Christmas, The New Year and Beyond!

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

CHRISTMAS

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!

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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!!

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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!!

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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!

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THE NEW YEAR

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!!

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BEYOND

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 🙂

 

 

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Shatto Milk Company.

I’ve never been the biggest milk fan, but I have to say, after touring Shatto farm and sampling a variety of flavored milk, I have found some I could drink more often!  Shatto farm is located in Osborn, MO which is about and hour and a half north of my house.  We met the family there right around 10:30am which was when the tour started.

“Besties” ready to see some cows!

Our first stop: cow milking!  First we got to watch the machine at work milking the cows.  This was a pretty cool process and it is crazy that one cow can produce several gallons of milk per day!  As you can see by Jensen’s face, she was really trying to take it all in!

Grandma and Ella saying “MOO”

Then it was over to the barn to see the cows and practicing milking!  I was not brave enough to try milking the cow, but Mom, Rachel, Kris and Drew did!!  Ella and Jensen were a little timid around the cow, but in their daddy’s arms they were ok with it!  And I took a pic of Drew and Jensen milking the cow, but it didn’t turn out….pooey!  😦

From one photographer to the other! ha!

I just love Rachel’s face in this picture!! lol  (don’t hate me Rachie!)

Handsome boy just hanging out!

Then we stopped for a couple group shots!  Can you tell who the photographer is?!?!? 😉

Then it was time to sample the flavors!!  This was honestly the best part.  We tried banana, orange creamsicle (tasted like fruit loops), strawberry, cotton candy, root beer, chocolate and coffee.  Shatto chocolate and strawberry milk are like number 1 and 2 in the world……and let me tell you….I can see why!  The strawberry milk was my favorite and of course Jensen liked the chocolate milk best.

When the tour was complete everyone took some time to shop of course!  And daddy snapped a few pics of my little ham….she sure likes to play it up for the camera!

This was a great way to spend a beautiful fall morning and definitely worth the drive!

Omaha.

The first time we had been to Omaha as a family was back in August of 2010 – Jensen was 11 months old.  We love Omaha because of its amazing zoo, fun downtown atmosphere and exciting children’s museum.  Because Jensen had so much fun as an 11 month old, we were really hoping to make it back in 2011.  We came up with several excuses to not go on our trip in 2011, the biggest being the fact that I wasn’t feeling so great because I was 2 months pregnant, so I was determined to not let anything get in the way of our trip this year.

We left on a Thursday morning after breakfast and Owen’s first feeding.  The car ride took about 3 hours and for the most part it went well.  Owen struggled getting comfortable and falling asleep until I crawled into the backseat and put my hand on his chest.  We had some quite time for about an hour.  Jensen always does really well in the car.  She has had lots of practice going back and forth from Wichita 🙂

Since I am still mostly nursing Owen, I prepared everything for pumping in the car.  It worked out great!  I was disappointed I hadn’t ever thought of doing this before.  Earlier this year, we stopped at a rest stop in Emporia on our way to Wichita so that I could nurse Owen.  That delayed us by about 45 minutes.  So for all you nursing mommies out there, pumping in the car utilizing your battery operation function is definitely worth it!!

Our first stop in Omaha was the zoo.  We LOVE this zoo sooooo much!  Beautiful, clean, well organized, great exhibits, just an all around wonderful experience.  Owen took a long nap and Jensen had a great time walking around with us.  We thought about renting a double stroller (we have debated on whether we should own one, but can’t seem to justify it) but decided not to and Jensen did really well for walking almost the entire zoo with only having to be carried a few times.  A few things had changed since the last time we visited.  The aquarium received quite the make-over and was pretty extraordinary.  We were all fascinated – well except for Owen who slept through the entire exhibit!  Here are some of our pics from the zoo!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jensen’s first time on a carousel!  She loved it!!

After our long afternoon at the zoo we headed to our hotel to check in.  We rested a bit, fed Owen and decided to walk downtown for dinner.  We LOVE downtown Omaha.  A great atmosphere with an abundance of restaurants and shops.  We decided to have dinner outside at Spaghetti Works.  After dinner we stopped at several shops on the way back to the hotel.  Once back at the hotel we all took showers and crashed……what a day!!

The next morning we woke up and went to breakfast at a cute little dive in downtown.  Pretty good food and yummy coffee which is exactly what this mommy needed!

After breakfast we went back to the hotel, packed up our things and headed to the Children’s museum.  The museum is a lot of fun and Jensen had a great time!  We played, explored and used our imagination.  Such a great time!!

Awww, just like mommy!! 😉

Grocery shopping!

She loved playing on this huge floor piano!!

After the museum we did a little shopping, had lunch and headed back home.  We had a great time in a great city and I’m looking forward to going back again soon!

Lake Trip #2.

We were lucky enough this summer to take two amazing lake trips.  The first I blogged about a few weeks back.  The second lake trip we took was with my in-laws and the kiddos to a home we rented on Lake of the Ozarks (mile marker 78.)

We left on a Thursday morning and got to our home around lunch time.  Once we got everything unpacked, we settled right in, had lunch and put on our swimsuits!!  The home was great and very comfortable for us.  5 bedrooms total, upstairs were two bathrooms, kitchen, living room and sunroom.  Downstairs were two bedrooms, a bar and living area and access to the patio and dock.  Drew and I got the big master bedroom upstairs.  We thought Jensen might sleep in her own room, but of course Jensen and Owen both slept in our bed with us the whole weekend.  We had two other bedrooms upstairs that were unoccupied – maybe Jensen will sleep in her own room next year!  Gma and Gpa Schauner slept in a room downstairs.

It was such a relaxing and wonderful trip.  We grilled most of our meals and hung out on the dock the whole time.  We played games, watched movies and ate way too much!!  When Sunday came around none of us wanted to leave.

We have already decided that we are going back again next year and maybe we will stay a few days longer!!

After we arrived on Thursday we immediately put our swimsuits on and Jensen and gma went downstairs to play air hockey.  Jensen had never played before and she loved it!!  She had to stand on the cooler to play though!

View of our home from the dock

View we had looking out from the house and dock

My girl at the end of the first busy day.  After daddy finished taking pictures she asked if she could go to bed!  Ha!  She had never done that before either!

My little man Owen.  He turned 3 months old the day we arrived at the lake!

The girls hanging out on the porch swing

Hanging out on the dock

Our last day.  Of course we wanted to be sure and get a group pic!

Looking forward to lake trip 2013…..who is in???

Lake Trips: Part 1.

This is the fourth year that we have taken a summer weekend trip to Kris’s family lake house.  We have been down there with several combinations of the family, but this time it was a trip with only the Johnsons and Schauners.  We took this exact trip back in 2008 but this time our little group had doubled in size!!  We arrived on Friday afternoon and immediately put on the swim suits and headed down to the lake.

Ella and Jensen sure are cute and a little bit naughty!!  They were playing like best friends one minute and fighting like sisters the next!  They certainly kept us busy over the weekend!!  Both girls got in the lake and played in the swimming pool (of freezing cold water) all weekend!!

Having all four kids with us meant there wasn’t too much time for relaxation, unless everyone was sleeping, but it was so fun having all of them with us.  We did a lot of hanging out on the dock, having great conversation, laughing and playing referee with Ella and Jensen!  Needless to say, the boys were pretty wonderful the whole weekend….you know…..feeding every 2 hours, fussy when not being held or eating, etc! HA!!  It will be so much fun to take these boys to the lake as they get older…..oh and probably A LOT more work!!

We had delicious food, mostly grilled of course!  Each family was responsible for lunch and dinner each day.  Here is a pic of all of us (minus the photographer) eating dinner on Saturday night.  Works perfect for us every time!!

It is always sad when the cars are packed up and it is time to head home.  We took one last pic – a group shot – right outside the lake house before we left.  This was another great lake trip with some of the best company anyone could ask for!!  Looking forward to doing it again…..which may be sooner than later!!!

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!!

 

The Beach!!

At the beginning of the month I had a conference to attend in Newport Beach, CA.  I was not too thrilled to be leaving my baby girl for 3 days, but CA isn’t a bad location in December!  I traveled with a colleague/great friend and a current student which made the trip even better.  Though we spent most of our time at the conference and presenting our posters, we also of course found some time to travel down to Laguna Beach for shopping and sightseeing!

And we were really happy that we did!  The shopping was awesome and the beach was amazing!  It was a little chilly, I think the temperature was in the lower 60s and down by the water that was pretty chilly!  Tatum and Bithia were brave enough to step into the water, but their poor little toes were bright red afterwards because it was soooo cold!!

Our hotel

Laguna Beach

I was super excited to come home and see my husband and baby, but we did have a great time at the beach!

 

Annual Lake Trip 2011.

I know this post is a few weeks late, but I accidentally left my camera charger at the lakehouse!!  But I have it now and can share it with all of you!!

So it has become a bit of a tradition to spend a long summer weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks.  My brother-in-law and his family own a house right on the lake.  Our first trip to the lake was back in June 2008 and was just Kris, Laura, Drew and I.  We had a blast!  Soaking up the sun, swimming in the lake, fishing, BBQing all weekend and relaxation.  In June 2009 we went back and that time we had Lynette and Tommy and Rachel along.  Again it was A-MAY-ZANG!!  In 2010 Laura had baby Ella in June and when they decided to go down in August Drew was shooting a wedding so we missed out. 😦  Needless to say, Drew and I were “itching” to get back there and this year we had Jensen to join us!

We were a little nervous having Jensen and baby Ella with us this year, but they did so well.  They napped and slept through the night, got in the lake with us and listened all weekend!

Here is Jensen on Thursday morning getting ready for the babysitter!  We were packed and ready to hit the road later in the day when I got off work!

Thursday night and Friday were great!  The sun was out, the temp was hot and the lake felt awesome!  On Saturday we had a mid-morning storm roll through which was pretty scary with strong winds and heavy rain but by 1PM the sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky!

The guys posing with all the fish they had caught!

In the lake!!

Jensen and Ella

Dinner Time!

Lake trip 2011 = A-MAY-ZANG!!!  We are already looking forward to next summer!

Joplin 2011.

The tragic tornado that hit Joplin on May 21, 2011 touched many of our lives.  Stories and pictures of destruction were being shared over facebook and how this EF-5 tornado was affecting peoples lives was becoming very real.  I immediately felt the urge to help.  Jensen and I put together a donation of water, baby formula, soap, etc and dropped it by a local church that was collecting donations for the tornado victims.  Through the School of Pharmacy I was also able to volunteer and spend 2 days in Joplin helping out.  I currently have two students on rotation and my coworker also had a couple students on rotation.   We all decided to sign up and head down to Joplin.

The destruction was unreal.  Pictures really don’t compare to seeing it in person.  We were all eager to get out and start working.

Out of respect to the victims of this disaster, we didn’t spend too much time taking pictures of the destruction.  We did however take some pics of the massive piles we sorted while we were there.

I’m so glad I was able to go down to Joplin and help out.  My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, families and friends of those dealing with the devastation as you rebuild and start over.