Monday, August 31, 2009

Bye Bye House

On our way to the library today we stopped cold in our tracks when we saw lots of neighbors in lawn chairs watching a house be torned down. So- we pulled out snack and sippies out of the car and parked ourselves on the sidewalk to watch the big machines tear down this house.
Alaric, Amara, and Noah ( my new babysitting kiddo) watch the construction and each other!

Never a dull moment in Monticello!

A wonderful suprise

I got these beautiful flowers from Alyssa, my 4 year old neighbor who I babysat all summer saying thanks! What a sweet surprise!

2nd Annual North North Charter Block Party

Jack and June's house was the location for our 2nd annual NORTH North Charter Block Party. Posters like this one were all over our neighborhood!

One craft was to make a special drawing or painting just for Jack and June to put in a binder that we would add to each year. Another ( checkout the bags of ice) was to make your very own icecream shake using ice, salt, and a special mix!

Jack took pictures of everyone so I took a picture of him taking pictures!

The backyard was perfect!

Amara and her buddy Staci!

What's that behind the tree? What do the dads have? Oh my!!!!!!!!! It's our BOXES!!!!!!!!!! Yup the return of the huge appliance boxes for the kids to create their own neighborhood!

June had something special for ALaric. She made him his own gas filling station. Complete with a nozzel, a computer and everything. You can just feel Alaric's excitement just by looking at his body!

Here he is ready to work!

Amara's first house!

Stella! Each house had each kids name and address on it!


Sylvia's first houseguest was her daddy!

Alaric's was called the Garage! He was very particular about how things needed to be. June even found car magazines for him to cut up!

Here's the box neighborhood taking shape!

Alyssa and Hannah are hard at work cutting out pictures from magazines of their favorite interiors!

Mara colored on the walls to make hers extra special

Alaric inviting me to be his assistant in his garage and told me what to do.THe guys played Ladder Horseshoes

The view through June's decorative window

Mara impressed us all with the incredible amount of cheese balls she could stuff into her mouth.
The kids played Bozo's Grand Prize Game!!!! They got a treat for each bucket they could get a ball into!
How many people does it take to grill the food for the neighborhood? One to grill, one to watch and drink beer, one to point and give directions, and one to make sure the grill is OK! Thats FOUR!
Another craft! Vases made with tissue paper and glue.
Alaric and Amara share a house
D and Staci Smith
While we all played and hung out, Amara got a hold of the Grand Prize Game treats. I caught Amara with a piece of gum AND THE WRAPPER in her mouth AND part of a butterscotch hard candy AND THE WRAPPER in her mouth- nothing else to say but "OH AMARA!!!!"
The cold weather, the allergies, the running around. Poor Alaric was a mess with his Asthma. He had his first Nebulizer treatment thanks to our neighbors. It worked really well.
June and Mary enjoy dessert!
Alyssa shows off the insect glasses while others look on!
Jack tells a Catholic joke to our new Catholic neighbors.

All the neighbors collected items for the Millers Housewarming basket! Welcome to the neighborhood Miller Family!
Gift certificates, wine, flyers, pictures, homemade cookies, and recipes filled the basket.
Boo Green bay!

Sarah and Matt pose for a picture with their basket of goodies!
What a fun celebration! Thanks Jack and June for hosting and everyone else for making it a memorable night for us all!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Hot Dog Dance...and other simple pleasures

Yesterday was a bad sucked. It was one of those days that I didn't DO much however it just was exhausting and a challenge every step of the way....Brian has been sick for two days and we were trying to stay out of his way. Our house was destroyed because I let the kids run wild. Alaric is going through a very defiant and whiney stage. And Amara, oh challenging daughter since her second week of life when the colic set in....she loves me desperately. So much so that if I put her down or leave the room, EVER, she screams! Some days I can ignore it. Others I don't mind giving her the attention. Yesterday I couldn't ignore it nor did I want to give her the attention. After a meltdown on the front lawn with all the neighbors watching, I literally dragged my kids inside and prayed to God (and my neighbor Staci) to just start my day over fresh tomorrow. Thankfully, God does give us a chance to start over and begin again each morning.

This morning, Alaric came bouncing down the stairs with his beautiful smile while I was running on the treadmill. Good Start! Then instead of demanding to be changed and watch TV, he stretched and exercised with me... even better! Then I put him in front of the TV with his juice and snack and headed back to the basement. 2 minutes later I hear "HOT DOG DANCE" at the top of his lungs.

For those who don't have kids under 5, the HOT DOG DANCE is the last 2 minutes of the Mickey Mouse CLubhouse on the Disney Channel. All the Disney Characters finish the show with a dance they ask everyone to help them with. Each morning, our family....all four of us- dance together. We kick and twirl and laugh. No matter what we are doing, we stop just for those two minutes of singing and dancing. It's so fun and both kids just gleam while we do it- it's a wonderful way to start all of our days.

So today, Brian and Amara were still asleep so I went running up the stairs and scooped Alaric into my arms and started kicking and dancing. He put his head on my shoulder and said, " Mommy, I dreamed that you would hold me today" AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Frog in my throat, deep breath, tears in my eyes!

These are the moments we all live for as parents. I'm so thankful today is a new day filled with hope and optimism. I have a little boy who loves to be held, a sick husband who woke up and asked ME how I'm doing first, and a sweet angel who's talking to herself in her crib as I listen to her on the monitor. It'll be a great day!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Impromtu Neighborhood Party

We got home from the Teddy Bear Picnic and a bunch of the neighbors were sitting on the curb talking...we all ended up touring our new neighbor's house and then decided quickly( as it was past 6)- to order pizzas and eat at Jack and June's house! 20 minutes later were had gathered tables, table service, beer, lemonade, snacks, and games and were gathered and eating as we waited for the pizza to arrive.

LEftovers from fridges, some chips, and pizza and you have a perfect Sunday night meal shared with friends!

THe kids ran around the yard while the parents ate!

Mara fed Alyssa's baby!
We also celebrated Katlyn's birthday as it was her actual 10th birthday!

What a wonderul neighborhood, wonderful friends, and incredible community to raise our kids in! We are so blessed!

Teddy Bear Picnic!!!

Sunday after church, we went to Za's for lunch. There was a buzz in the air- I'm not sure who was more excited- the kids or Grammy for the first ever- TEDDY BEAR PICNIC!!!!

Lots of books to read- each child got to pick one to bring home!

Grammy made treat bags with bear magnets, homemade chocolate suckers, stickers, teddy grahams, gummy bears, and more.

The kids sit outside on the front lawn on their teddy bear picnic blanket with their teddies!

Veronica listens carefully to the story Grammy tells while she holds her bears!

Mara walked around and wandered while Grammy read stories and Papa watched!

Then, each child was given a basket and told to go on a "bear hunt" to look for all the food they would need at their picnic ( Grammy has hid plastic fruits and veggies all over the yard!)

Grammy and V go hunting!

Alaric's basket was full!

V was so excited!

Then Grammy told them to throw their fruits and veggies in the pool. The kids looked at each other and thought she was kidding- once they realized she was serious, they has so much fun throwing it all in!

Grammy made a HUGE teddy bear for the front yard to show we were having a picnic! The kids loved it. Amara never faced the camera as she needed to see the bear at all times!

Then we headed inside and got the kids into their swimsuits!

Pool time! Papa put the slide in the pool and the kids thought that was the best thing ever!

Everyone took some time out to rest

All three have matching Mickey chairs just for Grammy and Papa's house!Then it was time for the picnic! Teddy plates, teddy grahams, grapes, gummy bears, rasins...

Everyone loved the picnic!...there was even sandwiches in the shape of teddy bears-see them on the red plate!

Alaric shoves as teddy sandwich into Papa's face!

Then back in the pool for fun with a twist- BUBBLES!!!!

Back out of the pool to hang out in the new playhouse. More bubbles!

Grammy and her angels in her new playhouse!

Grammy and Mara have a moment!

Then inside for a naked dance party before going home!

Once everyone was back in dry clothes, they got their treat bags from Grammy.

then headed outside to pick a special bear book!

Mara posed for pics in front of the big teddy bear!

Grammy and Papa give kisses and hugs to each kid before they went home!

Video of V at the Teddy Bear Picnic!

What a wonderful afternoon! THe kids were amazing and there was no one more excited about the party then Grammy! She had all three of her babies there, food, a playhouse, a pool, books, and a huge teddy bear! What a day! Thanks Grammy and Papa for making such incredible memories for our kids!