Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Rock Climbing Good Time

Some of our very best friends, Brayden and Riley, turned 7 yesterday. To celebrate we went to use the climbing wall at an Athletic Club. For starters I didn't expect the wall to be SO BIG! It was 40 feet to the top and it took up an entire room all the way around. It was awesome! I really didn't know what the kids would think of it. I knew they would want to try but I didn't know how far they would go.

Evan tried a couple of times and went about 15 feet up but decided he was good with that and enjoyed climbing on the low spots without all of the roping after that. Braeden went three times and made it all the way to the top on his third try!! I was SO PROUD! I couldn't believe he was willing to climb that high. What an exciting experience to watch. 

Getting strapped in..


Braeden working his way to the top..

..and he made it!!

The party was really fun. There was rock climbing, time in the gym to play basketball and a really awesome play structure that the kids would have played in all day if they could. I got lucky and drove the car load of boys to the party and I am far more educated that I was yesterday on all things that can exit the body.. Enough said. We love Brayden and Riley so much and it was a fantastic way to celebrate their birthday!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Is it Possible to Become a Morning Person?

I believe that this very nicely sums up my feeling on mornings.. 

I have never ever been a morning person. Oh how I would like to be. It's such a beautiful time of day and I often read blogs or talk to people who share how much they are able to get done in peace before their kids wake up for the day. But me? No way. I struggle to get myself out of bed in time to get everything done before we have to leave for school. I am simply NOT a morning person. 

But can I become one?

With the time change approaching and a desire to regain some of the physical fitness I had oh so long ago, a friend and I have decided to try walking early in the morning. This may or may not go well. I love the idea of being able to get more out of my day and feel accomplished right from the start, but will it be possible to make the change? I guess I'll know soon enough :)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Lovely Valentine's

This year Valentine's Day came with more snow. Not really a surprise these days since it seems to snow constantly. But on Friday we were in day two of a big storm. On the eve of Winter Vacation from school we had two days off for snow which is our second recent school break with two extra days. 

My grandmother made decorations with them one night while she was babysitting. 

The big question all week was whether or not to make treats for school. We decided to go for it and made these yummy cookies which we have since eaten. Now we will make them again next weekend for the school celebration after break.  

The boys both made their own cards for their friends at school. Evan insisted on doing all of the writing himself which included the names of 22 classmates and 5 teachers! It took him a few days but he did it. Braeden decided to draw each person a picture of something they like or enjoy to do on their card. It was very sweet and so thoughtful. I love that they each care enough to put the time and effort into their friends. 

On Valentine's Day the kids were delighted with the Flashlight Friends we gave them. 

Roman and I don't celebrate Valentine's Day with gifts for each other. I have never really loved the holiday for a variety of reasons but I love celebrating it for my kids! I will take any excuse to show them how much I love them. :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

They're Goofy, But They're Mine

Needless to say, our life is never boring! Please forgive the phone pics :)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

His Sights Are On The Olympics

I'm not sure if it's the connection to Russia because Roman is from there or if Braeden is just old enough now to really appreciate the Olympics this year, but he is very into everything that has to do with this year's Winter Olympics. He wants to watch any sport that is on and is still marveling at all of the countries included and how it all works.

On Friday while we were at an incredibly fun sledding party for his first grade class, he spent over an hour on his snowboard. He went from top to bottom most times and was so proud of his ability to balance and stop. When we were watching the Opening Ceremonies later that night he announced that he wants to compete as a snowboarder in the Olympics. I love his passion, but I'm pretty sure it's probably not in the cards for his future. Everybody needs dreams! And really, I guess never say never!

And yes, I know he's not wearing a helmet but it's a small hill and a toy snowboard :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

It Was Finally WARM Enough To Go Sledding

We have had lots of snowstorms this year but even when we get enough snow for sledding it's been SO cold that nobody wants to be outside to do anything, never mind whipping down a hill to land in a heap of snow at the bottom. We're used to cold here. This is New England. We get winter. But this year the temperatures have consistently been 10 degrees and below and that doesn't even account for wind chill. The poor kids are all going stir crazy because they stay inside more often than they go out for recess because it's just too cold or icy to be outside.

Today is a balmy almost 30 degrees out so with all of the wonderful snow falling, we finally went sledding! The kids were very excited and I was too because what fun is winter if you can't play in the white stuff? I didn't take many pictures because I was sledding with them, but we had a great time and even Maggie lasted for over an hour! Evan not so much but I made him stay anyway because he's almost five and sometimes you just have to do things you don't want to.  We have several hills very close to our house to choose from but today we went to our friend Scott's parents house. They have a big hill in their front yard and the kids love to see if they can jump the driveway!

Maggie has NO fear! She was going down all by herself today and loving it! Especially when we switched to the driveway which is a pretty good hill and much faster than trying to make a path in the lawn. 

Evan wasn't all that interested because he doesn't love having to walk back up the hill (especially since we carry Maggie up) so he ate some snow and complained a good part of the time. 

Braeden and Brayden tried all of the different sleds and then realized just how fast they could go on the driveway. Watch out! An adult always stands at the bottom to stop the sleds from getting too close to the road which is good because these two were flying!

A couple of families in first grade are hosting a sledding party after school on Friday and the kids are very excited to go! Finally we get to enjoy some of the snow without getting frostbite! 

Sunday, February 2, 2014


When I was young, I started playing basketball in fourth grade. I played all the way through my senior year of high school with almost all the same girls that I began with 10 years earlier. I'd love to say it was a fantastic ride but it sadly ended my senior year with an unfortunate experience that left some very bad feelings and a desire to stay far away from the court. Honestly I didn't know if I would ever encourage my kids to play because I didn't want them getting swept up in the attitudes that can be associated with the sport. I had loved the game for so long but yet I was very wary just the same.

But last year I realized it was time to get over myself and my own experience and let Braeden enjoy how fun the sport can be and I knew that one of our very best friends would be his coach when he started so he began playing this year. He attended basketball camp over the summer and really enjoyed it, aside from the jammed finger, so he was excited for the season to start this winter. I have really enjoyed the experience of getting back in the gym and watching him love what I loved. Even the smell and sound of a gym during practice is comforting and very nostalgic. I'm so glad Braeden wanted to play!

Can I just tell you that these first graders are amazing!! I am so impressed with their abilities to listen and absorb the instruction they are being given and their skill levels are incredible for six year olds. Stepping into the gym has brought back a lot of the great memories from when I was little!

Reverse pivots

Jump stops

Ball handling 

He dribbles like it's no big deal!

They work on their lay up foot work every week and they are all getting so much better!

Three point stance

Of course Maggie wants to get in on the action!

My ballers :)

There are perks to having the coach be a close friend. He'll do anything she asks :)

And she scores!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Christmas Day 2013

After an interesting night when Maggie decided to start vomiting around 11:30 from eating too much fruit and not enough anything else at dinner, we woke up to find that Santa had not only been to our house but had inadvertently left a treasure behind as well.

The magic of Christmas was alive and well in our house when we found this gem on Christmas morning!

What made this discovery even more incredible was that the Santa's Facebook page had posted this status on Christmas Eve:

The timing of our acquiring the bells from a very special helper of Santa and this status made it pretty hard not to feel the magic of Christmas!! 

Braeden just HAD to have this train. He has lots of trains but he was in Rite Aid one day and saw it and was determined he NEEDED it. It's not great quality but it was inexpensive and Maggie ended up getting it for him. He was thrilled!

Maggie LOVED this horse. I'm pretty sure it's not for riding but...

I encourage the kids to think about what they think Daddy would like and then we go and buy him a present. Evan thought about it for a few minutes and then told me that Daddy really likes peanuts (which he does) so that's what he bought him for Christmas. I love this tradition and look forward to seeing how their shopping choices change as they get older. 

Evan just HAD to have some Gak. It's gross and sticks to everything, but he got some and about two days later it was all dried out and in the trash but he sure enjoyed it while he had it. 

Christmas is always busy and it's always hectic, but I love it so much and having children to bring the magic back makes it so much more special. We continue to honor some of the traditions that my family had growing up as well as creating new ones with our little family and our friends. 

And I think that finally wraps up 2013! 

Christmas Eve 2013

We had a wonderful Christmas. The kids found so much joy in so many places and we were blessed with some amazing "magic" to make the holiday even more special. The kids get very excited when Martin (our elf) makes his appearance and this year he was not only a look-out elf for Santa, but he became a messenger as well. The boys gave him their letters to take back to to the North Pole with him and when they would remember something that they wanted to add to their list I would hear them talking to Martin to see if he could pass along their message to Santa. It was so fun to watch and hear!

Christmas Eve is always spent with my mother's side of our family. This year while we were waiting to eat dinner, Santa called! I didn't think any of my three would even get near the phone, but I was so wrong! All three of them took their turn and answered his questions and verified that he knew what it was they were most looking forward to seeing under the tree the next morning. Braeden told me later that he was so glad he got a chance to talk to Santa because he had forgotten to tell him that he wanted legos when we had visited him at Kringle Candle but he remembered on the phone. Phew!

Our very own cookie monster!

 Let's get this party started!

 In front of Grammy and Grampa's tree between Church and dinner

Grammy Jean and Braeden 

Ciocia Julia (the hostess) and Maggie

 Grammy and the boys

Maggie has quite a bond with my cousin Katie! My aunt gave Katie a picture of herself making a funny face and Maggie thought it was the funniest picture she had ever seen. She carried it around showing it to everyone and then laughing hysterically every time she looked down at it. I don't always understand her but that girl cracks me up!

Katie and Maggie

Talking to Santa!

Saying good-bye to Martin and cookies for Santa!

I love Christmas Eve because it's the easiest night of the year to get the kids to go to bed!