Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Grandma visits

Update on my pie plate.....Well, after nap I took the kids to the store last week to buy a pie plate so I could finish making my pie I started. There were no pie plates that I could find in Garner! Alco was the only place I didn't go and after being other places with all the kids, I decided it was time to go home. I just thought that the next night I would go to Alco and look after Nathan got home from work. Well, the next morning I went to a garage sale and I found a BRAND NEW pampered chef stone pie plate!!!! It was one of the 'family heritage' ones so it's all cute and pretty and it's a deeper dish one so it will work perfect for not only pies, but breakfast dishes, etc. AND, guess how much it was????...ONE DOLLAR!! Whoo Hoo!! That was this weeks bargain.... :) So since I've had my pie plate I've made lemon meringue and yesterday I made a peach pie!

Not too much else has been happening with us, that is why I haven't posted too often. Just hanging out and trying to stay cool in this crummy humidity!!

My mom went back to Arkansas with my sister last week and her friends from MN came to pick her up!!! They took 4 days to get back, traveling more east and west than north! They stopped at probable almost every small town between Arkansas and MN! But since Garner is right on the way back, they made a quick stop at our place to say Hi!! The kids loved seeing Grandma and Nathan and I had a great time laughing at the sillyness of these "adults" :) Nathan commented as they were getting ready to leave that he felt like he just went to a comedy show! :)

Here are a few pics:
From left: Evie with Brayan, Jane, Mom with Caedmon, Tiernan with Pat

Brayan doing his signature "walking while drinking"

Tiernan with his mommy!

Apparently Caedmon was having a serious conversation on the play phone

Maybe they are talking to each other? No, I think they were both talking to Grandma. Haven't I told them no talking on the cell phones at the table yet? :) (These are play phones, of course!)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Where's my pie pan??

Since I was in the middle of making a pie when realized I didn't bring my pie pan with us to Garner, I thought I would take this 'time out' and update the blog :)....until Brayan wakes up and then we have to go to the store to get a pie pan so I can finish making the pie :)

I got my bosch mixer in the mail a few days ago and yesterday was the first day i tried it out!! Wow! It made some awesome bread!! (Well, I was the one who made the awesome bread, it just kneaded it :) I made a mini loaf and gave it to the lady that lives below us. She is an 81 yr old widow so just adores my boys! I apologize to her quite often for the noise that we make upstairs but she says that now that she can put faces with the feet stomping she doesn't mind :) She is a very nice lady who even told me I could use her washer and dryer whenever I wanted to!! (She has one in her apt). I think I can still wash clothes in the basement but if I ever have to do a load when it's raining out, I might take her up on using her dryer since the one in the basement doesn't work.

Not too much has been going on with us. Nathan still works a ton and has been getting 'heat cramps' in the back of his legs during the night which is extremely painful and he loses lots a sleep over this, so that is something you can be praying for. We are trying to keep him hydrated with enough salt, calcium, magnesium, and potassium intake. We are thinking that we might be moving back to Luverne in Sept. but our plans change almost every day, so we'll see at the end of August if that's still the case :)

Update on baby Emmanuelle: she is hanging in there but is not doing very well. She really needs to have the first heart surgery done, but she's been having issues with her right lung. They found out the lung was very underdeveloped along with having some complications with it. The doctors were saying that they weren't going to operate on the heart if the lung had problems so they were going to do an in-depth CAT scan yesterday to see what really was going on with that lung and to see if surgery is even a possibility. Also, Laura (the mom) was not feeling well yesterday, she was very tired and light headed so they were going to check her hemoglobin levels. Please continue to pray for their family as they go through this difficult time.

We took Tiernan's staple out of his head the night before last. I'll just say that is the first and LAST time we will EVER let a doctor put a staple in our child!!! Ugh!! After realizing that we could have just duck-taped it shut (or at least asked them to just medical glue-it or tape it shut themselves) we weren't very happy to have that staple in. The scars from where the staple went look like they'll almost be bigger than the scar from his cut! And, it was formed in a CIRCLE....yes, a full circle! So we did a little operating (and a LOT of coaxing with ice cream...) and we finally got it out. Like I said, last time for that.....

Anyway, better get back to my boys!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Berries and such

A few days ago, my mother-in-law (bless her heart!) went to pick up (and pack!) our blueberries and cherries that we ordered this year from the same supplier as last year. Last year we didn't get cherries, so that is a new venture, but I'm sure they will be wonderful!! The total amount of blueberries we ordered was 140 pounds!! and 84 pounds of cherries!! Yikes! 90 of those bluberry pounds are ours and 51 pounds of the cherries!! What do we do with all those berries?? FREEZE THEM!! and then eat them all year long!! They are GREAT right out of the freezer as snacks, the kids LOVE them!! And also good in pancakes, etc. We'll let ya know how they are once we taste them! Yum!!

I went to a garage sale yesterday and got a few items and the lady told me to come back tomorrow b/c things will be cheaper. They already had a lot of items at 10 and 25 cents so I wasn't sure how they were going to mark those things lower than that, but I decided to go back this morning to see if a few things were there that I was interested in but didn't get. Well, we I showed up, she told me "everything you can fit in a bag is a BUCK!" JACKPOT!! So I went through and grabbed everything that was nice and cute, even if it was girls stuff (so I can give it away!) and I bought a bunch of clothes having one of Nathan's sisters in mind (she's a lot smaller than I am!!). It was so much fun!! This is what I got:

1 sweater
1 jacket
23 shirts
4 pairs of pants
Pj set

8 shirts
4 piece outfit
3 piece outfit
3 pair pants
sweat shirt and sweat pant outfit
3 sweat shirts
2 pair of shoes
winter coat

13 dresses (so cute!!)
2 pair pants
2 outfits
2 shirts

And you wanna know how much I spent???? THREE DOLLARS!!! That's right 3 bucks!! I filled 3 bags, paid 3 bucks! Wow!!! THAT was fun!!!

Tiernan's winter coat we found at the garage sale...I don't think it's ever been worn!! He's been wearing it ever since we got home....strange, I know!

We stopped to see Jeremiah (one of Nathan's younger brothers) and Elisa's baby on our way back home last weekend. Here is their baby Eli Thomas (I think Thomas...) anyway, he was SOOO cute!!! Elisa had to leave about 15 minutes after we got there, but I got to snuggle with him for a little while anyway! He's so sweet....and lots of black hair!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

In Memory Of.....

.....Norman and Gill. (unknown - 7/16/08). Their bowl was rather dirty so I decided it was time to change the water. Well, an hour or so after they were in their nice clean bowl, I noticed that Norman was swimming sideways. I would come over by the bowl and he would quickly swim in the opposite direction, so I figured maybe he was resting. Well then a few minutes later, he was "resting" on his side on the bottom of the bowl. Tiernan kept saying "Fishy yake (wake) up!" I corrected him telling him that "he is not sleeping, Tiernan, he is dead...." Then a little while later I noticed Gill doing the same thing. And not too long after that, he was taking his "nap" at the top of the bowl. Strange.... maybe I put too cold or warm of water in their bowl when I cleaned it?? I've done it several times before so I thought I did everything the same.... Oh well..... we had a fun time flushing them down the toilet!! Tiernan said "Bye Norman! Bye Gill!" as they disaapeared into the sewer system. He said that we'll have to get more next time we are at the store...maybe we'll wait awhile :)
I've had a pretty busy week getting back into the swing of things from being gone this weekend, so sorry I haven't posted in a while!! Now that I know most of my family checks this like everyday, I need to get on the ball!!
A couple days ago we needed to get out of this apartment (and we desperately needed groceries!) so I decided to take the kids by myself to Mason City to go to Walmart and Hyvee. Before we even left the house, I was asking myself "why am I doing this again?!?!" But I got them all rounded up in the car and we were off! The first stop at Walmart went amazingly well! I parked right by the cart holder thing and there just HAPPENED (thank you Jesus!) to be one of those carts that you can strap little active toddlers in so Tiernan and Caedmon went right from their car seats to the cart and buckled in (they mean business too with those straps...I felt like I was buckling them up to go on a upside-down rollercoaster!! There were straps across their lap, between their legs, and over their shoulders!!....hey, the more they can't move, the better, right??...hehe :) Anyway, but then when I was about to put Brayan into the front of the cart, they had the spot where his legs would go blocked off! Ugh....thankfully I had my ERGO with me and I was able to just strap him to by body and into Walmart we went!!

The next stop wasn't as nice....the only good thing about Hyvee was that I was able to park in the shade!! After walking the kids into the store, I realized that they would have to ride in a normal cart. So I put Brayan in the front, Caedmon in the big part in the back and told Tiernan to ride on the front of the cart. Then I thought 'should I be bringing a cart for the food??' But since I get enough looks the way it is, I didn't want to cause anymore distractions by pushing and pulling two carts. So into the grocery store we went. The first part wasn't bad until I started to put food INTO the cart. Caedmon wanted to repeadedly pick up and drop anything that was in the cart, which was fine if it was a can or something, but we had mostly fruit, EGGS, etc. So that didn't work so well. Then, since Caedmon is NUTS for grapes, I decided to keep the grapes up by Brayan so caedmon wouldn't eat half of the grapes before we got to the check-out. Well, while I was staring at some organic cream to make butter, I noticed some grapes rolling by my feet....I looked over and saw that Brayan had dumped over the grapes and they went everywhere!! Ugh.... so as I was quickly trying to pick up all the grapes, caedmon starting throwing things OUT of the cart and of course Tiernan got a kick out of this... SOOO...I decided I had all I needed and we exited the store...finally!! (and yes, the boys DID get in trouble for this...) All this PLUS it was 92 degrees out and completely SUNNY with NO WIND!! Oh yeah, and the air in the van IS NOT WORKING!!! Man, I can't tell you how sweaty I was after we got back...whew!! Then when we got back here, I had to make 5 trips up and down the stairs carrying in the groceries before bringing in the kids....and I didn't turn on the air before we left, so it was probably 92 degrees in here too when we got back....GREAT!! So that was my fun a couple days ago :)

Yesterday was mostly baking as I became motivated from reading a couple ebooks I got from the Urban Homemaker on Sensational Summer Salads and Breakfast for Busy Moms! I decided that I needed to start making breakfast for Nathan so I've been planning on stuff that I can start the night before so the morning is quick and easy! Yesterday I started out by making homemade, from stratch blueberry muffins. They were so easy!! (and yummy!) and since I was at it, I mixed up another batch of the dry ingredients and put it in the freezer so next time I want to make them, I just have to pull that out and add the wet ingredients and voila! muffins!! Then after those I made smoothies for lunch. And again...SOO EASY!!! just throw some yummy stuff in a blender (strawberries, yogurt, egg yokes, etc) and drink! Everyone loved these!! Then I made 2 batches (4 shelves in my dehydrator) of fruit leather and again...YUM! So it was a good cooking day! Oh yeah, then I made 2 loaves of bread in the evening, but that's really no big deal... By the way, I ordered a Bosch mixer to mix my dough instead of hand kneading so I can multi-task, so I'm really excited to get that!!

Today I've been trying to get laundry organized and mostly just same old stuff. Although I did put a batch of beef in the dehydrator to make jerky so I'm SOOO looking forward to having that in a couple hours!!

Talk to you soon!! Oh, the picture below is of Brayan in the outfit that my Aunt Carol got for him, isn't it cute?? :)

I had to take the picture 'on the move' :) Thanks Carol!! It's so cute!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

WOW! What a weekend!!

We left Garner at 8pm Friday night and south of the cities we got stuck going through a MAJOR storm!! It was extremely windy, pouring rain and the lighting was blinding!! I'm just glad I was not driving!! It brought us down to 35mph on the interstate with cars lined up on the shoulder on both sides of the freeway (not safe!!) but Nathan kept on and we finally got out of it around Bloomington. We still made pretty good time, getting to St. Cloud at 11pm.

On Saturday morning, we had to quickly see the chiropractor before going to my parents house so we were all ready to leave (like 30 seconds from getting the kids in the car) when my two oldest boys both came in the house (from playing in the porch) bawling!! There didn't see to be anything wrong with Caedmon but Tiernan was rubbing the back of his head. Nathan went to Caedmon and I went to Tiernan. The first thing I saw on Tiernan was a streak of blood down the back of his shirt.....oh great! Turns out that he got a pretty good gash on the back of his head. Since no one saw it we really don't know what happened, but from what he said was that he was on the chair and he fell off and bonked his head on the chair. It looked pretty deep and since we were going to the chiro, we thought we would see what he said about it. The end result was us taking him to urgent care to get a staple in his head. He only needed one b/c it wasn't very long across, just wide and it wouldn't stay closed on it's own. So that jumped started the excitement for the weekend!!

Saturday was filled with LOTS of people, conversation, hugs, PICTURES, food, volleyball games (although my team only won 2 games out of like 8.....but we tried!!..I think the wind kept taking our ball :), laughter, boating, and campers! It was a very, very successful reunion with both sides of my family being there including ALL my aunts and uncles and ALL my cousins and families (minus my cousin's husband, one step-cousin, and another one of my cousins sons but it was his 17th birthday the same day and he wanted to stay home with friends instead....I told them to give him a hard time for that, Blake we missed you!!) My parents yard looked more like a fair ground than a yard with one big trailer camper, one camper on the back of a truck, 2 pop up campers, two tents set up, a volleyball court, and a porta-potty!!

There were 45 people total (i think!) including all the kids and my grandparents. Which is actully really funny because JUST Nathan's SIBLINGS, SPOUSES & KIDS is 45 :)...and if you add in his parents, you get 47. So if you add the aunts uncles & cousins, you are WELL into the several hundreds!! :)

I have included several pictures of the day and will try to name everyone in the pics and how we are related in the captions. Hope your weekend was just as enjoyable!!
My parents Ron and Barb

Me and Nathan

Sisters....me and Leah

Tiernan's staple :)

Intense game of volleyball!...I still say the wind took our ball...or the other team was cheating. :)

The big kids at the island sand-bar

My mom's sister Carol (center-right) with her husband Carroll, their son Mark (upper right) with Shelly (bottom left) and their sons Kobi (bottom left), Kale (bottom middle) Keagan (bottom right) and Kruzer (top left). Carol's daughter Tara (middle left) and daughter's Taya (middle) and Megan (bottomw left).

My mom Barb (right), her brother Rick next to her, her sister Carol, and brother Kim

My dad's sister Maureen (upper left) with husband Jim. Her kids Griffin (middle left) with wife Heather (yellow) and kids Colton and Brianna. Maureen's daughter Gina (red) with husband Jason and kids Ava and Brayden.

The whole McKeever Clan...I started out trying to say who they all are, but I'll explain it in the smaller pics :)

My parents in the upper left with Nathan and caedmon sitting next to them, then my sister's husband John with Faith, my sister-in-law Sara middle left holding Eliana, my brother darren holding William, me holding Tiernan and Brayan, my sister Leah holding parker and Abi

The 6 McKeever Grandkids! Top row: Me, my sister Leah, my cousin Gina; bottom row: my cousin Shawn, cousin Griffin (Gina's brother) and my brother Darren

Tiernan running in the water!

The whole Corneliusen Clan

My dad's family: My dad Ron (red) his brother Mike (yellow) sister Maureen (blue) and their parents Evelyn and David

My dad (in red) holding Caedmon, his sister Maureen, and brother Mike holding his grandson Carter
My uncle Rick and wife Zoe

Me and my uncle Kim

Eatin' lunch

My cousin Mark....sorry Mark but I had to post it!! :) Mark is notorious for NOT getting his picture taken but I just HAPPEN to snap this one when he was least expecting it! hehe :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

And we're off.....

.....to St. Cloud for the weekend!! We are making a quick trip to St. Cloud and Rice to visit family (the whole extended family on BOTH sides!!) on Saturday and then we'll be back Sunday sometime. I'll be sure to have lots of pics when we get back! Have a great weekend!!

Oh, by the way, for those of you who know us well, you know we are big Dave Ramsey fans (for those of you who don't know--he's a financial guy who has his own radio show on over 300 stations nation wide, has best selling books, teaches from a Christian perspective, has a bible study called Financial Peace University-which is very good!!, etc) and I GOT TO TALK TO HIM THE OTHER DAY!!! WHOOO HOOO!!! I called his radio program (I just listen online anytime between 1-4pm weekdays) and I actually got through!! The first time I called, I tried a few times and someone picked up!! I was so excited, I was on hold and the phone screener was going to tell me when I was next! Then, while holding Brayan, I tried to reach his water cup so I put the phone on my shoulder and my cheek pressed the talk button and it hung up!!!! UGH!!! I was SOO disappointed!! To be able to get thru to a national radio show is pretty much impossible so I figured my chances were over....but I tried back anyway.... After a few times, the same guy picked up again!! He was like 'you just called, right?' And I said "Yes!! but I accidently hung up the phone!!" and he said he was glad that I was able to get thru again. So anyway, after being on hold AN HOUR, he came on and said 'you're up next' yippee!!! I was trying SOOOO hard to keep my kids quiet (which is NOT an easy task!!) and sure enough, RIGHT when Dave came on the phone, Tiernan started banging on the door and yelling 'MOMMMMMMYYYYY! MOMMMMMMY!' ugh.... So anyway, I talked to DAVE!! I was so excited! I told him about our situation and asked what he thought of it and in the end i got a "great question and good job kiddo!" from Dave!! :) That was the highlight of my week...I know, I'm a nerd :) Oh, and his website is http://www.daveramsey.com/ in case anyone is curious. He's got an AWESOME book that I would recommend anyone read called The Total Money Makeover.

Monday, July 7, 2008

What a Blast!!!

What a fun weekend!! We started out our nice weekend by having supper at Pizza Ranch in Garner on Thursday. They have the best buffet!! For 7 dollars (and some change) you get all you can eat pizza, cheese sticks, salad bar (including applesauce and pudding, the kids' fav!), dessert pizza, chicken, hot wings, mashed potatoes, gravy and veggies!! Especially for Nathan, this is a good deal!! After that Nathan's parents came and we got ready for the big day on Friday.

We got to Clear Lake around 8:45am to get a spot and wait for the parade to start at 10am. We chose a spot under the canopy of a store so we could stay out of the sun for most of the time. It was SUCH a beautiful day!! I don't think we could have asked for much better!! We sat behind this lady who right away started talking to us and googling over our boys!! She told us the boys could sit in front of her on her blanket on the curb to get all the candy. She told her daughter that she would give her $5 if she made sure Tiernan and Caedmon got tons of candy (just what we need, right??) She was one of those ladies who is very loud and will talk to anyone about anything and is very persistant. So before the parade even started, she was buying my kids these toys that the venders were selling while walking up and down the parade route. Then once the parade started, watch out!!...She was on a mission to get candy!! :) She would yell at anyone holding candy and wave them over to give each of my boys some. She would say "hey lady (or boy, whatever) come here! Lady over here, right here (and then point to Tiernan)" and she was loud!! It was a little embarrasing, but entertaining to say the least!! :)

Then after the parade, we spent most of the afternoon walking around central Clear Lake where the carnival was going on. They had all the carnival rides and games and food, so it was fun! The also had a craft fair going on, so there were like 5 million people there!! We walked along the beach for a while and late afternoon we made our way home.

Nathan and his parents went strawberry picking on saturday morning!! They picked almost 40 pounds, and after Tom and Mary took some home, we probably had about 32 pounds or so to freeze!! I'm looking forward to having strawberries for a few months now!!

Saturday evening after Tom and Mary left, Nathan and I decided to take the boys to the waterpark!! It was VERY windy out, but it was supposed to rain on Sunday (which it did) so we wanted to go while it was sunny out. The water probably would have felt a lot nicer had it been not so windy, but it was still very fun! After 5:30pm, it's half price to get in and since we only stayed about an hour or so, we are very glad to have waited until then! The park has a VERY nice "little kid" side of the park with lots of kid-friendly slides and fountains. The pool on that side to just gradually gets deeper too, so its kinda like being at the beach!!

Since we paid to get in, I decided that I needed to take advantage of being there and had to try out the water slides!! It was definitely worth it!! The red tube slide was the most fun. It got pretty dark in the tube while going down so you couldn't really tell where you are and then you see the light and then you fly into the pool at the bottom!! Since there is water pushing you through the slide, you come out of the slide very fast!! I also tried that yellow slide that almost goes straight down (if you remember on a previous post, I had a picture of it and said that I never saw any kids on it...well, now I know why!!). It was really fun but you have to keep your legs and arms crossed, and your nose plugged!! That slide pushes you out (after going almost straight down) at about 50 mph (ok, i'm exaggerating, but it's FAST!) and then you have a good 4-5 ft drop before you hit the water! I went on that several times until I got too much water in my ears :) Caedmon didn't want to go in the water this time and Brayan just hung out in the stroller and watched, but Tiernan couldn't get enough of it! Definitely a blast!!

(P.S. Brayan is walking about 5-12 steps at a time!! Won't be long before he's running around!!)

Family pic before the parade!!

Waiting patiently....

Up the road from where we were sitting

The girl who's "job" it was to make sure Tiernan got LOTS of candy!!

The lady who wouldn't let Caedmon go because "there is candy to get!!", her name just HAPPENS to be.....Dawn Marie!! (Imagine that!!!)

Gotta have the turkey leg at the fair!! Tiernan liked it too!

This was one BIG DOG!!! He was, as you can see, taller than Tiernan!!

Water park....you can kind of see straight ahead there's a circle thing that you can swim around...well, that has a current going through it so that was fun too!

"little kid" side of the pool

Tiernan going down the slide with Dad cathing him!!

We got back from getting milk last night just in time!! Right when we pulled in to our parking spot, it started raining and the storm blew in. Check out these wicked storm clouds!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Have a Happy Fourth!!

Just a quick post here..... Nathan's last day of work for the week is today (and hopefully he'll get off early!) and then he'll have the weekend to relax!! Nathan's parents are coming to visit later in the day and are staying until Saturday. They have to bring their own bed, blankets, chairs to sit on for the parade, etc b/c we only have the bare essentials here, but they wanted to come anyway!! There will be a parade in Clear Lake tomorrow and then the carinval (rides, etc) is going on along with a craft show. It should be a good time! We will also probably go back to the beach since the first time was so much fun! Then Saturday morning, Nathan and Mary are planning to go strawberry picking so I'm excited to get more strawberries!!

Yesterday we went into Clear Lake to meet my sister, husband and family at the Dairy Queen. They are on their way to MN from Arkansas and go right thru Clear Lake, so they planned it so they could eat lunch there and meet with us! I have not seen my sister and her kids since last a year ago June and I haven't seen John since a year ago March, so they both got to meet Brayan for the first time!! They plan on staying in MN for about 3 weeks! (John has to go back to Arkansas to run his business during that time, but then is coming back again next weekend for a family reunion! The reunion will be at my parents house and almost ALL of my family BOTH SIDES will be there camping out in my parents yard!! (aunts, uncles, cousins..the whole works!...although i do only have FIVE cousins total on both sides put together!! :)
Meeting at the DQ was a good time!! It was funny because my sister's kids are 6, 4, and 2 and then I had my 3 kids of course, along with 4 adults (Me, Leah, John, and John's brother Darren). We all walked into the Dairy Queen and while standing in line, this old man kinda got caught up in all the kids and ended up tripping Tiernan (by accident). So while he made his way out of the DQ, Darren was just coming in and laughing. He said as that man was leaving, he was grumbling to himself saying "6 kids...who would bring 6 kids to the dairy queen...6 kids...grumble grumble" :) We thought it was funny. At least the man could count!!

Well, here is the only pic I took at the DQ (I should have taken more!) but it is of Abi (6) and Tiernan. (Leah with their dog Bella and Caedmon in the background.)

Have a Happy Independence Day!!