Day Out with Thomas


We surprised Max on Sunday with a trip to the Boone Railroad to see one of his favorite characters… Thomas! As we got close to the station, we began to hear a train whistle. Whenever Max hears a whistle, he always says it must be Thomas. We got out of the car and heard the whistle again, Max was still convinced it was his pal, Thomas. After rounding a corner, there he was in all his Thomas glory. Max could not believe it!! He was so excited and began jumping up and down immediately when he saw him! To Jason’s and my delight, Gwenyth started pointing and smiling too! Who knew she was such a big fan as well??


The day included not only a ride on Thomas, but fun activities like meeting Sir Thopham Hatt and getting a wheel with all the Thomas and Friends characters on it.


Max continues to talk about riding “Big Thomas.” He says he would like to do it again. Good thing both him and Gwenyth are now certified Jr. Conductors!


Daddy and Max with some of their friends!


Max and Daddy waiting to meet Thomas.


Gwenyth loved the train ride and even stuck her head out the window a couple of times…


Such a fun time! I love getting to do something fun with my whole family! What a treat it was!


Stories with Max

At a little over 2 1/2 years in age, Max is really coming into his imagination. He loves to be told stories. Books are great, but he really loves what he calls “talk-a-me” stories, or talk to me stories. These are stories that I tell him from memory, usually involving something from my childhood or when he was a baby.

The best thing is that Max has begun telling me stories! I was lucky enough to catch some good ones on video the other day! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!


Gwenyth’s 1st Birthday Party

Thank you so much to all who came to celebrate Gwenyth’s first year! What a special time it was for her and wonderful memories to look back on!

We went with a summery pink lemonade theme for the party, but G couldn’t have cared less about the theme. What she enjoyed most was the tissue paper, the cake, and all the attention she received!  What a very blessed little gal!

Gwenyth at 1 Year


We went to visit our awesome pediatrician, Dr. Secory, last week and got two thumbs up on our little Gwenyth!


Height 30 1/4 in 85%

Weight 21lbs 68%

Head 47 1/2cm 97%

She is now able to eat anything under the sun (and probably would!) and can drink cow’s milk too! She is drinking that out of a sippy cup as she never did quite take to the bottle very well. We are down to two nursing sessions a day and hope to be completely weaned in a week or so. Gwenyth is still just rocking four teeth with no new ones in site. Makes for a very cute smile!!

Two days ago, G took her first steps! She still prefers to crawl, but can take about three very wobbly steps in succession. She enjoys standing and will just pop right up in the middle of the floor.

Trouble is coming! 😉


Our Little Gal is ONE!

We just put down our baby girl to sleep for the last time as a baby! She will be one tomorrow! Am I the only one who feels like even though I spend all day with my baby, that in this whole year, I still feel like I am just now getting to know her?

She is so sweet and understands so much of what is going on around her. She loves her daddy and has learned many things from him such as clapping and blowing raspberries. She will often dance (bouncing on her bottom) when she sees Jason walk in the door after a long day at work. She has quite the admirer in her daddy and melts his heart on a daily basis.

She loves her big brother and her kitty. Toodles, if allowed, chooses to sleep with G. I have woken up to G’s giggles at 2am, knowing she discovered that her precious feline friend is in her crib. Gwenyth wants to do what ever it is that Max is doing. She loves his shoes, toys, blankets, cups, and even underwear… :/ Max does a great job of tolerating his little sister getting into everything, even when she sits on his train tracks.

Gwenyth is now standing up by herself, even in the middle of the floor with nothing to hold on to. She has been creeping around on couches for quite sometime and I feel like walking will come any day now! She has her two front teeth, two bottom, and more coming in. Her two front teeth are big for her mouth and make her toothy, drooly grin absolutely irresistible. Her hair is so blonde and well, lets just say that it hasn’t quite filled in yet. 😉

There are so many more things I could say about Gwenyth Nancy. She is a joy and delight to our family. She loves me and lets me know it. When she is happy she makes sure everyone knows by shrieking and giggling. When she is sad or offended, she also lets others know. Jason and I lovingly refer to her as our little piglet because of her heavy breathing, squealing, and her healthy eating habits.

It has been such a wonderful year being the mom of two wonderful kids. I am truly a blessed woman to have such an amazing family. Two sweet kids and an outstanding, hardworking, loving husband. Thank you, Lord!

I was going to select a few of my favorite photos, but I couldn’t choose!


30 Years! Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to my parents! Tomorrow marks thirty years of marital bliss! Thirty years ago, they tied the knot outside of Cleveland, Ohio and today they are living the married life in Adel, Iowa. It is so exciting to think about thirty years! In that time, they have had three kids, and now have four grandkids! They have lived in two different states and have had too many pets to count.


Mom and Dad on their wedding day, July 20, 1984

It is such a blessing to live close to my parents and to be able to see them often! It is wonderful for our kids as well! Max loves going out to the farm. The last time he was there, he got a tractor ride with Grandpa Bob, and the time before that, Grandma Karen let him ride several horses! What more could a kid ask for!


The “Fab Five” circa 1990

My dad works close to my house. About a month ago, the kids and I were able to go to lunch with him. Now every time we pass by grandpa’s office, Max asks if we are going to eat with him!

Often times, Max will want to call someone on my phone. Grandma Karen is always a good candidate and cheerfully answers! She has even facetimed with us on occasion!


Dad, Mom, Brody, and Hailee on Brody’s “birth day”

I am so thankful for my parents and the example they have set with their 30 year marriage! They have loved on us kids and now our kids and their love for each other has always been very evident. They are such a wonderful pair!


Mom and Dad with all of their grandchildren on Easter Sunday 2014 (Also Dad’s 50th birthday!)

Congratulations on 30 years! Excited to see what the next 30 brings!!

Independance Day

The Rude family had such a great 4th! It has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love the sense of family without the stresses that come along during the fall and winter holiday season.IMG_4475 IMG_4474 IMG_4472

This year we started out by going to Dunkin Donuts as a family of four (good idea, Jason!). I think this will be a new holiday tradition as it was a big hit with all of us! After donuts, we went to the Urbandale parade. It was great! Max was so happy to get candy and even left his post at the street’s edge to go sit on the blanket and enjoy some candy a couple of times.

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We finished our 4th by heading out the church camp, eating, listening to the band play some patriotic songs, lighting sparklers, and of course watching the fireworks! Grandma Kay, Grandma Karen, and Grandpa Bob were able to join us! With Jason’s parents there as well, my kids were able to celebrate with two grandpas and three grandmas! What lucky ducks!

Gwenyth really enjoyed the band and clapped and clapped for them! She even tried to contribute by singing! Fireworks were overshadowed for Max by the sound of a distant train whistle. He was certain that Thomas was out there puffing along the tracks! 😉




Meet the newest member of the Rude family, Toodles.


Toodles on her way home from the Adel Vet Clinic.

Toodles has been with us for almost two weeks now and she is making herself right at home! Both the kids enjoy her, probably a little too much. It will be a great opportunity to teach them how to be gentle. I also look forward to teaching Max how to feed, water, and clean out her litter box. It will be nice to teach him some responsibility (and also not have to do those chores… 😉


Max and his new pal.

She has been such a good kitty but my only complaint would be that she can be a little too friendly. When the kids go to bed, Toodles likes to snuggle up to me or Jason. She really has sought out Jason on many occasions and purrs while circling around his neck and licking his face. I guess she knows who she needs to impress. 😉

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She has been found more than once in G’s crib. Mixed reactions from G have led me to keep Toodles behind closed doors during nap and sleeping times.

It is nice to have another four legged friend around the house.

If you are wondering about the name, you have not seen Mickey Mouse Club House as much as Max and I have. “Oh Toodles” is very fun to say! 😉

G Full of Firsts!

Gwenyth has been so busy growing up! At 10 1/2 months, she has her two top and two bottom teeth. They decided to all come in at once, so it was rough for awhile, but she is good now!

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Gwenyth trying to pull herself up on the couch.

Also, Gwenyth learned how to crawl. It was last Tuesday and watching her now, you would think she has been doing this for years! She moves so well and so confidently. She is already starting to pull herself up on things as well, well at least trying to.

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G’s crawling in action.

Another first was for her to get her nails painted! We attended a friend’s wedding on Saturday and I thought this would be a perfect time to paint her chubby little toes. My friend Liz suggested to put her in an exersaucer so she would be contained. I thought this was a fabulous idea, but we only have a jumparoo. I thought this would work out the same but did not take into account that G loves to jump! She was happily jumping the whole time, so her toes are slightly less than perfect. 😉 There is always next time!

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Gwenyth’s precious piggys.