Saturday, September 27, 2008

the obedient boy

Some people seem surprised at the way I've been potty training Noah. I can sit him on the potty and leave and he'll stay there. It's just that simple. I tell him he needs to stay there until he goes potty and he does stay put. - I have to do it this way b/c he doesn't understand certain cues his body gives him to tell him it's time to go. - He usually always stays there until I come back to check on him, which is quite often. I just leave when I need to do something - put the dog out, get Evie in her chair, change her diaper, answer the phone, whatever.

Today I had to wash the laundry and since Noah wasn't going as quickly as what he's been doing lately, I told him to stay there while I started the clothes. He did. When I was done a few minutes later, Evie was whining in her toy, but more importantly, Noah was doing some considerable crying. He's been known to fake some crying to get out of going potty, but this wasn't one of those times.

So I rushed in there and sat down on the edge of the tub and asked him what was wrong. And he, with tears running down his face, told me there was a spider. I looked all around him and said that I didn't see a spider and told him he could get down. So he rushes over to me, sits on my lap, puts his arms around my neck and cries, telling me over and over, Spider, spider, spider on the wall, scared, scared. Poor guy.

Yeah, so I let him off the hook for going potty. =) I told him we'd go get dressed and put him down to follow me to his room. I was in the doorway to his room and he wasn't with me so I turned around and saw that he was just closing the bathroom door. Here you have to understand that I always leave the bathroom open, and so does Noah. Noah said "Bye bye spider" and locked it in the bathroom. ... Awww

In the bedroom he said he was safe now.

Oh, and Noah loves Charlotte's Web so I don't know what his deal is.

Friday, September 26, 2008

cutest Evie giggles

Sunday evening we went to Terry's cousins house (Tawnya) for their two youngest kids' birthdays. Kellen turned 3 and Kallie 2. Kellen had got a new guitar and drum as one of his gifts so we headed downstairs to see it. Noah went off to play with Percy the steam engine and wasn't interested but Evie thought the drumming was great! I've never heard her giggle like this before. I'm so glad Terry was there with our camera to get most of it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

we made his day

Noah can get obsessive. I think he gets it from his mama. I get so into things sometimes. I LOVED Jennifer Knapp for the longest time. Then I LOVED Caedmon's Call. Then I LOVED Derek Webb. I LOVED Lord of the Rings. I LOVED Harry Potter. Now I LOVE LOST. I LOVE The Office. I LOVE Heroes. Yeah, I get quite excited about some things. Terry doesn't quite understand it.
Noah is obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine. He LOVES to play with his Thomas. He LOVES the books. He LOVES the videos.

Prior to today, he only had one Thomas engine to play with, and the jet engine it came with. He is the littler metal version that doesn't fit on the normal wood tracks. So, after a visit to my friend Karla's house last week where her youngest boy has like just about every Thomas train available and Noah had SUCH a good time, we decided this might be something we could start investing in. However, the nice wood trains that fit on the wood tracks are expensive - $15-$20 for just one. Terry went in to the North Platte Walmart to get him one as a treat last weekend and they didn't even have any! So, that left us with almost no options.

Thank goodness for the internet here in the barren Nebraska cornfields.

When we got home Terry hopped on Ebay and bid on one set that looked good out of like 12 pages - 40 engines all in pretty good shape for a reasonable price. Of course, when he started bidding, the price went up, but he won with a good price too. Something like $3-$4 a train. Don't do the math... HA! Or else you'll know how much we spent.

So the package came today and we sneakily gave Noah a few new toys and hid the rest. He got a Thomas, Annie and Clarabel (his coaches), and Thomas' friend Percy, so he had someone to play out the stories with. Yeah, Noah's always telling the stories as he plays. Quite cute.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

after the tower

Yeah, so, after The Golden Spike, we went to Cody Park to further entertain ourselves...or rather, to just plain entertain ourselves since we were all a little bored at Bailey Yard. Well, I guess Evie did chew on and perhaps eat a little brochure...

Anyway, Cody Park is pretty much the hub for all the festival's activities. Most of the vendors were packing up but all we really wanted to do was ride the little kid amusement park rides and have some ice cream. I took Noah there last year for this when Terry was at the junior high rally Surge an hour away. Noah had soooo much fun last year. He was like laughing and hooting and hollering he was just having so much fun. It was all brand new! The most exciting thing he'd been on before was a swing. These weren't that much more impressive, but still better.

Oh, and then we had some chocolate ice cream (b/c why would you have anything else but chocolate?). It was a dish. Last year Noah and I stood in line for like 15 minutes to get our cone. We were walking away and had got a couple licks in when it fell off the cone onto the nasty concrete. I'm sure they would have given me another but I was so ready to go.

Here we are on the merry go round carousel. Root! Root bird!

Evie is hanging out with dad and chewing on one of his 26 pairs of sunglasses.

Noah on the little train.

This ride just goes around in circles. Terry didn't think he could stomach it (sensitive w/spinning) so I went again. I have some of the BEST pictures on my phone from this last year. If only we had Verizon down here I could upload them.

Evie giggling later that to come.

The tower

We made a break for it Sunday after church.

We're always complaining that we don't have anything to do (well, one of us is anyway =) ) so we just packed up the kids, fed them in the car and drove to Rail Fest! Yes, Rail Fest. That sounds so Midwestern, doesn't it? Well, fortunately, we live in the Midwest and Noah LOVES trains.

Rail Fest is a festival of trains. Duh Eva. A brochure we picked up says Rail Fest is Home of Bailey Yard, the largest railroad classification yard in the world. It further says that Bailey Yard:
  • covers 2850 acres
  • has enough room to enclose 2800 football fields
  • where 3000 cars are sorted each day
  • has 18 receiving and 16 departure tracks
It's a pretty big deal for trains buffs, but Noah's not quite there yet. They just built The Golden Spike which is a tower that overlooks the whole yard. It's 8 floors or 95 feet high with a 360 degree view. It was okay. Yeah, just okay. Paid $12 for Terry and I to be there w/the kids for like 45 minutes. So just okay. Noah had fun coloring on a computer screen - yes, he was supposed to do that. There were four different blank pictures you could select from and then pick a color to fill in all the various parts of the train, or dude, or whatever.

Here Noah is coloring.
About to spring up the binoculars.

Awww. He looks so cute.

Here is Noah and I in front of the tower. I had to hold his head towards the camera b/c he wouldn't. Silly boy.

counting feet

Terry just told me this story while we were at the park w/the kids and it cracked me up. He said that he was in the kitchen for lunch and had just made some lemonade. Snap came in the room and Terry took the opportunity to teach Noah that Snap has 4 feet. He crouched down and counted each Snap foot individually out to Noah. He said, See, Snap has 4 feet and no hands. Noah looked at his feet perplexed and then grabbed one of Snap's front paws and gestured to Terry that YES he does have hands, "Right here!"

Terry laughed and said, No, Snap has 4 feet and no hands. Noah proceeds to walk over to Evie in her highchair, grabs one of her feet and says, "Foot!"

What a boy we have.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

harvest festival

Saturday the 20th was our town's annual Harvest Festival. There's a parade to start things off and then the park on the main drag turns into fair ground central with food and other assorted vendors, kids games and competitions.

At 10am we headed over to Terry's aunt and uncle JoAnn and Herb's house who live on the main drag directly across from the park! We had premo seats, although when the sun got above the trees, we were pretty hot and squinty. But it was good nonetheless. And we had company - Terry's family and some other friends from church. Last year it was pretty chilly and we didn't know anyone. This year was much more enjoyable. Yeah, and last year Noah had no clue what was going on. He just had this inquisical look on his face the whole time. We had to get the candy for him and everything. This year he knew just what to do, although he calls candy "candle." Habits are hard to break.

After the parade we had lunch inside while Terry wrangled up some high school kids to help with the kids booth. The (very) small Christian school puts on a kids booth with a variety of games to raise money and asked Terry to help last year. He did again this year, although the kid helpers grumble somewhat, but at least they helped!


Candy retrieving. Next to Terry is Andrea Carlson, the blonde girl is Kalli (Tawnya and Tim's youngest), Kellen w/the hat (T & T's middle with a heart defect - 5 heart surgeries and 2 brain surgeries), JoAnn (Tawnya's mom and Terry's aunt), Herb clapping (JoAnn's husband).

Gothenburg marching band just passed.

Why yes, that's a llama. Yaaeee! I'm a llama again!

Friday, September 19, 2008

my sleepy boys

Yesterday morning everyone was a little sleepy around the breakfast table. It was Thursday so the night before had been youth group. Now that Terry's doing both junior and senior high on the same night, he doesn't usually get home till 10-1030 and still feels the need to stay up later in order to unwind. You know, guys are weird like that =). I just want to go to bed. Noah probably stayed up a little later b/c he was playing with his favorite babysitter, Kenzi. So Noah came out of his bedroom and hugged daddy to the floor where they stayed. Now, Noah is not particularly cuddly unless he's hurt, but he just wanted to lay on daddy and daddy just wanted to lay on the ground and sleep (he actually could too). So, here they are, "sleeping."

so cute

Terry was pretending he was "dead" and Noah just happened to look like he was mourning.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

more birthday surprises

For Tuesday lunch, Terry surprised me by saying he wanted to go over to his aunt and uncle's house to get a bit to put a hole in our picnic table for the umbrella. He also said we should try not to be too late b/c of it getting cold out earlier. I thought this was a little strange b/c he doesn't usually initiate things like that. So we go over, a little late despite all we could do (I had to pick up Snap from the vet 20 miles from here b/c he got snipped).

We were visiting w/the fam and when I tried to get Terry to hold Evie, he said he had to go the bathroom. Noah of course followed him. When he came out again I heard Noah behind me say "candles" and turned around to see Terry bringing me a chocolate-chocolate cake w/27 lighted candles. Yeah, pretty good huh?! He can surprise me I guess. I didn't suspect a thing.

But more surprises were to come.

He gave me a sheet of notebook paper w/a poem hand written on it:

--I did not get you "27 Dresses"
for your 27th B-day.
Instead I made you 27 messages
that you will discover on Wednesday.

Each message is a clue
leading to what you must do
to discover your next notes
which will be hidden though not too remote

I hope you have fun on
this little quest
Though I don't want it to
keep you from getting your rest
I did this to give you a
little fun
And maybe you can share it with your daughter and son.

I hope that you know I love you.
If I liked tobacco you'd be my chew
Happy Birthday, Eva, my wife
I'm glad God made you a huge part of my life!--

So, after putting Noah and Evie to bed, I embarked on this great adventure birthday scavenger hunt. And hour and a half later, I was done. Pictures to follow.

27 message scavenger hunt

The first clue was the card I found on the open laptop: To continue your little quest Search in Terry's tool chest!
The guest room toilet!

#3 said, Use the "tool" to mix your eggs. Some might use it to stir up dregs. This was the canister I put my cooking supplies in.

#4 said, Rodents Lair on the ceiling. To get there you might be kneeling. This was on the ceiling of Snap's crate or pet carrier.

#5 said, To turn this on, sometimes tricky. Maybe the switch is sticky. This was taped to the back porch light - the switch hardly ever works to turn on that light.

#6 said, This "sweet ride" is nearly fixed. Look in the place where Noah kicks. That, of course, was in our silver van, taped to the back of the driver's seat that Noah kicks when he's sitting there. It needed to be fixed b/c back in May I had a little accident and the fender and door got somewhat crunched. Terry acquired a comparable used bumper, fender and door that he's repainted with the help of a man he was introduced now it's "nearly fixed" and hopefully we can sell it.

#7 said, Trying to keep our dishes clean, Never had luck w/one of these. Out in storage taking up space, You'll find our next clue starring at your face. This was in the shed taped on the dishwasher that was originally in the parsonage. Terry's dad got us another one at a garage sale b/c the other one didn't really work. But the newish one doesn't either b/c of the nasty hard water - leave a terrible film over everything it "cleans."

#8 said, Got this from an old junk yard. Guarding our wood it's not getting far. This was of course, the bumper that Terry got from a junk yard (w/the fender and door as well), but he decided he didn't need it.

#9 said, This device tells players how much they lost. Are they over or under...What's under ours? At first I thought of a scoreboard b/c of the "players," but then figured it was probably a scale. I was right.

#10 said, A gift not from me And definitely not junk Can be found in this vehicles _ _ _ _ _. That was the TRUNK belonging to the Malibu. The gift was a cookbook from Shari that had conveniently just arrived that morning.

#11 said, A film we skimmed in the last 7 days Has a clue to direct your ways. That was Casino Royale. When I opened the case, there was a DVD that said #12 on it.

#12 was a personal message from Terry that he had recorded that morning while I was at Kathy Hult's have a birthday party. It was quite funny. It said, Noah doesn't like it, We take it out. If we miss some he will shout." I was pretty stumped and Shari called. She was stumped. Terry called and gave me a clue. It was ICE. When he doesn't finish his milk we put it in the fridge and when we get it out again, sometimes there's ice there and if we don't take it out, he will shout.

#13-1 was supposed to be in the ice tray but Terry forgot to put the clue there! So after another phone call, he told me it was supposed to say, When you buy these check them twice, if they're broken it's not very nice.

#13-2 said, In this book of memories you will find your next clue w/ease. Don't think of pictures or stories of boats. Think about nice personal notes." I was so stuck on this one and needed help. I thought it was an album Terry made for me before we got married. Nope. It was a journal at the Chicago Lakeside church had written their thanks and nice notes in after his "final" camp experience and before he moved back to Rapid City to marry me, etc.

#14 said, This living thing Noah does abuse. He bring pieces to daddy much to his amuse. Out in the front. Not a dog or a toy. Something else intrigues our little boy. This was the bush along our driveway.

#15 had simple rhyming instructions of how to get into our safe... You don't need that! The last line was, unlock your next clue and some treasure! Treasure was pry a play on words b/c the gift was the movie National Treasure 2. I had accidentally found this gift in Terry's tool chest several weeks ago when I was fixing something. Oops!

#16 said, Evie's drawer, Hmmm, which one. Without these blowouts would be total de-struc-tion. One in the back all alone. Your next hint will be known. This was Evie's diaper drawer. But like I said before, she was asleep! I just couldn't use the flash so the pic is bad.

#17 said, Little Red Engine on a red bike has a note you will like. I thought at first of Noah's trains but then remembered Terry's motorbike - "red engine!"

#18 said, W/out this he could not wash his hands. Helps when he sits but mostly when he stands. That was Noah stool in the bathroom.

#19 said, "Everything Glorious" that's tough to do. With nightly practice I'll get it true. Terry's be practicing that song from his David Crowder Band DVD that I got him for his bday - the man himself teaches on the special features. So, this was in Terry's guitar.

#20 said, I cleaned the top, you vacuumed it out. 2 handles and black, what's this all about? That was the wood stove! Terry's dad provided the brushes when he was here 3 weeks ago and I had finally cleaned out the ashes from the previous pastor who lived here!

#21 said, Did I take mine this morning? Yes I sure did. They were Flintstones when I was a kid. Vitamins of course! Who could forget those commercials?

Debbie Spencer stopped by here and gave me some pumpkins. She tried to help me with the next clue but neither of use had any idea. So she took my picture since I couldn't get my camera to do it myself.

#22 said, Terry's stuff seems to gather here. Search the RIGHT drawer in a case that's not clear. I would have never figured this out on my own b/c I kept reading over the "in A case that's not clear." So I checked every drawer in the house, even the one that it was in. Terry had to help me and I found the note in the RIGHT buffet drawer in the brown camera case. Clever clever.

#23 said, A photo of a family hike. Inside lies a clue you'll like. He put it in the back frame of the picture of us on top of Medicine Bow Peak outside Laramie, WY, from summer 2007.

#24 said, Under cushion likes a clue. Are the cushions old or new? They were the first ones I checked - the new/er ones in the front living room.

#25 said, Pretend that you are on a beach. Your next note is found beneath. That was Noah's sandbox, buried of course.

#26 said, In the floor by Noah's vac is the only clue you lack. This one was risky for him b/c Noah could have moved his "vac" (which is actually a lawn mower). But Noah didn't and I found it in the vent.

#27 was a sweet note and had the last clue, To get there you need a chair. A lonely gift sits up there. Above pictures above numbers A gift for you like the others. This was in the basket above the fridge. The present was something for nursing...

Terry, you did SUCH a great job. I'm amazed at your creativity and love. Like Shari said while I talked to her during my search, I must have done something to you b/c she didn't know you had it in you to be so sweet. I feel so special to be the one that gets to receive all your love. Thank you for a wonderful 27th birthday!