Tuesday, November 30, 2010


The germs of the universe heard me and corrected their efforts...Zeke came home with strep today.

November 2010

We started our Christmas decorating, right down to a Santa outfit for my armadillo.
Happy MIKE LeBARON DAY 2010! Mike's boss requested that we not do a picture at work this year, but Earl had made this, so I shared it through email and the Christmas letter. I LOVE IT.Mike was actually genuinely surprised this year--Yeah! The downside? He was surprised because I somehow managed to pick the one day no one was in the office. Was he still able to pawn off the 60+ cream puffs? Sure.
Gram and Pops came for the Thanksgiving holiday. We were miserably sick most of the week with a stomach bug, but Gram took every spare (well) moment to teach us new skills. Here #1 is learning to make hats on the sewing machine.

I just have to note that when I said in the Christmas letter that I'm better able to embrace sick time with the boys, it's when I can keep them home from school and enjoy a few extra minutes with them--NOT when I already get to have them home and should be out busy enjoying them to the max!! This stomach bug chose the wrong week! I feel cheated!!
#4 shows off his reading skills.
We were all a little slow this year recuperating from the virus, so lots of reading and puzzle and screen time...
#2 and our nephew in the train at Gatti Town. Pops always takes us there. It's such a tradition that the boys fought over whether its official name is "Gatti Town" or "Daddy Town."
I actually got #5 on a large animal. He's afraid of them--won't ride the camel, feed the giraffe, etc. This was the most gentle pony ever, though, and with me holding on tightly, he managed and even enjoyed it a little. :)
Mike is teaching the boys about computers and networks.
#5 enjoyed several more trips to the zoo and park.
Mike is teaching the boys about scientific notation. This is literally what they do for fun. A couple of years ago they figured out how many ways you could order a Wendy's hamburger using binary calculations.
This sight warms a mom's heart. Every single time.
We are in search of the very best egg nog available! So far we've had two blind taste tests (how could you have a taste test without explaining about the scientific method and the influences of advertising, packaging, others' opinions, etc.??). We'll have another one or two and then do a final test with the winners. We'll let you know which comes out on top.
Mike teaching the boys how to change a tire. Again, just because he loves to teach. He went and had them rotated as soon as they tightened the last bolt.
This still gives me the heebie-geebies. Will I ever get over that? Once Mike called on his way home to ask me to just move the snake to its feeding tank. I tried. Really I did. I got gardening gloves on, opened up the tank, and...just stared. And stared and stared. He found me still staring when he got home. He lifted it out bare-handed and laughed all the way downstairs.
#2 made a hat--to donate to Parkland and to count toward his Craftsman Activity Badge in scouting!
I became a merit badge counselor. For 8 merit badges. Here is the second workshop I put on for the Art Merit Badge. What a terrific group of kids! We had so much fun. Turns out I love to teach, too. :) #3 is smiling in the middle.
#1 made a snake lego bag.

#1, Mike, and Pops working on a tough sudoku puzzle with some cool software. Guy thing?

Below you'll find a video of the first ever bike rider in our family. We're all so proud of #4!!! Sometimes when you're the fourth in the family, it doesn't seem like there are a lot of firsts left. Congrats, 4! And, yes, he does giggle while he rides--every time, the entire time--even now after weeks of practice and many actual "controlled stops." Also, check out #4 reading with inflection. When we asked about his reading, he noted that exclamation points require emphasis. :) Lastly, I found #s 4 and 5 swinging in the backyard. They were taking turns hanging the trampoline ladder from the bar and swinging on the ladder. Instead of promptly removing the ladder for safety's sake like any sane mother of, say, GIRLS, might do, I just grabbed a video and headed back inside.

Quotables: The North Pole has given me a heads up, so I know that #5 is getting garbage trucks for Christmas. Now, I thought this was a perfect plan. He talks about them nonstop, points out every single one we ever see, runs to the window to watch when he hears them, and generally seems to love them. However, when Gran and Pops were here, he told Gram, "I sometimes have bad dreams. The bad, scary garbage trucks come." So if the big man in red really "sees you when you're sleeping," he's got a twisted sense of humor.

When we were driving to errands today, Lee said he wanted to go to the park. #5 responded, "You always want to play. And we always have to work."