Established 10.30.10

Established 10.30.10

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Perfect Sunday Afternoon

I know I've made fun of Karl's truck before... okay, a lot.  I really do love the thing....because he loved it.  But I can't say my heart was sad when it officially got sold to a junkyard a few weeks ago.  Karl took this one last pic of it and walked away.  (note his pretty new one in the far background - think we like maroon trucks? :))  We'll always remember "the maroon dodge", or "karl's first love" as I like to refer to it, but he sure does love his new truck that's dependable and reliable.
 The other night we had "Van Wyk Girls Night" with the girls on my mom's side of the family.  It was a very fun night of eating and chit chatting.  There's always a good feeling of "realness" when you can always say what you think in front of those that you love (okay really, who do I not state my opinion in front of?:)).  At one point we discussed how my blog hadn't been very funny lately because I didn't have much to blog life has been getting kind of monotonous, volleyball, youth group, friends, family, repeat....but my aunt, (who always gives the best advice) told me that you can't push being funny - it's something that just happens.  And then 2 minutes later she was laughing very hard at my comment about why I think I'm cursed to be fat....because I was almost born in a McDonald's drive thru.  She always reaffirms me thinking that I'm funny :)  Anyway...... speaking of volleyball - here's our team from this year:
 Yeah, that picture pretty much explains our team - goofiness, jokes, hashtags (#swingandamiss, #canigetahottub, #jorts, #whiteshortsthatareyellow), and lots of laughter.
 Deann, Layton, Kyle, Ben, Leah & Myself.  (honorable mention: Karl & Courtney for coming to all our games and cheering for us) We are currently in 2nd place for the season and have so much fun together.  We all look forward to Monday nights and when I wake up the next morning I can never tell if my abs hurt from hitting and blocking or from laughing :)
 Ahhh yes, the perfect Sunday afternoon.  A few of us were able to load up and go down south and ride in the timber for the afternoon.  It was 68 degrees (although with the wind it was still a little chilly), and absolutely beautiful.  Just the right amount of riding and relaxation.

Jackson loved his first ranger ride and was a perfect baby!  He slept almost the whole time...although John said "he was faking it" :)
 John drove Grandpa the whole the afternoon.  He did great and kept up really well!  Sometimes I forget he is just 8 years old!

We were looking at the opossum right next to us!
 This opossum wasn't scared of us at all - he just took his time crossing the crick.
We had a great time riding all afternoon - it was so nice to be outside without coats!  What a great relaxing Sunday afternoon we had :)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Catching Up

Vacation was awesome, and much needed.  I find myself daydreaming about how relaxing that was and how I need to slow down and relax more often.  Since we got back I feel like we've been catching up.  I hadn't made it to my niece & newphew's basketball games so I hit those both one Saturday.  They did well and the league seems pretty neat. They have boy/girl teams and it seems to be more of a learning atmosphere (from my one day there) rather than a competitive game.  They wear the same color bands on their arm as a person on the opposing team so they learn how to look for who to guard.  Rachel did well and scored 2 or 3 baskets!!  Cody did good too - he seems to be a very natural athlete!  
 We watched a couple nephews over night.  They make these awesome plastic white eggs that you can paint so that you don't have to mess with real hard boiled eggs w/ a 1 1/2 and 3 yr old!  They had lots of fun painting and Rowan does good at naming his colors :)
 There is a color that some people don't like.  That's red.  Because it reminds them of blood.  Don't scroll down too far if you get grossed out by blood....  In the pic below Rowan is relaxing w/ Uncle Karl after church.  Do you see the washcloth behind his head?  Yeah, that's for the blood that was coming out of the back of the gash in his head.  During church he bent down to pick something up and when he stood up nailed his head on the bottom edge corner of the book holder.  It gushed blood all over his nice sweater but he was okay.  Karl did a good job getting him out of church before the large wail cry came out and got him cleaned up.  That's the first "blood shed" we've had while babysitting nephews.  After I called his mom to tell her what happened, she first asked if he was okay.  After assuring her he was, she then asked, "where's the gash? ....we have pictures next week".  At least if they get hurt on my watch I prevented an ugly picture! :)
Karl helped Brad check his cows this week while Kurt was on vacation.  They had a cow who couldn't deliver a calf and so the vet came out and performed a c-section.  Karl apparently helped the whole time and loved every minute of it....I think Brad was off to the side trying to hold his cookies together and Kurt so kindly forwarded me this picture the boys took to send to him.  I also learned after hearing all the details of c-section that Karl wanted to be a vet when he was little...I guess you never stop learning things about your spouse!  Didn't know that one!
Unfortunately, after a windy winter this is what happened to my landscape :(  I have more mulch all over the yard than I do in my landscape and had to throw down some bricks so the black mat would stop flapping in the wind.  This happened on both edges of the landscape.  It was a big bummer, but realized it would happen every winter.  Too bad I didn't think about that happening last May when I was sweating on a 90 degree day doing the whole thing!  Oh well.  I think this landscape thing is a learning experience for me.  Lesson #1: Put beer on your hostas when the slugs are eating them - they'll drink the beer and leave your plants alone (got that one from my mother in law!) Lesson #2: Don't let your dog pee on your plants - it kills them.  Lesson #3: Use animal urine spelling spray to keep coons away from digging up your plants.  And now Lesson #4: Use rock instead of mulch when you live in a high, windy place in the country.
So, this was spring project #1.  Scoop out all the mulch and then replace all the mulch with river rock.  Karl was great and basically did the whole thing.  I'm going to take no credit for it.  I think I could have even been called a supervisor even more than a helper!  He's much stronger than I am to shovel rock all over the place :)  We put new black mat down and a ton (literally) of river rock on the whole thing and now we'll let the rain wash off the dirt and let it settle in.  Later on, maybe early summer, we will put a top layer of "prettier" or "bigger" river rock for the final touch.  (shout out to awesome brother BJ who let us use his dump truck & skidloader! thanks!)
 Catching up with this sweet little guy (and his mom & dad) was awesome after we were gone for a week and they were gone for the week right after.  Not talking for 2 weeks was quite a challenge, let me tell you!! Oh, and look at those CHEEKS!! :)  Dr's are still figuring out his & his mama's platelet issues.  In the meantime, he's a healthy growing boy!
 Think they missed each other after not talking for 2 weeks? :)
 Jackson wanted to hang w/ the big boys and share a chair with them too!
 Our neighbors wife passed away last week, so Karl stopped by today to catch up with him and make sure he's doing okay.  He's still pretty upset, naturally, but we think he liked Karl's company.
 Catching up with girlfriends is always a good time.  Joslin & Logan's birthday's were yesterday so a bunch of us went out for dinner.  Love spending time friends!  I also went bridesmaid dress shopping with sisters yesterday for our brother's wedding.  We said yes to the dress and got aubergine colored ones...doesn't that sound fancy? :)  They are beautiful and very anxious to wear them next fall!

Karl is anxiously awaiting "spring/planting season" and I'm loving that he is still coming home at decent time at night!  Feeling "caught up" is a great feeling! :)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

As that will make you dream of warm weather! Karl & I took a trip to Punta Cana this past week.  It was an awesome vacation and we had a blast!  I have a lot more photos on my facebook page, but here's a few of our highlights!  I took over 200 pictures (majority of them from our safari).
 The ocean was beautiful!
 Life certainly was rough hanging out in 85 degree heat each day! :)  There was always activities going on to keep us busy- beach volleyball, water volleyball, archery, pool games, shows, entertainers, food....
 View of ocean from our room's patio.
 View from our patio.
 Beach area
 We went on a safari one day which was awesome because we got to see all of the culture and learn about the country.   We had a great tour guide who was full of information - We loved it and learned a lot!
Part of our safari included stopping at a school.  We got to go in and see the children - they were so cute!  A lot of kids are forced to go "sell" flowers that they pick from trees/plants to the tourists to get money so that their parents can buy "mamajuana" (their local alcohol).  It was sad.  The tour guides strongly encouraged us to not give them anything but to put money or donations towards their organizations that helps the kids in school succeed.
 Gas station.  Literally!  Everyone drives motorcycles (almost all taxis were motorcycles) because gas is $7+ a gallon.  So these little stops in the country had small amounts of gas for the people to be able to make it to the next town if they run out.
We got to see a coconut farm where they showed us how they crack and grate the coconut.  Also how they use the coconut milk & how the oil separates from the water.  The oil they keep which they use to turn to butter and other items, and the water they give to the pigs. 
 Rolling cigars.
Cocoa bean tree!
 This is the inside of the cocoa bean pod.  Yup - that white stuff if your chocolate!
 Coffee bean tree!  See all those little pods?  We got to learn about how they grind and use all the cocoa and bean plants!
 We also went ziplining one day.  It was an awesome experience and would definitely do it again!  It was sooo pretty up there in the mountains!  Have to say that was my first experience on a mountain with palm trees :)
 So fun!  I thought it was going to be more of an adrenaline rush like a roller coaster but it wasn't at all!  It was more just like flying through the air at a good pace and taking in the scenery!  One of the cables we went on was a half mile long!
There he goes!
Taking in the view!
We had a great time together and enjoyed a much needed vacation :)