Monday, March 31, 2008

A Cute Story

Hannah gets to gymnastics this morning and has the following conversation with some of the girls' moms:

Hannah: I got a bunny this weekend!
Moms: A bunny?
Hannah: Yep. A baby bunny.
Moms: A real, hippity-hop kind of bunny? (looking at me with shock)
Hannah: Yep. She's cute.
Moms: What's her name? Hoppity?
Hannah: No. Her name is Ruby.
Moms: Oh...that's a great name for a girl bunny. Will there be a Max in Ruby's future?
Hannah: No. Mom says 'no boy bunnies.'

I just thought that was funny! They knew exactly who Ruby was named after!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Our New Addition

We stopped by the pet store this afternoon to get Jacob's toad more crickets and walked out with a new bunny. I know...I know. We just couldn't help it. She was just too cute. This one's a regular Dutch bunny...our last one was a dwarf Holland lop-eared. She's all of 9 weeks old. We will definitely get this one spayed (we didn't neuter Bumper and we should have). Her name is Ruby (her name would have been Max if she had turned out to be a boy...get it? Max and Ruby. Daniel and Hannah came up with that. LOL!). Guillermo's been very interested in Ruby but has been nothing but playful with her. Considering Bumper and Guillermo used to curl up together, I'm not too concerned. Here are some pictures of our new girl.

Hannah and Ruby
Jacob and Ruby

Daniel and Ruby

Guillermo tries to snuggle with Ruby

Friday, March 28, 2008

Happy Birthday, Bear!!!

My baby girl is five years old today. Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday she was rolling her little self down a flight of stairs. Now, she's getting ready to head to kindergarten. It's amazing to watch her...beginning to assert herself, finding activities and interests that don't involve the boys and just becoming a little lady.

I hope the next five years don't go by as quickly.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hopefully a Green Lawn Soon?

Jacob had his Cub Scout Den meeting last night and he earned his Whittling Chip. His den leader also provided all of the boys with their first (although Jacob actually had one before) pocketknife. I guess they had a huge safety class on pocketknives because Jacob came home with a little card that is his pocketknife certification. This also means that he's allowed to carry a pocketknife to Cub Scout functions. He thinks that's pretty cool since Daniel can't (and definitely shouldn't) carry one for 2 more years.

Daniel lost a tooth last night. What's funny is that I didn't even notice that it was loose until yesterday afternoon. Apparently, he didn't work that hard to get it out, either. He was pretty pleased that he got a visit from the Tooth Fairy last night. He decided to save the quarters he got to help pay for a new DS game.

After gymnastics this morning, Hannah and I headed over to the Grass Pad to start the Idiot-Proof Lawn Program(I'm not kidding...that's what it's called!) I've heard so much about. They were very helpful and even loaded the, whopping, one bag of Prevent that I bought into the van. We came home and I applied Step 1 and are now waiting for the rain that is supposed to come this evening. Our neighbor, Larry, drove by as I was putting it on the front yard and told me that he wouldn't be upset if some of it accidentally landed in his yard. All of his yard. LOL! I told him that I'd be more than happy to let him put whatever I had leftover on his yard. He laughed at that. I hope this stuff works. I spent way too much time on the lawn last year...although I don't know if that's really a bad thing. :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ugh...So Frustrating

I was going to post much earlier than this, but as I was cleaning the kitchen this morning, the light fixture above our kitchen table fell out of the ceiling. Literally landed on the table. I knew there was a reason I didn't dust the lights in there! It only took me two hours to figure out how to put the stupid thing back up. I even got to the point where I was going to try to figure out how to put it up with duct tape, but after walking away from it for 45 minutes (had to run Mike's phone to him at work), the light bulb above my head came on and I realized I was doing it completely wrong. After I figured out that the pieces actually come apart, I had the light back up in 5 minutes. LOL! Figures. At least I thought to turn off the light at the box in the basement before trying to put it back up. I'm quite sure I would have electrocuted myself several times if I hadn't.

Yesterday, the boys got their report cards for the third quarter. Jacob did as expected...very well in reading, science and social studies but needs work in math. Daniel surprised everyone with an awesome report card. They go on a 1, 2, 3 scale...1 being the worst and 3 being the best. He got all 2's and 3's in math, all 3's in science and social studies and mostly 2's in reading. The two reading sub-groups he got 1's in were effectively uses reading strategies and reads fluently. He got all 2's in the behavior sub-groups (believe it or not, there are 11 sub-groups in the behavior category.) This report card proves to me that the counselor can shove it. I declined the parent-teacher conference this quarter because I've heard enough about Daniel. His teacher would tell me something completely different about him than what she said with the counselor anyway. Needless to say, we're pretty proud of both boys.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


After some searching, I finally found this online. Mike and I laughed until we were sick when we saw this last night on Saturday Night Live. Enjoy!

Happy Easter Photo Fest!

Happy Easter everyone! Easter is one of my favorite holidays. Luckily, this Easter seems to be going a lot better than the one we had last year...although Easter itself was not bad...just everything surrounding it was. What's even stranger is that the kids have no idea just how bad last Easter was and that there was almost no Easter for them at all (remember my purse was stolen?). We must have played that one off really well.

Anyway, yesterday was Hannah's birthday party. It was a week earlier than her actual birthday but she really wanted it at her gymnastics place and they're having an invitational there next week so they're not holding parties that weekend. So, it was either the week before or the week after...the week after is TKD testing so there you go. One of my neighbors has proclaimed it Party Season and I like that term so much that I'm going to use it. Hannah and Daniel were each invited to parties last week, Jacob had one the week before, Hannah's was yesterday, the boys also went to a party yesterday (a different party) and Hannah is invited to yet another in the next week or so. It's too bad my kids are lacking social skills. LOL!

Here are some photos from her party...

Kids in the foam pit! I've always wondered how deep this pit's 8 feet deep with foam with a trampoline at the very bottom to make it that much bouncier. Just in case you were wondering.
The party gang.
I love this picture...Hannah's holding hands with Mia on her left and Katie on her right. So cute.
Her Littlest Pet Shop cake. Can you believe she's going to be five!?!

Hannah wanted to pass out balloons. Of course, she let almost every one go. Good thing they had long tails!

After a little break from the parties, we colored eggs. Our eggs were so cheap this year that everyone got to color 11 eggs. Hannah zipped right through her eggs, while Jacob and Daniel took their time and colored 11 eggs in a little over an hour.

I don't know why Jacob loves to pose for photos like this...oh well.

It's only taken us 8 years to figure out that the best way to protect the table from egg dye is to cover it with a plastic tablecloth. LOL! Actually, I can't take credit for that. We happened to have it left over from Hannah's party.
Daniel colored this one egg for about 30 minutes. It was brown by the time it was done.

The kids couldn't wait to find the hidden eggs this morning. Hannah's egg-finding skills have improved over the past year and she actually got more than Daniel did.
Daniel shows off an egg he found
Jacob on the prowl.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Another Beautiful Spring Day

It's a little cooler today than it was yesterday, but it's still nice. Beautiful blue sky and temps in the upper 50's. Finally...we've gotten to where we are supposed to be this time of year. Deciding that we didn't want to be cooped up inside on such a lovely day, we decided to take a hike at the OP Arboretum and Botanical Gardens (it's much like Forest Park Nature Center in Peoria Heights).

I have to laugh because, in the year or so that we've been here, I've never traveled further south than 159th street. It certainly seems as though the world drops off there. It's mostly farms and fields after 159th. Considering the Arboretum is on 179th Street, it felt like we were heading into uncharted territory. LOL! We had to take 69 Hwy since none of the main N-S streets continue that far (they all end around 165th, or so I'm told). That was fine, but it would have been so much more convenient to be able to take a surface road. Anyway...

We pull into the lot and discover that we are not the only ones that decided today would be a nice day for a hike. There's not a lot to see right now, since we're just coming out of winter, but Jacob thought it was cool to find evidence of coyotes. We found lots of hairballs and even a site of (what looked like) a major food fest (a bunny or something). There was fur everywhere. We saw lots of hawks and birds and even a few butterflies (I know! Who knew they were out this early?).

Jacob and Daniel ran the first half of the trail, Hannah ran the first third and I was thrilled to just be able to walk the thing (I'm so out of shape). After the 3 mile (or so) hike, we were all tired, crabby and hungry and were absolutely ready to head for home. We all decided that it was so much fun just to wander around, that we're going to try to make it a habit. Only next time, we bring snacks and water!

Yet another perk of hiking three miles...all three kids look like they will fall asleep at any moment!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Spring!

How do you spend a beautiful day with not a cloud in the sky and temps in the upper 60's? And to top it off, it's the first day of Spring? Well, we went to the zoo! Okay, so the KC Zoo isn't Brookfield or anything, but it's way above average.

First, we take a photo so that if anyone gets lost, I know exactly what everyone's wearing.

Oh look! There's a peacock! He looks like he's waiting to be served!

Who wants to ride the carousel? This is always fun!

There's that peacock again. Now he's just showing off!

Let's feed some animals! What a big girl Hannah is! No tears and no freaking out. This is a first.
We want to feed them, too!
I see the Discovery Barn! Let's check it out.
Say cheese!
Look, Mom! There's a meerkat standing next to me!
Awwww. Look at the cutie lemurs.
Can we go out and play in the big tree, Mom?
What? I'm just climbing.
The train looks like a lot of fun.
Okay, but you have to obey the rules.
Whatever, Mom. Let's go!
I just want to sip my drink and enjoy the ride.
Now that we've finished our ride, let's head over to the Africa exhibit. It's a long walk over this bridge. Hannah! Don't even think about crossing that rope!
Ummm...where did you say we were? Africa? We thought the zoo was in Missouri!
Hey! We know that sign!
Look everyone! It's Pumbaa! (and not Timon like someone tried to correct me and I finally had to walk away because I was not going to get into a Lion King argument with some random guy at the zoo)
What a great time we had at the zoo. We can't wait to go back when they've finished the otter exhibit.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring Break Fun

It's become a bit of a tradition to go bowling during Spring Break. We all love going. Even better is that two games will kill almost 3 hours. It was a great time. If the weather is what they say it will be (73 degrees!), we'll be heading to the zoo tomorrow.

Whatever blows your hair up...Hannah discovers the hand dryer.

Daniel has very interesting bowling form.

It makes me cringe every time it's Hannah's turn. Look at that lofted ball!

Say cheese, Jacob! He gets ready for his turn.

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patrick's Day

I always confuse St. Patrick's Day with the Ides of March. Oh well.

Dad came and spent the weekend with us...I guess he left a little before 3am this morning in an effort to avoid the storm that was heading this way. It started raining at about 6am and really hasn't stopped. For a while, we had some good thunderstorms but now it's straight rain. The weather radio went off around noon telling us that there's a flood warning. I can definitely see why. It's only been raining for a few hours now but I'm already tired of it. It's that nasty, cold rain. I hate that.

Last night, the kids were bargaining for new Game Boy/DS games. After some "negotiating," Daniel looks at Dad and says, "do you want a Game Boy? I'll give you this one for $35!" Amazingly, that's about how much a new DS game costs. LOL! We had a good, long laugh over that.

We braved the rain to get some groceries this afternoon. I decided to order Hannah's cake while we were at the store. We were looking through the catalog when the bakery manager asked if she could help. I told her that Hannah was looking for a cake and that she wasn't having any luck (princess cakes? No. Dora? No. This went on and on.). The manager asked what Hannah likes. I told her that she loves Littlest Pet Shop but I'm sure they don't have that. She says they do. When we found the photo of it, Hannah's face lit up and she started screaming, "yes! That's it!" So, we ordered her Littlest Pet Shop cake for Saturday and Hannah couldn't be more happy about it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


That was our temperature today. 75 degrees. I had the windows opened wide all day long and the kids enjoyed some time at the park after school and then general outside time with some neighbor kids until 7:30 when it was almost completely dark. Yesterday was nice, too...Hannah had playgroup at the park with the MOPS girls and when the boys got out of school, we played on the school playground for almost an hour. It's just so nice to not be stuck inside. Everyone's in a good mood...excess energy is expelled in a productive way (and not by the kids beating up on each other) and no one is dirtying my clean house (lol!). I can't wait until this weather is here for good.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I Really Thought This Was Funny

Okay, so those of you that I know from Peoria have already been sent this, but my high school friend, Sara, sent this to me last night and I got such a kick out of it that I thought I'd post it here too. These are so true...I felt the need to elaborate on some of these.


You never go to Chiefs games but would raise holy hell if the team ever left town

You drive to Bloomington and hang out there for a change of scenery
(hey Dad, if we were to go to Bloomington, and I'm not saying that we are, how would we get there? LOL!)

You remember the Manual Rams basketball state championships

You've ever been to the Heart of Illinois Fair

Mayor Maloof is the only mayor you'll acknowledge

You're familiar with the term 'Molinarmy'
(Go Braves!)

Going out to eat is your #1 thing to do with friends

You've been to Bicycle Safety Town
(what was that? Second or third grade field trip?)

You consider University Street during evening hours as 'rush hour traffic'

You rep the Bears and Cubs as if you live right in the middle of Chicago

Whenever you tell someone you're from Peoria they immediately ask you how far it is from Chicago
(3 hours!)

You know the bad things they say about Pekin

You're always telling everyone you plan on moving to Chicago but for some reason still live in Peoria

You can't imagine life without Caterpillar

You get that warm fuzzy feeling when you're approaching the city from I-74 when you're about to cross the bridge
(Peoria really does have an impressive skyline)

Your idea of 'twin towers' are totally different than everyone else's

You're totally into the bar scene only because there isn't really any other scene to be into

You still don't understand the whole 'Peoria Heights' thing

You wonder why Bloomington always gets everything years before Peoria does

You're adamant about the fact that Peoria is equal distance between St. Louis and Chicago
(It is! LOL!)

You've attended the Festival of Lights

You really can't give a good answer to the question 'why do you live here'?

The Shoppes at Grand Prairie is about as fancy as it gets

You never go to Rivermen games but would raise holy hell if the team ever left town

You just found out Peoria has an indoor football team

You remember the glory that was the Gus Macker tournament downtown

Two words: Steamboat Days

You realize that if everyone quit complaining about what Peoria doesn't have and participated in what Peoria does have, it wouldn't be so bad a place

The downtown area is still a little cool to you for some reason

The awesome view at the lookout tower in Peoria Heights gets you every time

You can always impress visitors from out of town by taking them on Grand View Drive
(It works every time!)

You shake your head when approaching and leaving the Greater Peoria Regional Airport

You know the words to the 'Goldie & Gus' song
(No need to worry, no need to fuss, we're swimmin' like Goldie and Gus...YEAH!)

CityLink will always be known as GP Transit to you

The numerous one way streets downtown are just a bit much and still give you fits when driving around down there

You still call Nova Cinemas 'Landmark'
(When did this happen? I didn't know it changed!)

Dating someone who went to another high school than yours made you pretty damn cool

You bought new outfits for the following occasions: Fee Day, Gus Macker, the Fair, Taste of Peoria, Steamboat Days, the Manual vs. Central basketball games
(Go Central!!!!)

You can count the number of times District 150 schools closed due to bad weather on one hand (Three times in my 13 years! I still refer to this every time the kids have a snow day!)

You think going to ICC for a couple years then transferring to a big university is a good idea

That KMart at Evergreen Plaza will always be Venture to you

You've went to the grocery store with someone from out of town and they're baffled that you can actually buy any type of booze you want from the freakin grocery store!
(Never thought twice about it until I moved to Virginia. You have no idea how lucky you are to be able to buy everything in one place!)

It gets no hipper than hanging out at Barnes & Noble or One World

You LOVE Avantis food
(I need a Gondola)

You remember when the Tree of Lights was actually something worth looking at instead of what it is now

You remember spending Saturdays cruisin for hotties at Northwoods Mall

You know at least a few people whom you grew up with that had a kid before the age of 21

You know at least a few people whom you grew up with that had a kid before the age of 18

You could answer the question 'What is Richard Pryor's hometown'? when most people in the country couldn't

You would never go to Bradley because it costs too much
(Unless your Dad worked there!)

You cringe at the thought of what might be swimming around in the Illinois River (So gross to think about)

You've been somewhere and tried to make yourself look cool by saying you're from Chicago instead of saying you're from Peoria

Culver's is the shit

You'll call people you know to tell them where the cheap gas is

The car you're driving was obtained somewhere on or near Pioneer Parkway
(or been pissed off by a car salesman on Pioneer Parkway)

You remember KZ93.3 radio station (What's strange is that I listen to Mix 93.3 here!)

You remember the 'all new' B92 radio station

You LOVE the Bob & Tom show

You know what the term 'Brown Bag It' is
(one of my best high school memories...and my very first gyro!)


Passover Prep

Yesterday was our last day of Sunday School before Spring Break (yes, we take a Spring Break). After dropping the kids off in their classes, I headed over to the Gift Shop (for those that aren't Jewish, yes, we have a gift shop...many synagogues do) to check out the new stuff. There were also signs everywhere that said that all Passover stuff was 20% off. Nice. I stop at the table outside and see that they have a few family Haggadahs (think of it as a script for the seder). That might be nice to have for the kids, so I head inside to see if they have any others.

I'm immediately jumped on by a nice lady from the Women's Club that just would not let me look in peace. Oh well. She was actually very helpful. She asks if I'm looking for a new Haggadah and I say that I'm not sure, but I'd like something that's a little more kid-friendly. I pick up a family Haggadah that I, kind of, liked when she places a pamphlet-looking thing in my hand.

"We just got these in! If you have kids, this would be perfect! I can't wait to use mine this year and my kids are all grown!" She tells me.

I look at the "pamphlet" and realize that it's actually a Haggadah. I start to laugh when I see the name: 30 Minute Seder...The Haggadah That Blends Brevity With Tradition.

"I know," she says. "I laughed, too. But it hits all of the highlights and important things and nothing else. Your little ones should love it!"

I take a look inside. It does, indeed, hit everything that we need: the plagues, the 4 questions, the symbols and even has some songs. It's written in big print and has lots of pictures. It's also written from front to back instead of back to front (which is always confusing for me and for the kids!) Okay, I'm sold. I grab five of them. And some placemats for the kids to color (that also are part of the 30 Minute Seder line of stuff).

So, we'll be doing a 30 Minute Seder this year. LOL! For anyone interested, you can check out their website by clicking right here.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Weekend's Here!

And, we're only three school days from Spring Break. Ahhh...a glorious 1 1/2 weeks of nothing (except TKD). Awesome.

Back in December, Jacob bought a tadpole habitat with his holiday money. He was so excited and we ordered two little tadpoles almost immediately. Well, they finally came last week. They are only guaranteed to arrive alive, so I was happy to see that they were, indeed, alive. We plopped them in their little habitat and sat in awe as they got a little bigger everyday. Okay, for three days. Then, they died. Poof. Just like that. I surprised Jacob, yesterday, by going to Petsmart and getting him a fire-bellied toad for the habitat. They only get to be about 3 inches long and he has the sweetest face. The guy there was awesome. He gave me 20 crickets (the only sucky part of the toad) for the price of 14 and also gave me some of the water crystals to put in with them. Getting the crickets from their container and into the habitat has been somewhat interesting, but that little toad just loves them. So cool to watch. Jacob's named the toad Volcano because of how his tummy looks. I wonder how fast we can kill this thing off. At least he came with a 14 day guarantee! LOL!

I set up Hannah's birthday party this week. My goodness that girl has a lot of friends. Luckily, we don't pay by the person because we invited 14 kids (not including Jacob, Daniel and Hannah) and she wanted to invite about 7 more but I had to cut her off somewhere. We only invited one little boy from MOPS and she was not happy about that because she wanted more. I'm so going to be in trouble once she actually starts school. LOL! I think I'm going to do cupcakes instead of a cake but I'm not sure. Cupcakes are so much easier.

I got an e-mail from Jacob's baseball coach this afternoon. I was a little disappointed to see that he is not on Jett's team, but it's okay because he is on his school's third grade team, so he knows everyone. I had to send our contact info to the coach since he didn't have it and, surprisingly, I got a phone call about 15 minutes later. Nice guy...wanted to know if Jacob's a pitcher, or is interested in pitching. No, Jacob's not a pitcher, yes, he desperately wants to try to pitch. Awesome! He says, because it's kid-pitch this year. Ugh. I thought we had more time with the machine, but okay.

We had Boy's/Girl's Night Out this evening. Hannah and I went to Applebee's and then to bowling and the boys met Jim and Peter for pizza and the Spiderwick Chronicles. Hannah and I had a blast bowling and I hear that the movie was great. I love doing these nights because it makes the kids feel so special. They just love it.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Interesting Discussion

We had a really good talk during my Bible Study this morning. We were reviewing Galatians 5 and what we got out of it. Believe it or not, I've always had a difficult time pulling hidden meaning out of any text...especially the Bible. However, I usually have a lot to say when someone brings something up.

One of my friends said that the verse that spoke to her was Galatians 5:14-15, The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

We began talking about literal neighbors and then husbands. We said that it seemed that they were the ones we often bit and devoured the most. We got pretty specific. Someone mentioned that their husband had no idea how to do dishes and I chimed in that mine did, but couldn't load a dishwasher to save his life and that I often came, after he was done, and rearranged everything, grumbling the whole time. I did say that I would never tell Mike to his face that I thought he was doing it wrong, but only rearrange the dishwasher when I think he won't notice (fat chance...he's noticed) Then someone mentioned that their husband has no idea how to close a cabinet door. A chorus of, "ugh!" came from the ladies in the room. Again, I chimed in that Mike does the same, and as I'm slamming the door shut, I always fail to see past the open door to see that the reason it's open is because he's put away the dishes that were in the dishwasher and reloaded it with the dinner dishes. This time, a sad chorus of, "yeah, I do that too," came from the girls.

I think that most of us had an epiphany this morning. Mike, I promise I'll try to see past the open cabinet door (and unscrewed bottle tops...LOL!) to see the dishes done and/or put away more often.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Is Spring on it's Way?

Could it be? We saw one Robin yesterday and about 7 today. Could spring be far behind? I hope it gets here soon...I'm tired of this winter stuff.

Yay for the Recipe Blog!

The new recipe blog is up! You can check it out by
clicking here. I have to play with it a little bit more and since it's been a while since I set up a blog, it may take a while. Sue and Heath have already signed up and I put up a recipe this morning. I hope that this is as fun as I think it will be!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Daniel's Consecration Photo

We got Daniel's Hebrew School Consecration photo back today. We had completely forgotten that we even ordered one. Most of these kids are in kindergarten but there's a handful (including Daniel) that are in first grade. They all got to keep their little Torahs and yarmulkes. Here's the can click to enlarge. The adults are the teacher's aides (the teens on either end), the kindergarten teachers (on either end next to the aides) and (from left) the musical director (I feel bad that I don't remember her name), Rabbi L, Rabbi H, and Marcia (the educational director).

Wake Up Call

I don't think there's anything worse than your phone ringing at 4:30AM, and that's what happened to us last night. I reached for the phone and desperately tried to read the caller ID but my eyes just couldn't focus. Mike's yelling at me to just answer the phone, so I do. I hear this on the other end...

This is a collect call from...Jim...from a correctional facility...

The only Jim I know is our friend from TKD and babysitter's father. Worried that it may be him, I accept the charges. I start yelling, "hello?" into the phone and "Jim" does the same. Just as I realize this is not our friend Jim, we're cut off and told that we don't have an account so they've terminated the call, but hang on if we want to set one up. No thanks...I just hung up. It was quite possibly the most bizarre call ever. I kept thinking that I hope this guy gets another call because it would suck if his call was wasted on a wrong number. Needless to say, I had a hard time getting back to sleep thinking about who Jim is and why he needed to call someone at 4:30 in the morning from jail.