A Week in our Life

This week has been a great week to finish up a few projects.   This July,   I participated in Ali Edwards challenge to document a week in our life.   She encourages you to document the little day to day things, so you can look back and see how life has changed.    This project has sat on my computer, since the 1st of August, just waiting to be finished and printed.   I am glad to finish it this week and I am excited to see the printed version.  

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Christmas JOY

We had a wonderful Christmas day.   Just the 5 of us relaxing at home.  We spent all day eating treats, opening presents & enjoying each other.    Here's a few of my favorite photos of the day.   

Our family tradition is a family photo shoot in front of the Christmas tree before we open presents.   The kids always complain, but I remind them that this is one of  Mommy's presents.  Since they have about triple the # of presents under the tree, it's only fair that I get a little gift of a family photo.   

I love the photos this year.  It's the best gift for me.   

Our other family tradition is that everyone has to sit in front of the tree to open their gifts.   We take turns, usually youngest to oldest.     Of course this is also for my photo taking, but it really helps us to slow down and enjoy each others presents. 

 I made fleece blanket for all three kids this year.   I purchased the fleece back in May already when we were in Canada.   Canada has far more selection of hockey fleece than down here in Iowa.   Of course, I did not have the blankets completed until the day before Christmas.   But they were done and the kids really seem to like them.   

 I hope you had a very blessed Christmas as well.  

December Catch-up

December turned out to be just as busy as the months before. The weekends were filled with Hockey, of course. Ben had several more opportunities to officiate some games and is feeling more confident every time. At first he wasn't sure where to stand, what to call etc.... Now, he mentioned that it might even help his hockey playing. Andrew and Ethan's team is doing better this year. They have already won more games than they did all of last year. Ethan has scored about 15 goals this season. Ben's team is struggling a little this year. He hasn't played that many games yet, so we will see how the season pans out.

Nadia took a gymnastics class at City hall this fall.   She LOVED it!   She has been doing cartwheels and handstands all over the house.  

The weather has been really strange this December.   We have very little snow,  not even enough to cover the grass.    Early in the month we had about a 1/4 inch that melted immediately.  Nadia took advantage of it though and make a little "mountain"  that lasted about 1 day.  

The kids have been home from school for the whole week.   This is a photo of  Nadia and Ethan heading  to school for their winter parties. 

Finally a little more snow arrived on Thursday.   This time maybe 1/2inch.  The kids did their best to enjoy the little we had.  Ethan and Nadia tried the sleds and we even broke out the skis from Oma &  Opa.   Unfortunantly,  there was not really enough snow for winter fun.   We actually gave up and headed to the Bowling Alley.

That was our December in a nutshell.  

 My Sister -in- law asked me to make there Christmas Card.    We took the photos on Thanksgiving.   Here's the 3 choices that I am going to send her.

Card Template by Jen Martakis
I used Jen Martakis Holly  Jolly Christmas Kit, and Fancy Frames and Mats.

Card Template by Jen Martakis


The signs of Christmas are every where and today marks the first Sunday of Advent.    We were all prepared to head to church, but the Van was DEAD!     We knew that we needed to new battery, but it had not been cold and it had been working fine.    Well, last night the temperatures dropped and the van battery dropped as well.     Thank-you to AAA.     They arrived in about 1/2 hour and actually replaced the battery for me right there in my garage.    I probably paid a premium for that service, but it was Sunday and I had no desire to search for car mechanic to replace my battery.    Well, we made it to church about 1 hour and 15 minutes late, which I did not think was to bad..  

Ben decided we should have home church.    We found a family Advent reading, which looks very good.    Nadia has already started to color our daily symbols.   We will be hanging our daily symbol on our tree branch that Ben found outside.     IF you are interested,  It can be found here

Today's reading was  Isaiah 11:1-2
The Branch From Jesse
 1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
   from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
   the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
   the Spirit of counsel and of might,
   the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD

Today's Theme:   Be Patient,   God has a plan for you.     


11-11-11 happens once a century and to celebrate today, I took 11 photos (Well, I actually took many more, but only 11 that are worth sharing).   I am plan to create a scrapbook page of what we did today, an ordinary day in 2011, a time capsule of sorts.   

Today was a normal work day for Andrew and I, but the kids were home due to parent/ teacher conference this week.  I had to work from 9am-12pm  which left the kids just over 3 hours of alone time.   We were prepared with a list of tasks and their video games.   When I left for work, Ben was busy with his ipod, Ethan was busy watching Star Wars Videos on youtube and Nadia was busy "reading" stories with her leap pad.  

 I arrived home at lunch time and we planned our afternoon.    Ethan went to play with his friend Cameron and Ben was heading to the pool with his friend Aaron.    Nadia was feeling extremely left out, so we went to the pool as well.


 We had a little time after the pool to finish up some homework and read.    In Kindergarten,  Nadia has been learning that you don't need to read words to enjoy "reading"  books.   She has become extremely interested in books and is beginning to sound out basic words.   Her favorite books right now are "Fancy Nancy" and "Amelia Bedelia"

It was an absolutely perfect fall day.   The sun was shining all day and we had temperatures in the 50s.  Most of the trees has lost their leaves, but our maple out back still has many golden leaves.  

I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and grill some burgers for supper.    We also  had mixed veggies,  chips and milk.  

 It was a rare Friday night that I did not have to work and we did not have to hurry to any activities.
 We had time to play a game of Blokus.  The boys always beat me, their brains must be more mathematical than mine.   In fact,   Nadia was in longer that me....   I'm afraid she was playing randomly, which means my brain really does not work for this game or the boys were intentionally trying to get me out.  

  Ethan and Andrew also spent some time working on making a glider for a school project.  
After the kids went to bed,  I worked on paying bills and other computer work.   Andrew spent some time fixing a computer that we hope to start using soon.   We had been looking for literally years, for a kitchen table and chairs that we look and can afford.    Remember I am married to a designer...hence the time spent looking for the perfect design.    Instead, we decided to update our living room chairs.   Target had these chairs on their website for Cheap, Cheap, Cheap, so we bought 2.    We really like the photo, I hope we like the quality when they arrive.   

 Finally, a Family  photo taken immediately after supper had been cleaned off the table. 

 Now, off to bed  to face tomorrow - 11-12-11. 

Bruschetta Chicken Recipe Card

I am slowing working on a few more recipe cards to add to our collection.   This recipe is from the Hy-Vee Website.    Andrew and I really enjoy it.   The kids are not so keen on the rice, but they will eat it anyway.     I used Jen Martakis' kit  What's Cookin?

A note to my dear family.....   please send me any recipes you would like added.  I can't make any guarantees, but I will slowly work on them..   That means you Melissa!   We want your Taco Salad and Cali-flower Salad secret!

Our Halloween

 We had an absolutely beautiful night to Trick-or-Treat, and what a great night we had.    Ben headed off with our neighbor to collect candy.  He was sure we would slow them down.    Ethan, Nadia and I were joined by T Weber and had a great time.    Not to worry, our slow pace DID NOT hinder our candy gathering.   We ended the night with our bags full.   

Here's a few shots of our costumes. 

Nadia was a witch.  She was asked several time if she was good or bad.   She could not decided and really did not understand what people were asking her.   When she figured it out, she decided to be a good witch.  The boys thought she should take Zeke out with her, since he is a black cat.    

Ben announced that this was Zeke's holiday, since it's a holiday for black cats.   

Ethan dressed as a Star Wars Clone.    I am going to have to ask which one.   I can't remember.     That's perfect for him, since we is really into Star Wars right now.   He loves the books, but especially the Lego.

Ben was a Ninja,  what boy doesn't love to slink around with their face covered and carrying a sword.  

From one season to the next

Today officially marks the end of fall sports and the beginning of winter sports.   Unfortunately, the month of October is a month of overlap, so it's a little chaotic. I can't guarantee that life will slow down, but at least we can focus a little more.      
All 3 played soccer this fall, with Coach Andrew also stepping in to help with the Kiddie Kicker level.   Nadia loved having her Daddy as coach.    He was given the team of all girls.   It was a little challenging to manage all the giggling and gymnastic tricks.   The girls had to be reminded they were playing soccer and not gymnastics.   I give Andrew an "A" in the patience category.   
Ethan played Ames Parks and Recreation.   He was a little frustrated this season.   There were only 3 teams in his age groups, so he played each team several times.   His other complaint was that the competition was not very challenging.   He was bored.  
Ben had a very successful season with the Gilbert Soccer Club.   He is looking forward to Spring season.  He really had fun playing with new group of friends.
Saturday was the first hockey game of the season.  It was Ethan and Andrew' first game.   They played very well, but ending with a tie and a loss.    They have high hopes for the season.  

Ben decided to earn a little money this Hockey season.   He took the USA hockey official class with his friend, Seth.    Saturday was his first game.    He was very nervous.   The Referee-in-Chief for Ames Hockey came to help him.   After the game, Ben expressed how hard it was.   He was pretty sure that he did terrible.    The Referee-in-Chief assured him that he did great for his first time.   He spent some time after the game giving him some pointers.   I hope Ben works a few more games to increase his confidence.   He looks so cute in his official uniform.     

The Tooth Fairy

The tooth fairy made a visit to our house this week.    This was Nadia's first lost tooth and she was super excited to have reached this milestone.    She was even more excited in the morning when she found her dollar.     She exclaimed, "The tooth fairy is real!"     Maybe we should not have told her the truth about Santa Clause?!