Sunday, January 20, 2008

Christmas.... yup. late!!

Madeline in her princess towel on Christmas morning!

Madeline's first Christmas home!! YIPEE!!

Moe and Nick home from Australia!!

Riley and his tool box! He is loving being the next Bob Builder!!

The Virginia gang and Nana! What a great Christmas gift!!

Christmas Dinner 2007

James opening video games. Santa did a good job!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Few Birthday Party Pics....

Riley loved his Power Ranger cake! He didn't eat a bite, but had a blast blowing out the candles.

Madeline has quite an arm on her. Playing and running with the football is even more fun when you steal it from your big brother!

James and baby cousin Lylah bonding at the birthday party. Lylah was born on Thanksgiving.

Riley the Power Ranger to the Rescue!!! Talk about a great birthday gift!! Wooohooo!

Here it is... the birthday bike! You have to ride the new bike with the birthday blower in your mouth, right????

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hey.... Miss Me?

Okay, so my ability to update, write and post pictures has been seriously lax lately. I know, I know... I tell myself almost daily to get my rear in gear, but life is CRAZY!!

Riley turned six last Friday. He was beyond excited. His new bike was assembled and waiting for him when he woke up. (I wish Jerry could have seen his face!) Riley got dressed, ate breakfast and finished all of his morning activities quickly. Before heading to school he took his bike for an inaugural spin. Talk about being over the moon! I think he wandered around in a state of disbelief the majority of the day. He enjoyed handing out cookies to his class. His dinner request was Chilli's. That boy LOVES queso!! It was even more special having Nana and Grampy join us. After dinner we headed home for cake and presents. It was overall a great day.

On a side note... his favorite gift after the bike was his Wizard of Oz video. He will sit for hours watching it with his blankie. He needs the blankie to protect him from the witch. He is always awe-struck when the movie goes from black and white to color. He wonders where Dorothy's school friends are at the beginning. He thinks the little people are great singers. We aren't really sure what he thinks of the flying monkeys besides he doesn't like the way they treat Toto. What a funny, little guy.

James now has braces on his top teeth. He still has some work to be done on the bottom teeth before those brackets go on. He has been such a trooper. Truly, since his spacers and then braces James has only complained maybe twice. He is very glad his teeth are being straightened. I think he was more self concious than we realized. James also moved back into Gifted two weeks ago. His teacher said he has just fallen in as if he has been there all year. Jerry and I are so proud of him. He just is such a solid kid.

Madeline is Madeline... she is healthy, opinionated, strong willed and VERY verbal. She went from one word utterances to three and four word sentences in weeks. The other day I told her she was going to be doing something. Her response... "I don't want to." My jaw hit the floor. How at 26 months old and learning her second language have we progressed to this point so quickly. She has very definite opinions about what she is going to wear every day. She does not hesitate to disrobe and redress into what she wanted to wear even though her mother didn't dress her in it. She will remind others to brush her teeth and hair. She is a hoot.

Jerry and I are doing well.. reveling in our family and good fortune.

Life is good.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Brief Update

1. Spacers in
2. 6 year old check up - Riley finally hit 40 lbs.! Now he can move to a booster!!
3. Still sick
4. Back to work today and school for the kiddos tomorrow
5. Madeline is talking up a storm.. everything is "mine"
6. Dentist on Wed. and braces on Thurs.
7. Moe and Nick leave Wed.... :-( going to miss them big time
8. Planning to trip to Australia summer of '09
9. Grampy and Riley took down all of the holiday decorations today
11. Is it Spring Break yet?

Hugs and Kisses!

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Today is the first of two appointments for James to get braces. WOW!! He is pretty calm about this whole thing. He has a records appointment and spacers today, a cleaning on next Wednesday and then the final stick 'em on appointment next Thursday. This is going to be interesting.

In other James news... he is now taller than me. He just turned 11 and he is taller than me. Now, I know I am far from a giant, but man, having your 5th grader be taller than you is interesting. He thinks this is GREAT! He does, however, know that I can still take care of any business needed regardless of how tall he is.

James is switching classes in school when we return next week. He has this peaceful outlook about this whole thing. He really was against the idea at first, but when presented with the other alternative.. of changing schools, he warmed up to the idea. We kept James out of the Gifted program last year hoping that he would be adequately challenged. Well, last year he was. He skipped 4th grade Math, he was put in a Book Club with 5th graders, even though he was in 4th, and his teachers just did a remarkable job pushing him. This year a strange complacency has fallen over him. He just is not being pushed at all. So, back to Gifted we go. It is funny. He is smart enough to know that this is what he needs.

The library at school has been requesting books for him since they don't have a selection of books for his reading level. I just can't imagine... he is such a strong reader. He is currently reading the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. These are lower reading level but at least high interest. I am not sure where to head next for books for him. His reading level was tested out at end of high school, though the content of that level books is not appropriate for a 5th grader. So... if you have any suggestions, PLEASE let me know.

Riley goes for his 6 year old check up tomorrow. I am hoping he has finally hit 40 pounds so we can move him to a booster seat. He is such a peanut! He is very excited about going to the doctor.... because he gets a toy from the doctor if he behaves. My boy is all about bribes. I will let you know how it goes.

Madeline is asleep now... thank goodness. She is quite a pistol. She is talking in 2 and 3 word phrases. It is amazing. She loves to argue with her brothers, touch things she shouldn't and just generally push buttons. What a hoot!

We took a lot of pictures the past two weeks. I will try to upload a few soon.

Off to the ortho........

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

DR. PHIL : " The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on 'THIS' side of the road before it goes after the problem on the 'OTHER SIDE' of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his 'CURRENT' problems before adding 'NEW' problems ".

OPRAH: " Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens. "

GEORGE W. BUSH: " We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here. "

COLIN POWELL: " Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road..." .

ANDERSON COOPER - CNN: "We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road. "

JOHN KERRY: " Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it. "

NANCY GRACE: " That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks."

PAT BUCHANAN: " To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American."

MARTHA STEWART: "No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information. "

DR SEUSS: " Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told."

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: "To die in the rain. Alone."

JERRY FALWELL: " Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth? That's why they call it the 'other side.' Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay, too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media white washes with seemingly harmless phrases like 'the other side'. That chicken should not be crossing the road. It's as plain and as simple as that. "

GRANDPA: " In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough."

BARBARA WALTERS: " Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road. "

JOHN LENNON: " Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace."

ARISTOTLE: "It is the nature of chickens to cross the road."

BILL GATES: " I have just released eChicken2007, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken. This new platform is much more stable and will never cra...#@&&^(C% ........ reboot. "

ALBERT EINSTEIN: " Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken . "

BILL CLINTON: " I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken . "

AL GORE: "I invented the chicken!"

COLONEL SANDERS: " Did I miss one?"

DICK CHENEY: " Where's my gun?"

AL SHARPTON: " Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens."

Hillary Clinton: " I have vast experience with chickens and if elected, I will ensure that EVERY chicken has the ability to cross any road they desire."

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

We arrived home from Mexico yesterday just in time to ring in the New Year at home. We had a great time in Mexico, surrounded by family. It was so fun. We loved bumming around Cozumel with cousins galore. It was fantastic to see all of the kids interacting, playing and just enjoying each other's attention. We really need to get the kids together more often.

I have to tell you how nice it was to spend time with my sisters. Since we are scattered all over the place this time is rare and precious. Sharon got engaged on the cruise. It was so surprising and exciting. I am so glad she has found such a great man in Dave. They just seem so... comfortable with each other. She was so sure she would never find love again and here she is. I am just so happy for them both. Spending time with Maureen since even phone contact can be limited was nice. I am going to miss her when she gets back on the plane for Australia. She does seem like she is in a very good place with Nick and work. She loves living in Australia.

We rung in the new year at home. Our neighborhood has a big block party with DJ and food. Every family makes a small donation to the cause and no one has to drive. The boys ran and played with friends. I sat outside with my friend and neighbor Cathy and chatted. Jerry and Allan were typical boys with fireworks. Madeline was sound asleep in her bed.

I have to tell you... 2007 was a good year. Everything was just rather... calm. Our children were all home. Our family was healthy and happy. We found a great group of neighbors to spend time with. It was good.

I am not one to make resolutions. I think that I am more of the kind of person to have hopes for the new year.

Here are some of them.

1. I hope my family remains healthy and happy.
2. I hope James makes the transition to his new class next week and to middle school in the fall with ease.
3. I hope Riley continues to improve in his articulation.
4. I hope Madeline continues to thrive in her school.
5. I hope my parents remain healthy.
6. I hope I overcome the health obstacles in my path right now.

I don't think any of these are unreasonable.

May everyone who reads this have a very happy and prosperous 2008.