December 28, 2011

Catch-up on life

It seems as though I am always playing catch-up when it comes to blogging.  I mean to do a better job, but the blog keeps getting pushed back on my to-do list.  Oh well, at least I get to it while I can!

I made the kids' costumes for Halloween this year.  Andrew and Brooklyn wanted to be M&Ms so it worked out well.  We had fun with the project and several got a kick out of Andrew and Brooklyn at the school parade.  Here are some pics ...


Garrett's First Birthday was only a couple days after Halloween. We celebrated with family on November 5th. All the Koci's were able to attend, along with the Hampton's (minus Heather), and and the Renyer's (minus my mom). We had a great time with family and Garrett had a blast getting messy with his cake!

Andrew's class had a Thanksgiving program in November.  Each class sang a couple songs and then each of the kids stated why you shouldn't eat them (a turkey) on Thanksgiving.  It was really cute!  Shane, Barb, Grandma Koci, Aunt Tam, and myself were all there to support Andrew.
Andrew getting ready to tell everyone why they shouldn't eat him for Thanksgiving.

The kids and I have a week and a half off school for winter break so we have been able to get several things done.  This fall we started making some of our Christmas presents to give to our friends and family (this year I chose a handmade theme for gifts).  We finished and wrapped all the gifts the first couple days of break.  Here are some of the things we made...
rag quilt in the shape of a turtle
cowboy fleece blanket
stripe quilt

hand print tree with Garrett, Brooklyn & Andrew
hooded bath towel

Christmas light plate using the kids' fingers

Koci siblings
The weekend before Christmas we celebrated with the Koci's. This year all the siblings were there and we had a lot of fun spending time together. Jeff also made one of his beautiful cakes for my Birthday as well.

Caden, Cora, Brooklyn, Jacob, Andrew & Garrett

So as this will probably be my last post for this year, I can't help but reflect on what  a wonderful year we have had.  I am blessed with a super smart 1st grader, Kindergartner, and a 1yr old!  Shane and I have been able to keep ourselves busy with several church projects, home projects, and whatever else gets thrown our way.  We get to see our extended family at least once a month, which not all families can say.  I am truly thankful for everything and everyone that God has put into my life.  Happy New Year!!!

September 5, 2011

The start of school and Birthday fun

Andrew and Brooklyn stopped for a quick picture showing off Brooklyn's new haircut for school.  They rarely act well and want to stop for pictures so while they were cooperating I snapped a few at or church.  Below are all three kids, Andrew age 6 (almost 7), Brooklyn age 4 (almost 5), and Garrett 9 mos.


Shane holding Cora for the first time.  We took a little road trip to KC to see her before they left the hospital.  It's hard to believe how small the kiddos start out!

Brooklyn joined us while the boys stayed with Grandma Barb and Grandpa Jeff.  Although Brooklyn doesn't look it in the picture on the left, she was very excited to get to hold Cora at the hospital.

Our church has started to have baptisms at Lake Sherwood and this year the kids jumped in the lake to play for a little bit after witnessing the baptisms.
The picture on the left shows some of the adults and kids from our life group.  If you look closely you will see the biggest kid of all splashing some of the others.  (Jim you are a great influence!)  To the right is a picture of Garrett and his first experience playing in lake water.

Brooklyn getting her stuff put away in her cubby and finding her spot in her classroom.  I'm so glad she has the same teacher that Andrew had.  She loved going to Andrew's class last year and helping out and knowing her teacher already is going to make starting school a breeze!

 The kids walking down to catch the bus on the first day of school, 2011-12 school year!

"I see it!  I see it!  The bus is coming!"
And there they go... off on a new adventure for one and the start of another great year for the other. 
I actually caught a glimpse of her before she went into the school.  She didn't even know I was there, but look at how big she is walking into school.  My baby girl is growing up too fast!

Brooklyn opening her presents from us on her actual Birthday (Aug 30th).  She loves to draw so we'll see how long a 200 pc set of coloring stuff lasts.  She also wanted some new clothes for winter so here is one of the new shirts she got from Andrew and Garrett.

We had a wonderful turnout for the kids' party.  We ended up with 28 family members for brunch.  We are blessed to have such a great family.  Thank you to the Koci's, Renyer's and Hampton's for helping us celebrate Andrew and Brooklyn's birthdays!

Don't look too closely at the cakes.  Andrew's is missing a couple strings... they broke so we decided to go with only four.  (Actually I forgot there was supposed to be six and then I ran out of room to add anymore.) 

Andrew and Brooklyn getting ready to blow out their candles.  Andrew is celebrating his 7th ( a little early) and Brooklyn her 5th Birthday.

Brooklyn enjoying getting to hold Cora after her Birthday party.

June 29, 2011

It's getting hot outside

The summer is flying by way to fast! We have been busy with yard work, which is never ending. The garden is doing ok. We got a late start in planting because of all of the rain we had, but things are starting to come on now. We have picked several cucumbers, and broccoli. Our carrots are looking good, but are still a little small. I wish we would get the rain that we had earlier in the season now. I have had to break down and water a few times, but I'm still hopeful for rain.

We have also been busy getting things ready for our VBS that will be in late July. Our theme is the Big Apple Adventure so we are making New York themed decorations. Shane built a taxi that the kids will be able to sit in for a picture and then we are going to reuse it in the new children's library that we are opening in the fall. We have been busy painting graffiti on sheets that we are going to hang all over the gym which will be our "playground 1017" area. A friend made a hot dog stand that looks great for our midtown snacks area. Another friend made a statue of liberty out of boxes to help decorate our craft loft in the art district. All we have left to do is make radio city music hall signs with lights, light posts, street signs and polls, and bushes. We are hoping to borrow country flags from a church in Derby to hang at our Rockefeller Plaza and then I think we will call it good. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it has taken quite a bit of time to get it all done.

In other news, we received a call yesterday from the sheriff's department asking for more details on some of the items we reported stolen. To our amazement, they actually caught the person that broke into our house. They pulled him over for a routine traffic stop and noticed a bunch of TVs in the car. After executing a search warrant of his house and storage unit(s) they found several stolen items. They were able to link the footprints taken from our deck to a pair of shoes in his closet so it should be an air tight case! We are excited to maybe now have some closer and get our stuff back since we weren't able to repurchase everything that was taken. Hopefully they found our camera and camcorder, but we are waiting to hear back on those items. It would be awesome if my pictures and videos were still on there and then I could post updated pictures on here as well.

On that good note, I will wrap up this post for now and see what else I can get done today. With the temps the way they are tonight it might just be getting caught up on some sewing projects but that's something to mark off the list I guess!

May 11, 2011

Is it summer yet

The kids have been tired of being cooped up all winter. Poor Brooklyn has been itching to wear a tank top and everyday it has been sunny she'll ask if she can finally wear a tank top. Fortunately, or at least I think fortunately, it got warm enough to wear a tank top and even play in the water. With temp reaching near 90deg the kids threw on their suits and headed out for some much needed outside time.

back to normal???

We are trying to get life "back to normal" after the break-in, but it is a harder task than I thought it would be. For those of you that don't know, our house was broken into April 26th. Some friends of ours that live in the area were broken into a little over a week prior so I had tried to change my "routine" in case anyone was watching the house. I guess I didn't change it well enough because the kids and I came home to a house that was a wreck. Here's the story...

When I opened the garage door I noticed a couple coolers that were out of place, but I excused it thinking Shane might have gotten off work early, been home, and then left again. We needed to pick up a table and chairs that we had loaned for the Easter celebration so I thought he had left to get that taken care of. Brooklyn took off in the house to change her clothes to be able to play outside when it hit me, maybe she shouldn't be the first one in the house. (Keep in mind that this thought process all took place in about 15 seconds.) I quickly called out to her to get back outside. Luckily she had only made it into the laundry room because if she would have gone further she would've seen a mess. To get in the robbers kicked in our back door. A portion of the door frame and our trim was lying on the dining room floor and the door was left open. They pulled out all the drawers in the kitchen, not sure what they were looking for, but they didn't take any of my fun kitchen gadgets! At that point when I saw the door and the drawers in the kitchen, I quickly exited the house and called 911.

The sheriff's deputy was at our house in less than 5 minutes. I was shocked that they got there so fast, but they said they had been working 3 other cases in the area that day. After calling Grandma & Grandpa Koci to help out with the kids, and calling Shane to have him come home, we had to do a walk through to see what was missing or damaged. Surprisingly they did not make much of a mess, or at least as much of a mess as I envisioned the house would look like if someone broke in. They took my jewelry armoire out of our closet and into Garrett's room. They then pulled all the drawers out and emptied them. Strangely enough, they didn't take any of the jewelry that was in there. Not that I have that much expensive jewelry, but I do have a couple pieces that I would consider expensive/valuable. Walking into our room, I saw that they had rummaged through our top dresser drawer, the junk drawer, then I noticed the closet. Oh my, they pulled all of Shane's shirts off the shelves and threw them on the floor. I couldn't tell exactly what they took, but Shane knew exactly what it was... his tobacco pipes and one of his guns. They also found our camera and new camcorder, grrrrr. I had not copied the pictures I had taken from Easter yet. Sadly that was on my to do list for that day, but I had pushed it to be an afternoon/evening task.

After a quick look in Brooklyn's room and it appeared as though they didn't even go in there. I will admit her room was messy from her own doing so it was a little hard to tell, but I think they saw the doll stuff and figured there was nothing that they were interested in. (I've now decided to hide all my important stuff in her closet in hopes if this would happen again the robbers would bypass her room again!)

Downstairs was a little depressing. In the family room they took our wii and all the wii accessories that I have conveniently put away in a little tote. It looked like they tried to take our TV, but it must have been too much work for them to get off the wall. Yay for our difficult TV mount! In the guitar room closet they found the gun safe. Instead of taking the entire safe, they went out to our garage, looked through the tools and used our claw hammer to break into the safe. They were kind enough to leave the hammer behind though. (Ha!) Thankfully they left the guitars alone. I guess they didn't realize that just one of Shane's guitars was worth more than several of the items they did take. Like Brooklyn's room, they did not mess with anything in Andrew's room.

The thought of not feeling safe in your own home is one that can only be summed up by saying frustrating. The kids, understandably, have had a pretty difficult time with the whole situation. Andrew has been camping out in Brooklyn's room for several nights in a sleeping bag. That first night, Andrew and Brooklyn took turns every 3 minutes coming into our room and waking me up because they heard something, or they couldn't sleep because of bad dreams, or whatever else they could dream up. Finally we let them climb in bed with us, and let me just say our bed is definitely not big enough for four people. Shane couldn't sleep so he went downstairs to the couch and I tried my hardest to at least get an hour of sleep... and then Garrett was awake. What a rough night!

We have thankfully got past the sleepless nights. We have an alarm system now and Andrew has moved back down to his room. They still are a little apprehensive when coming home from being gone. Andrew and Brooklyn hang out in the car or garage until Shane or I go in first. I must admit, I don't really like going in the house by myself either. I "know" that everything will be ok in the back of my mind, but there is still that queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach when I open the door.

My prayer at this point is that the sheriff's department can catch whoever is doing this. I don't really care about the items that they took, although it would be nice to get them all back, I just don't want this to happen to anyone else. In talking with the sheriff's department, there have been close to 20 other incidents in the southwest part of the county already. They might not all me related, but I do know that several of them are because they have had the same mo... mess with the jewelry but not take any, take guns and small electronics.

April 29, 2011

Too long

It has obviosly been too long since I have posted any updates about our family. So here is a quick run down with pictures...

Brooklyn playing in the snow at Great Grandma and Grandpa Koci's house.

Shane's 29th Birthday.

Hanging out in the living room enjoying the fire.

Andrew and Brooklyn checking things out at Science Center in Kansas City over Spring Break.
Lining up for their mug shot.

Brooklyn went to kindergarten on April 1st. No fooling, she will be in kindergarten this coming Fall! It seems like yesterday we were visiting her in the NICU and now school. I am so thankful that we have been blessed with healthy children.

Garrett having fun in his exercauser. He will be 6mo old on Monday(5/2/11). Time flies when you're having fun... or when you're just trying to keep up with the daily grind!

We have been really busy with church activities, school functions, and spending time with family. I don't think we have a "free" weekend until late in June. Oh well, that's what keeps us young, right?!?!