Holiday Craziness!

The craziness of the holidays has hit and we’re in fast forward to 2018!  I’m going to recap the past month in one post so I feel caught up:)

The girls had mismatched day at school, and Ashton thought he needed to participate as well.


I had an extra student in my CCD class because Joe was working one night and he’s been asking ever since when he gets to come back:)  Next year, buddy!


Grandma Sandy sent an extra package of morning sausage over to us and Jayde was SO excited – she and I are the only ones in our house that eat it but we were loving it!

Ashton had been begging for a tie (no idea why!) so we were in Walmart one day and he found this suit/tie set and just HAD to have it.  He was beyond excited and has tried to wear it to school, daycare, church, you name it…I may have to hide it soon:)

I got to celebrate Thanksgiving with Ashton and his Pre-K class and then he got to help me bake pies for Thanksgiving.  I love when I get to have a little one on one time with each kiddo.

The kids and I enjoyed movie night the night before Thanksgiving – we went and saw The Star, which we all liked.


We got to celebrate my cousin Angie’s wedding with a reception the weekend after Thanksgiving – and Ashton was excited to have a reason to wear his suit!

The first weekend in December we celebrated Christmas with one side of Joe’s family.  Santa made an appearance which is always a hit!


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This past weekend was filled with Christmas fun.  We baked Christmas goodies on Friday evening/Saturday morning, the kids got to decorate their gingerbread house, and the girls had their church Christmas program on Sunday (and another appearance from Santa!).




Charlie, our elf, has arrived and the kids are loving his daily shenanigans.  Sunday night, Charlie hid in Ashton’s cowboy boot since he forgot to put them away before bed.  Ashton got up in the middle of the night and needed help looking for his water bottle.  We walked past his boots and he stopped to pick up whatever was in his boot (he later told me he thought it was a “random” stuffed animal).  When he realized it was the elf, he threw him on the couch and started to cry.  He was so worried he ruined Charlie’s magic but I assured him if we wrote a note that said it was an accident that he’d be fine.  I wish I had a video of it because it was pretty funny!


Since it’s likely you won’t see another post from me until after Christmas, Merry Christmas to you all!

Happy 8th Birthday Jayde!

Today we celebrated Jayde’s 8th birthday!  It’s hard to believe that she can be 8 already, but she has been counting down for months!  We had a fun day – she got to spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa Hasemann’s last night and then we had brunch with Grandma and Grandpa Kreifels this morning.  She chose to have a birthday party at Ruff House with some friends from school, so we did that this afternoon.  Tonight, we’re celebrating at home with ice cream cake!  Here are a few pics from the day:

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I ask the kids the same questions every year on their birthday and here are Jayde’s answers for this year:

  1. What is your favorite color? Teal
  2. What is your favorite toy? Hatchimals
  3. What is your favorite fruit? Grapes
  4. What is your favorite TV show? The Toy Box
  5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Meatball subs
  6. What is your favorite outfit? My dress with a heart on it
  7. What is your favorite game? Tag
  8. What is your favorite snack? Crunchy Cheetos
  9. What is your favorite animal? Giraffe
  10. What is your favorite song? I don’t have one
  11. What is your favorite book? Dolphin School books
  12. Who is your best friend? Paityn Vacha
  13. What is your favorite cereal? Fruit Loops
  14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play on monkey bars
  15. What is your favorite drink?  Water
  16. What is your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving
  17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Fuzzy blanket
  18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Morning sausage
  19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Meatball subs
  20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A famous gymnast

Happy Birthday Jayde!  We love you and the sweet, caring girl you’ve become.  We hope 8 is the best year yet!

Halloween/Fall Fun

October was a fun month full of lots of fall/Halloween activities!  Jayde had a great cheering section at her last volleyball game!



We enjoyed a nice Sunday afternoon Ranger ride, and stopped to throw rocks off a bridge…I don’t know why but every time my kids get near a bridge I freak out and it totally takes the fun out of it for me (and probably them too, because I’m constantly saying “Be careful, don’t get too close to the bridge, you could fall into the water, …).  My stomach feels all of the roller coaster feelings whenever anyone I know gets within 10 feet of a bridge!



We celebrated with ice cream after good parent teacher conference reports for the girls.


Joe and I spent a weekend in Kansas City for our anniversary (I apparently was having so much fun that I failed to take pictures – or maybe it’s just that Joe isn’t as cooperative of a subject as the kids are:)  During that time, we welcomed my sweet new niece into the world.  The kids got to visit her that weekend, and we’re all in love!




On our actual anniversary, we went out with some friends for dinner and small town bar hopping – the best kind of night!


Ashton got to trick or treat multiple times at school/daycare, and then we all went to the trunk or treat event at Ashton’s school the Sunday before Halloween.


The night before Halloween, we carved pumpkins.





On Halloween, we met some friends for trick or treating – it was REALLY cold, but it didn’t seem to slow the kids down.


Ashton has been able to spend two weekends helping with harvest (one weekend with Joe’s parents, and then on Saturday he got to help my dad).  The kid looks forward to this every year, and will spend the entire day in the tractor/combine happily!  I love that he loves it, because harvest is my favorite time of year too:)



We got to spend Saturday evening watching my niece/nephew and loved every minute of it!




Whew…as I look back through October I realize it’s been a fun month!  Lots of holiday fun coming up this month too I’m sure!




Fall is Flying By!

I cannot believe it’s October already…not sure where September went?!?   The last few weeks have been busy with volleyball every Saturday morning for Jayde and on Sunday afternoons for Danika.  Danika’s team is currently undefeated (after a close call yesterday against a 3rd grade team they were maybe a little too confident about!).  It’s been fun to watch these girls really improve this year.



Jayde’s team is improving as well and it’s fun to see them learn the game.



Jayde got to have a sleepover with a friend a couple weeks ago – if you ask her she never gets to play with her friends so she was excited for this.



I got to have a much overdue girls night out to the Luke Bryan concert.



Ashton and I snuck in a little park time during Danika’s dance class last week before it started to rain.


We see a lot of this on the days Ashton doesn’t have Pre-K and spends the day at daycare with his friends/cousins….he must play a little harder on those days!


We went to a friend’s house the other night to watch the football game and the kids were planning a half time show, which included this look….somehow it doesn’t even surprise me anymore that he chooses to wear heels…I guess it’s just part of having older sisters:)


We made our annual pumpkin patch trip after volleyball yesterday and were surprised to find that our friends were going at the same time!  The girls loved it because they had friends to play with (always better than just mom and dad!) and Ashton loved having Brooklyn and BJ to keep him entertained!  It was a win-win for all and the weather was perfect.






We are starting off this week tired from a fun weekend but hoping to get one more camping trip in this coming weekend before putting it away for the year.  Hopefully the weather cooperates!

Life Lately!

The last few weeks have been crazy busy so I’m trying to get caught up with pictures so I least I have some record of fall:)  We’ve been busy with fall sports, camping, getting ready for our church fall festival, and my real estate business has been really busy lately too (great problem to have!!).

We’ve been able to make it to one of my niece’s volleyball games.


Over Labor Day, we went out to the State Fair.  Some friends were showing pigs, so we went to the pig show and checked out some of the exhibits at the fair.  The kids really wanted to ride the skyfari so we did that too.  It was a little warmer that day than we expected but we still had fun! We’ll definitely be going back.


My skyfari riding partner…he’s pretty cute:)


There was a fun firefighter training course for kids – it was fun watching the kids try to do it.




We had to stop for an ice cream break.


Ashton was so excited to spend some time with his “girlfriend” Brooklyn:)  She is so sweet and is really great with him and Jayde – Ashton just thinks she’s the best thing ever and Jayde really looks up to her.  She really is a great role model!


Danika loved spending time with her friends – it made the day that much more fun!


Ashton may have had too much fun at the fair, so he spent Labor Day on the couch coughing all day – I think it was a combination of a cold and allergies, but the poor kid was just miserable all day!  I felt horrible for him!


The girls got to do a cheer camp at school and we got to watch them cheer at the high school football game.


Jayde started volleyball this year, and her team had their first game.  She did great and their team won!


We’ve been canning lots of salsa with our garden tomatoes.  We planted just 2 tomato plants, and it’s crazy the number of tomatoes we have.  I think we’ve canned 20+ jars of salsa and there is still a ton of tomatoes still growing.


We had a fun Friday night trip to Costco.  I told the kids they could try as many samples from the sample stands that they could find, but unfortunately on a Friday night the options were limited.  Ashton did find a stand with kombucha and was excited to drink it – Grandma Sandy would be proud:)


We got to pick the pumpkins from our garden this weekend.  We didn’t really know if any would grow this year because of some spray we put in the garden last year, so we just planted some leftover seeds from my mother-in-law.  Some of the plants died (not sure if it was due to soil or old seeds), but we still ended up with quite a few pumpkins.  We don’t have quite the variety as we usually do, but now that we know they will grow, next year we will plan it out a little better and plant a better variety.  We were still excited to decorate with all the pumpkins!


That’s our life lately in a nutshell – at least with the pictures I have.  We’ve done a lot of other fun things but apparently I was having too much fun to take pictures:)


1st Day of School!

I’m a little late in posting this, but I don’t want to forget the first day of school pictures, because I know it will be fun to go back and look at them later.  The girls started 2nd and 4th grades last Monday – both were really excited about their teachers and so far seem to be having a great year.  They both have some friends in their class, so that makes it more fun.  Here are their first day of schools pictures:





Ashton started Pre-K last Tuesday.  The daycare he goes to busses the kids to Pre-K and back to daycare after school, which makes it really easy for us.  He seems to love it there, but can’t wait until he gets to ride the bus with his sisters – hopefully next year!



Ashton rode the bus to Pre-K on his first day since he goes to afternoon preschool, and he told me on the way home he was the only kid that rode the bus and that all of the other parents took their kids to school and picked them up.  Talk about feeling like a total crap parent!  I was feeling horrible, because I could have easily picked him up from daycare and taken him to school, but figured most kids would ride the bus.  I found out later that night that he was totally kidding – note to self – keep an extra eye on that kid as he gets older because his lies are really believable and his face gives nothing away!

I’m sure the school year will fly by just like summer did, but we’re hoping for a great year for all three of them!

Vacation – Part 2

I’m not sure we could top the water park on the second day of vacation, but we thought we’d try!  We got up early Monday morning and drove to Adventureland.  Ashton wasn’t too patient on the car rides, but found this map of Kansas to be pretty entertaining for at least 30 minutes.  We never knew Walmart, and Adventureland could be found on the Kansas map:)


In years past, Monday’s were never very busy there so we were banking on that again this year.  Unfortunately, I think it’s late enough in the summer that everyone was trying to get their vacations in because when we pulled in the lot, there was a LONG line to park…so much for thinking we’d have the place pretty much to ourselves!  Luckily the weather was really good, so that made the crowds more bearable.  We always hop on the train around the park as our first stop.


After the train, we hit up the skyfari to take us to the other end of the park.  The view behind me was all of my favorite people.


We did a couple of rides and then thought we would do the Raging River – along with 1,000 other people.  The line was long but we didn’t gauge how slow it would move.  We thought the wait might be 30 minutes so we decided to get in line.  After 1 1/2 hours, we finally made it to the front to front of the line….Ashton had about lost his mind by that time and we were all pretty cranky.  We decided it wasn’t worth the wait for the 5 minutes of entertainment.  Lesson learned!

We grabbed some lunch and then hit up a few more rides – by this time the people had all moved to the water park so the rides were less busy.  The kids were all about the Tilt-A-Whirl and the Scrambler and I was happy to sit and watch – those kind of rides don’t sit well with me anymore!




Ashton was obsessed with this guy – had to run and give him high fives whenever we saw him!


We ended our visit to Adventureland with a stop at the ice cream shop and then headed home.  Luckily, the ride home was pretty quiet and the kids got all wound up about 15 minutes from home.  Here’s the response I got when I asked for a picture showing how they felt about almost being home:


We had a great little vacation…it’s always fun to get away even if only for a short time.  I love spending time with these people and hope that the kids will remember it for a while!


Mini Vacation

It’s been hard to find time to get away this summer with softball and 4H pigs, so we decided to do a quick vacation the last couple of days.  We left Sunday morning and headed to Kings Pointe Water Park in Storm Lake, IA.  I knew a few people that had been there before and it had good reviews.  It was a HUGE hit with my kids!  Ashton wasn’t tall enough for all of the slides, but there was one big outdoor slide (the orange one in the picture below) that he could ride down on a tube with an adult (it was fully enclosed and completely dark most of the way down, which was actually pretty nerve-wracking, but it didn’t seem to bother that kid!).  I think Joe and I each carried a double tube up the huge set of stairs to the top of the waterslide at least 15 times (quite the workout!!), but it was worth it because I’ve never seen Ashton more excited.  The girls were brave and tried every slide there – even the ones that went straight down that Joe and I wouldn’t even go on!  We managed to spend the entire day there between the outdoor slides/pool and the indoor ones.



The kids were pumped to find their own American Ninja Warrior course:)  Apparently, Ashton was happy to tell anyone (even the kids he didn’t know) that fell in the water during this obstacle that they were an American Ninja Warrior loser!




Both Ashton and Jayde we excited about the diving boards.  Ashton was pretty entertaining to watch running and jumping off of the low diving board.  He really wanted to try the high dive, but Joe and I decided that might scar him for life so we made him stick to the low dive!


Jayde went off the high dive a few times and then decided she wanted to try a flip like she saw some of the other kids doing.  It started off okay, but then ended in a back flop…she came up crying (which made me convinced that she broke her back or something since I’m a huge worrier!).  In the end, I think it just scared her and probably hurt a little (or a lot!), and Joe was trying hard not to laugh at her!  It might be a while before she tries that one again.


We ended the day with a little park play time at the park next door to the water park, and we walked up to the top of the lighthouse for a quick picture.


We had such a fun day!  The kids were excited to spend the night in a hotel (which apparently we don’t do often enough).  I think Jayde would have been happy just staying in a hotel for the night.  Stay tuned for day two of our mini vacation….

Grandma Camp

Last week, Joe’s mom took all of her grandkids for the week and had their annual “Grandma Camp”.  The kids always look forward to several days with their cousins and it’s always a nice break for Joe and I.  This was the first year Ashton got to spend the entire week there so he was excited to be one of the big kids.  They went to the cabin on Sunday night and we picked them up on Friday afternoon.  The kids were busy horseback riding, swimming, miniature golfing, doing projects, and they even got to go to Ronald McDonald House to donate all of the pop tabs they have been collecting throughout the year – they use the money from these to pay the electric bill at the Ronald McDonald House.



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My kids came home tired and that’s always a sign of a fun week!  Jayde told me this was the best Grandma Camp she’s ever been to, so Grandma must be doing something right!  They’re already talking about next year – and so am I because having 5 kid free days never happens!


Summer Fun List

2017 summer

I mentioned recently that I wanted to create a Summer Fun List of things the kids want to accomplish this summer.  We sat down this weekend and made a list.  Here’s what they felt was most important for this summer:

  • Water balloons
  • Ruff House
  • Go to Grandma’s lake house
  • Go out for ice cream
  • Make our own door signs
  • Run through the sprinkler
  • Go to the pool
  • Visit the zoo
  • Visit the Lincoln Children’s Museum
  • Visit the Sensory Garden
  • Obstacle course in the yard
  • Treasure hunt
  • Make slime
  • Play a board game

I love the items they put on their list.  Most are pretty simple and all will be lot of fun!  We can’t wait to get started checking items off of the list!

I’m hoping soon to start adding more home decor projects to the blog – it may be Fall before it happens though as this summer is kicking my booty when it comes to home projects.  I have a ton of ideas that I want to implement in our home, but finding more than 5 minutes a day to work on them has proven to be impossible (and convincing my husband to jump on board and assist me with these projects is also proving to be difficult at the moment)!  So stay tuned for more of that in the coming months!