Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A House Full

This title says it all. Remember I had mentioned in earlier posts that I didn't know how I would spend my summer with the kids gone for the first time? Well, they have both been home all month, along with their friends. My mom came over for 3 weeks, and we had our 9 year old niece for 4 days as well. Then Kevin's brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew and their 4 children, ages 9 - 3 came this past Sunday just for the day on their way through town. Wow! We have really enjoyed the time with family, but what a different summer then I had originally thought.

Kris and Allison go back the first week of August. They are both RA's in the dorms at Iowa Stated, and Kris was just offered a Teaching Assistant position. They have to get back early for training, decorating, and just being there when their residents move in.

July has been a great month, but we've had a house full!







Elizabeth - our great niece ( one of the four that came to visit this week)












Grandma on the scooter showing the kids she could still play.









Sunee Slip-n-Sliddin'

Sunday, July 19, 2009












Had fun Geo caching. We found 2 without any problems. But our 3rd one of the day was a little harder, and we still haven't found it. We found the coordinates, but can't find the cach. The website says it is hard to find, and some people have had to look multiple times. I guess we are going to be included in that group. This was so much fun. We got a little dirty, it had rained the day before, so we were trekking through some muddy fields. I recommend this fun family activity for everyone.

Mall of America





Thursday we (Kris, Allison, Grandma and I) got up early and left the house by 8:00. We drove for 3 hours and went shopping in Minneapolis at the Mall of America. My mom had never been, so we enjoyed sharing this HUGE mall with her. We enjoyed lunch in the food court overlooking the amusement park, and walked and walked for 3 hours. It always amazes me, we only go in a handful of stores, and yet we take 3 hours to do it, and that was a quick trip. We then went across the parking lot to the IKEA store. That was even more fun. We looked in there for 2 hours, and had fun dreaming of what we could do with our homes. We headed home and we were gone for almost exactly 12 hours. What a whirlwind day!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

(Kris told me to I shoud make my title more exciting then just plain old 'July', he suggested this one, so here it is...) Stormin' Grandma

July is already half over, and what the month we have had...

On the 3rd, we (Kevin, Allison, Emmy and I) drove to the Quad Cities for the day. We had Frank's Pizza for lunch, a childhood favorite of Kevin's. Of course it was delicious, and worth the drive. It always is. Then we went to the tiny Rock Island Arsenal Commissary, and enjoyed every minute walking through the store and just feeling like it is "home" being on the base. Then we met my sister, mom, and nephew at the mall in Davenport. We walked around a while before heading home for Cedar Falls.

We brought my mom here to spend the month with us. We have been shopping, playing games, and even went to a concert in the park.



The 4th of July was fun, we grilled out, went to the Saturday church service then we came home and played Phase 10 until it was time to go to the fireworks. The fireworks were the best we have ever seen. We sat in our usual spot, really close to where they set them off, and really enjoyed the show. The night was unusually cool as the entire month as been, you can see my mom enjoyed the blanket I brought for her.














Both Kris and Allison had planned on staying at school all summer long, but plans changed and to make a long story short, we've got both kids at home now.






Kevin's birthday was the 9th, we celebrated with one of his favorite meals, Steak with mushroom gravy, and carrot cake. It was a fun time being all together.










We went to bed a little late on Kevin's birthday, windows open because of the mild nights we've been having, and woke to a weather alert at 3:15. I had enough time to check the weather on the TV. I thought wow, that looks bad, so I hurried to the computer to look a little closer, that looks really bad I thought again, I turned the computer off, ran around the house closing windows, told Kevin to come check out the storm on the TV radar, and in those short 10 minutes, the storm was on us. Wow! I had never seen anything like it, and we had been through a couple of small hurricanes when we lived in Mississippi. Both kids were in the basement sleeping, but my mom was in Allison's room with a huge tree bending toward the house outside her window. Just as I was about to get her, she came out to see what all the noise was outside. Allison woke up and we all came upstairs to watch the storm. Then Kris woke up. The windows were shaking and you could both hear and feel the wind. We could barely see through the driving rain.























Of course I couldn't get back to sleep, so on 2 hours and 45 minutes of sleep, I crawled out of bed at 6 in the morning, ready to face the day, and what a day...













100+ mph straight line winds had come through the town, and it looked like a war zone. Trees and power lines were down everywhere. Leaves were plastered to everything, the houses, cars, and the sidewalks. We had gotten 3 1/2 inches of rain in less then 2 hours, and there was standing water everywhere.

We were so fortunate, Kris's car was parked in the road by a tree, and thankfully, had blown down away from the car. The only damage we had was our rose trellis blew over and broke, and our umbrella from the deck blew away, it had gotten picked up, taken over the house and landed in the road out front, broken. I wish I would have seen that! Our outside light was blown sideways, but we just had to turn it back. All of our plants were blown over too, and we even lost one pot, I don't know how that happened.

We had fun (?) roughing it Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 3:15ish when power was finally restored to our neighborhood. (have I ever mentioned our house is entirely electric? we don't even have a gas line to the house :-)

Anyway, we are all alive, well, and enjoying air conditioning again.