Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

Will's party in his classroom:

Will's good friend was Indiana Jones. I was particularly fond of his stubble:

John McCain:

Sarah Palin being interviewed about her views on the economy (seriously!) by Julianne Hough from Dancing with the Stars (notice she's using her disco ball trophy as a microphone):

The costume parade (Sam thought a different boy was Will!):

Neighbors (I still say homemade costumes are the best.):





For some reason the kids in our house have a thing against pumpkin guts. But this year we had two brave boys who eventually dove in and got out the guts.

I love the little grunt Max gives because that pumpkin is so heavy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

MORE Birthday Fun!

Earlier this week we celebrated Will and Sam's birthdays with a combination family party. Here are some of the highlights:

checkin' out Grandpa:

Looking at the pictures that Noah drew for the birthday boys:

A CD player from the Brown's (this video is for you, Emmy, so you can hear that belly laugh):

Noah is so funny!!!

From my mom and Don:

Thanks alot guys. I'm sad to say I think I'm being punished for the year that we got Jared and Dillon sockem' boppers similiar to these when they were about Will's age. In our defense, it was before we had any kids. I don't know what their excuse is! This is where the sockem' swords quickly ended up:

A rousing rendition - not sure what all the "boom"s are about:

Lily wanted to help so bad!

Will's presents from the McC's spelled out "Will" "is a" "dude." Sam has had lots of fun with his pirate puppet. Max was not too sure about it at first.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Last weekend Damon took some time to recooperate from his travels. Well, as much as the boys would let him, anyway.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sam's Birthday

Here are some pictures from Sam's party. These are the clues that we used for a treasure hunt outside around our yard.

Finding clues:playing outside:The leaf pile was a big hit:Pin the parrot on the pirate:

No joke! This is wear Caed stuck his parrot:
Opening presents. Notice Will up on the couch acting like he's not paying any attention:
Contemplating being five:

The new "big wheel" from us:


Tonight we are having a combination Will/Sam birthday party with the relatives. Both boys are a little confused that we're having a combined party. Sam feels like his birthday is over with. (We had a kid party and presents from us already a week ago.) He wants to know if he's turning 6 tonight. Nope, you're still 5, buddy.

When Will broke my 9x13 pyrex the other day I jokingly told him that I guess I wouldn't be making him a birthday cake. He decided that was alright because he wants a big plate of birthday nachos instead of a cake. And the thing is, he's completely serious.

Last night when I showed Will the brownies I was going to make he said, "Where's the other one?" Sorry bud, you get to share. Then he remembered his birthday nachos.

Do I really have to make birthday nachos? Can you even stick a candle in stinkin' hot melted cheese? Put it in too soon and it'll melt the candle. Wait too long and your cheese has cooled and solidified and there's no sticking a candle in it. I have a narrow window of cheese opportunity to work with.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tubes :(

Max is on round three of antibiotics for ear infections that won't clear up. I'm not convinced this third one is working either. We go back Friday (if not sooner) for another recheck, and if it hasn't cleared we'll probably be looking at tubes. :(

Long Live Icky Poo

Early last week Sam got a birthday present in the mail from the Cole family. This was one of the many occasions that I wished I would have had my camera. (It was in Japan.) He got something called Icky Poo, which both the boys have been obsessed with! They are these two long sticky rubbery, stretchy rope things, that you can play games with. They stick to stuff, and it just feels funny to hold. When Sam and I played a game with them for the first time, he was laughing so hard that he had to get up and run to the bathroom before he wet his pants! We had cut out squares of paper and put them on the ground. The object of the game was to steal the other person's papers by whipping your icky poo at the paper. Sometimes a whole bunch of papers would stick to it at once! We went back and forth stealing papers from each other. Nobody really wins, the game can just go on and on. Very quicky we realized that in this house our icky poo's don't stay sticky very long - too much dirt and dog hair. The amazing thing about the icky poo (I just like to say it. Come on...say it with me.... all together now...outloud, "ICKY POO!!!!") Anyway, the amazing thing about the icky poo is that when it loses its stickiness, you just wash it off with warm soapy water, let it air dry, (don't take a linty or paper towel to it!) then you're back in business again! It's been great entertainment, despite the fact that one icky poo has developed an unexplainable and undoable knot and another was peeled off our popcorn ceiling where I'm convinced it would have stayed on its own forever.

Long Live Icky-Poo!

Thanks for the great presents Cole Family! We've also enjoyed the soccer disc. It's great having a nephew who works in a toy store!


When Damon told Will that 100 yen was about the same as one dollar, Will asked, "Do they have 100 yen stores in Japan, like we do here?" (dollar stores)

Saturday, October 25, 2008


The boys have incessantly been bugging me to buy them the new Lego Batman video game for our Wii. It does no good to remind them that Sam just got MarioKart with the steering wheel controllers for his birthday. Here was last night's conversation after a round of begging:

Me: I hear it's boring.

Damon: I hear it's really expensive.

Me: I hear it's really violent and scary! (It's not, I just say these things to get my kids riled up.)

Sam: I hear Jack and Noah already have it!

It was just funny the way he said it. Maybe you had to be there.

Friday, October 24, 2008

More of Sam's Words

Sam is known for his mispronunciation of words. This week he said, "Darth Vader is a billian." He also told me that Max was crying because Daddy was in "Wapan."

Damon's Home!!!!

Damon made it home safe and sound this afternoon! He got to pick where we went out to eat to celebrate and he picked our all time favorite, Panchero's, because "there aren't any Panchero's in Japan." As we sat and ate at the South side Panchero's we wondered if our friends the Grimes were sitting over at the Coralville location having a similar celebration. Dan and Damon were on the same flight from Detroit to CR! Dan was returning from his week long trip to Germany. I'm fairly certain that there are no Panchero's in Germany either.

There's nothing better than having your man home!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Quote of the Week

Sam's quote of the week whenever he's done something naughty:

"Don't tell Daddy this, Ok?"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Where's Your Camera When You Need It?!

The answer is, Tokyo.

There have been so many times this week that I wished I had my camera. One of them was tonight. After putting Sam to bed, I came out into the living room, to find Will sitting in the dark on the couch with Max on his lap. He'd wrapped him in his special blanky and was singing "Jesus Loves Me" to him! Max was just laying there, looking at him. I have been so appreciative of Will this week. He's been a great helper to me. He picks Max up when he cries or gets hurt, (he's almost embarassingly more compassionate about that than I am!) He's helped prepare food, gotten himself ready for bed, and Sam too when he'll allow it. He's seen a need and pitched in without me telling him to on several occasions! He suddenly seems much older to me. I only wish that he would mature enough to stop all the picking and fighting that he does with Sam. That's just as bad as ever.

While I was getting Max fed for bed, Sam got out of bed to complain how unfair it is that Will gets to stay up later. Since I couldn't stop what I was doing, I asked Will if he'd help Sam get back under his covers. I figured it was worth a shot! As they were going down the hallway I heard this:
Sam: I wish it was sunny all the time. (He meant even at night.)
Will: Yeah, it has been gloomy lately. (What eight year old boy uses the word "gloomy?!")

As I was laying Max down, I could hear Will still in their room and he was praying with Sam! Sam was certainly bathed in prayer tonight. He got his usual prayers from me, then he got a special "God, give Sam good dreams" prayer from me when he came out scared. He got a third helping from Will as he got back into bed. I only wished I could have heard what they were saying. As I got back to the doorway to eavesdrop, they were done. After getting Sam into bed, Will and I had this conversation:

Will: Mom, I think I know how you feel now, about taking care of people.

Me: Oh? How's that?

Will: Well I got Sam into bed, and then he wanted a drink of water so I got him a drink of water. Then he wanted the fan on, so I turned the fan on. Then he wanted me to pray with him so I prayed with him. (He just kind of shook his head, like he was all exasperated. What gets me is that these are some of the EXACT tricks he pulls on me!)

Me: So how did that make you feel, doing all that?

Will: Taking care of people is hard work.

Me: Yep.

So, I'll be glad to have my camera back. It's in Tokyo right now. Hopefully getting used well! Other times I wish I'd had my camera: Max has learned to spin himself in circles, which he keeps doing until he falls down and just lies there, watching his world spin. He also has learned to shake his head "no" and I think he might actually might be doing it at appropriate times too!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

World Traveler

Damon is off to foreign lands today: Japan. He'll be back Friday. Pray for me. It's going to be a long week!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I Don't Have a Pot to....Cook In

Happy Birthday, Sam!

Happy Birthday, Sam! I can't believe you are FIVE!!!

Here are just a few of the things we love about you:
  1. you love to give hugs and kisses
  2. your sweetness
  3. your handsomeness
  4. how tall you are
  5. your love of animals - especially dogs, real and stuffed
  6. your blue eyes
  7. you are sensitive and compassionate
  8. your love for pirates and knights
  9. your special shelf beside your bed where you put all your special treasures
  10. your love of keys
  11. you are a good eater, especially when it comes to fruit, and will try just about anything
  12. you are smart
  13. you are good to your friends
  14. you are touchy-feely - you love to touch hair, jewelry, people's faces
  15. your smile
  16. your love of being outside - especially riding your bike and scooter
  17. you are a good big brother, even though sometimes you wish you didn't have any brothers
  18. you like to follow your older brother around
  19. your love of school
  20. how much you like to read books with me
  21. you are a good game player and always a good sport
  22. you can be a great helper, when you want to be!
  23. you are daddy's boy

Happy Birthday sweet son of ours! We love you lots!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Niabi Zoo

Today we took a little day trip to Niabi Zoo near the Quad Cities. It's just the right size for a few hours of fun. We got up close and personal with lots of animals. First stop was the train ride, to get a lay of the land:

Kindred spirits - "hello friend!":
Monkeyin' around:
Are you looking at my bum?! Bum looker! (with a star tattoo):
I could have stayed and watched the elephants all day. Why do I think they're so cute?! They're not small, soft and cuddly. But I love them. I do.
Alien dinosaur:At the children's petting zoo there was a sheep that kept baa-ing. I told Sam he was saying, "Come back and pet me some more!" He took this to heart and had to go back several times when he heard him bleating. Hence Sam's comment, "Ok, just one more pet." I tell ya, this child has such a compassionate spirit.

These emus reminded me of a certain Texas drive-through safari. All that separated them from us was a rope fence that didn't deter them in the least from coming over to "our" side.
Same goes for the kangaroos, but they were no dummies. They stayed against the far wall, in the shade. The highlight for Will was going in to feed the Australian Lorikeets. For $1 you buy a cup of "nectar" and they come and land on you and drink it! Sam was a little more hesitant, but Will LOVED it and they seemed to love him!
The next thing we knew, Will had FOUR birds on his arm!:

Finally, Sam got brave enough to let a bird sit on his arm:

Well, hello precious! Can I take you home with me?!I can?!
Look Ma! No hands!
Sam made sure to feed this goose so that he could "grow a new wing."I didn't realize until just now that one of these koi fish is trying to eat a piece of mulch - funny!Sam thinks these koi are "big fellas:"

It's amazing how long you can make a handful of fish food last if you only throw out one little piece at a time.
Another family shared their cheerio's with us.

It was a fun trip to the zoo and we were home by 3:30. Even though Will was a little bit disappointed that we were not going swimming at a waterpark, I think everyone had a good time.