Friday, January 27, 2012

Seth's newspaper car made the newspaper!

Seth and Dave were a little disappointed that their pinewood derby car didn't do better in it's race on Friday...
but yesterday when Seth saw that his newspaper car was featured in the newspaper, he felt a lot better about it.  :)
Good job, Team Nosek! 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How do we love thee, Moxie?

What is there not to love about this dog? I mean other than that she steals food from the table, occasionally raids the garbage and sometimes drinks from the toilet. You know, other than that. ;)
Wellll...she greets us every morning and every time we've been away with all of her heart, an tail that wags her whole behind at unbelievable speeds, and a tongue that will absolutely cover you with kisses if you aren't careful. :)
She plays with the kids with joyfulness and enthusiasm befitting her name. She makes us laugh all the time. Last week, Henry had some homework that was keeping him up past his, and Moxie's, bedtime. She was curled up under the table at his feet. When he finished, I came over to him when he was saying good night to Moxie. He said, "Mom, I don't know how she does it. How can she make us just want to be with her and stay with her, and all she is doing is laying here?!" She is a blessing to our home. We love you, Moxie!

Mr. Smartypants

Evan has really been into rhyming lately. Wherever we go, whatever we do, Evan has been entertaining me with his creative, sometimes unconventional, rhyming. He'll say, "Mom!! Dog--Log!" And I'll respond, "Good rhyme, Evan!" A few seconds later, "Mom!!! School--Pool!" "Yes, Evan! Another one!" And then, "Eyebrow..." (What could he possibly pair with that, huh?) "Eyebrow--Wyebrow!" (Giggle, giggle, giggle!) "Ah, yes, those have the same sounds, Evan!" Here's Evan showcasing a little of his rhyming skills for you... Evan is beginning to hear beginning sounds in words too. The other day he said, "MOM!! That starts with M!" (I love how he always shares his discoveries by shouting such an enthusiastic MOM!!) Yesterday, when he finished using the bathroom, it was, "MOMMM! PU starts with U! And a P!!!" Ha! I love how these ideas are really coming together in his mind now. It is exciting to watch him. :)

The last thing I wanted to share with you was Evan singing a song he learned in preschool. Evan has always loved to sing, and always participates fully when they do anything with music in his class. This particular song, "Sticky Bubble Gum", is one of his favorites... Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Happy birthday, Grandpa!

On Sunday we gathered at my in-laws' house to celebrate Dave's Dad's birthday.  (We love you, Denny!)

I always count my blessings when we get together with our family.  We are richly blessed!

My mother-in-law knitted the CUTEST Smurf hat for Caroline!!  (You might want the pattern, huh Kathy?!) It was a HUGE hit!  Caroline was so excited to wear it to school on Monday, and continues to wear it everyday.  Last night she even slept with it!  She was concerned that some of her friends would not believe her that her Grandma could actually make a hat like that, but when she came home from school, she was happy to report that her friends believed her, and that they all loved it, even the boys! ;)  This morning she told me that her teacher was bringing her camera to school today to take Caroline's picture in her special hat.  Thank you, Jean!

 We all Skyped with Dave's brother, Mike, his wife, Vika, and our young nephew, Dennis.  They live in Germany, so Skype is a wonderful way to keep in touch!

  Aunt Debby and Great-Grandma joined us too!

 Dave and his brother, Mark, took the kids and Moxie outside to play in the snow.  When they came back, Moxie looked like she was wearing moon boots made out of snow!  I had to spend the next hour melting the packed snow off of her paws with a blow dryer, and then I had to remove at least 100 burrs from her fur.  Moxie was pretty patient about it, but she definitely was not a happy dog.  I think that the next time we let her go romping in the snow, we might have to invest in a pair of real boots for her!
Thank you for a fun day, Denny and Jean!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Thrill of Victory...

It was the big night...the night of the Pinewood Derby. 
Seth and his friends were pretty excited.  Expectations were high.  Seth was hoping to retain his championship title :) from last year with his "rolled up newspaper car ".
Sadly, sometimes you have the thrill of victory, and sometimes you have the agony of defeat.  Seth's beautifully designed car, the one that he and his dad worked so hard to make together, had the fastest start, but then jumped the track.  It meant immediate disqualification.  :(  However, he handled himself so well and was such a good sport, thanks in no small part to his friends who reassured him.
Despite the disappointment, we are very proud of this racing team.  Better luck next year, Seth!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Don't Carpe Diem

One of my friends posted this article on Facebook this AM.  It contains so much of truth in it about parenting, and it felt so reassuring to read it, that I needed to post it too.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I'm sorry...

I've been neglecting my poor blog.  And I love it so much.  I should not treat it this way!  ;)

Really, all is well here.  We're healthy, busy, and aside from wallowing in a bit of clutter and disorganization, we're all pretty happy.

I am trying to tackle the clutter and disorganization.  The holidays were fantastic, but they also got us out of our groove a bit.  Slowly but surely, in amongst the kitchen clean-up and laundry I have to do daily, I'm trying to organize and re-establish systems that make our household run more efficiently.  Unfortunately, I have to be very patient because time is limited in a house with 6 people and 1 dog.  ;)

School is going great for the kids.  I laugh at myself, but I am almost counting down the days until Friday, which is the day report cards come home.  Henry is getting straight As again, and Seth and Caroline should do well too.  I am proud of the effort the kids are putting into their homework and classwork, and am so thankful that their hard work is paying off.

We are keeping busy with extracurricular activities right now too.  As I mentioned before, Seth is playing basketball, and Caroline is cheerleading.  It is the first time for both of them.  (We're really looking forward to the game that Caroline gets to cheer for Seth's game!)  Henry, Seth and Caroline are all still in scouts as well as Religious Education.  Henry tried out for and made Jazz Band at school.  We are so proud of him, and he is really enjoying it!  Once basketball and cheerleading is done, Henry and Evan will get a turn at a sport.  Henry will be running track and Evan will be playing baseball.  Having only two kids in sports at a time has been a LOT easier on the family schedule. We probably won't always be able to do that, but we're really appreciating it right now.

I'm continuing my preparation for a 10K in March and a 10 mile race in June, both in Chicago.  Four of my friends are doing it too.  Its been nice to be able to support and encourage each other.  I'm looking forward to choosing a race to run in with my sister as well!

That's it for now...gotta go run!  :)

Just finished my run.  Tonight while I was doing that, I watched The Biggest Loser.  Wow, is that show motivating.  I credit a lot of my weight loss last year to watching it.

Before my run, I wrote this post, but felt kind of blah about it.  I mulled over the reason why when I was running.  I think that I gave the impression that I have my act mostly together, and truthfully, that's really not the case.  As a wife and mom, I think that it is important to focus mainly on the positives, and really, that is what I try to do in this blog.  Reflecting on what is going on right now, I am thankful that what is going well lines up with what Dave's and my priorities are for our family.

But if you were to see our everyday life, you would realize that besides our strengths, we have our struggles too.  I mentioned the clutter and disorganization earlier, but I kind of glossed that over.  Really?  Our house is out of control.  One example...the laundry room.  Mountains of laundry; endless coats, mittens, scarves, snowpants, boots and jackets that need to be dried again and again and again; back packs, a trumpet, a pantry that constantly overflows with food that has next to no organization; kid's art projects; clutter that we don't know what to do with so we hide it in there so that nobody sees it :)...  Oh my word.  Part of it is life with 4 kids.  But part of it is that we need to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and get it together.

So, I started on that this week.  The pantry is done, the laundry is caught up, and the refrigerator is cleaned out.  Unfortunately, that doesn't seem like much, especially in light of the fact that there is so much more to do.  I have to remind myself to be patient, with perseverance and endurance, hopefully we'll get there.

Another thing is that I don't feel the kids do enough to help out.  There have definitely been times when they've been better at that.  I keep telling myself that the reason they don't do more is that they have school work and activities, and things are so out of control that we don't have our systems in place anymore. the end, those are just excuses, and we need to figure out how to make sure the kids feel more responsibility for their family and where they live.  I really want Dave and me to feel good about how we are training the kids, and I want all of us to feel proud of the house we live in.  I so want to get our acts together in that way.

What else?  Grumpiness.  I'm tired from our hectic schedule.  I don't always sleep well because I am a terrible worrier.  I'm often stressed by all of the demands on my time and energy.  I want to be more patient and understanding, handle stresses with a calmer spirit, and enforce boundaries without snapping at the people I love most in this world.  I really want to rise to the occasion.

There is oh-so-much more, but because it's getting late and my patience level tomorrow really is contingent on how much sleep I get :), I need to get myself to bed.

But the bottom line?  Things are going well, but we definitely still have our work cut out for us.  :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012


The much anticipated moment finally came this morning.  All week, the weather forecast called for snow on Thursday morning.  It wasn't snowing when the kids woke up, but right before we left for school, it started!  Caroline looked out the window, saw a few flakes in the air, and screamed "SNOOOOOWWWW!"  Of course, the other kids came running to see for themselves.  (Poor Henry was already at school.)

(You might wonder why Caroline was still wearing her pajamas when we were about ready to leave for school.  Caroline's whole class got to wear their pajamas to school today, as well as bring their favorite stuffed animals.)

After school, all was right in my kids' world.  It had been transformed into a winter wonderland just in time for them to enjoy it over their 4 day weekend!  As soon as they got home, they got all of their snow gear on and played outside until dinner time.  Henry and Evan built a fort together.


 and Caroline did a lot of sledding.
Moxie had a great time bounding through and rolling in the snow.  She was so funny that Caroline and I decided to video her.  Unfortunately, while we were doing that, her tether broke and she ran off.  Thankfully, Caroline and a neighbor were able to catch her pretty quickly. Untitled from Sarah Nosek on Vimeo.

When the kids got cold, they came inside to warm up with some hot chocolate.
I think we're in for a fun weekend!

Happy birthday, Connor!

Evan's friend, Connor, had a birthday bash at Chuck E. Cheese today, and honestly it was one of the best Chuck E. Cheese experiences we've ever had.  First of all, we were celebrating one of our favorite friends.  And second, because of the big snowstorm that we had today, we had the place almost completely to ourselves! 

The birthday boy "wowed" his buddies by getting the grand prize from one of the machines...125 tickets!  It was very exciting.  :)  Here's Connor and his buddies all wrapped up in the tickets.

 Of course, after Connor's success, each of the boys had to try their hand at winning.  :)
 Then it was time for pizza, cake and singing happy birthday to Connor!
 The kids had a great time playing together,
 and comparing prizes ("You mean you got a blue raspberry Airhead candy too?!!!  COOOOL!"),
 Happy birthday, Connor!  I can't believe you and Evan are 5!

Playing Playdough with Grandpa

Yesterday my parents came over after I picked Evan up from preschool.  We had lunch at McDonald's, and then headed back to our house so my mom could help me tackle some things on my to-do list.  (Thank you, Mom!)  While my mom and I worked, Grandpa and Evan played with some playdough.  Grandpa + Playdough = Happy Evan!   Aren't these pictures sweet?  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Check out my mom's antique booth!

My mom's antique booth was recently featured on a popular home decor blog, "Opendoor Studio". It's so fun to see her amazing decorating talents showcased and recognized like this! Yay, Mom! :)

Click on the picture to link to Opendoor Studio's post featuring my mom's booth...

Just Dance!

I got the Wii Game, Just Dance, in my Christmas stocking this year. It was probably one of my favorite gifts for a couple of reasons. First, we are ALL having a lot of fun playing it. Second, this whole family could use a little help with their dance moves. ;) Third, seeing my husband dancing with our kiddos? That makes me happy. It's the gift that keeps on giving...

Untitled from Sarah Nosek on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

5 Boys and 1 Girl for Kathy!

My dear friend, Kathy, is expecting her sixth baby at the end of this month. That alone is reason enough to celebrate...but because she's had five boys, and this sixth is a girl, well...that calls for a party full of ruffles, bows and plenty of pink!
So a bunch of her friends and family gathered at my house on Saturday to shower Kathy with lots of best wishes and girly things...
This is the beautiful mother-to-be and her lifelong friend, Lisa...
We had lots of good food and yummy punch. (Thanks for all of your help, friends!)Then it was time to open the gifts, full of sweet sleepers, dresses, jumpers and accessories. This little girl will be quite well-dressed! :)
There was a lot of ooohing and aawwwwwing...
Lucky, lucky girl! :)
She even got a pink Cubs outfit!
Congratulations, Kathy and Tom!!! We can't wait to meet your little girl! (Thank you for making the beautiful centerpiece, Mom!)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I don't know how the kids got away with this tonight...

The kids were having so much fun playing together tonight. Evan built Henry a castle...

They had a dance party in our master bedroom...

and then built a few tents...

that Caroline and Evan were enthralled with...
Somehow these two convinced me, on a school night, to let them sleep in their tents tonight.
Caroline, my sweet little girl, went right to sleep. Evan? Not so much. If you haven't guessed, this child is full of it. ;)
Thankfully, he did finally fall asleep. I wonder how many pictures I have of my kiddos like this. I love to peek at them while they are sleeping. :)
I'm so glad they had so much fun together tonight!
Sweet dreams!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Our Basketball Stars

I am sooooo excited about the winter basketball season! Seth had his second basketball practice tonight, and he LOVES it! His coaches have been really encouraging, and apparently from what others have said about them, they make sure that all of the kids get to play equally in the game. They said that their goal is to teach all of the kids basketball, not just to win games by only having the good kids play. I am thankful that he is having a good first experience with this game. His first game is on Saturday, and we can't wait!
Miss Caroline has really been enjoying her cheer practice as well. She and I have been practicing her cheers at home using the tutorials that have been posted online. She is on the same squad with all of her best friends, and even carpools with them, so she is as happy as a clam. To top it all off, she got to be in a lift tonight! She gets to cheer in her first game next weekend.

Henry and Evan are not playing a winter sport, which in some ways is a good thing. Two kids in a sport per season is plenty...and their turn will come in the spring. :) Looking forward to track for Henry and baseball for Evan.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Caroline's Crazy Cool Family Fun Fest

At one of our family parties this year, Caroline and her cousins, Anabel and Nadia, put together a show for our extended family. Today Caroline was remembering how fun that was, and that prompted her to create her own family fun tonight...

It started as a competition between two contestants (Seth and Evan). Dave, Henry and I were the audience. I loved how she set everything up!
The first part of the competition for the contestants was to dress in the craziest costume they could come up with.
The next challenge was to dress in Caroline's favorite colors. Seth refused. ;)
Next up...the Dancing Competition! These kids had some crazy moves!
Evan taught Seth his "booty dance".
Then...a little balloon volleyball.
After that, things got even crazier. Everyone wanted in on the action when it was time for the "Spinning Sword Races"! Look at the fancy way Caroline and Evan started their race, ha!
Dizzy, dizzy, dizzy!
Then it was Caroline vs. Seth...

And Henry vs. Seth!

The "Crab Walk" came next...
Dave and I couldn't resist the challenge of this one! :)
It was such a fun family night, all prompted by our little girl! I think your Family Fun Fest was a hit, Caroline, and that we'll all want to do it again soon! :)