Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another Conversation

Sorry - had to post another conversation with Ben from tonight...

I have been sick this week - terrible sore throat and just really tired. So Ben, being the sweet boy that he is, has been concerned for me. He first offered to have me stay in bed for 3 days while the kids took care of me (sweet, but somehow I don't think that would be all that restful). Then tonight, he came up with a series of hand signals that I should use to communicate with him so that I don't have to talk. Here is what he came up with:

Hand pointing to the left - Mommy needs a hug
Hand pointing up - Ben should stop doing whatever he is doing
Arm straight out - I love you
Hand pointing down - time for bed or nap
Hand pointing to the right - Mommy wants to play red light green light

I guess he got all the major points covered!

Kid Conversations

My kids are the funniest people I know. I love talking with them and hearing their points of view. It has recently been suggested to me (thanks Kristen) that I should start including some of these conversations as part of the blog. I think it is a good idea as it really shows their personality and also just the pure innocence of children. I have listed below some of my favorites from the past, but will start to include more of their thoughts going forward too. Enjoy!

Ben: Mom, is God everywhere?
Me: Yes, God is with us always.
Ben: Is God in the car with us?
Me: Yes...to help protect us and keep us safe.
Ben: You mean with the traffic and other cars?
Me: Yes
Ben: Mom, does God have a whistle to help stop the traffic?

Me (pointing to the manger scene at Christmas): Ben, who is this?
Ben: Mary - Jesus' Mommy
Me: Good. And who is this?
Ben: That's God
Me: No, that's Joseph
Ben: No Mom, that's God. God is Jesus' Father
Hmmm....good point Ben!

We often sit in the cry room at Church and listen to mass through the speaker in the room. One day as we listened to an amazing singer, Ben commented that God sure has a beautiful voice.

Also during Church, Ben asked how God can hear us when we pray. We said something along the lines of God can always hear us. So Ben asked how we could go see God. We explained that God is up in Heaven and we can't see Him right now. So Ben said that he thought we had better get on a plane and go up to see God!

Ben: Mom, I opened the yogurt all by myself without using a spoon or knife!
Me: Good job! You just used your strength?
Ben: No, I used my hands!
Me (after a little chuckle): Ben, strength is what you have when you are very strong. Someone who is very strong is said to have a lot of strength.
Ben: Oh, how many gallons of strength do you think Daddy has?
Me: A lot I guess

Abbey: Mom, where is Daddy?
Me: Daddy is on a business trip this week.
Abbey (wide-eyed): I want to go on a PRINCESS trip!!

Ben (looking at the news coverage of the Tsunami): Mom, why are those boats overturned?
Me: Well honey there was a Tsunami last night (I then went on to explain what that was and how it affected people). We should pray for all those people who were affected.
Ben: But Mom, those people are strangers!
Me: Yes, we can pray for strangers, but we don't talk to them.

These are the first ones that pop into mind, but I will blog other ones as I think of them. I love my kids!


Just to update you, we had a pretty good Day #5 of spring break too. We went on another play date in the morning (no pictures) with my moms group and had a relaxing afternoon before Daddy came home. Usually, assuming everyone has had a good week, we have family movie nights on Friday nights. This week we watched Toy Story 3 and Daddy came home right at the end of the movie. The kids were super excited to see him and pretty much clung to him all weekend, especially Ben. Paul took it all really well though and made sure to spend lots of time with each child over the weekend (which also gave me a nice break). While Daddy was gone, he sent us a little surprise! We had such cold weather (temps in the 20's and 30's) so he said he wanted to send us a little sign of spring (tulips are also my favorite flower)!

They smell so good!

We actually had a really great week and I was so pleased with how well behaved the kids were while Daddy was gone.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring Break - Day 4

Day 4 we decided to get our jump on (kids' choice today) at Monkey Joe's. Ben is obviously having fun going down the big slide!

Juliette got into it as well, with Aunt Theresa's help.
Ben and Abbey did a great job of sticking together!
Unfortunately, while we were there, they were testing the fire alarms, so quite often we had to listen to the loud sirens go off. It was very annoying because it scares the kids and we literally had to stop playing and huddle together to calm everyone down (especially Juliette) every time it happened. Thankfully, the staff realized how annoying it was and gave us free tickets to come back and jump within a month. After a while, Ben and Abbey started running around covering their ears just in case it happened again.
Again, Juliette LOVES slides.
Aunt Theresa takes all the kids down the big slide!
Then Aunt Theresa took just the big kids down the big slide.

After Monkey Joe's, we went to Moe's for lunch. It was a super fun day - thanks Aunt Theresa for your help and company!
Posted by Picasa

Spring Break - Day 3

Day 3 of Spring Break we decided to stay home and have some fun since we had been gone all day Tuesday (and thus went without much of a nap for anyone, other than the car ride home). Aunt Theresa came over (she is currently in-between jobs) and helped us have some fun. We decided to bake up some zucchini bread because the kids love it and have been asking for a while to make it again (the last time we made it was this fall from some zucchini grown from our garden). So we went to the store, bought some ingredients, and then got to work. Here are Ben and Abbey mixing up the ingredients.

Excellent stirring Ben!
Juliette helps Aunt Theresa put some vanilla in.
Abbey stirs it up.
Ah yes, the best part...licking the bowl after we are done! It came out very delicious and we have been enjoying it everyday!
We decided to make Day #3 a cooking day, so we made our own individual pizzas for dinner! Here are Ben and Abbey kneading the dough.
Then rolling it out.
Juliette gets in on spreading the sauce, although she mostly just stuck her spoon in and then ate sauce off the spoon!
I love the pepperoni smiley face Ben made and the tomato face Abbey made (she didn't like the pepperoni).
Yum...the finished product!
Ben looks happy with his pizza creation - he ate the whole thing!

What a delicious day!
Posted by Picasa

Spring Break - Days 1 and 2

Well, Ben is on spring break this week! Since we had no plans to travel (and Daddy has been out of town all week), I have tried to make each day something super fun for the kids. Day 1 we went to a Play Doh play date with some of my "mom group" friends. Ben doesn't get to go on our play dates very often because he is usually in preschool when we go, so he had a lot of fun playing with new toys and the other kids. I have no pictures of that though, so let's move on to Day 2. We went downtown to the Shedd Aquarium and met up with Aunt Domi, Caroline, Hunter, Hunter's friend Colby (who Ben really took a liking to), and Aunt Theresa. With all those kids, we needed a plan to stick together. Oh look, Aunt Domi has it under control!

I took Ben and Abbey to the Dora and Diego 4D show while the others went to the Dolphin show. It was pretty cool - the kids' favorite part was the bubbles that blew down from the ceiling and the fact that our seats moved (I guess that is the 4D part).
We saw some great animals - the beluga whale was so cute as he kept coming up to smile at us!
Ben, Abbey and Caroline check out the penguins, which is always a favorite. As a side note, before we went to the aquarium, I told the kids we needed to have some rules (mostly about sticking together, not walking away from me, etc.). Ben said, "Oh Mom, I have a rule...we should NOT jump into the penguin's water tank!" So I said, "Yes, that is a good rule Ben, we will make that Rule #1 for today!" Ben was thinking of "Curious George Goes to the Aquarium" where George goes into the penguin area, but I still thought it was super cute.
They had a kids area where they could climb on an area that was made to look like the penguin's area, including a slide. So the kids had fun playing in there for a while.
Juliette LOVES slides.
Then we went to the area where you could touch sea creatures.
Here is Caroline touching a star fish.
Aunt Domi helped Abbey touch a star fish.
Here are all the kids.
And here is our little family (minus Daddy who is hard at work in MI).
And look who we found at the Aquarium...NEMO!
All the kids got into the tent to play camping before we left.
And then Abbey stayed to make some breakfast for everyone.

It was a very fun day and good activity for spring break!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!! We got all dressed up in green! Abbey only had a green skirt, but she was pleased to pose along with her baby doll!

Ben and Juliette had lucky green shirts to wear!
Here are our little leprechauns...
And here is the corned beef and cabbage that I made for dinner...it turned out pretty well and the kids actually liked it for the most part. Juliette ate the beef really well and although Ben and Abbey both said they liked the beef, they both ate the cabbage, potatoes and carrots a little more.

Posted by Picasa

St. Patrick's Day Parade!

On Saturday, we went down to Naperville for the St. Patrick's Day Parade. We got all bundled up and walked downtown from Aunt Theresa's house. Here are all the kids ready for the ride (we were like our own little parade walking down there).

Juliette was quite cozy in her little spot between Ben and Caroline...
We waited for a while for it to start...we were apparently at the end of the parade route!
Aunt Domi shows Juliette what's coming...
Andrew held Abbey for quite a while...
Juliette was a trooper in the cold weather...as long as she had her lollipop!
Brother Bear was at the parade!
Abbey was pretty good at picking up all the candy that was thrown...
Unfortunately, as the parade went on, it seemed to get progressively colder. Aunt Theresa wrapped Juliette up in a blanket, we got the kids some hot chocolate, and I took Abbey inside a store for a short bit to warm up. She was literally shaking from the cold and as I walked away with her, she asked me why we were leaving and when she could go get more candy! I guess the cold wasn't bothering her as much as I thought!
Enjoying the parade (but getting very cold)...

It was a fun time though!
Posted by Picasa