Monday, March 30, 2009


I am thankful to be home. I am thankful all of my children are back in their homes.

Tyler recently went to Puerto Rico. He had a wonderful time, but I am thankful his long flight is over and he is back in Sioux City, safe and sound.

I am thankful for my daughter's friends!!!

I am thankful that my daughter and I are friends....most of the time!

I am thankful for happy, healthy grandbabies.

I am thankful Brandon's family is safe and sound in Larchwood.

Brandon's family spent last week traveling to New Mexico. They took their time getting there, stopping to rest and have some fun with their 3 kids (my grandbabies, who I have not seen for 11 days). Coming home was another story. Enough was enough and it was time to get home (and back to work on Monday). They tried to begin home on Thursday, and wanted to come home through Colororado to do some site seeing in another state, but mother nature had other plans....Colorado was hit hard with huge amounts of snow. New Mexico was hit too. They tried Thursday. They tried Friday. They were stuck in New Mexico because of snow!!!!! The major highways and interstates were shut down. Saturday arrived with another attempt. They checked out of their motel, strapped their 3 little ones into their carseats and sat, 3 hours at the border, waiting to be allowed onto the interstate. They even got out and made a snowman. It was 40 degrees and the roads looked good, but they were not allowed out. Finally, on the road....and they drove the entire way, from New Mexico to Larchwood, IA, arriving at 4 A.M. I am thankful they are home and thankful they are safe. They are not going to be ready for any road trips any time soon! It was the sweet little voice of Kavian on the phone Sunday morning, that said, "Grandpa, we're home! Dave even got a chuckle out of that one!

We left Friday at noon, traveled 5 hours to Newton,IA for the State Gold Volleyball tournament. We took 3 girls down and, as you can see, they were their own entertainment. The team did well, getting further than they ever have, but were stopped short of the state title, meeting their rival from NW Iowa, Boyden Hull. Second in the state is awesome....first place would be better, but we are so proud of them and thankful that they have stayed together, played together and are all such great kids.

Marissa received the honor of being chosen to the All Tournament Team.
I am thankful for her, her strong healthy body, and her hard work.

A long trip home, unload the van, catch some sleep, and another road trip. This time to Sioux City for Tyler's Business Awards event at Morningside College.

I am thankful for Tyler, for his hard work, his beautiful smile, and his big hugs for me each time we see each other. He is a great kid and will be graduating in May.

Co-presidents of the campus EGroup

One more trip, home from Sioux City.

I am thankful for the busy life we lead with our 3 beautiful children and grandchildren, but last night, I was just thankful for my own bed!!! Have a great week! I am going to see Brandon's family today......Grandma Carol is in withdrawal after 12 days without them!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Another Production

The lost manuscript-Could it be Moby Dick?

Distressed toy weapons-

Really!!! A human bone made of plaster caste!

A portrait-


Treasure Island-

Anchor-plaster caste to the rescue again!

A ship and a life preserver- cardboard this time-

Captain's wheel-

A "whiskey barrel" made from a plastic barrel and some creative painting!

Well, I have been at it again! The school play is here again, and this time it is all about pirates, ships and Treasure Island. I love to make something out of nothing, so the play director doesn't have to beg too much to have my help with her productions. A little plaster, a little paint, and a lot of cardboard and we are ready to "set sail" tonight at our school play. I wonder how many of the school productions I have helped with. I think I may just have to check that out tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by mates!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Day the Paint Fell from Heaven

We live in an awesome world.

Take the time to look around-

Appreciate the beauty we have been given-

Even on the grayest of days, we can trust
that the sunshine will come again-

God has the most perfect plan for us-

Live Simply-

Live generously-

Care deeply-

Speak kindly-

Have a better than average, extraordinary day-

Remember to look around and say thank you-

We each have been given the gift of 86,400 seconds today.
Have you used one to say thank you?

Thank you to my friend, Marilyn T., for sending me these awesome pictures today. Because of you, I have taken the time to say thank you God, for your beautiful gifts to our world and to me. I don't often think of this, but I am thankful today, too, for the gift He has granted me...the gift of art! Thank you Lord for teaching me to look and for teaching me to record a small portion of this beauty through my painting!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Saying Goodbye

On Friday, we said goodbye to Miss Mulder. Those 10 weeks simply FLEW by. We shared so much and learned so much together, it is hard to let her go. We exchanged parting gifts, hugs, laughs, and more hugs. She brought treats and the students all signed a giant card they made for her. She has been such a big help to me, I am worrying about doing it on my own again! She is staying in our building for 4 more weeks to do her student teaching experience in our elementary. I may have to wander down there and make she she is doing OK on the other end of the building! She gave me the coolest card that she had made and said, "I know that us being placed together was no accident". She is a special one and will make someone a very fine teacher. I am so honored that I was part of her journey. I will miss you Kelly! Thanks for spending a little time with us in junior high and high school art at West Lyon.

Yep....I'm still short!!! I look like my mom.
I feel like Kelly's mom.
Hard to let her go, hard to let her grow up. Kelly said she would probably be singing in class before you know it. Kelly, "I hope you dance"!!!

8th hour art-
Why is it so much fun to make faces?

Kelly was technically done, but still offering assistance.
That's the good teacher in her! I am definitely going
to miss the extra pair of hands!

7th hour art-

3rd hour art-

Kelly made many friends. Here she is with Nick, Vonda and Brandon!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

#1 Son

I love the Daddy picture with the two boys!

So patient!

Vote for me! Elementary Student Council Election Campaign.

Everything was a celebration. Have you ever heard it said,
"I came to live life out loud".....he did.

The whole family!

Today, it is Brandon.....I always said he was stubborn from the get go....23 hours of labor and still a C section. He just didn't want to be born, but once here, no one could forget that he was here to live life with gusto. He didn't walk....he ran everywhere he went. He gave us some moments, but mostly joy, and those rough moments are almost (yes, almost) forgotten. I look at him with such pride at what a hard worker he is and what a good Daddy he is. They have such a nice family and nice home. They faithfully bring their 3 children to church each Sunday, and the boys are in Sunday School too! He found Brittany and never looked back. They had twins their first time at parenting. They had an ultrasound and I asked..."what are you having?" Brandon said, "Which one?". I thought he was joking and laughed at that one. He said, "Mom, that's why it says baby A and baby B". I was so excited....still am 4 years later! I always tell him, for all the things he put me through, he is getting back double what he gave. We call the twins "Double Trouble", but Grandma Carol sure loves them and really they are more "Double Joy" than anything.

Then, along came Baby Braylyn.
She is a heartbreaker and she has her Daddy right where she wants him!

Who can resist that face?

Yes, that first child is a lesson to behold. I was honored to bring him into the world, honored to watch him play soccer and football and basketball and run track, and play baseball, and make pinewood derby cars and be a boy scout, and be confirmed and graduate from high school, and wrestle and swim and play.....and become a Daddy. Love you forever, Brandon!

Lots of time at Grandma Carol's...lots of photo opportunities! I never felt one bit bad about being a Grandma. I think that must be what I was put on this earth to do. I told Brandon I was sorry last week. I am much more patient as a Grandma than I was as a mom.

He is driving right now....17 hours with his family of 5, to New Mexico. Are they crazy? They actually have 3 DVD screens in their vehicle, enough food packed for the trip down there, lots of plans to do warm weather things, a nice long vacation to see some great friends, and welcome their children into the world. Pray for their safety and sanity, 17 hours in a car together, a week of fun filled activities and another 17 hours home. Pray for Tyler as he is learning in Puerto Rico and on his long flight home on Sunday. Pray for Marissa....she has so many friend and high school decisions right now....driving for the first time....playing volleyball at the state AAU competition next week...Lord, thank you for all my children and grandchildren.

I am so blessed.