Friday, January 31, 2014

Home School

When it comes to schooling - I'm a believer in public education - obviously, as a {former} public educator... But with so many snow days and so many endless hours entertaining toddlers...I caved and played teacher this week. Jack even called me "Teacher Mommy."
I found some free & cute resources on Teachers Pay Teachers. The kids worked on colors & shapes one day. And letter recognition another day.

We also spent some time finding the letters in their names. I was surprised how quickly Josie found all her letters.
Jack has been working on his name for a while now - and with only 4 letters, he has it pretty well mastered. I try not to put pressure on them about learning at home. I know we've chosen an awesome preschool program that will prepare them for Kindergarten...and we took time to choose a school district we believed in, as well. I plan on guiding and helping as much as I can...but I'm not meant to be their teacher. I'm meant to be their mommy. So we will play & color & do fun things together...and occasionally, when I'm missing my classroom - I'll subject them to "Teacher Mommy."

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sweet, Sweet Winter

School was cancelled two days this week - which means I'm officially SICK of Winter. If I keep complaining - I know Winter will revel in in my misery. So instead I said, "Take THIS Winter." And I made cupcakes.
Jack, Josie, and Tyson helped decorate them. As you can see, we went a little overboard with the sprinkles.
We will celebrate our love for cupcakes and pretend Winter doesn't bother us any more. Except Winter is planning on dumping more snow (lots more snow) on us in the next I have to figure out a better way to get back at her.

For the record - Metro Detroit has had 35+ inches of snow JUST in January. Snowiest month in history. History.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Swim School

Tyson and I made the decision around Christmas that Jack desperately needed swim lessons. We spend WAY too much time near water and - well, swimming is just one of those life skills YOU.MUST.LEARN. Fortunately we have a "swim school" nearby and every single person I've talked with - has LOVED their experience there. So we signed him up...and watched him cry. He cried through two sessions - which, we also hear, is very "typical."
Yesterday I talked up his lesson all afternoon: "You're going to be so brave!" "You can show Mr. Peter what a great swimmer you are." "I know you won't cry today."  He was a little teary when we got out of the car...but by the time he walked on the pool deck - he was all smiles. And it probably helped that his Daddy showed up to surprise him!
He wore his goggles (improvement!) and gave lots of enthusiastic thumbs up.
And he went all the way under (a few different times!). It was a very big improvement.
He even got a ribbon - which is hanging on the refrigerator.  He was all smiles...very proud of himself...and we were proud of him, too!

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Day in Detroit

On Saturday we loaded the kids into Tyson's new car (GM perk!) and headed into the city for the day. We were lucky Ty has a Yukon - because we needed it! The roads were a mess and we saw lots of accidents along the way. When we got downtown we parked at the RenCen and took the People Mover (that's really it's name) to Cobo for the Auto Show.
 The four year old waiting for the People Mover...not to be trusted.
 Both kids loved looking out the windows at all the tall buildings.
We snapped this pic for Mikkel - who works for Ford. There was a great turn out Saturday and it was one of the best Auto Shows in recent history!
The 2014 North American Car of the Year! The Chevy Corvette Stingray. We'll pretend that I snapped this pic at the Auto Show - but in reality I took it in the RenCen. There was a flock of people around the one at the Auto Show and we couldn't even get close to it. Gorgeous car. I'm sure I could load some carseats in the back.
Before we left - we went up to Tyson's office. Obviously, Tyson and I aren't related by blood - because his desk had NO CLUTTER. Mine was always covered in very organized piles. Josie is thinking she will replace CEO Mary Barra in a few years.
 A look over the Detroit River at Canada.
We drove by Joe Louis Arena so Jack could see where the Red Wings play.
And, of course, no trip to Detroit is complete without a Coney Dog.

We had a fun day and everyone was pretty tired when we got home. We're looking forward to warmer weather and the Detroit Tiger's baseball season. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

So Over You, Winter.

To say that we are tired of winter...would be an understatement. We are SO tired of winter. And every time I look outside and see more snow falling (or the thermometer dropping well below zero) I cringe. Needless to say, Spring will be a welcome change.
Josie spent some time coloring on the kitchen island on Tuesday while Jack was at school. She is like her mommy...she loves making art.
The "boys" enjoyed some undivided attention from me the other night. They, too, are tired of winter. And who can blame them? I'd hate peeing in -24 temps!
We escaped to a local business for some indoor play fun. Kids Gotta Play is a Rainbow Playset & trampoline store. They open their showroom to kids - which is brilliant. Jack LOVES jumping on the trampolines and Josie roams around the different playsets.
I introduced Jack to A & W root beer today. He's a fan. I'm a fan too - I forgot how yummy it is!

We'll be staying warm this weekend...lots of indoor activities.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Jack got a shaving kit for Christmas and the other night I caught him saving his legs. Hmmmm. I was quick to inform him that girls shave their legs. (unless boys are swimmers - right Uncle Joe?)
So then he shaved his face. Very smooth.
Josie got some shaving cream in her mouth. Jack told her it "tastes yummy." He lied.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Saturday night we decided to take a family trip to the movie theater. I thought the kids would enjoy seeing Frozen. Josie LOVED it! She was totally into the movie & her popcorn. Jack liked it too - because it had a snow monster. Funny thing - he thought he got to go because he "goes on the potty all the time now." Yes, exactly.
Jack and Josie checked out some posters for upcoming kid's movies. Jack has his eyes on a few.

And since we've been to the movie - Josie is still loving it. We've watched this video a few times:

And then we found this 9 year old girl who sings the same song. I'm so jealous of anyone who has an amazing voice. 

Friday, January 17, 2014


Thirty-two years ago today - I made my grand entrance (via emergency c-section in blizzard conditions). Like my own children, it seems we have an affinity for arriving in snow storms. So it was fitting that Tyson came home Wednesday with an Oreo ICE CREAM cake.

You know what's awesome? Friends who call your husband at work to remind him it may be a good idea to bring a cake home. Thanks, Brooke!

Tyson was kind of in the dog house on Wednesday. It's not really his fault - but he's traveling for work again. And this time he's in my all-time favorite place - Bloomington. (yes, I'd probably choose a trip to Bloomington over Vegas.)
And - if you're like me - you may have realized a common theme. 1) When Tyson leaves we get snow. 2) When Tyson leaves, someone celebrates a birthday.
Luckily, I had two little helpers who were eager to shovel with me. We cleared the driveway and came inside for dinner.
Tyson will be home later tonight (praying for safe driving, as I know Indiana had snow too). And he can make up his absence by getting me donuts in the morning. See - I'm really quite easy to please. Oreo ice cream cake & donuts...the keys to a 32 year old woman's heart.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ice Sculptures

Sunday morning we got up and got our behinds in gear. We wanted to enjoy a nice breakfast with Grandma Nancy before she left...but I wasn't really in the mood to cook. So we headed to Plymouth, MI - for a quick bite.

After breakfast we took a walk to a nearby park where they have a Fire & Ice sculpture exhibit every January. We watched some Ice Sculptors carve their designs with chain saws. Pretty awesome!

It was a fun morning! We'll have to go back next year at night so we can see all of the sculptures lit up!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ninjas & Hockey

On Saturday we had another birthday celebration for Jack. This time his Daddy was there...and his Grandma Nancy. Not to mention - he got a pretty sweet TMNT cake.
He was in four year old HEAVEN. After cake (and a shirt change), Nancy stayed with Josie while Tyson and I took Jack on a special birthday date.
We have a minor league hockey team just down the street and we thought Jack would like to see a real hockey game. Well, I wish I could say he was all smiles...unfortunately, it was lots of tears. The arena was pretty loud and he didn't want to WATCH hockey, he wanted to PLAY it.
Luckily (I guess), a fight broke out in the first 5 minutes. That was it. He was hooked. A sport where you can play hard and hit people...sounds like a dude thing. But honestly, he thought it was funny that the two players had to go to the penalty box (or as he imagined it - Time Out).
We stayed through most of the second period - then came home to open presents. If you recall all of the birthday gifts Josie got from Grandma & Grandpa Becker...just imagine that again.

We had fun and Jack is still obsessed with PLAYING hockey...but he hasn't mentioned going to another game. Honestly, if he sticks with baseball - I'd be happy.

Friday, January 10, 2014

In the Ditch

Well, it seems someone - me - was a little excited to get Jack to PreSchool on Thursday. We were going down a hill into the town of Northville and I hit black ice. Let me just tell you - there is nothing more scary than knowing you've lost control of your car with your babies inside. Nothing. We slid sideways, then started to get control but ended up in a huge snow drift in the ditch. God was watching out for us because 1) no cars were coming up the hill, 2) we ended up on the other side of the road but completely OFF the road, 3) the kids had no idea anything had happened. Of course, I was crying - only because I felt like a terrible mother. Luckily OnStar was quick about sending a police officer and he got a tow truck to help me within 15 minutes. There wasn't a scratch on my car...and the four year old in the backseat was PUMPED because he got to see a "real policeman and a tow f&%$." Thanking God - for sure. Oh - and Jack made it to school by 10am. You didn't think I was going to let a little "accident" stop me from getting him to school, did you?
He spent the rest of the day lecturing me about how I need to "drive slow, Mommy...there could be back ice and you could slide off the road." Seriously, he has told me that 25 times. He also shared the story with his class. Awesome.

Out of the blue - he has a new obsession with hockey. We don't watch hockey. We actually turn the channel when it comes on ESPN. But somehow he has managed to discover it. Damn you, Michigan. The only person I know - who is happy about this is Carrie Norton.
And finally, after being gone since early Sunday morning - Tyson surprised me and came home a day early! Perhaps the text from the ditch was his motivation. Whatever it was - we are SOOOO happy to have him home again. Above you'll see Jack pretending he's on an airplane going to Florida. He read my mind.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

More Celebrating

The birthday boy joined me in bed at 5:10 yesterday. I didn't complain because not only did I get some early snuggles, I also got to sleep in until 8:30!
Jack got a few birthday cards and even some MONEY. It's burning a hole in his pocket. He also got some special phone calls & text messages. He felt the love.
After dinner - we FaceTimed Uncle Joe, Aunt Gina, Amelia, & Emma - so they could join me in singing "Happy Birthday." I don't think Josie participated. She was way more interested in catching up with her girls.
Jack blew out his four candles...and then proceeded to eat his cupcake (and MINE!). Little thief.
Before bed we watched some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Birthday Boy's choice)...
Then he said, "Mommy - I want to kiss you." And he licked my face. Four year old humor is so mature. (Why can I picture this happening throughout his life? I'm pretty sure he will always find this funny.)

Also - we send GET WELL SOON love to Grandpa Jerry (who is having minor back surgery today). And I'm celebrating the fact that school is back in session! High fives to the moms out there who have been off their schedule for WAY too long. Get to learning' kids.