Friday, July 25, 2014

While Ava's away...

Ava left this past Sunday to spend the week with Aunt Lisa, Uncle Brent, and her cousins. She was so excited to go on vacation and attend VBS at their church.  For the most part, she's had a great time and stayed very busy.  There were those three phone calls where she was hysterically crying, "I want a hug and kiss from you and Daddy, Friday is to far away, I miss you, I want you to be on vacation with me.".  Yeah, those were heartwrenching phone calls.  At one point I began to wonder if we were going to have to meet them in Clear Lake at midnight to pick her up.  I'm not so sure that Aunt Lisa signed up for that.  However, she survived and has been enjoying her time at the movies, swim pool, and ice cream shop.  We will be looking forward to seeing her this evening.  She already reminded Aunt Lisa that she gets to stay up late and wait for us. 

Last week I thought about all the things that we were going to get done while she was gone, and how Nate and I would have all this time together.  Yeah right!  We did get our big project done, and that's about it.  We got Ava's bedroom painted.  Yes, it's pink and lavender.  I think she's going to love it.  We have a friend painting canvases to hang on the wall, and picked out a few other things to decorate with.  Although Nate and I didn't get a romantic night out (or in for that matter), it feels good to have that project done. 

We're getting ready for another big move.  The kids are switching daycares after this upcoming week.  They will start at a center (they are currently in home with a stay at home mom) on August 4th.  I'm slightly anxious about how Grant will transition.  He's used to being with Cyndi, since that's all he's known from 12 weeks of age.  With that being said, I know in my heart that this is what is best for both of the kids.  There are many factors that led up to this decision, and it was very difficult to tell Cyndi that we would be leaving.  Like I said though, we have to do what we believe is best for our kids.  I'll keep you posted on the transition.  The kids and I will stop by there next Thursday to meet their teachers and hang out for awhile (Grant and I already did this once). 

Yesterday was a big day for Mema.  She had her first chemo treatment.  Please keep her in your prayers, as we pray for strength, health, and minimal side effects. 

Well we're off to IA.  Enjoy your weekend!

PS-I finally found the pictures that I downloaded from my phone onto the computer.  
I'm not sure if Grant's playing golf or football here. 

Nice form by Ava

I took the kids to a park/splash pad near our house last week.  Ava had a great time running through the water and playing on the playground.  Grant enjoyed the playground, but didn't want to get close to any water. 

Enjoying some Mr.  Freezes on the front steps on a hot summer day
Two weeks ago we were back in Benton County for my mom's birthday and my 15 year high school class reunion.  These amazing women became my best friends 19 years ago, and remain my best friends today.  I am so very lucky to have them in my life. 
Ava informed us at dinner this night that she made a "fat Jesus" (aka Flat Jesus) at VBS that day.  I love this girl!
Hand in hand...I hope they'll always be this way.
Last Saturday Ava & Daddy went to one of Ava's favorite places, Donut Star.  Grant was super pumped when they brought him back this giant donut.  Yes, he ate all of it. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014


This is a much overdo post.  I've been anxious to get some pictures of our week at the cabin up, but our computer was sick.  I sent it with Uncle Brent (the computer Dr.) to get it fixed so it was out for 2 weeks and is now back up and going after a large surgery.  Thanks Uncle Brent!!! 

So yes, three weeks ago we headed up to the cabin to spend a few days with Aunt Lisa, Uncle Brent, and the 5 cousins.  They arrived on Sunday and stayed until Wednesday afternoon.  The weather was cool, but we still had a great time.  We're hoping that next year they'll come and stay a little longer.  Thursday Mema & Boppa arrived, and Friday Uncle Wes & Aunt Janna arrived.

We spent the 4th of July going to a parade, Grant's first.  Ava loved picking up candy, although she's not quite as aggressive as some of the others up there.  That evening we headed over to Grandma Nena's and Grandpa Dick's for a BBQ.  Saturday afternoon we packed up and headed home in time to go to a party down the street.

Here are some pictures from our time up there.  I'm still trying to figure out where the pictures from mini golfing went.  Hopefully they will appear in the next post. 

Working on our hula hooping

Taking care of the yard (while still holding onto his ball)
Even Grant got to play football (he's not quite as serious about it as cousin Reece who is decked out in his full football uniform/pads/helmet)
Ava's kick off
Getting ready to head out and swim in the very cold lake.
Ava wasn't so sure about riding the jet ski.  However, by the end she was yelling, "faster, faster"
Reece & Ava enjoying one of many snacks throughout the day.
Oops, the boat died while Nate had the girls out tubing.  Brent towed it in using the jet ski. 
 Looks like Grant is looking for a new car

Ava wearing her goggles in the boat.  I love how dorky she looks in this picture.  Makes me laugh every time I see it. 

Grant LOVED corn on the cob (although there's not much he doesn't like)
A little picnic while waiting for the parade to start
Daddy, Mema, & Mommy at the parade
Ha!  Grant loves himself some banana.

Having fun at the parade

Doing a little trimming of the flowers they planted earlier this summer.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Answered prayers, but more needed

Another long stretch with no updates, my apologies.  The days and weeks are flying by.  I can't believe that next week we'll be into July!  We're planning on a fun filled week at the cabin with my sister and her family for the first part of the week, and Nate's family for Friday and Saturday.  We're hoping that the rain stays away for awhile (not just for us, but also to help with the flooding everywhere). 

Well, we'll start with the big news...a week and a half ago Mema had her surgery.  Poor Boppa was stuck with me at the hospital from 7 am to 7 pm as we patiently waited to hear from the surgeon that all went well.  After 10 hours in the OR, we finally saw the plastic surgeon who told us that everything went as planned.  She was discharged on Monday, and looks AMAZING!!!  Her recovery has gone much better than I would have ever anticipated.  We are so grateful for that answered prayer.  Unfortunately, we got the news that her lymph nodes came back positive for cancer.  Therefore, she is anticipating starting chemo and will meet with an oncologist next week.  Please keep her in your prayers as she continues on this journey. 

Father's Day was that Sunday.  Nate and Ava had a date to the doughnut shop that morning.  Nate went to the gym while the rest of us took nice long naps in the afternoon.  :)  That evening we were able to play outside and grilled.  A nice low key day at home. 

The week brought work and a couple of play dates.  We went to the park and the zoo with a few different friends.  We debated whether or not to go to the cabin this past weekend but decided to stay home.  Saturday was absolutely beautiful outside!  We headed to the pool down the street for awhile.  Grant wasn't so sure about it, and Ava loved it.  Grant finally went into the "kiddie pool", but wanted nothing to do with the big pool.  Ava on the other hand, had a great time "swimming" (with the help of her swim vest of course; if you remember she didn't exactly pass your last swim class).  That evening Nate and I got a sitter and went out for dinner.  That's right, we actually went out on a date.  We never get to do that.  Partially because we're usually busy, and partially because it kills me to pay a sitter so that we can go out for dinner.  It was a nice night though.  Sunday morning we got up, went to church, and then spent the day at Mema & Boppa's house. 

I doubt that I will update before the 4th of July.  Wishing you all a safe, fun filled 4th of July!
The deck is finally finished.  Now we just have to find some furniture for it.
This little guy has to have either a ball or a rock in his hands at all times while we're outdoors. 
A little nude reading before bath time
Checking out the bears with his friend Atticus at the zoo
Ava reading "Brown Bear" to Grant
I've been looking everywhere for a sunhat for Grant that fits his big head.  I still haven't found one, but he sure loved this hat at Target. 
A big thanks to the awesome mom who distributed these to all the kids on their last day of VBS last Friday.  Just wanted my daughter needed!
Our trip to the pool...

Daddy & Grant (as if you couldn't tell)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Great weekend

We had a great weekend here at home, in spite of the rain. We decided to stay home from the cabin this weekend due to the forcasted rain. And man did it rain! Thankfully we were able to get outside and enjoy the morning on Saturday before the downpours began. I think that Nate said we got over 5 inches this past weekend.

Ava has been a bit challenging over the past week or so.  I'm not sure if it's a stage, if she's wanting more attention and is trying to find it by acting out, or if she's just turning into a high maintenance girl at a very young age.  I'm hoping it's a stage...a Very short one!  No matter the reason, we're trying to put a stop to it (however yesterday she decided that dammit was her new favorite word, as she said it multiple times.  At least she said it in the proper context I guess :) ).  Anyway, I decided that maybe she needs some 1:1 time.  So, Saturday morning Daddy and Ava started their day by going to Donut Star.  Ava has been there only once before, but it left quite the impression and she's been asking when they can go back.  So, off they went together.

We then headed to the zoo.  We got there shortly after 9:00, and man did it get hot quickly.  Ava walked most of the way (a few piggy back rides here and there) and was exhausted by the time we got to the new bug exhibit.  She however managed to find lots of energy when we came upon the splash pad on our way out.  She was dripping wet by the time we left.  Thankfully it's a short 10 minute drive home.  Grant on the other hand was not a fan of the splash pad!

Saturday afternoon I was able to run to a party at one of our neighbor's while the kids napped.  Then Nate spent two hours moving dirt/sand out of our back yard before the real downpours started.  That was a lot of work for him, and included many trips with the wheelbarrow.  Unfortunately, the hard rain washed a lot of stuff back into the holes that were dug for the deck, so our poor builder is currently outside redigging them.  :(  Yes, we're finally getting a deck after waiting 59 days to get approval from our association (grrrr).  We will be very excited when it's done.

Saturday evening we were lucky enough to have "Uncle Josh, Aunt Kate", Tate, and Tess over for some dinner and play time.  They live so close to us, yet we hardly see them.  It was great to catch up a little and watch the kids play together. 

Sunday morning we went and checked out a new church.  We have decided that although we really really love Plymouth Covenant, it's much to far to drive every weekend and limits us in our involvement of the church.  So, the search has officially begun for a new church home.  Oh, how I dread this journey and hope that we can find something that we love very soon.

Hoping that you all had a great weekend!  
I usually don't buy shirts with words on them, but this one cracked me up!
We have a couple of job supervisors for our new deck project. 

Off to the zoo, hand in hand

She loved this splash pad!

Sweet little Tess and giant Grant