Sunday, December 20, 2009

Let it snow!

I guess I shouldn't complain that it is nearly Christmas and this is the first snow of the season. I'm all for snow at Christmastime as long as it disappears soon afterward. Alex and Ava are of a different opinion and were super excited about the snow and wanted to go play in it even though it barely covered the grass. So we got their snow gear on and they played around in the yard. They had a lot of fun sledding down the little hill in our front yard, throwing snowballs at mommy and daddy and building a snowman. While I would be quite happy if it didn't snow anymore this season, I'm sure that Alex and Ava can't wait for more to come.

Monday, November 30, 2009


I know I've said it before, but I love Thanksgiving. To be more specific, I love the food at Thanksgiving, probably because I never have to cook it. This year was no different as we traveled up to Illinois to spend the holiday with Shane's dad. However, the day was also marked with sadness as it is the first holiday without Shane's mom, who passed away last month. We miss her greatly and know that the holidays will not be the same without her.
As I talked with Alex and Ava about what they were thankful for, they mentioned their family and named specific people. I think this year especially, I am thankful for my family and grateful for the time we have shared together.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

2 Teeth, 1 Week

Yep, that's right, Alex lost 2 teeth in 1 week. They have been falling out left and right or rather up and down. Last Sunday, his top tooth finally fell out and then last night, a bottom tooth fell out. However, since the tooth came out while Alex was sleeping and has yet to be found, we are assuming that he swallowed it. Alex was not to be deterred by the situation and wrote the Tooth Fairy a letter explaining what had happened. We think she'll understand. : )

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Leaf pile!

Today was the first warm day in a while, so we decided to take advantage of it and clean up our yard, which needed some serious raking. We tackled the front yard first and were able to rake up the majority of the leaves (who knew one tree could have so many leaves). Alex and Ava were a big help with putting the leaves into bags and picking up sticks. After we finished there I raked the kids a big leaf pile that they could jump in. They had a lot of fun playing around in there and we never got around to cleaning up the backyard. Oh well, hopefully it will be nice next weekend...

On your marks, get set....

Playing in the leaf pile.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Yes! Halloween is here and Alex and Ava couldn't wait to dress up again and go trick-or-treating. They were very excited to get more candy (kids these days really don't get enough sugar) and had a lot of fun going from house to house. Since we live in a pretty big subdivision, we only went down a couple of streets and even then, Alex and Ava got a nice stash of candy. When combined with the candy they received the previous evening from trunk or treating, the kids got a pretty big haul and Alex declared that this was the "best Halloween ever", so I think tonight was a success. :)

Before: buckets empty. On our way to go trick-or-treating.

After: buckets full. Look at all our candy!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Trunk or Treat!

Tonight was our ward's annual Halloween party. The kids were very excited to dress up and go "trunk or treating". This year Alex decided to be Darth Vadar as he has become quite the Star Wars fan. He vacillated between that and a mummy but ultimately went with Darth Vadar. Ava wanted to be a mummy as well (surprise, surprise) but when she saw the Sponge Bob costume, she changed her mind. We all had fun at the party. Shane made his awesome chili for the cook-off contest and although he didn't win, I still think his was the best. Alex and Ava had a lot of fun playing with friends, eating yummy treats, and trunk or treating. They got a nice little stash of candy and I predict that by tomorrow night we will be in complete candy overload.

Sponge Bob and Darth Vadar

Alex with his friends, Joshua and Ian.

Ava enjoying her cupcake. Well, the icing on the cupcake, anyway.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bee Sting

I think that just about every kid, sooner or later will get stung. Today it was Alex's turn. He and Ava were playing in the backyard when she came back into the house crying hysterically, telling Shane that he had to help Alex. Shane, of course, got really worried and was about to go outside when Alex came back in. He was patting at his shirt and when Shane took it off, a wasp flew out. I guess the wasp flew into the sleeve of his t-shirt and couldn't get out. Needless to say, Alex got stung, not just once but 4 times! OUCH! He was very brave about it, only a few tears and I think poor little Ava was more traumatized than he was. I cleaned up the stings and gave Alex some Benadryl, just in case he had an allergic reaction. Shane found the wasp and smushed it and a little while later, I found another wasp flying around our house, so there might have been 2 in his shirt! Yikes! The good news is that Alex is fine, there was no allergic reaction and you can hardly see the stings anymore.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


This past week Ava started preschool. I know that I say this all the time about my kids but I can't believe that she is old enough to go! It was something she had been looking forward to all summer. Ava was very excited but when we got there she got a bit nervous (which is normal for her) and wasn't quite ready to go into her classroom. After a couple of minutes, she was fine and when I picked her up 2 hours later she was very happy and told me that they talked about animals (which are one of her favorite things). I'm glad she is enjoying school and learning new things and making new friends.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ava's New Bed

At last! I had been seriously slacking in getting Ava a bed, mostly because I thought she wouldn't stay in it and would just get out and run around. However, as she is now 3, it's pretty silly to keep her in a crib (considering Alex moved to a bed when he was 2). We got her a toddler bed because the twin seemed too big for her and if she fell out, she would be close to the ground. Needless to say, Ava was very excited to have her own bed and to go to sleep in it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ava's 3rd Birthday

Well, Ava celebrated her 3rd birthday on the 21st. Can you believe it? I can't. The past twelve months really flew by and can be summed up in one sentence: "I do it myself, mommy." Yes, Ava is quite an independent little girl. She does almost everything by herself. We are still working on potty training but when she decides to use the toilet, she wants to do it herself.
Ava has grown and learned so much this past year. She loves to run and jump and play and do whatever her big brother is doing. She loves to talk on the phone and try on shoes (what can I say, she is a girl). Ava absolutely loves all kinds of animals but she is particular to cats. Her favorite movies right now include Lion King 1 & 2 and Finding Nemo. She loves yogurt, cheese, hot dogs, and chocolate. Her favorite color is pink (I think) and she says green but I think that's because it's Alex's favorite color. :) Ava has been a joy in our lives and is too cute for words. We love her dearly! Happy Birthday, Peanut!

Friday, August 21, 2009

1st Day of 1st

It is hard to believe that Alex started the first grade this week. The summer has flown by as well as the last 6 years! Alex was excited about going back to school and I'm excited for him as he gets to learn new things and make new friends. However, I did get a little teary eyed as he got on the bus the first morning (I'm predicting this will be a yearly occurrence), feeling sad and happy at the same time...

When he got off the bus that afternoon, Alex reported that he had a great day and I'm glad that the school year is off to a good start!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

East Coast Road Trip

Well, we finally did it. After months of talking about it, Shane and I packed up the kids and the car and drove out to the east coast. We stopped in Ohio overnight and the next morning went over to Kirtland and literally took a picture of the temple and left. Maybe next time we will be able to visit there a little longer. We got into Connecticut that night and the next day we met up with our friends Matt and Lora and their 2 girls, Gracie and Lizzie. The guys spent the day playing golf and Lora and I took the kids to Stepping Stones Children's Museum. The kids had a great time playing with all the neat things in the museum and afterwards, we all had dinner at my favorite pizza place...Paradise Pizza. Yum!
A couple days later, Shane and I took the kids to the Norwalk Maritime Aquarium. Alex and Ava loved seeing all the animals and they especially enjoyed petting the sting rays. That evening my step-mother threw a little party for Ava since her birthday was coming up and we got to visit with some family.
We left the next morning and after a quick stop to visit my grandmother in Queens, we were on our way to Maryland/Delaware. What should have been a 4 1/2 hour drive wound up to be a wee bit longer as our GPS took us to the tip of NJ and wanted us to get on a ferry to Delaware! Maybe next time it will take us to the airport and have us get on a plane! Needless to say we were not thrilled at having to drive back around but we made it to Shane's uncle's house.
We spent the next 2 days at the beach and the kids (and Shane) had a blast playing in the water. Alex also got a fishing lesson from his great-uncle Mike and was able to drive his boat. We went to the boardwalk in Ocean City, MD and the kids got to play some games and go on a few rides. When we left for home that Friday, we were all a little pooped out and couldn't wait to sleep in our own beds. However, we had a wonderful trip and enjoyed visiting with family and friends, eating ourselves silly (mmmm, Friendly's), and just spending time with each other.

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: East Coast Road Trip
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

Monday, July 27, 2009


Well, we made what is starting to be our annual trip to Canada to visit my mom and step-dad. They had a bunch of fun things planned for the kids. We went to the zoo, train museum, parc safari, and the water park. Alex and Ava had a great time and enjoyed their stay with "Pau Pau and Goong Goong."

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Canada2009
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Swim Time!

For the month of June I had the kids enrolled in swimming lessons. This was Ava's first year and since she wasn't yet 3, I had to take the class with her. We had a lot of fun together and she and Alex absolutely love being in the water. Alex did great in his swimming class as well. He was able to swim the whole length of the pool on his own and advanced to the next level!

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Trip to the Zoo

Alex and Ava love animals. Maybe it's because they act like a couple of monkeys themselves. Anyway, we went up to Chicago last week and visited the Lincoln Park Zoo. Actually, Alex had to see an allergist that day and since he gets a little nervous going to the doctor's, I thought a trip to the zoo afterward would be a fun thing for him to look forward to. It also helped that both places were only 5 minutes away from each other.
I last took Alex to this zoo 5 years earlier, for his first birthday. On that visit we didn't see many animals as he was more interested in chasing the pigeons. This time, however, we saw just about every animal there. The kids had a great time, though Ava was a little sad that she couldn't pet the giraffe. : )

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

If a tree could talk...

This was the name of Alex's school play and appropriately enough, he played a tree. It was a cute little play not only about trees but about the environment in general. Although he was nervous a few days before the play, Alex did a great job and nailed his line.

If a tree could talk what would it say?
"Don't chop me down, just walk away!"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I know karates

I have been seriously slacking in my blog duties and am only now posting about Alex's birthday, which was on the 5th. It is hard to believe that Alex is already 6! He is a great kid and Shane and I are so blessed to be his parents. He is kind and thoughtful and loves to help out around the house. He is a wonderful big brother to Ava and is always looking out for her. Alex loves those As-seen-on-tv products and is always telling me that we "need" them ("Mommy look," he points to the tv, "we need that!"). Alex is also quite persistent and succeeded this year in wearing me down to consent to a birthday party (he only had been talking about one for 6 months).
We had the party at a karate place and invited friends from school and Alex's primary class. The kids had a blast as the instructor had them running around playing games and teaching them some karate moves. Alex even got to cut his cake with a sword. It was a fun day and a great birthday for our little guy! Happy Birthday, Alex!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Egg Hunt

Easter is right around the corner so I thought it would be fun to take Alex and Ava down to Fair Oaks Farm for an Easter egg hunt. I think every other parent in Indiana had the same idea because the place was crowded but the kids had a great time. Ava's egg hunt lasted 10 seconds, literally. Alex's was about 20 seconds. However, there was other stuff to do and we even got to see a baby calf being born.

"You mean the egg hunt is over already?"

Waiting for the hunt to begin...

Going for a ride on the train.

Driving a tractor.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

R.I.P. Chia-Pet

Well, we gave it our best shot but we knew this day was coming. The chia-pet is no more. After 3 failed attempts, I chucked the thing into the trash. It is currently in the garbage bin at the end of our driveway waiting for tomorrow's garbage pickup. We followed the directions and at first, little sprouts began to appear as it did the other 2 times we tried. Afterward, though, it just stopped growing. How disappointing! However, this has not dampened Alex's enthusiasm for As-Seen-on-TV products. : )

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Museum outing

In continuation of our spring break activities, I took the kids to the Curious Kids Museum which is about an hour away in Michigan. Again, my friend Amy and her 3 boys came with us. What fun! The museum isn't very big but there's so much to do that we pretty much spent the whole day there. It's a hands-on place, which is perfect for kids and they all got to play around with all the stuff they had there.

My little geisha, Ava.

Alex in a hut in the "rainforest".

Reporting the news...

In the bubble chamber.

One of their favorite rooms-the apple orchard.

Ava, Luke, Ian, Alex, and Mason-what a fun day at the museum!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Let's Jump!

This week is spring break and since Alex has a week off of school, I planned a few fun outings for the kids. Today we went to the Jump Zone which as you can guess is a place filled with enormous inflatables where children can jump to their hearts content. I invited my friend, Amy and her 3 boys to come along and for about 2 hours, those kids jumped and jumped and jumped. Honestly, if there weren't a whole bunch of other parents around, I would have been jumping, too. It just looks like a lot of fun!

Alex and Ava having fun jumping around.

Alex and his friend, Ian.

Taking a lunch break, then it's back to jumping!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lost Tooth

Well, today Alex lost his very first tooth. Hooray! It had been wobbly for about a month and we kept wiggling and waiting for it to fall out and today it did. It actually fell out at school, during gym (it was the first thing Alex told me when he got off the bus this afternoon) and he got a certificate and a little tooth-shaped container to put it in. Naturally, Alex is very excited and he put his tooth under his pillow tonight and is waiting for the tooth fairy to come.
This isn't the greatest picture but Alex was getting a little tired standing there with his mouth open while I tried to take his picture. Anyway, it was the bottom tooth and you probably cannot see the space too well as the big tooth has already been growing in.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Chia, Take 3

They say the third time's the charm, right? Let's hope so. After 2 failed attempts, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this time something will grow. However, I'm beginning to think that it's not us but the seeds. I mean all we really had to do was water it everyday and Alex was very diligent at that. Well, we shall see...

Our silly little girl

Yes, Ava has quite the sense of humor. This is what she looked like when I went to get her out of bed this morning...

...and she was saying, "Ooooooooo, I'm a ghost!" But instead of scaring me, she just made me laugh.

And this is what she looked like when I checked on her last night...

See that black and white thing poking out from her pajama top? That's her little kitty-pretty much her constant companion for the past 2 months. I got it for a buck at Target and out of all the toys she has, this one is her favorite. Go figure. As you can see, Ava likes to put things down her tops; this kitty is no exception. Do not ask me why...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

She did it!

Well, it has finally happened. Tonight, right before her bath, Ava sat on the toilet and peed. Hallelujah. I've been waiting for quite some time for this to happen. Whenever I would ask Ava if she wanted to use the potty, she usually would say, "No thanks" or if she did, she would just sit on the toilet and ask for toilet paper and sit some more and then ask for more toilet paper and then she would say she was done. She was going the same route tonight when I thought tickling her might help and it did. Now I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she will use the potty tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Meet Robin

So Alex has this friend named Robin. Here they are together.
Can't you see him? Don't worry, neither can I. Robin is invisible. (I'd actually be a bit worried if you could see him). Robin has been hanging out with us for about a month and a half now. He likes to play tag, Simon says, red light, green light, and a whole bunch of other games with us. Sometimes it can be hard trying to tag someone who's invisible but Alex is very good at telling us Robin's whereabouts. I thought the whole imaginary friend thing would be a little confusing for Ava but she's catching on. I'm not sure how long Robin will be with us but I don't mind having him around. He's very well-mannered and I often forget that he's here.