Saturday, December 20, 2008

Home for the Holidays!!!

We invited some fun friends over Monday night to decorate gingerbread houses. I baked and cut and filled the house with the yummy sent of warm molasses and ginger.
Here are views of Molly's side of the Huang house:

This is Matthew's side:)Age 3.

Here are a few views of my creation.

Emily went a little crazy and decorated for a couple of hours.

Here is a view of her side...

... and Sam's side.

Spinning a Yarn

Danny is a curious guy. His brain never stops, he has a lot of interests and he is always learning something new. When he is researching a new interest he does it at full throttle. I like to refer to these periods as his phases.
We have seen the psychology and architecture phase when he was in grad school and we had a couple of friend studying those subjects. We have seen the gardening phase accompanied by the photography phase where we got some great scans and pictures of flowers and stunted veggies that didn't grow so well in our ultra hard, clay soil. We saw the drawing phase, the bluegrass phase, and the fishing phase. The biking phase lasted a couple of years and culminated in a 200+ mile trip across the state of Ohio. We are still going through the yo yo phase, which has probably moved beyond the phase category into that of an obsession. We are also deep into the Italian Polka phase, being that he belongs to a band that rehearses weekly and plays weddings as well as an occasional gig at the Italian Bocce Club with accordions and all. (Mediterranean version of the country club where a Bocce ball is the equivalent of the golf ball.)
The latest interest to surface is knitting and crocheting. You will be able to see from the parade of pictures that follow just how extensive this phase is. He has even made his own knitting needles.:) I love this guy!!!

Did I mention that this has only been going on for a couple of weeks.

Toothless Wonder

Sam has lost another tooth. He actually lost it weeks ago but I am just getting around to sharing. It is one of his top front teeth and he wiggled that little guy forever. He wiggled it so much, without committing to the actual pull, that it turned into a snaggle-tooth.

He is also at that age where he has lost his real smile. When someone is taking a picture of him you can see the inner struggle as he searches to remember what his smile is suppose to look like. Right now it is coming out more like a grimace.

It makes me feel better when I look at the pictures on our primary board at church and realize that every single child his age has also lost their real smile and there is a nice mixture of grimaces and lost looks.
That leads me to the real story of how Sam lost his first front tooth. We got his packet of school pictures back and when we opened them up. . . HUGE startled grimace. (My face probably looked a lot the same when I found out what they are charging for school pictures these days.)
Fast forward to November 25th. I was driving down the road on my way to deliver some Pampered Chef orders and when I wrote down the date in my mileage book I gasped. I was reminded that it was the day for picture retakes! I had not paid that exorbitant amount for a packet full of pictures I wouldn't use. I quickly called the school and informed them that Sam would be getting retakes and I would be there directly to get him ready. I raced home, got a nicer shirt and some hair gel and headed for the school. I got there just as they were rounding up the 1st graders and got him changed and spiked. He loathes gel so I got to hear him mutter about it the whole time. Then I turned him around to give him a once over and have him practice a "real" smile. I was greeted with his crookity, gray, snaggle tooth that was sticking out of his gums at a 45 degree angle. These pictures actually look good compared to what it had actually become.

I just said, "Wow Sam, let me see how loose that is," and I plucked that wiggly thing out of his head, told him to rinse at the drinking fountain and marched him in for pictures. All he said was "Ahhh, that kind of stings."
We got super cute, toothless pictures and he was excited to go to the nurses' office afterwards to get a tiny treasure chest to store that little guy in until he could collect his two bucks from the tooth fairy.
I love the way he looks with his toothy grin and how it has changed the way he talks a little bit. It is also cute to see how he has to bite everything on the side.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Parade of Ugly 2008

I had a couple minutes to check out some of my favorite blogs, one thing led to another and I ended up running into this post on a blog of someone that I absolutely have no idea who they are. However, I am glad I stalked because it is truly one of the funniest things I have ever read. I too am guilty of hoarding things that I can't even stand and I am sure I have given some of these same things to poor undeserving souls. So for a good laugh check this out. I especially enjoyed Andrea's (close friend that she is ;) If you read through this and discover creatures of the same nature looking around your lights, lurking in the branches of your tree or adorning your walls send them to me and we can have a parade of our own.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Just Soooooo Interesting!

Yesterday I had a funny conversation with my children when we were in the van on our way to deliver cinnamon rolls and rice krispie wands to our elementary PTA bake sale. The kids were out of school because their elementary is a voting station. The plan was that I would go and vote right after dropping off our goodies.

Sam asked who the other man was whose name was not Barak Obama that might be president. I told him John McCain and he said, "Oh yah, but I think I would vote for Barak Obama because he promised his two daughters that when the election is over he would buy them a dog. Plus I like his activities!"
Emi then piped in, "I think you should vote for Barak Obama too. His name intrigues me. Its just soooooo interesting."
When I was getting out of the car to go vote Sam said, "Make sure to vote for Obama, he's getting a dog," and Emi whispered in my ear, "Vote for Obama, I did."
I found out that they learned about the candidates in their scholastic at school. Plus, I am sure they couldn't have missed everything going on around them. I got 5 phone calls from the Obama campaign just on voting day.
I feel pretty content with the election outcomes. I stood in my little booth for literally 10 minutes staring at the ballot still undecided. I am not sharing who I voted for and it is driving Emily crazy, she asks probably once an hour. I was finally able to fill in the bubble on my ballot when I came to the realization that I didn't have to justify my decision to anyone and I could keep it to myself. I feel content with the outcome and feel that John McCain showed soooo much class in his concession speech. I also bawled a couple of times watching Obama's speech and the reaction of the people around him. Who wouldn't be moved? The image that stands out the most to me is of an African American father here in Cleveland, standing tall, with his toddler on his shoulders and tears streaming down his face.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

All Hallows Eve!

Halloween could not have been any better this year. Temperatures were reported to be as high as 71, the sun was bright, the leaves were brilliant, the kids were adorable and fairly well behaved for the amount of sugar that was pumping through their veins.
Both Sam's and Em's classes had parties and the school does a traditional parade around the street and into their playground. I am Emily's Room Mother so I helped with their class party and to get their costumes on and what an adventure. Imagine helping 29 Kindies load their backpacks with their folders and take home mail, lunchboxes, towel bags, goody bags, see their face as they remember their costume is in the bottom of the bag and then start over. It was fun! My back hurts.

After school we hung lanterns in our yard that stayed lit for about 30 minutes because I bought the batteries at the dollar store. Silly me! I don't think they even made it past dusk.

Then it was time for us (me) to carve our pumpkins. The kids draw the faces on and I do my best to keep them original. This is the part of our day where a little mystery started. When we went out to get our pumpkins Danny's was missing. It was there when I backed out of the drive to take the kids to school. I guess someone didn't make it to the pumpkin patch and thought we should share:-) Then we ate Chinese food that the delivery man was so kind to drop by. We also got treats from my visiting teacher whose family tradition is to reverse trick or treat in the afternoon. They dropped it off just as the Chinese delivery man was there and he asked for a cookie. We shared :-) How funny is that! I guess it was a day of giving for the Parks' but we don't mind, we had plenty of pumpkins and sugar.

We ran into one of Sam's classmates and his family when we started trick or treating and spent the evening with them. It was good because Sam is usually done after the first 20 houses and this year he stuck it out for the whole 2 hours.

Sam loved being Indiana Jones and Emi prances around every time she is dressed in her Wood Sprite costume. I had a ton of fun putting their costumes together this year. Sam's was found mostly at Salvation Army and the hat and whip at the Halloween Store. I only had to sew the satchel. If you click on the pictures you can see a lot more detail.

Emi's was just fun to make, especially the wings. I have always been about the fru, fruey girly stuff. She got her hair cut for school pictures last week and it turned out perfect for her costume. A pixy for the pixy. If you look close you can see her brown, pink and white striped tights. Soooo cute!

Here she is rubbing her blankie on a huge scrape she got from our bush.

I love Halloween!!! I think it might be my favorite holiday. It brings back so many memories from childhood, all good. I love how our neighborhood comes alive and we actually get to see our neighbors. Everyone leaves their computers and televisions and come out into REAL life and it just feels like the good old days when people knew each other and kids could play outside and be kids. I think Halloween should happen every other month and we should pass out vegetables. LOL

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sam - o - Lantern

On Monday, October 13th Sam lost his first tooth at exactly 7 years 4 months old. Kind of late but he's on a roll with two more wiggly guys in that mouth. He should have a great toothy or toothy-less grin for Halloween!

I love how you can see just how excited he is. This was a long time coming for him.

The craziest thing though is the adult tooth grew in behind the babytooth in just a couple of days before it fell out. That new tooth has already moved forward into its place and the next one is doing the same thing.
He put his tooth under his pillow with not a lot of faith that anything would really happen. The next morning he got a funny look on his face, said, "Oh, the tooth fairy!" then ran back to his bed. When he found the money under his pillow we heard him say, "Hmmm, I guess she is real. Maybe next time she'll bring me legos."

Mulberry Corners

I love fall!!! I especially love fall in Ohio because it is simply magic. The world transforms from green to brilliant earth-tones, the weather becomes crisp and the harvest starts. We get to go pick apples, ride the tractor out to Patterson Farm's Family Fun Fest and pick out our pumpkins at Mulberry Corners. You can't forget the visit to Patterson's Farmers Market and their fresh apple fritters!

This is where we have gotten our pumpkins since Sam was 4 months old. I'll have to scan in some pictures since that was before we went digital.

This sweet not-so-little goat really loved Sam, he practically climbed through the fence trying to kiss him.