Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Fun

I hope no one is offended, but should take this as the highest compliment possible, that I am very guilty of stealing/copying holiday traditions from others. The newest holiday theft in the Shurtz home is courtesy of my ever creative and fabulous mommy, my Arkansas girl, Meggan Daniel. The gingerbread house. Aside from making the classic milk box house for Christmas in elementary school, I had absolutely no experience, but thought this would be a very fun and messy experience to start with the kiddos this year.
I found an inexpensive kit at Walmart and unwrapped all the candies before Jackson arrived home from school. I was very excited for this little project with the boys, knowing that this was the first of many gingerbread houses to come. I thought that my Jackson would love everything about this creative process, being my little crafty little artist and always wanting to help in any way in the kitchen. I knew he would be ever so careful placing each candy in its most perfect place and wanting the little houses to look "just right". WRONG!!! He was done about 10 minutes after starting the project, wanting to show Papa his mad skills on Guitar Hero. My sweet goobley Maddox was left at the kitchen table instead, until completion, placing candies and gumdrops in everyplace the icing would hold them.
We began by looking over the instruction booklet and selected a pattern we liked. That was thrown out after about 1 minute, and I am so glad. It looks like my boys created the masterpiece instead of the Wilton decorating pattern book. I love that it is imperfect and there are 3 candies on 1 window and 20 on another. Nana helped with the wreath and cute trees, as Maddox added his final touches.
Can't wait for next years tree and many more following. Thanks Ms. Meggan for letting me steal a holiday tradition from your holiday home!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blessed by my girls

I am so fortunate to have been surrounded by the most fabulous women that have come into my life this year. I must admit, I was in a comfortable slump, happy to be busy mommy to 3 beautiful children and a wife to the most amazing man that I know, but I was friend to a very treasured few, (you know who you are ((t, t, r, and m)) ). That was the sadness in my life. Danno had work friends that he was able to go to lunch with and talk to daily about life and if you know my "talker" husband, debate with. He then began to become active in church and things really began to change for me. Suddenly he had more than just work friends and old high school cronies. He had "NEW" friends, and I didn't. Oooo, did the green eyed monster hurl his ugly head.
So after throwing my own pity party, I decided to do something about it. But, how??
I decided to use my 3 beautiful treasures, my kids, and open myself up to show the "real" me. With those 2 things, hopefully, I could fill the void that I was longing for. I began volunteering and signing up for things, knowing that I was going to not know 1 single person.
I am so thankful that God gave me the courage I needed to show the woman I truly am, and to be comfortable with the fact that some may not find me as their friend so appealing, and that had to be OK.
I am so thankful for the push of 1 new friend, I wish I had her picture to show you. A friendly face amongst the questioning and burning eyes of others. She has been a gift, for she brought so many into my lap through words of encouragement, and I will forever be thankful and indebted to her.
Silly as it may sound, I am thankful for Facebook, for letting me connect with a very special friend from long ago and to reconnect to with many, many others. I can also send a mean piece of Flair, instant message and post fabo SNL sketches with the best of them.
And lastly, thanks to these beautiful, talented, and amazing women pictured. The above 3 are my some of my new girls, who have enriched my life and blessed me beyond belief. They have made me feel so very special and I cannot wait to share many more "martini" nights together giggling.
The picture of the 3 of us below are my girls who didn't leave me as many others have. Calling, emailing or inviting me to things when I no longer lived on their block or could walk across the street and sit on a porch swing and talk. My heart misses those afternoon easy chats. Why do you guys have to work????? just kidding.. Thank you for not leaving me! I would've been very, very lost without your friendship.
As the year of 2008 draws to a close, and we are to reflect and look ahead, I have realized how to be humbled so completely by something I was longing for and to be so completely grateful when it came.

I love you all!!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Giving Thanks

Over the Thanksgiving holiday we went to Edmond to visit my side of our crew for food and LOTS of early morning bargains.
Amy,(my baby niece) and I headed to a small boutique Wednesday morning at 5:20 for a 1 hour half off sale. Aims said they had cute stuff and so I awoke early for the cute bargains. When we arrived, we were the only ones in the parking lot. They must've felt sorry for us, because they let us in 10 minutes before opening. I got a super cute vest and some jewelry and am kicking myself for not buying more of their make-up they had 1/2 off. Still some great deal-lios!! Thanks Amy Kay!
Later that day, we had the kids picture taken with the REAL Santa. He lives in Quail Springs Mall during December, trusting the elves to handle all of the craziness back at the North Pole. Seriously, he's incredible! Unfortunately, the disc we purchased of the kids with Santa is MIA and is no where to be found. They did an awesome job and no one cried this year!!!!!
More shopping was to follow, as OKC has the most incredible malls. Of course we had to scout out the deals for Friday morning. Nana and Papa watched the tribe as Danno and I took the mall by storm. I must say, I am rubbing off on my husband a little with the sale bug. He is all about getting a deal with me at some of our most fav stores in their area. It only took 15 years for him to tag along for some of my bargain shopping.
Thursday's turkey was always a yummy treat with a tableful of fab-o food,
thanks to my mother. Some of my all time favorites have got to be my sister-in-laws to die for green bean casserole (no matter how many times I make it, it is never as good as hers), mom's cranberry salad and mouth watering apple pie, and a new favorite for this year ( please don't laugh), my dad's salad. Wow! Really, really good!
We always take the annual family picture on Thanksgiving day and I take everyone else's Christmas card mugs for their holiday mail outs. We conclude by going to a movie and playing some very fun board games. Danno and I broke from the group to see James Bond Quantum of Solace. Very good flick and came back for a new game Kimmie brought over, Buzz Word. Good times!
AHHHH, and then Black Friday shopping morning. Ava had a little bit of a cough and awoke at 2 a.m. Not being able to get back to sleep, I began to get ready at 2:45 and Mom and I left the house at 3:20 for our 1st stop at Kohl's. The weather was fairly pleasant, so we stood outside in line for the remaining 45 minutes before opening. We then headed to Penney's for slippers and my bargain buffet server from my Mom, which I have been eyeing for over a year. We met up with the rest of our crew at Target for their 6:00 a.m opening, then headed to the mall for the remainder of the morning. Danno, actually met us there at around 7:00 and took our fabulous group picture with our team shopping t-shirts, a 1st for this year thanks to my wonderful friend Jessica Lindsey. They turned out oober cute and I hope will be a tradition for many years to come. WE HAVE TO BE A UNIFIED SHOPPING TEAM!! All for one and one for all.
We always have a super fun time when we go to see family south of the Kansas border. Hope they all feel the same coming here for the Christmas holiday!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

First Chiefs game

A few weeks ago, Danno took Jackson to see his very fist Chiefs game in Kansas City. I was a little hesitant, thinking that my baby was still too young and would get bored and be ready to come home 10 minutes after they got there. Since Dan was taking a client and his son, I wasn't so hot on the Yb meats guy listening to a whiny 6 year old. Boy, was mommy wrong (this one time). They had so much fun together. Jackson loved that he was with the guys, especially his daddy, hangin out and watching the game. He called at half time wondering if I had seen him on the TV. I asked him what he thought and he simply replied, "It's awesome!!". Ranno said that he joined in with the chants and cheers and loved Kc Wolf, the mascot. He didn't even complain on the 3 hour jaunt back to Wichita.
When they returned home, Danno was so exited about the guy time they were able to spend together, just the 2 of them. I couldn't help but squeeze my big boy a little harder that night. He is growing up so fast; becoming the Chiefs fan daddy always hoped he would be.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Halloween 2008

Halloween Week

Wow, what a crazy week last week. Danno and I need this trip to Mexico after all of our fall fun activities!
The craziness began last Monday, as Jackson's Kindergarten class had their Halloween party and parade. So fun for him to see him so proud marching around the school so the big kids could admire his X-Man fierceness! Jackson's school had the rest of the week off for parent/teacher conferences! You would've thought that it would've slowed us down?!
Tuesday was shopping and getting ready for the week ahead.
Wednesday we had our conference with Jackson's teacher, Ms. Williams. Big surprise , I cried! He is doing wonderfully and is a sweet and cooperative little boy (as if I didn't already know that I was given the angel child).?!? We then had a play date and lunch with friends and also made a special dinner for our new nephew/cousin Levi's mommy and daddy. So fun!
On Thursday, we trick-or-treated daddy's office, mommy's old workplace to see Aunt Trish, and some of mommy's friends houses and their workplaces. My 3 little superheroes were the cutest ever!! Later that day we trick-or-treated and enjoyed some fun at Dillons before going to our small group at church. Whew!!! That was a busy day!
Friday is always our whirlwind! We went to church for mommy's MAPS group and Maddox's Kids Day Inn. ( which is getting better...) Came home at 2:00 for naps and then threw on costumes, took pictures and out the door to the fall festival open house at church and then back home for trick-treating and Pizza Hut pizza!
Saturday, we took our annual Christmas card picture, which is always sooooooo fun for mom and dad. (dripping with sarcasm)!
Sunday mommy took 3 sets of senior pictures and 1 set family pictures! Busy, busy!!
Although last week was a whirlwind of activities, the kids had tons of fun and our definitely on sugar overload! Luckily this time on Thursday, Dan and I will be laying on the beach in Mexico with margarita and room service at hand!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Down at the Patch

Best time of the year

I cannot say how much I love, love, love this time of year. I love the crisp weather, the smell of leaves and fall scented candles, the wonderful comfort food, and the warm and festive hues of the season. Most of all, it reminds me of when I started dating and fell in love with the most wonderful and sweetest man in the world. On our second date, Danno and I spent an evening carving a complicated pumpkin with one of those fancy carving kits and eating homemade chocolate chip cookies. Come October, I always look forward to taking the kids to the pumpkin patch, riding out into the field to get a pumpkin and take TONS of pics amongst pumpkins and bales of hay. Today, we made that yearly trip and the kids had so much fun watching the cutest pigs race around in the mud, play on the playground, and select their own orange gourds to take home for the front porch!! Good memories! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy birthday Jackson

My baby turns 6

Jackson turned 6 on October 7th of last week. We celebrated with a lunch at Mcdonald's, pictures at the park, guy time at All-Star sports with daddy, a chicken and noodle birthday dinner and a chocolate cake to round out my big boy's special day.
The real craziness began on Saturday with 14 little munchkins running around the backyard and jumping on the Incredible Hulk inflatable. After a hot dog and mac and cheese lunch (yummy), presents were excitedly opened and candles blown out to celebrate Jackson's special day.
That evening, family and a few friends came by for a chili supper and more Ben 10 themed cake. After eating an entire bag of Fritos and a more than eventful day, Bubby wasn't feeling well and wanted to go to bed shortly after everyone arrived. After a little rest, he felt rejuvenated and was able to open his mound of presents.
Some of his favorite gifts of the day were a scooter, an Ben 10 alien creator, many Star Wars things, and of course the Lego Batman game that he snooped and found 2 weeks before. Mommy and daddy were weak and let him have that one early.
Happy birthday handsome man! We love you so much and are so proud of the sweet little boy you are.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Touch a Truck

Saturday, Grampa Joe took Jackson to a Touch a Truck event here in Wichita. He got to sit in and toot the horns of several different kinds of trucks. The highlights were a firetruck, a city bus, some kind of 4-wheeler and of course, the monster slide. There was also a cement truck, Jackson wasn't to keen on that one for some reason. Afterwards, Grampa took jackson to his favorite eatery, McDonald's, where he played on the equipment and slide, of course, for a bit.
After coming home, Jackson made and colored a book of their fun day together and cannot wait to show it to Grampa Joe. Thanks Grampa for giving Jackson a fun day together!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

First day of Kids Day Inn

Maddox's first day of Kids day Inn/Mom's day out was last Friday. As you can see he clearly does not want his picture taken for this momentous event. He has been talking about school and acted so excited to take his new Spiderman backpack and lunchbox that I was hoping he would have a good time. At Meet your teacher day the week before, he was excited to go play with the animals and color. I prepared his teacher for the worst, explaining that we still have a rough time dropping off for church on the weekends. Mrs. Downing had been Jackson's teacher at 2 and he absolutly loved her. She met Maddox at the door with open arms and luckily, no tears at all!!
After MAPS that morning I found it very strange leaving the church that day with only Ava in tow. Is this what it was like with only one child?? I had forgotten. This was a piece of cake. We went and picked up Jackson, had a fun lunch at Mcdonalds, some ice cream at Cold Stone and then back to pick up the goobley at 1:30.
Mrs Downing said there were some times with tears, but overall, he did ok. Hopefully next week and each week after will get better for my sweet strong-willed 2 year old and someday, close to the end of the school year, he may actully enjoy his time at KDI.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My merry maids

The kiddos and i are having company tonight for dinner while my sweet husband is out of town on business. We all know what this means. Clean-up!!! I am not an everyday cleaner, that would be impossible and frustrating with the 3 little monsters, I guess i would classify myself as more of an everyday picker-upper??? Let me rephrase that. Constant picker-upper!! It seems like the monkeys run through the house in a whirlwind, dragging whatever it is in their hands strung on the floor and leaving a semi-neat room in utter disarray in a matter of seconds. Ava is at the stage of throwing food everywhere off of her tray the second she decides she is done. The area around her high chair is something that gets swept 3 times daily and cleaned (with solutions) every other day. She is the messy-mess, as I call her.

Any -hoo, company is coming. which means giving the false impression that the house is spotless always. Today, the boys joined in on the project. sticky fingers and hands are always leaving little markers on our kitchen chairs. Jackson and Maddox were to spray the chairs down and wipe away their foodies. This led to a song, written by Jackson, called "clean-up is fun". We were all singing and scrubbing the kitchen clean and hopefully making good habits of my handsomes.

Soon, the boys began fighting over who sprays and who gets to wipe. Apparently it is funner to spray than wipe away. On this beautiful 70 degree day they were whooshed outside to play while i finished up.
At least I managed some help for a few minutes, and I think a new song which we will sing at clean-up times. Just regular Disney day!!! Zipp-a-dee-do-dah!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


As challenging as it is to be the parent of a 2 year old, some days it is also the most hilarious, laugh yourself silly time that I love so much.

Maddox is just a regular comedian right now!!! I walk into the toy room sniffing "the odor". I say aloud, "who's poopy?" My 2 year old responds, "nope. No stinky, yucky mom." He then turns around, pulls open the back of his diaper to check himself and says,"no yucky mom". Maddox walks up to Ava and smells her bottom and exclaims, "It sissy stinky, yucky!!" I just have to laugh at all of this because I have never seen a 2 year old check himself for dirty pants and then check someone else to investigate the problem! So funny, my little sweet goobley.

A random thing that made me smile today~ On the way home from taking Jackson to school this morning I saw 2 horses kissing. Truly, lip to lip!! Now, not knowing anything about horses, I seriously doubt they were kissing...but I'd like to think so in my little dreamland were the sky is beautiful, birds are chirping, Disney movie where everything is perfect and no one ever gets sick.
I may need counseling....

Friday, August 29, 2008

Toofers, Passy's, and Silliness

Finally, our little princess' toofers have broken through! After many cranky and painful days and nights, 3 more teeth appeared through the gum line in Ava's tiny little mouth. One more on the bottom center, and 2 center top ones. No wonder she was such a cranker puss, those teeth were hurting my baby princess! Now maybe we'll be good for awhile...

Maddox, as most of us know is obsessed with the "piderman"!! He found a spiderman stocking cap and 1 lone glove laying around in their bedroom. He comes to me, both in hand, and says, "Mom, Mom. Put on!" For the last hour and a half he has been wearing this spiderman/Michael Jackson 1 glove get-up, looking ooberly

Every now and then I go for a passy-hunt, looking for all of the randomly thrown pacifiers that have been strewn around the
house to be kicked and hidden under furniture, in couch cushions, and in any nook and cranny that can be discovered. While searching the basement, I placed sissy's passy's in a small pile on the table. After collecting, I found Ava on the floor, amidst them all, choosing just the right one to pass the time!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Sweet Boy

I have spent so much time talking about Ava's birthday and Jackson going to kindergarten, I thought it was time to share a little about how big my sweet goobley has become. He has asked about Jackson each day after we drop him off at school. "Where Dackon mommy? He chool?". Today, after dropping off my sweet big boy, the babies and I went out shopping to do some exchanges and kill some time before being back at the elementary school in 3 hours. He was such a big boy today. Staying beside the cart, not complaining while riding in the stroller, and talking up a storm. When we all go shopping together, it seems like he wants to be like brother and walk, not ride in the stroller with lil sis. Today, with all of the Little Einstein's characters accompanying us, he was on such good behavior and asking such questions, all of which I could understand!! He grew up overnight! I kept telling him over and over how proud mommy was of him and what a big boy he was to be so kind and let mommy shop. I could almost see the proud little grin in his eyes saying, "I am a big boy like my brother". I feel as if these positive affirmations and uplifting words are making such a difference in his demeanor, language, and overall behavior. All my babies are growing up! I have always said that every age is my favorite; always the most rewarding. But I am so proud of my sweet Maddox and how far he has come, turning into quite the little man.
If you are wondering, each day is getting better for me. Although I find my heart break each day a little more watching Jackson's backpack disappear behind the glass doors of the school, I am thankful to spend the time with my 2 other babies and help them grow into the wonderful little people that their brother is. I cannot say enough how much I love all my babies and how I want to freeze time and make them stay little forever; Even though I know that isn't quite possible, I am trying to soak up every minute of their sweetness and to never let them forget how much they mean to their mommy.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why does he have to grow up???

I should've known today was going to be bad when I began crying over the Wal-mart commercial for school supplies. But today was so much harder than I thought it would be. Harder admitting that everyday from now, I will be taking my baby somewhere to let someone else teach him how to become better, smarter, kinder and all the things that I have worked hard at teaching him. He still needs me right???

Walking away from the school out to the car, Maddox yelling and wailing,"I want Jackson!! I want Jackson!!!", the big tear began to fall. Wasn't 10 minutes long enough for them to have him? Couldn't he come back home and be my baby again?? I need him!! I cannot stand it. I'm still teary eyed over the whole traumatizing experience. I'm crying right now! I'm sure I'll cry tomorrow and next Monday and Tuesday and all of the days to follow. But it has become evident that my handsome big boy now was very big and attending big school. Away from mommy...let me wail now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Princess Birthday

Princess turns 1

On 8-8-08 my precious baby girl turned 1 year old. We celebrated that morning with our traditional birthday breakfast, which is a waffle with a candle in the center. We later went to the park for a picnic lunch and some playtime. We had a beautiful August day,(88 degrees if that is possible) to enjoy by the water with nana and papa, up from Oklahoma. Mommy spent most of the rest of the afternoon and evening pinkifying the house with balloons and streamers and twirlly doo dads, making the home fit for our fairy princess on her special party day. A first for us, began at 9:00 the eve of her party. Friends had talked me into making the princess her special cake instead of buying one at the bakery. Was I crazy to take on one more thing??? If you know me, "YES!!!". I must say, it turned out beautiful, thanks to my friend, the fabulous Traci House, and oober-doober tasty, thanks the the wonderful me. Just that extra special touch for the kids on their more than special day. So a new birthday tradition has begun, making the cake...
The party was spent at our home with family and friends, celebrating our special little girl. Princess Ava received a stackful of beautiful clothes, fit for the little diva baby that she is. She now also has a princess tiara and sparkly bracelet to wear on outings, social functions, or ruling over her jester brothers at they entertain her every whim at her fairy princess castle.

Happy birthday baby princess. We all love you so much!

oh, and if you're wondering...I completed her book the day before the royal event. Just in the nick of time!!!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Scrappin fanatic or scrappin frantic???

Reason for no recent blogs... crazy scrapbooking!! Ava's 1st birthday is in a week and I have been trying frantically to get her 1 year in review book done. This is somewhat of a tradition for our family. At the kids' 1st birthday I always try and have a month by month scrapbook of their constantly changing faces, for friends and family to "ooo" and "aww" over on their special day. And never fails, I always leave myself way too little time to finish. 2 weeks ago I began this massive project. Note to self: Please try to not begin a huge project with too little time to finish. Do I not learn or do I strive under pressure? Who knows. I do know that in the next week my hands will be burnt from glue gun overuse and my fingers sore from journaling sweet little quips. Wish me luck on finishing...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ta Daaaaa!!!

Scroll down to the bottom and pause music to hear video easier...Funny stuff!

An afternoon of boredom and too hot to play in the yard, led us to build a secret tunnel in the toy room. This is a side of Maddox that few people see, but mommy and daddy see often!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

How can you say No, no"??

Seriously. How can anyone say no to this toothless adorable grin?? Ava has reached the age of forever curiousity. Touching all kinds of shiny, blinky bright buttons that are on daddy's very expensive electronics or busy hands trying to open mommy's perfume drawer ( never too early to smell like a princess), I find myself smiling as I am saying "NO, no" to my tiny princess. I cannot help myself. Sometimes I am even giggling at her! As a mother of 2 little busy boys, I know that smiling, giggling and laughing are sending the 1 year old very mixed messages, but how can I help myself... just look at her!!! It has already begun, not even a year old and she is already getting anything she wants by looking at me in her little precious irresistible way and smiling, then jibbering some unintelligible phrase... I am a goner!!!!