Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone has a great Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Break

Well, our third official day off of school and I am exhausted! (I'm not counting the weekend.) The kids and I went to see "Tale of Desperaux" yesterday. The kids liked it. Maggie and Christine had read it, so they were excited to see it. I somehow fell asleep right at the beginning of the movie...woke up and the rats and mice were already banished. So, I kind of missed out on the whole moral of the movie.
Today the kids played at the club while I worked out. After lunch, Kim and Bradley stopped and wanted us to ride bikes with them to pick oranges. So, we got a backpack and headed out on our bikes to get some oranges. The girls picked some, but mostly they were just drilling each other with all the oranges on the ground. Of course, Andrew ended up crying. He had gotten Christine, but then when she got him he was not too happy. They all had fun. We've got a ton of oranges now!
Then tonight we surprised Jennia with a birthday gathering at the park. We got her to the park by saying that we were going to have a pre-Christmas gathering to let all the kids play. She was thinking about not coming, so we had to let her husband in on the secret. The kids were all excited since they knew that she didn't know about it. Her bday is on the 24th. She was very surprised and touched. She said since her birthday is so close to Christmas no one has done that for her before. So, we had some cake, let the kids run around and now hopefully they will be tired enough to go to bed at a decent hour!
Tomorrow we have the "Hot Cocoa" walk in the AM and we'll be decorating gingerbread houses. I'll try to get some pictures!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008


It is amazing how much we try to fit in to the month of December! Christine had a band concert, Maggie had a clogging recital and a third grade school performance, and Andrew still has a preschool Christmas performance. The picture was from brunch with Santa. Christine had told us ahead of time that she was not sitting on Santa's lap. He didn't give her a choice though. It was pretty funny.

Christine's band concert went well. They sounded really good. The kids wore sunglasses for the last song. (Andrew insisted on being in the picture with them.

Maggie's clogging performance was cute. The girls did a good job. They were supposed to perform in the backyard of her instructor. Three freak days of rain in Arizona made their yard too muddy for that so we squeezed into their house. The show must go on....

Friday, December 5, 2008

Spelling Bee

The spelling bee was this afternoon. Christine was runner-up-again! That means if by some chance the winner can not participate in the spelling bee, Christine gets to. Her missed words-rouge and daffodil. When she missed the word "rouge", I was thinking "Man, if I had the movie Moulin Rouge she would've got that right." Dang!
She did great! We are so proud of her. This was her third year of qualifying for the spelling bee!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Life in general

We all survived our long weekend! I know both girls blogged about the Turkey Trot. They had a good time. I was dumb enough to do the 10K and then get talked into a free boot camp by Hillary. After the second exercise of the boot camp I was wishing I would have headed to Starbucks with everyone else! I ate a piece of apple pie to make up for my stupidity!

Steve left Friday morning for a surprise visit to Ohio-I was just a little jealous. This meant I had all three kids for the long weekend. We played at the school playground for a while on Friday. I definitely was not going to attempt "Black Friday" shopping with three kids. Actually, Christine would have LOVED to have gone shopping. Maggie hates shopping and Andrew-well, Andrew is just Andrew.

Saturday I somehow let the Kirby vacuum salesman in my house and he was there forever. I think we need to get another dog that seems really vicious when people come to the door. I did tell him when he started that I was not going to buy anything. I let him clean my house though. So, now my carpets are much cleaner but he wasted about two hours of my day!

We did find out that Sonic had ice cream cones for a quarter this weekend. We went Saturday night and Sunday. Christine even wanted to go back on Monday! Sunday we got our cones and drove around looking at Christmas lights. I still can't get used to those icicles lights in a place that will NEVER see any icicles.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I don't know if I'll get a chance to post anything before Thursday, so I thought I would post while I have a minute. I went to the grocery store today to get a turkey and all the fixings....of course, I forgot to get gravy mix. Now I will have to go back to the craziness tonight or tomorrow. You would think we would have one measly gravy packet in our pantry, but no such luck!
Tomorrow morning Andrew's preschool is going on a field trip. We are driving up to the Tempe Arts Center to see "The Velveteen Rabbit". It's supposed to be a cute show. I just hope Andrew is entertained. We don't have the book and I vaguely remember it from childhood.
In the afternoon the elementary school is having their annual "Turkey Bowl". The sixth graders play football against the teachers and staff. It should be fun to watch Christine and her friends play football. They are excited about it. Andrew and I should be back in time to head over to the school to see the game.
Thursday morning the club that we belong to in our neighborhood is having a Turkey Trot. No awards, no t-shirts, no cost. Just a way to get some calorie-burning in before the big feast. Christine and Maggie are going to run the 5K. I'm going to run the 10K. Steve and Andrew are going to ride bikes and cheer for us. Last year Steve pushed Andrew in the running stroller. I got rid of the running stroller because Andrew was getting too heavy to push, so that is not an option this year.
I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! Gobble, gobble!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mad Mud Run Champions!

The Dirty Soles-Kim, Niki, Hilary, me and Stacy. Notice how clean we are before the race.....
And how dirty we are after!

We came....we saw....we got soooo muddy!

Other than getting mud in my eye and in my mouth-yuck!-the mud run was not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. We met up at our house at 5:45 AM and "the team" loaded into our van and headed up to Scottsdale. We are very spoiled when it comes to weather here, so we were freezing in the 50-some degree temperatures.

We got to McDonald's Ranch and saw that we were very outdone when it came to the costume department. These people had some crazy costumes on. The guys in speedos were voted the best. The were supposed to be vikings-speedos, with sheets as their capes, and toy helmets and swords. I know we got at least one picture of them. I'll have to download some of Gokey's pictures of all the crazy costumes.

We were the last wave to leave the starting line. They started with solo people, then teams of two, then teams of three and finally five-person teams. The starting line was the "soak zone". There were kids with squirt guns getting people as they started. We had strategized that if we were to the back left we wouldn't get squirted-but we knew that our kids would be upset if they couldn't squirt us. Of course, Maggie was kind enough to squirt me right in the head-so much for that "No squirting people in the face rule". So, my teeth were chattering for the first half mile or so. Stacy is the one in the back. She is the kids' PE teacher. They were nice enough to get her with the dirty water!

During the four mile race we had to belly/knee crawl under a tarp, go over and under hurdles, climb a wall (it wasn't as high as I thought it would be), go over a balance beam and then finally the mud pit! The kids had a front row view of everyone going through the pit!

And what great prize did we get for winning this race? A box of Tide and a bottle of wine!

More info and pictures. (Won't be posted until 11/25) Gokey's album.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Don't forget!

I took Andrew to the polls this morning. Our wait was only about 45 minutes long. We were lucky! There was an A-L line and a M-Z line. The A-L line was AT LEAST 45 minutes longer.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Whoa Scudda!

Scudda really was the name of Christine's horse. She went to an equestrian center on Sunday afternoon to earn her horse badge for Girl Scouts.
She said the only times she was scared were right before she got on the horse-because she thought she might fall off-and when they trotted. She thought it seemed like they went pretty fast and she was bouncing pretty high. She had a fun day, but I don't think we have to worry about her asking for a horse!

Trick or Treat!

Here are our trick-or-treaters. Christine was a Rose Maiden/pirate girl. Andrew was Flash Gordon. Maggie was a chef and got to collect her treats in that big mixing bowl. The funniest thing was when kids would try to take candy out of her bowl thinking she was passing it out! Christine did not trick-or-treat with us-she is way too cool for that.
Here are the girls we trick-or-treated with: Kylie was a cheerleader, Anna a black cat, Taylor a pirate girl and of course, Maggie.

Andrew and TJ-AKA the Incredible Hulk-taking a break in the wagon.

After the kids trick-or-treated for a while we hung out at the Gokeys. They had tombstones in their yard. The kids were laying there trying to scare people. Don't you think they look scary?

Trent and Andrew

Now this is really spooky. Can you tell which one is a person and which one is not? Kim is on the left. She had fun scaring people for a while. The moms took the kids out for a while. Then, we came back and the dads took the kids to this house where they had a haunted house set up in the garage. When the kids were gone she was scaring people. Once the kids got back, they couldn't help themselves. They had to walk up to the door with everyone and kind of gave it away. Everyone had fun and we now have TONS of candy!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fall Break

It is hard to believe that we have been back to school for over a week! We love our long fall break! We packed as much in as possible-in Arizona and Ohio. Before we left for our trip we had soccer games, softball games, play dates, sleepovers, workouts...we made the most of having no school! We even got to visit with Andy Karhu and his parents! We met up with Andy at his timeshare and the kids had fun swimming. Andrew was so we were driving home he said "I'm going to miss him."

Then off to Ohio...the plane ride went pretty good. Of course, Andrew asked if we were there yet before we even left the ground! He also studied the emergency card for most of the flight. If there was anyone fearful of flying, Andrew made it worse....his questions about the pictures on the card were hilarious.

Once we landed in Ohio, we headed over to Yearys. We were greeted by the Yearys and the Huff kids. It was so great to be able to visit. It was amazing to see how much all the kids had grown. We had been back since last July, so all the kids were much taller! The kids had a blast. We could tell by their screaming! (It was all happy screams.) The adults sat out by the fire pit until the rain started. Saturday morning we headed to a flag football game-Andrew seemed right at home standing on the sideline with the big boys. Next, we went to watch Danielle play soccer. The day was still young, so we changed and headed to a race at Maize Valley. The kids had fun. They got to run a fun run and then there was tons of stuff for them to do. A train ride, petting zoo, corn maze, pumpkins, this huge hay bale that they could climb up and slide down-and of course, a hay ride! Maggie was pretty insistent that we do that. They even got a free pie pumpkin for running the race. I got to see a lot of my running friends. After a long day, we headed back to Yearys for more visiting. It is nice to have friends where we always feel welcome. It was so sweet to find all the kids piled on Jeff and Lisa's bed watching TV. I would've snapped a picture, but I didn't want to disturb the silence. These pictures are all courtesy of Christine and Danielle.


Maggie and James on the basement swing.
Andrew and Sammy.

Danielle and Christine.

Sunday we headed down to Gambier. Christine rode shotgun and Andrew and Maggie ended up out cold in the back seat. We were excited to see the Orrs. We also knew that the Staats were going to be there for a turkey dinner-yum! We got there and the kids were quite for about 10-15 minutes. After that they were off playing and getting along perfectly fine. We had an awesome meal courtesy of Tom and some help from Gabe. The girls went to spend the night with the Staats, while Andrew and I hung out with Tom and Donna. We got to take a nice walk around the property on Monday. My favorite picture is at the top-our little man walking with his stick on the path. He even found a "woolly bear". It was great to see everyone. Poor Todd got a glimpse of what traveling with Maggie is like-she didn't quite make it back to Gambier without getting sick. He was able to pull over in time though.

Monday night we were off to Ashtabula. We were in our rental car a lot! We were greeted by Angelina and Isabelle-the cousins were so excited to see each other. It was close to 8 so they couldn't stay too long. Angelina was upset about leaving her cousins so soon, but we promised we would pick her up at school the next day. We went to the longest covered wooden bridge in the US the next day and then played at Lake Shore Park. Of course, a trip to Ashtabula wouldn't be complete without a trip to the Squire Shoppe for some iced sugar cookies. Their cookies are so yummy! It was nice to be able enjoy some nice fall days. (And a great pasta meal!) After we picked up Angelina from school and had dinner, we were able to go for a walk with all the kids. They found a buckeye tree. We now have our personal collection of buckeyes. Of course, the next day it rained all day-so we headed to the mall!

After another day in Canton, we headed to Virginia on Friday for David's wedding. It was at the coolest place-Spring Grove Farm. It was out in the middle of nowhere, but definitely worth the drive. It is amazing what the place looked like when they bought it compared to what it looks like now. The kids enjoyed seeing all their aunts and uncles. They had so much fun attacking Uncle Ray in the pool. There was lots of room for them to run around at the farm, so they were happy. The wedding was nice. The bride looked stunning.

Andrew walked down the aisle. It was somewhat comical once he got up on the "altar" and was chatting with one of the groomsmen. Andrew really wanted to give those pretend rings to someone. He did turn the correct way to watch Natalie come down the aisle and then I motioned for him to come sit with me. Andrew still had many questions for me and was not exactly using his library voice. Covering his mouth back-fired on me, because then he said very loudly "Stop covering my mouth." Luckily, I had some candy bars from our goodie bag to keep him quiet for the rest of the ceremony. He was very happy to follow the flower girl everywhere she went.

Our day of travel to get back to Phoenix went well. The kids were troopers. We did have a funny moment going through security in Richmond. We had tons of stuff to go through the x-ray machines. All our backpacks, shoes, and jackets. Christine had asked me if I thought the bubbles from the wedding were more than 3.3 ounces. I didn't think there would be any problem with them. Well, her backpack was pulled off the conveyor belt and the security guard told me they would have to go through it. I had to stand with him and was told that I could not touch anything when they opened the bag. (Got it.) He asked me if there was anything sharp or harmful in the bag. (Nada.) So, he opens it up and pulls out .......

Christine's free pumpkin from the race! They must have thought it was an x-large grenade. The guy showed it to the x-ray tech. And here I was worried about the bubbles. Luckily, you're not required to go through security at every would have definitely become comical.

So, now we are back to school and our regular routine! We sure do miss everyone though!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Those Boys!

Aren't they handsome?! Can you believe that "little" David got married?
We made it home-back to chilly Arizona! High of 77 today-we brought the East Coast temperatures with us!
I'm not really ready to post about our trip, but I had to put this picture on. As I was driving to the airport Sunday I was thinking of my many memories of David Lee-and what is in store for me with Andrew! I just have to share a funny memory about David. Myrtle Beach-not sure of the year. Steve and I were married, but no kids. We were enjoying our favorite past time-sitting on the beach catching some rays right on the ocean. David was continually running by splashing tons of water on us. Steve wanted to kill him and I, in my infinite wisdom, just told Steve to ignore him. He was maybe 8 or 9-maybe 10 and would eventually go away-right? Wrong! A few minutes later David came by and dumped wet sand all over me. After a big gasp of surprise, I looked at Steve and calmly said "You can kill him now". I always think back to that and still laugh-scary thing is I can so see Andrew doing that same thing!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Lucky Guy

Well I'm back. No it's not Angie, it's her "Better Half" I mean "Other Half". I thought I'd give this blog thing a try. Not sure about you, dear readers, but I truly enjoy reading this blog whenever Angie posts. It makes a lousy day at work so much better when I can read about things like "Mrs. Elaneous". So, while this may not be quite as entertaining as Angie's posts, just suck it up because you're stuck with me for now.

So Angie and the kids left last Friday for their eight day Ohio tour...God bless her! She's a saint. From talking to her, it sounds like they're having a great trip. Then it was on to Virginia for David and Natalie's wedding, which was today. Congratulations & best wishes David & Natalie! And also congratulations to David & Joan! I really wish I was there. Not to take anything away from the bride & groom, but I'm pretty bummed that I didn't get to see my big boy walk down the aisle as the ring bearer. I got a text from Angie a little while ago saying that he did it. I thought he would, but just for insurance we threw a little bribe at him....the Fisher-Price Bat Cave....who wouldn't walk down the aisle in a tux for that?

Ok, back to me. I get to live the bachelor life back here in Arizona. How great is that?!? Well, let me tell you it was great!....for about a day (ok, maybe two). I think I'm more than ready for Angie and the kids to come home. It's not the fact that I'm out of underwear and I've never used our new washer and dryer (I know, pathetic). It's not the fact that I had to dig my stinky softball shirt out of the dirty clothes and wear it again for my game last night (again, I know, pathetic). It's not even the fact that I got a large Papa John's pizza on Tuesday and ate it for dinner three nights in a row. I sure hate pizza right about now. Anyway, I'm trying to put my finger on it...maybe it's Andrew running to the door yelling "Daddy!" as soon as I walk in from work, or Maggie providing every detail about her day at the dinner table, or Christine's newfound teenage attitude. Or, maybe it's that I get to come home to my best friend every night. Or just look at the picture - what else can I say. Whatever it is, I'M ONE LUCKY GUY & I can't wait to get them at the airport tomorrow.

Ok dear reader, you'll be relieved to know that my blogging career is now over. I type much too slow for this. I need to go find dinner - it won't be pizza. Good day.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ready to Travel?

I am still in somewhat denial that I we are actually leaving here on Friday. I am excited to get back to Ohio. I just have a few minor details to take care of:

1. rental car
2. packing for 4 for weather in the 60's-yikes!
3. what to bring to keep Andrew occupied on the plane? (I would love to be able to read an adult book.)
4. clothes for the wedding
5. a couple maps-Ohio and Virginia-it would be no fun getting lost!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Goodbye to a new friend

It is now official-Diana will soon be heading south to Cabo. And while I wish her the best, I will be sad to see her and her family go. They will be there for three years, but are not sure where they will be when they come back to the US. Diana and I have trained together for many months, and have become friends in the process. Our religious beliefs are miles apart-she is Mormon, I am Catholic. We have had many discussions on our runs of our differences and similarities. I have been able to ask her questions that I could have never asked anyone else. She is such a wonderful person and a great mom to her children. It has been nice to start my days with our early morning conversations about everything that is going on in our lives. I've given her the whole synopsis of the Twilight series because she refuses to read the books. We also have had many funny "dog moments". Diana is deathly afraid of any dog.

Diana and I are different in most aspects of our lives, which maybe makes it easy for us to get along. Diana was a CHEERLEADER-one of those words that should somehow have only four letters. She did run cross country and track though-of course, for purely social reasons. So, she has definitely taught me about running for the fun of it and truly made training for our triathlon enjoyable. If I would have trained for it by myself I would have been much more serious and would not have had as much fun. She has told me that she didn't need to be successful running in high school-sorry, I needed to be. Also, Diana is much younger than I. She was kind enough to point out one morning that she was still in high school when I was coaching-thanks Diana! Just rub it in a little more. I have told her that if I was her coach she would have run much faster than she did. Since I didn't get to work her hard when she was in high school, I've been making her work harder now. Diana is also paranoid about running by herself-it doesn't matter what time of day it is. If I didn't meet her, she would run on the treadmill. That has never been a problem for me, but now some of her paranoia has rubbed off. I'm going to be jumping at every movement when I'm running by myself.

Diana is going to be on our "mud run" team. It should be lots of fun. Hillary got together a team of five women for this five mile race in Scottsdale in November. We have to stay together for the whole race-finish arm-in-arm. While trying to race we have to go through boot-camp like obstacles-belly crawl, tire run, climbing over a wall, jumping over hay bales and a mud pit. Who knows what else they will have us do! We brainstormed for our team name yesterday-we are now the Dirty Soles. So we have some training to do before she leaves us for Mexico!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Flight Details

I am sitting on hold with Northwest Airlines. I just get a little nervous when the guy on the other end of the phone says "I didn't want to cancel all of them. Why is it doing that?" Then he puts me on hold.
I called to make sure that we had seats together. I didn't want any of the kids to have to sit by themselves. More for the sanity of other people on the plane, than anything. Oh.... how I wouldn't just love to have them not assign us seats and then have Andrew sit by himself. I'm sure the person with that coveted aisle seat would switch with me after having Andrew chat with him for a few minutes. When I say that he will talk to anyone, believe me. We talk to most of the people at the grocery store...we ask people why they are on crutches...we ask people where their kids are...we ask people why their children are crying...we ask people how old they name it-Andrew has probably asked someone it.
Right now I'm just hoping this guy didn't cancel our reservation!

Oh-he's back.
Maybe our reputation follows us...that was too easy. We are together for all of our flights! Maybe I should call back and see if they can do anything about that fee for the first bag?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Camera Found

Me before the race. I thought I would clarify because Maggie asked me who that was.

Diana before the race.

All smiles. My bike is behind us with the Ohio State (Go Buckeyes!) towel over it.

And still smiling when we are all done!

Sorry, I have no action shots. The next triathlon we do will have to be in cooler weather so our spouses can bring the kids and get some photos!

Diana may be moving to Mexico for a couple years-more on that if it happens-so I may have to find another training partner!