Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sara's newest creation...

Sara has perfected a new treat for the kids (and me)...CAKE POPS

For those that haven't heard of this phenomenon, don't worry, we hadn't either before Sara stopped by a bake sale at work last week and picked up a few of the pops for us lucky guys in the house. 

The best way I can describe them is by saying that they are simply one of the best foods I have ever tasted.   After taking my first bite of one last week, I told Sara that when I envision what food tastes like in heaven, I think cake pops.

After consulting Google on how to make the delicious treats, we took a stab at making our own early last week.  Then Sara spent a good chunk of time on Friday night kicking them up a notch by making them look like ice cream cones. 

She nailed it.

Here is what she created. 

Thankfully, she made enough for not only all of the kids at Addy's party to have one, but there were a few leftover for us as well.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


It's a good time to be a Reds fan, and that hasn't been easy to say for the better part of two decades.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Sara's beloved grandpa's health has taken a turn for the worst. 

This is a man that has defied the odds many times before, so we are asking for your thoughts and prayers as he is facing yet another challenge. 

Thank you.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Colts fan?

If I didn't know any better I would say that our friends, the Lopers, who live in Indianapolis are attempting to brainwash Addy into being a Colts fan.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Today was the day we had been waiting on for quite some time, a first birthday for one of our kids.  Lleyton came home at 13 months, and Parker at almost 6 years, so we were thrilled to get Addy before her first birthday so that we could finally spend an inaugural birthday with one of our little ones.

Addy's day started off just as the other kids birthdays have...with a room full of happy birthday balloons. 

After a morning of preparing the house and food for her birthday party, we headed out to Parker's soccer game where we were joined by the likes of Grandma Susie, Papa Don, Grammy, Aunt Emily, Aunt Megan, Uncle Jason, and Nick, Drew, and Claire.  Parker's cheering section far outnumbered anyone else's, especially when you add in the the very thoughtful teachers from the kids daycare that showed up to support our big man as well.  The opposing team won, which was due in large part to them double teaming Parker (not really, but it looks like it in this picture).

Following the titanic struggle on field 3c, all of Parker's fans made their way back to our house where Pop joined us for Addy's birthday festivities.  Our little princess enjoyed herself throughout the day, although at times it did seem she would have rather had a couple less cameras on her.  You be the judge...

After the initial scowl, she did settle in for at least a minute or two.

Some kids really tear into their first birthday cake (or cupcake in our case), but Addy was a bit different.  She picked at it with seemingly very little interest, and once she did go for a quality bite it was quickly followed up by a rather unappetizing vomiting episode.  We could have done without that, but it certainly made for a memorable few minutes.  She bounced back but wasn't really interested in bellying back up the highchair...more cake for the rest of us.

It was really nice having so much family here for the Addy's big day.  Lleyton loves hanging out with his cousins Nick and Drew, and he can't get enough of his grandparents either.  Parker and Claire played very well together, whether it was dueling at Go Fish and Bingo or taking turns reading to each other. 

Papa Don surprised Lleyton with a fantastic gift, a real firefighter's helmet.  Needless to say, it was a big hit with the little boys.

Parker was also given a couple really cool gifts from Papa Don and Grandma Susie.  Can you tell he loves his new book and t-shirt?

As the party came to a close there came a moment when I felt like I was potentially seeing into the future.  These boys look like they could be pretty good at breaking hearts in about a decade.  I wouldn't be surprised if I post a very similar picture years from now of the same three handsome fellas getting ready to head out for a night on the town.

The birthday celebration wasn't over after everyone had left the house.  Addy's was a bit juiced up following the party and wasn't too interested in taking a nap, so we suited the kids up and took of for our annual visit to Fall Fest in Lawrenceburg.  Fall Fest is the annual festival in downtown Lawrenceburg that is everything you could ever want in a street fair.  Great food (if you like fried Twinkies and funnel cakes), fun rides for the kids, challenging games for those tempted enough to step up to the plate, and people watching that is second to none. 

Speaking of fun rides for the kids.

Speaking of tempting games.

We had a great day. 

Am I extremely tired?  Yes. 
Was it worth it?  Absolutely. 


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Most of you reading this blog may think that September 19th is just like any other day during the year, but I am here to tell you it's not. 

September 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.  (Thanks to Sara's friend Beckey for cluing us in to this very clever holiday).

We, here in this house, are not bashful about celebrating little known holidays.  Especially when they fall on Sundays, which is unquestionably our toughest day to keep all of the kids entertained.

Activities for the day included making pirate hats, eye patches, and pirate swords, along with learning a brief pirate song (see below) and Sara made a pirate themed dinner including pizza and sword shaped breadsticks. 

Not sure who enjoyed the day more, the kids or Sara and I. 

Check out our little pirates in action.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Our first annual visit to the apple orchard.

We took a very enjoyable detour on the way to Kokomo this afternoon, as we made a stop at Tuttle's Orchard outside of Indianapolis.  Sara has been wanting to take the kids to pick apples for quite awhile and now I know why. 

We met up at the orchard with one of Lleyton's friends and his mom.  Roman and Lleyton lived together in the orphanage in Samara.  Their birthdays are only separated by a couple of days, so I am pretty sure the staff at the orphanage really had their hands full starting in early December 2006.

The boys had a great time together playing in the hay maze and on the swing set and sandbox.  After reuniting with his little buddy for the first time in over a year, Lleyton proclaimed that Roman was now his best friend.

I am sure these boys stirred up a little trouble during their time in the orphanage in Russia.

I could write about every apple we picked (or threw...Lleyton is in a phase where he is liking to throw anything he gets his hands on), but I think the pictures tell the story best. 

Go to Tuttle's.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

3 for 3

I am not quite ready (yet) to chalk him up as the next Scripps National Spelling Bee champion, but Parker has aced his first three spelling tests. 

Proud Dad

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our chameleon.

Our little man is much like a chameleon.  He has an athletic side that is evident in his bulging muscles, but he also often shows off a softer, high heel wearing side. 

It is rare that he pulls off both looks at the same time, so I was pretty happy to capture that rare moment and how could I not share a picture like this?  Although I'm not sure he will be so happy when he looks back at it later in life.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Our future scholar.

Now that Parker is in First Grade and loving it, Sara thought it would be a good idea to start getting Lleyton in the swing of things as well. 

As you can see, he loves emulating his brother and working on his schoolwork.

Our little guy has always battled his inability to concentrate and sit still, so I can't tell you how proud I am of him when he is able to overcome that, especially when it involves something as beneficial as working on his letters, numbers, and colors.

Thank goodness he decided that Sunday afternoon was the best time for him to concentrate on his schoolwork, as it gave me a more than adequate reason to not watch the Bengals.  In case you weren't watching (which I would hope you weren't), the Bengals fell behind to the Patriots 31-3.  Some things never change.  Side note:  It's interesting reading that post again and seeing how much things have changed regarding Tiger. 

I digress.

Back to Lleyton...thanks to an idea given to us by Sara's good friend (and blog reader) Kate, I have written a letter to the Director of Student Services for our public school corporation.  As Kate informed us, the schools offer therapy for students as young as preschool.  My fingers are crossed that the director will understand our situation and allow us to have Lleyton assessed to determine what his therapeutic needs are and if they will be able to provide those for him. 

I have been in contact with the Director over the past year, as Parker is in the ELL (English Language Learners)  program at his school and we have been pleased with his progress, so hopefully Lleyton will benefit from the services they offer as well.

I will report back as to what I hear.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

We've got a biter.

Long ago we became used to signing Incident Reports while picking up the kids from daycare.  More times than not it was due to a buddy of Lleyton's really seeming to enjoy biting him.  Side note, it was the same buddy that Lleyton punched the other day, so maybe our little man had just had enough.

Well, it looks like the tables have turned.  Sara was greeted by a similar report when she picked up the kids yesterday, but the difference was that this time Addy was on the giving end of the bite.  It was pretty serendipitous timing, considering I had just written on here that sometimes she sneaks a bite in on me when I am least expecting it.  As it turns out, one of her little friends had a book that she wanted to read and instead of asking for it nicely (which would have the acceptable/expected route) she decided just to bite him instead.  I am sure she got the book, but it was short lived as the bite landed her in timeout (or to be politically correct, she was redirected) for 15 minutes. 

Add Vampire to the list of nicknames I have for Addy.  If you're keeping track, you can also add:


The bite was labeled as normal (with minor and severe being the other choices), so I am guessing the little guy on the receiving end had a unique mark on his arm thanks to the very recognizable and in my opinion, incredibly cute, gap between her front two teeth.

I am happy to report that she went all day without biting anyone today and we didn't have to bribe her to do it. 

That time will come.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Addy update.

Our little girl is doing great! 

She is a dream.  She is sweet, dramatic, beautiful, energetic, and growing like a weed.  She is pretty much  everything we dreamt about while waiting for her adoption to be finalized. 

The girl likes to eat.  So much so that she wakes up at least three times a night wanting a bottle, and we are happy to give it to her. During the day, most of her diet consists of formula, but she is also a fan of pasta, fruits, graham crackers, puffs, Lucky Charms, and we recently realized she likes ice cream. 

She adores her brothers.  Her eyes light up each morning when she sees them. 

She loves her mommy, and I am happy to report, I am pretty sure she loves me too.  That was certainly questionable at first, but over time she has seemed to change her mind about me. 

Other than the waking up every few hours wanting a bottle, she sleeps pretty well.

She has gotten quite good at pulling herself up and shuffling her way around a room holding onto something.  Sara and I both think she will be walking by Halloween.

Sometimes when she leans in to give me what I think is going to be a very sweet kiss, she bites me. 

She enjoys laying in our bed watching the ceiling fan.

When she cries, she cries.  It is very loud and dramatic (so dramatic that it actually makes me laugh at times because it is so pathetic looking and I know all she wants is to be picked up or given another cracker).

She likes music and has some pretty good dance moves for an 11 month old.

She loves when her Sara gives her a bath and takes care of her hair.

Somehow, Molly really likes her (so does Max).

She likes lounging in the swimming pool on a raft catching some rays.

She is a diva.

She has me wrapped around her very small finger. 

Any boy that tries to mess with her is going to run right into this buzzsaw and the muscles he loves showing off.

  Sara and I couldn't be more fortunate.  We have three of the best kids in the world. 

New and improved hamburger recipe.

Sara and I both arrive home from work just before 6 o'clock in the evening and the kids go to bed at 8, so we like trying to make the most of that two hours and that usually doesn't include an elaborate dinner.  That means that dinners usually involve a quick batch of spaghetti, microwavable meals, or me firing up the grill.

When we do grill, it is almost exclusively chicken, hamburgers, and corn on the cob.  Admittingly, my burgers have a left a bit to be desired as of late so we set out to find a way to improve on them.  We found what I would consider and excellent option and I am happy to share the new secret (I guess it's not really a secret due to the fact that I found the recipe in a Kroger circular...I'll share it nonetheless).

1 pound ground beef
1 pound sausage
2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Simply combine all of the ingredients and make the burgers as big or small as you like. 

Add a sidedish of your choice (which happens to be tater tots in this house) and a cold beer and you are in for a real treat.


Saturday, September 4, 2010


Growing up, I always knew that summer had arrived when the sounds from the Lawrenceburg Speedway filled the air on Friday and Saturday nights.  The speedway has been a fixture in the community for decades and I have lived or worked in Lawrenceburg for the vast majority of my life but before tonight, I had never been to the track. 

I'm not sure what took me so long.

The boys and I, along with their cousin Will, accompanied Pop for a evening at the race track. We arrived not knowing what to expect, and we left with Parker's head in his hands because he was so upset it was time to head home.

On the way to the track (which, for you racing fans, is known as the fastest 1/4 mile dirt track in the world) we discussed who each boy wanted root for.  Not surprisingly, Parker said he would be pulling for #85. 

What are the odds that there would have even been a #85 in any of the races? 
What are the odds that even if there were, that the #85 would win the race? 

I'm here to tell you that it happened.  A black #85 car won the last race we watched. 

The boys loved being at the track.  They loved the noise (which was extremely loud), they loved the cars, they loved the dirt flying off of the track, they loved it all. 

Who knew the Lawrenceburg Speedway could be such family friendly fun?

Here is Pop teaching Parker some of the finer points of sprint car racing.

Here is Lleyton assuming his standard position when subjected to loud noises.

Can you tell that the boys really like their cousin Will?

And what picture filled post would be complete without a snapshot of our little man looking like he should be a model?