Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Last Disney Post (I promise)...

What do "little brothers" do while "big brothers" ride roller coasters???

Well, they "hat shop". Of course!!!

And, play in the cool Disney playgrounds...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Buffets are not my favorite....especially with a handfull of little kids. It is just too hard and not very relaxing or enjoyable.

A couple of years ago we thought that we'd give the new "Sweet Tomatoes" that opened by us a try....and I had a coupon. I knew we were in trouble when we walked in and immediately found ourselves in line (a very long line) for their salad bar. I didn't even know that "Sweet Tomatoes" was a buffet. It was terrible. We weren't in the restaurant for 2 minutes when Charlie cracked his head on the metal tray shelf thing. We should have taken that as a sign and LEFT, but we didn't. We forged our way through the salad bar with a very upset toddler and 3 kindergarteners that pointed out everything that they didn't like on the salad bar...."Mom, I dooon't like lettuce", "Mom, I dooon't like green food", blah, blah, blah. After finally making it through the salad bar, we paid and had to hunt down a table for 6 people in the very crowded restaurant, while carrying food and drinks for 6 people of which was extremely grumpy and the other 5 were getting there. The experience was totally not my idea of a relaxing dinner out so, over the last few years, we have tried to avoid buffets, whenever possible.

I recently discovered that the boys LOVE buffets. We have had a couple of team outings at a local, "kid friendly" pizza buffet. They think it is the coolest thing in the world. I totally took advantage of that a few weeks ago when I cleaned out my refridgerator and made a "buffet" for dinner. They ate everything because I called it a buffet. If I would have just loaded it on their plates, they would have whined and complained about the junky dinner. But, because it was a "BUFFET", it was "the best dinner ever Mom!!".

While we were preparing for our trip to Disney, we figured that a trip to the buffet at Hollywood Studios would be enjoyed by all.

Of course the "big boys" reminded us that they were too cool to be excited about the Little Einsteins and JoJo's Circus, but they forgot the "coolness" factor when they saw all of that food.

And, what do you think Drew's plate looked like after hitting the biggest kid-friendly buffet that he has ever seen???
Yup, that's 4 pieces of cantaloupe and FOURTEEN chicken nuggets...(YUCK!)

Me, I loaded up my plate with the yummy seasoned sirloin steak and chocolate mousse. I guess I missed the chicken nuggets portion of the buffet...or maybe there were none left. :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Jumping water at EPCOT...

Isn't that jumping water at EPCOT cool???

Hee Hee....

They loved this!! Who are these kids? I guess that I should be more clear, Ben, Jack and Drew loved it, Charlie was in tears right after the last picture was taken. See him sitting innocently and happily in the background. Well, this spray of water bounced off of Ben and hit him. He was NOT happy. I just noticed that lady walking by. I wonder if she got hit too. LOL!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Letter (Part 2)

Ummmm....yes, I do realize that Christmas Eve is in about 11 minutes and there is no way that I am going to finish my "Christmas Letter" by Christmas. BUT, in 5 years will it really matter if I got it done my Christmas....or New Years....or St. Patrick's Day. The important thing is that I am getting it done. Right?!?!?!!!

This portion of my Christmas Letter is about Jack. I am not doing the rest of the family in any particular order. In fact, I just picked a picture to upload from the thumbnail sized pictures. I couldn't really see who it was until it was uploaded. Since Jack popped up, this post will be all about Jack. Jack, being our competitive child will be very excited that he "won". ;)

As long as I've already mentioned Jack's competitiveness, I'll start this "letter" by writing about his love of sports. He likes playing them, practicing for them, watching them and talking about them...especially talking about them. ;) Questions like...."Hey Mom, do you remember 2 years ago when the Cubs were playing the Cardinals and Jim Edmunds hit 2 homeruns against his former team?" seem to pop up frequently and at really strange times. Currently, his favorite sport is baseball and if you ask him, he will tell you that he plans to be a professional baseball player when he grows up. This past summer, he was excited to be on the Cubs in our local league. Although baseball is his favorite, he also played spring and fall soccer this year and is taking swimming lessons. He is doing well with all of the activities and it is fun to see him get better and better.

Let's see, what else is there besides baseball?!?! Oh yeah..... school. Thankfully, our Mr. J. is enjoying 2nd grade very much. He is doing very well in school. I know that I'm his mom and pretty biased, but his "intelligence" amazes me every day. He also just scored in the 99 percentile on his OLSAT test so, it is really not just *me* that thinks he's smart. :) His favorite school subject is math, but also seems to be very interested in what he has been learning in Social Studies and Science. I hope that Jack always finds school this interesting and easy.

It has been a busy year for Jack. When he is not at school, or doing homework, or playing baseball, or soccer, or swimming, you will probably find him playing with his brothers, or playing Wii, or at Cub Scouts, or at the park, or RE, or riding his bike or scooter. Jack jumps out of bed in the morning ready to go and keeps going until his head hits the pillow at night at which time he begs to read his current Harry Potter book for "just a little bit longer".

Jack really brings a fun dynamic to our family. He adds a LOT of excitement and enthusiasm to everything that he does and makes it more fun for the rest of us. 2009 was a good year for Jack and we are going to enjoy watching the things that he will do in 2010.

2010 is the year....right Jack? Go Cubs! ;)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

For your enjoyment....

Click here for some pretty funny Christmas entertainment. It kept my boys (all 5 of them) entertained for quite a while this evening. Just type in any Christmas song that you would like to hear. We thought Jingle Bell Rock and the 12 Days of Christmas were the funniest!!


Monday, December 21, 2009

Disney ROCKS!!

I love Disney. We've been talking about doing a full Disney vacation for a while now and decided that the boys are at a perfect age. We stayed at the Old Key West Resort lived in the utopian world of Disney for a week.

Since the boys missed a week of school, I "made" them do some extra school work by doing a "worksheet" about the vacation. They, in turn, made me do the same worksheet. Obviously, I thought it was only fair the Spencer should have to do it too. The answers were cute, so I'm sharing them here.

What was your favorite part of the vacation?

Drew: "In the front desk building, there's HILARIOUS cartoons"
Ben: "going to shops"
Jack: "Going to Hollywood Stuidos"
Mom: "Eating at Olivia's and being silly"
Dad: "Taking the boys on the "scary rides", dinners at Olivia's and EPCOT fireworks."
Hollywood Studios Christmas Lights

What was your favorite ride?

Drew: "Splash Mountain"
Ben: "Rock In Rollercoaster"
Jack: "Aerosmith and Splash Mountain"
Mom: "Rock & Roller Coaster"
Dad: "Splash Mountain"

48" exactly for his "favorite ride"

Although from this picture it is difficult to tell that this is Jack on his FAVORITE ride!
Hang on Jack!! ;)

Charlie says his favorite ride was the "red train", but he looked pretty gosh darn happy driving the car too.

Splash Mountain

What was your least favorite ride:

Drew: "Probably Dinosaur"
Ben: "Tea Pots"
Jack: "Dinosaur"
Mom: "Astro Orbiter"
Dad: "Normally it would be It's a Small World, but because Charlie liked it so much, it wasn't this time."

Were you ready to come home?

Drew: "No, when you're busy, it feels so short!"
Ben: "No because I had so much fun."
Jack: "Yes, the weather was getting colder."
Mom: "Yes and No, I was sad to leave the nice weather, but Disney was getting very crowded and a bit cold."
Dad: "Yes, we had done a lot and it was about to get really crowded."

Where do you want to go on the next vacation?

Drew: "New Jersey, because we do every summer."
Ben: "Penstate, because the Phillies play in that state."
Jack: "Central California because I am interested in real life lizards." (don't ask....I have no idea)
Mom: "Disney because I *LOVE* it there!"
Dad: "OC, NJ...'cause that's where we're going."

What is the funniest/silliest thing that happened on your vacation?

Drew: "Really, I think the movies were cartoons"
Ben: "The movies in the lobby. My favorite one was the Goofy football game because his pants kept falling down."
Jack: "At the front desk, there was this hilarious cartoon.
Mom: "Watching Daddy run after the buses."
Dad: "Ben talking about how much he liked the mussels that he was eating and then discovering that Ben was eating the whole and all. And, the really funny part was that after it was pointed out to Ben that he was not supposed to eat the shell, he did not like the mussels anymore. I guess the shell was the only part that he liked. "

"I love mussels"

"But Ben, this is the way that you are supposed to eat them!"

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The rest of the Christmas Letter...

...will have to wait because we are at DISNEY!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Letter....Part I (Charlie)

Charlie never gets to go first so, I decided to cover him first in our "Christmas Letter".

Hmmmm....where to begin. It's been a big year for Charlie. He turned 3 years old in July and has not looked back. He was potty trained at the end of the summer, started preschool in August and moved to a "Big Boy Bed" in October. I must say that all of those transitions were pretty painless. For some reason, doing all of those things x1 is much less tramatic then doing them all x3.

Charlie has turned into quite the little chatterbox. For a kid that didn't spit out his first word until 2 months before he turned 2, he has come a LONG way and is almost caught up with his peers. It is so fun to hear all that he has to say...and it is a lot! With all of his talking, we are discovering that he has quite a sense of humor. Unfortunately, I think he got most of his sense of humor from his 7 year old brothers. He finds any mention of the toilet or underwear absolutely hilarious and his current favorite thing to do is say "MOM!" and then when I say "what", he says "NEVERMIND!!" and starts laughing hysterically. He also throws quotes from movies and tv shows into conversation in a really appropriate and funny way. He is quite the little comedian and loves "performing" for his favorite audience...his big brothers.

As far as other interests, Charlie is deep in a Thomas the Train phase. He loves playing with his trains, was Thomas for Halloween, we have to "visit" (look at the boxes) the Thomas trains every time we grocery stop at Target and Thomas trains are the only thing that Charlie has asked Santa to bring for Christmas. Charlie has also been participating in a park district soccer class which he long as none of the other kids take *his* ball. He also enjoys music very much....from all of the new songs that he learned at preschool (especially Slippery Fish) to the Beatles, Jimmy Buffet, Abba and "Joy to the World" by 3 Dog Night. There is not much funnier than a 3 year old walking into a party and being very excited because he can hear "Mimmy Muffet" singing "Cheeseburger in Paradise" on the stereo.

This has been a very good year for Charlie. He is becoming such a big "little boy" and it is so fun to watch him grow. One of *my* favorite things about Charlie this year is his baby sweetness is still there. He has the softest cheeks and hair. He also the greatest hugs and has recently added real kisses to his repitoire....if you don't mind him grabbing your head and twisting it, you will receive the best little peck on the cheek that you could imagine. So sweet.

I guess this "Charlie post" illustrates the reason that I do not do a Christmas would cost me too much money in extra postage. :)

Ok, one kid down 3 more to do...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

According to Jack...

Santa Claus is real....without a doubt!

Blitzen is definitely real: "...because how else is Santa supposed to get to all of those houses on Christmas Eve"

Now, as for Rudolph. Jack seems to be a little skeptical. He is just not sure whether or not Rudolph exists. BUT, he is absolutely sure that "the movie Rudolph is definitely fiction, because *everyone* knows that there is no way that an ELF would want to be a DENTIST!!"

Well, ok then. Thanks a lot Hermie!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Guess Who's Back....

That's's Nippy!!!

Nippy is the elf that came to stay with us last year. (Click here if you want to see his antics from last year.)

The boys have been talking about Nippy all year and were really hoping that he was coming back for another visit this year. They were very, VERY excited to wake up Saturday morning and discover that Nippy was back.

The boys found him hanging off of a picture on the hallway going down to the basement. Nippy did not waste any time getting busy with his mischief. While we were all sleeping, he "decorated all of the boys' portraits by drawing elf hats and silly faces. It was very cute.
Sunday morning, we found Nippy had done some more middle-of-the-night decorating. This time, he decided to re-decorate our Christmas tree.


Yup, that is underwear all over our tree.
The boys, of course, thought it was HILARIOUS!!
"Boy Humor", I guess?!?!
Charlie was explaining to Aunt Jen today about Nippy's antics and he said "Nippy put lots of underwear on our Christmas tree" . Then took a long pause and said "Ewwwww......." and laughed hysterically. I'm definitely in trouble with all of this "Guy Humor".

Nippy seems to be on his best behavior today. He spent a bit of time trying to fish in the boys fish tank with a toy fishing pole from a game. And, then this afternoon, the boys found that he had a treat for them when they got home from school.

Of course, the end result was 4 happy boys!!

Gotta love that!!