Tuesday, November 30, 2010


One of my girls had been asking me to read her story she wrote yesterday during writing.
She brought it to me today during indoor recess.
Guess how much this made me smile?

Mrs. Jones is my best techer efer.
I bet her kids are to.
I bet her hspind is osum.
she has very nis clos and shoos.

Just one of the many reasons I love first grade.
They love their teacher... and aren't afraid to tell you.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Who knew there were so many different types of kites?! 
Lawson brought me this drawing the other day and I had to guess all the different kites. 
I did pretty well.  (He gives good clues/beginning sounds)

My favorite part is that every kite has the kite string/reel attached to it. 
And that he calls it going "kiting." 

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Thankful for so many, many things this year.
Forever thankful for these... my favorite people...

Photo by Cory Keller

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


The weather was beautiful on Sunday. We spent so much time outside! Baths were a must that night... all 3 kids were filthy. The dog is in desperate need of a bath, too. Any volunteers?

Gotta love Kansas weather... last week it snowed... a few days later they are outside barefoot and in shorts and short sleeves. Crazy weather.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Look what I got to put in my freezer tonight... 

I'm so excited about this!!
A couple friends asked me to join their meal exchange group. There are normally 7 women that participate, but 2 couldn't make it work this weekend. (All but 1 are teachers) We each made 5 of one dish, then got together tonight and swapped! So I have 1 of my own and 4 yummy new dishes!

So thankful for my mom and Aunt Carol who came down Saturday to help me get ready. (Corey was gone and although I thought I could manage making 5 casseroles on my own with 3 kids, it could have gone either way.) My wonderful mom played with Sophie and Lawson, sweet baby Gretchen slept, and my sweet Aunt Carol helped me cook. We were a great team! We made 6 Almond Chicken Casseroles in less than an hour!

We're planning another swap in January.
Maybe I can get my aunt to drive up from Dallas...

chocolate puffs.

Just for you, Toni :O) because you always leave me the sweetest comments! If you love Nutella, you will love these!! Perfect for breakfast, dessert or a snack!  

Roll them up just like crescent rolls... sprinkle with sugar... bake a couple minutes less than what the package calls for. (I did these for 10 minutes)

Enjoy the chocolatey goodness!

I saw this idea on a blog somewhere... can't remember where. So... if it was yours, THANK YOU!! We love these! (I just made up the name chocolate puffs.)

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I'm bribing my children.
We have one more BIG sucker from Halloween. (A fun gift from Grandma Jones)
Since Gretchie doesn't really need hers, the kids have been trying to figure out which one of them should get it.
During a stress-filled moment at lunch today, I impulsively offered it up as a prize for the "nicest child" this weekend.
I told them that I will be keeping track and every time I hear them say something nice or do something kind... they get a point. Sunday night, whoever has the most points, gets the sucker. I gave them a few examples, changed the rules a couple times (kind of making this up as I go, you know) and have started keeping tally marks in a secret spot.

Is this a bit forced? Yes.
Would parenting "experts" agree? Probably not.
But is this momma a little desperate at this point? Absolutely.
When you are told that in order to get out of time out, you have to apologize to your little brother and tell him something that you like about him and the answer is, "I can't think of anything I like about him," then something needs to be done.

And right now both kids are sitting beside me on the couch, sharing a little piano book (you follow the colors in the book and can play a little song). They are working together, encouraging each other and BEING KIND!
Honestly, I'm pretty sure the only reason Sophie came and sat by Lawson and started "helping" was in order to get a point. But I'm pretty sure she's forgotten about it now and is enjoying herself.

So right now... at this moment... my plan is working.
Sunday night I may feel differently.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Thank you, Julie, for sharing this super cute idea! 
Lawson and I made these for kindergarten snacks last week. 
I was in charge of the Nutella and he was in charge of unwrapping the Hershey's Kisses and putting the vanilla wafers on top. 
He was pretty proud of himself, let me tell you! 

His teacher told me later that Lawson was sharing with all his friends the steps for making acorns. 
First, mommy puts Nutella on the Pershey Kiss (it's been a P since the kids were tiny. Probably one of those things I've never corrected because I think it's cute!) Then you put the vanilla wafer on top in the middle.... 

And oh, those crafty teachers... smart Mrs. Claassen turned it into a lesson on sequencing. (which they had been studying in math) She said the kids were asking Lawson questions and he was talking like he was hosting his own little cooking show.  

Love that kid. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

marley's kennel

My happy place is the loft. Marley's kennel has become Gretchie's happy place... 

If she's playing by herself, 9 times out of 10, she ends up in here.

Usually one of her dolls is in there with her...

This day she was peeking at us through the bars and growling...

Marley rarely ever goes in her kennel anymore, but we just can't put it away...

 It makes this little girl much too happy.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


This is the first year we've participated in Operation Christmas Child.
I've always thought it was a great idea. We've always talked about doing it. We've always wanted to do it. But we've never been organized enough to pull it together in time.
This year, I was determined to make it happen.
We all went shopping together tonight. The kids had so much fun picking out things to put in their shoeboxes. I had lots of ideas to suggest, but forgot to write them down, so I didn't remember several of them until after we got home.

We packed up all these goodies, plus some jars of play-do, some candy, and a couple stuffed animals...

I had the kids watch this video before we started packing... they were pretty mesmerized. It's the third time I've seen it this year and I still got teary. I want to do more things like this with the kids. I feel like I need to work on their hearts. Soften their hearts to the needs of others. Make their little lives be less about them and more about serving others. This is a good start...

my happy place.

I've been waiting for months to post pictures of the loft. I wanted it to be "done" before I did. But I've come to the conclusion that that's not going to happen for awhile. So... ignore the unfinished trim work... the unpainted trim... the mess... and focus on the happy. Because this really is my happy place... 

I love having a place to leave my scrapbook stuff out. It is so much easier to go work for an hour or two. Before, it wasn't even worth it to get things out if I only had an hour or two. (I'm trying hard to keep it relatively clean and organized. And not my "piles and stuff everywhere, but I still have a pretty good idea where everything is organized.") 

This little bucket probably isn't such a good idea, but it definitely makes me happy...

While I'm scrapbooking, the kids spend lots of time here...

Someday it will return to it's former life as a foosball table. For now, they use an art table more.

I need to spend more time here, on the elliptical, but it doesn't make me as happy...

So cozy...

One of my favorite things about the loft? So much creative play happens there. I'm not sure why, but there's lots of creativity floating around up there above the garage.

This had something to do with a boat and an octopus...

It's a fun place.
It's a creative place.
It's my favorite place right now.
My favorite, happy place.

Friday, November 12, 2010


There have been a few questions in the comments of my last two posts.
I just went back and answered them.
Thank you, indoor recess. :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I haven't scrapbooked or been crafty in a long time. 
Too long. I missed it. 
I love my blog and I love my blog books, but I love to scrapbook, too. 
I am years behind on my scrapbooking (and always will be, I'm guessing...) but I'm not ready to completely give it up. I enjoy it too much. 
At Gretchen's birthday party, we got out Sophie and Lawson's first year scrapbooks. They loved looking through them. (I did, too!) 
I got inspired. I wanted to create again. I wanted to be crafty. 
I had seen this project on another blog. It was a perfect combination of two of my favorite things: scrappy/craftiness and organization. 

So Friday night, I got together with one of my favorite "organizery" friends. (That's a word, isn't it, Danielle?) And together, we turned this...  

into these...

I made one for myself and one for another organizery friend (who loved it!). I didn't think to take a picture of Danielle's, but it was shades of pink and blue with glittery snowflakes. So cute! We both decided we didn't need an entire notebook for just one year, so instead of the different divider sections, we're just going to use a different section for each year. So these cute little books will last us 4 years! 

After Danielle left, I was motivated to keep working, so I pulled out this little scrapbook I started months ago. Spring Break, maybe?? I ended up working on it until after 2 am, and I got so much done! 

The kids and I spent hours up in the loft over the weekend. I was motivated and inspired and just wanted to keep working! Only 3 more pages to go and I will have this fun little book done!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

family pics.

I could put every single one of these in a frame. 
I love them all. 
Cory does an amazing job and I could not be happier!  

I've seen several people who don't blog their favorites. They save them for a surprise on their Christmas cards. Since I probably won't be thinking about our Christmas cards until mid-December (thank you 1-Hour Photo)... you're seeing all my favorites now. So if you get a Christmas card from us... just act surprised!

Grandma wasn't planning on being in any pictures, she was just there to help... but I thought it turned out cute! (Even though it was windy!)

Photos by Cory Keller

Love, love, love them.