Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I thought I would share some pictures from Christmas that we spent Joplin, MO with Josh's parents and brother. We will also make a stop at my Mother's in western Kansas and my Dad's here in the next couple of days. Hopefully, I will get some good picture when I visit that I can share.
So to start off, I decided to make sugar cookies from scratch this year with the kids. I thought it would be something fun for them to do, to eat, and to give to Santa Clause. This is my first time ever making sugar cookies by the way, I even had to buy cookie cutters. Overall I thought they turned out well and even tasted pretty good. Now I do have to admit that Wylie helped me roll out the dough, Gunnar and Wylie both cut out some cookies with the cutters, but as far as frosting them...Wylie frosted one cookie and proceeded to eat it and Gunnar came into the kitchen saw a frosted cookie and also proceeded to eat it as well. Therefore, I was left to frost the cookies on my own. Funny, I thought the kids would enjoy frosting the cookies the most.

Sugar Cookies before...

Sugar Cookies After!

There were a couple of web site that would track Santa. We all had a good time watching for a awhile. We even got out a world map so that we could tell exactly where Santa was and how far he was from Joplin. Gunnar and Wylie both got pretty silly while they were watching Santa's every move, so you will see a few pictures below of their silliness.

A nuggie from brother!

The kids ended the evening as usual with letters to Santa. Gunnar asked for a D-Rex and Wylie wrote that she had changed her mind that she also wanted a Littlest Pet Shop VIP with her Easy Bake Oven.

I have to admit Gunnar's D-Rex is pretty cool!

And Santa happened to have a special bag to reach into, so that he could give Wylie her last minute change for her Littlest Pet Shop VIP.

One of the big presents from Mamaw and Papaw this year was the Green Machine. Both Gunnar and Wylie had a blast driving it in the parking lot next to the house. After only a couple of turns Gunnar was making it go as fast as he could then hitting the breaks and making a sharp turn as the same time, which would make him whip around fast.

I was pleased to see that Wylie really didn't have much trouble making it go. The steering will take a little practice, but for the most part she did a good job.

Overall, we had a wonderful Christmas! We sure feel like we are very blessed! I hope all my friends and family had a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Programs

Wylie had her dance recital last Sunday. They tap danced to Jingle Bells. I, of coarse, thought she did a wonderful job! I took a picture of her and Halle before they went on stage. They do not let you take flash photography during the program. And for those of you who knew about Josh's hunting trip...he made it back Sunday evening safely from South Dakota. He said he had a great time and shot well. Gunnar also had a Christmas program last Thursday. I didn't get any pictures of him, because I had to take Wylie to rehearsal and get her pictures taken then come straight to the program, which we barely made it on time, which means there were no good seats left. Oh I was in the front row, but unfortunately that meant the piano was blocking my sons whole body! Anyway, the k-3rd graders came back on the stage for a finally and I saw him singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"! This is good for Gunnar because when I talked to him about the program he said that if he had to sing Silent Night one more time his head would explode! Ha! Ha! Music is not one of his favorite classes in school.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Holiday Confession

When it comes to holiday decorations I am CHEAP! I never buy ornaments or decorations, I think it is a waist of money. You know I have to take that back, I bought a bag of old ornaments for quarter at a garage sale this year! (No really, I got a good deal on these ornaments, and I like to think they look vintage. Ha! Ha!) The 3 foot tree that you see is a fiber optic that Joe gave us 4 years ago, which is how I aquire decore for any holiday. Thank goodness every year that Gunnar and Wylie are in school we get more and more ornaments and decorations that they have made themselves, which are my favorite. We decorated the tree this evening and thought that I would share some of the things that I get out every year. And I have to say... I think the tree looks great!

I like to put some of the kids' art on the tree, like the wreath Wylie made last year out of a paper plate (it's around the polar bear). Towards the bottom left you see a reindeer made out from a trace of Gunnar's foot and two hands. Wylie has one like it on the other side. They made the reindeer when the were 2 and 4 years old.

This is a Santa Clause that Gunnar made in preschool that I hang up every year. I think the cottonballs are a nice touch!

Another Santa Clause made by Gunnar when he was in kindergarten. Pretty good coloring for a boy who doesn't like to color. Very colorful too I must say!

I like to set these houses out on our side tables every year. The house to the very right was given to me by my dad and Cindy. As far as the other two, I have no idea where they came from, but I definitely know that I did not buy them.

This manger scene was my Grandma and Grandpa Streid's, which actually stays in our viewing cabinet year around. I like it a lot and I remember that it was always set out during the holiday season at my Grandparent's house in Illinois.

Another Christmas decoration that stays in the cabinet year around are from Grandma and Grandad DeWeese's. These Human Beans (get it?) are one of Josh's favorite decorations that his grandmother set out every year.

After reading this, I realize this post may not be real interesting to anyone, but it really makes a person sentimental when you get things out that you haven't seen in a year.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Fun!

Another fun holiday with the January's (Josh's mother's family), 15 adults, 7 children, a four night stay in one cabin on the lake in Arkansas, and tons of good food! Pictures are in no particular order. This actually took me around 4 days to post because when I got back from Thanksgiving I got sick. Actually sick enough that I took my first sick day (for myself) in 3 years, but I am feeling much better now and know one in the house has come down with it either (knock on wood).
Here is a picture of the cabin that we stayed in, it actually belongs to Dustin's aunt, which I am happy to say our cousin Randi and Dustin recently got engaged. And I am not just saying that because of the cabin. Ha! Ha! Honestly, it was a great place that fit all 22 family members and not too shabby views of the lake as you will see below.

The guys decided to pitch in this year and fry a tukey this year for fun. I think everyone agreed that it was pretty good.

I also got a shot of Grandad carving the turkey while Nanny and Jack look on.

The cabin had a walk down stairs down to the private dock where the kids spent some time throwing rocks into the lake. From left to right is Gunnar, Jack, Dakota, Molly, and Amy.

A great picture of Jack, Wylie, Gunnar, and Jillian!

Besides playing Poker, Pitch, and Scene It, the adults (Josh, John, Dustin, and Randi) got to play some Wii. As far a "Black Friday" Josh, Dustin, Randi, and I drove to Eureka Springs, mainly because I have always wanted to go there. I have to say that I really liked the town and we had a great time.

One of the many dinners over the 4 days included marinated Ribeye steaks. I got a picture of Dustin and Jeff cutting the steaks on the desk.

I got a good picture of the kids eating a snack at the bar. Gunnar, Joey, Jack , and Wylie were getting a good laugh at each others jokes.

Thanksgiving morning I took this picture of the fog wall at the end of the cove.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Best Friends

This is Wyile's best friend, Halle. Her mom was on a business trip in Washington D.C., so she got to come over and play and then go to dance class with Wylie. They have going to the same dance class since August. Halle and Wylie have shared the same daycare since we have moved to Cherryvale, except for this year. Wylie misses seeing her, but they do get to see each other at Pre-school every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hukuna Matata!

Josh had heard from one of his fellow teachers that the Lion King on Broadway was coming to Kansas last Friday he went online and found 4 tickets 10 rows back from the stage in the middle section for Saturday at 2 o'clock in the afternoon (which is why we think we got a good deal on the tickets). Anyway, it was AWESOME! It was so awesome I can't even describe it! Both Gunnar and Wylie loved it! The picture you see is a poster we bought with the autographs of the cast members, which the proceeds went to the American Red Cross. The actual cast members were handing them out as you walked out the door. Our poster was from the actor who played "Scar", who happened to be our favorite. We left for downtown KC at 9:45 am, at 11:45 we arrived at the music hall and picked up our tickets, then grabbed a hot dog at a local stand and ate in the square amongst the tall buildings, watched the play, and then grabbed some IHOP on the way home. Josh and I had a great day with the kids.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Wylie was a Vampire this year. She gave me a good scary pose after she was done trick-or-treating. I think the kids had a good time this house behind ours had a haunted house that was appropriate for younger kids. We really only went to 12 houses in the neighborhood and they still came back with a load of candy! Gunnar was a wizard, which as you can see below I made him get his picture taken this year, not that he was happy about it. I took one with a flash, which I didn't care for the pose, but the picture with the better pose had no flash...figures! Anyway, hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2008


Neewollah (Halloween spelled backwards) is a week long fall festival that happens in Independence, KS which is 11 miles from Cherryvale. We have lived in Cherryvale for 3 years now, but this is our first year to go to the festival. My students think were cazy for not going these last few years since people come from Oklahoma, Missouri, and Central/Southeast/Northcentral Kansas to see the play, eat the food, ride the carnival rides, see the parade, and to watch the Queen Neelaw Pagent. We knew that our cousin Randi would be there with Dustin, Jillian, and Dakota so we decided to to meet them on Saturday afternoon to watch the parade and then take the kids to the carnival. The kids loved it! Gunnar rode almost every ride, even the adult ones that I have always found scary, he loves. Below is picture of Wylie and Jillian with their face paint. They of coarse had to play a little dress-up when they got home. Randi and the crew also ended up staying the night at our place, which was nice for us to get to visit and for the kids to get to play together. We had a great time as usual! Thanks Randi, Dustin, Jillian, and Dakota!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fall Pictures

I thought I would post school pictures of the kids this year. I thought they turned out pretty well. I had Wylie's taken a Thayer from a photographer who comes to town every 4 years. One of my students sold me a ticket for $10 for a free 8 by 10, which was a fund raiser for her little sister's day-care. Wylie had 8 different poses, which I could have had all for $149.89, (the cheapest package offered) or I could walk out with my 8 by 10 for free. Gosh, I am cheap! All of the pictures were good, but I have seen better through the LCD of my digital camera. It was still fun to take her, they were supposed to look vintage, we got to pick from a rack of old dresses. Well, volleyball season is over (record of 3-4) as of last Thursday. It was nice to get home before 5:30 today. I should have time to blog a little more than I have been, I hope.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tough to blog lately!

I tell you what, we are busy at the DeWeese house. Wylie has dance class on Monday nights (Josh goes to the JV football games), high school volleyball games on Tuesdays, Wednesday evenings are filled with sorority meetings or rec. volleyball for me (Josh has fire or EMT meetings), Thursdays are my middle school volleyball games, which our record is 2-3 right now, Josh comes to these games to be acting administrator on duty, and Fridays are high school football games, which Josh does the video for the Charger football network that is shown on our local cable. I spend most of the weekend doing the mountain of laundry that has accumulated from the week. Gunnar and Wylie are doing great! I have to brag on the fact that they are such good kids. Josh and I bring them to about 98% of the activities mentioned above and they are always well behaved. Our middle and high school students just think they are both awesome. Work is going really good for me, although I am ready for a little seems like we have been going non-stop. Josh has a leadership conference in Missouri this Wednesday and Thursday and homecoming is this week at school, which makes it interesting. Hope all is well with everyone who reads this. I will try and get something more interesting posted next time.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday Wylie Jade!!!!!

Today was her day, although on Saturday we headed to Joplin to Toys-r-Us, so that she could spend her money that was given to her by Grandma and Grandpa Streid and DeWeese. She ended up picking out a Cabbage Patch Ice Cream Doll and a Barbie. She also picked to eat at a Mexican Restaurant for lunch.
Here she is eating pizza for her birthday dinner on Sunday. Her Gunka Joe came over to help celebrate and tomorrow morning he is going to take her to pre-school and pick her up so that they can hang out for the day.
This is a picture of a picture that I took of Wylie soon after she was born. I did not have a digital camera at that time. Her dad and I can hardly believe she is 5 already! I still remember my water breaking at Midnight and being nervous because we knew she was breech and we had an hour drive to the hospital ahead of us. We called Gunka Joe right away to come over and watch Gunnar and at 2:22 a.m you arrived. Josh still brags that he got to hold her first!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Our New Addition to the Family

Here is Nico, the new family dog. Josh's parents are getting ready to move from the country to the city and asked if we would like to have him. We were pretty sure we were going to have to get a dog for Wylie anyway (because what Wylie wants she seems to get, I blame her dad. Ha! Ha!) and if your going to get a dog why not get one that is already trained (thanks to Josh's mom and dad). More importantly he is out of the puppy stage. So far things have been going great. Gunnar and Wylie love playing outside with him. Gunnar likes him to fetch and I think Wylie likes bossing him around. Josh and I enjoy taking him for has been so nice outside lately and he does a great job on a leash.
There are a couple of good pictures below. When I started taking pictures of Nico I had a hard time getting a good picture of him. The camera seemed to make him anxious, but after a few minutes I think he started to pose for me, like he was going to be on the cover of Modern Dog or something. Hee! Hee!

Now She Likes It!

Wylie has now discovered that she not only likes to go swimming, but she likes to go under water! Now she can't get enough of the pool, and of coarse the water is freezing because of our cool Kansas nights. I mean to tell you, it's been so cold that I am looking forward to putting the cover on for the winter! These picture were taken a couple weeks ago and I started to post, but was interrupted somehow.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The End of Summer Vacation.

Well, tomorrow Josh and I have to go back to work. What a bummer! Wylie and I tried to go swimming today and the pool was actually too cold, which is just another sign of summer ending. Just to fill you in on upcoming events...Gunnar will start 2nd grade on Thursday the 14th, he has Mrs. Fox this year. He will also be starting up Karate again after next week. Wylie will be in pre-school again this year with Mrs. Julie at the Methodist Church. She is going to take dance and gymnastics from a new studio in Independence, which works out well because of the shorter driving time, less money, and she will be in the same class as her best friend Halle. She will be going to Nanny's for daycare, who I think is excellent, and will also watch Gunnar when we have in-services.

As for Josh and I, we have meetings for the next 3 days and then students will come on Thursday. My first day of middle school volleyball practice starts the 18th and I am excited to start the season...I have to admit I am hoping for a better record this year 2-6 (I'll keep you posted, unless it's too depressing. Ha! Ha!). My student numbers look good this year and I only have 2 preps, Algebra I and Geometry, all are new students to me, which I think it will be nice to start fresh. Josh will be teaching 7th and 8th grade Science again this year and will also be the head softball coach for the high school. He will not be the assistant wrestling coach this year and I have to admit I am glad. The sport takes up a lot of time, not only most Saturdays, but also 5 months out of the year. Overall, I am optimistic about the year. I hope all is well with those who read this and have a great year! Only 186 days till summer break! Hee! Hee!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pictures from Hawaii

We have been back home now for a week and have been wanting to post pictures, but our Internet has been down. So here they are! Keep in mind we spent 10 days in Hawaii so you will see a good handful of the the hundreds of pictures we took! Josh's friend from high school, Lora, and her husband Mike were kind enough to let us stay at their house, feed us, and let us use their car to drive around the island. They live at Schoalfield Barracks, an Army base on the island of Oahu. They have two children Haley who is 8 and Mathew who is 3. We sure are grateful for their hospitality. A quick note to keep your thoughts and prayers with Lora and her family...Mike will be making his third deployment to Iraq in November and will be there for a year. These pictures are in no particular order although I will try to keep the same places together. Enjoy!

The one group picture of us all smiling. The man to the very left for those of you who don't know, the kids call Gunka Joe, Josh's brother, he also went on the trip with us.

Here is the scene of fourth of July on the Army base. The big American flag in the middle of the picture is the stage where Billy Ray Cyruss is performing. I did not get to see much of the concert because I took Gunnar and Wylie to the carnival that was also at the celebration.

I was worried that the kids would get sick or scared on some of the rides, but they loved it! They were so proud of themselves after going on this ride. I was proud of them too!

This is a picture of Gunnar playing in the waves, he loved them. This is his first time to swim in the ocean.

Wylie is not quite the water dog that her brother is, but she did like playing in the sand. Here is a picture of her and Mathew.

Another time at the beach! This is Gunnar snorkeling at the North Shore. We not only saw huge Sea Turtles, but Gunnar actually touched two of them! Gunnar was awesome at snorkeling!

Here is Wylie playing the sand at the North Shore. By the end of the vacation she was really getting used to being in the ocean and playing in the waves with me.

After the a day at the beach we stopped to get shaved ice with a scoop of ice cream at the bottom. They are delicious! This is Wylie, Haley, and Mathew.

Now we are at Waikiki where we ride on this boat that will take us to our submarine ride.

Here is a picture of the Atlantis XIV, which we are about to board.

Here is a picture of the kids looking out the window of the submarine. Our lowest depth was 112 feet. I took some pictures of the fish and man made coral, but they didn't turn out all that well.

We toured the USS Missouri, which is where World War II was ended

We also went to see the USS Arizona Memorial.

Here is a picture of us before the Luau. Thanks for the picture Joe!

Josh and Wylie with a couple of the Hula Dancers. The girl to the left helped Wylie to get on stage where she did a fabulous job hula dancing front and center of the group of girls! We were so proud of Wylie! There were hundreds of people watching in the crowd. Joe actually has the pictures of her on his camera.

Here is the pig that they pull out of the ground that they cook with lava rocks. I actually ate some of the pork and it was really good!

Just a picture to give you and idea of the stage that they performed on. One guy even came out and danced with the baton of fire when it became dark.
This is the boat we took three miles out to see and swim with the Galapagos Sharks.

Here is the cage that Josh, Joe, Gunnar, and I got into. We have it all on video! What a great show and tell for Gunnar!

Here is a picture of one of probably fifteen sharks that were around. The males were around 10 feet long and the females get up to 14 feet long! They were awesome! Definitely one of the highlights of our trip. On the way back to the marina we got to see around 50 spinning dolphins, the captains said it was a rare treat to get to see them.

One of the days we took a road trip around the north shore. We would stop and get out every so often to enjoy the views at the beaches.

We ate at a Shrimp Shack along the way. Right across the street from here is a beach, so we set outside and watched to ocean while eating fresh shrimp and listening to island music. Very fun!

Another nice stop along our road trip down the north shore. The mountains were also great to look at.

Another stop...and I have to pat myself on the back for this picture, I think it looks like a postcard. By the way, I have no idea who those people are in the picture, I just liked the view.

Josh and I also got to celebrate our 11th anniversary on this trip, so Joe and Lora were nice enough to watch the kids while we went to watch the sunset together. I have to say it wasn't as romantic as it looks, there were homeless people in the trees about 15 yards next to us. Ha! Ha! Once again Mahalo to Lora, Mike, Haley, and Mathew for making our vacation a great one!