Monday, March 30, 2009

Ryan is 20!

You know, having kids young sounded so perfect UNTIL you are 42 years old with a 20 year old!! Wow! That is tough. I feel too young to have a child that age! lol (Now I know what my mom felt like when she was 42 and I got married at age 20!!)

2 weeks ago (his birthday is March 11th), he requested Olive Garden for his birthday lunch, and we decided to get him his own White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake for his birthday cake. That dessert is soooooo sweet, I couldn't eat any and Andy had one piece. I think Holt only had one. So Ryan got to enjoy that dessert for 2 weeks! (We froze half of it at first.) Have you ever had that dessert?

Imagine an entire cake! I think it had 12 slices, and was significantly cheaper than purchasing all those individual slices, thank goodness! Ryan was in heaven. lol

Here are some photos of that day:

There's Andy with his "mini-me". Ryan took a job at Andy's company and the other employees couldn't get over the resemblance. Don't know how thrilled Ryan was, considering the boss told him enthusiastically, "Wow, at least now you know what you will look like when you are older!" lol Andy is a Project Engineer at a replenishment center and Ryan was able to find a job packing order and running the fork lift. Decent pay, but not what he wants to do forever.

Ryan has also decided he's ready for college now and is planning to enroll locally for the Fall semester, and possibly the 2nd summer session. We are excited for him. He did attend college for one semester, but wasn't serious about it and lost his academic scholarship. Hard lesson learned, but now I think he's ready and will enjoy it. He has gotten a taste of what his options are if he does not pursue a college degree - best medicine in the world! We're very proud of how hard he has been working, and what a great job he is doing saving his money. Good job, Ryan!

Have a great day!

Cheri Share/Bookmark

Sister and Family back from Walt Disney World!

I'm so sister and her family just got back from a week at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. That is our number one favorite vacation spot, and have been 3 or 4 times. Andy used to work on the FIRST robot program through the local high school and when the nationals were held in Orlando, we would make family trips. So many wonderful memories!

So here's a family photo from her trip - Craig, Wyatt, Trey and Kelley. From what I've heard, Trey's hat is seen in every photo. lol

Have a great day!

Cheri Share/Bookmark

The Pool is Open!! (So if you need Andy, he's outside!)

We are renting this house (because like The Nester, are working to get our finances in better shape before owning another home) and have never before had a pool. When we saw this home available, it was a no-brainer and were we ever surprised at the quality and amenities.

For one, it is a salt-water filtration and the water is amazing. No chlorine smell, no bleached hair.....just smooth "water-softener" type water. And it is gunite - sprayed in and will last longer than the house probably! Beautiful brick edging, large aggregate deck. And the upkeep? There isn't any! It's the most awesome thing - a small vacuum type device constantly moves through the pool resulting in no need for vacuuming or sweeping. Very occasionally, we use the net to get bugs or something off the water. Put salt in it occasionally, and that's it! It has mood lighting at night which we can set to stay one color, or alternate colors. And even those waterfalls have their own mood lighting - my favorite is the periwinkle/purple color! Will try to get some evening photos one of these days.

Here is what it looked like when they closed the pool last October. Closing it up saved major money on both having to clean it once reopened, which wasn't necessary, and running the filtration center all winter. It was just really unsightly.

Poor Andy, he just hated looking at it like this. We were originally going to open it in early May, but he had them come last week, still March! lol But, he is very happy and here's why - look at this gorgeous pool:

I'm not kidding when I say Andy can be found outside. Every time I turn around and can't find him, he's outside. Staring at the water, finding something to "do" as an excuse to go look at it. And I understand - the waterfalls are very soothing. I just feel bad that it will be a LONG time before anyone is swimming because the current temperature of the water is:

58 degrees. BRRRR! I don't really get in it until it is around 85 degrees! lol Maybe I will acquiesce to a colder temp this year, but not likely. It makes my back spasm when it is too cold. I'm curious how cold Andy will tolerate - will be interesting!

This pool has a computer system that monitors the air temperature, the water temperature, the salt concentration and more.

What we are trying to decide now is this: The landlords left the gazebo and bamboo bar items on the deck, but they are falling apart. If you look at the gazebo, you will see storms ripped up all the fabric on top, so now no shade! They told us we could tear it all down and put it out for the trash, and we are leaning towards that. We could purchase more fabric for the gazebo, but that would be $120 and then we would obviously have to leave it with the house. Is that the best investment for us with the condition of the bamboo? I'm thinking if we tear it all down, we could rearrange the deck, putting the table on the other side and maybe an outdoor living set on the other side. Or vice-versa. We could really have a nice outdoor living space.

And look at this pitiful bamboo bar!

Yep, it's time to go.

The owners have told us they miss the house and pool and will move back in when we move out, so thank goodness we got a 1 year lease with a 2nd year option. We asked if we could stay even longer than that, and they agreed. So maybe we can get 2 more summers out of this pool before we have to leave it.

In the summers, Andy walks in the door, changes clothes, kisses me hello and disappears outside until it is dark. lol I asked him if he had to choose, would he choose me or the pool, and he I'm happy for him, and the boys and I enjoy it as well. Some guys needs sport cars, horses, husband needs pool water. lol

Have a great day!

Cheri Share/Bookmark

Long Lost Son Returns Home

Holt, age 16, spent a week in our former town with friends for Spring Break. After a few days, they went to the grandfather's farm and spent the rest of the week. Nice and safe from good 'ole peer pressure! Apparently, our non-outdoorsy son really enjoys his time there - riding an old pickup on the property, going to the shooting range, getting a tummy full of Grandma's yummy meals.

One person very unhappy when Holt is gone is his dog, Sage. She is very attached to him and is a Nervous Nelly the entire time he is gone. Today was the first day he was going back to work and she wasn't happy. Everywhere he went, she was on his heels. Took this photo just before we left.

Even at 16, he has not yet gotten his driving permit and doesn't seem to be in any hurry. We wondered if going to see his friends who DO have their permits and some have licenses.....would this stir something in him? Apparently not. lol So strange, because our first-born was driving when he was 14 or 15, whenever it was legal in Iowa to get a school to home permit. With our current state, 16 year old drivers must have a permit for 6 months to then get their license. Or when they turn 17, they can just flat out get their license. I wonder if this is his plan. He just seems hesitant to drive and having that freedom is of no consequence to him. Works for us for now! No teenage insurance!! lol

Also, thought I'd show his new McDonald's uniform as well. They previously had red button up shirts that required ironing. These knit shirts are more comfy and no ironing required. His McDonald's provides 2 shirts and 2 pants. He can wear whatever shoes he wants.

In other news today, he also said he's ready for a haircut. YEAH!!! We'll get right on that! (Holt is the child you don't force to do anything, most things have to be HIS idea or you will pay

Oh, and we measured him when he came home, and has grown another 1/4 inch. He eats enough for 3 people but stays so trim. Takes after his mother - I wish!

Have a great day!