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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Popular Picks for 2008!

The boys make a Christmas list each year and in addition I see things that I think are cool and they might like. After last year when Logan questioned why Santa brought certain things that weren't on the list I decided to try a new angle this year. I would work from "The List" and probably save a lot of stress and even money. Well...it kind of worked. I strayed only slightly and those items were a big hit so it was a win win sitution. Now for some of the things I knew from the beginning that they wouldn't be played with and I was mostly right. Some things they love so all is well. I thougth it would be fun for the boys later in life to see what they liked when they were 5 and 6 years old. There seems to be a recurrent Alien theme going on...

The Hit List:
Martian Matters Alien Maker for Logan
Mega Rig Space Shuttle for Logan
Ben 10 Kevin Levin Car for Logan
Spongebob Movie for Landon
Guess Who game for Landon
Ben 10 Omnitrix for Lawson
Ben 10 Alien Creation Chamber for Lawson
Ben 10 Alien Space Ships for Lawson
Bisquit the dog for Lake
Incredible Hulk Smash Hands for Lake (more on this later...)

The Miss List:
Pokemom Battle Playset for Logan (This had been #1 on his list!!)
Starwars Voice Changer Helmut ($30!!!) for Landon
Batman Tumbling Car for Landon
Speedracer cars for Landon
Hotwheels Trick Trax for Lake
Build your own Dinosaur for Lake

They don't hate the toys on the miss list but they aren't playing with them either! Lawson really didn't have any misses so either he chose wisely or will play with anything. He really loves the Wii. Landon did hate a few other gifts and apparently we have some manners to work on before next year! Apparently he doesn't like Ironman pajamas, Ironman sweatshirts or books about Racoons. He didn't try to hide it either. Luckily everyone loves the off list purchase of the Wii so that is keeping them busy.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Catch Up!

Here are a few pictures from Christmas Eve...I know...I'm behind. The trip to Iowa began a day earlier than planned and two whole days ahead to grandma and grandpa's house since the weather looked ominous. We had planned on going to Des Moines for an overnight but that got snowed out too. All was well though...we had a great time and just relaxed. It is rare that I actually sit down and I have to admit it was nice! I'll post more pictures of Christmas later! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Hallmark moment...

Tonight Steve was addressing some of his Christmas Cards (I don't do his since he sends a zillion cards to people I have never heard of...)and Landon was watching him. As Steve was putting the return address labels on them (they have caricatures of our family on them) Landon looked at them and named each of us...but when he did Steve he pointed out that it was "wrong" because Daddy doesn't have hair anymore...I thought I would die laughing. To give Steve credit..he did get it cut a couple of weeks ago so he didn't "lose" all that Landon was insinuating! Landon must have been on some sort of hair alert today because at church he was rubbing a man's bald head when the guy bent down to speak to him!! Ugh...looks like some etiquette lessons for the boys is on my wish list for Christmas. I just found a photo of Steve right after the haircut...it's REALLY short...check it out! Oh..and excuse the reindeer ears!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The countdown continues...

I think traditions in a family are very important. Kind of like when I was growing we always went driving around looking at Christmas lights at night we always had chili on Christmas Eve, and I always begged to open one present on Christmas Eve and when I finally convinced my dad to let me it was always new pajamas. We have lots of traditions started already with the boys. One of them is our Advent House. It is a big wooden house with 24 little doors to open. Each day it is someone's turn to open one and pass out the treat that the hole contains. Sometimes it's candy, sometimes a coin, and sometimes a note leading to a special surprise. It is fun for the first couple of days but this house IS DRIVING ME NUTS!! We have an order that we go in but they still are pushing and shoving to get to the door to see what it holds for the day. Somedays someone doesn't like the treat that it contains. Sometimes I forget and have to postphone it until later in the day. Why can't I be organized enough to have the whole 24 days filled at the beginning of Decemeber when it begins? Well...I know that answer...because they would cheat and look ahead. Anyway...they do love this house and hopefully someday I will again love it too. I really prefer the chocolate filled one that Jingle brought!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Manic Monday...

I got up this morning after only a few hours of sleep. I was working on a bulletin board design for the PTA. I sort of took on a little too much at school and chair several committees on the PTA. I'm the Box top coordinator and want the bulletin board up before the Winter room parties begin on Friday. Did I mention that I'm the room mom for 1st grade too and had to help plan and execute the winter party? Anyway...I digress...I got up, got everyone ready and at 8:30 this morning I remembered (while changing a hearing aid battery for Lake) that I needed to take Lake and Landon to Romeoville for some hearing tests. The weather was bone chilling cold and the roads were ice but we made it there after dropping off the other two boys at school. I felt a little funny because Landon was in pajamas because his class calendar had today as Polar Express Day but I just explained that when we went to the testing. The kids all wear pj's to school and the teacher reads the Polar Express to them and they get lots of treats and hot cocoa. I rushed him back to school by 1 so he could participate. I asked him how it was and he just smiled and said he would be wearing pj's Tuesday and Wednesday too. I forgot to mention that is is also Spirit Week at school and tomorrow is crazy clothes day and Wednesday is pj day. Hmmm..whatever...Tomorrow Lake and Lawson's calendar says it is Polar Express Day so they will wear pj's. Tonight I had to run to Target and I ran into a mom that I know who has a daughter in K-L. She mentions how excited Morgan is about the Polar Express Day and that she is coming to school tomorrow (she's been out sick) and is thrilled. I bet my face went from white to red in 2 seconds. I said...ummm today was Polar Express day...She said no it is tomorrow. I asked her which class she is in and she confirmed in Landon's' class. UH-OH! Please tell me that I didn't send my child to school today in pj's when it wasn't pj day! I ran home and checked his calendar and sure enough it does say Polar Express Day is today. Lake and Lawson's calendar say tomorrow so I won't know the answer until tomorrow. I thought it was odd that K-L was having the Polar Express Day on a different day that K-B and K-S but thought it was a space issue or something. I will report back tomorrow!! I guess either way Landon gets to wear pajama's this week and if he was the only one he didn't seem to mind!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

More Jingle Adventures...

Jingle finally made it back from his mission at the North Pole with the candy cane fiasco. And Jingle has been a busy elf this week! He came back from his long trip and told the boys a story about riding an Ostrich! Then since they are too big to ride one he gave them these really cool pens to write with! They have been using them non-stop! Then the next day he said that since we have so many kids here at our house he needed some help. When the boys came home from school Jingle had rounded up all the Webkins and Beanie babies and had deputized them! Each animal had a badge and everything! The boys are on extra special behaviour with more eyes on them!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Our Visit with the Big Guy!

We made our annual trip to see Santa today in downtown Naperville. It is a pretty nice set-up where they have Santa in the warming house on the Riverwalk. You go into a little shelter and they serve you free hot chocolate and popcorn while you wait for your turn to go in see Santa. He is in a nice room (with heat!!) and you privately get your photos and tell him your desires. They have you fill out some info on the kids before you go in so he seems very familiar with your kids. It works like a charm. My favorite part was when he looked at Logan's list and said (with no help from me I might add...) "You know I can't bring EVERYTHING on this list right?" I've been telling Logan that for a month but actually hearing it come from Santa himself should help things along on Christmas morning. Noone was afraid but they were very quiet and polite. After we went to Lou Malnattis for pizza and chocolate chip cookies. The boys love going there every year as much as they love to go see Santa. This time we order Calamari and Lawson asked what is was...I said "squid" and he asked to try it. He ate more than half!! His words..."This is awesome!" What a kid! It is now 7:15 and the boys are already in bed...it was a big day!

Friday, December 12, 2008

A cool gift idea for the person who has everything...

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE to shop! It really doesn't matter what I am shopping for...groceries, furniture, accessories, clothes (except I hate shopping with Steve for things for him)I love to shop. I was browsing thorough the Costco website a couple of weeks ago and saw those throws and you could have a photo put onto it. I showed it to Steve since he was in the room and he wanted me to order one for his mom for Christmas. I did it (and ordered myself some things as payment for my shopping services...) and it came yesterday. It turned out very cool. I'm usually not into things like this but the photo I chose really is subtle. The boys loved and have been posing by it. The photo of them is larger than them in person. I highly recommend this idea for the person who has everything. I should have ordered one for my mom too! (Sorry mom...you aren't getting one of these...maybe Mother's Day?!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Two surprises from Jingle for Tuesday!

Tuesday started out great with Jingle leaving a new toy for the boys to share. It was a Hot Wheels toy and the boys loved playing with it before school. After school Jingle left a note with a plate of cupcakes ...

Hi Boys! I got a call from Santa today and we are having a production line problem with the candy canes...He really needs my help so tonight when I go to give my behavior report tonight I need to stay to help out or there won't be any candy canes for Christmas this year. Here is an early treat of cupcakes...I will be back as soon as I can! Be good!!!


So we haven't seen Jingle since yesterday. He wasn't here this morning but we keep waiting. I hope he makes it back tomorrow...we miss him!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Snowboots, snowpants, hats, mittens and more...

Why of why do I live in the snowy midwest with 4 small children to dress? I finally broke down over the weekend and purchased the snowpants for the season. Last year I bought 4 new pairs and never took the tags off but of course they don't fit this year. This year I haven't been so lucky. I have been told by 3 five year olds that if you don't have snowpants on at recess (I think recess lasts about 10 minutes!!) you can't leave the blacktop on the playground. I don't know why they think that they NEED to leave the blacktop because I don't believe that they are allowed to pick up snow anyway....but I was harassed all last week to buy snowpants. So now that we have them the boys rush to get into them each morning. Today it was 40 degrees and pouring rain. They stood in the driveway this morning soaking up the raindrops. Buckling them into carseats soaking wet was not fun. I can understand somewhat that they want snowpants but why do they want to wear them TO school? They go right inside from in front of the door. They really don't even need boots for the walk in. So here we are every morning...Coat? Check! Snowpants? Check! Boots? Check! (I need to add socks to this because Landon somehow missed that step at least two days last week!!) Hat? Check! Gloves? Check! Add to this list a packed lunch, homework folder packed in the backpack, and a spare pair of shoes to wear when you get into the classroom. Oh...and don't forget glasses for 3, hearing aids for 2! Well...on the bright side summer vacation will be here in only 177 more days and shortly before that we won't need snowpants anymore... I'm tired just thinking about doing it again tomorrow!

Monday, December 8, 2008


Our Elf Jingle arrived last week and has kept us hopping ever since. The boys have been waiting all year long for him to come back and they have been thrilled once again to wake up every morning to see what mischief he has been up to. So far he has brought Advent Calendars, left giant chocolate bars, a Christmas Tree Gingerbread kit, new Jibbitz, a recipe for cinnamon ornaments that we made, christmas card kits for making our own cards, and a new I SPY Bingo game. He has been found playing in a elf size ballpit and climbing the chandelier. You just never know what he is going to do next. Tonight we were at the mall and we caught a glimpse of him in the Hallmark store!! I told the boys he was sneaky...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A little backtracking...

I've been pretty busy so I've been neglecting this blog for a couple of weeks. We had a nice quiet Thanksgiving (well...as quiet as you an have with 4 small boys!) The boys brought home lists of things that they are thankful for and Logan left off his brothers "because I ran out of room" but Mom and Dad along with Mrs. Erwin made the list. Lake is again thankful for his dog this year (!?) We STILL don't have a dog but he continues to be thankful for it. We ate a nice dinner at home and the boys had a big game of touch football during the afternoon. Lawson was sick so he stayed inside with Mommy but we watched from the window. Then we all went on a rock hunting expedition for Logan's first grade project. On Friday Steve took Landon and Lake to the Christmas Parade while Logan and Lawson decorated the Sports themed tree in their room. Over the long weekend we went shopping so the boys could make their lists for Santa. It is very interesting to watch their little minds think about what they want to ask for and why. Logan has a list about 15 items long while the other boys were less "needy/greedy."

Charity Starts at Home...

Yesterday after a full day of shopping, donating, Santa visits, pancakes breakfasts and haircuts I overheard the boys talking. Lake had "recycled" a empty milk jug because he was goin got make a "money collector." This of course made my ears perk up and I went to invesitigate. When I asked Lake how he was going to collect money with his jug he said that he would just put it out and people would walk by and stuff money into it. I guess he HAS noticed the Salvation Army collection people. Then I asked what he was going to do with his money. He replied "I'm going to give it to Logan!" So either the spirit of giving has touched Lake or he has really picked up on the oldest childs obsession with money and it going to help him out. I wonder if I should be worried?!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The BEST pumpkin muffins ever

This recipe was given to me by a friend and is the perfect way to use up some of my stockpile cake mixes. I used a carrot cake mix and these are to die for! Even the boys loved them....they were moist for a week and maybe longer but we ate them all.

1 box of cake mix (I used carrot but spice would be good too!)
1 egg
1 can of pumpkin (the small size)
1 shot of oil
1 egg

Mix all together and put into muffin tins. Sprinkle with nuts if desired. Bake at 350 until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Mine only took about 20 minutes. Let me know if you try them!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A list making trip to the toy store and more...

We have spread our Christmas list making trips over the last two weekends this year and today had a little bonus. We were done looking and Steve was paying for the new snow boots and I took the boys over near a bench to wait for him to finish paying. There sat two little old ladies who were VERY old. They were poking at each other and pointing to the boys and of course as all triplet mom's expect ...they started up a conversation with me. They wanted to know if they were twins, how old etc...They were very sweet women and I answered all of the questions politely. Now during all of this Landon hadn't been paying much attention. Well..unfortunately that changed. He took one look at the ladies and said..."TWO old ladies!!" I could have died but they were hard of hearing and his speech (fortunately today!!!!) isn't always very clear so they didn't understand him. Then he pointed to his mouth and loudly said...."Did you swallow a fly AND why?!" If you are a regular reader of my blog I have previously mentioned his obsession with that book. It all came together today! Apparently these are the first old ladies that he has ever met and he has been wanting to ask this question. I really wanted to crawl under the check out desk but instead just smiled pleasantly and said "Time to go boys!!" and we were out the door with me laughing so hard that I had tears streaming down my face. Never a dull moment around here.....In case you are wondering...the nice little old ladies didn't seem to understand any of this so I think we are ok...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Football Sunday's

Last weekend when we were emptying the master closet Steve pulled the never used exercise bike out and set it up in front of the bedroom tv for its first use ever!! We had lots of takers for rides and Steve was worn out after the first kid. It must be some sort of guy thing to watch football and exercise? Or maybe it was just a way to get out of the work of moving all of those clothes?! At least the boys waited patiently for their turn...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The finished year long project...

Here are the long awaited Master Bathroom project. A leak started the project last December and then between finding someone who could figure out what was wrong (I KNEW the boys don't splash as much as one guy insisted!!) getting a 2nd opinion, ordering parts and then finding and scheduling tile installers, painters, electricans and plumbers the project went on and on. It was kind of like being back at work except for the 4 little guys running around asking tons of questions of the workers. I believe I mentioned them asking workers where there teeth, hair etc were? Besides being pleased with the final result I am sooooo glad this project is over!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday...(Just because he is so cute!)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Closet

Here is my freshly painted closet. The closet is gigantic and was the main selling point on buying this house. When we first moved her from Iowa the window treatments hadn't come in yet and we ended up throwing a mattress on the floor in the closet to sleep. Since the window in the shoe nook is high up it gave us privacy and a little bit of darkness. It was a HUGE job moving all of the clothes out of the room and I ended up donating two HUGE trash bags full to charity. I have way too many clothes that don't fit but still never have anything to wear! This is my proof that my boys didn't get their closet stuffing habit from me!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Are you a closet stuffer?

I am a decent house keeper. It isn't perfect all of the time but I am working on it all of the time. Now I will admit if a guest knocked on the door I may have a tendency to stuff something out of site temporarily but my guys have taken it to an all new level! For the past couple of weekends Logan says (all on his own) that he is going up to clean the toyroom. Well..in my all day quest today looking for a lost library book here is what I find...

I can't even get the door open. I am going to have to reach my hand in and pull all of the items that are blocking the door before I can even attempt to clean it up. It looks like an all day project doesn't it? Ugh...off to work on it....no wonder the rest of the toyroom looked so clean! I would like to add that my closet doesn't look like this. In fact I just had it painted last week so I will post a photo tomorrow of the new color. I've had a couple of requests for the finished bathroom so watch for those too!

Friday, November 14, 2008

One little, two little, three little indians...

Last night Logan came home from school telling me about the unit he is studying on indians of the Great Plains. I listened and then hoping to impress him I mentioned that we have some indian blood in our family on my dad's side of the family. I expected him to be excited but for some reason he was horrified! His first reaction was "Indian Blood?! How do I get it out!!??" I thought I was going to die from laughing so hard! Needless to say Logan found no humor in it...I quizzed my dad today for more information and we think that he is part Cherokee indian which lived in the Kentucky region that he is from. Well...if anything else ...the boys act like indians on some days!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Aloha Chicken

I found this recipe today and thought it looked good. What better place to put it where I can find it then here? I plan on trying it this week. I have almost all of the Goosebury Patch Cookbooks and the recipes are typically excellent. I'll let you know how it tastes.

Aloha Chicken
From Gooseberry Patch’s Slow Cooker Recipes

lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts

ounces pineapple chunks

ounces mandarin oranges, drained

green or red pepper, chopped

cup onion, chopped

garlic clove, minced

tablespoon soy sauce

teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated

Arrange chicken in slow cooker; set aside.
Combine remaining ingredients; pour over chicken.
Cover and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours
Serves 8-10

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day! Thank You Veterans for all that you have done or continue to do to protect our freedom and our country!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Frog and Toad and Logan...

Logan has been bitten by the reading bug. I suspect he has been able to read for quite some time but enjoyed the attention of someone reading to him. Who can blame him with three younger brothers? I picked up a book of Frog and Toad at a thrift store for $1.21 and although I had never heard of it I thought since it said Easy to Read that it would keep someone entertained around here. And I guess I should admit that it was book fair week at school and they were dying to buy books. A book fair with 4 kids is not a cheap excursion. The $30 that we spent there balanced out nicely with the new favorite used book for $1.21! Can you believe that I spent $30 on new paperback books that I haven't seen anyone read since the first day but the $1.21 used hardcover treasury collection is a big hit?! So anyway...Logan has been reading Frog and Toad aloud to me wherever he can catch me. I have heard it while in the shower, while cooking, while trying to watch tv...everywhere~! I have to admit I was a little excited when we were at story number 14 out of the 15 that it contains. My entertainment was almost over!! I mentioned it to my friend Theresa and she said these were a favorite of hers when she was growing up so I was glad that I had it. Well...Logan is a thinker and started wondering if the author had written any other Frog and Toad stories. I told him that we would go online and check sometime and maybe we could get more someday. Well...my children aren't really known for their patience and Logan was very persistent wanting to go online and look. Sure enough there was one more book and he wanted to save up and buy it. How can any parent make their child save for a book? I caved and we had a "date" last night and went to Barnes and Noble and bought it. He wrangled another book out of me too (about bugs...) but who can say no to an excited new reader?! Now to go and listen to 5 more Frog and Toad stories...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Chef Landon

Landon loves to be my helper. He follows me around asking if he can "help" me and is very persistent. Besides wanting to "help" me all of the time he also likes to play restaurant (resternaut is the pronunciation here!)...he gets a towel and puts it either around his waist to be the Chef or over his arm to be the maitre d. I finally got him an apron (missing from the picture) and a chef hat so he could pretend more easily. Here he has gone past pretending and is actually helping make some soup. It really tasted good too!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Popcorn anyone?

Our school teaches our kindergartners that the name for words that keep "popping" up in reading is a popcorn word. The boys talk about them all of the time and Lake's teacher sent home a special popcorn bag to keep them in. She sends one home each week (they are on yellow popcorn shaped paper..very cute) and we are supposed to put it in the bag and go over them. Well...she also said keep them safe so we really don't get ours down from the top of the refrigerator very often. We did happen to get them down over the weekend and here is a picture that I captured. Lake was eating popcorn, studying his popcorn words and copying them onto paper. He is such a good little student!