Thursday, June 23, 2011


I had the privilege of going to New York for my cousin Ericka's confirmation.  We only live about 8-9 hours away.  This may seem like a long way to go with three kids by myself.  But, as John said, "Wow,  it was only one long day and then we are here.  When we see Grandma it is two long days."  The boys actually do very well in the car.  They also know at the end of a long trip they are rewarded by seeing their loved ones.

I packed the kids up on Friday morning and made it to Fredonia, NY by dinner.  We had a very relaxing Saturday and then got to see even more family on Sunday.  The service was great and Ericka did a wonderful job with her statement of faith.  Gus and Anders decided to pick this week to start acting out in church so I spent the service going back and forth between the nursery and the sanctuary.  I wish I could say it was just because we were in a new place and it was a one time deal...but I can't.  Those two have decided to keep up their shenanigans.  Gus is learning it isn't fun to get pulled out of church.  But that is another story.

After the service we went back to the house and had a wonderful lunch.  Have you ever had beef on weck?  It is the best.  It is wonderful roast beef warmed in au jus sauce then put on a special roll topped with salt and caraway seeds.  Then you get to dip your whole sandwich in the sauce.  Heavenly.  Sadly, we can't get the rolls or the sauce here so we just get plain old roast beef.  My Aunt Diane, always the thoughtful one, sent me home with beef, sauce and rolls.  We enjoyed beef on weck for the next few days.

In normal Katie fashion, I forgot my camera.  Seriously.  I was kicking myself.  Along with it being a special weekend for Ericka, this was also the first time my other aunts and uncles saw Anders.  I'm just glad we are all going back in a few weeks.  I'll be sure to snap lots of pictures then.  However, that thoughtful Aunt Diane of mine sent me some of the pictures she took.

 The confirmand

Brother and sister.  They didn't want to stand too close to each other.  I think they are going through that 'I love you but I don't like you' phase.  Mark and I went through that phase for a couple of years.  It passes.

 Anders just loves his Great Grandma.  I'm thinking John just got in trouble and he is thinking about what he did.   I don't remember there being an incident, but that is his 'crap, I'm in trouble' face.

Me and my boys.

Gus had a lot of fun wearing Jimmy's hats.

 Uncle Tim and Jimmy got the tractor out so John and Gus could go for a ride.  It was then I noticed that they had a New Holland and not a John Deere.  I asked John if he was a New Holland boy or a John Deere boy and he said, "John Deere!"  I told him be better say New Holland or Uncle Tim was going to kick him out of the house.  I then asked John if Jimmy was a New Holland boy or a John Deere boy and he said, "he's a homeboy."

Anders didn't care about the tractor.  He just wanted to eat.  He never misses a meal.  Or a snack.  Ever.

Gus did not like the loud noise and kept his distance.  He did not want to ride the tractor and would not go anywhere near it.  Maybe next year.

 John loved the tractor.  He even took Gus' turn.

Gus and Uncle Tim...what a cute picture.

We all had a great time and can't wait to return to New York this summer.  It was good seeing my aunts and uncles.  The boys enjoy spending time with their cousins.  Thank you for hosting us, Aunt Diane and Uncle Tim.  Congratulations Ericka.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

For the Dads

Happy Father's Day to my fantastic dad, grandpa, and father in-law.

I also hope my sweet hubby has a wonderful Father's Day.  Our boys are loud, sweet, caring and full of crude humor just like their dad.  I wouldn't have it any other way...although there are times when I disagree with myself.

May all the dads out there have a great Father's Day.  The moms are all crossing their fingers that the kids will behave...just don't hold your breath.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Morton Arboretum

The day we moved into our new house, Debbie and Pam took the boys to the Morton Arboretum.  I was very thankful that I didn't have to worry about John and Gus trying to "help".  Debbie and Pam had them all day.  From 8-5.  Seriously.  The boys had a blast.  It didn't hurt that Debbie and Pam brought Sophie.  The boys love Sophie.  John wants to do everything Sophie does.  I'm sure this gets on her nerves, but she is a good sport about it all.

Debbie gave me lots of pictures from the day.  They are all so cute, but I can't post them all.  Here are few from the day.


 This was a maze.  John liked running ahead...good thing you can still see him.

 There were even arts and crafts.  I think the arboretum is a little crazy for putting out glue bottles and not glue sticks.  I wonder how much glue they go through in a day.

John loved being able to climb on everything.

Gus wasn't too sure about the rope bridge.

 As much as this kid likes to scale the cabinets he likes stability.

Getting a helping hand from Sophie.  I love how he isn't even looking in the telescope.

The boys sure slept well that night.  They can't wait to go back.  Debbie and Pam have left for the summer and the boys miss them already.  John is going to be very concerned about who is going to teach Sunday School now.

Thank you Debbie and Pam for taking the boys.  I didn't have to worry about them during the move and they had a wonderful time.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gus' Burn

Gus is an active, curious and sometimes defiant two year old.  One of his favorite things to do that just drives me up the wall is scaling the kitchen cabinets to get something on the counter.  Just this morning he did this to get what was left of the banana bread.  I thought he had learned his lesson.  But I was wrong.  About a month ago Gus thought Hans was taking too long to give him his pancakes.  So he decided to scale the cabinets and get one off of the griddle himself.  Never mind that we told him it was dangerous and hot.  I'm hoping the next time we tell him it is hot he will listen.
 This was about four days after he burned himself.

This was about a week and a half after the burn. 

As bad as this looks, he never complained about the pain.  He cried just a little after burning himself and then went on with life as usual.  The only time he winced was when it needed to be cleaned after he poured dirt on it.  I'm pretty sure I would have complained a lot more than he did.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Tales of John

I've been horrible about writing down all the funny things John says.  Actually I was doing pretty well, but I lost the piece of paper I was using to write down all of these funny things so I just gave up.  Here is what I remember.

We didn't unpack a lot of stuff in our rental because we knew we wouldn't be there for long.  I did manage to accumulate a few new thing while we were there and I tried to tuck some of these things safely in the boys closet.  I should have known that "safely" and "boys closet" are not to be used in the same sentence.  One morning while I was packing up, I heard a cracking sound and went running to their room.  John met me at the door with a framed picture of Mickey.  "Look what happened."  The glass was cracked.
I asked him what happened and he said, "I don't know, I heard this crack and decided to look in my closet.  I was very surprised at the situation."  Now, I'm not saying that he is the one that cracked the glass but I'm positive he wasn't as surprised as he said he was.

I would love to hear John's thought process.  I know some of the things he gets from us, like when he says, "for Pete's sake", but other times I'm just not sure how he comes up with it.  I called Hans 'daddy' and then John said, "Why did you call him daddy?  Now I have to call him Hans."  He also came up to Hans the other night and said, "Daddy, I have a confession to make."  I'm sure his Kindergarten teacher will find him funny...some of the time.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kid Conversations

I'm watching my two nieces this week while their parents are in Germany.  Eva and Machara are the same ages as John and Gus.  They all get along pretty well.  I love listening in as they play.  This is what I heard today...

They were watching Spiderman.

Eva: "What's going on?"
John: "Well, you see..."
Eva:  "Oh, I know....what is that?"
John:  "It is..."
Eva:  "Oh, it is (rambles something)...what is going on?"

This went on for about 3 minutes

John:  "Eva, if you would just stop talking for a second I can tell you what is happening."
Eva:  "But I have a voice!"
John:  "Yes, but you need to put your voice on hold if you want to know the answer to your question."
Eva:  "What is that?"
John:  "OK, that is Spiderman's friend..."
Eva:  "Oh, I know, it's..."
John:  "Never mind Eva.  You seem to know it all.  Mom, why do girls talk so much?"

Mind you, this is coming from the kid who talks non-stop. This should be a fun week.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Joys of Moving

I am extremely grateful for the men who came to help us move...twice.  It didn't take long to unload the pods into the rental so it didn't seem like we had that much stuff.  But when we had to load it all into trucks and move it over to the new house, it seemed like our stuff would never end.  I just kept telling them sorry, reassuring every guy that walked through the door with a heavy box or appliance that we would not be doing this again.  Ever.  When all of our stuff was finally in the house and boxes put in the appropriate rooms I didn't think it would all fit and this is the biggest house we are ever lived in.  But now that I'm slowly starting to unpack, I am finding things fit nicely.  We still have too much stuff but I'll keep it for now.  We are all still enjoying having all of our things back.  The boys haven't seen most of their toys since they were packed in December.  It is like Christmas all over again.

I was too busy moving boxes around to grab pictures of all of the sweaty guys, but here are Hans and Anders after a long day of moving.

I am very grateful that Debbie and Pam took our two older "helpers" on moving day.  They had a lot of fun at The Morton coming soon.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Baby Birds

 This nest was right outside our front door.  The boys loved checking in on the baby birds every morning.  Now the nest is empty and the boys are hoping a new bird will come and "have more babies".  I tried to tell them it doesn't work like that, but they are still hopeful.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Another Train Buddy

When my family came to visit, John was able to coax Jimmy into making a track.  Jimmy used to be a big train guy.  John doesn't understand why he doesn't still play with them.  We asked John what he would do on a date and he said, "Take her to watch a Thomas movie, of course."  I've got that on tape.  I'll show that to his first girlfriend.  My son will then hate me for about a week.  It will be worth it.

Jimmy may not admit this, but I think he had fun.  John sure had a good time.