Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Maddi's Home!

We got Maddi home last night. The kids were so excited to see her - so were Michael and I! Olivia wouldn't let Maddi our of her sight. It was so cute. It feels good to have us all back together again. Maddi had tons of fun on her trip but she was excited to get back home too. She has lots to tell us and the kids have lots to tell her too. I think they have been talking nonstop since we got home. Like I said, it's good to all be together again!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Maddi's On Her Way Home!

Maddi left Ohio this morning and is on her way home. We are all so excited! We will go get her tomorrow. She had a lot of fun on her trip. She spent the last part of it in Ohio. She had fun playing with cousins there, going to parks, spending time at the library, riding bikes and lots of other stuff. She also got to go to Kirtland and see the pageant there. It talks about some of the history of our church. As most of you know, early members of the church settled in Kirtland between 1831 and 1838 before they were driven from their homes. A lot of history takes place there and Maddi was able to go see some of it. She really enjoyed that. Anyways, her trip is coming to a close and soon we will all be together again and things will seem back to normal!

Friday, July 17, 2009

New Gym Membership!

I am so excited! I just got back from joining a new gym here in town. We can get a family membership for $40 a month. There are programs for the older kids and a kids zone (aka babysitting) for the younger ones. It gives us access to the whole place - basketball, racquet ball, swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna, steam room, aerobics classes, and all the equipment. It also lets the kids take swim lessons year round at no extra cost. Anyways, I am very excited. Once school starts I will be able to take Olivia and Zeke to the gym and they can play while I work out. There will even be "exercise" classes that they can take if they want to. There is no contract so if we end up not using it we don't have to keep paying for another year:) It's only a few miles from our house so it's really easy to get there. It is a combination of Sanford Medical and YMCA. I took the kids swimmig there earlier this week and they loved it. When Maddi turns 9 she can actually be out on the floor with me using the weight and cardio machines. She will love that. They also have a youth room that she will be able to use with ping pong tables and other stuff.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New Bikes!

I must say, I love Craigs List! You can find some really good things on there for really good prices. Since we've been here we have gotten several things off Craigs list - couches, a dog, twin bunkbeds and toddler bunkbeds, and now three bikes! I've even sold some things on there - a crib, a high chair, two bikes and another crib. So, back to the bikes - Zane got a motorcycle bike. It was originally meant for Dillon but even though the bike looks small, it was too big for him so Zane got it. Dillon preferred his old bike anyways. Zane loves his new "motorcycle". He rides alll over the ranch on it. Zeke also got a new bike. His is a Power Rangers one and was pretty much brand new. He also loves his because it goes "weally super fast"! The other bike is for Maddi. She has not ridden it yet but Makenna has and really likes it. So here are picture of my little bikers. They are too cool for their own good! I think Zane is ready to head down to Hot Harley Nights here in Sioux Falls!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Maddi'sTrip - Day 16

Maddi is onthe road again today. She is on her way to Ohio to see Stephen and his family. She had a lot of fun in Virginia. Her last day she spent doing swimming lessons and then they went to the air and space museum where the space shuttle is. Saturday she went with Janiel and Aubrye and they all got their nails and toes done. She loved that. Sunday we got to talk to her on the webcam. The kids enjoyed seeing her and talking to her. A week from tomorrow and we will get to go get her!

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Swimming Fun

Today we tried a new pool in Soux Falls. We got pool passes that let us get in to all the public pools in Sioux Falls (there are a ton), so we thought we would start trying some of them. Theone we went to tday has a zero depth pool with two different slides, some big, floaty toys to climb on and a big sand and water area. It also has Two big slides, one you can use a tube on and one you go on without tubes. Makenna was the only one big enough to do those. She ahd tons of fun on them. It also has three drop off slides. No one tried those. Olivia and the boys loved the smaller slides in the shallow part. They also had a lot of fun in the sand area. They want to go try another pool tomorrow. There is a brand new water park that we might go try or else a spray park. It's all free for us so we might as well make use of it! It was a lot of fun and what better way to spend the summer. When Maddi gets home we will have all sorts of places to take her!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

There was a little girl with a great big bed...

Olivia's favorite thing to do is get in Michael's "spot". This morning after he left for work she climbed into his spot with her sippy cup and got real comfortable, giggling the whole time that she was in "Daddy's spot"!

Maddi's Trip - Day 13

Maddi is still having a blast in Virginia. They have been to Washington DC three days now. They have seen all sorts of things and been to several of the museums. She has touched the White House lawn, let a huge bug crawl all over her (in one of the museums) and also pet a giant preying mantis (also in a museum). She has been on bike rides - thanks Jude, and she has been swimming almost every day. She even got to have a swimming lesson one morning with the other cousins. She's eaten out at all kinds of restaurants and ridden in Sam's "bumblebee" mustang (a definite highlight)! It is yellow with black racing stripes. She has also gotten to go watch her cousins in a few swim meets. I must say I'm jealous (not of riding in the mustang:) and hope to be able to go there myself someday. We are certainly missing her here. I find myself counting the kids when I am out and never coming up with the right number. Kind of scary when I forget that Maddi is gone! I think Dillon misses her the most. He is very tender and aware of feelings and people. He talks about her on a regular basis and is always telling me he misses her. It really very sweet. Makenna has realized how much fun it is to have a sister to play with. Olivia just doesn't play the same way and the boys don't either! She is anxiously awaiting Maddi's return as are all of us.

Chuck E. Cheese and Babies!

This last week we went to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch. The kids had a blast and it wasn't crowded at all. They have really been working at keeping the house clean and being kinder to each other. There are still moments but they are doing really good. We also have been having lots of new babies out here at the ranch. This last week there have been 3 baby draft horses born (one of which died) and 2 baby miniature donkeys. The kids have enjoyed going up to the barn to see and pet them.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Maddi's Trip - Day 10

Maddi is in Virginia now at my brother's house. She is excited to get to play with her cousins for a week. They went swimming yesterday for 3 hours and spent a lot of time playing outside. She even got to eat Chinese for supper last night. Maddi gets to sleep in Aubrye's room with her so it's a sleepover every night! Today they are headed into Washington DC to see some of the sights.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fun on the 4th

We spent the 4th at home. Michael had a parade that morning. It was rainy and wet so we stayed in. Makenna played with the neighbor girl and I did some cleaning. For lunch I took the kids up to the ranch. They were grilling hamburgers and the kids wanted to go. We also had watermelon and ice cream comes. After lunch we watched a movie while we waited for Michael to come home. By that time the sun was out and it had warmed up. We made ice cream and played outside for a while. Then we had our own BBQ in the yard. after supper we played kickball with the nieghbors. It was fun. I talked to Maddi on the phone while Michael visited with the neighbors. Then we went up to the barn to watch the fireworks. From the top of the hill where the barn sits we could see fireworks from 3 different towns. It was fun, especially for the kids.

Maddi's trip - Day 8

Today Maddi is on her way to Virginia. She had a lot of fun in Nashville. She visited family, went swimming, played in a park somewhere, ate a lot of chicken, and went shopping. Everynight before bed, my mom would read her a chapter from one of her books and after her bath she would get her hair done. She loved it! Saturday my brother, Spencer, and his family came so she got to spend Saturday and Sunday playing with them and their kids. Saturday was also the big family reunion. She had fun at that too. They played baseball and she went wading in the creek. I'm glad she is having a great time. The kids here are missing her. Olivia still think she's up in the barn and wants to go there and get her. Everything we do, Dillon wants to make sure we include Maddi in it somehow. Michael and I miss her too of course!

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Outdoor Campus

Yesterday I took the kids to a place called The Outdoor Campus at Sertoma Butterfly House. It is free of charge and has about 2 miles of walking trails. Part of it is wooded and part goes through prairie grass and around some little ponds. We didn't go on all the trails but we went on some. The kids had a lot of fun. Afterwards we went to the Sertoma Park. It has 4 different playgrounds all next to each other and a big covered picninc area. There were all sorts of things for the kids to do. We plan on going back next week and doing some more exploring and take a picnic lunch. Olivia has a big spider bite on her leg that I am assuming came from there. She seems to have a slight reaction to bites so when she gets one, whatever kind it is, it gets swollen and red. This one you can see the two marks in the middle where the bite is. It doesn't seem to bother her though. She actually got two bites, mosquito I think, on her head and the hair fell out around the bumps. So she has two little bald spots where the hair is just starting to grow back. Luckily she has tons of hair and it kind of covers it up! Kind of wierd... Anyways, we had a fun day and look forward to going back!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

More Medals

The kids all had their last game last night. Michael went to Makenna's. She got three hits and an out at home plate. She was very excited when she got home! I went to the boys' games. They did a good job too. Afterwards they got their medals for playing this year. It was a fun season but I'm glad it's over. It will be nice having our evenings to stay home and relax in the backyard.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Maddi's Trip - Day 3

Maddi is on day 3 of her trip. She made it to Nashville yesterday. They stopped along the way in St. Louis and went to the Gateway Arch and the Martin Luther King Bridge. They ate supper at my Aunt Peg's house. Then she went out and played basketball with Grandma Walba. Today they are going to my sister, Katie's gravesite. Maddi knows Katie's story so it will be neat for her to get to go there. I think they will also go to my grandpa's gravesite. Maddi remembers him. He just died on March 14th (Katie's birthday). Tonight they will go to dinner with Aunt Peg and Uncle Rufus. She is still having a great time and enjoying all the things she is geting to do!