Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Florida Fun!

So a few weeks ago I was invited to visit my parents, who are now living in Florida. It's funny, I never pictured them living in Florida after they retired, but they are (at least for part of the year). My mother said she'd never do 3 things.

  1. Live in Florida 
  2. Live in a retirement community
  3. Live in a trailer home. (It's actually quite nice)
She ended up doing all three things - on the same day. Never say never. Because I once said I'd never live in Iowa. Look where I am now!

CJ on the plane ride to Florida. This was this kids 7th (down) and 8th (back) flight on an airplane. Not this kids first rodeo. He was pretty good - despite the delays and waiting on the tarmac for take off. (Both times!) 

My parents church. It was the first church they visited when they were looking and found it perfect for them! I love the fact that they are able to go on a mission trip later this summer
with this church to Africa! They are excited about it. While I was visiting with their Sunday School the class (made up of mostly retirees who winter in Florida) prayed over them for the trip. It made me cry, how much these people have come to love and support my parents and of course are praying for them. Such community! 

There was a Koi fish pond outside their main sanctuary. The church had at least 5 separate buildings, and two different worship services in two different buildings with the main sanctuary broadcasting to the other building. The main sanctuary had a full choir and orchestra, I guess the other worship service was band - led. My son had a blast in Sunday School and worship service that included puppets. We only get puppets in our country church once every few months - not every Sunday. 

 Here we are on the beach, at Sunset. 

My dad and I on the beach, while CJ plays in the water in the background. 

Sanibel Island, Florida with the cool lighthouse in the background. There were lots of seashells on this beach, and my dad and CJ were able to make a really cool sandcastle. 

Fort Myers Beach, Florida. While I did think ahead 'Maybe we should bring CJ's swim suit' I ended up not brining it because 'We won't be there long.' I should have thought like the mom that I am and brought them with anyway! He ended up soaked, in his clothes, but he had a blast! This was a totally different experience with the ocean from when he was 4 years old on our cruise. He didn't like the saltiness of the water, and didn't want to go in much, even when we were on a beach. He's since had swimming lessons and he had a blast jumping over the waves and running back in as if the waves were trying to get him! 
This is a definite must-return stop for next time we visit! Beautiful beach. 

No, we didn't spend the entire time on the beach. There were other things we did. CJ got his first Camel ride ever, he played mini-golf and worked on his technique - we have very few nice mini-golf places where we live. We swam in the pool at my parents community several times - CJ said that was his favorite part. Of course wrestling with Papa C came in a close 2nd place. 

On Sanibel Island - there was a free bird show. Yes, that bird is real that's on his shoulder. He had plenty of them on his shoulder and his head. That's my baby bump in the background. 

Even my dad had a bird on his shoulder at the end of the show. Meet Piper. He was a little naughty. 

It was a fun week - despite my being sick for 24 hours and on a nice day. It was cool (at least it wasn't super hot) and everything was so green. I thank my sister in law for encouraging me to go - despite being 29/30 weeks pregnant! While I missed my hubby terribly we talked almost everyday. Hopefully we can all go next year - as a family of four! Yikes!

I know see why the Des Moines airport is awesome, because once you come past the security area and start down the escalators you see your loved ones waiting for you near the baggage claim area and you start crying. I did. I missed hubby terribly, and sleeping in the same bed as my son is not nearly as nice as sleeping next to the hubby! I know hubby feels the same way (only he had to sleep by himself). 

A nice little bonus when we got home, we went to Red Robbin in Des Moines to celebrate my hubby's birthday (free burger on your birthday month) and his brother and wife met us there and we enjoyed dinner with them. Then they offered to take CJ for the night! I think they win the award for being the best Aunt and Uncle of the year! 

A great surprise ending to a great week! 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Growing a baby!

So it's been fun to see this transformation.
Here I am at 14 weeks, 20 weeks, 22 weeks and 24 weeks. 

Considering the last one - the 24 week photo- was taken just a week ago, I know I have a lot more of this pregnancy to go- only 101 days left until June 4th!

I was given baby girl clothes from a friend of mine, mostly 6 month to 12 months clothing, but it's now in a large tub in our living room. It's a start, and it's more than I had, because before she gave me a whole tub worth of clothing, I had like one outfit. But this baby girl is on her way!

It's fun to feel her kicking and squirming inside of me. Her kicks are getting stronger by the day.

In other news, my six year old is enjoying mommy time and lots of cuddle time with mommy before the baby comes! He is becoming a really great reader, and is actually trying to read my words as I type this. He is good with the small words, but he is making me read this as I type. He is such a good boy and is enjoying Kindergarten and his little class of 7.

I have to go take a little boy to bed, who apparently is informing me of why he colored (with crayons) on the floor at church - this should be an interesting story.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dinosaur Party

The invite (my own design), 
the line on the upper right is a place for him to write his friends' name.  

I had to delay the party for a week, because of Christmas break and before Christmas break I really didn't have time to prepare and get ready, plus I thought I'd be a nice person and not give parents only a few days notice. 

My 6 year old with his cake, before all his friends arrived. 

The cake. It was supposed to be shaped like a dinosaur, like something you would see on Cake Boss, but someone (she who shall remain nameless) dropped 1/2 a pan of cake batter into the oven as she was putting the cake pan in. What a mess! It took about an hour to clean up, the night before the party. Maybe that'll never happen again!

The kids at the party making some drawings, using stencils of dinosaurs. 

Game Time: putting together a dinosaur skeleton! 

I got the download from this website: T-Rex Skeleton 

Trying to match the pieces to the picture. 

Here he is at the party, with his dinosaur hat on! Gotta love The Dollar Tree for the hat! 
The boys had a little bit to much fun talking about the dinosaur poop on the cake- 
this was all started by dad. Then the lemonade turned into dinosaur pee. 
You never can get boys off bodily function topic, can you? 

Another game- tie a string to a balloon, and then loop the balloon around one ankle. Now try to pop each other's balloons. It was crazy and the girl of the group even one the first round! 

A friend and the birthday boy take a break from running around the gym. 

These kids are adorable! 

All 6 kids together. 

I ordered some dinosaur decals from Oriental Trading Company

Dad said to the kids "what? Is there something wrong with my ear?" 

The kids wore Dinosaur Feet, made from foam sheets. Get the template here
I also added 'dinosaur toenails'.

For Directional Signs, I used this. 
My son wanted the dinosaur happy! 

The next thing to work on is the Thank You cards. 

Please let me know if you use any of my things for your Dino Party! 

A fun time was had by all at our party! 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013... a year of blessings

There is so much that happened to our family in the year 2013!

My little guy turned 5! Being 5 is the best! Hard to believe he will be 6 in a few short days.

He's the one in the black shirt on the left, with his friends around the Lego Party table. 

Hubby got notified at the end of January that he was part of the layoff at his old job, which was effective the first week in February. Ouch.

Hubby went on unemployment and through God's provisions and a little help from family and our church, we were able to keep our house. Although it never was that close, somedays it sure felt like it!

Hubby went on a number of interviews, including one phone interview that - had he gotten that job would have required a move. Hubby even worked a few times for a local place, and got paid for that. Hubby landed working at a contractor position for FedEx, and by the last week in December was interviewed and hired full time by FedEx. Almost 11 months to the day. While it doesn't offer health benefits, it does however put us back up - financially - to where he was with his old job. So now we can afford to buy health benefits on our own.

Who doesn't love a handsome man in uniform? 

At the end of April, I got offered my current position at a local non- profit organization I have been passionate about since 2010. Although it is part-time, it's nice to be paid for doing something you like to do!

In May I figured out I was pregnant, only to be told by the doctor I would loose this little one. But, by far, the best doctor ever- because before she left the room after telling us this, she gave both my husband and I- hugs! Read a little more about that on the Dear Friends and Family post.

The best thing about hubby being 'laid off' in the summer, is that I went to work and didn't have to worry about my little guy, because I knew dad was in charge. While they did some stuff that I wouldn't have done - like they tried to light a pile of leaves on fire with a magnifying glass and other dangerous stuff. Most of the ideas came from this book: 50 Dangerous Things (You should let your children do). It really is a good book, and teaches the children how to do things safely. I'd rather let hubby teach him how to light a fire in the backyard than him figuring it out with a lighter in the basement with friends a few years down the road!

I also co-directed our Vacation Bible School this year, and it went pretty much without any major fiascos.
Here's my little cowboy at Vacation Bible School! 

Here we are at the end of a very long day, at Adventureland, thanks to my brother-in-law and the company he works for! This 5 year old got some of his 'firsts' out of the way on this trip. First time on a big-kid roller coaster -The Tornado (he did not like), but he did like a more subtle roller coaster that is called The Underground. The swimming in the wave pool was the best, because we had recently put out some money for swimming lessons - he was able to swim (like a fish) in the wave pool, when it wasn't waving. 

Mommy and my silly little boy at the end of a great day at Adventureland. 

In August, my husbands family farm was named a Century Farm by Farm Bureau, so almost the whole family got to go to the Iowa State Fair.

Here's my little guy holding his ticket, getting ready to get on the bus to go to the fair, 
no this wasn't posed- he's just that good! We had a great day!  

Almost the whole family celebrating being a Century Farm! 

Later in August I was able to go to Women of Faith with my mother-in-law to hear some great speakers, and some awesome singers. I was only able to do this by way of budgeting and saving money the Dave Ramsey way! 
My mother - in - law and I outside the Wells Fargo Center after Women of Faith. 

 In September, my little pre-schooler turned into a Kindergartener - officially. Yikes!
Being a little silly for first day of school photos. 

In October I entered a local photo contest, and won a $25 gift certificate! Here is the photo I took, well, I had a great subject! 
My little guy in front of the Amtrak train, with his train conductor hat on.

October brought fall leaves and an awesome Iron Man suit - another bonus of hubby being laid off for so long, he came up with this project all on his own, and made it light up. All I did was buy the suit at our local Aldi's store! While it lit up good for the photo, come Halloween Night we watched the lights slowly die and fade out. Oh well! 

Iron Man in my living room! 

We have a friend who decided to start her own photography business! Go Autumn! So we invited her out to our family farm to take some photos of the 3 of us. They all came out great! Happy Day Photos is the place to go, if you are in the area! See more of our family photos here

Our family, 2013. 

For Thanksgiving break we went up to see my brother, who lives in Minneapolis. My parents met us there, after packing up everything they own and selling their house near Charlotte, North Carolina. We had an early Christmas celebration and yes- I was crazy enough to go to the Mall of America on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. No, it wasn't that bad. 

Here are the 3 boys- my son and his cousins. 
No, his younger cousin K does not like photos! 

We also made the big announcement of us having baby #2 while we were up there. Watch the video on this post

In December we wrapped up the old year with the boys playing Mario Kart and mommy eating ice cream. Is there any better way? 

Happy New Year to all! 

2014 will be the best year yet, because 2013 had some low points, that's for sure. But it also had some pretty great times, most of which wouldn't have been possible if it wasn't for some great family! 

What's in store for 2014? 
  1. New job for Roy, with a new route and a new to him FedEx truck! 
  2. Sarah's job is moving locations (about a block away)
  3. Little boy turns 6, with a dinosaur party (more on that later)
  4. Sarah has to decide if she wants to do a gender reveal party for baby. 
  5. We will welcome baby #2 into our little family in June! 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Dear Friends and family,

We wanted to announce it all at one time, but since we can't, because you are all so spread out - here is the news.

We are pregnant! 

Here I am at about 9 weeks. It'll be fun to see the transformation! 
I had just found out, and I thought I was about 8 weeks along. 

That's right, baby Number 2 will arrive sometime in early June 2014. Our Kindergartner will be 6 by then, and finished with Kindergarten! Onto new and better things in 1st grade! The good thing about having a baby in the summer is that we can get into some sort of routine before school starts in September.

Here I am at about 12 1/2 weeks. 
In a maternity dress - that makes me look pregnant. 

For those of you that don't know, I had a miscarriage in May of 2013, so I was supposed to have that one in December 2013. But that would mean bundling up the little one every morning plus the older one and taking him to school. This was not to be, as the baby was only 5 weeks along when I lost it.

At the time of this writing, November 22, 2013 I have seen my first ultra-sound images of this new little one moving, kicking and waving at mom and dad. Baby is measuring at 12 weeks, a week further than we thought, so I'm already 1/3 of the way through my pregnancy.  Exciting!

First baby photos! November 21st, 2013. 
The last photo looks like baby is giving us the 'thumbs up' sign. 

Our biggest challenge was to wait to tell people - especially me, because I have a 'big' mouth, and tend not to keep secrets very easily. I've told one person, besides hubby, but only because her due date is really close to mine - we are like a week apart, plus it helps that this is her 4th go-around, and only my 2nd. Plus having CJ over 5 years ago, it's hard to remember. But us gals are going through the same thing at the same time. Morning sickness (sometimes in the evening), doctor visits, this should be fun. She just wants me to tell everyone because she is so excited for us. But we told people early last time, and unfortunately lost that little one. Jesus holds that little one in his arms know, I know this.

With my first pregnancy it was so easy, during the 9 months I was pregnant with CJ, I glowed the entire time, or so I was told by the sweet older ladies at church, I threw up a total of one time. Delivery was pretty easy as well, I was induced at about 8am in the morning, took a hot tub bath and my water broke at 12:30pm, and little man was in my arms by 3pm. I make it sound easy, but that is the most pain I have ever felt throughout my entire body, it was also the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but so worth it. CJ was born on January 10th, 2008 at 2:56pm weighing 5lbs 10oz. He was small, and 9 days early because of my blood pressure being elevated, but none of the doctors or nurses ever used the word premature with him, although he did fit into premie clothing! He's a fine 5 year old boy now, he loves to be active, play with his friends, loves his LEGOs, and weighs around 50 lbs. and is the same height as his classmates. He's in the orange.

Kindergarten field trip to a local pumpkin patch. 

For Thanksgiving we will be going up to Minnesota to see my family, although I'm grateful we live close to my mother-in-law - plus she loves babies! Who doesn't? So for the Minnesota crew, we have decided to get a white t-shirt for CJ and paint on there or use markers or iron on letters. I better get on this, we leave in less than a week! But the shirt will essentially say: Only Child Expiring in June 2014.
Not sure if the 'Only Child Expiring' will be on the front and the 'June 2014' will be on the back or just keep it simple and all on the front.

We are excited and nervous about this new little blessing added to our family. Nervous because we know babies cost money, and that's not something we have a lot of right now. But we do have lots of love to share!

Thank you all for supporting us in the future, with your love or donations of used baby equipment, clothing, etc. I have gotten rid of almost all of my baby clothing, and some of the equipment- I've kept the good- stuff, though! Except the crib, there was a need in our church, so we gave it away to another couple who was expecting.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Iron Man

Iron Man has invaded our house. Or something like that. 

I picked up an Iron Man costume at Aldi's last week for under $20.00. Hubby asked 'Do you really want to spend that much?' I said 'Yes, because it would be more at Target.'  
I have previously made or designed his costumes, but this is the first Halloween that (he'll remember) 
that mommy is working outside the home. 

It was just a simple costume, but my husband decided the glow in the dark circle for the center piece was just not enough. Good thing hubby is a handyman. He can fix almost anything around the house, and if he doesn't know how he'll go figure it out from YouTube. He did that in this case. Wiring LED and connecting things to switches and resistors was a little above his knowledge, but not out of reach. 

The battery pack is a pill bottle, stuffed in my son's back pocket. It has wires going into the cap, and a switch on the bottom. The wires are mostly old telephone cables. 

The gloves were gloves we had laying around, I guess we'll have to get him another red pair for winter. Oh well. It's all in the name of fun! 

I'm not sure how much he spent on his project - and it took him about a week to do, but only because he's still looking for employment. Took up the dining room table all week. Oh well. 

Oh yeah, the light up one at Target? 

Hubby worked hard to finish it today, Friday. 
Now my son will be ready for Super Hero day on Monday for his school's spirit week! 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My Work

I've been a busy gal: 

For the upcoming History Walk for Main Street Ottumwa.....

A poster design for Margaritas for Main, a fundraising event for Main Street Ottumwa... 

The latest poster design, I can not claim the logo, though - hopefully we can work on that next year. 

I've been busy doing some side jobs for some great companies and organizations - 
Here's a photo: 

Yup. I did that. Okay, with a little help from WordPress. 

Oh yeah, and a few of the designs above were even featured  on a local news channel. 
See the video and read the news story on KTVO.

This is my life. Designing. Creating. Being awesome. 

Now if hubby can just get a job that pays good and has benefits. 
That's not to much to ask, is it?