Monday, December 16, 2019


Saturday 50 and sunny, Sunday a 20 and a blizzard. 

The only ones that were slightly annoyed by it, me and Gus. The boys, Justin included, and Nellie were all about the snow. They couldn't get enough of it. And this snow, it was the good snow! So good they were able to get an extra day off from school & got to go back and play in it again. We should note, that there was a BIG Chiefs game happening on this particular Sunday so Fun in the Snow, only happened before, at halftime and after. 

Monday was a never ending day of in and out, in and out. Snow pants on. Snow pants off. No snow pants or boots, just use Mom's Uggs. UGH. 

We did make the best darn Snow Ice Cream that I have ever had though. It was tasty.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

A Sweet Gift

My sweet friend, Angela, had her mother paint these amazing pictures of Stoli and Brodi for me. She gave them to me and I was honestly just so blown away. It's only been a few short months since we had to say our goodbyes to Stoli and this painting is everything. It captures so much of her loving personality, you can just see her gentleness in her eyes. 

& then there is Brodi---it has been over two years since we've gotten to snuggle with him & that feeling just doesn't go away. His love doesn't go away. These two pups were the best darn dogs we could have ever asked for ad they loved us and the boys with all of their being. 

We will treasure these gorgeous paintings forever.

But our surprises didn't end there, the boys' new ornaments arrived that day too. They each have an ornament of them with Brodi after we said goodbye and now they have one of them with Stoli. Easily our two favorite ornaments on our Christmas tree. 

Monday, December 9, 2019

Happy Heavenly Birthday, Papa Dave

Happy Heavenly Birthday, Papa Dave.

These two may not have met you but they will know you and celebrate you, just as we do.

Friday, December 6, 2019

A Trip to the North Pole

It was that time of the year again and since we weren't able to make Ringing the Bell work out last year, we made sure to get on the calendar early this year and get our date set in stone. We also invited a couple families to join us, the Kufeldts and the Clelands. Rachel and Kevin had something already going on but they let us take their kiddos along with us anyways! 

We were ringing from 4-6 pm on a Friday night and while we were there ringing our plan was to go ahead and get our visit with Santa out of the way too which meant, the boys had to finalize theirs asks. & seeing how Nellie seems to get to go everywhere with us these days, why would this be any different---so she tagged along, to see Santa and all.

We got there a little bit before 4 so I went back and checked us in and within 6 minutes we were talking to the big guy himself. Now Nellie wasn't able to sit on Santa's lap due to children who would come after us and the possibility of them having an allergy to dogs but Kaden was cool with holding her for the picture. Crazy to think that she's been part of our little family for a few months now.  

This was the big moment, what would Logan ask for. He had been going back and forth between a new Mountain Bike, an orange and black one to be specific, or AirPods which I told him wasn't happening because he was just to little for that. He would lose them and then he would be sad, plus I don't even use mine really and he can have mine in a few years. 

Mountain Bike won out.

Kaden's was easy. He knew from the get go what he was going to ask for-- a Mountain Bike and in lime green. & thus Logan went with a mountain bike too so that he wouldn't feel left out and could ride up those big hills on the way to and from school. ;0)

It was getting pretty dark by the time we got back outside and the temperatures were dropping quickly. The kids were such awesome bell ringers though. While they were ringing the bell they were opening all the doors for guests arriving, sure they were electric doors BUT they still had to time them perfectly as to not slow anyone down. & when there wasn't anyone coming, they brought out their MIME moves. These two crack me up. & of course, Kaden didn't want to be left out of the fun.

We had about 45 minutes left and I suggested to Justin that he go and get Joe's KC for dinner and grab the kids some hot chocolate because they had earned it. It was FREEZING by the time we left but we all felt really proud of what we had just done because we were lucky enough to have the individual who runs the Salvation Army in our area come and pick up the kettle and give the kids a little information as to why ringing the bell is so important. Both boys were sadden by the fact that we have people in KC and even Olathe, that have to sleep outside because they don't have anywhere else to go. That even the littlest donation means the world to these individuals and it's our job to look our for the fatherless, to help those in need and I hope the boys will carry these experiences with them always. Because there isn't anything more important than having a loving, giving heart.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Kicking off the Christmas Season

Thanksgiving on Saturday and our first Christmas celebration on Sunday. We took a break from hosting our annual Halloween party and to be honest, I missed it so there was no taking a break from our annual holiday gathering with some of our friends. We've done cookies, gingerbread houses, made snow globes and painted plates over the past few years and although I still wanted to host, I didn't have a lot of time to bake cookies with the Thanksgiving holiday literally days before so we recycled an idea---Gingerbread Houses. 

But first, Nellie--she was sporting her festive look, of which lasted about a day before her and Gus were able to destroy it! She sure looked cute for those 36 hours though. 

The gang was all back together again. We've realized that as the kids have gotten older that not only do their schedules get busier BUT their circle of friends gets bigger and commitments are non-stop. We were so lucky to have found a Sunday where are sweet friends were available & could get together for a little cookie decorating for the kids and Chiefs game for the adults. Love these kiddos and their sweet parents too.

We decided to go with the pre-made kits that Target sells and on my way out I picked up some gingerbread cookie kits too. The boys and I pulled those together that morning only decorating a few and then leaving the others for the kiddos. I'm not going to lie, I kind of was digging the Mickey and Minnie kits---if only the cookies would have been baked already. Then again, they would not have been nearly as soft or as yummy.

I also found some super cute plates at Target for each of the kiddos to use and then take home to display their Gingerbread houses on. I tell you, Target has EVERYTHING and I WANT it all. Bring on the holiday season. 

Saturday, November 30, 2019

A Hartley Thanksgiving

Since we didn't have guests in from LA and we weren't in LA this year, we got to take a roadtrip south to Papa Tom's and Grandma Sara's for the Hartley Thanksgiving, which was bitter-sweet this year. This was the first holiday as a family that we would be celebrating without my Uncle Scott. It had only been about 5 months since he tragically passed & the pain was still so raw for all of us, especially my Aunt Kelly & my cousins, Kailey and Ryann. I beyond thankful that Kelly and Kailey were there with us and that we could all surround them with love. 

& I say bitter sweet because we finally got to meet the newest family member, my great nephew, Bennett Thomas Siebert. Little Bennett was just about three weeks old & let me tell you, he was the sweetest baby & he smelled like heaven. 

We were pretty protective about who would get to hold him because there were so many there at one point but as people started to leave, Ashlyn asked if Logan wanted to hold him and you know he was jumping at the chance. He flew to the kitchen to wash his hands and quickly climbed up into Papa Tom's chair. I look at this picture and just think about what an amazing big brother he would have been & it kind of makes me sad we didn't give him that chance. Then again, he wouldn't have been the baby of the family and he certainly loves that role. 

& this year since mom and dad had the shed & we were all back, they invited the Earl side of the family too. Kaden and Logan were so stoked that they would get to see their Cruisin' Cousins again---Drew, Dane, Luke and Lily. Logan might have took a nice shot to the stomach from the oldest in a game of baseball but that didn't stop the fun. 

We tried to stay as long as possible but it was a quick day trip for us as we had special plans the following day to kick of the Christmas holiday season---Thanksgiving was soooo late this year. One thing still remains true, we are beyond lucky to have my mom and dad, they do so much for each one of us kids and so much in ensuring our extended families are able to get together. I grew up down the road from my cousins and although Kaden and Logan have that relationship with Colton and Madison, Brett, Leah and Blake---I want them to know their extended family too. It's becoming more and more of priority as I get older, because I am that next generation now. 

November Extras

Basketball started for Logan and I am assisting this year.

Career Day at school. Kaden a football/baseball player & Logan a baseball player.

Date night at Rockhill Road

One final raking at Grammy's before she sells the house.

Mizzou basketball at the Sprint Center

Frozen 2 with our friends

Happy 2 Year Adoption, Gus

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving Twenty Nineteen

Thanksgiving is always one of my favorite holidays and in the past few years it's even become more special as we are almost always with our dear framily, the Garretts. Last year we visited them in LA but sadly, things just didn't work out for our families this year. So we did the next best and only thing to do---we celebrated with our families who we don't always get to celebrate with. 

The boys started the day out with a cookie decorating kit--one of our neighbors puts these amazing kits together and they were so easy and fun to do.  & then we made Grandma Dorothy's Chocolate Brownie dessert--it's the best! 

It was finally time for the rest of the family to arrive and honestly, we just kept it simple--just like we like it. But this time with a new furry family member.

 And then the boys took turns decorating the Thanksgiving Gingerbread Turkey that we have had for maybe three or four yeas. Oops. But hey, it still did the job! 

I found cute little thankful place mats at Target again this year and gobbled them up. I love that Kaden put going to school. School hasn't always been something he enjoys but he's really starting to find his groove. & the "bed stuff" well, I asked about that, he means his bed, covers and his house because not everyone is so fortunate. He's so right.

As for Logan, pets of course made the list. He's our animal lover but so did the boat. But not in a braggy way, he said he loves being at the lake and on the water with his family and before we got the boat we weren't able to do that as much. Right, he is.