Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Na na Na na

Close your eyes and in your mind sing the song that seems to be popular to yell at the losing team at sporting events:
"Na na Na na, Na na Na Na, Hey hey hey, Goodbye"
Now replace a few of the words:
"Na na Na na, Na na Na na, Hey Jesus, Fill My Heart".
Now imagine driving home after a long day at work and three toddlers are yelling this Christian rendition at the top of their lungs over and over and over.... and over. Yep, that was my ride home today. My heart was filled to the brim!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

35 Years... a reason to celebrate!

June 28, 2010 marks 35 years of marriage for Toppe & Grandpa Otto. This day and age that is a pretty impressive marriage milestone and because they do so much for us on a regular basis, we thought it would be the perfect time to gather friends and family and celebrate. Steven & Candice, Wes & I and the kids hosted a backyard picnic at our house for a few of mom and dad's closest friends. You may be thinking, a backyard picnic in June? Um, did you forget about the 100 degree temps? Well, no. We knew we were taking a heated risk, but we did it anyway and were blessed with a breezy bearable summer evening. It was quite refreshing actually and a beautiful orange full moon made it even more impressive. Mom and dad have some great friends and it was a pleasure to welcome them to our home and host a memorable evening.

The menu consisted of fried chicken and a few summer salads with cobbler and ice cream for dessert. Aunt Candice made a crowd pleasin' sangria and of course we had plenty of cold beer to make sure thirst was not an issue.

Ms. Pam checking out the tree house/playscape.

Lots of laughs shared when looking at mom and dad's wedding album. The side burns, pastel colored bridesmaids dresses, bridal headpiecs/visor, carpet patterned tux - oh yeah, those were the days!

Ms. Pam gave them shirts for the next UT tailgate!

To my mom and dad, aka Toppe and Grandpa,-
Congrats on 35 years of marriage! Thank you for showing me that though marriage can be work, it's not always hard work. Thank you for showing me that marriage is not about romantic getaways and dozens of roses, but it's about the everyday "I love you's", walking through the door to greet each other with a kiss, and holding hands while walking down the beach, even after 35 years. Thank you for raising Steven and I in a house that was filled with love and laughter and thank you for exposing your grandkids to that same love and laughter. Though we may not always understand your devotion to baseball or your random trips fishing to the coast (Rollover?!?!), we do understand that when you do those things you are doing them with your best friend and you are right where you want to be.
Love you,

On the look out....

for a quarter, but not just any quarter. This quarter will hopefully be deposited in the toilet and this quarter will hopefully be obvious when it comes out. You see, Caleb swallowed this quarter and we are hoping it comes out without having any issues. Oh the joys of parenthood!

Mustang Sally...

Not so sure this Mustang's name is Sally, but sounds good, right? Actually this is the car that Mimi and Aunt Bonnie drove in high school back in the day and Uncle Freddie has restored it back to like-new condition. We attempted to get a picture of all the Grabarschick grandkids in the Mustang and let's just say it was more of a challenge than the picture was worth. Everyone wanted to be in the driver's seat.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A swimmer, a jumper, and a lounger

The kids and I made a little get away to Travis Green Retreat, aka Uncle Jason's, on Friday since Wes was gone fishing. We took Mimi along for the ride and planned an overnight trip. We got in plenty of pool time. The water was nice and cool, just right for the hot, humid days we've been having. I had kids hanging all over me at first - lots of "mama, hold me's" -, but after a while, I was able to bring in recruits while I sat on a lounge chair and observed. There were 3 different attitudes in the pool.
Avery (the swimmer) - I'm jumping in whether I can swim or not. I can come back to the top and swim back to the side, even if I drink half the pool. I don't need your help... but oh, she did!
Caleb (the jumper) - I want to jump in, but you better catch me. Please let me do it again and again and again.
Austin (the lounger) - This shallow step is a pretty cool place to hang. I can shoot water guns and splash Uncle Jason without having to go in the deep and put my face in the water. Think I'll stay here all day.
As always, we had a great time at Jason and Bruce's. Already planning our next trip.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Father's Day!!!

I was going to get all mushy and brag about how great of a father my husband is, but I will save you the reading and simply say "Happy Father's Day" to my amazing husband. You do so much for our children and our family. We love you.

Wes and I have two great dad's that continue to be a special part of our lives. We love you Popo and Grandpa Otto.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Just things...

Last I reported we moved Avery so that she has her own room and the boys are sharing digs. Well, this still suits our princess just fine and she has slept sound in her bed every night since. Caleb is still adjusting and I think part of his uncertainty is that there are also some changes at school for him that involve new friends and new teachers. May have been a bit too much change for our little man at one time. We're dealing with it though and helping him get through it one hug at a time.
We have VBS this week, Sun - Thurs evenings from 5:00pm - 8:15pm. This means we go straight from work/school out to church and don't arrive home until at least 8:30pm. They serve a meal at 5pm so the good news is I don't have to worry about supper at all this week! We made VBS a family affair this year. All 3 kids are in a class and Wes & I are in charge of games. We've participated in some pretty mean games of kickball.
Swim lessons wrapped up last week. We had good days and bad days. The rain last week made consistency a bit difficult, but in the end I thought the kids made good progress. Avery actually did some swimming strokes and showed no fear. Austin was still a bit hesitant about being let go on his own, but he was did a good job of putting his face in the water and floating.
Avery started gymnastics last week. She loved it but was pretty exhausted when it was done. I'll do a full report on that at a later date.
Otherwise, we are rockin' and rollin'. Everyday is a new adventure.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Lots of change going on in the Maurer household. First there is Caleb's potty training. Without any push from us, he is basically potty trained and my days of shopping in the baby aisle at the grocery store are pretty much over. I will not complain. We've still got him in a pull up at night, but the majority of nights he stays dry or wakes to go potty.
Then there is the change in room arrangements. Austin & Avery have pretty much slept every night of their lives in the same room, in the beginning the same bed. I remember the early days when we would swaddle them and lay them side by side, making sure they were touching so that they would feel secure. Well as of last night, they are no longer in the same room. We moved Caleb into Austin's room and Avery now has her own girl room. I am pretty pumped because now I can decorate a girl room and a boy room seperately. It was tough when there was one of each in the room. Wes and I have been talking about making this change and we weren't going to do it until August when A&A turned 4, but it just kind of happened. Much to our surprise, Avery didn't have a problem sleeping by herself in her new room. Caleb was the one that showed the most resistance. The rooms still have a ways to go. We hope to paint and rearrange a few things, but that will all come with time. One thing at a time.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Go Cubs!

We headed to Huntsville Saturday to help bring the Cub baseball team a victory. They won and are headed to state.... Way to go Cubs!

I wish I had been able to watch the game, but let's not forget what would have had to happen in order for that to occur. Three toddlers would have had to sit still and pay attention to a baseball game... didn't happen. Instead they found it entertaining to go up and down, up and down, and up and down the stairs. Wes and I split up early on and he perched with some of the guys at the top of the stadium and I sat in the bleachers and the kids pretty much went back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. There were several trips to the potty, a price gouging trip to the concession stand and stops along the way to stop and talk to school friends. I made the mistake of letting all three wear flip flops so most of the time they were barefoot. I don't mind our close friends and family seeing my kids go barefoot everywhere and thinking we are a bit "backwoods", but I'd prefer that the entire county didn't see it that way. It wasn't all bad... we did get to see some of the game and disagree with a few of the calls. In the end our team won and that was all that mattered.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A beautiful end to a rainy day..

Yeah for rain... we so needed the rain. In addition to the dark skies and heavy clouds, the day over all was pretty gloomy. Caleb was home for his second day with fever and it was day one of fever for Austin. Not sure what really is going on, but wouldn't you know that they would go the whole school year without a sick day and day 2 of summer brings on a fever. Wes stayed home with the boys and since he was keeping two, he might was well keep all 3. He attempted to take Avery to swim lessons and only got in 15 mintues before the rain started back. There was a series of events that occured when Wes was trying to get the kids dressed and loaded back in the car after lessons...in the rain. I didn't get all the details but it involved kids locking the doors and needing to go to the bathroom. He also had taxi duty for getting Avery to her first gymnastics class - 4 pm.... next week. He found out that second minor second detail as he drove up to a dark building and empty parking lot. Oops! Needless to say he was glad for me to get home from work so he could unwind.

This was the beautiful view we had out the back door after the rain. This photo does not do it justice. It was the brightest rainbow I have ever seen!

And these are our puddle jumpers.... perfectly mismatched. They cannot stay dressed in the same outfit all day long and rummage through their drawers and closets for the oddest combinations. Drives me crazy, but not a battle worth picking.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Summertime favorite

No worries, I am not turning this into a food blog, but I thought I'd share something that has become a staple in the Maurer household this time of year - fresh pico. I was especially excited when I came home this afternoon to get a taste of the first batch I made last night and found that both Austin & Caleb - especially Austin - are fans. Almost all ingredients are straight from our garden which makes it even more tasty! The best part: it is soooo easy. Here's the recipe:

7 -8 medium sized tomatoes sliced
1 medium onion chopped
2-3 jalepenos sliced & deseeded (if you are looking for spicy, keep some of the seeds in)
1/3 bunch of cilantro leaves (or more if you like more)

squeeze of lime juice
Salt to taste - 2 - 3 TBSP (I like quite a bit)

Chop up all the veggies and cilantro and put in food processor. Process to desired texture. I like it a little chuncky. Add lime juice and salt. Marinate at least 3 hours - I recommend overnight.

Grab your favorite tortilla chips and ENJOY!!!