Thursday, November 24, 2011


To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do. ~ Victor Hugo

I am thankful for thankfulness and gratefulness. It is great to take the time to think about all the reasons we have to be thankful in life. I am blessed.

Bennett - I am thankful for Mommy and Douglas. Seriously Mom, I just want to be thankful for YOU! (I asked him to try and think of something else since he had already been thankful for me. He's too cute!)

Harrison - I am thankful that I get to come to Davenport to celebrate Thanksgiving with everyone. I love family.

Christopher - I am thankful for Bennett.

Grandma - I am thankful that my grandkids are here for Thanksgiving.

Grandpa - I am thankful for being alive and being able to celebrate the holidays.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out my nose. ~ Woody Allen

I am thankful for a day with my boys. They are funny, insightful, wonderful beings. I love them with my whole heart!

Bennett - I am thankful for Daddy and Douglas.

Harrison - I am thankful I got to see Daddy before I went to bed tonight.

Christopher - I am thankful to be coming home for Thanksgiving.

11/23/10 thankful post

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


It isn't what you have in your pocket that makes you thankful, but what you have in your heart. ~ Unknown

I am thankful for plane tickets!

Graysen - I am thankful for Beth. I keep taking my socks off and she keeps putting them back on!

Annabelle - I am thankful for the orange apron.

Miles - I am thankful for Ratatouille that I want for my birthday. And I am thankful for ice cream cake from Annabelle's birthday!

Caden - I am thankful for C's.

Bennett - I am thankful for a bush because I can hide behind them when I play Hide-and-Go-Seek with Harrison, Caden, and Miles.

Harrison - I am thankful for Thanksgiving because Mr. Johnson read a book to us that was about a girl that saved Thanksgiving.

Christopher - I am thankful to my cousin Andy for all the help last night.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses. ~ Unknown

I am not thankful that our fridge decided to stop working. I am thankful to Christopher and Andy for getting the new one and bringing it home and taking off the door and moving the cabinets and... all on a Monday night. Thank you, thank you!

Graysen - I am thankful for crackers in soup. Yummy!!

Annabelle - I am thankful for banana bread. So Yummy!!

Miles - I am thankful for car naps!

Caden - I am thankful for car naps!

Bennett - I am thankful for car naps!

Harrison - I am thankful for my winter coat. I look like Connor!

Christopher - I am thankful that I found a new fridge in 5 minutes.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention. ~ Oscar Wilde

I am thankful for the heater in my car. It was COLD this morning going to work!!!

Bennett - I am thankful I got to go to Daddy's work today. And I am thankful for me.

Harrison - I am thankful that I got to help take cans back today. It was neat to use the machines and we got money!!

Christopher - I am thankful that I got to spend the whole weekend at home.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


"We've got a blue collar football team. We got a group of young men who put their hard hats on every day and just continue to go to work. I could not be prouder of the effort they put out tonight." ~ Paul Rhoads

I am thankful to be a Cyclone. I am grateful to Coach Rhoads. I bleed Cardinal and Gold!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bennett - I am thankful to be a Cyclone!!

Harrison - I am thankful to be a Cyclone!!

Christopher - I am thankful to be a Cyclone!!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Dear Lord, I am grateful I am still loved. ~ Vivian Leigh

I am thankful for yarn wreaths. I love making them!!!

Graysen - I am thankful for Elmo. Graysen sleeps with Elmo at my house and recently, when he wakes up, he plays Peek-a-boo with Elmo. "Elmo, where are yoooouuuu?" Too cute!!!

Annabelle - I am thankful for Bennett's aquarium night-light. It's only nap-time, so it's usually light out, but I still can't sleep without it!

Miles - I am thankful for cotton candy.

Bennett - I am thankful for water. I like to drink water. I like to take a bath in water. I love to swim in water. Mom, can we go swimming? Or get the sprinkler out? Can we do that, please?

Harrison - I am thankful for Friday nights and pizza!!

Christopher - I am thankful it's my first day of work this week and it's Friday!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. ~ Mark Twain

I am thankful for Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side. Comics just aren't the same without them...

Graysen - I am thankful I can jump with 2 feet off the ground. And I am thankful that Beth thinks this is hysterical and that makes me smile and jump more!

Annabelle - I am thankful for lift-the-flap books.

Miles - I am thankful for Harrison and Bennett's cool Lego's.

Caden - I am thankful for Star Wars Legos.

Bennett - I am thankful for you. (Thank you, Bennett. I love that. You have already been thankful for me. What else are you thankful for?) Only you. I am thankful for you, you, you. And Daddy and Harrison. You, Daddy and Harrison. And Caden. And Miles. That's all. (I wonder if he watched The Jerk last night when I wasn't looking!?!?)

Harrison - I am thankful that everyone was here today. I love to play with them after school.

Christopher - I am thankful I am on my way home. Bedtime surprise for the boys!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice. ~ Unknown

I am thankful for friends. Wonderful, important, great friends. Friends help make my world go round.

Graysen - I am thankful for blocks. I love to knock down towers no matter whose they are!

Annabelle - I am thankful for the play cart. I go Hy-Vee!!!

Miles - I am thankful for trucks. Monster trucks. Digger trucks. Semi-trucks are cool.

Caden - I am thankful for candy!!

Bennett - I am thankful for daddy. I miss him.

Harrison - I am thankful that Lauren came to visit.

Christopher - I am thankful this is my last night in a hotel.

Lauren - I am thankful for real food, little punks like Harrison and Bennett and garlic. I love garlic!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks. ~ William Shakesphere

I am thankful for my camera. Pictures are ways to bring memories to life.

Graysen - I am thankful to be healthy again.

Annabelle - I am thankful for my tutu's.

Miles - I am thankful for the new bear puzzle at your house.

Caden - I am thankful for chocolate cake.

Bennett - I am thankful for Baby Bear and Birthday Bear.

Harrison - I am thankful for tilapia. Yum!

Christopher - I am thankful my mother-in-law told me to find a little dive mexican restaurant called Conejitos while I am in Milwaukee. Yummy!

Mom - I am thankful for coffee my daughter brings me. :)

Monday, November 14, 2011


Express an attitude of gratitude!

I am thankful for my mom. I hope she realizes she is truly special and wonderful.

Annabelle - I am thankful that I am Happybelle.

Miles - I am thankful for your cool house and your cool toys. And I love the big wheel.

Bennett - I am thankful that I am SuperStar at school this week!

Harrison - I am thankful that I got to pick green tomatoes for a green tomato pie! And it's the middle of November!

Christopher - I am thankful that my hotel room has a sleep number bed. Ahhhhhh.

Mom - I am thankful for 60 degree weather in the middle of November and being able to still garden.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Be the change you wish to see in the world. ~ Gandhi

I am thankful for coffee at 4:15 am. Boy that's early. But really I am thankful for coffee at any hour!

Bennett - I am thankful for my camera.

Harrison - I am thankful that I got to go to the airport.

Christopher - I am thankful that I get to see my dad on his birthday.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


It's up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There's so much to be thankful for
~ Josh Groban

I am thankful for Bennett. He is wonderful. I enjoyed hanging with him today while Harrison was at his play-date. I learned more about zombies, baby bees and the things that his baby bear does when he should be sleeping than I thought possible. His imagination is endless!

Bennett - I am thankful for lunch out with mom. Hu-Hot!!!!!

Harrison - I am thankful I got to go on a play-date today.

Christopher - I am thankful to be home to play with my kids.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Those who expect to reap the blessings of liberty must undergo the fatigues of supporting it. ~ Thomas Paine

I am thankful for numbers. Every little thing makes life more interesting. Today is also a doubly thankful day as we celebrate the actions of those who have stood proud to keep our country free and to help others attain those same freedoms. Freedom comes at a price and that is sometimes easily overlooked, but I never overlook the fact that freedom and control are two very separate ideals.

Annabelle - I am thankful for pretty bracelets.

Miles - I am thankful for toy dinosaurs. Real dinosaurs are scary.

Bennett - I am thankful for flowers. They look pretty on your shirt.

Harrison - I am thankful for my principal, Mr. Johnson for reading a book to us called Corduroy.

Christopher - I am thankful for 60 degree weather for the last Iowa home game.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning. ~ Albert Einstein

I am thankful for babies. They bring joy in the present and hope for the future.

Graysen - I am thankful for my legs. I love to run and run and run and run...

Annabelle - I am thankful for Be-neT. Annabelle loves her some Bennett!

Miles - I am thankful for my blankie and my bed. It is warm.

Caden - I am thankful for my froggy blanket.

Bennett - I am thankful for grass. I like to look at grass and I like to run on grass. And grass is green.

Harrison - I am thankful that I was polite today. I accidentally stepped on a friend's hand and I said 'Sorry' right away.

Christopher - I am thankful for $.50 Clif Bars.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues. ~ Cicero

I am thankful for Christopher. He is wonderful, caring, loving and all-around awesome. And he shoveled this morning at 5:30 since he leaves for work around 5:50 am. What a guy!

Annabelle - I am thankful for Mimi.

Miles - I am thankful for dump trucks at school. I really like them.

Bennett - I am thankful for snow.

Harrison - I am thankful for Izze soda. Yummy!!

Kira - I am thankful for my mom.

Christopher - I am thankful that the orange barrel underneath the semi I was behind this morning did not dislodge and hit me!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Most important thought, if you love someone, tell him or her, for you never know what tomorrow may have in store. ~ Walter Payton

I am thankful for rainy days. I love a good, cozy inside day almost as much as a bright, cheery warm outside day. Cuddle, cuddle!

Annabelle - Candy. "I want candy!"

Miles - I am thankful that my house is cool and my toys are cool.

Bennett - I am thankful for Grandma and Grandpa. Because I like them. :)

Harrison - I am thankful that the Bears won last night.

Christopher - I am thankful for how excited Harrison gets when he knows the Bears are playing on Monday night!

Monday, November 7, 2011


Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough. ~ Oprah Winfrey

I am thankful for my Aunt Marcy. It was nice to visit with her today.

Graysen - Graysen is thankful for Peek-a-boo. In the car I hear 'Beth, where are yoooou?'

Annabelle - I am thankful for Miles. 'I love Mah-heen.'

Miles - I am thankful that I love Mommy's car. And signs. I love that sign and that white one over there. (I asked while we were in the car.)

Caden - I am thankful for cool, Hot Wheels cars.

Bennett - I am thankful for rhyming words like Brock and sock!

Harrison - I am thankful that I got to see all of my friends at school today.

Christopher - I am thankful that this day is going to end at some point.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Nothing in your life is beyond redemption. ~ Sting

I am thankful for Pad Thai. Seriously. Pad Thai. I LOVE Pad Thai.

Bennett - I am thankful for apples. They have juice in them!

Harrison - I am thankful that we get to have french toast for dinner!!

Christopher - I am thankful to be home safe and sound.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition. ~ Samuel Johnson

I am thankful for alone time. Alone time is necessary, seldom and refreshing. It also gives you a chance to remember that it's not normal to have the house to yourself when you have a 6 and 4 year old and a wonderful husband!

Bennett - I am thankful for my daddy.

Harrison - I am thankful for the Iowa Hawkeye football win over Michigan.

Christopher - I am thankful for 20 year old chap-stick. (Windy at the game today!)

Friday, November 4, 2011


The tooth-fairy finally made an appearance at our house last week. I really don't know anything else that Harrison has waited for more than this. His cousin, James, lost his first tooth over a year ago and as Harrison pointed out, "James is like 7 months younger than me!!!" Thankfully Harrison has come to understand that kids grow at different rates and adults come in all shapes and sizes. :)

On Wednesday, I got a text message from his teacher along with a picture. The message asked me if I noticed anything missing and the picture showed a little boy who was just about as happy as he could be. I was a little disappointed that he had lost his tooth at school, but just seeing how happy he was made it all better.

Luckily the tooth-fairy has been saving up for this day for a long time now as well. Harrison's tooth has been loose since the beginning of October! So under the pillow went the tooth at bedtime and when Harrison woke up, there was a shiny $1 gold coin in it's place. What a lucky kid!

P.S. I hope the tooth-fairy has another shiny $1 gold coin. The next tooth is loose, as well!


When I started counting my blessings, my whole world turned around. ~ Willie Nelson

I am thankful for my electric blanket. I love my electric blanket.

Graysen - Graysen is thankful for football helmets that can be worn forwards or backwards!

Annabelle - I am thankful I am a jumping bean! (After I change her diaper, she tells me she wants to be a jumping bean and I hold her hands while she jumps on the bed shouting "I'm a jumping bean!!!")

Miles - I am thankful for the caterpillar on the shelf at preschool. I like it.

Caden - I am thankful for kisses from my mommy.

Bennett - I am thankful for your iPhone, Mom.

Harrison - I am thankful for my mommies hugs. (This was being said while he was giving me a great hug before school!)

Christopher - I am thankful for my wife's internal alarm-clock.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Today I am thankful for music. Who knew that dancing to 2Pac singing 'California Love' could be so fun when surrounded by kiddos that thankfully can't understand all the lyrics!

Graysen: "No!" (Graysen started using this word yesterday. Sigh.)

Annabelle: Happy. I am sooo happybelle!

Miles: I am thankful for preschool. It is so fun.

Caden: I am thankful for my mom. (I asked him and Bennett separate so they didn't know each other's answers! How cute!)

Bennett: I am thankful for you! (He said this while pointing at and giving me a great big smile!!)

Harrison: I am thankful for a yummy lunch at school. Sausage pizza!!

Christopher: I am thankful for blue skies.

Soccer 2011

Fall soccer has come and gone in the Neipert household. We started around the middle of August with practice and our last game was October 29th. It was a busy season as it was Bennett's first year of soccer and Chris was one of his coaches and it was Harrison's first year in the U8 league of more rules and regulations.

Here are my boys before their first big games.

I can't believe I am so lucky!

I love this picture! They are so happy. Is it just me or do they not look like each other at all?!?!

Harrison's team was named The Tornados and they were wonderful. We knew most of the kids on his team. Johnny, of course, and then there was Mason and Gabe from his baseball team this spring. We also knew Joseph because he goes to school with Johnny. Rounding out the team were Oliver, Drew and Sam.

Here they all are bringing it in at the end of their last game. "Go Tornados!"

Of course Harrison was the best on the team! I mean, what else do you expect me to say?! But, honestly, Harrison was great. He tried hard, hustled all the time and even scored a few goals along the way. The challenge they faced this year was trying to stay in their positions. Harrison was pretty good at getting all over the field and going to the ball. He was not great at staying back in the sweeper position. There he had to fight the urge to go to the ball until it came back down to his part of the field. He just wants the ball!!! I am no photographer, but here are a couple of action shots.

What form he has!

He he is behind Johnny and Drew. This is a time where he was playing the sweeper position.

We are so proud of him and his interest in soccer. He can't wait for next spring when they start again. This year was definitely a learning year as some of the teams were second year U8 teams and we were a first year U8 team. But whether we scored goals or not, Harrison had a great time. So much of a great time, he think he doesn't want to play baseball in the spring. Just soccer. Chris is inwardly crying.

Just when you think it won't happen, Bennett got old enough for soccer. But, contrary to his brother's love of the game, Bennett doesn't seem to think he wants to play ever again.

Bennett's team was called Maroon 6. Maroon shirts, 6 players. Funny stuff! The boys on Bennett's team were all new to us. There was Tomas, Tommy, Joe, Bennett, Ethan and Sam. Here they are after the last game with Coach Gary.

Bennett tried hard for almost all of the games. One game, Chris was there and it was cold and he had cold hands. Since his hands were cold he didn't want to play. Ugggg... We talked about commitment to the team and compromised that he would sit on the sidelines and watch his team. He did just that even though he thought I should have taken him home! Most of the time, Bennett just ran around in the area that the ball was. He never really got in there and kicked to much, but he was off chasing butterflies either! He did score one goal and it was at his first game (that I missed!). I did give him the 'Spacing Award' for the season though. :)

Bennett getting to kick the ball off with Sam.

Coach Gary brought oranges for halftime for almost every game. This was Bennett's favorite part!

Time will tell if there is soccer in Bennett's future. Currently he doesn't want to play baseball, play soccer, go to camp or do anything that involves kids and adults he doesn't know. Spring might be the first time I 'push' one of my children into doing something they don't want to do. I don't mind Bennett not wanting to do something, but I do mind being too shy to not get involved in something you love. He loves soccer and baseball at home...

I am happy that the seasons are over. Last night was the first Wednesday in 3 months that we didn't have practice!

Thankful Season

Tis the season to be thankful. Thank goodness!!!!

I am grateful and thankful everyday, but sometimes thankfulness takes a back burner to preschool, dinner, laundry, soccer, etc. Thankfulness shouldn't take a back burner but that is what I love about November. Thanksgiving is soon and I have a whole month to remind myself what a lucky gal I really am.

Today is November 3rd, so I am going to back track for the 1st 2 days of my 30 days of thanks.

November 1st - I am thankful for my boys. Chris, Harrison and Bennett make my world go round and I don't know or wonder what my life would be like without them.

November 2nd - I am thankful for good books. Even trashy ones! My friend Heather started me on the Sookie Stackhouse series. I am hooked. If you have ever seen or heard of True Blood on HBO I suggest you check these out. True Blood is based on these books.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sick Day

Bennett and I are home alone today. It's a sick day. It's a mommy/son bonding day. As in I am in bed watching movies and Bennett is on the couch playing iPad and watching movies. Lots of bonding.

I decided at one point that a bath would be good for me. I got Bennett set with some cartoons and headed into the bathroom. It was nice. Relaxing. Calm. Enter Bennett. "What are you doing, Mom?" Serious? Does he get this from his father? Nothing really to say so I will just ask the obvious question that I already know the answer to? Uggg... "I told you I was taking a bath, honey." (Boy I am nice. That is not what I would have said to his father.) "Oh." Bennett then smiles and giggles a bit. I am thinking this might be the time to institute some boundaries between 4 year old sons and naked 34 year old moms. But instead of commenting on my nudity he grabs his water bottle that he plays with in the bathtub and starts spraying me with ice cold water! He starts giggling more which causes me to shriek and giggle at the same time which in turn causes me to break out into an 'I can't breath' coughing fit and then Bennett's giggling and laughing cause him to break out into an equally bad coughing fit.

Needless to say, I ended up back in bed and he ended up back on the couch. Luckily I love him.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Congratulations, good parents. I applaud you and all that you do. I bow down to your constant vigilance at raising fine, young upstanding citizens.

I tell you this because of 2 recent conversations I have had with my oldest:

Harrison - Mom, can you tell me about Ryan Seacrest?
Me - Ummmmmmmm. Yeah, ummmmm, he's a host.
Harrison - Oh. He sounds cool.
Me - (inside my head) - AAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Later on that day:

Harrison - Later, can you show me some moves like Jagger?

Tomorrow morning at 8am I will register in Parenting 101. I promise. Or you will find me in the living room showing the boys (and girlie!!!) my moves like Jagger!!!! :)

References (for those of you not into pop culture!!!):

Ryan Seacrest (dork)

P.S. There are 6 players on Bennett's soccer team and they wear maroon shirts. They are called Maroon 6!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

I remember

I remember where I was 7 years ago. I remember it was a Friday. I remember it was an intersession day at school. I remember all of the kids were gone on a field trip. I remember I was at my desk. I remember Mike called me on my cell phone. I remember that it was just after 10:00 am. I remember he said that Jodi was with her. I remember feeling like I knew this was coming. I remember thinking that this can't possibly be true. I remember thinking I could go back on working. I remember realizing that wasn't true.

Sometimes I forget what it is like. Sometimes I forget that she is gone. I hear about someone losing a friend or someone close to them and think 'Oh, that must be so hard.' Then I remember. It is amazing how easy it is to forget that she is gone. It is probably because I remember so much about her. Her laugh was infectious and wonderful. Everyone around her would have to smile when she did. She loved music. Beastie's. Stone's. Beatles. So many... Spring Break. I will never let my kids go on Spring Break. Her hair. She had amazing hair! She loved to read. She didn't understand why people wasted time watching movies, but couldn't understand why I didn't love Beaches. On, and on, and on I remember...

On October 8th I will once again be walking in The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light the Night. This year the Omaha, NE chapter of Light the Night has selected Kara to be the Memorial Honoree of the walk.

Please join with me in donating to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Cancer is a horrible disease and by making your donation today, you can make a difference. Team Klara is currently taking donations in our battle against blood cancers. To donate you may click here, call me (515-822-2660), email me (, or send money to my home address (3011 School St. Des Moines, IA 50311). Also, you may join our team!!! It is never to late to come join me in remembering all of the great times. T-shirts are available for $17.00. Just let me know if you are interested and I can get one ordered for you. Kara's biggest fear was that she would be forgotten. It amazes me that she would fear being forgotten. I might forget that she is gone, but really, I am just remembering when she was here.

Kara Marie Luett ~ February 13, 1978 - September 17, 2004

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Big Day

Harrison has been avoiding learning how to ride his bike for 2 years. I am not a fan of training wheels so he has never had any. He got a scooter for his birthday last year from my godparents, Fuzzy and Jean and he has learned a lot about balance this summer. He loves his scooter. Chris and I nudge him towards his bike a lot, but just the last couple weeks we have really been pushing it. Yesterday he took off all on his own and he is working at it just like he did with his scooter. He can ride up and down the drive-way, but has to stop to turn around and still has some trouble with the breaks. But he can ride!!!! All by himself! I am so excited for him and by the look on his face, I think he is pretty excited as well!

Very proud.

Away he goes...

It happened again

It happened again. The kids got older. I want to live in my naive world where my boys never grow up to be the teenagers we witnessed swearing and standing on tables outside of McDonald's on a Friday night when they were supposed to be at the football game... I digress...

Preschool started!!!!!

Bennett started in the 4 year old room. In a new location. With new teachers. School started Tuesday. Monday morning Bennett decided he was not going to school. There was no reason that we could ascertain. No hint of what was bothering him. Great. It was Labor Day. I couldn't go to the library to check out a picture book about conquering fears or the joys of preschool. I looked on line for some advice, but I was doing pretty much everything the 'experts' said. Bennett was adamant that he was going to stay home with Annabelle and take a nap. A NAP!! He hasn't napped for almost a year and even before that it was like pulling teeth the get him to lie down! Basically I just down played it. I didn't belittle his fears or anything, but I didn't feed into it either. I was a little nervous how this staunch attitude on not going to preschool was going to affect Caden and Miles on Tuesday, but neither seemed to bothered by it. Caden looked at him like he was crazy and Miles just didn't pay attention!

We were outside Tuesday morning and I decided it was time for some photo's before the time crunch of getting in the car after lunch. I brought all he back-packs outside and from there, something changed. Bennett didn't mention not going to school. He smiled and was excited. I have NO idea what happened, but I am REALLY glad!!

The 3 amigos

4 year old preschool

3 year old preschool

I wasn't overly worried about his first day because I was going to be there the whole time and Heather and Andy were coming for their kids. I could concentrate on Bennett. But on his second day I would be all by myself with Graysen and Annabelle in tow and Annabelle has convinced herself that she gets to go to preschool too!

See, Graysen and Annabelle are already barging into the picture!! :)

Thank goodness Bennett changed his tune! I can only imagine Annabelle screaming "I TOO" at the top of her lungs, Graysen pulling everything off the shelves and Bennett clinging to my leg crying. After school he told me that he forgot that there would be new toys and I didn't need to stay with him anymore. What a vicious circle!! First I am complaining because he won't go to school then I am almost in tears because he doesn't need me anymore! My baby!!!!

The first day was a wonderful success and the new location is amazing. We are looking forward to day 2. Here is my budding tool man ready to go.

In 10 short years my boys will be 14 and 16, going to Friday night football games and it will so not be cool for their mom to tag along. Excuse me while I go hug Bennett and then jump in the van to drive down to the school to yank Harrison out of the 1st grade!!

Friday, August 26, 2011


My friend Kari emailed me to invite me and the kiddos to the pool. I read this email at 11:00 pm. After a long day with kids. After a long night at work. I read the email and thought "NO!!! Is she crazy? Why would would I want to take 5 children four and under to Ashworth Pool?" For those of you who don't know, Ashworth Pool is a real pool. Not an Aquatic Center, zero-entry type of pool. Why would I want to hold onto 5 children who can't touch the bottom of the shallow end? I went to bed that night thinking that my cautious, safe friend Kari might have had one to many adult beverages that afternoon (she wrote the email around 3pm).
Next morning - check email again. 'Did she really ask me to go to the pool-pool?' No. She didn't. She asked me to go to the last day at Ashby Park wading pool. Ahhhhhh. Much better. I think I need to not check emails in states of lack-of-sleep stupor.

I loaded up the kids with sunscreen, hydrated them with lots of water and got them into their bathing suits. Off to the wading pool we go. Bennett gets in the car and tells the other kids all about the cool slide and the giant water bucket that dumps "a whole lotta" water on you. 'Oooo, Bennett, not the Ames Water Park. This is a wading pool here in Des Moines. We won't have to be in the car that long.' Thankfully this was enough of an explanation. We were still excited about going to a pool, even if it had no slide. SLIDES!! After that quick, jog to the front of my memory, we had a quick, serious talk about the park. We were going to the pool and even though they had a park there, we were not going to swing or slide or play in the sand. I could handle wet kids, I could not handle dirty, sandy, wet kids who were crying because they just burned themselves on the sun-soaked hot slides. Luckily for me, I have some of the best kids in the world and they listened beautifully! No drama, just lots of wet fun!

She dumped water on her head for the first 10 minutes she was there!

Sooooo happy!

Collector Inspector Bennett reporting for ball collecting duty.

Fun with fountains!

Annabelle got more than she bargained for with this fountain as the water went right up her nose. She came out of this one with a pouty look saying "My nose! My nose!"

Splish-splash, just taking a bath.

Will getting down with the water!

This was some sort of follow-the-leader, we are sharks game. I LOVE that they all play so well together.


Cale and Graysen loved the bucket with a hole in it.

All of a sudden I noticed all of the kids were all together. Let's try a group photo!!!

Kind of... :) Caden thought Miles must be thirsty and Cale is creeping in the background, but together none-the-less!

What's wrong, Cale? I love your pouty lip.

Even better than that pouty lip is this GREAT smile!!! (Unfortunately to get him to smile like this I had to ask him about his beloved Hawkeyes... Sigh)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Some mornings

Typically I try and have a plan for the day. It's a loose plan, but a plan none the less. With 5 - 6 kids in the house, there has to be some control!

Today I had plans for a major lego construction zone and some painting with potatoes. I know you wish you were here! This was to happen sometime after I got the breakfast dishes cleaned up. Well, I forgot to water my plants last night (I was canning my second batch of green beans. 25 pints so far. Yeah ME!) so when Caden and Graysen got here and Bennett and Caden asked to go outside, we did! It was a beautiful morning and the birds were singing. Out came the hose, big wheel, tricycle, and trucks. Miles and Annabelle arrived. The sandbox got open. Plants got watered. 15 turns on the swing were had. 20 trips around the house were made in search of the bad guy. Etc, etc. Pretty soon it was 8:45, I was sweating, breakfast was yet to be consumed and I had forgotten my coffee inside. Where did an hour and 15 minutes go and when did the plan fly out the window?!?!

By the time we had breakfast and I had gotten everything cleaned up (along with 2 cups of coffee!) the kids had begun a game of marriage. It started when Caden said - "You guys pretend to get married and I will be the baby that someone drops off to you." (I guess Heather and Adam have had that all important birds and bees conversation with young Caden!) Bennett and Miles were on board and Annabelle, not to be one left out, was in the background screaming "I DO! I DO!!" Miles stated that he would be the mom and Bennett was quick to say "OK, I will find the marriage place."

The marriage place consisted of a blanket that got moved from place to place. On the blanket they laughed, took care of the baby, ate their meals and slept. It was soon decided that Annabelle was the dog and that she could lay on the blanket because she didn't shed very much. Annabelle took what she got on crawled on hands and knees every time the blanket was moved. What a good girl!

This lasted for some time, but eventually Graysen was stealing the blanket and Miles had lost interest. Caden stated that he guessed Annabelle could be his new mommy. Annabelle took him to the couch and patted his back while he fell asleep while Bennett went to work. (For anyone keeping track, Bennett has been married to both of his cousins in this little imaginative play-time!) Work consisted of a job located outside which caused everyone to want to go back outside. I wasn't quite ready for that so I suggested a quick show before more outside time. Jake and the Neverland Pirates, anyone? YES! YES! YES! NO, DORA!!! DORA!! The yes's were from the boys... After Annabelle screamed DORA for the 15th time (peeeeessssss), the boys said that would be fine if they could watch Jake after Harrison got home. She's got them wrapped around her little fingers...

I got a load of laundry in, the dishes put away, lunch stuff laid out and this blog written. Now Dora is finishing up and soon we will be back outside. I guess my plans can wait for another day... :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back to school time

Today was the 1st day of 1st grade for Harrison. His grandpa asked him last weekend if he was excited to be in 1st grade this year and he said, "Well, yeah. I mean, I'm a second year." as he puffed out his chest. For those of you who don't know, Harrison goes to the Downtown School and they have multi-age classrooms. This means that there are 8 or 9 students in his class that were in his class last year and there are 8 or 9 new kids this year. The new kids (Kindergarten) are 1st years and since Harrison is a 2nd year (1st grade), he gets to be a role-model to the 1st years. It's an enormously important responsibility. :)

I got up early this morning to go to Krispie Kreme to get doughnuts for a Doughnut Cake idea I stole from a friend who found it on a blog. I envisioned a dozen Krispie Kreme doughnuts with chocolate glaze and sprinkles piled high on the plate. When I got to Krispie Kreme at 5:45 am I was met by a drunk 20-something practically passed out at a table and NO sprinkle doughnuts. "Those will be done in about 20 minutes." Really? As I looked over the bleak selection of doughnuts, I looked over at the poor young man with his head on the table I thought, "Well, it could be worse." I bought one dozen plain doughnuts and headed off to Hy-Vee to get blackberries (Harrison's favorite!).

At Hy-Vee I couldn't help but check out their doughnut collection and ended up with 6 more doughnuts. SPRINKLES!!! :) I think the cake turned out pretty nice.

Harrison got up just as I finished the cake and he couldn't wait to eat it. After school... "I want everyone to see it all day and we can have it when I get home from school." Way to lord over the doughnuts, Harrison. He finally agreed that everyone (me) would be much happier if we could eat the doughnut cake for breakfast. He then asked me why I made the cake. I told him it was to celebrate his first day of school. "It's not my first day of school. I have already had, like, over 181." Being literal is one of his many, many wonderful traits...

Then it was picture time. I snapped a couple outside of just him. Isn't he grown up and handsome?!?!

Then I went to get Christopher for parent photo-ops. But Caden and Graysen showed up before we finished the pictures so we went inside to chat with Heather. Graysen then proceeded to throw-up on himself AND Harrison. So off with Graysen's shirt, off with Harrison's shirt, check to see that Graysen is fine (he is - he just randomly still spits-up!) and off to find Harrison another "1st day of school" shirt. Whew...

Pictures and shirt take 2

Christopher stayed home this morning so that I could take Harrison to school. We talked about his favorite parts of summer (Yellowstone, crazy Aunt Kaylee, and James coming for a WHOLE WEEK!!) and what he was excited about for school (new classroom).

Mrs. Mathews - best teacher ever

He was nervous about finding his classroom as the Downtown School is in a new location this year, but he remembered right where is was from school supply drop-off night. We found his name tag and found a table seat next to his friend Elijah.

Then I gave him a kiss and told him he wasn't too old to kiss me back. Elijah then commented that his mom just left and she made him kiss her too! Harrison begrudgingly gave me a smirk and a kiss and went onto drawing. I took a moment to look at him and before I could say "OK. I'm going to go now. You gonna be ok?" Harrison looks up at me and says "You can go now." in a very 'hurry up and get the hell outta here' kind of tone.

I love you, Harrison. I am proud that your dad and I have raised you to be independent, confidant and wonderful. Happy 1st day of school.