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.