Monday, January 30, 2012

Fun Times

Lots has been going on here lately, but not much of it has made it onto the blog!

Here we are at Dairy Queen on "Customer Appreciation Day" when Everything on the menu was 1/2 price! Woohoo!

Us girls

Daddy sneaking some of Moriah's Dilly bar

The boy's side of the table

Enjoying good stuff

Sleeping cherub

Sweet boy - 12 weeks old today!

This is a first - Keenan addressing valentine's for his class!

Caleb loves his bunny! (These are a tradition with our kids)

Andrew and Philip have made Great progress with the deck(s) and I think they will be done tomorrow! I am sooo excited!!

Random fact: I found out today when I took Spunky to the vet that her birthday is the same as Keenan's, March 10, 2007! Keenan is pretty excited about this! I have a feeling we may have to include her in the festivities when it's party time.. =)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Going's on

It's been a while, so here's a few random snipits of what's going on in our house...

Caleb is continuing to get Bigger!

He really isn't old enough to use this yet, but when I put him in it the other day, he sat up so straight I Had to get a picture before I took him out! =)

I love this subway art I just bought on Etsy!

Goofy kids with their little bro

Andrew is here for a few weeks and hard at work on our new deck!

This makes me chuckle =)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Traveling with Kids - by Philip and Joia =)

We are home, safe and sound! On Caleb’s first road trip, we logged over 2,500 miles, spent over 40 hours in the van, and he collected a new country, one province, and five new states! Not bad for an 11 week old. =)

My friend, Becky, asked if I’d do a post on traveling with young kids. Here it is. It is certainly not a “one size fits all”, but hopefully you will find it helpful.

* DVD player, useful but not to be depended on (choose DVD’s that won’t drive you crazy listening to them (we have a no repeat rule)

* Bring lots of snacks, drinks, (mostly water, so they drink to quench their thirst, not just for fun like they would with juice or soda…), toys, books, coloring supplies. I bring plastic cups to fill with snacks (goldfish, pretzels, etc) that they can put in their cup holders to minimize spills and crushing.

* Nap/quiet time in afternoon as you drive. We play kids music cds quietly during this time.

* Try to plan to drive less each day, so your kids don’t get burned out. The amount that you can max out at will depend on your family. Your and the kid’s tolerance will only Lessen as the days go by. =) We can usually do about 600 miles the first day. If you’re able to get a super early start, you may be able to do more. We have tried leaving at 4 am and hoping the kids would go back to sleep, but that hasn’t worked well for us. 8 is a good departure time for us.

* If you stop at a play place, have the kids play while you eat, then let them eat in the van as you drive.

* When approaching a stop, have the kids put their shoes, jackets on, etc so you can get out as soon as you stop to minimize wasted time.

* When kids ask how much longer, put your answer it terms of time they can understand. For example, we say, “It’s about as long as your Cars movie two times over…”

* Play games - Alphabet game, I Spy…

* When choosing hotels, we try to find one with a pool (something for the kids to look forward to, and a good way to have them burn off some pent up energy before bed (and a contintental breakfast, so we don’t have to make an additional stop before hitting the road in the morning). We don’t usually have a stopping place chosen or a hotel booked at the beginning of the day. We decide this as the day is getting to an end, and book something online.

* At rest areas, let them run wild for a few minutes to burn off some energy.

* Don’t stop for just one reason – combine bathroom/gas/food stops whenever possible

* Philip uses gasbuddy.com to find the cheapest gas close to our route as we’re traveling.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

snow, Snow, SNOW!!!

When we arrived in Ontario, it was rainy, and mild, just a smattering of melting snow here and there... the kids were pretty disappointed. Tuesday night it got colder and some flakes started to fall, and Wednesday morning, the ground was pretty much covered!


Keenan making snowballs

I love this one

Moriah much happier in this snow picture =)

The four of us (I wasn't too interested in bringing Caleb out in this)

Swinging on the tire swing in the snow

It was sooo cold!

Big pushes from Daddy

We were here!

Our boot prints =)

Moriah ready to throw a snowball

=)

Happy about the snow!

Keenan throwing a snowball at Philip

...and getting one back =)

I Love my mitts!

Philip's snowball hurtling at me

Last night, Mark and Rebekah joined us, along with Rob and Ada for dinner and a fun night of laughter and a few rounds of what I call "Telephone Pictionary" =)

Uncle Mark lovin' on Caleb

Mark and Rebekah with Caleb and Joshua

Soup night!

The four grandsons

Moriah got a sweet kiss from Brayden =)

Rebekah and I

This morning it wasn't snowing at all. Then a few lazy flakes started to fall, which turned into a lot more Big flakes falling much faster (or rather blowing across the yard horizontally), and now we have accumulated several inches (or a foot or more where it has drifted), with no sign of stopping!

Keenan loved the amount of snow coming down!

A picture out the window of the library where we're using the internet

Goodbye Michigan, Hello Canada!

On Tuesday morning, before heading across the border to Ontario, we stopped and had a visit and brunch with our great friends, Anthony and Melissa, in their new house! All of the kids had changed soo much, but they had a great time playing together.

Anthony and Melissa with Caleb
(We have quite a few pictures of them like this with Keenan when he was tiny!)

With their kids, Nino and Maddy (and baby due in July!)

All the kids (Nino was Not impressed!)

Melissa cuddling Caleb while he slept

I sooo wish we lived closer!

We got to my parent's house in the afternoon. They were pretty excited to meet Caleb for the first time!

My dad introducing himself to Caleb =)

My parents with him

That evening, we had dinner at my brother Rob and his wife Ada's house, along with some extended family who came to see us while we were in town.

Aunt Nora and Caleb

The kid's table at dinner

The rest of us
(We ate in the basement, so we could have enough space!)

The two dogs, Niki and Marley, watching us through the window =)

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Detroit Zoo

* This post was ready several days ago, but somehow I forgot to post it, and since then we haven't had internet access*

We decided sort of last minute Monday morning to pack up and head to the zoo! It was chilly, but fun, and totally worth it!

We got to the penguin exhibit at feeding time!

Staying warm in my sock monkey hat =)

Inside the aviary

Next, butterfly house... The kids loved that the butterflies were just flying around us, freely.



Some shaggy camels

Walking through the zoo

At the polar bear exhibit

... with Aunt Mary

Aunt Mary, Bridget and Keenan

Our only polar bear sighting of the day =0/

Love this one

In the underwater tunnel below the polar bear/seal exhibits

The kids trying make handprints on the frozen wall

I left my hand there for a pretty long time, and mine hardly showed up!

Keenan had a great time, making snowballs and throwing them at all of us =)
Haha. Caption pending on this one, suggestions welcome. =)

It's nice to have a buddy to scratch those spots you just can't reach =)

Giraffe in the snow just seemed weird

Moriah "helping" Daddy pull the wagon

The meerkats cracked me up, sitting like this!

And... my Favorite...

How gorgeous!

Favorite picture of the day

"Wait, what?? There's a What behind me???"

This evening, we met up with Grandma Dooley, Aunt Patti, Angela and Joe for dinner...

Grandma's first time meeting Caleb (her seventh Great Grandchild)

The whole gang

Our passports arrived in the mail today - Woohoo! We can go to Canada tomorrow! =)