Monday, August 31, 2009


I am benefiting from the $.97 sweater purchase I made at Old Navy at the end of the season. I LOVE wearing sweaters.

I am dreaming of having a pot of chili brewing on the stove all day.

I am looking forward to MOPS starting in a few weeks! I get more excited for it every year and this year is no exception.

I am looking forward to this week. I was in a downer mood most of last week for an unknown reason. I felt lonely and bored and tired and frustrated. I'm sure the non-stop rain didn't help either. The last part of the week and the weekend were fantastic so I am refreshed and ready for this one!

I am going to miss our Sunday night Acts group. We had our last supper and prayer together last night. It was such a great group! But I'm looking forward to our next community group as well and we'll be meeting weekly instead of just once a month. I think it will be awesome and can't wait to see how it grows our church closer together.

I am amazed that Harper has 2 teeth now.

I am amazed at my little boy. After NOT taking a nap yesterday after church (but I kept him in there for 3 hours...aren't I mean?? Don't worry, he was playing and talking the whole time) I was so frustrated with him. It was the second day out of 3 he has done that plus is getting up earlier than usual. So we finally let him out of his room and he came down to play and out of the blue, and clear as day, he said, "When I'm afraid I will trust in God." Ahh! He actually listens and pays attention in Sunday School! It is so amazing to watch your children learn as they get older.
I forgot about the nap incident pretty quickly after that. :)

I am planning a trip to a park today.

And we're all going to wear sweaters.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A 10k, the Farmer's Market, and DIY lamp shade project....

We got the camera situation figured out so get ready for a picture overload.

RJ ran a 10k this morning. I am so proud of him! He's been training with a few friends for a couple of months now and they're planning on doing the half marathon in October. It was such a chilly morning, but really fun to get out and see him finish.

We had to bundle up. I can't believe it's August and this chilly, but what a gorgeous day!

RJ and his running buddies.

Serious face.
Oh, this girl. I'm not sure they come any sweeter.
Dane and Harper. I think they like each other.

We split an El Salvidor-ian Papusa. I don't know how else to describe them other than saying they're the best thing at the farmer's market. (they're down towards the east end) And for only $3 it's a great deal.
Next was a tomato, basil and mozzarella sandwich. De-lish!

I may have changed my mind about flowers. These beauties make me want to have a fresh bouquet every week.

A little DIY project. The shade was just plain white before. I glued on fabric, glued ribbon and trim around the edges, and wa-lah! I may not be able to sew, but who needs to when you have a hot glue gun? I think the base needs to be painted black now....

Did the same to this lamp also, and on the other one I just glued the black trim on. Already had the supplies on hand so it was a cheap, easy project.

We had to run out to the mall last night to get RJ's 10k info so we walked around inside for a bit. I saw this lamp at Pottery Barn Kids and it's my next project for Harper's room. Seriously. It's $99! Who would buy that when it would be so easy to make?!
Happy Saturday!!

Friday, August 28, 2009


Since I don't have much for photos this week, I'll post just a couple of my favorite shots from a photo shoot my amazingly talented friend, Alisa, did for me. They are amazing!
This week flew by. I'm so excited it's Friday!! Tomorrow RJ is running a 10k out at Jordan Creek and we can't wait to cheer him on. But we never thought it was going to be this chilly for the race! I love it though.

Hope you all have a great Friday and an equally great weekend!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I managed to get a few pictures before the camera died again. I know. It shouldn't be that hard to just go to the store to get a camera battery. Well, it's a long story. I'll spare you the details. Anyways, these are for grandma. :)

If you look real can see that little tooth poking out. I think it's neighbor is about out too.
This boy has been wild this week. Can't you just see it in his eyes?

Best Buds.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Conversations with a 2 1/2 yr old....

Henry: "It's raining again."

Me: "Yes, it is."

Henry: "No! It's raining again!"

Me: "I know. It is raining again."

Henry: "NO! It's raining!"

Me: "I know. I'm agreeing with you."

Henry: "No! You're purple....and I'm green."


Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

This was my favorite book as a child. I would look at the pictures for hours...or so it seemed. I performed the story for speech contest in high school too. Yes, can you believe I was in speech? I'm pretty sure that would be my worst nightmare now. Anyways, here's a trailer for the movie. I kind of have a feeling I would be disappointed if I go to see it. It looks pretty different and the coolest part of the book was the illustrations, which got thrown out for the new up-to-date computerized mumbo jumbo. Yet I don't think I'll be able to stay away either. And maybe Henry would be able to enjoy it??

And I'm personally excited for the movie, Where the Wild Things Are. (the trailer gives me goose bumps) This is one of our favorite books to read to Henry and he's always eager to yell "They roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws". Except a few of the words get mixed up so it's pretty funny. I think he'll be too young for this one, but I'm not.

Hmmmm....actually, just writing out that paragraph makes me a little sad. I think that will be one of the books I pull out when he's off and married and cry like a baby.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I'm having the usual camera battery issues so no pictures, but I'm blogging anyways because I'm putting off cleaning my dining room, okay!! Okay.

We had a marvelous weekend at home that started with a beautiful bouquet of roses. Back when we were newly married, I told RJ not to worry about buying me flowers. Of course they're pretty, but I'd rather he spend the money on something else. However, when I get them out of the blue my heart melts a little bit. They're lovely.

This weather has been fan-tastic this summer (ignore today). So Saturday we went to the farmer's market. It's the first time we've gone this summer! I love that place, but so does everyone else in town, so we usually avoid it because of our weird fear of crowds. We decided to just ignore the crowds and it surprisingly didn't even bother us. Another problem we have with going is that we spend way too much money on snacks and produce. We managed to just get a couple of egg rolls, a pastry, and a killer bottle of locally made mustard. Side note: 2 of my favorite new tastes are becoming freshly ground black pepper and strong, for real, mustard. And I'm not talking French's.

Later in the day, I attempted my 3rd Angel Food Cake....and it actually turned out! I was thrilled and it was delicious. We brought it to a friends for dessert after they served us a really yummy supper. It was a great day.

Sunday was a good day with our church family, as usual. I love those people.

Today, we ran some errands at Target and then walked around the mall a bit. I took Harper out of her stroller so Henry could play at play land and she was completely soaked. That girl poops out of her clothes more than anyone I have ever known. Seriously! I don't remember this issue at all when Henry was a baby. Nearly every time I go to get her from her nap, she's made a mess. Oy. Not girly-like at all. Good thing she's so sweet. And can you believe she already has her first tooth?? *sniffle, sniffle*

Tonight our niece and nephew are coming to spend the night and I will hopefully be able to sneak away to the hospital to meet my friend's new baby boy.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Dear Mr. Google,

How do I stop my toddler from whining?

A (very annoyed) (frustrated) (feeling like a failure) Mommy

Surprisingly, Mr. Google had tons of advice on helping stop the whining. Why hadn't I thought of that before? My little Henry is pure joy. He's loving, talks non-stop, loves to play, play, play, makes us laugh all the time, and has become a master whiner. I know all kids go through this at some point. It's all a part of their development and how they express themselves, but I don't think that makes it acceptable. At times we want to pull our hair out! Especially lately. So that's where Mr. Google came in handy. Some good tips I learned:

Don't reward it. Duh! Of course we all know this one. We don't honor his request when he whines, but we are frustrated that after every time he whines for more drink and every time we tell him he can't whine, that he chooses to do it again and again. Maybe he doesn't understand what whining is? So, we sat down yesterday and had a chat about talking appropriately. I demonstrated an ear-drum-damaging whiny question, and then the same question in a "big boy voice". He seemed to understand it 100%. Well, he at least thought it was funny. So, lesson 1 done.

Another thing I read was instead of snapping at him out of frustration when he whines....which basically sounds like an adult form of whining....I'm trying to calmly respond with "I can't understand your whining voice, you need to use your big boy voice." Notice my use of the word trying....:) I also got some advice from a friend to demonstrate the whining right back to him so he can hear what he sounds like immediately. I'm trying this too.

Though still not appropriate, there may be a reason for his whining. Tired? Hungry? Frustrated? Overwhelmed? I'm trying to be more sensitive to these possibilities while still correcting the behavior. I know I get cranky when I'm hungry. Psh, I can barely function when I'm hungry! But that's where my 29 years of experience come in handy. I know that I can just simply get myself something to eat while not whining and crying about it. I guess 2 1/2 years just isn't enough time to figure that out? Oh, how I wish it were.

Of course, the usual "be consistent" will hopefully help too.

I feel like this is a hard area for us. When he does something that is flat out disobeying, it's easy to know when and how to discipline. When it's something where he's trying to express his emotions and it comes out as whining, well, what do you do? SO I'm hoping that teaching him how to behave and express those feelings and questions the correct way will help over time. And trying to avoid over-tiring or over-hungry situations in the first place. I probably also need to be realistic and know it's not going to all stop in one day. Which is what I want. That's what I waaaannnntttt. Pllleeeeaaassseeee. I WANT it to stop nnnooooowwwww! And I wonder where he gets his behavior from......

I'm not alone here, right? Other children whine too, don't they? So how do YOU try to correct it or try to prevent it? Any good tips? I'm desperate here.

OH, and try this out:

This could be fun!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Last Few Days....

We had a little play date with our friend Audrey who was born just a few weeks before Harper. It was fun to see the girls together and fight over toys.
We went to the fair on Monday for just a few hours. We met up with some friends and then ran into a few more friends. So basically we just ate some food and chatted. Didn't even go see the animals! Aren't we horrible? I could not decide what I wanted to eat and finally settled on a tenderloin on a salted nut roll. I greatly regretted it once I got home and felt like I wanted to vomit.
Harper just hung out in the stroller the whole time. In our new sit and stand stroller that is. That I am completely in love with, that is. That I wish we would have just bought in the first place but am glad we at least have one now, that is.
Dirty feet. Dirty shoes. Dirty puddles of water. The fair.
Corn Dog.

Let's not even discuss how old he looks in this picture....
I can't believe he even wanted to go in the sprinklers. He was trying to yank off his clothes and had his pants half way down before we caught him. Fear of water gone perhaps?

We were up with RJ's family on Tuesday and the funeral was yesterday. It was a really nice service and also really sad. We will certainly miss her! Now it's already Thursday and with all of our traveling lately, I'm all messed up on our days, but am so glad that tomorrow is Friday! We're not going anywhere (out of the city, at least) this weekend and I can't wait. We need some good time at home to get back to normal.
Happy Thursday, all!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


It's been a while since I've done a picture comparison, but just checking to see if they still look alike.....hmmmm.....I think so!

Grandma Junker passed away yesterday. It hit us a lot harder than we were expecting. We went up to Parkersburg for a big Junker reunion for lunch and then had a big birthday party for Grandpa Charlton at the same exact park for supper. Just one of the many perks of having 2 sides of the family from the same area! We found out at the end of the 2nd gathering. I'm sure it was not RJ's ideal to find out with so many people around (he's a private guy) but I'm thankful for the timing of it, so we could be around his *very* loving family. And it's times like those that make us all closer, ya know? RJ got to spend quite a bit of time at the hospital during the day and I'm so glad he did. When she passed away, all of her children had made it in time to spend those last moments with her. One of RJ's aunts commented on how special that was-that after bringing each one of them into the world, that they got to be with her at the very end. The timing of it all was really great. There was so much family in town because of the reunion so a lot of us were able to be together at the house that night. We're thankful that she is no longer suffering today and is with our Jesus! But we're sad too and will really miss her. She was a great lady and loved her family so much. We certainly haven't made every Junker gathering over the last few years, but that family sure knows how to party. There was constantly a Junker family gathering of some sort full of her good home cookin'.

Please pray for the family. She left behind a husband who loves her so much, and of course many others.

We got home pretty late last night and we ALL slept in this morning. Even Henry!! He went without a nap yesterday and didn't fall asleep in the car until 10. We went out for a late breakfast this morning and had some errands to run afterwards. He couldn't even keep his head up in the stroller so I had to hold him in the store. They're both still napping now...and I don't expect to hear a peep for a while.

*Oh, and the photo above is Henry. It's hard to tell sometimes! :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I love me some tacos. I make them quite a bit-especially in the summer. Mexican always sounds good in hot weather! Well, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. You can make your OWN taco seasoning. Crazy, I know! I used to only make tacos when I had a packet of seasoning, which seems to often get forgotten at the grocery store. They're just such tiny little packets and a lot of times they slip right through the cart so you don't even notice it. So the other week I wanted me some tacos and, like usual, had no taco mix, and that's when it hit me. It was genius! I figured I could google it and find a recipe to make it up myself. Wow. I can't believe it took me 29 years to figure this out. Oh, you can? Well, you'll have to just keep it to yourself and humor me for a second. Here is what I found:

Taco Seasoning

2tsp minced onion
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp corn starch
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp garlic
Mix into 1 lb meat with 1/2 cup water. Then of course, you can up or lower any of the ingredients depending on your taste. This is a bit spicy with the pepper, but really good.

So there you have it. I'm sure you've all had this figured out for years, but just in case, I wanted to share it with you so we can all enjoy tacos more often.

I threw some clothes on before I came downstairs this morning. About an hour ago. The shirt felt really strange, but hadn't taken the time to figure out why. I just now looked down and realized it's on backwards.

See, I'm a little slow sometimes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Instant cure for a bad morning....

Things are getting better around here. Well, it always helps to put a fancy dress on, right? Got my other camera to download some pictures for once and put Harper in her new dress I got for $3 at a garage sale last week. It's for a wedding we have this fall....hopefully it still fits in 2 months! The sweet bonnet is actually for her Christmas dress. Yes, of course I already have her Christmas outfit.
If only they made this in adult size.
I think she likes it!
Oh, this sweet little thing. I kind of think she's going to be a girly girl.
My camera is dead and I can't find the charger. Grrrrr.....

Henry has become increasingly whiny this week. Today topped the cake. Out of complete frustration I put him back to bed at 8:15 and he actually fell asleep in about 2 seconds. Now the question there something wrong with this kid or is he just tired? Thank goodness he fell asleep because I was about to pull out all the remaining hair on my head. The hair that hasn't fallen out lately, that is. Did any of you moms lose hair after having a baby? I kind of remember this with Henry, but it just started a few weeks ago and I'm afraid to use a brush. Does it end when I'm bald or when she's done nursing?

Harper is taking her morning nap as well so I've got some peace and quiet.

Angel Food Cake update: It still tasted pretty good, but did not rise nearly high enough. I was so paranoid of over beating the eggs that I believe I under beat them. I already bought a dozen more eggs so I can try again. It's fun to make. Easy. Very "diet" friendly. And makes RJ happy.

Next on the baking list: Low Fat Fudgy Brownies. Could they possibly be any good??

Shoot. Henry's not asleep.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Angel Food Cake

RJ's Grandma Junker makes the best angel food cake. When we visit them, about 9 times out of 10, there will be a fresh cake made. Have you ever had angel food cake that is still a bit warm? And have you ever noticed how the crusty brown top is the most superb part of the whole thing? Everyone loves that cake, but I think RJ is the biggest fan.
We went up to Waterloo yesterday to see her in the hospital again. She's not doing too well and probably doesn't have much longer, so I'm glad we went to see her even though it was hard. So today while the kids take their nap, I'm going to bake RJ an angel food cake. My very first attempt! I bought an angel food cake pan at a garage sale this summer and it's just sitting there waiting to be used. I know it will not be anywhere near Grandma Junker's, but that's not really my goal.

Here's the recipe I'm going to use.

Today is good. Henry is playing in the porch with play-doh and blocks and bringing me lunch and birthday cake. It's delicious.

Friday, August 7, 2009

My baby girl has been working so hard to get from her back to her tummy. She figured out the opposite trick a while ago. Last night while we were visiting with one of RJ's cousins and the kids were playing, she did it! I was so proud. So she's officially a roller. I just saw her do it again this morning so I think it's a trick that's going to stay around.


On August 6th, 2009, you rolled from your back to your tummy.

And I love you.


I just experienced the smoothest Craigslist transaction of all time. I listed my mother of a stroller Wednesday afternoon and had a response within an hour. They came and got it last night when they said they were going to. That right there is the key. I don't think I've ever had someone pick up the merchandise on the first try. Then before I went to bed I noticed someone had just posted a sit and stand stroller in like new condition. She was having a garage sale on the south side, so I dressed the kids (in the same clothes they wore yesterday, stains and all) threw on my glasses and drove very quickly, yet responsibly, over to get it....IN THE POURING RAIN. It was still there so it was all worth it. I sold my stroller for $75, got this one for $80. Perfect.

And it's not even lunch time yet.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Catching Up....

We've had quite the week here and in the midst of all of it, I didn't feel like taking the time to blog, but want to catch up before I get too far behind.
The car: It all worked out! We were on the phone asap the next morning and the dealership said they were going through with all their pending transactions so we zoomed over at 11 to pick 'er up. We are really enjoying it. It was our first big purchase with the whole family. Our other car and house were purchased when it was just the two of us. It made it more fun this way. Just discovered today, however, that our mammoth double stroller is a little too snug of a fit so I'm going to try and sell it on Craigslist and get a Sit N Stand instead. I've wanted one of those for a while anyways, so it's all good. Anyone need beautifully, big a double stroller in really great condition?? Maybe someone who has a mini-van?:)

Good bye, Jeep. We really enjoyed you. You were our last piece we had left from our short time in Minneapolis and that makes you special. You were about to die, needed new breaks, and never got your window replaced from the break-in. But we still loved you. Please understand that we had to take advantage of the Cash for Clunkers, because believe me, you were no where NEAR worth $4500. (More like only $500)
Hello, cute new car! I love these little hatch-backs and now that we have one, I notice them every where I turn. We went straight up to Waterloo after we picked it up and got 29 mpg. That is awesome! Much better than our other car and MUCH better than the Jeep.
A few weeks ago I hit a clearance at the dollar spot at Target. Don't you just love when that happens? This cute little puppy was $.50 and provided a great 2.5 minute activity. I'll take what I can get. He was loving the whole glue thing, so I let him glue on random things to a piece of paper. It was great.

I love watching his little hands work.

We've been going to a book club at my bro-in-laws house for the past couple of months and the last one was on Sunday so we finished it with a lovely meal. I made the dessert:
Apricot-Blueberry Tart. It was delicious. The audience. She cheered me on quite well.
One of my favorite new perks of having a lap top is having it in the kitchen with me while I cook. The ingredients. It called for almond flour, which was quite expensive at Hy-Vee, but I splurged anyways. Anyone know where I can get it cheaper??

The result! *Almost* as pretty as the picture on the blog.

Yesterday was my favorite family day of the summer so far. RJ took the day off and we headed back to Adventureland with our free tickets! We dropped Harper off at her aunt's house to make things easier and just took little Henry. We went on all the same rides as last time and a few more, including the Raging River. I was worried that Henry would freak if he got wet, but he did great. It was SO much fun. We came home and took naps and then headed to Salisbury House for a tribute concert for Louie Armstrong with some family and friends. It was fantastic time and such a lovely place.

This shot was right before we got out of the car to go to A-Land....and then I kept the camera in the car so I didn't have to worry about keeping it dry. It was a good decision.
So we've had a great time here lately, but the one sad news is that RJ's grandma is not doing very well. She's on "comfort care" which means they are no longer doing anything with her cancer and just trying to keep her comfortable. She's been in the hospital since last week when they discovered she had blood clots in her lungs and legs (probably from the surgery). So, please pray for her. We were able to see her on Friday and will hopefully be making another trip up sometime this week/weekend.
Now, I'll try to get back into the swing of blogging more regularly!!


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