Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What it's like to have a toddler and puppy in the same house...

I often get asked what it's been like having a puppy and a 16 mo. old. Well let me tell you....

- I often call Oliver Ernie and vise versa
- There have been incidents when we don't know who has had an accident
- If Ernie is having trouble getting into the trash Oliver will kindly tip the can over
- They both like to wrestle
- When Oliver wakes up in the morning he calls for Ernie
- When Oliver is napping Ernie calls for him
- They both enjoy dog food
- If Oliver gets a time-out I get bit by Ernie

There is a definite camaraderie between them. All in all it's had it's ups and downs, but I think it will all be well worth it in a few months, and especially down the road.
And now, I must run to break up a fight over a toy....
We typically pray before meals (when I can remember). Last night mid-way through dinner I said "Oh no! We forgot to pray. Oliver, do you want to pray?" Without breaking eye contact he said "God, God (mumbled something), tank tu". I'm sure the Lord knew what he meant.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What beautiful day outside! We waved sticks around...

...raked some leaves......

...and made a leaf picture with our findings.
We love the fall!
In our town we have an amazing library! They have an entire separate library for kids, and all sorts of toys, and a beautiful play kitchen, puzzles, not to mention an enormous selection of books, and movies.

Oliver really enjoys the train table. If it weren't so huge I'd love to get him one.

They also have 6 kid friendly computers with bug theme headphones and mouses. Just as I was thinking there was virtually nothing he could do to this computer (unlike ours) he found the power button and turned it off.

Oliver and Daddy enjoying one of our borrowed stories: Izzy and skunk (very cute)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pregnancy update

Mark and I have been struggling with the decision lately to change OB doctors. Ultimately it makes no sense for me to be driving 50 minutes to my appointments and If labor is "normal" I don't want to be driving that alone or waiting an extra 30 minutes for Mark to get home first.
This decision came with great sadness since we had such an amazing experience we my doctor and his staff in Oliver's birth, and they know everything of my history, etc.

Yesterday I met with a doctor just 11 minutes from our home and she seems amazing. All of our stipulations make it difficult to find someone who won't be arguing with us every step of the way(ie immunizations, antibiotics, vacuum, etc.).
After prayer, and consideration we found her. Yeah!!! Please be praying with us that she will be just as attentive to the pre-eclampsia as Dr. M and that I won't have to worry about it this time:)

Baby update:
Tue marked my 14th week, but my uterus is measuring for that of a 22 week pregnancy (no wonder my jeans don't fit anymore). I've been far more health conscious with this baby and have only gained 3 lbs, after losing 3. That's about half of what I gained with Oliver my first trimester. 
We're about 3 weeks away from finding out the baby's sex. (hopefully)  Mark feels that it's a girl, while I think it's another boy. Hmmm. Either way, we'll be ridiculously excited.

Turkey Dinner 2009

Every year that we've been here Mark and I have enjoyed the Methodist Turkey Dinner at Mark's Grandma's church. (horrible quality, I know)
We were joined by the Melby's, Aaron, Adrianne, and the kids and Caleb. 

Oliver loves Lilly!....maybe a little too much?

Mark and Caleb have been friends since they were about 3 and over the years they've convinced each other to get into all sorts of trouble. Tonight was no different. After filling two heaping plates of food, Caleb convinced Mark to go back for seconds. They were so full I thought Mark was going to be sick on the way home.

This was the first year in decades that Grams did not help in the kitchen and make her famous coleslaw for the occasion. We missed her, and I'm sure her church misses her help.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Royal Oaks Farm

Fall is definitely in the air, and we took a Saturday to celebrate it. 
We started our morning with breakfast with my Grandparents. 
Sorry about the blurry pictures. 
Then we visited the gift shop where Grandpa snuck some cinnamon doughnuts (you thought no one was looking:))
We met up with mom, dad and the kids. 
We took a hay ride out to the apple orchard...

Of course we had to try every kind before we picked it.

date night!

Mark recently surprised me by setting up a babysitter and taking me out for a yummy fish fry. 

I had to capture his outfit. Yes, those are indeed two different colors of flannel.

After dinner we swung by a favorite ice cream spot for some custard. (Thanks mom for the free scoop coupon!)

Though we don't complain about it, it's rare that we get out on a date without Oliver. Of course we missed him like crazy, and i checked my cell phone a dozen times, but it was much needed time together. I love you Mark!

Random favorites of Oliver

Oliver is now 16 months old! His speech and motor skills have developed so much in the past few months. We're amazed every day.

 Here Oliver is at work with me. This is where he ran to hide after I started across the room to stop him from touching an outlet.

Mr. Potato teeth. 

At a nearby park

These are Oliver's tub frogs. The set consists of a mamma frog and two babies. After I distinguished the mamma frog as me, and the baby frog as Oliver, he looked at all three and gently slid the other baby aside. Uh oh. We'll  work on that mentality before the new baby comes:)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Stewart

We want to congratulate the Stewarts (Lisa & Ivan) on their new bundle of joy that should be arriving a day or two after our baby!
You guys are going to be fantastic parents. We are praying lots of safety and blessings over the three of you. We're so excited!!!!! Love you all!

In addition to Lisa and I being 1 day apart in our pregnancies, Melissa (our other best friend) is due in Dec. How crazy that we've always dreamed of being pregnant together!
I had been waiting to post these until most everyone had seen Grams.

In a recent visit to Grams, we got to see her more alert than usual. She was high 5-ing Oliver and talking more than we'd heard her since the stroke. Praise God! Things are looking up. 
Oliver and her have always shared a special bond and I was so happy that he was able to see her awake, and even got to play a little.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


On Friday evening Mark had set up reservations at a surprise restaurant....Benihana!
I had never been to a restaurant like this and it was awesome!

I think you typically have to share your dining experience with others, but we had an early reservation so we got the whole table to ourselves, and then watched nearby tables fill up.

The chef(?) was amazing, and the food was spectacular. 
Oliver was mesmerized by the flying knives and shrimp-tails. Because it was our anniversary they took a picture of us, and had it printed out to take home. 

After Benihana we foolishly went to the Cheesecake factory for dessert. I say foolishly because we were so full. 

Mark and I are amazed how quickly 4 years has gone by. It doesn't seem possible.    My constant prayer for us is that we will grow in the Lord and then in each other, and do both continually. This past year has definitely been a season of growth. Even through all the ups and downs, I can honestly say that it's never been a struggle to stay in love, not for one second. We're both excited to see what the Lord has for us in the future. I know whatever it is He will help us to not just live and love, but to thrive. 

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Apple picking 2009

On the Friday after our anniversary, Mark surprised me and took off of work early, so we went to a nearby apple farm.
This may be one of my favorite pictures of the two of them together. Oliver absolutely idolizes daddy.

I love this yearly tradition with my parents too. (Mom & Dad don't worry, we didn't get any pumpkins)

I can't for the life of me remember what our favorite ended up being....either way we picked and ate a lot. There's something called a Wolf apple. If you haven't tried one you need to. They're enormous and so yummy!

Oliver did so well picking apples, even rotten ones on the ground. Yuck!

After finding a peck worth, we headed to the little store to get cinnamon sugar apples, and cider. A perfectly fall day

Cooler weather brings warmer cooking. Oliver and I spend the afternoon making Homemade bread and Beef Stew. So tasty!

Cozy walk

Now that we have a puppy walks are a necessity. And, with the weather being so nice, 
and living in such a cutsie neighborhood who could resist.

It's virtually impossible to get a picture of Ernie sitting still. 

Monday, October 5, 2009

Derco Plane Pull 2009

This is Mark's second year participating in the Midwest plane pull. Several companies in the area sponsor a team consisting of 10 people to pull an 717  (82,000 lbs) 12 ft. 
All of the proceeds go to the MACC fund.
See the plane pull on Youtube
This was the beauty they pulled.
I forget how many teams there were in all, but each team gets to pull twice, and the top 8 teams with the lowest combined score goes on to the 2nd round. The prize was airline tickets. 

This was their first pull. 7.8 seconds. This probably sounds really fast, but other teams did it in 6.1 seconds. It just doesn't seem possible
Oliver and I cheered on the sidelines, and snacked on freebies:)

The sponsoring companies send out their mascots to entertain the crowd.
Oliver did really well with this Ho Chunk poker chip.

The squirrel however took some getting used to.
Mark's team just barely didn't qualify for the 2nd round. Ohwell. There's always next year