Monday, November 14, 2016

Catching Up

We've been busy bees around Casa Bower.

 We attended a family wedding at West End Salvage

I am obsessed with these crystal light fixtures, and covet one for our home. 

We took a quick trip to Vegas for Tony's birthday. 

And saw Cirque de Soliel Beatles Love once again. 


The weather has been fantastic, so we were carving pumpkins Halloween weekend in tank tops while it was 75 degrees. 

I took the kids out trick or treating this year while Tony handed out candy, so I dressed in an old costume I still had of Marge Simpson. Avery was a Witch, and Gavin was a Minion.

I went to Galena IL for a quick weekend getaway, and tasted some wine while I was at it. 

This little Jelly Bean is turning into quite the mini me, and I love it. We went out to dinner on Saturday night, and she was carrying around the old cell phone we let her play with, packed her purse, and did her hair like me. The jean jacket on her is killing me. I cannot believe she will be 6 this week. 

And last but not least, we got this guy's school pictures back, and doesn't he look ornery?! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Center Grove Apple Orchard

We took the kids to the Apple Orchard on Sunday afternoon. It was gorgeous out, low 70's with a breeze. We had been invited to join a group so we thought it was as good of time as any to go. 

See?! Gorgeous! 

The kids really enjoyed the corn pool, hay rack ride, and the bounce pillows. I think the big slide was the favorite though. 

My people...always on the run!

It was a great day. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tile Shower

We are slowly but surely finishing up the basement bath by finally getting the shower installed. We had the tile floor for the bath itself done back in March so that we could get the vanity and stool set. 

Then it sat like this for a few months as we waited for our tile setter {he was booked solid this summer, and we were willing to wait for him. He does great work, and is reasonably priced. That is hard to find in any trade work these days.} 

Then, just as we were calming down from the frenzy of the renovation we did to our second investment property in Ames, we scheduled the shower to get started in our own home. 

First, he poured the shower pan and installed the durock on the walls. He came back after the weekend to waterproof with the black tar like membrane. 

After Labor Day weekend, he was back with our tile and got started on the install. 

We decided to take the large format tile in a vertical pattern to the ceiling with a simple decorative band of a glass and stone mosaic. 
{I was design paralyzed with this for a while. Had it been a clients home, I could have come up with a beautiful design and been pleased. In our own home, I have developed Design Paralysis... in all the rooms of our home, the struggle is real}

All the tile in and complete and ready for grout. 

All grouted and ready for the faucet and shower door! Avery loves it. 

I've got a few things left to do in here before it's all done. We have a nook that we are going to build a shelf box into for storage

and then I can finish paint touch ups, give it a really good clean, and nail down the finishing touches of some towels, artwork, and possibly a rug. 

It will be hands down the nicest bath in our home that is in the least used part of our home. We love having our lower level finished, so it's worth it. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Racing at the Iowa Speedway

A few weeks ago my family all convened at the Iowa Speedway in Newton IA to watch my dad drive a race car on the track. For Christmas we had all gone in on an Experience Gift that was 24 laps on a Nascar racetrack. 

My mom ordered shirts for all the grandkids as a surprise for my dad. They said "Papa's Pit Crew". They were the hit of the race track, and many people commented on them. 

My mom and dad. 

Dad with all of his grandkids

Many, many Talledega Nights jokes were being tossed around at this point. Dad was getting into the car and we had to pass the time as he got situated. 

We now refer to him as '99'

That is their Papa passing the finish line behind them. 

He LOVED it! He is already talking about doing it again, and looking into other race tracks that feature this event. 

Papa with all his grandkids. They were tired at this point being in the heat. We were all ready for some lunch and AC. 

They guys {L-R; Tony, Gavin, Mike, Steve, Ryan, John}

The Original Laue 5!

My brother Mike booked the gift using this website - Great American Days

Although we are not a family who watches racing, Nascar, or anything like it, this was still a really fun way to gift someone something unique. My dad loves cars, and loves to drive fast, so this was such a perfect gift for him, and one he was not expecting. At Christmas, he was convinced that my mom had gotten him AC/DC concert tickets. So much so, that we played along, and Tony turned on an AC/DC song on his phone while my dad was opening the gift. He was shocked to see that we all had something else up our sleeves. 

Also- Iowa Speedway and all the staff we encountered were wonderful. I had called earlier in the week to get details on some logistics with bringing our small children. I wanted to know where the restrooms would be, if I could bring a cooler, etc. They were very helpful and very patient as my mom and I peppered them with questions. It's a great place and another example of Iowa shining. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Minnesota 4th of July!

On the road again up north. The kids do so well these days in the car. With activities such as coloring, and stickers, they can pass the time. We usually break out the DVD player or kindle/leap pad during the last hour when they start to get a bit squirmy. 

We got to my parents house on Saturday just in time for the guys to go golfing and my mom and I to take the kids swimming. 

Oh, and Uncle Mike joined Snapchat...

More from our fun weekend later this week. We were up for several hours last night with the kids in the basement as the storm sirens were going off. I'm gonna need some more coffee today.