Hi Everyone,

I’m up way too late but I just added about 6 posts so get ready for some long reading…you might want to take a potty break before you start and maybe get a snack to – LOL!!!  Enjoy!!

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We were so happy to have my brother and my SIL (I need to get better with using these little text abbreviations – still not so good but, thought I would throw one in there but I wrote a whole essay so it defeats the purpose of the abbreviations – LOL!!).  Well, I digress,  back to the story.  So they did come to visit and we had such a great time with them!  Enjoy the pictures…

The first day they came, we took the Californian's to our beach! My SIL was shocked that we have a beach. It was a beautiful evening. You can see the Chicago skyline if you look close! It even impressed the Californians!

We hiked up the big sand dune...

Then we had to come down...Joshua ran down (and up 5 times!) - that's why he is stick thin and eats like an adult!

Then we went to Chicago.  Shana had never been so we made sure she saw all the Chicago sites!  The only we missed was the Chicago pizza but I think we did a good job with all the Chicago must sees!

We ate brunch at the Signature Room - a must when you come to the city!

Then to Navy Pier.

This was a good picture, since it shows the John Hancock Building which we were on top of there for brunch and now we were down looking up!

And of course "The Bean" - Officially called "Cloud Gate" I think...

It is alwsays so cool seeing the Bean in person!

Then Joshua lost his tooth on our bus ride back to our car (Losing a tooth in Chicago - Priceless!).

Update to present day January 2, 2011:  he’s lost a few more teeth and on the verge of more teeth!

Love that smile!

Back to Qui and Shana’s visit…

They got to see small time living as we took them to our local parade.  Joshua was in it with his Karate Group.

We found our curbside location.

There's Joshua!

Then we took them to the Apple Orchard and we went to a different one than the one we usually do and Sam and I agreed we won’t be going back there.  There were no apples to pick!  Weird huh?  Never had that happen before but they said because of the weird weather, the crop was smaller than normal…Hmmmm…

Ride out in search of some apples. We did get some, but no Honey Crisps our favorite!

We did get yummy donuts! They were delicious! Ashley can attest!

Their last day, we went hiking.  It was a great finish to a great week of activities – too short a visit!

Ashley the seasoned hiker, from school, showed the way.

We had a great time during their visit!

 

Birthday Season 2010

January 2, 2011

So of course September is the start of Birthday Season for our family.  Ashley’s is first, then mine and then Joshua.

We had to celebrate with multiple parties (family, friends and school for each child of course!) – Yikes!

ASHLEY’S EXTRAVAGANZA

Family Birthday Party (Cake).

Friend Party (Cupcake)

School Party (Cookies)

JOSHUA’S FESTIVITIES

Joshua's Family Party (Tart)

Friend Party (Cake)

We do not go in for his birthday at school.  Sam and I did bring him lunch for his birthday and ate in the cafeteria with him for his special day so I guess that is what we did for that.  We did bring in treats for him to share with his class that day!

They had his name on the white board when you enter his room. I don't remember what treat we brought - it has to be store bought so I know it was way easier than Ashleys!!!

My Birthday fell between the two of them and it came and went with little excitement, which is how I like it these days.  My brother and Shana were able to be there for the day which made it special!

Happy Birthday To Me! I love these cakes!

Okay, so I found this post that I had started in September and never finished…surprise surprise!

This is how it started…

September is the start of the busy season at work and at home…birthday parties, school, more birthday parties and more school…

First off a picture of Ashley’s pretty sunflower that we grew this year.  She brought it home at the end of school year and I decided to plant it.  Well, while I was planting it, I kind of broke the stem a bit (not completely) but still decided to keep it to see what would happen.  Well as you can see…

It made it! We had a beautiful sunflower!

Ashley was so proud of the plant and I was astounded that it made it!  She was so excited when the flower finally bloomed!  BEAUTIFUL!

Our beautiful Ashley in front of her beautiful sunflower!

And now, I finish the blog…

We went with some of our neighbors to see some trains.  They were so cool.   We were able to ride, small ones, medium ones and of course the large ones.  It was a lot of fun and they kids had a blast!

Fun day with trains!

Here are the small ones!

We had a great time!

Continued next blog…Birthday season up next!

Halloween 2010

January 2, 2011

So the next holiday prior to Thanksgiving is Halloween of course.  This year was a real bummer as I missed trick or treating because of work!  Yes, a big bummer!!!

I did get to go to some of the school functions and Sam did a great job getting pictures during Trick or Treating.  I was home by 8pm but trick or treating ends early in our town!  Enjoy the Halloween pics of 2010.

At the Pumpkin Patch with Grandma and Grandpa.

They are ready to ride out to the pumpkin patch to get their pumpkins. It was a beautiful day!

Here's Ashley's pick!

Joshua went back and forth a couple of times, but settled with this guy!

Mom and Ashley on a field trip to the Apple Orchard with school.

Joshua on his field trip - they went for a hike on this farm (county park). It was fun!

Ashley during the class costume parade at school.

Joshua at his Halloween School Party

We painted and carved pumpkins (Ashley only painted pumpkins - she does not like the smell of the pumpkins when they are ope - too funny!)

Joshua carved his own pumpkin this year! So proud of him - he did a GREAT job!

The final product with the painted pumpkins. We had some neighbors over to help too!

Here he is, so proud of his work!

Here they are lit up

Happy Halloween 2010

This is Trick or Treating night. The skeleton is a new addition from Grandma. It was awesome!

This is the neighborhood of kids - this is why it's so fun in our neighborhood for Halloween!

We love Halloween!

Thanksgiving 2010

January 2, 2011

Thanksgiving was at our house this year and we had quite the feast.  As always we had tons of food!  YUMMY!!!  We had leftovers for quite a while.  It was nice to see Sam’s uncle and his family.  It is always great seeing them.  The new house did well for the party!

The Girls and Andrea (and Uncle Bishi)

Terry and his boys-everyone is all grown up!

Ashley and Sam (Sam's cousin Samantha) - Pretty girls!

The boys watching football of course.

Joshua and Elliot

Pretty Ladies & Ashley (Aunt Jackie, Sam, Jean)

You see correctly, Ashley with a spoonful of whip cream!

Sam's Uncle Bishi and his family - So glad they could join us!

Tom and Jean

Happy 2011!

January 1, 2011

Well, there are no excuses but to say, we have been a busy bunch and I’ve been so slacking with this blog!  It’s atrocious (sp??)!!!!  We’ll I’m back for the time being I guess.  I guess we’ll work from present day and work back as much as I can to my last post which was September when the kids were starting school…can I say again, ATROCIOUS!!!

First off, Happy New Year everyone!  Last year we rang in the new year pretty much sleeping by midnight (Joshua made it to 11:45 pm last year, Ashley was sleeping way before that!).  But this year they were DETERMINED to make it to midnight and…

THEY DID IT!!!

This is what midnight looks like for kids that should not be up at midnight!

Happy New Year Everyone!

They even toasted the occasion (Joshua, sparkling grape juice and Ashley, lemonade because sparkling juice was "too spicy"!).

We had a great Christmas holiday as well.  Full of activities, as is always the case, around this time of year!  Let’s see, we got our tree right after Thanksgiving.  It was easy finding our tree but Sam had some difficulty cutting the trunk, it was a really full tree with branches all the way to the bottom.  It was beautiful!  We decorated the tree and the house and it was so festive!  I really love Christmas – it just comes so quick and goes by so quickly too.  We did our traditional cookies (smaller quantity this year).  Surprising not very many crafts this year – I must be loosing my touch!  My resolution for this year is to do more crafts next Christmas – ha ha ha!  Enjoy our Christmas pics:

Here we are in front of our tree at the tree farm.

Sam finally cut it down - as you can see the stump left behind!

The first Santa we always visit. He's not the most authentic but the kids are usually just "practicing" their list on this Santa...LOL!

Okay, the kids ride this ride every year and this year the guy said parents ride for free - of course the kids, on cue...yeah, you have to ride mom and dad...so here we are!

I'm at the end...that was the bumpiest ride ever!

Our Christmas Tree 2010

Daytime shot. I love our Christmas tree!

Raring to go with cookie making!

This is it...Santa's cookies were on the plate! The cookies went fast!

I forgot about the Christmas program. This is Ashley in hers. She was the cutest in her "sparkly" dress that she picked out herself! She was so cute-always the leader during the dances!

Joshua and his "Gingerbread Christmas Program". He and his classmate had one line by themselves. It was cute!

Christmas is so much fun with the kids.  They really make it so special and everything is so exciting for them now that they are so into it!  We had a great time this year.

Oh, I forgot we did do gingerbread houses (kit with 5 houses).  It was fun.  Ashley made one house for her Bitty!  Bitty is the 5th member of our family now.  If you look back to the mantle you will see the little stocking that Ashley put up for her!

Gingerbread Village

Merry Christmas 2010!