Saturday, December 29, 2012

Trimming the Tree

My in-laws requested that we make a visit to Indiana so the boys could help them trim the tree.  Solveig had Eva and Machara help her last year, but it was up to the boys to help decorate Grandma and Grandpa's tree.

 I was becoming a little bit of a Nervous Nelly as the boys were reaching for all of the glass ornaments.  I wanted at least some of the ornaments to make it through the decorating process.

 There was a beautiful cluster of ornaments at the bottom of the tree.  Kids have no concept of reaching higher.  But that is okay because I'm positive we would have lost more ornaments that way.

The tree turned out nicely and the boys had a wonderful time.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Train Sweaters

I love when the boys have matching things.  They also like dressing alike.  I think I will take advantage of that for now.  Debbie and Pam decided to give the boys an early Christmas present before they took off for Florida.  They saw these sweaters and bought them all last year.

And as much as I would love to show you all a nice picture with their nice, new sweaters, I just can't.  These three trade off sabotaging every picture.

 I guess I did a little sabotaging of myself.  Not only are none of the boys looking at me, but you can also see my carpet cleaner in the background.

 This pose is usually an indication that I am done.  One of the boys usually ends up crying.

See?  Done.  I didn't have any tears, but I had three boys dancing and singing all over the living room.  There isn't one quiet, calm one in the bunch.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Earlier in November Debbie and Pam took the three boys and Sophie to Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  I've told you before I'm spoiled, right?  The boys had a blast, but Hans and I also got to see a movie and run errands without the boys.  It was fantastic!  I will say that having your kids leave for an overnight stay somewhere without you gets a little easier with each kid.  And by a little I mean a lot.  I remember that my father in-law planned to take John on an overnight stay to Great Grandma Fiene's house right after Gus was born.  So not only was that John's first time to leave home, but I had also just given birth and my hormones were all out of whack.  I cried and cried and cried and then cried a little more.  Then it ended up that trip didn't happen.  Then I cried some more...because I was pretty emotional.  I tell you all this because I didn't even realize this was Anders first night away from me until they were already half way to Wisconsin.  Then I just said, "eh" and went on my merry way.

They stayed at the Blue Harbor Resort which looks totally awesome and now I want to go.
 They stayed in the KidAquarium Suite and the boys had bunk beds just like at home.

They didn't spent too much time in the room though.  They had to do some swimming.

 I love how John told me he did the lily pads all by himself.  I guess Sophie doesn't count.

 Even the boy who doesn't like to get his head wet had fun.

 See, doesn't this look cool?

 Gus decided to stop and watch the people get water dumped on their heads.

 Then he ran away when it was his turn.

 Anders loved exploring everything.

 And Gus seemed content with running from the water.

 Sophie and John, on the other hand, loved to have the buckets of water empty on their heads.

 Anders is always checking out the food.  You can't go too far from food with this kid.

 I'm thinking Sophie asked them if they wanted her to show them a trick.  They raised their hands in confirmation.

 Sophie's trick was to make tooting noises with her armpit.  She is now the coolest girl in the world.

John had to practice.

On the way home they stopped by the Jelly Belly warehouse for a tour.  The tour guide gave them all packages of jelly beans.
Who is feeling sorry for Debbie and Pam right about now?  I think it was a long ride home.

The boys had a blast and want to go back. They keep asking me when they have another couple of days off of school.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Since we are coming up on the middle of December, I thought I should actually blog about Thanksgiving.  This year we had it at our house, which was nice.  It would have been even nicer if my oven had been working properly.  At least it was heating up, which is more than I can say it is doing at this moment...but I digress.

We had a house filled with 13 people.  I love having everyone at our house.  In Denver we spent all of our holidays at our friends Jan and Jared's house.  It was fun and I miss those days, but being the hostess isn't all that bad.  Unlike Jan, I can not be all things to all people so I prepared the meal and my wonderful mother-in-law took most of these pictures.  I would have maybe three pictures of this day if it had not been for her.

 Everyone who is invited into our house gets roped in to reading to the boys.

 Not really sure where Hans was for this picture, but these are the Fiene siblings that were present.

 Our 22 lb turkey.  Hans was really excited at the thought of using his electric carving knife...can you tell?

 Christian is pretending to listen to the conversation.  He enjoys showing off his thinking pose.  Being a ham certainly runs in the family.

 This is the closest I have ever seen these two without them hitting each other.  I wasn't there, but I'm pretty sure the hitting part came next.

 There is John perfecting his neck-choking pose.

Not pictured were Pam, Debbie, and Glenn.  We all had a great time eating good food and wonderful desserts.  Hans made a delicious pumpkin pie from an actual pumpkin and Debbie made cheesecake from scratch.  We could have skipped the dinner all together.

After we settled the kids in for the night and caught a quick nap Ashley, Debbie and I did some shopping.  Nothing too crazy, but a lot of fun.

Before Hans' parents and brother went back home they graciously stopped by the church to record some part of a Lutheran Satire song.  Looks like they had a lot of fun recording.

Friday, December 7, 2012

3 Boys and Santa

The Saturday after Thanksgiving the three boys, Debbie, Pam, and myself all piled in a car and went to Bass Pro Shop to see Santa.  Bass Pro is pretty cool and has tons of fun, free things for kids to do.  The boys went last year and had a great time so they were excited to go again. They had a great time going on carousel rides, playing with remote control cars and shooting suction-cup arrows while waiting to see Santa.  Everyone was in good spirits.  Then Anders had to sit on a strange man's lap.

Santa should get a raise.
Anders settled down quickly after Santa offered him a candy cane which he gladly accepted before running away. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Basement Stairs

The stairs going to our basement were a mess.  I know, I know.  They are stairs going to a basement.  But we have a nice, finished, walkout basement that we use often and I was tired of looking at these stairs.

Here you can kind of see what it was like before.  What doesn't really show up is all the red and yellow paint.

Another 'before' pic.  This was a 'before-before' because I assure you that these colors are no where to be found painted on the walls in my house.

 After filling holes, stripping paint and sanding until my hands were sore I achieved this look.

 Now they look like this.  I thought I'd mix it up and stain the stairs two different colors.  Because you know they are stairs that go to the basement.

The rise of the stairs just couldn't be cleaned/sanded enough to stain.  I reluctantly gave up on that idea and painted them white.

Now I can mark that project off of my list and start on one of the other projects.  My list is about 3 pages long so there is a lot to choose from.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Want a Marshmallow?

Gus came home from school the other day and was excited to tell John he had marshmallows and offered to share.  I went into the other room to change Anders' diaper and, when I came into the kitchen, I found John and Gus eating the marshmallows off of Gus' ghost picture.

GROSS!  The funniest part was that Gus was telling me about his marshmallows the whole way home.  This picture had been hanging in the hallway at school.  I wonder if Gus passed it every day and thought to himself, I can't wait to take that picture home so I can eat those marshmallows.

Oh, I have silly and totally disgusting boys.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Birthday Cake

Debbie and Pam gave me this...
...for my birthday.

They gave it to me a couple of days early thinking Hans could make a birthday cake for me using the new airbrush.  There was NO WAY I was letting Hans get his hands on this.  It actually has to be cleaned out immediately after each use.  I actually wanted to be able to use it myself.  So on my birthday I made my own cake.  I didn't really care how it looked when it was done.  It was a day to try out new cake and frosting recipes and use my new airbrush.

 This was the end result.  The flowers are made from marshmallows, first cut then sprayed.

The cake was lopsided and not smooth, but it tasted good, I had fun making it, and I found some new recipes.  Oh, and I got to use my cool, new airbrush.