Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Five

1. I can't believe its Labor Day weekend already. The three-day weekend is going to be great!

2. I am not enjoying this late August heat. I much preferred the 70s we had earlier in the month. I really liked sleeping with the windows open and wearing a jacket in the evening.

3. Sometimes, in the morning, I feel FALL in the air. And when I am at football games. And I'm ready for it...bring on FALL!

4. Having the POTUS in Ames, Iowa, speaking at Iowa State University this week was kinda fun...especially because I experienced it from my own home by watching live news coverage and receiving text, video and photo messages from my Iowa State University son. I was super motivated to avoid all the hype and traffic the President brought with him to Ames, but it was pretty interesting to see what happens when the President rolls into town.

5. I had fun learning how to make this Adorable No-Sew Banner with my friend Mindy today. I just might have to make one for myself!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

This & That started.
All four of my darlings are in school. Brandon at Iowa State and the other three here in town at the middle school and high school. The hubby and kids leave me by 8:00 each weekday morning.

So...what have I been up to?

After the family leaves each morning, Mandie and I spend about an hour walking around town with these friends:

This picture was taken the day the boys came home to Iowa...6 months ago! Lisa blogs at Running towards Love when she has any spare time.
I got to spend some extended time with only the boys last week, due to a death in their family. The boys taught me how to feed and water their pet snakes.  :)

On Friday, a friend and I combined our garden produce and made a batch of fresh salsa.  It was great to hang out together while our kids were in school. We used to get together with lots of children and spend all our time giving snacks and drinks, changing diapers or wiping noses. Our lives are very different now that the youngest of our 8 combined children is 12. Click HERE to read Tori's blog.

In these first two weeks of school, I have cleaned my house more than is typical for me, helped a friend pack for a move, enjoyed a couple of lunch dates with friends, gone shopping for clothes for myself, besides my normal "mom activities" of orthodontist appointments, football games, grocery shopping, cooking, etc.

I think I will get used to this new routine, which I'm finding is not actually a routine at all.
 Each day looks different, but I am enjoying the variety so far.  I'm not sure what Mandie thinks of it...She is my shadow all day, since there is no one else to provide entertainment or affection.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

Missouri Adventure

My brother took us on an adventure last weekend.
We got the chance to see a pair of eagles and their nest.  I love having the opportunity to see these majestic birds and their giant nests...  something I never experienced until I was an adult.

It took a while to get to the nest, but we had a dirty, fun time in the process. I hadn't driven around this area where I grew up for years. It was fun to see how things have changed.
One thing that hasn't changed: dusty country roads.

dusty, country road
we saw the eagles before we got to their nest

redneck girl's bouquet
youngest and two redneck kids

It was a fun adventure!

Friday, August 17, 2012

End-of-Summer Fun

We've done our best to squeeze in lots of fun in the last days before the start of school.

We made a trip to the farmers market in Des Moines.
(We're planning on a couple more trips during the fall.)

Each of the girls had a slip 'n' slide party, using a big roll of plastic and dish soap. We heard lots of squeals, screams, shrieks, giggles, and laughs. Ellyn's had her party after dark, so the whole neighborhood probably heard them!
These are pictures from Meg's party:

We made another trip to Missouri and had a fun time getting dirty with the relatives.
I will post more about this soon. (It was an adventure to see an eagle nest.)

We went to the Iowa State Fair for some fun and food. It was a beautiful evening with no lines.

Ellyn always gets a turkey leg:

This gathering of people, black suburbans, and fancy tour busses is due to a "surprise" visit from President Obama to the Iowa State Fair. Apparently he shook some hands, ate a pork chop on a stick and drank a beer. Ellyn (who was on Byron's back) and Byron saw him wave and get on the bus to depart.
Ellyn and friends saw "The Band Perry" at the grandstand:

And then school started! They have two days under their belts and its going well.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

First Day of School 2012

First day of school for these guys...
Meg - 7th grade                Ellyn - 12th grade                Ryan - 8th grade
(Brandon starts his sophomore year at Iowa State University on Monday and just moved into an apartment with friends.)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Five

1. Summer is winding down...we bought school supplies, Brandon's last day of work is today, and Ellyn started football (she's a manager). School starts Thursday, and two of the four kids are glad. It feels so weird (old) to have kids in jr. high, high school, and college.

2. My younger two kids had their sports physicals. Ryan has grown 4.5 inches and gained 25 lbs. since September. No wonder he went through so many sizes of clothes this year. He currently has no jeans that fit (again). He is running cross country and Meg is trying volleyball for the first time.

3. Brandon is moving into an apartment with friends. I regret not hitting summer garage sales for all the stuff they need to furnish it. Live and learn.

4. I got a massage last week. (It was my birthday gift from October.) I've decided I should get a massage more often. It was amazing---> T-O-T-A-L-R-E-L-A-X-A-T-I-O-N 

5. Ellyn had her senior pictures taken last week. We are very excited to see them! Next week we have the appointment to view them AND place the order. Yes--all in one appointment. If you know me very well, you know that I might have a problem with the "make-a-decision-quickly" portion.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Blender genius

Thank you Pinterest!

My family loves smoothies, and we often have a dirty blender from someone making a cool, fruity drink. Then when the next person is ready to make a smoothie, the blender is dirty.
I learned from Pinterest that the blade mechanism from my blender can screw onto a pint jar. The jar makes the perfect size for a single serving of smoothie and can be used as the serving container as well. I keep multiple jars in the cabinet and smoothies can be made throughout the day--jars fit well in the dishwasher too.

(Just clean the blade when you're done, kids!!!)

You can read my favorite smoothie recipe HERE