Thursday, January 31, 2013

Christmas Time

I am unbelievably behind in blogging.  I have a ton of pictures to go through and not enough hours in the day.  It has gotten to the point where I wince every time I take out the camera because I know I'm only adding to the hundreds of pictures I haven't even looked at yet.  For now you all get to act like it is only December and not actually the last day of January.

Hans and I grew up with completely different traditions when it comes to opening Christmas presents.  My family has always opened on Christmas morning and his family has always opened on Christmas Eve.  This is a major source of contention.  Seriously.  This should be a topic discussed in pre-marital counseling.  For now, we open on Christmas Morning one year and Christmas Eve the next.  I'm not sure how long this will last.  I would just like to go on record and state that I know he is a pastor and thus works hard Christmas Eve and if he wants to open presents when he comes, home he should be able to.  BUT, and this is a big one, while he is preaching, I am wrangling 3 children.  At an evening service.  By myself.  And most of the time I come home exhausted and not really in a giving mood.  That should count for something.

This year was a Christmas Eve year.  After church the kids opened their presents.  It was a bit chaotic what with the gigantic tree, 3 eager kids and one very excited dog.  I didn't manage to get any pictures of them opening presents.  But I was able to grab a few of the boys and Hans...and me too.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Jim Gill

I had the pleasure of seeing Jim Gill at Gus's school.  For those of you who don't know of Jim Gill, he is pretty cool.  I use a lot of his music for Toddler Time at the library.  They are great songs that get the kids moving and thinking.  When I found out that he was coming to Gus's school, I was pretty excited.  If you would have told me 10 years ago that I would be excited to see a guy like Jim Gill I would have told you that you were crazy.  I guess I'm the crazy one.

 He plays his banjo for most of the songs.

 He also does funny songs about sneezing.  It's a great way to teach your kids to cover their sneezes.

 Audience participation is a must.

The kids even learned one of his songs and performed for him.

Life is so much better when you can dance and sing as a family.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Going to School with Gus

Before Christmas, Gus's school had a Make and Take day.  Each kid brought a parent or grandparent to school and they made crafts all day.  It was a lot of fun.  We got through most of the crafts before Gus said, "I'm tired.  I don't want to do this anymore.  Can you just do my craft and put my name on it?"

 The teachers stressed that the kids needed to do most of the projects by themselves.  Each product also worked on a much needed skill.  Gus is starting to get the cutting thing down.  He loves using scissors and tells his teacher all the time that he never gets to use them at home "because we have an Anders."

 Then he got to get a bit messy.  Shaved ivory soap and a little water make a fun soap ball.  

 Gus said that it was fun but he couldn't wait to wash his hands.  Large amounts of mud are fine...but a little soap puts him on edge.

 Writing his name on his letter to Santa.  This boy was not shy about asking Santa for lots of stuff.

Three or four of the crafts were ornaments.  Gus was excited to make something to put on the tree.  He was a little concerned that there wouldn't be enough room on the tree...I laughed and laughed.

This is Mrs. Ward.  She is the teacher's aid.  She is fantastic and all of the kids love her.

This is his teacher, Mrs. Best.  All of the kids love her too.  These ladies are a fantastic duo that have helped Gus so much.  I couldn't have asked for better teachers.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Three Boys Under a Tree

Since I had the kids already dressed nicely for John's school program, I decided to grabs some pictures of the three of them.  The boys wanted to lay under the tree.  And, in case you didn't read my earlier post about our tree, it was humongous.  The boys were able to lay on their bellies under the tree and not even come close to touching the trunk.

 I have a ton of pictures of Gus watching John.  It is only fitting that Anders watches Gus.

 But, this is what happens when one kids watches another...

 Anders decided to take it to the next step and be funny.

 No to be outdone, Gus decided to start screaming.

 Anders followed shortly therafter.

They all look bored, but they are all looking at the camera.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

John's School Program

I'm here, I'm here.  I promise I'm still here.  I've been a tad busy lately and the time I have to sit at the computer is limited.  And I would prefer to use that limited time to sleep.  But I'm sorely behind in blogging.  So here goes...

John had a school program before Christmas.  John had a little speaking part which I think he was excited about, even though he never said so.  He begrudgingly practiced the line with us and kept telling me, "I got it, I got it.  How hard is it to memorize two sentences?"

 Anders had a great time people watching before the show.

Gus got a little bored waiting for the show to start and asked if I would take his picture.  I would have thought he would have given me a genuine smile since he asked for the picture. Oh well.

 John heading up on stage with his class.  The lady in red is his teacher, Ms. Georgis.  Or as all the other teachers and parents call her, Gorgeous Georgis.

John's class.
It was a cute little performance. John had a great time and did a great job with his 2 sentences.  My video came out too dark to post, but it was funny watching him dance while he was singing.  He is such a ham!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Weekend with Skippy Jon Jones

John's class has a stuffed animal they pass around from kid to kid.  Last year they had a little bear and this year it was a cat named Skippy Jon Jones.  While I get why the teacher does this, the weekend we have possession of the stuffed toy is never my favorite.  I spend most of my days convincing the kids it isn't a good idea to take toys places like church, restaurants, outside, or even in the car.  Then we are given this class animal and we are suppose to take it with us everywhere.  I am confident that, by Fiene boy #3, we will have lost a class stuffed animal or two.
 So Skippy did all the things we did, like eating Mac and Cheese.  I almost decided to trade him with Gus because at least Skippy eats what is put in front of him.

We made it through the weekend with out any casualties or blemished fur.  Now I can relax until next year when Gus brings home something.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Parents of the Year

I am sure I won the mother of the year award this year.  Actually, Hans and I won the parents of the year award.  In our relationship, I am not usually the one to freak out over various ailments or injuries that occur in our house.   We actually don't have many ailments, but we seem to get our fair share of injuries.  One morning Gus ran into our room (this is why I say "no running") from Fritz (this is why Fritz is not always my favorite).  Gus wasn't watching where he was going and ran right into the corner of my jewelry armoire.  (All of this happened in a room he is not supposed to be in.)  After crying for a bit he told Hans he was fine.  For a head wound Hans was surprised it didn't bleed more.  A couple of hours after the incident I came home from work and took a look at the wound which seemed to look painful, but since Gus wasn't complaining and it wasn't really bleeding a whole lot I gave Gus Tylenol, slapped a band-aid on the cut, and sent him off to school.  About an hour later I got a call from the school nurse telling me she had to change the band-aid twice.  So Hans promptly picked him up from school and took him to urgent care where Gus received his first ever stitch.  I'm sure there are many more to come. 
See, it is barely noticeable.  That little dark spot at his hairline right above the eye is where the stitch is.
Gus is fine, always was fine, and is proud to be a member of the stitch-club with John.  Now Anders wants in on the fun.

I'm just wondering where I can pick up my award.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Hans decided to put up our tent in the basement so the boys could have a "camp-out".  So we all crowded in the tent to eat dinner and watch a movie and then Anders and I headed to our beds while Hans, John, and Gus stayed the night in the tent.  The next day I told the boys we needed to take down the tent and Gus said, "okay" and then went downstairs.  When I went down there to take apart the tent this is what I found...
Gus did indeed take down the tent.  Next time I just need to clarify that we should empty the tent first. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Little Basketball

The Sunday after Thanksgiving, Debbie, Pam and I went to lunch, did a little shopping and then went to Sophie's basketball game.  I had as much fun watching the parents in the stands as I did the girls on the court.  5th grade girls basketball is a very competitive sport.

 Here is Sophie and her good friend, Holly.

Holly took her defense duties seriously.

The girls played well, but it just wasn't their day for basket making. 

 This is what I mean about not a basket making game.  I'm pretty sure this shot didn't make it in.  It looked so promising.

 I couldn't help but add this shot.  Sophie had just passed the ball, but it looks like she was busting a move as the young kids say.

 Sophie going for a foul shot.

 Look at that follow through.

The girls came in 2nd by 1 point!  But it was a great game and they played well.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Our Gigantic Tree

We decided to cut down a tree again this year.  I guess it is now a tradition.  Although after this year it will probably be a tradition carried out by the boys and me.  We will leave Hans the Obnoxiously Giant Tree Hunter at home.

This year we went to Tammen Treeberry Farm.  This place was great for a couple reasons, but mainly because it was so efficient.  I love efficient places.  When you drove in, you were given a map and a saw.  Then you could just drive your car around the the land, cut down your selected tree and drive away. $50 got you any size tree you wanted, so Hans took full advantage of that.  We drove around to find a tree, seeing a good number of "normal" looking trees, when Hans spotted this one...
It's really hard to tell from this picture, but this tree is about 10 feet tall and 6 feet around.  I said "NO. Absolutely not!  It will not fit in our house."  After a few minutes of arguing about this, he gave up and started looking for another tree.  Thinking I had won the battle, I was feeling confident that we would be taking home a normal-sized tree.  Then Hans found this one...
and started cutting it down before I could even walk over to see it.  For the first time in our marriage he put his foot down.  OVER  A TREE!!  This tree is a mere 6 1/2 feet tall, but is also about 7 feet around.  It is a bush.  It looks ridiculous.

 The boys showed moral support while their dad cut down this beast of a bush.

 Hans even cut himself a bit while doing all of this.  Ask me how sympathetic I was.

 The boys got bored waiting for their dad to finish cutting down the big green thing and started to play in the dirt.

The boys and their tree.

We got the tree safely home (darn it!), and in our living room.  It takes up almost the whole room.  The boys have enjoyed laying under it to look at the "stars" and Fritz has enjoyed chewing on the branches.  Me?  I'm waiting until I can haul that green monster to the curb.