Thursday, September 21, 2017

School Picture Day

Banx loves school picture day!  She loves wearing her "fancy" clothes and getting all dolled up.
It amazes me how she can look so good when she walks out the door, but when she gets off the bus...oh, boy.  Her hair looks like a nest, half of her clothes end up in her backpack, and she is a sweaty mess.  I guess that's proof she's had a good day on the playground; right?

Iowa/Iowa State Day

Last Thursday was Iowa/Iowa State Day at preschool.
Bond was excited to don his Hawks gear!

PowerKids Sans Nana

Last Wednesday was a rough one.
It was our first night at church without Nana in the kitchen.
She was ALWAYS in the kitchen there, making the delicious food all the kids enjoyed each Wednesday night.
She used to pick up the kids right after daycare, take them to Jaarsma's for donuts, then take them to church and spend some time with them before church began and while finishing up food.
That is no more.
The kids took it hard, but they were stronger than I was.
The kitchen crew wanted to honor Mom's memory, so they had her picture out with her apron and a rose.
You could see the looks on so many of the faces who came through that they were also missing Mom in the kitchen.  She knew every child by name and loved getting to know them all.
Her shoes are going to be difficult to fill in every aspect of her life on this earth!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Competition Dance -- Year 1

 Banx made the dance competition team (yikes),
which means we have more dance practice this year and dance competitions.
She is very excited for this opportunity!
The dance studio is under new ownership/management, and Banx is loving her instructor!
She loves being with the big girls, and they make her feel so very special!
This will be so much fun for her...
not so much on my wallet, though.

"Naked Girls"

Mommy:  "Bond, what fun thing do you want on your eye patch today?  Footballs?"

Bond:  "Naked girls."  (With his lisp.)

There just are no words...

Volleyball Season

Last week I took the kids to watch Aunt PP coach her volleyball team.
Banx was so excited!
She absolutely loves her Aunt PP!

Local Help Needed

Going to the cemetery to feed the swans is one of our favorite things to do with the kids.
Some horrible person(s) recently decided it would be just awesome to injure these amazing creatures.  One of the swans was beaten, and another was covered in oil, just to name a few of the disgusting acts done.
There is a fundraiser going on right now to purchase a security system for the cemetery.
Donations may be mailed to Kelli Steil's State Farm office, Hy-Vee, Breadeaux, Mahaska Drug, or On the Green.  $70,000 is needed to be raised!
Please help save these creatures and prevent more horrific acts!

Family Mini Putt Night

Our Wednesday night youth program had an open night at the local mini putt course.
Signing up the children was painful...the very first Wednesday night event ever that my mom was not at.
It hurt.  Bad.
We tried to set aside the hurt and have some fun for the kids.
It turns out, the kids are horrible at putting. 
We are going to need to work on their skills....lots!

Bankers and her very best friend, Piper! 

Happy Gappy

Banx lost two -- yes, TWO -- teeth within 24 hours.
Which worked out completely in her favor, as she wanted a certain book pretty badly on her book order.  I said I wasn't going to buy it for her and that she had to use her own money.  She got exactly the right amount after losing these two teeth!
Her poor "little" gap just got a whole lot bigger!
We've got some big dental bills in our future!

Finally Laid to Rest

About a year before Mom passed away, we started to discuss moving my her sister Cynda's remains from the Tracy cemetery to the empty plot next to Grandma and Grandpa.
Cynda passed away shortly after birth, due to complications from my grandma giving blood (while she was pregnant with Cynda) to her father after a severe accident caused by a drunk driver.
My grandma was unconscious for Cynda's funeral, so my grandpa had to make all the arrangements on his own.  I cannot imagine.
He ended up burying her near some of his relatives in Tracy; however, when Grandpa died, Grandma bought three plots.  Cynda was never moved, and she remained in Tracy all these years by herself.
My mom really wanted to get Cynda moved, and she had started to discuss these details with my aunt and uncle.  Two months to the day of my mom's death, we received the call that the state approved the internment for Cynda and that they were available that day for a private burial.
Of all the days.
Paige was in Florida for Joe's grandpa's funeral, so it was a very private ceremony with just my aunts (my uncle was out of town on business), Austin and myself, and Dennis, along with our friend/funeral director.
It ended up being a beautiful little service, and at the end of it, a butterfly joined us and just flew overhead, circling us.  I have no doubts that that was Mom.
Now Cynda, Grandma, Grandpa, and Mom are all buried together.  May they all now rest in peace... together.

Open House -- Preschool

While Beau and Baine stayed with us, it was Open House Night for Baine and Bond (try keeping all the "B" names straight for one week...I dare you!).
The boys were so excited to be able to go together! 

House Full of Kids

 My sister and her husband recently had to fly to Florida for {another} funeral.  Like I've said before...this has been the summer from hell.
My nephews came and stayed with us, and, honestly, we had a great time!
We made it to the library, built LEGO creations, baked, and played outside!
I sure do love all these little boogers!

No More Training Wheels

Thanks to the hard work of Miss Mary, our house is officially training wheel-free!
I still cannot believe that Bond has no training wheels at just three years old!
He is so proud of himself and is doing such a great job!

First Day of Three-Year-Old Preschool

Mr. Bond is now in three-year-old preschool.
He was a little hesitant to start school, which I'm unsure why. He absolutely loves school and loves to learn! 
Once he got to school and saw Ms. Richelle and some of his old friends, he was all smiles. 
He is going to have a great year! 

Labor Day Weekend

We decided to spend the last long weekend of the summer in our happy place, the cabin at the lake. 
Bond was more excited to help Daddy put together Austin's birthday LEGOs.
Boys and their toys! 
A successful weekend at he lake is just not complete without roasting marshmallows. 
Austin ended up going back to Osky on Saturday for a Fantasy Football draft and to go to a party of some friends.
The kids and I had some fun with Aunt Joi and her crew. 

Bond's "bathtub" at the lake.  This kid hates showers!
Banx helped Aunt Joi make some goodies...and Bond was quick to test them out.
Such a special picture for me... Banx standing on the diving board that came from Grandma Peggy's pool.
So many memories were made on this diving board! 
Cousins, sans Beau and Baine. 
My sister, Piper, and Dennis came down on Sunday to enjoy the water and sun. 
Bond found himself a crush...or vice versa! 
Once Austin got back to the lake, it was time for this mommy to relax at the beach! 
Banx and I finished our weekend with an intense game of Iowa State Fair monopoly. 
I can't believe this summer is already over.
It was, by far, the worst summer of my life.  Losing my mom just shattered us all.
I'm not going to lie...I'm quite excited for this summer to be over and to start a new year.  2017 has sucked.  There are no better/good words to describe it.
I love fall (it's my favorite season).  I'm just hoping God blesses us with a better fall and gives us hope that 2018 will be better.  It just has to be.