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!

Friday, September 21, 2012

how's it going?

Such an innocent and honest question, that I know you want to know the answer, especially us stay at home moms who really can have moment to moment days.  But lately, I have found that I ask myself that often during the day and I sit and think about, how is it going?  Now for most people, this might be a good time to reflect but lately I find that I'm analyzing, how is my day going?  I feel like I'm looking for reasons to declare it a bad day.  In fact.. unless I think of something positive and good then I feel depressed about my day even though nothing really bad has happened.  Now, I think this is getting to the point of ridiculous analyzing so I want to change that. 

Does anyone have this drama?  (drama that really isn't there)

On another note, my analyzing alone is getting to be just a little bit chaotic.  I used to work 40+ hours a week where all I did was tick things off my list.  Now I still do that but in my quiet mind that is constantly running.  Do I have racing thoughts? NO.   Am I crazy?  (snicker.. well, depends on who you ask).  Am I isolated?  Yes, as any stay at home mom is.  But I do think God has given me this time as a stay at home mom to really think about things, especially my relationship with him. 

Usually I am a positive person (and it is authentic) but this question, lately, had been a downer for me.  So... does anyone else have these problems?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

my new favorite!

A fresh, homemade, bowl of cereal.  (well, that's what it'll be tomorrow when I eat it for breakfast at work in the morning).   I take some whole grain oatmeal and either add 1. raisins, cinnamon/sugar (which flavors the milk), and almonds OR 2. chocolate chips, coconut, and peanuts.  Then I just pour cold milk over it and I have a bowl of cereal.

It's not quite as cruncy munchy as cereal in a box but if I sit and take my time I actually enjoy the flavors.  Plus, the nuts add some crunch.

Anyways, I love it so I had to share.

I'm sure I'll try more option, got any suggestions for me to try?

Monday, September 17, 2012

dirt trails

Wendell and I have been riding bikes, just the two of us, this summer.  This past weekend, I actually took pictures of where we have been exploring some dirt trails.  It has been a lot of fun for the two of us.  This last trip, we did take a friend of Wendell's along with us.  I have a video too that I eventually hope to share.
Here are some pictures of what we have found!


I'm back!

I think I'm back!  I have been a busy bee but I'm getting caught up and feeling great!

This snack is scumpdeclicious!
1. take a ritz cracker and spread nutella on it
2. take another ritz cracker and spread peanutbutter on it
3. sandwich together
yum! ** please note: very addictive


It's done and mom wanted pictures so here we go.  I scrapbooked the baby cards we received when they (each child) were born, along with some special cards like the baptism.  Nothing really special, just something to hold onto and enjoy later in life.  This is one major project off my list (and it only took a few hours)! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

just a few more things

It's been a great summer for our family.  For me, I am in debate still as it has/is taking me a long time to catch up on things I feel I should have been doing.  I wouldn't care but now my heart says I'm behind and I need to catch up... the ride was fun but now I see how much I didn't do.  Isn't that part of parenting/life?
We did have a lot of family come visit us this summer.  Between having Ali born, and a family reunion/get together that just happened to be in Waterloo, and then I had Phil's mom visit with our niece Jenna.  Plus, my mom always come from Florida to visit us for the summer and she stayed in town for a week.  Then we also had a cousin Maleigha stay for a few days.  And then Ali's baptism and Harlie's birthday.
Not to mention a few weddings and birthdays we attended (thankfully no funerals!). 
It's not often I actually get to set my table fancy.. in fact this was a first.  I got this clothe tablecloth from Goodwill and it fits perfectly; and I love the color and it's easy to wash.

I am a food addict so taking pictures of what we eat is a pleasure.  We grew the corn and beets in our garden.  I would guess that is a turkey burger.. a new favorite of ours.  Ground turkey + a little seasoning = healthier alternative to beef burgers.

Another favorite: taking pictures out our back door.  why?  I don't know why but it shows our plush garden.  We had a great garden this year; we grew (from left to right) popcorn, cucumbers, potatoes (not all of them came up).  We tried to put some spinach in about a month ago but it didn't come up either.  On the right side (by the garage) is sweet potatoes, tomato, beets, kohlrabi, and sweet corn. 

So a busy, busy summer, along with adjusting to a new baby.  As I reflect on the summer I happy to report that I read a book called Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst and loved it.  It has empowered me to rely on the Holy Spirit for EVERYTHING my heart ponders (not just food).  And to rely on that Spirit to be with me, guide me, and stop me at times. 

At this point, I am happy to report that I'm almost to my pre-baby weight.  Sometime I have worked very hard at.. watching what I eat and exercising. 

One last highlight from this summer is friends in our community.  Due to our wonderfully social son Wendell (Harlie is right behind him), we have met several kids in our neighborhood.  Some we are excited about and some we are not.  We are learning where to draw the line with other kids, with other parents, and with our own children who are trying to fly away.

I have met another stay at home mom who is also a Christian AND sending her children to our school so we have been really enjoying getting to know each other, again.  I say again because I used to supervisor her (eekk - scary as I was a very strict supervisor).  She reminded me that yes I was very strict, but I was also very good about complimenting her.  Oewww.. fuzzies in my heart : )

Norma, from Kenya, has been a great positive influence in how I see parenting.  "Trust in the Lord, and do good" - I hear her say to her kids often.  How great to use scripture to teach our kids!

On a sad note, I feel like I am saying good bye to my old friends - you know who you are - we are all starting our kids in school, we all live in different towns - we all are busy and moving to a new phase of life and challenges.  Even MMO will be limited for me this year and that is another thing I need to work through emotionally.

Another sad note, some of you may know already but the triathlon that Phil and I have done the past two years was cancelled this year (after taking our money).  So not only did I not get to race this year, I can't really spend money on another one.  I could probably do a 5k but I am having a bit of a hard time with running (well).  So we didn't get to race, our stomach felt punched, we are not recovering. 

One more sad note, I am still having some back issues.  I am 34 years old and have already been diagnosed with severe disc degeneration according to the xray I had over a hear ago.  Baby #3 made it even worse.  I am hoping it will get better but not expecting it too.  I think in the next year or two I will need to look into 'old people' fixes.  Do I take medicine? pain killer? do I see a specialist? do I go to a chiro regularly?  do I wait and see?   I just feel too young to have to worry about this.  For now, I know I just rest when it starts to hurt.  Maybe this is God's way of saying I NEED to slow down. 

 Well, that's enough dear diary for now.  I just thought I'd share some thoughts of the summer.  Now I can check this blog off my list!  I can start my scrap book and baby book for Ali and then I get to rearrange my dining room!

take 20 or so...

After the baptism, we thought we'd gather our family of five after the church service and take a picture.  : ) 


You would think between 4 camera's going off at once that someone would have gotten a good one.

Oh, Wendell.

Even Phil and I needed a break from the paparazzi.
so close...

I think it's fair to blame it on the kids.

This is one of the funniest ones.

Haaaarrrrlie! (we were so close!)

Cheeezzzzeee (through gritted teeth).

Harlie's face says what I'm thinking.

so close..

Oh Harlie.

I guess this one isn't too bad (when small like this).

Had enough??
Not done yet.

This was actually kind of embarrassing, sitting at the church as
everyone was leaving as several flashes were going off.

We learned a lesson that day.

The paparazzi doesn't stop unless...
we do this.

Yes, Harlie.  I agree!

** these are pictures from 2 of 4 cameras. 
Maybe the other two cameras got a good shot?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

almost there!

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.. get caught up on blogging.

Haaaarrrrrrlie : ) summer 2012

One of the kids' favorite movies is The Incredibles... and so in honor of that movie, I'll call our daughter Flexagirl!  This is Miss Harlie under the footstool (a very good hiding spot!).

Who knows what they were talking about but it looks pretty serious.
our sweeties!

Craft project #2 (I think we did about 3 all summer long, for some reason we're just not crafty). 
Anyways, this is cardboard cut outs of different shapes. 
Wendell and I taught Harlie her shapes and it made for a fun puzzle. 
How could I forget!  She turned 3 years old in August.  We survived being 2!!  She's alive and well and I'm not in a a mental hospital. 

It was a long year but we're slowing moving into a better phase of life (note: H aaaarrrr  lie : )
I think God had a plan when we named her!

Grandma made a neat butterfly cake, thanks Grandma! (I always thought I'd just love making my kids their own birthday cake but for some reason, I'm ready to pass the buck
... maybe when I'm a Grandma I'll start again?)  I always said I can't wait to be a grandma!
this captures her personality perfectly!

and so does this! 

The only problem is recently she has decided she doesn't want to ride this bike,
she likes the old red trike better.  Hmm.. not sure why.

Although she's a tough one, she's also soft at heart.  Phil told me the other day that Wendell accidentally whacked another kid in the neighborhood (not sure how) while playing.  Then that kid in return, hit Wendell much harder out of anger/instinct.  Anyways, apparently Harlie was HOT that someone would hurt 'my Wendell' AKA 'my boy'.  : )