Monday, August 31, 2009

Playing in the Rain!

There was a light rain when we got home to Grandma & Papa’s house one day, so Papa meet us outside to help us in. It became the perfect opportunity to play in the rain instead.
Ellaina always gets excited when it is raining and I use an umbrella. She thinks they are so fun and loves to hold it. This seemed like the perfect chance to play, since it was just sprinkling and not lightening.

She had such a blast playing in the puddles. Braden and Papa stayed in the garage, but Braden was laughing and having a good time watching. It was one of those moments that make you feel like a million bucks! Every day I fall more and more in love with my kids and my husband. This is the life!

Play Date Galore!

With such an extended trip, Ellaina and Braden were able to spend quite a bit of time with some of their Minnesota friends. It is always fun to get together with all my friends and their kiddos. It is amazing to see how quickly kids begin to play together. It was like they had seen each other every day and were the best of friends.

We got together with Katie, Leila, and Thomas at Amanda’s house. It was such a crazy night and the kids were very rambunctious. A great contrast from the old pre-kid crazy days J Thomas & Ellaina were a lot more spirited then the easy going Braden and Leila. They seemed to enjoy playing quietly together while Thomas & Ellaina wrestled one another. I guess it all balances out :)
Half of the Ripsin family was in town for an extended vacation from Houston’s warm weather as well, so Ellaina got to play with Jett. She referred to him as “My friend Jett”. They played so well together and really hit it off. Connie and Cindy watched the kids during Natalie’s funeral as well, so they got a lot of together time.
We had our first ever play date with Audrey and Janell. It was a beautiful day, but too cool to swim at the outdoor pool, so we headed over to Elm Creek’s park. I had Logan, Ethan and Emma with me as well. It was such a nice time. We had a picnic after we were done playing and headed over to the beach concession for some ice cream. Janell’s little girl Audrey is such a cutie pie. Her smile was so contagious :)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dave & Buster Birthday Bash with Annie!

This year I celebrated my 30th birthday with my girlfriend Annie. Since Brad wasn’t up yet for my real birthday, and the day wasn’t much for celebrating, Annie and I had a joint birthday party at Dave and Busters on her birthday August 29th. It was an extra special birthday for her too, since it was her golden birthday.

I had such an amazing time, and could not stop laughing and smiling. There were so many friends that came out to celebrate with us and make it such a special celebration.

We played and played and played tons of games. I think I might have been borderline obsessed with Jumpin Jackpot. On August 21st we were at Dave and Buster’s for Reid’s birthday celebration and I actually was able to jump my way to the Jackpot. Don’t believe me, ask either of the Amanda’s :) Amanda Schlangen was with me while I won, and Amanda Burrows witnessed my “I won” dance. Unfortunately it wasn’t a repeat on our birthday party night.

We played a little “couples” shuffle board, which we didn’t know the Schroeder’s were ringers…yes we got smoked. It was such an extraordinary birthday. If this is what thirty feels like, then I am loving my thirties :)

***Oh, we bought the kids a fart machine key chain with some of our tickets, and they are having so much fun with it. Ellaina thinks totting is the funniest thing (just like her daddy). What am I to do, but support her bad habit J At least she knows to say excuse me…after she gets done laughing about it.

Braden’s Deep Conversations

Braden is saying a lot of words now, but he thinks he can say a lot more. It is so funny to hear him “talking” to people. He will walk up to me or anyone and just start blabbing away like he is holding a conversation. I can make out a few words, but I can only imagine what he is saying. It is usually in a very playful tone and he seems so excited to be sharing his information with whoever he is talking to. It gets me so excited for when he can really start speaking. He is my precious little guy, and I just adore his sweet and playful personality! I just can’t get enough of him!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Breakfast with Papa!

Every morning Ellaina wakes up and asks, "breakfast with Papa now"? It is so sweet and such a greet thing to hear. Last year she even called Papa "buzz cereal" because they would eat Honey nut Cheerios together.

She is not much if a morning person, but still so excited to see Grandma & Papa for breakfast. The mornings grandma has already left for work, Ellaina looks around and asks "Where did Grandma go?". She LOVES her Grandma & Papa!

Braden got to have breakfast with just Papa as well. One day I was so exhausted that I didn't hear Braden wake up. Papa did though, so he came and got him and they shared breakfast together. When I came up they were playing and having such a great time. It melts my heart!

Date with Mrs. Poppen and Mrs. Weum!

Kathryn watched the kids for me on Wednesday so I could attend Natalie’s wake. She was walking them over to her mom’s house, so Braden would be OK with me leaving. He still has a hard time with me going, but thankfully is over it as soon as I am out of site. It sounded like the kids had such a great time. Amanda and Thomas joined them for spaghetti and then they headed over to the park. I was informed that Ellaina and Thomas were a little rowdy and fed off of each other’s not so sweet behavior. Being a teacher, Kathryn was able to handle it without any trouble. She even insisted on letting me go out for wings with my parents, brother, sister and brother-in-law after the wake. It was a nice ending to a very hard day.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Run Forrest Run

Kim Daugherty and I have decided to run an 8 mile this Thanksgiving. Being that I am not at all a runner, I am trying my hardest to stick with the training schedule Kim has created. I was actually extremely surprised to find out that I CAN run. Even better yet, I don’t hate it.

When I went for a run with my brother, I was amazed to learn that I can run outside too . I know he slowed down for me, but we made my two miles without walking and that made me happy! Hopefully I can keep motivated with Kim and we will actually be able to do this. It is something I have always admired when my friends have done it, so I want to prove to myself that I can do it.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Natalie lost her battle with cancer this morning, and the world has lost one of the most astonishing and strong women I have known. She is truly an inspiration and I feel so blessed to have gotten the opportunity to know and love her. Thank you Natalie for being such an inspiration to all of us touched by your life. May your heart and soul find comfort and peace.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Please Pray for Natalie & Her Family

Caring Bridge Update:
Regretfully, Natalie has taken a turn for the worse today and has been hospitalized at Methodist Hospital. Her cancer continues to spread and grow and all attempts to improve her condition have failed. We no longer have any options for treatment and the goal now is to make her as comfortable as possible. Her oncologist has told us that Natalie is losing this battle and has limited time with us. As of now, she will most likely remain in the hospital until Saturday and we will then seek hospice care for her at home.

We ask that at this time no visitors come to the hospital. We also ask that you continue your prayers for her as you have done for over the last two years. Once again, we thank you all for everything you have done for Natalie and our family. If you would like to post a note for Natalie, we will make sure we share it with her.

May God Bess You All,
The Gieseke and Roufs Families

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


and I quote..."Me want some peanuts boy". That is word for word what Ellaina said to my brother while he was eating peanuts.

Ellaina is really big into boy and girl, so sometimes she referring to people by their sex. That was where the "boy" thing came in. Now manners, that must be another story. It didn't help that we all started laughing when she said it. Once she knows something is good for a laugh, she is all about it. She is my little comedian!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Braden’s 1st Haircut

Breann gave Braden his 1st hair cut today! He sat there really well and let her cut away.

She cut his little duck tail curl. It was so adorable, but on the verge of not so cute. After Bre was done, he looked even more handsome…if that is possible :) I was so proud of him for doing so well. He is always my easy going sweetie pie! Kim had just gotten her trial wedding updo, so luckily she was there to capture the memories on camera...yes, I forgot mine. I'll try to get one from her to post later.

Minnesota Fun!

Can I just begin by saying how much I LOVE the weather here right now! We have the windows open and it is so relaxing. The kids are both napping, so I thought I would catch up on what we have been up to in Minnesota. Knowing that Daddy is anxious to see pictures of us, I am going to have to apologize Brad. I still can not get my Dad's computer to allow me to upload pictures onto my blog :( Keith is going to help me though, so hopefully soon you can see Ellaina and Braden's fun up here.

We have been keeping quite busy. Like I said before the weather is perfect, so we have been spending a lot of time outdoors. My mom and dad live walking distance to two parks. The kids have really been enjoying those, especially when Logan, Ethan and Emma come with. We had a slumber party on Thursday night with the cousins. That was a lot of fun! Ellaina and Braden are soaking up all their attention.

On Friday we took a trip to Elm Creek beach with everyone, which was such a GREAT time! Braden was a little apprehensive of the sand while in the water, but Ellaina could not get enough of it. You should have seen how much sand she had gathered in her swimsuit. Who would have known it could hold so much :)

My parents have a nice backyard with a hammock and a big tree swing. Ellaina is such a big girl now, that she likes to swing by herself and wants to "go high like the boys". She also likes to make a point to get Uncle Jason's attention. The other day she said, "Look at me Jason" while she was swinging. Grandma & Papa also have a little swing on the porch for Braden, but he doesn't like it when I walk away to swing Ellaina. The neighbors have a dog, which excites Braden every time he sees it. It is so cute to see those little legs running towards the fence.

We are all missing Daddy terribly. I knew it was going to be hard to be away from him, but we are not even halfway done with our trip and I am longing to see him. I know he is holding down the fort at home. Only eleven more days until we get to see that's along time still. We LOVE you baby!
What can be better then popcorn and story time with Grandma!?!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Closet Monster

Ellaina has become deeply concerned about a monster in her closet, and it is so sad. It all started a couple weeks ago when I went to get her out of bed and she commented on a "monster in the closet". It has escalated into a serious fear.

While at my sister's house, she would not go to bed until Bruce fixed the closet so it would close. Even more sad is her fear at my parent's house. We brought the video monitor with us so we could keep an eye on her. Luckily she did really good, and would stay in her bed. Sadly, I would watch her sit up and look at the closed closet. It is like she can not relax due to her fears. Eventually she falls asleep, but my heart breaks for her every time she worries about "the monster". Hopefully she outgrows this and starts to believe me that "monsters are funny"...that's what I was told to say, and so far it is working better then what I was previously saying..."there is no such thing as monsters".

FAQ: No we have not seen Monster's Inc. recently.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fun at the Wisnefske's House!

We arrived at my sister's house Saturday to the loving arms of our kiddos. As fun as the weekend was, we so terribly missed Ellaina and Braden. They seemed to be having such a wonderful time though! My mom and sister on the other hand, seemed a little more exhausted.
We headed out to Lake Michigan, while Brad and the kids got a little rest at the house. I had a couple portrait sessions to do while I was there. It was so amazing. The white caps were so high that Lake Michigan looked more like an ocean than a lake. The pictures turned out so beautiful (check out my business blog to see some...if i can get the picture uploading to work). We headed back to the house for a BBQ. Bruce made my favorite barbecue sauce, so I was really excited to eat up! The kids all played in the backyard while we got to know some of Jenni and Bruce's friends better. Everyone was so nice! The kids loved the trampoline, and LOVED playing with their cousins. We went to Lake Michigan again the next day, after an all you can eat pancake breakfast. Ellaina was so cute! She got out of the van and said to Brad, "There are my boys Daddy!", referring to Ethan, Nicholas and Zachary. She sure liked "her boys". Ellaina would sit on the couch between Ethan and Nicholas thinking she was such a big girl :) Braden & I dancing the polka at the pancake breakfast!The pictures of my family didn't necessarily turn out the best that day. How can it be that I get great pictures of other peoples families, but have no luck with my own? My mom tried her hardest, but my kids just aren't good for pictures. Needless to say, no family pictures of our own this time...again. We got some good ones of us individually with the kids though.Ellaina was even more even heaven this weekend since she got to sleep with Grandma. She had grandma afraid to move in bed though. Anytime Grandma moved, Ellaina moved right next to her again. One night grandma got out of bed and when she came back there was barely any room left for her. My mom tried to squeeze in, but was unsuccessful when she ended up falling out of the bed. My mom also said she would cry out a couple times, but was comforted when she saw her grandma :) It was so sweet for Ellaina to share such special times with grandma! Braden slept really well in a pack n' play at the foot of our bed. He has grown fond of a soft blue blanket and likes to cuddle with that. It was such a wonderful vacation! I am so happy we finally got to see my sister's house and spend some quality time with the mommy to be and her family! Now begins the hard part, the long time apart from Brad. August 28th can't come fast enough!

Car Ride from Wisconsin to Minnesota