Monday, January 19, 2009

Welcome Home!

On Saturday Troy's sister Tiffany's husband Orin got home from his year in Iraq. We are so thrilled to have him home safe and sound!

Someone surprised them with yellow ribbons for a mile & a half from their place. It had to have been cold when they were out their tying all those bows.

Sunday we hosted a welcome home party for Orin at our house. It was a lot of work getting ready, even though all the food came from Sam's Club. But I figured I could miss out on my Sunday afternoon nap to show my appreciation for Orin's service and his family's sacrifice.

Sign made by Jameson

Heather Kunz put together an awesome video of pictures from Orin's tour of duty and we watched it with the Giles' projection screen in our living room. I should have invested in kleenex boxes around the room. I wish it wasn't so long or I would post it here.

A little boy who wouldn't let his Daddy out of his sight!

Tiffany & Orin (sorry the picture is so blurry)

There were many who came out to help welcome him home.



Words can't express how grateful we are, Orin for your service to our country!

11 Years Old

I know I say it every time my kids have a birthday- but seriously, it always shocks me when their birthday rolls around and they are another year older.

Wasn't this just yesterday?





Connor's birthday was last Wednesday night. He got to open one present before school that day- it was a pair of green & black shorts. He wears shorts to school every day. Even when it is 0° out, much to his mother's dismay. Yes, he wears pants over them, but I know they are shed quite often when he gets to his locker.

After school he got to open the rest of his presents: a snowboard, another pair of shorts, a new sweatshirt, a mentos geyser tube & cola, a new football & a nintendo ds game(thank goodness for all the clearance sales going on right now!) We ate dinner at Pizza Hut that night and then he got to go to his first 11 year old scout meeting at church.


Friday night was his friends birthday party. He opted to have more friends over and not go anywhere. After finding a football tablecloth on clearance & getting a ton of Husker cups from the Nebraska football games, we decided on a football party. Everything else fell into place because there is a lot of fun football stuff out there right now because of the super bowl coming up soon.



Here are some details on the picture:

1. An outdoor football game started the party off.

2. Make your own sub sandwiches on little football shaped rolls.

3. Football party games included strengthening for your other arm (tossing the football through the hula hoop)

4. And the blindman's punt. We used medical tape to put field markings on the carpet. It was fun to see that without their blindfold the balloon didn't go much farther.

5. Cupcakes & chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream(Connor's favorite).

6. Opening presents. Not sure about Connor's shirt- I guess he was hot. The boys were all supposed to come wearing their favorite football team's jersey. He started off in his Husker shirt.

7. The last party game- shaving for the big game. They drew a face on the balloon & had to remove the shaving cream without popping the balloon. The boys were actually disappointed because it is actually quite hard to pop the balloon while shaving. They did manage to accomplish that in the end.

8.I spent a lot of time prepping these quarterback bobblehead dolls for the boys. Of course, it took much longer than the suggested hour to make this craft. It required hot glue so the boys basically only got to pick out their number for their jersey and wait while Troy & I glued them on. But despite the fact that it wasn't kid friendly, they turned out pretty cute!

9. & 10. Next we slowed things down with popcorn, oreos and a movie(Rudy, Remember the Titans & the Game Plan are the football movies we own). Connor is into comedy these days and so I'm sure he would have played the Game Plan, but alas only the case could be found. So they actually ended up watching Slappy & the Stinkers.

11. the Breakfast of Champions.

12. Treat cups to take home. Their were football cards inside and so they spent a good amount of time trading cards.

It was a really fun party- even though the boys were up later than Troy & I would have liked.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Winter Decor

Just wanted to share my decorations for January.

Here's a little stitchery I made yesterday. Don't look too close- the one mitten got kind of wonky.

I used my cricut and some vinyl on the let it snow block.

Here's the entry shelf.

And the little black hutch downstairs.

Hope you are staying warm wherever you are!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Weekend in Review

Well, we've had the last of our relaxing weekends till the end of February.

The craziness started 2 weeks ago when Connor & Troy went up to Lincoln for a special tour of the weight room, locker room and tunnel at Memorial Stadium. It was a reward for selling over $1500 worth of Cub Scout popcorn. They were also able to go to a men's basketball game.

(the only blurry picture from the game)

This past weekend included a crop for me, sleepovers for the boys, and a special Daddy-daughter date for Troy & Genna.

Also came the first basketball games of the season, tumbling for Genna, a hoop shoot contest for the boys and the pinewood derby car workday.

Little tumbler

1st place in age 10 boys, he made 8 out of 15 shots

2nd place in age 12 boys, he made 8 out of 15 and then 3 out of 5 in a shootout

Sunday was ward conference, which was very time consuming for Troy as the bishop. A member of our ward died and so he & I went and made a visit to the funeral home Sunday night. This week I am hoping for a real date, but it probably won't happen. Connor has his birthday party Friday night, Saturday is more tumbling, basketball, & the Kasten's Christmas and then Sunday night we are hosting a party at our house for my BIL who is getting home from Iraq.

Life is certainly not dull around here these days.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Made in 2008...and then onto 2009

Just wanted to document some of my projects that I accomplished in 2008

Crafting/Sewing


Gardening/Baking



Now onto 2009- I think my goals for 2008 are pretty much all applicable to this year as well. I do need to get serious and write them out in a form that is more measurable. I have pounds I want to lose, 2 quilts I want to make, a blurb book from vacation last year to finish up, letters I want to write consistently, Sunday School lessons to be studied each week, debts to be paid off, more homemade gifts and a myriad of other specific goals swirling around in my head.

I've thought a lot about a word to define my 2009 and I keep coming back to respect. It's been a toss up between that and discipline. Respect seems more positive to me. It is applicable in so many areas- I want to be better at respecting my family, my Heavenly Father, my body, my time, my home, our environment, other people, etc.

What are your plans for 2009?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Ringing in the New Year

We were happy to ring in 2009 down in Kansas with my sister, Lorilee. We had such a fun couple of days together. The kids had a ball playing together, Troy & Mark watched lots of football, and Lor & I cooked, shopped, sewed and had a great time together.

Jameson & Ashlyn

Our 1 hour aprons that we whipped out in 4 hours.

Going out to eat one night

Homemade pizza

Mo, first class traveler


We decided to try and come up with some activities for New Year's Eve for the kids that didn't involve the computer or Wii. We hit up the Dollar store and made up a bag for them to ring in each hour leading up to midnight. Inside the sacks were pop rocks, silly straws, sour straws, glow sticks, and those toys that grow in water. At 11:55 we had them open a bag with their blower, party hat and popper inside. We also had the kids decorate with glitter glue plastic champage glasses for our sparkling cider toast at midnight. After getting everything ready for the night, we were pretty exhausted and decided against a few of the activities we had planned. However, we did play the Candy Bar game, yahtzee and hangman. Genna and Ethan didn't quite make it till midnight. We laughed all the way through our New Year's toast. It really was a fun night and we were so happy to be with each other.


New Year's Day we traveled home just in time to go over to Tiffany's house for another Christmas get together. All of Troy's Dad's siblings(except his brother Denny who is currently on a mission) gathered together. There was lots of good food, fun games & a sweet Nebraska victory!


Wishing you a joyous 2009!