Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ava's 4th

Can you believe my little girl is now 4? I can't. My kids are growing up so quickly and I am often surprised by how fast time flies. Anyway, this year for her birthday, Ava wanted to play miniature golf and in the days (and weeks) before her birthday, she kept confirming those plans with me. Needless to say, she was a little excited. Finally, the big day arrived and in the morning we went shopping and my mom got her some new shoes (what can I say, she is a girl). We ate lunch at Subway (one of her favorite places) and then we went to play mini golf. It took a while for Ava to get the hang of the game but she had a fun time. Afterward, we had dinner at Applebee's (her choice) and then home for ice cream cake and presents. Happy birthday to our little nut!

Fun facts about Ava: favorite colors-pink, purple, and brown; favorite foods-oatmeal, cheese sticks, blueberries, hot dogs, fruit snacks; favorite place to eat-Subway; favorite activities-swimming, being read to. She loves Scooby-Doo, Dora, and Strawberry Shortcake. She loves animals-dogs, cats, and especially horses; she's definitely a mommy's girl and is never far from my side; she loves to help out around the house; she likes all the "girly" things-shoes, dresses, dolls but she also likes to play outside and get dirty (she informed me, "Mommy, I like the mud".). We had a bunch of frogs in our yard this summer and Ava had no problem picking them up, while her older brother refused to touch them. Ava is also one mean Uno player and usually wins when we play (and no, I don't let her win!).

Uncle Nolan's visit

My younger brother, Nolan, came out for a weekend visit in August. Unfortunately, it was the weekend of my triathlon and I couldn't do as much with him as I would have liked. However, the kids were super excited to have their uncle visit and kept him pretty occupied. Despite our lack of time, we were able to go out for a celebratory post-triathlon dinner and sneak in a short trip to Chicago. Hopefully, the next time he comes out, we will be able to hang out some more.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


The previous summer, I had a crazy idea to do a triathlon. I wanted to accomplish some sort of athletic feat but I didn't want to do a marathon (4 hours of running? no thanks). So I decided on a triathlon because it sounded just as impressive as a marathon but wouldn't take as long to do. The problem was that I didn't have a bike and hadn't actually swam (laps) in 20 years! I signed up for adult swim lessons late last fall, which helped me tremendously. I also discovered that I really enjoyed swimming. I didn't buy my bike until June, 2 months before my triathlon. I figured that the biking part would be easy...I didn't take into account that the tires on racing bikes are thinner than others making it harder to balance. I was a bit wobbly my first day out but thank goodness, it didn't take long to get used to the bike. The day of my triathlon arrived and I felt nervous but pretty prepared. I signed up to do a sprint triathlon, which is a 1/4 mile swim, 12.6 bike ride, and a 5k run and it was probably the most difficult thing, physically, I have ever done. During my run, I swore I would never do another triathlon. However, when I crossed the finish line and felt that huge sense of accomplishment, I thought that there may be more triathlons in my future.


When I was in college, I had the best group of friends. Seventeen years later, they are still some of the coolest people I know. We've all kept in touch over the years and have gone to each others weddings. This past July, my friend, Sarah, got married. It had been several years since we were all together (since the last wedding). It was a wonderful weekend trip, catching up and reminiscing with old friends.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Ok, so it's been a month or 2 or 5. I've been seriously slacking, I know, as this post is from our summer trip to Canada. I hope never to get this far behind again. Anyway, every July the kids and I go up to Canada to visit my mom and step-dad. Alex and Ava love going and were especially excited to be spending 2 weeks there instead of one. Since we had more time, we got to go on more excurtions. We took a day trip to Vermont and visited the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory, where the kids got to see how teddy bears are made and then they were able to pick out a bear and make one themselves. Next, we visited the Ben and Jerry's ice cream factory and took a tour to see how the ice cream was made. At the conclusion of the tour we were all given a sample. Really yummy!

We also went to the Botanical Gardens in Montreal and I wasn't sure how Alex and Ava would like it but they really enjoyed themselves. They really liked walking through the gardens and loved watching all the huge fish swimming around in the ponds.

We also went to the Parc Safari again this year. It's a fun place that the kids really love. We decided to go to the swimming area first and Alex and Ava must have gone down the water slide a million times. We went to the safari part towards the end of the day and unfortunately, by that time, most of the animals weren't hungry anymore. Alex and Ava were only able to feed a few animals but they still had a great time.

Alex and Ava went swimming a lot during our visit-at a friends' home, the local park, and even in my mom's koi pond! They had a fun trip and want to go back for a longer time next year.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Mother's Day Tea

Ava's preschool has a yearly Mother's Day Tea in which the mom's come and have tea (or water) and snacks with the kids. Ava gave me a handmade placemat along with a Mother's Day plant she made. She also filled out a sheet that describes me. According to her my favorite colors are blue and green, my favorite food is meat, and she loves me because I play with her. She was pretty accurate. Afterward, Ava along with her classmates sang us a few songs about mommies-very cute. It was a fun get together and time spent with my little girl.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Once again I've been slacking in my blogging duties and am only now posting about Alex's birthday, which was on the 5th of this month. Hey, I've been busy (for real!). Since Alex didn't have a party this year (yeah, I know, mean mom) I told him he could pick a museum to go to and he chose the Museum of Science and Industry. We had a great time there and on his birthday Ava and I took him lunch at school, and later we all went to Chuck E' Cheeses followed by ice cream cake and presents at home.
It's hard to believe my little guy is 7. He is such a sweet and thoughtful child and is growing up so fast. He loves: his little sister, helping others, the color green, chicken nuggets, swimming, ice cream, Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic Tree House, old school cartoons (i.e. Tom and Jerry), playing outside. He can't wait to: be in the 2nd grade, turn 8 (ha!), be baptized, be a Cub Scout.
At the Museum of Science & Industry.


With Dad in the huge combine.

Climbing the rock wall.

Watching their toys being made.

McDonald's for lunch.

Giving Chuck E' a hug.

Playing air hockey with Dad.

Ava's favorite ride which she rode like 20 times.
Making a wish.
One of his presents: Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon cards.

Friday, April 23, 2010

We believe...

This year our primary challenged all the kids to learn the 13 Articles of Faith by the end of the year. They've done this challenge before but this is the first year Alex took any interest in it. He was very determined to learn them all and studied them diligently, in the car and often after I put him to bed. He even came up with 2 more Articles of Faith but I told him he didn't have to recite those to the Primary Presidency. : ) Well, Alex's hard work paid off as he reached his goal this past Sunday! Way to go Alex! I am very proud of you!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Easter arrived and brought with it candy, General Conference, and more candy. We started the day off with Easter baskets filled with goodies. Then, Shane and I were able to watch the Sunday morning session of conference before we headed up to Illinois for Easter dinner with his dad. We had a yummy dinner...ham, steak, potatoes, and two of my favorites, deviled eggs and shrimp cocktail. Alex and Ava ate just enough that would allow them to get dessert. This was followed by more Easter baskets and of course, more candy. We had a lovely holiday spent listening to our Church leaders and being with our family.

Easter morning.

The Easter Bunny makes an appearance at dinner.

Family pictures.

Egg Hunt

A few days before Easter, Ava's preschool had an egg hunt for the kids. She decorated her own egg carton and we filled a dozen plastic eggs with candy and brought it to school. She was very excited for the egg hunt but got a bit upset when she saw that the eggs she brought were no longer in her carton. She was fine after the egg hunt started and she realized that she would be filling up her egg carton again. Needless to say, Ava couldn't wait to go home and see what goodies were inside the eggs she found.

Waiting for the hunt to begin.

How many eggs to do I have now?

Hooray! A carton full of eggs.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Break

Last week was spring break and I was really looking forward to it. Why? Well, for several reasons, 1. No school bus to catch (meaning I can sleep in). 2. No homework. 3. Lots of fun things planned. We had a fun-packed week spent with friends and just ourselves. We started our break with a visit to Liberty Zone and lunch at Pizza Hut with my friend Amy and her boys, Ian, Luke, and Mason. The next day I took Alex and Ava to Bellaboo's, which is an indoor play area-very fun. The kids enjoyed painting, making pizza's, grocery shopping, and making their own "mud pies".

Can you find Ava?

My construction workers.

Eating their mud pies.

Wednesday was a trip to Chicago for a yearly allergy checkup for Alex and lunch at the Rainforest Cafe afterwards.

The next day we went to the Curious Kid's Museum in Michigan with my friend Amy and her 3 boys again. The kids had fun exploring and playing around with the different exhibits.

Ian, Alex, Ava, and Luke-ready to have some fun!

Bubble boy.

Bubble girl.

Getting ready for blast off.

Reporting the news.

Ava getting checked out by Luke.

Alex and Ian-disc jockeys.

On Friday our friends came over for some video gaming and the boys had a good time playing Lego Star Wars, Super Mario, and Mario Kart. We ended the week with an Easter egg hunt on Saturday at our subdivision park. Alex and Ava had fun collecting eggs and now have a nice little stash of candy.

Getting ready for the big hunt.

Lots of eggs=lots of candy!

It was a great week but I am glad to be back to our normal daily routine. :)