Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Home For Christmas

Yesterday it was so nice to just be home for Christmas, no running around, just hanging out in our pjs all day, playing and snuggling! It was great. I found it funny that Grace was the first one up, then Ethan, then Zach and we almost had to go wake up Faith! 
Because we did a homemade Christmas, it was really fun to see everyone's expressions, I wish I was quicker with taking pictures, it really was great. The maker of the gift and the receiver, both so excited.
In addition, everyone got their traditional books and clothing and stocking filled to overflowing.

And maybe a Taylor Swift CD!

Ethan loves those Ripley's books!

Super Zach!

The sandbox that Daddy made for Faith.
The race track Rob made! Ready for graffiti!
He already had a notebook full of designs that he's drawn, so he got right to work!
A sweet little Faith!
Playing Donkey Kong (or King Kong as Zach keeps calling it!)
Mugs that Grace and I went to Potwin Pottery to make for Christmas, I think they turned out perfect and we had a wonderful time together, it was like twice the gift!
The checkers set that Rob made Zach has already seen some intense games! Zach LOVES to play checkers!
Faith showing off her new pjs that Mommy and Nana made.
Zach showing off his super hero costume that I made him.

Silly Faith!

Faith wanted to take pictures with my camera, so this is one she took, she's holding the camera out as far as she can.
Taking her own picture! She may want to try her hand at photography!
Getting ready to watch a movie and snuggle after Grace and Ethan left for their dad's house.
Everyone had a great day, full of playing and fun, laughter and cuddles, it was a wonderful Christmas.
Baby girl didn't quite make it through the whole movie though!

Christmas With The Kempers

This year there was another Kemper joining us and Simon was a lot more mobile, so this year was definitely a bit more exciting than last year. Every year is so much fun, but the more little ones, the better, I think! Instead of writing lots and lots, I'm just going to post lots of pictures. My brother Nick and his wife, Stacey hosted this year in their beautiful, big, old house, it was wonderful! And my youngest sister, Jada even joined us this year!
Monkey-see, monkey-do! 
Faith and Eliza texting and talking on their play phones.
Joy, Ethan, Bailey and Grace

Snuggles for Papa 
from Faith

Snuggles for Nana
from Eliza and Levi

Simon's new favorite game to play-ride on Zach! He couldn't quite stay on, so Bailey helped. Simon was all smiles for this!

Story time with Papa, will snuggles, of course!

Eliza wearing her skirt and tutu she got.
Simon attempting to drill his head, while wearing his new Doctor's coat, he looks like a mad scientist! Too cute!
Kisses for Levi from Faith
And next year there will be a new baby to kiss, I'm sure my sister is happy that there is just a few more weeks will he's here!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Do you remember that phrase?  "Ugga mugga, ugga mugga", it was usually accompanied by a sweet little nose to nose rub.  Still no?  How about this guy, remember him?
Mister Rogers and his little friend, Daniel Tiger.  For me, this is a very fond memory of growing up and I still to this day remember his songs.  So you can imagine my excitement when Faith was sitting on my lap humming this song-
And then I was almost giddy when she gently rubbed noses with me and said in a quiet little voice, "Ugga mugga, ugga mugga", it was so precious, like revisiting a little bit of my childhood. Not too long ago we discovered a new show on PBS called, "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood", and Faith loves to watch it.
I'm really enjoying hearing the lessons and songs I learned from Mister Rogers coming from my little one's mouth.  And I especially enjoy her little nose rubbing mine and her sweet little voice, "Ugga mugga, ugga mugga".  Little moments like that are why I wanted to be a mommy when I grew up.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


A midst the wonderful Thanksgiving that we had, we began passing around the stomach flu at our house, I had prayed that everyone would be healthy for the day, and miraculously we were.  We went to my Aunt Amy's again this year, it's been a tradition for a lot of years.  Even when my aunt and uncle lived in a very small house next door to me, we all crammed in.  I love those memories, I love my big, crazy family, that we are all so different and from an outsider's look in, I'm sure no one would guess we are related. 
In my mom's family, she had two brothers and two sisters, and all of them have had two-plus kids, and each of them have been getting married and having kids of their own, making our family HUGE now.  There is someone for each of the kids and grand kids to play with, several times many of us have been expecting at the same time.  Growing up with so many cousins around my age made for some really fun holidays.  I am so glad my kids have that too. 
Every year I wish I would have taken more pictures, but I don't regret that the reason is I get so caught up in the day.  This year was no different.  About eight years ago, my aunt and uncle moved to a big, beautiful, old house, on five acres.  It reminds me of when my cousins and I were little and one of my other uncle's lived on a farm.  We loved running all over that place, so I love that for the past several years all of my kids have run like that all over my aunt's land. 
Calling kids in to eat and watching them come running, all rosie cheeks and smelling of fresh air, what a great site to see.  The weather this year was so beautiful, perfect for playing and exploring outside. 
Because my Uncle Steve was so sick, last year I hosted Thanksgiving for just my immediate family, it was great, but I missed seeing the whole family.  We lost my uncle to cancer soon after that.  It was definitely different this year.  He is greatly missed.  My uncle was a wonderful cook and it was sad to not see him running the kitchen this year.  Don't get me wrong, the food was wonderful, everyone pitched in and there was a huge spread.
While the day was wonderful, it was slightly shadowed by the knowledge that this is probably our last Thanksgiving there, my aunt is moving to Lawrence for her job and selling the house.  Several of us were discussing options for buying it to keep it in the family, but sadly, I think we will all have to let it go.  Funny how a house can be like a family member over time. 
This year there was a new family member, Nick and Stacey's little Levi, to love on, and next year there will be another, Andrea's and Josiah's baby boy.  Our big family just keeps getting bigger and even more wonderful.
Next year there will be a new house to gather in, and everyone will make new memories there.  My cousin, Rob and my dad will get there early to claim their spot on the couch for football watching and napping, and the kids will run and laugh in a whole new place to explore.
And maybe next year, I will take more pictures, like I say I will every year.  But something I hope will never change, is that every year we will all be together, at least for one day.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Superman

Somehow Rob lost his glasses the other day at work, apparently they were thrown away.  Since he's had the same glasses for about 10 years, I thought it'd be fun if he tried something new.  He wasn't/isn't so sure about them, but I REALLY like them, like A LOT! 

So he's trying to get used to them, but we also got a second new pair that look very much like his old glasses, but do not transition!  I HATE those things, they make taking pictures VERY difficult.  He's been getting some ribbing about them at work too, being called Clark Kent, and Superman.  But he has totally owned it, striking a Superman pose even for them.  Just another reason I love him!  So here's my Superman...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Halloween 2012

What a crazy BUSY Halloween week we have had!  
I feel like this afternoon has been my first breath!
It all started Saturday night when I got to go with the youth group to Gary's Pumpkin Patch, 
it was cold, but a really great time.
I enjoyed getting to know some of the faces I see at church 
every week a little better.  
Did I mention is was COLD???

Then on Monday night we carved and painted pumpkins.

This year I let the kids choose how to do their pumpkins, Faith and Ethan still wanted to carve theirs,

Grace and Zach painted theirs.

I love that Grace painted Pac Man, it makes this 80's era mom, proud.

After we lit the carved pumpkins Zach was a little upset that he couldn't light his up.

This was the first year that Ethan designed and carved his own pumpkin. 
Tuesday morning Faith and I went to a nursing home with my MOPs group, 
there was a great group of kids and 
Faith enjoyed that even more than I thought she would. 

Faith chose to be a "Mom" this year.  She told me everything she needed to be a Mom, things like coffee, a cell phone, a camera, a purse, a baby, jewelry, a cute outfit, and make up.

I thought it was quite interesting to see myself through her eyes.  I made her a little sling for carrying her baby in, just like I used to carry her in and of course we had to visit Starbucks so she could have a coffee cup to carry!

She got a great response from her costume, everyone knew exactly what she was supposed to be!  Of course this has all gone to her head too, she says, "Don't talk to me that way, I'm a MOM!".

That night we got to spend some more time with our MOPs friends 
at a Fall Festival out in Berryton,
it was a wonderful time, including a real hayride and bon fire!  
I love my MOPs group so much!
Wednesday morning at Faith's preschool she had a little parade and party, it was the cutest thing, they sang all of us parents their cute little Halloween songs complete with actions.

This is Faith and her bestie, "Mona" a.k.a Ramona.  They are too cute!

A couple of weeks before Halloween my sister finally told me the theme for their house, CIRCUS!  I helped sew the circus curtains and I still wasn't planning on dressing up, but, well, then I saw this!

 I changed my mind and went shopping, for THIS!  I know, speechless, aren't you?!?!  It was SO FUN showing up to the boy's school parade dressed like this when they didn't know I was dressing up at all!
Ethan didn't recognize me till I talked, neither did Rob!  
Zach knew his mommy right away though, I'm not sure how though!
My sister and her whole family dressed the part, it was so much fun!  You would think that more people would be disturbed by the bearded ladies, but nope, it was me, scarring the young and old in my clown get up!

Grace dressed up as a ninja...

Ethan was a nerd, doesn't he make an amazingly convincing nerd?

And Zach was a dinosaur (of course).

Because my sister and her family live in the Potwin area, we saw probably close to 1200 Trick or Treaters that night, it was amazing and fun, our whole family came, including my mom, who drove here special for the evening.

We were told several times that it was the best house in the neighborhood!

I told Rob that next year I want him to take off work so he can help me with all the parties and events.  Rob and I did get a little down time this week, we went to see my cousin Dalton in his high school play, "The Liar", which was so great.  

On Friday, after Faith's preschool, my mom and I spent some quality time together in Lawrence shopping and lunching, it was a much needed fun time for us. 

That night, since my dad was also in town now, everyone had dinner at my parent's place and then Rob and I left the little ones there and went to see, Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" at the Topeka Civic Theater.  I feel so cultured in the arts now. :)

Today, I got to spend some time helping at the New Hope Food Pantry and if you check out my NEW BLOG, as promised on Monday, you can read about that.

As fun as the week was, I am ready to CRASH!