Wednesday, December 28, 2011


After 2 weeks of travels, from Mexico to Michigan, we are home.  Home is my favorite.  Mexico was great! Got to see my youngest sister,  Kenzie, get hitched on the beach.   What could be better?!

It was a nice vacay, but not necessarily a relaxing one.  Thanks to a certain 2 year old.  

She kept me on my toes.  Turns out that when in crowded areas she likes to spontaneously run away from me.  Can't tell you how many times I had to run after her and wound up in the kitchen of a restaurant, a men's restroom or the wrong side of airport security.  She thought it was hilarious.    

As soon as we got back from our fab all-inclusive, over indulging beach vacation , we headed to Michigan to spend Christmas with the Berrys.  We got to see some cousins that we don't get to spend enough time with, just relax and most importantly, I did not have to wear a swimsuit.  Which is a really good thing.  Because Grandma Berry's house is also "all-inclusive".  And back to back all-inclusive vacations have made stretchy pants my new best friend.  

It was a merry Christmas.  So happy to be home.  But even happier that we got to spend time with our awesome families.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Skater boy

A few months back we went to one of the Street League skateboarding competitions.  It was kind of a big deal.  Well, to the boys it was.  After the contest there was an autograph session.  But we didn't get to stay for it, and the boys were pretty disappointed.  I told them they should write letters to their favorite skaters and ask for an autograph.  Ryder and Gavin wrote 3 letters: to Chris Cole, Ryan Sheckler and Dylan Reider (I realize those names don't mean much to most people, but they are pro skateboarders).  That was 4 months ago.  Today Ryder got a package in the mail.  A big package.

I'm not sure which boy was more excited  

Thanks Dylan Reider.  You made this kids day!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


She has been home with us for 6 months now.  Which according to the calendar isn't really that long.  But she has nestled in to our family so amazingly well, that it's hard to imagine a time when she wasn't here.  Sometimes I look at her and I still can't believe that she is here, that she is ours.

She is the only extrovert in a family of introverts.  (Can't you hear God laughing?) She embarrasses me when we walk through Target. She says hi to every person we pass while simultaneously singing "Happy Birthday" at the top of her lungs.

She hates it when I am on the computer or the phone.  She gets a wee bit jealous.  But yet she doesn't need me at all once we get to Sunday school class or when her brothers get home from school.  She loves people.  Loves attention.

Oh, and the shoes.  She still loves them.  Her current favorites are a pair of flip-flops.  Used, dirty flip-flops.  Given to us a by a neighbor girl (who Wren worships).  She will choose them everyday over any other pair of shoes.  I can't wait till it's to cold for flip-flops.

aunt kenzie's shoes

She is sassy.  Opinionated.  Loud.  Determined.  Funny.  Smart.  Sooo smart.  Needy.  Messy.  Fast.  Cute.  Darn cute.  Loving.  Cuddly.  Independent. 
 She is my best girl.

Friday, September 23, 2011

No more milkshakes

Yep, this post is long overdue.  It's 59 degrees outside today.  I guess it's no longer milkshake weather.  Over the summer we visited 8 different ice cream places (well, we may have visited 1 place in particular multiple times)    in search of the best milkshake.  All in the name of science, of course.  See the following charts and graphs....
And, drumroll please, our winner is OBERWEIS.  Scoring a 26 out of 30.  It was the first place we visited, and no other could top it.  They've got lots of different flavors, you get a huge honkin' milkshake in a fancy stemmed glass, and their ice cream really is the best.    It's a tad pricey, about 5 bucks.  But ya get what ya pay fer.    Our least favorite place was Portillos, scoring 12/30.   They offer a chocolate cake shake.  While it sounds good, the boys were not fans.  It's basically a vanilla shake with a soggy piece of  cake in the bottom.  We will  continue our research next summer.  Ya know, for science.

scientific data usually involves crayons

We are back to our school year routine.  The boys are doing well in school, despite their complaining about homework and not having enough hours in the day to play.  Wren misses them.  But she also enjoys having me to herself.  More on her later...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Last days of August

This is Ryder.   He's 9 now.  NINE.  (Well, really he's some sort of middle-aged-man-kid hybrid.  He plays chess and reads big fat books.  I don't even know how to play chess. )

This is how we celebrated Ryder's birthday.  It was good times.

And now we have a giant slingshot in our backyard.

Ryder's birthday also happened to be the first day of school.  Lucky kid.

This was one nervous kid.  But he survived, and I think he might have even enjoyed it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Catch up.....again

I'm super excited for school to start.  Like really excited.  Like counting the hours excited.  Summer has been fun, but I'm ready to add a little structure to my day.  And a little quiet time.  (2 more days!)

Blogging has taken a backseat this summer.  We've been busy (doing milkshake research and not watching TV).  So here's a glimpse of the last half of our summer.

Child labor

Field trip to see the sunflowers (with Aunt Kenzie, Aunt B and the cousins)

Gav's first karate tournament

Wren's re-adoption day.  
(We had to readopt her in the US so she could have a US birth certificate)
This is her being deputized by the Chicago police department.  I have no idea why this is part of the adoption process.  It was weird.  

Fun with the chalkboard wall.  

mmm. homemade donuts.  

Gavin teaching Wren how to jump in the puddles.  

Coming Soon:  First Day pictures,  a house project update and Milkshake Monday results.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Catch up

It's been a while, I know.  Here's what we've been up to this past month....

We celebrated Wren's 2nd birthday - 3 times, in 3 different states.

We enjoyed some quality time with some cousins, throwing gang signs.

Lots of this.

We ate this.  You should give it a try too. 

We spotted this "TIV" on the highway.......

on our way to Cedar Point.

We rode rides.  And we wore matching shirts.  Don't be jealous.  

We made a rope swing in grandpa's backyard.  

And everyone enjoyed it.  

We played on the beach.  This was not Wren's favorite thing to do.

It might have been his favorite thing. 

Is there anything better than digging holes?

We made our way back down to the beach to watch the fireworks.

first fireworks :)

backyard fun

I love summer.