Friday, February 18, 2011

Max rides a bike!

Yesterday afternoon was beautiful and sunny.  In our house that has come to mean that bike riding will be the activity of choice after school.  For the last several months, Max has rotated between riding his scooter and his glider bike, with occasional turns on his two-wheeler with training wheels. But when we got home, Max immediately asked Dan to take off his training wheels - he wanted to give riding a two-wheeler a shot.

Now, when we tried this last June, it only took about 5 minutes before it became really evident that he wasn't ready.  The balance wasn't there, and he was too nervous about falling to keep working at it.  In fact, that was part of what pushed me toward purchasing his glider bike.  Since then, he really hasn't said a word about it.  But between the scooter and glider bike, we've watched his balance grow and grow.  We knew he was ready - he just needed to decide that he was.

So, today was the day.  Dan popped off the training wheels, told Max to take it to the top of the driveway and coast down,  just like on his glider bike.  No problem.  The second time, he told him that when he got to the bottom of the hill, he should try peddling.  And seriously?  That was it.  He was off and riding. No tears, no fear.  I'm so proud of him.  And I'm still trying to figure out when he got so big. 

Here's a video about 5 minutes after the training wheels came off:

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cousin Time...

One of the best things about Christmas this year was all the cousin time that the kiddos got to have.  With my sister's family living all the way in Ottawa, there's never enough time together.  But Christmas break gave us great time for Max, Luke, Savannah, and Asher to spend together.

It's funny to watch as the relationships develop.  Max, as the oldest, loves his little cousins.  Savannah adores him, and he loves being adored, so it all works out.  They play well together, and he is much kinder and more patient with her than he ever is with Luke.  While he thinks Asher is cute, he really can't wait until he can play ball with him.  Babies don't get much attention form my biggest.

Luke, on the other hand, has completely different relationships with his cousins.  He and Savannah are only 5 months apart, and they don't always bring out the best in each other. They antagonize and push each others' buttons, and have little patience or understanding for each other.  But, we are starting to see signs of improvement.  They worked together on several kitchen ventures, and Uncle Alex hosted a delightful tea party that they both enjoyed. And there were even a few times when they chose to play together.  And Asher?  Luke ADORES him.  Wants to make him smile, giggle, laugh all the time.  He loves to lay on the floor next to him and find things for him to play with.

While we always wish for more time, we're so thankful for what time we get.  I'm glad the boys are building relationships with their cousins, and can't wait to see how they continue to grow together!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The drive home today...

On the drive home today, there were a few Max and Luke jems I never want to forget:

Max: Mom, when I'm sixteen, can I have a bow and arrow?
Me: Sure.  Why not?  What do you want them for?
Max: So I can hunt in the South American rainforest.  That's how the people who live there do it.  Sounds good to me!

Me: Luke, you can't just touch the buttons on the new phone - it will actually call someone.
Luke: But Mom, when I'm sixteen can I dial the phone?
Me: Sure, kiddo.  No problem.

Luke: Mom, when I go to college, I am going to go with Max.
Max: And you can come visit us.
Me: Really? You'll let me visit?
Max: Sure - you could go to college then, too. Then you could get a new job.
Me: What kind of new job could I get?
Max:You can do whatever makes you happy.

Man, I love these kids.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas Update #1

Rather than blather on and on like I usually do, this time I'll let the pictures speak for themselves (or I'll never get caught up!)

Here was the first part of our Christmas at Mema and Papa's (my parents):

A very special visit from Santa (or Santa's helper, as Luke decided) was a magical part of our Christmas eve.

Gotta love new goggles!

Three of my favorite people

We were lucky to have Uncle Jerry and soon-to-be-Aunt Brenda join us

Luke and his beloved stoplight - Santa sure came through!

My beautiful sister - who never looks as gorgeous as when she's being a mama.

We tried to tell him not to eat the snow, but it was better than licking it off the window, which he did later...

Snow flingers that double as great noise makers

Amazing snowman demolition brought to you by my brother-in-law, Alex!

Asher and Dan enjoying their time together
SO many wonderful memories and laughter.  We felt very fortunate, indeed.

Monday, December 6, 2010

And it's tree time again...

For some people it's the first strains of Christmas music that stream through the overhead speakers in the grocery store.  For others it's the dark hour Black Friday shopping excursion.  For me, Christmas begins with the tree.

Growing up, it was a trip to the forest.  Now we live in the heart of Christmas tree country - no fewer than 30 farms within a 30 minute drive.  We can go out, cut our own, and still be home for lunch.  For the last two years we have loved visiting the Hamburg 4D Tree Farm - a great little farm with trees for $20, hot cocoa, cider, and chili. The family is friendly, and the trees are beautiful.  We love Noble Fir, and enjoy the search for the tree that is meant to be ours.

Here are a few shots from this year's trip:

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Letters to Santa

Each day of Advent, the boys get to open a bag that contains a card with an activity for the day.  Day 2 was to write a letter to Santa.  While we've always talked about it in the past, this was the first time we've actually sat down and done it. 

Max is getting more and more independent with his writing.  While he will first exclaim that he can't do it, given a little prompting and time, he does fairly well.  It is so interesting (as a reading teacher) to watch him develop letter and sound ideas.  Luke is just starting to write his first letters - he's got "u" down, and is working on his name.  For his letter, I took dictation.  Here are the results:

 Max's letter reads:
     "Dear Santa
            I hope  you are having a good time.  Kud (Could) I hav hte Lego castle ples? Kud I hav a tooth bruhs (brush) ples?
                                       Max Y"

Lots of tongues sticking out in concentration.  This is serious business, people!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The soundtrack of our house...

( A little Eye of the Tiger for those needing translation...)