Monday, January 26, 2009

just one of the boy

Not sure I'm "loving it" but he's a tough one to photograph... sigh.

Oh well... it's the best I have for now.

I've been MIA again... time just gets away from me, plus I haven't taken many photos lately.

Let's see...

Friday the kids and I went to see the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with some of our homeschooling friends. That night Clara had ballet.

Saturday Clara had ballet and latin dance and Alex had swim. We spent the afternoon getting some things in order for the big rearranging thing we've got going on downstairs. Then that night was family night. It was Alex's pick and he picked Prince Caspian. Watching that movie really made me want to reread the Narnia books.

Sunday was church. Then Alex had guitar and Clara had an audition for a summer intensive dance program. It's at the same place where she takes dance so I'm not sure the "need" for the audition, but it's done now. After that it was back home again for dinner, bath and bed.

See... nothing exciting.... oh wait... there was a little that was exciting... we finally picked out and ordered Clara's new bedding. It looks super cute online... I can't wait for it to get here! We also order two super cool shower curtains for the kids' bath. I'm excited to get started on our project!

Okay... gotta run!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I haven't posted much here on this blog this week....

... but I have posted some on my homeschool blog.

Hopefully I'll do a better job of balancing the two soon! :-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

i actually scrapped...

I was afraid I had forgotten how :-)

Just the girl from her dance performances in November...

Emily Merritt - Falling Snow
Emily Powers - Acrylic Stickers 3 *With Glitter*
Two Sisters - My Christmas Stocking-Elements
Emily Powers - Beauty Mark: Snowstorm

all of the above can be found at

Font: 2 Peas Paisley

Monday, January 19, 2009

the trebuchet...

Yesterday we spent several hours working on Alex's Lego trebuchet. We had some really great family time working on it.

Here he is, ready for launch...

and here's a video of a successful launch...

More photos and another (less successful) video are here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Go Ramblers!

Yesterday after dance and swim we took the kids to a Loyola University Men's Basketball game. Every time we do stuff like this, I always wonder why we don't do these things more often.... the tickets are very affordable, Alex loves watching the game and Clara enjoys the cheerleaders and dancers. It made for a fun indoor winter activity for us!

Here are the kids before the game....
and then a few shots from the game....

I can't believe we used to live right down the street from Loyola and never really took advantage of all it has to offer. Oh well... live and learn.

Other than that... we've been pretty boring. With the bitter cold weather at the end of last week we stayed inside as much as possible and I took no photos. However, I wish I would have had our little camera that does video on Friday... Alex and Clara had been working on a song together with their instruments so Alex took his guitar with him to Clara's violin lesson on Friday. Clara's violin teacher was thrilled and went out and tracked down Alex's guitar teacher in the hall... the four of them ended up playing together, which unfortunately meant I had to help sing! :-) I honestly can't say enough about their teachers... they are just fabulous, fun people and we're lucky to have them for instructors.

Oh... to illustrate our boring we've been.... our big highlight this weekend was getting a new vacuum. Our old one isn't officially dead but the whole side panel is missing so when you vacuum the belt comes off and you have to continually reattach it. Alex is absolutely giddy over our new vacuum and will demonstrate it and all of its features to anyone who will listen. The plus side is that we've got some really clean carpets now! :-)

Okay... the boys are building a trebuchet out of legos and I'm going to go check it out!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Yesterday was a good day in spite of the very chilly temps.

Alex had a class yesterday afternoon so Clara and her friend played at the nature museum.

We were lucky enough to be walking by just as they were getting ready to feed two of the turtles.

Here is Stinky the Musk Turtle with his dinner...
It was really cool to see and to be able to ask questions. We learned quite a bit.

But yesterday Clara and her friend were interested in only so much "learning", so we headed to the play area for a while...It was COMPLETELY empty! They had a great time playing until time to pick up Alex and her friend's older sister.

One of Alex's friends was in his class and they decided that they should have a playdate after class. So, we decided to skip swim (wasn't looking forward to getting wet haired children home in sub-zero windchills anyway) and Alex went straight over to his friend's house after we got home. Clara went over once her friend (Alex's friend's sister) got home from dance. They had an absolutely fabulous time and came home just in time to head to bed! :-)

Yikes! Time to figure out what's for lunch!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Not much to report about yesterday...

Just lots of schoolwork..., then a playdate here at our house, dinner and then finally bedtime. Nothing terribly newsworthy. We were supposed to have blizzard conditions last night which got me to secretly hoping that all of our classes would be canceled today.... but alas, no blizzard. So, I'm left today with little motivation to leave the house since "plan B" is sounding pretty good and really low temps outside (currently 11 with a windchill of -3). Oh well.... I should get motivated to get Alex to class.... sigh. Today will be the true test of my new Ugg boots. :-)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

more pigtails and snow

Okay... for those of you (and you know who you who thought Clara's pigtails looked cute in my previous post.... I will admit now that they did, especially compared to what they looked like the next day....
She decided that her violin teacher needed to see her pigtails.... so she set to work making new pigtails on Friday. Oh my. They were a mess!

And to prove what the back looked like, I took a pic...
She doesn't know that I took that photo.... she was spinning in circles at the time and I snapped it quickly when her back was turned. Can you believe that I let her go out in public to violin class like that? :-)

She wanted her hair in a bun for ballet later that day so thankfully the pigtails were short lived.

Saturday was our first day with our new winter schedule. Clara's dance classes are now 10-12 instead of 9-11 and Alex's swim is now 11:50 instead of 11:00.

It snowed all morning and was still snowing on our way home from dance... so all Clara could talk about was playing out in the snow later. Once we got home, she and Alex suited up and went outside (for OVER TWO hours!).

I would have frozen solid in that amount of time, but perhaps the hot cocoa...
and hot apple cider...
...helped keep them warm.

Clara decided to take the top mold from Alex's snow fort building kit and made herself a crown...
Crazy kid.

Alex wanted one too, so Clara helped him out...
I honestly don't get it when they do this with sand at the beach but I DEFINITELY do NOT understand the appeal of doing this with snow...

(our little neighbor was over to play in the snow too)

After their couple of hours in the snow, they came in to take nice hot baths. Then we had dinner and had family night.

Today was just church, lunch and then home. Alex had his new guitar class this afternoon... he was really looking forward to getting back to class.

Okay... that's the recap! I'm off to hang out with Alex!

Friday, January 09, 2009


Can you tell that she did them herself?

She looks like she should be getting ready to belt out "It's a hard knock life" from Annie, doesn't she?

She's into doing her own hair now and has discovered that she can do pigtails. However, she has no concept of the fact that she has hair there in the back that she can't see.... so about a third of her hair is hanging down in the back. :-)

If you're wondering what she's concentrating on, it was a school game and you can read more here.

Okay... crazy day ahead... gotta run!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

we are so not normal :-)

... but I'm okay with that! :-)

Yesterday my son dressed himself like this...
so we could mummify these....
We had a great time and it was a great learning experience. I won't bore you with the details here.... but I posted more details and more photos here.

Other than that... we just went out for Clara's dance last night. She's dancing four days a week now. I wasn't sure about adding this Wednesday class.... but she really loved it. She said she really liked the teacher. This was a ballet technique class and she came out of it feeling like she had learned quite a bit as well. Since there were only two other girls in the class last night, they got lots of individual attention.

Okay.... I've played with posts and photos too long this morning... time to get moving!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

we're still here!

Sorry I've been bad about posting again. We're getting back into the swing of things with activities and school...
We're working on some cool stuff with school right now (more details about that here).

When not doing school or running to activities, I've been working on a project for a friend of mine that is currently maxing out my brain's processing ability. It's beginning to all make sense now so things are getting better. :-)

Anyway.... I've got to get back to the kids with their school because we have something really cool in store for this afternoon!

**** More stuff added ****
I added more school stuff here as well.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

climbing the walls

... but in a good way! :-)

This morning the kids had a birthday party. They were so excited to see their friends again as we hadn't been able to get together over the holidays.

The climbing gym was part of the gym where the kids took gymnastics over the summer. It was a whole part of the place we had never explored.

The kids had a great time climbing...

They both even attempted the "big wall". Clara made it to the top (or at least very close to the top) three times...
Alex isn't big on heights so he only attempted it once and didn't make it all that far. (I wasn't even able to get a photo taken before his climb was over.... that's how long it lasted)

A shot of bouncing Clara...
It was a lot of fun and a good energy burner first thing in the morning. We stopped for lunch on the way home and then relaxed once we were home. We're trying to get ourselves prepped for our return to reality tomorrow. In way I wish we had a couple more days of "vacation" since we didn't have much time to ourselves as a family in the past few weeks but in another way, I'm really looking forward to getting back into a regular routine.

Well... I've got to finish getting dinner on the table!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

winter classic

New Year's Day the boys bundled up and headed over to Wrigley Field to watch the Winter Classic hockey game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings.

I insisted that they take a camera with them. :-)

Here are Jeff and Alex at the game (Uncle Gary is right next to Alex)...
Alex assured me that he was smiling for this photo, you just can't tell because of his ski mask. :-)

Jeff did a good job of taking random shots from their day...

He took a bunch more.... but I didn't want to overdo it.

They had a great time and said it was just an amazing experience to be part of. Alex stayed nice and toasty warm thanks to the hand and feet warmers my mom had gotten him.

I love it that my husband is now understanding my *need* to have photos! :-)

Friday, January 02, 2009

new year's eve and beyond

Whew.... we made it! I think now we can coast for a bit. We're done with the holidays and Jeff's brother and his family left this morning. It was fun.... but totally and completely exhausting. :-)

Here's a recap of the past couple of days...

New Year's Eve, Jennifer and I took the girls to the American Girl Store for shopping and lunch.

Here's Clara helping Ruthie with her "hot cider"....
The cousins...On our way home from the AG store we stopped at the nature museum for a bit...
After we got home, we started getting our party food ready for our little family New Year's Eve Party.

Later in the evening Jeff mixed up Shirley Temples for the kids...
Then it was time for some wii fun. Here Jeff and his brother are duking it out with the boxing game...
(Alex is boxing along and Clara is trying to control Jeff's "boxing bum" shake - I shot some video to prove to Jeff what he does when he boxes... not sure he'll let me post it though :-)

We did the countdown at 11:00 when the ball dropped in NYC.

Here's our party girl...
and Alex...
We tried to make it to actual midnight here in Chicago but we finally gave up at 11:50.

The next day, the boys had these...
(Jeff took the point and shoot camera and took a bunch of pics which I will post later)

Us girls stayed home and relaxed a bit. Clara and her cousin watched a movie, had some lunch, took a girly girl bath (with a Lush Think Pink bath bomb) and decorated and baked some slice and bake cookies...
Today we went out for a bit of shopping and then came home to hang out and clean up (so much laundry to do!!!).

Hopefully things are basically back to normal!

Anyway... I should probably go and help Jeff with packing up the Christmas stuff!