Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 14, 2012

Charlotte Bacon, age 6
Daniel Barden, age 7
Olivia Engel, age 6
Josephine Gay, age 7
Ana M Marquez-Greene, age 6
Dylan Hockley, age 6
Madeleine F Hsu, age 6
Catherine V Hubbard, age 6
Chase Kowalski , age 7
Jesse Lewis, age 6
James Mattioli, age 6
Grace McDonnell, age 7
Emilie Parker, age 6
Jack Pinto, age 6
Noah Pozner, age 6
Caroline Previdi, age 6
Jessica Rekos, age 6
Avielle Richman, age 6
Benjamin Wheeler, age 6
Allison N Wyatt, age 6
Rachel Davino, age 29
Dawn Hochsprung, age 47
Anne Marie Murphy, age 52
Lauren Rousseau, age 30
Mary Sherlach, age 56
Victoria Soto, age 27

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker is here! It puts me in the Christmas spirit to see over 100 dancers from ages 4 to 60 put together a masterful Christmas production. 

Plug your ears, Coop, the cannon is going to blow!

Ready for battle!

Yikes, the Rat Queen!

Coop got to lift a mouse and twirl her around. Phew, didn't drop her once!

Coop, I want you to know how extremely proud I am of you. I know you have been sick for so long and to do the shows was really tough while you felt so rotten. I am proud of your good attitude, strong spirit and perseverance. Well fought battle, my young soldier!

Kyle is 8!

Spy Gear!


 A serious backyard reconnaissance mission. Have I mentioned that my sons will never have guns?

The Hancock/Olsons celebrate with us! Woohoo!

Lunch with Gramsie & Gramps at Ground Round. Ky gets a camera!

Tis the Season...

...for Black Friday shopping. This was my BF attire. It was so great to have total strangers tell me they thought my hat was cool. That never happens! I bought this hat in D.C. to keep me snuggly warm while on a bike tour on a freezing cold and wet day. Who knew I made such a great fashion choice. (That also NEVER happens.)
Just a quick flashback - snuggly hat under bike helmet in front of the Capitol.

... for delivering bears and blankets. My mom donates bears and blankets and the boys get to deliver them to the bank. 

...decorating cookies. The boys love decorating as much as they love eating the cookies. 

Our First Thanksgiving

Gramps carves the turkey. 

Gramsie makes to gravy (and everything else).

We enjoy the fruits of our labor. So wonderful to have Thanksgiving at our house. It warms my heart to have friends and family share food and fun with us.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


AKA, Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party.

It is a Nutcracker year. Cooper's third stint doing the Nutcracker. In 2008, he was a rat; 2010, Fritz; 2012, a soldier. When it's a Nutcracker year, MCA also puts on its SPFTP, one of it's big fundraisers. Our whole family contributed to the event. I am very proud of my three sons for working so hard.

Cam is anxiously waiting for his princess, Cady, to arrive. Although we worked very hard before, during and after the Party, we also relaxed and had a spot of tea ourselves. 

Here are the cute young friends with the Sugar Plum Fairy herself and the Sugar Plum Cavalier along with another ballerina from the ballet.

November Fishing

November fishing. One of my very favorite things. I fished with my dad in his boat. Kyle and Corey fished in our boat. We enjoyed an unseasonably warm day, free of bugs and full of sunshine. Between the 4 of us, we hauled in 18 bass, 4 northerns, and 1 sunny. Great way to end our season of boat fishing. 

2 Steps Forward

You may recall that Cameron recently penciled a rather unkind note that stated bluntly, "I 'hat' mom." Well, the word hate tends to be the first angry verb out of his mouth. We took a few steps forward the other morning when he yelled at me, "I am so not happy with you right now!" I smiled and congratulated him on his verbiage. Ahhhh, progress.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Many Faces of Kyle

Monarch Fair! Kyle created a helicopter to help his wounded monarch get to its southern destination.

I got to read with Kyle during American Education Week. 

Since Coop goes to school later than his little brothers he got to read with Cam during his buddy reading time.

Cam's monarch book. Good job, son. Kyle, you are such a dork, just like your mother.

Ahhhhhh... Proud Mommy Moment

I forgive you, Ky.

Birthdays, Part 2

Cam got a cool birthday present from Corey's parents. It takes much concentration.

We loved having our newest family member visit us to help celebrate birthdays. The weather was perfect for a stroll in the wagon.

November 4th - Auntie Jodi!

Cam picked Subway for his birthday dinner. His favorite girl, Cady, joined us to help celebrate. We loved having Mel and Cathy join us, too.

Birthdays... Finally!

Celebrating with Gramsie & Gramps. I think Cam liked his present. 

I think when my three sons were little and maybe even before they were born, I declared strongly, "My sons will not have guns!" Buuuuuuuuut, then you notice your sons are making guns out of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and paper and grass and toilet paper, soooooooo, my sons have guns.

November 5th is Uncle Timmy's birthday, November 6th is Coop's birthday and November 7th is Cam's birthday. Fortunately, everyone is happy to share a party and a cake. Although it is fun to celebrate with Tim, it sometimes leads to uncomfortable conversations. I have to explain why Tim is at the party but his wife and kids are not. And explain why Uncle Tim lives with Gramsie and Gramps instead of his wife and kids. Divorce and addiction are horrible life-sucking beasts that ripple way out.  Way, way, out.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Hat Mom

I got a note this week from Cam. It read, "I hat mom." He could at least spell it correctly.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Up next... Birthday Week

A sneak preview of the birthday post. Straight from the Hershey factory in Hershey, PA, is the giant birthday bar. More to come...

Glorious Sunrise and a Star Among Us

Ah, nothing like a colorful sunrise to start your day off right.

Our star student! Gramsie got to hang out with Kyle at school to help him celebrate being the star student. Gramps also joined them for a delicious school lunch. 

A Very Happy Halloween

Halloween is always a traveling event for us. We trek around the city visiting friends and family. This year we did a few new things.

Our friend Cadence and her grandma joined us this year to trick or treat around my parent's neighborhood. The weather was pleasant and the candy aplenty.

My nephew, the skeleton, also joined us. After scavenging through the neighborhood, we stopped at 2 more places. A total of 4 stops throughout the afternoon before our 5th and final stop...

Our 6th annual stop at the Smith residence. Blessings to you my favorite astronaut. No anchovies in my bag this year. Yippee!

Fall Fishing

One of my very favorite things to do is fishing. A few weeks ago Kyle, Corey and I got to go out to try for some big ones. 

It was a blast being with Kyle out on the boat. 

Life always seems a little better when casting a line. I was the big winner with 4 fish boated. Ky and Corey got skunked.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

MEA Weekend Part 2

We had lots of cousins over to eat scary food and have scary fun. We perfected pumpkins, constructed creatures, and devoured dogs. The kids had a super fun time together.

MEA Weekend

My niece hung out with us for a few days over the long weekend. We loved having her spend time with us.
 Love seeing the kids go old school with a little 4 square.

My first attempt at dipping food - ghost pretzels. We had scary fun making them.

Brydon's First Birthday

Our final camping outing of the season turned into a day trip when our truck broke down on Friday morning. We took off really early Saturday morning to join all of Corey's family to celebrate his nephew's first birthday. It was still raining a bit when we got to the state park in Albert Lea but by noon it stopped. We had a wonderful day.
 Corey and the birthday boy.

Yummy cake.

 A party with a fire makes for great ambiance.

A doggy party. So cute. Love the big water bowls.

We are up to 7 cousins. A wonderful blessing.