Thursday, July 15, 2010

kids and summer

A few daylily pictures from our yard. We transplanted around 30 from my mom's yard a couple years ago. They were beautiful this year.





Anna - Anna has kept pretty busy this summer. She's been taking swimming and tennis. She's in Totus Tuus this week. Must her keep her busy or she'll go crazy like she did one day last week. Guess she was bored so she was determined to do all kinds of dare devil tricks around the house - with Kolbe at her side. I really scolded her good a couple times, sent her to her room, etc. About 20 minutes after I gave her strict instructions to find something safe to play, she decides to try slip and slide on the hardwood floor with a small pillow. Landed on her face and almost busted her front tooth out. She was bleeding, her face was puffing up, totally freaked out. Took her to the dentist who said it was too soon to tell if the tooth will survive. Err. I'm hopeful it will be ok - seems much better now.

She's pretty much past the age of saying unintentional funny things, but still makes me laugh with how passionate she can get about things. She's really been in to tree climbing this summer (another one of her extreme sports). She also feels strongly that a weeping willow tree would be a great tree for our yard. Dan just happens to strongly dislike these trees and it is funny how many conversations our family has had debating the pros and cons of the willow tree. One day she would not stop talking about wanting to plant a willow tree. We were at the check out at Dillons and the teen-aged girl clerk asked Anna how her day was. Anna sadly replied, "Well, fine, but I really really want a willow tree". Without missing a beat, the clerk sympathetically replied, "Oh, I really wanted one too when I was your age." I laughed at them both.


Audrey - Sweet Audrey. She is excited about being a real school girl next month starting kindergarten though she's already dreading the idea of having homework. She had her shots the other day and didn't cry even though it "hurt like crazy". She took swim lessons earlier in the summer and loved it - learned so much.

At our neighborhood 4th of July parade, Audrey was in charge of pulling their float (Kolbe and decorated wagon). When the kids started marching, Audrey starts running with the float. Anna ran along trying to keep up. That got other kids running. They ran the whole length of the parade which is a couple of blocks long and then they ran back. When we finally caught up with them, Audrey, out of breath said, "I think we came in second". They participate in the parade every year so it didn't occur to us that we should clarify that a parade is not the same thing as a race.

This was awhile back, but Audrey came up with an elaborate theory that our cat Sunny was the "Jesus of the cat world". She explained that he's so nice and smart and has other cat friends from the neighborhood. Specifically, she explained that he always gives her three chances - three chances before he bites her. Apparently we need to brush up on her theology.


Kolbe - I think we are finally experiencing the terrible two's tantrums. It would probably be wishful thinking that they will go away when he turns three next month. He can get pretty stubborn and irrational about the silliest things. For instance, the other day he threw a huge fit because he didn't get to exit the van door of his choice. Daddy didn't know he could be so particular about this and daddy was not going to let him have his way about such a silly thing. So, we got to hear him SCREAM for 20 minutes until I could not take it anymore and took him back to the van, let him back in and then let him out the door he wanted.

But, he can be very cute at other times. He was just thrilled one Saturday morning when PBS was left on and he discovered the show This Old House. He really got in to it. Every couple of minutes, he'd yell, "I wike dis show".

(gross alert) The other night he was sleeping in our bed. I was almost asleep when I heard him say sweetly,"Here you go, mama. Here you go" I didn't know what he was talking about at first. Then realized that he was trying to hand me something. I held out my hand. It was a tiny burger from his nose. I asked him what I was suppose to do with it. He replied, "I don't know" then yelled, "Eat it!" and started laughing and yelling it over and over like he was the first to come up with such a gross and funny idea. What a boy.

Oh, finally got him potty trained earlier this summer! Yippee, Kolbe! No more diapers, for awhile.

Baby - That's right - if you have not heard, a baby is coming late January.


This is not a picture of our baby, just a stand-in. I don't think our camera comes with that feature. Baby Sprout is 12 weeks along and simply perfect in every way. Never misbehaves or talks back. However, is causing mom some nausea and lots of fatigue. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure it is all the baby's fault that the house is such a mess these days. At 12 weeks, the baby is about 2 inches long and weighs half an ounce. The girls made a name list as soon as we told them. If you missed it on Facebook, here it is:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer trip to Florida


We started the summer off with a trip down to the Gulf Coast. We were just ahead of the oil by about a week. On our way down we stopped in Arkansas at the Jean Petite State Park and took a two hour hike to a 90 foot waterfall. We were all exhausted by the end of it, but the kids did great. Even Kolbe walked the whole way carrying his stuffed monkey until the last 15 minutes.

On the way down we stayed near Mobile - ate at the wonderful Felix's restaurant which has become a tradition when we travel to Florida. We went sightseeing one morning south of Mobile and came upon the 80th annual parish picnic of St. John's Church in Magnolia Springs. We joined in the festivities. Dan and I chowed down on seafood gumbo. The girls danced and danced to some authentic live Cajun music. Their was a bench full of old Southern ladies who really got a kick out of them. I told the ladies that we were from Kansas and my girls were not used to the humidity and they replied back in their southern drawl "neither are we".

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Before we made it to the beach, we had one more stop in scenic Florala, Alabama to visit Uncle Randy and Aunt Amy. Their home which Randy built is across the street from on the lake so we had several opportunities to swim and take walks along the boardwalks. The kids had a blast with Randy's three dogs and finally experienced taking dogs on a walk.


We stayed in Seagrove Beach which is between Destin and Panama City Beach. We mainly spent the time playing on the beach, playing in the sand, catching hermit crabs and little fishies . There ended up being quite a bit on algae in the water at our beach so we went swimming at St. Andrew's Bay and Destin Bay. Randy and Amy came down for a night. Dan, Randy and the girls caught 27 crabs one night in about 20 minutes




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So, if you are wondering how the long drive went, the video below gives you an idea.

Anna also kept a journal on the ride down. Here is an excerpt, "Awsome I just saw a pretty horse. Now I'm starving. And I really want to get out of the car! Mom says that there trying to find a park! Dad is in a race on the road. I hope he is a champion. Dad is winning. Yay! We are listening to music that reminds mommy of me. Guess what It is raining."

And another from somewhere is southern Arkansas, "It is still day two and we just saw a plane drive over us! And mom is reading the newspaper in the car. She loves to read. Uh- Oh My mom and dad got lost. We almost drove into a cornfield which I wish we would. It would be fun. And guess what we just saw a man riding a horse. Now we are really lost but what a fun lost journey. Now we are off the rode to take a better look at the map and to think better. and there's a sign that says bear crossing."

All accurate reporting.

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When they reached 500 we told them to stop . . . NOW.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

a few pictures from spring




A visit to Botanica


The kids love to climb the beauty bush in the back yard. The blooms lasted a bit longer this year I believe - maybe a whole two weeks.


Audrey's caterpillars finally came in the mail. The kids enjoyed watching the whole process. Here's 2 of the 7 the day they let them go.



I love this picture of Kolbe at Exploration Place.


Here I am at Exploration Place standing next to the Mammoth tusk that was discovered near Edgemoor and Kellogg a few years ago. I grew up just down the street. And yes, those are my kids in the background wandering off.


One windy day, Audrey made these "kites". Entertained the two for at least an hour. :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Anna's singing debut

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Anna sang in a talent show at the garden show. It was her first time singing in public with the exception of her practice run she did for her class. She did great! She didn't win, but she got through it just fine. She was hardly even nervous. Sorry for the poor video - Dan had kids surrounding him.

She was by far the youngest in the show. All the kids that won the top prizes were teenagers. She was so funny the days before the show. She told Dan that "Simon Cowell will probably be there because he's in charge of these sort of things". I played a little trick on her after the show and asked if she saw Simon standing in the back. Her eyes got huge. I didn't carry that on too long - it seemed too mean.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It's hard being a parent these days. Kids expect so much . . . dance lessons, manicures, face masks, cucumbers on their eyes. I've never even had cucumbers on my eyes come to think of it.




The kids had their first spa experience at cousin Kylie's bday party. Poor Kolbe is the only boy and just had to suffer through it, even the finger nail polish. It was a fun night. Dan's sis Sheryl always comes up with such clever themes. She should be the one with a blog about all the birthday themes she has come up with through the years. The girls had a sleepover with their cousins. On the way home, Kolbe blurted out the longest and clearest sentence we've heard yet "I want to go back to Sheryl's house now" Then he cried for 20 minutes in the car. I know he'll thank us later for getting him out of there.



Below are a few of Audrey's cheerio creations I wrote about previously. She asked me one day if Martha Stewart ever had kids on her show. I told her that I thought she did. Then she asked if her cheerio creatures were good enough to get her on the show. I couldn't help but laugh imagining Martha, "Today we have Audrey Engel here to share with us these delightful animals made from cheerios and spit. Your guests will simply love them."


Conversation overheard in the Engel car driving home from school one day:
Anna (yelling): Mom, Mom! Guess what! My teacher has ammonia! She's really sick!
Me: You mean pneumonia. That's too bad. I hope she gets better soon. Was she at school today?
Anna (yelling) : Yes, but monia can make you really sick. You can DIE from it!
Audrey: Can we go to her grave?
Me: She's just sick, Audrey, not dead.
Audrey: When she dies can we go to her grave . . . . please?

And finally, happy kids playing in the snow.

We made two snowmen this year. Kolbe was thrilled with both. Every morning, first thing, he'd climb on the couch, pull back the curtain to see his beloved snowman. Late one night, some jerk in a pick-up truck knocked down our 6 foot tall snowman. Dan and I were still up and saw him speed away. So the next morning, I didn't say anything to Kolbe, but just watched to see what he'd do. He stood there with a puzzled look and finally said so matter-of-factly, "My 'noman' fall down, mama". It is so fun to hear him talk and put his little sentences together for the first time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


This in one of my favorite photos from the Christmas season. The girls with my mom. It was a week before Christmas Eve, the night of Audrey's school program and my birthday too. Once Christmas Eve hit, we apparently did not have much time to take photos I realized when I finally downloaded. We spent Christmas Eve with my family at Wade's. On Christmas Day the Engel family started to trickle in delayed a little due to the bad weather. But, they all made it eventually and for 4 or 5 days we ate and ate and ate and played some too bouncing back and forth between our house and the Appl's.


I took this the morning of the hoarfrost in January.


Sunny the cat is still putting up with a lot of . . . stuff from the kids.


We went to the grand opening of the arena downtown. Kids enjoyed the trolley ride the most. Dan and I enjoyed the dream of being able to watch a concert from one of those executive suites.


Kolbe the builder - his latest thing. Kolbe shocked Dan one evening while I was out. While alone in the living room, he used the broom, mop and a vacuum sweeper accessory to construct this. Whatever it is. He has made many variations and I finally had to hide the the broom, etc. because for one, I was afraid he'd hurt himself or break something and two, my kitchen floor was disgusting because he'd flip out whenever I tried to borrow his supplies.

Audrey has been creating things on a smaller scale. Apparently with a little spit, Cheerios stick together. She has made dogs, cars, bunnies all out of Cheerios and spit. Are my kids weird? We do have Play-doh somewhere. I should find it for her.

Audrey makes me laugh so often these days. After sitting too long watching a movie one day she asked why her foot felt "all fizzy". Another time she had been hit in the eye by a flying block thanks to Kolbe. She was crying and I was calming her down, checking her eye. I held my hand over her good eye and asked her if she could see how many fingers I was holding up. Fighting back tears, she said, "I can't . . . see . . . anything . . . out of the eye you are covering up."

We've been swimming at the Y a lot this winter and Audrey's really coming along with her swimming. I had her in the deep end swimming back and forth from the edge of the pool to me. Dan and I started talking as Audrey clung to the edge of the pool. Dan noticed that she was holding herself as if she needed to use the bathroom. I offered to take her. She insisted she didn't need to. A few minutes later, she was still holding herself. I asked again. She insisted, "No, I don't need to go to the bathroom. I'm just trying to pull myself up so I don't sink." We moved to the shallow end after that.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas is Coming

To help get you in the holiday spirit, here is a video of my graceful girls trying to reenact a scene from the Nutcracker. I took them to the ballet for the first time on Sunday. Had a great time. I know - it is a really bad video. I was quite unhappy when I realized it was the wrong direction and I can't figure out how to rotate it. Wouldn't bother posting, but told a few people I would.

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We took a quick trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas in November to help my mom, Aunt Frankie, sis-in-law Peggy and cousin Asoka clean out my Aunt Clover's home. She is now in a nursing home. We were only able to stay for the weekend, so I'm afraid we were only a tiny bit of help.

Outside one of my favorite churches St. Elizabeth of Hungary in downtown Eureka Springs.

Also a few pics from Thanksgiving at our house. My family all came over. The guys played football in the front yard after we pigged out. Here is the cheering section:



Davey is missing in this photo. I'll have to post more on Facebook. We dragged the dining room table to the living room as usual.

I love this picture. My kitchen looks so clean, no toys on the floor . . . oh and Dan is in it too.

This month has been so busy with shopping, etc, etc. Dan's family is coming to Wichita this year so I'm working on pulling the house together and a few decent meals. I'm really looking forward to Christmas this year. Last year, we were so sick all through December and the year before that, dad had passed away a couple months before. I've tried so hard to start early and am still ahead of the game, I think. We'll see how this next week goes.

Happy Advent everyone.