Trunk or Treat

Our Ward had their annual Trunk or Treat Saturday night and it was the blast. The weather was beautiful, almost chilly (a.k.a 70 degrees). It has been cool enough that the swarms of skeeters from the hurricane have finally died down and for the first time in months, outdoor activities are enjoyable.

The turnout was huge (then again our ward is madly growing)! I made 70 bags of puppy chow and probably turned down the last 20 kids. They had a big dinner, games for the kids and then everyone decorated their trunk and the kiddos went around the parking lot trick-or-treating. I was pretty impressed with my trunk, considering I couldn't find I costume I figured the least I could do was decorate a little.One of our friends is a stanch democrat and he came as a republican, it was a great costume. Eliza was a elephant so they worked well together. I don't think I saw Erin all night, just a swarm of her princess possie darting through the dark wildly waving wand and gigling.

The Quest for a G - Rated Halloween

Halloween has been a big event this year. For a month Erin has been set on being "Princess Aurora" from sleeping beauty. Last week she made the comment, "I will be the princess, Eliza will be Flora and Dad will the the King". Jared asked her who mom was going to be and she thought for a second and replied..."Maleficent".

Feeling great from such a loving comment from my daughter we went to the party store to see if they had a sleeping beauty costume. They just have photos of the costume and then you give them the number and size and they go and get it for you. While we were waiting for them to retrieve Erin's beautiful pink dress, she excitably yelled, Mom! Look, we can both be princesses, I can be Aurora and you can be Snow White!

.....and this is the outfit she had picked out for her old mother. Classy I know. On the bright side, being 5'3" those white sock would extend far above the knee on me. I declined thinking that Maleficent was looking better and better, but then again, for some reason the old evil witch who is always dressed in layers and layers of floor length black sheathes of fabric in the books looks like she would be working the corner right next to Snow White. Would someone please make a costume for adult women that is G rated?

Off to the "farm"

Its official, I have crossed the threshold, no longer a farm woman, but a suburbanite. I drove and hour and paid $11.00 a person a few weeks ago to go to a farm. Yes, my dad is sitting there shaking his head, praying for my lost soul.

First let me say we went with a big group of friends and it was a fun days just hanging out and we appreciated the invite. The good company was well worth the cost!

Melissa (another Iowan) and I loaded up the girls and headed across the city. We thought the price was a little steep but have heard great reviews from neighbors and coworkers about the place. During the summer my Dad and I took Erin to a new farm museum in Independence, Iowa. She really enjoyed the hands on stuff so I thought this would be great. We use to go to alot of farm things, I use to love seeing all the old thrashers, bailers and old farm machinery they would have up and running. There was none of that....

There was not much hands on, the corn maze was a whopping 6 feet tall (although Melissa and I still managed to get lost) and the zoo was not too bad. I about busted a gut when the man standing next to me that picked up his son and said "Boy, there is a good looking steer" and Erin yelled out "boy cows don't have teets!"

Eliza found a slow chicken that she chased around most of the afternoon.
They did have these awesome hand made wagons that were really handy. Erin pulled about Maya and Eliza all day, she loved them! And when Eliza was not chasing the chicken she was bound a determined to pick up a pumpkin.It was worth the trip for the smell of sawdust in the barn and even the pitiful corn display. But when we got in the car, we simply decided we are in the wrong business. When we left the lines were twice as long, the parking lot filled. We figured they made enough money in the 8 weekends they were open to the public in the fall to float their "real farm" financially for the year.


1st Day of Preschool

Erin got in to Trooper School! Ya!

I got a call Monday night that someone had dropped and they had a spot and Erins name was next in line. She started Tuesday morning at 7:30 am.

The preschools down here are crazy, they are either incredibly expensive or the waiting list in enormous. The high school runs a program called Tropper School. Its for HS students looking at a career in elementary ed and from what we have heard its an excellent program (and not to mention easy on the pocket book). Its Tues, Wed and Thursday 7:30-noon at the highschool (which is more like a college campus). They have their own rooms and even their own private playground. The facilities are really nice.

They accpet 20 a year and you can put your name on the waiting list as soon as you are pregnant. I initally put Eliza on over a year ago (and she was still #15 on the list for 2010) and added Erin just for the heck of it. Since its so late in the year most people already had their kids in daycare or in enrolled in another preschool so we moved up the list pretty quickly.

She really enjoyed it this week. I can't believe she is that old, but she is ready....and I am ready :)


Eliza is hilarious right now. She still does not talk, besides uh-oh, which pretty much sums it all up. She loves to open doors (we got to get different door handles) and started eating with a spoon, or at least attempting to. She still has a ferocious appetite and when she runs out of food its not a pretty sight :)

General Conference

Salt Lake City LDS Temple

A few weeks ago we rented a 15 passenger van and took our Priests & Laurels (Ages 16-18) out to see General Conference in Salt Lake. The trip was about 1600 miles each way. We left Thursday afternoon at 4:30pm and drove strait arriving in Salt Lake at 6 pm on Friday. The boys stayed in the city and us girls stayed with a parent of someone in our ward down in South Jordan. The overnight accommodations were very nice and we appreciate the generosity of those that let us crash in their homes.
The Girls at Temple Square (minus Deandra)

We went to Temple Square Saturday morning, it rained most of the day, but didn't seem to put a damper on the day at all. And then we attended the Saturday afternoon session at the new Conference Center.

If you are not familiar with GC, the LDS church holds General Conference twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. From this center it is broadcasted worldwide through satellite, cable and the internet. Millions of Saints gather together through these sources to listen and better their lives. We believe in modern-day prophets, that the Lord has always sent prophets and still does today to give counsel and comfort to His children in an ever changing world. Today that is Thomas S. Monson. Along with his address, other General Authorities and leaders also speak on issues that are pressing in today's world.

This was the first time I have seen the new conference center, it is massive, I think someone said it seats 25,000 people and it was full. The speakers were great and the spirit was strong as we listened to Elder Wirthlin, Holland and Bednar, among others. It was a great experience. The older I get the more I enjoy listening to Conference. Its great counsel and comfort about what is happening in the world today.

LDS Conference Center

After the session was over we grabbed dinner and jumped back into the van to get home before school on Monday. We added a few extra hours to our trip because we ran out of gas at 4 am nine miles north of Cuba New Mexico (a.k.a the middle of nowhere). Brian and Cory started running (still in their white shirts and dress slacks) to the next town, but were picked up by a nice Military Police. They were thankful for the lift, but I am not sure how comfortable cory was sitting in the backseat with the guys pure-bread Timber Wolf tracking dog. Guess the military is not messing around these days. That was the only hickup in the trip. It was a great trip and experience.
Chris and the Timber Wolf (she was midly excited)

Hanging on the side of the road somewhere in New Mexico



Ten Years Ago
1. I was starting my senior year
2. working part time at jessens super market
3. Received my Temp Black Belt in Tae Kwon do
4. was student body president & captain of the CC team
5. typically wore khaki cargo pants and a white shirt.

To do List
1. wash & hang out laundry
2. refinish my table this fall
3. learn to make bread (I am getting better thanks to my new right hand man Mr. Kitchenaid)
4. run more than two miles
5. Finish a book

Five Snacks I enjoy
1. peanut butter bars - frozen
2. Sonic cranberry lime aid
3. Mint oreos
4. puppy chow
5. black Russian rye bread (have not attempted to make)

Places I have lived
1. "The Point" , Iowa
2. Landcaster, WI
3. Ames, IA
4. League City, TX
5. The family farm on "the ridge" outside of "the point"

Jobs I have had
1. Jessen's Supervalu Cashier
2. Field worker
3. USDA Dept of Genetics
4. The Nature Conservancy - burn crew
5. Landscape Research

Pet Peeves
1. Stupid people - you were born with a brain, learn how to use it
2. Weak women
3. Traffic, primarily Texas drivers
4. Braty kids
5. a half finished job

Things that bring me joy
1. Prairies & Wetlands
2. Laughter from my girls & hubby
3. Fresh mowed alfalfa
4. Fall afternoon with changing leaves
5. A sketch pad and some graphite

5 People I tag (you're it!)
1. Emily W.
2. Anna M.
3. Ana W.
4. Jenni G.
5. Melissa M.



I made a batch of puppy chow today and walked in to find Eliza standing on a chair at the kitchen counter covered in powdered sugar and chocolate looking like a ravenous wolf lurking over its prey. What can I say the stuff is irresistibly good. When questioned she seemed to take the 5th.


My New Workhorse

Jared and I celebrated our 5th anniversary this week. We had big plans to go on a cruise this fall, but our vacation money will now be funding our insurance deductible. So we went out to Zio for dinner and caught "get smart" at the dollar theater. And to make it an incredibly romantic evening we even stopped at Academy Sports so I could buy a new pair of crap kickers (rubber boots for you city people) for working in Galveston the next morning. Nothing like being all dolled up, slipping off your Maryjanes to try on a pair of knee-high black rubber boots, got a few odd looks from the manly hunters in the section.

But he did surprise me with a kitchenaid professional mixer. Maybe I should preface that with, I really wanted one and asked for one before people start shaking their heads saying, man he is in the doghouse now :). I am so excited! He did well.

Anyway not the most romantic weekend, the hurricane is still having its affects on life down here, but its been an amazing five years and life is good.

For the Renshaws 5 years =

2 little chicas, wild and crazy
2 moves, one across the nation, one across town
2 evacuations - two different storms, the same destination
1 hurricane - Ike blows
1 heart surgery - when we had to grow up
1 home - which we love and will be laying new wood floors due to Ike - happy anniversary to us!

And the gate stands alone

Job well done Dad! This is what is left of our back fence, the gate Eldon and I built last spring - built Iowa tough. I do enjoy the view, I just have to remember half of the neighborhood can now see inside my house at night.

Our insurance adjuster made it out yesterday. We have a lot more damage dollar wise than what we thought. He made it sound promising, but we'll see what the final say is from the insurance company. I saw last week there have been over 60,000 claims files. Sounds like it could be another month or so before we see a check. I don't even want to think what our wind insurance is going to cost next year.