Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkin carving

I promised pics of us carving our pumpkins and we finally got around to the task this week. (Good thing since Halloween is quickly approaching. Can you believe it's almost November?)


Just wondering how much of a story line Owen Hunt will have in tonight's Grey's Anatomy episode? After giving a shout out to him in a previous blog post, I'm happy to see his return. I don't usually watch the show live (hubs doesn't care about Grey's so we'll watch Survivor, The Office and tonight's return of 30 Rock) so it may be a few days before I find out.


Hubby and I are addicted to Scrabble lately. (Actually, I think I'm the one with the addiction. He's just playing to appease me.) It's rare to find an activity where I do better than him. (Actually, it never happens. The man beats me at EVERYTHING.) I'm in the lead in overall wins so I'm hoping to keep the streak going.

Or I could quit while I'm ahead. But what fun would that be?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Seeger is a rock star

Seeger is a rock star. I say this because I've just returned from chaperoning his Pre-K class field trip to the farm. Since I rarely drop him off or pick him up from preschool, I don't witness how he interacts with the other children in his class. But today I spent two hours with the group and came to the conclusion that he is really is a rock star. He's like the cool kid in the class. The guy everyone wants to be friends with but who doesn't care, thus making him even more cool. Like I said, a rock star.

I immediately noticed his coolness factor when the children were being divided up into groups based on who was riding with which parent. I hear Jack say, "I want to ride with Seeger." Jessica immediately pipes up, "No, I want to ride with Seeger." Unfortunately for Jessica, her mom was driving. She was not happy about having to go in her mom's car instead of riding with Seeger. As Mrs. Maris divvied the group, Drew, Kyrin, and Mary all clapped when they found out they would be going with Seeger and me. Now, I didn't think much of this, figuring their desire to be with Seeger was only a reaction to Jack's initial comment. You know, like when one child wants something, suddenly the rest do too.

But while we were at the farm, Claire was very adamant that she was going to climb up onto the tractor first. That is until Seeger said he wanted to. While pushing the other kids out of the way, she made room for him to go first. And then there was Max. When we were at the farm, the class was divided into two groups but Max somehow migrated to our group, even though he was supposed to be with Mrs. Maris. When Mrs. Maris came to retrieve him, he told her he wanted to stay in Seeger's group.

The final clue came after the kids finished seeing the animals. They were sitting at a table, eating their snack when Jaeden's mom approached me to tell me how much Jaeden loves Seeger's hair. Apparently out of the blue during dinner one day, Jaeden began talking about Seeger's hair, commenting on it's length and curls. According to the mom, "Jaeden just kept say, "Seeger's hair is so COOL. It's just so COOL!'" She's now letting him grow his hair out like Seeger.

The funny thing is, Seeger is totally oblivious to the attentions of others. His coolness is effortless as he goes on doing his own thing and being his own person. I'm not sure where the cool comes from. It's safe to say he didn't get it from me or hubby or even big brother. But everyone who meets him knows there is something special about him. (For the record, I think there are special things about ALL children. I just think Seeger's specialness stands out a bit more.)

So all these weeks, I've been feeling like the neglectful mom who spends all her time working instead of staying home with her children. And really, I'm the mom of the cool kid.

Deer run

My mom recently had a run-in with a deer. While she was her way to watch my children. Yikes, the feelings of guilt. Luckily, she wasn't hurt. Her car? Well, that's to be determined. The deer? Don't ask.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tis the season

The weather is changing and fall is in full swing. They're predicting snow showers tonight. (And really, what the heck are snow showers?) It's definitely "curl up on the comfy couch" weather. Here's Nicklas attempting to stay up to watch baseball.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Hubs and I tend to get bored with our house easily - not enough for major home improvement projects but enough to occasionally rearrange the furniture. We've been in our house a little more than two years so it felt very natural to change things up. We moved our super comfy family room furniture to our living room (it's bigger so it's where the Wii is - more room to play), our formal living room furniture (not good for said Wii playing) to our dining room, and our dining room into our family room. Check out this photo of a recent family dinner. It's kinda cool having a fireplace in our dining room!

We likely won't leave the rooms like this very long. We're hosting my mom's side of the family for Thanksgiving at the end of November and we'll be doing some major adjustments to fit all the tables and chairs needed for 35 people. We're so lucky to have the basement!

Flat Stanley

I love to help out with field trips and I didn't want to miss an opportunity to go with Nick's class to Clowes Hall at Butler University to see Flat Stanley, The Musical. The class has been studying Flat Stanley and recently sent their Stanley's out around the world. I know they're looking forward to hearing all about Stanley's adventures.

Prior to the show, we ate lunch on campus. Luckily, it was a beautiful day!

I love this picture of Nicklas (on the right) walking back to the bus with his buddies. They had a great time at the show!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Nicklas Phelps

Sorry for the crappy picture but it's the best close-up of him that I have.

Nicklas joined a swim team this year. Although, he's still learning stroke development and isn't quite ready for races, he has been enjoying the twice weekly practices. A few weeks ago, the club had a practice meet. I was so proud of him. He got up on the platform (not sure what the technical term is) with the other, more advanced swimmers and jumped (still learning to dive) in. He was last every time but he was racing against the competitive swimmers so what do you expect?

Getting ready to take off.

He was a little late in his start. :)

Seeger was very patient in watching all the races. I know he was bored!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Parent/teacher conference

Can I just say how lucky I am? Really, truly. Hubs and I are constantly complimented on our parenting and while I know we do a good job (for the most part), I just feel like Nicklas and Seeger make it so easy. They are great kids. Really truly.

Yesterday was Nick's parent/teacher conference. I always enjoy conferences for Nicklas because his teachers never have anything but good things to say and it reminds me of how lucky we are. He's an excellent student, well behaved, tries hard, follows direction, etc. Now that he's in second grade, he's starting to get actual grades on his school work. His averages range from 85% - 89% and considering he's doing third grade work, we are very happy with his progress. In looking at his standardized test scores (testing at a second grade level), he scored 96% in reading and 99% in math. That's nationwide. Regarding his math score, as he teacher commented, "It doesn't get better than that." See? We're so lucky.

Hubby and I continue to appreciate the opportunity he's been given to take part in the gifted/talented program in his school district. It's a self contained program and although some parents don't like that, it's truly the best fit for Nicklas. We are fortunate that we don't have to deal with the issues that could arise if he were in a mainstream classroom. Very, very fortunate. And in terms of GT programs, our school district has one of the best in the state.

I used to think that all the kids in the classroom were doing well in the program but as I talk to more and more parents, I'm learning that others are struggling. One child is having behavioral issues and has begun punching other children. Another child struggled with the language arts portion of class (while excelling in math) and has been moved out of the program (but still comes to participate in math). Another child is struggling socially and doesn't have friends to hang out with.

But Nicklas is happy, healthy, excelling and being challenged at the same time. Homework is often too easy for him but there are some instances where he has to work at it. Most importantly, he loves school and he loves to learn.

We are very fortunate. Really, truly.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The doors of Princeton

When I was in Princeton last week, I tried to take lots of pictures of the buildings around campus. But everything was so beautiful, I felt a bit overwhelmed and couldn't focus on specific buildings. I was really inspired by the doors the led in to the buildings so that's what I ended up focusing on.

It's a shame that I don't have a better camera or photography skills. I feel like I could have done so much more with the opportunity!

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's the great pumpkin...

Even without at IU game to travel too, we had a busy weekend. Hubby and I spent a good part of Saturday attending a Purdue wellness class (if we complete a certain number, we each receive $250 for the year). After class, the boys helped us pick up and get the house ready for poker. Hubby decided to rearrange some furniture to so we could have both poker tables near the t.v. (thus allowing guests to watch the baseball playoffs). Although we only had 12 play this month, the game lasted longer than ever before and things weren't wrapped up until 2:30am. (And it only ended because the last two playing - hubby being one of them - decided to split the pot.) Sunday we slept in a bit and then headed to the pumpkin patch.

Each year, I tell hubby we should just buy our pumpkins at the store but he's very clear that he wants to support the local farmers. So we make the trek to the country in search of the perfect pumpkin. This has become a great tradition for the kids and I'm happy hubby was so insistant in years past. After hearing great things about a Millennium Farms from my gal Julie, we decided we'd go there this year. The farm features a hay ride to the pumpkin patch where you can pick your own pumpkin as well as activities such as tractor rides, a petting farm, and pony rides. Nicklas opted for the straw bale maze. It was fun to watch his grin as he made his way through the maze. Seeger was immediately attached to the bouncy house. We had trouble convincing him to come out!
After the activities, we had our hay ride to the patch where we all picked out our pumpkins.

Next weekend will be carving time so I have a few days to decide what I plan to do with my pumpkin.

Princeton trip

Last week I travelled to Princeton University for a work trip. Although I hated being away from hubby and the boys, I was looking forward to this trip as I've heard how their campus is. My travel included a flight from Indianapolis to Newark with a stop in Pittsburgh. Upon arriving in Newark, I took the New Jersey Transit train to Princeton Junction and was told to catch the Dinky to campus. I didn't know what a Dinky was until arriving at Princeton Junction. (Apparently, it's a term for a small locomotive.) After arriving on campus, I had a short walk to my hotel. I have to say, I was surprised by the size of the campus. With just a little more than 7,100 students at Princeton, it felt as big as Purdue (who has 37,000 students). (I looked up that stats; Princeton has 8.5 million square feet of academic space and Purdue has 11.3 million.) Campus didn't disappoint. The buildings were gorgeous, the leaves were just starting to change and walking the six blocks to my hotel, I even felt a tad smarter!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Poker night

This isn't a real post since I don't have much time and I haven't uploaded my latest photos from my camera. But I wanted to post something since it's been a few days. To my loyal readers, I apologize for the semi entertaining soon!

In the meantime though, it's Poker Night at our house right now. I was the first out tonight (that has never happened!!!) and I'm sitting here, waiting for the game to end. We had 12 all together and luckily, hubs it still in it. We're paying out through third place and four are still playing. I hope he lasts through at least one more all in!!

I'd also like to give a quick shout out to Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series. I read the first book on my work trip and it was super good. I quickly bought the second one and it's been tough to put down. I never thought I'd be so in to a teenage vampire love story but I heard about the series on NPR last spring and since then, I've heard rave reviews from others. I'm definitely addicted!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

IU game

My dad and his wife attended the Indiana vs. Iowa football game with us this past weekend. I don't want to talk about the game -- the horrible, terrible (and incredibly hot) game. But I did want to share a photo of them in Memorial Stadium for the first time. (Actually, that's not true. My dad informed me that he has been to an IU football game before - a long time ago - with his family. I never knew!) After packing up the tailgate (steak and eggs, yum!), we headed to the stadium but stopped first to pet some miniature dachshund puppies. Seeger was in love!

The love quickly changed to boredom during the game. Between the heat (no expects high 80's and the sun beating down on you at an October football game in Indiana) and the 45 point loss, I don't blame him.