Monday, May 26, 2008

Bike Ride and Tornadoes

I thought that yesterday would be a fun day, take a leisurely bike ride, check out the campground, see Scott and Teresa. Well, that part was fun. We headed over by Cottage Row and around to Blackhawk Park. Lots of cyclists and walkers on the trails. It was a beautiful ride, we love being so close to the bike trails.

This blog update is a little overshadowed by the tornado, but here are some pictures of us getting ready to go...

Anderson and Annaliese in the burley. They were very patient waiting. But on the ride home, I think there was a little hair pulling going on. They were both screaming at each other. Kind of funny, but only because I wasn't pulling them...

Jackson, better known as speed demon. I was riding behind Jackson and Brad and I heard Jackson yell at Brad, "Quit cutting me off Dad!" I had to laugh, because Jackson is all over the place when he rides his bike. Clearly not Brad's fault.
It was about time to leave the campground, so Anderson went over all by himself and started to put on my helmet. He was sitting inside saying "Go!" really loud. Very funny guy. Scott also taught him how to do knuckles but I don't have a picture of that one yet.

Abby and Jackson. Then Scott and Brad playing beanbags. A family favorite to be sure. I think Scott won this one.
It wasn't until we started home that the sky started to get dark. Within 20 minutes, we were all in the basement for a tornado warning. We stayed there for over an hour. I was in the middle of preparing dinner when we heard the sirens. All that I had time to finish for dinner was watermelon and french fries, so that's what we had. The kids were thrilled, it was a little out of the ordinary and there was plenty for them to occupy themselves.
A couple of shots from next door to my parent's house. They were fortunate as well to not have a lot of damage. The whole way to their house, it was kind of a pick and choose for which homes were affected.

Luckily, we did not have any damage, only a few stray branches. There was one that was as close as 2 miles to our home, just past my parents home. As we went out to survey the damage, we saw quite a bit of a mess. Trees uprooted, fields littered with debris. A-1 Campers had about 20 campers upended and overturned, at least. All the signs along the highway were snapped or bent over. And the devestation in Parkersburg is incredible. Over 1/3 of the town is gone. We found out this morning that our house that we lived in before we moved to Cedar Falls is gone. Many people we know have been affected by this, including many members of our church. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families.

Friday, May 23, 2008

My New Best Friend(s)

For Mother's Day this year, I finally got an Ipod. It's pink and cute and I love it! For some reason, this little gadget has given me permission to get plugged in, and tune everything else out. It has been a little piece of heaven for me. As you know, it gets crazy around here... So, I have been experimenting with all the things you can do with it and putting tons of music on. Going through all my cds is taking a little time, but worth it. I have been taking it with me everywhere, don't worry, leaving out one ear piece, I can still hear the kids screaming. At any rate, thought I would share that she is one of my new best friend's. I really think I should give her a name, i'll think on that a while.

She goes hand in hand with the treadmill. Kind of a story in and of itself. Together, these two new gals, the Ipod and Treadmill, have become my new best friends. Yes, Brad, I am feminizing the treadmill.

Brad is well known for his "projects", his expensive purchases that he later justifies. (The divorce conversation I had with my mother about the snowmobile years back - remember that? And I am not emotional, but that one brought tears to my eyes.)

Okay, back on point, I got the call that he found another deal from Scheel's - big surprise. He wanted to buy this treadmill that was originally $2200. And he could get it for only $107. You see where this conversation is going, he already bought it and was bringing it home regardless of what I thought. So, there is sits in the garage until he can take it apart and fix it. Quite like many of the other "projects"... Well, he finally fixed it, got it to the basement and discovered that Scheel's had just assembled the wires incorrectly. Needless to say, Brad is supremely proud of himself. Now, for me, being skeptical as I am, it took me actually using it to give him due credit.

Long story short, the two girls are my new best friends and we have been meeting daily. You will see the results soon!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Favorite Words

Anderson is really talking a lot now, or at least trying to. Some of his favorite words are, "More!" - as in right now, I don't want to wait.
"Bath!" - as in right now, I don't want to wait.
"Choc milk!" - as in right now, I don't want to wait... Get the picture? Well, in case you didn't, I took a few of him tonight, demanding More!!!

And while I was at it, I took a few of the kids goofing around in the kitchen. They are all camera hams. They love to come look at the display to see what kind of picture I took, then run back into position. Oh, and the reason Annaliese has no shirt on, is we just had dinner and I didn't want her to get anything on her shirt, so instead of putting another one on, she insisted on waiting until after dinner to put on the original shirt. Some days you just have to pick your battles...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Wine Tasting

We went to Jen and Jason Thompson's for a wine tasting on Friday night. It was a ton of fun. We got to see their new house and hang out with friends. Oh yeah - the wine tasting was nice too. They had a professional wine guide there. Blake and his wife, Mindy. They had these journals that had the different wines listed with the ph, acidity, region etc. Very interesting. But I don't think it took long for them to realize that our attention was a little divided. Usually when we all get together, no one takes and photos and I decided to document the evening.
Brad took this photo before we left. He liked my look and I thought it was better than the previous photo I had tagged for my passport (still need to get that) and so an okay shot I think.
So, I was the photo queen. We got lots of great pics.
Brad and I shortly after we got there. Brad doesn't care for wine. He drank the new Hub City beer all night. And a little Corona. I made up for the wine he didn't drink.

All the girls, minus Buffy she is behind Jen, you can only see one eye for her. From l to r, Wendy, Jen Thompson, Denise Doyle, Ann Thomas, Mindy, Diana Biles and me. It really is a good pic, I just feel bad for Buffy being cut out of the back. I got a nice one of her and Ann together that I will give to her.
Jen has a chocolate fountain that we get out at each party. Melissa and Denise are huge fans of it. Diana too. Well, really everyone there. We kept it pretty clean, no body parts that I know of...
And we always play spoons, regardless of whose house we are at. We have Denise to thank for that one - THANK YOU Denise!!!! She introduced the game to us a year or so ago. We absolutely love it! There are tons of stories about the incidents surrounding our game play. Let's just say some of us are more aggressive than others. Diana had an "unfortunate experience" at Ann's last year and for some reason I got blamed. I still maintain that it was just as much John's fault. So, it is my permanent policy to not sit anywhere near her in future games. That's all I'm sayin'....

I made sure to take pics with everyone. They all turned out very cute - These are some of the best ones. At the top left, Denise and I. Denise has four girls and three of them are the same ages as Hailey, Jackson and Annaliese. Then with Denise and Ann. I think that one was a little later after we had a little more than a 'taste' of the wine. And of course, Ann and I. The first few turned out a little sassy and this one was just perfect :-)
Me, Denise and Melissa on the left. We had to go drag her out of her house. Carson stayed behind with the kids. They didn't have a sitter so she missed out on a lot of the fun! But we tried our best to catch her up. A few shots more and she would have been good to go!
Then Jen and I. She was a great hostess and was even up early this morning for the garage sale. What a trooper! It was an awesome party and now it's Ann's turn!!!!