Merry Christmas! What a whirlwind of a December! Lots of birthdays, sickness, concerts, and traveling!
Celebrating: Happy Birthdays went out to Wenceslao, Hunter, Sami, Isabelle W., and Kaden! Happy Anniversary went out to Uncle Garrett and Aunt Amy!
Sickness: Allison and Kara struggled the entire month (since before Thanksgiving) with continued respiratory sicknesses. Finally, a trip to a new doctor''s office yielded sinus infections (both girls), a UTI (Allison) and an ear infection (Kara). Allison also had to endure a minor surgical procedure to relieve pain and pressure from an unhealed hematoma. The hole in her leg is healing nicely now...we are very pleased by how things look.
Concerts: Mommy''s concert with the Choral Union was canceled due to bad weather. So was Matthew''s band concert....we did get to hear Matthew''s 5th grade band play the last day of public school (which was the 23rd). Not an official concert, but we were grateful nevertheless. Due to weather and sickness, Allison missed out on an entire month of gymnastics. She will start up again this week.
Traveling: Mommy headed to Topeka with Grandma Nancy and Grandpa Dennis to see Uncle Will graduate from college on December 11. The following week, we traveled to Great Bend for the weekend for a family Christmas with Daddy''s family. It was very nice. We had a good time even though there was an obvious person missing from the festivities. We had some quiet time with a few tears in the kitchen after Mass Saturday night to remember Grandma Bev. Her absence was very obvious and she was missed by everyone. We can only pray that she was with us and is saying a few prayers for all of us as we continue to struggle with her passing. We missed going back to Great Bend on the 23rd due to weather so we were unable to spend a nice Christmas evening with Great-Grandma Steffan and the rest of the gang. However, Eric and the kids were able to visit Grandma Cecelia on December 26...Mommy had to work and it was a perfect time to have some one on one time with Grandma.
Christmas Eve was spent at home after attending a beautiful Christmas Eve Mass. Mommy and Daddy were finally able to, for the first time, spend the evening quietly watching "White Christmas" and drinking bad wine. *grin* Christmas Day was also spent at home...lots of baking, game playing, and naps were the rule that day. It was really nice to spend so much time as a family together. We were even able to make a few phone calls to loved ones we were unable to spend Christmas with. We headed for Bucklin later in the evening for Christmas with Grandma Nancy and Grandpa Dennis.
It is with some anxiety that we say goodbye to 2009....January 5th will mark one year since Grandma Bev left us suddenly and even though it''s not said out loud, this "anniversary" is one we are not going to be celebrating...we miss her terribly but it is also because of our deep love for her that we are able to move on with life...new traditions, new relationships, new memories. I guess that''s what a new year is all about. New beginnings. New blessings. May all of you have a blessed 2010.
Happy Thanksgiving! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, traveling to Great Bend first to see Grandpa Dan. Then it was on to Topeka to see the Arasmith side of the family...lots of food, lots of visiting, and some fun shopping on Black Friday (Mommy even ran into a friend in the midst of the chaos! What fun!). Saturday, we were able to head over to the Bachman side and visit for an afternoon. Saturday night we had a wonderful visit with the Myers family, who were able to come over for supper and for a couple hours of visiting...we really enjoyed it! They headed back to Texas from Uncle Greg''s parent''s house in Cimmarron....we will see them again for Christmas in a few weeks....
Things are returning to normal, as much as they can during the holiday season...it has seemed to take Mommy quite a bit of time to recover from 2 months of solid rehearsals and performances for the muscial, but all is better now. A routine is happening again...Daddy is able to travel now for his job more, which gets him out from behind his desk, which makes him happy. Kids are excited for Christmas coming up...constantly making last minute changes to their lists. Little do they know that there isn''t much that can happen if something new gets added...tee-hee! Oh well.
Both Kara and Allison came down with some sort of nasty virus...Kara is still trying to shake it. Allie seems to have recovered. Matthew has escaped it...so far.
Enjoy your December! Maybe "Mother-Nature" will actually remember that it''s supposed to be cold and snowy this time of year instead of the spring-like temps we''ve been having....Thanksgiving day was border-line hot! Ha! Gotta love Kansas!
Dodge City had it''s first snow on Monday morning...not much of one. It barely covered the grass and was gone by noon. Mommy and the kids were disappointed as all of the major snow went north and east of us, but we enjoyed how pretty it looked for a few hours anyway.
Allison celebrated her birthday yesterday at school and again at home with family for supper. She had her big birthday party on Saturday...it was a tea party and the girls had an amazing time. The giggles and squeals were infectious and Allison was on cloud 9!
Now that November is winding down and Thanksgiving is upon us, we''ve started to decorate the house for Christmas. We were worried about where we would put the Christmas tree, but the new tree proved to be smaller than our old one and it fits perfectly in the space between the dining room and the living room. The kids have been begging to decorate it so I imagine that will be on the agenda sometime this week. Even Eric seems to be hinting as he keeps using it for "extra light" when he''s working on something in the living room. Yep.
Wicked The Musical, was AMAZING!! We plan on going again if we can in the future....the production has moved on to Kansas City and Cleveland, OH, but we are hoping that it comes back near our area again. It is highly recommended that you see that musical sometime...it is totally worth it.
Well, time to get back to work. Allie is home sick today after whirlwind birthday activities...she''s running a fever today so we are home making sure she is resting. Poor thing. Even Kara seems to be coughing again. Here we go...doesn''t look like we''ve escaped the bug going around afterall...thought we''d dodged a bullet. Oh well. Enjoy the remainder of your week and be safe in your Thanksgiving travels next week!
Goodness! It''s been two months since an update! A lot has happened since September 1st!
School got off to a wonderful start...a new slate of teachers at the school, new A/C at the school, new friends moved in to town...life has been good for the kids at school. Kara is LOVING preschool and her teacher shocked us at parent/teacher conferences by telling us that our shy child is actually the LEADER in class...she''s outgoing, very artistic, and focused. Allison is doing very well in her 1st grade class. Grades are outstanding! Her only issue is breaking in to song under her breath when it''s quiet in class...hmmm..wonder where she gets that from? Matthew is doing extremely well as well...he''s only got one B right now and the rest are A''s. He''s improving in band as well...he decided on percussion and has been learning the bells since September. He''s looking forward to drums later in the year. God help us. We are very proud of all of them.
The kids have been putting up with Mommy being gone a lot since the beginning of September. I played Emma Carew in the Depot Theater production of Jekyll and Hyde. The 3 week run was in October and it was a total success. We''ve heard great and wonderful things from the public about it...so my first experience in the Depot was a VERY positive one. I was able to meet a lot of new people as well as visit with old friends who came long distances to see the show. Glad to be back home now with family though...
Grandma Nancy, Grandpa Dennis, and Darlene moved from Florida back to Kansas in September...Bucklin, in fact...not too far from Dodge City. The kids are happy to have grandparents so close again.
Kara''s birthday was yesterday and although we didn''t have a very large celebration, she had a wonderful birthday. She celebrated in her class at school and then again at home with family in the evening. I''ve posted pictures to her album....Hard to believe that little girl is four years old. I can still remember the sigh and tears of relief when she was born.
We are also happy to be welcoming a new member to our family functions....Grandpa Dan is spending time with Vicki and she is now "officially" his girlfriend! Everyone is very excited that they found each other. We think that Grandma Bev and Vicki''s husband Dennis are smiling down at them from heaven. We are truly blessed to be getting to know Vicki!
The Holiday season is sneaking up on us....Thanksgiving is in 3 weeks....so we are gearing up for family visits. Plans are still up in the air for Christmas....our nephew Harold will be baptized in Corpus Christi, TX over Christmas and we are not sure we will be able to make it. I''m not saying no just yet, though! Christmas shopping is in full swing as is shopping for all of the birthdays we have for the next three months!
This Saturday, Eric and I will take a much needed trip to Wichita by ourselves to attend Wicked, The Musical. We hope to finish some Christmas shopping while we are there, but more importantly, we are going to spend some time together. A nice date day if I do say so myself!
Well, time to get back to uploading photos and then to work. Enjoy the rest of your week!
The kids actually took off for school this morning in long sleeves and jackets...this cool weather is SOOOOO not Dodge City in the summer! We aren''t complaining, though, because we haven''t had to run the AC in days and our yard hasn''t been this green in a long time.
Heading out for another camping trip this weekend....we hope. Then, it''s off for one final camping run with the camper next weekend...don''t know where yet for either weekend, so who knows. We may end up camping in the driveway!
Kids were excited to see Grandpa Dave and Nana this past weekend. Daddy had Stewardship Day at the Cathedral all day Saturday and Mommy had to sing at Mass Saturday night. So although we had guests, we were still busy. Went to Boot Hill on Saturday afternoon and the kids had a ball. We had a great weekend.
In two weeks, Grandma Nancy and Grandpa Dennis will be here. They are moving "back home" from Florida to a new job in Dodge City. The kids ask all of the time when they are coming...we will help them move in when they get here. We are sure praying that things go way better for them here then they did in Florida. It doesn''t sound like they will be here for very long (maybe 2 years), but we will enjoy their close proximity while they are here. Have a safe move!
Rehearsals for Mommy will start next week for Jekyll & Hyde (musical). I will be playing Emma Carew (Dr. Jekyll''s fiance)....kids have been helping me practice (of course). Should be fun as I haven''t done anything major like this since college. Sounds like lots of people are planning to attend...so no pressure. Ha! Poor Daddy will be a "single parent" for the good part of 2 months...but he''s being a good sport about all of it.
A week ago we went to Victoria for a wedding for Amanda and Kevin. It was so wonderful to see them getting married! I sang, Eric read, and Matthew served. BIG family affair! Sounds like Amanda and Kevin had a great time in Hawaii...too bad we couldn''t convince them that they needed to take us with them. Maybe next time. *grin*
First day of school today! A few tears were shed by Mom after dropping off Kara at her preschool today....Kara was a bit upset that she couldn''t dive in to the puzzles but had to find her chair. A new routine....she''s had her heart set on those puzzles since seeing them at open house yesterday. But, all was well within a few minutes and she was finally able to use her paints in class! She was very proud to show off her picture at home. Allison bounded in to first grade with enthusiasm....Matthew was a bit more apprehensive about 5th grade. But, all in all, the morning went well. Can''t believe another year is starting, but we are excited to get back in to the school routine.
Speaking of routine...time to go get the kiddos from school and wake Kara from her nap. Have a great week!
The kids enrolled in school today (including Kara! She''ll be in preschool)...they are all excited and looking forward to the first day of school (next Tuesday).
Matthew opted out of football this year...I am pretty sure it has something to do with his best friend not doing it either....oh well. Allie has joined gymnastics. She decided against Dance Cats this year (which surprised me), but after seeing her joyful face in practice Tuesday night at gymnastics, I''m confident she made the right decision....she''s in heaven. Kara has made the leap to no diapers at night. She started ripping her pullups off every night so we finally just said "no more." Has worked wonderfully.
Grandma Nancy and Grandpa Dennis will be moving to Bucklin (about 30 minutes from Dodge) in 3 weeks. Things didn''t work out in Florida, but a job opened back up with Dennis''s old job. The kids are beyond excited that they will be here...they haven''t seen them in a long while.
We will see Grandpa Dan this weekend in Victoria as a cousin of ours will be getting married Saturday. We are very excited to see all of the family again...will be spending the night with Great-Grandma Agedia! Should be fun!
Hoping to see Grandpa Dave and Nana next weekend...the girls got to see them in July, but Matthew missed out due to baseball...he was pretty jealous!
Time to get back in to school mode. It was nice to see everyone at the school this evening at enrollment...it will be nice to get back into a routine. I''ll be getting very busy with rehearsals for Jekyll & Hyde (shows: Oct.15-31)...had our first run through of music on Sunday. Was encouraged and impressed with the caliber of actors that I''ll be working with. My anxiety was dampened a bit which was good. I''m very nervous.
Well, have a great weekend everyone and enjoy back to school!! =)
Well, July has been a very busy month!! At the end of June, Eric took off for Chicago for a last minute week-long trip for work. Fourth of July was spent with friends and neighbors, ending with the Dodge City fireworks show near our house. Then, it was off to Chicago for me for the National Pastoral Musicians Conference with friends from Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral and a couple of friends from Prince of Peace parish in Great Bend. We had a WONDERFUL time and learned a lot! After a week in Chicago, it was off to Great Bend to work in the offices and then on to Topeka to pack up Grandma''s apartment for her (she''s moving to assisted living in Arizona). On the way home, I stopped back in to the offices for some follow-up. Then, this past weekend, we spent my birthday in Oklahoma at Canton Lake. It was a WONDERFUL time with the Myers clan, made even better when Grandpa Dan came down to join us on Saturday! Lots of boating, swimming, eating, laughing, lasso golf, wood gathering (for the "pyro" in all of us), and visiting. We are looking forward to another camping trip next summer and hope that more folks will consider joining us in the fun. The camper''s 3 trip was successful and Eric is already trying to figure out what local lakes we can stay at this weekend! The pop-up is working out amazingly well and we are soooooo glad we made that purchase instead of a larger camper! This is perfect...the air conditioner is wonderful, the plumbing leak fixed, and the space is perfect for our family. We are already looking in to how we can improve it...a new awning perhaps? Hee! Hee!
The kids are finally winding down their baseball games this week. Allison''s last one was last night. They don''t keep score in t-ball, but she had a wonderful season. Matthew has unfortunately been stuck on a team that runs faster AFTER the game for the snack box than during the game, but we''ve been working with him at home and HIS game is improving. He''s already been asking around about getting on a team next summer with some of his classmates. He didn''t have the fun this summer he thought he would. Losing every game and even having to forfeit one (only 6 kids on his team showed up that game) has been disheartening for him. But, he''s now looking forward to football and to school starting. He did get to pitch a lot this summer so we are working on that with him.
School starts in about a month. Hard to imagine...we are hoping and praying for a better year at Sacred Heart. All signs are pointing to a wonderful year, but we can''t help but enter with apprehension. The music program has been slashed, much to my surprise and disappointment (isn''t it sacreligious or something to take Liturgical music out of a Catholic school?)...that''s been a hard pill to swallow and I admit, made me rethink sending the kids there. However, we are placing our faith in God for this one...hoping that music will one day come back to Sacred Heart. Please pray for our school for a successful year. Total stewardship has been scrapped at the parish; another blow. We are now back to tuition, which will make our giving TANK. Very frustrating. However, we are now looking for other ways to live our stewardship life and will have to adjust to giving more of our time and talent instead of our treasure.
Oy...time for some cheerful news, huh? We are gearing up for planning for the wedding of Eric''s cousin Kevin and Amanda. Eric will be reading and I''ll be singing. We are looking forward to going up for the celebration as we are excited to make Amanda''s and Lexie''s addition to the family "official!"
Allison is now the "toothless wonder!" She has lost most of her front teeth and has delighted all around her with her ability to shove her tongue between her teeth...ha! Kara has shot up in height this summer, although doing so has made her skinny as a rail. I knew it would happen but I can''t help but be a little sad that my little girl is losing all her "baby-ness." Matthew''s feet are almost as big as mine now. Won''t be long and he will be taller than me. He''s almost there! Ack!
Father''s Day has come and gone and we had a terrific time at Wilson Lake over the weekend! John & Michelle and their family were kind enough to let us join their annual celebration and we couldn''t thank them enough! We had to get creative on Saturday with keeping kids (& ourselves) entertained as it rained ALL DAY LONG! Had one really, really hard downpour...thankfully, it was the last one and then blue sky came out just in time for walks before it got dark for the evening. The camper held up well (no leaks! yeah!). We were a bit better prepared for this trip and I didn''t overpack as much as I did last time. Penny went with us and aside from her barking like she could take the lab across from us, she did really, really well. The kids had a ball...they had 5 different campers to run between...ours being the only one without the bathroom! Ha! We had a wonderful time. Eric was amazed that the kids and I were able to smuggle his Father''s Day gift to the lake without him seeing it. Got him some super-duper rachet straps he''d been wanting, a "flower-y" shirt (you all know what Eric calls it! Ha!), and Matthew (& the girls) got him a Dale Earnhardt t-shirt and sleep pants they just KNEW he had to have. He loved all of it.
A small tornado hit Holy Family school in Great Bend while we were at the lake. It did some damage as far as doors and trees were concerned. The fence around the playground was smashed. However, the school and the church escaped most (if any) structural damage. Thank goodness. We drove by on our way home to check things out and were pleased to see that things weren''t as bad as we thought they''d be. We took some pics which I hope I can get downloaded soon. The tornado was just a continuation of some weather we''ve been having for weeks. No complaints here...Dodge has gotten 3-4 inches of rain over the last few weeks and my lawn & garden looks terrific because of it. I''ve only had to water once so keep that rain coming....my water bill is down! Ha!
Monday morning, my work computer crashed. Looks like beyond repair this time. I''m really frustrated with this computer and honestly am happy to see that we will be going with a different company soon. Spent time yesterday looking for a new laptop as the computer I''m now using is ancient (older than Allie) and is s-o s-l-o-w!!! I''m not looking forward to spending the money but I don''t think it can be helped this time. I have to be able to work. So until I get a new computer, I won''t be able to upload recent pictures for a while...I don''t think this dinosaur can handle it.
Eric is in Chicago this week. Had some traveling snafus getting there but he made it. Will be coming home on Friday and then we take off for Great Bend for EE weekend and for me to work. Kids have games and practices Mon., Tues., and Wed. of this week....tonight, Wed., they BOTH have games so this "single" mom is going to be running.
Well, time to get back to work...more insurance phone calls to make. Yippee. I have dreams of someday being caught up, but it just never seems to happen. Ha! Oh well...I keep trying anyway.
Have a wonderful week....stay cool this week. It''s a scorcher!
Hope everyone had a Happy Memorial Day weekend!! Here''s the run-down of how our weekend went....
This past weekend was our maiden voyage for our new camper...we only made it 45 minutes before we had a flat tire on the camper and a hitch that was nearly completely off of the van. After a 1 1/2 hour fix-it job in Larned, we were back on the road. Stopped in Great Bend to visit Bev''s grave, eat, and to quickly fix the flat tire only to be told we need to buy a completely new one. OK, after another hour...on the road again. This meaning we LEFT Great Bend and almost noon....we''d left Dodge at 6:45 am!!! Finally made it 21 miles from Topeka and Kara, who had refused all day long to potty anywhere but her potty seat (which we forgot), soaked her seat in the van. Another stop to clean that up...Dropped the kids and the dog off at Grandpa''s and Nana''s, then Eric and I took the camper to the Lake to set up. AC wouldn''t work (it was short cycling). After following the directions of letting it sit, it was working by nightfall.
Spent Sat. evening with a couple of friends of mine at an alumni banquet in Meriden, at then to someone''s house in Topeka, before picking the kids up and heading back to the camper. Sunday: up at dawn to head for church at 8:00 am...that was nice. Then, we were able to visit with Dad at a BBQ we held for lunch at the campsite on the lake (Lake Shawnee in Topeka...Nana/Nancy was with her sister who was visiting from Texas). Right before the BBQ, the hot water line under the sink sprung a leak....water everywhere! So had to shut the water off to the camper the rest of the weekend! Three friends of mine stopped by for a bit of socializing during the BBQ....that was fun! Got some pictures in before everyone had to leave. Was pretty disappointed that some who had said they''d be to the BBQ didn''t show up or call, but we had a good time anyway and were sorry that they couldn''t come. My brother Will and his girlfriend, Sarah, did stop by Saturday night for a quick hello...had a good time with them. Monday morning, Dad and Nancy came out to the camper to see us off and return our dog to us (Penny had a great time with "gramma and grampa! Ha!)
Had an uneventful rest of the weekend until we stopped in Salina on the way home to eat on Monday....battery went dead on the van so we had to jump start it. Stopped in Great Bend on our way home to lay flowers for Justin. All in all, it was a great weekend and we look forward to Father''s Day weekend at Wilson Lake! Woo!Hoo!
At the risk of jinxing something, I''m proud to announce that Kara has now appeared to "get it" when potty training!!! Now, I do mean just the potty part but we''ve had 2 whole days of successes. 1 accident and numerous "#2" issues but she appears to have figured out the potty part. Haven''t worn pull-ups for 2 days (except for sleeping). I''m beyond excited and finally feeling like a "real mom" instead of a failure...God is good. Thanks for the prayers!
Matthew and I went to Phillipsburg last night to meet up with Grandpa Dave and family...we got to see my friend Annette (from college) last night and spend the night with her and her family (thanks, Annette!). Today, we went around P-burg, visited, and then went to Grandma Donna''s grave. Got to see Aunt Sue, Uncle Jeff, Uncle Tim, Great-Grandpa Neil, Nana, Grandpa Dave, Jocelyn and Elizabeth...we had a great time and hated to leave so soon but it was time to go home. Grandma''s grave looked very nice.
Eric spent all day today wiring the van for the electric brake control for the new camper. We are now ready to pull the camper next weekend for Memorial Day weekend to the lake in Topeka. All we do now is get the camper itself ready...maybe tomorrow.
Ta-Da!!! Well, we have finally been successful with camper shopping....we stumbled across a camper in Mulvane, KS that is #1: newer than all the others we looked at; #2: a MUCH better deal than the others; #3 the perfect layout for our family. We spent more than we wanted to, but in the long run, we got a better camper that is near new (it''s a 2006 model). Popped it up yesterday to air it out and to let it dry completely (it was damp when Eric picked it up Tuesday night). The kids are already in love with it...they were disappointed today after school to discover that it wasn''t popped up anymore. Ha! They spent most of yesterday evening inside, reading books, entertaining friends, and picking out their sleeping spots. We can''t wait to get rolling with it! We may try to go out with it Memorial Day weekend, but we haven''t really decided where yet....but we need a few trial runs before we take it to Canton Lake in July.
Dodge has finally received rain! Things are greening up beautifully. We aren''t out of the "drought woods" yet, but what we got was a huge help.
This past weekend was good. We got to see my brother (Will) have his final senior recital...he did a wonderful job! Also visited with Nancy and Dad as well as Grandpa Neil and Grandma Belle. It was a great weekend.
Matthew received STUDENT OF THE QUARTER this week at school! Also, brought home a "progress note" and it had all A''s!! He was pretty excited. All baseball workouts were rained out so they have ditched the workouts and we are all waiting with bated breath to find out what teams Matthew and Allison get on for the summer. Allie is so excited to give her new t-ball glove a go.
We are "purging" the house again and are having a garage sale on Saturday....here''s hoping the weather holds. It feels good to get things cleaned out and get rid of things that are just taking up space.
Ah...shopping for campers stinks. We''ve had 4 attempted scams against us, 2 campers sold out from under us, and one failed negotiation. We''ve seen beautiful campers sell for exactly what we are willing to pay...and they are wonderful, newer models, and all the features we want. But we are always a few hours late or the sellers don''t want to budge on their prices (''course we''re not willing to budge much on what we are willing to spend). Eric made the comment this weekend that maybe we just aren''t meant to have one now. Seems silly to be putting this much effort into a popup camper. The scams are what are so annoying...the camper is usually a deal way too good to be true (like $2000-$3000 less than avg NADA pricing) and we get an email back that says: "so glad you are interested, but I''m afraid I have ''bad news.'' I live in Canada...." and it goes on. Ugh.
On the flip side, Will''s recital tonight was wonderful. Camera ran out of space on the memory card or else I would have taken more video. Will have to wait until I get home tomorrow to see what I can salvage. Will did a great job. I wish Matthew could have seen this....he''s considering joining band and playing drums, too.
Allison came down with strep throat last week, but improved fast enough to be able to spend the night with her friend back home. Matthew''s asthma is finally improving since getting on the right medication. Kara''s cold is still hanging on....ready for that to finish up.
Matthew had a track meet yesterday in Ness City. He participated in long jump, the 50 meter and a relay. He took 5th in the long jump (there were a LOT of 4th graders in his division so that was a true accomplishment!), he took 3rd in the 50 meter. They took last, though, in the relay...the kid handing the baton to Matthew fell. Matthew ran back to get the baton from his friend, stopping to help him up figuring he''d get "extra points." It was hard not to laugh when I tried to explain to him that they don''t give out points in a race for being a good friend. Ha! He had a blast anyway and it sounds like he''s looking forward to joining track for good when he gets older.
Pray we find a good camper at a reasonable price...we know they are out there and thank goodness we aren''t desperate so we can afford to be picky. But the search is frustrating nevertheless.