Thursday, October 29, 2015

Celebrating My Beautiful Mackenzie!

Today Mackenzie is 13 years old!!!

There are so many wonderful things going for this talented girl!  She is smart, determined, helpful, a great cook, and thoughtful in so many ways.  

Mackenzie has always been a fire-cracker!  She speaks her mind and likes to plan everything out!  Sometimes, as the Mom I have to reign her in a bit, but when you just let her take the lead, she will run with it and make things happen!  I see big things in her future!!

She wants to continue to perform and is looking forward to auditioning for teenager roles now!  She has an incredible voice and really awesome stage presence.  I wouldn't be surprised if we see her on Broadway someday!

Last Friday we celebrated Mackenzie's birthday with a sleepover with a few of her sweet friends!  We ate pizza, watched a few movies and the girls also played flashlight tag outside in the dark with a few neighbor kids!  And of course we kept up on our ROYALS!  

Having such good friends is so important!  And Mackenzie is a good friend to others as well!  She is so thoughtful, it's no wonder these two love her!  (By the way, Mackenzie made the "FALL" garland hanging above her head!  So cute!  See, that girl is TALENTED!!)

Happy 13th Birthday to my 
beautiful and talented Mackenzie Alexis!!
I love you sweet girl!  
And I can't wait to see what God has in store for your future!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

How We Spent Our Summer Vacation - Part 3


When we weren't at the pool, we spent our time in the backyard!  The big girls set up a pool and positioned it under the slide.  The boys especially loved sliding down into the water!

Due to the heat that finally arrived in August, we made a lot of these...

YUM!  Popsicles!
This recipe is Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip from here.

Popsicles make everyone smile!!
Well, except Beckham...but they usually make him smile!

I think this is why they call it 
The Dog Days of Summer?

How cute is this?

Our sweet summer came to an end in the middle of August when we started back to homeschool.  Even though we still spent a lot of time outdoors, we started back to structure and schedules.
I do miss those lazy, relaxed days in the sunshine, but I am ready for FALL!

I hope your summer was just as wonderful and filled with sweet memories!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Lasagna Night!

I love to make my yummy lasagna in the Fall!  In fact my family loves the lasagna so much that I always make two of them, one to serve and one to freeze for another day!

I also buy the disposable pans to make them in so I don't have to worry about the clean up!!  Yay!

Makes 2 casserole size lasagnas.

1 lb. ground Beef
1 lb. ground Italian Sausage
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
Garlic Powder
Italian Seasoning
3 Jars Prepared Spaghetti Sauce (I like Traditional Flavored)
8 oz. Ricotta Cheese
4 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
8 oz Parmesan Cheese
1 Package Lasagna Noodles

In a skillet heat the Olive Oil, saute the chopped onion.  When the onion is translucent, add the ground beef and the Italian Sausage and Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder and Italian Seasoning and brown.  Drain, and set aside.

Prepare the Lasagna Noodles according to the package.  Set aside.

Spread a little Spaghetti Sauce in the bottom of each of the casserole pans.  Lay Lasagna Noodles to cover the bottom of the pans.  Sprinkle the Meat Mixture over the noodles, spoon rounded spoonfuls of the Ricotta cheese in about 5 - 6 spots over the noodles, spoon the Spaghetti Sauce over the mixture, sprinkle the Mozzarella cheese over the mixture, sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the mixture.  Lay another layer of the noodles over the whole pan, and then repeat the entire process again.

If your pans are very high, then you can do three layers, but most pans can only fit 2 layers.  It will cook down, but it will also be very saucy!

Cover the pans with Tin Foil and put one in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Wrap the other pan in plastic wrap and store in your freezer.  (It will need to cook for an additional 30 minutes, since it will be frozen.)  Take the tin foil off for the last 15 minutes.

I love to serve it with a Caesar Salad and Garlic bread!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How We Spent Our Summer Vacation - Part 2

The end of June was so busy for us!  During the last weekend we had an Adoption Blessing Shower for a dear friend of ours.  It was a beautiful Saturday morning, with sunshine, flowers and great food!  We showered our friend and her daughters with gift cards and scripture verses and spent time praying over them.  Wow!  You could feel Jesus in the room!

When girls get together...there's got to be good food!

Sweet fellowship, powerful prayer!

We can't wait for their next crew member!!  Sweet Little John!

On Monday of the following week we packed everyone up and headed to 
the Great Wolf Lodge to celebrate Madyson Claire's 11th Birthday!!

Randy met us there to have dinner with us and sing Madyson Happy Birthday!

Madyson opened all of her presents and then we had dinner at Granite City.

We stayed in a suite with an adorable area for the little kids!

We stayed for 2 nights and 3 days!  It was so much fun and we will definitely go back again!

Everyone loved running around the resort and seeing all of the fun decorations and animals!

We spent our 4th of July at home with lots of swimming, 
great food and excitement in the dark!

We took our "Annual 4th of July on the Porch" picture.

We made a delicious Red, White and Blue Trifle for dessert!

One of the other things we did a LOT of during the summer....

Katy is catching Beckham.  He loves to swim!  I mean it, this kid is a fish!

And while Beckham is jumping in over and over, Hudson will barely get in at all.
Here he is with Madyson, he won't let her touch him, just gets in and then gets right back out!

Ava Marie, Madyson and a friend taking time out of their playing to pose together.

These two had so much fun with their jumping challenge!

Can you see Tyler's football carry?  He is determined!

And that is all for today!  Stay tuned to next Wednesday for the final photos of our 
awesome Summer of 2015!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Multiple's Monday #4 - Two of Everything!

When I first found out that I was adopting twins, after I got over the excitement of it all, I started to make lists of all of the things we would need...TIMES TWO!

Baby Carriers

And some things that I would need three or four of....TIMES TWO!


And even some things I would need hundreds of....TIMES TWO!




At this point, with the boys already 3 years old, the things I need double of are more particular.  I still dress them the same....I know this won't last forever, so I do buy all clothing by twos.  This includes shoes, hats, jackets, swim suits, etc.

But I also have to buy two of every toy, ball, book, stuffed animal, cup, plate, spoons, crayons, coloring books, etc.!!

A few months ago I purchased a set of brightly colored plastic plates, bowls and cups from Ikea. They are so cute!  They came in red, blue, purple, green, orange & yellow!  My big mistake was in ordering only one set of these!  I can't tell you the screams and crying and tantrums thrown because both boys wanted the orange plat or the purple bowl!!  I now own 4 sets of each color...thank you Ikea!

When we go to McDonalds and order a Happy Meal, I always have to ask for 2 of the same toy!  It doesn't even matter that Beckham likes Spiderman better and Hudson likes Batman better...if one of them gets a toy, the other one wants the same one too!  It's just the way it is when you have two children who are so similar in their age and developmental stage.  I know there will be a time in the future when each of my sweet boys journeys out of his twins reach and becomes more independent. But for now I will cater to the needs of their shared desires.

They are my sweet and wonderful boys and they make our home so joyful!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How We Spent Our Summer Vacation - Part 1

Since I was kind of silent all summer I thought I would go over 
some of the awesome things we did to keep busy for the 
Summer of 2015!!

We really were VERY busy!  Even though we didn't go on any trips out of town, we still did sooo much!

We ended our school year on May 15th!  We celebrated the end of the school year by getting up really early and heading to the donut shop!

Mackenzie got up extra early in order to make Mommy's coffee 
and also Vanilla Steamers for everyone!

By this time in May, Katy had already begun rehearsals for Theater In The Park's production of THE WIZ!  She was really excited to be in this and was rehearsing Sundays through Thursdays in a local church basement!  They took Memorial Day weekend off, but then returned for Tech week out at the park!  They missed the last dress rehearsal, which was cancelled due to a Tornado Watch!

But Opening night on June 5th was awesome!

Dropping Katy off for opening night!

Dancing as one of the Corn!
She was also part of the Tornado, a Jitterbug, a Poppy, and one of Evilene's Slaves!

The show ran for 2 weeks, only missing one night due to weather!  One of the nights I was there, we had a really severe Thunderstorm Warning.  It looked like they would call the show at any moment!!  In the beginning of the show one of the characters says "Looks like a storm is coming."  And that night after he said his line the audience roared with laughter!  But in the end the clouds parted and by the time they sang, "Do You Feel A Brand New Day" you could actually see the moon and there was a beautiful breeze blowing!!  Katy said she could feel the audience energy up on the stage!!

   It was a really fun experience, but we were kind of glad to have our evenings back!  The next week we started what we now refer to as VBS: Times Two!  I had signed Madyson and Ava Marie up for VBS at our local church Harvest Bible Chapel which was Monday through Thursday from 9am to 12noon.  And it just so happened that my BFF Autumn had invited us to the VBS at her church which met Monday through Thursday from 6pm to 9pm....the same week!!  

   So the girls got up early each day and headed to VBS at Harvest, came home for lunch, went swimming, ate dinner, and then headed up to VBS at Legacy Church!  It was busy, but they had sooo much fun!!

First day of VBS Harvest was Crazy Sock Day!

Second day was Crazy Hair Day!
Mackenzie was too old to attend as a camper, but she volunteered to help!

I don't have pictures of any of the other days, but they had a great time!!

Week 2 and 3 of June Madyson and Ava Marie had swim lessons through the Olathe Parks and Rec Center.  We have been going to their swimming lessons for over five years!  Katy and Mackenzie finished a few years ago.  I like the girls to go through Level 5.  That really teaches a lot of strokes, diving and underwater swimming!  Level 6 starts into Junior Lifesaving Techniques.

Madyson is in Level 5.

I love that she can do the Butterfly so well!
She is so awesome in the water!

Ava Marie is in Level 4.

Love this girls sweet smile!

The last week of June Ava Marie attended a Princess Camp at Trilogy Cultural Arts.  She loved the singing and dancing and especially dressing up in her Elsa costume!

Obviously that was a popular choice!

She had three solos and really enjoyed holding that microphone!

My beautiful little actress!

Well, that's it for Part One!  Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Multiples Monday #3 - Twins 3rd Birthday!

September 2nd was Hudson & Beckham's 3rd birthday!  They attended Pre-school in the morning and got to bring Homemade Blueberry Muffins to share with their friends.  Then we picked them up and had lunch at a nearby park and played for a little while, then home to take a short nap!

Later on Randy came over and Miss Karla too, to enjoy a fun birthday dinner and cake!

Everyone was home for our fun family celebration of Hudson & Beckham's 3rd Birthday!

We decorated for dinner with a fun sports theme!  The boys picked the menu: Hot Dogs on Buns, Cooked Baby Carrots, Hot Artichoke Dip with Corn Chips, Grapes & Sprite!

Mackenzie & Katy made the cake to look like a baseball!  So cute!

The boys are so ready to blow out the candles!  
This is because we had kept them waiting so we could 
sing Happy Birthday to both of them separately!

Forks...I don't need no forks!


These two love anything to do with Firefighters!!

Happy 3rd Birthday to my little men
Hudson & Beckham!!