Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mommy/Son Event! Mall Scavenger Hunt!

Today I had a dat with my sweet little man and we were both so excited! Time alone with only one kid doing something fun and special is precious, and often infrequent. Which is why TheMomsGroupofMonticello decided to plan one event a year for Moms and their Daughters and Moms and their Sons. Today was the Mommy/Son event and it was a Scavenger Hunt at the Mall.

So all the moms and kids gathered and we were given our insturctions....get your digital camera ready and your piece of paper and search the mall and find something for each letter of the alphabet. Then come back for snack and carousel rides. Off we went....

We had such a blast! Alaric was already running to get to the stores he had ideas for. He had a plan. It was so fun letting him be in charge. We went store to store and looked at tons of stuff and tried to be as silly as possible along the way. We laughed ALOT and went everywhere. We stopped for some candy in the candy store, some playtime in the play area, and even played a video game. It was the best! Here are a few of our favorites....







We filled up our sheet and were sad to see it end.

But we headed back to the food court for snacks and carousel rides and we loved every second!

Thanks to The Moms Group for this fun opportunity to spend the day with my favorite little boy in the world!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Visit with the Boyds...and Kunas...and More!!!

Our best friends, and Alaric's Godparents, Heather and Justin Boyd, were in town for a little bit from San Diego. We love getting to spend some time with them!

And Alaric LOVED his Godparents!
And Godsisters, Charley...

and Olivia!

I was so lucky to work out during their visit, a short trip with just Heather and the bigger kids up to Chicago to visit our other friend, Rachel at her new-GORGEOUS home in the burbs!

And the trip was even better because my two other best friends, Alicia and Jenny ( and Jen's son Michael) joined us for a few hours!

The kids all got along perfectly and enjoyed all parts of the house- even the bathtub!

The ladies ( and MJ) worked on a fun dinner together in the kitchen,

While the big kids devoured their food!and Amara got to spend some QT with her Godmother, Jenny!

The munchkins had a blast playing

and watching a movie

and I got my dream of spending an evening with all four of my best friends together!!!

I'm so lucky! Thanks for hosting us, Rachel!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I went up to ISU today to do officer training with the collegiate women. Officer Training is my favorite Zeta event each year....make fun of my all you like but facilitating Leadership Development is my bread and butter.
This group of women was amazing to work with and I also loved having the whole Advisory Board together too!

COngratulations to the Executive Council of Eta Phi Chapter- I'm so proud of you and so excited to work with you this year!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Amara now has her own Mini-me thanks to Nana's Christmas gift of making matching outfits for Mara and her Bitty Baby! Much loved.

Look at these cuties!


While others didn't mind this mild winter, The Fultons were going through withdrawl because we weren't able to do our favorite winter activity, SLEDDING! We decided to try today anyway...not alot of snow but we still made it fun!

We sled on the side of the interstate at an overpass. I remember growing up seeing others do that as we would drive and thinking they were crazy but what's crazy is that Monticello has NO OTHER options for sledding. The hills are intense and I'll only let my kids do it if there is an adult with them but its really fun!

The kids have gotten really good about going down the hill by themselves.
But we LOVE going down with them!

Its the climbing up part thats hard. Look at this sweet girl! She was so dedicated.

What a blast!

THis was the 1st sled of the day....we hadn't gotten the hang of it yet or figured out which snow to use for our tracks- SUCH A BLAST!!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Much Needed Date

Brian surprised me with a date tonight and it was amazing! We started at one of our favorite restaurants, Destiehl, and we had a sampling of beers.
And beer battered, deep fried need to say more.

We love Urban Outfitters. Not for clothes but for all the other amazing stuff- they have the best books and crazy items. We had some time to kill so this is where we headed for a few minutes of silliness....

What a great photo album, right?

He surprised me with a comedian at the Canopy Club. I've never seen a comedian live. He was amazing and we had a great time! Thanks, Brian! I loved every minute of it!.

Friday, January 13, 2012

CHildren's Museum with the Goods

No school today so my girlfriend, Melissa and I, took our kids to the Children's Museum in Decatur- one of our favorite places!!!

We have kids the same age ( except she just had a baby) and they all get along great!

We painted
and bubbled

and explored in the grocery store

and trained

We ate together and played together and loved it all.

These two check out something on the other side but my only thought when I look at these sweeties is "battle of the bows"

Elle mostly slept- great little baby!

Look at these great friends! What a fun day!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Snow Day...I mean Snowy Day

The kids woke up this morning and there was a little dusting of snow outside. They begged to go out and play. I told them only after they got dressed and did all their chores. You've never seen kids work so hard or so fast! It was great.

So at 7:20AM, I sent them out to explore. They loved catching snow on their tongues.
And Alaric got down to business right away writing his name.

Making tracks was also fun.

And when I called them in at 8Am to get ready to leave, they were wet and happy and I promised they could go out again after school and play with the neighbors.

And they did- this time, I bundled and bundled and bread bagged their feet and put socks over their wrists before their gloves and 45 minutes later, in the bitter cold, these boogers were still playing like crazy, and warm!

I love snow!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mara's snack day

Mara gets to bring snack to preschool once a month and I always like to work with her to create something that is homemade and goes with their classroom "theme" This time it was SNOW ( too bad we didn't have any) and she came up with this idea all on her own. She wanted to each child to make their own snowman.

I thought it was brilliant and off to County Market we headed. Easier said than done. Bagging up the "kits" was easy but it took me a LONG time to make this masterpiece and I told Mara NOT to touch it til after I took the picture!
She was so proud and so excited and they were a big hit! What fun it is to create with your kids and show them fun, inventive ways to make snacks extra special!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Getting the Labyrith Ready for Spring

Our church has a beautiful meditation Labyrith and garden right outside of the santuary. Its a place for peaceful reflection and time alone and also for kids to run on and squeal in delight. Its a joy to have as part of our McKinley Church campus and an even bigger honor because its called the Bechtel Family Labyrinth. In November 2009, This Labryrith was officially dedicated after years of fundraising and planning...mostly by my parents. And since then- its been enjoyed by so many. We had all these great intentions this past fall to get the hundreds of tulips my mom purchased into the ground so the area would be even more beautiful this spring but that didn't happen ( our Fall was a bit hectic). Whoever could have imagined that on a Sunday in January, when the weather was in the weather was in the 40's, we'd be outside planting bulbs, clearing out bushes, and enjoying the garden?

Everyone helped, even Jack. Thanks to Brian for pre-digging all the holes- all the kids had to do was drop in bulbs and cover.

Brian shows the kids how to place the bulb and cover and pat.

While V and Dan start the covering

Church friends stopped to chat and watch and visit

and we all had to take the opportunity to walk the path.

Proud Grammy & Papa!

Proud to be a Bechtel and proud to be a McKinlian!