Friday, February 24, 2017

Dallas 8th Birthday

 One of the presents we gave Dallas was a couple of rides at MB2 the indoor motor cart track in Des Moines. They had a great deal 
Robert and Dallas went and took their rides after Christmas and they both enjoyed the experience.

 We had the grandparents and family over for a little birthday celebration. Of course he got Legos and they got put to use right away!

 Robert and I gave Dallas a Traaxas remote control Slash truck.  It gets played with a lot and hasn't broken yet.  It looks really fun.
 Loving on his sisters
 Having a friend party in December is fairly difficult. I talked Dallas into having a couple buddies over on a Thursday night to watch the Iowa vs. Iowa State Mens Basketball game and call it a birthday party. We ordered pizza, had popcorn and ice cream. Everyone took guesses on what the score would be. It was a good time, but in reality all they really wanted to do was play wrestle-tackle football in the living room.  I don't really consider my house to be super large. But having a couple extra humans, plus a Christmas tree set up makes it crazy. Next year remind me to see if I can rent a wrestling room for the party.
 Three pizzas was just the right amount
 Cole, Trent, Micah, Dallas and Lucas
Playing with the Traaxas in the snow for the first time.

The Perfect Gift 2016

This church event has weaved it's way into our family Christmas traditions. Again this year we made treats attached an invite to The Perfect Gift and handed it out to over 20 people in our neighborhood. 
My kids absolutely love doing this. 
This year we strongly encouraged Grandpa Dallas to get involved so we signed him up to be a greeter at the door! I think he liked it?

 We also decorated again. This year we did a Patriotic tree. It was more of a hassle this year because the prelit tree we were provided was not working. The lights they had available were icicle lights. We ended up at Walmart to try to remedy the situation and came out with one package of LED blue, and a pack or regular red. It is breaking Robert's Christmas mantra to mix lights or use LED, but it was a make it work situation.  Most of the ornaments were Robert's moms and then we borrowed some from a friend who had done a USA tree in the past.
The girls were in the Christmas show/pageant. Emily had a singing solo, she was a sheep with curly horns. Noelle was an angel.

We also pulled taffy all day. I think we did 6 batched. The last batch was without my Dad and Barb, but only  made possible by my sister. I think she hit the nail on the head, I might be a little too distracted in that environment to successfully get a batch cooked. But she is a pro! For some reason I can't find a picture of that awesomeness!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Winter Pictures!

 Noelle and a finished phonics book!
 Emily and her car! 
 Robert took each kid on a date to shop for their siblings. Looks like Noelle got a hot chocolate out of the deal!
 Emily modeling a headband we liked at a local store
 The devotion we used this Christmas required a candle. I couldn't find one locally, my nephew made this at preschool, so I am posting it to remember for next year!
 I love this little bag from Aldi. I eat this with shredded chicken frequently for lunch. One bag lasts me about 4-5 days. It is easy to prepare when I have the chicken on hand. I like it with a sprinkling of sriracha sauce.
 I didn't make Christmas PJ's this year at it was so pleasant! These pajamas came with a pack of markers so the kids could color in their shirts!
 We had an apple pie making party. Invited the expert Benji and his daughter Abby over to show us the ropes. Total we made over 20 pies. Emily and Abby made at least 7 between themselves.
Some of the men from the pie prep party. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Noelle the firecracker is 6

Long overdue birthday post for Noelle Rose. My dear child that talks, sings, dances, jumps and talks some more. She is not one for silence. Noelle learned to cheer and loved cheerleading this Fall, that season is over and she is happily back to dancing. She easily makes friends, she rivals Robert in her extrovertedness and can talk to ANYONE. Love her so much. I know God has big things in store for her.

 We celebrated at home on her birthday. Birthday #6 is the GUM birthday in our house. She can now chew gum... although she has lost this privilege several times already.
 We had her birthday party at the carousel in Story City. We were able to rent it for an hour ($25) and get unlimited rides for everyone. Then we had cookie cake and opened presents at the park.  It was magical and such a perfect day.  Riding any carousel is her favorite thing. I did think it was quite fast for an antique!

 Birthday sundae at Hickory Park

The whirlwind December

December is such a mixed bag.
I want to get everything done early and sit rested and marvel at the tree every night.
Then there is reality, which is really fun too, busy, but fun. I am never quite sure how much of it is because I am a homebody.
Let's take the following conversation into consideration...

Rob -listening to a podcast "Andy Fales had on a food critic talking about all these neat new foods, I can't wait til break to try some. What do you think?"
Me - "Sure sounds great"
Me in my head - "wait, does that mean I have to make a whole bunch of crazy new food that my family won't enjoy over break."
Me  out loud - "do you mean make new recipes at home or restaurants"
Robert - "All places to eat in Des Moines"
Me - "sounds fun"
Me in my head - "sounds exhausting driving to des moines every day to find something to eat"
Robert - "how come you don't like to do fun things?"
he can read my mind.

end conversation.

Anyway, I love December, love the lights, the food, the movies. It just seems rushed. We start with having Christmas on Thanksgiving with the Kibbe's. Then we slide into December. Usually the first week focuses on Dallas and his birthday. The second week of December seems to be the last week for classes/rehersals/practices and what not.  The last couple of years we have bookended the second week of December with an enormous community production at our church which we help with, I bet we logged 15 hrs at church this week.

And I don't say any of this to complain. It is blessed, we do have many wonderful things that we get to choose from and decide their value and place in our December.  I just wish it would last, or that this could be the month with 8 days per week!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

State Fair 2016

Of course we fit in a trip to the Iowa State Fair in August as well. I think it is a full blown tradition now and we will be sad some day when the kids are busy working or at band/sports camp and can't attend.
We saw all the usual things, we kind of wander around until we have tried all the foods we want to try, seeing the animals and sights in between. 

 I liked this succulent display behind Dallas
 Iowa State University booth is always a fun stop
 Noelle got to help with the quilt-a-thon (behind the scenes, handing out candy to the sewers on the hour)
 My favorite quilt
 Star Trek themed butter goodness

 Sky glider time for the big kids.  I can only  manage to ride this thing once a year. I used up my fright-ride during Good Guys. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Fall Upwards 2016 Cheer and Flag Football

What a wonderful season of Upwards Cheer and Flag Football.
Noelle cheered on the Sparkle Squad composed of K-1 grade girls. They practiced once per week and then cheered every Sunday for the 1:00 pm game. Besides learning 4-5 cheers they also had a small dance routine that they performed during half-time.  She loved this.  The routine, the cheers, her coaches and going to practice, it was all in her wheel house.  And that they got to perform their dance on the "stage" at the end of the year ceremony which was the cherry on top of a great season. Noelle loves to perform.  The head coach is amazing and had both cheer squads over to her house at the end of the season for a pizza and dance party.  Not only did Noelle get a prize at the party, this coach has about every Shopkin produced so each girl got to pick out a couple to take home that she had duplicates of. So pretty much the best day ever!  Also I think "Just Dance" will have to go on our Christmas list. 

 Dallas had a great season as well.  Robert and Travis teamed up again to lead the "Broncos".  They have coached together since the boys were in kindergarten.  This team had second and third graders. I think they all had a great time.  Dallas really improved his throwing throughout the season, his favorite is to be quarterback. He also really wanted football gloves so Rob made him a deal and he actually spend his own money to buy half. We are pretty sad the season is over. The weather was gorgeous all Fall, I think I wore shorts to all the games but two! We did have one canceled Sunday when Ames had the flash flooding, I don't think any sports were held that weekend.