Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Part.... (I lost track..)

The day after Christmas we celebrated with 31 of us from my mom's side of the family! All the little cousins had a blast playing with each other - I didn't see Ethan all day! The rest of us enjoyed catching up and just spending time together. My dad decorated his sleigh (John Deere) and took the kids on a ride around the yard.
It was really fun - loved seeing everyone! After that we were all exhausted, but spent as much quality time with the Boston contingent as we could since they were leaving in the morning. Lucas and Maddie loved playing together and Maddie even showed off by rolling across the floor several times to get to toys. She is so stinkin' cute!! It was so hard to say good-bye to my two favorite redheads (and their parents), but what a great week!

The next day we went shopping and had a yummy birthday dinner in honor of Brian. You'll notice Ethan picked out the decor. We sang and ate cookie ice cream sandwiches. Delicious!
Our final day was spent getting ready to go home and for Brian to move into the basement. The boys were fine on the plane, though Lucas was somewhat of an acrobat. We were exhausted and went right to sleep.
Yesterday was Brian's birthday and we spent it changing our bank account, organizing the house, taking down Christmas, etc. Not the most exciting birthday, but we did have dinner at Red Robin.
Happy 29th Brian! We love you and are so proud of you! Knock 'em dead in Seattle!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Few Fun Moments...

The kids coming up the stairs was a crack up - watching Lucas appear and then trying to figure out what was going on was so cute. Maddie was still sleeping - but she did get up later and enjoyed the fun!
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Ethan was so excited about that darn dinosaur game. He really didn't give Santa much notice about it, but luckily Santa came through.

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Lucas was perfectly happy with his stuff, but had to check out everyone else's too. He was so funny moving from one thing to another to another to another to another. He loved it all!
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Morgan is an amazing Irish Step dancer and Ethan loved jumping around trying to follow her. They are definitely performers!

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Merry Christmas 2009!

The boys woke up super early - 4:30 to be exact. We had to wait until 6 to wake up Morgan - but we were chomping at the bit! All the kiddos waited downstairs - no peeking allowed! Morgan and Ethan studied the plate of cookies carefully - noticing which ones Santa liked and which reindeer they thought ate which carrots. Rudolph most definitely chomped down!They came upstairs oh so slowly and were thrown a bit by the stockings being on the ground - they kept looking up/down/up/down to try and figure it out. Santa left Ethan lots and lots of dino stuff- and his favorite- a dinosaur Diego game.
Lucas got lots of pretend play stuff - cardboard bricks, shopping cart with food, cash register, stuff like that.
Morgan got lots of school themed things- a whiteboard, map, books, etc. Maddie made out with all sorts of cuddlyand cute things. All 4 kids were thrilled with their lot and made out like bandits!
My favorite moment, though, was when Brian FINALLY realized what was under our stocking - a Playstation 3. Santa knew that I had promised when he got a job he could get one - it was a fun suprise - he was shocked!
I got all sorts of goodies- what a great day! We were all spoiled rotten by each other and by Baboo in absentia. We had to take a bit of a rest after awhile - kids were getting awfully cranky, but it was nice to have just the adults open for awhile and then just the kids for awhile. It's hard to wait through 10 turns!
We spent the afternoon playing with all our new toys and just relaxing. We ate a most fabulous turkey dinner (my mother's stuffing is to die for), and played some more. It could not have gone much better. Oh there were tantrums, a bit of whining, and a few tears - but with 4 kids under the age of 5 - I suppose that's to be expected. It was such a great day.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

And the last day before Christmas....

Finally Christmas Eve! Ethan had been asking about every five minutes all week if it was time to open presents yet and I could almost tell him it was time... We started the morning in downtown Poulsbo painting pottery and eating yummies from Sluy's bakery. Ethan insisted on a giant eclair, but gave it back after he chewed the chocolate off and said "I don't want to eat anymore of the cheese." The sugar reached his brain just as soon as we got to the coffee shop and boy howdy was he funny. Lucas had also indulged and it was a riot. Lucas chewing on the cement table and Ethan playing cap-a-boo (peek-a-boo in Ethan-speak).
Nana came over for an early steak dinner and we started the annual rides on the John Deere..... Lucas was finally not freaked out and somewhat enjoyed his ride around the backyard. Ethan took over steering - loved going down into the woods and around the tricky parts....

We came in and were entertained by Morgan's Irish Step Dancing. She really is good and it's hard stuff! I tried but just couldn't figure it out... Ethan was a pro at following her around and jumping up and down.
We got to open from Nana and she spoiled us all rotten. The boys really loved their "structions" (construction trucks). I REALLY loved getting some earrings that Grandad had given her years ago -- very special!

Auntie Katie, Morgan, Ethan and I went to church that evening. The kids did pretty well, though Morgan pretty much went to sleep on Katie's lap and Ethan fell through the chairs at one point. It was a nice way to remember why we celebrate Christmas! We came home and out went the cookies for Santa- very exciting! The kids were so excited and kept talking about whether they'd be on the naughty list or the nice list. Each was pretty sure that they were on the nice list and the other on the naughty list.

We looked up where Santa was on the Norad Tracker and because he was so close (if winnepeg can be considered close) had to rush to bed! We adults were up for quite awhile- very busy, but the kids all went to sleep like pros- didn't want Santa to catch them awake and pass them by!

On the next day of Christmas (week)....

On Tuesday, I took Morgan and Ethan on the ferry to suprise Brian on the way to the house. He wanted to try out the new commute from the airport to lightrail, to ferry, etc... But we decided that we'd suprise him on the Seattle side. Plus, Ethan loves riding the ferry and I thought it would be fun to take the big kids. Which it was. Morgan and Ethan loved "spotting" animals - though I cannot confirm the dolphins and sharks they said they saw...
They had a snack of Cheetohs and Chocolate milk - both very very messy.... Poor ferry windows... We had a few minutes to wait at the ferry terminal, but nothing beat Brian's face when Ethan and Morgan ran up to him - so cute! And so suprised! Poor guy was exhausted, but he survived and took a bit of a nap when we got back to the house- lucky! But, he had to gear up for the days to come!

Wednesday was family pictures- we took the kids to JCPenney's and what to my wondering eyes should appear but 4 kids I adore! The Groulik family - the kids I babysat forever ago, when they were my kiddos' ages - was there picking up pictures as we were getting ready. It was so great to see them - a little Christmas miracle!
The pictures turned out cute, but we got quite the workout trying to keep Lucas happy and Maddie sitting up... Then off to Round Table to make my brother (okay and the rest of us) happy and home to rest.... Movies, Gingerbread Houses, and lots more playing.... We all opened pajamas and were off to bed to get ready for Christmas Eve. First we played some great games after the kids went down and laughed and laughed and laughed some more... My ab muscles were sore the next day!

Friday, December 25, 2009

On the first few days of Christmas (week)....

Oh the fun! Oh the noise! Oh the week I will never forget! Ethan and Morgan loved spending time playing with each other. They had their moments where they were ready to throttle each other, but they had a blast. There was a lot of singing and piano playing for sure. Lucas just so much wanted to be a part of the fun and join in with the big kids...
Downstairs was well-used. It becomes Brian's new home here pretty quick, but in the meantime it was well used as a playground. Morgan and Ethan were digging things up, playing in the tent with Lucas shrieking behind them.

Maddie was the perfect child. She was so very sweet- just purring and giving lots of kisses. I just love her snuggly self!

We got to spend some time with Nana - always a hit. These kids adore their Nana (and so do I!)
We spent some time breakfast-ing at McD's - love all the pjs! This reminds me of a few pictures of our Dayton/Chicago cousins with Baboo!


Despite Ethan announcing that he "needed some space" from time to time- those two big kids were inseperable! They were so happy to see each other - I love it!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

We're here!

We made it- Lucas was insanely obnoxious on the plane, squirming and shrieking... until the last 5 minutes when he went dead asleep. Luckily there weren't many people on the plane, so there weren't too many dirty looks. And Ethan wished everyone a "Merry Christmas" on the way off the plane. Upa met us and Lucas wouldn't let him go.
They were so thrilled to see their cousins. Morgan and Ethan have spent every possiblesecond together - fast friends up to no good! Jumping on the bed (NO!), making parties, playing in the jungle tent, and mostly just giggling really loudly. Lucas tried to follow them everywhere, but mostly just wandered around. He did rip open one of the packages, but luckily it wasn't his. (Don't tell Maddie!) We got to see Nana - so great to spend time with her! Little Maddie and I had a great time this afternoon, sharing nose kisses and chatting about life. She is so sweet.
We're missing Brian, but will see him soon!
Ethan was asking all day if he could open presents. We kept saying no, not for 5 days... So then he conned his Uncle and Auntie into letting them all open a present and told me mom "That was my plan, to open a present tonight." That's my boy!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas With the McConnels....

Oh Liam is getting so big. He's picking up on a few bad habits he learned from his buddies... Never stops moving! We got to have dinner with the McConnels and celebrate Christmas tonight. Good friends, good times...
Lucas was very adamant that he drink out of the nice glasses too... It went well until he dumped it in his lap. Oops.
Ethan was thrilled with his Thomas trains and the Mickey Christmas music!


Lucas loved his drawing board, but most of all the candy he got - his very own marshmallow santa. He loves loves loves food, that boy! Thank you Auntie Jess and Uncle Todd!

We are so lucky to have so many nice friends! Tomorrow the boys and I head out to Seattle. Brian will join us on Tuesday- practicing his new "commute" by lightrail and ferry. A very exciting Christmas! I will treasure this time together as a family! And I CANNOT wait to see my nieces!!!! One more sleep!

Friday, December 18, 2009

What a Program and HE GOT THE JOB!!!

So, this says B is for Baked Goods, but here in our house, B is for our amazingly awesome Brian who just landed his dream job. He will be a User Interface blah blah blah for an independent video game company in Seattle. Oh he is so excited.... And we are too, but we're all a little freaked out at all the changes about to happen. He'll be flying back and forth, and we'll be flying there every so often too... He'll bunk with my parents (good thing, they can keep an eye on him!)... and ferry back and forth.... He'll miss us terribly, but we'll skype and call and have great weekends together, which we don't really have now. It's his DREAM job and so we are THRILLED.... He even got a massive case of the hives this week working on his project...
In other news, Ethan had a most fabulous program last night. He said his line with ease, and sang oh so loud. One set of grandparents there asked me which one was mine. When I told them they said, "OH, he's intense!" Yep, that's my boy! He did announce to the whole audience near the end that he "Has to go potty Miss Karina, NOW!" We all got a kick out of that... well, I did hide for a minute.... He just was so funny - definitely loving the stage, not like anyone I know!

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Tonight we were just waiting waiting waiting for Brian to get the call... Ethan and I played school - he was the teacher and bossed me around, while Lucas pretended to be my daddy, saying bye and giving me a kiss. Only he would freak out when I said Daddy and go to the door expecting Brian to be there.... Now, I pack and pack and pack... Not only for our trip, but to move as much stuff of Brian's there as I can manage....

Oh, life is going to get really interesting! Yeah Brian! WE are SOOOO proud of you!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sweets and All....

I think this picture shows it well - we had a lot of fun making a whole lot of sugary yummies yesterday. We al overindulged a bit... Ethan took this picture and it made me laugh because that's how I felt too! There were far more kitchen disasters than successes, but we got a few things we can share - if Brian doesn't eat them all first working on his project until all hours of the night! We're proud of him - working very hard. I'm trying to keep up the housework/kidwork to help, but this afternoon I kind of gave up and read a book for awhile. This is why I can't read books! I get sucked in and CANNOT put them down.
This morning we got up and got dressed for church. Lucas was in a fabulous mood - the first full night of sleep in awhile. We gave in and gave him back his pacifier. We'd taken it away and he had a couple of great nights, but it had been going downhill since then and I figured we'd better try that before taking him to the doc. Sure enough- he's back to sleeping like a pro and so am I! We headed off to church and got ready for Ethan's performance - just one song, but he was a charmer. We really didn't get pictures/video toward the end where he really got into it... and I should have taken a closer shot - he looked so handsome, but oh well. This Thursday is his big program at daycare- so there will be many pictures for that!
It was fun to see him as part of the group - the kids sing every year around Christmas and this was the first time he was old enough. I got a bit teary eyed, but then made myself buck up and be a big girl!

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We also got haircuts today, as Ethan was looking more and more like our dog, Duke - shaggy haired! Lucas needed one too- though it's a crime to pay when he still really doesn't have much hair. But, it was over his ears and frizzy in the back, so it needed a trim. Ethan was so good and even sang the entire Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer for the staff at Great Clips. He knew every single word - and was very proud of himself.

This week is busy busy busy. Not only is Brian finishing his art "test" (due Friday at 11:00 am), but we have Skate Night on Tuesday, the program Thursday, I CANNOT miss my workouts (due to the inevitable cookie munching at school) and other various getting ready for Christmas things... At least I'm feeling better. It seems Mucinex is my friend and I'm going to make it.

So are my papers graded? Nope. But, the house is clean (kind of), the presents are all bought (except for a few minor things I'll pick up in WA), the Christmas cards are 90% addressed and ready to go out, and I finished the book I was reading, so life can once again go on. Merry Christmas-getting-ready week one and all!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Snow Fight!!

I've always hated snow. No, I guess that's not really true. I hate being cold - especially cold and wet. So, I only like snow when I can be inside toasty warm, watching lifetime movies and eating delicious (and healthy of course) snacks. When it snowed earlier this week Ethan started begging for someone to have a Snow Fight with him. Excuse after excuse, I got out of it and crushed his little dreams. So, today, I bucked up and brought him out while I shoveled this morning.
I now love snow. He just giggled and giggled and was totally mesmerized by the powdery white stuff - even when I threw a shovelful in his face by accident. We threw lots of snowballs and came back coated. Lucas was totally fascinated when we came back in - Ethan brought another snowball to watch melt. Of course now it's been snowing all morning and there is 10 times as much as there was earlier and no longer a clear driveway, but oh well - that was 106 extra calories I burned to be used on the cookies we're going to make!
Brian did hear from those guys in Seattle, but it is neither yeah or nay yet. They sent him an "art test" to be done over the next 7 days. So, he's super busy, but enjoying himself immensely. Good luck to him and may all the creative juices flow freely!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Early Morning Stories

The Nativity, As Told By Ethan
Jesus was born at night. At night. In the dark. A fairy there - oh a angel - for God above. There was wood where Jesus was born. Then these bad guys come and they going to scare him. There nice guys. They protect him. There God. God... indivisible with liberty and justice for all. Jesus born at night - tiny tiny tiny tiny. Was Jesus born at night? Wasn't Jesus was born at night?

We might need to work on some of the details.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

waiting.....

I know, I know... I left you hanging! I was hoping we'd hear on Brian's job, but haven't yet. He flew out all day on Tuesday and thought it went reall really well. They kept him there for over three hours, showed him all around and talked about how awesome his website was. He felt really good, but they said they still had a couple of candidates they needed to talk to and that he'd hear by the end of the week. So... we wait... and wait...
In the meantime, it snowed! Above is the picture of the snowball Ethan packed into his pocket to bring inside and watch melt. Then we went to Auntie Jess' "program" - the Living Christmas Tree - at her church. It was freezing, but the program was very cool. We only made it half the night, as Lucas was extremely smelly and Ethan was super wiggly, but still - it was great!
Tonight we had the McConnels over. Liam has grown so much! He's crawling and talking up a storm. He and Lucas carried on quite the conversation about post-its.
Then we decorated Gingerbread Men - which didn't go overly well. Lucas threw a gigantic fit over the sprinkles and Liam covered himself in frosting. Ethan just tried to sneak extra cookies. We still had fun though - I just loved watching Lucas and Liam high-five and chat with each other. Good friends :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Merry Early Christmas!

Brian got to celebrate Christmas early tonight. He's got an exciting interview in Seattle (being flown out by the company after his phone interview last Thursday) with a video game development company. I figured he better have something better than his Jansport backpack to bring with him on the plane. Regardless of whether he gets the job or not, he has worked so hard and deserved a little spoiling. So, then we took off for Olive Garden.
The boys quickly reminded us of why we never go to nice resteraunts anymore. L-O-U-D they were.... So McD's, don't worry - we'll be back next time!
And, we've decided that these pics show how old we look these days - sad! I kinda like Brian's crows feet though... A fun day - with our sweet boys.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Must be Santa!

Our friend Beth knows Santa really well, so she invited us over to her house to see him and tell him what we wanted for Christmas. Ethan told him "dinosaurs and cars". Lucas just screamed at first, but by the end was trading toys with him - but this picture is priceless.The boys tore up Raleigh's room - it was a toy wonderland. Ethan spent most of the time in his closet pulling out and discussing each car in there.
We decided to take a family shot with Sants too. As you can see, the boys were not overly cooperative, but Brian and I look good :) We ate lots of cookies and played with kids and more kids!I love this season! Ethan brought home a tree and a snowman he made in class this week - the house is slowly (quickly) filling with all sorts of handmade creations!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

And a 1 and a 2 and a 5 and a 6....

I overindulged a bit today at our staff meeting (okay, and some candy early in the day) so tonight I made myself kill it working out at home. I brought out the new 8lb weights and did my 8 minute routine while we all took turns on the Wii. I was busy doing some Kung Fu and I looked over and Ethan was lifting the weights up (Chest flys) and counting (not altogether in order, but still)... I wish I had a picture, but I was too busy burning the 691 extra calories I ate today. It's crazy how fast that stuff adds up!
The boys are still adjusting to not having quite as much attention as they did when Grammy and Grandpa were here. But, they're getting adjusted. They both have had a great week at daycare. Ethan shouted to me when I got there today that he "WAS REALLY GOOD TODAY!!" Do we believe him?
Brian's hard at work on a third animation job from some animation company based out of Seattle, and has a job on the way from the guy that subcontracted him. I feel like I never see him even though he's in the same room! Isn't that weird? I'm excited for Thursday as we're going to my friend Beth's house- as there are rumors that Santa is coming! I will be sure to take pictures then!'
Enough of my boring rambling... I suppose I could tell you that I finished the 10 minute jog today with my class somewhat easily. That was exciting. And 18 of my kids also finished. I was really impressed. And they had their writing TEST today and they did really well. I was cracking up reading what they wrote- they really are AMAZING writers. And amazing kids. Even when they drive me nuts :) Ok- still rambling, so that's how I know it's time to go to bed!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving - Gobble Gobble!

Brian's mom and I started off by joining in a Thanksgiving Zumba class out in Caldwell- tons of women, a bunch of instructors - and NO heat! It was fun though and a good way to relieve some of the guilt of overeating! The boys (Brian, his dad, and Ethan) to a friends' family football game. It was cooooold, but they had fun. Brian is still sore, but that's good for him!When they got back, while we were cooking up a storm - we decorated the Christmas tree. The boys loved helping. And we needed the help, because with Lucas around, it's a never ending process. Ornaments on the tree, ornaments off the tree, on, off, on, off.
The turkey was perfect- as was the yummy stuffing! I've never had one turn out this well, so I was really excited.
The boys were eager to eat- though slightly picky about what they would and wouldn't eat. The rolls were the favorite, I think - Thanks Sara Lee!
We were thankful to have Grammy and Grandpa with us!We had pumpkin apple bread for dessert and made it in this cool snowman mold - but Kenya (our dog) got it first. Poor snowman.
Then it was time for the annual gingerbread house building. First came construction - overall good, though a little slanted....
Then the decorating- Lucas LOVED getting to be a part of it. But I wouldn't eat from his side as all his decorations first made a trip through his mouth.
Ethan's an old pro and was very proud of his design. Fun project!

Then it was off to bed so we'd be ready for Thanksmas the next morning!