Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone had a blessed Christmas weekend. We sure did...wonderful and cherished family times (though I miss not going to FL in Dec. for the first time you and miss you, Gritz fam). Now Kev and I are basking in alone-ness as the kids are off to Nina and Poppy Stegs for 4 days. Time to put my feet up for a couple days as this will probably be my last break til summer! Hopefully in 2012 I'll get back to blogging :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hailey's Nutcracker Weekend...Live Feed!

Dear Friends & Family,

I know so many of you are wonderful supporters of Hailey and her ballet "career" :) I wanted to let you know that she'll be dancing in the Nutcracker THIS Weekend-- Friday, Saturday and Sunday (EST) and it will again be featured on a live feed over the internet. So those of you who are far away or would rather enjoy watching from the comforts of home (for free!) and would like to see her dance will be able to do that yet again. I have only watched the live feed once, but I do believe you can make out most people on the stage (though they don't zoom in much). Hailey will be a party girl again in the first act (Party Scene) and will also be a Russian Trepak (on pointe) in the second act (Land of Sweets). She is in all 4 performances (8pm on Friday and Saturday night and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday afternoon). She enters through the door on the right of the stage this year as a party girl and will be initially wearing a blue bonnet/shawl and muff...then she'll be in a light pink/white party dress like most of the other girls (she is the tallest of the girls). And then she will be one of 4 Trepak girls (but it might be harder to see her there since her hair will be in a bun and they are all dark-haired girls)...she is on the far left most of the time and comes right after the Chinese dance (yellow/red outfits). If you blink you might miss her in's a very quick song (I'm sure you will recognize's one I danced in years ago :)) and I believe she only dances for like 30 seconds (but she is marvelous on pointe and the youngest to ever do this part at age 11). She will also be in the finale on the far left.

Thanks to all of you who will be watching and thinking of her this weekend...and for those who have been saying little prayers for us along the way. Many of you know what an emotional two months it's been with the disappointment of not getting the lead. She has been very gracious and mature about it all. But, it's still a shame to not see her as Clara as I know she would have been an amazing one. She really is a most gifted and talented ballerina. We are certain God will open other doors for her!

Thank you all for your love and support always and special thanks to all who are going to the performances this weekend. Have a blessed holiday season!

Kelly :)

Below are some pics of our beautiful "Party Girl" and "Trepak" :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Gobble, Gobble to all our wonderful family and friends in (and out!) of the country :) We hope you are sitting around a table today with family and/or friends and thanking the good Lord for the many blessings He's showered upon you. Even though we've had a challenging few months we are so grateful for what we do have. We know we are truly blessed. Hope you all are having a blessed Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful pre-Thanksgiving last night with our Best Buds and now it's off to see the Steg fam....and then tomorrow we get to see our Awesome FL Nina! Lots to look forward to and be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thinking of you, Mom! :)

Just saying a little prayer today for my dear ol' Mom in FL as she is undergoing surgery (cryoablation) to hopefully fix her atrial fibrillation. We are anxious to have her heart beating normally again and praying she is up on her feet again soon so she can visit us next week! Love you, Mom/Nina. Hope Nurse Poppi will take good care of you since we can't be there to help! Love and hugs from all your grandkids who are especially concerned about you and your heart :)

Monday, October 31, 2011


Happy Halloween from our neck of the woods to yours! Bet you thought we fell off the face of the earth, huh?! But, have no fear...we're here...just having a challenging couple of months...and time is never my friend as far as updating the blog is concerned. Trick-or-treat from Darth-Dylan, Cinderella-Ash, Cowgirl-Hays and Kitty-Shelb!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Big 3 Year Old!

How can it be that the baby girl of our family is now THREE years old?!?! I have no idea how that happened. But, indeed it did! She went and grew up on us and is now the sweetest and cutest little three year old we know. Ashley Claire, your mama is so proud of you and so smitten by you. You just make us all laugh daily with the big-worded, sweet things you say. You have a little heart of gold and I hope you always stay that way. Thank you for blessing us with your presence 3 years ago and I can't wait to watch you grow up into an even more beautiful, smart and lovely young lady. You are such a gift to our family. I love you, Sweet Ash!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Newest Violinist in Town! :)

Well, things are taking a turn here in the Steg house...into the musical world...specifically of VIOLIN! Yep, that's right...our little Shelby, who has been our "let's try something new every year" has decided this is the "year of the violin" for herself. I think it all started this summer when we were in FL and Nina G. introduced us to her old violin. For those of you who don't know she was an EXPERT violinist back when she was Hailey's age. She was even supposed to go to Juilliard to play...
So it is a very special thing now that Shelby had found a passion to play. Ever since that June day this summer Shelby has been relentless about wanting to take lessons....we had hoped she'd wait til she could play for free at school in 3 years, but she would not give it up. So....we gave in...and she started today!
Here she is getting fitted for her violin before her lesson....(no, this isn't her instructor...her teacher, Rachel, is one who teaches violin to kids her age at the local elementary we thought she'd be a good fit for Shelby and she was :))
I didn't get any pics of her during her lesson as I was watching the younger siblings outside and daddy was in the room with her observing (he's more the music man than me :))....but she did great and loved it! Here she is afterwards outside...
We chose a very reputable music shop in town....
She was so excited to show off her violin after her first lesson...
Here's her lovely violin (rental). We might buy one if she sticks with it for more than a year...but for now this is our lovely new adopted Steg addition. Kinda weird to have an instrument in our house....this is a first...well, a first for me...Kev actually owns a trumped that he used to play that's in storage somewhere....but I was more the choir type back in school...
Here she is at home practicing....we actually couldn't get her to stop practicing :) We wondered if we'd have to "keep on" her to practice every day...that might not be an issue...and we might actually have to hide the violin so she does other things....haha :) (by the way...there is no bow in the pics as she wasn't allowed to use it for the first lesson...she just used her fingers and played the chords over and over again D-A-D) :)
All smiles with her fav. new instrument!
And these are some pics of how I kept busy for her 30 minute lesson....babysitting as usual :) But, I was glad this music shop had toys to keep the little ones entertained....
haha...check out Ashley's face after she lost her frisbee over the ledge :)

It was a great evening for our Shelby learning the one thing she's begged to learn for 2 mos. This might just be her "thing"! So exciting and so proud of her for trying something new and challenging! Maybe we'll have a Nina-repeat violin prodigy!?
(just found this pic from June and added it....this was the beginning of Shelby's love for violin in my old bedroom in FL :))

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

And so it begins... is back in session. Pinch me now. Where in the world did our summer go? Obviously we left it in the dust and now it's back to the grind of schoolwork and our crazy busy lives. And so it began this morning....early this morning, might I add (thanks to our longer/earlier school day). We were up at 5am to prepare for the daily festivities and were all out the door before 7am to take Hailey to school across town. Here is our sleepy bunch, who actually look fairly awake here, and even slightly happy! :) I think the non-school-girl looks the happiest :) Aren't they such a beautiful/handsome gang...all decked out in their new attire from both Ninas and Poppis??!! And, no, I didn't plan the blue coordination. They all picked out their own outfits (minus Ash)...very coincidental! :)
My oldest beauty off to 6th grade...her final year of Elem. school. VERY hard to believe.
My 2nd beautiful girl and joyful 2nd grader :)
And my always happy-go-lucky handsome little man and Kindergartner!! :) He was all smiles today!
Me and my school-age kids...I am so proud of all of them! And I love the girls new 31 bags. We've had them for 8 mos waiting to use them! Dylan was VERY proud of his Star Wars lunch box that he picked out (see 1st picture). He is all about Star Wars these days! :)
The big Kindergartner showing off his new Batman backpack from Nina and Poppy Stegs. We had a bit of a dilemma with backpacks for our boy this year. Nina and Poppy Stegs got him this cool one late last school year (which I love from Pottery Barn) and then they also got him a super cool Star Wars one recently. Well, he wanted to use both, but I had to nix that idea and instead he's saving the SW one for next year or until he ruins this one :)
Then it was then off to Hailey's school....I mortified her with lots of pics...she was not happy with me...for those of you with future 6th warned...they don't like photos of themselves, especially taken at school :) I didn't care though...I snapped away :)
Hailey's new, lovely teacher, Ms. C. sporting the new school logo on her t-shirt :)
At her a chair...this is a big deal this year as she's sat on a yoga ball in class for the last 2 years...
Dylan in the ever-popular recycled chair (that looks like a hand :)) in Hays' classroom.
I took one last photo of her room and can you see her in the background saying, "Mom, stop...leave" :) I love to torture my 11 year old :)
Then it was off to our healthy breakfast stop.....this has been our annual tradition the last 2 years since Hailey starts school 1 hour before regular elementary schools start. This McD's is on the way. Shelby wasn't happy we stopped. She wanted to get right to school, but didn't fully understand the time issue....Dylan on the otherhand was thrilled. This was breakfast #2 for him! He could eat breakfast all day!
So he ordered himself up a nice choc. milk and a cinnamon roll. He was in heaven. And don't worry...breakfast #1 at home was a healthy one, so that counts for something right? :) I love this smiley boy! :)
Then it was off to the time we got there the kids were half asleep...haha...ok, they were fine, but it was VERY sunny! :)
One last shot of the two other elementary kids before the went into the school....
Walking the halls toward 2nd grade to drop Shelby off...notice Dylan doesn't have his backpack or lunchbox. He couldn't bring either the first day as he didn't know who his teacher would be til Thursday.
Glad to be in 2nd grade with her best friend, Sydne...and actually a few of her best girl friends, which was a nice surprise this year.
And also very thankful to have our fav. 2nd grade teacher, Mr. S....he was also Hailey's 2nd grade teacher so many years ago.
At her new desk :)
Then it was off to wait in line to get Dylan into his classroom. Is this not absurd?? Look at the line waiting to find out what temporary room the Kindergartners were in. We waited in this line for like 30 minutes.
Finally we got to the front. The ladies at the table thought Ash was there for K too. She is about the size of a Kindergartner! And she was ready to go with her lunchbox (a special gift from Poppy Stegs...he gave into her wanting it at the store :))
I remember when this school was built in 2005....Hailey was in the first Kindergarten class here....I was only a few months pregnant with Dylan then. And now look at us....6 years later he is here....proof that time REALLY does fly!
Finally we made it to our "temp" room with our temp teacher, Mrs. B. We won't know til Wed. night if she's our real teacher or not. But for our laid-back guy it really doesn't matter. He was just so happy to go to school.
Showing off his cubby area :)
Doing his first "real school" worksheet :)
A room shot...can you tell where he is? Already working hard....
And then it was mommy and Ash time...just me and my baby girl back at home....first thing we did...was go for a walk on our fav. trail. It was a hot day, but we didn't care. We had a good ol' time :)
She collected lots of her fav. weeds, I mean flowers, for me :) Look at the joy in her face :)

She is such a little beauty and I cherished my first day at home all alone with her....
She talked to Nina G for awhile....always a highlight :)
And then while Mommy was talking to Nina, Ash watched Scooby and fell asleep...such a peaceful dozing ballerina :)
And then before we knew was time to get the kids off the bus (Hailey came home first and, yes, I took a picture, but I'll spare her from posting it :))....b/c the highlight of my day was watching my boy and his face getting off the bus. Is that not a HAPPY boy?! And the funniest part of this is that later on he says to me "Mom, you know how you met me at the bus....could you maybe not do that tomorrow!"....hahaha....I wanted to cry, yet I had to laugh. He's Mr. Independent like his sisters. I guess I should be glad for that. So now I have to wait down the street when he gets off the bus. Wouldn't want to embarrass my little man! :)
A nice pic of me and my boy after school :) I love this guy!
Look at what Ash did while her siblings were at school. She's so talented! :)
Another good idea gone bad...I was going to make our kids and the neighbor kids cute apple cake pops. I had really good intentions, but none of the right ingredients so I improvised (on the phone with Nina, might I add). Never a good idea (to improvise or do it while on the phone). My chocolate didn't liquify and instead I used frosting which didn't solidfy and thus these pops were on the table about 5 minutes after this pic was taken. But, the two sweeties in my fam (Ash and Dylan)...they didn't long as it contains sugar they eat it. They were happy. Next year I'll not get so cheap and buy the right ingredients.
A couple pics after school under our weeping willow. Look at this handsome man!
And our pretty girl showing her new Justice "S" backpack and matching water bottle. Thank you, Nina and Poppy Stegs! :)
My fav. pic of her on the 1st day....
One last pic of the 4 together. I love them all. They have grown up so fast!
My bright-eyed Shelby. All smiles after the first day...
And then I had to post a pic of the "school supply" organization day. Never had 3 in school at once so this was sure a lot of supplies to buy and go through. Can't wait til Ash is in the school mix too!

So, there ya' go...a few newer pics of our gang. More to come as well as some "catch-up" summer pics that I hoped to post earlier in August. Hope back-to-school is going well for everyone else...and if you live in MI or somewhere where it's still summer...just keep to yourselves! :)