Sunday, April 15, 2018


Well, here we are again... the weekend is over, and it was a crappy, cold, wet, snowy weekend.  I mean seriously!?!?!
I can't even remember what we did... must have been riveting.  ha. 
We got terrible news that morning - Ryan's Aunt Niky - her Dad, Mac, passed away unexpectedly.  He had Alzheimer's.  Breaks my heart.  They are such a close family... and the scenario was almost exactly like Mom's. Makes me so sad.

Ryan worked all morning. Kids and I didn't do much in the morning...  a little cleaning, and then a grocery run.  The kids were kind of bored - me too.  But we survived.  Then by the afternoon when all my cleaning and laundry was done - I was bored out of my mind!!!  I wanted to get outside so badly, or do something... but didn't want to spend money, blah blah blah!!!  Long afternoon and evening!

Saturday late afternoon, Kayson went to Carter's house for a birthday party and sleepover.  Cora and I just hung out... but she wasn't totally interested in doing anything with me. Ryan snoozed.  BORING!

We did get out for supper... but again, that's about it.  

We woke to wet, heavy snow!!  Crazy for April 15!  We did church... then home... later this afternoon we drove down to Mt. Ayr for Mac's visitation.  Kayson was tired... and I was a ball of sadness.  I tried just closing my eyes on the way down there...  just sad.  We were able to visit with everyone, which was great... Grandma Janis was there, along with seeing Great Grandma Ann.  The kids did pretty well... Cora asked a lot of questions about Mac and heaven.  She was so sweet... and so curious.  It broke my heart even more.  Niky and her family were aching...  Niky was so close with her Dad, makes me so sad. I just pray that they find comfort somehow.  

We visited about 2 hours...  then back on the road home.  Kayson ended up falling asleep, he was wiped out.  Cora read a couple books, she did pretty well.  

Pizza was ordered... and bed early.  I'm exhausted.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Cancelling Gymnastics

Well, we tried... made it almost a year?
Cora went through the 'testing' about a month ago at gymnastics... did well, seemed interested.  And then the following weeks things changed - new teachers, harder things to do, etc. 

And the last two weeks - we left in tears. Actually didn't even make it through the entire hour!! 

I'm a little disappointed...  but also kind of expected it.  She just hasn't shown as much interest as she did in the beginning.  She seems more interested in tumbling and dance. 

So, we've taken her out of gymnastics! 

MercyMe (with Tenth Avenue North) concert

Before Christmas, I had heard that MercyMe was going to be in DSM... and I instantly thought of Colleen (who has a huge love for the Christian band too), and asked her to go with me. 

Last night was the night...
We got our kids to their activities, and we met for a quick supper, then we were off to Wells Fargo Arena.  And there was a TON of people there... we both were expecting a crowd, but man - that place was packed.  And for good reason... both bands are amazing, amazing songs, amazing vocalists, amazing stories.  God was there with us...  and as I write this, it seems like God has really come up in my life lately!  Which I'm thankful for. 

Tenth Avenue North opened... and man, they are awesome too. Thinking they need their own show!  They are more of a 'rock' band, and they kicked butt!  ha.  Can I say that about a Christian concert?!?!

And MercyMe came on... and along with their songs and stories, Bart (lead singer), talked with us and did a little preaching... and I tell you what, there were moments where there was not a dry eye in the arena!  Sooooo moving.  So touching. 

Going with Colleen was perfect...  plus I could listen to her sing along (cuz she has an amazing voice!) :) But we just connect on stuff like this, and it was awesome. 

How many times did I say amazing or awesome?!?! Just what I needed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Missing Mom

Not a day goes by that I don't think about Mom.  Not a MOMENT goes by actually.  I catch myself trying to have conversations with anyone, and she's on my mind.  Constantly.  Still. 

Yesterday, I drove to Clarion for a funeral...  a high school friend of mine lost her Mom to lung cancer (a very fast 2 1/2 months for them).  I grew up with that family...  grew up with my friend.  We were close - ran track together, played volleyball together, had plenty of sleepovers, had plenty of late nights driving the 'square' in town.  Just a ton of memories.  And yes, we don't see each other or talk often now... but I tell you what - when something like this happens to someone - somehow we reconnect.  And I'm very appreciative of that. 

Anyway, Trish and I attended the funeral...  and it was beautiful, very simple ceremony, with a very blessed family. And all I could do is think about Mom.  I saw Mom in the casket, I saw Mom there in the old church she used to clean, I saw Mom as I spoke with some of the older folks from Clarion, I saw Mom at the cemetery, I saw Mom just with us.  Which I'm very thankful for... but hurt and ache so darn bad. Still.

My friend was happy to see us... and the first thing she said to Trish and I was - "When does the pit on your stomach go away?"  And we both teared up and nearly at the same time said - "We still have it, it doesn't go away."
and that's true...  every single day, I wake with a pit in my stomach, an achy tummy, achy heart.  Every day.  Some days it's less than others, some days it's there ALL DAY LONG and I can't shake it.  Some days my heart just hurts and I want to cry all the time, but I stay strong.  Some days I'm happy and things are awesome.  But every day, I constantly have Mom on my mind.  I miss her.  Terribly.  I miss it all... 

Sunday, April 8, 2018


Ryan and I left a little early from work to get some things done...  like a will.  Finally, we are wrapping a will up.  It's been on my mind for years...  along with other things, but we've got it started/in the process, etc...  
During that time, I had heard that a dear friend of mine from HS (Rhonda) - her mom had passed.  She'd been sick with lung cancer, and it went SUPER fast.  I just was sick to my stomach... just ached.  Sad.  Sucks.  Also, a friend of Ryan's dad passed too.  Too much.  We'll be going separate ways this week to visitations and funerals.

Anyway, Friday night we stayed in... quiet night.  

The kids were up early.  6:20 to be exact.  I mean WHY!??!  I guess their little internal clocks are going off.  Too early.  We just hung out most of the morning.  Ryan had a breakfast 'date' with some church people and our potential new full-time minister.  It went well.  I got a few groceries to get through the weekend...  organized some clothes of the kids (getting prepped for a garage sale), did laundry, that's about it.  It was a nice day to just be home.  

Saturday around 5, Hope and Logan came over...  spent some time with us for a bit, then Ryan and I met Jess and Lex out for supper.  It was a little surprise for Jess's birthday.  There were two other couples there as well. Nice visit, great food... and exhausted.  Home by 10.  ha.  I could have been home by 9 really.  :)

The kids had a great time with Hope and Logan too.  Just makes my heart burst.  

This is the day the kids want to sleep in, when we have stuff going on!  Figures!
We had a big day at church today...  after a very long process of searching for a full-time minister, we had a candidate come today to visit, give a sermon and spend some time with us.  We 'approved' him to be our minister... with lots of clapping, smiles and big hearts.  I may have had a tear too... it's been a LONG process for Ryan.  He's spent HOURS on this... meetings away from us.  It's just been a lot.  I'm thankful that it's all over, and we can move forward... 

Cora and I ran to Target to get some necessities.  And that's been our day.  The weather, again, here is just crappy.  So random.  Today we have some snow falling...  and appears we will get a fair good amount.  Then by the end of the week, we are forcasted to see 70 degrees!??!  I'll believe it when I see it!  ha. 

We had sun shining in the door Friday night.  The kids soaked it up!!
Crimped hair - side pony!  Totally 80s!!  ha

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Kayson & Responsibilities

Disclaimer - Yes, I know Kayson is only 9; 3rd grade.

But with that, we are frustrated with a few things that have happened with him lately!  Stories --
  1. Last week, Kayson lost his brand new Sticks baseball cap.  He had practice and wore the hat... and obviously took it off at least once (potentially a couple times, I have no idea), and he came home with a hat that's not his and it's too big.  He walked in the door in tears.  (Because he's our sensitive kid!)  Now, partially, some of this is our fault - we hadn't put his name/initials/number or anything on his hat...  so yah, our bad... but man - still frustrating.  Especially when it's too big.  The kid has a 'pin-head', so he needed an XSmall, and now he has a Small (and there's a big difference!)  So... in the end, Ryan has ordered another hat.  Hope it comes soon!
  2. Tuesday after school and baseball pictures, Kayson walked in the door... stopped, looked at his wrist and said - "Where's my Fitbit?"  Uh... I have no idea Kayson - that's not my responsibility!!!  More tears.  And anger from Ryan and I.  Gosh darn it (and maybe a few other choice cuss words under our breath!)  We looked everywhere at home -- in pants, sweatshirts, cars, bags, pockets... ugh.  Nothing.  We reached out to his teacher and BTB teacher.  Nothing.  Now this one is big -- $100+ big.  So frustrating... 
  3. Other small things ---
    • Leaving lights on ALL THE TIME.
    • Leaving crap everywhere - books on the couch, cups on the floor or table, wadded up clothes on the floor.
      • this is where my disclaimer comes in - I know he's only 9!!! 

Sigh.  :)
Just been frustrated lately... 
I've been thinking about how to 'fix' this... and most of the problem (when it comes to stuff at home - and leaving stuff everywhere) is probably my fault.  I pick up after him (and the others) all the time.  I'm constantly picking stuff up, putting it where it belongs, or off to the side (not in the middle of the living room floor).  That's in my blood - my mom did everything for me and my sisters, and now I want (well not sure if I want to) to that for my family.  Might not be the best thing!!  ha.

So... I'm going to try hard to work on this... and teach Kayson (and Cora) some responsibility around the house.  The other crap (life lessons and losing stuff) - that's them.  They have to learn. 

End of ramble!  :)

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Weekend

Good Friday holiday.  I was lucky enough to have this day off from work.  And Ryan worked, kids were at school.  Heaven for me!  *wink
I fiddle farted around all morning - cleaning a little, laundry, ironing and just enjoying TV and the quiet!  Late morning I went and did some shopping - spring/summer clothes for the kiddos.  Although, I can't imagine putting on a short sleeved top at this point!  But... they'll need them, and it's a good addition to their Easter baskets!  

Then Lacey and I were able to meet for a late lunch... and then we walked around a few stores too.  Good times with her. 

Friday night, we went out for pizza, then got some groceries for Saturday.  Seemed like a late night... we were all tired! 

Baseball.  That's pretty much it!

Happy Easter! 
We attended church in Waukee...  with us being so involved, we just thought it was best for us to be here and celebrate here.  Church service was super nice... and church was offering a 'brunch' afterwards, but we scooted out.  We headed down to Creston to see everyone...  literally, everyone was at Mike & JeanAnn's, even Great Great Grandma Ann!  We had a nice lunch...  Easter goodies for the kiddos...  including pinatas!... and just a super nice visit.  

We were pretty pooped... got on the road late afternoon, and that was our Sunday.  

Some good pics of the day.

Oh ya know, just a 5 yr old putting on lipgloss.

With Great Great Grandma Ann!
Duke, Tate & K
Cora & Lanny