R.A.C.K. Twenty Fourteen….

For the 4th year in a row I have created and carried out a R.A.C.K. list (Random Acts of Christmas Kindness).  It brings me so much joy to share the spirit of Christmas with others…especially those who are least expecting.    It’s a work in progress…some have been completed and some are still on the to do list. 

Buy a hot cocoa or latte for Salvation Army bell ringers: Coming soon to a bell ringer near you! 

Playing Secret Santa: For the past few years we have adopted a family that might need a little extra Christmas cheer.  It’s completely anonymous and so much fun to think about how a family’s Christmas has been blessed when they were least expecting it.

Bell Ring for Salvation Army: Still coming…can’t wait to ring the bell with Jamie in Omaha on Monday!

Donate canned goods to food pantry: In the past I have matched my classes donation to the food pantry. but this year I just donated some items on a couple of different occasions.

Volunteer at the food pantry: I spent a Thursday afternoon a couple weeks ago volunteering at the food pantry in Greenville.  I really enjoyed helping the people and also meeting some of the other volunteers (who were mostly retired :) )

Deliver Christmas treats to neighbors: We have always been lucky to have good neighbors, both back and Nebraska and here in Illinois.  It is always fun to deliver some Christmas goodies to them.  I didn’t do quite as much baking this year, but I was able to throw together a nice plate of cookies with some not so pretty Oreo balls and make a delivery.

Leave a gift for the mailman in the mailbox: For whatever reason this is one of my favorite R.A.C.K.s each year.  It is so much fun sneaking a little gift card into the mailbox for our unsuspecting mail carrier.  This is such a busy time of year for them.

Invite someone over for dinner: We have had lots of dinner guests over the past couple of months.  Players come over almost once a week for a nice home cooked meal (or as close as I get to a home cooked meal).  We also unintentionally fulfilled this R.A.C.K. with some dinner guests last night.

Donate Clothes to someone in need

Nursing Home – Adopt a Resident: For the 4th year in a row I also played secret Santa to the nursing home in Ashland.  The first two years I created several small gift bags for some of the residents.  However, the past two years some local community members organized an adopt a resident program.  This year I was able to purchase a gift for a resident that will be delivered in time for Christmas.

Buy items for soldier care packages: Bond County (the county that Greenville is in) was collecting items to make care packages for local soldiers.  I have always wanted to send a care package to a soldier, but didn’t really know how to go about doing it.  This was the perfect opportunity as all I had to do was buy the items and drop them off in town.  Soldiers give so much to us by sacrificing their time and families to serve our country and protect us.  I wasn’t able to actually help pack the care packages, but 65 boxes were packed to send to soldiers who are from the Bond county area!

Operation Christmas Child: Back at the end of November, Trent and I packed two boxes to send overseas as part of Operation Christmas Child.  This year I was able to get a tracking number to hopefully see where our boxes end up.  Also, have you seen this story?  I came across it online and it was a simple reminder that God is so much bigger than anything we could ever imagine. 


Donate to The Raining Season Christmas party at the orphanage: It has been a long couple of months for the kids and staff at the Covering in Sierra Leone.  Ebola continues to rage on in West Africa and the number of cases in Sierra Leone has surpassed its neighboring countries.  The children at the orphanage have been on lockdown for about 4 months and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.  In the past we have sent small gifts for the kids that we sponsor, but this year there is no way to get their gifts to them.  Instead,  we will donate a small amount of money so that all of the children can have some type of a Christmas celebration.

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness are about taking the attention away from a “me” world and bring the focus back to the real meaning of Christmas.  While it does bring me so much joy to do these things, I am most grateful for the joy that it brings to others. 

For today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, He is the Messiah, the Lord.

Luke 2:11

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!


{The Laune's}



The Rustic Edge

I recently decided to dip my toes into the craft fair world.  It was something I have wanted to do for quite awhile, but never had the guts to do it.  However, with a little free time on my hands and a rather low risk opportunity, I decided it was the perfect time to jump right in.  It took a lot of time mixed with some late nights and creativity.


The majority of the work was completed the week before the craft fair because I had to pick up some of the tools when we were back home for Thanksgiving.  My house was literally a disaster at times with projects spanning over every possible surface turned work area.


Bella even tried to help out a little!


However, the end result were some very nice little items including these door hangers…there are still a select few available for purchase :)



My table…stationed right between Scentsy and Jamberry Nails.  I did not have a very good system for displaying my door hangers, but with a little balance, it worked!


Tile coasters were a big hit.  I sold the most of these! 


Handmade cards and ornaments…another big hit!  My ornaments even nearly sold out.

And with that, The Rustic Edge has come into existence.  I couldn’t have done it without Trent and his jigsaw and miter saw.  He was a big help in that area!  Overall, it was a great first experience.  Expectations were pretty low and my sales were pretty good.  I think the craft fair world has really changed with independent sales companies such as Thirty One, Origami Owl and Scentsy.  There is a lot less handmade and a lot more factory made.   But it was still an experience that I wouldn’t mind trying again.  Until next time…


{The Launes}



Oh So Thankful…

It seems like I barely blinked and we are over a week into December.  I’m not quite sure where time is going, but it seems to be quickly slipping away.  I have a lot on my to do list this week, but I have finally begun to do a little Christmas decorating and hopefully I will be able to get started on some Christmas shopping today.  But before I jump right into Christmas, I have to do a little rewind to Thanksgiving!

The week before Thanksgiving we had a little pre celebration with some of the football players.  A lot of the guys are from far away and don’t get to go home for Thanksgiving so I thought it would be fun to make a full Thanksgiving meal for them.  It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun and I think the guys appreciated it. 


Then, on Monday afternoon we headed back to Nebraska.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  I was especially excited this year because we got to go home and spend a few days with family and celebrating.  Saying it was a chance to rest and relax would be an exaggeration.  I was actually running around trying to see everyone and do everything burning the candle at both ends that I got a little sick.  Or a lot sick.  Nothing says Happy Thanksgiving like barely being able to eat my Thanksgiving meal and spending most of the day in bed.  Being a little under the weather aside, it was a great trip with great food and even better company.


This was fun!  There is nothing better than running into your best friend in the bathroom at the football game and having no idea she was even going to be there!  There was a major double take in the mirror to make sure I was seeing things right.  It was great catching up during the game.


On Tuesday, we went from one Bluejay event to the next.  Creighton basketball is my favorite!


Then, bright and early Wednesday morning I met up with my mom. We enjoyed Wahoo, church and breakfast.


Wednesday evening I finally got to see this cutie.  She is getting to be such a big girl sitting up and eating big kid food.  And she is happy like all the time…


Those. Eyelashes…


Thanksgiving was a little bit of a fog since I was under the weather, but I did snap this picture of Trent reading to all of the nieces.


Thankfully, Friday was round two of Thanksgiving and I was feeling a lot better.  We enjoyed more delicious food and lots of quality time!


Finally on Saturday the girls enjoyed a nice little lunch at Jayz.  I won a gift card there so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to share.

It was a busy trip home.  As soon as we hit the road I was already counting down the days until I would be back for Christmas.  We are currently at 9 days and counting.  In the meantime, I have to get busy so I am ready to go!

{The Launes}


25 Days of Netflix…

For the second year in a row I have created my own 25 days of Netflix copied after ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas.  I don’t have cable, or any local TV channels for that matter, but Netflix thankfully has a good selection of Christmas movies.   Netflix, combined with a few classic DVD’s make up this year’s 25 days of Netflix plus a few.  So, without further ado…here is the list in its entirety!

1. Elf

2. Christmas Vacation

3. A Christmas Story

4. Charlie Brown Christmas

5. The Polar Express

6. Christmas with the Kranks

7. Christmas Cupid

8. Christmas Crush

9. Christmas Bounty

10. All I Want for Christmas

11. 12 Dates of Christmas

12. I’ll Be Home for Christmas

13. Christmas Town

14. Good Luck Charlie…It’s Christmas

15. Home Alone

16. The Grinch

17. The Mistle-Tones!

18. Snow

19. Snowglobe

20. Holiday in Handcuffs

21. Saving Santa

22. Desperately Seeking Santa

23. Arthur’s Perfect Christmas

24. Holiday Engagement

25. Coming Home for Christmas

26. 12 Wishes for my Christmas Dog

27. Silver Bells

So far I am 8 days in and have successfully watched 8 movies and 3 Christmas themed episodes of The Office! And a little added bonus…my best friend Sara and I are trying to coordinate our selection.  We may be thousands of miles apart, but this Christmas season it will be almost like we are spending it together watching our favorite Christmas movies!

{The Launes}


Market to Market 2014…

The trifecta of blogging.  I did it again…three days in a row.  I was way behind and what better time to catch than when Trent is away on a Minnesota game trip?  Yesterday and today I got a little fall deep cleaning under my belt and filled the rest of the time with a lot of being lazy!  Let’s just say I have made it through 5 seasons of the show Parenthood on Netflix in a ridiculously short period of time. 

Aside from that, I am quickly discovering that Murphy’s Law seems to come into effect when Trent goes to Minnesota.  Last time I locked myself out of the house.  This time our kitchen sink started leaking and soaked EVERYTHING under the sink.  Also, our ants are back!  We have had trouble with ants off and on for awhile now.  We have sealed as many gaps and holes as we can, but lo and behold, a week or two later they are back.  I have killed so many of those darn little things and tried everything natural.  This time, I’ve had it.  I have set out little squares of poison all over the counter and am anxiously waiting 24-48 hours for them to all disappear.

Anyway, back to things more exciting than ants.  Last Saturday I was back in Nebraska again for the annual Market to Market Relay.  It was the event’s 7th year and my 6th (darn bronchitis of 2010).  The team came together again and enjoyed the beautiful fall day and open country.  We did a little team bonding in our van and a little running in between.

In case you’re not familiar with Market to Market, it is a relay with teams of 6-8.  Each runner runs between three and five miles 2 or 3 times depending on the size of your team.  The race starts in Omaha and ends at the Haymarket in Lincoln.  It was 79.2 miles of running fun!


Part of the team waiting for one of our runners to finish their leg…


Sister bonding time… As luck would have it, I got to see this girl three weekends in a row!


Jamie dominating the gravel roads…


I finished a leg here my first year.  It was over 5 miles of awful.  Thankfully this year I got to watch and cheer on Jamie as she finished up here.


The end of my final leg…and thank goodness!  I didn’t have much gas left in me to go any further.


Our team…The Common Tread.  Running strong since 2008.


Market to Market 2014 for the record:

79.2 Miles

10 hours 6 Minutes 39 Seconds

22 out of 151 in our division

63 out of 511 teams overall


I also got to see this little pumpkin again while I was back!


Splish! Splash! Audrey’s takin’ a bath!


Somebody also got their first tooth while I was visiting and I love this picture.  Brian quoted it as Audrey saying, “Got my first tooth!  Oh yeah!”

Another great trip home.  There was a period of three weeks where I got to see my family every weekend.  It was nice while it lasted, but I also wish I could have spread it out a little more.  I am a big fan of delayed gratification.

Trent did, however, get a new phone this week and I had a little fun with Siri.  FYI…there are 40 days until Thanksgiving and 67 days until Christmas.  See you soon Nebraska, see you soon!

{The Launes}


29 and Holding…

Thirty.  The big three o.  No matter how I say it, it just sounds old.  I know I still got a lot of good years ahead of me and that the best is probably yet to come.  However, those big milestone birthdays where the decade rolls over to the next are a little hard to swallow.  Lucky for me I got to spend the day with some of my favorite people.  My mom and sister made the trip to Greenville to help me celebrate my birthday.  It was a quick trip for them, but we spent lots of quality time together while it lasted.


Jamie and I started out the day with a little run.  Market to Market was only a week away so there was no rest for the weary.  It was a crisp and windy fall morning, but not much feels better than a cool breeze in your face!


After a birthday jog we enjoyed birthday coffee! 


Cheers to 30!



Patty even brought cake to the game for half time! 


Me and Coach!  In a shootout to the end, Greenville came out on top 63-44.  Let’s just say it’s hard to find a happy defensive coordinator when they’ve had 44 points put up on them, but he was a pretty good sport and posed for a picture.


Thanks to Mary, Julie and Jane (the old FCA crew) we had a lot of fun and some good laughs with these fun waxed lips and mustache!  Nothing says happy birthday like waxed lips!


But really, I mustache you a question…


Nothing like a mailbox overflowing with cards to make a girl feel loved on her birthday!


Then, on Tuesday Delores, the sweetest neighbor you could ever imagine, took me out to lunch for my birthday.   We went to a little winery outside a nearby town and had lunch and cake.  It was so fun celebrating with her!

All in all it was a great birthday!  Lots of celebrating and I am so thankful for all of the love I felt!

{The Launes}


Big Brother 16 Finale…

I’m a little behind.  Behind like, I better blog three days in a row again to catch up on all the exciting things before it’s too late!  So without further ado, I will rewind to the end of September when I made my first trip back to Nebraska since July.  It was a jammed packed, much needed getaway from Greenville.   I seriously was on the go from Wednesday afternoon when I arrived until Sunday afternoon when I left. 

The main reason for the visit was the annual Big Brother finale party.  Kind of embarrassing to admit, but every year Jamie and I have a finale party complete with a pre-show jog, Valentino’s pizza and fro-yo while we rehash the season and root for our favorite to win (Derrick in this season’s case). 


It was a shootout to the end, but thankfully Victoria did not make it to the end and Derrick was named the Big Brother 16 champion.


Looking back on the season this screen shot could not have been take at a better time.  Zach lost his cool in the diary room and was a hot mess.  Big Brother…expect the unexpected.


Friday I got to eat lunch with Lainey at school.  Her birthday was coming up so I brought some Subway and we enjoyed a nice little lunch in the cafeteria.  I can’t believe she is six now and already in kindergarten!


Friday night we ate dinner on the deck. Audrey loves spending time with grandma! 


Lainey’s birthday party was on Saturday.  It was fun being back for it and getting to celebrate with her.  One of the hardest parts about being so far away is knowing that life goes on without us.  It was fun to be part of life again!


Lainey was excited to be turning six, but I think that these two were more excited about the cupcakes and frosting!



One of the best parts of the trip was getting to see this little cutie again!  She is getting so big and changing by the day.


She’s eating big girl food and has so much personality.  Her faces and expressions make me laugh out loud!  It’s hard not to continuously snap pictures of her so I can look at them again and again when I’m not around.


It was a fun trip that ended far too soon, but it was a nice refreshing getaway.  It was nice to be around people again and to get to catch up with some of my favorite peeps!  It was also nice to eat Runza, Valentino’s and gain ten or twelve pounds.  There really is no place like home!  And, with Market to Market on a few weeks away, I also knew that I would be back again soon!

{The Launes}