Thursday, June 26, 2008


Water seems to be the fun of choice for us lately. The last couple of weeks we have been out and about a bit. Last Thursday we headed to Chad's baseball game. It is the prep team aka JV- they are all played at the same place and there is a playground there, so we decided to go. The girls had fun even though Maddie asked about 10 times where Hannah is (I guess she thinks baseball games equals Hannah to play with). We only went away with one casualty. Emma fell going down the steps, luckily her hands hit first and she just ended up with a scraped nose. After the game we headed over to Odinga's. We ordered pizza and played some Euchre. In case grandma Bickel is wondering Steve and I won. The girls were enjoying playing with the dogs and didn't even make it out of the subdivision before they were sleeping.

Friday we hung out at home, did some laundry and the like. Around lunch time we headed down to the Schneider's house. They live down by Lutheran South, which is down by NASA. We hung out for awhile and then headed out to the lake to go out on their boat. Emma wasn't so sure about the boat while it was moving, but when we anchored and just hung out she was a much happier camper. Maddie was ready to jump in right away, Emma hesitated but then didn't want to come back into the boat. I decided that I was best served staying on the boat. On the way back to the dock Maddie got to drive the boat. She still isn't so sure about how to do it, but she thought it was pretty cool. We ate some dinner with them and then it was time to head home.

The rest of the weekend was a pretty normal one around here. Sunday we set up the little pool with our swing set slide in it. Maddie was having a blast. It was a little too fast for Emma so we would have to put her only about half way up otherwise she would go down too fast. They played for quite awhile out there and were just laughing the whole time.

This week is VBS. I think that Maddie is enjoying herself. She is all geared up to go every morning. Monday Emma and I dropped her off. Her teachers are kids from Concordia- so that helps. When we left on Monday it was Emma who cried because we left Maddie behind. Tuesday and Wednesday there were some tears. Today she didn't cry, but needed to make sure that dad went with her to crafts and then she was fine.

It is raining pretty good right now, so I don't think we are going to get outside this afternoon. We will have to see what we can do otherwise.

Nothing too pressing this weekend. I'm sure I will be getting ready for us to leave next Wednesday- we are looking forward to our trip.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A New Cousin

We want to welcome Nolan Michael Pownell- he made an appearance at 12:18 this morning. Weighing in at 6lbs. 9oz and 20 inches long.

Jana and Mike are doing well and so is baby Nolan as he is known in our house.

Other Texas News: Trinity dedicated it's new sanctuary this past weekend. It was a very beautiful service with wonderful music. President Kieschnick was there from Saint Louis. Lyle Lovett who is member at our church- sang three hymns.

We also have a dog for the next 10 days. Wilke's are on vacation and asked us to watch Sam the dog. She has been here since yesterday- she loves when the girls drop food, but doesn't always love them in her face all the time. Maddie thought it was so cool this morning when she woke up and Sam was sleeping with her. We are hoping Sam helps us out by keeping the cats out of our yard.

We are starting to get ready for our trip. We are looking forward to spending a few days in Iowa meeting Nolan. Grandma and grandpa Bickel will be at Chad's parents house while we are in Milwaukee, so it will be great to get to visit with them. I am hoping to maybe catch the last day of Summerfest, I know we will get to at least one Brewers's game, and we will be celebrating Emma's birthday.

I had found the girls some roller skates at a garage sale and we had been waiting to use them until we got helmets and pads. Well we got Maddie her helmet and pads (we figure Emma has enough trouble just walking- skates probably aren't a good idea) and she had her first turn on skates the other day. She did pretty well, but did fall on her butt a couple of times.

We just made a date to the drive-in tonight for Maddie and Isaac- so I better go get lunch ready so they can take good naps this afternoon.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Maddie's Birthday

So Maddie is three- can you believe it?? We did some celebrating yesterday, but her party isn't until tomorrow. Yesterday we headed to the Nuk Store (aka Toys R' Us) to trade out nuks in for a toy. She had been talking about getting a robot for the longest time- we even found one, but she decided she didn't want it. We walked up and down every aisle and finally giving her a 10 more minute warning she picked out the Tika elephant (it's a Barbie toy) with 4 minutes to go. We headed to the checkout where she handed over her two nuks (in a plastic bag) for her toy. I had to do a little explaining to the lady, but she thought it was a good idea. Maddie handed her nuks over pretty easily and walked out with her toy.

After the nuk store we headed over to ITZ (just like Stone Fire Pizza- if you don't know what that is- it is like an upscale Chuck E Cheese with better food). Maddie had fun playing the games and riding the rides. Of course Emma was also in on the action. We headed home in time for our naps. Maddie did ask for her nuk, but after just a few minutes she was sleeping.

After dinner the Wilke's came over for cupcakes and to open a few presents. We had gotten a few cards and a present in the mail, we had also gotten her a couple of things and so she enjoyed opening those. Last weekend we also put together the new swing set in the backyard for the girls to share. Okay, I didn't put it together, but the Wilke boys, Chad and Karner did. It took them about 6 hours to put it together and the girls were more than happy to break it in that evening.

Maddie also decided to give herself a birthday haircut. Well she decided her bangs needed to be cut. She did a number on them this time. I figured at least she didn't cut one of her pigtails or her sister's hair. I'm just waiting for that day.

The night concluded with a little crying because she wanted her nuk, but she did fall asleep and didn't wake up during the night looking for it.

New Orleans

Sunday morning after church and lunch we headed on I-10 to New Orleans. We would have made great time, but had about an hour delay in Lake Charles because of construction. We rolled in about 8pm. The girls did great in the car- they napped, watched movies, and stared out the window.

They were excited to see grandma and grandpa and thought that jumping on the bed was lots of fun. We had talked about going to the beach on Monday, but decided against it since that would be more time in the car. So instead we headed out and just did some walking. We hit the Riverwalk, the girls got to ride on the ferry over to Algiers and back, we went down to the French Market where they both got some beads, took the trolley back to the Riverwalk for lunch, back to the hotel to swim, and then we took a little ride out to Camp Restore. We took the round about way and got to see some of the city and the damage that is still there from Katrina. That evening Chad and I went out for dinner and some beignets.

Tuesday morning we got packed up and headed out to the Zoo.

They had a very nice zoo and the girls were loving it. We headed toward to airport to get some lunch and then to drop grandpa off at the airport. Then the rest of us headed back to Houston.

School's Out For Summer

I know, I know it has been awhile. Chad has been done with school for almost two weeks now. Graduation was the 25th. The Wilde's also visited that weekend. We started out the weekend by going to a grad party on Friday evening. The girls had a great time because there was a playground to play at.

The Wilde's arrived in the morning. It was perfect timing because we had another grad party in the morning (a brunch) and we all got to the house at the same time. Chad had a few other parties on Saturday to go to, but the rest of us just hung out at the house. Sunday was actual graduation and one other party. On the way home from graduation the check engine light went on and of course we all thought the worse. Since it was Sunday and the next day was Memorial Day we had to wait a few days to have someone look at it. Luckily it just turned out to be a valve that needed to be replaced.

While the Wilde's were here we took advantage of the sandbox and pool. The girls love having other people to play with. We played a lot of cards and talked a lot too.

The rest of the week Chad had meetings and got his office cleaned up. We had the faculty end of the year party on that Wednesday. The girls loved playing with all the other kids. It was at a park and I thought that it was pretty funny when more of the people were over by the playground with their kids then by the actual party.