Monday, January 22, 2007

Yes I am Officially Old!

What keeps me going in the morning???? I am still not really old enough to be my students' parents. I am within about 2 years. Yes I could be their mom, but I would only be 18 and that is WAY to young!!

At 6:10 a.m. on January 22, 1977, the most beautiful baby was born. I would put a baby picture on, but we don't have a digital one and I don't want to try and fight the scanner tongiht. I have been blessed with 30 - yes I said thirty years of life. I have a wonderful - husband (aka cake decorator) and two fine but insane kids. I have lots of friends and a wonderful job. A gorgeous brand new house and a God that loves me more than anything. (remember this is a no editting site - i have noticed many incomplete/run-on sentences :)

Well for the fun of my birthday. My husband will take on one challenge a year (okay he is editting behind me and says one cake challenge he does do more than one challenging thing a year). He asks what kind of cake I want. Trying to stump him I think of the craziest thing that I assume that he will never try. Many of you have seen the Strawberry Shortcake Cake from a couple years ago. Being mean I thought - oh the kids would love a Backyardigans cake. So there it was. I really thought I would be lucky to get my name on it, but my dearest husband took the challenge on and did a wonderful job on the Backyardigans. Someday he wants to be known as the "Master Cake Decorator."

My parents came over for supper and cake. Ally and Drew had fun helping me blow out the 30 candles that my thoughtful husband put on.

See the smoke! We thought the smoke detector might go off.

The final question - what did I get for my birthday besides money. Some wood to build some furniture - a bench for my entryway!

Cinnamon Rolls!

Look out CinnaBuns here we come. Saturday morning Ally and I woke early to make some breakfast for the boys. We made some cinnamon rolls from scratch.

Snow Snow Snow...

We have finally started getting some snow. We had our first good snowfall last Sunday. We went to my parents for the evening not thinking that 2-4 inches would be a big deal - Iowa road crews are usually great. Well I guess not so much on a Sunday night before MLK day. It was a little treachorous coming home with wipers that kept freezing over.

We did have some fun at Grandma Rhonda's on the 4-wheeler. I got my first solo ride.

On Monday we came home early to play. We bundled everyone up in their hats, mittens, snowpants, coats to head out to sled. Jason and I had way to high of expectations. Drew could barely walk and just wanted to pull his sled or push the snow shovel. Ally was hesitant to go down a hill and for good reason. She has little balance and fell off and was covered in snow on her first and only trip down the slope.

We have continued to get more snow and their activity outside is getting slightly more adventurous, but pretty boring in my opinion.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Helping Daddy????

We are slowly working on cleaning/finishing the basement. Sundays are usually good naps for kids, but for some reason it wasn't happening today. We thought we would try and work with them down there. Not sure we accomplished much.

Ally is all about helping Daddy with the hammer and drill. Jason start the screws in the board and she used the drill to put them in. She didn't do too bad for a 3 year old - better than Millikan!

Drew on the other hand was not the tough man that Jason might have hoped for. He did try and swing the hammer, but was a little skiddish around the drill.

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We finally gave into the fact that we were spinning our feet and went to see Grandpa and Grandma. We are patiently waiting for our 2-4 inches of snow to finally get here!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Thanks Laura...

This is it! I have this last post and I am caught up with most of the cute stuff of my kids. I am procrastinating... the upstairs bedroom has too much stuff in it to attack!

Thanks Aunt Laura for presents in January!!! When asked today what Drew wanted to do today - he said - Christmas. Oh goodness!


I am not at creative as some of my mom friends, but we made a shifty barn the other night. Ally was the farmer and Drew was - THE COW with an odd sound. He would go into his barn and sleep (with his dolly) and snore like his Daddy. Then wake up and "tweet" at the gate until the farmer would let him out.

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I think we need some more nights on the farm to get this straightened out.

Reindeer Spotting!

All of our yard is not sodded yet. There aren't many houses out here yet so we see TONS of deer. We noticed this morning that there were more deer tracks in our yard. Ally was so excited and wanted to follow them to find the reindeer and feed them. She wanted to tell Santa too. I think she managed to stay out about 14 minutes in the BITTER cold!

A day last week, I tried to hit a deer. Ally and Drew wanted to turn around and find him to make sure he was alright!

Doing my Homework - Ally

Jason has been gone all week partying in Warrens, WI. Every time he leaves, someone gets really sick. Ally has had a 101 temp since Wednesday afternoon, but nothing else except a cough that is mostly gone. So I stayed home again today. By morning her temp finally broke, but I called in last night.

We are at home playing and doing lots of coloring. She is really good at writting her own name. She was coloring a picture for Trip and I asked her if she wanted to put his name on it and send it to him - yes Amy I am sure you are excited about some art work for your fridge!

I wrote it out for her on a paper and we have been practicing the letters in his name and everyone elses! She really likes to spell "Amy" because it has MY letters in it.

We are stuggling with the "k" in Chuck though.

There are lots of smiley faces! (u).

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Day at Grandma's

On New Year's Day, Jason went to help cousin Andy put in a new door to Grandpa Melvin's bedroom for hiw wheelchair. My mom said that she wanted the kids. I got to stay home all by myself in the quiet of the house and enjoy cleaning the office - as much fun as that can be!

While at Grandma's they had quite the fun day! They got to play play-doh, color, paint and ride the 4-wheeler with Rachel. It was sort of chilly and had to bundle up but nice for January 1st!

I love my Aunt Rachel - especially when she comes and watches us!

They also went on a walk to see the cows. After finding the cows all muddy, they decided to go tell Grandpa Charlie that he needed to clean them. Well Grandma finally talked them out of that trip - it was 2 miles to the other farm and Grandma didn't think she could carry them! Instead they went to find some deer - or Ally was convinced that they were looking for reindeer. They had to cross many fences and follow many paths which had deer feet on them. Well they couldn't find Rudolph but had lots of fun!

Party at Grandma's!

This post is from A LONG time ago when we still lived in Brooklyn, but my mom just sent me the photos. She has a video of the party, but I haven't figured out how to edit it to be shorter.

This is Love-A-Lot Bear (pink care bear)'s birthday party. We had eaten supper at mom's and the kids had headed to the basement to play. Finally one of us went down to see what was up and we found the table set and all the dolls out. This explained Ally running up-upstairs to get animals several times as we sat talking in the kitchen. We had to sing happy birthday to Love-a-lot. Then we had to each (even the stuffed animals) get served and eat our cake and ice cream. You can see Drew putting the ice cream (buckeyes) in the "bowls."

We wanted to leave but we were laughing too hard and wanted to know what she would come up with next. We also had to open presents that Ally had wrapped for Love-A-Lot. You can see below that Ally was so surprised at the lovely presents and Jason was trying not to lose his composure!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Daddy Hates to Share!

There are a few foods that Jason is reluctant to share. Mountain Dew, sausage, bacon, tin roof sundae ice cream, strawberry shortcake just to name a few...

Santa brought him some swiss cake roll - you know the 99 cent box of chocolate cake smeared with cream and rolled up. It makes the list of non-sharing items. I needed a snack one day for the kids and thought - humm that's a good one. Well my sweet teethed critters are just like their daddy. Ally had to open her big mouth when Jason got home to tell him about the cake that Santa brought him that she had eaten.

Now every night they ask for Daddy's cake for dessert. Now we have also Daddy's crunchy cake - aka Nutty Bars.

One of a Mom's Worst Nightmares!

Scissors - OH THE DAMAGE THEY CAN DO!!! My sister's barbie doll got a good haircut when she was about Ally's age! Ally insisted one day of practicing using her scissors. I held her off until Drew was taking his nap. He wanted his turn when he saw them - YIKES! She spent over 3 hours cutting all of our paper up. She was making "snowflakes" - aka a mess on the floor with confetti!

That day she was making decorations for the house. She has learned how to get the tape off the roll and we have art work up literally EVERYWHERE in the house!

Reading Like Angels!

Grandma Rhonda always tells me to get two of everything so they don't fight. Well most of the time I disagree and want them to "play" together without arguing - which rarely happens! Grandma Rhonda did get them EACH a Disney sticker book for Christmas which they have played with for hours. They each have their name on their book - and Ally lets us know when Drew has her book!

Our kids have always been good readers. Jason (I don't like to read) reads every night before bed to them. Ally brought him the Chronicles of Narnia one night and insisted - I think she got bored after the first page!

I remembered this picture from February 19, 2005!!! Drew was almost 4 months old and Ally was 23 months. Precious! I wish you could see Ally's pigtails that were only 4 inches long compared to the foot of hair she has now!

Breakfast Favorite

Our kids are funny little creatures. I know that their daddy likes sausage and know that they have gained a likin' for it. Jason isn't a big fan of sharing his favorites! Well for breakfast I asked them what they wanted. Cereal was the overwhelming respons: Drew and his chocolate and Ally the marshmellow Car's (Drew likes the box though).

For some variety, I saw the little smokies in the fridge and asked if anyone wanted a few. Cheers erupted from my counter. Those two little creatures ate a package of smokies in TWO days!!!! "Mo mokies mommy," Drew would reply after shoving the last one in his mouth.
It might not be the healthiest breakfast, but my critters need some fat on their bones to keep them warm in the upcoming weeks - if we get any winter!

Grandpa Charlie's New Toy!

I don't know how many times Chris asked for a four-wheeler growing up. My mom's response was always - over my dead body. Well my mom isn't dead, but she finally gave in after we all left. Go figure - she did the same thing with the cable tv.

I rode once with Jason but the cows were out so I didn't get to go by myself. I am a chicken of the silly thing doing a wheely because I started to fast. Ally thought it was super cool and loves to ride it. Drew didn't get a ride that day, but went to grandma's on 1/1 and rode it with Rachel. I am sure that he will drag us out there every time we visit!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007


Chris has got me interested in a new hobby, but Jason thinks that I am insane. He thinks that someone is going to blow me up. Chris has been playing with his friends in Omaha, but you have to have a GPS (at least it makes it a lot easier). He got one for Christmas.

Basically you go to this website ( You see if there are any caches in your area. There were like 12 in the Brooklyn area and over 500 in the Iowa City area. A cache ranges from a pill bottle to a little canister the size of your pinky finger. You find the coordinates of the cache on the web and then go on a sacavenger hunt for it. The GPS should bring you within 15 feet of it and then the rest is up to you.

Chris did several while he was here. We did a couple in N. Liberty with him. I found one by myself and Chris found the other. It is fun especially if you like hide and seek.

The other fun is watching the "Mugglers" trying to figure out what you are doing - especially the police man!

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Dirt Looks Good...

Aunt Lou sent the kids these shirts. Yes they are big but they didn't come any smaller. We have something to look forward to for Drew and Kaylee. Ally's isn't too bad if you roll her sleeves. Taking a picture with Drew and Ally is impossible and then with several adults with Drew and ally is also VERY difficult - add Kaylee to the mix and you just need to know that you will have to paste and copy to get a good one of all three. It just so happens that Ally was the cooperative one. Drew and Kaylee were about ready for naps and had an "excuse!"

Cool Slideshows

Click on one of the pictures to see it standing still.

Smith Christmas

Well this is gonna be a big post. I had it almost done last night until the internet world FROZE and I lost it - so here goes for a second try. I found a website called PictureTrail that helped me make the slide show. I thought it was really cute and didn't make the blog seem so big!

Smith Christmas is big. Noone wants to invite all 52 of us into their house. We joined up at the Ahren's center in Grinnell for some food - okay A LOT of food, laughs and catching up. There are kids running everywhere between the basketball court and the tumbling mats. My kids were in heaven with so many playmates! As Amy said - I like this you just have to make sure that they aren't the ones crying

The place was filled with blond girls everywhere!!! We will start with the cutest two - Ally and Rachel.

Cool Slideshows

Monday, January 1, 2007

New Blankets

Uncle Arlie made Ally and Drew new afgans for their rooms. Aren't the colors great! They are also really soft!

Santa Comes

I think that all photos should be banned from Christmas morning. I love my husband, but this is not his best side!

Did you know that Santa likes cookies and water???? Ally wrote Santa a note SEVERAL days in advance also. He wrote her back, telling her that she needed to smile lots today and say - Merry Christmas!

If you remember back, Ally told Santa that she wanted a Uniqua, Backyardigans radio and Dora bracelet. Surprisingly Santa came through. Santa gets the award for Ally's favorite presents! The radio had a mircophone that "works" and Ally sings really loud into it!

And More Presents!

Then we headed to the Smell Dud Ranch (this is not a spelling error!) I think we started a new tradition of going to Farmer Nick's for lunch - for those not familiar it is a local place ran by no other than Farmer Nick! I think that I might vote for the return of ham balls and sweet potatoes next year.

We headed back to Grandma Rhonda's house for presents. Grandma Rhonda needs a bigger living room. The kid's presents were in the basement. Here we landed our second John Deere phone and keys, but most importantly got Drew's favorite presents. Awards go to Aunt Amy for Lighting McQueen car (mom gets honorable mention - she bought it too, but we opened Amy's first) and to Rachel for Pueblo from the Backyardigans.

Willis Christmas

The Christmas adventure started on Saturday, December 23rd. It should have started on the 22nd, but Drew had pneumonia and I just didn't feel good. So we waited to head to Aplington until Saturday morning. We had a lot of fun and got great stuff. I think the most popular present this year would be John Deere keys and phone - we got set one hear. Drew walks around saying, "I gotta go to work..."

Taking a good picture is difficult with several people but become impossible with 2 kids after bedtime. This came out much better than the one we sent out. Can anyone tell who is photo shopped into our Christmas card????


Drew's new found love is peanuts. This is actually a happy face trying to get the shell off. He WILL NOT eat unshelled peanuts from a can - what fun is that??? I am working on teaching him not to eat the shell after he bites it open. He will love Roadhouse when we go sometime!

Christmas Program at School

Drew and Ally had a "Holiday" program at school filled with lots about Santa - so it is a CHRISTMAS program! How do you get 30 plus kids to stand and sing several songs? Hummm make it only 7 minutes. They did 8 songs/finger plays (poems with actions) in 8 minutes. Only one kid fell off the stage - if you knew Quade this wouldn't be a surprise.

(Drew is on the second row left (green sweater) and Ally is middle right (black jumper with cream turtle neck))

Both of our kids stood still except for actions. Ally sang all the words and Drew piped in for a few and did the actions to the best of his little 2 year old abilities. He is very good at HO HO HO.

Drew and Monkey

Ally and Kanga

At the end of the concert, Santa came giving everyone a stuffed animal. Ally got a kanga and Drew a monkey. They have traveled, slept, and eaten with us throughout the break!