Happy New Year!

Some thoughts from the kids as we close the door on 2014…

What was your favorite thing from this past winter:

  • Joey: My birthday!
  • Grace: Building snow forts
  • Thomas: Playing in the snow.

What was your favorite thing from this past spring?

  • Joey: Running in the grass again.
  • Grace: My birthday party with Ciara
  • Thomas: New leaves

What was your favorite thing from this past summer?

  • Joey: Swimming
  • Grace: Swimming
  • Thomas: More leaves

What was your favorite thing from this past fall?

  • Joey: Going to the ND football game.
  • Grace: Playing in the leaves.
  • Thomas: Changing colors.

What was the hardest thing that happened this past year?

  • Joey: Giving up being the turtle vet.
  • Grace: Moving upstairs at school.

What were the best books you read this year?

  • Joey: Captain Underpants
  • Grace: Amelia Bedelia
  • Thomas: Scrambled Eggs (Green Eggs and Ham)

Who were the important people in your life this year?

  • Joey: Family, Vincent, Mr. S (LE teacher)
  • Grace: Mommy, Mrs. S (EC teacher) and Mrs. S (LE teacher)
  • Thomas: Just Mommy.

What was your favorite thing you learned this year?

  • Joey: Being the turtle vet.
  • Grace: Swim lessons
  • Thomas: All the things.

How do you hope this next year will be like this past year?

  • Joey: Fun
  • Grace: I hope we swim at Grandpa’s house.

How do you hope this next year will be different for you?

  • Joey: I want to see a squid.
  • Grace: I’m good.

Questions from The Art of Simple


December 2012

Right after Thanksgiving we went to our favorite tree lot to pick up a tree.  Our tree was so beautiful I picked it out before we had pulled into the lot!  The tree was huge, full, dark green and smelled heavenly.  It ate up the living room, but we were okay with that.  🙂



Then it started to do this:


This was the daily clean-up.  By mid-December you could snap the branches right off.  Obviously not safe.  Thankfully, the staff at Shelton’s offered to replace the tree at no cost if we simply brought the old tree back.  Our new tree was a little more Charlie Brown-like, but it was also perfect.  (And, being totally honest it fit much better in our living room than the first one did.)


We went to the DTSB tree lighting in early December…


And visited DTSB Santa later in the month.


We decorated a gingerbread house.


We made salt-dough ornaments.

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We played in the snow… however little there may have been! The kids made their first snowman of the season.


We made music…


And cookies.  Lots of cookies.  (Thomas woke up and went to sleep asking for cookies.)

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After reading a book about Hanukkah we ate jelly doughnuts.  (Neither Joey nor Grace had ever tried one…. ?!?)


Had a fantastic time celebrating “Spirit Week” at school.


We really took the time this year to talk about Jesus.  The kids have always known that Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birth, but we really emphasized it this year and I think they got it.  They thoroughly enjoyed lighting our Advent wreath, singing songs, attending Advent Camp at church and completing their “gifts for the King.”  Seeing their intentional kindness towards others was certainly the highlight of my Advent/Christmas season.

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We traveled to celebrate with Jon’s side of the family.  As with Thanksgiving, it was a busy house, but Joey, Grace, and Thomas really enjoyed spending time with their cousins.


We celebrated Christmas Eve with my side of the family.  I will always miss my mom when we get together.  I see so much of what I loved in her in my sisters that, even thought she’s not here, I feel her love.  We decided to do an adult Secret Santa this year and it was so much fun!  I am already looking forward to next year.  (The masks were borrowed from my nephews.  I love how our dad is just hanging out in the background.)


Santa came!


We always leave a cookie or two for Santa as well as some fudge for him to take home to Mrs. Claus.  One of my favorite memories as a child is my mom reading the note that Santa left for us.  Santa has left the kids a note each year since 2008… it’s become a new favorite of mine to write the note.


We added the final ornament to our Christmas Countdown.


We spent Christmas Day in PJs playing with our new things.  The whole kitchen was covered in creatures!  They really enjoyed everything this year and I loved watching them play with their own things, but also share in playing with each others gifts as well.

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We spent NYE with our friends next door.  The food was awesome, we had a lot of laughs and ended the night decorating Chinese paper lanterns.  (We tried to launch them, but the wind was too strong… another night!)

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The kids were nothing short of incredible and made it until 10:30 before heading to bed.  (I think Joey would have made it if we let him.)  Jon and I finished out 2012 watching Casablanca and the ball drop.  We drank our pink champagne (love you, mom!) while we talked about 2012 and our hopes for 2013.  It’s without a doubt one of my favorite date nights of the year.  I’ve spent nearly as many years celebrating the new year with him as without and that just makes my heart happy.


2012 has been both challenging and awesome but at the end of each day, there is no question that we’re blessed.  Happy New Year!


We had a really wonderful Thanksgiving this year.  Last weekend, we spent the day with Jon’s family.  There were 7 kids under 10 running around so I didn’t get any pictures (imagine that!) but I’m pretty sure they had a great time with their cousins and making clove-studded orange Christmas ornaments.  (Unfortunately they were a little too clove happy and the oranges seeped everywhere. We’ll try again soon!)

We spent yesterday with my side of the family and had a lovely day.  Lots of good food and good conversation.  My sister Erin is a great photographer and her easy way of getting pictures always reminds me to slow down and catch a few moments with my own camera. In preparation for the dinner we made our first homemade pumpkin pie which turned out well! Once we were there the older cousins tried to make homemade butter but ended up spilling cream all over the deck (and each other!) before it turned to whipped cream.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Look what was hiding on the memory card!

It’s been a busy few months!  While things here have been quiet, we have certainly not slowed down.  Here are the highlights from Fall 2011:

Joey started kindergarten this year.  He has done quite well and LOVES his school.

We took advantage of the prairie maze at Potato Creek State Park.

We tore down some walls in our back hall to make a new closet (known as the mudroom).

We went apple picking with our friends and neighbors.

Took the obligatory “not-really-mad face” photo during a trip to the FW Zoo with Jon’s family.  (80* in October!)

We picked pumpkins.

We went to Zoo Boo.  (Jon is Clark Kent.  It was an awesome costume.)

Carved pumpkins and went trick-or-treating with our neighborhood friends.

Played.  A lot.  (I think they look a little Bonnie and Clyde here.)

We happily welcomed Izaak into the family!

We had fun preparing for Christmas!

Menu Plan Monday

Adjusting to work.  I have tons of pictures waiting to be loaded, but that might not happen until this weekend.

Quick thank you to all of you who offered advice on the sushi.  We went to SoHo and ordered a few different rolls + soup and salad.  It was a great anniversary dinner.

Monday:  Egg Mess

Tuesday: Chicken Salad sandwiches

Wednesday: Pumpkin pasta

Thursday: Salmon and spinach salads

Friday: Burgers

Saturday: Dinner with a family from our new church.

Sunday: Not sure yet!  🙂

April 10, 2010

Last Sunday we celebrated Easter with my family and will do the same with Jon’s family later this afternoon.  Nice bookends to a busy week!

Joey is going through some amazing imaginative play times right now.  I love seeing (and hearing) what he comes up with.  He’s loving and wants lots of hugs and kisses (I’m soaking them up as I imagine theses days are limited).

Grace is talking like crazy, jumping at every opportunity, and generally being cute.  She is starting to develop more of Joey’s facial expressions which is absolutely adorable.  🙂