Monday, October 31, 2016

Greetings from Michigan

We have landed.  The kids and I got here on a Wednesday and Thursday the kids went to school and I got a root canal.  Ryan was smart, when we were out a few weeks beforehand the kids took the time to check out their schools and meet their teachers.

Transition, how is it?

Well we left our freinds of 7 years.  I still don't have a go to grocery store, a doctor and transitioning to a new bank.

We are together as a family, we have all our "stuff" and we get to have story time together.

We have a land line again which works!  We have internet and we have sunshine.

God has taken care of us.  The kids are in a good school, we just need to learn what is expected.  Anna hasn't missed the bus yet.  I walk Lilly with Jonathan so that sometimes doesn't work out.

The kids are loving not having a dress code.  They have some friends in the subdivision here and working on getting to know those at school and church.

Me.... I miss my freinds and my weekly activities.  MOPS, bible studies, going to the Library and seeing my favorite librarian and also serving at church.  I need to remember that I will have new relationships and they won't be the same.  That is ok.

Saturday, October 8, 2016


We are moving to Michigan, I mean the rest of the family.  Tomorrow Ryan will have been up there 6 weeks.  We get to go at the end of the week I hope to close on our new home in Linden.  That is between Flint and Lansing.

First thing, we have a well and won't have to worry about the water.

We are packing up around here, books, toys, pictures on the walls.  The only box I had to open again was the DVDs.  The DVD player also streams Youtube so that will stay to the bitter end.

I wonder if I am hoarding boxes.  I wonder how many I will use.  I like the small and medium ones since they are the easy ones to deal with.  Uhaul has wonderful boxes with handles, but I seem to tape over them.  Home Depots have a check box on the side for the rooms they go in.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

LIfe goes on and it is ok

A lot has happened this month that Ryan has been gone.

Anna's kitty Shay had to be put to sleep due to Feline UTI Disease.  He was suffering.  The vet was so nice and sent us his paw print.  A few tears were shed for how nice it is to have a little something of Shay.

Floods hit the area from an hour north to an hour south.  Many people were evacuated from Cedar Rapids.  I took the kids Sunday to the walking bridge here in Waterloo so they could hear and feel the water's movement.  To understand the enormity of the water.  Thankfully since the 2008 flood people know better how to prepare and to stay safe.  So many people helped it was amazing from sand bags to moving furnaces.

Anna went to her first dance at the local church.  This is the thing you do and has been for 50 years.  So many parents I talked to did it when they were kids.  All the stories seemed to make them smile, even if they got in trouble.

Prairie Lakes Church, the Waterloo Iowa campus is merging with Hope City Church.  Once most people have gotten over the shock they see how wonderful this is.

Ryan and I moved to Waterloo the time when there was only one Prairie Lakes Campus 7 years ago.  Then a month later the announcement was made that they would have one near our home.  There was the option to go and meet more people and serve every 3 weeks.  We were up on stage, me and a bunch of other pregnant ladies to be sent out.  What wonderful freinds I have been blessed with since we moved to the Waterloo Campus.

We knew PLC was the place God wanted us to be due to the peace we felt.  The mission was to reach all of Iowa for Jesus.  That means Waterloo and all parts of it.  For years we have been helping, hosting, and loving on the area but not growing.  Hope City is already drawing in community members.  This is good, this was the goal from the beginning and at the perfect timing.  It is a mutual relationship and I pray will prosper.

I miss Ryan

Anna misses Daddy

Lilly misses Daddy

Jonathan misses Dad who he thinks is just at work

Monday, September 19, 2016


I think one of the hardest parts of now is that we don't or I don't know when I am moving to Michigan.  This is the start of week 3 of Ryan being in Michigan.

I never know when I say goodbye to someone if it is the last time I really am saying goodbye to them.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Pella Tulip Time 2016

This was my first time to any Tulip Festivals.  I grew up in Michigan near Holland Tulip Time and I thought this would be all tulips and people dressed in dutch costumes.  It was worth it to go.

Here are some girls doing a Dutch dance.

And this is Iowa so there are tractors.

And purple tractors.  Look up Tim Hawkings Pretty Pink Tractor when you are board.

And a huge flea market, well craft market.  I miss real flee markets with old stuff.  The girls wanted these chairs for their dolls.  Not at $18 each darlings.  We can make that.  That was my issue there, most of the stuff I could make that I liked or at least knew how to make on the cheaper side of things.

Yes there were tulips.  They were pretty.  Height of season wat 2 weeks ago.

I have the stuff to make this but I was happy to cool off with the refills and help out the boy scouts. the tall guy in train shirt is our tour guide and Ryans brother Jeff.  He made the trip really good.

 Root Beer and Cream Soda were yummy.  Anna lives in that UTLX hat of Daddies.  She has claimed them as her own.

There was your carny food there and some authentic stuff too like fried meats and donut like things.  I don't remember the names but you get the idea.

Play grounds are a good thing where kids can climb and play.  Then us adults can rest and chat.  This place was huge.  There was also a pay play ground for little ones and bounce houses.  We are dutch so we like free.

More tulips and Lilly has the cream soda.  Look a tractor.

There was a parade and I am glad to see our troops.  They deserve our respect.

Local bands, Anna enjoyed seeing the flute players since that is what she is playing next year in 6th grade.

Floats and windmills of course.  We didn't go in the windmill, way too many people.  It looked beautiful.  Jon kept pointing out its flags.

More dutch people in the parade.

My way to ride...

We got to see family too, that is another post.

Sunday, May 1, 2016


Ryan and I have been budgeters since the first layoff of 2004.  We used to follow Crown Financial and now more Dave Ramsey.  Basically save so you can pay cash.  When we were having our third kid we had power saved enough to pay cash for our van.  When a car needs to be repaired we have a yearly budget for stuff like that.  We have life insurance and a will so if we die our kids are taken care of but don't get the cash in their hands.

We are not perfect with budgeting.  There are some times when there is stuff we want or need.  Times when you see a great piece of equipment at a garage sale or something falls apart and needs to be fixed.

Why do we budget?  To tell our money where to go.  Otherwise we could easily spend $1000 on food for summer with running around to Michigan and back.

I am a computer nerd and like a program where I can plan.  For years I have been using Excel but I like feed back and also cooler charts, online access and ease of use.

When Dave Ramsey started Everydollar I thought that was it.  I could do it online and have it do what I needed.  Here is my issue, I used to balance the Budge of $42 million dollar projects for DTE.  I wanted to drag and drop lets say a gas charge into the gas category.  I use an Asus tablet computer, it takes 8 seconds to drop it for who knows what reason.  That drives me nuts and with 3 kids running around I get distracted.  Did someone say "Squirrel?"  Also it got messy if you had a deposit in from Paypal or companies who paid me.  It was frustrating.  For a month it wouldn't update from my bank so I lost momentum.  Budgeting isn't fun but the results are.  Also this was a $100 a year service.  I had to pay each year to get frustrated.  Their help is wonderful but the answer is "We are working on that" or "it is in the future."  Maybe this is for a more novice person.

At the start of May I got Quicken.  I found my old logon stuff and bought the program online for $30.  That is it.  I did not read any instructions and I made a budget.  I uploaded from my bank account and have been since but pressing a button and putting in a password.  It even throws my stuff into categories.  Notice I didn't say the right ones but close.  We like simple so food is just groceries and eating out.  It gives us fast and coffee shops.  I know what it is easily and can move it over in less than a second.

I just got it on my phone 5 minutes ago.  I can up date my budget from there.  Thus I could see if we have enough left in the budget for the month to go to a fancy restaurant or Mc. D.  I just updated a transaction as a split and it was easy.  I like easy.

I also like that it tells me all my bank accounts totals and what my credit score is to the left of my budget.

It also sends me emails when I am close to overspending.  I can set up my bills, all 2 of them.  Right now I can see my budget on my phone and say where we are financially.  I am geeked.  This is what I wanted.  It is not perfect but it sure works for me.  Dave I will still use your envelopes but this is what works best for my family.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sunday Drive part 2

Here is what I took with the Nikon D3200.  I want to look up how to take night picture too.

A tree through a combine?  How long was that there?

Someone is watching me.

Where is my camera?

The epitome of Iowa, tractors in the field.

Got to stop and take pictures of lawn art.  I think this is a pullman and a boxcar in someone's yard.

My beautiful daughter, her world is so young and new.  She amazes me with her fresh perspective on life.

A cool two track, reminds me of being in Michigan.  

The focus on this Nikon D3200 is really good.  Oh yes this is another train picture, I had a boxcar, I had to find something to pull it...

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Drive

We got a new camera this spring and it kept saying lens not attached even after taking pictures for a while so I went for a drive to take pictures of these great looking flowers this spring and try to replicate the problem.  I had a our Nikon D3200 and Anna had her dad's Olympus.  Here are a few of the pictures Anna took.

Jon came too.  He wasn't happy we dropped Lilly off at a birthday party at a bounce house and he had to come with me.

Lilly keeps calling dandelions sunflowers.

He got happier later on with Anna hanging out with him.  He is such a cute ham.

We went past places with chickens, donkeys, horses and goats.  We even found a peacock graveyard.  I thought that was too creepy to take a picture of and so did Anna.

There are some interesting things in peoples yards.

And the wind goes through your hair at 30 miles an hour.

I thought this was such a cool train picture off of Mitchell.

Machinery at the local junk yard.

A cool stack of cars.

She was on the other side of the van and took that picture.  This reminds me of the dolphin tree on at the cabin my in laws Lois and Larry have in Manistee.

I will put up the pictures I took tomorrow.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

How to Save Money during Spring Break

I have 3 kids and 2 of them are in school.  When I was young Spring Break ment sleeping in and running around outside.  Now it seems like road trips and Disney Land.  Well that is what I thought but I don't think its as true.

Here are some ideas we are thinking of this week:

Movie Theater - It offers discounted admissions on Tuesday to everyone, Thursday for students and one of the insurance agencies American Family has a special movie for $3 or free with their discount page.

Grout Museum - $1 to each one to get it in or a discount of $60 for a year membership which is ASTC reciprocating program of 350 museums in 20 countries.  We have gone to Shed Aquarium and Field Museum in Chicago with that and the COSI in Ohio.

Projects - Our neighbor gave us a dresser and we are going to convert it to a shelf for the girls for their bedding and towels.

Books - we enjoy reading and Anna is the co captain of the Battle of the Books so there are a few she needs to finish before the end of the week.

Homework - Anna has Math and Lilly gets to work on her Journal which consists of glued in stuff and glitter maybe.  Also practicing her letters.

warm sunday

 Today we took advantage of the warm day to work on building projects.