We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

Anya’s first piano recital

Anya started piano lessons last fall with the start of the school year. It was mostly my idea, but she went along with it without too much complaining and even a little excitement! Although practicing her piano would not be on her list of top 10 things to do, she does it willingly and has really learned alot her first year.

Last Sunday, Anya had her first recital. It was perfect timing with JP & ELia’s birthday party, so she had a large audience in attendance! I was amazed at her calmness (I was always a nervous wreck before recitals) and so proud of how well she did.

Here is her piano debut!

Birthdays Birthdays 2014

April is a big birthday month for our family. JP kicks it off on by turning 6 on April 4th, followed by G’ma Jeryl on the 7th, Uncle Jason on the 8th and then Elia wrapped it up on the 12th by turning 3. As usual, we hosted a dual family birthday party for Elia and Josiah and what a fun day it was. We had a brunch this year due to Anya’s piano recital (see upcoming post about that) being the same afternoon, and it was a success!

I still can’t believe that Josiah and Elia are another year older…where did that year go? Josiah is really turning into a big boy–sweet-hearted, kind to everyone, a bit of a temper and my favorite lil’ guy. Elia has had a year of transitions and in true Elia form, has handled them all with her own flair. She is sassy, sweet, has a mind of her own and adores her big brother and sister. It will be fun to see what the next year has in store for each of them!

Fall Sports

I know it has been awhile since I last updated. I can’t believe how the days fly by….next thing I know it is almost Thanksgiving! We spent the fall outside watching alot of 8u softball with Anya and flag football with JP. I got my first real taste at being a “bleacher” mom and let me tell ya…it is HARD WORK :)

Anya decided she wanted to play on the competitive 8U (8 years old and under) softball team this fall and Jason decided he wanted to be the coach (big surprise, right?). Like anything new, we really had no idea what we were signing up for but away we went. I can’t even begin to tell you what amazing girls we had on the team (in addition to their amazing parents)! Jason was overwhelmed with everyone’s willingness to chip in and help coach, run the dug out, chase after Elia, keep the girls hydrated and all the other million little jobs that have to be done when managing a bunch of 7 & 8 year old girls! And that was just the parents! The girls were beyond fun to watch—the progress they made and the friendships they formed were unbelievable. And the icing on the cake was winning the last tournament…what a way to end the fall season! To see the ear-to-ear smiles on the girl’ faces was just amazing! Now that colder weather and shorter days are here, softball is put on the back burner (other than the occasional trip to the batting cage) and will pick back up in the early spring!


While Anya was busy playing in the dirt, JP was having fun tearing it up on the grass. He was new to flag football, but thanks to a few pointers from Daddy, Uncle Jason and his cousins, Zack and Noah, he had a pretty good idea of what to do! Jason & I were so proud to see how well JP listened to his coach, improved on his football skills and got along with his teammates! His last game was played at the Ankeny stadium on field turf and each team got to run through a banner before the game–the kids thought that was pretty cool :) As much fun as he had playing flag football, JP is pretty sure he is ready for tackle football—his mother, not so much!!


And what was Elia doing during all these games she gets dragged along to? Pretty much anything she wanted! She got to know some of the parent’s and other siblings at both softball and football and looked forward to seeing her “friends” everytime we went.


Here are some of my favorite pictures of JP’s last football game and Anya’s championship softball game!

First Day of School 2013!

JP off to Kindergarten and Anya off to 2nd grade.


WOW! Hard for me to believe. Here are a few pictures of our first day of school!

Josiah’s off to Kindergarten!

It was a much anticipated day at our house this morning…off to Kindergarten for Josiah. As with any milestone for the kids, I am torn between being happy for the new chapter in his life and being sad that the last chapter is over. I am happy to say it was all brave smiles from Josiah and I held my tears until the walk to the car. It is a comfort to know how excited Josiah is to start school, even if it was hard for this mama to “leave him at the door”!


We took you down to school today
You’re just beginning now;
Although this year you’re five years old,
You seem so young somehow!
We didn’t take you all the way,
For we’d been told before,
“Don’t go into his room with him,
Just leave him at the door.”
Up to this time we’ve always gone
Together everywhere,
And we have had a lot of fun
While traveling here and there;
But we well knew before it came,
We’re parted more and more
So many times we will stand outside
And leave you at the door.
You’re growing up so very fast
It’s hard to keep in step;
The fact of changing years is hard
For parents to accept.
You’ll have to walk your path alone
No matter what’s in store;
We’ll bring you up to life’s classroom,
Then leave you at the door.
While you were ours these tender years,
We treasured every day,
Full knowing that the time would come,
When you would go your way;
And though this love will still remain,
Within our heart’s deep core,
Our eyes will sting to see you go-
And leave us at the door!

–James Singleton


Anya’s Birthday Party 2013

Last Friday night, Anya had her first multi-girl sleep over to celebrate her birthday.


(note: trying to get four excited 8 year olds to smile “normal” in a pictures is pretty much impossible I discovered!)

She had 3 other girls from her grade spend the night and they had a great time. We spent the evening eating and playing games at Incredible Pizza and then back home they had “girl time” in the basement!! I was so impressed how well they all got along and they were all cashed by midnight! Here are a few more pictures of the girls celebrating!

Happy 8th Birthday Anya!

8 years ago on this very day, Anya Kay was born and changed life as we knew it forever!


What a crazy and fun 8 years it has been–it was the beginning of a new chapter of life filled with excitement, laughter, occasional frustration, happiness and most of all love.  It has been so fun to watch her grow and develop into the girl she has become.  Sassy, funny, tender hearted, stubborn, smart and always smiling–she is a great big sister, a friend to many, a joy to have as a daughter and we couldn’t love her more.  Happy Birthday Anya Kay!

Anya 2013

Take me out to the ballgame…..

The last few weeks we wrapped up both Anya’s rec softball season and JP’s baseball season. I am proud to say that both teams improved more than you can imagine from the beginning to the end of the season and both teams ended on a high note.

Anya’s team really started to put everything together at the end–it is almost sad that the season ended just when they were really starting to play. She consistently hit the ball, fielded the majority of things that came her way and even caught a pop-fly (which cost Coach Wes $1)!! You can tell at this age (1st and 2nd grade) that they usually know where the ball is suppose to go, now they just have to work on getting it there. I know it will come and am excited to see even more improvement next season!

Here are a few pictures of Anya and The Chipmunks!

JP’s team was made up of 5 and 6 year old boys. Although it is considered a success if no one gets whacked by a bat or knocked out by a ball, his team did their share of improving also. The season started with the defense being 9 little boys all chasing after the same ball. We even had a few dog piles the first few games! But, by the end of the season, the boys were staying in their position (for the most part) and even throwing the ball to 1st base every now and then. Early on, JP had a few moments of——how shall I put this—–frustration when he wasn’t the first boy to the ball (envision him throwing his ball cap to the dirt and giving it a few good kicks–Jason says he will make a great MLB GM some day) but he managed to work it out and realize that not every ball was going to come his direction.

Here are a few pictures of Josiah and The Pirates!

It was a fun Spring filled with lots of ball for our family. We look forward to doing it again next year!

Last Day of 1st Grade!


What a year Anya had at her new school! 1st grade was officially a success! Although it was a fun school year filled with lots of new and exciting things, Anya (along with the rest of the family) is very ready to hang up the back pack and start the summer fun! Congrats Anya on a great 1st grade year! On to 2nd grade!

Here is a picture with her friends on their last day of school with their teacher, Mrs Dodd!

Union Park

Last Saturday morning Josiah got invited to a birthday party for one of his classmates at the Union Park Carousel here in Des Moines. We had never been (in fact, never even heard of it) but the family hosting the party invited the families of all the children attending to stay and ride the carousel and play at the park–so we did. It was so much fun. We had the carousel all to ourselves for 1 hour and could ride as much as we wanted. The kids pretty much spent the time moving from animal to animal and loved every minute of it (except this momma-she had to take breaks from all that spinning!) In between carousel rides, the kids also played at the “rocket slide” that is just across the parking lot from the carousel. Talk about a crazy slide–those kids came flying down the slide–laughing all the way! Jason was having fun taking pictures of the kids on the slide and was lucky enough to capture a hilarious sequence of shots involving JP on the slide. Take a look:

Anyway, it was a fun way to start our weekend and the whole family got to enjoy it! Union Park might be one of our new favorite places!

Check out a few more pictures from our fun there!