Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Free Cookie Book!

Hey friends! Click on Gramma Sander's blog icon (on the left side of my blog) and read about how to win that cook book....no personal information or purchase necessary! Just an honest drawing for a great prize. Yea!

Our Favorite Park!

These green things are called "horse apples" by the locals. We still really have no idea what they are or what type of tree they come from, but they are all over on the ground, even on the sides of the street. We cut one open and it looks like a cantaloupe with pumpkin seeds in it. The kids loved collecting them like treasure. I had hoped to do a little harvest display with them, but honestly they are kind of ugly. Kind of a neon green with a wrinkly brain like skin. I wish I had a close up to show. Anyway, here is Allie and her "horse apples".

Jungle gym Jenna.

Allie will slide over and over!

Brock gets going really high and makes me nervous. He yells "Superman!" while she soars back and forth. This picture kind of shows how the little playground is encircled by trees.

Brock climbs like a monkey!

Jenna loves to swing, she kicks her legs and breaths really fast in anticipation when she sees the park.

There are a lot of great parks around here, but this is our favorite. It took a me a while to realize it even existed. It is located in the same area as a really huge park (which is fun too, but has equipment more for school age kids so I either have to hold Jenna the whole time or leave her in the stroller. Not really fun for either of us.) Anyway, this little playground is kind of hidden amongst a grove of trees, its so pretty. I'll have to post some pictures again soon as the leaves will be changing. Anyway, we sometimes bring a picnic lunch, usually sandwiches, chips, and carrot sticks or apple slices, but I am afraid its getting to chilly for many more picnics. There is a little rock climbing wall, 2 zip lines, a tic tac toe game, (which Brock is totally comfortable with asking other kids' moms to play with him) a little hide-out underneath, plenty of slides, rings and monkey bars. Come see us and we can take you to our favorite park!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Duckie!

Brock in the duckie. (Our Chubbuck Home)
Allie's turn! (Nampa House)

Third times a charm! Jenna finally loves the duck! (Andover house)
Angie gave us this duck shaped Johnny-jumper when Brock was a baby. He loved it and could jump for hours if we'd let him! Allie also went nuts in it jumping away. But Jenna, looked confused and angry for being placed in such a contraption... at least until just recently. Since she'll stand at the couch and bounce up and down, we decided to try the duckie again, and she went to town! She jumped and laughed and loved it. Hooray for the duckie!


Brock loves puzzles! He must get that from my side of the family. Jake finds them kind of boring and hates the mess of the pieces still in need of match making. We (my family) did a lot of puzzles in my childhood, especially at my Grandparents home in Oklahoma. We did like crazy week long puzzles with like a bazillion pieces and busy colorful pictures. But we'd all sit at the table and talk and laugh and so I still love puzzles. I had imagined doing jig saw puzzles by the fireplace sipping hot cocoa with my hubby on cold winter nights....yeah right. So you can imagine my excitement with Brock wanting to do puzzles all the time.

His newest puzzle is a map of the United States. He likes to choose a state, then have me tell him its name and who we know that lives there. This is how far he got on his own, then I helped him finish the border, then he was able to work alone again.

All done !

Monday, October 20, 2008

Apple Jack Pumpkin Patch

The cutest pumpkin ever!

Brock and Allie did the slide over and over! They loved it.

Brock on the zip line. He was so light, the guy in the orange vest had to give him a push half way to get Brock to the opposite end! Brock felt so big to get across...even if it was with help.

Allie loved the pumpkins. She went around patting them as if they would enjoy some lovin'.

Like father like son.

They had these huge trikes on a dirt path. It was so fun!

Hmm...lots of back lighting...sorry! But I thought this was a cute spot for a photo. They had these little hay bales all over with cute decorations for photo ops!
Well we have determined the Apple Jack Pumpkin Patch here in Andover to be great fun! We got to take a hay ride (without hay) from the play area to the actual pumpkin patch to chose our pumpkins. My camera kept losing power so I didn't get pictures of the actual tractor ride, but the kids got a kick out if it. It was a beautiful day too!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fire Station

Brock's preschool is across the street from the fire station here in Andover, and often some of the trucks are parked outside in a driveway. Brock and Allie love to see the trucks and always point out the fire station and fire trucks to me whenever we drive by. Since they seemed to have such an interest in the fire station, I called the station and asked if we could come in for a tour. They were happy to have us come so I called a couple friends and had them bring their kids as well. Here are some pictures of that fun day!

Future fire fighters ! David, Allie, Aubrey, Luke, Brock, Blaine, Dylan.

Jenna loved sitting on the trucks and banging on helmets like drums.

The kids got to sit in the cab of the fire engine and see all the gadgets and try to turn the huge wheel.

Here is Brock whispering something to his buddy Luke. Luke's mom was the first person to invite us over to play when we first moved here and now Brock and Luke are great friends. In fact, Luke is exactly one day older than Brock. They think it is so neat that their birthday is only 1 day apart.

Aubree (the one in pink) is 5 and took it upon herself to help Allie during our tour. They held hands and Aubree kept trying to carry Allie, even though Allie was almost as big as Aubree. Allie sure likes her bigger buddy.
The kids also got to go inside the back of the ambulance (my picture is too dark to show) which made me sad because the day before was when little cousin Carson had to ride in one to the hospital in Omaha. My heart ached for my sister-in-law Holly because there were so many different devices and gadgets in there, it was rather intimidating. I hope I never have to ride in one with one of my kids, how scary!
The firemen were happy to have something to do besides wait around for a fire, so call your local station and ask if they do tours. It was fun and free! Plus the kids got a fire badge and a coloring book. We also had a lunch play date afterwards, but that's not required!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Blast from the Past

I found some great old pictures of Jake's family and had to show them, check these out!

Here is Jake helping dutch oven a dinner for a college ward activity. I love his all black sneakers!

A great picture of Jake with his bum in the air while Larry (his Dad) is hefting pots around. I love that Jayne is wearing an apron. Jake is usually covered with flour, grease, and soot when he is done with a dutch oven meal, at least his mother has the sense to cover up.

I love, love, LOVE Pam's expression in this photo. Someone is clearly on her nerves. Don't try to fight it Pam, just give the stink eye.

I believe this photo was taking on a family trip to Illinois. I guess Jake didn't tell Holly he was going to take a picture. Or maybe some cute guys on jet skis were riding by, aye Holly?

Tag... I'm It!

Yahoo, I 've been tagged! So I get to share some random things about myself, as many as you may know, I am very random so this suits me. I have chosen to go in chronological order (roughly). Ok here we go...

1) My earliest memory was watching the Chicago Bears sing the Superbowl Shuffle. I believe it was 1985ish, making me about 2.5 years old. We all piled on my parents bed, or maybe it was the pull-out sofa bed, either way, we were all on a bed and watched the game. I have been a die hard Bears fan ever since, even though they just barely started to get watchable again. However, I am a Bronco fan by marriage.

2) Around age 5, I was separated from my mother and sister at a shopping center, and I was crying and running to look for them. A store employee took me near the check outs and asked if anyone there was my mom; a strange woman grabbed my arm and said "Yes, she's mine." I panicked, jerked my arm away and ran back toward the clothing. A security guard found me and took me to where my mother had reported a missing child. So, I guess you could say I was almost kidnapped. I still wonder to this day what that woman said to the checker as I ran off screaming. How do you play off trying to take steal a child?

3)My high school mascot was a Pretzel. Seriously.

4) I played Volleyball, Basketball, and was on the Track team in high school.

5) I love retro muscle cars. Mustangs mostly, but I also like Chargers and Ferraris. Late 60's early 70's are my favorite. I also really like Novas....I don't really know why.

6) Someday I'd like to learn to drive a motorcycle. Not one of those obnoxious bullet bikes but an actual bike like a Harley Hog. I already have a few bandannas for my first ride.

7) I am 26 years old and I have never been to a Disney theme park.

So I will now tag Aimee H - Aubree L - Averi B - Angie J - (wow, I have lots of friends whose names start with "A" ...since Anna is expecting a baby any minute, I will let her be tagged at a later date, but thats another "A" name, how odd) Tami H - Kristi S - and Krista C too. I can't wait to see your random facts!

Hint: if you save the picture of the Tag to your computer photos, you can just upload the picture. Oh, and I still don't really know what they mean by "link to the person that tagged you..." oh well! Hope I did this right. I had fun doing it anyway.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Today we all got flu shots. Hooray! Brock was a bit scared, but once I explained it was a quick shot and not a great big IV, he calmed down and didn't even cry. I guess after having a major surgery as a 3 year old, a flu shot is no big deal. Allie behaved in a less than desirable fashion, but I suppose thats typical for a 2 year old getting a shot. She was pretty hysterical until she actually got the shot and then she instantly stopped crying seeing it was no big deal. Drama queen. Jenna had a rough day. She was a little behind in her immunizations because of our relocation to Kansas, so she got her 6 month shots today, a flu shot, and a finger prick for a hemoglobin check. What a day for a baby girl! But with lots of snuggles and nap in the car she is good as new now. Jake cried a little too but with a sticker and kiss he felt better.

They informed us if there were any allergies to chickens or eggs (or even feathers) you cannot recieve a flu shot. Being the inquisitve person I am (Jake's referes to it as being "nosy") I asked, "Is there chicken in the vaccine or something?" Seemed like a reasonably question. Apparently they give chicken eggs the flu then create the vaccine from the eggs. Clever. What will they think of next?

Monday, October 13, 2008


For those of you who do not know, Brock's middle name is Emil which makes me calling him Brock Emeril is a witty play on words. (You know Emeril is a famous chef right?) I'll pause for you to adore my creativity...OK here we go.

So Brock loves to cook. This is a picture of him helping make stir fry. Yes, oddly enough my kids love stir fry and request it a lot for lunch, we don't bother making it for dinner unless Jake is out of town because it contains many vegetables. Anyway, Allie is happy to sit on the counter and watch (you can see her pink pants in the photo) but Brock loves to stir and add ingredients. I have let him break eggs a few times, but only if I have enough time to fish out some egg shell. Today while I was getting Jenna cleaned up after lunch, I returned to the kitchen area where Brock had decided he was still hungry and was going to make a sandwich. I watched quietly for a while impressed by his attention to detail. (Sorry no picture, Jake has the camera in his brief case because he took it to a Texas A&M football game with a customer; but I did video tape it.) He got out the ham and Swiss cheese (yes, he loves Swiss), miracle whip, and even lettuce. The only thing I did for him was wash the lettuce, (yes Kristie - with soap) then cut it in half. He was so proud of his yummy accomplishment. What happened to my little baby boy who needed me?! (Boy, I use parenthesis a lot don't I?)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jungle Jenna

Time to get out the baby gate...

....or possibly...

...a straight jacket!

Miss Jenna is into everything, making messes everywhere! But I love watching her discover her world. Children bring such a new perspective of pure and simple happiness.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Thanks Froofroo!

Every Halloween my mom (aka Froo-froo) sends her grand kids some sort of Halloween prize. This year they got T-shirts. Last year Brock got a sketeton shirt and he loved it and he even wore it after Halloween. He was very sad when it was officially too small, so my mom new just what send to make his day...or month.
There is a pumpkin in the rib cagewhere the heart would be...he loves it!

Fittingly, our Allie Cat has a Halloween kitty on her shirt. She calls it her "trick-or-treat kitty". Brock took it upon himself to teach Allie all about Trick-or-Treating...

Jenna has a cute orange pumpkin shirt. (she is eating my car keys) I had intended on posting one picture of the 3 of them, but its so hard to take a picture of 3 small kids and have one turn out....below is an example. Hope you are enjoying autumn!

STORY TIME!!! I love when I catch Jake dripping with children.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Jake Jr.

Here are the kids with ther cousin Kyla at Granny and Pops house. The reason I posted this picture is so everyone can see Brock's expression. Jake has the exact same fake smile and annoyed eyes which translates into "Hurry up and take the dang picture I have better things to do!" I love it!


Brock and Allie trying on the hats Dad brought home from Oklahoma
Lady Rugrats.

I was hanging laundry and noticed Jenna was no longer banging on the washer. I found her in Allie's room trying to wake her up from her nap so she could play!

The train table keeps everyone quite busy...but I love that Allie has the mountain on her head. I am not sure why...

Jenna adores her big brother.

One great thing about having kids close in age is they always have a friend they can count on. I love to capture their friendships on film. (I don't bother taking pictures of the fights.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Jenna Elizabeth

Pounding the train table!
Jenna was due Dec. 31, but we didn't want to take the chance she'd be born in the new year, so we were induced on Dec 28th... this bib seemed perfect for her, or rather, Jake.

On the move! Jenna started crawling when we lived in our temporary apartment this past July. Unfortunately whoever had the apartment before us must have had a dog. Her clothes were covered with dog hair after just a few minutes of crawling. ICK!

My mom's good friend Audrey knitted this cute strawberry cap for Jenna. I love how one of her ears is folded. Cute enough to eat!

So sleepy.

Jenna on her blessing day with cousin Kaysha.

I took this picture after I discovered Brock was having Jenna play superheroes with him. He was very careful to explain to her who had what powers. (Jenna was about 2 months old in this picture.)

Jenna was born a few days after Christmas and she has been the best present ever! She was 2 weeks old when we found out Brock needed his surgery. I was so grateful to have her as a peaceful distraction throughout all that stress. Brock and Allie adore her, sometimes a little too much. But Jenna has grown accustom to being smothered in kisses and drown in toys. I think Jenna's favorite toy is our play kitchen. She will stand and bang the pots and pans around and put every piece of plastic food in her mouth. Come to think of it, that is how she plays trains too. She pulls herself up to Brock's train table and bangs on it for a while...then eats the trains.

Jenna is 9 months old and very busy. She especially like car keys, balls, anything that rattles, and those Gerber cheese puffs. She has 2 tiny bottom teeth just showing through. Right now I just noticed she is crawling around with a plastic chicken leg hanging out of her mouth. Too funny.

Jenna is completely infatuated by Jake. If he is home she will have almost nothing to do with me unless it involves eating. She will lunge out of my arms to reach for him. But I think he is equally smitten my her. They are a cute pair. She loves to be outside and if I send Brock and Allie outside with a Popsicle, Jenna will pound on the glass door and whine to join them. It breaks my heart to see her left out so I usually stop what I'm doing and sit with her outside with the big kids.

What a joy it is to have such a sweet baby girl! Jake says she gets her sweetness from Aunt Pam...she certainly didn't get any from me!