Saturday, May 28, 2011

Camping and Renaissance Festival @ Amana Colonies

Memorial Day - May 2011

Oliver went camping with my brothers, Bryan and Chad for their first boys campout! He had a fun time chopping wood for the fire and taking pictures with his camera. We definitely need to go again this summer as a family.



Uncle Chad, Oliver, Uncle Bryan


While Ollie was gone on his boys campout the rest of us headed to the Amana Colonies near Cedar Rapids, Iowa for a Renaissance festival they had this weekend. We had fun walking around, looking at the booths, watching the shows, throwing axes and other dangerous objects and sampling some Medieval nachos! :O) It was a beautiful day to be out with the family and being an hour away from home, we even saw some familiar faces!


Queen Stacy and King Edward. I love Ed's face!

Princess Eden and the cross dressing Queen... ;o)

Loved this guys smeared lipstick... (second from left)

'The reindeer'!!!

Pirate Eden. "Aaaarrrrrrr, Mateys!"

Ed got one try to get this 'HE-MAN' axe into the stump. If he got it in, he got his dollar back. He got it in! I'm glad there was no blood involved in this feat!

Yeah... we let our 3 year old throw a few rusty axes...

Brothers, Jaren, age 3 and Finny, 17 months wrestling in the grass before the jousting event.

I can't remember this guy's name... Judas... maybe? He was the 'bad' guy during the jousting event.

Bear couldn't leave without a wooden sword. I think that makes our sword and saber count nearly 20 or so. There is always one at hand when they need it!

Sweet Finny boy

Channeling my inner Robin Hood. We had to buy a bow and arrow set when we got back into town. :O)


"'Twas a jolly good time had by all!"

"Caps for the Cure"

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I wanted to do something in May to benefit brain tumor awareness month and so I found 'Caps for the Cure' on The Cure Starts Now website that funds research for pediatric brain tumors. Oliver is one of the heroes on the site and before school got out for the summer I wanted to see if Oliver's school and my mom's school would help out. Oliver's school let the teachers donate money to wear jeans for the last two days of school and my mom's school did the same as well as let the children and teachers wear hats to school for a $1 donation. They raised over $1,000 for The Cure Starts Now! Amazing! Thank you everyone. This will be a May tradition in honor of brain tumor awareness month. Since my child was diagnosed with cancer... I am an advocate for all of these kids and their families. If we don't speak up and do something about it, a cure will never come. Thank you again for everyone that participated!!!


Posters my mom and students made for Lou Henry Elementary

This young woman decided to give all of the money she received on her birthday to Oliver last year.

Miss Witte and her class.

Mr. Finny in one of Grandma's many hats!

Minute to Win It

Monday, May 23, 2011

So the kids love watching "Minute to Win It" on TV and so I thought it would be fun to have that be our activity for Family Home Evening (in our church, every Monday evening is set aside as a family night where you have gospel themed lessons, scriptures, songs, prayers, treats and activities to do with your family). I ransacked the house looking for items that we could use for some of the games I found online as well as some I just made up. We had a table where we had most of the challenges set up in the living room. I made some word strips with the names of the games and the kids took turns drawing a challenge. We all did that same challenge and then someone else would draw the next one. We must have had about 8 different challenges because we were playing for over an hour! It was a lot of fun! We'll definitely have to do that again! Maybe next time someone will don a Guy Fieri wig and goatee! ;o)


BUCKET BASKETBALL



WARM FUZZIES



MARBLE SHOOT



SPEED ERASER


BIT DICEY



WHAT A RACKET!



NOODLING AROUND



STICK THE LANDING



BREAKFAST SCRAMBLE



I just had to add this picture of Finny... Oooooooooooohhhhh....

video video

Brian Regan

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Well... today was supposed to be the end of the world. Somehow I didn't think that was going to actually happen, so we decided to travel down to Davenport and see one of our favorite comedians, Brian Regan, on this very important evening. Last time we saw him in Ames, last September, Eden fell asleep so we didn't purchase a ticket for her this time! It was a nice outing with just Ed, Ollie and me.

We stopped to eat at Happy Joe's Pizza so that Oliver could play some of the games before the concert. We ordered the pizza and it was DISGUSTING. I don't think I even finished an entire tiny sliver of my pizza. Food... done... let the gaming begin! So... I gave him $5 worth of tokens and told him to have fun. After winning many tickets, of course he heads over to the toy counter and opts for a couple dum dum suckers, some pop rocks and about 5 tootsie rolls. I resisted the urge to let him know that for $5 I could have gotten him 5 entire bags of candy at the Dollar Tree. I guess the price of fun and excitement was figured into it as well. :O)

Off we went to the Adler Theatre in downtown Davenport. Ed dropped Oliver and I off to sit in a courtyard across the street so we wouldn't have to walk through the parking garage. Oliver's walking has been getting worse and I'm in constant pain so it worked well for us to sit on a bench and wait for Ed to come and find us. I smelled lilacs in the air, one of my favorite springtime smells. As we walked by the large bushes, I had to stick my nose in the petals. Simple pleasures...

We found our seat which was fairly close to the front, closer to the front than the last time we had seen him. He didn't call himself 'Frosty Locks' this time! There were lots of jokes that he told the last time, but more newer ones than I thought there would be. I was crying from laughter at many different parts of the night! One was about a 2 inch hair growing out of the middle of his forehead. Oh... man... it's a killer I tell ya!!!

We had so much fun and I'm glad that we've started to take time and plan for special little getaways and things like this. Memory making is priority #1 right now. Hmmmm... now what will we do next?? :O)

Fun and Friends

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wednesday night I stopped by my friend, Meghan's house after a softball game with Jaren and Ollie. It was nice to chat and watch her daughter, Isabella get down and wrestle with my boys that she hardly knows! Oliver of course wanted to hold Charley, who is 6 months old now. He loves babies! I can't wait for summer and have fun with friends!

Charley girl and Oliver

Jaren and Oliver wrestling, because what else would they be doing?? :O)

Is this comfy for you Jaren?

Oliver and Izzy

She's taken them both down! :O)


Friday, May 20, 2011

We went to the fun fair at my mom's school and it was inside due to the weather. The kids didn't get to do too much and were grumbling about too many people in the small spaces. So, we ate, went to the bake sale and got dessert for later in the evening and headed out to my friend, Meghan's house to visit with our friends from high school, actually most of us were friends in elementary as well as junior and senior high school. We met up a few years ago to go on a shopping girls day out, but we wanted to get together and bring our kids this time. It was fun to see them play together and it was crazy to see the resemblances of each parent in the kids faces. We are all at so many different parts of our lives right now, but we couldn't talk openly with little ears around. We will definitely have to get together again soon! I think we were talking about meeting up again at 'Live to 9' in Cedar Falls one of these Friday nights. I took the kids one year with Ed and sat with Meghan. The kids had a ball dancing while we all laughed! :O)

Oliver, getting ready to sweep...??

Brianna, Mindy's daughter

Jacob, Eden and Oliver playing

Isabella and Finny

A familiar sight... Jaren's booty.

Thanks, Meg, for a wonderful dinner and time with friends! My house is always open as well. It was too bad that it rained, but I guess it didn't keep most of the kids away from the puddles and damp grass. They were swinging and playing soccer outside while we chatted at the dinner table. Ahhhh... memories of younger days.... :O)