Madeline's Grand Experiment

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New (and Last) Blog

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fantasy Football time again. I took Brady in the first round. Torn ACL in the first quarter. Super.
Constant email and phone jabs from "friends" at me for my poor luck.

Vikes should be OK this year. Great running game, improving receivers, great O line and RB. Big ? at QB. Didn't look good in game one vs the Packers. We run a west coast offense so you need to be able to complete a high percentage of short passes. Not happening. Who knows though 9-7 could win the division.

Bears beat the Colts somehow but Manning didn't have any pre-season games this year so he's working his kinks out. Lions have some really good receivers and the most experienced QB but there isn't much there.

Twins are one game behind the Sox and way out of the wild card so really need to win the division. Who knows? Last six games are three vs the Sox and three vs the Royals.

The kids and I have really enjoyed the few times when we see a doe and a couple of fawns bullying a turkey around sunflower seeds from our front window.

Job's going well. We're adding another banker position at our branch so that should ease up on our workload. I'm getting more confident with the little Arabic I know and that helps with our customers.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Our Baby's in Kindergarten!
Yesterday was Olivia's first day of kindergarten. For the first day, they have the kids come in for half a day with their parents. So we spent the afternoon in kindergarten. Scott and I did pretty well with reviewing letters and numbers! Anyway, Olivia did pretty well overall; a lot shy, but I think it helped her out that we were all there together. We got to eat lunch at the cafeteria, and all I can say is that Scott said Oh Lord as we were waiting in line and my thought was Oh my gosh! This takes me back! The food smells the same, and tastes the same! And it made us realize that it's been a really long time since we had a school lunch.
At kindergarten they had us all wear nametags. Olivia quickly pointed out to me that I had misspelled my name. I looked at her and said huh? And she told me that my name is spelled M-O-M. It was really hard not to laugh, and I explained to her that other people call me Elena, not Mom. So she concluded that Little girls call you Mom and big girls call you Elena! That's right honey. I thought it was cute.
Finally at the end of the day, much to Scott's and my surprise, Olivia really wanted to ride the school bus home all by myself! So we let her: heck, if she wants to, we don't want to discourage that! So she rode the bus home and I met her at the drop-off spot near our house, and it turns out she loved the bus and told me that she even made a friend!
First day of kindergarten

Olivia felt it very important to show off her backpack!
So today is the first full day of school for Olivia. When she asked me this morning if I was going to go to school with her, I thought for sure she'd be upset, but when I told her no, she just said okay, and went about eating some breakfast. Bright and early at 7am she got onto the bus; I got to wait with her at 7am - yippee! And she was so excited to get on the bus and go to kindergarten! No tears or anything - this is such a relief to us. So we'll find out when she gets home around 4:00 this afternoon how today went for her. More later.
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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The First Day of School

I used to be little, but not any more.
Tomorrow I'll get up and walk out the door.
I'm going to school - it's the first time for me.
It's great to be big, but I'm scared as can be.

My tummy's in knots. Do you want to know why?
I'm thinking that maybe, just maybe, I'll cry!
When Dad leaves the school and I'm there all alone,
I'm thinking that maybe I'll want to go home.

But wait - Mommy said I'll play lots of new games,
And meet lots of friends - I can learn all their names.
The first day of school, oh there's so much to do!
There's painting and books and a big playground, too.

I used to be little, but not any more.
Tomorrow I'll get up and walk out the door.
I'm going to school - it's my first day, you see.
It's great to be big! I'm so glad that I'm me!

~ Author unknown ~

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Livi and Zach taking a little break from playing.
They look so precious.

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Maddie: getting all gussied up in Livi's shoes

Look at my pretty shoes! Oh, wait, I'm thirsty!

Our girls
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Daddy reading a story to Livi and Zach. Zach lost interest somewhere around page 2.

Ta-da! Livi was so proud of her castle!

Close-up of Livi's castle - impressive
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Friday, August 15, 2008

Dunning's Spring
I met up with one of my best friends from high school the other day. She lives in Idaho now and hadn't been to town for quite a long time, and I hadn't been to some of these Decorah places in ages, so we decided to check out the places. First we went to The Cut, which is actually a big drainage culvert, but we always liked walking in there. So as we went down the steep incline and proceeded to walk reeeeaaaallllyyyy slowly (we didn't want to fall and break a hip ;-) , well, we were reminded that we just aren't 17 years old anymore. There were a couple of high school kids there practically running laps around us as we only walked part way once. But we had a great time! After that we headed to the Whippy Dip for a little bit of the best ice cream in Iowa. Then decided to head to Dunning's Spring. It's one of my favorite places - I just love going there. We were the only ones there, so we got to enjoy the quiet and take in all the quiet and peaceful surroundings:

Tara dipping her toes in. We just had to find out first-hand if the water was still as cold as when we were in high school. Yep, still cold!

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Before the park service put up barriers to get in the water, we used to crawl into this area: over rocks and then back towards the cave area. It was loud from the rushing water, but so relaxing and peaceful.

A view of Dunning's from the trail up above.

The woods area by Dunning's - I remember when I took this I thought: Oh how beautiful! I really don't think the camera quite captured what I saw.

Tara and I didn't stay at Dunning's for long, but it's the only place that we took any pictures. We spent the whole day and half the night together, just talking and catching up and laughing and crying and reminiscing. Oh, it was great! I can't wait to see her again!!!
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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Eating Raspberries
Went out on the trail last night with the kids and picked a ton of raspberries for them! They just cannot get enough of those! So I took a cup out and filled it up, then brought it to the deck where they could share them. I thought it was a pretty good idea...

However, moments after this picture Madeline decided the deck looked pretty bland, stood up and stomped on some of the raspberries. The kids were upset about the raspberries being ruined, Scott for the deck getting stained a little (but he managed to wash the color out). So much for my great idea! Well maybe for a short while anyway...
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Zach really liked the raspberries!

And so did Maddie!

Livi's just a bit neater about inhaling them.
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