About Me

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I am 36 years old and a mother of two beautiful little girls. Kevin and I have been married for 11 years. He is a stay-at-home dad who runs his own business from our home. I am a part-time 3rd grade teacher and have been teaching for 15 years. I live no more than 10 minutes away from my parents, in-laws, sisters, nieces, newest nephew, grandparents, aunts, and uncles... I wouldn't want it any other way!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Kevin's Going Away Party

My younger brother, Kevin, has always talked about moving away; and now he is! He is moving to Patrick's Air Force Base in Florida. He will be living right on the beach! Now, don't ask me what he does for the government, because I have no idea...Top Secret stuff you know! All I know is that he works in intelligence and he travels a lot.

We are all pretty excited for him. Our entire extended family got together to wish him well. Those in attendance were: Mom, Dad, Me, Kevin, Katelyn, Kennedy, Mindy, Tom, Joe, Emily, Ethan, Tiffany, Bobby, Caleigh, Reagan, Grandma, Gene, Pam, Hank, Paula, Brandi, Keith, Hannah, Leah, Brooke, Jason, Brent, Jessica, Judy, Brad, Jeannette, Steve, Cody, and Cassie. It was so great to have everyone together!

Here are some pictures from his family going away party, from his "friends and coworkers" going away party, and from MOVING DAY...

























The Jack Family


Kevin's former coworker, Jean, hosted a party for him too...











Moving Day...











So long little house...


"Fever"...Our 1st Stage Performance

As many of you know, Kevin and I started ballroom dancing just under two years ago. We went to the Arthur Murray studio on our anniversary in August 2007. After just two introductory classes, we were hooked. This past fall our instructor asked us if we would consider being in the next stage show. She and the other teachers had already found the perfect music for us...Michael Buble's "Fever." Kevin and I weren't so sure if we could really do a stage show. First of all, we had only been dancing for one year at that point...we were very basic beginners. Then, there is the time commitment of weekly practice; which means time away from the girls and relying on our parents for babysitting help. Of course, I loved the idea of being in a show! I have always loved to watch shows and have always secretly wished I could do it. Kevin, on the other hand, had never considered such a thing and wasn't too sure about all of this. As always, my wonderful husband said that if it was something that I wanted to do, he would do it for me...what a guy!!!

We started practicing about 8 or 9 months ago. We went to the studio once a week for a double lesson. The first lesson was always to practice our routine. The second lesson was often just for fun to keep us moving along with the other varieties of dance...swing, cha cha, rumba, waltz. I cannot say enough about how amazing our parents are. They are such a blessing to us and the girls! Both sets of parents would rotate weeks so that the girls were always with grandparents while we were dancing. It was a big commitment on the part of our parents and we truly couldn't have done it without them!

Our choreographer, Terry Irwin, is from Wisconsin. He is a U.S. Theatrical Arts dance champion himself and has choreographed and performed in Bob Hope's last U.S. Tour as well as several Miss America Pageants. Terry choreographed our routine specifically for the two of us. He didn't have any of the routine prepared at our first session. He wanted to get to know us as a couple. Then, he turned on the music and went to work. It was really impressive to watch him develop this routine out of nothing...a true artist!

Terry definitely pushed my comfort zone. His style is saucy and seductive to say the least (these are the words of my friend, Jodee). He said that he didn't want to make me too uncomfortable and to just speak up if I didn't want to do something. Well, pretty much the slightest wiggle is out of my comfort zone, but I told him that I wanted a challenge. Although a lot of the moves were clearly out of my comfort zone, I loved them!

Our teachers, Tyler and Christine, were very patient throughout the process. Tyler's big catch phrase throughout our lessons was, "Smooth Kevin." He said he was going to take my very tall husband and turn him into one smooth-moving guy...and he did!

The week of the show, we had practice Wednesday - Saturday. So, the girls and our parents were real troopers. We didn't see much of the girls this weekend until the night of the show. And our amazingly wonderful parents had the girls all weekend! I missed the girls so much and am glad to be back on a normal schedule so I can just be with them.

I am totally going to put ourselves out there with a small section of our very first stage show performance. It isn't perfect, but the mistakes were just minor timing issues. I was so afraid that one of us might just totally blank out and forget the routine due to stage fright. We were pretty pleased that the mistakes were minor and nothing too terribly noticeable. Here is the last fourth of our routine. Unfortunately, there were technical problems with my camcorder so we were unable to get the first three-fourths of the routine with our camera. So, I can't show you a lot of our "tricks"....lifts and such. Fortunately, there was a professional videographer, so we will eventually get a copy of the entire show on DVD.

Okay, here we are at the end of our routine...
video

Guess what...we have been asked to perform our routine again in October in Appleton, Wisconsin. Since I already have the dress, shoes, and accessories, we are going to go for it!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Our 1st Garden

I have been wanting a garden for the girls for the past two-three years. We didn't have a garden for two reasons: first of all, I didn't want to tear up the grass we worked so hard to get after building the house, secondly, Kevin kept telling me that we couldn't plant a garden where I wanted it because the house behind ours has a black walnut tree...I guess black walnut trees make the soil toxic to other plants because they don't like any competition for nutrients.

Well, some friends of ours, who just happen to be 2nd generation nursery/landscape specialists, had the perfect suggestion for us...a container garden! I took just one look at their beautiful container garden and I was sold! They had lush strawberry plants growing all around the ground where their containers were placed, so it was so beautiful and functional. We have missed the strawberry planting season for this year, but hope to get close to the same effect with our own containers of tomatoes, green peppers, green beans, cantaloupe, and pumpkins. We chose a section near the back of the property where we had recently cleared out a wooded area. It was in need of some lovin'...the garden would be perfect! Our hope is that the cantaloupe and pumpkin vines will trail down the containers and spread out along the ground around the containers...like our friends' strawberry plants did.

We were all pretty excited to get this garden going. We are getting a bit of a late start this spring, but that's okay. We should still be able to yield a decent harvest...just a little later in the summer. Here are some pics of Kevin and the girls working away...





Katelyn showing off for the camera...the girl doesn't have a shy bone in her body!












FYI...Did you know that planting marigolds around your garden plants will help keep the insects away? Another valuable tip from our gardening friends, the Scotts of Knollwood Garden Center. Each of our containers have some lovely marigolds too, which adds to the beauty:)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Koko and Pete

Take pictures of bunnies from Fairbrook. Explaing how she said, there's Koko and Pete" when we went to Fairbrook last spring for a carnival.

One For Me and One For Him

Kennedy - supposedly is the one who looks like me. Katelyn clearly looks just like Kevin. Kennedy organizes like me and loves to clean. Her bedroom takes a maximum of five minutes...tops to straighten up[ because she is so tidy. But Katelyn, her room takes a good hour to do it right. Kennedy - nothing under her bed, Katelyn...everything crammed under her bed. She decided to clean out from under her bed one day, much to my surprise! Well, in true Katelyn fashion, everything came out from under the bed and straight into the toy box, she was struggling to get the lid closed. She was so proud of herself, I didn't have the heart to tell her my true feelings. While Katelyn was working on her bedroom, Kennedy started in on the playroom (because her bedroom was already finished). Kennedy did a beautiful job organizing the baby doll section of the room.. Then, she came out and asked if I could help her because she was missing one pink baby doll shoe...be still my heart!!!! She likes to inventory toys like her mama! We didn't have to search long before that pink shoe was found and all was right again in the world according to Kennedy and Mommy (I have to give Katelyn credit, she was actually the one who found the shoe...Kennedy had accidentally placed it with the socks...heaven forbid mixing socks and shoes:). Those of you that know me well are probably laughing that Kennedy likes to keep track of toys because you all know that I used to keep a list of "Missing toys parts" on the fridge in the old house. Fortunately for Kevin, our new fridge isn't magnetic, so the list is no more:) Katelyn never knew about that list...it was in the BK days...before Kennedy time.



It has been challenging for me to play with Katelyn for the last several years. Our brains just don't think alike and we just can't seem to play in a way that works with both of us. But Kennedy, that girl and I can sit down and do some serious doll playing. I feel bad that I can't play as easily with Katelyn, but it is just so challenging...she intermixes games and activities, she makes up her own games and plays in ways I never would have thought of. She is very creative and imaginative. Kennedy and I are more traditional with our play...we dress the babies, feed the babies, put the babies to sleep, etc.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Goodbye Kindergarten...Hello 1st Grade!

The way the school year ended really worked out nicely for me. The school district where I teach finished an entire week earlier than Katelyn's school for the year. It was so perfect being off during Katelyn's last week because I was then able to participate in a few end-of-the-year activities for Kate's class.

Here she is getting off the bus on her very last day of kindergarten! What this picture doesn't show is Katelyn running full-speed toward me with a huge smile on her face. Once she got to me, she threw her arms around me and gave me the world's best hug. It was one of those genuine moments that couldn't have been planned...perfectly spontaneous and I loved it!



Now I can share some of the activities I was able to help out with since I was off work already...

I was able to help chaperone her spring field trip to Carriage Hill Farm.





Kevin and I both attended "Pet Day." Katelyn took a picture of Gunther, which she decided not to share. She also took her only living pet...Nemo. Nemo is a hermit crab that was given to us by some graduating UD seniors a year ago. Poor Nemo has an OSU football helmet super glued to his shell...did I mention that he was given to us by college kids...that would explain the football helmet.






I was also able to help out with field day. Unfortunately, it rained on field day. But the day went on as scheduled indoors...with some adjusted activities. The kids still had a great time, and since they are kindergartners, that had no idea what they were even missing.




One of the moms planned a "School's Out" party after school on the very last day at a local park. It was really fun to see the kids relaxing, playing, and just enjoy being together as a class this one last time. The class will be divided 5-ways for 1st grade...there are over almost 110 students in this kindergarten group. Some of Katelyn's current BFF's are: Alayna, Lyndsay, Emily, and Riley.






I feel bad that I don't have a picture of Kennedy on her last day of school. I was sick in bed that day...laryngitis. I didn't get out of bed until 4:00...sorry Kenny Bear! If it helps at all, I snapped this super-cute picture of Kennedy enjoying a cupcake at Katelyn's last day party.





Katelyn received her report card, which I was anxiously awaiting. She had a perfect report card! 100% Yes on her mastery of skills/standards as well as all Yes on behavior...yippee! I am also thrilled with her reading, writing, and math skills...thrilled! My favorite part of her comments is that she always comes in with a smile and ready to work:)


Oh my goodness...1st grade!!! I cannot believe that my baby (oldest baby) has finished kindergarten. She is a full -fledged elementary school-aged kid now!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Katelyn

Pet Day and story from Kyle's mom - who is Katelyn's mom? Did you hear what happened at the assembly last week? Her 5th grade daughter came right home and told her what haopened...said the entire school, including teachers and principal were laughing. Of course, Katelyn hadn't mentioned any of this to us. When I asked her later that day what happened at the assembly...she said, oh yeah, you mean when Kyle told everyone that he wants to marry me...he says that all the time.

Kennedy at 3


seeping booty



big grrr (big girl)



animated with her body when talking



Drama Queen



Well, if you don't, then,... - big threats!



Lies, oh the girl lies




Giggle box...with an infectious giggle


I'm not a yucky girl...I'm a yucky (lucky) girl!


Post a picture of her on her two-wheeled bike with training wheels - one with panties and one fully dressed. And pics from July 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer is Here!

Yeah...summer break has officially begun!
(at least for Kennedy and me, poor Katelyn still has one more week of school)
We kicked off the 1st weekend of summer break with the first of many trips to the pool.

Here is Katelyn's big splash after jumping in!



Kennedy was pretty happy herself to be in the water




Riding on Daddy's back





Oh swimming pool, we hope to spend many a warm, sunny days with you this summer. The girls love to order lunch at the pool and this year, I think I am going to try some tropical "adult" drinks poolside as well.


Although we are pretty busy this summer, I love that the girls have time to just play outside and have fun too. We have already stayed up late, caught lightening bugs, and played flashlight tag. I am sure we'll set up the tent and have a girls-only camp out one night here soon...a summer tradition!

Here is one last summer-fun picture. It isn't the best quality picture because it was after sunset, but I captured the memory...right? Look how much fun they are having on that circular swing and an old, but much-loved tree.



We "Heart" Summer!