April 30, 2008

Whatchu talkin 'bout Willis Wednesday

It's kinda been a little slow around the Willis household the last couple weeks. You probably knew this already though if you frequent our blog.... Links to other sites, videos we didn't make, and articles we didn't write.

So this week is something a little different. Instead of one topic, here are some recent activities and a few miscellaneous updates.

1. We actually spent last weekend in Ames.
2. Allison's recent doctor's appointment went well.
3. LBJ is the size of a softball.
4. We are pretty much out of milk.
5. The bathroom scale we received at our wedding is now in our bathroom.
6. We both stubbed our toes on it the first night.
7. We got to see our friends Tim and Sara from Chicago last weekend.
8. Four days and counting without rain.
9. ISU won it's spring football game.
10. "Little Women" helps Jared fall asleep.

April 29, 2008

Crazy Asians

Our friend Todd came across this hilarious video. Click here to see it. You won't be disappointed.

Black and Gus??

Allison's mom forwarded this video to us. Those silly city people.....

April 25, 2008


I decided I was getting tired of the red and yellow (notice I didn't say cardinal and gold cuz if I did I probably would be sleeping on the couch tonight). so I changed the appearance of our blog. Isn't it pretty?!?! I think so!!! I did mess stuff up a bit and as you can tell all of the links to our friend's blogs are missing. OOOPS! Hopefully Jared can figure out how to fix my mistake. Oh, and I hope my wonderful husband can part with the ISU theme.

April 24, 2008

World Malaria Day

The signs of spring are everywhere.....green grass, thunderstorms, and the trees beginning to bud. Spring also brings one thing that annoys me a great deal. MOSQUITOS! Does anyone hate mosquito bites as much as I do? Well, think how much worse you would hate being bit if every time you saw a mosquito you saw a threat of a deadly disease.

I found out today that tomorrow April 25th is World Malaria Day.

Did you know that Malaria is considered an epidemic? I didn't and I also didn't realized the extent to which this disease effects so many people. Here is a startling statistic I found in an article on the National Geographic website titled "Bedlam in Blood, Malaria" :
  • "This year malaria will strike up to a half billion people. At least a million will die, most of them under age five, the vast majority living in Africa. "
Also, did you know that all it takes to help prevent this problem is as simple as a mosquito net? Yes, really a little netting helps that much. And it gets even better....you can donate a one time gift of $10 to BITE BACK, a project lead by Compassion International.

Click here to read how $10 can save a child's life!!! Please just check it out. It is totally worth the time even if you just increase your knowledge about Malaria.

It also helped me put my personal feelings about mosquitos into perspective! Hopefully the next time I get bit by a mosquito I think twice before complaining about the temporary discomfort of the ichiness.

April 20, 2008

Kelly's Wedding

I had the opportunity over the weekend to sing at a friend's wedding. Kelly and Adam kicked off the "summer" wedding season of our friends with a big bang. It was a fantastic wedding and a just a fun day overall. Here are a few pictures and a (long) video of one of the 3 songs Sarah and I sang.

Rebuttal to "operation humble Willis"

My friend Todd Schulz is in dire need of some nice weather. He has been cooped up inside way too long and has completely run out of things to do.

To see what I am talking about, you must click here and scroll down. The picture I put up to garnish a quick chuckle or two is coming back to haunt me. Todd has a goal of a "Jared Willis Photo" google search reaching number one. With that picture. Nice.

In my feeble attempt at retaliation, here is an awesome picture of Todd.

April 16, 2008

Trips to the farm

A few weeks ago, my dad's shoulder started hurting for no apparent reason. Before long, he had lost almost all movement in his left arm. While this is obviously not good for anyone, it is really bad for someone who needs both arms to do his job. (its kinda impossible to put on a milker with only one arm)

Mom began to help with the milking before she went to school, then after school again for the evening milking. I spent 4 days there one week to help out.

They started making trips to different doctors to figure what was wrong. No one knew. Different X-rays were taken and an inconclusive MRI as well. The doctor at McFarland in Ames finally recommended surgery, even though he didn't know what would find.

Throughout this time, mom and dad started trying to find people to help with the milking. Allison and I went home on the weekends to help out, but they needed someone everyday to help while dad recovered from surgery.

Tuesday, April 15 was the day chosen for surgery. Best case scenario: only the removal of some bone spurs that may or may not actually be part of the problem. Worst case: Muscle tears in his shoulder resulting in being laid up for months not being able to move his arm.

Mom, an elder from their church back home, and I sat in the waiting room at Mary Greeley Hospital while dad was in surgery. After a couple hours, the doctor showed up and his first words were, "Well your prayers have been answered." He seemed somewhat surprised at the results and could still not really understand what actually had been happening to dad.

The doctor had removed the bone spurs but didn't find any rotator cuff problems or muscle tears. The removal of the spurs and the physical therapy should allow dad to recover the use of his arm.

Obviously we were very, very happy with the news. Dad was too. Cause now he can someday soon get back to milking them cows.

On another note, the trips back to the farm brought back old memories for me and some new experiences for Allison. She got to attend a farm auction, watch the manure spreader do its job (see the poopy fly - her words), watch as I unloaded a wagon load of corn into an auger and fill a bin, see our dog catch a rat by our silos, and move round bales. She also came to the conclusion that a tractor goes backwards as much as it goes forward.

We still can't get her to stick her finger in a milker though.

Whatchu Talkin 'Bout Willis Wednesday

We've gotten some interesting guesses about last week's Tri-Bond post. Some were close. Some were funny.

Maybe one of these pictures gives a better clue??

Yes. We are pregnant!!! Week 13 to be exact. We found out in the early part of February that our little family was growing by 50 percent and our lives will be forever even more exciting.

Now the explanation. About a month ago, Allison's stomach started "rolling" over her pants a little. We began calling it her swiss cake roll........because it sounded so much nicer.

After we found out we were pregnant, we went through a lot of nicknames for him/her. We settled on LBJ (Little Baby Jared)

The last picture is just a bewildered Jared wondering how his life is going to change.

So anyway, we are due in the middle of October. We aren't planning on finding out if we are having a boy or girl yet, just excited for the surprise.

If you have any baby name suggestions, feel free to pass them along!

But I'm not even 30!

I went to get my hair cut this afternoon. Usually it is somewhat of an interesting experience as the barber is somewhat of a crazy man. I've gotten my hair cut off and on there since '97 so he has a good idea what I want done.

Today started the same...chit chat about the weather, followed by me being asked how many people in the Bill Gaither band I could name.

Then I noticed something. He had combed my hair forwards and it looked like I could see some skin showing on the top of my head. After looking at it for several minutes, I finally ventured a question. "Is my hair thinning on top?" He replied it was pretty much the same. I pressed further, "But is it thinner on top than the sides?"

Without hesitation, he exclaimed, "Oh yeah!"

I don't remember much of what happened during the rest of my haircut.

April 11, 2008

Car Repairs

Allison's car had a headlight burn out a long time ago. I've been meaning to get it fixed for awhile now and finally decided last night was the night.

I've changed plenty of headlights before in my vehicles and friends' so I told Allison it only takes a few seconds to actually change. Little did I know what I was in for. I think the people who actually assemble these engines must have the hand size of a 9 year old. Unbelievable.

There was about a 2 inch wide gap to get my hand down where it needed to be, then I had to unscrew this 3 inch wide cap. Following that, there was a electrical connection to take off, followed finally unhooking this paper clip looking thing on a spring that actually held the light in.

It didn't take incredibly long to get out, but getting the new one in was a challenge. To hook the paper clip thing, you had to almost see what you were doing. But I had a choice, you can either see what you are doing, or have your hand down in there, not both.

In the end, I managed to get it put back together after a 20-30 minute frustrating battle. Here is a pic of how much room there was. The bulb sits back inside there even farther.

April 9, 2008

WTBW? Wednesday -Tribond

What do the following items have in common?


(answer next week)

April 8, 2008

National Championship

Most of you know by now Kansas won the men's national championship game last night. I think it is noteworthy to show how our Cyclones stacked up against them this year. In Ames, the mighty 'Clones only lost by 11. When we played in Lawrence, we took them down to the wire, only losing by a mere 24 points. Compare that to the 39 points Drake beat us by. Ouch.

Next year is our year.

April 2, 2008

It's not what you may think 2

A couple weeks ago, I wrote this post about how someone had typed in "wife craziness" and found our blog. After researching it myself, I was amazed to find it #4 on google. A week later, Allison's mom informed us it was up to #2. I checked it tonight and was surprised to find we had reached the top. Yes, we are #1 in something now. How incredibly exciting. Or something. This might not make the Christmas letter, but as far as half hearted blogging attempts go, I think we are doing alright.

WTBW? Wednesday

There are very few shows that I really enjoy watching every week. One of those shows is the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" on ABC on Sunday night. It is one show that actually brings out the best in people. People line up by the hundreds to help build a house for someone they may barely even know because, I believe, deep down somewhere in almost everybody, there is a selflessness about them which brings great joy knowing they made a difference in a fellow man's life.

While I was watching that show a couple weeks back, I became intrigued by commercials for the show to follow Extreme Makeover. It was called "Oprah's Big Give." Thankfully, it's not really about Oprah at all or it would have been turned off quite quickly. The premise of the show is contestants have to be creative in finding ways to help others. That particular episode, contestants were each given 100,000 dollars cash to give away in 8 hours. The catches were 1. No more than 5oo per person. 2. No more than 10,000 could be bought at one store. 3. No cash could be given directly to anyone (you had to buy things for people, etc)

It sounds easy, but people had a rough time. Lots of groceries got paid for. Lots of people got free appliances, gift cards, etc. The loser of that episode managed to only give away about 12,000.

It made me think what I would do if given that opportunity. I definitely hoped I wouldn't be the contestant who took all day to seek out the perfect animal shelter and buy ridiculous things for a bunch of cats. I would want to be the one who was able to help as many people as possible.

After the show was over, I was still thinking about the practical application. I doubt anyone reading this blog has 100,000 dollars to give away. But we all have ways we could bless others. How many of us have a friend who could maybe use a phone call and just intend to listen? Does anyone have a smile and a word of encouragement for the person behind you in the checkout lane? Ever assist anyone stranded along the road?

It's easy to turn our eyes and pretend we didn't see someone in need. I was humbled...... By Oprah.

April 1, 2008

Good-bye March

I generally try not to complain about the weather. It is what it is. Right? It is tough sometimes though as week after week of bad weather tends to wear on a person. Like this last month. If I were to give March a one finger salute, it wouldn’t be a thumb’s up. Come on, are you spring or are you winter? Below average temps all month, rain, snow, sleet, fog, little sun and one last snow flurry to end the month.

Good-bye March. I am so happy to flip the calendar. Bring on April. Sunshine, grilling, flowers, fieldwork, and the real springtime.