Monday, January 30, 2012

The Tales of John

I haven't been good about taking pictures lately, so I thought I'd bring up the old "Tales of John" series since Johnny boy always seems to give me some good material.

I can't for the life of me get my kid to stop talking.  I'm not talking about lowering the noise level in my house.  I'm talking about getting him to stay quiet in school.  It is a good thing his teacher loves him.  She usually blames his incessant talking on his enthusiasm, but sadly the kid just has a talking problem.  As I've stated before, it isn't a wonder given who his parents are.  His dad is never at a loss for words and I'm not far behind.  (Editor's note: Uh, Katie, my love, you're waaaaaay ahead of me.)

However, if he has to have a talking problem, at least he is using some interesting words.  His teacher has a "Purple Sparkle Board" in her classroom where she writes down the words the kids don't know when reading a story.  Words such as "grin," "furious," "determined," and "courageous" are some of the purple words.  John has a pretty good vocabulary.  He probably would use the words "pretty good" to describe his vocabulary.    The other day he put on a show and asked me if it was appropriate for him to watch.  Not looking at the TV, I told him I didn't know and he would have to wait a minute.  Not wanting to wait, he asked, "Well, what's the questionable content?"   Questionable content!?!  Boy am I in trouble.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Elephant and Piggie

Not too long ago I wrote about the Elephant and Piggie books .  They are still an absolute favorite in our house.  While there are other children's books that I like, nothing tops good ol' Elephant and Piggie.  Did you know that there are Elephant and Piggie stuffed toys?  Of course there are.  Why not?  Do the Fiene boys have them?  Of course they do!  While they cost much more than I would normally spend on a stuffed animal, I think they are worth every cent.  This could be because they weren't my cents to begin with

Gerald and Piggie go with John and Gus everywhere.  They eat with them, sleep with them.  Gus even tried to get Gerald in the bath with him.  I think I see another Gerald and Piggie purchase in my future, just to have as a back-up.

Along with Elephant and Piggie, Gus and John have started to carry around Horton and a big stuffed pig they call Piggie's Mom.  I asked if Horton was Gerald's dad and Gus gave me a very weird look and quickly exclaimed that it was Horton, NOT Gerald's dad.  Like that would be absurd.  I didn't ask anymore questions after that.  I try to go with the flow and not look too stupid.

So, if your kids love the Elephant and Piggie books, they might just like a stuffed Gerald and Piggie.  I can't promise it will be worth every cent, but if your kids are like mine, they'll get hours of enjoyment.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Losing His Mind

This is what Hans wore to shovel the snow and take out the trash the other day.

He definitely keeps things interesting around here.

Hans would like to apologize to all of humanity for his legs.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Oh, Fritz!

This dog of ours is completely insane.  I guess that is why he fits in with the family so well.  He is still growing since he is only 9 months old, but he is already over 80 pounds! 

When he acts like a typical 9 month old puppy I can get a bit irritated with him because he is so big and thus makes big messes, or barks loudly, or jumps up on the chair to eat the food on the table.  I shouldn't lie.  I don't get a bit irritated.  I get downright angry.  I usually call Hans to tell him that he needs to do something with his dog.  After Fritz consumed about 60 peanut butter sandwiches I bought a shock collar and we haven't had a problem since.  That is, until the batteries in the shock collar died.  Right in front of me Fritz tried to crawl into the high chair with Anders and share his food.  I grabbed the remote, said , "No, Fritz" and gave the button a little push.  Nothing happened and I swear that dog looked at me like, "Yep, that's right.  There is nothing you can do to me now."

As frustrating as Fritz can be he is also very sweet, loving and protective.  Not an hour after the crawling in the highchair incident and our pup was curled up next to his sleeping boy.

How could I ever be mad at this dog, you ask?  Well, it's very easy.  Spend a day with me and you'll figure it out.  But, it is times like this that make it all worth it.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mini Hanses

It is no secret I bore three mini Hanses.  The boys just love their dad.  If you ask the boys who is cooler without hesitation they will say, "Daddy!".  Who's nicer?  "Daddy!"  Currently I'm the prettiest, but I'm not sure how long I will be able to hold that title.

All three boys like to do what Hans does.  Play games, sing songs, watch football, workout, ect.

This is often what I see in the morning.  Anders isn't as quick to move from exercise to exercise.  He is still waiting to do the back exercises against the wall. 

I love the fact that the boys love their dad so much.  I just wish I could be the "coolest" every now and then.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Let it Snow!

We had our first day of snow here a few days ago.  John was extremely excited.  He could hardly contain himself when he had to wait for the school bus bundled in all of his winter gear, including his snow boots.

Seriously.  Yes, I know my kid is weird.

Then, when he got off of the bus he was begging me to let him play in the snow with his friends.  Well, on that day, his friends were wise and did not want to play out in the blistery cold, windy weather.  So Gus and John played outside alone.  And loved every minute of it.

Two days later there was still snow on the ground so Hans and I decided to bundle up the kids and take them out.  I'm not sure who like it more, the kids, Fritz, or Hans.

 Anders loves wearing his snow boots in the house.  He isn't so in love with them when he actually has to walk in snow.

 Gus was making "snow boots" which are just foot prints in the snow.

 Fritz has to make sure Anders is doing alright.

I think they were both trying to eat the same patch of snow.

Snow Angels were made by the big...

and the small.

 Snow was definitely consumed.  We had many conversations about eating yellow snow.  Gross.

 Happy Anders.  I'm not sure I would be smiling if my tush was sitting in wet, cold snow.

 John was determined to try out his new sled.  It wasn't fun trying to use it on the side of the house that didn't get any snow.

 The snow wasn't right to build a snowman, so Hans made a snow mountain complete with Thomas trains. 

We all had a great time.  Even though it doesn't look like it in this picture.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Super Heros Galore

The boys had a wonderful Christmas and opened their presents faster than I could give them to them.  I blinked and the presents were all opened and the boys were playing away.  Super hero gear was among the presents this year.  One of the projects I, rather Jan, was working on when I went to Denver was superhero capes.  The boys love them and wear them often.  Now I just need to keep Fritz from choking the boys when he grabs a hold of their capes as they run by.

 He's cool and he knows it.

 Anders will have to grow into his cape.

 Superheros on the go!

Grandpa even enjoyed being a superhero.  The boys got a big kick out of him being Spiderman.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Month According to Hans

If you know my husband it is not at all surprising that this is what I found on his wall in his office.

For 2011, no less.  This explains a lot.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


As bad as this room was, it didn't get done until a couple of days before our open house.  All I can say is it is amazing what a coat of paint can do.



The boys art gallery.  John felt everyone needed a peak.

Now I just need to do something with the stairs.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

More Grandparents!

The day after my parents left, my in-laws came for a visit.  Unfortunately my father in-law was getting over the flu and my mother in-law had just started getting some bad flu symptoms.  The boys still had a lot of fun and enjoyed every minute of their visit.  We even all went to Ikea.  Such troopers because I can tell you, if I was feeling as crappy as my in-laws were, you would not find me in an Ikea on a busy day with three small boys.

 Grandma and Grandpa brought shirts for the boys.  Gus just loved his and had to tell Grandpa all about it.

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Boys Will Be Boys

What's a  family get-together without a little wrestling?  The boys sure love to wrestle.  Fritz likes getting in on the action as well.  Makes for an interesting event.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


We had a wonderful time with Grandma and Grandpa!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Angry Birds

Do you like the game Angry Birds?  I've never played myself, but I'm told it is quite addicting.  John and Gus even like playing and are always looking for a sucker to hand over their phone or ipad in order to play.  One of our members gave the boys gift cards for Christmas and I used some of the money to buy the Angry Birds game-the kind you can actually touch and doesn't involve using a phone.  It does, however, involve a little sling shot and a couple of plastic birds.

The boys just love this game and are forever grateful to Mr. Grimm.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Ringing in the New Year

Last year the boys didn't care about New Year's.  I'm not even sure where we were on New Year's Eve.  Almost positive I didn't stay up until midnight.  Well, I didn't make it until midnight this year either but we sure had a little party going on in our house.  We had party hats and noise makers thanks to Grandma...not me.  We watched movies and ate stuffed burgers, homemade fries, popcorn, and drank root beer floats.  The boys sang and danced for us and we were all wild and crazy.  Then 8 o'clock rolled around and we put those kiddos to bed.  It was a fun evening.

 Anders couldn't get the actual noise to come out of the noise maker, so he just pretended to use it and made the noise himself.

 I tried to get a picture of all three boys using their noise makers while looking at the camera.  Not sure why I even tried.  I have a hard enough time getting them to all look at the camera without noise makers.

This is as good as it gets.  A fun evening with some fun boys.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Anders' Room

This was the last room completed.  It's okay.  Anders didn't care.  As long as he has a place to lay his head at night he is just fine.

Aside from the laundry room, this room was the only one in the house not painted.  I wonder what this room was used for before.  It sure was dirty.

 This room took me a long time.  Particularly because the best time to paint is when Anders is asleep.

 This was a lot of fun though, and he will be keeping it for awhile.  Especially since I already bought coordinating bedding for a big boy bed and I'm not willing to paint over this anytime in the near future.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Put Your Dad To Work Day

So, what do you do when your parents come to visit?  I generally put mine to work.  I never plan on doing a small, big or medium sized project, but it always seems to happen.  The conversation generally starts with me telling them what I want to do in the house, someday.  Then my dad or mom say that it sounds like a good idea and wouldn't be too difficult.  Then we take a trip to Home Depot, my all time favorite store, and someday turns into today.

This time I bought a pot rack that I wanted to hang above my island.  The problem was that the light wasn't centered and I couldn't find studs in order to hang the pot rack.  First of all, who builds a house, puts a light somewhat over the island and then doesn't center it?  Not even a little.

Here is the light that was above my island.  I guess since it was so large at a glance you wouldn't notice that it wasn't centered.  I actually like this light but couldn't use it with the pot rack so now it is hanging over my kitchen table.

Yep, we cut a hole.  Not a little hole.  Not one that could be covered with a little spackling, but a big hole.  I'm sure glad my dad knew what he was doing.  The big hole allowed us to center the light and put in another 2x4 in order to support the pot rack.

After my dad and I were finished making holes in the ceiling, my mom came in and used joint compound and sandpaper until her heart was content.  Actually, I'm pretty sure her heart would have been content NOT to use joint compound and sandpaper, but she loves me, so she did it.

 Now I have an awesome pot rack and a light that is centered with the island.

Even up close you can't tell where we cut the hole.  Looks like good work to me.

After this project was complete, my dad and I installed a light switch to control the overhead lights in the basement bedroom.  See?  I told you I put him to work.  Someday my parents will come to visit and I'll let them relax the whole time.  But I'll sure miss those trips to Home Depot.