Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More laughter...

...to add to your day. I will preface it now by stating that I am very aware that getting to be annoyed by my healthy children is a gift of it's own.

I am sitting at the computer (my new best friend) with my glass of freshly poured bottled water. (The water in Fargo/Moorhead is gross right now. It stinks and tastes bad.)
Kate dips her hand in my water and starts wiping something.
Me: "Did you just put your dirty hand in my drinking water?" I start drinking it as I am thirsty
Kate: "Well I had some ear wax on my hand I had to get off."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

More to add

Here is what happened in a 15 minute span about an hour ago:
--began browning meat to make sloppy joes
--notice Brady getting wiggly in his Bumbo (Olivia and I just fed him) so I pick him up.
--feel that his pants are wet
--remove pants and smell poop
--walk upstairs and suddenly feel poop smearing all over my hand
--neglect meat and strip him down
--spend some time getting all this smeary poop off of him
--start a tub and ask Kate to sit with him in the tub while I finish the now burning meat
--walk to start the tub and hear glass shattering and Olivia say, "Mama come here."
--get Brady in the tub, go down to see Olivia dropped a large glass candle on the floor. She is walking around it.
--calmly get her away from glass, sweep it up, and put it in garbage.
--turn to flip over the charred meat to hear Kate say, "It's borning watching Brady in the tub." Uh...sorry chicka, get back there!
--Finish meat, make the bbqs, go up to Brady, clean him up, get supper ready, and eat.
--Breathe a sigh of relief that Ryan is at a birthday party (he can be a pill), I can sit, and we can watch HSM 3.
--Oh wait: realize I have 100 loads of laundry to do and put away, switch my bedding, clean the kitchen, and play with Brady when he wakes up.

Olivia and Brady are my current form of glue. Brady is getting the hang of sitting up!

Ryan returning home from a day playing "flooded yard hockey" with a bunch of boys from hockey.

Olivia helped me feed Brady...you can see he is wearing a lot of it

Kate has been fighting a sore throat and fever for a few days. The strep test was negative, but she had a 103 fever at the clinic. Poor girl.
Then, I was once again put in my place by reading MckMama's blog. Her baby is having a tough day. I can't imagine to begin to grasp the amount of pain, frustration, fear, anger, and desperation she must being dealing with--all while trying to stay strong for her baby. If you are so inclined, please offer support on her blog.

A non flood related post

Our family is safe. We are not at risk for flooding. We are as far away from the river as you could be living in Moorhead.
That said, we are dealing with our own issues at casa de Stafford.

1. The kids are bored. You can only be inside for so long. It's not been warm enough to play outside so they are getting stir crazy. Everything is closed. Even the library which would be a perfectly decent place to take the kids is, you guessed it, closed.
2. Kate is sick. I finally brought her in today for a strep test. It came back negative, but she feels very miserable and has a high fever. Poor kid.
3. Brady is no longer a good sleeper at night. I am ready to scream. He wakes up at least twice a night these days, and the only thing that will appease him is moi. As in my milk. As in only this one person and this one body can make it better. He gets very upset when I put him back to bed. It's taking more and more trips to his room at night to get him to sleep.
He is becoming more averse to his crib. I am not sure what to do at this point. All I know is that I am tired.
4. We miss Thad. He is working many hours these days. In typical child fashion, they are taking everything out on me. I am the bad parent, I am the mean mom, and I am the bad guy. I love how they blame everything on the present parent. Sheesh.
5. We have no school all week. I was prepared to hop a flight to AZ to be with my friend's family, but ultimately I didn't feel confident that I could do it alone with two hands, four kids, and one who relies solely on me for everything.

So here we are, grateful for good health (mostly), a safe home (that is becoming a disaster), and close-by loved ones (except for daddy), and the ability to complain about things in life that really don't matter. Thanks for letting me vent!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm officially scared

Thad came home tonight looking rather grim. My husband is not one of those types of people by nature. He told me that we (I) need to have an evacuation plan. If the river rises as much as they say it will, we could likely lose power. That puts us in a situation where we just can't stay here. As in we would have to leave Moorhead.
We do not have a lake home to go to.
We do not have family near by.
We do not really have anyone that has room for the five of us. (Of course Thad can't leave to be with us.)
If I were to go to a hotel, how can I do it all?
I know I am not losing my home to a flood.
I know that my family is healthy.
I have so much to be grateful for.

But, damn I am getting frightened. The only roads open to leave Moorhead are Hwy 10 or I94.
Please, if you are so inclined, say a prayer. Say it for people fighting for their homes, their pets, their lives.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This Flood

This flood is a pretty darn big deal. Yesterday I had a lot of students in class, because so many hadn't heard that they would be excused to sandbag. Today a very small number are here. Those who are are doing nothing. I am also watching some other classes so people can sandbag. I feel so guilty that I can't go help. I want to. I did it in 1997.  The work, camaraderie, and feeling of being of help was fulfilling to me.  With Thad on 12 hour shifts through the weekend, however, I am unable to assist. 
What I want to do is help somehow. If any of you know of people who need food brought to them, please let me know. 

Monday, March 23, 2009


Ah the joys of technology. I think I have it figured out. I don't have time tonight, but I will need to post another picture tomorrow. It's a great organizing one, so I have to show it! But, isn't it great??????????? I love, love, love it! The kids and I have been great about keeping up our share of the work. It really doesn't take long to get things in a healthy habit. I am so excited. Again, I will say thank you to Amy and Melissa!
Due to the impending flood, Thad is working 12 hour shifts this week and is back on patrol. He isn't patrolling per se, but he is needed within the city, not doing investigative work. All this week, it will be the kids and me. We will have lots of time to bond, bicker, snuggle, heck, you name it.
The rain is pouring down again. I pray that things go well for the residents up and down the valley.
If you have the time and are inclined to offer support or prayer, McMama can use your prayers.
Her baby Stellan is not doing well. My heart breaks at the thought of anyone going through this.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The new look!

I have tried entering this several times today unsuccessfully. Tonight I retook pictures & IT STILL WOULDN'T WORK. GRRR. I am so excited to have a house that feels more homey. Thank you to my two guardian angels Melissa & Amy for their tips, purchases, and redecorating. They have some big plans for their future, and when I am able to share I will.
For now, I am going to enjoy these changes.......
On another note, the flood is looming in Fargo-Moorhead. Because of the ice show this weekend and Thad being on-call, we weren't able to assist anyone. For the sake of the many families in need of sandbagging, I hope that many of my students get excused to take care of business for our residents.
Coming up tomorrow: Kate's & the ice show. Well, if it works.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I told you the other day about Melissa, the amazing professional organizer. I learned so many useful tips from her. After I heard them I felt like slapping my head and saying, "Duh! That is so obvious." I must not be inclined to think in an organized fashion. It's odd though, because I keep our lives organized by knowing who has to be where & when. I plan meals for the week, manage doctor appointments, and do other things that require mental organization. It's the actual physical organization I stink at.
There is more to this story though: When I contacted Melissa I said, "I want to maximize the use of space in my home in a decorative way." As she entered my house, we both realized that I had many things available to be more organized, but somethings weren't quite right. She contacted me later that first evening to tell me that she had a friend who would be willing to help me decorate as well. I jumped on to that opportunity faster than you can say "organize."
Amy came over Thursday. She looked at the sad reality of my house: disaster. This is what she and Melissa pulled off between the two of them yesterday...

Well since I have tried to upload the after pictures four separate times now, I am going to give it a day.........so enjoy the madness of this OLD look & tune in soon to see the rest!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Yesterday when Melissa came over, she asked a few times if I was having fun. I was very clear that cleaning and organizing was more like torture for me. I hate it. Something must have resonated, however, because I have been on a little rampage. I have been going through more cupboards, clearing out crap that hasn't been used in years, throwing junk away, and trying to straighten things. I definitely need more help from her, but I feel like I am ready to invest money into creating a better system in my house. In no way has she even suggested that I need to spend money to organize. As a matter of fact, like she said, I had many useful things on hand that was used. Thad even applauded me on my efforts! He agreed that it has to get worse before it gets better. The house seems messier at first glance, but that is because I am not totally sure where to put things.
To those of you out there who are natural organizers, go you!!!!!! I have a l-o-n-g way to go, but slowly but surely, I will get there. If you have any interest in reading her blog or visiting her website, it's: http://ididit-fargo.com
I also have narrowed down my paint choices I think. I went to Sherwin Williams today, and talked to a lady. I can't remember the name of the color, but it's a very pale green/blue color. It's pretty. Tami will have to confirm for me whether or not it's a good choice. Thad doesn't care, and since she is a painting pro, I trust her judgement.
This has been in no way a restful break. I do feel good that I have gotten so much accomplished. I just have to stay energized, because this weekend is the ice show!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Home ideas...

So today I had a professional organizer come into my home. I am the worst when it comes to being organized. I decided to take the plunge and invest in this. So far, I am feeling pretty motivated. We cleaned out my entry way closet, organized some of the kitchen, and discussed decorating my house.
I like our house, but I have never loved the way things look. I have no decorating abilities, and what I want is to have is maximized us of our space. Having four kids has made this a necessity in my mind. The goal is to organize & create a cozy home that I am proud of.
I have so many thoughts running through my head. Melissa, the organizer, was great to work with. In fact, we brainstormed a lot about what we could do to make things look better. I will keep you all posted on the developments!

On another note, I need some of your advice. I just invested a lot of money in new bedding. I splurged on a duvet, down comforter, sheets, decorative pillows, a decorative blanket, and shames. Let's put it this way: we are going to Vegas for less than this bedding. The sad part is that it's a solid color: gray. I am not into florals or anything. I like simple but sophisticated. My question for you loyal readers is what color paint should we go with? Do we go green for a warmer look? Gold/yellow for a warm look? Gray for a monochromatic look? Those are the colors that have been recommended. I don't want red/mauve/violet or anything like that. I am not opposed to a blue color, but I seem to have a lot of blue in the house.

Any ideas?

Spring "Break?"

I have to smirk when I hear that we are on a break. All you moms out there know that when school is not in session, life is no less busy. Everything gets crammed into this small chunk of time. This week we have: orthodontist appt, doctor appt, dance, ice show practice, ice show dress rehearsal, ice show, emergency doctor appt, and my special one, an appt with a professional organizer.
I have not caught up on my sleep since this weekend. Poor Brady was still feverish yesterday so I brought him to his pediatrician. His ear is getting better, but the doctor thinks Brady has been suffering from RSV this whole time. This would explain the cough, wheezing, and fussiness. Needless to say, I feel horrible to bringing him to the cities for the weekend. Bless my mother's heart for saying just the right words to me, "But he was probably held more there than he would have been at home." So true mother, and thank you! Kind little thoughts sure put me at peace. Mr.B is still kind of miserable even though he keeps on smiling. He has learned to tolerate Tylenol at least through this process!
Ryan also hit a wall yesterday. He went outside at 9:45 to play hockey. At about 2:30 he started coming in to the bathroom on a regular basis. After the 5th trip, I told him to stay in. He got in the tub, and camped out all night. This morning, thanks to a screaming baby brother, he was up by 7am feeling fine.
Since I am on spring break, I will resume work on my endless laundry, pick up endless dishes, make the Target trip, and continue to "break!"

Monday, March 16, 2009


We are back from the tournament. The buzz in the air reminded me what a big deal this is to so many people. From the games, to the people, fans, cheers, and memories, I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. Even if you aren't a hockey fan, you would be impressed with the Xcel Energy Center being filled to capacity to cheer on high school kids playing a sport they love.
I would say that 80% of our hotel was Mhd people. I saw many old friends, parents of the players (& my students), some of my own students (who I don't think liked being stuck in an elevator with me the morning after a rough night!), and all the little kiddos out playing. Ryan enjoyed the freedom of running around with his hockey buddies & playing floor hockey. Kate, Kailee, and Olivia had fun too! The kids swam, ran around, giggled a lot, and enjoyed life.
Our family did some shopping at the MOA. If you read this strictly for entertainment, this part is for you! We were at the mall putzing around. Brady has had severe diahrrea from antibiotics. We start to change Brady's diaper. He has leaked through everything. We have NO spare clothes in the diaper bag. Oops. I take him naked to the gap for a new outfit. Only we would be ill prepared.
Let's see...what else? Olivia made friends with every cab driver we had. One even gave her his bag of chips that he got from Subway. I can't think of any other horror stories off the top of my head, but I am certain there are more.
Some of the extra special highlights:
1. Seeing AJ! That's her holding our oh so special hanky from1994!
2. Seeing Melissa! And Emmy! And Bo! Oh and Henry and Harper! Melissa and I laughed our tails off looking at old high school pictures.
3. Seeing so many old faces! That in itself was a highlight.
4. The reception for the Spuds was at our hotel. The entire building was filled with cheers at 11pm Saturday night. These sad boys were uplifted I am sure. Of course we were trying to get our kids to bed. We let Kate and Ryan go out for awhile. I got to give/get lots of hugs from the players, have a drink (gasp), and visit with others. My friend Ria's daugher "K" was gracious enough to go to our room to make sure the little ones were okay. She is my new favorite little gal who I can't wait to have babysit!
5. I finally bought bedding!!!!!!!!!!! You don't want to know how much I spent. Thad wasn't too happy, but he'll survive.
6. Ryan was on tv!!!!!!!!! It was during the Thursday game. Very cool
7. Trent Johnson, a Spud player, won the Herb Brooks award. Trent is a great kid. He lost his mother to cancer when he was a freshman. I had him as a sophomore, and I can honestly say that he is quite deserving of this honor.

**I guess after the expense of this weekend, another trip to Florida will have to wait. Oh well, Thad and I have Vegas in August!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to State We Go....

Finally after a FOUR year drought, the Spuds made it back to state. I should probably not be so excited to go, but a) These are some of my students out there. I want so badly to see them succeed, and b) some of my best memories from high school are from state.
We are staying at the same hotel that we stayed at in high school: The Embassy Suites. Each year, my best friend Melissa and I stayed with her parents. It was safe, secure, yet we were still able to have fun. Some favorite moments includee: late nights talking, laughing like crazy, sending Melissa on a ride with the lifeguard at the Embassy (NOT smart), the games, watching the gorgeous Joe Bianchi from Jefferson, dealing with friend crises, dealing with friends who were kicked out of the hotel, friends getting busted and the funny stories that go with it, Prom dress shopping with Melissa, eating at some cool restaurants with Melissa and Vick, the infamous car rides with Jim & Vick, seeing the boys at the Radisson when the games were over, telling this boy I liked (Thad) that if he would rather date my friend Elli that was okay, and I could go on and on and on.....
I haven't stepped foot in the Embassy since 1994--my senior year. I am a very nostalgic person, so it will be interesting to see the place. I have so many pictures, and each puts a smile on my face. I remember Thad & my classmate Todd put signs up around the door of their room that said "no alcohol" because they had been raided. Todd passed away later that year in a car accident.
For me, the tournament is a special time. It's exciting for me to watch my kids take part in the joy of it all...even if we don't make it past the 1st round. Just getting away, enjoying friends, family, and life is good enough for me.
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Three posts in one day

Well as you know, I can't make this crap up. Thad loves me. If I ever doubted it, I don't anymore. Guess why? He saved my life tonight. Really. Truly. He gave me the heimlich.
I was putting my supper plate into the sink while chomping on the remains of my taco. Yes I wrote taco. All of the sudden it was stuck. I couldn't breathe. To be honest I don't remember much other than getting scared, not being able to breathe, and letting out a sound of groaning terror. Then he did the maneuver. I gagged, coughed up the stuff, and stood there in shock.
Ryan was laughing...yes laughing. Thanks Ryan. He said my noise was funny. Then I started laughing. After the third time I said, " I am almost died just now," Kate retorted, "Okay mom, you don't have to keep talking about it." Thanks Kate. Olivia didn't seem to notice. She was focused on dessert. Thanks Olivia.
For real, though, thanks Thad!

I am not very smart...

...to reopen a can of worms, but Melissa had a very good blog today about her decision to home school. I commend her. I know her, I have met (some) of her kids. Aside from having an absolutely beautiful daughter "L," she has wonderful kids. Maybe I got defensive because I couldn't do it.
Hello, my name is Bonnie and I would be a horrible home school parent. There. It's out.
Two people wrote to me on email regarding this blog discussion. I feel compelled to share their words. But, after re-reading them, I am not going to. I feel that it would be disrespectful to this topic. Some are pro-public school, some are pro-parochial school, and some are pro-home school. Melissa did not intend for it to be "anti" anything. I am not anti home school either.
Ultimately all parents want what is best for their kids. We want our kids to thrive, grow, love, be kind, respect, etc. Some of us disagree on what the best way to do that is. Let us not forget that we are all in this together (as my friends at HSM would say).
Violence is everywhere: church (as recently as two days ago in the news), malls, schools, homes of supposed happy families, and anywhere really. We all do what we can to best protect our kids. I commend all of us moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, and teachers for trying to do what's best for kids. They are our future after all.

Lovely weather

Because of this...

I actually have a moment to show you actual photos of we have been up to.

Section final win over Roseau in Thief River Falls

Ryan and Brady

Plan for the day..
1. Enjoy the kids
2. Referee the kids' fights
3. Track the number of poops poor Brady has due to Augmentin (it's a harsh on the tummy antibiotic)
4. Get caught up on laundry
5. Organize clothes for the trip to the cities
6. Figure out what we need to buy prior to going
7. Not eat too many sweets
8. Try and see a few minutes of Y & R
9. Shower?

*If I get more time later, I will post pictures of Olivia's haircut.

Monday, March 9, 2009

What really matters

Ryan had his end of the year hockey jamboree this weekend. Sadly, Mite #4 took (gasp!) last place. It's no fun losing, and I have seen my fair share of kids crying at the end of these tournaments. The goalies, especially, are hard on themselves. 
I consider this weekend a victory for Thad and I. Why you ask? Thad heard Ryan after the first loss go up to the two top players from the other time in the locker room and say, "Good game guys." I heard Ryan do the same thing as we were leaving after loss #2. We went to my mom and dad's to visit Grandma afterward, and I told him. He vehemently denied the whole thing.   
Grandpa Wayne made a good point. He said, "Ryan winning is easy. It's losing that is hard."

(Note: I have no idea what happened after the last game. I had to run the three kids home and whip up a quick supper so I could take Brady to the walk in)

I was so proud of my little nine year old for handling loss with such class. I can't make any promises that he will do that in, oh say, eight years if he is in the MN State Hockey Tournament, but this is good enough for now.
Ryan's third grade teacher, Diane Johnson, came to watch Ryan play yesterday. If you are a Thomas Edison alumni, you may remember her. She recently retired after 35 years of teaching. She had Thad even! She is long term subbing for Ryan's 'real' teacher who just had a baby. Thad said Ryan kept checking in between shifts to see if she was there. It's a gentle reminder just how much it means to kids to receive support and encouragement. 

Now we just need Brady to recover from the crud and an ear infection, keep the whole house healthy, and dig out of our upcoming blizzard to get to the cities for tournament time! AJ: I can't wait to see you!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The system

The educational system is the problem. I hear that a lot. I really don't know how to comment when I hear that because a) I don't read up on that (remember I prefer US Weekly, etc), b) the number of uber talented kids amazes me, and c) what system has it right?
Here is what I do know:
1. We seem to be a 'liberal arts' focused society. Give kids the opportunity to dabble in everything, let them see what they like, and then they can run with it.
2. Many, many kids have crappy lives. Fighting at home, drugs, substance, abuse, neglect, and any other sad situation plagues many a family nowadays. Be a teacher, or wait, be a police officer, and you will realize first hand how rampant that is.
3. My uncle taught English in China for about 5 years after he retired from teaching in MN. The practice of rote memorization for 12+ years of school doesn't appeal to me.
4. One thing that did interest me was that kids who test into the 'best' colleges in China pay the least. The kids who qualified for the 'non Ivy League' schools (just using examples) pay more. Interesting...
5. EVERY exchange student I have ever had from anywhere in the world says that schools in America are too easy. They also appreciate the fact that they will likely get a free college education. (Sorry Ryan for the socialist dig, but wouldn't it be great?) :)
6. You would be surprised how many kid8.s can't read...or do math..or who could care less.
7. Parenting starts at home. Discipline starts at home. Encouragement starts at home.

The system isn't entirely flawed. Go to a musical at MHS. Go to a speech tournament. Go to a knowledge bowl meet. Sit in on a small group class for struggling learners. Sit in on an AP class. Watch the Key Club at work. Watch the Student Council recycle each week. Watch the BPA go to state. Just take it all in.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I finally get it

Wow two posts in one day for me...I am on a roll.
My friend Tami's cousin Melissa has a blog: http://www.afarmwifeslife.blogspot.com/
This woman is amazing. She has seven children, homeschools them all, and has a great attitude toward life. Recently she wrote a post about home schooling vs. public schooling. I didn't agree with everything, and another poster who I don't know wrote things that I really disagreed with. Typical Bonnie offered her two cents.
Thad has been a police officer or detective for almost 12 years. Since he began that job, I have watched him get upset too many times to count because people bash cops. They are jerks, pigs, out to ruin everyone's life, etc. Some cops are jerks I remind Thad. I also tell him to blow it off. He was likely the same way once upon a time.
Until today though, I had never heard anyone really speak out so adamantly against public schooling--my job. The shoe was on the other foot. I found myself getting angry at this stranger who was bashing government education. Why you ask? I was taking it personally.
You don't often hear or read about people who think public or private schooling is not good. It hurt. It hurt because this man who I don't know was criticizing what I do for a living. He was saying what I found to be unfair comments about my passion, my life, and much of what I stand for.
Thad, I now get where you are coming from. I work my tail off to make the world a better place, open the eyes of my students, and share good things with them. Like you Thad, my goal is to help, assist, protect, encourage, and enlighten.
You never really know what it's like until you are truly in someone else's shoes.

Some sarcasm for this Saturday

**Note to you faithful readers: I felt like writing something different for a change. I am actually in a good mood. Take it with the standard "whatever" Bonnie humor. Really I am as happy as any other day! :)

--I just love waking up knowing that we have lots of stuff to do on a Saturday. Nothing like being busy all weekend!
--I love taking my six year old daughter shopping. We are like two parallel lines when it comes to fashion taste. There is never an ounce of bickering.
--After the kids are tucked snug in their beds for the night, I just love the burst of energy I feel. Thad and I jump into our daily in depth discussions.
--I am so grateful that each time I say something, my kids respond with, "Okay mom. Sure. No problem."
--I love how quickly the laundry piles up at our house. That's the perfect way to spend my already busy weekend.
--My iron will for not eating more than two muffins really paid off this morning. In no way did I eat a third.
--I hate a quiet house. I prefer screams, tantrums, fights, shouts, and the sound of pounding feet on the floor above me.
--I love Spongebob
--The years of telling my kids to be kind to one another has really paid off. I no longer hear, "You're so mean, You are a jerk, You're ugly, DON'T, and especially not MOM...(enter name) hurt me."
--I just love how every week I try on an old piece of clothing hoping it will fit, and it never does.
--I love negativity. It's SO uplifting.
--I love hypocrisy. I love how some people are never wrong.
--My sole purpose for reading facebook is to see people who are 'fringe' friends spew hatred toward Obama, democrats, and people who don't loathe homosexuality.

What things do you feel like being sarcastic about today?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Five months old!

My baby is 5 months old. Where or where does the time go??? I could just kiss those chubby cheeks all day. Ah the bliss of a baby...no talking back, no tantrums, no hitting, no genuine resentment toward his parents....it's too precious.
Here is a little weekend recap:
Friday night the Staffords and Gilletts ate at my parents' house before my mom's big surgery. More on that later. It was a good time. Ross and Olivia, in particular, are quite entertaining!
Thad and Ryan went to the Spud hockey game in St. Cloud yesterday. If they win on Wednesday, they go to the state tournament. For those of you former Spuds who read this, does that bring back memories????? I mean, wow. AJ--do you remember our near car accident when you drove a bunch of us to TRF in tenth grade? Seriously, why did our parents let us do that? Our entire family plans to go to the cities if the Spuds really do make it!
While Thad and Ryan were off in la-la land, I made the executive decision to get Kate's hair cut--short. I am so sick of her snarls, fights about combing it, and it just looking crappy all day. I am not a fan of long hair on a girl just for the sake of having long hair. Some people look wonderful with it. Others do not. Kate, unfortunately, is one of the latter who just isn't meant to have long hair in her face. It turned out pretty cute don't you think? (Note, it's not the best picture)

Saturday afternoon, Kate and Olivia went to a birthday party. It was Olivia's first 'real' friend party away from mommy. She did alright, but Kate said she was too shy. Here she is all decked out with her new POUT flower headband.
Once I picked up the girls from the party, we all headed out to Red Lobster along with Grandma Jeanne. She is having her hip replacement surgery on Monday. Please say a prayer for her. She has been in horrible pain, and it is past time to get this done.
You think that was enough for our weekend?? NO WAY! Today is Ross's third birthday!!!!!! That kid is one funny dude. I swear, he is the funniest little guy. Anyway, while we were at his party, Thad and Ryan were at Ryan's game. Ryan said his team got clobbered. He didn't seem to mind.
Next up for our family is Kate & the ice show. She has been complaining about skating since she began last October. Now that the ice show is here, she is thrilled to be a part of it. She likes the fun, but doesn't like to do the work. Go figure! She is in the group called "High School Musical 3." I have to brag a moment about Kate. She just passed level four. For a little six year old who whines about exerting herself, I would say that is pretty darn good!
As the winter sports are winding down, I feel like it's time to breathe a huge sigh. I am so ready for spring: for the snow to melt, for baseball to begin, dance to be one of the few weekly activities, and to look ahead to other things. Next winter will come soon enough. Olivia is already struggling to choose whether or not to dance or play hockey. I will give you one guess what I am hoping for!