Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat

What would YOU do if this showed up at YOUR door tonight?
Bret, Scott & Perry took all of the kids out trick or treating tonight. I think Bret & Scott were more excited than the kids about dressing up.

Does she not look like she's 21?

Ashley, the Vampiress and Bret the thing that will give us all nightmares tonight.

Ryan is ready to go! Now, he says!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Neither one of my kids would look at me during their parade at school today, so I had to go track them down in their classrooms to get decent pictures.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Wild Life, Merry Not So Scary Park

Ryan and I met up with his cousins, Brooke and Mitchell at Wild Life Prairie Park for the much more kid friendly version of last night. They had a blast together, as they always do.

Dr. Ryan, with his cousins, "Tom & Jerry".

Preparing for an exciting adventure on the train.

Ryan and I getting our picture taken. (I should have thought of this using my own camera thing last night instead of relying on their polaroids.)

Of course there's more on Flickr!

Letting The Creative Juices Flow

The pumpkins are carved and ready for Tuesday. However, the kitchen floor needs a good scrubbing now.

Ashley needed a little help with hers.

Ryan drew the face on his pumpkin himself before Bret cut it out.

Ashley was able to cut hers out all by herself this year.

Wild Life Scary Park

Last night we went to Wild Life Scary Park with Teri and her family. I was totally prepared to be scared out of my pants, but it wasn't too bad. Guess I'm maturing with 30 right around the corner next month. We waited in line for the train for 2 hours, but it wasn't too bad of a wait. It actually went pretty fast with all the spooks walking around trying to freak us out. Every time you would let your guard down, this guy below would be standing right behind you, waiting for you to turn around.

He got me quite a few times.

Um, a pile of leaves, you ask? Nope, this was a person in a costume getting ready to jump up and scare the people behind us.

At one point, Teri broke down and had to use the porta potty, so Bret went over to wait for her to come out so he could scare her...

But that wouldn't have been good enough, so we pulled our friend from earlier over and had him stand right at the opening of the door. Ha!

And now I'll be going back with Ryan and his little cousins tonight for the not so scary part.

More on Flickr.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

BOO!!! Eeeek!!! Shriek!!!

More later...

Just Passing The Time

With my snuggly kids.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Why We Love Sam's Club

Where else can you go shopping before dinner, fill up on tons of samples, and then cap it off with a dinner for 3 for $6.00?

The air hockey table that Santa will probably be bringing our kids for Christmas.

More Halloween candy than we could ever pass out in one night's time.

One cool a*# front lawn Santa Express Christmas display.

My kids are heartbroken that they don't still have this in the store for them to play with.

Who doesn't love this sweet Mr. Potato Head?!

Love it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Falling Behind

I am aware that it is now Thursday and that I haven't posted anything since Monday. Finding the time lately has been very difficult. I have Chloe here Monday through Wednesday and it sometimes feels like I'm the exhausted new mom. I've taken more naps in the last three weeks than I have in the last year. But really, who doesn't love a good nap during the day? I'm loving every minute of Chloe being here. I feel like I'm more organized and that I have a routine again. (Eat. Play. Sleep. Change a diaper. Eat. Play. Sleep. Change a diaper...lol.) Aside from some painfully gasy days (Chloe - not me!) she's been a delight all the way from her cooing and babbling language to her all out cheeky smiles. I love her. My kids love her. They come home from school and run straight to her. It's Thursday and we already can't wait for her to get back here on Monday. (And come January there will be two!)

Monday, October 23, 2006


Ryan is obsessed with the baby's toys. What gives?

She Gets It From Me

Ashley is coming right along with her flute. She started learning how to play it in band at school just last month and while the songs are still simple, she's learned plenty of musical notes and is able to put them together. That's more than I could do. At her age, I attempted to learn to play the clarinet at school. Let's just say that even though I was practicing it in the basement, my mom was happy to see me give it up. I then moved on to the piano, which was more my thing.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Happy Birthday, Jo

This afternoon the family got together at Bret's mom and dad's house for Jo's birthday and a home cooked meal. The kids had a great time playing together.

Ashley helps Grandma get dinner together.

Ryan and Grandma Jerry check out a new book.

Now I must go and clean my house to work off that extra piece of pumpkin pie I ate.

To see all of today's pictures, head on over to Flickr.


They're pretty cute when they're getting along. Last night while the guys all met up at Perry's for the World Series game, Kelly and I hung out here with our kids, plus Quentin and Skyler (who spent the night). The kids (aside from Ryan who was out by 10pm) outlasted me last night. Guess with 30 right around the corner, I just can't hang anymore. In fact, I feel a nap coming on right about now.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Because You Care, Right?

So yesterday I spent pretty much the whole time the kids were in school cleaning out and organizing the basement and moving the furniture around. Why? Because Bret wants his pool table set back up. It's been in storage since we moved here and the kids don't really like to play in the basement unless we're down there, so why not? Bret and his dad finished our basement right after we moved in and it's always been an understanding that the pool table would end up down there, too. Since moving in, the kids have pretty much taken over the basement. Now it's our turn. Now all we need is a bar in one corner and a big screen TV in the other and we'll be all set for some serious entertaining. (Margaritas, anyone?)

The view from when you walk into this humongous room in our basement. (And that's only the far half of the room.)

And then you have the playroom half of the room which the kids will soon have to share with Bret and his pool table.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Gimme A Break

No pun intended. Someone up there does not want me to have a day off to get this house cleaned since Ashley maybe staying home from school tomorrow. Coming home from her friend's house tonight, Ashley hurt her ankle wearing these boots. Maybe now she'll think twice about wearing these things that were given to her by a friend that had outgrown them.

Now she's on the couch with ice on her swollen ankle while we try to decide if it warrent's a visit to the after hours clinic to see if it's broken.

Not good. We're suppose to go hiking with her Girl Scout troop on Saturday.

My Fondest Memories

Every child should have the chance to experience that close bond that comes with having loving grandparents. I was fortunate to have that growning up with my Grandma Shirley. In some ways she was like a second mother to my brother and I. Who else would still love you unconditionally when you call her crying because your brother got mad at you and stuck a moving milk shake blender in your hair? Or when you and your best friend decided to walk home from the mall instead of taking the bus, only to call her 2 miles later for a ride home. Throughout our childhood, which was downright scary at times having a severly alcoholic father, she was always there to help take care of us.
While I miss her terribly since I've gotten married and moved 2 1/2 hours away from my side of the family, I'll never forget the memories that came from having her in my life. As kids, we grew up shopping at Kmart. (Yes, I know, ugh, Kmart!) (We won't talk about the time my aunt was horrified during a tornado and thought she was going to die in a Kmart of all places. Ha.) Back in the day, before car seats and seat belts were the law, I would sit on my Grandma's lap in the front passenger seat on the way to Kmart with my hands on the strap on the dashboard and hers beside both of mine. (She never got away with removing those hands!) When Kmart would come into view, I would get excited and tell her, "Kmart, Grandma. Kmart!" Ah, those were the days. Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Coming To My Senses

I think I may have lost my mind tonight. After dropping Ashley off at the Michael's craft store for her girl scout meeting, I headed over to Cub Foods to get some much needed groceries since it's right across the street from Michael's. Pusing my cart down the aisles, I was upset to see just how much more Cub Foods charges for almost everything compared to Walmart. Now I know some people are against the whole Walmart thing because of how little they pay their employees and the fear that they'll put everyone else out of business, but it's money I'd much rather spend elsewhere. So, do you know what I did half way through Cub Foods after I saw that they wanted a buck fifty more for Ryan's Trix yogurt than Walmart does? I turned around and back tracked, putting everything back. (Ok, everything but the Sara Lee coffee cake that you can't get at Walmart.) They're lucky I took the time to actually put the stuff back. I then headed over to Walmart to buy my groceries and probably saved a good thirty or fourty bucks. (Ha! Who's laughing now?!)

Monday, October 16, 2006

And The Mother Of The Year Award Goes To...

. . . the mother who sent her kids to school in sweatshirts this morning. I swear it was 65 degrees and feeling kind of warm this morning. It's now 61 degrees and dropping and very cold and windy. Hope they don't have outdoor recess today. Hmm.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Party Time

The kids had a great time at little Jarred's 2nd Birthday party this afternoon. All of the neighborhood kids ran around Perry's house like they owned it.

Ryan gets his baby swing fix. What is up with that kid?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Dr. Evil

Here you have it. The mask and the doctor's lab coat. He's decided to be an Evil Doctor for Halloween. At least it'll hide the horrible collar.

Anyone for a house call?

Halloween Headache

So, do you remember when Ryan said he wanted to be a doctor for Halloween? Well, I ran out and bought the materials to make him a lab coat and I forgot about two things that I have trouble with. Collars and button holes. So after spending hours of my time trying to make this coat, I've finally called it quits. The collar looks horrible and the pockets are uneven. We won't even talk about what happened when I tried to make the button holes. So after about 5 hours of working on this thing, Bret comes home with a cheap skeleton mask from Big Lots and Ryan decides that he's now going to be a skeleton. Figures.

I have, however, had other costumes turn out successfully in the past.

Like the year Ryan went as a Chicago Cub's baseball. He wore this with a navy blue sweatsuit underneath it.

And the best thing I've ever made of all time. Ashley's Medeival Maiden costume.

I have pictures of the kids in them, but that was back before we joined the digital camera world. Not bad for teaching myself how to sew a few years ago, right? (That would be just one of my famous hobbies that typically lasts about three months before I move on to another one - but that's a whole different post.)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Only In Illinois. . .

. . . can it go from 84 degrees one week to 42 degrees the next week. I've decided I'm not ready for this weather. I'm thinking we skipped the 50's and 60's somewhere along the way. What happened to fall?

Waiting for the school bus outside in the cold.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Going out for a much needed night out with a group of friends from the neighborhood tonight. We no longer use the pretense of "Bunco" anymore. (Since it's been over a year since anyone has actually played.) It's now called "Drunko". Some have tried to name it a much more tame sounding "Ladies Night Out" but we all know the truth. We're there to unwind. So if you see anyone climbing through the cornfields home back to our neighborhood from Buffalo Wild Wings tonight, you'll know who it was. Right, Kelly? (I'm just saying.)

Bed? What Bed?

For the past two nights this is where Ryan has insisted on sleeping at. The floor of his bedroom. I know. I don't get it either.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

False Alarm

So I get a phone call from the kids' school this morning and they ask me if Ashley is at home because she's not there today. (What!) I tell them she should be because I saw her get on the bus with her brother. They put me on hold. (Silently freaking out!) She comes back and asks if Ashley was leaving early today. I tell her no and she puts me on hold again. (Really getting worried now.) She comes back and apologizes and explains that her bus was late so she was marked absent and that yes, she is there. (Whew!) At least I know now that they call if your child is not there and you haven't called her in.

I've told him many times that he is too big for the baby swing. Does he listen? No!

So anyways, feast your eyes on this. Adorable babies. In my care. Chloe was so cute when Ceceilia got here this morning. She just stared at her, wanting to know what she was all about.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Worrisome Son

This morning Ryan informed me that he didn't want me to go with on his school field trips because then I wouldn't be at home. He says I'm suppose to stay at home all day so that I'll be there when he gets off the bus. He's so concerned that I'll forget him. As if.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Chloe's First Day

Today was my first day watching 10 week old Chloe. It went very well. She's a very cute and happy baby with a great personality. My kids were home from school today for Columbus Day and loved every minute of her being here. We took her for a walk in our newly discovered park since today is suppose to be the last warm day of the year. (They keep saying that, so I'll believe it when I see it - but deep down I'm sure they are right this time around.) Well, I am off to bed. I feel like I've been running on empty for the past 6 days.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

And Then There Were Two

Well, my two extra little ones went home tonight. I was really sad to see them go. This afternoon we headed over to a new park that's being built in the back of a new subdivision near our house. The park has a few paved trails that go through the woods around the outside of the park. See, mom? Living out in the middle of nowhere has it's advantages. Tomorrow I start watching Chloe, so I won't have too much free time on my hands to miss my niece and nephew. It was definately a lot of fun though.
* * * *
Mitchell on our walk.

Brooke & Ryan on our walk. This is my favorite picture.

It's not easy getting three kids to look at the camera and smile at the same time.

No Girls Allowed

Except Mommy.

Ryan & Mitchell reading books before bedtime last night.

Two little monkeys jumping on the bed.

Wiped Out.

The girls are both at Grandma and Grandpa's house. They spent the night there last night so last night was a breeze. However, if I was ever thinking about having more kids - this has cured me. It has been so much fun spending such quality time with our niece and nephew. It's going to be really sad when they go home tonight. They've pretty much become just another couple of members of our little family.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Are We Nuts?

Bret and I took all four kids to Tanner's Orchard today. I would guess that there were no less than a thousand people there. It was crazy - what were we thinking? I put all four kids in bright red shirts so I could spot them easily and would you believe that every other parent there had their kids in red shirts?! We didn't end up staying too long because everytime a kid would disapear from my line of vision I would feel the panic rising up in my chest. We didn't loose anyone, but there were times it took a good 30 seconds (which seems like an eternity at that moment) to spot the right red shirt. The kids were already on the tired side when we got there so after exhausting their supply of free apple cider (yes, people who do that bug me, too), we took off for home.

Ryan & Ashley on the big tractor.

Mitchell trying really hard to get the little tractor to move.

Mitchell and Ashley hanging out in the back of the airplane.

Brooke strikes a pose on the hay bale maze.

We finally talked Ryan into going on the Cider Barrel Train.

The girls are going to Grandma & Grandpa's to spend the night over there tonight. Not sure if we'll know what to do with only two.