30 November 2009

Through H's Eyes

Over the weekend, H borrowed my camera to take some photographs of his favorite ornaments and other holiday decorations we have up around the house. Among other things, he chose a train ornament he got at the Christkindlmarket a couple years ago, his "baby's first Christmas" shoe ornaments, and our log cabin advent calendar. I love getting a glimpse of the world through his eyes.

29 November 2009


Welcome Holiday Season -- we are ready.

Wisconsin Visitors

My sister and her family came to visit us over the weekend. We took the "L" to the Christkindlmarket for lunch. It was beautiful out -- and super crowded. We didn't stay long -- Brian and I will have to go back with the boys. Next, we headed over to Millennium Park to check out the bean, then to the Lego store. We walked up Michigan Avenue, and were going to visit the Signature Room for drinks and appetizers, but the line was huge. Actually, the entire day was complete chaos, but it was still fun to get soaked up in it all. And of course, it was great having Christie, Tim, Jake and Maia over.

27 November 2009


Thanksgiving is a holiday that Brian and I used to host quite a bit. Back when we first started having Thanksgiving, my friend Melissa and I would get together and talk about our menus -- comparing recipes and ideas. We even went grocery shopping for our supplies a couple times. A few years back, the Elsmo's had us over for Leftover Night. And it's something we've done a few times since. I love Leftover Night, and tonight was the night. Our friend Ed was also there, which, a was great as always. We watched movies, played cards, and enjoyed a relaxing evening together.

Our Christmas Tree

Before coming back home, we visited Riehle's Tree Farm to cut down our tree. We typically visit a lot in our neck of the woods, but I love the process of chopping our own. We found a pretty good one. Hopefully we'll get a chance to decorate it this weekend!

Thanksgiving 2009

We spent a fantastic Thanksgiving day in Wisconsin. It was pretty quiet this year -- only my parents, my sister and her family, my mother-in-law, and us. It was perfect. We had a great time.

24 November 2009

Notes of Thanks ....

From H.

There was this one. Then he wrote three more notes. He wanted to write one for everyone who was going to be at Thanksgiving dinner, "but there were not enough pieces of paper."

"Thanks Mom for being Mom for me and I love you. Happy Thanksgiving."
"Thanks Dad for being my Dad and I love you. Happy Thanksgiving."
"Thanks C for being my brother and I love you. Happy Thanksgiving."

From C.

We got two notes. He wrote them all out himself.

"I am thankful for my dog Stormie. I am thankful for my brother "H.""
"I am thankful for my heart and my blood."

The teacher rewrote the second letter for us. I think she probably got a kick out of it too.


We're off tomorrow and to start in on some needed family time. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

22 November 2009

Colorado & Texas

Brian comes home tomorrow, after being away for a week (that's eight nights, but who's counting). His first stop was Colorado Springs and Denver, Colorado. They ate pretty well in Denver, including stops at Beatrice & Woodsley and Fruition. On Friday, he headed to Austin, Texas for the Mellow Johnny's Classic. He said it was a great event, and just sent me a message that he was having dinner at Uchi and Adrian Brody is there. Nice.

Putting on a Show

I know I've posted similar photos before, but I get such a kick out of the little shows the boys put on. This show didn't last very long. You may find this hard to believe, but the boys started arguing, and had to stop. I know, never happens, right? Anyhow, they planned this production while I was in the shower. They gave me a "ticket" (a heart shape made out of Legos), had a special seat for me, and all the instruments laying out (there were a bunch of drums you can't see). I even had a special "pass" (a little piece of paper they taped to me that said "Rock Mom"). Sweet! I enjoyed all 2 minutes of it.

21 November 2009

A Night Out

What a great night! See this group? Four of us live within a half a block of each other. One, just down the street. Another, maybe a mile away. How lucky are we - right? None of us get out a lot. All of us have 1-3 children ranging from pre-school to 8th grade -- we have 13 kids amongst us. Tonight, we all piled in a mini-van and headed downtown for a lovely evening at Cafe Iberico for tapas, sangria and great conversation. I think we all decided, this has to happen more often ... for sure.


Not every morning is as peaceful as this one was. We woke up (both boys in my bed ... again) and H decided to read three stories to C. And C listened contently. I even had enough time to make a cup of coffee and feed the dog before they were finished. We had a great evening last night too. The Elsmo's had a bunch of us over for soup. Four kinds of soup. Four kinds of delicious soup. I should know. I tried every single one. I am not sure what it is about that house, but as soon as I walk into it, I feel at home. It's one of the most comfortable places in the world. The boys had a blast running around with the other children. Besides a moment where we all had to look for a missing C (Leif found him behind the bed -- but I had just found him standing alone on the front sidewalk moments before, so I was a bit panicked), it was a great night. Ending with the boys falling asleep on the sofa just minutes after walking through the door. I have a feeling today's going to be pretty good too.

19 November 2009


I am really liking these necklaces by stone&honey. This one is called Cooper, but there are many others I wouldn't mind either.

18 November 2009

German Lesson

H is having so much fun in German class. He was a bit nervous at first -- as he always is with new things. But let me tell you, it's week three, and he's having a blast. I'm not sure how much they are learning, but he's been showing off some new words so a bit must be sticking. After class, he goes to our neighbor friend's house. She teaches a French class, and her daughter is in German with H. They have three children and a very loving home. The kids were all running around playing when I picked him up tonight, and he was just smiling ear-to-ear. I like that. Oh, and this picture is what he learned in German today. Brian's the "surfer dude" in case you were wondering.

16 November 2009

Animal Photos

I cannot stand how absolutely cute (there, I said it), this baby porcupine photo is. It's already sold. And if it weren't, it would so be in my shopping cart right now.

This reindeer is pretty stunning too.

And the baby basset hound! Adorable. Of course, I have a thing for dogs with short legs. Or smooshed faces. Brian doesn't get it at all. Ok, fine. I pretty much love all animals, which is why I'm absolutely in awe of all of Sharon Montrose's photos. (Etsy Store, Blog - via Cup of Jo)


H participates in a group called Circle of Friends at school. Once a month, he and a bunch of other kids, join the special education students for lunch and play. I think the main motivator for his participation is the fact that they play Wii, but I still think it's a great opportunity for him. Last week, they made these Thanksgiving turkeys. He's thankful for "my dog, my self, my stuff, my food." Glad at least one representative from our family -- "the dog" -- made the list!

15 November 2009

Storm Turns 3

The most neglected, best behaved member of our family, turned 3 today. Poor guy didn't get treats like last year. Or even a walk for that matter. But H did post this note on the door ("Happy Brithday Storm. We love you. Be nice to Storm"). Lucky guy.

Saturday Soccer

Dominican University hosted the NCAA Division III men's soccer tournament on Saturday. We caught a bit of the St. Olaf/University of Wisconsin-Whitewater game (the boys were in rare form pretty much all weekend, so we didn't last very long). Whitewater is where my parents met. My mom is even in the Athletic Hall of Fame. It was a fun game to catch. We came home, and I ran 6.5 miles -- a personal best for me. Then we had dinner at our friend's house. I'd say that's a pretty good day.

13 November 2009


We are SO looking forward to the weekend. Aren't you? Happy Weekend!

12 November 2009

If I Were a Turkey

Almost every week, H gets a writing assignment from school. Working with him on these writing projects is seriously like pulling teeth. Writing and reading -- not so much his thing. Math -- now we are talking. He can breeze through those assignments no problem. Unfortunately, today's homework was writing. "Imagine that you are a turkey and you just found out you are on the Thanksgiving menu. What would you say to persuade people to serve something other than turkey for the Thanksgiving feast?" Here's H's story (you can click to enlarge). Gosh, could his writing be sloppier? Anyhow, he didn't completely answer the question, but I still think it's pretty funny.

11 November 2009

10 November 2009

Magazine Wall

If you are like us, you have magazines laying around everywhere. Here, bundles of magazines are used to create a decorative wall. What a brilliant idea. (via Poppytalk)

09 November 2009

Just Plain Tired

Poor guy didn't even make it to dinner tonight.

07 November 2009

Last Game

Today was the Fire Balls last game. They didn't win often this season. The weather was pretty gross (except for today). And they had three games canceled. But H and the rest of the boys had an awesome year. You could just tell they were having so much fun each time they played -- and we had a great time watching them.