Sunday, September 21, 2008

The end of an era...

We all spent the day at the farm taking down the red barn. The barn has been in disrepair for as long as I can remember, but it had a sentimental history and stood as a memory for years. I have heard stories of playing in the hay mound from Danny's youth. Also, Grandpa had horses for many years, and Jenn and Joell have many fond stories to tell about the horses and horse tackle that was home in that barn. Since losing Grandpa, it has been even harder to let some of reminders of the family history go, but the barn had become unsafe. Jenn scheduled a date, and we all showed up to help and enjoy each other for the day.
I think we actually had a very fun, family day despite the reason we were brought together. The men had fun with the big machines (MORE POWER). I even had a go at the front end loader which was a total blast, and the kids ran around playing in the other buildings, taking rides on the Ranger, and picking up wooly worms. Jenn and Kathy planned a big family lunch, and we even took down a few dangerous trees and rehung a light on the utility pole before all was said and done.
We had a simple, family weekend...this is what life is about. Just enjoying each other and time together no matter what we are doing. I wish every day was a rewarding, but I guess that is what makes days like this even better...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

15 year class reunion

Danny, Tina, and I attended the Ankeny Hawks class of 1993 class reunion on Friday and Saturday. I was not really looking forward to it at first. The only person I still talk to is Tina from my graduating class. Surprisingly I had a lot of fun! Most of the girls that Tina and I used to run around with showed up at both the Friday and Saturday night festivities. It is actually pretty amazing how we can not see each other for 15 years, and then can fall right back in to talking and laughing and joking with each other like time hadn't really passed too much.

This was my first reunion, and now I see the fascination with such events. It is just priceless to have the chance to reconnect and simply have fun and enjoy each other again. We all have similar backgrounds and stories, and can relate to each others present lives as well.

The first night we just had a casual evening at Benchwarmer's in Ankeny. The second night there was dinner and a band at the Iowa Cub Club in Des Moines. We also escaped to a party bus after a while on Saturday to dance and drive around Des Moines for an hour or so. It was a lot of laughs and good for a few photos. We all decided we wouldn't be as much fun at 38, so why not give it a go... : ) Danny, Tina, and I took a cab back to the Cub Club around 11pm to get home to the kids, which I am sure was a VERY smart decision.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Eliza the animal lover.

I had a fun conversation with Eliza on Thursday evening I would like to save for posterity.

Mom: I wonder if Ryobi found any mice today.

Skylar: What? We don't have mice.

Mom: Yes we do, Daddy caught two yesterday. One of them was a baby.

Eliza: (Weepy, looking at me with sad eyes) You can't hurt them.

Mom: Why not? Mice aren't good in the house.

Eliza: Write a note to Daddy from the mouse. Write, Hello, I am the baby mouse. My name is Eliza. Don't hurt me because I am like your baby Eliza.

Mom: Eliza, if you were a mouse, what would you do to be a good mouse?

Eliza: (cracking herself up) This is going to be funny...This is going to be gross...(cracking herseflt up again) I wouldn't poop everywhere. : )

She is such a crack up. I don't think it will stop us from catching the baby mice that creep in every fall, but such a good try, Eliza.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday night football and Tuesday night blues

Not much to report for the beginning of another work/school week.

I WASTED most of my Monday night watching what should have been one of the most exciting NFL football games I have ever watched. Almost 80 points scored total and crazy penalties and plays on both sides. The first half was played nothing like the second half, and the crowd was really into it. Not me... Fantasy football ruined it all. I had the QB on the Eagles , Donovan McNabb, and one of the wide receivers, T.O., on the Cowboys. They each had amazing first halves, and I only needed 8 points to win in my fantasy game. There was a crazy Eagles touchdown recalled because the receiver celebrated and spiked the ball before he actually entered the endzone. NICE. Who does that? A 50+ yard touchdown recalled because the receiver was a DORK! If I was watching the game just to watch, my reaction would have been to laugh, and the result would have been no big deal because the next play was the final yard for the Eagles to actual score the touchdown. However, because I don't get QB points for a run in touchdown, I was MIFFED. Of course, with a weird second half I got virtually no other chances to make up the points and I lost my Fantasy games. I am now 0-3 for the season. UGH!

Remember I said I WASTED my night watching football. Now you know why I feel that way...maybe if I had won I would feel differently...funny how that is. : )

Tuesday night was spent working late. I drove through McDonalds after 9:30 tonight for dinner and kissed my sleeping children goodnight when I got home. UGH! again.

Here's to hoping Wednesday is an improvement from the past 2 days....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

More layouts to share...

The girls and I woke up bright and early this morning to head over to the Eitemans to play for the day. It was so nice to have a girls day with Jenn and Joan. The kids even had so much fun they hated to stop and eat and didn't want to go home at bedtime.

Here are a few of my creations: (The first two are based on sketches from a class I am taking)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Party at the Martinson's

After the usual hip hop dance class and piano lesson on Saturday, we hung out at home for a few hours. Once the girl's sitter arrived, Danny and I headed out for a party at a co-worker's house in Des Moines. She was having the band of one of the attorney's we work with provide the entertrainment at her party. I have been anxious to see his band play since I learned of his weekend hobby over 2 years ago.

The party was pretty low key, and Danny and I enjoyed ourselves quite a bit. The band was good fun and Ted, the attorney I work with, was quite a talent. He played lead guitar, sang, and played keyboards. Lookin' forward to seeing them play again.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Latest creations...

Just thought I would share a few of my latest creations today. I have spent my evenings either creating or reading this week. I have completed 3 scrapbook pages and complete Twilight by Stefanie Meyer. It is a four book series, and I can't wait to buy number 2.

Here are the pages:

Monday, September 8, 2008

Jazz shoes and other happenings.

Well, another Monday came and went. It was a rainy morning that started kind of slow for me because the sun didn't come through the house like it usually does. I finally did make it to work and realized I had missed a call from Danny. He was frantic looking for his ID, ATM card and iPod. I hadn't seen them, and he knew where he last had but wanted help retracing his steps. Unfortunately he had been a lot of places this morning:

Did you check the laundry? Yes

Did you check the garbage? Yes (even took it all out of the bags and placed into new bags-"open heat surgery on the garbage" per Danny)

Did you check the countertops next to the garbages? Yes

Did you check the garage on your way to pick up the garbage? Yes

Did you check you truck floor? Yes

Did you check the driveway at the school where you opened the door for Eliza? Yes

Did you check the highway...Did you lay them on my car...Did you place them on my trunk when putting Eliza in the truck...? OH NO!!!

A few minutes later the next phone call came to tell me that he found his iPod in the middle of the Highway obviously run over. His folder of photos he was taking with him to work were strewn all over the ditch for 1/4 mile, and his ID and ATM card were no where to be found. He was soaking from head to toe from searching garbages, driveways, streets and ditches in the rain. What a great Monday.

Well, the ATM card is cancelled and reordered and a replacement ID has been obtained. He is still out on iPod unfortunately. Maybe this is a good excuse to get the 80GB version... Always a silver lining right?!?!

The girls had some fun stuff happening today on a lighter note. Today was Skylar's first year of 1 hour dance classes with Tap, Jazz, and Ballet. She has Jazz shoes for the first time and LOVES them. Eliza is envious, but I told her to wait 3 years, then she could wear them.

Eliza has her last week of wearing a different color each day. Today was purple today. Here she is pictured in her purple shirt and her list of colors from Mrs. Cole.

She also read her first book to us tonight. The title was Shapes. There were five pages:

It is a circle.
It is a square.
It is a triangle.
It is a rectangle.
Circle, Square, Triangle, Rectangle.

She is supposed to be learning the sight words of It and Is through this book. It was so fun to see her beaming with confidence as she read to Danny and I. I will be sure to save this book for posterity!

P.S. Danny and I both lost our games during the first week of Fantasy Football. The hardest part to swallow is that I lost by 1 stinkin' point. UGGGHHH!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

ACM Fallapalooza

The activities committee I am on at work (ACMAC) planned a family fun day for employees' families today. We planned a catered meal and paid for admission to the activities at Sleepy Hollow Sport Parks in Des Moines for the day.

We had a pretty good turn out, and the weather was beautiful. It was one last summer day where short sleeves were OK. We ate lunch then headed to the rock climbing wall. Skylar and Eliza both wanted to climb the 30+ foot wall, and they BOTH MADE IT TO THE TOP!!! I couldn't believe how little they looked up there, but they did it. So cool!

We also rode go carts and bumper boats, and played mini golf. I never giggled so hard in my life as I did on the bumper boats... So fun! The girls jumped in the bounce houses, and Danny and I tried to make each other sick on the Wizzer... Great fun afternoon that tired the whole family out.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Saturday is here again...

Busy day again today. Skylar started Hip Hop dance class today. It was a total blast to watch. Jenn, Joan, Joell, and I are going to try the adult class that starts next month, so I was trying to learn some of the moves by watching Skylar's class. Well, unfortunately, the teacher informed me that if he is doing an adult class, it is going to be cardio. YIKES!!! I hope he takes it easy on us old ladies... He is in his twenties and may not know what the sound of popping and cracking joints sounds like... Pray for us. : )

Skylar also started her second year of piano today. She remembered quite a few things and got a LOT of new songs to learn for next time. She is supposed to learn a couple of them with not only the notes but the staccato, forte, legato, etc. Practice, Practice, Practice is the name of the game this week.

Then, we headed to Boone to see the Hockemeier's and attend Pufferbilly days Saturday evening. We hadn't seen them in months, and we had missed some birthdays. Eliza and Zach each had gifts to open. We took the kids to the carnival rides and had some great carnival food also. The most popular ride was the elephants. Emylyn and Eliza rode twice. I also took Tommy and Skylar on the Dizzy Dragons and spun so fast I think Tommy turned green... We rode a few other things, but the tickets went fast. Next, we headed for the food. The walking tacos, fried donuts, cotton candy, and smoked pork sandwiches were the big hits. Danny was so hungry he went back for a second meal... He tried the walking taco the second time after he already at a smoked pork sandwich. YUMMY!

The kids watched movies at the Hockemeier's while the adults headed to the Gigglin' Goat downtown Boone to watch the band Saucy Jack play. It was pretty cold, and the band was outside on an old parking ramp area. The music was pretty good though, and the people watching was great. We had a few moments of singing and dancing to some old school Guns 'N' Roses, Ozzy Osbourne, and Motley Crue songs... The guitar player was the most impressive. I couldn't believe the Sweet Child O' Mine guitar solo...

It was so good to see everyone again. Thanks for the invite, Matt and Lisa.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Scrapbook Friday!!!

I look forward to this day with my scrapbook group in Ames every month, and nearly every month, work gets in the way. This one was no exception, but I wasn't about to let it bring me down. I planned a fun project, and I was staying until it was done! (Isn't that right , girls?...It was well past midnight. Thanks for your patience, friends.) I preplanned a mini Halloween album of all of the Halloween's since 2000. It was so fun looking back at the girls and how they have grown. I love having all of these photos in one album to display and flip through. (Thanks Mary Perry for cutting the adorable OWL album pages for me and for gifting the adorable shrinky dink owl to me!!!)
I printed plenty of extra photos too, so I think I will do a Halloween in review layout once I have a 2008 photo to add to it...
Here are photos of the album . Gotta love that holiday! Love the colors, candy, costumes, and crisp air...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sexy back.

I promised Jenn some entertainment today as she is home recovering. What better than a dance to Justin Timberlake's , "Sexy Back"?

Skylar worked on a card while I worked on choreography. After we had both complete, we headed over to Jenn's to perform. Unfortunately, Dylan video recorded, but we had fun doing it. (Maybe I can get a hold of the recording and link here soon) I don't really know if it was the get well "card" I was hoping for , but fun nonetheless...

Skylar, thanks for helping old mom out even though you think she is crazy. : )

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Draft night...

NFL football season 2008 starts tomorrow, and our fantasy football draft night was tonight. We met at Bennigan's on Merle Hay Road at 6pm and prepared for the beginning of the season. This is Danny's first year with a team, so we had to find help for the girls tonight. Thankfully, Joell offered to take the girls to tumbling with her girls, then drive them home to Waukee with her until the draft was over...which turned out to be after 9pm.

I am fairly happy with my team. My first round pick was Adrian Peterson, so I am crossing my fingers for no injuries for him. I don' t have great luck historically with this first pick (scarred for life from my number 1 pick of Shaun Alexander 2 years ago).

Danny was being teased pretty good for his pick up of 5 tight ends. 1 at the most per team is typical, since they don't usually have many yards per carry. We'll see how the season plays out, but I bet he is dropping those guys pretty quickly. : )

Should be a fun family feud day on Sundays...

Here is the website where we track our games. Danny is Danny's Darlings, and I am Sunday Superstars. Clicking on "Live Scoring Summary" will give you the scoring for the current week.

P.S. All is good with Jenn, and I am sooo happy!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back to the grind...

Coming back to work after a three day weekend is always difficult, but this one was also full of a couple of special events.

Danny reminded me late last night that dance class started for the girls today. Eliza has tap and ballet again this year, and she was sooo excited to hear it was dance night. We also had to prepare Eliza's 'color of the day' outfit to wear to school each day this week. Eliza's kindergarten class is supposed to wear a different particular color each day for the next 10 days, so they may learn more about each color in class. We are really having fun with this. Tuesday, Sept 2 was yellow day, and we found a bright yellow t-shirt for the occassion.

I also had an event to co-host this evening. It was a United Way Emerging Leadership Initiative event for Aviva, and we booked the event at Azalea's. It was very successful and some new people to the group and to the company learned a lot about the Emerging Leadership Initiative through the event. Getting together with other leaders across the company is always a fun experience for me too because we don't often have the chance to meet peers outside of our own departments. I hope to see them and other leaders in Des Moines at another United Way event soon. The Emerging Leadership Initiative (ELI) concentrates on helping the youth of our community through donations and volunteer time. It also encourages and provides opportunities for networking with community leaders and peers as well as training to lead on non-profit boards as part of the program. It is a good program to be a part of, and if others consider it as a result of our event...great!

Finally, I headed to Jenn's for a lia sophia jewelry party. I was extremely late, but I had left over appetizers, wine, and a jewelry order; therefore, I was welcomed with open arms. : )

It was a late night, but ended in many laughs with friends. Jenn was preparing to wake early for an outpatient surgery the next day, so things got a little sappy before I left too. I love that girl...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day 2008

Well, Labor Day is supposed to be a free day to stay home from work, but this year I had to use it as a catch up day. With all of the running around of the weekend...laundry has to be done sometime. While I cleaned, folded laundry and organized my scrapbook area a little bit, the girls headed to the farm with Joell for the last day at the Pool. They played with their cousins, Dylan, Delaney, Sydney, and Halle, one last time before Kirk had to winterize the pool. They didn't want to come home for supper, so I would say they had a great Labor Day.

I did manage to watch a TV show with Danny and do a little reading in my hammock with supper before the day was out, but the long weekend came to a close way too soon.

{ By the way, I have started reading the Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer it is pretty hard to put down so far. I just finished The Year of the Fog by Michelle Richmond, which is also a great page turner}