Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's begining to look a lot like Christmas

These past few weeks....wow! They have been full! Full of activities, service, shopping, stress, pink eye, fun, excitement, sadness, love, repeat....(except the pink eye part).

We've been busy with school programs and parties, church service and festive family outings. I don't remember a Christmas ever being as full as this year. I'm finally finished with our church giving tree project. Also our family has been busy supporting a family from church who tragically lost their son last week. We've recovered from a house full of runny noses and goopy eyes. Add to that some of our family traditions such as Zoo Lights, Wonderland Express and CSO Welcome Yule...there you have a FULL December. Christmas cards may or may not make it out this year, but I did get some cute pics of the kids in case they do. Whew...Christmas is in two days...what should I get Kermit? Any suggestions? =)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Guess who's coming to dinner!

Byron and Co...that's who! My brother Byron drove his family up from Texas to spend THanksgiving with us! We had such a fun time! THANKS FOR MAKING THE TRIP! WE LOVE YOU GUYS!

Above is all of us sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner. Pie would come later...and it was then that we realized my pumpkin pies from Costco needed to be refridgerated. Oops, ours had been on the counter for a few days. Tammy and I whipped up 2 pies from scratch in 20 minutes. They turned out awesome! Our apple pie was great too! Tammy, we are dangerous together!

Above: All the kids lined up in fromt of Portillo's.

We spent one of our days at the Museum of Science and Industry. We loved seeing the German Uboat and the model trains. I love this time of year when they have the hall of Christams Trees from around the world.
Below: The Links, what a great family they are~

Below: Here we are. (This picture is our only family shot in months. I better get on the stick or this picture will be our only option for Christmas cards....I mean New Years Cards by the time we get them out.)

Below: THE German Uboat

Below: Greyson towering over Chicago

We spent one of the days at the Field Museum. You can't come to visit us without seeing dinosaur bones! Good Times!
All of us in front of Sue the T-Rex.

Field Museum. View from 2nd level

Above: Dino bones

Above: Brynna

Above: Avrie

Above: After the museum we went to Starfruit for some frozen keiffer. Note, if you ever go there I recommend getting a berry smoothie b/c it tastes like a berry smoothie. =)

I couldn't resist this picture of Maggie. Her face says it all. Turns out that frozen keifer wasn't a huge hit. My favorite comment was from Caden who said, "I don't think mine is vanilla." At least the toppings were good! =) (Kieffer is sour...and for some vanilla and sour don't mix well I guess.)

The entire time they were here the kids just played and played the entire time! Every now and then they'd come away from their play for food or something. =) Our "playcave" was in use constantly. The older boys loved playing fooseball....we also had some nailbiter rounds of Chinese Checkers. Greyson has some good moves!
above: Greyson and Caden

above: Brynna and Annaliese

above: Addie and Maggie

Below: Annaliese saying goodbye to cousins! We love you all!

We can't wait to see you again! We loved having you here! Let's do it again real soon! WE LOVE YOU GUYS! xoxox

Friday, November 20, 2009

Two times FOUR

It's been birthday time around here! The twins turned four on Wednesday. They are sure tell everyone the meet that they aren't three any more.
We had a "smallish" birthday party here at the house with their friends from their primary class. We had tiny cupcakes, tiny ice cream cones, tiny cookies, tiny pretzels, etc. The girls enjoyed playing "pass the parcel" and opening presents the best. They were so happy to have their friends over to help celebrate! They had a very happy day indeed.

On Thursday the girls got to have cupcakes at school. Annaliese came down from Kindergarten for the occassion. Again they were thrilled. What a great day!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Weekend Review

What a fun weekend we had! On Saturday the girls had primary program practice at the church so after that was over we loaded up into our fresh and clean car and headed to the Botanic Gardens. The weather was devine...it felt like 65 or 70 degrees and sunny! The girls had so much fun climbing trees, jumping in straw (one of the water pools was filled with straw for the season), and climbing on rocks pretending to be mountain goats. I tried not to make eye contact with others passing by afraid they'd tell me to get my kids out of the tree or off the rocks or something. Nobody gave us grief though. The girls obviously weren't hurting anything, they were just having fun being outside. Funny girls! They had a blast and so did Kermit and I.

Let's see what else, oh yes....Kermit fixed a plumbing problem. He had to cut open the ceiling in our entry way and buy a new seal for the toilet upstairs. Lots of dust created but problem solved!

We ate out at a restaurant called Basha. Kermit loves middle eastern food so every now and then we go. The kids ate up their chicken shawarma pretty well. Oh, and we ate out at Five Guys the night before...I'm on a roll!

The girls had their primary program on Sunday, they did so well! It's so funny how many people commented to us on how different our girls are. Addie got up and said her lines with no help, nice and loud and clear. She sang half the time when she wasn't turned around looking at the big kids behind her. Avrie froze and barely squeaked out her lines when it was her turn but sang loudly and was very reverent and still. Annaliese did her lines perfectly and sang well...she was very wiggly on the stand sitting up there with her class just loving that she was up there. All in all they did great! I loved watching them say their parts and sing so well. That evening we called/skyped both grandparents and sang for them. Annaliese sang "I'm trying to be like Jesus" the rest of the night non stop. A good reminder to us all.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ding Dong the Rat is Dead

Our secret is out. Kermit and I agreed we wouldn't tell anyone but I couldn't keep my mouth shut so half the world knows about this, you may as well know too. Just don't tell my kids. They don't know.

A week ago Sunday I left the sliding doors open in our minivan after we got home from church. On Sunday the kids helped themselves out of the car, my arms are full of bags, coats, purse, etc. I forgot to go back out to the garage and close the doors behind the kids. It's not uncommon for this kind of thing happen in our family. Our car is parked in our garage so it's not a big deal. In the evening when I'm locking up for the night I close the doors if they happen to be open, end of story. Not a problem.

Monday I am driving around town and I notice a big blob of poo on my dashboard. Hmm. Gross. Weird. I look over to the passenger seat. Big blob of poo on the arm rest. Disgusting. It becomes obvious we've had a visitor in our car. I will make an effort to ALWAYS make sure I close the van doors. In the eight years we've lived in our home I have never seen a rat in our garage, but clearly we had a passer though on Sunday night. I will take the car in to get deep cleaned asap. I do just that.

Tuesday, I go grocery shopping and leave Halloween candy and pasta in back of my nice clean car.

Wednesday I go to get candy out of the back only to discover...dun, dun, dun...pasta all over the place and candy packaging all chewed up. EEWE! We have a problem!

We spent all week setting traps and glue boards all over the car. Every morning we'd find that the traps were sprung but no catch. Finally we had evidence that the beast was at least injurred...the red stuff on the carpet confirmed it. (GeeeROss!) (BTW...when ever I say "WE" I mean Kermit. That is just to gross. It was even too gross for him but he had no choice.)

Finally on Saturday morning we find that none of traps were sprung and no rat on any of the glueboards. Terminex comes over and helps us investigate further. We take out all the seats, clean out the nasty rat hole glove box, etc. Nothing. We decide that the rat somehow got out. Good ridance. I sanitize the bajebahs out of the car.

Tuesday morning...There's no denying it, something is dead in here! PEE-U! I drive it with the windows down and take it straight to the dealer. They tear open the dashboard and after 2 hours of searching....they find the beast. SICK! SICK! SICK! I know you all just lost your appetite a long time ago but SICK! Apparently it was a huge sonovagun too! They found him in the upper passenger side dash, whatever that means. I feel sorry for whoever had to get him out!

Wednesday afternoon...I pick up my car from the dealership...smells fresh and clean, just a little musty from the carpets being shampooed. The dashboard and armrests gleaming. The steeringwheel so shiny it is slippery. At last a sparkleing clean and rodent free vehicle.

After a week and a half I can drive without worrying about being attacked by a by a killer rat. I can drive without the windows open but truthfully I'm still grossed out. It's just not the same. I'm getting more hand sanitizer to keep in there for extra measure. I think I may even go out and buy more Lysol and go nuts again. I totally understand if nobody ever wants to ride in my car ever again. Frankly, neither do I but I have no choice. I'm worried the little rat is going to start haunting my car since he can't terrorize us in the flesh anymore. But for now...DING DONG the rat is DEAD (and gone from my car)!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009

Kermit's friend from work stopped by. Had to snap this photo! It's not every day you get a giant bottle of Windex at your door.

Halloween is such a great holiday! The kids have been just so excited. All month they've been singing and singing their little hearts out every Halloween song they know. They have been going back and forth on what they want to dress up as. Every night before bed they would ask how many days until Halloween. Serious stuff here. Very VERY excited. We finally decided after much debate on their costumes. Avrie, a unicorn. Addie, a walking strawberry. Annaliese, a witch. I had a lot of fun making them their costumes. My sister kept me company late in the evening working on these gems...we visited via Skype. (I love Skype! What a great invention!) I have decided that a glue gun is a very handy tool and one that I have under utilized in the past. I went through many a glue sticks on these costumes and even dusted off my sewing machine. I really loved it and look forward to next years costume challenge. The most rewarding part though is how proud the girls were to wear my creations. They were so happy and so proud to be wearing such nifty duds.
We went to our church party on Friday night and had a great time. We were having car trouble so we took a cab to and from the party....and that was a highlight in and of itself. We were late as usual, but it was a great party I'd say. One of the better I've seen in my day here in Chicagoland. Kudos to those who planned it!
Saturday, which was the actual holiday...Kermit and I spent the entire day cleaning out the basement. Now that was spooky! We had fun working together and were able to get rid of so much stuff. Seriously, it was long overdue and we did it! I love clean basements! In fact I dream about someday having a basement so clean and organized that I could take guests down to our storage room and just show it off. Exciting I know. But I seriously do hope to be able to show off my basement someday and I know you all can't wait.
Saturday night we invited a couple of families over to eat pizza with us and trick or treat in our neighborhood. It was a fun and casual evening. Kids ran wild, pizza inhaled and good time had by all I think. Halloween 2009 a success!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Random Photo

I found this random picture yesterday that just made me laugh. I don't remember this day very clearly but it looks like it was a good one. =)

I'm hoping to complete some catch up posts this month as I am soooo
f a r b e h i n d. Wish me luck.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Canoe in waiting

So this is where we've been storing our canoe. It has not been sitting in our kitchen all summer as you might have wondered. It's been hanging from the rafters in our garage. It fits PERFECTLY! If our garage was an inch smaller it would not have fit- literally! I'm sorry to report that we did not take the canoe out for it's maiden voyage this summer but I have a feeling we'll be able to make up for it next year. And so it waits in the rafters until then.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Twilight with cheeseburgers

I wouldn't be surprised if all 5 of my readers have already seen this. If not, I just have to share. It gave me a good laugh.


Okay so the link isn't working...just do a YouTube search called "twilight with cheeseburgers". Maybe it'll make you laugh too. =)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Anniversary Weekend Review

So now that everyone in the blogoshere knows I married a sweet and tenderhearted male that can write poetry (and can figure out my password)...I'd better post something quick in response. I'll spare you any attempt at rhyming but thought you should know that I love my husband also and feel so lucky to have married him ten years ago. Life has been so good with Kermit at my side! I truly feel blessed.

So here is the weekend review.
Kermit and I headed out of town for our anniversary weekend sans kidlets. We drove to Madison, WI because we thought it sounded fun and we had never been there before. It was so close too, only 2 1/2 hour drive! We had dinner at a fabulous restaurant called Harvest. The food was incredible! The menu was simple but OH SO GOOD! Everything on the menu came from local farmers. Did I mention YUM? I highly recommend this place if you are ever in the neighborhood. Another place I recommend if you are ever in Madison and want to stay in the nicest B&B around...check out Mansion Hill Inn. LOVED this place! We had fun just walking down State Street and driving around town looking at all the beautiful old buildings and houses. We missed the kids but oh how nice it was to just be together and RELAX and not be interrupted. It was just EASY!
The next day we drove to a place called Devil's Lake. Beautiful! It was crowed but so pretty! We took a hike up the side of the mountain that was along the lake. It was some serious hiking...difficult I'd even say...or maybe I'm just out of shape. We'd go again for sure though! Maybe even next summer we'll find a place to take out the canoe maybe even....camp.

It was a most memorable weekend for sure. It was a perfect way to celebrate ten good years!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Anniversary Alison!

For some time now, Alison has maintained this blog without contribution or comment from me, her husband. You may ask, why is this so? I don't have a good reason, aside from the fact that I am male. But now the time has come to break the code of silence. Today is our 10th anniversary and I want to officially declare that I love this woman! You heard me blogosphere, I am the luckiest man living. Alison you are the love and joy of my life, so embarrassingly blessed in riches of human kindness, beauty and talent. Now that I have crossed the blog line I might as well go for broke. Oh yeah I'm talking poetry here people. I wrote the following to commemorate our 10 perfect years together. With love from Kermit.


A summer night, a seaside town
The moon and stars all shining down
A sandy ridge o'erlooked the sea
I promised her, she promised me

A white-washed room, a silver band
Her slender fingers in my hand
Family present, family gone
And those to come, all looking on

A song, a tear, a kiss, a sigh
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by--our love expands
Five beating hearts, ten holding hands

And on life's worried, hurried train
Above the noise, a single strain
The steady sweet unbroken voice
Of Alison, my love, my choice

Ten years and more have come and gone
The moon and stars still shining on
And you, like they, eternal spark,
Companion, lighting up the dark

Friday, August 14, 2009

Good Excuse

Okay, okay....so I am slow getting our summer vacation pictures posted. I have my list of excuses all ready if anyone is dying to know. Well since you asked...Kermit has been busy monopolizing the computer every free moment he's had. Here is what he has been working on. I guess I can get over it and forgive him. I LovE it! Thanks Kermit!


Ps. Did I mention that I LOVE IT? LOVE IT! LOVE IT!

Monday, August 10, 2009

This weekend....

...was a most memorable one. 2 crazy things happened. One good, one not so much. First the good. We took the kiddos to Millennium Park. As you can see the girls were not shy about getting wet. They had a ball! I tell you that matching neon green swimsuits is the best way to keep track of your kids in a big public place like Millennium Park. The girls were playing, having a blast, when out of nowhere, who should we see but Katie! Katie babysat for us for a summer when the girls were little little. She was here just for the day from UT and we just happened to be at the same place at the same time! It was so fun to see her and to catch up! It's a small world after all! I'd post the picture of Katie and I together...but lets just say...I don't really like it. Katie looks awesome! Me, not so much. =) Imagine a picture here of me and Katie. Imagine that I look good too. =)

The other crazy thing that happened...2am Saturday morning. Kermit and I were awakened to the sound of what I could only assume was a race car barreling down our little residential street. Then an instant later we hear screeching tires and then a HUGE crash after crash after crash followed by car alarms blaring. Yes, that was weird. I knew almost immediately that it wasn't a dream. It was too loud to have dreamed it and sounded like it could have been in our living room . Kermit threw on his shoes and ran down stairs. Three drunkards in their grandma's Jeep/race car were driving 80MPH and lost control. The first car hit was the car parked right in front of our house. Nobody was killed, that is the good news. Our planter is all bent up. That is the other piece of good news. All I can say is, thank goodness for the bent up planter. It kept those cars on the street and out of my living room. Kermit and I both have been a bit jittery and have been counting our blessings for sure.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Last Day of School - Summer VACATION is here!

We've been gone a travelin' to and fro. We're back! Here are pictures from the official "beginning of summer vacation"....the last day of school back in June. Annaliese was so sad to not be able to go back to school. There were two things that made it okay for school to be out. 1.) She could write letters to her teachers 2) We would be able to travel to see grandparents. That was enough to make it all better. =)

Annaliese had a wonderful second year of preschool. She attended three days a week and had great teachers, great classmates and friends. Her portfolio was full of all kinds of fun photos and examples of her work. She amazed her teacher with her drawings (and I want to save them all)! She knows all her letters, sounds and numbers up to 100. She writes words sounding them out phonetically and can sound out words to read. Socially she really came out of her shell this year. She was friends with all of her classmates and especially loved to play chase with some of the boys. (Hmm.) She is a little dreamer and loves to tell stories and use her imagination. Her teacher commented to me that hours after a lesson Annaliese would still be thinking about it and would be thinking of new ways to apply what she had learned. Her ability to concentrate has always amazed me. That said, sometimes it's hard to get her attention because she is busy thinking about other things. We call it "zoning" but she's just busy....thinking. =) A special treat was when Kermit was able to take her to school in the mornings. Nothing was better than to have dad drop her off! All in all she had a most excellent school year. By golly, she is ready for KINDERGARTEN!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

City Escape

Today Kermit and I took the kids to one of our favorite places, the Garfield Park Conservatory. We did something new and ventured outside to check out the gardens there. The girls had so much fun exploring the different paths & picking clover puffs (and flowers..oops). Their favorite part was running and playing hide and seek in the tall grasses. We spent a good couple of hours letting the kids run around and just play. Kermit and I loved watching them play and dreamed about landscaping Princeton similarly someday. This place is such a great hidden gem in the city. Who knew!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hello the Boat!

Last Friday we drove to Wisconsin and picked up our new....canoe. Cool! This beauty is gigantic! Our whole family will fit in it for years to come with no problem. We're looking forward to trying it out this summer. We brought it in the house this morning to let the "kids" play in it. =)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Flowers & Signs Annaliese Style

The other day Annaliese asked me to take her picture with these flowers that I brought home from Enrichment Night. =)
She loves flowers. Every time we go to costco she asks if we can buy flowers. I usually say, "maybe next time...." I really should buy flowers more often. Look how happy they made her. I think I will say yes next time.

Annaliese has been a busy sign maker lately. See if you can decode these messages. Answers in comments.