Friday, April 30, 2010

Just a Swingin'

It has been wonderful weather to be a girl on a swing.  We are up to our eyeballs in Spring. The Captain has the lawn looking pretty spiffy.  I found a cute little table at the thrift store that we can use to eat out on our deck.  Sweet Marissa continues to do her own sort of swinging.  Now I am fearing for my neighbors windows.  She hit one across the street into their bushes the other day.  Will our homeowners insurance cover that?  I thoroughly love Spring.  And what better way to spend some Spring than on a swing?  Princess Maren's got the right idea.

Way to cut off her head, Mom. But I like her expression.

I've heard of bed head, but would this be called "swing head"?

It's hard to take a picture of a girl on swing.

She almost kicked me in the head on this one.  She thought that was pretty funny.

It might be hard, but I think it is well worth any effort it might take.  Happy Spring!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Caught Carol Burnett on the Bonnie Hunt show the other day at Dad's.  They showed many outtakes and skits from The Carol Burnett Show.  I have not laughed so hard in weeks.  I think Carol Burnett is a pretty classy lady.  Here is one of my favorite clips.

Don't know what is funnier, the whole phenorkie thing, the bulging eyeballs,  Dick Van Dyke nearly peeing in his pants at the end of the couch or the fact that Vicki Lawrence had the last word.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tiptoeing Through Tulips

Just lookie what we have here!  Our tulips came up!  Princess Maren has been keeping a close eye on things since oh, early March. (or whenever it was that our two feet of snow melted) She was worried.  It had been a mighty long time since we planted those tulips. It was an awfully long winter.

Then one day we saw this:

Great day in the morning!  They were all peeking their little heads out of  the dirt, just looking for their place in the sun.  Maren and I did the dance right then and there.  She did the "tulips are coming up dance" and I did the "I'm not a complete gardenening failure dance". 

We checked on them daily (sometimes more than daily) and a few weeks later we had this.

They look pretty happy in that good old Iowa black dirt, don't they?  We did another small dance. And now we have this:

Pretty maids all in a row.

Speaking of pretty maids, here's  my little color coordinator now.

So, all should be well in good in our little tulip growing world.  But it isn't.  See here in NW Iowa, we have this small event known as the Tulip Festival  the third week of May. Not only are our tulips beautifully blooming, so are every one else's in town. Locally, tulip growing and the timing of their full bloom is a serious business.  Much thought, preparation, and planning go into the activity.  Last year we were dead-on.  This year not so much.  I think we are well on our way to having a "Stem Festival".  

Oh well! There's always next year! We're just going to enjoy them while we can! 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Perfect Pairings - Luke 12:27-28

27 “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his
glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Sweet Marissa has baseball (softball) fever.  This is sort of a new development.  She has played softball before.  Last year she wanted nothing to do with it and tried her hand at tennis instead.  Now we are full on softball mode.  I think it must be the weather we are having.  It begs for a ball to be thwacked.  And loudly. 

She is strong and if she makes that sweet spot connection, I start to fear for my windows.  Is that covered by our homeowners insurance? Oh well.  I think it is great that she has this current obsession.  It is fun watching her.  Wanna see?

Looks pretty happy right?  We were at mom and dad's when this shot was taken.  Note we have combined the sports of tennis and baseball.  Bennis anyone?

She takes her hitting quite seriously. 

Keep your eye on the ball, Honey!

That a girl!  I personally think she has some unresolved anger issues. But what exactly does a nine year old have to be angry about?

Take THAT! Why does mom always make me clean the basement?

and THAT...  Why does my dog smell like such a...such a.... dog?

and THAT!  Why did I inherit my mom's pasty white leg gene!

Whatever it is, Maren ain't sticking around.  She might be next on the list.

I might have to get out there and hit me some balls myself.  Vent a little.  Take out some frustration.  But my legs are too pasty.  I don't want to scare anyone and  I am vastly entertained by all the above.

And it's outta here!  And so am I... gonna go find me a bat.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Good People

The Ladies over at the RHOK posed this question on their McLinky Monday. Where were you on April 19, 1995? Now I realize I am a day late and a dollar short (I am always a dollar short - so nothing new there) but it has been on my mind, and I can't seem to sleep anymore this morning, so thought I would play along.

I was actually in Oklahoma when the bombing took place.  I had just started a new job as an ICU nurse at St. John's Medical Center in Tulsa, and we were in one of our orientation classes.  We had been on break and when we reconvened, our instructor came in to the the room, visibly upset. Wide-eyed and hands shaking, she gave us the few dreadful details and told us class may be postponed if they needed volunteer medical personnel to head down to Oklahoma City.  I don't remember much of the rest of that class, even though we did finish it.  We would all head to the nearest TV on the rest of our breaks and were stunned and horrified by what we saw.  We would only be more appalled in the coming days when the gory details unfolded as well.

Having moved to Tulsa from small town Iowa only two years prior, I just remember this overwhelming need to help. And so did everyone else in Oklahoma.  It was amazing to see how Oklahomans would come together in the coming weeks, months and years and respond to this tragedy.  They are a resilient and stubborn group (hey I can say that, I am married to one of them) in the best sense of the word.  They are good people.

I am an Iowa farm girl at heart, but I will always think of Oklahoma as my second home.  So many good things happened there in my life. I landed my first real honest to goodness nursing job.  I met the boy I wanted to love forever.  I had our first sweet baby at the "Pink Palace".  I did a lot of growing up from age 22 to 30 where the winds come sweeping down the plains.

The evil that was Timothy McVeigh is hard to fathom.  You can't predict it.  Can't detect it on a radar. There are no warnings or sirens. After weathering the storm, you come out of the celler to the sun shining and start to pick up the pieces.  With faith and hope, that is what Oklahoma has done so well.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Seventy Two

It's my Dad's birthday today.  Seventy-two.  We are chalking this one up as an accomplishment of the best sort since there were many times this fall and winter when we just weren't sure he would be celebrating another one.

He has done remarkably well since being home.  Thank goodness for $150 a day drugs like Zyvox.  So far, he has not had any more bouts with the infection in and around his liver and gallbladder and we can only hope that this drug was and is strong enough to get it out of his system.  All his liver enzymes and blood counts have been normal, if not better than they were when he was first hospitalized this fall.  It really is amazing.  Praise God!

Dad spends a lot of time in his wheelchair now.  It seems like his sense of balance is way off, yet he is strong enough to transfer easily from wheelchair to lift chair or to bed or whatever.  The wheelchair seems to be giving him back some of his independence in a weird way.  He can get to the kitchen fairly easy and the other day I even caught him folding laundry.  Better stop that Dad or I will parentnap you and take you over to my house. 

My brothers, my aunts, some family friends and I have been taking turns helping Dad with his meals while mom is at work.  So on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Dad and I have a "lunch date". We don't always have a lot to say.  I usually read him a few snippets from the paper, we discuss the weather, and watch a little Family Feud. We watched all the hype during the week of the Masters until we were both up to our eyeballs in Tiger Woods. (Yay Phil!) Then we eat and clean up and usually he takes a nap in his room and I take a little snooze on the couch.  Last Thursday I hung a new chandelier for mom in the dining room and he helped me get the ceiling fan down.  It's a lot easier handing the parts to someone rather than having to climb up and down all by yourself.  We felt like we actually got something accomplished that day, but it's good to be lazy too.  I enjoy spending time with him and will always treasure these simple little things we do together.

I would like to tell you I would have taken the time to do this for my parents whether they needed me to or not.  I'm not sure I would have.  My intentions would have been good.  My heart would be in the right place, all that stuff.  It's not that I don't care about and love my parents, because I most definitely do.  Seems like the busyness in our lives just gets in the way of the things that are most important.  Like family.  Like watching golf with your dad.  Like celebrating seventy-second birthdays.  Like seeing your kids snuggled into your Dad's lap.  It's all good.  Love you Dad. See you Tuesday.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring Break (sorta?)

We had just a teeny tiny Spring Break this year, so looking at our teeny tiny bank account and our teeny tiny amount of free time in our schedule we decided to make a teeny tiny trip up to the teeny tiny Iowa Great Lakes. 

My brother and his wife have a trailer at the lakes which are about a good hour's drive north and mostly east of here.  Understand that the term "lake" is used loosely here.  I am not even sure how the term "great" even applies if you are talking size. They are more like small water features in the grander scope of things. Now, if you are talking fun, well, that I can understand.  Anyhow, Don and Michelle let us use the trailer for the weekend - bless their soon to be new parents again hearts - and great fun did ensue.  Oh, and sorry we drank all your frozen margaritas and rum.

There were trails to navigate,

waters (might I add mighty cold waters) to wade,

leeches to kill,

and castles to build.

It really doesn't take much to entertain us.  We played a little softball and tried to catch some fish too, but not too much luck with the latter. It was so nice to get away for a bit.  No piles of laundry, no gutters to clean or windows to wash.  And we got to hang out together as a family.  This can be a rare occurence at our place so it always seems to be more special when it actually happens.

Speaking of entertainment, the Captain is entertained by trying to take pictures of me while I am not looking.  I hate having my picture taken and he knows this, but he does it anyway.  We'll name this one Honey, I Forgot my Sunglasses but not my Dt. Dr. Pepper.

We'll call this one Honey, I Still Forgot My Sunglasses and Now Would You Put Down that Camera.

Oh well, guess I have exploited him on this blog with some less than desirable shots of him in the past. 

Whoa! Would you check out that luminous glow on my girls' legs?  They put the pasty in white, let me tell you.  That's what a long cold Iowa winter can do.  Dreadful.

But Spring is coming.  Give this shot a good month or two and it will be nothing but lush and green and full of enough ticks to suck you dry.  Just saying.

There will be a boat in every slip and the dock will be too hot to walk on barefoot - nevermind the splinters.  Can't wait! I am good and ready for some summer.  How 'bout you?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring Randomness

It's starting to feel a little bit like Spring around here.  Finally.  I LOVE it!  Have had lots to do and lots to see over the past week or so. 

By Jove, she's got it! After a little run-in with the church parking lot last summer, Princess Maren has been avidly avoiding the whole "no training wheels" thing, stating she would wait until she was six.  I figured what's the use, this child has a will bigger than the ocean, so we might as well not push her.  Daddy came home last Saturday and sweet talked her into it.  So here she is...


and going....

...and the crowd goes wild.  Ahhhhhh!

Of course we had Easter this past weekend.  An early Easter in Iowa is not always a good thing, but it turned out to be a beautiful day.  We had some prep work to do though.  The Captain was home for the dyeing of the eggs.  Always a smashingly good time.

That's right, she's Daddy's girl in the sweetest way.

Christ IS risen.  He is risen INDEED. How amazing and how grateful I am for that cross.

Makes me feel like doing this. 

Love you Sweetie! And Happy Easter to you too!

Oh and by the way, my Dad is doing just great! Amazingly great! Here he is holding Lizzie.

Did you figure out what her shirt says?  That's right! I am going to be an auntie again! I am about as blessed as a girl can stand!  Hope you had a wonderful Easter with you and yours!