Friday, December 3, 2010

Dusting off the Blog

My, does time fly. I have gotten so behind with blogging. When I was staying home, blogging was sort of an escape, something I enjoyed doing when the kids were sleeping, but lately it has gotten harder to squeeze in. I haven't wanted to touch our computer when I get home. Maybe my new work lap top will help. Here's where we left off.

Cowgirls Made the Elite 8

We are really proud of Kristen's soccer team. They ended up advancing to the Elite 8 in the NCAA post season tournament, but lost to Notre Dame last Friday, 2-0. Due to some major upsets, OSU got to host all four Cowgirl games, so we got to be there for every one. Attendance at the final game set an all new high, and the Cowgirls advanced the furthest in the program's history. We're kind of sad the season is officially over, but at least we have Timmy's baseball season to look forward to right around the corner.

Kenzie Loves Performing

Kenzie started dance lessons this summer with Oklahoma Performing Arts and loves it. She is in the pre-dance program, which includes ballet, tap, acrobatics and voice, and meets two days a week. She recently had her first holiday performance at Barnes and Noble, which donated a percentage of all sales that day to the non-profit in support of arts education. I really like the program so far - especially since they incorporate a service aspect. Kenzie will be performing at a retirement home tomorrow, and next Saturday she will have her official performance on stage at the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center at 3:00 PM. If you would like to go see some talented kids perform a Nutcracker and holiday segment, bring yourself and a canned food donation for admission.

Give Thanks!
We left Tulsa after work last Wednesday and headed straight to Kansas City for our annual Thanksgiving reunion with my Dad's side of the family.

My Aunt Melanie and Uncle Jim cooked a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner,complete with all the traditional fixings and a fresh turkey.

The whole crew

Look who is passed out on the floor - had to wake him up to eat

Kids Table - Cooper wasn't thrilled about waking up

We had to leave early in the evening on Thursday to make it back to Tulsa so we could turn around and head to Stillwater the next day for Kristen's game and family time with Mama Joe and Grandad and the Roys. Lots of travel packed in a few days.

Oh Deer!
We came across two instances of fresh deer road kill on the highway on the way home. I actually hit a deer a week before going down 51st between 129th and 145th in Broken Arrow! The damage to the car was very minimal - just a cracked, loose headlight - and there wasn't any blood, so hopefully the deer got away with just a bruise. Crazy. Cooper was in the car with me, and he slept through the whole thing. If you travel down 51st at night, be careful. Might be worth buying a deer whistle for our cars, especially for travel between Tulsa and Kansas City.

Cousin Noah Turned 2 - such a cutie

Noah's Aunt Rachel made this cake using the same type of Wilton Puzzle cake I used for Cooper, but this set had a truck and rocket type theme.

Another Reason Why I Love Catholic School

Kenzie's class made this fun advent wreath craft at school and sent home three additional tissue papers for the kids to add each Sunday. Got a little smashed on the way home. I thought this was a cute idea and am so glad that my children are getting a Christian-based education.

Deck the Halls
We finally put up our stockings and tree and will be putting up our Christmas lights tomorrow. Seems like we're the last to put up our decorations and take them down too once the festivities are over - glad we have a homeowner's association to keep us in line there. The real test will be if you get our Christmas card before the big day. We usually don't get around to sending out until the week of Christmas.

In the mean time, wishing you and yours a great start to a happy holiday season!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Miscellaneous Monday

Cowgirl Soccer - Big 12 Champions!
The Cowgirls beat Nebraska Friday night in San Antonio in overtime. Very close game. Kristen drew the corner kick that allowed OSU to score, securing the win! Since OU upset the number one seated Texas A&M in overtime, OSU then played OU in the championship Sunday and won 5-4 in PKs - perfect ending to an exciting game! Hopefully, you tuned in to watch on FSN. This win earned the Cowgirls their 4th Big 12 Championship title, and Kristen was also selected to the Big 12 All Tournament Team as a midfielder.

Now the Cowgirls are gearing up for the NCAA Post Season Tournament. As a number 3 seed, they get to host for the 1st and 2nd rounds, and they will be playing Michigan in Stillwater on Friday night. Memphis and Oregon State will also play, and the two Friday winners will face off on Sunday.

What's for Dinner?
Since I'm working now, I haven't been wanting to cook when I come home - surprise, surprise. So, I went to Sam's last week looking for some easy dinners that I can just throw in the oven and serve. PF Cheng's now has pre-packaged meals that you heat up in the skillet that I thought we'd try. I cooked their orange chicken for lunch Saturday, and, well, it didn't go over so well with my eaters. My specific feedback: Brien asked that I please not buy that again.

This General Tso's tempura white meat chicken with a zesty ginger and garlic sauce, on the other hand, is always a hit at my house and ready in just 18 minutes! It costs about $10 and just barely covers two meals for our family of five. I haven't ever eaten anything at a Chinese restaurant with the same flavor, so if you've had a General Tso's dish before, and didn't like it, I don't think this will be the same. It is REALLY good.

Of course, we can't ever go wrong with a classic Stouffer's lasagna either, but those take a little too long to cook. If you have any quick, easy and yummy family dinner ideas you'd like to share, I'm all ears!

Final Halloween Fun
I posted a picture of my favorite homemade family costume idea I ran across, so now I want to share my favorite store bought family costume idea - none other than the Wizard of Oz cast, played by the McLain family.

We met the Mclains through St. Pius, and Jodi was also the CPNP at our kids' pediatrician's office. Kenzie and Addi went to preschool together last year and became best friends, and as a result I got to know and love her mom, but this summer they moved to Houston. We were so sad to see them go. Kenzie and Addi are now pen pals, but Kenzie sure misses her bestie. I hope they'll get to spend some time together over the upcoming holidays.

And, finally, I couldn't resist showing you SkeleKENZ. Kenzie's preschool class made these projects for their Halloween carnival door decorating contest. Kenzie was so proud to point out her face on the door. What a neat idea. Her teachers are creative ladies.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

This and That

Bedlam Soccer
The Cowgirls prevailed in Norman on Friday night, 2-0, finishing second in the Big 12 Conference standings and departing with the Bedlam trophy. On Monday they will head to San Antonio for the Big 12 Conference Tournament. Their first game will be Wednesday against Texas Tech, and if they win, they will advance and play the winner of Missouri and Nebraska on Friday, with the championship game on Sunday.

Looks like the Texas losses dropped OSU in the national rankings to 11th, and Texas A&M moved up to 6th. Disappointing, but still pretty impressive.

Brien headed to Norman with Connor and the family to watch the game, while Kenzie, Cooper and I stayed at home. Afterward Connor got to stay in OKC with Kimberly and Graham C. and Pops, for a fun night away from home.

Brien was given HallowZOOeen tickets at work on Friday, so I took Kenzie and Cooper with my Mom to see what the event was all about. We left straight from Kenzie's dance lesson, with no time to spare, so I just grabbed Connor's old dog costume for Kenzie to wear.

Overall, I think it was a great event with plenty to see and do at every turn. I especially liked the Wizard of Oz path and, of course, Ghostbusters!

Three things
1) Buy advance tickets, be a zoo member or get there super early before it starts to buy your ticket. We arrived around 7, and the ticket line was ridiculously long and seemed to be slow moving. Good thing we had tickets.
2) Don't expect to get a lot of candy. The candy lines get long, and while a few candy stops gave a handful, most handed out one piece. The last thing we need is more candy, but we all know kids love to see their bags fill up. On a positive note, they only handed out the good stuff.
3) If you know what the themed exhibits are going to be, consider watching those shows in advance. Kenzie still enjoyed them all, but hadn't seen the Wizard of Oz or Ghostbusters to get what they were all about.

While there we saw this family and I had to ask to take their picture. This costume idea is by far the cutest homemade family idea I've ever seen, and I thought you would enjoy seeing it just like I did. Super creative fun for the whole family. Their fire engine even lit up! Wonder if the dad is a firefighter.

Random Nature
You may have seen the wheel bug picture I posted earlier this month. While at HallowZOOeen, we saw a bug collection featuring a wheel bug. Apparently, they can give people a bad bite, so stay away. Maybe Cooper sensed the wheel bug he pointed at was bad news.

On the subject of nature, I just learned that if you see a baby bird fall out of the nest, you CAN pick it up and put it back. What our mothers told us about the scent from our hands making the mother abandon the bird is a myth. Good to know, as I too would have passed along to my children.

Cooper's One Year Check Up
Brien and I always play a guessing game after one of us takes our kids to their well visits. One says the percentages, and the other guesses whether it's height, weight or head size. Cooper has been consistently the same in all three, so no element of surprise. This time he was 35% weight, 85% height, and 95% head! He has one big noggin, which we attribute to a big brain, of course.

All finished with formula! Our pediatrician said to give 2% or skim milk, no Vitamin D whole milk, which is a change from my first two kids. Must be to help combat childhood obesity. Makes sense and simplifies groceries.

I've Got a Feelin...
In the past, Katy's and Scott's annual Halloween party has always fallen on Halloween, so we would drop by after taking the kids trick or treating to say hello and not worry at all about dressing up. This time around, they scheduled on Saturday, so we had to think of something to dress up as and decided on the Black Eyed Peas. Get it?

Cooper's Birthday Party
Well, we opted to have Cooper's family birthday at Mazzio's since we always eat there on Sundays after church, and it was pretty much impossible to find a window this weekend when everyone was available. We just invited family, and I made a cupcake cake using a Wilton Puzzle Cake Build-a-Cake Set my Mom gave me for Christmas last year. You can make a turtle, bear or goldfish. I chose the gold fish because Cooper gets so excited any time he sees aquarium PetSmart (still haven't gotten around to renewing my OK Aquarium membership). He ate every last bit of that cupcake, frosting first, by the fistful.

Cooper got the short end of the stick on his birthday as far as his party goes, but we'll make a point to do it bigger in the future when he will actually remember it, and it was SO nice not having to do a big clean up when all was said and done.

Trick or Treat
I know you've already seen the kids in their costumes, so I just wanted to add a few of their offical trick or treat pictures. We started out at my Mom's and Dad's house, and from there went to my in-laws'. They live in the same neighborhood, which is very convenient - especially during the holidays. At one house, a couple gave Kenzie and Connor a handful of candy, and then another, and Kenzie proceeded to say, "And, I have another brother at home," cracking us up. Always negotiating. Had to have a talk with her about that. We trick or treated until they were ready to drop when Kenzie gave in and finally said, "My breath is out of steam" and we carried them home.

There he is - JackOWENtern!

Owen and Cooper stayed behind during the trick or treating.

Trick or treating at Brien's Aunt Tracy's and Uncle Charlie's house

I think next year Kenzie may be Snow White, and the boys the dwarfs...

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Work I Go...
Work is going really well. What I like most (besides the laid back environment and people I work with) is that I am back on a schedule again. And, right now my schedule allows me to still get Kenzie from school and take her to dance lessons - two things that I wouldn't be able to do with normal work hours. My biggest hesitation was whether I'd be able to get everybody up and out the door and make it to work on time. So far, so good - much to do with my very helpful husband. Now, if we can just work on getting everywhere else on time...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bad Weekend for Sports Team Favs

The Cowgirl Soccer team played two games in Texas this weekend and lost them both 1-0, handing over the Big 12 Championship title to Texas A&M - major bummer. This upcoming Friday they play OU in Norman. The Cowgirls beat OU at home earlier in a pre-season match up, so hopefully they are finished with a brief losing streak. They also still have a chance to prevail as the Big 12 Tournament Champions.

And, of course, everybody knows the Cowboys and Sooners football games were big upsets this weekend too.

America's Greatest Homecoming Celebration
Speaking of Cowboy football, on Friday night we ventured to Stillwater for OSU Homecoming Walkarounds to check all of the house decorations. We were planning to meet up with Brien's brother, Tommy, who is a Sigma Nu. The only trouble was that he laid down on his couch when his house finished their house deck (after staying up the entire night before and working on it all day long to meet the deadline) and didn't wake up until 2 AM, so we never got to see him. I did however run into a handful of people I know among the tens of thousands, and it was so fun to see them. Jennifer Mosburg (pictured) was one of those special people. We grew up together in Shawnee, and she lived down the street and around the corner from me. Her little boy, Brittain, looks just like her. He's 15 months and just adorable. He seems to have that cute expression in all of his pictures. Anyway, she is one of my all time favorite people, so seeing her alone made our trip worthwhile.

The results are in! Chi-O/Fiji won the house decoration contest and sweepstakes. I was never in a good position to take pictures of the house decorations, but I found them online and linked just for you. If you have never been to walkarounds at OSU, this event is a huge deal and means a lot to current students and alumni alike.

Fun Day at St. Pius
Kenzie has been looking forward to Fun Day, her school's Halloween carnival, for weeks, asking me every day when we would get to go. The kids dress up in their Halloween costumes and trick or treat at each classroom and play every sort of bean bag, ball, even cow patty toss game you can imagine to win a stash of candy when all is said and done. So, today was the big day, and my Mom came with me to help manage all three kiddos.

We dressed Kenzie as a princess after finding this ballet costume at a resale shop ($6.99) that she just had to have. It was in bad shape, so I had to resew the skirt by hand, and I'm just hoping it will stay intact through Halloween. I added the darker blue flowers so that I could make the crown using felt, glitter and a pipe cleaner that tied everything together.

For the boys, we opted to make them pirates since we just finished reading a book about ghost pirates. If you have boys and haven't decided what to make them yet, this option is so easy. They each already had brown pants and long sleeved white shirts, so I just bought two yards of red pre-cut, packaged fabric at Wal-Mart ($5) and cut a sash and hat for each and made skulls and crossbones out of felt and pinned on. I bought Connor a sword and eye patch, making the total for both pirates about $10. Can't beat that.

Princess pose - just needs a bluebird to perch on her wrist. Funny how they instantly get into character.

Kenzie with her former classmate, Bryce, whose costume scared her. She wouldn't even take the picture without me standing behind them. Their family goes all out in the costume department every year.

Happy Birthday Dear Cooper
Cooper turned one today! I can't believe it has already been one year. He is growing up so fast. And, Brien's birthday follows tomorrow. We'll be celebrating their combined birthdays with a family party next weekend. Still need to figure out what's on the menu.

October is a huge month for Kelley family birthdays. In fact, we just celebrated Timmy's and Kristen's birthdays last weekend with an extended family birthday party.

Timmy turned 23, and Kristen 19.

Cousins Avery, Cameron and Jackson with Aunt Claire and Kenzie

The kids with Cousin Tommy's new husky puppy. So cute, it doesn't even look real. No, we aren't getting a dog.

That's a wrap.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Guess Who's Almost Walking

The very next day after making my last post Cooper took his first few steps! I'm so glad that Brien and I were both around to witness this milestone. I am actually starting a Marketing/Technical Writer contract position this week. My hours will be from 8:30 to 2:30, and I am excited about having the best of both worlds. Anyhow, I would have been so sad if I had missed Cooper's first steps while at work. While he's still crawling almost everywhere, he's very close.

With each day Cooper has really started to take notice of the world around him, and it is so fun to watch him grow and observe his surroundings. Like when he first pointed something out to me. He was playing on one of those plastic toddler slides when all the sudden he started grabbing my leg and making a commotion. I picked him up, and he pointed down to the slide, where there was the biggest wheel bug you've ever seen. He's been pointing at things left and right ever since.
(I always thought these were stink bugs until I googled this image.)

Brien had plans to golf with his friends on Monday morning, but when he went to load his clubs in the car he saw that they were gone - swiped from our garage. Brien's golf bag and the gear it contained were easily his most prized (not to mention valuable) worldly possessions, so you can only imagine how he felt when he realized they'd been stolen. He filed the police report Tuesday and has started his insurance claim. So, please learn from our mistake. Make sure to keep your garage closed when you aren't right there. I always kept mine open when we were outside, running between the front and back yards, but not any more. It really freaks me out that someone was rummaging through our garage while we were nearby and I'm so thankful they didn't wander into our house.

Thursday, Saturday Soccer Games
On Thursday night the Cowgirls played Colorado and won 3-2. The game was televised with over 1,000 fans in attendance. Pretty exciting. The Cowgirls are now ranked No. 5 by the NSCAA (after Stanford, Portland, North Carolina, and Notre Dame), which is amazing, and also the highest ranking in Oklahoma State's history. Go Cowgirls!

On Saturday they faced Nebraska and won 4-2. Nebraska has the conference's leading scorer on their team, which had us a little worried. Kristen never came out of the game. Next week they play Texas and Texas A&M - both away games we won't be able to attend, but we'll be following from home and hoping they keep their perfect conference record. Kristen was telling us she has heard some crazy A&M stories like how one year the fans read in an article that the goal keeper's biggest fear was clowns so a bunch of them dressed up as clowns and sat behind the goal to distract her from the game.

We are so glad that Kristen is getting so much playing time on the field. She's definitely a team contributor.

Check out to see some professional pictures of Kristen in action. Brien found this site.

Iron-On Fun
I bought this houndstooth pattern iron-on sheet at Hobby Lobby ($2.99) last week to make Kenzie a new OSU t-shirt since we are going to so many games these days and she only has a couple of OSU tees. It took a little while to draw the "O", which I thought would be easiest to do, and I'm happy with how it turned out.
Next, I am going to use my scraps to cut out Kristen's number, 12, to match her jersey numbers, and iron them on the back of the t-shirt (Wal-Mart $3.50).

I also bought Kenzie's gerbera daisy barrette at Hobby Lobby ($3.99). They have quite a few colors, and Kristen told me later that lots of college girls are buying these and clipping them to their headbands. (If you want one, check the Hobby Lobby weekly specials first to see if their coupon relates. I asked if these ever go on sale and was told no.)

Bishop Kelley Comet Volleyball
Brien's sister, Claire, is a Sophomore this year and an amazing volleyball player (and soccer player too). Her team won the 5A state championship in Shawnee on Saturday evening. (Right after the soccer game in Stillwater we loaded up and headed to Shawnee, my home town.)

The Comets played Oklahoma City's Bishop McGuiness. Claire's cousin, Mary Kate, is on that team, so there was a big Roy family showing. Cousins Allison and Lindsey play for Edmond Memorial, the 6A state champions who played just before the Comets. Edmond Memorial is the toughest competition Bishop Kelley has played in the state. During the season, the Edmond team beat Kelley when they first played, but Kelley won the most recent match up between the two teams.

This win makes the fourth state volleyball championship Kelley has won in a row.

My parents kept Kenzie and Connor for us on Saturday and took them on a fun trip to Livesay Orchards in Porter for a pumpkin patch outing. As soon as I collect the pictures from my sister, Holly, I will be sure to share in my next post.

That's all for now.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hurry, Hurry Step Right Up

Brien and I loaded up the strollers and the kids and headed to the Tulsa State Fair last Thursday night. But first, we stopped at Umbierto's, one of my favs in the area, for some delicious pizza.

Forgot to pack a spoon in the diaper bag and had to improvise. Worked like a charm. Didn't even need a bib.

While roaming around, we did all the free stuff like the petting zoo and the kids played a while on the indoor Rainbow play set. When it came time to buy ride tickets we stumbled across someone selling their advance purchase tickets, so we got a whole book for $10 to stretch out our fun.

Is it terrible that Brien and I cracked up the whole time while the kids obviously weren't having any fun on this ride? Saw so many new expressions.

They loved the swings the most.

As far as fair food goes, the craziest combination I saw this time around was a hamburger served between two Krispy Kreme doughnuts in lieu of a bun. I do like Krispy Kremes and hamburgers, but Krispy Kreme hamburgers? Didn't stick around for a taste test. I never found the mini doughnuts either, so I opted for Jack in the Box drive through on my way home. Love those mini churros for a dollar. They're the equivalent to fair food to me and so tasty! Deep fried with gooey melted cinnamon and sugar goodness on the inside. I've never looked up the nutritional info on these. Don't want to spoil it.

Cowgirl Soccer Update
The next day Brien went to Lawrence, Kansas with his parents and Connor on Friday to watch the Cowgirls face KU. Kristen scored the first goal, and they won 2-0! One particular poll has the Cowgirls ranked as high as 6th in the nation right now - so exciting. The schedule this week is a little off. The girls play on Thursday (Colorado) and Saturday (Nebraska) instead of Friday and Sunday, both home games, so we'll be heading back and forth to Stillwater this week.

Cooper's Buddy, Logan, Turned 1!
Back when I was working full time Kenzie and Connor stayed at an in-home day care provided by Sandy Fry. Sandy and her husband, Gene, are amazing people and have become just like family. They have two special daughters who are near and dear to us, Heather and Mindy. Heather had Logan just before Cooper was born in October. We went to his birthday party celebration on Sunday. Lots of kids who Sandy watched over the years were there, and they all have a special place in their hearts for the Fry family.

This group of kids were Kenzie's and Connor's "class", while at Sandy's. Danielle and Raeleigh still hang out with Kenzie all the time since their Mom, Holly, and I are close friends. She's actually the one who introduced me to the Frys. Cousin Owen is going there now, and if I were to go back to work, we would send our kids there again. Good, good people. So lucky we found them. It makes a world of difference to leave your kids with people who love your kids and you trust.

Logan is already walking. While Kenzie and Connor both walked between 10 and 11 months, we're all now wondering if Cooper will walk before his birthday in the next few weeks. The countdown is on.

Picture Perfect
Kenzie drew this picture the other day, and I thought I'd share. When I asked her to tell me about it she said that it was a picture of our house with Gigi watching over us. Her Gigi passed away earlier this year. So sweet that she is still thinking about her. I saved this picture for my mother.

Here's another that came home in Kenzie's school folder. Her people pictures have always cracked me up. I have a huge file full of all of her preschool art projects, and I love opening up her backpack each week to see what new project she has been working on.

She clearly isn't the most advanced artist compared to her peers in her class at the present, but I still love and enjoy everything she creates.