Friday, February 25, 2011

An Early Birthday Gift

Drew has been loving roller hockey and having a blast with it. His Grandma and Grandpa Klauser asked him if he'd be interested in seeing a Blues hockey game for his birthday gift. Drew said he'd love to see the St Louis Blues play the Chicago Blackhawks. Lucky for him, they happened to play each other on Monday afternoon, when Drew was off of school for Presidents Day.

On Monday Todd and Drew headed down to St Louis early enough to hit a few stores and eat lunch at Union Station before walking over to the stadium. Todd was able to get some good photos---they said they had awesome seats--and got some video too which I'm attempting to upload now. For some reason I can rarely get it to work on blogger.

Todd and Drew's 'self-portrait' before the game.

A couple of action shots.

Drew sporting his Blues hockey jersey that he received for Christmas from us.

The final score......unfortunately the Blues lost but it was a close game until the end.
He was so excited after the game. He even bought a hockey puck and a Blues ball cap as souveniers. I know Todd had every bit as much fun as Drew.....he really enjoyed having a guys day, just the two of them. I can't believe his birthday is coming up in a month....the big 12. His last year before becoming a teenager. Oh my.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Proud Moments

My boys always make me proud......Drew and Noah gave me a couple of more reasons last week.
For Catholic Schools Week the 5th and 6th grades had a poster contest with the theme having to do with Catholic Schools being A+. Guess who got 1st place? Drew! Here's a picture of his poster hanging up in the hall at school. He did an amazing job. My children did NOT get their drawing skills from me. I struggle with stick people.
(if you can't read it, click on the picture and it will blow it up)

Then on Friday was the school spelling bee. Each individual class had a spelling bee and the top 2 spellers from each grade would go on to the school spelling bee. I was so excited when I heard that both Noah AND Drew would get to participate. The kids participating ranged in ages from 3rd grade through 8th grade. It was Noah's first year to be old enough to participate. I thought he might be a little nervous but he seemed right at home up there. Of course I was sitting in my seat nervous enough for both boys. Each time they got up to spell a word, I felt sick to my stomach. I didn't want one brother to get upset by being beat by another, I didn't want either one of them to get out early on and be disappointed.

I worried for nothing. Drew got 2nd place and my little ole 3rd grader, Noah got 3rd place. I was so proud of them and so excited! They were both happy with the outcome too, no hard feelings between brothers. Whew!

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

More Winter Fun

I figured I'd better post the rest of my snow pictures. That warm spell we had melted all of the snow from the blizzard and gave us a glimpse of springlike weather. I'm hoping these are the last snow pictures I'll have from this winter!

A couple of weeks ago Todd and Noah headed up to Camp Eastmen (up by Nauvoo, IL) with the cub scouts for a day of winter activities. They did all sorts of fun activities. These are just a few that Todd captured on film.

The weather was just warm enough that the snow was packing great. The kids had a ball rolling snow for snowmen, snow balls, etc.

They panned for 'gold'. Noah even went back a second time to get more so he could make something special for me for Valentines Day. I'll have to post a picture of it soon. So sweet and thoughtful and who doesn't love a little 'gold' for a gift? ;)

They got to try out snowshoes.
For one of the boys' scout meetings, Todd had the boys over and they built this dog sled. They had fun pulling each other around on it.

One snowy Saturday a few weeks before that, we had our cousins Carter and Ian over to play. The boys had a blast in the backyard. Carter is 3 so our little hill was just perfect for him. He's a smaller version of fear and wanted to be like his big cousins. He hopped on the sled head first and took off down the hill.
Noah and Aiden slid down together.
Aiden is a little free spirit.

Noah took Carter for a ride.
Little Ian stayed inside with us girls. Doesn't his cuteness just kill you?? I'm in love with this kiddo. He's my little buddy.
He was so proud of his popsicle. :)
Drew was supposed to camp at the winter cabin with his scout troop the same weekend that Noah went up to Camp Eastman. They had to cancel because of all of the snow. A lot of the backroads leading up to Camp Saukenauk hadn't been plowed the camp was closed. This coming weekend though is when they rescheduled. Looks like the weather will be a little better too so maybe I won't worry so much!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Life with Our Girl

Usually this blog is filled with stories about our family from the point of view of "Our Girl". Today we are taking over her blog so that we can tell you why she is so special to us.

Our first Valentine's Day together you cooked dinner for me. It was a candle lit dinner with Dijon Chicken, wild rice and heart shaped jell-o. It was the first time I had had rice. Over the years I have tried so many new foods thanks to you. Everything from brats to potatoes. Most of my favorite foods are ones that I never would have tried if I hadn't met you.

Shortly after we started dating I messed up my back. I wasn't able to do anything except lay around. Most girls would have been bored or given up on me, but not you. You would always stop by and stood by my side. You even got everyone together for my birth day.

Looking back at all the past Valentine's day cards I realize you have always tried to give me what I wanted. I have a Lamborghini and a monkey because of you. You always do the little things that make me feel special.

When we were first dating we would always take pictures of the two of us. They were the ones we took of ourselves while holding out the camera. Now all of our pictures feature three little guys who are not so little. Those three boys love you sooo much. I love the way that each of them looks at you.

Drew is our oldest but he is still our baby. He loves getting to stay up late and being included on some of the grown up things that we let him do, but at bedtime each night he still wants you to tuck him in. When he hugs you I can still see the baby in him. He also loves doing things for you. Watching him pick out presents for you is such a joy. He ponders over every detail because when it is for you it has to be just right.

Noah has the biggest heart I have ever seen in a kid. He and you share a special bond and love for cats. I used to think that being your cat would be the easiest life on the planet but Noah gives you some competition. He is stating to grow in so many regards, but he is still our little Noah. I love seeing him nestle up against you on the couch. He truly loves his family and puts the his brothers before himself. That is something I know he got from his mom.

Then there is Aiden. He is non-stop boy unless he can sit and cuddle with mom. The way he looks at you is amazing. His big brown eyes just stare at you in pure amazement. It is as though the sight of you takes him to some fairy tale land. He really would marry you if he could. I love the way he has to be touching you at all times. Watching him play with your hair an the comfort it gives him is something special. The way he comes in and falls asleep in our bed every morning making sure he can hold you is fun to watch.

Kelly you are absolutely the love of our lives. You make each one of your boys who they are. You make us each better and we love you for it. Happy Valentine's Day from your boys.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blizzard 2011

What was your favorite name for the Blizzard??? Some of my favorites were Snownami, Snowmageddon, Snowpocalypse, Snowgasm (so bad I know), and Snowcation. Yes, it was a Snowcation for sure. The boys had 4 snow days In. A. Row. We're on Day 3 right now and have been enjoying ourselves especially since all 5 of us are home together. I guarantee though, that come Monday, I'll be very ready for my loves to all go back to school so we can get in some sort of routine.....and I can have a few moments to myself!

I had been taking pictures of the bushes outside of my window all day so I could see the progression of the snow. This was not even halfway through the storm. Needless to say, when all was said and done......there was not a sign of a bush anywhere.

It was so hard to capture on camera just how hard it was coming down sometimes. There were periods where you could hardly see down the street.

I took this around 9pm and it was still pouring down. You can kind of see where Todd cleared a path to the front door. It didn't take long at all to fill in. See Drew's little tree out there?? That just makes me laugh.

Morning little tree, I know you're in there somewhere.
We have this big thick curtain of snow just hanging off the whole front of our roof. It is kind of spooky actually. I call it our Snowvalanche. Just waiting to see whose head it falls on.

See that indentation in the middle? That's where Todd shoveled the night before. Yes, that is where our sidewalk should be.....with bushes on either side.
View from the street.
My sweet Drew trying to dig us a sidewalk.
Noah tries out the new walkway.
Drew standing in the plowed street. That's how deep our yard is there.
Aiden stops to give me a smile.
Aiden is yelling for help. He fell in the snow for the first time and was having a hard time getting back up.

Drew starting on his igloo. He has put a lot of time and effort in it and it is pretty good sized. I probably won't melt until April. LOL
Think Todd could back his car out into the driveway?? For the record....our driveway STILL looks like that. Luckily we've only needed to get the van out so far.
Climbing a small mountain. We got about 18 inches of snow but with the drifting, there are some really high peaks to climb.
The view out of our sliding glass doors. Yes, that is a porch swing in the background.....looking a little wonky. It would have been nice if hubby had put it away in the garage for the winter.
Jack got out a couple of times (only once on purpose). Wierdo LOVED the snow and was romping around in it. He came in all covered in snow and shook it all off. He's been meowing ever since to go back out. I guess it would be hard to lose him in all of the white.
Todd dug a nice snow tunnel out for the boys in one of the drifts in the yard.
It looks like frosting up there.
View from my window this morning. Sunshine and icicles.

Wishes of a 5 Year Old

Aiden, as we cuddled in bed this morning. "Know what I wish? I wish that no one ever died, not even pets, and that Grayson would come back, and that every day was a snow day, and every day was Christmas, and the snow was ice."

Amen! Well, maybe except for the ice part.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ski Trip

This post is long overdue but I wanted to get it done before I started posting pictures of the great Blizzard of 2011. :)

A couple of weeks ago the 5 of us went skiing at Snowstar up in Andalusia, IL with the Boy Scouts. Todd used to ski when he was a kid but the rest of us were first timers. I was so excited because skiing was something I always wanted to try. Wouldn't you know I woke up with horrible back pain (thanks to shoveling snow) and couldn't even bend over. The 2 1/2 hour ride up was very uncomfortable. I tried to be a good sport and I spent the day watching my 4 favorite people ski and taking pictures. Luckily as long as I stood up, I didnt feel too bad. Bending and sitting was no fun.

The boys took to skiing like it was inborn in them, honestly. We paid the $5 for ski lessons. Since it was mostly adults and kids Drew's age and older, they all went in one group and then Noah and Aiden got their own personal instructor which was amazing. She was so good with them. Drew couldn't get in for a snowboard lesson for another hour so he gave it a go on his own.

Here Noah and Aiden get ready to go down the bunny hill with their instructor for the first time!

Drew trying out the snow board on the bunny hill. He eventually got a little frustrated and switched to skiis. He never took a lesson, just went out and started skiing.
This is the 2nd hill they mastered, it had little ramps and other fun stuff to do. Noah is in the brown coat on the left and Todd is helping Aiden go over the little jump.

Self portrait of Noah and Todd on the ski lift. I think all of the boys enjoyed the ski lift as much as they did skiing down those bigger hills!
Noah skiing down one of the bigger hills.
Drew heading down.
Todd and Aiden going over the jump again. He was loving it.

The weather wasn't too bad. It had been brutally cold the day before but I think it got up to 18 that day. Yes, that was cold, but we had tons of layers on and there was no wind. The boys had a blast. Thanks to Grandma Tunie and Grandpa Ken....this was our family xmas gift from them. I think it might be an annual xmas gift now as we are all excited to head back there!
When we left we met cousin Kris, Brian, and sweet little Katie for supper at a neat little pizza place. I was excited to find out that we were skiing near where they lived and we enjoyed getting to meet up with them and visit. It was such a wonderful day. To see the sheer joy on the boys' faces as they coasted down the hill. It made me want to be out there with them so bad. Next year. :)