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Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Long February Week

The (late?) winter UGH feeling has set in, and this last week seemed to be a really long week (even though we had Friday off of work!)  It hasn’t been a bad winter, by any means.  I’m EXTREMELY thankful for the light amount of snow we have had.  Sure made the season more bearable for me, at least!

But we did get hit with a little snow this last week.


It was snowy, and blowy.  It only amounted to a few inches, but it was definitely a blast of winter on Monday night!

052 Feb 21

One of my favorite shows on TV is NCIS.  And one of my favorite quotes from the show is one by Abby.  And we say it almost every time we eat pistachios.

Abby: ...It's twice as addictive as heroin, but not quite as addictive as pistachios
McGee: Pistachios?
Abby: Well have you ever had just one pistachio?

053 Feb 22

We had a potluck at church on Wednesday, and I tried to make brownie bites.  I could not get those things out of the pan!  Ethan worked and worked to get them out.  These are a few that looked presentable.  So…we just left them here at home and at them. They may not have looked pretty, but wow they sure did taste yummy.

And…speaking of yummy…

054 Feb 23

THIS stuff is DEFINITELY yummy.  It really hit the spot after an 11 1/2 hour work day on Thursday!  It was Student Led Conference night, so I worked til 7:30.  This tasted GREAT when I got home!  I enjoyed a glass while I talked to Cameron and wished him a very happy 19th birthday!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Interrupting my Photo of the Day

posts to wish my son CAMERON a very happy 19th BIRTHDAY! 

Cameron has a tremendous sense of humor, and is just really fun to be around.  He has grown up SO much in the past few years.  I just was in the room when Rachel called to wish him a happy birthday, and it was SO fun for me to hear those two on the phone having a conversation about graphic design and ideas for future photoshop projects.  Cameron is a great trumpeter and had a super first year as a member of the Hawkeye Marching Band.  He’s had success in his first year of classes, as well.  He’s made wise choices in life, and I’m so proud of him.  I really can’t wait to see what God has in store for Cameron in the future! 

Cameron 01

Cameron 06 Baptism 1

Cameron 30 Smilin

Caleb 56 Brothers laughing

(I just HAD to include this one…I think this is one of my alltime favorite pictures!!)

Cameron 55a

Cameron 66 with Rachel

Cameron 61 Superhero

Cameron Jump 7 2005

Cameron Snow Day

Cameron track 08

Cameron 500 Sr Prom 1


Cameron in the band 2a

Happy Birthday, Cameron!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

College Visit Weekend (part 2)

Even after getting home late on Friday night, a laid back and relaxing Saturday was not in the cards.  Rachel and I, along with another member from our church, Lucas, were on the road by 10:30 to Iowa City to attend the college weekend hosted by St. Paul’s Chapel.  It was a super time, filled with devotions, an overview of what campus ministry is, a college student panel on college life, a tour of the University of Iowa, and all kinds of fun and games (otherwise known as chapel mayhem) 

Caleb and Cameron attend St. Paul’s, so this was a great time to have a chance to visit with them while Rachel and Lucas were getting to know other high school students, college students, and learning what the University of Iowa, and St. Paul’s Chapel has to offer them.

One of the activities over the course of the 24 hour visit included a “Nerf Dual”.  It was the chapel’s version of a western, gun draw dual.  A double elimination bracket was drawn up.  The participants put on goggles, stood in their assigned spots and waited for the bell.  Then, they fired their nerf gun at the competition…with the first one being hit by a bullet being out.


Rachel made it through the first round…and the second…and had to face Lucas in the final round on Sunday afternoon.

Saturday evening included all kinds of fun, like the ever popular game “Sardines” ("but “it’s best not to scare a high school girl so badly that they CRY”, says Rachel to Nate!) and the new game “Telephone pictionary”.  That was a HOOT!  Everyone in the group writes a phrase on a piece of paper.  The next person has to draw out that phrase, as in pictionary.  That is passed to the next person, who looks only at the picture (not the words written first), and writes what they think the picture is.  That is passed to the next person, who draws a picture….and so on, until it gets back to the original person.  It was hysterical to see the way it all changed from person to person.  Lots of laughter!

Sunday morning included a Bible Study, Divine Worship including the Lord’s Supper, and a yummy fried chicken lunch, followed by the final dual.


which Rachel WON!  Woo HOO Rachel!  She came home with a Chapel t-shirt! 

It was a great weekend for Rachel and the other high school students to get an overview of college life and how being involved in the church while at college can be a really fun thing.  Ron and I, as parents of 2 students at the University of Iowa, are tremendously thankful to the work of Pastor Mons and those at St. Paul’s Chapel, to provide a church home away from home for our kids!

And speaking of our kids, I had plenty of time to chat and catch up with Caleb and Cameron, too.  It was fun to visit with them, and also watch them have fun and worship with their friends!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A College Visit weekend (part 1)

Wow….it’s Tuesday, and I’m just now beginning to feel semi-recovered from my weekend!  We had Friday off from school, so it was a 3 day weekend.  But we covered LOTS of ground in those 3 days!

Rachel has been wanting to do a college visit to Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota, so she could do some comparing and contrasting to our campus visit at Concordia Univesity, Wisconsin this summer.  It all worked out (sort of at the last minute) for Rachel to get an appointment with the admissions folks for Friday afternoon.  We were kind of interested in attending a chapel service on Friday morning, but since it was a day off school, NO ONE wanted to get up super early to hit the road.  With that in mind, Ron hit and scored us a very reasonably priced hotel in the St. Paul area for Thursday night.

We didn’t really make these plans very far in advance, (hey…we are spur of the moment kind of people), so we ended up getting home from school on Thursday at 3:30, and all packed our bags and were on the road by 4:10!  How’s that for speedy packing?

As soon as we realized we’d be eating on the road, Rachel and I immediately knew where we wanted to eat.  Rochester has a NOODLES and Company!!!  One of our FAVORITES!  We were SO excited, and HUNGRY by the time we got there.  Everyone was VERY, very happy with their meal!

Next stop, (much to the dismay of our anxious to swim in a hotel swimming pool children) was Trader Joe’s.  Ron had never been to Trader Joe’s and was more than anxious to hit their “beer room”.  He thoughtfully perused the selection…and then thought some more….and then studied the labels, and then perused some more…and…well…you get the picture.


When he was finished, we made a fairly quick trip through the rest of the store, and headed on our way to St. Paul.  The kids did get a swim in before we hit the sack.

Friday we attended chapel services at Concordia St. Paul, and then took a very quick tour of St. Paul’s Cathedral, before heading back to the university for a 1 pm tour.




( I took lots of pictures this day…it was hard to pick just ONE to be the photo of the day!)


We had a nice tour, and received lots of information about Concordia, St. Paul.  It definitely gave Rachel more to think about!

Following the campus visit, which included sunny and beautiful weather, I thought it would be a perfect day for a quick visit to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.  But WOW it got cold.  We didn’t stay there very long!




yeah…we don’t get it either…


We were FREEZING, so we quickly got back in the car and went to one of Rachel and my favorite places ever!  The Mall of America.  We knew ahead of time that it would be a quick trip, so we had to strategize which stores we were going to hit.  We each ate our favorite foods at the food court (Ron had sushi, I had OPA! gyros and fries, and Rachel and Ethan ate at Panda Express) then Ron and Ethan went their way, and Rachel and I power shopped.  We left around 6:30 and made it home by 10 or so. 

That sums up the FIRST HALF of my 3 day weekend! 

….to be continued.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Girl Scout Season!

It’s that time of year…time for Girl Scout Cookies!  YUM!

What is your favorite kind?

046Feb 15

(Almost) Every Girl’s Dream Valentine’s Day

includes sitting in her room with a box of chocolates. 

045Feb 14

And (almost) every mother’s dream Valentine’s Day includes her kids doing the dishes for her!


Oh, happy day!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Perfect Winter Day meal

at our home is homemade (from scratch!) tomato soup with cheese and croutons, and grilled cheese sandwiches.  Mmmmm….a hit with everyone!

044 Feb 13

It’s quick.  It’s EASY.  And it’s DELICIOUS.  What more can you ask for?

Icky, Icky, EWWWW!

I don’t get it.  It’s weird.  It’s gross.  It just was NOT meant to be this way.  But…my kids think I am the best mom EVER, when I come home with these two items…
No, you don’t have to look twice.  You really ARE seeing one of MY children’s hands squeezing E-Z Cheese onto an Oreo cookie.
(EDITED TO SAY...this is REALLY the Feb. 12 photo of the day.  I don't know how to change the watermark)
and then they EAT it….

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Random pictures

I’m ready for it to be spring/summer, so I can start taking pictures of things OUTSIDE.  I’m running out of ideas of things here in the house!


It was fun to try to take a picture of this multi-colored lighted glass “knick knack”.  I like the blue color best, and I had to take a BUNCH of pictures to catch it at just the right moment.  I also was playing with the “fish-eye” scene on my camera.  Kind of a fun look!


Yes…another picture of my beautiful pianist.  This was taken as she was waiting for it to be time to leave for school.  I LOVE that she just sits down and plays!


February 10 was a cold and blustery night, but we made the trek to the high school for the Parade of Bands.  This was a picture of the combined 7th and 8th grade band, with Ethan in the center of the fish eye.  Kind of cool.  (And the MS Jazz band and 7th/8th grade bands were AWESOME!!!)

And in the interest of fairness, Rachel also played in the jazz band (with a tenor sax SOLO….She’s GREAT!) and HS concert band.  We were quite impressed with the performance.



Rachel and her Allen’s Angels Relay for Life team had a bake sale on Saturday.  Rachel baked these cute little cupcakes.  She put an oreo in the bottom of the cupcake liner, and then topped it with cake mix and baked it.  Then, when they were cool, we unwrapped them and put them in the clear cups, we topped them with icing and crushed oreos and then tied it up with a spoon.  YUMMY!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day

to the man of my dreams.  You are all the proof that I need that God loves me, and wants what is best for me.  I’m so thankful that He chose you for me.  I truly look forward to all the things He has planned for the rest of our lives!

(I haven’t scrapped much recently due to computer issues, but these are some favorites, that show what all I love about this man.  I can’t wait to make more memories to scrap!)

You are an amazing father…


Fathers Day 07

Chicago 2004

Ron and Ethan Fathers day 11

Lots of fun to experience new things with…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Playa Mia

Ron Beer

A great friend…

Adam and Ronnie April 08

Piano man 1

A world traveler

Ron Russia 08-1

Ron Burkina Faso

SR Massage


A wonderful pastor

Caleb 87 Move to IA

You are my dream come true.

Ron Fathers Day 11

Ron Feb 08

Ron Relaxes

You are my love…my life…

Sandy and Ron

Ron and Sandy April 08

Sandy and Ron May 2011

You are…my everything!

12 x 12 Digital scrapbook paper element

You are…simply…the one I love.

DIGI Survivor challenge 2

Happy Valentine’s Day, Ron!