Sunday, November 25, 2012

2012- Week 47

We found out these have little fairy tales in them for kids.
 1. Monday I went to Decorah for errands.  I stopped by Brenda's house and gave her a drying rack I had scored at a Goodwill in Madison that she had admired at a clients house we had been to in the past.  I also went to the Norwegian Museum and bought some food for Agnes (so nice we have one so close) and had lunch at La Rana.  I also scored some great deals at the Depot and Goodwill, took the recycling to the center, bought Bryce a great Christmas present, and bought Lincoln a fish, which we call Ruby.  Not bad for a single day.

2. School was cancelled on Tuesday due to dense fog, but that didn't keep us inside.  Agnes went with Link and I to story hour in McGregor and then we went shopping in Prairie.

3. We had a pretty good week at the store, being that one day we were closed.  Friday and Saturday actually turned out really well (and I thought everyone was going to head the malls, silly me).

4. Thanksgiving dinner was at my parents.  I made Russian Tea, Cream Corn, and a lettuce salad with berries, nuts, apples, etc.  I wasn't to thrilled about any of them but we still had a good meal and then people napped and watched the Macy's parade (watching for Ted, Lorri, and Mason) and then the rest of my family all took off at 5 pm for Black Friday shopping.

5. I was called at midnight on Thanksgiving to attend a birth I was on call for to photograph.  It was a great birth.  I can't say too much about the family for professional reasons but it was their ninth child, but the first time they were using a tub which is why they were wanting a photographer.  The baby was born at 9 am so we were all pretty sleepy.  It was born in the caul and had its arms crossed over its face which was why it was taking a little longer then some of the others.  I am still in awe over it.

6. On Friday we were invited to the Schillers' house and we had a great time.  We got there a little bit later then the rest of the guests because we had to close the shop up, but we had really nice conversation and things felt a lot better for us, especially with a little bit smaller group than last.  Agnes was with us again, but we were a lot less concerned about her comfort level as we know now that she does fine any place we go.

Europe had some new things to learn, like tunnels and train stations.
7. Saturday was Small Business Saturday and it was a good day at the shop.  When we were finished we went to Ryan and Kim's house with Lincoln and played some games (Agnes had basketball practice).  A couple other couples came too, one we know in passing and the other we didn't know at all.  We played Ticket to Ride (Europe version), Yahtzee, and Zoink. 

8. Sunday we had a bigger family gathering for Thanksgiving.  It was at my Aunt Amy's.  All her children were there and all my uncles and their families (minus Liz and Amanda's).  We ate until we popped, then danced to Kinect until we were out of breath, then played Apples to Apples until we were out of laughter.

9. I put up the tree.  We decided to go with a Norwegian theme this year and because I am also a fan on "The Mitten" by Jan Brett we are incorporating some of her books in.  I asked Agnes how they decorate their tree so we have a lot of little Norwegian flag garland on our tree.  Also, Grandma Koch gave Link a steam train set so that will go under the tree too.

10.  To make way for the tree I had to get some control of the toy box so I offered boxes of toys to child-free families and had two takers.  I've got one delivered and one I will need to send, so I am working on that one still.  I am excited to do it.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

2012- Week 46

1. I was in the office last Friday when Russel, from the OHP, stopped by to talk to a co-worker.  He was mentioning some musicals he was interested in and I told him I really wanted to do Dirty Rotten Scoundrels for the HS, but was afraid of content.  He told me Waukon was doing so that night, so I rearranged my schedule a bit and went to show.  It went well and sealed the deal on me doing it for the high school.

2.  Bryce's parents, after leaving Door County, went to Minnesota for a few days and then stopped at our house for the weekend.  We had fun playing more board games.  It was a very rainy weekend.

3.  Bryce and I went to the Harvest Dinner in Prairie.  It was delightful.  We had a totally local meal from the wheat in the buns to the beer and everything in between.  We also had great company at our table.   I loved meeting my boss's husband (Kevin) who owns a locker and had some interesting stories and The Austins, who were some of the farmers of the meal, were great keeping conversation fun.

Joleen with a class who just got their new t-shirts.
4. We are doing Pumpkin as the Harvest of the Month for November.  I got Joleen Jansen, who hobby farms pumpkins, to come and speak with the classes as well as provide all the pie pumpkins needed for the schools.  I have been a puree making machine.

5.   Both the van and the car overheated this week so we had to borrow two other cars.  The belt broke in the van and had to be taken to the shop.  It was too big of a job for my dad and the car just has a small leak in the antifreeze so we just have to keep a close eye on it until we find it.

6.  I had another overnight in Wisconsin for the AmeriCorps opening ceremony in Madison.  It wasn't totally worth the drive, but I liked seeing the Wisconsin State Capitol and meeting someone who had met Eleanor Roosevelt and I got plenty of shopping done for Whimsy Market.

7.  As I just mentioned, I got lots of stuff up and redecorated for Whimsy Market.  A lot of my merchandise had sold over the fall and I hadn't been out on many shopping excursions so the place wasn't looking as nice as I wanted.  Now it is looking good.

8.  I went to see Argo at the theater by myself.  It was really good.

 9. Stocked up on glow sticks in the Halloween clearance aisle and Link got a glow bath.  He loved it. 

10. On Friday my parents' agri co-op had a fancy customer appreciation dinner for the whole state in Waterloo at the Casino.  So they brought us all.  It was yummy and afterwards my siblings and their spouses and my parents gambled, but Bryce and I went shopping with Link instead.  We had forgotten that they still allow smoking in casinos in Iowa.  Instant headache.

Monday, November 12, 2012

2012- Week 44 & 45

1. On Tuesday Bryce and I went to the Morrissey Concert at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake.  The tickets were an anniversary gift.  When we got there it looked like there was construction going on so we checked the website and the concert was canceled.  So we walked the cold dark beach and headed home.
2. Halloween was a great day.  Link had so much fun being "The Flash" and excitedly telling everyone until he got tired and started telling people he was a skeleton.  We stayed in Elkader, though we had been invited to Independence and Decorah, because Link had tap and gymnastics that day as well.

3. There was a zombie run in Elkader on the 3rd, but we skipped it because Agnes was interested in seeing Obama in Dubuque.  It was quite a wait, but pretty fun.  She was also excited to see Kate Walsh from The Practice, but less enthused about John Mellencamp.

4. While we were in Dubuque we also did a little sightseeing.  We parked at the top of the hill for better parking and then rode the cable car down.  We stopped in a few of the shops I had never been to and a few of my standard favorites, the book store and Crust.

5. I was so saddened to hear that one of the people I admired the most died from liver failure.  He was a 50-something dad of a kindergartner, who changed his life totally around when he had the little girl and the mom went to prison and later died.  You could see the effects of 30-some years of drinking and drugs on his body, but boy was his heart and mind in a good place for the last 5 years.  He was so excited about purchasing his first house this summer and so helpful in all the programs I did in 4-H.  He will be dearly missed.

6. Over the weekend we went to Door County to see some of Bryce's family for a family vacation.  Door County was mostly closed, but we did spend time playing games with Joy and Corey and Grandma and Grandpa.  I definitely would like to go back in the summer.

7. Election night was on Tuesday.  We stayed up way to late watching results.  I was pretty confident Obama would win and was happy to see him pull through.  I was way nervous about some of our local races, especially when I went to bed Roger Thomas was behind, but when I woke up he had pulled through.  (Obama shirt designed by our friend Maddy)

8.  On Wednesday I was dropped off at the Kalahari in Wisconsin (wow, that place is grandiose) and went to a health and wellness conference for Farm 2 School.  It was a one day conference and had many great speakers including Olympian, Casey FitzRandolph, and Dr. James Painter who is a great speaker and scientist who also directed a movie called "Portion Size Me."

9. The van broke.  The belt to the air conditioner and alternator snapped.  So we are down to a two door car for hopefully only a few days.

10.  On Thursday I went to the Women's Clinic in Waterloo.  I love this clinic, but rarely go due to distance.  The last time was 5 years ago.  All my tests came back very healthy.  I love it when they say that word, because I am always nervous something is wrong.

Friday, November 2, 2012

2012- Week 43

1. Agnes signed up for driver's ed so it has been a whirl wind of meetings, faxes, letters, and such to get her to get an American permit and such.  And unfortunately when she went for the test which we were told over and over would be in Norwegian it was not and she was unprepared for the measurements like feet and miles and failed, but after a few more attempts she got it.

Never before had he formed an attachment, but bunny now is it.
2. Link's day care was on vacation so Link and and I spent a lot of time together.  We painted and did lots of projects.  Link is having a mental growth spurt right now.  A whole new sense of awareness is showing and he is non stop talking mode.

Link and Taryn won the cake walk.  Taryn was so surprised and overjoyed. Link was hungry.
3. We went to McGregor Library's Halloween party (which they had a week early).  I couldn't find Link's Flash costume so he went as Superman (thanks G-ma for the discounted costumes from last year).  He played some new games, but was really tired (especially after a full hour of gymnastics and tap first) so we ended up with a tantrum.

Table setting prior to getting the pork out.
4. I was in the pork cook off again.  I made chocolate pork chops that I tried to imitate from Kuai.  Not a main winner again this year, but it was a lot of fun.

5. I presented an award at the 4-H award ceremony and surprisingly was presented an award myself.

6.  The shirt I had worn that day for Farm 2 School and the ceremony ended up getting stained so I went to Maurice's and updated my wardrobe a bit.

Amy Winehouse and Witch playing a candy corn game.
7. Sadie and Jason had a costume pirate party on the 27th.  We dug out some scarves and headed over for the fun.  We played some great games and had some good fun around the bonfire.

8.  Agnes, Link and I went to Cedar Rapids on Sunday to get her a cell phone.  We found out that iwireless is the only place around here that sells unlocked phones (allowed to get another service in another country).  We also got ugg type shoes at Abercrombie.

Agnes with her new phone.  Me with a cucumber water.
9.  We had a wonderful meal at Cibo that Link ate all of, even though he was running circles in the restaurant.  And later Agnes wanted to try Orange Leaf, which I had never tried before.  It was pretty good.  You make your own frozen yogurt sundae and pay by the ounce.  For my indecisive nature it wasn't something that I would do again soon, but it was still fun.

10.  Dad came over and put up the mirror in the bathroom, so we are a few steps closer to getting the house done.