Friday, June 22, 2012

Source of my Stress

So, we are landlords. It all started when my sister was looking for places to rent in ankeny and couldn't find a darn thing. The rental market is slim picking here, and it made me think...why don't we buy a property and she can rent from us? Then we saw how much upside was we didn't buy one, we bought two :)

I quickly got educated on lease writing, iowa rental law, walk through requirements. I advertized the property on craigslist and have an amazing renter named Sherry. She is a traveling nurse and I am hopeful she will stay for a few years!

Between closing documents, cleaning and fixing things in the property, ordering a new washer and dryer, and just general running around I am pooped!

Here is our Fountain Pointe townhome. Will take pictures of Twin Gates property that Chelsey will stay in when we close next week!

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day is always so much fun in Iowa. The weather is gorgeous, no bugs, everyone has the day off work so we can get together as a family, and its Granny's birthday! This year we started the day at a memorial day service at Granny's church. Almost all of her family came filling over half the church :) Dick came to visit from California and was great to see him. 

We followed the service with a picnic in the timber. The boys went fishing, we all ate, and then we finished the day with paddle boat, 4 wheeler and golf cart rides.

LOVE this picture :)

 Zachey wishing Granny a happy birthday

Kenna is acting...she had fun..did not scream :)


Josh was away on business for a week to California, so I tried to plan some fun outings with the kiddos to keep us busy! One of our trips was to the "beach" in Iowa. We love big creek. Its only a 15 minute drive (hour bike ride) away! We drove since I had the kids and met up with Gona and Baca for lunch!

Zachary LOVED getting all dirty and wet in the water. He and Baca built sand castles, along with Kenna. Grayson just wanted to knock them all over! We had a wonderful time, the weather was gorgeous and the playground wasn't crowded...we need to go again!

Josh's birthday

For Josh's birthday this year, we wanted a little us time. It started with a present from me. Although he has this aversion to feet, I treated him to a massage where someone walks on his back. I think his opinions were mixed..but he can now use that if he ever has two lies and a truth :)

We went to a lovely dinner with sushi and finished the evening going to Men in Black III (which was pretty good!

I also made him this incredibly decadent, incredibly fattening, incredibly delicious peanut butter and chocolate cake. The cake was DIVINE, and the cream cheese peanut butter frosting amazing! The chocolate glaze was too much though. If I make this again, I would omit the glaze and it would be perfect.

Happy birthday my hubby!!! Love you!

My baby is ONE!

I cannot believe Grayson is one. I know I write that about every birthday every time. This one seems much more significant somehow? My last baby. My last 1st birthday. I am so lucky to have 3 happy healthy kids. It seems Grayson hit milestones much faster than his siblings (probably because he has to keep up!) He is walking/running everywhere, has 10 teeth, eats pretty much what we do now, is a great sleeper...and has a smile that just lights up his whole face!

He also has a very serious side, he will analyze something for a long time with a serious scrunched face too. Grayson goes through these "I need to be held" phases. I call him my koala bear as he would be perfectly happy perched on my hip 24/7. His favorite past time is getting a big bin of (trucks, toys, balls, any toy) and taking them all out, then putting them all back. He loves to look at books and wants to play whatever  big brother and sister play with. He is just the sweetest boy, and I love him so much!!

We had a little party at our house for Grayson. I just made sandwiches, caprese and some fruits and veggies. I also made these cute fishing cupcakes. They are vanilla bean cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. I will say, they are the best cupcakes I have ever eaten...delish! I did a little fishing theme just for cuteness, with gummy fish.


Grayson enjoying some tomato, ham and cheese

He did NOT want anything to do with the cupcake...he was like...yuck

Silly family

Happy birthday G! Once he got a taste of the cupcake..he was all in!

Messy face!

Siblings were glad to assist with present opening

Spoiled from gona, baca, auntie em and auntie april!

Happy bithday my sweet boy. We love you very much!

The Zoo

We buy a pass to the zoo each year, both to help fund it, and because we just love the zoo. Its only about 30 minutes from our house and they keep adding new exhibits every year! The kids like the big cats and the new sea lion exhibit best...maybe along with the big monkeys :)

We brought Peyton - Kenna's BFF. They are in a giant egg in the Australian exhibit

 Riding the train

Zachey's very favorite

 Little divas in ice age exhibit...ignore gruesome imagery

They installed some underground comments with one way glass to view the monkeys this year was really cool to see them up close!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Lovin

Man have I been a slacker in blog land! Between traveling for work, Vegas, Atlanta, Kansas City...all for a week at a time, shuttling kids to hip hop, karate, swimming lessons, etc...I haven't had two minutes! Haven't even turned the TV on in like 3 weeks!

So proud of McKenna - they are playing in this pool, but she is actually quite a good swimmer! She spent two weeks in our neighbors pool in semi-private lessons and went from a nervous side hugging swimmer to someone who can flutter kick, front crawl and back float! Sheesh what a difference two weeks makes! We are taking lessons at the public pool too, and she is right on track for level 2. Today we rode our bikes the 3ish miles and just loved every minute of it, so happy that my little girl is as into cycling as me!!

He will be mad at me later, but LOVE this pic of him in his superman briefs. We are trying to work on peeing standing up...he goes all by himself most of the time, but prefers to sit on the toilet backwards...doesn't matter at home, but taking shoes and pants off in public places....ick! So, daddy needs to work on teaching him the ropes ;)