A Group Of Stahrs

Our Family Life…All Together

Archive for the category “Holidays”

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.


Happy Thanksgiving from our home…to yours!

Friday Thankfuls

These are in no particular order.

1.  I am thankful for my loving husband.  He’s my soul mate, a wonderful husband, and a great dad.  I love him.

2. I am thankful for my wonderful kids.  They complete my life and fill me with great joy.  I am grateful that am their mother.  I love them.

3. I am thankful for the AF for giving my husband a great job that he enjoys and allows me to stay home and care for our kids.

4.  I am thankful for our health.

5.  I am thankful for my friends who check in on me once in a while to let me know they are thinking of me.

6.  I am thankful for Mazie.  She loves to learn and works so hard.  She makes me proud!

7.  I am thankful for Jamie.  She’s sensitive and smart and is the mediator between the three kids.  She makes me proud!

8.  I am thankful for Jacob.  He is so smart and spunky.  He sucks everything in with such enthusiasm.  He makes me proud!

9.  I am thankful my Fall.  It’s my favorite season with all the colors.  When the leaves are all fallen, I have baking.  I love fall baking.

Ten on Tuesday: Father’s Day edition

1.  On Father’s Day, the kids woke up wishing dad a happy day.  It was a lovely, sunny day.

2.  The kids went right into gift giving mode.  Jamie went first with all her handmade things…thanks to Highlights magazine!

3.  Jacob went second and felt the need to “explain” everything he made.  It didn’t stop him from give big hugs and kisses though…

4.  Mazie made cards in every color of the rainbow and was pretty crafty with the things she made too. 

5.  Then they gave him the “paid for” gifts.  A bunch of new summer clothes.  They each had their own requests and insisted on everything being blue.  I did sneak in a red or green item but listened to what they wanted.

6.  My new favorite picture of my favorite people…

7.  After we skyped with Pop Pop and called Pappy John, we took our bikes to the park and some playtime.  Then Dad set up the tent.

8.  Yep, the kids and Dad spent the night in the tent in the back yard while the (much smarter) parent spent the night in her big comfy bed.

9.  Do you see the dog in the picture?  That’s Sadie.  We are in a trial period with her to see if she will join our family.  She’s a great dog.  A little aggressive toward Maxine but mostly we are all getting along.

10.  The kids are pretty fond of their dad.  I have to say that I’m pretty pleased with him too.  Happy Father’s Day!


Easter was almost a month ago but I posting about our day anyway…

The kids woke to baskets of goodies on the table…complete with a note from The Easter Bunny stating that he tried to hide the eggs but Jumpy (the resident squirrel) wouldn’t let the eggs alone…Seriously, look at this egg.  He took it right up to the tree, opened it, and ate all the M & Ms inside!

The kids were pretty tickled by the note, even when Mazie noticed that Peter’s writing is very similar to Santa’s…I guess I have to work on the notes ;-).  They waited patiently for Dad to hide the eggs and then they went for it…Even Maxine helped to find eggs…After they were finished checking out their new loot,they stayed still for a family photo…you can see the parents in the glass door…

Happy Easter…a few weeks late…

Ten On Tuesday

1.  We had a lovely white Christmas here.  Just enough snow to play in and warm enough to do so.  The kids loved it!

2.  Christmas Eve.  The kids were so excited about getting to bed but only after setting out goodies for Santa and making the reindeer food and running the train around the tree a few times…

3.  Santa and his deer made quite a mess with their goodies!  But they did leave a note and some nice gifts under the tree…

4.  I was a little surprised that none of the kids got up much before 8am!  But they quickly checked out their stash.  Even Max took a look…5.  The kids read their note from Santa…6.  Then went onto their gifts…

7.  After a break for food, we quickly were ordered to put it all together and make sure everything worked!  That pretty much took the rest of the day.  That and cooking our traditional brisket dinner.  It really was a lovely Christmas!

8.  Jeremiah cleaned out our storage room in the basement.  He decided to get out some of his old toys.  The kids had fun putting the legos together.  Jacob was in heaven with Jeremiah’s old matchbox cars…9.  Mazie has been counting down to her birthday for almost a month.  Today, instead of saying good morning, she informed me that there are only “9 more days until the big 10”!  I’m really not sure if she is excited about turning 10 or that her party happens to be a sleepover this year.  I have to say that today (9 days out) I am dreading both…

10.  Jacob told me this morning that he can’t wait until Mazie’s birthday because it makes us closer to his birthday.  “And since I’m going to be 5 we can to go out on a date” were his words.  Again, not really ready for that one.

Happy Tuesday!

Christmas Programs

To put a little Christmas cheer out there for you, I’ve decided to blog about the kids’ Christmas programs.  First up Jacob’s preschool program.His class was made up of angels and shepherds and Jacob was a shepherd.  Doesn’t he look like Linus from the Peanuts Gang?Jacob’s program lasted about 15 minutes but it was so wonderful.  The kids told the story of  baby Jesus being born, sang some Christmas songs, and “Happy Birthday” to Jesus.  Jacob was so excited to be a shepherd.  He was told to keep it a secret and, anyone out there who knows Jacob, knows that that was very difficult for him.  But he did it and the program was fantastic.  I love kids singing!

Next up, the girls’ choir program…Since Pop Pop was here to join us for this program, we had to do the obligatory photos beforehand…I mean, he is their #1 fan (after mom and dad, of course)…First we started with Ursa Minor.  I love how the music teacher used both science and music for the names of the choirs.  It just fit the school and the kids.  The second and third grade choir members were Ursa Minor (Jamie’s on the far right of the picture, in the front)…Jamie even had a speaking part.  Can you believe it?  Neither could I when she told us that she had a special part a day or two before the program.  Yep, that’s right, she didn’t want us to make a big deal about the fact that she would be speaking in front of all these people and end up getting her nervous, so she didn’t even tell us!  I have to say that I was so excited about it though.  She told the punch line to a joke.  What did the one snowman say to the other?  Do you smell carrots?The choir also signed a song while singing.  It was pretty impressive!Then they took a brief intermission so Ursa Minor could exit the stage and Ursa Major (fourth and fifth grade students) get ready.  There was some pretty sharp moves…and kazoos…Mazie was in a smaller group that sang a song that was just simply lovely…When Ursa Major was finished with all their songs, Ursa Minor joined them on stage to sing a couple more songs together.  One song was It’s Snow Fun/It’s No Fun.  The Major sang about hating snow (gasp, I know) and the Minor sang about how fun the snow is.  It kind of reminded me of Frosty Returns when the adults are complaining about shoveling and the kids and excited about the snow.The girls had a great time and the choir sounded awesome.  But don’t just take my word for it.  You can see Jacob was completely enthralled with the singing…Again, I love kids singing.  It’s just about the best sound, in my opinion.  It’s right up there with the sound of kids laughing!

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