Friday, July 30, 2010

Corny Goodness

We were blessed the other day with an abundance of corn from my dear friend Joyce. We stood by the field gabbing while her wonderful hubby picked corn...all of a sudden we were all---how many bushels was that?---to which the hubby replied, I don't know..stopped counting! This is the back of Jim's truck bed 1/4 full of corn!!!
So, we headed to my mom's to borrow her turkey boiler and freeze up some corn (after eating our fill of course!).
We ended up with 4 big paper sacks plus 5 plastic bags...I lost count, but there had to be over 13 dozen ears!

We pulled, and we husked and we knocked that pile down!
The sun setting on a pile of corn really is a beautiful thing :)
The aftermath of all of that corn was a yard full of silks and husks....yes, dad, we picked it all up! I forgot to take a picture of Jim cooking all of this corn, but it was perfection!!!

Fill a turkey boiler 3/4 full of water, bring to a boil. Add a couple doz ears of corn, cook for 2 min (for freezing only...according to Joyce, the perfect ear of corn is cooked 4 min after the water returns to a boil). After the 2 min, use your grill tongs to remove corn from the boiling water and toss them into a Rubbermaid tub full of ice water. Let them swish around for another couple of min to cool down. Repeat over and over again until all of the piles of corn are done :)

Now the fun part...cut the corn off of the cob and have the hubby (who was done cooking corn in a flash) bag 4 cups into each freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible and freeze for a lovely taste of summer during the bleak winter!
(part of our 24 quarts of corn)

Next up, finding something to do with an overload of grape tomatoes! Any suggestions? (Corey gave me 6 plants for mother's day and they have gone crazy!)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Stone Quarry Maddness

For you locals, Byron has this hidden treasure~~ Stone Quarry Park

$3 to get in, there's a big skatepark, sprinkler garden, mini put, batting cages and play equipment!!!! Perfect way to spend a Sunday :)
I had a great pic of the 3 of them mini putting, but I erased it!!! Ugh! (guess we'll have to go back soon!) Corey is a maniac at putput~~~3 hole in ones and it was his first time ever doing it!!!

After the park, we headed to my grandma's house for a little cookout (honestly, I said keep it simple grandma~~~but, oh was it good!) My Aunt Beth was in from Washington. It's so nice to catch up for a bit :)

Corey occupied the time with Mr. Potato Head~~~who'd of thunk to put the earrings on yourself! What a nut!
I forgot to post this last time, but Jim's friend got this for the boys while Jim was in NM.
You very slowly open the dangerous package that Jim so happened to forget to keep cool~~~inside is a rubber band, a paper clip thingy and a washer so as you lift the flap, it starts vibrating!!! I knew it was a joke, but it still almost made me wet my pants ;)

Monday, July 26, 2010

And..We're Done!

WooHoo!!!! Baseball is done for another year!!!!!

Last Friday was the boys' final tournament game---they won 9-0, 2 innings, called by lightening :)

Here they are getting their medals~ And the gratuitous team pic~~~We Are The Champions~~

And one grumpy grump who wanted mom to stop taking pictures so that he could get his free ice cream with the team!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Alright, we're barely back to the land of the living---I feel like this was the everlasting gobstopper of colds (lasts forever and has SO many different flavors! We've had coughs and runny noses, stomach issues, fevers and now Riley has this crazy rash on his neck and face!)

It figures that God would be doing such awesome things in our lives and then Satan comes along and totally sucker punches us with this virus!

So here we go, the good news (or slightly bad depending on your perspective):

Last Thursday, we dropped Jim off at the bus station to catch a ride into the lovely O'Hare airport. Here's my attempt at a quick Happy Family photo before dad left---they were thrilled can't you tell?
Let me confess to y'all: We're not jet setters! Up till this point neither of us had been on a plane. Here was Jim, solo, navigating O'Hare with an hour delay and a gate change! He did great, I was a mess! We've been together for 17 years and have never been more than a few hours apart (yes, my parents brought him with on our fam vacations to keep my sister and I separated!) letting him fly 1300 miles, 3 hours of no contact, was a huge deal for me. So, I guess that I'm probably the world's biggest baby. This trip has had my nerves all up for the last month. Why would I be so nervous about a silly little weekend flight? Well, Jim was looking at a prospective fire department. He flew down to scope it out and I had to let go of all of my control issues and trust him to make the right decision....that he would be open to God's leading and not crowd it out with the inner workings of his cabeza! I've been feeling things about this town for months now. Not to get too mystical on you, but God's hand has been strong in this process. He went before Jim and prepared a path. Super things happened, Big Huge God type things. He really felt good about the department. I had prayed that there would be no mixed feelings, that he'd love it or absolutely hate it....well, He Loved It!

Jim has a friend who moved down there last year....Guy and Mel, your fantastic hospitality meant the world to Jim! They gave Jim a place to stay, a truck to use, picked him up and dropped him off at the airport and gave him way more than the 10 cent tour! (and they fed him----well!)

The only thing that I asked of Jim was lots of pictures--show me the town!

Here's Guy and Mel's yard (amazingly he shot through several yards and never got a house...well, a garage, but NO houses!) The Oregon mountains border the town. He went up in them a bit...honest...but I've got no proof;)

My fav car shot---well---I do have to say that IL skies aren't quite that blue!

The piece de resistance---Lakes---2 of them within an hour's drive:So what does all of this mean? Well, right now, nothing is set in stone yet. There's application processes, licenses to transfer, a house to get ready to sell...makes me have an *Oh Crap* moment. Things are moving on God time, which seems to be faster than I expected. (figures we wait for 6 years and then everything comes about in like 6 months!....why didn't we prepare?!?)

Who knows...Well, God knows. I'm feeling really good about this opportunity, it's awesome to see God's hand so evident in this whole thing. But then I start to think about my family, friends...our church! I just have to hold tight to the fact that God works all things for our good. God is faithful to keep reminding me this week that He is with us---He has gone out before us in battle and prepared the way!

1 Chronicles 28:20 tells us to be strong and courageous, and do the work. God is with us---He will not fail or forsake us!

Even though this is a huge leap, I'm ok...I'm excited for this opportunity God has set before us. Could you keep us in your prayers? There are so many things that need to fall into place, if we think to hard it becomes a little bit disheartening...but God is in this and his Will always prevails!

Have a great rest of the week....expect a lot of "Lucy" events coming up as I tackle the house while Jim tackles the Jobs! (if nothing else, it'll be a good laugh right) Oh, and does anybody have a favorite Spanish language curriculum?!?

Monday, July 19, 2010

calling in sick

Hey y'all--sorry to leave you hanging! I have so many awesome things to process and to top it all off, the boys and I are sicker than dogs!

Summer colds stink--I feel like my lungs are filled with pudding! Plus for extra fun I have 3 coughing, snuggle needing little boys.

I'm hoping to get back on tomorrow, picnik some photos and let you in on some secrets :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Here Fishy Fishy....

So, I've got nothin...actually I've got a ton but I can't tell you any of it until after this weekend!

~~~It'll either be super exciting or rather depressing, but I'm shooting for the exciting!

In the meantime, follow the link to Smitten Kitchen and make some Thai Chicken this're welcome :) It smells wonderful...I should know....I spilt half of the marinade all over myself and the kitchen floor (but I saved the chicken!). Nothing like smellin like a sardine on a hot steamy day!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy 6th of July!

Is this summer flying by or what?!? I still have that mountain of laundry to tackle...every time that I begin to get a handle on it, I check again and the pile is back!

Jim had to work the 4th this year...too bad for him...good for the paycheck (love Holiday pay!)

The boys and I made the trek back to the old stompin' grounds for Winnebago's 4th of July parade.

We got there around 9:15 and it was already stupid hot! The parade started at 10 and the boys were pretty crabby....had to bribe them with jumping in Grandma's pool immediately after the parade!

Maybe next year I'll be smart enough to bring hats and sunglasses for them (at least I grabbed their water bottles!)

Has anyone else noticed a change in parades? Not everyone stood for the passing of all of the color guards and soldiers....what's up with that?!? Growing up that would get you a swift smack to the back of the head! As kids, we had strict rules Never to go into the street for candy....anything on the grass was fair game, but street candy was completely forbidden. You have no idea how many kids (and parents) in our section would run out in front of on coming floats to grab that last piece of candy. I don't know about you, but a tootsie roll is not something I'm willing to get smashed by a combine tire for!!! We used to make it early to all of the parades to get the prime seating. Not any can come as late as you want and then squeeze your tiny butt with short shorts and high heels right up front...and don't forget to practically go all Mardi Gras for a little bit more candy (major eye rolling as I type this...Corey's new thing is Let the angry Go, but man, this woman was lucky I didn't toss my flip flop at her!)

After the first swim and a quick lunch, my mom and dad set up a pinata...yeah...that's my mom for you...not like they got enough candy at a parade! But the kids did have fun and they beat the heck out of that rocket forever!

Here's a little pre fireworks hotdoging:

Ahhhh...our last little tradition is to head up to the high school for the local fireworks...of course you have to get a funnel cake or 2...or 3 (yeah, that was a smidge much Crystal!)

Hope you all had a fabulous 4th of July! Enjoy your short work week :0)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hellloooo There!

Goodness, its been Forever since I've been on here!

Last week we took our first honest to goodness, real, week long vacation! Jim and his work buddy Jeremy got us cabins on a lake that just so happened to be right by my Kentucky cousins :)

Here the boys are, ready and waiting to start our wonderful 10 hr trip the truck...with no tv or dvd player...and for the record, the benadryl was kept packed in the travel bag under boat tarp and not used ;) We all met up at the Petro in Rochelle....I wish that I would have thought to take a picture of the caravan of boats! (3 pickups and 3 boats must have been an odd site...especially since one was a fishing boat, one a souped up Malibu and then our little bayliner!)

We arrived without too much drama and took it easy for the rest of the night-

I think that the boat dock rental was the best $30 we ever spent!!! It was super to be able to just walk down, untie a couple of ropes and just head out. Everyone left their tubes, jackets and towels hanging out...made me leery at first....if you have any idea how expensive all the jackets and tubes are, you'd be right there with me!

The water was a crazy green color under the roof of the dock, but seriously this was the cleanest lake I've ever been in!!! You'd get out and wouldn't have that ishy lake feeling...perfect!

Corey still wasn't too into the water...I think that if we would have been there a couple of days longer, he would have gotten into it more. But for now, he's happy with being the official tube driver!

On Thursday it rained like crazy in the afternoon! The houseboats were right out our window and that was all we could see....some idiot was sliding off the slide in the bottom left hand corner---it was lightning and terrible rain--what a nut job!
After the torrential rain stopped, we headed out to my Aunt and Uncles BBQ :) If you're ever in Celina (pronounced CelIna for all of you Yanks), this is the BEST bbq ever!!! Grab yourself some pork shoulder, a big sweet tea and a piece of my aunt's golden nugget cake and you'll never want to go home!
When we got back, this little guy (figuratively of course) had made his way up the drive to Jeremy and Beth's cabin. Little Baby A was so cute---hey FROG, I'm A!

This is Jeremy's little brother Tim (why is it that the little brothers always get talked into doing the stupid stuff?!?) The "frog" took his grape and then was on his way.
Every morning, I'd wake up before the others and walk the hill 'o torture. Do you see the incline of those lines..yeah...that's the road!!! It about killed this flat plain girl! Up at the top is Robert's loop, where all of the nice rentals are...murder getting up there...then you think--no prob, it's all down hill on the way back-- yeah...ALL down hill...legs of jello, drippin in sweat (cause even at 6:30, it was stinkin hot!!!).
By Thursday we were all getting a bit stir crazy (cabin fever in the summer...ha!)
This is Corey's drawing of us all...I'm the one sitting in the middle of the cabin table with crazy exuding from my head!
Friday was much better...thank you Jesus! We got to meet up with my cousins Sheri and Julie and their 4 kids...Jules had to go to work, but we took the kiddos and Sheri out for a spin! Zoey (the girl next to Riley) was a maniac on the tube! Jim hit a wake and she got some major was her first time on a tube so I figured she'd freak. We brought her back in and I asked if she was scared---No, I rode a bull before---well, alrighty!

(Jaya, Jamie, Corey, Riley, Zoey, Gabby, and Zane)
Jamie got over his fear of the water from last year! He was such a hotdog on the tube and tried so hard to get up on skis...almost, but no cigar!
And then, before we knew it, it was time to hit the road....Riley is enjoying the last of Aunt Diane's stash that she sent with us :) man do I miss her food! (her cookies are to die for!)

So, that was the week in a nut shell...I'm still recovering...still feel like we're sleeping in a hammock, but today is a bit better :) Gotta love motion sickness and a boating vaca!