Monthly Archives: July 2007

Shrine Bowl Marching Band

Lukas had the opportunity to participate in the Shrine Bowl Marching Band. He went to camp on Tuesday afternoon and the band put on a great show last night! They also led the Shrine Bowl parade on Saturday morning. The participants came from all over the state and they practiced 7 hours a day. Their hard work paid off and they were impressive considering the short time they had to prepare.

Lukas was sponsored by a member of our church that is a Mason. Even though he’s not always a fan of hard work, he seemed to really enjoy the opportunity and hopes to do it again next year. Thanks Ralph!

I have some videos of the band down below in my VodPod, though the quality of video from my little camera isn’t great. There’s also photos in Flickr.

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Things sure are quiet around here….

Things sure are quiet around here. Colton is at summer camp. Lukas is at Shrine Bowl Marching Band camp. Both will return tomorrow so I better enjoy my last day of peace. With Baylee being non-verbal, and no boys fighting, wrestling and screaming, it seems like I have stepped into another life.

Baylee has been her usual self and up to her routine mischief. She emptied the entire contents of her closet into her room. Every article of clothing is off its hanger, all the winter clothes I had stored on a shelf are strewn about, and there are books and hangers everywhere. What a disaster. I just don’t have the energy to put it back because I know, just like the busy ants who rebuild their hills after a rainstorm, Baylee will just rebuild her mess…..over and over again.

I’m almost ashamed to show this to you, but here’s Baylee’s latest work. She’s been a busy girl!

Baylee’s room

She has left most of the sheets on the bed, though. At least I won’t have to remake her bed tonight!

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This is what we do on Saturdays….

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Approximately every other Saturday May through October we pitch a tent at our Farmer’s Market and pop kettle corn in the mother of all popcorn poppers. Our whole family participates in the business–even Baylee, though we just have her hang around the tent and look cute. It is hard work and extremely hot, especially this time of year. Dave has had heat exhaustion a few times during the 6 years we’ve been popping. The kettle unit is propane fired and it is as hot as any blast furnace. On a good day we’ll pop up to three 50 lb. bags of popcorn.

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Our Farmer’s Market is one of the best in the nation. It isn’t just a few farmers parking in a parking lot to sell produce. There is a huge variety of vendors, from produce, meats (regular & exotic), honey, nuts, maple syrup, baked goods, arts and crafts. There is always entertainment as well as a good variety of street peformers. It is a very festive atmosphere held in our historic haymarket.

We feel very fortunate to be a part of our thriving Farmer’s Market!

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Baylee and her Bunny

If you haven’t noticed from Baylee’s photos, she’s usually carrying a stuffed bunny. She calls it “Baby”. Her relationship with the bunny is very odd, though. It’s what we call a love-hate relationship, and it’s a constant source of commotion in our house.

Our house and yard is like a minimum security prison. We have a six foot fence around our backyard with locked gates to keep Baylee from wandering. If the mood strikes her, she either throws her bunny up on the roof or over the fence into one of five neighbors’ yards. If it’s on the roof, she’ll bug us until we get a ladder and get it down. She will have an emotional meltdown, too, and obsess about the lost bunny for hours. If it’s in the neighbor’s yard, we wait until the neighbor feels like throwing it back over. Some neighbors are quicker than others. One even tied a pretty ribbon around bunny’s neck and set it up on the fence for her. Baylee doesn’t like her babies to have clothing or adornments of any kind, so that ribbon promptly came off. I thought it was pretty cute, though!

I think this is one part of Baylee’s personality that I will never understand. If she loves that silly bunny so much and she always has to have it with her, why does she throw it out of her reach? I sometimes think she likes the emotional distress.

As Dr. Phil would say, “How’s it working for you?”….

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Mini-vacation

Our Family July 2007

It’s hard to take a vacation when you’re a paper carrier. You are an independent contractor so you have to find subs. You can’t just take a week off and you can’t ever call in sick. We now have two routes to cover which makes it doubly difficult, but we wanted to get away this summer. We traded with other paper carriers–you do our route, we’ll do yours–and we were able to take a whole three days off last week! Unfortunately, next weekend we have to pay the piper with one of our subs and do his rather large route as well as both ours plus do kettle corn at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning. It’s going to be interesting and exhausting.

In any case, we headed to Waterloo, Iowa, to visit Grandma & Grandpa. We visited Lost Island Waterpark and met up there with Dave’s brother and his entire family who live south of Waterloo.

This was the first time we took Baylee to Lost Island. She wasn’t very fond of the fast water slides and the cold water made her shiver most of the time we were there. She liked the lazy river and the wave pool the best. The boys loved every minute of it, though. Baylee could take or leave it. We also found out she likes to visit Grandma and Grandpa, but she likes to be home, too. On Friday night and Saturday morning she started to melt down and was saying and signing “Home, home”. On Sunday, after papers, she went back to bed and slept until 1 pm! Why I didn’t take advantage of that and get some sleep myself, I’ll never know. When Baylee sleeps, I should sleep as well….but there’s always so much to do….

Baylee at Grandma & Grandpa’s house

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Our Debt Free Adventure Continues…


It seems our life is full of adventures. Baylee is always an adventure. For the past 3 1/2 years, though, we’ve been on a parallel adventure to get debt-free following Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. In May, we had the opportunity to go to Kansas City and see him at a Live Event, as well as have him sign our TMMO book the evening before at Border’s in Overland Park. It was absolutely an honor to meet a man who has had such a positive impact on our lives.

In the past 3 1/2 years we have left the cave at 3 am every single day of the year (yes, even Christmas Day), killed something, and dragged it home in the form of multiple paper routes. In the meantime we’ve paid off well over $62k.

The light is at the end of the tunnel and we’re starting to anticipate that peaceful, debt-free feeling…..

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The Greatest Nation on God’s Green Earth

Happy Birthday America!  You are truly the greatest nation on God’s green earth!

Our Scrapshare blog challenge is to write about what we love about the USA.  Last week community events renewed a sense of patriotism in me.  Our local Army National Guard unit came home from Iraq after being away for 22 months–the longest deployment in our state’s history.  To welcome them home the people of our city lined 84 blocks of our main drag as the buses carrying soldiers arrived in town last Sunday morning.  People waved flags and held banners.  Yellow ribbons were tied everywhere.  The buses received a police escort in addition to an escort of over 400 motorcycles including the Patriot Guard.  The buses drove by fast, but we could see the soldiers inside waving.  They were bursting with excitement to see their families for the first time in well over a year.  We waved our flags with pride, so proud of our local men and women who sacrificed so much for our freedom and safety.

Even though the parade was short, it reminded me of why we are so fortunate to live in the USA.

Thank you to our soldiers, both past and present.  We appreciate you.

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