My mad scientists


Charlie got home from school, found  his special gloves and mask, started mixing soap, ice, salt and water and began stirring vigorously. Then Jack joined in. 

Every once in awhile Charlie yells out, “This is my introduction!” 

And I reply, “I think you mean ‘concoction’ Charlie.”

Meanwhile Natalie has joined in and they’re all practicing their evil laugh. 

I hope they’re as excited to clean up this mess as they are making it! Oh boy…. 😄 

My Heart

This morning I got home from dropping the kids off at school and began approaching the mess in the house.  I saw Charlie’s lunch box from yesterday and began to unpack it.  I threw away the empty bags, put the dirty tupperware in the sink and then saw this red napkin…

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Oh!  My heart just burst and broke a little…

About a week ago Charlie had asked me something like, “Do you love me a lot?”  And I replied, “Yes, Charlie, I love you so much!”  And I gave him a big hug.  Then Charlie explained to me how one of his classmates gets a napkin in his lunch box and his mom writes to him and tells him how much he loves him.  And Charlie thought that little boy’s mom loved him even more than I love Charlie.

And guess what?  I forgot.  It was a sweet conversation, but most days my kids choose to eat from the school cafeteria and don’t pack a lunch.  And when they pack a lunch, I make them do a lot of it themselves.

So when I saw that sweet little note, I felt a little sad I had forgotten.  But I just love that Natalie would write sweet things to her brother (and compliment his outfit) and tell him that she loves him.  That is what family is all about. I can’t wait to tell Natalie after school today how much that meant to me when I found it.  And, yes, I will work on remembering special notes to those very special children.

Last night Judd and I attended a fundraiser for Youth for Christ in Lincoln.  I volunteer for Juvenile Justice Ministries, which is through Youth for Christ and I had been unable to attend the fundraiser last year.  It was in the beautiful Rococco Theater downtown and there was a very clean comedian, coffee, and desserts.  Judd and I were holding our stomachs and having a great time!  We laughed so hard!  Then there was a small break and Youth for Christ shared stories from their three ministries.  They have a ministry called Campus Life that helps high school and college age kids, they have a ministry called Parent Life that helps pregnant teens and teen moms, and they have Juvenile Justice Ministries that helps juveniles that are in detention or prison.  With each group they share the gospel and they encourage and support and love young people all over the city of Lincoln.

It was a good night for me.  Why?  Well, there’s almost no entertainment I’d rather sit through than a comedian.  But more than that, I get so cheered when I hear the stories of people ministering to our city.  It is then that I realize I am not alone.  We are the body of Christ.  The message of the gospel is still changing people and redeeming them.  People are out there building relationships and loving those around them, and when they do that and share the story of the gospel, lives ARE changed.  And those are the stories I want to focus on.  Jesus is my everything.  When the politics change and culture is changing and nothing seems sacred and everyone is worried, I can look at the body of Christ around me and be so encouraged.  The message of salvation is strong today.  And it will be a strong message tomorrow too.  We are responsible for carrying that message to the next generation with love and community and support, with real relationships that don’t give up when things get tough.  I am honored to be a part of Youth for Christ and the body of Christ that is changing Lincoln and changing the world around me.

I’m not doing much.  I am a volunteer who doesn’t always know what to say or what to do.  I don’t meet with my girls as often as I should.  But I do know God can work through me if I let him.  It’s not about being perfect and it never has been.  God came to save the broken and I can’t go through life not telling others of His goodness to me.  So, let us live this life with our eyes on our kind and faithful King and share His love to those who long to hear it.

To a lovely couple


John-Wesley and Kassidy, you are two of the most smiling people I’ve ever met. It brings me joy just thinking of the both of you.


And we were so happy to see you get married! Congratulations! May God bless you both with love and forgiveness and joy all your years…













We stayed in this beautiful old farmhouse…


The lawn was beautiful. We played corn hole, baseball, and the kids played leapfrog…



Natalie‘s favorite part of the house was this table with the chandelier over it. We ate there one night and she was all smiles. 


We loved sitting outside and reading and Jack would show us how fast he could run on the lawn with his new shoes.


We were 2 miles from the ocean and couldn’t believe how much fun we had in October in New Hampshire at the beach! It was gorgeous out.




We built the coolest sandcastle we’d ever built…


And Judd found the biggest shell we’ve ever found!



The rock walls and changing leaves are beautiful in New England…



Every time I tried to take a picture Jack would pull this little move. It’s some sort of dance move the kids are all crazy about… I don’t really know 😊.


Judd tried lots of goodies while the kids gathered around.


And we ate some delicious lobster rolls, clam chowder, and fish and chips!


There may have been some ice cream too. 



It was fun. And we definitely could’ve stayed a couple extra days.


We braved the Boston traffic.

I turned around in the airport to see this little girl with her shades on! I burst out laughing! It was just cuter than cute. 

Love you all, Kristi

Life!

I can’t seem to make time to write but luckily today we are in the airport going to New Hampshire for a wedding. 

Two of our babysitters who have been such a wonderful part of our life for the last five years are getting married. Claire was married at the end of September and Kassidy is getting married on Sunday. 


Jack and Charlie were ring bearers and Natalie was the flower girl for Claire’s wedding. I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck. Judd took one look at me before the ceremony was about to begin and knew I was really uptight. I could just picture Jack yelling at Charlie to ‘hustle up!’ on the way down the aisle. But the kids did great. And I could relax a little after the wedding!


Samantha got some good ones with the kids…


Her and her boyfriend, Nico, had a great time dancing with the kids. Samantha said it was the most fun wedding she’s ever been to; her siblings were in it, her boyfriend was in town, her sorority was there, and the bride and groom were having so much fun. 






Charlie danced up a storm. Grown men were passing him around on the dance floor and the groom kept trying to mirror Charlie and finally would give up. Charlie would dance for 20 minutes, come back to our table all sweaty and chug some water and head back out. He was the life of the party. 


I didn’t get to see it, but Samantha told me that Claire took Natalie to the middle of the dance floor and they were dancing together in the circle. 


We had so much fun!


Some more pictures from recently:


So many football games lately! I enjoy helping Judd host his clients on game days.




Beautiful fall afternoons at the park.




Afternoons with Roma!


This picture!! Taken as the kids get introduced for Dance Marathon, a charity that raises money for the Children’s Hospital Network and honors kids who have spent time there. Notice Charlie’s snow boots. 😊 I also think Charlie thought the whole thing was for him!



And so many donuts… thanks to Judd.

We’re so very lucky. And I can’t wait to get away for a New England fall wedding and celebrate with Kassidy. Love you all… Kristi 

Kane and Mickey’s wedding

What a couple weeks we’ve had!  Truth be told, it’s been a little exhausting!  In one week we had a pool party, we had company staying at our house, I had a 6 mile run, a wedding to attend, and then promptly got a horrible stomach bug… which laid me low for about six or seven day.  But the good news is that I’m feeling myself again and I just love love love this glorious summer which even feels a little bit like spring.  I love it because my kids are home and the schedules are relaxed and we live in a free country on this beautiful little plot of ground.  I mean, what’s not to love?

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The pool is our favorite.  We had Alaina visiting before the wedding and the kids literally cried when she was gone.  We spent many hours in the pool with her…

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This is Harrison throwing Charlie up and into the pool!

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The morning of the wedding I ran a 10k.  Samantha was going to run with me but she was not feeling well so I ran alone.  Look at the girl in purple behind me.  Man, she is having a great time!  Her shirt says, ‘Run!’ and she’s smiling with two thumbs up.  Just looking at her makes me happy!

That evening we celebrated with family at Kane and Mickey’s wedding…

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They looked so sharp!

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The toasts and speech made my Mickey’s father were the highlight of the night.  We wish you all the best Kane and Mickey…

And some favorites I found on my phone I wanted to share.

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Natalie spent 9 days with Grandma Donna and Papa all the way across the state from home and had a wonderful time.  She told me that next summer she wants to stay for 14 days.

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This is the afternoon I dropped her off and I love everything about this picture… her outfit, her stray hairs, her gappy-toothed grin.  What a girl.

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Natalie Jean and Donna Jean

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Playing solitaire with their headlamps after the electricity went out.

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In the tent with Grandma.  This picture says it all…  Thanks for having her mom!

Summmmer!

When the kids brought home all their school supplies and I went through them I found this little note in Jack’s pencil box…


When asked about it he said it was from a little girl in his class named Mila. Judd said Mila has good taste in men. 😊




Two kids lost teeth in this house yesterday and they were both so pleased. 


We swam in the pool yesterday despite the freeeeezing temp of 70 degrees! They lasted about ten minutes…


Then we set up the tent and had a picnic outside with chicken, strawberries, toast and root beer.




We were having the best time. Relaxing on a beautiful evening on the comfort of air mattresses in the backyard, reading books and cuddling. 

It got darker, we turned on our battery lantern and were about to go to bed and it started sprinkling! We always leave the roof uncovered,  it’s just a screen to see the stars. So I yelled, “Let’s go! Teamwork! Let’s bring this stuff in!” The kids were giggling and by 10:00 the tent was emptied and taken down. There were some tears later when Natalie was sad and told me how much she loves sleeping in the tent, but I explained to them that when we have lemons we make lemonade (plus, there may have been some chocolate involved). 

On island time

As you leave Ft. Myers you go over a very high bridge and then you look out over a three mile bridge… with the blue sky and blue water all around you and two islands in the distance, this picture does not do it justice. It’s stunning. 

The island is quiet and relaxed and so much of it is preserved for wildlife. As Jack said, “This is a jungle!” Sometimes all you see around you is the beautiful vegetation. After seeing all the palm trees Charlie took a sudden interest in coconuts and we found them at the grocery store for $1.39 each.


Natalie dropped her coconut on the way to the car, which was fortunate because it cracked a little and after a couple more attempts at hitting it on our deck, it opened! We drank a little of the coconut water and Judd started scooping out bites.





Jack was not too pleased with his bite of coconut!



Charlie’s been into drawing lately and even included thought bubbles for Superman!


And yesterday he used a broken shell to draw our family in the sand!


The kids have spent three days in the pool and at the beach and they show it with their little red cheeks. Every night they are hungry and exhausted and sleep very well!




I love Jack’s little smirk here. The plants and trees here are so unique when you come from good ole Nebraska. A lot of trees have large colorful flowers on them or are mangled and gnarly like this one. 


We enjoyed our last morning on a sparkling beach… 




Yes, this island is hard not to like.