Saturday, August 23, 2014

Iowa's welcome...

Coming from an area in a record drought, imagine my surprise waking up in the middle of the night to the biggest thunder and lightning storm that I had seen and heard in a long time.  Then to further my surprise imagine coming down in the morning to find out that the basement had flooded and had over 12 inches of water in it.  Yikes!

It was quite fun getting to watch my dad and Uncle Richard work together to get the pump set up to pump the water out of the basement.

Once they turned the power to the house back on, I hurried to get in the shower and get ready so that we could get to the family reunion.  Well, the first thing I noticed is that the water pressure in the shower was REALLY low.  I figured maybe it was normal because the house is older and that is just how it was.  Well, as soon as I got the soap in my hair I heard the water start to sputter and then all of a sudden the water turned brown and then stopped.  Uh oh...

Called for Dad who was already on the way out to check the well so all I could do was wait.  With dripping wet hair.  With shampoo in it.  Haha!  After about 5 to 10 minutes my grandmother came back and told me to give up on the shower as it didn't look like they were going to get the water back on, at least right then.  "Hmmm, hey grandma do you have any water bottles?"  Yep, rinsed the soap out with bottled water that felt like it came straight from the fridge.  It was invigorating!

Turns out the pump to the well had become water logged.  So glad it was working again by the time it came to giving the kids baths after the reunion, they were filthy.

The reunion was fun.  It was at a park, which was nice because the kids could run around and play.  There were lots and lots of people I didn't know and lots and lots of people I hadn't seen in a really long time.  It was so nice to see and visit with all my dad's brothers and sisters (except Aunt Betty, who wasn't able to make it.)

Mom, Dad, Aunt Chantel, Uncle Richard, Grandma, Uncle Dean, Aunt Karen, Aunt Mary, and Uncle Kenneth.
Nice to see our cousins too!  I had fun getting to know them and their families again.  Talked to my cousin's wife about healthy eating for quite a while.  Very interesting!

My Grandma, her children, and their children, and their children...  Haha!

Cousins!  I wish I could find a picture of us all standing together when we were little.  It would be funny to see how old we are all getting.

Jennifer, Jeremy, Paul, Melanie, Tammy, Austin, and me.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Road Trip!

Road Trip!!!

It is no secret that my sister and I are horrible drivers when we are tired.  So it was understandable why Dave, Andy, and other family members were concerned about us making the drive.  However, I think we did great!

The original plan was for us to take turns driving while the other was napping but no one ever napped, except for the occasional child.  Haha!

We decided to put the girls in the very back despite Caeden's tendency to get carsick because they were the lowest maintenance.  This was probably the best decision.  Caeden never got car sick and they pretty much got in the car and disappeared.  They were content visiting with each other, watching movies, and eating.  The boys on the other hand were very high maintenance.  "I am hungry.  My Nook isn't working. So and so took my... etc."  They were really good it was just that the passenger was turned around half the time.

Pit Stop!

Dave had to say, "Hey, you should take a picture of Lincoln by a sign that says Lincoln." in response to one of our text updates letting everyone know where we were.

Well, we finally found one that wasn't on the freeway but saw it as we were passing the exit.  So we turned around to get the picture.  I am not exaggerating when I say that as soon as my sister opened the door to get out it started to down pour.  They were both soaked when they got back in the car.  And if you hadn't already called it, it stopped raining as soon as they got back in.  Haha!

We were on the home stretch.  Almost there.  Then just like that the road the GPS had us taking closed.  Detour.  Well this detour was going to add another 30 minutes to our drive time.  So we decided to check out an alternate route to get us back on course.

Yup, we did.  We took the road.  Haha!  And our adventure continues. Fortunately we made it safe and sound to our destination.  A and G's pizza.  So nice to finally be there.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Prepring for the Road Trip

Today was spent preparing for our 12 hour road trip to Iowa.  Caeden and Maddix went to school and the rest of use ran errands so that we would have all that we needed for the trip, like snacks.  :o)

The kids did really well being shuttled all over the place, but we had hoped to spend a little more time letting them run around and play.

We went to a wonderful restaurant called Wholley Strambolli (not sure how to spell it).  It was delicious.  The food was seriously so good. 

When we sat down they gave all the kids packs of sticky sticks.  I had never seen them before but the kids had a blast molding them into different shapes.  I thought, what a great change from the usually crayons.  That was until Payton somehow got two of them stuck in her hair.  Oh well.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Flying to Colorado

Today starts our journey to Colorado, with a final destination of Iowa.  This is going to be quite the adventure.

Mommy is flying by herself with three kids.  Yikes!  This is really only a big deal for me because I am a very nervous flier.  Fortunately, so far, it seems the kids have taken after Dave and show no anxiety when it comes to flying.  Keeping my fingers crossed that this doesn't change on this trip.

The flight was alright.  The kids were pretty good, thank goodness for electronic devices.  I am convinced that Denver is THE WORST airport to fly into if you are a nervous flier.  You know it is going to be bad when the captain comes on and says, "I have asked the flight attendants to pick up the cabin early and get to there seats as it is going to get bumpy.  So the rest of you buckle up and hold on."  Oh wonderful...

We were all excited to see Jen, Andy, the kids, and even Anthony stopped by to say hi. 

Before bed Jennifer set up a little activity for the kids.  I personally thought she was crazy.  Painting on the walls?!?!  She said, "Eh, it's washable right?"  The kids had a blast.  Maybe I need loosen up and let them do this in our house...nah, I will just let them do this at her house.  :O)

Sunday, August 10, 2014


I love Skype!  When Dave is away traveling for work, I like that we can still see him and keep in touch.  The kids love talking to him even though they do get a little crazy.  OK a lot crazy.

 Had a wonderful dinner over at Ralph and Michelle's.  Pulled pork and mashed potatoes.  Yummy!  And after dinner at the request of our littlest we went on a walk over to see the chickens, bunnies, and turtles.  The boys love going for walks and being outside, unfortunately, Payton is not as big a fan and refused to come.  Oh well.

I love that we get to see so many animals, we almost always see deer.  The kids love it and are getting really good at spotting other animals too.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Austin's Birthday

I can't believe my baby is 2!

He is everything BOY.  He loves running, climbing, exploring and does his best to keep up with his older brother and sister.  He will not be left out of anything. 

Since Austin loves anything with wheels we decided to make the theme of his birthday party Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (and boats).  Instead of having organized games we left it a play date feel.  We had an area with cars and a ramp, an area with trains, little planes, and wading pools with boats.

My little helpers were having a grand old time getting everything set up and ready for the party. Lincoln and Austin were helping to fill the wading pools and somehow ended up drenched.  Hmmm.

As always I learned how to do some new things on my Silhouette and was really excited about that.  This time I learned how to weld objects, which basically means taking several shapes and making them one shape.  This was great because it gave me the ability to create a basic silhouette of a car, boat, plane, and train without having to glue a bunch of pieces together.  I really liked how it turned out.



In the past, I have enjoyed being clever with naming the lunch items.  However, this time I decided not to.  Partly because all the cute ideas I had or could find involved a lot of work and effort that I figured would be wasted on a bunch of 2 year olds that wouldn't have even realized the fruit they were eating was put together in the shape of a car.  Haha!  So I settled for car, plane, and boat cookies and cupcakes with fun transportation toppers.

We made sandwiches for the kids (which I did cut into shapes) with fishy crackers, pretzels, watermelon, and yogurt.  Then made Chipotle style burrito bowls for the mamas.  Funny thing was that a majority of the kids chose to eat the beans and rice over the sandwiches.

The kids seemed to have a good time.  They played with everything we had out to play with along with all the other toys in our playroom.  The only child who seemed disappointed was our little friend Gage who was upset about me not getting our toy guns out.  :o)


After Austin's birthday play date we had just enough time to clean up and get the birthday boy a nap before we had family over for a little dinner celebration.

In addition to our normal family we were also excited to have Kristen's sister, Kira, over.  She was so nice.  Even let Payton teach her how to make rainbow loom bracelets.  We also were lucky enough to see Uncle Anthony.  He just happened to be in town this weekend.  What luck!

It was a really nice day and I think Austin loved being the center of attention.

Happy Birthday Buddy!