Saturday, June 30, 2007

St Louis in photos

dinner @ Eddie & Lisa's home...delicious, as always!

"Little P von D" & Isabella 'voguing' for the camera

Lisi & "Big Guy" as Lisi has taken to calling Logan

Lisi & Isabella asleep in the bed that we ALL share (by their choice)

Lisi totally happy playing in the sand @ The Magic House

more photos

The Greats, Lisi & Isabella on their 62nd Wedding Anniversary

Grandma, Amy & Grandpa (Isabella took this picture)

Lisa, Grandpa, Grandma, & Kah @ dinner on The Hill

and while we dined, ALL the kids slept @ Lisa & Eddie's

Paige & Isabella @ The Magic House sand castles

Friday, June 29, 2007


This morning, as I am frantically packing up the Suburban to drive back home, Lisi says, "God told me that when ice melts it turns to water. Yep, that is what God told me right after he made me."

Amazing the Blessings

Just a bunch of miscellaneous updates:
*Jill continues to do really well! Yesterday she was sitting up, and was able to carry on a conversation. After I left the hospital I realized that any time I have seen her for the past 5 years, the girls have been with me. It was really nice to just have time to chat with her. Amazing the blessings of modern medicine.
*If Mark were here, I think the girls could move to St Louis. They are having SUCH a great time! Yesterday they went to The Magic House with Lisa, Will, Annie and Paige. Lisa took pix that I will post when we are home. Isabella is still not believing that I went to The Magic House when I was a kid:) Amazing the blessings of making memories.
*Auntie Kah's house is BEAUTIFUL! Amazing the blessings that can come out of a flood:)
*Tyler likes his new job laying floors...and the new muscles that come with hammering out the old concrete. Amazing the blessings that come out of manual labor (hee,hee,hee)
*The Greats have been married for 62 years + 2 days. And I am not sure they have ever gone an entire day with only the 2 of them in their home. Amazing the blessings that come from family.
*The girls are awake and asking to go to "The Bagel Shop". Amazing the blessings of going to Einstein Bagels on Manchester in our pajamas. We have even made friends with the 'regulars'!
*Today we are going home. Amazing the blessings of a wonderful husband and dad who trumps all St Louis blessings!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

words to live by


Happy Anniversary to The Greats!

Today is my Grandparent's 62nd Wedding Anniversary. How cool is THAT??? I will post a picture when I am home and back on my own computer. They are both so amazing, and at the top of the list of why I love coming to St Louis.
Happy Anniversary Great Grandma Dinosaur and Great Grandpa Lowe~ we love you!!!


Thank you for all of your prayers. They have been answered, and my step-mom, Jill, is doing very well. She did have major surgery, but all went 'best case scenario', and her recovery should go without incident.

Monday, June 25, 2007

St Louis or BUST!

Well, it is 8am, and the girls and I (and by that, I mean "I") are packing our bags, and the car, and getting ready to head to St Louis. Those of you who know me at all know that I love being there, but this time it is out of necessity. My step-mom, Jill, is having surgery tomorrow. I will have more details then. Please pray for her. She has several extenuating circumstances that make surgery more risky than usual. When I called to tell her that the girls and I would be there to see her before surgery, and would be staying for the week, she sounded so happy. Today is also her birthday. The girls wanted to pick their own gifts for her. Because Jill has a passion for building and furnishing doll houses, the girls decided on pets for the doll house community. Isabella picked out a lovely sheep.
Lisi got her a monkey.
Enough saidY

Pony Pix

When we started this 'horse experience' a few weeks ago, I clearly said to Megan, the instructor, (and myself) that there was no showing a horse or buying a horse in our future. And Megan and I were both good with that! ...until I saw Isabella ride. Oh my goodness. This is a fun experience for Lisi, and for that I am thrilled. My "don't let that animal (dog, cat, bird, horse) get close to me" girl is totally comfortable atop a horse, and even getting good with the barn cats that wander around. And that is such a good thing. But Isabella. Oh my goodness. She looks more comfortable and at ease on that horse than she does on her own two legs. Can you tell that I am a proud Momma???
My dear friend, Melinda, who is herself an 'equine mom', gave me full disclosure of what our future WOULD hold. She did not say, "if Isabella likes it, you might someday own a horse and go to an occasional show". What she said was You will eventually have to buy, house and feed at least one animal, along with vet bills and farriers. You will be driving back and forth to the barn a lot - daily, if you have her take care of her own animal, in lieu of paying the boarder to handle it for you. There might be a horse trailer in your future or even your own barn (and all the stuff that goes along with that). It has been wonderful for Maddie - don't get me wrong - but I just want you to be fully aware of what you might be getting yourself in to. (18 May 2007) Now, in all fairness, she did also recommend that we start by having a cat in our family before we bring in a horse. But you get the idea.
I especially love the picture of Isabella taking the lead with Lisi on Frisky. So totally at ease.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Good-Bye, Good Friends

As quickly as Rhys, Lindsay and Michael moved into our lives, they are moving out. Literally. Moving to Omaha.
Who moves to Omaha???
Guess someone who is from there:)
And I know that their family and friends from back home are SO glad to be getting them back. Our loss is definitely Omaha's gain. But man, oh, man, are we going to MISS them!!! All I can say is to keep the pictures and the stories coming, and know that you are welcome any time!!! Oh, and that I will gladly drive to Omaha to pick up Rhys and keep her for as long as you likeY

Friday, June 22, 2007

Things I Have Learned From Favorite Cousin Heather

  • Saran Wrap is not an appropriate food cover in the oven
  • Kung Fu Fighting is a great song to dance to
  • IQ goes up by 50% when blonde haircolor decreases (this was Mark's addition, not mine!)
  • Barry Manilow IS why someone should go to VEGAS!
  • "If you want to go to Italy, GO."
  • jicama is in her recipes, but not found at Dahl's Grocery in West Des Moines
  • pink is her signature color
  • friends stand behind friends when they boycott Target & Wal Mart (am I forgetting any???)
  • "Booger" can be used as a term of endearment for your stinkin' cute daughter
  • it is good to marry 'tall, dark and handsome'
  • water towers are not for climbing
  • flags of a foreign country are not appropriate evening attire
  • if you don't ask Heather to be a bridesmaid, watch out!
  • "not so much"
  • it is possible to be related, and great friends
  • a good MIL will spend a day and stand in line to buy you an "I'm Not A Plastic Bag"
  • it is good to be a great gift giver (hint, favorite cousin who is 1 month and 1 day older than me!)
  • everything is worth photographing...especially if her name is "Booger" (hee,hee,hee)
But most importantly, and this is Isabella's addition to Heather's birthday blog,
"Happy Birthday Favorite Cousin Heather!!!"

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Free Stuff!!!

I love a good deal, but free stuff is even better...and today I got these shoes for FREE!!! I just cannot even begin to tell you how that rocked my world!!! (As Dara said, she is glad to know that people really do win in the 'store drawings'.) I am not exactly sure what I am doing to be living so right, but I am going to figure it out, and keep it up!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I love this Mom-gig. And this summer just keeps going up on the fun factor. The girls and I picked up Rhys this morning, and then the Cecil clan joined us for hours of playing...ride on toys, horses and Dora, a picnic lunch, and swings and the 'rocket slide'. And as if it could get any better...the weather was in the mid 70s with a slight breeze. Simply lovely.

Monday, June 18, 2007

This Weekend Has Been Too Much Fun

Isabella's Game~ Ultimate Frisbee!!!

When Alex stopped by last night, he took out his frisbee to give the girls a little lesson. And much to our surprise, and delight!, Isabella is a natural at FRISBEE!!! Alex is captain of his summer ultimate frisbee team, and he said that Isabella is better than 90% of the people he plays with ~ way to go, Idaho! Isabella is usually content to sit on the couch and watch TV. So when she showed such a clear passion for horses, we took her to learn about horses. And having Winston here for a few days has been GREAT, and Isabella is all excited to take him for walks. Love That! But frisbee?!? Would have never guessed that one! She has an excellent flick of the wrist, and even got pretty good at catching. Can you tell that we are just super proud of her?!? So last night I asked her where she was going to go to college, and she said, "with Herky"! And then I asked her what she was going to do at college, and she said, "play frisbee"! Just what every parent wants to hear:)


Alex is spending this summer in Iowa City, and we are NOT getting to see enough of him. But he did stop by for a few minutes last night, and it was just fun. But isn't it always with Alex???

and she's riding a golf cart to Heaven

sorry, you probably need to be humming a little Led Zeplin "Stairway To Heaven" for that to really bring a smile to your face:)
So this is the conversation I overheard this morning (and let me note that it is only now 7am)

Lisi: "You drive a car to go see Jesus."
Isabella: "No, I think God just lifts us up to Heaven."
Lisi: "I'm going to take the golf cart."

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!!!

Isabella & Lisi have been blessed with the best Dad. He is passionate about setting the example for the type of man they should marry some day. And let me assure, the bar has been set high. And that is only 1 of the many reasons that I love MarkY
Happy Father's Day cutie husband!

Lisi & Isabella went shopping for just the right Father's Day gifts for their Daddy, and decided on a fishing theme. Go figure??? Lisi got him a Spiderman fishing pole, and Iz got him a tackle bag (it's the new version of a tackle box, and quite cool, I might add) with lures, bobbers, etc. While we were at Scheel's we decided to also shop for PaPa, who got a Superman fishing pole from Lisi, and some Big League Chew gum from IsabellaY

Lisi, Daddy & the Spiderman fishing pole

We celebrated the day with a brunch at Bill & Nancy's, and I made individual 'bug cakes' for dessert. I thought it was particularly fitting given Bill's passion for butterflies and bugs.

I thought they turned out pretty well, but definitely not near what the Williams Sonoma catalog boasts can be done with their bug cake pan set.

Lisi, Grandpa Bill & Isabella on the hammock Bill just put up at his house.

Happy PaPa's Day!!!

Lisi & PaPa early this summer @ Panora

Isabella & her PaPa on her 4th birthday

Lisi & PaPa just last month. Love this pictureY

Happy Father's Day, PaPa! We just love you so much!!!

Happy Birthday Taco Buddy!!!

This weekend Colin, our "Taco Buddy", turned 3!!!
His Mom and Grandma made this amazing train cake, where each party-goer got their own individual train car cake. So very, very cute!!! And the whole party was a Thomas theme...including a train pinata. Our girls thought that was GREAT!
I just love Colin, and I think this 2nd picture looks like he & Lisi going to the promY

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Walkin' The Dog

Don't you just love Isabella's concept of 'walking' the dog???
We are SO enjoying having Winston with us, and Monday night is going to come far too quickly.
But the GOOD news is that Jen asked us to dog sit again in just 2 weeks!!
(Oh, and she got the job, too!)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Today's Church

I have referenced Perry Noble before, and I am going to do it again. I just like the way this guy presents the Gospel. NewSpring Church is in Anderson, SC, and let me tell you, Perry Noble is ON FIRE for the youth of all of Anderson. It is amazing.
A few weeks ago he made a GREAT point: Many of the 'mature' Christians he knows say they would do anything to 'save' their child, nephew, or some young person that they know. But these same people will not change their style of music or worship on Sunday morning. HELLO! If you want to reach the young people, you need to 'speak their language'. Now, I will admit that it took me awhile (like more than a year) to really 'get good' with contemporary worship on Sunday morning. But I liked where we were attending church (other than the contemporary worship part), so I just 'went with it'. But I will tell you what, now I LOVE it! I still enjoy the occasional hymn, but what I listen to all week long is contemporary worship music (and the occasional hymn). And overall, it solidifies to me that I am the same person Monday- Saturday that I am on Sunday morning. Does that make sense???
So back to Perry Noble. I just read another great comment from him, and that is this:
The youth are NOT the church of tomorrow…they are the church of today…and we are going to do all we can to reach as many as we can…the best is yet to come!!!
In his words, "DANG!" So often I hear people talking about what will come of the church of the future, and I lovingly look toward my girls. Lisi with her charismatic way, and Isabella with her unbelievable ability to memorize scripture. But, you know, aren't they living out what Christ commanded each of us to do? Aren't they living a life that is pleasing to Him and others? If it does not begin now, when should we 'say' that it begins? As an adult? When you turn 18?
Just a little easy reading to give you something to think about on a beautiful Friday afternoon...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Mark's Thoughts on Winston...

So I am talking with Mark about what a GREAT dog Winston is, and wouldn't it be fun to have a dog in our family. He says, "This is the deal. Winston is Isabella. We would get a Lisi."

Our Day In Photos

It has been a BUSY day, and I will let the photos share in the telling of the story...

9:30 am ~ Awnna & Colin come over to play. I am diggin' Colin's backpack & cowboy boots.

11:30 am ~ My friend, Jen, brings Winston over to stay until Monday night. Isabella took this photo. It was a rare moment that she was away from Winston:)

This picture is unique because it does not have Awnna racing to take a turn with Winston. That pup was quite the popular guy today!

12:30 ~ lunch for all the kids and Dara came to pick up her 2

4:30 ~ the girls and I leave Winston to take a much needed nap, and we went to pick Mia up from school. Is this not the BEST picture?!?

6:30 ~ Annie came to pick Mia up. And Annie was worried that Mia might be afraid of a dog she does not know:)

7:30 ~ Isabella shows off her new room decor.

totally, totally tuckered out