Monday, June 30, 2008

The Artfest was a blast! I knew 5 people with booths so it was great to catch up with all them and look at their beautiful work. It got me motivated to get painting so I started working on some projects that I've been putting off for way too long. Tomorrow I'm doing a major project at a friend's house. Pictures will be posted.....

I just have to say, that one of my many favorite things about Henry is his friendliness. Today at the mall and Target, he would not stop saying "hi" to people. He did it to the cashier about 20 times and then started with the people behind us in line. I especially love it when he does this to older people because I can tell it just makes their day.
He's obsessed with guys lately and will go to almost any male and only a select few females other than me. RJ's parents stopped by on their way back to MN and he clung to his grandpa like usual, and wouldn't even let his grandma touch him without whining. She can only get him to go to her if she has food or his pacifier. Poor grandma. I just don't get how he can be so friendly to strangers, but isn't very nice to his sweet grandma. Funny kid!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

What a busy week! RJ's brother and family have been moving in to their new house and his parents have been in town. It's been a lot of fun. I got to hang out with my niece who is 9 all day on Friday. She helped me babysit Zach and play with Henry. We worked on a fun art project during their nap and she talked a mile a minute about the life of a 9 year old. So sweet and innocent. I love that they are going to be so close!!!

Went to Waterloo today for a Charlton get-together. It was great. RJ has got one of the sweetest grandma's ever and she is an amazing cook/baker. And now we have a container of Betty Charlton's mashed potatoes in our fridge. Hardy-har-har.

Tomorrow I'm helping a friend who has a booth at the Artfest Midwest. If you're up for something fun, you should come! It's a great show with a good variety of art, and free parking and admission. I'll be with Ms. Kristin Aulwes and her baby in her tummy. I could not be more excited for her and her growing little bean!

RJ had to wake up early to work before we left and now he's finishing it up. Have you ever met a harder worker than him? I sure haven't. And all without complaining.
Now there's one amazing MAN.

I'm getting very excited for our 4th of July weekend. My mom's side is having a big reunion in Galena and I will see people I haven't seen in years. I love her side of the family, but everyone is spread out across the Midwest and after my grandparents passed away we don't get together too often. It's going to be a blast! My aunts have quite the schedule set up with not a dull moment to spare.

Hope you are all having magical weekends!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

does anyone know how to get music from your itunes to your playlist? or can't you.....

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Now the grand folks took all the kids to go swimming at their hotel so I'm home alone again! There's so much I could run around and do, but what sounds the best is a nap...........nah. Even writing that makes me realize how lame it is. I'm busting out of this house and tearing up the town!
The grand folks are on a walk with Henry so I've got some alone time. Yippee!!

I'm loving working on my artsy blog, but it's giving me too many ideas. That's dangerous. I now want to redo everything in my house. Why? WHY? Does it really matter? Of course not, but I just get a little obsessed with decorating and painting things. Some days I get in the mood to paint every piece of furniture in my house.
Does anyone want to play Trading Spaces with me?
There would be no $1000. Maybe just $50. And everything in your house would be up for the using and rearranging. Wouldn't that be fun?

Monday, June 23, 2008

His expression didn't change the whole time
tiny little dude

Still a straight face.
Taking a break.

We took our chances and went to Adventureland. It was fun, but we only stayed for about an hour since it was so hot and Henry wasn't acting completely normal. Watching him on the boat was one of the funniest things I've seen. He looked so tiny and we could not get him to smile. We were laughing so hard. Poor little guy. I thought it was so hot, but I know it's only going to get worse. I freak out so bad when I get overheated. I tried to explain to RJ that it's not just that I'm hot, it's that I also get 3 seconds away from having an anxiety attack. When I have that feeling for too long I go nuts. I'm such a wimp. Once we got out of the heat Henry and I both felt better and now he's just got a cough and runny nose, so hopefully it's a short cold.
Saturday night we helped our friends celebrate their 9th anniversary at Frank's Pizza by Drake and some ice cream afterwards. It was some great food and talk. Thanks for inviting us, sneaky mom!
Another great weekend and now it's already Monday. RJ's parents will be in town for part of this week for their church conference. It will be fun to have them around. Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


I started a new "artsy" blog. Check it out. (and start your own, why don't ya!)

Friday, June 20, 2008

This little guy has a fever. Bummer. He had one yesterday late afternoon and was up a couple of times overnight and then it was down this morning so hopefully it will go away. The reason I'm bummed is because we were going to go to Adventureland this afternoon. For FREE! RJ's work is having an outing and we were all excited to go. I just put him down for a nap so maybe when he wakes up all will be well. Or we might just go anyways since he's acting completely normal and happy.....Or maybe we'll stay home and when we hear of the freak, deadly accident on the kiddy ride later today we'll know why he got sick.
Other than that we have another free weekend. We've had a lot of them lately and they are my most favorite thing. There's no where I'd rather be than right here with my boys. Throw in a little farmers market, a walk to the bakery, playing in the pool in the backyard, and a good movie and conversation after Henry's in bed, and it just doesn't get any better.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Humidity. I don't like you! Mosquitoes. I want to kill you!

We've had a rough start here, but after some food in our tummies I think things will turn around. I can't wait for the day when Henry can just tell me he's hungry. That will make things so much easier.

We're voting on a candidate on Sunday for our Senior Pastor position. This is the first time I've been in this situation and the seriousness of it has been heavy on me. It makes me wish we were just assigned someone so we didn't have the responsibility of it! RJ has really encouraged me to take it very seriously and pray about it. I'm 95% sure on how I am going to vote but he hasn't decided yet. I'm ready for it to be over and to either accept him or start looking for someone else. It's hard to know what expectations you have for a pastor should or shouldn't matter. The Bible is very clear on the characteristics a pastor should have, but beyond that, who knows? Should the actual age matter? Should his personality matter? I'm not voting on wether or not I want to be his friend, but if I want him to be our pastor. All these questions. Guess I need to keep praying!
I pray all of my fellow Willowers are taking this seriously too :)

Henry and I have a free day today! They have been few and far between latetly so we're going to run around like cri-zay. Hope you have a good one!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's not done yet, but I was too excited to wait! I still have to work on the curtains and it's going to be an annoying task. I got beach mats at Big Lots for $1 each, but the edging on them is a light blue so I'm painting over them in black. Annoying. Then we have dowels to hang them up with and I'm going to tie them up with a black ribbon. So all in all, it's going to be 11 curtains for $20. I don't think I could do it any cheaper if I tried, but painting the edge black is driving me crazy! Hopefully we'll get it done this weekend. Everything in the room is either hand-me-down or garage sale or things I wasn't using in the house anymore. I always like doing projects that way. Sure I could have made it nicer by picking out new things exactly how I wanted them, but what's the fun in that?

Don't you want to come over and sip lemonade and play a chess game with me (there's a checker/chess board on the little table)? Because of the positioning of the porch it actually stays cooler than the house some days. Come on, it'd be fun!

Pretty sad it took us almost 3 years to do this, huh?? I'm trying to find a before picture from when we first moved in. It was a little scary!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Henry's friend, Ryan is here today to play. He's one of those little kids that is straight from a Baby Gap ad. He's just the cutest, other than Henry of course.:) I got Henry to fall asleep earlier than normal so they'd sleep at the same time. It's nice having mini-goals for the day, like getting Henry to sleep the same time as his friends. I love when I get it to work!

I might catch a snooze quick too. I've been in the mood to stay up late the last few weeks, but it never fails that when I do Henry's up before 6:00.


Monday, June 16, 2008

RJ trying to convince Henry that it will be fun. He's not buying it.

Got a little daring

Started having fun...
Getting it all set up. (whenever I upload pictures I get them all out of order. ARGH!)

More convincing.

It was so fun getting the pool out. We were sure he wasn't going to like it, but he actually had a lot of fun! Okay, one last thing about the personality test. Here's a part of my description that SO describes me and now I have something to blame it on. It's just my personality! :)

"For Dreamy Idealists, practical things are not really so important. They only busy themselves with mundane everyday demands when absolutely necessary."

This explains why the dishes never get done and instead I start new, fun projects every day! Speaking of projects, I'm working on the porch right now. Pictures will come later. I'm painting the floor, getting "curtains" up and just generally jazzing it up. I can't wait for it to be done!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Okay, what's even funnier is to have your spouse take the personality test and then do the compatibility to see what it says about how you'll get along. RJ is an Independent Thinker, which sounds like him to a T, and our compatibility was pretty hilarious to read.

Independent Thinker + Dreamy Idealist = True Love Forever

We've have a great Father's Day. I know you all think this to be true in your household, but the best dad in the whole world lives in our house. RJ is so amazing. I've been able to tell him numerous times who much we love him and exactly everything we appreciate about him. I could go on and on (seriously) about this I think I will.....but just to him.:)
And let me just say, that every day should be Father's Day. It's my new favorite holiday.

And in honor of my own dad today, here are some of my most memorable memories:

Being mortified when he'd try to shove me in the freezers at the grocery store.

Being carried up over his shoulder upstairs at night and then being body-slammed onto my bed and then saying my prayers.

Seeing him cry over everything. When he's proud, sad, happy, or over a silly commercial.

Now those are some good men. I am beyond thankful for them.

I wonder what Henry's favorite memories of his dad will be?

Friday, June 13, 2008


My personality type: the dreamy idealist

Yes, I'm bored. I just finished the movie and it did it's job. Sweet.

I had a friend who worked at Sticks who was obsessed with personalities. She constantly wanted to figure out my personality type and take different tests and figure out all my family members and best friends. After a while, I found it kind of fun. Here's a quick easy test and it got me pretty good. Now it's your turn. I'm a "Dreamy Idealist" aka DI. Click on the button and GO!
(click on the "Take the free test")
This was one of our busiest weeks and it went fast. RJ is cleaning tonight and Henry is already in bed because of the long week, so I'm having a movie night alone. So sad, huh. There's a Red Box at Dahl's and I love it. Nothing beats a $1 movie....that is if we return it in time....
Growing up and then through college I was happy with a good blockbuster. Nice and cheesy, romantic and sweet. (not saying there's anything wrong with this) When I met RJ, he introduced me to independent films, documentaries, and foreign films and I've loved it, but every now and then I just need some good cheese. When I watch a movie alone, it can not be even slightly scary, it can't be something I might want to watch with him, and it can't be too depressing, so that leaves really smelly cheese. A couple of weeks ago it was No Reservations and I enjoyed it. I enjoy anything remotely to do with cooking. Tonight it's, P.S. I Love You. I'm not expecting much other than to be entertained for a couple of hours so hopefully it does the trick.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Print this coupon off for Walgreen's tomorrow. Now that's a sweet deal!

VBS is over. It ended up being a lot of fun. I thought today would be the hardest with the little kids since it was a long week, but it was actually their best day. It's so weird to think that Henry will be with the 2s and 3s for VBS next summer. Even though it makes me sad, I can't wait to see it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I think I've done it! For those who dislike seafood, plug your ears, cover your eyes, etc, etc, etc.

I made fish tacos tonight. I've tried this before, but it came out the best this time. If you've ever wanted to try it, here's what worked for me:

I marinated it in a Lawry's marinade. Lime and something....

Some mayo, a bit of chicken taco seasoning, fresh lime juice, some honey, garlic salt, and pepper

Raw coleslaw mix. I meant to get fresh cilantro, but forgot. I'm sure beans would be good too!

Pile on a tortilla and dig in, ladies.

I've had an enormous headache this entire day. I'm sure it's not going away over night either.

Tomorrow's a big day for me and Henry. VBS has been wearing us both out a little, but been fun too. We've got some pretty amazing/crazy/loud/hilarious ladies in our church in charge of VBS. It's a Wild West theme this year. You should see all the dancin and hollering going on to the blaring country music. Funny stuff.

Sorry there have not been many pictures. If I want pictures it takes me about 20 minutes to do it and some days that just seems like a waste. I'm so slow at this stupid technology stuff.
Soon, though. I promise.


I just did this for my childhood best friend . She just had a little girl named Annika Rose. Too sweet. Check out that head of hair.

Now that's what little girls are made of.

Monday, June 9, 2008

And now it's time for....The Weekend Update! Pictures to follow......

RJ got us all in the car Friday evening and started heading east. What could be on the east side? Where were we going? Well, he suprised us and took us to Union Park to ride on their awesome carousel. I've heard about it but had never been, and it lived up to it's expectations. It is so neat! And only $.50. RJ decided to stay off to take pictures and I went on with Henry. I tried to put him on a horse and he clung to me like a cat. So we sat on a little bench and he still clung to me. When it started moving and the music started playing he freaked. Apparently taking your child on a carousel ride is child abuse. He calmed down after a few seconds, but did not loosen his grip for a second. Oh well, it was still fun. There's also a little waiting pool further down so we thought we'd let Henry play in that. Once we got close enough for him to hear the fountains splashing water he started crying and shaking his head no. Again, abuse. We tried to get him to play, but he was not having it. We then went to the slide (which he normally loves) and he was not digging it. So the family packed up and we went to the Amici coffee shop downtown. NOW he was having a good time. We loaded him up with a cookie and a smoothie and went home to bed. Good times.

Saturday was ridiculous. Did you feel that humidity? We walked around to garage sales and the whole time we were regretting it. Ugh, that was gross. My mom came to town later and we were all hyped up for the Belmont Stakes. Maybe I'm a dork, but I love the Triple Crown races and this year was no exception. What a bummer that Big Red lost. Will I ever seen a triple crown winner? I'm still sad about Smarty Jones losing the Belmont a couple of years back too. Yes, I know, a dork.

Mom and I ended up not going to Moline because of all the storms. We just hung out and went shopping. A great time had by all.

And now I have some strange news. When I came downstairs with Henry after his nap, about 2ish, there was a cop SUV outside my neighbors house and 2 people outside the house hugging and crying very loudly. About 20 minutes later a van pulled up and they wheeled out a body bag. Since Wayne's truck is not here (he's a trucker and leaves for weeks at a time) I'm assuming it's his wife, Suzie. I feel really weird about it. They're probably in their 60s and I see them once every couple of months. Really nice, just keep to themselves. When we first met Wayne he told us that Suzie has cancer so I don't know if that's what it was or if it was something completely random. I feel really bad that Wayne wasn't home when it happened. They had kids, but they were all older. Sad.

Friday, June 6, 2008

I haven't posted a recipe in a while, but I'll share this one since I'm making it today.

Chicken Salad (yes, this is the best one ever. I'm obsessed with chicken salad and have tried many!)

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning (leave out because I don't have any!)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 cups diced, cooked chicken breast meat
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green onions ( I leave this out too)
1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped (Also leave this out, but almonds are good instead)
1 1/2 cups diced Swiss cheese
1 1/2 cups halved green grapes ( I use red of ones because they're just plain yummier)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, salt, poultry seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, and lemon juice.
In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, celery, green onions, water chestnuts, Swiss cheese, and grapes. Add the mayonnaise mixture, and stir to coat. Chill until serving.

I have croissants to put this in. Yum! I'm also roasting a whole chicken. I love doing this. Rub a dub some olive oil on it, sprinkle liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper, and roast away.

Success! Both the boys are sleeping. We had a fun morning with Ms. Clara and it wore the boys out.

Our neighborhood is having garage sales today and tomorrow so I might walk around a bit. I got some fun stuff at them last year. My mom is coming tomorrow and me and Henry are going with her to Moline for my cousin's high school graduation on Sunday. I love my mom's family so it will be fun to see them! As long as the weather cooperates....

Hope your Friday is fantastic!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I lost my ring today. My wedding ring. I was positive it was on my nightstand because I can't stand sleeping with it on and that is where I always put it. Well, the boys and I were on our bed playing with Legos (sounds weird, but it's my favorite thing to do with Henry) and when we went back downstairs, I glanced over and noticed it was not there. No problem, I thought. I'm sure it just fell off the table and is on the floor. So I searched the floor and could not find it. Still wasn't too scared because I knew it had to be somewhere in that room.

But it wasn't.

I just now found it in........

Henry's diaper.

Not because he had discarded of it, but because it had been placed there.

And I can guarantee you it wasn't me doing the placing.

I'm already emotionally damaged after thinking of what in the world I was going to say to RJ about losing this ring. It wouldn't have been a surprise. I lose everything at some point or another. This time though, it wasn't my fault. Sure I should keep it up higher, or better yet on my finger, but I was simply a victim to a sneaky little joke.
I wonder what made him put it in there?
I told RJ yesterday that I wanted to sell our house, pay off all our debts, and live a cheap life in an apt. Does it really matter that we wouldn't have a house for an investment? Living in an apt is like throwing money away. But does it matter? Should we be storing up our treasures in houses and investments? Well, we all know the answer to this, but then I found a house on-line 1 street to the west of us and it's a really great deal and huge, so then I told RJ I wanted to sell our house to buy a new one. This was all in the same day. He asked me which Abby he should listen to.

Am I ridiculous or what?!?!?

The boys are down for naps and Liv and Jude are here. It's a good start.

The wall at Dahl's is getting bigger by the second. I've decided that maybe it will be good. It's probably better than looking at a gross parking lot and hopefully it will help the neighborhood values since it will be all nice and fancy. Right?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Afternoon thoughts.....

Since I am a wimp in even slightly too hot of weather, I take my child to the playland instead of the park. Man, I'm a loser. Anyways, on the way out I noticed that Dahl's had a big brick wall going up. Already?!?!?

Mr. Dahls, tear down this wall.

I had bought a little pack of blueberries at Dahl's because it was only $.99. Henry ate the whole thing, minus 5, yesterday. It has left him with some very interesting diapers today....

Monday, June 2, 2008

What a great weekend! It kind of started on Thursday when RJ surprised me with a date and a babysitter lined up. We went out to eat at Raccoon River and dessert at a new French restaurant downtown called Django. It was so great to have a nice, long evening to talk and eat good food. Our favorite things to do. It's been a great five years being married to someone I love so much. I have lots of gushy feelings and thoughts about how wonderful it's been, but I'll keep those private.:)

Our actually 5 year anniversary was on Saturday. It started by Henry waking us up at exactly 5:55. Isn't he a clever little fella? We went on a nice walk to the bakery, hung out the rest of the day, and then went out with some friends to celebrate. Chef's Kitchen, Snookies for dessert, and Mars Cafe for coffee with a strange Russian "mockumentary" and some crazy loud techno music. It was really fun and a really late night. We slept for a few hours and got up really early to go see Grandma and Grandpa Charlton in Waterloo and then to a big Junker bash. Grandma and Grandpa Junker found out they will have to tear down their house. It was hard on Grandma at first, but they were doing really good yesterday. They want to put up a modular home and hope to get it all ready to live in within a few months. I pray it does go that quickly and smoothly.

Phew, so that was our weekend. Nothing too exciting planned for this week other than trying to watch the season finale of LOST. We set up a little movie theater in the office last night and couldn't get it to play on the computer. What disappointment. Hopefully it will work tonight.


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