Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Guess I should have waited 15 minutes before posting. You never know what is going to happen in the Willis household. After swimming at Grandma Rhonda's, we have gotten into surfing (with kickboards). Drew wanted to go outside and while I was supervising I decided to water the flowers. I should have known that I would need help or at least that is what Drew thought. He didn't get wet until he looked at the hose - duh?! So we took his shirt off.

He continued to "surf" with the shutter from the play house - notice how he got a little air in that jump. Then he got out the cute turtle from the porch and had him and the baby surf too. It was very cute and I am sure provided plenty of entertainment for the guys working on the house down the street.

Side note: why do construction guys freak out at the very end to get a job done. The house down the street is suppose to be finished ummmm tommorow. I think I counted 8 trucks, a track-hoe, hundreds of dump trucks (exaggerated).... You think someone should have shown up to work the first two weeks of July - the house didn't have a soul working then!

So Busy But Nothing to Say

I should have tons to blog on, but nothing comes out. I guess I could recap the weekend with the tidbits of funny if I can remember them in old age.

1. Out with friends - Kate and Jim - I think that we provided some good birth control for them at supper. I think the scream - I have to go poopy from Drew was all it took or maybe it was the ketchup down the back of my shirt from Drew's hands.

2. Sunday we headed to Victor to set up for VBS at my home church. I am doing the Bible lesson. I would have done it at our church, but it was the week after school got out and it only went down to kindergarten so my kids would have been in nursery/day care for another week. In Victor they are in a class and are getting worn out which means good naps for mommy this week.

Exciting things - small group which we are going to co-lead (exciting word) this fall. Jason won't have to teach much at first, I would assume. We are partnering with an elder from our church. We are excited for fellowship of believers that are hard to find on a Sunday morning. Pray for small groups at Parkview. They have wonderful ministries, but this is the only ministry that is lacking. We have been blessed with two other churches from our past that did small groups so well.

Another exciting part of our fall (not going to school - we are dreading that no more sleeping til 9 for Drew) is hosting 24-7's leadership team meetings for a few weeks in the fall. This type of ministry was so important to our lives as college students. We are excited to give back even if it means just opening our doors so they have a comfy place to sit and learn about Christ.

I said we were busy but you see I couldn't come up with too much that we are doing. Lots of swimming, playing, reading, studying, cars, building furniture (really a dresser - no code words). Two weeks of summer and I am going to live it up!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Grandma Lil

My Grandma Lil had surgery this morning to remove a kidney and some other things that had cancer. I talked to my mom a little bit ago and the prognosis doesn't look good, but she came through the surgery fine. She has a very weak heart and that was another concern. It looked like the cancer had spread quite a bit.

My Grandma prays for us everyday and never forgets to ask God for guidance, love and wisdom in our marriage and as we raise our little hooligans. Pray for her today along with my Grandpa and all my Dad's siblings. God knows what he is doing. We have a hope that will overcome all the sickness here.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I Blame You - Uncle Jared

The story goes that when Jared didn't like something as a small child, he would pretend to get sick and throw up. BUT was always better for dessert which he got. That doesn't happen at my house - you eat your food for dessert.

Drew loves to have little bites. I don't understand it. It already takes 2 hours (not really it only feels that way) to eat. He messes around, talks too much, drops his spoon, etc. If the bite is too big that you give him in his mind, he chokes. What logical mom (or dad) wants to clean up throw-up at the supper table? We quickly give him a drink. Usually we can cut the piece into micro-pieces and continue, but not today.

He eats Honeycombs several times a week and sometimes requests more. If I help he will eat 3 pieces at a time. Today he was preoccupied with Ally playing and decided that he didn't like it and was full - 2 bites doesn't constitute full. Everytime I spooned a bite in with only 1 piece, he would gag and I gave him a drink. This happened three times and he won - get down and play. I won't clean up throw-up BUT no snacks before lunch!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

749 Pages

At 2:20 a.m. I finished book 7 - Harry Potter. I couldn't sleep since the story consumed my mind and I wanted it out of the way so that I could concentrate on my kiddos! What was going to happen next? I guess my reading adventure is over, I have no more books to look forward too - only movies. I did get Jason hooked. He started with book 6 after we watched the movie for book 5. Too bad he has missed so much the movies don't show. You probably don't care....

Went swimming with my Aunt Linda and two of her grandkids. Ally and Drew love to play with Sam and Abby. I think that they were disappointed that Alex was at camp. Now I am home and have to start concentrating on Bible School lessons and the dreaded school year.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Just Like Mommy

We have a subdivision picnic tonight that I was making cupcakes for. Drew always volunteers to lick the bowl, spatula and beaters. He is definitely my son!!!

Can I Play?

I have been working on the office and finally got the shelves finished and look pretty good. A lot of pictures and the tractors Grandpa Charlie gave the kids when they were born. Drew sees this beauties everyday and asks to look at them. He knows that we aren't about to get them down to play with especially not in the sand box. They are work well over $100 each. Every part moves just like the real thing. Instead he has been satisfied with Jason's construction implements that he has only tried to sneak into the sand box twice. He is taking up his prizes to his room. He had a hard time carrying them so I showed him the shirt trick.

By the way - Amy K - if you are reading this - notice on the top shelf that I need picture of your family - updated....

Monday, July 23, 2007


I hadn't been back to camp since last summer and before that is had been longer than I wish to admit! It was hard to go there when John wasn't there anymore, but it looks great. Ben and Sarah showed us all the wonderful updates! We played a game of carpet ball and Jason kicked my pants. My excuse: Drew kept stealing my balls off my side.

After supper we went swimming in the fridged water - okay Ben and Jason took the kids swimming while Sarah and I sat on the side. Their pool is much cooler - in temp and size - than ours! Ally found the board and without fear ran off!!

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Drew had blue lips and shivering, but wanted to keep jumping in to Jason. Problem: he wanted to jump in in the deep end where Jason couldn't touch.

When Jason and Ben got out all the kids - okay girls took the towels and left them with the lovely pink ones to show off their toughness!

We played a little mini golf to wear out the kids before taking off. I am sure that the Berberich kids complain that they are bored sometimes, but who wouldn't want to live at a play that had a basketball courts, sand volleyball, tennis court, ping pong, air hockey, carpet ball, pool, dune buggies, paddle boats, fun bugs, canoes, archery, swimming, swing sets, mini golf and much more I am forgetting.

Anyone want to go??? Kids start when going into 1st grade and family weekend is Friday night to Sunday morning in July! We are going next summer!

College Buddies

This weekend we finally got to get together with some of our college friends. I think the last time we were altogether was for Jason's birthday in 2002. All three of us girls were pregnant, but only Kristine and Kim knew it. Our story starts with TSC and a company name Jensen Design Build. Jason and Rich (middle dude) lived close to each other in the dorms and I think they must have known Cory from work because he lived out by me. They all worked together with this guy named Todd who was the freshman director their previous year. Jason, Rich and Cory spent the summer in Todd's families basement. I would post a picture of Todd and Kendra, but Kendra might never talk to me again! (Below is Elly - Rich's oldest daughter)

Then all three young men fell in love with three wonderful women and got married a couple summers later (all within 6 months). Todd and his wife took us all in to a connection group (care group, small group - whatever you call them). We learned about God, we learned about marriage, and we became great friends. Soon Rich graduated first - I think on time, then came Jason 2 years later, and then came Cory another 2 years later. They were all the same age??? We all went our separate ways, but stayed in touch.

Our families have now grown to have 4, 3, and 2 children - Jason and I are behind and like it that way! We tried to take a picture of all the kids, but as you can see they wouldn't hold still and I wasn't good with my mom's camera since I forgot mine! Todd and Kendra add 4 kids to the mix. The poor girls were out-numbered (4 girls and 9 boys).

We are already looking forward to next summer with all the super heros!

Huhot and Potter!

Friday was a hectic day, but awesome! I ran the kids to my mom and dad's. She was going to babysit while we went on a date. They went to the fair with the people that moved into the farm house. Ally was so excited to play with Molly.

After getting back from a doctor appt, we cleaned the house, finished mowing the 4 rounds of yard from the night of storms, watered the flowers, checked the pool, got ready and went out with no deadlines and no worries. Jason appeased my crazy behavior to try new restaurants. We enjoyed Huhots, a Mongolian grill. It was soo good and even Jason liked it, but it wasn't on his top 5. You pick your meat - Jason tried duck???, then noodles, then veges (included potatoes) and put sauces on it. You take it to the grill and tadaa - you have a bowl of yummmmm!!!

He also took me to Harry Potter. We had watched 3 and 4 this week to remind us what had happened. He is so wonderful because we didn't get to all the movies that he wanted to go to. It was very good even though I had my eyes closed for most of the last 20 mintues. I think (know) that he is addicted now. I read all the spoilers for the last book that came out on Saturday so I won't get so scared - yes I am a chicken and proud of it! Jason picked the book up for me on the way home from Ames and he is reading 6 as I finish 7.

So if you are wondering why my blogs will be short this week (not counting today) - I am reading. I am almost 25% done now - so I will see you in a couple days.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Tractor Tipping

Drew has become quite the little persuader. His requests are usually long and repeated several times within a sentence and then with a desparate - PLEEEEAASSSE on the end. It doesn't really matter what he is asking for it is all requested the same - chocolate milk, play cars with me, outside, ride bikes, walk, park, cheese, etc...

Today he is playing cars while I am folding laundry. It is really funny. Cars have stuck the longest with this boy and he carries them everywhere in his Mater - oh I am Tow-mater (he corrects me)- lunchbox. He got his tractors out of his room and lined them up on our floor so they could "sleep." You can't hear it very well on the video, but he goes up to each tractor and honks or revs the motor. The tractor wakes up startled and goes forward makes a noise, tips and hisses steam. Pretty accurate of the movie.

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He is excited to be heading to Grandpa Charlie's for the evening while mommy and daddy go on their date. Ally is hoping that Molly the neighbor will be coming over to play!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Second Most Important Decision

Ten years ago I (we) made the second most important decision of our lives. I don't think that I thought much of it that night when Jason asked me to marry him, but no doubt the 15 months prior I had put much thought into it.

Our story started somewhere the beginning of February after a parents' banquet for TSC. My mom had had back surgery so my dad came up for the evening. Having to get back to the indians (Rachel and Chris) at home, he left early and sent me to some after festivities with the Shupps. We headed over to the Days house where a lot of our freshman friends were hanging out. I met Jason that night, but thought he was boring since he wouldn't get off the couch to participate in Gestures. I know now why he wouldn't get up - he can't act!

Throughout the next several weeks, we saw each other at TSC and another retreat that we both went on. (I went because he was going - I should have stayed back since my good friend Kristy was visiting - please forgive me Kristy!!) We spent way too much time together and my mother hens - Sheryl and Jen - let me know that!!! At VEISHEA (college celebration of the first 5 colleges at ISU - Vet, Engr, Ind Sci, Home Ec, Ag), my friends and I were going to go down at about midnight to the celebration. Jason was going home for something, but stayed with me for awhile. Sheryl knocked on my door and when she saw that Jason was there gave me the death glare of define this or I will.... Scared of Sheryl - we made it official that night that we were dating - April 19, 1996. (Chuck you were still in HS.)

Fifteen months later and after learning much about each other, going through the normal ups and downs of relationship, 2 oversea trips, we figured out that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together - whatever that meant. I told Jason that I would know when he was going to propose, so he challenged me to tell someone. I don't think my mom actually remembers this, but I told her the Saturday before while sitting on the blue chair in the kitchen that he would proposed on July 19th (Saturday). It was a month anniversary and we planned a date to CR to watch a movie and go to supper. Well little did I know that Jason had slightly other plans.

After work on Friday nights Jason would come down to the camp where I was working. He would patiently wait as I closed up books, balanced money and redistributed it into envelops for the campers the next day. There are so many funny stories that go along with this process - but those can be left for those who know them - Shirley and Floyd! We headed over to the dorms where I lived and hung out in the living room. I wanted to ask if he had the ring in his pocket, but he swears he didn't.

Being extremely exhausted after 5th grade camp, I wanted to go to bed. We had a girl that was diabetic and through miscommunication with her parents - we messed up on her medication. There was a chance that in the middle of the night we would have to take her to Iowa City and I had the keys to the information and her meds. After Jason left, I got ready for bed and was half asleep when a knock on my door. Scrambling for appropriate clothes - thinking it was Nate Bunting for the keys - I got out of bed to answer it. It was 12:15 a.m. Saturday, July 19, 1997. Jason had a dozen roses. I don't remember what he said but know he asked me to marry him and I obviously said yes (I hope without hesitation!)

After a little bit, I shoved him out the door since I wanted to go share the good news with my friends and my sister in her cabin. I don't think she remembers it because she was half asleep and only about 10 - yikes and she is getting old soon she will be a married old lady too!

The part that I don't get to tell because I wasn't there was asking my parents. I know that Jason was probably very nervous. He told me that he asked him right before coming down to camp. After asking them they said sure and then went right ahead with telling him about their new computer that they had gotten that week.

Ten years later and it seems like yesterday. We have gone through a lot in these last ten years and I wouldn't want to be with anyone else except for you - Jason Willis!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mom's Don't Know Anything!

After lunch I asked the kids if they wanted to go to the park or on a walk. Ally persuading Drew started begging to go swimming. I was pretty sure this idea was a bad one since 4 inches of rain 2 days ago should make the pool fridged. I treked on down to the pool and realized was are lucky if the water temp is 78 degrees. That is chilly, but doable. Typically it is around 84 and it is cool but comfortable.

I told Ally that I didn't think she wanted to swim and that I would not be getting it. With more whining and begging (on mine and Ally's part), I lost. You will stay in and get your head wet - I promised! After spending 15 minutes getting their suits on - (I didn't bother with the sunscreen.), we put the ladder in and Ally dipped her feet - and shivered and said she was getting out - it was too cold. Oh no you aren't, jump in. I think they made it a womping 23 minutes.

Being sticky, hot (91), and humid, the kids played out on the deck to warm up and dry off. Quietness in the house!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Nothing New

I wish I had something significant that happened, but we got nothing except for at least 1.5 inches of rain as of 5 pm and more on the way. Let's hope that the tornadoes stay away. The siren went off this afternoon and Ally asked if we had to do a fire drill. No it's a tornado and get your shoes on and head to the basement while I check it out - standing on the front porch deciding if I need to wake Drew in the middle of his nap - probably not the safest spot.

Funny Ally quote from Sunday - Jason was getting the kids' breakfast and looking in the freezer for the french toast. He couldn't find them and told Ally. A little frustrated Ally said - Daddy, I think that I am smarter than you. Jason told me that I am not the boss anymore after this comment. Assuming true - it also makes me 3rd smartest in the family and maybe 4th...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Berberich Fun

Sarah and Ben and family (minus Jonah) came over last night for some brats and fun. I am not sure that any of the kids actually ate. We put them on the deck with their food. We should have moved their table over so that we could have seen them from inside, but I think not knowing what they were doing was better. All I know is Drew ate the least and Ruby's plate was finished off by Ben.

The girls (okay Drew was once again the lonely boy) loved to play with Ally's dolls. Lily just wandered her cute little peanut body around. (Pictured below: Fiona, Ally, Ruby, Drew)

Being the man that Jason is - he took the kids swimming while the rest of us sat on the side. I know that by the end of the night they were all exhausted. While we talked the night away the kids finished up the evening sitting on the coffee table watching Mickey's Playhouse. Lydia was the only intelligent one to sit on the comfy couch!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Rabbits and Turtles

Our adventure and fun was to Lowes tonight. If the kids ate their food at supper they could play on the "tractors" for awhile - which is one of Drew's favorite activity. Look out Andy Gross here comes your mentor!!!

I usually am looking at the flowers or something during this big event, but tonight I was waiting and trying out my own tractor. All of a suppen Ally yelled - this one kills turtles and rabbits too - as if it was not a new concept for here. A little confused Jason chuckled knowing exactly what I was missing. He told me to think about it and look at the tractor. Yes the throttle had a bunny and turtle on it. Jason thinking it was hilarious didn't want to share the truth, but knowing that I would be embarassed if our daughter told people in church the next morning that she played on tractors that killed rabbits and turtles.

I don't think she quite understood the fast (rabbit) and slow (turtle) concept but at least I hope she understand that it doesn't kill them!

Thank You Sandy!!

Sandy came over Friday afternoon to show me some stuff from Creative Memories which I have vowed not to do. She had told me last summer that they were coming out with a digital way to scrapebook that I would probably love. I wasn't sure if I wanted to take on the task of documenting our lives though. One day after getting another email from her I looked into it and wow - it was cool. I hate the scissor/paper and all that stuff but this was doeable for me.

She came over and showed me the digital book her daughter made her for Christmas of the Bodin family. All I can say was wow - it was also fun reading about our friends that we don't get to see very often and pictures of their kids (and of course them!)

Her is my plug for the awesome and great Sandy - If you haven't seen the new Creative Memories stuff, take a look. I bought the memory manager which will help organzie my pictures and create a book or picfolio - which was my easy way of documenting the craziness of the Willis's. If you are in Iowa - call her and sit down with her - I promise you will be blessed in more than one way!

A Run-in with the Trampoline

This is not exactly 100% true but it makes Drew look a little better. The kids were playing Ariel and Flounder yesterday morning while I was cleaning. I am not sure what it looked like, I just know it involved jumping on the trampoline. I heard screaming and this is USUALLY a sign of sibling fighting. Ally came screaming in which usually means Drew took her toy, but she was yelling - Drew bonked me on the head. It sounded to me amongst the crying that Drew bit her which was a problem this week.

After consoling her and stomping out to the deck to get Drew's side of the story which involved a "I sorry mom." I asked what happened and he said - I bop her on the head jibberish jibberish jibberish. Ally calmed down to say they were playing and that they jumped into each other and by that time I noticed her eye swelling up. We got Bob the icepack out and sat on the deck for a couple minutes. She played the rest of the day fine and got up this morning to a more defined black-eye. Nope it is not make-up!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Found It - Mommy!!

As I was cleaning up and trying to finish up my Grandma Klaassen's birthday card (Happy Birthday Grandma!!!), Drew found his beloved binky. Being the frustrated mom, I let him have it for a little while. He gave it back to me without asking too - I figured there would be world war three trying to get it out of his hands. He actually knows where they are - top shelf in the candle closet. I am shocked he hasn't scaled the shelves to get them.

Dentist appointment - went well. He kept telling Jason to leave and go to his own "room." They didn't do much with him except count his teeth and make sure there were no cavities, no cleaning. Dr. Hart is very good with kids and went with Drew to get his prizes! Drew ran in the door yelling - Mommy I went to the dentist!

I think that both kids will go back willingly!! YIPPPEEEEE!!

Not My Kid?!?

I guess I should hide the mittens, scarves, and hats. It isn't harmful to her, but it sure does make us look like the odd neighbors.

No comments on being odd...

Still Alive!!!

This post is only for documentation, but my flowers are still alive! This is the first time in 7 years of having beautiful flowers that by mid-July they still have color meaning green. I think the difference is water regularly.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cow vs. Pig

You see a poll on the sidebar which I have wanted to do for awhile. Many nights as we eat this question comes up, if God were to take cows or pigs away forever - which would you want him to take?

This has caused many serious discussions in the Willis household - we are farm kids. I grew up on pork burgers and Jason is obviously a dairy kid even though he never drinks milk. For once we have agreed and proud of it! We have decided that cows can go - they don't bring us enough good stuff to eat. But as I write, I don't know if Jason considered the ice cream factor...

Our reasoning...
Cows - steak, burgers, roast, ribs (tougher than pork)....
Pigs - sausage (Jason's fav), bacon, ham, pepperoni, pork loin, iowa chops (takes the place of steaks), brats, mountain rocky oysters (I refuse to eat these!), roast, ribs, and ground pork (makes good burgers)...

We wouldn't want to sway you one way or another. What are your reasons? And if you have never had an Iowa Chop, you need to visit the Klaassen farm.

Change is Healthy

So I changed the template - you can like it - you can not like it. I have had the last template for awhile and needed something different to look at. I wish I could get the picture at the top to change, but I think it came with the "look." If there is something that is terribly bad about it - let me know though.

We (as in me and Ally) went to the dentist today. She got out of bed this morning, threw opened her door and yelled - I get to go to the dentist today! Usually it is mommy where are you? Yeah that is the same excitement that I had about going to the dentist. Same old story - you need to floss. Is there anyone in the whole world that flosses every day?

Ally had a blast and loved it and is showing off her "clean" teeth. They are actually not that clean since they put a fluoride laxer that we can't brush off til bedtime. Who wouldn't like the dentist when they have flat screens with cartoons of your choice playing? Drew and Jason go on Thursday - we will see how that goes...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Couldn't Be Me?

We went to the Children's Museum today again - mainly because I didn't want to go outside in the hot humid afternoon. The kids have a lot of fun and after a while of playing, Drew says - another place with excitment. We were playing in the barnyard with several young children and I smelled poop. I was digusted that some mom wouldn't change her child.

As we continued through the museum, the smell followed. I assumed that it was in my nose and needed some time to get out. It followed me to my van and home into the garage. Finally it struck me - even though Drew pooped before we left - it is probably him.

I asked are you poopy? His usual response - No mommy I am Drew-Drew. Can I check your pants? NO - run - there is my culprit!

I feel so stupid for being the mom that wouldn't change her child's pants and for judging all the other moms there.

Muscular Towel Man

I have been trying to remember to take the camera up at bathtime for awhile, but by the time I remember Drew has dropped the towel. Jason gets the towel on him just like a "man". In the first picture try and forget he is in a pink room holding a polly pocket and a toilet, he is making a muscle. Below he is being strong and grunting!

Monday, July 9, 2007

PBS Favorites

As a kid which shows did you watch? We didn't have cable - amazingly my parents got it after all of us graduated from high school. My parents were strict on what we watch - which I am grateful for! The only thing on in the mornings beside the good ol' Price is Right was Sesame Street. A show that my kids are enjoying right now. Ally goes around all day talking about the number of the day. Drew pretends he is cookie monster eating the letter of the day.

Another favorite is Reading Rainbow. It used to be on at lunch time and my dad would let us watch it after the markets - if you aren't a farmer you would have no clue what the markets are on the noon news. BORING!!! Who cares about the price of hogs in 6 months!!!! I was looking for something educational to fill my little girl's head while I made supper and this came up. She loves it and the same black guy still hosts the show - but he has definitely aged quite a bit. She loves it and sings the song all the time.

PBS gets so little attention for kids shows, but there are so many great educational ones that get my kids going. Jakers is a english farm animal one which if you have is HILARIOUS!!! We don't have it in Iowa, but watched it all the time in Wisconsin last summer. We did buy some DVDs of the show online.

My only warning is stay away from Caliou. He is an annoying 4 year old that whines all the time to get his mommy to do something. They love it but it has to be teaching terrible habits and will garautee to drive you insane!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Hot Day

It has been hot the last few days. Jason worked all day in the garage on the dresser while Ally and I went shopping with Rachel and Grandma Rhonda for flower girl's dresses. The task is difficult due to Rachel's dress being champagne color. We think we found it, but they are going to look a couple more places. Goodness they are expensive though.

Our other problem is that my daughter has no meat on her bones so she fits into a 2 or 3T dress but it is way too short. A 4T fits length, but is so big on her chest. I think that Kaylee will have the same problem except that she might still have a slight buddha belly still. Also we have to order them by Aug 5 which is 8 months from the wedding - how much will either girl grow???

After doing some grilling, we headed out to the pool. Last night we swam also but Jason was mowing in the "coolness" and stirring up all the stinking bugs. Tonight the water still felt awesome, but no bugs making the swimming experience much more enjoyable. Drew is so funny with his life jacket! He will do about anything as long as there are no bugs in the way. He refuses to take it off though. He can jump (with life jacket) but wouldn't show me on video tonight.

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Ally has been getting slightly braver. She will swim with wings - except she bites holes in them and they don't stay up very well then, or with her life jacket which is bulky, or with a inter tube. But she is now experimenting with nothing holding her up. She is just tall enough to swallow the water if she doesn't keep her mouth closed, but can touch and bounce around. She loves it. She loves to jump off the side or her daddy's head. She will go under, but many times forgets to blow out her nose. I am trying to teach to plug the nose, but not sure if that is such a hot idea - will she get addicted to holding her nose???

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The above picture is actually two pictures - doesn't it look neat?

Jason has a hilarious entry into the pool, but I need some help trying to get him to let me tape it and then post it.

Friday, July 6, 2007


The Fourth of July is always a big holiday around here due to the fact that my mom is a firecracker baby - even though she is not a baby anymore but fifty-_ _ _ r now. For as long as I can remember, our church has had a picnic. When I was little we went to Lake Iowa, but sometime in my elementary years the church built a picnic shelter and it has been there ever since. This year was lacking in people though due the town of Williamsburg turning 150 years. A lot of the church live in Williamsburg. They had a Go Fish concert in the morning which pulled a lot of people away since Jason is from Victor. As mom was making the food, I think that Rachel decided she couldn't miss the potluck and headed over for lunch before going to the lake with her friends - my kids aren't cool enough for her to hang out with them. Grandpa Melvin doesn't get out much but he loves to see people from church so Aunt Donna brought him down for the day. He loves his girls (my mom and Aunt Linda)!

We aren't suppose to play in the pop tank. (I usually call it soda, but this is the POP tank. I haven't been completely converted to the odd Missouri ways. It had NO COKE in it.) When I was a kid, playing in the pop tank would usually end up in a huge water fight with bitter cold water since there were frozen jugs of ice in there. Then someone that didn't want to get wet - usually an elderly or baby would get wet and we all would get in BIG trouble. But what little kid can help themselves from the fun of getting in the water and getting their favorite soda when their parents aren't watching closely. Grandpas should be looking out for the best interest of the children - not laughing! To give Grandpa a little credit - when Drew wasn't looking he filled it up with water - yuck watered down Mountain Dew!

To give kids something to do instead of the water tank, they make a huge waterslide, put baby shampoo on it to make it good and slippery and tadaa - fun. Jason claims that we made a deal that if he would go down, I would - fully clothed because there is NO WAY I would put a swim suit on at a church picnic. He doesn't hear very good lately but it was quite humorous to see him go down - it would have been better if he would have slipped and gotten really wet!
After the picnic we usually head to Grandpa's house in Grinnell for their parade, but Williamsburg's parade was suppose to be great - I am not so sure that a two hour parade with over 100 tractors is great, but I did have fun with my awesome friend Sarah and her family. She has 5 well-behaved kids. Poor Jonah (9) is the lone boy in the clan! I wish I would have had my sun glasses on when Jason took this picture! Beside Sarah is Amy who is one of my many distant cousins in the area. Amy doesn't think that blogging is cool - even though she made the site!

For those of you reading that are my camp buddies. If you don't recognize this yahoo it is Kyle Telecky. Kyle is the camp's interim manager. Kyle is great and I remember him from camp as being a great leader. I also remember that he didn't think it was so funny when Andy Houts, Sarah and I put all of his stuff in the middle of the pond.

After the parade we headed now to Grinnell for cake which was good. I think it was a taste test for the wedding. Jason said that if this was the type of cake for the wedding - he would definitely be there!

My mom and Renae blowing out their candles with help of Drew. There were only 24 candles on the cake - 64 short of these two young babes ages. Renae's birthday is today. Her sister, Debbie's, birthday is on Sunday. I love family birthdays!

Last but not least is a picture of Holly Shepley - Renae's youngest of 4 girls. She didn't say a word all night, but just wandered her little body around watching everybody's every move. She even made it through the fireworks better than my cranky Drew, but I think she got a nap!

Congratulations! You have made it through my LONG babbling post!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Children's Museum

On Tuesday we headed out to get some material for the roof on the playhouse. Feeling a little bit insane, I decided to get some lunch at the mall and go to the Children's Museum for a couple of hours in hopes of wearing out my children so they would take good naps and to play of course!

I called up my friend Kate, who just returned from her honeymoon in Hawaii to meet us at Bread Co. We enjoyed a nice lunch of the most expensive grilled cheese and peanut butter and jelly ever. Right before we left Kate to return some wedding presents, I said - Drew I didn't bring the diaper bag so NO ACCIDENTS (meaning poop!) in your pull-up.

We really enjoy the Children's Museum because it has several "exhibits". Basically it is little kids play areas. They have:

  • Medical section with an ambulance, dentist chair, x-ray machine, and all the dr. toys.
  • Grocery store - I hate that one, but that is the kids' favorite.
  • Iowa habitat area of animal stuff
  • Force and motion (Mommy and Daddy's favorite it hits our mathematical minds!)
  • Farm area - can't live in Iowa and not be a farm lover!
  • Sand box - yes a mess
  • Art center - haven't ventured in there yet, looks scary with Drew
  • Indonesian exhibit - new this summer with dress-up clothes and fun info and toys

There are several more spots to visit but these are some that I can remember. I don't think we were there more than 15 minutes before Ally told Drew that he stunk. I don't "tink", I'm Andew Ason Wilus - very offended. Oh yes he did. Ally had been so excited to come that I didn't want to ruin the adventure and go home - so what were my options? 1. Let it go and pretend that I don't notice the stench and hope that the other moms don't either, 2. Clean him up and get a pair of extra panties (girl ones) from the car (THEN hoping for no accidents!!!), 3. Go to Target, buy diapers and wipes since I also used the last wipe at lunch to clean up.

Ally and I choose option three and headed over with our "tink". We cleaned up and had a blast had the museum. In the picture above at the Pizza Palace, they made me a germ (mushroom) and sausage pizza. Drew served drinks and made him poor Mommy pay for her meal!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Ice Cream Cones

My children take after their father when it comes to ice cream. We have a cute new shop near our house owned by a family at our church. We do need to figure out the swirl around the cone to get the drips concept - that seemed to be Mommy's job since Daddy won't eat chocolate ice cream -I had to be a servant for that job.

Ally has been asking for a cone, but that spells trouble to me. I finally gave in. She actually didn't like it and Drew ate his cone and her cone. She did eat all the chocolate ice cream in the cone though!

Cousins Swim

A couple weeks ago all my cousins in the area got together to swim - sponsored by the Grandmas. As you can see Drew and James were a little out-numbered! Most don't live in the area but were home for visits - benefiting us!

Front: Drew (2.5), Malee (4), James (2), Mallory (4)
Back: Abby (5.5), Lydia (9), Hannah (5), Kim (not telling), Ally (4), Cassidy (7)

This is not all the great-grandchildren. We are missing about 14 more which does include 7 boys.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Honey-Do List

Every wife has one - even if you don't want to admit it. Ours is LONG and I am trying to be patient and wait not only for time for Jason to get to all the things, but the money to make it happen!

We decided that we needed something to keep our kids in the yard instead of always wanting to go to Ethan's house to play on his swing set. The playhouse/slide has been up for awhile, but not quite finished. The plan a few years ago was to add the swings the next year. Jason and Drew took a trip to Menards to get the stuff to finish this one up. While Ally and I shopped with Aunt Rachel and Drew slept, Jason threw together this beautiful swing addition. The rope swing is the favorite among the little people. There is a "roof" but the piece holding it up broke in the move or something and is still on the "list" to get done.

Drew loves to help with hammer and nails.

Another one of Jason's works is my chest of drawers. This one has been going for quite awhile. We bought the plans last fall, and Jason cut the wood around Christmas time, but now has finally found the time to put it together. I can see the end to this one and really excited. Sometime I should get pictures of all the projects in order so you can see how his handiness has improved (and blessed so many people!)