Thursday, November 7, 2013

Halloween 2013

Hercules, Zues, Hera, and two beautiful greek goddesses. We had so much  fun dressing up as a family! Brett didn't want to be Hercules until we watched the Disney movie and checked out a Hercules book at the library. That solved that problem!
A feircesome Hercule!

Dantzel wanted to be a princess for halloween, so we used the term greek princess instead of greek goddess. I told Dantzel she was beautiful and she said, "yeah, because I have the yellow hair
Some great friends invited us to a Halloween party and we had a great time, the girls faces say enough!
Jeff's sister, Melinda hand made these costumes a few years back, we were so lucky to all fit into the wonderful desinged costumes! 

Austin Nature and Science Center

I am always looking for fun, free, and educational places to take my kids...this ended up being a success.
Lots of nature trails, animals exhibits, a sand pit where the kids dig up dinosaur bones and Brett's favorite, the lily pads. There is a stream with cement lily pads as stepping stones to cross the stream.

This glass if full of honeybees. Its pretty amazing to watch them, Dantzel is looking for the queen, she has a white dot on her back.
Dantzel knows she is not supposed to take the flowers, but they are just so tempting for this girl. "Just one" she says.
A serious palentologist at work.
One of the perks of being in Texas is beautiful fall days like this!


Granddad Neeley gave the kids a four-wheeler for Christmas last year and we have loved it! It is the perfect thing for Jeff to do with the kids when we has a couple hours after work, before bedtime. One evening was particularly eventful because it had rained and left the woods quite muddy! 

Proud of his muddy mess!
At first she wasn't sure she wanted a ride, but went anyway. 
She can't take her eyes off those muddy hands!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Daddy Time!

Sunday morning was General Conference and it is wonderful for more than one reason. First, it is amazing and inspiring to hear from a living prophet and also the apostles, I always hear just what I am needing at that particular time in my life. Second, no church meetings for Jeff, which meant some serious Daddy time. The wrestling matches went on for a long time, at least over an hour.
When the kids are dressing up as super heroes they wear their capes/blankets and then tights on their heads. I'm not sure what inspired this robber-looking super hero accessory, but it's always there when playing super heroes.

Brett and Dantzel aor should I say Batman and Wonder Woman teaming up to take down the daddy monster.
Ah, got him. They were giggling and huffing and puffing and grunting, it was quite entertaining.
Victory is sweet. I feel so safe with these two around! ;)

Different day. This one started out as a princess, and then wonder woman. What a stunning combo, don't you agree?!
These kids love their daddy so much, and he is so good to them. He plays with them, reads them books, tells them stories, and teaches them about being champions! We are so lucky to have such a good guy around to take care of us

Saturday, October 5, 2013

We're Camping in the Rain, just Camping in the Rain...

While we were in Idaho we were planning to camping with Jeff shortly after we got home. The kids were so excited and there was no way we could back out, even though the low was 73 degrees with a 20% chance of rain. Buescher State Park is located east of Austin, but past Bastrop and all the burnt down areas, it was so wonderful to see a pine tree! We packed and planned all day, and the excitement and anticipation was really high. And this is how our camping trip started...

On our drive to the park it started raining, really really hard.
When we arrived at our campsite, a cub scout leader let us know that all of the spots were going to be filled up with little 10 year old cub scouts. I couldn't think of anything I'd rather do, so we decided to go to the primitive/walk-in campsite instead. We had a nice evening with friends and built a fire. The air was so heavy and humid, it was pretty miserable inside the tent and the kids had a hard time falling asleep because of it. Brett was torn because he was to have the sleeping bag experience but he was so darn hot he couldn't. Then at about 5 am a few sprinkles fell through our tent and so Jeff set up the rain fly and packed all of our other stuff out to the van. The sprinkles turned into full on sheets of rain, with thunder and lightning so close, I was scared for our lives. Everything was soaked and/or muddy. I really wanted to pack up and leave and go get doughnuts, but Brett really wanted to catch a fish with Brother Brud, so we stayed.

We saw an owl on our way to the lake.

Ready to get out on the lake!

My little fishermen. It was a beautiful misty morning on Buescher Lake.

Midway through fishing, Kelsey decided she needed a little siesta. 
I had Brett and Dantzel on my kayak with me and that meant two kids with hooks, scary. I casted out for them and they would reel it in. I cast out Dantz's line and handed her the pole. She would reel and then get distracted for a bit and then reel again. I finally took the pole from her and was reeling it the rest of the way in and there was a fish on the end. I handed it back to her and she was so excited to have caught her first fish, a little bass. 
Brett was reeling in his line and felt a little wiggle and said "mommy I think I got one". I lifted up the line and sure enough out came a little perch. Brett was SO proud and tells everyone about it! 
This camping trip ended up being beautiful, fun and memorable.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cave Falls Idaho September 2013

One of the many adventures on our Idaho trip took us up in the mountains to Cave Falls for a hike and some beautiful falls. The weather was a perfect 70 degrees and the air was still. The water was chilly, but that didn't seem to bother the kids, who with shoes and socks headed right in. Jumping into the water and throwing rocks, they were having loads of fun. The beauty of this area is hard to describe, so I'll let the pictures do the talking...
Adorable boy in granpa's hat, enjoying nature. He could have stayed there all day!

These two were the best buddies. When she would wake up in the mornings in Idaho she would head stright for grandma's room, not even a hello or good morning to mom. Don't forget to check out the backdrop, uh incredible.

This is what they were doing majority of the time. And look at those beauitful falls, it takes my breath away.

Grandpa loves these girls and he was so sweet to them. I LOVE this picture.

Okay Shmels, stealing all the attention with your exuberant amount of cuteness!! Can't get enough of that girl!
During the hike the kids were collecting sticks for our campfire the next evening. Their little hands were overflowing with 5 or 6 sticks, but it was so important to them that we kept them and use them in our fire. The things they do and say just fill my heart right up. Everywhere I go people ALWAYS say, "oh, you sure got your hands full" and it's so true, I do, but it sounds so negative. I saw a beautiful quote that I think of everytime someone says that. It goes like this, "If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart".

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Back Into the Swing of Things...

We had an amazing, and long (3weeks), vacation to California and Idaho. Unfortunatley Jeff did not join us, so while we missed him greatly, we still had a wonderful and memorable trip. I don't have all the pictures from Cali and Idaho yet, so this post will not be about our trip. But it will come!

Ah, my loves, here they are!! My dad took these beautiful, vibrant shots of the kids playing underneath Aunt Meieli's willow tree. I have forgotten how AMAZING the grass is in Idaho, and no fire ants. It's all so hard to believe. Even Dantzel kept asking, "there's no fire ants in Idaho, right mom?", then she would chicken out and not step out onto the grass. She really had to overcome the stepping into the grass without shoes on fire ant phobia. Once she did, she was gone and loved running everywhere barefeet!

Brett loves being the big brother. I love the proud look on his face in this picture. He does keep asking for a little brother though. Not Dantz, she only wants sisters. She is kinda turning into a girly girl, loves girls, pink, purple, etc.

Cutie pie! Brett told me that he likes pictures of him best when he smiles with no teeth. I thought that was very observant for a little four year old.

These girls were having a blast running through the willows and letting the branches tickle them. They were giggling and wiggling and while it was hard to take pictures of them, I absolutely loved watching them play!
These kids are my world and my purpose. I love being able to stay home with them and spend hours and hours together everyday! I am one lucky momma!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Summer Swimming

All summer long I have been meaning to get pictures of the kiddos at the pool. We are there at least 2 times a week, but these kiddos keep me very busy at the pool, sometimes stressful with three kids that can't swim. Every Wednesday the ward has a playgroup at the pool and today we had pizza too! The kids love pool time, and I love how exhausted everyone is afterwards! 

Dantz loves the water, but is very cautious and doesn't go near it without her floatie! Her hair is getting so light with all this sun, but her skin has stayed nice and fair, just like I like it.
This girl runs everywhere, in and out of the pool.  She has no fear of the water, which scares me even more.
She demanded to feed herself, and ended up with pizza sauce everywhere!!
Snuggled up after three hours at the pool.
This dude could have been at the pool for another three hours. He has really improved this year and is swimming with no floaties with a parent watching.

Uncle Paul

Uncle Paul is amazing!! He is 6 weeks shy of being 102 years old, wow. He has had a bit of a rough go the past month. He has fallen 3 or more times and been to the hospital and a rehab center.  He is no longer walking but still such a wonderful person. Yesterday he was telling us about last night he felt like he was drifting between this life and the next, coming and going back and forth. He is ready to go, but feels guilty to "want to die". He still jokes around with us and is mentally all there. We sure love him, and will miss him.

He calls Dantzel "shoogy" to be like sugar, I believe. 

Uncle Paul told Brett that if he'd had a son, he would have wanted him to be just like Brett.

Uncle Paul calls Kelsey "puddin' head". We sure love this guy, it has been such a blessing to visit him.


 Remember when Dantzel was about 18 months and I decided she would see a lot better if her bangs weren't in her eyes. I combed her hair down and cut straight across, right at the eyebrows. This is a classic amateur mistake, and the bangs ended up in the middle of her forehead. From that point on I vowed never to cut the girls hair myself again, and that I would leave the work to the professionals.
Well, last Saturday I had to run a 10 min errand and left Jeff with the kids. When I came home he had her in the bathroom and it was too late...her bangs were already in the middle of her forehead. Let's just say he was in BIG trouble. Kelsey was laughing, I was crying, Brett was reassuring me it would grow back, Dantzel was asking daddy for a haircut and Jeff was in denial that the haircut was terrible.
I took her to a professional yesterday and had it fixed. Jeff calls her Fraulein Maria, or Sammy boy and I keep running my fingers through it hoping it will grow in the next week before our California/Idaho trip (of course this had to happen 1 week before our trip to see family that hasn't seen her in over a year).
They may have funny haircuts, but they are the sweetest, funnest most beautiful girls. I am one lucky momma!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Par-tay Boat

Every year we go to Lake Travis with members of our ward on a two-story party boat. It is always a good time with great food, good music, dancing and swimming. Once the boat is out in an open area the motor shuts off and the slide turns on, and then the party starts. The kids are going crazy jumping of the top and going down the slide. Brett was really excited to go down the slide by himself this year, Dantzel was not interested at all. The only hiccup with the trip was Jeff, trying to show off, acting 20ish...he did a canon ball near the side of the boat. soaking the entire lower crowd and all our plates. I didn't see it happen so I asked, who in the world just soaked the boat? Didn't even need to ask, of course it was Jeff, the problem was he hurt his back, really bad. That's another story. The night was perfect and beautiful and a highlight of our summer!

My awesome family!! 
The water was so warm and wonderful, Kelsey loved it!  And I'm lovin' her chocolate chip smeared face, YUM!

Ready to go on the slide by himself. 
Action shot. He only stopped for food when I forced him. He wanted to jump and slide and swim and that's it!

My  girls! We spent quite a bit of time in the water, but these two really like being on the party boat. Kelsey stole the show with her dancing, it really is precious.

Brett came to ask me if he could jump of the top of the boat. Of course being the good mom I am I said no. He said, "no mom, I'm going right now". Jeff followed him up and tried to go down with him holding his hand. Brett wouldn't have it, he just jumped right in, no hesitation. Immediately after he surfaced, he turned to Jeff and yelled, "oh my gosh, Dad, I love it" 

Monday, August 5, 2013

4th of July

Our 4th of July was eventful! We left from our camping trip the morning of the 4th and stopped for donuts on our way out...yum, we needed supplement after eating camp food for 3 days. Then Jeff decided to stop and see uncle Paul in nNew Bruanfels since it was on the way home. We all piled into the old folks home looking like we had been camping and not showering for the last three days, and obviously we were not sporting our red, white and blue...those outfits were for after the showers! We thought we would be safe to slip in see Uncle Paul and run but not so. The senior center was having lunch and 12 for residents and all family members, and uncle Paul really wanted us to stay, so we did. Now I am feeling a little more self concious about our lack of cleanliness. To top it all off, we ended up sharing the table with the mayor of New Braunfels all spruced up in red, white and blue having just come from the, pit in stomach. It ended up being a wonderful lunch, but wow, who would have known!
We had a fun get together with friends from the ward, with great food and activities. The night ended with fireworks, which the kids had to plug their ears for the entire time.

Looking at this picture, you would have never known the above story happened.
The kids raced, and raced, and raced on the court most of the night. Brett loves to race kids, even if he does not win. Side story: We were at the Y and Brett saw a brochure with kids racing on the front. He turned to me and said "mom, put me in that race and I will win" he couldn't stop talking about wanting to run in a race.
Datnzel being the caboose for the race! Love her.
Little toot, was trying to keep up with big kids. She was squawking and squealing and having a great time.
Pretty backdrop and goofy girl!