Total Solar Eclipse

8.21.17 Solar Eclipse!.jpg

The last time Kansas City was able to experience a total eclipse was in 1806, and the next one that will be this close will not happen until 2205.  According to the news, we were very close to totality for the solar eclipse (99.4%).  Most local schools were participating in having the kids experience this once in a life time event and people traveled to the area from all over the globe.  Crazy!  I was pretty much not prepared and got lucky getting some glasses from my neighbor very last minute (thank you Dearmore’s).  I poked my head out a few times today to check it out and Brian viewed it on a business trip in Seattle.  I have to admit, I felt a little dorky standing on my front step by myself with those glasses on!  Seeing the totality proved difficult from my vantage point because it was cloudy in our neighborhood  It did get darker, the street lights came on, the temperature dropped quite a bit, and I heard lots of locusts.  It sure looks like Reece and her classmates were enjoying it!  Courtesy of Mrs. Anderson, this is a video clip of Reece watching the eclipse with her 2nd grade class…so cute!!  She’s in the gray & coral dress (far left).

8.21.17 Reece viewing Solar Eclipse with 2GR class
Reece must be having a little difficulty with her glasses 😉

8.21.17 Reece 2GR solar eclipse


Summer 2017

Bummer…I absolutely hate the end of Summer!  This Summer ended up being more chaotic than I thought humanly possible, but I still hate to see it go.  This is my list of camps/activities I created for each of my kids just to keep everything straight.  It’s insanity.8.18.17 Drew Summer Activities8.18.17 Girls Summer List8.18.17 Jake Summer ActvitiesFor the first time ever, we accomplished more on our summer fun list than we ever have in the past, the kids filled up their chore chart with stickers, they all made money mowing for neighbors, we went on a spectacular family cruise, and I drove every square inch of the city.  I’ve never driven more, honestly!  I was like an Uber driver but I wasn’t getting paid.  I think I would’ve been able to pay for some competitive sports with my earnings, had the driving been a paid gig.IMG_8942.JPGJust before school started I told my boys I would take them out on a date because the girls were occupied already.  They got to choose what we did, so we went out for dinner and bowling.  I honestly have no idea when the last time was that I picked up a bowling ball, but I was up for the challenge.  We were begging the bowling alley attendant to let us have bumpers but he denied me because I’m an adult and Jake too because he exceeded the height requirement.  Drew got in just under the wire – lucky!  Sure enough my first time up, I bowled a strike and continued to bowl many more the rest of the night.  My ball went straight down the middle every time.  The boys were mystified, as was I!  Who knew I was a good bowler!?  However, my form must not be flawless because my forearm was sore for several days.  Ugh, that’s just embarrassing to be sore from bowling!  Drew and I were tied for the lead going into the last frame and I beat him by 1 (without bumpers I might add!).  We had a blast and ran into Aunt Jenn working at the sand volleyball courts! Thanks boys for a fun night out!

Reece and Drew also got a little fun time with Aunt Jenn one recent afternoon who swears she will never spend anymore money at Dave & Busters ever again.  She is absolutely mortified that you are required to spend hundreds of tickets on something that actually costs a couple bucks at the store.  Drew won this alligator in the big claw machine…can you believe that!?  Nobody ever wins anything in that game!  They were so proud!  He named him Big Al…

I have many more highlights from the Summer that I want to share but I decided to take the last few weeks off from my computer to just enjoy the last moments of summer freedom with my kids.  Hope all of you enjoyed the not-so-lazy days of Summer like we did!

Omaha Part 2

8.20.17 Mo U15 Omaha Soccer Tourney (1).JPGWe set our alarm to get up early, pack up, and get to the Tranquility Park Soccer Complex for one last game Sunday morning.  Tranquility Park Soccer Complex….really!?  Isn’t that an oxymoron?  There is nothing about this soccer park that is ‘tranquil.’  Trust me!! Actually there isn’t a soccer park ANYWHERE that is tranquil is there?   They should transfer that name to the golf course that is right across the road.  The 9 am game turned into a 10:30am game due to weather and since we were already out of the running for a semi-final game, a part of us just wanted to hit the road.  However, I’m glad we didn’t because that last game they played better than they did in all the other games combined, ending with a 4-1 victory.  That’s a great way to end the tourney.  Super job MoMo, Coach Ben and the U15 Fusion Soccer Girls.

8.20.17 Mo U15 Omaha Tourney.JPG
This was a beautiful kick to the center forward but I got too excited and froze after taking only one picture.  I should definitely be fired from this mom photography biz.  

We made it back to KC in good time amidst rain and crazy lightning.  I was so excited to see my kids!  Believe it or not, I think they really missed me.  I know Drew did because he called me crying that he missed me and asked when I would be home.  I had only been gone 3 hours!  I think he needed a little TLC because his legs are covered in poison ivy!  He’s allergic and the poor kiddo is miserable!  We really think he’s learned his lesson now – no throwing golf clubs in the woods!!  Right, Drew!?!?

Reece was dying to ‘do something fun’ when I returned and decided opening up a nail salon would be the perfect solution.  This little lady is so entertaining!  She’s still saving her tips from her last entrepreneurial endeavor – the concession stand in our kitchen. Way to go Reece, you are going to do amazing things in life, I just know it!8.20.17 Reece's Nail Salon (2)8.20.17 Reece's Nail Salon (3)8.20.17 Reece's Nail Salon (1)Drew was her first customer and is now sporting some really fancy blue toenails!  He tipped her $2 out of his own wallet.  Thanks Drew for supporting your little sister!8.20.17 Reece's Nail Salon (4)8.20.17 Reece's Nail Salon



Omaha, Nebraska Soccer Tourney

I very happily volunteered myself to escort this beautiful soccer player to Omaha, Nebraska to compete in the Azzurri Soccer Tournament this weekend.  I’m no dummy, I know my time with this new high schooler is limited, so I will be her taxi service anytime!  Even if she is glued to netflix, has one earbud in half the time, and made me eat at Subway and Fazoli’s (two of my least favorite places).   I don’t care, just her mere presence makes me so happy.  We’ve had some frustrating soccer games and it doesn’t even phase me because I know she’s trying her very best and I’m not doing laundry or picking up 20 pairs of shoes, or unloading the dishwasher right now.  I’m in a quiet hotel room with my baby girl (who is technically not my baby, but I have always called her that so I’m sticking to it!).

8.19.17 Azzuri Tourney Omaha NE (3)
I love you to pieces MoMo!!
8.19.17 Azzuri Tourney Omaha NE (1).JPG
We definitely support this motto of having a cookie in one hand for a balanced life!

8.19.17 Azzuri Tourney Omaha NE (2)She has multiple blisters on her feet already and we are feverishly spraying down her uniform with Febreze to make it through one more game in the morning before heading back to KC.8.19.17 Mo Azzurri Tourney_Omaha U15 (4)8.19.17 Mo Azzurri Tourney_Omaha U15 (5)8.19.17 Mo Azzurri Tourney_Omaha U15 (6)8.19.17 Mo Azzurri Tourney_Omaha U15 (10)8.19.17 Mo Azzurri Tourney_Omaha U15 (11)8.19.17 Mo Azzurri Tourney_Omaha U15 (12)Isn’t she cute!?  Luckily for me, she plays center defense and plays the entire game. This makes sitting in the blazing sun and fighting 8 billion people in the parking lot totally worthwhile (seriously, this tournament is HUGE and there are lot’s of people jammed into this complex!).  Where do all these people come from anyway!?

Morgan, I love watching you play no matter what the outcome.  You rock #8.  Keep up the great work.  Pick me anytime you have an out of town soccer tourney!!



Sneak-a-peek 2017

8.15.17 Reece2GR Drew4GR_Sneak a Peek (1).JPG

I’m going to be real honest here, I was pretty hesitant about sneak-a-peek this year.  Last Saturday we were able to check the elementary school teachers online and wouldn’t you know it…neither Reece or Drew got the teacher they hoped for and not even one close friend in their class.  And the final kicker was all of their friends ended up together with the teachers they wanted.  Crap!  This is really not ideal when you are 9 and 7 years old and the most important thing in life is your teacher and the friends you sit by in the classroom.

I’ve never requested a teacher for any of my kids and I’m sticking to my guns.  I truly believe most things in life happen for a reason and this could likely be the best school year ever for these two.  How could your teachers not fall in love with you guys!?8.15.17 Drew in Reece's classroom8.15.17 Reece 2GR sneak a peek_Mrs. Anderson (3)

One thing they both fell in love with, was this little mini couch in Reece’s 2nd grade classroom!

Meet Mrs. Anderson, 2nd grade teacher at Manchester Park…

8.15.17 Reece 2GR sneak a peek_Mrs. Anderson (2).JPG

Lot’s of the kids wanted Mrs. Anderson and bonus…she only has 18 students in the class! We thought for sure we would get Mr. Bangs because he had all 3 of our other kiddos.  I guess it was time for a change!

Meet Miss Duke (soon to be Mrs. Perez), Drew’s 4th grade teacher…

8.15.17 Drew 4GR Sneak a Peek_Duke (5).JPG

I asked Drew to take a picture in his favorite part of his new classroom and sadly, he went straight to the classroom iPads!  He also checked out the classroom book library pretty well…so there’s still hope!

8.15.17 Drew 4GR Sneak a Peek_Duke (8)

I can’t wait to see the awesome things you two do this school year!  I love you to pieces!



Back to School

I have so much to write about that my head is spinning!  And this has nothing to do with the Solar Eclipse!  In fact, I didn’t even know about the solar eclipse until my neighbor mentioned it to me last week!  Look, I’ve got back to school stuff going on, I don’t actually give a hoot about what is happening in the solar system right now.  Go ahead an make fun of me now…that’s totally fine.

Today all the kids in the Olathe school district went back to school for a full day of fun and learning, right kids!?!  Our neighborhood kids now range from 10th grade all the way down to Kindergarten, and each year I beg and plead for everyone to join us in our driveway for donuts and pictures.8.17.17 FV neighborhood 1st day school (1).JPGThe only person that complains about the pictures every year is Drew.  Drewy – you have to know by now that this is going to happen no matter how many mean faces you give us.  It’s absolutely required to document the first day of school!  The new backpacks & haircuts, the shiny new shoes, the cute new outfits, the braces, no braces, & lost teeth.  Seeing the difference from year to year is so much fun!

This year, all 4 of my kids started on the same day which is rare.  Yesterday was a half day for elementary kids and kids moving up to middle and high school.  It was a rainy morning of excitement, nerves, and sadness all at the same time.  I’ve actually been dreading this ever since January 1st when the new year started and it hit me like a ton of bricks that I would have kids in three schools.  My 1st baby girl going to high school, Jake venturing into a new world of middle school, and Drew being the oldest at Manchester Park…it’s a lot of change and a lot to keep organized.  I now have 3 different school start times, 3 different dismissals, 3 buses, and 3 school newsletters to keep up on.   I’m pretty sure a nervous breakdown is on the horizon for me and I’m certain I’ll send a kid or two to the wrong school or pick them up at the wrong time.  It’s guaranteed.  8.16.17 1st day 9th,6th,4th&2nd Grade.JPG

8.16.17 Jake&Drew_1st day 6th&4th GR (1)
My Boys!
8.16.17 1st day 9th&2nd Grade
My girls!

It was still dark outside when I was trying to take pictures and very rainy and humid which doesn’t make for the best picture taking!  Plus, Reece lost a front tooth the night before.  She’s already fretting about being a ‘snaggletooth hillbilly’ in the upcoming school pictures!  Frizzy hair and snaggleteeth – yikes!8.16.17 1st day 9th,6th,4th&2nd Grade (4)8.16.17 Reece_1st day 2GR (2).JPGUgh….High School…are you kidding me!?  There is no way I’m old enough to be a mom of a high schooler am I!?

8.16.17 Morgan&Emma 1st day 9GR_ONW
Morgan & Emma – Freshman at Olathe Northwest High School!  There are 457 new Freshman students going to orientation today!

Look at these two rushing into school…they are either really excited or so embarrassed to be dropped off by a mom in a minivan that they break into a light jog to get away from the vehicle.  Either way, you two are absolutely adorable and you are going to rock this high school stuff…8.16.17 Morgan 1st day 9GR_ONW

8.16.17 Bus 54_PRT Middle School (1)
This is Maddie Stowell & Jake getting on the Middle School Bus.  You can’t help but laugh at Maddie’s dad covering them with that broken umbrella!

And last but not least, the elementary kids get to go…hope this bus driver is ready for this crew!8.16.17 Bus 46 MPE (2)

8.16.17 Drew 1st day 4GR_MPE
Drew’s the big man on campus now – he’s my oldest elementary school kid.  Look out!!

8.16.17 Reece_1st day 2GR (3)Today 2000+ students will fill the halls of Olathe Northwest High School.  Morgan, I know that has to be nerve-wracking, but I’m so confident you will catch on to the routine quickly and be up and running in no time.  Although, I will tell you that I haven’t stopped thinking about you for one single second!  You actually might need to help me cope with this change more than me helping you!  Always be your awesome self and trust your instincts.  There will surely be bumps in the road but you will succeed!  Your family is always here for you!  And you have these two cuties who have already been in your shoes once…

8.17.147 Mo 9GR AvaBrooke 10GR (1).JPG
Morgan, Ava & Brooke Dearmore (Olathe North Sophomores)
8.17.17 Morgan ONW Bus #49.JPG
The ONW bus.  Sorry MoMo, you had to expect that we were all going to wave at you this morning!  This probably won’t be the last time you duck your head into the seat in front of you out of embarrassment!

Sorry Ava and Brooke, I was stalking you this morning to get your picture!  And your brother too.  His bus comes at 6:45am so I had to be on my toes this morning!

8.17.17 Jake 6GR Drew 4GR Jack 9GR (2).JPG
Jake, Drew, and Jack Dearmore (Freshman at Olathe West – the new high school)

Jake, don’t you worry, I’ve been thinking of you non-stop as well!  Wondering if you are getting your locker open, do you know where your next class is and are you making it on time, do you have someone to sit with at lunch.  You know…this is an endless list of worries that flow through my brain.  But, by the end of next week, you will be cruising through those hallways without even looking at your schedule!  I’m sure you’ll forget your school ID card about 800 times, so I’m already expecting that phone call!  You are going to love middle school and success is coming your way, bud!

With a backpack that cool, there’s no way you can fail!  Jake’s been begging me for a Nike Elite backpack for a year or two now.  My standard answer is…wait for Middle School.  He helped me find one online that was on sale and I really appreciated that.  The back to school process costs an arm and a leg!  I even considered returning these new Converse for Reece because she has a million pairs of shoes (remember…I have a shoe fetish!).  I’m glad I didn’t, because they turned out to be her favorite and the hit of neighborhood.

8.17.17 Reece back to school breakfast

And my girls are using the same backpacks and lunch boxes from last year, so I guess an extra pair of shoes is ok.  See how I justify that!? 😉

This is one great looking group of kids!  Wishing all of you the best school year ever!

8.17.17 Boys_1st day school
The Falcon Valley Boys
8.17.17 Girls_1st day school
The Falcon Valley Girls

I feel some straight A report cards coming our way…

Shauna & Scott Summer Fun Sleepover

Once a summer my sister, Shauna, hosts the summer fun sleepover with my kiddos! Notice I say….ONCE a summer.  And actually, I think it’s actually only once a YEAR!  In her defense, would you really want to take this crew on for an evening!?8.5.17 SS Summer Sleepover (3).JPGOk so they look kind of cute here, but we all know the real truth, they are a major handful.  Especially if you don’t have any kids!  It’s enough to scare you away for a year for sure!  However, I think Scotty seems to be having a great ‘ol time!  Hey – maybe he’s coming around!!  He might want to take them on a few more times throughout the year!8.5.17 SS Summer Sleepover (7)8.5.17 SS Summer Sleepover (8)They were lucky to squeeze in the annual putting contest before a massive rain storm blew in!  Jake was the winner!8.5.17 SS Summer Sleepover (1)8.5.17 SS Summer Sleepover (2)Then some pizza, Monopoly, snapchat projected on the the TV (this is a first!), and a movie…that’s really packing in the activities!  No wonder they were up so late!8.5.17 SS Summer Sleepover (4)

8.5.17 SS Summer Sleepover (5)
Shauna won by being in Jail the whole time…what the heck!?

8.5.17 SS Summer Sleepover (10)In the morning there is no time for sleeping in but a little bit of breakfast and some kids on the doorstep ready to be picked up!  Maybe with a little more coaching, these kids might win them over a bit and convince them to invite them over more often 😉  Just kidding…it’s a ton work and when you’re not used to it, it can really throw you into a tailspin.  Thank you Shauna and Scott for keeping up the tradition of the summer fun sleepover!