Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ice Skating

Ben's birthday was over President's Day weekend, so on Monday the kids and Paul had the day off. They had a free learn to skate/play hockey clinic, so we went with some friends. Ben has been asking for a long time to go ice skating and we have never taken any of them before, so it was quite an experience! The kids all did really well!   They started off pushing chairs around the ice, which gave them something to hold on to while they got the feel of it.  Although it would have been easier for the girls to hold the chairs with both hands, they both wanted to hold my hands as well. 

Ben took to it pretty well too.

Before long, Abbey was off on her own in her typical "I do it myself" Abbey fashion...

Juliette enjoyed it, but she really didn't like wearing the helmut and that made it difficult for her.  After a while, she just sat in the chair and asked me to push her around, which was also fun.

Before long, Ben ditched the chair and took to a hockey stick.  He was hitting the puck back and forth with his friend.  Unfortunately, his friend has been doing hockey lessons for about 3 years and skated very easily, which was really frustrating Ben.  He did awesome for his first time - I couldn't believe he was hitting the puck!  But his experience was a bit soured by comparing himself to his friend :(  We were very impressed with his skating though!

And our fearless Abbey also dropped the chair rather quickly and enjoyed skating back and forth on the ice.  I was so impressed!

Great job Ben!
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Ben's birthday!

The day after Valentine's Day is the most important holiday in February...the day my son was born 7 years ago! I can't believe he is 7 and in first grade, but time is passing quickly and I am doing my best to document it all in this blog (even if I am months behind)! So, the day was special, but we didn't get to fully celebrate on his birthday because there was a very big Cub Scout event where the Tiger Scouts earned their badge that they have been working towards all year!  Here is Ben receiving his badge!

The Tiger Scouts and their will notice Ben is not wearing his hankerchief or his hat...yeah that happens a lot to us.

Then the awesome den leaders were honored.  I'm not bias or anything, but I think the Tiger Scouts happened to have the best den leaders :)

One of his best friends, Aiden, has a birthday on Valentine's Day, so the day before Ben's birthday.  We are very good friends with their family and the boys were delivered in the same hospital, so we always say the boys have been friends since the hospital nursery!  Anyway, to celebrate their birthdays, the pack leader had them come up and lead the whole group in singing Happy Birthday.  They got a big kick out of it!

After the awards were handed out, there was a special animal guy that brought a lot of really cool exotic animals with him.  It was really neat and the kids all loved it!  And check out that little lady in pink getting as close as she can to that giant snake!

The next day was Ben's party.  He was very specific in what he wanted this all boys party (except his sisters and cousin) playing Laser Tag.  It was a little difficult as it was the first party that we couldn't really invite whole families to.  You pretty much have to be at least 6 or 7 in order to play because you have to wear this big pack, which was actually pretty big on all the boys anyway!  But, he had a blast, so it was all worth it.  He also wanted a Star Wars cake, so this is what I came up with.  I was pretty proud of it!

Pictures of Laser Tag didn't really come out, but this gives you some sort of idea of what it was like.

Then it was cake time!

Make a wish buddy!

Then it was back home to open his presents, which included a lot of Legos, which thrilled Ben!

As I mentioned, it is so hard for me to believe that Ben is 7.  He has grown so much over the past year, yet he is still a little kid in a lot of ways.  He is complex and full of energy all the time, yet is quite the critical thinker and loves to be involved doing things, whether it is sports, cooking, playing with his sisters, or doing an arts and crafts project.  He is very into science experiments right now, building with his legos, playing games and being goofy with his friends.  I just went to his parent/teacher conference and he is one of the top readers in his class, reading at a 3rd/4th grade level according to test scores.  He is in the highest math group and highest spelling group.  He is writing full paragraphs at school, doing well on all his weekly tests, and doing great academically.  I can brag on him like that because he isn't perfect.  The flip side is that he gets bored in school and tends to misbehave.  He disrupts class sometimes and his teacher says he is trying to be funny...she classified him as a class clown.  I am really not sure how a class clown came from me - that is so not me!  But we are working on it with his teacher and he is doing better.  Overall, his behavior is improving and we are rewarding him for that.  He is a good kid.  He gets excited easily and likes to be goofy and get people to laugh.  His friends love that about just makes school a bit challenging sometimes!

By the way, I took him to the doctor and he was right on track for where he has been...height in the 75th percentile and weight in the 80th percentile.  He will be bigger than me before too long!  Happy birthday Ben...we love you!
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Monday, March 04, 2013

Valentine's Day

Usually, Valentine's Day to us is really just the day before Ben's birthday. But this year we decided to go all out and celebrate the holiday itself. So, Daddy started out the day by making everyone heart shaped pancakes!

We then proceeded to make heart shape sandwiches for lunch.  I tried to use the carrots and apples to look like an arrow, but it didn't quite look that way.

Well we couldn't do heart shaped breakfast and lunch and not do something special for here is my heart shaped meatloaf!

Patch sent all the girls flowers!  They were gorgeous, thank you!

We also got a ton of cards, candy, and little books and treats.  It was quite a celebration!  Thank you to everyone who sent us something - the kids really enjoyed opening up everything and celebrating Valentine's Day!
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Madgie and Patch Weekend #2

After Madgie and Patch spent a cold, but beautiful, week in Yellowstone they came back to Chicago to have some more fun before returning to the warmth of FL! We picked them up from the airport and went out to eat for Ben's family birthday dinner. Ben's birthday was still a week away, but we decided to celebrate early since we had family in town. Ben's choice was to go to Benihana, which is always a fun time!  Nice hat Abbey!

As a member of the birthday club, Ben got a free drink in this cool ninja cup complete with its own sword!

Our group - apparently Abbey couldn't put the ice cream down long enough for a picture!

The next morning we played in the snow again!  Ben and Abbey got to work making a snow fort.

Here's one of my snow angels...

Looks like Daddy had some fun while making the snow man!

Madgie and the girls worked on making the snow man's head...turns out it was a snow princess with a Dora crown!

Patch and Juju with the snow princess...

What a cute picture!

Look at that attention to detail...eyebrows and everything!

Juju and I worked on getting the arms to stay in...

Meanwhile, Ben was busy preparing for an epic snow ball fight...he looks ready!

Finished product...

Patch got into the snow ball fight!

Who exactly is this snow ball fight between?

Ben helped Daddy prepare snow balls by bringin in extra snow.

Juju did not want to join the snow ball fight.  She preferred instead to continue accessorizing the snow princess.

Abbey helped Patch collect snow, but the only problem is that she would then get upset if he actually tried to use her snow to throw.  So it was sort of like she was helping, but not really!

Just some cute shots.

 After some hot chocolate to warm us up, we had some inside fun too.  Madgie and Patch gave Ben an awesome lego batman set and they all had a great time working on it!
Patch playing battleship with the girls...
While Madgie and Ben continue to work on the legos.
Don't worry, the girls made sure there was also plenty of doll playing with Madgie!
We had a great time with Madgie and Patch...thanks for visiting and playing in the snow with us!
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