Thursday, December 27, 2007

Good Night Sweetheart!

This will bring tears to your eyes and make you chuckle at the same time! As I was putting Ally to bed tonight we were talking about why Christmas was so important. She quoted the whole story to me, but was lost on why Jesus was so important. I asked her what Jesus did and she can tell me that he died for her on the cross. We talked a little bit about why he died for us.

At the end of the conversation Ally said - Everytime I hear about Jesus dying on the cross, it breaks my heart because I love him so much.

This was precious to a mom to hear her daughter say this, but got a chuckle out of me because it was in the Ally drama voice - but I know it was still from her big heart!

Race Has Began....

We have been working really had on starting on the basement. I would love to have it liveable/done (preferably) by Rachel's wedding/Uncle Ken's birthday - March 8th. It is pretty much cleaned up to start on some stuff but what do you do with the stuff that we already have down there?

We went to Lowes and got the goodies to start the bathroom walls and the rest of the walls that we don't have up - see last years wall extravaganza. So can we do it? Who knows? We are calling all volunteers - especially if you know anything about building, plumbing, elctricity or like to carry dry wall!

Chuck - can you come put the shower up???

Side note: we did hit the jack pot tonight and got a shower base ($50 - reg $144) and a shower door ($10 - reg $219)

Christmas Morning

We had a wonderful Christmas full of fun, but it is hardly over. We have only opened presents and "had" Christmas with just us. This weekend is my family and extended fam and off to Willis' on New Years Day.

Santa came and ate the cookies and Mountain Dew that Ally left him. Drew thinks that he "sneaked" into our house. Christmas for Drew was filled with Cars, Cars and some more Cars. He is in little boy heaven with all of them - the lines are getting longer. (He likes to line them all up and count them.) He is also a big fan of M&Ms if you can't tell. He is our present maniac.

Ally loved all the make-up that she got. She might have more than me now, but her present from Santa was Oppsy Care Bear. She continually asked if she was being good for the last week. I wonder if I can keep this Santa thing going all year to keep her on her BEST behavior? She is a girl after her mommy's heart - we both LOVE Christmas!

We sledded in the afternoon with my mom and sister. We headed over to the farm house hills which are long. But we had some slight difficulty because the drifts were too thick and you sunk and it was too warm - snow too sticky. Did I really say that it was too warm??? It was good weather to make a snowman and have it ride on the 4-wheeler with you! I would post it but I have to wait to retrieve it from my mom's camera.

By the end of the afternoon, Drew was konked out without his daily 2 hour nap (YES 2 hours or more!!!) He got a snooze in before heading up to Grandpa Melvin's for supper.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

BFF

As we were heading out the door, Ally's best buddies ran to give her hugs. Issi (far right) is her best friend. Reily, Ally and Issi like to play powder puff girls together - huh????

Ugly Sweaters!

Many heads turned and looked twice at me in the Hawkeye sweater but really it wasn't a big deal. I have (and probably will always be) a Hawk fan at heart - I just went to Iowa State and won't cheer for Iowa when they play ISU. (I'd post a picture, but my eyes look terrible in it.)

But I wasn't in the contest since mine was only "ugly." Many of the women teachers had some pretty good sweaters on, but none hideous. They were the infamous "teacher" sweaters. I don't know if I would ever buy some of these sweaters because I'm also "not that old."

BUT the boys out did the womem by far! I had to leave before the judging of the sweaters for Jason's tonsil appt - who do you think won? (You can click on any of the pictures to get a bigger and closer look at the beautiful detail.)

Pete: (far left) He wonderful sweater was a gift to his sister-in-law a few years ago. His wife got one also. They wore their matching sweaters to school. Pete doesn't usually sport the stylish facial hair, but today was a special occassion.

Steve Carey (aka scarey): Steve has a homemade sweatshirt that he bought at goodwill. His outfit is complimented with his green velour pants. The tuba is also his. To start my day off on a good foot - he came out of his room (across from me) playing jaws. He is hilarious!

Last is Brent: Brent's wife, Bridey made his sweater. She sewed on the lace ruffle on the top and ironed on the tree and some candy for an added touch. Brent wore some cowboy boots and a belt buckle for the occasion. He also never slicks his hair and definitely not down the middle. This is completely out of character for our quiet Brent.

The picture below is Joe our PE teacher. He has a lovely vest type sweater on. If you look closely it has kitties. I think this sweater shows his more compassionate side.

And one on the backside too for an added touch.

What do you think? Who should have won?

Side note: There are more teachers in our building we ain't that small.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Program

The kids had their program this past weeek which is always entertaining - how could it not be though? Fifty-two 2-4 year olds singing in front of their parents and grandparents and friends. No one fell off the risers this year though, but the kid that did last year rolled around on the floor this year. He is still in Pre-K next year so we will see what he does then! The kids found us waving frantically like all the other parents when they walked in and waved back! Drew pointed out to his teacher (or his girlfriend as we refer to her) his "Grandpa with a beard on it." They did a wonderful job.


This is our favorite - Chubby snowman. Drew wouldn't do the action. We aren't sure what he was doing - dancing like his daddy????

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After visiting with Santa, who made a guest appearance, Drew climbed up to show us his coloring book that Santa brought him!

Starting Opening....

We had tons of present to open and if the kids had their choice, we would have opened them all in less than 5 minutes, but we spread the joy out! We started with Aunt Lou's and Grandpa John's presents. They were thrilled to open them.

But I hadn't gone through to see if any were similar so there would be no arguing over sharing. Drew wanted this cow so bad! The next night he got a pig that has been sleeping with him ever since! Thanks Lou (and Mitch and Matt) and Grandpa!

We opened one a night until they were gone which took several days. We did have to give in to opening Aunt Laura's in one night since we were running out of days. I think that Laura was thinking of Jason and I when she bought her presents. I think her philosophy was how can I return revenge on all the people that gave my kids crazy things for Christmas - oh I can take it out on my nieces and nephews.

If you can't tell - the first picture is a sliding whistle, then make-up (which she carries everywhere with her), rock painting kit, stickers (everyone like this presents - my phone has been pimped out already!) and then felt construction stuff.

Thank you so much for all the presents - our kids are blessed to have such great Great uncles and aunts!!!

Big Birthday

Last Saturday (15th) Jason's parents and brother were suppose to come to celebrate Janelle's 60th birthday, but the weather turned them away we got about 4 inches of snow. Drew and Ally enjoyed the snow and played out there for almost 2 hours!!! Sweet quietness! That night Stacey came over and we got to share a nice quiet dinner and FINISH our Christmas shopping. That was a great feeling!!!

On Sunday everyone came to celebrate the big day. We enjoyed lunch at her favorite restaurant - the Brown Bottle and some Yummy's Gourmet Cake. Jared and Allison stayed later and went sledding with the kids again.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Fighting Chance!!!

Sweater update: I did lose the bet - he wore the sweater to work, but noone said anything. I finally emailed Sara (co-worker) and asked why not. She said that she thought he was trying something new. I told her I would never send him looking like that. He did embarass me by showing up to the dr. office in it. He walked into a waiting room full of people in that hideous combo! Ally wore it instead!

I might actually lose the bet. This is what Jason walked into the bathroom this morning wearing. I wonder if it will actually make it into the office AND if they will say anything!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hot!

We have ugly (holiday) sweater contest at school. I didn't have any since we have "goodwilled" most of that stuff - not that I really had any to start with! But I called my mom remembering this cool sweater my dad had in the 80s. It was a bright gold (with an orange tint) and black striped Iowa sweater. He (and I) thought it was fabulous back in the day, but I thought that this would be a good day to pull it back out.

My mom also sent me home with a couple others. One I didn't think was hideous, but not willing to wear in public and this beauty that Jason is sporting. This cardigan was wore to many church services and school programs like I think last year. My dad looked great. I am trying to dare Jason to wear it to work on Friday, but he isn't taking the great payback for doing it. He wore it all evening - I think he love it!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Last week we headed over to our local telephone company because Santa was visiting! Since the visit last year, our kids have pointed out that Santa lives in that building (telephone company's office. Ally brought her letter that she wrote to him and Drew came with stars dancing in his eyes. We came early this year since last year we waited and waited and then waited some more - we were #35 instead of #293! We walked in and Drew gasped at the sight of the jolly old guy. Drew was very obedient while waiting patiently even though the rest of the boys in the place were insane! Ally colored him a picture at the table while we waited and was so excited to hand over her master piece. Poor Santa got TONS of pictures that night from little guys and gals.

We got up close in line and Drew got cold feet. His shyness set in and he got up in Mommy's arms and whispered - I don't want to sit on his lap. Knowing that we had waited too long for him to cry through this I threatened no Culvers afterwards - I don't know what I was going to do because there was no doubt in my mind - we needed to eat supper! But the fear faded away as we got up there and Drew ran up to Santa and talked his ear off about his cars and how he wants this "purple guy and orange guy." (We have no clue what this is.) Ally finally got her turn after prying Drew to the side. She handed him the list as if that was enough. She did talk to him, but you can see the face that was her "I'm so excited and scared at the same time to talk to you" face.

The night ended well and we throughly enjoyed the trip (and to Culvers). Jason enjoyed some cheese curds which was probably the first questionable food that he should have been eating.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Care Group Christmas Party

We enjoyed our first care group CHRISTMAS (not holiday) PARTY!!! It was a blast. We shared appetizers - instead of getting a plate, we stood around the counter and ate. Jesse and Linda (and Henry) were late getting there and almost missed out on more than just the food. We had a sing-a-long - by the persuasion of Ally and Drew. Kate (gray sweater) and Lori (drums) thought this could be a great idea. I don't know if they realized I got it on tape. O Holy Night was the first number and was exciting, but then the "costumes" came out for Rudolph. Enjoy, but really most Iowans are not wierd.

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We ended the joyous evening with a good ol' gift exchange where we attempted to give away the same present that Etherton's left at our house a couple years ago. We haven't found that it got left again, but I have my suspicions. We collected some great cd's (Celion Dion, Olivia, a great praise band) and a 2004 Trading Spaces calendar - UNOPENED. Jason got a great gift of a Iowa Hawkeye tent cover - not a tent just a cover. It doesn't beat the great candles that Anderson's got though!!!

We have more blogs to come, but we had to post this exciting evening immediately!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Speller

Ally loves to write. This might be an understatement because she is ALWAYS asking how to spell something. She hasn't quite got the concept of spaces, but who cares she's four! We have been daily writing out "letters to Santa" for her to copy. She also hasn't quite gotten the concept of left to right but once again who cares she's four!

One morning while I was still yapping in the hall to a fellow co-worker, Ally and Drew were messing around in my room as they usually do. They like the dry erase board or the computers or standing on the desks. I walked in gathered them up and took them to class. When I got back, I was getting my boards ready for the day when I noticed Ally's writing on the board. At first I didn't realize it, but then noticed that she figured out how to spell "Drew". Yes it is backwards in more than one way, but I was proud of her. She will be better speller than me!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Snow Day!

I typically don't like phone calls at 5:40 in the morning, but today it was slightly welcomed! We are suppose to experience an ice storm that could be as bad as last years that knocked out power to a lot of people for a really long time. I headed to the grocery store with the other 4000 people in North Liberty last night. I haven't ever been to the grocery store when the carts were ALL gone. We took a basket looking for food that we could eat without warming up. That is harder than it looks!

I went to bed with hopes that it would really start sleeting - kind of. I would have liked a late start, but it is too bad to go out today. I know that Jason would have prefered us to be gone today.

As I was lying in bed trying to go back to sleep after my dad's phone call to see how we were doing, Ally joins me. I tried to get her back in her bed for 15 minutes, but 15 minutes to her is about 3 minutes real time. She came back and started telling me about how she fell at school the other day and got a "boobies" - what?????? I said - no Ally "boo-boos."

And that was the start to a wonderful day....

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Sledding Fun


We had a good time the other night in the snow. After this fun of scooping the driveway and being in much arm pain the next morning (at least it is just unused muscules not the strain from this summer), we decided to break down and get a snow blower. We are getting old! We have a riding mower from Chad coming this spring.

Side note: the bottom middle picture is of Drew coming down the hill, but I had to jump out of the way as I snapped the picture - at least got his arm!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Winter Friends

The last few days have been interesting to say the least. Jason is getting his tonsils and other stuff out - but planning for this "main" event has caused me a slight bit of stress. We got a lovely ice storm last weekend but it was gone before school to start, but the antipication of another storm. On Thursday afternoon I was sure that the snow was to stop in time for the plows to get out and get it off the roads. We only got a little more than 3 inches, but on top of the ice made it a fun trip home!

We went out for supper for Jason's "last supper" or an excuse to not make supper. We got home and had promised that good kids could play out in the snow. We bundled them up and played (Jason and I scooped the drive) for over an hour. The driveway with ice made a pretty good hill for sledding. Drew cried and cried when we had to come in. They haven't gotten to go outside all week at school since the playground is still covered in ice.

After getting the kiddos in bed, we watched Survivor. I was wrong. Denise was crazy not to vote for Erik and that will come back to haunt her unless she can get immunity one of the next two weeks and that Phy-Gee doesn't. No contestant in their right mind would take Denise of Phy-Gee to the final three. I think that Amanda will win unless the jury decides that she wasn't the "dudette" in charge and that she was riding on Todd's coat tails. Courtney (skinny girl) doesn't have a chance - no one likes her. So my prediction now is on Todd for winning. How is that Mariah? For those of you who could care less - sorry it's my blog!

When we went to bed I looked out the front window in "grandma rhonda's" room, I discovered about 10 or so friends in the field across from our house. Jason thinks that they are still nibbling on the alfalfa in the field. It was amazing to see so many deer so close in the peaceful snow. They were still chewing away when we got up before the break of dawn. I wonder if those are one of the same crew that Jason tried to take out on our way to supper. Supposedly Amana is where there are so many problems with deer but in my 2 years there I have yet to have one scampe out in front of me (knock on wood!), but it is daily entertainment in our subdivision - I LOVE IT!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

For You Mariah (and Caitlin)

Every Thursday I talk with Mariah and Caitlin about who is getting kicked off Survivor. We DVR it every week so I have no clue yet who gets kicked off. With it being a crazy day, I didn't get to make a full debate with Mariah - sorry girl!

So my prediction....I am assuming that Amanda is going switch sides and try to join with Phy-Gee and Eric leaving the allians of Denise, Todd and skinny girl. From the previews I have read and watched that Denise gets reward and doesn't take phy-gee. Who gets kicked off - I am not sure, but I think it will be either Todd or Phy-Gee. I think that Denise will stay with her original alliance making Phy-Gee gone - which is exactly what Mariah said.

What I would like to happen - Eric joins Denise Todd and skinny girl and kicks off Amanda. She is really the brains behind the operations and is the sneaky one - blind side her!!!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Getting Good

Beware - this involves puke.....

Our kids are the king and queen of puke for no reason. Does anyone else's kids have this problem? We will be sound asleep and wake suddenly to screaming. When we stagger into the room, we (I mean Jason - I try to stay in bed) get smacked in the face with that lovely smell that you can't get out of you nose. Drew did this on Saturday night - supposedly coughing in the culprit.

Last night I sang Ally's songs to her and made it down the stairs to finish my book for small group. I hear something weird followed by a scream and scamper back up the stairs to hear Ally yell - I puked. I HATE CHANGING SHEETS and I would never make them sleep in the yuk but the thought has crossed my mind in the middle of the night. When we arrived in her room a few seconds later to find that she had kept it in - gross! Then her sobbing she does it again, but I catch it in the wastepaper basket. We made it to the bathroom before any major catastrophes and nothing in the bed!

Jason's comment: Man - Ally you are getting good - you didn't get any on your bed and just a little on the carpet.

Can you really be getting good at puking?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Christmas Countdown


The Willis art project for this evening was our chain to countdown to Christmas. We started this last year and it was the excitment of the evening to tear off the chain link! Jason and I drew out the lines for cutting and let them cut. Actually we got a little impatient and their endurance was only to get 8 cut out so we did the rest. Drew is getting really good at using sissors! Stapling is the highlight of this project.

The quote of the night was from Ally - Daddy, that is not red - it is raspberry!

Friday, November 30, 2007

You Would Have Thought...

We were getting the storm of the year, but the first ice/snow storm of the year is on its way. Actually it is the second, but the first one was in and out fast. But like every prediction of snow and ice the grocery stores were INSANE!!!! What do people think? Do they really think they will run out of all groceries in 24 hours? We had a couple projects that we are going to do on Saturday and needed some things from Wal-Mart. When we stopped into the store, we turned right back around and headed out - lines about 10 deep. It looked worse than the day after Thanksgiving but instead of presents, everyone had milk and bread.

Fareway, my favorite store, had only a few loaves of bread left and a good supply of milk. Good thing I could get my bread and milk, we want french toast for breakfast!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Slacking...

I know that my faithful readers - all two of you - are probably really frustrated that you come daily and nothing new. It is not for lack of entertainment at the Willis household, but for lack of time and energy by the editor and chief of the blog. I would like to say that tonight is an exception but I have an extra kid for the evening, Jason is in Wisconsin, and I have more papers to grade than I know what to do with!

We have two different sets of friends having babies. Our neighbors are in waiting since their baby has 5 days more to go before the dr. will let her have it. She has gestational diabetes. Ethan is at our house right now making a pen for the little cow - Drew. Pray for them as she is having circulation problems in her legs.

Our care group is gaining its first non-charter member!!! Henry Charlton O'Brein was born tonight - 8 lbs 11 oz. Congrats Jesse and Linda - we can't wait to meet him. Linda is a champ - from a 7 to baby out in less than 40 minutes - AND no drugs!!!!

I was taking a look at all of our Thanksgiving pictures (which I will post later) and noticed that 90 percent of them contained Lauryn. Does this mean the baby thing is on our mind? Jason took a 2 hour nap with the little princess! Aren't they precious?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Christmas is coming!

We put our Christmas lights up today! We typically don't like to do this before Thanksgiving (this is the first year we have), but you have to take advantage of any day where the temps are above freezing and when there is no rain or wind. We started early after our friends from Ames left and got a head start on Clark Griswald behind us. I don't like tacky, but I like a lot of lights. We are trying to change it up a little bit from last year. We still have the outline all done, but are trying to add some stuff to the front porch. There will be NO blow up Santa! The Wagners had a huge Christmas tree on their porch and I thought that was so pretty. Since we don't have any shrubbary to decorate we might get a tree for the porch.

We didn't get finished today since we took a break to "watch" the ISU football game - to be truthful neither of us watched it but slept until Ally drove us crazy. Drew and Ally's Christmas program is coming up and they are practicing their songs. Drew typically isn't the one to break out in song, but he was doing his "Chubby Snowman" finger play. Sorry it isn't the best, but the first time he would do it- it was perfect and then when I would go get the camera he would mess up the lines.

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Words: The chubby little snowman
Had a carrot nose
Along came a bunny
and What do you suppose?
That hungry little bunny
Looking for his lunch,
Ate the snowman's carrot nose
Nibble, nibble, crunch.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One Off the List

I like to brag on my honey. He loves to do woodworking or making furniture but with two kids around and other things on the honey-do-list he doesn't always have a lot of time for this precious time-consuming hobby. We needed a new dresser, and I had found the plans last Thanksgiving for a misson style one that would match the rest of our bedroom furniture. Jason started on this project last winter and with much patience from me and him, he finally got it done. He was very frustrated with the drawers - making them slide right.

It is huge compared to what I was used to. I can barely see in the top drawers.

So the honey-do-list has just got shorter - so what should I add???

It's about time!

Chris and Amy - well I should say Amy because it is unlikely that Chris will have much to say have finally started a blog. Check them out! Kaylee is the chickadee on the farm that is hilarious! I am sure that Lauren will try to get a few words in someday!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sore Losers

We have two new rook friends!!! Kate and Jim are our game buddies! They don't have kids - yet - so they come over after Drew and Ally head to bed. We have taught them Dutch Blitz, Sequence and now ROOK!!! It was a slow night with only one bid over 140, but as you can tell my the TERRIBLE picture the girls kicked butt both games! We did have some table talk, but nothing that would have made the game any closer.

Score: Men -195 to Women 610 I did have a picture of Jason (giving me a friendly jester of love), but he erased it before I could get it downloaded to the computer.

Love You!

Ally has been very interested in what she did as a baby for several months. She asks how she asked for a bottle. We started talking about sign language again. Her teacher at school uses the letters. She holds up the "a" and if your name starts with "a," you can line up or do whatever.

Somewhere along the line we talked about "I love you." They have both picked this up. Ally usually sticks a number on the end to show how many times she loves us. I love to hear it no matter how she tells us!

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Ready for Christmas!!!

I can't wait for Christmas. It is my favorite time of the year, but at the same time I don't want the season to start in September. The weather has finally changed and the cool air is moving in. We had to officially pull out the heavy winter coats this week. Tonight we headed out to Sears to get some pictures taken since the last good ones were taken by Michelle. There is no comparison to Michelle's pictures! We knew the girl we had in Sears was going to be trouble when we could barely hear her and she had no enthusiasm to get Drew to move or smile. We got enough to get a Christmas card and some updated pictures.

So when is it too early to put out your inflatable Santa? Jason wants to know. One guy down the street has his out already! Jason is seriously considering putting the lights out soon since there is no snow on the roof, but I PROMISE they won't be turned on until the day after Thanksgiving!

Grandpa's Chickadees

Chris and Kaylee came home to help finish up the harvest. Late on Saturday afternoon we headed over so that Drew could get one more ride in the combine before the end of the year. Jason reluctantly (not really) gave all the kids rides on the 4-wheeler while waiting their ride with Grandpa Charlie.

Drew was first to head out. My Dad says that riding with Drew is very calm. He will talk once and awhile, but is most intrigued by the combine head (bean or corn). This comes out in play at home. When Drew is playing with his combine - he puts the head down, drives it to the end of the row, put the head up, turns around, puts it down to start on the next row, drives it to the end of the row, puts the head up, drives it to the tractor and augor wagaon. Then as the corn releases he makes the hissing sound to show it is going into the wagon. Then he starts this process all over again. For those of you who don't know the head is the "picker" on the front of the combine.

Drew's turn was "over" much to his disagreement and the girls got in with Grandpa. But I don't think Grandpa was ready for what was about to occur. He said that Kaylee and Ally didn't stop chit chatting the whole round. He couldn't understand their fast pace conversation, but was done with it after one round. He wanted it to be somewhat quiet with an occasional conversation. He took my quiet little boy back to finish the field.

Those two little girls are hilarious together even though there is 2 years different - they will surely become good friends!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I'm Shadow

Our little boy is crazy or maybe he has crazy parents or maybe both. Does anyone else's kids love to play pretend animals? He crawls around acting like a puppy. This is not the insane part, but he also refers to himself in third person. If we call him Drew - he responds - I am Shadow not Drew.

Some of this is coming from school. Those poor teachers have 25 kids Drew's age pretending to be cats, dogs and other farm animals. I can understand why they want the chaos to stop, but imagination play is so great. I thought it was slightly cute at first, but after 5 days it is getting old!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Not Old Enough

I shouldn't be having this argument yet!!!

On the way out the door this morning, Ally asked for her lip gloss. (Thanks Pastor Paul for putting make-up in your VBS store!) I told her to play with it at home and that we didn't need it. She told me that Izzy was bringing something cool and she told Izzy that she would bring something cool to play with her.

I told her she wasn't wearing or taking make-up to school. "But why not?" she replied.

Goodness - isn't this an argument for middle school not with your 4 year old. Today, I won - kind of. She put some purple lip gloss on before heading down to her class, but the rest had to stay on my desk. I am sure that my 8th graders will love this toy!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My Baby is Three!

I can't believe that just over 3 years ago our life was changed yet again. Drew has taught me a lot about getting dirty, blowing your nose, driving fast, jumping off of high things, growing growing and growing. He weighed in at just under 40 pounds and was 41.5 inches which put him again WAY off the charts.

He got to choose where to eat on Friday night for his birthday. I did give him choices of McD's or the mall. He chose the mall with the carousel. Not my choice of dining but it was good eating for him! On Saturday he got his presents and let's just say that he finally understands what presents are and that he wants lots of them! He is a big boy with a big boy bike. He isn't fast yet, but that will come faster than I want it too!

We had a bonfire and hayride party on Sunday afternoon at my parents. It was probably the best party that we have done. Sorry STL friends that you couldn't share in all the crazy fun that only happens on an Iowan farm. My mom got a little crazy with the idea of getting each kid a dozen eggs. She made a "mini-golf" coarse on the trees in the pasture. The kids through eggs at the targets. At first I wasn't sure, but Jason said that it was a blast!



Highlights of the party:
1. Lapointes!!!! G-man getting his first combine ride!
2. Forgetting the lighter and Jason getting creative with lighting the candles from a hot dog fork, paper and the bonfire.
3. Hayride in nice weather - no rain or tornados!!! We usually don't have good luck with planning these adventures!
4. S'mores
5. Four wheeler rides by Uncle Ken
6. Watching the kids run everywhere and through some yuck - the cows were on the other side of the hill
7. Friends and family that got to celebrate our little guys 3 years of life with us!

My only disappointment was that only 3 of the Berberichs were able to come, but thanks for keeping the pink eye away!

At the end of the party as our kids were in the bathtub, Jason realized that his Blackberry had fallen off. AHHHHHH but where. We had all the phones dialing him and hoping that we would hear it in the pasture. Hats off to my Dad finding it and not running it over with the tractor!

Math Team

Oh the glory days of 8th grade - I have always loved that year and maybe that is why I teach it! Back in 8th grade, I was on a math team. Call me a nerd - go for it, but we placed 2nd at the state competition and me 11th overall and there were A lot of competitors.

We didn't bring extra clothes for the kids after the Drew's birthday party so my mom dug some old t-shirts out of her closet. This one was too big for them, but it brought back some great memories.


Side note: Ally wore Chris's 1987 Twin's World Series t-shirt home. WOW!!!

Happy Halloween!

I love Halloween! It has been hard for Ally to wait so long for it to come. We have been having parties and getting ready for a night out trick or treating. Ally has been practicing - Trick or Treat smell my feet give me something sweet to eat. Ahhhh please don't say that it isn't nice! At school they had their parties. Their classes paraded around the school through the classrooms. They are so shy when it comes to the big kids! Drew's Class


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I had a couple favorite costumes. First - there was a chicken costume (got to love all chicken costumes!) but it had fake legs off it so that it looked like the kid was riding the chicken! AWESOME! I didn't get a good picture of him but he is about the 4th one after Ally in her parade. Second - Sumo wrestling guy. This is just funny no comment about it. The kids went out with Jason while I handed out candy. They stopped back in before heading over to the neighboring subdivision and I decided to go with them since we had about 5 trick or treaters and that might be too high of an estimate! Our subdivision is new and really only has one full street of houses. I guess the parents of small children stayed over there. I guess my 8th graders will reap the benefits of us having too much candy! Ally was Tinker Bell - ignor our decreped pumpkins. Drew was Pablo from Backyardigans.

Our Own Balloon Glow


Once and awhile we see some hot air balloons floating gracefully above, but rarely do we get to see them close up. One of my favorite times of fall was the Balloon Glow in STL. It might have given us a headache everytime fighting over how to get to Forest Park, but it was worth it every time.

One night on our way to supper a couple of balloons were on their way down. We stopped the truck and watched them land. It was neat and the kids thought it was "amazing!" They landed in a field in the middle of town. People were coming from everywhere just to see them. Not much happens on a Friday night here!

Side note: Chris - our geocashe that we found at Christmas last year is still in its place by the underground bridge!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Instruments

Our little artist is getting really creative. She drawing some of her favorite instruments today. We got a kick out of them. What do you think?

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Pledge

You have to listen really close to her pledge to hear the words at the end. We laugh so hard that we make her repeat it and repeat it several times!


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I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, NORTH liberty and justice for all.

For those who don't realize it - the actual town that we live in is North Liberty.

Pumpkin Patch

As promised here is more of our pumpkin adventure from last weekend. I am very sad that our hard work on our pumpkins have turned to mush with a couple frosts this week. They look nasty. At Drew's party we will get a new one carved.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Pumpkins - part 1

This weekend was full of pumpkins. I took Ally and Drew to Grandma Janelle's and Grandpa Jim's on Saturday morning. They picked a dozen or so small pumpkins that were growing in the garden. On Sunday, Brenda and I took the kids to a local patch to pick out a couple of bigger pumpkins for carving.

This morning, Ally's preschool class took a bus ride to another local patch. I met up with them there. I was a little late, but caught with her group after their hayride. In my mind, I was thinking that Ally would be pleasantly surprised that I came. She appeared to be having a good time as I approached, but her good time quickly dissolved into the following:


The crying and clinging lasted for about an hour, through the animal petting, and play time. When it came time to pick out a pumpkin, she started warming up just a little bit.

By the time she finished picking out her pumpkin, she was pretty much back to her normal self, laughing, running, talking to her friends, smiling. We waited for everyone to get their pumpkins and then it was back on the bus and back to school. Five bucks says she takes a nap today.



I'm sure Brenda will have a post later today or this week about the family trip to the patch and also some pictures of our spooky jack-o-lanterns. Happy Halloween!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Crazy Things We Do

Yes mom - you told us so.

Back when we picked out our lights, we wanted a chandelier type light in the entry way. My mom said don't get one that points up because the lights will be impossible to change. We didn't listen because we knew that we could figure out a way to do it. But we don't that our luck with light bulbs means that we will be changing the lights a lot.

When the college boys were over - several discussed with Jason the best way to change them. These were engineers in training - but from Iowa not ISU. The best solution was from a kid that drove a school bus on the side. His suggestion: Put a board from the upper railing to the window sill. Then he volunteered to slither his way out on it to change the bulbs. FREAK!!!

My suggestion was the one that Jason used. Saw horses with extension ladder on it. He perfected my idea and bam lights are changed. I did buy the swirly bulbs that are long lasting. The box says they could last for up to 9 years, but I will be happy with 12 months.

Tuesdays Won't Be the Same

Last Tuesday was our last 24-7 leadership team meeting for this year. They go to 4 different houses for 7 wks each. We were blessed with these servant leaders in our home. It is amazing the outlook on life from a 21 year old's perspective. I have learned so much from them even though I don't hear everything they are saying. They have made me laugh. I have enjoyed their friendship and their welcoming greetings at church as we see them.

For our last snack we decided to pull out the fire pit and make s'mores. As you can see, Ally was right in the mix enjoying all the big kids!

The boys are discussing a speaker that came on central campus today trying to evangelize. From what they said he was "messed" up in his theology. Pray for campuses everywhere as students are very open to finding their purpose in life.

Ally's Prayers

Dear God,
I love you, and I love Jesus too.
And I love my family.

And dear God,
When am I going to get a baby sister? Is it going to be after my birthday or what?

And dear God,
Why does Halloween have to take so long to get here?

Amen




Remember the post about her babies? On Thursday night she couldn't fall asleep and we had small group going so she couldn't come out of her room. Several times she yelled down to us and when we went up there were dolls EVERYWHERE in her room. Each had a "boo" bag present to open at their bed in the morning. On Friday she organized them all on her bed. She wanted to sleep with them all but we thought it might be a slight distraction.

PS - no babies coming in this house any time soon.