Wednesday, January 29, 2014


We have a new friend around here.  His name is Rascal.  Rascal likes to break the rules and make messes.  For some reason, whenever Rascal breaks the rules, Hunter is close by.  I keep wondering why Hunter doesn't stop him.  Like, the other day I noticed someone had been cutting with the scissors on the couch, and there were little paper bits EVERYWHERE.  Silly me, I assumed Hunter was the culprit, but when I questioned him on these antics he was quick to let me know, "I didn't do it!"  When I asked Hunter who the Edward Scissor Hands-esque fiend was, he let me know, "Rascal did it."  

Rascal also likes to take food that is REALLY REALLY crumby and eat it in the living room, leaving a nice trail of crumbs in his wake.  At first, when I noticed that Hunter had crumbs all over his face too, I jumped to silly conclusions that Hunter was the little snack hound.  However, upon questioning I was informed that "Rascal did it."

I asked Hunter about Rascal, I wanted to know a little more about his new visitor.  Hunter informed me that Rascal is invisible, but he wears a fox outfit.  He HAS to wear the fox outfit, because his Grandfather makes him.  I asked where Rascal lives, and Hunter said in heaven with his family.  His family members aren't very nice, but his grandfather is.  Rascal isn't very nice either, because he likes to do naughty things, and come into Hunter's room at night and steal toys.  Hunter is also the only one who can tell when Rascal is around.  

Rascal has been getting into a lot of stuff lately, and even made Hunter pee his pants once.  I'm not sure he's the kind of example I want around my kid.  However, I'm proud to say that Hunter has been really good lately, even with his new friend's bad example.  ;)

Having Rascal around has reminded me a lot of this movie.  

In comparison to Fred, I guess Rascal is pretty easy-going.  I really shouldn't complain.  I just hope he leaves soon, or at the very least, starts cleaning up after himself.  I really don't need an extra set of hands to clean up after.

Friday, January 24, 2014


Birthdays make me nostalgic; when it's my kid's birthday, forget about it.  The old videos and pictures come out, along with a box of tissues to wipe away the tears that will unavoidably fall when I realize how fast this parenting thing goes.  The good news is, as sad as I get thinking of the past, and each old stage, speech impediment, and imaginary friend that goes with it, I'm reminded to slow down and enjoy today's moments I might otherwise miss if I spend too long in the past, or trying to rush into the future.  And so, with the realization to enjoy the here and now, I ignored the sink of dirty dishes yesterday, and took Tralee, my birthday girl, out to play at her favorite arcade to celebrate year seven.  Instead of rushing through the bedtime routine so I could finally relish in "me time," I snuggled with my seven-year-old, and we talked well past bedtime.  She asked questions, and I answered them.  I asked questions, and I listened to her response instead of rushing her through her thoughts, so I could do the final tuck and kiss goodnight.  This morning, instead of telling her to stop singing, and go get dressed for school so we wouldn't be late, I listened to the words of her made-up song, and giggled at how clever she was. . . and IS right now.  Guys, I have a seven year old, and she's pretty awesome.  Like, really really really amazing.  These last seven years have come and gone way faster than I ever imagined, but I'm so happy I was blessed to share them with my girl. 

It's so hard to be around Tralee and NOT fall in love with her.  In seven years she's grown into such a fun, creative, clever, imaginative, witty, kind, sensitive, independent, inquisitive kid.  She always wants to do what's right, and is hardly ever in trouble (hopefully it will always be this way).  She's always asking for ways to help me, or her teacher at school, and sometimes I think I need to take advantage of her willingness to serve a little more.  When Tralee hears about someone suffering, she asks to make them a card or to do something nice for them.  She has a laugh that's contagious, and a twinkle in her eye that instantly grants her many friends.  Tralee asks us many questions, and is so excited to learn. School is LONG for Tralee, and she doesn't always love going, but she always tries her best, and so far she's ahead of the game in reading and math.  Her homework goes by fast and easy, and I'm often left wondering if it should challenge her more.  She already has a "boy friend" at school that she's pretty sure she will marry.  She told me the only problem is they can't decide if they want to live in Wisconsin or Paris after they get married.  I told her to go for Paris, and to just be friends for now.  Tralee is her little brother, Hunter's, best pal, and although they don't always get along (she has a knack for teasing), she's the first one to the rescue if he gets scared or hurt.  It's so sweet to hear her comfort him.    I really couldn't ask for a better seven-year-old, and I'm so grateful that she's mine!  I will enjoy this next year with her to the fullest!

Happy Seventh Birthday Stinks!  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Boxing Day Skating

After being inside in our jammies all Christmas Day, we were ready to get outside on Boxing Day.  Jim proposed that we drive out to the lake to check out the ice-skating situation.  Jim brought a shovel, shoveled off the snow, and made a nice little rink for us.  The ice wasn't super smooth, but good enough for us.

I wished I would haven brought the big camera this day, because the fog made for some awesome pictures.  Instead, all I had was my iphone that was almost drained of battery.  I was able to snap a few pictures before my phone died.  It was probably a good thing, as then I was forced to play, skate, and interact with the littles instead of worry about taking pictures.  

Below are a few pics of our day on the ice.  

1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . JUMP!  Tralee's airborne, I missed the mark.

I did it this time, but Tralee's timing was a little off.  

Our soon-to-be rink
This was the last picture I snapped before my phone died.

Feeling inspired after skating around in Winterland, we decided to stop at a movie theater on our way home, and watch Frozen again.  Luckily, it was about to start right when we pulled into the theater.  

Meant to be!

Our Boxing Day was full of frozen fun!

Christmas Morning

Our Christmas day was perfect.  Our kids are the perfect ages where everything is magical, which makes watching them my favorite part of Christmas.  I think Jim and I were more excited than they were on Christmas morning.  I really don't think I slept all that much.  Hunter was the first child awake, as he was the first one to fall asleep on Christmas eve.  Tralee was too excited to fall asleep on the 24th, so we let her sleep as long as we could hold off Hunter from waking her up.  Finally, we gave in, and Hunter whispered, "Tralee!  Let's see if Santa came!" into her ear.  She woke up with a big smile, and once all the cameras were ready, we let the kids come out of our room (we all slept in there on Christmas Eve).
Jim made fun of my "Y" all Christmas Day.  "It's just a special Christmas Y" I told him.

Tralee's face!

Even Corky got a stocking full of treats!

This was the year of Angry Birds for Hunter.  

Angry Birds everywhere
The picture below is the aftermath of our present-opening extravaganza.  In the middle of it all, Jim's mom stopped by to say hello and drop off some gifts for the kids.  She was in town, and it was nice to see her.  We asked if she wanted to stay the rest of the day, and eat food with us, but she wanted to get back to her home and husband, so after a nice little visit, off she went.  The rest of the day was filled with watching movies, playing games, playing with our new toys, taking naps, Facetiming with loved ones far away, and eating yummy food.  We stayed in our pajamas all day, and I really couldn't have asked for a more perfect Christmas together.  Even if my house looked like this afterwards:

The aftermath
I felt so grateful on Christmas for all of our blessings.  Which really made it easy to remember the reason for the season.  I thanked the heavens again and again for all we have, and was so happy to celebrate Christ's birthday with the ones I love.  It was a fine celebration!  One I hope to repeat every year!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Christmas Cookies and Breaking Bones

A few days before Christmas we had some Jacobs cousins over to decorate Christmas cookies for Santa.  My mom always made gingerbread cookies and sugar cookies, so that's what my kids and I made.  When the other Jacobs family came over, we mixed up a few different colors of icing, gathered up whatever sprinkles we had, and let the kids go to work.  

All five Jacobs kids decorating

More decorating

Hunter in his undies. . . per usual

Tralee working on a cookie

Jovie. . . before she broke her arm (story below)



Hunter was more excited to eat the sprinkles than to decorate with them

A BEAUTIFUL creation.  I think this one was either Hunter's, Tralee's, or Oakley's.  

Hunter slurping up the icing.  That boy.  There are no words to describe the crazy things he does, gets into, or messes up.  Well, there are words I could use, but most of them aren't appropriate to say around children.  I love him all the more for it.

After dinner, eating our weight in sugar, and visiting a bit, something quite eventful happened.  I was wiping up sprinkles and visiting with Audie, Jim just got home from work, and was about to eat his  reheated dinner, and the kids were running around.  Whilst said kids were running around, Jovie's foot got stuck in the handle part of Hunter's hippity hop, and she tripped.  The arm she used to catch her fall snapped.  I mean it LITERALLY snapped.  We all heard the bone break.  Poor Joves shouted in pain, and Jim ran to the rescue saying, "Don't worry, I know what to do."  Can I just say how glad I am that Jim is EMT trained!  He never took the test to get certified, but he took the course, and all the info he learned through the program stuck, THANKFULLY, because I'm not so sure Audie and I would have known what to do.  Jim remained calm, took care of Jovie, wrapped and harnessed her arm the best he could with one of my scarves (I tried to help by running to grab things for Jim), while Audie got the rest of her kids ready for a trip to the ER.

To sum up the rest of the story, our night of fun and games came to an abrupt end after the bone-breakage.  Jim and Tralee followed Audie and and her kids to the hospital where they met Jared (he was working that night as well).  Tralee helped out by pushing Jovie in the wheelchair at the hospital, and once Jim made sure Jovie was all checked in, and her family was settled (as settled as can be at the hospital) he and Tralee came home.

We've hung out with the other Jacobs family since this incident, and Jovie has a nice green cast on her arm.  Also, while hanging out, everyone managed to keep their bones together, and injuries were at a minimum.  There probably won't be a Christmas cookie decorating night as eventful as this one.  At least, I hope there won't be.  

Even with the bone breakage, the cookies were delicious -- the gingerbread ones especially.  Santa definitely approved, and probably sent an extra lil' something Jovie's way for breaking an arm while decorating his cookies.  I mean, who would have thought doing such an easy and festive activity would result in such an injury?  The night was memorable for sure.

Sunshine Printables

So, a while back I made a set of three sunshine printables.  I removed them from my Etsy shop a few months ago, and meant to update them.  There were some parts of them that always bothered me a bit.  Well, as life kept getting in the way, I never got around to updating them, until now.  I've finally given them a color change - to make them a bit more gender neutral -- changed the design a bit, and added one more printable to round the whole set out.  

What do you think?

Want them for your very own?  Go here.

Here is each one a little closer.  My "Leslie Love Prints" watermark won't appear on the copies I email.   You can also choose what size(s) you want.

For more cute printables check out my Etsy shop here.

For **FREE** printables click here.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

iPhone Photo Plop: Pre-Christmas

In an effort to catch up on the blog, I'm getting a bit sloppy with my posts.  Instead of eloquently writing anecdotes of our pre-Christmas festivities, I'm just going to plop some pictures from my phone of our days leading up to Christmas.


The day after we put up the tree, I came out in the wee morning hours to find our son sitting under it.  It was magical.  This wasn't the first time I found Hunter in this position admiring the tree.  Melted my heart every time.

Teddy Kidbid Cool made his appearance again this year.

Teddy Kidbid Cool being discovered by Hunter

The next few pictures are from our Church's Christmas Party.  No offense to the guy playing Santa (I'm sure he was a lovely man), but my kids saw right through the costume.  He just didn't have the "shake his belly like a bowlful of jelly" qualities that a Santa needs.  Tralee was like, "I KNOW that Santa was a fake, but I still told him what I wanted, because he's probably friends with the real Santa."

Hunter wasn't quite so sure he wanted to go sit on this strangers lap.

As his mother, I can tell from this picture, and Hunter's stance in it, that he can't wait to jump down from "Santa's" lap.

Tralee and the fake Santa

Hunter singing at our church's Christmas party. . . with his hands down his pants.  Lovely.

Teddy Kidbid and Sparks getting to know each other.

Hunter making a mess right after I cleaned. . . typical.
The next few pics are from Tralee's Christmas Party at school.  Hunter and I tagged along, and helped decorate gingerbread houses.  It was fun.

So, the night before Christmas Eve, I tried my hand at making my Great-Grandma Labiszak's Christmas Krantz.  I was nervous, as whenever I work with yeast, the dough bakes completely flat and hard.  Or it tastes WAY too flour-y.  Well guess what?  Not this time!  It turned out perfectly!  I DID have to make a phone call or two to Nana, to be sure I was doing everything right.  I'm so glad she was just a phone call away to help.

I was so proud of myself, I took this picture to send to my Nana.

This one too.

Lastly, the picture below is of Hunter sleeping on Christmas Eve.  He was the first one to have dreams of sugar plums dance in his head.  The rest of us were up for quite a while. . . too excited to sleep.

Next up, Christmas Cookies!  I'm doing it!  I'm getting caught up!  Yippee!