Sunday, June 29, 2008

Children are an heritage of the Lord
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them

Psalm 127: 3 & 5

I have a few cute stories and updates about my children and thought I would share them. They are a joy to have!

A little over a week ago I asked Clark to guess who was coming over for dinner on Sunday. I was acting very excited and was hoping he would be able to guess right away. Clark happily guessed: "The missionaries?!" I thought that was awesome!

We started our month-long road trip about a week ago. On one of our stretches we passed some corn fields. Clark was amazed as we drove by and said: "That is a big garden!"

The other day Clark called Deb "Uncle Lois".

He is doing pretty well on saying Spanish words. It has helped that he hears Lee speaking to him and Clark in Spanish. A couple of times he has told me that something is "bonita" (aka cute). And just this afternoon he asked Thomas if he wanted to go downstairs with him and it was cute hearing Cal say: "Vamos!" (let's go).

A few days ago Sam was throwing Shanna up into the air while she was eating a graham cracker. Sam said while Shanna was airborne she took a bite of her graham cracker. That is very amazing!

She is in the mimicking stage. She will fold her arms (or partially) when we ask her, and it's so cute to see her wave her hand. She also likes to comb her hair--the little that she has. She also has four teeth coming in at once. Today Paul saw the girls snatching graham crackers from each other and taking turns eating them.

Sheldon & Nathan, this movie is for you guys!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday June 27

Sturgis Falls Festival

This weekend is Sturgis Falls. It's the name of the town celebration for Cedar Falls. Cedar Falls was once named Sturgis Falls. We started off the festivities by visiting The Victorian House museum. We then crossed the street and went to the booths. There was supposed to be a kids booth with crafts and lego building. There was no kid area. We did see the legos right outside of the tent. No one was around, so we pulled the legos into the tent and the kids started playing. Some other kids came too. While they were playing with legos I walked around the booths to see if anything was free. I saw lots of yummy food, but the only free stuff was some water and Gatorade at the hospital's tent. But walking around paid off. Free entertainment was happening at the band shell and the announcers/emcees mentioned free tickets to the carnival rides. I went up a little while later and asked about the tickets. Guess what?! I got 10 of them! Each ticket was good for one free ride. It was perfect because there are 5 kids that are the age to go on those rides, so we figured 2 rides each.

Clark got lucky and got to go on four. One ride the guy let a lot of us on for free, and Cal didn't want to go on any of the other ones. Matt had an extra ticket that Thomas didn't use, so Lee got to go on a pretty fun ride. Deb and Matt also got two funnel cakes. That is the first time I have ever seen one! They are yummy! I also got to play a game and the guy said if I won he would give me a prize. Too bad though, I lost. Another lucky thing was Deb suggested that we go before dinner because we had a really late lunch. It was a great idea because it started raining when we were loading up to go home.

The fun rides

Cal was going to go on this ride. Thomas didn't like it and started crying. Then Cal started crying. They didn't even make it the whole way around. The guy turned it off and gave us our tickets back.

Clark and Lee on the Crazy Bus

We got to go on bumper cars for free. Lee and Cal went in and used one of the tickets. I think the guy let us on because bumper cars arent fun with just one car moving!

Haley waiting while the cars were bumping

After lunch we went downtown for a kiddie parade. There was even a costume contest. We walked a few blocks and at the end the kids got a cookie and a Capri Sun. They really enjoyed that. Cal borrowed Makenzie's stroller. Look what Cal is pushing!

Clark really liked this "reindeer"

Clark loved this ride!

The kiddie parade. We even had a cop escort!

Clark and Ruth

At The Victorian Museum they had a great model train display with two of the trains running. The kids loved it.

Lee enjoying a fun pin ball machine at the Bunkers


Clark, Ruth, Haley

I took some pictures upstairs at the museum in the kids' rooms. It would have been really hard to have twins over 100 years ago!

These are toys--the little dresser and mirror, and iron stove. Look at the chair to the left to gauge the size.

Here is a little toy bed.

Clark again

Train village



Guess who?!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday June 26th

Thursday night we went to Parkersburg, Iowa to see the destruction of the tornado that swept through a few weeks ago. It was a very organized "mess". There were piles here and there of debris, very orderly. We even saw a few new houses with their framing up.

The telephone lines are brand new

Tornadoes are selective in the wreckage they render. We saw a good chunk of Pakersburg that wasn't touched by the tornado. One lady went inside while the big storm went through. She then hopped in her car to go to the grocery store. She was in for a shock. It wasn't there.

We then drove to the Godfreys--they were in Deb and Matt's ward. They moved right after the tornado because their house was flattened. The dad was filming the storm that he saw by his neighbors. He then realized it was a tornado. He ran into his house, grabbed his family and they went to their tornado shelter underneath their front steps. They kneeled down, said a prayer and as soon as they were done, their ears popped. When they came out of their shelter their house was flattened. Their vehicles were still there, but were wrecked internally. One of the dad's guitars was underneath one of the wheels--so the vehicles were airborne. I should have taken a picture of where the house used to stand. There was a grassy lawn with a flattened area of dirt in the middle.This family was planing on moving in a few weeks, but since their house was totalled they moved right away after the tornado struck.

On the way back to the Bunkers, Matt drove through part of Cedar Falls that had been flooded. These people have been through a lot lately!

This morning/early afternoon we went to the park. It was gorgeous out! I didn't enjoy the mosquito's--I am used to them coming out mainly at night. But the weather was nice and cool, but perfect for t-shirts. On our way home it started sprinkling about 50 feet or so from Deb's driveway. We are going to the library later this afternoon and tonight, if it's not raining we're going to Parkersburg. That's where a tornado swept through about a month ago.

Britt, we're so glad you're home!

Haley and Shanna really like this baby stroller. I think I know what Santa will be getting them for Christmas this year!

A future mommy!

Clark enjoyed the park. There are three play areas at the park.

Cal, Makenzie, Clark, Thomas

Haley was asleep for most of the time at the park

Shanna swinging. It sure is hard to get a picture of her smiling at the camera!

Shanna baby...coming down the chimney tonight

Cutie Cal

The horses again

Yum! Shanna enjoying some natural vegetation

Busy baby

Makenzie and Clark. Last night Clark and I were having a little chat and Clark said that Deb's place was cool and he wanted to live here. He really likes their many toys and having Makenzie and Paul to play with. Plus, a backyard with swings, a slide, bikes and other toys. He's in heaven! Thanks for the fish crackers Sam!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dave Ramsey Motivation

I was listening to the Dave Ramsey talk show the other day. It was a Friday because on Friday listeners are encouraged to call in and tell the audience how much debt they've paid off, how long it took them, what their income was during that time and then scream: "I'M DEBT FREE!" or "WE'RE DEBT FREE!"

This couple called in. They paid off $30,000 in 2 1/2 years. Their total yearly income during those 2 1/2 years ranged from $18,000 to $30,000. Plus, they had two kids and one on the way. I could not believe it! I was so impressed!!! That really fired me up to race against myself in paying off student loans. And Dave Ramsey better not die between now and 2010, because I want to call into his show and scream: "I'M DEBT FREE!"

So, yeah. I'm really pumped about it. Anyone want to race?

TrAVeL TidbiT

We're on the move again! After a week break of fun, family festivities, we hit the road again about 6:30am Monday morning. Our first big stop was in Johnson City, TN. We met some friends at a park. I wish we could have visited with each of them longer, but we had to get going. We drove to St. Robert, MO that evening. We got there at 1:00am. I drove the last long stretch of the journey. It was kind of unnerving at times. Because of the way the darkness was laid on the road, I would come to the top of the hill but couldn't see the down-slopping side of the hill until I was going down. I can't explain it properly, but if you've ever driven up a steep hill, you know what I mean. We were also very blessed as I saw two deer on the side of the road, and that was it!

We are re-listening to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. We also have Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to listen to next. It's been fun to listen to the Half-Blood Prince again, but it's my 3rd time and I am really looking forward to hearing the Deathly Hallows because I know already that I've forgotten stuff. Jim Dale does a superb job reading them!

Tuesday late morning we headed to Ft. Leonard Wood to look at base housing. I really liked the base. We have never been to a base that big. The commissary is SWEET! They had Ben & Jerry's there for $1.99 and it wasn't even on sale! We'll just have to steer away from those goodies that we love, but never buy, and keep not buying them. Doritos are only $2 and I love Doritos, but I was good and didn't buy any yesterday.

I've heard good things about the elementary school located by the officer housing. The classes are small, and that sounds good to me! Lee also got a peek at the eye clinic and really liked it. The hours are 7:30 to 4:30 there, so he should be home before 5! The hospital--where the eye clinic is at, is about 2 miles from the officer housing. There are also 2 parks right next to the housing. They look really fun--and they are basically in our "backyard". The church is about 4 miles from officer housing. There is a good-sized ward in St. Robert--the town that is just outside the army base.

After we looked around at the housing on base and off, we met the Bishop, his wife and some of their family. They are really nice. Sounds like there is a good chunk of military in the ward (of course I am not surprised.) There are at least two families that live on base, and sounds like there are even more!

I was disappointed with the old housing--and there is a lot of it. But it "sounds" like there may be renovations in the future. Despite my disappointment with the housing, I really like everything else so much that I am still leaning towards on-base housing.

Here is the carport on one of the single family home that looked more tolerable. It looks better in the picture though.

And a front view

There are two streets that have new homes on them, but the chances don't seem to be in our favor in living in one of them. They also have ranch homes that are similar in looks to this one. I would love to live in one of these!

Front on view

The house is for rent and it is literally right by the church. The outside looks fine, but I wasn't impressed with the inside. I need to remind myself that we won't be living in this area forever, so I shouldn't be too picky about housing. I definitely don't want to be a "student" any more, but we'll have to live like one for a couple more years.

Now we are in Cedar Falls enjoying the lovely summer weather. It's only 87.4 degrees right now! Earlier, I went on a little shopping trip with Cal, Deb and Thomas. Tonight I am going to Young Womens with Deb. They are having a class on decorating your bedroom. It's sound fun! Hopefully I can keep updating you all as our journey progresses.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sisters, Sisters

Isn't this just the cutest thing in the whole world?!!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

S u m m e r N i g h t s

Wednesday was a beautiful day. Actually, the past few days have been very nice temperature wise. We enjoyed some of the weather by going out doors of course! The girls are walking! They have been for a few weeks now. I thought they would be in the prefer-crawling-over-walking mode for awhile. But they surprised me and both caught on to full-time walking at basically the same time! They are done with nursing, bottles and pacifiers. They have been pretty good sleepers, but the end of April, they BOTH started sleeping through the whole night. 8 pm to 7 am-ish without waking up at all! Of course there is the occasional wake-up, but that is rare. I love it when all kids (especially 4 of them!) sleep the WHOLE night. I should learn from them and go to bed at 8 pm too!

I was going to mention, and maybe I did, but we watched Alfred Hitchcock's The Wrong Man, starring Henry Fonda while we were in Maryland visiting the Heits. I really liked it. If you are having a bad day, watch this movie. It's not a butterfly-lamb-frolicking movie, but it puts in perspective that maybe some of our "problems" really aren't so bad; and, are more manageable than we think. Check it out.

Here are the pictures from Wednesday. Enjoy!

The boys had a fun time racing Lee. We need to get Cal riding a trike. He is content to push a stroller for the time being though.

Cal and his SUPER FAST stroller

Clark and his scooter...he too needs a transition--to a two-wheeled bike!

What a great way to end your day, huh?