Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Phones.....PTL!

If you don't know, "PTL" stands for Praise the Lord. That's right, I am PTL'in all over the place because I finally have a phone that works. For the loooooooooongest time, my phone has barely been working. If I wanted to make a phone call I would have to be plugged into the wall, and even then my phone would frequently freeze or just dump the call. Very frustrating. With three little kids it's hard enough to just make phone calls, let alone deal with a dying phone that was very unreliable. Not to mention we were very frustrated with our phone service. For months and months we would get about $12 to $20 a month in "mystery" charges. Sprint always removed them without a fight, but if I didn't catch it on our bill that month, they would just get the extra money for no reason. They also extended my husband's contract without him knowing it, which is why I had to put up with a junky phone for so long. And another of our frustrations was that our package included pictures, but for the past 9 months we have not been able to send or receive pictures even though we were paying for that service. But that is all behind us because now I have a phone that works! The line sounds crystal clear and I haven't dropped a call, yet! PTL!

I am not a picky girl. I just want a phone that works. I want service that is honest. And I want to get what I paid for. You agree? So I hope that Verizon will just provide those basic things. I will let you know if they deliver on the goods!

(By the way, if you have Sprint and they have worked out good for you, I am so happy for you. I am sure if we lived in a different area and had dealt with more honest sales/service reps our story could be more like yours. I am also sure there are plenty of people who have had their share of problems with Verizon. I am just hoping that things turn out better with them then they did with Sprint. I am not trying to offend anyone or bash anyone's phone provider. I am just telling our story.)

Busy Weekend

We are back from a long and busy extended weekend. We celebrated my mom's birthday on Saturday with a surprise party that really was no longer a surprise due to my dad spilling the beans. And he was the one that was planning the party! So, we had to do our best to keep her out of the party preparation since she is usually the one who throws parties in our family. We had a great time and I think my mom did, too! My aunt and uncle and their two children were all in town from Las Vegas. They are teachers and they come home every summer for a few months. The kids loved playing with their cousins.

We then stuck around my parent's house until Tuesday afternoon. We went to church with my parents and then visited our friends, Andy and Kami and their beautiful baby boy, Hayden. What a doll. Strawberry blond hair, blue eyes and the chubbiest cheeks! The kind of baby that is so cute you could just eat him up!

On Monday, we went to Island State Park with my grandparents and took the kids swimming. The kids loved the lake and the swings. It was a bit cold for my tastes, so I just hung out on the beach keeping an eye on Gunnar as he played at the water's edge.

I love summer because with Nate not working our schedule can be quite flexible. I also love that my kids get to spend so much time with grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins on both sides of the family. We are truly blessed.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Did Someone Say Beach?

Well, our state park pass is purchased and we've made two visits this week to our favorite swimming hole. The kids have a blast at the lake, or the "lick" according to Julius. We only stay a few hours and head home to make sure we don't get too much sun. Can't wait to head back for some more beach fun. I love the lake! Julius loves the "lick."

Dancing Queen

We went to a wedding last week and Layla was in heaven. Between getting dressed up, listening to the musicians during the cocktail hour and then dancing her brains out, Layla had the time of her life! Don't worry, Julius, Gunnar, Nathan and I enjoyed ourselves, too.

He's Walking!

Last Thursday, Gunnar decided to join the rest of us who enjoy moving around this earth in an upright position. Oh, he will still occasionally crawl, but he definitely seems to prefer walking now. Nate shot some video of him walking, but I can't seem to get it uploaded. So these pics will have to do for now. Maybe Nate can help me figure it out later and I can get the video posted. It so fun to see him toddle around!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Behind on Blooms

Home Sweet Home

So Nathan finished up his school year last Thursday.
The kids and I were quite excited!

We welcomed him home with a sign
and lots of jumping up and down
and yelling "Welcome home for the Summer, Daddy!"

Nate decided a good way to kick off the summer
would be to have a "camp out" in the living room.
The kids thought this was amazing.
Mommy and Daddy were happy to be back in our own bed the following night.

So our days have been looking like this......

.....and this.

I love summer!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Excuse My Absence

Sorry I haven't been around lately. We headed out of town to my parents for the weekend and then I caught a stomach bug that kept us at my parents until yesterday. I am happy to be home, but let's just say I am not back to myself yet. Hopefully by tomorrow I can get back to some regular blogging. Hope you are enjoying summer! Be back soon!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Yogurt Crazy

I've been making our own yogurt and the kids are just bonkers over it. There are no pictures of Layla enjoying yogurt, because her sleepyhead was still in bed. I have to limit them, or they would eat it all gone in just a few days. Head on over to Small Notebook to learn how to make your own. So yummy and no yucky additives. We love our yogurt with honey, nuts, pumpkin seeds and dried fruit.

Bathroom Make-Over

Nate recently "updated" our upstairs bathroom a bit. Our house has been on the market since Thanksgiving and we started brainstorming a few things we could do for as little money as possible that would make the house look nicer. After a stroll through Menards, we snagged some clearance flooring for $60, a new light for $25 and a new toilet seat for $12. Nate then scored a new faucet for $21 on Ebay and we had plenty of glossy white paint left over from other projects. Our old bathroom looked like it came out of an 80's trailer, with it's wood cabinets, wood toilet seat, cheap flooring and awful wood and metal light. If your bathroom sounds like that, don't take offense. We happily lived with it for the past 5 years. But we are now happy to have a bit more updated bathroom, and we are hoping potential buyers will be too! Great job, Nate! Thank you for working so hard and making the bathroom look so good! And a special thanks to our good friend, Larry, for helping Nate with the floor and the putting up with the spraying of water all over the bathroom and himself. What a good friend!

Concert Pics

Monday, June 7, 2010

One Week Left

It is crazy to think that Nate is on his last week of school. The kids and I can barely stand it. We are ready to have Daddy home for the summer! This school year has flown by, but these last few weeks have gone very slow, due to our anticipation. I can't say that word (or type it) with out breaking out into Carly Simon's Anticipation. Love that song. Speaking of Carly Simon, that reminds me, I haven't posted our pics from the James Taylor/Carol King concert. That concert was so much fun! The music was awesome. I give it to James and Carol, for being so much older, they still sound so amazing. Sometimes you go to concerts of older performers, and, well, they just don't sound very good anymore. But not those two. Still had such a beautiful and true sound, just like their original recordings. Oh, and we were probably some of the youngest people there. Go figure. Never saw so much gray hair in my life, lol!

This weekend was fun and busy. We headed out to one of our favorite spots on Saturday, Puddingstone Farms. This couple has several green houses, plus they raise a ton of chickens of all varieties. They also breed giant rabbits, pigs, goats, sheep and they rescue lots of animals, too. We got to see new baby pigs and hold a baby goat. Their were also new ducklings that were so adorable. We just love it there. It always reminds us that we want to get into some farming, once we are able to live in the country. If you are in our area, head out on County Farm Road and drive way out into Parma. Turn right on Rogers Road and the farm will be on your right. I love to give her our business. We bought some purple sage and some creeping rosemary. We then hung out with our friends, Josh, Nicole and their daughter, Alexis, on Saturday evening. We ended up "riding out" all the bad weather that night, debating whether we should all head on down to the basement. Sunday was church and a fun church picnic. Busy weekend, but fun. I was happy to enjoy a boring Monday today and not have to go anywhere!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lone Survivor

So I was rather tired today. I must admit I stayed up until the wee hours finishing a good book. Our good friend, Bregger, recommended this book to us a few months ago. So when Nate's coworker had a copy and offered for us to borrow it, Nate, brought home Marcus Luttrell's Lone Survivor. Now this book will not fit everyone's taste, but for me, I very much appreciated not only the eye witness account of the worst SEALs disaster in history, but I also enjoyed getting an inside view on what one must go through to even become a SEAL.

I had been enjoying the first part of the book for the past week, reading here or there as I got time. But last night I hit the part of the book that outlines the disaster and Marcus' miraculous survival. So I couldn't stop reading. I pretty much knew the real story and I still couldn't stop reading. But, looking back, it seems fitting that I lost several precious hours of sleep on Memorial Day reading about some amazingly courageous men. If you like that kind of stuff, grab the book. I always appreciate real stories of war, because lets face it, I am too chicken to do the stuff that others willingly volunteer to do. Its just amazing to read what a human body and mind can take and still keep on task, following orders. Kind of puts things in my life in a different perspective, ya know?


So we finally got around to making our own ice cream last week. Nate's parents got us an ice cream maker for Christmas, but in the mess of the whole day, the directions were thrown away. After months of procrastination, I found direction online and we gave chocolate coconut milk ice cream a try. Wow! Very delicious. Nate and I both thought it reminded us of fudgesicles. Yummy! Then we had a pleasant surprise when we took down our wreath from the front of our house to add some patriotic garland to it. A tiny bird had made a pretty impressive nest. What was so cool about all of this was a few weeks ago I got Layla a book called Marvin's Best Christmas Present Ever. In the story, a bird makes a nest in the wreath he made. It was so fun to have it happen in real life. Well, I better be off. The natives are hungry!