Daddy Daughter Dance

Let’s start with this:
an absolutely fabulous demonstration of what happens
when a 3-year-old helps a 21-month-old put on mascara!

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Early in the afternoon, we started the primping.


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Even Lizzie, who was too young to attend, got in on the curling.

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Our timing was a bit off, though.  I forgot to feed them before I dressed them.
Their manners were superb: I should have them wear aprons for dinner more often!

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Finally, the reveal:

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Have you seen a daddy look this happy lately?

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The Story of Lizzie and Buddy Bear

Lizzie’s preschool class has a communal bear, and each kid gets a turn to bring him home.
This is their story.

The Story of Lizzie and Buddy Bear

Once upon a time in a faraway land, there lived a little girl named Lizzie.  She was lonely because she didn’t have any friends.  Her teacher was a very nice lady, and she found a friend for Lizzie: Buddy Bear!

One day, Buddy Bear came home from school with Lizzie, so they could play together.
Lizzie was so excited.  When they got to Lizzie’s house, though, Buddy Bear disappeared!

 Buddy Bear didn’t mean to run away; he just wandered off and had a grand adventure.

First, he found a book to read. buddy3

 Then he found a BIG dog to play with.


After wandering around for a while, he got really dirty, so he took a bath.


 When he was clean, he crawled up on the couch to play a game on the phone.


Later, he realized he was hungry, so he devoured a yummy pizza.


Finally, he was so tired that he found a soft, comfy bed and fell asleep.


Lizzie was so sad when she couldn’t find her friend, but when it was her bedtime,
she found a wonderful surprise: Buddy Bear was in her bed!!

Buddy Bear told her all about his adventure,
and they cuddled all night and had sweet dreams of rainbows and unicorns.


 The next morning, after they ate a healthy breakfast,
washed their hands and brushed their teeth,
Lizzie and Buddy Bear went to school to learn lots of interesting things!



Back On The Road…Again! Thanks, Honey.

We drive old vehicles: a 2001 Avalon, a 2002 Caravan, a 1968 Charger (that’s for fun!)   The biggest plus for this is not having a car payment.  We basically drive our cars until they’re only good for donating to a scrapyard…then we find another cheap one. The  van is getting up there in miles, but we don’t want to give up yet.


I only have four requirements for a vehicle: mostly-reliable (Bob doesn’t mind rescuing us every now and then), air-conditioning (I live in Kansas!), heat (I live in Kansas!) and quasi-quiet (mufflers are good inventions).  So far, my van has met all the criteria; however, about 3 weeks ago, it started giving me fits when starting…it would just “click, click, click.” Eventually, though, it would always start, and my girls and I would be on our way.  Finally, last week, it took over 30 tries to start it, and there was a funny clanky rattle from underneath; I called, “Enough!”

Bob, in all his glorious shade-tree-mechanic’s wisdom, started digging around and found a bad starter and a broken transmission mount.  I was in a school board meeting when he sent me this picture…a little startling, to be sure!


Bob called O’Reilly’s to order the new parts (only $130); I picked them up (chit chatting with the parts store worker like I knew what I was talking about, of course), and two evenings covered in grease later, I’m good to go!  Seriously, we’re shooting for another several months out of this van…

Now, here’s my shout-out to my husband: this man can (and does) fix EVERYTHING!  So far on my van, (and this is only what I can recall off the top of my head), he has replaced the fuel pump, the driver’s side window and up/down mechanism (I don’t know what it’s called), the brakes, the oil pan/drain, battery terminals, and now the starter and engine mount.

Sometimes, I think he actually enjoys the breakdowns.  When the fuel pump went out, his uncle and his grandfather even came over to “play.” It’s in his blood, apparently.

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And this is just one vehicle.  In the past, he rebuilt the bodies of Mustangs (we had a yellow ’98 GT and a  red ’97 Cobra pre-children!) and continually tinkered with and jury-rigged our “piece of crap” Nisson Stanza.

When I’m not home, and Bob’s in the garage, he’s even found ways to involve the girls in the car work.  Here, Josie is watching her Daddy change brakes.


Even though I know Bob never minds working on our daily drivers, nothing compares to getting to play with this sweet  car!

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Easter 2013

Easter was early this year, but we were blessed with gorgeous weather
here in the Midwest. I can’t remember the last time we could wear
Easter dresses without sweaters and tights.


As a family, we keep the focus on Jesus’ death and resurrection
instead of the Easter Bunny. On occasion, however, a pretty darn cute bunny finds us.  Easter5

We decorate with eggs, though: lots and lots of eggs.
This was our Spring Break craft project this year.
(I HATE dying eggs…shhh…don’t tell my kids!)
I found cardboard eggs at Hobby Lobby, and we used almost 16 ounces of glue
to decoupage hundreds, maybe thousands of little pieces of colored tissue paper.
We also decorated a tray, a platter and wooden baskets. eggs9

I did bake the girls a bunny cake, using the Wilton Bunny Pan.
I took a plain white cake and turned it into a Jell-o Poke Cake,
which just adds such a yummy, summery taste.
Lizzie dove in before I could even decorate it. IMG_6377

We hosted Easter Lunch for Bob’s family this year
(and I can’t believe I didn’t take any pictures!).
For dessert, Lauren and I made this cake.
The handle is folded aluminum foil covered with ribbon.

The most important part of Easter, though, is shown in Lauren’s contribution.
She spent a long time (and made a HUGE mess in the garage)
nailing and painting this cross.
She even wrote INRI on the placard and placed it by the rose bush
to represent Christ’s crown of thorns.


Knights, Bishops, Rooks…Oh My!

I have played chess since I was a little girl: I played my dad, my brothers, my cousin, my uncle. I never won.

Now, I play my daughters.  I can win…for now…but it’s a lot of work!  Bob plays them…and gets spanked! (In his defense, Caroline has some pretty impressive distraction techniques: next time you see her, ask what happens when you say, “Regis and Kaaaaaathy Lee!”)

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Lauren and Caroline have joined the Chess Club at school, and Lauren has started competing in localLauren Chess3 tournaments.

Her win/loss record isn’t amazing…yet…but she’s learning and having a good time.  photo 2







And…Chess Club meets every Wednesday after school until 5:00, which gives me a chance to “relax” while the other kids do this:

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Fancy Girls!

Our church offers three services: a traditional liturgical service at 8:15 Sunday morning, and contemporary/traditional service at 11:00 Sunday morning and a very contemporary service at 6:00 Saturday night.  Bob calls the Saturday night service Party Church because the dress code is very relaxed, almost to the point of soccer clothes for some people, and the music is provided by the Praise Band.  Simply put, it’s not his favorite service.  The girls, however, love, love, love it!

I try very hard (OK…maybe not “very”) to avoid bribing my children to wring good behavior out of them.  This weekend, though, I was desperate: “If you’re helpful and kind today, we’ll go to Party Church this evening,” I pleaded.

It worked!!  In fact, they  were so helpful that I was able to finish up the Saturday chores about an hour ahead of schedule.  That left us time to get gussied up:

My Starchy Husband

Let me make an incredible statement: My husband does his own ironing!
Before kids, I would generally iron his work shirts, but his pants are too long for the ironing board, and getting them to stay in one place while I ironed a 36″ crease just made me nutty. After kids, well, let’s just say Bob went to work for a few weeks pretty wrinkled before he realized I wasn’t ironing anymore.
Once he took over, he wanted starch, starch and more starch. A can of spray starch isn’t too expensive, but a couple bottles a week was getting a little much. Add to the usage, Bob (or maybe some of his daughters) would knock off the bottle, and the floor would break the spray nozzle, rendering the (usually, of course!) full bottle useless.
Enter my craftiness…or my frustration…take your pick.  I doubled the recipe and added a few drops of lavender essential oil.  (With the oil addition, when Bob’s stressed at work, he just has to lean over and sniff his arm to calm down.)

My starchy hubby is back in business:

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