Friday, July 30, 2010

5QF

1. Did you have a favorite blanket or toy as a kid? If so, do you still have it?
I have absolutely no recollection of anything. Maybe my parents could tell me otherwise. :)

2. Do you dream in color?
I think so, but I seldom remember my dreams.

3. How tall are you? Do you wish you were shorter or taller?
I think in high school I was 5'10 3/8" or something, so I guess I'll round it up to 5'11". Nope! I like exactly where I am. The only time I falter (slightly) is when I'm shopping for pants! I don't want to be made fun of and be accused of waiting for a flood! :)

4. If you could have anyone's (celeb or other) voice as the guide on your GPS, who would it be?
Matthew McConaughey. He does those commercials on the radio for beef/steak and I think, I could listen to this commercial over and over.

5. Do you return your shopping cart to the corral or leave it wherever in the parking lot?
YES! YES! And YES! This is very high on my list of pet peeves. I don't think it takes that much effort to put your cart back. If I have the kids I always try to park as close to one as possible. If I see a cart hanging out in the parking lot I'm about 95% likely to put it away because I'd always feel bad if it hit somebody's vehicle.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tumbling (or bouncing around)

Jenna just finished up a 4-day class of tumbling over in Marshalltown. This gym has been the state champs since 2004. The best way to describe what they do in their advanced classes is-- it is like watching one run of the floor excercise in regular gymnastics. They do some trampoline stuff too but mostly this is a strength and conditioning thing using tumbling.

Anyway, Jenna got to bounce around on these long trampolines (you will see in the video). She had a lot of fun and Aaron says he would rather have her do this than go to dance! I know it sounds bad but I was suprised at how well she did. You hope your child might have some athletic ability, but when you see she actually does, it's kind of exciting! :) Anyway, they learned some stretches and then worked on balance through jumping. Here is a video of her in action (if she stays with it she could be doing some flipping around -- no she isn't going to a gymnast Aunt Jill, but she might be able to do some stuff, right?)

video

Watch as Jenna works on keeping her arms tight to her ears and also keeping her feet together. Listen to the instructors comments after, Jenna was just "all smiles!"

video

Two and Four Year Outtakes

It's no secret I'm a picture fanatic! I don't care if it's me taking the pictures or Greg up at the studio, but I love capturing moments and facial expressions.

We (not very recently) had the kids' two and four year pictures taken. Oh boy! They are at quite the age right now! Getting both of them to look at the camera is a challenge. Here are my favorite outtakes from our session:

This is what you get when you tell a 2-year old to say cheese:


Jenna was all about giving herself hugs that day (no idea where that came from).


My favorite!


Love the painful look on Brody's face!


Brody was all about his pockets!
And the winner... :)
*Family: If you haven't gotten your pictures yet, you will soon. I promise!





Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The way I see it...

Sit Down Meals
I got to thinking (scary, I know!) about something the other day and wanted to run this question past you readers out there. Here’s my question to you: Do people make it a priority nowadays to have sit-down meals together?

I remember growing up we did MOST of the time, but as I’ve mentioned before, I had two head coaches as parents, so life was a little crazy at times. I remember Sundays were a must though. It might have included grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles and a slew of cousins, but having a meal together was something special (especially if grandma was cooking, which she usually was).

I remember when my husband and I got married. We didn’t use our wedding gift kitchen tables and chairs unless we had company. I know, that’s terrible. Even when we had our daughter, we seldom sat at the table and instead just ate in the living room (again, terrible, I know).
Both of our kiddos eat at the table now with us, but the tricky part is that it’s adjacent to the living room. You see where I’m going with this? Living room = television. From my seat, I can’t see it and neither can my son, but my husband and daughter can. And, it’s on about 95% of the time during supper. I know, I know, that’s a really bad thing!

I’m hoping some of you out there can relate. Do you all have meals around the table? If so, do you have a t.v. on throughout? What’s so bad about actually taking time to eat together and actually have a conversation with each other? Find out what happened that day? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I think I may have just talked myself into writing a “no t.v. during mealtime” policy for the Burdorf household. I’m sure I will be met with opposition, but they’ll get over it! I think this is one of those important things/values/experiences I want to pass along to my kids, but that’s just the way I see it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

One of my summer loves...

One of my new favorite loves of the summertime season is zuchinni. I had never eaten it before in my life, but a couple of years ago I found a recipe for zuchinni bread and I thought I'd give it a try. SO GOOD!! Ever since then, I have to make bread and muffins during the summer.

The State Center Farmer's Market is small (7-10 vendors), but I've gotten to know the gal who sells zuchinni and she knows I love to make bread, so she always saves me the biggest one that she has.

She completely outdid herself last Friday! The second she saw me, her eyes lit up and she pulled out from under her table this...

...it is GINORMOUS! I think it looks like a caveman's club or something. Keep in mind I only need two cups of zuchinni for my bread, which leaves me wondering: A. How much bread I'll be making or B. How much zuchinni I'll be freezing.

Fast forward to Brody and I making chocolate-zuchinni muffins. The kid is crazy in the kitchen and always loves to help and have his hands in everything, literally....

Doesn't he look surprised that I caught him "taste-testing" the batter?


He's giving me the, "what are you gonna do now, mom?" look. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bible School


Jenna had Vacation Bible School last week and she LOVED it! She also really loved that mommy was there all week too! I volunteered to help prepare snacks every nite, so Jenna was estatic that she got to come for snacks and see her mom.
She had a great time and got to do a ton of fun stuff - outdoor play, music, video, snack time and craft. I was really impressed with everything!
The last nite they had a 15 minute concert of the songs they learned and also did a slide show of pictures from the week.

Catching up...

I think I did well with the blog for a week, maybe two, but here I am again finding myself two weeks behind on what's been happening in our lives.

Two weeks ago our friends, Scott and Lisa, road-tripped to Iowa. They were actually on their way to Lake Panorama, but made a side-trip to State Center to stay with us on Saturday nite.

We didn't do anything too exciting, but since we hardly ever see each other it was a great time. The kids (as you can see below) LOVE Scott and Lisa. I think they've officially adopted them as an aunt and uncle! For more on their trip head over to the Nelsen Blog. By the way, those two are celebrating their 2nd anniversary today, so Happy Anniversary to them!


Jenna and Brody thought Scott was a jungle gym or liked to wrestle or something. Let's just say Scott got beat up on pretty good. :)


Posing with Lisa! What a cute group!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The way I see it...

Summer Slow Down
It’s almost the end of July!! When the heck did that happen? Like I do every summer, I find myself once again wishing the summer would slow down. Or, maybe it’s that I wish my summer was a little less busy. I always know that once I turn the calendar to August, school is here before I know it. People really aren’t kidding when they say that the years go by faster as you get older and when you have kids.

We finished up the baseball season, which always makes me sad. There is really nothing I can think of that I enjoy more than sitting at a ballgame on a summer night. I thought life would slow down a little bit, but it hasn’t.

My daughter is attending the West Marshall Bible Camp put on by St. Paul Lutheran and United Methodist Churches here in State Center. I’m helping out preparing snacks every night, so both my daughter and I have five busy nights in a row. It’s great to see so many kids out there!
Did I mention that we also have swimming lessons going on and have a four day tumbling class next week? I guess that puts the kabosh on anything for the next couple of weeks. The first week in August my husband is coaching in an All-Star game, so cross another weekend off the calendar.

As you can see, I’m probably not going to be headed on any vacations this summer. I guess my trip to Target Field over Memorial Day weekend was my big adventure for the summer. It’s just one of those things when you have a newspaper editor married to a baseball coach - life gets crazy-busy in the summer!

On a happy/excited note, I just got a call from my cousins that live in Wisconsin and they want to come down for a week in August and stay with me. I’m so excited because I only get to see them a few times a year. We usually make a trip to northwest Wisconsin during the summer, but since we haven’t, I guess they’re bringing the vacation to me!

I hope you all have a chance to relish these last few days of summer vacation because Fall will be here before we know it, but that’s just the way I see it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cool pics on a HOT day!

It's HOT today. Like really HOT! HOT enough that we were out in the sprinkler at 10:30 AM this morning. :)

Today makes me think of the song, "Water" by Brad Paisley. I love that song and it just makes complete sense today. Here are some of the lyrics:

Inflatable pool full of dad's hot air
I was three years old splashin' everywhere
And so began my love affair with water

And when that summer sun starts to beatin' down
And you don't know what to do
Just go and grab someone you wanna see in a bathing suit
And drive until the map turns blue

All you really need this time of year
Is a pair of shades and ice cold beer
And a place to sit somewhere near water

Hope everyone stays COOL today! I know my kiddos certainly will!






...and don't forget the sunscreen! :)

Baseball season over

Last nite the Trojan baseball season came to an end in the second round of districts. It was tough because the team that they played was beatable, but it just wasn't meant to be.

It was a tough season for the team. Their youth and inexperience were a constant thorn in their sides all season and it seemed like they could never put an entire game together. One or two bad innings would always cost them the game.

I always get sad when the season is over because I love baseball and love going to the games. We get to enjoy what's left of the summer because school will be starting before we know it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Brody's Big Boy Bed

We finally decided to convert Brody's crib over to a big boy bed (with the safety rail for now). He's getting so big and independent, we figured he could handle it. We've had no problems at all. There was one night he crawled down on the floor to be closer to the fan because he was hot, but other than that it's been great.

Oh yeah and he likes to sleep with 3 stuffed animals and 3 blankets!

The way I see it...

My Rookie Garden
I, for the first time in my life, have my very own garden! Yep, I’m pretty excited about that. I have always wanted to try my hand at it, but haven’t really had the opportunity to do so.

This summer, I decided we should make room in our backyard. We started the seeds in March and ever since I have been watching tomatoes and peppers grow. I haven’t actually eaten anything out of the garden yet, but I have loads of green tomatoes that I anxiously check every day to see if they’re turning any sort of red. Nothing yet. And, I have bell peppers and jalepeno peppers that are growing, but aren’t quite ready to be picked. Soon though, very soon!

I feel like a mother (ok, I know I am a mom), but I feel very motherly towards my garden. My little jalepenos are the cutest little things. They start off so tiny and have been getting bigger by the day. To put something in the ground and watch it grow is amazing to me!

And, how economical is it? You buy a packet of seeds for a buck or two and think of how much money you save. Plus, it’s right out of your own garden, so you know if you’ve put any sort of chemicals on it (or not). Plus, it’s fresh! Like, really, really, really fresh. Not picked before they’re ripe so they can travel 2,000 miles on a truck to get to your grocery store.

I should also mention that I bought some Triscuits awhile back and I was reading the box and happened to notice they were promoting the ‘grow your own garden’ thing too. They actually included two seeds of basil inside the box. I thought, what the heck? I doubt anything will grow, but since the seeds are here, I’ll give it a go. Would you believe they grew into a big basil plant? I can’t believe it! But, it’s so nice to have fresh basil by the window in my kitchen.

There’s just something so satisfying about growing your own food. I can’t explain it, but if you do have your own garden, I’m sure you get exactly what I’m talking about. For all your gardeners, enjoy the fresh produce you have grown this summer. For those of you that can’t or don’t, maybe you can visit your local farmer’s market and get something fresh and tasty, but that’s just the way I see it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

5 Question Friday

So, I read the same blog as my wonderful sister-in-law Mandy that posts these 5 Question Friday blogs. I always read them, but have never answered the questions, but decided to today. Here goes!

1. What is one food you could eat everyday?
Pizza. It's an obvious choice, but I do love pizza because you can mix up the ingredients in three million different ways, so it always seems sort of new.

2. Are you working in the career you thought you would be when you were 18?
Heck no! I thought I was going to be a teacher. I can't see me as that...at all...not even a little bit. When I have to work with the kids just taking pictures my patience is tested because they don't listen and they're always screwing around. That being said, I do sometimes wish I could coach, but two coaches in the family would be just too insane. Plus, I couldn't deal with bitchy/whiny parents complaining about their child's lack of playing time! I think I'd want to tell them the truth, "I'm sorry you have blinders on, but your kid doesn't have one iota of athletic ability." Harsh? Yes! So, I'm avoiding the coaching thing. :) Too much honesty could be a bad thing.

3. What is something that you wish you would have done when you were younger and you didn't?
Cooked with my Grandma Beadle. I love to cook and bake and do domestic-y sort of things and she was a farm-wife, who was the Queen of all of those sorts of things. I wish I could have made her homemade noodles or fried chicken with her. Or, she could have taught me how to can stuff, since I don't have a clue.

4. What color are your kitchen walls?
Plain-boring-white. We rent our house. Every single room is white, except one. I hate it. I would love to have a really pale yellow. I have an obsession with yellow kitchens because the first color I remember in our kitchen at home was yellow.

5. Do you remember what your very first favorite song was?
I don't, but I remember certain singles I bought at On Cue in Fairmont. On tape! Those were the days... "Under the Bridge" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. "More Than Words" by Extreme (I think?). "The Sign" by Ace of Base.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Patriotic Cupcakes!

Ok, I know I'm kind of a dork, but I have to share the pictures from our patriotic cupcakes that the kids and I made in honor of the 4th of July. We had a lot of fun and they were really yummy.

Here's Jenna mixing up the batter into red and blue.


All you had to do was put a little red, white and blue in each little muffin tin to get the tri-colored cupcakes.


The end result! Complete with red and white cream cheese frosting. How can you go wrong with cream cheese frosting? :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

4th of July Parade

I always say that there's two places you should be on the 4th of July - at a parade or on the lake! We went to a parade in Nevada on Saturday morning. We had never been there before, but it was short, to the point and they threw out WAAAAAY too much candy! :)


Miss Jenna in her red, white and blue.


Waiting for the parade to start...


In 20 minutes our bag was half full of candy! If anybody needs any candy let me know, I can hook you up!


This was the memorial they had on Main Street in Nevada. I took a picture, just because I liked it and it seemed appropriate for Independence Day.

Blank Park Zoo

I'm finally catching up from our three-day Fourth of July weekend. Because the paper was still due up at the printer on Tuesday, I knew I'd have to come in and work on Monday, so I decided to take off last Friday. Did you get all that? :)

Anyway, Aaron and I decided to take the kids on an educational/fun trip to Blank Park Zoo. We had never been there, so it seemed like something fun that they would enjoy.

We had a good time! I will say, you probably shouldn't go to there after you've gone to the Omaha Zoo, but with a 4 year old and 2 year old, it was just fine.


The kiddos and me crossing the bridge.


Brody was a little apprehensive to cross by himself. I don't blame him because it was pretty wobbly.

Brody and Daddy checking out some animals.
The ostrichs were pretty cool and freaky at the same time.

We all loved the giraffes! Usually the bears are my favorite, but they didn't have ANY bears (I couldn't believe it!)


We finished the day with a short train ride and were home by naptime!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The way I see it...

Telephone Turned-off
I am obsessed with my cell phone. There, I admitted it. I know that I’m not alone in this regard. We live in a technology-obsessed world - phones, computers, iPods. It seems like we always have to be “in touch” and constantly checking to see if we have any new emails, phone calls, or text messages.

So, this past weekend I tried something. I don’t know if you would call it an experiment or what, but I have never done this before. I took off Friday from work because I knew I’d have to come in on Monday. So, that meant I had Friday, Saturday and Sunday off. No thoughts of the paper, just some good old-fashioned family time.

Friday we headed down to the Blank Park Zoo with the kids and I...shut my phone off. I didn’t put it on vibrate, I literally turned it off and left it in the van while we were at the zoo. I turned it on when we headed home to see if I had any messages and then turned it right back off. Throughout the course of the day I only turned it on one more time to check it.
You know what? It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I didn’t have any feelings of panic or withdrawal or anything. Saturday and Sunday were the same thing. I turned my phone on only one time in the afternoon to check it.

I know that cell phones are good for things like emergencies and probably getting in contact with your kids and vice versa. I’m by no means saying that they’re not. But, the constant need to have them with us 24 hours a day, seven days a week is kind of ridiculous. Think about it - what did we do before cell phones? We survived as a society, didn’t we? They are a modern convenience that is nice to have, but certainly not necessary to have with us every second of every day.

I encourage you all to try this if you can. It’s such a freeing experience. Yes, I know that sounds kind of dumb, but it really was. I felt like I enjoyed myself so much more over the weekend and was able to fully concentrate on my time with my family without worrying about phone calls or texts. It was WONDERFUL!

If you’re brave enough to try this good luck to you. I think you’ll find the experiment will take a load off your shoulders and you will be more focused on whatever you may be doing. I know I definitely have more phone-free weekends in my future, but that’s just the way I see it.