Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

We spent Christmas at home in Cedar Rapids this year. Over the past few years, we have traveled to Bear Creek to visit my parents on Christmas Eve and then head home for church on Christmas Eve. With the wintry weather and the longer distance, this was our first Christmas at home. On Christmas Eve we went to 3 p.m. family church and then stopped at the deli to pick up some yummy food. We frosted cookies for Santa and then let the kids open a few presents. Such joy and energy over the prospect of opening presents! Christmas morning, the kids woke up to find the tree surrounded by presents. They were content to open their stockings until Chris returned home from work at 800 a.m. Such patience. Sam was up at 4 am! After presents, presents and presents, we tried to restore some order to the house, opened up the packages and played until Chris returned home at noon. Then off to chinese buffet for our traditional Christmas dinner. I don't think the Chinese celebrate Christmas anywhere as they are always open! After our return home, naps were in order and we all took a nice long nap.

Christmas Joy

Samuel and Katherine both were involved in the Christmas program this year at church. Their first formal Christmas program-the program itself was an awesome celebration of the Jesse tree - and the best children's program I've seen in my thirty plus years. It included a "hand sign" dance, vignettes, songs by each class, dancing and narratives, as well as a couple of solos. All of this put together in one week by Dan and Megan Dyrland. This photo is of the children eating a half dozen of sugar cookies in between performances. The 11:00 service had much more energy. We feel very blessed to have found a church which offers so much to our family.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Katherine's 4th birthday

Check out the video here:

Our little princess turns 4 this weekend and Chris turns 34. Lots of cake and celebrations.

The wintry weather mix of rain, snow and cold arrived just in time for the celebrations to begin. Nana and Ken bravely drove to Cedar Rapids from St. Louis to spend the weekend with us. Kate began asking at noon on Friday when they would arrive. It continued all afternoon until their arrival around 7 p.m. It's always wonderful to visit with them and to have an extra set of hands to help out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008



Chris and I have been talking to Sam alot about team hopping or jumping on the band wagon and being a fan just because a team is winning. So Sam and I had a very intense discussion about how Sam likes both the Badgers and the Hawkeyes. He wanted to cheer for both teams and said he'd be happy no matter which team won the game. I told him it was okay to cheer for both teams and in a situation such as this it was very difficult to have to choose, especially when a little six year old boy is so lucky to be able to go to the game and sit in box seats, nonetheless. These tickets, by the way, were given to Chris by his general manager at work! I looked into buying a ticket so I could go to the game - way out of my price league for a football game. I had much more fun taking Kate to urgent care for an ear infection! Moving is never fun, but both Sam and Kate appear to be comfortable cheering for the Hawkeyes! Sam did wear Chris' Badger jersey to school on Thursday. I forgot to ask if anyone teased him, because he was all about Hawkeye gear for the game!

Sam and Chris also had a very special welcome during the first break of the first quarter.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Katherine's First Day of Preschool

No tears in sight for Miss Katherine as she started preschool. She loves school. After seeing Sam go off to school for the past few years, she realizes it is finally her turn. Katie is in the Tuesday/Thursday preschool at St. Paul's United Methodist from 9-11:30. She will go to a preschool plus program from 1130 until 1:00. On her first day, she went from 9-10 am and read a book about a giant ogre! She quickly learned the routine and she hangs her coat at the red rectangle. Her teacher's name is Mrs. Wielage and there are 15 kids in her classroom. Chris and I will be volunteering in the classroom here too!

Sam's First Day of School

Sam marched off to first grade. He is in Mrs. Foley's class with 25 other boys and girls. Chris and I are still trying to figure out the routine on the days I work at the hospital. It's going well. Some days we drop Sam off early and he eats breakfast at school, again. This fall he is playing flag football and basketball. We are excited to become more involved at Pierce and to meet the other teachers, students and parents.

Our Poor Van Post Deer

We will probably never travel over Labor Day weekend again. Chris hit a deer on Highway 29 going from Eau Claire to Farm Country. Chris was not hurt. The deer was hurt. The van was damaged. Thus we turn into a one car family during the beginning of the school year. Chris meets with the adjuster on Monday. The collision center estimates one week to do the repairs.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Vacation to St. Paul

Sam at the Star Wars exhibit in the Science Center.

One of the many rides enjoyed by us all!

Sam in his new and improved catching pose.

We spent three wonderful nights in St. Paul last weekend. We visited the St. Paul Children's Museum, the Science Center, Como Town Amusement Park and the Mall of America. Very busy. The kids braved the roller coasters at Mall of America and loved it. Sam even went on the spinning roller coaster car! The favorite ride by far though were the carousel swings. Chris and I rode on many of the rides too, and Chris survived the Tornado, barely. During all the time we lived in Eau Claire, we did not take advantage of the closeness of the Twin Cities. We had a wonderful long weekend there!

In other news, over the weekend Sam mastered "catching the baseball." He is doing an awesome job catching and playing the catcher position! Kate's clothing of choice is still her ballet leotard! I guess she will be taking fall classes.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wrapping up on the sporting events!

It's been a busy week! Sam finished his last week of soccer and baseball! Kate finished up at one of her ballet classes. The chauffeur schedule is lightening up a bit, right in time for me to start a new job! Kate loves ballet and tap dance. We are still deciding if we are going to commit to a year of dance for her. The cost is $32 per month, so it's a financial commitment. With preschool, we might just take a year off from The Dance Academy and keep her in a class through the rec department. We are looking forward to a quiet Saturday. Sunday we are going to St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Marion. We've heard good things about this church and it sounds really similar to Peace, where we worshiped in Eau Claire, so we have high hopes! Once we find a church home, we will really be settled! The Lord has been good to us and we are counting our blessings!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sam's 6th Birthday

We celebrated Sam's 6th birthday in Eau Claire with lots of friends at Carson Park. After we went to the Express baseball game where Sam threw out the first pitch.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

July 4th Weekend

Nana came to visit us from St. Louis - we had a wonderful time at Chuck E Cheese, Kernal's Stadium and visiting with her.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Five more days!

What a gorgeous weekend! A tad bit hot for my taste, but the sunshine is fabulous. On Saturday, Chris and I packed every nook and cranny of the Corolla. Then we cleaned, cleaned and cleaned the house. This house was not so clean when we moved in, but it will be clean for the new owners when we move out. Today we had our last "official" visit to Peace church, where we have met some many people and shared our love and worship of God with so many interesting and wonderful people. We will miss attending Peace regularly, but I know we will be back to visit. After church we had a fantastic barbeque with members of our small group bible study. Thanks so much Travis and Amy! It was great to see the Fuery's and spend time together before Chris left town. Our kids all play together so well. Of course, now Sam and Kate are worn out and ready for bed and it's not even 5:00 p.m.. While I am so sad to leave our friends and this great city, I am beginning to get excited about Cedar Rapids and the opportunities in store for us all as a family and as individuals. Just a few more days!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Moving to Cedar Rapids

With a heavy heart, a clouded mind and lots of tears, we are packing up our home to move to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. My husband Chris, has accepted a position as the morning and noon anchor at the ABC affiliate there. This means we will have dad home at night and more time together as a family! The one thing we are looking forward to the most is family dinners each night!

The Chippewa Valley has been an awesome place to raise a family! We are leaving behind so many fantastic friends and neighbors. Thank you to the support, love and guidance everyone has shown to us over the past three years. There are so many people we want to thank and acknowledge. Working at RCU Investment & Insurance Services with Bill McCullough and Karla Fiedler has been one of the best experiences of my life. You won't find two better people and we have made a fantastic team! Chris leaves an awesome staff at WEAU TV-13. Thank you to the staff there and to all of the viewers who watched each and every night and sent notes or made phone calls wishing us the best of luck.

As a mom, I have made fantastic friends through two groups, MOPS and Mom's Club West - wonderful, caring, supportive people! As a family, we have spent plenty of time at the beautiful city parks and pools, including the parks and rec programs, the Eau Claire Children's Musuem, the Family Resource Center, the YMCA Gymnastics Center, the Indoor Sports Center, ECCT events at the arts center, Saturday mornings at the Farmer's Market and Library and much more. The staff at each of these places is top knotch and we feel blessed to have been able to visit them with our children. I want to give special acknowledgement to Pastor Mark and Pastor James and the members at Peace Lutheran Church! What an awesome place to worship with some amazing people. Lastly, I want to acknowledge Principal Joe Sanfelippo, Ms. Nett , Mrs. Becker and the staff at Roosevelt School who provides our son, Sam (and the other students) with a fabulous learning environment that has established a superior foundation for them to continue to excel in education.

As you can see, from all of the above, the Chippewa Valley is an awesome place to raise a family. We feel blessed to have been here for the past three years. Thank you so much for everything.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

We had a delightful Easter. On Saturday we went to an Easter Celebration party at Epiphany Lutheran Church, just up the street. A wonderful time. ...I would highly recommend it. The event boasted several craft activities, such as sand art crosses, stained glass marker windows and scrape art crosses...there were snacks, decorate your own cookies and of course an Easter Egg Hunt! We had a really fun time AND I won the grand prize, a $25 MEGA grocery store gift certificate. Later in the afternoon, after trips to Target & Shopko, separate ones, of course, Chris took the kids to see the lambs at Boiven's meat and berries. The Boiven's offer a nice petting zoo type barn with baby chicks, pigs, cows, horses and baby lambs, mama lambs too. Kate, of course, wanted to bring a baby lamb home, but we successfully convinced her the babies needed to stay with the mama and daddy sheep. Church on Sunday resulted in many nice photos of Sam and Katie in their Easter finery! We were determined to break in our new camera.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Capturing A Moment

It is 8:30 p.m., Sam and I are cuddling in before going to sleep. A bizarre episode of Lost is on. During a commercial break, I cuddle Sam and say, "Stop growing, Sam, stay my baby!" Sam replies thoughtfully, "Mom, I'll be your baby forever, even when I'm a grown up. Even when I'm 55. I will always be your baby." Tears come to my eyes, as I tell my little growing Sam how sweet he is...such a wonderful, thoughtful son. Children grow up so fast, we need to capture all of the sweet, little moments we are able to record.

On to the big bad and ugly: Our car needs new front brakes, new rear brakes and a transmission flush. To the tune of $500. Ouch. To top that off, our 14 month old new oven/range sparked and scorched at the electrical circuit, so a $100 call to the Home Warranty Company will be on today's agenda! Double ouch. I guess this is the government's way of taking our savings! :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wishing for spring...

The Earl's definitely have the winter blahs. When will spring finally arrive. We have piles of snow in the backyard and driveway. The front walk has finally made a slight appearance. Sam said, "No more snow!" this past weekend. On Sunday night, we had a delightful time at Jellystone Water Park in Warren's. What a perfect place to spend a night. Sam made his debut appearance apprehensively on the "big body slide." I had to deal with him, and it ended up costing me two transformers, $20 and a movie. After his first time down, he said it was awesome, and proceeded to go down the slides at least 50 more times over the weekend. Kate loved the kids area and she confidently made her way up the stairs to the pink and purple slides. It was a great quick and cheap getaway and the bonus night we receive, will have us back in April for more fun!

Sam had his last night of basketball on Monday night. "Defense is Desire!" He chants. We will have to find another sports program for him to enjoy for the early spring.

Lots of babies in the works: Congratulations to all. Vinnie is three months pregnant. Tracy is six months pregnant with a baby boy "Jack Connor." Chris' stepsister Jen, is newly pregnant too!

Kate has school today at the Family Resource Center. She is very excited to take her unicorn for "favorite teddy bear day." She's not been napping, but falls asleep at the drop of a coin when bedtime comes around. She's learning all of her letters and loves to play with Sam.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008