Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Move over Van Gogh

We have an artist in the Kelly family. Kwynn loves to draw and sketch, although she is shy when it comes to showing her work. She hates for me to show it off. But I am proud of her and wanted to share a few.

Sherlock Holmes BBC version (Benedict Cumberbatch)

Thomas Andrews (designer of the Titanic)

Clara Oswin Oswald from Dr Who

A depiction of the Triangle Fire

Ghosts of Chernobyl

And she's only 15! Can't wait to see what else she creates! And if you can believe it...she's a better writer than artist. She has published some of her stories online and has followers. I am so proud of her! 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013

Our family had another lovely Christmas...spent with those we love! 

Here's a quick recap:

MONDAY December 23rd our little family celebrated Christmas with dinner out and opening gifts

 Corynn received a much desired pair of cowgirl boots! She's wanted her own pair since she outgrew Gma Kelly's. 

Corynn made her sisters burlap pillows representing their fandoms. Kwynn's says "Number 10" for the 10th doctor on Doctor Who and McKynna's is a stag silhouette for Hannibal. 

TUESDAY December 24th was spent at our home with the Kelly clan. Luke and Amy came in from Omaha for the day and John's parents came over. We spent the afternoon together. I didn't get many photos...bummer! 

Boys being boys and Kynna just shaking her head. Kind of funny! 

Our 6 year old nephew showing me how he twerks. hmmmm. Silly kid. 

WEDNESDAY December 25 was spent in GI town with my mom and grandparents. 

Evie snagged the house phone and pretended to call people all night. At least I think she was pretending...we may be hearing from the grandparents when they get their bill. :)

And our 4 generation photo...

It was truly a lovely Christmas! 
Many blessings to all this new year! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas break

I love Christmas time. Not necessarily because of the gifts and Santa and the trees and stockings etc etc etc. But because there is a change in atmosphere. People are usually a little kinder. The kids a little better. The weather bitterly cold leaving us to snuggle at home and stay cozy by the fire. My favorite part of the holiday is spending time with family! We have no tradition when it comes to holidays except that our plans always include family time. And I'm ok with that. That's a pretty great anchor to ground our holidays and help us focus on the true meaning. 

Christmas break officially starts tomorrow at 9:30am for the twins (they only have one class final tomorrow) and 2:53pm for Corynn. I'm not going to lie...I'm really excited! I like having the kids home...the bickering I could do with out- but for the most part it's great! 

I'm still working on the other blog. Hoping to work all this out over Christmas break. Transfer all my projects and fun stuff over to the other one and get this one back to what it once was. A journal. My journal. My take on mothering, being a wife and raising our chaotic bunch. Posts haven't been coming as easy as they once did and I think that's because I lost focus of what I wanted this to be. This is my autobiography of sorts. Something that my children can look back on and share with their families. A place to preserve family memories, stories and events. I choose to share it with family and friends. But it is really for me and my family. So hopefully I can get all this sorted out over the next week or so and start fresh January 1st! 

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cutting back on Zombie time

It's no secret that our family (mostly just John, Corynn and I) love zombies...especially the tv show Walking Dead. It dvr tapes from 8-9 and most Sunday nights you will find us in our bed watching the latest episode. Corynn comes in with a snack, Evie plays around the room and we get cozy under the blankets and watch the zombies eat people. I say cozy...but I really mean we get under the covers so we can pull them over our eyes when needed. 

What I hadn't realized... is that Evie is taking in more than I thought.

Just the other day I noticed her crawling on all fours and growling. I thought she was pretending to be an animal...she loves her animal book and likes to practice the animal sounds. Then she snuck up on me while I was doing dishes and acted like she was eating my leg. Hmmmmm. 

me: "Are you being a bear, Evie?" 

Evie: "no. "

me: "Are you pretending to be a dinosaur?" 

Evie: "no." 

me: "hmm. What are you, silly girl!?"

Evie: "A zmbeeeee." 

me: "A what?"

Evie: "a zmbeeeee"

me: "huh."

I had no idea what she was trying to say, but later it dawned on me that she was trying to say ZOMBIE. I asked her if she was a zombie and she shook her head in happy approval. Freaking lovely.

It's a good thing she only pretend bites...we may need to have a talk if it escalates. But for now- I am alerting any and all visitors to our home. Evie may try to nibble on you. But if she does...that means she likes you!

You've been warned. :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013


I love snowflakes! The big fluffy airy ones. We were lucky enough to enjoy watching those fall all weekend long! It was amazing!

Last year I casually snapped this photo of some snowflakes as I was waiting for the kids to get out school.

The intricate delicate crystals are amazingly beautiful! I'm now hooked on trying to photograph the perfect snowflake. 

AND then there's these beauties...that I can enjoy every day! 

The twins and I cut out snowflakes Friday evening (per the advent calendar day 6)...it was alot of fun! 

Thanks pinterest for the instructions- otherwise ours would have looked like they were made by kindergartners. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I'm making this blog private. I will start a public one for projects, crafts and party idea, decorations etc so that I can still share fun ideas. Which is located here. I haven't set it up yet, but the blog address is up. I'll start transferring previous posts and setting up the page soon.

Anyway...if you would like to continue reading about our family and our chaotic musings- all you have to do is send me an email or comment to this post. And I will add you. I'm pretty open (hence the blogging!) So the next time you come to this blog you will be asked to sign in with your email. Invite only kind of thing! oooooooh! Makes ya feel special, huh!?

Thanks a bunch!!


Our family is adjusting to some devastatingly sad news. John's mom is struggling with breast cancer for a third time. I'm not going to give you a play by play of what's going on -I'm pretty sure HIPA wouldn't approve! Is HIPA even around anymore!? Either way- cancer is cancer and cancer sucks! There is no eloquent way to phrase that...it just does!

In an effort to show her support and to give to the cause, they donated almost 2 feet of hair to the Beautiful Lengths program sponsored by Pantene. It was their idea, their decision and their small personal act of love for Nancy. Corynn didn't have enough to donate by wanted to show her support by cutting her hair super short in a pixie cut. This was a big thing for her- she has been trying to grow her hair out for months.

                           I love these girls and their sweet hearts! They are such great kids!

Monday, December 02, 2013


We have started our Advent Calendar for the season and I thought I would share it with you!

I made the calendar and talked about that here. But actually coming up with daily things and gifts was the hard part! Also the timing...like making sure that we make gingerbread houses on a weekend, because week nights are always crazy busy.

I also found little gifts to incorporate...I explained to the girls (Evie's too little to understand Santa and the older ones already know we believe in the spirit of Santa rather than the chubby man in a red suit) that their stockings may be a little light this year, because we are doing the calendar too! They didn't care at all and are totally thrilled with the idea!

I also attached little clues to the bags...like the snowflake ornament, cookie cutter and holiday light. Some gifts were obviously too big for the little burlap bags...so they are wrapped and labeled with their corresponding number. The tag in the bag will alert them if there is a gift too. For example, "Stay toasty and warm with a cup of hot cocoa! p.s. open gift #3"

So here are our activities!!

  1. chocolate truffle
  2. Hug your sisters
  3. Hot chocolate (travel coffee mugs for each)
  4. Write or call a grandparent
  5. Grinch poo (green tic tacs with little poem...follow the link)
  6. Cut out snowflakes (snowflake ornament)
  7. monogrammed playing cards
  8. Make gingerbread houses
  9. Gather clothes to donate from closets
  10. Share your favorite Christmas memory (thumb drives for each)
  11. Do 5 good deeds today
  12. Compliment someone (pack of gum)
  13. Listen to everyone's favorite Christmas song (iTunes card)
  14. Drive around and look at Christmas lights (holiday lightbulb)
  15. Decorate sugar cookies for neighbors (cookie cutter)
  16. Read a Christmas book
  17. Make someone smile (chapstick)
  18. Make a list of 10 things you are grateful for (pencil)
  19. crocheted scarves (made by me!)
  20. Watch a Christmas movie together
  21. Mistle toes (nail polish)
  22. Make a snowman, snow angel or have a snow ball fight 
  23. Notecards personalized for each girl
  24. Christmas pajamas
  25. Merry Christmas...check your stockings! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Oh say can you see?

Corynn's 5th grade class was chosen to sing the National Anthem at a home hockey game for the Lincoln Stars last Friday. It was a fun night. I've only been to one other hockey game and that was about 11 years ago. I went with my best friend, Kristina. We had no idea what we were doing, or watching or what to expect. It was crazy! A complete 180 degree swing from NE football games. The fans are rowdy, slightly inebriated (in some cases MORE than slightly) and shouting curse words at the other team. Based on my previous experience I was a little concerned at how this was going to work with a bunch of children in the stands.

But it was all good. The fans we were seated by were fine. There was an awkward moment when two hockey players started fighting. I wanted to cheer...you are supposed to cheer...but I was also surrounded by 50 fifth graders and various family members and I didn't think was probably the best thing to do. So I quietly cheered and rooted for the Stars' player. The kids all seemed to enjoy themselves and it was a fun thing for their grade. Plus John and I were able to go with Corynn alone. The twins stayed home and watched Evie. And to make it even better- Corynn's aunt, uncle and two cousins came too!

And the game turned out to be a pretty good one! The Stars won in a shoot out 4-3! Woohoo!

Here's Corynn's class. The went out on the ice prior to the announcement of the teams. 

Corynn is the second from the right- in the white t-shirt with black long sleeves. 
The actual singing of the National Anthem was so adorable! I sometimes forget how young they are...just ten years old! I taped it for the grandparents- so so sweet! 

the gang: Amy, Ryan, Sam, John and Luke. (Corynn wasn't back from performing yet.) 

Corynn had a blast and it was fun to hang out with the cousins! Such a neat experience for kids and something I'm sure she'll remember for a long time! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

a quick catch up

These past few weeks have gotten away from me. So here are some of the happenings going on in/at the Kelly household. 

I just had to share this pic. The boy is the son of some close family friends. This was Halloween...isn't it cute! Him and his girlfriend (yes, they are only 10) were a zombie boy scout and zombie girl scout. 

Kwynn dressed in period clothes for a Titanic presentation in Oral Communications class. 

The twins are working on teaching Evie chess...hmmmmm

I clipped and dried the last of my herbs before the frost came. 

I went from this

to this. The long hair was bugging me. Couldn't help it...had to cut it off. 

 And I found a fantastic new pumpkin whoopie pie recipe! YUM and it's super easy! You can check it out here! Although I used caramel sauce instead of maple syrup in the icing. 

And that's what we've been up to!  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thankful series part 6

I am thankful for my husband, John! 

John and I met when were pretty young. I was 15 and he was 17. He had actually been a friend of my older brother, before meeting me. He knew Jared had a little sister, but wasn't quite sure how old I was because he had never seen me. Then as fate would have we met. Our eyes locked from across the room and everything else going on seemed to fade away. Eventually I popped out of my puppy love stupor and Jared and John left. But that night I asked Jared a million questions about 'the boy' that he had left with earlier. After talking a bit, I told Jared that I wanted to meet him. Jared told me to forget it because I was too young and he already had a girlfriend. I just smiled.

About three months later, we were dating. And have been together pretty much ever since. I didn't have alot in common with John's friends, so we spent tons of time just hanging out and talking. I made him laugh and he made me feel special by listening to me. It's crazy to think our twins are just about the age I was when I met my future husband. YIKES!

Marrying your high school sweetheart isn't all xoxox! We had a bumpy road. We had some growing up to do, while being married with two babies. It almost didn't work. It was really hard and we decided to take a break and re-evaluate. Is this what we really wanted? Were we willing to compromise? Were we willing to focus less on ourselves and more on each other and our family? Were we ready to grow up and make this work? I am so happy we both agreed we were. We made a promise at that point- that no matter what- we were making this marriage work. One of the best decisions I ever made. I love this guy so much! We butt heads, annoy one another and know how to push each other's buttons. But part of marriage is working through those issues, riding out the storms and doing it together. Marriage is give and take, sharing and sacraficing. It's making the best out of each situation.

John and I have experienced many trials in our short 15 year marriage. We've been separated, had a child with a medical issues, financial problems, moves (7 in 8 years), we've miscarried multiple times, coped with my mom's near death health situation, his mom's cancer, the deaths of our beloved grandmas and crazy extended family members (both of my brother's have lived with us.)

And despite all that, I am so lucky to have had John by my side! To let you know how lucky I am- I would like to share a little story.

It was Christmas night 2005. It was about 8:30pm, we were staying at my mom's house. The girls were already asleep and mom and I were visiting and watching a movie. John went to meet up with a childhood friend who was in town visiting family. Nancy called to let us know that Ralph (John's great uncle) had passed on. It was a short call and I was thankful for that. My heart sank. I loved that man. He was seriously one of most genuine, kind hearted, lively people I had ever known. We had grown close those last few years. I called John. "I know you are with your friend, but I just wanted to let you know your uncle passed away. Your mom just called." He quickly said "k." and hung up. Ralph had been sick for awhile, so I thought maybe John was just saying 'K- thanks for the update.' Before I could think about it much more, he came through the door. He didn't say anything and just gave me hug. He kept saying "Audra, I'm so sorry. So so sorry." AND IT WAS HIS UNCLE! But he put my grief and feelings above his own in that moment. It's what I needed and he knew it!

And that's why I'm so thankful for John!