keeps a lot of his tractors here. There are new kitties born late June and the highlight is the pen of cows!

I didn't think Drew could/would go into the pen until the other day when Rachel found him with "stuff" between his toes! Arghhhhh