Easter 2015

We had a full Easter weekend, as per normal.  We started off with hosting my mom's family at our house for dinner on Saturday. The boys were spoiled as usual and got some new coloring stuff, books, bubbles and new kites from Grandma and Grandpa and my aunts and cousins.

Sunday morning, the Easter Bunny came to our house.  Sneaky Jack woke up before us, crept into the living room and nosed around until he found his Easter basket.  Only then did he come wake us up.  Stinker!
After we ate breakfast, we headed up the street for our 4th Annual Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt.  Our group of neighborhood friends is FULL of boys, with a few girls mixed in.  Check out this crew...
Back row from left: Jack, Jack, Kaden, Nathan
Addison, Logan, Reghan, Hayden, Charlie, Tyson
Drake, Ethan, Will, Levi and Trenton


After naps we headed over to Aunt Cyndi & Uncle Todd's house.  We took a few pictures before the kids were allowed to change clothes and play on the playground.

 The boys brought over their new kites and the kids had a lot of fun flying them.

 They got presents from Grandma & Grandpa Clayton
 New monogrammed beach towels!  (Jack didn't want in this picture)
Another fun holiday!  Easter is one of my favorites because it's spread out to two days for us and the weather is typically pretty nice.


Moolah Shrine Circus

In March the Moolah Shrine Circus came to the Family Arena in St. Charles.  Cyndi and Todd have taken their kids the past several years, but our kids hadn't yet been to a circus.  We were excited to go check it out!  Jason again had something going on, so the boys and I tagged along with the Knichels.

Before the circus starts, you can go down on the floor and take an elephant ride, ride a camel, ride a little roller coaster or a few other fun activities.  We told the kids they could pick ONE activity.  What did they pick?  The $10 bouncy slide.  *sigh*  Jack, Charlie and Lily chose the slide.  Luckily, it was a 5 minute turn on the slide and not just once, but still...  Mia chose instead to get her face painted.

 We met a clown while were down there and shockingly, Charlie was not afraid...
 We then told the kids they could either get a snack/treat OR a toy. The boys both chose light-up sword things and Mia chose a spinning light-up thing.  Lily chose to get cotton candy.  As it turns out, the cotton candy at the circus is an enormous serving, so Cyndi and I decided to let Lily get a toy too (she chose a glowing mohawk) and let all the kids have some bites of cotton candy.

I think my favorite act was the bears on the bikes.  I didn't get a video of the bicycle, though I think that was a little more impressive because it required pedaling, but I did take this one of the bear on the motorcycle.
We left at intermission when we noticed they were bringing out all the rides/activities for the break.  The 2nd half wasn't starting any time soon!  Maybe when the boys are a little older, we'll stay the whole time, but for now this was plenty of circus for them.

St. Patty's Day Race and Parade

This year I signed up to run in the St. Patty's Day race with a few friends from work.  I am totally out of shape and didn't do a ton of training, but still managed to finish not too far behind my friends in the 5 mile race.  Of course, we had to partake in the free beer afterwards...
Priyal, Stephanie, Melissa and me
I stayed downtown after the race and met up with the Knichel clan, who graciously brought Jack and Charlie down with them so we could all watch the parade.  It was kind of chilly, but we had a fun time.
Jack with a goofy smile, Mia, Charlie, Paige & Lily

Green beer!  (Please ignore the terrible angle and double chin I'm sporting)

 We were going to have lunch in Soulard afterwards, but by the time we got over there I looked in my rear view mirror and saw this, so we went home instead.
We missed Daddy, who stayed home to work, but the boys loved getting loot and candy!  A fun way to spend our Saturday!

Snow Days

We had very few snowy days this past winter.  We had one snowy Monday in February.  I stayed home from work, but had a lot of conference calls that day, so the boys spent the morning at Grandma and Grandpa Clayton's house with their cousins, who were off school.  When they got home we played outside, albeit very briefly because I discovered I had no decent gloves for them.  The thin stretch gloves they had were soaked instantly and the temperatures were VERY cold, so we came back inside pretty quickly.  Not before we made some snow angels though...

Then we had one more fun snow day.  Sunday, March 1 we got LOTS of snow, so we went over to Grandma and Grandpa Clayton's house to go sledding.  Luckily I had ordered some new waterproof gloves for the boys on amazon.com and they arrived on February 28.  Phew!

Charlie learned an important life lesson from his cousins: how to properly eat snow


A sledding video (Charlie wasn't sure at first, but he came around later and went down a few times).

Lessons in the Doctor's Office

One Sunday in February, Charlie suddenly had a high fever, so I took him to urgent care to have him checked out.  Turns out he had an ear infection, but we waited a long, long time there to find that out.  Here's how we killed the time:
(This is a pretty long video but I love that it captures his little voice and they way he speaks.  My favorite is that he calls them "thingers" and "thingernails."  I can't bring myself to correct that little error because it's just too cute.)
Here's the pathetic little guy after they put some earwax softening stuff in his ears.  His mood dipped dramatically...

Bowling with the Cousins

One night in January, Jason, Todd and Mert were at a poker tournament benefiting FOCUS Marines, an organization with which Mert is heavily involved.  While they were out, Darlene, Cyndi and I decided to take the kids bowling.  They had a lot of fun, as is always the case when they're with their cousins.

Here are some videos of the action.  I really love their reactions, especially goofball Charlie.
I especially wish I could've heard the conversation Charlie was having with himself at the end of this one...

For some reason I didn't get any videos of Lily bowling.  Drats!  Here are some pictures of the fun.
Mia's nice form

Grandma's turn!

Sweet cousins

They even got to spend a few minutes in the game room after bowling!

Jack's Indoor Soccer

Jack's soccer team from the fall stayed together to play indoor soccer over the winter.  They played two sessions at Matteson Square Garden, which is not far from our house.  The boys played great together and had a great time.  They might have lost one or two games towards the beginning of the first session, but they didn't lose a single game in the second session.

Jack did really great and said he likes indoor better than outdoor because the ball doesn't go out of bounds.  He also loved that they actually kept score in this league (vs the O'Fallon outdoor league where there are no winners or losers).  They played 4 vs 4 plus goalies, but if a team got ahead by 5 goals, the other team was allowed to add another player.  Jack's team played a lot of 4 on 5, especially in that last session.

We really love watching indoor too.  It is, however, tough to take good pictures or videos of indoor.
One game they were clobbering the other team, so Jack's coaches made 2 of them at a time stay back on defense the whole time.  The other ones basically played 2 on 5.

And then Jack played goalie for a bit, so poor, bored Louis could get some action on the field

The #1 Yellow Jackets: Jack, Parker, Jackson, Liam, Preston, Louis, Tyler, Connor and Ethan