Monday, September 29, 2008

Andover Days

Andover has a little community carnival every year. We decided we would see what it was all about. They had yummy fair food and a fun midway complete with ridiculously expensive rides and games. But the kids had fun and I had a fantastic cherry limeade...yummy!

Someone decided that a good idea for a ride would be riding in a fish and going around in a circle thanks to an octopus.
Look closely, that's not Allie. This little girl was nervous about riding in her own helicopter, so Brock asked her if she wanted to ride in his. Niederer's have a way with women, especially a damsel in distress. Either way, I thought it was sweet and the little girls mother was grateful.

Allie in her blue fish....looking bored. She would laugh and giggle in between rides, but once aboard, she was all business.

Jenna was a good sport and enjoyed being outside although trapped in the stroller.

Hi-ho whitey!

These motorcycles were one of their favorites....they popped wheelies up and down, the kids loved it.
The only bummer was that the huge Ferris wheel wasn't working. We parked at the high school and took the shuttle bus (aka school bus) to the carnival. Brock was so thrilled to ride on a school bus. He may have liked that better than the carnival rides. He felt pretty important.
We are feeling more and more at home in our new community. Jake played in a 3-on-3 basketball tournament with some buddies from work last Saturday. His team took 3rd place! I was so proud. Oh, did I mention there were 4 teams? Sorry no pictures of that.
Brock is half way through his soccer season. His team got hammered in the last game, his team never scored once. After the game, he came over to me and said..."I am pretty sure we didn't win, but they gave us a juice and rice crispy treat anyway!" So sweet. This is spirit week at preschool and he got to wear his jammies to class. He thought it was pretty fun. Wednesday he gets to wear a hat, and Friday is Green Day. His class has a pet turtle named Clay which Brock thinks is neat except when the turtles arms are out because the claws kinda freak him out.
Allie is causing me to fill out insane asylum papers. But I adore her anyway.
Jenna has 2 bottom teeth and is finally not so miserable. She and Allie play with dollies (well, Jenna just kind of pokes at them) and they like to play in our pretend kitchen. Jenna stands and taps her hand on the counter while Allie gives her pretend meals. Its so amazing to watch the girls play and be creative. Its warms my heart.
Best wishes to all!


On Firday, the kids and I made a birthday mural on the driveway for Jake to see upon his arrival home. He was thrilled that all the neighbors now know how old he is...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

So Hungry

Jenna gets a taste of mashed potatoes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I apologize for the blatant nudity...but I couldn't resist taking the picture. Jenna usually hates baths but when she saw all the bubbles, she kept trying to climb in so I got her out of her clothes and went to get a towel before putting her in, and when I came back there was this funny photo- op. Please let me know if you are offended, then at least I'll know someone besides my devoted sister-in-law Holly looks at this darn thing.

Alexandria Jayne


Well, I did it, I got Allie's hair cut. Her hair is so thin and fine, the ends just got stringy no matter what I did. It looked nice after I would use a hair dryer, but only for about 20 minutes...then it was lifeless again. So I found I always just put it in a pony tail. So I had the stylist cut it to just below the chin and add layers in the back. (This picture makes it look like its shorter in the back than the sides,but its just the way she is holding her head.)

Brock had an old Super Man cape he was wearing one day last winter and Allie wanted to be Super Girl, so I grabbed an old bandanna and ta-da! Supergirl, complete with blankie and a finger in the mouth.

I gave Allie a PB&J one day for lunch with a few grapes. While I was making Brock's sandwich, Allie helped herself to more grapes. A lot more. I thought her plate looked hilarious with a tiny square of sandwich and a zillion grapes. (notice her longer hair)

Allie loves flowers, but she is always very quiet and cautious around them, as if she doesn't want to scare them away.

She loves to wash her own hands and face now (seen here after spaghetti) she gets mad if I try to help her with just about anything anymore... "No mommy I do it!"

Well, its Alexandria's turn to be the spotlight. (I must admit, I enjoy this blogging thing. I might stick it out a while longer.) Anyway, our little Allie is 2 (almost 2 and a half) and she amazes us every day. A few days ago during one of our daily hide-and-go-seek games, I told her to go count so Brock and I can hide. She usually just rambles but she counted 1 to 10 and did not miss a single one, I was shocked! I guess she pays more attention than I thought, I had better watch what I say!
Allie is obsessed with the Disney Princesses, Cinderella is her favorite with Belle a close second. However, while looking at Halloween costumes at a huge Halloween store in Wichita, I was surprised when she was more interested in being Super Girl or Wonder Woman than one of the princesses. But who knows, there is still time for her to change her mind, I refuse to buy a costume a month ahead of time.
Allie also loves to push her dolly in its stroller and drive her Barbie 4 wheeler. She loves to wrestle with Daddy, and have him throw her ridiculously high in the air which gives me a heart attack. She loves to help pick out Jenna's clothes and feed her goldfish crackers. Along with all her sweet girlie stuff, she also loves to play trains with Brock and have (foam) sword fights.
Our little Alexandria struggled her first day of life, and we are so grateful she is here with us, our family wouldn't be the same without her!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Best Buds

Jayson and Brock at the zoo.

The three amigos likes the flamingoes, or "minkos" as Allie called them.

Jenna and Carson were fast floor friends.

Jake's sister Holly and her family came to visit us last weekend. We went to the zoo and the kids has a blast just playing at the house as well. We all hope they come back right away - it was so fun! Sorry I didn't take more pictures of them playing, I was too busy gabbing!

Monkey with the Bird

I guess this orangutan was sick of getting starred at...(notice it's finger) We all have bad days now and then. We all got a kick out of seeing this on our last trip to the zoo.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Just Realize

So one of my favorite songs is "Realize" by Colbie Caillat. Technically, she is singing about wondering if she missed out on a passed love, but since I have already found the love of my life, I tend to listen to love songs in a new way.
A few lines are:
"Just realize what I just realized, we'd never have to wonder if we missed out on each other."
"Take time to realize, I am on your side."
"Take time to realize, this hour could pass you by."
I listen to Colbie's CD a lot in the car, and driving seems to be my best time to reflect. Hearing these certain lyrics made me think of my children. They grow fast, too fast. If you don't take time to realize they are little, you may miss it. Take time to play a board game, even if you have to explain the rules a bazillion times. Take time to get the PlayDough out, even if you have to wash the table and floor afterwards. Let the dishes and laundry pile up so you can play hide and seek or go to the park. Ride bikes with them, don't just sit and talk on the phone while they play. Get on the floor and wrestle and play, even if your are having a great hair day. In ten years, a preschooler will be a teenager. Let them know you are on their side, and that you love and enjoy them. Take time to realize, so you'll never have to wonder if you missed out on each other.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Brock Emil

Jake brought Brock this hat home from Oklahoma after visiting a Koch customer. Brock is so proud to wear anything Jake brings home from trips.

Unfortunately, Jake has instilled a love for fire in our little guy.

He loves his soccer gear.

Here is Brock keeping busy while in his spica cast earlier this year.

I decided to occasionally spotlight one member of the family, so I don't have to make 1 enormous post about everyone, I will make several smaller ones instead. I will start with Brock.

Brock turned 4 this summer and despite a rocky winter early in the year, he is healthy and happy. He had a large bone cyst in his femur which was removed surgically by an Orthopedic surgeon in Boise, whom Brock adored. He was in a spica cast (also called body cast) for 6 weeks, then walked with a very noticeable limp due to muscle weakness and discomfort. Today despite a slight leg length discrepancy, his limp is almost unnoticeable. We are so glad to have that drama over and done with! His orthopedic doctor here in Wichita is very kind and was willing to take on Brock's case. So far all is well and Brock is scheduled for an X-ray to check the bone graft in December.
Brock loves to ride his bike, play super heroes, play with his train table, build Lego's, color, and make "music". The last half hour at preschool is called "Music and Me", which he loves. He has a new CD of all the songs they will learn so he can practice at home. He will also get to keep each instrument they use. (like shakers and rhythm sticks, its not like he is coming home with a violin or oboe). Anyway, he will sit on his bed with his shaker and struggle to sing along while keeping the beat with the shaker, but he is so determined I love spying on him to hear him. Its so sweet.

He loves to be independent - which is great for me since I am busy with his sisters. Its so nice to start the shower, set a towel in the bathroom, then see him 10 minutes later dried and in jammies all on his own. He also sets and the table and helps to clear it after meals. He is my right hand around here, I really depend on him. We play Candy Land almost every day...he usually wins. He loves to play with Jenna and always wants to pick her up. He always gets her laughing and its a sweet sound to hear them laughing together. He tries so hard to help Allie, but she is not always grateful. One minute she will hug him and say thank you, the next its "No, Mommy do it!" Typical woman I suppose.
Brock has really enjoyed hide and seek now that we have a new house with a lot more hiding options. Now that he can count to 30, I have a chance to actually hide before he comes looking. I loved to play as a kid - and I still do. I am so glad I get to play all day long with my favorite small people!

Monday, September 8, 2008

My Favorite Photos

Here is Jenna only minutes old, but she looks so happy and cute, I love that her mouth is open as if she wanted to tell us something.

I love this one. Allie looks so curious and cautious. Our little snow angel.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Brock. He loves super heroes and couldn't wait to look at an old comic book of Jake's...when you gotta go, you gotta go.

Like father, like son....and daughters.

It is a long drive from Idaho to Kansas.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Beautiful (and dangerous) Kansas

 all those in the west, you can have a beautiful sunset without mountains. But...all this lovely flatness comes with a price, like crazy disastrous winds, as seen the second photo. We drove right through this storm and the traffic on the highway literally came to a dead halt and we sat on the highway, in our teetering vehicle just waiting to get sucked up and sent to OZ (great, now I am making OZ jokes)! The sound of the rain, wind, and hail on the car roof was deafening. But we lived and kids were surprisingly calm, I guess not having a clue the kind of danger we were in helped. But I am sure they were annoyed that we were no longer making good time.

Anyway, we really dig living here in Andover, Kansas (hop, skip, and jump from Wichita) Despite wretched humidity, tornadoes, and people constantly thinking its funny to ask if we have found the yellow brick road... living in Kansas is rather lovely. There is great shopping, fun parks and such for the kids, and a great school district (or so we've heard).

We finally moved into a home after being in the company provided apartment. Due to the icky housing market, our "temporary" apartment seemed quite long, but we got through it. The complex had a great pool and since its a thousand degrees here, we took advantage this summer. We finally got the lawn planted now that our sprinklers and fence are finished. I will post an outside photo after we spruce up the landscaping. Right now it is just tiny grass blades struggling to life. Allie will stand on the front porch and say, "come on baby grass! Come here baby grass!" So far, her chant seems to be working.

Ug...We have a blog

So I have succumb to peer pressure, and made a stinkin' blog. The last time I attempted to send a large multi-recipient email with recent pictures of my kids, it was a disaster thanks to my inability to understand my new camera. So I will give this a try so people who actually want to, can take a peek at our hilarious family adventures and mishaps. Be sure to leave lots of comments so I'll think this is all worth while. Love you all!