Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Somehow the holiday celebrations are over...

Our family is so blessed to have lots of family nearby to celebrate the holidays with, so we have had lots of celebrations with both sides of the family. The celebrations started back on Friday, December 17th with Danielle's side of the family. All the kids were soooo excited to have an early start on visiting with family, eating yummy food and opening Christmas gifts.

We took quite a few different family group shots; the kids were getting antsy with all the pictures. :-)

Here's Danielle & Danah with their Grandma Imogene (Dinah's mom).

And here is Danah with her boys and Taggert! LOL We took lots more, and the kids were quite happy when we were finished.

The gift exchange is a lot of fun. We take turns from youngest to oldest, opening gifts and exclaiming over everyone's presents. A few highlights:

Kyle received a new LEGO game, Atlantis. He was so psyched!

Delaney received the new Pictionary Man game. She's played it at a friend's house before and was definitely excited to get her own game.

I received a mug with the saying, "All I want for Christmas is PEACE on EARTH and really cute SHOES." Too funny!

And Kenny received a baking pan to make individual little brownies or whatever, so that each piece has its own nice nice crispy edge. (He's weird that way, the kids and I fight over the soft middle pieces.)

Then we went on to a couple of celebrations with Kenny's side of the family, starting with his mom's side.

Kyle was the designated Santa, announcing all the gifts and who they were from. Since Kyle's not known for his ability to be quiet and hold still, this was a perfect job for him -- keeping him busy throughout the evening. We also gave Dee the camera, and we ended up with quite a few unique shots from the celebration.

Kenny's sister Kim and her husband Ed, obviously having a good time. LOL

Their son Michael, cheesing it up mightily for the camera!

Kenny's Uncle Rich, giving quite the pose for the camera!

And who knows what Kenny was doing here! Then next thing we know, it's almost time for Christmas Day! On Christmas Eve, we let them open a gift each -- so they opened each other's gift. They got each other a DSi game -- do they know each other or what? Delaney got Kyle, "Zorro - Quest for Justice"; and Kyle got Delaney "Super Mario 64".

Kyle got a new MP3 player from Santa (which he was QUITE happy about), and Delaney got a couple of new wii games from Santa including The Beatles Rock Band (new songs for her guitar!). They received many other gifts; they are so lucky to have such nice things. After opening our Santa and immediate family gifts, we had Kenny's dad's side of the family over to our house.

A highlight of the celebration, was Michael receiving a $10 bill in a card and being so excited that he "mock fainted" on the ground in delight. Hilarious!

It always makes me think of a Clint Black song "Slow as Christmas" -- "Every Christmas day makes every other day seem long, And what seemed would never get here has so quickly come and gone." How true is that? It's hard to believe that the Christmas celebrations are now behind us.

We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and wish everyone the best for the new year!

Ken, Dani, Dee & Kyle

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours, wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Ken, Dani, Dee & Kyle

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Christmas Challenge from Kyle (and Ken)...

Kyle was playing a Christmas Game online. He had to decorate a Christmas tree, matching all the patterns on the ornaments. He did all but the last few levels himself (as it was progressively getting harder), and he needed Daddy's help with those -- and the very last one... Kenny did by himself! Here is their finished tree all decorated:

We'd like to send out a Christmas Challenge to everyone to see if YOU can decorate your Christmas tree. Aunt Danah did it, but her comment wasn't all that complimentary to the game and something about her contacts drying out while she was doing it. Up for it? :-)

Try it! And let us know what you think...

Ken & Kyle

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Yep! Somehow it is December, and our house is all decked out for the holidays. Can it really be the last month of 2010 already? While I dread the mess that is made when all the holiday stuff is pulled out of the garage, I must admit, once all the decorating is finished -- I do love how festive the house feels and our Christmas tree is simply beautiful.

Both kids are old enough now to be really helpful when decorating (no more surreptitiously moving ornaments so that there isn't a big glob of ornaments in one spot that Kyle could reach), and it was a lot of fun trimming the tree together.

We actually have FOUR Christmas trees! Delaney and Kyle each have a miniature one in their room, and we also have a soccer Christmas tree. I'm sure this isn't all that shocking to most of you, and yep -- it is in the soccer room. :-)

The soccer ornaments were taking over the family Christmas tree, so they had to get their very own tree. :-) It's a white Charlie Brown-ish fiber optic tree. It looks really pretty in person, but I'm having a hard time getting a nice photograph of it.

I'm trying to enjoy the holiday season and not get too pulled into all the holiday stress (and calories!).


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Final Soccer Tournament of the Year!

Hard to believe, but it was finally time for the last soccer tournament of the year! Delaney's team Three Lions went to Indianapolis for the Fusion Fall Festival. We weren't sure we were going to make it. Delaney had been out sick all week from school -- fighting a not-so-lovely virus with a high fever, headache, sore throat and breathing issues with absolutely no appetite. Basically, she was pretty miserable all week. After two visits to the doctor, including bloodwork drawn and a chest x-ray, she finally started to get her appetite back Thursday and her fever broke that evening. Whew! The doctor had said if she was fever free all day Friday and felt up to it -- she could still go to her soccer tournament. We waited until Saturday morning for the final decision, and she insisted she was ready to go -- so off to Indianapolis we went.

They had two games scheduled for Saturday. Their first game Saturday was a decisive win. I think it ended up being 6-1, and Delaney got two goals. She played really hard, and it was hard to believe that she was as sick as she was just a bit ago. We had all dressed in layers for really cold weather and with the sun out -- it actually ended up being pretty nice out!

Their second game was a shut-out with a 0-0 score. Both teams had several shots on goal, but neither could get the ball in the net!

Then we were off to the hotel to relax, let Delaney hang out with her team, and Kyle wanted to go swimming! Our next game was EARLY Sunday, at 6:45 am our time. We had to be AT the field at 6:00 our time. UGH! It was horrid in so many ways. :-) Not the least was the FROST on the ground at the field, check this out:

Is that just wrong or what? It was FRIGID! I literally couldn't feel my toes by the end of the game. The freezing weather didn't hurt their play, as they won this game 5-0 -- and Delaney got another goal.

Now they were in the final game, playing the team that they tied 0-0 for the championship. Thankfully it was later in the day when the sun melted the frost away and warmed things up a bit. Not sure what happened with this game, but they just got out played. It certainly wasn't their best play of the season, and they lost this game 1-5.

Their team ended up finishing second. In fact, all the Three Lions teams finished second. :-) Great job, everyone!

I think Delaney's energy just completely gave out later in the evening. Obviously, being sick all week and then playing four soccer games in two days probably wasn't the BEST thing to do -- but she would have been miserable to miss the tournament. She went to bed early and is taking it easy this week to ensure she doesn't relapse.

What a great fall season Delaney's team had. They finished first in their league and second in every tournament they entered. Can't wait to see their next season! Delaney also tied with Michelle for the most goals in the season -- way to go, girls! Winter training next...

Ken & Dani

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Fun!

I'd like to introduce you to our kiddos some visitors we had this Halloween. First, we had Kyle in his costume were honored meet the infamous Zorro! What a handsome, suave guy he was too -- love this guy!

He would hardly hold still for pictures, he was so excited to pose really knew his swordsmanship too -- amazing!

We also had Delaney in her costume a pirate stop by, and she was definitely strong-willed. She didn't need anyone to help her out -- she could handle it all herself! She kept her annoying brother away with her own pirate sword held off Zorro with her own amazing sword skills!!!

Once she proved herself, the two decided to join forces and scour the neighborhood for candy treasure! Watch out neighborhood, here we come!

They proved to be an unstoppable force. The candy they collected will last them forever treasure they found seemed never-ending!

They had to have their dad chaperone found one more cohort to lead their quest for treasure -- an escaped convict no less! His skills at keeping an eye on them at thievery were second-to-none.

Success! Can't wait until next year!!!


Monday, October 25, 2010

School Programs and, of course, Soccer!

As always, between school and soccer it seems like something is always going on! :-) Kyle just had his school program, "It's a Great Bug's Life." It was absolutely adorable. They sang songs like You're Nobuggy til Somebuggy Loves You, Dancing Queen, Together We Make Beautiful Music, etc. The kids' costumes were adorable. There were spiders, walking sticks, beetles, bumble bees, lightning bugs, stink bugs, worms, grasshoppers, butterflies and more.

Kyle was part of a centipede! He's the third one from the left - how cute is that?!?

He even had a small speaking part, so he got to go up and use the microphone too.

Everyone did a wonderful job, and while Kyle enjoyed it very much -- he wasn't upset to be done with practicing and go back to the regular school routine.

He had a great soccer season with his in-house Crown Point team this year, The Dome. While he likes trying for goals, like the one he snuck in here:

He seems to enjoy playing defense the best and even likes being goalie!

Unfortunately, he did catch a little something and got sick for a couple days and had to miss his last soccer game of the season. Bummer! But he's looking forward to winter training and starting his very first travel team in the Spring.

Delaney's soccer is still going strong. Her Three Lions team is doing really well so far, they just played their league tournament this past weekend. Their team placed 1st in the league, and 2nd in the tournament. Great job, ladies!

No soccer games on Halloween weekend, but they still have one more tournament to go for the season.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Bookmark signing at Borders!

This past Saturday, Delaney had a bookmark signing at Borders. She had a table outside of the children's department, complete with a sign showcasing her winning bookmark. The store would periodically announce her name and that she won the national bookmark contest and was there to sign the bookmarks. Delaney had also created a list of her "Top Picks" for reading, that was on display and handed out as well. How neat is that?

Both sets of grandparents were there, as well as many other family members to celebrate with her. Her cousins, Michael and Teresa, were one of the first to receive an autographed bookmark. :-)

Delaney was a little uncomfortable with all the attention, especially when people she didn't know stopped by. So she asked her Dad to sit with her until the signing was over, which while she loved the honor -- I think she was relieved when it was over.

Thanks to Borders for selecting her bookmark design initially allowing her the chance to win first place at the Library of Congress's Official Bookmark contest as well as for honoring her at the store and just making the overall experience a wonderful one!