Sunday, March 8, 2015

My Joshy Boy

I'm not sure how much longer I have to call him that....Joshy Boy. At some point he will think it's too baby-ish, but for now we can still get away with it. I can't believe my little guy is 6 years old. Josh lights up my life. He always says the right things and tries so hard to please us. He's smart and picks different things up so quickly. It amazes me how his little mind works and puts ideas together. He is doing really well with reading and math and will often quiz me to see if I know my math facts. He just moved up to level G in reading and has worked really hard to get there, reading extra books on RAZ kids so he can finish the level faster. He is comprehending everything, too.

I honestly don't know where the last year went -- it seems like we were just celebrating his 5th birthday, but here we are at big #6. This year we told him he could have a small play date because last year was a bigger party. He chose to have his friend Sasha and Sasha's younger sister, Sadie over. It works out perfectly! Sasha and Maya are in the same grade and Sadie and Josh are in the same grade...we just love this family! They are so fun to be with. Unfortunately Sadie ended up sick and couldn't come, so Maya invited another friend. Sasha and Josh are a lot alike and they both love Mario, so they played that for a little while, then we ate dinner (pizza), and the girls decorated cupcakes and got into my makeup. I loved how chilled out his "party" was! I wore sweat pants and didn't even have makeup on. Coco was naughty and tried opening most of Josh's gifts.

Then tonight for his actual birthday we had some of his best buds from church over to celebrate. We had some more cupcakes and Rice Krispie Treats. It was a fun and busy weekend! We loved celebrating this little guy. My favorite part of the weekend was when we were snuggling on the couch and I was telling him about his birth story. He was looking up at me with his big brown eyes and a huge smile on his face the whole time. He loves the fact that he was an easy, quiet baby and that Maya was NOT.

We surprised him with a new baseball mitt, bat, and some balls. Can't wait to play catch with him once this snow melts. Happy Birthday little man!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


A few weeks ago, Cora and I went to see Elmo at the Fox Theater. Some of our good friends came with us too. Cora was excited when the show started but quickly became impatient when Elmo didn't come on the stage right away. She kept yelling, "Where's Elmo!?" She was probably thinking, "Mom kept telling me we were going to go see Elmo, but he's nowhere to be found." Finally he came on stage and she looked so happy and cute. The show was only 1.5 hours long, but most of the kids in our group were bored and fidgety by intermission -- short little attention spans. Near the end of the show, Elmo came on stage and was talking to the audience. I can't remember if he was asking us to help sing a song or say a chant, but Cora didn't want anything to do with it. She kept yelling, "NO WAY, ELMO! NO WAY!!!!" Man, she is a little grump sometimes. We still had a good time though, and Fox Theater is absolutely breathtaking! I'm glad I finally got to see it.

The lobby at the theater. So beautiful. I couldn't believe all of the detail.

Frankenmuth with M's troop

Maya and I recently took a day trip with her Girl Scout Troop to downtown Frankenmuth. It was supposed to be a sleepover but Maya didn't want to spend the night and we had church in the morning anyway. As I was doing her hair before we left she said she DID want to sleepover -- we were supposed to leave in 5 minutes. I felt bad that we couldn't do it. She was sulking a bit here and there throughout the day, but we tried to make the most of the time we did have.

The girls had an art lesson first and got to make a few creations and learn about different techniques to earn their artist patch. After that, we all went to dinner at this really good pub. Then we walked around to look at the shops for about an hour and we got some AWESOME fudge, like the best I've ever had. I want some now. It was even better than the fudge we got on Mackinac Island a few years ago. We met back up with the rest of her troop and drove about 5 minutes out of the downtown area to a cute farm. The girls learned about farm life and were taught how to make homemade pretzels. After we had a couple of pretzels, Maya and I got in the car for the hour drive home. It was dark, cold, my contacts were dried out, and I was unfamiliar with the freeway. It was a scary drive and I was very thankful when we finally pulled into the driveway. It snowed a ton that night (after we had already returned home) and church was cancelled the next day. Some of the other moms told me that the drive home in the morning was very scary and dangerous. Glad they all made it back safely too.

Art Class

Maya was so excited to find this bike ice sculpture. She wanted me to take a picture for Nick. There were a lot of great sculptures around town.

Maya's good friend Helena, joined our troop this year. We are so happy! She is such a sweet girl. I loved having one on one time with my girl! It doesn't happen often enough.

What we've been up to

We started our kitchen remodel and I forgot to post about it. Nick started the tear out back in November and spent a good amount of time planning and figuring out the best way to do this in a clean, manageable way. Over the past 2 months he has redone all of the electrical, lighting, and he installed all new drywall. He does amazing work! I really hit the jackpot with him. We had a holdup when he found a leak coming from the roof. We had to wait 2 weeks for a roofing company to come check it out. Thankfully, it was a small/inexpensive fix. Next up we need to finish the walls, have the floor guy come in to install the hardwood, paint, install cabinets, and order the counter tops. Exciting! I can't wait to see it completed. I'll do a before/after post eventually.

The kids are both doing great in school. Josh gets a little burnt out by Thursday and starts asking about days off, but overall he has transitioned into full day Kindergarten nicely. He loves his teacher and his friends in class. We got a new Wii game system for Christmas and I'm regretting it, sort of. Josh is completely obsessed with it and asks or talks about it daily, even though he knows he can only play it on the weekend. At the same time, he and Maya will actually play it together and have a good time. THAT has been amazing. I love listening to them talk to each other and try to help each other figure out the game.

My handsome guy.

Maya has been working hard for the last 6 weeks to earn a new hamster -- she had a list of things that could be completed for 5 points each. The idea was she needed to reach 500 points before she could pick out a new little guy/girl. Nick took her a few weeks ago and they picked out a brown and white one. She was coming up with some pretty crazy names -- S'mores, Oreo, Kyler (after Josh's friend at school...?), Fudge, etc. We each gave her some ideas and she finally decided on Max. We think she liked that name because she has a little buddy at church with the same name. We like it too! On Max's first night here, she couldn't fall asleep and Nick went in to see what was going on. She had been working on an "About Me" sheet for Max like the animals have at know, different things like name, age, personality traits, etc. She gets something in her mind and won't settle until she's done! She also started making headbands and scarves out of my extra sewing fabric. As I dropped the kids off at school this morning I noticed her little friend Sadie was wearing one of the headbands. Made me smile. She is so witty and funny. Yesterday we were on our way to her piano lesson and we had this conversation:

"I don't think this muffin is cooked all the way, mom. It is all ooey and gooey on the inside and tastes funky."
Josh- "Maya, I bet it was cooked all the way. Mom always cooks them all the way." (Brown-noser, but I love him.)
Maya - (While getting out of the van) "Well, Josh, you haven't tried a muffin from this last batch. No hard feelings, mom." (slams the door shut)

I'm still laughing about it.

We had fun going to Walgreen's on Valentine's Day to sell Girl Scout cookies! The girls did a great job and sold a bunch.

Putting Max in his new home.

I really love spending my days with sweet Cora. She has started to improve with her vocabulary and is picking up new words and sayings every day. She also started to play pretend more over the past few months. She likes to pretend that her bear is her baby and she changes his "biaper" and wastes 1,000 wipes on getting him clean. She also loves her tea set she got for Christmas and plays with it on a daily basis. She usually makes me sit down with her to have a tea party and will often decide, mid-sip, that I have had enough and will cut me off and pour my "tea" back into the pot. That's when I know I can sneak away and work on something else. It reminds me of the Soup Nazi on that Seinfeld episode, "NO TEA FOR YOU!" We have a good little routine going with errand running and trips to the gym, but I have the nagging feeling that I need to do more fun things with her, even if that means sit down and play at home more. The mommy guilt never goes away but I know I can improve in that area of our life. I do try and include her in the things I am working on. She is great at spraying the coffee table and wiping it down and she really likes to dust with our Swiffer duster. Some of her favorite sayings: "What doin' mama?". Whenever she is doing something she isn't supposed to and we tell her to not do it she looks up with really wide eyes and says, "I KNOW, mom!" (or dad, Maya, Josh) Then she keeps doing it. Naughty girl. She's a good helper. She will often come running into the kitchen with her step stool when she hears me working to offer assistance - "I 'helpa' you, mom!" I'm really looking forward to warmer weather so we can stop and play at the park or just go in the yard and do bubbles. We are getting spring fever but there are still piles of snow everywhere and no sign of a warm up. I love spending every Sunday in Nursery with her and her little friends. It is so fun and I'm soaking up every minute of it.

This girl loves "chee-burgers". Every time we are out running errands and it gets close to lunch time she asks for one. I've only given in a time or two.

I love these little pokey-ears.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Our Budding Artist

Josh's art skills have taken off this year! He loves that they have indoor recess everyday because he can sit with his friend, Sadie, and use the markers. I love opening his folder everyday to find these little gems:

My favorite is the penguin! I need to frame it and put it somewhere. The one he drew of Cora says, "I like Coco and I like to play with Coco." He is my precious, sweet, big hearted guy and I want him to stop growing.

Friday, December 26, 2014


The last week of school before Christmas break was so busy. I was trying to get all of our shopping, wrapping, etc. done before the kids got out. I also volunteered to help in each of their classrooms for their holiday parties. Maya's party landed on Thursday which was also PJ day at the school. The kids each decorated a sugar cone to look like a Christmas tree then they had a gift exchange in the gym with the entire 2nd grade.

This was the only picture I got from that day.

Josh's party was the next day. The kids rotated between 6 stations then had a snack at the end. I didn't get Josh's group until the very end of the rotation. Every chance I got I would look up to try and find him and he would be working at his station but also keeping an eye on me. I love that little sweetie and his little shy smile.

Nick took 4 days off before his company shut down for a few weeks, so he was able to be home while Cora napped. I felt very grateful for that. He has been working hard on our kitchen remodel. All of the wiring is basically done, except the lighting. Hopefully by the time he goes back to work we will be ready for the drywall guy to come. This is such a long process and I'm starting to go insane with all of the clutter. I feel fortunate that the kitchen is still usable though.

Christmas was nice this year. We had no commitments and kept it simple. We made homemade pizzas on Christmas Eve and had a party in the basement with the kids. Maya planned everything of course and kept us busy with music and coloring. We also had tons of goodies and treats to snack on. The kids opened their pajamas and got to bed at a decent hour -- but Maya and Josh had a difficult time falling asleep because they were so excited. I remember the same thing happening to me on Christmas Eve!

Love these little sleepy faces! Maya was good and didn't wake everybody up too early. We told her to stay in bed until 7am.

Cora is getting into Frozen! So cute to see her play dress up.
My mom and dad sent Cora this Elsa baseball hat that has a long braid coming out of the back. She refuses to wear it so Nick wore it while putting her baby stroller together! Classic and creepy. Hopefully she'll like it eventually.

Josh's favorite gift was this Coast Guard Lego ship. It took him about 45 minutes to put it together with no help from us. He is one amazing little guy!

Maya asked for an African drum. She's pretty good at it but, man, my ears are sore....

Annnnnd, more random pictures for your viewing pleasure: (If you're wondering about Maya's appearance...she got a face painting kit as a gift.)

I love my family and feel so very blessed this Christmas season!