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.

Cale's pumpkin

One of the things I'm struggling with with my new phone is to find the right settings to upload photos to this blog.  If I upload from picasa, They seem to upload small, and then when I try to enlarge them, the pic is fuzzy. First world problem, I know. But, irritating.

So, let's have a go with uploading a picture of a pumpkin Cale painted for school. He's in a club called the Little Hoosier Club where they learn about Indiana history and stuff. And, I guess they also bring in decorated pumpkins. About 8 kids brought in pumpkins and they all had titles to them. I love Cale's title - "the abandon stage". I can't tell if the painted pumpkin is a stage or not. I first thought it was an abstract pumpkin face. Only Cale knows, I guess. Its a signature piece by Cale with lots of bright colors. I thought it was the most original pumpkin there.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

best fall break ever!

We didn't do a lot over fall break.  Two weeks off and you think we would of had big plans.  Nope.  Marcus ended up having soccer through the first week.  And, then, 

we    got     a      dog

Meet Ponyo (pronounced "pon-yo" for those who haven't seen the movie).

The rest of the family has been wearing me down for a while.  We've had a 2 year dog holiday since Carina was put to sleep.  I've enjoyed  not having to have to feed a dog, clean up after a dog or decide what to do when with a dog when we go on vacation.  

But, the kids have been asking for a long time now. 

My first mistake was that I liked a couple local humane socieities on facebook.  Wrong.  That exposed me to lots of cute pictures of dogs looking for homes.  

That's how I saw Ponyo.  She was pretty cute.  But, I was going into a 3 day stretch at work and was not interested in the slightest to go see this dog.  I figured we would table this topic and come back to it on Monday (if the dog was still there).  

She was.

And, the boys agreed to spend their own money on Ponyo and her start-up costs:food, toys, crate.  How could I say no to that?  They had been saving the money for a new video game system.  I was happy that they were choosing to spend their money on something that would potentially be more work and not allow them to sit around and stare at the television.

It had to be fate that Ponyo was still available.  There had been an adoption event that the shelter had taken dogs to.  Ponyo was set to go, but was not in the right toom at the right time, so she got left.  

Yea for mistakes.

We met her on Tuesday morning and knew almost right away that this was a very good dog.  She did not freak out when surrounded by 8 people.  She was super happy to be with us and have new play mates.  A half hour later, she was ours and we were heading home.

It's like having a new baby.

We are working on potty training.  Ponyo will ring the bell, over half the time when she needs to go out.  We are trying very hard to monitor was she puts in her mouth (everything).  Trying to keep kid toys put up.  Trying to make sure that she does not run after the cats (who had their worlds rocked when Ponyo walked through the door) and eat the cats' food.  

It's a process.  And Ponyo's a puppy.  And, my kids haven't had this responsibility before.  

It's good for them. 

Ponyo is good for them.

She's not a little spoiled.

Liam was super-excited to have a puppy.

Yeah, Andy is happy, too.