Where has the time gone?

Yesterday you went off with Pat and Amiah on a ski day. I remember your first time on the mountain. How can you be big enough to ski on your own?

You woke up in the middle of the night and your leg was hurting. I carried you to bed and I could hardly fit you in my arms. When did you get so tall?

You came to show me that you have another loose tooth. I remember when that tooth came in... it was when you started to suck your thumb. I remember it so clearly so how is that that tooth is ready to fall out?

You want to sit on my lap and snuggle. You take up my entire being. When did your legs get long enough to dangle over mine?

Where has the time gone my boy? You will be six in just a few weeks. I am not sure I am ready for six. At six you won't be a little boy anymore. I miss my little boy but the memories of your baby years, toddlerhood, and preschool years are etched in my memory forever. I am looking forward to seeing the boy and man that God has created you to be my son. Even though you are getting big you will always be my little boy. I love you buddy!


Snowy Morning

Once mid February arrives, our temperatures are fairly mild and it starts to feel like spring. It is rare for us to get snow.

We woke up Wednesday morning to a blanket of snow and more falling. It was like a little gift.

I bundled Mauryn and Landon up and sent them out to jump, roll, and play in the snow.

I am glad I took advantage of the morning snow. By early afternoon, all the snow was gone. All the pretty white replaced with mud and brown grass.

Week One : Lent

I have made it through a week without fountain soda {or any form of caffeine since i don't drink coffee}, sweets, and no facebook/twitter.

It hasn't been easy.

I am realizing how much I use facebook to communicate with my friends and family. I do miss knowing, on a regular basis, my friends and families activities. I am spending the time I used to be on facebook to playing games and reading with my kids, getting more school work done, get caught up on my blog, and tackling some items on my long to do list.

My kids have been taunting me a little with the no fountain soda. We will be driving and they will ask "mom, don't you want a fountain soda?" Well, now that you brought it up i do! I think I missed it the most when we were traveling. It was definitely a comfort thing for me. If i was having a bad day, feeling tired, or stressed - go get a fountain soda. Or having a great day, finished some things on my to do list - go get a fountain soda. Really, I didn't need an excuse. I just love the stuff. It hasn't been as difficult as I imagined to go without the fountain soda.

I have never been a huge sweets eater. I do not really care for chocolate. I wouldn't eat a brownie. I do have a strong love for cookies, especially chocolate chip cookies. Now that I have been introduced to cake balls, have mercy! I have been finding that usually after lunch I like something a little sweet. I wanted to get out of the habit. This has been hard. Harder than I thought. I didn't realize how much I craved the sweet things. The discussion in our house has been if candy {lollipops, and sugary candy} counts as sweets. What do you think??

The kids and I are enjoying our daily lenten lessons. They look forward to solving our mystery message and finding out our giving activity. The one bonus is that Landon is really learning about coins, their value, and exchanging money. I enjoy seeing the kids work together on these activities each day and their awareness of others is growing as well.

If you sacrificed something for lent, how is it going? Any lenten activities you are doing with your kids or as a family?


Coeur d'Alene

When Morgan first started gymnastics there was one meet that the parents of older girls recommend attending - The Great West Gym Fest.

Two years ago, we drove up as a family and spent a whirlwind weekend in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. We were not disappointed with the organization of the meet or the activities that were available for the gymnasts and their families.

Last year, the schedule of the meet did not allow for us to attend {they had Morgan competing on a Monday afternoon}.

This year, we have been looking forward to a return trip to Coeur d'Alene. Morgan has been counting down the days since the beginning of the gymnastics season.

With Landon playing basketball and Lance coaching his team, Morgan and I took a girls weekend trip. We had a great weekend, very busy but so much fun.

Morgan and I flying over Idaho... it was a very clear day and so interesting to check out the topography.

One of the most exciting things about the GWGF is that they bring in former Olympic athletes. During Morgan's session, 2004 Olympic gymnast and NCAA champion Courtney Kupets handed out the awards. Morgan was over the top excited! Courtney was so sweet and gave a great talk to the girls about being part of a team. I was very impressed with her.
Morgan had to be at the gym at 7:30 am and by the time the meet and awards ended it was early afternoon. We had some hungry girls {and moms}! We found a cute little restaurant next to our venue to have lunch. They had an option for the girls to make their own pizzas.
The one thing Morgan was looking forward to all weekend was the ice cream social with the Olympic gymnasts. This year instead of it being in a conference room at the hotel, we had a boat cruise on Lake Coeur d'Alene. The girls have the opportunity to get autographs from the former Olympic gymnasts and ask them questions. It is such a neat experience for them. The boat cruise was wonderful.... the views around the lake are amazing and the weather was perfect!

If our Saturday hadn't been full enough with the meet and the boat cruise, we attended an evening event called the Big Show. This is where they take the top girls from the upper levels and they get to perform. There were two girls from Morgan's gym who made it to the big show. It was exciting to watch them and the little girls were so proud of them.

Before the big show started, the Olympic gymnasts were having a little fun - a boys against girls competition. This is Courtney Kupets doing a little tumbling on a floor.

Courtney Kupets at GWGF from Kristen Cheney on Vimeo.

Although it was not a restful weekend, we had a great time. We are looking forward to next year.


Peanut Butter and Jelly with a Twist

Lunch is the time of day in my house I dread the most. As a friend once told me, lunch is a stay at home mothers worst enemy and nap time is her best friend. I couldn't agree more!

I am constantly searching to add things to our lunch rotation. Yesterday I remembered reading about a peanut butter sandwich with a twist {i searched on line and can't find the source} My kids loved it.

I only took a picture after not sure if my kids would like them or not. Here is the "recipe":
- pkg of crescent rolls
- peanut butter
- jelly
- powdered sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Unroll the crescent rolls into triangles. Place them on a baking sheet.
2. Spread each triangle with peanut butter and jelly. Roll up the crescent rolls.
3. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
4. Sprinkle with powdered sugar when they come out of the oven.

Up next is this idea? My kids will love it!

Any new lunch time ideas??


I had every intention of posting this last Friday before we went out of town for Morgan's gymnastics meet but time just got away from me.

Ever since Morgan was little, we have hand made her valentines. It is something my kids look forward to doing each year. They look for ideas in magazines and on line and decide on their creation.

I didn't think we were going to be involved in a formal valentines party so i put off coming up with any fun/creative ideas. At the last minute {i mean last minutes, like two days before} I got an email saying we were going to have a little get together with a few homeschool families.

I started to panic for a minute and then I remembered the site where I found the invitations and thank you notes for Mauryn's birthday party. She always has free downloads and really cute stuff.

Sure enough there were a TON of valentine ideas. I downloaded a bunch to put in my files for the future.

Here are the valentines my kiddos picked to give to their friends:

I also needed to come up with a snack to bring to the party. I wasn't in the mood for cookies or bars. I wanted something festive and different. I decided to make cake balls. If you haven't made them or tasted them, you are missing out. Have mercy... they are delectable. I don't even like cake that much and I can't keep my hand off them.
To make them you need:
- cake mix of your choice and ingredients to make cake
- a can of frosting {enough homemade frosting to frost a 9 x13 inch cake}
- almond bark or chocolate

1. bake the cake. let the cake cool then crumble and mix with frosting. roll into balls , place on a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place in the freezer.

2. once the cake balls are frozen, dip in melted almond bark or chocolate. i prefer to use white chocolate or white almond bark.

3. enjoy... try not to eat them all at once.

* i prefer white chocolate and haven't made any with milk or dark chocolate
* when you freeze the cake balls, they are not super hard but solid enough to dip
* if you use a funfetti cake, it will look brown and yucky when you mix it up but it tastes great!



Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season. A period of 40 days {not including Sundays} in which we prepare for the celebration of Jesus' resurrection on Easter Sunday. A time for prayer, reflection, and sacrifice.

I had been searching on the internet for some resources to use with my kids during the lenten season. I wanted them to really start to grasp the meaning of this season. I wasn't really finding anything that I was excited to use with them.

The other day as I was reading Joy's blog, she mentioned this site. I immediately ordered my family activity packet {hoping it arrives in the next day or two}. I also downloaded the cross with a paper chain countdown. Each day on the countdown has a bible verse, a mystery message, and an activity. We are keeping a jar where we are collecting coins each day from our activities. For example today's activity was to count suitcases and put a dime in the jar for each suitcase in our house. The money collected in our jar will go to Lifewater International to fund clean water for a child. The kids are really excited.

I also found this site that had a fun idea about a prayer pot. I love the concept of the things they put into the pot each Sunday. We are just using an empty jar this year but we will definitely be creating jars next year.

In the past, I have not intentionally given up anything. This year I felt like I needed to make some type of sacrifice to keep my focus on the meaning of the Lenten season. I have chosen to give up facebook/twitter, fountain soda, and sweets {mostly those stinkin' chocolate chip cookies i love}. I encouraged my kids to think of things they could go without for 40 days in order to be more aware of the sacrifice made for them. They both have chosen to give up the computer.

What are you doing to observe lent?

Wordless Wednesday: Sweet Fishy Faces


Catching Up: In List Form

I can't believe it is mid February and I haven't sat down to post anything since the end of January.

I have had a video camera and two digital cameras sitting on my desk for days/weeks to download pictures. I think I am finally caught up.... for now. I really hope to do a better job of keeping up with this blog.

Our neighbors hold an annual Murder Mystery Party. It is always a great time. This year the theme was Murder at Deadwood Saloon. Our hosts did a fabulous job of transforming their garage. It really looked like the old west.

We woke up the morning after the murder mystery to HUG flakes of snow falling. We don't get snowfalls that often in the valley so we are thrilled when we see it falling. I took these pictures out the car window on the way to church so they aren't very clear. It was a beautiful snowfall. It continued to snow throughout the morning and into the afternoon. By 4 pm, the snow was all melted.
Two weekends ago, Morgan's gym hosted a gymnastics meet. As part of the booster club we were running a concession stand and selling baked goods. The kids and I spent a morning baking and packing food for the meet. Even though my kitchen was a disaster when we were done, I am thankful for kids who love to help and are very capable in the kitchen.
Morgan had her best meet of the season that weekend. She has worked so hard to improve her skills. Last year was a struggle all season and this year seems to be going better. She took 1st on beam and floor, 3rd on vault, and 5th on bars {after she fell}, and 2nd in the all around. Her team took 1st place. It was fun to see all the girls on her team have a successful meet!