Life is sooooooooooooo busy as a working momma of THREE kids... but, life is also full of so many "little" things...you know, those simple pleasures that really bring so much joy... I'm mostly thinking of the dopey things that my kids say and do that make me laugh... but also the little adventures we have or the day trips that we do... you think you will remember them all, but those memories really do fade over time. I am hoping to sit down once a month (ideally, once a week, but being that I hardly manage one decent shower a week, we'll aim for once a month for now! LOL) to detail those quotable quotes or beautiful little actions (or those not so much) as well as our family activities. I hope you enjoy!! :)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

What a Difference a Year Makes!

Ho, ho, ho!
Santa's Visit 12/15/12
So, it struck me today, as we were getting ready for Santa's annual drive down our block on a fire truck, that this was the subject of my VERY first blog entry in January of last year!!!  I feel like I have come full circle and am excited about all of our documented family fun from 2012!!  And, what a difference a year makes!!

What a BIG girl! :)
Of course, the obvious, is our little rose!  She has just about doubled her age and at nearly two, a year makes a HUGE difference!!  This year, she was able to join us when waiting for Santa, rather than being up for a nap.  She has become a PISTOL (and a half!) and we SWEAR is far busier than the boys put together at her age.  I'm thinking it's simply because she is so FIERCELY independent and DETERMINED to keep up with those same two boys who are much older (at this point) than she is!!  She is playful, loving, and just a beautiful joy to us all.  She does not WALK any where... she hops and skips everywhere with the biggest of smiles on her face.  She just LOVES to be out and about! It warms my heart to see how BOTH boys love her and look after her!!

"Seriously, mom?!  Really?"  Ryan's
catch-phrases of the year!
And then, of course, this past year brought Ryan making that Rite of Passage from preschooler to Kindergardener.  He is an amazing little man.  He is a verbally precocious soul who we swear needs an "off" button (although, truth be told, he is HILARIOUS and if you ever want to have a good time, just borrow him... he could make a simple trip to the store the most amusing experience).  Apparently, school is his off button!  He is focused and driven there (this totally makes us chuckle!)... and is learning RAPIDLY, not only because he hangs on the every word of his teachers, but also because he comes home and prides himself in finding his site words EVERYWHERE.  He shares so much of his learning (because he is that people-person who learns best through talking!) with us and it is beautiful to watch him learn and grow!!  He also can sit at his desk and engage himself in an assignment (teacher, mommy, or Ryan-given) in a way we have NEVER seen him focus.  True beauty!

Who is Patrick without a bird
by his side?! LOL... this has been
the year of the bird... bringing
obsession to a whole other level
And, Patrick?  He is no longer a little guy!  He truly is a big boy and it is bittersweet to watch him make his way in this world.  As a 2nd grader, he really is well under way.  At the end of this school year, he will already be halfway through elementary school!  He is rapidly learning... is not too interested in reading BOOKS for fun, but is QUICK to read signs around as he plays that leadership role to his younger siblings.  He is becoming driven by big kid tests (makes me proud... NOT!) and takes them seriously, often reminding me that we have to sit down and study for them.  Looking at him in the classroom now, you would NEVER in a million years guess the struggles he had in preschool.  He is about as straight and narrow as they come, doing the right thing in the classroom as a model student!  He remains incredibly creative and he loves to make videos and direct productions (of all types) in his free time.

 Our three three friends, who have grown so much this past year, gathered together this morning (I have never seen the boys get dressed SOOOOOOO quickly and without argument as they did today, knowing that Santa was on his way!) to wait for Santa.  The boys SUPER excited since, well, you know, the Halloween basket is getting kinda low, and Santa usually throws candy out from the truck, so.... Sweet Katy-Kate had not a clue what was going on, but LOVES to be outside, so she was happily bouncing around (and throwing the leaves John had raked into piles up in the air), but would pause occasionally when she would hear the fire engine as we can often hear it long before we see it.
LOOOOOK!  There he is!
Santa's elf waves!!
  And then??!  We saw the fire engine first.  And, for sweet Katy, that would have been exciting enough--to have a fire engine, with lights flashing, and siren calling, pass by so closely!  But then, there was an elf, tossing candy out the window and Santa, himself, waving hello!!
Yes, that is Patrick running into the
street to get the candy... there's no
looking both ways at a time like this!
Ryan hops right to the candy...
Katy has no conception, otherwise
she'd be RIGHT there!  Katy <3s candy!
 I always get a kick out of watching the kids scramble for the candy... First of all, we are the ONLY kids out there... There are a couple kids a few doors down as well as down the block, but the elf throws to each house, so the candy is ours, no need to worry.  Second of all, the kids (well, except the wild thing) are SOOOOOO great about the street and looking for permission as well as looking both ways before going out into it... Well, that all goes RIGHT out the door when there is candy in the street... no cares that the fire engine, a MASSIVE piece of machinery that would squish them for sure, just passed by and will be back... we MUST get our candy.  Third, we never do get around to finishing any candy and it's not like they are allowed to eat it at will... why the need to have so much?  Truth be told mommy and daddy (well, more accurately, mommy, DUH!) are going to eat most of it!!  LOL.  Anyway.  Our final BIG event for the year, prior to Christmas!!

That should do it for this year!  We have a busy Christmas on tap for this year (John's family PLUS mine... ALL of our siblings, our parents, my nephews are ALL spending the day with us... plus my grandfather and one of my uncles...I can't WAIT for the full house... and, yes, I'm going to make a meal for all of them... and, yes, that SHALL be interesting, LOL... might need to be one of my first blog posts of the new year, assuming I survive!), so I know the next two weeks will FLY by...

As I sign off for the year, I want to give a shout out to my biggest fans out there... my young mommy friends at work who have actually told me, separately,  that they strive to be just like ME (to which I always get a big CHUCKLE since I feel like I spend my life in the constant turbulence of a wind tunnel, but I LOVE to hear it... there truly is no bigger compliment and it makes me feel SO good!), I always like to remind them that what's written on paper and captured by picture is often WAAAAAYYYYYY quieter and far calmer than the chaos that goes into ANY family event... and by "event," I am even including just getting us all dressed and out of the house in the morning.  Writing this the day after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I am today, as I am everyday, incredibly thankful and feel TRULY blessed to have my beautiful little family.  My life is a flurry of activity and it is rarely TOTALLY calm, but I wouldn't change an absolute thing.  And, we as a family are lucky to be surrounded by so many people who love and support us... that is, after all, what life is all about!! :)

Much love to all!!
<3 Kimberly (John, Patrick, Ryan, and our Sweet Little Rose)

P.S. I put this down and didn't publish immediately... OOOOOOPS!  Survived Christmas, in spite of the flu debacle that was Katy!! :)  New Year's Eve is tomorrow... Excited to ring in 2013!! :)

P.P.S. Here are some other pictures from today:

My little people!

Only Katy could get away with
playing in J's leaf piles! ;)


More kisses!

Patrick, thinking he'd have a
little alone time!

Let me help, Patrick!

Football instead?!


We interrupt this game to visit
the puppies who came out to play!
No, we will NOT be getting a

I got it!!!

Go deep!
Back inside...

Don't let the look fool you,
little thing! ;)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fall Fun... Lennox Style

So, I am going to cheat and publish nothing just so that I can make myself go back later and do our fall entry... I'm not really in the mood to do it tonight, so I have to at least hold the place before I do our pre-Christmas/year wrap up tonight... my OCD would drive me crazy later if fall fun was AFTER pre-Christmas (and, yes, I realize it is already AFTER the elf... can't be perfect all the time and, really, it's kinda descriptive of my life in general these days... I'd LOVE order and control, but who am I kidding??!;)  LOL.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christopher Popinkins Pops In

     I hear a Blog, calling my name... You know this is starting to become a bit of a habit when I feel the urge to blog and we are about a month since my last post! :)  Wahoooooooooo for a successful New Years Resolution!!  I still am DYING to record our active fall (I think this is our family's favorite season), but I'm feeling the need to blog about our little elf who has been visiting us annually since we moved here almost three years ago... this is his third pre-Christmas with us and, thanks to the likes of Pinterest, I have been encouraged to think outside the box with him this year... specifically, duh!, he doesn't have to just "hang-out"... he can be a silly elf, you know!!  The elf was fun before, but now he is WICKED fun (whatever that is... been hanging out with 7th graders a bit too much lately)... I think I stumbled upon the idea of having a prankster elf just in time... while the boys LOVE him and look forward to him coming (leading to 2012 Elf Debacle #1 which I will get to in a minute), they are getting older... they are not one bit, though, getting bored with him.  They faithfully come down every morning and, first thing, search high and low for the guy.  They have been in downright hysterics with some of his antics thus far, and I haven't even warmed up (well, he had, but thanks to 2012 Elf Debacle #3 the kids never knew... more on that in a bit)!! :)  It truly is "The MOST WONDERFUL time of the year..."  Think this time of the year will be one of those I miss most when the kids are all growed up (and, yes, I know it is really GROWN, I was being playful... back off Uncle Chris, the grammar police! ;) Lol).  I am going to let the pictures tell the story and then, after the pictures I will keep a list of 2012 Elf Debacles... Check back, weekly, for updates (let's see if I can actually handle this job!)... especially my fellow elf-mommy friends whom I've been stalking on FB for ideas so that I don't have to resort to my Pinterest list or, for scandalous shame, have to actually think for myself... *gasp*  Enjoy!!

December 1, 2012

Piggy, a regular member of
our family, has to check this
thing out, too!

How did he get up there??!
 (And, yes, these boys, dress QUITE
 differently, yet sleep not only
in the same house, but the same room)

Umm, seriously??!
How did he get up there?  Anyone?

12/2/12  Christopher has
Ryan's marker!!!!

What did he DO with that pink

This one was fun for mommy! :)

And, yes, I did redo her heart after
I reviewed the film...LOL... it was
dark and she had stirred...

The elf is reading Ryan's book
(it is most fun to mess with Ryan...
afraid of Patrick- what would he do
if Christopher was on the toaster and
P then couldn't have pancakes for
breakfast??!? LOL)

12/4/12  Clearly wasn't feeling
it Monday night... this was like
something he would have done
last year... now, if he'd been
hogging the remote...

My spin on the "Gone Fishin'" idea.
Patrick was VERY worried that
Christopher was within reach! LOL

He replaced our stockings with
STOCKINGS!  Ryan about
died... "Santa said he was
a funny guy."
Patrick figures he's about to wake
up with a peanut on his nose
(a story Santa shared with him
when the boys were telling Santa
what our crazy elf had been up to)!

"Patrick, LOOOOOK!"

Who's drew on our pictures?

Ryan's, fittingly, says,

(Katy's one-track mind)
Katy is too busy
watching Elmo
to care! ;)


HA!  Take TWO!
Revlon Colorstay Lipstick! ;)

Dreaming of Elf Antics!

NACKS! (Fruit snacks,
her favorite...)

Can you believe this guy??!

Will there be a peanut on my

I do believe the look is saying,
"Quit taking pictures and DO
SOMETHING... this isn't
coming off..." (What he doesn't
realize is that after the ... comes "like
the pink marker did")! ;)

Patrick, in actuality, is NOT
amused!! LOL

Now look what he did!!

He got our UNDERWEAR
(Ryan was particularly amused
by this... he's in that "potty"


Ryan stuck around in awe
for awhile! :)

Chris borrows Ryan's home made
snow and our marshmallows
to make a buddy!

Patrick was most concerned by his
use of the Super V box... did he drink
the juice, too??! ;)

Christopher borrow's P's
Angry Birds...

Load 'em up!

Patrick was going to
play with those today!

Patrick, the schmuck, was quick
to point out that he'd set it
up wrong... right in front of my face...
what nerve! :-P  Might have to
get the lipstick out again!

Place holder for 12/12/12
Elf was in the car... pic is on my
phone... emailed to Yahoo, but slow
coming thru... to lazy to get the cord
to download directly... stay tuned
and enjoy this cute pic until then! 

Chris and his friends do an Elmo puzzle!

Ryan was REALLY concerned that
Katy was going to touch him...
Katy didn't even go near him!

Christopher Popinkins is out in the

Ryan greeted him!

Patrick was very concerned that he
was cold (he thinks all THINGS have
feelings, too... been watching too
much Toy Story)!

At least he has a blanket!

Yes, that is a wipe in Katy's hand.
No, we did not give her this idea...
She did this all unprompted...
John couldn't be more proud!

12/15/12  Christopher TP's the
LOOK!  There he is! 

12/16/12  Our Elf tries to hijack our
pirate ship for an impromptu trip
to the North Pole
That's right!!  VIDEO!!  Sometimes pictures just can't capture it the way a front row seat can.  Yes, biased mommy, but my kids are so darn cute! ;)

Thank goodness for no
middle of the night bathroom
breaks! ;)

Christopher! 12/17/12

Lego Batman & Robin, the Police
Chief, and Mommy think CP
needs to chill for the night! ;)

12/19/12 Christopher uses some of
Ryan's "Small Moment" paper
to record his own small moment!
What an artist CP is! LOL 
12/20/12  CP reads a Christmas book
with Lamby and Beckett (he snuck
them out of the boys' beds)...
Patrick was NOT pleased!

Mommy luckily overhears a
conversation between Ryan and
CP to bring 12/21/12's prank!
12/21/12  You want peanuts?!
Yes, I have the light on and am
taking pictures... my kids are DEEP

Midnight Snack (see Elf Debacle #5)

He'll love this pic when he is older! ;)

Only 3 more days!

Dude, seriously, the elf is tired
and a REAL spa day is in order!

Who needs Pinterest?
I've been playing an elf all
month!!  Last big day? A
Scavenger Hunt!  NY Grandma
and Grandpa show up with the
first clue! :)

Clues are riddles that, when answered,
lead the kids to one of CP's haunts and
the next clue!

Ryan will NEVER forget
the underwear!

Group Picture! ;)

Led to a Gingerbread Village kit!

Kids get right to work (with NY
Grandma & Grandpa)

YES!  The END!  12/24/12
CP is GONE, but leaves gifts
for the kids! 
A happy ending!!

2012 Elf Debacles

1.  Friday night 11/30/12 Kimberly, tired after a four day work week and a nice glass of wine, says to John at bedtime, "Oh, the stupid (sorry, Christopher!) elf!"  John says, "Just wait until tomorrow... tomorrow is December 1st".  K & J proceed to go to bed... Early the next morning (as in before 7), John nicely gets up with the kids only to return to the room, in horror, moments later to share that the kids are FEVERISHLY looking for stupid (again, sorry, Christopher!) said elf.  Somehow this was Kimberly's problem... Although there really is no "I" in team and we somehow managed to get him out w/o our cover being blown!

2.  Sunday morning, 5:30a.m., conversation overheard between Patrick and Ryan  (well, more like a Ryan-monologue that Patrick was subjected to by nature of his bed's location)... "How did he get up there?"  "He's got my marker."  "How did he get my marker?"  "How did he get my marker AND wrap the chain around his leg?"  Mental.Note.To.Self:  Don't put the stupid elf (again, sorry, Christopher, but, in my defense it WAS before 6 A.M. on a Sunday morning!) doing antics in the boys' room!!!

3.  OKAY!  So, I was incredibly pleased with myself that I had managed to write on all three kids (pink hearts) without anyone waking up (I did have to abort the mission in Katy's room, initially, after she stirred, but I'm not too worried about her, she doesn't speak... well, enough to convey that Popinkins is really ME, anyway!) and hung him up with the evidence in his hands (see 2012 Elf Debacle #2)... Boy was I annoyed when I woke up (yes, the second time, after fussing at the boys that they'd BETTER go back to sleep!) to discover that my hearts were G-O-N-E!  Stupid.Washable.Marker.... not ONE survived... I had gone easy (pink, washable, marker) since we were going to go see Santa that day and I wanted to be able to get the evidence off (although, upon reflection, it would have made for an especially CUTE pic with Santa... hmmm.... maybe next year) before the picture.  I have learned, though... THIS weekend we will do something more permanent (hopefully not TOO permanent!) and Christopher will SURELY not be hanging in their room with the evidence (he will be in the Rose's room... she won't make such a fuss)! ;)

4.  So, not a debacle, but a COULD-HAVE-BEEN debacle... Today (I'm updating on 12/14) the boys were standing around the sliding glass door to the deck discussing the frost on Chris' hat.  They were wondering if they should bring him in...wasn't that the right thing to do?  They were adorable with questions like, "What if we touch him?"  "What if he falls?"  Actually, the "What if he falls?" might have been the question in MY head as I offered to try to bring him in... I was trying to recall how well I'd wedged him into the pot...LOL... As I unlocked the door, the boys decided that it wasn't worth the risk--he had the blanket, after all... In fact, Patrick BOLTED from the room for cover, wanting NO part of a situation that he knew, surely, was WRONG... LOL (May he always be this way when around his peers 8 to 10 years from now!)... In any event, we DIDN'T risk him... I'm off, Part II, heading off to TP their toy room, compliments of the elf!! ;)

5.  Stupid elf!  I overheard Ryan asking Christopher Popinkins to leave a peanut on his nose (the Santa we visited at the mall told him about an elf who once did this).  So, I had to do it, no??  Couldn't really pull off on his nose, so we put some in each of their beds and left a trail from their beds up to where Christopher was with the rest of the bag.  The unplanned event?!  I hear Ryan go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  When he gets back to his room (after not washing, I might add, but, hey, if a 5 year old hits the head at midnight and no one is around, must he really wash his hands?!), I hear, "Patrick, PATRICK!!"  and then a whole conversation ensues regarding the peanuts and Christopher.  I roll over thinking it would surely die down on its' own... ya, no... Had to drag myself out of my stupid bed to go talk to those stupid kids regarding the stupid elf and his stupid peanuts.  Not a big fan of leaving my warm, toasty bed in the morning, let alone in the middle of the night to wrestle kids back to bed.  I know, I know, I will SURELY one day look back on this moment and chuckle, missing these days as I am well-rested, laying on a beach somewhere warm, with a drink in one hand, a book in another, and not a care in the world.  But today?  Well, okay, I did, secretly, chuckle... don't tell... I had to play the cranky mommy role! ;)

     My plan is to update weekly!  So, check back for more pictures (and hopefully a simple list of three 2012 Elf Debacles)... I'm enjoying my new camera... a great incentive to bring me back!!!!

<3 Kimberly (John, Two Boys, & the Little Rose)

P.S.  It came to my attention today, when posting about our elf on FB, that not everyone knows what an elf is... if this is you, here was my posted back answer (oh, cool, I'm quoting MYSELF...lol...):  "Santa sends him from the North Pole in December to watch over the kids in your house... Each day he appears somewhere else in the house... He's a magical elf, so you can't touch him or he'll lose all his power and have to go back to the North Pole... This year, the thing seems to be to have him do little pranks around the house... Today he took down our stockings and hung up our socks instead... He is a trickster for sure!"  Now, go back and read my post again... it will make more sense!! ;)