Saturday, January 20, 2007

What are we doing this weekend?....Hockey!

Zach has a game Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

Here he is defending the goalie.


Here's Zach spending a little time in the penalty box. In games when he spends more time in there than we think he should, we call him Zach in the Box.

Zach plays defense, so he does quite a bit of checking. There's a good one!

Glove shake at the end of the game.

Friday, January 19, 2007

A Peek At My Treasures...

When Zachary was in Junior High, he took a class called Life Skills. In it they taught him the basics of laundry, cooking and sewing. He sewed this smiley face for me while learning to sew buttons and basic stitching. It will always be on the shelf in our living room.

Tyler brought this paper mache puppet home from school today. I instantly fell in love with it and put it on the mantle. I don't know what it is about it, actually I do-it was made by my son.

Eli brought this adorable penguin home from his daycare. Too cute! He has been crazy about penguins ever since we saw 'Happy Feet'.

Katelyn drew this picture of the front sunroom on our house. It is very accurate. She matted and framed it, then gave it to me for Christmas. I just love it. It hangs in our downstairs bathroom.

My baby sister made this for me when she was in 6th grade. She is now 28. I will keep it always.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Tyler's Wilderness Room....Finally Finished

We needed to make some room changes in the house. Eli needed to be upstairs which is closer to us. So, we moved Tyler into the downstairs bedroom. He wasn't very happy about moving, so we let him pick out new wallpaper and a room theme. We bought new bedding, a light fixture, a light switch cover and shelves. We painted. My friend Charlotte made curtains that go ar
ound the bottom of his bunk bed and window treatments. I tell you, it's been a labor of love.

This is the space underneath Tyler's top bunk. His computer and shelves are under there. The space is enclosed by curtains that he can open and close. It really improves his ability to stay on task when he does his homework under there with the curtains closed.

Oh yes, what self-respecting 11 year old could have a bedroom without a deer antler light fixture and dead fish on the wall? For 3.5 years, I made my husband keep his stuffed fish in the garage. Imagine his excitement when Tyler begged to have them in his new 'wilderness' room.

No one is allowed to comment on the dead fish.

Lake report: To my children's delight, the lake has completely frozen over all 365 acres. We'll see if it stays that way.

I just stumbled accross this blog and it stopped my heart. I still have tears in my eyes. This blog belongs to a foster mother who cares for special needs children in China. It is so touching that I had to post it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Friends who fall into the cracks in your life

I received this silver cup with my sons initials on it as a gift from my friend Karen when Eli was born. She was a close friend of mine while I was in college. Actually, I have known her since I was 18 years old. We used to spend a lot of time together. There was never a falling out or anything that went wrong. But over time, I just let her fall out of my life.

My friend Kim who I have known since 8th grade, I speak to her maybe once a year at Christmas time. We send each other cards with pictures of our children. I stood up in her wedding. How did I let our friendship turn into a once a year phone call? How did I let her slip out of my life?

My friend Diana. We went to college together and were inseparable. I was in her wedding. I can't remember the last time I saw her. I know that she has never seen Tyler who is 11. I have never seen any of her three children. She lives 20 minutes away. What is wrong with me?

I have had the privilege of having some amazing women as true friends, but then I just let the friendships dwindle away to nothing due to a lack of contact.

Today I planned a dinner with Karen. I am going to her home in 2 weeks and I am bringing my husband of 3.5 years who she met briefly once in a Macaroni Grill lobby. I am also bringing my children so that they can play with her children. I am also bringing my camera.

Today I am writing on my calendar every 3 months to call Kim. I don't want to call too often and freak her out after all of this time, but I am going to invest in that friendship.

Today I am going to find Diana's number and call her.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Advice Please...Eli does not like his new big boy bed.

Eli was getting close to being able to climb out of his crib, so we decided to buy him a new big boy bed. We took him shopping with us to pick out his bed and new bedding. He picked out the Cars movie bedding and I thought we were in good shape. We came home and put the bed together, he was thrilled. He jumped on the mattress, laughed and smiled. But when it came time to actually sleep in the bed, he became hysterical. He cried and yelled, it was horrible. I had to hold him until he fell asleep and then transfer him to the bed. He was up throughout the night. Last night was a little better, but still crying.

Does anyone know a good way to help him transition? I never have had this problem with the other children. I put his Tigger, Momba from Happy Feet and his baby blanket with him, still no good.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Best PIC's of 2006

This is a posting of our favorite pictures from 2006 for our family and friends to see. These are all downloadable if you would like to have copies.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Scrapbooks are Time Capsules

This is Sophia Jane's scrapbook that Aunt Trisha bought for her for Christmas. I cannot wait to start filling it with pictures of her.

I really enjoy scrapbooking, it gives me an outlet for my creative energy, but more importantly, my children enjoy me scrapbooking. I keep a book running at all times for each of my children where I tell the ongoing stories of their lives. I document their sports, choir performances, violin concerts and birthdays. I show their favorite days through pictures. They are constantly going to their books and making sure that everything is updated and checking to see if any of their siblings have more pages done than they do.

To me these books are the place where I can create something for each of my children individually. A place where they can go and see the story of their childhood through my eyes and see the words I love you in my own handwriting directed specifically to them. These books are where I share the stories of loved ones who have passed on through pictures and my words. I show them where we came from. I document the homes and places that are a key part of us. Our Grandmother's home, our Aunt's home, etc...I want them to always be able to look back and see these places regardless of what becomes of them through time.

I also keep a family book running at all times which is where I document the majority of our family activies and holidays. These are not only popular with my own children, but with my friend's children as well who are always going through them looking for pictures of themselves.

Scrapbooks are time capsules that you can leave your children. I wish that my mother had left one for me. I know that it would be priceless.

These are some pictures from Zachary's books.

These are from Tyler's books. They got a little funky though-sorry.

These are from Kate's book

These are from Eli's book.

Top Toddler Toys

I know that a lot of adoptive parents out there are bringing a toddler home for the first time. I thought that I would put some of Eli's favorites on-line for you to see and maybe it could give you a point of reference for when you are shopping. Eli turned two in December, but he has had many of these toys for a year or more.

These are Eli's favorite books. He is still too hard on paper pages, so he reads the cardboard books. He enjoys books that are interactive. He likes to touch textures and fabrics and look under flaps. Animal books are a big favorite because he likes to say mooooo and make other animal noises.

We have had the Bee Bop Band which I believe is a Parents Magazine toy for a year now. He plays with it all the time. There are several different instruments inside and we make music and dance.

I bought this movie for Sophia Jane, our daughter we are adopting. When Disney announces that they have a movie that is available for a 'limited time only' and you want it, you need to buy it now. When the limited time is over, Disney takes it off of the shelves for a number of years-I've heard seven but don't know if that's official. I wanted my daughter to have 'The Little Mermaid' and I bought it now because I won't be able to get it as easily in two years when she comes. When my oldest boys were young, they wanted 'The Jungle Book' and it was off of the shelves-available nowhere. Now we have e-bay so it may be a little easier, but I wouldn't risk it. Start your Disney collection.

I bought this Little Tikes table at a garage sale. It is invaluable. There are drawers on either side where we keep the crayons and coloring books. Eli also eats breakfast and snacks there if the rest of the family is running around trying to get ready for work and school.

The Fisher Price Little People are wonderful. The farm helped Eli learn his animals and the noises that they make. The house has him starting to think about family dynamics. There is a Mommy, Daddy, Baby and Mommy Kitty. We just got the pirate ship, so we'll see what he does with it.

Our whole family loves to cook. It is very frustrating for Eli when his brothers and sister are in the kitchen with me and often times Daddy too, baking cookies and he gets shooed out because we need to open the oven. Having his own little kitchen has helped that a bit. His kitchen is located near our big kitchen. We all take time out and play with him at his kitchen regularly which makes him very happy.


When Eli turned one I put a small and very sturdy plastic slide in the living room. It has four steps. It helped Elijah focus on his motor skills. He loved it when we would put him on the slide and he desperately wanted to do it 'all by himself'. He is a master of the slide now, but I will bring it out again when Sophia comes home to help her learn to walk and climb.

Baby Einstein. If you need 20 minutes to drink a cup of coffee, make dinner or just to take a deep breath, this is how you make it happen. If your baby won't stop crying and you have tried everything....Baby Einstein videos are a little piece of heaven. It is magic, that's all I can say.

I also want to mention Mr. Potato Head. He's a classic. How can you resist the nose? We can't.