Monday, February 27, 2006

Proud Pizza Makers

I just wanted to add some pictures that I meant to post last night. Above, you can see cool-boy R with his masterpiece of a pizza. Below is flour-covered T with his masterpiece (much higher ratio of cheese to pepperoini than his big brother.)

And here they both are celebrating with noise makers:

Sunday, February 26, 2006

A Day of Celebration

We had a fun day celebrating T's birthday. It started out with "fruit fruity" pancakes. M made four different fruit pancakes -- mango, banana, strawberry, and blueberry. It was a feast for a fruit-loving birthday boy!

After breakfast, T got to open his gifts, including a two-wheeler bike :> It's the same kind that he has at is preschool (a Trek) that he really loves. Too bad it was only 16 degrees outside -- too cold for biking. In the picture below, you'll notice T's "overeasy" pajamas (that's a term that he coined himself.)

After spending the morning playing with his new presents, we went to the mall to see the Curious George movie (cute, with great music) and the boys got haircuts. My oh my their hair grows fast.

For dinner, the boys made "half and half pizzas" --half alfredo sauce and half red sauce. They were great chefs....and the pizza wasn't too bad either. (As you can see, pizza making is VERY serious business.)

Saturday, February 25, 2006

My Baby Is Five

How Can It be? How can my little baby be five already? Boy, does time go by so fast. Everybody told me that time does this crazy thing -- zoom by - but I never believed it. And here he's five. He's such a fun kid.
  • He loves art and creating things -- it doesn't matter the media. Give him some sticks and sand and he's just as happy as if you've given him watercolors and a brush. He can make art out of anything.
  • He also sees beauty in anything -- flowers, sunsets, colors, birds, a button on my blouse -- anything. While we were searching for seashells, I heard over and over "Mom, here's a beautiful one" or my favorite, "Mom, here's a beauty!"
  • He has become terribly shy, which is often perceived as being a brat (perhaps it's his look of disdain when somebody he doesn't know talks to him?)
  • He's either completely loving or a horrible snit. The Loving part: he'll snuggle and give kisses to me, his dad, and even, his brother (even in the hockey locker room when R is trying to get dressed, which doesn't go down to well -- I mean really, getting kissed by your brother in public when you're a hockey player? Come on!) The Snit part: He knows what he wants and he doesn't care if it's rude or wrong, that's what he wants. He has an opinion and he's not going to change his mind. (He's defintely not a pleaser.)
  • He loves dogs and puppies and loves everything about them and everything that depicts them -- books, stickers, art, catalogs, and the real live things themselves.
  • He's a train expert. Loves trains, knows trains, wants to work on a train when he grows up.
  • He is smart! He has the best use of language and phrases. It kills me sometimes.

He's such a wonderful, loving, artistic, creative, tough, smart kid and I love him so much. I can't believe he's five!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

What a Life!

I'm coming at ya from sunny Florida. OhMyGosh is this a beautiful place! It's overcast in the morning, but burns off by 9ish. We're in the cutest little town on the cutest little island. The boys are having a grand time. It was about 76 degrees today (sure beats the 12 degrees that we left behind us on Sunday!). Our flights here weren't the best -- delays, running for the connection, missing the connection, flying into a different city, driving for two hours, and finally, arriving at 1:30 in the morning.

It was so worth it.

Yesterday we swam and played at the beach, which by the way, has the most AMAZING shells EVER.

Then, today we drove down to Venice where they have a beach they nicknamed, "shark tooth beach". M saw a special on TV about it and I read up on it in my books about FLA. Evidently, this beach used to be underwater and home to bazillion sharks back in the day. We read that you can just walk along the beach and pick up fossilized shark teeth. Well, we had to get us some of that action. So, we drove an hour south to Venice. We got all our stuff out of the car, headed out to the beach, began looking. Nothing. The beach itself didn't look the way it did on TV. M asked a couple of natives walking by (you can tell they're natives by their leathery skin) and they told us the bad news: Hurricane Charlie tore up the beach, leaving nothing left. The city of Venice hauled in tons and tons of sand and the shark teeth have been really hard to find ever since then.


M didn't give up. We walked to the pier where I had read that you can rent sifters that allowed you to go into the water, dig down, and sift out the sand to reveal the fabulous black teeth. We got down to the pier only to find out that they were out of sifters.


M didn't give up. I took the kids to play in the water and he took the car to find a sifter. He came back with two collanders, which worked great. Before we arrived at the beach, I was praying that we'd find at least two so that each boy would have one. By this time in the day, I was praying that we'd find at least one tooth. We found 4! Yahoo! Success! We were sooo happy! I'll have to post some of the pictures of the teeth later on, but here's R sifting through the water.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Power To Control The Weather

It's all my fault, this cold weather we're having.

You see, we were having such a warm winter -- days in the high 30's and even 40's. I was afraid that our scheduled trip to Florida, to get out of freezing weather, would be in vain if that warm weather kept up.

Last year at this time, it was in the low single digits. Low. Single. Digits. Last year at this time, I was praying for some warmth, some sunshine, some reprieve from the cold weather. Last year at this time, I promised myself that next year we'd take a vacation to someplace warm during the kids' Mid-Winter break.

Which is next week.

But, last week, on Thursday, we had a really strange weather day. It was downright balmy. It was 59 degrees. Fifty-Nine. That's just about shorts weather in these parts.

So, I did it.

I made the fateful wish....I wished that the would get really, really that our trip to Florida would be worth it.

That, my friends, is why it's 12 degrees outside now, with a windchill of 6.

Six. Degrees.

Now, we can go to Florida.

The Power To Control The Weather

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Productive Weekend

This was a good weekend at home. Quite a productive one as far as the kids are concerned:

  • R got started on his Pinewood Derby car, with a lot of M's help
  • T lamented about how we haven't seen any birds this winter, which made us realize that we don't have any birdseed out -- so he and I took care of that.
  • T and R (mostly T) made some beautiful home-made valentine cards (that will get mailed out tomorrow and arrive a bit late)
  • I took another card-making class and had a lot of fun. I came home with the knowledge of about 3-4 techniques that I never knew how to do.
  • On a whim, I made some oatmeal-cranberry-chocolate chip cookies (I made up the recipe based on an oatmeal cookie recipe) and they were delicious)
  • M went pheasant hunting with Uncle B and had a good time (and is bringing the birds home as I type).
  • M also hunted cay-utes (that's a hard "I" sound, like in Kite) and foxes on our friends farm because the cay-yutes (aka cayote) and foxes were eating his pheasant. Our friend is about to buy a flock of sheep and wants the preditors GONE before he gets them on his farm. By the way, they didn't see hide nore hair of the aforementioned preditors that night.

Here are some pictures of our productivity:

R and M laying out R's design on draft paper (R wants his car to look like a shark. Sounds tricky to me, but M says it will be no problem and is quite excited about it.

R and M working the bench press together to drill in the holes where the weights will be (this thing needs to weigh 5 ounces, per the rules.)

I thought this was cute :> R can't reach, so he's standing on the recycling bin. Perfect height! They're working in the garage wearing their winter jackets because it was about 33 degrees in the garage (just a few degrees warmer than it was outside).
Now, it's scroll saw time. This is no job for a kid, so R hams it up for the picture while M concentrates on the job at hand.

A good day's work. R shows the basic shape of his shark car. Can you see the fin on top and the tail in the back?

T trying to point to his newly made bird feeder. He's having a hard time looking up with it snowing and all. He started the feeder at preschool, but wasn't happy with the amount of bird seed on it (or lack thereof). So, we added more suet (aka bacon grease) and more bird seed. While we were at it, we filled the three bird feeders that were hanging empty in the back yard. When I woke up this morning, T greeted me excitedly, saying, "Mom, there are birds EVERYwhere today!"

Mission accomplished.

We hung T's feeder on the crabapple tree so that we could see it from our dining room window.

And, finally, the assorted valentines that the boys (mostly T) made today.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Superbowl Weekend

We were so fortunate to have M's family come and visit for the weekend. We didn't know they were coming. We had invited them, but different people had to work during the weekend and we were afraid tha it wouldn't work out. But, it did! Gram, Gramp, Uncle Dan, and Uncle Dave were all able to make the four hour drive :>

The men worked on my craft room -- building thresh holds, painting trim, painting doors, and other stuff that I don't really understand. R, T, Gram, and I hung out and played games. Gram and I even got to do a bit of shopping together, which was pretty fun. While the men were downstairs working and I was grocery shopping, Gram took the opportunity to build a "snow dog" with the kids in the front yard. When I drove up the drive way, they were nearly finished. And boy were they having fun! Here they are enjoying the winter snow:

We had quite the FEAST for the big game! Tons of tasty appetizers, including my new re-creation of a favorite from Cafe Iberico in Chicago -- baked goat cheese. We also had bacon-wrapped-pheasant, chile-cheese dip (requested by Uncle Dan and made by Gram), tasty cheese tray, lots of crackers, and, (drum roll please....) M's fried Turkey. Here's a picture of M and his brother pulling the tasty, moist, scrumptious bird out of the frier.

We only had one breast-worth of turkey leftovers after the Super Bowl, which we ate last night. It's amazing how tasty it was. All in all, we had a really fun weekend :>