Wednesday, May 26, 2010

We'll Just See, Won't We?

So, I haven't gotten to posting in a handful of days... not for the lack of things to post. Just the time to sit down and make it happen! We have a little event of sorts coming up this weekend and it is the first thing to pop in my mind in regards of things I wanted to post about.

The little event is a meet and greet with one of my sis's boyfriends. A boyfriend that I believe she has been seeing for a year now? A year and yes, I have not met him yet and neither has most of my family. Most importantly, my parents have yet to meet him formally. Hmmmm... So, he is flying out from Wyoming and she is driving down from Minnesota for a little grillin out and family time! Time to meet the parents! Oh, boy. What does that mean!?! She might be keeping him around huh?

So, the closest I have come to meeting my sisters boyfriend was this in a text message...

Not exactly a good picture to draw any first impressions from other than he may be just as weird as my sister is... sorry Steph. It's true.

The other picture was a lot nicer. Let's see if he stand a clan of Zastrow's, shall we? We'll see you Saturday!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Reality Starts to Sink In...

One of my little brothers had a pretty big day yesterday. He took a significant step in his career or a more suitable term would be his "calling". This particular step has him moving for an entire year to Austin, Texas. I feel much shame in the fact that when I first learned of his assignment for the year, my thoughts were pretty selfish at first. I didn't want to accept it. I felt that it was the beginning of something bigger. The beginning of events that would end with all of my siblings living far too far away for my comfort or longing for continued connection and support and, well, just plain family! My sister started these feelings when she became a Minnesota resident a few years ago. I guess it didn't sink in right away because Minnesota still seemed reasonable. Now things are spiraling though. At least in my mind apparently. I have visions of her leaving and moving further away and him spending more than a year across the country some day. See? Selfish thoughts. The real kicker is that both of them are choosing to serve the Lord! How great is that!?! Yet, I still find myself upset at times and weak to see the bigger picture or acknowledge their interests. Something I really have to work on. :-(  I will overcome. Through Him I will overcome.

Of course I want the best for them both and for both of my other siblings that may someday decide that life is taking them further from home and maybe making a home for themselves somewhere else. They are all so talented and amazing to me. Each one. My brother is going to do great and my sister already does. I guess its time I think beyond and accept the Lord's plans. I shudder to think what I will do someday when Avery decides it's time to head out! Yeesh! I'm in trouble. It's a good thing I have a strong wife, right hun?

Just know that I have been thinking a lot about you knuckleheads and I love ya much! The whole family is proud of ya and we'll try not to be too selfish!

Monday, May 17, 2010

House Work...

It's not doing dishes... it's not vacuuming the carpets... it's not taking out the garbage... in fact it's none of the normal house work you might imagine. It's housework that looks a little something like this...

And who might have initiated a project or "house work" like this?

It was this wild eyed woman! Those wild eyes come from visions of a house remodeled or touched up to her liking. I am not one to move nearly as quickly as she is since I have memories of house remodeling and even helping cut some contractor costs. Memories that have made certain impressions about starting and finishing these types of projects. The finishing is where the memories get a little creepy.

All of this was happening while I was asleep (or trying to sleep, J.P.)! She was not alone however. She had company...

Some more photogenic than others...

When I awoke I found everything in motion and even got to witness Kathleen in her new fashion statement. Here she is doing her best Darth Vader... even though it came out more like Yoda!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Stealing from Walmart!?!

Friday was nice day to hang out with the family and get a few things done around the house. One thing we had been putting off for a while was going grocery shopping. It got to the point that we just had to go. You been there? So, we went to Walmart (of course) and did about 2 hours of shopping. Well, to be fair, maybe 4 minutes of that was actual shopping. I tend to visit with past associates when I see them and they are still interested in visiting with me when I make it back out to the Hartford store. On this particular day, the visiting proved to be quite a distraction for me. Enough of a distraction that I had no idea and had not possibly fathomed the crime that had occurred right in front of me. In fact, I would venture to say that it may have happened quite close to literally under my nose. An unforgivable, unmerciful, and certainly unacceptable crime. Theft. Retail theft. Despicable. Disgusting. "Are you gonna pay for that" and "Go get a job" theft. I shudder once more at the thought.

Theft of what!?! When!?! ...and of course WHY!?!

Now you may think I've just become distracted by my child once again. I'm sorry to say that that is not the case. This picture is sadly connected to this horrific story. Yes, Avery looks happy, doesn't she? That makes this all the more sadder. Take a closer look at what Avery has in her hand... I'll wait.  ...can you see it?

Yes. It's a PS3 game. Yes, Kathleen as well as myself are ashamed. How could you Avery? You broke your mother's heart... and... and... and your father... you can imagine. I'm still having problems.

This particular video game was set on the register belt with all the other items that were going to be purchased at Walmart that day. It should have been the 5th or 6th item to get rung up. Something went wrong though... oh so wrong. While Daddy was talking to the managers on duty at the store, some little person, maybe, dare I say, some little thief, stole it. Her plan was almost foiled too. She even dropped it on the ground and Daddy said to Mommy, "Don't let her break the case, honey!". I'm sure her little heart started beating quicker during that exchange... Mom and Dad were none the wiser however. Then after Mommy put the game in the cart, the managers talking to Dad even made a joking comment about "Hey, someone should check to see if that it paid for, this guy looks suspicious.". I'll bet her little heart picked up beating even faster! Then Daddy even played along and said, "Ask my cashier! She'll vouch for me!". Bump, bum, Bump, bum... (heart beats getting faster) Then the cashier even said to the managers, "I don't remember ringing that up." Avery had to be white knuckled nervous! The managers, like Daddy, took it as a joke! We finished checking out and went home! Success little thief??? She probably thought so. She was home free. Then Daddy checked the receipt when he got home... no video game. Huh!?!

The talk I had with Avery is a talk I hope I will never have to have with any kids of mine again in the future. She understands what she did wrong. Daddy doesn't understand why she did it though. Granted, she doesn't have and money. She doesn't know how to pay for something even if she HAD money, but still. Why? She doesn't even play PS3!?! Oh, well. I'll never know. A sad day for the Z's Friday was. A sad, sad day. Hopefully a lesson learned however. She's grounded for a long time and her bedtime is moved up to 9:30. That'll teach her.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Sometimes you witness or find talent that you can't deny. Several of my facebook friends have posted this 12 year old boy singing "Paparazzi" by Lady Gaga at a talent show or piano recital. Apparently he has gotten a lot of attention since the show. You watch and tell me if he's got something...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Whoopin the Brother-in-law

It had to be done.
Yesterday was my first night off of work after my last rotation at work. Since I often find it difficult to go to sleep at the "normal" time after just sleeping part of the morning and afternoon, it is a wonderful thing to be able to visit a friend or relative that can stay up past 10pm with me. Yesterday, brother Jeff was willing to stay up past his bedtime. So, I made the trek down and had some quality time. It wouldn't be a complete visit if there wasn't some cribbage and darts played. It also wouldn't be complete if I didn't point out that I had a pretty respectable night in those areas also! Right, Jeff?

As you can see... occasionally we like to play a few mind games during our game. In this case, I was pushing the intimidation button early. If you know the game of Cricket, you can tell I was trying to make my presence felt.

Those are my marks for bullseye. The result of the game is not very important, but you can probably draw your own conclusions based on the beginning!

Keep practicing Jeff. You'll need it.

Thanks for a good time brother.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Much Love To Mothers...

Happy Mother's Day!

The Z's truly wish all you mother's out there a very happy Mother's Day! You deserve it! You will never understand exactly all you have done for your children... and we are forever grateful, but yet still fail to remind you often enough. It's a good thing someone, somewhere, at sometime said, "Hey, dummies! We always realize that we don't appreciate enough... let's put it on a calendar!". The only thing they could have done a little better is get it on there more than once a year. So, enjoy it mommies and know today reflects our feelings all year round!

Of course I want to personally thank the mommies in our lives...

Grandma L ...
"Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them." - James Baldwin  
... thanks for raising such a wonderfully loving daughter, wife, and mother.
It is truly an imitation I am thankful she picked up! We love you.

Grandma Z...
"Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband
has walked across it in his barn boots." - Hoosier Farmer
... I am of course not your husband, but I certainly have "walked across the floor in my barn boots" all too many times in my life and sincerely appreciate you continuing to "sing". Your love is certainly boundless love and I know this.. because I think I tested each and every boundary. Thank you for being my Mom. We love you.

My favorite Mommy of all...
I know I shared this quote with you once before, but it still echoes in my head when I think of you.
"To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world." -Anonymous

You really are the world to us, Kathleen. You mean everything to a little girl that doesn't even understand what everything is! I can see it in her eyes each day that she looks at you... She loves you so much.

I think she sees it in me as well. At least it seems that she is trying to say so in this pic! She is of course right, you know. You me the world to me and I thank you for being such a wonderful mother. I love you. Avery loves you. We love you.

Happy Mother's Day Ladies...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Daddy Daughter Time Outside

Daddy got some Daughter time and spent some of it outside yesterday in the always fun garage! Am I right, folks!?! Whoo Hoo! It was more fun than you would imagine.

Ok. So as you can tell by Avery's face... it didn't start out all that exciting. However, Avery got an idea after a little bit. Lets start learning a sport! Let's do it!

Like most sports, we needed a boundary. This one will do!

Now, what game can we play in a garage!?!
Any ideas, Avery?

Getting closer...

Good idea! You got it! Auntie Sam would be proud.

Now for some action...

Avery wants (to thank) YOU!
(for reading this blog!)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I Struggle...

I struggle constantly with trying to post something other than Avery on this blog... It is of course a way to update on the life and happenings of all the Z's after all. Supposedly. At least that what the title banner says. I just can't help it! Here she is again in an adorable summer outfit from our friend Connie who has been giving us truckloads (I mean truckloads!) of little girl clothes that her little cutie outgrew and now our little cutie is all to happy to sport on her own! (Thanks Connie!)

The above picture is a little trick that Grandma Z and Uncle Nathan taught Avery a couple days ago. How many of you are familiar with "How big are you!?!" "So-o-o-o-o-o-o-oooo... Big!!!"

That's Avery giving it half the commitment that she normally does. Avery would also like to thank Uncle Nathan not only for teaching her something new...

but also for replying to Avery's picture messages with a picture message!

Thanks Uncle Nate... she loved it!