Tuesday, December 22, 2009

An Orange County December

Here are some more December photos.

Let's see. We raked, had 2 Christmas recital type singing thingy's so far.

The kids played in the pool on December the 19th!

We had a friend over and made sugar cookies, that was fun.

We are ready for Christmas!

To our family we cannot be with. We love you, we miss you and we wish you were here! Merry Merry Christmas.

To our friends, we love you and wish you a very Merry Christmas as well.

We'll post Christmas photos pretty soon.

An Orange County December

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December already? What happened to November?

Here are some highlights of November and some photos from the start of December.

Noah and Lily both had their 'Well checks' on the 11th. Lily is 34" tall which puts her in the 97% for height and she is in the 60th % for her weight. Very healthy. Noah, our big boy was 40" tall (he is 41 now) and that put him in the 90th for his height and he finally reached the 50th % for his weight. If you pick him up he is still like a feather, but if you grab a hold of his legs, they are like bricks the boy is solid muscle. How many 3 year olds do you know that have a 6 pack? Healthy, healthy kids, Thank you God.

We had an impromptu visit with my BFF from college. It was amazing to spend some time with Gweners. We went to a concert at church, a play in Hollywood, Rosco's Chicken and Waffles (yes, they are amazing) and went though about a gallon of icecream. Good times, good times.

A friend of mine moved to New Zealand, miss you Erin!

We joined a cool thing called Pretend City and have been going there so the kids can just hang out and play. Fun place! It is exactly what it is called 'a' pretend city.

That brings us to Thanksgiving. We had a nice, kick back day with Noah's best buddy ever, Blake! Hope everyone's was lovely and not too hectic with traveling. We are grateful for all of you.

This brings us to our 11th anniversay. We are so grateful to have had 11 and hope for 111 more! Though this day, is thought of with a very heavy heart. My good, good friend and like a second Mom Cheryl passed away suddenly. Cheryl was an amazing, giving and loving Mom. I know this because not only was she a second Mom to me, but my BFF's friend from CA, Brooke's real, #1, cheerleader, and awesome supporer's Mom. I got a flight out to NC to be with her and help in any way I could and was fortunately able to be there for the service. Losing Cheryl (this was very sudden) is a tragedy and will leave an empty and sad hole in many many peoples lives. I was glad to be there to help with the boys (Cade and Reid), to give lots of hugs to my friend that I have missed since she moved to WA, and to see the place Cheryl loved and called home. Oh, and it was really really cold and I got to see a snowfall, it was beautiful. A gift.

So, December is upon us. We have all of the decorations up, all of the gifts sent, all of our shopping done, now, it is time that we can put all of the hustle and bustle aside and reflect upon these coming days and it's true meaning. The birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For if he had not been born, he would not have died, to save all of us from our sin. God bless you and keep you and have a Merry, Merry Christmas.


P.S. Lots of pictures.

Pretend City.

pretend city

Hanging Out.

Hangin' out

Gwen and Christmas decorations.

Gwen visit and Christmas decorations.

My North Carolina visit.

North Carolina visit.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Halloween Pictures as promised.

Our little carrot and peas had a fun time with a Harvest Fest at Noah's school and trick or treating at Blizzard. Then more fun giving away bags of chips to all of the trick or treaters that came to our house.

In other news, Noah had his first ER trip. That was exciting. He was able to have glue instead of stitches. He ran into a corner of a tailgate of a pick-up truck. Not fun. His eye is all black and blue and green. Lily was a sweetheart through the whole thing. She sat and quietly watched her brother. She definitely looked concerned. On our way home from the ER she reached over and held his hand in the car. Sweet. Of course the next day, a sore face with glue on it did not slow Noah down at all. He was back to his old tricks running around like a madman. All I could see were doorknobs and hold my breath every time he passed one praying that he didn't rip off the glue job. His new favorite phrase is 'because, that is how it works'. When asked pretty much any question.

Lily has been up to some new things too. She is speaking so much. She is learning new words every day! It is wonderful. She has also been going potty on her own for about 3 - 4 days now. It helps that her big brother is there to encourage her. He likes it when they potty together. He on the big one and she on the little one. The conversations are quite funny. I am usually kicked out of the bathroom, as Noah asks for privacy. Lily has also discovered boots. Wow, we thought she liked shoes! Now she runs around naked with these big plastic hello kitty boots on. What a riot these two are.

My babies are growing up. It is going so fast. I want to slow things down, yet I don't want to stop them. I have a handful of friends that are pregnant and I can't help but think, do I want another one. Then 8pm rolls around and I am like no way. I am tired! Actually I usually come to the conclusion of 'no' a lot earlier than that, but 8pm is when this turkey is done.

Speaking of Turkey, here it comes, the holiday season! I hope everyone is getting excited and getting ready. Hopefully I'll post on, around or near Thanksgiving.

Love to you all!


Halloween 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Grandma LaLa and Auntie Rose visit

Grandma LaLa and Auntie Rose came in for a visit. We had such a nice time. We went back to Tanaka Farms to pick our pumpkins. They made Noah's Halloween Costume. They hung with the kid while I baked my very first pumpkin and made baked goodies from scratch! We had such a nice visit. The kids had a great time, laughing it up.

Here are some pictures from the weekend. Hopefully we'll have more after this Friday. Noah has a Harvest Festival at School and Daddy has his annual Trick or treaters at work. 2 parites in one day! These babies will be so tired! I'll get them up as soon as I can. For now, here are some new ones.

Grandma LaLa and Auntie Rose visit

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October is here!

It has been awhile since my last post. We have been pretty busy. Swim lessons are over, Noah changed schools, Lily's art class is over, Noah and Lily are now in gymnastics class. My parents were here over Noah's Birthday weekend, Laura and Roseann are coming for a visit this weekend. We have managed to keep our home free of 'projects' (minus planting some veggies.) Monte and I are loving our Bible studies and making some new friends.

Noah is 3 now. He had his Birthday Party at Chuck E Cheese. I too am a year older and had a nice day. We went to a Farm and to a pumpkin patch. Noah LOVES his new school. Monte and I do too, now. We went to an open house at the Fire Department right after his Birthday Party. It was a busy and big day!

Lily is talking up a storm. She pretty much repeats all words you ask her to say. Last night she said 'taco's' It was seriously cute. Lily also got her first haircut this month!

I started a Chat and Scrap night at our house on the First Friday of the month. Loving things getting done. Monte has picked up an old hobby and has been enjoying it too. We went on a date for my Birthday and saw Star Wars in concert! Hurray for my parents being in town so we could go out. The kids were great! So were Grandma and Papa.

Getting ready for the holidays. All homemade this year. So, I am excited and getting things ready. Between school, activities, holiday parties and events, Christmas will be here before we know it.

Enjoy the photos! There are a TON of them!

Pumpkin Patch.
Pumpkin Patch

Tanaka Farms and Lily's First haircut.

Tanaka Farms and Lily's first haircut.

Date night, Pool pics and White Sox!

Swim lessons and messing around.

Noah's Birthday ice cream, Momma's Birthday cupcake and Noah's 2nd First day of school!

Noah's icecream, Momma cake Noah's 2nd first day!

I did not put pictures of Noah's friends in this time. This is Noah's 3rd Birthday Party and Fire House visit. Noah's party started at 10, so the fire house visit was directly after. Still plenty of time for naps. :)

Noah's 3rd Birthday Party

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September Fun

We have had a fun and busy September and it isn't even over yet.

We went to a White Sox game against the Angels on the 12th. Woohoo! Sox won in the 10th inning. It was a long day. We went with a group of people and everyone gave the kids all sorts of junk to eat. Noah was ready to go back. It was a fun day.

Noah and Lily started Swim lessons. Noah cried and complained the whole time on the first day. We decided it was Daddy that he wanted so Daddy wasn't invited back to lessons. Lily was a super champ on her first day. Noah had another lesson, and did better, there was still some resistence. By his 3rd and 4th lesson he was awesome. We learned that we needed to let him play first, so yes, I get in the pool with him at 7:40am (can we all say brrrrrr?) so he can play before lesson. He does an amazing job. He will float by himself. Now we just need to get him to turn around and float by himself after he jumps in. Lily's 2nd lesson was ok, she did a great job, though I think she just wanted Mommy. She just started cutting another tooth, so she wasn't as compliant on day 2 of her lesson.

Noah started school. He is in preschool. He loves going and likes all the kids. He is learning a lot of new behaviors and rules and it has been a bit of a rocky start, but we have the lines of communication open with the teachers and we are working on it. He was a Superstar this week.

Lily and I are taking a 'Paint, Pour and Paste' class together. I brought the camera today to get some shots. We had some serious fun with shaving cream!

Only 3 more weeks of swim lessons and art class, then both kids will be in a little gymnastics class. Lily with me and Noah by himself. Then no more classes till after the holidays.

I started a Bible Study with a bunch of women, I had my first oneon Tuesday. I like it. It has child care the kids do great in the class for the 2 hours and 15 minutes. I feel like I have returned to a world of people other than just my kids. It has been nice.

I have made a new friend. :) We plan on going to the Aquarium with her family and our family on Saturday. I look forward to this little get together. I of course will have the camera and hope to have some more pictures up next week.

Monte has also started a Bible Study every other Monday night. Again, something other than just work and the kids. His job continues to be busy, and he still loves it, so woohoo!

Monte and I have also been finding some time to do our hobbies together. I have been scrapbooking while he has been painting his miniatures. We are in the same room, it is almost like a date. It is relaxing. We have also found some time to play a little WoW.

GOOD NEWS! The outside house projects (that we have hired out) are all done! It is a nice break. Monte still is working on fixing all of the damage done by the lanscape guys, but with a couple sodas, some angry alone time, he is fixing the sprinklers one by one. Then a beer afterwards as a reward.

Enjoy the photos. Remember we are both on facebook, if you want to keep daily tabs. If you aren't a freind, we should be. :) We love hearing how everyone is doing.

September fun

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Weekend at the San Diego Zoo.

Finally, a weekend where we are all home for a full weekend. First time since Chicago. We made this a family only weekend. It has been wonderful. We started out with a bang and did the San Diego Zoo.

Though the Wild Animal Park is my favorite of the zoo's we really wanted to see the new Elephant Odyssey at the San Diego Zoo. We were blessed enough to be able to donate to the cat enclosure part of this huge project. It is amazing. They moved a bunch of the Elephants over from the Wild Animal Park over to the zoo. The zoo had a nice enclosure for their elephants, but it was so small. I don't know how much larger the new one is statistically, but it seems huge. It took us most of the day to go through it. Yes, we also walk a little slow. With an almost 3 year old and an almost year and a half old, the legs don't go as fast. That and it was pretty warm. So, we took a 'stroll'.

Anyways, we had a wonderful day. The Elephant Odyssey is a must see. It has so much to see, play on, read about. They really did a nice job. I was pleased.

The jaguar you see played with this ball for the longest time. He would jump in and out of the water, under and over the ball. I got a close up. He was beautiful. The Elephants were having some fun too.

Our little monkeys also had a good time playing and seeing animals.

Just a great day!

Sunday and Monday we pretty much kicked back. Went to church, got a lawn mower, went for a walk. Ate some food, played with each other. An overall fabulous family filled weekend.

Enjoy the pictures!

San Diego Zoo 9/5/2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Chicago trip last day and flight home.

On our last day of our trip we did what we do every time we go out there and we went to Chicago. We took the train downtown, got some Garrett's Popcorn and took in the sights of the city. Noah and Lily loved being on the train. We met up with Auntie Laura and had some lunch. We then went over to the big towers that have water flowing from them and chased the kids in and out of the water. We headed over to Buckingham fountain and found a shady place in the grass to do some more running around.

We then met up with Uncle Bill and took a nice long city walk to his new house to check it out, visit some with him and Donna and enjoy some good ole Chicago style pizza. Uncle Bill and Donna have the best house EVER according to Noah. They live right above the train station. The trains were going in and out and in and out. It was very very cool. The visit was great and then we walked back to the train station to go back to Olympia Fields.

This is where it happened. Lily my sweet Lilypad popped. Like a grenade. About half way home on the train she pretty much lost it. She was done with the train, she was done with the traveling, she was done with the car seat (on this trip I drove about 1030 miles). She made it known she was not a happy camper. Even on our flight home. She complained 4 hours of the 4 hour and 20 minute flight home. Fortunately for me, I had parents around us who understood and felt as bad for her as I did.

The trip was long, exhausting, fun, exciting, happy and sad. We don't regret any second of our really busy trip. We are so glad we saw everyone we got to see. We are bummed that we missed a few of you. We know that this time next year we will have one less family member and that is the bittersweet part of the trip. We miss you all, we love you all, come visit, we have room.

Thanks for looking. Lots of love to you from us!

Chicago trip last day

Chicago trip days 10 - 12.


We went to the Illinois Railway Museum in Union Illinois, right near Aunt Pat and Uncle Matt's place and near my Grandparents house.

We started at the Museum and Noah was beside himself. We went on a short trip on a train to see where everything was and get a little tour. We then met up with Aunt Pat and Hannah, looked around a bit and had some lunch. We then took a long train ride, Noah got to pull the handle to make the train whistle blow, and promptly fell asleep on the train (as desired). We then looked in some more of the train 'sheds' and headed over to the Miller farm for some play and dinner.

At the farm, we pet the horses, kitties and dog, we threw rocks in the pond, took a ride on the ATV and had a nice grilled dinner and ice cream for dessert. It was a blast. Lily slept during most of the playtime at the farm and so did Daddy and Daddy had the camera so, I got pretty much no pictures.

On our way home we dropped by Lily and Noah's great Grandparent's (Nedza). We got there pretty late, so our visit was short but sweet. The kids ran around and gave hugs and got the rest of their yaya's out before the long drive home (85 miles). It was a full day, but we enjoyed every minute of it. One of my favorite days of the trip. One of my favorite memories as a child is being with my Aunt Pat and Uncle Matt and with the animals on the farm. It is refreshing and comforting to be far away with large vasts of land and silence from the hustle and bustle of big cities and everyday busyness.

Tuesday we hung out at the house. Took it easy and relaxed, played withthe kids inside and out, the kids took naps, and we recharged ourselves for the last two days and then our flight.

Wednesday we got to go visit with Grandpa Al and Buscia (Great Grandma Krol). We were unable to see her the week before, but were so happy to be with her on Wednesday. Her name is Adeline. Those of you know Lily's middle name is Adeline. She is named after her Great Grandma. We hope Lily will be like her in many ways. Aunt Helene was there as well as cousin Stephanie, it was good to see the family. Stephanie was a big hit with Noah and they played so well together. Thanks for all the help Stephanie! You were great!

Here are some pictures of Monday and Wednesday.

July 6th and 8th 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

July 3rd, 4th and 5th.

We started our big weekend with a very long drive out to Camp MacLean. What would normally take an hour and a half took three and a half hours with the lovely construction and traffic. We missed the extra time being able to be there, but what an awesome time we had when we were there. Monte and Roland went on the new high ropes course and what a hoot that was! We had a lovely dinner followed by a song lead by Monte. His infamous Boom Chicka Boom, a Monte camp favorite. We also were able to tour the grounds and see all that is new and up and coming. What a great place to be. Ended our night with a much quicker hour and a half ride home, as hoped! :)

Our fourth of July was perfect. The day started with rain, we kinda hung out at the house and relaxed as we prepared to head over to my brother Scott's and sister-in-law Jaci's place. We were greeted with some hugs, good food, fun conversations, a little WoW, and fireworks on their driveway. It was awesome, we could see fireworks from probably ten towns and or neighbors. Noah ans Lily experienced their first fireworks show, and it was not loud, just a little misty out and pretty darn cool.

Our fifth was a great beautiful day! We went to church and then headed over to our cousin Jim and Bev's for another family BBQ. So many people were able to be there. Again, great food, family, fun and friends. It was a lot of fun to watch all the kids play together. We didn't see Noah for hours, he just disappeared with the kids in this big house and he was safe! What a nice break that was, and how we enjoyed watching them all get along and play. It is a party like this and the others that we realize how much we miss 'our people' back home.

Monte was a little better with the camera on the 5th, so we got some pretty good pictures. Again, if anyone took any pictures, please feel free (I am begging) to flood my e-mail with them. Thank you! :)

July 3rd - 5th

Friday, July 17, 2009

Chicago trip days 4-6.

Tuesday Monte, Noah, Lily, Grandpa and I met up with the Gibson's (minus Kevin - we missed you) and Chris with Christopher and Abby at the Brookfield Zoo. The kids all played great, we enjoyed the animals as well as running around on the grass during a little lunch break. Our girl Lisa went to great lengths to be with us this day, so that we are truly grateful for and will cherish our time spent. It was also a double blessing to be able to be with my 'little' brother and Christopher and Abby, though the time was short.

After the zoo we stopped at Grandpa Al's house to visit. He lives about 5 minutes from the zoo. Turns out, once again, no pictures, but I know that Grandpa Al took some, so I will wait for them (patiently?). Please send them, please?

I snuck in a cute photo of the ride home from Grandpa Al's and the zoo. :)

Wednesday we had a cancellation, so we hung back and took it easy. No photos.

Thursday we went to the Shedd Aquarium. They have done so much with the place since we were kids. I just love it, you could spend a couple of days in there. With two kids as young as Lily and Noah we don't see as much. They had fun, pretending to be penguins and watching the dolphins practice for their show. It was a great day, at my second favorite museum type place in Chicago.

Chicago days 4-6.

Day's 1 - 3 of our Chicago visit.

We started our visit off with a bang. A double BBQ weekend. We got in late Friday night (White Castle drive through before we even got out of the van) and let the kids run around a bit before a late bed time.

Saturday we had about 45 - 50 people over for some fun in the sun. The weather was warm, the pool was ice cold the visiting and eating was fabulous. It was a combo of people I grew up with from Homewood Church, way back in the day and old U of I friends from when Monte went to college, and some close friends of my Mom's. What a delightful crew of people. We enjoyed seeing everyone and remember our reasons for loving where we came from.

Sunday we had our family of almost 20 something over right after Church. Another wonderful weather day, ice cold pool and great visiting with more nummy food. We missed you Uncle Matt, Elyse and Michael, Naso and Estelle and Dave (Owen). It was wonderful to finally meet Hannah, Payton and Abby.

Thanks to all of you who came out and to those of you who brought nummy, nummy food.

Monte and I were visiting so much, we didn't get a lot of pictures taken. I'll post a few that I have, but I would LOVE for anyone who took pictures to flood my e-mail with them, so I can scrap my memories. Thank you in advance.

Monday was the perfect low key day. A little bit of grocery shopping and cooking, but mostly laying low. Naps for the kids, and it was a wonderful way to get ready for our busy and fun week ahead.

Chicago days 1-3

Frinker Fun!

We are back from our trip to Chicago. We had a great trip. There will be more posts soon with photos. For now, we have a couple of shots of fun in the frinkers! (Sprinklers = Noah Speak.)

When we got home we were greeted with dead grass, a broken AC (it was 100 on Saturday), a computer that wouldn't let me look at my pictures (why the week delay) and a tivo gone haywire. So, we needed some supplemental water for the grass, oh and it is a bazillion degrees out, so we got a sprinkler for the kids (and Momma) to run through.

Enjoy, I hope they make you feel nice and cool!

Frinker Fun

Monday, June 15, 2009

Planters, gate and kids.

Here are the pictures of the planters as promised. We are busy busy, getting ready for our trip and just getting the house cleaned up and stocking up the freezer. Monte is having to fix all of the sprinklers in all of the beds that the 'not so good' landscaper did. It is keeping him plenty busy. We got our first mow 'free' it was a little too short. We are in the process of researching electric lawn mowers so we can mow it to the grass' specifications and our desired length. Hopefully it will green up. The chop job turned it a little yellow at the tips. We also have a patch that is totally dead in front that will need replacing and a sprinkler. Hey, now we have an amazing and safe yard for our kids to play with, it just seems that the work is never really done. Even when you 'paid' someone else to do it.

We are getting so excited for our trip to Chicago, we'll have lots of pictures when we come back! For now, more plants and a couple of the kids.

Planters & kids

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Driveway, Grass and Aquarium!

Finally, the grass is in! Here are a few pictures of the grass, Noah enjoying the grass and my rose garden bed. I have lots more work to do with fixing up the beds and all, but that will come along just fine. Though the grass is in, after watering it for almost a week now, we have found a couple of dry spots and a couple of really really wet spots, like standing water. So, we'll be making a call, see if the guys can come and tweak it a bit. Otherwise Monte will be out there doing a job he loathes!

The driveway is in and looks fantastic. The walls are all stucco'd and need paint. Yes, we know we have three different colors of stucco. We are ok with that for now. We'll paint later. Our gate comes in about 10 days! It will be fantastic to let the kids go out and play while I throw a load in the dryer or start dinner and not fear that they'll run out to the front and into the street. For now, I just hang out with them.

Funny, as soon as we got the grass in, both kids got sick. Bummer, we stayed upstairs for the better part of the week. BUT, before they got sick, we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific on Monday. They really ejoyed seeing all of the fish. There is a small section outside where you can pet stingray and sharks, Noah didn't want to, but liked it when I did. There was a small enclouse with birds and Lily really liked that a lot.

Noah has been asking to see the oh, deer and Meerkats everyday since last week. His reaction the the grass was priceless too. He came downstairs from his nap, I told him to look outt he window. He refused to for like 30 minutes. Then I asked him again and he looked outside and said 'Oh, WOW, grass!' It was awesome. Lily of course had both hands banging against the door the second she woke up. This is not unusual, she does that every day no matter the weather or the state of the yard.

Hope you like the pictures. As my flower and tree beds progress, I'll get some more pictures up. And of course of my saving grace - the Gate!

Grass and Aquarium

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lily Vs. The Deer

This was at the petting kraal at the San Diego Wild Animal Park...

Lily had a "close encounter" with one of the deer:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Time for a major video round-up of the kids!

First, it's Noah and Lily sitting together in the back yard:

Next, it's Noah and his friend Blake acting goofy:

And then it'a Noah rolling dough:

Next up is Lily walking:

Noah singing "Old MacDonald Had a farm:"

And finally, Lily and Noah getting really excited at seeing some meerkats:


San Diego Wild Animal Park 5/19/09

We decided that we needed a break. Monte took a day off so we could go to the park before school let out and not on a weekend. The place is still pretty crowded even in the middle of the week. We had a wonderful time.

Lily totally notices all of the animals. The first animals we stopped to see were the meerkats and she could have just stayed there all day. She'd tap on the glass, point and say key-ee (kitty).

We then saw the baby cheetah in the nursery. Born February of this year. I now really regret not going more often. I even heard that they had a baby rhino in the nursery for about 5 weeks. Both babies had been abandoned by their mothers. It turns out if a cheetah cub is born as a single, the Mom's abandon the single cub. This Cheetah will become an ambassador animal for the Park. I don't know about the rhino, we missed all of the juicy details on it.

There was a giant snake in an enclosure near the nursery, Noah really dug the snake. Ewww. Us girls checked out the cheetah for a bit longer while the boys went to see the snake.

Next was the petting corral. Both Noah and Lily liked this a lot.

We then went to have some lunch. You will see a picture of a very large bird. Well, this bird jumped onto the table a mere 2 inches from my FACE and STOLE a chicken strip! I yelped. Noah and Lily didn't even notice. Lily was busily eating some cutie slices and Noah was looking at a juice box when it happened. S t u p i d bird.

We then took a walk down by the little water play area. The kids had a blast running around and getting wet. Lily practiced her escape artist abilities and Noah ran and ran, while Momma clicked away with her camera. Daddy was on Lily retrieval duty.

We got dried off, walked down by the lions and headed home.

Wonderful, wonderful day! Enjoy the pictures.

Oh, one picture of the kiddo's first experience with bath paint. Momma drew the faces! And of course, it isn't the Krol shot without the kids in the dirt!

WAP 5/19/09

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Driveway and the kids.

The driveway was poured last weekend, we'll be getting our brick band this weekend. Things with this set of contractors has run very smooth. These guys are great! 4 of the brothers do this kind of work, Carlos, he is our painter and stopped by to say good morning. He is painting a house down the street. He thought he'd help for a few minutes and got a shovel. So, 5 brothers. (They are a family of 12, 6 girls and 6 boys, OLE!)

As for our landscaper. Well, things are not going as well on that end. We are not really sure he'll ever get it right. He didn't come until today, worked for about 2 hours and said he'd be back tomorrow to install sprinklers. He left a mess in my yard and 2 valves with an active leak. So, nothing to show except for a puddle of water. Yup, I am totally human and make mistakes. This one just happened to be a biggie and is costing us a pretty penny.

My kids, well You can see that I left Noah alone for a minute while cleaning Lily up from lunch. And you can see that Lily thoroughly loves her dirt snacks.

Until later!


Driveway and kids

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

More yard updates.

Well, I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Even though there have been some glitches, the project is coming along well. There are still some battles to be fought but I will prevail. It will be as I imagined it. It will be more expensive than the initial 'cost' but it will happen. The driveway should be poured on Saturday and we should have grass next week.

All that is left is our front door stained, the house painted and our new gate installed. The paint and stain are going to wait a bit, as we are on a list for our busy friends who paint and stain. We do have hopes for salvaging the leaning patio cover too. Not sure who we are going to talk to about that.

All Noah talks about is getting his new grass so he can play with his water table. Both of these kids have been great during all of the madness that used to be their yard.

More yard progress.

Pictures from this week.

Just a few pictures from the last couple of days.

Early May photos

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Yard Project

We are having lots done out here on our yard. We have had all of the grass (really it was 90% weeds) dug up in preparation for new grass and an updated irrigation system. We are having two side walls built. These are walls between our neighbors. We are a planter built in the back that will be for vegetables and herbs and a Dwarf Myer Lemon Tree. We are having a small wall built in the front planter to keep the dirt from falling all over the sidewalk. We are tying one small planter up at the front of the house into the new wall so we can have a plant or two, instead of just a pile of rocks and debris that gather. We also decided to have the back concrete strip ripped out and have a very small planter hold our new trees and some flowers. I think the last wall that we decided will make the yard look more complete. We will be having a gate installed and a new driveway poured as well. From one of the last posts, I mentioned the tree we removed from the front of the house pulled up the driveway and posed a hazard, so we are having that fixed.

We will have a pretty safe place for the kids to play and some fun gardening experiences for the kids to enjoy. I will also enjoy my gardening! The yard won't have some crazy renegade sprinklers anymore, it will be awesome. For now, it is a work in progress. The photos are wild. The amount of materials and machines that have been here have been quite an adventure for Noah and Lily. They miss their grass, Noah told me his grass was all gone and he missed it! They will have it back soon enough.

Enjoy the ride! More pictures will come. Stucco gets put on the walls on Saturday. Then one thing will feel more finished.

The Yard Project

Random April photos.

The kids played outside as much as they could before the yard got ripped up. Now we mostly go to the greenbelt nearby to run and play, or Noah just jumps on dirt piles in the yard. We got a few shots of just hanging out. Monte and I babysat for Noah's friend Blake Sunday night. The two of them play so well together. Lily thinks they are just the greatest excitement ever.


April 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter 2009

Happy Easter! He is Risen!

We had a lovely Easter Sunday. We started our morning late, with a few eggs filled with cheerios, puffs, animal crackers and cheddar bunnies. They found their baskets and traded DVD's. Noah got to have a few jelly beans and a fun time was had by all.

We then headed out to Church. What better way to celebrate Easter than with a baby Baptism. Our friends John and Mandi Stiles baptized their almost 4 week old Aaron Joshua at their Easter Service. What a nice way to spend such a glorious day! We all headed back to the Stiles to celebrate and kick back, food was good, kids were good and the company was great, our extended CA family is awesome!

The kids both totally crashed and had good naps after such a long morning. We took it easy played with bubbles and outside before we had a mini-dinner of our own with our friend Zach. We didn't get pictures of Zach, but we sure are glad that he joined us for dinner.

Happy Easter!

Easter 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Susan took some video of the kids playing on Easter.

Happy Easter to everybody!

Bounce House!

Noah, Adin, and Lily got to play in the bounce house at Adin's house.

The boys bounced around like crazy; Lily had a great time just sitting there!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

April news.

We had a BIG day on 4/4! Noah is now in his toddler bed. We call it his 'Big Boy Bed'. It is the same bed, just converted. We made a huge deal out of it. Took photos saying 'bye bye' to the crib and he 'helped' Daddy take his bed apart and put it together. Lily participated too. It was a good morning. Noah was very excited about it. That afternoon he even put himself to bed for a nap! He also slept in it great that night. No getting up or anything. I am not sure he is aware that he 'can' get out of it at night. He just didn't.

After naps the association hosted a little Easter Egg hunt. It was cute. We dropped of 12 filled eggs per kid during the week and the Association volunteer spread them all out, there were three or four different age groups for each hunt. It lasted about an hour. It was cute.

There are a couple of dinner shots in here as well. Lily is determined to feed herself her own dinner. She is also quite vocal about what she wants. She ALWAYS wants what we are eating or cooking or holding. She yelled at me for like 5 minutes while I was cutting up raw onions the other day. Sheesh!

Anyways, here are some pictures. Enjoy!


Monday, March 30, 2009

Lily climbing the stairs

Lily decided that one of her favorite things is climbing the stairs. She's pretty good at it!

She doesn't know how to get *down* the stairs yet, but that's OK... she's learning!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Party

We had a total of 9 kids and 14 grown-ups. We had a really nice time. I mentioned the bug hunt being a hit, the rest of the time was just low-key. Just hang out, eat, chat. I really think it was a great party.

Lily ended the party with taking 5 steps by herself while holding a ball. Yay, Lily!

Special thanks to all of you who came. It was special that you were all there.

Now for the pictures!

Lily's 1st Birthday Party

The Planning.

I thought I'd break this up into two posts. The Planning and The party.

Part of the planning comes with a story, for those of you who care to read this.

In October I threw Noah a Train party. I made little train cakes. The cakes turned out cute and all was well with the world. I stumbled across this bug pan around the time I got the train pan. I thought how cute would a bug party be for Lily's first Birthday. Now, you may be asking yourself 'little girl and bugs?' My little pet name for Lily is Lilypad. It just sort of happened that way, I even sang her the 'Lolipop' song except used 'Lilypad' instead of Lolipop. You know the one, maybe from the '60's or something like that. Anyways, the name Lilypad reminds me of Lilypads, and dragonflies and the pretty water lilies. For those of you who know me well, I am not much of a girly-girl. I hate pink, think dresses are unconventional, don't like make-up (Sorry Ma) and overall find girly things to be, well, girly. (I do like shoes and to have my toes painted.) So, I thought, how cute would Bugs be? Dragonflies, butterflies, bee's and ladybugs. Still cute, not too girly, but girly enough. Who knew that by the time this little Lilypad was one she would have gotten me to a point where I actually had pink cupcakes, got her a pink unicorn and a pink bigwheel. I also bought her a Birthday Dress. Yes, this is the first dress I purchased and approved of 100%! I loved it, thought it was perfect for the party, she looked like a little ladybug.

So this brings us down tothe planning part. The Food. Bugs are fun and I was going to use the cool cake pan that I got. (I bought it for my Birthday to use at this party.) I ran out of steam and called my local grocery store and asked them to make cupcakes and move them around to make the shape of a butterfly. The decorator had never done it before, so, I was thrilled with what I got. Next time, I will remember to ask for Pastel colors, (little less dye) if I get cupcakes again. I got excited with the idea of themed food. I thought of the oldie but goodie Ants on a Log, and making mini sandwiches using a cookie cutter. ( I won't do the cookie cutter sandwich again - they was super cute, but so much waste. I used two loaves of bread I didn't know what to do with all of the leftovers - there was so much.) Then I was like hmmm, now what. I called my gf Brooke and asked what she thought and we brainstormed and came up with some ideas. Then I went to the internet and got the ladybug lemonade idea. (Raspberry lemonade with frozen Blackberries - it was nummy.) Brooke and I thought that the spiral pasta could be cool to be like caterpillars, but then I founf actual bug pasta and bug graham crakers. So, there you have it. Our menu. The other thing I found on line was the idea of a game. We had a bug hunt. I got over 200 bugs and had them 'hidden' in the yard for all the kids to go run out and find. It was a hoot, and a big hit. I of course forgot to pull out my camera for the event, but you canimagine it was fun and fast. We had prizes for the top two buggers and everyone got to take home the bugs they found.

Before the pictures, I owe a huge thanks to Tiff for helping me get my house clean by playing withthe kids on Friday. Thank you Robin for coming and helping with the last minute details late Friday night with decorating and organizing. Thank you Nic for helping with the food prep in the morning and a BIG thanks to Jamie for hiding the bugs, holding Lily a lot, and taking so many amazing pictures on the big day.

So, here are the Prep photos! Enjoy!

Party Prep

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lily's Birthday Evening

After the kids had their naps, we were able to get on the WebCam with Grandma and Papa Van. The kids played outside for a few minutes and then we headed out for dinner. We stopped at the grocery store for a little piece of Birthday Cake and went to Elephant Bar. I like a silly Momma totally forgot my camera. We did not get any pictures of Lily chowing on Chicken Stirfry with veggies. The restuarant gave Lily a free Birthday Sundae and brought one for big brother too. This was very nice. It even had a candle in it. We ended up not having the cake. So Lily will have her Birthday cake for Breakfast tomorrow morning and I'll have my camera! Yay!

We came home and opened her presents and then went up for bed. It was a lovely, lovely day.

Thank you all for sharing it with us by checking out our blog. I can't beleive my baby girl is a year old already. She has brought joy and laughter and love to our lives. I look forward to all of her next Birthdays and Noah's too!

Lily's Birthday night

French Toast at Ruby's for Lily!

Lily had French toast at Ruby's for her birthday brunch.

This was actually the *second* French toast she had today... I also made some at home for  her!

Lily's Birthday Morning.

Happy Birthday Lily!

We had a busy morning. We started off with going to the Doctors. Lily is 21lbs and 13ounces! She is 30 1/2 inches long. She is in the 60% for her weight and 90% for her height. Yay, Lily!

We headed over to 'open' the Mall. Lily played in the playground with Daddy while Noah got his haircut. Then we headed over to Build-A-Bear and got Lily a Pink Unicorn for her Birthday. Noah pumped the stuffing, and picked the heart and helped Lily give it a kiss, he gave the heart a kiss, and he made his wish, put the heart in the Unicorn. What a good helper and good Big brother he is.

We then headed over to Ruby's for 'second breakfast'. Noah had french toast for his first Birthday so it seemed fitting for Lily to have the same. She got a little extra bonus, Ruby's gives free Sundae's for Birthdays. They sang to her, it was sweet. Not like a Luau of a hundred or so people singing to you in Hawaii, but sweet enough.

We'll get some more pictures today for Lily's Birthday evening.

Lily's Birthday Morning

Monday, March 23, 2009

March 2009

We have been a busy bunch of 'bees' and March isn't even over! We will get Lily's Birthday Party on the next blog post. Her party is the 28th. I can't believe she will be one year old in just two days! Time has just flown by. Nearly knocked us down it went so fast!

We have 'of course' taken advantage of our sunny and warm days by playing hard outside. We have brought out the water table (Noah would play every day - cold or hot). The two of them have a good time. Lily is cruising everywhere. She rarely likes to be sitting down, she wants to stand or walk. Soon she will be able to chase her brother around the house and yard. They play pretty well together. It is fun to watch them change before our very eyes.

Grandma Lala and Auntie Rose came down for a visit. The kids loved the time they were here. Noah thinks his Grandma Lala is funny, and asked for her a lot when she left. We had such a nice visit.

The Aldrich family was in SoCal for vacation and just so happened to be passing by and came for a nice visit. Noah and Madeline, Mackenzie and Macintyre played so well together. Lily found a new favorite shoulder to snuggle on Tom. Amy and I caught up at about a million miles an hour. Tom did an awesome job staying in the conversation that bounced all over the place. What is amazing about good old friends is that we can pick up from anywhere and just go with it, talk about anything and everything all in about a two hour and some change visit. So nice!

My girlfriend Mandi had her baby boy Aaron Joshua on St. Patricks Day. I like a goofball, brought the camera and video camera into the hospital and was just so happy to be there, forgot to take pictures. Momma and Baby are doing great. Big brother Jacob is doing relly well and Daddy is enjoying his family while he has some much needed and deserved time off.

That about sums up most of March. Lily turns 1 on Wednesday her Birthday Party is Saturday. I hope to get lots of picutres to share.

Oh, and I got my haircut! I was able to get 10" to donate to Locks for Love. Monte loves the new 'do'.

One more thing - we'll be out there in the Chicagoland area late June early July. We hope to see as many of you as we can.

Happy Spring!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Noah helps make coffee

I promised this one before. Noah usually helps me make coffee in the morning.

Lily going down a slide...

... with Momma's help!

Noah on his tricycle

Noah riding in the yard on his tricycle... he's quite good at it!

Lily pushing her car around

Lily is showing off how well she can push her car around!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dressing Lily

So, it has happened. I am now loving having a little girl and putting her in what I call 'cute' clothes. I don't get all girly or anything, but cute is well, cute. Here are a handful of outfits that have been given to Lily as gifts by many of you. She is finally able to wear a lot of them. Some of the clothes needed a long sleeve onesie under them because they were short sleeved and she will be grown out of them by summer. I think she is pretty darn cute! So, for those of you that recognize the outfits you gave, Thank you!

This is my last post for now. I'll get some from Lily's Birthday party and those should be the next photos that will go up. By the way, I bought Lily a dress for her birthday party. (That would be the first dress I bought her ever!)

Videos from Daddy to come!

Dressing Lily

Random photos Jan - present.

I repeat it has been awhile since I have unloaded the photos from my camera. These are just random.

Thanks for lookin' at my kids!

Random Jan. - Feb.

More updated house photos.

I mentioned we have more house photos. Along with the built-in's we had the railing to the stairs, the inside of the front door and all of the mantels re-stained. I still haven't put pictures on the mantles, I will get to it though. I wanted to show the drastic difference on the foyer floor, we decided to have one of the fireplace surrounds done with the same travertine tile. I think those are it when it comes to what we had done before we moved in.

My parents came out twice since we have moved. Roland and Monte did projects both times. The first time they installed an attic ladder (not shown) and they built a cat box station. I wanted the cat boxes in the garage. I asked for a hole to be put in the office door and a hole to be put between the office wall and the garage. I also asked for the cats to be safe, thinking we'd build some kind of closet with walls and doors. Then brilliant Monte asked, why not in a cabinet? Fabulous idea and so it came about. The cat station is in the garage in a cabinet. This may not sound all that interesting to most of you, but with the layout of the house there really was no place to put boxes. No, we aren't getting rid of them - I have heard that 'solution' before!

The last set of pictures are our 4 new babies. We had 5 trees removed. One in the front had already busted our driveway about 4 inches, we have been talking about having it re-poured. I said, no way no how until the tree that did the damage is gone. (Not pictured.) In the back we had a dead tree removed, and a tiny root invasive tree removed. The tiny tree would soon be like the two very large shade producing trees we had removed. If you scroll back in the blog you can see a picture of the ficus. They had to go. The already busted a strip of concrete that separated the yard from the 'tree/flower' bed. It's roots were all under our yard and all along the back wall. In no time would it be able to completely bust a wall. The roots above the ground were as thick as the trunk of the tree itself. It was pretty bad and scary. Beautiful trees, but we are not going to have our new home have ts foundation ruined by some pretty trees.

There you have it, the newest on the Krolfront.

As for the selling of Orinda. We had a buyer - they backed out (quite late) and now the house is on the market again. We could really use some prayers to have our house sold. We could also use prayer that if it is God's will to rent that renters will come and we'll be patient and accept God's will gratefully. (We really want to sell.)

Thanks all. I have more pictures to come.

House updates

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It has been awhile...

So, looks like I last posted in January. Lots has happened since then.

For starters we had my parents in for another lovely visit. We all had a nice time. (We are going to forget that Grandpa wasn't feeling too hot for part of the visit.) We hung out, went to a Birthday Party, tried out a new church, Roland and Monte did a mini-project in the garage, had Brooke and the kids over while they had movers at their place and watched Noah and Lily do what they do. It was a busy 4 days.

Lily was doing her standing and my parents got a Noah-full. That is a mouth-full from Noah. Our son, nothing like his Mother or Father talks non-stop.

Here are a few shots of them. Once again on the last day. Hey, to me, it is more important to make memories of fun, than have photos of the kids not having as much fun getting their pictures taken.

January Van Dusen visit

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Noah Makes Toast

Noah also helps make toast. He like to put the toast in the toaster and push down the button. He also likes to fiddle with the doneness knob, which usually then doesn't do what I want. Oh well. :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Noah stirs the eggs

More breakfast video... Noah stirs the eggs all by himself.

Noah can crack eggs.

Noah can crack eggs all by himself... check it out!

I have some more video of Noah helping out in the kitchen... he can also stir the eggs, make toast, and help me make coffee... he's a great helper!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lily is 10 months old today.

It has been awhile since our last post. We have been busy with unpacking and getting used to our new home. We are enjoying the new place, it is great to let Noah just go in the yard and I can get dinner ready, or toss a load in the wash. It is much more relaxing to know I can see him anytime and he is safe.

Lily is 10 months old today. Where has the time gone? She has this little hop/scoot she does across the floor. We have got to try and get it on video before she gets up and walks. She loves to practice standing, she is still quite wobbly. She is crazy about her brother, he just walks in a room and her face lights up. She is a big time chatterbox and loves, I mean LOVES to blow raspberries. Noah did a little bit of chattering and raspberries, but Lily does it all day long. She is sweet and snuggly and just precious.

Noah is a busy boy. He talks from the second he wakes up till he passes out for bedtime. He enjoys being outside and playing with his sister. He always asks where she is if I don't have her with me when I walk in a room where he is. He is very protective of her when it comes to things that can be dangerous. He still tries to pick her up and always wants to feed her meals. Now, I am not going to say it is perfect all of the time, he often tells her 'no touching, no touching' when she goes for one of his toys, and occasionally is a little rough in the mornings when we all hang out on the bed. Noah still does My Gym and loves it.

I will be going to take a tour of a preschool this coming Friday. I am not sure how I feel about it. I am excited for Noah to get involved and to thrive in a new more structured environment, and to have some alone time with Lilypad, but at the same time, 3 hours 2x a week without my little boy? I can't imagine. I have never really been without him. I have gone to a couple movies here and there, but mostly while he was napping. It seems surreal. We'll see how it goes.

My folks will be in town again this weekend, that will be fun. The kids grow and change so much day to day, it is great to have them here to witness them grow and change. Sadly it will also be the same weekend my best gf Brooke leaves to Seattle. I will miss her dearly, but it is time for a new chapter in their lives to start. If anyone has suggestions on explaining to a 2 year old he will never see his buddy from birth again, fill me in. Noah asks for Cade almost daily.

Anyways here are a few pictures we took from this morning. We snapped a few shots before heading out for church. Our baby, 10 months!

Lily is 10 months