Thursday, December 31, 2009

Of Significance in '09

Perhaps it is all together incredibly cliche to recap the year past on New Years Eve but as this blog serves as my scrapbook of sorts for family I am finding it rather necessary.

2009 has been another year full of big changes for our family.  Looking back, we haven't had a stagnant year yet.  We have moved so much, started and quit jobs, had babies, started school...so many changes each year since Zack and I have been together.  I have to say, I am ready for a year when there aren't huge milestone changes in this re-cap.  I long for a year in the same house, same jobs, same schools -- just living and loving each other.  Alas, 2009 was not that year but perhaps 2010 will be.  No one could ever say the Tucker-Donaldson family is adverse to change!!

January 09 - We got the news that Zack was offered a position as Controls Engineer at EAD Controls in Omaha, NE which started our feverish search for housing, schooling, doctoring and all the other necessities that come with moving to a new city!

February 09 - We packed up these 5 beautiful babies and a house full of crap to move over 800 miles and start a brand new journey!  Zack started his new job the first week of Feb and I started at Sleight Advertising the 3rd week.


1 week after moving we hosted a birthday party for our Skyler who turned 8! WOW

2 weeks after that I surprised my dear hubby with a 30 birthday bash he'll never forget:)


April 09 - Zack took his first week long work related trip.  Little did I know this was just a preview of what was to come....

May 09 - My brother Daniel moved from Kentucky to Omaha!!!

August 09 - I came to the realization, AGAIN, that working full-time while mothering FIVE children is just not possible OR worth the hassle.  I quit my full-time job at Sleight Advertising and began working freelance for several marketing clients.

Our precious Livie started Kindergarden!!!!!


September 09 -  September brought the beginning of Skyler's diagnosis of a thyroid disorder.  This was both heartbreaking and a relief at the same time.  We had started to get incredibly worried that Skyler was having some more major health issues, realizing the thyroid is treatable brought us some comfort.

Zack spent most of this month in Canada --- UGH

October 09 -  Our precious little Mia Faith turned 2 years old!!!!  She is now carrying on conversations and is just a delightful toddler!!


December 09 -  I accepted my M.B.A.!!  WOOT WOOT I still can't believe I really finished.  I also began my first real writing gig for Momaha.com!

We are looking forward to 2010.  A full year in the same house, a special wedding for Jake (Zack's brother) & Rachell, my good friends moving to Omaha, the birth of our new niece or nephew (YAY Shawn & Aly!!)and hopefully the realization of some more of our dreams.  It's a crazy life.....but oh so sweet.

Happy New Year All!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's Not Our Christmas

Check out my new post at Momaha.com regarding our Christmas this year.


http://www.momaha.com/article/20091218/MOMS02/912189980/-1/moms

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Update on Skyler's Doctor Appointment

Thanks everyone for your prayers this afternoon. The Endocrinologist said Skyler's thyroid levels do look a little better but he did another blood test to see again.  We expect a phone call from the doctor later this week with the results of that test.

He also said her thyroid seems very enlarged and he ordered an ultrasound (which will happen in a few weeks).

He also mentioned that it may be more of a goiter issue?? And, that the symptoms which eventually led to the diagnosis may actually be unrelated to the thyroid problems....



I don't really know what that means except that we need to be patient in this process while they discover exactly what's going on and then a course of treatment to help her get better.

Patience is not my specialty. I feel like things should be black and white. Do A to fix B and we are good to go....not so much in the medical profession...We just really want to find the magic fix that will make Skyler feel better, have energy again, and eliminate the constipation problems....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Not An Entertainer....


I have always been of the parenting philosophy that in order to raise successful & independent children, they must have the ability to entertain themselves. I have never been the mommy that plans structured activities to provide them with constant entertainment.
"Go Play!"  has always been a mommy motto of mine.  


However, Mother Nature had a big gift in store for us Nebraskans this week.  How about 10 inches of snow AND 40 mile/hour winds.  This puts us at a wind chill of negative whatever.  After about 20 degrees does it really even matter??  BBRRRRRR  So, it's entirely too cold to go outside.


The first snow day we were happy, blissful even.  Spent the entire day playing Wii, watched a movie together, baked cookies and dinner together.  By morning two of our entrapment the tides had completely changed.  Tears. Tantrums. Arguments. And one of most mommy's most dreaded phrases, "I'M BOOOO--OO-RREEDDD."


Realizing a "Go Play!" motto can only last for a couple of hours, especially when the children are completely snowed in the house I had to come up with a plan and fast.  Hooray for the Internet and a printer.  Today I faux-homeschooled.  I downloaded reading comprehension tests, math worksheets, writing prompts, and a Christmas Bingo game. For future reference:


www.superteacherworksheets.com
www.abcteach.com
www.dtlk-kids.com


Thank you, dear Internet, you saved a frazzled Mommy from complete and utter insanity this morning.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December

Is December everyone's busiest month?  Geez..wouldn't it be nice to just hit pause for a couple weeks.  Get everything caught up, breathe....read a book....take a bubble bath.....without anything pressing on a TO-DO list..ick.  Yea, well not so much this month.


BIG EVENTS FOR US THIS MONTH:

I am graduating *spin cartwheels with me* (well, if I could do a cartwheel).  When I ordered my cap and gown over the phone I started feeling very warm and fuzzy.  She said, "This gown will be different from your Bachelor's degree.  Special sleeves, don't be scared!"  HAHAHAHA I am now very anxious for my Fed-Ex man to drop it off....funny sleeves? What the heck does she mean?!?!  

Momaha.com is launching!  Now this doesn't require much work on my part but it sure gets me excited!  I feel honored to be a part!!  Tomorrow is our photo shoot---I'm a gonna be famous ya'll:)!  And the site officially launches on Tuesday of next week.  Don't worry, I'll remind you.

Parties, parties, and more parties.

Some super secret event as well---it involves a friend, a good one.  Who just maybe has some incredible opportunity.  That just maybe would make me uber uber uber excited...I'll fill you in when I can!!!!!

And then of course the normal Christmas hug-a-baloo...which I truly love.  I ain't complaining at all.  I want to make cookies, lots of cookies and deliver them to people.  It's like my favorite thing.  Bourbon Balls, Sugar Cookies, Snickerdoodles, Peanut Butter Fudge, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Reindeer Poop (so silly), and whatever other recipe I get my hands on that looks appetizing!  I fill up little tins, just like my momma does.  Delivering goodies makes my heart smile:)  and keeps all those calories off my already thunder thighs!! 

I want to make Gingerbread houses with my children.  All standing around the dining room table, christmas music in the background, smells of pumpkin and ginger filling the air....kids grabbing candy and icing left and right.  They'll probably even get in at least one argument...but it's those moments where we are all together that make me the happiest of all.  I think about the Kenny Chesney song "Don't Blink"......country lyrics describing how fast children grow up and it reminds me to savor every single moment with them.  The smiles, giggles, hugs, kisses AND the arguments, messes, time-outs, and disobedience.

I LOOOVE being a MOM.  I love December.  I love Christmas.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Selfless acts, with purpose?!?!



Translation
Dear Daddy and Sarah,

Don't worry about making your bed.  I already did.
I love you.  Your the best. No need to thank me I'll be in my room.
Love, Skyler

My New Role

I have been writing this blog for nearly 2 years now.  I still love sharing stories of the kids and keeping the family updated on some of our goings-ons.  Throughout this process, my passion for writing has grown even deeper.  I am fascinated with the growing community of mommies on the web.  Mommies searching for community, advice, and fresh ideas.  Also, as a newbie to Omaha I am constantly searching for ways to network with other moms, writers, and the business community as a whole.

In pursuing the Internet the other day for my client, Pin Curl Girls, I stumbled across Momaha.com.  Momaha.com is a product of the Omaha World Herald - see more information on the website here.  They are in the process now of compiling a group of local mommy bloggers to help in the building of their site.  I applied and was offered the position the next day!:)

As a member of the Momaha Team I will be writing some more general blogs about life raising a blended family, life as a mom of 5, life as a step-mom, etc.  My unique roles are quite vast.  I'll share the links here and hopefully some of you will enjoy!:)  My first post discussed the difficulties of keeping up with the laundry 7 people produces and a new trick I have discovered to help me not despise the process.  I'll let you all know when the site is live and you can follow me there!:)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Zack's Adventure in the Kitchen

Last week-end Zack and I ended up spending a lazy morning hanging on the couch together.  It was wonderful until we realized we had two hours before we needed to leave for Lincoln for Grandpa Jack's birthday.  No one had showered, we still needed to make our culinary contribution, and get 5 kids loaded in the car!


I had decided to make Homemade Macaroni & Cheese from the Pioneer Woman's web-site.  Please keep in mind that I have just discovered The Pioneer Woman about a month ago and it's one of my new favorite things!  The author offers a beautiful step-by-step account of each recipe she provides.  The pictures and description allows for a fool proof way to create yummies!!!!!!

So, back to last week-end.  Zack and I were making the game plan of how to accomplish everything we needed to and avoid being late to the party!   He decides he could make the MacNCheese while I take a shower.  Now, this conversation ended up priceless:

Me:  Honey, are you sure?  It's homemade, you'll have to make a roux, etc.

Zack:  Babe, it's this Pioneer Woman, Right?  She has pictures...nobody can screw that up.

Me:  For the record, I am worried!  This isn't just chop, mix, and plop....

Zack:  I can handle this babe!  Go take a shower and don't worry about it!

So, I head to the shower all the time thinking of how he was certainly going to burn the cheese sauce.  Zack doesn't cook....at all.  He MIGHT make quesadillas which involves plopping some shredded cheese and meat on a tortilla and I just knew this wasn't going to end up well.

I came out of the shower, dressed quickly and dried my hair...still worrying about what was happening in my kitchen.  I finally emerge from the bedroom and to my surprise the stuff looks delicious!!  I was shocked and so pleasantly surprised.  I also felt a little sad, like this is my thing --- you can't be good at cooking too!!  Zack's a freaking genius.  A controls engineer that can do complex algebraic equations as simply as I would do addition or subtraction.  A guy that tutored and pulled me through my economics, finance, and managerial accounting courses for my MBA.  A guy that is undefeated at both Monopoly and Scrabble when playing with me.  This guy is smart he doesn't need to steal "my thing."

I begin cleaning up the kitchen and preparing the children to head out while he finishes the casserole.  Finally, he asks me to taste his dish and he is oh so proud.  He dishes up a small bite and places it in my mouth.  It takes every ounce of self-control I can muster not to spit it out.  AAAAAAAHAHAHAHA it takes like a big pile of gooey mustard!!!  What the heck?  This genius of mine didn't recognize the difference between a tablespoon and a teaspoon.....

Yes, I still have my thing.  I am the cook, I'll forever be the cook, and Zack is no longer trusted in the kitchen alone!!!! :)




Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!!

Hope everyone had a fantastic Halloween!!  Our Halloween festivities began Thursday evening at Livie's Daisy Scout Party.  Friday we attended the elementary school's Harvest dance, Saturday the older kiddos attended a birthday party, and then we hosted a little mini pre-halloween party followed by a fabulous round of trick-or-treating in our neighborhood....SHEW what a busy week-end!!:)

Skyler rocked out a beautiful angel, Livie pranced around as the quintessential Fairy Princess, Trendon (and most of his friends) wanted nothing more than to be a character from Star Wars -- he finally chose Anakin Skywaker, and Abbie happened in to Albert Einstein.  Her original choice was scientist but after I found white hair color spray at Wal-Mart we had to go all out!  She even went home with the best costume prize from the elementary schools costume contest!

We are already thinking about next year's costumes and Skyler is adamant that I should make hers (like I half way made Abbie's) so that she was have a chance to win the contest!:)  As of now, she wants to be an artist....the other kids don't have a clue yet!

What were your kiddos for Halloween?  Did you make or buy their costumes?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Want a Flip Ultra HD?!?!?!

I have a new friend in Omaha that does product reviews on her blog.  Right now she is actually running a giveaway for a free Flip Ultra HD camera!!! HELLO!?!?!  So, one way to enter is to blog about the giveaway--her it is Megan!!  I really want this camera.  The kids have SOO much fun making "movies" and this would be an easy camera to teach them on!

All of you should go enter too---if I can't win maybe one of my friends or fam can!:)

http://www.newlywednewlybred.com/2009/10/flip-ultra-hd-review-and-giveaway.html

Holiday Week-End

Friends & Fam:  Check my Gallery page for TONS of new pictures!!

Halloween costumes are purchased and ready to go!  

Skyler: Angel
Abbie: Doctor
Trendon: Anakin Skywalker
Livie: Rainbow Fairy
Mia: Duck

Shew, that was a lot of running.  Of course no one store carried everyone's choice of costume so we spent an entire day running around Omaha on the hunt for each kid's choice outfit!  We had a lot of fun together and even got to make a pit-stop at Zio's pizza (My FAV) with Zack for lunch.  The kids have parties, parties, and more parties today, Friday and Saturday so Grandma's can expect lots of pictures!!

Saturday, after the kids attend their first costume party of the day....we'll be having a fun little celebration here.  You have to check out these adorable recipes I am planning to make:

Pre-Trick or Treat Menu

and then to top it all off a nice warm pot of our favorite:


Friday, October 23, 2009

My Baby Isn't A Baby Anymore




So, our other big event yesterday -- Mia's birthday.  She's 2!!!!  It's so cliche to talk about how fast your children grow, but it's so true!  Our sweet Mia bring SO much joy to our family.  All of the kids love to play and read with her.  It's such a different experience having a toddler and big kids at the same time.  We are incredibly blessed to have blended these children and actually see that they do love each other.

She's still completely dependent on her "silky" which she uses to go to sleep every night--- well that and her thumb of course!  She is talking in sentences, some of her favorites :

Where's Sissy (Skyler)?

I want my silky!!

Love you Momma

Sing the choo-choooooo (I've Been Working on the Railroad)

We are celebrating with a small family party on Sunday but yesterday we sang to Mia at least 10 times!  She LOOOOVES the attention and I just might keep singing to her all week-end.

I keep telling everyone...I don't have a baby anymore!!! :(  So, I need all my friends to keep having babies so I have precious ones to love on.  My van and wallet can't fit anymore babies....nor would my husband ever agree to it!! LOL

Cooking School

My adorable brother wants to learn how to cook and since he's 800 miles away from our Momma the task falls to me.  A job I am not sad to undertake to say the least.  Cooking with people I love tops my love of feeding people for sure....though both tasks makes my heart smile great big!


Last night we took on Chicken Parmigiana....and WOW!  We worked diligently for an hour and a half - pounding and frying chicken, making homemade pasta sauce, mixing a Caesar salad, and of course singing our heart out to some country tunes.  What a great night:)  Thanks Daniel!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm Beginning to Think A Lot about....

Christmas!  Yikes, it's only 74 days away!!!!!!!!!  Our plan this year is to go a little green with our gift giving.  Making some gifts and just generally incorporating more thought into the presents we do buy.  We are the family that rushes around at the very last minute looking at each other...do you think Mom would like this?  Umm....maybe??  Wrapping it and then going to the Christmas event the same day.:(  So pitiful and absolutely NOT what Christmas should be about!

So, I am pursuing some fabulous web-sites like:

Family Fun

Michaels

Hobby Lobby

wikiHow

About: Crafts

Free Crafts

to help inspire my little mind into a creative mind.  It's kind of a stretch for me...I am not what you'd call "Martha Stewart."  I love to cook but everything else is just an attempt on my end.  I have many of those friends that come by decorating, crafts, and organization so easy and I ENVY them:)

Anyway, part of our adventure in brainstorming occurred at the park today with some special photos of the kids.  I contemplated waiting to share them since they may turn into gifts later but I couldn't help myself!!!!  Here's a few of my favs but don't forget to view the Gallery site to see them all!



Do you have some other great sites I am missing?  What have you made for a gift that has been a huge hit?  Please leave us comments on the blog---even the kids like to read them!! :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Skyler's Poetry

Skyler has began writing poetry.  She is really enjoying expressing herself through these poems and has been searching for an outlet to share them with.  We made her a blog this afternoon so that she could know she could share them anytime she wants!  Please read it here and be sure and comment when you have a moment---she sure would love that!

skylerspoetry.blogspot.com

Morning Magic

Zack and I have been discussing finding new ways to get into some routines to streamline this big family.  Neither one of us has had the commitment to make it happen until I stumbled upon a life changing web-site:  Flylady.  None of the tips or tricks found on this web-site are rocket science.  However, she does lay out some easy routines to implement which have rescued our family from morning madness.

Here's how our version works during the week:

6:00am - Mommy and Zack wake up, shower, and spend a few moments together with our coffee mugs

6:45am - Daddy leaves for work

Mommy's quiet time!!!

7:20am- Morning Music comes on.  *This is the key* If the kids wake up before morning music then they hang in their rooms reading books until they hear the que.  When they hear the music they begin this list of to-do's.

Kids-
Make Bed.
Get dressed including shoes.
Breakfast.
Brush Teeth.
Brush Hair.
Layout backpack, coat, gloves, scarf, and hat.

No more rushing around with a frazzled Mommy.  Even the kids agree, we are happier and more peaceful!!  YAAAY

Naomi's Invitation

Friday night our big ones spent the night with their cousin Naomi for a special sleepover extravaganza.  Read Melissa (Naomi's  Mom's) take on the evening here.:)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Love This:

"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the
companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering
with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.".
Rachel Carson

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Preparing For the Journey

Today we head out for the Bluegrass State!  We are all anxious to get to Mom's and be with our family during this time.  I still haven't begun the process of writing something to say at the funeral.  My heart wants to but my head has no words yet.

15 hours is quite a ways in the car with the babies.  They are so good for us though, I think they have definitely gotten used to traveling!  We are packing their DS's, iPods, and books to keep them entertained. Mia, of course, is the hardest one but our big guys are even good with helping entertain her.

On a fun note, I have updated the Photo Album (see link on right) with pictures from our trip to Adventureland!  This new me.com will allow you to download my pictures straight to your own computer!  You can then use them however you like (i.e. burn to CD - take to Wal-Mart - get your own prints!)  If you  need help getting that to work just let me know. I don't want the me.com to be more trouble than Snapfish but I do think it looks a lot better AND it's a lot easier for me:-)!

Happy Wednesday all.  Much love...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lost my grandma today. So surreal to realize I will never kiss her cheeks or hold her hand again. We are headed to Kentucky tomorrow so we can be a part of the services. I plan to write something to say at the funeral but I don't even know how to begin.

She lived a long life even though she's been sick for years. Parkinson's Disease, COPD, and lung cancer--that's a lot to battle for one little lady. She died this morning at about 10:30EST surrounded by her two daughters, my momma Stephanie and my Aunt Lisa. They were singing How Great Thou Art as she was drawing her final breaths and Chris Tomlin's Fly To Jesus as she died. Peaceful and surrounded with love. I hope, when my time comes, I'll be afforded that same gift.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Tricks of the Trade

We have a LOT of children living in our home....this is true.  5 unique, beautiful and talented children 8 and under ! I am asked this every time I leave the house with them all in tow.  After the stares and gawks some brave soul will venture to ask...."Are they ALL yours?"  like I am gallivanting through Target with an entire army!!  

So, how do we make this work??  What gets me through the day?  Though I know I still have a TON to learn and perfect-here are my little mantras---what keeps me going through the day.

1.  Patience is more than a virtue - it's a necessity! I practice deep breathing nearly every day, I'm sure of it.  It's easy to get wrapped up in the fury when Skyler and Abbie are screaming at each other, Trendon's crying cause he can''t find his toy, Livie can't believe Mia stole her baby doll and Mia's ticked off that everyone is being so loud!!!  These moments are fairly few and far between but when they happen I try to step back and breathe deep!

2.  Enjoy the little moments.  With many children its hard to spend quality time with each of them.  Zack and I have found ways to steal away short but special moments.  Abbie and I spent time tonight singing Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes as fast as we could while the others were distracted by their own games.  Those 8 minutes were priceless.

3.  50/50 marriage is a must!  Without a supportive, loving husband I would absolutely be a wreck.  This house can be chaotic and there is an ever-growing list of to-do's.  Even though I work from home, he realizes I work.  Even tonight he worked 7a-8p--but realized that meant just as long a day for me.  I am one lucky gal--I know this for sure!

4.  Money doesn't grow on trees.  I don't know what the magic number would be to have plenty of money for every activity, lesson, fund raiser, birthday party, etc with 5 kids.  Whatever that number is....we don't have it.  Though we are blessed to be able to provide for these children we do have to skip some of those extras.  Our kids are still well-adjusted and smart even without karate, piano, gymnastics, dance, horseback riding and fencing lessons every single night of the week.:)

5.  Steal away moments with your mate.  Hiring a sitter isn't always an option for us so we have become creative in our ways to spend special time together.  Our house is set up so that we can shut off the basement completely--we have been known to put the kids to bed, order take-out, light a few candles, and turn up the tunes.  It's a completely romantic dinner for two without the cost of a sitter!

6.  Accept help.  What you'd like to take the kids to the movies?!?!  Why, SURE!!!!  :)  We have some amazing neighbors, friends, and family that have extended incredibly generosity to us.  

7.  Let the ceiling fan be dusty.  There is not enough energy in my body to keep an immaculate house and care for 5 children and a dog.  My ceiling fans might be dusty, baseboards might be too --- I am learning to come to grips with this reality!

8.  Be alone.  Mommies and Daddies all need time to recharge!  I sneak away for a night out with girlfriends about once a month. 

9.  Turn up the music!!  Or find another family ritual that the kids can expect to do with you every day.  Ours is cranking up the tunes at around 5 o clock when we start dinner.  Sometimes I have patience to let the kids help me in the kitchen - and others I just want dinner on the table quickly.  But, we ALWAYS have the radio up loud and we dance like no one is watching!:)  I'm confident that I enjoy this time even more than they do:-)

10.  Entertain them.  Kids are so much more well-behaved and easy to handle when they have a good balance of being entertained and entertaining themselves.  A lot of the family activities we choose to do include a mix of this.  For instance, we head downtown to the "Big Grey Slides" (don't you love our creative nickname).  We get a chance to play with them---and an opportunity to sit together and watch them play.  A good mix seems to work magic for us!

I am far from claiming to have all the answers but I sure know that I have learned a lot growing from a momma of 2 to a family of 7! 

Have any of your own family tips to share?  Leave a comment--I sure love reading them!!:-)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Generosity

You don't have to be wealthy to be generous.




Isn't it amazing how our children can teach us lessons better than anyone else?  The purity in their actions and words speaks volumes.

Today we took a quick trip to run some errands with the kids.  One of our stops was the fabulous Wal-Mart (hah) for a few things.  Abbie had a gift card she received for her birthday and was going to choose something while we were there to spend it on!  However, on the way there she decided she wanted to share it.  It was beautiful watching the kids decide the best way to split the $10.  Abbie suggested $2 for each child, Skyler suggested $5 for Trendon (the boy) and $5 for the rest of the girls, cause the girls will share anyway.  So funny---they had several different combination's that even changed after we were shopping.  

So, we leave the store with 3 rubber amphibians for Trendon and a set of paper tickets for the girls.  The girls had agreed they would like to play movie theater and needed tickets to do so.  Anyway, in the van they then began concocting their next scheme.  They asked me the most beautiful question----

Abbie:  "Mom, can we ask each person that comes to our house for a penny in exchange for a ticket?"

Skyler:  "Yea, cause we wanna donate the money."

Abbie:  "Yea, to the box at McDonalds."

Skyler:  "You know, to save a child's life."

Abbie: "We could get a LOT of pennies for tickets Mom."

Ahh, could my heart feel any fuller?  The life lessons from children are endless.  I am more inspired and more anxious to find ways for our whole family to give and volunteer together.  Children are so ready to be shown how to give!

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

2 More Weeks -

It's hard to believe my schooling days are almost over!  In just 2 short weeks I will have completed all of my credit hours for my MBA in Human Resource Administration!!!!  My graduation isn't until December as I will get to walk with the traditional students and meet all of my online classmates that have become some of my great friends!!! 

On a serious note, I do have to give such mega thanks to all my friends and family that have supported me through this process.  I know for some (i.e. Zack) it hasn't been easy to have me occupied with papers and studying nearly every week-end of the past 2 years.  We've found a decent balance but it has affected his world for sure.  Thank you honey!!  I am entirely too lucky to have been blessed with you.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Adventureland

This describes much better than my words how much fun we had today!!

We are here!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Mommy Agenda

It's here again! Time to pull out the hoodies and pack away the
shorts & tank tops. Football, autumn leaves, crisp air mornings, and
potato soup. That's what I love about Fall. Today will be our Fall
clean-out day. We will organize our closets and start bracing for the
cooler weather that's on the way.
I am getting to the point in our family's world where I have such
great helpers! However, I still feel guilty having them spend their
week-ends cleaning so here's the plan: today we'll clean out closets
while jamming to some great music but tomorrow we are going to
Adventureland!!!!!
I think it's the perfect trade-off. Let's see just how successfully I
can enact this agenda.
What do you think: is this bribery or a true teaching moment about
working hard for what we want in life?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Abbie's here I am!

Skyler's New Pet



Skyler: So proud of her English project!! :-)

Livie's Me Girl


Thank you so much Aunt Lyssie for all your creative expertise in the creation of this adorable craft bio of Olivia!:-)

Trendon's Important Things






Sometimes I Act Funny
Sometimes I feel sick
I am very good at video games
I don't like broccale
People say I am helpful

Monday, September 21, 2009

Skyler

I just realized I haven't blogged about all the new developments in Skyler's world.  She has been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism.  We were absolutely shocked by this diagnosis as it does mean a life long treatment of medication.  She has started on Synthroid and her doctors will be working to perfect the dosage level that she needs to get her hormones on track.  She will be getting her blood drawn a lot in the next few months :-(.

The doctors are also going to measure her bone age by having an x-ray taken of her wrist.  They have noticed that she is the size of a 6 year old and in the 10th percentile for height.  This is most likely cause by her thyroid not performing properly.  We are unsure as of yet how they will treat this stunted growth or what that means for Skyler long term.

She has an appointment with an Endocrinologist in December so we should learn a lot more then.

Please keep her and us in your prayers as we work to get her healthy and strong.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

...still missing him

 4 years ago I fell in love with this boy - incredibly smart, shockingly adorable, sweet as sugar, and way more stubborn than necessary.;)  We made drastic life changes in order to merge our lives together because of this love.  The past 4 years have brought 2 more drastic life changes (i.e. cross country moves) involving both opportunity and heartbreak.  Also, Zack graduated college, I started my M.B.A. studies, we brought a beautiful daughter into this world together, and have (I would argue) pretty darn successfully blended our children into a very happy family.  After all this, shouldn't it be easy to be without him for a few weeks while he travels for business?  IT'S NOT!  I miss him like crazy.  For the most part, I'm in a new routine with the kids and house...nothings perfect but we can handle the day-to-day.  Of course, the kids miss their Daddy like crazy and can't wait for him to return. 

But, I do too!!  It's been a wacky road realizing how many of the little things I miss while he's gone.  Many evenings we wind down on the deck...just chatting and spending time together while the sun goes down.  I have been lost at night since he's been gone.  After the kids go to bed my house is SO QUIET!

He's blessed to have a great job - but we will all be so glad when the Canada project is complete and he's back home with us:-)!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Vacation Time!!!

Zack has been gone 4 1/2 of the last 6 weeks!  He was in Florida in early August and then got shipped off, very unexpectedly, to Canada for a huge work project.  He was able to come home for 10 days and then back up North he flew where he's still working away.  When we thought he'd be finished and home by now we planned a little week-end getaway for some precious family time.  We decided to trek down South to Dallas so S & T could also spend some time with their mom.  I am hoping we'll make it to Family Funday @ the Irving Arts Center, the State Fair, and spend lots and lots of time lounging by the pool being lazy but enjoying eachother! 

We'll be leaving Thursday -- we CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Purty purty please----

Friends and family --- vote in the poll to the right!
Be sure and look at the new albums before you vote though---- http://gallery.me.com/s.tuck
Thank ya:-)

The Week of Birthdays!

These girls are growing up!  Abbie is now 8!!  And Liv is 6!  

We had a fabulous party this past Saturday at a horse ranch.  The kids were able to meet over 20 horses, learn how to brush them, ride them and play games while in the saddle!!!!  All of the kids seemed to have a blast and Zack and I realized parties not at our own house are DEFINITELY the way to go!  So much less stress and best of all -- less clean-up!!

When talking to the girls about what they wished for for their special days, Abbie had only one request "Please Momma just ANYTHING that is alive!!"  After talking with Zack and exploring Petco together we decided to get her a gerbil!!!!  It's the cutest little thing -- Abbie carries him (Max is his name) around all day in a make-shift sling around her neck!  She takes him to eat and get water and then loves on him so more.  It's more than adorable!!!!!!!!!!!

Olivia is 6!!!!

I brought cupcakes to Livies class today in celebration of her 6th
birthday! She couldn't have been more delighted:-)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Photo Album

Check out my new online photo album site: http://gallery.me.com/s.tuck I am still trying to figure out how to organize everything --- it takes me a while with this technology stuff!! Let me know what you think of the me.com versus the snapfish updates.

:) Have a fantastic Friday!

Waiting .....

Peachie and Aunt Rach came to visit us for the week-end!!!!! We have
lots of fun things planned including Abbie and Livie's birthday party
tomorrow!!!!!!! Here's a pic of them all sitting outside waiting to
greet them with big hugs and kisses:)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Missing Zack

It's been an absolute whirlwind the past 3 weeks. Zack was shipped off to Calgary for a work project. Originally we thought he'd only been gone 3 days...that was August 12th! It's looking very likely that he'll finally return on Wednesday and we can't wait! Three weeks doesn't sound that long but he's missed so much! The kids started school, Mia is now talking in sentences, and Liv started Daisy scouts!

...more updates soon I promise:0)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy Monday

The kids are now in their last week of Summer vacation! I can't believe my little Livie will be starting Kindergarten in 7 days!!! Thursday is back-to-school night when the kids will get to meet their teachers - Livie CAN'T WAIT!

I am getting into a balance at home of working and taking care of the kids. Next week will definitely be easier on the getting work done side with 4 of the kids at school. Since I am working for 2 different companies it's been a little crazy balancing the to-do list. It's exciting to have such an opportunity and saving us so much money on daycare. (WOW)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cause Girls They Wanna Have Fun!



Zack and Trendon went to Kansas City today with Grandpa Clay to see a Royals Game! So, I decided to plan a special day just for the girls. Since the forecast said it would be 100 degrees here in Omaha , we opted for indoor activities.

My friend, Lisa came over to help run a spa for the darlings. We gave pedicures, manicures, facials, and fixed up their hair! So much fun!! The girls have already asked when we could do this day again and even Skyler stated, "This is the BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!" :-) So cute.

After all the girls were sufficiently pampered we let them each choose a kid recipe to create! Abby chose a crunchy snack mix, Skyler chose a Hanukkah cake (?? :0), and Livie chose tea-cup cookies. We headed out to the store to purchase the ingredients for each recipe and then rushed home to get started on our delectable treats!




Might you say, that's a great day for some little girls?! Did we stop there?? OH NO!;-) Then we had a make-shift pool party in the back yard to relax...haha

Super duper beautiful day having fun with all the girls. However, can I have tomorrow off to relax?:-)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mia and Daddy

videoItsy Bitsy Spider!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

videoOne last test --- video to blog work? This is from the Summer Arts
Festival, downtown Omaha. So much fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Test....hoping to learn how to write a blog from my phone.....let's see if this works:-)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Wheeeew!!


This week we are missing 80% of our kiddos:-( Skyler and Trendon are in TX and Abbie and Liv are in KY. Our house is SOOOOOO quiet! To stay busy today I started organizing/cleaning out closets. I bet I could fill the back of my van already with trash bags full of clothes to give to Goodwill! It feels so good to get rid of stuff we don't use!

Cute/Interesting things to note from the past few weeks:

Mia: Her ability to communicate has changed DRAMATICALLY in the past 2 weeks or so....she has learned "night-night", "uh-oh" and "he woo" (hello). But, by far the cutest is still when we say "I love you" and she replies with just, "TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Also, tonight during dinner Zack decided to try and teach her how to use a spoon to eat. We thought it would still be weeks before she could master it but low-and-behold, she cleaned a whole bowl of mashed potatoes all by herself!!! She was SOO proud of herself!!!!

Liv: Has been struggling the past few weeks with "night-mirrors":-( We now have an entire new bedtime routine which includes asking Jesus to give her "peace in her heart." She has been doing much better...and it is beautiful to watch her pray and trust God!!!

Trendon: My momma and brother came up to visit this week during their Spring Break from school. While they were here they went to have lunch with the kids at school. Daniel sat with Trendon....and said that he is EVERYONE'S buddy!!! He even said that a little girl came up to him to tell him how nice Trendon is:-) He is definitely our little socialite!!

Abbie: Abbie was nominated by her teacher for "Outstanding Student of 2009" for her class!! We were shocked and so proud. For her reward she gets to walk in a parade at an Omaha Royals game in a few weeks, get greeted by the players, and recieve a certificate. She is bursting with excitement!!

Skyler: Has made a very best buddy at school named Cheyenne. They have been calling eachother and planning sleepovers!! We are thrilled because in Kentucky she didn't seem to connect with a "best friend" type. She seems to have really fit in at Josleyn and is thriving there! Also, you must ask her to draw you a picture next time you hang out with her.....she is fast becoming an amazing artisit!!!!! Zack and I have been blown away by some of the things she has been drawing.

Zack: Zack just returned home from a week way in Orlando for work. I thought I would be just fine without him....but I missed him LIKE CRAZY! I am so glad he is home, but this travelling is something I am going to have to get used to cause this ain't his last trip:-( Also, he is attempting to organize his garage aka workshop as he has many projects in mind!

Me: I did sign my first client this past week at work!!!! I am absolutely elated and can't wait to start working on their campaign for '09. Of course, I am anxious to prove my abilities and feel worthy of this job!:-)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Work Bio

Oh, and my work bio is up....which is kinda fun! Check it out:
http://www.sleightadvertising.com
and click on "Meet Our Team" You'll find me!:-)

Plugging Away



Poor blogger....I have neglected you! We have had lots of fun over the past few weeks but also been incredibly busy and tired. In fact, as I type away at 9pm, my sweet darling husband is already snoring beside me!

The girlies and I were home alone this week-end while Zack and Trendon made a whirwind trip to Kentucky with Clay to get the rest of our furniture from the house there. While they were gone we decided to play beauty shop and above are pictures of Abbie and Skyler after their make-overs! They are getting so close to "tweens" that its just crazy! I am glad that for now, I am still included in the beautifying. However, while I was curling hair and applying make-up I was thinking about how they day will come when they don't want my help anymore. I can't believe HOW FAST they are growing. Abbie and Skyler are practically self-sufficient now. They can shower alone, fold laundry, cook (even bacon and eggs!), and read practically as well as I can.

Mia's personality is really starting to come out. She is officially the clown of our house. She will do anything for attention and to get a laugh! I do have some adorable videos to share but....still have trouble uploading them. I'll get Z's assistance sometime when he's not distracted by sleeping!!

Love to all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Zack is 30!!!

Hey all! We are still adjusting well to the new life. Our nanny has been working out really well---she loves coloring with the kids and Livie says she is "MY FRIEND!":-)

Today is Zack's big 3-0 birthday!! Jake has flown in with his girlfriend to celebrate with us! Tonight they came over for dinner and we enjoyed spending time with them. The kids just LOVE their Uncle Jake!! Mia turned on this evening...just giggling and laughing at EVERYTHING!

Work for me is going really well. I started actually visiting clients today....which makes me feel like I am actually progressing towards some real work.

We have been laughing at Zack after he told us he won the "Trooper" recognition at work....apparently if an employee has done something special that week they are announced as the "trooper". Which just makes me giggle..cause it sounds like an award the kids would get at school for not tattling or crying or something.....AH hahahahahahaha

I am having a rough time (of course) adjusting to the work/home/family balance....so I am incredibly tired. Is this blog even making sense?

Love to all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

My First Day at the New Job!



As you can see above---Zack sent me a beautiful vase of stargazer lilies to my office for my first day of work! How freakin' sweet, huh? I was so completely shocked and thrilled!

My first day went incredibly well. I really enjoy all of the people I work with!! Sleight is comprised of mainly women so we had a great day getting to know eachother. Everyone was very gracious to me and made me feel incredibly welcome.

I have a LOT to learn about the other medias that I haven't worked with before (radio, broadcast, cable, billboards, direct mail, etc) and how to buy their schedules etc. But, I feel confident in other ways too....so it's always a learning curve and I am practicing patience right now.....which all who know me...know is incredibly difficult! I like to know what is going on and how its gonna happen far in advance. So, this is good for me I am sure and soon enough I should be a pro!

The kids also had a fabulous day today. Their nanny, Heather, was here for the first half of the day. And then, Grandpa Jack came to spend the afternoon/evening with them since he was off work. I got home to 5 happy children----which is the most important thing I want to see when I walk in the door!!!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Our New Life




(Above: some pictures of our new house!)

We have now spent 2 weeks in our new home and we feel pretty much settled. Almost every box is unpacked and put away. The pictures are hung on the wall....and it feels like home. I am so in love with this house. It's close to the same square footage of our old one but laid out MUCH differently. We now have a huge master bedroom with walk-in closet!! We have a separate formal dining room and a breakfast nook off the kitchen, a huge back deck, and a truly finished basement ( no ugly paneling)! Also, the backyard is FLAT!! YAY

We have received the warmest of welcomes from all of our neighbors. Trendon has a classmate about 2 doors down and his Mom and I hit it off right from the beginning. We have already attended PTO together and they are planning us a "Welcome to the Neighborhood" party in March! The little neighborhood we live in is very close-knit. It seems as though everyone gets together for cook-outs, to pass the football, play basketball, etc! Just the perfect neighborhood for us and our family:-) I've always told Zack, why don't people just stop by anymore. Guess what? Our neighbors just stop by to say hi and have tea!!! I LOVE THAT!!!!

The kids are loving their new school. Each loves their teachers and have made bookoos of friends already. In fact, at Skyler's birthday party which was a week after we arrived, 7 classmates came! She was so proud and happy! Abbie's best new friend is Elizabeth and I have found their "notes" in her backpack. So precious. Drawings of hearts and flowers.....and letters of you are my best friend, etc. Trendon is doing well even though his new class is pretty far ahead academically from his previous class. He is reading really well which makes us so proud!

Zack has been working his new job for a week and a half and though he has put in a lot more hours than he did in his previous position at 3M, he seems so much happier. This job is more challenging for him.....which anyone who knows Zack, knows he won't stay interested long if he isn't challenged. It seems to me that he will always be working on something different - which sounds thrilling! He will also be travelling some with this new job. Next month to Wisconsin and a possible trip to Florida this Spring. FUN

I start my new position tomorrow. I have my first day of work outfit all laid out and I am ready to go! I am beyond excited to get started. A job I know I will love and be successful at. I feel completely confident and blessed.

We have hired a nanny after much turmoil and stress. I honestly started to worry that I wouldn't be able to start my job because we couldn't find a suitable child care provider. But, a few nights ago we found Heather and she has a 14 month old baby girl who Mia has already befriended and loved on. Heather has several years of nanny experience....with a family of 4 children and she comes with astounding references who just beamed about how well she cared for their children. I feel completely confident in her and know the kids will enjoy their time with both Heather and her daughter.

We have started to attempt the church hunt. We tried a church last week which was not a good fit and planned to try another this morning but Zack had to go in to work. So, next Sunday we'll hop back on the wagon. It amazes me how difficult this has been for us. But, with 5 children nothing is really simple.

So, all in all we have had a great moving experience. I hope to never ever ever move again! It's so stressful and sooo much work! But, we feel we did make the very best decision by making this happen.

We miss lots about Kentucky, especially our family of course, but carving this life for ourselves also feels so right. We love all of you and thank you for being such wonderful parts of our lives!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The kids had a FABULOUS first day at their new school! I prayed that they would all come home with beaming smiles and happy stories which is exactly what happened! All three kids had made friends and already adored their teachers!!

Skyler said, "I really like Jada....and all the other kids."

Trendon said, "I have 3 best friends: Ian, Lucas, and .... I can't remember the other ones name!"

Abbie said, "MOMMA---ALL of the kids wanted to play with me on the playground, it was CRAAAZY!!"

What a blessing!!!!!

Hoping to take some pictures of the house tonight.....just trying to get the final boxes put away so it looks decent----watch later for more updates!!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Moving Madness

As I sit down to type, I realize this will likely be the last blog I write while in Kentucky. :-( It's almost been a year since I started archiving mostly mundane details of our lives to share....and now our lives are changing dramatically!

Currently, we are dealing with this issue called "WINTER". We have 6-7 inches of snow on the ground now and a layer of ice on top of that. Today they are predicting another 4-6 inches of snow. WHICH IS A LOT OF SNOW FOR KY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am concerned about loading our belongings into the truck tomorrow while trudging through this icky winter mess. Zack is brainstorming creative "MacGyver" type solutions to this problem...hehe

Last week-end Zack and I were surprised by a going-away party! Our best couple friends, and my mom, sister, brother were all there to send us off. We were COMPLETELY SURPRISED and overwhelmed by all the love and generosity that was poured on our family that night. We walked into the restaurant to find a gift bags full of goodies for each kiddo and some crazy extravagant gifts for us as well (including the Sex & the City DVD for me YAYYYY!!!). We spent a lovely 3 hours hanging out with many of our favorite Kentucky people and then spilled a whole heck of a lot of tears saying good-bye with many promises of lots of visits to Omaha ( I am gonna hold you girls to that you know?!?!)

The past 2 weeks we have been scurrying around packing, touching up the house to get it ready to sell, saying good-byes, and all the other details that come with moving across the country. I feel so bad for the kids...and can't wait for them to have normal rooms again full of their toys and clothes...and NO BOXES. I finally hear them say, "we're bored", and I kind of understand. :-( I am also attempting to plan Skyler's birthday party from 800 miles away. February is always a busy month for us with her birthday, valentine's day, Zack's birthday.....so we are making a big move in the midst of normal businesses in our lives!

We'll arrive in Omaha sometime on Saturday. Zack is driving the Penske with Lady (our doggie) and Trendon. Then, I am coming with the rest of the kiddos and my Momma! Mom has always helped me unpack my kitchen in every place I have ever lived so she just HAD to come to Omaha with me:-) I am thrilled that she will get to see our new home and even help me take the kids to their new school on the first day.

I sent out an email to the family with our new address.....if you haven't received that let me know!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A preview of the teen years?

Livie and I were riding in the car together this afternoon while she questioned me about the stages of childhood. She is incredibly interested in what a toddler is, what age you become one and when you graduate to the next stage, etc. After about 10 minutes on toddlers she says,

Olivia: But mom, what are those guys that are almost grown-ups?

Mommy: Teenagers?

Olivia: Yes, teenagers. Will you still boss me around when I am a teenager?

Mommy: Well, um...I will still be your Mommy so yes, I will be helping teach you how to be the best you.

Olivia: But, I already am the best!?!?!?!?!?!


I don't think I responded with anything after that except giggles!!!! I know I wasn't an easy teenager for my parents....and I'm afraid my payback is coming!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Our Big Announcement....

Zack and I both landed jobs in Omaha so we are moving!!!! Zack is now a Controls Engineer for EAD and I am the New Business Account Manager for Sleight Advertising! We both feel lots of mixed emotions as we are preparing for our new lives out West! Our house is turned completely upside down with piles of boxes in most every room. It's hard to believe we are making the cross-country move, again. The two years we have spent as a family in Kentucky are filled with many fabulous memories and had their been a job here for me, we wouldn't be leaving. However, these jobs are both leaps in our chosen career paths. We both, Zack especially, feel in awe of the blessing of these positions.

Carol and Jack went to tour a home we found on craigslist.org and they approved!! It feels quite crazy to be moving into a home I have never stepped foot in but Carol walked me, via the cell phone, through the house during her tour which helped so much! The house is just darling from the pictures and we can't wait to see it!!

Zack will be picking up the Penske on Thursday (Jan 29th) morning and heading out West the following evening, arriving at our new home early Saturday morning! He starts work Monday, Feb. 2nd. The kids and I don't have a definite moving date yet....but will very soon. My start day at work is Monday, Feb. 15th.

I am working now on the business details of moving: enrolling the kids in school, finding a daycare, setting up utilities, new banks, new doctors, new stores, new EVERYTHING! It's quite crazy!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Not a Snow Day...but a Cold Day?

(Abbie, Trendon, Skyler yesterday all bundled up waitin' on the school bus!)

Looking through my blog from the beginning, I found my post last February poking fun at the snow days for Kentucky schools. Well, today might just top them all! There's NO snow......they canceled school because of the frigid temperatures. Don't get me wrong, I am happy to have my babies home! Just listening to Zack's stories about how very few times he remembers a snow day in Nebraska shows just how different Kentucky is!! Today the temp is around -3, the coldest it has been in Kentucky since 2004 when we hit -6. In debating with Zack, I try to take up for my Ole Kentucky Home when school is called off with less than 2 inches of snow....we aren't as prepared as Nebraska road departments to care for the roads, we aren't as used to driving in the ice & snow but I think he wins this debate. Yes, it's frigid but no school???????

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Holiday Traditions

Zack says for at least the last 15 years his family has been singing, "For Unto Us A Child is Born" and the "Hallelujah Chorus" at Christmastime. This is the first year our daughters joined in! The voices in this family are incredibly intimidating to me but this is one of my favorite Christmas traditions ever! In this video you will see Carol's sister, Mel, her husband, Dave, and their son, Matt with his wife, Jen (pregnant with their first baby!!!!!!)! Also, of course Jack, Carol, Lyssie & Jake. Along with me, Skyler & Abbie. And then the lovely bass voice you hear is Zack's....haha...which he says is just "brutal" LOL!!!!
video

12 Days of Christmas

video

Christmas @ Grandma Carol's & Grandpa Jack's we choreographed an adorable rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas. We were shocked by how willing the children were to participate and all felt so proud of how they did!!:-) I hope to reenact this every year! Enjoy:-)

Abbie's First Grade Christmas Play

Mrs. Cockrell allowed each child in her first grade class to sing a solo if they wanted too. Abby chose to sing "Away In A Manger"......

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Family Portraits

I mentioned a few blogs ago that we had family pictures taken at Jack & Carol's for Christmas.....they are posted now! Go to: http://www.allisongarrettphotography.com/
Click on client ordering and then Jack & Carol's family to view. The password is Jack & Carol's last name.....email me if you aren't sure of that:-) Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

One more walk down memory lane for the night....


Here's the kids first Halloween together (2006) ADORABLE!

...and more memories....


This pic is of me when I FINALLY arrived at the airport ready to pick up my boyfriend whom I'd never met in person:-)


This pic is of the VERY first moment Zack and I ever laid eyes on each other in person! All of you know we fell in love over the telephone and computer.....this is how it all began:-)

More Memories





I'll post some of my favorite old photos as I am going through these.....

Memories

So, my New Year's resolution is to get a handle on the thousands upon thousands of pictures that I have stashed and stored everywhere! While looking through my digital files, I found this. A sweet video my brother sent after I first moved to Nebraska and the girlies were still in Kentucky for a couple of weeks..... video

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Abbie's Letter To Santa

In Abbie's backpack yesterday there was a laminated letter she wrote to Santa...I love it!

Dear Santa,

I love you! I go to Southside Elementary School. I am in first grade. I am 7 years old. I live in Cynthiana, Kentucky. I have been a great girl this year! I help my mommy clean the house! I help my daddy around the house. I help Mrs. Cockrell around the room. I help Pop around the house. For Christmas I would like D.S. games and Little Mommy.

Signed, Abbie Donaldson


This made me laugh so hard...I love that the bulk of the letter is explaining how good she's been and then she only requested 2 things. Waaaay too cute!:-)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Holiday Whirlwind

Been a long while since my last blog! The holidays, once again, were an absolute flutter of constant activity. We left Kentucky right after the kids got out of school last Thursday and drove all night to Nebraska. We like driving all night because a) it saves $$ on meals, hotels, etc b) the kids sleep most of the way and c) we get where we wanna be sooner! However, this 15 hour non-stop drive completely exhausts us...and we have trouble recovering. Attempting to be a fabulous guest on very few hours of good rest is so hard! Luckily, we are blessed with understanding family and we sneak some zzz's while they entertain the babies:-) We stayed for a little over a week before driving all night again to get to our own beds. Skyler and Trendon left with Jenny to spend the rest of Christmas break with her family.

Christmas was extra-special in Nebraska this year because it was the first in many years that ALL of the family was there! Jake has missed several years in a row due to this pesky thing called WAR. This was the first year since I joined the family that he was there at Christmas. At Grandma Carol & Grandpa Jack's we had a professional photographer come to the house to get a full group shot of all of their kids and grandkids....boy was that a crowd (2 parents, 5 kids, 3 daughter-in-laws, & 8 grandkids plus another on the way....Nicole's not mine LOL)! I will try an post a copy of the picture once we get them:-)

We attended many a holiday celebration during our little over a week stay in the mid-west AND (most of you know this) Zack and I also interviewed in Omaha while were there! I, with an advertising agency and Zack, with an engineering firm. The jobs are TRULY our dream jobs! I have already been blessed with an offer letter and Zack is still waiting. We know, because of the holidays, that we shouldn't worry yet....but we are so excited that it's really hard not to be anxious. I have already begun working from home on some projects from my new boss! It's quite surreal and there are a lot of pieces that have to fit together properly in order to make this HUGE transition, again. There are endless reasons why we want to move, and some that are pulling at our hearts to stay....so we are doing a lot of thinking and praying and would appreciate your thoughts and prayers as well as we make this life changing decision. We anticipate an offer from his prospective employer this week if it's going to come....I am praying that if he receives an offer...then it's meant to be:-) We haven't announced this news to the kiddos yet because we want to wait until the deals are done....and it's for sure.

We have 1 more Christmas celebration to go tomorrow! Happy Holiday's everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!