Tuesday, April 8, 2014


It's been AGES.
we went on vacation- and now we are recovering from our vacation!  that one hour time difference killed us :)

We spent last week partying it up in Chicago.  way too much food, lots of games and laughing, and not nearly enough sleep.

we met up with my sister to visit two cousins and their families in the Windy City.   I don't know how we all lucked out with such amazing husbands- but one day we spent the afternoon out shopping and eating french chocolate- while the husbands took ten kids to the movies. we did take the three babies with us.

I tried my first ever macaroon.  I liked the fruity ones better than the chocolate.

we stopped by Penzy's spice shop.  I'd never heard of the place- but it was pretty amazing and pretty 'spicy'.
we spent almost every night up too late, laughing, playing games, and eating.  I have the most amazing network of cousins who are like great friends!  we can get together after years apart- and it's as though we've been next door neighbors the entire time.  I really wish we could all live closer and see each other more often!  but I'm so glad that just a few of them live on this side of the country!! family is the best.

One day we hit Cantigny Park.  An AMAZING war museum with the coolest tanks to play on and some pretty cool war exhibits.

All of the cousins' kiddos playing together. Are they 2nd cousins? or first cousins once removed? I can't ever figure that out.
we took up five rows at the Normandy display!!

these old tanks are such a hazard for little kids to play on!!!   but pure heaven, too.  good thing we had a pediatrician with us :)  We had no injuries- but I can only imagine the number of stitches that have come from this place!
we loved it.  hanging on howitzer cannons.

We hit the 'ball factory' one morning for the kids.  and we got to play as much as they did.  This place would be so much fun to rent out for an adult party!  
a ball blaster room? giant slides?  it was all wonderful.  metta found a swing that spins AROUND AND AROUND AND AROUND. she would NOT get off. Even though it was obvious that her head was SPINNING out of control. She definitely has my sense of motion.  Kent almost vomited watching her spin!!  the video of her is on my facebook page! (click on that link). it's funny stuff.
And finally- The stupendous field museum!  this place is unreal. so great.  so full of science and facts and greatness.  it made me remember why I love bugs and evolution and animal life!  plus- my cousin (inlaw)- steve-is one of the scientists here!  he got us in free :)  and showed us the ropes.  He's a lichenologist!  you can check out his work here: http://fieldmuseum.org/explore/multimedia/video-leavitts-lichens.   He's pretty cool.
It was cold, wet, and pretty windy on our museum day! Zeb was not happy about posing for this picture,

our Metta has to be the happiest most exuberant and easily excitable child of all time.  She ran around with her hands in the air ALL DAY! shouting for joy and hip hip hooraying about every exhibit.  it was really fun,

she was a little afraid of the giant soil grub.  in her defense- it's creepy.
Baby Milo and the baby dinos.
toddler metta with the toddler dinos!

the heat camera exhibit was neato.
and yoda with a head- dress was a hit with the star wars fans.
hopefully little Zeb grow up to love DNA as much as his parents :)  I sometimes sing him the songs I taught to my high school students when I taught bio :)
Here we are catching orbs.  I'm not sure the purpose.  but it was fun!

Our final big event in Chicago was the food.  Isn't that the best part of vacations? besides being with loved ones, of course!  EATING!!! new and exciting foods.  eating more than is healthy.  Buying foods far more expensive than you'd normally buy :)  We had mediterranean, mexican, chinese, and all American Chicago deep dish from Giordannos.  After a long day at the museum- we were staring- and it tasted DIVINE.
the kiddos went for traditional.
we splurged on fat, calories, and money and went for deep dish.  I want more. right now.

The whole trip was perfect!  thanks for the fun Hailey, Steve, Robert, and Laura :)
we are quickly checking things off our bucket list before the big move!  it's coming SO SOON!  

any last ideas on stuff we NEED to do before we leave Ohio??!?!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

zeb a leb.

Zeb came home to day with a preview of his school pictures and a writing sample of what he 'does NOT want to do for spring break'.  Both are pretty funny.

I don't buy school pictures.  My parents never did either.  I take a lot of pics of my kiddos!  I like them better AND they are cheaper!

He won't ever smile with his teeth for school pictures.  and his head looks a little large here. I don't even think the picture looks much like him!  it does make me smile, though.  those picture people know that nearly all parents are suckers when it comes to pictures of their own kids!

this writing sample, however, looks EXACTLY like him.  What does he NOT want to do over spring break??

1. eat 'brokle' 
2. clean his bedroom or toyroom.  

This kid has a tough life, huh?  we make him eat vegetables AND do chores.  

 We have a lot of fun and parties while Zeb is at school- but we keep it top secret so he thinks we just eat veggies and clean all day.
 Ike and Metta are two peas in a pod.  Lots of laughing, eating candy, and having fun.
 she's so cute. and happy.  unless I'm singing to her.  I try to sing along to the Frozen songs when she watches it and she SCREAMS like a banshee when I open my mouth.  Even if I only mouth the words- she starts shrieking! 'NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" "AHHHHHHHHH!!!" I guess I'm a terrible singer.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

oh, my birthday.

I had the best birthday EVER.  all week was awesome, really.  I love birthdays and presents and a day dedicated just to me!  Kent has some irrational fear of my birthday expectations- and I can't figure out why.  All I really want is the perfect day with the perfect gifts!  this year was pretty darn close.

The wednesday before my bday we had a sushi making class to go to!  I was so excited. and then they cancelled it LAST minute.  I was pretty bummed- but Kent took me to Red Robin for my free birthday meal to compensate.  and even though I chose bottomless broccoli instead of fries- he shared some of his fries with me :)  I really love red robin and their free birthday burger.  I think we've been there six years in a row for my birthday, now!

On my actual birthday- somehow- due to a scheduling change- Kent got to cash in on a day off he earned for passing his Air Force PT (physical training- pushups/situps/run) test at 95% or higher! He had the day OFF!  pretty miraculous, really.

We started with him helping me set up my circuit class at the gym- and then a great workout.  I always like to get in a really good workout on my birthday so I can splurge on food the rest of the day :)

That afternoon he surprised me with a babysitter for the kiddos and we went downtown to the Dayton Home and Garden show.  It may sound weird- but we really like going to stuff like that and just walking around, getting free samples, and checking stuff out.

It was really fun!!  they had a big cooking show and we learned some pretty great chef skills.  Plus- we got to eat the stuff they prepared!
Honestly- it was just fabulous to be able to spend the afternoon kidless and take our time looking at whatever we wanted for as long as we wanted!!  This giant chair was pretty cool.  and I'm holding a bag FULL of candy from all of the booths.  It was better than trick or treating.
After the afternoon downtown- we got our kiddos and headed home.  we opened presents from family - thank you for all of the GIFTCARDS!! from target, amazon, and cash.  I am one HAPPY lady.  I can't wait to use them.

Kent had scheduled ANOTHER babysitter for our kiddos that evening.  It was pretty great.  and he had the entire evening planned out to surprise me. 

First stop- this fancy pants new restaurant downtown called Salar.  It was crazy!! pretty high class, really.  I felt like an imposter!  If you couldn't tell- we really love food.  and Kent and I really like to try new things together- so this place was really fun!  it is Peruvian/mediterranean/french fusian.  Kent had heard about it from several people at work.  
I was stressed about how much things cost- so Kent did his best to hide the prices from me :)

Powdered sugar empanadas as an appetizer.  they were divine.

and red quinoa encrusted chilean sea bass on a bed of leek confit and yellow pepper cream sauce for dinner.
Kent had beef tenderloin with blue cheese risotto and chimchurri sauce.  I was pretty nervous to take my first bite!  but it was delicious.  and really fun to eat so fancily.
we ended up being seated by a table of loud and increasingly drunken russians!  what a fabulous birthday surprise!  I couldn't help but eavesdrop on their conversations all evening!  the russian language is so fun.

After dinner we went to the famous- Dorothy Lane Market-to peruse their desserts.  
It's a good thing this place is out of the way.  everything they have looks like a little piece of heaven.
I settled on their specialty- the Killer Brownies.  I got sea salt.  I need to make sure to return a few more times before we move!!

After picking up dessert we went home and watched 'Dan in Real Life'.  We watch it every year on or near my birthday.  If you haven't seen it- you MUST.  We love it.  and laugh so hard every single time we watch it.  There are very few movies I'll watch over and over. this is one of them.

the day was so pleasant.  Kent really did everything he could to make me perfectly happy - and he was successful.  He's pretty good at making me happy in general.  

Here's to a great 33rd year of life!  ten years ago- I had just come home from 18 months in Russia!  and here I am- ten years later- living the life I always wanted!  a wonderful husband, great kids, and an adventurous life! I have so much to celebrate!!  I can't wait to turn 34 :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

my greenies.

It's been awhile since I've blogged.  Last week was CRAZY!!  
I'm taking over several classes at the gym for a friend who had surgery, kent is busy at work, we are starting some MAJOR dejunking/cleaning, and to top it all off- we had to 'show' the house to potential renters yesterday!  I'm SO SO SO glad we don't own a home and have to worry about selling it/getting it ready!!  
I think we've already filled at least 20 bags/boxes of things to sell/give away.  Trash wise- we've filled almost as many.  This whole frequent military move thing is going to be very beneficial to me considering I may have some hoarder tendencies.  I just can't believe how much stuff we've been able to accumulate in 3 short years.  I can't imagine if I lived in a place long term!  We will never be able to settle down :)   
I just keep getting more and more excited about our move!  Time is FLYING.  How is it already almost my birthday?!  and speaking of my birthday- I honestly have been telling people the past few weeks my WRONG age.  I am more than happy to state that I am NOT turning 34!  I am only going to be 33!!  it was a pleasant surprise when Kent did the math for me to prove it.
This week is going to be ALL ME! we've got TONS planned.  Hopefully it will include some great blog posts.

Hooray for holidays!!  I've been smiling all day as I see people decked out in green on the street, at the store, at the gym!  I love that so many people are willing to do something as silly as all wear green just for fun.  We may even have green mac and cheese for diner tonight.  We are going ALL out :)

Ike does that little eye trick whenever the camera comes out.
Metta's jeans are 3T (for next year) and her shirt is a 12 month dress (from last year).  I'm thrifty like that.  her golden shoes and red pigtails are the perfect touch.

 I asked them to 'scream like a leprechaun'.  this is what I got.

Zeb was a good sport and wore green to school, too.  He is pretty tired at the end of the day and I let him take some time to 'relax' everyday when he gets home!  he's got homework and piano practicing to attack after his break.  
He's doing really well with piano.  He really likes learning- and I think that Piano is no different. I'm amazed that he is picking up on things so quickly.  I'm still hoping he's got Kent's musical abilities :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

the three.

The mornings are still pretty chilly- but in the afternoon- we might as well put on our bathing suits!  50 degrees.  It's a heat wave!   Although the bus stop is going to be especially cold and dark this week with the time change.  Zeb's bus comes at 7:30! eek. 
We are supposed to get some snow on Wednesday and it's dipping into the single digits again.  I'm kind of celebrating a little, still.  As long as it stays so cold- we won't have to start weeding or mowing yet!  

Isn't he cute with his little fur trimmed coat?  he really loves it.  

He also really loves jokes.  He's been on a kick learning new ones lately.  His favorites include:

where do milkshakes come from?
nervous cows.

What's the difference between a teacher and a train?
the teacher says "spit it out" and the train says "choo-choo".

On one of our heat wave afternoons (54)- Ike asked if we could get out the slip n slide.  When I told him no- he responded: "that's not fair!  You never let me do ANYthing fun!".   I'm not sure where he learns all of these cliche kid phrases- but he uses them often.  He actually threatened to run away this week.  He tells me often that he doesn't like me.  Yesterday he also told me that he was going to throw away 'all of my things' so I couldn't have them anymore if I didn't let him play the wii some more.  Zeb doesn't say stuff like this- so I'm still trying to figure out where Ike picked up on it.  Is it just innate in some kids?!
Metta is an ANIMAL.  she makes me smile all day.  Luckily she makes other people smile, too.  She's funny, crazy, and perceptive.   and she's really starting to jabber with multiple word sentences.   I was pretty concerned with her inability to combine words into sentences- but I think she's making some really great progress.

During church today- I got this picture text- with the message:
"you've got quite the charmer on your hands! haha. I love this kid"
It came from one of the nursery workers!

She is a CHAMPION nose blower.  ALL DAY LONG.  If she's got any snot- she'll get it out. and 
she thinks it's pretty funny.  One of her very favorite phrases is "ewwww! Yuck!!"

Here is a much better picture of her. The gap between her teeth is as giant as ever!  we'll have to see if it resolves itself or if she needs it fixed!

   And her hair is getting pretty WILD.  I'm not sure when or if or how to cut it?!?  ideas??  I just put her in piggies every day!  I have no idea when she'll need a real haircut!  She's adorable in the pigtails so for now it works.

I can't believe we are almost half way into march!!  I think starting this friday (the 14th)- I'm going to begin the celebration of my birthday week.  A week of fun all for ME.  I can't wait.  I'll have to post about all of my adventures.  My actual birthday is the 21st.  I LOVE presents.  especially in the form of Target giftcards, treats, socks, and other great food.