Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Double Digits....

No Ethan wasn't born with purple eyes, my Dad photoshopped this a long time ago and it is the only "baby" picture I have scanned...
Could it really be that you are 10??

It seems like just yesterday that Daddy & I were tyring to figure out what to do with a newborn baby. You have taught us so much in these 10 years... thanks for being such a good boy and being patient with us. We couldn't have asked for a better boy...

One of the first things you taught us, is that redheads are adorable and sweet. Not all redheads have hot tempers (thankfully!).
And actually, redheads with glasses are even more cute!!

You taught us that sometimes there are such things as "flower boys" when both of your favorite cousins get to be flower girls.
You taught us how good Grandpa Dave can be with boys. (He never had any boys of his own, and you were the first grandson).

You showed us that having two sisters is great and you are so good with them.

You constantly teach us about being more friendly to the earth. (Reduce, Re-use Recycle) I don't think it was a coincidence that you were born so close to Earth Day...

You taught us about Hockey and about Jeff Gordon. You are such an athlete! You are so good at any sport you try.

You taught us that reading is fun and you have inspired me to try to read more.

You have taught Daddy & I how important it is to be good parents, and have fun together.

You taught us that you would eat popcorn all day every day if we would let you..

And even though I know you like to see yourself as a tough cool kid (which of course you are)...
I still love to see that cute shy guy somewhere in there...

Stay sweet, Ethan and always be yourself. Thank you so much for coming to our family. We are so blessed to have you. I love you!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

I saw this DVD on sale at the store the other day, and you KNOW I am way too nostalgic to not get it... :)

Which also reminds me... I was getting out the Easter decorations and I noticed a hole that made me smile.

When we all lived closer, we used to take the kids to Grandma & Grandpa Old Ears for an Easter Egg hunt in their massive yard. The big kids had to go WAY down to the end of the property to search and the littles stayed close. Well, this was the basket Saroya used on her first Easter Egg hunt. She was soo short, the basket would drag on the ground (and she took it EVERYWHERE that first year) and so it made a hole in the corner. Isn't that sweet?? They grow sooo fast!!

Anyway the kids woke this morning to candy filled surprises! The Easter Bunny comes to our house on the Friday night every year so we can focus on the real meaning of Easter on Sunday.

Usually the Easter Bunny leaves a candy path to each of their Easter presents, but this year the bunny left a note.....

Ever since Saroya watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and read Junie B. Jones "Dumb Bunny" she has been very excited about "golden" things. So when she found out they each had to look for three golden eggs, she was OFF!!
You would think by looking out the window it was Christmas instead of Easter...

After a really quick breakfast, we were off to hockey. I asked Ethan to start the car for us and when I walked past the door, this is what I saw.
It really struck me. I thought, "Yes- I think that IS what I will have him wear when he learns to drive." :) So funny!!

This was Ethan's last "official" game for the season (thank goodness, I think....) so I decided to take a few pictures with the new camera. I REALLY noticed a difference, and I loved the results!For your reference, Ethan has a orange sticker on the top of his helmet and he is number 4.

Score! Ethan on the right.

Right before a slapshot... GOAL!

I just asked Saroya if they were done cleaning their mess in the basement and she replied, "Not yet Miss. Hannigan." Nice....

Friday, March 21, 2008

Saroya's Magical Disappearing Glasses

I haven't gotten around to posting this yet, but Saroya got GLASSES! They are reading glasses and she is supposed to use them for reading and using the computer. She loves them so much. She was funny tyring to pick them out, deciding what she liked and didn't like. She likes colors on the sides (arms), but not the front. Anyway- we picked them up about 2 weeks ago.

I have been a little nervous because they are on and off her face so much during the day. Ethan can't see anything without his, so he wakes up, puts them on, and that's where they stay until he goes to sleep. I just worry about them getting broken or misplaced.

When she got home from the bus today, she started telling Nathan about a scary story a boy was telling her. It was something about dinosaurs and covering every hole or gap in your house or else. I was just eavesdropping so I didn't get the whole story. Then I see Nathan hug her and tell her that the boy is just making things up and she shouldn't listen to what he was saying.

A little later, she comes back and I hear he talking about the boy again. Nathan says, "Well- where are they?"

"I think I forgot to get them back from him..."

Now I am interested in what is going on. "What happened?"

He tells me that Saroya gave her glasses to the boy on the bus and didn't get them back when she got off. After much conversation and a call to the bus garage (who didn't find them), I sat down with Saroya. I asked her why she gave them to the boy. She said that he could see magical things through her glasses. He could see things that no one else could see and it would somehow help him with the dinosaurs. "He really believes it, Mom! He needed my glasses!"
After I made sure she knew that even if her glasses were magic, they were hers, expensive, and he would have to get his own "magical glasses" Ethan says, "I know where he lives." Ok- that would have been helpful information a while ago..
Thankfully, Ethan has always been very observant and he showed me right where the boy lived. I still don't understand how he knows, what kid pays attention to what kids get on the bus where? It was about a mile and a half from where we live and down a long driveway back in the woods.
When we got there, the boy, his brother and a VERY large St. Bernard came out to meet us. The little boy that had her glasses had a pink Mohawk. Hummm..... Luckily he knew just where they were and got them for me. I thanked him, and we were on our way.
On the way home I realized how lucky we were. I never saw a parent who would have known, the "older" brother didn't seem to know anything about the glasses, and after a long Easter weekend I am sure the last thing this little 7 year old pink Mowhawked kid would think about on Monday morning was to get Saroya's glasses to bring to school. We may have never seen them again! I thanked Ethan profusely for being so attentive.
Now, not only is Saroya happy about having glasses, but there is a *chance* they could be magical too! Hopefully they won't disappear again though....

Saturday, March 15, 2008


SCORE!! A generous friend of Nathan gave us 11 tickets to a local semi-pro hockey game on Friday. We invited Leanne and her family to go with us because they are big hockey fans too. It was so much fun. We were right up against the glass by the ice. I will say I jumped and screamed a bit when the first guy was smashed up against the glass right in front of us! Then when the first of three fights broke out against the glass, right in front of us I covered Jaleigh's eyes. Yes- we could read every lip without much imagination, but we really did have a GREAT time. Leanne and her family got there before we did, so when we sat down she let us know that tonight they were doing a "dash for cash" and they would select 20 kids from the audience to go on to the ice and grab as much cash as they could, and then they get to keep it. So Nathan went and signed up the kids. There were over 3000 people in the audience that night so I didn't think too much about it.

When they started reading the numbers the kids were glued to their tickets. Every time they would read a new number, Ethan would say, "Aww MAN!" Apparently he thought he was REALLY close to getting his number called. Nathan had Jaleigh's ticket and when the last number was called- it was her ticket!! SCORE!!! I was shocked, but not really, because Nathan is always winning things. He is really a lucky guy. Jaleigh said she didn't want to go out there so we decided to send Ethan. We figured he was the oldest and would have the best chance at the most money. As Nathan & Ethan walked to the locker room to get ready for the dash, I realized I didn't have my camera. I actually thought, what meaningful pictures will I take at a hockey game when my kids aren't playing. Well... I was wrong. I need to have that thing EVERY where I go... Lesson learned.

We watched Ethan "heely" out on the ice, with his coat tucked into his pants and start shoving money everywhere he could imagine. It was soo FUNNY! They gave them like 3 minutes to get everything they could. There was fake money mixed with real money, but you were just supposed to grab everything you could. When he walked off looking more pregnant than I ever did- it was hilarious! After all the fake money was thrown away, he ended up with $46.00. Not bad when it was a free night at the game anyway!! SCORE!!!

Ethan, his money and the lucky ticket.

"Our" team hasn't had as good of a season this year, but at the game we went to they were really playing good! In fact, they do these little bonus things maybe to get the crowd more hyped up, and by the end of the game, we WON and walked away with tickets for a free Whopper from Burger King, a Big Mac from McDonalds, and a Taco from Taco Bell. SCORE!!!

The coupons and Saroya's cherished, but unlucky ticket.

There was only one cloud on the night, when happened somewhere in the 3rd quarter. I noticed that Saroya was still glued to her ticket. She looked up at me and said, "Mom- when are they going to call my number?" I felt soo bad! I didn't realize that she thought everyone would have a chance to go on the ice. When I explained the situation she was heartbroken. She melted in Nathan's lap and I just felt soo bad for her. She cried that if SHE had been allowed to go out there, she would have gotten more money than Ethan did. She was faster than him... We tried everything to get her to stop crying. She kept it up through the end of the game, the walk back to the van, and the ride home. (I shouldn't laugh, but on the way home she said, "I'm just going to rip this ticket!" I said, "That is fine if you want to." She said, "But it says 'Keep this Ticket' and I'm not going to!" like it was a law she was going to break or something because she was disappointed. As you can see above, she asked Nathan to put it somewhere safe for the next hockey game...uggg!!) Finally Nathan said, "Why don't we get you a snack, and then to bed. I think you are tired." She couldn't decide what she wanted to eat, so I suggested "Why don't you have a spoonful of cookie dough?" She looked at me like she couldn't believe her ears. "Ok." she said with a slight smirk. When we got her in bed she was smiling. I said, "I am glad to see you smiling again" and she replied, "Chocolate Chip cookie dough makes me happy Mom." Who knew that's what it would take? SCORE!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Much Needed Break!

I have been in such a blogging rut lately. It seems the only thing I can think to write about is how cold and terrible the weather is, or how sick and miserable we are. In the spring, summer and fall we take every opportunity to get out and enjoy the day- even if it is only 30 minutes. During the winter when the days are shorter and colder it seems like there is little motivation to do much other than stay inside. We decided we needed a family trip. We needed to get out and be together. We were back and forth on what to do. Should we pretend it is summer and go to an indoor waterpark where it is a nice 86 degrees all the time? Or should we just give in and realize that yes- it is winter and we don't have much left of it, so lets enjoy it. We decided on the latter and it was defiantly the right decision.

Nathan, Ethan & I all have our own "real" snowboards so we needed to get one for Saroya. Since it is closeout season, we got a steal of a deal on the board, boots and bindings. She fell in love with "Roxy" and even had it sleep in her bed.

We took the kids out of school a little early and headed up to Traverse City. We found a killer "end of season" deal on lift tickets at a little ski area and it was just what we wanted. Something small so we could get the kids used to tow ropes and chair lifts without tons of people around. It was perfect!

Nathan & I traded off hanging out with Jaleigh in the lodge or playing in the snow. She was so content and good!
I wish I had gotten better pictures of the kids actually going down the hill, but once we got up there and got going, it had gotten pretty dark. It was amazing to me how fast they caught on to all the "ski area" type things. We would say, "Let's all go in and warm up a little bit" and they would say, "Ok- just one more run" and then after like 4 or 5 runs we finally got them in. Their faces were soo pink, but they swore they were not cold!Ethan wanted to go just him and I a couple of times. Both Saroya & Ethan were giving me tips on using the tow rope. I remember using that as a kid on ski's and it was tough then! How can you do it on a snowboard?? Ethan made sure he was behind me and when I fell off, he would let go to make sure I was ok. So sweet when your kids look out for you! Saroya kept saying, "Put the rope under your arm!" My snowboarding didn't last long because I was sick and the infection in my sinus's felt like it was freezing up. Ouch.
After about 4 hours the adults were getting pretty tired and Jaleigh was excited for HER part of the trip so we pried the kids off the hill and went to a hotel down the street to stay for the night. We got a two room jacuzzi suite for an unbelievable price (mid week and slow season in Traverse City!) picked up some food and headed to the room. After eating the kids jumped in the "hot chocolate water" (as Jaleigh called it) to warm up and play around.

They were so excited when we told them it was time for bed because they got to watch TV and it was Nickelodeon (which we don't have at home). See how easy it is to get your kids excited when you deprive them at home?? :)
Oh they crashed fast! Saroya said she fell out of bed during the night but then woke up and realized she wasn't supposed to be on the floor and got back in bed. (She is so funny! It is true, she dosen't wake up when she falls out of bed ususally!) The best thing was that when the kids woke up in the morning, they closed our bedroom door and just watched TV until we woke up! We had arranged for a late check-out so after breakfast, we went down to the hotel pool and hot tub for a couple of hours. It felt so good to swim! Even the pool water was really warm.

We eventually fot everything loaded up and started to make our way back home. We did a little driving around and stopping to see a few things, but I knew I needed to do some grocery shopping when we got home, and Nathan had some homework to do. Ethan said it was the best vacation he had ever had, and Saroya said she was in heaven. It is funny how such a little one night trip, can be so good for the soul. It was just what we needed, right when we needed it. Thanks to Grandma & Grandpa Avery for the christmas present that we saved for just the right time!!

On Saturday morning Ethan had hockey as usual, but look who else did too....

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Project 1

My Mom & Dad came over for dinner on Sunday. After dinner mom made cookies and played with the kids while my dad taught me a little about how to use Photoshop. When my parents left, my dad gave me an assignment to work on. It has been a fun and frustrating experience! This is my first try. Super simple, but babysteps....