Sunday, July 31, 2011

AP's 2nd B-day

A few weekend's ago, we headed to Pella to celebrate AP's 2nd birthday. He had a Curious George themed party out at Red Rock Lake.
Brent, Doreen and I enjoying the birthday celebration!
Nathan and Grandma Doreen playing Bags...

...with the birthday boy and Chad. Having so much fun we scream!

Heather tosses her bean bag.

AP got a little tired playing organized games and decided to start a stick collection!

After some games the birthday boy opened up his birthday presents...and we got a big thumbs up!

Me and the birthday boy!

We had a great time celebrating Aaron turning 2, it was lots of fun to hang out with the family for an afternoon. Happy Birthday Aaron!

Friday, July 15, 2011

July 4th Adventure (part 3 of 3)

No trip to the Twin Cities would be complete without a stop to IKEA. Sunday morning, we said our good byes and made our way to IKEA. A couple hours later, we left with a ton of great deals and stuff for the nursery!
After IKEA, we headed over to our friend Seth and Nicole's house in Eden Praire. We had a great time catching up and hanging out with Seth and Nicole. We saw some great fireworks Sunday night and then Monday we went and played a little mini-golf!

Seth and Nicole are also expecting and Nicole is due 3 days before Heather!

Some action shots from our golf outing!

It was a great day and we had a ton of fun!

...but all good things must come to an end. Monday afternoon, we said our good byes and headed back home (with a trunk full of IKEA buys). We had a great long weekend, 3 nights, 3 different beds, we had a lot of fun with family and friends, it was a great way to spend the 4th of July!

July 4th Adventure (part 2 of 3)

Saturday, we hung out in the OC until early afternoon. It was such a nice day, we headed to the backyard with the girls to swing!
...and swing we did!

We also had a picnic in the backyard!

Karys loved our picnic and I agree, it was really nice!

Heather and the kiddos!

Gracie tried her hand at the camera, not too bad!

We said our good byes and headed towards the Twin Cities. There isn't an interstate to get to the Twin Cities so we took highways cutting across Iowa and Minnesota. I loved it! I am not a big fan of 4 lane Interstates, sure they get you where you want to go quickly, but I love driving through the countryside and stopping in little town...such as this one that had a fun ice cream shop, The Porch on Main, in Sibley, IA.

We made it to the Twin Cities and stayed with Sarah at her folks place. Dueling baby bumps!

Big thanks to Dave and Toni for letting us stay and for those breakfast burritos (so good!)

July 4th Adventure (part 1 of 3)

Over the 4th of July weekend, Heather and I took a small tour of the Midwest. We started our trip off with a drive up to northwest Iowa to see the OC VL's and the latest addition to their family, Toby!
We brought the kiddos a 4th of July goodie basket that included some we thought we should test them out!

Gracie, Karys and Heather making bubbles in the front yard.

Rob and Toby checking out all the action.

Addy was super excited to show off her new bike!

...and she has been practicing her "silly face", its getting pretty good!

As the sun went down, the lightening bugs came out and the girls are really good at catching them.

We also brought some sparklers...nothing says Happy Birthday America like a good sparkler!

Or if you slow down the shutter speed, it looks like a fireball!

Heather and Karys trying some sparklers!

...having lots of fun! Unfortunately, one of the sparkler ends fell off and Karys stepped on it with her bare foot and burned it. That put an end to the sparklers, but Karys was a trooper and after running some cold water on her foot she let her mom apply some ointment and a bandage and she was as good as new!

While Rob and Erin were tending to Karys' foot, Auntie Heather got to hold Toby...and put him right to sleep! (Hopefully she has the magic touch to put infants to sleep!)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Book Review: In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

I just finished reading Mark Batterson's book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day and I thought it was a pretty good book.
Batterson takes a look at a passage buried in the Old Testament book of 2 Samuel 23: 20-21. He unpacks the story of Benaiah, a valiant warrior and one of King David's finest men. Specifically, Scripture tells us that Benaiah chased a lion down into a pit and despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught and killed the lion. Batterson then looks at that experience and how that became the frame work for Benaiah to climb the ladder of David's men to become head of David's bodyguards. Batterson unpacks how sometimes God gives us opportunities that don't always look like opportunities but sometimes look like 500 pound lions.
Batterson goes on through the book to look at how we can identify these God opportunities and make the most of them. He talks about unlearning your fears, reframing you perspective, uncertainty and risk and looking foolish.
All in all, I thought this was a good book, through personal stories of his own, Batterson explains how God gives us dreams and how he has chased those dreams.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


A couple weeks ago, I took off from work Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and Heather and I had a little "stay-cation". We did have a trip planned, but with the baby on the way and lots of house projects on my list, we stayed at home and got some things done!
1st project: living room. I pulled all the stuff off the walls, moved everything into the center of the room...
...I also patched the cracks in the plaster. When we did the window project, some cracks appeared after we had to cut out the old windows. Using some tape and mud...

...and some spray texture, the cracks disappeared!

On the west wall, we extended the green from the kitchen...

I wasn't too worried about edging the ceiling because we installed crown molding.

The rest of the walls got painted Mark Twain House Gold from Lowe's

We added the crown molding and crown corner blocks to give the room a nice finished look!

2nd Project: Shutters

Last fall, we had a painting party and got the outside of the house painted in one day with the help of a lot of friends! I have been wanting to make some shutters for the new windows and now I had some time! Here is a before picture...

...and another before picture.

The shutters are pretty simple, constructed out of 1x4's, two coats of paint and a coat of poly.

...and here they are, installed on the house.

I really like the looks of them and I think they make a big difference!

We got a lot of work done in a few days off and had a lot of fun too! You might be wondering what Riley did while all these house projects were going on...she was in her typical place, on the couch sleeping!

...the next project, the nursery!