About Me

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Married twenty-three years to my wonderful husband and best friend. We have 3 "home-grown" kids, 1 hand-picked by God from Africa and 1 very hyper-active dog. Our life is blessed. We are a close knit family with strong Christian beliefs. And just recently we have bought ourselves a farm. Do we know what we are doing? Nope. Come along with us on our journey…you might have a great laugh or two.

Monday, July 30, 2012

New York City here we come...

Battin' down the hatches everybody....this crew is headed to New York City.  Here's hoping we won't look too country for the big city.  I've left my overalls at home...tee-hee...and I'm trying hard to suppress my Southern accent.  Okay, no way that's gonna happen. 

Anyway, more to come from the big city....

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Last swim meet of the summer...

Today was our last swim meet of the summer. The kids did great and had a blast. Now we take a few weeks off from swimming before the fall swim season starts back up.

Wait did you hear it??? It's my kids wailing in the background because they won't be swimming for a week or two. Actually for our sanity's sake, we're probably keep them swimming everyday or so anyway. They love it and it's really good exercise for them.

But for this family right now, our next stop is a much needed vacation. We leave in just a couple of days and are headed to New York City.  Let's just see how that city can handle this big ol' loud family...

...our little girl depends on her Daddy at meets


...love this.  Probably talking about "strategy"

...much to "cool" to look at Mom and smile (oh, the teenager)


...taking a break doing a little ipad


...always cute

...our little girl's friend and very close competitor

...love this one so much

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sometimes frosted flakes just call my name...

I saw a friend of mine the other day at the gym and I commented to her on how good she looked (she had lost a boatload of weight).  I asked her how she did it and where could I get me some of that "skinny"?  She then proceeded to list (in great detail, I might add) all of the things she had cut out of her diet.  Bread, cookies, cake, meat, cheese, chicken, butter, milk, etc.  I looked at her in shock and then slowly decided to put that "skinny" back on the shelf. 

I don't want to give up everything...it's not worth it to me.  I want to enjoy life and food and cooking.  I want to enjoy a cookie sometimes.  Don't get me wrong.  I still want to work out to feel good, watch what I eat and stay in shape.  But if I have to work out just a little bit longer on the treadmill to do it...so be it. 

Life is too short and sometimes frosted flakes just call my name....

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Let's face it...

Being three is tough.  You're too small to do what the older kids want to do most of the time and you drive your little sister crazy the rest of the time.  You sit in time out a lot and you have to eat what's on your plate.  Bedtime is always at the same time and you never get to help with mowing or painting. 

It's just so hard being three...that you just gotta collapse on the floor of your room for a little while.

...and recharge your batteries

Monday, July 23, 2012

105...

I heard on the radio today that we were suppose to hit that number today...105.  Crazy, I know.  This is Iowa.  We are definitely use to the snow here, but this heat is just unbelievable.  And we have no relief in sight.  Smack dab in the middle of a drought...that's where we are. 

As you drive around town, you can tell which family has totally given up on their lawn.  Brown.  Then you look around and you've got the people with freaky bright green grass.  They're probably out there watering just saying to themselves..."drought, what drought...I see no drought". 

And then there's us.  We are the people with the brown-green grass.  Somewhere in the middle.  Watering just enough so we don't lose our entire lawn...I mean, we normally don't water our grass that much even without a drought (so it's best not to confuse our grass at this point). 

There is one thing that I just can't believe is thriving through this drought...weeds.  Since the grass really isn't growing the only tall things in my yard are the weeds.  You should see some of these things.  Seriously, the root system must go WAY down.  They are up there with poison ivy...and I firmly believe that was created by the devil himself.  You know, he does have a tendency to like things hot I hear...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Even if it was only in my dreams...

Dreams are funny thing.  Some can be quite scary at times (just ask my 3 year old about his very bad dream) and other times it's the most beautiful thing in the world.  You can walk on the top of the tallest mountain or swim in the ocean and see the fish below without having trouble breathing.  Dreams can be confusing and all jumbled up while others make so much sense that it's hard to tell what's real or not. 

Last night I dreamed about my father (I lost him to a sudden heart attack 6 years ago).

We were sitting on a front porch with white wooden rockers.  I really don't think we were talking or anything, but I do remember a flock of penguins come "flying" overhead...definitely a dream here.  I grabbed his hand and told him "come quick and take a look at this"...and there we stood for the longest time.  Holding hands and watching flying penguins.  Weird...sort of.  (I mean those poor penguins can try with all their might to fly, but probably isn't going to happen unless they get to heaven) 

It use to make me sad when I dreamed about my father...but today...I'm just so glad to have had a moment with him

...even if it was only in my dreams

Friday, July 20, 2012

Another one bites the dust...

Another one bites the dust...and another one gone...and another one gone...

Another one bites the dust...

Sorry for the 80's reference.  It's all I know. 

We have a few more men down here...okay, technically it's the big man and the little girl (who is surprisingly better since yesterday).  My poor husband is just counting down the hours until he feels better.  He keeps telling me..."I'm five hours into this right?"  or "I'm 8 hours into it, almost done, right?"  Sorry honey, everyone is different. 

Still we have a few more to go...we'll see if they can escape the wrath of this thing here.  For now, my older ones are staying away from the rest of us...in hopes for a reprieve from the governor. 

Not likely...kiddos...not likely

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The longest 24 hours...

In all of our marriage (20 years), in all our time that we've had kids (14 years) I have never asked my husband to come home from work to help me out...not even once...

...until yesterday

I knew it was bad.  It started around 4:50 in the morning.  I set off our alarm in our house when I dropped the toilet seat (oh so graceful on my part....then what do you do?  Answer the phone so that ADT doesn't think your getting attacked by somebody or do you do throw up in the bathroom...which is why you needed the toilet to begin with...dilemmas, dilemmas...I picked the latter - not like I had much choice). 

After everyone was good and awake at 5:00...thanks to me...I finally got everyone ready to go to swimming practice.  By the time I went back to pick them up, I was having trouble holding my head up.  When the kids got in the car and they smelled of breakfast muffins (apparently one of the coaches had some that they shared with the kids that morning after practice).  As they smelled of food and talked about it, all I could think about was please, oh please, don't let me lose it right here in the gym parking lot.

By the time we got home, I was on the phone with my husband.  Within 20 minutes he was walking through the door.  I love that man.  After that, I slept for the next 300 years...or so it seemed like it. 

Today...is so much better.  I'm vertical today...always good.  Besides the feeling that I hurt all over and my stomach feels as though I've been punched in the gut about a thousand times, I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  But trust me...it's been the longest 24 hours.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Iowa Summer Games...

This past weekend our kids participated in the Iowa Summer Games.  It's held up in Ames at Iowa State University and is kind of like a "little" version of the Olympics.  There were a boatload of things going on...from soccer, to basketball, to fencing, to swimming...which is where we come in. 

The swimming part is basically a swim meet with kids from all over the state of Iowa.  And believe me, there was some very stiff competition there.  We are talking state winners, people.

My kids held their own though and I'm so proud.  They brought home several medals and had a blast doing the entire event.  Of course, anytime my kids are in the water they are at their happiest. 

So proud of you my little fishes...


Our little one was such a trooper for the entire weekend...


...waiting to swim

...these two swam in the morning sessions

...bringing home the gold and silver and bronze

...crazy about my crew

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Crunchy...


Oh please, oh please, oh please let this big ol' black cloud turn into some REALLY big raindrops, or a monsoon...heck, I'll just take a light drizzle at this moment.  (couldn't help taking this picture this morning at the gym...it was dark for maybe 20 minutes.  Dark.. no rain... just dark... and then... nothin' but sun)

We are crunchy here.  The grass.  The flowers.  My zucchini - ugh!  (What is it with me and zucchini...that's a whole 'nother blog post on it's own)

We need rain.  I know that there are a lot of places around the country that are dry right now.   However, I also know that there are other places that it's raining quite a bit. 

Okay, so you people with the rain...if you could just move over and share a little, it would be much appreciated.

Tomorrow, I'm going to do a rain dance...it will be a cross between music, gym and art class.  If it works...we'll call it bible class.  And then, we'll call ourselves...blessed.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nothing is more Southern than...




M - I - S - S - I - S - S - I - P - P - I  

 Mud!   

Nuff said...

Monday, July 9, 2012

At wit's end...

That's what we are...seriously.  Wit's end.  No one said that parenting would be easy.  No one.  No one gives you that little baby of yours and says, "okay, now here's the 450 page manual that goes with him/her and if you have any trouble don't forget you can call our customer service hot line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week". 

Nope.  Our big ol' honkin' TV has a dictionary for a manual...but a baby.  No way, Hosea...

Our little boy is wreaking havoc on us at night.  He is refusing to sleep in his own bed anymore (which I might mention that he was doing great before now)  But somehow, he's gotten in his head that he just can't be up in his room all by himself.  Ugh!  He just screams and cries all night long.  (Which is keeping all the other kids up at night, I might add) 

We have tried everything from music, to stuffed animals, to putting up a baby gate, to time outs and everything in between.  Nothing is working.  Short of sleeping on the floor in his room, which I don't think is good to get started doing...we have no clue what to do.

Last night he was awake from about 12:30 to around 5:10 this morning.  Makes for a VERY long day when the alarm goes off at 6:15. 

My husband and I both know that this is just a phase that he is going through.  We both know that our other three kids did exactly the same thing...on different levels, of course.  But still.  Doesn't make it any easier at 3:30 in the morning. 

He's 3.  Been on this earth for only 3 years.  And we are trying very hard to get through this hopefully short phase in his very long life.  Right now, it's all about perspective...and a whole lot of caffeine.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

You can muffle her...but you can't turn her off

We take my Mom to Kentucky.  We take her to church.  We take her to Costco, but she's not allowed to go in.  She's too loud and people look at us funny.  Lately, she's been going everywhere with us and I do mean everywhere. 

You see, for my little boy's birthday, my Mom bought and recorded one of those recordable books.  It was a book about Curious George.  The two little ones love it.  I mean REALLY love it...especially our little son.  He can open the book up and my Mom begins to read page by page to him.  Loves, loves, loves it.  He calls it his "Grandmommy book". 

So to tell you the truth we weren't really surprised to find "her" in the car on the way to Kentucky with us...but at the time, it just struck us as really funny. 

Imagine this...

There we were...the entire car was quiet.  Every child was doing something quiet...oh, so rare for us.  Then out of nowhere, comes the booming sound of my Mom's voice.... "Happy Birthday.  This is the story of Curious George..." and on, and on, and on she went.  By the end of 11 hours in the car, I'm pretty sure we all could say the story by heart. 

I had to giggle when my husband leaned over to me and said..."it's nice to know we brought your Mother along with us to Kentucky".

...and to church

...and Costco

...and the grocery...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July...

I hope everyone's 4th was filled with hamburgers, hot dogs and a boatload of ice cream.  We spent the day in the pool (after a morning run...which I'm not going to blog about) and had a wonderful cookout lunch with family.  There were games and naps and laughter for all.  I loved it!

We head back home tomorrow...back to our daily grind.  The pool...oh wait, I just came from a pool.  I guess some things stay the same no matter where you are. 

Happy 4th of July!!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I don't do...

Spiders... bugs... anything creepy-crawly... bats... mice... and most definitely NOT

SNAKES!!!!


Almost stepped on this thing during my run this morning.  YIKES!!!  But I have to tell you that I did a fantastic flying poiret over it when I realized it was not a stick.  I failed to mentioned that I it was a  "screaming" poiret but still...it put the Olympic Gymnastic trials to shame.  2016 Rio here I come...just put a pit of snakes under me and you will see me win the gold.


Beautiful blue flowers...


There are these beautiful blue flowers for miles down this road I run on.  It's just so cool to see them for as far as the eye can see.  I think technically it's a weed, but I'm not telling them that.  Let them grow till their hearts content.  Tomorrow I'll try not to blog about my morning run...but I am in the country and there is not much here to blog about.  Maybe I'll try and round me up a cow or somethin'....we'll see.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Look real close...

and you might just see my son...
He was my running partner this morning.  I use that term lightly because I just barely kept him in my sight as he bolted ahead of me like the road runner.  Beep beep!  He was so far ahead that I chuckled, stopped and took this picture.  Then because I'm a wimp apparently and I wanted a longer break I turned and took this picture...

running out in the "boonies"...
After that, I'm pretty sure a buzzard was eyeing me from up above because I was looking dead already due to this awlful humidity and heat here...so I started back up on my morning run.

...watching my son get smaller and smaller on the horizon (it's no wonder they choose to run with their father)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Greetings from Kentucky...

Crossing the bridge into Kentucky...
We are out relaxing with family here in the great state of Kentucky for the July 4th holiday. My mother and father in-law own a large farm out in the middle of nowhere, it seems. But it's one of our favorite places to be.

The pace of life for us here is slower, with no practices to be at and appointments to go to. Happily enough, they own a pool and we are basically going to spend all of our time there. Our kids are so obsessive about swimming that they actually went swimming in the wee hours of the morning the day we left to drive 11 hours to come here. At one rest area my little girl turns to me and says, "my hair is dry...I need to go swimming".

A boatload of family is headed over later for a late lunch...it's going to be fun!