Wednesday, November 28, 2012

UTA Homecoming

We had such a great time at UTA's homecoming a couple of weeks ago.  It is just amazing to see how much the campus has changed in the six years since I started working there.  They've really transformed the campus from what used to feel like a commuter school into a thriving on campus community.  Lots of new restaurants, shops, on-campus housing, and on campus energy has resulted in fun activities that the whole family enjoys.  They had a fun parade, activities and face painting for the kiddos, and then the big basketball game versus OU.  Good times were had by all, though Pla Shee was disappointed we weren't staying for the "after party."  :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Our trip to Washington DC

I had a social work conference this past weekend in Washington, DC, and we decided to make it a family affair and take the whole crew to visit their cousins, aunties, uncles, and grandma.  We had a blast!

 Riding the metro...who knew it could be so much fun?

Ruby and Kai found a bench to rest on during our walk around Old Town.

Ruby loves riding on her Daiya's shoulders.

Our handsome almost 12 year old.

A few months ago, we connected via Facebook with a wonderful family who adopted Kai's biological sister, who was born last January.  They live outside of DC, and we were thrilled that we were able to meet for lunch during our trip to meet their sweet girl.  She is such a cutie, and it was so much fun to see her interact with Kai.  It will be fun to keep in touch as they grow up!

Kai puckering up for a kiss for his little "sister."

Ruby loves her auntie!

 Cousin love!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Soccer for 3 year olds?

When I heard from the mom of one of Kai's preschool classmates that her 3 year old daughter was playing soccer with the YMCA's "Tiny Tots" league in Arlington, I couldn't resist asking Kai if he wanted to play.  The answer, as you might expect, was a resounding "YES"!  For a little boy who has now had the distinct "privilege" of sitting on the sidelines watching his big brother play soccer for the past 3 years, having the chance to be on a team of his own was quite possibly the most exciting news of his life.  If you're wondering, soccer for 3 year old boys is quite ridiculous.  Please enjoy these pics courtesy of Uncle Lyndy, master photographer.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


This weekend we headed to Beavers Bend State Park in Broken Bow, Oklahoma for a family camping trip with our new church.  We had a blast!  This was camping "light," meaning that we actually slept in a cabin and all of the meals were provided for us--just our speed!  It was absolutely beautiful and a whole lot of fun. We left this morning wishing we had a few more days to spend, so I think we'll definitely be back soon.  It was really neat to go on a group camping trip because the kids had instant playmates, which made our job infinitely easier.  Plus, I'm a sucker for s'mores and campfire songs, so I see more of this in our future.

Kai posing on the sad looking metal train outside the bathrooms.  We had to rough it in the sense that the bathrooms were in a building that was separate from our cabin, so that's something, right?  Most traumatic part of the trip from Kai's perspective?  Having to take a shower instead of a bath.  You would have thought he was being terribly abused by the sound of the tantrum he threw.  It was memorable.

Ruby hanging out with her "Daiya" in the fancy hiker's backpack we bought off Craigslist a couple of years ago.  The perfect contraption for a little one in the woods.

Kai posing for the camera.

Hiking in the woods on the miniature train tracks.

Ruby on the miniature train.  So fun!

Pla Shee and the other 11 year olds on the trip became fast friends.  They were inseparable and spent most of their time building a fort in the forest (see below) and fishing in the nearby river.  I literally had to drag him away so that we could go on a horseback ride.

On a hay ride around the park.  Pla Shee was too cool and opted for more fort building instead.

Kai even found time to get in some bicycle riding before dinner on Saturday. 

Friday, September 28, 2012


This was the first time we attempted Octoberfest in Addison with kids, and we had a great time.  I will admit that bringing kids to the festival dramatically changes the feel of the event.  For starters, we spent much less time downing German beers this time, and a whole lot more time standing outside the various bounce houses waiting for the kiddos to get their fill of bouncing.  At the end of the day, a good time was had by all.

Spider-Man shooting his net:

Kai was so happy to get to ride on this ride!  Usually what happens is we wait in line only for the carney to tell him he's too short to ride.  I think the carney in charge of this ride felt sorry for him and just overlooked the fact that he's super short.  Poor little guy!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy Birthday, Ruby Nell!

Aaron and I were recently talking about the irony involved in the fact that it took us a much longer time to "bond" with Ruby than it did with Kai.  Before we adopted Kai, we read book after book about bonding and how important attachment was and how difficult it can sometimes be for adoptive families.  Well, we adopted Kai when he was two months old, and within the first week of knowing him, we were bonded for life.  It was so easy.  He instantly felt like our son, and with that huge grin of his, well...he had us at "hello."  So, when I was pregnant with Ruby I didn't give a second thought to the idea of attachment and bonding.  And then, one year ago today, out she came about a month before we were "ready."  We were certainly not ready for the juggling act that characterized the first few months of Ruby's life.  Aaron had just started a new job, I was in my last year before going up for tenure at UTA, Kai was still very much mama's baby, and Pla Shee was trying hard to get used to the demands of fourth grade.  Those first weeks (and months) saw more than their share of tears.  Our family figured out along the way that newborn babies are clearly amazing and wonderful, but also demanding, loud, and not very good at sleeping.  Happily, the newborn stage and other "unfun" parts of having a new baby were over before too long, and after a few months we finally got our groove back.  Ruby is now the easiest, happiest one year old she could possibly be, and she's pretty darn cute, too!  Needless to say, we've bonded, and have decided she's officially a keeper.  ;)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's been too long!

Needless to say, we've been busy! Now that we're back in the swing of things with school and work, I'll try to get back into the swing of things with the blog as well.  A few random pictures from the past few weeks to get caught up to speed today:

Here are Pla Shee and Ruby building a tower (Kai's in the background) at the Fort Worth Children's Museum.  What a great place!  This summer, Fridays were our day to try out a new activity or visit a new place around the metroplex.  The Fort Worth Children's Museum was definitely the big winner.  They have great exhibits and activities that appealed to Kai and Ruby as well as 11 year old Pla Shee--not an easy feat!

Here Aaron and Kai are clowning around at Pla Shee's soccer practice.  He has practice two evenings a week, and games on Saturdays, which is a big commitment for our family!  He really seems to enjoy it, though, and Kai and Ruby love the extra time that they get to spend on the playground waiting for practice to finish.

Ruby is getting so big!  She turns 1 this Friday, and she just gets cuter every day.  She's taken a few steps here and there, but I'm sure she'll be running around keeping up with her big brothers in just a few more weeks.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tomatoes and Turkeys

I figured we're probably way past due for an update on the farm, so here's a quick one today.  We spent the week with just Ruby this week because Pla Shee went to camp and Kai stayed with his MeMe.  It was VERY different, but fun to spend some quality time with our little 9 month old alone.  She was my helper today as we picked tomatoes and took care of baby turkeys.

As I probably mentioned before, this was a CRAZY year for us trying to adjust to having three kiddos, a farm, and full-time jobs.  Needless to say, the garden was pretty much an utter failure.  This was actually the first year that we didn't start our own seeds.  :(  But all was not lost.  We bought about 20 tomato transplants from a local farmers market in the spring and planted them in the backyard along the fence.  The wood posts and netting that you see in the picture is our marginal attempt to keep stray chickens, turkeys, and guineas from eating the tomatoes. 

We've had amazing luck this year with Porters--they're very prolific and we literally pick a bowl's worth of tomatoes just about every evening.

Here's my helper demonstrating that tomatoes make good teethers.

We've also had really good luck with our turkeys, and just had another five hatch the other day.  We had to move the "teenagers" to a new pen across the yard to make room for the new babies.

The sheep, goats, and donkeys are managing so far this summer, but we're bracing ourselves for what will inevitably be a very hot July and August.  That said, the Mitschke clan is headed down to the beach at Rockport this afternoon for some fun in the sun!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

9 months old...already?!!

I am blown away that Ruby is already 9 months old!  She is such a joy, and we enjoy her smile and giggles so much.  What a blessing she is to our family.  It is so crazy to me how quickly my little ones are growing up.  It seems like just the other day that Kai was 9 months old.  One thing is for sure...we were definitely blessed with two of the happiest babies ever.  As evidence, here is Ruby this morning and, just for fun,  a pic of Kai when he was 9 months old.  LOVE them!