Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sam riding his bike part 2

That's my boy - riding his bike for the first time

One of Sam's goal's for this summer is learning to ride his bike. On Sunday, I decided it was time to take the training wheels off for good! They didn't work too well to begin with so off they went! We went up and down the cul de sac, with me holding the seat and running behind him, trying to get him to find his balance. Chris ran a few times too, but he's taller so it wasn't even more difficult for him. I was determined to go back and forth 100 times, I think we made it to 20 runs. Needless to say it was about 100 degrees, running it felt about 120!

We took yesterday off and tonight when I came home from work, I put the tennis shoes on. Sam put his knee pads and helmet on (always wear a helmet) and away we went. I didn't even barely hold onto him the first time, and he was pedaling and biking on his own. After five times, back and forth, he went to find Dad to show off his newest skill! Check out the video and you'll see...Today's the day! You can see a nice view of our cul de sac too! Hooray for Sam!

Michael Jackson

Okay, it's the end of an era, or the resurgence of the past, the passing of one of the world's most well known people. Whether a musical genius or a reclusive freak, the story intrigues and I follow the news quite closely and want to watch every minute of coverage. I had the leather purse with Thriller's MJ emblem on the side, I played four square with my friends in middle school and sang Beat it. Moving on through high school, I can remember driving the streets of New London in the back of a tricked out Jeep Wrangler listening to Black and White.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Crazy, Busy Weekend

The Earl family went on the road with the KCRG RV to visit some of Iowa's family friendly destinations. We traveled in the luxury of a 32 foot RV. One of our favorite visits was to Grinnell, a picture perfect little town with several shops, restaurants and a town square. Sam and Kate were greeted by several of the shopkeepers and owners with special treats and prizes and decorated a huge cupcake at Yumi's where we stopped for lunch. This is definitely a city we will return to spend some more time in. Other stops included Maytag Cheese Farm, Prairie Meadows race track, Tanger outlet malls and the Amana Chocolate Haus. Chocolate - yummy. We dipped marshmallows into chocolate and enjoyed an iced hot chocolate. The kids thought the chocolate gummy bears were delicious too.

Friday night we stayed at the Adventureland Inn and swam for hours in the pool which featured two six foot slides. Kate surprised us by jumping into the water fearlessly and resurfacing with a huge smile on her face. Sam braved the water slides after coaxing and bribery from mom and mastered the back float. Saturday morning we headed over to Adventureland Park, and enjoyed many of the rides and attractions. A family run business, in it's 35th year, this is definitely a must stop and visit for all Iowa families. Very beautiful and fun with something for all ages! The kids weren't up for the roller coasters, but we did enjoy a ride in the Ferris Wheel! A very productive weekend amidst the heat and sun, only I ended up with a slight sunburn on my shoulders. Lots, lots of fun on a busy weekend.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Football coach killed

Football coach killed, suspect in custody.
Over the past five hours, since Chris notified me of the death of AP head football coach Ed Thomas via email, I've watched the Channel 9 coverage, the press conference, the reports from Chris and Ashley, read tweets, followed facebook. I'm amazed at the online coverage available, it's being reported on Web sites across the country, from Cedar Rapids, to Des Moines, to Chicago. As the wife of a news anchor, I always check out the competition, as well. There's a scrolling headline on their site, but no mention of a story much less a link, which is a good, I guess...Just now, five hours later, do I see the word...Murder. Yet that is what happened. A guy took a gun a killed the coach at point blank range. The media has been reporting on it all morning. I am moderately intelligent, yet, somewhat naive, as I am only now associating murder with what happened, and that's after I saw the word in a news story. I find some solace in my intelligent, yet naive mind and wish it for my children as well.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A day of firsts

Kate's first day of tball practice.
She listened really well. Surprisingly, there were more girls than boys. It's cute the way the coaches paired them off to play catch. The girls each held hands with their partner and the boys just walked off together. Sam started playing tball at 4 also and three years later, he is a power slugger.

My first day turning on the oven
I'm almost ashamed to admit, we have lived in this house for almost five weeks, and today is the first day I learned how to turn on our new oven :) Needless to say, it's the hotest day too and I turned in on twice, once for lunch and once for dinner. Now that I know how to use it, I'll cook much more...

Our first pool day at Noelridge Pool
The perfect weather for a dip in the pool. Normally I'm not to excited to go to the pool, but we all were excited about going to the pool all morning. It was packed, of course, but it was so refreshing to stand in the water, play with Kate and watch her and Sam run around. Looking forward to many more days there in the next two months. It's amazing how much easier it is to go swimming as the kids become older. Kate is still a good four inches too short for the big slides, so that'll have to wait until next year. We saw many friends there. "Hey Mrs. Earl, where is Sam?" So much for incognito.

Our first day with no wallpaper border in our bedroom
It looks awesome. I painstakingly peeled wall paper all day yesterday. This morning I went online to read about how I should easily remove wallpaper. A spray bottle of water later, and the pieces were dropping to the ground. In a pinch, I used our St. Luke's snow scrapper as the wallpaper removing utensil. Worked great, a gift that can give all year long! The kids were awesome at picking up all the pieces, even the tiniest one. I gave them each a bag and told them whoever collected the most would receive a dollar, I also said whoever collected the least received a dollar. This did motivate them....surprisingly.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Girls separated from the Boys

Sam and friend from Roosevelt Elementary in Eau Claire, Ben Madison, spent an afternoon playing during Chris' book signing. To the right Chris is set up for a book signing....

Sam outside the Bradley Center and at the infamous Miller Park after running the bases. He and Chris attended the game with friends

This past weekend, Chris and Sam headed off on the book tour, for "The Last Out." Chris hosted signings in Eau Claire. Sam and Chris also caught up with many old good friends and then headed down to Milwaukee to attend the wedding of a long time friends and a Brewer game. This was Sam's first MLB game. In addition, after the game, Sam ran the bases! In addition, to seeing the sights, I'm told they had a great time playing catch along the beach on Lake Michigan.

Back in Cedar Rapids, Kate and I caught up with friends, watched movies, including Black Beauty, and shopped, We went to K-mart, Kohl's, Walmart, Target, JC Penney, Younkers twice, the Mall, etc. We managed not to spend very much money :) But we did eat out, alot, Olive Garden, Culvers, Pizza Hut and Pancheros - all very kid friendly and yummy. I didn't cook until Sunday night! A great weekend.

Monday morning brought about home project #1, at least inside, as I'm peeling the wall paper border, hideous, floral pattern, off of the master bedroom, thinking a chocolate/turquoise, cream motif is going to work, but we'll see what we find....

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Promoted to second grade

Sam's last day at Pierce Elementary as a first grader. Promoted to second grader. How does the time fly by so fast? Kate will join Sam at Pierce next year as a preschooler. She'll go to school Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.. This simplifies our life tremendously by only have one drop off and two pickups at the Sam location. Hopefully the transition into Kindergarten will be seamless in the future for her.

Our summer plans are filled with some weekend trips in Iowa and Wisconsin. We want to visit the Iowa State Capitol and will take an trip to Adventureland in the KCRG RV, while Chris covers some local Iowa towns and venues. Sam will play basketball, baseball and swim. A couple of art classes are thrown in to the mix as well. Kate will begin her first t-ball experience. Do you know how hard it is to find a tball pink left hand throw glove? I found it and it even lights up and flashes when you catch the ball! She'll continue with gymnastics, have eight weeks of swim lessons and hopefully get some ballet classes in to the schedule as well.

We have a wonderful sitter to watch the kids over the summer and it will be pain free knowing they are in such capable and caring hands. Throw in having friends over and it 'll keep us hopping, but the experiences are so worth the chauffeuring.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Thick in the season of Iowa baseball

Sam's baseball team has played for the past six weeks and goes until July! The Hiawatha Kids League is a class act and Chris is coaching his first year!