Tuesday, December 27, 2011


One of my favorite traditions that Mark and I have done in some shape or form since we were dating is decorate our Christmas tree (the first year he got to help decorate my tree!) Now, we get to do it with our kids too. I love the moments of putting ornaments on the tree (every year it is fun to go through them- I have ones from being a kid and now we have homemade ones from our kids too). Our tree gets prettier year by year! Addelyn was much more into helping this year which made it more fun. Of course, Jace watched intently. Next year will be a whole different story!

There isn't a year that hasn't included listening to Amy Grant Christmas music. Seriously, that is a major part of the tradition! Alli Rogers - Silent Stars has also made the playlist now too!

A glass of wine

Dad doing the hard work, of course. I take the pictures and drink the glass of wine and keep things in order! (Just kidding, kind of.) Ahh I love the tradition of decorating the tree. Now if only I didn't have to do the part that includes taking it down, grrr!

just hanging with tinkerbell

*I'm catching up on my blogging tonight, can you tell?! I just love to watch my kids together. Addelyn BEGS to feed Jace a bottle. One day I finally just pumped one so she could! She was overjoyed! And then, see them hanging together on the blanket. Jace watching her draw. Addelyn wearing her "tink" outfit, as always. Love it.

just so tired....

EVERYONE is tired these days around our house, even Mary and Joseph. Don't worry, the shepherd watched his flock by night (see the far left, one guy was left standing!)

dads and daughters


I LOVE this. Such a cool post.

animal lovers

Jace loves Ma (my mom's cat)

Abbie, one of my kids' favorite dogs (Mark's parent's neighbor's dog)

Our friends just got dog #2. I will admit, this dog is stinking cute. But he is still a dog and I really will not be swayed. I like animals- somewhat- when they are outside on the farm. I grew up with big ole dogs, rottweilers and a mastiff- but they were outside and I could run around and play with them and then go inside. Does that sound heartless? Probably.

So for some reason, I have two kids who love animals. Addelyn has loved animals since day one and come to find out, Jace does too. My mom has a cat and Jace gets so excited to have the cat near him. He met Abbie in the pictures above (Mark's parent's neighbors' dog- Addelyn has loved Abbie forever) and Jace also loves her. And then there is Kacey and now Percy, our friend's dogs. He loves them too, along with his sister. He will grab at them and smile and laugh.

Tonight's bedtime conversation goes a bit like this....
(remember, this girl is also trying to stall going to sleep.)

"Daddy, I need to tell ya something.
I have been wanting to tell you.
Really really wanting to tell you.
I really, really, really love.....
Can we get a dog like Dave and Jess?

carrots anybody?

This big boy has been trying all sorts of new foods in the last two months or so. Carrots, squash, green beans, peas, mangos, apples, pears, peaches, bananas, prunes (yeah those were for necessary reasons), and sweet potatoes. YUM! So far, he likes it all. Although we had some gagging over the peas and green beans. Mark, veggie lover himself, claims it is because they are nasty veggies but I am pretty sure it was the textures. I'm pretty pumped, I got a big food processor for Christmas so now I can make bigger batches of baby food at once.


Tonight Addelyn and I were reading from her new Jesus Storybook Bible, which is awesome by the way. Such a cool way to read the Bible story to kids.
We were reading about how God first made Adam and Eve. Addelyn interrupted me and said, "No, Mom, I think you mean Alvin and Eve."

Yes, we just saw the Chipmunks movie yesterday! Guess she has Alvin and the Chipmunks on the brain.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

disney on ice

If you ever consider taking your kids to a "show"- Disney on Ice is great! Thanks to Nonnie Kathy for taking us (Matt, Trae, Addelyn, and I). We loved it, especially Addelyn! Above is Rapunzel- who came out at the end. Addelyn waited the entire show to see her.

Thanks to Nonnie for also buying the blue Tinkerbell snow cones! These caused blue teeth, blue tongues, and blue poop! Gotta love it!

Tinkerbell was her other favorite!

She got up and moved and danced - was intently watching the whole show!

My sweet girl that dislikes pictures!!!
What a fun night!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

full house

Hahahaha I keep laughing as I think of this moment.

We have been watching some reruns of my old favorite, Full House, lately. Addelyn LOVES this show. I like it much better than the Disney "people" shows and she is really wanting to watch "people shows" these days. We watch the ones where the kids are younger- before D.J. starts dating!

The other night we were playing a game on the living room floor and Mark got home and walked in the room. She looked up at him and said, "Hey, Danny Tanner!"

I died laughing, not kidding you.

the latest

I need to write things down immediately when Addelyn says them or I find myself later, racking my brain to remember!

Driving the other night, a house had two lighted up deer outside. "Oh look, Rudolph and his girlfriend..." in the most matter of fact voice.

Mark was giving Jace a bath and Addelyn walked in to see him. "Jacers, why are you wearing your balls like that?"

More to come when I REMEMBER, dang!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011


This little girl LOVES to be in the kitchen with me, helping. She does a great job. The main issue we are working on is NOT sticking our fingers in the batter and licking and then going back for more! Ahhh the germaphobe in me tries so hard not to freak out. So with promises of a lick at the end- I usually can keep her fingers out of the goods *unless I turn my back too long!
Hopefully this week we can bake some yummy Christmas goodies. Addelyn asked last night when we were going to bake cookies for our neighbors. Fun times, enjoy your Christmas week!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

why i do this

Reminder, why do I blog? So I have a scrapbook for my kids and our family to later look back on and enjoy!
So, for the post that no one cares about, my kid's stats these days. They had well-visit checkups this past week- 6 months and 4 years.

Jacers at 6 months:
Weight- 18 lbs, 9 oz
Height- 25 1/2 inches
Head- 17 1/2 inches
He is in the 10th percentile for height and 79th for weight. Short and chubby still!

Addelyn at 4 years:
Height- 3 feet, 3 inches
Weight- 32 lbs
She is in the 25th percentile for weight and the 40th for height.

I know percentiles really don't "matter" but I think it is kinda fun to find them out.
Pics of A's birthday, J's six month shots, and more to come!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

face to face

At our church, I was involved in starting a ministry this past year called Face to Face. The mission of the ministry is to have a team of people available for those people who are interested in having conversations about getting connected, taking steps in their faith, and more. Addelyn has heard me talking about this a lot in the past months.
The other day on the way home from church, she was talking about her imaginary husband, her imaginary family (the four kids), her friends, and more. She said, "Oh Mom, did you hear? I am doing Back to Back this Sunday!"
I laughed a little and said, "Oh do you mean Face to Face?"
She laughed back too and said, (without missing a beat) "Mom, we actually started a new one, we call it Side to Side!"

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

turkey bowl

This year was Mark's third year (not in a row) of playing in the annual Turkey Bowl, which is a football game organized by a group of guys in Cedar Falls. I have actually never gone to watch but this year, despite the cold, I bundled the kiddos up and we headed out to cheer on their daddy. It was a fun time- lots of great people that we love to be around- both players and fans! I told Mark, the only problem is...every year, younger guys join the team but he keeps getting older! He still kept up this year though. Maybe thirties is your prime for the Turkey Bowl, right?!

Monday, December 12, 2011

sweet girls

Aren't these two girls just the sweetest little friends? Addelyn loves to play with Avery. During this play time together, they danced, laughed, and got married. They were so funny to watch and listen to. Many of our friends have boys in Addelyn's age range, so it is fun for these two girls to get together. Gotta love our girls.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happy birthday Addelyn!

Happy Birthday to my sweetest girl, Addelyn Nicole!
At age four:
She is funny, strong willed, kind (most days), loves to draw, dress up, dance, play with friends, loves babies, loves her brother and "helps" with him, makes us laugh daily, is creative, pushes the limits, is intense and knows what she wants/doesn't want, loves Dora/Rapunzel/Tinkerbell, is quick witted, and loving!
We never knew how much we'd love this sweet little girl. Four years ago, back when the winter storm hit and we were in the hospital and I pushed that baby girl for hours.... we had no idea what we were in for! And somehow the love grows every day!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

a trick?

I'd like to think my daughter is just the sweetest little almost four year old I know.
"Mom, I'd like to brush your hair today before my quiet time."
So after books, when I usually go out to leave her to her quiet time (or possibly nap, which pretty much never happens anymore) instead I laid on her bed and let her brush my hair.
Ahhhh, I love it. Getting my hair brushed is on my "top-ten-things-I-love-that-no-one-ever-does-for-me-and-it-would-be-weird-to-ask-list."
I passed out. She had the run of the house because she knew exactly what I was doing. Sleeping. On her bed. During her quiet time.
This little girl knows me pretty well and what makes this sleep-deprived mom fall asleep. Do you think it was a trick? Or just a sweet little girl, innocently brushing her mom's hair? Today, this momma just doesn't care. I got my hair brushed and a fifteen minute power nap. Thanks, Addelyn!

Monday, December 5, 2011

baby food time

Yep, making a mess in the kitchen. Gotta make a mess to make baby food- at least I do. I used to have such a hard time with messing up my kitchen. Sounds weird I know. Ahh how I have changed. I still like a clean kitchen, not going to lie. But I have realized that to have some good food on the table and the reality of kids- my kitchen is not going to ever stay clean for long. Especially my floors. So I'm over it. (I still go to bed with my dishes done most days, that is just one thing I hate waking up to- dirty, crusty dishes!) But for those of you who know my "analness" is that a word?- you would have to smile if you saw my kitchen floor right now. The food on the floor could probably make a small meal. I'll clean that another day. Some days, just for that reason- I'd take a dog.

Notice my small food processor. Black Fridays deals plus some old gift cards I've had in my wallet allowed me to buy a larger one (orginally $235 and I spent $30- yes I am proud of this deal), which is under the tree from Addelyn, Mark, and Jace. Mark showed Addelyn and told her to keep it a secret because it was my Christmas present. She ran and told me right away, "Mom, we got you a blender for Christmas!" This will be great, it will make the baby food making so much quicker!

When I had Addelyn, it was my friend Jess that convinced me how easy and great it is to make your own baby food. Steam foods, puree, ice cube trays, and freeze. Do a lot at once and you are set for months. It is very easy! Some nights I just do whatever veggie I make for our family and make extra for him to eat and some to freeze. Jacers has just gotten started on his foods this past month. He has tried apples, bananas, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, and green beans. So far, he has liked it all! Tonight he was constipated though, poor baby so I need to make some higher fiber foods- peaches, pears, plums, etc! Next on the list.....

Sunday, December 4, 2011

marshmellow trick

Addelyn and her Dad are really working on her skills. Impressive huh???

Saturday, December 3, 2011

a baby SISTER?!?!

Okay, I am not going to lie. I had fun thinking about some of you who would freak out when you read that title. There isn't a baby sister on the way, sorry to mislead anyone!

Yesterday I think I may have seen the first sign of sibling rivalry, at least the first sign that Addelyn was able to vocalize. Ever since Jace has been born, she has loved, loved, LOVED him. She has given him lots of attention and hasn't seemed too jealous of him. She has her moments of behaviors that I would attribute to having a sibling who is receiving the attention she is used to having but really there hasn't been any issues.

When my friend Katie called yesterday, I answered the phone and at the exact same time, saw Addelyn smack Jace on the head. I responded in a loud voice and she immediately broke into tears. Yes, my friend got to hear me in my finest moment. I'd like to assume she didn't think I ever raised my voice so I really surprised her but probably not. ha

I then sat down with Addelyn (and her tears) and talked to her about why she hit her brother.
"I just wish he didn't have to come!"
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"I wish he would have never been born! I wanted a baby sister, can we get a sister instead?"

This one blew me away. Not necessarily her thoughts which I believe are normal for a child her age but to hear her actually verbalize. I told her we'd have to wait and see on that sister but that she should just appreciate what a sweet little brother she has. And what a great big sister she is!

Monday, November 28, 2011

from the mouth of Addelyn

Quotes of the weekend:

After climbing into bed with us the other morning..."Dad, your breath smells like salad and poop."

When I laid in bed with Addelyn the other night before she fell asleep. She put her stuffed dog, Lucy, next to her. She told me, "I'm going to re-tect her and she is going to re-tect me tonight."

I love it. She makes me smile.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Addelyn loves our neighbor boy, "A." He loves to come over and play at our house. In fact, one afternoon he knocked on our door five times while Addelyn was napping! He has different interests than Addelyn so it has been fun to see what they end up doing together when they play. After one time of "being the baby" at our house, "A" has convinced Addelyn he doesn't want to do that ever again! He brought over his pheasant feathers the other day and they did a project together- cutting the feathers. I sat and listened to their conversations and just had to smile. Last weekend, he had her running around our house- "hunting" rabbits with his little nerf gun. Ahhh the fun of having neighbor kids!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

5 months

*Note- this was the lazy parent's month when it came to putting a white onesie under the sticker to take a picture. Before bath we threw the stickers on for some quick pics. Now we know- those stickers really take to the skin well!!!

Jace - at 5 months: (we are getting closer to 6 months already, just a little behind on this post!)
*Has 2 teeth
*Started eating some food- cereal, applesauce, carrots and sweet potatoes so far. Wasn't too interested at first and now he gets EXCITED about getting that food into his mouth!
*Smiles, smiles, smiles! love it!
*Is "loved on" by his big sis- daily incidents. She can really get him to smile or laugh though and he watches her closely.
*Goes to bed between 7:30-8:30 and eats 2-3 a night still (then falls right back asleep). We tried a bottle for one of those feedings so I could sleep more but he isn't having it. Only wants me to feed him at night. Yep, the five month tiredness has hit.
*Loves his exersaucer- AKA Chucky Cheese is what we call it at our house
*Recognizes us- gets really excited when he hears Mark or my voice
*Is a big boy- wearing 9 month clothing!
*Has hair finally starting to fill in
*Gives us some cute giggles
*Gives us some very serious looks at times
*Is laid back- such a good baby. He hardly cries or fusses unless he is hungry or tired!
*Still isn't tolerant of dairy, although I have been sneaking more bites here and there of "dairy items" and he hasn't seemed to notice
*Likes to grab onto and study his toys
*Sits up in the "tripod" pose but tips easily
*Takes 2-3 naps a day, usually pretty consistent but has random days
*Is such a sweet baby boy! Jacers, we love you!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

our buddy cole

One of my best friends that I grew up with - Arika- came up to visit with her little boy, Cole, the other day. Cole will be one year in December. He is at a fun stage- all over the place and into everything! I forget that part of the baby stage- AKA- my house is not ready. I have some baby proofing work to do. It was so fun to see them and have our kids together. Hopefully Cole and Jace will be great friends. Addelyn really loves Cole.
As you can see, she gave him LOTS of LOVE (that is what we'll call it)!

big, bad wolf

No reason to be scared of this big, bad wolf!

mark junior

Can you find the little girl napping in this photo? I actually looked around her room before I found her. She is going to be just like her dad- head under the pillow! (Now as long as I can keep her from needing a fan in her face.....)

Friday, November 18, 2011

spa treatment anyone?

We are trying to do what we can to get rid of a really bad case of cradle cap. This poor babe has had it since he was weeks old. Recently, he has started to itch at it- which makes me feel terrible when he wakes up in the morning with a bloody scalp. So we have tried some special spa treatments at our house. First, olive oil. Next avacado. Last try, a special healing clay from Jess. Nothing has worked so far, at least not more than a few days! Any great suggestions for us?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

the best thing...

....is a toothy grin from the sweetest little baby boy ever!
(Two teeth already- got them at four months)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

sibling love

I love, love, love to watch my kids interact. Of course, Addelyn has loved on Jace since day #1. Finally, Jace is giving her some love back! Tonight, Mark and I went upstairs to change after work and put Jace in his highchair. Addelyn was playing in the living room and Mark headed downstairs and called for me to come too. We hid at the top of the stairs, peeking around the corner and watching the kids for a few minutes. Addelyn would run around, yell, smile, giggle- do everything she could to get Jace's attention and he would give her the best grins and giggles. It makes me excited to think of this as the beginning of their relationship. It makes me wonder what their friendship will look like as the years go by.

Their moment of unsupervised fun ended quickly as Addelyn pulled up a chair next to his highchair and started to try to lift him out. "You want to get out, right buddy?" she said.

Friday, November 11, 2011

family pics

I'm not going to lie, pretty excited to get some of these pics hanging on our walls. Bryn is a friend of mine from high school, I'm so proud of her and her amazing photography skills. Just glad she is willing to come back to Iowa to share those skills with us!


A Sound Among the Trees by Susan Meissner

Another Blogging for Books post! If you like free books, I suggest you check out their website.

This story has two settings. The past and the present. It focuses on a home, Holly Oak, that is filled with history. As a young bride, Susannah Page was rumored to be a Civil War spy that lived in Holly Oak. Her great-granddaughter Adelaide, who currently lives in Holly Oak, doesn’t believe that Susannah’s ghost haunts the mansion, but she does believe that the house brings along with it issues from the past. Marielle comes into the story when she marries into the family and it isn’t long before she also sees the pain the home brings into the lives of women who live there. Throughout the story, Marielle searches for the truth about Susannah and the past of Holly Oak.

I was not sure if I'd like this book, however, ended up having a hard time putting it down. I liked the story line and liked that the setting was current, however, that it went back into history as Marielle searched for the truth of the women of the past of Holly Oak. I did think that there would have been a little more of an exciting ending but it wasn't what I expected. Overall, I would suggest this to those that are looking for a good fiction book to read!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Blogging for Books book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

River Valley Pumpkins

The Friday before Halloween, Ilene's daycare crew plus a few moms plus Katie and Lisa (two of Ilene's daughters) headed to Steamboat Rock to the pumpkin farm. It is owned by a guy I went to high school with so I was excited to check it out. It was fun to go back to my hometown for an "outing."

It was a cold, sunny day. Jace was bundled up and just hung out, happily the whole time, despite the cold. I'm so thankful to have such a great, laid back kiddo- makes life so much easier on days like these!

There was a great corn box to play in. The kids loved it!

Katie took the day off from teaching and came along! We were so glad to get to hang out with her. She used to watch Addelyn all the time when she was little- it is fun when she gets to have some time with Jacers too! We love her!

Oh Ilene. Where to even start? She is much more than a babysitter or daycare person. She loves our kiddos and is such an amazing person. We are so thankful for her.

Raegan and Lisa and the kiddos on our tractor ride!

My beautiful little girl

The kids loved the tractor ride

At the beginning of the corn maze- with my sweet kiddos.

In the big ole barn- there were ropes to swing on, saddles to ride, and hay to play in.

The best picture on the bus ha ha.

The whole crew

Running through the hay maze

And last but not least, Lisa and Jacers. Lisa is another of Ilene's daughters. She moved to New York this summer so we miss getting to see her. We were so excited that on her long weekend home- we got to spend the day with her. She is so special to us. What a great morning!