Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Summer wrap up!

Summer has come and gone but we made the most of it! We got the majority of our bucket list crossed off!

My parents decided it was time to downsize and have moved into town. This is a bitter sweet moment for sure. Although this wasn't the house I grew up in, it was my grandparents home and filled with many great memories. Luckily the farm will stay in the family with my cousin and her family taking it over! The kids headed back to help plant the last pumpkin patch. I've said this before but not sure who enjoys the pumpkin patch more, the kids or grandma and grandpa!

We always hit up an Iowa Cubs game and this year we were a lucky family scoring 2 free t-shirts! Carter was picked to answer a trivia question on the big screen and Case caught a t-shirt out of the t-shirt shooter! Although the Cubs lost, it was a perfect night to be at the ball park!

We headed to Omaha to the Henry Doorly zoo in early June when the weather was still decent and we had free weekend from activities. We are so lucky to have one of the worlds best zoo's only 2 hours away!


Our vacation this year led us to Branson! My parents go every year and suggested we take an extended family vacation with everyone! We rented a cabin for 5 days and had a blast! Our first adventure was zip lining! My mom had always wanted to do this and my sister found a place where the kiddos could go too! Our guides were amazing and this was so fun! These are the only 2 pics I have left as I managed to fry the disc with all the pictures! Boo..

We spent a day and a half at Silver Dollar City. Lots of roller coaster riding, shopping, learning about the olden days!

We experienced the popular Dixie Stampede first hand! Jeremy and I were picked to participate in one of the challenges! Basically we were on a team with other couples and had to transfer buckets of water from person to person. It was really hard to run in the sand and I was laughing so hard I ended up with more water on myself than in the bucket!

 We spent a lot of time at the go cart tracks. Who knew my family were fierce competitors on the racetrack? They kept scoping out the fastest cars and making claims on who could beat who!
We also went to an incredible production of Moses at the Sights and Sounds Theatre, filled with live animals and amazing graphics!

We hit up many local pools as often as we could! Catchin some rays!
You know the end of summer is near when it's Iowa State fair time! Food on a stick, temporary tattoos, animals, big pumpkins, spin art, food not on a stick, bungee jumping, carnival rides and more food!

We were able to squeeze a quick camping trip in before heading back to school!
 Roughing it? Watching a movie plugged into a camper with a full kitchen, air conditioning and bathroom?

Case found a stick to roast his marshmallows with!

 Back to school! Carter 5th, Claire 2nd, Case Pre-K

Saturday, October 15, 2016


We have been partying hard here! Claire turned 8 in July and totally rocked the theme 8 is GREAT! The boys were gone to Michigan for wrestling camp the week of her birthday so her and I lived it up! It was so fun to spend this one on one time with her and we made the most of turning 8! I'm not sure who had more fun? We started the day with chocolate chip pancakes at Perkins ( I can make these at home but I don't cook when the boys are gone!) Then we headed off to our favorite nail salon for some birthday pampering then to the mall for a little shopping.

That night I recruited Darcie and Jill to help me with her friend party! She was dying to go roller skating and although it was super fun, I was a little overwhelmed by the fact that 10 little girls cannot roller skate and I was terrified someone was going to get hurt! Luckily (ha ha) Jill was the only one who got hurt!

Birthday interview by the DJ!

The princess wanted poop emoji cupcakes!

Next up is my amazing Grandma Ida and her twin brother Ira! These two kids turned 100 on September 4th and man do they know how to party! I love talking to people about them and what an amazing accomplishment this is AND the fact they both act like they are 70! They enjoyed some publicity in the days leading up to the event with several newspaper articles and a TV interview. At 100 they learned how to Skype with each other for the interview. Grandma says the secret to a long life is to stay away from tobacco and Ira says to stay away from bootleg whisky and wild women! They are proud to be the oldest living boy/girl twins in the United States and also hold the record in the state of Iowa for the largest set of twins born at a little over 19lbs!! I can't even fathom this, my great grandmother carrying these large twins in the Iowa summer without air conditioning? Wow...Seriously..how cute are they? I marvel at all the things they have seen in their 100 years and feel so blessed they are in great health and were able to spend this special day together! Ira lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and traveled with his family the 9 hour trip to come back 'home" to Massena, Iowa for the occasion. The party started Saturday afternoon with a program and party at the Assisted Living facility my grandma lives at, honoring both of them. This is where this picture was taken. I am in love with this picture!

Sunday was their birthday and we started the day with a family gathering and lunch followed by an open house in their honor. So many people came to wish them well it makes my heart full. I sat at the guest book table and tried to keep count of how many people showed up and lost track around 300. This is pretty amazing in a small town when you have outlived all your friends! This is such a testament of the kind of people they are! Everyone loves them!
Baptism photo and the gowns they still have that were displayed at the party.

Grandma and Ira (around age 5) with their older brother Glen.

They had saved their baby plates all these years and ate their birthday cake from them!

Both Grandma and Ira learned to sew at an early age and this is a quilt grandma made when she was 7 that was on display at the party. She has made over 100 quilts in her lifetime!

A snapshot of grandma's life!

My family!

That night after the party we were all sitting around the commons area at the assisted living complex and I could tell grandma was tired. I quietly told her she could go back to her apartment and get ready for bed if she wanted, she didn't need to stay up with us. She whispered back, " I don't want this day to end" So she stayed up until the last person left! As Ira and his family left the next day, they vowed to see each other next September to celebrate 101. I am betting on it!

Next up is Carter! He turned 11 in September! Wow..where has my baby boy gone? I still remember the day he made me a mom like it was yesterday. He has turned into an amazing young man and I couldn't be more proud of him. The only thing he asked for for his birthday was a phone. YIKES! I am not a fan of technology and I figured once we went there, there was no turning back. With his busy schedule and us running all over the place, it kinda made sense but I didn't want to admit it. I am proud to say so far we have had no issues with him abusing this privilege!  

Last but not least was our baby boy Case! 5??? Really??? Time please slow down! He has waited very patiently for his big day and I'd say it was a success! His birthday was on a Monday and unfortunately I had to work so I couldn't shower him with lots of love on his special day. We partied hard on Sunday to make up for it! This was somewhat confusing to him as he thought his real birthday was Sunday. When we finally convinced him it was actually Monday, he wanted to change it because he had wrestling practice to go to that night!

How is it that Grandma and Grandpa find the biggest stuff animals to spoil my kids with?
Slides just like the big kids!
A new baseball glove and bat bag!

Treats for school!

Oh yeah, Jeremy turned 43 this year and I turned 41 but we won't talk about that! :)