Thursday, March 1, 2018

Happy {Half} Birthday

By now, you know we celebrate half birthdays. It really doesn't consist of much--just a little extra loving on the half birthday boy, half a birthday treat, the happy half birthday song & maybe something special for dinner but absolutely NO GIFTS.

On this particular half birthday, Kaden turned eight and a half. That was just as hard to write as it was to say. I'm not sure what it is but when I look at Kaden it doesn't seem like it is possible that he's been ours for almost 9 years--I mean technically longer since I carried him for 9 month before that too. He's almost as big as I am and sadly the day he beats me one on one in basketball is probably closer than I would like to admit. I don't feel old enough to have an almost 9 year old.

But I am.

Kaden is a pretty easy kid to please--most days. As long as there were candles and some kind of yummy dessert he was happy. This year not only did he get a half a yummy Nothing Bundt Cake but his daddy made him scallops for dinner too. Let's just say this kid was in heaven.

Not to be out done, his brother put on a puppet show for everyone too. The main characters were a monkey that likes to hang on things and an elephant who likes peanuts. It ended a little violently with the elephant destroying the monkey. Nonetheless, he used his imagination and got an A for effort and a reminder that kindness at all times is what matters.

Happy Half Birthday Monkey.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February Extras

The month of February brought a lot of random activities for us. 

We ventured out to Justin's old Eagle Scout's chili bingo night and went home big winners!

Kaden has his 2nd grade field trip to the Kansas City Performing Arts theater. They were all asked to dress nicely and he wanted his "tuxedo".

Gus destroyed toy after toy.

Logan continued to love on the puppies. 

And donated a large sampling of his stuffed animals to charity. 

These are a few that decided to keep.

The boys attended an ONNW basketball camp.

Kaden was really feeling this look.

We said our goodbyes to our turtle Leo, or Raph, or Mikey--depending on the day--and gave him to Ms. Brenda where we know he will get so much more LOVE than we were able to give him.

And to the snow-hopefully!

Saturday, February 10, 2018


 Well, I completed another year around the sun & 35 was actually pretty damn good. Not too much to complain about--healthy family, happy kiddos, wonderful friends. Memories were made--some of the best we've had yet too.

If thirty-six is half of what thirty-five was, it will be a good year.

Most years I celebrate birthMONTH. Friends and family get to hear all about it from February 1st through about the middle of the month. We already had plans for my actual birthday as the boys and Justin bought us all tickets to the MU game in Columbia against Mississippi State. So Saturday was planned but I wasn't sure what else I wanted to do to celebrate, I just knew I wanted to something for me. Something different and something fun. The tricky part--the boys were out of school, they are always out of school around my birthday for teacher conferences. This is seriously the third year in a row. So I did what any person would do, had my MIL watch the boys on Thursday and then my mom came to down and watched them on Friday while I worked and then took off to the spa to relax with my dear friend Jenn. It was long overdue. 

Jenn and I ate at Trezo Mare for lunch before heading next door to the Spa at Briar Cliff. We arrived, changed into our robes and gossiped a little in the lounge before we were both called back. When I got into the room she went over what I had scheduled -- Jenn had scheduled them for us -- she said I had a 90 minutes massage with hot stones. EEK. I've never had hot stones before but this was the day of YES so I went for it. And let me tell you, I LOVED it, won't be my last hot stones massage. 

After the massages we hung out & then we got ready for dinner. Since we were already downtown we just met the group at the restaurant. I chose The Westside Local since it was close to where we were looking to go afterwards and it was new to Justin and I. Plus I am on a cleanse and it had some clean options for Justin and I and a couple of our friends to choose from. Delicious. 

Dinner was over and the real fun was about to begin. Anyone that knows me, knows that I am not a huge dinner and hang around type of girl, I like to be doing something. I had seen something about axe throwing & thought, why not. Who doesn't LOVE throwing a sharp object at some board. Talk about therapeutic. 

So here we were at Blade & Timber down in the West Bottoms all in our flannel glory.

They have an instructor come and show you how to stand, how to throw and then once you throw the axe they will move you around so that when you throw it again, you hit the target. He showed us a few different ways to throw the axe and then we were off on our own. We played the first to 50 with Alyssa taking home the win and then a game of BLADE, think Horse.

It was easier than I thought and honestly, the gals did better than the guys because the guys were trying to be all macho and manly and throwing it rather hard were the girls weren't.

I love when friends you have had forever mesh well with the newer friends in your life.

And since we were on a cleanse, we weren't looking to go out afterwards so we were home by 10:15 and it felt so great. Especially since we had to get up and be out of the house by 8 the following morning. The Souths were headed east.

Our first stop was in Roche Port to see Justin's Aunt Barbara. The plan was to meet her for brunch but with the weather being a little yucky she chose to make us lunch -- it was divine. We visited for awhile and then we jumped back into the car and off to Mizzou Arena we went. We found relatively easy parking and had a fairly easy walk even though the wind was in our face.

Before finding our seats we made our way down to the court to grab a picture of the boys. This was not only the boys' first game and my birthday but it was also the Rally for Rhyan game which is a little girl who is fighting cancer and WINNING. This particular game not only raised awareness for pediatric cancer but also over $60,000 too. 

Eleven years on my birthday, while at dinner in Roche Port after attending a MU basketball game, Justin proposed. I remember driving back to KC that night and listening to him talk about this little boy sitting in front of us with his dad at the game. How he kept looking at them and thinking how great it will be to take our kids to a game at MIZZOU arena someday. Well, today was that day and it was better than anything we had pictured.

Cheers to 36!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Puzzles Galore.

We've found a new family pastime at home. Puzzles. 

I've always loved putting together a good puzzle but for the most part, it's been me putting them together. Until now. Kaden has taken to them too. I'm not sure if it has to do more with his age or more with the fact that he is more focused than he used to be since we've been working through his ADHD diagnoses but whatever it is, he is loving them & he's pretty darn good at them too. 

I found a fun puzzle series called Joe Journeyman and basically Joe tours around the US visiting each of NFL stadium & taking a snap shot of what he sees. They are full of crazy fans & funny landmarks but still give great insight into each city and what they are known for. 

We've done: The Kansas City Chiefs, The New England Patriots, The Seattle Seahawks, The Washington Redskins (which we ironically were working on when the news of trade of Alex Smith came in. He also wanted to send it to Alex Smith), and The New York Giants

Now, these puzzles can range in price and the only reason we have purchased the ones we have (outside of the Chiefs) is that they were on SALE and a massive sale at that. As we work our way through one puzzle I head out to Amazon and check to see which of the teams have dropped in price & if one has, I pick it up. Now, that doesn't mean once we are done with one of the puzzles we never put it back together again, in fact, the Chiefs puzzle has been put together 5+ times (missing a few pieces now thanks to Gus) and then both the Patriots and the Seahawks a couple times. Puzzles kind of go in the same bucket as books with me, I am more than happy to buy them as long as they are being read and used---helps that we moved a table out to the living room so it makes it more of a family activity. So if you need a good puzzle, we have a few! 

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Honest Abe - 2nd Grade Bottle Project

What's a bottle project you ask? You aren't alone. 

Kaden, and the rest of the 2nd graders at CCE, were assigned a history maker bottle project. Basically they would spend in classroom time researching and studying up on a famous person of history & then create a "doll" out of a 2 liter soda bottle which "resembles" that said famous person. 

I immediately thought to myself how this seemed to be more of a parent project than a student project because of everything that it would entail. I mean, we are talking about painting a head, giving this "person" a face and hair, creating clothes from lord knows what--I'm not sure my high school self could have done this on my own. In the end, I knew I would be playing a major roll in this creation. 

First, I had to find out who Kaden had. Abe Lincoln. 

Okay, we could work with this. Tall hat, black and white clothes and a tie. Simple enough. I picked up some supplies that I thought we would need over lunch one day and then one evening we sat down and started going to work. I was determined to have Kaden do as much of this project as he could on his own. I mixed the paint, he pained the head.

I drew a template for the Abe's beard, he traced it and then he used scissors to cut it out. I figured it would be easier to use sewing tape vs. hot glue and I actually already had some on hand so Kaden was able to cut them to size to help secure the doll hair to his beard.

I also found a hat while shopping for supplies. It was a derby hat and not really the right shape so Kaden add a little height to it by cutting a new topper out of some foam board. 

And then we rested. Honestly, we started early on this project because I knew it would take us a number of days since Kaden doesn't always have the attention span needed for longer projects. 

A couple days later Kaden added the rest of the hair to his head & created a white shirt and a black vest from felt & then a bow tie from a handkerchief. Using the templates that I drew and again used the sewing tape to secure it all together. Now all he needed was a jacket. & a face. 

I wasn't sure how we were going to create the jacket. I can't sew worth a lick & creating "arms" had me all flustered. Kaden kind of draped the other handkerchief around the bottle and you know what, it looked pretty damn good just like that so we went with it.

And had it been up to me, we would have left his face blank but Kaden wanted to add a face and he did. I suggested adding some black to the lips and then smearing it which he did but then he wasn't happy about it. Oh well, we win some, we lose some. All in all, I think Kaden enjoyed our little project together and he actually ended up being able to do more than what I had initially thought, then again, we weren't using the hot glue gun.

Fingers crossed good ole' Abe come home in mint condition and we can do a little recycling next year when it's Logan's turn! ;0)

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January Extras

 We kicked off the new year with getting back into the swing of things with church. Logan wanted to look his best this particular Sunday and threw on the ole bow tie.

Stoli missed Gus while he was away at training school just as much as we did. She quickly realized the number of treats she would get each day dropped when he wasn't around! 

He was having trouble sleeping one night and asked if he could borrow it...

Exceptional movie. So good.

In his blood.

Logan 0
Snowblower 1

After Gus returned from his 2 weeks at training school it was up to us to continue the training. Logan has loved every bit of it.


He dressed himself this day. Well, most days he does but this day he wanted to look extra nice--no particular reason--so back out the bow tie came. & he let me actually fix his hair.

Brodi loved looking out these windows and Stoli LOVES find the sun each morning. Gus loves both.