Wednesday, June 3, 2015


I kissed Luke the other day and he said, "Your lips taste like Sangria"...funny boy.  I think we like Blake Shelton a little too much around here - he sings a song called "Sangria".  

Monday, June 1, 2015

Last Day of School 2015

Another year is in the books!  Fortunately, once again the kiddos had great teachers!  Gabriel's teacher was the same as Cael's in kindergarten and she got a kick out of the differences in the two boys.  Cael was a very serious student, Gabe's primary mission in life is to get a rise of people.  Cael had a hard time adjusting to school, Gabe absolutely did not!  Cael only got 1 reminder his entire kindergarten year, we were pleased when Gabe finally went a whole day without any reminders towards the end of the year.   Gabe loved school and made lots of new friends.  He got a speaking part in the school music concert and received awards at two different assemblies for being an exemplary student!  

Avery LOVED her 2nd grade teacher.  Her name was Miss Ryan.  She had been a dancer at ISU, is super young and sweet, and has really long hair - that is all you need to impress Avery!  This year was a year of growth for Avery.  She made lots of friends, became a fantastic reader, developed better handwriting than me, and likes math.  I call that a success!  

Cael really enjoyed 4th grade.  His personality is coming out more and more at school.  Remember the kid that never got reminders in kindergarten?  Well, this year he had to work on not talking to his friends!  He is a superb student and completed a whole project including a powerpoint presentation, props, and costume on George Washington Carver without any help from me or Corbin!  We couldn't be prouder of him! 

Luke had a fun year hanging out with mommy!  He is no longer a baby and has a very funny personality.   I am going to miss him to pieces next year when he goes to preschool.  

1st Day of School 2014 

Last day of School 2015

Friday, June 6, 2014

Last Day of School 2014

First Day of School 2013

Last Day of School 2014 

One more school year DONE, and what a great year it was!

Avery made great strides this year in terms of her confidence and is no longer afraid of riding the school bus.  She also grew in leaps and bounds with her reading and math skills.  She is one of those kids who loves doing homework and is super responsible.  We sure do love our little lady.

Cael was asked to be tested for the Extended Learning Program (ELP) which is a program for academically talented and gifted kids.  They test the top 4% of kids in the district based on test scores.  Considering there are roughly 700 kids in the 3rd grade in our district we felt this was a huge honor and achievement!  Unfortunately, he just missed the cut off and did not qualify for the program - only the top 2% of those tested quality.  He also found his "funny" side this year and was a bit of a class clown - not entirely surprising.

We were grateful that the kids had awesome teachers, and made good friends.  I say this every year - but it is so crazy to me to think that I will have a 4th grader, 2nd grader, and kindergartner next year!  I thought I would always miss the "baby stage", but I am really loving this stage of life.  My kids are turning into such fantastic, interesting, and funny people!  We are blessed...

 We have a tradition that on the last day of the school we get ice cream at the local ice cream shoppe.  However, the place is always packed to the brim, so this year we went to Panerea for bagels instead.  After enjoying yummy bagels we got a dose of "suburban nature" and took a walk around the lake at the mall.  The kids had a great time feeding the ducks and fish and looking for frogs.  We saw some super cute baby geese being protected by a hissing, aggressive mamma which the kiddos thought was hilarious!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My SportCourt Brings All the Boys to the Yard...

The original owners of our house were also the owners the SportCourt of Iowa company and installed a fantastic half court in our yard.  It is great...most of the time.  It does mean, however, that on most days I have an extra 5 to 15 kids from the neighborhood in my yard.  I am not exaggerating - I have actually counted 15 extra kids that were not mine and were not really invited.  They just show up.  The first day of summer there were 4 extra kids at my house by 10:30 a.m.   

On one hand it is great, my kids have a plethora of playmates.  On the other hand I am the neighborhood mommy cop while the other parents are enjoying peace and quiet in their kid free homes.  I am constantly yelling or as I like to put it "instructing"  other people's children (and my own) not to use bad words, be respectful, pull up their pants (seriously, I don't care how old you are...I don't want to see your undies and I don't want my daughter to see your undies..."In case no one has told you, you look like a fool when your pants hang down so low and if you want to play here you have to pull them up" - the exact words I used), take their trash and coats and backbacks and scooters and iPhones and iPods home when they leave (I have read some very interesting texts on these iPhone and iPods and it scares me to death for Cael to get even one year older and we are the recipient of the lovely pink scooter that no one has claimed - there are perks, I guess), and to remember that it is MY yard NOT a PARK.  This is MY house NOT the SNACK SHACK.   I have had to break up fights and ban kids from coming back.  What can I say...this mommy cop thing can be hard work. 

 Despite my firm motherly "instruction" these kids return, everyday, all the time.  They play, they laugh, they are safe, and eat all my popsicles and throw the wrappers in my grass.  Their constant presence make my kids believe that we live in the greatest house on the planet and they never want to move.  I am sure one day I will miss all this commotion and chaos.  I am thankful that I know where my kids are and I have seen some priceless moments that I would have missed if they were somewhere else. 

This summer I am providing daycare for 4 kids on Mondays and Thursdays, and 2 kids the rest of the days - on purpose.  Lord, help me...


Monday, June 2, 2014

Gabriel is officially a Kindergartner!

So my sweet baby Gabey is so no longer a baby.  He went to preschool 4 days week for 3 hours per day this past school year and absolutely LOVED it!  He attended Olivet Christian Preschool and had the sweetest, most amazing teachers.  They loved Gabe and poured out grace all over me ( I tend to never be there on time or pick up my child quite on time ).  Gabe's lead teacher, Mrs. Keller, who was also his Awanas teacher on Wednesdays night graciously let me drop the boys off early with her and she watched them until Awanas started so I could leave early and get Avery to gymnastics.  As a fellow mother of four kids she was quick to laugh with me about my many parental failures and always provided encouragement.

Apparently Gabe was quite the ladies man and was the reluctant recipient of two little girls affections.  Quite often his teachers had to rescue him from the girls' desire to hold his hand,  hug him, and sit by him.  He didn't seem to mind too much, though!

This year he learned his letters and numbers, made lots of friends, tried new food, rode a school bus, attended a field trip at Living History Farms, and gained some confidence and readiness for kindergarten.  I love my little man.  I sure am gonna miss him next year!

Gabriel 1st day of Preschool 2013 

Gabriel lat day of Preschool 2014 with Mrs. Keller 

 Preschool graduation

 Lilianna, Gabe's admirer,  she wanted to "introduce" him to her
Dad the night of preschool graduation :)

On the swings with his best friend, Brody

Summer Blogging...

It has been way too long, with too many excuses as to why I have not maintained the blog.  Since it has been so long I don't know where to start.  For the longest time I was thinking that I need to go back and update chronologically.  Well, that idea just seems overwhelming so I am just gonna start posting!  Here was go!!!! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


This past fall my mom and I took a "girls plus Gabe" trip to Galena.  We had an awesome time shopping, swimming with the kids at the hotel pool, riding on a trolley around town, soaking up beautiful fall weather, and eating good food!  My mom and I took many of these trips together while we were planning my wedding in Galena so it brought back lots of fun memories.  We even stayed in the same hotel that held my wedding reception!  It was nice to spend some quality time with just Avery and Gabe, and they were super troopers during our shopping excursions.

I think this may need to be an annual trip...