Sunday, December 27, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

Our Christmas Morning

Here is our Christmas tree, the night before we went to bed. Notice how nice the presents look under the tree.

Aidan came into our bedroom early this morning...asking for permission to play the Wii. Brian and I were a little confused...because wouldn't Santa's visit be a little more exciting than the Wii? With a little prodding, we discovered that Aidan and Alex were already busy downstairs opening presents! And we hadn't heard a thing!
As we walked downstairs, Aidan was explaining to us how he sorted all the gifts by name. This is what we saw...

We put off opening the remaining gifts until Caitlyn was awake. When it was time, Alex was in the basement playing with his cars (he's had them forever), and did not want to be interrupted to open presents. "Alex, it's time to open presents. Alex, do you want to open your presents?" We were answered by a stubborn "No! I don't want to open presents!"

So, needless to say, I was a little disappointed to miss their original reaction to Santa's visit. And a little disappointed that Alex didn't want to open anything. But they made up for it with all these great expressions...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

She's walking!

At least a little bit. She took her first step on Monday, and today she took ten. She's the first one of our children that didn't need the encouragement of us stretching our arms out to say 'come here, you can do it'. Instead, she just stood up and starting walking away! 2010 is going to be full of adventure for this family.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Can you call it toast if it hasn't been toasted?

Aidan woke up early this morning, and to my surprise, had made breakfast for us all. We enjoyed cinnamon-sugar toast (not toasted), strawberries (not washed), water and our vitamins. He was so proud of himself. At the end of the meal, he told me (with tears in his eyes) that Alex hurt his feelings because he didn't eat his entire breakfast. (This was a teaching moment for me! I got to explain to Aidan how I feel when he doesn't even try some of the things I make for dinner.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

First Snow

Our first "real" snow came Tuesday, December 8th. That's actually 8 days later than last year.
Santa was going to bring kid-sized shovels for Christmas, but I couldn't wait and the boys got to open an early Chrismas gift! They had a lot of fun at first, but quickly became cold and gave up, so I ended up finishing the driveway and sidewalks by myself! They joined Caitlyn in the van, parked in the garage, watching a movie (I later found out that you should not do this for a long period of time, because your car won't start the next day!).

I am reminded every day when I read all the other blogs, how important it is to write about even the little things.
We have a tradition each December of making a countdown chain to Christmas. On the inside of each link, we write the date, and something we are supposed to do that day. Sometimes it's something like donating a toy, or food for those in need. Sometimes it's something fun like watching a holiday movie, or making a gingerbread house from scratch. Other days, we read and learn about Hanukkah or Kwanza.

A few days ago, we were to learn a new Christmas carol. Aidan had different plans though, and decided to write his own Christmas carol. One that has never been sung before. So here is what he came up with, and I love it. It also shows how much he is developing with his reading and writing skills. They are taught in kindergarten to sound out the words and spell them as they think they are to be written. He does just so with the words "selubrates" and "brth". My favorite is how he shortened the word "because", just like he does in regular coversation.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Brotherly Love

We have a new game we play at the grocery store to keep the boys occupied. I give them a quarter, of which they have to hold in their clasped hands as they walk throughout the store. If they still have the quarter after checkout, they get to use it for the candy machines at the front of the store. This really works well for us, because it helps the boys keep their hands to themselves.

Well, Alex has some trouble keeping his hands clasped while walking. He just can't seem to hang on to that darn quarter.

But, I know we've raised our children well when Aidan, who was concerned for his brother, said the following:
"Alex, if you don't have your quarter at the end, I'll give you mine."

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Halloween!

The homemade lion costume I made 5 years ago for Aidan's 1st Halloween (he was 7 months old) fit Caitlyn this year, at 17 months old.

Some of the kids from our awesome neighborhood.

The Super Mario Bros.! They really got into character this year!

The boys were all business this year. They were on a mission for candy, and no one was going to get in their way. Luckily, it only took one street and their bags were full. Quote of the night was by Alex as a neighbor handed him candy: "Thank you, witch". She was dressed up as a witch.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Aidan was teaching me how to play chess today.
He was explaining that whoever gets the other person's king wins the game.
Alex was sitting right next to me.
Before we even began the game,
Alex grabbed Aidan's king, and exclaimed in excitement "I won!"
Game over.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Potty Blessing

Alex today while sitting on the potty,
leaned forward and clasped his hands together:
"Dear Jesus, thank you for this potty. Amen."

Friday, October 2, 2009

No more diapers for...

We tried potty training a couple months ago, with no luck.
We went NOWHERE for 5 days.
We stayed on the hardwood floors.
He just wasn't getting it.
He would sit on the potty for an hour without going.
He would have an accident right after getting off the potty.
He turns 3 and a half on Sunday,
and we really wanted him trained before then.
So we tried again.
This time, we said "who cares".
Who cares if he get the carpet dirty.
Who cares if he has an accident in public.
We went on with our regular week.
And on the third day, he did it!
He made the connection.
No more accidents.
Great job, Alex!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Our favorite apple orchard. We came home with enough apples for apple cider, apple pie, and applesauce. The boys are so excited!

Friday, September 11, 2009

15 Months

Caitlyn should have turned one today. God, however, had other plans for her and she is now 15 months! She really has been a joy and a blessing for our family. Happy should-have-been birthday, Caitlyn!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Only in Iowa

Brian couldn't find his wallet this afternoon, and his car was in desperate need of gas. Can you believe the gas station let him put $20 in his tank? All he had to do was leave his University ID with them and promise to come back and pay tomorrow. Only in Iowa.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Holy cow, I have a kindergartener!

Aidan was super excited to start kindergarten today at Heritage Christian School. All weekend, he kept saying "I'm so excited, I'm so excited." He went right in, put his things away, and sat down at his desk. He is going three days a week, all day.
Alex also had his first day of school today. I have decided to homeschool him for preschool. He feels like such a big boy when we come home from dropping Aidan off at school and start our school work. Today, he learned about Henri Matisse and his collage "The Snail", and Alex made his own collage. We're following the "What Your Preschooler Needs to Know" book from the Core Knowledge Series, and he loves it!

Monday, August 17, 2009

May Days

I missed the month of May entirely, so this entry is dedicated to the fun we had that month.

The excitement started with a couple graduate-school graduations. My neighbor Amy rented this limousine to pick us up at all of our houses to take us to her party at Hotel Vitro. This limousine even had a dance floor in it!

Next, we went to Austin, TX to visit my brother and his wife. We had a really great time. They live in a penthouse condo right on the lake in the middle of downtown Austin (next to Lance Armstrong).

Look at all those turtles!

After Austin, we drove to Alabama to visit Brian's parents. The boys had a really good time, especially when we got to tour Talladega. If you know Aidan at all, you know how much he loves race cars.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

And now we need to babyproof...

Caitlyn is crawling! She just started today :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

All Day (or just 8am-2pm)?

Brian and I ran across this sign in the pedmall last weekend. Just thought it was kind of funny.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Is it still July?

Am I too late to post my pictures from the 4th?
We spent the entire week in Chicagoland, with a quick stop at the Niabi Zoo on the way. We had a GREAT time with family and friends!

Downtown Chicago
Fireworks on the beach


Aidan's soccer game has greatly improved from when he first started this year. He went from running around next to all the other kids, just looking at the ball to running around and actually kicking the ball repeatedly towards the goal!