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.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My 5 Year-Old's Mind

Emily just walked up to me and asked, "Are superficial gold-diggers like other gold-diggers?" I responded by asking her what she thinks a gold-digger is. "Oh, just womans who wants money from mans."
I am sure she didn't learn this from PBS!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Playground of Possibilities

The Week of September 22-29 I participated in building a new playground for my city. It is called "Playground of Possibilities," because it was planned by children and built to be accessible to all children, including those in wheelchairs. The architects came to the city schools and our community center to ask the kids what they wanted. Sam got to participate and told them that there had to be a twirly slide. The scarecrow idea came from a little boy in the special ed class at our elementary school and the whole class got so excited about it that they knew they had their theme.

This is one of the coolest playgrounds I have ever seen and it was super fun and empowering to get to help with the build. I got to frame, use power saws, rauters and drills. I helped make the boards look like brick, assemble the tops of the towers, drill the Scarecrow and his corn and Tin-woodsman and his trees in place just to name a few of the more noticable things I got to do. The best thing was getting to know more people from the community. I put faces to names of all the council members, police cheif, some firemen, community center directors and lots of the older residents of our community that came most days from 8 to 8.
Sorry some of the pictures on the slide show are sideways. Our computer, though new, is shot(I hate that Windows Vista >:( It shuts down Windows Explorer every time we try to flip anything around.

The park won't be usable for a couple more weeks or until the rubber ground cover gets laid down.
The best part is that it is less then a block from my house.WAHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Driveway Fish

Sam dared Emily to draw a fish as big as our driveway and she decided to take the task on. After she drew the giant outline of the fish, its lips, eye and gills. Danny challenged her to color it in with lots of patterns and then joined her in the process.

There was the slight problem that a giant Honda Odyssey was parked in the way and thus on its head. She was creative enough that she just drew around it.

The head with eye and lips.

Emily is pointing to one pair of gills. The other gills are obviously on the other side of the van.
Put your mouse on each picture of the slide show to see the details.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Goody Goody Gumdrops!

I have a couple new posts on my cooking blog also!!!


While we were staying in Cheyenne this summer we took a side trip to Vedauwoo (Veeduh Voo). It is seriously one of the most amazing places on earth. It is a small mountain range made up of boulders that vary in size from a watermelon to a giant apartment building all stacked up on each other. It is amazing how some of the boulders balance on just one small base stone.

Giant boulders and mosquitos. I am sweet so they eat me alive :-)

This was one of the places that both Danny and I spent a lot of time at when we were going to the University of Wyoming. We went there to camp, climb, explore and have bonfires. It was super fun to take our kids there and they loved it as much as we had. Every climb was unique. Once when we were dating we went out to climb. We had to go up a chimney and several other vertical climbs and ended up finding a cave that was made by three giant rocks that were resting on each other. It had a sunroof and when we crawled through a small gap on our stomachs there was a ledge that dropped straight down that we hung our legs over. This place is so cool!

We drove up with Danny's parents to roast hotdogs and make smores.

It was fun to look for shapes in the rocks, like you would with clouds. When we first got there I found one that looked like a monkey with its eyes closed and Emi added that she thought it was wearing a princess hat. That is all it took to get Sam's imagination going and he started seeing Indian warriors everywhere. By the time we left and for weeks afterwards he would share stories with us about the Vedauwoo Warriors that lived before dinosaurs and turned to rock. At one point he wanted to be a Vedauwoo warrior for halloween. (How in the world do you make a rock warrior for a kid to wear? I had set my mind on it but was relieved when he changed his mind and decided to be Indiana Jones. Whew!!!)

This is what Vedauwoo looks like from I-80. Next time you happen to be driving on I-80 between Cheyenne and Laramie Wyoming look for the sign and get out to stretch your legs and hike a little bit. You seriously won't regret the time you spend.

Westward Ho!

The next couple of posts are going to journal what we did on our family vacation this summer.

We started on our trip on July 18th by snuggling into our loaded van and setting out for a 20 hour trip to Grandma and Grandpa Parks in Cheyenne Wyoming.

We stopped in the middle of Iowa after a 10 hour drive and checked into a Holiday Inn with a pool. We went and found a Mexican Restaraunt for a yummy dinner and then spent a couple of hours swimming. The kids were so excited to be in a hotel and loved jumping from bed to bed. We crashed pretty early.
After another 10 hours in the car we reached Cheyenne and the comforts of Danny's parents house.

Sam was super excited to see some of Danny's old toys and was way impressed that his dad used to play with legos.

It was Frontier Days in Cheyenne which means lots of things to do with a Wild West Theme.

Emily is sitting on one of the giant cowboy boot art that is scattered through the city.
We went to a pancake breakfast where they fed over 9000 people in an hour and a half. We got in a line that was a couple of blocks long and never stopped walking. When we got close someone handed us a plate, another a napkin and fork, another put pancakes on our plate that where literally being flipped off of several chuckwagons from both sides and caught by teens holding giant cookie sheets. Someone then slathered butter ontop and poured syrup from a jug, another put ham on the side and then we were handed milk for the kids and water for the adults. This is all done why you just continue to walk forward. We were barely in line for 5 minutes. It was crazy and the pancake were divine.

After breakfast we went to an awesome magician show at the library. Cheyenne's library is ranked #1 in the nation and is awesome. The books scan themselves on a little conveyor belt that sorts them to be reshelved. It has tons of computers and a place where kids can play and make movies and many, many more things.

We also went to a parade with over 400 horses (that doesn't happen in Cleveland) and my kids were in awe. We saw the Native Americans dance in the Indian Village and Sam picked out a bow and arrow and Emi chose a pony ride on Cowboy.

Cubs Rocked the House!!!

Sam moved up from T ball to Mighty Mights (coach pitch) this year and it was awesome! He had the greatest coach and a lot of older teammates so he learned a ton, including silly chants and punching games. Several of his teammates were finishing up 3rd grade and he just finished up Kindergarten so they taught him how to act like a big boy and a little more controlled.

At the beginning of the year, during picture day, the President of the league took every team aside to tell them all of the cool things about their team. Cool things like the years they won the World Series and all of the famous players that had played with the same name written across their jersey.

The league doesn't officially keep score during the regular season but unofficially Sam's team went undefeated. After the regular play they have a single elimination tournament and the cubs came out on top. I was in Chicago for Pampered Chef Conference and was sad to miss the championship game, but since I was in the windy city - home of the Cubs, I was able to bring him back a bear in a jersey and a pennant.

Aggghhh Summer!!!

Emily's Love/Hate Relationship With T-ball

Emily has good memories of playing T-ball and being a Cleveland Indian this year. She liked her coach and kept us updated all of the time on what coach Sara wore every practice and game. She was especially impressed with Sara's sporty skirts. She loved that coach Sara chased them around the field after the games pretending to be a monster.

She loved the snacks. She loved the uniforms. She loved to hit the ball, catch the ball, chase the ball and play first base.

She hated all of the waiting that comes with playing T-ball and coped by rolling around in the grass, drawing pictures in and sifting the dirt, finding more rocks for her growing rock collection and sometimes chasing little boys on her team. A couple of them really liked her and I think she enjoyed stringing them along. Sometimes she enjoyed their attention and other times she just completely ignored them.