Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back Track Pt 4: Family Reunion in Branson, MO

July 10-13 we went to Branson for the Kunkel family reunion. It was nice to see everyone again! We didn't get to hang out and visit as much as we all would have liked, but it was still nice to know we were all in the same place at the same time. Ella was once again excited to be staying in a Ramada, or "mada" as she calls it...I wish that were all it took to make me happy in life! :) Girl loves to stay in a hotel. It must stem from all the Suite Life with Zack & Cody episodes we watch on Disney :) Here is her happy self cheesing in the hotel.

So we did quite a bit of shopping while we were there. Katie & I were able to hit a few shops at the outlet mall by ourselves after riding the ducks. And, then the next day Matt & I took the girls shopping with us. We wanted to make it fun for them so we ended up letting them ride the quarter rides that we usually run past as fast as we can on shopping trips. So they knew it was a treat to actually be able to ride them this time. Then we took them down to the Disney Store for a "mini" shopping spree. I have developed a love for the Disney store myself since having kids.

So the highlight of the trip was when we went to Ride the Duck...which can go on land and water. It takes you on a sight seeing tour first and then runs into the river for a quick 'boat' ride. It was kind of neat...if it weren't for the annoying quackers they give everyone before you start the ride. Anytime you see another Duck on the road or water you are supposed to quack the quacker....let's just say it is cute once....not 120 times!!!

Here are Ella & Grandma contributing to my migraine and having fun while doing it :) Which reminds me...have I burned those quackers yet???...LOL

Love this picture of Matt and Addie. I think they look alot alike in this pic. We were at Joe's Crab Shack down at the Landing (which is a cool outdoor shopping mall by the river...beautiful! )
After eating I snuck away for a little shopping while Matt took the girls to the little play area at the mall. The girls really liked that!

Back Track Pt 3: Churchill Downs

I keep telling myself I will get caught up eventually, but then I keep getting farther and farther behind. Oh well, I will stay optimistic that it will happen someday.
On Sat. June 14, 2008 everyone on the Kunkel side went to Churchill Downs for the day...everyone except Addie who stayed with Nanny & Pop-Pop. We knew she wouldn't survive a full day at the track, and we wouldn't see any peace trying to keep her contained in that big place. This was our Father's Day celebration for Matt's dad, and I think everyone had a really great day...I know I did. That was my first time to Churchill Down's....I know, I know, and I call myself a Kentuckian. It was a really neat experience. Glad I can say I have been at least once.

Betty, Matt (Greg & Lana hiding), & Katie waiting to see the horses come in.

Here is Ella with 'Aristides'. She wanted to ride him, but that is forbidden. So, instead of getting kicked out we opted for a pic beside him. It is beautiful!

Here is Ella with Grandpa Kunkel. Anytime we go anywhere with Grandma & Grandpa Ella is glued to them the whole the point where we feel bad, because we know they probably want a break to relax. But, she does adore them and just wants to soak up every minute she has with them!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Strawberry & Raspberry Picking at Nanny & Pop-Pop's

The girls LOVE nothing more than to spend time with both Grandma & Grandpa Kunkel & Nanny & Pop Pop Brownfield. Matt & I are both so blessed to have loving, caring parents who want to have a very active role in our children's lives. When we had Ella we decided that moving close to family was what we wanted most for our children. I love seeing the girls with the grandparents! I know that those memories will be the most precious ones for them, and they will carry those memories with them throughout their lives.

Saturday Aug. 16 we stopped by for a visit at Nanny & Pop-Pop's. Ella especially loves to be able to pick strawberries so we all decided to go out and enjoy the beautiful afternoon. It is nice for the girls to get a taste of nature! I wish we had a little more land in a country setting, but I guess we will just have to settle for visits to the country for now! Getting Matt out of the city would be mission impossible.

Addie's little feet were running in overdrive the whole time we were out in the orchard & strawberry patch. She also decided the patch looked like a sandbox and decided to plop down and play awhile. Needless to say she had a bath before leaving for home.

Ella's favorite part was picking the strawberries of course. She didn't want to pick raspberries because they had "stickies" on them. She was running back and forth in the patch all excited trying to find the "biggest strawberry she'd ever seen."

All my favorite from the day can be seen at

Concrete Angel

I had the camera and Nanny and Pop Pop's the other night and was so glad I was able to capture this moment. Addie was mesmerized by the "little girl" in Nanny's flower garden. I thought it was just precious!! Hope you enjoy.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ella's First Day of 4 Year-Old Preschool

Last year I was a bad mommy and forgot my camera on the first day of school...and subsequently every occasion after that. This year I wanted to make up for it. So...Once I had buckled Addie in I made Ella go stand on the front porch. Well we start taking pictures and all the sudden I start hearing, "Click, Click, Click." Then I quickly realize I had left my keys in Addie's car seat...OH YES you guessed it. She was repeatedly locking the car door. So of course I run up and start frantically pulling the handle trying to coax Addie into unlocking the door, but all she would do is laugh at me. I just imagined it to be like a scene from Look Who's Talking. I know what she was thinking, "Oh look at that poor pitiful mommy out there at my mercy for once. I am so cute and innocent in here in this carseat. Oh I can act like I have no clue what she is talking about. Click...Click...Click. Yeah that is what I will do. Let her just sweat this one out. That will teach her!"

So then I start panicking thinking poor Ella is going to miss her first day of school, and this is a memory we will never get back. So of course I run to call Matt to hurry home. As soon as I get off the phone with him I happen to go to the drivers side door...and what do you opened. Don't know how in the world all other doors were locked and not the drivers side, but it was a pleasant surprise. Crises averted...heart placed back in proper position...continue with day.

Here is the pic as the clicks began:

Ella has a new teacher this year, Ms. Emily, but she is in the same classroom as last year. I was so very proud of her. She went right in and sat down at her chair and started playing. Then little Alyssa came in so she wanted to move to sit by her.

She loves Alyssa, and when I ask her if she played with her friends at school she always says Alyssa. Alyssa's mommy told me Friday that Alyssa told her, "I just loves Ella, but Ella doesn't really say alot." Her mommy told her that was okay, and to just keep talking to Ella and she would eventually open up.

Here is Ella with her new teacher Ms. Emily.

Here is a full-circle moment in my life...One of Ella's little classmates is a girl named Laila. Laila's mommy was Amanda, a girl I went to school with from kindergarten through high school. She looks sooo much like her mommy. It was just one of those moments in life where you start to realize how old you are getting. That should still be us in those little chairs, but instead we are the ones dropping off our babies. Now we know how sad our parents must have felt to let us go.

Here is (L-R) Alyssa, Ella, & Laila right before school began. Ella is doing just wonderfully. Both days she walked right in and sat down like she owned the place.

Why would anyone want to do this??

For the second time in one week another Church of Christ in Richardsville has burned down. The fire at our church building was thought to be electrical, but the fire just this morning at Mt. Zion is arson. Which now makes you wonder if our church wasn't intentionally set on fire. Especially, considering Tom received a threatening phone call saying 'more' churches would be burned down.

Mt. Zion was the oldest Church of Christ building still in use in Kentucky, and the 8th oldest in the nation. What good does burning down the church building do? It is not going to make us stop congregating, and it is not going to make us stop spreading the word of God. Christians have been persecuted for as long as the church has existed. We still consider ourselves blessed that no one was injured in either fire. I just pray that this person repents and is baptized before it is too late for them. I hope that their callused heart can be turned around and made a disciple for Christ. They may have taken away our building, but they have not taken away our church.

Tom was just saying in Sunday school a few weeks ago that if you do not feel persecution in your life for your decision to follow Jesus then you must not be doing something right. Persecution is to be expected. There will always be those that think we are crazy for what we believe, and they will do anything possible to try to destroy us. I have to believe that it kills those who are against us more than anything to see us more united together in love than ever before. There is nothing they can do to break us. Jesus himself suffered the greatest persecution and the most horrific death of all for us. Shouldn't we in a way feel honored to suffer persecution in his name? All we can do is try to live for him and honor his commands with a loving heart. He will take care of the rest.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tuesday in Edmonson County

Tuesday we decided to drive out to Chalybeate to meet Alicia and Ethan at the sports complex. This was our first time getting together since Eli started school so it was a little sad without our little buddy there. The park is right by the school, and as we were going to go for a walk around the nature trail we realized that Eli's kindergarten class was out for recess....So we did what any mother and accomplice would do...we spied on him at the playground. He is getting so big! Can't believe he has already started kindergarten. It was nice to get to see him...even if it was from 50 ft. away. Next time we will bring our binoculars :)

The kids had a blast playing on the playground. Ella LOVED the curvy did Addie. Although, Addie went down so fast I was afraid she was going to flip head over feet. So everytime after that I went down with her in my lap. She is such a little Evil Knievel. Ella would not go down a slide until she was 3. Addie...1 year. She is my park lover. And, it was a bumpy ride. I am not made for that anymore, but Addie sure didn't mind. When she went down alone I figured she would cry once it was over, because it did look really scary. But, she sure loved it.

They all enjoyed swinging too. Ella wanted to go really, really high. As I was pushing her she started screaming, "I'm going to see Jesus. Hi Jesus. Got you Jesus. I'm going to pull you down to the ground." Alicia and I about busted out laughing. On a positive note at least she knows who Jesus is and that he lives in heaven. But, I have to admit I was glad we were the only ones at the park at the moment cause she was sounding like a television evangelist while she was screaming it.

After a little lunch we went to see the land that Alicia and Kerry are going to build on in EC. It is in the same subdivision as our friends Alex & V live in so we will have to make regular visits to both! We have lived in the same subdivision since 04' so we will miss having them so close. Growing up we always said we were going to live right by each other in Heartland & we always hoped our husbands would be close too. Well it is kind of funny how those 8th grade plans turned out pretty close. We live on opposite sides of the subdivision, and our husbands work together in the Logan IS dept. Crazy how stuff turns out. What will be really funny is if our kids end up dating some day...something else we have joked about since having them so close together.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Today turned really sad...

What started out to be a great day took a turn for the worst. Ella started preschool today and loved it, but then when we got home Dana called to say that our church building (Mt. Pleasant Church) had burned down. I am starting to come back around now, but I have been an emotional wreck since finding out.

We were supposed to start expansion on the church in 10 days, but instead we will be starting from scratch on a new plan and new future. I know that it is only a church building, but there are still alot of good memories that happened in that building. That is where I was baptized in January, and where I got my first experience teaching anything (VBS) just a few weeks ago. That is where we first introduced both of our children to Jesus and the teachings of the Bible. A family church is one of the most important influences in a child's life.

Everytime we drive up the hill towards church and Ella would see the building she would get so excited. Everytime we would pull into the parking lot she would say, "We're here! We're here!." She always says, "I want to go to number 6."...that is her Sunday school class room and the only way she identifies it is by the number. She just can't wrap her head around what happened. Even though we went to see the charred remains of the building she doesn't really understand. This afternoon we were playing in her room and out of the blue she says, "I want to say a prayer to Jesus for our church that fell down." "Dear Jesus, Please be with our church that fell down. Amen." Oh how precious they are. Tonight she began to worry. After we saw the building she asked, "Will that happen to grandma's church someday?"

I remember driving down 185 towards church and several miles down the road you could see the white steeple, positioned up on a hill through the trees. Season after season those trees would change, but the steeple was the constant unchanging feature in the landscape. Everytime I would see that steeple I would feel both pride and calmness. No matter what was happening in our personal lives we could put that aside for a few hours every week and gather with others with a common purpose and simply worship and learn about God. Of course no matter where the location that will not change. We will still continue to gather and worship no matter what. But, it will be a little sad to no longer drive up the road and see that symbol that the words of Ella..."We're here! We're here!"

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Laundry Room Hates Me

Okay so I think the laundry room is starting to feel a little neglected so it is starting to act out to get my attention :) I apologized for leaving piles of clothes 3 ft. high in it, but apparently that just wasn't enough of an apology. I guess it figured even negative attention was some sort of attention so it had to resort to rude behavior.

First, several weeks ago I had a brand new 96 load bottle of Gain sitting on the front-load washer. Well for anyone who has a front load they know that the spin cycle on one is a little more violent than a top load. Apparently, the bottle of Gain was sitting a little too close to the edge and decided to fall to the floor...busting the lid and sending green Gain an inch deep all over the floor...into the hallway...up to the ceiling...yeah and all over the 3 ft pile of clothes....I had to rinse those in the tub several times before being able to rewash. Matt had to leave work early to help clean up the disaster. After renting a steam cleaner and several hours of hard work the room was back to normal.

Second, I have been noticing that all the clothes laying in front of the washer have been soaked in water lately. At first I thought maybe the door on the washer was leaking a little and after several loads it just made it look like more water than it actually was. Well then today when it kept doing it I decided I should investigate more. Turns out the hose that lets all the dirty water drain out had come loose from the wall and water was pouring down the wall behind the washer and was all under the washer and dryer. Don't buy a front-load. I know it is the aggressive spin cycle that yanked it out from the wall. I never had this happen on a top-load. This has been doing this for at least a week now, but the dirty laundry kept soaking it up so I didn't think it was as bad as it was....Now I am thinking I will have ALOT of nicely mildewed clothes that have been laying their for a week.

Moral of the sure to give your laundry room the lovin it needs everyday before it resorts to this!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Mullet No More

Sniff, sniff...another milestone. My baby got her first haircut today. She sat up in that big ole chair with that big ole cape on and didn't move an inch while Crystal cut her hair. She had this look on her face of awe and amazement (with the little mouth slightly open) that she was finally getting to do something that big sissy does all the time. You could tell she felt like big stuff up in that chair. She craves independence, and she throws a fit when mommy denies her the right to do something she doesn't need to be doing. Her haircut looks adorable...unfortunately, I have no pics yet of the final result. Our camera died, but Crystal had her camera handy and let us borrow it for a few shots. Thank you Crystal!!! We are going to have to work to keep a bow in the hair while it grows out a little cause she looks like a little boy from certain angles.

This also brought back memories of the day Ella got her first haircut too. She was exactly 1 year. We took her on her birthday to get her haircut and then afterwards to McDonalds for her first Happy Meal. Ella was born with a full head of hair and needed a small trim at 6 mos, but at the first official haircut daddy had to hold her and she had to be occupied with a squirt bottle, comb, and mirror.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Back Track Pt 2: Meeting up with Martin

Finally got to hang out with Jennifer some on the night of 6/13. She was babysitting her nephew Tanner and they met us at Chuck E. Cheeses so we could catch up and the kids could play. You did a great job as mommy for the night Martin!!! We had a great time! Don't get to see Jennifer nearly enough. She lives in Nashville. Hope to get together again soon. We need a girls night out!

Back Track Pt 1: Fort Walton Beach Vacation

So June 7-10th 08' we took our first official family vacation since Addie was born. We have been to reunions and holidays with the Missouri group since she was born, but this was the first time with just us. Ella had seen the ocean when we went to California in May 06', but that had been awhile. Of course, Addie had never seen it. We had alot of fun, but I wish it could have lasted longer. Wish Matt had more vacation time from work. We just hung out around the pool, on the beach, and went down to Destin to eat at AJ's and shop at Destin Commons. The girls got to go on a shopping spree for their stuffed animals at Build-a-Bear. Oh, and what vacation with kids isn't complete without a trip to McDonalds :) Fine dining of course when you have a 3 and 1 year old. They had an awesome McDonalds in Shalimar that another couple with kids Ella and Addie's age told us about. They had vintage happy meal toys on display in the playland, free arcade games, air hockey and little slides that were good for the girls age. I really hate the playland at the McDonalds in BG. Not only does it seem gross, but their is no way to see your kids once they enter the climbing I am always worried one will get up their but not want to come down. This place was much more cool and age appropriate for our kiddos. We also went to Fudruckers and the girls loved that. Their was a play area outside and their was also an Alligator Farm where you could feed the alligators...which no we didn't do that. Anywho, hear are pics.

You can see all my favorites by visiting this link!

Monday, August 4, 2008

It's official....

I'm an Uppercase Living Demonstrator! I am so excited about this new business venture I started today. I fell in love with this product the first time I was introduced to it, but it has taken me 6 mos. to finally take the leap and become a demonstrator. I let fear hold me back alot, but this morning I just decided I will never know if I can succeed at something like this unless I try. If I fail it won't be because I haven't tried.

This is such a WONDERFUL product. All demonstrators will be getting their own personal website on Thursday so I can't wait for that! In the meantime you can check it out at My demonstrator ID is 821153 so that you can check out the catalog online. This is such a clever product, but you will just have to see for yourself. It is relatively new to our area so I am excited about introducing this to people who have never heard of it. These expressions can be placed directly on the wall...but that is by no means where the creative fun ends. They look wonderful displayed on decorative tiles, canvas, glass, picture frames, platters, dinnerware...I mean the possibilities are almost endless.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Busy Weekend

Okay, my biggest problem with keeping this blog is that I always forget my camera everywhere we go. Ryan's 5th B-day party was Saturday. So hard to believe that it has been 5 years since our family was graced with the only little boy in at least 4 generations maybe 5 on my mom's side. I was one of 3 girls, she was one of 2, her mom one of three, and grandma's mom one of 4 girls (I think 4). On the day Ryan was born I was student working up at WKU in Human Resources. My mom calls me frantic around lunch saying Dana was in labor (37 weeks) and at the hospital and all alone cause Doug was still in Franklin working. So I frantically rush over to the hospital thinking the baby's head was halfway out and she was going through labor alone. I get to the room and here Dana is sitting up in the bed just baby in sight. Yeah turns out the doctor didn't quite know what she was talking about when she told Dana she was in labor at a weekly checkup. So they did the pitocin thing and he finally arrived at 10:30 that night. Yeah I felt a little silly frantically rushing out of work only to later tell co-workers that he was born at

One of Lana's baby showers was also Sat. at Cambridge Market. They aren't telling the name of their little girl due Sept 11th so someone nicknamed her JoJo...for Lana and Greg's middle names. She got lots of neat stuff!! Brought back fond memories of the excitement I too felt in the weeks prior to Ella's birth. Nothing like being pregnant with the first and all the excitement and anticipation of being a first time parent. Of course the second pregnancy is joyful and exciting too, but I think mom's can relate with the fact that it is just different the first time around. If I can swipe pics from someone I will post later! Can't wait to see the newest addition to the family!! Maybe it will give Matt baby fever being around a newborn again...wink, wink :) Doubt it though cause when we were shopping in the baby section of Target Friday night he commented that he was, "So over the baby" He is just ready for the next stage of our life. How in the world could you be over it when you see all that cute itty bitty stuff at the store?However, I do agree that there is no way I would have a baby right now cause Addie is such a little handful I would have a nervous breakdown if I added a third to the mix at the moment.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Well what do you know??

We always say it's a small world. I could believe it! I thought this was interesting that a study has now confirmed the 'six degrees of separation theory'.