Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes

The scene: Kids building Legos. Brennan working on an semi-truck and Charlotte asking him a million questions.

Brennan: "Mom, isn't that right? You don't have to hold the steering wheel when you're driving at night and you need a nap or something?"

Me: "No way, you always have to hold the steering wheel. You don't ever sleep while driving."

Brennan: "Well why do semi-trucks have beds in the cab?"

Glad we got that one straightened out!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Just Because

What do you do when you've inadvertently taken a 6 week blogging break and you're not sure how to come back?

You post of a picture of your 19 (!) month old eating an apple. Margo's favorite food right now is an apple. She insists on eating it whole, skin and all. She takes it over to the fireplace hearth, climbs up, sits and proceeds to eat the entire thing. Literally. The other day I caught her too late and she had already consumed most of the seeds.

Friday, September 2, 2011

1st Day of School, Take 2

I'm not done with the back to school posts yet! Not to be outdone by her big brothers, Charlotte had her 1st day of preschool yesterday. She's going to The Giving Tree 3 afternoons a week. It's the same preschool Calvin went to so she's very familiar. She always went with us to drop off and pick up Calvin so the teachers already know her. She was so excited about having Ms. Kathy and Ms. Donna.

In an exuberant act of 4 year old independence she did NOT want to have her picture taken. This sweet girl can sure stand her ground!

Margo didn't mind having her picture taken!

I stole a shot at a stoplight on the way to school.

I also stole one during "circle time". Despite the very serious look on her face she was very excited for school. This may be her reaction to Ms. Kathy's "singing" :)

Charlotte seems so much older than the boys did when they started preschool. The differences in boys and girls astound me. When the boys went to preschool my highest hopes were that they would learn to sit in a circle and listen. But with Charlotte I think she might even learn letters and numbers! She will love the learning, the creating and the time with friends. As a third child, I'm really excited for her to experience her "own" thing.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

1st Day of School

I know you'd think after a 2 month blog hiatus that I'd come back with some sort of wrap up of the summer. But nope, I'm jumping right to the first day of school. I'll do some summer catch up eventually, but today I'm feeling awfully proud of my boys on their first day of school.

Aren't they handsome?

We changed schools this year. It was a big decision. As in BIG decision. Maybe the hardest we've had to make so far in this parenting journey. I think it took us the better part of 6 months to come to this decision. But we're very happy, and the boys are too.

They did so great this morning! They were both a little nervous, but neither cried (I'll revisit this topic of crying in a moment). They were both just very quiet. Even though they are the "new kids" in school, they both know several kids in their class so that helps a ton. Oh and when there are only 8 or 11 other kids in your class it's definitely easier to get to know people! This won't be the first time you hear me singing the praises of small class sizes.

This is Calvin's first year of all day school (1st grade). Here he is getting fist bumps from daddy.

So yeah, the crying. I did a lot of it once I left the parking lot. Man I love those boys. I take on every feeling they could possibly be experiencing and probably a few they're not. It's so hard to put them into the hands of someone else for 7 hours a day. A great friend came over to stay with our sleeping girls so that Tyler and I could take the boys to school without looking like a circus. Afterwards we went to Munchers because, well, there's not much a chocolate croissant can't fix.

Do you see that group of people in the background of the picture above? There were about 15 of them and not one looked to be under 75 years old. I'm sure they were looking at us wondering what we were doing and why I was crying. But I looked at them and thought, in no time at all I'll be there. Sitting with my friends drinking coffee, children grown. Part of that seems like a myth, sometimes I don't believe my children will ever leave the house. I'm looking forward to those years but wanting to milk the years I'm in for all they're worth.

I'm incredibly grateful today. Grateful that God has paved a way for us to change schools and grateful that He, ultimately, holds my children in His hands. Grateful for healthy, growing kids who bring me to the cross daily. And grateful for a wonderful husband to walk this road with.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day... my daddy. I have so much in my life to be thankful for. You're definitely at the top of that list. I'm beyond blessed to have you as my daddy.
Unfortunately it seems we don't have very many recent pictures together (we'll fix this next week). But I found several of you and your grandkids. Which is fitting because you're also an amazing PaPa.
Thanks, Daddy, for everything and once again I'm sorry for all the eye rolling.

(Papa Jim and Margo)

(Papa with grandkids)
(reading to Brennan)

(With me and a little Calvin)

(with Grandma and Margo)
I love you daddy!

An Ode to My Children's Daddy

It stinks that you have to be gone on Father's Day! But we're celebrating you today and we'll celebrate more when you get home. Our kids have no idea how blessed they are to have you, but I do. You are an amazing father. I'd be completely sunk without you in this parenting gig.
You make "runny" eggs for breakfast, you mow the lawn with "helpers" even though it takes twice as long, you pick the boys up from school, you know their schedules (almost) as well as I do, you read books in funny voices but best of all you point them to Christ. Again and again and again. For that I am so very thankful.

I asked all the kiddos some questions about daddy today. Here are their answers, unedited.

What is your favorite thing about your dad?
Brennan: his hair
Calvin: he's funny
Charlotte: I like his shirt
margo: dadadada

What is your favorite thing to do with your dad?
Brennan: go to the driving range
Calvin: go to the driging range
Charlotte: play games
Margo: babababa

How old is your dad?
Brennan: 34
Calvin: 24
Charlotte: 8 25 30
Margo: mamamamama

What is your favorite thing that your dad does for you?
Brennan: takes us to the gas station for special drinks
Calvin: he says 'yes' when I want to play games
Charlotte: makes cookies and plays house
margo: dadadada

What is your dads favorite food?
Brennan: fish
Calvin: pasta
Charlotte: lasagna
Margo: babababa

What does your dad like to do when he's by himself?
Brennan: read a book
Calvin: work on the computer
Charlotte: play games by himself
Margo: mamamamama

If you could say anything to dad right now, what would you say?
Brennan: hi dad
Calvin: how was your trip?
Charlotte: hi
Margo: dadadadada

If daddy was here for Father's Day what would you do for him?
Brennan: make him a card, wish him happy father's day and make him lunch
Calvin: give him 1 coin, $2, 1 nickel, 5 cents
Charlotte: make him a craft
Margo: babababab

What does your dad do for you that is special to you?
Brennan: he takes me to the church with him
Calvin: reads the bible to me
Charlotte: he makes me breakfast
Margo: mamamamama

Below is a picture of you with each of our children. They may seem random, but they're not. They are all moments that tell what a great dad you are. You'll remember the settings, I'll stop shy of telling the world about the moments.

(Daddy and Brennan)

(daddy with Calvin)

(daddy with Charlotte)

(daddy with Margo, her expression here is by no means a reflection of you)
Happy Father's Day to the best of the best!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Weekend

I keep putting off writing about my weekend at the Pioneer Woman's Lodge because I'm having a hard time putting it into words (sign #1 that I'm not a very good blogger). Not because it was extravagant or mind blowing, but because it was so relaxing and homey.

The lodge is gorgeous. Ree's pictures on her blog are way better than mine! It's spacious, simple, rustic and very welcoming. The best part is the view. I know I'm a Kansas girl at heart when I see a view like this and find it more beautiful than mountains or oceans.

Ree made us dinner on Friday night. She and Marlboro Man (Ladd) and their kids brought the food up to the lodge and ate with us. We had beef tenderloin, garlic mashed potatoes, burgundy mushrooms (recipe in her cookbook), caesar salad, bread and for dessert Knock You Naked Brownies.

(Ree and her daughters in the kitchen)
(Ladd slicing the tenderloin)
(The cute couple)
(The mushrooms were AMAZING. But to show you how much butter is in them, here's what they looked like several hours later once they had come to room temperature!)

On Saturday we were spoiled rotten with massages, manicures and pedicures. We didn't even have to go anywhere, two women came out to the lodge and set up shop. We literally lounged around all day taking turns doing these things. Between treatments we would just sit and talk.

We were with such a fun group of people! I talked so much and laughed so hard my cheeks were aching on Sunday evening.
(Me and my sister Kellie)
(Clay and April - they took care of us all weekend)
(Ann and Heide)

(open your eyes, April!)

I've been asked many times this week "so what's she like?". Well, here's the deal. She's completely normal. No diva attitude, no scene stealing personality, and no third eye. She's just like she seems on her blog. She's kind and funny, very easy to talk to, laid back and incredibly generous. You get the feeling that she really is just a wife and a mom who does this whole blog/book thing on the side. Honestly it feels funny to write about her here, but I know you're going to ask {grin}.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sneak Peak

It was a wonderful weekend! But you're going to have to wait on stories and pictures until I have safely re-entered life around here. Check out Ree's blog today for pictures of the skeet shooting we did. Yup, I shot guns with Ree.

(Ellen, Lou, Heidi, Ree, April, Me, Kellie, Ann)

Monday, May 9, 2011

So here's the BIG news....

So, you know the woman that wrote this cookbook (that I use over and over again)...

The one who makes amazing recipes like this one (and has taught me so much about cooking)...

apple dumplings pic Pictures, Images and Photos

The one who lives on a cattle ranch and takes amazing pictures like this one?

Well, I'm going to go hang out with her this weekend. That's right, 3 days at The Pioneer Woman's lodge. Can you believe it? I know, either can I. It feels a bit like a dream. I'm going with 7 other really neat people. Honestly as excited as I am about meeting her and seeing for my very own eyes all the things I've read about for years now, I'm also just as excited about a relaxing weekend in a beautiful place with fun people. Oh and really good food!

Yup, this is the kitchen I'll be hanging out in. I think I'll ask Ree if she wouldn't mind if I just took that sink home with me. She seems like such a nice person. I'm sure she'll say yes. And see that little bit of orange in the bottom corner there? I'm sure when she sees what a fun person I am she'll want to throw that little le creuset piece in with the sink.

pioneer woman Pictures, Images and Photos

I'll come back with lots of pictures and stories! Of course they'll be lame pictures compared to hers and boring stories compared to hers {grin}.

Friday, May 6, 2011


We had a wonderful Easter celebration. A celebration of our resurrected Christ. He is risen. He is risen indeed!
After worship in our church we went out to Grandma Janet and Papa Skips house.

One of the most exciting things we got to do (besides celebrate a risen Savior, of course :)) was meet our newest niece/cousin Piper! Tyler's "little" sister Marie and her husband Brian had their first baby just 2 days before Christmas. Brian is in the Navy and they are stationed in Kingsville, Tx. Because it's so stinkin' far away we hadn't been able to meet Piper yet. But we loved on her plenty over Easter weekend.

Margo loves to hang out at the sliding glass doors and watch the big kids outside. It's cute and makes for funny pictures.

Hope you had a wonderful Easter!

May Birthdays

Brennan and Charlotte were born exactly 4 years and 1 day apart. And that one extra day almost didn't happen. But thankfully my doctor agreed it was okay for me to be pregnant a few more hours. So the first weekend in May is always a crazy one around here. We make a big deal out of our kids on their birthdays but we don't make a big deal out of the parties. Does that make sense? It's just how we do things. I'm thankful that both Brennan and Charlotte are still okay doing a joint birthday party. We try to make their actual day special for each of them. But as long as I can get a way with a joint party, I will!

So we went to the park and invited our family and friends from our small group at church. These are the people we share life with, so whether of not they have kids the same ages as our kids, it just seems right to share our joys with them. These are the people who we want to be the most influential in our kids lives!

Enjoy the pictures:

(all the kids)
(Brennan 8 years old)
(Charlotte 4 years old)
(totally into the whole "make a funny face" picture thing)
(Aunt Lisa seems to be holding court here. I wonder what story she was telling?)

(Margo enjoying cake)
(Char on her actual day)
(The gift Brennan wanted the most? Shoes.)
(When you think food coloring is from the devil {grin} you have to get creative with cake decorating)