Saturday, December 12, 2009

Technical Difficulties

Hello all. My computer has been down for a couple weeks which is seriously hindering my blogging. I'm borrowing Trav's computer while he is sleeping and I can barely decipher a thing.

Did I mention that he works for an international company? Based out of Denmark? So all the computers are set to the Danish language. Slightly confusing.

ANYWAY, we have been very busy. We spent Thanksgiving in Milo with Trav's family. It was a lot of fun. Especially on Black Friday when Travis watched the girls and I woke up at 3:30 a.m. to go shopping with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. We had such a great time!

Then last weekend we went to my twin Lisa's house for our annual deer hunting trip. Travis took some vacation time and it was a lot of fun. He didn't get a deer, but he loves being outdoors and the strategy of it all. The girls cried when we had to leave. Such a fun time.

I would show you pictures but no computer means no pics. Ugh.

Then we had a blizzard. (It was COLD and there was lots of SNOW and lots and lots of BLOWING SNOW and lots of DRIFTING.) My little sister Bonnie and her daughter Claire were snowed in with us all. :) She was visiting from Iowa City. We had a great time! I was thankful she was stuck with us.

What else...

When Violet took her afternoon nap today Madeline, Zella and I had a snowball fight in our yard. Madeline kept chasing me yelling, "You can run but you can't hide!". Zella loved making snow angels and throwing snowballs at me. It was cold so we weren't out for long. And of course we had to warm up with hot chocolate and hot apple cider once we got inside. All in all a good day.

We have a busy couple weeks ahead but I LOVE the holidays! And we are finally healthy (knock on wood).

It really IS the most wonderful time of the year, isn't it?*

More later when I either figure out how to fix my computer or break down and have it repaired,

*This is a rhetorical question. If you do not currently think it's the most time of the year please heed this advice:

Turn on your Christmas tree lights, make a cup of cocoa or cider and listen to some Christmas music.

See? That's better.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Sometimes I feel like Thanksgiving gets lost in the shuffle. My two favorite holidays are Christmas and Halloween (although now Valentine's day might be my very fav since it's Violet's birthday). I'm so busy planning for Christmas that I forgot to slow down and appreciate Thanksgiving.

I'm not exaggerating when I tell you I am very lucky. Seriously.

  • I have a handsome, wonderful husband who works hard to provide for our family. (Plus he's cute.)
  • We have three of the cutest, kindest, funniest children. Really! They know how to drive me crazy but mostly they amaze me.
  • We have a loyal dog Josie who helped me get through my time as a truck driver.
  • We live in a safe home that Travis has worked hard to renovate. There is still a lot to do, but we've come a long way!
  • Our families are close by. Trav's family is only a couple hours away, as well as my twin and little sis. My parents and older sister are two blocks and ten blocks away. My brother lives in Indiana but travels home often.
  • I get to stay home and take care of our three girls. I go crazy at least once a day, but truthfully I wouldn't have it any other way.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

More later,


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hiking at Pilot Knob

Two weeks ago the weather was beautiful. My sister, nieces, parents and our family went on a picnic and a two-mile hike at Pilot Knob. We used to go there a lot as kids and it was fun to take my girls up to the tower. Some photos:

My sister Karen and niece Lily.

Grandpa Neil recruited Madeline, Zella and cousin Grace to stuff Travis with leaves.

The little ones needed some assistance. My sister Bonnie had to carry her daughter Claire most of the way.

Madeline and her Papa.

From left to right: Sister Bonnie and Claire, Me and baby Violet, Granny and Zella, Sister Karen, Grace and baby Lily.

Granny and Grace.

Our family at the top of the tower. The girls were too scared to look over the edge.

Bonnie and Claire.

Grandpa Neil and Zella.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Feeding the Ducks

Madeline didn't have school a couple weeks ago so I took the girls on an adventure. I told them we had three surprises. The first was visiting Papa at his office. They loved seeing the pictures Travis has of them and their drawings he hung up. We took a little tour and played at his desk.

Then we were off to surprise #2...lunch at McDonalds. We don't go there often and they were thrilled. The highlight was the My Little Pony toy that came in the happy meals.

The third surprise was feeding the ducks at East Park in Mason City. They had never done that before and loved it! I remember going there as a kid and it was fun to see them so excited.

Madeline feeding the ducks.

Violet watching from her stroller. Next year I'll have to keep her from chasing the ducks!

Zella loved the tiny waterfalls. It is such a pretty park with great walking trails.

Every time I took out the camera Violet got serious. Here she is on the swings.

Zella screaming the whole way down.

We spent a couple hours at the park and had a great time. I'm so glad we got to enjoy the weather before it gets too cold.

Granny and Aunt Karen called to let us know they were in Mason City too. So we met them at Culver's for ice cream. A perfect ending to a great day.

More later,

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Three Truths and a Lie

Have you ever played this game? I'll post four statements. Three are true and one is a lie. You guess which is the lie.

In the past four days:

1. Lori fell (slipped on a coat left on the floor) while holding Violet.

2. Travis fell off a ladder while working on his studio. He was trying to wire a light and lost his balance.

3. Zella fell and hit the french doors in our living room. She went limp and had to be taken to the emergency room.

4. Madeline fell down the stairs late at night. She also fell in the church pew. She tripped over Aunt Karen's feet and hit her head and nose.

So who are the klutzy members of my family?


The lie is #2. Thankfully Travis did NOT fall off a lady. Unfortunately #3 IS true and our sweet little Zella had to go to the emergency room. She had the biggest goose egg/bruise on her forehead I have ever seen! She was twirling around in the living room and lost her balance. She hit our french doors very hard. I picked her up and she went limp in my arms and her eyes started rolling.

I called my sister and she came over in record time. (Especially for having to bring two little kids with). Travis met me at the emergency room. Luckily she was back to herself relatively quickly. She is such a tough little girl. We are so thankfully it wasn't something serious!

It is pretty safe to say that the girls inherited my coordination (or lack thereof).

More later,

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fun Fact Friday

I was going to stop the Fun Fact Friday posts but every time I don't do one I get e-mails asking where the post is at. So here you go! Randomness for you to enjoy:

*I don't mind washing and folding clothes but I hate to put them away. Travis doesn't mind washing but doesn't fold or put away.

*My first summer after college I worked at a factory building hog feeders. At one point they taught me to weld and I got light-headed and fainted. I hit my head on the concrete so hard I had a seizure. And I never had to weld again.
(I actually started working at the factory when I 14. I stacked wood and helped clean. It was very glamorous. Really, every 14-year-old girl envied me. :)

*Halfway through that summer I got laid off from the factory. I was so upset because I had tuition to pay! So the next morning I got a job at a hotel in Clear Lake as a housekeeper. I am so mindful now of how messy I am leaving a hotel room. People do a lot of gross things to a hotel room! I wanted all the hours I could get so I always took the messiest rooms and stayed late to fold towels/sheets, etc.

*Travis is a really good cook who likes to make up recipes. I'm definitely a better cook now, but I still have to follow a recipe.

*Fall is my favorite time of year because you can still do things outdoors but it's not too hot. And no one has to sweat. I love the crisp air and crunchy leaves. It has been nice her the last week and we have spent a lot of time outdoors.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fun Fact Friday

*I call the evening meal supper, but Travis calls it dinner. I call the noon meal lunch or dinner. Who is right?

*Travis often calls me "Captain Obvious" because I am always stating obvious things. Like, "Oh, it's raining outside." or "This food is hot." Captain Obvious strikes again!

*I love Halloween. I usually dress up to take the kids trick-or-treating. Last year I was pregnant and really showing so my options were limited. I wore an orange shirt of Trav's and cut out a jack-o-lantern face out of black construction paper. I used tape to attach it to my baby bump and went as a pumpkin.

*In third grade I dressed up as Cyndi Lauper . It was my favorite Halloween costume EVER. I resembled this:
Okay, not really. But it was still an awesome costume. Who doesn't love Cyndi Lauper? (Don't answer that.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


My three best girls: Madeline the kitty cat, Violet the lion and Zella as Minnie Mouse.

Mama and baby Vi the lion.

Aunt Karen and our three girls with tails.

Carving pumpkins at Aunt Karen's house.

My parents with our girls, cousin Grace and cousin Christian (my cousin Jeff's son).

My cousin Sarah and her daughter Ava.

Madeline and Zella with friend Amelia.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


We have been sick. I am counting my blessings that it wasn't the flu or H1N1, but it still hasn't been fun. We are finally on the mend! I am going to become best friends with my lysol wipes and the hand soap. Germs are not welcome here!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Three Blessings

Violet after trying lasagna for the first time. What a mess! She was rubbing the sauce all over face. She loved the lasagna but not her bath afterwards. Too much scrubbing.

I can't believe it is only October and we've had to break out the snow boots. Twice!

Zella is going to be Minnie Mouse for Halloween. I have a hard time prying her out of it.

Violet's Baptism

Last Sunday Violet was baptized. It was really special because her cousin Lily (my sister Karen's daughter) was baptized too. We had Zella and her cousin Grace baptized on the same day also. We love that the girls were able to share this together.

We unfortunately didn't get any pictures of the girls together or with my parents (?!?!). We'll have to put them in their baptismal outfits and try to get a few shots. My photos didn't turn out all that great but I'm hoping my sisters have some that did.

Being a goofball for the camera.

Papa and his girl.

Sweet baby Vi.

Our family.

Violet with her godparents, my twin sister Lisa and her husband Chris.

Mama and Vi.

My sister Karen, BIL Chris (Minnesota) and niece Lily.

Not the best picture of Trav, but had to include it because
Violet was waving to the camera with her pinkie. Silly!

The Clendenen family (some of them). Trav's sister Carrie, her two daughters Katelyn and Lauren, and Trav's mom Stacey (otherwise known as Grandma Marker).

Katelyn and Madeline snuggling.

Violet rocking the big bow with her Grandma Marker.

Cousin Lauren and Violet.

We had a reception after church and celebrated with our families and some friends. We wish my brother and his family, Trav's sister Kate and her husband and Grammy could have been with us! We had a great time and are so thankful the girls have so many who love them.

Thanks, mom and dad for all your help with the food. We couldn't have done it without you!

More later,

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Guess Who is 8 Months Old Today?

Violet practicing her flirting.

She was saying "Yeah".

Chewing on everything in sight!

"What Mama? I'm busy playing."

Baby Violet is eight months old today. It is unbelievable how quickly she is growing up! She got her first tooth yesterday. That explains why she has been up in the middle of the night again. She can sit up by herself but prefers to stand. She can't stand by herself yet so she demands help!

She started army crawling a bit this week. She isn't very fast at that yet so if she wants to get somewhere quickly she rolls. It is pretty funny to watch. She can say: hi, mama, dada, papa and yeah. She is a very sweet baby but will let you know when she is mad. She gets MAD if you give her a bottle. She even glared at her sweet Granny (my mom) and gave her a dirty look for trying to feed her a bottle. Violet is VERY stubborn when she wants to be (she gets that from Travis). ;)

She loves her big sisters and scrunches her nose and them and smiles. They love to hold her and make her laugh. Vi is a very good baby and we are so lucky to have her in our family. Even if she is wreaking havoc on my back (my dainty flower weighs almost 18 pounds).

Violet and her cousin Lily are both being baptized on Sunday. It's going to be a special day with lots of family here to celebrate. A special day for two special girls.

More later,