Sunday, December 27, 2009

Lots of snow!!!!!

We found lots of snow when we got back from our Christmas traveling. So much of it had drifted in our driveway we couldn't get into the garage. We were lucky to get in the driveway. So guess who got to shovel snow and guess who got to sit in the car, laugh and take pictures?

Merry Christmas!

Santa found Macen in Columbia this year. He had been asking Santa for trains, fisher price trio and dinosaurs for several months now and Santa delivered on all those things. The biggest hit were the dinosaurs. He played with them immediately and they've barely left his side since. Thankfully Macen had been asking for small items since everything has to be put in a suitcase for our big move. We have a big gift packed away in our household items that are already in Germany. Macen is going to be one happy boy so stay tuned for those pics!
We traveled onto St Louis for Christmas Day. The weather was not nice to some travelers which led to us being stuck in traffic for an hour. In fact, we went 1 mile in an hour. But we made it to our destination and had a lot of fun, great company and some amazing food.

Parents Night Out

We went and saw Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert. In case you don't know Trans-Siberian Orchestra, they are a kind of a modern rock band that put on a Christmas Rock Opera about an Angel looking for the meaning of Christmas on Christmas Eve. James likes the rock music renditions of traditional Christmas carols and Shantel liked the lights and the story overall a pretty cool experience and here are a couple of pictures.
We stayed at the Chateau Avalon in Kansas City. Each room is themed differently and we chose the Mayan Rainforest theme. We enjoyed a yummy breakfast in our room before taking off for the holidays.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Santa at Crown Center

We took Macen to Crown Center last week to see Santa. Macen enjoyed watching the motorized train go in and around the gingerbread village. So much so, he ran from one side of the dislay to the other in hopes of keeping up with the train.

If you look in the pic below, you can see Macen thru the glass right in the center.

As you can see, the visit with Santa did not go well. Santa was in the Crayola play area and what do you think the 2 1/2 yr old wanted to do? Play of course. He isn't fond of getting close to Santa in the first place but then throw in a play area = the classic toddler crying next to Santa pic.

Once I picked him up he started rattling off what he keeps saying he is going to ask Santa to bring him for Christmas. Which is more dinosaurs, fisher price trio and choo choos. He was up for getting stickers from Santa.

He finally gets to play!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Go Bearcats!!!!!!

Congratulations go out to the Northwest Missouri State Bearcat football team the 2009 NCAA D-II Football CHAMPIONS. This was the Bearcats third National Championship in 11 years and actually the fifth time in a row appearing in the championship game, they've kind of had a Buffalo Bills thing going on the last 4 years.

While I still follow and root for Mizzou football it's nice to know that there is actually a National Championship caliber college football team that plays in the state of Missouri!

Once again WAY TO GO BEARCATS!!!!!

One more thing, for those of you who don't think a playoff will work in the FBS check out how the other NCAA football divisions determine their champions. That's right it's a playoff system and after following it for almost 15 years now I still don't understand why the FBS doesn't adopt it. It works and the student athletes will be back on campus this week in time to take their finals, so don't give me the argument that it takes too much time.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's Official

I'm a graduate of the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff College. I got my diploma yesterday. Now it's time to get back out into the real Army and put all of this new knowledge to use. For those of you haven't been tracking we are now on our way to Germany where I'll either be a Brigade Fire Support Officer or Battalion Operations Officer or whatever other job USAEUR needs filling when I get there.

Not only did I get my CGSC diploma yesterday but I also got my diploma for my Master's degree as well. That's right after almost 8 years I finally finished my Master's. Better late than never right? I'm not real sure how a Master's of Art in National Security Strategy will translate to life after the Army, but we'll see. Don't tell Shantel but I'm already starting to look for another degree that will be more helpful post Army.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holiday Masterpieces

We got a new tree that was shipped already with the intention of donating our old one to Goodwill. Well it hadn't made it there anytime in the last 10 months, lol so we decided to use it one last time. Macen loves Christmas trees so he was really excited to see it come out of the box. Thankfully it's a prelit one so all we needed was some ornaments. So we headed off to WalMart for Macen to pick out some ornaments.

And here is Macens masterpiece. We let him do all the ornaments himself.

I've been waiting for Macen to be old enough to help me with a gingerbread house and now we have nothing in the house to make one. So I got us a foam project for this year. Macen loves it! I had to leave mid-project to get some glue. When I came back home Macen held out his hand, palm up and asked "Got the glue?" He couldn't wait to finish it. Now he keeps sitting at the table looking at it and piling extra pieces in front of all the doors.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Macen is 2 1/2 years old

(Look we found a way to post pics. Lucky you!)

And he is a handful in a good way of course! Lots and lots of energy is the best way to describe him. Now that the house is empty, he loves running in all the open space. We aren't much closer to potty training since the last mention of it. We'll tackle that after our big move. He is talking much more, a little clearer but still with James and I the only ones that can understand him most of the time. His current favorite phrase is "Don't worry momma, I'll...." - mostly it ends with I'll save you but he has been adding other phrases to it. It sends James and I into laughing fits. He doesn't really test boundaries with us. Typically he listens when we ask him to do/not to do something. We're grateful for that!
He loves going to Target. I'm very proud of that. Thats all :)
He loves hot wheels, trains and dinosaurs. He plays with them daily, over and over. He learned the entire alphabet over the summer in a week and is amazed when he finds the alphabet everywhere - street signs, tire wheels, shirts, etc. He can spell atleast 6 words without them in front of him. All thanks to WordWorld, his favorite show. He knows 9 colors. And that comes in very handy when identifying his hot wheel cars. He begs to go deer hunting with dad. We have to explain to him that he is too young and in a few years he can go. He responds with his head lowered and his lower lip out. He can count to 12 and can identify most numbers up to 20. He knows 13-15, says 15 and always ends with 20 but he doesn't say the others very clearly so I'm not sure he really knows what numbers they are.
Currently he seems to be slightly confused on our moving situation which is completely understandable. He has dealt pretty well with all of our stuff being gone within the house. He loves his kids areobed and I hope he is able to adjust to a big boy bed when we get settled again. We did get a new car in Sept and he continues to call it the new car, his new bed, new tent(James set up his tent in the playroom for Macen to play in since all the toys are gone). Are you seeing a pattern - everything is new now. We were at James' aunt and uncles house for Thanksgiving and when we woke there for the 2nd morning in a row, he stated "New house". It was great insight to what he is thinking with all the changes. We ask him if he wants to move to Germany and he says "No". Even stated one day that he was staying with Mariah instead of moving with us. He has gotten very, very attached to her this year.

He makes us laugh daily and we are forever grateful he is ours.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Gobbler Grind Half Marathon

Today was the Gobbler Grind 1/2 Marathon. In case you noticed, no this one didn't show up on the blog calendar, it was something Mariah and I decided to do at the last minute. It was actually a great way for me to see how much I had fallen off since the Omaha Marathon (not much actually). I think this is my last race of the year, but I did get a flyer for a 5k Santa Run that sounds kind of fun. So I won't say absolutely my last race.

Mariah and I just before the race. Shivering a little bit in the wind.Mile 1.5 running strong. I probably pushed Mariah a little too hard, she mentioned that she hasn't run 5 miles that fast ever. Finishing strong. Just a little off the pace I would have liked to have run but not too shabby for a chilly day in November.
Mariah taking it home. Maybe next time she'll run a little more next time before racing. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pass It On

The local Rod and Gun Club sponsors a youth pheasant and quail hunt and most of you know how much I love to bird hunt and can't wait to pass that on to Macen. So when the club asked for volunteers with bird dogs to help guide some of the kids, I jumped at the chance.

I actually ran two two-hour hunts and at her age that's just about all Maggie can handle. It was also apparent watching the first hunts that there were some guys out there with some really good bird dogs. Maggie's not bad, but as you know she's a house pet who hunts, not a field trial dog, who might be a pet. Maggie's never covered a lot of ground always preferring to hunt slow, close and very thoroughly, well that's gotten even slower and closer with age.

That worked out great for the kids though, I don't think she missed a point on any of the planted pheasants and she pointed most of the quail. That means the kids got lots of shot opportunities and had a great time. The first hunter ended up with 1 pheasant and 2 quail, not too shabby for a youngster on his first bird hunt. The second hunter had been hunting for a year or two so he was little bit more experienced, getting his limit of 2 pheasant and four quail, not something many of the kids accomplished. During the second hunt the quail, which had been planted singlely, started to covey up into groups and when the youngster shot his fourth quail Maggie actually added a fifth to the total as one quail didn't get up as fast as it should of and she caught it just off the ground. Although I wish she wouldn't do that, who needs a shotgun when the dog can catch the birds?
Here's a picture, of me, Maggie, Eli and his dad, Tim, the last group of hunters I took out.

Special thanks to the NRA and Pheasants Forever who provided funds for the birds and prizes for the kids. If you are a hunter pass on the tradition of hunting to your kids or any other kid that is interested in the sport.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

We're packed!

The moving company has been here most of this week, packed us and loaded everything up. We are now in a very empty house where we will stay until the end of the year. Macen did great during all the chaos. He was a little upset when they took his booster seat attached to the chair he used, the table and the recliners. And he keeps going to the kitchen, open cabinets and asking "where'd go". We thought the move would be a good time to switch him to a "big boy bed" (ie, kids aerobed). I swear if we didn't do it now he would be in his crib forever. But he has adjusted well and loves his new bed.

So we are all trying to adjust to a new kind of normal. A temporary normal until we move.

ETA: I don't think there will be anymore pics posted until we get settled in Germany. No way to download them. We'll keep posting though and add the pics once we get set up over there.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treating

Macen couldn't wait to go trick or treating. The last several days he has been saying trick or treat. A few nights ago, we were at the table eating dinner when the doorbell rang and Macen said "trick or treat" immediately. Here he is waiting at the door for us.
We stayed on our cul de sac and after the first house he said "another house" and kept saying it after each house. James and I laughed. As we were walking to the third house he added "I like trick or treat". We laughed even harder. It didn't take him long to figure out saying trick or treat and thank you got him candy each and every time.
After we got home, it was time to examine the goods.

Happy Halloween

Turtles play hopscotch

This turtle loves hopscotch!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkin Carving

We carved our pumpkins for Halloween and went the simple route this year. Too much going on to get crazy with them. Macen didn't offer to help. He just sat on the island banging on the pans overhead until Charlie Brown came on. Then he didn't want anything to do with us or our pumpkins :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

We headed to the pumpkin patch this past weekend. Macen got to explore with his cousins, grandma, aunts and uncles.

He's getting tall.

The kids loved these cut outs.

The ship and slides were a big hit with Macen. He keeps asking for a pirate ship so hopefully this was enough to suffice him for a bit.

They had makeshift horses set up and a wrought iron bull heads about 5 ft in front of the horses so the kids could rope the bull. Well Macen immediately roped his own horse. And no matter how much help he got to throw the rope out, he just wanted to rope his horse.

We took the ride to the pumpkin patch this year. I searched for a small pumpkin to join our big ones at home. Brianna found the smallest, cutest pumpkin. Macen kept saying "yuck" to all the smashed pumpkins he saw.

When we got back from the pumpkin patch, we watched the pig races. I think Macen liked moving to the music more though.