Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Good Guys 2016

It is our Fourth of July tradition to spend the weekend in Des Moines at the Good Guys car show.  
We get to see cousins, eat junk food, watch Robert autocross the Chevelle, and look but not touch many cars!

 This might be our Christmas card this year
Lots of friends usually end up finding Robert.  Aaron got to tag-a-long in the Chevelle.  The Chevelle's builder came out from New Mexico to spend the weekend from us, he got to drive!

We always stop to see the Shriner Clowns.  They tell the best jokes and can make anything out of balloons. 

Dallas liked this car the best

Uncle Mark gets the best spots to park his car.  He has to get in line at 4:00 am but the best spot! We love stopping by for a rest. 

This is the result of my kid eating crappier food than our normal diet for two days straight!

Grandpa Dallas 75th birthday

Grandpa Dallas birthday ended up being on a Tuesday.  At Windsor Oaks they celebrate all the month's birthday on the 2nd Tuesday at a special coffee gathering.  We decided to make a surprise visit with some cookies to share with the group. 
Little kids are always a hit around Windsor Oaks. 
I sat near a lady that clearly wanted to gossip! She kept asking me questions about my family and Dallas, prying.  Then she would jab and I mean jab her husband with her cane to repeat something I had said, he clearly had his hearing aids turned off!  

 Noelle enjoying second breakfast full of sweets.
 Robert brought birthday balloons from HyVee
 Tuesday night we gathered to eat Chinese birthday dinner.  Its so fun to sit at the big round table with the glass lazy susan.  My kids love pouring themselves cup after cup of tea (I always mean to ask if it is decaf!) and then spin the center to pass the tea pot to the next person.  We figured out they really like the chicken fried rice too!

Post dinner angel food cake made by Emily.  FROM SCRATCH.  We borrowed a pan from the neighbors.  Did you know that angel food cake has 10 egg whites in it! The recipe said it would absolutely not work well if you got any yolk in there, so in all I think we burned through 15 eggs getting 10 clean whites.  It was yummy and worth it.

Schools out for my mom!

My siblings and I put together a little shindig to celebrate my mom.  She was retiring from a lot of years teaching and as a bonus it was also her birthday!  I don't think she really wanted a party, but we did this for our Dad and Barb and it seemed like we should force it on her to enjoy the moment.

 The venue was the Lake Keomah Lodge in Oskaloosa.  It is a nice place to host a party when it is not 100 degrees! 
 I borrowed a chocolate fountain.  I thought it would be a fun and interactive type of snack.  We had cherries, strawberries, banana and pineapple for fruit to dip.  Pretzels, marshmallows, wafer cookies and nuts. 
 She did get a couple of great gifts and some arrangements.
 And of course the school gave her a Certificate of Recognition and a bronze Indian paper weight?
 Retirement Cake
and a birthday cake

Monday, August 1, 2016

Diving into June 2016

We didn't do much diving in June, Emily was still sporting her cast for most of the month and it seemed pretty unfair to hit the pool without her.  
 Dallas and Emily both know how to look up subjects or books on the library computers and then to locate them. This leads to lots of Lego books for this guy.  This book was special since it had a Lego General Lee on one page.
 Noelle got a nice summer hair cut.
 We watched Aunt Lynne run the Dam to Dam.  We met her with signs and encouragment at miles 3, 7, 12 and the finish line.  Then she graciously let the kids loot the finsish line snacks with her.
 Robert fixed the Chevelle a lot in June.  This is my leg, being the assisant, "pump, pump, hold" brake bleeder extrodiare.  Front brakes one night, and rear brakes another!
 Homemade cards for the birthday guy!
 We dropped Emily off for a full week of camp.  

 We hit up the Des Moines Farmers market and provided some lovely background music for all to enjoy.
 We then had to cool off, it was a hot morning in Des Moines!  We love DSM
 I went to a 39th Birthday Zumba party and it was fun!.  An hour of dancing with some sweet friends.
 Dallas was able to interview NBC TV13 Sportcaster Keith Murphy while visitng with Ty Dillon and seeing his NASCAR rac car at Karl Cheverolet.
 We roasted marshmellows with friends!
 We picked Emily up from camp.  She had fun and hopes to go back next year. She wanted a picture with her counselor and junior counselor (JC)
 Celebrating Robert with BBQ Ribs
 Robert fixed more things on the Chevelle.  It seems to never be perfectly running.  We noticed a good sized oil leak from the front of the car after our date one night (we got in a special week night date with 1 kid at camp and 2 others at vacation bible school.) New oil cooler fixed the problem.
And some nice stickers were applied just in time for Good Guys.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Twin Cities weekend away

Robert and I went up for a quick weekend in Minneapolis at the end of May.  It was pretty last minute and with really no purpose, just to go some place sans kids for a bit of rest.  

We spent most of our time driving (hello big city traffic) and eating. 

 When we arrived in town we hit up a sushi spot.  It was pretty hard to decide which one to try.  We ended up at Wakame Sushi near Lake Calhoun.  We had a to wait, and ended up eating at the bar.  It was was good.  The picture above is of some heart shaped sushi we tried.  I also had a ginger beer drink with actual pickled ginger floating in it.  It was tastey.
 Robert was in charge of the hotel, he pricelined us into the Double Tree, really nice, free cookies! With nicer hotels 4 starts and above I find you usually do not get complementary breakfast. This is find with me, especially on a kids free trip.  I enjoy waking up later and finding a more local joint to enjoy breakfast.  Both days we eneded up at pretty hippee/crunchy joints.  The place we went Sunday morning didn't even have diet Coke! (only kombucha for a fizzy drink) Saturday breakfast pictured above was Sun Street Bakery, also had this really cool Star Wars chalk art.  I love pointing out Chalk art to Emily. Sunday breakfast was at Rustica bakery.

 We always make it a point to drive by our old place when in town. Seems like the new tenent is into landscaping and lawn ornaments. 
 Saturday night we ate for 2 hours at the Melting pot before seeing The Book of Morman.  They sat us in this intimate little booth for two with curtain you could pull close for more privacy!
We dipped many things into cheese, broth, chocolate! It was a nice, slow dinner, and fun.  We both thought it would be fun to do with the kids, at least the cheese -chocolate courses.  We will have to find a fondue pot.

And what can I say about The Book of Morman.  It was so funny, raunchy, inapropriate, and FUNNY.  It was all pretty true as well. Those South Park guys are really good with music. Everytime we see a live show or concert we both realize how much we enjoy it and wonder why we don't do it more.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Emily's broken arm

We experienced our first broken bone at the end of May, and we never thought it would be Emily.  It's not that Robert and I took bets or anything, but we were both surprised it was her.  
In pure Emily fashion she broke it helping me in the garage, not doing something crazy dangerous. 

Waiting.  We wait a little bit everywhere.  Since it was during the work day we requested an appointment with our Ped, and got in right after lunch, Saw our Dr. then he sent us to Radiology (the radiologist whispered in my ear, you better hold that arm careful, at that point I knew it was broken even though she wasn't supposed to give her opinion).  From Radiology we went back to Pediatrics, waited, saw our Dr., read the x-rays and he said it looked broken.  He then sent us down to Orthopedics (down the hall) and we saw the on-call Dr.  He confirmed the brokenness and sent in a tech to put on the cast.  Pretty straight forward, we left the clinic at 4:15 pm, so almost 3 hours. I am thankful all of our Drs are under one roof in Ames.

The siblings were in tow.  I debated quickly getting them a playdate before heading off to the first appointment, but I knew our couple of usual friends were out of town or still in school.  They did pretty great waiting.  We read a few books, and the Orthopedics receptionist were awesome and flipped the tv to Disney and let the kids hang out and watch while Em got her cast on.

Getting the cast off was so much more fun.  She giggled a ton! I could tell it was tickling her, and she just couldnt stop laughing.  She wore a brace for another 4 weeks and loved that since we could finally hit the swimming pool.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Cousin Week with Audrey

We got to have Audrey come stay with us this Spring for a week.  We love this special time to get to have her all to ourselves.  Having one more kid in tow is not anymore work for me, and I love to be able to do this for Mark and April because I know how hard it is to get away without kids.
Rob traveled part of the week so we didn't do anything super extra fun, but she got to tag along with our normal stuff.  We did have an extra couple appointments, and I had been waiting to get into Wolfe Eye Clinic for 5 months, so she did get to see the nice kids play area in several waiting rooms.

 Audrey was always good to me, bring me coffee in the morning. 
 French Toast was a hit
 Four kids in the van
 We stood in line for free Jimmy Johns on customer appreciation day.  I am not sure I would do that again, four kids in tow or not.
 Audrey loved doing Emily's hair
 Play area at Wolfe Eye Clinc
 We we couldn't find Audrey in the house for a minute or so, we always found her in Em's room having cookies and tea with Emily and Mya doll
 It is a big celebration to get her to eat veggies.  We showed her how to get the peas out of the sugar snap pea pod and she ate so many.  Win
 We went to the park, a lot
 Spagetti was also a hit
 Cuddles with Grandpa Dallas
 Talking with Uncle Robert about the General Lee
 She went with us to package Meals for the Heartland at our church.  We sent off over 114,000 meals to Haiti this particular Sunday.  Audrey liked the truck best.
 We also hit up Reiman Gardens, twice, because the tulips are only at their peak for a week and they are my favorite, and I can't seem to get enough.
 One of our first "hot" days we made shaved ice, and topped it with gatorade
 Cuddles with Dallas
 More hugs with Uncle Rob
And at least one photo with me