Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Why'd the Chicken Cross the Road?

To get some candy!

Last night, we took Sam out for "Beggar's Night", as we call it in Des Moines. We went to my parents' house so he could trick-or-treat with his cousins. And, yes, people are required to tell a joke in order to receive candy. It's a Des Moines thing. (Unless, of course, you can't talk! So Sam was off the hook for this year.)

We dressed Sam as a chicken. I had been telling people that his costume was a duck, but I guess I had my poultry mixed up. Either way, Brian wanted him to be something "manly", like The Incredible Hulk. So he was disheartened to hear many people making comments such as, "let's get her a piece of candy" and "she needs something for her bucket". (Let's not share that with Sam as he gets older.)

He had a great time running down the sidewalks and also touching every single pumpkin he saw. And he absolutely loved all the dogs he got to see and pet. He got the hang of picking out a piece of candy towards the end of the night. We were out for probably 45 minutes. And the weather was beautiful -- in the 60s. It was a great night for a first-time trick-or-treater!! And he was exhausted when we got home! What a tired little chicken!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Welcome to our Neighborhood

For those of you who have been to our house, you've probably noticed a yard across the street that's ... um ... how do I put this ... quite eccentric. Our neighbor has some rather interesting items in his yard -- all the time.

It all began three years ago just before Halloween. He started his yard display with homemade bigger-than-life versions of Superman, Spiderman, Beetlejuice, etc. And we thought, "Boy, he's really festive. This will be fun."

Now it's evolved into a year-round display of his "artwork", including wooden chairs, trombones, neon orange shapes, etc. (Yes, trombones.) Didn't you know that trombones go along with stuffed animals in the front yard?

Of course, Halloween is the granddaddy of his creations. In addition to his artwork, there are music and random scary sounds blasting from a huge speaker. As I type this, the theme to "Ghostbusters" is playing. I can't knock the guy for being creative, albeit a tad scary.

Here are a few pictures. And I hope he doesn't find out about this post and kill me or something. (No, he's not that scary. But close.)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Goin' to the Chapel

Our good friends, Kim and Brian, tied the knot this past weekend. It was a beautiful day and gorgeous wedding. And the reception was so much fun. They are great people and we are glad to call them friends! We can't wait 'til they move to Story City (hint, hint!).

Of course, once again I did not get a picture of the bride and groom both looking at the camera. I need to get better at this! Sam had fun playing and dancing with his new friends, Will and Jake (Lori's sons).

Oh yeah, and to top it all off ... Kim won this week's football pool! Way to go, girl!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I've Finally Made It!

Move over, Wall Street Journal! I've been featured in an article on the web site for "Kingdom Klowns of Iowa". One of their members happened to be at a workshop I was giving, and he reported my talk on this web site. He was a very nice man, and I appreciate him taking the time to write this to help get the word out:

Sunday, October 21, 2007

It's the Great Pumpkin

Today we took Sam to his very first pumpkin patch. Since he absolutely loves carrying the plastic pumpkins all around our house, we thought he would enjoy this little outing. And, boy, was he in heaven! We got to ride on a hayrack, see some pigs, sheep and kittens! He ran around like crazy, pointing and babbling at all the pumpkins. We gave him a small one, and he held tight to it the entire way home. He probably would've slept with it if we would have let him! He truly helps us to re-appreciate the little things in life.


Brian's friend, Scott, was in town for Iowa State's homecoming this weekend. He lives in Ithaca, N.Y., with his wife, Lauren, and came back to play in the alumni lacrosse tournament. Scott and Brian lived on the same floor in the dorms and played lacrosse together at ISU. They had lots of fun reminiscing and we are very glad he was able to come visit and stay with us!

Here are some pics as they golfed with an extra "helper" this morning.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I'm A Big Kid Now!

Tonight Sam sat at the kitchen table with us for the very first time. (Come to think of it, Brian and I sat at the table for almost the very first time since we normally eat at the bar.) Sam was still a bit short for his fancy new seat, but he thought it was pretty cool to hang out with the big people for once. He is growing up way too fast.

Rain, Rain Go Away

It has rained almost constantly since Saturday morning (pretty much ruining our tailgate at the ISU-Texas game, which was a bad game anyway! But I digress ...). Here is a picture of our city park, as the Skunk River is starting to go over its banks. We're ready for it to dry out so we can finally go to a pumpkin patch!

Little Drummer Boy

In addition to arranging (and re-arranging) the pumpkins all around the house, Sam has found that they have another use! Fun times!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Who Needs Toys?

Deep Thoughts ... by Keith Murphy

At the risk of Brian making me sleep on the couch, I'd like to share one of my favorite blogs with ya'll. It's written by one of the local sportscasters, Keith Murphy, and I think it's intelligent and humorous at the same time. It always makes me laugh, and think! (Brian teases me that I have a crush on Keith, but the reality is I think he's a very fair and creative sportscaster.) Check it out if you have some time: The past few haven't been his greatest work, but I promise he won't disappoint. Oh, and make sure you have plenty of time as they get pretty windy. (And you thought I talked a lot!)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Sam received his first non-self-inflicted "owies" this week. In addition to Sam, there are two other one-year-old boys at daycare, and all three are within two months of each other in age. Yesterday, Garrett and Sam plowed into each other while playing, and each had a battle wound to show for it. And today, Brayden clawed Sam's face. Ouch! I know (unfortunately) there will be worse things to happen down the road, but it hurts my heart to see that another little guy scratched him. Mr. Manly doesn't seem to mind, though, as he's playing and running around like normal. I guess it's the mother in me that wants to protect him at all times. And I'm sure it will be that way until he's at least 60.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Sam's First Shower

Mr. Manly climbed into the shower the other day. He wasn't scared at all. With a rambunctious 16-month-old who is ALL BOY, the adventures never end!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Kim's Night Out

Last night was the bachelorette party for my good friend, Kim. We have lots of great memories of concerts, road trips and working together at the Iowa Games. She is a very fun person and I was glad to be part of one of her special nights! We're looking forward to her wedding (to another Brian Dale!) in a few weeks. (And we hope they decide to move to Story City very soon!!)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Happy Fourth!

Today was our fourth wedding anniversary. We celebrated by going to dinner at Red Lobster. I'd never been there and Brian hadn't been for about 15 years. (As I mentioned in an earlier post, we need to get out more!) It's weird to think it was four years ago when we were in Hawaii. We both agreed it doesn't seem that long ago. I guess it's good that we agree our marriage has flown by so far. Here's to another four ... ty!