Saturday, December 29, 2012

Week 52

Four generations of Durbin men.
This week was all about a few days in Paducah for Durbin Christmas. 

Link and Naomi (pre-blizzard in Kentucky).  This is who I think Link looks the most like.

One of Link's great gifts.  He also got a hand knit sweater and hat from Agnes' mom (in Norwegian pattern).

Link had a lot of fun with Bryce's cousin, Landon.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Week 51- 2012

1. I finished the Lego table for Link.  He loves it.

2. We continue our Norwegian/Scandanavian theme Christmas with our advent calendar and tree (decked out it flags).  Link is so use to reading books by our author of choice every time I say the word "by" he smiles and says "Jan Bread" (Meaning Jan Brett).  We made a Norwegian ornament of weaved paper as well.

 3.  We did Christmas with my mom's side of the family and my family opened gift too.  It was a lot of fun with the Giuntas, including a great game of spoons and lots of laughs. Link got a Leapster from Grandma and Grandpa that he really enjoys.  While most of my family was watching Green Bay versus the Bears, Agnes and I watched Norway versus Montenegro.  In what sport you ask?  Handball.  It seems like such a whimpy little thing in the name, but it was quite entertaining.  It's like a mix between soccer and basketball.

4. Monday Link and I went to Dubuque.  He was excellent all day.  We went to Menards and I bought myself what I really wanted for Christmas, a miter saw.  We went to several other shops and ended the day at Olive Garden (using our gift certificate), which according to Link "smells like bread!"

5. SNOW!  Lots of it.  So much so that school was canceled.  I tried to take Link outside during the blizzard and the wind blew snow in his face and he was done.  So we stayed inside and made a ton of crafts (button snowflake, shield, weaving heart ornament, etc) and cooked (broccoli soup, homemade bread, etc).

6. At story hour Link made a pine cone bird feeder.  He was very excited about putting it up.

7.  After yoga the group got together for a cookie exchange.  It was awesome.  Natalia is not only a phenomenal yoga instructor and attorney, she is also an amazing chef.

8. I woke up Wednesday to what the chiropractor told me was a "rib head out of place."  Fortunately I was able to get in right away, but it still took my breath away every time I looked right for the next couple of days.

9. I opened Whimsy Market back up on Friday and Agnes joined me for the day.  She made the day fun, even making me laugh so hard that I was wiping away streams of tears.  On Saturday the Bruxvort Colligans "The River's Voice" came and sang for the store patrons.  They were excited to visit with us, and Sam was excited to see Link.

10. Dad came over to look the car over once more before we head to Kentucky tomorrow.  He also found a few other projects to tinker with.  We thought he reminded us a lot of Santa in this photo.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012- Week 50

1. It snowed and we took family photos.

2. Link wrote his first letter to Santa.  He asked for a back pack and his typical candy canes and sack of toys.

3. I took a Quick Books class in Elkader.  I am still debating if I should get it, but it seems pretty great, so I probably will.

4. I got a new phone.  Not a smart phone, but a samsung freeform.  I can text a lot better with a keypad.

5. The last time I went to Goodwill in Decorah they gave me free movie passes for shopping local.  When I got home, the coat I purchased had two free pizzas in it to Happy Joes in Decorah so on Saturday Link and I went to Ice Age- Continental Drift, then we went to have a free pizza at Happy Joes.  We were not planning on using the other pizza coupon so I let Link choose someone to pass it on to.  The family he chose was very appreciative and Link was so happy he made someone else happy.

6. Bryce's parents gave us money to repair our piano, but this week we found one nearby that costs even less than the repairs so we are purchasing it instead.

7.  Agnes had a home basketball game so I went.  She got to play a bit, which was nice.  She seems to be a little bit more concerned about what she is eating now and I am wondering if basketball has anything to do with it. 

8.  The editor of the paper did a story on whimsy market to highlight the local craftmanship I support in the store. 

9.  My friend Adam met with me over lunch to discuss the possibility of working his company Fire Farm to do Facebook/Pinterest promotion.  I am very excited about the possibility.  We were interrupted by the fire alarm and someone calling his cell to tell him it was his fire alarm going off. 

10. We did another Essential Oils meeting at Whimsy Market and I ended up purchasing a starter kit.  I am excited to get them. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2012 Goals Accomplished

Lifestyle Changes
1. Buy 99% of meat and eggs from local sources
2. Make 99% of all our bread
3. Replace a household cleaning product with a self made
4. Make a worm tea bin or get a compost machine
5. Plant a bigger garden
6. Buy/eat only locally grown vegetables
7. Trade out non-stick pans and plastic spatulas for iron, stainless steel
8. Can vegetables or make jam
9. Replace a bathroom product for a natural fragrance free product
10. Learn to make cheese
11. Look in the fridge/pantry and pick something to make from scratch instead
12. Switch something buying from store to co-op bulk

Professional Goals
1. Use credit at Photo Pro in CR
2. Make a new photography brochure
3. Become a home vendor of a product
4. Print t-shirts
5. Choose a wholesale company to partner with
6. Read the Barbra Winter's Book Again
7. Finish the Art Punks website and get it up
8. Create an art chair
9. Start a day care
10. Create a play area for day care
11. Finish children's book
12. Publish children's book

House Goals
1. Have electrical done in the bathroom
2. Plaster and paint bathroom
3. Plaster and paint kitchen
4. Roof the house
5. Clean siding and put up shutters
6. Have ceilings done
7. Have floors done
8. Strip the wood
9. Fence in play area for day care
10. Paint/Seal the basement
11. Put bathtub upstairs
12. Set up a better recycling area

Financial Goals
1. Record expenses again
2. Don't buy anything in Prairie du Chien
3. Do taxes and get refund
4. Have credit card below $8000
5. Create a will or revocable trust
6. Set up a Roth IRA/retirement
7. Put $3000 in Link's savings account
8. Pay off $6000 in college loans from AmeriCorps
9. Cut one of our biggest monthly expenses in half
10. Have credit card below $6000
11. Learn about the stock market
12. Give to a charity

Random goals without a timeline
1. Read the Grant Wood book and visit locations
2. Read the El Kader book and write play
3. Make a photo album from high school stuff
4. Make a photo album from college stuff
5. Get Lasik
6. Take a sister's day trip or vacation
7. Go to Amy's Scrapbooking Saturday and do paper crafts
8. Get a dress pattern and sew own dress
9. Take piano lessons again
10. Go to a Quaker meeting in Decorah
11. Visit the Mosque in Cedar Rapids
12. Bike at least once a week
13. Improve time in the Bix or run the Quick Bix
14. Take dance lessons and perform in the dance reunion
15. Plant Link's placenta and possibly a tree
16. Enter a project at the county fair
17. Learn to do my own taxes
18. WWOF in Australia
19. Go to the Duqubue museum of art

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Santa Claus according to Link at age 3

Bryce and I have never really figured out if we were going to tell the fable or truth about Santa, so we have just kind of ignored it.  We thought maybe friends and family would tell Link one or the other and he would ask questions, but he hasn't, so today I asked HIM questions.

This is what he said:

1. Have you ever met Santa?  Yes
2. Is Santa real or pretend? He is just like us.
3. Where does Santa live?  Umm, Elkader
4. Does Santa ride in a sleigh with reindeer? Yes
5. Do the reindeer fly? Some do, some don't.
6. Does Santa bring you anything? Yeah, candy canes
7. When does Santa bring you things? When we go see him at the stores and stuff.
7. Does Santa ever come to your house when you are sleeping?  No, that's silly.
8. Does Santa leave presents under your tree? No, that's silly.
9. Who brings you presents? Everybody
10. If you could ask Santa to bring you something other than candy canes what would you ask for? A sack of toys.

Monday, December 10, 2012

2012- Week 48 & 49

 1. I took a couple ideas from different people and made Link an advent calendar of gift bags.  Each bag has a book in it we read each night.  Since we are having a Norwegian themed Christmas, I have mostly been using Jan Brett books.  I just check them out from the library and fill the bags.

2.  Paul and Paula had us and the Moser's over for dinner.  We had soup in bread bowls.  Agnes even came.

3.  Link had his first bout of pink eye.  Paula had some meds from her sister, who works at an eye clinic, that she passed along to us.  We looked the medication up online and made sure it was for pink eye and could be used on children.  It got rid of it in a day or two.

4.  I decided to gift Lincoln with a lego table that I am making out of our old coffee table.  Phase 1-3 complete.  This photo is phase 1.  Just need to attach the lego top now. 

 5.  We had our second Women's Circle in Guttenberg.  I brought a friend I met this summer at the garden, Kaitlyn.  She fit in very well even though she was the youngest and the only one without children or a spouse.  She even signed up to host an event!  The only negative is that Kaitlin lives in Prairie and has a suspended license so it is a lot of driving at night for me, but I think it is worth it to make this connection for her.

6. I met with a food service director in Wauzeka to go over purchase orders and start the bid process for farmers.  I also met with Kayla Koether, who is the Farm to School Representative in Clayton County.  She gave me great ideas on bidding, going into the classrooms, and was just fun to talk to.

7. Kim and Kelly Bromelkamp and Julie Grau did an essential oils class at whimsy market.  I am opening up the store to home based business meetings during the slow time.  They did a really good job.  I liked the emphasis on natural products and following your intuition.  But the strength test just seems silly.

8. There was parent's night at tap and gymnastics.  It was great to see how far Link has come and also reminds us what we need to work on.  He doesn't seem to be a natural at either so we have to
practice.  I really like that he is learning these new ways to move his body.

9. My friend from high school, Scott Farmer, was back home for a visit.  He tries to fit me in whenever he comes back from Hawaii, or Thailand, or Australia (which is where he has been for the past 4 years).  We always get a few minutes together that feel special.

10. On Friday the Holiday train came to McGregor again.  This year we almost got to ride it as well, but the people we were replacing decided to go.  It seemed much earlier then last year and we got their right when the train was leaving.  Fortunately Santa stands on the back and waves so to Lincoln it didn't seem like we missed anything.