Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday Night Movies...

I spent several hours organizing my pictures today. In doing that, I found some cool pictures and videos that I had completely forgotten about.

September 2009, Charlie 26 months
Charlie was really speech delayed so, this was exciting.
(Kiy means "yes" to Charlie at this age....shortenend from Okay.)

This is how we do "speech therapy" in our family...

And, in case you did not get your fill of PIE...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Flashback Friday...I'm ready for summer!!!

"Spring" Break started today. High of 37 degrees for this weekend and next week doesn't look much better.

Here's to looking forward to summer!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Have you met Mr. Competitive??

Jack is one of the most competitive people that I have ever met. I'm beginning to think that Jack brings "competitiveness" to a whole new level.

A couple of weeks ago, we attempted to go on a Cub Scout "hike". Unfortunately, we had the wrong day so, nobody was there except for our neighbors that strangely enough made the same mistake that we did. Since it was a nice afternoon, we decided to do our own hike with our 4 boys, and our neighbor's 2 boys.

While we were on our hike, we came across a baseball field. It was a really nice little league field with real dugouts. The 6 little boys were in heaven!! There was a lot of running around, and pretend baseball being played. Ben was happy practicing his form pitching and running around the bases. Drew was having a great time pretending he was a real baseball player on tv. Charlie was beyond excited that he was on the "Red Team". All he really did was sit in the dugout, the red dugout, and shout about 5,000 times that "I am on the RED favorite color!!".

And, then we have Jack. Now remember that we had no bats or balls on this particular day. This minor fact did not stop Jack. He was very, very into this pretend game of baseball.

At one point, Jack was "pitching" and Ben was "batting". Ben apparently hit Jack's pretend pitch deep into right field. Jack was NOT happy. He seriously could not believe that Ben hit his perfect pitch so far. Then, he really became irate when he realized that nobody was playing right field and Ben was surely going to score a homerun. I'm sure that in his head, he was mathematically calculating how this was going to damage his ERA in the pretend baseball league.

So, his arms started flailing, and his feet started stomping, and then in his most exasperated voice, he started shouting at all of his brothers and friends"HEEEEYYYYY!!!! WHERE ARE ALL MY OUTFIELDERS?!?!?!". It was like he was a crazy person.

He was actually so mad that Spencer had to yell in to remind Jack that they were playing a PRETEND game of baseball...that was supposed to be fun....and, that there wasn't actually a BALL!!

***In other news...

There was recently a contest at school for the "best authors". Strangely enough, this story is not about Jack, who, obviously, loves contests...whatever kind of contest it might be.


Even more strange, this story is not about Drew, who actually WON the contest!! Before people start yelling at me, I promise that I'll blog his winning story another time. I just need the author's permission. ;)
Nope, this particular story is about Ben... sweet, innocent, peaceful, gentle Ben.

Most people do not realize this, but Ben is quite the comedian. He is very much into shouting, singing, dancing, goofball faces, silly humor.

Needless to say, Ben's story for the contest was a bit silly and crazy. The story was basically about a boy taking a vacation/road trip with his family and a few strange things that happened to him while on the trip. He worked very hard on his story and did a great job. I was very proud of Ben. His story was perfect.... except for one little thing.

A few pages into the story he wrote "3 hours later we were there. "Ohio" I screamed so loud that my mom and dad told me to "SHUT UP!". "

Why would he write that?!? And, more importantly, do all of the school people that read Ben's story think that we talk to like that to our kids. wonder those boys are so well behaved, their parents are evil!! I'm fairly certain that as much as my kids like to talk/shout/sing, I have never yelled at them to SHUT UP!

***Are you wondering why I decided to post these two unrelated stories together??? It's actually midnight now and I'm wondering the same thing myself. I'm worried that this might be a little weak, but here goes...

Last night, we had a Cub Scout Den Meeting. Toward the end of the meeting, we had a few extra minutes so the boys were playing Paper/Scissors/Rock in a sort of Star Wars themed tournament style. Everyone was having fun and were still talking about it as they were leaving.

I should re-phrase.... Everyone was talking about the fun as they were leaving and everyone (except JACK!!) was having fun. Jack was going on and on about how he was "wronged" in the P/S/R tournament. He was really worked up over a silly game that could not even have a winner. As we were walking out to the car, I got frustrated with his attitude and yelled at him about how he was being silly, and it was just paper/scissors/rock, and it was supposed to be for FUN...and that it didn't matter who won.

I then started the car and Abba's "Winner Takes it All" came BLASTING through the car radio. OMG, SERIOUSLY?!?! Now, Spencer is out of town, I'm exhausted, I just spent an hour with 8 - 8year olds and a 4 year old playing games, I just spent the last 5 minutes arguing/lecturing Jack about who won a stupid game with no winners and now, some dumb lady from Abba jumped all over me about how "winning is everything". And, at that point, I may have yelled "SHUT UP YOU CRAZY LADY!!" at the radio.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Extreme Supermoon!!!

Did you hear that tonight there was supposed to be an "Extreme Supermoon"? We were ready!! 7:26pm the moon was supposed to rise in Chicago and it was supposed to be HUGE...something about it being unusually close to the earth coinciding with a full moon. It hasn't happened since 1993 and isn't happening again until 2029.

The boys were ready...Charlie even got out his Owl Hat for the occasion.

Everyone was running around the yard, in the dark like a bunch of crazies. Maybe the "full moon" contributed to their behavior. Hmmm....

So, here it is....

In case you missed it, it is that blur behind the trees. Such a bummer...after a beautiful clear day, it got cloudy after the sun went down. So, that's it. Maybe we'll catch it again in 28 years. :(

How is this for mother-in-law asked me TODAY if I wanted a tripod.

I'm not a photographer at all, so I told her that I didn't think that I would have a use for one.

HA!! I think that I'll re-consider. And, for what it's worth, these are the "best" of my bad shots. You can't even tell those are trees in my other pictures.

Finally, I'm just looking for a reason to use these pictures so, I'll tie them in with the "full-moon craziness" theme.
At the Cub Scout Pack Meeting last night, the boys earned their Bear Badge. For a fun ceremony, the scouts got their faces painted. The colors and marks represented "stuff" for their rank.
BTW, I don't know why I look tan in the picture. The only thing that I can figure out is that my face is flushed from the craziness of the Pack Meeting. All the chaos kind of stresses me out.

I guess the full-moon got to me too because after the Pack Meeting, I took the boys to McDonald's for treats at almost 9:00 at night.

Charlie especially deserved a treat for being soooo good at the crazy meeting. He sat quietly on the floor and played with his Magnadoodle. Daddy couldn't make the Pack Meeting this month and I was busy painting faces and trying to control some of the chaos. He did so good!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Flashback those baby blues!!

Charlie, May 2007 (10 months)
I know his face is a mess, but the color of his eyes are gorgeous!!

Drew, April 2004 (almost 2)
He was not feeling well, but look at those beautiful eyes and lashes.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Paddy's Day Randomness...

Charlie had no problem with his cookie. And, for the record, Mom didn't have any problem with the 2...or 10, that she ate either. Shhhhh....don't tell the kids.Yup Drew, you're still cool!

I learned of a new Irish tradition today from the kids. If someone is not wearing green, you are allowed to pinch them. Look out!!!

Although he was bad for putting on a RED shirt after work on St. Patrick's day, Daddy earned some brownie points back for working with Ben on his homework. Ben read his weekly story to Dad in order to review for the test tomorrow. The story was about cowboys. (I guess it was a good week for me to miss.) Anyway, they were going over the questions at the end of the chapter. One of the questions was about how cowboys today would be different from cowboys a long time ago. Ben said "Well, if you wanted to watch cowboys a long time ago on tv, they would be black and white. Cowboys today would be in color." Yeah, ummm....good luck on the test tomorrow Ben.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Family Feud

Have you seen the "Name something you pass around". Family Feud clip? If you didn't catch it floating around Facebook, you should really check it out. Steve Harvey is hilarious. Here is the link.

Jack and I were playing Family Feud the other night on Wii....finally a Wii game that *I* can win. Woo Hoo!! It was really a lot of fun playing with him and some of his answers cracked me up.

During the bonus round part of the show, I played first while Jack went and hid and then he came back and played the 2nd guy. Toward the end of the game, Ben and Drew came down to watch.

A question came up asking for "An occasion that you dress in formal wear".

I answered "a wedding". Ben and Drew were not impressed, and were really surprised when it came up as the "number one answer". I believe their direct quote was "huh?"

When that question came up for Jack, he quickly and confidently answered "First Communion". Drew got very excited and shouted "that was MY answer!!!". Ben agreed too.

These boys were TICKED OFF when it showed up as ZERO points. They absolutely could not believe it!!

Now that I think about it, I can't believe they didn't get any points either...
And, if you are in the mood for another Family Feud Funny, you HAVE to see this one!! We laughed and lauged about this. Watch both contestants...hilarious. Here is the link.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I've been FIRED!!

I've never been fired before in my life. Until today.... when I received an official "Notice of Termination" from the Amazon Associates Program.

I'm crushed because in the last 3 years, I have earned a whole $1.47. I earned that big money by advertising books from Amazon on my blog. Now what am I supposed to do....we've got all these kids to support???

So, do you want to know what horrible thing I did to get fired from my $1.47/3 year salary???

I got fired because I live in the state of Illinois. Really! Our Governor has been so busy....between raising our income tax 66% and eliminating the Death Penalty since the 1st of the year and he still had time to pass a law requiring internet companies to start collecting sales tax from customers in Illinois if the internet company has an "affiliate" in the state of Illinois. My $1.47 in earnings qualifies me as an "affiliate" of Amazon so, they had to fire me unless they wanted to collect sales tax on ALL of their sales in Illinios.

Here are the details of my firing, if you a tax geek, like me...

So, as of April 15, 2011 you can no longer fund our retirement by buying my "recommended" books. I thought I would help Amazon out (and screw Illinois in the process) by selling as many books as I can in the next month. Let's see if we can get me all the way up to $2.00.
Here goes:

This is the best book that I've read in a long time. First of all, I've enjoyed most all of Jodi Picoult's books. This one is about a kid that has Aspergers Syndrome. Each chapter is written in the voice of a character in the book. I found the chapters written by the kid with Aspergers really, really interesting. It was an excellent book and I highly recommend it if you like that type of book. I do want to add that I was disappointed in the end. It wasn't so much that it was a bad ending, it was just a little too abrupt for me. I would have been happy with another chapter to get the reactions from all of the characters.

I read this one a while ago, but it left a big impression with me and gave me a lot to think about. It is written by a guy that is out to solve the problems of Afghanistan and Pakistan by building schools. Hmmm....too bad some other people didn't think of that, like 25 years ago...before the Radical Muslims got a jump-start on it. Anyway, very interesting book!!

This is a "big" kids book. I read the first one to the boys and I LOVED it!! I think that the boys were a bit too young for it so, I haven't read the next one yet. But, I hope they are ready soon. The book incorporates a lot of history, and mystery, and travel/culture. Each book in the series is written by a different famous author, which I think will be fun to follow.

Finally, The Shack is a book that I would like to re-read every couple of years. The author did a great job explaining his perception of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. But, don't let that "scare" you. It is a relatively easy to read book that gave me a lot to think about/sort out in my head. Trust me, read it. :)

And, finally for complete mindless entertainment, I've been reading the Twilight series. It is good, but I don't love it as much as most people. I just finished the 2nd book and bought the 3rd. I was disappointed to discover that Bella doesn't get her love life sorted out in this one. I just want to get it finished and find out how it ends. But, it is entertaining.

So, that concludes the final edition of my book reviews. I was really just kidding about buying them from my links. I don't even know if Amazon will send me a check for $2. They will probably charge me a $5 processing fee for my check. I just took the opportunity to make my recommendations.
Happy Reading...and let me know what I should read next. :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Out to lunch...

In the last month, Jack has called me twice from school. The conversations went something like this....

"Hi Mom, I really thought I was really being careful this morning to bring everything to school, but I think that I kind of, accidentally, might have forgotten my lunch in the car... or maybe at home. I don't know. So, will you bring it to me?"

I've only said "hello".

That is not actually the interesting/not-exactly-funny part of this story. The interesting/not-exactly-funny part of the story is that HE DIDN'T ACTUALLY FORGET HIS LUNCH EITHER TIME!!! Both times, I checked the car, the kitchen and the hallway, and both times, there was no lunch. So, both times, I told Jack that I didn't have it. His response has been "Oh whoops, ok, bye.". So, TWICE, in the last month, Jack has misplaced his lunch in his classroom. I don't even want to know what his desk looks like that he keeps managing to misplace his lunchbox. Not to mention the fact that last week he also forgot to bring his lunchbox home TWICE!!

Great idea Jack, maybe we'll just attach the lunchbox to your head.

It really amazed me that he worked up enough nerve to tell his teacher that he forgot his lunch...twice and then called *me*...twice. I'm not exactly one of those nicey-nice "Oh that's ok Sweetie...I'll bring it right over" moms. Honestly, I actually wouldn't mind bringing it to school, I like going to their school. But since I'm supposed to be teaching him "responsibility" I act mad.

I'm sorry Jack, but back in *my* day, kid's didn't forget their lunches.
(must of been because of the uniforms)

So, I had been trying to think of a way to teach Jack that he needs to be more responsible with his lunch when I remembered something.

Several weeks ago, I sent Charlie to school with his carpool. A little while later, I went in the kitchen and noticed that his snack bag was still sitting on the counter. Now, Charlie's snack bag is my responsibility. It's true that I probably should shift the responsibility to him, but I haven't done it yet. It blew my mind that his snack bag was sitting on the counter because I could have sworn that I put it in his backpack. Regardless, the fact that the snack bag was sitting on the counter and not in his backpack was completely my fault. So, of course, I decided to bring it over to school. Imagine my surprise when the teachers laughed at me when I came in and then proceeded to show me the "snack bag" that I had actually sent with Charlie. I had sent Charlie in with a "snack" of a CapriSun, some Leapster Games and a bunch of batteries. Maybe I really am losing my mind.

Which brings us back to Jack. Since I am apparently not qualified to "punish" this particular offence, this is the best I could come up with.

Surprisingly, he was actually mortified that I did this to his lunch bag, It did not "mortify" him to have to admit to his teacher and his mom that he couldn't find his lunch twice, but a silly picture on the lunchbag did the trick.

Now, if we could just get Drew to remember to bring his math homework home every night...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Baseball Season's Under Way.....

I dropped off a check for $435 last week to register 4 boys for baseball. It's going to be a busy summer!!
So, Spring Training has officially begun at our house... Not because we are a "crazy baseball" family. More, because of this...
and this...
and this...
and this...
Just kidding (sort of)...
It is going to be an interesting year. For the first time, everyone is playing baseball. Ben and Jack have played the last playing for the 3 years. They have both gotten better every year and are very excited about the new season!!
Drew played t-ball when he was 6, but he took the last 2 seasons off. He has had zero interest in baseball until about 2 weeks ago, when he decided that he definitely wants to be on the baseball team. Now, when I said that he has had zero interest, I mean ZERO interest. He has a lot of work to do to catch up with the other kids, but he has convinced us that he is committed. We are really happy that he wants to play, so Baseball 101 is in session every afternoon on the driveway, or in the livingroom.

Which brings us to Charlie. Charlie also needs to start with Baseball 101. You would think that with the number of hours that he has spent at the ballpark that he would have some clue about how to play the game. But he doesn't. He will definitelty be the one picking the grass and chasing the butterflies out in center field.
It is definitely going to be an "interesting" baseball season.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Flashback Friday....

June 2004...almost 2 years old.

I love you Ernie....Jack.

Ernie, you are cool, but excuse me while I obsess over all these numbers and letters!!
So Drew @ 2 years old.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

This weekend, we pretended it was summer...

For Christmas, Uncle Craig, Aunt Jen, "Huey, Dewey and Louie" got us a great family present of an overnight at a Waterpark. They definitely know what we like!!

(these people)

All of the boys had a long weekend off from school so, we decided to use our big gift this past weekend. Since we've been doing this parenting thing the last few years, we've learned that it is often works better not to give too much notice of an upcoming exciting adventure to little kids. Like last year when we told the boys we were going to Disney about 6 weeks before our trip, Charlie went to bed crying because he "thought we were going on an airplane TONIGHT!" and Jack probably spent 1/2 the night figuring out how many hours until we were leaving.

So, we decided to wait until Wednesday night to tell the boys where we were going for the weekend. Needless to say, they were beyond excited. Drew kept saying that he needed to pack a brown bag. He was quite adamant about it. I finally asked him why he was going to pack a brown bag and he said he would need it because he is "just so excited!!". LOL...I wonder where he got that from. So, all 4 of them did, in fact, end up bringing brown bags. None of them quite knew what they were supposed to do with them, but they did all pack them.

We stayed at Kalihari and had a fabulous time. I did not do a great job taking pictures, but I will pass along what I have.

My #1, #2 and #3 fans of Wipeout loved this "obstacle course".

The #4 Wipeout fan was not tall enough to reach the ropes on the obstacle course, but he LOVED the slides. The yellow and green ones behind him were his favorite and he was happy to do them by long as I was at the bottom watching. He "visited" me for a kiss after each ride. Awwwww....

This was the favorite ride at Kalihari. I've never seen anything like it. Ben, Jack and Drew each rode it a couple of time and Daddy even got in on the action.




He did get a good ride in, I just missed it with the photo. I have a video that I will have to upload to show Ben's great ride...since here all I got was Ben's great wipeout.

Other than me not riding the surf ride, everyone rode everything that they were tall enough for. Charlie even got in on a few rides that he was not quite tall enough for. Some of the nicer lifeguards included his curls when measuring him. :)

All tuckered out???

Well, not time to rest when there is so much to do. In addition to the Water Park, the boys were also able to do a climbing wall, a ropes course, laser tag, and bowling...

Foot foul???

Well, not exactly, Daddy had to hurry up and give Charlie's ball an extra push otherwise it would not have made it to the pins. Oops.

Drew being Drew at the really nice bowling alley.

Thanks Jen & Craig...we had a great time!!

Now, back to winter. Blah.