Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Here are some pics to go with my last post...

My lovely daughters before the Nutcracker.
Shelley and I in the limo in Vegas.
Did I even mention that we got to be on National TV while we were in Vegas? Oh, yeah... We got to be on National TV while we were in Vegas. Here's a pic from our big debut! :-) We did a blurb for the Country Music Awards. We shouted "We love Pistol Annies!!!" It was a very "Vegas" thing to do!!! :-)
Luke and Will met a very nice showgirl.
Fun times!!! Back soon with more pics...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Well, hello there...

... YES! It is amazing, I know, that I am posting. After all, it has been since Thanksgiving, but I am just stopping in to let you know that I am alive... Just super dooper busy!

This whole holiday season has been one big, busy blur, but it is a GOOD blur.

Luke and I managed to get away to Las Vegas for a few days in early December, and I ran my very first half marathon. It was amazing. We ran at night under the lights of Vegas on the strip. It's something I'll not forget soon. We went with our good friends the Hales. Epic fun. :-)

We took the girls to see the Nutcracker ballet last weekend. They loved it!! It is something Luke has always wanted to do with them, and I am so glad we finally did...

Now it is full force, straight ahead til Christmas... I'm prayerful that it will soon slow down so that we can ALL enjoy the magic and wonder that IS Christmas.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


We are so very

for our friends, our family, and our heavenly father during this
Thanksgiving season.

May God richly bless you and yours!

Friday, November 18, 2011

"Anyway" by Mother Teresa


People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

Tough lessons...

Wow. It has been QUITE a week around here.

Nothing quite like telling your kids that a person whom they love has passed away...

It hurts so much to see your children in pain! Seriously, it is 100 times more painful than what you experience yourself...

We made it through the private burial ceremony, but the public memorial for our beloved Ju Ju is still to come tomorrow. Pray for strength and stamina, because this has been A LOT for my kids..

This has been a rough year. We lost our 16 year old dog Bandit, our dogs Trixie and Speck, Luke's father, and now Ju Ju. We are ready for 2011 to be OVER, and remain hopeful that 2012 will be better!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


We are heartbroken. Our beloved Ju Ju went to heaven today.While we know she is in a better place without cancer and without pain, we miss her, and we are sad.

We love you, Judy.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fabulous Ju-Ju

We have the most special wonderful lady in our lives, who I am always bragging about. She is our Fabulous Ju-Ju. She started out as the kids' babysitter when Grace was an infant, but has morphed into more of a family member and grandmother figure to my kids. She has been there for all the important events in the lives of my kids. She goes to their ball games, and eats lunch with them at school, and takes them out for ice cream, and takes them gardening in funny hats...... and goes to their egg hunts...
... and goes on their field trips.
We love her around here.

The day before school started, we got some devastating news about our beloved, fabulous Ju-Ju. Luke is her doctor, and he had to tell her that she has pancreatic cancer. And that it was bad.

She's very sick, and we are very sad.

Please pray for her, and please pray for us.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween 2011

Halloween came and went at a fast and furious pace around here... Daddy was "on call", so we had to go it alone this year :-/ That is always stressful for me, but we made it fine. Grace had her party at school, and then after that we trick or treated the Square, and then made the rounds in one of the neighborhoods. Fun times!

Of COURSE, we had to have "Costume Drama"... Grace chose to be a lovely butterfly, and we have had the costume for months. She wore it to character dress-up day at school, and ripped the wing. Then she wore it again to the Band Carnival, and COMPLETELY ripped out the wing... I tried to fix it yesterday with a little fabric glue, but it did not work. :-( SO... after school yesterday, I told her she could either be a butterfly with a broken wing, or she could choose something else from the dress-up box. She said that "butterflies with broken wings always die", so she chose an old costume... After a little starch and some ironing, it looked pretty good!! We even managed to find the tights that went with it. I was proud of BOTH of us for being flexible! :-)

SO... Here is my little witch, Grace...
And my little monster, Abby...
And my very grown-up looking Cookie Monster, Kate.
Happy Halloween from the Killian girls!! :-)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Runner...

Kate began running Cross Country this year, and to be honest with you, I was a little surprised. She has never really LOVED running, and I think she only joined the team because a couple of her best buds were running.

However... as the practices went on and as she got into it, I think the little missy discovered that she actually might be kinda GOOD at this running "thing". She went to her first meet and placed 27th out 150 girls... Not too bad for a kid who hadn't really run before, and didn't really know what she was doing! She just went out and ran!

At that meet, they handed out 20 medals. When she realized that she missed getting a medal by only 7 places, she made it her goal to win a medal by the end of the season.

At the next meet, she improved her time dramatically, but we learned that it depended on the meet as to how many medals they handed out... There were only 10 medals at THAT particular meet.

Next meet, only 15 medals. Once again, she was edged out.

This past week, I was unable to attend the meet because the other girls had soccer games and Abby's team (which I am coaching) had pictures. But, Luke was able to go and watch Kate run. When he arrived, the gun had already sounded to start the race. He went to the turn near the end of the race and started counting the girls... when he got to Kate, he shouted, "YOU ARE IN 15th PLACE!!! THERE IS A GIRL RIGHT BEHIND YOU!!! R-U-N!!!!!" He said she TOOK OFF. She sprinted in to the finish, and she got her medal!
She finished 15th out of 120+ girls. We were super proud of her, and she was super proud of herself. Way to run, Kate.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Fox

Every year, our 4th graders at school do a play. Each year it is something different. When Kate was in 4th grade, they did "Go West", about the westward expansion of our nation. Kate was the Yellow Rose, a saloon girl from Texas.

This year, the 4th graders performed "Pinocchio". Abby played the part of the Fox, who is the "bad guy" in the play. (If you know my little Abby very well, that is really pretty surprising, as she is the sweetest, shyest, quietest one of my daughters... I was quite surprised when she came home and told me this was the role she wanted to audition for!)

BUT... she proved once again that she is quite the little actress and singer, as she landed the role she wanted, and WAS the Fox who tricked Pinoccho out of his money. She was GREAT!

Here she is, along with her BFF, Lainey, who played the role of an Italian gypsy and puppet master.
Here is Fox again, along with her side kick, Cat, (played by Presley)... They were the dynamic duo... They were SO GREAT in their roles!! Funny, funny girls!!
Here are Lainey (gypsy / puppet master), Kasidy ( toy seller), Abby (Fox), Maggie (Book Seller), and Jennifer (mother).
Here are Presley (Cat), Abby (Fox), Matt (Geppetto) Triston (Italian Man), and Lainey (gypsy / puppet master).
And here are Lainey and Abby one more time after the show... You can see Cade, who played Pinocchio, there in the front of the picture. He did a super job!!
The entire cast did a great job! It was really one to remember!! :-)

Monday, October 3, 2011


My dog is missing.She never wandered before, but we brought home a puppy a few months back, and once that puppy grew up a bit, he began to roam, and my Trixie began to roam with him. This time she has not come back. I am fearing the worst.
She is such a good natured dog, and so smart... Our hearts are broken!

Come home Trixie!!! We miss you!!! :-(

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Soccer 2011

Grace and Abby are both playing soccer this year. I just love soccer... This is the first year that Kate is NOT playing, but between volleyball, basketball, crosscountry, cheerleading, band and church choir, she's got enough going on...

I seldom remember my camera, but, lucky for me, I had a friend at Grace's game today who caught some excellent shots of my little Goalie in action.

Pretty cute. Unfortunately, the Purple Ninjas came out on the losing end today, but hopefully they had fun.

Abby's team, the Red Tornadoes, also lost today. (Despite some EXCELLENT coaching by my BFF, Shelley, and myself... ha ha)

Hopefully I can talk my friend into coming to Abby's game and taking pics of her, as well! ha ha

Monday, September 26, 2011

The BIG 4-0

Sadly, the rumors are true... I turned 40 years old this past weekend!! However, the weekend turned out to be one of the best of my life, because my FANTASTIC hubby took me on a trip to celebrate! We went back to Isla Mujeres, Mexico, which is just off the coast of Cancun. We have visited there before (last November, to be exact,) and it is still our favorite place we've ever been. Of course, since I am ME, nothing is ever simple when it comes to pictures... Let me explain...

I DID remember the camera!!! Yay me!! I know you are stunned, since I NEVER remember the camera... However, that camera did NOT have THE MEMORY CHIP inside of it... Boo!! And, apparantly when you are on a remote island in the Caribbean in a foreign country, memory chips are not exactly easy to come by... (Especially when you don't really know how to say "memory chip" in Spanish...)

So, I have fantastic images IN MY HEAD. These other pics I found on the net... Once again, blogger makes them small... WHY?!?!?!?

Here is an image off of Punta Sur (South Point) of the island. It looks like something out a movie. Breathtakingly gorgeous. The beach. AHHHHHHHH... I LOVE the beach. And this beach is AH-MAZE-ING. Crystal clear, turquoise blue water, white sand... PARADISE.

Here is an arial view of the island. For real, it IS this beautiful.

The hotel that we stayed in (for the second time now), is called Villa Rolandi. These pics are tiny, so you can't see much, but it is incredible. My favorite thing is that there are NO CHLDREN allowed. Now, I know that sounds a bit harsh, as I LOVE kids, but when you are talking relaxation, nothing beats the QUIETNESS that goes along with a place that has no kids. It is SOOOOOOOOOO relaxing. Just the waves and the fountains and the blowing of the plam leaves for noise.... So peaceful...

This is EXACTLY what the view from our balcony looked like. Unreal. The place has two pools, one heated and one not, and then a HUGE saltwater hot tub. There is also a private jacuzzi on every balcony.

Here's an interior pic of the rooms...They are LOVELY. The other thing that I LOVE abou this place is that it is SMALL. Only 20-30 rooms, so it never, ever seems crowded.

On my "actual" b-day, Luke arranged for us to have dinner served on the beach. It was pretty darn fantastic. Mexican luminarias lit the walkway down to our table. It was surrounded by tiki torches. Beautiful!!

The sunsets were something to behold, as well. This pic DOES NOT do them justice!

If you EVER get the chance, you must go. It was the perfect way to celebrate my first forty years!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My little "star"

Kate had to sing at a fundraising gala this weekend for our local civic theater. I know I am biased, but she was SO good...

Naturally, I did not bring my camera, but another dad did, and I am lucky that he shares his pictures on his website (Thanks, Larry!) Not sure why blogger loaded it in this tiny size, but I have re-done it twice, and it is still small... Oh, well...

She looked so pretty. She's growing up on me!!
I wish I had a recording of the song she sang. She sang "For Good" from the Broadway musical "Wicked". I thought it was great. (But, as I said before, I am ridiculously biased! :-)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Busy, busy...

Now that school is officially underway, we have discovered that our family schedule might be just a tad busy, and it's mostly because of this little missy...This year Kate is playing volleyball and basketball, running crosscountry, cheerleading, playing in the band, and singing in the church choir. Oh, yeah, and all that school work...

Last week she started JH athletics, and she has to be at the gym at 6:45 every morning for practices. UGH! For this family of late risers, that is TOUGH!!!

My other kids have not even really started their activities yet, and we are already tired!!

Kate's first volleyball game is this week, so LET IT BEGIN for real. Once we add games into the picture, I'm not sure HOW this is all going to all work...

Maybe it's a good thing I am not working... :-)

Friday, August 26, 2011

End of Summer Re-Cap

This was one of the best summers we've ever had... We enjoyed everything about it. We had the perfect vacation, and when we were at home we relaxed and swam and just basically enjoyed ourselves. So, when summer came to an end, I mourned its passing more than EVER before.

To make matters even MORE "sticky", I knew I was really going to miss the kid-o's when they went back to school this year. I knew I was going to be AT HOME, ALL ALONE, EVERY SINGLE DAY once they went back to school. And, I was DREADING that. Badly.

SO... I wanted to do something special the last weekend before school began. I just didn't know what that was. I told hubby I wanted to plan something special, and he looked at me like I had sprouted a third head, and said, "I have to work that weekend."


That could really put a damper on the plans.


But, I chose not to let it!! :-)

Instead, I loaded the girls up in the car and we went on an impromptu vacation to the beach for the weekend!
It was fantastic. We did nothing but play in the sand and soak up the sun. It was the perfect end-of-summer get away.

Then, on the way home, we stopped and got Abby's ears pierced.
Doesn't she look so grown up? :-) I kind of don't like that part so much...

SO... that's what we did just before school started! We drove into town Monday afternoon just in time to change clothes and go to "Meet the Teacher" night. It was a trip that we could not have taken if I had been working, so it was a great way to celebrate our changing world.

Now... bring on the school year!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Day of School 2011

Today was the first Day of School! I now have a first grader, a fourth grader, and a seventh grader. WHERE has the time gone, and can't we just SLOW THIS DOWN ALREADY?!?!?

Here are my beautiful girls this morning, all dressed and ready for their first day.
Here's Grace, excited to show of her cute backpack.
Here's Abby with her stylish messenger bag...
And here is my big 7th grader.
Here is Abby with her teacher, Mrs. Dalton. (I embarrassed her horribly by going into her room and asking her to pose with her teacher for this picture!! :-)
And here is Grace with her teacher, Mrs. LeBlanc. (I can't believe the pic is blurry!! Darn I-phone!!)
Everyone was tired after pick-up time, but everyone had a wonderful day. My day, on the other hand, was VERY quiet. I don't know HOW I am going to fill my days without the girls here! :-(

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I don't whine ALL the time...

... even though yesterday's post certainly sounded like it!

Today I have put on my "big girl" panties, and I am trying to deal with it.

We had big plans today that Ju Ju was going to keep the "littler" girls while I took just Kate to the "big city" to go school clothes shopping. We have recently cleaned out closets, and I am not exaggerating when I say she had NOT ONE SINGLE PAIR of jeans left that fit her. Zero. Zilch Nada. And school starts in one week.

BUT... Ju Ju called in sick today, which she NEVER does, so there was nothing to do but load up all the girls and take them shopping with us.

You would have thought I told the little ones I was going to flay them and fry them in hot oil, the way they wailed and carried on when I told them that they had to go this morning!! But, once we got there and started shopping, it really wasn't that bad! We ACTUALLY had fun! And, we got some GOOD STUFF for school. I think the girls are ready now.

Well, maybe they are not READY, but at least they will be clothed!! :-)

Monday, August 15, 2011

... the post where I whine a little...

Now that we've recovered from our "post Disney haze", and kinda gotten into a routine here at Casa de Killian, all of a sudden I have realized that, GOOD GRIEF, the kids go back to school in about a week!!

I am not quite sure how I am feeling about all of this.

Today was the first day that our district's teachers reported back to their campuses. And, as you might remember from the Spring, I was NOT re-hired this year, due to budgetary reasons.

I don't know exactly what I thought today would feel like, but this wasn't it.

I'm sad, and MAD, and depressed, and confused, and all sorts of things... I was sure, and I mean SURE, that I was supposed to be teaching again, now that my kids are older. So why aren't I? Don't all schools want teachers who teach for the love of children and for the love of learning? That is what you would want to believe.... Shouldn't it MATTER that I was REALLY pretty darn good at my job? It should matter. Even if it did not.

And, would someone please enlighten me as to what exactly I am going to DO with myself once my kids are gone all day every day? I am going to be so bored I may pull my toenails out.

Ugh. I am trying, and I mean REALLY trying to just relax and BE, and let God lead.

More difficult than it sounds, my friends... :-(

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 6

Ahhh, Day 6... Also known as "our last day at Disney"... :-(

Also our last day to be staying here...
For our last day of Disney fun, we went to Hollywood Studios. We got there early, and ran through the gates to get to what we had been told would be our hardest ride to get, Disney's Toy Story Ride. We made it! We rode it first thing, and also secured a Fast Pass for later in the afternoon. SCORE!! After riding, we waited just a few minutes to meet these guys!
Then we went to explore the rest of the park. We rode the Star Wars ride, and in the ride, they choose a person at random and put their photo up on the screen and identify them as "The Rebel Spy". Guess who was the spy? It was Grace! How fun! She was a little confused, but it was all in good fun! We also went to the Honey I shrunk the kids playground, and the Little Mermaid Show (fantastic!) and Beauty and the Beast Live (Amazing!!) and The Muppets 3D show. It was so funny! Outside the theater was this very cute fountain.
When I was a little girl, I had a "thing" for Miss Piggy - I LOVED her! I even had a light blue satin Miss Piggy jacket that I LOVED. :-)

We also went to see the Lion, the WItch, and the Wardrobe exhibit, which the kids were very interested in. Grace also got her face painted!
In true Florida style, a storm rolled in right when we were about to go and see the Indiana Jones stunt show. They could only show us a portion of the show, due to the bad weather. We had dining reservations for the evening there at the park (at Hollywood and Vine Restaurant), but we opted to cancel them and go back to our hotel and eat at the sit-down place there. What a GREAT choice! It turned out to be the best meal we had all week!! The Prime Rib was AWESOME! Then, when we got back to our room, the maid had used the girls' souveneirs to decorate their beds for their last night...

While I packed us up, Luke took the girls swimming one last time, and then we tried to get the girls to go to bed early, since we had a 5:20 am flight the next morning. Yikes!! That meant that the Disney Magical Express would be picking us up at 2:30 in front of our resort. Not fun!! Note to self: No matter how cheap the tickets are, it might not be worth ending your vacation in the middle of the night to get the cheap flights! ha ha

All in all, it was a magical trip. I hope it was a once-in-a-lifetime trip that my girls will never forget! :-)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Day 5

This is the day that we FINALLY let the troops sleep in a little later... We didn't worry quite so much about being at Epcot right when the gates opened for our second day there! When we got there, we did all of our favorite rides first, and got Fast Passes for the ones that had long lines. We rode Soarin' AGAIN (and it was fantastic AGAIN), and Test Track and all the Space Rides, as well as Nemo and Turtle Talk. We also rode the Land ride, which was surprisingly educational. Then we spent the afternoon walking through the countries!

and England (where we met Alice!)

A storm started to blow in, hich looked like it might hold some hard rain, so we left Epcot mid afternoon. We went back to our hotel, and after the rain passed, spent the afternoon resting and swimming. That evening, we had reservations at the Polynesian resort for the Aloha Luau. We got all fancied up, and went over there for a fantastic dinner.

After dinner and the show, we walked back to the monorail, where we were able to see the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom exploding in the sky. It was so perfect! However, by the time we got back to our hotel, everyone was T-I-R-E-D one again!! Luke had to carry the little Gracie back to the room!
What a great day!