Thursday, December 25, 2014

The stockings

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Thanksgiving review

A month behind on blog posts.  Seems legit.  Mostly, I was shamed into posting after I help Liam post on his blog. So, here we are on Christmas Eve eve, ready to look at pictures from Thanksgiving.

I am so glad I was able to trade my holiday so we could go back to Illinois to see the Shaffer side of the family.  Even the car ride there and back went pretty smoothly.  We drove straight through on Wednesday and got to Chris and Kim's as the snow was starting to really cover the roads.  We didn't have to go anywhere while we were there.  When we left Friday morning, it was cold, but the roads were clear.  The children were content for most of the time and the dog even behaved.

And, it was so nice just to be together and enjoy everyone's company.  I think that is what I am most thankful for:  time to sit and visit and just be.  

I took some pictures.  Let's see if they can tell our story...

Liam might have been a little worn out after the drive to Illinois.

Kella discovered the cousins' stash of barbies.

We played lots of games!  Board games.

Card games.

Did I get any pictures of the actual Thanksgiving dinner?  Apparently not.  I guess I was too busy eating.

I got an awesome picture of the brothers. 

And, a picture of some Illinois wearing guys.

Liam, Savannah and Marie.

The "C" cousins: Cale and Cassie.

Loved the trip.  The highlight of our Thanksgiving break.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

the tree got decorated

We made our yearly trek to the local hardware store to pick out our Christmas tree.  The kids were excited and Andy was thrilled to relocate some of our furniture to accommodate the tree.  (sarcasm noted) Andy got the tree secured in the stand, I hung the lights and the kids hung all our ornaments.  Then, Kinley came through and we re-hung some of the ornaments.

Good dog. Ponyo has left the tree alone.  And, since they rarely come downstairs anymore, the cats don't bother the tree, either.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Let's hear from Cale!

This is a Pinterest win, folks!  I actually remembered to have all my kids answers their birthday questions.  Last, and certainly not least, is Cale.  So, here we go....

Favorite color: orange
Favorite toy: nintendo 2ds
Fav thing to sleep with: nothing
Fav fruit: pears
Fav. cereal: don't know
Fav thing to eat for breakfast: omlet
Fav thing to eat for lunch: don't know
Fav dessert: root beer float
Fav drink: milk shake
What do you want for your birthday dinner: root beer float (hmm, we had waffles)
Fav animal: scorpion
Fav. book: Percy Jackson series
Fav. game: 3ds Super Smash Bros.
Fav. movie: Harry Potter
Fav think to do outside: run

More "don't know" answers: favorite stuffed animal, favorite song, favorite tv show, best friend and what he wants to be when he grows up.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

We're making plans here

We've watched Elf twice recently.  Yesterday, Ewan asked if he could sneak into Santa's present sack. I said no. Santa has lots of presents to deliver. Ewan said he would pretend to go to the bathroom and sneak downstairs. He even drew a picture explaining his plan. All I can say is that Santa is in trouble.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Cale's birthday! Double digits!

Cale.  My second boy to hit double digits!  He was pretty excited for his birthday.  It was a busy day, and even he had a basketball practice.  So, we split up some birthday stuff and let him open his cards at lunch and then after dinner, look for his presents.  The boys really like when Andy hides the gifts and then gives a list of clues as to where to find them.  Andy also likes to throw in some decoy gifts-probably my favorite this time were 2 carrots wrapped in a yogurt box.  

This lucky boy got some cool stuff.  An indoor basketball, a couple new board/card games, a ds game, a duffel bag, pokemon cards....Cale was quite happy.

Cale's birthday cake with the Flash's logo.  Andy decorated and it turned out pretty well.  It's birthday cake.  I think everyone is just excited to have cake.

I got my picture taken with my boy.  And yes, we are squishing Marcus to keep him from totally photobombing our photo.

What can I say about Cale....he is
so smart
loves to play games
loves to play sports
is very kind to his sisters
a good helper
likes to be a leader
very social

We just love him so much!

Cale Joseph, you are a blessing in our lives!

Happy 10th birthday!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Well, it's Friday, again

Another week gone.  Another Friday morning.  It seems that the only time I find time to post is when I have a bunch of cleaning to do on a morning before I have to work that night.

Procrastination anyone?

I sit here knowing I will not get through my entire to-do list.  And, since I'm working the entire weekend, if I don't get it done this morning...well...there is always next week.

I have almost finished with the wretched job of popcorn kernal (that's right) for our Cub Scout pack.  Never again, I say.  Today, I need to order the kids prizes.  Just waiting for 1 parent to get back to me.  And, my kids still have 2 popcorn orders to deliver!  After this, my focus for scouts will be to work with the boys at home on their advancements.  Currently, they can't make the meetings because of basketball practice.

We are having a quiet morning.  Girls' morning.  Andy had to go to a meeting.  The boys are all at school.  Kinley and I are still in our jams and Kella is wearing a princess dress.  Ponyo is here, too.  Sleeping on the couch.

Ponyo is doing better.  But, I still have to remind myself that she is a puppy.  Her new favorite thing is to run up the stairs to find the cats and eat their food.  The boys hate this because then they have to go get Ponyo and bring her back downstairs.  I wouldn't care, except that she does eat their food and the cats simply hate her.  This morning, she ended up in time-out after the second time she ran upstairs.  And, she knows, too.  She's smart.  She actually tried to hide under one of the boy's beds when I went up to get her.  Ponyo especially loves Kinley and is slightly protective of her.  Very sweet.

A couple girls, hanging out on the couch.

It snowed way back in the first part of November.  Measurable snow.  Time to haul out the boots and snowpants and hope we have some that fit everyone.  No one complained, so I guess we're fine.

And, since one of Ponyo's talents is eating Kinley's food, we place Kinley in her fortress of solitude when she eats.

Okay.  There we go.  Everyone have a great weekend.  We have bunches of basketball tomorrow and then a band concert Sunday topped with another basketball game.

Friday, November 21, 2014

I've got some handsome boys here

Working on checking things off my to-do list today.  Baking Cale's birthday cake, wrapping presents, never-ending laundry, cleaning, and uploading photos.  Friday is our "slow" day with just one basketball practice this evening.  And, I have to work.  Saturday promises to be chock-full of basketball with three of these boys having a practice and one with a game.  

For viewing enjoyment, here are their school pictures, taken in September.  I can't promise, but I'm hopeful to get these pics to all family members expecting pics by Christmas.

Ewan-2nd grade


Marcus-6th grade

Cale-4th grade

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Halloween stuff-goodtimes

Halloween. One of my least favorite holidays of the year.  But, its fun to see the kids get excited about it, so we always have a go at it.  But, we don't try too hard.

Pumpkin carving.  In the garage this year.  Much better than at the kitchen table.  We got these pumpkins for 99 cents a piece at Aldis.  You know I got 8 of the them.  The ones we didn't carve, we spray painted with colors we had on hand.  Just to make them look fancy.  The bigger boys did most of their own work, after the top of the pumpkins were cut open.

Even Kella did okay with digging out the insides of her pumpkin.  And, she dressed for the occasion.

Then, the costumes.  Oh yes, I waited until the day of Halloween to go get costumes for the kids.  I don't know if I was hoping they would just make something up from what we had at home or would decide not to go trick-and-treating.  Anyway, Kella scored a new princess dress-Elsa from Frozen, of course.  I've almost quit buying Kella "regular" clothes since all she wants to wear are princess dresses.  And, we are starting to have quite the collection.  Of course, Ewan couldn't pass up the chance for another costume.  He loves to dress up and pretend, too.  He specifically asked for the Robin costume and then, told me where to buy it.  (thank you Ewan!)  Liam was happy with the Captain America assortment we got for him.  And, Cale just needed a plastic weapon.

And, we're off!  Marcus, Kinley and Andy stayed home.  The evening was drizzly, cold and windy.  Temps were easily in the 30's.  Captain America and Robin made it down one street in our 4 street subdivision before wanted to go home.  The princess got pulled in a wagon, tucked in with a blanket for 2 more streets before we dropped her off at the house.

And, Cale.  Cale couldn't find the mask he wanted to wear and wouldn't wear the other ski mask we had, so he went like this.  And, this boy walked the whole subdivision with his frozen mother.  No worries, it only started snowing when we got to the last street.  His reward: a bucket full of candy, which, to my surprise, he has willingly shared with his sibs.  

The night ended with a late dinner, candy and a Harry Potter movie with the fire place on,

Monday, November 10, 2014

on the brink of chaos

Travel basketball games started today. 

Actually, this past week was the start of almost all the basketball practices for the boys.  Marcus has a call-out on Monday for 6th grade ball and Liam starts his group practices next Saturday.

Did I mention that I am one of the kindergarten basketball coaches?

It was a moment of weakness on my part.  The time off after soccer season gave me a false sense of lots of free time that I could donate to a cause like kindergarten basketball.

Right now, a boy (or more) has practice Tuesday-Friday.  

Mondays, right now, are sacred to karate.

December will bring the start of rec league games and travel basketball for Ewan.

Of course, we are also trying to fit in scouts.

There's a band concert.

Solo/ensemble contest.

Oh, the adults have to work.

Just general household stuff, too-cleaning, raising children, laundry, meals, the dog.

Sometimes, I look forward to snow days and cancellations.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

soccer season ended a while ago....

Oh, about a month ago, Marcus was still playing soccer.  He was wrapping up his second end-of-season tournament.  The weather was cold.  The play was competitive.  It was a good way to end the season. 
Marcus played goalie for every game. The last few weeks of the season the coach stopped switching out players in that position.  Marcus did a great job and even helped his team win in a shoot-out-something he had never experienced before.  You know, in 3 seasons, Marcus has really improved his soccer playing.  Overall, the team ended up coming in second in the tourney.  Pretty cool.

The coach did a great job with the kids.  You could tell he loved to coach, loved the kids and knew a lot about soccer.  I would be happy to have him coach Marcus again.

Final team photo. Trophies and medals.

Team pile-up.

A great way to end the soccer season.  What I didn't show you were the blanket tents the other kids hid under.  Kinley being her usual "happy" self.  Andy, doing most of the soccer shuttling, since it was my weekend to work.  Let's remember the happy parts. :-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Uploading from my phone worked pretty well with the last picture, that I thought I'd try it again with a cute picture of Kella and her friend. Love how they like to dress up as princesses. Who knows, Kella probably thinks she is a princess.

In other news, I am practically done with all of Kella's Christmas shopping. 1 down, 5 to go.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

a fall break camp out

The scouts helped fill some fall break time with a camp out.  Marcus camped out for two damp, windy nights and Cale, Ewan and Andy joined him for the second evening,  The rest of us enjoyed the warmth of our house.  

Marcus, packed and ready.  That boy wore shorts.  He is crazy.  It was in the 40s-50s with wind.  I think he just didn't want to look for the bottom half of his pants.

The boys had fun.  There was fishing, rocket building, rope making, an obstacle course and some other stuff.  They were cold and damp for parts of it.  But, they have some fun memories from the weekend.

The kitchen area.  The rest of the men discovered Andy's mad cooking skills this weekend.  

Yes, I brought our spoiled dog along for the ride.