Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Learn Your Rules

Sawyer singing his current favorite little diddy.

Untitled from Kristen Schenk on Vimeo.

This video depicts a lot of talking...the song starts at about the 30 second mark

The original version courtesy of Dwight Schrute:

Never thought my 1 year old's favorite song would be from The Office.  No worries he has never seen The Office, but his parents enjoy the series and his father's goals is to get his son to sing and say all kinds of odd things :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Happenings

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with lots of food, fun, and family.  Kyle made a delicious turkey and we had lots of super side dishes.  The whole Schenk family was in town and we spent the weekend eating, shopping, eating, chatting, playing cards, eating, and getting in the Christmas mood.  We also kicked off the holiday season early and had our 1st Christmas celebration (more on that later).  Below is a smattering of our thanksgiving happenings.

Schenk family

Sawyer enjoying the feast

Gracie chowing down

Gracie & Troy trying to break the very stubborn wishbone

Reading a book

Nora playing with MeMa

Nora slept through the meal and spent most of the day drooling

Yet another attempt at a family picture

Nora smiling while rolling over

Friday, November 25, 2011

My Current Dilemna

How to get both kids to look at the camera and smile simultaneously.
Both looking, but only 1 smile
1 smile, 1 looking
I don't think it will ever happen :(

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Thankfulness {new traditions}

This year we are hosting Thanksgiving for the 1st time.  It could be very interesting...  But as I have been preparing the house and the food for the event my mind has been focusing on starting a new tradition.  What can we do to remember all or our blessings past, present, and future?

I saw an idea online that included a journal and each person writes what they are thankful for and you include a family picture from the day.  I love the idea of that, but I'm not sure it's a tradition that would last because it involves people taking the time to write and you have to remember to get a picture and post it in the book.

In years past we've gone around the table and verbally expressed what we are thankful for, but I'm not sure that will work with the Schenk clan...they are very eager to eat and I really want to eat the food when it's hot.

So, after some discussion with friends I have determined we are going to get a tablecloth and everyone will write 1 thing they are thankful for in 2011.  Every year we can add thankful thoughts to the tablecloth.  And we can look back at previous years to remember God's past blessings.  And as an added bonus I think it will be fun to watch the kids write their thankful comments as they continue to grow.

I'm excited about this new "tradition" hopefully it sticks :)  Anyone else have Thanksgiving traditions for their family?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Nora's Dedication

 On the (very early) morning of December 21, 2010 I discovered (quite surprisingly) that the Lord was blessing us with another child.  As I excitedly and anxiously informed Kyle of the news I was immediately struck by God's perfect timing.  We were not expecting this news, but I believe because we didn't plan this baby it made me quickly turn to the Lord.  I remember that morning wondering how this was going to work logistically and then I prayed and I was reminded that this child belonged to God. In that moment I dedicated the little life inside me to the Lord.  And throughout the pregnancy God blessed us with a love for this little one and a peace about expanding our family.

Fast forward 11 months and that little girl is now a part of this big 'ol world.  She brings us great joy and we are so thankful that God chose us to be her parents.  Tonight in front of our family and friends we publicly dedicated Nora to the Lord.  Quite fittingly this was the Thanksgiving service.

We take this responsibility very seriously and could use all the prayer and support we can get as we strive to raise Nora in the knowledge, grace, and love of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Below are some verses we would like to pray for Miss Eleanora as she grows.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11

Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men...Ephesians 6:7 (servant heart)

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what  God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. I Timothy 4:12

And not to be forgotten this little guy made his 1st appearance in a church service since his own dedication (before he could walk or talk :)  Let's just say we need to work on whispering.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Introducing the newest family member

my brand new nephew!

Baby N 

Sawyer & Gracie @ the hospital...more interested in the snacks than the baby

Uncle Troy w/ his two littles
Aunt Kristen & Uncle Kyle w/ our new nephew...trying to keep Sawyer from poking his eye out
We got to play w/ cousin Gracie while mommy & daddy were @ the hospital...this made one little guy very happy
Cousin G lovin' on Nora
So excited for the cousins to be so close in age.  Now Nora has 2 protectors and Sawyer has another boy to play with though I'm sure Gracie will have both of them in tutus and going to tea parties :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

22 Months {Sawyer Update}

I haven't done an update on our 1st born child in a while.  He is constantly changing so I want to capture who he is right now.  Our days with Sawyer are filled with movement, talking, laughter, discipline, and smiles.

His typical response to questions, "I don't know."

His favorite words are "no" and "that?"  Everything he sees in a book or on tv he points to and says "that?"

His vocabulary is growing rapidly.  He repeats every word you say.

He is OBSESSED with Elmo.

He only sits still when you read him a book.  He LOVES to read books.  His current favorites are The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Dr. Suess' ABC book.

 He is an expert fake cryer, especially when he is in time-out.

He is going through another hitting stage.

One of his favorite games is to line up against the wall and say "ready, set, go" then take off running across the room until he reaches the other wall.

He also enjoys doing somersaults, jumping, climbing, and galloping.

He is super protective of his sister.  If anyone besides mom or dad gets near Nora he will get really close to her and try to make them go away or he will start crying and come find me.

He seems to have inherited my bad habit of biting his nails (even his toenails, just kidding, kind of...see the picture below).

For about a month he was not eating well.  He was very picky, would only eat a few bites, and was not gaining weight.  Then a few weeks ago his appetite increased ten fold and now he is eating everything in site all day long.  Hopefully this results in some weight gain.

He calls Nora, Ra-Ra.

If there is a remote control, dvd player, phone, or light switch in the room he will immediately claim possession of the object.

If anything comes out of Nora's mouth (spit-up, drool, etc). He yells uh-oh and frantically runs for the nearest burp cloth then proceeds to wipe it off her mouth and whatever else it landed on (couch, shirt, etc).  It's so cute the way he takes care of his sister.

The secret to getting him to sit at football games is to feed him a lollipop or a box of Nerds (he eats one Nerd at a time :)

Sadly he is scared of dogs and cats (not really surprising given his mother's lack of affection for the animal kingdom).  He loves dogs from afar, but if they get too close he runs.  Slowly he has gotten used to a few dogs and will tolerate them up close.  Cats however are a different story.  He had never been around a cat until a few weeks ago when our babysitter took him over to a friends house to play.  A cat snuck up on him, he got scared and started crying.  He got so worked up and cried so hard he threw up (um this has never happened, so you know he was traumatized).  Poor little guy we're going to have to find a way to bring some feline friends into his life (but don't suggest buying a cat because that will NEVER happen).

He does wonderfully sleeping in his big boy bed.  In the first week he fell out of bed once and got out of bed a couple of times, but since the novelty wore off he doesn't even attempt to get out of bed.  He will just sit there talking to himself or playing with his pillow pet until we come get him.  Going to get him out of bed is one of mommy and daddy's favorite times.  I walk in and he immediately yells "Hi Momma!" and scrambles out of the bed to give me a hug.  And he always eagerly gives kisses at this time.

He is a social little guy.  When we're out and about he will say "hi" to everyone who passes.  If they do not respond to him he will continue to say hi and increase the volume until they acknowledge him.  It is sometimes embarrassing for mommy, but I refuse to stop him from being friendly.  And people really should say "hi" back because he is just so darned cute.

He and daddy have staring contests.  First one to laugh loses.  Sawyer is the overwhelming champion.

He sits in time-out a lot.

Daddy sings and makes Nora dance.  Sawyer thinks this is hilarious.  Nora is not so amused.

Sawyer has started joining in for his nightly prayers.  He always wants to pray for mommy, daddy, and Gracie and then we pray for other family members he can think of.  It makes our hearts happy to hear him thank God for Jesus and his family.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Foods {Black Beans & Rice}

In an attempt to get Sawyer to gain weight I have tried out a few new dishes.  A few requirements for the dish:

1) Hearty meal that is still kid friendly
2) Healthy w/ plenty of good fats
3) Something that the parents will also enjoy
4) Consist of ingredients that I already have on hand...I am not dragging the kids to the grocery store for 1 item

Another thing you should know Sawyer LOVES beans.  He would eat beans at every meal if I served them.  If he isn't eating well for a few meals I always know I can give him beans and he will eat the entire meal.  So when I ran across this recipe on Pinterest it seemed to fit all my criteria: it had beans so I knew Sawyer would like it, it was healthy, and I had most of the ingredients.

It may not be the prettiest dish, but I am happy to report it was delicious.  I always thought rice and beans sounded sort of bland, but this was a very flavorful dish.  It also got a thumbs up from the husband.

Another great thing is this dish makes a lot of food and we probably got 6 meals out of it.

Because I did not have all the ingredients for the inspiration recipe I changed it up a bit.  Here's my take on rice and beans.


1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 (16-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can rotel
1 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4-5 cups hot, cooked white or brown rice
In a medium saucepan, combine the garlic powder, onion powder, beans, rotel, chicken broth, oregano and water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 45 minutes. If the mixture becomes too thick, add a tablespoon or two of hot water to thin to desired consistency.
Stir in the fresh cilantro and season with salt and pepper; discard the bay leaf. Serve over the hot rice.
Adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe via Pinterest

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Game #11

For the final game of the season the Pioneers faced my alma mater the Taylor Trojans.  It was a pretty evenly matched game but in the end MU came up short with a final score of 13-27.

There was little time for lamenting as we hosted a dinner and bonfire for our church's Young Married's group immediately following the game.  We had a great time chatting, eating, and sitting around the fire making s'mores.

Looking back on this season I can't believe it's over.  This season has flown by.  Typically once we hit November I am yearning for the season to end, but I never experienced that feeling this year.  It may have something to do with being preoccupied with a newborn :)

Below are some images captured during the final game.  Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of our party...we were too busy eating :)

Sawyer climbing into the carseat to play w/ Nora

Nora adores Sawyer can you tell?

One of my favorite moments...Sawyer running to daddy after the game, he has so much joy to see his daddy, even after a hard loss it will bring a smile to your face

Our attempt at a family picture

Now it's time to move on to Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Time to get back on the horse {kids crafts}

8 weeks after Nora was born I felt the urge to sew again.  I had a few baby showers looming so I created a few new projects for these special ladies and their little babes.  Here are the results:

Stuffed Owl (Tutorial

Dinosaur Taggie: created this by printing a dinosaur outline and transferring it onto the fabric

Vest Onesie (tutorial)

Matching baby boy shoes (tutorial)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Okay well maybe she has been around for a while, but here's a peek at her formal introduction to the world.

I couldn't get the back to transfer so below are the pictures and text that are on the back of the card.

2011 has been a busy year for the Schenk clan.  We began the year by discovering we were going to add a new member to the family!  We took a vacation with Kristen's family to Lake Powell in Utah.  We stayed on a house boat and enjoyed the warm weather and family time.  This summer Kyle and Sawyer took a road trip to Kansas to visit the farm and family.  In August we welcomed the arrival of Nora & the start of football season.  Kyle stays busy with football, house renovations, and wrestling Sawyer.  Kristen stays busy watching the kids and working on creative endeavors.  Sawyer is an active little guy who loves to run, jump, climb, discover rocks, and kiss his sister.  Nora is a precious baby who eats and sleeps like a champ.  We are thankful for the numerous blessings the Lord has bestowed on our family and we look forward to what He has in store for 2012!

Photos of Nora taken by Liz Hehman Photography

Monday, November 7, 2011

Game #10 & Weekend Update

This week the Malone Pioneers took on the Quincy Falcons.  It was a pretty exciting game with several lead changes and big plays.  The game was tied 35-35 in the final minutes, when Quincy kicked a field goal to win 35-38.

We started the weekend on Friday night as we got dressed in our spirit gear and went to football night at Chick-fil-a.  Sawyer had lots of fun getting his football autographed by the football players and then playing with friends on the indoor playground.

On Saturday we went to the game then went to cousin Gracie's to celebrate her 3rd birthday!  Sunday we went to church, cleaned the house, and even got in some relaxation time.  All in all we had a fun, beautiful fall weekend.   Below are some pictures of the action.

Daddy & Daughter
Mommy w/ the kiddos

Sawyer getting his football autographed

Nora excited to go to the game

Cousin Gracie entertaining Nora

Saturday, November 5, 2011

3 months

Nora did not have a doctor's appointment this month so these stats are unofficial:

Height 23.5 inches (50th percentile)
Weight 11.5 lbs (25th percentile)

As Nora hits the 3 month mark her personality is really starting to shine through.  She instantly smiles if you talk to her.  She is also a very active talker.  If you talk to her you will most definitely get a response.  She loves to laugh especially at her mommy.  During the last month she rolled over for the 1st time from her back to her tummy.  She is a wonderful sleeper taking a good morning and afternoon nap (usually 1 hour and 3 hours respectively) then going to bed around 10 pm and sleeping until 7 am (9 hours).  She is not the biggest fan of the bumbo, but she will tolerate it for awhile.  She loves the activity mat and grabbing all the rings and rattles it has.  She is still in size 1 diapers, though she will be out of those very soon.  She is quickly outgrowing her 0-3 month clothes.  We have put her in a few 3-6 month outfits and they fit, but mommy can't bear to put away the 0-3 month clothes until she is actually 3 months...she is growing too fast.  She takes a bottle well.  She sleeps best on her tummy.  She is still a spitter-upper or as I like to call her an overflower.  She has also started drooling and blowing raspberries.

She is a pure joy!