Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others. ~ Cicero (106 - 43 BC)

I am thankful for heated seats. Pick-up was cold today!!

Christopher is thankful that the heat in my car works really well.

Harrison is thankful for our neighborhood. We live in a nice neighborhood with no bad people. (I can only hope you are right, buddy.)

Bennett is thankful for electricity so we can see stuff better at night.

Emma is thankful for a patient mommy. Afternoon fussiness can be hard on parents!!

Rocky is thankful for water in sippy cups. It's his favorite thing right now while sitting in the high chair.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


None of those material possessions do anything to make your life any better.... I know a lot of people who have a lot of everything, and they're absolutely the most miserable people in the world. So it won't do anything for you unless you're a happy person and can have peace with yourself. ~ Lenny Kravitz

I am thankful for books. After visiting Barnes and Noble and then Half Priced Books and then ending at the library, I wished that I was able to read by osmosis. So many books, so little time!

Christopher is thankful for the Bears finally pulling one off!

Harrison is thankful for snowboarding and sledding.

Bennett is thankful for knowledge because it helps to learn more knowledge.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

November 15

I know that when I pray, something wonderful happens. Not just to the person or persons for whom I am praying, but also something wonderful happens to me. I'm grateful I am heard. ~ Maya Angelou

I am thankful for lazy days. Three movies, two pots of soup and warm slippers are the perfect way to watch the snow fall.

Christopher is thankful for homemade chili.

Harrison is thankful for me. "I love you and the way you care for me and make sure everything is always good."

Bennett is thankful for soup. I love potato soup!

Friday, November 14, 2014


Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~ Melody Beattie

I am thankful for small, small business owners who go to craft fairs and holiday boutiques. The Beaverdale Boutique was tonight and I love looking at all of the creativity people have!

Christopher is thankful for Fridays.

Harrison is thankful for technology.

Bennett is thankful roads and streets that get me all the places I want to go.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

November 13

I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, and dreams that turned into reality. ~ Unknown

I am thankful for Costco. I love that silly warehouse store!

Christopher is thankful that we are only one day away from Friday. It has been a hectic week in my new role.

Harrison is thankful for the Thanksgiving season. I like that Mom makes us tell her what we are thankful for.

Bennett is thankful for the playroom.

Emma is thankful for hannah anderson. Well, maybe this is me more than her, but oh my goodness Emma was so cute today!!!

Rocky is thankful for Emma. He followed her around all day today. He missed her!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Early out Wednesday

I wouldn't change it for anything. Never, no never. Your friendship is the best present ever. ~ Tigger

I am thankful for friends and relationships in all aspects of my life. Today specifically, Harrison had a basketball game and I got to visit with 4 families that we know from the Downtown School and then I went to coffee with Heather and Maegan and had a wonderful conversation. Thank you to all my friends. I am blessed.

Christopher is thankful that I had help covering at work so that I could pick the kids up from school.

Harrison is thankful for intelligence because without intelligence the human race would get no where.

Bennett is thankful for Guess Who. I like to play games with Mom and Harrison in the morning during breakfast.

Miles is thankful for school and early outs. It's a day off from math and I love math but I don't like to do it everyday.

Annabelle is thankful for Mommy. (I asked why..) Because she let me come over to your house to see baby Rocky. Finally!

Rocco is thankful for cookies. "You make the best cookies in the world, ever." (Aw, well thank you Rocco!)

Rocky is thankful for good naps. (and Beth is too!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them. ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

I am thankful for maid-rites, buttered potatoes and beets. Felt like I was home on the farm in the kitchen with the wood stove burning to keep us warm!

Christopher is thankful that I made it to work safely. Lots of cars against the wall on 235 and in the ditch on I35. It was very slick.

Harrison is thankful for books and reading because you only get to live one life but when you read books you get to pretend to live thousands of lives.

Bennett is thankful for Mom. I love her more.

Rocco is thankful for his green light in his room at Mom's house.

Rocky is thankful for oatmeal. Warmed him up on a cold and dreary day.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday Monday

Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining - it bores everyone else, does you no good, and doesn't solve any problems. ~ Zig Ziglar

I am thankful for my iPhone. It has replaced so many things for me and I love to have it as a resource.

Christopher is thankful for one last warm day.

Harrison is thankful for creativity and drawing.

Bennett is thankful for his dad. He is special and he takes care of me.

Rocky is thankful for hugs. He gives the best snuggles and hugs.

Thankfulness 2013

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Selfie Sundays

Not everything that can be counted counts, not everything that counts can be counted. ~ Albert Einstein

I am thankful for my grandmother. Driving to Charles City for the day was highlighted by wonderful fellowship at church, the most beautiful swan on the Cedar River and wonderful, thoughtful conversation with my grandmother.

Grandma's first selfie!

Christopher is thankful for Thelma's Ice Cream Sandwiches. Specifically Peanut Butter Banana!

Harrison is thankful for James. I am excited that he is coming for Thanksgiving and that we get to play together.

Bennett is thankful for Sunday Night Football. Bears vs. Packers means a little later bedtime!

Thankfulness 2013

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Lazy Saturday

Gratitude is an overflow of the pleasure filling your soul. ~ Raheel Farooq

I am thankful for the first Saturday in 3 months where we have no practices or games. I got to set up and play with my apple tv!

Christopher is thankful that mowing season is officially over.

Harrison is thankful for his friends.

Bennett is thankful for his time outside with his friends.

Thankfulness 2013

Friday, November 7, 2014


You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am thankful for friendships. They are precious and special. I am blessed.

Christopher is thankful for Happy Joe's Pizza.

Harrison is thankful for the Shockey's. They are fun to be with.

Bennett is thankful for me. (Sounds selfish but something maybe we all should be thankful for...)

Rocco is thankful for bouncy beds. Rocco jumped/bounced on the bed today while I tried to change the sheets all the while Emma laughed uncontrollably whilst Rocco bounced on the bed also laughing uncontrollably!

Emma is thankful for the theme song to Mickey Mouse Club House. 'Hot Dog Hot Dog Hot Diggity Dog' I cried from laughing so hard at watching her sing/say "HOT DOG!!" today!

Rocky is thankful for nigh-nigh. Before both of his naps today I said night-night to him and he repeated it back to me: "nigh-nigh. nigh-nigh. nigh-nigh."

Thankfulness 2013

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November 6

Never let the things you want make you forget the things that you have. ~ Unknown

I am thankful for Bennett. My baby boy is 7 1/2 years old and still gives hugs and kisses like a toddler. They are sincere, whole-hearted, and loving. And every time I tell him that I love him he says "I love you more." And he thinks he means it.  But the thing is, he just can't possibly be right. I love him more. <3 p="">
Christopher is thankful for great driving by Beth.

Harrison is thankful for that he gets to read books to Emma. "I love the way she says the book title names and then sits in my lap."

Bennett is thankful for Legos. They are fun to play with and I love my Lego house.

Rocco is thankful for Cars 2. At least 5 times today I was told "DON'T eat the pistachio ice cream! It has TURNED. TURNED. TURNED."

Emma is thankful for Harrison. "Har-son read MOUSE book?" And then she sits herself down in his lap and it's the cutest thing ever as her reads to her. Then "Har-son read bun-NE booook?" and she again sits herself down in his lap. "Har-son read momMEE bear book?" They read those books all 2 times after school today.

Rocky is thankful for dust in the sun light. He sat an swatted at dust for 10 minutes and laughed as he moved the air and saw the dust in the sunlight!

Thankfulness 2013

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

November 5

The boys have friends their age that live behind us in the apartments on Kingman. Nico and Natalia. They are wonderful. But today, as with most days, I have to practically beg Harrison and Bennett to stay home. And all to no avail. They choose to play outside in nature with their playmates, building pretend camp fires, playing four square, challenging each other into made up games of tag/hide-n-seek. Why can't they play with me? Lol. I love our neighbors and I adore the relationship that my boys have with them. And of course it is awesome that they are outside, wearing each other out and laughing and having fun. And it has also gotten all the kids in trouble a couple of times and taught them all important lessons. All good things. But today on this early-out, I'm yearning for January snow in's and board games on the living room floor. (With full awareness of February boredom and cabin fever and the yearning to shove them out the door!)

It is not happy people who are thankful; it is thankful people who are happy. ~ Unknown

Today I am thankful for zulily. My new slippers are here!!  :)

Christopher ~ I am thankful that my parents and aunt and uncle made it safely to Hawaii.

Harrison ~ I am thankful for my education because some people in the world are not as lucky as me to get one so easily.

Bennett ~ I am thankful for my bed. (I asked Bennett as he was getting into bed tonight. He was tired and a bit cranky and didn't want to be thankful for anything. After some suggestions and some prodding he came up with bed. I thought this to be kind of a good one as he does love his bed. It is positioned under Harrison's bed and he feels like he is in his own little cave!)

Emma ~ I am thankful for the music player toy that Beth has. I press the button, giggle and then laugh at the fun songs!

Rocky ~ I am thankful for my daddy. He came and got me early so we can go home and snuggle.

Thankfulness 2013

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Election Day 2014

I voted because it matters. Our state matters. Our country matters. My opinion matters.

I'd rather... make history than write it. ~ Susan B. Anthony

Beth - I am thankful for our President, Barack Obama.  Much of our country has turned on him. Gas prices are under $3, unemployment is under 6% and our nation is working on making better choices on clean energy than we ever have in the past. And those are just a few of the great things happening. Celebrate success and repeat it, don't turn your back on him because some political pundit says that it is toxic right now to agree with him.

Christopher - I am thankful I remembered to bring the kettle cooked apples for snacking on today!

Harrison - I am thankful for indoor soccer. I like my new team mates and I am excited for the season to begin.

Bennett - I am thankful that Grandma and Grandpa are flying to Hawaii on vacation.

Emma - I am thankful for bananas. YUMMY!

Rocky - I am thankful for my two new top teeth. My mouth hurts but now I can bite!!

Thankfulness 2013

Monday, November 3, 2014

Novemeber 3

It's a dreary Monday here in Des Moines. The sun made a couple of appearances, but mostly the rain has been itching to begin. Sounds like an evening for the couch, a warm blanket and a gory book (A Feast for Crows!). Maybe a nice game of Phase 10 with the boys... :)

Happiness equals reality minus expectations. ~ Tom Magliozzi (Car Talk co-host)

Beth - I am thankful for recipes. I could spend infinite amounts of time looking through recipes and pictures of food.

Christopher - I am thankful to be invited to have Thanksgiving dinner with the Shockey's.

Harrison - I am thankful for my family and love.

Bennett - I am thankful for school. I like my friends.

Rocco - I am thankful for my cars. They are my favorite. I like car lines.

Emma - I am thankful for Donald Duck.  I love to hold Donald Duck and then repeat Donald Duck.  Donald Duck.  Donald Duck.  And then I laugh.

Rocky - I am thankful for the O-ball.  I LOVE to throw it around and chase it!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

November 2

More soccer was on the schedule for today.  Harrison and his team played in this tournament last year and got creamed in all 3 games. It is amazing what a year will do. This years record was 2 wins, 1 tie, 1 loss (in the championship game...) and a shoot-out victory. I am very proud of all of those boys. A great 2nd place finish in a tough tournament. They work hard, but most importantly they all have so much fun.  There is always laughter and joy on their faces. Last night was kind of hard on me as the goalie for the team that we played the shoot-out against let the field crying. Some of the same things happened today as some of our boys left the field crying. They wanted to win so bad. In the end, these are just a bunch of little kids out there. I hate the pressure they find themselves under. Sports is supposed to be fun! I just hope Harrison & Bennett can continue to enjoy playing.  The minute I sense otherwise, they are done!

Nothing is yours permanently and you better enjoy it while it's happening. ~ Joan Rivers

Beth - I am thankful for eos lip balm. It is one of the best things ever.

Christopher - I am thankful for the warm up in weather.  Beautiful day out!!

Harrison - I am thankful for my violin and that I got my violin homework done.

Bennett - I am thankful for my house. It is cool.

Thankfulness 2013

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Thankfulness 2014

It's thankfulness season again.  One of my favorite times of year. While looking back through last years posts I realized that I didn't finish the whole month.  I don't know why because I love capturing this snapshot of our lives. I try to be thankful for something everyday (I am blessed with so much) so it was a bit of a shock to see that I didn't finish out November 2013. Regardless, November 1, 2014 has been a long day for all of us with Harrison having 3 games and a SHOOT OUT (Harrison's shot was on the money and his other 3 teammates came through as well!) in a tournament in Adel and Bennett spending the afternoon with his best buddy, Caden and following that up with a soccer celebration at Godfathers. Thankfully daylight savings time is over tonight and we get to fall back and get an extra hour of sleep!

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. ~ Robin Williams

Beth - I am thankful for warm boots.  Sitting out in the cold for 8+ hours watching soccer wore this mama out!

Christopher - I am thankful I got to watch 2 out Harrison's 3 games today.

Harrison - I am thankful for my team.  We are moving on to the championship tomorrow!

Bennett - I am thankful for my soccer medal!

Thankfulness 2013

Thursday, February 20, 2014


I decided to do a happiness challenge.  I am going to post a picture to Instagram every day for 100 days.  The picture will be something that makes me truly happy.  I believe in happiness.  I believe in smiles.  71% of the people that start the challenge don't finish!  Holy cow.    #100happydays  My friend, Kari started 3 days ago and I started today.  Here's to us, happy, lucky girls.

My Instagram

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


My Iowa State Cyclones are amazing.  They always have been and they always will be.  The college campus is a dream.  Picturesque.  Inviting.  Historic.  The people are the best.  Friendly.  Helpful. Caring. (I mean, come on - it's the state of Iowa!)  And the athletics are passionate.  I love Cyclone athletics.  Top-ranked volleyball.  Paul Rhoads and his football team (losers on the scoreboards but winners in all our hearts).  And basketball.  I went to a men's game in 1993 and experienced Hilton Magic at it's finest.  Johnny Orr entered the arena to the Tonight Show theme.  The crowd went wild!  Our opponent that night was #12 Oklahoma.  Tough, tough game and it came down to the end.  I thought my parents were going to have to drag me away that night.  Fred Hoiberg hit the winning shot and I fell in love.  Swoon.  And I have swooned ever since!  I couldn't believe the news when I heard Iowa State had hired Fred to be the head basketball coach.  What a dream come true!!!  The mayor!  Back where he should be.  Home.

And this year has been so amazing so far.  The mens basketball team is unbeaten with a record of 14 - 0 and ranked #9.  Tonight they beat #7 Baylor.  I had to work, so I missed the game, but I kept up on the score all night.  What a wild ride!  Tomorrow night the unbeaten women, with a record of 13 - 0 and a ranking of #11 face Texas Tech.  It seems like an easy win (but there are never easy wins in the Big 12 and we are Iowa State!).  If they win tomorrow night we will have a combined 28 - 0 record.  We are the only college in the nation with both men's and women's teams unbeaten.  Seriously awesome!!!

The ride will end.  And that is ok.  It will be sad and frustrating, but that is the game.  I am enjoying every single minute of our current success and I will cheer them on louder and stronger when and/if they lose.

Here is a great, great article about being a Cyclone.   Love.  "…we have fan support that transcends winning and losing," Pollard said.   Fans love their Cyclones!

Update -

Monday, January 6, 2014

(No)Snow day!

School was cancelled for today.  The temperature was -12 F when I got up and with the wind chill it felt like -33 F.  Crazy cold.  I thought for sure we would stay in all day, cuddle, watch movies and drink hot cocoa.  Turns out I was wrong.

Harrison was thoroughly disappointed that he didn't have school.  He was supposed to go home with a friend after school to work on a project.  So when his friends' mom called and suggested that they still get together, I reluctantly said yes.  Brrrrrrrr!

Mary spent the day with us as well.  So I had to answer the door at 9 am.  Holy cold!  I ushered Mary and Amanda in the door and got that shut quickly.  I got the kids all settled and went about trying to get on the couch and cuddle.  No one wanted to cuddle.  Upstairs.  Downstairs.  Playroom.  Bedroom.  It's amazing how busy 3 kids can be!  I basically left them to their own devices for the morning and that went well.  I just didn't get to sit and cuddle like I wanted.  Laundry, dishes, etc...

After lunch we ran Harrison over to his friends and then stopped at the store, Michael's to pick up some puppet materials.  At this point the temperature was up to -2 F with a wind chill of -20.  COLD!  When we got home we proceeded to make some great owl and fox puppets in the warmth of our home.   Bennett also created a tree with leaves and a nest that he taped to the 'stage.'  Then Bennett found me a seat and I sat through 4 riveting performances of "Fox Tries to Eat Owls Out Of Their Nest."  Riveting, I tell you.

The fabulous puppeteers!

Bennett and Mary are only 4 months apart.  This was their first one-on-one interaction as Harrison or someone else is always around (Mary fancies Harrison…).  I was very happy and pleased to see them get along so fantastically.  It was very sweet.

I had to open the door again later that afternoon to let Marc and Amanda in and then I had to open the door AGAIN to let Harrison in.  COLD I tell you!  Overall it was a great snow day with lovely kids.  I thought I might finally get to settle in with a blanket and a book when I remembered it was Monday.  Off to work I went.  In the cold.  Sigh...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Facebook update

It was time to update my Facebook cover photo so we sat down for some good ole Photo Booth fun this evening.  So much fun and silliness!  I had gotten these props at Target last week and had taken them to Heathers with the idea that we would take pictures of the kids, photo booth style.  And then we didn't.  I didn't seem to take hardly any photos this holiday season.  I am a little disappointed.  Although when I look back I realize how much fun we were having and just because I didn't stop the fun to capture it, doesn't mean it didn't happen.  Hopefully Meredith got a few good ones but even if she didn't, trust me, we had the best time!

Here are our fun family pictures for Facebook 2014.  :)



 Really silly

Falling down a black hole!

Saturday, January 4, 2014


Today was the first lazy day we have had here in weeks.  Halloween, kitchen 'makeover', traveling for Thanksgiving, Harrison's birthday, Christmas, traveling for Christmas, New Year's, holy cow!  It has been a whirlwind of a few months.  So this morning, I got up late, played some chess with Harrison, cleaned my bedroom and took a shower.  I went to visit a friend in the hospital and then watched the Cyclones win #13.  A proud nation we are!  A pretty perfect, lazy day.  And then… a party happened.  And it was awesome!

Kelly had texted me last night that she and Ben and Noah would be in town for the weekend.  I knew there was a possibility that we would get to see them at some point.  She texted again this afternoon to see what we were doing and I texted back "Come on over!"  And pretty soon they did.  And then I texted Claudia.  And they came over.  And then I texted Maegan.  And then they came over.  We really have the best family.  The big boys played ping-pong and watched football, the little boys and little girls played and ran and played.  The big girls sat around and visited, drank wine, and took in the loveliness of our family.

Pizza was ordered.  

Naps were taken.

Chess was played.  (Is it just me or do they look about 16 here?)

 Sleepovers were had.

And fun was had by all.

It amazes me how much I was looking forward to such a lazy day and that really wasn't what the universe had in store for me.  Thank goodness the universe isn't as lazy as me!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Quality time

Harrison received a ticket to the Monster Truck Show for his birthday and tonight was showtime.  My cousin, Marc usually gets the boys tickets instead of tangibles.  Which I think is AWESOME.  They have been to I-Cubs games, Iowa Energy games, a football game and now a monster truck show.  Harrison and Marc both had a good time but agreed that there was a lot of down time (between trucks).  And the best part was not the trucks, but the dirt bikes that came out and did flips and jumps.  I love that Marc does this with the boys.  He loves to spend time with them and they love to spend time with him!

Chris went out with friends after work to shoot some pool so that just left Bennett and I to our own devices.  MOVIE NIGHT!

So we settled in, popcorn, blankets, and pajamas.  Bennett has been quite the activities planner as of late.  We have a list of things that we NEED to do and on what day we NEED to do them!  Family game night, movie night, Science Center Saturday, etc.  Planner, planner, planner!  He was elated that he got to pick the movie (Wreck-It Ralph) and that his brother wasn't hear to argue with him.  He also got to have the small electric blanket, which he cranked up to 10, all to himself.  And when I say to himself I mean him and five of his closest friends.  Lol.

Christopher got home around 9 and Harrison didn't get home until after 10.  Of course Bennett couldn't be convinced to go to bed until Harrison got home so it was a bit of a late night for all of us, but I wouldn't trade that kind of time for anything.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Back to School

The boys and I did not get a full two week break as Des Moines Public started back today.  I missed my littles but I could have used another day (or two) home with my babies.

Harrison started back with an invitation to participate in a History/Geography Fair.  He is very excited and wants to work on it with a friend.  He mentioned doing a project on a president, but we will have to wait and see what his friend thinks.  This is part of a TAG program that Harrison was invited to participate in.  He is really looking forward to some added challenges to his day.

Speaking of challenges, Harrison got a chess board for Christmas.  He beat me during our first teaching game last night.  I won't mention the 1/2 dozen times we had to reverse moves so that I wouldn't have him in check-mate anymore…  Or maybe I will mention the 1/2 dozen times I had to reverse moves...

Bennett started back to school a little disappointed that his reading group was over.  In mid-November, Bennett was identified as needing some extra help with his reading.  Ms. Clark (Literacy Leader/Magician) took on a group of students and they met three times a week.  Bennett was hesitant to go, but that changed after day one.  He loved it!  And when they finished at the end of December he had made huge strides.  He is finally back on track for grade level and feeling much more confident.  Before he would ask for help without even trying and now he reads and sounds out most words and doesn't ask for help until after he really needs it.  We are very proud of him and extremely grateful for Mrs. Mathews and Ms. Clark.

Bennett also had a follow up ENT appointment today.  His ears are quite bothersome.  Back in early December, Bennett came home with a very sudden and very painful ear ache.  At 1:20pm he told Mrs. Mathews that his ear hurt.  At 1:30pm, Andy picked the boys up (early out) and he told Andy that his ear hurt.  At 1:40pm he walked into the house crying uncontrollably because his ear hurt so bad.  A quick dose of ibuprofen took the pain away but I was concerned none-the-less.  We couldn't get him into the ENT, but his pediatrician got him in and he had a double-ear infection.  So after 10 days of meds we went to see the ENT.  The ENT found a large, hard piece of wax in Bennett's right ear.  He tried to get the wax out (we have had this before and he got the wax chunk) and he couldn't.  He prescribed ear drops to loosen the wax and then brought us back today to see if he could get it out.  Dr. Schulte got most of the wax out, but is concerned that the ear tube that he put in 3 1/2 years ago is still there (the left one is out).  So…  more ear drops for 2 more weeks and then back again.  Hopefully the tube will have loosened and may have even fallen out by then.  If not, Bennett might need to be put under to get it out because it is so sensitive there, i.e. painful to do this.  The ear drum is currently not infected, but it is irritated and that is what Dr. Schulte wants to see go away.  I am irritated as well.  I don't deal well with chronic problems and I certainly don't deal well with the thought of my baby being put under for a procedure.  Ugggg.

Christopher spent a cold day in the office as there heat was out.  One of his coworkers even wrapped himself in a blanket while at his desk.  I would have opted for the "I"m staying home til you get it warm in the office" option, but they soldiered on.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

A new year, a new me?  No.  A new year, a better me.  Each year brings it's new joys and new challenges and I expect 2014 to be just as glorious as 2013.  We spent the last day of last year with our best friends and their kids (our kid's best friends!), playing games, eating good food, watching movies and meeting new loves ~ Harrison and Mavis - future cutest couple ever ~ and we spent the first day of this year with ourselves, watching football, taking down ornaments, eating dinner together and playing board games together.  Gratitude comes from enjoying the moment.  And I have certainly done that.  Family and friends have made this one of the best years of our lives.  And here's to the most special of years to come.  2014, I can't wait to see what you have in store for us!

January 1, 2013