Monday, December 7, 2015

School Fun

The boys first day of school was also my first day of school, so I didn't actually get to be there with my boys.  I took it harder than my boys.  All of the boys told me it was fine and they didn't really care.  John told me the big deal about the first day of school is a more a parent thing anyways.  I guess he is right.

 These two really do love each other.

 Gus' first day of first grade and John first day of fourth grade.

 These two have a bond that can never be broken.  This will be the last year they are ever at the same school together...kind of sad.

Anders had his first day of school the very next day.  He can't wait for next year when he gets to ride the bus.  I should start apologizing to our bus driver now.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

John's Birthday

John turned 9 this year. 9.  That tiny little baby that cried all of the time turned into a squeaky voiced little boy who loved Thomas.  That Thomas loving fool suddenly grew up and is now in 4th grade.  I feel old.

 His "party" consisted of Debbie, Pam, Glenn, Sophie, and the Davis family.  Small yet fun.  As long as he gets cake and a cheap table cloth this kid is happy.

 He had a ton of helpers opening presents, but John didn't mind.  He likes being the center of attention.

 This year John requested an ice cream cake.  I tried my best.  I still need to play a bit with the whipped cream topping.

Chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream and cookie dough ice cream.

John had a great "party".
I still can't believe my baby is 9.

Monday, November 30, 2015


Debbie, Pam, Glenn, and some other members from church took the boys to the Grundy County Races.  I did not go, but the boys told me all about it. They returned late that evening and John was on cloud nine.  When he woke up the next morning it was all he could talk about.

 One of our members, Larry, is an avid race attender.  He use to race himself and build cars.  He still has some connections and got John a ride in the pacer truck.  John said it was, "the best day EVER".

 This kid knew it was his bedtime and asked for a place to sleep.  Seriously.  He is such an old man already.  He slept through all of the noise.

 John had gotten out of the pacer truck shortly before this accident happened so he had front row seats for this.  No one was injured in the accident.
Yep, Gus slept through this too.

It was cool to watch them get the car turned right side up and off of the track.

The boys can't wait to go again...even Gus.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Slammers Game

We left New York in enough time to make it to a Slammers game in Joliet.  We got a great deal for the tickets and they were already purchased when I found out that it was Princess Night at the ballpark. Ha!  Since we were meeting Sophie there I went out quickly and bought a tiara and some jewelry for Sophie and the boys to share.  That didn't go over well. With any of them.  I had a good laugh though.

 Gus was ready.  He even had a glove to match his outfit!

 John is always enthusiastic.

 Sophie hates that I take pictures all of the time.  She usually tries to block me as she is now. But look at those eyes...she is enjoying it.

 We did actually watch a little of the game.

These two just love each other.  Sophie really loves Anders because she shared her slushy with him and she is a major germaphobe.

No tiaras, princess dresses, or jewelry were worn...but we all had a great time at the ballpark.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Three Rivers Fest

Right after we came back from New York it was time for the annual Three Rivers Fest. We decided to amp it up this year and actually decorate our float for the parade.

 Everyone was put to work stapling streamers and blowing up the balloons.

  Our banner was designed by my brother Mark.

 Everybody was festive and having fun.
I love our congregation.

 These two are the best of friends.
I don't know why these two always look so pained in pictures together.

 These two munchkins have become good friends too.  Colton and Anders are actually in the same class at school this year and get along very well.

 Sophie is not as peppy as I am.
This is the look she gives me when I'm being too peppy...or taking too many pictures.

 While we were waiting for the parade to start Logan and Gus spotted a minion.  I'm sure they could tell you which minion this is...but they are all the same to me.

 We really wanted to step up our game this year.  Along with actually decorating our float Hans and some other members passed out ice pops along the parade route.  So Hans pushed this ice cream cart the whole way.  It was a big hit.

 So we had people on the float throwing candy and walkers passing out ice pops and pencils.  I'd say it was pretty successful.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Strong Museum

One of the days while in New York we drove into Rochester and went to The Strong Museum.  This place was amazing!  I think we spent 5 hours there, but it was not enough. (Editor's note: Yes, it was.)

 This room made you into Lego-type figures that move around.  The boys had a great time dancing and watching themselves.

 I had to pry them away from every exhibit so they could at least see half of the museum.

 We had to take our picture in front of the Sesame Street door.

 As you can tell this wasn't as exciting as the other activities.

 I'm not sure what happened right before this.  Although I'm sure the wind just blew the wrong way.  As you can see, Anders was in a mood.  Shocker, I know.

 Hans made friends with a troll.

 John wanted to do the same thing as his dad.  And this must be what his dad's facial expressions look like to him.  Love it.

 Anything art the boys are game.  These light tables are so simple and yet kept them captivated for a long time.

The museum also had a pretend grocery store.  The kids could take little carts, shop for things, and check out themselves.  Gus loved using the register and even put on the store manager apron and talked on the intercom.  

We ended the day by getting milkshakes.  That was the only thing that was going to get these kids to leave.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

New York

This summer we went to New York to spend the week with my family.  This is the first summer our Fiene clan has been up there and not gone to the cottage.  It was different, but I loved exploring the area around my grandparents house.

Our first stop was my Aunt Diane's house.  It is always our first stop and we are always excited to be there.
 Aunt Diane always has fun things to do.  There were fun whistling arrows for the boys to shoot AND they made their own ice cream in this ball.  After the ice cream ingredients were put in the boys were charged with rolling the ball around without stopping for 10 minutes.  They had tons of fun.

After we got to my grandparents we did a ton of stuff.  I kept forgetting my camera.  I'm sure there are pictures floating around somewhere.  We went to the Herschell Carrousel Factory.  This museum was pretty neat.  We were able to see the process that went into building a carousel and carving the horses.  It is actually pretty sad if you think about the fact that people don't work with their hands like this as much anymore.  Everything is mass produced.  After walking through the museum the boys were able to ride on a few older carousel type rides.  They had a wonderful time.

 It wouldn't be a true visit with Grandma if there weren't marshmallow shooters involved.  The boys, and Fritz, has a blast with these.

 Anders had a hard time getting his marshmallows to shoot out.  He huffed and puffed, but nothing.  But that didn't stop this little warrior.  He eventually figured it out.  I'm just glad he didn't start bashing his brothers over the head with the shooter.

This kept them occupied for hours and Fritz had a great snack.

 We also got to go on the Maid of the Mist.  I haven't been since I was a kid.

 All ready to get wet.

 The falls were beautiful.  These are the American Falls.

 This part of the horseshoe here is part of the Canadian Falls.  

 We survived and managed to only get our shoes wet.

The day before we had to come home we all (aunts, uncles, and cousins) had a gathering at my Uncle Mark and Aunt Anne's house.  Or, as the boys like to call him, Uncle Whitey.

The boys really got into the Can Jam game.
We had good food, games, and laughs.