Thursday, April 24, 2014

Popping in to Say Hello

Hello Friends!

I hope you are all doing well.  

Like a broken record, I say once again, "life is crazy"!

Work is good…

…I love the little people that I work with so much.  They are precious souls…each and every one of them…

…but I'm also PTO President this year…

…and a baseball mom…softball mom…and dance mom.  I'm a carpool mom…

…and most days I feel like I am barely hanging on!  

So, I hope to be able to return to blogging come summer.  I just have so much on my plate right now that something had to go.  


But before I leave you, I thought I'd share a quick updated pic of my weight loss journey!

I continue to Jazzercise every day *smile* and eating right is now basically a matter of habit…I really don't even have to think about it anymore.

Not to say that I didn't indulge in a few bites of chocolate rabbit last weekend!  

I hope all of you had a blessed Easter and I hope to be able to at least drop by your blogs and say hello if nothing else!

In Christ,

I have a huge fundraising event to attend for the kiddos' school this Saturday night!

I must have tried on a million dresses and finally decided to go with this one.  Mary Catherine helped me pick it out!

Thirty-five pounds lost…and I recently started running again.  I can almost run a 5K without stopping…albeit…slowly!  *smile*

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Awkward Selfie

Selfies are awkward, no?!

I suppose it's more awkward for my generation than others….

…after all, my 40+ crowd didn't grow up with phones with cameras…

…or phones at all, for that matter!

Still, regardless of whether or not the technology would have existed when I was a teen,

I doubt that I would have been an avid selfie-taker.

For me, there's something so self-absorbing about constantly photographing oneself.

I mean…

…can you imagine the Disciples taking selfies…

…or Martha and Mary….fighting over who got to take a selfie with Jesus?

It's so ridiculous when you think of it in terms of Christ!

I much prefer to take pictures of others…

…my husband, children, parents…

…even being in a picture or two with them.

Because for me, the camera is always about capturing myself in relation to others…

…being in relationship with others

not constantly with myself.

And so this Lent, I plan to really work on my relationships with others…

….writing more love notes…

…making more phone calls…

…playing more board games…sharing more read-alouds…cooking more meals together.

And of course, spending more time with Christ.

Wishing you a fun Fat Tuesday and a blessed start to Lent,

Transformation Update…

Twenty-five Pounds Lost!
(25 lbs)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Welcome, March! (And a Recipe to Share)

Can you believe it's March?

I know…I can't either!  

Especially when it looks like this out my window…

…Hurry up Spring!!!

So, on my "snow day"off, I made myself a cup of hot tea and curled up with my new favorite magazine, MaryJanes Farm.  The perfect mix of articles about organic foods…sewing/quilting/crafting…using essential oils…and general farmhouse-style living.  You can check out their regional farm girl bloggers (city farm girls, suburban farm girls, beach-y farm girls, etc.) or connect with them via Facebook.

And what better way to enjoy a cup of tea…than with a sweet treat?!

Mary Catherine has been dying to learn how to cook…bake…create meals, so we started with a simple cookie bar recipe from my Eagle Brand cookbook.

Magic Cookie Bars

Bake Time:  25 Minutes

1/2 Cup (1 stick) butter
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 (14-ounce) can EAGLE BRAND Sweetened Condensed Milk (not evaporated milk)
2 Cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 Cup chopped nuts

1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for glass dish).  In a 13 x 9-inch baking pan, melt butter in oven.

2.  Sprinkle crumbs over butter; pour Eagle Brand evenly over crumbs.  Layer evenly with remaining ingredients; press down firmly.

3.  Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool.  Chill, if desired.  Cut into bars.  Store loosely covered at room temperature.  

Makes 2 to 3 dozen bars


I'm off to Jazzercize to burn off these calories…but more importantly keep my blood sugar in check!

I hope you're staying warm where you are...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Just a Little Bit Diabetic

Hello dear friends.

Hope all is well.

I have been very busy working on me.

Getting my eating and exercising routines in place.

It's true what they say…

…we all have the same 24-hours to work with.

And so, on my mornings off, I have been going to Jazzercise.  

It's right smack dab in the middle of my morning..8:45.  Class is an hour long and Luke and I are home by 10 AM.  There's showering, dressing, and lunching to do before I have to take off for work by 11:30.

That hasn't left me a whole lot of time to blog.

In addition, I started a new blog dedicated to my journey for better health.

I only have 1 follower (LOL) so feel free to join me over there if you would like to catch up with me from time to time!

Sort of tongue in cheek…like being just a little bit pregnant.  
I mean…you either are or you're not, right?

I saw this on my Facebook feed this morning and I thought about how much truth there is in the statement:

I am on a journey friends…a journey toward better physical health which equates to better emotional, cognitive and spiritual health.

I still plan to blog over here…but for now, I'm taking a bit of a break.  I will be reading and checking in with you from time to time.  Your faith journeys continue to inspire me!  


Thursday, February 6, 2014

"Snowflake" Ballerinas

We are enjoying Snow Day number three here in Kansas City!

We've bundled up a time or two to frolic in the fresh snowfall, but for only a few minutes at a time.

Still, I never tire of seeing rosy cheeks, snowflaked-eyelashes, and sparkling eyes!

(It's been a bit more of a challenge to get the ballerina to bundle up and head outside!)

Speaking of ballerinas…

”You don't have to know about ballet to enjoy it,
all you have to do is look at it.”

- Edwin Denby

I found this adorable "snowflake ballerina" craft over at 

I tucked the idea away…waiting for the perfect "snow day" to print, fold, and snip!

Ours turned out perfectly imperfect which made them all the more precious in my eyes. 

(Mary Catherine has some made cutting skillz when it comes to paper snowflakes!)

I strung them up along a sweet strand of Valentine ribbon from my sewing room and created the "snowflake ballerina garland" to hang in our dining room.

(Don't they look adorable gracing my china hutch?  I love the look of them pirouetting above my new Valentine tea set!

Interested in making your own Snowflake Ballerinas?

Scroll towards the bottom of the link for the ballerina template.

And before I forget…

…a huge Thank You to Patty at Reasons for Chocolate for nominating me for a "Sunshine Award"!

Now to think up 10 random facts about myself that I haven't already shared!
(I'm such an open book!)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What Does the Principal Say?

It's a happy 2nd Snow Day for the Kueter Kids!  

The storm has moved out and bright blue skies followed behind.  The beauty of the white landscape is almost blinding!

I thought I would share a cute video produced by one the Olathe Public School District's elementary principals.  

Mr. Reeves and his family created a cute musical announcement sharing that today (Wednesday) was another snow day for the kids.

(Olathe Public Schools is where I taught for nearly 10 years before taking a mini-retirement!)  *smile*
I really was blessed to have been hired by their district!


Clearly, we take our snow days very seriously here…as they are typically far and few between!

Happy Snow Day!!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Winter's Kiss

Winter has officially arrived in Kansas City.

And by "officially" I mean dumping a huge winter snowstorm on us.  
Virtually every winter storm has missed our metro area bringing us maybe 1-2 inches of snow.
I call those "nuisance" snows!

So, I love when Winter blows us a huge "kiss" and blankets the city in white.  
The kind of kiss that creates a snow day for over 200 school districts in the metro and outlying areas.

The kind of "snow day" that involves Belgian waffles from scratch and hot cocoa with whipped cream…creamy black bean chicken soup in the crock pot and homemade peanut butter cookies.

The kind of snow day that means board games and Easy Bake Oven cooking…dollhouse playing and LEGO playing.

And with just a little luck…

we might even get to enjoy a 2nd snow day tomorrow.
With 8-10 inches predicted…it's possible!

Benjamin…the first one up and dressed and out the door before the snowfall even blanketed the lawn!

Luke is loving the snow.  
Last year he cried.  A lot.  At 2-1/2 he did a lot more falling than playing.
This year…he's LOVING the snow play…even with a runny nose and snowflake eyelashes!

And our girl.
Precious as ever in her earmuffs from Auntie Julie!

If it's snowy in your parts…I hope you're warm and cozy…and enjoying a snow day too!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Transformations (Pictures)

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote this post about getting healthy.

Well, I thought you might be interested in seeing the body and mind transformations that have already occurred.

I know… you're thinking…mind?  You'll soon understand!

So this picture was taken on December 21st.
I was in St. Louis with the kiddos to celebrate Christmas.
Chris was on-duty…again…and I was having a pity party for myself.

(Why does MY spouse always have to work on the holidays…why am "I" always the one traveling alone with the children…martyrdom at it's finest!)

I remember thinking as I stood next to my stylish, beautiful sisters and mom, "suck in that gut" yet knowing that I couldn't possibly make myself look thinner on camera.

Although I had been to the doctor a couple of weeks earlier and gotten the irregular heartbeat diagnosis, I had yet to get my lab results back and was not yet aware of the pre-diabetes diagnosis.  

Although I can see it…evidenced by my bloated face and round appearance!

Of course I made all sorts of excuses for not starting a healthy eating regimen sooner…

"…I've got New Year's Eve to celebrate…I don't want to give up Winter Comfort foods…We still need to celebrate Christmas with Chris' family…"

Excuses.  Plain and Simple.

But after getting those lab results and coming to the realization that I might have to finger prick 5x a day to manage a Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis, I got my self motivated to get healthy.

I still have a LONG way to go…but as I mentioned before, I'm already feeling better and as evidenced by these photos taken yesterday, I'm already starting to look better!

Two weeks…just two weeks of cutting out sugars and starchy carbs and truly eating lots of chicken, fresh fruits and vegetables.

And now for my "mind" transformation…

I've vowed to stop putting myself last (funny how I always said I didn't have "time" to exercise…yet now I fit in 1 hour a day") and made an appointment to get some high lights!

Hair Color at 3:15 yesterday…

Hair Color at 6:30 after a trip to the salon!

Much better!  I'm blonde again!!!

And now I'm off to Jazzercise.  Wishing you a wonderful start to your weekend!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

First Time Spelling Bee Participant!

It's been a really fun and crazy week at our house.

Last Sunday was the beginning of National Catholic Schools Week.
We started off with Mass followed by the Knights of Columbus Pancake Breakfast followed by Mommy (PTO President and Resource Room Teacher) giving tours to prospective families.

Then the fun began…for the kids!  :)

Monday was Blue and Gold Day…the spirit wear colors of St. Paul

But Tuesday was the big day…

It was "Mismatch" day…and the St. Paul Catholic School Spelling Bee.

Miss Mary and another classmate  got to "represent" Third Grade in the all school Spelling Bee.

I know she was so nervous…competing against students from the 3rd through the 8th grade!  

Nerves before the start...

Squealing with delight after picking Number 4 for contestant order...

Posing for Mom...

Waiting to start!  
Have you ever seen such a tiny group of contestants for a 3rd-8th Grade Spelling Bee???!!! Ha!

I was sick with nerves…
…maybe more so than when I was a Spelling Bee contestant myself!

My hope was that she didn't go down in the First Round.  That's just gotta be soul crushing!

And so they did a practice round.

Where errors didn't count.




"I mean…Y"

And my heart sank for her.

You just knew, that she knew, she had mis-heard the word…thinking it was "replied" instead of "reply" and there's no going back once those letters are out of your mouth.

She looked so little…and is…compared to those grown-up 7th and 8th graders!

I was so worried that her confidence would be shaken.  
She looked at me…shrugged her shoulders when they said, "Incorrect"..and took her seat.

And I prayed.

Dear Jesus,

Please, just let her make it through the First Round.
I don't have any other expectations…
…just that she can experience the relief and success of getting a word or two right.


And guess what…

She did great! 

She went for Five Rounds before missing the word 


E-Q-U-A-S-I-O-N?  Equation.


She handled herself with grace and composure when she came to take a seat by me on the bleachers!  Of course, immediately wanting to know what she did wrong.

Regardless of the outcome, I am so proud of my girl!

Way to go Mary Catherine!!!  Your love for reading and writing is evident in your fantastic spelling skills!

Fellow 3rd Grade Classmate, Lauren.

Holding her "participant' certificate!

Group photo for the yearbook!

The whole group…12 kiddos representing the 3rd through 8th grades.

Celebratory ice cream shakes afterwards!