Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pictures from the week


Aubrey just loooves her bath.

on the lighter side...

I came home to find this posted on the bathroom door, thanks to Tyler.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Maybe it's the fact that the anniversary of Olive's death was last Saturday, January 22. Maybe it's the fact that yesterday my Parents, Aunt and Cousin all left on a flight to Thailand to visit Lynette and Rusty. (And I was happy to learn that they arrived safely). Maybe it's the fact that I went through the photo book of Olive's life last night.

Whatever the "reason," I've been thinking a lot about Olive's life...from the moment I learned Lynette was in labor with Olive to her funeral.
From the day Olive was born, I found myself at a loss. I worried. I prayed. I called. I wanted to help, but didn't know how. I marveled at pictures of the precious little sweetheart who amazed me with her feisty spirit, day after day. And my heart ached when I heard how many difficult decisions Lynette and Rusty were forced to make along the way.

When we arrived in Indiana for Olive's funeral, I didn't know how to handle bringing a baby in to the space where I knew Rusty and Lynette's hearts were breaking. I couldn't imagine the depth of their pain. In the midst of my fumbling and awkwardness, Lynette and Rusty were loving and forgiving.
I am thankful for Lynette's ability to express herself and share her experience. I'm thankful for the many who have surrounded Lynette and Rusty with love - for those who have had the right words, as I so often fail, and have been there for them in so many ways.

I'm thankful for the love of friends and family near and far. For those who have listened to me too. Who have given hugs and words of love.

I am so happy that Mom, Dad, Anna and Katrina are with Lynette and will soon also be with Rusty. It makes my heart happy.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A lesson on the Amish

Yesterday, Tyler and Wayne were watching a show about Alaskan bush pilots, Flying Wild: Alaska. (Grandpa Norm might want to check this one out).

Anyway, while watching some of the harsh conditions that a village faces in the winter, Wayne asked if Tyler would want to live in a place that was so cold so much of the year.

Tyler said, "No way. Especially if I was Amish."

Wayne replied, "Yeah, because they couldn't drive in heated cars to get around..."

Tyler quickly chimed in, "And their feet with be so cold with NO SHOES!"

So we had a little lesson on what the Amish do without (and the fact that they do, in fact, wear shoes). :)

Owl Birthday Cake

A side note before the cake...yesterday Wayne jokingly said (repeatedly), "Now that Aubrey is 1, she will sleep through the night...right?" Well, what do you know, she did! Maybe we'll have to try that encouragement more often! So here is the babe this morning.

Anyway, on to the cake. You may remember that Aubrey's room has an owl theme.

So, I wanted to make an owl cake.
I took inspiration from Sara.

However, I wanted to keep it as simple as possible, and I think this went the fastest of any birthday cake I've made so far.  I started with my go-to birthday cake recipe these days, America's Test Kitchen Old Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake with Chocolate Frosting. Yum!

Then (for what I thought was going to be a shortcut that I've only used once before) I bought the pink frosting in a squeeze tube. I didn't realize until I was ready to use it that it was supposed to be used with special Cake Mate decorating tips. Boo. So, I manually held on my Wilton decorating tips. Ha! Anyway, add some Oreos and Junior Mints for the eyes, Bugles for the ears (covered in frosting) and beak, and voila!
An Owl!

(And I almost forgot the edible glitter sprinkled on doesn't show up in pictures, but I think it's fun)!

She's 1!

Yesterday, we celebrated Aubrey's 1st birthday. Ted and Sue came to spend the afternoon and evening with us. We enjoyed playing games, putting together a puzzle, and the KU then Steeler's games too. :)

Aubrey ready to "blow" out her candle.

Eating her cake and ice cream. But mostly smearing frosting on her tray.  

Ready to open presents. Or play with ribbon. Or both.

Playing with a new Pkolino stacking toy from us.

And reading a new book from/with Grandma.

We really enjoyed our day celebrating together. It's hard to believe it's been a year. Aubrey has changed so much in a year, as all babies do. Within the last week, she has started to give high 5's and scoot backwards to sit into your lap. She continues to love bopping to music, "talking," squatting down, and sometimes turning in circles getting dizzy while clapping and shrieking when she's reeeallly excited. Silly baby that we love so much.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Day!

And finally, after this blog post binge, I have caught up to the present...

Today was a snow day for Tyler and I. Today, we actually got a lot done. Dentist appointment for Tyler, shopping trip for birthday and later for groceries and...snow play!

OK, so Aubrey was basically outside for a few pictures, then we scurried back in...because though she is wearing several layers, today's snow day was for extremely cold temperatures and It.Was.Cold. Thanks to Trina for the cute coat, and to Melissa for the warm hat (which is a Tyler hand-me-down - I know it's too small, but it is so warm and soft)!

Since this was our first Kansas snow of the season, Wayne and Tyler wanted to take advantage of it and braved the cold to go sledding for awhile with our neighbor kids. They had a great time but others they were with were not so impressed with the cold weather. Tyler said the only part of him that got cold was his eyes. I don't think we're going to invest in a pair of ski goggles yet though. :)

my insomniac

Aubrey inconsistently wakes in the middle of the night...for several hours at a time. My theory is that when she gets a second nap (which is rare), she never does this...but I don't seem to be able to force her to take that second naps so I don't have a solution. Any suggestions are welcome. I digress.

Last night we were up from about 3-5:30ish am. I decided to take some pictures of her loving on her KU bear from Ted and Sue.

Twisting her tongue


Back to their old ways. Barely home from our trip and they're playing under the table again. You'd think they didn't get any new toys for Christmas or something. ;)

A short clip of Aubrey and Tyler yelling to one another. It really went on for quite awhile. (And can be picked up at any time...just stop over and you can quickly find out).

Middlebury Christmas Videos

We took these videos with Lynette and Rusty in mind...

Dancing Cousins:

Aubrey loved slamming down the wagon handle, and this day it was followed by turning in a circle, giggling, and come back for more. I put down some pillows in case she took a tumble. Sooo, by the time I started to take a video of it, most of her excitement was gone. But, you can still see that she was having a good time:

Poor Zion. Every time Aubrey spotted him, she wanted to be near him, touch him, and often tried to give him lots of hugs and kisses. Though a few times he relented and gave a sweet hug back, generally speaking, he was less than impressed, as you can see here. (Also note the wet shirt she has after she spat water all over this one too).:

Christmas Video with the girls

Here is a short clip of Aubrey and Jillian on Christmas day.

The Massive Christmas Picture Post

OK - so I took our old not-so-great camera on the trip. Because it's little. But since it doesn't take great pictures, I found that I barely used it. So, for this post I am nearly completely borrowing other people's shots (at least before we get to a few measly pictures of Christmas in Middlebury).

Starting off with a picture of us eating breakfast at the hotel. (On our final day there, but I must admit that getting this post together was a I'm leaving well enough alone). :)

Aubrey loved climbing on the hotel hearth...and the stairs...and pretty much anything she could hoist herself onto.

Lovin' those hotel stairs.

This was the start of the Monopoly the end we had some different players at the table because of those busy babies. We all loved the hotel too. :)

Grandma snuggling Jillian and Aubrey who are wearing their new matching outfits from her.

Birthday twins!

Aubrey on Christmas Day

Busy girls. Aubrey loved playing with the Christmas coasters.

Tyler is reading to/with Aunt Isabel.

Bob drawing his number for the Naughty Nutcracker gift exchange.

The neighbor's impressive snow man.

Wayne with the girls. Enjoying that singing card.

Me with the girls. Rachel and Wayne smiling in the background.

On Christmas Eve we enjoyed a steady snow fall all day. There was no wind and the flakes were huge. I think we got around 7 inches that day. So, both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day there was lots of snow play.

Here the boys are working on a little snow man, even though the snow was not great for packing yet. :)

Wayne and Tyler sledding.

Tyler and Sue are ready to go, Hollins helps them to get ready.

Tyler enjoying the snow.

On December 26, we headed to Decatur, Indiana and enjoyed spending the afternoon with Grandpa's, Wayne and Billie, and Uncle Max.

Aubrey really enjoyed spitting her water out all over her shirt(s) until they were soaked. Ewww.

Daddy, Tyler and Uncle Max playing Minotaurus at Grandpa Stuckey's.

At Grandpa Stuckey's trying on the hand knit sweaters from Aunt Isabel.

That evening, we headed to Mom and Dad's in Middlebury for the next week.

This is a pathetic few pictures.

Aubrey was quite interested in Zion. He was not quite so into it. I like Carrie's cute baby bump in the background too. :)

Aubrey getting a foot rub from Grandma Carol while examining the Gold Bond lotion.

Celebrating New Year's Eve with the Yoder family.  It was at this gathering that Tyler enjoyed FOUR of Grandma Polly's Yoder Delight desserts. And later declared them to be his (new) favorite food. It is a ring of pineapple with a slice of caramelized sweetened condensed milk topped with Cool Whip and a cherry.

We traveled home to Kansas through the night on January 1. I have some more videos and post-traveling pictures to post. The babe has awoken. Perhaps later this afternoon...


Wednesday, December 23, a few hours after work, we left on our holiday trek. We had decided to travel through the night to avoid a coming storm. It worked out nicely as the children slept and we had no traffic or weather problems. It went so smoothly, in fact that when we got to Des Moines, IA, Ted and Wayne started driving under the speed limit because we were making such good time. I was so thankful that Ted and Wayne did the driving because I have a hard time staying awake for nighttime driving.

We arrived safely and enjoyed breakfast at 5 am at The Big Apple.

Aubrey seemed a little confused about what was going on. It was pretty early and much colder outside than in Kansas. :)

Bob and Isabel graciously welcomed us in to their home, as we couldn't check into our hotel until that afternoon. They even rounded up some high chairs to seat Aubrey and Jillian during our visit. Tyler thought he'd test this one out.