Tuesday, January 1, 2013


For posterity’s sake I must post this..even though it’s now a week past Christmas.  It’s how I roll, what can I say?  I present to you the 2012 Koons Zoo Christmas letter recapping the highlights of our year.  You know, for those times I, ahem, forgot to blog about them?  Happy Reading and I hope your holidays have been wonderful. 

Yes, I put Holy Cow on our Christmas card and no, I didn't photoshop him smiling.  That's the real deal, folks.  This should not surprise you given that he thinks he's human.  :)  This just might be my favorite Koons Christmas card of all time. 

Dear Friends & Family,
                WHASSUP?  Oh sorry, I reverted to my 16 year old self there for a second.  34 and I still refuse to grow up, what can you do?  I’m challenging myself this year to keep the Koons Christmas Letter to one and only one page because I realize that you all have better things to do than spend an hour reading a silly letter about the Koons Klan (or do you? Hmmmm).  But I am a pastor’s daughter, and you KNOW how long winded they can be, so here goes nothing. Size 8 font?  I think yes.  J
                Looking back over 2012, I can’t help but think, “Wow, THAT was a good one!”  Uhh and now that I say that I can’t remember anything beyond July.  Oh that’s right, 2012, the year I lost my memory!  Please hold while I reflect on 2012 and by reflect I mean go check my blog www.hillbillyhilarity.blogspot.com and hope that I posted something since I haven’t been very diligent about posting this year, for a refresher.  Oh did I mention that this is NOT an ad free Christmas letter?  It isn’t.  OK, I remember now. 
We rang in 2012 in the mountains of Arkansas visiting Justin’s grandparents.  It was a great relaxing time of being together and not feeling quite as hillbillyish as we normally do because hello, have you been to Arkansas?  I’m just sayin’. January and February brought basketball games, both boys played and I am totally THAT mom, you know the one, especially since I actually know stuff about basketball.  It also brought Blade’s birthday (10?  Whaaaat?!?) , and some llama drama when our beloved llama passed away unexpectedly.  Read about it on the blog (,http://www.hillbillyhilarity.blogspot.com/2012/02/llama-drama.html)  it’s quite a story.  (ad #2) but we got a new llama shortly after who helped fill the void and who does not acknowledge one’s personal space so that’s super fun, just ask my dad.    Aaaand my Smom Evie just fell off her chair laughing recalling that visual.  Breathe, Evie, breathe.  J
In March, we took a little trip over Spring Break to Minneapolis to explore the indoor waterpark, Mall of America, and IKEA.  It was the trifecta of fun, waterpark, amusement park, and shopping. We also completed our , fine, MY first foray  into pig farming.  I can’t go into details because I like to remain oblivious.  All I know  is that one day Hormel the Hog was stopping traffic by getting out into the road AGAIN and happily lolling around the barnyard and the next she wasn’t there and soon after there was a plethora of bacon and ham in our freezer. You can fill in the blanks, but I prefer to think she’s living happily at some other farmer’s place and the bacon we’re enjoying came from a heartless, mean pig that no one ever liked and the farmer gave us in exchange for Hormel.  WORK WITH ME HERE, PEOPLE.  P.S.  The bacon?  It’s delicious.
April and May brought soccer season, some new additions to the Koons Zoo (2 emus, chickens, ducks, turkeys, and Ryan Gosling ….the goose not the Hey Girl Hearthrob unfortunately), my 34th birthday (yikes!), Mother’s Day (not my fave but I got presents!),  the kids finishing up 3rd, 4th, and 6th grades, Holy Cow’s second birthday (ice cream and steak for all!) and most importantly GI Joe’s long overdue and much deserved promotion ceremony to Sgt First Class.  I heart May. 
Then there was summer, oh my beloved summer that I miss so much especially since it’s like 25 degrees here today.  Summer was awesome.  We enjoyed naked days on the farm, wait that was just Ryder, fishing, pool time, playing with our animals, and working on the Great Treehouse Project that GI Joe is building for the kids.  It’s huge you guys, as in if you come to visit we’ll put you up in it for the night.  It’s not complete yet but it’s not too early to make your reservations!  The highlight of the summer was definitely our trip to Orlando/Disney World/Universal Studios in July.  It was SO. MUCH. FUN.  We stayed up too late every night; park hopped excessively, rode every ride at least once, and thoroughly enjoyed the happiest place on earth while our kids are still young enough to appreciate the magic.  And since I cannot be that close to the ocean and NOT go to the beach we even squeezed in a day of beach time and also a little visit with Hilary and family both on the way there and the way back.  It was a trip that we’ll all remember forever.  Time and money well spent.  August brought Ryder’s 9th birthday (WAAAAA!), the State Fair, and back to school at an unreasonably early date.  We now have a 4th grader, 5th grader, and an honest to goodness junior higher in 7th grade. She’s even in the youth group at church now! Help us all.  Sometimes when it occurs to me that we only have 2 years of elementary school left I go into sobs of denial and pity and where- did-the-time-go wails.  But then I look at the 2 page explanation of the latest 4th grade “homework project” due and I’m suddenly ok with them progressing beyond the years of parental supervision and input required on every task.  For those of you with younger kids, I need to warn you upper elementary is NO JOKE.  I am quite certain that when I was in 4th and 5th grades I didn’t have near the assignments and projects that they do.  Which kind of explains a lot really and also explains why  I suddenly feel as if I’m having to repeat those grades. Maybe math will finally make sense!  Not. Ahh well, good times nonetheless.
Well, would you look at that, one page goal FAILED.  Oh well, you didn’t REALLY think I’d be able to do it did you?  Me neither.  Anyway, September and October brought football season for both boys (oh yeah I totally morph into THAT mom in football too, I’m sorry coaches, fellow parents, and opposing teams.  I realize I can be somewhat, umm, vocal.  Actually I’m really not sorry you should listen to me more.  Are you familiar with Mrs. Tuohy in the movie “The Blind Side”?  Draw your own conclusions).  Justin was able to help coach Blade’s team this year and they both really enjoyed that.  Ryder’s already called dibs on him helping with his team next year.  For some reason neither of them were clamoring for me to help coach their football teams…weird.  Dakota resumed piano lessons after a summer hiatus and of course she never stopped being artistic and carrying a sketch pad with her EVERYWHERE.  No sports for her but artistic and creative, yes.  We also celebrated Justin’s 35th birthday.  THIRTY FIVE!  I don’t know when he got so old but he wears it well and still blends right in at those high schools he frequents as a recruiter, but maybe that’s just the camouflage.  We also threw a Halloween party of EPIC proportions for the kids and their friends.   It was the stuff legends are made of and I have a sneaking suspicion that we’ll be doing it every year from here til the year 2021.  It’s all part of our plan to secure the title of “the house everyone wants to be at” so that when they’re older our 3 kids and all of their friends will congregate at our house.  Because if they’re at our house we can be sure they aren’t doing dumb, possibly illegal, teenage things that they may later regret.  Not that any teenagers I know (or was) have ever done such things…AHEM.  October was followed by November (I’m here to educate and inform) and was filled with lots of awesomeness.  Dakota entered the official teenage realm when she turned 13 on 11/11/12 and I threw up a little because how can we have a teenager when a) she was just an adorable, cuddly 2 year old LAST WEEK and b) I’m still basically a 15 year old trapped in a 34 year old body myself.  Uggh, it’s mind boggling.  Another definitive highlight of the month was Justin and I’s 15 year anniversary and our celebration of said milestone.  That’s right, 180 MONTHS!  Whoa.  That definitely warranted a major celebration so we left on Black Friday (don’t worry I still got to shop for 11 hours) for a 5 day cruise to the Bahamas.  It was, at the risk of sounding cliché, AMAZING.  It was the most relaxing trip ever and the powdery white sands, aqua waters, and 80 degree sunshine didn’t hurt either.  Also, WE SWAM WITH DOLPHINS.  Life bucket list item #4 and #6…complete.  Here’s to many more…anniversaries AND tropical vacations!
And now we’re back (why can’t we live in the Bahamas and have a room steward to make towel animals for us every day?  Why real life, why?), it’s December, it’s cold, Christmas is almost here and I’m trying to wrap this up in a paragraph.  I hope your year has been just as great and if it wasn’t then hopefully 2013 will be.   I look around at this crazy fun life we’re living and know how lucky we are, even when it’s not always cupcakes and sprinkles.  But let’s be honest, most of the time it IS cupcakes and sprinkles (in my hair) and for those times that it’s not ,well, we just have to SUCK IT UP CUPCAKE.  ;)  Yes, that little side biz is still going strong, btw.  In closing, I leave you with this traditional Koons blessing for the new year……that I just made up..…Laugh til you snort, play hard, hug harder, eat cupcakes, and always keep your gas tank above half.  Hahahahaha, as if.  But seriously, we wish you the merriest of Christmases and the happiest New Year! 

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