Sunday, November 30, 2008

Decking the Halls

Up until this year, we've always had a real tree. This year my sister, Karen, gave us an artificial tree, and our kids were THRILLED. (Thanks, Karen!) Seriously, they were going on and on about how we had never had a fake tree before. And how it was so fun because it was just like putting a puzzle together. And they were so proud of it once it was completely assembled.

Looking at the second picture, there are some circumstances that confine our ornaments and candy canes to the middle third of the tree. First, Evan loves candy canes, so they need to be high enough where he can't reach them. We did catch him once already hiding behind the tree munching on a candy cane! Second, even though I only let the kids hang the non-glass or hand-made ornaments, they are always concerned that Evan will get a hold of them, so again, they place them out of Evan's reach. Third, the kids can't reach the top third of the tree. (I might have to do a little spreading out after they go to bed!) But it truly is such a joy to watch the kids hang all those ornaments, reminiscing and telling stories as they go, and savoring the unique design of our tree at this time of our lives.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

More Deep Seth

I have to admit...I always have taken a lot of pictures. I am always taking about 14 shots with my camera when probably one or two would do it.
Seth has a mind of his own, and definitely diverges from his mother's way of thinking at times. One of my favorite stories about him was when I was furiously trying to document his first day of Kindergarten. I took pictures of him at breakfast, getting his backpack on, sitting on our front bench, walking to school with his big brother, waiting in line, with his teacher, with his friends.
Apparently I was driving the poor child nuts, and upon my taking the 433rd picture that morning, Seth asked me, "Mom, why are you taking so many pictures?"
I told him, "Well, Seth, we have to take lots of pictures so that we can remember your first day of Kindergarten."
He responded (rather quickly I thought), "Moooommmm, I can remember the first day of Kindergarten with just one picture."
I remembered that line when I took about ten pictures of the kids setting up the Christmas tree tonight. And he didn't complain. He must be getting used to me by now. :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Our Thankful List

I've been inspired by a Thanksgiving post that I read on another blog today (and my dear husband suggested the idea as well). So here, in no particular order, is a thankful list compiled by the Nosek kids: games...funny things that Evan!...Cub cream...Christmas...books...the book I own computer I want for Christmas...I am thankful for my mom and her kisses...I am thankful for hair...doorknobs, because without them we couldn't go to but not chili, pasta or spaghetti...chicken birthday...sleepovers...playing with my cousins...playing tackleball with my dad...Great America...Wisconsin Dells...the new boat shelf...going to the zoo or farm...holding bed...

Partial thankful list from Mom and Dad: Henry...Seth...Caroline...Evan

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have a lot to be thankful for, but right at the top of my list has to be having a wonderful family and the special times we spend together. Love you all!
Before the feast

Cousins on the couch

Why you don't leave your 2 year old alone with a red cupcake even for one minute...

Enjoying chocolate turkeys, compliments of Grandma Orton

Robbie was an angel! He fell asleep in his high chair while we ate dinner!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


After a week that was speeding by at a hectic pace, having the kids home from school and keeping them busy with playdates and school projects, getting the house clean and keeping it clean to have everyone over tomorrow, MOM IS TIRED! It felt so good to stretch out on the couch tonight to watch Charlie Brown Thanksgiving with the kids. Evan thought it was a good idea to stretch out too. Turning two can really tire a boy out. Speaking of Evan's on the video to see what Evan's brothers and sister taught him. They were very pleased that he learned to say his age, although sometimes Evan likes to tease them by saying that he's 3 (little stinker!).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday, Evan!!!

It was Evan's official birthday today! The kids were so sweet with him all day, teaching him how to say how old he is, decorating with streamers and balloons, and making cute cards and cupcakes. After a fabulous dinner of frozen pizza and orange pop (Seth's idea of the perfect party menu), we lit the candles on his cupcake. He was upset when we wouldn't let him hold his cupcake while it was aflame, but he quickly recovered when it came time to blow the candles out. He is very proud of the fact that he can, in fact, blow his candles out all by himself, and insisted that we let him show off that skill over and over again. We indulged him. But finally, the frosting on his cupcake was calling him, and he polished it off in record time. He then wanted to move on to mine. :) We finished the evening with some fabulous family fun playing with his new giant set of Mr. Potato Head. He was one happy birthday boy!

Its my party, and I'll cry if I want to...

This boy can blow out his own candles!


Seth assisting his little brother

Their finished potato products!

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Keson Cub Scout Outing

Dave had a "Take Your Kids to Work Day," only he got to bring a whole bunch of other people's kids as well! For a Cub Scout field trip, Dave arranged to take both of the boys' dens to Keson, including the kids and their parents. Dave's boss, Clyde, was gracious enough to take the group on a tour of the warehouse, showing them all kinds of machinery that had the boys fascinated. Henry and Seth seemed very proud to show their friends the business that their Great Grandpa built, and even showed them his picture. To top it all off, Clyde sent the boys home with spools of cord to practice their boy scout knots, warning them not to use it to tie up their brothers or sisters!

Clyde shows the kids the capping machine

The kids and Dave in his office

Seth modeling a measuring wheel

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Our Little Crooner

This boy...he must be taking after his Grandpa Orton. He honestly is singing ALL THE TIME. The ABCs, Happy Birthday, God Is Bigger than the Boogeyman... You name it, he sings it. His own version, of course. Click to play, and name that tune!

By the way, can you tell that he was watching himself being recorded? The little ham!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Forest Fun! was a "Pick up toys, clean rooms, put away laundry, scrub everything that doesn't move so that we're ready to host Thanksgiving" kind of day. We all worked hard in the morning, and then in the afternoon Dave took the kids for some outside fun while I finished up inside. He's a very good dad and husband. He took the kids (except for Evan, who was my cleaning assistant and kept me company) to the local forest preserve, and even took pictures for us to post on the blog. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Congratulations, Seth!!!

Its official...Seth is now a Bobcat! Last night at the Boy Scout pack meeting, we took part in a ceremony that recognized the boys' accomplishment in this first level of scouts. Seth, of course, was thrilled, and made me promise to sew on his patches as soon as we got home last night.

Mom painting Seth's face in the Bobcat ceremony.

Seth being promoted with his den

Mr. Bobcat himself

Apparently Henry was giving Seth a stern scout lecture.

Our Boy Scouts

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Two Giggly Girls Making Cookies

Caroline had one of her closest friends, Sydney, over today for a playdate. Amongst other things, they were busy today being bakers, pet shop owners, babysitters, taste-testers, princesses, moms, and sisters. That's a lot to fit in one afternoon!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Who needs toys...

...when you have a perfectly good laundry basket? Evan was having such good fun today hiding in the laundry basket, making it a tent, and even helping me fold a little. I just love what the basket did for his hair...a little bit of "static styling". What's up with the Nosek boys and their hair?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This is how I sent my son to school today...

Now, before you worry about my state of mind, or think, "This mom really needs to get her act together...," please know that this was all planned. :) Henry's class had earned a "pajama day" because they had all turned in their homework assignments many days in a row. Henry was doubly excited for the day because the class is now studying our solar system, and he had the perfect pajamas for a day full of learning about our planets. He said that his teacher was so thrilled with his pj's that she called him up in front of the class, saying that he had the coolest pj's ever! Then, to top it all off, Henry and I had the idea that we would give him the ultimate "bed head" before he went to school. So we used the spikey hair gel, and made his hair the antithesis of a well groomed boy, like he had just rolled out of bed. Of course, he loved the look, and asked if he could wear it that way every day. Gotta love that sense of humor...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday, Robbie!!!

My sweet nephew (aka Karen and Jim's son) celebrated his first birthday today! While opening gifts, Robbie, of course, was all about the paper, ribbons and boxes, as any one year old would be. My sister made an assortment of tasty cupcakes, and Robbie had his first taste of his family's famous banana cake. At this point, I think he prefers Cheerios, but I am sure that will change quickly!

My brother, Bill, brought his girlfriend, Katie. The kids were quite smitten with her, telling me on the way home that she was funny and pretty and liked to play with them. Bill, watch out for that smooth-talking, spikey-hair gel looks like he really has his eyes on her! (Click on the bottom picture to get a closer look.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Scout Outing

The boys had a boy scout outing today at a bowling alley and roller rink. Between Henry and Seth, they got 6 spares and two strikes, thus earning quite a few bowling bucks! Henry had a very interesting on the video if you'd like learn it. However, keep in mind that this technique will only work for you if you are, in fact, bumper bowling.

It was Seth's first time to roller skate. He was very timid at first, holding onto my hand for dear life. But by the end, he was skating on his own and quite proud. Henry was zipping around the rink. I admit it...I couldn't keep up with him. Its strange that this day has already come!

I brought home two tired boys. I think they will sleep well tonight. So will their poor, tired mom...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Night Fun

We had some good friends over tonight for pizza...simple and fun...the kids played, the adults's good! Joey and Seth have been in Kindergarten and First Grade together and are great friends. They are even in the same Cub Scout Den. Henry and Shelby have never been in the same class, but they meet up on the playground to chase each other every day. She's so sweet and funny...she even wrote Henry a note when she was going to be on vacation to let him know when she'd be back to chase him again!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's a Girl Thing

Caroline was invited to birthday party at "Its a Girl Thing," and WOW was this her cup of tea. They got to dress up, complete with all of the accessories. They had their hair done with butterfly clips and glitter. They had their own fashion show with a makeshift runway, and played lots of girly games. They even had a tea party at the end! I am sure that tonight she is dreaming many sweet girly glitter-filled dreams, and that tomorrow I am going to have to push my styling abilities to the limit when she will no doubt ask me to redo her hairdo!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Super Swimmer Seth

Seth, not to be outdone by his big brother, wanted to show off his swimming speed. I told him that I would be videotaping him, and I have to say, he really gave quite a performance. In this clip, I love how he is so focused on his speed, so intense, he has no time to take a breath. (Maybe we should have him talk to Uncle Aaron about this!) His teacher said that he is a very smooth and strong swimmer, listens well and is progressing nicely. Way to go, Seth!

On the way home from swimming lessons, the kids wanted me to tell them stories about when I was a child. I told a couple, but then I was having a little nostalgic moment, remembering when my dad would tell me stories of when he was a young boy. So I launched into the story my dad used to tell about meeting up with a skunk, and told it with such enthusiasm that the kids asked me to tell it again a few times. They also started telling stories about when they were "little," which made me giggle.

Another cute moment from today...I hosted Evan's playgroup today, and those two year olds had a great time together. When it was time to go, and all the kiddos were putting on their shoes and coats, I told Evan to say goodbye to his friends. He said, "Bye Friends!," and proceeded to hug and kiss everyone, even petting some on the head. That set off an avalanche of hugs and kisses between all of them that had to have lasted a couple of minutes. It was all so sweet, and if I wasn't so caught up in the moment and just soaking it in, I would have grabbed my camera and video'd it. Hopefully next week we'll have a repeat, and I'll have something to make you smile. :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

First Grade Friends

Seth is a pretty happy boy. He has friends in his class that he has known for a long time as well as some new ones that he really has been enjoying getting to know. A number of them are in his boy scout troop. Its been fun watching him develop socially.

After school, Patrick came over. Wow...the ground they covered in the couple of hours they were together! They played a rousing game of hide and seek, including Henry, Caroline and even Evan. They played in our fort under the basement stairs. They played video games. They tested each other on math facts (!). And they played a game Seth made up of launching a missile dart up and down the stairs, with rules, points and everything. Totally boy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Evan's favorite word

This little boy...he likes to keep us busy. He'll walk right over and say, " 'mon!", grab one of our fingers, and off we go! And he says this ALL THE TIME. Which, of course, means, "Come on, I have to show you something." Or, "Come on, I want to play Ring around the Rosie." Or, "Come on, we need to go outside." Just to warn you, he does this with EVERYONE, so just be prepared to be on your feet if you come to visit.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sweet Caroline

One of my favorite Caroline stories...We had our favorite babysitter over and Caroline was so excited that she made a special picture for her. Kelsey fawned over it. Later, when Kelsey was tucking Caroline into bed, Caroline told Kelsey, "Don't forget to take your picture home!" Kelsey replied, "Don't worry, I'll definitely bring it home. Its so beautiful that I am going to hang it in my bedroom!" Caroline contemplated that for a moment, and looking puzzled, she asked Kelsey, "You have a refrigerator in your bedroom?!!!"
(After all, where else would a you hang a picture? :) )

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Here comes trouble!

Every Wednesday morning, Evan and his almost two-year-old buddies get together for a little pow-wow. Fortunately, there's only 4 to 5 of them at a time, which is just perfect for this age. It is fun to watch them now. They are just getting to that age where they are moving from solitary play to more interactive play, doing lots of fun stuff together like the ever popular "stomp on the mat holding your favorite toy" game (pictured), and plenty of Ring Around the Rosie.

Evan's brothers and sister have trained him to come fast with a kiss if they've hurt themselves. (They find it very funny, and will even pretend to have an injury just so he'll come running.) He's carried this empathetic quality over to his playgroup, and perhaps because of the larger number of tumbles and falls in a 2 year old group, is kept very busy consoling with sweet kisses.