Saturday, October 31, 2009

End of the week...daddy gets home

Matt got home on Thursday instead of Friday. That was a huge blessing because when he's gone all week, Thursday is when I tend to start yelling at the kids. You know how it goes: lets say Sammy sammy sticks a baby carrot up his nose at dinner and says "Hey Twaire (Claire) look at me!" On a good day, I'd take the carrot and say "Sammy that is e-nough. Now eat your dinner." But on THOSE Thursdays I take the carrot, start to tear up a little and say "Are you kidding me with this? What is wrong with your HEAD?" or something else calm and meaningful like that.

So, we were all happy to see him walk in the door. The kids have a tradition of making a "daddy's home chair" by piling pillows and blankets onto the couch to make it "extra comfortable" and putting a card on top of it all. It helps them burn energy in those last minutes while Matt is getting a taxi home from the airport.

Friday morning, I got a HUGE break because Sam's teacher said that Claire could come to school with him for costume day. Thanks to Aunt Laura ,who helps me be a responsible adult by doing things like buying my kids costumes, Claire is Alice in Wonderland and Sammy is a policeman. Cuties.

That night, Ms Cowen, (Claire's old teacher and Cecilia/Dixie's mom) watched the kids while we went to Breakthrough Urban Ministrie's annual benefit. The lady in red is my mother-in-law, Debbie, and her good friends "the Baxters". Matt's dad couldn't make it, as he is a high school football coach and they had their first playoff game of the season that night.

Here's us. Mental note: don't let someone take a picture of your husband straight on, while you, on the other hand, are turned to the side giving yourself a fat-face double chin. Don't.

The benefit was great. Arloa Sutter, who started Breakthrough, spoke for a while about the challenges they are facing...

...and then Bill Hybles, senior pastor from Willow Creek, gave a short talk as well. We used to go to Willow, so it was good to hear him speak again.

Babby Mason led the worship and she's like one of those great gospel singer ladies who has an amazing voice. She makes you want to give your money to Jesus, that's for sure.

And the Breakthrough kids choir performed. They were pretty cute.

Bill Curry, who is the chief operating officer at Breakthrough, and happens to be in our small group at church, also spoke (actually he was in a video they had made) and he made a lot of sense too. He talked about how you need to have more of a network to come around kids rather than one-on-one mentoring relationships with them, because then when people move or have to quit mentoring for whatever reason, the kid is still left with a network of people around him. That's how they do things at Breakthrough anyway, and I thought it made a lot of sense. 
So, if you have a few extra dollars and you need a worth cause to donate to, don't forget Breakthrough. They do good things with money there.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin carving party

We carve pumpkins with the neighborhood kids most years. And sometimes we try to jazz it up a bit with fun snacks or something. This year, we did caramel apples

It turns out that caramel is simply burned sugar with water and butter. Who knew!

And it's pretty glossy that way too!

Claire and I made about 5 during Sammy's nap so that we'd be ready to go.

When Sammy woke up, we carved our two pumpkins and the kids dove into their apples.

Carving a pumpkin is hard! Especially scooping the goop, which Sammy would not touch.

Then Annabel came over, and she practically carved her own pumpkin! That girl scooped all her goop!

Then Little Bryan showed up after band practice. He gave us a little trombone performance. The kids were very impressed.

He ate a caramel apple and carved a pumpkin as well...

...and then we all ran outside to see them in the window. We had some candle issues.

I also roasted the seeds for the first time. Sammy ate so many his tummy hurt at bedtime.

Then again, the tummy ache might have had something to do with me taking them to McDonalds at 6 o'clock for dinner. I planned lots of fun stuff, but I forgot about dinner! Details, details.

Sammy really loves this guy he got in his happy meal. He doesn't watch many movies, but he says that everything that looks like a superhero or a monster is a "Star Wars guy". For instance, Batman and Spiderman are the head Star Wars guys.

It was a fun night. I have always loved Halloween, but now I need to sleep! And we all need to eat only vegetables until Matt gets home. We miss you Big Guy!

Big Guy's Away

So, Matt left for Cleveland at 5:30am on Monday. Sammy came into our bed the night before with a sick tummy, so I let him sleep with us for a while and then I moved to the couch when he fell asleep, (I can NOT sleep between those two boys). So, when Matt's alarm went off before 5, Sammy got up too.

So, not only was Sammy awake, but then Matt goes down to kiss Claire goodbye! Alright, I know that's sweet, but he woke her up too! So, by 5:30, we were all up and everyone was crying at the window about daddy leaving.

We played playdough for a while so that everyone would cheer up.

And we ate bagels and cream cheese. And we got our teeth brushed and got dressed.

And then Sammy wanted to go outside to ride his bike, but it was still dark.

After what seemed like a LONG was still not even 7am. Not the best way to start the week that Matt was leaving us. But, we're surviving!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A day in the life right now...

I've been blogging about the house for a while without mentioning anything about normal life. Our life is pretty predictable right now, with nothing particularly exciting going on, but our normal day goes like this:

Lots of mornings we take Matt to work, which isn't entirely unpleasant because it's always fun for me to see "regular" people dressed up in business clothes and scurrying around. Matt works across from the Board of Trade, so it's also fun to see all the traders in their funny jackets. And fall has come to the city, which makes it very pretty, I think.

Then Claire and I take Sammy to City Garden on Monday-Thursday. He would not take a nice picture, surprise, surprise.

Then Claire and I come home to begin the morning of her home schooling. Here she is with her beard pretending to be Pharoah Hatshepsut (a woman pharoah who had to dress like a man in order to gain respect from her people). After we pick up Sam, we eat lunch and then have "rest time". Sometimes Claire reads, and sometimes she plays a little

As soon as Sammy is awake, we're on the move. Either he plays outside with the neighborhood boys, (but not that often right now because they play a lot of football in the street, which we won't let him do without supervision) or we head off to "our" park. It's all about getting out energy.

A couple days a week Claire has a more organized activity after nap time. Wednesday is Awana, Thursday is gymnastics (isn't she precious?!) and Friday is pottery. As a warning, the rest of the pictures you will view were taken by a naughty 4 year old who needed entertainment...

Sometimes we eat out right now. I try to cook a lot, but when we get to that time of the week when the groceries are low and I haven't gotten anything new and interesting to feed the natives, we go out. This is Cous Cous, our favorite mediteranean restaurant on Taylor Street.

It's cheap and it's really, really good; that is, if you go for things like baba ganoush (a very funny word to a 4 and 6 year old) schwarma, jerusalem salad, falafel, etc.

Sorry innocent diner for Sammy taking your picture. You were a good sport since he apparently took 15 more of you.

Do not blow up this picture and look at it large. I said don't! I look terrible. We had just run through the rain and bangs don't like rain...especially mine. And especially don't look at the gynormous zit that overtook my chin for a week.

Here are our chicken schwarma sandwiches...

...and vegetable platter. And by vegetables I mean fried cauliflower, grape leaves, jersusalem salad, falafel, hummus, and 100 other yummy things...only some of which are legitimate vegetables.

And then, invariably, we stop by the house to see what progress was made that day.

Sammy's room is blue now. It's a light color because he is the only one with zero windows in his room.

And here is my room, with the exciting color of "Natural Wicker" by Glidden. Yep, I'm daring folks.

This is such a typical picture. Matt with his "daddy bag" slung over his shoulder, Sammy getting into the tools, and Claire fixing her tights...she's always fixing her tights. But she loves tights, so what can we do?

So that, my friends, is my life right now. Just push repeat and then push it again the next day and push it again the next day.