Sunday, September 30, 2012

My mother--the next Martha Stewart? :)

Now that my mom is retired, I joke that she is channeling her inner Martha Stewart.  And I just love it! 

The weekend that Chad and I went to Iowa City for the Iowa/UNI game, my mom came to our house to watch Payton.  They had a very fun day and did some neat crafts.  These are a couple canvases that they made.  They also made one for my grandparents, but I didn't get a picture of that one.

We saw something similar to this at the Iowa State Fair this summer, and my mom said that she could just make us one.  We have it hanging in the basement with our other Panther decor.
Last week I saw some cute pumpkins on Pinterest and I asked my mom if she would be able to make them for me.  She whipped these babies up in less than a week.  I just love them!!
I have to say, I am really enjoying getting these crafts!  Keep up the good work, Mom! :)

Monday, September 24, 2012


A friend posted this on her facebook page today, and it seemed to be perfect timing because I really needed this reminder today.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Football Frenzy

Football is in full swing and we have been having a blast cheering on our favorite teams -- the Bobcats, Sabers, Statesmen, and Panthers. 

Payton is cheering on the Bobcats with the big girls - Natalie and Emily

Last Friday night was Aaron's Homecoming game, so we had to make it to that game.  We stopped at my grandparents' house before the game and, of course, Grandma had supper waiting for us.  :)  There is a big difference between watching 4A games and 8-man football.  But, Aaron's team did awesome Friday night and they won big.  I think it was his cheering section that brought him good luck! :)

Then Saturday was the big Iowa/Iowa State game.  We usually have people over to watch the game, but we had our first UNI game that evening, so we left for Cedar Falls around 2:00, stopped at the mall and did some shopping, and then watched the Iowa/Iowa State game at Old Chicago.

A teacher at school emailed this to Chad the day before the Iowa/Iowa State game.  I love it!

Yesterday we traveled to Iowa City to cheer on the Panthers.  Aaron was able to get us tickets from the High School Football Coaches Association and they ended up being in the very first row--talk about good seats.  Chad and I were like the only ones wearing purple amongst the sea of gold. Unfortunately, the Panthers couldn't get the W.  It was still a good time and we were able to meet up with Chad's cousin and his wife, so that was fun.

We haven't made it to a William Penn game yet, but have been cheering them on in spirit.  I really want to get to a game this year.  They are pretty darn good and they have a brand new stadium so I want to check it out.

Back to School

So, we have been back to school for about a month now and things are going well.  I have a really great group of kids this year and I'm really enjoying them.  In addition to teaching Earth Science, Chad picked up a Forensics class this year which he is enjoying.  Here's to a great 2012-2013 school year!

My friend Kaylan sent me this free downloadable subway art for my classroom.  I just love it!

Iowa State Fair

At the beginning of the school year, Marshalltown always has teachers come back for two days of inservices/meetings and then they designate that Friday as a "non-mandatory work day."  So, Chad and I always take that day and go to the fair as our one last "hoorah" of the summer :)  Two years ago we took Payton and it rained the whole time -- fail.  Then last year we had it all planned to go and then woke up that morning to a sick little girl -- another fail.  So, this year I was thinking we were going to have a blast.  We asked my mom to come along with us because we knew Payton would love to have her along.  When we got to the fair,  Payton started acting very tired and I could tell she didn't feel well.  We went to the Little Hands on the Farm and she was trying to enjoy herself, but she just didn't feel good.  So, we cut our fair trip short and didn't get to do nearly as much as we thought we would.  Year 3 -- another fail.  So, the past two years she has been sick on the day we try to go to the fair.  Is it a coincidence that two years in a row she got sick within 3 days of being back at daycare?  Oh, well.  What are you going to do?

Here are a few pictures from our day. You can tell she wasn't feeling good.

Eating lunch at the Depot
Side note:  See that cup of cookies?  They are Dutch Letter cookies and they were absolutely disgusting! 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Well, hello there, Mr. President!

When we were on our Omaha trip, I saw a post on facebook from our Marshalltown Education Association that President Obama was scheduled to speak in Marshalltown in just a few short days.  Anyone who knows me, knows I am a pretty big Democrat and an Obama supporter.  So, I jumped at the chance to get tickets.  I am so glad that we waited in line for those tickets, because this was seriously a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  It was the first time that a sitting President had been in Marshalltown since 1940.

His speech was awesome and the energy in that crowd was amazing. Chad and I both had a hard time falling asleep that night because we were still so hyped up from our day. It was such a cool experience!

The line outside Miller Middle School
Nancy O Dell from Entertainment Tonight

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Omaha Trip

A couple days after Payton's birthday, we took a little trip to Omaha.  My friend Kristy used to live there, so she gave me lots of tip of things to do and places to eat.  We had a blast visiting the Henry Doorly Zoo and the Omaha Children's Museum.   We had been to the Denver Children's Museum last year on our Colorado Vacation and Payton loved it, so we knew we had to hit up the Omaha one.  Payton loved seeing the animals at the zoo, with the monkeys and the Aquarium being her favorite.  I wish we could have spent more time in the Aquarium, but it was so packed you could hardly move, and I was getting claustrophobic, so I had to get out of there! 

Overall, it was a great little get-away for our family and a fun way to end the summer.

Here is Payton pretending to be a monkey :)

She LOVED the Aquarium!

All tuckered out from a fun day at the zoo

Grocery shopping at the Children's Museum

First time on a Carousel -- she loved it!


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Swimming Lessons

I bought 4 sessions of private swimming lessons for Payton this summer. I knew that Abby gave lessons, and wanted Payton to work with her since she is one of Chad's track girls and Payton is familiar with her. Payton had a blast learning from Abby and did very well. We could tell a huge difference in her confidence at the pool from the beginning of the summer to the end. Hopefully next summer she will be ready for some group lessons.

Payton's Actual Birthday

This was the first year that we didn't have Payton's party on her actual birthday.  The past two years, her birthday has fallen on either a Saturday or Sunday, and this year it fell on a Tuesday.  So, we had her party on Saturday, August 4, and then on her actual birthday, we just had a nice, relaxing day celebrating her.  We started our morning with some chocolate chip pancakes courtesy of Daddy.  Then we went for a walk down around the ponds.  After that we headed to the Aquatic Center.  She requested spaghetti for supper and then we ended the fun day with a trip to Purple Cherry for some fro yo.  Chad and I had such a fun day celebrating with our favorite girl!

I took this video right after she woke up :)


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Love Story

This is not your typical love story.  No, this isn't the kind of love story that you would read about in a Nicholas Sparks book. This is the story of love between two parents and their child.  Specifically, my grandparents and their son.

This story starts on November 7, 1951--the day my Uncle Ted was born.  On this day, God gave my grandparents a wonderful gift.  A gift that they would be blessed with for 60 years.

On Thursday, August 23, my uncle had a stroke.  Then on Tuesday, August 28, he was welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven.

My uncle lived his entire life with my grandparents out on their farm, and he loved every minute of it.  He loved helping out on the farm in any way possible.  He also enjoyed collecting model tractors (he had thousands of them), and putting together puzzles. My grandparents gave him a fantastic life and loved him so, so much.

It is going to be so different with life without him.  I can't imagine how my grandparents are feeling.  It makes me so sad to think about it.  I do find comfort knowing that he is in a glorious place in Heaven.

This is something that I never knew until last week....When my uncle was born, the hospital told my grandparents that they should put him in a home because he was mentally challenged.  Of course, that was not even an option for them.  They said, "We are just going to take him home and love him."  And that is exactly what they did!

We love you so much, Ted, and miss you!  I am so lucky to have known you and have you for an uncle!
I came across this photo that was taken at my mom's Retirement Open House back in May.  It's a very special photo.