Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Getting Back in the Groove

We've been home for a day or so now and I have to say it's nice. Not that we don't love visiting family but there's just something wonderful about being away and then coming home to the familiarity of your own home, bed and routine. I don't feel like I got much done yesterday since I was helping with Lego building for most of the day but I did get a ton of laundry done. It's all sitting in my dining room so let's hope I can get it all upstairs. I really need to do some sheets today.

I finished my Jiu Jitsu testing last night. A four minute "simulated fight" using as many techniques and submissions as possible. I thought that I would be the only one testing but there were two others, Ron and Mark, testing as well. Ron also had his simulated fight and Mark had to re-do his standing techniques since whoever called out the moves forgot about 4 of them.

As we were getting ready, they were telling me stories about how last week, they really did a poor job of timing during the simulated fight. That's why Ron had to re-test. His was only 3 minutes. They did the same thing to Val but they caught it right away. She then redid it and after a while, Karl (who was the testing instructor) began to think that the extra minute was a killer. Apparently, Val began saying that she was running out of moves and whoever was timing finally called time. Her roll was seven minutes. LOL! Needless to say, I was nervous about the timing.

I think I did okay. Stephen and Dave said it looked good so I'll take their word for it. I hope I get this freaking belt.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Illinois Trip Photo Post

We had a great visit to Illinois for the holidays. Our first stop was Peoria where we got to spend time with both of my sisters and their families. Dad's house was pretty cramped but it was all good.

All of the cousins
I love this picture. I can't wait until I can really embarrass Sarah with this one. LOL!!!
Daniel had a thing for Sarah, even though he would never admit it.
Glenn playing a game with Daniel
Mary Rose, Aidan and Hannah all look like they could be sisters!!

After Peoria, we headed up to Chicago. Hannah had her manicure and we also went up to the Botanic Garden. We also went around and took pictures of our old houses. It was a little sad but kind of cool, too.
We visited with Dave, Patty, Ken and Donna too. I can't believe how big the kids are getting. In age order from right to left...Eric, Jacob, Catherine, Daniel, Adam, David and Hannah. BTW, Eric is now taller than Mike.
Our house on Brandywyn. It was blue when we lived there.
The old apartment in Palatine.
The townhouse in Palatine. I loved this house.
The kids made crafts at the Botanic Garden
The boys loved the big lighted ornaments
It was a good trip but we are happy to be home.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Another Snowy Tuesday

At some point last night, it started snowing. When I woke up and looked outside, I decided to check the school closings before waking the kids up. I knew I'd have no problem going back to sleep but once the kids are up, they're up. I come downstairs and find Jacob watching cartoons on the couch. I turn to NBC and wait for the closings to start over since we're at the beginning of the alphabet. The schools jump over our district and I tell Jacob, who is anxiously awaiting word that there's no school, that he needs to get some breakfast because he's got school. He's more than mad. In all actuality, there really wasn't a reason to close school. We only got a couple of inches. What surprised me was how many people were mad that there was school today. For crying out loud people. Grow a pair and get the kids to school.

I was really surprised when Mike called around 2:30 to tell me that he'd gotten an e-mail saying all evening activities through our school district were cancelled. It had stopped snowing and the plows were active. WTF? It normally isn't an issue but the boys had a Pack meeting tonight. Mike decided to call our Packmaster to see if there'd be a meeting tonight. Turns out there was but it had to be moved since the school would be officially closed. How annoying.

When I picked the kids up from school, everyone was buzzing about how there wouldn't be school on Thursday. What? Why? Well, I guess there's going to be this big ice storm Thursday that will cancel school. The teachers were all talking about it. Ugh. I really hope there's no ice storm on Thursday because we'd like to leave for Illinois on Friday and Hannah has her holiday party Thursday afternoon. I guess Jacob has a class pizza party that afternoon as well. In any case, if it's going to do something, I'd rather it just snow. Ice sucks.

I'm so tired of winter already.

Monday, December 15, 2008

What to Say...

It's been crazy here. First, the weather's been nuts. Sunday, we had a high of 60 degrees and then the bottom fell out and we got down to 5 degrees with snow and freezing rain. I don't think we got above 12 degrees today. I feel like we've moved back to Iowa! Grrrrr...

We got the basement done. Well, there's still a little cutting in that I need to do but we are 99% done. We got these foam rubber blocks to put on the floor in the playroom (since the painting didn't turn out so well there) and it looks super cute. Since it's the same type of floor that our TKD school has, we've been referring to it as our dojo. LOL! I think it turned out nice, and the kids love it! And, yes, I do know that the pattern is off. So frustrating for me.
In the process of putting the basement back together, we decided it was time for a TV upgrade. Now, if I could just get the thing to work right.
Mike picked out that rug all by himself. He's been really impressing me with his decorating skills.

Hannah had her consecration on Sunday. It's a ceremony, at the synagogue, welcoming children into the world of learning. It was really sweet. They gave the kids robes and wrapped them up in the Torah. I didn't get photos of the ceremony because it wasn't appropriate but here are some of Hannah before and after the ceremony.
Hannah and her Torah.
I've also been trying to wrap up my jiu jitsu testing before we leave for Illinois. I was doing well until tonight. We did Guard techniques and I was all over the place. I had to restart once and will probably have to re-do that section again on Wednesday. Ugh. Oh well. I'll be really happy to have that behind me.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Snowy Tuesday

Last night, they said it would snow today. It certainly is. It started around 10am and hasn't let up. I can't believe they hadn't pre-treated the roads...they were pretty slick when I left my MOPS meeting at 11:30. It's days like this that I miss my old Cavalier. Ugh I loved that car.

Oh, sweet! A salt truck just went down the street. That'll help.

Last night, we had round two of Jiu Jitsu testing. We did all of the stand-up techniques. That would be where someone is coming after you and you take them to the ground. Not my favorite thing in the world. Mostly because I'm afraid of hurting my partner. There are also three moves where you head to the ground while either you (or your partner) is in a headlock. Those really crank on your neck. This week, we'll be working on Side-Mount techniques and then move on to the Guard stuff. We have to move quickly since most of us will be out of town for Christmas and the tapes have to be in by December 31st.

Monday, December 08, 2008


We had a pretty busy weekend. Well, really just Saturday. Hannah and Daniel had TKD testing and that seemed to take all day. It was interesting, though, because I sat next to our friend, Stephen, and he gave a commentary throughout the whole thing. I got the full scoop on everything. Here are some photos...sorry they're a little blurry.

Daniel's form (he's in the middle)

Daniel breaking boards
Hannah's form
Hannah sparring

Saturday was also our TKD school's Christmas party. We had a good time up until Jacob had a meltdown and we had to go. While we were there, we had a great time. I got tired of never being in pictures so I did a lot of self portraits with our friends. So, in this post you'll also get to meet some of our friends.

Val (my usual partner for Jiu Jitsu and very good friend...you may remember her dog from a few posts back) me and Roxanne

Me and Karl (Val's husband and one of the Jiu Jitsu instructors)
Me and Stephen (from story above...Roxanne's husband, second degree black belt in TKD and Jiu Jitsu instructor
The kids eat dinner
Stephen, Mike and Ron

Me and Beth (Master Johnson's girlfriend and fellow Jiu Jitsu-er)
The kids learn how to play Othello
Dave, Beth, Dave (aka Master Johnson and head instructor of our school), Karl, Andry and Val
Hannah had a lot of dancing partners...Stephen and Hannah
Grandmaster Lee and Hannah

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Tonight, we started the testing process for Jiu-Jitsu. It's a five part test that we have to video tape and send it to California for certification. If I pass, I get my blue belt. That would be really cool.

There are about 6 of us testing. We did the first part tonight: all of the escapes, control strategies and submissions from the Mount. In all, that's 9 techniques and 23 variations, in order and in 5 minutes.

Next, we'll do all of the Guard techniques, then Side-Mount and then Standing techniques. To end it, we have to freestyle fight for at least four minutes using as many of the different techniques as possible. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

And my back is killing me. Wish me luck!!!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Update...and Some Photos

We had a very uneventful Thanksgiving this year...not that it was a bad thing. I hate to admit that it was really nice to just spend the time with Mike and the kids. As always, I made way too much food but it was very tasty. I promise we'll be heading to Illinois for the holidays.

When I saw all of the snow yesterday, I was happy that we weren't on the road for it. We didn't get much here...about an inch or so, but it was enough for the kids to have fun playing in all day long.

Some other stuff has gone on since my last post, too. Daniel had his second grade program. It was super cute. They even learned the School House Rock Preamble song. Daniel has taught it to Jacob and Hannah as well. At any given point in time, you can hear someone singing, "We the people, in order to form a more perfect union..." LOL!!!

I finally got around to taking some pictures of Hannah at gymnastics. She's getting a lot better and she really likes it. (She's the one in the bright blue leo)

I've also spent the past week being sucked into the vampire world that is Twilight. I was bound and determined to not like it, but I wound up enjoying it immensely. I read all four books in less than seven days. How crazy is that?!?

Anyway, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and I promise to post more soon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Jacob's First Concert

Tonight, Jacob had his first orchestra concert. I love my new camera (yes, Dad, it's 14 megapixels!!!) because it has a pretty good video thing on it. I didn't think this (or the pictures) was (were) too bad considering I was standing in the back of the gym and he was in the front. I can't believe how many memories this brought back. Especially because they had to wear white shirts and black pants. So many years of doing this stuff. Up until now, they've just been plucking (which has been very frustrating for Jacob) but Tuesday, they get to start using their bows!

Anyway, here's some video and pictures from the concert. Unfortunately, my batteries decided to die with one song left to go, but it was more of the same.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me...Yadda, Yadda, Yadda...

I love birthdays, but I hate getting older. I suppose it's inevitable, though. I had a very nice birthday. My friend, Val, took me out for a pedicure yesterday. I'd never had one before and I think I'm already addicted. I've always been afraid of them because I'm so ticklish and because my toes are so strange. Amazingly, I didn't laugh once and my toes look awesome.

Some of you may remember my friend, Kirsten (from Columbia and PHS). We've reconnected recently on Facebook (have I mentioned how much I love Facebook lately?)She just had triplets on Saturday. There's a picture of them on her blog. She actually made it to 34 weeks and wasn't even in the hospital for that long. Pretty awesome.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day...and Some Other Stuff

Really quick...here's a picture of Jacob with the very first fish he ever caught. Some of the kids caught a ton of fish, but Jacob only caught this one. I still think it's pretty cool.

It's Election Day! I love Election Day. I may be a nerd, but I still get little butterflies when I hit that "cast ballot" button on the voting machine. I was expecting to wait for a while in line but the whole thing took me only 15 minutes. I guess Mike had to wait for about 45 minutes when he went at 6am. I can't help but think that the early voting helped with the lines.

I was watching the news yesterday and, for the first time ever, I wished I was in Dubuque. Sarah Palin was speaking there at a rally yesterday. Figures. Oh well. I don't really think that seeing Sarah Palin speak for an hour would make up for living in the armpit of Iowa. Ugh...I hated Dubuque. But you all know that.

Anyway, I hope you all get out and vote today...and that you don't have to wait in long lines!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Wild and Crazy Week

Things are finally starting to slow down here. Daniel had his last football game this past Saturday so there are no more practices to go to. I'm done with my AR duty twice a week in the school library and I've gotten through one class party in kindergarten. I'm just so thrilled that things are starting to slow down.

I had some karma bite me in the butt yesterday. At about 5pm last night, Jacob tells me that he needs to work on his book project that's due today. Okay, so what do you have to do? First, he needs to read the book (The Summer of the Swans...he hadn't even started!) and then he needs to do a book report and make a project for it as well. Ugh. Well, we got through it with time to spare and his diorama looked really good. It certainly brought back memories of Mom typing my term paper at 11pm the night before it was due. It does seem that the kids have picked up my procrastination gene. Poor things.

Halloween was fun. The kids got lots of good candy during trick-or-treating and even got to go with some of their friends. Mike took them out and I stayed home to man the door...although the doorbell only rang twice. Oh well.

Mike and Jacob went on a den camping trip this weekend. Jacob finally caught his first fish. His group also won the fire starting contest, which doesn't sound good when it's written out in a blog. LOL!

Anyway, I'm looking forward to going out and voting tomorrow. I'm hoping that everyone voted early (and aren't planning to vote often!) and that the lines will be short. I love election day. Don't forget that you can get free coffee at Starbucks after you vote!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

So It Seems Like Everytime I Post...

It's on SNL. So, there were no Palin skits this week but Jon Hamm hosted (I love Jon Hamm...and Mad Men) and this cracked me up.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sarah Palin...Again

It just gets better and better.

And on Weekend Update...All the Mavericks in the house put your hands up! LOL!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekend Catch-up

It was hard to take the kids back to school this morning since they had a four day weekend. We kept them home on Thursday for Yom Kippur and then they already had Friday off for a teacher in-service. I have to say that it was a really nice weekend...lots of relaxing and some good family time.

Yesterday, we went to see The Lion King at the Music Hall downtown. I've had these tickets for about 4 months and I was so scared that we'd lose them, but we didn't. Jacob said that he couldn't sleep Saturday night because he was so excited.

The play was awesome. The puppetry was great and it really looked like there were giraffes walking across the stage. I will also admit that I cried three times. I cried in the same places I cried in the movie. Yes, I cry watching The Lion King. I bet you do too...you just don't want to admit it! ;) The kids really liked it and couldn't wait to get to school today to tell their friends about it. I think that even Mike was surprised at how well he enjoyed it. If you get the chance, I highly recommend seeing it.

I broke down and signed Hannah up for Daisy Girl Scouts. Their meetings are right after school so it shouldn't add too much stress. She has her first meeting tomorrow.

Jacob's teacher wants him to do after school math tutoring because his MAP scores qualified him for it. Ummm...his MAP scores were in the 97th percentile. We'll skip the math tutoring this year.

Daniel officially tested out of his math program...finally. I never thought he should be in the math program, but that's just me. He's also almost done with the reading specialist. I am a little nervous because we have parent teacher conferences next week but I'm quite sure that if there was a problem, I'd know about it by now. Mrs. G is not someone to hold back.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Picture Day

How funny is it that on a post called "Picture Day," there are no pictures? LOL! Anyway, today is picture day for the kids. I meant to take a picture of them before they left for school but we were struggling to get out the door this morning. So, you'll have to wait until the pictures come back.

Daniel told me that he wanted to look "like a gentleman" for photos. He also wanted me to brush his hair so that he was "handsome." He cracks me up. So, he got his handsome hair and a blue button down shirt and, indeed, looked like a gentleman. Jacob told him that he "looks like Dad." LOL! I have to admit, he did!

I have been a cleaning machine this week. I even rented a Rug Doctor to steam clean all of the carpets. I am so sore and tired, but the house looks awesome. I really hope that I can keep it up so that the next time I deep clean, it doesn't take me forever.

Now, I'm going to make some of Deb's apple pie filling. I was going to do it yesterday but I walked out of the store without my apples! I did get some this morning when I dropped off the Rug Doctor. I wish I felt comfortable with my canning skills because I'd can some...I'm terrified that I'm going to kill my family with some strange bacteria because I didn't sterilize everything right, so I'm going to freeze it instead.

Friday, October 03, 2008


I'm watching Tia Sophia for our friends, Val and Karl, while they're at the lake this weekend. This dog is so cute that I had to post a photo of her.

You've got to love friends that give wine as a thank you!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Look At Me!!! I'm Posting for the Third Day in a Row!!!

The only thing I hate about this time of year is that it really flares up Hannah's asthma. I have to admit, though, that it's much better this year than it has been in years past. We haven't had to make an ER run, which is awesome. I did take her in to the pediatrician yesterday because she's been coughing a lot and I can't get it under control with just the nebulizer or the inhaler.

Poor Hannah's a walking steroid right now. Between the Orapred (for just a couple of days), Flovent (until the end of November) and Albuterol (and her nightly Singulair), it's been hard to keep track of what she's taking. I had to make a big chart and put it on the fridge.

The school nurse was thrilled when I told her the spacer and inhaler that I sent with Hannah could stay at school because I made sure to have doubles. I guess there aren't many people that do that and she said that it's hard to remember to always send the meds back home.

She's already sounding so much better. I'd just like for her to be able to get a good night's sleep! We go back for a recheck in two weeks. She'll also get her flu shot then. She's not at all happy about that.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Birthday Wishes

Happy birthday to my father-in-law, Ed and my niece, Rachel! Hope it's a good one!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Another SNL...

Tina Fey has Sarah Palin down!!! This just kills me!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Well, There You Go...

I will love it when I don't have to start a post with an apology for being gone for a while. Anyway...

Friday night, I got to go to the Maroon 5 concert with my friend, Roxanne. We got all dolled up and even rented a limo so that we wouldn't worry about how much we had to drink. The concert was awesome. Counting Crows and Augustana opened the show. After, Roxanne and I headed to Steak 'n' Shake and had a lovely dinner of steakburgers and chili. I still think that's really funny.

Saturday morning, I woke up and thought my leg felt sore. I pulled back the blankets and saw this... I have no idea where they came from. And they hurt so bad!!! So strange! But I'd take them all over again if it meant that I got to go to another Maroon 5 concert!!!