Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Noelle the firecracker is 6

Long overdue birthday post for Noelle Rose. My dear child that talks, sings, dances, jumps and talks some more. She is not one for silence. Noelle learned to cheer and loved cheerleading this Fall, that season is over and she is happily back to dancing. She easily makes friends, she rivals Robert in her extrovertedness and can talk to ANYONE. Love her so much. I know God has big things in store for her.

 We celebrated at home on her birthday. Birthday #6 is the GUM birthday in our house. She can now chew gum... although she has lost this privilege several times already.
 We had her birthday party at the carousel in Story City. We were able to rent it for an hour ($25) and get unlimited rides for everyone. Then we had cookie cake and opened presents at the park.  It was magical and such a perfect day.  Riding any carousel is her favorite thing. I did think it was quite fast for an antique!

 Birthday sundae at Hickory Park

The whirlwind December

December is such a mixed bag.
I want to get everything done early and sit rested and marvel at the tree every night.
Then there is reality, which is really fun too, busy, but fun. I am never quite sure how much of it is because I am a homebody.
Let's take the following conversation into consideration...

Rob -listening to a podcast "Andy Fales had on a food critic talking about all these neat new foods, I can't wait til break to try some. What do you think?"
Me - "Sure sounds great"
Me in my head - "wait, does that mean I have to make a whole bunch of crazy new food that my family won't enjoy over break."
Me  out loud - "do you mean make new recipes at home or restaurants"
Robert - "All places to eat in Des Moines"
Me - "sounds fun"
Me in my head - "sounds exhausting driving to des moines every day to find something to eat"
Robert - "how come you don't like to do fun things?"
he can read my mind.

end conversation.

Anyway, I love December, love the lights, the food, the movies. It just seems rushed. We start with having Christmas on Thanksgiving with the Kibbe's. Then we slide into December. Usually the first week focuses on Dallas and his birthday. The second week of December seems to be the last week for classes/rehersals/practices and what not.  The last couple of years we have bookended the second week of December with an enormous community production at our church which we help with, I bet we logged 15 hrs at church this week.

And I don't say any of this to complain. It is blessed, we do have many wonderful things that we get to choose from and decide their value and place in our December.  I just wish it would last, or that this could be the month with 8 days per week!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

State Fair 2016

Of course we fit in a trip to the Iowa State Fair in August as well. I think it is a full blown tradition now and we will be sad some day when the kids are busy working or at band/sports camp and can't attend.
We saw all the usual things, we kind of wander around until we have tried all the foods we want to try, seeing the animals and sights in between. 

 I liked this succulent display behind Dallas
 Iowa State University booth is always a fun stop
 Noelle got to help with the quilt-a-thon (behind the scenes, handing out candy to the sewers on the hour)
 My favorite quilt
 Star Trek themed butter goodness

 Sky glider time for the big kids.  I can only  manage to ride this thing once a year. I used up my fright-ride during Good Guys. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Fall Upwards 2016 Cheer and Flag Football

What a wonderful season of Upwards Cheer and Flag Football.
Noelle cheered on the Sparkle Squad composed of K-1 grade girls. They practiced once per week and then cheered every Sunday for the 1:00 pm game. Besides learning 4-5 cheers they also had a small dance routine that they performed during half-time.  She loved this.  The routine, the cheers, her coaches and going to practice, it was all in her wheel house.  And that they got to perform their dance on the "stage" at the end of the year ceremony which was the cherry on top of a great season. Noelle loves to perform.  The head coach is amazing and had both cheer squads over to her house at the end of the season for a pizza and dance party.  Not only did Noelle get a prize at the party, this coach has about every Shopkin produced so each girl got to pick out a couple to take home that she had duplicates of. So pretty much the best day ever!  Also I think "Just Dance" will have to go on our Christmas list. 

 Dallas had a great season as well.  Robert and Travis teamed up again to lead the "Broncos".  They have coached together since the boys were in kindergarten.  This team had second and third graders. I think they all had a great time.  Dallas really improved his throwing throughout the season, his favorite is to be quarterback. He also really wanted football gloves so Rob made him a deal and he actually spend his own money to buy half. We are pretty sad the season is over. The weather was gorgeous all Fall, I think I wore shorts to all the games but two! We did have one canceled Sunday when Ames had the flash flooding, I don't think any sports were held that weekend.

Center Grove 2016

Our field trip to Center Grove Orchard was on the first coldish day this Fall.  We always try to go when the Ames HSAP attend as it is so much cheaper to get in with a field trip.  
As always we took home some apple cider donuts.  I did end up buying a coffee and a hot cider (for the kids) more or less just to have something warm to hold in my hands!

 Corn pit, always a crowd pleaser
I think this slide made out of a combine is new. I am not sure as we didn't come out to the corn maze last year. I am sure it was a dead combine, but I couldn't help think that was one expensive slide!

Also new to us this year was the train. We received tickets with our entry, but I am not sure everyone does.  It was neat, and I really appreciated the conductor coming around and asking each of us if we would like our picture taken.

Our no ER streak still holds

How my kids manage to only get injured during the day I will never know, but I like it! Much easier to call Ped's and say my kid is bleeding from the head, I'll be there in 10 minutes.  Although I think we could have gone to the ER for this one (maybe you are for a head injury). Once I got some of the blood soaked up and he let me dig through the hair I could see that we did need to be seen, but it wasn't gaping and seems to be clotting, ie; I felt we could wait a bit to be seen if needed.

Story for preservation purposes:
I was dropping the kids off for PE on ISU campus at the Forker building.  This building and surrounding area has been under construction this Fall. Dallas had just checked in with the teacher and was walking towards the sidewalk where he is supposed to stand with the other teacher until they lead the group inside.  Out of the corner of my eye I see another kid (not fully watched by the teacher with the group) lift and play with a steel pole that a stop sign or a handicap sign would go on.  The pole was upright in the ground but not fixed and did not have a sign at the top yet.  Of course when he finally got the pole fully out of the hole it became top heavy and well... you can guess the rest.  I saw this and was just about to put my van in drive and pull away and I thought that kid is going to get in trouble because that pole is going to land on that parked car and cause major damage.  Well, it didn't hit a car, it hit Dallas head as he was walking to the sidewalk.
I sure did put my car in park quickly when I heard the scream.  Major kudos to Emily as I asked her to sit next to Dallas as we drove to the doctor to help him keep the gauze the teachers gave us on his head.  She didn't like it but did what I asked anyway.  As soon as I gave Dallas my phone with Netflix tuned up he calmed down!  Dr. Smith was the on-call Ped (he goes to out church) he agreed that he needed staples but was likely not concussed.  Seven staples for 8 days.  I am grateful we were able to wash his hair right away, because he was supposed to keep it dry for the remaining week.  His hair was pretty greasy by day four.  The removal was a piece of cake. He was nervous, but our usual nurse had them out in under a minute and I am not sure he noticed.  Also, they didn't shave any hair.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Madeline Island, Lake Superior

After Em's birthday celebration and our trip to Kansas City we came home for a couple of days so Robert could work.  We luckily were asked to head up North with our good friends for some R&R.  We have been several times before, but haven't been able to make it work the last couple years.  I think the last time we were there Noelle was still sleeping in a crib.  Let me tell you taking three kids that can swim well, listen O.K. and can make their own breakfast is a game changer. 
 Crossing over Superior from MN to Wisconsin
 I took tons of sunset pictures....
 Or lake pictures in general
 We had two really great weather days, and two days where it was not best to be on the boat- wind wise
 This is the thing, most kids don't care that the water is 65 degrees at best and the sun is not always shinning, they have fun anyway!

 We don't find many shells, but the rock searching is amazing.  So many neat rocks!
 Leigh found a Norweigen pancake maker (Ebelskiver) so we tried those several times.  These girls helped cook and eat!

 Oh, and we rarely shower at the lake, you can. But no one really does it on the regular...

 Sometimes we eat an entire meal of fried food snacks without plates
 The whitefish from Superior is sooooo good.  All my kids liked it, we did tell Dallas it was chicken, but he gobbled it up. 
 We hammocked a lot

 Smores are always a requirement

 Girl cuddles in bed, we were staying up to watch the stars.  We headed out to the dock at 10:00 pm and laid on cushions and taught the kids how to find satellites and stars. It was my highlight of the week.  Lots of God's work up in the heavens!
8:00 am rinse off crew, I had that coffee cup in my had until 10:00 am everyday, love sipping coffee in nature

 Oscar the Dog likes the water. He also hogs the raft!
 It takes Robert more time to get to relax mode than me.  He found the hot tub to fix so he could be "doing something".
 We boated to the mainland to get ice cream and fish to fry
 We also boated to Anitou Island (one of the Apostle Islands) and we toured an historic fish camp

Also, Robert taught Emily and Dallas how to drive using the golf cart.