Category Archives: food

S’mores labor




Our Labor Day plan was to have no plans.  We are in a super busy season of commitments right now, and a day of nothing seemed like the perfect idea.  I had mentioned early in the day that it would be fun to break in our fire pit we got this summer with s’mores for dessert after dinner.  When Brad’s sister asked if we wanted to go to the splash pad with them, we thought it would be fun to pair the two things together.  So after having fun in the water, we headed back to dry off and get sticky.  In retrospect, maybe the water part would have served us better after the sticky s’mores!

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garden glimpse


We’re a few weeks into our veggie garden adventure, and we’re starting to see some filling in (and some gaping holes).  We knew we were planting early, but we had plenty of seeds in each package to be able to replant later if necessary.  Sure enough, soon after we planted it got plenty cool and at times cold again.  This weekend we’ll go back and replant some things and hope that this time they will take and sprout.  Even with it still being early in the game, we have quite a bit coming up and some of it is growing quite nicely.

Here’s a peek:

{tomato plants that will hopefully soon be able to go in the ground.  the tallest is getting its first few flowers!  yay!}

{carrots.  i’d almost given up on these guys coming up and thought we’d have to replant them all.  but this week we have almost all of their half rows coming up and filling in!  don’t think we’ll need to replant any of these guys!}

{onions.  these guys are slow and sparse.  we’ll probably replant some more of them.}

{spinach.  we have about half of a row of these guys that come up and half that didn’t we’ll probably go in and fill in the empty spots with more.}

{peas.  these guys are my favorite.  they’re adorable.  no?  well i think they are.  we had about a quarter of these guys come up.  since they are what Brad is most excited about we will definitely be replanting some of these guys this weekend.  oh, and do they need some sort of thing to grow on.  i’m assuming they do with they’re little curly grabbers that are growing.}

{lettuce.  salad anyone?  we’re are having major success in the lettuce department.  we have a full row of these guys.  i’m hoping everyone is ready for some greens!}

{strawberries!  i’m not much of a veggie eater, but fruit – more please!  our first strawberry is ready to be picked.  i figure it’s not fair if i snag it so we’ll pick it tomorrow and split it amongst us all!}

{here’s a picture of the garden as it looked this afternoon.  i’m definitely looking forward to when the flags aren’t needed to mark the rows!  soon!}

Now, if I can just teach myself to like peas, lettuce, spinach, carrots, onions, and tomatoes.  I’ll do the growing, y’all can do the eating!!!



This is my last Little Rock post.  We had 3 more days of fun following this, but it was apparently too much fun to take an pictures.

Mom had seen that Laman Library had a train exhibit going on for the last 2 weeks of 2011, and she thought that the kids would enjoy getting to see it.  Dad woke up sick that morning so we did our best to get the kids ready and out of the house for a few hours so he could get some rest.  Although it took a couple of minutes for the biggers to warm up to the noise level in the room, they loved the trains.  Even more they loved that there were certain buttons they could push to do different things in different places.

By the time we finished up there, it was lunchtime.  We skipped the trolley ride we were going to do (guess we’ll save that for next trip down) and headed over to the All Aboard restaurant.  This was seriously the best idea for a restaurant.  The kids LOVED it.  What could be better than having your food lowered to your table after being driven to you by train (the website has a video of how it works)?!?!?  Does Omaha have something like this that I’m just not aware of???

Our trip to Little Rock was definitely one of my favorites.  The kids are already asking when we get to go back and are disappointed when I tell them it will be a long time.  I owe a big thanks to my parents for putting up with us for nearly 2 weeks.  I am also so grateful for my siblings and their kids for hosting us at their houses and traveling over to Mom and Dad’s a ton so we could enjoy so much family time.  We are definitely excited to be back as soon as possible!

We’ve been back home for a couple of days now, and the house is still out of sorts.  I’m anxious to tear down the Christmas tree but am waiting a few more days.  We also have been rather sickly gang (lots of various coughs – wet, dry, croupy; stuffy noses; tummy issues) and are doing our best to get better quickly.  Brad headed back to work today, and school starts back up for Nate tomorrow.  It’s back to the normal routine of things.  Yay for routine, boo for earlier mornings!

a sibling getaway


Before heading to Little Rock my mom offered that she and Dad would watch all 7 grand kids one night we were in town so that the 4 of us Koss siblings and our spouses could go out kid-free for dinner together.  There was only one night that was possibly going to work for all of us, but luckily we took advantage of it.  So, while Mom, Dad, and the munchkins ate pancakes, wore pajamas, and watched Rio, the eight of us headed off to The Flying Fish for dinner.

Although we were deemed old and boring by Everett due to conversations regarding kids, vacuums, and sicknesses, it was a good time.  I would definitely love to be able to get to do this type of thing more often.  It sure does make me miss being closer to family!

We even got a sibling picture for Mom.

a koss kinda christmas


Koss family Christmas took place post-nap on Christmas day.  My kids were happy enough just to have all the cousins come over, but of course loved the chance to open more presents also.  With so many little hands wanting to help pass out presents, chaos took over, and the room was soon trashed.  (Plans are already underway for how to make it more organized next time.)  Somehow, even with a floor covered in discarded wrapping paper, not a single gift accidentally landed in the trash.

{Nate hard at work opening another gift.  So far Christmas has landed him 5 new Lego sets – all of which he’s already put together.}

{A certain Strawberry Shortcake loving girl was very happy with one of her gifts from Grammy and Grandpa.}

{If there was only video to go along with the pictures that were taken while the kids were sitting here.  It was quite comical as we all sang LJ’s favorite song (Itsy Bitsy Spider) to entertain them as they kept popping off the couch.}

{Kid dinner!}

{Happy Birthday Jesus!}

craft night, round two


there has been a lot of cousin fun and togetherness over the past week.  last friday we headed over to the ellis house for an evening of pizza and tearing out every single toy in camryn and henry’s rooms.  mom brought along a kit for decorating gingerbread cookies.  night two of craft creating was a hit.  even the littler ones had fun with the frosting and decorations.

brian was very into decorating his cookie just the right way.

will was also very serious about his decorating.  he followed the markings on the cookie and filled it in just right.

camryn filling in her tree.

the more candies on top of the cookie, the better!

easier accessibility was her reasoning i’m sure


sometimes it just hard being out numbered.  with three kids, brad and i can easily find that that one is not getting the attention needed.  making pizza last week with nate and jilly proved to leave our littlest left to fend for herself in the entertainment department.  i should have known something was not good when she wasn’t hugging my leg and crying to picked up.  but no.  i was oblivious.  happy.  thrilled to have two free legs to walk about and help nate and jilly have guided fun as they put their pizza creations together.  then i walked around to the other side of the kitchen island:

with those big innocent eyes, it was hard not to laugh and give her a huge hug.  (especially since even the nicest “no” sends her into heaving sobs) apparently her thought those was, maybe if i avoid eye contact they’ll think i didn’t see them.  as she immediately returned to her fun.

and, not being one to waste nearly an entire brand new box of kleenex, we now pull a tissue from the ziplock bag on the counter.  hmmm, now where to keep the kleenex box. . .

near perfection


for my birthday i got the best contraption from dave and kay.  see, since shortly after brad and i got married (9 years this month!) we have had a tradition of having pancakes for breakfast every saturday morning.  there have been very few exceptions over the years even if we’re away from home.  the kids absolutely love it.  they even get into keeping track of whether it is a chip (chocolate chip) or dip (syrup) week as we rotate back and forth most weeks (sometimes having chocolate chip pancakes 2 weeks a row because they’re just a smidge better).  in recent months we’ve also added in coloring the pancakes.  nate and jilly (laurel will want her turn too before long!) rotate back and forth weeks where they get to pick the color.  if there’s ever a dispute over who’s week it is, brad gets to pick the color.

this contraption/tool though makes mess free pancake pourage obtainable!  yay!  and as an added bonus it’s makes a great farting noise when empty that makes the kids just crack up laughing about.  😉

up for visitors?


the past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity around here.  besides what seems to be the new norm of several non-stop days each week, we had 2 birthday girls (laurel and myself), a surprise visit from family, a couple of routine doctor appointments, a birthday celebration with brad’s side of the family, a trip down to the farm, and several others occurrences i can’t recall at the moment.

backing up though, we’ll start with the surprise visit from family.  most who know me even a little bit know the hardest, stinkiest thing about living in Nebraska is that it is way too far (618.80 miles from our driveway to mom and dad’s) from my entire family who all live within a half hour of each other.

after showering and getting ready on friday, october 7th, i cam downstair to check on how things were going for brad and the girls.  i was beyond shocked to make it halfway down the stairs and find my mom, dad, sister, and brother-in-law coming through the front door at that very moment. apparently brad had been planning this with them for months without any knowledge of it on my end.

it was the perfect surprise.  with laurel’s birthday (especially her 1st birthday) right on the heels of mine, i figured my birthday has kinda taken on a different look.  but, this surprise weekend with my family totally proved that wrong.  they planned and fixed several of my very favorite meals, made my favorite birthday cake (chocolate chip cheese cake), brought me flowers, and reminded me of how much i am loved.

here are a few pictures from our weekend together: