Thursday, December 6, 2012

out of memory

Well, I just learned that I'm out of 'memory' space to save new pictures on my blog.  It will cost me $2.50 a month to continue doing this.  That equals $30 a year.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet.  I love blogging but its tempting to just start a new one for free.  Or I can delete pictures off my blog to save more space but then they're gone from my old posts.

Ergg.. didn't see this coming.

For now.. my blog is on hold until I decide what I'm going to do.

Any other ideas?

Friday, November 16, 2012


I'm one of the biggest dorks of a mom, well, person really... have I ever told the public this?  The funny thing, is that sometimes my kids encourage me in our family corniness. At what point will they be more embarrassed instead of my cheerleader?

Here below is our latest investment.  We bought a string of white lights with large bulbs so we could light up our holiday creations (kind of a continuation of lighting up our pumpkins which is are rotting on the back steps).  These are our Thanksgiving milk jugs.   Yep, we cleaned out some milk jugs and then painted them. Oh, and then stuck lights in them.

Wendell and I teamed up (see below).  I painted a turkey on it and he came up with the saying.  "No CHICKENS ALLOWED... " 
Then I added gobble, gobble because sometimes during Thanksgiving season I walk around and speak turkey instead of english.
Wendell painted pumpkins (below)

Harlie painted one too but it was just a beautiful abstract painting.  She's the true artist.  I think hers in the far left one (see the top picture).

I'm actually excited because now we can paint something to light up for every season.. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines Day, St. Patty's, etc.. whatever and whenever we want.  I might have to come up something other than a milk jug.  Any ideas?  I thought of a glass jar but I'd be scared they'd break easily.  Poor Phil.. he has to live with us.

Moving on to my monkey's....

Is this torture?  Maybe but I took a picture instead of yelling.  Ali really didn't seem to mind and it was safer then actually crawling on her.

Another cheap idea.  It actually works well for her to sit in, kind of like those bumbo chairs.  It's also like an indoor sled too.  I should attach a string to the front so the kids can pull her around..   brilliant!  I just thought of that one!

It just makes me laugh... too bad she won't eat food while sitting here.  Maybe next month?

Well, in case you want to see more 'dorky' ideas.. you can drive by our house at Christmas time.  Of course you can drive by and see our Turkey lights as well.  I recently made our kids and myself something for winter.  Phil spent $20 on his.. mine was free : )  I'll show you next time!  Any guesses?

Have a Great Thanksgiving!  Don't forget to say thank you to our wonderful Lord and Savior.. he has blessed us all with so much!  Gobble, gobble until next time!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

twick o' tweet

Althought it has quesitonable orgins, I must admit, I love Halloween.  I love dressing up, carving pumpkins, visiting neighbors to get candy, and eventually a good scare will be fun.  I also love a good Halloween party too... remember bobbing for apples?

Above are the kids in their Halloween shirst from Grandma Val.  

Here they are in their costumes.. inside where it's warm and no coat is needed.

Grandma Val and Grandpa Jim took Wendell and Harlie to
a pumpkin patch and of course they had lots of fun.. 
it appears their enthusiasm isn't shown in the picture.
Wendell and Harlie chose three eyes for their pumpkins and I designed Ali's this year.. hers turned out a little scarier than I had planned.

I went to Wendell's Halloween party at school.  Here are all the cute kids.. some a bit scary, such as the 'babysitter cutter' masked in black and purple. 

Here we are right before we 'twick o' tweeted'. 
We had a great night as the weather was very nice, considering the last day of October.  One highlight was the guy who handed out $5 bills and one disappointment was not having the haunted yard that we've visited the last two years.  We also had one embarrasing moment when Harlie told one lady she didn't like the candy she was handing out... the lady handled it well and gave her another option. 
After about an hour we had enough candy so we packed up in the car and visited Phil's aunt and then a few friends.  We were pretty tired by the end of the night but it was fun.  I even followed some family tradition of a beef stew for supper; it was hamburger soup but it was close enough. 

This is Miss Harlie and her first day of preschool.  Yep, we started her in preschool.  We found out about 3 weeks ago that we can't send her to preschool when she'll turn 5.  It's kind of long and complicated but I was planning to send her to school when she turned 6 since she has a summer birthday but after talking to school people about preschool they say that she is 'expected' to go to kindergarten when she's 5 and the pre-k won't let her go as they don't have '5 year old pre-k'.  Anyways, I made a few phone calls and got no where so we had a quick decision to make.  If we send her to the same 4 year old full time (4 days a week) pre-k that we sent Wendell (at the public school) then we'd want to get her to part time preschool now.  I thought I'd call the preschool that Wendell went to when he was three, just to see if they had an opening, and it turned out someone had just moved so they did.  So in a quick decision I said yes, we'd send her. 

Weff.. what a few days of craziness but I do feel God has a hand in it.  Between the time I found out they wouldn't take Harlie at 4 year old pre-k ( at the beginning of the school  year they said they would so some ruling had changed recently), having an opening at our preferred pre-k, and knowing that just about everyone but myself felt she should go to pre-k now (at 3) then I guess God must have something in mind. 

I must admit, the morning we dropped her off and I got home.. I tried to be sad but I just hooped and hollered with joy.  She's off.. and I know she was in heaven, well the next best thing in her mind.  : )  

We all took her to school.  We even had Wendell skip riding the bus so he could come too, as this was his old teacher so he wanted to see her again.
This little girl was pretty excited.  So excited that when I stuck around to fill out some paperwork she questioned why I was still there.  She was so ready for this.. it makes me happy but also sad.  I see now how fast this will go...


Last but not least is Miss Alveda.  She is starting to eat some baby food.  Prepared by my own two hands and one of her favorite things to do is to spit it back at me, we're talking a spray gun right at my face.  I have started somewhat covering her mouth as I'm not sure an (almost) 6 month old can understand 'no' yet.  I briefly thought about putting her in a timeout.. would it be 30 seconds - 1/2 a minute for her age?   : )  She's also started scratching and pinching us so the word 'no' will be coming soon.  I can see her now.. she'll laugh and smile the first time I say no sternly.. didn't they all?   

So far she has tried mixed grain cereal with br. milk, sweet potato, peas, green beans, bananas, applesauce, avocado, carrots and butternut squash soup.  Soup was her favorite.. and one of ours too!  I think she's going to want her food warm and flavored... no bland for this girl, but we'll see.

This time I bought some ice cube trays to freeze food.  So far I've frozen about 2 dozen cubes so we'll see how it goes.  I have enough to last awhile.  I just hope we get a routine soon.  So far she wakes up around 6:30/7am, eats and sometimes I lay her back down but either way she sleeps again soon.  Then wakes, eats, plays, wakes, eats, plays, etc in about 3 to 4 hour rotations.  Some days she naps from 11am-1pm so I don't really think to feed her lunch as we're all done when she might be ready; and you have to feed her when she's hungry but not too hungry.  And at dinner time, sometimes she just too tired to eat.  It's sad to say but with Wendell I was SO excited to feed him baby food; now 3 kids later, I realize how eat and fast br. feeding is.   Oh well, I'm not too worried, it'll come around, something will work out and we'll find when and what she wants to eat.  We're really just getting started but it's hard to believe in 6 months she'll be eating mostly food and hopefully weaning.  So a lot to do in 6 months!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

a race, a football game, and a few silly faces

Well, hello there!

 Wendell loves to bike, Harlie loves to swim, will Ali love yoga? 
Phil ran in the Grant Wheeler 5k at church last weekend.  He made good time so that's nice.  I wish I could have joined him but my back is still giving me fits.  A year ago I did a triathlon and now I'm barely walking.  Ergg...  I hope by taking some time off I'll be able to get back next spring.

A couple of weeks ago Phil taped at a game in W'loo so we loaded the kids and took them along. 

 Although I've seen him tape at games from long ago, the kids never have so it was fun.  But they were more excited about the game then daddy taping.  Highlights were climbing the bleachers to the top, watching the players smash through the Homecoming paper when they ran on the field, watching the ball fly in the sky at kick off, then walking behind the bleachers, seeing an old babysitter in the band, hot dogs and popcorn (how could I say no?) and of course, checking out the bathroom.  On a side note, we happened to be at Columbus which is a Catholic school; but it was pretty neat to hear a prayer before the game started... something we don't see in public schools.


Here we went fishing.  Didn't catch anything though.  I'm excited to take Wendell again.  I love to fish, and I think he will too.

What have we here?  Some serious bedhead.  That was a beehive!

 Sometimes the kids sneak down to our bed, especially when I'm at work.  Here they both did.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

more good books!

Here's a story for you!  While pregnant (and honestly, I'm still there), the thought of going to the library to borrow books seemed like such a chore, especially with kids in tow.  The thought of looking, standing, and carrying a stack of books while pregnant around a library just sounded painful!  I jokingly told a friend that I wish they had wheelchairs there so I could sit and browse sitting and rolling (really, though, wouldn't that be nice!).  So although I love to read books, I'm not a huge fan of looking for books at the library.

So through facebook, I had a nudging to ask a facebook friend if she had some books I could borrow, someone I really don't know well but who's husband works with my husband.  (Side note: it turns out EVERYONE in Cedar Falls/Waterloo knows Gabbi Dewitt but seems that it's all connected in odd twists and turns. )  Within a day she had sent about 20 books my way.  What a huge blessing! So an adventure began!  I decided I was NOT going to pick through the bag, although I was very tempted.  I would pick out one book at a time, give it a chance and if I liked it good if not it went in the 'done' pile.

So over 6 months later, I have completed the pile!

Here are the books I liked:
Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry (it was having a book with the name Wendell : )
A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel
If I live to be 100 by Neenah Ellis
I am Nujood, Age 10 and divorced by Nujood Ali
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
As We Are Now by May Sarton
Half A Life by Darin Strauss
First, You Cry by Betty Rollin

I learned one thing, I do NOT like Jodi Picoult's book.  Her writing skills are great, her story's are too strong/controversial for me.

I also learned that having a stack a books was GREAT so a few months ago when I actually had some free time, and no preggo belly to lug around, I went to Goodwill and bought a bunch of books.  I put them in a bag and have already forgotten about them.  Now that I'm done with Gabbi's stack I will start on my own by pulling out one book at a time and see what I find!

fall fun!

We visited the 'farm'.  Well, it's not really a farm.  I grew up in the country, around farmers, but my parents did not farm themselves.  Here is Harlie holding a beloved kitten.  She loved them, they loved her yet there were lots of scratch marks.

Some times we use my nursing cover as a blanket for Ali.  Here is Wendell, on the way home from my parents, sleeping with the 'blanket'.  Great idea Wendell!
This is only the begining...

 here comes some fun!
(I call this trailer the 'red tomato')

 oh yah! who wouldn't love this?
 Harlie's in on it too!

 ohhh.. so handsome!

 that's my girl!
  yep, we filled it up
 saw this turkey on the way to the yard waste center
 got home and found this.. I wasn't too surprised.
Every year we take pictures on the day we rake leaves and every year its so fun!  This year I convinced Phil to leave a pile for the kids to play in.  I figure we can have at least one pile to play in for a few weeks.  The kids love to rake it up, then jump in it, like most kids. The other day they made a 'birds nest'.  The ideas they have are so creative!
So I thought if I took Wendell on a bike ride then I'd take Harlie on one too!

We rode for about 20 minutes and hiked/explored for about 10.  She might be more of a hiker than a biker.  Only time will tell..  either way I'm glad ours kids like being out in nature.

Just like me when I was a kid, she likes rocks.  And my mom has some funny stories to tell you about my childhood and rocks. 30 years later, I can see Harlie is just like me with a love for rocks.  This rock was a token she found while out on our bike ride.  I asked how she was going to get it home and she said 'your bag'.  Well, I didn't have my bag so this little squirt put it in my water bottle cage.  Great idea Harlie! It did make it safely home : )


 Peace out.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

fall is here!

Fall is here.. and I'm so excited.  The weather is great, the leaves are pretty, and the change of season is so refreshing.  I'm one of those people that really doesn't like the heat in the summer so this time of year is so refreshing for me.  I love putting on blue jeans and a sweatshirt!  In all honestly, I love all season of Iowa and I'm always ready to move onto the next one. 
In celebration of the change, I think I'm going to do another bucket list for this season.  I'm excited to write down: bike rides (again), hot cocoa, hot bubble bath, drawing with Wendell, Ali starting solids, Harlie ??, fishing, Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas, Wendell's birthday, a few school events, etc... I see a list in the making!  Then I might do another one starting in January.  It's just nice to see what we have to look forward to  and then at the end of the season to actually see what we did.     
Wendell (and sometimes Harlie) and I have started doing some drawings together.  Wendell really loves this so we bought two sketch pads so we could keep them together and we could each have our own.  We've completed about 5 so far and they are all different.  My mom even mailed us some oil pastels (a fancy crayon) so that has been a change to add color (thanks Mom!).  Most of our drawings have been just pencil/led.

On another note, this is a stack of papers that Wendell's teacher sent home.

I had told her she could send things home for me to do to help her out, so she sent this giant stack of papers that needs to be cut out.  Each word needs cut out and then each sheet needs paper clipped together.

Although I do own scissors, I thought this project might need a little more help so I spent some $$ and invested in one of these (paper cutter).  It was kind of pricey but that ream of paper just seemed to keep growing every time I looked at it.

I got one color done and it took me about an hour.... wow.. I didn't quite realize what I have signed up for.  Luckily she sent a note that said 'no rush'.  Which is good but I will admit this was a bit more than I had bargained for.  Oh well..  if any of you have heard Dave Bartlett's story about making pizza.  I will remind my self, this is my job for Jesus.
 This is a look of pride.  Wendell has been making us 'snacks' lately.  Although this is meal for some, this is apparently a snack for Wendell.  It has 1/2 pb/nutella sandwich with peanut's and chocolate chips on the inside, some apples, raisins, marshmallows, and sunflower seeds.

Our neighbor is tearing down her garage so we've been watching the progress.  It seems this project is going to take a couple of weeks but luckily the kids know to stay away.  The garage wasn't as bad as this pictures shows.. this is after they started tearing it down.

Tonight's drawings.

Any guess at what this is? ........... these are pieces of material (and the top of a quilt) that was covering our plants in our garden so they didn't get frost.  I think we did it 2-3 nights and it actually worked!  I bet the neighbors thought we were having a circus or something but that's okay.. it was kind of nice seeing color in our yard.

That's all for now!  Happy fall!