Monday, February 28, 2011

back to the rink...

My big cameras still haven't gotten out to play much! This is another post of photos from my new little point and shoot camera. I played again with the flash off to capture more the scene and movement. Color cast is really funky... but that's okay.

Jeff *had* to go to the Bull's game last week :-), which meant I was in charge of getting Clara home after dance. Instead of going home and then coming back down to pick her up, Alex and I opted to stay and hit the ice rink at Millennium Park.
As you can tell from the photos....
.... it was a great time to be there! There was hardly anyone skating!
He went around for about 20 minutes before it was time to groom the ice. While we were waiting for the zamboni to finish, we started talking to one of the ice rink guards. Turns out that he was one of the skate instructors there. He was giving Alex tips, and then when the rink opened back up, he ended up skating with Alex and giving him a lesson for at least 30 minutes! Alex really improved during that short time!

The regular city outdoor rinks closed after the weekend (Clara got in one last trip with her friend yesterday), but the one at Millennium Park is open for a little while longer. We hope to get in another day or two of skating before it closes.

With the rinks closing, spring must be right around the corner, right?

Friday, February 25, 2011

granite peak day 2

Just a few photos from day 2. This was a day of heavy skiing for my gang. I think they skied from opening until about 5pm. There was a serious winter storm that hit while they were skiing (I may have to upload some video Jeff took so you can see how much it was blowing and snowing!). Regardless... they had a great time skiing together!

An extreme close-up of Clara on the chair lift...
Clara getting ready to go down...
Another extreme close-up... this time Alex...
Alex in the storm....
And the kids and their hot cocoas during the storm....
It was another good day on the mountain! They went back to the hotel later, ordered pizza and called it a night! They needed a good night's sleep as it was tough driving on the way home the next day.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

granite peak day 1

Thanks so much for the push Kirsty! :-) This is what happens when I lose momentum... the whole blogging thing grinds to a halt! Last week was just a bad week for photo of the day photos... they're almost entirely taken on either my cell (most of them) or my point and shoot cameras. Makes it a little harder for me to get excited about posting them. Also, my computer was really slow and needed to be rebooted... so I just shut it off.... and left it that way! I know! I finally turned it back on today because I have emails to answer and there's only so much I can type on my phone. Anyway... so here we go!

Over the weekend, Jeff took the kids skiing again with some friends (I was home on dog duty). This time, since it was a long weekend, they went further into Wisconsin and skied at Granite Peak. They left straight from Clara's ballet class on Friday and drove all of the way... getting in around midnight.

The next morning the kids were up early and ready to ski....
Can you tell that their hotel had a theme? :-)
Jeff was amused by that sign.... so he felt the need to document it for me.

I'm not sure what exactly is going on here....
.... just a little goofing off before hitting the slopes, I guess.
Clara in her gear....
... see those big long swirly pink things.... those are supposed to be "flames"... one for each side of her helmet. Apparently Clara had other plans for them!

Clara and her friend chatting on the chair lift....
I don't think there's anyone we know in this photo...
Oh look! It's Jeff....
... the kids ditched him most of the time, so I have multiple versions of the self portrait. He also emailed me one he took with his cell phone.

After a few hours of skiing, the kids wanted to do something else for a bit. They started out at the hotel pool... but ended up at the waterpark at the hotel next door (same company/resort.... just different buildings).

The kids in the lazy river....
Clara and her friend....
My two...
My two + friend....
I think they spent 2-3 hours at the waterpark before grabbing dinner and then heading off to bed. They were a couple of tired kids that night!

(and I know I keep saying this.... but I'm so fortunate to have a husband who is willing to document this all for me!)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day

Clara lives for holiday parties, so she was so excited on Monday! Her class was supposed to decorate Valentine Mailboxes on Friday (the day she was home with strep), so while we were at Michael's the other day, she bought some stickers so she could make her own.

Here she is showing off her bag and her new shirt....
Clara loves all holidays but Valentine's Day is particularly special since it gives her an excuse to wear lots of pink!

Turns out that they didn't make their mailboxes on Friday, so Clara did get to make one in class...
... that her "Mango" mailbox!

See the resemblance?....
They exchanged Valentines right before school ended so she didn't get a real chance to look at her loot until she got home....
Mango wanted to check things out too....

Mango even sent Clara a candy gram at school! Here's Clara showing Alex the candy gram from Mango....
Right after getting home from Clara's ballet class, this arrived...
... my very special gift from Jeff!

Hope you all had a great Valentine's Day! I know we sure did!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

sunday night family night...

Sunday afternoon, on the way home from Clara's dance class, we went through the drive-thru at McDonald's to pick up Shamrock shakes for the kiddos....
(Jeff and I split one too!) There was some reason why he wanted to pick one up for Alex, but I have since forgotten :-}

After we got home, Clara and I worked on her Valentines for a bit....
For Clara we used treat bag toppers from Shabby Princess. Alex decided to not do Valentines this year, but picked out candy to just pass out instead. Both of these plans worked for me because I was just completely out of ideas for this year's cards.

Then it was time for our weekly Family Night! It was Alex's turn to pick, so Clara picked the treat....
... Valentine Dots!!

... they were fun... but they all tasted pretty much the same.

Alex's choice for our activity was Mario Party 8 for the Wii....
There was a time, not all that long ago where the kids would fight over who got me or Jeff so they could win. They HAD to have an adult on their team if they wanted to win. Well... Sunday night, Alex accidentally set it up where the teams were him and Clara and me and Jeff. He was distraught that he had messed that up.... he was sure that they wouldn't stand a chance. Apparently things have changed. Not only did they beat us.... but they beat us rather soundly!! We were NOWHERE close to winning. We have crossed the line from being an asset in the game to being a liability. Next they'll be fighting over who has to take us on their team! LOL!

Monday, February 14, 2011

devil's head... again

On Saturday, Jeff had planned to take both kids skiing, but with Clara recovering from strep, he just took Alex. They went back up to their current favorite day trip spot... Devil's Head.

Here's Alex standing up in the spot where he fell down for the photo a couple of weeks ago...
On the lift with dad....
A view from the top....
I think they got in 6 hours or so of skiing that day. They had a great time. Alex really loves to ski, and, according to Jeff, he's doing quite well at it. It's becoming quite an obsession this winter and the plans have already been made for the next trip!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

days 41-43

The past few days have been rough.... but I think we're finally on the road to recovery (provided no one else goes down).

Thursday night during Clara's last dance of the evening, she comes out for a water break, collapses into my arms and starts sobbing. She said that her throat hurt really bad. Her teacher said to just go on home, so we did (we were going to anyway, but I'm glad he saw that she needed to also).

We hopped in a cab and came straight home. Her throat was really swollen and red, plus her temp was 102. She said she was hungry, so I heated up some soup for her.

Day 41....
It was a really rough night. She woke up around 1:00am because her throat was bothering her and came in with us at around 2:00. I don't think any of us slept the rest of the night. Per the recommendation of our neighbor, we decided to try one of the quick clinics at one of the pharmacies. Jeff ended up taking her to the Walgreen's Take Care Clinic since it opened the earliest. Her temp was 103 at this point and she was miserable! The Take Care Clinic experience was amazing... they got her right in, prescription was immediately sent to the pharmacy right there in the store and the whole outing ended up taking about an hour! According to the PA there, she had "a raging case of strep".

Day 42....
Neither of the kids have ever had strep before and Clara hadn't even been to the doctor for a sick visit in over three years. Friday was another rough day. But I went to the redbox nearby and stocked up on movies (LOVE redbox!).... so things weren't too bad. By bedtime we were seeing improvement.

On Saturday, Jeff had planned on taking the kids skiing again for the day... but Clara wasn't going to be able to go now. Jeff and Alex went on without her and Clara and I entertained ourselves for the day. She was feeling much better (not 100% but much better), so we decided to go for a walk. We ended up at Michael's and we ended up walking out with a big bag of craft kits.

Day 43...
... here she is working on her latch hook kit. She also got shrinky dinks, Valentine suncatchers to paint, a beginner needlepoint kit AND some make your own flower covered peace sign kit. On our way home we stopped by 7-11 to return our movies. While we were there, we went in for a treat. She decided that a big giant blue raspberry slurpee would feel good on her throat. :-)

She's still improving but we're still taking it easy. Jeff and Alex are at church this morning without us. Clara was very sad that she wasn't able to go, as their choir is singing in "big church" this morning (and she loves the song that they're singing). But I just really need her to get better!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

days 36-40

Time to catch back up with my project{365} photos!

day 36....
... daddy and daughter dressed up for the dance!

Over the next three days, my new little point and shoot got a workout!

day 37...
... more snow! We were out walking around after lunch and it was snowing again! Sunday we all went to church together as a family and then out to lunch.... I love that this is something we all do together (even though we were all going to scatter for the afternoon)! After lunch we dropped Alex off at rehearsal and we rushed home to get Clara ready for dance. Once we were all back home again, it was time for our weekly family night! This time we just all watched the Super Bowl together (although Clara did watch the Puppy Bowl for a while).

day 38...
.... oh look.. it's snowing yet again!

day 39....
... Clara putting the finishing touches on her science fair project display board before school... a whole day before it was due!! The girl has really come into her own with school. Her grades are going up every quarter, she never fusses about homework and she takes charge of projects like this. She loves going to school and has made many good friends. We are very proud of how well she has done with the transition to school.... she is really thriving!!

day 40....
... opening their Valentine gifts they had gotten in the mail from Grandpa and Grandma Michigan. On the way home from school Clara had already declared that it was the best day ever (she had had a fabulous day presenting her science fair project and having an ice cream party for reading a certain number of books last quarter) and this just added to her sugar fueled fun!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

city kid sledding...

I'm running behind with my photo of the day photos (yes, I have taken them though) and today is a crazy busy day, so to keep up my posting momentum, here is a little video I took last week....

video

Monday, February 07, 2011

daddy daughter dance... the video...

Just a short little clip of the girls enjoying themselves at the dance....

video

... well, except for my daughter, who is clearly getting annoyed with Jeff and all of the cameras I sent him with :-)

daddy daughter dance...

Saturday night was the big Daddy Daughter Valentine's Dance. Clara and her friends had been looking forward to this for weeks!

Clara hadn't had a haircut since May, so we figured Saturday was as good a day as any to get it trimmed. Beth was running a little behind, so they grabbed a starbucks (vanilla steamer) to sip while they waited....
The trim...
The cut is complete....
... time to style!

The style started with curls....
(Jeff had to leave to get Alex, so I walked over and took over "Clara duty" at this point)

The back....
The side...
(her poor ears!!! we had just came in from walking home.... and I guess the lack of hood or hat took it's toll on her little ears! they warmed up quickly though!)

The front....
She LOVED her hair style! Beth did such a fabulous job!

Here are her "perfect" shoes....
And finally, here's Daddy and Daughter all dressed up and ready to go....

They started out with going to dinner....
The quality of that photo wasn't the best.... but it's probably one of my favorites from the night!

And here are the girls dancing with their daddies....



And a couple of group shots...

And some more dancing....


The one above is another one of my favorites..... the flash made their eyes a little goofy, but I LOVE the genuine smiles on their faces! They really had a great time!

(and thanks again to Jeff for documenting the night for me!)