Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014 Week Thirty-Five | August 25 - August 31

Trying to play catch-up...

He's been reading this book, one of my favorites from my childhood, every free moment he gets.  Heck with Legos, the pool, or any other toys. If he's not playing his video game, he's reading The Trolley Car Family.  

Annaliese learned to ride without training wheels this week.  She couldn't make it in a full circle in our driveway, and couldn't start or stop, but she was maintaining her balance on the straight stretches. Amazing to me for a 4-year-old. 

There were very few moments this week when the sun actually shined... 

Darrin and I had been talking about trying some different pizzas for awhile, and this one was definitely a hit- BBQ pulled pork with diced apples and smoked Gouda cheese.  I think next time, I'll cook the apples a bit to soften them up and add some caramelized onions. But this was soooo yummy like this. 

Grabbed some lunch after church at Firehouse Subs.  First time for the kids.  They both loved the hats they got, and, well, Ian loved his sandwich.  

Brought home the game Bananagrams from work. Everyone pulls a tiles from a center pile and works to make their own crossword, using all their tiles.  Darrin ended up dominating, and neither of them ended up loving it as much as I do. 

Annaliese came home from school with her hair like this and I had to do a double-take.  I can't touch her hair without a huge battle, but apparently Mr. George at school can.  He said she was complaining about being hot while outside and offered to braid it.  Wish my skills were as good as his.  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

2014 Week Thirty-Four | August 18 - 24

The second week of school.  Work was really overwhelming that week, and it was nice to take time on the weekend to just enjoy ourselves.  Most of the pictures are of the weekend, because the weeks consisted of going to work, getting home and making dinner, doing bedtime, then doing more work to get ready for work.  
It's not exactly clear which house is ours from the road, so I put  my cameo to work and cut our house number out of vinyl and finally one of the projects I wanted to do for the house was done. 

Annaliese has been practicing swimming without her life jacket lately, and has really gotten quite good at it.   She loves to swim from the ladder to one of us, and then back again.  She can make it in one breath, too. 

Choosing paint colors for a project.  Ended up letting Annaliese pick. She went with one of the purples, of course. 

Love moments like these.  

I didn't think this dish would go over well with the family, with the zucchini and  tomato chunks, but surprisingly, everyone loved it. 

This girl is all about school stuff and learning.  She's going to be so ready for kindergarten next year.  Her favorite thing to do right now is interview Darrin and I. "Mom, what does love mean to you?" is just one of the many questions she's asked. And then she proceeds to write letters down on paper to document it.  She will also ask how to spell particular words so she can get it correct.   When she's not writing letters, she's coloring or drawing.  Ian is our reader, she is our writer.  

On Saturday, Ian went to a birthday party for his best friend from first grade.  It was the first time he'd seen him since we moved.  They loved the mobile gaming experience for the party, playing Minecraft and Lego Indiana Jones.  Annaliese wanted to go grocery shopping with me, so we grabbed lunch at HyVee before shopping. She was in heaven with her plate full of fruit and pudding.   

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

2014 Week Thirty-Three | August 11 to 17

In my last post, I talked about the start of school, and with that, routine.  Around here, though, the routine has been stay at school late working, come home, make dinner, play outside, do bedtime routine, then continue working on school work. Thus is the life of  teacher.  I did spend some time this past weekend choosing pictures for week thirty-three.

Ian's first day.  Continuing the tradition of pictures by the easel every year.  This year, with the move, means a new school. So far on day 12 of school, he really enjoys the change. 

The front of our house faces east. This was the sunrise on the first day of school. First time in a long time we were up early enough to see the sun rise.  
At our old house, the routine was always a bit of screen time after they were home, had a snack, and homework was done.  In the new house, though, we have a new routine, alternating pool one day after school and screen time the next.  They always have a blast in the pool, but they always whine when I pick them up from school on pool days begging to have screen time instead.  While the weather is good, though, we have to get as much pool time in as possible.  At least that's what I tell them.  
As Darrin and I were going to bed this week, we noticed Annaleise's light was still on.  We went up, and found her like this.  When I asked her about it the next morning, she said she had wanted to stay up and read books like Ian does. 
Spent my first weekend after teaching filling nail holes and sanding down the base cabinets for my scrapbooking table.
Just two pictures being her adorable self.  On the left, she snapped that of herself.  On the right, she was dressed up on Sunday after church in her brother's cowboy boots and carrying the purse she got at church in the swap meet. 

Two pictures of Ian. On the left, at church, laying under the chairs during service on Sunday. He brings a book to church every Sunday, and apparently this position was comfortable. He's reading one of the books in the "How to Train Your Dragon" series.  On the right, his best friend from first grade had a birthday party on Saturday in which they rented the gaming experience truck.  Ian had a great time playing Minecraft and Lego Indiana Jones, which he has already asked to get for home.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

2014 Week Thirty-Two | August 4 to August 10

Today Ian started back to school, and with that, some routine returns to our house.  I'm going to try to get back in to a new routine on here, too, or at least posting more frequently than once a month.

Before Ian started back to school, he had open house last week on Thursday.  He has an energetic teacher who's been very welcoming to him at the new school. And he made a friend at day care this week who is in his class as well. At open house we discovered that his friend sits right next to him, as luck would have it.  It all contributed to a great first day for him today.

We busted out Darrin's father's day present for the first time on Friday. That was the first time we had seen the sun most of the week thanks to rain chances. We forgot to account for the wet wood when we started this, so it was crazy smokey, but we were able to get our smores out of the deal anyway.

One of the brief moments the sky cleared this week. This eventually came over the house and turned into a lovely rain shower.

It was so cold this week with the rain and such, so even though we didn't hang out im the pool, we hung out around it.  Ian, for some reason, loves to use the skimmer on the pool. You have to watch out when he's doing it, though, he gets a bit out of control with the long pole on it.

The driveway at the new house is much bigger than our old one, and it's definitely seeing it's fair share of action. Seems like we're out there every night. Annaliese can usually be found on her scooter (the right picture was taken in the rain, even it couldn't stop her).  Ian's turned in to quite the b-baller with Darrin's guidance.   He's so intense when he's dribbling- it's cute.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

One Month

It's been nearly one month since I posted, and life has changed for us.  We went from living here

to here

and have loved every minute spent in our new house. The weather has been blissfully cool for July, from the day when we moved in and it was in the mid-70s through today. We've been able to open all the windows in the house and enjoy a beautiful breeze every day but two or three.  That bodes really well for our electric bill, but it doesn't bode well for our swim time in the above ground pool that our new house also has.

With the windows being open most of the time, what I have noticed the most about living in this new town is the noise.  We  moved from the big city to a small, rural town, and it's surprising that the hardest adjustment has been to the noises of the new town.  Every time the fire siren goes off, the kids look to me to see if we need to get to the  basement. The only time it went off in the old town was for tornadoes, but here it goes off to alert the volunteers to head to the fire station.  There is a clock tower, church tower, something (we haven't figured it out yet) that chimes every thirty minutes, and at nine, noon, and six plays music for five minutes.  And then there's the trains, which have to have their whistles blown every time they come through town.  Around 2 in the morning, that's about every 10 minutes. I was awake one night and able keep track.

I know we'll get used to it over time, much like we did the airplanes, helicopters, and ambulance sirens in the old city.  Definitely not enough for us to regret making this move.  We love our new house. Now to go shopping and fill the space! Moving from 1400 square feet to 2400 mean lots of empty space to fill.

Monday, June 30, 2014

2014 Week Twenty - Five | June 16 - June 22

This week we spent a lot of time together with friends, but first we had to make it back home. Monday we ended our visit to our parents and headed back home, but not before a bit of play time. The kids love playing with my Little People sets, and Annaliese convinced Darrin to play with the park and pool this morning. 
We stopped for lunch at Arby's, where Ian got his first grown up meal deal and not a kids meal. He ate his regular roast beef and fries all gone.  He needs to stop growing or I have no idea how I'm going to feed him during his teen years. 

On Tuesday we had the inspection at our new house.  The day after they accepted our offer, they received baseball-sized hail.  Everyone had been asking what it looked like, but we were too scared to go see. This is just a small portion of the damage. Luckily, these were the only three windows damaged. 

We had been told the pool was beyond repair, so were very surprised when we showed up and it was filled and functioning just fine. The kids were super excited, because we had told them that we would no longer have a pool, and now we will. 

On Wednesday, we met Walter and Henry at the library to see some of our absolute favorite book characters- Piggie and Elephant (Gerald).  Mo Willems is one of my favorite authors, and if you've never read any of his books, you're really missing out. They're super entertaining to read as an adult, too, so it doesn't get boring having to read them over and over to the kids like some other books do. You should really check them out!

After the library, we headed to get groceries, but Annaliese was throwing such a fit, we never made it through the second set of doors into the building. We got home, she got sent to her room, and she quickly fell asleep for 2 hours.  I woke her up at 5 so she'd at least go to sleep at a decent time that night, carrying her downstairs and standing her on the floor in the living room. I started to make supper and noticed it was really quiet. I walked around the corner, and found her, sound asleep, on the steps.  Apparently she REALLY needed that nap. And of course, when we went to bed at 10:30, she was wide awake in bed.

We always check out lots of books when we got to the library (at least 15 it seems like) and I found Ian reading one of his to Annaliese on the steps on Thursday.

The library branch closest to us does an Around the Town story time every Friday. This Friday was an ice-themed one and took place at one of the ice rinks in the area.  For attending the story time, we got to go skating for free. They had little walkers the kids could take out on the ice. Annaliese was able to push hers while skating, but was still falling more than she wanted and would whine every time she fell.  Ian had trouble keeping his skates under him; his ankles were at weird angles and his legs were spread really wide. We tried smaller skates in the thought they weren't tight enough to support him, but he still had trouble, and he couldn't get the walkers to go. For most of the time, he hung out near the wall. It wasn't til I had had enough of their complaining and I said we could go that they both started doing really well on their own.  Figures.  I think we'll head back again sometime when Darrin's along, as it was hard to help them both on my own.



Saturday was a busy day for us. Ian was invited to a friend's birthday party at a spray ground. Turns out there were like 12 girls there for the party and he was the only boy, so instead of hanging out with the girls, he made some new friends and did his own thing at the spray ground.

Ian's in the blue shirt dead center.
We stayed for the party and brought Annaliese along as well. Though unlike Ian, who preferred the spray ground, she preferred the regular playground it was next to, or more specifically, the large puddle of water and sand at the playground. 

She had to clean herself off in the spray ground, and then she confiscated her towel I was chilling on in the shade, along with my sunglasses, to rest by her daddy. Adorable!

After a quick run home for showers, we dropped the kids off at Walter and Henry's for a sleepover. Marlena so graciously provided me pictures, knowing I'd want to scrap what they were busy doing while they were there.  They made pizza, Ian read Walter lots of books, and then they watched the movie, "Up".

While the kids were there, Darrin and I went to 7M Grill to celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary. I had coconut chicken and grilled bananas with a really spicy sauce on top and Darrin had a steak with potatoes and mushrooms.  It was really yummy. After dinner, we grabbed some dessert from Cheesecake Factory. And the next morning, loved not having to wake up early!

On Sunday, we returned the babysitting favor, watching the boys for a few hours.  It's been awhile since Darrin and I had responsibility of a 15 month old. Our house is definitely not baby proof anymore, so we had to spend most of our time within arm's reach of Henry. It was exhausting! Even though, it was fun to have them over for a few hours and the kids definitely had fun together. 


Monday, June 23, 2014

2014 Week Twenty-Four | June 9 - June 15

This was a FUN week of break.

On Wednesday, the weather was gorgeous, so we headed to a park to play.  There was a little 3-year-old boy there, and Ian included him just like another little sibling, while Annaliese basically did her own thing. They both had lots of fun. 
Love the look of joy on her face with her butterfly wings blowing in the air  behind her.
Climbing what they call "The Hot Dog Ladder" (the blue links look like hot dogs)

After the park, we were surprised to pull into our driveway and be greeted by this wonderful sign!
Weight off our shoulders for sure!
And then on Friday, on our way to visiting our parents, we swung by our future house, and it had a very similar sign in front of it!
Yep, all that is ours, in the city limits. So excited!
Between those days, we attended a library story time at Scheel's, and were rewarded with a free ride on the Ferris Wheel. It was the first time Annaliese and I had been on one.  I'm terrified of heights, but stuck it out for their sake.  Ian was tall enough to go on his own, but I told him us newbies needed an experienced rider to go with us.
It wasn't as scary as I thought it would be!
There have also been MANY nights like this, when after we leave his room for the night, he turns his lamp on and reads, sometimes for at least an hour. It always makes me smile, because I did the same thing when I was little.
The book he has read SEVERAL times is "Usborne Illustrated Stories for Boys". 

And if you look at the pictures of Annaliese,she's got butterfly wings on in all of them. That wasn't a fluke, that cape was on every day of the week, all day long, no matter where we went.  The park, Scheel's, or in the picture below, Target and home. Love her spunk (and the fact the cape was mine when I was little. Thanks Mom and Dad for keeping stuff like that!)
And then Friday we drove home to see our parents and the kids met their new cousin Emery for the first time.

And it's not a trip back to Grandma and Grandpa's without a bit of lawn mower driving. We kept teasing Ian he needed to practice because it will be his job to mow the lawn at the new house. This time Grandpa hooked the wagon up in back so Annaliese and Lacey could ride along.  If only the mower was the same color as the wagon...

On Sunday, we spent Father's Day with my dad's side of the family. My aunt and uncle run a dairy farm not far from my parents and they hosted the event. I'm pretty sure it was the first time Annaliese had been that close to cows before, and she was a bit timid, but so was Ian, who has been there at least once before (but that was probably a few years ago and he may have forgotten...).  It's amazing how far farming has come from when I was a kid and helped milk during the summers. They have 6 robots that now do it- no more squatting down and possibly getting kicked. More than that, there are computers that drop the feed and clean the alleyways, and they have a system that presses all the liquid out of the manure, removing the smell, and that becomes the bedding the cows lay on.  I just marveled at the whole operation.

Love trips back home!