Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Weekend

I don't say this very often, but I am glad this past weekend is over.  We had a BIG project on our plate, and it is now completed.  Well, the main part of it is.  We are still dealing with the "after-math" of big projects, but that's ok...I can deal with that part of it.

The BIG project for the weekend:  Shingling our house.  I now have a whole new respect for those people who shingle for a living.  Holy cow, it is a lot of work!  We started early Friday morning, at 7:00AM, and didn't get off the roof until 9:00PM that night.  That is a long 14 hour day of shingling.  I could hardly move Friday night, as I stumbled into the house, and still needed to take a shower.  It felt so good to crawl into bed that night, as my whole body was still aching.  Rather sad how out of shape I am, huh?  I think so!

We got a lot done on Friday.  More than anyone thought we would.  So, that made Saturday a short(er) day for everyone, which was really nice, and much needed.  We started again at 7:00AM, and were finished at about Noon.  We had a few hiccups, and needed to make a Menards run, but other than that, everything went smoothly.  Carl and I will probably be picking up for a while yet, but that is fine with me.  That is to be expected with this project.  The magnet has become a good friend of ours.  Right when we think we have picked up all the nails in a certain spot, the magnet catches another. 

Our whole crew was absolutely amazing.  We had about 6-7 people up on the roof for most of the time, and everyone was so helpful.  Nobody complained, despite the crappy job at hand.  We were chucking water bottles up to people, handing out scotcheroos and cookies to the hard workers, and doing whatever we could to try and thank everyone for their hard work.  And, let me tell you, it was hard work!

I am so happy that we have this project checked off our to-do list.  We found some rotten wood under the old shingles that needed to be replaced.  So, it is a comforting feeling to know that it was taken care of, and we don't have to worry about any major issues from that.  Carl is still working on the soffits, and some other finishing touches to this project, but the roof is covered, and that's what matters most.  Not to mention, the new shingles look fabulous!  Next up:  new gutters.  The old ones were ripped down with the shingles, but they were pretty bad anyway.  I think that is the last project for this year, and we will start in again next Spring.  I think, anyway.

Thanks again for everyone who lent a helping hand!  Whether it be up on the roof, watching Carson, dropping off ice and water, making food, running after last minute things, or baking cookies....it is all much appreciated! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Parkersburg Days

Last weekend, we enjoyed some of the hustle and bustle of Parkersburg Days.  On Saturday morning we attended the parade, and it was fabulous!  It was a really good parade, and Carson was so excited with all of his candy.  His favorite candy, by far, is a tootsie roll.  Frootie, or regular...he doesn't care.  The bad part about them?  He can open them himself!  We can no longer monitor the intake of tootsie rolls he consumes.  Darn it. 

We really enjoyed the fact that the parade took place on Saturday morning, which means----Carl got to join us!  Wooo hooo!  I was so excited.  He doesn't get to do very many activities like this with us, so we were all anxious to be together.  And, it was so much fun. 

One of my favorite parts of the parade, was when Carson started to dance.  I really need to videotape his dance moves, because it is hilarious.  He usually only moves one shoulder up and down, and he dances in a circle.  It is so funny.  And, when he heard the band starting to play, he started dancing.  You can't hold back from laughing when he starts doing it.  Unless, you are attending a funeral, and he starts dancing when he hears the organ play.  That happened on Monday.  He started dancing, singing, and clapping his hands.  Probably not the most appropriate time/place, huh?!


After the parade, we headed down to the park area, and enjoyed some good food.  We walked through a fundraiser line, and the food was amazing.  We didn't have any "carnival" food, but we were all too full for that stuff.  Carson played at the park for a while, and then we headed home for naps, while Carl headed to work. 

It is so much fun to enjoy small town activities like this, as a family.  We enjoy doing things like this---with all of us.  I love it when Carl gets to witness these treasured moments, first hand.  He usually gets an ear full from me about all the details, and Carson's facial expressions, and his little laugh, and how he smiles at certain things.  But this time?  Carl got to see it for himself! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Natalie Lynn

This weekend, I became an Aunt.  A name that I have been given, and have gone by for a few years now, but this weekend, it took on a whole new meaning, and feeling.  Obviously I am an Aunt to 5 other darling little kiddos.  They are my nieces and nephews.  But, when my own sister had a baby, and dishes out the name Aunt Angie, it hit me hard.

I got the call this weekend.  The call that I have been impatiently waiting for, for 9 months now.  It was 5:55 AM on Saturday morning.  I hadn't slept all night, because I was too anxious.  I was so excited to hear the news, that I was constantly waking up, checking my phone.  My sister was induced on Friday morning, so I had high hopes that I would get the call on Friday.  I was shoving reality aside, and was hoping for a call that afternoon.  That obviously didn't happen, so I went to bed late that night.  When I got the call early that morning, I rushed to get ready, scooped up my little Monster from his bed, and we were hospital bound.  I was dieing to meet this little princess.

It was a long drive to Waterloo.  I couldn't get there fast enough.  It's about a 40 minute drive, that I was hoping to make in about 10 minutes.  That is obviously not possible, but I was sure wishing it was. We made a pit stop and got flowers for Aunt DiDi, to hand deliver to her, for a job well done.  And as a congrats on her baby girl.  We finally arrived at the hospital, unloaded the van, and were headed inside.  Carson's strides are small, and it took us forever to get to the room.  By the time we got there, my nerves of excitement were hardly contained.  I was so excited to hold this little girl.  My Niece

I was so eager to see what she looked like.  And, she is nothing shy of beautiful.  I instantly fell in love with this little girl.  There is something about a brand new baby that makes my heart melt.  I stared at her, and was just in awe of this little soul.  This little creation from God.  What a wonderful creator he is, and how he has blessed our family with this little girl.  Carl joked with me, and said..."Now remember, you can't take her home.  She is not yours!"  I laughed, but he was right....I would have been very happy with taking her home.  She is that precious.

Natalie has a full head of dark hair, a perfect little body, long skinny fingers, and long skinny feet.  She was born at 2:35AM on Saturday, August 20th, weighed 9 pounds, 1.5 ounces, and was 21 inches long.  She has a dark, pretty complexion to her skin, that compliments her dark hair so nicely.  I would consider her a very calm baby, and only fusses on occasion.  The basic--burp, gas, or dirty diaper fuss.  Other than that, she was content as can be in my arms.  And, I was on cloud 9.

Carson checking out his new baby cousin for the first time.  He didn't really want much to do with her, but gave her a little smirk of approval.  She is a keeper, that's for sure!

 The "girls" in our family.

This would be our attempt at getting a family picture with Natalie.  Pretty good, huh?  HA.  Makes me laugh every time I look at it.

She seems to be a great sleeper, and is really proving herself to be a wonderful baby in all aspects.  I talked with Diane this morning, and she said the first night at home was great. Natalie was only up once for a feeding.  Now that, is wonderful!  I don't want to jinx myself, or them, but I think they have a wonderful sleeper on their hands!

I am already looking forward to the next time I get to lay my eyes on her, and my arms around this brand new baby.  2 days, to be exact.  Maybe hours, if I decide to drive and see her. 

My sister has now officially taken on the title "Mom"...a title that is truly astonishing.  She will make a wonderful Mother, as she has already proven herself so.

A huge Congratulations to her and Nathan on this amazing little soul that they have been blessed with to raise.  Welcome to parenthood.  It's an incredible club to be a part of, and you guys will fit in perfectly.  You guys will be outstanding parents.

Natalie Lynn, you are an amazing little girl, and I love you dearly.  You have a Monster of a Cousin, Carson....who is very exited to show you the ropes.  Much love sent your way from the Brouwers!  

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sneak Peek

Here is a little sneak peek of my precious little Niece, Natalie Lynn.  She was born on Saturday, August 20th, at 2:35 AM, weighing in at 9 pounds-1.5 ounces, and 21 inches long.  She is absolutely perfect in every way. 

.....more to come on this beautiful little princess.  But for now, a huge congrats to my sister, and her husband on their little blessing from above. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cat Whisperer

I have said it before, and I will continue to say it....I am sure.  Carson is in love with cats.  On Sunday afternoon, we headed to the Kalkwarf's house, and they have a bunch of cats.  As in, they are reproducing by the dozen.  I think every time we go out there, we are directed to the new litter of kittens that have been born. 

Carson is usually really good with cats, and animals in general.  But, he is a boy, and his excitement sometimes gets the best of him.  His nerves take over, resulting in his hands becoming very busy.  He usually ends up with a wad of cat hair in his hand, while dragging a cat by their back legs.  All the while having a smile from ear to ear displayed across his precious face.  He is in his element when he is around animals.  His eyes say it all, and he truly enjoys himself. 

I will say one thing, though.  These cats must not mind his behavior too much, because they constantly went back for more.  I think Carson is a cat whisperer.  They flock to him, and he hauls them around by their legs, or tails.  I want to give the cats a heads up, and let them know to stay clear of the little monster, and they will thank me later that little tid-bit of information.  But, they apparently like the attention.  Or they are just not smart. 

Our little monster is also a really good multi-tasker these days.  Pretty impressive, huh?!  Hehe.  This little one always has a way of putting a smile on my face.  He is so creative, and funny, and brightens up my day within seconds. 

This smile, that is usually equipped with the cutest giggle, is completely to die for.  It is contagious, truly. 

I am going to end with this beautiful picture.  Carl is in love with the sky, so I decided to take a few shots one night.  And, I am so glad that I did.  God's masterpiece, which is absolutely gorgeous. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Perfect Lunch Date

Yesterday, I had the perfect lunch date.  Carl and Carson met me for lunch, and then we went to the park.  It was great, and so much fun!  I love to see Carson smile, and hear his giggle.  So, put the two together....and it makes for a perfect lunch date.

Carson really enjoys the park.  He is so brave, and absolutely fearless.  He will try any slide, no matter how big, or small.  Will climb up a ladder, which is meant for the "5-12 years of age" children, and will run to the BIG playground, without a second thought.  This little brave soul never ceases to amaze us.  (You may have to look hard to find the tiny little blue dot in some of the pictures.  I was trying to capture how BIG the playground equipment was, and how small he was compared to it.)


Carl and I are always in a complete state of amazement with our little Wee Lad.  We look at each other, and are both speechless, but are thinking the same exact thing. 

Our little one is growing up so fast.  And, we are having so much fun with this sprouting little boy.  The look in Carson's eyes, as they twinkle with complete approval, is what it's all about.  I love watching him explore this world.