Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Beta Killer

Our kids had a lot of freedom this weekend at the party. The rule - just don't let the dog out. They enjoyed playing with all of my aunt's toys which were some of our toys from Grandma Klaassen's house. I love dress up.

We tried to check on them periodically. Since my kids are so very old - I don't worry about them much - HA - they did walk the dog down the street by themselves. But Kaylee that is another story. She is dangerous! Jason walked into the house and found her and another little culprit (not my kids) trying to feed the fish. She loves the Dr. Suess's Fish out of Water book. Jason just laughed and Amy wasn't smiling.

The fish didn't die. He was still alive the next morning.

Side note: The boys (aka Dads) did take a turn "watching" the kids. This consisted of laying on a couch on another floor with their eyes closed. I was more effective outside at the party.

Worms

Is my princess really suppose to be playing with worms? I was working on changing the blog background last week - instead of cleaning when Ally came running in and said they caught a worm. Great. She asked me if I wanted to see it. Being as estatic as I could I muscled out a Sure with a smile. She brought her prize into the house.

Later I look out to see that they had made it a nice home in a bucket with dirt and water. The kids checked on their dear friend on Monday after being gone all weekend. Drew told me the worm pooped his pants - ummmm probably not Drew you guys killed it. No holes in the bucket.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bold or Crazy?

Or just too tired to make rational decisions???? I was out to save us some money today. In the end, I saved us over $30 - so how did I do such a thing? I cut my kids' hair myself. A feat that I haven't ever done but really it shouldn't be that hard - can it?

I started with Ally. It takes them less than 5 minutes in the salon so really how hard is it? I just wanted to cut off about an inch. I was leaving room for error in my part so that I could humbly head to salon if need be to get it fixed. We got it done. I think that it looks alright, but it ended up being about 2 inches. Good thing I started with 1 inch. If you noticed in the previous post her hair was WAY below her shoulders. It is a little longer than shoulder length. Still is cute in pigtails - her style of choice to keep it out of her eyes.

Drew was going to be hard. The poor boy is so ticklish that they mess it up in the salon everytime when he wiggles. For me though - after getting over the intial shock of mom cutting his hair - he sat fairly still. I was going to use the clippers on it. I thought #4 would be too long so I went with a #3. HOLY COW a lot of hair came off with the first swipe. Drew's hair was a much faster masterpiece and is MUCH shorter than usual, but who cares it is summer and is cool for our sweaty boy. He still has more than Chuck! With each haircut he looks older and older.

New Exhibit

When I go out, I like to head out and get all my errands done at once. Which means that typically we are out for a very long time. We gathered all the returns from the basement and I set out last Tuesday to get it all done. We left at 10:00 and finished just after 1:45. I promised my well-behaved kids a trip to their favorite yellow arches and the children's museum after we were done. They were incredible!

To our surprise they added a new exhibit which could have been there for months for all I know! Dinosaurs. Like most young boys - Drew was facinated! I love this station probably more than Drew. I love to figure out what piece goes where. I am worse than the kids when others come. I DON'T WANT TO SHARE!

Here are the kids' footprints with respect to a dinosaur one. I thought Drew had big feet!

Hummmm they do look like twins. Ally still holds strong with a half inch lead in height but Drew has still overtaken her in weight with about 5-6 pounds! But the dinosaur is still quite a bit larger. I would never what to fight it!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Jason's Charm

Lauryn was not into Jason. She wouldn't let him look at her or touch her. She warmed up to him this weekend in South Dakota but probably because she was holding her bottle.

Don't come near me again or I'm going to punch you!

Smile Please

On the garage rising day, the kids played together very well. Especially for several kids who take naps everyday and didn't get one on this special day. Drew and Kaylee were the ones who played most of the day together in the sand pile. All four kids are strong-willed and nobody can figure out where that might come from.

I was hoping to get some good pictures of them altogether, but as you can see I got nothing.
Kaylee's growl....

Drew's you got to be kidding and Lauryn not happy about being naked. Ally was the only cooperative one!

Amy read the tired crew their bedtime books which was the quietest they sat all day - except Lauryn who wasn't into the Tooth book.

Ally - 5, Drew and Kaylee - 3, and Lauryn - 10 months

Garage Rising

What are the benefits of having a son that owns a framing compant, a son-in-law that has a ConEng degree and building experience, a newphew that loves to build, a brother that is handy and his wife that is all around servant - a good crew to build a garage! A couple weekends ago we put up a much needed garage for my parents. Okay - I didn't do much but sit back watch kids. Here are the boys comparing their stomachs - I mean muscles!

Lauryn barking out the orders.

Trusses going up! Chris is on this end and Jason on the other. Andy is in the middle. My dad is on the floor.

It is a small house if you ask me, but he has to put the tractor somewhere. My Dad slipped on the ice a couple time this past winter and that was the end of that. It seems that as us kids get out, the home improvements start.

Andy up high putting the last one in place.

They had the walls up mid-morning and the trusses were up in the middle of the afternoon. They got all but one side of the roof sheeted, but a NASTY thunderstorm came in about 9:00 to stop them short. From what I understand that by now it is shingled too.

Helpers

This summer has been the summer of payments. The kids have gotten into coins. They don't quite understand the value of each coin except that they really want the big one! They have been putting any earned coins in the piggy bank which when full will get ice cream. It is way past enough, but then we can have several trips!

While Ally sat for 30 minutes eating her popsicle slushy one day, Drew helped me clean out the dishwasher by working on the silverware. They take turns doing this for me which happens to be quite frequently in the summer! They also do recycling. Sometimes they get coins for playing nicely together. Everyone likes to earn something - sometimes it is special Mommy kisses and other times it is coins!

Popsicle Chart

Do you have to bribe your child to eat popsicles? I think that we are good with the tonsils - she has her follow-up appt on Monday. But getting her to eat popsicles the few days after surgery was tough. I thought that she would gobble them up, but chewing was difficult. So I did what any good Mom would do. I made a chart with rewards attached to it. We counted the ones she ate in the hospital.

The first day I wanted her to get to 10 - which was an additional 4 popsicles. As you can see she got a story on the computer or games. It took over 2 days to get to that point. Then came the 15 which was a trip to Culvers to spend her gift card from Kate - it took a week to get there. Part of the dilema was that she wouldn't just suck on them. I had to crush them into a popsicle slushy. I was happy to do it. Do you know that a popsicle crushed down is less than 2 tablespoons?

It took about 7 days until she seemed to be pretty good. We had tylenol down her every 3 hours for the first week and then went to about 6 hours. Once and awhile she still asks for something if her throat hurts.

Now that she is good to go - she asked for another chart and is making up the rewards for herself!

Day at Grandpa's


Drew loves his Grandpa Charlie. When Ally had her tonsils out, Drew headed to my parents the night before. According to Drew, "Grandpa and I have lots of work to do." They poured concrete for the garage floor and fed the animals. One of the guys that was helping Dad brought his daughter, Reagan. Drew and his new friend played together all day, ate lunch and watched Lilo and Stitch - hence the face (he is Stitch.

Ally keeps asking when does Drew get his tonsils out so that she can go to Grandma's house. Drew tells her that he isn't old enough. I said that she can go to Grandma's house anytime she wants.

Friday, July 25, 2008

RAGBRAI

Do you know what RAGBRAI stands for? It is the bike ride across Iowa. Okay who would really want to do this? Well Lance Armstrong and about 10,000 other crazy people. Jason thinks that we should do it someday. I think we better do it before we get too old. Problem: I struggle riding my bike through the subdivision let alone 65-75 miles everyday for 7 days! I feel like I am going to fall over.

So what is the fun of RAGBRAI? Every year they take a different route through Iowa. We don't have mountains - even though some would claim we do - they are just big hills. But we do have awesome hospitality. Towns like ours have been working on planning this night for over a year. As you can tell we had a pirate theme.

I don't know when the bikers started to roll into town, but know that when I left with the kids on Thursday morning at 9:30 all the campgrounds were full with lines. If you don't get out early, you don't get a good spot near the bathroom and shower. We headed into town for some entertainment and food that evening. We thought - hey we should run into someone we know. We didn't know hardly anyone, but did run into a guy that came from San Diego 2 days ago to help at Mercy with Jason. They had never seen anything like this! There was a lot of food, people, bikes (go figure), beer, music....

I get a kick out of one of the weathermen here. His name is Joe Winters. He was finishing up the forcast as we walked by. He is in the red shirt.

Bikes from all sorts and sizes and styles show up. Who says you need a road bike to have fun? One really old guy stopped our kids and told them to honk his horn. He had a button on his bike bar with a real horn.

Also the traveling attire is as big as the bikers sometimes. Buses of all colors come to town! Most set up a tent which is not my cup of tea to get a good nights rest but most pass out from all the adult beverages!

They headed out of town this morning past our subdivision. I grabbed my camera as I went on my walk at 6:00 this am. This is the crew that was leaving then. I looked out about 9:30 and a few stragglers were still heading out to make the 65 mile trek to Tipton - the long scenic route! They will enjoy many stops along the route!


Oh RAGBRAI stands for Register's Annual Great Bycicle Ride Across Iowa. (Register as in the Des Moines Register our newspaper)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Big Wedding!

We typically don't have that many weddings since we are out of the college loop. We have had a couple weddings in July that have been an absolute thrill to attend. I got to work on both of the slide shows which help me get to know them a little bit more from all their childhood picts!

The first wedding (Jonna & Andy) was fun since we didn't have the kids with us! I had been mentoring Jonna throughout the spring. She went to Johnston Schools which is where I had my first teaching job. She was a 6th grader when I was there teaching 7th grade. Andy's family are friends with my cool friend - Sarah and went to EIBC. Scary if he should remember me as the crazy lifeguard! I also met a new blog friend from church there - even better!


The second wedding was extra special to us since we knew Luke from STL. All of the Kruse kids have babysat our kids and did a wonderful job. Jaci was our caregroup babysitter. Luke & Betsy are going to be missionaries with New Tribes. They head to Bible school in WI later this summer. They insisted on bringing the kids which was hard since Ally was only on day 4 with her tonsils out - just a little crabby. Drew danced the night away - from what I hear he has dance moves like his Uncle Jared.

video

Look Like a Picnic?

Who says that you need a blanket and a nice park for a picnic. Sometime earlier this spring we headed to my parent's house so that Jason could help my Dad in the field. This year it took forever to get everything planted since it was so wet - and the flood hadn't hit yet!

We took Jason and Dad lunch in the field and ate our hot dogs, chips and beans in the back of the truck. It was fun even though I don't think the kids really ate anything except for chips, jello and juice boxes. These field were under water for a few days during the flood. In the background is the house that we lived in when we first moved back to Iowa.

Sweet Corn

Due to all the flooding the sweet corn crop is so far a little slim. There aren't any stands out yet which is starting to get really late. I have finally started noticing tassles out which is REALLY a late start. Typically they are about finished tassling for the year!

These pictures are over a month old but I this is my way of comparing my kids' growth each year! Here are the previous years' picts (2007 & 2006). Boy are they growing and so is their ability to eat straight rows on the corn! I had a lot of fun searching for my previous posts and noticed how much my kids have grown. Ally has "slimmed" out???? Drew had become a little boy and is also slimming out. Man what will they look like next year?

This isn't the best picture of Drew, but it did show that his brown eyes are still huge with long lashes!

Take Out the Log

Chris had been complaining of a splinter in his hand - which you couldn't see - baby! Nurse Aunt Donna gave some medical advice to follow and if it didn't work then go to the dr. He had already put "bacon around it"???? and other things that were suppose to help.

As we were waiting the storm out before leaving my parents, he finally squeezed it enough to get the splinter out. It was not just a splinter but a small log that was in his finger at a 90 degree angle. I will take back the baby comment! As any good contractor would do he got out his tape measure and we had a math lesson on fractions. Final measurement - 11/32 - you figure out the rest out.

He took it home to post in the wall of his work trailer for a "safety lesson" for his workers!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Recognize this Sweet Girl???


Anyone recognize this sweet girl? She never fell hopelessly in love with my brother - she saved that for someone else! She will always be one of my good friends that I wished live closer - but she also has seemed to meet several of her own friends!

Sorry Kristy - I found this while at my mom's the other day. You both look so young!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Playing in the Rain


Goodness - I think a couple weeks ago I was complaining that our grass was looking pathetic. We actually fertilized it and watered it and then the rains came and haven't stopped - wow what a run-on sentence! Typically in the evening we head outside to play but this weather was making playing ball or riding bikes difficult.

Last Thursday we were sitting out on the porch watching it rain and encouraged the kids to head out to see if they could get to the sidewalk "without" getting wet. Then we got out the bug nets that Jason got them in the middle of the winter to get the millions of junebugs that were hovering on the lawn. That fun only lasted a few minutes with them, but much longer with Jason - hence the lovely ballerina moves!



We had boots out and lots of jumping in the water. You can tell that we grew up on farms - when the rain comes you stay outside and finish up which means the kids still get to keep playing!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Crafts


Ally and Drew love crafts - I am not so sure that I get real excited about crafts. I am usually working on something and they just come and get paper out of the printer and "create" something. Today the fun was with the glitter paint/glue and the ink pads. Please realize that both are washable and meant for small kids.

Ally put a lot of glitter on the paper. It is for Grandma Rhonda when we head to her house for the garage rising. It was definitely a mess. I think we need to buy some more now after this project.


Drew had fun with the washable and scented inkpads. He was a little upset that it didn't ALL come off until bath time.

Our office floor is usually covered with marker, stickers, pictures, coloring books etc.... Typically the office door is closed when company comes for this reason - and for my desk also!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tonsils Out Club!

I ran out of time to post an Ally update last night but our little princess is doing as well as could be expected! Much better than her daddy did! I am the water-patrol person. We take 5 second and 10 second drinks. I didn't take the camera to the hospital thinking that was cruel to my poor daughter. She did get a certificate for the "Tonsils Out Club!" Daddy was disappointed that he didn't get one when he got his out in December.

Drew spent the day at my parents and that is a whole other post when I get the pictures. I had to run to a meeting in the evening so Jason and Ally got to have some fun playing! They did playdough, swings, read Narnia and took a bath! Fun.

There were a total of 7 snowmen, but this was the best picture of Ally.

She is doing pretty good and is eating fairly normal just slow - Drew even beats her!

The Waterfall

For some reason in our subdivision there is a sewer outlet every 20 feet which consumes small balls. We are typically really careful when playing ball in the front but one t-ball got away from us. The kids call this the waterfall. Luckily last night the ball didn't go down the endless pipe to the ocean, but his some sand and sat laughing at us looking down at it.

Jason being the incredibly handy person that he is got his pry bar, hammer and his Christmas present - foo bar and got the cover off. He dropped Ally in (much to Drew's persistent objections) to get the ball. Then when she got back up the ball rolled in again - good grief. He tried to hang her in by her feet but she would have no part of that.

I missed the picture the first time so we put her in again. Then we had a lesson about how no one goes in the waterfall unless mommy or daddy helps you!

My Little Helper

We have spent many many long hours in the basement. The kids have pulled their toys down there and many are REALLY dusty now. The dust has settled down considerably since the carpet is in!

Drew and I were working on the cupboard handles. He did a great job putting the screws in. I am sure that he will be as handy as his Daddy!