Thursday, January 31, 2013

Peaches, anyone?

Dan had a Fantasy Football "celebration" event after work last week with some co-workers, so the kids and I decided to go out to eat as our own fun thing to do. We ended up at Round Table Pizza. I got salad bar and the kids got personal pizzas and salad bar. After eating salad, jell-o, pudding, AND his pizza, Connor went back for some peaches:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Winter "Quilt"

Connor's class had a pajama day earlier this month, and they got to have hot cocoa and do a little sewing project. Each of the kids traced around their hand onto a piece of burlap as if they were wearing a mitten, and then hand stitched around the line they traced. The teacher asked if I could stitch all the pieces together into a quilt and assured me if would be a super fast job. UM...about four hours later I was finally done, and that was even with doing long running stitches and not being super neat and tidy. None of the pieces matched up in size, there wasn't an even number of any of the colors in order to try and do a pattern, and I was ridiculously covered in burlap strings and fuzz by the time I was done. haha! That all said and done, I don't think it turned out too bad!

Connor thought it was REALLY awesome that I got to be the one to put it together, and he said his classmates really liked how it looked, which makes it all worth it.

The four colors of yarn the kids had to choose from were red, purple, white, and light pink. Connor chose white; his is the one on the far left.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


The kids have been getting soooo bored with the usual school morning breakfast stuff (various cereals, toast, smoothies, oatmeal or cream of wheat, yogurt, fruit), so I went ahead and bought some Costco muffins and a big box of toaster waffles to change things up a bit. A week or so ago, Jared had already gotten out the toaster waffles at the point Dan was offering to make omelets. Unable to decide which one he wanted, he finally decided to just have both:

Monday, January 28, 2013


Connor got to have a sleepover at his friend Cody's house Saturday. He was so excited he could hardly stand it!

I got text/photo updates throughout the course of the evening. LOVED IT!

Watching TV together (at one point, I guess the two sisters and giant dog were part of this line-up as well. LOL!!!)

When Cody slept over at our house recently, he brought microwave popcorn and lollipops, so Connor was very adament that we stop at the store and get some sort of treat to take over to Cody's house. We settled on ice cream and chocolate dipped cones.

The boys got to sleep in a little tent in the livingroom!

They took turns reading a book together

Connor chattered all Sunday morning about what a good time he had, and then fell asleep on the couch for two hours that afternoon. LOL Grandpa even stopped by for a quick visit, and when we tried to wake Connor up, he was GROUCHY and not having any part of it. When he was finally awake on his own, he had zero recollection of us trying to wake him up. I'd say he had a really good time; he hasn't napped in FOREVER prior to yesterday!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Dan felt it was time for the kids to learn a little poker, so he dumped out the change jar, scrounged up all the pennies, sat them down with some new Star Wars playing cards Jared got for Christmas, and got busy teaching them Texas Hold 'Em (at least, I think that's what they were playing! ha!)

They played a round face-up so he could guide them through the different hands. Connor was SO distraught over the idea of people seeing his cards! After a round of face-up, they played the normal way.

Connor and Emily Grace making their decisions on how to bet

Jared has his hand under the table so there was zero chance of anyone spotting them. He's telling his daddy, "I don't know if I should stay in, or be out." He was being very serious about the whole thing!

Em had some serious beginner's luck going and won 2-3 rounds in a row! Thank goodness they were only playing for pennies or we'd have been in trouble... *grin*

Monday, January 21, 2013

Erector Set

It may or may not have taken and me 2-3 hours to finish building the helecopter from the Erector Set he got for Christmas. (stupid teeny tiny screws and nuts!)  He's so far very pleased with it (despite the fact that it tips backwards because it isn't balanced properly, by no fault of our own!).  We've both decided it won't get taken apart for awhile... 

He spent another hour or more (probably more!) using the minimal leftover pieces to build his own little creation, and I think will do fine on his own with this set once we get through another set of instructions or so.  They're a lot more complicated than Lego directions, and the pieces are a lot smaller and trickier, too!  That said, it was a really nice time sitting down, just Jared and I, getting to work on something.  He's often pretty happy left to his own devices (reading, building with Legos, playing the Wii or his iPod, etc), so it was good to have that one-on-one time.

I do have to add that the metal helecoptor blades spin around so fast you can barely even see them.  I worry a bit about what that would mean to fingers/hair/eyes that got too close.  Hopefully, we'll never find out!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Tow Truck

We woke up one morning (probably a few weeks ago!) and discovered a car in the ditch in the alley behind our house. No driver in sight. A couple hours later, a tow truck came up the alley and started trying to pull the car out of the ditch. Connor grabbed up a chair and situated himself facing out the sliding glass door so he could watch. He kept hollering out updates. "I saw the car move forward a little bit!" "Now the tow truck driver is laying on the ground trying to look under the bumper!" "Now the driver of the car is inside driving while the tow truck is pulling!" (etc!)

For a 6 year old boy, this was front row seating to something pretty dang cool! ha!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Connor Wrestles

Connor had his 2nd wrestling meet Friday of last week, and his 3rd wrestling meet Monday of this week. (two wrestling meets and two days of swim meets in a four day time-span makes for a lot of sitting around on hard bleachers! ha!)

His official stats for Friday night are:
Match 1: WIN (by points, 8-6)
Match 2: WIN (by pin)
Match 3: LOST (by points, I think it was 10-7)

Daddy, Grandpa, and Emily Grace helped run one of the scoring tables (Daddy marked the scores, Grandpa timed out the rounds, and Emily Grace "threw in the towel" when each round was over)

Connor and his partner waiting in the line-up for an open mat space



He got into a little trouble at one point, and I cringed at the horrible angle of his arm (which you can't see in this picture), but he got away and went on to win



His official stats from Monday are:
Match 1: WIN (in points, but I don't remember his score!)
Match 2: LOST (in points, again, I don't remember the score)

When the kids pin someone in a match, they earn an actual pin (diaper pin with a blue head) to wear on their backpack or a sweatshirt or something, as a way to display their achievement. Connor was huge amounts of proud to receive his pin tonight, which he'd earned Friday. He had daddy pin it to his sweatshirt sleeve so he can wear it to school, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be considered a no-no by the school (considered a "weapon" or something, or at the very least, something that could hurt him if it opened). I guess we'll see!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jared's swim meet

You might remember me talking about Jared's first swim meet back in October. He'd only been on the swim team for a month, so hadn't learned many of the "rules" and specific techniques of each stroke, and hadn't really done flip turns or starts yet. He ended up being disqualified for various reasons in three of his four events. He was feeling a little nervous leading into this second meet, but was excited to try and finish with official times (no DQ's).

He had four events Saturday (25yd breaststroke, 100yd breaststroke, 25yd freestyle, and 100yd freestyle) and two events Sunday (50yd breaststroke and 50yd freestyle).

Here he is during the warm-up before the meet started

In the staging area preparing for his first event (25yd breaststroke)--He's the third one from the left

Swimmers take your mark!



Finished first in his heat, and 3rd place overall for this event, which earned him a ribbon!

Out of his six events, he only DQ'd one event, by forgetting what stroke he was supposed to do, and swam a couple strokes of freestyle before realizing it was a breaststroke event, and correcting himself. Lesson learned for us: when we write his event numbers, heat numbers, and lane assignments on his arm, we need to also include the stroke and distance!

At this pool, parents had to sit up the bleachers (balcony bleachers), and the swimmers had to stay down on the pool deck. We didn't get to sit with our swimmers to help them know when their events were coming up, so we were all writing on our kids's arms so they could follow their own events. I was a little leary of how well that would work out, but Jared did great with it!

Official placings for this meet:

Age 8 and under 25yd breastroke: 3rd overall
Age 8 and under 25yd freestyle: 2nd overall
Age 10 and under 100yd breaststroke: DQ
Age 10 and under 100yd freestyle: Got a personal best time, taking 6 seconds off! Placed 22nd out of 32
Age 10 and under 50yd breaststroke: 13th out of 27
Age 10 and under 50yd freestyle: 18th out of 30

His 2nd and 3rd place finishes earned 13 points for his team. He's really disappointed that he DQ'd the 100yd breastroke for the 2nd time, but his coach told him it's the most frequently DQ'd event. Three other kids DQ'd as well, AND he was the only 8 year old (he's the youngest kid that swam the event). I say getting official times for 5 out of 6 events, two ribbons, and a personal best time is something to cheer about!

Monday, January 14, 2013

1st Grade Journal

I absolutely get the biggest kick out of reading the things little kids write down. The goofy spelling, the hilarious thought-processes, the wobbly handwriting, etc. It all just makes me SMILE!

Connor came home a few weeks ago with a journal from school (many kids had filled up their journals, so the teacher sent everyone's home and the kids all started again with fresh journals--Connor's is only about 3/4 of the way full). I photographed a couple of my favorite entries.

I love my mom because she makes my bed (at least he appreciates my efforts!)

One day there was a wicked witch. His name was Soromon (sp?). And a nice wizard. His name was Gandaulf (sp?). And Frodo. He is Gandaulf's sidekick. (Frodo described as the sidekick cracked me up! And I LOVE the American flag flying off the tower!!!)

This weekend I watched a horror movie. It was Creature of the Black Lagoon. It was weird. There was blood. (We sound like such good parents when I read through this journal... I do have to add that I laughed out loud where he wrote he watched a "hor" movie. hahaha!)

I am learning to box. I already know how to box. I am only learning to actually beat up people and punch them in the right place. (again, we sound like such good parents!)

I would like to give my mom new yarn. And give her a hug and a kiss right when she wakes up. And give her 10,000 presents and give her 10,000,000 hugs and kisses. (seriously, how adorable is he?????)


Friday, January 11, 2013


We took the kids to Seattle the day after Christmas in order to go ice skating for the first time, and to get some use out of our Children's Museum and Science Center memberships.

Ice skating was pretty touch and go for Dan and I. I thought for sure I was going to fall and really hurt myself, but after the first two or three laps, I found my balance a lot better. Dan wasn't too into it, and Jared was liking it until the top of the boot started rubbing his leg wrong, no matter how much we tried to adjust it. Emily really enjoyed it until we'd been there for about an hour and a half and she got cut off by someone and ended up falling HARD on her hands and knees. I heard her knees hit the ice and knew that was it. She was super brave and bit back the tears and hobbled off the ice as her knee swelled up and was instantly black and blue. Connor was a fearless crazy man on the ice. He was going as fast as he possibly could, jumping up and doing two-footed landings, balancing on one foot as he skated, attempting flat footed spins (and going 2-3 times around), etc. He also spent about 50% of his time crashing onto the ice, but the 50% of the time he was UP, I was very impressed with his first time ice skating! I guess it pays to be fearless! I hadn't anticipated him being soaking wet at the end of an hour and a half, so hadn't packed extra clothes. Thankfully, he was a pretty good sport about spending the rest of the day damp. His hips, butt cheeks, elbows, and knees were big-time bruised the following day, but he's already asked several times when we can go ice skating again!

I didn't get many pictures because I was too unsteady on the ice to feel comfortable having my phone/camera in my hand!

The pictures I got of the boys are too blurry to bother sharing...

Connor and Emily in Connor's favorite spot at The Children's Museum

We saw the Michael Jackson matinee lazer show at the Science Center, and I honestly wouldn't recommend it. Parts of it were pretty cool, but the not-so-cool parts of it were REALLY not cool. That said, it was free for us to see it because of our membership, and it was only a half hour, and now the kids can say they've seen a lazer show. I wonder if the longer evening performances are better? I saw one a LONG time ago (20 years or so?) and remember thinking it was pretty neat, but who knows!

After a full day of playing, Dan drove us around through Seattle's down town to see all the trees and buildings lit up for the holidays. The kids were really impressed with this gigantic star on one of the buildings (cell phone camera wasn't very cooperative taking pictures through the rainy windshield!)

And we all thought the trees wearing holiday sweaters were pretty fun!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Emily Grace got a sewing machine from Grandma Marlee and Grandpa Jeff. I took her out and bought a pattern and some material and thread so she could work on her first sewing project over the holiday break from school.

Here she is modeling the hat she made!

We started working on matching mittens, but ended up being really busy over the break and haven't finished them yet!

Also over break, Em took a little sewing class with her good friend, Alex. They got to make a teddy bear.

She's very proud of her little bear and had a BLAST in the class

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Latest Crochet Projects

I've been wanting to work on a crochet head wrap, but hadn't gotten around to it. The perfect opportunity came along when a friend put in an order. I got straight to work on the head wrap and the interchangeable flowers. I'm quite pleased with how it all turned out!!

I've also been wanting to make Emily Grace a newsboy hat, but hadn't found a free pattern I was interested in, and hadn't decided on what colors to commit to. After doing the interchangeable flowers for the headwrap, it gave me the push I needed to work on Em's hat. I chose light gray since that would coordinate with just about anything, and I made a bunch of interchangeable flowers so she can change up her look. Here she is posing in the sparkly purple flower version

I ended up buying a newsboy hat pattern online because I just wasn't finding what I wanted in the free category. This hat comes out really thick and warm!

I made the kids beard hats for Christmas! I even lined the hats with leftover fleece from when I made them all pajamas and robes for their birthdays. The beards button on/off so the hats can be used seperately if they want, and it makes the beard a little more adjustable for different sized faces.

Lookin' tough!

Dan asked for a Mr. T beard hat after he saw the kids's hats, so I scrambled to finish it before he left for his quick trip to PA for the Steelers game at the end of December.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"I look like a professional!"

Connor got a dirt bike helmet and pads for Christmas (to wear while riding the minibike). He couldn't have been more excited! I asked him to pose in his new gear, and he got a huge grin and said, "I look like a professional!"

We didn't make it outside onto the mini bike Christmas day, but he spent a couple hours on it over the next few days. We even had to go back and buy the goggles for the helmet because "the really professional guys wear goggles with their helmets and I need to practice for when I'm famous." Gotta love a gift that provides safety AND boosts his ego. LOL!!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Holiday Madness

After a morning of being up early, the frenzy of opening gifts and stockings, and having bellies full of "breakfast casserole", you can't help but flop down and relax...