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


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


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????

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


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.

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


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!