Life has felt extra busy lately.  With summer coming to a close, county fairs, vacations, church and community activities – we’ve all been on the run!  When Sawyer said all she wanted for her birthday was to do Legos with her friends,  I was sold!

She’s really gotten into building Lego sets in the past year (and even worked through a chore chart to purchase a Lego house!  It was huge and she has had a lot of fun putting it together and playing with it).

We kept things pretty simple and played a little Lego Friends bingo, painted boxes to store our Legos in and then built a Lego set.  She hand-picked a set for each of her friends and she did a great job – no one had any of the ones she picked for them!

We all had a really good time!  It was a nice, fun birthday party with some nice, fun girls!

Of course, I had to make her a Lego girl shirt for the occasion.  She looked precious!

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The Lego bunting made the whole party! It was a cheap, easy wow factor!

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We used all of Sawyer’s Lego sets for decor.

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We got Sawyer this little set for her birthday – the classic Lego man in a birthday cake! She loved it!

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Bingo was a way bigger hit than we imagined! These girls were Bingo queens!

The winners got edible Legos - what could be better?

The winners got edible Legos – what could be better?

After bingo, it was time to paint!

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Painting their boxes

Painting their boxes

There was only one paint spill and it was just the birthday girl's brush water...I'd call that a success!

There was only one paint spill and it was just the birthday girl’s brush water…I’d call that a success!

Next, it was time for Lego building!

DSC_0123DSC_0121Then, it was time for cake and presents!  She had such generous friends and got some really fun things!

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Lego cake from mom's kitchen...  Sweet girl thought it was wonderful and that's all that matters!

Lego cake from mom’s kitchen… Sweet girl thought it was wonderful and that’s all that matters!

Her smile in this picture melts me.  She's not my most expressive kid (read: dramatic) so a genuine smile like this is the best!

Her smile in this picture melts me. She’s not my most expressive kid (read: dramatic) so a genuine smile like this is the best!

May all your dreams come true, sweet one!

May all your dreams come true, sweet one!

I bought a silicone Lego mold and we froze pink and purple Kool-Aid to make ice cubes that we put in our Sprite!  The girls had more fun mixing up their drinks and making them change colors.

Pretty in pink with her pink and purple drink!

Pretty in pink with her pink and purple drink!

We sent this girls home with Lego necklaces and rings made by Sawyer and a Lego cup, like the Lego characters hold in all of the sets – super cute!

DSC_0120And then?  They each got a kitten!

DSC_0131 HA!  We tried to find them all a home, but only one got to become a house cat.  ;)

We are so proud of our sweet Sawyer girl and would do just about anything for that little sweetie!  She felt so loved this weekend.  She is such a great friend and we pray she always has a good group of friends around her that point her to the Lord.

Happy birthday, sweet Sawyer!  You are so loved!

Summer So Far

Today is the *official* first day of summer…but we’ve been calling it “summer” for well over a month now.  Lucky for us {insert sarcasm here} summer is really showing off and it’s supposed to be over 100 today.  Gag.

Despite the heat wave, we’re really enjoying our summer!  The kids are at such fun ages and we’re in a season where life is relatively easy again.  (I know, I know…it’s time to have another!  We’ll have to see about that…)  We’ve tried to take full advantage of our time and resources and do some fun things!

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We started June with a birthday party for the big guy!  He turned 35 this year and has been wanting to have a Minute to Win It party with some of our favorite friends so, that’s what we did!

The birthday boy

The birthday boy

We played silly, ridiculous games – and had a blast while doing so!

Unwrapping candy with oven mitts

Unwrapping candy with oven mitts

The classic knock the water bottles over with pantyhose on your head game...

The classic knock the water bottles over with pantyhose on your head game…

At the end of the night, this team DOMINATED the competition…which, I mean, look at them.  Bonafide athletes, all of them!

Minute to Win it Champs!

Minute to Win it Champs!

We made their trophies out of something from each of the games we played.  If they made it home, I’d be impressed!  HA!

Trophy time

Trophy time

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Sawyer got a new horse from her friend Mr. Jeff.  This sweetie’s name is LuLu and we. are. in. love!

Sawyer and LuLu

Sawyer and LuLu

LuLu is strong and stout and as sweet as they come.  She loves to eat treats from your hand and will stand all day where you tell her to.

On her first ride!

On her first ride!

These two are going to make a lot of good memories together…  We just have to keep the fighting down when it comes to who gets to ride her!

We love LuLu!

We love LuLu!

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A mobile Children’s Museum came to town so we checked that out!  It was fun enough inside.  The kids got to build and color and explore…

Testing out his foam house

Testing out his foam house

Playing with tops

Playing with tops

Petting the buffalo

Petting the buffalo

Making a magnet house

Making a magnet house

The best fun was outside!  They had a chore challenge race that was a LOT of fun!  They had to move the cow, throw the “cow patties”, haul the corn, churn the butter and shoot a buffalo!  The kids had a BLAST at this station!

Moving the cow

Moving the cow

Tossing those patties!

Tossing those patties!

Hauling her corn

Hauling her corn

Churning some butter

Churning some butter

Sayble's turn!

Sayble’s turn!

She loved every bit!

She loved every bit!

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Of course, we’ve already hit up Cody Park!

First ride on the carousel

First ride on the carousel

Sweet sisters

Sweet sisters

These two had a ball!

These two had a ball!

Sayble loved the train

Sayble loved the train

Love this pic...

Love this pic…

This is their favorite ride because it's FAST!

This is their favorite ride because it’s FAST!

Sayble loved holding the tickets

Sayble loved holding the tickets

I’m sure there will be a few more trips here for some good, cheap fun!

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We celebrated Father’s Day with this sweet guy!

He is so loved!

He is so loved!

We had yummy food (his love language – ha!), watched shows with snacks (Wryder’s idea), rode horses and played outside!

Daddy's girl

Daddy’s girl

Silly goose!

Silly goose!

Twins

Twins

My kiddos are so incredibly blessed to have this guy as a daddy.  He received two different father’s day cards in the mail that BOTH said, “I believe you are the kind of father that the Lord intended men to be.”  I couldn’t agree more…

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We just got home from a mini-vacation to Kansas!  Wrex had to go to the feedyard down there so we tagged along and had some fun when he was done!

Cute as buttons!

Cute as buttons!

We stayed at fun motel that had bunkbeds for the kids, checked out the local zoo (it’s free!!) and then went to the new indoor water park called Parrot Cove.  It. Was. A. BLAST!

Sawyer LOVES flamingos!

Sawyer LOVES flamingos!

Sassy cat

Sassy cat

This one just wanted to roar...

This one just wanted to roar…

At the water park

At the water park

They had 4 little kid slides, a lazy river, several pools, a rock climbing wall, 4 big water slides – it was a LOT of fun!  We can’t wait to go back!

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Sure do love these littles…and they’re only little once.  We do our fair share of work around here…we kinda like to work hard and play hard.  Can’t wait to see what the rest of summer brings!

RaRa Robin

Wrex bought an old, bred milk cow that Wryder really took a liking to.  He named her RaRa Robin (after his grandma).  She’s the sweetest ole thing…and she really loved him, too.

Wryder and RaRa

Wryder and RaRa

We all waited so patiently for her to have her baby and prayed and prayed that the kids would be able to watch see that baby born.

In the days before she calved, Wryder took such great care of her.  He’d walk to the corn stalks south of our house and grab a couple of partial ears of corn, bring them home and shell them for her.

Shellin' corn

Shellin’ corn

We’d been watching her and checking on her every few hours every day.  Wrex was even getting up in the night to check her.  One Monday morning, they went out to check her and then Sawyer came runnin’ back to the house telling me that RaRa’s water bag was hanging out!

I threw some shoes out and sure enough, a baby was about to be born!  Wryder brought a lick tub over outside the fence and within 10 minutes, the kids got to see LIFE!

Good momma!

Good momma!

RaRa had a sweet little heifer calf that Wryder has named – are you ready for this?  Betty Harbor Baby Whanny Kroeker Phipps.  Ahem.

Wryder and Betty

Wryder and Betty

Despite that big ole bag RaRa has, there’s not much milk to be had so we all made the decision to sell her so that Wryder could buy a cow to really get his herd started, just like Sawyer did at four.

My big boy was so brave!  He loved sweet RaRa but understood that it was the responsible thing to do.  He didn’t cry at all…and I bawled all day!

One last goodbye

One last goodbye

Love this sweet boy

Love this sweet boy

He took her to the sale barn with dad on Monday and got her sold.

Watchin' her sell

Watchin’ her sell

This boy is just one of the sweetest, funnest, brightest balls of energy I’ve ever met!  Saying goodbye to a good friend – even when that friend is an animal – is never easy and he did it with such grace.  So proud of my brave boy.  Here’s to finding the next great one!

Worth 1,000 Words – Dance Dance Dance

For Sawyer’s 6th birthday, we signed her for dance lessons.  She’s taken jazz and tap lessons for the past year and has really enjoyed herself!

She finished up her 4th recital for the year and did so well (and looked as cute as a button)!

Beautiful dancer!

Beautiful dancer!

Quick photo with mom before she hit the stage

Quick photo with mom before she hit the stage

Blue suede shoes

Blue suede shoes

Space jam...with her tongue out!

Space jam…with her tongue out!

Cute little toot!

Cute little toot!

Brother was awfully proud of her and picked out a hot pink rose for her!

Melt. My. Heart.

Melt. My. Heart.

So sweet

So sweet

Seriously?!  Swoon.

Seriously?! Swoon.

We’re gonna take the summer of and see what this next fall will bring!

Save

Save

Mother’s Day 2017

I’ve had some really good Mother’s Day celebrations…like last year, celebrating a less than week old Sayble.

I’ve had some not-so-great Mother’s Day celebrations…like the year Wryder was born and I was sicker than a dog.  I mean, SICK.

This year?  This year was one for the record books – it was just a really, really good day.

The kids had me stay in bed until they said I could come out.  Well, if you insist!

Wrex had breakfast cooked and they had some really fun gifts and cards and pictures for me – melt my heart!

Happy Mother's Day, mom!

Happy Mother’s Day, mom!

A Lego Mother's Day wish!

A Lego Mother’s Day wish!

My card from Wryder.  Just WOW.

My card from Wryder. Just WOW.

We spent some time outside and then I got to spend the majority of the day with the girl who made me a momma as she performed in her last dance recital of the season.

When she was all done, we came home and hung out with the rest of the family outside because it was beautiful!  We took a little golf cart tour into the neighboring pastures and Wryder got to show me the dead cow he’d seen – a real treat!  Ha!

I remember going through a season where being called “mom” (by a friend, out of sarcasm and a nod to my mature, responsible nature) felt like an insult.  I was young!  I was fun!  I wasn’t a mom!  I don’t quite know what was going on in my heart…but just let me say oh, how the tides have turned.  There’s not much sweeter to my ears than hearing, “Mom/Momma.”  (I mean, the 580th time on a Friday, I might not enjoy it as much as the first time I hear it on a random Tuesday, but still…)

Being “momma” is a badge I wear with pride! So thankful for these sweet little cubs – some of my favorite people/best friends/the most wonderful little humans on the planet!  They are the product of our love, our reward, our heritage.

My babies

My babies

It’s an amazing thing to have the opportunity to shape the future by what you spend your time on and pour into today.  Nothing is wasted in the Kingdom of heaven and nothing is wasted in motherhood – no hug is addled, no words will return void, no teaching or training or correcting will turn up empty.  It ALL matters.  I am thankful I get to be the full time shoe tier, hands washer, book reader, swing pusher, hair brusher, nap time tucker in-er, school teacher, morning pray-er, owie kisser…

I’m thankful for their daddy, too – for lots of reasons – but especially for the fact that he works so diligently so that I can be at home during the week to actually BE momma.

Good gosh, I love this man

Good gosh, I love this man

Some days in mommyland are just plain hard.  Some days are just plain cake.  But all of them?  All of them are worth it.

Cheers, mommas!

Worth 1,000 Words: As of Late

Just a few of my favorites as of late…

I rooted for the Chiefs last weekend...in my Bronco's gear, of course!

I rooted for the Chiefs last weekend…in my Bronco’s gear, of course!

And loved on this little sweetie...

And loved on this little sweetie…

She's definitely a snuggle bug!

She’s definitely a snuggle bug!

Wryder had his first big boy cleaning and he did SO great!  No cavities!

Wryder had his first big boy cleaning and he did SO great! No cavities!

This girl LOVES to write and color!

This girl LOVES to write and color!

And she loves her tummy - ha!

And she loves her tummy – ha!

These three sat all in a row to watch a little show.  Swoon.

These three sat all in a row to watch a little show. Swoon.

I don't get to snuggle this guy very often so I sure soak it up when I do!

I don’t get to snuggle this guy very often so I sure soak it up when I do!

Cutest little Valentine I know!

Cutest little Valentine I know!

Bound by the Spirit

Pain is pain…

Hurt is hurt…

Illness is illness…

Worry is worry…

Sorrow is sorrow…

Affliction is affliction…

no matter where you live or what color your skin is or what language you speak or what you do for a living or what you call home…

On the other hand…

joy is joy…

commiseration is commiseration…

sympathy is sympathy…

sympathy is empathy…

love is love…

no matter where you live or what color your skin is or what language you speak or what you do for a living or what you call home…

So thankful that the Lord gave us the ability to communicate simply through compassion.   Let us love our neighbors today and everyday.  Let us be bound by the Holy Spirit out of our love for Christ.  Let THAT rule us.  Let THAT move us.  Let THAT be what motivates us.

On a day where satan so badly wants to divide us, let us let the love of Christ bind us.

Lord, may the words of our mouths, the acts of our hands, the meditations of our hearts bless you…and may you bless America.

God bless the USA!

God bless the USA!

Mesa Is Growing Up Up Up!

I had the privilege of throwing a birthday party for a SA-WEET little one year old today!  I adore her and her little family and we couldn’t wait to honor her – we are so glad that she was born!

She sure is!

She sure is!

We went with a hot air balloon theme…and I’m not really sure why except that I thought it would be cute?!  Is that a good enough reason??

Those cloud balloons, though...

Those cloud balloons, though…

Everything was pink and white and minty blue/green.  We made hot air balloons out of paper lanterns and berry baskets and I found the cutest cloud balloons and cups to go with our dinner ware.

The spread

The spread

Up, up and away!

Up, up and away!

We made cloud and hot air balloon bunting and had it hanging in the window…

Happy birthday, indeed!

Happy birthday, indeed!

We had 12 months worth of pictures of our little sweetie hanging on the mantle…

Sweet baby Mesa

Sweet baby Mesa

It was so festive in here!

It was so festive in here!

We made giant hot air balloons out of, well, giant balloons and apple baskets!  They turned out so cute!

The big kids had fun in these!

The big kids had fun in these!

The whole shebang!

The whole shebang!

We got to hang out with Mesa and her momma most of the day – always a treat in my book!

Pretty girls!

Pretty girls!

The kids were so excited to give her her gift and kept wanting to pose with it themselves!

Take my picture, mom!

Take my picture, mom!

She finally got to play with it and I think it was a hit!

Tea time!

Tea time!

Good gravy, she's cute!

Good gravy, she’s cute!

Once the daddies got home from the sale barn, we played tea party, a few Wii games and then the real party started!

Sayble got to sit in the booster so that our guest of honor could have the high chair.  Needless to say, she thought she was big stuff!  I don’t think she was quiet the entire dinner!

She was full of all kinds of antics, including the towel on her head!

She was full of all kinds of antics, including the towel on her head!

Mesa really loved the balloons on her seat…and the pancakes, too!

Where's Mesa?!

Where’s Mesa?!

There she is!

There she is!

Waiting (patiently) for cake time!

Waiting (patiently) for cake time!

We made her a hot air balloon cake and she was so cute trying to blow that candle out!

Cake time!

Cake time!

Wondering what the heck this thing was!

Look at that face!

Hurry and sing so I can eat the cake instead!

Hurry and sing so I can eat the cake instead!

Let's do this thang!

Let’s do this thang!

Eatin' it by the fistfuls!

Eatin’ it by the fistfuls!

Startin' to get full...

Startin’ to get full…

One more little bite...

One more little bite…

Oh, Mesa Moo…we sure do love you!

The Phipps Five and Mesa Moo!

The Phipps Five and Mesa Moo!

We bless the day you were born!  May you embrace your role as the daughter of the Lord of the Lords, the first born, a princess of the King of Kings.  We pray you run to Him all the days of your life.  He is worthy of your adoration and you are worthy of His love.  Can’t wait for number two!

The Calm Before the Storm

For a January day, it sure was a nice enough one!  We’re all bracing for a nasty snow and ice storm that’s supposed to roll in tomorrow, but today?  Today was pretty pretty.  (I think the lack of wind helped as much as anything!)

Sayble has been dying to go outside since she’s gotten her wheels under her, but it’s been REALLY cold prior to today.

As dad got ready to head outside to do chores, Sawyer and Wryder wanted to go to.  Well, once Sayble saw them suit up, she sure wanted to join in the action.  We got her all bundled up and out and the door we went!

How cute is this little toot?!  Can you see her under there?

How cute is this little toot?! Can you see her under there?

I bet she walked a good mile or more this morning, quite a ways with her little legs!

She looked so tiny next to the house...

She looked so tiny next to the house…

Of course, we had to stop and pet the doggie…

Sweet ole Booey

Sweet ole Booey

and the kitties…

Say and Tractory.  Wonder who named that one?!

Say and Tractory. Wonder who named that one?!

and haul one around…

Say with Damilla Willa.  Don't ask.

Say with Damilla Willa. Don’t ask.

We spent some time at the park with brother and sister…

Good grief I love these kiddos...

Good grief I love these kiddos…

then we spent a little time swinging before heading inside for a peanut butter sandwich!

Pure joy!

Pure joy!

Who knows what this weather will actually bring…but we took advantage of today!

A Little of This, A Little of That

The kids got Wendy’s coupons for free Junior Frosties a while back and we decided to use those puppies for Fun Friday!

This girl loves her sweets!

This girl loves her sweets!

She ate the whole thing by herself!  (Don't even think of helping her with that spoon!)

She ate the whole thing by herself! (Don’t even think of helping her with that spoon!)

These 2 enjoyed theirs as well!

These 2 enjoyed theirs as well!

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Earlier this week, as we were rushing around getting ready for Awana/Cubbies, I looked at the calendar and with about 12 minutes to spare, saw it was a “crazy hair day.”  Normally, we would fall under that category anyways but we wanted to go with something a little more purposeful.

We decided upon a donut..on a donut plate.  I made a quick bun and an even quicker donut frosting with sprinkles out of foam.  (Have I told you how much I love foam??  LOVE that stuff.)  Thankfully, this had a sticky back and we stuck it right to her hair!

Cute as a button and sweet as...a donut!

Cute as a button and sweet as…a donut!

Of course, with all the picture taking, Wryder wanted in on the action.

Ready for Cubbies!

Ready for Cubbies!

One handsome rascal!  He picked out his entire outfit all by himself.  Swoon.

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We got a new game for Christmas called “Life on the Farm.”  The kids couldn’t wait to bust it out and it really is fun to play, for a couple of country kids especially.  You get to buy and sell cows for the most part – right up dad’s alley, too.

Dad had spread himself kind of thin and had to pass up an opportunity to buy cows for a really cheap price.

Sawyer:  “Wait, why in the world would you pass on a cattle auction?”

Oh, yes, a girl after her daddy’s heart…

Life on the Farm

Life on the Farm

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We’ve started school again (after a lengthy and well-deserved Christmas break).  This time around, Sayble is only napping once a day instead of two, so we’re all trying to figure out what that looks like as far as school (and mom’s sanity) goes.

Lately, there’s been a lot of this:

Pen thief!

Pen thief!

This sweet little thing LOVES to write!  As long as we can keep it on paper, I’m A-ok with that!

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Over New Year’s, we all traveled to North Platte to do some post-Christmas shopping/errand running and Wrexy insisted on pedicures for the girls!  (We didn’t object much!)

Time for our toes!

Time for our toes!

I sure love this girl...

I sure love this girl…

Sawyer had her first one before her 5th birthday and has loved them ever since!

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We also took a tour of the Perkins County Museum!  It’s in a beautiful, historic home right off Main street and she’s been wanting to go in for a while.  That morning, I just happened to see that they were open so I surprised her with a visit!

She loved the phonograph!!

She loved the phonograph!!

The icebox was pretty cool, too!

The icebox was pretty cool, too!

It was really neat and our tour guide was just as sweet as pie!  So many cool things to see but I loved the old school house, but didn’t get a picture.  What the what?!

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We have the privilege of throwing a sweet one year old’s birthday party this next week!  I’ve been working on cutting and stringing and all kinds of little paper crafts.  I can only give you a sneak peek for now but I’ll make sure and post lots of pictures after the fact!

Someone's growing up...

Someone’s growing up…

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It feels like we’re getting back into our routine again after the holiday season.  We’re currently bracing for a snow/ice storm that we’re all hoping isn’t as bad as the meteorologists are predicting.  I’m hoping to get get my fair share of football games in if the electricity will stay on!

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