Saturday, March 31, 2012


Kyle's third grade teachers had a fun contest for them: a Peep contest! "Can you change your Peep into a Character? Person? Animal?" They were each given one yellow peep, and here were there rules:

-One Peep per student
-Dress-up your Peep
-Your entry must be the yellow Peep given to you by your teacher
-Add embellishments to your Peep
-Do not subtract (cut away) from your Peep
-Use cloth, paper, or any material which will turn your Peep into an animal, person, character or thing
-You may wish to put your Peep into a setting, such as a shoe box, and add your own homemade accessories

Kyle knew exactly what he wanted to do; he wanted to do a dracula Peep - hence, Peepula was born!

Scary cute, huh? He liked these fangs we found the best (he didn't like the bloody ones we found), and they turned his innocent little Peep into a nasty little vampire. After adding his cape, Kyle was thrilled with his creepy little Peep.

Then he wanted to make a setting for his Peepula. We found a neat little template for a coffin on Martha Stewart's site, and he selected a gloomy looking castle scene for the background. He helped measure the shoe box, so we could print the backgrounds the correct size. And then he crinkled up a dark green cardstock for the ground, and inserted some crumpled up paper toweling to make it a little hilly. Then he wanted to add some tombstones. We didn't want them too scary, so we found a fun "Scary Name Generator" online and used that. He got names like Wooly Whipface Weasel and Trigger Happy Bunny. He loved them! :-) He did a great job on his Peep!!!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kyle is nine years old!

As hard as it is to believe that we have a daughter who is now officially a teenager, it seems even harder to have your "baby" turn nine years old! His birthday was March 26th, and we were able to have a family birthday celebration on the 25th for him. Both sets of grandparents, two great-grandmothers, aunts, uncles and several cousins were there to celebrate his birthday -- what a lucky kid!

After much deliberation, he finally decided on the theme Angry Birds for his party. We had a lot of fun going with that theme, Kenny found some great decorations, and Aunt Danah made a wonderful cake too. (She initially thought an Angry Birds cake sounded like fun, not sure how she felt about it afterwards though.)

We made a couple of appetizers we found on Pinterest, one with an Angry Birds theme. We made these, but instead of making large bagel sandwiches -- we used summer sausage and ritz crackers. Are these cute or WHAT? They were really good too!

The other new one we made was an Apple Caramel Dip. It was scrumptious, so yummy! A definite keeper, and we've been asked to make it again for Easter dinner. We also tried another Pinterest find on keeping our apples from turning brown by soaking them in ginger ale; it worked great!

Kyle's sister and a couple of his cousins even joined in the Angry Birds fun by wearing Angry Birds t-shirts. Of course, we HAD to get a picture -- Angry Birds Cousins Unite:

Kyle received a plethora of gifts from his family; he's a very lucky little boy. He received a watch (which he sooooo wanted), video games (which he always wants), angry bird shirts and pjs, lots of school clothes (which he needs), and much more. A favorite gift of the evening was this t-shirt, which was part of Delaney's gift to Kyle:

If you can't read it it says, "I Have No Life: My Sister Plays Soccer." So true, so true!!! :-)

Then it was time for singing Happy Birthday, cake and ice cream! All the cousins gathered around Kyle for the obligatory picture:

Then we all sang Happy Birthday to Kyle!!!

He is a very lucky little boy to be surrounded by such wonderful family and friends! And we are officially done with birthdays for the year in our immediate family -- whew!

Ken, Dani, Dee & Kyle

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ta-dah!!! No Braces!

We have a very happy 13 year old at our house right now. Today was her first day without braces! YIPPEE! It's hard to believe that it has been almost two years since she first got them on. I'm not sure that Delaney would agree, but it seemed like those two years just flew by to me.

If you'd like to go back in time and see a picture the day she GOT her braces, click here.

Here's the ending of her long road to a much better smile.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Hectic, hectic, hectic!!!

I know, I know -- our schedule being hectic IS the norm, but it certainly doesn't make things any easier. It's been a really long time since the last post, and somehow the entire month of February got skipped. Oops! So I have lots to share this time around.

First, if you remember that Delaney donated her hair to Locks of Love when she decided to get her hair chopped? Well, she received a really nice Certificate of Appreciation from them for her hair donation. Pretty neat.

Then I'm so happy to report, Kenny had his birthday on February 1st. His 40th birthday to be exact... finally! I am thrilled that we are now both in the same decade. His co-workers nicely decorated up his office and gave him this wonderful t-shirt:

Then he got to go celebrate the next day, so I don't think that hitting forty upset him too much.

Then it was time for Kyle's first official science fair project. Starting in third grade, they get to start the oh-so-fun science projects. He wasn't sure what he wanted to do, so after looking around online, he decided to try "Does Watering Flowers in Different Colored Water Affect Their Appearance?" He started off with white roses and carnations, added lots of different food coloring colors to the water and then took their picture each and every day keeping track of the changes. After about a week, they started to die off, so it was time to compile all his results. Each day the flowers got more and more color from the colored water. He wanted to have some fresh flowers at the Science Fair, so he had to color another set of flowers. This time he added even more food coloring, and the flowers ended up really beautiful with the different colors. He received an awesome grade on his project -- great job, Kyle! Now if you would just have smiled for the picture, it would have been a perfect ending.

And wow, our kids are reading like crazy this year. Kyle was informed by his school librarian that he has officially beaten the school AR point record this year -- in third grade! His main goal was to beat his sister, who had made the record a few years ago while she was still in elementary, but beating the entire record was definitely exciting as well. He's still not done! As he has quite a few more school days to keep pushing up his points -- he's well over 850 points so far. Keep up the great work, Kyle! Not to be left out, after taking a break last year from AR tests and just getting her minimum needed, Delaney decided to try to rack up her AR points again too. She reads all the time anyway, might as well get credit for all those books. She just got over 1,000 AR points, and she's not done either. It will be interesting to see how many they can both finish up with. Kyle's trying to catch up to Dee now, and Dee is trying her hardest NOT to let that happen. :-)

Then it was time for my birthday. I only get to be the same age as Kenny for a short few weeks. Kenny and the kids sang me the obligatory "Happy Birthday" song but with an unusual twist. Kyle was singing in an operatic voice for some reason the entire time. I guess you had to be there, but it was pretty darn funny.

And since Kenny will just come back and put a photo of me in here anyway, here is my birthday picture (birthdays were way more fun when you were a kid):

I think we're finally caught up with February, so let's get to the current month. Delaney decided to enter the St. Patrick's Day Parade Logo Contest here in Crown Point. She received a call from the office asking her to please attend the next City Council meeting as she was a finalist! At the meeting, she found out she won 3rd Place! I guess there were over a 100 entries, so it's pretty neat to place third. The 1st - 4th place winners have their design on a banner that will be displayed at the parade. She also received VIP passes for the celebration, which is pretty exciting! We didn't realize it when she entered the contest, but she has her first soccer tournament that weekend... which means we weren't originally planning on attending. But now, we're going to make it work, so she can enjoy placing in the contest.

Check out this online article!

And this week, my two week notice was up for my Skills Tutor position at Solon (the elementary where Kyle attends). I have really been struggling with my energy level and keeping up with everything, and I just am constantly exhausted. I hope that this can help out with our schedule and help with my fatigue and stress (at least somewhat, right?).

Last but not least, the LAM Raffle is back! Once again we are helping the LAM Foundation sell tickets to raise money to fund research and find treatments and even a cure for LAM! This is our third year involved with the LAM raffle, and our goal is to beat our amount raised each and every year. We can only do that with the continued support of our family and friends -- WE CAN'T THANK YOU ENOUGH! Check out the link below for all the information and help support the LAM Foundation:

Fundraiser for the LAM Foundation

Ken, Dani, Dee & Kyle