Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 Family Pictures

We had our annual family pictures taken in late October this year.  We've taken them every year in the Fall since Sophia was a baby.  So, ten years in a row!  It's so fun to look back at how much our family has grown in that time.  We always give the pictures away to grandparents as their Christmas present, so we have to keep them a secret until then.  But it's so hard to not share them with all of you!  Here are some of our favorites!    

I love how Sam is just a little too slow with his jump! 
Sam, 4 1/2 years old
Isabella, 6 years old
Anna, 7 1/2 years old

Sophia, 9 1/2 years old

Monday, December 24, 2012

What you can do with a little snow...

It snowed...a little bit...last week and Sam was pretty desperate to build a snowman.  We really didn't have any measurable snow last year so I don't think he remembers making one.  On Thursday, after I picked him up from preschool, he asked if on our way home we could stop somewhere and build a snowman. That really didn't fit our schedule and we were busy the rest of the day.  By Friday, most all of the snow had melted.  But the kids got home from school and found a small patch of snow outside and went to work.  This is what they were able to build. 

Yes, Anna is building a snowman in a fancy Christmas dress and tennis shoes.  And it was probably 50 degrees outside and beautiful so Sophia's gloves and a short sleeve shirt, well, that worked too.  That's just how we roll around here! 

Yes, a baby carrot nose, and we couldn't figure out what would work for eyes.  Nothing would stick.  So we ended up sticking two chocolate covered marshmallows (on popsicle sticks) into the snow.  Nice!  The kids had fun though and we're expecting another small snow on Christmas!  I LOVE a white Christmas! 

We have had a wonderfully blessed year with our family and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and an amazing New Year!   Love, The Moons

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A few Pictures...

There are a few pictures I wanted to share, but didn't have time to write a whole blog about each.  So here's your condensed version. 

Sophia getting ready for her 4th grade music program.  She is NOT a girly girl.  So when she easily agreed to let me curl her hair I jumped at the rare chance!  She had a solo in the program and did great!  
Sam in the church Christmas program.  A very cute wise man!

The girls at church in last year's matching Christmas dresses.  So nice they still fit! 

Chris giving the kids lessons on how to stand on their heads. 
Just another day at the Moon house! 

Watching attentively.

Sophia actually figured it out very quickly! 
Chris trying to help...

Mom's way of standing on your head...propping yourself against a wall. 

I guess when you don't have cable - you improvise for your evening entertainment! 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sam's Big Dream

If you have ever sat with our family at a sporting event you have probably learned a few things about our family.

1st - Our kids bring their own activities to entertain themselves.  They don't like to get bored.  And the game itself doesn't quite hold their attention yet.  Here's a picture at a recent basketball game.
Isabella's pretty good about packing a bag with a couple of books, paper, crayons and a few cars for Sam.  And the nice thing is that we can finally watch more of the game.  We used to always have to leave by half-time.  

2nd - Sam's big dream when he grows up is to be in the marching band.  Seriously.  He talks about it a lot.  He spends the entire football game watching the band.  We have to get there early so we don't miss when they march in.  And then he's mesmerized during their half-time performance.  He pretends to play the drums or the trumpet usually.  He doesn't like basketball games as much because there's no marching band.  The other day he was practicing at home.  With a ruler.  He worked hard at his "high knees" too. 

We dream big at the Moon house! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Snowflake Wreath

This is the wreath I usually hang on my front door.  

I made it a couple of years ago with a million hand-cut felt circles and I really do love it. It's great to hang almost anytime of the year. And it's held up to our crazy Kansas weather.

But I wanted to make something new this year for winter. So I bought three packages of shatterproof snowflake ornaments from Hobby Lobby for 50% off. I could spend all day in that store!! And I got out my hot glue gun.

I started by taking the thickest/strongest snowflakes and glued them together.

Then I just slowly added more. When I was done, I added a white ribbon to the back. Presto. New wreath in 25 minutes.
It is a little lopsided as I am not a perfectionist at all.  And I thought about fixing it with some of my leftover snowflakes.  But, I really wasn't in the the mood, so maybe another day.  For now, I think it looks great!  Now we just need our first snow! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

A little like her mama.

This year for Thanksgiving I wanted the kids to spend a little extra time being thankful.  So on Thursday morning, I gave the kids pieces of paper and asked them to make a list of the things they were thankful for.

It was so fun to see the progression from a four year-old's list to that of a nine year-old.  The things that matter to them are sweet and funny. 

Isabella wanted help spelling each word correctly and Chris helped her.  Her list looked like this:  "I am thankful for my family, Sadie, cousins, my plants and flowers, my house, God and Jesus, going to my friends houses, my grandparents, my food, the rainbow, the heavens and the earth, and water."  Love it! 

Sam had a list of 35 things.  In the end he was just looking around the room naming things.  His first few were Mama, froggy (his favorite stuffed animal), Daddy, his sisters and dog, froggy's pillow, and wrestling with Daddy.  Number 17 was Moses and number 34 was Daddy's coffee. Pretty funny.  And I did point out to Chris that froggy beat him out for the number two spot! 

Anna made a long list as well starting with her family, her house and her stuffed elephant.  She had some fun items like sharpening her pencils, hamburgers, conditioner and Daddy's underwear.  I guess we're all thankful for that!

Sophia made an extensive list of 60 things she's thankful for.  Her family, dog, and stuffed polar bear topped the list followed by God and Jesus and the swim team.   As the list got longer, she was thankful for the USA military and the USA Navy, lots of states, the Earth and the Milky Way. 

But what I love most is that after she finished writing her list she asked to type it on the computer.  You see, in many, many ways, she's a lot like Chris.  She can be serious and also ridiculously goofy.  She is a book worm and loves learning new facts.  She LOVES the great outdoors, climbing trees, going on hikes, and finding "critters."  And physically, she shares a lot of his characteristics.  But typing a list....well that's all me.  I typed all my notes in college so they were organized and easy to study.  Honestly, it really warmed my heart to see her act a little like her mama. 

It's so nice to stop and really focus on all the amazing things we're thankful for.  The little things in our lives that bring us so much joy and happiness.  Even if it is Daddy's underwear! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Look what I brought home from school!"

Dreaded words for this mama.  I never know what they'll bring home, but usually, if it's announced with any amount of enthusiasm, I'm probably not going to like it very much.

This week Sophia's class dissected owl pellets.  Um, maybe you're a little smarter than me, but I wasn't quite sure what that was and had to google it.  I sort-of wish I hadn't!  Apparently, if I understand correctly, owls don't have teeth and can't chew their food so they rip their pray apart with their beaks and then swallow the large chunks whole.  As they digest it, they separate the meat from the bones then regurgitate the bones, feathers and fur in a pellet.  So appetizing.  It looks something like this:

Since my daughter loves all things gross, she and her lab partner divided their treasures and brought them home to share with all of us. 

More loveliness.  Now this bag of treasures sits on my kitchen counter.  I have no idea what to do with it because she's rather proud  of it.  She even said she saved the mouse's hip bone just for me.  I wasn't really sure how to respond to that.  But in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm just going to be thankful she thought of me. 


Thursday, October 25, 2012

The date to trash mountain...

Chris' parents like to take our kids out on a special date in honor of their birthday.  The girls usually go to lunch and a movie and out for a little shopping.  They LOVE the one-on-one time they get and it makes them feel very special!  Sam has really never gone since he's been so young.  But this year he got his chance.

When they asked him what he wanted to do, he told them he wanted to go on a date to the dump.  A date to the dump.  Yep, you read that correctly.  My guy dreams big!  Sam loves trash trucks, dump trucks, excavators.  If it's got wheels and moves, he loves it! 

So yesterday, Sam, Chris and Howard set out for a trip to the dump.  Or, as Howard affectionately called it, "trash mountain."  Howard had to get rid of an old, broken, sidewalk.  Afterwards, they planned to head to the sandpit to get a trailer load of sand for the new sidewalk.  Sam was told to bring his shovel along for the trip.  Here are a few pictures from the big date. 

They ended their day with a trip to McDonald's where a firetruck pulled up and Sam got to check it out.  Great way to end a day!  He had a blast!  I'm thinking Sam is going to enjoy "helping" Papa with more projects which might require trips to the dump in the coming years!  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

On becoming a Nitro.

This fall Sophia and Anna joined the Newton Nitro's year-round swimming team. Honestly, I'm not really sure what a Nitro is, but I guess that's not really the point.  Isabella also joined the team for their winter league.  It's only two months long and is set up to teach the younger ones the basics and work with the older ones on their technique.  She can't really swim yet, but it's only a matter of time I'm sure.  

Last Thursday they had a practice swim meet.  This was the first time we've had all three girls in a meet together.  So cute!   

They were so sweet and had an older girl walk along with Isabella and the other younger ones in the pool so they could at least try to participate.  She was very proud and tried the 25m free, back and fly.  Her little arms and legs were pretty sore that night! 
On Saturday, we took Sophia and Anna to compete at the Monster Splash at K-State.  We had to be on the road by 5:30am, so that meant Chris and I got up at 4:45.  Holy Moly!  I usually wake up at 7am so that was crazy early!   The night before I told Sam we were leaving before the sun would rise and he told me he would not get up before the sun.  A boy after my own heart!  
The girls did great getting best times in all of their events.  Then we walked around campus a little and took a picture in front of the student union to send to Uncle Chris!  The kids' Great Grandpa Walz built many of the buildings on campus so it was great to show them around a bit.  
We've had a busy few days around here, but lots of fun family time together!  And you can't beat that!  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Isabella's Baptism

Yesterday my sweet Isabella Grace was baptised by her Daddy.  It was such a special day.  She has been asking to be baptised for several months now.  But we waited until all three sets of her Grandparents could be there to watch.   

The water was a little more full than usual and she is just so stinkin' short that she couldn't really reach the bottom.  Her legs just kept floating to the side.  Pretty cute though. She might be small, but she has big faith in God and loves to pray for everyone in her sweet little voice!
Love the way she's looking at Chris! 
What a great Sunday!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

On sending my baby to preschool....

Yes, he's four, but he's still my baby!  My last baby.  And he has already been in preschool almost a month.  It's still taking me a little bit of time to adjust.  But, for the first time in 9 years and 4 months I am not 100% responsible for another human being for a few hours a week. 9 years and 4 months!!!!  It's been a while! 

But, two days a week, I have 2 1/2 hours to myself.  All four of my kids are in school for those 5 hours each week. All of them!   Now, Thursdays I am at work at church during that time, but on some of those Tuesdays, I'm totally and completely free to do what I want.  I have big plans.  Exercising.  Shopping.  Vegging out.  Yesterday, I did a little work at church and went to Wal-mart.  Not too exciting, but it doesn't matter, because I could have done anything during that time!  It's a good thing Sam has 2 years of preschool because I think it will take me that long to adjust to all of my kids being in school all day. 

Here's what he looked like on his first day of school!  Did I cry when I dropped him off?  Surprisingly, my eyes only watered a bit.  I just knew he'd be fine.  He'd be happy and he'd do his best to listen and follow directions.  He's grown up in church and our Parent's Day Out program, so going to class isn't a new thing.  And man does he love it!  As soon as his sisters get on the school bus he's asking me every two minutes if it's time to leave for preschool.  For 50 minutes he does this!  Some days I just put him in the car early just to get him to stop asking.  But, it's a good thing.  He loves going to school and is super excited to get there.  I'm hoping that continues for a long time! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The August I missed.

On August 1st we had our first of two well-child appointments.  Two, because my not-so-family-friendly pediatrician won't see all four kids in consecutive appointments.  It is apparently too difficult for her to make sure she does her job right.  (I'm paraphrasing of course!)  But, being that I'm a stay-at-home mom, all four kids came with me to the appointments anyways.  Go figure. 

The very next day Sophia was sick with a high fever.  Coincidence?  On a totally unrelated note, I think I'm done with well-child appointments unless the kiddos need immunizations.  Totally unrelated, of course!  The high fever lasted an entire week.  She was officially fever-free for the first day of school.  Then Chris got it for several days.  He has this amazing ability to sleep through his illnesses.  I dream of being able to just sleep the days/nights away when I'm sick.  Never happens. 

As soon as Chris was better Anna and I got sick.  But, oh, this virus took a turn for the worse!  Let me describe a few of the symptoms.  High fever, aches/pains, dizziness, exhaustion, terrible cough, sore throat, nauseousness, throwing up, headaches.  Well, you get the picture.  But it started with just the fever and sore throat.  I took her in right away to be tested for strep since that was already going around the school.  Awesome.  She didn't have strep, luckily.  A few days later her nurse called to give us the strep results and I asked again about the high fever.  According to Tylenol/IBP, you shouldn't stay continually on meds for that long.  But the nurse said to keep trying to manage the fever and continue on.  Then the cough came for both of us. And all the other symptoms! 

Finally, after a week of this I knew we needed to get to the doctor, but I couldn't even drive at that point, so we waited until Chris could take us to Immediate Care.  Anna was tested for Whooping Cough and diagnosed with Pneumonia.  They diagnosed me with dehydration and said they'd have to get me on an IV, but since they were closing soon, I should just start drinking 5 bottles of Gatorade a day.  Not so easy on a nauseous tummy!  Anna got a quick shot of drugs, but our regular doctor (lover her) wanted us to come in the next day so she could determine what antibiotics she wanted Anna on rather than let the other doctor just prescribe us something.  Nice of her really.  Uggh.  Of course, I still couldn't drive, so my mom came over to help!  We went in the next day  so she could write a script and so she could chastise me in front of an intern for not coming to her sooner.  Yes, I did take her in once, and talk to the nurse about it a few days later.  I'm pretty sure that counts for something. 

Then she told me I needed to get in to see my doctor asap.  So, I got an appointment for the next day.  Of course I still couldn't drive so mom came back again.  And I was loaded up with drugs.   Two different antibiotics, a prescription cough syrup and prescription pain killer.  Lovely.  It took Anna and I a full two weeks of being sick to see the light of day.  Then it took over a week to regain our energy to where we could actually stay awake all day long without a nap.  It then took Anna an extra week to get her body rested up so that she could stop being incredibly grouchy.  

But, I am here to say that after about 6 weeks, we all seem to be doing okay.  Sam and Isabella seemed to escape most of it except for a mild cough.  And for that day or two that my mom visited, my house was clean, laundry done, and the rest of the family had yummy home-cooked meals.  Thanks mom! 

But I feel like I missed August and part of September.  Our lives didn't stop.  We started our first year of school with all three girls going all day.  Sam started preschool.  I helped organize our elementary school's fun run fundraiser.  (I would not recommend trying to count thousands of dollars while you are deliriously sick.  Doesn't work well!!)  We had church, started year-round swimming, and life just kept going.  But it was a blur.  Here's hoping we all developed some strong resistance for the coming cold/flu season at least!  Because I might not survive another month like August!!  Here's hoping that your August went a little better than ours! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Under the bed in underwear.

A few nights ago I went in to Sam's room to check on him before I went to bed.  It's a good thing I did!  I couldn't find him.  He wasn't in his bed, or anywhere in sight.  I felt under the bed and after a while I found his sleepsak.  He used to wear it to bed, but then outgrew it and now he snuggles with it at bedtime.  So I grabbed Chris and we turned on the light.  

This is what we found...  

He was tucked in to the far corner under the bed. It was a really tight fit too!  We couldn't reach him and he wouldn't wake up for anything.  I finally started thumping on the floor and he woke up enough to slowly wiggle himself out.  We put him back in bed and he was out again!  I guess he was pretty tired!  And yes, for some reason he refuses to sleep in pj's or wear clothes very much.  So fair warning, if you drop by our house sometime, you will likely find him in his underwear! 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Why school should not start August 10th.

Look at this picture.  Isn't it great?  My daughters got off the bus on their first day of school and Anna was running toward me.  Running!  I was so happy.  I just knew she was running toward me so excited to tell me all about her first day of school. She must have really missed me, right?  Sophia was walking slowly - older and less excited I thought.  Then as they neared me, I thought I was going to have this incredible moment where we exchanged a huge hug while they told me all about their day.  Instead, Anna kept running and Sophia walked right on by.  They went right past me and into the front door.  I couldn't believe it! 

Then when I asked what they were doing, they said they were incredibly hot and thirsty.  You see, the bus doesn't have air conditioning, and it is August in Kansas.  And yes, I was the good mom who remembered to pack a water bottle in the morning for the girls.  But, when you pack a water bottle at 7:30am, it doesn't usually stay cold until 4pm when the girls are on the bus.  So they were desperate.  They were pink-cheeked from being so hot on the bus.  And yes, we only live a couple of miles from the school, but the bus makes the rounds to the other elementary schools before dropping kids off, so they are on the bus almost an hour before getting home (20 minutes later than last year). 

So, my number one reason why school should not start August 10th in Kansas is the heat.  It is always hot in Kansas in August.  Usually 100+, but luckily this week we got a huge break and it was only in the 90's.  Total cool front for us!  Yes the schools have A/C, but the busses don't. And the kids are on the bus for a long time.  Would you want to sit three to a seat with no A/C for an hour holding or wearing a bakpack?  Maybe we should encourage our school board members and superintendent to give it a try for a week.   I'm guessing we'd have a policy change pretty quickly!  Maybe parents should try it out.  Then we might be a little more vocal about the best interests of our kids! 

And it's not just the buses.   The kids are on the playground a lot.   And some of them are just too young to be expected to make the best decisions for themselves like sitting in the shade instead of running, climbing, and hanging from the monkey bars.  They come inside sweaty, pink-cheeked and desperate for water. 

Along with the best interests of the kids, comes the best interests of the tax payers.  It costs a lot to run the A/Cs in all the school building.  We are all seeing that in our electric bills.  Can you imagine what the school district's bills look like in August?  Yikes! 

Now, I do understand all the logistical reasons why we start school so early.  I know that high school teachers like the semeseter to end before Christmas.  It's easier for testing purposes not to have a two week break right before the end of the semester.  And, for early graduates who are starting college classes, it's easier logistically as well.  But, frankly, proportionally, I don't think that affects the majority of students.  I could be wrong there.  But I think the financial costs of running the A/C in August and the physical well-being of the younger students would off-set the benefit of starting August 10th. 

Plus, selfishly, I'd love a few more weeks of summer with my kids.  We were so busy we didn't have any time to squeeze in a vacation this year.  Definatly not the school district's fault, we're just busy people.  But I could have used two more weeks!  This was the first year ever that I actually considered home schooling just so I could make the schedule that would be best for my kids.  I really did think about it. 

Anyone else out there wish we started later?  Maybe it's just me! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

What happens when you arm your kids with Reddi-wip?

Sometimes Chris has selective hearing.  He has a tremendous ability to tune people (the kids and I) out.  Usually, he thinks this is a good thing.  But on his birthday it didn't work out that way! 

At lunch the kids were talking to him about the cake he wanted to eat.  He had decided to keep it simple and have strawberry shortcake.  Thank goodness!  So they started talking to him about Reddi-wip. 

It's not something we have in our house very often and the novelty was pretty exciting.  Well, at one point during the conversation, the kids got excited about the idea of taking Chris outside and spraying him with the whipped cream.  Since he wasn't actually listening, he agreed to their idea.  Later that night, we reminded him of what he had agreed to.  Then the fun began! 


Then they got to hose him down, and somehow everyone walked away wet.  It was a lot of fun - for us!  And just maybe he learned a lesson about listening.  I'm not crossing my fingers though.