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!!!


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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Tot Terror Twenty-Twelve.

This year’s Halloween party was sooooo much fun!!  We changed things up a bit this year and invited lots of our friends over for coloring, painting and eating of course!!  Laura helped me with hosting and we wanted to be sure we had plenty for all the kids to do so we had a pumpkin painting station, a cookie creation station, a crafting station and a pinata.  We offered a “soup” bar: chicken noodle, taco soup and potato soup.  We asked each guest to bring a sweet treat to share.

I had Lynette help me again with making my Halloween banner.  I gave her all the materials and ideas and she worked her magic to create it!  I was so pleased with the final product!!  Lynette gave me the idea of a “photo wall” using scrapbook paper.  I was so pleased with how it turned out as well!  Because the temp was pretty cold that evening, we ended up having most of our activities and the photo booth inside, but it worked!  I will say, I had a lot of hay all over my house though!

Our pumpkins we decorated about a week before the party that greeted our guests!

We had a great turn out of both “old” and “new” friends!!  We feel so blessed to have such amazing family and friends to share this life with!!  I believe our party was a HUGE success in great part to everyone that came to celebrate with us!  And of course, this mama is already excited for next year’s party!!






Such a great party!!  Thanks to all of our family and friends for being here to make it great!  Next up, pics of Jensen and Owen on Halloween!!


Drew and I celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversary earlier this month and a few days later we celebrated Drew’s birthday.  We had a great time seeing friends and family for Drew’s day and his mother made him his favorite breakfast!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband!

We have also been celebrating accomplishments of our little man over the last few weeks.  Owen is sitting up on his own (for the most part) and on the move!!  He is sooooo close to having an “official” crawl.  He is still mostly inch worming around, but occasionally we have noticed that he moves his arms and legs just right for one move.  I have a feeling it won’t be long before my baby is crawling around my house 😦  what?!?!  He is supposed to be my “baby!”



Right along side all of this movement, Owen is also saying his first word – “dada!”  The first time he said it was on Drew’s bday!!  What a nice gift!  It sure is sweet to hear him say it – even though I am sure I have heard Owen say “mama” when he is crying 😉

We also celebrating Grandparents Day at the end of September!  My parents got to go with Jensen to her classroom one morning to see all the fun she has!  My dad got some really good pics while he and my mom were there together so I will add those photos to this post when I get them.  I went to pick my mom up and snapped a pic of my own.  Jensen had so much fun showing her grandma and papa around!!


Berry Birthday Party!

I utilized Pinterest this year to gather up ideas for Jensen’s 3rd birthday party.  She LOVES strawberries so initially I thought we would go with a “Strawberry Shortcake theme.”  After looking around, I felt like going too crazy with the strawberry shortcake theme wasn’t really the look I was going for.  I wanted to be able to create some decorations and not have the party look so “bought in a box.”  Eventually, I changed the theme to “Berries” and started to create my list of to-dos!!

With my berry theme came an automatic color scheme: red = strawberries, blue = blueberries, purple = blackberries and pink = raspberries.  I created a happy birthday banner and some tissue pom-poms (thanks Martha Stewart) and purchased a balloon bouquet utilizing colors from our berries.  I looked around online for a cake recipe that would fit the theme but not be too over the top berry.  Duncan Hines had a recipe for a chocolate and strawberry cake.  I changed the recipe slightly and made the cake a double layer – one layer strawberry cake, the other layer chocolate cake.  Topped it with Vanilla frosting and fresh strawberries.  I also wanted to utilize my new buffet table and frame for the display table.  I hung the banner on the frame and clipped lots of pictures of Jensen around it.  For the buffet, I had the cake as the center piece flanked by some strawberry licorice.  I created some “berry shake” recipe cards as favors.  I found the simple recipes online and had a few recipe cards for each of the berries.

I really wanted to have some strawberry cookies for the party as well.  I really debated whether or not to buy them or make them myself.  I wanted them to be perfect and wasn’t sure I could pull it off.  After recruiting my sister for help, I decided to make them.  I bought a strawberry cookie cutter, some red and green frosting and some chocolate sprinkles.  I made my famous sugar cookie recipe (so good) and once the cookies cooled we started to decorate them.  This ended up being very time consuming and I’m so glad I had my sister here to help me.  They turned out perfect!!  And they tasted great too!

I also made some favor baskets.  One for Jensen, one for cousin Ella and one for our friend Malia.  I put some strawberry shortcake hair clips and tattoos in there along with some squeezable apple-berry applesauce and a couple strawberry cookies.

We had a very yummy lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs baked macaroni and cheese, veggies and berries.  I also bought a really yummy raspberry lemonade – which Jensen loved!  After lunch we sang happy birthday, ate cake and ice cream and opened presents.

Little brother hanging out!

Cousin Ella had fun helping Jensen open her presents!!

Jensen was spoiled again this year by all of those that love her so much.  We have the best friends and family EVER!!  I’m pretty sure she had the best birthday party yet!  I know when it was all over, this momma was exhausted!!  But I have to say, I love planning parties and am already looking forward to my little man’s first birthday!

5.10.12: Hanging out with Friends.

We braved our first road trip to grandma and grandpa’s when Owen was about 6 weeks old.  While we were visiting, we got to hang out with our wonderful friends Jimmy and Hollie, their 3 yr old son Ryder and new baby boy Boston!!  We had a great time sharing stories of life with two children and of course how we wish we could see each other more often!  Ryder and Jensen had a great time playing with the soccer ball and of course mommy made them take some pics together!!

And this was my two kids after our fun get together!!

We had a great time hanging out and can’t wait to see you guys again!!


Bye Bye April and May.

Wow have the last 2 months been a blur!!  Spending 24/7 with a 2 year old and 2 month old will definitely exhaust you, but all the fun we have been having has made the last 10 weeks disappear before my eyes!!

We have been spending a lot of time with family and friends.  Great grandma June visited in April for 2 whole weeks!!  It was soooo much fun to have her here and her two week stay went fast.  Drew and I has working really hard in the yard over the last 2 months.  We have completely changed the look of our house by simply changing the landscape in the front yard!  Our house looks 35 years younger and I’m sure it feels that way too!!  I’ll post some pics of our new landscape soon!  Jensen and I tried to plant an herb garden a few weeks ago, but unfortunately it didn’t turn out very well.  Herb gardens are to be planted in the winter….so I was a few months behind.  Plus I am pretty impatient when it comes to plants so now I know….next time we are going to plant herbs already grown, not seeds!!  And my mom has several herb plants that she is willing to share!  Here are some pics of my beautiful helper with the herb garden!!  She just loves the gloves gma D bought her and the hat that great gma June got her!

We have also been spending plenty of time with gma, gpa, aunts, uncles and cousins!!  Here are some pics from a few weeks ago when we were all hanging out!

Yay!!!  I’m also caught up to present day with my blogging!!!  To come next is a post about my baby boy and a post to recap our trip last week to Science City with cousins Ella and Erik!!