28 February 2013

Art by C :: Waddle Waddle


I asked C what this was. "Oh," he said. "It's a Waddle Waddle." (A Waddle Waddle is a make-believe duck character -- it's somewhere towards the right on the picture -- I'm not sure I see it). There is also a mouse (the eyeballs by the blue thing), bug eggs (the little white things) and on top, a raccoon eating garbage.

27 February 2013

Snow Day


A foot of very wet, thick snow. Thank goodness for my helper who shoveled while I used the snowblower. We were outside for nearly two hours. He's already been out three more times running around, but I'm exhausted. I really don't mind clearing the snow -- and when Brian isn't gone on a business trip, he's ok with it too -- but this was quite the undertaking. Whew.

Inspiration Files :: Winter Getaway

I am a big fan of the winter doldrums. I really don't have a problem with slowing down after the new year and being more or less cooped up a bit. In fact, I kind of crave it. At least for a couple months. But now that it's nearly March, I'm quite ready for spring to come. Mother Nature seems to have other plans though, and we got absolutely dumped on with snow last night. So much, that the boys have no school today! H has already been outside shoveling. C has a pretty nasty cough and isn't himself, so it's worked out well that he's home. My body has been feeling particularly stiff and sore lately, so I'm ok with taking a day off as well. The only problem is, the Mr. is out of town, and now I have a huge amount of wet, sticky snow to plow. Figured an inspiration file post was in order to get me going -- and this one is perfect. Zumthor Ferienhäuser are vacation rentals located near Leis in Val, Switzerland (population 20). I sure wouldn't mind being spending a snow day there. (via Desire to Inspire // photos by Ralph Feiner, courtesy of Annalisa and Peter Zumthor)

26 February 2013



I know, enough of the tae kwon do already! But there really hasn't been much else going on around here besides Brian traveling a bit ... and snow. C & Brian went to class together last night and picked up their new high green belts. I went today and got my brown belt. And tonight, H went to class and got his high green. Notice his snazzy new uniform too? He was invited to be part of the K.I.C.K. team, which is a leadership team that helps out during class. It's pretty cool.

24 February 2013

23 February 2013

Board Break-A-Thon


Today was the annual Board Break-A-Thon with our Tae Kwon Do school raising money for the MACC fund -- lots of Tae Kwon Do this weekend, that's for sure. H was invited to go skiing with a friend so it was just Brian, C and me. C broke 10 boards -- he was totally into it. And during the time we were there, we watched three of the schools demo teams perform some amazing stuff. It's a really great afternoon for an incredible cause. Afterwards, the three of us went on a little date to the Milwaukee Public Market for some oysters -- they are C's favorite.


H & C with Grand Master Lee after they broke their boards.

The last two evenings have been spent at tae kwon do testing. On Thursday it was kid's testing with the boys. Yesterday it was adult testing for Brian and me. We all broke our boards -- Brian and the boys had to do a step-over front snap kick, and I broke with a step-over back swing kick -- and are moving on to the next level. It always feels like such a great accomplishment. Even at 43 years old, testing puts me completely out of my comfort level. I still didn't raise my hand even though I totally knew what the meaning of our form was (and no one else did) which totally ticked me off afterwards. I've never been a hand-raiser and it's like teaching an old dog new tricks at this point, but I'm working on it. The good news is, I didn't feel like I was going to pass out this time, so that's something.

20 February 2013

Under the Pillows


Every night, as I'm laying in C's bed (either reading a book, or snuggling for a bit), my head hits something awkward and uncomfortable. When I lift the pillows to check out what might be causing my pain, I find a slew of assorted stuffed animals hidden underneath. Mostly dogs. And lately a Magic 8 ball. And a couple weeks ago, a rubber mouse could even be found there. The guardian angel Beanie Baby is always perched over his head "to protect me when I sleep," he says. I shouldn't be surprised by this army of animals under the pillows. He still talks about his favorite rubber chicken and how much he misses it. All. The. Time. I think it's pretty funny.

17 February 2013

Sledding Party


What a fun day! Our friends Jill & Bill invited us to their annual sledding party. They rent out the Brown Deer Boat House (which I didn't even know existed -- what a brilliant idea!) and while the adults sit and hang out by the fire, the kids go out back for some sledding. What's even better, is that the boat house looks right out on the sledding hill, so you can keep a good eye on them. I'm not sure how many times the boys went up and down that hill, but I imagine the will be sleeping well tonight. Especially since we had H's last futsal game tonight (they came in second place during an overtime game against a team who creamed them earlier in the season).

Skate with Heart


A couple weeks ago, H's 5th grade had a field trip to the Pettit Center. His advisor teacher has two children who are ice-skaters, and were going to be part of a show called "Skate with Heart" to raise money for the Herma Heart Center at Children's Memorial Hospital. She decided to make it a fundraiser -- the kids could either collect a lump sum, or raise money for each lap they did. Together, they raised nearly $2,200. Last night after the ice skating show, some of the kids skated onto the ice the present a "check" to the Herma Heart Center. (H is in the green jacket.) It was adorable. And fortunately, none of them fell.

14 February 2013

Valentine's Day


1. C wished us a Happy Valentine's Day as soon as he saw us and gave us this drawing.

2. At H's school, they could buy chocolate roses for people this week, which would be handed out at their advisory class this morning. H wanted to buy one for himself. But he got in line, as soon as it was his turn, they sold out. When he left this morning, he said that he really hoped someone got him one. Sure enough, he came home with a chocolate rose from "A Mystery Girl." And his face was covered with hearts and a red mustache. I guess the teachers were drawing hearts on the kid's faces. Funny.

3. C came home with a huge Valentine's stash. He gave out mystery flavor Fun Dips.

4. After C's soccer practice, we had a Valentine's dinner of bacon wrapped beef tenderloin, rosemary-garlic mushrooms, creamed spinach and a flourless chocolate cake (all paleo). Brian also brought us chocolate covered strawberries. My favorite.

5. My Valentines!!!!!

6. H gave us each a gum ball for our Valentine's Day presents and wrote a little note. C drew this picture for us. It's a Phoenix rising from the flames with a heart.

10 February 2013

Sweet Sixteen


We were out at my mother-in-law's today. We met our tax guy there -- he doesn't travel as far north as our house. It worked out great for us, and for her too! She was asking about her taxes and he ended up doing them right on the spot. Can't get better than that. Later on in the afternoon, Pam (Brian's sister), Matt, the kids and a new boyfriend stopped by for dinner. Lucky us, because someone turns 16 this week, and we got to celebrate. With a red velvet cake no less. I cannot believe how old these nieces and nephews of ours are getting.

Basketball & Tae Kwon Do


We surprised the boys last night and took them out for a night on the town. It started with dinner at Umami Moto, then over to watch the Milwaukee Bucks vs. the Detroit Pistons. It was a close game the entire way, with the Buck losing 100-105. But the reason we chose that night to go to a game was that our tae kwon do school was doing the half time show. We ordered our tickets last minute and were way up in the nose bleed section. I had never been to a Bucks game before, and we had a great time.

07 February 2013

Giant Snow Balls


Ah, more snow. And honestly, I absolutely love it. Soccer practice was cancelled. My meeting tonight was cancelled. We did end up going to tae kwon do (and had a fairly empty class). But after school, there turned out to be nothing going on. So the boys played in the snow for over an hour when they got home. When I finally looked outside to see what they were up to, I found them pushing an enormous snow ball across the yard. Their mission? To push it near the swing so they could swing and jump off onto it.

04 February 2013


The place we take taekwondo sent me these photos of the boys today, and I thought they were just too good not to share. They were from belt testing in November. My parents took the kids -- you can see them in the background on H's photo -- while Brian and I were in New York.

It's been over a year that we've been taking taekwondo as a family. The boys definitely go through periods where they could care less about it. But they are sticking with it, and are now Green Belts. Brian was a bit late to the game, and due to his travel schedule, needs to just fit it in when he can. He is a Green Belt too. I definitely have the luxury of going more often, so I'm a High Green. We are all hoping to test in the next couple weeks again. I think it's so awesome to find something you actually get to do with your kids (we are actually in class together most of the time). There are so many lessons they teach (all of us), and we've met some really great people as well. Incorporating martial arts into our lives has been pretty cool.

P.S. In case you were wondering about belt levels, it goes: White > Yellow > Purple > High Purple > Green > High Green > Brown > High Brown > Red > High Red > Black.