Wednesday, December 23, 2009

just couldn't wait

I'm not sure if the Elliott or the girls were more excited for him to open his gift this morning! He started off his birthday with a gift from his best honeys, followed by breakfast and the 8 am showing of his favorite movie - "Cars". Tonight, we are celebrating at Space Aliens (um, Pizza Planet for my Toy Story guy).

three . . .

. . . year ago today, this sweet face blessed our family!


My friend Megan and I both have 3 year olds. In fact, Emme was born just one day before Elliott -- although she does look like she's maybe a year older since she towers over the little man. We took them bowling to celebrate their birthdays - and they had soooo much fun! And in case you were wondering, Elliott beat us all with a whopping score of 95!!!

Angel Alert!

Our new church building was opened the week before Thanksgiving, which meant this would be the first year our children's Christmas Program took place in a sanctuary instead of a highschool auditorium. The huge windows filled the room with beautiful light for the Angel Alert! Delaney and Jillian were both in the Angel Council, which sang nearly every song in the show. Our Jillian even sang in a small group and had a few lines as well. She does tend to let her light shine while performing as you can see. And maybe it would be a better idea not to have them stand next to one another . . .

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009


This note was waiting for me on the dining room table when I return home this evening. I'm left wondering what exactly a 'speepover' is . . . . And really? I must write my answer and place it on her bed? I'd rather not disappoint her first thing in the morning.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Elliott eating broccoli . . .

Notice the large quantity of food on his plate. I mean really, am I asking too much that the kid atleast try a bite or two of the meal the rest of the family is enjoying??? Seriously, boys cannot live on yogurt and fruit alone - although somehow Elliott is managing to do just that. I have had my ups and downs with his picky eating. The kid will not eat anything that is an actual meal and subsists mainly on fruit, yogurt, granola bars, and muffins. Oh, and McNuggets from you-know-where and rainbow sprinkle pancakes from Perkins. REALLY?! No mac-and-cheese for this kid. No cheeseburgers. No hotdogs. No mashed potatoes. No cheese. Not that any of those are particularly healthy options, but they are typical kid fare! No vegetables - unless carrots dipped in ketchup limit one every two weeks counts. He will occassionally eat pizza - cheese only and usually just from the Pizza Hut at Target. What happened??? I was such a good mommy, serving up steamed broccoli and other such healthy goodness to my children who gobbled it up and asked for more. Until Elliott, that is. And I've tried everything . . . bribery (um, I mean rewards), time-outs, spanking (gasp!), 'two bites because you're two', going to bed without snack, not giving anything else unless . . . The kid has amazing willpower and will simply not eat anything other than what he likes. Even if he's never seen it, heard of it, or tasted it before - he says "I don't like that!" So I'm left with making fruit and yogurt smoothies with protein powder and muffins with whole wheat, applesauce, and whatever pureed veggies I can sneak in there (favorite - pumpkin). All I can say? It's a good thing he's cute!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

tooth trauma

Finally!!! About a month ago, I discovered that Jillian had a new tooth moving in behind her baby tooth, which had yet to start wiggling. She is not a tooth wiggler. That baby tooth would have stayed put if we hadn't been constantly reminding her to wiggle it. We even made up a song that went something like this . . . 'when you're reading a book, wiggle your tooth . . . when you're watching tv, wiggle your tooth . . . when you're riding the bus, wiggle your tooth. . .' You get the idea. Thursday afternoon when she came home from school, Jillian showed me her little tooth -- which was sticking straight out of her mouth! I encouraged her to pull that dangler out, but she refused. So after dinner, I took her head in my lap and announced I was pulling that tooth. The way she screamed and cried and carried on!!! Until I showed her the tooth in my hand. She didn't feel a thing because that tiny tooth just fell right out! That night as I was tucking her in, I told her that I was sad she'd lost her first tooth and gave her a big squeeze. "Because I'm growing up?" asked my wise girl. Seems like she was just getting teeth, and now they're falling out. A dear friend has a saying, "The days go so slow, but the years go so fast." Treasuring every little moment and locking them inside my heart.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Operation Christmas Child

The kids had a day off from school today, so we spent some time at Walmart and Target collecting things for our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Each of my three sweeties packs a box for a child their own age - goodies like new undies and socks (okay, not so fun but needed) and gum, suckers, crayons, paper, toothbrushes, hair bands, stuffed animals, balls, dump trucks, and more. It was so rewarding to listen to them discuss their wants for the child receiving their box and watch their generosity grow. They felt a little silly buying underwear, but had so much fun picking out the perfect jumprope!

Collection week is next week - I challenge each of you to pack a box with each of your children! If your own children are grown, pack one in honor of each of them at an age you remember fondly. The website for Operation Christmas Child gives ideas for what to include in the box and drop off locations too.
These boxes make such an impact on the kids receiving them - include a photo of you or your family and take the time to write a letter as well. You never know, you may recieve a note back from the special child that was blessed with your generosity!

Friday, November 6, 2009

growing up

October was a whirlwind month for our busy household. . . but I couldn't let another day pass without posting a photo of my first baby. It's so hard to believe that Delaney is now 8 years old! Her birthday celebration was altered as her little brother had a fever and we were trying to keep the germs contained. We managed to squeeze quite alot into a few short hours. Delaney chose to bring her friend Emily along for an evening of fun . . . dinner at Applebee's (why? because they sing to you!!!), followed by some stuff and fluff at Build-A-Bear workshop, and topped off with a late movie! She must have had a great time -- Delaney is already planning for next year!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Treats

Monkey Elliott

Snow Princess Jillian

Pirate Delaney

My favorite sweet Halloween Treats!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Jillian's Song

Another great performance from my little star!

Once upon a time. . .

. . . there were two princesses who wanted to share a palace. The King and Queen (a.k.a Dad and Mom) searched the kingdom far and wide for the most perfect bunk beds fit for these beautiful girls. As children do, these princesses grew and grew until one day they decided that they each wanted their own royal space. So the King, along with the King's father, took apart the most perfect bunkbeds and divided the palace (and then the Queen used her royal tools to correct the mistakes of those silly men). With a little extra love and attention, the adorable princesses lived happily ever after . . . until they again change their minds as daughters often do.

Miss Jillian

Miss Delaney

Saturday, October 10, 2009

first snow

"Mom, mom, did you look outside? You've got to see this!" Delaney woke me at 7:01 am, filled with joy over the freshly fallen snow. I can't say that I was terribly excited about this snow on October 10th. I had projects that still needed to be completed, and I needed warm weather and sunshine for them. Guess the fence, pergola and deck posts will have to survive a Minnesota winter before they get stained. That's what I get for waiting through the hot, humid summer months, hoping to get some warm fall days to do my work. The excitement was building as each child woke this morning. Jillian's joyful cries to go out and play right now, soon followed by Elliott's "Where are my boots?!" After a quick breakfast and scrambling to get dressed, the kids were bundled in their winter gear. Here's what we have to show for our morning in the snow.

You all know that my SIL is the most amazing photographer. I'm certainly not in the same league as Ria, but I do love to take photos of my beautiful children, and I do try to consider angles, composition, lighting, etc, when I am taking pictures. And I'm not above stealing her ideas, either. Ria takes incredible pictures of siblings jumping in the air and captures their faces and their bodies in just the right shot. The series of pictures I got when trying to capture my kiddos jumping in this first snow of the season . . . is, well, entertaining anyway!

Jillian has this way of stealing the spotlight. . .
which her big sister does not appreciate. . .

sometimes Delaney has to take matters into her own hands . . .

but seriously, Jillian always manages to have the big finish anyway!

Perhaps the best shot of all three of them in the bunch, but not really my favorite. I have a soft spot in my heart for that little showgirl of mine -- I've been told I was just like her at that age!

Friday, October 2, 2009

What did you say?

Elliott talks ALL the time and often says things that I never thought I'd hear from a two year old. On two occasions this week, I had to stop and say, 'um, what did you just say????'

"Mama, you get a point if you hit someone with your car."

"Mom, I just can't respect that."

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Okay, so these adorable little boys aren't technically cousins . . . but they are my best friend's kids and for me, that's close enough. Sara and I have been friends since my Sophomore year at college, when I was still at SDSU but spending many weekends at the U of M with our other good friend Dee. We spent 3 years together as roommates during college (yes, that makes it a 5 year plan for me if you're trying to do the math). Often we joked that we'd get married and buy houses next door to one another. That plan didn't quite work out and we live about 45 minutes apart and don't nearly see eachother often enough in my opinion. It's important to me that our kids are close and we truly do refer to them as cousins. In fact, my kids even call them Auntie Sara and Uncle Derek. This morning they came for some playtime and lunch (and more playtime, imagine that). These 5 little monsters played in every imaginable space we had - every floor, room and the backyard as well. Did I mention that Jillian has plans to marry Jackie? She's been wondering if he's too young for her - she is four years older than him, but since he adores her I think she'll make the exception. Thanks for a great morning Sara, Tyler, and Jack!

Delaney & Jackie

Jillian & Tyler

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Vacation Fun

We squeezed in one last getaway before school started. Our family joined Ryan's sister's family for Labor Day Weekend at Gull Lake. We stayed at the Bay Colony, part of Grandview Resorts. The kids got to enjoy both the lake and beach as well as the waterslide and pool! I had my own personal vacation photographer - Ria takes amazing photos. You can check out her professional website by clicking the link to the right and her blog by clicking here. She's promised to share all the vacation photos with me, and then I'll share a few with all of you! For now, here are some pics of our trip. . .

The cousins enjoying Pirate's Cove minigolf!

Czichotzki's and Elton's at Ernies on the Lake
(notice my two posers!)

My cuties

We stopped in Garison by the fish caught by Paul Bunyan on our way to pick Bailey up from G&G on Mil Lacs Lake.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

and so it begins. . .

another year of school! The outfits were selected days in advance, complete with jewelry and their first ever 'dangly' earrings. We prepared for the big event with baths last night followed by manicures in patterns to match their clothes! I'm not sure I even put this much thought and effort into getting ready for the prom!!! The excitement was so great that Jillian spilled her entire bowl of Lucky Charms all over herself and the floor, and Delaney's tummy was so nervous that she could barely eat her breakfast. That's a lot of expectation, I pray the first day is all they want it to be!

Elliott is going to miss his big sisters so much!

Delaney, 2nd grade (7 1/2)

Jillian, 1st grade (6)