Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Birthday Zella Lynne!

Our baby turns one today! It's hard to believe she is already a year old. Time has gone so fast.

Zella is an absolute joy and we are so thankful she is part of our family. She greets the world each day with a smile and a squeal. She is very easy going unless Madeline takes a toy away (then watch out!! She doesn't back down!) or if she's hungry and waiting on mama to bring her food.

She is walking everywhere (took her first steps at 9 mo. and is practically running now). She loves to "read" books by herself and is obsessed with our Christmas tree.

She jabbers constantly. Hmm...wonder where she gets that from? :) She loves to point at the Christmas tree and say "Look at that." In fact, she has said 9 new words in the past 4 days. She now says 25 words. If I don't answer to mama she calls me Lori. That usually gets my attention! She also likes to say please and thank you. It's hilarious.

Okay, enough bragging.

Besides her normal fast-paced development she has dealt with her vision problems/glasses in stride. We go back to her pediatric opthamologist on Jan. 10th and will learn if she needs surgery or not. Her eye alignment and vision has improved greatly with glasses although she does not use her eyes together with her glasses off. She still picks one eye to look out of and shuts vision off to the other. She has had her glasses for 5 months already. She pulls them off now more than ever but I just keep putting them back on. We are anxious for the eye appointment to get more information.

Madeline, Zella and I are going to McDonald's PlayPlace for lunch, then to the store for a balloon and other decorations for her party with Grandma. We are having a small party with Aunt Gayle, Uncle Louie, Cousin Sarah and Jayson at our house tonight (mom and dad are in Scotland so they can't come). Then we are headed to Milo when Travis gets off work on Saturday. We're having a party for Zee on Sunday and will celebrate Christmas with Trav's family on New Year's Eve. We are excited!

I'll post pictures when we return.

We are so blessed with this beautiful child. Happy Birthday Zee!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Pictures from Christmas

Here are some photos from the holidays. There are more in the online album (click on the "Our Online Photos" link to the right) I'm trying to fix the photos that are sideways...

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Hello all! We hope you have a wonderful Christmas. We have been missing in action lately due to illness (first the flu, then colds, then Zee got ear infections in both ears) but are finally feeling better.

We have had a wonderful Christmas but are missing family and friends. Gods blessings to you all.

I'll post pictures a little later.

Merry Christmas!
Lori, Travis, Madeline, Zella, Josie and Sabrina ;)

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Flu

Hello all. I still have pics of Travis with his deer to post and would also like to tell you all about our trip to Dubuque. Travis went to a managerial training and the girls and I went along because it was at a hotel that had a water park. It was awesome! Then Zella got the flu on the way home and the rest of us got it this weekend.

So I only have a minute but just wanted to send a quick update. When we're feeling better I'll post pics.

Hope all is well.

Love, Lori

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Deer Hunting

Hello all. This week has flown by. We went to the VandeLune home last weekend for Travis to deer hunt. He got a deer the first morning they went...his first shot! This was the first time he has ever gone deer hunting and he was excited. He got a large doe. He also shot a buck the second day but they couldn't find it. I will post pics once I get a chance.

We had such a good time. My nieces and nephews kept us busy playing and having fun. Madeline and Zella had a great time with their cousins. We went sledding and had a blast. We also played a lot of Guitar Hero. :)

The girls have been sick this week with colds. Zella was up for three hours last night so I'm hoping tonight will be better.

We are going to Dubuque next week with Travis. He has a managerial training all week that his company is sending him to. We are staying at a hotel with a water park (Grand Harbor) so we are excited! Can't wait.

Hope all is well.
More later,

Friday, November 30, 2007

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

Hello all. I wanted to post these pictures last week but have had a sick baby, and a broken washing machine and dishwasher all at the same time! I'm happy to report the washing machine is fixed, the part is on the way for the dishwasher and Zella still has a cold but is at least sleeping through the night.

We had a fun Thanksgiving. We went to mom and dad's house and my sister Lisa and her 7 kids were there. We hadn't seen them in a long time so that was fun. Great food too of course. We were missing family we weren't able to see. Hope you all had a wonderful day.

As you can see from the photos, Travis made Indian headbands for the kids with real pheasant feathers. They thought it was pretty cool. ;)

Last Saturday Travis and Madeline went on a "date" to a movie and also went Christmas shopping for Zella and me. They had a blast.

Zella and I decorated for Christmas while they were gone. (Well, really Zella just "sang" along to Christmas carols and watched me from her high chair.)

On Sunday we decorated the Christmas tree and started a new tradition of making sugar cookies and having hot chocolate afterwards. Madeline LOVES to cook and is constantly asking me to bake something with her. We've been having fun.

We are getting ready for the holidays. Last year we had just moved and were about to have a baby so we didn't even put up a tree! We just had a tiny fiber optic tree. So we are not wasting any time this year getting into the holiday spirit.

Today we are going to my sister Lisa's house to go deer hunting. Travis is really excited to hunt. He has never been deer hunting before and I really hope he gets a deer.

We're excited to spend time at Lisa's house which is kinda like a Disneyland for kids. (Pond for fishing/ice skating/swimming, horses, cows, rolling hills, beautiful scenery and all those cousins of course!)

We hope you and yours are happy and healthy.


Friday, November 16, 2007

We moved 1 year ago

Hello all. It's hard to believe, but we moved one year ago. Let me refresh your memory of what was going on last year with us....

First of all, I was 8 months pregnant. If you or a family member decides to move when they are 8 months pregnant try to talk them out of it! I was HUGE. I could barely bend over or stand up let alone move boxes. And if any of you had been to our loft you probably remember the dread and terror of the 32 steep steps in our stairway. Imagine climbing the stairs with a giant belly, an 18 month old and a diaper bag. I was quite a sight!

We had possession of our current house at the end of August, and Travis was renovating pretty much the whole house. He worked 11-12 hours a day and then went to the house each night and weekend for hours upon hours. Poor guy! We ran into mold under the living room carpet two weeks before we were to move so that pushed everything back quite a bit. Luckily my parents, Trav's mom Stacey and his sister Kate helped us paint the ENTIRE house in one weekend. They were AMAZING and we are still appreciate of all their work.

The day we moved we didn't even have the toilet installed in the bathroom. (Rest assured that is the first thing Travis did once the move was complete.) The kitchen renovation wasn't even started so I didn't have a kitchen for two weeks! Did I mention I was about to have a baby at any second? All of the kitchen boxes were in the dining room and Madeline was a mad woman trying to climb them. I would waddle after her and try to lure her back into the toy room. It was craziness!

We still have a lot of work to do on the house...none of the trim is up and we still have to finish the bathroom upstairs (I use the term "we" loosely of's mostly T) but we have come a LONG way. Our house had the ugliest paint/flooring I have EVER seen! It's probably why it was on the market so long. The dining room paint actually gave me a headache! U-G-L-Y. Of course it's not ugly anymore, thanks to Travis and our wonderful family.

Travis has transformed the back yard also. He put up a 6' privacy fence. We have a nice big swingset and sandbox, a garden, hammock and fire pit. It was fun to spend time out there this summer. We hope to build a deck next summer.

Hope you like the pics. It's hard to believe the before pictures but the house was really that ugly. ha ha The pictures above are from the first floor...everything but Trav's studio. I will try to take pictures of upstairs later. It was ugly also ;)


I left the house without the kids!

Hello. Yesterday I actually left the house without either kids. It doesn't happen too often. :)

My dad picked me up after he was done with work and we went to Mason City. We went to Aldi's (discount grocery store I'd never been to before). Then we went out to eat at Chandler's and headed to Target after that. Of course we had to get ice cream on the way home.

We had such a blast. Who knew grocery shopping would be so much fun? :)

Mom watched the girls until Travis got home from work. They were excited to hang out with Granny and Papa. Travis has had to work a lot this week and will be working OT next week also trying to get everything taken care for before Thanksgiving.

Seeing all the Christmas decorations in the stores made me so excited for the holidays! We didn't have a Christmas tree last year (just a teeny tabletop one) because we were moving. I think we'll put our tree up next weekend. Woo hoo! I already have the Christmas music playing. I love the holidays.

Hope all is well.
More later,

Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Monday

Hello all. Hope you had a good weekend. Grandma "Marker" (aka Trav's mom) came to visit. We had so much fun! The girls were so excited to see her.

Grandma gave Zella a cracker and Zella said "thank you". We couldn't believe it! I thought it was a fluke so we waited a couple minutes and Stacey gave her a cracker again. And again Zella said "thank you". Smart AND has manners...just like her sister...we lucked out with these girls I tell ya!

Zella also said light and dog for the first time this weekend. She's walking more and more and loves to get into whatever Madeline is doing. Madeline loves to play dress up and undress herself. It is hard to keep clothes on her! She is doing well with potty training.

Hope all is well.
More later,

Monday, November 5, 2007

Happy Belated Halloween!

Hello all. It has taken me awhile to get these pics off my camera but I finally did it. We had a great Halloween! Madeline was Strawberry Shortcake (she kept saying "I'm having a berry berry good time!") and Zella was a Hershey's Kiss.

First a stop to Aunt Gayle's to drop off popcorn balls and chat a bit. Uncle Louie, cousin Sarah and cousin Jeff took turns coming in from the field to see the girls dressed up. We played and chatted for a bit.

Then we went to see Madeline's best friend Amelia and her mommy Cassie (one of my good friends). We went trick-or-treating up and down their block. Madeline kept trying to go inside everyone's house and sit on their couch. :)
It was pretty nice outside but windy and Zella's Hershey Kiss hat got ripped. So I put her in a Winnie the Pooh costume (thanks for the hand-me-downs Lisa and Carrie!)

Next we went to Granny and Grandpa's house. Uncle Minnesota was there visiting from Scotland. It was great to see him!!!! Granny went with us to houses around her neighborhood. We went back to my parents for supper and baths. The girls had fun.

I dressed up as a witch (I know that's not what won the poll, but Madeline asked me to dress up as a witch). My costume didn't last the whole night though because I tripped on the dress and fell down the concrete steps outside of my parent's house. I think I broke my finger! It's still swollen and I can barely move it almost a week later. Good thing I wasn't carrying Zella. I am such a clutz!

The popcorn balls were a hit which was good since I had never made them before. I think they will have to be a new tradition. Madeline was happy with her candy loot and Zella was happy-go-lucky as usual.

I hope you all had a great Halloween.
More later,

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Our weekend

Hello all. I can't believe it's the end of October already! Trick-or treating is on Tuesday night and we are getting excited. You know how I love Halloween! Madeline is going to be Strawberry Shortcake and Zella is going to be a Hershey's Kiss. Of course I'll post pictures.

On Friday we met mom for lunch at the coffee shop in town. Then we did a little shopping before she had to go back to work.

We had a good weekend. Bubba, my future brother-in-law (Kate's fiance) came on Saturday night to go pheasant hunting with Travis today. Travis got a bird but couldn't find it. They were out all day and came home in time for chili, homemade bread and apple crisp.

The girls and I went for a walk and played in the backyard today. This is my favorite time of year...not hot and not too cold.

Happy Birthday to my niece Gracie, who turns one today. They are in Scotland and we are missing them!

Have a great day!


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

And Baby makes Three

Congratulations Bonnie (my little sis) and Jay!

They are expecting a baby in early May next year. We are so happy for them. They love children and will make great parents.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Hooray for poop!

Hello all. We had an exhausting weekend. I had the flu Friday and Saturday. Poor Travis was left to not only take care of the girls, but deal with potty training Madeline. After getting peed on three times he made the executive decision to start using pull-ups. (I'm happy to report Madeline only had one accident today AND pooped on the potty! I have never been so excited about poop in my life. You'd think we'd won the lottery!)

I was feeling better Sunday but Travis was not. He went to bed early tonight and is trying to sleep it off.

Today I had to take Madeline to the doctor (again!) for a rash around her eye and a different rash on her legs. I am hoping the new medicine will work. (Three doctor visits and $105 so far) The girls were very good for the appointment luckily. Madeline got to wear her pink tutu from Aunt B so she was happy. She danced in the waiting room and kept saying "ta-da". We may have a performer on our hands. ha ha

There is a coffee/lunch shop attached to the pharmacy so while we were waiting for the prescriptions we ate lunch. We had fun and ran into a few friends...Becky Nielsen, Dawn Doughan, Tatum (Doughan) Hartman, her little girl Meya and Shannon Hasty. That's how you know I'm in a small town. :)

My niece Katelyn (Trav's sister Carrie's little girl) is having her tonsils removed on Wednesday so keep her in your prayers please.

Nothing much else is new. Hope all is well.

More later,

Friday, October 19, 2007

Big milestones!

What an exciting day. Zella took her first steps Thursday! It was so exciting. She was in the toy room "talking" with Granny. She took two steps and then fell. She took a step to me a couple times a little later. Travis hasn't got to see her do it yet unfortunately.

All day long she was standing for longer and longer periods of time. I thought she might be walking in a month or so but she decided to go for it today at 9 months old! I guess I will be chasing her around even more now. :)

Madeline had a big day also. She asked to wear her big girl panties and go potty on the toilet. (We were going to start Saturday and she heard me talking with my cousin about it.) She came up to me a half hour after announcing "no more diapers for me" and asked to go potty. She only had one accident today! What a big girl. I'm so proud. ;) She got to wear a pull up with a princess on it to bed and she was excited. Otherwise we are just using underwear and training pants so wish me luck with the laundry. ha ha

Tootsie rolls and stickers work wonders I tell ya. :)

Having only one kid in diapers will be like getting a raise. That is until we have another baby of course.

The girls have been really funny lately. A couple days ago we were eating supper and Madeline leaned towards Travis and said, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" We were laughing and Zella then yelled out "Hola!" What a riot.

Zella can now say hi, uh-oh, mama, da da, mommy, snack and hola. I didn't know she could say hola until she yelled it.

Madeline also learned how to do a somersault. She is rolling all over the place now and even wanted to do one at the grocery store. I'll try to post video if I can figure out how to do it.

I'm especially missing my sister Karen (who is in Scotland) because I have no way to call her and tell her all the exciting news. I hope you are seeing this kk!

Hope all is well.
Love, Lori

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More Photos

Hello all. I've been trying to post more photos in our online photo album. I've put quite a few up already. Take a look if you have time by clicking on the picture below or the "Our Online Photo Album" link on the right of this page.

Trip to Zoo Summer 07

Visit from Grandma and Aunt Kate July 07

Vacation at the fishing cabin 2007

These are a couple I put up. There are more...just following the link.

My brother Kurt has a blog now too. Check his out at:

Hope all is well.

More later,

Friday, October 12, 2007

Zella's 9 month Photos

Hello all. We've been so busy! First Karen (my sister) left for Scotland last Saturday. They arrived safely. Check out her blog at for details. It was hard to say goodbye but I know they are having an amazing time there.

On Friday night Trav's mom, sister Kate and cousin Steph came to visit. We had such a great time! They played with the girls and somehow beat me at Phase 10. :) I'm so glad they could come.

Then on Monday morning the girls and I went to Des Moines to see my best friends Jen and Heidi. We stayed with Jen, Alan and her two girls. Heidi and her two boys came over for a bbq and it was the first time all six kids played together. It was chaotic but FUN! I hope to see them more often! We got home yesterday and are exhausted.

While we were there we got Zella's 9 month photos taken. Her first pictures with her glasses! Adorable. :)

Hope all is well. More later,

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Look-A-Like Meter

Hello all. This is a cool look-a-like meter from It scans the faces from your photo and tells you who your child looks like most. Pretty fun! Thought I would share...

For Zella:

For Madeline: