Easter, one month later

Well, another awkward break in blogging and can only be explained by the fact that my laptop is broken, done, dead. It died a very sudden death and suddenly would not turn on at all. Let us all take a moment of silence and mourn the loss of my five year old Walmart computer.

(Single tear)

As you can imagine, this caused my photo related anxiety to go through the roof.

Cora’s ENTIRE life in pictures was on that computer. I’ve done a pretty good job of backing everything up on the external hard-drive. I have done a terrible job of printing pictures and/or creating photo books. (My goal for the summer is to work on that, pending I get a new laptop.) (Related: CJ’s poor baby book. #thirdchild.) I have done a mediocre job of blogging with said pictures.

Hence, today’s blog post about Easter, a month overdue.

May 2014 019

May 2014 061

May 2014 098

May 2014 118

May 2014 134

We spent Easter at my sister’s house in Olathe. After attending church, we cooked a delicious lunch and had an egg hunt out in the yard. I’m not sure we could look any more all American, even if we tried. My scarf had an unfortunate meeting with a Scentsy wax warmer as we were getting ready, but the oil stain was hidden indiscreetly. I can’t say the same about the orangey-vanilla scent that wafted my way whenever I took a step.

The point of that story is to say that despite looking decent in the pictures, we all have secrets that we keep. The good news is that I tell (most of) my secrets online. So if anybody would like to donate to the new laptop fund, just let me know.

I can’t promise that I’ll blog more, but I can promise to make you feel better about yourself when I do.



April Fool’s 2014

Today was a day of fun. In fact, yesterday almost felt like the day before Christmas once the kids were finally asleep. I might be an adult, but I refuse to act like one. What can I say? I’m hardcore into having fun. Honest, not hurting anybody, gets a good giggle kind of fun.

Trick #1: Phone Fun! I started the night before by taking Simon’s phone while he was asleep and posting a few “selfies” with the sleeping boy. Since I knew that he would PROMPTLY delete the pictures once he saw them, I decided to LOOM UP HIS PHONE. I am not even kidding when I say I pick up AT LEAST 10 of these tiny rubber bands a day. Finally, payback! We be looming!Trick #2: Edible Dog Poo! This recipe was super easy and I SHOCKED Bennett when I nonchalantly took a piece and popped some into my mouth. To make, mix a couple of spoons of peanut butter, a squirt of chocolate syrup, and flour together. You want enough flour to clean the sides of the bowl. Next, add a sprinkle of brown sugar to give it some “texture.” (GAG ME NOW.) Roll the chocolate pieces into logs and place it around the house.

I left a few pieces on the floor of the bathroom with toilet paper strewn about and a special pile in Simon’s room.  April fool 2014 108Trick #3: Pretend Vomit! This recipe was a little more complicated than the others. Basically you are going to mix applesauce, unflavored gelatin, lemon jello, oatmeal and cheese together. First, make the lemon Jello according to the package. Then add two tablespoons lemon Jello to a scoop of applesauce and warm it up for 30 seconds. Sprinkle the gelatin mixture into the applesauce and stir. Add the cheese and oatmeal. Finally, pour the entire mixture onto a plate and allow it to dry for a few hours. Seriously disgusting.

It was an absolutely revolting jellied mixture that could be picked up and moved. On a scale of 1-10, folks, I would give this an 11. It was worse than the dog poo and that is saying something. April fool 2014 131 Trick #4: Jello Juice! Since the vomit recipe only calls for a few tablespoons of a lemon Jello, I used the rest to make some juice. This trick is an old one, but new to sweet little Cora Jane. She was stumped when her straw wouldn’t work correctly. Simply prepare the Jello according to the package, pour into glass jars, add a straw, and place in the refrigerator.

    April fool 2014 117  April fool 2014 122April fool's dinner!

Trick #5: Chicken Pot Pie! Original recipe from here. Simply bake a frozen pie shell, add some vanilla pudding, a few starbursts for the corn and carrots, skittles for the peas, and some banana for the chicken. Throw it down on the table with a side of salad, some Jello juice, and call the kids to the dinner table.

Not surprisingly, Cora was the only child to eat any of the chicken pot pie. She’s got a sweet tooth.

April fool 2014 141

So there you go!  A very fun but exhausting day. I had a few more ideas in my head, but they will have to wait until next year. If in doubt for funny ideas, then search the internet. There are so many creative people, full of creative ideas. The dog poo and vomit recipes both came from Simon’s personal copy of “Pranklopedia,” by Julie Winterbottom.

Check it out if you are into that sort of thing, which (obviously) is the sort of book that my family totally loves. I mean, who doesn’t love fake vomit? (Don’t answer that.)

Excuses and examples

Is there anything more boring than reading a blog about why the author hasn’t been blogging? I know, right? In my self-absorbed world I imagine “the masses” being disappointed about the lack of blog posts being churned out of this little place. The truth is that nobody cares but me and maybe my Mother.

Hi Mom!

But just in case you do care about my lack of blogging, I’ve been too busy to write (or honestly, share pictures, since that is what I mostly do here) because I’ve been caught up in a little TV watching marathon.

“Downton Abbey,” if you must know. Yes, I’m like four seasons behind the curve of what it’s popular. Welcome to my life! I’m always tardy to the party of the fashionably current.

Example two of how I am not hip: I just recently purchased my first pair of colored pants. From Wal-Mart, not even kidding, for a whooping $9.94.

It's a beautiful day to walk down Mass St. // PS: my pants are from Walmart. They cost $9.94 and are super comfortable. // #mmminty #cheapismyfavorite #larryville #lawrenceks #vscocam

Where was I? Oh yes, “Downton Abbey.” A year ago (might be an exaggeration), I requested seasons 1, 2, and 3 of “Downton Abbey” from the library after hearing everyone talking about how much they loved the show.  (Example THREE: no Netflix for this behind the times family. We love the {free} Library!) As luck would have it, ALL THREE SEASONS came in at the exact same time. Since all the seasons are highly requested and can not be re-checked because of the demand, I have exactly two weeks to watch 24 hours of TV before I start getting late fines at the library.

It’s a lofty goal but I believe I can reach it. Beginners hint: turn on the sub-titles and you’ll never be confused. Also? Cora, Countess of Grantham, is my favorite character. Of course, I aspire to be the beautiful Mother who loves and protects and keeps her children’s secrets (well, except for the secrets that I spill on the blog).

Anyways, that is why I haven’t been blogging. See? I have excuses. So if you need me, you can find me on the couch.

I might even be wearing my minty-green Wal-Mart pants.

April Fool’s jokes (4 days later)

Thanksgiving dinner’s sad and thankless
Christmas dinner’s dark and blue
When you stop and try to see it
From the turkey’s point of view.

Sunday dinner isn’t sunny
Easter feasts are just bad luck
When you see it from the viewpoint
of a chicken or a duck.

Oh how I once loved tuna salad
Pork and lobsters, lamb chops too
Till I stopped and looked at dinner
from the dinner’s point of view.*

April Fool's! #yestergram #aprilfools #nevergrowup #vscocam

I love me some good shenanigans. I mean who in their right minds wouldn’t find it hilarious to open their fridge on a Monday morning and find that looking back at them?


I just used a little bag of wiggly eyes and a glue stick in order to make the magic happen. (Original idea via the Google. It’s amazing, you should try Googling “April Fool’s pranks.”) In case you are wondering, four days later and Daddy’s beer bottles are still giving him the evil eye, the colander of shriveling strawberries is still hanging out, and not a single person has touched the dyed Easter Eggs.


We also have some left-over “meatloaf” if you’re still hungry and can’t find anything good to eat in our fridge. WINK WINK.

Totally going to trick the kids with this delicious meatloaf! #aprilfools#tricksonkids#funnyman#vscocam Dinner is served: meatloaf, strawberries, and cheese. Yum yum! #aprilfools #nevergrowup #pictapgo

Nothing like some Cocoa Rice Krispie treats for supper, ‘eh?

Sure beats eating pork and lobsters, lamb chops too.

Poem written by Shel Silverstein, from his collection titled “Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings.”

Previous April Fool’s jokes: here, here, and here.

S(no)w fun (continued)

We ended up with 9 or so inches of snow last Thursday. School was canceled on Thursday and Friday which was a good thing since there was NO WAY that I could get Tighty Whitey (aka the van) up our hill. (Not that I would have even tried since Mama don’t do snow. Or hills.)

(Basically I become a hermit until the roads are 89% clear.)

My favorite meteorologist is predicting another 11-15 inches of snow starting Monday evening into Tuesday. I can handle a dusting. Even a couple of inches doesn’t bother me. But a FOOT of snow? On top of the 3 foot piles we have right now?

end of feb 2013 083

I can’t handle another 15 inches. Spring can come anytime.

Please and thank you.

Love letters

Dear Bennett,

Thank you for the Valentine card that Daddy and I received in the mail yesterday. It was so sweet of you (and your preschool teachers) to create such a wonderful and thoughtful card. For the record, I am never, ever going to throw it away. Sometimes I trash your artwork when you aren’t looking, the artwork that you create at the art center preschool that you love so much, the artwork you create at the preschool that you attend THREE mornings a week because you cried at EVERY SINGLE DROP OFF LAST YEAR.

This little card is not going in the trash, no sir. This one, Sweet Boy, is a keeper.

Just opened the mail to find this Valentine from Bennett.

You will thank me later, I’m sure!


Ps: Mama always knows best, Pumpkin!


Dear Simon,

I love you so much. I know that sometimes I am a yeller and sometimes I lose my patience with your endless bouncing and stories. I know that I sometimes scream when I have to remind you to PICK UP YOUR SHOES AND BRUSH YOUR TEETH AND GO MAKE YOUR BED I’VE ALREADY TOLD YOU TWICE. Also? I AM NOT THE MAID. I’m sorry, Simon. I am wrong to yell. How can I make it better?

The ability to ask for forgiveness and really mean it is a trait that will serve you well. You should always remember to accept responsiblity and say you are sorry when you wrong someone.

photo (1)

In fact, I can even forgive you for finding this picture on the Internet and setting it as MY contact picture on YOUR phone. I can see how it was an easy mishap and how you thought it might slightly resemble my disposition. You were wrong. It’s okay because it was a mistake. You can make it better by deleting this picture and finding another one. Maybe a picture with little pink hearts and rainbows?


PS. I was shouting just then because it is true. I LOVE YOU, kid. I LOVE YOU SO VERY VERY VERY VERY MUCH.


Dear Cora Jane,

When you grow up, the boys will say that “Cora got away with everything.” They will probably be right. You should use this to your advantage and continue to do the rotten things you do- like climbing onto the counter to turn on the water and scribbling with a permanent marker under the bathroom sink.

You’re only (almost) two once, girl.

Well played, January. #noshoes #theweatherisconfused #vscocam

Rock on with your naughty self,


Dear Matty,

This year is our 10th year of marriage. Can you believe it’s been ten years? You work so hard to provide for our family and have done so since the beginning. How many men can claim that they put down an ENTIRE hardwood floor, tiled a bathroom, and tiled a laundry room all by themselves and with minimal help? Not very many, that is for sure.

It took many FULL MOONS to get the job completed but BABY GOT BACK, MAN. You completed the job.

Translated in Germany to mean "builder's/mansoner's cleavage." In other news, the laundry floor is being finished today! #yay! #plumbersbutt #babygotback #truestory

I’m so proud of you,
Audrey Lynne

PS. I hope to celebrate another 10 years of bliss and grow very old together so just remember that crack kills, okay?

PPS. Have you seen my pencil? I have misplaced it.


Dear Readers,

Thank you for coming to read my words. Thank you for the comments you leave and for the notes on Facebook. Thank you for following me along from my move off Livejournal. Blogging is fun because you are here. Y’all are the best, seriously.

Don’t be afraid to share the link,

PS. Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope the person who loves you the most writes you a love letter as well.

PPS. No pressure, Matt.

PPPS. Maybe if you do find my pencil, Matt, you could use it to write me a love letter? Just a thought. Maybe it could be like Bennett’s card only better?

Harry Potter Wanna-Be

It started after Christmas. I’m not sure what changed but suddenly, Bennett has decided that he is no longer happy to sleep in his bed. It seems, however strangely, that he prefers to sleep outside his bedroom door and on the floor.

Actually he likes to sleep not just on the floor, no that would be silly. He wants to sleep on the floor and right on the verge of death. AKA THE EDGE OF THE STAIRS.

I walked out of nursing Cora down and found this: sleeping Bennett with his lovies. He is about 3 inches from the edge.
Our night time routine is this:  take baths, brush teeth, read books, and then the Bigs go to bed. Next, the adults go downstairs to do adult things- eat junk food on the couch without sharing, read various blogs, and watch TV without canned laughter or animated characters.

You know, the usual. We lead such exciting lives.

It seems that Bennett just can’t stand to be away. You know where this is going right? Why settle for the top of the stairs when you can just sleep ON THE STAIRS?

Apparently his bed wasn't comfortable enough. #thiskidisridiculous

Looks comfy? No?

How about this position?

Bennett Patrick- the boy who sleeps on top of the stairs, like Harry Potter in reverse. #thiskidisridiculous #harrypotter

Bennett Patrick: the boy who sleeps on top of the stairs, like Harry Potter in reverse.

Just in case you didn’t notice, he is wearing the same pants but the two previous pictures were taken on two completely different nights.

I suppose I shouldn’t complain. The kid LOVES us. He just wants to be near his fabulous parents. And, granted, at least most of the time he’s wearing pants when he goes to bed even if he’s not actually in bed.

Sweet dreams, Benn-butt.

Sweet dreams, Bennett Benn-Butt the Harry Potter wanna-be.

Sweet, sweet dreams.

Forbidden fruit found

When we went out to Great Bend this past weekend, the big boys (Simon, Roan, and Rowdy) happened to find a nudie magazine. Imagine three, small, and completely (well, mostly) innocent eight year old boys locked in the bathroom with WIDE EYES and the ultimate forbidden fruit: a copy of Playboy magazine.

I'm sorry? What's that you say? We suddenly have pre-adolescent boys in our family? OH, SHUT UP.

Roan Henry
(This is my nephew Roan Henry. Although he looks 15 years old here, he is really only eight. I promise.)

The giggles about what they discovered just wouldn't stop. Hilarious! Except if you are the Mother who is about to literally die from embarrassment because your precious, adorable baby son is using words like "balls" and "naked girls" and "suck" very loudly and crassly all while in front of his Great-Grandmother who, fortunately, can't hear a lick and thus missed the whole exchange. Then it's not really funny. Ok, FINE. Maybe it's a little bit funny now but it wasn't then. 

Rest assured, I flipped my shit out in the car on them as we pulled out of the driveway. Things like NASTY and INAPPROPRIATE and HOW COULD YOU rushed out of my mouth while my ashamed eyes bored holes into theirs. Unfortunately, Matt was not with us and oh, how I wish he had been because I did not handle the situation well at all. Mostly I was shocked at the language Simon used and the manner in which he chose to ask about the magazine. Sadly, I feel as though this first exchange of Simon openly asking questions was not a very good one. Which is honestly all well and good with me because HA, HA NOT IT on the next time the subject of naked ladies comes up. 

Let it also be known that if Simon later leads a life full of sexual promiscuity, we can fully blame his Uncle Ryan. Immediately upon hearing about the incident, he promptly texted and offered to purchase Simon his very own subscription to Playboy. He lamented the fact that he never had a cool uncle growing up. 

Sounds good to me, Ryan. Just understand that we get to keep all the free DVDs. Also? When Simon asks any questions, we are totally giving him your phone number.



Solid gold

Remember that one time I randomly found Bennett on a poster at the library? (For the full story, click here.) I'm just minding my own business and not paying attention and BAM.

There he be on the cover of a magazine poster:


(Please ignore the squishy, fake smile.)

Well, it happened to me again. I'm just minding my own business and I randomly found my picture out in public again. Last summer, when Cora was a wee tiny baby, I had my picture taken with her at the hospital. I signed a waiver (DAMN IT. THINK OF THE MONEY I COULD BE MAKING), smiled with my beautiful baby, and promptly forgot about the whole thing. Ain't no thing.

That was, if I may be so blunt, until I found my picture on a brochure.

And not just any brochure.

LMH brochure

Seriously? Seriously. My picture is now inside the cover of Lawrence's OB-GYN Specialists brochure. There are so many jokes that I could make about this whole thing. Most importantly, I feel very comfortable saying that I am now the face of gynecological care! Have issues with your vagina and or need pelvic prolapse surgery? Ask me how and I will hook a mother up, yo!

I think my sister said it best, however, when she left this SOLID GOLD comment on my Facebook:

Twat are the chances of finding yourself in the flaps of your OB's brochure?

Slim to none, Sis. Slim to none.

April Fool’s continued

This joke is a little more complicated than the joke I told yesterday. It is worth it to see your little one’s reaction though. I wouldn’t lie. I was a Girl Scout.

I do solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help me God. This joke is funny. The end.

April Fools!

First, start with some pretty and yummy oranges.

April Fools!

Cut the orange in half and remove the center until just the peel remains. Then mix up a box of orange jello. Next, drop the peel into a small cup and pour the jello mixture inside. Place the cup into the fridge.

April Fools!

After the jello has set up, pull a fast one on the kids.

Hey, Simon! Want a snack?

April Fool's

This shit never gets old. Maybe some day I will grow up. (Probably not considering that I’ve got more jokes here and here.)

Happy April Fool’s Day. Go out and create a ruckus.