Sunday, November 22, 2015

November 22

It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment. ~ Naomi Williams, Body, Mind and Spirit

I am thankful for having all of the Christmas decorations out and up. I know it is too early, but we have a busy couple of weeks coming up and it does make the house feel extra special!

Christopher is thankful for getting our Christmas tree up.

Harrison is thankful for finally getting to watch The Hunger Games with my mom.

Bennett is thankful for my kindle. I like to play video games.

Friday, November 20, 2015

November 20

No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has escaped the kingdom of night. ~ Elie Wiesel

I am thankful for changes in seasons even if they do come a little early. The excitement felt by the kids is very contagious.

Christopher is thankful for making it home safe from work today.

Harrison is thankful for snow!

Bennett is thankful for snow, snow, snow!

Miles is thankful for the first snowfall.

Annabelle is thankful for Christmas. And love. No... I am thankful for Thanksgiving because that is where we get our love. From being thankful.

Rocco is thankful for snow. I don't know that I have ever seen anyone so excited for snow!

Emma is thankful for Annabelle because she is happy.

Felix is thankful for his 'One-Spots.' He has one by the front door, one by the back door, one under the kitchen table and sometimes he creates one by the bookcase by sliding the table out and sitting behind it. And every time he sits in one of his spots, he smiles. Adorable. Truly!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

November 17

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little,  and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.The Buddha

I am thankful for my mom. She is a strength I may never know. <3 div="">
Christopher is thankful for pizza at the office today.

Harrison is thankful for puppets. I liked the demonstration today at school, it was fun.

Bennett is thankful for being able to play with Miles after school everyday. He is fun.

Miles is thankful for winning my basketball game last night.

Annabelle is thankful for God and Jesus.

Rocco is thankful for my playground at school.

Emma is thankful for my dad. His name is Nate.

Felix is thankful for pickles. Specifically my bread and butter pickles. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone. ~ G. B. Stern

I am thankful for Felix. There is nothing better on a dreary Monday morning than a 14 month old running into the kitchen saying "Be! Be!" and giving you a great big leg hug!

Christopher is thankful that Harrison is feeling better today.

Harrison is thankful for basketball. It is a fun and active sport and I am proud of the good passes I made tonight.

Ella is thankful for her family. "I just really like my life." I melted...

Bennett is thankful for time. I loved doing my art and am glad I had time.

Miles is thankful for doubling their food goal at school. Now more kids who need food this winter will have it.

Annabelle is thankful for pajama day on Thursday.

Rocco is thankful for Payton and for Payton letting him pet her.

Emma is thankful for Rocco because I play with him.


Felix is thankful for stuffed animals. It seems like he is always caring one around!

Thankfulness 2014

Sunday, November 15, 2015

November 15

"When you think things are bad,
when you feel sour and blue,
when you start to get mad...
you should do what I do...
Just tell yourself, Duckie,
you're really quite lucky!
Some people are much more...
oh, ever so much more...
oh, muchly much-much more
unlucky than you!"

~ Dr. Suess

I am thankful for an afternoon date with my little babe. The Cyclone girls couldn't pull out the win but we had a great time regardless! #iowastatecyclones

ISU vs Drake at the Knapp Center

Christopher is thankful for DA BEARS, again... :)

Harrison is thankful for Percy Jackson movies. Not as good as the books but I still love them!

Bennett is thankful for popcorn at the game.

Thankfulness 2014

Saturday, November 14, 2015

November 14

When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow. ~ Anonymous

I am thankful for the good in the world. What happened in Paris yesterday should break people's spirits, but I have the hope and security in knowing that the citizens of the world will find peace and love. I believe.

Christopher is thankful for: "10 - 0. 'Nuff said."

Harrison is thankful for cozy blankets, a comfy couch and good tv. (He's a little under the weather.)

Bennett is thankful for his basketball shoes. I love them.

Thankfulness 2014

Friday, November 13, 2015

November 13

“Gratitude doesn’t change the scenery. It merely washes clean the glass you look through so you can clearly see the colors.” ~ Richelle E. Goodrich

I am thankful for my father-in-law. Happy birthday to a wonderful man who supports us and loves us everyday.

Christopher is thankful for the long week being over.

Harrison is thankful for Grandpa. Happy birthday to you!

Bennett is thankful for Fridays.

Thankfulness 2014

Thursday, November 12, 2015

November 12

“If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we would all be much happier.” ~ John Wooden

I am thankful for the library. The books smell like the library, the space is modern yet warm and the staff are always the most helpful and happy people I see all day!

Christopher is thankful for leftover Crab Rangoon pizza for breakfast.

Harrison is thankful for physical education.

Bennett is thankful for my first real wrestling practice.

Emma is thankful for Rocky. "I'm so glad he's here." My heart melted...

Rocky is thankful that Beth gives me kisses after I jump off of something and hurt myself. Smooch!

Thankfulness 2014

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

November 11

Gratitude turns what we have into enough. ~ Anonymous

I am thankful for our veterans and all they have done to serve our country.

Christopher is thankful that the tornadoes stayed away from our home in Des Moines.

Harrison is thankful for early outs and movie afternoons.

Ella is thankful to watch a new-to-her movie - Holes.

Bennett is thankful for my new winter jacket.

Miles is thankful to be able to play the Wii with Bennett.

Emma is thankful for running errands with Beth.

Rocky is thankful for french fries. Yum!

Thankfulness 2014

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

November 10

"Gratitude is something of which none of us can give too much.  For on the smiles, the thanks we give, our little gestures of appreciation, our neighbors build their philosophy of life.” ~ A. J. Cronin"

I am thankful for the parenting class I have been taking for the last 7 weeks. I have really enjoyed getting to know the people in the group and have had an opportunity to gain a different view on what it means to be a gifted child and how that is similar and how it is different to being a normal child. Hint: it's much more similar than different!

Christopher is thankful for load claims and free cheese dip for the office.

Harrison is thankful for getting everything done. "I read, I did my math homework, I practiced my baritone and my violin and still had time for a tv show. I feel accomplished.

Ella is thankful for playing in the big box with Annabelle.

Bennett is thankful for his first wrestling practice.

Miles is thankful for Rainbow Loom headbands. (He can create them in minutes!!)

Annabelle is thankful for playing in the big box on your porch.

Rocco is thankful for Mrs. Nancy at Preschool.

Emma is thankful for playing soccer with Harrison.

Rocky is thankful for zebras. He loves finding zebras in books!

Felix is thankful for his nap. Very tired boy today!

Thankfulness 2014

Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9

Gratitude is absolutely the way to bring more into your life. ~ Anonymous

I am thankful for my thankful posts. It's crazy how we stay thankful for the same things year after year and there is so much comfort in that.

Christopher is thankful for "DA BEARS!"

Harrison is thankful for his electric blanket.

Ella is thankful for violin lessons today.

Bennett is thankful for playing frisbee in the dark.

Miles is thankful for reading group.

Annabelle is thankful for my cousin Eleanor.

Rocco is thankful for mommy.

Emma is thankful for mommy.

Rocky is thankful for trains. He is sad when Felix knocks over his train line!

Felix is thankful for meat. Today was chicken but that boy loves to eat meat!

Thankfulness 2014

Sunday, November 8, 2015

November 8

“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have—life itself.” ~ Walter Anderson

I am thankful for my grandmother. She is a wonderful woman who has lived a wonderful and hard life. I am blessed to have her perspective and love in my life.

Christopher is thankful for a sit down dinner at the house with Granda Marge.

Harrison is thankful to be able to play my violin for my Great Grandma.

Bennett is thankful for Nico and the fort that we built.

Thankfulness 2014

Saturday, November 7, 2015

November 7

Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary. ~ Margaret Cousins

I am thankful for a free weekend. I love soccer season and baseball season and my kids. But I also love a Saturday to spend with them without going anywhere!

Christopher is thankful for the Hawkeyes winning another one. 9-0 baby!

Harrison is thankful for Cuties. "I've eaten 5 today!"

Bennett is thankful for Legos and Youtube and DeathStars.

Thankfulness 2014

Friday, November 6, 2015

November 6

“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” ~ Harold Kushner

I am thankful for going to the movies with my family. Great time and great movie. 
Christopher is thankful for Friday.
Harrison is thankful for the Goosebumps movie. I love it when mom surprises us!
Bennett is thankful for the Goosebumps movie and the Flix movie theatre.
Rocco is thankful for dinosaur puzzles. Cole likes to do them on the floor with me.
Emma is thankful for dress up puzzles. "That's a silly outfit!"
Rocky is thankful for markers. Beth wishes he would stick to the paper and not his hands! 
Felix is thankful for Jenga blocks. He loves to carry one in each hand.

Thankfulness 2014

Thursday, November 5, 2015

November 5

“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” ~ Saint Basil

I am thankful for a great dinner (Eatery A) with a great friend (Chris).

Christopher is thankful for finally getting some information on Harrison's basketball season (schedule, practices, etc).

Harrison is thankful for Battle of the Books. Team Falcon 40!!

Bennett is thankful for Seneca coming over after school today.

Rocco is thankful for water colors.

Emma is thankful for potato soup.

Rocky is thankful for the dragon costume. ROAR!

Felix is thankful for the giant yoga ball.

Thankfulness 2014

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November 4

“When you appreciate the blessings in life, your soul rejoices.” ~ Lailah Gifty Akita

I am thankful for the coloring book I got from my great friend Heather. It's truly a very relaxing and calming thing to sit down and do.

Christopher is thankful for the staff meeting, we were off the phones at 16:00.

Harrison is thankful for our mask making project at school. It's so fun.

Bennett is thankful for playing 4 square at recess today with friends.

Rocco is thankful for yogurt.

Emma is thankful for napping with Payton.

Rocky is thankful for bears. He loves napping with his bear and bear blanket.

Felix is thankful for raisins. Yum!

Thankfulness 2014

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Democracy Day

The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.Henry Ward Beecher

I am thankful for my right to vote. Here, here for Democracy Day!!

Christopher is thankful for me reminding him to vote.

Harrison is thankful for reading. (He got the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book today and hasn't put it down!)

Ella is thankful for drawing.

Bennett is thankful for cake because it is good.

Miles is thankful for Diary of a Wimpy Kid and for Harrison being a fast reader. "I get to borrow it next!"

Annabelle is thankful for big leaves that she gets to take home and sketch.

Rocco is thankful for his dough monster.

Emma is thankful for her imagination.  Today her and Rocky went to the store, pushed a cart and brought home milk.

Rocky is thankful for Llama llama books. They are his favorite!

Felix is thankful for his nap time blanket. He loves to hold it and chew on it.

Thankfulness 2014

Monday, November 2, 2015

November 2

Thank you is the best prayer that anyone can say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility and understanding. ~ Alice Walker

Christopher - I am thankful for cake.

Beth - I am thankful for my parents. I loved having them here last week, going to Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me, and spending time with them.

Harrison - I am thankful for music. I love classical music and am pretty good at reading it and playing it on my violin.

Ella - I am thankful for my family.

Bennett - I am thankful for candy.

Miles - I am thankful for my family.

Annabelle - I am thankful for you.

Rocco - I am thankful for you. (He and AB were not together when they answered. I am so blessed!!)

Emma - I am thankful for my fox costume.

Rocky - He is thankful for the library play house.

Felix - He is thankful for the green grass, warm weather and soccer balls. And Harrison to play with!

Thankfulness 2014

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween 2015

It's Daylight Saving Time again. We fell back and hour. It's 6:30 and I'm exhausted! That could be because Chris and I went out last night for Halloween... :) Our costumes were pretty fun. Chris and I were the Game of Operation and Adam and Heather were Johnny and Mavis from Hotel Transylvania. We went to Scare-us-Hill (Terrace Hill - the governor's mansion) to a wonderful party. A too good of time was had by all and I had my first Uber ride. Fun times!

Friday night was Beggar's night in Des Moines and my boys went prepared with jokes. Harrison's was 'What do you get when you cross the diameter of a pumpkin with the radius of a pumpkin? Pumpkin Pie!' and Bennett's was 'What is a ghosts favorite fruit? A Boo-berry!' I love the tradition of jokes in Des Moines. The kids are so cute trying to get them just right. 

Dirty Laundry and My Iron Man

Dirty Laundry and the real Iron Man being photo-bombed by Grandma

 Iron Man double take

 Halloween 2015

Too much candy was received and everyone went to bed with tummy aches! It was worth it!!!

I fall, I rise, I make mistakes, I live, I learn, I've been hurt but I'm alive, I'm human, I'm not perfect but I am thankful. ~ author unknown

Beth - I am thankful for the start of a four day warm up. 73 degree weather in November is heavenly.

Christopher - I am thankful for the weather.

Harrison - I am thankful for soccer season. I won a tournament this weekend as a guest player on a team and we won our final regular season game today on my regular team. It was fun.

Bennett - I am thankful for Halloween.

Thankfulness 2014

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Perfect Saturday

Saturday started early for us all. Bennett had a sleepover and he and Caden were up at 6:00am. And they woke Harrison while trying to be their quietest! What good kids... So I decided to reward them with pancakes and bacon. I love pancakes. Win-win for everyone.

The boys then spent most of the morning outside riding their bikes around the block, playing with the neighbor kids and swimming in the pool. Caden and Bennett have been such good friends since they were 2 and I love that still continues to this day. It helps that their mom's are great friends as well!

In the evening, Chris and I headed out to the Art's Festival for a little adult fun. We met Heather and Adam, Kari and Joe, and Maegan and Dan for a night out. Eddie Money was playing a free concert and thank goodness it was free! Another friend of mine was there and she said the inside scoop was that Eddie had just fired most of his band and 3 of the new members were his children! I, of course knew all of his songs and sang along to them all, but overall the performance was lacking. :( Thank goodness we had an awesome time regardless. So many laughs and great stories between friends. We ended the night at Star Bar for some bar food. Yum!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Arts Fest Day one

Harrison had his last day of STEAM Camp today. It was a 5 day camp that rotated between Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. The first day was Monday and he had Math but had to miss because of the last day of school. He and his friend Sarah were upset because they LOVE math. But in the end the heard that math day was 'easy' and a little boring so when they came home today and raved about art (which they wanted to exchange for math) we were all excited. Today's art project was boat making and the teachers had constructed a sort of raging river in the classroom. The kids had to take junk scrapes (styrofoam, tape, paper, etc) and create a boat that wouldn't flip over. They had a ball. The other days were filled with robot coding, top building, and roller coaster construction. Thank you to the DMPS for offering such an enriching camp to our students!

After camp we headed to the Arts Fest with our friends Missy and Deb and their kids Sarah and Sam. Sarah and Harrison have been in school together since preschool and so have Sam and Bennett. And since Sarah and Harrison have also in been in G/T together and will go to the same middle school and high school together, I foresee a long friendship for them! 

We stopped at several kids activities booths, watched a performance, helped create an art installation that will be permanently housed at the Des Moines International Airport and took time to get some selfies and photo booth opportunities. And somehow the kids all managed to wear blue so it was easy to keep track of them! The weather looked a little sketchy and we did get sprinkled on, but it was really a great day. 

And Chris and I get to go back tomorrow all by ourselves! Yeah - kid free night!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Food Trucks

Recently the city of Des Moines released restrictions on food trucks allowing many vendors to set up shop and then move shop and then move shop. Since then, we have been chomping at the bit to visit a few. We tried to go to the Food Truck Showdown at the Des Moines Social Club a month or so ago but that was a wonderful disaster. There were over 10,000 people there and the lines had an hour to an hour and a half wait. Most trucks eventually ran out of food! We choose not to stay and wait for food, but our appetite was wet!

The boys and I got our first chance this afternoon. We stopped by Chef Ott's Asian Cuisine and got some great food. We agreed by far that we had the most wonderful crab rangoon ever! We ordered the Pork Fried Rice, Pad Thai and the Banh Mi Style Sandwich. The sandwich was also out of this world! I had a blanket in the car so we were able to sit on the Court House lawn and enjoy our food truck chow. Next time we will try one of their Bubble Teas, but I was trying to keep to a little bit of a budget with this trip.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Water Wednesday

It has rained on and off all day here on our second day of summer. At 5pm the news said that we had gotten .46 inches but that was at the airport. Here (4 miles to the north of the airport) we had gotten at least 1 1/2 - 2 inches. And tonight we are getting more. It was nice to have an inside day with Bennett, because every chance both of my kids get, they are outside with the neighbor kids. Which I love, but they are mine too!!!

Today was Emma's last official day for the summer (she will be back next Tuesday as Anne has a training day) so we took a trip to the library this morning after we dropped Harrison off at STEAM Camp. She loves to get out a bunch of books and read them on the carpet and she also loves the play house and tool bench they have there. We also had to pick up some books  for Bennett and Harrison's summer reading. I got a list from both of their teachers so we picked up about 10 books each. Bennett's big summer goal is comprehension at his reading level and Harrison just needs to keep up the fantastic work. I swear he will be reading The Iliad and The Odyssey next!

One of our summer goals is cooking so tonight Bennett (with very little help from me) made us chocolate chip cookies. And they were good!! He loves to cook but I worry too much about the stove and oven. I HATE burns! But I'm trying to loosen up and trust in good decisions as the summer goes on. Tomorrow Harrison tells me that he is making French Toast Muffins. Sounds delish!

Another big summer goal for me was the boys in swimming lessons. They have had them before and can keep themselves up in water and float and do a little front crawl, but I wanted them to learn how to swim. And learn to swim they are! Both boys passed their first 2 week session and moved onto the next levels. This session is a little tougher for both and I am glad they are being challenged. I don't know if Bennett will pass his level, but I think Harrison will pass his. He is most worried about endurance as they have to maintain a swim for a much longer stretch of pool. He also loves his instructor. He thinks he looks like Michael Phelps! And I guess there is a triathlon in Harrison's future. Stay tuned for more on that! And this is after both boys complained for 3 weeks about the upcoming lessons. Ha!

Harrison is in the middle with the black trunks.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Officially Summer

The boys ended their 2014 - 2015 school year yesterday. It was bittersweet for me knowing that Harrison is now going to be a fifth grader. One year left with the people I trust the most with my child's education. The saying 'The best is yet to come' doesn't feel right in this situation, but I am going to challenge myself to cherish this upcoming, special year. I will focus on making memories that will last a lifetime. Harrison's teachers were Mrs. Arbogast and Ms. Donovan. His favorite part of this past year was the Neil Smith Nature Reserve field trip and he super excited to take us there this summer. Harrison is sad to see the fifth graders leave The Downtown School and he hopes to see them again soon.

Bennett finished his 2nd grade year with Mrs. Watson (same teacher as Harrison had for his 2nd and 3rd grade years) his favorite parts of the year were all the cool projects, especially the rocks unit and over the summer he will miss his friends the most. 

To celebrate the end of school and the beginning of summer I went a little Pinterest crazy! I put together a gift bag of popcorn, candy, and a movie ticket. Chris and I surprised the boys with a trip out to Newton to the Valle Drive-In to see Jurassic World. It was so much fun!! None of us had been out there before and we hope to make a return trip this summer. I don't know how busy it usually is but on a Monday night (with a little threat of bad weather to the south) we were the first ones in at 7:00pm and then gates opened at 6:30! We set up 'camp' and then the boys played some catch and then played some football. The movie started around 9 and was wonderfully fun and scary. The weather was perfect and Harrison and I even ended up in sleeping bags cause we were so chilly! Which was perfect because nothing is better than cuddling up on a cool summer night.

One more summer surprise I got for the boys was a basketball hoop for the pool. They got to try that out today and they love it. They are even pretty good about keeping the ball in the pool so that's a plus. :) Here are the wonderfully awesome quotes that came from the pool today courtesy of Harrison:

"Maybe I'm a cloud because I'm making it rain up in here."
"I think I should work at Dunkin Donuts cause I've got mad dunking skills!"
"I should be a plumber because I keep draining it."