Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas!!

Individual poses were met with varying success!!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Packing up!

Our house is in a bit of disarray, but at least we have decided to take the kids.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

House for Sale

For Sale: Four bedrooms, large lot, 2 car attached garage, great neighbors, great town, 10 minutes from I-77, shed, swingset, private back yard, fireplace, firewood(!) central air, blah, blah, blah, tell your friends.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Home Remodeling

We recently had some work done to our downstairs bathroom. Turns out there was a bad gasket or bad seal in the tub in the upstairs bathroom that was allowing water to come down behind the drain stopper switch. Actually, I have no idea what the "technical name for it is, but it doesn't matter. The bottom line is, we had all sorts of nice water damage downstairs. The ceiling, and the drywall on both sides of the shower showed signs of water "yuckiness."

We hired a guy to come and fix it. He replaced the ceiling, replastered and textured it and replaced the drywall. I did the sanding, priming,
and painting. Here are some pictures that show the process. I'm pretty excited to have it done--especially since I could never have done it myself--at least not without someone who really knew what they were doing, plus I just simply haven't had the time recently.

Love the Snow

Almost since we got back from our Thanksgiving trip to Iowa, we have had snow on the ground. Lindsey in particular can't get enough of it. Reece enjoys it too and every time we walk outside along a parking lot side walk, for example, the kids HAVE to trudge through the snow in the grass off the sidewalk. I guess they should enjoy it while they can!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Thanksgiving Week

Our Thanksgiving week was a busy one. We left Monday for Iowa. As is our tradition with three little kids, we went as far as Joliet, IL, just on the other side of Chicago off I-80 and stayed over night. Tuesday we drove the rest of the way and spent the 2nd half of Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in the Waterloo area visiting Janet's family.

Friday, we departed for home, getting as far as Elkhart, IN, where we stay overnight in a hotel. Saturday, we got up and went the rest of the way home. After unpacking at home, we got out the Christmas decorations and set them all up! Four out of seven days on the road!

What a week! You can see some pictures of our adventures here.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Swimming in November

Austin and Lindsey have been enjoying swimming lessons over the last couple of years. They've both gotten better and better. Here are some pictures of our little fish. We're fortunate to have a YMCA in Green with a couple of heated pools. Otherwise, swimming in November in NE Ohio would not be likely! Lindsey hasn't quite gotten the hang of swimming by herself--without holding onto something or being held up by a flotation device, but she's getting there. Austin is doing a great job at the back stroke with one little problem--he has been swimming crooked into the lane ropes. I told him once to use the beams in the ceiling overhead as a reference to help keep him straight. He said "oh--I never really opened my eyes while doing the back crawl!"

Monday, November 21, 2005

Playing in the Leaves

A few weeks ago--when it was actually still WARM, I undertook a little project related to a big Maple tree in our front yard. The kids were eager to help as well, as you can see below. What happened to the warm days? Winter is coming--soon instead of moving leaves around, we'll be moving snow!

I have memories of this time of year as a kid strongly associated with the smell of burning leaves. It was the only time I was really allowed to play with fire. Maybe if we lived a little further out of town we'd be allowed to burn the leaves. We're in a spot where we're too far out of town for the city to come by and pick them up as well, so we have to bag them or fill up trash cans and take them ourselves to a yard waste site about 3 or 4 miles away. Kind of a drag!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Walk in the park?

Here are some pictures of a little hike we took on a trail about 1.5 miles long. It's actually not in a park, though there are many in our area. This hike is at The Chapel's Green Campus. (It's called the "Green" campus because the community in which it's located in known as "Green.") This is where I go to work everyday. We walked around the 80 acre campus on a newly completed trail. Even Reece walked the whole way!

It has never been easy to get the kids to pose for a picture--especially Reece. But at least here you can see the newly constructed bridge that completed the trail.

You can see what we had to work with--a sunny day and a perfectly picturesque setting. That little "dot" on the trial is Lindsey.

Janet's sister Lynette was here visiting for the weekend (also helped us celebrate Austin's birthday).

Reece didn't want to stop. He didn't want to hurry, but he didn't want to be carried or to stop. He did the whole thing on his own!

Near the highway (I-77) you can see the church in the background and the newly completed ballfields and back stop in the foreground.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Austin's Birthday and Party

Thanks to so many of you who regularly check out our family updates. Our biggest regret is that we can't keep it updated as often as we'd like!

Here are some pictures of Austin's birthday with our family...

The day starts with the traditional "wake-up-to-find-balloons- in-my-room" birthday event.

The "Spiderman Cake." I don't even know where he's heard of Spiderman, but for some reason he's into him. I think he saw the
DVD cover of the Spiderman movie I rented once and that was it!

Later in the week we had a little birthday party with some of Austin's friends from church. Since his birth date is so close to Halloween, Janet made it into a little costume party. Here, the kids are waiting for the pizza.

Janet wisely planned all sorts of activities so that we could keep everyone occupied. Here, the girls are decorating their own pencil box. (All the kids happen to be home schooled, so it's at least something practical). Janet's sister, Lynette (aka "Aunt Nar") visited for the weekend and helped out a lot with the party.

The evening ended with the smashing of the pinata. Emma won the prize, crushing the side of the Spiderman candy-holder. As you can see, the goodies scattered, and the kids dove for them.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

We have a seven-year old

Austin turned 7 on Tuesday (25th). That's wild. We did a little family celebration with cake and presents, but the real fun will be today when we have a small party with some of his friends. Aunt Nar is hear from Iowa for the weekend and we'll be having all sorts of activities and games tonight, plus pizza, and decorating one's own cupcake, and "pin-the-nose-on-the-clown."

Pictures will follow.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Boo at the Zoo

What is it about Paul, Dena, and Logan, zoo pictures, and this blog? Well, here we find ourselves again at a zoo. This time, it's the Akron zoo, where all the little kids come dressed up and collect candy at various stations around the zoo. Oh, and sometimes see the animals. Commnetary provided for free.

Every time I tried to take a picture of Reece, he'd look into the camera, make a face, then by the time the camera "fired," Reece would turn away and I'd miss the shot. Paul suggested I try the "action mode" which takes pictures much quicker. Here is the result, though without a flash. Reece rode in the stroller tonight. Didn't seem to mind. He went as a lion.

Lindsey went as a M.D. this year. Who knows what her future holds! You can see her holding the little plastic bag they hand out to all the kids so that they can collect their candy. It's quite a racket. Our family has a zoo pass, yet we had to pay for the kids to get in. $8 each. The candy they received didn't amount to THAT much!

I didn't get a great picture of Austin by himself. Here he is with Lindsey and Logan (the other Spiderman) while we were waiting to get in. Austin took his role as Spiderman very seriously and insisted on remaining in character as long as he had his mask on. I don't know where he's learned all that he knows about Spiderman. If he could, I think he would be spiderman when he grows up!

We were led around by this dynamic duo tonight. Here, Dena tries to recreate her pose made famous at our previous zoo outing in Toledo. She just loves it when I do that to her.

Paul, who was there at least physically, clearly had his mind on other things. As you can see here, he was busy accomplishing a complicated business transaction while we waited in line. Something about chickens and wings and a guy named Dennis. Hmmm...

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Go Fly a Kite!

The last time I remember flying a kite was when we lived in Berne. I couldn't have been more that 12 years old. If I was 12 when I last made an attempt, then here we are 21 years later and I'm flying one again!

I'm sure that if we didn't have kids this never would have happened. How can watching a piece of nylon attached to a string float in the breeze be so enjoyable? Well, something about it was a lot of fun and the kids enjoyed it too. Both Austin and Lindsey got a turn at flying the kite.

There's a nice big parking lot not far from our house where we take the kids to let them practice riding their bikes, and now it has become a place of kite flying. No cars in the evenings, no power lines, (just a few parking lot lights here and there!)

Once the sun set, the breeze energy dissipated and the kite started to fall to earth. I hope we can enjoy another nice evening like tonight to try it again sometime.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Trip to Grandmom and Granddad's

It was supposed to be just a short trip to kinda get away before the Christmas craziness really hit. What really hit instead was a tree branch that landed on our van! It was a wet, rainy, and even a little stormy weekend. While parked at my parent's house in West Chester, PA, a branch rotted off a tree and landed on the roof of the van, denting some of the roof, the luggage rack, the top of the sliding door, and as you can see, shattered the window.

Time for a call to our insurance company! Fortunately, we were able to get the glass replaced before we drove back on Tuesday. It looks as good as new, but the dents and scratches remain!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Aunt Sharla Visits

It was fun to see Sharla for a couple days last weekend. She made a little tour of some college campuses and stuck a visit to NE Ohio in between. It had been a while since the kids got to see her (Late February) so they had a fun time getting reaquainted. One of our fall traditions has been to take the kids just a block or so away to Kingsway farm.

It is always a bit of a challenge to get all the kids to pose at the right time.

Austin always enjoys feeding the ducks and geese.

Lindsey couldn't get enough of holding this kitten. I think she would have taken it home if she could have.

Reece enjoyed talking with the cows, sheep, and goats.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Toledo Zoo

We went to the Toledo Zoo this weekend with our friends, Paul, Dena, and Logan Stankiewicz. Here are some pictures (with some commentary, of course!).

Going into the zoo--kids riding in style!

Austin and Logan

"I think we need to go that way..."

The "underwater" portion of the polar bear exhibit.

Lindsey is growing fast, but still has a way to go...

Toledo Zoo II

I guess we can only post five pictures at a time, so these posts may show up out of order. Here are more pictures...

Austin and Logan running ahead...

Janet chasing after them.

"I'm not listening!"

All the kids. Reece hates posing.

This home schooling this is going a little too far.

Toledo Zoo III

Here are the last of the highlights...

Why do the kids always get to ride in the wagon?

Reecey looking in a mirror.

Lindsey looking at a swimming hippo. The hippo actually IS under water.

Baby Elephant Walk.

Reece recovering from the zoo with a little McDonald's on his face.