31 October 2009


We had a great night filled with trick-or-treating, and friends. Plus a surprise visit from Nina & Papa who were on their way back from Florida. Talk about a treat! We all had such a fun time.

Happy Halloween

30 October 2009

Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin carving is not my cup of tea. It's not Brian's either, which is why we only have three (we shared). But I do love the final product. H carved a scary guy with blood coming out of his nose and freckles (seen on right). C's jack-o-lantern is a portrait of one of his girlfriends, E (seen on left). And ours is a pumpkin with a bunch of holes it. I was killing my hands using an apple corer to make the holes. Finally I asked Brian to help (because my blisters on my hands from raking last week were bleeding). What did he do? Came up with a giant drill bit. Brilliant! Just wished he didn't wait so long. Anyhow, I think they turned out pretty great. We are SO looking forward to tomorrow!

Halloween at H's School

I took the day off today. I went for a long(er) run. I went grocery shopping (two stores). And I got to spend the afternoon with H in his school today. It was great. Today was their Halloween party and parade. Unfortunately, it rained pretty much all day, so the parade was inside. We still had fun. I also got to help out in the classroom. The scary-candy-corn-and-popcorn-in-plastic-glove station, to be exact. The kids in his second grade class are so cute. Besides the little girl who got all sassy with me while playing "hot pumpkin." But never mind that. I was so happy to get to hang out, and spend a great afternoon with H.

The Ride with Lance

29 October 2009

Home At Last!

We are so excited. Our Brian is home. He and Chris had a great time on the Pablove Across America ride. He arrived home earlier today, and it made me crazy to be sitting at my desk at work knowing he was home. Storm was so excited he went to the bathroom all over the kitchen floor. And the boys jumped into his arms when he picked them up at school. We missed him. He spent the majority of the time in Austin, Texas, which he said was amazing. Yesterday he got to do a ride with some of the Mellow Johnny's people in the a.m.. He also spent time with super triathlete/iron woman (and SRAM sponsored rider) Desirée Ficker. She even signed a magazine for H & C. Pretty cool. And then, they headed over to (the) Lance Armstrong's house. And went for a bike ride with him. So that was a pretty amazing experience, I'm sure. Most importantly, they raised some money for Pablove (thanks everyone!), raised awareness for the organization and pediatric cancer, and got to support our friend Jeff. Jeff has three more weeks to go -- good luck Jeff!

28 October 2009

Observing C

Today at school, I got to "observe" C in his classroom. It's a big deal -- I had a great time and C was thrilled to have me there. I was so impressed by everything he is learning. He's come a long way in two years. His teacher told me a story about his first day of school, ever. He still wasn't talking, and she asked him if he wanted to do painting or stamping (as in, rubber stamping on paper). He stamped his feet. He barely talked at all that year. And now, he's independent, and as she says, confident (although, that was never really an issue for him). I'm so happy about that. And very proud of him. For an after-observation treat, C decided he wanted ice-cream. So we headed over to Hole-in-the-Wall, and made it for their last day before closing for the season. C picked his favorite -- a Spongebob Popsicle. I had a coffee from across the street. Unfortunately, we had to end our trip with a visit to the doctor for that pesky swollen eye he has. It's nothing. Still glad I got it checked though. Anyhow, it was a great time today.

27 October 2009

Art by C: Ghost

I think the glow-in-the-dark glitter glue and backwards "Boo" are totally great.

26 October 2009

Art by H: Fall Tree Collage

And yes, he did draw snow on his Fall picture. H loves it, and even knows the official first day of Winter (December 21, in case you were interested). He can't wait.

25 October 2009

Pablove Across America :: Morning Dedication

I've only been posting the videos with Chris & Brian -- I get a kick out of them. I think it is a really great thing that they are able to take part in a journey like this. Jeff's been posting a nightly dedication and some check-ins along the route. You can see all of the videos at pablove.org.

Pam and the Kids

Pam and Matt (Brian's sister and her husband), were in town last night for a black-tie event. Matt went home after the event, but Pam and the kids stayed the night. Ian and Mackenzie watched the boys while I went to Yvonne's birthday party. It was so strange having them stay alone. Strange, but nice. I just can't believe they are old enough to do that. But they are, and I think they all had a great time without us. Pam's a big fan of the Food Network, and wanted to try The Depot (remember, it was featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives). We had a great breakfast. And C even left his mark.

Yvonne's 50th Birthday Party

Our friend Yvonne celebrated her 50th birthday last week. (Now, I admit, I had to Photoshop a couple (minor) blemishes off of both of us, but can you believe this woman is 50?) She and her husband, Greg, are visiting Chicago this week, and one of her friends threw a party for her. As always, it was SO good to see them. I adore these two people like you wouldn't believe. And I hate that they live in LA. I also got to see a bunch of people we haven't seen for years, and meet some incredible new ones. That, to me, is a great night.

Harvest Party

C's school had their Fall Harvest Party yesterday. Pam, Matt, Ian & Mackenzie were in town, and Ian came along. He was a big hit with the little kids. The boys decided they wanted to wear their costumes. It was very cute.

Morning Dedication with Brian & Chris

Every morning, Jeff and the gang post a morning dedication to a cancer patient. Brian and Chris are on the journey for the next couple days, so can be seen in some of the videos.

24 October 2009

Pablove Across America - Day 1

Brian and Chris made it Houston, Texas last night to meet up for the Pablove Across America ride. (To help support their team and Pablove, click here.)

Fire Balls Play Backyard Ball

It was a cold and wet one today, but the Fire Balls vs. Orange Crush game was still on. Most of the field was a mud pit, so they moved the goals to a little dry corner for the game. There was a lot of action on this tiny field. The Fire Balls ended up getting crushed by the Orange Crush -- something like 2-1,000,000. I actually think it was 2-8. H says 2-5. No matter. It was the best game yet, due to the fact that H SCORED HIS FIRST GOAL EVER! He had a huge grin the rest of the game, and told Brian all the people crowded around him and it was cool. It was Grandma's first soccer game of H's -- maybe she was a good luck charm. H is absolutely thrilled.

23 October 2009

Dinner with Grandma

H had half days at school the last couple days. So Grandma came for a visit. We are all having a great time.

22 October 2009


Our Neighborhood

I had to run to the grocery store today, and spotted these homes decorated for Halloween. The people who live here go all out every year. And their Christmas decorations are pretty "spectacular" too. I had to take a drive-by shot -- I think it's great.

I also had to take a drive by my favorite tree again (it's been raining all day -- otherwise I would have actually stopped). Isn't it incredible?

I love all of the colors, really. Here's the tree right outside our house. Amazing.

I think there will be a lot of raking going on this weekend!

19 October 2009

Honk, Honk

I am not kidding, when I say that I cannot for the life of me remember the last time I slept through the night without one, or both, of the boys coming in our room. When it comes down to it, it's our fault, I know. But I'm honestly just too exhausted to keep waking up and bringing them back to their room. This has been going on for essentially 7-1/2 years now after all. Once school started this year, our nighttime visits slowed down a bit. I think there were even a couple nights in a row without one of the Doodles stumbling in. Things were starting to look up. But now, there's a new distraction. One that goes on, and on, and on -- and wakes up the entire house. I am pleased to present you, C and his honking nose.

Poor guy. He's actually pretty miserable, but he's going to break a blood vessel if he keeps this up. It's crazy.


I took this photo while driving (I was at a stop sign) the other day. It's a couple blocks away from our house, right by H's school. The trees are fantastic right now. I wish they stayed like that all year. Tonight was H's conference at school. I feel like so much goes on that we have no idea about -- and it was great to sit down with his teacher to find out how H is doing in second grade. Overall, very well. Math is his strong point. Speed of reading and creative writing his weakest. And he does tend to get a little goofy sometimes. His teacher says he's very caring, and tries hard at everything he does. What more can you ask for, really?

18 October 2009

Fullersburg Woods

Brian came home from a 5-hour bike ride this morning, and suggested we go on a nature walk. The boys and I were just taking a break from leaf raking, and were all for it. Fullersburg Woods is a place he rides by on a frequent basis, and it was the perfect destination on what turned out to be, a beautiful Fall day (... finally). By the time we hit The Graue Mill, the little legs were pretty tuckered out -- plus we had Storm with. It is a water wheel grist mill and was also part of the Underground Railroad. They offer a tour -- we'll have to get back some day. P.S. The leaves did end up getting raked when we got home.

Brian and Pablove

Later this week, Brian and Chris will be joining our friend Jeff Castelaz for a leg of his Pablove Across America ride. The Pablove Foundation is named after Pablo, the son of Jeff and Jo Ann, and the brother of Grady, when Pablo was diagnosed with bilateral Wilms' Tumor. Unfortunately, Pablo lost the battle on June 27, 2009 -- he was six years old. That's right between the ages of H & C. Help the fight against childhood cancer and support Brian and Chris -- Team SRAM 186 -- on their leg of the ride across America.

17 October 2009

Museum of Science and Industry

Here are some photographs that Brian took today from their trip to the Museum of Science and Industry today with The Frigs. I think they had fun. Don't you?

Just Storm and Me

A couple years ago when we first got Storm, I took an obedience class with him at See Spot Run. He did great -- he's such an awesome guy. But it's been awhile, and we are a bit out of practice. And Brian and I are, quite frankly, a bit lazy with walking him. So today, Storm and I took a refresher course. And learned some new stuff. The trainer compared him to the smart kid in class who usually just breezes -- but can get caught off guard when tested and they realize you really are paying attention. We had fun. But so did the boys! While Storm and I were learning new tricks, they all got invited by The Frigs to go to the Museum of Science and Industry.

15 October 2009


I love Fall. It's absolutely my most favorite time of year. The colors, the air, the clothes you get to wear. The whole nine yards. But this year kind of stinks. Does it really have to rain so much? And where did my 50 and 60 degree weather go? Lower 40s (with rain) just isn't any fun. I fondly remember walks in the woods and Indian Summer from last year. But this year? The image above is the scene of our back yard ... today. Boo hoo. On a happy note though, the boys and I are looking forward to Brian coming home tonight. He's been in Cleveland, Ohio at Rays Indoor Mountain Bike Park for a few days. It will be nice to have him home.

14 October 2009

Art by C: Haunted House

At C's school, they offer extracurricular activities. C chose art class (over gym). He loves it, and most of the pictures I post are from this class. However, he goes to a Montessori school, and one of the "big works" they can select in the classroom is easel painting. Until they are "afternooners," they work on small pieces. But now, he gets to work on the large easel. H did a lot of paintings on the big easel too. In fact, they are still hanging on all the doors in our house. But it's so interesting for me to see how different the boys are in their work. H never drew people or objects -- they were basically shapes and color studies. C always has a person or object in his paintings. This one is a haunted house -- complete with a ghost and bats.