Friday, March 30, 2012

Church Auction

The church we've been attending is raising funds to build a new building (the sanctuary of the old church has structural issues and has been condemned) so on Friday we attended an auction as part of the fundraising efforts. It was a fun night eating supper together, bidding on the silent auction items, and participating in the live auction. We got a few different things, including a Northwestern College bean-bag game (to be made) and a Lego table that was handmade using materials from the old church choir loft. It is a great size table for Ryan and has a handy storage drawer underneath for his Legos! It was a great auction and ended by bidding on 5 whipped cream pies to be thrown in the faces of a lawyer, a dentist, a tax collector, and the 2 ministers! It was a fun way to end the evening!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chili Bash

Ryan didn't have music class this Thursday, so it was a perfect opportunity to meet my parents and sister's family for the last "Chili Bash" of the year. Casey's Bakery runs this promotion throughout the winter months where you get all-you-can-eat chili, cinnamon rolls, homemade chips and nacho cheese, and a fountain drink for $5. You really can't beat that.

Ryan actually ate a fair amount of his meal but was mostly interested in playing with Saylor. He wanted to hold her and did a good job being gentle with her.

I'm not sure Saylor felt all that secure.

And she may have been a little annoyed at Ryan stealing some of her show.

But, all in all, I think she likes her cousin.

Even if he won't smile in the pictures where she's actually looking.

Here's the remnants of our family's Chili Bash adventure.

See you next year, Casey's!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Backyard Baseball

With the warmer weather, Ryan has been anxious to play all kinds of sports in the backyard including soccer, football, and baseball. He still hits off his tee most of the time but not also wants us to pitch it to him. Here's a few highlights from a recent game of soft-toss.

Books and Movies

Reading now...
I'm in the middle of a gripping book called Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. It has made me realize that the bulk of my education about WWII focused on Europe and I was widely unaware of the Pacific theater action and the actions of the Japanese (beyond Pearl Harbor). It also gives great insight into the lives of the men who served, the missions they were given, and the planes they flew. It's especially close to me since the protagonist of the story, Louis Zamperini was a bombardier in a B-24 Liberator, the same type of plane in which my grandpa was a tail gunner. Louis' plane went down due to mechanical failure over the Pacific and he ended up in a horrific Japanese camp (hidden from the Allies, it did not adhere to international rules of how POW's were to be treated.) My grandpa's plane was shot down over Europe and he ended up in German POW camps for over a year.  In a generation that has been vastly isolated from the real horrors of war, it has given me a new appreciation for all my grandpa and his comrades did for the world.

Reading next...
I have not read The Hunger Games because I have a really hard time reading about violence, especially involving children, but I've heard some good reviews and am considering it. What do you think? Do you recommend? Anything else you can recommend? I'm doing some traveling for work in a week or so and looking for something new to put on my Kindle.

Watching now...
On Friday night, Adam and I finally watched Courageous, and though I hate movies that make me cry, I was really glad I watched this one. It was a great reminder about what is really important and how crucial it is to train up our children in the way they should go.

Watching next...
Looking for suggestions! We don't get to the theater too often but do have some gift certificates. Just haven't found anything worth getting a babysitter for lately! Most often we rent a movie for $1.20 (yes, they raised their prices) from the DVD box at ALCO. The last one we rented was Moneyball which was good, but not as good as I was expecting. Anyone have good suggestions for movies that are out on DVD? I like action, but not gratuitous violence (think Bourne trilogy, not Training Day). I like comedy, but not raunchy (think Tommy Boy, not The Hangover).

Thanks for the suggestions!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Golf and Blue Tongues

I left work on time tonight and when I opened the door I was greeted by a huge grin and "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" followed by a huge hug. Ryan was so happy I was home "early" because he had something exciting to tell me! He said, "Mommy, come look! Daddy got a new lawnmower! We picked it up in the pickup from Marv!"

Adam said he got a smile out of the reserved small engine sales guy because when Adam opened the door of the pickup, Ryan leaned out with a huge smile, waved, and said, "Hi, Marv!" as if they were old friends.  We quickly ate some supper and then headed outside for a walk even though it was getting cooler and threatened rain. When we got back home, we played a few games outside while Adam set up the new mower. We raced around the house, raced Nika, played soccer, tried kicking the ball over the gazebo (I was more successful than Ryan) and played golf!

 This last picture brings us to the last item on tonight's agenda...a much-needed haircut! I don't have a great picture, but like this one because it shows how we got through a 2.5-year-old haircut (a blue Dum-Dum).

Also, if you're wondering why it is rare for me to have decent pictures or video of Ryan in action, this is why:

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Andy and Kim brought their new puppy, a border terrier named Tessa Lou. 

Ryan liked playing fetch with her outside and burying her with pillows and blankets inside. She is going to get to be about 15 lbs. and our guess is Nika will be terrified.

Waiting Outside

Kim and I took Ryan over to Adam's parent's house in hopes that he'd go down for a nap, but when we got there, we realized the house was locked. As we waited for Andy and Adam to go back and get the keys (the shower was at his Aunt's house in the same town), we had to find something to do outside. No problem! Here's a few things Ryan likes to do to entertain himself outside (and gives you a little insight into how long his attention span is since this was no longer than 10-15 minutes.)

 Balance beam.
 Play tackle football.
 Practice tee-ball.
Wait patiently with Aunt Kim.

Christina's Shower

Adam's cousin, Christina, is getting married this summer at the Omaha zoo. We can't wait for the wedding and were happy to be able to attend her wedding shower on Saturday. Ryan did a great job eating lunch and then played downstairs with two other boys during the wedding shower games. I'm not usually a fan of shower games, but there were pretty cool ones you might be interested in if you ever find yourself in charge of a shower.

1. Apron of Kitchen Tools.  The bride-to-be walks into the room wearing a kitchen apron that has many kitchen utensils sewn onto it or in the pockets. She parades around in a circle so everyone can see, then leaves the room. Each guest gets a piece of paper and has to write down as many kitchen tools as they can remember that were on the apron.  Whoever remembers the most correctly wins a small prize and the bride-to-be gets to keep the apron and all the tools.

2. Adjectives. You are handed a sheet of paper that has half of it folded over and taped, so all that can be seen is a list of blank lines. Guests are instructed to fill in every blank with a different adjective. Once completed, you unfold the part that was taped down and it reveals a "story" about the bride's wedding shower and includes all of the adjectives you wrote in. Some of the stories turned out pretty funny!
After games, it was time to open presents. Christina and Jeff received many lovely things, but the best gift of the day for me and for Christina's brother and sister-in-law was an easy way to keep kids entertained: bubblewrap!

Ryan had a great time eating his first watermelon of the season and lots of other yummy food, including cake and ice cream. But his favorite thing was playing with the other kids and getting to see Uncle Andy and Aunt Kim, whom we haven't seen since Christmas!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


As the weather's turned nicer, I've found a great treat to have as a snack that is actually pretty nutritious. This recipe is not very exact and I change it every time, but it makes about 3/4 of a glass for 2 adults and about a 1/2 cup for a toddler. It's filling enough that I don't need a huge amount.
  1. Fill blender 1/3 full with crushed iced from the freezer.-I let the freezer do half the ice-chopping because I don't have a Blend-Tec blender than can blend an entire Justin Bieber collection.
  2. Add half a container of partially-thawed frozen sliced strawberries (about 3/4 cup?) - can substitute other frozen fruit like raspberries or blueberries, or can add some sliced bananas.
  3. Add 1 small carton of flavored yogurt - I usually use strawberry, but we had Raspberry Lemonade flavor one day that was good.
  4. Add about 1/2 cup of orange juice or other juice- more or less depending on how thick you want it.
  5. Blend, then serve in glasses with a straw. Cheers!

Friday, March 9, 2012


I loved the group "Go Fish" when I was in High School and I love that they now focus on Kid's music. We checked out the "Splash" CD from the library a few weeks ago and Ryan has listened to it while falling asleep almost every night.  Tonight, we had a little jam session before bed. He loves singing "B-I-B-L-E".  I sincerely apologize for my atrocious editing but I was trying to re-teach myself imovie tonight and just threw in a bunch of effects just so I could see how different things worked, then got sick of it and just gave up. My big mistake is recording it in "portrait" mood on my iphone and then trying to rotate it in imovie gave me the rotation I wanted, but somehow kept the wrong orientation in the background also and I don't know how to fix it.

Anyway, ignore all that--just wanted to get a video up of Ryan singing this song!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Feeding Saylor

While I was at the visitation for the father of one of my High School friends, Abbie watched Ryan for me. They had a great time playing "Imagination" including an adventure where they fought off sharks with swords, swam away from orange fish, and also slayed a giant.  Then, Ryan helped feed Saylor some baby food. What a good helper! I love watching Saylor trying to connect with the moving-target spoon and Ryan scolding her, "Saylor, don't spit," but then grinning when "Saylor likes it!"

Thursday, March 1, 2012

2 years and 5 months

Ryan's imagination has taken off a lot this month. I often catch him playing little make-believe scenes with his cars, farm animals, or other toys. He'll also have make-believe phone conversations, but loves having real ones on the phone, too. He has decided that shadows (and the dark) are scary and he often talks about "scawy munstews" but we can often overcome this by pretending to be superheroes and fighting off the "bad guys".

He loves the Go Fish! CD we have from the library and we've heard him singing along to B-I-B-L-E and other songs. He also frequently acts out 'Daven and Goliaf" which consists of him swinging his pants or other cothing object over his head for a slingshot while telling you (the giant) to fall down. He enjoys wrestling and riding on our back or shoulders like a horse.  We've gotten to play outside in the snow a bit this month where he loves using his own scoop and riding in the sled (not fast, though, he tells you to walk "slowy"). He is great at controlling the ball when playing soccer and I've caught Adam pitching to him, and having him pitch in the basement. I think they're ready for Spring!

He's gotten pickier about food and won't often eat meat or potatoes, but he loves vegetables (broccoli, corn, peas) and eats fruit except for pineapple and pears.  He also loves drinking hot cocoa with marshmallows when we come in from the cold! His favorite treat is ice cream with chocolate on top.

Ryan has loved building whether it is forts out of blankets and couches, towers out of Legos (including one that almost reached the ceiling), roads out of blocks, or just a huge pile of all the pillows and blankets he can find in the house.  He's gone to quite a few basketball games this month but the action doesn't seem to hold his interest. Divide and conquer still seems to be the best method when trying to complete things like clothes shopping.

He will now ask to take a nap when he's tired, but will sneak out of bed several times at night before he actually goes to sleep. We've had to convince him several times in the past few weeks that it was still nighttime and not time to get up (we usually give this a shot if it's before 6am).

Ryan is certainly in the midst of the crying/whining two's, but we love the fun times making goofy faces, learning new things, and having fun together.