Saturday, March 16, 2013

More snow pics

We certainly enjoyed plenty of snowy fun this winter!

Here's our house after one of the snowstorms.

Looking down our driveway and down the street. I love snow-covered trees!

TJ making a snow angel. 

So stinkin' cute and snowy!

Digging out a snow fort.

Chilling in the snow fort we built one Saturday.

Probably our best snowman effort (harder to build than I remember!)

Our neighbor Miss Nancy joined us for sledding a few times. She also loaned us a few sleds!

One warmer day we headed down the street to play on the plowed snow pile in the middle of the cul-de-sac. The boys could play on and around this pile for hours.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Valentine's Day

We had a cupid's workshop in our kitchen through the first half of February. The boys, especially Thomas, made several valentines. I (perhaps unwisely) brought out a few rubber heart stamps and stamp pads, which were a huge hit. So popular, in fact, that Thomas started pressing the stamp pad against his lips and nose. That was the end of the stamp pads!

Enjoying heart-shaped suckers. Did you know that Valentine's Day now rivals Halloween as a candy-giving holiday? TJ exchanged valentines at preschool and 75% of them came attached to candy. I was the boring mom--TJ's were only paper. And also the no-fun mom--about three-quarters of that candy ultimately got thrown out. 

 Rowan, Jojo and TJ enjoying personalized heart cookies. (Made by mom, not me!)

Grown-up Valentine's Day: a delicious dinner and a bottle of wine. Kathy joined us for sausage, spinach and butternut squash-filled cannelloni and chocolate raspberry brownies. Yum!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

February random recap

Self-serve snacking: We had to put a lock on the pantry doors.

Monkey see, monkey do. A common theme around our house these days.

Washing dishes (or just playing in the water...but either way, a good 30 minutes of entertainment!)

The day I did what I swore I never would: I turned a blind eye while Thomas mixed play-doh colors. Note the Santa hat. He sniffed it out after I squirreled it away.

"But Thomas washes his hands by himself..."

A new favorite hiding spot

Brotherly goofing around during lunch one day. When TJ is kind to Josiah, it's easy to see that they are best buds. 

Balloon races in the sunroom--a great game started by our babysitter.

Alice sent Thomas a sweater that Ed's grandma had knitted for Ed as a little boy. It fits Thomas pretty well and he really likes to wear it (we've deemed it "church only" to keep it intact).

We still have boxes to unpack (the number is dwindling, though, thanks to Ed's perseverance!). We finished unpacking all the huge hanging garment boxes a long while back, but saved the boxes with plans to make an awesome box house when winter started getting long. Voila, awesome box house!

It's also known as "another place for TJ to collect and store stuff." This kid is a stasher. A box, a bag, you name it--he fills it with toys, treasures, anything he can get his hands on. He recently discovered scotch tape and now secures any boxes he fills and asks me to send them to various friends/cousins. Currently in the box house is another large-ish box filled with slippers, a trumpet, a saxophone, scrap wood, a few balls, and gold doubloons.

Thomas helps Ed finish installing a curtain rod. Who needs a ladder when Daddy is tall?!

One day we visited Ed at work. Thomas loved seeing all the machines and the robot.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Swenson family Christmas part II

These are all the non-Christmas photos from Christmas with the Swensons.

The boys and I arrived a few days early rather than trek back from Chicago to Kalamazoo for two days. Mom and Dad and I took the boys to a bounce house place. It was awesome! And the best part is that I "got" to go in and help Jojo. I may have had the most fun. :)

We also took the boys to see the Christmas scene set up at the old M&I bank. Thomas is/was in love with his santa hat and wore it constantly. When we returned from Wisconsin, I had to hide it because he still wanted to wear it in January.

We enjoyed some fresh snow in Wisconsin and spent one morning sledding. Here's mom and dad and all three grandsons.

Josiah loved sledding.

TJ got pulled around the yard on the little plastic snowmobile that Jenn and I used to ride as kids. 

We took the boys (and their Santa hats) to visit Grandma Millie.

Grammy and Thomas decorated a gingerbread house.

The boys had so much fun that they fell asleep on the couch. Aunt Jenn Jenn looks pretty comfy!

Later she and James took a nap. Baby naps are the best!

Jojo loves to on the play mat with James. (And yes, it was a Packer game day.)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Swenson family Christmas

Christmas at the Swenson house occurred over the last weekend in December. Working around several schedules, we decided to open presents later afternoon on Saturday, which slightly complicated Santa's visit--how do presents magically appear in the middle of the day? Happily, when you're almost 4 and still take a nap, it's totally plausible that you might wake up from your nap and "catch" Santa leaving presents behind. 

The above photo is not Thomas being scared. It's Thomas feeling so excited that he's squeezing me. He can't believe Santa is here, in Grammy and Buppa's house!

Jojo, on the other hand, is not so sure about this guy. 

James is pretty ambivalent, even when presented with a fire truck.

Once again, I get to be in the photo with Santa. It's too bad Buppa was at the store during Santa's visit.

By now, Jojo is an old pro at stockings!

As of course is TJ.

TJ's first doll: Aaron Rodgers! Aaron took a lot of abuse (from me and Ed) during the Packers' playoff loss. Eventually, he just had to turn away from the tv because the game got so ugly.

Love this photo with the tree in the background!

Because we're gluttons for punishment, we tried one more cute pj photo. No luck. 

The best photo I have of the two boys in their "Christmas best."

Three cousins in Santa hats.

So sweet.

Our Christmas tradition is to do Maggiano's family-style some time over the holidays (never on actual Christmas!). The idea of taking three kids under 4 to a multi-course dinner sounded like a BAD idea. So we recreated our Maggiano's favorites at home. Brilliant!
And much like our traditional all-you-can-eat meal, we had way too much food.

Ridiculously sized garlic bread. Yum.