Monday, November 29, 2010

Photo Shoot... A SUCCESS!!!

Last Friday we had a photo shoot done by our brother-in-law, Dan, of D.L. Schiller Photography.  With his permission, I'm posting some of the favorite pictures here... they turned out fabulously!

Despite the cold, we hung in there and I am SO happy with the results!  Thank you, Dan, for beautiful pictures!  And thank you, Claire, the assistant/wife of Dan, for sacrificing a few fingers!  Love ya!

(Read about our photo shoot here.)

(As noted above, these photos were posted here with permission from D.L. Schiller Photography... please do not post elsewhere or print from this posting.  If you are interested in physical copies, either contact me or Dan.  Thanks!)

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Shout Out

I have to give a shout out to D.L. Schiller Photography today...

Many moons ago, I asked my brother-in-law, Dan, if he would be willing to take family pictures for us over Thanksgiving week while we were in Wisconsin visiting our families (which is now).  He agreed and after watching his fall pictures unfold on Facebook, I had become increasingly excited about having our family pictures taken by him.

Fast forward to this last week, and the weather was looking okay for today... highs in the 30s... not any cooler than last Thursday with Julia's 3-year-pictures... I figured we would be fine.  Never mind that Adam and I still didn't have outfits and I was waffling regarding what the girls should wear.

Then, the weather took a little turn... for the worse.  As of last night, predictions for today was in the teens with the windchill bringing the temp into the single and sometimes negative digits.

However, when I want pictures taken, I am a trooper and I bring my troops (my family) right along with me.  (Sorry, Adam, Julia, and Raven!)  We braved the weather today without coats for our pictures and had a fantastic photo shoot with Dan and his assistant and wife, Claire.  The shoot was so much fun, even up to the last few minutes when Raven melted down and decided she was Done.  We warmed up in the car in between shots where we equally had fun with the girls while Julia sang songs, Raven danced, and Julia attempted to drive the car.  (Ha, and I forgot that I cannot get myself out of the backseat... WHOOPS!)

For me, it was so much fun and amazing... the park was great (Cherokee County Park by Colby, WI), there was snow on the ground... we managed to pull some outfits together... I was really happy with how it all turned out.  Dan gave us a sneak peek on his camera and my appetite is surely whetted for the finished results.  He also took some great pictures of Adam and I in Adam's folks' backyard after we got back from the shoot (the girls were in need of a nap).

All in all, despite the cold, it was enjoyable and fun and the results that I have seen so far are wonderful and amazing!  Yay!  Great job, Dan!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is Thanksgiving today, a day that reminds us to be thankful for all that is in our lives.  I thought I would take a few moments and post about the people who I am thankful for in my life... if I have forgotten you and you think I should be thankful for you, let me know!  *snort*  Most likely I am.  *grin*

Today I am thankful for...

... my husband, Adam... he knows me, he knows how to love me, and he knows how to get my goat.  Suffice it to say, he knows me.  And yet, he keeps me.  Imagine that?  Adam is also an amazing father... when I see him with his kids... I fall in love with him all over again.  He works hard to take care of his family, but he also knows when to trust and let things be.  It takes a big man to step back and let faith take over.
... my children, Julia and Raven... for anyone who thinks that I'm high-strung now... you should have met me before I had kids.  They have taught me to roll with life a lot more, to be laid back more than I was before.  They have taught me to love and care in new ways I never knew imaginable.  They have taught me to think like a child again... and to think about how to approach things in new ways.  They laugh and they cry and they tug at my heart each day with their smiles and their sighs.  And thanks to my kids, I've learned how to get down at their level so that I can find where they stash toys.  Hee, hee!  (It isn't a surprise anymore when I open my kitchen cupboards and toys come tumbling out.)

... my friends... it is hard to list friends here and not feel like I've left someone out, so I will be general and say, "my friends".  You should know who you are.  These are the ladies I can go to daily to laugh, complain, cry, and generally have in my life as pseudo-sisters.  Many of them know me like my husband knows me, but they know me as a woman.  There is so much to be thankful for in that, especially since so many of them are far away from me, and yet I am able to stay connected to them.  Along with "my friends"... who most people think of as "in real life" friends, I need to plug my "online" friends as well... they have been a huge force in my life especially in raising my children.

... which leads me to say, I am thankful for... the Internet.  The Internet has it's pluses and negatives, but it is the thread that keeps us connected to our family and our friends.  I still write the occasional letter, the things like email, chat, Facebook, Skype... they have allowed me to renew friendships, maintain friendships, and grow in love with our family.
... my mother-in-law, Marcia... she is loving, kind, honest, and truthful... if you ask her opinion, she will give it to you, but not menacingly, and she typically always has a story to go along with it.  She is an amazing Buscha to her granddaughters (and grandson), she very obviously loves and cares for her sons and daughter, has a big place in her heart for her husband, and generally always thinks more of others around her than she thinks about herself.  She also knows how to peel a mean potato.  Heh.  Love you, Marcia!

... my parents... were it not for them, I would not be the person I am today, for better or for worse.  I have come to accept who I am in them, and that has led to a more blessed life as I inch my way through my 30s.  They are loving grandparents, always willing to travel, always willing to help, and are first to take care of their children when they are in need, even if means making life harder for themselves to do so.  They are giving people... always willing to give of themselves. 

... my sister... whenever I need a good laugh or to be told how it is, I can always turn to my sister.  It is wonderful to be a sister and to have a sister.  I am so thankful that my two daughters will be able to experience the ups and downs of sisterhood.  Melissa has been a force in my life without even knowing it, and she does (hopefully) know that there isn't much I wouldn't do for her.  I am excited to welcome a new baby into the family soon, as my sister is due in January.  She can be hard, but she is also overflowing with love, as is apparent with her children and her nieces.

... my coworkers... many people would agree that much of makes work livable is their coworkers, and I would have to agree with that.  Personally, I do enjoy my work and my job, but my coworkers significantly increase the joy that I have in work.  I am thankful to have known so many of these people for almost a decade... many for less than that... but they always take any pain out of working, and for that I am very thankful.  I actually do look forward to going to work.

That is all for now... time to start prepping for Thanksgiving (if I can be of any help!) and also do a little work today...

love you, and know, I am thankful for YOU too!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Birthday, Julia!

Julia is THREE YEARS OLD today!
Hard to believe that three years ago today, little Julia was born! 

I will blog more when I have some pictures and whatnot... we have her birthday party tonight at Buscha & Grandpa's house (and had a fun birthday party at Grammy & Papa's last night!), and she is very excited about her "Ariel Birthday". 

Happy birthday to my sweet little girl!


Friday, November 19, 2010


I know that The Season isn't all about receiving gifts... I realize two of my blog posts were very "gifty" tonight... just wanted to share some fun happening! 

Our House is for Sale!

Our house is for sale... wow!

I hesitate to post the links to the MLS and realty sites here... considering how open this is... but if you are friends with me on Facebook, I've posted them there.

We are hopeful and prayerful that our house will sell quickly... wee are excited about whatever or wherever this adventure will take us, and selling the house seems to be a big part of it... so here's to hoping that someone loves it as much as we do and wants to buy it quick, quick, quick!



Kids Kraft Friday!

We had another Kids Kraft Friday today with our friend Nile (and his Mommy and Sister) and today we made paper turkeys... so fun!


All About Raven

Poor Raven doesn't get near enough attention on this here blog, so I am rectifying that tonight a mite by posting about some of her latest accomplishments.

This has been a big week for Raven, most notably because she has gone back to sounding like a goose.  (Ha, not really, I mean, yes, she sounds like a goose, but that is not her biggest accomplishment for the week.)

This week Raven has learned to...

... wave good night (SO cute)...
... pick up a book when asked to do so (which signifies she knows what a book is now... yay!)...
... points to the moon when we are outside and points outside up into the sky when we are in the house when you say, "Where is the moon, Raven?"...
... go down the stairs (both on her belly AND on her butt, much to Mommy's horror!)...
... walk up to six blocks.

Raven has made a few mimics at waving in the past, but tonight when Adam said, "Good night, Raven!" and waved at her, she waved back.
Regarding a few of these... earlier this week when I brought the girls home from daycare, Julia said, "Mommy, look at the moon!"  Raven, in my arms, cranes her body around and says, "ooooh!" and points her finger up at the moon.  I was speechless.  We haven't been teaching her this.  Maybe Julia has.

Both Adam and I have been working with her on the stairs... and I realized she knew how to do it when I went to find her yesterday and I found her on her way down to the basement!

And, the six blocks... Miss Amy took the girls for a walk (I think last week) and she had Raven walk as far as she could... and she ended up walking the whole thing, about six blocks.  I guess she napped like crazy that afternoon.

Raven has also discovered the Christmas tree, much to my consternation... egads, that child will be the death of me yet.  Yesterday while we were working with the realtor, Raven walked into the living room with my airplane German glass-blown ornament and threw it onto the floor... she thought the crashing sound was fantastic.  We have already started her with mini timeouts to try and mitigate the tree situation.

As you can see from the pictures, Raven also loves her little Dora couch (especially when she gets to play on it when Julia isn't around), loves to ham around, and yes, loves to climb into the dishwasher.  That's my girl!  One of these days I'll teach her to put them away instead of pulling them out of the cupboard.


Speaking of Gifts...

Julia celebrated her 3rd birthday at daycare this last Monday seeing as how we will be gone for her birthday this coming week... and she came home with ARIEL!  Miss Amy bought Julia a Polly Pockets Ariel set and Julia is IN LOVE.  Ariel comes with to every room... we draw the line at these tiny, tiny pieces going to bed with Julia.  So much fun!


The Most Wonderful Gift

Do you get one of those gifts each year that is THE best gift and it feels like it might be THE best gift you've ever been given in your entire life?

I received one of THOSE gifts last night.

Once a month or so, I meet up with a dear friend of mine in Coralville for some knitting... we chat, we drink, we knit.  It is wonderful fun.  It provides us a way to stay connected even though we are miles apart.

As mentioned, part of this evening involves knitting, and I needed a couple more pairs of needles last night that I didn't have... I was ready to drop a good load of money... we got to looking at the interchangeable needles... *ah, a dream*... gorgeous and plentiful and satisfying 40 different sets of needles... but alas, way too expense for a whim purchase...

... next thing I know, my dear friends (another gal joined us last night) were deciding to purchase this set for me for Christmas (and my birthday next year, and you know, every year after that... HA!). 

How do I even thank these gals for this gift of kindness and generosity?  Maybe knit them something... ;)  Who knows.  All I know is that I have two of the bestest friends a girl could ever ask for... and not just because they bought me a wicked awesome gift.  I know they love me and want the best for me and would do a lot for me... and THAT is truly the best gift I could ask for.
Love you girls!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Raven is 14 months old!

My, my, how the time has flown!  Raven is 14 months old already!

I am still without a camera, so the pictures are less than stellar, but maybe you can tell that Raven is quite mischievous and a little ham. 

She loves eggs for breakfast, is a walking fool, and already knows how to "tattle" on her big sister (in the form of a squawk).

I had a thought last night... my heart was breaking at the thought of moving and the girls potentially needing to go to a daycare center until we found a comfortable in-home daycare... the thought that broke my heart... thinking that the girls wouldn't see each other all day every day like they do.  Right now there isn't a day that goes by that they don't spend together... they are always in each other's business, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse, but they are learning and growing together, and it feels so good and so right.

At any rate... this is about Raven!  Since her first birthday, she popped out a few teeth and now has four on top and two on the bottom and I swear each day by the amount of drool that comes out of her face that she is still teething.  She drinks sippy cups at daycare all day but mommy indulges her with nap and bedtime bottles still.

She still isn't saying any words, though she "talks" a lot these days.  She knows what the moon is (SO cute, if you ask her where the moon is, she finds it inn the sky and points to it).  She knows who mom and dad and Julia are, she knows who she is, and that's the most that matters to her these days.  She loves being set free to walk outside, and has been found elbow deep in ashes (a "next day" fire pit)... knee deep in leaves with a fistful headed towards her mouth.  Thankfully she still loves taking baths and I think her favorite part of it is running away from mommy naked and peeking around the corner.  You should hear the laughter come out of her then!

We are so thankful for our little beauty... Love you, Raven!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Hello, thy name is Trouble.

Umm... remembering now... a Christmas tree and a one-year-old doesn't mix all that well... Daddy did a little bit of teaching tonight so that Raven wouldn't take the ornaments off the tree.  So who brought me about 10 ornaments tonight while I was caulking the tub?

That's right.


We then had a discussion about looking but not touching.  We already have a few ornaments MIA.

It's going to be a long Christmas Tree Season in this house.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Beginning of a Great Story

I'm surprised it has taken me this long to write this blog post, but life has been a little busy the last week and some change. 

I say "Great Story" because inevitably any story in which you know God has a hand is going to be great, no matter how it turns out or where you end up.  God doesn't do less than "great".

The day after our anniversary, Adam went to a meeting at work where he found out that voluntary separation and layoffs were being offered to hourly and exempt employees.  He originally didn't think much of it as we had no intention of leaving Pella Corp/moving from Pella.  The next day he found out that severance was offered with the separation, and so the story began.

On our drive to Des Moines that night to go out to dinner for our anniversary, Adam told me about this.  We started joking about ha, ha, wouldn't it be fun/funny if, and maybe we should, and well, it wouldn't hurt to try... and so began the task of applying to a few jobs we found online in... Colorado.

Yes, Colorado has been a dream of ours for a few years... ever since we first visited in 2005 and then the dream was not squashed at all by our fly-by visit in 2008 with a child in tow.  It has been in the back of our minds, yes, but we also aren't ones to intentionally rock the boat, so other than planning a "scoping" trip for January, we had no real intention of moving there.  It was a "maybe".

So, we decided that we would take a stab and apply for a few jobs... if there were any bites, we would take that as our sign from God that Adam was supposed to take the separation and we were supposed to move.

No bites.

Fast forward to a week ago Sunday (October 31st), and Adam returns from a weekend of watching the Hawkeyes beat on Michigan State.  We talk and discuss... neither of us was sure if we had really heard God speaking one way or the other about taking the separation regardless of whether we heard back from the jobs or not... sure, we had a few coincidences that week, but nothing STRIKING, and we went to bed knowing we would stay put in Pella for a few more years.  (The coincidences sure were fun, though... a great "statement" in a Bible study I'm doing, a quote from Star Trek, running into our realtor from SIX YEARS AGO twice in one week...)

So, it was a bit surprising when Adam shook me awake Monday morning with the exclamation that he was supposed to take the separation; he "heard" during his prayer/Bible study time that morning... and with a well wish, I sent him off to work and life has been exciting and whirl-windish ever since then.

What we do know right now...
Adam's last day at Pella Corp is January 28th.  Contrary to some belief, Adam isn't leaving for any personal or personnel reasons... he likes his boss(es), he likes his work... this simply feels like the right thing for us to be doing.
We don't know where we will end up. We like the idea of Colorado; we like Colorado.  But, God might have different plans for us, so we're taking it one day at a time.
Because we do feel like we know we won't be staying in Pella, we are putting our house on the market.  We had a good walk through with our realtor today (the same realtor we coincidentally saw twice... ha!), and with a little more work, we will be ready to list next week.  We plan to have our house go on the market next Thursday.  A realtor walk through will take place on the following Tuesday, and we will be praying and hoping for some bites.

Adam has applied for a few more jobs, but as mentioned above, we're taking this one day at a time.  There's a lot that goes into this... more than what I'm willing to discuss on an open blog, but suffice to say that we do feel like we made the right decision and we feel like no matter what and no matter how and no matter where, things will turn out as they should be.  For the most part, while busy, I'm staying stress free... which is a new modus operandi for me!  Heh!

And, if you want to see our house the CLEANEST it ever has been... and I mean, cleanest... as in, it wasn't this clean when we bought it... it is CLEAN... stop on by.  Sign a purchase contract on your way through, please.