Saturday, December 26, 2009

MERRY Christmas from KANSAS

Merry Christmas from our family!! Hope it was a wonderful day for you!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Whitey aka Rusty

This is Jim's new toy... I'm only adding photos since my dad's requested them a few times!
I'm definitely outnumbered as ALL four of the boys (for some odd reason) LOVE 'ole Whitey. I prefer to call him Rusty. Caden especially hangs out there any chance he gets to. It was Pa's truck, so Jim's planning to keep it forever.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Justin's Sweet 16!

Oh, our sweet boy is 16 years old today! Usually, it's exciting to turn 16 to be able to drive... not so for him since he's had his restricted license since the summer and still isn't too thrilled with driving. We celebrated his birthday yesterday with an afternoon movie & a nice steak/shrimp dinner.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

They're playing BASKETBALL

All four boys are playing basketball now. Coleman and Caden have their clinic on Saturday mornings (8am- seriously, did they have to make it that early?), Ty is on the freshman team, and Justin's playing on JV. Good thing this mama LOVES the game- never get tired of it! Notice our calm Coleman 2nd in line, then our crazy child at the end... such a bundle of energy!!? Oh... he wears me out...

Friday, December 11, 2009


You know, Caden has to do everything just like his brothers. That includes going to school every day. He drives Coleman crazy since Coleman knows that Caden really doesn't go to school. But, in his mind... he does. He gets dressed, puts his backpack on, has a teacher, does homework... all of the above! He even waits for his ride while Coleman waits! What a funny little guy!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


What a great tradition... I just LOVE picking out our Christmas tree from a real Christmas Tree farm. This year, the boys had their own fun playing hide-and-go-seek while Jim and I enjoyed walking around while we searched for the perfect tree. All had fun... wonderful memories in the making!
** Clicking on the photos will enlarge them... I know, I took a few!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

TOO much PIE!!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend filled with fun and family in Illinois. We set out last Wednesday for the long weekend and made some new, wonderful memories. It's the first trip to Granny's that Caden can remember making it SOOO exciting for our little guy. He couldn't believe Granny had so many beds in the basement and he got to pick his own. Dawn, Jassen & Dakota drove up for the day which was great, too!
Of course, the food was fabulous... Granny and Aunt Patti made at least 10 different pies. Of course, I had to try them all! Pumpkin, cherry, blackberry, chocolate meringue, lemon meringue, cherry custard, coconut cream, coconut cream meringue, plain custard... so yummy and beautiful!! I think the Thanksgiving table was set for 32... quite the crowd!
I really enjoyed catching up with my best friend from 2nd grade who lives just 30 or so minutes away. It was a short, but nice visit!
We all got to experience a little farming- getting up and riding on a combine in the corn fields. What a cool thing... really, I LOVED it... could have been a farmer's wife for sure.
The big boys got to go hunting with dad and Grandpa and even killed a few quails. No, I'm not cooking them. Jim brought them home, says they taste like chicken... I'm not so sure I'll try it.

Somehow, Jim got out of Marissa buying Pa's old truck from Granny. I think this truck will be the 4th or 5th with his license plate- LAST ONE. It's an old Grandpa truck- the boys all LOVE it... especially Caden. He was so excited to clean it out. Pa called him Whitey, I think I might refer to him as Rusty.

Saturday, we drove down to Grandpa and Grandma Behl's house to pick up Grandma Shellene. Grandma made the best lunch... meatloaf, scalloped potatoes... yes, I'm sure I put on some weight. Can't beat Granny/Grandma cooking- love it!
All in all... wonderful weekend. The boys will be doing extra conditioning (probably for a month) for basketball since family trips are unexcused absences.... can't say I agree with that. Oh well!

Happy December!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Justin v. Caden

Oh, my sweet Caden Luke. A fight broke out at our house this last weekend- it was Justin v. Caden. With the big boys home, we assigned jobs to chip in and help around the house. Justin "chose" to vacuum, and jumped right in to get it done. As soon as the vacuum turned on, Caden went running to see what was up. You know- he thinks it really is his vacuum. He picks up the rugs and actually does a pretty good job. I finally got Justin to distract him by getting him to clean the bathroom- his 2nd favorite job.
Weekdays are a little easier for Caden, he doesn't have his brothers in the way... today, it was vacuuming and windows. Last week, he brought the garbage can in after the trashman came, then decided that he needed to take it to the street EVERY day... because we had trash... neighbors probably think we're crazy!!

The child LOVES to clean and work... it's a great quality... now, if only he would quit making messes... I'd maybe get on top of things!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Halloween

I'm so happy to have Halloween over... but, I did take a few photos!
My sweet neighbor girls showed up just in time to finish the slimy work carving out our pumpkins! For some reason, my boys don't do pumpkins so well, and I always end up doing them!
Coleman was Optimus Prime & Caden was a little Bumblebee... love Transformers in this house!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

It was a chilly fall day... but, I can now say I've been to a pumpkin patch! Coleman's class had a field trip, so we went along as well. Fun activities, tractor rides, and pumpkins... I just wish it would have been a little warmer!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Caden LOVES clothes

After expecting to spend just a quick night in the hospital last week, I ended up spending what felt like forever- 4 days, 3 nights. Thankfully, I'm home and my energy is increasing daily! I'm so excited to be back to full speed... don't do too well taking it easy... but, I've HAD to chill... not a fun surgery!

Providing a little entertainment around our place... Jim pulled a Rubbermaid tote of winter clothing out this evening filled with Caden's size. He's been in HEAVEN. I've never seen little guy who LOVES clothes as much as our Caden. He's tried most of them on, and even took a run around to the house (outside) to make sure they kept him warm. I think I'm leaving it out tomorrow just to provide him entertainment... don't really care that they'll be all over the room at this point... it's all about him being happy!!

Grandma mowing

Grandma mowing... there's plenty of work around to go around!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

No More Babies

I used to think that women who had hysterectomies were so old. My thinking has definitely changed- especially since I am going in for the surgery tomorrow. I don't feel old at all, but I'm having a hysterectomy. After Caden was born, we knew our family was complete- no more pregnancies for this body! So, I had a tubal. That was almost three years ago... now, I'm at the point that I don't even want my uterus in there at all. It's served its purpose and I'm so done with it- and the girly problems that come with it!!

I don't do well slowing down... but, know this will knock me off my feet for a while. I should only be in the hospital one night. My doctor is using robotics- pretty high tech. Ty said, "Better hope it doesn't grow a brain, mom... it might start fighting with the doctor..." So much humor in our house!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Too many GREENS

I've known all along that Jim really hates painting. This weekend, I learned a how deep his hate really goes. He let me know that he'd rather clean out hog stalls (with his hands) than paint. That's pretty bad. So, I consider myself a lucky girl that he agreed to paint our living room/kitchen this last weekend. As if that wasn't bad enough for him... we painted ALL day Saturday only to wake up Sunday and learn that I really didn't like the color at all. So, we bought more paint and painted again all day Sunday enlisting Justin's help and height. Not a fun weekend... but, I love the new color! Good thing, since I wasn't getting another chance! I think it will take me the rest of the week to finish it up!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Football in FULL swing

Football season is officially started! Justin is playing and had his first game this week. While the boys weren't too excited for the 90 degree weather, my mom and I were LOVING the view and the heat while watching from the bleachers! I just love this time of year!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Grandma Shellene's Move

For those of you who don' t know... our lives are about to change...

This week, Jim and I are driving to pick up his mom in Illinois. Her health has declined drastically in the last few months leaving her almost completely confined to a wheelchair. We're moving her to our home permanently in order to be able to take care of her. We know it will be a bit of a transition as we work to make our home handicap accessible. While we love her dearly, it will be an adjustment for all of us- we're just grateful that we have the space and are able to take her in. Hopefully, we'll have the strength and direction to be able to find answers to her medical needs.

I've already warned the others (parents)- anyone else needs help- we'll pull the hid-a-bed out in the living room, throw them all together- just like on Willy Wonka... Fortunately, the other three are in good health!

Lucky for us... my mom is on a plane as I type... on her way to help as we get things set up. We get to keep her for a month! We're all thrilled, especially Caden who can't wait to snuggle with Grandma!

Monday, August 24, 2009

EWF & Chicago

When they announced on the radio that Earth Wind & Fire and Chicago were putting on a concert together here in Wichita, I called Jim immediately and let him know that he had to take me to it. I love both bands- it's a toss-up for me which I like better. I was so crazy-excited! It got even more exciting for me the next day as I won tickets on the radio! Ty actually thinks he gets to take credit for winning them since I woke him up (lazy summer morning) handed him his cell phone with the number and told him when to call in. His phone just happened to be the one who got through.

Anyhow... free tickets, hot date... I've been pumped since June! This weekend finally came and needless to say, I was not one bit disapointed! What a great concert- I don't think I stopped smiling the whole time! Our seats were amazing- right up near the front on the floor and the music was incredible! Those guys can PLAY- amazing instrumentals! EW&F has been together for 40 years now, which is probably part of the reason we felt like the youngest in the crowd! The two groups started together, played separated and ended together... old favorites, new tunes... it was all fabulous!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Justin- our Sophomore

I've taken a photo the first day of school of my boys every year without fail since kindergarten. This year, Justin is driving to school and left the house without his picture being taken or even saying good-bye... I turned my back and he was gone! Oh well, I got him on day two.

School is in full swing- everyone made it through week one and is actually having a great time- at least Ty and Coleman. Justin's a little tired from two-a-days for football. Also, we learned that his cleats (which fit in June at football camp) are too small. He had huge blisters from wearing them the first day, then bloodied up ankles the second day... he's now in size 14's.

Here's Justin's new (2000) car. We sold the DelSol realizing it was just too small and sporty. We needed something a little bigger for him so he could taxi the other boys around when needed... this is what we ended up with. Hopefully, we won't be purchasing or selling any more vehicles in for a LONG time...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tyler is a FRESHMAN

Oh no- that means two in high school! Actually, I'm pretty excited to have survived Middle School... I think that's where the hormones rage and attitudes kick in! I think Freshmen are much more mellow- we'll see if Ty proves me right!

He thought he was too old for his 1st day of school photo...wrong! I made him pose before we took off. For high school freshmen and new kids here, they have a 1st day scavenger hunt with a map to learn the school. I was so impressed when Justin was a freshman last year and did it. I love the idea. Candy, meeting the teachers, no upper classmen... should be an easy day for him.

Coleman's First Day of School

He's officially in school! Coleman's been pretending to ride the bus, go to practice and do his homework for the last couple years... his day finally arrived! It's only half-day kindergarten, so it should be a breeze. He was pretty excited! Three down, one to go!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Two TEEN drivers

After a solid TWO hours in line at the DMV, Tyler passed his test and now has his driving permit! Yikes- have to admit I'm a little nervous. While driving home, we were literally 10 minutes from home so I let him drive- nice mom, right? He tried to make a right hand turn instead of turning left- totally turned around. He made it known that he knows where we live, just doesn't know how to get there.... not a good sign!

Just a warning to those with upcoming teens... adding Justin to our insurance (since he now has his restricted license to drive alone to school) was a huge SHOCK to us! He increased our auto insurance by $90 a month... almost doubling our premium. We weren't prepared for the shock! That's with him being a good student and taking driver's Ed! Ty might not get his license until he's 18... who knows how much higher they'll jack it up! That's with our record being clean!!! Kids are so expensive!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

An Abundance

I feel so blessed. While growing up, we used to have Christmas Eve every year with our family friends, The Jensens'. For some reason, one of the things that I remember most (besides the kids having to eat at the fireplace on the floor...) was the cucumbers she had cut up in the salad. Not a fancy salad, but I remember LOVING the taste of the cucumbers and thinking they had to be SO expensive! Yes, produce in Alaska is expensive but even worse it usually just doesn't taste like fresh produce. I feel I've come full circle now having more cucumbers than we can eat. We just send Ty around the neighborhood to see if anyone else wants any!
Needless to say, I love cucumbers and am THRILLED that for the last month, I can just go out to our garden every day and pick as many as I want to! Tyler and I eat at least 2-3 a night and I can't imagine ever being sick of them! Small pleasure, I know! Yesterday, Jim and I went out to pick some veges and I was so excited with what we found- sweet corn, green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers,green peppers... I'm already plotting our garden for next year! Salad anyone?

Monday, July 20, 2009


I can't imagine NOT having a garden. Working in the dirt is one of the most relaxing things for me these days- I just LOVE it! Everything is growing... but, I'm most excited about our little melons (watermelons and cantaloupe) and our tomatoes! They're just adorable! There's nothing quite as good as a garden-ripe tomato- a slice of heaven!

Tyler's 14th Birthday!

July has been busy! Tyler turned 14 just after we returned from vacation... even he forgot his birthday was coming up! We had a great lunch- Texas Roadhouse was his pick- Yum! He's saving his birthday money to buy a dirt bike of some sort... yikes, I'm a little nervous! Happy Birthday, Tyler!

Alaska Vacation

We've been back for more than two weeks, and I'm finally getting photos of our Alaska trip up! It was a quick trip- the ten days we were there seemed to fly by! We coordinated with my sister and her husband to vacation at the same time- so much fun! I LOVED playing with my sweet little nephew and hanging out as a big family!We didn't play "tourist", but did hit a few favorite spots. I don't think I'll ever tire of the drive to Portage Glacier. The inlet view is beautiful! This time, we got lucky and saw brown bears on the way- super exciting! We've NEVER seen bears there... very cool!The big boys were "pumped" that Gramps agreed to take them to the gym to work out every morning! They LOVED it- breakfast afterward was a nice treat, too!! They hit the treadmills, weights and even the pool. Once their cool Uncle Mac arrived, he was thrown in the workouts as well. I think more than one of them was a little sore... The boys even talked Mac in to a 20 (or so) mile bike ride along the coastal trail- lots of memories!

We made sure to play... at the park and in Grandma & Grandpa's cul-de-sac. The little boys both had skinned up knees, elbows and arms from crashing on the concrete. Our dirt roads are a little more forgiving! So much fun- thanks Mom & Dad!