Monday, March 31, 2008

Home Sweet Home

ahhhhhhh.....I left for HHH terminal this morning at 5:30am. Where were you going you ask? Well I decided to help out my brother and sister-in-law and accompany Susu and Kaden to Chicago to visit the Brazilian Consulate to get Kaden's passport. So off we went....only a few minute late which is impressive for the Israelson's. We arrived in Chicago a few minutes early and headed to the train station....attached to Midway....and then proceded to the ticket machine. I learned a very important lesson - if you stick $20 in the ticket machine, it will give you a ticket for $20 even if you didn't want it. So...for the $4 we needed in tickets I got $20 ticket and we proceeded to the Orange Line headed to downtown Chicago. So far Kaden was great...thank goodness. The train ride was about 35 minutes and fairly uneventful. We excited to find out we had to carry the stroller down a rather long flight of stairs and then off to find a taxi. Our taxi ride was short and sweet about 5 blocks and costs us about $5. Then up to the 18th floor we went to the room we would spend the next 2 hours. The first lady we talked and by that I mean Susu talked to since it was all in Portugese - told Susu she would have to come back another day. We quickly learned that our response (You've got to be kiding) was a very common comment from the consulete visitors. But after having a discussion with a nice old man, Susu was able to get everything going as planned. She learned she can't take names off her name in Brazil so she was going to have 5 names in her name now that she would be officially married in Brasil. And I learned that if you look 16, and you are holding a crying baby, that older Brazilian women will decide you don't know what you are doing and take them from you :) Long story......


Then we were told we needed to go to the post office to get a Priority Envelope so they could mail Susu the passport in a week. So off we went in the rain, and finally decided to catch a cab to the PO. Another 5 blocks, another $5, but a very nice lady at the post office to help us. We decided to walk back this time as the rain had tappered. It was brisk, but enjoyable after being couped up in the room all morning.


Now, cab - train - security - rediculously long line at PotBelly subs for lunch - and arrive at gate A10 to find out that our plane is delayed 10 min - then 40 min - then 2 hours. Chicago was having thunderstorms and had delayed plans arriving - our plan had to go to Moline, IL to get refueled and head back our way. Finally it arrived and we headed of to Minneapolis at 4:30pm. Ahhh....stale pretzels and a cup of sprite and all was well with the world......until 30 minutes before our flight was to land anyway.
As you can see ( yes Eric actually tracked our entire flight and saved our flight plan :) - We stopped and did a little sky NASCAR over southern Minnesota while MSP decided how there were going to land all their flights. Da da da....45 minutes later and one paper clip shaped flight plan path led us to a new announcement. "Ladies and Gentlemen, the weather had gotten excedingly worse in Minneapolis. They are only using one of the four runways and it is one not used very often. It looks like we are going to have to go to Moline to refuel and try again. We have about a 3 minute window to decide so we'll let you know." What, are you freaking kiding, you are going to take us back to IL to refuel - what happend to Duluth, Minot, Iowa - I just wanted off the plane. About 2 minutes later they came back on and told us that we had been cleared to land and to buckle up. Had I known how bad the wind was, I wouldn't have wanted land after all - but we made it. Not without a few prayers and tight squeeze to baby Kaden who was sleeping patiently on my lap.
Thank you Lord for safety, for the nice old man at the consulate, and for a good pilot. I'm soooooooooo glad to be home. I'm ready for bed!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Last Winter Hurrah!

Well today was a nice day - the kids stayed home with Luke and Susu, and Eric and I went with some friends to use some snowtubing passes we purchased at a silent auction in October. So, of course, the last possible day we could use it - we finally went. Wild Mountain, seemed much closer when I purchased the tickets, but was a nice drive and a fun time none the less.






video


Above is my attempt at taping one of my "Wild" rides. Despite the slush, the warm weather and sunshine made it a pleasant outdoor adventure. Put the four of us together in a chain and it made for fast and adventurous ride.


Now I have to say that this is a great place for those of us who are a bit more lazy or.... less energetic. As you can see, no more holding onto the rope to drag you up the hill and ruin your new pair of gloves....no....a people mover. You heard me right, Wild Mountain sports a brand new people mover up the hill. Now, the only issues is for those of you who have been drinking to much or have a poor sense of stability (Skills). Then standing while moving and holding onto a heavy tube makes for a bit of a challenge :) If anyone is looking for a fun, family friendly adventure next winter I would highly recommend Wild Mountain Snow Tubing - for those of you who prefer the kamikaze style tubing - Echo Backen still reigns supreme!

As you can see - Last vestigages of snow in the entire area - we didn't mind the moat we had to cross to enter the tubing area!

Friday, March 28, 2008

God made bones.

Courtney and I had a wonderful talk after some disciplinary action tonight. We discussed how she disobeys God when she disobeys mommy. Then we entered into 5 year old territory. She said "mommy, did god make bones." "umm, yes, God made our bones" I said. Then we proceded to talk about all the different bones in our bodies! Ahhhh, I love these little moments - the ones that I am still waiting to have with Andrew - but believe it will come someday :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kaden


My nephew came to visit us today! Though he got mighty angry at my making him naked to take some pictures.....here was the calm before the storm. This is for you, mom & dad!

5 Year Old Thought Process

Well, today being our seventh day of spring break I thought I'd be adventurous and take the kids to a large indoor park near our home. The local casino has brought certain advantages to our small town - Playworks - being one of them. For a mear $45 a year you can have your very own Family Membership to play whenever you want. Sounded like a good idea to me.....time out of the house.....kids getting rid of energy....perfect.

Well, after about 45 minutes, Courtney, apprently hadn't noticed I was sitting right behind her, proceeded to throw her knee into a rather large block tower a couple of boys had just finished. Now this tower was not in her way - so I know that it was intentional. I called her over and told her to sit in the chair quietly. I discovered that quietly doesn't really exist in Courtney's vocabulary. As she threw her arms and legs all over and proceeded to tell me over and over and over "I'm being quiet mom, I'm being quiet mom, I'm being quiet mom" Uhhhhhhhhh - quiet is not kicking me, not throwing your head back and crying cause you hurt it, and its certainly not telling me you're being quiet. The most annoying part is that this is not the first time we have had this conversation. Guess tonight its time for a little ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) Therapy to teach quiet. There are perks to the last two years of Andrew's therapy I guess. Here's to hoping next time we have a "quiet time out" I don't hear "I'm being quiet mom!"

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

and they are still in the bathroom....

So I sent the kids up to the bathroom after lunch today to brush their teeth. I hear some water running, some yelling, the toilet flushing, more water running, more banging around with the foot stool, more water running, courtney singing, more water running.....and they are still in the bathroom!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Model Child


Well I must say that spring break - assuming you are not actually gone somewhere - is rough on us parents with children in school. But, trying to make the best of it, Court and I set out to take some cute picks.
Now, it is necessary for me to take these pictures because I was in Belgium when her preschool hosted LifeTouch to do their school pictures. It was a Friday morning, she had two cavities filled that morning and then Eric proceded to have the dentist receptionist give her "Pretty Hair" for her photos. Not that they didn't try, but they turned out pretty horrible.....so, sometimes the ones mommy takes are better anyway!


I may be partial - but she is so beautiful and sometimes I need to take some photos of her to remind me what a thing to be charished she is......now I better run and get some of Andrew - been a rough day :)



Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter



OK - so those who know me - know that I can't just do any old thing for holidays. I have to do it Martha Stewart style. So after 5 trips to Walmart - 3 days of paper mache'ing - and a partridge in a pear tree I was ready. Everyone loved it with the exception of my wonderful father-in-law who let me know his distaste for my easter egg decorations on the plate........yes Bryan, crosses would have been more appropriate, but they didn't have any that matched my decor :) It went off well with the exception of my new oven actually cooking food in an appropriate amount of time..... yep, the ham was ready by 11:00am instead of 1:00pm. Guess I should have tried out the new oven on something larger than pizza. Oh yeah, Andrew also threw up at church......supplements more than 30 minutes after breakfast usually ends up not staying down - which allowed me a few extra minutes at home before the troops arrived. My highlight was watching my amazingly talented hubby play violin in the orchestra! Lessons learned this year? Don't start the ham at 7:ooam, use the same decorations from last year, don't make easter baskets by hand, and consider paper plates :) Though having to find anything makes Andrew angry - and I do mean angry - I hope next year to try an easter egg hunt. Thanks everyone who came for making it a wonderful memory.

Just keep swimming...just keep swimming...



Well - we decided to let the kids have swimming lessons when we returned from Florida in December. They loved the pool at Grandma and Grandpa's Florida house and couldn't wait to go swimming again. Well since Andrew's autism causes a bit of a problem in large group situations - we had to spend the big bucks at Foss Swim School. Well after 11 weeks - Courtney can swim about 10 feet and loves loves loves the water.

and Andrew could float on his back all by himself and swim about 5 feet himself. Wow what a difference from last year. "Noooo, the fishes will bite me. Get me out, get me out, get me out." A direct quote from Courtney. Screaming and crying and deathly afraid of being eaten by even the minows at the cabin. So long fish fear - Courtney's here. Amazing the difference a year makes. They grow so fast.

Mr Snowman....

Well since everyone is so enthralled by Miss Amanda's blog I thought I might venture in the blogosphere and start to write my experiences and thoughts that I'm some day going to wish I could remember and even those I'm sure I'll wish I could forget! I figured I start with our first snowman with the kids. The kids wanted to go outside of course on Saturday, but mommy just wanted to take a nap! Andrew managed to talk daddy into going outside to build a snowman and mommy got up from bed to find all the necessary components. A hat Eric wore in a wedding - hehe - pictures I'd show you but I weighed about 30 more pounds and I'm not willing to show.... a carrot of course for the nose and I think eric came up with a work glove shoved in his head for a mouth! Mommy then headed to bed for what turned out to be a three hour nap and everyone else played outside in what I thought would be the last snow of the year - turns out it would snow for the next two days as well. The snowman - amazing for the first one and the kids are so proud of him. Should I have forgone the nap, bundled up and participated - absolutly - but at least they have some great memories of Frost and Daddy!