Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Marathon

This morning like lots of people I have a heavy heart. I'm thankful that none my family was injured in yesterday's bombings or saw or heard anything first hand, but I'm shaken with how close my family was to the event and how hurt so many people must be.

My sister Nicole made it 25 miles or so before she was stopped (my brother-in-law, folks and nephews were enroute to pick her up at the finish line). We went to see her run by (and a get a hug) at the 3 mile mark. We are extremely proud of her; completely impressed that she made the paper this weekend, too!

Here are some pictures:

Believe or not we all got haircuts on Saturday. Meg got one earlier at a salon and the kids and me went to walk-in place. Hazel and Henry did superb!

Hazel right after her haircut.

Hazel, Henry and Liam waiting for Nicole to run by (we took the picture during one of their calmer moments).

Henry's picture of Nicole running that he made for our sign. Hazel's drawing isn't easy to discern, but she did tell us this morning that she was going to draw "Uncle Brian" (she confuses Uncle Greg with Uncle Brian) and Cody.

Henry drew this last weekend at a Chinese restaurant. It is quite accurate to the event. Hazel was seated across from him in a striped shirt, at a brown wooden table with a maroon table cloth.

Henry's drawing he made for school vacation homework. Left to right it depicts our black cupboard, the butterfly cage, Henry holding the plate of butterfly food and his blue bird.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Here are some good pictures from the nice warm weekend we had last Saturday/Sunday.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Last night Meg and I had a very proud moment. Henry built his first Lego set! He got a new set from Aunt Jess and Uncle Tim for his birthday. I expected to build it quickly for him after supper, but he couldn't wait so he started building it himself. He did about 95% of it all by himself. Previous to this he had helped me find pieces and put a few together, but this was a new level all-together. I'm really impressed with how much patience he showed and how well he followed the directions. "I built the whole thing myself! Just like Evan!"

This past weekend the Henry and I went to our church's Palm Saturday activity. I volunteered like last year and led a group of eight kids with another parent. My personal favorite part is the big, candy covered, frosted cookie they let me make, but I was thrilled to watch Henry participate in everything, including some costumed picture taking and a foot washing. Hazel was too young again this year and spent the whole day with Nana and Grandpa (Henry came over for the afternoon).

On Sunday we went out West to visit with our newest family member, Cecily. Meg got lots of good cuddle time with her and kids did very well with it all, especially Henry. After some initial hesitation he was very interested in her hair, little fingers and giving her his present. Hazel didn't know what to make of it all for the most part, but when she got home played out the visit with her babies. "We're going to see the new cousin, baby."

Here are some pictures:

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Yesterday morning we got exciting news! Meg's sister gave birth to our first niece and the kid's third cousin! She was born at 3:30AM, is named Cecily and came in at 8 lbs. I took the day off yesterday so Meg could go see her. We had a lot of fun at home, but we wish we could have joined Meg. Perhaps this weekend we'll all go out to see her. Our biggest congratulations go out to Jess and Tim!

In other news ...

Last weekend we went on a mini-vacation to NH/VT. We left on Friday morning and drove up to Manchester. In Manchester we went to the SEE Science Center, or has Henry calls it (from web viewing) "The Lego Museum." It was free because of our Ecotarium membership. Immediately Henry and I sought out their ridiculously large Lego Millyard model. It was actually a bit much to take in all at once. He and I went around it many times and got great ideas for our own creations. We also spent some good time with Meg and Hazel checking out the science exhibits. Afterwards we went to Friendly's and had a free meal of sorts. A delivery truck knocked down their internet connection and they could only take a gift card we had with $2 on it.

We then drove up to the Hanover/Lebanon to check-in to our hotel. As usual we stayed at a Marriot Residence Inn. It looked so similar to our previous two hotel rooms that Henry swore we'd been there before and immediately claimed the same room (the bigger one). Hazel asked us, "Where's my room?" I'm not sure how long she'll be satisfied with staying in the living room of the suites we stay at. At the hotel we relaxed and then went to the pool. The kids weren't as brave in the pool as before, but all did have fun. That night we went to Jesse's, a restaurant I actually remember from when I lived there thirty something years ago. We also saw my two old houses there.

The next morning we enjoyed a hotel breakfast. Henry and Hazel favorite part of the meal was definitely the Fruit Loops without milk they consumed. After packing we went to the Montshire museum in VT (My mother told me I had been there before, but I don't remember it.). The museum was great. It wasn't free like I thought it'd be, but we definitely enjoyed it for the price. We'll be back sometime in the summer when we can explore its outside stuff. Henry and Hazel's favorite part of the museum was a bridge that "went across the road!" and our making of parachutes that we could drop from the second floor. We then ate lunch (or supper as Hazy calls every meal) at a local cafe and drove home.

Here are some pictures I haven't posted before:

The first fort I made for the kids two weeks ago.

The second fort I made for the kids. This is the one they moved to.

The massive Lego Millyard.

Henry looking at the Lego model.

Henry sitting on what was probably all of our favorite science exhibit. A set of two chairs that could be raised by pulleys.

Hazy pulling the ropes.

Hazel playing the harp.

Hazy using her portable potty in van. This came in handy quite a few times!

Hazel in a mirror maze at the Montshire.

Henry and Hazel on the bridge.

Dropping off parachutes for me to catch.

Monday, March 11, 2013

This weekend was a bit longer than we thought it'd be. On Friday we got 22 inches of snow in our town and Meg was very sick. Unfortunately she was down for the count for about a day and half. I am now even more impressed with workload Meg has everyday. It's tiring! So while it snowed outside I made a super for for the kids. It was more like yurt as it was constructed of an upside-down papa-son frame with tons of blankets and pillows on top and a light mounted inside. It occupied the kids for a good 1ݪ hours! They were playing very nicely together during that time. Meg and I think it might be a record. At the end they decided to move, "We're not taking the dog with us Hazel. We're selling it!" (Ah, not sure where Henry got that idea or his interest in moving.). I moved the fort from the living room to the playroom and created a second floor for it. If your going to move you might as well do so for a bigger house! I took pictures of both forts, but the camera destroyed them somehow. It took 2 hours or so to snow blow the snow. My Dad's gifting me his old snow blower saved me another couple of hours. Definitely the best gift of the year, hands down.

On Saturday I took the kids clothes shopping. Henry willfully got new pajamas (and then wore them two nights in a row) and Hazel got a new blue shirt ($2.80!). After Hazel's early nap we went to the Ecotarium.

The next day we went to Nana and Grandpa's after church. Henry and I spent the afternoon as we had the previous two days ... playing with Legos. My mind is totally Lego obsessed right now. Henry's got me lined up to make a bank next to go with the armored car I made and I'm starting to think of all the cool things we could make with the pieces we have.

Here are some pictures ...

Last weekend we celebrated Henry's 5th birthday. We can't believe our baby is this old. 5 years seemed like such an old age when Henry was born. Check out this awesome cake Meg made and Henry designed. I love the cousin Liam's consoling hand in this picture.

Some gift opening.

Checking out the ferrets at the Ecotarium. I tried hard to take some good pictures there. I took lots of them. It really is tough to take pictures and enjoy your time with the kids. Especially when there's only one parent present.

This is my Lego postal truck. Henry's been learning all about the mail system at school so he asked me to make this when I asked for suggestions. He's been big on the eagle on the side of the truck so I made a Lego version of it on the side.

The outside of my post office (notice the eagle!).

My post office inside. Henry came up with the idea to tile the floor and add heating vents. In the corner there is an ATM/stamp machine, there's a counter with cash register and in the other corner there is some shelves for sorting.

My DHL delivery truck. Later I added wipers (Henry saw this in a Lego book and wanted to add them.) and side view mirrors because Henry discovered the driver didn't fit so I had to raise the roof.

My armored car. Henry wanted it green. "Lots of bank things are green Dad." We don't have too many green bricks so I mixed it with black and white (like TD Bank, I guess). I also made it so the roof lifted up because it is difficult to put the driver in my other two trucks.

Friday, March 1, 2013

At home we've all had some good bursts of creativity. I've got no pictures of what Hazel's been up to, but she is one heck of a colorer now. Here are some pictures ...

Meg made this bag out of a sweater she had inadvertently shrunk in the dryer. If I remember right she didn't even have a pattern! I think it took her just one afternoon.

While playing with Legos with Henry one afternoon. I built this robot bus. My inspiration was a book we got from the library that included all sorts of Lego robots and the vehicles they use to get around. It took a long time, but it was fun to do. Last weekend Henry and I made Lego buildings scaled for his Matchbox cars. He and I had great fun making stained glass windows for our church model. "It's not St. Francis, Dad! This is a different town."

Henry drew this at school. The three drawings on the lower part of this are our fish.

Here's another something Henry made at school. It is our house, complete with stair case.

Henry drew this one day with great care. He made several test drawings before this one. He told us it's a man that is surprised that he has a porcupine in his box. Meg and I think this is his best yet.

This week has been mail week at Henry's school. He wrote two letters for us and we wrote two for him. This was the first one he wrote. The picture is of him and Hazel. He also wrote one to me that said, "I love you." and had a picture of me on it.

Lastly, I finally finished several miniatures. Above are my first pictures of them. I'm thinking of making a second blog to cover this new hobby pursuit of mine.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Here's some pictures from the last few days.

On Thursday I took the afternoon off to join Meg and Hazel in visiting Henry's school for his first play. Henry played a mole. It was great to see his classroom and classmates again.

Hazel is definitely ready for this school stuff. She was right at home.

We were sent home early on Friday because the coming big snowstorm. I had one enjoyable lunch, fiddling with my miniatures and watching the kids play very nicely together. They assembled these two storage containers as boats, each with a steering wheel, seat, motor and storage area. They had fun deciding what food to take and deciding where they were going to have their pretend picnic. I could have watched them play like this for hours. Henry went shirtless for most of the day; I'm not sure why.

Inspired by the snow outside on Saturday Henry built this snow scene.

I saw one report that said we had 27 inches of snow and another that said 30 inches in our town, but I measured something like 26 inches. It was tough to measure this one accurately because the drifts were insane.

At some point the kids came out to "help" me shovel the driveway.

Henry and I built this Lego model of our house on Sunday afternoon. We are both very proud of it!