Sunday, February 07, 2016

Love my Ring!

Josh got me a 10 year anniversary band for our anniversary/Christmas...and because he had to have it made it took a little while to get completed...I couldn't be happier, I just love it!! Hoping for 50+ more years married to my best friend :)

Daddy Daughter Dance

I'm blinking and my sweet girl is becoming a sweet young lady. We spent about an hour on her hair. In the same breath she said that she likes getting dressed up sometimes, but that she is glad she is not a girly girl who wants to do it all the time! She even borrowed my necklace I wore to my first prom. Both she and josh looked so good, and it sounds like they had a great time dancing the night away! Even though Josh said he has never been more sweaty in his life. The things he does for his little girl :)


I got to be a part of the Iowa Caucus this year - the first time I've ever done that! My friend Amanda and I headed to our local site where Iowa had record number turn out! This year there is a neck and neck race between hilary clinton and bernie sanders (D.) It was nearly even at our precinct and the deciding votes in Iowa had to be decided with a coin toss! Should make for an interesting election season!

On a positive note - I see Trump starting to falter in his followings. He is known to be crass, egotistically and really has nothing nice to say about anyone. I cannot imagine him as our president. I feel like the democrats have a good change. Would LOVE to see Hilary in the white house...again! :)


This year I bit off a little more than I should have. Planning 3 valentines parties, and we cannot have any food at all (boo!) So we opted to make some cute valentines. Grayson is doing bugs, Zach glowing "lightsabers" and kenna pencils. They all turned out super cute!

The parties all happen hopefully they will all go off without a hitch! The kids are excited and always have a good time...I don't think they realize how much occurs behind the scenes :(

Red Belt

Kenna puts a ton of pressure on herself (sorry sweetie - you get that from me.) She is the kind of kid who hates missing one on a test, so much so that she comes running home in tears when she missed one capitol on her southeast state exam when she knew the answer....I love her strong sense of accomplishment when she's really worked hard for something - while I also try and balance that. She doesn't need all that stress in her little 9 year old life!

This karate exam was a little different than the others. She actually was really nervous. So much so, that she was dreaming about it and really worried days before it happened. She has to break boards now - which is no easy feat! Luckily she nailed it, on the first try! You could see the immediate relief in her face. If a student does not break the board - then they are not allowed to advance a belt. So far, she never has had to face that - but has seen friends have to, and it is so hard.

This is the first time she moved up a belt size! I think she is adjusting to both the red belt and the thought that she only has a few short months until black belt! So proud!


As part of Kenna's Christmas gift we got her tickets to the Newsies. What a purely awesome performance. The harmonies of anywhere from 2 to 30 young men were just spot on. We purposefully got the last performance on a Sunday. I think Kenna really enjoyed herself - and I know I did!!

Christmas Eve

Its sort of become a tradition that we spend Christmas Eve at Gona an Bacas. This year we brought the xbox and Auntie Em and Kenna danced the night away.

Also - it snowed! After almost zero snow the whole winter Kenna proclaimed on the 23rd that she would trade all her presents for snow. eve it snowed! Just enough to have a great time on the sled all afternoon, and for the occasional snowball!

We had a great meal and celebrated with everyone but Nikki making it! Once again we were all spoiled, but so happy to live so close to our family!

Noon Years Eve

I believe this will be the last time we frequent the science center's noon years eve party. While it is is so crowded! And this year will be forever burned into my brain as the year I lost Grayson. We toured all the exhibits including a really cool geometric traveling climbing maze that Zach got stuck on top of - another story....

We had about an hour until the balloon drop and so we headed to the boys favorite, the veggie and fruit sorting area. Kenna was burned out and in a little bit of a "tween" mood. She opted to sit on the side and play her ipod. I was there by myself so sort of looked around every few minutes to make sure all the kids were still in the same place, then Grayson wasn't. I told Kenna to go look at the other side of the room and she couldn't find him either...I started to panic.

My obvious panic must have been evident as an employee stopped me and said are you missing a little boy?

I followed her to the customer service desk just outside the room. It sounded like Grayson couldn't find me or the other kids and asked a lady with a nametag to help him. He told her my name was Brandi, I was wearing a black jacket and that his brother, sister, and I all had glasses. The lady complimented his very adult way of handling the situation but I was definitely in freak out mode....

So we stayed and listened to all the kids blowing their horns in our ears and the balloons fell and we ran as fast as we could to the car never looking back!

A fun tradition - but one we can live without next time!

The previous evening we had all stayed up till midnight at the Bellis' (grayson slept at mom's) and so the kids were probably already tired from that night - which was a much better and more fun tradition that we hopefully continue into the future!

Gramma Great Christmas

Another successful Gramma Great Christmas. This year we got to bring Tick with us as he hid in a peanut butter jar - thus allowing us to bring him along without touching him :) Some of the highlights were "tickets." The hawks were in the rose bowl this year - so Mike tried to let us know at every turn that there may be "tickets" to that game in one of the packages...well there were tickets...lottery tickets. Kathy was the winner of a giant can of beans, TP and a farting game which the boys thought was hilarious! Our bear outhouse birdfeeder seemed to be fought over slightly as well :)

Christmas 2015 just us

It was so easy this year to get lost in the holiday shuffle. It seemed like between kids events, finding Tick the elf every morning, and shopping for gifts it flew by so fast! This year was different because Gramma Rue was gone to Arizona, which she swore she would never do again...the build up to Christmas is so fun!

One thing I have sort of insisted upon the last few years was that our little family be home on Christmas we can just eat pancakes, open our presents and have a fun time just the 5 of us. This year was no different!

The kids have spent hours playing with their play doh toys. 

I was worried that Kenna would be disappointed in her ipod versus an iphone....but she was pretty stoked :)

Some of the most appreciated gifts were from santa - in the form of their favorite sugary cereal that mom would never buy them!

I loved watching the kids this year picking out gifts for their siblings...very thoughtful and sweet gifts. They were so excited to give and wrap them. McKenna spent almost an hour trying to wrap mine with terrible cheap dollar store paper that was really pretty, but impossible to was probably one of my best Christmas memories because she wanted it to be perfect so badly...and she tried so hard before she came up in tears asking if I could help her. Such a sweet girl.

Zach got two books from us, Diary of a Minecraft zombie one and two....he sat there in the midst of opening presents and read the entire 1st book....I guess they were a hit!

I'm trying to relish this time when the kids still love santa and Tick the elf...all too soon they grow up and sleep in and don't come running down the stairs Christmas morning to see if the reindeer ate their carrots and santa drank his milk. I just love my family so very much!