Sunday, January 30, 2011

brave boys

Last weekend we went to a kid's science expo here in town. They had lots of fun hands-on science exhibits, and overall we had a good time. ( We did not like waiting in long lines only to be disappointed by an exhibit.) My favorite part was the dragon's breath. They had taken little pieces of graham cracker and froze them with liquid nitrogen. So, when you put them in your mouth and chewed them up, it looked like you had smoke coming out of your mouth and nostrils. Super cool! We did it over and over.
Then we saw this booth where they had lots of people holding/wearing snakes. I thought the boys were brave for getting this close to this huge snake, plus you can see that one of them is touching it. Yuck!
Then they both decided they wanted to hold a snake. What?!! Are you kidding?! Nope. They weren't. See:
Check out the clear box behind Ky's head--full of snakes. I seriously have nightmares about snakes crawling all over each other like that.
The mama bear in me wanted to protect my children from these horrible monsters, but I tried to be brave for them.
Yuck! Is it on me? I feel like it's on me!

Monday, January 24, 2011

"i can't eat noodles"

My son Kade has refused to eat any noodles for years. Remember this incident? In fact he dislikes noodles so intensely that if we tease him about trying something with noodles, he will get real upset.
So the other night at dinner, Ky and I were discussing what we should have on the menu for the next week. He suggested spaghetti, I suggested manicotti. Kade said, "Pick something that I can eat. I can't eat noodles." The next thing out of his mouth was, "Can I have some more rice-a-roni, because I love it so much!"
Please don't tell Kade what the "a-roni" part of rice-a-roni is. It would crush him.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

good riddance (or good-bye) 2010, bring on 2011

Good riddance good-bye 2010, bring on 2011! Okay, so to put it mildly, 2010 was not my favorite year ever. In fact, it just may have been my least favorite year. But it's over now and I am determined to make 2011 better than 2010 (shouldn't be too hard).
That's not to say that 2010 was all bad. I am very aware of the many blessing I have, most importantly my husband and the two most amazing children a mother could ask for. We have a nice house, Bart has a good job, we have families that love us, we have great friends all over the country, (somehow) our cars keep running, we got to go on several little vacations this year, including two to Utah to visit my family. I gained a new sister-in-law and a new niece in 2010. I was able to watch my kids learn and grow, to start school and make lots of good memories together as a family. I could go on, because I truly do have a lot to be grateful for.

So, how to make 2011 better?

First, my attitude. I need to focus more on the things in my life that are going right, and less on the things that are going wrong not so right.

Second, make smaller monthly resolutions instead of huge yearly ones that I know I won't think about after mid-February. My goal for January has been to get caught up on some of the projects I have been putting off, and getting my house more organized. In February, I'm going to work on 72 hour kits and food storage. March will probably be painting more of the house, but we'll see.

Two other things that will surely help this change are:

1- Our zodiac signs changed. (Did you hear about that?) Not sure what that means for how 2011 plays out, but it must be a good thing right?

2- Bart is starting a new job today. (Not that his old job was any of the problem with last year. In fact he has loved his previous job, he just couldn't pass up this new opportunity. But change is change right? And that is what we are looking for here.) He is now going to be working in a family practice clinic where 85% of their patients are Spanish-speaking. He's excited to use his Spanish at work and to serve the Spanish-speaking community here in town. I'm excited for him, and I love hearing him speak Spanish, but since I know almost zero Spanish, sometimes I get nervous when he is speaking it to someone and I start thinking they are saying bad things about me. But I do know a few Spanish words and phrases, so if, while he's talking to someone and it feels like the conversation is headed that way, I can ask where the bus to Cancun is, or tell them to give me a kiss, or tell them that I can cook in a kitchen with a fork. I can also tell them pants, water, juice, and milk if necessary.

So, there are a couple of changes that have happened since the beginning of this year that will hopefully push 2011 in the right direction. And since I am determined to have a better year this year, it's bound to happen.

I'm going to leave you with some pictures from 2010 that make me smile--see there were a lot of things to love in 2010!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

lego party!

On Saturday, Kade and Ky had a few friends over for a Lego birthday party. It turned out so cute and everyone had such a good time. I love planning parties, including birthday parties for my little ones, but I think I have already spoiled them. As soon as we cleaned up this party, they started making plans for their 6th birthday. I can't even think about them turning 6--they are growing up way too fast!
These are the party favors that all their friends got to take home
We decorated with paper Legos. They were so easy and so cute.

These marshmallow Lego heads were so fun. I got the idea from here. They were a big hit.

It's a good thing I was entertaining 5 year-olds because the cake turned out kinda wonky. Except for the Lego guys on it, of course.
Can you believe that these Lego guys are made out of white chocolate? My mom had made some and when we were in Utah, she gave one to each of the boys, then my new sister-in-law, Katherine took one and bit it in half. The boys were shocked--it was pretty cute. Anyway, I decided right there that I could plan a whole birthday party around these chocolate Lego guys, and my mom was nice enough to make a bunch and mail them to us. Thanks mom!

We played pin the bump on the Lego,
this hunt for the matching Lego piece game,
and this Lego toss game. We also played duck, duck, goose because it's easy and we had time to kill.
I love Kade's expression in this pic. Remember we practiced our present opening reactions before Christmas, and he really was excited about all the presents he got. So was Ky.

We used trick candles for the second year in a row because last year I felt like they didn't really get it. They reacted the same way this year. Just a lot of blowing, but no laughing or even acting like they were frustrated. Just blowing.
It was such a fun party, I had so much fun planning it, and I'm so happy it's over!
P.S. Lego is a proper noun. My spell check did not like how many times I wrote it with a lower-case l.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

christmas card 2010

If we missed you on our Christmas card list, sorry. But here is what we sent out this year:

Millers 2010

Here is a quick summary of the happenings in our family from this year.
• Family trips included fun visits to:
Minneapolis - Mall of American and family fun
Utah - a great family vacation combined with a conference for Bart
Chicago - the museums, Navy Pier, Giordano's, shopping, and riding the train
Madison - several trips to visit cousin Cooper and also a Badger football game
Utah again - this time for Uncle Jonathan's wedding and Thanksgiving
• Kade and Ky - Started 4 year old kindergarten which is 3 hours a day, 4 days a week. They are enjoying making new friends and being a part of an classroom environment. They are both now reading and continue to learn and grow each day.
• Bart continues to enjoy being a Physician Assistant and is preparing for a job change in January. He has been asked to be the sole provider for Clinica Hispana which is a primary care office here in town where 85% of the patients are Spanish speaking.
• Ashli continues to explore photography and actually had several paying clients this year. She hosted several parties at our house this year, her favorite included her girlfriends and a certain vampire movie.
Our Heavenly Father continues to bless our family with health and happiness. We hope that 2011 will be a great year for you and yours. Come visit us (although we suggest waiting until things thaw out here in northeast Wisconsin!).
Merry Christmas and love from,
Bart, Ashli, Ky and Kade

kade & ky's birthday

We celebrated the boys' 5th birthday at Chuck E. Cheese. It's so fun to watch these boys bounce around that place playing games and things. It was just the four of us, and we didn't pay for any of the birthday stuff, and it was just perfect!

My favorite thing to watch the boys do was play on this smaller air hockey table. They were so cute and did really well.

Then we came home and grandma and grandpa come over for cake and ice cream. Actually, it wasn't cake since I'm making their birthday cake this weekend for their birthday party with their friends. Instead we had chocolate waffles with ice cream.

Then they opened their presents. We had talked before Christmas about acting excited about every present, even if you don't really like it, and so their reactions were so cute. They were so enthusiastic, even after opening these shirts, that I couldn't tell if they really liked them or if they were just acting like we had talked about.
(Please ignore the huge holes in the bottom of Kade's socks. I swear it's like they have disposable socks. I throw away 4-5 socks each week.)
It was such a fun day, and I loved celebrating my sweet boys' 5th birthday. Now they are "patiently" waiting until Saturday for their friend birthday party! I'll post pics from that later.

christmas 2010!

Christmas of course started the evening before with new jammies, reading of Luke 2, watching Mr. Kruger's Christmas, reindeer food, and leaving cookies and milk for Santa.
Once again, I didn't take enough pictures on Christmas day, so I'll just have to write about what happened. Santa brought Kade and Ky the one thing they wanted most this year: Star Wars Legos! We didn't have time to put them together on Christmas, but within the next few days, and several hours of Lego constructing later, we had two awesome Star Wars Vehicles.
After we opened presents, we had yummy orange chocolate chip muffins, and played with our new toys a bit. After lunch we headed down to Bart's parents house, where we opened more presents, ate a delicious turkey dinner (and ended it with the most amazing chocolate chocolate chocolate cheesecake-yum!!), and played games. But the most exciting part was meeting my brand-new (10 day-old) niece, Lynndon. I've been busy editing photos from the newborn session we did the next day, and I can't wait to post some of them for you to see how yummy she is! We spent the night at Bart's parents house so we could spend the next day together too. It was such a great holiday!