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Monday, February 23, 2015

Geometry Dash

I finally broke down this weekend and let Zachary teach me Geometry Dash. It is a game that has very much got him hooked. The kids can only play video games on the weekends and then only 30 minutes at a time once in the morning and once in the afternoon. but Zach makes the most of his time and has "defeated" all the levels. In this game you can make your own levels too. 

When he is not playing, he is drawing out his worlds and planning. I was working on some scrapbook pages this weekend too and so I thought I would share. I played for 40 minutes and I couldn't beat the first level. I did get about half way through though!

Friday, February 20, 2015

I Made a Sandwich Today

Mario Quilt Update:
The sandwich is made...let the quilting begin! There is one VERY excited 5-year-old in the house this week! Hopefully by next week I can report it done! 

Can anyone tell who Matthew's favorite Mario character is?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

O Daughter, Where Are You?

I don't normally take pictures of the backsides of my son's basketball team. This is just a giggle I had the other day at Ryan's basketball tournament. I enjoy sharing the funny.

I ran home between a couple of the games to grab lunch. Stacey likes to go to her brother's games and she grabbed a little something from the concession stand while I went home. I got to the high school again and looked for my daughter among the crowd and could not see her right off. I saw the two Marion team tables where the boys were hanging out with a few of the parents until the next game.

But Stacey wasn't anywhere to be seen. Until...I walked closer to the tables.

Look closely at this picture. Can you see the ponytail sticking out from the left side of the table? Yes, there was Stacey at the table with half of the basketball team playing iPod games! "Oh Mom, I didn't see your text!" is her answer to me when I found her.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Last week I cut it pretty close to being stranded on the side of the road out of gas with my 12-year-old son. In January and February HyVee hands out the year's best coupons in conjunction with the fuel saver card. We had to be at a Boy Scout merit badge field trip but I was pretty close to empty.

I had planned to get some groceries and then fill the tank but I didn't realize how far toward Palo out of Cedar Rapids this water treatment plant was. I dropped Ryan off at the Scout meeting and passed by a Casey's to get to the HyVee and get the last of the awesome fuel saver deals of the year. 
To be honest, I am pretty sure the van was running on fumes about half-way back into town but I made it to the store and back to the gas station without stalling. It wasn't til I pulled into the station when I took a look at my total savings from my HyVee receipt. I couldn't believe it when the total at the bottom of the receipt said $2.06 off per gallon!

The price of gasoline last week dipped to $2.09 a gallon. I took a picture as proof that with the stop at the grocery store before I made it to get gas, I got it for THREE CENTS a gallon (okay, $.039 per gallon so almost 4 cents, but STILL!!)

That made my total bill for filling up the van's gas tank come to a whopping 69 cents this week! Yep...it was a good day and Ryan was relived to know we would make it home without running out of gas! Less than a dollar on gas...now that is a blessing!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Looking Past the Shades for the Hope

I saw the Santorums in an interview promoting their new book that was released last week.  I thought it is too bad this book wasn't out at Christmas time when Barnes and Noble was sending me 20% and 30% off coupons every week. (I am a sucker for wanting a book for a deal)

Well, imagine my happiness when I was going through my email today and there was a 20% off coupon from Barnes and Noble! I knew it was meant to be. So, off I went to find the book and get my deal.

I walked into the store and went over to the new releases but there was nothing there. Past the table with all of the newly released teen interest books, the bargain books, etc. and I still couldn't see it anywhere. Okay, I pretty much walked all around the store until I came upon a woman who could help me.

She looked it up and said "oh yes, I can help you...you will find that book back in the Christian Life section". Oh, okay I am thinking. We get back there and stuffed in between the other books there were two copies on the shelf. Hmm...well, stuffed away in a corner or not, I am excited to read this book. The interest that was piqued in the interview along with some of the other garbage that people read that is out there lately, has given me a desire to read a story with hope.

Don't we as humans look for the hope in any good story?  I know I do - especially the real life ones (even if I have to trip over the huge display table right inside the door of 50 Shades of Gray books to find it!)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Look Mom!

At breakfast yesterday as we were all eating, Matthew held up the toast he had been eating and said "Look Mom, the United States!" You can decide for yourself how close he came to making the United States but I think he did pretty good even though his dad did point out the he must have already eaten Florida!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Bathroom Update Pictures!



It has been a long time coming, but here are my hall bathroom update pictures. I love going in there. With so many updates on our to-do list around here, it is nice to be able to go into a room and enjoy the results of a little hard work. I still have a few things to do along the lines of decorating, but so far, I am pretty excited about how it looks.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Survivor Files: Turning North

It is almost three weeks out from the final surgery of this reconstruction. I am becoming a new woman in so many ways. Those that have followed along with my journey have seen snippets of what has been happening over the past eighteen months.

The prayers for successful healing have been greatly appreciated. I had a doctor's appointment today and it was good news. I am happy to announce that I am now stitch free and steri-strip free with no open wounds.

I will have a check back in about a month and have two more things to do to finish the process. First, I have to make an appointment with the tattoo lady (for those who need more explanation, you should probably message me privately) and second, I have to call my buddy Matt back at the gym to get back to strengthening my core which has taken quite a beating with all of that has gone on. And that is my assignment, that is all the doctor has left for me.

I was reminded of the verse that stood out to me about a decade ago when I was studying in the Old Testament. In Deuteronomy the Israelites had been wandering in the wilderness and were finally ready to head into the promised land. God told them that they had circled around this mountain long enough. I feel like it is my turn to turn north...and I am excited!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Skating Rink

Mid-winter cabin fever seemed to be setting in when the big snowstorm hit. That helped to lift spirits a lot. One other thing helped was Stacey digging out the disco ball. I was feeling good enough this past weekend to go downstairs and sit at my sewing machine but I realized that it had been too long since I had been down there looking at the mess that had become the basement.

I asked the kids "why don't you guys go down and clean up the basement and we can set up the disco ball, turn off some of the lights and make a skating rink!" Well, that went over with a huge hurrah of excitement from all and it took 20 minutes and they were all down there skating complete with iTunes from the iPod.

The pictures are blurry because they are fast skaters! I kept the light on above my sewing table but the rest of the lights were off and the disco ball made for a great atmosphere. It was fun to sit down there and sew while the whish of skaters kept it cool.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Blanket For Matt

It was about a year ago that Zachary got his Mario Brother's quilt for his bed. Since then I have slowly been working on the other two for his brothers. After Zach's was done I regrouped and organized so I could work on both of them at the same time. My list of squares left to do (the ones circled are the ones I have done) are getting less and less and the goal is to have Matt's done this spring and Ryan's done by early summer. 

I feel a renewed zeal to get back to the sewing machine because there are so many other things that I have piling up. I want the quilts on the boys beds and not in little piles in my sewing room. Matthew is especially excited about getting it. He often comes up to me and says "Mom, when are you going to go down and sew? It makes me smile!

I have finished all but one of the squares for Matthew's and when his is together, Ryan's will only need six more which will go quick because I will not be doing two at a time. The piranha plant is the last one and then I will take a short break from piecing and get on to quilting. I am thinking next week I better have some space cleaned away in the living room where I can put the layers together. I can't wait to hand the blanket to Matt and see his face!

Just one of those little mom perks that I enjoy!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Plarn, Plarn Everywhere!

I took a little time out last week from the stool cover crocheting to make a plarn bag for one of Stacey's teachers who had a birthday. Her friends decided to get together and make up a birthday present for their teacher. They had taken a picture together with her and they each decided what they would contribute. Stacey told me that her part would be printing the picture (one of her friend was providing a frame).

Along with the picture printing, Stacey let me know that she was also providing one of the crocheted bags that I make. She gave me a couple of days notice and she said she only offered my services because she knew that I already had one started. She was right, I had but there was still a long way to go before it would be done.

I worked on it a bit but found myself the night before she needed it with a long way to go. I decided to change to a double crochet so I could speed up. The middle is double crochet which is what Stacey said she likes best about it.

I spent a lot more time on it that originally anticipated because although I had a huge ball of plarn (yarn made from plastic grocery bags), it took all that I had and I still wasn't done. At about midnight I ran out. Two hours later I had myself some more plarn ready to go with the entertainment of the Hallmark Movie channel and Hart to Hart reruns. Thankfully during narcotic pain med recovery I live somewhat around the clock so crocheting til 4 a.m. wasn't that big of a deal. It is nice to be needed even when I am recovering!

Sunday, February 1, 2015


I believe that I predicted when we were driving home from Sears in November with a brand new snow blower that it would be a mild winter. We have already had a day off and three late starts because of bitter cold temps.  I don't know if you would call it mild, but where snow is concerned, there has been little to speak of.

So, when the weatherman started talking about 6-8 inches of snow at the end of last week, the kids started getting excited. It is February 1st and David really has only used the machine once this winter, so I would have to say up until today I have been right. Compared to some of the snow filled winters of late, this one has been nothing!

It is currently still snowing and I have three kids out in the blowing blizzard conditions because we can't wait til the wind dies down to get out there and get playing! If anyone around here has been waiting for snow this winter, the wait is definitely over!

I can't say that I have been waiting impatiently, but it is nice to sit and sip my coffee from the window with a good book and see my kids having a blast making snow angels and planning the snow fort. To be honest, in Iowa, without snow, there isn't a whole lot of fun stuff to do in the winter once you get tired of being indoors!