Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Sam is on the Yankees again this year. We're finally getting some nice weather. Mary and I usually walk up to the ball park around the middle of the game. As soon as she spots one of her "boys" she runs up to give them a hug~
Sam is doing an amazing job pitching~

He's playing up (for the second year in a row) and his opponents still rarely get a hit off him!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Be Bop

Since I can't ever get a good picture during the concert, I took a few shots beforehand of my handsome trumpeter~
A little smooth jazz~
The concert was great! I am continuously amazed at how much they learn! Charlie does all his practicing on his own. He's really wonderful :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Long, Long Ago

Sam had his spring recital this afternoon. Mary is always happy to see her brothers perform~
Sam is almost finished with his Book 1! Charlie was our cameraman~

I love him with his cello - I'm so proud of all he's accomplished~

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Birthday Cake and Baseball

Birthday week continues... We had our family over for a little celebration today. Charlie had a lemon (7-up) cake for singing~
Mary's our little cookie dough~
I also made blue and orange rice krispie treats~
Charlie had his first game of the season tonight. It was a night game - being under the lights is always so exciting~
Even with Charlie's stellar pitching, they lost :( That's okay, though. The season is young. I think we have about 80 games between both boys and their regular season and travel team!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Working Stiffs

Sam got to join Scott at today for "Take Your Kids to Work Day" ~
Mary and I stopped in for lunch (we went to Cici's)~
The Carlson Group is a really great place to work. They truly help their employees find an appropriate work/life balance~
Sam had a blast - with games, face painting, and hanging out with Dad :) Next year Mary will be old enough to actually leave with Scott in the morning (I hope)!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ocean's Eleven

Here's the birthday boy, or rather, the birthday "young man". And he really is growing into a fabulous young man~
Mary is so excited for candles and singing~
I love this kid. He amazes me every day with how wonderful, thoughtful, generous and funny he is. I don't tell him so nearly enough~
With his good friend, they share the same name, and birthday~
We're having family over to celebrate this weekend (he wants to just go with a couple of friends to Great America this summer in lieu of a "friend party"), and we still have to take him for his special birthday dinner. Shhhh, it's a secret!
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.-1 Timothy 4:12

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Choo Choo Charlie

I have a problem with collecting books that feature characters with the same names as my children. When taking Charlie to 2 Toots this afternoon for his free birthday meal, I was reminded of this book. It actually isn't a very good book, but I was compelled to buy it when Charlie was just a baby and I spotted it at garage sale. Charlie is no longer a baby. He really is growing into a wonderful young man. Up until he was about 3 years old, Scott and I used to refer to him as "Blue" or "the Blue" as in, "where's the Blue?" or "What time did Blue wake up?". We were the only two people who used that nick name. Now we have all broken down and sometimes refer to him as "Chuck" or even "Chuckie", thanks to Mary. She calls him "her Chuckie"~
In two days, Charlie will be 11!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pancake Breakfast

Charlie entertained some folks eating breakfast this morning~
His band (that he plays in through the public school) had a fundraiser today. Pancakes and sausage for all~

Friday, April 16, 2010

Here Come the Hawks!

The Blackhawks are trying to make their way to the Stanley Cup. We've got some pretty big fans in the house~

Beam me up, Scotty.

No, we weren't at a Star Trek convention.
We got to explore a quarry this afternoon~
One of our homeschool groups set up a really cool field trip~
After hearing about the history of the quarry and learning about the rocks and stones found there, and in other parts of Illinois, we took a bus down into the belly~
It was very cool! Turns out the foreman is also a homeschooler~
This was a real treat. It was fun to see a quarry from the bottom up, rather than just passing by, looking down, from the expressway~
I was blown away by the fact that this service was free to the community. Vulcan supplied the school bus and gave goody bags to all the kids. It's not as if this generates business for them. What a really interesting way to spend a Friday afternoon!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sandhill Cranes

Sam met with the pianist to practice for his recital next Sunday. We were very near Willowbrook Wildlife center, so we stopped in a took a short walk. The sandhill cranes there are always fascinating. When we first got to their habitat, Mary and Sam were walking back and forth along the fence, while one of the cranes trailed them. By the time I got my camera out, Mary was the one doing the trailing~

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Feed My Starving Children

We packed food again today. This time for Haiti. This is such an amazing program!
We had about 20 of our homeschool friends join us~
Grandpa came, too~
It was great having Grandpa there (I thought I was going to have to stay home with Mary, but a friend watched her for me) ~
I really believe we get so much more out of doing this than we could ever give~

Saturday, April 10, 2010

City of Chicago Pipeband

Charlie has been taking bagpipe lessons for almost 2 years. About 9 months ago, he started receiving instruction from members of the City of Chicago Pipe Band. Amie has been his teacher since before Christmas. Our whole family loves her~
We finally got to see the band in action tonight. They had their Spring Dance/Fundraiser at the Irish American Heritage Center. We had a blast. Charlie took this video~

Charlie's friend Charlie was supposed to go with us, but he got sick in the car and had to go home. It turned out okay though -Charlie and I had a fun time together, just the two of us. On our way home (almost midnight) we drove by the house Charlie first lived in. We even saw our "friends" - the deer Scott and I used to see on our way home from bowling in the big open field down the street from us.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Easter Bunny Came!

Mary (when she finally woke up) was delighted with her Easter basket. The boys were up at the crack of dawn (following a late night at Vigil), but the princess slept in. She's at a great age for anticipation and excitement - happily "oohing and ahhing" over each new thing~

After going through the loot, waiting for our Babka to come out of the oven~
After church we went to Pam's brother's house, where there was another egg hunt~ We had to find the eggs between the rain showers~ Mary's on a mission~ The only picture I have of the three of them - it's so hard getting them to stop what they're doing long enough to pose~

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Egg

Once again, we joined the Eder's for our Easter Egg Extravaganza. Mary is finally old enough to really get into it~
The kids had fun, but were done quickly. Janelle and I decided we really have to step it up a notch next year~

Since it was Good Friday, I made some hot cross buns. They were a hit~

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fool Proof

I am running out of tricks to play. But I pulled this one off at the last minute. The boys were surprised to get juice (which I never buy) for breakfast, but that didn't stop them from slurping away. Well, attempting to~
Later that morning we made some "sushi" for the boys to bring along on their trip to the Arboretum with friends~
It was a hit :)