Thursday, March 05, 2015

Swim Lessons

The boys began swimming lessons two Tuesdays ago. As soon as I told them that I signed up for lessons, they were counting down the days. "Five more days. . . four more days. . . " And then the day of their first class arrived, and it ended up being canceled due to weather. Big bummer. So they had to wait another whole week until finally, swimming lessons!

Curtis's class goes first.
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Graydon is right after.  We caught him showing a new friend how he lost his first tooth - something he has been very proud of.
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Here's some video footage from the lessons. 


So far they've worked on getting their faces/heads in the water and some floating.  I'll probably sign them up for lessons again when the summer starts; but I just really want to get these boys swimming.

I was away at a church retreat this weekend, so Andy was on his own with the kids.  One great thing he did was take them to Target where they each picked out some new Legos!  We very rarely buy our kids new toys outside of holidays and birthdays, so this was a rare treat. 
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Bella helped Curtis with his new set. 
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Graydon chose a Ninja turtle and a small pack of Legos.
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Bella added some of her own money so that she could purchase a big barn to go with her other Lego Friends structures.  I don't have any pictures of that yet, but she just finished putting it together yesterday. 

After Curtis drinks a smoothie, he always feels really cold.  Andy took care of that for him!
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While I was away, the kids drew pictures and cards for me. 
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Monday, February 23, 2015

Winter Wonderland

Between delayed starts and snow days, the kids haven't had a full day of school in over a week!  Not that we're complaining.  We have been having so much fun in the snow!

On this particular day, it was chilly and I didn't want to go out.  All three kids got their snow gear on by themselves.  The only thing I think I had to do was tie a scarf or help with mittens.  And then they were off and I could enjoy watching them from the comfort of a warm dining room.  It is times like these when I can definitely appreciate this phase of life that we are in.
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Saturday brought more snow fall and warmer temperatures which created the perfect packing snow!  Even I went out to play.  Graydon and I made this snowman. 
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IMG_0832 Bella and I made this snow fort.
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IMG_0833 When we were worn out from that, we did a little sledding and snowboarding.  Well, Bella snowboarded.  I fell down a lot.  Bella actually took some video of me, just for fun.  These few attempts were actually my most successful.  And I am wearing one of Bella's spare pair of snowpants which is why they are short and the straps are hanging down.
She makes it look so easy!  When I was going down the hill, it felt like I was going fast and falling hard.  When I watch the replay, everything looks so much slower!  I guess it goes to show. . . a thrill seeker - I am not. 

It's been a bit wiggly for a couple of weeks, but on Sunday night, Graydon lost his first tooth!  He was outside on the swing set with Bella and they came in with "a surprise"!
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The tooth fairy brought him a dollar.  He was expecting an iPod.  :)
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Monday, February 16, 2015

Happy {HEART} Day!

Hearts.  Candy.  Cookies.  Red.  Valentines.  Love.  SUGAR!  But before I get into all of that. . .

We have a new basketball player in our house!
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About a week ago, Andy received a phone call from the 4th grade team's basketball coach, asking if Bella wanted to play (she was opening the team up to a few 3rd graders).  She couldn't guarantee that Bella would play much, but it would give her a year to learn some of the basics and then she would be all the stronger next year.  We've been attending several of the high school games and all of our kids have been gaining an interest in basketball; so Bella agreed, though she was a little nervous. 

She had her first practices on Wednesday and Thursday night and then two games on Saturday morning!  We didn't think she would be playing, but with a few of the fourth graders missing, she was actually out there quite a bit.  With only 2.5 hours of official practice with her coach, there were a lot of aspects to the game that she was unfamiliar with.  But we were really proud of her and think that she has a lot of great potential.   
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On to V-Day. . .

Earlier in the week, here's our girl putting her valentines together. 
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The boys made ninja turtle valentines. 
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Cupcakes for school!
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Curtis's preschool party. 
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Balancing a candy heart on a spoon and racing across the gym. 
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Flowers from Andy! 
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I made some chocolate covered strawberries and let Bella lick the bowl of leftover chocolate.  She made lipstick out of it.  She's a nut. 
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Strawberry shakes!
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Our next-door-neighbor surprised us with this plate of cookies and some chocolates.  We have the BEST neighbors! 
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The traditional heart-shaped pizzas. 
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Lots of red at our table. 
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I got Andy some wall hangings for the basement:  Packers, Colts, and John Deere. 
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Miss Jane sent the kids a package which we let them open after dinner.  Lots of goodies for them!  We love Miss Jane! 
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The boys disappeared pretty quickly and I found them in our room coloring the Ninja Turtle pictures from Miss Jane. 
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Bella made a LEGO church for Andy's children's message the following day. 
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And today we got some more snow!  Here is Bella snowboarding! 

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Frozen on Ice

Sorry about the blog silence these past few weeks. We haven't been up to much of anything. Each day is a little of the same: get up, get dressed, school/work, chores, homework, dinner, meetings, etc. Nothing too exciting to report on. But this past weekend, we took a step out of the ordinary. The kids and I drove up to Chicago to see 'Frozen on Ice' with my sisters and nieces.

We arrived at the Embassy Suites a few hours before everyone else.  So we partook in the hotel's Happy Hour!
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Free drinks and snacks?  Yes please!
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Shirley Temples for the kids and a Fuzzy Navel for me. 
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The kids all snuggled up that evening to watch cartoons before falling asleep.  Both Nora and Bella ended up on the adult side of the suite by the end of the evening, but everyone slept comfortably, which is amazing since there were 8 of us! 
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After a delicious breakfast, it was pool time!
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Mary took the kids exercising. 
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Getting ready for the show!
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We walked a couple of blocks to Rainforest Cafe for lunch.  The wait was about 25 minutes!  Plenty of time for the kids to find all sorts of things that they wanted to buy. 
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Graydon loved this hat and frog, but the price tag was too high for me.  And if I got him something then I'd have to get Bella and Curtis something.  Too much! 
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Curtis thought this snake was pretty cool. 
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We took a taxi to the United Center to see the show.  The kids were literally on the edge of their seats!
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The show was so good and super well done.  I didn't end up taking many pictures throughout because I was enjoying it myself!

By the time we arrived back to my parents' house that evening, the kids were tuckered out.  Bella fell asleep while reading. 
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The plan was to drive back to Indiana on Sunday morning.  But just after we arrived from the show on Saturday night, the snow started to fall and didn't stop until the wee hours of Monday morning.  About 16 inches in all.  The kids have been waiting for a good snowfall all winter.  But I came unprepared.  Here was all of this snow, but I didn't bring boots or snow pants, or water-proof gloves.  Bella didn't care and went out anyway.  Brandy kept her company. 
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We made real snow cones! 
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Here was my parents' street on Monday morning while we drove away. 
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When we arrived back in Indiana on Monday night, Graydon was very quiet and sad.  I thought he was just feeling disappointed that our fun weekend was over; but through his tears he asked, "Where is all of the snow?"  Our grounds were green and he didn't quite understand why after seeing banks of snow a few feet high just hours before. 

Then last night - two nights later - we got about an inch of snow.  Hardly anything.  But these kids didn't care.  As soon as they got home from school, they were out on the hill. 
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Here are a few photos that I found on my phone from the month of January. 

Bella's train creation in the church nursery. 
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We have all been putting together a lot of puzzles lately.  A good winter activity.  But none of us as much as Curtis.  He is on a roll! 
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Graydon found a toy camera and pretended to take photos with it.  Then I gave him our real digital camera.  One of these days, I'll post some of the photos that he has taken. 
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Bella is learning how to do laundry. 
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Well, we've made it through January.  That much closer to spring!