Sunday, December 28, 2008

A few of my favorite Christmas moments...

Delivering Christmas goodies to neighbors and friends.

All the grandkids!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Our downtown tradition...

Yesterday, we took an early evening trip downtown to make our annual trek to Macy's to see the lights, the windows, the trees and Santa. It was LATE, but surprisingly, we didn't have any meltdowns (until we got home that is).

First, we went to see the Jolly Man. Joey even made a friend in the 1 1/2 hour long line.

This was, by far, the BEST Santa we've ever seen. Nonetheless, Lily wanted NOTHING to do with him.

He quizzed the kids..."Are you brushing your teeth?" (An easy one to start with.) "Well of course we are!

"Are you picking up your toys?" (That's a bit trickier.) "Most of the time."

"Are you eating your vegetables?" (Sam's totally busted and of course, Joey's the one who calls him on it in front of Santa himself!) "I eat my vegetables, but Sam's a picky eater!"

So of course, the question to follow...

"Are you getting along with each other? You don't tattle on each other do you?" (Both kids remain silent.)

Then, we went to have dinner in the Walnut Room. Sammy pouted, because 1. it was late and 2 we didn't get to sit by the big tree. Rob confessed he felt the same way.

It was still a beautifully decorated setting for a holiday meal.

A fairy visited our table. Sam was completly into making a wish and getting "stars" blown into his hair.

Joey wasn't having anything to do with the fairy. (I think the fairy should have curled her hair and put on a wee bit of makeup. She wasn't looking very "fairyish.")

After dinner, we went outside to look at the windows.

A lovely ending to a lovely evening!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday Sammy!

Today you turn five Sammy! Here are five things we want to remember about Sammy in this, your 5th year!

  1. This year, trucks gave way to Super Hero, Transformer and Power Ranger action figures. (What IS the difference between them all, I ask?) Karate action and "saving the world" seem to appeal to you more than rocks and shovels. However, when it came right down to it, you chose the construction site cake over the Power Ranger cake!

2. Daddy coached your soccer team this year. This is the first year you played an organized sport. I use the word play lightly here because mostly, you just followed the kids up and down the field. Sometimes, you pretended that you were flying, and one time, when Daddy finally asked you to throw the ball in to play, you couldn't because you had been carrying a tiny dinosaur in your hand as you ran up and down the field.

3. You are at a new preschool where you are quite a ladies man. Your favorite friends are Charlotte and Charlotte. You wish for your birthday party was to sit between the Charlottes while enjoying your truck cake! (Below, Sammy with the Charlottes)

4. You are a great big brother to Lily!

5. You still love to snuggle at bed time, sit on laps for movies and get hugs and kisses from Mommy and Daddy!

We Love You Sammy!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Where's the Elf today?

To tell him or not...that is the question. Do we tell our 8 year old Joey the truth about Santa? We were all set to tell him this year (if he asked, that is). And, since he had started inquiring a bit, we were sure this would be the year.

But we succumbed to the appeal of the "Elf on the Shelf" tradition. An impish little elf (actually a plastic and felt doll that does not, in any way, shape or form, appear to be real), sits on a shelf (or in a plant) somewhere in the house and watches your children so that he can report on their behavior to the big boss, the fat man, Santa. The elf changes his location every night after he returns from reporting to Santa (except when mommy and daddy forget to change his location).

I thought for sure the whole elf on the shelf thing would tip Joey off. I mean, really. Come on.

Much to our surprise, the elf has strengthened Joey's belief in the jolly old elf himself. How do I know? He simply asked me..."Mom, did you move Stanley (our elf's name) last night?" I replied, "no Joey, I didn't." I wasn't lying...I didn't do it. Rob did.

So Joey's response was a hearty "I knew it. I knew it was all real! The elf, Santa. It's Christmas magic! Really it is." So now, I don't have the heart to tell him the truth. He's only 8. what's wrong with just one more year...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's time for a new post

Since my last post caused such a stir within my family, I thought it was time to post something new! (I'm tired of talking about my houligan days.)
I didn't take many photos at Thanksgiving, which is a shame because I think Lily wore one of my favorite dresses yet. However, the few I took are cute.

Joey made a cute little apple turkey with marshmallows, cheerios and other candy. He wnated me to take a picture so he could quckly eat it!

Lily blossomed this holiday and enjoyed being held by and sitting with her aunts and uncles, grandma and grandpa and her cousins

Lily and Jack

Lily and Jenna

Joey enjoying his pie, apparently.

We're looking forward to Christmas!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tag, I'm It.

Laura at Felt Inspired tagged me. I am supposed to reveal 7 little know details about myself. Here goes:

1. When I was in college, I had a summer job in a resort/vacation area. I lived with a bunch of other college students in a big house. One summer, we drove around the county stealing signs and used them as lawn art in front of our big old run down dormitory-type house.

2. On the complete flip side of #1, I have never smoked a cigarette. Never even tried. Yuk.

3. Since it's Thanksgiving and all, I will confess, I really do not like turkey very much.

4. I hitch-hiked to Carnivales in Limon, Costa Rica with a friend. What's worse, when I asked the driver if he was going to Limon, he said "puede ser." ("Could be.") We foolishly got in anyway.

5. I have a schoolgirl crush on Rafa Nadal, the Spanish tennis player. Only my son Joey seems to remember/know this and he reminds me every time he sees his face in the news.

6. I knew what sex both my biological kids were going to be, but we told everyone we didn't know because we didn't have the test done.

7. As long as I'm going for full disclosure...I knew that my husband was going to propose to me Christmas of 1996 because I noticed that the ring my grandma gave me was gone from the jewelry on my dresser. Since I rarely loose anything (okay, I should say lost since that was pre kids), I knew he had to have taken it for sizing. This is the first time I have admitted this to anyone, anywhere. I'm curious to see if it gets back to him. I think after 10 years of marriage, it won't be such a let down at this point! (UPDATE: He found out now. I think he was a little bummed.)

Hmmm, that wasn't as bad as I thought....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

On THIS day, at this singular moment...

My children were able to witness history in the making!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


This was our first Halloween in a new house and a new neighborhood. Since Halloween in our old neighborhood was THE event of the year (600+ kids--you would actually get "stuck" in the whirlpool on the sidewalk), this year felt much more subdued. The kids were happy to trick or treat for a little while and then return home to eat chili and watch the movie Goonies.

Sammy started the day with a Halloween parade and party at preschool. (Lily joined in too!)

I think the following picture of Sam singing a Halloween song captures his 4 year old Halloween excitement.

Lily enjoyed Sammy's party and the accompanying sweets.

Ten minutes after slathering Joey with clown makeup, he complained that it was itchy and it bothered him. Perhaps this is the reason they didn't last too long trick-or-treating. He wanted to come home and wash his face.

I think the whole ensemble works though, doesn't it?

Lily looks like she's seen a ghost!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkins, corn mazes, scary ghouls...Halloween is almost here!

Gruesome ghouls along the maze of maize.

Leaving the pumpkin patch with our find.

This little bit could pull the wagon and the pumpkin all by herself.

I can't wait to try making one of these next year!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Somebody's watching you...

Do you ever feel like somebody is watching you? I often feel like this, even if I am by myself at home. The other night, after all the kids were tucked in bed, I sat down to read in my comfy chair. I rested my eyes for a moment, looked up and saw these little men watching me:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Adorable girls' clothing giveaway!


What adorable clothes for little girls! I hope I win the raffle! Hop on over to the above link to see more and to see her incredible Halloween costumes!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I WISH I could be THAT mom

Photo by Peter Arndt on

I try not to worry...but I do. I try to pretend that it doesn't bother me to watch my 8 year old son run across our busy urban street to fetch his ball, but it does. I try to refrain from crying when I see my 5 year old son fall down, hold his breath and turn blue, but I can't.

So this past weekend, when we visited Devils Lake State Park in Wisconsin, I tried to pretend that I was THAT mom...the one that encourages her kids to run ahead and tackle any challenge they find, no matter how dangerous. You see, Devils Lake is a midwestern rock climber's playground. The park is filled with cliffs and boulder fields. The boulders look as if they have just tumbled out of a truck minutes before rather than millions of years ago.
For two little boys from the Midwest, THIS is mountain climbing, THIS is heaven.

For ME, this family outing was 3 LONG hours of toturous worry and nausea.

Somewhere at the top of this boulder field is Joey. The guy in the navy blue shirt was a REAL rock climber--he used rock climbers' vocabulary--words that I have never heard before.

For Joey, sheer bliss. This photo was taken when he reached "the summit" with the zoom on my autofocus camera maxed out. I would not have been able to see his excitement with my bare eyes.

Sammy was okay going up, but needed a bit of help coming back down. The look on his face gets progressively more fearful. The first two photos are going up, the last photo, coming down.

This is more my style--all three of my little ones within arms reach!