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