Friday, August 31, 2012

Little friends

I think it's so cute to see little kids play together. Kella has a little friend, Emma, who likes to come over and play. They sure do love the sandbox!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

another student starts school

Monday marked the start of classes for another student in our house.  Andy has started classes towards his MBA !  It means some extra work and extra time involved, but in the end it will be worth it and Andy will have more options for future job opportunities.  This program is all online through (maybe you guessed) Tiffin University, a college in Ohio.  Wish him luck!  If everything works out, he will graduate in about 18 months.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

just thought this picture was cool

I just want to take cool nature pictures like other people I know.  This is one of a storm coming in last week.  I love how you can see the first wave of clouds and in the left corner, still a speck of light sky.  And, it kind of reminds me of the alien ships coming into the atmosphere on Independence Day.  This storm was coming in right before Andy was supposed to leave to ride his bike to work.  Needless to say, I drove him there instead.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

pretty in pink

I can't help it!  I think it is so much fun to dress Kella up in pinky, ruffley things.  And, for now, she doesn't know any better to complain.  I'm going to drive this car as long as I can...
little princess.  if I had a tiara to put on her head, it would be there.

saying "cheese"

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

last day/first day

The 3 older boys started school on Monday.  It is nice to get back into a routine and to have a quiet house for the little ones during naptime.  Sunday night, we used up some gift cards and took the kids out to eat.  Steak and Shake, anyone?  They were so excited to get milkshakes.  It's the little things in life...

Liam wore this hat the rest of the time we were out that evening, including our trip to the store.

And then Monday school started.  The bus was scheduled to pick them up about 8:20.  She actually got there around 8:15, which is the time they got picked up last year.  Don't worry, no chance any of these boys would miss the bus-they were saying good-bye to me @ 7:50 to go outside and play basketball until the bus came!
My 2nd, 4th and kindergartener (aka Cale, Marcus and Ewan)

That's right boys, I will be taking these pictures as long as you are in school!

These are all 9 of the kids who get on from our street. I think this neighborhood has around 40 kids that ride the bus to the elementary and primary school.

There they go!

The boys had a great first day of school.  Ewan liked his teacher "okay" and was excited to go back the next day because "it would be better".  Cale felt like he got ripped off that recess was only 20 minutes long.  Marcus had a good first day, too, and came home with homework! (poor kid)

Oh, and Liam and Kella did fine being the only ones home with us.  Liam immediately commandeered the DVD player to watch a video and Kella just played, like normal.  She may not have noticed that anyone was actually missing.  Naptime was much more peaceful.  It was nice to have a quiet house for a few hours.
Another year started!

we made it!

The start of August was the start of two-a-days for Andy and his work.  It's kind of a rude awakening to go from basically not working at all for 2 months (minus the 10 days in Austin), to having to work 70+ hours a week for 2 weeks.  We survivied, again, as we do every year, and now we are on our "normal" schedule with Andy's work (although it is not you typical "normal" work schedule).  Those 2 weeks were tough to work for me, too, since I have to schedule myself around his time at work.  I'd like to thank my mom, Kim and Andy's mom for coming out on different days to watch the kiddos so I could work (and sleep the next morning).  Plus, I snagged another famous couch picture of the cousins, and they got to see each other one more time before school starts.  One day I'm going to put all these couch photos in an album and we will be able to flip through and see how big the cousins have gotten.  (Of course, Kella loved all the extra attention from the girls.)

Marie, Cassie, Kella, Savannah, Cale, Liam, Marcus and Ewan (on the floor)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

some eye surgery for Kella

Friday was a big day for Kella.  She had surgery to fix her clogged tear duct in her left eye.  This duct had been giving us problems on and off since she was born.  Some mornings she would wake up and her eye would be totally matted shut.  We would call her our little pirate.  We got referred to an awesome doctor, Dr. Neely, and got her signed up for surgery.  It's kind a cool fix-under anesthesia, the doctor uses a blunt tip needle and threads it through the tear duct to puncture a membrane in the nasal cavity that should have, at one time, punctured on its own.  That is followed by a thin, hollow, flexible tube (think-hollow rubberband) through Kella's tear duct.  This tube hopefully stays in place for a few months, and in December, he will remove it in the office.  The littlest surgical cases for the day go first, since they can't eat of drink anything after midnight, blah, blah, blah.  Our check-in time was 630 am (a little too early for this night person, Kella too, likes to sleep in).
In the car and on our way!

Hanging out in pre-op!  By then, she was tired and ready to eat.  Everything moved fairly quickly and she was carried away by the nurse (and cried all of 2 seconds)

Surgery went great!  She was a little disoriented coming out of anesthesia and they called me back as soon as she woke up.  I got her changed and ready to go so she could go home and tell all her brothers about what just happened.

She was a little happier once we were in the car and had some juice and cheerios on board.  Then at home, she had some milk and more breakfast.  The area around her eye was red for most of the day, but it's looking good now.  So happy to not have a pirate anymore, but my little girl!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

meet the teacher night

Finally, school is almost starting.  We seem to be one of the last districts in the area to go back and I think the boys, at least Marcus and Cale, are ready.  Friday we got to meet the teachers and take all the school supplies to their classrooms.

We started with Marcus at the Elementary school.  He will be in 4th grade this year! He has Mrs. Stroup for his main teacher.  The 4th grade sends the kids to different rooms for language arts and math.  He has two other teachers for those-Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Burkhart. 

Moving on to the elementary school, Ewan got to meet his kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Roberts.  She is a different teacher than either Cale or Marcus had, but she is the one that I wanted for Ewan.  I feel like her teaching will fit best with Ewan's personlity.  We've known Mrs. Roberts from afar, since we saw her when we were in the building helping in Cale and Marcus's classes.  It's just nice now to "formally meet each other", as Mrs. Roberts said. 

Last to meet, was Cale's 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Mula.  She seems nice, too.  They all seemed really nice.  In second grade, they split them by ability for reading.  Cale has Mrs. Mula.  I don't know if that is the group he is in to start with, or they actually did split the kids up.  I have a feeling he is in a more advance group. 

So, now we are waiting for Monday.  The backpacks are re-packed with any paperwork I needed to send back along with school lunch money for each account.  Should be exciting waiting for the bus, which comes right to our house.  I think Ewan is excited to be going, but also a little nervous for this change.  I hope this is a fun year, a year to learn, for each of my sweet boys. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

these shoes were made for walkin'

We finally got Kella her first pairs of shoes the other day!  I like to let my babies walk on their bare feet as much as possible when they start learning to walk.  I think it gives them a better feel for the surface they are on.  Kella had been walking great and we figured she was ready for some feet accessories. 

We went to the store and, oh, the little girl shoes are so cute!  We are in trouble-good thing I work.  Anyway, I let Andy know that Kella needed at least 2 pair of shoes-one for everyday and one for dressier times.  He let me get what I wanted but really thought that one pair would be good enough.  After all, that is what we did with the boys.  But, really, it is easier for boys to get away with wearing tennis shoes with khakis and polos which is their standard church-wear.  I also told Andy that Kella will need black dress shoes for her winter wardrobe. :-)  He may have rolled his eyes at that statement.

The salesman brought out shoes in Kella's size (5's I think, I can't remember, it was a little busy at the store).  She did okay with getting the shoes on, but, once they were on, she did not move.  It was like her feet were stuck to the ground.  I'm pretty sure she gave the salesman a look like, "what did you just do to me?" 

We got two pair-her little white dress shoes and some little purple everyday shoes.

And we got a pair of spiderman shoes for Liam.  He was super excited to find them and was so happy to try them on.  (and he did need a bigger size shoe anyway)

Here is the pretty girl in her new shoes!

Not wanting to move too much.

Not to sure if she's a fan of her purple shoes, either.

Trying to get a picture of Liam's new shoes.  He told me I couldn't take this picture.  Thank goodness for zoom.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

ah, family

family photos from our time in Michigan-some were more willing to smile for the camera than others

Friday, August 10, 2012

last day of vaca (sad face)

Our last full day of vacation started out with some awesome donuts from a place down the street.  Andy was nice enough to walk over and get a couple boxes before they ran out.

Cale, always up for sugar

Liam's excited about having his picture taken

I am trying to enjoy my coffee outside.  This is my awesome sovenier mug from the lake house.

We got to watch the bicycling portion of a triathelon go right past the front of the house.  The kids thought it was fun to cheer the participants.  If we would have remembered, we could have brought Andy's bike and he could have done it, too.

Bitsy, Eric, their kids and Joe had to take off soon after that.  I made them pose for a sibling photo.

And, Joe wanted to point out that I was still in my jams.  It is vacation, after all.

The kids had one last swim in the lake.  Liam loved this lilypad foam thing.  It was a great day for a last swim.  They also got Grammy to play them in one more game of Monopoly (her very favorite-not really).  Later on that evening, the neighbors took Andy and I out on their pontoon boat for a spin around the lake.

Ewan played in the sand.

Worn out!

It was a fun vacation.  I've decided that I like the type of vacation where you go somewhere, but don't have to go running around and seeing sites if you don't want to.  We want to do it again, but are going to give ourselves a year to recover.  So the Spielmans will meet again in 2014, destination TBA!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

VBS link-up

Last week was Vacation Bible School at our church.  Our theme was Mysterious Journey and we managed to mash-up Scooby Doo and Noah.  The kids learned about obeying, trusting and praising God and got to learn about different missions the church supports.  Once again, I led the 2's and 3's class.  Once again, I had one of my own (Liam) in the class.  This year, I think I had the biggest class, with 18 (!) coming on Tuesday and Wednesday night.  Wow.  Even with that many little ones, it wasn't ever too bad.  I had some awesome help and I arranged the class so that we did center activities in smaller groups.  It wore me out and I'm glad it's over for another year.  Also, Liam managed to act like he had never heard of rules or listening and just kind of hung out and did his own thing.  Thank goodness he is well known at church.  There were many hands that kept an eye on him so I could keep an eye on the class.  Anyway, here is a link to a slideshow our youth/family minister put together for the last night.  You might catch a peek at one of the kids in there.

blast from the past

I am in the slow process of going through the collection of SD cards I have for my cameras and uploading the photos to my online storage and then getting backup discs of the pictures.  My plan in the be able to clear all the memory space on the cards so I have lots of room for new pictures.  Since I haven't done this in a while, I have 6 cards to go through.  The other challenge is that some of the photo cards I have uploaded and I'm trying not to load things twice (which I have done).  Anyway, I found a couple videos on the card I was working on.  I can't upload those to photo storage, but I can upload them to blogger.  These are from early 2010 when Liam was still a baby.  I love seeing the kiddos a little younger than they are now (*sigh*).  Hope you have fun watching.

Monday, August 6, 2012

bats at the lake house!

I have to include this story...

Friday night of vacation, Andy, Joe and Eric had gone to see the new Batman movie. Mom, Lanny and I were watching tv and Bitsy was doing some laundry.

When, all of a sudden, a dark, flying creature swooped down in front of us. Bird? Bat?

Being brave, I immediately put my head under the blanket I was wrapped up in, leaving Mom and Lanny to catch the visitor. Lanny was able to catch it using a blanket and then took it outside to let it go.

Then he told us it was a bat.

Deep breath. Who knows how it got in, but it's out of the house now.

Twenty minutes later...

Screaming, running, ducking, thankfully I still had my trusty blanket to hide under.

Another bat was flying around the house. This one chased Bitsy down the hallway and ended up clinging onto the stone fireplace. Lanny tried to trap this one, too, by trying to put a bowl over it and slide a lid under it. No luck. This one had to meet its end. Thank goodness Lanny was there, because otherwise we might have been pounding at the neighbor's door.

One more vacation memory.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Of course, we had to do s'mores one night at the fire pit. Who doesn't love chocolate, marshmallow and graham cracker goodness?  The dads headed up this activity for us.

This one wasn't into making s'mores at all.  No surprise, he spent his time in the sand.  With blankie.  (Blankie got several secret baths after Liam went to sleep during vacation.)

Look, he really likes it!  (can you see the dirt all over him?)

Another fun vacation activity.