Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ugly Holiday Sweaters.....

We had an ugly holiday sweater contest at work last Friday. This picture above is of me and my friend Ingrid sporting our beautiful sweaters! My sweater came from my Mom's closet. My mom does a pretty good job of keeping up with some trends in fashion, she really doesn't know when it's time to not wear a holiday sweater, yes that's right, she still wears this particular sweater. She told me it looked cute with jeans......really......I don't think so. As ugly as my sweater was I did not win the contest, as you see in this picture below the winner was Joe (on the right) in a beautiful sweater vest decorated with santas and garland. Also in the picture is Brian who was very creative with a can of spray paint, and Mandi whose shirt is actually a large felt gift bag. It was a lot of fun and there were lots of laughing at people for most of the day!



Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Family Pictures

Once a year, we go into Sears Portrait Studio and have new family pictures taken. I get a pretty big discount there, and they have been taking our pictures for the last 6 years or so. Last year, was my year for deciding on clothing so I made everyone dress up, meaning Dave had to wear a tie, and for those of you who know Dave, it was not a pleasant experience for him. Last year we also have the drama fest of a 3 year old trying to take a picture. We managed to get some good ones but not until she had cried, thrown a temper tantrum, and ran away from the camera room. We were kinda of dreading this year, and were anxious to see how Taryn would act.
Surprisingly, pictures went very well! Taryn and the boys were quite the hams in front of the camera and we managed to be in and out in just over an hour! That is quite a feat for a family of 6! Below are some of my favorites from the session, when the one of Taryn by herself was taken, I started to tear up, my last little baby is getting so big!








Friday, November 21, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

I know I haven't posted in a couple of weeks, so here is the lowdown:

Dave and I made it through finals! I ended up with a B in all 3 of my classes, so I was pretty excited. I ended writing an extended play review for my final in Theatre. It was a good excuse to bring out the old videos of the musicals from my high school days and take a little trip down memory lane as I reviewed them. (we did an exceptional job)

I am currently back working at Sears portrait Studio over the Christmas Holidays. This is my 3rd year back and I really enjoy it. It's nice to have a job where I basically have no responsibilites. Plus the extra Christmas cash and the picture discount (75% off) is nice too!

We are excited for this weekend, because on Saturday Dave is going to go pick up our new 50" TV (it was our Christmas gift for each other) and our friends Doug and Jen and their 4 kids are coming over to our house (Doug is helping Dave carry the big TV) .

Andrew is slowly getting better. He is working on finding his calm place (don't we all need a calm place?) and is doing better with following the rules at home. He had a big breakthrough last night when he told the truth the FIRST time he was asked about stealing some cookies out of the cupboard. Its the little things that add up with him. So our focus was on how proud we were of him for telling the truth, and not about the bad behavior.

Taryn apparently skipped the terrible twos, because we are having the toughest time with her. She screams, slams doors, throws things and it outright definant with us. Trying to stay calm with her has been a challenge. But lately we have discovered if we tell her that we are not talking to her until she can be nice, she stops. Hopefully this phase will pass by quickly.

Ethan and Alex are getting ready for their 3rd grade music concert, where they are doing some music from Africa and then performing songs from Suessical the Musical. It should be interesting to say the least. They will tell you that they have stage fright, which just kills me because they won't try out for any special parts or choirs and they both have such great singing voices (a trait they get from their dad). Regardless it is always fun to watch a bunch of 3rd graders try and sing and dance!

That's it for me! If I don't get a chance to post next week, which is entirely possible with 2 jobs and 4 kids, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know I have a lot to be thankful for this year!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

It's that Time Again...

Ok, here I am in the midst of final exams and final projects. The class that I thought would struggle with the most (Macroeconomic) has actually been a breeze for me. But, my other classes are killing me! I just finished my speakers notes, Power Point Presentation, and paper for my Info 1001 class! It took me forever! I am still dreading the Intro to Theatre final project of a 5-10 page play with a 3 page Character Analysis. I have so much time for this crap....Wish me Luck!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Trick-or-Treat!!!!

Well, another Halloween has come and gone, and we of course have 800 pieces of candy to show for it! We went out a little later this time (mostly due to the fact that Dave was still working and that left me do handle all the make-up, costumes, etc..) They had the best time! Taryn was done a little bit sooner than the boys(I think they could have gone another 5 or 6 blocks) But, once we told them they could go home and eat candy they were all about it! It's the one day of the year where we don't say anything about the amount of junk that they are eating, we just let eat candy for about 30 minutes and then we tell them they can pick 4 more pieces and we put the rest up. Here are some pictures to summarize our evening...
Ready to go out!


Our scary "twin" vampires!


Taryn riding a unicorn!


Trick or Treat!!!

Air Force Andrew (he is wearing my dad's actual air force uniform)

Princess Taryn

Our Candy Haul!


The aftermath....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Themed Halloween...

For Taryn's first 3 halloween's we had all the kids go together in costume as a theme. I found these pictures and they were so cute I just had to show them all to you!
Taryn's first Halloween: The Wizard of Oz, Taryn was Dorothy (of course), Andrew was the Tin Man, Ethan was the Lion and Alex the Scarecrow.
The 2nd Halloween: Superheros, Taryn was Wonder Woman, Alex was Batman, Ethan was Spiderman and Andrew was Superman.The 3rd Halloween: Captain Jack Sparrow (Andrew) and his band of pirates!Last year we let them pick all their own costumes and didn't make them fit a theme, but seeing these pictures I really need to find another foursome for them to go as! Any suggestions?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Like Mother, Like Son...

As I was sitting here in my office I get a phone call from my son Alex, who said "Mom, I have something to tell you and you are going to be so happy..." I of course wanted to know what this big news was. In September Alex filled out a job application at the school to be a member of his elementary school's new recycling program's team. A couple of weeks ago, he had an interview with the principal and the teacher that is heading up this program. He had a little mock interview with me, so he could practice. He has such great interviewing skills! A trait he no doubt gets from me! :) So he called me today to say that he had gotten the job! He is so excited, and we are so very proud of him! So he is the 3rd grade representative for the recycling program. The only one out of 3 classes! Good Job Alex!!!!!

This weekend...

On Saturday night my very best friend Laura came to visit us from Des Moines. Our friends John and Karly came out to the house and we all had some cocktails, played some Wii and had a really good time! On Sunday morning Laura and I got up and went over to my mom's house to pick up Taryn (Laura is her godmother). Taryn was SO excited to see her! It makes me feel good to know my kids love Laura as much as I do! The boys came home later in the afternoon (they had been at their grandparents house since last Thursday), once Ethan found out that Laura was there, I barely got a half-hug before he was hugging Laura. When she left, Ethan cried and he and I laid in my bed for the rest of the evening, watching TV and eating sunflower seeds. It's those special one on one times that I love with my kids. When it's just the two of us, watching Extreme Makeover-Home Edition, and Bettlejuice. Later of course we were watching Iron Chef. Ethan loves to cook, so the food network is one of his favorite channels. With everything that we are going through as a family with Andrew, Dave and I are trying to spend some quality alone time with all the kids. It's really tough to do with our schedules but we are making an effort. We of course are in the midst of Halloween preperations. We will have a princess, an Air Force Pilot, a vampire and one undecided at this point (I know, nothing like waiting until the last minute) I will post pictures of the kids in their costumes next week!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What's going on in my life....

I realized that I hadn't posted for awhile about some other things that have been going on in my life.

1. Dave has been working at H&H Chevrolet in the detail shop, he has had a really crappy schedule 1-9:30 Mon-Thurs and then 8-7 on Saturdays. Has not been fun. But...YIPPEE! Today he got the good news that he gets to switch to the day shift so we are putting Taryn in preschool and Dave will be home before the boys get out of school. It will be much better for us as a family.

2. Andrew (our oldest) was diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) it would take much too long for me to explain what this is, so if you want to know the hell we have been going through google it. He seems to be doing better and is in regular therapy, and getting ready to start EMDR (again, google it) therapy. It will be a slow road, but anything is better than what we have been dealing with. There is nothing worse than knowing your child is in emotional pain and you can't do anything to help them.

3. School........there is nothing to say here.......school is school...at least I'm not taking Math.

4. Bridal Shower coming up this weekend! My sister (Rachael) is getting married on New Year's Eve and we are hosting her bridal shower and bachelorette party in Grand Island this weekend. Should be a good time!

5. My BFF Laura is coming to visit in 2 weeks!!!! YIPPEE AGAIN!!!! We will be having a fun night of beer drinking and Wii playing with some friends.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I know I will!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's that time...

When I think back to the 5th grade I remember that was the year I started band. Well here in Elkhorn, they do not start band until the 6th grade and every 5th grader learns how to play the recorder. So on Monday I filled out a permission slip and sent $5.00 with Andrew so he could purchase his recorder and song book. I can't tell you how excited I am to have the sounds of the recorder filling my house at night. I'm sure we are in for a bumpy few months with this. It all culminates with an ALL recorder concert in February. Can't wait! ;)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Miss America....

I just wanted to share this picture of Taryn with you all! I love her eyes! If this isn't a future Miss America I don't know what is! :) Dave took this picture last night with his fancy new Nikon digital camera! It just was so pretty! (minus the food on her face and the big scratch on her chin)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Heading off to Pre-School..

It just seems like yesterday when this tiny bundle of joy was born...The first picture was taken the day before I went back to work, she was 6 weeks old. Her big brother Alex was holding her and they are still as close as ever. In just 1 week, Taryn will be off to pre-school! It's really hard to believe. I am (as is she) a little aprehensive about her going. She hasn't been to daycare since she was 6 months old, when Dave decided to stay at home with the kids. Now, that Dave is back to work, she is still in her own house with her brothers at home to entertain her! So we will be working with her about how "fun" school is! She is so smart, and talks so well I am anxious to see how well she does. We chose a pre-school that is pretty structured with a lot of variety during the day, which I think will work well for her since she gets bored easily with one activity! Apparently there is way too much going on for her to be expected to sit for more than 10 minutes at a time! :) I think she is ready, I just hope her Dad and I are too!!


Monday, September 22, 2008

A rare date night out..


On Saturday all the kids were gone. The boys had headed out to Gibbon, NE for the weekend and Taryn went over to spend the night at my mom's. Dave and I are trying to spend some "us time" together lately. With our conflicting work schedules, four kids, and schoolwork, it's tough even to have a conversation. We started our night off at dinner at one of our favorite restaurants "Firebirds". They have the best bread! We then went to meet some of our friends down at the bar. They weren't there yet when we got there so we decided to pass the time by playing a couple games of Keno. Dave won his very first game and ended up with $111.00! So he pretty much paid for our date night! We stayed there until about 10:30 and then went out to our friends Doug and Jen's, where we sat outside, drank some beer, and relaxed around their firepit. All of a sudden it was 1:30am! I couldn't tell you the last time I managed to stay up that late! We had such a good time and it is a constant reminder to all of our married friends. Your kids are important, but don't forget to take the time for yourselves! That is a lesson that Dave and I are always learning! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I know I did! :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Reminder...

Last night, as I was coming in from outside, I stood and watched as all four of my kids were clustered around the computer, playing a game and laughing with each other. It was just another reminder of even in the midst of all the fighting and yelling and "he touched my stuff" at some point they really do love each other. Just another reason why I feel so blessed.

On a side note: Ethan and Alex went to "High School Musical" Dance class this weekend. As most of you know, I love to dance and was thrilled when they said they wanted to take this class. I did feel a little bad for them, being the only two boys in all 3 sessions and then watching them having to do a dance to a song called "Fabulous" which is a female song in the show. But, more power to them, they had a great time, and I am thrilled to introduce them to dance.

Alex has also surprised me lately, he has a little toy keyboard that we got him for Christmas a couple of years ago and has really been after me to teach him some songs. So I taught him the song "Heart and Soul" (if you have ever played the piano you know this song) I taught him the bottom part and the melody. After practicing for a day or so, he now has mastered both, which just amazes me! He of course now wants me to teach him another song, and "Heart and Soul" is pretty much the end of my piano capablilites.

We are hoping that Dave will get this new position that he is applying for and we will be able to enroll him in piano lessons!
More later!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Home Improvements

I hate painting. My back hurts, my legs hurt, my shoulders hurt and I pulled a couple muscles. We spent the holiday weekend painting two rooms of our house and moving furniture around and trying to keep my patience with my children. We created a new room for our twins and another room for our oldest son. Once we finished Andrew's room last night at about 9 pm I looked around it thinking, Oh my, his room really looks like a pre-teen's room. He has his bed, and his computer desk and his bookshelf, and of course his pirate flag hanging across his wall. It amazes me on how fast he has grown up. It seems like just yesterday that we painted a room blue to match his Finding Nemo bedspread, and now we are painting so he can be in a "grown-up" room. I can't belive how time flies. According to him now all he needs is a TV (yea, right) and it would be perfect.



Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back to School.....

It's that time of year again...Back to School!!!!!
It is my favorite time of year since, my house tends to stay a little cleaner without the boys home all day to terrorize it. :) Andrew is off to 5th grade this year, which for us means Outdoor Education and what I'm sure will be a long couple of months while he learns to play the recorder. Ethan and Alex started 3rd grade and as always are my little social butterflies. I love taking the first day of school picture, it reminds me so much of my mom taking my picture every year when I was a kid. Of course, I do not cry every year. Talk to me next year when the first day of school picture will include all my kids! It's hard for me to imagine that Taryn will be in Kindergarten next fall. What will I do with all my free time?? Hopefully learn to relax a little! :)

Do you all remember school supply shopping? Picking out the cool folders and pencils and a new backpack for the year? Now I understand why my parents didn't want to take me. It is apparerntly a 5 hour process to pick out 8 things.

I hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back from Adventures....




We had the best weekend!!! We returned yesterday from spending the weekend at AdventureLand in Des Moines. The boys thought it was awesome and we couldn't have asked for better weather! We got to Laura and Adam's on Saturday and the boys played football with Adam, and we grilled out. On Sunday we were off to AdventureLand and had a great time! Alex did ride a roller coaster, which he thought was pretty cool.









































Taryn also had a good time in Edgar with Aunt Rachael and Abbi. They played and went to the Hasting Museum, where Taryn thought the Kool-Aid exhibit was the best! Hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, August 8, 2008

A weekend of Adventures...

This weekend everyone in our family is off on another weekend of traveling. Taryn left this morning to go spend the weekend with Aunt Rachael, (future) Uncle Mick, and Abbi in Edgar, NE. If you know where that is at you are a true Nebraskan...

Dave and I and the boys are off to AdventureLand in Des Moines. We are staying with my best friend Laura and her boyfriend Adam. I am so excited to see her! I'll post pictures when we come back!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

My many blessings...

I have spent a lot of time in the last few days, reflecting on my life and the legacy I want to leave behind. My Aunt Jan lost her battle with cancer on July 24th, but her legacy that all things are possible with God, really has hit home in last few days. I just wanted to take a moment to thank God for my many blessings.

1. My loving husband, and how everyday he makes me want to be the best person I can be, and how much he loves me.

2. My son Andrew, who is trying to overcome the grief in his life at such a young age, and the sweet way he smiles at you.

3. My son Ethan, who wants to protect everyone in his family, yet secretly wants to cuddle up on the couch with you.

4. My son Alex, who's loving disposition shows through to everyone, even when he's having a temper tantrum.

5. My beautiful daughter Taryn, who even though she got the drama queen gene from me, is still the most special girl in my life. I love they way she has such self confidence telling you "I KNOW' when you tell her she looks pretty today.

6. My fantastic family, even though we are pretty far from "normal" I wouldn't change a single moment with them.

7. Wonderful friends, the Fab Five, the people from H&H, Kearney, and Constellation, who have partied with me, cried with me and supported me in some way.

8. The fact that I know, that I am healthy and happy and enjoying life.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of the things that make me feel blessed everyday, but I just wanted to reflect and say Thank you to the special people in my life and how I feel blessed just having them around.

"If you Love Life, Life will Love you Back"

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My Aunt Jan...

I just wanted to write a quick note and post this site about my Aunt Jan.

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/janallen

It is a great site for a loved one you have that is ill. She is a very special lady and if you get a second, read her story and the comments people have left for her and you will see what I mean. Please keep her and my whole family in your prayers.

On a brighter note, my sister celebrated her 10 year cancer-free day yesterday! I remember that time in my life like it was yesterday. I am blessed to have her in my life!

A lot of love out to my friends and family, it is days like today that you realize how important the people around you are!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Class of 1998....

This weekend was my 10 Year High School Reunion. It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years since high school!!! We started our weekend with drinks out at Bandit's in GI. We definitley packed them in there! I couldn't turn around in Bandit's without running into someone else that






graduated with. So I spent most of that night running around and socializing, leaving my husband to fend for himself!







On Saturday afternoon we had a tour of the old high school, that crowd was a little more mellow, probably because we drank so much the night before, everyone was hung over. When the tour was over, Dave and I decided to go and grab something to eat at Amigos (another hangout from the high school days) and apparently that was something that everyone else thought of too, because when we were done eating about 10 more people that were at the tour walked into Amigos! We went back to my Dad's to get ready for the dinner. We had a nice turn out for the dinner and I won an award for the graduate with the most kids! Big shock there! :)




The best part was just getting to hang out with some old friends like my good friend Michelle and Roth who was my date for my Senior Prom! We all decided to take a cruise for our 20 year! I expect to have just as much fun!


















I also got to spend some time with 3 of the girls that make up the Fab Five, and it was great to see them as well! We ended Saturday night with a 1:00 am visit to Perkins, which is something I haven't done in a very long time! It was a great weekend, but I am so tired!!!!



Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My sons, baseball stars....

Ethan and Alex had their last baseball game last night. I was so proud of them and the season they had. It really was amazing to see them grow as baseball players. I have sat through 3 seasons of baseball with them, starting with T-ball and watching every member of the team run after the ball to this season where I watch them keep their heads in the game, cheer on other teamates for a job well done and be overall really excited about baseball.

Alex got to be the pitcher last night and he was so excited. He threw some good pitches and even managed a couple of strike outs!
















Here they are "baseball ready" as there coaches called it. It's wonderful to see them so excited about something that could take them very far in life. (Ethan is at shortstop, Alex is farther back at Center field).

I am so proud of them!

Have a super weekend!







P.S. On a side note, Dave got a letter in the mail today saying he had made the Dean's List! Yippee!!!!!!

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