Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween from the Clendenen Family

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yes, We Really Lived in a Truck Part 2

Okay then.  I have had requests of a pic of me circa truck driving years.  I found one that showed our bunk area.  (And Josie when she was younger and leaner.) 

I'll have to do some more digging for additional pics. I remember taking a lot of cheesy photos of one another. Trust me when I say you'd like to see those! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Yes, We Really Lived in a Truck

Here is Travis (circa 2003) in our semi-truck talking on the phone with our dispatcher.  He was looking at the Qualcomm getting the information for a load by satellite.  Pretty fascinating, right?  I was sitting on the bed taking this picture anxious to find out where we were off to next.   

How many miles?
It's fun to look back at pics from truck.  I really wish we would have taken more. 

Isn't he cute?

Yours sincerely,

(I know.  AGAIN with the yours sincerely.  Will it ever stop?)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Water Park Extravaganza/How We Spent Our 11th Anniversary

We spent our anniversary with the girls at a water park hotel in Minnesota.  We had such a great time!  The girls LOVED the water park.  And honestly?  Travis and I loved it just as much.  We are both kids at heart so this vacation was definitely a no-brainer for us.  Water slides? Check. Lazy river? Check. Shooting hoops in the water? Check. Fun little kid area? Check.  Oh, and hot tub?  Checkity check.

Violet actually learned how to say hot tub and requested it often.  It was fun to watch Madeline be so independent and fearless.  And Zella tried some things even though they scared her. 

Eleven years!

Eating popcorn in bed.  The girls loved to break some rules in the hotel room.

Miss Violet

Our room was the whirlpool suite.  Their favorite part was watching TV while taking a bath.

Game room fun.

Miss Madeline

Pool break

Mama and Vi

I had to pry Violet off.

Violet snuggling with Papa. 

Ready for the road.

Zella was really good at this game.

Classic Zella. (Superstar!)

If you know Zella in real life, you know this pose is standard.  She is hilarious.
The last night we were there we were at the water park from 3:15 to 7 pm when they closed.  We ate pizza by the pool and spent the rest of the time in the water.  We just couldn't pry ourselves away.

We also got to do a little shopping at the outlet mall and Cabela's while we were there.  We found deals (a hobby of mine) and Travis even suggested I go shopping by myself during nap time.  He is a smart man. :)

The girls were very well behaved and it was so nice to spend some time together.  I'll never forget it.

Happy Anniversary to us!

Yours sincerely,

(Am I really going to keep writing yours sincerely?  I can't seem to help myself.)

Monday, October 18, 2010


One of the best parts of moving back to my hometown is being near family.  Two of my sisters live here too and it is a lot of fun to watch our kids grow up together.  The weather has been gorgeous lately and we have been taking advantage of it.

I will miss this park when the snow hits! 

From top to bottom: Claire, Zella, Madeline, Violet, Grace and Lily


Grace pulled Zella all the way from her house.


Madeline and Lily

Miss Violet

Zella and Vi

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fun/Not Fun

This week has just flown by.  I seriously cannot believe it is Thursday.  Each day has seemed like a roller coaster.  You know, some fun/not fun moments throughout.

Travis finishing his art studio that he has been working on for almost 2 1/2 years.

Not Fun:
Moving all of his art stuff out there.  Art books are HEAVY.  Oh, and bookcases are too.  But I was motivated so I summoned up my super strength (or whatever) to help him get the job done.  My back is still hurting.  And by motivated I mean "so happy this @#&$^#^ project is done and this *$&#^$& stuff has a fabulous new home that is not in MY room".  Just kidding (mostly).

Finally having my own room in our house (that used to house T's art stuff). 

Not Fun:
I have a lot of work to do in there before I can move anything in and we have been so busy I haven't gotten much done.

Taking the girls to a beautiful garden with walking path/stream on a gorgeous day after Madeline's eye appointment.
Not Fun:
Learning at the eye appointment that we may be patching Madeline's eye in the near future. (This is a recent development.) 

Trying out "bento"* style lunches for Violet.

Not Fun:
Trying to get a 19 month old to eat/drink everything I put in front of her.  Violet needs to gain some weight before her 2nd birthday and I have been trying everything I can think of.  Any suggestions?

Going to the park with my sisters who live here and watching my girls play with their cousins. 

Not Fun:
Um, there really isn't anything "not fun" about that.  It has been unusually warm here and we have been enjoying it.

Yours sincerely,

P.S.  I still laugh every time I write "yours sincerely".  I don't know why I think it's funny.

*I am a beginner at bento so my lunches aren't nearly as fun and creative as this web site. 

Something to Think About

Sunday, October 10, 2010

You Guys...

I am so excited. I just spent three hours helping Travis move into his new art studio. That he built himself. From a crappy one car garage someone gave him for free. Seriously.

It has taken YEARS to get to this point (and a lot of blood sweat and um, swearing on Trav's part(oh, and money. Because these kinds of projects always go over budget.)

But I'm getting ahead of myself. First of all, did you know that Travis can make nothing into something? Or crappy into amazing? For real? I am not exaggerating.

Case in point: THIS was the garage before:

I confess that my first thought when I saw this building was,
"Um, why are we putting an old rickety garage in our back yard?

The back view.

And then I saw the inside of the building:
And I thought, "So you're going create fine art in this thing?"
 Of course, I kept those comments to myself.  Because this guy:

A guy who always has a master plan.
Well, that guy can do anything.  And he sees potential in things others don't.  I sometimes get frustrated by this quality (i.e. keeping of what I see as junk for future projects), but usually he amazes me.

Check out how LITTLE the girls are when we got this garage.
Zella is on the left still in her tiny glasses, then cousin Grace and Madeline.
With Granny, of course.
It has taken a long time, but it was worth the wait.  It's not completely finished, but here is an after (for now) of the outside of the building.

Wait until you see the inside.  You will be amazed. 
I am too tired to go take pictures.  I'll probably wait until we get the rest moved in.

I'm so happy he will finally have this space for his own.  Oh, and now I get the room that housed all this stuff in our house.  So I'm happy for me too,  Win, win, right?

Yours sincerely,
P.s. forgive the formatting issues.  It is 2 a.m. and I am too tired to figure out why I can't fix it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

This Little Turkey...

likes to eat crayons. Which is unfortunate because Madeline and Zella spend at least an hour a day coloring. It has become a daily battle to find stray crayons before Violet.   Today?  Violet won.

Something to Think About

I came across this tonight and it was just what I needed to hear:

"Thank God not for your problems, but for the strength he is building in you through the difficult experiences of your life."  -Life Application Study Bible

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Dear Travis,

Happy Anniversary!  It is hard to believe we got married 11 years ago today.  Eleven years!  It feels like we have lived so much during our marriage.  The "Des Moines years" the "truck driving years" and now raising a family together.  I've figured out that...

We can.  We have!  We will

We have taken so many leaps of faith together and I don't regret a single one. 

I love you (always and forever).  No. Matter. What.


P.S. Don't forget to click here and read the post from our 10th anniversary.  Ever bit still holds true today. 

Friday, October 1, 2010


Who could resist this grin?