Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Oh Christmas Tree..

Just took our Christmas tree down yesterday...here are the pics!

2014 Christmas Tree...scratch that, we were going to pick this tree but the trunk was too crooked and we struggled to get this picture so going for picture round 2 was "out of the picture". 
 Lauren pulling the sled.
 Miles freezing his tush off.
 Watching Dad cut the FINAL tree.
 Ike and Mommy selfie. It was a bit too cold to dilly dally this year.
Christmas Tree chopping 2013 in Iowa.
 Chopping 2012 in Illinois
 Arms full again!
We enjoy our yearly tradition of chopping down our tree. Can't wait to see how many more kids will join the crew in the next few years!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Dear Lauren

Answers to any questions you may have:
1. Yes, she did say "Cauliflower".
2. No, she is not reading a story, that is actually a paper on hog confinements.
3. Yes, she only has 1 arm in the shirt.
4. Yes, she is dressed as the statue of liberty.
5. Yes, this is our everyday life!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Last Bit of October

 Figure I should upload my October pictures before November is over! These last few weeks have flown by being back to work. I was very thankful I got to extend my maternity leave an additional 1.5 weeks from what I had originally planned and went back the first week of November. Without further ado, here are the end of October pics...

Lauren enjoys wearing unique outfit choices to school. Kyle was not pleased with her outfit this day. I said it was not a battle I was going to fight. She also wore a gold fedora this day :)
It got chilly real quick! One night on our walk I felt so bad for Isaac in my wrap that I bundled him up in the blanket and stuck him in the stroller by Miles with the rain/wind shield down to keep him out of the wind. 
 Lauren rode on the front, it was a sight!
 I got this little shirt for Isaac when I was pregnant and traveled to Boston for work. 
 Last bath on the counter. He now gets his bath in this same little tub in the bathtub so he can splash some more. 
 The kids each invited a friend to the pumpkin patch. Miles picked Aunt Erin and Lauren picked Nana.
 I always pick out pumpkins each year that remind me of each family member. I saw this one and thought it was a good "Kyle" one. Lauren went to this same pumpkin patch for her field trip and told us that they call these pumpkins, "knuckleheads"...perfect!

 Clay Co. Winner!

 We attempted!
 We watched some little friends one afternoon while Kyle was in the field. 5 kids under 5...
 Oddly enough, I got more housework done during this time because they stay entertained!
 Carving pumpkins
 Roasting the Pumpkin Seeds
 Miles wanted to access something on the top of the fridge. He pushed the first chair over and realized he was too short and then proceeded to push the next two over. Lauren and I just watched/photographed from a distance to see how his scientific experiment worked out for him.
 In case you didn't know, it didn't work.
 I got to be the guest reader and helper for Lauren's school Fall party. We picked "Pin the Tail on the Cat" as our game.
 The classmates were enamored with Isaac.
 He enjoyed their company as well.
 Halloween with Cinderella and her 2 mice (Jaq and Gus)

 We head to the nursing home in town to visit Grandma first on Halloween each year. I had to take this picture with Pat. She graduated from Loyola and Erikson (same 2 master's degrees as me) in Chicago in the 70's and also now lives in Emmetsburg at the same independent living facility as my great grandma. 
 Poor Lauren! On our nightly walk, we always went by this house with 2 statues on the porch. Each night, the kids would scream, "Hi Friends!" at the statues as we walked by as the house was inset from the sidewalk quite a bit. Lauren was CONVINCED they were real children that always sat out there. We talked about how they always sat in the same position and wore the same clothes but she didn't seem to make the connection. Starting around June, she requested we go up to the house and see them. I said it wasn't ok to go up to someone's front door and touch their things unless you are invited or know them but on Halloween it is acceptable to go to someone's front door when you don't know them. Long story short, every night from June on, she asked how many more days until Halloween. So on Halloween, she raced up to meet her friends not only to discover they were statues...but also rather chipped ones to boot. I told the homeowner the story and she giggled. As we walked away, I could see a tear in her eye and felt sorry for her. All the anticipation of getting close to the boy and girl and it was a let-down.
 The boys finished up Harvest
 Farmer Grandpa and Miles
 This was another beauty of an outfit!
 And the day she managed to match my outfit and hair.
 Issac turned 3 months on Nov. 5th!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Miles Reading

Miles reading "Harry and the Terrible Whatzit" (an oldie in our house). Check out his hair!!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Lauren Lately

I have been patiently waiting for the day my children 
can actually assist in the cleaning operations of the house. 
Unfortunately, after Lauren's latest sweep job, I will still be waiting patiently. 
 On the other hand, her fashion design business is taking off. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

11 Weeks

I know I may be biased...but my little Ike is pretty darn cute!
 In the same day we can hear from one stranger that he is going to have beautiful brown eyes and the next stranger will comment on his big blue eyes. 
 My vote is blue. Either way, I am smitten with him.
I requested more time off work and was granted until November 3rd. Big sigh of relief, he will be 2 days shy of 3 months old when I return.

Just a little comparison, here is Miles at 11 weeks as well.
 I think this picture looks like Isaac, minus the dark eyes.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


A "few" of our kids from Illinois came to visit us. My friends Tami and Laura (and their combined 6 kids) filled our house up. It was interesting having 9 kids and 3 adults for a few days. 

Meals looked a bit like this! We menu-planned for the weekend to avoid the mass chaos of eating out and accommodate 2 that have celiac disease. Meals were surprisingly smooth with 3 mommies tending to the flock!
 The 2 littles sat to the side of the table! 
 As a surprise, Tami and Laura brought decorations, a cake mix, and presents for Lauren. This was the first year that they were unable to celebrate her birthday with her and wanted to make up for it. Lauren was thrilled!
 Miles was thrilled with the cupcake!
 I figured they needed to experience the 8th wonder of the world in NW Iowa so we took them to see the Grotto in West Bend. This was sentimental only because the last time I went to the Grotto was shortly after Miles was born. We were back in Iowa while I was on maternity leave so Kyle could help his dad farm. It was that trip that I got a phone call from Tami saying that I needed to call her back ASAP. I immediately called her back to hear that our friend, Laura, had lost her baby girl, June, during her 36th week of pregnancy. It was definitely a tough time for our circle of friends. Kyle, the kids, and I drove back to Yorkville in the middle of the harvest to attend the funeral. 
 It was nice to be able to take Laura and Tami there at the same time. 
 The kids were enthralled with the sculptures. If we didn't have so many little ones, we probably would have hopped on one of the tours but they weren't too interested in sticking around each grotto for a long time, they just wanted to explore.
 I have plenty of these pictures from my childhood.

 If you've never been to the Grotto (and happen to be near NW Iowa), I would highly recommend stopping. The artwork is exquisite! The entire Grotto was hand-crafted by several Catholic priests. Many of the precious stones and materials were imported from all around the World. 
 Miles kept telling Aliya, "This is God, Aliya!"
 All the kids, minus Isaac who was strapped to me. 
 It was a beautiful day to visit!
 The park nearby. Fun to have all the kids on this little apparatus!