Sunday, November 25, 2007

Decking the halls

The boys have been really bugging me about getting our Christmas trees out and decorated. Since we'll be in Kansas City for the actual holiday, I really didn't want to put up two trees (one in the basement family room and one in our formal living room upstairs).

I made a deal with the boys that if I only put up the tree in the formal living room, I would buy them a little tree they could decorate in their playroom.

It was a big hit and the tree now stands in front of the playroom window for everyone to see.

Going through the ornaments with the boys

Casey finding just the right spot
for his ornament

Brett helping out

Proud of their work

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Christmas cards

I have to give a shout out to my friend Janette whose Christmas card and letter arrived today. TODAY. Before December!

I haven't even begun to think about taking a photo of the boys or writing a Christmas letter.

While we were out and about shopping today, I did notice these cool Christmas stamps. These are the neatest ones I've seen in a while. They look like knitted sweaters.


When the holidays come, I always say that it doesn't feel like Christmas. I have to say today's surprise snowfall really does get you into the holiday spirit.

Thanksgiving Day

We had a great Thanksgiving. We ate around 3 p.m., and the meal Nana Harla and Papa Frank cooked up was great.

Dan carving the turkey

I'll spare you the photos of the adults eating, but here's the kids:


Lily and Sophie


Maggie, who got her very own table

The biggest kid...
Nana and Papa's dog, Levi
He really gave Wanda a run for her money this week

After dinner and lots of running around, the kids finally settled in the playroom to wind down and watch some movies.

It was wall-to-wall Lovings

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pre-Thanksgiving Tiki Party

We all headed over to the Avery's for a pre-Thanksgiving tiki party. The highlight of the evening, was a game of Pictionary (boys vs. girls).

This is always fun when everyone's been drinking and no one has any artistic talent.

Dan's turn

Captain Don drawing "street"

Papa Frank drawing "yell"
(The head he drew looked a lot like Pacman)

Even the kids got into the act.

Sophie drawing "miniature golf"
(Not bad for an 11-year-old)

Casey's turn
(He had the word "submerge." Not an
easy one for a 6-year-old.)

Loving cousins

The Loving cousins have descended upon our house. We ordered pizza Wednesday night (mostly since we don't have any fridge space what with the turkey and all).

Sophie with Casey and Brett

Lily and Maggie


Big thanks to Nana Harla who cleaned out my pantry in anticipation of Thursday's big meal and all the groceries we'll be buying.

Here she is giving me a tour of the pantry.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Raking leaves

Yard work is always easier when you have some "help." Brett and Casey took a stab at raking leaves this morning while Dan used a leaf vacuum.

Raking leaves with Dad

Guess what came next?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Lauryn comes over

Tonight, I babysat Lauryn while Dan went to a sports memorabilia auction (yawn) with Jeff and Kathryn. Casey loves it when Lauryn comes over; maybe because he isn't the youngest anymore and he loves little kids.

Lauryn had lots of fun. She got to do a bunch of things that she can't do at her house:

Going up and down the stairs

Climbing to the top of the boys' bunkbeds

Watching movies with Casey in the playroom

Where was Brett during all this excitement? Going down the basement stairs on his sled.

That's excitement to a 2nd grader.

Gingerbread Village

This afternoon, I met Kathryn and Janette and her husband, Chris, and we took the kids to the Gingerbread Village, a local fundraiser. For $6, you get to make your own gingerbread house and you can also browse several professionally made ones.

Let's just say that most of the decorations ended up being eaten by the kids before they could be put on their houses.

Casey told me several times "Mom, this is one of the best things you've ever done to us!"

Here were some of the neat houses we got to see:

A haunted house

Noah's Ark

A cowboy Christmas

This one took first prize.
Notice the people inside the house.

It was a lot of fun, but making the houses was a little harder than I thought it would be. Lots of icing helped keep things together, though.

Kathryn and Lauryn working on their house

Brett "working" on his house

Logan and Janette

Casey with the finished product

Brett and his creation
(A little lopsided, but very well decorated)

More basketball updates

Today Casey made his first basket! It was at the opposite end of the court from where I was sitting so I couldn't get a photo of it, but he really did it.

Both Brett and Casey's teams won today.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Both the boys had basketball games today. This year it's great because the first game isn't until 10 a.m. so we don't have to get up at 7 on a Saturday for a basketball game like we have in years past.

Brett and Casey's teams seem to be getting on track and the boys are really doing well.

Casey and his best buddy, Braeden, high-fiving
each other after their team scored

Brett passing the ball to his teammate

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Surgical robot

One of the best parts of working in public relations at a medical center is occasionally getting to see and do things most people don't get the chance to.

Today we had an open house for our new surgical robot and I got to take the controls.

From this console, the doctor (me, in this case)
controls the robotic arms...

...which perform the surgery across the room

Pretty cool, huh?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Bee Movie

Saturday afternoon, Dan and I took the boys to see "Bee Movie." I have to say, it was pretty good despite the fact that it's clearly geared toward the kids.

As always, there were little jokes only the adults got, which I guess they add to keep us interested as well.


The boys are both playing basketball at the Y. Dan is coaching Casey's kindergarten team (the Spiders) and Brett is playing with the same team (the Pirates) he did last year.

Casey blocking

Brett's team has to wear numbered shirts
since they call fouls this year.
Brett is wearing number 2 (his choice)

Friday, November 2, 2007

50th day of school

Today the Kindergarten kids in Casey's school celebrated their 50th day in school with a 50s day and sock hop.

I dressed Casey in a white T-shirt, jeans and a jean jacket.

He looked really cool!