Thursday, June 7, 2012

Happy Kids and Water

Nothing beats happy siblings and about two hours.

I picked the kids up from our friends' Alannah and Alan's house and took them home to have dinner. I had an amazing time night fishing the other day with seeing fireflies, so I wanted to get out and show the babies and spend some time with them. We didn't go out to where the fireflies were, though, because we would have been out way too late. We went to Carter Lake, instead, I having had a positive experience there earlier today.

What ensued was fantastic. I filled up our Home Depot bucket with some water after confirming with the girls that they wanted to put some fish in it, then worked hard to comply. I got several bass and placed them inside. Eva would put her face over the rim, and say, "Fishy! Fishy! Dews a fishy!"

Ruthie has taken a great fondness to throwing rocks in the lake, and she was busy doing so most of the time. Eva, loving her big sister, very soon joined in. Ruthie would pretend that the rocks could fly, only to crash land in the water with a big splash. She would count, "1, 2, 3!" and so would Eva! Eva now counts, "1, 2, 3!"

They are getting so big.

They laughed and played and talked and played and oogled at the fish and played some more. With rocks flying into the water, it was pretty amusing to see how bare this one triangular spot around our position was after a while.

It was a gorgeous night, and we made some good memories spending time together. I got to show them different fish and enjoy their laughter and play, and they got to enjoy each other and the outdoors. Love it!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Happy spring

The last several months have gone by fast and I'm happy that spring has come and the sun is shining for many, many reasons. I've not been so great about taking photos since the beginning of the year, but here's the best of what I have:

Easter lovelies:


My little ballerina:

Tony's graduation:
Tony with his mom and dad. We are so glad he is done with his B.A. in Spanish!

 Ruth made Tony a pirate ship card for his graduation and told him, "Good job, dad!"

The last few months have brought job changes in our home. Tony is now the commercial account manager for the Terminix office in Omaha. I am also working part-time at a market research call center a few nights a week to provide a little bit more monetary stability during the transition.

Tony has also started an awesome blog about fishing: Spare Time for Fish. I'm really impressed by the blog, and it's entertaining even for those who don't care for fishing too much. Check it out. :)

I think my camera is pooping out because my images aren't turning out so well anymore. But it could also be that I let my daughters play with the camera sometimes, and I'm sure them dropping it/putting their grimy fingers all over it hasn't helped.

Anyway, sometime this week I will post a blog of Ruth's photos. She has some interesting perspectives and shots from her vantage point. :)

Happy Monday!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Wrapping up 2011

Here is a photo montage of the last month or so:

Ruth at her first dance recital. She loves being on stage!

Eva decided to climb into one of the plastic toy storage containers and Ruth was kind enough to push her around.

Ruth and Jack making their graham cracker gingerbread houses. We miss hanging out with Jack!

Eva with her Grandpa Gardner. Grandma and Grandpa Gardner and Uncle Mike came out to visit for Christmas, and it was the best present ever! I wish I had taken more pictures!

Ruth on Christmas morning in her new bunny slippers and firefighter hat.

Ready for church on Christmas day. And yes, I do believe Eva is picking her nose.

Eva in her bunny slippers

Eva and Ruth enjoying our 65-degree January day. Eva had a cookie and Ruth dug in the dirt. It was beautiful outside.

Eva is also quite the chatterbox. She knows a handful of words in sign language and can say about 15 words:

Eva is cutting her last two baby teeth right now, and she's not too happy about it. She loves dancing, books and copying her sister. At 15 months, she is in the 85th percentile for height and in the 40th percentile for weight. Ruth started another semester of dance and preschool. She is into singing, painting and dress-up right now. She's also getting taller and outgrowing her shoes! Last week was a rough one for the girls, since both of them were sick with a bad cold. Hopefully this week we will be able to get out of the house a little more.

Happy new year!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Birthday and Halloween

I'm taking a break today and writing a blog post. Life has been busy with work and other things. I am doing a lot of freelance work right now and we have some deadlines this week (one tomorrow, yet) and so it's been a bit stressful. But if I don't blog now, I'm afraid I will get too far behind.

Eva's birthday was earlier this month. I cried. I can't believe my baby grew up so fast. She is such a wonderful, sweet girl. And she really has a mind of her own. Here are some pictures:

Eva is not walking much yet, but she stands a lot and can take a few steps. I think crawling is still more convenient for her. She mostly just does the bear crawl. She is a big-time mooch and loves to beg for food. She is also learning some sign language, which is very helpful. Right now she knows "more," "milk" and "all done."

As for Halloween, I cannot believe how wound up Ruth was about the holiday this year. She was so excited about carving pumpkins the night before. Then, the day of Halloween, she went around the house practicing how she would ring door bells and say, "Trick or Treat! Thank you! Happy Halloween!" Even though Ruth talked about being a dragon for Halloween for over a month, she changed her mind at the last minute and decided to be a pumpkin.

Eva was a baby leopard. Her costume was Tony's when he was a baby.

We were so glad two of our nieces, Marcie and Leila, could join us for trick-or-treating. They were characters from the show "Monster High."

Here is Eva wearing one of their wigs:

We headed over to my parent's street a few blocks away, which is a prime spot for trick-or-treaters. My parents usually have well over 100 kids come to their door. Watching Ruth trick-or-treat was HILLARIOUS! She was over-the-top excited about it. We were cracking up watching her go from door to door.

"Let me push the doorbell!! Trick or treat! Thank you! Happy Halloween!" She pretty much yelled it all the whole time we were out. By the end she started to wind down a little, but not much. I caught her asking for more candy from people a couple of times, and we had to have a talk about taking what we are given and saying, "thank you." I think the vast majority of the people handing out candy got a chuckle out of Ruth's enthusiasm, though. :)

That's all for now! Hope your November has started well!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Life goes on

So I realize that I have been M.I.A. for a while. Summer went by too quickly. I do love the fall, but not the idea of winter being on our doorstep. Here are the big things that happened:

1. We went on vacation to Minnesota. We tried a new spot this year, Vermillion Lake, and it was a bust. The fishing was terrible for everyone we talked to on the lake. But it was still fun to go and have a relaxing time on the boat. As my parents say, "a bad day fishing beats a good day at work."

2. Jack stopped coming over regularly. His mom had her baby, Molly, and decided to become a stay-at-home mom. The adjustment was hard on Ruth. But then...

3. Ruth started preschool! She and Jack go together two days a week, which I feel is just right. They attend A is for Art in the Benson Community Center, which has an emphasis on fine arts. They have 10 children in their class, and the teacher is excellent. Last week Ruth told me preschool is her favorite thing, so I think it's safe to say that she likes it.

4. Ruth also started a dance class. She is taking ballet at the Y on Friday evenings. She really enjoys her teacher and seems to be the class clown sometimes. :)

5. I ran a half-marathon! It was my second time running the half-marathon in Grand Island, and it went better than I expected. I finished in 2 hours. I am contemplating running a full marathon in April, but I don't know if I will take the plunge. We shall see.

6. I also took the GRE. I think I did pretty well, but the writing part was quite challenging. I receive my scores the first week in November. I don't know what I am going to do with the scores... as in I'm not sure when I will apply to grad school. I would like to start in the summer, but I'm not sure the timing would be the greatest because...

7. Tony has decided to apply for admission to an MBA program. His employer will pay for the degree, and he feels that getting an MBA will help him reach his long-term goals. He thinks we would be okay going to grad school at the same time, but I'm not fully convinced yet. Still some pondering to do on the matter.

8. We have been doing a lot of work on the outside of our house. Tony has done some tree-trimming, removed a lot of old bushes, and painted the porch. We have to do a few more things outside before winter comes, and then we will work on the dining room walls and the bathroom.

9. Eva will be 1 next week. My baby is not a baby anymore! She is very close to walking and is still such an easygoing kid. She and Ruth play together so well. They are best buds. Eva has to have a some tests done this week at Children's Hospital because she had a kidney infection in August. They need to make sure her "plumbing" is functioning properly. We are keeping our fingers crossed that they won't find any problems.

I would upload photos but my internet is being slow right now. So another day! Hope your week started well.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Getting older!

Hello, hello. Eva is 8 months old today. Happy 8 months, Eva!

I <3 that baby. She is wonderful. She has been pulling herself up on things. It worries me that she will start walking early. She is very good at crawling, so our house is baby gate city. She really loves going after her sister's toys and books. Ruth is not so great about sharing, but at least she's getting a little more polite about it. Eva is also in the process of cutting three of her top teeth and it's making her fussy at bedtime. She already has one of her top teeth and two on the bottom. She is starting to prefer feeding herself. She likes bananas, ripe peaches, smashed blueberries, cheerios, baby puffs, etc. She also loves our cat.

She goes and tackles him, and he's a good sport about it. She comes out with fists full of cat hair, which is disgusting. I try to keep her away from him, but she can be sneaky.

Here's a peek at our garden:

It has grown quite a bit since I took this picture a couple of weeks ago. I will have to do a separate post on it sometime. This is just one of the raised beds - we have three. In this one is romaine lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, carrots, peas and green beans.

Here's a shot of Ruth with her best friend, Jack. We will really miss Jack when he stops coming over regularly in August.

I had a birthday.

Tony and Ruth got me my favorite kind of cake, Dairy Queen ice cream cake! Yummy! I'm now closer to 30 than ever... OOOOOLLLLD! (j/k) My parents got me tickets to Wicked, and Tony and I went last night for date night. Awesome show.

And my sister-in-law, Jenny, also had a birthday. Last weekend was her party, which had a "Minute to Win It" theme. It was a blast for both the kids and adults. I'd really recommend it if you're looking for a fun party theme.Jenny showing her mad skills catching 8 pencils.

Janalee about to kick butt at her challenge. She and her friend were "team John Deere."

Marcie and Leila enjoying their winnings, and sharing with Ruthie. Such nice girls. :)

Tony and Eva the Diva.
Marcie with pantyhose on her head. It was the "elephant game." This is blackmail material for when she gets older. :D

In other news...
-I got a little job working for a hyper-local news publication here in Omaha, the Metro Neighborhood News. It's been a little crazy getting started over the last few weeks, but I'm enjoying it. If you live in NW Omaha, look for my articles at the end of the month! The paper will come in your mailbox.
-I've lost 16 lbs on Weight Watchers! Woohoo! I originally lost 18 lbs, and I've fallen off the bandwagon during the last couple of weeks. My half-marathon training has fallen by the wayside as well. But I'm getting back into both this week. And I'd really recommend Weight Watchers. I've learned a lot from it.
-Ruth's birthday is coming fast!!!! She is getting so tall. And imaginative. And her hair is reeeeaaally long, but you can't tell because it's so curly. Right now we're working on the ever-important skills of putting her underwear around while still in the bathroom (instead of running around the house naked) and not whining. She has a chore chart on the fridge right now and is doing an awesome job with it. Yesterday she got enough "smiley faces" to earn a pack of Dora the Explorer stickers and a piggy bank (found it at the Dollar Tree for $1!). She loves getting change to put in her piggy bank.
-Also next week is girls camp, and I'm going to stay overnight one night. I've never, ever stayed overnight at girls camp, so wish me luck! If you have any tips, let me know. :D

Have a happy weekend!

Monday, May 2, 2011


Easter weekend was lots of fun. I had been optimistic that it would be warm on Easter because it was at the end of April this year, but it was still pretty chilly. We went to an egg hunt at church on Saturday, which was cold but fun for Ruth. On Sunday, Ruth and Eva received their treat baskets, and we took pictures of the girls' new Easter dresses before we headed off to church.

After church, we headed straight to Grandma and Grandpa Christensen's farm for another Easter egg hunt and a prime rib dinner. Ruth loved playing with her cousins. We stayed the night in the little house Jenny (Tony's sister) and her girls just moved into. They have put so much work into that house, and it will be a wonderful space for her family.

Lesson learned during playtime: I guess Crayola makes colored bubbles now. DON'T buy them unless your kids are perfectly neat and clean and never splash bubbles on themselves or others. Seriously. While we were at Jenny's house, the girls opened their colored bubbles, and they made a HUGE mess. It didn't take them long to start flinging bubbles at each other. All of the girls had to take a shower when they came inside, and some of them still had colored streaks in their hair afterward.

This was only the beginning of the mess for Ruthie.

Chaos ensued.

Monday morning the girls didn't have school so Tony took them fishing at a little lake near Jenny's house. They caught six fish, and Ruth had a fun time throwing rocks in the lake.

Easter was a lot more fun this year since Ruth was old enough to appreciate all the celebration. We started our garden over the weekend (another blog post for maybe later this week), and Tony has this week off. Big repairs/updates to our house will be happening this week! I'm excited!