Keeping Up with Ron, Sara, Jackson and Addie

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Likes (without the dislikes)

Jackson likes: Swimming, playing Monsuno, Ninjago, chocolate cake, reading chapter books, going to school, playing with Isaac, electronics, playing in the snow, drinking hot chocolate, eating Stir Crazy popcorn, talking and watching movies.

Addie likes: Playing Barbies, going to the library, dancing, playing house, pushing babies in strollers, decorating for Christmas, doing rock n' rollers, listening to music, carrots, her dolls Evelyn and baby Snow White.

Friday, December 28, 2012

2013 Goals

Whew! Another year has tumbled by and as I reflect back on the year I can tell you that it was a year of growth and change.  With my degree in hand, I searched for new employment opportunities and landed at Second Harvest Heartland.  I learned to bake like no one's business, technology has helped me to become more organized and I've even found time to read a few books.  Please note, I didn't say textbooks!

Now looking forward it's time to come up with goals for 2013.  I've found that when I make goals with realistic expectations and attach a timeline I do pretty well.  I love to learn but can find a day pass by without notice and miss out on opportunities to learn.

Sara's 2013 Goals:
2013 will be the year of my sewing machine.  A few years back I got a sewing machine from my mom.  So far it's really never been used... I think my mom has used it, a friend from work and my mother in law, but I haven't touched the darn thing other than to transport it to work for friend to use!  So I'm dusting it off and starting from scratch. It is my goal that at the end of 2013 I will have four completed sewing projects, one for every quarter. 
I've been thinking about a new fitness goal for this year.  I would like to do a 10 mile race but I don't know if I can count on my knee to hold out.  If I say I want to work out three times a week, the goal will not have an end result and I will fail miserably. This year for Christmas, using gift cards I bought myself a FitBit. So my fitness goal for the year will be to register 10,000 steps on my FitBit daily! And if I can get my knee to agree I'll run a 10 miler too!

This year I will can!  I've made Strawberry Freezer Jam before with my friend Anne but that is as close to canning as I've come.  I won't promise that I will do a lot of canning, but I want to learn and I want to put up at least one thing this year. 
I will also try one new thing in the garden.  Every year my garden is the same: tomatoes, peppers, basil, oregano, tarragon, rosemary, cucumbers.  This year there will be something new.  Should I try carrots? Peas?  Help!
Goals for Jackson:
I would like for Jackson to lean the basics of playing an instrument.  Be it drums, piano or guitar, I don't really mind but my goal for him this year would be to start a music lesson.

Jackson really enjoys being crafty, reading books, playing on the iPad and computer.  I would like to see Jackson be a little more active this year.  Trips to the park, bike rides, running and playing games outside will be in order once the weather is above freezing.  It's healthy to have a balance of both active sports and creative thinking.  He is a strong reader and creative thinker, I just want him to explore activities as well.

This year I would also like Jackson to start thinking about ways he can give back to the community.  Volunteers at Second Harvest need to be 8 years or older but I'd like to find something similar for him to get involved in.  He's not ready for a commitment in volunteering but I would like for him to experience it at least once this year. 
Goals for Addie:
No more whining!  Oh Addie has entered the whine phase of life.  Jackson's whine phase was pretty short-lived but I babysat for a child who whined for the better part of a year.  He was a great kid but the whining got on my nerves.  This year we will work on Addie to be better about using her words to get the things that she wants. 

Addie is such an active kid, she loves playing and being outside.  This year we need to work with her on getting ready for a preschool curriculum.  She knows some of her letter and a few numbers so for the first half of the year we'll work on her upper and lower case letters and numbers.  And she will be working to write her name.

Addie also needs to start earning her keep!  I kid, I kid!  But we will work at giving her a chore that she can start being responsible for.  I think she'd be willing to help put more laundry away so we'll start there.
Goals for the house:
Once again we will try to produce less waste.  Our garbage bin is full every week, we throw away food, plastic wrapping, broken toys on a regular basis!  We need to start by aiming to eat our food leftovers instead of going out to eat only to toss away food from our fridge that has gotten old.

I think we'd be better at creating less waste if we also worked to own less.  I'd like to spend some time this year getting rid of things.  Martini glasses that I've never used!  Our endless supply of toys that rarely get played with and the clothes that are cluttering up our drawers.  I feel crowded in this house because really, we just have too much stuff!

I'd like to create an emergency fund.  In order to do this we need to be better at saving our hard-earned cash.  One of the greatest ways for us to save is to limit our dining out experiences.  I enjoy cooking but often find myself wanting to go out to dinner instead because it's easier. We need to be thoughtful about our spending and consider spending freezes to get us back in line.
Okay 2013, bring it on!  We are ready for the challenge.

Time to reflect on the year

Today I took a look back at my goals for 2012. Last year I made lofty goals but only a few of them so they were attainable.  I think we did okay as you will see...
2012 Sara’s personal growth goals

This year I plan to bake a cake a week. I have never loved baking and think of myself as more of a cook. This year I’d like to increase my knowledge in the kitchen and teach myself to be a good baker. I have stared a blog: 52 Cakes to chronicle the adventures of this particular goal.
How I did: I was religious about my cake baking right up until summer.  The summer sun came out and I didn't want to be inside my kitchen as much and I think that's understandable.  I picked cake-baking back up in September, my blogging skills were lacking!  Overall, the year of the cake was a successful one.  I learned many things including the difference in texture from using solid fats or liquid fats. Liquid fats tend to make for a more dense cake while the opposite is true of solid fats.  I've also learned that a chocolate cake goes over much better with the general population but that I prefer a non-chocolate pound cake!

I would also like to take better care of myself this year. Last year I didn’t make time for exercise, doctor appointments, haircuts or the like. This year I would like to start caring more about how I present myself to the outside world, knowing that it will help me to feel better too.

How I did: I still have yet to make it to the dentist this year and I'm behind on a physical but I did make it to the eye doctore and I have the new prescription in hand (I just need to get the glasses).  I have had my hair colored twice, both times I decided to be bold!  I opted for purple streaks once and blue the next!

2012 while being the year of the cake was also the year of the 5K.  I couldn't have done one without the other!  I started running in March and ran right up until August when I had to start doing body pump and circuit training because my knee started giving me trouble.  We hiked the Grand Canyon in October and I picked running back up in December.  I'll plan to incorporate exercise in my 2013 goals somehow.

2012 Goals for Jackson

Jackson loves to listen to stories read and rushes out of the house to not miss group story time at school. If I arrive to pick him up at school during story time he asks me to stay until the book is done. He can sound out three letter words but when it comes to sitting down with a book, he’d much rather have me read it than spend anytime trying to learn to read it himself. This year I would like to make a point to have him help me read every book we open.
How we did: Kindergarten has been absolutely great for this kid!  He is the best reader in his class, two book levels above everyone else and we are so proud.  He loves to read and reads every sign along the road that he can see.  He reads books and writes stories.  It has been a joy to watch this kid grow in his abilities!

I would like for Jackson to help more around the house. Right now he brings in the trash barrels after they’ve been emptied once a week. He will do things when I ask him to but I would like him to feel responsible for some chores around the house.

How we did: Jackson is pretty good about bringing the trash barrels in every week adn taking his plate to the counter after meals but I need to find more age-appropriate tasks for him.  He will put away his own laundry occasionally but that's all I've really tried with him.  This is a good goal to continue into 2013.
2012 Goals for Addie

We’d like Addie to follow Jackson’s footsteps in his Spanish learning. I would like to incorporate more Spanish in our house for Addie to catch on. I hope to teach her the colors first.

How we did: Addie has started Spanish lessons at Children's Discovery once a week.  She knows her colors and a lot of holiday words!
Potty Training!!! We’ve been working at it for the last couple of months, but Addie is slow to catch on. She has some good days and some bad. This first half of the year I plan to work very hard to move into underpants fulltime.

How we did: We've been a pullup-free house for almost all of 2012! She was doing great most of the year but November was a hard month for her and we dealt with a lot of nighttime accidents and accident when she is too busy playing to stop for a bathroom break.
2012 Goals for our house

I’ve had this goal before and was not very successful in the past, so I will work at it once again. I’d like our family to produce less food waste. This will mean a lot of meal planning and sticking to the plan. I will keep less in the fridge so that things can’t make it to the back and get lost. This will also mean that I will have to shop more often.
How we did:  Once again, we fail!  We have way too much garbage in this house! Food waste and so on.  This year I hope to start working harder and want to report back in 2014 that we finally made a better attempt at reducing our waste.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Likes and Dislikes

Jackson: school, reading, playing cards, dinosaurs, chocolate, pumpkin cake, baking, ninjago.

Jackson doesn't like: egg rolls, sour milk, his sister in his business.

Addie likes: Mary Poppins, playing with her dollhouse, pretending to read, Chinese food, art, her friend Bennett.

Addie doesn't like: going to school, sleeping all night in her own bed, listening to her brother.

Children's Museum

These kids have such a blast here!!!

Smart kid

Jackson plays Stratego with his Dad. It was quite the competition!! Both talked a big game and the boy almost overtook his dad!!

Friday, October 19, 2012


I know I haven't been writing much lately, I've been busy with travel (more to come) and work!  I'll have to get you caught up on what the kids have been up to soon. 

For now I'm going to write about something I've been thinking a lot about lately: How different my two kiddos are.  They have both been raised by the same two people, in the same house, with mostly the same expectations.  Yet, these two are total opposites in many, many ways.

  • As babies: Jackson needed to be held and rocked and would cry for long periods of time while we paced with him around our house.  Addie would hang out in her swing alone for hours before making a fuss. (Yes, I know that our parenting style likely changed with our infants since we had two)
  • As toddlers: Most people will tell you when your kid is quiet there is trouble. Not with Jackson.  If it was quiet Jackson was likely in his room piled with books looking at the pictures.  It's Addie that's been know to write on the wall with pen, play with "stuff" that's filled her diaper and drop things into the toilet.
  • And in general:
  • Addie stays up until 10pm talking to herself. Jackson hits the pillow and falls asleep.
  • Jackson can be entertained by listening to stories for hours. Addie doesn't pay attention for even five minutes.
  • At age 3, Jackson would watch full length movies. Addie pays attention for 20 minutes, max!
  • Addie is the first one awake in our house. Jackson would sleep until 9am if I let him.
  • Jackson would like to stay inside and do crafts or play video games.  Addie would rather run outside and play!
  • Jackson takes a long time to warm up to people.  Addie meets friends wherever she goes.
  • Jackson likes playing dress up, wearing ties and hats.  Addie wants nothing to do with barrettes and rarely looks in her jewelry box.

I can't wait to see how these differences grow and change with them as they mature and how different or similar they will be as adults.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


And this is how the Halloween costume conversations have been going.

Back in June:
Jackson: "i'm going to be a dinosaur for Halloween."

Mom: what do you want to be for Halloween?
Jackson: a dinosaur
Mom: what about darth vader?
Jackson: no, a dinosaur!
Mom: batman?
Jackson: dinosaur
Mom: the hulk?
Jackson: dinosaur


Mom: Addie what do you want to for Halloween?
Addie: a clown
Mom: what do you want to be for Halloween?
Addie:  I want to be a monster
Mom: how about a princess
Addie : no I don't want to be a princess, I want to be a ghost.
Jackson: How about a battle warrior?
Addie: no!
Jackson: What do be for Halloween Addie?
Addie: um, Winnie the pooh?

I think we will wait to buy her costume.

Friday, September 7, 2012

First Week of School

Jackson is really loving going to Kindergarten, we don't have to ask him a million times to get dressed, eat breakfast and get his shoes on every morning right now.  He's excited about going and cooperates in the morning, thankfully! 

Jackson's best friend, Isaac, goes to a different school for Kindergarten but the bus brings him back to Jackson's school and they get the afternoon to play together.  Jackson made owl cupcakes with the school director this week, they read Magic Tree House books with his teacher, Mrs. Boguss, and he's learning words.  He says he really likes it!

Addie is having fun with Miss Laurie and Miss Cassie in her preschool class.  She's made a new friend, Bennett, and is doing a great job of following the rules at school. 

At the end of the day the classrooms combine and both of the times that we picked them up they were playing together instead of with their friends, which was neat to see.

These are the photos I took with our regular camera for the first day:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First day of school

More photos to come but here was the iPhone at school shot!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Likes and Dislikes

Jackson likes: Building forts with grandpa, reading Magic Tree House books, finding toads, the Space Needle, writing lists, rides at the fair, Saints games, swimming lessons, Dairy Queen dilly bars, frozen blueberries, camping, tubing on the river, mini donuts, making s'mores and orange crush.

Jackson doesn't like: Mustard on his hotdog and loud fireworks.

Addie likes: Corn fritters with apple butter, corn on the cob, the carousel, blueberry ice cream, playing with her dollhouse, putting diapers on dollies, picking flowers, bugs, spiderwebs, playing with Leah and Elena, going to the park, having birthday parties and playing on Jackson's Leap Pad.

Addie doesn't like: Having accidents, frozen blueberries, nectarines and taking a shower.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Camping in Zunbro Falls

This weekend we went camping with my dad and Cathy in Zumbro Falls.  The kids had a good time and enjoyed some unique experiences, tubing down the river.  They spent a lot of time just playing in the dirt and building forts!

At our campsite!
Time to wake up!
Building a fort with Grandpa!
Getting dirty!
Getting dirty.
Playing in tubes.
Playing in the tubes!
All wore out!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The State Fair in photos

Batman Car
Ice Cream Cones!
The Space Needle
On the Space Needle
Inside the Luminarium
Inside the Luminarium
Phineas and Ferb
Fair Ride
In front of the Mighty Midway