Thursday, January 29, 2009

Goodnight Kansas

I'm almost glad Kansas day is over. It's been a long day. I just love this picture of my 4 year-old. Here is McKenna trying to pass the time until dessert!
Kansas Multi-media Art project. If you can see-it's all info about our state -bird, flower, insect, song, amphibian, etc...

We didn't get the Kansas flag made. But, Avery colored the middle section-

The sunflower cake! I stole this idea from someone else. one layer of chocolate cake with frosting and sunflower kernels. Twinkies are the petals. Avery and Kenna said they've never had twinkies before. At first, I felt a little sad. What kid doesn't like twinkies? Then I went to the store and paid for them. $4!!!!!! for one box!!!!!! They won't have twinkies again until next Kansas day!
I hope you all had a great Kansas day. And if you don't live in Kansas, well...

More Kansas info

Avery's education specialist-fancy word for the real teacher who holds me accountable as Avery's parent teacher- sent me this list of cool Ks links.

Websites About Kansas (Kansas Day—Jan 29) Information about the state of Kansas with links for worksheets Information from the Office of the Governor about the state of Kansas…including information about the Capitol and the Kansas Quarter, as well as a link to some online activities for Kansas kids. A photo tour of various points of interest in Kansas Various facts and a timeline of Kansas History. Might be more of a parent resource than a kids’ website. A list of books for elementary students about Kansas…hopefully, they aren’t all snagged up at the local libraries :o) Another timeline on the history of Kansas—going back to the “geological ages.” More of a parent resource than a child website.

Happy Kansas Day!

On this day back in 2003, we lived in Kentucky and I was 1 day past our due date with Avery. I was hoping she would come on January 29th as a Ks day present, or something. She didn't come for another 6 days. I was teaching in an elementary school and decorated my door with a big Ks sunflower. Everyone asked why and when I explained that it was Ks Day they all said they had no idea when Kentucky day was. I feel so blessed to have grown up here. I love Kansas. I love that we get to experience all 4 seasons. I love that you can see for miles and miles. I love the fact that my husband was raised in Kansas and shares his love for home with me. He has his own tribute to our beloved state here. We have some fun activities planned for today. First was breakfast.a Sunflower -aka Life cereal and bananas. And Avery, still in rollers, with a waffle and banana sunflower breakfast.

And while it may not be as poetic as Kevin's noted authors, Rich Mullins wrote some great lyrics about our neck of the woods. You can even get this song as a ring tone...

Well the moon moved past Nebraska andSpilled laughter on them cold Dakota Hills

And angels danced on Jacob's stairs

There is this silence in the BadlandsAn over Kansas the whole universe was stilled

By the whisper of a prayerAnd the single hawk bursts into flight

And in the east the whole horizon is in flames

Chorus:I feel the thunder in the skyI see the sky about to rain And I hear the prairies calling out Your name I can feel the earth trmble beneath The rumbling of the buffalo hooves

And the fury in the pheasant's wings It tells me the Lord is in His temple and there is Still faith that can make the mountains move

And a love that can make the heavens ring Where the sacred rivers meet beneath The shadow of the Keeper of the plains

From the place where morning gathers You can look sometimesForever 'til you see

What time may never know How the Lord tilts corners this old world And shakes us forward - shakes us free To run wild with the hope The hope that this thirst will not last long That it will soon drown In the song not sung in vain I know this thirst will not last long, that it will Soon drown in the song not sung in vain I feel the thunder in the skyI see the sky about to rain

And with the prairies I am calling out Your name

Check back later for more ks day pix and recaps...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Presley's Perfect!

Presley had her 4 month check-up/shots yesterday. She was great. Avery had an online class to take, so Kevin stayed home with the older girls and I took Presley by myself. It was crazy cold out. The Dr. said she was perfect. She said to keep feeding her every 3 hours. Darn, I was hoping to go to 4. Some nights, it's almost impossible to stay up 'til the 10pm feeding. Anyway, 3 shots later and we're done for another 2 months.
Presley Faith at 4 months
14 lbs 2 oz
24 1/2 inches
perfect in every way!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Faith Ringgold and Quilts

In school today, Avery learned about the artist Faith Ringgold. She also studied a quilt (pictured above) that Ringgold made called the Sunflowers Quilting Bees at Arles. After the lesson, the girls made their own "quilts" using construction paper and oil pastels.

High Tea and Tummy time

aka-Oreos and milk!
Presley only likes this position for about 10 seconds. Then she lets everyone know she DOESN'T like it anymore...

Last year on this day...

I found out I was pregnant with #3. It was the day after McKenna's birthday. I went to my friend, Sally's baby shower. In the midst of conversation and talk of babies, I began thinking about when I was supposed "to start." After I did some quick math, I realized I was already "late." After the shower, I had to rush to church for a Financial Peace class. On the way, I stopped at Walgreens and got a test. I waited until after class. We all came home and I immediately went to the bathroom. Positive within seconds! I was speechless. I was trying to decide if I should wait to tell Kevin or not b/c this was not planned and totally out of the blue. He didn't even know I stopped to get the test. I went into the kitchen to where he was and I just couldn't stop smiling. I told him and he handled it very well. I didn't know what to expect and I'm still curious to know what he was really thinking. We kept this to ourselves until Easter weekend. Actually, Kevin let it out of the bag to some friends at church on accident. But, whatever. This was probably the easiest pregnancy of the 3. I remember being so excited, yet so uncertain at the same time. I think I still feel this way. We aren't "normal" anymore. The world caters to the family of 4. We don't fit that mold anymore. But, then again, who wants to be normal? I love being a mom and there was a time in life when I didn't know if I'd get to be one. I don't ever want to take these precious children God gave me for granted. I only have them for a short time. I want to enjoy every moment of their lives. I am so grateful for this season I'm in right now. January 26, 2008. My world changed for the better...

ok-unfair question, but what happened to you last year on this day?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

McKenna Grace is 4

This is how the day started for Abby. Today is McKenna's 4th birthday. She woke up way early to a house full of streamers and Happy Birthday signs. Here is Abby amid the excitement.
She opened her presents first thing. Here are the girls playing with McKenna's present from her Texas cousins. Beach Barbie...

McKenna's meals for the day-Breakfast was Bubble loaf. Lunch was Wendy's. Tonight is Red Beans !
And yes, she wore the tiara to church and got MANY compliments. Our church celebrated a birthday today also, so she had quite the party this morning. Inflatables and all...

After church, we went to Walmart and McKenna picked out a brand new bike. She's so excited and it's crazy cold out today. She rode it for about 30 seconds, then decided it was too cold.

McKenna is such a delight. She loves life and is the cutest 4 year-old I've ever seen. She keeps us on our toes and she is going to change the world someday. She was a miracle baby and continues to surprise us every day. Happy Birthday, McKenna. We love you!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Family Fondue night!

Baby, it's cold outside. So Kevin built a fire and we had a picnic in front of it. Abby is NOT happy. We had to put her in her kennel so she wouldn't eat all of our food.For supper, we had carrots, toasted spinach rigatoni, cheesy garlic bread and pizza fondue. It was so yummy! After supper, we played Operation and Hungry Hungry Hippos.
For dessert-chocolate fondue w/ marshmellows, cream puffs, and strawberries. Here is McKenna showing her appreciation.

Best Friday night. Ever.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

KU Day for the Osborns

So, we left the house at 6:31am yesterday for Lawrence. Everyone traveled well. Praise God for dramamine. Got to KU campus a little after 9. The girls and I dropped Kevin off at his building, then we went to find Bath and Body works. I had this coupon and really wanted to use it. We/I got really lost. Finally made it back to KU. Went to parking garage to park and feed Presley. Then, the girls and I headed to the Museum. It was pretty cool.We found out that KU isn't really stroller friendly. I carried the stroller up those steps and into the museum. Then I was informed that we came in on the 4th floor and the wheelchair access is on the 3rd floor. Whatever.

Here is a real working bee hive. There is a tunnel where the bees can get outside the building. Here is a picture Avery drew after we got home of the bears we saw. How do you explain taxidermy for a 3 and 5 year-old? Anyway, we had a good time. I wish Kevin could've gone with us to the museum. He would have like it, too.

He passed his proposal and is in full-blown dissertation mode now. That's great news. We celebrated be eating at Culvers. Then Kevin took me to use the coupon. Then we found a park so Kevin and the girls could play and I could feed Presley. Then we went to the LVS offices. Then back to Wichita, with a pit stop in Benton. Back home at 5:07pm. We had a great day.

Tried to shoo the girls to bed so we could watch LOST. I forgot how tense that show is. I tried to lay in bed and watch but had to sit up b/c I was so stressed out! Can't wait til next week.

This morning, in the midst of laundry and cleaning, we did school and focused on the Bible story of Joseph. We are going to see the dress rehearsal of Friends' production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat tonight. I'm so excited. Kevin and I were both in Joseph... at Friends 15 years ago when they did it. Brings back lots of good memories.

We're heading outside to spend as much time bike-riding as possible. Looks like today will be our last good weather day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Change of Plans

One advantage of homeschooling is that we get to set our own schedule. I had planned to have school every day this week. ok, really only 3 days, since Monday was a holiday and I have to work on Friday. But we can usually get almost 5 days worth of school in that time, so it's no big deal. Last night, over supper, Kevin asked if we all wanted to go up to KU on Wednesday. He is going up there to do a proposal for his dissertation so he can be a doctor. PhD that is. Not the kind of doctor that makes money, lol. Anyhoo, we decided to tag along with him. I'm excited. The girls will get to see KU and we're going to the Museum of Natural History while Kevin is in his meeting. I'm a little nervous about taking all 3 girls by myself. This museum has 6 floors! Kevin said we can skip the 5th floor, since that's the Evolution floor-
If you can, please pray for Kevin tomorrow between 10 and noon. After he finishes his proposal, we'll go somewhere to eat and celebrate. Then head back to Wichita. Lost starts back up tomorrow night, so we'll need to get home and get the kids in bed!


I was going to post on the inauguration today, what we did in school, what channel we watched (Fox news), and how we explained this day to the girls. Then I read this post, now I'm melancholy. Yes, this is an historical day. Yes, it's a day of celebration. A new day has dawned. But is it a better day? I'm not so sure.

I sit here at the table watching Fox news-Fair and Balance, they say-McKenna is reading a story to Presley, Avery is decorating a map of North America. Thank you God for a country that allows me to teach my children. Thank you God for a President that looked to You for guidance. Thank you God, for Your protection on this nation. May it always be under You. Amen.

Last night, the girls and I were making banana bread. Avery said, "Mom, I know who our new President is...Barack Obama." Then, McKenna said, "And I know who the president of our house is...Daddy!"

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ways to save

I'm new to the world of coupons. I'm finding it takes some time and a little work to get the hang of the coupon game. I follow these blogs designed to match coupons with items on sale for maximum savings.

Money Saving Mom-she lives in Wichita, but blogs about deals all over. I love her site.

$5 Dinners-this Mom posts recipes for her family that can be made for 5 dollars or less. She also just had a guest post about e-coupons

Common sense with Money-this site is really good for Kroger, Walgreens, and Target sales.

Stretching a Buck-I read this every day.

Meal Planning Mommies-I found this last week and it is quickly becoming a favorite.

I just started using e-coupons. These are coupons that can be loaded onto your Kroger/Dillons card. I use,, and P&GSaver

I also use printable coupons from here, here, and here.

Also, did you know that you can use manufacter coupons with store coupons? I didn't until recently. That means, if you have a Dillons coupon for an item and a coupon from the newspaper, you can use them both for one item. Also, Dillons doubles coupons up to a dollar. My friend, Lissa, told me about this site. I'm thinking of joining. I learned last week that Kevin's grandma gets the Sunday paper, but doesn't use the coupons, so I'm hoping to score extra coupons by using hers as well.

This does take some time. I "had" to buy a new purse to hold my coupon organizer. But I'm already seeing the reward and the money saved by using coupons and checking out the sales each week.

So, what am I missing? Do you have any favorite money saving sites? Leave a comment and share...

Quotes and Questions of an almost 4 year-old...

My precious McKenna-
"Dad, why are you and Mommy always hugging?"
"Mom, can we sing Santa Claus is comin to town?" asked 1-18-09 on the way to church...
"Dad, does everyone in the whole world go to church?"
Yesterday, she went to Presley, who was crying and said, "Presley, don't worry, you're not on the naughty list"
I love being her mom and watching her grow, think, and learn. She is the sweetest little girl who's growing up fast-

What we're eating this week-

It's been a while since I've posted our weekly menu. Here goes...


cereal, yogurt, granola bars, scrambled eggs, waffles, bagels, etc...


Chef salad, Turkey bagelwiches (recipe coming this week!), hummus w/ pita chips and veggies, soup/grilled cheese


Monday-Tacos, guacamole, chips

Tuesday-Tilapia, broccoli and cheesy rice

Wednesday-Sweet and Sour meatballs, rice, corn

Thursday-Chicken dumplings, salad, pears

Friday-either breakfast stuff or Pizza fondue

this week is busy-Today Kevin's off, Tuesday, Avery has an illuminate lesson with other LVS kindergarteners, we'll probably try to have some inauguration lesson and make a trip here. Wednesday, Kevin goes to KU for his proposal. Thursday night, we're going to Friends' dress rehearsal of Joseph....Friday, off to work I go!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Final Friday thoughts

Today is my last Friday before the spring semester starts. I'm spending it playing with my girls, doing some school lessons, cleaning and thinking...
  • We studied Antartica this morning. Colored penguins-did you know that after the mom penguin lays the egg, the dad stays with the egg for 2 months guarding it? The dad doesn't even eat for those 2 months. He just stands with the egg on his feet, his belly hung over the egg, protecting it. Cool-
  • this week in language arts we read Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel. I remember reading this book when I was in elementary school. Avery and McKenna both loved the book and activities that went with it.
  • We have post-it notes all over our house. Avery is learning about matter in science and yesterday she had to identify 10 solids in our house.
  • Avery is almost halfway done with her kindergarten year. She is doing soooooo well. I'm amazed at what she is learning and how she is growing. Kevin and I are talking about what to do next year. More thoughts to come...
  • My folks are in town and my mom is making chicken gumbo tonight. Her family is from Louisiana and she makes the BEST gumbo. Period. She only makes it once or twice a year, so I'm glad she's making it here!
  • I've been nursing a cold this week. I'm also nursing Presley, so I haven't taken much medicine. Presley has a yucky nose this morning. Ugh! And so the season begins...
  • McKenna just realized it's 9 days until her birthday. She's so excited!!!!
  • Kevin and I have some planning and shopping to do-McKenna turns 4 on the 25th, Avery turns 6 10 days later.
  • It's hard having birthdays so close after Christmas. It requires extra planning and saving. Before the holidays, we talked about going up to KC for the weekend to celebrate, just hanging out at the hotel pool and enjoying family time, etc...Now, we're thinking maybe swimming at the Y and a meal at McDonalds!

I'm looking forward to a 3 day weekend. Kevin will probably need to work on his dissertation, though. I'm glad he'll have the time to do it. No home projects, no other plans. Just family. And probably a basketball game or 2...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

In school this morning, Avery was doing some independent reading. Presley was laying down, McKenna was coloring. I went upstairs to get some coffee. I came back to find this...
How cute!!!! I love my girls-

I'd rather have the drink...

My sister's friend, Brandi, (actually she's my friend, too) put some pictures of the tumbleweeds that overtook her parents house over Christmas break. Un-believable! Click here to see.

I've never had a tumbleweed drink before-but it sure sounds good. Kevin got Tumbleweed flavored gelato a couple of weeks ago and it was yummy!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Project Master bedroom


In the 11+ years that Kevin and I have been married, we've never really decorated our master bedroom. We've had 7 different bedrooms, 5 different comforters (we have 3 kids, a dog, and I used to buy cheap bedding) In 2 of our bedrooms, we've painted the walls, but never hung any pictures or anything. It's been 22 months since we moved to our current home. Last year, I started a savings account earmarked "Master bedroom" and it has been growing, slowly. I've shopped off and on, but never bought anything b/c I didn't really know when we'd tackle this project.
Kevin made the mistake of saying we should go ahead and paint the bedroom over Christmas break. I told him that I didn't know if I wanted to paint b/c I didn't have the bedding and wanted to make sure it matched. To this, he responded by telling me to go shopping. AHHHHH-music to my ears. Or so I thought. I made probably 20 different trips to various places (Kohl's, Dillards, Penneys, Hobby Lobby, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond) over Christmas break. It wasn't as fun as I thought it would be. But I LOVE our new bedroom

What's next? Nothing....until Kevin is finished with his dissertation. Then, it's painting the basement(not much money, just a lot of time) and remodeling the master bath!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Mark's home

Found out this morning that Mark, the guy I've been praying for for the last month went Home last night. I don't know this guy, he's a complete stranger. Yet, I feel such a loss. I feel so bad for his wife, my heart is aching for her today. It's such a weird feeling.
My parents got a call in the middle of the night last night about another death. The mother-in-law of my uncle. She's been fighting cancer for 2 years and passed away Wednesday night. A friend from church had a post earlier this week about funeral songs. A few years ago, my dad did a sermon on how to plan your own funeral. My plan is written in my bible, just fyi.
Another dear friend's husband lost his job this week. I can't imagine her life right now. She's such a strong woman, yet she's had one thing after another go "wrong" in the last year or so.
It's been a strange week, trying to process these events. They don't affect me, but I feel sad, none the less.
On a much lighter note, I'm looking forward to this weekend. We plan to go swimming at the Y tonight when Kevin gets home. Saturday the girls have a b-day party to go to, Kevin will get some much needed time to himself to work on his dissertation, then we may have a date night tommorow night. Hopefully, it will include a meal at Bella Luna or Olive Garden! Then, we are going to budget for 2009. Why talk finances during date night? Because we won't have 3 kids begging for our attention and we can have a thought-provoking conversation at a decent hour. I don't think clearly past 9pm. Sunday should be fun, too. Church and nothing else. Always makes for a good day, don't you think?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Praying for Mark

I found out about Mark on Heather's blog before Christmas. Mark is a normal 30 some year old guy-husband, father, employee, etc...He was in a dirt bike accident on December 12 and has been clinging to life ever since. I've thought about him and his wife several times in the last month. Today I'm praying for a miracle. Will you join me?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The last 2 weeks

These last 2 weeks went way too fast! Here's a recap in pictures... We make a birthday cake every year to celebrate the birth of Christ.
Christmas morning. This is what Santa brought the girls-Avery, a new bike. McKenna, a dollhouse, Presley, an activity mat. They all loved their gifts. Avery just about lost her breath when she saw the bike, she was just overwhelmed with joy.

Great-Grandma Viola holding Presley at the Osborn family Christmas. This is my favorite picture.

Presley all bundled up

Grandpa Keating reading the Christmas story in the Bible on his I-phone at the Keating family Christmas. The girls are waiting patiently to open their gifts.

Avery posing-

Abby is exhausted after a busy Christmas morning!

We had a wonderful time with family and friends over break! My favorite part was getting to spend time with Kevin. I love having him home with us. We spent time watching movies, playing games, painting and redecorating our bedroom (pix coming soon!), bowling, staying up late, and sleeping in. Presley sleeps about 10 hours at night now, so it was nice. We let the girls stay up later than usual and they slept til 9 most days.
Part of me is ready to get back into a schedule, routine. I'm ready to have my house back to "normal." Ready to get Avery and McKenna back in school. Ready for some snow!!!! Hope you all had a great Christmas season and are ready for 2009-

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Highlights of 2008 include

Goals for 2009 include:

  • watch less TV

  • maintain workout schedule

  • preparing healthier foods for the family
  • at least one date night a month with Kevin (we need to communicate and work out a plan as to who plans the date, gets the sitter, etc...)

  • pay down more debt, increase giving and savings

  • paint the basement sometime this spring or early summer

  • brainstorm ideas for a bathroom remodel-after Kevin is a dr.

  • organize my home-I have more junk drawers, closets, and rooms than I care to admit.

  • plan more family time
I explained goals and resolutions to the girls and here are theirs for 2009
Avery-ride my bike more
McKenna-go to the park, ride my bike without training wheels

If you could only have one resolution, what would it be? Mine would probably be the date night thing. I love spending time with my husband. Maybe because date nights usually mean a restaurant and means I don't cook for one night a month. Maybe it's b/c that's when I feel most like an adult, a wife, instead of mommy. Well, whatever the reason, the date night is what I'm looking forward to this month.