Sunday, May 31, 2009

Happy Birthday, Grandpa Orton!

We went over to my sister and brother-in-law's house to celebrate my dad's birthday today, and it truly was one of those days where everything was just right. Perfect weather, delicious food, good company, happy kids. Life is good. Love you, Dad!

Robbie and Caroline having fun with the bubble blower

My Dad kicking back with two of his son-in-laws

Evan cuddling with his godfather, Uncle Bill

Evan sharing his caterpillar with Grandpa

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Two years ago today...

...we traveled to Italy for Mike's (Dave's brother) wedding. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, MIKE AND VIKA! (My parents watched the other kids while we were gone, God bless them! Evan needed to come because he was still nursing, and it was too expensive to bring everyone.) I happened across a few pictures that I have stored on this computer of our trip, and I thought they would be fun to post. (I wish I had more pictures of the wedding on this computer, because it was amazing! I'll see if I can add some from our other computer.) Evan was only about 6 months old at the time, and it still makes my mind boggle that we did it. We managed to keep up with the wedding and all of the sightseeing pretty well, nursing, changing and toting Evan around in some very historic places. :)
Mount Vesuvius from the city of Pompeii
Evan snoozing in his carrier in Pompeii
Evan and Mom in front of Trevi fountain
In front of the Coliseum
In the Coliseum
In front of some Roman ruins
What in the world was I doing with my baby up that late on the Spanish Steps? Well, being practically on the other side of the world where day was night to us and night was day, he pretty much slept when he wanted to. :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Rockclimber in Training

Just look at this strong, so proud, so big. Way to go, Evan! You did it!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Geologist and his assistant, The Fairy

Henry received a crystal excavating kit for his birthday, and spent a good chunk of the past couple of afternoons freeing 4 pieces of crystal from a plaster block. He has tenacity, that is for certain. He enlisted the help of his little sister, who graciously took off some time from important fairy business to help brush dust away with a paint brush. When he finally got the crystals out and cleaned them off, he was beaming. This boy LOVES rocks, crystals, geodes, anything like that! He's always told me that he'd like to be a geologist, a volcanologist, or a paleontologist. That would not surprise me. :)

I mentioned in another post that Evan's accessory of choice is his froggy boots. Caroline's would be her fairy wings. She even wore them when she rode her bike to school the other day.

The other thing that she likes to wear are dresses, especially the ones that flow out when she spins. Wear both the wings and a floaty dress, and she is a happy little girl!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Seth's Drama Debut

Seth acted in his first school play today, playing the part of the husband in Rapunzel. He did a fabulous job, and of course, we are very proud of him. Interestingly enough, Henry also played the part of the husband when he was in first grade! We have established a tradition in the roles the Noseks play, but I'm thinking that by the time Caroline is in first grade, she'll get a different part. ;)
Here he is, acting away. Now, we do have to work with him on projecting his voice, so in order to hear his lines, you may have to turn your volume up to full blast. As you watch this, you may want to pay particular attention to the anguish (or lack of it) Seth portrays when he has to give up his firstborn daughter to the witch. It's priceless!

In addition to their big play, Seth's class also had a surprise shower for their teacher, Miss Dalton. She will be getting married this summer! Miss Dalton is going to be looping next year, so she'll keep this entire class for second grade. We couldn't be more pleased that Seth will be staying with her! (Seeing this shower brought back so many fond memories of the shower my students threw Dave and I when we were about to be married!)
Caroline came with me to help with the shower. She was soooooooooo excited to be visiting Seth's class!

Cooking with Caroline (and Evan)

Today, Caroline and her assistant, Evan, made Daddy's favorite, TATER TOT CASSEROLE.
This is a kid friendly recipe with just a few ingredients thrown together in a baking dish: frozen tater tots, cooked ground beef, mushroom soup, milk, minced onions and garlic seasoning. After all is mixed, bake. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top for the last 10 minutes of baking.

Caroline's helpful hints for this tasty dish:
1. Place tater tots in the dish ONE AT A TIME. Exact placement of the tots is critical.
2. Cook at 7 degrees for 4 minutes (and then at 350 degrees for half an hour :) ).

Evan's helpful hint:
Don't taste the mixing spoon you use to mix up the mushroom soup, milk, onions and garlic. It does not taste the same as cookie batter.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!

The cub scouts marched in our local veteran's Memorial Day parade today. It was so well done...simple, solemn, focused on the meaning of the day. The veterans and cub scouts marched down main street to a drum beat with flags raised all the way to the local cemetary. Quite a few people from our town had set up chairs and blankets there, and after we all settled, there was a ceremony, including a message, a reading of local fallen soldiers' names, scouts handing out poppies, a military gun salute, and a playing of taps.

I am thankful for our veterans, and proud of the way our community honors them.

Looking forward to more of the same :)

My brother-in-law, Mark, is an excellent photographer, and always has his camera ready to take picture, like these from last summer. Thanks for sending these to me, Mark! (You might want to click on the pictures to see them bigger, especially the panoramic ones. They are such fun!)

We are so excited that summer is starting, and that we'll be able to spend Sundays up with our family. The lakehouse belongs to Great Grandma. While she and Great Grandpa were raising their 5 children, they spent their summers at the lake. Their children brought their families up, so that all of the cousins were very close. And now Great Grandma and Grandpa's grandchildren are bringing their children. The cousins and second cousins play together like brothers and sisters.

This place has been such a blessing...such memories, such fun, most every summer Sunday. :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What a weekend!

It was a beautiful Memorial Day weekend!

We left to go see our niece's first play (Anabel) after the last kids were picked up from Henry's sleepover. She was fabulous, and we can't wait to see her in future productions! We spent the rest of the day at her house for a barbeque and lots of outside fun and games. Then we went on to the lake for a big cousin sleepover. Today the kids went swimming, kayaking, fishing, and played LOTS of baseball. What a fabulous introduction to Summer 2009!

Friday, May 22, 2009


Our house has been taken over by a bunch of 3rd grade boys!

We are having a pizza party/sleepover for Henry's birthday. Really, the kids have been great, so far. :) We took them to the opening night of Night at the Museum II, and came back home for lots of Ghost in the Graveyard, video games, legos, and Star Wars galore.

What are the chances that we actually get some sleep tonight?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rescue and Release

Caroline had one of her girlfriends over today. They were playing in the sandbox while I was watering our sunflowers we just planted :). All of the sudden I heard squeals of excitement, so I ran over to see what was happening. Apparently a frog (or a toad) had been camping out in our sandbox, and he had just been discovered. Caroline quickly captured him under a pail. Here's the girls recounting their exciting find:

And, in case you were worried about our amphibian's welfare (especially because he was in the care of 3 extremely excited children), let your heart not be troubled. Here we are setting him free by the pond behind our house (and what a sendoff it was!):

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

No longer a preschooler

...sigh...Caroline's last day of preschool was today.

We celebrated with a picnic at a park with all of her preschool friends. Thankfully, most of the friends in these pictures she'll be with in Kindergarten.

Evan looks huge to me in this picture. He looks like he could be headed to Kindergarten next year too!

A picture is worth a thousand words...

I'd venture to say that this picture contains at least that. :)

I took it after another round of Dave teaching Caroline to ride her bike. (See the bike in the background?) Dave is obviously exhausted.

Caroline was beaming from the experience. She had her most successful ride ever, riding the length of our yard and our neighbor's yard. This girl is on the verge of kicking those training wheels to the curb! I still have her excited little giggles ringing through my mind.

She loves her Daddy.

See the basket on her bike? When we gave it to her, she was turning inside out with happiness. :) Now Baby Bear and Doggy travel with her on her bike riding adventures. (Side note: "Doggy" was briefly called "Princess Lola" today because Caroline thought it was the most beautiful name she had ever heard, and then she was renamed "Doggy" because she thought that name was cuter). I found the basket at Target for about 3 dollars. That three dollars was among the best money I've ever spent.

They called me outside to watch when I was in the midst of getting Evan ready for bed, so he came outside just in his pull-ups...and Froggy boots, of course. Lately they are his accessory of choice.

When Evan saw Caroline piling on Dave, of course he had to join in, very happy to have an outside reprieve from his bedtime.

When I was tucking Caroline in tonight, she was still on a high from her success. We talked about how when she officially is on two wheels we will have a bike-riding playdate with her two-wheeled friends.

It was a BEAUTIFUL day.

The following clip was not Caroline's best run at riding her bike, but it sure does give you a taste of what was going on! (And hear that stomping in the background? That was Evan walking in his Froggy boots.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Two goals...

Reader Warning: Read this post at your own risk. This blog serves as my journal as well as a way to share our lives with family and friends. What follows is my newest set of resolutions. Not the most exciting post, but very therapeutic for me to journal about. :)

We've been doing pretty well, checking some big things off our list, keeping up on housework and yardwork, and still managing to have some fun too.

I'm ready to move on to some other projects, things that I'm ashamed to admit have been on my list for too long.

So, in order to hold myself accountable and keep things reasonable/do-able, I'm focusing on two things...

1. The big pile of things in basement that I'm supposed to put on E-bay, or garage sale, or something to get them cleared out. Head's up to all my loyal blog readers :) can have first shot at them...some of the items I am selling came from my former can have anything you want for at least half off. As soon as American Idol is done tomorrow night, I'll be spending my evenings in the basement working to check this off my list.

2. I am exercising. TODAY. As in THIS AFTERNOON, when Evan is napping. Its been so easy to slide back into a lot of bad habits, and I am going to break out of it. I started exercising a couple of months ago, but stopped when my back started bothering me, and didn't get back to it when I was feeling better. This time I'm starting slowly, building up, and maintaining. I woke up this morning feeling like I was ready for this, like I was tired of the way things are, like I needed a change, so here goes.Next week at this time, I'll report on my progress. It will feel so good to accomplish in these two areas.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thank God he's ok!

We had a scare today. We went for a bike ride together as a family. (Dave was on his rollerblades.) We were having such a fun time following the path around our subdivision. We came to a point on the path where Dave warned us that the path was steeper. He wasn't sure that we should go on it. Although we knew it was steep, because we warned the boys to pump their brakes the whole way down, we thought they'd be ok. In retrospect, we should have gone with Dave's gut instinct.

It didn't seem too steep at first. I was going very slowly with Evan on the back of my bike, and I could see the boys up ahead of me. It did get steeper at the bottom, and Seth lost control of his bike. It was scary to watch, but fortunately all he got were a few scrapes and bruises. Dave was trying to make him feel better by saying that he would have an exciting story to tell his friends. Seth would have none of that. He said that he didn't want to tell them, because if he did, they might want to go on the big hill too. :)

Of course, I've been replaying the scene in my head quite a few times today. As his mom, I guess that its hard not to do that. I've been saying a lot of thank-you prayers that his guardian angels kept him safe.

Caroline has been practicing and practicing to ride her bike without her training wheels. Dave has been getting some good workouts running alongside her! Today she rode about 15 yards all by herself, and is so excited to practice again tomorrow.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Webelo and a Wolf

Today at the Cub Scout graduation picnic, Henry officially was promoted to Webelo Scout and Seth was promoted to Wolf Scout. We are very proud of our sons and are so glad that they like scouting!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Raisin Rapture

This little boy loves raisins. Not so much bran flakes, but raisins, yes.

And entertaining his brothers and sister.

And goofing off for the camera.

Can you tell?!

Can't rain on our picnic!

These little girls' picnic plans were not to be deterred by non-stop rain all day. No siree. They spread a picnic blanket on the living room floor, donned their pajamas (I can't explain that part other than Caroline is a bit obsessed with her nightgown), and enjoyed lunch.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Our refrigerator...

...AKA The Nosek Art Gallery
I love the ever changing displays of the kids' art work, school work they are proud of...
Since Sunday, our theme has been...MOM!
Here's Seth's contributions. You can click on the pictures to see them bigger so that they are easier to read.I love that he says my favorite store is Menards! But, 12 dollars?! What a tight budget! And, wow, according to him I'm 6 feet tall and a hundred pounds. Apparently I am wasting away.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

After School Fun

We had some friends over this afternoon, and boy, these kids sure can pack a lot into a couple of hours. They had until 5:30, but they fit in some group play with their Nintendo DSs (apparently somehow they can all play the same game together if they are close enough), some oatmeal cookie baking and eating, some Wii and Playstation, some bike riding, and some elaborate tag game with neighborhood friends. When it was bedtime, our kids were TIRED!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Good thing it was a good TV night...

...because the piles of laundry I had to conquer, you could not even imagine. :)

How will I ever get my laundry done when American Idol and Dancing with the Stars is over for the season?!

I was also working on Henry's invitations for his "friends" birthday party. Last year we had a few of his good friends over for pizza, movie, and a sleepover. Well, that party idea is back by popular demand. I'm thinking that we need to start stocking up on sleep NOW.