Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Well, the year is coming to a close - (can you believe it!) Its been a great year for us. We have really grown to love Kansas and our new home, friends, and neighbors. For those of you first time blog readers - thanks for taking a peek. On the right hand side you can click on any month to read the posts during that time. Be sure to peek at July to see our trip to Idaho for the fourth- always a blast! A few other highlights includes Brock 5th birthday, no longer needing training wheels, playing 3 different sports, and losing 2 teeth! Allie turned three this year and has been in tumbling class, pre-school, and loves to ride her big wheel! Little Jenna will be two on the 28th of Dec. and she keeps us busy with all her exploring and mess making. She loves to push her baby in the stroller, climb on everthing including the kitchen counter, and follow Brock and Allie everywhere, trying to do as they do.

Having kids so close in age can be exhausting, but to watch them play together and grow so close is the very reason we had in mind, its warms our hearts to see them become the very best of friends.

Jake will soon be transferring from the fertilizer sales division of Koch Ind. to become a barge trader. He is excited for the new opportunities and challenges ahead. (Nancy is excited that it means less travel!)

Nancy is so happy to have a nice new YMCA so close because there are tons of activities for the kids, plus a play zone for the kids so she can have an hour to herself and her ipod! As a kid, she struggled to write those "When I grow up I want to be a..." class assignments because all she could ever think of was being a mother able to stay at home with her children. Time sure flies, with one child in school already, soon there will be no more reason to stay home (unless they improve daytime tv and bon bons - haha!) So with these fleeting moments of small children, Nancy tries to relish every moment - and take a picture of everything!

We hope all is well in your families. And please enjoy our make shift Nativity...

Luke 2:7 "And she brought forth her first born son,and wrapped him in swaddling clothes,

and laid him in a manager; because there was no room for him in the inn." I hope we all have room in our hearts now and in the new year for the Savior. Love to all and Merry Christmas, from the Niederers.


(Jenna is suppose to be a sheppard...the candy can is her staff. Be sure to notice the cattle that are "lowing". ;)

Friday, December 11, 2009

4 Steps of Gingerbread Houses :

Step One: Smear frosting on little gingerbread house and cover with candy...



Step Two: Add even more candy.


Step three: Tragically describe to your mother how the candy fell off the house during the bus ride home.


Step four: Take mother's advice and just eat the candy that has fallen off...all is well again! Hooray for gingerbread houses!


Monday, December 7, 2009

Its Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas...

We got a great tree this year, Jake always like the get the biggest one available, and this year's tree is huge with no bare spots - what a find! We had fun getting the house all decorated for Christmas...This (Santa on the right) is my new decoration of the year...you move the blocks to count down to Christmas day. The green sign that you can't read in this photo says "Days 'Til Christmas." The kids have yet to forget to change the blocks. I also got a great advent calender for 25cents at a garage sale this summer. I'll have to post a picture of that when I post the outside decor pictures. Anyway, its a fabric calender that has little stuffed Christmas items (star, candy cane, gingerbread man, toys, gift box etc) that you take from the top and place in a numbered pocket until you reach 25. Another hit with the kids - not bad for a quarter!I let the kids do a lot of the trimming of the tree. They had a blast, Allie liked to put all the Care Bear ornaments in a cluster..."so they can not be lonely". How sweet.
I put my nativity up on the mantle this year surrounded by lighted greenery, I think it turned out very nice.
Jake and I stumbled upon a huge lights display in Wichita one night while we were out on a date, so we took the kids the following night. It was awesome!
My picture quality is pretty poor, since I took them from the car.
Woohoo! Ridin' in style!We discovered that at the end of the drive, Santa was waiting (along with watered down cocoa and dry cookies) so of course we got out of the car so the kids could get a few things off their chest -haha!Allie didn't want to sit on his lap - no surprise there, but she was willing to talk with him as long as Jake was close by. Jenna sat next to him, but wouldn't look at him. I have misplaced the photo they took, but I'll post it soon. Its funny. Even as a child I found Santa creepy and bizarre. I never found the appeal of sitting on a strange man's lap while asking him for stuff... Jake says that is why I am such a scrooge. Maybe so.

The kids really enjoyed the "Lights on the Lake" display, and we plan on making it a new family tradition, sans the really icky hot chocolate.

Bye bye Santa!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Where's Wuzzy?

So one of Jenna's nick names is Wuzzy, I am not really sure why. It must have started when Jake would spin her around and around while saying "wuzzy wuzzy wuzzy!" Some how it stuck, anyway, one morning I called the kids upstairs to eat breakfast, and when Jenna wasn't in toe, I inquired of her whereabouts, since I already noticed she was no longer in bed. Brock and Allie were positive Jenna had not been downstairs playing with them...so I hurried and checked the garage and backyard...still no Wuzzy. Eventually, I found her...
Look closely...
Spot her yet?

There's Wuzzy!