Wednesday, December 31, 2008

NYE 2008

We decided to stay home for NYE. We've had a lot of house guests lately and have been traveling quite a bit for the holidays, it was just time to spend a low key night at home. Damon invited a friend over and Terry cooked crab legs for everyone.....and by crab leg, I mean CRAB LEG. These things were HUGE! The boys devoured them! Happy New Year!

On another note, I finally saw TWILIGHT! It was amazing and did not disappoint, I can't wait for the rest of the movies (and to finally read the 4th book)! Heather and I finally got our schedules to match and met at the was PACKED and we both had to park in the last row....this seemed a little weird because it was a Tuesday night and it was COLD. What the !?@#$ is going on!?! Certainly the rush of love-struck, vampire-wanna-be teens was well over??? I ask the lady in front of me and she responds, "It's BYOB night." My new favorite theatre...Bring Your Own BEER night?!? No such luck....Bring Your Own BUCKET night. Fifty cent popcorn in whatever size bucket you bring (for the record, so not worth the lines and the chaos). However, it was well worth the humor. Heather passed a lady, gasp (loudly) and said, "I'm pretty sure that's a feed bucket and Guthrey's dad uses them on the farm. Seriously, did you see that feed bucket?" Classic. 

I'm baaaaack!

Hmmm, where do I start?!?

Terry's mom : Surgery went great, the cancer has not spread to her lymph nodes and she'll find out early January if she has to have chemo. All great news considering the circumstances! Thanks for all your prayers!

One Christmas down, one to go. We opened our family presents the Eve of Christmas Eve. I got home from work one day with a few boxes marked on the outside with instructions (see photo). Terry did a great job taking hints this year and picking out favorite was probably a silver ring, I love it. As for Damon, you could see Damon calculate in his head all the presents that were on his list that he hadn't gotten yet. He wasn't complaining, but I could see it in his face...there were some others that he REALLY wanted. I reminded him later that he still had 3 more Christmases to go to! His favorite presents from us were his Iowa sweatshirt and a bluetooth headset for his PS3. We were with Terry's mom's side of the family Christmas Eve and had a blast at his cousin's house. Great food, cold beer, lots of fun. Terry got the "iMAgiNiff" game that night and everyone had a great time playing it. It's pretty hilarious. Terry's sister's son, Kaden, is obsessed with super heros. He got a Batman costume on Christmas Eve and didn't take it off...he still had it on the next day! How cute to be that excited about a Christmas present and not care what anyone thinks about how you look!

Christmas Day was at Terry's mom's...yep, she just got home and had a house full, but I don't think she would have it any other way.

We missed Christmas Saturday with Terry's dad....the weather was horrible Saturday morning and it probably worked out fine because I felt horrible too.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Anyone want to make me these? Just asking. Don't they look so yummy?!?

All about the pink.

Surgery is scheduled for December 2. Trish chose to go the double mastectomy route. Terry's brother Dave is driving her down Monday and staying for the entire week. When Trish is released she'll stay with us, not sure how long. Until Christmas maybe?!? All unknown. Trish is doing great, but it's a long time between now and December 2 so that thought is wearing on her already. I am just trying to plan out what meals I can make and freeze prior to the surgery so there is no question on dinner.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. Keep them coming until we know if the cancer has spread to her lymph nodes or not. 

Love you all!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pink Power.

Update : Trish had her appointment went as well as it possibly could. She has maybe late Stage I cancer. The Doc said it's non-aggressive (that's good) and he is very optimistic. They won't know if it has spread to her lymph nodes until they do surgery...which brings me to the toughest decision yet. Terry's mom needs to decide : lumpectomy or mastectomy. Neither an easy choice and one that she needs to make for herself. She spent basically from 10 a.m. until 4 pm. at the doctors with a short break for lunch. Terry was with her the whole time. She also met with a plastic surgeon today in case she does decide on they double mastectomy, this wasn't a planned visit, but rather she was here and might as well hear all her choices kind of a thing. So, she's home now and is suppose to decide in the next 10 days how she would like to proceed so they can schedule her appointment. Although the road ahead isn't the easiest, it does look very promising. We gave her a notebook, she's already used it for journaling and for note taking at her doctor's appointments. Keep those prayers coming!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Think Pink.

Terry's mom was diagnosed with breast cancer yesterday. I don't know what that means. All Terry could tell me was that his mom called and said the lump she found was cancerous. Seriously, this is all he could tell me. I rattled off at least 20 questions and he didn't know the answers, so I stopped asking as he was getting more and more annoyed with me. Trish goes in next week for more tests. I don't know what that means either. I do know that the power of prayer can do amazing things, so I ask that you keep her in your prayers. Hopefully next week I'll have more answers that will help make sense of all the web sites I have been searching tonight.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Nice Weekend and a Little Prayer

Friday night we played cards at the Fritz' with the same group as card club last year. As always we had a blast....laughed so hard at Darcy's comments from the Iowa State Fair when she thought the people from Terry's group were just some randoms that thought we were so fun they'd hang out with us. She made inappropriate comment after inappropriate comment to them....never realizing they were a part of our group. Absolutely hilarious. We didn't finish the game...which isn't uncommon, since Terry and I joined the group I think we've only actually finished once. We at a RIDICULOUS amount of food (see food photos here) and beers were good until someone (Heather) had the idea that we needed a shot of something that tasted like cherry acid....pretty sure Heather mixed it (let's not do that again). Can't wait until the next time!

Saturday we were having a lazy day on the couch thinking of cleaning when Terry's brother called. They were on their way couch shopping and asked if they could drop the kids off.....5 minutes later we had 3 kids for 3 hours. We kept Wrigley upstairs and Beau in the basement for the first two hours (Beau is pretty much allergic to everything : Dogs, peanuts, peas, eggs...the list goes on). Finally Annie and I talked Uncle T into walking down to the park (where of course there was a dog!). The kids had a blast and I took my camera, so that's always fun...especially with Annie as she LOVES to pose! Saturday night Damon and I went out to eat here with the Guge family. Terry wasn't feeling well, so he stayed home. First time we ate was good and there were a couple veggie sandwiches I would like to try.

Sunday Damon and I headed to church here. When we got home Grandma and Grandpa Stahl were here! We headed off to eat and then to the mall. Grandma spoiled Damon and bought him a Bears stocking cap and a winter coat (TGIG...Thank God for Grandparents)....he loves his coat and it wasn't cheap, so that was a NICE surprise! Terry bought him new shoes. We like to say he's well loved.....really well loved this weekend! I can't really say much and I headed to Younks after we dropped off the boys. She ordered a pair of shoes for herself and offered to buy me a pair (couldn't pass that up with her discounts AND a coupon!). They are kind of a pinkish reddish color so not sure if I'll keep them...we'll see. 

I also checked my work email.....the director of my department... her husband was diagnosed with cancer not too long ago. They found it pretty much everywhere, but were doing chemo and radiation to relief some pressure off his brain. They didn't know how long he would have, but the treatments seemed to be working. This morning he lost his battle with cancer. He was such a kind man, enjoyed life and loved his family and friends. They've both worked so hard in their careers and both were about to retire and enjoy life. My heart aches for them and my thoughts and prayers are with the family as we start this holiday season. Please say a little prayer for comfort for this deserving family. 

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Halloween Party Invitations

Here are a couple pictures of the invitations for Ethan and Damon's Halloween Party. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. The design is simple, but creepy and Terry said the fingers were gross (mission accomplished!). I painted the fingers gray and then added the red paint for the blood effect....Damon just rolls his eyes at me, but lets me do my "creative thing", so I'm thankful for that. We're going to drop them off since there aren't that many, so I only put their names and "blood donors needed." on the outside of the box. The inside has the finger and a 4 page booklet invitation.

If anyone has any suggestions on their favorite scary haunted house let me know.....we've heard the old grocery store, The Haunted Forest in Ames, any others you would recommend?

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Fresh apples from the orchard = apple crisp!
Brown spotty bananas = banana bread!


What do you do with these?

Guge's brought us apples yesterday from an orchard they visited....don't they look delicious? And I bought these bananas earlier this week...hmmm, now brown and spotty. What do you do with these? Stay tuned....coming soon.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Grandma Trish came Saturday and today we went to an apple orchard. It was a quick trip, no pumpkins or tractor rides, just in and out for apples. We picked up an apple pie, so I'm off to the store soon to grab cinnamon ice cream. Mmmmm, sounds delicious! I love Fall!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Halloween Front Door and Fall Treat!

Yeah, I just added 'cool front porch' to my list of "wants" in a new house. And it makes me want to change my door color (on my new neutral imaginary house) with the seasons! I love the giant branch in the skull pot, the cute bench with the fun pillows! And who would have thought ORANGE for a door?!? Items can be found here.

And I am totally craving these during a cool fall night....All-Grown-Up S'mores! Yum yum! You can drool over this fabulous find on my new most favorite web site here. All sorts of amazing things!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hostess with the mostess

As you are all well aware, I am in this party funk that I cannot shake. I've stumbled upon this and I'm loving it. I'm loving the bright colors, the ideas, the photos! It's so cute!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

If I Won the Lottery, I Would.....

1. Money manager, someone to keep me from being featured on E! True Hollywood Stories and being one of those millionaire lottery winners that spends all their money on stupid stuff and then is broke and homeless. 
2. Get a maid
3. Hire a trainer (actually at Heather's suggestion, I'll revise this to hire a trainer to pick me up so I don't skip working out!)
4. Hire someone to teach me what/how to cook yummy, healthy food
5. Buy a good party house (see previous posts on my obsession with having a party)
6. Open a cute little shop and showcase my talented friends' creations!
7. Hire a tutor (I've forgot everything I learned in Algebra apparently)
8. Buy 2 new cars, probably hybrid (nothing ridiculous, but definitely newer and under warranty)
9. Take my parents on vacation
10. Take Damon on vacation
11. Set up a college fund and beyond for Damon
12. Celebrate hardcore with my friends
13. Donate to causes close to me and my family (Huntington's Disease, Heart Association, Hospice, cancer name a few)
14. Possibly a little lift and tuck here or there....I would have to do a ton of research, but I'll never say never to this!
15. Speak to teenagers and college students a like about unplanned pregnancies
16. A Bears game, a Cubs game, possibly season tickets
17. How much does it cost to buy out a resort?? That sounds fun for a big group of family and friends. 

I'm sure there is more, but it's time to quiz Damon and send him off to bed. Post your own "Lottery Wish List" or put it in comments....more to come on my list!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Halloween Party, Part 2

I am.........ummm, strike that.........Ethan and Damon are going to have a Halloween Party! We decided not to rent a van when we have two perfectly good mini-vans that we can use (and it's $150 to rent one!), we'll have the kids dropped off at a pizza place instead of picking them all up (seemed sooo much easier!), we'll all eat, and load up and off to a couple haunted houses. We are planning on doing t-shirts (they are 5 for $10 right now at Michael's plus the transfer sheets, I'm still pricing out having them digitally printed, but this may be cheaper), but if I can do all of that on a budget we might pay for one or two haunted house and then if we go to more others will have to pay their way in. I know, I know, a little cheesy, but at $10 per haunted house it gets really expensive, really fast with ten kids (this will be on my "Lottery List" in a later post!). My splurge today....the Martha Stewart severed finger invitation (a lot like the picture below)! I could not pass up the 30% discount at Michael's and the oh so clever invites! It's a little ridiculous I know when compared to the 50 cent invites on paper I could print, but when I brought them home (not showing Terry of course and swearing Damon to secrecy) Damon thought I was a dork, but he said I could send them out anyway, THANK GOODNESS he's like his father in that way and usually just rolls with my shenanigans! To "teenage" them up a level of coolness, I also bought red paint that I am going to drip down the ends like blood. It's not the full blown, decorate the house, make clever party themed food, favors, and decor, but it's a start......................did I mention I want to have a party?!?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Football - First Game

Damon had his first football game tonight, the Stilwell Tigers vs. Indian Hills (the other WDM middle school). My son weighed in at the beginning of the year at 99.9 lbs. Obviously he is on the lightweight team....what position do you think he plays? If you guessed CENTER you're right. Hilarious. Terry kept saying (most of the game) that he was shocked at how well Damon was doing. He was blocking out his guy (which probably out weighed him by a solid 25 lbs.) and on defense he was doing pretty well also....I think Terry called him a linebacker....are you serious?!? My child, a linebacker, he's the smallest linebacker I've ever seen. Anyway, Damon was pretty bummed they got beat, but it was nice to hear Terry be so positive as it's usually Damon do this, work on that. All in all, Terry was happy with how Damon played. I'm just happy there weren't any tears. (Photo: that's him in the middle ready to hike the ball.)

I called my dad to thank them for our anniversary card (12 years, believe that?!?) and to laugh with him about it. My mom picked out the said "for our Son and Daughter-In-Law"....hmmm, oops! My mom was frustrated once she realized it and my dad, with his keen sense of humor, just started crossing son and putting daughter, etc., etc. It was hilarious...I'll hang on to this one for a long time! Of course the conversation turned to Damon...Dad asked what position Damon played (Damon wasn't home yet) and I told him center. "Center?!? Isn't that a 300 lb'er position??" was my dad's response. He got a good chuckle out of that. It's fun to talk to them about Damon, the love him dearly. My dad doesn't give much parental advice, I would assume he thinks mom probably gives enough for both of them. Or maybe he thinks I won't screw it up too much. Either way, I love him for it, but appreciate his thoughts when I need them. I'm a lucky girl, my parents are pretty great! 

YESTERDAY :Well, the school streak had a slight hiccup today. Damon left his planner in English and apparently because he didn't have his planner, he couldn't get a pass. Ummm, if he wasn't 13 I would have called BS on that excuse. Let me explain, their "hall pass" is actually a page in the back of their planner, however, he was trying to tell me that there wasn't a teacher (not in study hall, science, social studies or algebra) that would allow him to go get his planner because he didn't have a pass. YEAH RIGHT. Anyway, I assume he has all his homework done because he says he does and he's suppose to get his planner 1st period in PE (one of his buddies picked it up)....Hopefully he's smart enough to actually review it during study hall and make sure he has everything done. Let's hope this was a hiccup and we'll be back on track tomorrow!

TODAY update : Yes, we got the planner back, but he didn't do so well on his algebra test. He and Terry went through frustrating because, now that he reviewed it with Terry it all makes sense. Ugh, maybe we should do that before the next test?!? Duh.

Off to parent/student confirmation class......

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Little Book of Friendship

Heather gave me this little book with reasons she is thankful for our friendship...I can't tell you how much I appreciate it (darn, wish I would have made one first!). Not only because it's nice when people tell you they care, but also because I know she doesn't get to spend a ton of time scrapbooking...not nearly as much time as she would probably like, so to have her spend some of that time on something for me is so nice (love ya Heather!). Seriously, almost made me cry, but I knew Terry and Guthrey would both tell me how stupid that was and then I would have to explain to the girls why I was crying so I sucked it up, no tears. I bet I've looked at this little book a dozen times, I absolutely love it! It's a great reminder to everyone who reads this blog not to wait until it's too late to tell the people you care about, just how much you care. Even though I think I know how close I am to my friends and my family, it's moments like these that remind you just how important it is to show it. It doesn't have to be as cool as my little book (I seriously don't know that I could make one of these), but even a short note, a picture, a phone call...whatever it is that you do...just do it today. Love you all, g'night.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Stites Boys & Rube's

A little recap : Labor Day weekend was a busy one, I went to Iowa City on Saturday to help my uncle move in to his condo. He was glad to have a few of his things in his new place, but still really misses the townhome that was badly damaged in the IC floods. He thinks it will be a year or so before he's back to his place. The unfortunate thing is, people keep breaking in to them. How rude. People lose their home and some their belongings and there are still people out there trying to take advantage.

Then it was off to Alta....Terry was already there for his class reunion on Friday and I made it up there late Saturday night. We went out to dinner with his sister and her boys then back to his mom's to hang out. After a while we realized Cameron was being terribly normal for this child...Traci went to check on him and all we heard was "Ooooooh Cameron!" He had found Grandma's lotion in the bathroom and was happily slathering it all over his body! HILARIOUS! 

Tonight we went to Rube's and stuffed ourselves silly. We celebrated Grace and Guthrey's birthdays...well, Terry, Heather and I celebrated...Guthrey was on call so no beer for him! Pretty sure he was going through withdrawals. The girls were good as always  (yes, Heather they were good!) and I think they'll keep busy with their activity books. We did decide that next time we'll buy our own steaks, grill them at home, grab beer from a cooler and play cards! 

Friday, September 5, 2008

Creative Inspiration?

Need a little creative inspiration? Check this out : here! It's similar to uppercase living, but some a little more creative and they have canvas and 3D type options. I love the Lucite letters and the dots monogram too!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Halloween Party??

For about 4 years now I have pocketed this little treasure of a teen Halloween party idea (thanks to my cousin Sue!). When her son was about Damon's age she rented a 15-passenger van, stocked it with candy, waters (pop was too sticky!), tunes and had "concert-type" t-shirts made with a list of all the haunted houses they were going to visit that night on the back and a logo on the front. How seriously fun is that for a group of teenagers?!? She invited half girls and half boys....I'm not sure Damon would admit to which girls he would invite, so it may be all boys. I really want to try and pull this off this's my issue : Have you checked out the cost of some of the haunted houses in the area?!? Approximately $10 per person (at a minimum). That's $130 for one haunted house! One stop isn't much of a "concert t=shirt!" That's not including pizza, t-shirts, van rental. Yes, I could scale back and just use our van and invite 5 kids, but that just doesn't seem as cool. Any thoughts?

This also inspires me to want to have a party, really not just a Halloween party, but any party! If we EVER move (oh the saga, I wish I was wired differently), I am totally finding a house that is set-up to have some serious parties. This is one of the main characteristics I look for, of course there are others, but this one is big. 

School update : Still going amazingly well. ~~knock on wood~~ No fights to do homework, read, practice vocab/Spanish. It's a GIANT change from last year, but I am loving it and already talking monetary reward to Damon since this is his "job" right now. To those of you that think paying your kids for good grades is ridiculous....seriously, it's worth it to save all the fights, arguing and sleepless nights by his completely worried, stressed, worn out mother. He is going to football, starting his homework, eating supper, finishing his homework all without a fight.He whines a little if we don't pick him up from football practice because apparently the 3 block walk is just too far after a tough practice. But otherwise.....It's peacefully wonderful. 

Monday, August 25, 2008

One of those days

Have you ever had one of those days when things just didn't start off well and have progressively gotten worse...and your attitude has gone right down the tubes with it? Well, I am having one of those days. Job, family, money (not enough), weight (I have way too much) you name it I'm either pissed or feeling sorry for myself. Either way I need to get out of this funk, because my attitude isn't going to help me any.

Damon & School
Week 2 : So far so good. He's writing in his planner and actually not complaining too much about doing homework. How long do you think this will last? It's probably a good thing he didn't fight me tonight on anything...I'm definitely not in the mood to be rationale. 

On a brighter note, I've started reading "The Last Lecture" and am enjoying it so would think that would be helping me prioritize my thoughts today, not so much. It is an easy read though and it's keeping my attention (I'm not a reader, so this is pretty amazing!). There is one section about why we have our children participate in activities such as sports...I think I'll have Damon read it, maybe he'll understand why we ask him to at least try everything at this point.

I'm off to do laundry, empty/fill the dishwasher, help Damon with homework, correct homework, burn a CD of photos for Heather, email Fair photos to Shauna, get Damon's meds (he's got a rash/acne combo on his chin, poor thing), put away clothes and hopefully go for a walk. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First Day of School

Let's hope this attitude continues. I called home about 5 times before Damon finally answered. Here's what the big D had to say about his first day :

1. He answered the phone like this : "Hello over-protective mama." I fully admit that I am this mom, the one that wants to know who his friends are and who their parents are. I don't like him roaming the streets or the malls, I want him chaperoned, he's suppose to watch the game not hang out behind the bleachers, I want to meet all his friends. He understands why I am the way I am...and at this point still just makes fun of me....I hope he'll always know that I do it because I don't trust the crazy people out there, I don't trust the parents that don't act like parents should, I don't trust that a teenager won't push his limits to the breaking point -- they're kids. I hope he always knows that I am the "over-protective mama (OPM)" because I love him and he's my I can't imagine without him. Damon answering the phone like this was SO WEIRD friend Heather's oldest started kindergarten this week and like all good parents she was worried about her. Well, to Heather and all the other OPMs out there, you are the parents I trust, the parents I want my kids to hang out with, and I say better to be an OPM than one that doesn't know where their kids are and who they are with. It seems like there are so many more bad things that happen today than when I was younger it scares the hell out of me.

2. I actually LIKE my science teacher this year.

3. No one is in my lunch, thanks mom (with sarcastic attitude attached). This is because he had first lunch with a ton of his buds, but that meant he only had one class before study hall. I called school and changed his schedule so he had two classes before lunch...duh, so he actually would have something to STUDY during STUDY hall.

4. Damon : Lucas is in my study hall.
Mom : Who's Lucas? Is he nice or naughty? (yes even as a teenager I ask these questions)
Damon : (again with the attitude) Ummm, you know Lucas, Greg's son, Powerlife....Duh.
Mom : Oh, from church....(yeah, he's a nice boy! not that church makes you nice, but that's how I happen to know this child)

5. Mom, I HAVE to do well in Spanish, then I don't have to take it in 9th grade. (That's not necessarily true, he'll have to take at least one more year to graduate from Valley I think, but I didn't want to bum him out....and no one reading this better tell him either or you will be adopting a snotty teenager)

6. My team ROCKS (he's on the G team and the word on the street is that the G team is the best).

7. Football was actually fun, but we worked harder than the heavy weights. (he wasn't looking forward as much this year as Ethan decided he didn't want to play - if you haven't noticed they hang out like brothers, it's great)

I have mixed emotions about this year : it's his last year in middle school, he starts school sponsored sports and Valley is big and competitive, he'll be at Southwoods next year as a freshman (YIKES), my one and only baby is growing up too fast and I could cry. For now......It was a great first's hoping it continues to be a great year.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Iowa State Fair 2008, Part 2 Continued

It took about 15 years, countless penny draws/nickel pitchers, singing at the Boathouse (well, really Ivy singing us just off key in the audience!), the loss of a dear friend (we think of Angie often), supportive friends, a memorable bag of cheetos, lots of trips to Al's, a few weddings, boys that came and went, worrying about our own kids, countless laughs and even a few tears and so many card games we've lost count (wait or was that jobs?!)....we'll make new friends, we'll take days to recover, we'll have more tears and more laughs, definitely more card games......we've been through it all, we'll continue to go through it together. We've made friendships that last through the ups and downs, the miles and the months between us, the laughs and the tears....I can't ask for better friends, how did I get so lucky?

Some other favorite moments from the now ANNUAL Iowa State Fair Scavenger Hunt :

1. Scott walking on the Bill Riley Stage and no one caring that there was already another group performing on stage.
2. Roni licking Heather's leg...umm, she spilled her beer and we weren't about to let a $7 beer go to waste.
3. Introductions...a little awkward at first, but when the scavenger hunt started it was game on!
4. Terry wanting to swim in the pool after the concert and Roni encouraging it by saying "he can out run that rent a cop." Rent a cop standing about 5 feet from us, I'm sure he didn't hear her drunken whisper (yeah right!).
5. Roni calling her mom for a ride. (Umm, I'm pretty sure it's not the first time we've called Roni's mom).
6. Linda saying Grimes is on her way and she would have totally taken DD Darcy and crew home (for those of you that don't know, neither Grimes nor West DeMo are on the way to Altoona).
7. Countless WOO-HOOS!
8. How did we spill so much beer?
9. Going through the McDonald's drive-thru the next morning....Roni decided after we ordered that she wanted hash browns and Steph willing to do anything to get them for her. Seriously, it was a big deal.
10. Seeing the house that Roni and Scott bought on line for the first time (it's so cute!)
11. Everyone saying they had the best time ever the next day and the next day
12. Laughing hysterically at pictures

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Iowa State Fair 2008, Part 2

We held the first annual Iowa State Fair Scavenger Hunt on Saturday. Here's who made it this year, some old friends and some new ones : Roni, Scott, Heather, Guthrey, Dave, Stephanie, Darcy, Brent and of course, Terry and I. It started off with a little drinking and a fantastic list (thanks to all who contributed). More to come.....

Next year will be even bigger and better, more pre-scavenger hunt festivities and more friends! Seriously, everyone should do this!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Iowa State Fair 2008

Some of our favorites at the Iowa State Fair....the things we must eat or see :
1. Milk and Cookies
2. Cheese Curds
3. Gyro
4. Sky Ride
5. Silly Pictures
6. People watching
7. The hot new products building....What will Trish come home with this year?!?
8. Strawberry Banana Smoothie
9. Big Boar's & Bull's balls (updated per Holly's comment 8/11)
10. Cold Beer (not one of Damon's of course)

We also saw the baby animals building and saw a chick hatch; Terry drooled over a scooter...yes, a scooter...he's amazed it can go 75 miles before needing charged again; we saw a Clydesdale fall and have trouble getting up - the whole crowd gasp, but eventually he stood and was fine; Damon got a Kirkwood tattoo and water bottle, the guy working said Uncle Dale was his boss; Terry and I got a few more ideas for our scavenger hunt next weekend before the Def Leppard concert!

Friday, August 8, 2008

happy birthday to me

Well, my husband did buy me a birthday present...How do I know you ask? He hid it in a closet I use everyday, good thing he's cute. Anyway, it's what I asked for, not romantic, but I would never buy it for myself, so it's perfect. It's a tripod. Hopefully he picked up another UV lens too (my other request), but if not we'll be getting that tonight as well. Hope everyone has a great weekend, it's suppose to be nice!

Terry and I ate at Dos Rios, downtown Des Moines. It's expensive Mexican food, but the atmosphere was neat and eating on their patio was nice (well, until the homeless guy asked us for money and then I just felt bad). Anyway, they have a great guacamole dip! I ordered the quesadillas and veggies and Terry had 1 steak and 1 shrimp taco. We'd go again for drinks, guac and a taco, so call us if you ever want to go.

Monday, August 4, 2008

My First Wedding Shoot

On Saturday I assisted MandyMiller Photography on my first ever official wedding shoot. I was excited, nervous, anxious, worried and amazed all at the same time. Mandy is a great photographer, check out her photos here or here. She tried to calm my nerves by telling me any photographs I took would just be a bonus....nope, didn't help still nervous. Kid pictures you can retake, who cares if you don't get a scenic shot, but a pretty much have one chance to nail it! Needless to say, I'll leave wedding photography up to the experts, but I had a GREAT time and would LOVE to assist Mandy anytime (Mandy, if you're reading this : hint hint). The bride, groom and entire wedding party was great, I couldn't have asked for a better first experience....well, I should have worn different shoes, but other than that it was AMAZING!

During the ceremony I was in the balcony.

I loved that he was holding up her dress.

In front of the Capitol...we didn't climb the stairs too high....TOO HOT!

Wish she was a little more to the left and that the Capitol was more blurred, but still love how the blue pops. 

The bride and groom did a shot before the reception. He did Jager and she a lemon drop. 

On Sunday, I was hoping to get up for the 9:00 a.m. service, but I was Damon, Terry and I went to the 11:00 a.m. service here. WOW, it's a lot less crowded! It was a wonderful service on prayer and we sang some of my favorites and Damon kept whispering that "this one and that one" were songs from VBS. He doesn't seem to mind volunteering for VBS at all, partly because he gets to be with Ethan and in Monica's class and partly because he does really enjoy the little kids. Oh, and I'm sure my funding of Decaf Carmel Machiatos from Cafe Hope doesn't hurt any. He and Terry both got one on Sunday, Terry is still amazed you can 1. get that stuff at church and 2. drink it during the service and no one thinks twice. It's a little different than his Catholic roots and his hometown church is still very traditional (or at least it is when we attend weddings and funerals). It's nice to visit the traditional services, but..... I like everything about Hope, I always get something out of each service and I feel welcome. Surprisingly enough, if you get involved enough it doesn't seem as HUGE and overwhelming as it did at first. It also has a great youth program, although I think sometimes it can get a little out of control due to the shear volume of reminds me a lot of my church growing up.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Aunt Dorothy, Alex and Amber come to viit

Friday we went to the big MC because my Aunt Dorothy drove down from ND and brought her grandkids, Alex (14) and Amber (11). Damon and Alex have a great time together! Friday the girls got a pedicure, did a little shopping and the boys did a little fishing. On Saturday we went shopping, mini-golfing, shopping. Then we decided to go to a movie....the girls (except me) went to Mama Mia and the boys and I went to Step Brothers. For the record, we asked about 5 people that had seen the movie if it was appropriate for a 14 year old boy and they said "yeah, maybe a couple parts, but it's not too bad"....during the movie it became crystal CLEAR that this movie is NOT 14 year old boy appropriate. I suppose that's why they have a rating system, but when you ask around you would think some one would have said NO. Oh well, too late. They boys thought it was hilarious and Terry and I swore them to secrecy. I'm just glad we didn't take the 11 year old girl, we would have had to walk out most definitely! Sunday my dad had to work and Amber went with family friends to Wall-E. The rest of us went golfing...girls vs. boys. We had a great time until it started pouring, we got 11 holes in! I'm in the "needs improvement" category for golf....I only lost one ball OB, but found two, so I wasn't the only one to shank it to the right on that hole. :)  I wasn't too embarrassing (I don't think), so maybe Terry will take me golfing a few times before it gets too cold. 

Alex, Damon and Terry

Aunt Dorothy (she looks a lot like my mom)
My mom

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wisconsin Wedding

We went to Terry's cousin's wedding in was beautiful! It would have been better if we could have stayed longer, but other than that we had a great time! A few photos to share...

Mini-golf, boys vs. girls (girls totally kicked butt!)

The bride and groom, I love this shot

Damon and the bride, note there is a water park attached to the hotel, so in between dancing he and his cousin Jack hit the slides at the water park! Classic that he danced with Tia with his towel still wrapped around his waist!