Friday, December 05, 2014

Christmas Cards Pictures

I love Christmas Card pictures.  I love planning what the kids will wear, picking a theme, having fun, sending them out.... I just love it.  I also love receiving Christmas Cards.  This year, however, I will not be sending out Christmas cards.  But when a moment of inspiration hit, I just had to take Christmas card pictures for the non existent cards I'm not sending out.
I can't even... how CUTE are these four?!

And then, I just had to take a walk down memory lane and remember some of the other adorable Christmas care pictures we've sent out since becoming a family of six.

 (2010, this picture was taken by a friend)
 (2010, I took this one)
 (2011, I took this one)
 (2012, I took this one and had editing help from a friend)
 (2013, this one was professionally taken)

I wonder how long it will take me to run out of ideas for these. :-) 

A very Aggie Thanksgiving

This year for Thanksgivng we didn't go to Kansas.  We didn't go to Oklahoma City.  We didn't even go to Wichita Falls.  Since we'll be traveling a lot in December, we chose to stay home and celebrate a very Aggie Thanksgiving.

Our celebration started with a trip to Student Bonfire.  Since the the collapse of Bonfire in '99, any Bonfire has been sponsored by students, off campus.  Curtis was able to attend Bonfire while it was still on campus, but the kids and I had never whitnessed this Aggie tradition.  The day before Thanksgiving, we loaded up the van, joined by one of our favorite Aggies, Callie, and headed out to witness Bonfire.


 


  At 8pm, we were all ready!  Then, and announcer came on the loudspeaker and told us that they would be starting late, allowing time for people who'd been stuck in traffic.  At this point, the kids were SO ready to get this show on the road.  But, like the troopers they are, they hung in there till the speaker started at about 8:30.  We then all participated in a few Yells.  Then, at about 9pm, the red pots lit Bonfire.  It was incredible!  Well worth the wait.







 

 Though we anticipated getting stuck in traffic on our way home, we did NOT expect to be in stand still traffic for an hour and a half!  Turns out we were in the "Sit in your car and watch Bonfire line" not the "Head home with sleep kids" line.
 Early Thanksgiving morning, we headed out to volunteer at a local Turkey Trot.  We had a blast! With all the races Curtis and I have done, they've turned into little racing experts.
 After watching the parade and eating breakfast, we loaded up and headed to the destination of our Thanksgiving meal.


 Yes!  We went to Kyle Field and tailgated for Thanksgiving!  We join the RUF tailgate.  Our RUF minister and his family were there and we greatly enjoyed our time with them.





 Our Thanksgiving FEAST!!!  You name it, Ben grilled it to perfection.

Though we had a great time tailgating, it was rather eventful.  Timothy ate too much, then played football.  He got sick.  Benjamin joined some college students in a game of Ultimate.  He got a bloody nose.  Micah dropped a huge rock on his toe.  He'll be losing that toenail in the future.  And I got smacked in jaw by Timothy's head.  Curtis and Elizabeth made it through unscathed.
 Even though it wasn't a traditional Thanksgiving, I was reminded how much I truly do have to be thankful for.  I have an amazing husband, who lovingly goes along with all my crazy plans.  I have four healthy, beautiful children, who are growing in grace and are always up for an adventure.  I have an amazing church family with whom I can celebrate holidays and not feel lonely, missing my real family.  I have parents and sisters who love me, call me, and share in the fun I'm having, even if it is hundreds of miles away.  I'm a part of a great community.  But more than all that, I am loved with an everlasting, saving love.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

First Day of 5th Grade

Name: Elizabeth
Age: 10
Favorite Color: pink
Favorite thing to eat for breakfast: blueberry bagels with strawberry cream cheese
Favorite thing to eat for lunch: pizza
Favorite thing to eat for dinner: Sloppy Joe
Favorite thing to eat for dessert: icecream and warm brownies
Favorite movie: American Girl Movies
Favorite TV show: Lab Rats, Dog with a Blog, Jesse
Favorite place to go: Florida and Kansas
Favorite book: American Girl books
Favorite thing to wear: dresses, skirts and cute shirts
Favorite sport: volleyball
Favorite shoes: sparkley flats, high heels and cute sporty shoes

Things that make me.....
happy: my birthday and holidays
sad: sinning
laugh: Hannah Hayley and funny jokes
cry: when I get hurt or when someone dies
excited: surprises


First Day of PreK

Name: Timothy (he actually answered Baby Grunkle)
Age: 4
Favorite Color: orange and blue and red
Favorite thing to eat for breakfast: chocolate milk
Favorite thing to eat for lunch: chocolate milk
Favorite thing to eat for dinner: chocolate milk
Favorite thing to eat for dessert: cinnamon roll pie 
Favorite movie: How to Train your Dragon 2
Favorite TV show: Slugterra
Favorite place to go: the movie theater Dollar Tree
Favorite book: The Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear
Favorite thing to wear: something with a skull and a bone x under it
Favorite sport: soccer
Favorite shoes: my Batman ones

Things that make me.....
happy: chocolate milk and when people call me Thunder Blade
sad: getting punished and spanked
laugh: The Boss game when he gets slapped
cry: spankings and pinches
excited: getting to go to the movie theater


First day of 2nd Grade

Name: Benjamin Krajca
Age: 7
Favorite Color: green
Favorite thing to eat for breakfast: cinnamon roll cake
Favorite thing to eat for lunch: hot dogs
Favorite thing to eat for dinner:Sloppy Joes
Favorite thing to eat for dessert: double scooped, chocolate dipped, icecream cone
Favorite movie: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Favorite TV show: Tom and Jerry the movie
Favorite place to go: Six Flags
Favorite book: The Foot Book
Favorite thing to wear: shorts and a short sleeved shirt
Favorite sport: baseball
Favorite shoes: cleats

Things that make me.....
happy: swimming at Will's house, going to movies
sad:getting hurt
laugh: getting tickled
cry: getting hurt
excited: getting to name a baby


First Day of 3rd Grade

Name: Micah
Age: 8
Favorite Color: black
Favorite thing to eat for breakfast: fried eggs
Favorite thing to eat for lunch: McDonald's
Favorite thing to eat for dinner: pizza!!!
Favorite thing to eat for dessert: pies
Favorite movie: Captain America and the Winter Soldier
Favorite TV show: Tom and Jerry
Favorite place to go: Six Flags
Favorite book: Spy Academy
Favorite thing to wear: sleeveless shirts
Favorite sport: football
Favorite shoes: tennis shoes

Things that make me.....
happy: going to Six Flags, going to my granparents' house and fishing, going to the Nifty Nuthouse, watching movies, playing in the backyard and digging holes.
sad: People being mean and not getting to go to fun movies
laugh: getting tickled, jumping on a trampoline.
cry: getting hurt and almost losing my fingers
excited: Going to GA to see my cousins


Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer Lovin' : Swim Team

This summer, the one thing that consumed more hours than anything else was swim team.  Elizabeth, Micah and Benjamin swam on the Bryan Barracuda swim team for the second summer.  We loved every minute of it!

Elizabeth aged up into the 9 and 10 division.  We knew this would be a big jump for her.  Last summer, she had been at the top of her division, bringing home ribbons and medals after every meet.  This year, though her times improved quite impressively from last year, she wasn't bringing home the ribbons and the medals.  She wasn't put on the "A" relay.  It was hard for her!  She is, by nature, very competitive.  This summer, she was able to learn the value of competing with herself and for the team, not necessarily for the awards.  We watcher her set her eyes on a goal and work her hind end off till she achieved her goal.  She also learned that she and Micah can push each other to be each others biggest competition.  But then they also have to be each others biggest supporters.  We were do proud of her when she qualified to swim at Invitationals, in every stroke.  She had to work hard to make it, but she did it!  She also learned how to swim the 100 IM, and swam it beautifully at Regionals.  


 Last year wasn't Micah's year in the pool.  He brought home a handful of ribbons through the year, never won a medal, didn't qualify for Invitationals, and was never but on "A" relay.  He, like his sister, is by nature competitive, but we really didn't see his intense competitive nature till this spring in baseball.  Suddenly, something clicked for Micah and he turned into quite the swimmer!  We were all shocked when in the first meet of the season, he won 1st place in the breast stroke.  The little boy who rarely placed last year was placing in everything he swam!  It was exciting and encouraging, but also a challenging life lesson.  This summer, Micah learned how to be a gracious winner, how to encourage those who aren't as successful and how to not be an annoying competitor, but rather a motivating one.  At Invitationals, he DQed in his best race.  It was a huge disappointment, since he would have placed.  But again, he learned a valuable lesson, how to press on from that kind of discouraging swim, and not let it effect his attitude.  I'm pretty sure all these life lessons aren't fully in effect and we'll have to continue encouraging him.  But I look forward to seeing how he continues to mature as a young man.



Benjamin also aged up this year, swimming with 7 and 8 year olds.  He has a terrible swim birthday, and was the youngest 7/8 year old on the team.  Luckily for Benjamin, he has enough confidence to make up for his bad swim birthday.  He hit the pool this summer with determination and with a competitive drive.  We were pleasantly surprised when he qualified to swim every stroke at Invitationals.  Though he didn't always have a sweet, trainable attitude, he did exactly what his coaches asked of him.  And when he saw improvements in his time, he learned that pushing yourself hard is worth it.  At the end of the regular season, Benjamin was given the  Most Dedicated Barracuda award.  Benjamin finished the swim season knowing that not only is he a good swimmer, but that he can become and awesome swimmer when he listens to those around him.  By the end of the season, Benjamin, the youngest in his age division, was swimming on the "A" relay. 

After the regular season was over, we swam at Invitationals.  Each of the kids placed in at least one race (Benjamin placed in two of his races!).  With how well they were continuing to swim, we decided to not end our season, and started training for TAAF (TX Amateur Athletic Federation).  Because of their ages, and the large number of swimmers, they had to swim in a Regional Meet and the top three swimmers from each race would advance to state.  Micah and Benjamin each swam in three races and qualified for state in all three races!!  Elizabeth was amazing at Regionals.  I've never seen her swim so well!  Unfortunatly, though she swam to Personal Bests, she didn't place in the top three.  Despite that, we couldn't be more proud of any of our swimmers!!  They all worked very hard and had a great season!
Micah and Benjamin swam very well at state!  Neither of them placed, but both swam well and we were thrilled that they made it as far as they did.

I am definitely becoming a sports mom, who sees a high value and life lessons in having your children compete in sports.  I love that they win and can learn how to do that in a gracious way.  I love when they lose and learn how to move past that.  I love when the have good practices and see how strong God's made them.  I love when the have bad practices and need me to encourage them.  I love seeing their eyes light up when they achieve a personal goal.  I love when they still need me to hug them after a bad swim.  I genuinely look forward to seeing how God uses sports in my children's lives.  

We can't wait till next year when all four of the kiddos will be swimming for the Barracudas!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Getting ready for school

Our summer flew by!!  I hope to catch up on all the summer fun we've had in another post.  But as the summer comes to an end, I've begun preparing for the start of a new school year.  This week, Micah and Benjamin are in Kansas at Grand Camp.  I took the opportunity with only having half the children I'm used to and put some of my planning into play.  Here are the results!


 Above is a picture of our dinning room.  Though we have a school room, which we all enjoy, there are times when you just need to sit at a table to get your work done.  I've also found that being able to have all the kids, sitting in one place as we start our day, is very helpful! 

One of the main things I've learned is that you have to have a central location for your daily school needs.  We solved that problem with the cabinet in the corner, by the dry erase board.  The kids have all their books there and that's where they can find the daily school supplies that they need.  In the opposite corner is Timothy's little set up.  He has his own table, a poster and I'll add a few things to it before the start of school.

A random, yet very motivating thing I discovered last year was the 100 days of school poster.  My kids, especially the boys, were SO motivated to do school each day so that they could cross off a day on the chart.  I'm hoping it will work as well this year and help us as we fight off the back to school blues.

We've loved having a school room in our home!  Having a place for all the books, toys, and an extra couch has been nice.  Each year we homeschool, I add more books to our stash.  This week, I was able to spend some time organizing all the shelves, rearranging a little, and preparing my area.
 My little corner.  I took some time to wrap jars with papers, added a picture of my students, all in hope of making my area a little more fun.
 A lot of school happens on the couch and on the floor in front of the bulletin board!  This is the room we use for group work (bible, history and read alouds). We brought Timothy's toys shelf and book case out of his room, since he hates being alone.  Hopefully, this will allow him something fun to do when he's done with his school but I'm still working with his siblings. 
Another shelf with organized supplies and books!  I cleared off the top of this shelf, which had been a craft catch all. 

As we start our 6th year of homeschooling, I am excited about the opportunity to learn with and love on my kiddos.  Having a fun, organized environment really helps my motivation to start the year off strong!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

View of Marriage





The above song, Dancing In the Mine Fields, has quickly become a favorite song of mine.  As Curtis and I continue on this adventure of marriage, I see more and more how the lyrics are very true.



"I do" are the two most famous last words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another I've heard
Is a good place to begin

'Cause the only way to find your life
Is to lay your own life down
And I believe it's an easy price
For the life that we have found

And we're dancing in the minefields
We're sailing in the storm
This is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for




In the past several years, Curtis and I have been blessed to have several couples come into our home.  These couples have encouraged us, helped us, made us smile and become a part of our children's lives.  They've babysat, come to baseball games and soccer game, done crafts with us and have just been apart of the daily life of our family.  Our desire and goal for these friendships is to encourage these young couples as they head toward marriage.  




What a joy and privilege it's been to stand witness as two of the couples who've become a part of our lives have entered into marriage!

When Curtis and I first opened our homes to a young couple, I felt the need to be perfect.  Curtis wisely and quickly reminded me that we aren't perfect, our home wasn't perfect and our children are for sure not perfect.  We are simply two sinners, navigating marriage and life, attempting to bring glory to our Savior.  We're not asked to be perfect.  So these young couples have seen the daily side of marriage.  They've seen the work.  They've seen the frustration.  But hopefully, they've also seen the grace. The sweetness. The love.  All Curtis and I can do is show them Jesus and his Word.

Though marriage is hard, harder than we'd dreamed, it's a beautiful blessing.  Frequently, we refer to ourselves as Team Krajca.  Through the example of our parents and godly couples that have been placed in our life, Curtis and I have learned that marriage is about two flawed peopled being brought together by Christ, and becoming one, a strong unit, a team, with the purpose of furthering the Kingdom.  It's sad to see people who don't understand and realize that marriage doesn't make you less of an individual or a weaker person.  It's just the opposite!! A godly marriage unites two people making them able to face the trails and hardships that life brings with the unwavering support of another.  I can tell you with certainty that I would not have been able to face some of the challenges this life has brought without the help, encouragement and love of Curtis.

I'm so thankful that even though marriage has mine fields, I have a partner with whom I can dance through those mine fields with.  

  

Friday, May 23, 2014

8 years

8 years ago, I started this blog.

My, how much has changed since then.

Our family looked something like this 8 years ago...



And now we look something like this...


While doing lawn work earlier this week, I caught myself think back to how different life looks these days.  I don't have a baby in the house.  I'm not tied to the house with nap schedules and nursing schedules.  I can say "get in the van!" and know that they all will and more than likely, they'll all have shoes on.  We don't have potty accidents.  I don't feel like I'm as anxious of a mommy as I used to be.  I get to have interesting and entertaining conversations with my children.

And while a lot of these changes are good, there are some that aren't necessarily bad, but are challenging in their own way.  My kids have opinions that they readily share with me.  I'm responsible for the three older children's education.  The hurts and sadness and fears that big kids face are real, not as imagined as the fears of my toddlers.

I'm so in love with this stage of motherhood!!  I love seeing the people God is growing my toddlers and babies up to be.  I love that even though they're becoming their own little people, they're still my kids.  They still need me, want me around, sign "I love you!" from the outfield, get a little teary when I won't be around.  I really do feel like I might be in one of the best stages of parenting.

And when the days are long because I don't have a napper and my kids don't go to bed till almost 9, I will remind myself of that.  Because I know it's only by God's grace that we've made it this far!