Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, from our little pumpkin!

Welcome Back to My Life, Fareway!

On Friday, we took advantage of Aunt Kim's offer to babysit and spent the evening in Wo-town. Ryan did great for Kim and we are so thankful for her! We met some friends for supper at Ground Round and had a really nice time. Then, we visited the brand new Fareway store that opened this week across from Walmart. *Aaaaaaa!* (How do you type the sound that a choir of angels makes as it shines light down on earth?)  The store is excellent, as are the prices. It is a lot bigger than Sheldon and has a much better freezer section. However, we discovered it does not use the same flyer as the Sheldon store so a few things I thought were going to be on sale weren't. But generally, it was amazing being able to buy produce and other items at completely reasonable prices. I'll still end up frequenting the Sheldon location more often since it is on my way home from work, but it is super-convenient to have one available in Worthington also where we do our weekend and Walmart shopping. Dear, dear wallet bids you warm welcome and many carts to come.


On Thursday we attended the Harvest Auction and Ryan did great sleeping through all the bidding!  I even got a slice of my own French Silk Pie and it confirmed I will be making that again. The auction went well and my cookies brought in some good prices. It's nice to see your efforts pay off to raise some money for missions. We bid on a few items and I am kicking myself for not going higher on a large bottle of pure vanilla (it is my "hot fudge sauce" of 2009), but we did get some nice things.
We scored a jar of Strawberry Jam and Peach Jam, which I had my eye on since the beginning. Granted it won't taste good on the actual slice of bread I have pictured since that is Cheddar Chive bread, but I'll make some homemade white bread soon so we can enjoy the jam. The other nice thing we got was a tile with metallic vinyl lettering on it that says "Always Give Thanks". I don't have many fall decorations and it looks nice on our mantel.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

5! Do I hear 10? 10! Do I hear 15?....

For the Auction, I made a big batch of Monster Cookies with "Ghoul Mix" M&M's and then stacked 6 cookies in a trick-or-treat bag from Dollar General. I made a quick tag and attached with green curling ribbon. Hopefully my "marketing" of the cookies will help bring in a higher price! In past years, I found that putting homemade bread and cookie in cute baskets or bags helped them sell better.

Combined with my 4 plates of frosted pumpkin cookies, I am hoping my baking hobby brings in some cash for our church's Women of Worship mission fund. I am excited about going to the auction tonight and seeing what goodies we can come home with. In past years we've purchased homemade salsa, hand-stitched dish towels, and bags of softener salt. I'm not quite over being out-bid on a jar of hot fudge sauce two years ago. Fair warning, people, this year I'm ALL IN!

Pies, Pies, Pies

My work group was assigned to bring 3-4 pies to the Harvest Auction tonight. We serve taverns, hot dogs, and pies at the supper before the auction.  My first pie was my 2nd attempt at an apple pie and I think it turned out better than last week's. Wish I could have tasted it!

For my next two pies, I made a double batch of French Silk Pie. I think it turned out pretty well-at least what  licked off the beaters tasted great! It took quite a while to make since I had burned out my stand mixer and had to mix the filling with my little hand mixer (and you have to mix for at least 3 minutes after each of 4 eggs). Here's a picture before putting on the whipped topping and then a picture of the finished pies. I "frosted" with whipped topping, then added the stars around the edges using the Pampered Chef Easy Accent Decorator. I considered attempting chocolate curls for the garnish but thought I'd get totally frustrated if it didn't work out. And if history is any indication, it was not going to work out. I also considered garnishing with some leftover Hershey bars, but...1) I don't like promoting a rival candy company (Hershey is the #1 licorice parent company) and 2) This would seriously cramp my stash for making microwave s'mores.
So, I garnished with mini chocolate chips instead.

For my last "pie", I copped out on the pie crusts and make a Cream Puff Dessert. This is one of my favorite desserts and is usually what I end of looking for at Soup & Pie suppers. Plus, it serves more people than a 9" pie and you do NOT want to run out of dessert at a church function full of Dutchmen.

I'm glad our church if fairly flexible with the whole "pie" thing. It was funny reading some facebook posts of my cousin at another Reformed church where they have to sign up for certain KINDS of pie, like "meringue/cream" or "non-apple fruit". They were also chastised with a "NO BOUGHTEN PIES" warning. haha! At our church, the head of our work group told me she buys all her pies and told me I could make Rice Krispie bars if I wanted!  I joked with my cousin, who was trying to decide on which non-apple fruit pies to make, that this is another example of legislating diversity for minority fruits.  When it comes to pies, my motto is
The more chocolate, the better!

Pumpkin Cookies

This week I've been attempting to get some things ready for the church's Harvest Auction. I'll post pics of the rest of the food later, but here's the rundown on the 3-day process of making pumpkin cookies.

Monday, I made the dough in the morning and baked the cookies in the afternoon, wrecking my stand mixer in the process--do not attempt to mix lard into sugar cookie dough! I used 2 sizes of pumpkin cookie cutters from my box of 101 cookie cutters. I was disappointed they didn't have any leaves or other "Fall" things, only Halloween, but it's probably better I just stuck with the simple pumpkins. Tuesday I made the frosting and got them all orange-frosted. I started with the decorations, but had to leave for a board meeting. My wonderful mother-in-law washed my dishes for me while they were watching Ryan--wow, was that a blessing! Butter cream frosting made with Crisco and butter is never fun to clean out of decorating tools!

Wednesday night I waited for reinforcements (Adam to be home to take care of Ryan) before I finished frosting. I made 4 slightly different designs but limited myself to only white and green frosting--less clean-up!

Since I had a little extra green frosting and was feeling my creativity slightly squashed (pun intended) by having to keep my designs "harvesty" instead of "Halloweeny", I quickly decorated the leftover "screw-up" cookies that I saved for Adam and I to eat.

Happy Harvest!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Walk With Me

Quiz Time: Guess which one of these two was quietly cooperative on our walk today and which one jumped and snuffled through all the leaves in the gutter just for the pure joy of hearing the crunch?
Also, for those of you who are observant enough to spot "what's wrong with this picture?"...yes, I have gone to the dark side. After having no more than a few sips of dark pop since my freshman year of High School, I have indeed found the simple joy that is an occasional ice cold Diet Coke. Show me a mother who gets through the first month of a baby's schedule without a little caffeine assistance now and then and I'll show you a certifiably insane person.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Spooky Science Night

Saturday night I headed to Sioux Falls with my co-worker, Steph, to work at the Washington Pavilion's Kirby Science Center "Spooky Science Night". From 5:30-8:30, kids came with their parents to go through the Science Center which had been decorated with a Halloween theme. Our company donated candy to this event-each person left with some of our fun novelty candies. Our Eiffel Bonbons mascot also appeared and most of the kids loved him! (A few had "inflatable" phobias-no joke!)

Even though I'm technically on maternity leave, it ended up being a fun night and I'm glad I got to spend some time with Steph before she moves away in 2 weeks. Ryan stayed home with Dad and did just fine without me! It was okay for me to take a 7-hour break from diaper-changing duty as well. :)

Puppy Dogs Make the World Go 'Round

Ryan is enjoying his new mobile from Grandpa and Grandma Boote. It was nearly impossible to find something that semi-matched the room and had something interesting to look at from the baby's point of view, but Grandma pulled through! The mobile turns and plays music. Ryan likes to look at it and we hope it helps him go to sleep in his crib! He's done well, sleeping 3-4 hours at a time since we got it, so maybe it is the magic Puppy touch.
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Friday in Hull

Friday afternoon I brought the little guy into work to meet my co-workers. He looked all raring to go in this picture, but the car ride to Hull made him sleepy and he so they never really got to see his pretty eyes. I think they were all looking at his crazy hair instead anyway.

Later, we had a photo shoot with a family friend and Mr. Crabby Pants was not super cooperative, but I am hopeful that she got a few cute shots. I will post them as soon as I get them from the photographer. You can check out some of her other awesome pictures on her blog, The Farmer and the Southern Belle.

We could tell Grandpa Boote was excited to see his grandson since he came home from the farm at 5:30! That is a new record! Maybe the crummy rain and wet weather has something to do with it also, but we were glad to see him so early. Aunt Abbie stopped by with Milo to visit before the FB game and then Great Grandpa VK joined us for supper.  We had fun listening to the BHRV vs. Sx Center football game on the radio. We could tell Young Dan Young was getting a little bored in the second half when he talked more about deer, coon hunting, and spilled hot chocolate than about the actual game. We were bummed that S-O wasn't able to pull out a W over Sheldon-they were sooo close!

It was a fun night and little buddy was still wide awake when we got home, but eventually settled into bed and gave us another great night last night. This afternoon/evening he's going to have his first extended time without me (C) so we hope he does well for Dad! He's got his Hawkeye socks on ready to cheer for Iowa tonight!

Bath Time!

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Three Week Ryan

Three Week Ryan
I am a growing boy! Today I weighed in at 10 lbs. and am 22" long. This means I've gained 2 lbs, 13 oz. and grew one inch since I was born. I am in the 75th percentile for height and weight. I am almost growing out of some of my newborn clothes! As far as we know, I am a very healthy boy and getting plenty to eat! My umbilical cord finally fell off now I can take baths in my little tub. I did not like washcloths baths too much because I cry when I am undressed. Hopefully the warm bath will be better and will help put me to sleep earlier because Mom does not always like staying up until midnight.
I am starting to stay awake for longer periods of time during the day, can focus on faces right in front of me, and even smiled in response to the Home Health worker today! I like to grunt a lot--in my sleep and when I am awake. I have crazy hair that likes to stick up in the back, but that's okay because I just wear a hoodie when I am out and about. I like to lay on my playmat and can even bat one of the toys with my hand, even though I am probably just doing it on accident. I wake up whenever I am laid in my crib and love to sleep in someone's arms with my hands above my head. I like the "rain" sound on my crib bear and like listening to the instrumental lullabies CD from Grandpa and Grandma Boone. I like my swing and bouncy seat sometimes, but there's nothing like Mom's arms! Tonight I am drinking from a bottle for the first time so that Dad can feed me and Mom can be gone for a few hours at a time. I downed 3oz. in a good minute or two so now we know that I'll take a bottle!
Summary: I am a hungry, growing boy!
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Soup, Pie, Basketballs, and Unicycles

Tonight we enjoyed some soup, sandwiches, and pie at our church Soup & Pie supper. The line was literally to the door at 5:15pm. I'd never been there that early but I'm glad we went before our usual 6:45pm showing because rumor has it they were out of pie by 6:15. You do not want to see me when I've been waiting for some great dessert all day only to find it snatched from my fingertips! Our early showing scored me some sweet cream puff dessert. Perhaps I should have contributed more than one pie, but I'll make it up at the Harvest Auction next week.

After supper, we headed to the Middle School for a great show put on by Bruce Crevier and his family. He and his wife have 12 kids and they travel the country demonstrating awesome basketball skills (dribbling, spinning, etc.) and riding unicycles. Their website is  Bruce is in the Guiness Book of World Records four times, including for spinning 21 basketballs. His show was a lot of fun and he has a great message. During the school assembly this afternoon, he talked about making good choices (it is Character Counts week), but tonight he gave his testimony and talked about how Jesus is his Coach. This free family show was sponsored by the Osceola County Ministerial Association. We appreciate all they do for our community!  During the school assembly today, Adam was one of the volunteers chosen to try some skills and he won a signed basketball by successfully throwing a basketball behind his head, then reaching down between his legs and catching it behind him. You should ask him to demonstrate sometime!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How to Bake a Pie

Step 1: Dig out bags of frozen sliced apples (8 cups) from bottom of deep freeze and thaw for a day.

Step 2: Bundle up little buddy and go for a stroller ride downtown. Stop at library, then go to grocery store where they are having a run sale on frozen pie crusts. Buy 3 sets, just in case.

Step 3: Realize that getting frozen pie crusts home in one piece when they are riding in the bottom of the stroller traveling over treacherous sidewalk and potholed pavement wasn't the brightest ideas, but at least pat yourself on the back for deciding not to buy eggs.

Step 4: Read and puzzle over directions on back of deep dish pie shell package. How does one "invert one crust and let thaw until it is flat"? Apparently trying to remove it from the tin foil plate before it thaws doesn't work so well. Better luck next time.

Step 5: Mix apples with 1 c. sugar, 3 Tbsp Bread flour because it is in front of the All-Purpose container in the cupboard, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp salt, 3 tsp fresh lemon juice (or the bottle of lemon juice you've had in the fridge for over a year). Leave out the 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind because you do not have any lemon rind of any kind and are not going to make another trip to the store and pay a day's wages for a lemon in October.

Step 6: Realize that thawed apples make lots of juice, so use a slotted spoon to fill pie crust instead of pouring in the mixture. Leave much of the sugar and spices behind in the juice. Dot top with 2 Tbsp. of butter (or your closest guess). This isn't science people...I hope.

Step 7: Piece back together the top crust by pushing together with fingers. Kind of like a puzzle. Then put on top of pie and pinch edges together. I'd say to "flute" it, but that seems a bit fancy for what actually took place.

Step 8: Cut decorative slits in top. Not that there weren't already some slits caused by top crust not holding together well, but at least this way it looks like you tried.

Step 9: Brush top with egg yolk mixed with 1 Tbsp. water. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar even though the recipe doesn't call for it because you just want to add that something "extra".

Step 10: Bake at 425 for 40 minutes. Remember to put on baking sheet or stone so the sticky overflow doesn't pool in the bottom of your oven. Trust me and three breakfast pizzas: you don't want none of that.

Step 11: Place on cooling rack. Realize it's a little overdone, but too late now to put tin foil on the edges!

Step 12: Bring to church for Soup & Pie Supper tomorrow and make sure to grab a piece...of french silk pie...when you go through the line.

Step 13: Repeat 3-4 times next week for the harvest auction since your Work Group is in charge of bringing 3-4 pies each.  Or make Rice Krispie bars and throw in a few M&Ms to really gourmet it up.

Kids don't like pie anyway, am I right?

New Background

After spending literally hours (weeks?) searching for a new blog template, I finally found the EASIEST way in the WORLD to update just the background, which gives it a whole new look without all the fuss. Go to and just choose a background and copy and paste the HTML into a new "gadget" in your layout. No hunting for the in your code or getting all your widgets messed up! This will be so much easier to update according to the seasons (or my moods) and I am super-pumped not to waste any more time searching through endless templates that want me to use Notepad++ just to get my widgets back. 
The past few days have just been the normal routine of having no normal routine. The weather was great yesterday and I took Ryan on a 30-minute walk (sans Nika). I am not ready to tackle a stroller and a beagle by myself yet because there is a 85% chance it will end up tackling me. After a few great nights (enough to lull me into a "I got this" attitude), Ryan decided last night that 2:00-6:00am is his new awake time. The swing finally rocked him to sleep this morning so I went back to bed until 9:00. Adam is at a mentoring meeting all day today, otherwise he would be arriving home shortly to eat some lunch, roughly 30 minutes after I finished breakfast. Speaking of breakfast, you will be shocked (impressed?) to find that we now have only 6 cereal boxes in our cupboard. 6! This is a stark contrast to days of yore when I had 5-day-a-week access to reasonably priced grocery stores. I do have several other breakfast options--breads, bagels, eggs, etc. but I'm proud to have reduced the supply of cereal by at least half. Maybe my goal to use much of what is in my freezer while home on maternity leave will start happening as soon as we get through all the frozen meals I (and others) had prepared. Not complaining--not having to make something from scratch for supper frees me up to do all kinds of other things.

Like searching for blog backgrounds.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

And the Date Nights to Walmart Begin

Everyone said it would happen. "Pretty soon your date nights will be going to Walmart and grocery shopping." Thus is life.  After a relaxing Saturday (for me-Adam did lots of yardwork outside), Adam's parents came up in the late afternoon so we could take an exciting trip to Wo-town. Basically we just needed to return a lot of things to Walmart and pick up some groceries. Speaking of returns at Walmart, just wondering if their Department of Redundancy Department was in charge of creating the return policy. First, the 89-year-old lady at the door has to scan every item in my bag, comment on them "Oh, you must have had a baby shower...oh this is a cute outfit (only problem was it was for a girl), etc." Then she prints out all 7 stickers on her little gun, then meticulously tears each of them apart, THEN peels them off the backing and plays a fun game of "matchy-matchy" to try to put them on the right product. (Maybe just peeling them off the sticker backing in the same order instead of tearing them all apart would have helped this game.) After patiently waiting for about 7 minutes, I finally started handing her the product saying "this is the baby powder, these are the socks" since the stickers clearly said "Baby Powder, Socks, etc." Then, she placed everything carefully back in the bag and I brought it to customer service where they have to basically do the exact same thing again. Look at the sticker, scan the receipt (which I had taped to each product and marked where it was on the receipt in a fruitless attempt to speed things up), then carefully fold the tape over on the receipt and put them in a neat stack, then finally ring things up and give me my cash. I know the people behind me were getting impatient, but sorry, people, I tried to make this as efficient as possible. I should have known efficiency and Walmart do not belong in the same sentence.

Thankfully, we had a short enough list and a "divide and conquer" strategy that allowed us to leave the store before contracting Walmart sickness. I think I've blogged about this before, but both of us get nauseated after being in this store for longer than 15-20 minutes. It's like a ticking time bomb that prevents us from browsing, which is probably a good thing because otherwise I am certain we would have left with more storage containers and at least one bag of candy corn.  We were as equally as motivated to get out of Hy-Vee on time and then dashed back to town.

I'll refrain from going off completely on Pizza Hut because the Family Style Chicken Alfredo pasta we ended up ordering was actually very good and paying less than $14 for 4 people to eat is a good deal. My tips for improvement, however, include if someone comes in and asks for a take-out menu, suggesting they just look at the menu at the store is not the same thing. Then when you scrounge up a printed menu I can take with me, it does not do a lot of good for it to have no prices on it. And last, don't insist that you have never had Chicken Primavera Pasta when I will swear on my life I have ordered and eaten it in your restaurant. Plus I don't think Calorie Count would just make up this dish.  I know the difference between squash/peppers and mushrooms/broccoli, so don't try to convince me I just remembered the vegetables incorrectly.

Grandpa and Grandma Boone had a good time watching Ryan and Nika even got a walk! Then we enjoyed our pasta and visited for a while. It was a nice evening and we're glad Ryan was awake to interact with them for at least part of the time. He did great sleeping last night again and I'm hopeful about church this morning. Speaking of church, I better get going and finish getting ready. Looking forward to a warm day today!
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Friday Night Lights

On Friday, Aunt Abbie and Uncle Wade came to visit after school before the BHRV vs. S-0 football game. We enjoyed some pizza together but Ryan was pretty sleepy the whole time. As predicted, he woke up right after they left for the game.  The weather was not great for sitting outside. Adam was in full rain gear to take stats because being warm and dry far outweighs fashion these days (and most days) for him. He was tempted to wear his camo hunting jacket and boots, but decided to go with the more neutral gray. That's my fashionista for you. Straight off a catalog page (if you consider Cabela's to be a fashion mag, which we do).

At halftime, Abbie decided the weather was not as fun as holding Ryan, so she came back to the house and brought one of my coworkers with her! It was fun showing the house and baby to Maria and catching up on work news and then spending time with my sister the rest of the night.

Luckily, Ryan was a little more awake for Abbie during the second half and stayed awake to say hi to Wade when he came back after the game. Unfortunately, his orange jacket didn't bring much luck to the home team as they lost to the Nighthawks 42-0. After they left, Ryan was wide awake until about 1:00am but thankfully Adam stayed up with him this time while I got some sleep. I like weekends! :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

If You Give a Moose a Muffin

We received a delightful package in the mail the other day from family we visited last summer in Anchorage. It contained the books If You Give a Moose a Muffin and If You Give a Cat a Cupcake along with some furry friends to match. I think our little cupcake fits right in!

Ryan had his two week appointment today and it confirmed we have a healthy little boy! He has gained over a pound since birth--now weighing in at 9 lbs. 5 oz. He has been quite the sleepy bug today so I think it might be another long night. He seems to want to eat about every 3 hours during the day...and 1-1.5 hours at night. We're dealing with a little day/night confusion, but we'll get through it! Hard to be mad at the little guy when he looks like this:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Soup's On

It was my mom's birthday today and she came up to have lunch with me at The Porch on Main. We ended up eating with a friend and her daughter and had a lot of fun. I highly recommend the broccoli cheese soup. Although there aren't a lot of broccoli cheese soups I don't like. Except McDonald's. Theirs is terrible.
The Porch is a cute little ice cream parlor that serves lunch, coffee and also sells lots of cute home decor and now Iowa wine! It's the type of place I wish I could eat at more often, but as it only serves lunch and I rarely go out to eat on Saturday, I don't frequent it often. Plus face it, I am cheap. I rarely go out to eat period, unless we are on the road.  I really should support our local places more, though, so hopefully I can make it more of a habit (or a treat) to grab a mocha, some soup, or ice cream from The Porch. They also have really cute decor, but again as I am so cheap and don't buy much for my house that isn't from a garage sale, I'll have to keep it to gifts for others.

The good news on Ryan is that he slept the longest period ever last night--over 4 hours. The bad news is it was from 1:15-5:30 and he was wide awake until 1:15. This mommy hasn't been up that late since college (or a Small Group Christmas party :).  He slept most of the day today so I'm thinking it could be a long night and I already watched SYTYCD and Glee. I may have to dive into my new library books. I am trying to make the time nursing into a perk by actually having time to read books since I no longer have my commuting time to listen to them. I just finished Dedication by the same authors as The Nanny Diaries and am starting to read a 50th Anniversary version of Orwell's Animal Farm.

But, right now Sleepy Bug is oblivious to the world in Adam's arms, so I think I will beat him to bed and get some sleep before he wakes up and wants to be fed. Tomorrow is his 2 week check-up so we'll see how much the little dude weighs and all that jazz. Good night!

Zucchini Recipes

When my sister was here last Friday, she shared part of a gigantic zucchini with me. Here's a picture of her portion (which yielded 14 cups of grated zucchini).  I took a much smaller portion, but succeeded in making 2 loaves of bread last weekend and used up the rest today making a chocolate cake. First time I've ever worked with the vegetable, but it turned out great! I tried to use my Pampered Chef rotary grater for it and it worked out okay, but I had to cut it in such small pieces and it "juiced" more than it grated, but it still beat a hand-grater.

Zucchini Bread

2c. grated zucchini
3 eggs
1 c. oil
1 TBSP cinnamon
1 tsp. soda
1-1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 TBSP vanilla
2-1/4 c. sugar
3 c. flour
1/2 c. chocolate cips

Mix above items-all but chocolate chips. Top with chocolate chips. Grease baking pans-make 3 medium size loafs (I made in 2 pans). Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min-1hour. Test for doneness. Take out and let cool before removing from pans. Freezes well.

Zucchini Chocolate Cake

1/2 c margarine
1-3/4 c sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c sour milk
4 TBSP cocoa
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
2-1/2 c flour

2 c grated zucchini
1/2 c chocolate chips

Cream margarine, sugar, oil. Add eggs, vanilla and sour milk, mix well. Add dry ingredients (sifted together). Add zucchini and 1/2 of chocolate chips. Place batter in greased 9x13. Top with remaining chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

From My Point of View

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Mail Call

Confession time. We are bad at getting the mail. Granted, it is only across the street and it shouldn't be that hard to just pick it up, but we tend to go weeks days at a time without emptying the mailbox. We used to blame it on our neighbors parkin their cars in front of the box, but now that they (and 3 of their vehicles) have moved away, there is really no excuse. Today I witnessed the mailman bringing a package to our garage and then spend over 3 minutes struggling to fit the rest of our mail in the box. Feeling bad, I went out and retrieved the load after lunch. I really should have taken a picture of the stuffed mailbox, complete with a giant envelope folded in half. I think the mailman figured the "DO NOT BEND" printed on the outside of the envelope had an expiration date. Like, if these people can't empty their mailbox after 5 days, you are allowed to jam everything in there the best way you know how. I can't blame him.

Almost two hours later, all the mail had been dealt with. Bills were paid, grocery ads were evaluated, free samples were stashed, greeting cards were opened, medical flex receipts were filed, ROTH IRA statement caused a double-take (could it actually be UP that much this quarter?), and the offer for a free Ducks Unlimited fleece jacket with a $35  now only $25 suggested donation was strategically filed in the round bin beneath the sink (sorry, Adam). I thought we were almost done with the free address labels he got last year that remind him every time he sends a letter that he has a mean wife who won't let him get a lab.

Well, guess what we got a fresh supply of today? Yep, address labels with pictures of labs (and ducks). I wanted to post a picture, but I'm pretty sure posting a picture of an actual address label breaks a cardinal rule when it comes to internet safety.

So, instead I'll post an "after" picture of our mailbox. Won't the mailman be surprised tomorrow when instead of being greeted with a small box jammed to within an inch of its life, he'll see this neat stack of payments, birthday cards, and thank-you notes? Happy Wednesday, Mailman! See you again soon (next Wednesday for sure). I promise.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dear Baby

Dear Baby Boy,

You were so worth waiting for.

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Surprising Grandpa

On Sunday, we made it to First Reformed Church in Hull to surprise Grandpa Verlyn. He has served as a minister in the RCA for 25 years and they recognized him during the morning worship service. It was a special time for our family to be together to celebrate the years of faithful service Verlyn has given in ministry. There were many family members and friends there to help celebrate.

After church, we went out to eat with the "Minnesota" relatives. Ryan did great in his first big outing. After naps at home, we also made it to Small Group at night. It was a big day, but the little dude made it easy on us by sleeping peacefully through most of the activities.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Minnesota Relatives comes to visit...and bring some MN weather with them

Saturday evening some of Adam's family came to visit. They were coming to NW Iowa from Minnesota to celebrate Grandpa Verlyn's 25 years of serving the RCA ministry. It was a surprise to him and Sue that they were coming, so they came to our house on Saturday to visit.

Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Mol

Great Great Aunt Sharon & Uncle Jim Lee

Great Great Aunt Marilyn Lee (John was there too)

We enjoyed visiting and showing them our house. Uncle John joked that we had better be sure to tell the local newspaper that "Cliff Mol served" since Grandpa was the one dishing up the hot lasagna for everyone. We enjoyed supper together topped off with this carrot cake.