Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Wild, Wild Wyoming!

We recently took a road trip to Gillette, WY to visit my sister Shannon.  She has 4 boys ages 8-16, so her house is pretty much Keegan's paradise!  Aiden, 11, is a fellow lover of Legos, so he and Keegan got along splendidly.  Keegs was admiring all Aiden's cool Lego sets, and I'm pretty sure he's even added a few to his Christmas wish list.  Hope he's nice and not naughty!  Asher, 8, and Keegan blissfully played for hours on end together.  Whether it was on the XBox or outside building snow forts, those two were like peas in
a pod!
Shannon and her boys

Asher and Keegan

And let's not forget about our little Chiquita.  Since there are no girls OR babies in Shannon's house, Kaia was ALSO in paradise!!  The boys were super cute with her, playing endless rounds of Ring Around the Rosies or throwing her up in the air to her squeals of delight.  Shan got in on the Kaia love, too.  Kaia snuggled her to watch TV and even let her play with her hair, which proves that she LOVES her Auntie Shannon, since those are 2 things that she usually doesn't do!  Even Attila got a little Chica love.  When we got home from a long road trip, Attila picked Asher up and gave him a big hug.  As soon as he put him down, Kaia ran over and hugged Attila's legs.  It took him by surprise, but he picked her up and gave her a big hug, too.  I have to admit, it tugged a little on my heart strings to see Attila with a little girl, since he has none of his own - so sweet!!

 Austin and Kaia

If you know any of my sisters, you know we love to shop.  Shannon and I shopped the heck out of her little town!  We found some amazing deals at their consignment shop, (I got a sweet leather jacket for only $20!), but also made our rounds to some of Gillette's finer boutiques.  We definitely did our duty to ensure that those shops stick around a little longer!  I also introduced Shannon to some of the finer things in life, i.e. Pinterest and Mad Men.  I don't know how she survived this long without them!!

Because we took our trip in the middle of the school year, we made sure to get a little education in by visiting Mount Rushmore.  It's about a 3 hour trip to Rapid City from Shannon's house, so we loaded all the kids up, stocked up on yummy treats, and headed out.  It was a fun-filled day with a visit to Chili's, Texas Roadhouse, a brief meeting with some Rapid City missionaries (they took our pics at Mt. Rushmore), a run-in with a snooty Visitor's Center sales clerk, lots of souvenirs and some loot from Bath and Body Works.

Kaia, pose with Aunty Shannon!  Sweet!
Now, pose with Mommy.  I don't think so!
Keegan managed to look glum in most of these pics, but I promise he had a good time!
 The only hiccup in the whole trip happened Saturday night as I was loading the car to be ready to leave bright and early Sunday morning.  The car wouldn't start!  I was pretty confident that I just needed a jump, and since it was FREEZING outside, I decided we could just jump start it in the morning before we took off.  Well, that didn't happen!  We ended up having it towed and in the end just replacing the battery.  It delayed our trip home a couple of days, but the kids were happy to have the extra time.  It's so nice to finally have some of my family on this side of the country!  We'll definitely be visiting Wild,Wild Wyoming again :)

The whole gang

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween!!

It's been a really long time since I blogged, so I'm not even going to bother trying to catch up! Yesterday was Halloween and the kids had lots of fun trick or treating around the neighborhood. Doug and Keegan were hunters and Kaia and I were bunnies.
Guess she doesn't know what happens to the bunny at the end of the hunt... :)

Monday, April 9, 2012


It's been a while since my last post, so I'll just do a quick update on our family:

 Doug - the worker bee and handyman extraordinaire;  he recently put hard wood flooring into our kitchen (it looks amazing!) and is very happy and fulfilled at work.  He has also been in several TV shows, so get his autograph now before he becomes a full-fledged star! 

Keegan - reluctant soccer star and Kaia's best friend/task master/torturer; he complains pretty much every time he has to go to soccer practice, but has somehow managed to be one of the best players on the team.  That's pretty much the story of his life right now, complaining when asked to do anything but then finally doing it pretty darn well.  He loves his baby sister a lot of the time, but the rest of the time he spends aggravating the crap out of her and then wondering why she's mean to him.  He's pretty thoughtful, though, and sometimes surprises me with his observations.  Kaia and I have listened to Adele for forever and he just recently saw a picture of her for the first time and said to me, "Mom, you know what's funny about Adele?  She doesn't look how she sounds."  I'd never thought of that!  It also turns out that he has a  green thumb.  He planted some things at Scouts a while ago and has managed to keep them alive - even thriving!
Kaia - sassy, sunshiny, bossy-pants and boisterous songstress; she's still the sunshine in our lives, always happy and be-bopping around.  The problem is that with all that energy, she manages to make messes everywhere she goes.  She's evolved into a "dumper,"  emptying drawers, book shelves, zip-locs full of food, toy bins or anything else in her path of destruction.  She's constantly singing or humming, just full of music!  She'll sing to pretty much anything, too.  We were in the car and "Guantanamera" came on and she started clapping and belting out the words, even though it was in Spanish and she didn't understand a bit of it!  She's developed quite an ear for Katy Perry, to my chagrin.  Every time one of her songs comes on the radio and I try to change it, she throws a fit until I turn it back.  I guess her music is pretty catchy, dangit!   Right now she's totally obsessed with her nails.  If they're not perfectly clipped or there's any edge to get a hold of, she'll pick at it until she's taken care of it.  She also loves and I mean LOVES to dance.  That girl will jam out to anything and everything, from the Black Eyed Peas to the Gypsy Kings.  She's got moves!  

Mieke - wannabe domestic goddess, closeted salsa dancer and Boggle addict; I'm a baker at heart, but since we can't eat scones, cookies, brownies, bread or cakes every day, I'm attempting to be a better cook. All I have to say is thank goodness for Pioneer Woman, Good Life Eats, Our Best Bites and Mel's Kitchen Cafe - they save my life! I never can tell what my kids will eat, so we have as many strike-outs as successes.  I just gotta keep on keepin' on :)  I still love to salsa dance and when Kaia and I are home alone, I put on Pandora and we salsa our little hearts out!  I feel a need to get Dance Party for the Wii  just so that I can master all the routines so that when my big break comes I'll be ready!!  Also, recently my ego took a total beating when I showed this picture to Kaia and asked, "Who is that?"  She immediately said, "Mama!"  Awesome.

That's all for now.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ok, I've Created a Monster...

 Yum, yum!!!

Alright, alright!  I'm a terrible mom!!  Kaia loves, and I mean, LOVES, Diet Coke.  I can't remember when exactly it started, but I'm sure it was innocent enough.  We were probably eating out somewhere and she had run out of her drink, so I gave her a sip of mine and BOOM, that girl was instantly addicted!  Ever since, any time we're out to eat, even when we get her her own apple juice or Sprite, all she wants is the delish brown, bubbly stuff in my glass!  My struggle with Diet Coke is not a new one, as documented here, and I fear I'm going to have to give it up again so as not to have to deal with restaurant meltdowns when I deny sweet little chica her favorite thing.  Goodbye, Diet Coke -  I'll miss you!! 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pine Wood Derby

Keegan had his first ever Pine Wood Derby this week.  He had been super excited to make his car and he and Doug had it finished about a week before the race.  They had a car emergency the night before the Derby, but thanks to an extra kit from Keegan's good friend Luke, they took care of it and were ready to go.  We tried to prepare Keegan for the possibility of losing every race, but he surprised us by saying, "It's okay if I lose, because me and Dad had such a fun time making my car."  What the WHAT??  Who's kid IS that?  Anyway, we needn't have worried, because his car kicked butt!!   He ended up placing 4th out of 28 kids and 1st in his den.  All in all, it was a great first race.

The Weigh In - he looks a little nervous!
 and Relief that it's all over

Sunday, January 1, 2012

For Pete's Sake, It's Been Too Long!

Ok, I know it's been way too long since I last posted. 2011 has passed without even a word about our family and my resolution for 2012 is to do better. We had a really blessed 2011, with lots of travel and fun. Here is our year in photos:

Freezin' our butts off in Michigan for Spring Break 

Papa's visit in May

Partyin' it up at the Dickman Family Reunion in June

Mine and Keegan's trip to Universal Studios

Keegan's 8th birthday party
Partyin' it up with the Gooches in Mexico 

Fun times with friends in Spar

Keegan gets baptized!!

We take our 10th anniversary trip 2 years late to Cancun

Bandelier National Park with Kendall in October


Thanksgiving with Shan's fam in Wyoming

Sweet Kaia turns 2

Christmas Break