Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dryer Rug

Growing up, a laundry room was defined by the rug on the dryer. I am pretty sure both my grandma and my mom did it.

When we bought our first house, it seemed logical to buy this cheap $2 rug to put on top of the dryer. I'm not sure it has a real use but it makes me feel like home.

That rug traveled to Pella with us, and tonight as I unpacked a box of towels and hangers, I found the rug. Guess you could say I'm home now.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, August 22, 2011

Thank you!

I wanted to post quickly to say Thank You to everyone who called, sent a card, sent a gift, sent flowers, messaged (text or FB), emailed, or otherwise said, "Happy Birthday!" to me this last Friday. What a sweet day it was to have so many people in my life send me well-wishes!

There are many of you to whom I owe a nice, heart-felt thank you card, and I guarantee that it is coming... but as it is, I'm not even sure that I can find a thank you card in my house right now. So, I thought I'd use my blog for now to say THANK YOU to everyone! And, for those of you who are wondering, no, I haven't forgotten you and I haven't lost all manners... finding a box with the right implements in it, though, is proving troublesome.

Last Friday was a great day which started out with sleeping in which was what I requested of Adam (i.e., not having to get up with the girls). He obliged and even tried to sleep in their room with them for a while when they were wide awake and crawling all over me at 6 am. (I hope they slept in longer today for him!) I spent my morning drinking coffee, eating cake, doing a few things around the house, and then at 11 am Adam and I went to the Science and Nature Museum and watched a Great Lakes IMAX movie... so neat!

Afterwards we had a nice lunch at Thai Basil and then spent a few hours browsing and buying at IKEA. Too fun!

Friday night, after we picked up the girls, we had dinner on the back patio (sweet corn and cheddar brats/wurst). We came back inside to light the candles on the cake, since it was too windy out back for the girls to blow them out. The girls proceeded to get cake... well... everywhere.

Later, even though I was planning to get the guest room cleaned out so that I could paint it (different post), I cuddled the girls and watched a show with them before bedtime. They thought it was especially fun to play with the camera on Mommy's phone. :)

All in all it was a most fantastic day! Thank you so much! (Especially to Adam and my girlies!)


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Yeah, sometimes it feels like that...

Adam, das braumeister

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Happy birthday to my wonderful dad, Jeff!  He turns 59 today!

I love you, Dad!  I hope that you have a great day!


Sunday, August 7, 2011

One Last Box to Unpack

All right, so that’s a joke, because there are endless boxes yet to be unpacked.  BUT, Adam took this picture today and it is so ridiculously cute that I have to share it with you. 

08-07-2011 raven julia box

The girls LOVE to play in the oodles of empty boxes laying around our house and have made many forts and houses in the last few days.  This picture is great in that both girls are smiling and playing well together.  Imagine that. 


Defining a new word…


[shaw shaync], Verb; shawshanked, shawshanking

1. To methodically and meticulously dispose of something big, a small portion at a time.

I invented (adapted) this word back in 2005, ten years after the movie “Shawshank Redemption” was released. (one of my top 3 movies, btw) In the movie, Andy Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins, tunnels his way out of prison over the course of several decades, the whole time he disposes of the wall material “one pocketful/handful at a time” by spreading it throughout the prison yard.   I first used the word with my wife when we demolished the upstairs of our Pella, IA home.  There was so much plaster and rubble that I could only put about 3 or 4 small grocery bags in the trash at a time…..thus Shawshanking my demolition.   Yes, I hauled a few large trips to the landfill, but there is something satisfying about sneakily disposing of “building material refuge” which isn’t supposed to go in the city trash.

Fast forward to today, we are in the midst of unpacking lots and lots of boxes and have been collapsing and folding the boxes to save space.  I highly doubt our recycling company will take all these boxes in one “go”….what is a man to do?

ps. when writing this blog I decided to Google the word “shawshank” and make sure nobody else has decided to apply another definition to the word.  LOL

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Brewer's Blog

I just posted 4 new posts this week on my Yak and Yeti brewer’s blog.  Didn’t know if people knew about it or were following it yet.  If interested in following blog or getting emailed when it is updated, either add it to your blogroll or use


Thursday, August 4, 2011

First Night

Last night (Wednesday, 8/3) was the first night we stayed at our new house. How VERY exciting! I picked the girls up from school after a quick shopping trip to Macy’s and Target (YAY, I FINALLY found shower curtains for both bathrooms that I liked, and without a day to spare!). I told them we were headed to the new house and Julia was about to burst with excitement; she couldn’t wait to go!

On Sunday when we did our massive shopping trip to Lowe’s to buy a lawnmower and other Important Home Items (How does one not have these things already? Well, we left the fire extinguishers at the old house, etc.), we also stopped by Target for… wow… I cannot remember. Shower curtains? (Apparently the shower curtains on 144th are better than those at the Kipling Target.) Either way, as we trolled the aisle, I noticed new girl bedding and Julia immediately honed in on the Tangled bedding.

You might recall that Julia received Princess bedding for Christmas last year thanks to my Midnight Shopping Trip with Adam’s lovely Aunt Theresa for Black Friday (CAN’T WAIT TO GO AGAIN, T!!!). Now with Raven being moved to a big girl bed, we needed a second set of bedding, and since Raven loves ANYTHING Julia loves, we allowed Julia to pick out new bedding and she bequeathed the Princess bedding to Raven. So, now we have a general Disney Princess bed and a Disney Tangled bed. (Daddy is so happy. The pink bursting from the room is nearly suffocating him. Good thing that he has The Dungeon, The Garage, The Packers Room, and someday, The Workshop.)

With great fanfare, I outfitted the girls’ beds last night with mattress pads and sheets and pillows and blankets, and you can see the result above. Don’t they look happy! Not only was this going to be the First Night in the New House, this was also Raven’s First Night in a Big Girl Bed! Julia, who normally doesn’t want to have anything to do with going to bed, nearly fainted with glee when I told her it was time for bed. She quickly scrambled under her new Tangled comforter and settled right in. Raven took a bit more coaxing, but within five minutes (!!!!!), she was situated as well. I kissed them both good night and gave them tucked hugs. Julia said a few times, “Mom, I’m not scared” – more to reassure herself than me, I guess. They both slept beautifully last night and Raven was still asleep and in her bed when I left this morning.

First night? Success.

Oh, and last night… well, last night was the first night that I’ve slept in our king-size bed since April… umm… cue the angels, please. That is a bit of heaven right there. Forgot how much I loved that bed!


ps. For those wondering, the bed frames are different sizes because this is actually a bunked set that Adam built ~2 years ago. We decided to leave them un-bunked for a few reasons: 1.) Julia’s not quite ready for the top bunk yet, even with a rail, 2.) Raven is not ready for the top bunk, period, 3.) Raven is our Little Spitfire and would be up and down that ladder a million times if we let her, and I’m not ready to deal with ladders yet.

pps. Forgive the horrible lighting. As mentioned above, the sheer pinkness might be a bit overpowering, but I promise the carpet is tan and not pink. The beds are white. And the walls are a beautiful, beautiful pink. :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Toast Cookies

As Adam mentioned in his earlier post tonight, we haven’t done much cooking this last weekend/this week due to the moving.  Daily it doesn’t seem that we know which residence we’ll be in, and because of that, we’ve had food at one place and been at another during mealtimes.

In an effort to cook more a few weeks ago, I told Adam that when the cereal ran out, I was going to make breakfast from scratch.  This worked well for about 1.5 weeks until the muffins ran out on Friday morning and we were in the thick of moving over the weekend.  Last night Adam asked me what was for breakfast and I gave him a half-crazed half-blank stare and he said, “Woman, get thee Pop Tarts!”

(Okay, that’s not what he really said, but it would be funny if he had, eh?)

So off to the store I went for two very important thing – butter and Pop Tarts.

This morning we were all up and getting ready for the day and I popped a package of Pop Tarts into the toaster for the girls.  When they popped up, I placed them on the counter to cool off (who hasn’t been burned by Pop Tarts before???). 

Julia usually would rather play in the morning than eat breakfast, but this morning she was curious as to what lay on the counter.  Having never seen a Pop Tart before, her first reaction was, “I don’t like it!”  I said to her, “Julia, it is like candy.” (Dumb mom move, but what can I say – it’s how I get her to try new things when I’m desperate.)  She looked curiously at the Pop Tart and she says in an excited voice, “Mommy!  It’s like toast!  But it’s like a cookie!  It’s a toast cookie… with SPARKLES on it!”  (Have I ever mentioned her love for toast before?  Too funny.  She can eat three pieces in a sitting.  Takes after her mom, I guess.)

I relayed this story to Adam and we laughed a bit when Julia came running into the bathroom and said, “Daddy, like a cookie!  With sparkles!!!”

Guess who ate her Pop Tart without any problem?


Fried Green Beans

Since we are living at both the apartment and the house at the same time (one foot in both places so-to-speak) we have a hard time figuring out what to do for supper,….so we decided to use a gift card to TGI Fridays that a friend gave us as a thank you. 

I don’t frequent these type of places often, but there was one nearby and it sounded like an easy supper.  I didn’t realize they had a $12.99 three-course meal available.  So I had the fried green beans for an appetizer, the jumbo shrimp for entree and an Oreo ice cream dessert.

There was a lot of food and I didn’t eat it all, so I decided to share my fried green beans with the girls.  Both girls tried to take one bite and then drop it saying (or grunting in Raven’s case) that “I don’t like it.”   So being the creative dad that I am, I cut up the beans into bite-sized chunks.

I watched as Julia proceeded to eat the breading off the beans and make a pile of the refuse.  I turned towards Raven, where I see her taking off the breading and putting it in a pile and popping the green beans into her mouth.   Between the two girls,…we have one good eater.   After they were done, I swapped their plates and each girl finished the refuse from the other.  Perplexing merriment for the whole family!