Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! Hope you all had a fun Halloween celebrations. I'll get to trick-or-treating in my next post, but for now I need to catch you up on the weeks happenings since it's been almost a week since you've heard from me. I know we were busy all week, but I really can't remember Tuesday and Wednesday. I know Wednesday afternoon I made cookies for Evan's school Halloween party. So with that said, I guess that means it's onto Thursday. I went to school with Evan on Thursday to help out with his school party. The kids don't get to wear costumes, but they were asked to wear orange and black if they wanted too. The party was just for about an hour and a half of school time, but I stayed for the whole morning. I got to meet some of the other moms which was nice. Evan's teacher had all different stations set up around the room of Halloween activities that were learning based. There was a "skittles bar graph" table which was the table I worked at. The kids had to graph the different colors of their skittles. There was a monster hat art craft table, a candy corn bingo table, a bead bracelet table, a pumpkin seed counting table, face painting, pumpkin craft table where the kids got to make jack-o-lantern faces on pumpkins they had painted in previous weeks, a Halloween book corner, a spider making station, and an eyeball spoon race. Evan made his Spider with green and white legs and called it his Spartan spider. A few different moms brought in snacks that the kids also got to enjoy throughout the morning. It was a great morning for the kids and they all enjoyed their Halloween party. Here's a few pics from the festivities!

Here's Evan working on his skittles bar graph.
Evan's monster hat
Some of the kids getting their faces painted
Evan with his friends Jaidyn and Allison enjoying some of the snacks
Evan after he got his face painted
At the end of the party all the kids got some treats from Mrs. Mills & a couple of the kids. Evan handed out popcorn to his classmates!

Thursday night we had downtown E.L. trick-or-treat which I'll tell you all about in my next post along with our neighborhood trick-or-treat!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Wonderful Weekend

We had a wonderful weekend and it all started with bunco on Friday! The kids headed off to Greg's mom's for the night, Greg worked on wedding pictures from the wedding he did a couple weeks ago, and I had ladies night playing bunco! The October bunco hostess wasn't available to hostess at all this month so my friend Jessica (she's become our permanent bunco sub) stepped in and offered to hostess for October. However she is without her house right now so I offered for her to have bunco here. That's what friends are for, right? I was more than happy to have it here so it was no problem. She decided on "Cocktail Bunco" for the theme so everyone had to bring something to do with cocktails/drinking/alcohol, you get the idea. Unfortunately, many of the regular hostesses couldn't make it so we had to work to find a lot of subs. Maybe it wasn't so unfortunate though because there were many who came that hadn't played before and some who I didn't know so it was a night to make new friends! We ended up with 12 players which hasn't happened in a long time so it was really fun. The more players the better! We had a fabulous evening and after many left my new neighbor Kate next door, Jenn & Christine from down the street and Jess, and my friend Brenda, and I all hung out chatting it up. Good times and good friends makes for a great night! Thanks so much Jessica for hostessing with everything you got going on right now! It was much appreciated! Thanks to everyone that came too! Love bunco night even when I don't win. I had five baby bunco prizes at one time, but walked away with none. :( Oh well, it happens. Still a fun night!

Saturday we had to pick the kids up so we met them and Greg's mom at Sawyer's Pancake house in Lansing. We'd been there one time before and it was super good so we thought we'd go back. I love their peanut butter banana French toast... yum-0!!!! All the food there is organic. Thanks to Greg's mom for watching the kids and for breakfast. Here's a picture of the yummy French toast. (I know it's not the most healthy thing in the world, but it sure is tasty. They give you a lot which you can't even finish.)

The rest of the day we pretty much vegged out watching football. It was one of those days. The Spartans played at Northwestern, and it was their first game out of the state this season. The first half was going much like the Illinois game the week before and MSU looked horrible. I was a little worried and new if they were going to win the game they'd have to rally together and half and step it up a couple notches in the second half. It was an ugly game, but somehow they were determined to win and came back to mark another "W" in the books. Dantonio pulled out another trick from his bag on a punt and faked it. "That's what we call the Mouse Trap," Dantonio said at the end of the game! Love love love the "Little Giant" and now the "Mouse Trap!" So proud of my beloved Spartans and their 8-0 record and now ranked #5 in the AP Poll and #5 in the BCS rankings. They've got a tough game ahead of them this week at Iowa. Hope they are practicing hard this week.

Sunday we were gone all day. We went to Greg's uncle's farm in Olivet and dug, lifted, and hauled rocks. We wanted to make a border around our deck where the mulch meets the grass. Instead of having to buy a bunch of rocks his uncle said we could come get some from the farm. We borrowed Greg's Uncle Bud's trailer to haul the rocks, and his mom, aunts, uncles, and cousin all helped us. We got a trailer full of rocks, got them home and got most of them put around the deck. We still have some to do, but at least we got them all here. I'll have to post a picture when it's done. It was a long day and a lot of work, but at least the weather cooperated and it was a beautiful day. A big thanks to all Greg's family that helped us. It was much appreciated because otherwise it would of taken us a lot longer to do our big rock project!

Here it is Monday and it's the last week of October, can you believe it? We've got a busy week and can't wait to have our Halloween fun with a few festivities this week, and see the kids dressed up in the their costumes! Enjoy your week and any beautiful weather we may have. Today was awesome with another 70 degree day. I know they're coming to an end soon, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed we can go two more weeks with some decent weather!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall Fun Family Night

Last night we had a very enjoyable evening as a family. LMLM put on their family night out birthday bash at Peacock Road Tree Farm. If you remember, last year I went to the mom's night out birthday bash, but we weren't able to go to the family night out birthday bash. Well, this year I couldn't make the mom's night out birthday bash, but finally we were able to make a family night out and it happened to be their family birthday bash. I knew when I read the description of the family night out it would be something the kids would really enjoy! We went out to Peacock Road Tree Farm last December for a LMLM family night. Then it was cold, snowy, we saw Santa and reindeers, and roasted marshmallows. This time we got to experience the farm at a different time of year and it was just as fun!

We got to the farm right around 5pm when the festivities were to start. There were lots of activities planned, and we were able to do all of them! We took a hayride out to the pumpkin patch and the kids each got to pick out a pumpkin to take home. We visited the animal park, and took a ride on the "Boo Express." There were even pig races which the kids thought were funny. They even provided us with a hot dog dinner. The weather ended up being pretty much perfect for a fall evening. It was a little windy which made it slightly chilly, but it was about 60 degrees so it still felt nice! Here's some pictures from our fall fun night.

All set to go on the hayride (that once again didn't have any hay) out to the pumpkin patch!
They're off to find the perfect pumpkin...
these are what they found!

The kids waiting for the pig races at "Pork Chop Downs."
The cute miniature pony that Emmaline loved.

Thanks once again to Lansing Moms Like Me for a great free family night out! We all really enjoyed it and walked away with memories to last a lifetime!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Evan's Drawing With Words

I've mentioned before how proud I am of Evan's work at school already this year. The things he's learning already and the rate at which he's learning is wonderful! In just six weeks of school he's come a long way learning how to spell, read, and write! I sometimes get a little teary-eyed when he shows me the things he can do. My little guy is growing up.

Tonight he was working on a picture at his little table and he asked me if I could write two words on a piece of paper so he could copy them for his picture. The two words were skeleton and pumpkin. I wrote them down and he took the paper back to his little table and worked away. Within a few minutes he came back to me with his notebook and showed me what he did. This is his work that he had done.

You can see he drew a picture of a skeleton and a pumpkin. Not only did he draw a picture, but then he wrote words to go along with it. He wrote, "I see the skeleton" and "I see the pumpkin." The word "see" was the new sight word the class learned last week when I was in there volunteering, and "the" they learned the week before that. I was very proud of Evan when he showed me what he did. He wrote, "I see the" all by himself without asking how to spell the words. He also wrote his name with uppercase and lowercase letters, something they are working on in kindergarten and need to learn I think by the second or third semester. I think he did a super job on this so much that it was worthy of sharing with all of you. Great job Evan!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

School, MSU Homecoming, & Football!

Wow, it's time for me to play catch up again! I left off last Tuesday telling you all about our fun hayride on campus and you haven't heard from me since. It was a busy week and before I knew it the weekend came and went! I mentioned I had gone into Evan's class last week so that's up first on my agenda to tell you about. Tuesday was my first time in Evan's kindergarten classroom. I've anxiously been waiting to get into his classroom to see what his day is like. I've signed up to volunteer every second Tuesday of the month. Kindergarten is different than preschool and I can't take Emmaline in with me. Last year she would go with me whenever I was at Ev's school. Since I can't take her with me I had to find a day that I would have someone to watch her. So Greg's mom has offered to watch her when I go volunteer. I'm going to try to go in more when I can, but at least I know I'll be in every second Tuesday of the month.

It was a great morning in kindergarten! I got to see what a typical day is like for Evan, as well as meet his classmates. I got to work with all the kids and Evan's teacher put me to work doing assessments. I had to do reading assessments and number identification. It wasn't what I was expecting to be doing while in his classroom, but it went well nonetheless. His teacher was super excited to find out that I had a teaching degree. She said it was a bonus day for her. I also got to see the Smart Board that Evan talks about. It's been awhile since I've been in a classroom teaching, and when I was there weren't Smart Boards in the classes I was in. It's really neat and a great interactive teaching tool. If you're not familiar with it, the Smart Board is an interactive white board. A projector displays the computer's video output on the interactive whiteboard which then becomes a large touch screen. In Evan's class they used it that morning to do calendar activities. The student of the day gets to go up to the screen and touch the day of the week, etc. and drag it on the screen to the correct spot on the calendar. Really neat interactive learning tool for the students! I can't wait to get back in Evan's class! I'm actually going back in at the end of the month for their Halloween party.

In other news. Thursday Greg had to go to Ann Arbor for work and Friday to Detroit. For some reason MSU wanted to pay for him and another guy to stay in Ann Arbor for the night because they were going to Detroit on Friday. I don't really get it. Seems like it would be more cost effective for them to come home and drive back on Friday, but that wasn't the case. Anyhow, since he was gone all day and night I decided to make a Trader Joe's run with my mom. She wanted to head there and get a few things so she picked the kids and I up on her way and we went too. I ended up getting three bag fulls of stuff! I went for some spinach artichoke dip and came home with that, four bottles of wine, pumpkin pancake mix, tamales, and a lot of other stuff! The kids had a blast pushing around the kiddie carts.

Friday was the MSU homecoming parade. Greg wasn't sure if he'd be back from Detroit by parade time so I planned on taking the kids. Turns out he got back in time so we met him on campus and all went to the parade together. Evan's friend Ethan and his dad Nick and sister Aivree met us too so we all had a great time at the parade! The parade seemed a little longer this year. It may have been that there were some big gaps in between some of the floats or maybe there was just more floats this year. Here's a few pictures from the parade. I didn't get many as my old crappy camera I have to use is so slow and doesn't take good pictures at night. I'm so bummed I don't have my good camera. I really need to find a new one!

My Spartans ready for parade time!
A Spartan smile before the parade!
The start of the parade with the Spartan Marching Band!

Saturday was a wonderful football day once again for my beloved Spartans! I was a little worried in the first half when the Spartans weren't playing to their full potential. They looked horrible and seemed like a whole different team. Thank goodness they pulled it together in the second half and ended up being the only one to put points on the board. Illinois was scoreless in the second half and MSU walked away with another "W" in the books. They are now 7-0 and are ranked in the top 10 at #8! How exciting! There's still some tough games ahead, but I'm really proud of the way the team has pulled together this season and are working really great together! Keep up the good work guys!

After a fabulous football win, we ended the day by hanging out at our new neighbors. They invited us to their cocktail/housewarming party. Kids were invited too so Evan and Em went. Evan was in his glory getting to go over to his new buddy Jim's house! Of course he was quite the social bug too, introducing himself to everyone and talking about some Spartan football! What a kid! We couldn't stay too late though because it coincided with Em's bedtime, but it was nice to get out for a little bit. Thanks to Jim & Kate for the invite. We had a nice time! Now it's off to bed for me. A new week is right around the corner which means early wake-up for school tomorrow! Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

MSU Hayride

Last night we headed on over to campus to partake in one of the many homecoming activities planned by the Alumni Association for this week. Monday night was "Hayrides & History." We took the kids to this last year and figured since they enjoyed it so much they would have fun doing it again this year. We were right, they had just as much fun. However last year it was cold cold cold and we had to bundle up in winter coats, hats, blankets, etc. This year is was a gorgeous 70+ degree evening and the kids were in shorts! Perfect night for a hayride and we didn't have to freeze! The hayride is an opportunity to learn about 150 years of MSU history while riding around campus seeing various landmarks! Not to mention the fact that you get to see the beauty of campus in fall. The colors with the old buildings is a wonderful sight to see! Unfortunately I didn't get a whole lot of pictures because my crappy old camera I'm using (remember my other camera is broke), is so slow and the tractor was moving to fast so many of my pictures didn't come out. Plus it gets dark so fast that my crappy old camera doesn't like to take pictures when it's dark. Anyway, here's a few of the good pictures that I did get. First up though is a picture of the kids last year at the hayride.

Here's this years photo. I can't believe how big the kids have gotten in a year. (Sniff sniff) With the weather being warmer this year, they got to enjoy a cookie and water this year, as opposed to the hot cocoa and donuts last year.

Evan loved seeing Sparty there, and of course he wanted his picture with him! (We almost got Em to give him a high five. She's getting better.)

There was a banner to sign for the football team & coaches that anyone could sign. It will be presented on Friday to the team.
Evan signed his and Emme's names and Em colored in the hearts!
The "famous rock" on campus. The rock is painted numerous times for different occasions. It's actually 1/4 of this size. It's gotten this big over the years from all the layers of paint!
The wonderful Spartan Stadium! Evan loved seeing the stadium on the hayride! (In past years Greg's pictures have been used on the stadium like this one shown.)

It was a fun evening on campus once again. Next time I'll be back to share with you my day volunteering in Evan's kindergarten class!

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Lil' Spartans

As previously mentioned, I want to share some photos of the kids from Saturday. We headed over to campus early to do some pictures at this "silly tree" the kids always like when we pass by it on the way to Greg's work. It's on Adams field on campus, and I've been wanting to get over there and do pics, but it's been football Saturdays so much and some of the weekends have been crappy weather wise, we haven't had the chance. Since the game was away this past weekend and the weather was beautiful, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity. I also just got this MSU outfit for Em that I think is absolutely ADORABLE and wanted to get some pics of her in it. What better place than on campus, right? Greg took the pics and he snapped over 500 of them. I had to weed through them and picked out just a few to share on Facebook which some of you saw. For those of you that haven't seen them here are a few of my favorites photo of my Lil' Spartans.

When did my little baby girl grow up?
She really does "look up" to her big brother in everything she does.This picture brings tears to my eyes because it really shows me how fast my little guy is growing up. When I look at it, I can picture him in this same pose for his senior pictures.
My precious little girlThe joy they have running on campus melts my heart! They are Spartans for life!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Fab Weekend & 10-10-10

VICTORY FOR MSU! Yes, you know I'm going to talk about it and there's no getting around it! What a fabulous weekend all around! The weather was absolutely delightful and my beloved Spartans pulled off a great win in A2 at the Big House against UofM! I had good feelings going into the game, but you never know what's going to happen in College Football! However, you all know my feeling about the numbers 3 & 17, right? Well, I'm pretty sure they played a part in the game yesterday. When we turned on ABC and they interviewed Coach Dantonio before the game, the time on the clock was... yes 3:17pm. A good sign, most definitely! I also happened to notice when the clock was down to 3 min. 17 sec. both in the 2nd & 4th quarter. I told Greg that was good luck. And then the fact that MSU won by 17 points! Ahhh my numbers came through for me! The Spartan Spirit around E.L. all week was great leading up to the game and it continued after the game! The MSU vs. UofM game is definitely one of the most anticipated games in the state all year. I love this time of year and I love living in East Lansing when it's time for this game!

I'm so very proud of the MSU football team and how they played on Saturday. Finally MSU played for a full 60 minutes- they worked together, they made the big plays, the offense showed up, the defense showed up, and in the end they got the job done. I think it's one of the best games I've seen in a long time. MSU played to win and they deserved the win. They stopped UofM when they needed to and it paid off. Finally, finally, finally, the team that deserved to win did, and it wasn't the refs winning the game for a team. It has to be one of the better officiated games I've seen in a very long time as well.

Nothing against friends and family that like UofM here, but how about a little fun now against the Wolverines. How about I sum it up for you. Denard Robinson you are now DeNIED Robinson. You're all UofM football has and well, when our team makes the big plays against you, you are now Denied of the Heisman contention. Oh and I think the Spartans tied your shoelaces! We went into the Big House and well, Little Brother beat your ass again! The Spartans made a STATEment by dominating the Wolverines! In the end, I have to say three things- it feels good to give Michigan their first loss/Big Ten loss, to be the first team to hold "Denied" below 100 yards rushing this season, and to be the team to knock you out of the top #25! We Spartans are basking in the glory of our 34-17 win! It feels good to be 6-0 and while we'll be celebrating for awhile, it's time to get down to business and back at it this week. It's homecoming week and we can't underestimate Illinois after the game they played at PSU. Great game Spartans! It was a great win for the program, a great win for Coach D, and a great win for the fans! Thank you my beloved Spartans!

Today is 10-10-10 we all know. How cool is that? Lots of weddings today on this once in a lifetime date! Speaking of weddings, Greg was actually shooting a wedding today. He got a photo gig through our friend Brenda. It was a friend of hers getting married and after checking out a few photographers they chose Greg. So while today was a beautiful day weather wise and the kids and I got to enjoy some time at the park, Greg was gone almost all day doing this wedding. What a cool date though to get married on, or to have a baby for that matter.

It was a great weekend! It just doesn't get any better than 75-80 degrees in October topped off with a MSU win against Michigan! We also got to meet Angie's new little girl, Brooke. She's precious and oh so tiny. She weighs 6lbs. 9oz. and neither of my kids were ever that small so she seems really tiny. Em loved little Brooke and as we sat their and I was talking to Angie, Em kept putting her finger to her lip saying, "Mom, shhh we can't wake the baby." It was oh so cute! I've got some photos to share with you of the kids that we took this weekend, but those will have to wait until tomorrow!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Beautiful Week

I need to start off by wishing my Dad a very happy birthday! I'm jealous of the birthday dinner he had a Pete's Patio. My favorite place to eat in Niles! Happy Birthday Dad! Hope it was a great day! Also birthday wishes go out to Betty who lives across the street from my Dad. When my sister and I were little we were always at Bob & Betty's house. Betty is like a Grandma to my sister and I. We always thought it was cool that she and my dad shared the same birthday and that her husband Bob's birthday is the day after mine! So happy birthday to both of them!

The weekend is nearing, and I can't complain about the weather this week. It's been beautiful and I'm loving it! If only it could stay this way until May and then warm up a little more. The mornings have been chilly, but the afternoons and early evenings have been perfect. The sun has been out and we've been able to enjoy the park almost every night! The kids totally love the park. It's such a great thing for our neighborhood!

This week had a couple of highlights that were very exciting. First my friend Angie (she bought all my girl clothes at the garage sale) had her baby on Tuesday, Oct. 5th. She was 10 days overdue. She had gone in the hospital on the 27th and was induced and none of the meds worked. Can you believe that? She had contractions for 27 hours, but no baby. She didn't want to have a c-section so she went home and waited it out. They induced her again on Monday, and I haven't talked to her yet, but finally she had her little girl Tuesday morning. Brooke Marie they named her, and I can't wait to meet her. I love babies!

Then on Wednesday was the grand opening of my friend Jess and her husband Steve's eye place. It's called Thompson Eyecare, and if you're in need of glasses please go there. The service is outstanding and it's a very family friendly kind of place. You won't be disappointed. You can go to their website, Thompson Eyecare and check out their info. Congrats to Steve and Jessica on their new store. We're very happy for them and they deserved this special day after all they've been through the last couple of weeks. Here's a few photos from the grand opening yesterday.

The inside of their beautiful store
Here's Jess acting like she's working. LOL. O.k. she was working! Haha!
Emmaline making sure the kids corner is working o.k.
Time for the ribbon cutting!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The New Neighborhood Park

Happy October everyone! Yes, I'm thinking it... "Where did September go?" Same thing I think at the beginning of every month. I tell ya each month seems to go buy faster than the previous month! Since this is my first October post I need to catch ya up on a few things. I meant to mention in my last post about my friend Jess coming to cook last Wednesday. This was the second week in a row she's come to "borrow" my kitchen. They've been in a hotel for two weeks since the fire, and Jess has been missing her kitchen. The week before she asked if she could come cook dinner. Of course I said absolutely because I know Jess is a great cook! So she brought everything to make Lasagna. She took some for her family back to the hotel and left the rest for us. Then again this past Wednesday she was coming over to make Amish Friendship Bread with me, and said she'd bring stuff to make dinner. She ended up bringing steaks, veggies, and these very yummy parmesan garlic mashed potatoes! What a treat! The steak was absolutely delicious and hit the spot! Thanks to Jess for making us dinner both weeks. We're getting a little spoiled having dinner made for us once a week. Jess and her family moved to an apartment now until their house gets renovated so now she has a kitchen so we probably won't be getting dinner. However if you're reading Jess, feel free to come on by still and use my kitchen! Haha!

I'm also here to tell you tonight about our new neighborhood park! Finally after four years of living here, the park is actually a reality! A little background about the neighborhood park. When we decided to build our house in this neighborhood we were told by the builder that there would be a park with playground equipment. It was pretty much implied that it would be in the near future. Well little did we know, or many other of our neighbors that it wasn't in the near future. Come to find out about a year ago, the area where the park was supposed to go is actually owned by the city. It's not even the builders property so they were promising something to buyers that they really had no control over. Well thankfully some of us in the neighborhood got on the bandwagon about a year ago and after many meetings with the city of East Lansing, we were finally told there would be a park. The city got a grant to develop the park and this time it was for sure that there would be a park. After much work over the past year getting the land ready for where the park was to go, it finally got finished about a week or so ago. It's not totally finished, but the playground part of it is so that's all that really matters to the kids in the neighborhood! Finally a place right nearby to go play! There's still some trees that are going to be planted, a pavilion put in, and a few other things, but at least all of us in the neighborhood can take the kids to the park to play. Since it's owned by the city it is a public park which anyone can come to, but at least there's a park. We've visited quite a few times since the playground opened in the last week. Friday night we hung out with the kids there for a little bit and here's a few pics I snapped while we were there.

Here's a view of the playground at the park from the entrance closest to our house.
Emmaline wasted no time hitting the playground equipment!
And she's off to another piece of the playground structure. I think she's my little monkey. She loves to climb on everything at the park!Here's my other little monkey climbing up the tree trunk!
The kids love to swing together!
Emme really enjoys the swings. She likes to go high up!
The park isn't far from the house at all. It's kind of hard to see in the picture, but between the two brown houses you can see our red house peeking through. That gives you an idea of how close the park is.