Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 25, 2015 No comments

Pre-School Holiday Performance

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 No comments
Emma Claire's pre-school class held a Christmas nativity performance for the parents before the holiday break. The children sang songs and then put the figures into the nativity scene. There was cookies and punch afterwards. 

Emma Claire putting her piece into the Nativity. 

Emma Claire and her pre-school teacher. 


The finished scene.

Emma Claire and Charlie, one of her favorite friends in school. 

Iceland & Sweden

Saturday, December 12, 2015 No comments
Matt's father, Chris, passed away from lung cancer in November. Matt had luckily been able to go visit his father, who lived in Sweden,  shortly after his diagnosis. Chris lived in Sweden for nearly 20 years, and once his funeral date was decided upon we decided that Matt and I would go and the children would stay with my mom. 

While making arrangements to go to Sweden, we looked at airline prices and found that you can fly Icelandair for a very reasonable price and have a stopover in Iceland for a few days with no penalty. So, Matt and I had a weekend in Iceland.

When we landed in Iceland in the early morning, the winds were blowing and howling. It was quite a Icelandic welcome. My first thought was, "Why the h&** did we come to Iceland in December?! We thought this would be a good idea?". 

The sun didn't come up until late morning and you don't see any form of life on the street until it does. We also discovered that the Icelandic people are night owls---the streets are filled with people drinking at the bars until 2-3 a.m.

It was a quick stopover, but one we can check off the bucket list. Iceland...been there, done that. If we return, it will definitely be in the summer.

The view from our hotel onto the main shopping street in Reykjavik.

A selfie on the high street.
The Hallgrimskirkja church with a statue of Leif Ericsson in front.

A view of Reykjavik from the Hallgrimskirkja.

A view of the sea and mountains from the Hallgrimskirkja.

Waiting for our flight from Reykjavik to Stockholm. We sent this photo to Chloe, the mannequin was wearing most of her Christmas wish list. 
 We left Reykjavik for Stockholm and stayed at Matt's father's home with his wife, Marie. It was nice to see family and meet some of Matt's aunts and uncles I had never met before, even if the occasion was a sad and somber one.

Marie sharing some Swedish Christmas traditions with us.

Iris looking out the window.

Matt and his brother Rob.

Matt with the ABBA display at Arlanda airport.
 We flew back home via a hour-long stop in Reykjavik. We had to walk out to our plane to board. I took a photo, only because what international flight in 2015 do you ever have to walk out to get on board in the plane? Everyone kept checking with each other to see if we were all going to NYC, afraid we were getting on board some puddle-jumper flight to Greenland or the far north!

Getting in the Christmas Spirit

Sunday, December 06, 2015 No comments
We got in the Christmas spirit by visiiting a Hudson Valley Chritmas tradition. The kids get to talk to  an egg, creatively named "Eggbert" and there is a walk-thru winter wonderland. 

Inside one of the winter scenes. 

Eggbert's Garage. 

BeBe, PaPaw and the kids.

Talking to Santa. Emma Claire wanted nothing to do with him until he handed her a candy cane. Then she told him she wanted a red Porsche. Santa replied, "What?" and she repeated herself a little louder to which Santa replied, "Me too!".


Friday, November 27, 2015 No comments
We had a great Thanksgiving with friends and family. It was truly a good time and it wasn't hard to top last year's flu-infested Thanksgiving. Luckily, no one came to the dinner table looking like a zombie while spreading a virus.

Besides having my family in for Thanksgiving, we were also joined by the DeFonce family and The Coopers came down from Canada to experience a U.S. Thanksgiving.

Northeast Rotax Awards

Monday, November 09, 2015 No comments

We went to the Northeast Rotax Awards ceremony. Chloe received his trophy for 3rd place in the NE MiniMax and NY State Champion. Oliver also received an award for kid kart. 
Oliver gets an award

NY state champions

EC enjoying watermelon

MiniMax awards

Run, Ollie, Run!

Monday, November 02, 2015 No comments
Our high school track and field team hold a fundraiser every year where they invite the children in the community to race. Oliver participated this year in the 1st grade 1/4 mile run. If you can't tell from the photos, we just kind of showed up and registered and I sent Oliver on his way. It was early morning on Halloween. Oliver insisted on running in his favorite shirt, the plaid button-down. 

In retrospect, I should have shown Oliver how far 1/4 of a mile is--to me it was nothing, to a six year old, it's pretty far, especially when they set off from the start like they are Usain Bolt, passing the boy's high school track and fielders who were supposed to lead and set the pace. Oliver blew by them like they were standing still. Once he cleared the paved track for the turn on to the dirt straight to the finish he was fading fast. He got passed just short of the finish line for 2nd place. 

He was very proud of himself, but admitted he had no idea how far he was supposed to run! Next year, he says he's going to be the 2nd grade champion. 

Getting the first graders ready at the start. 

Oliver led most of the race until the final stretch when he lost power.

Oliver with his medal.

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, November 01, 2015 No comments
I think Star Wars costumes are the big hit of Halloween costumes.
Oliver (Darth Vader) and Chloe (storm trooper)

The kids went to a Halloween party at Tae Kwon Do and I could barely find them amongst the other Darth Vaders and storm troopers.
Oliver and his pals all dressed as Darth Vader. 
We went trick or treating again with neighbors. I don't believe Oliver walked at all, but ran the entire time from house to house spreading us out and wearing us out. 

The neighborhood crew. Chloe went as herself--race driver. Emma Claire dressed as a kangaroo, one of Chloe's old costumes. You can see Chloe in it here.

Chloe once again went out with her friends in the neighborhood trick or treating--she's too cool to trick or treat with her little brother and sister. 

Emma Claire "got" Halloween this year. While she didn't go to every house, mostly because we couldn't and keep up Oliver, she had fun, especially when she discovered that you got chocolate!
Emma Claire going to pre-school as a community helper-- a veterinarian. 
Emma Claire at the Halloween party at gymnastics. Her pre-school does not dress us for Halloween but does a community helper day (hence the Veterinarian outfit above).
The original Halloween costume, a pink puppy. Very cute, but according to EC, very itchy. 

Learning our ABCs

Friday, October 30, 2015 No comments
or better yet, sticking our magnet figures in playdoh.

1st Grade

Thursday, October 29, 2015 No comments
Oliver's 1st grade school photo. He's getting so big and looking less like a little boy and more like a big kid.

NY State Champion

Monday, October 19, 2015 No comments

This girl...she had a spin and win to take the New York State Championship title for MiniMax. This was also after she lost a chain during the pre-final and had a race delay because of snow (yes, snow in October).

She had a lock up at the straight, spun and went back to 3rd place only to catch back up, take the lead and win handily.

It was her final race of 2015 and what a final race it was!

Fitter & Faster Swim Clinic

Saturday, October 17, 2015 No comments

Chloe participated with other members of her swim team in the Fitter & Faster Swim Tour clinic. She got to spend a day learning from three-time Olympian and silver medalist Kara Lynn Joyce and current National Champion Zane Grothe.
Kara Lynn let the kids hold her Olympic medals.

Getting autographs.
At the end of the day, the swimmers had a chance to race both Kara Lynn and Zane. Chloe got to go up against Zane. He underestimated her speed and she was the only swimmer of the day to beat him. We recorded the race, you can see Zane gives the kids a sizable head start, but Chloe still beats him to the wall. Not bad for a kid who is almost always the smallest at the blocks. Chloe of course didn't realize until she got out of the pool that she beat him. (Chloe is at the top of the frame, next to Zane in the pink swim cap).

First Haircut

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 No comments
Emma Claire got her first haircut at three years old. The orphanage shaved her head in China and its been a long time coming, waiting to grow her hair out. She had one long piece in the back of her head where it wasn't shaved evenly. Emma Claire was a little hesitant about the haircut, but big sister Chloe was next to her getting her haircut too. Also, a promise of a piece of chocolate never hurts either.
BEFORE. She was acting silly at the track.


The "Big Girl" Room

Monday, October 12, 2015 No comments

Emma Claire has moved from the crib to a big girl bed. Her room is still a work in progress, but the most important news is that she is SLEEPING in her big girl bed, not with Matt and I!!!!!

For two years Matt and I have had out little Emma Claire alarm clock that wakes us in the middle of the night (or morning depending on perspective) and demands to sleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed. Two years without an uninterrupted night of sleep.

But, it wasn't the big girl bed that made Emma Claire decide to sleep in her own bed through the night. It was a sticker chart with the reward of chocolate in the morning. It took two attempts with the sticker reward chart and she's been in her bed sleeping through the night ever since.

Who knew it would be so easy? Certainly not I or I would have done it a LONG time ago.

All About Oliver

Tuesday, October 06, 2015 No comments

Oliver completed his "All About Me" poster for his 1st grade class and presented it.

Lunch & the playground--those are Oliver's favorite school activities. Love it.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015 No comments

While BeBe and PaPaw were still here, we decided to go apple picking. The fall color is a little late this year, but the weather was perfect for apple picking. We went on a day that the kids were off school. Oliver went to play at Tae Kwon Do for an open play day so we only had Chloe and Emma Claire.

PaPaw helps Chloe pick.

Bebe, PaPaw and Chloe deciding which tree to pick.