Wednesday, September 27, 2006

See Ya at the Pole

Oh for some good news for the week!

Today was a day to pray for our schools and it was wonderful! A few weeks ago I told a student that we went to the same church. He came up later and asked if I would go to "See you at the Pole." I said yes and then asked if I wanted a shirt. I was really excited.

The kids planned it with one of the mothers and they did a great job. It would be really hard to stand up, pray and sing for God in front of your school as everyone was arriving. So many of my kids were there leading it. Some parents came also which was encouraging to have them know that I was there to pray with them for our kids and the relationships around them.

They sang songs, read the Bible and prayed. My prayer for the kids and the others around me is that they see Jesus in me - that I will show grace and mercy and most importantly love them as Jesus loves them. I pray that my actions will speak louder than my big mouth!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Going Home...

I just wanted to let you know that Grandma Arlene went to be with Jesus today right before noon today. I can't believe it, but I know that she is happy. I wish she wouldn't have had to suffer for so long. We know that without a doubt that she is in heaven with Jesus. She gets to ask him all the questions that she has always wondered. She is singing with the angels. She has healthy knees and lots of red blood cells - if we have them when we get to heaven!

Pray for Grandpa. 66 years, 4 children (plus some amazing spouses), 12 grandchildren (plus some amazing spouses) and 25 great grandchildren. I know that they can rest in knowing that all of their children and all of their grandchildren know Christ and that the great grandchildren are being taught who Jesus is!

I love my Grandma Arlene and wish that I could spend another minute with her but I know that I will be with her some day singing and playing dominos or Racko in heaven.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Bad thing about the Farm

There are many things that I hate about the farm. One Sunday night while Ally and I were eating with Grandpa, we were discussing mice. I told him that I was scared to death of going up stairs in the farm house because I don't want a mouse to jump out and get me - like it would hurt me - it is probably more scared of the screaming lady. He assured me that he had never seen a mouse up there or on the main level. The basement he said was another story. He had seen and heard them running through the ceiling tiles. A lot of comfort that gave me. Ceiling tiles are only a few inches from the main floor.

My trust in Grandpa's word has lessen.... If you aren't familar with the traditions of mice, let me tell you that as the break of cold comes, the mice search for a warm place for shelter. On a farm many times it happens to be the house in most cases - well maybe not most, I should be glad that all the mice out there aren't in my house! As a child I remember them in my closet and running over my pillow and over my leg once.

As we were snuggled up watching a movie last night, Jason jumped up as if he was gling to tackle the tv. He said cover you face. I thought there was something bad in the movie. If you can't figure out where this story is going - a mouse ran across the kitchen and behind the tv. I am not sure what Jason thought he was going to do??? 200 pound man takes on 3 oz mouse and win??? Wrong - mouse won. After many blockades and Brenda screaming to get it to go the other way - he ran around the blockade and into the toy room. I am sure Ally will get a surprise soon.

We got some traps that I have vowed to never change or look at.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Calling All Prayer Warriors...

In the past 6 years, there have been many times that my mom has called me and said that Grandma wasn't doing well. This time it seems like she is farther gone than every other time. Today is Grandma and Grandpa Smith's 66th wedding anniversary. My Grandpa sat holding her hand while she lay in a hospital bed struggling for every breath.

Right before Ally was born, Grandma was in the hospital. I wanted to go home so bad, but was close to the end of the pregnancy so had to stick close. I had the name Ally picked out but her middle name was still out there. Ally Renae or Ally Arlene? The second didn't sound as "cute" as we wanted. As she was born and we found out it was a girl, Jason said, "Ally Arlene." It has obviously stuck. It is absolutely precious when my little girl says it. Throughout this email are pictures of Grandma and her Ally cat - I think that Ally was her favorite - or at least her favorite name. I think she has 17 favorite great-grandkids and 20 favorite grandkiddos and 8 children.

She has been "sick" for awhile but Grandma has come out of it every time. She is a fighter and a trooper - even when I think she would have loved to give up many times. I think she turned 86 at the end of August. Please pray for God's will. No one wants to see her gone, but we want the best for her. If God wants us to keep her for a little longer, we would gladly. But at the same time, I hate to see her miserable. I know that she will see her maker and sing with him in glory. I hope that she smiles for God more than she does for us in pictures.

Please pray for comfort for Grandpa who can't be with her as much as he would like. Pray for him as he watches his best friend suffer.

Ally wanted to go see Grandma Arlene tonight, but we all knew that wasn't such a good idea. Hopefully Ally will remember the good Grandma Arlene that smiled when Ally sang her the Bumblebee song. We luckily have been there the last couple Sunday nights to spend with them.

Yes all these pictures were of Ally and her Great-Grandma Arlene!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Time for New Jammies!

We cleaned out the summer clothes and decided some kids needed some new pants. Ally's waist seems to be getting smaller and it is all going to her LONG legs - same with Drew surprising enough. Drew ripped his only pair of jeans this week - thus off to the mall. Old Navy had a lot of cute and CHEAP jeans!

We also had to pull out the winter jammies. Fall in Iowa has hit and highs in the 50s and 60s are here to stay it seems. I love to wear jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt. Grandma Rhonda bought new hats one night at Wal-mart since we have no clue where our hats are. We thought we had kept out all our winter clothes, but the hat box must still be in storage. Drew wears his Cars hat to bed, for supper and anywhere else he needs to go.

Fun or Trouble????

Have we mentioned that we are deep in the terrible twos and we are still a solid month away from two?????

This Saturday Drew was around for the picnic. We were sadly glued to the Iowa vs. ISU football game which was lost by the Cyclones by seven. Uncle Ken says that he always subtracts 7 points from the home team for home field advantage - which makes it a tie game.

The kids were making stew. For some reason more was getting on the floor than in anyone's mouth. We ended up locking both bathroom doors to keep them off of the sink and out of the tub. Luckily no one thought of "eating" the toilet water! I guess the floor dries and no one was injured except for fighting over the spoon to stir the stew!

Apple Crisp

Wow I looked at the camera tonight and realized how much had happened this week and the fun that we had.

We were making apple crisp for a church potluck on Sunday night. Since we hardly got any - Ally and Drew helped me on Tuesday to make some more. They enjoyed peeling the apples and eating the "chips" as Drew called them.

We don't typically dress our children like this, but the were staying out of trouble while I was working. I think it is very stylish.

We had warm apple crisp for dessert tonight. The kids liked making it, but decided that they didn't like it and ate only the ice cream.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

One Month!!!

We have a tentative move in date which is Oct 12th!!! We are thrilled. Last week they got the dry wall hung, electrical, gas and telephone to the house. They also got the drive way, sidewalk and basement patios poured. The slider might be the slowest guy in the universe, but oh well he isn't slowing anyone else down.

Here are a couple of picts for this week. They are working on taping it and putting in the door and other stuff!

Jason is taking the picture while standing in the "kitchen" and you see the family room - just like our STL house but backwards!

You know....

You know you live in a small town when a OLD local guy comes up to you at a gas station and asks how to use the elctrical pumps....

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Movie Night

We decided to have family night. It was so relaxing. Ally and I went to get pizza and got some snacks. Grandma Rhonda let us borrow the Chipmunks Adventure. (I know many of you are wanting to know where to rent that one!) We popped some popcorn and opened some carmel popcorn to mix in with it. We had fruit snacks. We got our jammies on and all four snuggled on the couch with blankets to watch the movie.

Thanks to my dad we were also serenaded by the cows that had just been seperated from their calves - I hope that doesn't last long!

Big Boy!

Did I mention that I can eat my cereal with a spoon? I am almost 2 and can do almost as much as my sister!


You can't do all the fun stuff with Drew around, so when Drew was out Ally made a picnic complete with real "tea." I think more dumped on the carpet than made it into her mouth. Jason and I sat down and had some stew and ice cream with her. Arabella ate for a little bit with us, but then she needed to take her nap - according to Ally. Her imagination is growing everyday and has continues to amaze us!

My First Car

It was a chilly in Iowa today. We had to pull out the jeans. Drew was so cute in his overalls - thanks to Ms Chris in STL! Drew obviously loves to play outside and enjoys his bike and car and to torment the poor kitties. By the way we are down to 2. I snapped a couple before he headed out with Grandpa for the morning.

Rain doesn't stop this little guy. Puddles are sooooo much fun!

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Hay Bail Fun!

Another fun nightly activity at the Willis house. As kids Jason and I loved playing bail tag. The Smith cousins always played it and it seemed that David's long legs would always win. If you haven't ever experienced we have to get you on the farm to play around. I wish I had a video camera to tape Jason getting up. I didn't try. I sucked at the game as a kid so figured that with old age that I would be even worse. Ally and Drew loved running up and down the bails. Some day we will have to try and teach them how to jump from row to row - but we have to get Grandpa to put them closer together.


I keep coming up with great things to do in Iowa. I can't believe that more of you aren't knocking at the door trying to move here! Another great activity is cook outs. Yes you can do this with the firepits in STL but it is not the same as driving the hi-cup truck (Ally's name for Grandpa's truck) to the field, dodging the cow presents, and light a good ol' bonfire.

We do cheat a little by bringing out the picnic table and mom heated some cheese up for the chips. Also we are using gourmet dogs (cheddarwarts and brats for the older folks). Drew and Ally had some fun and try to give Grandma heartattacks everytime they would walk near the fire. If you didn't know, our kids get their grace from their father.

Hummmm who was watching the kids? Ahh no one knows and no one knows how many chips they ate off the ground.

I wish I knew what this conversation was about??? I think that it might have gone like this...
"You been farmin' long? Got enough rain? How's the corn look? Those heifers are black and fancy!"

Chad wanted supper so he got drug out for the fun. He also got half his hot dog stolen by Drew. Someone decided to let Drew carry his plate back to his chair. He obviously tripped and was devestated that he couldn't eat the hot dog off the ground. Chad gave up some of his since they were gone. That was Drew's THIRD hot dog!

Ally swore that she had cheese in her marshmellows. Once again she takes after her Daddy. Smores are so good. I went to the Eric Bodin School of roasting marshmellows at East Iowa Bible Camp. My marshmellows were melted all the way through!

Drew got bored with singing songs with Daddy around the fire and decided to get a jump on Grandpa's morning chores. He was mixing the corn and oats for the cows.

School Kiddos!

School has been in almost a week and it is going smoothly. I really like the kids and have liked 7th grade so far. I still prefer 8th grade, but these kids are enjoyable. They also think that I am hillarious and nice. Where have I gone wrong????