I'm a little behind on my blogging this week.  We took advantage of the nice weather this week and worked outside as much as possible.  Since the sky is gray today and the ground is wet, it is a perfect day to catch up!
Last Saturday afternoon some of my best friends from college headed out to Pioneer Trail to have a little reunion of sorts.  It had been wayyy too long since we have all been together, but as soon as the girls got here it was clear that nothing had changed.  
Paula brought her sweet family of four for the day, which was perfect because Kevin and her husband, Gabe, were roommates in college.  They have two little boys and we all enjoyed cuddling and playing with them all day.  Kevin and Carson (Paula and Gabe's oldest) became friends quickly.  Carson is crazy about tractors and Kevin took him on a few rides around the farm.  Carson did not want to get off...at all.  I'm pretty sure that Kevin enjoyed it every bit as much as Carson.
BI and BR came from Sioux City and made us laugh as soon as the walked in the door.  They brought adorable little gifts for Carson and Kellen and...nail polish.  After catching up and having lunch, everyone painted their nails.  This is a very typical activity for a Saturday afternoon spent with these girls and one of the many reasons I absolutely love them.  BI is always prepared and brought a purse full of every color of nail polish one could imagine, including a sparkly top coat.  Carson even got in on a little of the nail painting action, in between rides on the tractors.
Saturday was just one of those afternoons that melted away and before we knew it...it was time to say good-bye.  Even though the afternoon went by too fast, I know that there is another get together in the near future...right girls?!!  Miss you already!



Last Friday evening I headed down to the Old Market to celebrate a very special lady and her upcoming amazing life change.  My friend, Shelby, is having a precious little baby.  I have known Shelby since junior high...we are both from good 'ole O-town.  We played volleyball in high school together and we both ended up going to Morningside College.  She is back in Omaha after living in California for a few years and I am so happy she is so close!  She is just about the sweetest person I know and she is going to be the best Mommy!
Some of Shelby's college friends put together a surprise shower and traveled from all over to celebrate.  The shower was held at Vivace's downtown and it turned out to be beautiful.  Shelby was definitely surprised and it was a great evening of catching up and talking about baby things and ravioli.  Congrats Shelby...I can't wait to meet Baby McCord!


It's Cooper's Birthday!

Saturday marked Cooper's second annual birthday party.  He is two years old, hence the second annual part.  This is the second year in a row that my friend, Paige, pulled off a wayyy cute event for her special little man.  Cooper's birthday theme was Sesame Street.  Paige had Big Bird, Cookie Monster, etc. lanterns along with themed thank you bags and table centerpieces and a wreath and...I could go on and on.  Everything was so darn cute and absolutely perfect for a two-year old's birthday party.  As I believe I have mentioned before, this girl is a pro at Pinterest created items and there was no slacking when it came to this party.
Not only did we get to celebrate Cooper's big day, we were also able to spend some much needed time with Anne and Pete, our friends from Chicago.  The boys had fun on the tricycles and us girls had time to catch up on, well, girl stuff and how/when/where we're going to see each other again.
Cooper's party was a success and I only took, well I won't mention the number of pictures I took, it's slightly outrageous.  Here are some of my favorites:

Anne, Paige, and I

Such a sweet little guy!


SOME of the adorable decorations

He is just too stinkin' cute!


My new 'country girl' arm workout

Tonight I raked grass...a lot of grass...two yards of grass.  I no longer need to do an arm workout, the raking has it covered.


Christ is Risen!

In our family, Easter Sunday is all about the most incredible gift God has given us, His Son Jesus Christ.  I am so thankful for this amazing gift and I feel blessed to be able to celebrate this miracle with my family.
We were in Ottumwa ALL weekend and were able to spend lots and lots of quality time with everyone.  My mom hosted Easter dinner this year, so we spent most of Saturday hanging at the house getting things ready for Sunday dinner.  It was a rainy, yucky day, so unfortunately the kids had to do their Easter egg hunt inside.  It was not as exciting, but my brother made it entertaining for everyone by hiding eggs in impossible places (such as above the door, in the chandelier, etc.), much to my mom's dismay.  The 'prize' egg held a dollar bill (the kids were SO excited about ONE DOLLAR!) and it was the only egg that didn't get found until about an hour after the egg hunt ended.

On Sunday we headed to church and it was packed!  We sat in the back, which is our usual spot because our family has a problem with being on time, to anything.  The kids didn't mind because they could twirl and dance to the music without any worries.  We had a yummy dinner at Mom's house and then we were off to Grinnell to have a quick visit with Kevin's family.  Finally, we were headed back to Pioneer Trail with full bellies (of Starburst jelly beans).  

Hope you all had a blessed Easter!


Farm Things

I have learned a lot of farm things this week.  Most people probably wouldn't consider some of these farm things, but for a girl whose only experience working outside has been watering plants in pots on a deck, these things were a pretty big deal.
First, I learned how to operate the riding lawnmower.  I mowed all the yards this past week after Kevin showed me how to move that pretty green rider.  I absolutely LOVE mowing.  It's my new favorite thing.  This morning I went out and mowed the back, back yard and trails.  I did this all. by. myself.  Kevin doesn't know this yet, but I think he's going to be proud.
Second, I learned about weeds.  ALL kinds of weeds.  I also learned how to use this little tool to pull them, which is amazing.  I spent a lot of yesterday weeding the flower beds and I think they are starting to look a bit better.  I seriously never thought dandelion plants could get SO big...but some of the ones I pulled were quite out of control!

Some of the beds...pre-weeding

I also learned how to cut asparagus and pull rhubarb.  Those are some of the spring yummies that Diane has in her garden.  The asparagus has to be cut about an inch below the dirt to allow it to grow again (who knew we will be picking asparagus until June).  The rhubarb has to be pulled out of the ground by twisting back and forth carefully.  Thank goodness for Youtube, otherwise I would have been cutting them off with scissors!  With the fresh items from the garden I made asparagus soup and strawberry/rhubarb jam.  I felt like a real farm girl, only for a few hours. :)
So, that concludes my list of farm things.  I feel pretty confident that I will be learning new farm things everyday for the next, well, forever.

Kevin took this picture after we got done doing farm things


Spring Break Fun!

I am enjoying one of the perks of being a teacher this week...spring break!  I feel incredibly lucky to have an entire week to do anything and everything that crosses my mind.  I have been on the road most of the time and have been able to visit some people I don't get to see enough.  I traveled to Iowa City, then Ottumwa and finally to Sioux City, all in the past four days.

I was able to spend Sunday afternoon with Cooper, Paige and Eric in Iowa City.  We had lunch, went to the park to feed sticks to Osc (Oscar the Grouch), and did the monster march.  There was not a dull moment and it was great to spend some time with this sweet little family.

Feeding sticks to Osc

Eating chocolate from his Easter basket.
Next on my list of destinations was Ottumwa.  It was a quick trip, but I was able to see my family and all the kiddos.  Mom spoiled me with Breadeaux Pizza and Graham's ice cream and I was in heaven.  The kids were excited because they got to stay up late (on a SCHOOL night) and get ice cream cones with me, but the truth is I was slightly more excited.  After lots of hugs, kisses, football, Jakobi cuddles, taco pizza and twist cones...I headed back to Macedonia.

The boys showing me their 'moves'


Yesterday I headed to Sioux City for the afternoon to see BI, BR, and Kayla.  Sadly, I didn't take any pictures, even though my camera was in my car (what was I thinking??!).  It is always great to see these girls and I don't think we stop laughing when we're together...let's just say they make me happy.  

Hope you all are having a great week!!


Rolo Cookies

I have been on a baking spree lately.  Mainly because I have had people to eat my treats and partly because I have been wanting to try out so many recipes.  This recipe is eeeeeeasy!  I mean, really really easy.
The 'hardest' part was unwrapping all the Rolo candies.  As I was doing the 'hardest' part and pulling off those little gold wrappers, Kevin walked into the kitchen and got excited about the Rolos.  I don't know why or how, but those little caramel candies reminded him of a (ridiculous) song.  And at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, in our pajamas, we were jamming out to Roll Out by Ludacris.  After about a minute Kevin abruptly turned it off and that was that.  I guess Ludacris isn't quite what he remembered.

Here is the recipe:

  • Package of Rolo candies
  • Devil's food cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil

All you do is mix the oil and eggs with the Devil's food cake mix.  Then, unwrap the little caramel pieces as you play Roll Out.  Finally, take small pieces of the cake batter and spread it around the Rolo candy, just enough to cover it.  Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 8 minutes.  These are so simple and I love the fact that there are only 4 ingredients!!!
I brought these to Ottumwa yesterday and everyone was like...how did you get the caramel inside???
It was SO hard. :)

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