Friday, December 19, 2014


A friend posted this website that turn's your name into a snowflake. Just a silly, fun website that I thought was cute. I just played around and made snowflakes for each of us. :) I think they are pretty.

Heather's snowflake

Walter's snowflake

Max's snowflake

Caroline's snowflake

The Busch Family snowflake

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Express

The local train company brings the "Holiday Express" through town every year just before Christmas. Every year I think it's such a great idea, and then we wait in line for 30+ minutes in the freezing cold, and I wonder why I forgot this from last year.

But really, it is pretty neat, and I think the kids like it. I forgot my camera this year, so I borrowed a nice one, and while I LOVE the pictures I got, it's only convinced me that I NEED a nicer camera.

We're here!! This was 10 minutes before they started, and it wasn't TOO cold yet.

LONG line - at least two blocks away.

Plenty of time for pictures, though!

Could they BE any more photogenic??

The "elves" are making her a little nervous.

Finally! We are ready to go in.

She was just taking it all in.

She was excited to find the Grinch. We just watched the movie, so she's a little obsessed with him. (But she doesn't really like him.)

My loves.


Getting ready for Christmas!

This weekend felt kind of action-packed. Saturday, I found out that Walmart was doing free Santa pictures, so I got the kids dressed and away we went! The kids did pretty good, but I noticed both were not too talkative. Later, at lunch, I asked Max if he told Santa what he wanted.  Max replied, "If he's the real Santa, he already knows." Touche. He's really been into talking about Santa's that are not the real one. Every one we see, he tells me why he isn't real. Fake beard is the obvious one. The Walmart Santa's beard wasn't white enough. The Santa at the Holiday Train wasn't "big" enough (big belly?). It's interesting.

After lunch, Mom and Dad came to get the kids for a sleepover. Walter and I had a dinner that night at the Church, but we spent the few hours in between, and raced over to Joplin to start/do our Christmas shopping. We did pretty well, but I have to be honest - it was miserable. Everywhere was so crowded. Yuck!

Dinner was great, and afterwards, we went back to Walmart to grab the one present we couldn't find in Joplin, and some wrapping paper, as well as our second order of Christmas cards. I stayed up way too late wrapping all the presents and finishing the cards.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Oh, Christmas Tree

We decided to get a real tree this year, because our fake one is so pathetic that I couldn't bare to use it for our very first Christmas in our new home. Our real tree is gorgeous an amazing. We picked it up on Friday, but it was wet, so we waited until Sunday to decorate it.

Love these silly kids. Love them even more when they play without fighting. ;)
Every year, we try to get them each a new ornament for the tree. This year, Max got a Ninja Turtle (Orange/Mikey) and Caroline got Hello Kitty.

Decorating the tree always sounds fun in theory, but it's a chore. We all managed to get it done, and I love it. The kids are mesmerized by the lights and ornaments, and to be honest, I am too.

Max's 6th birthday party

Saturday was also Max's birthday party! I LOVE having a house that can hold everyone! It really is so awesome (minus all the cleaning to prepare). Max was SO excited about his party.

Grandma Jackie, of course, made his birthday cake - he requested a Chief's football cake this year, and she did an amazing job as always. He loved it.

Papa and Caroline - aren't they they cutest?

The birthday boy! How can he be six???
Max was so excited to open his presents, of course. He is so sweet. He knew to take his time, and thank each person after opening their present. We have our moments, but he really is just such an awesome kiddo.

Then time to sing "Happy birthday"!! He sat and just grinned at me through the whole song. Like he was a little embarrassed by the attention, but he really loved it too. SIX candles to blow out!!

Everyone left, but our Busch clan. It was the Bedlam game (OSU v. OU) and it was an exciting game - OSU pulled out the win in overtime, and I secretly recorded our rowdy bunch. It was intense. :) We finished the night with a chicken dinner at Barto's. I really, really love it when our Oklahoma family can make it up to see us. It really means so much to me!

Caroline's first gymnastics competition

Saturday morning, Caroline participated in her very first gymnastics competition! The YMCA hosted it's annual "Candy Cane Invitational" and they practiced their "routine" during this entire session of gymnastics class. We also tried to practice at home some. Saturday morning, Caroline was full of sass and she was SO excited.

The 2-4 year olds were up first in the day, so we got to the gym and signed in. She got her t-shirt and a cute necklace. We sat in the gym waiting with the other girls, and I could tell Caroline was really overwhelmed. We had talked about what would happen, but she got very nervous and unsure. I felt so bad for her! Grandma tried to help cheer her up.

They called all the girls down to warm up, and I walked down with her. She was very, very hesitant to join the other girls, and at first, refused to do anything. She just stood there with her hand by her mouth looking around. Finally, her class teacher arrived, and sat with Caroline, which loosened her up a little to do the warm ups.

They then divided the girls up (there were two mats) and lined them up on each side to do the floor routine one (or two) at a time. Each mat had a coach that helped the little girls by telling them what was next. The first little girl came out and I have to say, she was just so tiny and the entire thing was just literally too cute that I seriously couldn't handle it. I was just, like, overwhelmed by how cute it all was. I am 100% serious.

And before I knew it, Caroline was on the mat. I wasn't paying attention I guess, and my Mom said, "Are you going to record it?" And seriously, I had not even seen her walk up. I kind of panicked, grabbed my phone, and she was staring already. I accidentally took a picture instead of hitting record, so I have one photo of the beginning of her routine, and then the rest on video. There was a different coach on that mat, but her class teacher came out and coached her for her routine, so I thought that was really sweet and cute.

She did a pretty good job, but I could tell she was very nervous and reserved. I know she's done it better before, but it's a lot of pressure out there in front of everyone. I was so, so proud. She scored a 9.6, which was one of the higher scores. She did loosen up on the sidelines by the end. I kind of wished she had been one of the last ones to go, but really, it was fine.

Caroline's cheering section!
After all the girls finished, they all came out and "ta-da'd" and took a bow. It was very cute.

Next, they moved us to the next gym for the awards ceremony. On the way out, another teacher stopped us and told me that she thought that Caroline was just the sweetest. She apparently just plopped down in this teacher's lap on the sidelines and was just so sweet to her. She told me that "She doesn't even know me, and she just has the best personality!" I thought that was so nice of her to say, and it made me feel good. :)

We got her certificate and then listened for the results...

I wasn't exactly sure how it would go. I knew she had a pretty good score, but the award ceremony was throwing me off. I think they arranged it so that every girl got 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, but I'm not really sure. Any way, Caroline officially received "1st place in her division" whatever that means. I was kind of watching scores throughout, and I believe that if they would have scored out of everyone, she still would have gotten 3rd or 4th, so she did very, very well. I'm SO proud of her. And the little award blocks were adorable with the tiny girls saluting.

Caroline flashing that beautiful smile and her medal. :) We also stopped on the way out for a professional shot, so I will try to remember to upload that when it comes in.

Max - Kindergarten Christmas Program

Max had his first school Christmas program last week. It was slightly stressful, because I found out about it three days before it happened, and OF COURSE it fell on our busiest night of the week in general - Thursday, which usually includes Caroline's gymnastics class and my night class. This week, it also happened to be Max's birthday, and he had a doctor check-up, so I was freaking out.  I honestly had to make this crazy plan of how we were going to fit it all. I was devastated thinking I had to miss his program because of my class, but by the grace of God, my teacher allowed me to come in late.

The day was crazy, but somehow we made it to the program, which was Meadowlark Kindergarten and 1st grade. Nice that they split them up, so it's not the entire school. It's also fun that Max and Wyatt (from our church) are in the same class, so we get to share these things with the Reeder family, who we really like. 

The program was sweet. Max did such a good job, and the songs were so cute. He was so proud, and I just loved it.


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