Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving Play

Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to sneak up on Landon and his second grade class at SW Elementary.  They've been working hard over the course of a week preparing for a little Thanksgiving play.  This class did not disappoint. 

The play was set to begin at 12:45 pm.  I got there a bit early and most of his class was out for recess.  Landon and two other classmates were in the classroom with their teacher working on various projects.
This fun little set was spread out throughout the classroom from trees, to sticks and brush to a Thanksgiving table. 

Our little guy had the privilege of being a narrator.  He took this job very seriously.  Despite having the opportunity to read off the script, he still practiced his lines every night.  We worked on emphasizing words and changing his tone when needed.  Although he tried to play it cool, he was excited to have a microphone. 
There were several animals in the play including a woodchuck, crow, rabbit, sheep and of course a turkey. 

All the kids did such a great job.  Everyone was attentive and remembered their lines.  In the end, the turkey was saved!  It was so cute.  Great job to Mrs. Kriener and the second grade class.  Mrs. Kriener is so kind and patient with the kids.  Knowing the kids were excited, several parents were there, and they were minutes away from their holiday break, she let parents take serious photos and then a few silly photos as well.  I know she was taking a video, so I'll see if I can get my hands on that at some point and share that as well. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Adventures of Landon & Asher - #372

Landon is really becoming quiet social the older he gets and has really developed a great group of friends.  He spent Friday night at his friend Kyle's house with some other friends to celebrate Kyle's birthday.   When Kyle's Mom brought Landon home on Saturday afternoon, Landon, Kyle and another friend all darted off for Landon's room to sneak in just a few more minutes together.  He spent the rest of the day acting like a teenager, he was tired and his friends were so cool.  Oh my...
And then you have Asher.  His creativity is on a roll and he hates having his picture taken.  I had to hide to sneak snapping this photo, but he was just so cute.  Last night he was pretending to be a painter.  We cut the bottom of a pop bottle off (per his request) and he attached a piece of ribbon.  You can see it hanging around his neck.  This was his mask.  He also has pieces of paper tapped around his mid section and his feet.  That was his paint suit.  The box is his paint booth and his electric toothbrush (not seen in the photo) was his paint sprayer.  Love this little guys imagination. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Showing off baby Jett

It's been a week since my sister and her husband welcomed their new baby boy, Jett Linus into the world.  I was on the edge of my seat for most of last Saturday waiting for his arrival.  Checking my phone so often that I needed to charge it mid day because I wore the battery down.  Well, he finally arrived last Sunday morning at 4:42.  We couldn't wait to take off and see him.

Landon was so excited to get his hands on baby Jett. 
All the Sabelka cousins.  1 girl and 6 boys. 
Asher waited so patiently for his turn to hold the baby.  He is so in love, as we all are.  Asher is constantly wanting to FaceTime Auntie Jo Jo to see the baby. 
Finally it was my turn.  Oh I forgot how little newborns are.  Jett is so cute and so perfect in every way.  We couldn't love him more. 

Big brother Sullivan wasn't too interested in holding his little brother, so we had to get creative with our picture taking. 
The perfect little family.  We are so excited for the Nelson family.  Life with two boys is fun, challenging and adventurous.  Congratulations!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Knotty Pine Guest House

About a year-and-a-half ago, Jeremy and I started a new business adventure...Knotty Pine Guest House. 
We didn't have too look far (literally) for this new adventure. 
This log cabin is located near our house on our families property.  It's close by, but not close enough to see or hear one house from the other.  It was built by Jeremy's parents (Tim & Debbie) over 30 years ago. This is the house that Jeremy & his brother Oliver grew up in and up until recently, was occupied by family. 

Several years after Jeremy's father passed away, Jeremy's Mother moved to town.  After another family member lived in the cabin for a short time, we found ourselves with an empty cabin in the summer of 2014.

We knew Jeremy's Mom didn't know what to do with the house.  Having a long term renter was not an option for several reasons.  And because of all the memories, we really didn't want the cabin to be sold.  We also wanted to keep the possibility open that one of our boys might want it someday. That's when we got the idea to rent the cabin out on a short term basis. 
In December 2014, we participated in the Christmas tour of homes and had our first official guests shortly after that.   
As we approach our 1-year anniversary, business is going great.  We had no idea we would be as busy as we are.  We've had some of the most wonderful guests who have truly enjoyed, appreciated, and respected our cabin.  We said we would give it a year and as of today, we have reservations booked out as far as December 2016.  I would say it's safe to say we're going to keep going. 
For more information about our cabin, you can find us on VRBO by clicking here.  You can also find us on Facebook by clicking here 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Life's Blessing #270

This guy has been soaking in every ounce of the outdoors he can get.  Many days he would rather sit inside and play Minecraft on the iPad, but, with a little nudging, you can't beat raking up leaves just for the sake of jumping. 
A couple weeks ago, Asher went on his first school field trip to Pinter's Pumpkin Patch.  I had the privilege of going along and it was so much fun to see this guy interact with all his new friends.  He was a lot more social than I thought he would be.  I worried he would want to hang out with his Mom, but he was a good blend of playing with his friends and saying"Hey Mom, watch this."  He has grown so much these past few months. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015's what's new

Hey there, thanks for checking back in!  I'm going to use this post to talk about me a little bit, so bear with me.
Blogging seemed to unintentionally take a back burner this past, ahem, 1 1/2 years.  It's kind of like exercising.  I say to myself, I'm going to start working out...tomorrow.  We know how that works out.  Ok, well for me anyway.  Tomorrow comes along, and I push it off.  Oh what's another day.  I'll start again tomorrow.  Yup, tomorrow's the day.  And then, before you know it, it's been way too long and you just accept it for the way it is.  But alas, here I am.  Blogging...and semi working out.  If you're reading this, sorry Coach.
So what's changed...well, a lot.   In the summer of 2014, I started taking online classes toward receiving my Real Estate license.  Shortly after beginning classes, I also resigned from my job of 13 years as the Executive Director of a non-profit organization.  I absolutely loved my job, but I mentally needed a change.  I also needed the flexibility for these growing boys as well as our new business adventure.  (More on that later).  My last day at my job was January 2015 and I got my real estate license in April 2015.
So here I am and I am so stinkin' happy.  I love getting the boys on the bus.  I love cooking supper.  I love being a wife again.  And I love being a Realtor.  All those things I missed out on for the past years with my family.  With that said, if you're looking to buy or sell in NE Iowa, give me a call at (563) 380-8762 or look me up on facebook at Stacy Merrill - Homestead Iowa Realty. 
So, thanks so much again for checking in.  Follow your dreams people!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween 2015

Halloween was a frightful experience this year...I had one very tough looking cowboy and I ruff and buff football player.  {On a side note...GO HAWKS!}.
On Friday night {Halloween Eve}, the boys got dressed up and we headed over to our neighbors house.  They are always so nice to go out of their way to invite the kids over and have special treats for them. 

Landon was extra thrilled because another neighbor, and a good friend of his, was there at the same time.  These boys were in the same daycare for part of the summer and ride the same bus to school, so they have bonded a lot recently!
One day and one costume change later brings us to Halloween!  Factor in one 4-year old who decides he doesn't want to be a cowboy any more, and voila, we now have a fireman.  It's not just on Halloween that this guy's tricks are on point. 
Our first stop was Grandma Debbie's.
Grandma Debbie was excited to show her new buggy. 
Asher was excited to test it out.  Landon, well, somethings haven't changed.  He enjoys watching from the sidelines. 
 The Halloween parade continued with a stop at Great Grandpa and Grandma Hackman's. 
Asher even shared his hat with Grandma.  Sorry Grandma, my shutter on my camera is much faster than you are. ;)
The boys were excited to see Bernice had her porch light on, so the car made a quick right turn.  Bernice was the boys' babysitter for years and they both miss her so much!
After a few hugs and a few treats, we continued on to Grandma and Grandpa Sabelka's.  We were greeted by this old man and were excited to find out that it was cousin Nolan!
 And batman!  Even black face paint can't cover up that smile we know all too well.  Cousin Derek and Asher.
Of course Grandpa and Grandma were eager to let the boys dig in the treat bowl.  The boys were also excited to help Grandma hand out treats as the trick-or-treater's came to the door. 
Hope you're Halloween was just as fun!