Wednesday, November 11, 2015


I've decided that the reason I've been avoiding this blog is because the task of sifting through pictures from the last 9 months is too overwhelming.  Who has time to go through over 10,000 pictures and then write about them?  Why did I let myself get so far behind?  Aack!

But...I've come to the realization (in the last 40 minutes) that this blog is very important to me and even though it sometimes feels like a huge chore to write posts, it will be well worth it when our kids read back through all of our crazy adventures and realize how much fun we've had along the way.  And why their parents are so frickin' crazy.  (spoiler alert:  it's their fault) 

Now I'm going to cheat and just list the highlights from our year so far.  I have a few big posts that I don't want to skimp on (trips!) but I'll just throw them in as I go.

2015 January-November Highlights
  • we got a puppy.  Have I mentioned Phoebe?
  • Scott's first season as the head varsity baseball coach was a success.  Another teams coach told him it will take 4 years until the program really feels like his own, but I think he was pretty happy with Season 1. 
  • Brady played lots of soccer  
  • Bennett played lots of baseball
  • Cate bridged from Daisy's to Brownies
  • Carter GRADUATED highschool and turned 18!
  • Disneyworld, the Lake, Anna Maria Island OH MY!
  • Mississippi, Chicago, Virginia OH MY!
  • IKEA opened 12 miles from our house.  Of course, I was there on opening day. 
  • I'm coaching a Girls on the Run team at Grigsby this season but plan to go back to Worthen in the spring
  • Carter went to the Homecoming Dance with Morgan
  • Bennett was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society
    Brady = lots of soccer

    Bennett = lots of baseball

    Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony
2015 Graduate!!
IKEA (I've been waiting so long for this!)

Girls on the Run is so much FUN!!
National Honor Society ceremony

And current events....
  • Scott is still teaching 8th grade history and Bennett is still his favorite student in 1st hour :)
  • I am babysitting baby Ava (4 months) everyday and occasionally Parker (almost 2)
  • Bennett is taking weekly confirmation classes at our church
  • Bennett and Scott have baseball workouts/hitting 4 nights a week
  • Brady has soccer practice 3 nights a week and games on the weekends
  • Cate tumbles on Wednesdays and Brownies on Mondays
  • Carter is working 30+ hours a week at a Target warehouse and takes college classes T/Th
  • All 3 dogs, Buddy, Murphy and Phoebe are still kickin' it and making things loud around here
Sweet Baby Ava
Cate at tumbling

Carter doing grown-up stuff
Phoebe is still growing! 30lbs already! And she needs to be touching someone when she sleeps.  Murphy took one for the team this night.
So there it is...2015 in a half-ass blog post that was way overdue.  And since it took me almost two hours to fight these pictures and blog layout, I'm not sure when my next update will be!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

back at it...

Hello first day of school.  August 19th.  I'm loving the later start date...I really wish they would go Labor Day to Memorial Day and take some of the fluff days out of the middle (I don't need 9 days off at spring break or 17 at Christmas!), but since no one asked me, I will be satisfied with the 19th.  Btw, why didn't anyone ask me?

This morning I was pretty sad that summer is over.  We had a really good summer, REALLY good...maybe our best one yet, and I'm having a hard time letting go.  As for school starting, that doesn't really make me sad.  I know the kids are ready to get back with all of their friends and I am more than ready for a routine around here.  No more 10:30am wake-ups (Cate) or late-night phone calls to pick the boys up from their friends. I don't think I'm sad about the kids getting older either.  No, I'm definitely more pissed about ME getting older, not them. So age away little ones, I'm gonna sit here at 29 (!) for another ten years.

My morning drop-offs are going to take some getting used to since Brady has moved on to intermediate school and everyone starts at different times.  Thankfully Bennett and his Dad are both in 8th grade so they can carpool :)

Cate 2nd grade, Bennett 8th grade, Brady 5th grade

 Bennett's history teacher is none other than his dad. Yeah, his D-A-D.  No joke.  There is no district rule against it and because Ben is in the accelerated program, his scheduling options were limited.  It will be fine.  Scott has an awesome co-teacher during 1st hour and she will do a great job at refereeing any bickering between father and son, teacher and student. And her name is Ms. Bennett, so it's practically already 2 against 1.  Ben has it all figured out and under control :)

My first email communication from Mr. Smallie! I wonder if any other moms have *heart eyes smiley faces* next to his name?!

I'm still babysitting but Marci is on maternity leave (welcome Ava!) so until mid-October I am a one-man show at home.  HOLLA! I have 9,239 things on my to-do list, and I'm hoping to knock out at least 10 :) before my babysitting duties begin.  Updating my blog is at the top of the list because I've totally let it slide and I know one day I'll be disappointed that I didn't "scrapbook" these years.  The other things on my list are lots of lunches with Candi and Jaime and lots of walks with Phoebe (both of which I've already done today!)  

So, I guess....ready or not, here we go!

Sunday, March 22, 2015


is a beautiful glorious day in the neighborhood! Hello spring!

I'm supposed to be cleaning the house while everyone is gone (skateboarding, biking, baseball practice, etc) but I started to upload pictures from my phone and camera and thought I'd post a few from today.  Of course, most are of my baby Phoebe :)

Getting the community garden ready for spring plantings.  My sister and mom have been super busy planting onions and potatoes and starting the rest from seeds in the green house.  I hate to garden.  I wish I didn't, but I do.  I do love to walk around nurseries though and choose my next victims hanging plants.  I was not born with the green thumb or love of gardening.  Sorry Engelke family!

digging for worms

puppy spa is open for business

throw her toys in, jump in and saves them.

Phoebe does not like to play Frisbee like this
poor baby is sad that daddy won't let her ride in the front seat of his car :(  She loves car rides and jumps in as soon as someone opens the door..whether she's invited or not.
Cate quickly realized that the fastest way to dig a hole is to stand back and let the dog do all of the work...

manure mulch dive

 Obviously, we're still smitten with Phoebe! She definitely loves being outdoors the best and could run for hours...and then sleep for hours (my favorite part). She weighed a whopping 11 pounds at her last appt and should top out around 22-25.  We're looking forward to lots of summer fun exploring the outdoors with her!

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Saturday, February 7, 2015


Team Smallie has a new player.  Spoiler Alert:  It's a dog.  Why did Team Smallie need another dog?  Don't the coaches remember that puppies are a lot like babies? 

Phoebe Smallie.  Yes, that's the same name as every doll in our house and now it's also the name of our puppy.  Why do we have a new puppy?

So here is how this happened....

Scott: (watching tv and randomly comments) "I like that dog.  Australian Shepherd?  I'd like to have a running partner and they're good running dogs"

That's all it took.  Scott was probably just thinking out loud and never really meant that he wanted a dog, because he probably didn't, but those details aren't important.  He is married to the most obsessive person ever and his random comment, that he probably doesn't even remember saying, set the ball rolling and we all know that once I get something in my head, there's no turning back. After 13.5 years, he should know better.

So, meet Phoebe....

Awwww, isn't she cute?!
 I found her through an Australian Shepherd rescue group...this is a picture her first mama text me.  It took me a few months to find a good fit for us, and then a few weeks going back and forth with the owner, and then she was all mine.  I mean "ours". I mean mine.
We got her last weekend when she was just 6.5 weeks old.  Wittle bitty teeny thing.  (Why do puppies make me want to use baby talk?)
So far she's been fantastic! Australian Shepherds are known to be the smartest dogs in the world...seriously, google it...and since the Scott Smallie family is known to be the smartest family in the world, well, it just worked out.
She's a herder and loves to run.  Run Run Run.  Herd Herd Herd.

She's mastered the potty-outside-thing which has been clutch.  But it's also what has created the most work for me.  Taking her outside so often during the day and at 4 AM every morning is very time consuming...and exhausting.  I would actually much rather she just pee in the house, but since it's not an option, I spend a lot of time outside with her.  And because Scott did 90% of overnight feedings with our babies, I decided that it's probably my turn to take one for the team.  Even though he is the one that wanted this dog ;)
I've had at least one dog every day of my entire life (except maybe a very short run in the late 70's between Taffy and Skipper?)...but I totally forgot how much work they are.  Murphy and Buddy are 11+ years old and very self sufficient and their puppy days seem like a lifetime ago, so this past week has pretty much been a shock to my system.  Especially the 4am wake-up calls.  And adding one more name to the list has totally thrown me off.  Ex. "Does anyone know where Brady Trevor Cate Murphy Carter Bennett Parker PHOEBE is?

To my friends (Jen and Marci) who are grossed out about animals in beds, LOOK AWAY NOW!

We bought a crate for Phoebe to sleep in but.....
this is not the crate

Trevor does not need a puppy.  I repeat.  Trevor does not need a puppy.  He is not what I would consider "puppy friendly"
still not a crate
two nap Tuesday
dying from the cuteness
Parker and Phoebe sleeping exactly the same way (notice my strategically placed leg to keep Parker from rolling off the couch). 

paw on the tushy

crates are stupid anyway.

Murphy is hanging in there.  The first hour Phoebe was with us, I thought Murphy was going to eat her.  For real.  But he's rallied through and has become a great mentor :)  Until Phoebe is big enough to jump onto the couch and invade Murphy's territory...then it's probably game on.
Murphy and Parker...still BFF's

Phoebe plays hard and sleeps hard and I hope the "honeymoon" phase never wears off and she continues to be a great dog.  Fingers crossed!