I've been thinking about whether to try and continue this blog...I know my last post was about discontinuing it and I received almost no feedback about that. So I can assume no one is reading this or no one cares if they don't read it.

BUT--I also wonder if more people will read it once we are farther away from family and friends. Facebook has kind of taken over as my blog, but I think wish lists are less effective there. Does anyone have thoughts on this?



So I am considering ending this blog, for several reasons. First of all, I very rarely have time to post and even more rarely get comments. I just don't feel that many people look at the blog, and now with Facebook and Google+, it's very easy to share pictures of the kids and updates without all the fuss of a blogpost. It's also somewhat more secure.

So if you are a family member or friend who regularly checks in here, let me know and if there are enough of you I will continue the blog. Otherwise I expect to see family and friends over on Facebook or Google+, where I already post regular pics of the boys and share funny stories.


Camera fixed!

Hey there!
Sorry it's been a while since an update...our camera broke and we've had a busy summer without being able to take nice quality pictures. But soon, very soon, I promise to have some up-to-date pictures and news.


Caleb's First Full Song on Glockenspiel

Caleb's New Friend.

For family and friends who don't see us very often, I thought I'd give a quick update on Caleb. Two exciting things happened to him recently. First, he played his first full song on the glockenspiel, so his music lessons are going very well. The song is Lucy Locket, and it is four measures long, with both eighth notes and quarter notes. I will try to get a video of him up here, though embedding video through Youtube has not been working for me.

The other big news is that we have new neighbors, and luckily for Caleb one of the kids is a 5 year old boy! He'll be a year behind Caleb in school, but as they were still born in the same year they are getting along great! Caleb has been playing with him all afternoon today, as he has the day off school.

Until next time...


Snowshoes, Pirates, and Silliness.

Hi there,
Well our camera is kaput. Luckily, often when we would take pictures there is usually another person also taking pictures. That person is my dad for our side of the family, and my sister-in-law for Mark's side of the family.

So recently my dad loaded a bunch of pictures of the boys onto my computer. So here are some favorites, and a brief update of the boys.

Noah is still hooked on being a pirate, and will squint his eye and say "Argh! Aigh!" whenever he can. I have NO idea why he says Aigh...but it's cute.

Noah also had fun over Christmas playing with Grandma Hammi while she was getting ready at Aunt Margi's house. So this is a two month old picture, but I just had to share.

Last but not least, Caleb had a four day weekend on February 18-21, so he took a trip to Minnesota with my parents. He spent his non-car time sledding, snowshoeing, and seeing a movie. My parents said he took to snowshoeing like a duck to water. It sounds like he had a lot of fun--Noah was very sad that he could not go. But next summer when Noah is 3, he will be old enough to take trips with Grandma and Grandpa Hammi. Here's Caleb in his North Woods gear.

Until next time, Happy March!


Whole Foods.

Hi Friends! So I know this blog is really for personal updates about the boys and our family.

But this is related to our family, so I'm going with it.

We've been trying to do more whole foods and healthy choices lately. In many ways, we are still struggling with that. We've always been too prone to eating out, and neither Mark nor I love to cook. But we've been making some small changes, in the hopes that over time we will actually establish lifetime habits that are healthier.

Which brings me to this post. I have become interested in healthy fats while on this whole foods journey, and we are dabbling in using coconut oil in several ways (Mark tried it on his eczema, I tried cooking with it more often). Anyway, there's a giveaway at Real Food, Whole Health. They are giving away a whole gallon of coconut ghee. So check out their Coconut Ghee Giveaway and read some of their other information on whole foods. Because if you are like my family, it's time to make a food change and get healthy in 2011!


Happy Groundhog's Day!

Baby it's cold outside! We've had a few snow days this week, but as it's too cold to go out really, I don't have any pictures. (That and the fact that my camera is broken, at least temporarily). So there won't be a lot of pictures in this post, but I will give some updates on the boys, especially for those of you who only see them a few times a year and rely on this blog for updates!

Caleb is doing well in kindergarten. We got his second report card recently, and he is still doing very well in all academics. He's had some trouble listening (I think) in P.E. and Art, and is still working on respecting others (he likes to boss kids around and he likes them to listen to him!) but he improved on his listening skills in his regular class.

More exciting is that Caleb is reading. He's doing very well, and loves to read Hop on Pop and Morris Goes to School to us. I will try to get a video of him reading soon and post it. He does really well, and it's very cute.

Noah is also thriving--he is so verbal and active, these snow days really wear me out! It's obvious to anyone who interacts with Noah that he's into music; he's frequently singing. Most often he's humming the Star Wars theme because his brother hums that all. the. time. Noah's favorite movie right now is How to Train Your Dragon (we all love that one) and he walks around telling us he's Tookless (Toothless, the dragon).

Both boys are enjoying Kindermusik. They were supposed to start a new semester this week but the snow pushed everything back a week. Noah will be doing his final semester along with mom and dad; next fall he'll be old enough for the 3-5 class where he goes it alone. Caleb is starting his second semester of Young Child, so he's going to continue learning the play the glockenspiel. It's so much fun to see him learning to read music!

Mark and I are well too--actually the whole family has been fighting colds this past week, but I think we're all recovering finally. We're very glad that it's February and are all ready for Spring. The boys like the snow, but it's not as much fun when it's too cold to play in it. Mark and I are ready for April showers and May flowers, for certain.

Stay warm and healthy! (I tried posting some cute pictures of the boys, but something isn't working right. Sorry!)


Merry Christmas!

Welcome to any family and friends visiting our blog for the first time (and to those of you who are regulars). We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Here are the answers to the Christmas Letter Word mix-up we sent out:

1. LEGOS. Caleb really loves playing with legos, and has even gotten interested in the Lego video games. His favorite is Lego Star Wars, but he also enjoys Lego Batman.

2. COPYING CALEB. Noah is under the impression that he is a very big boy and should be able to do everything that Caleb does. Noah also thinks he is the boss. I know this because he told me so--the other night I reminded him, "Noah you are not the boss, don't tell Caleb what to do," and Noah responded with, "Yes, I am the boss." Ahh, to be two again.

3. CARS. At the beginning of the year, we had our Ford Windstar and Buick Regal Custom. The Buick had no air conditioning, while the Ford's locks were annoyingly broken. Then we had the opportunity to buy a Chevy Uplander at a great deal, so we took it, leaving us with 3 cars. We never intended to keep all 3...but the year got away from us. Yet another example of my procrastination paying off--a Ford dealership in town was recently running another Cash for Clunkers, and after some heavy negotiating, took our Ford and Buick in exchange for a Mitsubishi Montero. And it only cost us 70 bucks in registration fees.

4. PLAYING PIANO. Mark accompanies for church services almost every other week, it seems. So much that if it were a rich church I would be whining that they are taking advantage of him (because he's volunteering). However, we go to a small country church who needs the volunteers, and I'm sure the 8:30 crowd enjoys the music. Caleb, Noah, and I never make it to the 8:30 service, so we only get to hear Mark play...well, every NIGHT because he has to practice so often! :-) But we are very, very glad that Grandma Viv's piano gets so much use, and I think hearing Mark play sparks an interest in the boys. Caleb will start taking lessons as soon as he has completed the Kindermusik curriculum...he is currently learning to read music and play a glockenspiel.

5. CHICAGO. Yes, last summer we took a trip to Chicago with my family. It was short but sweet--we saw many museums, but most of them enjoyable for all involved. The highlight of the trip was supposed to be seeing Sue the T-Rex skeleton (we were going so Caleb could see a real T-Rex skeleton) but Caleb ended up enjoying the Lego Store more than any museum (actually we all had a really great time at the Lego Store). We all enjoyed wandering around Navy Pier, and agreed that we must "do Chicago" again sometime.

6. KINDERGARTEN. For those of you that might not know, Caleb started Kindergarten this past August. It took a while but he seems to be adjusting, though he still comes home kinda worn out and he would rather not ride the bus because the other kids are noisy. He loves music class and art, and his favorite regular subject seems to be math (though I suspect it will be science as he gets older). He's getting really good at both math and pre-reading, and can even read many words all by himself. Noah, of course, is already begging to go to Kindergarten. I would mention to him that he must be potty trained to go to school, but Noah is already well on his way to wearing underwear and I don't want to mislead him.

7. FELIX. Our older kitty, Felix, was ten years old and he got very sick the week before I had to leave for a conference in Denver. Instead of dwelling on how he died, let me tell you about how he lived. Felix was 10 years old, and he spent his ten years chasing monstrous wolf spiders, chasing his tail on top of the toilet tank (which then resulted in falling and flushing the toilet, once), turning gray after hanging out in the fireplace, flipping over for a rub whenever ANYONE petted his backside, hiding from his female feline housemates (though he grew quite close to both of them once they accepted him), and in general being a really good house cat. We rescued him from the humane society after they found him trying to stay warm inside a pop machine. They named him Fizzy; we renamed him Felix. We'll miss him and though we may someday get a new kitty, he is irreplaceable.

8. OCTAGON. Noah surprises us with new words everyday, and his teachers at childcare are very, very good at what they do. He's not only got all the regular shapes completely learned, but he's moving on to the harder ones like octagon, pentagon, and hexagon. My favorite word that he can say is onomatopeoia. You know, I never took Omega 3 supplements with Caleb in pregnancy, but I did with Noah...and well, I think they worked. He's just scary smart, and I think someday he will launch a takeover of the household and actually BE the boss.

9. LAPTOPS. Yes, we are geeks, and we have too many pieces of technology in our home. However, we both actually needed new computers this year, insofar as anyone needs a computer. Earlier this year, Mark's laptop just quit. Kaput. So we got him a new one. Then this fall my desktop was becoming increasingly moody. It freezes up all the time, and then there was one time where it just would not start up--which sent me into a panic because all my pictures are on that computer (and yes, they still are...when would I have time to back them up? Don't worry, it IS on my post-Christmas To Do List). So, on Black Friday my adorable husband got up at 3 or 4am (I don't know which, because I wasn't awake!) to go to Staples and buy me a new laptop that was on sale. Except he didn't get the ticket for it, and long story short, the laptop he DID reserve didn't get reserved...so we had to go to Best Buy and buy something similar for a similar price. We still need to write a note to Staples letting them know of our frustration with them and how we ended up shopping somewhere else. The good news is that I have a lovely new laptop that has a bigger screen than Mark's, and a fingerprint scanner! I love technology!

10. CHILD CARE. Noah started a new child care this year...that makes his total up to three. However, I think we've settled on the care he'll have until he's home with me or in school. He first was at a home child care run by a good friend who is just wonderful with kids. Then he got too old for her care (she only goes to 18 months), so he started at the childcare where Caleb was at the time. Then we moved Caleb to a new child care, as we thought it would improve his behavior (it most certainly did), and when there was an opening for Noah this year we moved him to the new care as well. We LOVE his new child care...the director is fabulous and has been working with kids for a long time, and all the teachers are so good at what they do. They definitely earn the title of teacher, and since I'm a former child care worker, I know quality when I experience it. Ivy League is the real deal, and worth it's weight in gold.

Hope you enjoyed our game, have a very Merry Christmas, remember the reason for the season, and have save travels and a Happy New Year!

Mark, Kathie, Caleb, and Noah


Halloween Fun.

So we had lots of fun on Halloween, so much that I did not remember to post! So here are my darling boys dressed up for the festivities.

And here is our front yard display--the pumpkin patch!

Caleb insisted that Mark be a vampire this year, so he got facepainted too! I also facepainted a butterfly on myself, but a picture of it will have to come later, as my dad took the only picture with his camera.
At the end of the night, after trick-or-treating, we ate a late dinner with my parents and the kids. Both the boys really enjoyed running to the door to hand out treats, though Caleb thought it was more social-time than is typically appropriate. He kept standing at the door and chatting with any kid who came looking for candy!Happy Halloween a week late! Until next time...


Book Parade.

So we found out about two weeks (if that) prior to the event that Caleb's school has a book parade every year. Each child dresses up as their favorite book character. Though I consider it quite, well, unreasonable to have additional costuming responsibilities in October, I had to make something because Caleb's Halloween costume is going to be Bumblebee the transformer. There may be Transformer books out there, but we don't own any and they definitely aren't favorites.

So Caleb and I chatted about what he wanted to be for the parade. Caleb wanted to be Stinky Face from the book I Love You Stinky Face. Anyone who has read this book knows there are several forms that Stinky Face goes through. Caleb wanted the Swamp Monster, but I hesitated, knowing I could not do a Swamp Monster costume in a week and a half (also having the house to clean for an appraisal and lots of other things to do).

So I asked Caleb if he could settle for his second favorite book, The Kissing Hand. He agreed that Chester the Raccoon would make a great costume. So I bought some fun fur yarn, dug out some black felt, red foam, my old black gloves, and the leftover brown fleece from when we made cow costumes for the church Christmas program a few years back, and set to work. The only true sacrifice for the costume was a pair of old Thomas the Train sunglasses--I glued black felt to them and popped the lenses out so Caleb would easily be able to wear the raccoon mask without tying it. Noah hasn't noticed that they are missing yet, but as he has other sunglasses I don't anticipate any fuss.

The costume turned out pretty good. At least I think anyone who'd read the book would recognize who he is.

Of course Noah wanted his picture taken too. So we gave him some sunglasses to wear. He's definitely in the "be like big brother" stage.

On to Halloween, right? Oh wait, we still need pumpkins! Until next week...