Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Why can't every February be like this? We are loving this early taste of Spring, and so is Charlie-boy. He did really well on our little hike at Giant City State Park last week, and the kids loved having him with us for the outing.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How to Decorate for Spring.

Around here we are thrilled to be taking down our paper snowflakes and redecorating with muddy boots.

I am really hoping this spell of warm weather will stick around long enough to help us ease our way into spring. We have big plans for gardening and getting our very muddy yard into shape. So I guess I should get used to the dirty footprints on my kitchen floor. It's a fair trade for the mountain of snowgear that's been piled in the back hall this past month.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Love a Man...

Who can cook.

With kids no less.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ode to Uncle James

During our recent trip to California we were so lucky to stay with our extended family right on a gorgeous stretch of beach. Only problem that comes along with such a blessing is what I call the "California Haze." Looking at the ocean, the pristine sand, the sun beating down on you... strange things can happen.

The next thing you know you think it is okay to go in public dressed like this...

and this. Then you win your nephews' absolute admiration by doing crazy things...

...like jumping into a freezing ocean in January.

Um yea, that surfer in the wet suit behind you there thinks you're crazy too.

But your nephews, that's another story. You have won their unending affection and allegiance.

We love you James!

Our Unexpected Winter Break

Our children attend a very special, very small little school. It includes K-8 classrooms and still tallies less than 300 students. We love our new school. This is our first year here and we have been welcomed so warmly. Really. I have no doubt that the staff and teachers know and geniunely care about my kids and our family. What a breath of fresh air this experience has been.

But last weekend our dear little school experienced a major problem. A teacher stopped in on Saturday afternoon and discovered a major water leak. A wing of the building had 5 inches of water standing before the source was discovered and stopped.

Despite great efforts to remedy the resulting damage we missed an entire week of school. Sad. Especially on top of the surplus of snow days we've experienced this year. I believe pushing vacation plans back until July may be in order. Seriously.

But we made the most out of the occasion and had a fun week. We had daily excursions and then waited each afternoon for the phone call that would tell us whether or not school was in session the next morning. It was Wednesday before the rest of the week was cancelled, and my kids were truly sad. Doesn't that speak volumes? They were concerned for their classrooms, computers, books and teachers. They care about their school just as much as their school has proven to care about them.

The Joys of Lego-Digging.

In this house, we love legos. We love the creative souls who design them. (Andrew is now telling people he wants to build legos when he grows up:) Love that it is impossible to destroy those little bricks. Love the creativity and imagination they help foster.

However, I don't love the sound my vacuum makes when it finds them under someone's bed. Or the sound I make when my bare feet find those sharp edges in the dark. But that is another post...

I am not the kind of mom who glues lego sets together so they will never come apart. I sort of relish the idea of my boys building, breaking, and recreating. Which they do, all the time.

As a result, we have a red lego box which has collected many forgotten and neglected lego pieces over the past seven years. It holds the poor lost pieces, until they are dug out and recovered, for use in new projects.

Every so often I am recruited to help excavate specific pieces from the box's dark depths. Last night it was Andrew who needed help, finding a microscopic lego scuba tank. Let's see, recovering a dark gray scuba tank, about the size of my pinkie's fingernail. It was not easy.

But I did find some interesting items in my search. Like the eye piece to our telescope, someone's CTR ring, the missing button from the boys' navy curtains, and one small black rubber spider (which I suspect was put in there just for my benefit).

The joys of lego-digging aside, I am often surprised by what Tanner and Andrew manage to create. I especially get a kick out of the rearranged lego men I find.
The expression on this guy says it all. Wouldn't you be worried too if you had no hands and a tusk growing out of your head.

And this beauty is the latest of Tanner's creations. I really am impressed by it.
Especially considering he managed to create a symmetrical plane out of the leftover pieces from old projects.

Bedtime Visit

The kids always get a kick out of Jason's animal voices. This was a bedtime visit from "Berry" last night. They get so into it and have entire conversations with whatever animal Jason brings to life. My favorite is when they play tricks on the poor creatures. This video is from last year when Andrew was pulling "Momma Cat's" tail. So fun. It is hard for me not to laugh when I watch everything going on in the background. What a circus!

Haven't they all grown so much in the past year.