Saturday, October 29, 2011

Funny Kid

Derek has recently begun using phrases such as "Seriously?", "Are you kidding me?", and "Trust me!" It is really funny to hear him say those things and to see the look on his face. I quickly realized where he got them from - at least the first two. I've found that I say them a lot. At least it's nothing bad.

School Project

Elliott had an assignment for school to decorate a turkey and write what our family is thankful for this year. It was a "family" project, so I helped with the creation of the turkey. Elliott did all the gluing and writing. I think it turned out great!

Bushkill Falls

Last Saturday our family took a short drive to Bushkill Falls. I had really been wanting to see the falls and thought that it would be fun to see them in the fall with the changing leaves. The colors weren't as spectacular as I had hoped, but it was still beautiful. The falls had plenty of water thanks to all the rain we've had recently. Elliott was deathly afraid of hiking around the falls because of his fear of heights, but he managed to put that behind him and have a good time. It was a great Saturday family activity (something we need to do more often).

After the falls, we headed out for ice cream. We went to The Inside Scoop. They have all sorts of random flavors, including Tabasco, Mexican Chocolate, PB&J, and Maple Bacon. The only one I've tried so far is maple bacon. It's definitely a little strange to eat bacon in ice cream. The flavor was good if you can get past the bacon texture.

Halloween Fun

Happy Halloween! Halloween is already over for the strange folks of PA. :) We had plenty of fun, but it is strange for a holiday to be over before the holiday is really here. We kicked off the celebrations with the Halloween Party at the DaVinci Science Center 2 weeks ago. Our ward did a simple trunk-or-treat this past Tuesday night. Derek's school parade and party were on Thursday, followed by Elliott's on Friday. Whatever happened to dressing up and having parties on Halloween? I haven't figured that out yet. I didn't really feel like carving a pumpkin this year but knew Elliott would be disappointed if he didn't get to do one, so I finally did it last minute yesterday after school. Elliott had a great idea to do a rocket ship, since Derek was an astronaut and Elliott was Commander Cody from Star Wars Clone Wars. It was actually really easy and quick, so I didn't mind. Plus I think it turned out really well. I decided to get creative an make mummy hotdogs for dinner. Trick-or-treating for the neighborhoods was last night. The boys did great and had a fun time. Derek had more energy than Elliott. They lots plenty of loot and it's almost all good stuff - hardly any tootsie rolls, lolly pops, and no gross stuff. Pretty impressive. By the time we were done, Derek's bucket was overflowing. I guess it's time to upgrade him to a bigger bag. We had leftover candy for passing out. I only had enough for about 40 kids, and there was still some leftover. Most trick-or-treaters pass by our house - too bad for them (and maybe for me too).

Derek got to go to the pumpkin patch at Byler's Farm with his preschool class. He loved the hay maze and playing with the corn. He also got to feed the goats and chickens, but he passed on milking the cow. We had a fun time and took home 2 perfect pumpkins.

I'm so glad we had a beautiful day yesterday for trick-or-treating (it was cold but not too bad) because this is what it looks like today.

Ever since the snow started falling this morning, Derek has been asking to go outside and play in it. Once I finally said yes and got him all ready to go out, he refused to go. I stuck him on the porch long enough to get a picture and then he was back inside and undressed. I admit it is FREEZING and windy, so it's really not very pleasant. I can't say I blame Derek for not wanting to stay out there, but Elliott is having fun.

Mr. Green Belt

Elliott had his second big karate test 2 weeks ago. He tested for both his green belt and his nunchuck basics. It is amazing to see his improvement since his last test - in both skill and confidence. He practices all the time and still LOVES karate! We are so proud of him.

It's a Boy!

Due February 19

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

First Day of School 2011

I'm finally getting around to posting 1st day of school pictures. Elliott started 2nd grade at Kernsville Elementary on September 6th. The day couldn't come soon enough for either of us. We had a good summer, but it was time for it to be over. Elliott's teacher is Mrs. Bruchak. She seems like a great teacher. I had to chance to meet her the Friday before school started. I've been impressed so far. I had a question for her, so I emailed her and she called me that evening. Elliott's goal this year is to keep his desk clean. He's also working on writing neatly. His teacher hangs up papers that are written well. He was proud to get something up on the board earlier this week.

Derek started preschool at Asbury United Methodist Church on the following Monday. He was so excited. He was a little nervous going in the first day, but he warmed up quickly. He loves going to preschool Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday each week. His teachers are Mrs. Shephard and Mrs. Kollar. They are wonderful with the kids. Derek looks all grown up.

Elliott has a goofy smile because he lost a tooth right before leaving for school. He was pretty excited about that. Derek didn't want his picture taken, so he was just being plain goofy.

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Tooth Incident

**UPDATE**So, after a couple weeks, I heard back from General Mills. They got the lab results back and apparently the object was a piece of plastic. I'm not 100% convinced, but it sounds better than it being a tooth. They compensated me with a $15 check and a bunch of free product coupons (not for Bisquick). Not bad. I'm just glad to lay the matter to rest.

I know a lot of people saw my facebook post about the mysterious object I was so fortunate to discover while eating my pancakes last week. I believe it is a tooth complete with bloodstains on the back. Whatever it is, it's hard and gross and not something you want to discover while eating dinner. Some people wanted to see the tooth, so I finally took pictures of it to post here. I did finally contact General Mills regarding the issue. I sent an email and they ended up calling me. I spoke with them today and they want me to send the object to them so they can do testing on it and find out what it really is and see if there is any other foreign matter in what is left of the box of Bisquick. (Sorry to all you Bisquick fans.) Hopefully by next week sometime I will be able to update my post with their findings. But for now, here it is in all it's grossness.

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Karate Tournament

Today was Elliott's first karate tournament. He competed in the beginner forms and self-defense divisions. After 2 tie-breaker rounds, Elliott came away with a 3rd place win in forms. He placed 4th in self-defense. He did awesome! We are so proud of his accomplishments. He loves karate.

This past Thursday, Elliott received his 4th stripe on his yellow belt. Next up, green belt. He's on his way. Way to go!

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Derek is 3!

My little munchkin is 3! They all grow up too fast. It's been a busy 3 years.

Derek went from this (1 day old) -

to this (3 yrs) -
We had fun celebrating Derek's birthday over 3 days (seems to be pretty typical to see how long we can stretch out holidays). On Friday, Derek's playgroup friends from church came over for a "party." Derek was talking about his birthday for months beforehand. He would say he was having friends for his birthday. So, easy enough - have the kids come over and just play. We had pretzels, apples, and cupcakes. It was the perfect little party. The kids all had a great time.

On Saturday, we went to Chuck E. Cheese's - where else? That seems to be the thing to do for the boys' birthdays. After playing games, we went to McDonald's to eat and play.

On Sunday (his birthday), Derek got to open presents and eat more cupcakes. Derek was pretty excited about the fire station and truck. We saw it at Toys R Us months ago and he was sad when he didn't get it then. I told him maybe he'd get it for his birthday, so since then he would talk about how he was getting a firetruck for his birthday.

I just love this kid. He is so much fun. He is generally an angel when he plays at other people's houses. He can hold his own against Elliott. He is very opinionated and often disagreeable, but he's adorable. Derek loves to read, loves having "lessons" (when I get around to it), loves Mickey Mouse, Dora, Diego, and Little Einsteins. He is a smart kid. He knows his ABC's by sight, along with their sounds and words that start with each letter. He can count to 30 and recognize numbers to 20. He loves to "read" his fairy tales book. It is so cute to hear him tell the story as he turns the pages. He loves to play games. His favorite games right now are Sorry and Monopoly Junior. He can't wait to play all the games that Elliott can play. He is also great at puzzles. Derek is a super sweet boy with lots of energy. He doesn't like to sit still (mainly at the table). He gives the best hugs. I love my little sweetheart. Happy Birthday, Derek!
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Monday, May 16, 2011

Washington DC Temple

We finally made it to the Washington DC Temple. It was the week before Stake Conference, so we had a stake meeting on the 7th floor. It's a beautiful room. It was wonderful to be in the temple again. The DC Temple is amazing. The size of it is incredible. It makes you dizzy looking up at it. I'm glad we were able to make the trip (about 3 hours each way).

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Spring has sprung!

Our front yardMore baseball - he's a natural!
Frogs at the Wildlands Conservancy pond

Happy Easter!

Our friends, the Blommels, invited us over for an Easter egg hunt the week before Easter. There were a bunch of kids and a ton of eggs! The boys had fun finding eggs outside in the cold, the adults had fun visiting inside where it was warm. :) On Easter we were invited to Oesterle's house for dinner and another egg hunt. Another fun event. And another rainy one too, but at least it was a warm rain. We got to sit outside on the covered porch enjoying the beautiful storm. April was just rainy. It rained more than half the month. That's definitely not something we're used to. We had a great Easter with lots of good friends.

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The Big Apple

Brent and I were able to go to New York City to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. We didn't get to go until April because I had gallbladder surgery the day before our anniversary. I know, good planning. It's just what worked out. A friend (with 6 kids!) offered to watch the boys so we could go somewhere overnight. Thank you, Allison! It was so nice to get away. The boys had a great time too.

We drove into NYC on Friday afternoon. Brent gave me the privilege of driving in Manhattan. We stayed in a boutique hotel in the Upper West Side. The room was decent enough, but I don't think I slept at all. There was some kind of chain or something banging against the outside wall all night. That was pretty lame. I didn't realize at the time that where we stayed was right in the same area that You've Got Mail takes place. We walked by all the restaurants and stores shown in the movie. Friday afternoon we walked into Central Park and saw Belvedere Castle. I didn't know about the castle until I was reading a Magic Tree House book with Elliott a few months ago. It was fun to see. After checking into our hotel we ate an early dinner at Patsy's Pizza. It wasn't as good as we heard it was. That was disappointing. We attempted to get tickets to Wicked through the lottery but didn't win. We walked down to Times Square and almost walked right past the temple. We were right in front of it when I noticed the church logo and realized where we were. It's pretty amazing to see the temple right there in the middle of it all. We spent some time walking through Macy's. The size of that place is incredible! Brent didn't believe that it was the largest department store in the world, until he stepped inside. It really is huge! We went to the Empire State Building that night. It was fun to be up there at night, but it was FREEZING and windy! The views are amazing. I have to admit, since I don't know my NYC landmarks very well, I was pretty confused as to which side of the building we were on at any given time. The Forever 21 billboard picture might seem random, but if you look closely you'll see us. Pretty cool. On our way back to the hotel, we walked up 5th Avenue. All the shops were closed, but we did see the Rockefeller ice skating rink. I couldn't believe how far we walked that day. We were both so sore and tired by the time we finally got back to our hotel, probably around 11. It was cold and wet for the first couple hours (it snowed the night before), but fortunately the rain basically stopped by the time we were done with dinner. Saturday was a little warmer and dry.

Day 2

On Saturday, we slept in and went to brunch at Sarabeth's, the most delicious brunch ever! I had the "Crisp Potato Waffle with Chicken Apple Breakfast Sausage, Chunky Apple Sauce and Sour Cream" which might sound a little bizarre, but it was SOOOO good! I'm craving it as I'm writing this. Since we did so much walking on Friday, we figured we'd take the subway on Saturday. We went down to Ground Zero, Battery Park, and Wall Street. We were planning on walking across the Brooklyn Bridge but nixed that idea because we could hardly walk. We took the subway to Grand Central Station, ate some cheesecake and a cupcake and then headed back to our car. We had a great time exploring the city. Brent is glad to have most of the major sites out of the way, so when we go back we don't have to traipse all over Manhattan, we can just focus on one of two things. It was fun but utterly exhausting.


Derek and I were able to go see the famed bluebells at Lockridge Park. The park is at the site of an old furnace - a really big iron furnace. It's even on the National Register of Historic Places. You can see the building in the background where Derek is sitting on the wall. The field was just full of bluebells. It was a great place for a picnic and a beautiful picture spot.

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Monday, April 18, 2011


Derek: Are the brownies ready?
Me: Does that look like cake (not brownies)?
Derek: No.
Me: (getting the pan ready)
Derek: Mmmm, yummy.
That's when I looked over and realized what he was doing. :) He just couldn't wait for a taste of the chocolatey goodness. Too cute.

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Take Me Out to the Ballgame

A few weeks ago I took the boys outside to play baseball. It was chilly and overcast, but that's how a lot of days are. They had a great time playing. I was impressed by Elliott's ability to throw the ball up and hit it with the bat. Derek generally uses the bat more like a golf club, but he loves to play!

Last week Brent got tickets to the IronPigs game. I was just going to take Elliott, but then Brent got another ticket, so I decided to go ahead and take both boys. (Brent stayed home.) I wasn't sure how it'd go, since last summer neither of the boys were very interested in the game. This time was totally different. They had a blast. Elliott doesn't usually like to cheer or get involved with the crowd. He got into it this time. Derek was awesome. When a batter was getting ready to hit, Derek would say, "Hit the ball!" Anytime a cheer would start, he would be ready to say it. He loved saying "Let's go Pigs." During the 6th inning, it started pouring, so the game was stopped. We headed inside and waited it out. It was a school night, so I didn't really want to stay too long (and really I figured the boys would have had enough after an hour or so, but that wasn't the case). After 30-45 minutes, the game resumed. By that time it was after 9. Most people left once the rain started. An usher took us back to our seats and dried them off for us. During the 7th inning stretch, the boys sang along with "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Derek LOVES that song now. Then they played the "Chicken Dance." Elliott recently learned the dance at school, so he had fun doing it. I was holding Derek and dancing along. We were even featured on the Jumbotron! That was exciting. (Like I said, there weren't that many people in the stadium by then.) I told Elliott we wouldn't stay past 10. Right before 10, Elliott was ready to go. Just before we left, the other team tied the game 3-3. We were up 3-1 before that. I'm pretty sure the other team ended up winning. Elliott thought it was pretty cool when one of the batters broke his bat. Derek also loved the pig mascots (Ferrous and FeFe). Aside from the rain, the weather was perfect for a ballgame. It was 80 degrees during the day, so the evening temperature was just right! I am so glad I took both boys to the game. We all had such a great time.

As a bonus, the pregame show was Mixed Martial Arts. This picture shows 2 of Elliott's Senseis fighting each other in a demonstration. It was fun to watch people he knows on the field.