Sunday, April 20, 2014


HAPPY EASTER!  We had another wonderful Easter.  The fun started Friday night as we decorated Easter Eggs and cupcakes.  I say the fun started but the truth is I truly dislike decorating eggs.  It brings back awful childhood memories.  (Ok, I might be exaggerating a little).  When I was a kid I had my sister, Sherri, who was artistic and loved doing crafty things.  I did not!  Her eggs were always beautiful and mine look liked they had exploded in a bath of ugly colors!  It wasn't that my eggs never looked like hers or even looked decent that was the worse part, the worse part was that you had to sit and patiently work on decorating these dumb eggs.  It was boring and tedious and did I mention you had to sit still for at least 30 minutes!  Anyway, my memories of egg decorating were more of this thing we had to do each year.  The good part was that we got to hunt them later and that was fun.  So I do not "make" my kids decorate eggs but wouldn't you know it, they love it.  So every year I have to be put through this torture!  This year however, they could decorate on their own, woohoo!  So while I was right there with them, I only had to tell them how great their eggs looked and laugh with them when they weren't perfect.  It was a much more enjoyable experience for me :)  It was also a beautiful evening which made everything more enjoyable.

Saturday was crazy busy as we started out wishing Aunt Karli well on her first half marathon.  I was so proud of her for setting a goal to run it and achieving it.  I loved hearing her talk about the race and talk about the challenges and hear the sense of accomplishment in her voice.  It was truly great!  While Karli was racing Raelynn was at a horse riding clinic.  That too went well and was a good experience for her.  By late afternoon we headed to Aunt Bonnie's to celebrate Easter with the Keefer's.  Karli and Chad joined us as well which I always love having more family together.  We had a great time as and the kids were exhausted (and so was I).

Today we all headed to church then lunch and then to Aunt Steph's and Uncle Cody's for the afternoon.  We really wanted to see her one more time before Hadley arrives.  I must say I am getting REALLY impatient and am so ready to meet her!  Steph is more than ready as well.  Earlier this week Raelynn won a teddy bear at BGC and brought it home to give to Hadley.  I think she is a little excited as well :)  Steph is due on Wednesday and we are hoping they will schedule an induction if she doesn't have her by then.  She is going to be one spoiled little girl , just the way you want it!  (I have some pics of Steph from today, but she threatened me so I cannot post them :( )

After getting back home, Cooper eating dinner and he was saying all these negative things and then he said, "But on the bright side, I believe in God!"I thought that was perfect for today!  Regardless what is happening in the world around us, on the bright side I believe in God!

We have celebrated so many wonderful things in the past few weeks, here is a run down of just a few…..
Raelynn and Aiden(Our very good friends new addition!  He is adorable!)

Coop spent one of his days off with Aunt Steph!

This was a great treat!  Raelynn's class got to visit HyVee and make Dutch Apple Pies and sell them.  They were delicious!

Lunch with Raelynn and the other crazies too!

Raelynn's 3rd Grade Class plan a surprise birthday party for their teacher!

 This was found in Raelynn's pack back!  At first I laughed hard and then I thought, "Heck, I am only one step away from death!"

Coop racing Mike at Easter, Coop won of course! hahahaha!

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Blah, Blah, Blah…..that is what today was!  From the time I woke up to now things have just been Blah!  Sometimes I get a head of myself and try to be so organized and it just doesn't work out.   The good news is the day is almost over.  This afternoon we were headed to Raelynn's KSHSC Kick Off and I made the comment that this was just a yuck day and I was in a blah mood which Raelynn responded, "Which translates to we get yelled at more!"  I laughed and asked her when they ever get "yelled" at?  She said, "Ok, well it might not be "yelling" but you get the idea!"  She was right, I definitely ride them harder on blah days.  Even though it was a blah day, we still had many laughs.  We went to Kohl's to try to get Raelynn some black pants for show season.  While Raelynn and I were checking the price of something Coop was finding his own entertainment.  I hear Raelynn say, "Oh geez, MoooooM!"  I turned around and there was Raelynn cracking up and Cooper rubbing a very padded bra in the lingerie department.  I started to laugh and couldn't stop.  I laughed so hard I was crying hard!  So there was Coop with the bras and me squatted down in the isle trying not to wet my pants.  This is when Raelynn takes the role of the parent.  She is standing just far enough away we could still hear her but you wouldn't know if she was with us or not.  All I hear her saying is, "Really you guys, get it together, this is embarrassing!  Mom stand up, Coop quit rubbing the boobs!"  This did not help me at all, the more she scolded us the harder I laughed.  Finally Coop stopped and I at least got past the point I was going to pee my pants and we continued our shopping.  Now I must say, a good laugh was much needed and it was definitely a good one!!!

On a much more serious note, do you find yourself in a situation and wonder if your parents felt the same?  Earlier this week we had some loud thunderstorms come through about 3:30am.  The thunder was super loud and it didn't take long before Coop was in bed between Terry and I.  One more loud thunder and I heard Raelynn call for me.  I got up and went in her room and crawled in beside her.  I snuggled with her and we talked about how loud it was and how it spooked us and within minutes she was asleep.  I started to climb out of bed but she rolled over and asked me to stay.  As I lay there, wide awake, I thought about how I was no more capable of protecting her from the thunder or lightening than she was of protecting herself.  I thought back to how when I was a kid  I thought my parents could protect me from anything but now that I am the parent I wonder what gives me that power and did they really have that power then.  It was just a weird thought, my kids think we are their protector but we really have the same fears they do.  It is amazing how we can look so "big" to them and if only they knew how much we feared and how much we questioned ourselves, would they look at us the same way?  I suppose they wouldn't but we'll never know because as parents we are "big" to them and all knowing and in control and that is what gives them confidence and trust and is so crucial in their development.  Last night I watched BoyZ N the Hood.  It kept me from sleeping all night.  It was horrible but I couldn't get my mind to stop thinking about those kids and how they grew up and why.  Why didn't their parents move out of that neighborhood?  Why didn't their parent's see what their lifestyle was doing to their kids?  Why was that one cop so mean?  There was so many questions I had and I am sure that show has been studied in a few sociology classes but it just left me sad.  It also left me feeling privileged to live where I live and have the environment I do to raise my kids in.  We are so blessed yet still find things to whine about or stress about or being frustrated with.  The move made me feel ashamed for some of the luxuries I have and also thankful for some of the luxuries I have.  Mostly it made me sad that generation after generation the same trends continue and the violence worsens and that this actually happens in the real world and I am so sheltered I do not see it and I am so scared I never look for it.  I am thankful for my family and the privileges we have and I am thankful that I can recognize them and just hope that I can let me children see them as well and understand that there are those with more privileges and those with less but regardless, our riches are in our love, education and in God.

I was able to meet my good friends new baby on Thursday and he is adorable.  I get so excited to watch my friends welcome new ones into their family because I know the excitement they feel and how that will stay with them forever!  Children are without a doubt the greatest gift anyone could ever receive.  Their son had a few struggles but is on his way to recovery and I am so relieved and happy for them.  I can't wait until they realize that the love they feel now will only get stronger!

A look back over the past week or so……..

Raelynn is making bracelets to raise money for CCF!  Our great friend, Belinda, designed the charms!

Raelynn nominated her teacher, Mrs. Bailey, for the Hy-Vee High Five and won!  
Raelynn and Jackie after Jackie's Gymnastics competition.  

Coop's artwork displayed at Hy-Vee

Raelynn's first riding lesson of the season.

Coop entertains himself why RL rides!

Sunday, March 23, 2014


This past week was Spring Break for the kids.  Every year I plan surprises for the kids after I pick them up.  We never are able to take the week off so the kids attend Boys and Girls Club for the week.  I feel bad that we can't take the week off with them and in the years past they have not enjoyed Boys and Girls Club so a few years ago I came up with the idea to make the most out of it and give them something to look forward to each day as I give them clues in their lunch boxes about what we will be doing when I pick them up.  Unfortunately this week started off a little rough.  Monday was good because we had the St. Patrick's Day Parade and we were able to spend the day together.  However, Tuesday was not such a success.  It was about 4am and I was getting ready to go to the gym.  I was sweeping the floors before I left and I heard Raelynn say from her room, "Mommy, I don't feel so good."  Within a few minutes of those words she was throwing up.  The poor thing literally threw up about 7 times over the next 4 hours.

I do not think she had ever had the stomach flu so bad.  So it was another day off work for me which was not good because we had a lot going on at work and I had already missed Monday.  By 5pm Raelynn was still throwing up but was definitely doing better.  I spent the night on the couch with her and Wednesday morning at 6am sharp I hear, "Mom, I feel sooooo much better!"  I was relieved to hear those words but knew she would be weak.  She sprang up and ate some breakfast and within about 15 minutes she was back on the couch saying she was so tired.  I guess she hadn't had the flu enough to learn that lesson :).  She spent Wednesday with me at work and by noon was feeling great.  I was very thankful it was just a 24 hour flu.  However, this had thrown our Spring Break surprises off so I had to do a little scurrying around to recover what I could of the week.  So Wednesday night we surprised the kids with a trip to Target to buy Frozen and a little treat at DQ before heading home to watch it.  They were super excited as they had been asking for Frozen since we saw it in the theater over Christmas.  Thursday the weather was beautiful and I took a great chance on my surprise.  I decided we would visit some Nature Trails and go for a little hike.  I honestly had no idea if the kids would think this was fun.  I started with a trip to Orange Leaf so I knew at least one thing would be a hit.  Then we travel to the Nature Trails.  To my relief the kids had a blast.  They ran and climbed and laughed.  It wasn't too far that they got tired but it was far enough to give us a good hour or so hike.  They played and acted silly and we had a wonderful time.

Friday I couldn't decide exactly what I wanted to do when I got a text from our friends to join them at CiCi's for dinner.  We then decided to finish the night at the Lego Movie which the kids had been asking to see.  They were so happy with their final surprise.  It was another fun night and besides Cooper getting ice stuck in his throat, it was perfect.  Yes, our Cooper always keeps things exciting.

So after a fun week and a pretty easy weekend, we are ready for another busy week ahead.  I continue to believe I must be the luckiest person in the world as I listen to my kids play together and even make their own banana splits together.  They are wonderful children and I love them both so much!!!  Between the town of them and Terry, they fill my heart with more happiness than anyone deserves!

Monday, March 17, 2014


What a day!  We had so much fun in the Lawrence St. Patrick's Day Parade!  We have a float each year for Cooper's Cause Foundation but this year we decided to do an actual float and not just decorate an old pickup.  Terry literally built the whole thing along with Allison.  I am always amazed at what he can do and this was no exception.  He worked very hard on it but it turned our awesome!!!

It was a day full of fun!

We were so lucky to have a couple of the families that we had funded join us this year.  It made the whole day so much brighter to know we had other heart kids right there with Coop and their siblings with Raelynn.  There is literally not enough thanks in the world for those who have made all of this possible!