Family Follies

Easter Eve we had some entertaining overnight guests...

Miss Marlee and her brother, Nolan, stayed with us while their Mommy and Daddy attended a wedding reception. 

Don't tell Sarah's Dad, but Marlee actually sat on Grandpa Glen's lap!  She generally snubs all men, especially Grandpas.

Easter morning, the Easter Bunny stopped by... fortunately while everyone was still fast asleep!

Nolan was most pleased with the tennis racket and balls, but he couldn't find anyone to play tennis with him so early in the morning!   He amused himself with another goofy ball he thought was cool.

Marlee was not overly impressed with anything, until Grandpa found some m&m's hiding inside an Easter egg.

The weather was very nice (finally!) and Marlee enjoyed her first Easter egg hunt.

Ethan was a great help to the little ones.

And, of course, Chandler had to strike a pose, just 'cause he knew all the cameras were clicking like crazy.

After the big hunt, everybody had to check out the funny animals on our farm (or is that check out the animals at our Funny Farm??)

This is what you look like after a baby bull licks your hand:


T-Bone quickly moved away, hoping Marlee would like his tongue better than Kristen did!

Morgan wasn't in the least intimidated by T-Bone

And T-Bone was just loving all the attention!

I sure would like to know what brother-in-law, Larry, was telling the Llamas because he sure had their full attention!

Before we knew it, it was time for everyone to say goodbye.

Here's hoping you all had as wonderful an Easter as we did!


Prime Time

My house is a mess, but I don't care. 

There's been way too much going on around here to worry about pristine surroundings.  Tax season at work is finally over.  The upper respiratory ick that usually hits right after tax season arrived a week early this year, and I'm just now starting to feel human again.  (My boss will appreciate that).  The tornado came and went, my sister is home from the hospital and we're back to giving the kitchen our undivided attention.

This contraption, which I believe is an air compressor, has taken up residency in the kitchen .  Every time it kicks in, it scares the boogers right outta me!  Glen thinks that's pretty funny, but I've seen him jump a couple times too : )  

It's purpose, of course, is for ease in nailing the beadboard paneling to the existing cupboards with the air nail gun.  Another contraption that scares the boogers right outta my head.

We bought the faux beadboard at Menard's - around $32 for a 4 x 8 panel.  Spendy, I know, but what a difference it makes.

The existing cupboards were hand crafted out of plywood.  Sturdy, for sure, but it was time for a change.  We thought about just painting them white, but we decided that would be much more difficult and time consuming.  

The countertops are coming along nicely too.  Glen is definitely the top coat man.  We had to rub down one of the countertops with steel wool because I did a horrible job!  From now on, I'm the dabber, he's the topper : )

We have four out of five of the countertops finished.  The largest one awaits our attention, the one where the sink resides.

Sorry, still can get a decent picture of the countertops!

 It's great to have a lot of counter space - but not so great when it comes to painting all of them!  We will have to remove the sink when it comes time to paint that counter - you can do it without removing the sink, but it looks so much better when you do.  Glen has promised me a new sink, so it was going to come out sooner or later anyway.

Today we are putting the primer on the new beadboard siding.  We just can't wait to get a glimpse of how it's all kida sorta gonna look when we get done : )

It is definitely going to look different!

I can hardly wait until we get the front sides done.  The drawers and doors are in for a nice face lift too.  That, of course will be even more time consuming.  (sigh)  But it will be ohhhhhhh soooooooo worth it when we're finished.

Stay tuned!


Iowa Tornado

Thank God no one was seriously injured during this tornado that ripped through my sister's town, Mapleton, Iowa, around 7:00 p.m. Saturday, April 9, 2011.

(Pictures Source:  Des Moines Register)

Yesterday (April 9th) was my mother's birthday.  It will be a birthday none of us will ever forget.  My sister, Cindy, who lives in the tornado tattered town was not home when it struck.  She was with my parents in Omaha, Nebraska, visiting my other sister, Rhonda, who is in the hospital and will be having surgery tomorrow to try to fix her broken heart.  (Prayers appreciated).    Fortunately, Cindy's house escaped damage, but there are trees laying in her yard that used to be standing in her neighbors' yards.  Had she been home, she said, she probably wouldn't have a car as one of the huge trees landed right where she parks her car.

The storm that passed through Mapleton continued northeasterly spawning tornado after tornado.  The small town of Early, Iowa, also suffered major damage.

This photo was reportedly taken during the storm and has probably been
text messaged to every cell phone in the State of Iowa by now.

I also found a site showing amazing pictures of the storm as it approached Mapleton:

It is most definitely worth the click to see the magnificent scenes captured

If you wish to read a detailed account of the storm:

This storm definitely hit too close to home for me.   Mapleton is about 40 miles from my house, not that far for a twister to twist.  I am just glad no one was seriously injured.  You may remember the horrible tornado that killed 4 Boy Scouts in Little Sioux, Iowa, a couple of years ago.  Little Sioux is about 50 miles from my house.  God willing, we have seen our share of tornadoes in Iowa, but I will definitely be keeping an eye on the sky.


Natural Distractions

Work on the kitchen is   s l o w l y   progressing.  Between work, fixing mistakes and being too pooped at the end of the day to accomplish anything, I have legitimate excuses for my beautiful new kitchen remaining nothing more than a vision inside my head for over a month.  The voices inside my head are driving me crazy though... "Get 'er done!"  So, Natural Distractions are very welcomed around here:

All five of my Grandsons were running around here last weekend and we had a blast!  Nolan (4) loves the animals and giggles and giggles when the goats eat corn out of his hand.

Ethan and Chandler (6) and (4) enjoyed an interesting game of invisible bowling.  Chandler calls it "bawling".  Oh to be a kid again.  Who needs bowling pins?  You can throw a strike every time without them!

Corn dogs for lunch

and great gobs of goofiness before bed:

Shortly before 9 p.m. it was all quiet on the Western Front

Sunday morning they got their favorite breakfast at Grandma's house:  Farm fresh eggs and bacon.
I must admit fixing up that little picnic table and bringing it in the house was one of the best ideas I've ever had.  The boys love it and it is so handy for them.

Before we knew it, it was time to pack the boys up and head to Red Oak for Marlee's Birthday Party!

Marlee wasn't too sure about all of the commotion.

Cole opted to steer clear of the little ones and play with Sugar instead.

Sidewalk chalk + bottles of bubbles = FUN

The Birthday Girl in her new Birthday Chair.

Lauren (2) getting ready to blow bubbles.

Macy and Great-Grandma Rena.

Sarah, Marlee, Nolan and Nate.

Nolan had fun at my house, but I think he was happy to get home.  It was a great weekend for all of us and this Grandma truly enjoyed the little "natural distractions".  Heck, I almost want to grab them every weekend.  It's so much more fun than working on the kitchen... but the voices are haunting me.  Get 'er done... Ger 'er done... Get 'er done!