Sunday, December 8, 2013

Snowy days

We got a BIG snow this year in early December. 10 inches of beautiful white snow blanketed our world and gave us 4 days of no school! It was welcomed by all of us! Poor Ellie (and Austin and daddy at the end) was pretty sick for most of it, but we made the best of it. She was happy to rest and take it all in, and Annie and Austin were very good to let her rest. Daddy even closed the shop for a day, Unheard of! I think it's the biggest snow we've had in several years!

There has been lots of fun, and time to get all those Christmassy things in we don't always have time for. We baked Christmas cookies, played in the snow, made a gingerbread house, watched Christmas movies, played Monopoly, listened to Christmas music, worked on our advent calendar, did a Christmas bible study, wrapped presents, did online shopping, and rested a lot!

It's been a blessing to have this unexpected break in the midst of such a busy season. I feel mentally rested and ready to really enjoy the rest of the month. As my friend Alana said, maybe we should pray for a few snow days every December! :)

Christmas photos

We took our own Christmas pics again this year. It went pretty well, and we got some cute shots!

Thursday, December 5, 2013


The couple that shoots together, stays together!

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Grammie and I took the girls and made a quick trip to OK for Lane's baby shower and Christians 2nd bday! We had to work some shopping in, of course, so we spent a day at the mall in Tulsa on our way home! Fun!

Friday, November 29, 2013


We had a great Thanksgiving this year. Nana and Papa brought Aunt Bev and Henry and the doggies over for a delicious breakfast. We really enjoyed our visit. Later we went to Grandma's house for Thanksgiving dinner, where I forgot to take a single picture! Guess I was too busy eating and relaxing! We had a great time there too though, with Gma, Dean and Denise, and my parents!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

First grade field trip!

On our way to the Discovery Center!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Polar take 2!

Polar express elves of 2013!

Friday, November 15, 2013

When I grow up...

When I grow up...

I wanted to be a Mommy.

I wanted to be an Interior Designer.

I wanted to be an Actress.

I wanted to be a Singer.

I wanted to be a Missionary.

I wanted to be an Artist.

I wanted to work in Advertising...

Then I grew up. And didn't have a clue what I wanted to be.

I struggled through 4 years of college, changing my major several times, and ultimately quitting without a degree. Then I did the one thing I was sure of, and married Jason. We started a life together, and soon I was a Mommy.

Being a mommy is wonderful, exhausting, all-consuming, and thrilling. I love it. For 12 years I have been a Mommy. Last year my last baby started school full-time, and then the question came back...

What do I want to be when I grow up?

I love so many things, but am not really qualified for any of them as a career. I finally settled on subbing as a way to earn some money, and have some control over my time. I didn't think I would love it, but I thought it would be okay. I soon found that my favorite places to sub in, involved children with special needs. These kids are cool. I love their quirks, their sweet spirits, their sense of humor.

This year I signed on to sub again, and began the first day of school filling in for a Para in a SPED room on maternity leave. For six weeks I worked with, loved on, and helped teach a group of sweet and special kiddos. My heart is still with them. The next few weeks I moved over to a different school in our district, filling in for an injured coworker, also in a SPED room. As the weeks ticked by, and I worked full time as a sub, I finally realized that this is what I want to do. I prayed that God would open the door if it was the right thing for me, especially since I was still unsure about working full time. Soon He gave me my answer, and I accepted a position as a full time Para working with ECSE (Early Childhood Special Education).

My life has gone down many paths that I did not expect. I certainly never thought about working with special needs kids as a possible career when I was in college. Special Ed wasn't even on my radar. But having Ellie, and then Austin, has changed all that. I have sat through countless hours of OT, Autism therapy, and IEP meetings. I have researched Autism and ADHD online, into the wee hours of the morning, night after night. I have read books, magazines articles, and listened to podcasts about parenting children with special needs. All to the end that I feel I have earned my life degree in Special Education. I am SO excited to use my life experience and knowledge to help these sweet preschoolers!

I finally have the answer. When I grow up, I want to work in Special Education. And it only took me 36 years to figure it out. :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ellie and Darby

Friday, November 1, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

Shepherd of the Hills

The long running show at Shepherd of the Hills closed this year. Our good friends, and owners of the property, invited us to see the last show. It was bittersweet for me to take my kids to the show for the first, and last time. I remember seeing it several times as a child, and always loving it. It will be greatly missed.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Just Horsin' around!

A new adventure! A horse costume contest! Ellie dressed Francesca the horse up as a beautiful pink poodle! It was quite fun making a costume for a horse! :) Ellie dressed like a 1950's girl to walk alongside her horse for the costume parade. Fun times!

Pumpkin Patch 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Fall at the Farm

Blakely, our wonderful riding instructor, invited us to her farm for a wonderful day of Fall fun! Hay ride, ponies, and s'mores...perfect!

Sunday, September 22, 2013


Austin is 7! He wanted his favorite pizza arcade for his birthday party, and we happily obliged! Including his special request of the Cummings family to come too! :) Can't believe my baby is seven!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First day!

It's that time again! First day of school...for most of us! Annie and Austin started, and so did mommy! I started this year subbing full time in the same building with them! Ellie started school a week later at a private school, but ended up coming back to Branson a month later. And I didn't get a pic! #mommyfail :(

Sunday, September 1, 2013


A local family put a shaved ice stand in just down the road from our house this summer. Yeti's quickly became our favorite summer treat!

Saturday, August 31, 2013


My brave boy. Another ear surgery. This one was much more in depth. What was supposed to be a reconstruction of the middle ear bones, so our boy could hear well again, turned into more. Once inside his ear, the surgeon found a large mass growing, a cholesteotoma. It was a mess, even growing into the mastoid bone. The surgery took almost 3 hours, but was overall successful. The surgeon was able to do all the work inside the ear, and avoid cutting outside. Time will tell if he got it all. If he didn't, it will start growing back. The reconstruction is postponed until his ear is healed and we're sure the cholesteotoma is completely gone. It was a shocking turn of events, but we are thankful our boy was in good hands. He was so brave, and recovered extremely well with the help of new Lego's! :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Our summer vacay was to one of our favorite cities...KC! We went back to the Great Wolf Lodge, where we celebrated Annie turning 9! We swam to our hearts content, and really enjoyed the lodge. The kids thought our suite with an upstairs room was amazing! :)

We ate at the T-Rex cafe again, and went to the KC zoo. Last time we tried the zoo, it was extremely hot and we didn't get far. This time it was beautiful, and we did the whole thing, Skycoaster and all! We hit Crown Center before we headed home for some Fritz's food, of course! It ended up being a great trip!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Birthday time!

We celebrated Annie and Elaina's birthdays with the family! We sure love our pizza arcade birthday tradition!

Saturday, August 17, 2013


The girls both went to their first sleep away camp this year! They LOVED their time at Camp Lookout! They both had wonderful counselors and made great friends. Austin missed them!

First place!

Ellie has been taking riding lessons for a couple of months and loving it! She was so excited to participate in her first horse show! She showed Zydeco the pony in the halter class, and one First place! Yay, Ellie!!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday, July 12, 2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Dance competition fun! The "Call Me Maybe" team did a wonderful job! Ellie was such a sweet sister and made jewelry for all of the girls. Grammie and Grandaddy came too, and cheered Annie on! The girls were very proud of their big trophy, and so were there moms! :-)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sweet cousins

Christian came for a visit!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Little Miss Firecracker

Annie participated in her very first pageant this year! She looked adorable and she totally rocked her dance! Our little superstar! She also performed with her little team one more time!

Fourth Fun!!!

Nothing brings a family together like fireworks!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

We love horses!

The kids have had an awesome time at their first horse camps this summer! We have found a new love for all of them!