Wednesday, November 7, 2007

2 months in pictures

Let's get fired up! Burn 'em baby, burn 'em up! (Or as Charity said " Burn a baby, burn 'em up"! She's sick!)
Okay, how cute are they!!!
We're off to see the Wizard...
Doing crossword puzzles with Big Papa.
Believe it or not this was 2 minutes before she got in bed. I really don't know where she comes up with this stuff!
Getting ready for the homecoming parade!
That hair is SO cool! Doesn't he look like he should be in the band "Flock of Seagulls"!
Olivia makes a much better electric blanket!
This is the ONLY way you will ever see those stinkin' Irish on my blog! As a side note, Michael's team's record was as bad as that team in South Bend!
Charity snuggled up with Pinkie Poo before a game.
Charity and Aunt Steph before a fun filled day at King's Island.
She was too short for a lot of the "real" rides but luckily got sufficiently jerked around on the Dora ride.
Jason, Greg and Michael get ready to go up on Drop Zone. I can't believe the lack of fear in my little boy!
Michael at a local baseball game.
Charity really just liked the food and stretching out in the grass at the ball park!

Well, here are a bunch of pics to catch everybody up. I've said it before and I will continue to say it - dial-up is a pain in my rear. All I want to do is update my blog and it takes me an hour and a half to upload the pics I want to put on! I hope you all enjoy them, I've put a significant portion of my day into putting them up here. Who am I kidding? I love showing off my kids. They crack me up. There are some classics in this group of pictures. I don't know what I'm going to do for inspiration now that we are in NO activities. It is wonderful! So far Michael isn't missing playing basketball but we'll see how it goes once it's too cold for him to go outside on a regular basis. Right now he comes home from school, changes into play clothes, grabs his mouthpiece and football and heads out to play himself. I love spying on him out the window as he takes turns playing all the different positions and doing the play-by-play as well as the instant replay. The kid has a definite career choreographing the NFL player's touchdown dances. They are priceless!! I wish he was wired so that I could hear what he is saying out there. He loves the game SO much. Charity claimed to like cheerleading but at 8:30 on cold Saturday mornings she really just wanted to snuggle under a blanket with me or Eric and pretend to watch Michael play. At least she looked cute in her uniform! Her favorite part of every game was snack time. Go figure.
School is going well for my 3 students. Michael is loving lunch, recess, his friends and his teacher. The actual school work he could do without. Luckily the work comes easily to him otherwise I don't know how we would convince him to buckle down and actually try. He's also a very compliant child so he isn't having behavior issues even though he is bored. He has started reading chapter books to himself and Charity likes to have him read to her too. It's hard to believe that one year ago he was reading around 10 words. It's amazing to see Charity and think that in a year she could be reading the way Michael is. So far she doesn't love it as much as Michael did. She really likes school but mostly because she can play with her friends and chase the boys on the playground - although right now they are chasing her. They apparently switch roles every week or so. I prefer the chasing over the kissing though. The first month of school she got kissed a handful of times. I'm SO not ready for this!!!
Our other student is looking forward to graduation! He takes his last final on December 12th and we are ALL counting down the days. He'll have 14 days off before he starts his bar prep classes. That's right - Merry Christmas, we'll start class tomorrow! This whole process has been "rubberizing" - it has stretched me in ways I didn't know I needed stretched. It would not surprise me to look back in 20 years and consider this one of the best times of my life. It wasn't easy being away from home but the benefits have far outweighed the negatives. That being said, I too will be VERY happy when law school is over. So, there's a quick update on life here. I'll try to be better about posting in the future.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Michael at football practice - tell me he's not the cutest thing you've ever seen!!
As much as it pains me to post something with any member of my family wearing something advertising this heinous school - Charity DOES look cute wearing her brother's jersey!
This is how dark it was on Charity's 1st "real" day of school. It was actually the third day for Michael! It's just wrong to make me get up early enough for my kids to get on the bus when it is STILL DARK OUTSIDE!!!

I'm finally settling in to the new routine at our house. With both kids at school in the morning, Olivia and I have had some adjusting to do. I absolutely LOVE having my kids at home but I have to say that my house looks really nice until about 10:45! I guess I never realized just how much stuff my adorable rugrats drag out. We are learning together how to adjust to our new schedules. Eric started back to class two weeks ago. Luckily the nights he is gone we have football and cheerleading practice or church. I'm sure the next 12 weeks or so will fly by and I have to say - I'm ready for him to be done, although I don't miss cooking dinner 3 nights a week. For some reason Eric doesn't view popcorn or breakfast cereal as an adequate dinner. Hello - popCORN - vegetable!! Cereal - WHOLE GRAINS and MILK!! This is healthfood!! I'm a great mom! The sad thing is you all know I know how to cook! I don't even mind doing it and sometimes it is even enjoyable. I just can't quite bring myself to make all those dirty dishes when I know the kids are just as happy (maybe more so) with the food they get when I don't!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Welcome Olivia!

Just wanted to introduce you to the newest member of our family! Charity has been campaigning hard for a year to get a dog. She really wanted a poodle but apparently the key for her was small and fluffy (the key for me was NO SHEDDING!!!) So today, Eric and I surprised her with this little fur-ball. Eric actually surprised me with it and then let me be in on the surprise to Cheech. She has been named "Olivia". Our previous dog was named "Oliver". Obviously creativity does not run deep in our family. She is a "morkie", aka maltese/yorkie mix. She is 18 wks old and weighs 2.9 lbs. They told us she will get to about 6-8 lbs. So she's basically a glorified cat. That's my kind of dog!! She will make her debut to the public tomorrow at the Pet Parade. I know I haven't posted much this month but we all know I won't be fixing that this week. We are definite fair rats (except for Eric who could care less about the fair - weirdo) so we will be away from the computer for a week. Enjoy these pics though. I'll have many more after the fair! Oh - Michael wasn't left out today - Eric decided to get him a go-kart!! That will make for some fun pics to show you too!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Fireworks anyone?

Riding bikes to the fireworks party
More of those cousins I keep mentioning - this time there were some of the boys around. Michael was very thankful.

We were able to join family and neighbors at my Aunt BarJane's house on Friday night for the annual 4th of July extravaganza! Basically it's too much good food, lots of great fellowship and the kids shooting off fireworks once it is FINALLY dark (which isn't until after 9:00 in these parts! Has anyone every told you guys you're in the wrong time zone?) They only live about a mile from us so the kids decided to ride their bikes over. Lucky mom got to follow on foot but I got the above cute picture so it was worth it. Michael is getting better and better at the two-wheeler thing. He gets started on his own now and rarely topples over anymore. I got quite a workout trying to keep up with them. We have to work on Charity since her favorite place to ride is right down the center of the road. With her training wheels rattling around she can't here cars approaching from behind so I need to break her of that "drifting" habit.
We spent yesterday hanging around at home. Eric studied at the library all day so the kids and I piddled around. They had their art kits out about 7 times during the day and probably went through a couple of trees-worth of paper. They picked up sticks in the yard and took good naps. They're hoping to go swimming at mom's after their naps today so I'll try to get some pics of that. I haven't been very good about taking my camera with me this summer. I need to get back in the habit. Well my plan is to break out the ol' sewing machine this afternoon and hem a pair of pants that Eric has been waiting on for about 3 months. I'm telling you - I lead such an exciting life. It is SO worth your time reading about it! :) (But I'm glad you do!)

Friday, June 29, 2007

I'm so glad they love each other! It makes the days when they don't like each other so much easier to bear!
Fun on the back deck before we moved- who said a sand box has to hold sand!
Picnic time and guess what was in there kids' meals - Hannah Montana guitars! Michael LOVES Hannah!
When we were at the local zoo before we moved (see below) they have this tunnel and the otters will swim right over you (in theory at least!)
Most playgrounds at home have mulch - sand is much more fun.

Well these are pictures of our last month before we moved. We tried to get in as many "last" visits to some of our favorite places
as we could. (Mostly restaurants for me - I really miss everything being Greek owned!) We also took a day to go to the local zoo. That was actually the day BEFORE we moved! Aren't you proud of me! I had the whole house packed up a full day in advance so that we were able to have FUN on our last day. It meant staying up late for the whole week before but I had HGTV to keep me company and it was all worth it in the end. Plus I can tell you about the prices of real estate all across the nation since all that is on that late is "What you get for the money" and "House Hunters". I like both of them but it was almost more than I could take since we are still renting. Not that I would change our current housing situation too much. "Our" little house is pretty perfect for us right now. Being close to family is a major plus and having room for the kids to run around and explore outside has been great. My cheapskate husband (love you Eric!) enjoys the fact that we are on top of a hill with a nice breeze and 3 huge shade trees so I haven't really felt the need to turn on the AC yet. Just don't remind him about the day that I left the house with all the windows open and a storm blew in. He came home to a house that was completely soaked! He loves me - I know he does. I learned my lesson though. I close the windows (at least the ones on the west side of the house) when we leave now and there is a chance of rain. Speaking of leaving - I need to get moving. We have to leave the house in an hour and I still haven't done Charity's hair and we are all in "play clothes". More later.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Back home again...

What animals should we go see next?
Michael feeds the giraffe some yam.
Charity's giraffe was not quite at patient!
I'm just proud of this picture and wanted to share!
Here's some of those wonderful cousins I mention later on!

Well we're back "home"! I'm telling you, in some ways that 2 years feels like an eternity but in others it feels like we never left. We've had a pretty easy time getting settled back in. Thank goodness we have cousins though. It's just really hard for little kids to keep a strong long-distance friendship so it is taking Michael and Charity a little bit of time to find their niche again at church, which is where nearly all of their friends were from before we moved away. We were lucky that VBS was the week after we moved back so they were able to spend a lot of time with the kids their own age and plug right back in. For my part, I went right back to my favorite spot of all for VBS week - the snack kitchen! I love the people that work snacks and it is such a low stress job. We "prepare" snack for 1200 kids but with the lovely invention of pre-packaged single serve snack bags - it really isn't too big of a job! We get plenty of time to chit-chat and watch what all the kids are doing throughout the campus. It's so neat to see all those kids having a BLAST and doing it in a way that honors God and teaches them about Him. In between trips to church (that much hasn't changed in 2 years at least!) we've found time to do some fun stuff too. We've been swimming at mom's and our wonderful neighbor and friend Kristin's. We also got to go to a birthday party at the local pool that has 2 water slides - fun stuff!! The week we moved home, Aunt Teri took Michael and Charity on their annual trek to the zoo. Once again she chose one of the HOTTEST days of the year to go – but a fun time was had by all. I was allowed to tag along again this year. The deal is that I get to go but I have to be FUN! I guess as long as I’m acting like “Aunt Mommy” instead of that normal mean ‘ol ogre they have around every other day of the year then I’m allowed to go on “zoo day”. We had fun petting sharks, feeding giraffes, watching the dolphin show, seeing the elephant getting her bath and of course freaking Aunt Mommy out by spending an extraordinary amount of time in the snake house! (At least it seemed like FOREVER to me! Seriously - who cares if a python is non-venomous and a viper is venomous! They both could kill you! One bites the other squeezes but dead is dead!) We also got to get our favorite zoo time treat – Dip’n Dots! I love the “ice cream of the future”! We made a trek back to our former residence to grab the rest of our stuff (a U-haul, 2 cars and a minivan didn't provide enough room!) We were also supposed to go to Michael's last baseball game but it got rained out! BOO! I know, I know, we needed the rain, but that doesn't mean I like to see my poor boy heart broken! He perked up pretty quick when we offered to let him play video games for a couple hours on end though so all is good again!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

What a year!

Charity and her two best friends from church!
Michael and one of his church buddies - who also happened to be in the same class at school and saved him from a fate worse than death - being the only boy at Charity's poodle themed birthday party!
Michael and more friends from church!
(I don't know why I never posted this one. I just realized I had it saved as a draft!)
The kids and I had our last Wednesday night church session last night. Charity has her end of the year program next week but all our other activities are done. I don't know if I've ever mentioned our Wednesday night activities or not. Our church offers all kinds of activities on Wednesday night. They have women's and men's Bible study, choir, the teens have activities and they have "clubs" for the younger kids. Michael and Charity love hanging out with their friends and doing fun stuff. The boys and girls each have their own clubs so they get to do stuff that they especially like. Charity's club has had a pajama party, painted nails, and had all kinds of fun. Mixed in with all this fun is teaching the girls how they are loved by Jesus and teaching them the value of serving. They made cookies for the workers in the nursery, cleaned baby toys and all kinds of other little projects. They had a cookout last night where they got to make smores - girls and chocolate go hand in hand you know! Michael has enjoyed playing all kinds of "boy" stuff with other kids his age and some long suffering dads. They have had paper airplane races, bike/scooter nights, and all kinds of other fun that generally has them coming home smelling like - well, boys! For my part I really enjoyed the Bible study I was in this session. I joined a bunch of wonderful ladies going through Beth Moore's study on the Patriarchs. If you've ever been through one of her studies then you know they are set up for a 10 week session with homework 5 days a week. Our church takes it at a slower pace which doesn't overwhelm me with homework and allows more time for discussion within our small groups. For each of Beth's "weeks" we take 3 weeks. We discuss days 1,2,&3 for week 1, days 4&5 for week 2, and the watch and discuss the video on week 3. I loved it and LOVED the study! If you've never gotten into a Beth Moore study - I HIGHLY recommend them! Thank you so much to the faithful family we found at LBC for all the love they have shown us while we were with you. We will miss you!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Summer is on its way!

Charity showing off her beautiful sunglasses - while eating chocolate of course!
He's so cool!
Hanging out at the Children's Museum with Grandma and Uncle Greg.

What a gorgeous day! Sunny and 80 degrees. I laid the kids down for an early nap so they will be able to get the most out of the afternoon. Plus I was really ready for some peace and quiet. Charity is not cooperating very well. She's exhausted but all wound up and isn't going to give in without fighting me for a half hour or so. I love my children but they can mentally exhaust me like no on else! There's nothing I can put my finger on today but they are just pressing my buttons. Another reason I'm so thankful for the beautiful weather. They will spend the majority of their time between nap and bed tonight playing outside - whether they want to or not! Eric finished another final today. 3 down, 3 to go. This one only took him about 1/2 an hour. They are scheduled for 3 hours and it seems like most of them take a majority of that time. His next exam is at 8:30 in the morning and I'm sure Eric is thankful for the extra study time that a short exam gives him. The kids and I spent the morning as we usually do - at school and at the Y. Charity had swim lessons so Michael spent the late morning hanging out with the other morning Kindergartners at the Y. I spent the lesson time reading a cooking magazine and wishing my pantry, fridge, and freezer would automatically stock themselves. I should go grocery shopping tonight but I think maybe I'll put it off for another day. The kids need the play time and I don't really want to go anyway.

Monday, May 7, 2007

The end is drawing near

Charity taking a break from dancing on the dug-out at Little League Opening Ceremonies
Michael's Team heading out to the field - he is #10 in the gray shirt.
All of the little leaguers on the field
Michael and his friend playing basketball on the back patio - a favorite past time.
Charity and a friend - all of them seem to be equally enthralled with princesses and dance clothes - maybe it's just the age!

We will be moving home one month from tomorrow! I can't believe how quickly the last 2 years have gone! Eric is in the middle of finals now. He has one every day this week and then he will be done for a few months. Luckily he'll only have one at the end of the summer. That will be a nice little break. And he just informed me that he will have only 2 finals at the most next winter! I can't believe it! 4 more finals this week and then 3 more EVER!! Of course he'll have the bar in February and that is probably worse than all his finals combined but we just won't go there yet.
We found a house to rent this weekend. It is a little 3 bedroom in the country - not far from several aunts, uncles, cousins, Mur-Mur, and OF COURSE - Mom. It has lots of room for the kids to run wild and is a stones throw away from one of my friends from high school. The situation is pretty close to ideal. The kids are excited to move home most of the time. We've had a few hard days lately when they really got sad about leaving their friends. Charity cried herself to sleep last week over it - that breaks my heart and makes me doubt our decision to leave. Not serious doubts of course, but it is SO hard to see them hurting. As long as I can keep them focused on getting back home to their grandparents and cousins then we will be okay. They had a blast this weekend with the family when my cousin Nathan got married so hopefully that will stay fresh in their minds. His wedding was wonderful, by the way. His wife is awesome and I'm so glad she has joined our family. They are in Hawaii for their honeymoon. Nathan managed to keep their destination a secret from Amanda until they were checking in at the airport. Good for him!
In other news, we are in the middle of baseball season for Michael. He has 2 games a week plus practice every Thursday. It's a bigger time commitment that we had anticipated but he's loving every minute of it. We had opening ceremonies at the local minor league stadium. The kids all got to go on the field and they announced their name and stuff. Michael loved it but Charity was bored out of her mind. Her favorite part was dancing on top of the dug-out (shocker)! She's filling her time by playing with friends and taking swimming lessons. She's moved up to the next level at the Y and is really starting to look like a little swimmer. She still loves her lessons so hopefully we'll be able to continue them this summer. There's no Y anywhere near home so we'll just have to see what we can figure out.

Monday, April 16, 2007


I've attached some pics of the kids hunting for Easter eggs at our house. It took much longer for 4 of us to hide them this year than it took Michael and Charity to find them. They had a good ol' time and we came away with a fresh stash of chocolate. Eric and I are conscientious parents and would never allow them to eat that much candy so we have sacrificed over the last week and eaten some of it ourselves. Feel free to nominate us as parents of the year. Eric claims we use a Communist form of parenting but I just think we are just doing our duty and teaching them how important healthy eating is! "Do as I say, not as I do!" Besides, I LOVE CHOCOLATE!
In other news, I just finished reading a book by Paul Maier called A Skeleton in God's Closet. The basic premise is that the hero is on an archaeological dig and discovers what appear to be the bones of Jesus. The book brings up a lot of scenarios about how this would affect not only believers but also the rest of the world. Reading as we came away from the Easter season gave the book a lot of significance as I thought about not only what the Resurrection means but also the significance and implications of it. I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


What a rough couple of weeks!! It wasn't that we were doing any grueling activities or anything - it was just one thing after another. Hopefully we are settling back into our routines and schedules now and life can start to look a little bit normal - for us anyway. (It's all relative!!) Eric has 3 more weeks of classes and then 6 finals in 7 days -yikes!! So he is already gearing up for that. He has stacks of notecards sitting around and it's not uncommon for my printer to be tied up while he prints out more. He's so dedicated and so stinking smart but it is still a lot of work and wears on all of us. I think it helps to know that he is in the homestretch! He scheduled his classes for his last semester!! I'm not sure who's more excited me or Eric! We'll be moving home in about 7 weeks. This town has been wonderful to us. We've made great friends, found a wonderful church, enjoy easy access to all the fun stuff to do in The City, wonderful summers full of easy water access, and LOVE the food here :) but it will be good to get back home. I'll miss being able to go to the grocery store in my pjs - since we know so few people - but even that is changing. Last week I was at Wal-Mart at 8:45 on a Thursday morning and ran into 3 people that I knew. Charity commented on it as we were leaving. She said, "We knew lots of people today!" My response - "Yep, that must mean it's time to move!" Bittersweet since we DO like it here. Why can't everybody we love just come up here to stay?!! Of course we would need to find a new place to live because I NEED a washer and dryer!! More later!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

We are alive...

We're just in the middle of a few VERY busy weeks. I'll write more later but here are some pics of the kids and what they've been up to lately.