Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The way I see it...

I Survived!
I am happy to report that I did survive the weekend...barely! We all had a great time, but Sunday morning I was just exhausted. All of my company left by 10:30 AM Sunday, so I did have some time to just put my feet up and relax for most of the day Sunday. And, when the kids took their naps on Sunday afternoon, so did my husband and I. Two hours! I can’t even tell you the last time I took a two hour nap.

My house got cleaned in time, but now looks worse than before I started cleaning for the party. (Thanks to all of you that gave my husband a hard time about helping me clean!) Sixteen people in your house, including four kids under the age of five, plus three dogs can do a number on your house. I’ve done laundry and that’s about it since Sunday. I just don’t have the energy to put away the kids’ gifts, clean up my basement, or anything else for that matter.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to play the role of hostess.’s hard work! I felt like I was constantly getting food ready or cleaning up after a meal. The nice thing was, both my mom and dad told me I did a really good job and that everything turned out really well. That made me feel good!

This weekend is Easter already. That sure is early this year, isn’t it? The kids just had birthdays and now the Easter bunny is going to come. My daughter was devastated she didn’t get flip-flops for her birthday, so I told her to ask the Easter Bunny. I assured her that if she asked nicely out loud the Easter Bunny was sure to hear her!

I hope everyone has a Happy Easter, but that’s just the way I see it.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Random Photos from Bday Weekend

After we had opened gifts on Saturday, the nursing home was having an Easter Egg Hunt. Everyone was interested in going, so we headed out to that. Some photos:

Jenna with her purple egg and matching bag.

Cousin Addy looking adorable!

Brody showing me his green egg that matches his shirt.
What's a John Deere themed-party without a spin around the block on a John Deere mower? :) Brody loves that thing!
Jenna with Aunt Mandy and Aunt Jess. Brody was not interested...

Brody showing Maddox his Oreo. I think those two are going to be best buds someday!

Battle of the Sexes!

Last year we started the tradition of a girls vs. guys volleyball game. So, this was the 2nd annual battle of the sexes game. Last year, the girls won, but the trash-talking guys were looking for a little revenge.

We did all we could during the game to get into each other's heads. It was so much fun! The guys even had a cheer that went, "Ace, Ace in your face!" Good times!

It seems that whenever we get together we feel like we're teenagers again. Here are just some of the crazy photos we took:

Yep...we decided to have a little drink before we went up to play volleyball. FYI...the kids are taking naps and under the supervision of grandmas/grandpas. :)

The (ugh!) winners of the 2nd annual volleyball game. Series tied 1-1. Don't you love the pose?!

Us just being dorks! Enough said.

See above. More dorkiness! We're cheerleaders! Go! Fite! Win!
I especially like Mandy, Jess, and my faces. :)
Finally, they're having the rollerskating unit in p.e., so there were rollerskates at the gym. Uncles Justin, Adam and Mitch decided to have a four lap roller-derby race. It was scary! Luckily, no one was hurt and Uncle Adam was the big winner!

Bonkers for Birthdays!

We celebrated the kids' birthdays last weekend and the ENTIRE family came to State Center! With Jenna's birthday on the 14th and Brody's the 28th, it's just easier if we celebrate them both on the same day.

We had so much fun with our grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles and cousins! We laughed, ate, played and just enjoyed each other's company. I took a ton of photos, but I tried to split them up into three posts. Enjoy!

And, a big thank you to everyone for making the trip - it meant a lot to all of us!

All of the kiddos under the age of 5!
Brody, Jenna, Maddox and Addy

Jenna opening her gifts

Brody with a couple of dump trucks

We opened Brody's gifts from us Sunday nite. We got him some bedding for his big boy bed when we switch him over. He LOVED, LOVED, LOVED his "choo-choo" bedding!

Jenna with her Barbie cake.

Brody and his John Deere cake.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The way I see it...

Birthday Party Stress
Stressful week at the Burdorf house! Two kids, born two years and two weeks apart equals two birthdays in one day. Whew!

I, being the stress-filled person that I am, started cleaning this past weekend and will probably be cleaning and picking up my house until the first person pulls into my driveway on Friday afternoon. When you have little ones does it ever seem like you get anything accomplished? You pick something up and it feels like they’re somewhere else pulling something else out.

I, being the self-induced stress-filled person that I am, have started making lists. Lots of lists. I like lists! One for gifts I need to buy yet for my son (whose birthday is actually Sunday), one for party supplies, one for the birthday meal, one for all of the other meals I’m going to make... Yes, I know. I can be slightly crazy when it comes to the birthday party weekend! You’re not thinking anything I don’t already know.

It’s a lot of things for me. First, their birthdays only come once a year. I want them to be great! Second, it’s the only time the whole entire year that everybody (my family and my husband’s) all come to our house at the same time. And, while it does (you guessed it!) stress me out, I love the chaos! It’s family. That’s what families (well, at least mine) do. We are loud and we like to have a good time and it’s a great sort of chaos.

I know that when the first batch of family arrives on Friday it will be smooth sailing. They don’t care if my house isn’t spotless. They don’t judge me, they’re family and they’re stuck with me whether they like it or not!

I will do my typical stressing until the end of the week, my family will come, and we will enjoy each other’s company, celebrate the kids’ birthdays and I’m guessing if past get-togethers are any indication, there will be lots of laughter and fun, but that’s just the way i see it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Jenna learned at school that after her birthday it was 'Santa' Patrick's Day and then Spring. She was convinced it was 'Santa', but I think she finally believes me now that it's St.! :)

Jenna has been super excited about St. Patty's Day and was excited to wear green. She was a little concerned because she didn't have any green pants or underwear, but I assured her it was fine. I also found some stickers and this tattoo, which she thought was the coolest thing ever and wanted me to take her picture of it. If you can't read it it says, "World's Cutest Leprechaun."

Happy St. Patrick's Day Everyone! :)

The way I see it...

Signs of Spring
There are definitely signs that Spring is right around the corner. YAY!!! You know I’m a big fan of snow, but that was one long winter. It must have been one heck of a winter because when the snow melted enough for me to see the grass, I was bursting with happiness! Grass! There really was still grass underneath all of that snow.

Were you a little uncertain at the beginning of last week? Mother Nature was just kind of messing with us. The temperature was spring-like, but it was foggy and the sun went into hiding for way too long.

Yesterday (Sunday) the weather was warm enough for people to get outside and start cleaning up their yard from all of the branches that had fallen throughout the winter. I saw people on walks and runs without coats on. My daughter and I planted some tomato and pepper seeds (inside) to see just how green our thumbs are. Kids were outside riding bikes.

Did you feel everyone’s mood just instantly lift on Sunday when the sun was out? I know mine did. I know March can be one of the snowiest months of the year, but can I just live in my own little fantasy world that we’re done with snow until next winter? The power of positive thinking: the sun is going to continue to shine, the temperature will be in the 60s and the tulips will start to pop up from the ground and we are done with the white stuff for another season (HOPEFULLY), but that’s just the way I see it.

Flu Bug

We had the flu bug hit half of our house Sunday night and Monday. Poor Jenna went to bed on Sunday night at 7 PM because her tummy hurt. I heard her crying at 8 PM and my mommy-instinct was telling me that she was going to throw-up. Sure enough, she did. We moved her into our bedroom on the floor and we had a couple more episodes throughout the night. I felt so bad for her because she spent her first night as a 4-year old sick!

Aaron said he would stay home with her since Monday is my busy day at the paper. He went into school at 5:15 AM to get lesson plans ready and he came home...with the same flu bug! So, Jenna and Aaron stayed home Monday, Brody went to daycare and I went to work.

It sounds like it's something that's been going around, but hopefully it will skip Brody and me!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Jenna's 4th Birthday!

Jenna turned four on Sunday and we didn't do anything too exciting, but we had a fun day nonetheless. Our "big party" for the kids will be the weekend of March 27th. She was so excited that it was her birthday! Jenna kept asking if it was still her birthday and we told her yes, all day! :)

Daddy was a softy and let her open her gifts on Saturday morning. Here she is holding her new Fancy Nancy book.

She got a "treasure chest" of princess outfits, four to be exact. Here Jenna is as Cinderella, but she rotated the outfits/jewelry non-stop all weekend!

Sunday morning we made Jenna cupcakes for her big day. Chocolate, of course!

Hmmm...Guess who got into the bowl for a taste test?

We headed up to the elementary gym late Sunday morning to let the kids blow off some steam. They had the roller skates out, so Jenna wanted to try it. At first she really didn't like it, but slowly and surely it grew on her.

Brody like to push them around like they were cars.

And then he wanted to wear them. The blind leading the blind! Probably not the safest thing to have me trying to hold Brody up, since I'm pretty unsteady on my feet.

Daddy got Jenna to go by herself and for her first time, she did really good!

Jenna's makeshift cake until we get her real Barbie cake for the family party.

Visit From Grandpa

My dad was on spring break last week, so he came to stay with us Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday the kids stayed home from daycare and Grandpa was in charge. It was Jenna's preschool day, so she got to have Grandpa pick her up, which she thought was pretty cool.

After Aaron and I got done with work, we ran to Ames to pick-up a few things for Jenna's birthday. It was nice to be able to do that! I think it was a mutual thing that Grandpa wore the kids out and they wore him out! All in all, were happy that my dad made the trip and got to spend some quality time with the grandkids.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The way I see it...

The House That Built Me
Do you ever hear a song on the radio and think, I can relate to that? I was driving the other day, heard a new song by Miranda Lambert, listened to the words and thought that exact thing. The name of the song is, “The House That Built Me.”

Here’s a sampling of the lyrics:
I know they say you can’t go home again
I just had to come back one last time
Ma’am I know you don’t know me from Adam
But these handprints on the front steps are mine...
You leave home and you move on and you do the best you can

That’s how I feel about my own home. I know I’ve told you I grew up in Armstrong, but my parents don’t live there anymore. I hardly ever go back, except for a wedding. My blue two-story house that I grew up in is no longer the same. Tan colored siding and a big addition and new garage have replaced the home of my childhood.

I loved that house. My family of five sharing one bathroom. My brother and I using a sleeping bag like a sled and sliding down the steps and right into my parents bedroom. The big backyard where we played countless hours of ball and the same for the driveway. How hot it would get upstairs in the summer, which forced us to sleep on the porch with the windows open. The yellow wallpaper in the kitchen (which I’m convinced is why, to this day, I love yellow kitchens!).

I could knock on the door of that same house and ask the current owner for a peek inside, just like what happens in the song, but I can’t. I don’t even want to. It won’t be the same as the picture that I have in my head. Like the song says, “You leave home and you move on,” which I agree with. They say that home is wherever you are or wherever your heart is or something like that. I really think I only have one true home and mine is that blue house, but that’s just the way I see it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Our little fashionista

So, generally when it comes to getting Jenna dressed in the morning she doesn't fight me too much. This morning...not the case. She kept insisting on wearing this pink shirt with the ruffles with the grey jacket over it. I kept arguing with her that it wouldn't look very good together. She put it on and I thought she looked ADORABLE!

Nice to know my 3-year old is has better fashion sense than me! Don't know where she gets that from...Grandma Jo? Aunt Mandy? :) The funniest part is when we got to preschool and her two teachers and another mom told her how cute she was!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Time for a break!

The West Marshall boys played in the substate final last Saturday for the third season in a row and were looking for their 3rd straight trip to Wells Fargo. They were matched up against #1 Des Moines Christian and lost 60-44.

Now, even though as a media person it's kind of fun to go to state events, I'm sort of relieved. It's been a long winter covering basketball games and wrestling meets and we are going to enjoy the break between winter and spring sports seasons.

The kids don't know any different because they always just get drug along with me to games/meets, but they are definetly gym rats!

Our substate game was in Johnston and we got there really early. We chose to sit up in the balcony where the kids would have more space to move around during the game.

Here are a couple cute pics of our gym rats:

The way I see it...

Isn't it great how we all have ways we like to relax or relieve our stress? One of my favorite ways is to cook. I know some of you may find that ridiculous, since you're making a mess and all, but I relish my time in the kitchen.

I remember the first time I tried to make macaroni and cheese. I can't remember my exact age, but I didn't drain the noodles after they had boiled and ended up adding the milk, butter and packet of cheese in with the water. I know that seems like an obvious thing to do now, but, just starting off I didn't do that. My dad informed me that a cook always eats what they make. So, there I sat trying to choke down that awful mac and cheese.

As I got older and hit my teenage years, I found I liked to bake. I always whipped up some chocolate chip cookies and would divide them up and give them to some of our neighbors. I loved making something and then sharing them with people. And, as Chris and Greg here at the office can attest to, I still like to share my baked goods.
I think it was like a switch was flipped with me after I got married because I became really interested in cooking again, after not really doing too much while I was in college. I started watching the Food Network and would look through cookbooks all the time for recipes to try. If you leave me a stack of cookbooks, I can keep myself occupied for hours.

Now, let me just be honest with you. I'm not a great cook. I do not cook anything remotely fancy. But, I love the process. I love finding something that sounds delicious, buying the ingredients, throwing them together and (hopefully!) enjoying the end result. I, I'm sure like a lot of you, have had successes and failures.

I recently watched the movie, "Julie and Julia," based on two true stories. One of Julia Child and one on Julie Powell, a near 30-year old who started a blog about her trying Julia Child's 524 recipes in 365 days and writing about it. Now, I can be honest and tell you I didn't love the movie, but I loved the cooking scenes and Meryl Streep as Julia Child was great. It was also after the movie finished that I realized there is no way I will ever try French cooking. If I can’t pronounce it, I’m probably not going to eat it! But, I guess never say never, right?

My favorite thing to do at the end of the day is get out a recipe book and seeing what happens. I'm a big believer that my kids will be more willing to try things if they get to help, so you can imagine we make quite the mess. Whether a recipe turns out or not, it's about the experience and trying new things. And, if it doesn't, I always have the ingredients for a grilled cheese sandwich on-hand, just in case, but that's just the way I see it.