Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Gotta love summer!

It has been way too long since I posted on here, so I thought I would fix that this evening. Summer has been busy just like every year! I am not even sure where the time is going! I can definitely say, I am enjoying being home with B. She keeps me on my toes and I am exhausted at the end of each day. She is such a busybody, but I LOVE it. I certainly wouldn't have it any other way. 

So far this summer we have been to the zoo twice, shopping (several times), a bridal shower, the fair, the pool, and SOOO much more. We still have So many fun things to do before school starts again. 

Here are just a few favorite pictures of summer thus far. 

We LOVE summer! 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Florida Sunshine

We made it to Florida this morning. I am thrilled to be in warm weather. Brynn even had her first airplane ride this morning. She loved it. At the beginning of the flight she was looking out the window, waving and yelling at the air traffic control workers. She was only fussy for a short minute because she needed to fall asleep. She then slept for the majority of the flight. 

Once we made it to our the rental house we were able to hit the pool. The water was warm and the sun was hot. This is something we haven't experienced in a long time in Indiana. 

Tomorrow we are looking forward to a visit from some of our dear friends, Paul, Sarah, and Baby Paul. They live in Miami so we don't get to see them very often. We get to meet Baby Paul for the first time and they get to meet Brynn. 

I am loving this vacation already. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Last Slice

Today is the last day of the Slice of Life Challenge. I can't believe that tomorrow is April! Where has a month gone? I am happy to see April here. I am ready for warmer weather. Tonight we actually took a walk as a family for the first time since fall. It was nice for everyone to get some fresh air. The last time Brynn rode in her stroller she was in her baby carrier facing backward. Not tonight, though. 

Here is a picture from our walk. Brynn loved it. I think Mike and Tanner were happy to have company. 

Earlier today I had planned on slicing about something else entirely different. I planned on writing about my silly fifth graders, but then changed my mind. However I can't resist sharing this gem. As I was walking around my room this morning checking on the progress of group projects I noticed a strange book on one of the desks. I don't really have words other than the book looks questionable inside and out. However the student that had the book has done some very advanced reading, so I didn't question it too much. Not sure if I will see the book again tomorrow? Who knows! 

Sunday, March 30, 2014


This morning Mike went to our local grocery store to pick up a couple of things. When he was at the store he asked for a paper bag, versus plastic. The clerk got really excited and told him he would love the bag. When he got it he quickly saw why. It was written on by a local child. Apparently it was some sort of project. We aren't sure on the details, but it was a very sweet surprise. So maybe the next time you are at the store you should ask for paper. :) 

In other news our out of town family made it he home safely today, which is great news. We are still so excited about last night. We really do realize how lucky we are. We appreciate those that have supported us in the last five years. Thank you! 

My favorite line on this bag, I love your style. Thanks kid. :) 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Big Night!!!!

Tonight was our big night for our annual haystack fundraiser. This is actually the fifth annual. We had the BEST time this year. It was amazing. This year we were able to share with everyone that we made our goal to raise $100,000!! We raised this amount in just over five years. Our fund in honor of Makenna is now endowed! That is beyond fathomable! 

I am going to keep this post short because I am spending time with family tonight. But I will say, thank you to those that came tonight, those that sent a donation in the mail this week, and anyone that helped make this event possible. Tonight we raised just under $10,000!!! All the money goes to Riley Hospital for Children. Man we are lucky! 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Big Day tomorrow!

Tomorrow is a big day for us. We have our big haystack fundraiser tomorrow at our church. All of the money we raise goes toward our daughter's fund at Riley. I am really anxious this year for some reason. Maybe because it is the fifth year for the fundraiser. Maybe because I am anxious every year and I just forget about it. It is hard to tell. Either way, I am looking forward to it. 

Tonight we are spending out evening at home cleaning and preparing for the big day ahead. Speaking of cleaning, Brynn has developed a fascination and love for the vacuum. She followed Mike around the house while he vacuumed. :) 

If you are in the area, feel free to come and join us! We would love to have you. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thank You.

Today I worked on thank you cards for Brynn's birthday party. I ordered them through Shutterfly so they would be cute and personal. They came on Tuesday and I quickly got to work. I love writing thank you cards because I know how important they are. When I write a thank you card I put a lot of thought into each and every card and the person receiving it. 

Something I have noticed overtime,  not everyone feels the same way. I have noticed that people don't always write them, which is fine. It isn't important to everyone. I have always been taught that you write a thank you card when someone does something nice for you or buys you a gift, etc. I used to dread writing them when I was in 4-H because there were always so many that needed to be written. As an adult now, I appreciate learning this valuable trait. 

Thank someone today. :) 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

That Funk You Just Can't Shake

This morning I woke up, exhausted but I crawled out of bed. Mike was leaving early so I wanted to be up and showered ,etc. before he left. That meant getting up a bit earlier than normal. No big deal. One problem though, I went to bed late because I got home late last evening. All my fault. No biggie. It is not unusual to be tired. :) 

Then I got to work and went to a meeting. It was a good meeting and I learned about things I could try in my classroom with my writers. 

Then I went to my room and learned about all of the things I missed at the middle school meeting. Ugh. I couldn't help but have the feeling that I missed something important. Part of the problem, since I teach language arts sometimes I am pulled to meetings with elementary teachers and sometimes I am pulled to middle school. Today was just hard because I know what I missed will still be required of me, but now I have to sort that out. Difficult. So between being tired and now frustrated I am stuck in a funk I can't shake. 

I am certain I can get out of it and have a good day, but it is taking me longer than normal. My head is spinning with so many things! Maybe I will read another funny book to my kids this afternoon. That might do the trick. :) 

Something else that gives me a chuckle is this older picture of Brynn. I took this in October for Aunt Holly's birthday. It still cracks me up that I caught her at this moment. We call this photo Pirate Brynn. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Night to Remember

I have know for the last few days what I was going to slice about. I have been looking forward to it. I was able to have a once in a lifetime experience this evening.  

Do you remember that book I couldn't put down a few days ago? Well, I was able to go tonight to listen to Eva Kor's story!!!! It was amazing! I asked my cousin AJ (a high school history teacher) to join me, and I wasn't  surprised that he was equally excited about this opportunity. 

We arrived at Grace before 5, although Eva wasn't speaking until 6. We were able to get pretty good seats. Her "lecture" as she called it was perfect. I am not sure how she put such a positive spin on something so awful and serious. She even had us laughing at times. She sure seems to have a lot if spunk. Love it! 

After she was done speaking she had her books for sale, signed her books, and allowed photos! AJ and I waited in line for a bit, but it was worth it. We spent some time talking about what to say to her. When it came time to meet her we both were in awe that we only partially said what we wanted and stood quietly while she signed. I had her sign my book and a book for the school. She was happy to do it. I see a trip to her museum in our future. :) 

I am not even sure what else I can say about tonight other than Eva is an inspiration and I am so glad I went this evening. It truly will be a night to remember. 

The book I couldn't put down. 

Monday, March 24, 2014


Tonight I am struggling with what to write about....I am 24 days in and I finally feel like I hit a wall. Then I sit and realize there  are plenty of topics I could choose. 

Tonight I am thinking about my life as a teacher. This evening my fifth grade boys were playing basketball at home, so I stayed to watch. (I should mention Brynn was with me.)  A lovely friend who also teaches happened to be there because her son was playing. We sat with her, thank goodness. All that Brynn wanted to do was walk up and down the bleachers. Between the two of us, Brynn wore out two steps on said bleachers. 

As I think about the evening and the fact that my arms are sore from wrestling Brynn, it occurred to me I must love my students. I didn't stay for the recognition from the parents or the students or those of you reading. I stayed because they asked me to stay, and because it was important to some of them that I was there. 

Then I started thinking about my week last week. I went to Dollar General twice, and Walmart once to buy supplies for my students for a project they are working on. I stopped at Walmart to buy Popsicle sticks!!! For those of you that know me know this is HUGE. I really don't like Walmart. Mike even offered to go in, but I still went. 

I do love my students and even in my ninth year of teaching I still love my job ( most days).  But the thing that keeps me going back day after day are the kids. I might be the only hug they get in a day or the only smile or the only genuine conversation, which is a big job. This brings to mind the following quote. Interestingly enough I can't find the true speaker of the quote. Maybe they didn't want any recognition. :) 

This photo doesn't have much to do with my post for tonight, but this is how I ended my night. Brynn realized that it is more fun to climb on her rocking chair than it is to rock in it. She was ornery! 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Things Dogs Put Up With...

Our dog Tanner is a rescue dog, and he has been part of our lives since 2005. He is 9 years old! He is a Shepard/Collie mix and he acts it at times. We love Tanner dearly and it occurred to me the other day that he puts up with a lot. Now that Brynn is bigger and gets around the house, she is constantly after Tanner. He really doesn't seem to mind and at times I think he likes it. For so many years it was just Tanner and now he has to share his space. That can't be too easy. He does it all in stride, for the most part. He has never and hopefully won't ever get upset with Brynn, but there are times I am not sure how he keeps his cool. Maybe Brynn is now one of his "people". I hope so. 

This morning before church happened to be one of those, "how does he do it" moments. Brynn was playing with her blocks and he wanted to be right there to play, too. The pictures say it all. He didn't get up and leave us until Mike started making noise. 

The last picture is my favorite. Brynn was actually sitting on Tanner and a block. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Playtime Saturday

This morning Brynn went to Grandma and Papaw's house, so Mike and I could go to Fort Wayne. Mike was donating platelets and I was running errands. I am proud of Mike for donating platelets. Makenna needed them everyday since her blood couldn't clot on its own. Way to go Mike!!! 

Brynn took her new backpack from her birthday today. So cute! She loved it! 

When we got home it was playtime. Brynn was really awake and ready to go! So we have been playing, cleaning, and doing laundry. Oh and watching some basketball. :) 

Enjoy your evening! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Think Happy Thoughts.

Today was a Spring Fling day at our school. Students and staff were encouraged to dress in spring clothes and the staff had a cookout for lunch. It was a pretty good day. My kids were a bit wild today for some reason. Maybe because the sun was out all day, however we did wake up with a fresh coating of snow! Talk about confusing. :) 

One of my kids shared a news story about being happy. It was a good reminder to find something happy in your day or to make someone else happy. At the end of the news story we watched the video Happy by Pharell Williams. It was a really good way to start class. We all really did seem happier. 

My last block of kids came in naturally silly, so to continue with the silliness I read a silly book. Those Darn Squirrels. They loved it and we all giggled. 

Something else I noticed, my little solar powered dancing flower had a chance to actually get its groove on today. That hasn't happened in months! 

Lastly, I noticed that this snack provided by my friend Jessica was smile worthy! The kids loved that it was a dolphin. :)

Happy Friday, everyone! 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Words and thoughts by Kenlee

My three almost four year old niece teaches me something every time I see her and tonight didn't disappoint. At dinner I learned that "ewectwicity isn't fwee" (electricity isn't free). So you shouldn't leave your lights on. Clearly an influence of her parents. Although it was something my dad said ALL THE TIME. 

I also learned tonight that you should always wear make-up. "If you don't people won't know if you are the kid or the mommy."  Great advice. :) 

Kenlee is a constant source of entertainment and always has something to say. I sure so love her. <3

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

One year!!!!!

A year ago today I went to see my doctor after enduring some uncomfortable days prior. Little did I know I was actually in labor. Who knew?!? Brynn had decided she wanted to come early. My doctor told me Brynn would be arriving that day, before 7:30 pm. She then said go grab some lunch and check yourself into the Birthplace at the hospital!!!! What?!?! I chose Culvers, because I wanted cheese-curds. Ha!!! At the restaurant the girl at the counter asked me when I was due, Mike and I chuckled. My reply was, in about an hour. The girl looked at me in disbelief. News quickly spread in the restaurant and the lady that brought us our food congratulated us and wished us good luck for the big day. It was a great lunch and we were off to the hospital. Brynn arrived at 7:43 that evening. She was perfect. :) 

Now today we celebrate her! This morning she woke up the happiest girl in town. It was like she knew today was her day. I also took the afternoon off, so we could eat lunch with Mike and spend time together. We even did a little shopping at Target. 

Today I am thankful for Brynn, the people that love her, the doctors that enabled her to be here, modern medicine, and too many other things to list. At this moment, I am not sure how I could be more blessed than this moment. 

Playing with her IKEA Barn and her new puzzle. 
Happy 1st Birthday, Brynn. We love you!