Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Working best under pressure

The clock is ticking and here I sit blogging instead of knocking things off the list before I head out tomorrow. Beans to freeze, Clothes to wash and other clothes to sort through, a checkbook to work with [again :)], etc...

My very best friend from college, HM, graciously invited me to join her this weekend on a get-away to Orlando! She has taken care of everything... All I need to do is pack (still working on that) and be ready to leave at 7am tomorrow. We are attending Paula White's "Satisfied Women 2005" retreat at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate. Please pray for HM, though. I know this all sounds way fun, and I pray it will be, but this weekend marks the 2nd anniversary of HM's parents tragic death. Pray that she stays migrane-free and that I can be the companion she needs. She has been so strong- and points only to the Lord for that strength, so pray that satan wouldn't be able to crack through the peace she's found in God this weekend. Photos to follow!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

You officially started kindergarten today. Such a milestone with no turning back. Gone are your preschool days- a new era of your life has begun. For the next 13 plus years you will be in classrooms with various teachers and curriculums. I'll always be thankful that I am blessed with the opportunity to be your first teacher. Never forget my precious son that life's most important lessons are not learned in school, but in the word of God. Hide it in your heart. We will pray for you every day of your formal education, and trust the Lord to protect you and guide you. We love you so much, Doodle! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Here is the landscaping my mom and I did this past weekend to replace the trees we lost in the storm. Mom assures me the plants will grow up and fill in that bed. We need to mulch and plant grass around it yet, but it was a fun project- Thanks, Mom!!! Posted by Picasa
Crickets, consider yourselves warned! Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 22, 2005

My family is visiting the farm again, and once more I am enjoying the sound of silence. I haven't heard anyone speak for 2 hours now, well, if you're not counting crickets (No, I am not camping out, THEY are camping in. With my "cricket bounty hunters" gone- I give the kids a nickel for every wretched cricket they smash and flush- the darn things are flourishing!).

Today was a putzing day... I caught up on the laundry and sat down to get paperwork taken care of. I prepared for soccer tomorrow night (my "I'll help out" in spring turned into a head coaching position this fall due to a lack of volunteers...ugh... Thankfully 4 and 5 year olds are usually pretty forgiving.), got a calendar figured out for kindergarten with Doodle (YEAH! We are starting Wednesday, Lord willing, when he gets back. I know he isn't as excited as I am!) and "reconciled" the checkbook. That last task is a bit tongue-in-cheek as the checkbook and I never seem to truly reconcile. Oh, we have a lot of the same numbers as we go along, but somehow we never come out with the same conclusion. Thankfully, most of our misunderstandings have been in my favor. I'll be the first to admit I don't have a true grasp on accounting. No major tragedies have taken place however, and I'll keep muddling through the reconciliations. I like to think of it as an opening for Gods provision. "Huh... This statement shows that I should have $200 more? Ok... Thanks, Lord!" LOL
Well, I'm off to bed. I've got a great pot of coffee set to wake me up in 7 hours and trim just begging to be painted in the peace and quiet. Tomorrow I'll post photos of Mom's handiwork in our front yard... We had so much fun!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The List

We've plunged into late summer projects at the Dahl house in full-fledged-flurry mode to get some things done around the house before school starts (a.k.a. reality sets in and Jake has to start working again to keep those checks coming). We've settled into a system that is working for now. Jake preps the paint sites and I just paint. He hates painting, and I hate futzing around with all the preliminary "sanding, scrapping, taping" garbage. So for now, it's working and jobs are getting crossed of The List.

We tackled two doors and door frames, and I am still working away at the table I found for $5 on the curb. It's going to be a beauty... I just wish I had taken "before" photos. Our hutch is rejoicing that its load will be lighter when the new table comes into play.

My parents are on their way up with gardening tools packed for a long weekend of resurrecting our yard. We hope to make a flower bed of sorts where the trees once stood... A project I am not willing to tackle without my green-thumbed mother. My thumbs are black and withered in comparison, and frankly when people say they "just love to get their hands in the dirt," I shudder. The only thing worse is dusty feet.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Mama and her sweet children... Posted by Picasa
Our summer bumpkins. Posted by Picasa
Jaker and I got away for overnight for our 8th anniversary. I don't think we've ever had a more relaxing time! We stayed in a B&B not far from home and enjoyed every minute! Here's the backside of the Inn, our room was way up on the third floor... the second gable from the left and the one just to the right of the chimney.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Our biggest boy taking the plunge into the next level of swimming lessons. Way to go, Noser! Posted by Picasa
Doodle and his buddies on the last night of VBS (LOVE the belly on the right!!!) Posted by Picasa
Up close and beautiful! Posted by Picasa

The results are in...

... And we have two gift shops in town that are worth the gas to get there. Ok, if you're into knitting there's a neat new yarn and fabric shop, too, so three. This is of the grand total 7 that we went into. I did hear some good news that our cute tea shop in town was sold and won't be closing.

We had a fun day, our last stop being the local farmers market, which was a wonderful experience! There was beautiful produce, in a pretty setting and we ate well, too. We set our weekend agenda by buying a bushel of peaches. We're going to make and freeze some pies and can the rest.

Today is our last day of swimming. In the past, two weeks in a row of running to the pool has gotten very old- this year it just flew by! The boys have done great, and it's been fun to watch. They are both jumping from the board without flotation devices around their waists and their enthusiasm about it is contagious. Oh, speaking of the pool... gotta fly!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Exploring our Home Town

Today I am going to venture out and do something I don't often do. I'm even a bit ashamed to say it, as those who are very pro "shop local" will probably send the hounds out after me. My mother-in-law is coming to visit with her sister and we are going to go to the shops in town. I can honestly say that I haven't done this for a good four years when my mom visited and showed interest in doing the same thing.

Living in the up-north summer-tourist-ridden town that we do, there are quite a few small gift and craft shops around town. Most have a woodsy flair and only a few select ones have been around more than a season or two. It leads to variety- One storefront has changed hands three times since I last took my hometown shop tour.

Now, I shop at the local grocery store, for the sale items, or when I need something specific quickly. I go to the local hardware store when we need one specific thing. I have gone into one or two of the gift shops when I have needed a gift.
(Maybe that's my issue, at this point in life I really am a necessity shopper- for the most part). I love having things close and convenient. But there's a catch- I also love a deal, which draws me to the slightly bigger city to the north more often than not because I'm sure that their bigger stores translate into bigger savings. Is it always true? No. Is my time and fuel to get there outweighing the money I save by shopping there? Maybe.
I'll keep you updated to the results of our "day at the shops."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Here's our doodle at the very end of a long hang on the fireman pole. What a face!!! Posted by Picasa
Here's a favorite Noser photo. He bought this buffalo tooth in Teton Village, and Auntie Cori helped him fashion this schnazy necklace. He wanted us to take a photo that made it look as though it were his tooth... I don't know if I could be so brave as to shove that wretched thing in my mouth. ugh... Posted by Picasa
Here is a favorite photo from our trip! We were at a fun park- our favorite- right in Jackson. There is a stream running through the park, and as the temp was in the upper 80s and lower 90s, the kids were having a blast running through the stream. Bella got a muddy shirt, thus the topless photo, but the photo is priceless. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 07, 2005

So many prayed and asked about our sweet new neice, Eva Beth. She's here, and beautiful! The Ballowe clan (minus Scott) visited early last week. Here are the cousins, ages 8,7,6,5,4,3 and 2. What a treat to have them in Wisconsin! Posted by Picasa

A photo summary of our July...

I'm finally getting around to post some of the 385 photos we shot while we were out west! Here's the month at a glance...

Motel pools are a great place to get the wiggles out before plopping the kids in the van for 10- 14 hours!

The kids were excellent hikers! This trail wasn't far from Jonathan and Cori's new house.

A family night of mini-golf was a blast- Dawson got a hole-in-one! We capped this evening off with Billy's Giant Hamburgers. Nothing says sleeplessness like a 1/2 pound burger before bed.

This was an evening we spent in Teton Village. We looked around, and right before we went in to eat at the Mangy Moose, Dawson fell into the creek and needed an emergency souvenir t-shirt.

This was another great hike we were able to do at Coal Creek. The kids kept us going strong. They didn't want to quit! Mama's so proud of her little hiking clan!

This was another visit to Teton Village. We went to an Indian Art fair and then watched an Indian Dance exhibition. It was beautiful- Notice the white girl out there... that's Cori who was chosen to join in the festivities. She was a very good sport!

We made another visit to the BarT5! One of the last evenings we enjoyed their covered wagon ride up to a chuckwagon dinner and cowboy music show. It's becoming a tradition the kids look forward to!

Of course one of the main reasons that we headed out west was to help Jake's brother and his wife with the building of their house. Here it was the day before we left. They got quite a bit of the roof together. We look forward to our next visit and being able to see the "Taj-ma-Dahl" in its completed state.

Ahhh... here was one of our last views of the Tetons for this summer. I snapped this through the windshield as we headed north into Yellowstone on our way home. What a gorgeous place to visit. I feel so very blessed that we got to spend as much time as we did admiring the beauty of these mountains!

So, there's a month in a nutshell. Lots of family time, Lots of loafing and getting to know our wonderful sister-in-law/aunt(for the kids and I) lots of building and bonding time for Jake and his brother, and lots of time in the arid weather away from Wisconsin's humidity and mosquitoes! It's good to be home, but we will hold fast to the memories we made in our summer out west.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Starting in with a bang, well, splash...

It's August! Which means summer is coming to an end. That's what skipping town for a month does... Make summer seem short. We got back, and launched in unpack/clean up mode (which may take most of this month) and lo and behold started swimming lessons Monday.
It's a whirlwind! Life, I mean. I know that you are as busy as you allow yourself to be, but I look at my life and wonder where to cut back. We wouldn't have to do swimming lessons- I admit that. Upon arriving home, however, I see 200 things that I really need to get to, and I turn into this "Major Mom" instead of the even-keeled woman I aspire to be. There's this closet to reorganize, photos to get in order, clothes to be gone through, a weekend family reunion to prepare for, trim work to paint, a desk I'd like to redo, a crater in our front yard to be seen to... The list goes on and yet I know at my root level I don't believe in cloning, so how will it ever all be accomplished?
One thing at a time, right?
Lord, please help me prioritize, because in the midst of all I see to be done I have three beautiful children that are growing up [without permission :)] before my eyes.