A Group Of Stahrs

Our Family Life…All Together

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Ten on Tuesday

1.  Jacob’s birthday party went on without a hitch, aside from the small snow storm we got the night before.  But he definitely enjoyed being center of attention with a few of his classmates and his sisters.


2.  He kind of likes when we sing to him.


3.  He opted for a party at Ariel’s Gymnastics for his big sixth celebration…


4.  Details on his cake can be found at the Cake Site.  Jacob was pretty specific this year!

5.  Spring break is two weeks long here in District 49.  Monday was their first day back and they are off today due to a crazy Spring blizzard that isn’t really amounting to much around here.  We have a little snow (like an inch) blowing around with this insanely crazy wind but labeling it a blizzard, isn’t’ quite right.

6.  What did we do over the two weeks?  Well, besides the boy turning 6 and having a celebration, Gramma visited.  We took her to the zoo and enjoyed our day…


IMG_00497.  We also had Easter, which was played way down this year being so close to the boy’s birthday.  The kids were pleased with going outside to hunt eggs in their jammies.




8.  The kids enjoyed a game or two while Gramma was visiting.  Maxine really enjoyed playing twister, although I don’t think she really understood the rules…


9.  Mazie had a project for her algebra II class.  She had to make a model of a house.  The measurements had to be to scale and it needed to be painted.  She had to use all her knowledge of angles and measurements to do the project.  She worked really hard on it and it turned out beautifully!  She was happy to hand it in yesterday.



10.  Jamie did her experiment for her STEM fair project.  Her and Dad worked on popping popcorn.  Her experiment was to show which way of popping popcorn worked best.  She used the stove top, a pop corn machine, and the microwave.  The popcorn machine worked the best by popping all the kernels!  She was so surprised since she thought the microwave would work best.  But she had fun making popcorn three different ways and then being able to eat it!




She still has to finish her board but we are waiting for her pictures to put it all together.  This is her first official STEM fair project.  So she’s exited about it being on display in the school library in a few weeks.

Happy Tuesday!

Christmas 2012 Recap

So it’s almost two weeks after Christmas but here’s our big Christmas post.

For starters, even though I never blogged any of my goodies, we had plenty.  I made peanut butter fudge, peppermint bark (some of you received that in the mail), pretzel bark, sugar cookies, red velvet cookies, peanut butter blossoms, peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies, cornflake wreaths, and triple chocolate melty snowman cookies.  I did get a picture of the snowmen…

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Aren’t they cute?  I saw them on pinterest and used my own cookie recipe with vanilla glaze, sprinkles for the face, and a mini peanut butter cup for the hat.  They were good too.

Christmas Eve, the kids set out a plate of goodies and milk for Santa (regardless of the jokes about Santa not eating goodies from Colorado ;-)), and some reindeer food and carrots for the deer, and a note for the Claus fam…

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They were really messy about eating their treats too…


Santa left a note for the kids which according to Mazie looks suspiciously like my writing (which she pointed out last year as well).  I have no idea what she is talking about ;-).

Christmas wrapping and bags and bows went flying around Christmas morning after a breakfast of hot cocoa and cookies (a tradition in this house).  We always start with our stockings first…


I seriously have no idea what Mazie and Jacob were looking at but Jamie’s face is priceless!  Then we went onto the goods…


There were no favorite gifts this year.  The kids were seriously grateful for everything and loved it all.  In fact, during the entire break they rotated through all their new things (aside from clothes because we are saving them to show off at school!) several times!

IMG_0031  IMG_0038


And two of my favorite pictures from the day…


IMG_0040And, yes, I’m aware I am in that last one.  Funny, huh?  I just love his little face.

And don’t think the second class family members were left out at all.  Sadie and Maxine were pampered just before Christmas with haircuts, shampoos, and pedis with red nail polish, of course…



The also received enough treats to last until the end of the month!

So that was our Christmas.  Short and sweet and perfect.

Pop Pop

I have so many pictures to share from Pop Pop’s two-week visit.  I’ll start at the beginning, of course.  He arrived and we celebrated his birthday (which happens to be the day before mine) but the kids insisted on a cake (pumpkin bundt with streusel filling and dark chocolate ganache drizzled on top) and singing.IMG_0004

But even before getting to the celebrating part, the kids were all over him.  I mean to say that we miss Pop Pop from visit to visit.  It’s usually very loud when the kids finally see him.  However, this time, Maxine even missed Pop Pop and had to get in a snuggle…IMG_0001

We had some fancy programs during those two weeks.  Jamie had a choral concert and Mazie had her first band concert.  They happened to be on the very same night.  BOO!  Since they were both having daytime performance, we decided to split up so everyone could see all the performances and all be happy.

First, Jamie’s concert.  I have to say that this was their best concert yet!  I was so impressed with their singing and dancing.  Every song brought tears to my eyes.  I could see the pride in their little faces.  Mrs. Chapman does such a great job with all 100+ students in the school choir.  This was Jamie’s Ursa Minor choir (the second and third graders)…IMG_0024

and the choir singing “The Snowman is a Showman”IMG_0027

We also did a few pre-performance photos of the girls…IMG_0014

and of course, with Pop Pop…IMG_0017

I went to Mazie’s daytime performance.  The bad thing about this was they didn’t have enough time to do their whole concert since they were sharing the assembly with the choir.  So I missed out on a lot of songs.  No worries though, I enjoyed the songs I did hear.IMG_0030

Can you spot Mazie?  She’s wearing a santa hat and is near a trumpet bell.  In the next picture you can see her under the band instructor’s left arm.  She played her heart out and worked very hard to learn these songs.  Mazie’s come a long way since August.  I am impressed with her.  She seems to have a knack for music and playing the flute.  My heart swells with how excited she is!IMG_0034

I have some seriously talented kids!  I love that they love music.

We took Pop Pop to the Safari of Lights at the Zoo for our “Christmas Eve” with him.IMG_0010

It was fun but we were quickly disappointed to find out that we could not get in to see Santa and Mrs. Claus.  I think I was more disappointed than the kids.  But we were able to see our new elephant barn (which was packed and my camera fogged up from going from cold to hot so no pictures) which had not only elephants but a new black rhino!  As disappointed as I was with the whole Santa thing, we were delighted in seeing the rest of the lights and the giraffes are always part of that…IMG_0016

This guy even posed for me with his tongue out and all…IMG_0019

So since that was Christmas Eve with Pop Pop, we had Christmas day the next day.  Makes sense!  We had caramel rolls for breakfast and then went to the gifts.  Stocking first…IMG_0025




If you needed to know, Jacob got an alarm clock that he desperately wanted (and despises because it’s so loud).  Jamie got cool purple drum sticks.  And Mazie received a big pack of colorful sharpies.  Then we went onto the big gifts…

Pop Pop went way overboard this year.  The kids received new iPads…IMG_0032

Pop Pop got a few picture gifts and some homemade mugs with the kids artwork displayed…IMG_0036

Jeremiah got a bunch of books from his list including a rare one he’s been looking for for sometime and some running shirts but I didn’t get a picture because I was too busy playing with my new lens…IMG_0049


To say the kids like their iPads is a bit of an understatement.  In fact, they like them so much that Pop Pop was left alone for the first time in two weeks!IMG_0054

Don’t feel bad for him, it didn’t last too long.  Jacob decided to share his new toy with Pop Pop and they watched a movie together…IMG_0064

We had a blast over the two weeks that Pop Pop was here.  We can’t wait to see him again!

Thanksgiving 2012

So before the month is completely over, I guess I should update on our Thanksgiving week.  My brother, sister, and niece came to visit from Pennsylvania for the whole week!

We had a concert with all the kids.  Jacob sang…

While they were here and before the actual craziness of preparing food had to take place, I took Christmas photos for them.  These were a few of my favorites…

And do you see what I see?  Yep, there’s a baby bump.  Chloe is going to be a big sister around the beginning of April to a new little sister!

Chloe is a little excited about it.  She was even thankful for her baby sister in her mommy’s belly at Thanksgiving dinner.

We took a little day trip to the Children’s Museum in Denver.  All the kids had fun starting with the fire truck…

We moved on to the other rooms of the museum.  The bubbles were a hit…

as was the veterinarian’s clinic…

and, of course, the dress up area where the kids could put on tap shoes and dance around with glee!

We had some glorious weather for the entire week.  It was in the 70s for one of the days and so the kids got to play outside for a bit…

They also had plenty of time to just snuggle and be still…

Chloe was excited to help bake with me.  I let her put in the most important ingredient in pumpkin chip muffins…the chocolate chips, of course.

She may or may not have stolen a few in exchange for this picture…

I’m the aunt.  I don’t have to admit to bribing her in any way.  Chloe, I will always have chocolate chips (or any other candy) for you ;-)!

On the actual day of Thanksgiving, I took very few pictures.  A turkey looks like a turkey.  The food looks the same from year to year.  No point in wasting space in my photobox.  So we took pictures of the kids skyping…

and the big kids playing…

and just enjoyed each other’s company.  It was a great visit.  And while I didn’t finish my thankfuls for the month (I know, big slacker), I can say that I am so very thankful that they could visit us again this year.  I am so very thankful they are expanding their little family (and it’s not me ;-)).  I am also so very thankful that we were all able to enjoy thanksgiving together.


Since yesterday marked one week until school starts, I figured it was high time to share our summer memories.  So I’ll begin with our trip to visit family in Pennsylvania at the beginning of June.  We went in and out of Pittsburg so we could celebrate my favorite niece’s third birthday.  She was so happy to see the kids!  They all hid from her so that she had to find them when she got home from school. 

After she found each of the kids and hugged them, we had a little celebration of the family band.  Even Pop Pop got involved…Then we headed out to Chuck E. Cheese and the kids were in heaven.  While Chloe made sure the mouse himself stayed a good distance away, they all had fun with the games and the celebration…

This girl is serious about her ice cream!  The next day we joined Chloe for her official birthday party.  The kids played happily in the yard like they hadn’t been apart for six months!  We all had a great time.  Even Jeremiah and I were able to get into the pictures…

Then we all sang to Chloe once again and she opened her gifts…

She’s a ham, isn’t she?  But she’s cute anyway!

We then made the drive to Pop Pop’s house to visit the rest of the fam.  At Pop Pop’s house we made homemade ice cream and relaxed…

We also ventured to the park and met up with new cousins!

There was some lettin’ loose too.  Jacob is always the entertainer…We also visited Stahr Mam where she put the kids to work…working out or working in the yard…

So there you have it…our trip to Pennsylvania.  It was a fun trip!

Bowling for Buzzards

We went to Academy Lanes to go bowling.  We had never been bowling before with the kids.  In fact, it’s been too long to count since Jeremiah and I had even been bowling.  To say it was an adventure is a huge understatement!

The girls were awesome.  Mazie had a great form…

Jamie even got a strike!

Jacob was pretty good at being patient, since when he would roll the ball it would take 30 minutes to get to the pins… 

But he was very happy that he did manage to knock down some pins…It was fun.  The kids had a grand time and it was nice to do something together as a family.  Here, if you are interested, are the scores of our two games.Yes, Mazie did beat me in the first game.

You don’t have to look at Jeremiah’s score.  We were using the bumpers.  I was holding back since we were playing the kids.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Then and Now

Sometimes you take a picture and it triggers your memory of another photo that you or someone else may have taken in the past.  That’s what happened when I took this photo of Mazie yesterday with my iPhone using the instagram app.I just wanted a photo of myself with my big ten year-old girl.  Instead, what I got was a wonderful comparison of one of my favorite photos.  I took this photo of Mazie with a film camera (I know, do you even remember those?) when she a little  one year-old just before we moved from Ohio.I loved this photo the minute I looked at it after getting it back from Wal-Mart’s photo center!  The fact that I had no idea Mazie had her little tongue sticking out, the cutie-patootie little face, her expression, just to name a few.  It’s been my favorite photo of the two of us for 9 years.

The only thing that would have made the newer photo any better is if Mazie would have stuck her tongue out.  But I have to say that this new one is my new favorite of the two of us.  I love it because she was willing to take a picture with me, her beautiful face, her big smile (even though she has braces and isn’t too fond of showing them off), just to name a few.

As I struggle with her being 10 years old, I do look forward to all the birthdays and memories we have yet to share.  Happy Birthday, Mazie Moo.  Thank you for taking pictures with me.

More on her party will come soon!

Thanksgiving 2011

Ok so before we really head into Christmas it’s time I post about our Thanksgiving.  First it was fabulous.  Period.  We were fortunate enough to have some guests this year.  My brother, sister-in-law, and sweet little niece came all the way from the Pittsburgh area and it was fun.  Chloe jumped right into playing with the kids…

We had tea parties and pretend play galore.  Jacob didn’t even mind that he was completely outnumbered since Chloe was so cute.Then it was onto our feast.  Jamie and Mazie did the wishbone this year with Jacob watching closely.  He vowed that next year he gets a turn.Jamie won, in case you needed to know.  And she didn’t tell us what she wished for.  We also got a few group photos…

and some silly faces…We played some instruments…

and played some mad ring around they rosy…We also went to the zoo.

and to the Air Force Academy.  We saw all kinds of “airpanes” but no “ornch” ones.

But, we pretty much just kind of hung around and had a good time with each other…I love this little family…It was so fun to have a little girl in the house for a few days.  You know, since my two aren’t little anymore and have sassy mouths and attitudes.  It was nice to have a little girl laugh and think we were fun.However, I see the attitude and sassy mouth in her future. With her strong will, her parents will have their hands full sooner than they want, I’m sure.Thanks for a wonderful weekend.  We had fun and it was so great having you here!

Then and Now

Many of you know that Jeremiah and I are high school sweethearts.  But you may not know how that happened.  So this is about how we started.

January 1994…We were in BioChem class together and we were dissecting minks…their biology is the same as a house cat but it apparently wasn’t cruel to kill minks for science…anyway, most of you know this part…His mink “George” wrote my mink “Henrietta” a note.  It was in my box one morning and it basically was his mink telling my mink to put in a good word for him.  Jeremiah called me and asked me out for two weeks later.  In his defense, he did have to ask his mom for the car for a date with a girl.  However, what high school girl has plans for two weeks out?  I guess that part of his plan worked.  I was free!  We went on a total of 4 dates, one of them being our junior prom.  Then we didn’t date.  It was just bad timing.  I liked him.  He liked me.  We just didn’t connect.

Fast forward to the start of our senior year, September 1994.  The summer was good.  It was time to start the best year ever!  I played field hockey and was ready for the season to start.  School, concert band, marching band, hockey all kept me busy.  Jeremiah was busy with school and both bands as well.  We happened to be trying out for district band together.  We had most of our classes together.  He decided to ask me out again.  This time it was not for two weeks later.  We started dating November 20, 1995 and we’ve been together ever since.  I am so glad he took the chance and asked me out again!

So in honor of our 17 years of dating here is a fun flash back from our senior prom 1995…Yikes, 18 looks so young!  But I can still see that in our eyes from tonight when I snapped this with my phone…

Maybe 17 years isn’t so long after all.  Thanks for asking me out for a second time, Jeremiah.  I love you!

The BIG Minnesota Post

We’ve been home for almost two weeks and it’s taken me that long to edit pictures from our wonderful trip to post on the blog.  That on top of dealing with a cold I picked up from the cutest 3 1/2-year-old little boy ever.  It’s ok Fisher.  I’ll still visit you, even if you do give me the plague!  And I do need to get a cold every so often or I would think I was Wonder Woman.  So thanks for putting me back in my place! 😉

Seriously, how can you ever get mad at this sweet face… Don’t you just want to smooch on those sweet cheeks?  But I’m almost 100% and I’m going to post about our entire weekend in one post.  So sit back and enjoy the reading!

JJ’s been posting about our weekend together, saying how they really do it up right in Minnesota for friends.  I can attest that our family was happy with what we did and still had the best weekend ever!  The kids are all still talking about it and that’s saying something.

Our first adventure was Alla’s big soccer game.  It was pretty cool to see her in action…But the real excitement was after the game which was what Fisher couldn’t wait for.  Touch-A-Truck Day!  He was so excited.  He and Jacob lead the way to the trucks, chatting the whole time about all the things they were going to see and do, like old friends do.This was just a perfect outing.  The kids got to climb into all kinds of trucks and emergency vehicles and see what they are really like on the inside.  Jacob even was on the loud-speaker of the S.W.A.T. truck yelling, “Major Rock Star” like Alvin does on the Alvin and Chipmunks movie.  The kids were in heaven…

Jacob decided to beg for mercy when he was in the back of the police car…After the kids were finished checking out every.single.vehicle, we ventured over to the park to play for a little which was equally fantastic.  Our kids love checking out parks all overHowever, this one may be etched in our memories forever.  I mean, really what kind of parents encourage their children to ride down a giant tongue for fun?Apparently Minnesota parents…Ok, maybe some Colorado parents, too, but in our defense it was the only slide. 😉 After going home for lunch, we went to the local fire station for tour of the station and a ride in an actual firetruck.  No photos because I didn’t take my camera but you can check out what JJ’s take on that adventure was like here.

On another day, we got to see some of Minnesota’s beautiful Fall colors when we drove to the Mississippi River to check out the lock and dam.

I had never seen a lock and dam and, quite honestly, didn’t know what it was until we saw one in action.  It was pretty cool and the kids watched in amazement!

After watching the lock and dam in action, we walked down some rickety old steps to the river’s edge.

The kids thought that part was pretty cool too.  That was it for our out-of-the house adventures.  Now onto the around-the-house adventures…

It had to be the windiest day ever recorded in the history of the weather being recorded the day we landed in Minnesota.  Seriously, we almost didn’t land in one piece.  The plane tipped side to side making this mama ready to swear off flying forever!  But the good thing about all that wind was the fact that there were Fall leaves to be raked in the Killins’ back yard.  Leaves from area yards that they wouldn’t have had otherwise.  So the kids went to work…

Because everyone knows that a good piles of leaves means a good bit of jumping…

And then they would rake them back on to the “biggest pile ever” and do it all over again.  This is one of my favorite photos from the entire weekend.  First my two favorite boys are working together and just so darn cute doing it too…Second, Jeremiah, Mazie, and Alla are in the background finding a safe spot for a caterpillar she found while raking.  They needed to keep that little guy safe.  And third, Jamie sitting on the little riding bike is pretty funny to me.  It played a little song when you rode it and she thought that toddler toy was fantastic! But then there is this one and I can’t stop smiling looking at each child and knowing how difficult it was to even get all five to lay in the leaves for just one.  But they did it and I’m grateful I have one of all of them together…These two boys were peas in a pod the whole weekend.  They enjoyed watching Fisher’s shows, even though every other second Fisher would say, “oh this is my favorite part”.Jacob enjoyed playing with Fisher.period.  Not only because he had toys that were new to him but because Fisher was another boy.  I loved that they carried on conversations about trucks and how their little stories would play out.Then there was bedtime.  The kids got stories every night and extra kisses and hugs.

In fact, one night I was giving Jacob his kiss and hug and he said, “You hug just like the mom of this house” (meaning JJ).  I took it as a complement since JJ is the best hugger.  And then there was the time Jacob referred to Ron and JJ as the bosses of the house.  We were talking about something and he said that I had to ask “one of the two bosses of this house” because he just couldn’t remember their names right off the tip of his tongue.  But one time Alla came done the stairs and she said, “Megan, JJ would like to know if you and Jeremiah would like to have some coffee”.  Without laughing in her face, I answered her and then waited until she was out of earshot to tell Jeremiah that she had a smirk on her face the whole time like she was getting away with calling her mama “JJ” instead of “mom”!  Just some silliness from the trip I don’t want to forget.

The adults had time to catch up after the kids went to bed.  Actually it was more like while the girls were in their room messing around and have a grand ol’ time and we were listening to every single word on the monitor.  There were some silly things said at night between those three!  But they did eventually go to sleep and we did catch up.  We played games…I never won but it was fun.  I just wish I would have had the ninja card just once!

But that was basically our weekend in 32 pictures.  You should be happy I didn’t put all 200+ that I actually took!  We had just a great weekend.  But I will leave you with this last picture.  It’s how I feel that we live so far away from such great people…I call this one “Pout Pout Fisher”.  And when he was in a not-so-great mood, this is what happened.  So it was fitting to end with it.

Thanks for letting the five of us invade your house for a few days.  We love you!

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