Saturday, March 28, 2009

Play World
We had our fair share of Play World's not a place I typically choose to take the kids there but we had 2...Yes 2...parties at Play World today. Here is Ella with boys from school.

Ella and Matthew

Ella and Grant...Happy B-day Grant!

Here are the kids having fun on a ride
Treats for Parent Teacher conferences
We had fun the other night making these yummy Oreo treats for the teachers.

Oh My Ella


This girl just doesn't stop with the body art. We had just finished bath and I was cleaning up the bathroom when Ella came out of her room with more then her pajamas on :)

This is how I found Ella the other took hours to get her to sleep but this book did her in!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day
Work has been crazy...Joey has been sick...and life took over so thus my blogging has been neglected. I wanted to be sure to share this one since we spent so much time and had so much fun preparing for the arrival of the Leprechaun. Thanks to the magazine Family Fun, it helped spark some ideas. While I was making dinner I brought out the outdoor paint from Aunt Dana and took advantage of the nice weather and had the kids paint the patio to welcome the Leprechaun. We had dinner on the patio and talked about our days. Next came the cookies...since our cookies for Santa didn't turn out I was determined that our cookies for the Leprechaun were going to turn out and they did :) Then we took a box and decorated it as a trap. Although we didn't catch the Leprechaun he did manage to leave the kids some awesome St. Patrick Days gifts!
Maybe we will catch the Leprechaun next year!
love: dawn, mike, joey and ella

Monday, March 16, 2009

We Love Spring Weather !
This weekend was so beautiful out and we took advantage of every moment. We spent Friday night out playing at Conner's house and much of Saturday playing outside with them too! The dogs finally got their long awaited walks...we dusted off the bikes... and played at the park.

Mom, No Referee, Mom, No Referee, Mom, No Referee.....

On Sunday the kids saw the side that mothers often try to hide...the overwhelmed and frustrated mom. They had spent Saturday and Sunday arguing, fighting and disagreeing about almost anything. I broke, raising my voice I told them to sit down facing each other. I made them sit and stare at one another. After about 8 minutes I sat down with them, made them continue to look at each other here are some of my topics I talked to them about:

"Ella, that is the only brother you are going to have"

"Joey, that is the only sister you are going to have"

"You should play like Jake and Clare, they play so nice together"

"I love being good friends with my sisters, you guys should be best friends"

"Joey, tell Ella one thing you love about her" Joey responds by saying "I love that Ella shares candy with me"

"Ella, tell Joey one thing you love about him" Ella responds by saying "I love when Joey plays with me"

We continued this for about 5 minutes. Hugs and kisses and we were all better. Then later that day they were so lovely together and I was sure to capture each moment with a photo.

So Cute..Big brother helps to wash his sisters hair.

Aunt Dorie's Chics

The Chics

Here are the chics from the farm Aunt Dorie works at. We are so proud of the effort she has put into raising the chics...we can't wait to see them in a few weeks. Here is Andrew, Timmy and Maya getting to play with them.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ella- our make-up artist

Our make-up artist
This morning when I was putting Joey's video together I looked to see what Ella was doing and well...not to any surprise, Ella was playing in her make-up. Her theory on make-up application is the more the better and of course the more pink the better!
Enjoy what is our daily we are off to the store...I am sure we will get some laughs :)

Joey's basketball practice/game #2

Joey's 2nd Basketball Practice/Game
The full court press in on
As always we were entertained watching the kids learn the rules of basketball. Joey and Tyler make great teammates! Joey may be short, but he makes up for that with his fast full court press action. Pay attention to Joey (in one of the yellow jersey's)
He loves to guard people, run hard up and down the court. Enjoy seeing him make a basket in the game!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Joey's School Music Concert

Last night we enjoyed Joey's school concert. I am not sure why I didn't think to arrive early so we could get really good seats...I'll have to remember for the future ones. The kindergarten class didn't end up performing until the end...half way through I said to Mike, "I should of had Joey go to the bathroom before I sat him with his class". When it was time for the his class to perform, I casually walked my way to the front and knelt down to get a good location to video. It wasn't more than 2 minutes into lining up on stage (in the very front) I said "Oh, $@#! Joey needs to go to the bathroom." I thought maybe he could make it through the songs, but finally I notice my little boy doing the crazy potty dance and his little face was so red from holding it in. I got his attention and called him down...we ran to the bathroom and made it back in time for Joey to sneak back up to his spot. Now, I did think for a moment, if I leave him up there and get a good video shot I could have sent it into America's Funniest Home Videos, but the love for my son overcame my love for money :)

As you can see from the video, Ella really got into the music as well.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dorie makes the paper

My Sister Dorie...The Farmer!
My sister Dorie has found the perfect job for herself. She works and volunteers at Prairie Crossing Learning Farm which is a critically-acclaimed conservation community that was designed to combine responsible development, the preservation of open land and easy commuting by rail. The link below descbribes some of the great work she is doing around "free-range chickens."
We are so lucky because each time we visit family in Chicago we make sure to stop in at the farm. All the kids love to feed the hens and collect eggs.
See the quote from Dorie Roth. Way to go Dorie!

To read the full story, click here:,5_1_WA09_CHICK_S1.article

Looking forward to seeing the chix next month when we visit!

love: dawn, mike, joey and ella

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Our Basketball Star

This weekend was Joey's first basketball game/practice. He was so excited that he got a t-shirt and that his friend Tyler was on his team. The game happened to be before Ella's Birthday Party, so many of family members were able to see and cheer him on. Thanks to the family for coming to see him play!

The Painting Party-Ella's 4th B-day Party

Ella's 4th Birthday Party
The Painting Party!

Saturday, March 7th @ 2pm

Another successfully party pulled off!

Planning for my EXTREME themed party began about 2 months ago..invites went out "on time" (1 month prior) and party-gift shopping and menu planning soon followed. When you plan for a party of 18 kids and about 35-40 adults it takes a little creative planning if you want to stick to a budget.

Party Planning 101

Theme: Painting (because Ella is my crafty one)
Invites: Cards made at Meijer- 5 pictures on an easel of Ella getting "crafty"
Party Activities: Paint Smocks-(actually aprons but for the sake of the theme we will call them paint smocks- found at the dollar store)

  • Activity #1 - Decorating Canvas Bags - (found at Big Lots 3 for $3) I picked up fabric markers and puffy paint at Hobby Lobby
  • Activity #2 - Paint your own canvas - (found at Big Lots $2) Paints, brushes, and jem stickers bought on sale at Michael's.


Paint Brushes: Pretzel rods w/colored chocolate on tips w/sprinkles
Paint Rolling Pan: Variety of fruit layered (side-by-side) and a roller laying on it
Paints- Layard Jello Salad
Paint Can- filled a paint can w/chex mix


Thanks to help from Trista, (September's sister), I had a few ideas in how to prepare the cake. I had Ella look at them all and choose the one she liked best. Although I would have chosen a different one I went with the one she really wanted, after all it is her party :) Ella picked out one cake mix and Joey picked out the other...I made a cake for the adults and cupcakes for the kids.

Happy Birthday Ella! You can see the Ella is my shy one!


No party can be successful without the right help!

Big thanks to Mike's mom for helping to provide some of the food, my mom and sister Dorie for coming up early to help with any last minute preparation, to my friend September for coming to help with the painting activities, and thanks to Dana for helping to get those activities going.

  • My friend September (below) was great with the kids and so helpful to have, she left the party saying she was going to watch TV on mute that night :) Thanks again for your help!


Our little Miss Flannery...did not want to finish painting...this girl needs her own TV show!

Now that is a good cupcake!

Ella at her best

Beautiful Laney!

Ella being silly...

Notice that Ella had to change into her bathing suit for gift time...oh, that girl.....Gift time got a bit crazy...I need a bigger house :)

A Big Thank You!

The next day we continued our creative side and made this picture as our Thank You card...they will be sent out tomorrow! Wow and that is how a party is done!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Dad Home With the Kids - 2007

Joey and Ella
Friday July 13, 2007

This week your mom is away at a conference in Boston, which leaves you in my care…ha, ha, ha. Apparently, she has had a good time in Boston, but her flight getting there was extremely frustrating (hoping to get more details). Here is a little snit bit of the how we spent our time together:

I had a doctor’s appointment in the early morning so I let you sleep in a little longer prior to dropping you off at school. Ella was very clingy and cried when I left (which is something you don’t normally do). Prior to picking you up from school I stopped at the store and purchased all the food needed to make my special gulosh. While making dinner you both played in the backyard. Then, Joey came running onto the deck screaming and crying because he had just been stung by a bee (yellow jacket). I put my special medicine on it (baking soda and water) and iced it down. Within a few minutes you calmed down and showed me where you had gotten stung. Apparently, the last few days had been very windy and the wind blew the umbrella off from your picnic table. While in the process of you putting the umbrella back on, you disturbed a bee’s nest that was inside the legs of the picnic table. I got my can of bee destroying/life ending spray and killed over twenty bee’s. We ate dinner and quickly got ready to go for a bike ride. We went and got ice cream (raspberry/vanilla and strawberry/vanilla swirl) and went to the park. On our way home I had a hard time getting Ella back into the cart because she wanted to walk (which would have been a long walk from the park). We got home, watched a movie (The Polar Express) and went to bed (both were asleep in minutes).

We all got ready for the day (ate vitamins, banana, feed Bo, turned on the water for the grass). As we drove to school we listened to “Cool Rider.” I made it to work on time (surprisingly). I had a physical therapy appointment today and went home early (4pm). I mowed the yard and picked you up. We came home and had leftovers and again got ready for a bike ride. Prior to getting in the bike cart, Ella had a horrific tantrum and was put in time out. She had a McDonalds toy that she received on Tuesday night which included some hair clips. When I took you out of your chair after dinner, you had left the toys on the table and began to reach for them. You knew that we were going for a bike ride and did not want to leave without them. Instead of saying, “My toys!” you began to wine and cry. I knew what you wanted, but wanted you to learn how to calm down and ask for your toys….but you didn’t and began to cry hardy and swat your leg…I then put you in time out….which then made you cry more because you were afraid that we would leave you and go for a bike ride. You finally calmed down and I got you both in the cart. We got ice cream (Cookie Do Monster Sundae) and went to the park. While at the park Joey hung from the bars and then Ella wanted a turn. Joey said that she was not big enough and then Joey got another turn. He began to kick his legs and swing back and forth. I thought to myself, “He better be careful that he doesn’t lose his grip and fall.” Seconds later he did just that and landed on his belly. He cried for a few moments and then realized that he could go over to the water fountain and wash his hands and get a drink. On the way home from the park we sang “Akunamatta”. We took baths to which I discovered when undressing Ella that I had put her dress on backwards. We had fun in the bath and then went right to bed and again fell right to sleep.

We played baseball and watched “The Polar Express” again. Not much to say, but that we hung out.

Joey and Dad Go to the Movies - 2006

I dug this up the other day and thought it would be cool to share.

Dear Joey,
Today on Saturday August 12, 2006, your mommy and Ella went to her friend Mel’s wedding shower. So, I thought that it would be a great idea to have some Dad/Son time and go to the movies. The last time you actually went to see a movie was probably two years ago at your cousin Andrews birthday party.
You woke up at around 8am and had some Fruit Loops and watched a little TV before finding out that you were going to the movies. You had a little trouble understanding what this meant. I think you thought that we had to go to the store to buy a movie and so you were very excited. At about 10am, we drove to the movies and while in the car you put your Spider Man mask on along with mommy’s belt and a red Marti Gras bead necklace. As we walked through the mall, many people were very impressed with your stylish look. Once we got up to the top floor you immediately wanted to go to the carousal, but I quickly pointed to the ticket booth. You became very excited, because you see, you only knew of this area due to its video games and not for actually seeing a movie. So, we purchased our tickets (The Ant Bully), popcorn and pop (Sprite). I motioned for you to walk towards the movie entrance and with your stylish attire, “ran” towards the ticket handler as I tried to catch up while balancing the popcorn, pop and tickets in my hands. Once we got into the theater we happened to be the only one there until another family showed up. We sat right in the middle and you began eating popcorn and watching the movie previews. The third preview happened to be the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie of which you wanted to watch immediately. Actually, once the Ant Bully started you didn’t want to watch it and shouted that you wanted to watch the Ninja Turtle movie. You sat through the whole movie and jumped a few times. I was very impressed and can’t wait to take you to another movie. After the movie, we went to the “Big Tree” where you played nice for most of the time, until you ran into another bossy boy so we decided that it was lunch time and went home to eat left over pizza.