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What started out as a site to update on our daughter's cancer has thankfully grown into a site to update on our beautiful family of four. Enjoy our journey...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

the forgotten

I forgot a few pictures!!! (and realized I am running into a problem, my blog is almost full - I am at 97% I think. So, I will either need to set up a second site, or delete history....that sounds so sad!!)


very excited about some doll clothes - thanks landon!!

"oh, a box mom - how fun" she said!

" YUCK - my head, it's burning...get it off of me, get it off of me"!!!!!!!!! ;-) it really is a cute hat, considering it IS an Iowa State hat.

pretty excited for the new JD toys!

Christmas Card 2010

Once again this year, I ran out of Christmas cards. I feel so bad that some of you were not able to get a card this I wanted to share a picture of it here! (cheesy, I know!) Please know that we value and appreciate each one of you - and wish you the best for 2011!!

Christmas 2010

Months of planning, shopping, hours of wrapping and cooking - and it is all done already! If only events like this were able to be celebrated as long as they deserve!

We had a good Christmas, the kids tolerated all the hustle and bustle well - leaving mom and dad tired days later! Charli was up until 11:00 one night, and didn't even attempt to close her eyes on the way home while watching her new ToyStory3 from santa!

If you ask Charli what she got, she will tell you "boy stuff" and she couldn't' be happier! The top of her list includes two airplanes, helicopter, tool bench, fishing poll, criss cross crash (hot wheels), , pillow pet, and some crafts. She did get some "girl" things that she does like - her puma clothes, doll clothes, and games...but the "boy stuff" takes priority this week!

Harper got so many gifts that he still has one under the tree that is wrapped...he lost interest in unwrapping and so did Charli -- here's your sign! He got a lot of cars, trucks, and tractors. Since Charli is in such a tomboy stage right now they are playing with toys nicely together!!!

Charli picked out my gift this year. She told Chad that I needed a bracelet. So he picked the kids up early one night and took them to Kelly Jewelry for my gift. Chad said that the nice lady took Charli around the store by herself and let her pick the ones she thought I would like. Then she let Charli try them all one. Charli picked the one I would like, and they wrapped it up. Chad's only part was paying for it. Chad said that when they got in the truck she said "daddy, next year can I pay for it...with your money"!! :) She is a great shopper, I love it!

Charli picked out Chad's gifts this year too (she kept them all a secret from us too, impressive and scary!!). She picked two John Deere tractors from Tractor Supply, a JD wallet, candy, socks, and gloves -- she was so excited to give the packages to him! It is a great age for celebration!

now he has his own couch and can leave Charli's alone! He also loves my new blanket from Courtney (thanks court)...they both always want it, so much for MY gift!! :-)

this hat was a gift to charli, a silly little hat for her to play with. She hasn't put it on yet, I think it freaks her out a little! But, harper - the hat lover that he is, likes this one too!

his new pose...if a camera is out he makes this "cheese" face

learning to use his new remote control car, which he likes to tease the dogs and his sister with! he was well accessorized at the moment as you can see! having a big sister opens a whole new world of things to play with!

Charli got my camera and got several good pictures of Harper...and many silly pictures of the door, floor, chair, and Harpers toes!

hew jammies from grandma...the three girls have matching PJ's - too cute, looks so grown up!

playing with her cousins hot wheels toy!

i told him I would post I had to follow through! This is my brother, who has his PhD in something I don't understand (makes me sound like a genius, I know!) Anyway, since he is "technically" a doctor...I couldn't resist giving him this shirt for Christmas!! ;-)

Harper got this "band in a box" type toy that we have had so much fun with! Charli forms a parade and we circle the house with our own instrument in hand and make great music. I can see a family band in our future!

Grandma let him get away with everything at her house this weekend. He was crawling up and playing with her computer, and she just couldn't tell him no...!

three best of friends!!

these two were funny together! They would hug and then two minutes later be a little less than friendly! Grant and Harper spent quality cousin time this weekend!

teamwork :-) Charli did a great job helping Harper with his gifts and not taking over for him!

very happy santa remembered her tool bench!

Charli handpicked these cookies for Santa and wrote him a note..." Santa, Love Charli Harper" and I think she was trying to draw shapes!

Harper with one of his (and mine) favorite toys!

very excited little girl!!

heading out to Christmas Eve service -- this was the best picture I could get! Charli was over the top goofy and Harper was too busy to sit still!

Charli worked VERY hard to make a birthday cake for baby Jesus! She broke the eggs, ran the mixer, put all the decorations on, and told me what to write with the frosting. She was so proud, and did a great job!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

thanksgiving at christmas

a few pictures and thoughts from Charli's first-ever Sunday School Christmas program!! ( I figured she will have approximately 36 musical programs in her future with church and school yet! ;-) )

she was very excited to have grandma and grandpa come to see her! She got to take them in the fellowship hall to see the very special letter she wrote to the angels about Jesus' birth!

Charli had her buddy Maggie!

she picked the "little gray donkey" as her costume! She was adorable and was showing me her tail here!

Charli and her buddy Lilly!

Charli and her rosy cheeks! We think she got wind-burn while helping grandpa B Saturday afternoon?!

harper's pure excitement after realizing her can stick 1/2 of his finger up his nose.

the kids having a great time...and Charli playing with the "big kids" it was amazing to see her act so grown up while she was able to "hang" with them all night! They tolerated her amazingly well, and she seemed to hold her own!

two very tired little boys by the end of the night! Braxton and Harper laying on Amada's blankie!


ha! I had to show this picture! Harper gave Braxton a "sit-n-spin" for Christmas and Braxton gave Harper a John Deere truck, trailer, and tractor. They were both more interested in the gifts they gave at first...until they realized the other one wanted it too! This was harper upset that Braxton found a way to enjoy the sit-n-spin and still try for the tractor!! Typical Christmas party with kids! Note, Braxton seems to be just fine with the situation...he is sitting and spinning and still trying for the tractor, what is wrong with that?!!

Charli and Ashtyn
Just a reminder to give all of our thanks as we celebrate Christmas. While enjoying the Christmas program this evening, I was reminded that while this year my dilemma was what Charli would wear (Because God forbid it be anything girly, or anything near that!!), there was a time in my life that I wasn't sure if we would get to celebrate these milestones with Charli! A Sunday School program may not seem like a milestone, but it sure is!! Every day, and every experience...even those we are not the most proud of, are milestones and I thank GOD for the opportunity to blog about her life...about our life to all of you who love our family! Thank you for caring enough to be here!!
Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

santas house

Santa came to visit the kids at daycare this year, so we have been lucky to not hear "when do we get to see santa" every day! (which is nice, thank you Lynn!) However, since we were not there, we did not get any pictures of the kids with him.

Charli talked his ear off and had no problem rattling off her list! Harper enjoyed sitting on his lap as well, and wanted the bucket of candy canes he had sitting next to him. Once he had that in his hand, all was well with the world.

Charli got a very special video message from Santa, which she loves to watch! The first time, when Santa made a special mention of taking care of her brother she replied "I think Harper is on your naughty list, he hit me"!

she asked Santa what kind of cookies he wanted, and reminded him that we would have special treats for his reindeers!

ahh, the look of pure delight. :-) as you can see, he was pretty excited about visiting santa...or not!


these two spend about 10 minutes doing this each night. They make funny faces and give kisses thru the glass. If you come to visit you will see their kiss-y marks all over!

Today, Charli being the cleaner that she is, wanted to clean her books and book shelf. She asked permission to do this and I told her that she could, as long as she put the books back when she was done. I told her that whatever did not make it back on the shelves, I would get to keep. Okay, no problem! Then, she got started and realized she has a TON of books! So, she informed me that she would put them aways over the next few days. When I reminded her that I would be taking whatever books were on the floor she said "then I will take them back and move to live somewhere else". Ahhh, I knew this day was coming...but certainly didn't expect it to come at the age of 4! She wasn't being snotty about it, just very "matter of fact", that if those were the rules, she was not going to follow and in turn live somewhere else! She quickly changed her mind and her books are now all on her shelf again! In the process she separated them into piles - good, interesting, not nice, informative, and funny!!!! She only had one "not nice" book, which is a book of three sisters - and two are mean to one of them!!
Merry Christmas to everyone! My next post will probably be of Christmas programs and parties! I truly hope and pray that everyone will have a blessed holiday and honestly reflect on the greatness of this celebration and what it means.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

special request

I am calling upon all of your help to lift some very special people up in prayer this evening...

Please pray for all of those families whose lives have been forever changed by cancer. There are some pretty special people out there right now living in limbo as they await information on their child's status. At this holiday time, when so many of us are counting our blessings...let us not forget the blessing of health which allows us to enjoy the quality of life we all to often take for granted. Let us remember those parents who have watched their children sleep wondering "how did this happen" and children who cry themselves to sleep with pain and anxiety.

Let us pray for answers and peace in their situations. We all have our own cross to bear, but at this time, while this weighs so heavy on my heart, I ask that you take a moment to pray for this special family. I ask that God place His healing hands on not only this child, but also the family who has dealt with so much already.

Thank you for sending prayers up, I know that God has a plan for all of these children, for these are the children who will change the world.

Monday, December 13, 2010

viva las vegas

Welcome back to reality (there is that sneaky word from a few weeks ago again!!) is what Nebraska said to us on Saturday as we got back into life from our vacation! Chad and I left on Monday for vacation to Vegas! We flew home Friday morning. We awoke to freezing temps on Saturday, a far cry from the upper 60's (which they were calling cool) we had in Vegas just 24 hours before!

Chad and I had a really great time there! We have never taken a trip without the kids, and I must say it was great and something I hope we can do again. I love my kids, no doubt about that, but there is nothing like a little get-away. It was nice to remember what it was like "before" with the luxury of still coming home to our family! Wouldn't change our world for a thing, but a break from "reality" is nice now and again!!

We saw the Blue Man Group, and two other shows while we were there. Aside from that we did a lot of walking and looking...eating and some gambling. We didn't win much of anything. I did turn $10 into $5o for my mom -- the only one who gave me money, so 'sorry bout your luck' to those who didn't do the same!! And, I turned $10 into $100 after lunch on Wednesday. However, after two meals that money is gone there!

We had several firsts on this trip, and many note worthy events..

-Chad slept in on ONE day (out a little too late the night before, not the point!!)

-I was up before 3:30 am one day (sad face!!)

-we had curtains that operated by the flip of a switch!

-we could see the Bellagio water show from our hotel room!

-we had a TV in our bathroom!

-we rode on a double-decker bus!!

-i drank a mimosa for breakfast

-chad enjoyed walking anywhere/everywhere (including a shopping mall!!) with a beer in his hand

-ran into an old college friend (from kearney) in the hotel in Vegas! (she is from Elgin, went to college in Kearney, now lives in Oklahoma, and we randomly saw each other in Vegas...not knowing the other would be there!!!) CRA-ZY!!

We did many things that we both enjoyed. I made Chad take a picture with me every day, just to bug him!! So, enjoy the several self portrait pictures...and our reasons to come home!

welcome home daddy...lets wrestle!

on top of paris, eiffel tower

I, Brenda, am NOT a fan of heights. Yet, I always go to the top of this flipping thing thinking it will be 'no big deal this time'. I am the fastest visitor up there! Gives me the chills to think of it up there!!

oh, our evening of public transportation! on this night we went with 10-12 others from Nebraska/Kansas (who were at the same convention Chad was at for work) and we decided it would be a good idea to "entertain" ourselves! Never a good idea! But, for those of you familiar with las vegas, and fremont street, you will be pleased to know that I was interviewed and projected on the very large overhead screen (where the light show is). I am CERTAIN I did Nebraska proud, certain.

enjoying my first, and probably last, mimosa! This small addition to my breakfast (which is orange juice and champagne, I think) was an $11 drink! I will have water, thank you! :-) You can tell this was early in the morning because my face has that "just woke up look" yet!

I was going to buy these for Charli, but forgot! Good thing I got the picture, because they are sure fun glasses!! =)

another picture of US! :-) Next time we will need to take a tag-along to take our picture!!

we were walking the strip this night and this guy said "here, let me take a picture with the short guy"!! :-)

the view from my hotel bed! What a way to fall asleep!!

just me an tim! I have a picture from six years ago of me and Michael Jordan from the same spot! I think I am posed the same way too...!

took this picture for Charli! Thought she might get a kick out of it! The next day we saw Superman walking around New York New York, and NO lie...he was checking Chad out! Ahhh, our memories are endless!

and awesome artist! Probably not a piece I would buy, but amazing talent none the less!

nothing says welcome to your hotel, and welcome to Vegas like this shop, which was located in our hotel! Ironically (or not) it was across the hall from a bar called "Sin City" :-)