disney countdown

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The best vacation ever!!

Finally some pictures from Disney World. Let me say, it was the best trip ever. It could not have gone better. We had great flights, great weather, great tickets and 6 days of memories that are priceless. If the girls weren't grinning from ear to ear they were asleep. For anyone who hasn't been there, Disney truly is a magical place. Everyone was smiling from the minute they woke up to the minute they fell asleep. The girls had a magical time and we all had a blast watching them. We were planning our next trip with Evan before we left! Here are some of my favorite pictures - not an easy task since we took over 2000 of them, which I "narrowed down" to 677!!

Our 1st night there we take in a show and already the girls are already in awe.

In the lobby of Pop Century, our hotel.

At Mickey's Christmas Party - don't ya love the hats? Just remember, in Disney World we didn't even stand out as unusual!! In fact, we were mild!

Having brunch at Chef Mickey's - look at those smiles!

The girls wanted their faces painted at Hollywood Studios and thought mom should, too. A whole new meaning for "Ice Princess"! By the way, we did not instruct Paige & Brooke to strike rapper poses!

Posing with Woody and Buzz, who were hilarious! Notice the set is Andy's Bed - isn't that cool?

My favorite part! We had lunch at Cinderella's Royal Table which is in the castle on our last day there. Loren was absolutely floored when Cinderella called her "her twin". If nothing else cool had happened, her face at that moment would have made the whole trip worth it.

Meeting up with Papa & Dad after lunch with the princesses. I had to post this picture because of Loren's face - look at that smile! Trust me, at almost 8 she doesn't smile like that about too many things anymore.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Some pictures from our tree decorating night!!
For some reason on this day Evan figured out to say "cheeeeese" every time he saw a camera. No more cute little smiles!

Really a peaceful picture considering at this point we were
an hour and a half past bedtime!

Those of you who know about Paige & Brooke's
love/fight relationship will appreciate the Christmas magic
this picture involves!!

Well, we are getting ready to go to Disney! We fly out Sun. morning and are very excited! For those who don't know, Rod's parents are taking the girls to Disney World next week and Rod and
I are allowed to come along. :) Evan will be spending the week with my mom and my sister - she has 3 boys so I'm sure Evan will enjoy having some "guy time" for a change. I'll flood you all with Disney pics when we get home!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Only 6 days until we leave for Disney World!!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Halloween Pics!!

After a trip to Vala's with Uncle Ryan and Aunt Elizabeth - sugar induced smiles!!

A smile that can truly light up a room!!

Mom's attempt at a Halloween "craft" - edible Frankensteins.

Carving pumpkins - the verdict was "it's gross."

So of course Evan loved it!!
Halloween Night

Hannah #1 - with a wig that didn't fare the school Halloween party so well.

Hannah #2 proving roots can look fabulous!

This was our final costume decision after being Hannah #3 suddenly didn't seem like such a good idea!

One week or one more cracker and this one wasn't going to fit - he had quite a diaper "wedgie" by the end of the night.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Some common "Brookeisms"

yesterday after later - any time in the future.
ex: "Papa, are you going with me in an airplane to Disney yesterday after later?"

yesternight - also some time in the future, but much more urgent than above.
ex: "I want to come to your house yesternight to have ice cream."

hake - to strongly dislike, hate
ex: "I hake lady bugs. Do you hake lady bugs, mommy?"

quit - to be done dealing with something, even if it remains present
ex: While standing on our porch looking at the side of the house COVERED with Chinese Lady Beetles, "I quit bugs." Immediately followed by a look of disgust while walking back into the house.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

7 Things About Cris

OK, I have been tagged by 2 people for this so guess I'd better do it!! I am to list 7 things about myself that may be unknown to most (some) of you. So here goes!!

1. My undergraduate degree is in Agricultural Business. I was 3 credits away from graduation and had a guaranteed job as a grain merchandiser with pretty great pay when I decided I hated it. I liked kids and I liked to work out, so a friend of mine told me I should shadow a PT at a Peds clinic in Lincoln. I did, liked it, applied for 3 PT schools, chose UNMC, and the rest is history!
2. I was unofficially engaged 3 days after meeting my husband. I got my ring at 2 weeks, but we had decided to get married on day 3.
3. One of my favorite meals is white rice, peas and ketchup. (Yep, canned peas, Delanie!!)
4. My name doesn't have an "h" in it because my Dad thought it looked too much like "Christ" and "Christmas" with the "h". Not that he doesn't like those things, just not for my name, I guess!
5. I once swam with sea lions off the coast of Mexico. My friend and I got so far away from the boat and close to the sea lions that the "bull" dove into the water. Apparently he found us threatening. Call me crazy, but I don't think that's very flattering!
6. When I was a kid we didn't have enough Ken dolls for my friend Sara and I to play with, so I cut the hair off one of my sister's Barbies and hid it behind a dresser. In all fairness, it was this doll that came with a horse she had gotten and it was really more masculine than feminine anyway.
7. This one's kind of serious. The night my Grandma Hall passed away I had a dream about her so vivid I can still remember it clearly, 10 1/2 years later. She was so young and vibrant looking, even after years of suffering, that I have never doubted the splendor of Heaven since.

So there you go!!! The sad thing is, I don't have 7 more blogs to challenge to do this - in fact, all but one of the blogs I follow have already been tagged. So I guess I'll "encourage" my friend Megan L. to do this. It's kind of fun!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Aww. . . .

These jammies were Rod's when he was little - can you believe his Mom could actually find them after all these years? He was having fun being SpiderMan, even with a toe peeking out the end.

I got to go with Paige's preschool class on a field trip to Poppy's Pumpkin Patch. Isn't she cute?! The little boy in this picture had to ride with us (the only other girl in Paige's class was gone that day), which he wasn't too excited about at first, but in the end they had a good time.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Memory Lane . . .

I have been tagged by Natalie at "The Riecks" for a fun game. I had to open my 6th folder of pictures and down load the 6th picture, with explanation if I can remember. I have to admit I cheated a little. I name my folders by year and only have 3 folders so I decided to go to the 6th folder, 6th picture of 2007. This is a picture of Brooke, 22 months, on a hot summer afternoon 3 days before Evan was born. Don't you love all those rolls!! The girls were having fun playing in the mud with their dinosaurs. I added a couple of pictures of the other girls so you can see how messy everyone was, and even one of me so you can all remember just how miserable I looked at that point!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


If some of you have noticed the time of this post and are wondering how I am managing to be at the computer before bedtime, my topic of the evening will explain. When I attended mass last Friday morning Father Joe gave an awesome homily and I have been wanting to share the message with all of you ever since. For some background, all classes of St. Isidores except Kindergarten attend Mass on Fri. so he directs the homily to the kids. The reading that day was Ecclesiastes 3: 1 - 111 "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted . . " etc. So father spoke to the kids about how there is a time to be loud and scream and play - recess of course. And that while it's always good to pray, you really should do those other things at recess instead because if you don't you'll drive your teacher crazy later with all your extra energy. Then he talked about how it's not OK to scream in church, unless Father Joe falls asleep, because that's your time to pray. He then turned to the adults and basically said we should watch the kids around us. He talked about how when it's time to play, they play. They don't worry about what they're not getting done or feel guilty for taking time for themselves. They just play. And when they are working . . . well, sometimes that's not quite the best example for us!! Which brings me to why I'm "blogging" at 7:20 on bath night. It's just been one of those crazy weeks - at home and at work - with little down time. By the time we were headed out of town tonight I wasn't in the best place. So I (translation: my husband) decided I could use a little break from my responsibilities (trans: I was being crabby with my family and he wasn't enjoying my company). So here I am, on the Internet listening to my husband upstairs figuring out bath night for 4 kids without any help from me. And you know what? I don't feel guilty. Because right now is my time to rest. Later I will "toil" - and now I will do it with a smile.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Quick Pics!

I keep getting a hard time for not updating for a while so thought I would quick post a few pictures of the kids modeling Dad's ADM hard hat. For the first 3 months you work there you have to wear a blue hat so everyone know's you're new. On Aug 19th Dad got his white hard hat - yea Daddy!!! - and everyone is sure having fun with his old one.

I'm too tough for a hard hat!!
Where was that smile on family picture day?
Brooke proving it's not what you wear,
it's the attitude you have while wearing it that matters!!
Yes, that's her swimming suit.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A new "Mom" Do!

I post this only because most of you know how much a security blanket my long hair has always been. I am either really growing up or desperate to do anything that means I don't have to get up any earlier in the morning! Anyway, it took me 2 appointments over 2 weeks to get it done (mostly b/c my hair dresser was afraid to take more than 2 inches at a time - I'll save the story about wanting to change my "do" while 8 mos. pregnant with Evan for another day) but I am offically about 5 inches shorter and 3 pounds lighter after she thinned the bejeebies out of it. I'll give you a before/after shot. My "in-between" do was modeled in Brooke's b-day picture.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Just one year . . .

A quick look at how much we've changed in just one year. Doesn't time fly!!




Labor Day 08

Every Labor Day the girls get to ride in the Schuyler parade with Rod's brother Ryan and his wife Elizabeth in a cart pulled by her Percheron Kahlua. This year I decided to keep Evan & Brooke home to nap since the parade was at 2:00 and we were all supposed to head over to Ryan's for supper afterward. Of course, because I would have had the house to myself while the little 2 slept neither of them napped longer than 45 minutes!! Here are some pictures of my little "parade pros." The shades were all their idea.

Everyone was pretty worn out from the day and slept like champs that night. Aww, aren't they angels!!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Day in the Life . . .

I am realizing lately how many of you don't know much about what my life is like. I get the question "How do you do it?" a lot. So I thought I'd tell you.
As most of you know, Rod graduated in May with his Assoc Deg in Industrial Technology. The last few months exploring job options was a little scary. Usually starting positions in that field are not great pay and involve working nights and/or weekends. One day when Rod was in a teacher's office a guy from ADM called to ask if he could recommend any students for a position they were trying to fill. Rod's professor put him on the phone that second - guess it pays to be a teacher's pet!! Anyway, one interview and a few agonizingly nerve racking weeks later Rod found out he had gotten the job. He is actually a "Process Control Systems Specialist", which is not an entry level position. They recognized his past experience in the Air Force and as a civilian working on Offutt and said they were willing to train him. So, he ended up with a Mon thru Fri, 8 to 5 job that pays pretty darn well. He is under a lot of pressure because usually before you're in his position you've put in some time with the company and know the process/computer systems. But I know he's doing a great job!! Best of all, we get to ride to and from work together most days.
So, inquiring minds, a typical day for us goes like this.
5:15 - Rod's up and, in theory, so am I.
5:45 - I'm finally up b/c Rod sounds panicked about getting to work on time.
6:20 - wake the kids up if they're not up already (how do you people get your kids to sleep past 6:30?)
6:45 - out the door, hopefully with no more than 2 of us in tears
6:50 - begin morning prayers, breakfast and entertainment in the van. Most mornings this now involves me embarrassing Loren horribly by loudly singing some 80's song into a Happy Meal toy that looks like a microphone.
7:20 - drop Loren, Paige & Brooke off at Father Price
7:30 - drop Evan off across town at Taylor Tots (don't ya love the name!!)
7:45 - Rod drops me off at work
. . .fast forward . . .
5:45 Rod and the kids pick me up from work
5:50 - 6:20 - see 6:50 a.m. but sub snack for breakfast and me entertaining for 5 people simultaneously demanding my attention - LOUDLY
6:45 'ish - eat something hopefully involving more than 2 food groups
and the rest of the evening most of you can imagine - just take your kids x 4, 2, 1.5 or whatever the appropriate multiplier is.
Friday is, of course, different because I don't work. So now Evan goes to his new daycare, the girls all go to "school" and I get groceries, clean, do laundry and bills - all that fun mommy stuff. We're hanging in there. Some days I curse that drive, some days I love the chance to have the kids undivided attention. Any chance we get to be outside I am so grateful for the quiet and privacy I swear to never complain about the commute again. Then Evan gets buckled into his car seat!! We are all works in progress, right? I just thank God for giving me another chance to get it right tomorrow!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I'm back after almost a month without internet! What a big month August has been! We spent the first weekend at my folks' for the Wheeler Co. Fair and the kids had a blast with their cousins, as always. My aunt & uncle from AZ, and cousin & family from San Fran came to visit so that was really cool. I'm embarassed to say I don't even have a picture from that. The next weekend we were off to Coco Key in Omaha -- as you'll see the kids and grown ups had a blast! Then it was time for school. Loren started 2nd grade at St. Isidores - I'd love to have a picture of it but I wasn't allowed to bring the camera. She's too cool!! I do have one on my cell phone which I'll have to learn how to download. Paige started her 2nd year of pre-K at Father Price and Brooke started her 1st year of pre-K at Father Price, which is the daycare assocaited with St. Isidores. It's so nice to drop off all 3 girls at the same place. Finally, on Thurs. Evan started a new daycare. We are VERY excited about that!! Here are some pics!!

Our trip to CocoKey in Omaha. Everybody loved it!!
Brooker turns 3!!
Papa Hall helping Evan "ride his bike" without his feet
touching the grass too much.

Loren figured out how to ride without training wheels!! This is more impressive when you remember our yard is the flattest spot she gets to practice.

Brooke's 1st day of Pre-school.

Paige's 1st day back at preschool with Ms. Carmen, who also teaches Brooke.