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

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


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!

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?


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.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Anyone want to give a suggestion on how to explain the trinity to a 4 year old brilliant child? Yesterday we were singing in the car - God is number 1, God is number 1.... from our church kids' CD.

Ally: I thought that Jesus was number 1.
Mom: ummmmm (thinking about my next step carefully) I don't think I ended up responding.

Next morning - same song.
Ally: God is number 1 and Jesus is number 2.
Mom: God and Jesus are equally important and are both 1.
Ally: ohhh (sounding perplexed)

I think her and I thought deeply about how to respond. Wait til she gets out the Holy Spirit - what will I do next.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fly Swattin'

Ally has discovered the fly swatter. We don't have great video because she swatted the easy ones before we got the camera out. At one point she was on the counter getting them. She wouldn't play with Drew because she was doing her "job!" The best part was that she didn't just kill and leave them - she threw them in the trash!

I wish she would do some work on the flies in my classroom before school. They swarm our heads all day and drive me insane! A couple boys are obsessed with getting them - the day and life of an 8th grader.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Poor Guy

Tonight on my way home I was talking to Jason and a squirrel ran out on the road. I didn't really know what to do because this little guy was not acting normal. Usually these little critters run back to the ditch or run across the road. This squirrel proceeded to run down the middle of my lane. He would have been fine but he decided to take a last minute ditch to the other side of the road which meant that his short life was going to quickly come to an end.

I haven't ever hit a squirrel or other furry creature. I never thought that I would feel sorry but does he have a family? Some squirrel mommy is going to be sad tonight and it is my fault.

Friday, October 12, 2007

It Could Have Been Bad

Jason headed to work early this morning and left me to get the kids ready. Not a difficult task when Ally wakes up on her own like this morning. We were all getting in our seats when I looked over at Ally and realized she didn't put her shoes on. Ally where's your shoes? Oh I forgot them in my room.

Goodness - I was within 2 minutes from pulling out of the garage and heading a long ways from home without her shoes. I am pretty sure that she would have been really upset all day!

I always laughed when kids showed up for Sunday School and their parents didn't have shoes on them. I thought that is ridiculous - ummmmm pretty sure that my kids will be the ones someday without their shoes on at school or church!

Chicken Pot Pie

One of Jason's favorite meals is chicken pot pie and I HATE to make it. Now you might be thinking of the great frozen fat loaded Swanson meals, but oh no!!!! Thank you Sheryl for introducing Jason to your delishes pot pie while we were overseas. It was good, but I am not a big fan. It is an all in one meals and like Ally says - Mom, we have to have 3 things for supper.

So if you want to get to your husband's stomach with some good comfort food here it is!

Chicken Pot Pie
Cooked Chicken (I use about 2 breasts)
1 packet mushroom, chicken or onion soup
2-3 carrots cut up
2 big potatoes
2 cups water
1 can cream of mushroom - this is not in the original recipe - I don't think they have it where Sheryl lives

Put all together and simmer until tender. Put in a pie crust (Sheryl gave me a recipe but here in America - I buy it) and bake 15-20 minutes in 350 degree oven.

She made us a couple other really good meals that are also on Jason's favorite list! Hats off to Sheryl!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Wrastlin' at the Willis house is usually filled with laughter - except for the occasional bumps on the head and knees in the crotch. Jason and I usually take the beating but we have fun. I like to flip the kids around with my legs which give me some great exercise for my legs and abs. Their laughter is so contaigous! I love family time!

Halloween Countdown...

My fellow teacher has been counting down to Halloween since the first day of school. She is ready and so excited about getting dressed up. Me - ahhh we got some pumpkin decorations out and the costumes bought (Tinkerbell and Pablo - sorry Amy K - Drew loved it when he saw it.).

Tonight when we went out to play someone mysterious left some goodie baggies on our porch for Halloween. You would have thought that Santa had come with the all the excitement. Candy and toys filled the surprise. I am pretty sure our mysterious ghost doesn't read the blog, but Thank You anyway!!!!

Monday, October 8, 2007


I know that some of you don't know my cousin - Andy, but he is ENGAGED!!!!! We have waited for this day for many years. I am not so sure what Ginny will think of our crazy family - she has only met Grandpa Melvin! I guess Uncle Ken will offer to sing at the wedding.

This is a short email from my Aunt Linda....
He called last night about 7pm. She said YES........ Here's what he did. He told Ginny that he had told the Horrocks (couple who started Habitat for Hope) they would babysit for them last night. But when they got there the grandparents had showed up and they didn't need to. Near by lives a retired guy who Andy has met and worked with down there, who builds tree houses. Anyway he said since they were in the area he would show one to her. So they drove to the tree house, and the owner was just leaving it. (at this point Ginny is a little suspicious) Anyway, not sure of the details here, but some how Andy had arranged for a candle light dinner and h'orderves to be set up in the tree house just for them. While there he read her a song he had composed for her, got down on his knee and proposed. And as I said she said YES.

The wedding is scheduled for April 26th - I think in the Memphis area. Ginny is a RN for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Andy is currently in Florida still.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

How Many Babies?

As Jason and I rested on Sunday afternoon trying to heal our sore bodies - Ally was of course full of energy. When we went into her room, she had put her babies to bed.
At first glance we just sighed thinking - oh that's nice you were so quiet! But then she said I have 46 babies. What????

Jason counted while she added 2 more. Yes under those blankets are 48 babies - nine are Dora figurines!) I think she has enough babies, but I am sure that more will come. This doesn't even include any of the stuffed animals!

If you click on the picture you can get a close up of all of them!

I'm Getting Old...

This weekend my mom had the kids so we could go on a date and we had our annual Family Transitions interview on Saturday morning. We enjoyed a nice supper and the infamous trip to Wal-Mart without any kids. We started birthday shopping for Drew-Drew!

Saturday morning we started staining the rail of the deck before the interviewer got there and got a little done and learned some tricks to looking better and doing it quicker. After the interview my mom graciously agreed to keep the kids for some of the afternoon so we could get it done. In a balmy 90+ degrees (who would think of such hot temps in October in IOWA!?!?), we got it done in just under 4 hours.

Little did we know that neither of us would be able to move the next day. I need a good massage on parts that I never knew existed! Also it took a 45 minute shower to scrub off all the stain all over my body!

But doesn't it look nice - the color - chocolate!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Wish I had This Problem

Last night Drew and Ally were watching Seasame Street while we were getting supper ready. All of a sudden our cranky little guy started wailing. At first thought it was assumed that his sister was sitting too close to him. Then he said his eye hurt so did he poke it? Jason tried holding him with no help to his sobbing in pain.

I grabbed him and noticed that his eye lashes were stuck in the bottom eye lid. Not just one eyelash, but at least a third of the middle ones. Goodness he has such long beautiful eyelashes!!!

This isn't the first time it happened. The first time it happened at school and originally they thought he had a piece of tire in his eye but realized it was just his eyelashes.