Tuesday, February 9, 2010


We like to play games, but sometimes it's a challenge to find a game that works for a variety of ages AND doesn't take forever to play. Thanks to the Ng family (Dawn's sister Denise), we now have a perfect fit -- WHOONU? It's a little like Apples to Apples, but shorter and more satisfying for younger players, because you get points every time...
It's one of those games that helps you get to know the other people better, as you try to guess which one of the cards in your hand they will like the best. Some are no-brainers, like when it is mom's card, and you have the card "sleeping" in your hand (that hasn't happened yet),
but this one has -- a "horses" card for Abby-- almost a sure #1 pick by her!

The smile of a happy kid!
Zeke prepares to reveal his choices...and everyone waits eagerly to find out how well they picked his favorite card -- the higher rank the "whoozit" gives the card you picked for them, the more points you get..

Abby's turn at being the "whoozit" -- these are the cards we picked for her, and the order she put them in, L to R
(her most favorite on the left)

Even old guys enjoy the game :)


Zeke has entered a whole new world -- the world of braces. He's wondering how he will survive, since he only recently started having a huge appetite, and now there is a whole list of things he can't eat -- so he's getting creative. Suddenly zucchini bread is delicious, and he's learning to make himself smoothies...
The color of choice the first time around was red....

Winter fun

Yet another winter storm passed through last night and today. It stayed relatively warm all day yesterday while it snowed, so the snow stayed wet until overnight, when the temperature dropped. It looked beautiful this morning, but no good for x-country skiing, as the wet snow underneath stuck to the skis. Today it has alternated between blowing and snowing and being clear and sunny. But it is COLD. Nevertheless, the kids are not deterred -- today's project is an igloo in the front yard -- why is it we can't get the kids to work this hard when there is REAL work to be done :)
Zeke, primary builder

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pride and Prejudice/Snoopy

Our family has had the pleasure of being part of a wonderful theatre group for the past few years -- here is their website, so you can find out more about them (us!). Our first experience was 2 years ago, in The Prince and the Pauper. Zeke, Abby, Becky and I were all on stage as ensemble members, and Zeke and I both had very small solo singing parts. Last year, Zeke and Abby returned to the stage in The Pirates of Penzance, Abby as one of the Generals' many daughters, and Zeke as a policemen. Becky was the stage manager and I just played mom. It was one of the most incredible performances I have ever seen on stage, and I was actually glad I got to watch the entire thing. They are working on finishing a DVD of the performance, and will be selling it on the website-- I highly recommend it!
This year, Fine Linen produced Twelve Angry Men in the fall. None of us were involved, for obvious reasons :) (one of these days we'll get Dan involved!). This spring, we are doing Pride and Prejudice and Snoopy -- quite an undertaking. Abby and I are in Pride and Prejudice, Zeke, Isaac and Elizabeth are in Snoopy.
Pride and Prejudice is being done from an original script, put together just for Fine Linen with a couple of main goals -- to provide many different character roles and to be funny. We are having a great time with it already, and can't wait to see how it turns out when we get everyone together at the same time! I am cast as Lady Lucas, and Abby is in the ensemble.
Snoopy is a musical similar to You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, made up of separate vignettes straight from the comic strip, I believe. It is full of fun but challenging music, but we have such a talented group of kids it is going to be awesome, I'm sure. They are using over 40 kids in the production, so no one is cast fully as one character, but Zeke will be playing many of the Linus parts, including singing his solo and ensemble parts. Isaac and Elizabeth are part of the Woodstock/Pumpkin ensemble (cute kids in costume on stage, doing choreographed dances... or not )
I don't have any pictures, so I'm going to have to borrow some from others who have them out there on facebook or something. In the meantime, look at the website and see if you can come to one (or more) of our performances!

The Latest Snow

After the cold snap in early January, the temperatures went up to way ABOVE normal for a couple of weeks. It rained, the pond levels rose, and we started to wonder if we had seen the end of winter. But then it came through again last weekend, and we got about 5 inches of snow overnight on a Friday night. It was snowing when Abby and I went to play practice, and REALLY snowing when we headed home (we are thankful for Dan's 4-wheel drive Blazer!). We woke up to a beautiful covering of snow, but the roads were plowed by the time we headed out to play practice again, and then the sun came out while we were inside, allowing Dan to take these beautiful pictures.
As I write this, it has almost all melted, but it is snowing again, though no accumulation is expected... but I have more pictures to post of our snow adventures last week -- another post.

The kids and Dan created this giant snowman after a day of sunshine made the snow perfect!

Christmas on New Years' Eve

Since we were in Georgia on Christmas Day, we opened our gifts to each other on New Years' Eve. A few of my favorite pictures from that day...

Elizabeth sporting my new Thrivent shirt and a "briefcase" --
anyone want to buy some insurance?

Watch out for Drago's younger brother --
Drago is Andy's nickname at school -- Apparently, Andy is a look-alike to this Russian boxer
in one of the Rocky movies

My 3 sons playing a home-made version of "Settlers of Catan", which was the days' project, and a team effort~

Ice Skating

Early in January, we had a very cold snap in Missouri. While in some ways it was miserable, our kids were thrilled, because it meant that our pond froze hard enough that we could actually skate on it -- and for several days. Many of the skating days were bitterly cold, though the exercise kept all of us warm, including those of us who shoveled the snow off the surface of the ice (this was my foray onto the ice)
These photos were taken on the final day of skating, after it had started to warm up and the snow in the surrounding ground had melted away.