Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September in Mt. Pleasant ... Iowa

We got the opportunity to go down to Mt. Pleasant to ride the Jeffrey - the storage battery truck and also to spend time with family.  Ryan's brothers and families came in from Pella Iowa and Grandville Michigan.  We got to spend 2 days riding trains of all shapes and sizes.

Jonathan got wore out and Aunt Cheryl was soft and warm.

The brothers and the sons got to ride together with just the Jeffrey (SBT) running on just 4 Razor scooter batteries.  It ran fine.

Jonathan wants his critter to move soon.  He spent hours in it running around the track.  Even Lilly rode in it for a while.

Anna got to control the Jeffrey around the track, here she is coming into the yard.

Family helps with running our small train.  Here we are getting the big batteries on the SBT.  Brother Robb has the flat top, cousin Bradley is helping get Jonathan in the critter.  Lauren is behind Ryan and Anna.

Lilly didn't like how cold Sunday was and wrapped up in blankets until she either warmed up or woke up.

Uncle Robb is driving Aunt Cheryl around.

Uncle Robb is helping reconnect other batteries.

Occasionally finding something other than trains for a little while and finding new friends.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cat Harnesses- don't work

We have Little

Grey and Shay.  Little Grey wanted to go outside so much that we got each cat a harness.  The pet store was twice the price of Amazon so we got the Come with me Kitty ones.

We do the cat harnesses due to both cats having all 4 paws declawed.  We want them safe.

It was ok to put on once you get used to where the clips are.  The problem is that both cats have come off of them.  Shay being the scared one went directly to the front door to go in.  Little Grey ran away from me, down the driveway, under the porch and to the neighbors yard.  Even cat treats didn't get him back.  He is a total cat, his own sweet time.

After a month of using the leashes we gave up, now the cat spend all day outside off leash.  Shay spends his time in Amy's back yard.  Little grey goes further, tussling with all the neighborhood cats.  He is a big cat, and would be a powerful foe if he had claws.  Sorry little grey you are doomed to being a small player in this hood.  Grover has 20 bonus points.

Friday, August 8, 2014


For years we have been battling rain.  I personally like to be in the rain when it is warm.  We have had a few days of rain that seem more like flooding.  We just added 2 truckloads of dirt to our back after getting the driveway replaced.  We dug a trench to the garden so the downspout could lead away from the house too.

The blessing is we didn't get rain in that part of the basement this time.

Our newly planted grass did get a comb over.  I also didn't have to water or fill the pool today.

So this picture is when we were down in Mt. Pleasant on the track.  The one in the clear raincoat is Jeff and the other guy is Ryan.  I didn't  like this rain either.  We couldn't play on the trains.  Also I drove home so wet and the first thing I did was take a warm shower when I walked in the door.

Jonathan finally got to ride in the Tugger around the track twice and then it rained.  Jonathan was so mad he stayed in the Tugger on the track in the rain.  Ryan and Jeff took the Tugger under the tent and Jonathan ran back out to the track in the downpour looking for the engine so he could go around again.  He cried when the adults couldn't I think that day.


Lillian is now the size Anna was when she left India.

Sorry to say, Lillian will be the last kid of ours to wear this sari.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Why do these two girls bicker so much when awake but a thunderstorm comes and they will sleep intertwined?

Saturday, June 7, 2014


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Spring in Iowa

It is finally warm enough to go outside and play.

Dirt has the best flavor.

And the temperature rose another 20 degrees to shorts weather!

The flowers love the heat.

Thus we go back to the garden, a new arrangement of steps.

Windows open for playing on the new table.

And soon time to be on the rails with our freshly painted gondola and comfy upholstered seats.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

How do you do it?

Ryan's new job has him gone 1-2 weeks a month.  That is Monday to Friday.

Used to be the kids are in bed I could run to the store.  He is gone so that isn't a legal option.  I am at the mercy of a teenager and their schedule if I want out of the house alone.

Projects take longer.  So I want to sand something in the garage, it is 40 degrees and rainy so I have to take the kids outside or let them loose without being watched.

This is what happens when you don't watch them:

Found last nights popcorn for breakfast

Follow mommy anywhere with my favorite dust mop.

Cupcakes are great after a bath and double good for breakfast.

As I write this I took Jonathan off a speaker and stopped him from beating the TV stand.

The real answer is I don't do it.  I try and do some of it and give up on some.  They are eating, just not a healthy breakfast.  Most of the time I get milk from the local dairy but with 3 kids in tow Aldi's will get us thru.

They know they are loved and I don't get as much done.  Well chores.  Some cleaning waits.  I need to teach them that we do clean up but I could do it all the time and there would be a mess somewhere anyway.

In 15 years they will be off on their own lives and I will miss them.  You tell me that, all of you whom their kids are in sports, jobs, have their own families...

I pray a lot.  God help me to realize what I really need to do today.  Mop versus Hi Ho Cheerio.  Vacuum versus cuddle.  Spending time with the kids and finding a balance.  I need to be Jesus with skin on, not just yell, complain and have an immaculate house.  I need to not listen to the lies the devil and society tell me that I need to be super mom with great mannered kids and a clean home. 

Trust me I will probably have to vacuum the living room carpet before bed anyway.  

Superman is asking for a sippy of milk - back to work I go.  

I also thank God that Ryan will be home Friday.  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Weekend Projects - Table for Jonathan's room Part 2

Ryan had a week long work trip.  I was proud of myself, I got the top and bottom attached to each other with blocks that I predrilled pilot and countersunk holes.

Evenings I would go down and put a layer or two of paint on.

One thing we have learned from all our projects is that we take a lintless rag and put the paint on thinly.  We like the finish.  Since this was going to Jonathan's room I stayed more to the masculine side of our mistinted paint stash.  I liked this army green so there are 4 coats of this on the table.  The issue is the walls in his room are two shades of green so it couldn't stay that way.  Then I used a red on top but again it didn't look right.

I found a mistint of brown.  It looked pretty good, not exactly what I wanted though.  I wondered if it looked outdated, kind of 70's.  I also found another container from the same maker and family of an almost white washed blue.  I covered it in that too.  Then I went back to brown, a couple coats.

One time I put on paint and then the paint took off the layers below it.  I had to then sand and repaint for a smooth surface.

Then one or two light washes of the blue. I made sure it wasn't perfect.  I liked having the edges show the brown.  It gives it a more farm table look.  Also once it gets really used it won't look as bad as if I did a pristine job.  It also holds up to Lilly climbing on it to get into the crib with Jonathan.  

Not that she ever goes in there to jump up and down with him.

 And how it looks if moved into the living room.