Friday, December 17, 2010


Here is a video of Harrison's holiday performance yesterday at Capital Square.  I am so proud!!!!  They are sooooo cute!!!  :)

Monday, November 29, 2010


Harrison is doing fabulously at the Downtown School.  He loves it and is learning everything that ANYONE says and tells him.  Last week it was a conversation that bounced between ice cream is good for you in small amounts because it has calcium (they are studying health) and "Girls go to Jupiter to get more stupider."  Fun stuff for a Kindergartener!  Who knows what we will learn this week...

A couple of weeks ago Mrs. Mathews team finished their theme on apples.  After each theme they have presentations in which they explain to the parents what they learned.  Harrison made a model of a bee and explained how bees help pollinate apple trees.  A discussion over dinner the night before presentations led to "Girl bees go out and collect the nectar and help pollinate the apple trees and other flowers while boy bees stay at the hive and help the queen make babies."  It all comes down to the birds and the bees people!!!

Harrison did a great job at presentations and gave his speech with no hint of shyness.  I was very proud of him and his whole class!

Here is his whole class singing to start the program.

Here is Mrs. Mathews being one proud teacher (as she should be - she's the GREATEST!!!!)

Here is Harrison addressing the crowd.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 1


Beth: I am thankful for Harrison's new winter coat.  Man, what a pain that was!!!

Harrison: I am thankful for the Science Center.

Christopher: I am thankful for basketball.  Go Cyclones!!!

Bennett: I am thankful for the dresser and the wall and Daddy and the blanket and Mommy and the... BASEBALL BAT!  (What a silly boy!)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 2

Thankfulness makes the world go round.

Beth: I am thankful for a house full of family and friends!

Christopher: I am thankful for time spent with family over the holidays.

Harrison: I am thankful for Mrs. Mathews.

Bennett: I am thankful for Miss Meggan and Miss Carrie.

Caden: I am thankful for Grandma and Grandpa coming to stay with me.

Miles:  I am thankful for daddy and the football I am going to get for Christmas.

Annabelle: I am thankful for hugs.  Kisses - not so much!  :)

Graysen: I am thankful that Beth moved the furniture so that I can pull the baskets of Legos down.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Alphabet Soup

I have to share this recipe.  It is a great go to meal for me during lunch.  And the kids LOVE it!  I told Bennett and Caden what we were having today and they both started celebrating!  It is nutritious and customizable to your likes and dislikes.  I found this recipe in "Cooking Rocks! Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals for Kids."   I have the cookbook, but that is the link to the original recipe.  

Alphabet Soup
1 wedge Parmigiano Reggiano cheese rind
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tb extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup marinara or tomato sauce
5 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1 cup alphabet pasta
1 cup frozen and/or fresh veggies
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onions and garlic over medium heat about 2 - 3 minutes.  Add tomato sauce and stir.  Add chicken stock and stir.  Turn up heat to high and bring to a boil.  Once boiling add alphabet pasta and cheese rind.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer.  Cook until the pasta letters are just tender, 6 - 7 minutes.  Add veggies and cook 2 - 3 minutes more.  DONE!!!!  Sooo good.

Now - I have made modifications.  I always add more veggies!  I have little kids and we like more of a stew versus a soup.  Little hands you know...  And I always chop up a fresh zucchini and add that.  I LOVE zucchini in vegetable soup.  I use frozen corn, peas and green beans.  I also add fresh carrots (chopped) but I add those when I add the pasta as they take longer to cook.  I also add Italian seasoning to the soup when I add the chicken stock.  I do about 1 Tb.  The cheese rind really makes a difference.  I got mine at Gateway Market as buying a whole thing of Parmigiano Reggiano at the store is too expensive for my budget (especially for kids - sorry kids!) just to cut the rind off of and then try and find other uses for it (obviously it's great shredded over spaghetti, but again, budget...).  At Gateway, they have containers of 'leftover' rinds that they sell for $3 - $4.  Awesome!  I found the alphabet pasta at Dahl's.  I haven't found a Hy-Vee that sells it, but I haven't been to all of them and I am sure they would get it if I asked.  The kids LOVE the alphabet letters.  Finding letters, recognizing letters, etc.  That is 60% of the appeal to the soup.  The added benefit is that they eat it as well!  It would be just as delicious with different pasta, but I don't know that they would eat it as well!

If you make this, please let me know what you think.  Did you change anything?  Happy eating!!!

Day 3

I can feel the thankfulness in the air.

Harrison:  I am thankful for James!!!

Bennett: I am thankful for drawing on the dry erase board with Caden.

Beth: I am thankful for Muffin Mondays.

Caden: I am thankful for my big bed.

Graysen: I am thankful for couch cushions on the floor.  I have so much fun crawling on them and laughing.  It is great to chase Caden and Bennett over the cushions!

Christopher: I am thankful to have one day off this week.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 4

Thankfulness is better shared!

Beth:  I am thankful for airplanes.

Christopher:  I am thankful for small oven fires.  They make "Now what?" into Hickory Park for dinner!

Harrison: I am thankful for Kaitlyn!

Bennett: I am thankful for Cars.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 5

I am thankful for my boys.  They are not here today.  They left last night to go to Davenport to see their grandparents and have Neipert Thanksgiving.  I can't go because of work.  Having the house to myself is wonderful, relaxing, quiet and a little boring.  Harrison frustrates me to no end with his words and attitude sometimes and Bennett can't seem to stop whining at this stage in his life and Chris is a husband so we all no how that goes, but I LOVE THEM soooo much.  The are wonderful, beautiful people and I will try to enjoy not having them around everyone in a while, but I will miss them all the same.  They keep me on my toe,  give great hugs and kisses and call me mommy.  Who wouldn't be thankful for that?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 6

Thankfulness is thoughtfulness.

Beth: I am thankful for alone time!!!!!!!

Annabelle: I am thankful for other people's toys.  :)

Graysen: I am thankful for the blue circle with a hole in it.  I like to throw it and chase it around the house.  Sometimes I stop and chew on it.  Being 10 months old is good!

Harrison: I am thankful for Grandma and Grandpa!  I can't wait to get to their house!

Bennett: I am thankful for cows.  Because I like cows, horses and necklaces.  (Huh?)

Christopher: I am thankful for road trips to Grandma and Grandpa's.

Caden: I am thankful for my daddy and my mommy and Graysen.  (He said this when his dad came to pick him up today.  So sweet!)

Miles: I am thankful for my basketball.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 7


Beth: I am thankful for Christmas music.  Tis the season!!!!  (I know, I started early...)

Bennett: I am thankful for singing the wagon song at preschool.

Harrison: I am thankful for Bennett because I like him!

Caden: I am thankful for my turkey art.

Annabelle: I am thankful for milk.  I LOVE milk.

Miles: I am thankful for banana bars.

Graysen: I am thankful for my mouth.  I can fit large items that are supposed to be baby toys into my mouth.  Beth has her hands full!

Christopher: I am thankful for Bennett.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 8

Thankfulness is like the first snow.  You might be annoyed that summer is gone, but then you take the time  to realize the wonders of winter.

Harrison: I am thankful for Dad.

Christopher: I am thankful for Harrison.

Beth: I am thankful for talented authors.  Just finished The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.  Wow!  What a great series.

Bennett: I am thankful for running.

Miles: I am thankful for my doggie.  I love Sporty.  Do you love Sporty, Beth?

Graysen: I am  thankful for toys that I am not supposed to play with.  Can someone ask Beth to stop taking them from me?  No?  Well I will try harder then!

Caden: I am thankful for my 3 pictures.  I can't wait to show them to my mommy and daddy.

Annabelle: I am thankful for windows.  Now that I can climb on the couch I spend a lot of time looking out the window!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Soccer 2010

We signed Harrison up for Northwest Soccer this fall.  He had about 10 games and 10 practices.  I complained a little until I realized they were asking him to play again in the spring.  That would mean soccer AND baseball for Harrison and baseball for Bennett.  Talk about complaining!!!  Too much stuff!!  We are going to have a couple of long talks about this upcoming  year...

Anyway, Harrison LOVED soccer.  He played on a team with 5 other players.  Two girls, Sayla and Maddie, and  other boys, Miles, Josh and Aaron.  They were an ok team which was fine by me because they seemed to have a lot of fun just playing.  No scores were kept, but I know Harrison scored the most goals for his team.  Well...

Here are some action shots.

Defending the goal with Miles.

What form!!!

Getting ready for a corner kick.

There was a playground right next to the soccer fields and Bennett spent a good deal of time there.  He was annoyed that we would not go with him, but he had fun regardless!

Harrison's two biggest fans!!!  (Forgot to get a pic of Chris!  Oops!!)

Day 9

Thankfulness is like a box of chocolates...

Harrison: I am thankful for my wonderful mommy!  (sniff, sniff)

Bennett: I am thankful for playing with games.

Caden: I am thankful for my froggy blanket.

Miles: I am thankful for my new drum.

Beth: I am thankful for my knowledge of cooking.  I love to cook for my family and friends and I love cooking homemade (chicken noodle soup for lunch!!!).  But, I am never ashamed to throw in a boxed meal.  Thank goodness for Kraft Mac and Cheese!!!! 

Annabelle: She is thankful for pigtails.  That girl is cute in pigtails!!! (Well, she's always cute, but...)

Graysen: I am thankful for my voice.  I love using it when the other kids are sleeping!!!  

Christopher: I am thankful that the holidays are almost here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 10

Being thankful on Mondays sometimes takes more effort, but in the end, it is most definitely worth it!

Bennett: I am thankful for my kitchen.

Caden: I am thankful for my monster truck.

Miles: I am thankful for my sister.  (This was said in the sweetest voice EVER!!!!)

Beth: I am thankful for wet wipes.  I know everyone poops but they could at least do it at their house!!!  :)

Annabelle: I am thankful for Maddie.  Without Maddie, Beth would have a lot more cleaning to do when I continuously throw food on the floor.

Graysen: I am thankful for my feet.  I'm a cruis'n maniac!!!

Harrison: I am thankful for eating grapes.

Christopher: I am thankful we did not receive 12" of snow like some parts of Iowa this weekend.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 11

Thankfulness is like a warm blanket.  It just feels good!

Beth: I am thankful for coffee.  Especially free coffee! 

Harrison: I am thankful that I beat my record in Cow Racing on Wii!!!!

Bennett: I am thankful for Sunday School and singing.

Christopher: I am thankful for Maddie.  She's a good dog.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 12

I love thankfulness...

Beth: I am thankful for Saturdays.  I am especially thankful for Saturday's off from work!!!

Harrison: I am thankful for cinnamon rolls.

Bennett: I am thankful for my castle blocks.

Christopher: I am thankful that there is always next year.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 13

Thankfulness is making memories.

Harrison: I am thankful for Bennett's artwork.  His pumpkin with hands on it is really special.

Bennett: I am thankful for my friends.  And Will.  I am thankful for Will.  Mommy, when is Will coming over?

Miles: I am thankful for my mommy.

Annabelle: I am thankful I can climb onto the ottoman and the couch.  Beth, on the other hand, is not so thankful...

Caden: I am thankful for Nana bringing that big basket so I can put my bath toys in there.

Graysen: I am thankful for naps.  My morning nap was 4 hours!  

Christopher: I am thankful for all that my parents have done and still do for me.

Beth: I am thankful for family.  I love my family.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 14

Thankfulness is like remembering the sweetness at the bottom of the pie.

Harrison: I am thankful for the Chicago Cubs and our Cubs paver.

Bennett: I am thankful for Douglas.

Miles: I am thankful for you.  (This one got a tear...)

Annabelle: I am thankful for pigtails.  The girls is cute in pigtails!!!

Beth: I thankful for veterans.  Thank you Grandpa and Uncle Bob. 

Christopher: I am thankful for all those who have served our country both past and present.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 15

It feels good to take a minute (or two!) everyday to be thankful for something.

Harrison: I am thankful for Starbucks.  I love Caramel Apple Spice!

Bennett: I am thankful for crackers.

Caden: I am thankful for my cactus Lightning McQueen.

Miles: I am thankful for baseball.  I swing the bat HARD!!!!

Annabelle:  She is thankful for swings.  That girl LOVES to swing!

Graysen: I am thankful for my sippy cup.  Water is good!

Grandma Marilyn: I am thankful for another warm sunshiny day.

Beth: I am thankful for my friends.  

Kira:  I am thankful for school.

Christopher: I am thankful for my eyesight.  (I see quite a few blind people getting on and off the city bus near my work and can't imagine being in that situation.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Field Trip

Me and my baby!!!

Heather and Caden

Heather and I went on Bennett and Caden's field trip a couple of weeks ago.  Miles and Harrison were lucky enough to tag along.  Harrison was on intersession from school and Miles was granted reprieve from nap for a day.  

The 3 amigos

We had a lot of fun and enjoyed so many things.  The hay mound was fun but itchy.  The corn was tempting to throw but we settled on burying people.  There was a scary house that Harrison feel in love with.  Meggan (Bennett's teacher) brought along her son Johnny and her neighbor girls Isabel and Beatrice.  They were out of school as well.  They all went through the scary house over and over! (It was for older kids - Bennett and Caden weren't exactly fans and I didn't even let Miles try.  It was pitch black inside!)  The animals were fun and stinky and there were games to play when we were all done.  It was fun seeing Bennett and Caden with their friends.  They are still very much attached at the hip, but they are playing with others... sometimes!  

Waiting to play the ball toss game

Why won't that pig get up?!?!

Miles enjoying some corn!

Bea and Bennett (she loves him!) 

On our way to the corn pit.  "I will get there first!!!!"

Harrison and Caden.  Caden was not too sure about being on top of that hay mound.  He eventually found his footing and wanted to do it again and again!!

Miles was looking up at the hay-mound.  "I'm next!"

Day 16

Thankfulness is not just drinking your coffee and being grateful that you have coffee, but also enjoying your coffee...

Harrison: I am thankful for your birthday.  (Why?  I asked)  Because you had cupcakes.  I love cupcakes!

Bennett: I am thankful for dice.  

Beth: I am thankful for sun and 70 degree weather in November.  I think...  Global warming?!?!

Christopher: I am thankful for little voices that call me Daddy.

Caden: I am thankful I can bring my police car to preschool.

Miles: I am thankful for Daddy because I love him.

Annabelle: Bennett's says that Annabelle is thankful for dancing.  Because she is a dancing queen!  (We were listening to Dancing Queen by ABBA and she was going a little crazy!!!!)

Graysen: I am thankful for my knees.  I finally know what they can do!  :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 17

Thankfulness is good.

Harrison: I am thankful for my home.

Bennett: I am thankful for my farm that I will have when I am a farmer.  

Caden: I am thankful for my golden and shiny fish and my baby snake.

Miles: I am thankful for donuts.

Annabelle: To - (Translation - I am thankful for Tootsie!)

Graysen: He is thankful for my love of reading.  Without it he would not be able to pull all my books off my bookshelf!!! 

Beth: I am thankful for kisses.  (Bennett said that I am also thankful for hugs!)

Christopher: I am thankful for my job.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 18


Harrison (he went first): I am thankful for school.

Bennett:  I am thankful for preschool.

Beth: (Harrison decided he should decide what I was thankful for) Mommy is thankful for being able to teach Sunday School.  (I decided I agreed.  I am thankful for Sunday School.)

Christopher: I am thankful for the weekends.  (Harrison had a hand in this one when he said "Aren't you thankful for staying home with us today?")

Thank you Harrison for all your help!  :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 19

Today's thankfulness:

Harrison: I am thankful for paper chains that tell me how long until James gets here.

Bennett:  I am thankful for costumes and balloons.  I LOVE balloons!

Beth: I am thankful for a clean bedroom.

Christopher:  I am thankful for the sun's warmth.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Light the Night

We did our 5th annual Light the Night back in September.  I took the boys back to Davenport and met up with friends and family and we celebrated a life that left us too soon.  
I didn't get many pictures this year, but I had a lot of fun and realized that it is worth the drive.  Every year, I think, "I won't go to Davenport this year.  I will walk in Des Moines."  And every year some guilt bearing angel peaks over my shoulder and I drive to Davenport and back.  Thank goodness for angels!

Katherine and Nora (Jen's daughter).  What a crazy slide!

Katherine, Nora, Harrison and Dayton (Marci's son).

Bennett being cute!

Next year we are on to Omaha where Kara will be the Memorial Honoree of Light the Night!

Day 20

I have read on Facebook that quite a few of my friends are doing the 30 days of Thanksgiving.  Everyday they ask their families what they are thankful for.  It is a great way to reflect and think about all of the great things we DO have in our lives and not dwell on the things that we DON'T have in our lives.  We didn't start soon enough so we are doing the 20 days of Thanksgiving.

Bennett:  I am thankful for Grandma.  She comes and plays with me.

Miles:  I am thankful for a new red car from Aunt Sarah.

Caden:  I am thankful for a new yellow car from Target.  Mommy got it for me.

Graysen: He is thankful for noodles and red sauce.  If I had to wager, I would say his tummy is not big enough to fit all of what he ate for lunch!

Annabelle: Mamamamamamamamama.  She's one smart girl!

Beth:  I am thankful for water.  Especially warm water.  I love taking a hot shower in the morning!

Harrison: I am thankful that I am going to Incredible Pizza with Johnny.

Chris: I am thankful for being upright.

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Reiman Gardens

I took the boys to Ames last weekend to see my parents and visit the Reiman Garden Halloween event.  I love the gardens and should have gotten more pictures.  They had wonderful sculptures on display that were made out of welding rebar into 'trees' and then sticking old glass bottles onto the branches.  They were just beautiful.  

Also on display were gnomes!  It was so fun to see all of them.  The Garden's had also commissioned a giant gnome to be made and it is currently the largest concrete gnome in the world.  Here is a picture with the boys and my parents.
What exciting things we have in Ames!!!  

The Halloween tour was a lot of fun.  There were games and activities throughout.  At one point we came to an area where the volunteer was supposed to be teaching and demonstrating Cat's Cradle.  She was having trouble.  Gary and Marilyn to the rescue.  

The volunteers were also dressed up in very elaborate costumes.  They were great!  Here Harrison is next to my favorite - Peacock Princess.  

The boys dressed up as Short Change this year.  It was very fun making the costumes with them (Harrison got his first spray painting lesson) and they liked wearing them and EVERYONE commented on how cute of an idea it was.  The problem was that they did not photograph worth a darn!  Harrison was the nickel and Bennett was the dime.  Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Happy Birthday to me

So I put the kids down for a nap yesterday.  Routine.  Normal.  Never.

Graysen's pack-n-play is in Bennett's room so on Monday and Friday they are in there together (Bennett has preschool on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday).  It is not an ideal situation because Bennett is not one that just lays down and goes to sleep.  He often talks to himself or his stuffed animals and this causes Graysen to laugh and play with him.  It's getting better and usually I just make Bennett lay in there for 30 minutes and then he gets to finish quiet time on the couch.  Anyway, Friday (my birthday) Bennett had been in his room for about 25 - 30 minutes when I heard him crying and calling my name.  I was a little irritated because he had been really quiet and I assumed that Graysen was asleep and Bennett knows better than to be loud to wake him up.  I go rushing in there and find puke all over Bennett and the blanket in front of him.  Ahhhh!  What in the world?  Then, in the puke, I spot two marbles.  Holy cow!  He just choked!  I start to get him cleaned up and get his shirt off when he throws up again!  What did he do?!?!  He finally calms down and I get him cleaned up and I begin drilling him about when he got the marbles and more importantly - how many marbles he had.  Luckily there were only the two.  What was he thinking?!?!  

We have a Magnetic set that is in a box.  Bennett had gotten out of bed, opened it up and taken out two of the metal marbles.  I am speechless on how to deal with this.  What caused him to think "Marbles, that sounds like fun!  I think I will grab two and stick them in my mouth!"?  There are tons of toys in their room that are little.  That is why they are in their room and not the rest of the house!  So we added to our bedtime routine, a conversation about putting things in our mouth.  Happy Birthday to me.

Harrison wins again

I thought a treat would be nice after lunch.  So I offered one.

Me:  Would you like a cupcake or a whoopie pie?

Harrison:  Neither.  Can I have a Snickers?

Me:  No.

Harrison:  Pleeaase?  It is littler than both the cupcake and the whoopi pie.  (pause)  An it has less calories.

Me:  You win.  Snickers it is.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


So Harrison and I had a knock-down drag out the other day.  Nothing really new about that but he is really testing my parenting skills and my sanity lately.  I don't know that I have met anyone, young or old, who is soooo adverse to being wrong.  He HATES it.  He doesn't like to apologize and he NEVER wants to repeat what he did wrong by saying that he won't do it again.  Ugggg.

So this time it was about being disrespectful to me in the tone that he was using while telling me that he wasn't being reckless with the Wii remote.  I had told him to put the strap on so that it didn't go flying across the room like yesterday when he didn't have the strap on.  Seems like a relatively small request, correct?!?!  Ugggg.  Instead of saying ok and moving on, he decides that this is worth an argument.  He replies that he is fine and that he won't let go of the remote.  I wish you could have heard the disdain and mockery in his voice.  "Like Du-uh!"  I told him not to argue and that he was being disrespectful in his tone and by not listening to me and to just do it like I said.  It just got worse from there.  I will spare you all the gorey details, but instead of taking a deep breath and thinking quietly for a minute (which is what I suggested) he spent 40 minutes in his room screaming and crying and coming out to be more disrespectful and argumentative.  He's a joy!

After all of that he is calmed down and back in the living room.  I decide he is ready for the post-argument discussion and calmly explain that I am disappointed that he was disrespectful in the first place and then that he couldn't control himself and take a minute to calm himself down.  I was sad that Wii time was now over and he had missed all of that play time by wasting 30 or 40 minutes in his room.  

His response in a very calm and collected voice:  "What's 30 to 40 minutes?  I don't care about that.  I have the rest of my life to play."

I promptly left the room and contemplated my reasons for wanting children in the first place.  Then I called my dad and told him that I needed therapy.  He did not disagree.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


This makes me smile; a lot.

She loves her 'Uncle' Chris and 

'Uncle' Chris loves her!!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010


The boys and I got creative this week for a special little girls 1st birthday.  On Tuesday we sat on the floor and colored letters.  Miles scribbled all over the place, Caden concentrated very hard at getting the entire letter colored and Bennett did a combination of both.  I let let them use whatever color marker they wanted and if I had it to do over again I might have limited them to a few select colors.  Yesterday we cut out circles.  Well, I cut out circles and the boys made a mess of little pieces of paper all over the floor.  We did more of this today and then we glued the letters on the circles and taped the circles to a string.  Overall I am very happy with our little project.  

Can't wait to celebrate tomorrow!!!  

Happy 'almost' birthday!!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


He's adorable.  Nuff said.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dear Mrs. Mathews

Dear Mrs.  Mathews,

Welcome to the Neipert family.  As his kindergarten teacher (and potentially his 1st grade teacher) we consider you to be a primary force in Harrison's life; an extended member of our family so to speak.  We love him dearly and sometimes think the world revolves around everything he does.  I was watching the Today Show a couple of weeks ago and Danica McKellar (Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years) was on.  She is expecting her first child and she stated that she realized millions and billions of women had been pregnant before her, but this was her miracle and she felt like she was the only one in the world who had ever felt this kind of awe and amazement.  I feel like that everyday.  No one has ever had a child like mine.  No one has ever laughed as hard as I at the funny and outrageous things he says.  No one has ever made their mother as angry as he has made me.  No one has ever been prouder of their child than I am of Harrison.  I know all of these things to be untrue, but it feels wonderful sometimes to feel alone.  Like I am the only one in the world who has ever experienced this.  And now we get to share him with you!
Here is a little bit about our boy;  He is 5 years old and will be 6 in just 4 short months.  He is inches tall and weighs 37 1/5 pounds.  When he grows up he wants to be in the air force and do fly-overs at football games.  We dream big!  He has been in tball for 2 years and will be starting soccer in a couple of weeks.  Harrison is extremely sweet and LOVES babies.  His favorite color is green and has been since he was 3.  He currently is making his mother go mad by refusing to learn to read.  I am trying not to push.  He also loves to ride his big wheel, swimming at the pool, gardening with me, watching his dad fix the cars and hanging out with his cousin James and/or his friend Johnny.  Hidden puzzles and Wii are also 2 things he chooses to do in his spare time.  He has one younger sibling, Bennett.  If you are lucky, he will be in your class someday!
Of course Harrison went to bed just a little late last night.  Usually this means he will awaken at the same time he always does - 5:50 am - but this morning he got up at 7:00 am!  The first thing he said was "That star must be magical!"  He loved the poem and the star from the first night of school!

After a special breakfast of french toast and sausage, off we went.  He wasn't nervous or scared or anything!  I have to be, honest, I really wasn't either.  The great thing about Harrison's life so far is that I have known most of his teachers very well.  When he was a baby I couldn't wait for Robin at Uncle Sam's to be able to take care of him.  When he was a toddler, he got Linda and who doesn't love her!?!?  I didn't know his preschool teachers at Westminster so well, but I knew one of the afternoon teachers, Meggan so I knew he was in a good place because she is such a good person and friend!  And now, kindergarten.  And you!  I helped take care of your babies and then I worked with you and then I was your boss and then I worked with you again and somewhere in all of that we became friends!  Thank goodness for that.  It gives me great comfort and pleasure to know he is being taught by such a good person.  

After getting checked in for lunch and after school pick up this is where I left Harrison.  He was happy and smiling.  He drew a picture of a hippo (running theme in our house as of late) in the water with the sun, trees and sky above.  I hope you and he and the rest of your class have a great day and I can't wait to hear all about it!

Love ~ The Neipert's
P.S.  Harrison isn't super familiar with Charlie Brown and the Peanuts and he doesn't think farts are funny.  I hope you two get along!  :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Two things to share:

First is a website you can check-out periodically if you are interested in Harrison's kindergarten.  His teacher put together a blog and she is going to update periodically with pictures and goings-ons.

Second, my WONDERFUL sister-in-law took photos of my babies and here is a video that she put together.  It's like I fell in love all over again!

Monday, August 16, 2010


While on vacation in Utah last month, Bennett ended up in bed with us the first couple of nights.  Different house, a bit of sickness and a little out of sorts made for a cozy family bed.  One morning we woke up and were just talking and playing around and Bennett leaned over Chris and pinched his nipple.  He then said "Hehe!  I pinched your hippo!"  I thought it was hysterical!  We all chuckled and I shared the story with the rest of the family who were equally amused. 

Fast forward to this morning.  I am out of the shower and in my room.  I am partially dressed in pants and looking in the closet for a shirt to wear.  Bennett walks in.  He looks at me and asks me what I am doing.  "I am looking for a shirt to wear."  His response "Oh.  Are you going to put on a hippo holder first?"

I guess it is time for a better anatomy lesson in the Neipert house.  Or, at the least, maybe we could start wearing shirts around Bennett!!!  :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Last week, out of the blue, Miles comes up to be and says "I like Justin Bieber.  You like Justin Bieber, Beth?"  How could I say no?  It was waaaay too cute.  I hear his crazy aunt Sarah is to blame.  It is pretty funny!

Yesterday we were playing Monopoly with the older boys I have this week.  We had been playing for about 20 - 30 minutes and Harrison was counting his money and starting singing "I want to be a billionaire, soooo frickin' baaad!"  I almost went berserk!  I gave him an evil look and then I turned on poor Brogan and Declan!!  "Did you guys teach him that?!?!"  "NO!!!"  Harrison looked at me and said "Dad lets us listen to it on the radio all the time!" 

I long for the days of John Prine and The Beatles and the Grateful Dead and many the more drug induced artists I listed to as a child...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Kara - A 6 word memoir

The following is an email I got from my friend Jennifer.  If you by chance do not know, I lost my best friend to leukemia in September of 2004.  It was tragic and heartbreaking in so many ways.  In honor and remembrance of her, I and many others participate in Light the Night sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Every year we do team t-shirts for our Light the Night walk in honor of Kara.  This year we are putting together a collection of 6 word memoirs that will be on the t-shirt somewhere.  Please submit one.  It doesn't matter how you knew Kara or how well you knew Kara.  Just please submit one.  She was a very special person and is missed terribly.  

Unforgettable. This year's team t-shirt is a collection of
the ways we remember Kara- in words.  It's a tribute to the
six word memoir books.  You get six words to share your
perspective/insight, I've written a few examples below.
Whether you have walked every year, never walked, donated or
not- if you remember Kara in some way- please write your six
words and send them back so we can fill the t-shirt.

Object Sample:  The coolest dollhouse on Wilson Street
Behavior Sample:  8 o’clock bedtime even during summer
Biography Sample: Loved the Lobster/Olive Garden discount
Memoir Sample: Thought we would still be golf-carting

There is only one rule- SIX WORDS. Don't worry about grammar
or punctuation- just write. PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG TO ANYONE

Not sure what to write? Here are the first results.

Our sister lived two doors down – Kathryn House

Stealing Jod's cheesecake after much drinking. – Nathan

Laughing doing donughts on school sidewalk. – Nathan

"I want to hear some Beasties" – Katy Wethal
Take care,

Please leave me a comment either on facebook or here on my blog.  Either place and I will get them to Jennifer.  

Also - if you feel like going the extra mile.  JOIN US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We walk every year in Davenport.  It is a wonderful experience and helps keep Kara alive.  That was her BIGGEST fear.  That she would be forgotten.  Please show her that she wasn't either by submitting a memoir or by joining us on the walk.  It doesn't matter if this is your first year.  Just come.  The walk this year is on September 24th at Modern Woodman Park in Davenport.  Please try and let me know in advance so we can get a t-shirt ordered for you.  They are usually around $10.00.  We usually get together at the Steeplegate Inn afterwards for beverages and stories.  If that doesn't work for this year, I will volunteer my in-laws backyard!  (Hi Pam!!!!)  Kara wouldn't have it any other way!

On an exciting side note - In 2011, Kara will be the memorial honoree for the Night the Light walk in Omaha, Nebraska.  We are all very excited for her to be recognized in this way.  

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I have 'garden' coming out of my ears right now.  And it is only going to get worse.  The zucchini and cucumbers are about to explode and the tomatoes are right behind them.  Harrison and I are currently picking peas and green beans.  We have about 8 lbs of green beans and 3 times that many left to pick, plus they are in full bloom again!  Holy green beans.  While picking green beans, Harrison was being a little rough on the plants (not really his fault, just his age) so I sent him over to the peas.  He said he was on pea patrol!  Anyway, after he got done picking them this is what he said to me;

"I don't really know if I should tell you this.  I mean, he's being secretive and a little shady.  I think he is trying to keep this from you.  I mean, really, (whisper) Dad doesn't like peas."


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lil' Gary

I love my dad.  He's a great dad.  And by all accounts a great person.  As with any person, he also has his faults.  One of his (many!) faults is being a literary jerk.  If you don't talk in perfect english he calls you on it.  "Dad, will you make me a sandwich?"  His response:  "You're a sandwich!"  "Dad, can you put my shoes on?"  His response:  "I don't think they will fit me."  It was a great childhood.

Friday, Bennett decided to take one of his looooong naps.  Brogan, the 11 year old that I am watching likes to play in the boys room with a knight set Harrison has.  He had it all set up that morning and wanted to go back and play with it.  Around 4:00pm he asked (again) if Bennett was up yet.  Harrison looked at him and said "Do you see Bennett?"  There was a lot of sarcastic emphasis on 'see.'  Brogan was a little confused and looked at Harrison and said "No."  Harrison said "Well, then he's not up!"  

My dad said Harrison sounded practical.  My brother, Nathan, decided Lil' Gary should be his new name.  And my mom said that if she would have been here she would have had to walk away!  Two Gary's are too many!!!

Love you, Dad!!!! :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My baby(ies)

The boys and I just walked Grays Lake.  We had along two boys that I am watching this week, Brogan and Declan.  They are 11 and 8.  We were having a nice walk, no complaining, no hurrying, just nice.  Harrison at one point was walking past me and I ruffled his hair like I do.  He shot away from me and gave me a dirty look.  I didn't think too much of it because he had been a little owly at me 30 min or so before because he got sand in his Keen's and I should have known that he wanted to wear his tennis shoes...  

Anyway, a little while later Bennett caught up to me and reached up to hold my hand.  It hit me how nice that was.  His little, tiny soft hand in my hand.  His confidence in me and his love for his mommy.  I don't know what made the moment so special, it just was.  While we walked hand in hand over the bridge, I watched Harrison up with his 'friends.'  Again, they were 11 and 8 and they were older.  Could it be possible that he didn't want me ruffling his hair because he was too old for that?!?!  NO!!!!  I am trying to keep that thought out of my mind, but all I can see is him up ahead of me looking and acting like a big boy.  Having a big boy laugh.  Enjoying big boy conversations.  At least I still had Bennett holding my hand.

And then, 5 minutes later Harrison tripped over his own two feet and needed his mommy to help him up.  All is well...

Short takes

It sometimes gets crazy around my house.  I don't know why it gets crazy; I mean a five year old 2 three year olds, a two year old, a 9 month old and a 4 month old, what's crazy about that?  So far no one has hung from the ceiling fans (not from lack of trying - "BENNETT!!  Get off the table!") and no one has squished Graysen (Annabelle has come close!) but there is always tomorrow.  Here are some short stories from the past month.

As most boys do, we have an obsession with bugs in our house.  ALL bugs get a proper welcome and announcement.  "MOM!  There is a HUGE fly over here!  It's going to eat Annabelle!"  "No, Harrison, it will not.  I will be right there with the fly swatter."  Often times I think Miles is going to scrap his nose on the concrete because he gets so close to the little ants he sees.  "Beth, I see a aaaaant."  His voice is so cute and deep.  Often times when Caden sees a bug he immediately asks if it is a bumble bee.  There is definite fear in his voice.  We have spent a lot of time talking about the good things that bees do, but there hasn't been a lot progress.  He does not like bees.  Dead bugs are also good.  This quote was made so dry and matter-of-fact that I couldn't help but laugh.  "We found a ladybug.  I killed it.  They wanted to see what was on the inside."  And then I got quizzed as to why that was funny!  

One day when I was changing Graysen's diaper this is what I heard:  

"Oh what a cute little penis.  Isn't it the cutest, Mom?  It's so little!" (now imagine a 5 year old talking in a cutsie baby voice.  That is what is going on here)  "It's just soooo cute and little!  Aaaahhhhhh"  
(now we switch to serious, 5 year old voice) "But his penis won't always be little.  It will be BIG!  It will be big like Daddy's.  And then.  You know what?  It will get hair on it!"

What can I say?  Has anyone ever had a parenting class that prepares them for a conversation like that?  I think not!

There are a couple of balls that we have in the house that can be tossed or thrown around.  Not many because I refuse to have a toddler proof house, but some.  Bennett and I were playing catch one day and the ball hit the wall.  Bennett then noticed the crack in the living room ceiling.  (This crack has been there since we moved in 3 years ago.  It has been patched and is fine.  The house is 100 years old.  It has some wrinkles!)  I decided to play with him a little bit.
B:  "Did I do that?"
Me:  "Oooo.  I think so."
B:  "No.  I didn't do that."
Me:  "Oh.  Then who did?"
B:  "I think it was Caden.  Yeah, Caden did it.  Does he have to go to the naughty spot?"
Me: "No, not right now."
Little stinker threw his friend right under the bus.  Beware future potential friends.  He's a sneaky one!

One day there was conversation about future careers.  Harrison is currently set on the armed forces.  He is going to be a pilot.  His big dream is to do fly overs at football games!  Bennett is going to be a chef.  He will cook his lunch EVERY day!  Caden is going to be a fireman and Miles is convinced he will be Daddy.  All very good goals and very fun to hear about.  I asked Harrison about Graysen and Annabelle.  "Graysen is too little to decide and Annabelle will be a smiler.  All she does is crawl around, hit Graysen and smile.  Oh and climb the couch.  She will be a smiler."  Now, I will add that she doesn't hit Graysen that often and she is getting much better at gentle touches!  Also, from Harrison's description and for other obvious reasons, it is safe to say Annabelle will be a super model when she grows up.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Favorite People

We were all on the porch this evening watching the storm roll in.  Before Harrison came out Chris, Bennett and I were on the swing.  Bennett was in the middle and gave us both a big 'leg hug.'  He wrapped his arms around our legs and squeezed. He seemed to be so happy and proud to be with us on the swing.  I took this opportunity to boost my ego a little.

Me:  "Bennett, who are your favorite people?"

Bennett: "Um, Harrison and Caden and Miles and Annabelle and Graysen and... you guys!"  

I guess Chris and I are on the bottom of his list, but I am very pleased that Harrison is on top!


Saturday, May 29, 2010


Harrison decided that he wanted to play baseball again this year.  Last year was bam-bam and this year is t-ball.  This year they hit a regular sized ball instead of the big rubber ball they hit last year.  It's still softer than a normal ball but looks just like a normal baseball.  This year we were 'lucky' enough to be on the Cubs team again.  When I say lucky, I mean that Harrison's friend Johnny was going to be on the Cubs and his dad, Ryan was the coach so he requested Harrison be on that team as well.  So once again, he is a Beaverdale Cub.  Lucky for us, we are able to dress a bat boy to match!

Harrison likes all of the positions.  He has had to play all of them, even catcher.  We weren't sure he would like all of the equipment, but he did ok.  AND he looked really cute!

Getting ready to field the ball!

Hit it hard!!!

Johnny and Harrison on there way to the game. 

Coach Ryan and Johnny

One of the games we went to, it was 40 degrees.  Luckily we came prepared like all diehards!

We have 3 games left this season and it has been very fun.  Harrison enjoys baseball and tells us that he wants to play again next year.  This excites us (Chris especially) but it will always be driven by Harrison.  He is very excited to play soccer this fall.  I eventually would like him to choose one sport, but I was a two sometimes three sport athlete so we will see as time goes...  And next year Bennett starts bam-bam so we will be one of those crazy families that is always running somewhere.  If we can't keep everything in perspective and balance our time, something will have to go.  Maybe one of the children...  :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Vanity in Pictures

Harrison has been obsessed with himself lately.  I know all kids go thru this stage and I know some people who have never outgrown this stage.  I often find him in the bathroom making different faces in the mirror.  It's very amusing to watch.  Although if he catches you watching too closely or laughing at him, he gets mad.  

He also loves to have his picture taken.  He is always saying, "Take my picture and send it to Dad."  "Take a picture of me doing this and send it to Grandpa."  This has led Bennett 'I do everything that Harrison does' Neipert to want to have his picture taken too.  Here are a few (a lot) from the past month.  Enjoy the cuteness!

"Freak on, freaky dude!"

Gene Simmons here I come.