Sunday, December 12, 2010

First storm of the season

We had the first blizzard of the winter season yesterday. A few weeks ago we purchased a snow-blower, so Brian tried it out on the driveway this morning.
I think we'll keep it. No doubt we'll get plenty of use out of it in the coming months.

Thanksgiving 2010

With Christmas right around the corner, we decided it was probably time to update our blog with our Thanksgiving outing. Brian and I have both been working a lot, so Brian suggested we go out for Thanksgiving rather than making a big meal at home (which would require washing a lot of dishes). I thought this was an excellent idea, so I found an advertisement in the local newspaper for a B&B that serves Thanksgiving dinner.
Halderwood Farms, outside of Pocahontas, IA.
This B&B has taken a centennial barn and turned it into a banquet hall- that's where dinner was served.
The inside was really nice and the buffet was tasty. Brian ate lots of stuffing- I concentrated on the mac and cheese. We had reserved seating- just like in a fancy restaurant. A nice lady that we sat with took this slightly fuzzy photo of us. Sometimes a point and shoot camera would come in handy...Fun times in central Iowa! We missed being with family, but were happy to be together, enjoying a new experience.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Not much to report...

There isn't much happening here to report. The weather has been cool- not much about 30 in the mornings, but we haven't seen snow yet. I'm starting to feel better (I'll be at 15 weeks in a few days) and have some energy back, which is great because I've also started teaching an evening college class- Organizational Communication Theory & Practice. Guess that Master's degree came in handy after all. The class meets two nights a week from 8:10-10:45 pm, so I'm pretty tired after all the prep work, working all day, and then instructing. My free time has been limited to say the least (hence the lack of blogging). The extra funds will come in handy to buy baby furniture after the first of the year, I think. I've heard something or other about kids being more expensive then dogs...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Homework distraction

Today is the final week of class (until the start of the new term next week), so in an attempt to put off working on my final, I will post some jeep progress pics!

Here is the jeep with the new tires I bought for it before they were mounted.

And here it is after.

Almost done with the streering, starting to get cold in the garage so I might need to pull out the heater if I want to continue to do work. Next is to run the brake lines and get that all hooked up!

Monday, October 11, 2010

We're expecting!

The exciting news of the week is that we're expecting April 27th! First ultrasound was done last week and everything looks good. I'm heading into the second trimester, hoping that my queasiness will subside. And get this- it looks like there's only one. Go figure.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Congratulations Jeff & Laura! Welcome Baby Karl!

We have a new nephew- Karl Bickmeier. Born to Brian's bother Jeff and his wife Laura. Karl was born on October 1, 2010 @ 9:40pm. He weighed in at an impressive 8lbs 4oz. Congratulations Jeff and Laura!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Dayton Rodeo

Over Labor Day weekend Brian and I attended the Dayton Rodeo in Dayton, IA. Although there usually isn't much going on here in rural Iowa, this is actually a great event complete with bareback and bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing, and entertainment. It was a nice day to be outside, spending time with a local crowd.

Part of the entertainment was a one-armed guy with a whip, riding a mule, getting buffalo to do what he wanted them to do. It must have been mule with more horse personality than donkey.
The bareback riding looked painful.But the BEST event was a wild horse competition. Teams of 3 are given unbroken horses that they need to saddle, mount, and ride across a finish line. Only a few teams completed the task, but it was awesome to watch- and not for the faint of heart to participate! I believe this was the winning team, but it was chaotic with 15 or so teams competing at the same time.

Fun things out here in the country! Brian's talking about trying next year, but his severe allergy to horses will probably prevent that...

Grasshoppers and Frogs

My big kitchen window that looks out over the backyard is a haven for creepy-crawly things. Earlier this summer I had many grasshoppers hanging out of the (outside) of the glass. Which made for some interesting photos.
And then last week I was in the kitchen making some tea and noticed that this little frog had somehow made his way into the corner of the kitchen windowsill. I have no idea how he got there, being that he had to get up the counter and over the sink. At first I thought he was dead, but on closer examination he was breathing and just seemed to be taking a nap. He was there all day (I checked a lot to make sure he wasn't wandering around my kitchen) until Brian got up (he was working nights). Brian scooped him up and found a nice place outside where he could eat all the bugs he wanted. While I'm not found of having amphibians in my house, I would prefer this little frog to the multitude of spiders that make frequent visits.

Good thing we don't let our dogs beg

This is what it looks like if we let the dogs beg. We're solved this problem by training them to lay down if we're eating something. Otherwise you get drool all over your leg. When having inside dogs, its important for them to have some manners. I suppose I could also train Brian to not eat pizza on the living room couch...

Our Summer: Visiting the Other Iowa Bickmeiers

After returning home from visiting the Baylor's, we hopped down to southeast Iowa to visit Aunt Jean and Uncle Gary, Aunt Sharon and Uncle Chuck and their daughter Christy. We always have a wonderful time when we hang out with the Bickmeier side of the family. We seem have a lot in common and a plenty to talk about. We did some shopping, ate cheese curds, and spent time on the swing in front of the acreage, watching the dogs play. It was a relaxing and fun weekend.

We're always interested to see Uncle Gary and Aunt Jean's garden. This year they had some impressive corn stalks. They even made Brian look small!
The blackberries are also good size. I could have eaten them forever. So tasty!
Uncle Gary had been talking about a contraption he bought that allows him to safely bike with his dog Carl. He uses this method to keep Carl in shape for hunting season. After Carl demonstrated how it works for Mattie and Dawson...
Uncle Gary hooked up Mattie to try. Mattie thought the harness way okay, but refused to run by the bike. She hated it and wanted no part of the activity.
Then we hooked up Dawson. He ended up being the star of the show! While not as good a bird dog as Mattie, he'll do whatever you tell him to do, so he was happy to go on a little ride with Brian. Good dog! (It isn't very often that he shows up Mattie.)
I didn't take too many photos of our visit (which ended up being somewhat short because of our flooded basement), but I had to get a shot of this delicious watermelon we enjoyed (with salt) the evening before we left. Summertime in Iowa is sweet!
We're looking forward to our next weekend out to southeast Iowa and the next time we can hang out with the Bickmeier side of the family. :)

Our Summer: The Baylor Weiner Roast 2010

I can't believe how long it has been since we posted. It seems like the second half of the summer flew by and we've been neglecting our blog. Fall has arrived in Iowa, so it is high time to look back on all the fun we had over the summer and start preparing for (what could be another) long winter ahead.

Back in July we attended the annual Baylor Wiener Roast at Aunt Sue and Uncle Phil's. As expected, we had an wonderful time. The food was spectacular- fresh corn cooked in the fire and roasted hot dogs, the company pleasant, and fond memories were made.
Here's Brian and his cousin Mark cooking over the fire.
That is, after Uncle Phil made excellent coals with the help of his trusty tractor.
Brian in party mode.
Games were played- including ladder ball (a Baylor family favorite).
The highlight of the weekend was finally meeting Mark and April's daughter Lillian! She's adorable and has a sweet personality.
After a long day of playing, Hank the dog needed to take a break.
At the end of the day Brian pitched our test in the side yard for a fun evening of camping. We headed home in the morning after a very tasty breakfast of stuffed french toast. Yum! We're looking forward to next year!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Anniversary Gifts

Yesterday Brian sent me anniversary flowers at the office. I love having fresh flowers on my desk! Today we decided to go and look at new cars, being that our 2006 Equinox has been giving us problems recently and the warranty just expired. This 2010 Equinox followed us home! Well, it isn't brand new- it has 5,000 miles, which makes it a used car, so we got an excellent deal. The last owner brought it back after having it only a few months and traded it in for a Camaro. Lucky for us! We really like the body style and leg room (for Brian) that the Equinox offers, but they're so popular that they're kinda hard to find. Our timing was perfect to get this one! *joy*
Pretty, isn't she?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

4 Years

Today is our 4-year anniversary! July 8, 2006 was such a good day! Thank you to everyone who helped make it so special for us!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Quick weekend at Seth & Michelle's

After getting in from Alaska, I hopped a quick flight over to see Seth and Michelle for the 4th of July weekend. Brian stayed home to work and take care of the dogs. My flight got in about 11:30 am, so after everyone picked me up we went to Friendly's for lunch. I haven't been to Friendly's in years. The ice cream was just as I remembered.

Gabby thought it was pretty tasty. James got a huge "volcano" sundae!Harmony and I got the same kind of sundae- that girl has got good taste. After lunch we spent a quite day hanging out at the house, which I almost didn't recognize. Seth and Michelle have been going nuts with projects. They've landscaped the front and back yards, put in a patio, put down a new dining room floor, painted, built a closet, took out a fire place, etc., etc.. The list is almost endless. I was impressed to say the least.

I think my visit gave Seth and Michelle a small excuse to take at least a few hours off from their projects. This is Seth taking a break- something that hasn't happened much in the last 8 months since purchasing their house. Seth and Michelle just got back from a trip of their own to Niagara Falls where they spent a few days with Mom and Dad, Becky and Noah, Lily, David, Megan and Michael (their cousins). Everyone had a great time at Niagara. There Harmony got her new best friend "Peachy" the Raccoon. The weekend weather was almost perfect, so we spent a lot of time outside. Here James found a robin learning to fly in one of their peach trees. The little bird was resting before taking another quick flight. He didn't seem to mind James getting a close look. Seth and the kids on their outdoor swing.
Gabby. Harmony. Look what James learned to do in gymnastics! Gabby on the swing.
For lunch (when Michelle wasn't looking), Seth made banana sandwiches. Yum! A taste of our childhood on par with the Fluffernutter. White bread, butter, banana, and a bit of sugar.
There were also some tasty pina coladas. And a water balloon fight... ...that turned into Michelle getting thrown into the kids' pool... ...and Seth going down with her!Everyone got wet... ...even Aunt Hope. The weekend went so fast. It seemed like I just got there and it was time to go home. But before I left we took a few family photos.

Say cheese! Hugs for Aunt Hope! Still don't look much like twins, do we? Seth and Michelle. Oh yeah, and on the way to the airport we stopped at the store and picked up...FLUFF!Thanks Seth and Michelle for a great weekend! Wishing you all the best in the year ahead...and plenty of prayers.