Monday, February 21, 2011


We like to make donuts or muffins on Saturday mornings.  But, sometimes I'm lazy and Chris or I will run to the store to pick up some.  Two weeks ago was Anna's birthday and so I took her to the store to pick some out.  She picked out a dozen donuts - each one colorful and unique.  Many had sprinkles or colored frosting. Some had filling.  But they were all different. 

Last weekend, I again ran to the store.  I was trying to change Sophia's grumpy mood so I took her with me.  She picked one dozen glazed donuts.  All the same.  All plain.  I couldn't even convince her to get the ones with chocolate frosting. 

As I headed home, I couldn't help but think about how their selections reflected their style preferences.  Anna, 6, loves colorful, loud clothes.  The more color the better.  She likes dresses with leggings and the sparklier the better.  Sophia, 7 1/2,  prefers to wear a pair of jeans and a plain colored shirt every single day.  She'll wear a dress to church, but never to school.  She likes things simple and comfortable.  You can't hang upside down from the monkey bars in a flowery dress! 

It's so fun to see that each of your children is unique.  They can be raised in the same home, with the same parents and have the same experiences, but God made them unique and wonderfully different. 

I'll have to take Isabella and Sam to the store one of these days and see what they pick.  I'm hoping one of them chooses chocolate frosted chocolate cake donuts -- my favorite! 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

On Being President...

For the last two years I've been president of our elementary school's PTO.  Last week I was heading out the door to our monthly meeting when Sam asked me in his sweet two year-old voice, "Why you go to PTO?"   I said "because I'm president."  Then my four year-old said, "Are you Barack Obama?"  Um no.  And all the girls laughed at the mere idea that I thought I was the president.  No respect!

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Grandpa

I would like to tell you about one of my favorite people in the entire world - my Grandpa. Grandpa Walz is the grandpa that everyone wishes they had. Everyone. He hugs us tight when we come to visit, and hugs us even tighter before we leave. He never fails to say I love you. Never. You always know you are special when you visit Grandpa.

We grew up going out to his ranch on weekends. We woke up early and he always had chocolate gem donuts waiting because he knew they were my favorite. I will never look at one of those without thinking of him. We'd spend time fishing in his ponds and while we fished, he spent his time untangling us from rocks and trees and anything else we could get stuck in. He never fished much himself when we were there, but he loved every minute of it and made sure to tell us so. He taught us how to drive in his pick-up and jeep out in the pastures. A very brave man. He woke us up in the middle of the night when we were young to try to see Hailey’s Comet. I’m still not sure if I saw it, but it was exciting just the same. I remember it was cold and we got to put on his giant sweatshirt for the ride up into the pastures to gaze at the stars. He took us on shopping sprees and went river rafting with us long past the age he probably should have been rafting. He never missed a great-grandchild's birthday party and even tolerated wearing silly hats and scarves at one of their dress-up parties. Despite being in his 80's, he still got down on the floor to build houses and castles out of blocks with my children. An image I will never forget.

Grandpa helped all of us financially - sending us to college, helping us with our first cars, first houses, graduations, births of our children and everything in between. He has always been a man who gave to everyone because he loved us all so much. He has been there for every major milestone in our lives. And we are better because of him.

He’s taught us how to love and show love. He’s taught us that it’s not what we know but who we know that often matters because people are really what matter in life. Relationships matter. He’s taught us that K-State Wildcats are #1, and told us countless times he’d throw us in the pond for supporting KU. But we all know he’d love us just the same even if we became Jayhawks. None of us have.

Tomorrow, my Grandpa is choosing to go back home and have hospice take care of him until God calls him up to heaven. It breaks my heart and at the same time I am forever thankful that we know he has accepted Jesus into his heart and we will see him again in Heaven. I can’t imagine a heaven without him. We’ve been blessed with the last few weeks being able to take the time to tell him we love him and show him how much he has meant to us. He is truly the most amazing grandpa anyone could ever ask for. It is unbearably difficult to imagine saying goodbye to him. But I know how much he loves us. I’ve never had to wonder about that. He left nothing unsaid. He always hugged us tight and said I love you. I’m hoping everyone has someone in their lives like him.

I’m asking for prayers for my family during this time. It’s so hard to say good bye to someone you have loved your entire life. But I am forever thankful for all the amazing memories we have. God has blessed us by putting Grandpa in our lives and I can’t wait to see him again in heaven. We love you so much Grandpa! Love, Mary

Birthday Girl

Yesterday Anna turned 6 years old!  Time flies.   Anna has always loved color - and lots of it.  Her favorite shirt has always been this tye-dye shirt she had.  She wore it way past the point that it actually fit, and now it has been passed down to Isabella.  But when she said she wanted a
tye-dye cake, I knew I was in trouble! 

We found these cute plates and cups and then I tried to match the cake to the design.  The cake was so big - 12 inches, I didn't want to star it all with frosting so I used M & M's to make the colors.  Really - the cake needed chocolate anyways!  I think it turned out pretty cute, and more importantly, the birthday girl loved it!  Here are a few pictures from her birthday.

One lucky girl!  Happy Birthday Anna.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dear School District,

Dear School District,
When a school bus breaks down in the morning -in the middle of winter and it's snowing out and below zero wind chills- the least you could do is inform parents.  If it takes my kids 45 minutes to get to a school that is 2 miles away with no stops left, then it is reasonable to be concerned.  A quick automated phone call, an e-mail... something.  I don't like hearing (9 hours later) from my children about how freezing they were waiting for another bus to come. For some odd reason, that's something I'd like to know.  Call me crazy!  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day #5: Making Up Games

My kids love to play games and we got plenty of new ones for Christmas.  Chris had them playing Twister.  Let's just say our little Isabella made her own set of rules up since she's too tiny to actually reach very far!

But last night before bed the kids wanted to play one more game.  I had a great idea.  I ran upstairs and got a bucket out that contained all of our mismatched socks.  We've accumulated quite a few since I just keep throwing them in the bucket and never sort them.  I got Chris and the girls to sit around the bucket and I explained the rules.  Here's what they looked like before the game.  Pretty happy right?

When I said "go" I would dump the bucket and they would begin to find matches.  The one with the most matches won the game.  So exciting, right? 
Yep.  That's them working as fast as they can.  They're still enjoying the game!

Anna won with the most matches.  She was still smiling.  Sophia was not.  She lost by one pair (and a lot of mismatched pairs).  She is not a great loser either.  Still no one but Chris seemed to notice that my game was not much of a game at all.

In the end, we matched 43 pairs of socks together.  Yikes...they've been piling up for quite a while.  I had to go through and fix several of the matches since Sophia thought as long as they were white and similar in size they were a match.  But, in the end, we got one thing crossed off of my "to do" list, we played what they thought was a game.  And, I sat back and watched.  Don't moms have the best ideas?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Day #4: Making Robots

So, I'm LOVING our 4th snow day of the year.  I know most parents dread them.  If both parents work, it's a pain to take a day off or arrange childcare (though VCCC offers free childcare to school-age children on snow days!).  Others get cabin fever or get tired of their kids saying they're bored. 

Not me.  I LOVE them!  Even the yucky ones like today when we can't get outside.  Blizzard conditions make it impossible to get outside to enjoy the snow.  That's fine with me.  It's 10:30am and most of us are still in our jammies.  Can't beat that!  I don't have to run any errands because there's no way I'm going to take my kiddos out in this weather.  So we're snuggled in and warm.

Sophia, who has always been our tomboy at heart got out one of her robot kits from Christmas.  We knew she'd love them, we just hadn't had the time to work on any of them yet.  She decided today was the day! 

I was reminded of just how much she's like her Daddy during the construction of her robot.  She dumped all the pieces out, looked at the picture, and tried to start assembling it.  Instructions?  We don't need instructions.  Then, as her frustration grew, she finally turned to me for help and I read the instructions.  We did everything step by step and surprisingly, when we turned it on it worked!  Thank goodness.  Sam thinks it's hilarious too.

I'm guessing later today we'll make another robot - instead of cleaning up the basement like I had intended on doing.  But, snow days shouldn't be about chores.  At least that's what I'm going to keep telling myself!