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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Birthday Eve

Our beautiful baby will be 4 tomorrow! What a baby!

Their first meeting. I still feel overwhelmed with happiness when I see this picture. Blessings!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Break!

Christmas break has started and we are loving having time off together!

So far we've.....
Built a house on the couch, after they arrived in the living room on their horses (dining room chairs make the best horses!).

Made cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning.

Enjoyed a holiday program at the symphony, complete with Santa and a sing along.

Bundled up and searched for ice in the backyard!

Baked cookies...

and more cookies.

Read lots of Christmas stories, listened to Christmas music until we've heard every song at least 50 times, eaten too many of those Christmas cookies, discovered the silliness of Santa Clause 3, which prompted us to purchase the Santa Clause box set, which means that after I finish this, we'll be watching Santa Clause 2 ...we're watching them backwards. I love Christmas break!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A day well spent.

A wonderful family movie night was made complete with an introduction by Emma (using a paintbrush as a microphone) squeals of laughter from both girls and lots of nail biting and hiding of eyes by Emma.

We began the morning with our annual Teddy Bear Tea. Another fantastic year full of treats, face painting, singing, Santa, stories and best of all, time together.

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Tree!

We made the annual (excluding last year when we had no room for a tree) trip to Ted Drewes and chose our tree today!!!

Emma found our tree within moments of getting to the lot. We bought it, got a couple of custards, tied the tree to the roof of the van and were on our way to decorating!

We were amazed at how quickly and easily the tree went up this year! We soon realized that with 3 adults (Christy was over ---YEA!) and no babies or even toddlers, and sadly no tree crazy dog, decorating a tree is pretty easy, and really fun!

The result of our effort...a great tree to enjoy.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Daily Delights

These written treasures turn up in all sorts of places in our house. They are constant reminders of what awesome kids I live with.

The author of the previous pic. JOY in person.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

What a wonderful day spent relaxing, cooking, and visiting with family and friends! Kevin, the girls and I lazied around and enjoyed ourselves and then were so excited to welcome, Aunt Mary Ann, Dave, Uncle Ben and Jake. We headed to the Pocius' for dinner where we enjoyed a fantastic dinner and great company. We're tired now and ready for bed (is it really only 8:30??) Here are a few highlights.

Our Thankful Tree. We each wrote what we were thankful for. Emma is dressed as a pilgrim in honor of the day!
Ellie making cranberry sauce.

Taking the long walk next door.

The Indian and Pilgrim---kindergartners take this holiday seriously!

So much to be thankful for!

Jake and the girls playing Uno.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Captain Kindergarten Feast!

Today we attended the Captain Kindergarten Feast! It was a full turkey dinner and over 250 people were served! Every single kindergarten family participated in some way. Some cooked, others shopped, sewed costumes, set up and cleaned up. This is the 39th year they have done this and it is amazing! Everything is very well coordinated and planned.

The cafeteria as well as 2 of the 3 kindergarten rooms were set up for the grand dining experience.

Each child chose to be a Pilgrim or an Indian. In this photo Emma is sharing what she is thankful for --"my house"!

Our lovely Indian princess!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I give up!

Emma and Ellie have a bed time of 8:00. Right now it is 9:35, Ellie is snoozing away as she has been for the last hour and 35 minutes -we hardly leave the room and she's sound asleep. Emma on the other hand is wide awake. She has discovered the delight of reading in bed. We tried giving her 30 minutes before bed but she wanted more. She sneaks on the light after a few minutes and the reading begins. We've gently reminded her of her bed time, we've not so gently reminded, we've threatened, we've bribed but she keeps on reading. So tonight I gave up. I walked into her room and said "Fine Emma! Read all night if you want, but you'd better be in a good mood in the morning". The things I say!
Tonight's choice--The Boxcar Children.

This girl can sleep through anything! Thank goodness!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I ♥ Purple!

It's been a busy couple of weeks. WAY too much time working and not enough time enjoying. I know I'll find a balance but I'm not there yet.
Today was good medicine for the soul though. While driving down Clayton Rd. I saw this bumper sticker and cracked up. It's sort of hard to read, but it says I ♥ Purple! How wonderful is that?! No angry statement, no condenming slogan, just a person in love with purple! I HAD to see who was behind such a bold declaration. He was not what I was expecting which made my smile grow even wider. It was the perfect sentiment for this lovely day spent away from work and back in the swing of things.

Today I ♥
Ellie's crazy curls and scuffed up shoes.
Emma telling me that I was sleeping so soundly last night that a brass band couldn't have woken me!
Going to Target all on my lonesome!
A text from my husband telling me that I'm loved.
Homegrown tomatoes in November...not from my home, but from one of the most generous people I know, the new Mrs. K.
The song Ain't No Reason by Brett Dennan
Sitting on a park bench and talking to a friend I've known a long time, and not even once thinking I should be "getting something done", because really at that moment was there anything more important?
Anticipating the arrival of family tomorrow for our 4th annual November weekend!
Indulging in a Starbuck's latte for the second day in a row (thanks Dad and Kyra).
God's love.

Yes, balance is returning.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween FUN!

The fun times just kept on rolling all weekend long! School parties and parades (even if they were indoors), a friends costume party, carving pumpkins, dinner at our house for 15, and trick or treating!

Emma's adorable class. Mrs. Rosenkranz was The Queen of Hearts, a perfect costume for her. Emma had some SERIOUS costume envy when she saw two friends in big fancy princess costumes.

Miss Simon, the fabulous kindergarten intern. Doesn't she look like a grown up Emma?

Pumpkin carving! What a messy, fun time!

The Pocius-Baum crew!

This thing crawled out of the swamp next door!

The candy patrol...since the whole street trick of treated together they had it pretty easy!

What a terrific group of kids! We had so much fun trick or treating.

Things got a little crazy when we got home. Ellie told me "it's just me mommy". Thank goodness!!

Grandpa Gordon brought both of his costumes this year. After Ellie realized they were just masks she loved them.

Halloween 2009!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Just the beginning!!

The Family Center Halloween Parade was moved inside this morning! That didn't stop the kids (and parents) from having a great time!

Ellie and one of her best buddies.

Trying to coordinate a baby pumpkin race

Ellie as Baby Carrie from Little House on the Prairie.

Our neighbors have put in a pool just in time for trick or treating. This is literally a few feet from our driveway. Did someone miss the weather report this week?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Gus, Wabi Sabi and The Flaming Lips

It will be one month tomorrow since Gus died. I'm usually a big fan of October but I must say I'm very happy to see this one come to an end. It's not the rain either, in fact I'm an odd one, I like rain, I could totally live in Seattle. I'm just glad to have a month's time between me and that day. We're not friends.

We've adjusted to a house without Gus. I no longer listen for Gus' click clack paws, or the jingle of his collar. I don't wait for him at the bottom of the stairs before I head up to bed. I'm not sweeping up daily masses of fur. Instead I jump when I see someone on the front porch, I check the locks on the doors repeatedly, I long to sweep up fur instead of food, and I feel wabi-sabi. Yep, it's a real word. I came across it a couple of nights ago while reading The Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

Wabi-Sabi- Fuses two moods seamlessly; a sigh of slightly bittersweet contentment, awareness of the transience of earthly things, and a resigned pleasure in simple things that bear the marks of that transience.

I still feel sad, not the awful, crying my eyes out sad but the more subtle, bummed out variety. In the same instant though, I feel a deep gratitude for the life I have and the many sadnesses I don't have to endure.

There's a song by The Flaming Lips that I've always loved, it's The Spiderbite Song. It's played in my head a lot lately. Sort of just hanging out there.

"Love is the greatest thing a heart can know
But the hole that it leaves in its absence
can make you feel so

"And I was glad that it didn't destroy you
how sad that would be
'cause if it destroyed you
it would destroy me."

The Spiderbite Song

Dear Gus,
Go ahead and run like crazy in dog heaven--stop worrying about us.
We're going to be ok.
We love you,

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What a GREAT trip!

Here they are, the two ladies who made this trip happen! Thanks Gram and Grandma, we had a super trip!

Traveling in style from Midway to the hotel! A refrigerator full of sprite and water, riding sideways and backwards, what an experience!

It was cold and they were hungry!

So we ate lunch at restaurant on Michigan Avenue. Can you tell we were cold, a round of hot drinks for all!

We arrived!

Emma's Kit made the trip but was, well, how shall we say this, without clothes. Emma didn't want to carry her so she suggested Ellie should "get " to. Ellie refused as did I. Kit stayed in the coat check until Emma purchased a new outfit for her.

There were so many lovely displays to look at. It is really fun to look at all of the different dolls. Each American Girl is from a different era in time and there are wonderful displays for each doll.

Ellie got a Bitty Baby. She named her baby Nora. Emma bought some new clothes for her baby Brooke.

Gram, Nora, Emma, Brooke and Grandma.

This picture was taken right after the one above. Ellie was done and ready to head back to the hotel.

At the hotel she rested and refueled. As did the rest of us.

A special delivery was made while we were resting! Cupcakes for ALL of the girls!
Ellie was determined to get a picture of Nora with her eyes open. So she held them open for the photo.

The cab ride back to The American Girl Place for dinner. Ellie decided that her new bunny slippers were the perfect shoe choice for a nice dinner out. Gram suggested she look in the mirror to make sure she looked ok. Ellie studied herself in the mirror and then said "Yea, I look goood".

Ellie and her bunny slippers literally drug Nora around the store while amused patrons stared on. This little girl is one of a kind.

So is this one. Happy at dinner!

We originally planned this trip in September but it was postponed when Ellie got sick. The trip was in celebration of Emma's sixth birthday. Emma explained this to the waitress and she got a candle in her dessert. Ellie now refers to this as when "Emma pretended it was her birthday".

The flowerpot dessert was a big hit.

Sunday morning came too fast and we had to go home. The cab ride was a cozy one!

Happy smiles all around after a wonderful trip to Chicago!