Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Puppy Love

Happy Summer Break!

While I know it's not officially summer on the calendar...and it certainly doesn't feel like summer here in Kansas City...we are all out of school (mama included) and enjoying lazy days and late nights...movie nights and day camps...bike riding and...PUPPY WALKING!!!

For our official summer kickoff, we adopted a new puppy!

Last October, right before Halloween, our beloved dog Burton escaped through an open door.  Always a runner, he dashed across the street toward our neighbor's home only to be hit by an oncoming pick-up truck.  And no...they never stopped.  *tears*

The loss of Burton affected us all, and although well-meaning family and friends recommended getting our children a new dog STAT, Chris and I felt it was in the best-interest of our family to delay getting another dog.  We knew that our children needed time to work through the grieving process (and honestly, they still are...) and I needed to be off from work and home all day to help with the potty-training process of a new pup.

As you can see from the pictures, Murray, has already brought so much joy and happiness to our children.  (Especially Benjamin who seemed to struggle the most with the grief process.)

Since we adopted Murray from our local SPCA shelter, we really aren't sure what his mix of breed.  Darling daughter has been pouring through tons of online animal pics and we think he might be a mix between Rat Terrier and Springer Spaniel.  He's not quite three months old and is full of mischief!  His brother "Bill" was also cute, but was already adopted.

And yes...the SPCA volunteers really did name the two brothers "Bill Murray".  LOL

Murray hates to be alone at night...although that seems to be getting better.  Of course, my kiddos didn't want Murray to "suffer" so they volunteered sleeping in shifts.  *smile*

Mary Catherine Sleeping in Front of Murray's Cage

Luke Keeping Mary Company

So that's a quick recap of our official Summer Kick-Off!  I have a ton of End of Year (EOY) school pictures to post, and with lots of "free time" *smile* I will probably post a couple of times a day.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Big Bangs and Aqua Net

Two weeks ago, my school celebrated Spirit Week.  One day was designated '80s Day.

This mama was able to rock it!  But so were my Third and Fourth Graders.  Maybe because so many of their parents are close to my age, and we all survived our teens in the 1980s!  *smile*

Here are just a few pics of my class from that day as well as Mary and Benjamin.  My principal told me my daughter was my mini-me.  LOL


First, we have early morning hair session…side pony, mall bangs, AQUA NET!

Then we arrived at school and soon my students began filing into my classroom looking like this…

Oh My Gosh…I wanted to die…have you seen "Something About Mary?"  LOL

And then there was these 2nd Grade Cuties!!!

My Sweet Benjamin!!!!

We ended the day with some big bang touch ups, compliments of Mrs. Kueter's AQUA NET!

You know that I teach my own daughter, right?  Our school is so tiny we only have one teacher per TWO grade levels.  Yup, I teach 3rd and 4th and Mary is one of my 4th Graders.  :)

Here are some actual vintage 1980 snapshots!

And for your own trip down memory lane…listen here!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Talent on Parade (Regional Dance Competition)

Just a few pics from a dance competition that Mary performed at a couple of weeks ago.

These were professionally shot at the Talent on Parade (TOP) Regional Dance Competition at the Overland Park Convention Center.

This is our first year to allow Mary to participate in Performing Company…I had no idea of the money-making venture dance has become.  Professional photographers…vendors…emcees…

…it's all a bit over the top if you ask me.

They certainly play to your emotions.  Who doesn't want to purchase pictures like this (Tap Routine to Live in Living Color)???

…or these…be still my heart!  (Ballet Routine to "I Feel Pretty" West Side Story)

Mary Catherine…2nd from far right.

Loved this back shot!

And I have more!  But I promise you…I am not THAT mom…

...I'm just not.

We've attended three competitions and I've only purchased one set of pictures.

Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting;
the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
(Proverbs 31:30, Source USCCB)

But I am proud of her courage to perform before such a large audience…against studios that prepare girls specifically for performances like these (waaay out of our league!)…and with joy in her heart.  And I am glad to have pictures to capture this exciting year in her life.

In Christ,


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Belle Ballerina (Mary Catherine)

This girl…

…I love her so much!

Beautiful Ballerina

She is one of my greatest joys and delights...

…and I continually thank God for choosing me to be her mother.

She continues to study dance.  (I can't believe I never posted recital pics from June of 2014 and here we are almost ready for Recital 2015!)  She has loved every minute of it…

…and her grace under pressure is amazing.

She has been privileged to experience dancing on some major stages including the Kansas City Music Hall in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.  (She has a dream of performing on Broadway.)

In addition to tap and ballet, she was required to take a "ballet intensive" course.  I have seen tremendous growth in her this year.

And while she's beautiful like this…

…I truly prefer her like this…

…dressed up as "Judy Moody" from "Judy Moody's Not Bummer Summer".  She even designed her own tee-shirt.  An artist…she is not…unless her feet are the paint brush!  *smile*

(Dress Up as Your Favorite Fictional Book Character for Catholic School Spirit Week)

In Christ,


Monday, May 4, 2015

Benjamin's First Holy Communion

Two weeks ago, this little guy made his First Holy Communion.

And he was simply overjoyed to receive the Body and Blood of Christ.  H was literally counting down the days until his First Holy Communion.

He was so excited to see his Mimi and Papa…his Grandpa and Grandma Kueter…as well as Great-Grandma Kueter (92) who traveled all the way from Wisconsin!

He was even thrilled about wearing his suit.  (He picked out his own bow tie!)  I think he may well be on his way to becoming the "perfect Southern gentleman".

Benjamin with his 2nd Grade Teacher, Mrs. G.

And he was overjoyed to have been chosen as a Gift Bearer.  He kept asking me questions about when to get up out of the pew…what he would carry…how he would know when to process forward.  

Oh, if we all only possessed the thrill and excitement about receiving the Body of Christ each Sunday as our First Holy Communicants…can you imagine what a different world this could be?!

This beautiful child, A, was chosen to be a fellow Gift Bearer.  A is wearing a traditional Puerto Rican First Holy Communion dress and veil.  She looked so beautiful.  

Although the day was cold and blustery…not unusual for a Kansas spring day…nothing could dull the light of Christ that burned brightly and warmed us all!

Benjamin with Father Michael.
Benjamin with Father Michael plus Mommy and Daddy
Benjamin with Mimi and Papa

And last but not least, a few cake/table pictures.  Benjamin requested blue…but I didn't want "baby blue" so I went with a fun "Caribbean Blue/Green" theme.  He loved it.

Benjamin's day was beautiful and amazing, and not possible without all the love and support of our family and friends.  It is as day that I will cherish always.