Friday, June 29, 2007

Put on the DL

Last Sunday night, I mowed the lawn. Man what 6 inches of rain and a little sunshine will do to a lawn. Monday I thought I was going to die. My upper chest hurt and pain was shooting down my arm. By Tuesday night, I was better with only a few pains. I checked with my local know-it all webmd and told them my symptons and they said it was probably a problem with a nerve in my arm. It was not until today that I realized the stupid lawn mower was causing this pain.

Being the loving wife that has other projects for her husband to do, I volunteer to mow the lawn. I get to sweat and feel like I accomplish something. I did it early this morning to have the added benefit of the cool air. By noon I was wishing my arm would be amputated and Drew wanted carried - ahhhhh. Now as you get ideas on how could you do this and think that I am actually a wimp, you must know that we have some steep inclines that are tricky to hold the mower on.

Jason says that I am on the 15 day DL (disabled list - for you non-baseball fans). Also - I didn't realize how many things you do with your arm for holding. Jason might have to clean the house too!

Surf's Up

Here is a first for our kids. We took them to a movie. We contemplated on what to see - Surf's Up (a penguin movie) or Ratatouille (rat in Paris). We decided on the Surf's Up since we knew it would not have many in the theater. Ratatoille was opening tonight and would most likely have a lot of people and we didn't know how the kids would do.

After we woke up Grumpy (Drew) from his nap, we weren't sure if the idea was so hot. Our local mall has Family Friday Night on the last Friday of the month. It was PACKED! The food court had a deal to buy one adult meal get a kid's meal free. The carousel and the Children's Museum are free also, but too many people for me.

We ate and went to the movie. Ally kept saying - I am so excited to see the movie. Can she really know what she was getting into? Drew just wanted to see the penguins (like the ones from McD's). Ally picked the seats and Drew carried in the popcorn. Jason was jealous because Drew picked a comfy seat on mommy's lap. They were a little wiggly and didn't understand the meaning of whispering, but overall did great. As we walked out, Drew said - Mommy, that chicken was funny. Drew also went to bed with his friends - the penguins!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Fourth of July Projects

I know her beautiful blue eyes are closed, but it took bribery to get her outside for this picture! Mommy's paper punches were much more fun!

We made wind-socks today. I always think the projects in the magazines are cute, but not doable. We tried this one and it turned out pretty good. Ours aren't as good as the ones in the magazine, but I am sure that a 4 year old didn't make those. Mommy has lots of fun "toys" in her cabinets and Ally gets so excited when we get them out. Drew happened to be sleeping during this project - bummer!

Roller-Skating Cowboy

Now isn't this precious! How many cowboys do you know that roller-skate? Our wood floors make it quite difficult for the beginner to stay up without mommy's hands! Both kids decided that it was much easier to skate with only one skate on.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Jason is getting old! I hope that he had a good day. The kids and I made rice krispie treats and surprised him at the office. Sounds like they were a hit!

We also made him a cake (thus the picture of the kids licking the beaters - they take after their mommy!) We ate at Jason's favorite restaurant - Texas Roadhouse! He has been saving room in his stomach for about a week. He didn't eat lunch on Tuesday so he would be really hungry. Tuesday night - should they be busy??? Well party of 8 about 80-90 minutes - WHAT?!?!? Okay we will sit back to back - 25 minutes. Ten minutes later they called us up and found a table for all to sit together. AWESOME!

We went home and ate jello cake (thus the reason for no frosting). I can decorate a cake, but cakes don't get eaten at our house. I usually end up throwing them away after a week. Jello cake will be lucky to be around this weekend. Jason hates it when I put the cool-whip on the cake so I couldn't even do sprinkles. We had beautiful singing and the candles had to be relit since Drew and Ally blew them out too quickly.

I hope that my sweety had a great day - and he got what he wanted a rain gauge and some money!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Blogger for 367 Days

A year (and a couple days) ago I started blogging. I never thought that I could keep up and that I would rarely post. But 241 posts later (okay minus one for Jason), I love it. I love the freedom it gives this terrible writer and the joy of reflecting on our small lives in this big world and universe.

"You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath." Psalm 39:5

I love to blog not for you that are reading - even though I enjoy the comments, but for me to remember all the joys and laughter that God has given us.

Blog on...

Year's First Corn

Every year we get a picture of the first time we eat corn. It is really exciting, but we were more interested in the storm a brewing outside. Ally and Drw are slow eaters. Jason and I decided to head outside to watch the thunder clouds move in. The kids came out and ate theirs on the deck.

Jason and I had called dibbs on the extra from the kids' corn. It actually was tough and pretty hard, but it is the start to a wonderful season hopefully. My dad knows where to find the best stuff!

Opps Forgot...

Jason said he wished he had his old shoes to go wading in the water so he wouldn't have to go bare foot. Sorry honey - Mr. Garbageman already took them to their home in eternity stink.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Boys Will ALWAYS Be Boys!

Believe it or not this is not about Drew! I type this as I shake my head and roll my eyes. It is POURING again and supposedly last night somewhere around here got 6 inches of rain. We guess we got about 2.5 inches which is still a lot. (Side note: 6 inches of rain = 48 inches of snow or 2.5 in of rain = 20 in of snow). We were standing on the porch enjoying the people driving by not realizing that the storm sewer was plugged once again. They make HUGE splashes! Drew brought out his lawn chair to enjoy and a good Care Bear book.

Jason pondered having his old black F250. He would take me home at nights and find all the good "puddles" on the way to Towers (my dorm). "Wish I could still do that." Enjoying the little romantism that we have left - I said we could do it after the kids go to bed in our little Dodge Dakota. Jason stepped back inside and Drew and I gazed into the night. Jason ran back out and I asked what are you doing? He just smiled and raised his keys.

Drew and I sat watching amazed as the water sprayed EVERYWHERE. I don't think the new neighbors sitting in their drive-way were impressed, but Ally and Drew were. I guess that is what counts.

The kids got in with him and buckled up and went for their turn. Supposedly Ally was scared. I am sure Drew wasn't. Well their ride wasn't all that impressive. The splash and the speed of the truck was dull. I thought Jason was trying to be safe with them in the truck, but I noticed that he was having a difficult time turning around. Great.

After watching for about 5 minutes pondering what the neighborhood would think of us when they woke up on Saturday morning with Jason's truck parked crooked in the road, I got in the car and drove AROUND the subdivision to him. He had gotten in started I thought and was working his way back to the house slowly through the water. Hummm and he is in the top 5% smartest people - I don't think so! Come to find out - he was pushing the truck. AHHH why didn't he push it to the side and hope that it dried out enough to start in the morning. After hauling the kids back to the house in the rain, Jason got out the shovel to move the "thingys" so the water could go down. The water was up to his thigh. He did get the truck started kind of and got it out of the water and close to the house so it wouldn't look so suspicous. Let's hope this doesn't cost us a pretty penny!

Drew was very impressed and I guess someday I will look forward to hearing the silly boy stories from him.

More Stupid Birds

I am a water lover - okay that means pools. I get sick about think about being on a boat, watching a boat on TV, or pretending to be on a boat. I was a lifeguard for over 10 years and have my fun at cleaning pools. You might see where this post is going.

I worked at East Iowa Bible Camp for five years before I got swept away and married the sweetest man alive. I think that John Cox was mad at Jason for my love-sick behavior my last two years at camp! I helped John every year clean out the pool. It was always a guess at what we would find as we cleaned out the pool. What would have scampered in thinking it was getting a drink to find out that it was 5 feet deep? Or didn't know that the ice really wasn't quite frozen as its life flew before its beady eyes as it sunken to the bottom. Usually a raccoon or possum had found its burial in our little pool. During the summer I could always assume weekly that I would catch a little critter in my skimmers - deal or alive. I hated the alive ones because they surprised me when I opened the skimmer.

Last night in Iowa received a lightning show beyond belief. I wish God would put them during waking hours so I could enjoy them with a smile on my face instead of a growl - hoping my kids don't wake up! I looked out the window just to make sure that we weren't going to get blown away. There was water everywhere! We have a storm sewer drain close to our house that have a "filter" thingy to keep out the dirt from the lots that aren't built on yet. It was plugged and the water was probably about 8 inches deep almost up to our storm sewer. This doesn't mean much to you, but to me it means a lot of mud on the road by our house! Why I watered the grass yesterday is beyond me.

This morning I looked at the backyard to see if the pool was over-flowing - about 3 inches to spare and really dirty. So dirty something was floating on top and hadn't sunk to the bottom or got eaten by the filter. Hummmm we have no trees with leaves around us so what is it? It can't be an animal, they would ruin the sides getting up there and there is plenty of water flooding the yard to get a drink. Could it be a bird? Gross. How does that happen? I was wondering the other day about birds. There are so many birds and the amount that I see dead doesn't match up. How long can birds live? Well this poor little gross guy's life ended last night with a plunge into my pool AND I can't find the net.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Grocery Shopping Again?

How much food can two little kids eat in a day? I know they aren't the only ones eating from our cupboards, but oh my they only weigh 34 and 37 pounds! (Drew has slowed considerably don't you think - remember that my chunk was 29 plus as his 1 yr apt and only 34 lbs at 2. Ally on the other hand was 32 at 2, 3, and up to 34 at 4!)

At the begining of the summer we headed out the to two shopping cart run at Wal-Mart. Typically that can last us up to 3 or 4 wks depending on how creative we get and a few small stops for milk and bread. This time I was searching after 2 wks and determined to get to 3. After two trips to Fareway and spend $60 decided to go for the big one and stop the small spending trips where I was spluging on the fun stuff instead of the necessities! When we got home, Jason hesitantly asked how much we spent.

Just being home has reminded me that we eat a lot of cereal and eggs and french toast in the morning. We go through tons of milk with my little cow fanatic Drew - or should I say the chocolate cows. They eat fairly healthy for us with fruits and veges at every meal which means I needed to up my vege purchase. I had forgotten that we were eating 10 more meals at home that during the school year.

The other funny thing that I have been going through like water - dish washing detergent. A bottle used to last us a couple months - about 7 meals a week and Jason's ice cream snacks at night. Now I run it after 3 meals. Goodness - I thought I would save lots of money this summer but not the way my kids are eating!

Side note: Cookies (which we were out of!) also seem to be the bribe that Drew will take to go potty...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Stupid Birds

My car needed washing since Jason so kindly watered the grass next to my van. I love that he watered the grass - hate that there are spots ALL over my van. The kids and I were out and about trying to get my cell phone plan fixed.

Side note: Did you know that many companies have a deal with cell phone companies. Since I am a teacher, Verizon Wireless will give me 18% discout - why 18 and not 20 or 15, but who cares that is about $15 off my bill every month. I had to change the plan to my name and take them a pay stub to prove my servanthood to CCA. Did you also know that it takes over an hour and a half to get that changed and fixed????

We got some much needed milk since Drew blamed Jason for drinking all of his chaklate milk and bread. Then headed to the car wash to get the CHEAPEST soaking since there was a chance for rain the rest of the day. SIX BUCKS to rinse the car, but it is well worth me not having to get out the hose and junk and the kids making a HUGE mess. My time is worth $6 - I think...

On our way home turning the corner onto our road a FLOCK of birds made their mark. ARGHHHHH. Thus I have several white marks on the front of my car but not sprinkler marks!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Follow Jesus

I don't think that he will ever make the cut for American Idol, but he is singing praises to Jesus!

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The rest of the song is about fighting temptation and saying no to Satan and yes to Jesus. Notice in the middle he says sing it again... I have only heard the video in the car, but have an odd feeling tht he might be imitating the lady leading the kids in the songs!

Happy Father's Day

A laid back Father's Day is just what we needed after a long trip to northern IA for a friend's wedding on Saturday. We managed some of Jason's favorite for breakfast - french toast and sausage. Off to church where I remembered to send in a picture of him and the kids for the Father's Day slide show - we got there just in time to see it playing before the service!

He got a rake that was hidden among his tools where he was working on Saturday and a kid-size shovel which I should have gotten 2 of since they are already fighting over it! AND for the big surpirse a hose reel that is parallel to the house - just what he was wanting but didn't know I searched the web to find it!

He is a very special daddy that loves to swim and read to his kiddos. They tried to help him clean up his mess on Saturday too! Too bad they just made it bigger and carried it into the house!


Does your honey have the most disgusting shoes ever that he refuses to toss in the trash. Jason got these beauties the first year we were married (1998). If you are counting that is 9 years ago. They were his first cross trainers - I talked them into these instead of the brown hiking type things that I thought were ugly. These are not his best shoes but he hasn't let me throw them because they were good "work" shoes. "Work" as in in the backyard for mowing or building. I hate them though because if they get a little wet they smell up the whole house even if they are in the garage!

As we were cleaning the garage, I begged to throw them. I actaully didn't have to beg but reasoned that you have 3 pair of nasty work shoes - these can go. I tried to get rid of the pair he was wearing but he claims that pair #3 is good if we clean them up - therefore we still need to keep #2.

I promise that you will only see #4 (from right) in public.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

All Boy?!?

I think that my little Drew is all boy. Dirt. Trucks. Tackling. But this morning he wakes up screaming and crying. I was on the phone with Jason and ran up the stairs and he came scurring out of his room. I let him talk to his daddy and that seemed to calm him down, but the problem hadn't gone away.

Why are you crying? T'eres a fi in my room. Translation: There is a fly in my room. Yes - my big boy is scared of flies or any other insect. We went into his room to see it and Ally assured him that it just wanted to play with his toys. "With my piate sip (priate ship)."

Then the kids have been excited all day to swim with Nick, our 14 year old neighbor boy who is bored out of his gourd since he moved here May 1. While we were swimming Drew takes his wittle jump off the ladder to land on the side. I don't know what he caught his lip on but it was BLEEDING profusely. I grabbed him and looked at it and sighed thinking that we were going to have to take a trip to the dr. to get some stitches. I ran him in to get the bleeding stopped.

Do you think he was crying? Oh yes, but not because his lip was bleeding but because he wanted to swim with Nick! To make a long story shorter our neighbor Danielle is a nurse and I ran over to her to get her opinion knowing the dr. would automatically want me to come in. She said to put some sugar on it to stop the bleeding and it needed a butterfly band-aid. Now that will interesting since he HATES band-aids!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Learn From Us!

I grew up loving to miniature golf. I stink at the real thing. That was one of the evening adventures on a lot of family vacations and Saturday night family outings! Jason and I have gone to most of the St. Charles county mini golf courses and could tell you which ones NOT to go to and some good ones and the ones that have mosquito breeding grounds.

Iowa doesn't have too many mini golf places. First - our summers are much shorter and probably couldn't sustain the business. Second - Iowans are smarter than Miserians and know to stay away from the mosquitoes!

I was complaining about the lack of mini golf places to a friend at school and she told me about a couple in CR. For some reason those these are impossible to find in the yellow pages or on the computer so if you are in CR and can tell me the name and where the ones are by Edgewood and 16th NW or by Marion - I would love to know.

I did finally find one by the airport which opened a couple weeks ago. It was beautiful. Lots of pretty waterfalls - hint... We went with Grandma Rhonda and Grandpa Charlie for supper and then for an adventure. I should just leave it at that. I will let you paint your own picture of my kids running around with a METAL putters and small hard golf balls. Water and lots of other people.

They had a blast BUT they have no putting form and don't understand the etiquette of mini golf which is what Grandpa Charlie was trying to install in them!

Liberty Days

Our big city of 5000 people have a 4 day celebration called Liberty Days. Now don't misunderstand and think that it compares to the Balloon Glow or any of the St. Louis extravaganzas, but it is all we have so we decided to enjoy it.

They had a carnival for all the poor parents to spend oddles of moo-laa on stupid rides that looked as dangerous as they were. Thursday night was the kick off (after all the tornado sirens and warnings). You could pay $10 (per person) to ride the rides unlimited. Some of the rides needed an adult so I volunteered Jason to get the third arm band - I hate to spin.

I think that I added it up and if we would have bought individual rides it would have been close to $90. It wasn't Disney, but for Iowa ahh it still stunk but brought lots of smiles to my kiddos faces.

Watching this ride made me sick!

This was a riot - It was the slowest carrousel I have ever seen - Jason was thrilled as you can tell by his face.

On Friday night the whole town showed up for the parade consisted of every group that had more than 3 members and a truck to haul their families. We didn't ask about the parade route and we happened to sit near the beginning - mistake!!! People still have LOTS of candy at the beginning of the parade - sit at the end! We came home with 2 ice cream buckets full of candy. My 8th graders will be happy in the fall because Ally and Drew aren't going to eat all those tootsie rolls! The highlight of the parade was going with our neighbors - Rachel and Jeff and Ethan. We saw lots of friends in the parade too - like Chris and Mandy Mallicott!

99 cents

What can you buy for 99 cents and keep 2 kids from fighting and out of your hair for over an hour and a half???? Squirt bottles from Wal-Mart!!!

I bought these a few weeks ago realizing that I lost my ironing board squirt bottle in the move. I don't iron very often as you can tell if I am now buying them!!! I knew that if I only bought one I would lose it to the toy box and then Ally and Drew would fight over it continuously, so I spulged and bought three - all different colors so that we could put claims on specific ones!

I think they washed the whole backyard with one rule - not mommy's windows!!!

Friday, June 8, 2007

John Traveling to Afghanistan

As I was digging through the office mounds I found a letter from our college friend, John Andrus. He is leaving today for a 2 week stay in Afghanistan to share about Jesus and then to Kazakhstan to visit his sister Julie and family. If you knew John, he has a HUGE heart for people who don't know Jesus. He is traveling with two older women from their church.

Their plan is to do a lot of prayer walking since the country is closed to the gospel. He said that the people in Afghanistan are very influenced by dreams, please pray that God will use their dreams to prepare hearts for their coming.

Obviously John needs prayer in this war zone, but his wife, Jenny, (one of my 7 college roommates!) is at home with their FIVE kids. Their youngest is not quite a year old and their oldest should be about 8. Pray for her to trust God and that things will run smoothly at home while he is gone.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

One Week Down...

AND not enough to go! Summer is awesome where I get to be a stay-at-home mom for 3 months!!! I have loved getting up early to walk-shower-read before my "angels" wake up. Then my job becomes peacemaker. We haven't done too much, but the pool is ready for whenever it warms up (it can takes its time!) We have cleaned up and I have diligently tried to reorganize our office and books - which is far from being completed. Drew takes a 2 and a half hour nap so I get some alone time while Ally "rests" with her eyes open. Reminds me of a good friends little boy! (see Allie's blog)

She has discovered "stories" on my laptop and loves to read and push the arrows. Dolls are becoming a big hit with her also.

We (I) are trying to potty train Drew which is fairly confusing. He will go every time I put him on the potty - as long as I remember. But it seems as if he isn't getting the clue to go by himself. I think that I am potty training myself to go in every 40 minutes.

I had a mom that I was going to hang out with but she won't call me back and I am tired of leaving messages. Kind of think that is rude!


Okay I need summer supper ideas. I love to grill and want something easy and quick so we can head outside and play with Neffan (Ethan - backyard neighbor). Bring on the ideas!! Remember that my husband hates veges so we need something he can pick them out of!!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Zoo

Drew and Ally have been so excited to go see Trip (and Quinn) that Drew turned down McDonalds. If you know Drew well that doesn't happen much! They played with the boys for awhile while we were at the Mike and Ashley's reception.

On Sunday we went to the zoo with Amy - Chuck was headed to Utah to "work"???? We had quite a lot of fun looking at the animals and hearing the comments of our 1, 2, 3, and 4 yr olds - okay Quinn didn't say much but was still cute!

Drew: "So Trip, do you like the animals?"

Ally: "Are you having a good time?"

Trip: "I think they (camels) are having a meeting."

Boy they all are such treasurers!

A Hotel!!!

You'd think that we had never taken our kids to a hotel! They had a blast sleeping in the bed - man they do this every night, but tonight was "special"???

We swam. Drew wasn't quite sure he wanted to be in the water, but Mommy kept going the wrong direction and making it "fun". He is good at blowing bubbles!

Ally took a second to warm-up to the idea but then got back in the grove of jumping in!

We are cold - can we get in the warm pool?

The last highlight before we left was breakfast. It was like the things we do everyday didn't matter, but in a hotel - Life was GRAND!



Ashley and Mike McLaren are friends of our from STL. They have been engaged for two and a half years I think! Ashley was our dear babysitter that held up even when Ally didn't want to see her walk in the door! (Ally cried when she saw Ashley.) Ashley helped us out sooooo much. We love them and wish them a blessed marriage!

A normal Mikey face - Jason and I can beat Mike and Randy (his dad) any time in Spades!!

Ashley waiting for her prince while he dances with him mom!

Special Nap with Mom

Drew had a really long nap the other day and couldn't fall asleep. So being a sucker mom - I let him rock with me in the recliner and then lay with me on the couch watching the Cardinals play!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Man School?

A long time ago when Jason was leveling the yard out, I asked how he knew what he was doing. How do you know if you are smoothing it out or how much to take off the top or how do you know if you have got it so the water will run off correctly? I don't know how many of my friends would know the answer. Jason shrugged trying to think of an answer that would satisfy my quest - ummmmm - "Man School? I don't know!"

There was a photo here BUT Jason asked me kindly to take it off - I think he is hot without his shirt on! (leveling out the pool area - question: How do you know it is level? Answer: I use a long board to check. Notice the fist, I don't think I was suppose to take that picture.)

Good grief!!! Now when my inquiring mind wants to know (wonder where Ally gets all her questioning abilities?) and he can't give me a good answer - I just say - Man School???

(planting 1 of our 6 new BABY trees - question: How do you know how to get it perfect with out messing up my yard? Answer: glare - leave me alone I am working.)

Pool Time

The pool is up and in working condition - BUT it is WAY too cold for Jason and I. Ally and Drew tried it one night, but found out that their toes froze in the pool.

While working on the pool, Jason took off his shirt. Drew asked if he could too - then Ally. She might only be four, but we decided to implement the little girls must wear some type of top outside thus her bikini. Notice Drew trying to be mad at mom! He can barely keep the smile off his face.

create your own slideshow

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Jim Larrew

create your own slideshow

We had a lot of fun at Jim and Ashley's wedding. I worked with Ashley for several years at Cross Keys. I miss my old friends at CKMS.

Picture 1: Cross Keys Staff
Picture 2: Dave & Terry being bored by Jeremy (Dave is usually the one talking!)
Picture 3: Melissa, Ashley, and a new teacher I don't know
Picture 4: Ashley
Picture 5: Sharon who just retired this year - Congrats!