17 August, 2014

Dane's first day of school

Dane started Riley County School August 14. He will be doing all day Kindergarten. My biggest deal about thinking about buying a new house was that I didn't want my kids to change schools. If we are going to do it, we are going to do it now before he starts school in a different school district and then has to transfer. I was an army brat and moved a lot and I do not want that for my kids. So this was a big sticking point for me.

Dane has been looking forward to Kindergarten since he turned 4, because he knew when he turned 5 he got to go to Kindergarten and ride the bus. Well, I didn't have the heart to tell him he was not going to be riding the bus yet because he wasn't old enough in mom and dad's opinion, but whatever...

A few weeks before school Dane and I were talking about school and he was like "what time will I go around lunch time?" and I was like "no honey you will go all day like how long dad is at work for" and he got this look on his face like he was devastated and could not believe it. HA! It seriously took him like a week to get over the fact that he will be there all day every day. To me it seems like a big change especially for the kids who haven't been in preschool the last two years, but whatever its not my decision.

We went to back to school night and Dane got to meet his teacher. One of the perks of a small town is that we already know his teacher personally. We are so thankful that we got a good teacher, and she is highly recommended as well. He was so excited to drop off his school supplies and see his classroom.

The first day, we headed out to take the 30 minute drive. On the way there, Dane told me his stomach was kind of "hurtin' " but not really. I told him those were butterflies and that he was nervous. He assured me he wasn't nervous but I know that is what it was. It brought tears to my eyes because I don't ever want my child to be nervous and anxious but part of this going to school thing is realizing that you can't always protect your child from everything. Sometimes they have to feel those feelings, there is nothing you can do. And that's hard.

We got to school and everyone was waiting in the front. We found his teacher and she told him to take a seat. He sat there and he looked so cute and nervous. Then they all lined but and he did the same. It was SO cute but was actually killing me. So many thoughts were going through my mind.
Is he going to be good? Is he going to make friends? Is he going to miss me? Is he going to have an accident at school? So many thoughts. As they walked inside I lost it. I was not sure how I was going to react but I couldn't contain myself. I have been with this child basically every day of his life until now. Now I pass him off to elementary school where I have to trust that he is going to make good choices and that the people who are in charge are going to do their best with him. That is hard for this control freak mama!
I read this article and bawled the whole way through because it was so me! 

Dane had a great time at Kindergarten. He came out with a huge smile on his face! I was thankful for that. His whole nervous demenour from earlier in the day disappeared and he was the kid I know.

The next day was easier for him to leave, and he did tell me he got a "sit down" which I wasn't surprised about. The reason was "playing too loudly" . Sounds like my Dane. Ha! At least I know that he isnt sitting in the corner of the room being shy. That just isn't him.

So proud of my big boy, can't wait to see what is ahead for you bud!

Knox's First Day of School

Knox Lee started preschool at the same private preschool Dane attended for two years. It is going to be a drive (40 minutes) from our new home in Riley but after much discussion we thought it was the right choice. Knox was accepted into the Riley school preschool but it was an all day 5 days a week school, and we were not prepared for that. I was having a hard enough time wrapping my brain around Dane going to school all day every day!
Such a silly face maker!

Knox started August 12. He will go 2 days a week. We have been talking to him about preschool for the past few months and basically every time we do, he says "no I don't want to go, I'm scared!" or "but I'm gonna miss you!" and didn't like to think about it. So I was not sure how he was going to react when we had the first day.

We made a countdown on the corkboard and they pulled off a piece of paper each day to tell them how many more days until school started. I was hoping that would be a good way to amp him up for school, and it worked until the day of. When I read him that last paper and it said "school today!" he was less than thrilled. When it was time to go he was complaining and not that interested. You could tell he was nervous. It is amazing how different Dane and Knox are. Dane is very outgoing, loud, personable, and loves to spend time with others. Knox is more introverted and is content playing with himself at the park, etc, and being close to mom and dad. It is like Dane is Derek's personality and Knox is mine.

Anyway, we got to school, walked him in, and he put his backpack down on his hook and ran right into the playroom. We quickly hugged him and he was off to the races. I could not believe it had went that smooth.

The second day he had school did not go as well. It was also Dane's first day of Kindergarten, and we have to drive Dane 30 minutes there and 30 minutes back and then back again to pick him up (so 2 hours in the car total) until we are able to move to Riley, so Knox had to wake up way earlier than normal and being in the car all morning, then went straight to school from Dane's school. He was NOT happy. It pretty much breaks your heart to see your kid not want you to leave. It is something I have never experienced before. Dane never once did that and I never leave them at a daycare. But on the way home I got a text from his teacher (one of the many reasons I love his teacher!) with a photo saying " I know you must be worried but don't be, he is fine! ) And when I picked him up he was in a much better mood.  The one thing he could not wait to do was paint in his new school!

It is just tough for kids to deal with so much change. Lots of things are changing. New house, new town, new schools for both, driving form the time being. Moving makes distractions for mom and dad. But they are good kids and I know they are going to adjust great. I just can't wait to get them into their forever house and get them settled.

06 August, 2014


This was not something we were expecting to do. We were not in the market. This was not in our even 2 year plan. We were content where we were, living the way we were with not hesitation.

One day, Derek's bosses wife told Derek about his beautiful house that was just perfect for his family and he just had to see it. It is in Riley, Kansas. A small town in a completely different school district. So initially without looking at the photos or hearing any of the details I said "NOPE!" We aren't even planning on moving until Knox starts Kindergarten and we wanted our kids to go to Rock Creek Schools. But then, Derek showed me a photo of the house one the listing and my jaw dropped. I slept on it and when I woke up it was still on my mind. So, we made an appointment and went to look at it.

We were very intrigued as we did that first walk through. This place was huge. 3,054 square feet to be exact. Hard wood floors. Beautiful woodwork. 4 bedrooms and a nonconforming play room. Wrap around porch in addition to an enclosed sunroom. Carriage house (garage) and large outbuilding or "shop". Character, Character, Character. We were immediately interested. But could we do it? Could we afford to live in a house like this? How is this possible?? Well, the house was basically, in our opinion, a steal. So we went home and crunched the numbers, the owner gave us utility info and we got property tax and home owners insurance quotes. When we decided that it IS something that was doable, we then had to ask ourselves if it was something we really WANTED. There were things we absolutely loved about the house, and there were things that we didn't love. The house is 120 years old and it needs work. More than a little work. It is not that the house is unlivable, but it definitely needs some upgrades and attention to some areas. This is a big property with lots of areas to care for. This is a traditional style house (obviously it is a 1895 Victorian) with a more closed off feeling. Are we prepared to move our kids into a different school district this quickly when Dane is supposed to start Kindergarten in a month? Do we want to move 15-20 minutes away from town? There were so many factors that came into play. Sometimes we went in waves and were unsure if this was the right thing. But we just kept coming back to it. It is just too many square feet, too much character, too much potential to pass up. So we went ahead and put in the offer.

We had the inspection that was 83 pages long. My initial reaction was my heart fell to my stomach, I was overwhelmed. I didn't know all of the things the inspector was referring to and I didn't know how serious they were. Thankfully, Derek explained to me that there was nothing in that report that was a deal breaker. The inspector suggested we hire a structural engineer because of the age of the home. We got a green light from the engineer which was one of our main concerns. So with relief we decided to keep moving forward. Now we are just waiting to get our appraisal back from the bank and we are scheduled to close August 28.

To say this has all been a whirlwind is an understatement. There have been times when I am completely overwhelmed and feeling like "what am I getting myself into??"  But then I try to relax and focus on the good. I can worry my life away and never enjoy the great things that come my way if I am too scared to tackle them. This is such an opportunity for us, and for our family to have a great forever house to live in and grow in and be very happy in and be able to put our own stamp on it as we go along. It is just all very terrifying. Going from a mobile home where you have little to no maintenance to a huge property that requires a lot of maintenance and upkeep is scary. But it is worth it. You don't get to have the fruits without the labor. I am just someone who doesn't love change. I like to live in my little bubble and plan things out to what my kid is going to wear two weeks from Tuesday but that is not what life is all about. Life sometimes just happens. Life throws you curve balls at every turn and you just have to learn ho to handle them.

Wish us luck and a smooth transition in every way possible! This is a huge leap of faith but we trust that it is the best opportunity for us in the long run!

Our Summer

Our summer has went by in what seems like a blink of an eye. There hasn't been too much in particular going on, other than just the usual summer activities and spending time with family. Lets see if I can hit most of the bases here.

Dane finished T-ball. He had a great time! He did pretty good too.

I gained 2 nieces which is SO FUN! I love little girl things, their outfits, to die!

I threw a shower for my sister in law and the theme was pink zebra. I have never done a girl party before so that was fun!

My sister-in-law (different than the one who had the baby) and her boyfriend Jake moved to Florida a few weeks ago. Now I have two sisters to visit in Florida! Can't wait!! So we have been spending a lot of time with them lately. We are going to miss them very much :(

We took the boys to the Riley County fair. They had so much fun. Knox was not interested in riding rides until I forced  aided him in riding the merry-go-round and he saw that it wasn't scary. Then he was very into it. I can't believe how big Dane is and that he can ride on almost all the "bigger kid" rides.

We added another cat to our family.Dane named him smokey. He is so cute and so much fun.

Derek and I celebrated 5 years of marriage. I am so proud of us and how far we have come in our lives and our relationship. When you start dating at the ripe 'ol age of 19 and 22, there is a learning curve. You have to find out who you are, what you need in a relationship, what you need to work on and what the other person needs to work on. After 8 years together we definitely have that part down. We have had our ups and downs but we have never been stronger and I am so thankful every day for that man. He is more than I could ever have dreamed of.

Now the countdown is on for school to start. Knox will be going 2 days a week to Miss Stacy's preschool (the same that Dane did) and Dane will be in all day Kindergarten. I enrolled him yesterday and it took until today for it to kick in. I am so proud of him but I am so sad that he is growing up and I will miss him so much. Every day of his life up until now I have been with him. It is going to be an adjustment for sure. But I know I have to let go and give him the room to grow and have fun!

Up next...some very big news!! (NOPE NOT PREGNANT!!)

19 June, 2014


Dane started T-ball at the end of May and has been having games every Friday and Saturday in June. I love watching him out there, he looks so grown up. He seems to really be enjoying it, although there have been a few meltdowns when he doesn't get to see all the action. Possibly pushing his teammates out of the way to get the ball first..oops!

 I am so that parent who is cheering and hollering. I am trying my best not to tell him what to do though, I have had to hold my tongue and let the coach teach him because I know it will mean more coming from another adult than your old parents.

His last two games are this weekend and I have to say I am a bit relieved because I miss garage sale-ing on Saturday!

Memorial Day weekend

Derek took a week off of work to help his grandpa dig out some window wells in one of his rental properties, and so I decided that I would take the kids and go visit my parents in Arkansas. I grabbed my cousin Cassie and we hit the road!

It was a long trip...I get all in my head that I can drive on my own there no problem, and every time I get halfway there I am kicking myself thinking, why did I want to drive all alone with 2 kids into the night?! It is worth it though.
We bought a new (used) car and I couldn't wait to try out the MPG on that baby. 30 mpg, not to shabby considering I was getting 14-16 average in my mini-van.

The downside....Less room, no dvd player, more antsy kids on road trips. My kids have always been amazing in the car. Dane more than Knox. But this trip was rough both ways. They were very bored, and a little cranky most of the trip...kinda like I started to get after all that driving. HA! 
My mom's pool is open and despite it being very cold (for me) Dane a blast. Knox spent the whole time in a small inflatable boat not getting wet but floating. HA!

It is nice to get to go "home" for a few days even if it isn't my childhood home (I was an army brat) and be with my parents and younger sister. A lot of times my mom is the one who comes to us and visits, and we don't get to see my step-dad and sister very often. It is nice. Dane and Knox love being at grandmas as well. They get to eat lots of junk food and stay up late!

Dane's Last day of preschool and basic updates

Dane's last day of preschool was bittersweet.

He has really loved going to school at Miss Stacy's and he got all emotional at the thought of never going back. He said he didn't want to go to kindergarten, that he wanted to stay in preschool. It pretty much broke my heart. He started to feel better though when I explained to him that all of his friends are not staying there everyone is going on to kindergarten, and that Knox would be attending Miss Stacy's next year.

He has come a long way since that first day we dropped him off two years ago, and we are so thankful for all that Miss Stacy has done. Thanks to her, he is more than ready to thrive in Kindergarten.

Dane had his Kindergarten Screening and he scored 88 out of 100, well above average. I was so proud when the only suggestions they gave us were to learn the color brown, and learn how to tie shoes. (all of his shoes are currently velcro so it hasn't been an issue thus far)
He got to go to his new school, see all the classrooms, and meet all the possible teachers he may have. He is SO excited! 

The nurse had a concern that he may be color blind because they did a color circle test thingy and he was unable to follow the green with his finger. I asked his doctor and she basically dismissed it, saying that she doesn't understand why they do that test anyway, that it doesn't really show anything. It is not completely out of my mind, something I will keep an eye on. He has never had a problem identifying colors this far.

Knox's Monster Truck Birthday Party

Knox had a monster truck birthday party at our usual location, the City Park. 

Invite from here  

I made this banner for him, I love making banners! Just doesn't seem like a birthday party without a banner with your name on it! 

He loved his birthday cake, even though those cars pulled off all the frosting when you took them off! 

The kids felt like hot-shots drinking pop just for them! 

I made chili dogs and easy crock pot corn, so good and easy. Have you ever made hot dogs in the crockpot? Game changer!

It was a very low-key party and it was actually really awesome. I was not stressed out, I was not worked up about the decorations, or the food, it all just fell together. (Thank you crockpot!)

Knoxie had a blast and that is what matters most to me! 

27 April, 2014

Knox Lee, 3 years old

Knox Lee, you are three years old today. Time has seriously flown by. I remember you coming into this world, I remember the day I found out I was pregnant with you. I remember, being pregnant with you, wondering what you would be like, would you be like your big brother Dane? Would you be more like me or more like daddy? It just seems so surreal that you are going to be in preschool this fall. 

You are approximately 38.5" tall and 32 lbs. (according to my calculations, but you have a doctors appointment this week) 
You are potty trained but still sleep in a pull up at night.

Your favorite foods include: jello, spaghetti, cheese slices, mandarin oranges, french toast sticks, (healthy right!?) 

You are going through a picky phase with food, you are not into noodles that much lately. I think maybe you are burnt out on them. You also don't like pizza that much which is so strange because Dane and I LOVE pizza. 

Speaking of food, and anything else for that matter, you and your brother Dane disagree on everything. I mean if there is something to disagree on you two do it. What to eat for lunch, what to watch on tv, what books to read, what games to play. It.is.constant. It really reminds me of Dad and I, we are very rarely on the same page with most things! HA! 

Your favorite tv shows/books include: Curious george, calliou, spongebob squarepants, Cars (lightning mcqueen) 

You LOVE to sing lately. You love music. Every night before bed you like to sing songs, and you know them all by heart. We sing you "you are my sunshine" and "twinkle, twinkle" as well as "the itsy bitsy spider". You sleep with your dog, monkey (both scentsy buddies) and mittens, who is a very special stuffed animal that was grammys.  You typically go to bed at 9 p.m. and come out of your room a few times for hugs, to say goodnight, or to complain about something. 

You rarely take a nap anymore but some days you are grouchy and you need one but won't take it. 

You love to play outside and dig in the dirt. 

You are all about trucks. Trucks all day, every day.

You are SUCH a jealous kid. You told me that you hate babies because they cry all the time. You just don't like anyone who is taking the attention away from you. HA! Since we got moses (our new Pomeranian) You also don't really care for him because he is at my side a lot. It is not like you because before we got the dog you loved dogs. But you rarely give him the time of day. You always just tell him to go away. I am hoping you will warm up to him! 

You are so full of life, silly, goofy, and hilarious. You are more cautious than your brother, to this day you will rarely go on the big slide at the park, and when it comes to swimmig you would rather stay on the side and barely dip your feet in and splash a bit and you are content, rather than getting in and swimming full on. 

We love you Knoxie with all of our hearts. You add a lot of spunk to the family and we are so thankful for you! Happy Birthday!
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