Monday, March 30, 2009

The last week or so...

We haven't been doing much lately. The weather has been pretty yucky (until Sunday) and there just hasn't been much going on. Just to keep things in chronological order, we'll start with this picture. Last Wednesday I was doing something on the computer, probably facebooking, and was just playing by himself. At 3:15 I got up to get Max and myself ready to go pick up Nolen from school. I walked past a pile of blankets on the couch and went upstairs. Max wasn't in his room. He wasn't on the first floor or the second floor. He had to be in the basement - I hoped. Upon further investigation of the pile of blankets...he was just really enjoying that 30 year old afghan! Thanks Nana! The whole family loves it! You can just barely see his little foot sticking out.

On Saturday, Ed's big project was to pour a concrete pad for the new AC that will be installed soon. We have made a hobby of buying 30 year old houses with 30 year old ACs and then replacing them in the first year. This one really needed to go. I wish I had a picture of it...I'm surprised it was still working when we moved in. He did a great job pouring the slab and he even had all the boys make their hand prints in it. That's right - only the boys. Mom was not included! What's up with that???

We didn't do anything too exciting this weekend but we had a great time. Nolen had his last soccer game of the "season". It wasn't really a season as much as it was 8 weeks of games. He had a great last game. He got to be goalie for the last half which is his favorite position. Of course the only other position is "herd runner". Anyway, he did a great job and had lots of good saves. It was a nice way to start an otherwise boring, rainy and cold Saturday. The only other cool thing we did on Saturday was have family movie night. We got to watch Bolt all together with popcorn. The boys saw it in the theater and loved it. Max has made me read the book (long version not the short version) so many times that the boys have it memorized.

The weather forecast for Sunday was thunderstorms so we started the day cleaning out the basement and we had some other boring indoor tasks on our list. However, the weatherman was a complete liar! We had the nicest day we've had in weeks. I think this is my first time wearing shorts this year. Be careful you don't go blind looking at those pale legs! Eeek! It was warm and sunny almost all day. We realized this at around 11am so I quickly threw the boys outside, finished up the necessary tasks inside and went out with them. After lunch we decided to treat ourselves to some ice cream at Bruster's (by the way, I can't go there without thinking of all of Amy's cute pictures!). Max had a free scoop coupon he earned at school for reading 10 books! It was a beautiful day for eating ice cream!

When we got home we already had supper going - beef stew for the rainy day we were suppossed to have! It worked out well though. The evening turned into one of those neighborhood hangouts. We were all sitting around chatting when I realized it was 7:00!!! We still needed to feed the kids, bathe them and get them all tucked into bed by their 8 o'clock bedtime! ha! We managed and the kids didn't get to bed too late.

And just a side note...the boys had ice cream again tonight because Nolen's reading group is reading a book called, "How to Make Ice Cream". I told him that if he did his homework without complaining, he could have ice cream for dessert tonight. The joke was on me though because his homework was only to read the first half of the book. Tomorrow night I guess he will have to read the second half and do a comprehension worksheet. I guess I'll be offering ice cream again tomorrow night. hehe
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Monday, March 23, 2009

Weekend in Richmond

We headed south this weekend for a little family trip. We didn't make it far enough south to hit the beach but we did catch the FIRST robotics regional competition in Richmond! Fran teaches high school physics in Richmond and works on the robotics team at Deep Run High School. The boys were super excited to see Grammy and they loved seeing the robots. Its a really cool program where students work closely with technology companies /sponsors to design, build, program and operate their robots. Each year, the competition game is different (and usually a little convoluted). This year the game was called Lunacy. There was a very slick floor surface to deal with, and a game of trying to load other robots' trailers up with balls. There is a lot more to it than that, but generally that was the idea.

Here are some of the students explaining the robot to the kids. Note the adorable team shirts that Fran got for them and the kid sized safety glasses. (Everyone is required to wear safety glasses in "the pits".)

A very happy and proud Grammy.

The event resembles a trade show in that each team has a supply of buttons, beads, bracelets, balls and other gear emblazened with the team name. I guess the reason they have them is to promote their team to try and secure a place in an alliance in the finals. Seriously...complicated system. Anyway, the boys had fun walking around with one of Fran's students and collecting all sorts of trinkets. They also like watching the robots and all of the loudness and chaos didn't seem to bother them which was a pleasant surprise!

AND congratulations to Fran and the Blue Cheese team!! Their alliance won first place and they also won the Chairman's Award. They will be traveling to nationals in Atlanta in April!

Edward and I slipped away for awhile on Saturday night and went down to the Fan to hear some live music with Stephanie. A good time was had by all.

Nolen and Grammy playing tic-tac-toe at Ihop.
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Luck of the Irish to ya! I don't know any good Irish sayings...I sent the boys to school in their St. Patrick's Day shirts today. I mostly made them last year but I failed to finish them in time so they had to wait until this year. Nolen told me he didn't like it and didn't want to wear it. As you can see, he didn't win that battle and I told him it was rude to say that about something I made for him. Max was happy to wear his - of course they seem to play off each other more and more lately. If one of them is doing something I don't like, the other one will point out that he is being a perfect angel. ha!

Like the backwards letters on Max's shirt? Sadly, it was not intentional! oops!

And, I didn't get around to making an '04 for the back of Max's shirt. I got online last night to find a "4" to copy and I ended up facebooking, got tired and quit. Doh! Oh well, he didn't care. And by the way, the 03 and 04 are the years they were born. I thought that was pretty clever. Hehe.

As for the rest of St. Patrick's Day, I am planning on having a beer later. Not so much because its St. Patrick's Day, but because the boys are driving me a little nuts today. Max only stopped talking during his nap today - other than that, it has been non stop blabbering. I also made the boys mint chocolate chip milkshakes for snack (they're green) and I have a corned beef brisket in the oven for dinner. I've never made it before so hopefully it turns out. I don't know how you could go wrong - it was packaged with the spices inside and the directions on the front. I don't think Nolen is going to like it too much. When he walked in the house this afternoon, he asked me what smelled stinky. Wish us LUCK!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!
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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Snow Flashback...

These pictures were taken in November of 2005 in Fairbanks. Nolen was 2 1/2 and Max was 15 months. By the time I got them dressed to go outside, I was already exhausted! Ha! I also learned that mittens that will stay put on a 1 year old and hard to find and priceless!

I love this one. Poor Max did not want to sit on that sled! He probably had no idea what was going on!
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Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Sessions 2 and 3!

In an effort to avoid the franticness of a freezing child who has been in the snow for too long, we broke the play day into three sessions. I couldn't tell you how long any of them lasted but I think it worked well. The kids were cold and damp footed (no snow boots, just rain boots) when they came in, but they certainly weren't miserable. We went out at around 1pm and tried to build a snowman. Unfortunately for the snow man, the kids weren't that interested and he got toppled soon after he was built. Jasmine didn't help the situation either. When Nolen added a twig for the poor snowman's arm, Jasmine pulled it out to play fetch with it. After the failed snowman, I started building a wall of snowbricks. It looks awesome but it can't stand up to anything. A good snowball can knock it down. Ha! I took a few of our toy bins outside with us and used them to make bricks just like you would use a pail to make a sand castle. (relying on the lessons I learned back in Florida) I got several compliments from neighbors and some of the bigger boys on the street were pretty impressed! They kept asking if I was going to build an igloo.

Jaydin came by to play for a bit this afternoon. The boys started out helping me with bricks but ended up throwing snowballs at anything that moved. They had a good time! Nolen thought it was especially funny to throw snowballs at me!

We went out again at around 4 and walked down to the Heath's house. They have a slight hill along the side of their house and it made a neat little sledding hill for the wee ones. It wasn't exciting but Nolen loved it. He's not much of a daredevil so this was just his speed and I didn't have to monitor things too closely. You can't get hurt going 20 feet at a crawl. ha!

And what do you do after a long day of playing in the snow? Snuggle the dog in bed of course! Jasmine is not suppossed to be in our bed, but she jumps in whenever she thinks she won't get caught. She jumps out when she hears us coming. The exception to that is if a boy is snuggling her. I guess her plan then is that we'll let her stay there because she's so cute. I wonder where she would get an idea like that!
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We hadn't been doing anything too exciting lately. Its been too cold to play outside lately and we've worn out most of the local indoor activities (i.e. Target). We were just tired to winter and anxious for spring. Well, we didn't get spring, but winter has finally paid off! We had a huge snowstorm last night. It snowed for less than 24 hours and we got about a foot of snow! Last night it was pretty windy too which kind of freaked me out. Our power flickered once but it has stayed on since then. At one point last night, Ed looked out the window and said, "Oh my gosh!" He scared the poop out of me by the way he said it. I thought a tree had fallen down! He was just surprised by the amount of snow! He's so dramatic! hehe. Although, this morning, it looks like one of our neighbors trees has fallen down! I haven't gone out to investigate the size of the tree, but its a larger pine tree and it definitely isn't upright anymore!

The boys got a snow day from school. That wasn't much of a surprise when we started to see how much it was snowing last night. We told them last night before they went to bed (the school district had already called to announce that school was cancelled) and they were so excited as they made their plans for playing in the snow! The schedule went something like...get up, eat breakfast, play in the snow, come in and have hot chocolate, eat lunch, go out and play, come in for hot get the idea! Those half price snow pants I bought for Nolen are finally getting used! I wasn't optimistic enough to buy snow boots so they're making due with rain boots! Knock on wood but so far so good!

The boys got a snow day, but Ed did not. First he tried digging out his little Mazda. He managed to get it down the driveway but the snow plows had left a pile of snow at the edge of the road and he couldn't get past it...we also don't have a snow shovel. Next he tried Dale's white truck that we are borrowing from her. That plan also failed. The van was the only vehicle that made it out of the driveway today! ha! I guess the boys and I really ARE snowed in!

Maybe we'll get around to making a snow man or a fort this afternoon. I tried this morning, but the boys kept jumping on whatever large snowballs I was trying to make. I think the snow wasn't sticking to itself very well either. Maybe I'll take some water out with us this afternoon. Tara says it works great. ha!

Hurry up, Mom! We're ready to go!

Tramping in the snow. This was in the driveway where Ed had dug out his car. It doesn't really show the true depth of the show. I'll have to take a yard stick out later!

The boys did a lot of falling in the snow. I was worried they were going to get it inside their coats and mittens, but I guess we have good gear!
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