Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our ballerina in tap shoes

This past Saturday, we were entertained by beautiful little angels at the Aspriations Spring Dance Recital. Avery started dance at the beginning of the year and since parents aren't allowed to watch them during class, this was our first glimpse of what she has been doing every Tuesday. I admit the length of the recital was a bit longer than ever imagined, but we soaked up every proud minute when our angel was up on stage.
The pics of the girls aren't the best due to the lighting and my lack of camera skills, but she still looks adorable!

Monday, May 30, 2011


We've never really attempted to do crawfish at home, but Wes wanted to give it a try. I'm not much for the pinchy crawlers and the whole process seems to be a bit cruel, but it provides another excuse to invite friends and family over for the evening.

Scrub a dub dub

too many Maurer's in the tub!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

No longer a 'Maurer'

A few weeks ago, we were on our way home from work and Avery told me, "Mama, when I marry Barrett, my name will be Avery Grace Kohring." I knew a bit about this Pre-K romance and quickly responded, "Oh really, when are you getting married?" She said, "I'm not sure,but I won't be a 'Maurer' anymore. Part of me wanted to laugh, the other wanted to cry.
Seems Avery and Barrett have a bit of a thing for each other, and yes, they are the romantic age of 4. This is the same Barrett that Avery "called" from our Disney resort room to tell that she wanted him to come but he needed to bring a swimsuit but to be careful because the plane ride was very scary. This is also the same Barrett who apparently wears an Angles baseball cap with the letter 'A' on it, but he chooses to wear it because in his mind, the 'A' stands for 'Avery'. And, this is the same Barrett whose birthday party we attended last weekend and stopped shooting his Nerf gun when Avery arrived and sweetly escorted her, arm behind her back, to the barn to join in on the shooting action. Yes folks, we are in trouble.

Feel good mommy moment

This post contains both a 'true confession' & 'feel good mommy moment'. You see, this morning I stopped to get breakfast on the way to school. The donut store on the way in makes this so easy and convenient (yes, it's a drive thru!) even though I know it's not the healthiest way for the kids to start the day. They all had raisin bran cereal yesterday so I get a little credit, right? Back to the donut stop, Austin & Caleb opted for pigs in a blanket and Avery chose donut holes. Not sure why she always chooses this when she usually only eats 1 or 2 of her half dozen order. Anyway, we get our food and are off on the way to school. Austin downs his buttery pig in a blanket and Caleb hands his off to me with about 2 bites left. A block from schoool, Avery hands me her bag of nonnutritious sugary dough and claims she's done. 5 holes remained untouched in the bag. Caleb sees this and asks for Avery's left over donut holes and the same request follows from Austin. My dilema was that we were just a minute from school and I just couldn't let the boys get out with donut holes after the note that went home from school at the beginning of the year encouraging a healthy well-rounded breakfast and specifically discouraging donuts. So what did I do, what every mother would do of course.... I handed the boys 2 donut holes each and kept driving until they finished. That was the true confession.
So as we are adding on a little distance to our route to school, even though I am already late for work, I drive by two homes where people we know live. As I drive by the first home, I say "that is where 'Sarah's' grandma lives". Kids seemed impressed and got all excited. Next house I say "That is where 'Luke' lives. He's on Ocean Treasure too." Avery questioned, "Mom, how do you know all of that!?!" My dear sweet Austin replies "Because Mommy knows everything!" I knew that boy was a genious! Wonder if he will still be saying that when he turns 16?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Say it ain't so...

Today was the last day of the school year. A&A came home with "diplomas" stating that they had graduated from Ocean Treasure Pre-K. Graduating from Pre-K doesn't hit me as hard as the thought of them being in Kindergarten next year. That is like real school, not sure I am ready for all that.
When I picked the kids up from school today, one of the teacher aides told me that Caleb cried today, his last day as a Frisky Frog. He walked up to her and just laid his head in her lap. When she asked him what was wrong, he said "I love you Ms Carima" and had tears in his eyes. Now tell me that is not a little boy after a teachers heart!
Tonight we had St. Paul's end of the year picnic at the park. The kids had a blast playing with their friends outside of school. We are so blessed to have such an awesome place to send our kids. The staff is beyond wonderful and I am at peace everyday when I drop them off.
Now we move into summer mode. This is the time of year that I get teacher-envy. I play out what it would take for me to be a teacher and think about having summers off to be with them and not have them have to go to St. Pauls. This usually continues through July, peaks about mid-June. By August the thought has worn off and I am once again content with working full time year round. I guess this isn't the ideal time to get into teaching and truth is I am very fortunate to have the job I have. It will continue to work for us until we win the lottery.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Livin' off the land

Should something happen and we are stranded at home for a while, we should survive for a few days, make that weeks. We have been pretty self sufficient around here. We've had the garden for veggies for a few years and our new adventure is chicken for eggs. We don't necessarily have that "living off the land' mentality, but it is nice to grow something that produces food and then eat it knowing exactly where it came from. When you add in Wes's love to fish and hunt which fills our freezer with fish and deer meat, we have quite the stock pile.

This is quite comical in the fact that never in a million years when I was growing up would I have said I would to be living in the country picking chicken eggs and handing out veggies. No way! I dreamed of life in the city... I wasn't much for getting my hands dirty. I still don't really like it and that is why most of this credit goes to Wes and his love of the outdoors. Pictures below are from a few nights ago when the potatoes needed to be dug. We made it a family affair! This year in addition to the potatoes we have onions, corn, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, butternut squash, bell peppers, jalepenos, and tomatoes. Yum!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My dad is fighting cancer

A few months ago we found out my dad has an agressive form of prostate cancer. It was a huge shock because if you know my father, he is the last person that you would think would have cancer. It is another reminder that cancer does not choose 'favorites'.
Today was Grandpa Otto's surgery day. After 4 1/2 hours in the operating room, the doctor came out with a positive report. The localized prostate cancer was removed and he did not see immediate concern for surrounding areas. We are still waiting on a few tests that will tell us if the cancer has spread. We will continue to keep him #1 in our prayers. Another person to pray for is my mom. She is going to be his nurse for his next few weeks of recovery. My dad does not enjoy staying still or being at home too long.
We love you Grandpa Otto!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Just a few more....

We left with a few stuffed friends - Daisy, Tigger, Pluto, Donald Duck & Crush the Turtle (Nemo).
A view of the main resort area at Port Orleans Riverside.
My Uncle Charles lives in Florida now and he and Lawana drove 4 hours to come see us. We haven't seen them in a few years so it was good to visit with them.
At nights, they had kids activities in the dining hall that included icing huge cookies and adding sprinkles.

There is always time to swim!

We were at the 'most magical place on earth', but for the kids, the swimming pool and slide ranked way above Mickey Mouse and his friends. Don't get me wrong, they loved the parks/rides/parades, but after a few hours of that, their minds were on the pool. We managed to make it to the pool just about everyday to cool off and relax a bit. Austin LOVED the water slide and all the adults welcomed a few minutes in the hot tub before calling it a night.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A magical experience

The memories we had over the last 7 days are countless. The 810 pictures we took don't even begin to show all that we saw and did. The parks, resort, and plane ride were the perfect package for our crew. I wish I were able to take some of the expressions on the kids faces to hold on to forever.
As I mentioned before, there is NO WAY we could have done this trip on our own and lived to tell about it. We had grandparents who helped out and had a little bit of fun themselves. This is no 'vacation' for the weary. Not only does it take planning, it takes physical preparation to keep up with the constant time on your feet, miles of walking, and for us, often times carrying of kids (and yes, we had a stroller). Fortunately our entire crew was up for the challenge and was able to keep up with our agenda for the day.
Thank you, Disney, for providing this adventure for us. It was truly magical!

Character sitings