Thursday, April 30, 2009

Certainly a crazy morning!

Today was Grandparent's day at the kids' school...a day the kids look forward to sharing special projects and giving tours of all their classrooms. And then have donuts and coffee (or juice the wee ones) togehter.

Well, we don't have grandparents close by...the closest are my parents but they've had so much going on lately I didn't even call to ask them to come.

Anyway, for the kids who don't have grandparents come it's pretty sad. They just sit in the classroom while the students with granparents come in and out... I didn't want them to be left out like that! Neither did Caroline!

So, I was the stand in grandparent! The kids were fine with that idea...Jack actually kind of liked it!

But before we could all get off to school, we needed to get the house ready for a showing while we were gone! (and by we I mean me)

So in a mild panic, I raced around the house getting everyone dressed, teeth brushed, beds made, breakfast fed, dishes done....actually now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure they didn't brush their teeth, oops!

Anyway, we packed everyone in the car, along with the 3 loads of dirty laundry I hadn't quite gotten to, and the 3 loads of clean laundry that I was avoiding folding and putting away! First stop, drop off Emma at preschool. Then drop off the big 3 at their school. Then book it home to do a quick final run through the house, pack the dogs and their kennels in the car and then head back to this point I was starting to sweat like a pig. Oh and it was raining, so not a pretty pig!

After the last fiasco where I was supposed to come to Caroline's class... forgot about it? read about it here Caroline was worried I wasn't going to make it, so the pressure was on!

Ahhh, it all worked out!

I made it to all of the kids rooms, got the tour and sat and had donuts and juice with three of my favorite people!

All in all, it was a great morning! I'm completely exhausted, but on the bright side, my house is spotless!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

rainy days

The weather sure looks crummy outside! Fortunately for us yesterday we had some cute visitors to pass the time with!

We've decided to start a club! Well so far there's only three of us, so I don't know if that qualifies as a club per-say...but Michelle,Rebekah, and I are going to try to have these little get togethers every month or so...with the kids of course, husbands are optional!

we'll have lots of music

live entertainment

and of course lots of electrical cords for Quinn!

If anyone would like to join said club, we are currently accepting applications:)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Friend or Family!

This is a post I've tried to write a thousand times!

Why is it so hard to write about someone I love so deeply, and have from the minute I first met him?

I think it's just hard to know what exactly to write about this man who has brought so much love into my life...

Do I write about his sweet loving smile, that instantly attracted me? Or about his gentle words and kind heart that made me fall in love...

Do I write about how loving him, has changed me in ways I'm still trying to figure out? How I am lost without him?

Should I tell you about what an amazing father he is, how the kids love just to be around him? How he makes them laugh so hard they practically turn purple? How much they idolize him and want to be just like him?

From the moment that Jud came into my life, I knew.

I knew we would grow old together.

I knew we would have a family.

I knew we would be happy.

But honestly I never expected to still be head over heels in love, ten years later...I am so lucky to have married my best friend.

Music Playlist at

Monday, April 20, 2009


Her finish time was 3 hours 49 minutes!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


The Boston Marathon ranks as one of the most prestigious running events in the world. This honourable position is attained thanks to the long history of the race, the challenging course and the fact that you have to qualify to register as an official participant.

Well, my sister Jean has quite a few marathons, half marathons, and triathlons under her belt but tomorrow morning she will set out to conquer the Boston!

Have I mentioned that's 26.2 miles!

that distance seriously boggles my brain! I get exhausted just thinking about what I'm going to have to do around the house for 4 hours before I pick Sam up from think she'll be running about that long!

But Jean is strong... determined and disciplined!

Frankly she kicks butt!

I'm so proud of her!

Watching this little guy while his mom is in Boston, being all amazing, is probably as close as I'll ever get to a marathon!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Busy Busy!

The kids were off of school for spring break so it's been a very busy week!

Monday night Jud and I took the bigs out for date night! Dinner, drinks, and a Buck's game! Perfect!

Caroline and Jack enjoying their pregame kitty-cocktails!

Later in the week we all headed to Chicago for a few days to enjoy the big city life! The kids liked the museums, but the biggest attraction was probably getting to ride in "a real taxi cab"! My camera battery died early on the trip, so not many pictures...

Enjoying the big city view!

The Field Museum

Wednesday night after the kids were asleep in the hotel room, I turned to my faithful friend, facebook...only to find out that Kari was in Chicago too! She was staying a few blocks away! Since I've always wanted to actually meet her in person I hopped in a cab and met the lovely lady, whom I've been emailing, facebooking, and blogging with for the past 4 years! It was an awesome surprise! Emma and Kari's daughter were likely at the care center in Ethiopia at the same time...we've been chatting for a long time. It was soooo great to finally meet her! (oh and her husband too!)

Just in case you think I left the kids alone, Jud was in the hotel room with them too:)

oh so much more to say, but I'm exhausted!

maybe tomorrow...

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Usually on Easter, we would be in Green Bay with my family. My sister Kristin would be putting on a big easter egg hunt for all of the kids...We'd be enjoying a big feast together at one of my sisters' houses...the kids would be running around on sugar highs with all of their cousins.

This year is different.

We had planned on staying home this year. Having a quiet weekend with the kids. With all of Jud's traveling lately and my trip to Florida we were all in need of a quiet weekend...

On Friday my sister Jean called to let me know that my dad was back in the hospital. Things were definitely not sounding good. Two of my brothers hopped on a flight right away Friday night, and then two of my sisters headed down on Saturday.

My dad is stable for now, which is good, but they still have no idea what's going on.
I'm really glad that my siblings are there, for both of my parents. The past few weeks have been really tough on them.

I just wish they were home.

Even though we had planned on being here this weekend, I really miss being with my family. Especially now. I miss our traditional Easter. I miss my parents. I miss the chaos of all of the kids running through the house. I even miss the bickering that inevitably comes when we all get together!

Hopefully my dad will continue to improve so we can get him a flight home!

Then we can resume our normally scheduled dysfunctional family get togethers!

I can't wait!

Today, was a fun day though.

We had some lovely visitors!

Here are the kids, waiting ever so patiently for the famous QUINN!!! They were late, because Quinn's mom is crazy and is training for a marathon!!!

I quickly forgave them for being late... they brought mimosas after all!!!

And of course this cutie!

How could you look at that face and not smile?

ahhh it was a nice morning...

well, until I had to scrape up the play dough!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bunny love

Today we had breakfast with a certain bunny! What, don't all Jewish families have breakfast with the easter bunny?

In the car on the way over, Emma was insisting that she would not say hello the the easter bunny, nor would she shake hands with the furry critter...she "did not like the bunny!"

Well it turned out to be love at fist sight!

The entire time we were there, Em would not let that bunny out of her sight!

And of course the egg hunt (more like egg race)!

Happy customers!

we have a Kostanza in the family!

Sam just called me into the bathroom for the obligatory wipe down...I opened the door to find him sitting on the pot completely naked!

Well actually, he did still have socks on!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What does our family have in common with the first family?

We both had Seders tonight! Which Caroline thinks is very cool!!! Read about the Obama's Seder Here

Our Seder was a little more low key I'm sure!

For all of you following this who are not Jewish, every year at Passover we celebrate and tell the story of how God freed the Jews from slavery in Egypt...we tell the story at a holiday meal called a Seder.

This year our Seder was just us. Which was awesome!

Caroline helped Jud in the kitchen before hand with all of the preparations...making sure he was preparing everything by the book! She's very particular!

We made a few modifications to the Hagaddah along the way,due to Sam and Em's attention span! But overall they all did great! Here's what our night looked like!

and of course at the end of the night, Daddy throws everyone in the air!

This Kid

Have I ever mentioned how incredibly amazing this kid is?

For show and tell today, Caroline brought her children's Torah book so that she could share the story of Passover with her class! She has also decided that for the eight days of Passover she will try to observe Passover dietary restrictions.

Which means refrain from eating hametz, foods that are forbidden during Passover. Technically, hametz consists of five grains – wheat, barley, spelt, oats, and rye – when those grains are mixed with water for long enough to rise.

So no peanut butter and jelly sandwich in her lunch box today!

She is being really serious about this and is giving tremendous thought to the reasons behind these restrictions.

Caroline is very interested in all of the details, and wants to know the reasons behind the fasting and restrictions. Since this is all unfamiliar to me, I had to do a little digging to figure out what exactly we could eat and what we shouldn't. Sure I grew up with fish fry friday's, but I don't know that I ever questioned why...

In my digging, I found this Sermon given April 14, 2000, by Rabbi Barry H. Block here is just a part...

"Whatever Passover dietary restrictions we adopt, we should do so with seriousness, with consistency, and with purpose. We can learn discipline, by staying with our Passover dietary restrictions throughout the week. We may sanctify our homes for the holiday, by removing forbidden foods from our refrigerators and our pantries, and we may symbolize that act of cleansing by checking every nook and cranny for hametz. We must not bring ridicule on our faith, on our people, on Reform Judaism or on our Temple by eating obviously inappropriate foods in public during Passover. We lose respect for ourselves, and we relinquish our esteem in the eyes of others, when we eat sandwiches, rolls and pastries in restaurants during Passover.

You no doubt noticed that I left the dietary restrictions to the end of this sermon. I did not “save the best for last.” In fact, as concerned as I am that some among us will ignore these mitzvot altogether, I am equally disconcerted by those whose obsession with these dietary laws obscures the deeper meaning of the holiday. We eat matzah to remind us of the poor bread our ancestors ate in slavery. We eat matzah to remember the bread that our people baked so quickly as they were leaving Egypt. We eat matzah to call our minds to the plight of others who eat only poor bread all year, not by choice or by ritual, but because they are not free, just as we were slaves in the land of Egypt.

When we badger ourselves or one another about a drop of corn syrup in a Coca-Cola, but fail to work for freedom, we are in violation of Passover. When we spend days preparing pesadich cakes but do not reach out to our fellow Jews, we are not keeping Passover. When we pop Pesach macaroons into our mouths but fail to praise God for our blessings, our Passover is downright treife.

This year, may each of us indeed have a “kosher Passover.” May we keep Passover, in what goes out of our mouths and in what goes into our mouths. May we observe the festival, in the foods served on our Seder tables and in the services conducted there. May we faithfully seek to be God’s partners in securing the welfare of our Jewish people, and in fighting for the freedom of men, women and children everywhere. Then, may our Passover observance truly be pleasing in God’s sight."

What a wonderful message---Don't you think?

Although we did not participate in the ridding the house of all hametz and the cleaning of every nook and cranny, this is after all only our second Sedar! We'll get there! Especially with Caroline coaching me!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

another photo shoot with Sam!

Well lately since Emma is back on the, nap after lunch train, Sam and I have a little time to ourselves in the afternoon! Today, we decided to have a little photo shoot in the back yard...yes it was my idea because I'm still trying to figure this camera out, but Sam was pretty excited for an excuse to wear his favorite cordoroy blazer and hat! Oh that boy!

He's definitely not camera shy!

As you can tell I'm still working on the lighting...Some seem great, some to bright, then others too dark...I'm thinking about taking a photography class in all my spare time just to figure out this darn camera!

And of course for the close ups, he just couldn't resist sticking his tongue out!