Monday, November 03, 2008
The summer was flying by, and we were busy little bees. And then school started up and I had to redefine the word Busy (and give it a capital B!) We had 2 September birthdays, but unfortunately, this picture of the girls (and a friend) taken at Nora's birthday dinner was the last one taken on my camera before it broke. ACK!
Luckily, I got the extended warranty at Best Buy, though I didn't figure that out for a month or so, and it took a couple weeks to send it off and get it back. But the camera works again...but not completely like new. I'd love to just go buy a new one, but that isn't going to happen anytime soon. So, since getting the camera back, some of my pictures are less than blog-worthy, but since that's all I've got, that's all you get to see.
I took the kids to the zoo finally. We've been back in IL for 14 months now, and they just got to see Brookfield Zoo. We enjoyed it, but weren't aware that it was the Boo at the Zoo weekend, so they could have worn costumes, etc, but I guess we're getting a little old for that anyway. The zoo has really grown since I was here last...which I don't remember when, but I assume at some time when the kids were young we would have gone to the zoo during a visit???? Maybe.
Jack had a band concert in October and did a wonderful job. He has really improved his trumpet playing since starting middle school. I assume having band class every day which forces him to practice daily is what's helping so much. He really is a good little musician though. Nora is starting 5th grade band and chose to play the saxophone...and Jack (never having played one himself) was able to look at her book and teach her how to play a few notes before she even had her first lesson! The two of them are quite a duo as they practice together...I've been told they can be heard from down the street by a neighbor - oops!
Halloween was an adventure, as usual. I took all 4 kids trick-or-treating, and of course, the whole neighborhood had to come along. I wound up with 17 trick-or-treaters and only one other adult walking with us. Just the kind of stress I need, I know. Anyway, we survived, didn't lose any little goblins, and have a giant bowl of candy to enjoy for a few days...as I'm sure these kids won't let it last much longer than that!
It's hard to believe it's November already. I'm certainly not ready for the holiday season. I am struggling with single-parenthood and depression, but the sun keeps coming up every morning and somehow we make it through another day. I havne't done any scrapbooking, and minimal card making. I've been reading for an escape, and remember how much I enjoy it. There still aren't enough hours in each day though!
Friday, July 11, 2008
Other than the birthday excitement, the kids have been keeping busy with their Drama Camp...6 weeks of FUN compliments of the City of Aurora! The play they are putting on is The Music Man. All 4 kids will be in the play, the younger two also have a smaller play (Really Rosie) which will be performed during the intermission of the Music Man. Nora sings a solo in a couple of songs, she has minor roles. Jack is one of the leads, Tommy Djiles(?) and he also plays one of the Quartet (Ewart). He can't play both roles at the same time because they share scenes, but the play is triple-cast in some instances because there were so many children in the camp (130+!) So, his BIG performance where he plays Tommy will be on Tuesday evening, July 22nd at West Aurora High School at 7pm! And Nora will be the farmer's wife that night as well. The littles are in the chorus of the big play, and truthfully, other than hearing them since some of the songs from Rosie, I have no idea what they are doing for that! All I know for sure is that all 4 of these kids LOVE drama camp & are already talking about doing it again next summer!
We have been swimming whenever we can, and LOVE that we are so close to Philips Park. It hasn't been too crowded the couple times we have been there, and the kids love the water slides! I love that they are all good swimmers and I can work on my tan. :)
We also went "camping" with my Aunt Diane up at the lake. We swam in the pool instead of the lake, but that was OK with the kids. And later on we had a campfire and roasted hotdogs and marshmallows - definitely no complaints there!
It feels like summer is slipping away much too quickly. We saw school supplies out already at the WalMart this week - eek! I haven't done near as much scrapbooking as I wanted to...seems my "free time" while the kids are at camp isn't being used to the best of my abilities. I'm still a week behind watching my soap, there's still a mountain of laundry, and I haven't even gone grocery shopping without the kids but maybe once! Iy iy iy.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
You can't tell in this picture, but Nora has been somewhat accident-prone this year. Luckily she hasn't broken ay more bones since her foot incident, but she sure is bruised up quite a bit! She has big scabs on both knees, both elbows, a wrist, and the palm of one of her hands! It's usually from those darn Heelies that she just HAD to have, but she has also fallen off a bicycle. Good thing she's not a picker!
Well, this summer should have more blogging opportunities...we just started Drama Camp and Jack is in a week-long golf program called the First Tee. I'm playing taxi driver, but it's all worth it for those couple of peaceful hours in the middle of the day! Today, I actually became an official Illinois driver...got my new license, and we just moved here 10 months ago - haha!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Jack and Nora made their Allen School acting debut yesterday in the school's production of a play called The Granny Awards! They both did an awesome job...shows were at 9am, 1pm, and the grand finale was a 6:30pm performance. Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie Anna, Karen & Declan Smith, and of course Mom & Carmella & Gina all were in the audience cheering them on. The show was loosly based on the Academy Awards but with fairy tale character and awards for their performances in their stories. Snow White won the best female character, Jack (from Jack & the Beanstalk, not MY Jack) won Best Male Character.
The next award was for Best Dramatic Scene, and the winners were Cinderella and her stepsisters. Nora played the part of one of Cinderella's (evil) Stepsisters, a role that she was born to play, according to Carmie and Gina! She had a solo in their song entitled "A Corn Upon My Toe" which was both hilarious and beautiful at the same time. Nora has a beautiful voice, and did not seem nervous at all up on stage! She wore a beautiful silver gown and HIGH HEELS...and like all the girls, insisted on having some make-up for the play. We didn't overdo it, though I can't say the same for the other stepsisters! I almost think Nora's voice was too sweet for her role, but she sure did a good job fighting over the shoe with the other girls!!
Jack's part in the play was that of the Big Bad Wolf, and throughout the play, he was sneaking across the stage behind the main action trying to steal one of the "Granny Awards" which looked an awful lot like basketball trophies and bottles of Mrs. Butterworth's syrup! It was the job of Sleepy (one of the 7 Dwarves) to guard the awards, and whenever he fell asleep, the audience had to scream "WAKE UP, SLEEPY!" and thwarted Jack's attempt at stealing an award. Then at the end of the play, Jack had a solo in Little Red Ridinghood's rap song called "Big Bad Wolf" in which he explains to everyone, "I know sometimes I lose control, but I'm merely acting out my role. I'm just an actor through and through, the director tells me what to do! HOWL!" And then he receives an award from Granny for the big happy ending!
In addition to the cute storyline, the play was filled with lots of singing and dancing, and the cast had an absolute BALL doing this play. Nora is so sad that there won't be any more drama club meetings or rehearsals. She even was wishing this morning that her directors would surprise them with another surprise performance this morning. No such luck, but the whole school was buzzing about the play from the day before. Nora said several kids asked her for her autograph, and Jack said the same had happened to him. Even I was approached by several other teachers in the building telling me how great the kids were, especially Jack. Everyone knows he's the smart kid who won the spelling bee and mathlete competition...but now they got to see him in another light, and were amazed at his on-stage presence and the personality and confidence he showed with his funny dancing. It was certainly another huge highlight in our first year here in Aurora.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Here's a picture of the delicious cake they served at the baby shower today. I'm having some not-so-nice feelings about my camera though. Can someone out there tell me why the right half of the cake is in focus and the left side is all fuzzy? I'm about to go back to using my old 35mm SLR with *gasp* real film. Help!
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Though I loved it all, this particular sign tickled me. Check out the phone number for the Hong Kong Noodle Company!
Sunday, February 03, 2008
And then this one...
And finally, this one...
Monday, January 28, 2008
Here's the big saw, about to cut into my daughter's leg! Just kidding, it was just loud, they put headphones on Nora, but the rest of us had to listen to the ROAR of the saw.
Nora said it tickled...and look at that smile, you can't tell she was happy to get the cast off, can ya? Clapping and everything, I think she might have danced a jig if it weren't for the broken foot.
As the nurse got to the last leg of the cut (pun intended) on the opposite side of Nora's leg, I saw Grandpa's cute little get well message "Grandpa says HEAL!" (pointing to her heel) and had to take a picture. He also added the THIS END UP, because he's oh-so-funny.
After the sawing was complete, the nurse pried open the cast and you could see this cottony stuff inside. In this picture she is cutting away the sock part (the smelly part) and that was basically it! Check out those nasty toes though...they are dirty and dry and gross because Nora refused to put a sock over her cast because "it looked dumb"...and now she knows just how smart her toes looked all this time. Haha!
The cast came off in 2 pieces that fit back together like a jigsaw puzzle, here's Nora holding the top half with all her friends' signatures. She's already planning to wear it to Awana on Ouch Night which we think is coming up in March! The other kids tried it on, of course, but Nora has the skinniest legs in the house, or so they tell me.
We had been warned about atrophy by a few people, so we wanted to make sure to get a picture. Of course I was expecting a shriveled up prune of a foot/leg, but it wasn't THAT bad. You can kind of see where her right calf is slightly smaller in this picture. Now I'm just wondering if we are going to be able to find all the missing right shoes that she hasn't been able to wear for all this time. :)
All in all, I think we did OK with our first broken bone. Nora is on the mend, and the doctor doesn't think surgery is necessary. Her x-rays may never look "perfect" but she shouldn't have any problems walking or running, etc. Though she's excellent on crutches, she is REALLY looking forward to getting rid of them in another week. We will visit the doctor again in another 3 weeks. No more running down the stairs. Ever.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008