Princess Party.

FOUR. Really hard to wrap my brain around the fact that my baby girl is growing up.  She is developing into a smart, loving, honest, kind, witty, stubborn at times, hilarious, independent, athletic, artistic young lady. For her birthday this year we decided to throw her a princess party with something every little girl dreams of…….a REAL princess! Her princess of choice – you guessed it – Rapunzel.

It was a blast planning her big day.  I spent hours crafting up banners, lanterns and other decorations which included my coolest creation to date…..a huge 4 foot braid made of yellow yarn and adorned with flowers which wrapped around our column at the front door.  I took the Rapunzel/Tangled theme and ran with it!





Our little princesses anxiously awaiting the arrival of Rapunzel.


Story time with Rapunzel! This included a treasure chest, music, bubbles, dancing and face painting – FUN – and you can see it written all over their little faces!!!











After story time inside we all headed outside for more pictures! I must say, having the princess here at the party was a huge hit with the little girls.  So worth it to see the looks on their faces as they interacted with Rapunzel! Jensen was so excited and still talks about getting to meet Rapunzel.  In fact she has already asked me if we can have another princess come to her party next year.







I set a kids table up outside (too bad it was like a million degrees and humid) and immediately after Rapunzel left the kids got to sit at it for a bit and munch on sailboats made from orange wedges which sat on cup of blue jello, goldfish and fruit snacks – yum!




After some snacks we headed over to the jewelry station – every girl’s dream! There were crowns, wands, necklaces, bracelets and earrings for all.  I even had some crowns for our little princes.



J was so happy when everyone was singing to her. Makes me tear up every year as I think about how quickly she is growing up.



The finale of the party – her big girl bike!!


Happy 4th birthday to our princess!  Mommy, daddy and baby brother love you more than you’ll ever know!!!



Our little man is keeping us on our toes these days.  He has been walking since he was about 10.5 months, a master at climbing stairs and fearless.  He is also trying so hard to talk.  His favorite word right now is GO.  We say “ready, set” and Owen will say GO.  It cracks us up!  He says it when we are going outside, when we are leaving the house, when we head upstairs for bath, pretty much all the time.  He is so full of life and has taught me so much already.


You are a serious, adventurous and stubborn soul.  You love playing with your sister and are starting to take a stance for yourself when sis gets a little too aggressive and bossy.  You love playing outside and taking walks.  You also insist on climbing the stairs even though you are not old enough to come down the stairs by yourself and you think it is pretty funny to have mommy and daddy chase you off the staircase – it’s your favorite game!  You are a great eater and will eat most anything we put in front of you.  Your favorite foods right now are oatmeal, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, chicken nuggets, yogurt and applesauce.  You are trying so hard to make your voice heard, but you have a pretty limited vocabularly for the time being.  You can say dada, mama, sis, GO, dog and duck and you love when we sing ABCs.  You LOVE bath time and you splash water with your legs and hands with the biggest smile on your face.  You have 8 teeth now and I think we are in for some rough nights soon as it appears your incisors are coming!!  You LOVE music just like your sister and it is so sweet to watch you and Jensen dance with excitement to a variety of music.  Lately you have been trying to play sister’s guitar and you are pretty good at holding it with one had and slamming your other hand on the strings.

You are an absolute challenge at times, but we can’t imagine our life without you.  Your constant snuggles, precious chubby cheeks and smile melt this mama’s heart.  We love you so much and can’t imagine our lives without you.












Baseball at the K Baby.

A couple weekends ago we took the kids to their first Royals game of the season.  Jensen has been asking to go back ever since her and I went to a game last year, just the two of us, shortly after Owen was born.  Everytime we drive by the stadium on the highway she sees the KC on the giant megatron display and says “I want to go there again mom, to KC.” Ha! It cracks me up everytime.

The game was a Saturday at 6:10pm so we had a pretty relaxing day before hand that consisted of playing around the house and making sure everyone got a good nap!  We decided to “tailgate” at the game with Jimmy John sandwiches for Drew and I and peanut butter and jelly for J and O.  We packed other goodies as well to help us get through the game……animal crackers, fruit snacks, apples.

We purchased cheap tickets because we were fairly certain there wouldn’t be a whole lot of actual game watching going on.  Once in the stadium we had to take 2 escalators up to our seats.  That was Jensen’s favorite part of the night.  In fact, we took the escalators 6 times that night with all of our walking around!  We were able to sit in our seats for the first couple of innings with Jensen asking to walk around the ENTIRE time and us continuing to promise her that we would very soon.

Of course the first place Jensen wanted to go were the fountains.  She LOVES the fountains.  She will occassionally call them “Mountains” and to be honest, it is hard to correct her sometimes because I find it so cute and hilarious!  Drew was not too thrilled that we did a lot of walking around, but I took Jensen over to the playground for a bit so that daddy and Owen could take in some of the game.  After walking around and buying a pretzel and some drinks we were able to talk Jensen into going up and finding some seats to sit in for the rest of the game.  Honestly, both kids did great at the game.  Owen pretty much snuggled with me under a blanket the entire time and Jensen played around and snacked in the seats that surrounded us – good thing the game wasn’t completely packed!

The Royals ended up losing by 1 run that night but the weather was beautiful!  We are already planning our next trip out to the K!!





Sleeping Beauty.

Zoie Dean came  to visit us this past weekend and of course uncle Drew couldn’t resist an impromptu photo shoot.  This little girl is absolutely ADORABLE.





Baby Zoie.

My beautiful niece, Zoie, was born on Thursday, April 11th around 5:30pm.  She weighed in at 7 lbs and was 18.5 inches long with a head of dark hair……which has been a common theme with all the babies in this family!

I was fortunate to be able to take the day off and be there with Rach during her labor and delivery.  It was one of the best days of my life to be there for the birth of Zoie!  And Rachel did an AMAZING job through the entire process.  We love baby Zoie soooo much!!


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Easter 2013.

On Saturday morning the kids woke up and came downstairs to their Easter baskets.  The Easter bunny left eggs hidden around the house for them too which was super fun for both of them!


This year Jensen and I frosted sugar cookies instead of dying eggs and I have to admit, I didn’t really miss the whole dying eggs thing.  I’m sure next year we will go back to dying eggs but I enjoyed changing it up a bit this year with the cookies.  I have found that I am not great at decorating my baked goods but I find it INCREDIBLY therapeutic.  Jensen and I got into our aprons and were ready to frost! Jen cracked me up with how much she concentrated on frosting those cookies just right!

























The next morning we went to church with my parents.  After church we headed back to their house for lunch and an Easter egg hunt.  We lucked out with beautiful weather!  After the Easter egg hunt we all hung out together outside enjoying the sunshine and candy!!







We had a great Easter 2013!  We hope that you enjoyed it as well!


Owen’s Elephant Party.

Owen is One.  Hard to wrap my brain around it.


The month of March was going to be extremely busy for us, so I worked hard to be sure and have all of Owen’s bday party supplies gathered and created in advance.  I decided to go with an elephant theme and am pleased with how everything turned out.  I created a birthday banner, favor bags, tissue pom pom flowers and I bought blue and white lanterns.  On the day of his party I had to lecture until 4PM which meant I wouldn’t probably get home until close to 5….good thing my in-laws came in town the night before.  My mother in-law helped by grocery shopping, decorating, cleaning and preparing most of the food for the party…….sooo appreciative of the much needed help!

The night before the party I made and frosted the birthday cakes.  I made a chocolate sheet cake for all the guests and a round chocolate smash cake for O.  I frosted the sheet cake with white icing and then using an elephant stencil that Drew created for me (same elephant from the invite) I piped an elephant in the center of his cake with grey icing.  I then piped a blue circle around the elephant to mimic the bday invite.  I then added some darker grey accents to the elephant which I thought added some character.  I really wish I was better at cake decorating.  But I guess practice makes perfect so I will keep at each with each chance I get!  For the sheet cake I iced it with white frosting, created an elephant with a circle around it and put Owen’s name on the cake.  Not 100% happy with how they turned out, but I can say that I made them and they did taste good!


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Owen did not get a very good nap that afternoon so by the time his party started he wasn’t in the mood to be the center of attention.  The site of his bday hat made him cry, too many people making a fuss over him made him bashful and it took him a while to enjoy his smash cake.

Jensen and I enjoyed posing with the hat, but Owen did not like that hat coming near him.  Poor guy.




Jensen made Owen this card and she was so proud of it!  She wrote everything on it except “happy birthday.” She surprised me several times when I would ask her if she could write a certain letter and she would do it!  She is writing so well!


Then it was time for presents!!  He got a lot of cute clothes and some fun toys!  Shortly after opening presents it was time to get this little boy ready for bed.  We had a great time at his bday party and are so grateful for all the family and friends that shared his special day with him!



Christmas, The New Year and Beyond!

I have not done a good job of staying current with my blogging and I apologize!!


Our Christmas was great this year!  The kids of course were spoiled and I very much enjoyed getting to spend time with lots of family.  We kept Christmas Eve pretty low-key this year and grilled burgers – in freezing degree temperatures..ha – and they were amazing.  I was so excited for the kids to go to bed so that Drew and I could stuff stockings and set up all the toys.  Before bed, Jensen wrote Santa a note and put out 2 cookies and a glass of milk for Santa – she was soooo excited!












On Christmas morning I was expecting both kids to be up by 7AM, normal for us around here, but Jensen didn’t get up until 7:30AM and Owen wasn’t up yet by 8AM…..what?!?!?  At that point we decided to let Jensen go downstairs to see her gifts from Santa.  When she got downstairs she LOST it when she saw her guitar!  She had been asking Santa to bring her a guitar for weeks and she was so happy he did!  She also got a microphone – which she had also been asking for!  After that chaos, Owen woke up and enjoyed opening his presents with a little help from mommy.  Drew had a surprise up his sleeve and bought a new tablet for all of us to enjoy!!  Then it was time to play, listen to my new Taylor Swift CD (thanks babe) and eat breakfast….I LOVE Christmas morning around here!!
































































Around noon we headed over to Lynette and Dave’s house for the “Dankert”/”Schmidt” Christmas celebration.  Our day was filled with kids running around, LOTS of amazingly delicious food and of course MORE presents!!  This year we did an additional gift exchange for all the adults which consisted of buying a $10-15 gift and once we got to Lynette’s, she wrapped all of them in the same wrapping paper so you couldn’t tell who brought what gift.  We drew numbers to get an order and then we started picking out gifts.  It was so much fun!  We decided we were going to do that again next year!!


The day after Christmas both kids went to daycare and Drew and I went to see “This is 40” and it was a very funny movie!  We hadn’t been to a movie in a while so it was nice to spend our morning together at the theater.  The next day we packed up the car and headed to Wichita to celebrate Christmas with gma and papa Schauner!!  We ended up not getting out of KC until 5:30PM because at Owen’s 9 month check-up that day we found out that he had an ear infection 😦  which meant we had to stop at the pharmacy on our way out of town.  It seemed to be one thing after another trying to get there, but we eventually made it around 9PM….LONG trip.  The kids were both wired when they saw gma and papa so we decided to open presents before putting the kids to bed.  We had a very busy weekend while there, but we had a great time!




















































































The weather was very cold and snowy on New Year’s Eve this year.  We braved the weather and road conditions to spend the evening with Kris, Laura, all the kids and Tommy and Rachel.  We ate delicious food and of course chased crazy kiddos around!! We did not ring in the New Year by any means, but it was fun to hang out!!



Hard to believe it is the middle of January already!  We have had a busy year thus far with play dates, game nights with friends and family and we are hoping to take the kids to see Sesame Street Live this upcoming weekend!! Until next time 🙂



Christmas Goodies.

Yesterday we had our good friends, JR and Chrystal and their 2 girls, Malia and Maddie, over to make sweet treats for our neighbors, babysitters and co-workers.  Chrystal and I had decided on 5 different recipes:

1. Holiday Chex Mix

2. White chocolate/peanut butter bark

3. Christmas Wreaths

4. Sugar blossom cookies

5. Magic cookie bars

I grabbed a few pics of our ingredients before we got started.









































I couldn’t resist getting a picture of these two loves!!


















We thought it would be fun to put Malia and Jensen in their aprons and have them help us!  That lasted for a couple recipes and then they were both ready to go and play!









































Lynette came over and helped us assemble some of the treats and also helped me by putting together my chex mix holiday jars.  Thanks Nettie!!  I didn’t get as many pictures of the process as I would have liked, but I think this is the way to do it!  With the 3 of us working together we got everything done in about 2 hours.  Not bad!  I think the finished products look great!









Chrystal and I thought it would be fun to start an ornament exchange with all of our kids instead of buying toys.  The kids were so excited with their ornaments and I hope we can continue this tradition for many years to come!  A fun and exhausting time was had by all and now we are ready to spread some Christmas cheer to our friends!!

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