Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Overheard at Our House

On Christmas Eve our church passes out candles and the congregations sings "Silent Night" by candlelight.

Zella had gotten a flashlight (with a sleeping bag/backpack) earlier and when the lights dimmed she yelled, "Oh no Papa!" Travis asked her what was the matter and she said "It's dark in here and I didn't bring my flashlight!"

Madeline insisted on holding the candle and I was trying to keep it upright. She tilted it and hot wax dripped on my hand. I said ouch, and told her to be careful. The rest of the conversation went like this...

Madeline: Mommy, are you tough?

Me: Yeah, I'm pretty tough.

Madeline: Mama...tough people don't say ouch.

Yep...I got slammed by my 3-year-old on Christmas Eve. :)

More later,

Long Time No Blog

I can't believe I haven't posted since October. That is like five years in the blog world. :) We have been very busy! Lots to catch you up on now that my computer is up and running again.

My computer died and we are having the pictures recovered, but I don't have them in my possession yet, so I won't be posting photos for awhile.

I am 33 weeks pregnant and look like I swallowed a basketball. This little girl is a mover and a shaker! (Just like her big sister Zella). The girls love talking and singing to my belly, and coming up with names for her. Currently Madeline would like to name her Rapunzel, and Zella would like to name her Sister. Travis and I thought we had decided on a name, but then I had a dream the baby was named something else. We have a little more time to figure it out, I suppose.

Madeline loves preschool. We were shocked at student/teacher conferences when her teacher told us she doesn't know Madeline that well because Madeline is so quiet in school. I almost fell off my chair. She is NEVER quiet at home! Always singing and telling stories. When I asked Madeline why she was quiet at school, she told me that school is very serious and she is there to learn. (sounds like her Aunt Kate!) She has made a lot of new friends and loves to do crafts.

Zella turned two three days after Christmas (I will have to make that a post of its own!). She is on "fast forward" all the time. She doesn't walk, she runs...she just goes and goes. She has a great vocabulary and just talks and talks all day. It has been fun listening to her put more sentences together and really get to hear what she is thinking about. Her glasses broke for the first time (I accidentally stepped on them after she threw them on the ground) so she has been wearing her old pair for two weeks.) She tells anyone who will listen that I broke her glasses on purpose. Little stinker!

Travis has had a lot going on. There are big changes on the horizon for us. Seriously big changes that require a post all its own. I will update you in a couple days.

We had a great holiday season! I hope you did as well.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Finally...a Belly Pic

Zella wanted to touch my belly.

On our 9-year anniversary.

We finally got around to taking a picture of my belly. Here I am at 20 weeks on our anniversary. I'm almost 24 weeks now and I've grown a little. I'm definitely bigger at 20 weeks the third time around! I was just starting to show at 20 weeks with my first. Geesh. And I've only gained a couple pounds! I still have 23 pounds left to go. ;)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Marathon Mini-Vacation

We took a mini-vacation last weekend to the Mall of America in Minnesota. I won a hotel stay, four wristbands to Nickelodeon Adventure (theme park inside of mall), a Mall of America coupon book, and a gift card to go out to eat at a raffle for Cystic Fibrosis. (My twin, Lisa, puts on a fund-raiser for Cystic Fibrosis every August.) I was thrilled to win the trip and we decided to extend our stay and make it a family getaway. Travis took Monday off work which was great.

We left early Saturday morning and stopped for a couple hours at Cabela's in Owatonna. Travis had a lot of gift cards to use so the girls and I checked out the aquarium and mounted animals display. (Kinda cool and creepy at the same time...there was a waterfall in the display and the girls loved that.)

We headed to the hotel, swam and ordered pizza. We had a lot of fun and still got the girls to bed at a decent time. Sunday morning we ate breakfast and then headed to the mall. We were there for 7 (!) hours and had a blast. Travis and I were both shocked the girls made it that long but they were just so excited for all the rides. Travis had to take them on most of them, because the safety bar of the little kids rides wouldn't fit over my pregnant belly. (I was okay with that...especially after we all rode the balloon ride and I almost got sick.) There were also fewer rides Zella could go on, so while Papa and Madeline went on the roller coaster, bumper cars, etc. Zella and I rode the train and merry-go-round over and over.

They both were in awe of the rides and were very good all day! We anticipated that we would stay for a couple hours, go back to the hotel room for nap/rest time and then go back to the mall. They didn't want to stop, though so we just followed their lead.

Here are a few of the pics from the day...

Our family at the end of a long day of fun!

Playing at Lego Land. It was all fun and games until Zella threw a Lego at someone.

Travis, Madeline & Zella at the top of the Ferris wheel. It was Madeline's favorite ride.

Papa and Zella

Zella "driving" the school bus. Her favorite ride.

Madeline waving from the Blues Clues ride.

The pool was really cold and the girls didn't want to get in, so they
swam in the bathtub instead.

Mama and Zella on the merry-go-round.
Papa and Madeline riding the race cars. Papa's long legs barely fit!
Travis snuck away and rode all the scary roller coasters while we shopped for souvenirs. He had a blast and thought it was weird that I didn't want to go on any of them. I seriously can't stand roller coasters OR any scary rides. Pure torture.
On Monday we headed to Ikea (my favorite store!) and got some things I needed. The girls had fun playing in the kids area. Then we headed back home.
We had an incredible time. It was nice to spend time as a family! Travis has been so busy with work, and the girls and I have had a very busy schedule, so it was very relaxing to spend some time just the four of us. It was strange to think that this will be our last "vacation" as a family of four!
More later,

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Travis and I got married 9 years ago today! Hard to believe. We've been through a lot, good and bad, and there is no one else I'd rather ride this roller coaster with. Happy Anniversary, honey!


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

I am almost 21 weeks pregnant and we got to have an ultrasound last week. We were very thankful to find out the baby looks healthy! We were also thankful to find out we are having another girl! Travis will definitely be outnumbered with three girls, one wife, and a female dog. He can handle it though! :)

The girls are very excited and talk to my belly every day. Zella proudly announces to people that she is going to be a big sister like Madeline. Too cute.

We are having a hard time coming up with a name we both love. Suggestions are welcome! I think I finally have the comments fixed, so don't be shy. Madeline wants to name the baby NECKLACE so we could really use some help.

More later,

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sept. 11th

I was going about my morning, making muffins, getting Madeline ready for preschool, etc. when I glanced at the calendar and saw today's date. It's hard to believe that it has been seven years since that fateful Sept. 11th, when we were attacked by terrorists and our world changed forever.

So much has happened in those seven years...I was working at United Way in Des Moines at the time. I was meeting with a translator to translate a brochure I wrote into Sudanese (there is actually a large population of Sudanese in Des Moines we were trying to reach) when we heard the news. The man was so distraught he left the building in tears. I watched on the TV in our lobby later as the towers fell. Like most of you, it was hard to wrap my head around what was happening. It was so surreal.

In the last seven years I became a truck driver and lived in a truck, moved back to my hometown, became a homeowner and a mother of 2.5 kids. A lot has changed in my family and I can't help think of all the lives lost that day, and all the changes those families have endured.

When we were truck drivers we had the opportunity to travel to the 48 continuous states. I have seen most of this beautiful country, and it is indeed amazing. I felt such a sense of patriotism that continues with me today. We are so fortunate to live in America!

I know people have different views on the Iraq war, and different philosophies on what our country has done right and wrong. Lately there has been a lot of mudslinging in the Presidential election, as is usually the case. But through it all we should never lose sight of what it means to be an American, and the sacrifice our military has made to protect our freedoms.

My thoughts and prayers are with those who lost loved ones in the attack, and the many military men and women who are still protecting us.

God Bless America!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

And the Winner is...

My dad and his friend Steve won the "Mystery Bag Cook-off contest at the county fair. They won first prize in showmanship and the cook-off. They were allowed to bring an electric skillet, two utensils, and three condiments. When the contest started they were handed a bag with a can of spam, biscuit, one green pepper, a can of pineapple and two cups of liquid (either milk or water, their choice). They had 1/2 hour to prepare the food and had to use at least a little bit of all of the ingredients.

Half way into the contest they added a mystery ingredient...red licorice!

It was fun to watch the teams cook and I had no doubt my dad would win. He makes up recipes all the time and can make anything taste good!

They were the only team that brought a tablecloth, chairs and water for the judges, and real plates/silverware to eat off of. They also draped a white towel over their arms while serving the judges. They also wore matching aprons that they had made for the event. Their team name was "The Brown Nosers" and it was quite fitting. It was pretty cute.

They won a monetary prize and got interviewed by the local papers. I'm sure they'll do it again next year!

The 4-H Fair

Every year we spend as much time as we can at the local county fair. It happens to be right here in Britt and the girls love seeing the animals. This year Papa was on a deadline for a big newsletter so he worked from home while I got the girls out of the house. He did get to go with us on Sunday, the last day.

Friday we checked out the animals and rides with my friend Cassie and her daughter Amelia and son Isaiah. We spent a lot of time with the pigs because those were Zella's favorite. Madeline liked the bunnies best and almost had her Papa talked into getting one. (I promptly reminded Travis that we were going to have another baby. Soon. And I am NOT scooping poop out of rabbit cages on top of having a newborn. I did enough of that as a kid!)

They had a petting zoo which was a big hit. We watched my dad and his friend in a mystery cook-off contest (pictures of that to come).

We also ran into Aunt Gayle, Uncle Louie, Cousins Sarah and Jayson and ate supper together. The last picture is of Zella and Uncle "Ooee" as Zella says.

All in all we had a great time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Belated 4th of July Pictures

I'm still trying to catch the blog world up on everything we did this summer. So here are some belated 4th of July pictures. Aunt Carrie (Trav's sister), her daughter Katelyn, and Great-grandma Norma came to visit. We had a lot of fun.

We went to the 4th of July parade in Belmond, and went to the Clear Lake carnival the next day.

Zella, Aunt Carrie,Katelyn and Madeline anxiously awaiting the parade to begin

Madeline and Papa goofing around

Papa and Zella checking out the parade

Grammy and Madeline

Carrie and Katelyn posing for the camera

Zella waving her flag

Riding the rides

We all took a ride on the merry-go-round.

We went swimming in Clear Lake and played in the splash pad after we were done with the rides. We had a great time!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Overheard at our House Part 2

Zella escaped from me during a diaper change. She ran around the living room yelling, "Stinky butt! Stinky butt!"


Instead of saying "No way, Jose!", Madeline says, "No way, Monet!"

I Scream for Ice Cream

A trip to Dairy Queen this summer proved to be messier than I anticipated. I brought a bib for Zella but figured Madeline didn't need one. Boy was I wrong!

A Visit from Christian

My nephew and godson, Christian (my twin Lisa's oldest) came to visit earlier this summer. We had a great time and he the girls absolutely adored him. We had a blast at Clear Lake and spent the day at the beach.

Here are some of my favorite photos: