Saturday, January 22, 2011

Spoiled Puppy

Here are Laura, Boxer, and I cuddled up on the couch watching Teen Mom 2.  This is definitely not Mom's and Dad's couch.  Mom, if you're reading this, it's not your couch.  It's a totally different couch you don't know about.

Solar plane!

Gabriel just made this solar powered plane from a kit that Granddad Angle and Grandma Gail sent him.

Cold Days, Warm Hearts

After our driveway ice started to disappear, G's friends down the street, James and Tommy, still had a great ice track in their yard.  The kids spent the better part of two days sledding around the side of their house.

When the boys got too chilly, we brought them over here to use the new Star Wars cookie set that Bunnut and Papa Nick gave Chip for Christmas.  They made some great cookies!

Last Friday, Tellus held a junior astronomy workshop.  Chip wanted Bun to go with him, so we drove them up there and went out to dinner while they studied the stars (we had planned to walk around the museum, but it was closed).  

G made a star wheel, which shows him the constellations for every time of day and day of the year.

They got to visit the planetarium and learn about constellations.

He brought the telescope that Great-Grandpa Kranz gave him, so he could do some real star-gazing.

They got to go inside the observatory, which Mommy and Daddy still haven't gotten to do, and use the big telescope.

He saw the moons of Jupiter!

On his own, he located Orion's belt and talked about it with one of the guides.
Most of the snow and ice has melted, but it's still pretty cold here in Georgia.  The sun is out today, but we are ready for a little warmth.  We are back to school and work after the big snow break, so we're still adjusting to the early mornings.  We hope you are staying warm and cozy, wherever you are.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Chip woke me up nice and early this morning.  He is excited to look for a Lego minifigure he lost, and I had promised him that I would help him as soon as he wakes up.

G:  "Mommy, will you get up with me now?"
Me:  "Yes."
G:  "I remember what you said."  [as he climbs up and sits on the pillow]
Me:  "What do you mean?"
G:  "You said I need to be patient."  [because it takes me a while to drag myself out of bed]
Me:  "Oh, thanks, sweetie."
G:  "I just have to find a doctor.  You know, so I can be a patient.  Get it?"

I love his jokes.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Chip's First Sandwich

Aunt Nancy decided it was high time this child learn to make his own lunch, so after a little encouragement on the phone, he gave it a try.  Mommy cut off the corner (I think there was flour on it, but I didn't want to take any chances), but he did the rest.  He said, "I'm so happy I made my own sandwich!"  Thanks, Aunt Nancy!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day Two Of Snowmageddon 2011

Thank goodness we have steps next to our steep driveway!  Here is Chip coming up for another run.

Here goes the Chipster!

The neighborhood kids had a blast sledding down the steepest hill around:  our driveway.

Jonathan finds a hole in the hedge.

Here's what it looks like from the other side of the hedge.  We have a very steep back yard.

We just found out that tomorrow is another snow day, at least for P and G.  We are pretty excited for more play time.  Snow is so unusual down here in Georgia that we are taking advantage of every minute we have to play in it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sea And Snow

Vera and Bill wanted to go to the Georgia Aquarium while they were here, so Sunday morning we headed to the big city.

There is a really cool tank of fish right when you enter the aquarium.

In the tunnel at the Georgia Aquarium.

Notice anything unusual?

The Weeki Wachee Mermaids did a special holiday show.

The Georgia Aquarium's newest acquisition - just don't let it out of its cage.
This was one of our favorite creatures - well worth the price of admission.  

The African penguins were very interactive.  They kept trying to eat G's guidebook! 

A little boy entranced.

Our sweet baby makes even the beautiful jellyfish look "blah" by comparison.

I sure hope that's glass between them and the piranha!

This albino alligator looks cute, but it isn't fooling the Chipster.

He was too nervous about the dark and staticy slide until Aunt Vera went down it with him.

He loved piloting the boat in the Georgia Explorer section, especially running the engine.

This patch of coral inspired Chip to swim with the whale behind him.

Before the Wolfgangs went back home, all of the family in Georgia went out to dinner at Jim 'N Nick's, our favorite barbeque restaurant.

Chip and his sweet cousin, Jackson.  He said on the way home, "I love anything with Jackson, because he's my little buddy."

Chip with his big buddy, Papa.

On January 7th, we celebrated Ukrainian (Orthodox) Christmas.  Since our regular, American/Roman Catholic, Christmas is such a big deal, this was mostly about a simple dinner and a small, unwrapped gift.  We had fish and varenyky (pierogis - in our house we call them both even though we prepare them more like pierogis) with some corn and the same salads we eat almost every day.  These pierogis were handmade ones the Wolfgangs had brought us several months ago from Michigan, so they were the real deal.  It was really, really delicious.  G didn't like the pierogi that much, but he was really excited about the mahi.

Our delicious Ukie Christmas dinner.

You may have seen on the news that last night, we had a snow storm.  Here.  In Georgia.  Since even a little snow tends to shut things down here, you can imagine what five inches of snow did.  We all had a snow day today, and at least Chip and I have one tomorrow, as well.  We are hoping that Matt will be able to stay home again tomorrow due to freezing rain and generally icy roads.  Well, really, we just want him home no matter the weather.  

So in our neighborhood, a snow day is a play day.  Everyone goes outside and enjoys the white stuff.  Here is what our day looked like.

It looked like the ice planet Hoth outside.

There was a layer of ice on top of the snow, which made for a good snowball shield.

Our "sled," an Ikea shopping bag, made for a fun way to bring our son home from Drew's house.

Here's the sled in action.

We used a flattened cardboard box, because the bag didn't make a good driveway sled.  Here is Chipdip going for it.

I tried it, too.  It was scary when I thought I might hit the retaining wall at the side of the driveway, but none of us ever did.

M and G did a tandem run.

We have had a really great day.  We got our Christmas decorations put away, cleaned up the house, and got lots of time outside as a family.  We even had waffles for breakfast.  We love snow days, and we are looking forward to another one tomorrow!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Build My Bear!

We are celebrating Juliette's birthday.  G is making an Obi-Wan Kenobi bear.  Yes, we are as shocked as you are.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Good Times With Aunt Wowo

We are at Stars And Strikes, because G got to choose the agenda for his last day of Christmas vacation.  He and Wowo are just about to start a game of bowling, and Chip is having a nutritious meal of hot dog and hot pretzel.  He is really enjoying this special time with her.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas 2011

Well, we have been so busy here getting ready for Christmas, getting ready for New Year's Eve, and just spending time with loved ones, that we haven't had a spare moment to blog.  As G spends way too much time in the tub getting "prune hands," I will post what we've been up to.

Let's begin with Chip's school Christmas party.

Each student in his class had a stocking filled by his classmates, and a story that he had written imagining himself as a reindeer.

One of the holiday centers was to decorate (and eat!) a gingerbread man.

The "Room Moms" did a great job providing the kids with lots of fun activities during their holiday party.

In this center, he created an ornament using a class picture.

Here is an adorable snowman ornament that he created in another center.  This bag carried all of his crafts and served as a checklist for all of the centers.

Next came the Christmas party for my knitting group, The Paulding Purlers, at my friend Stephanie's house.  Although this photo shows them while they were drying and before I sewed in the ends, here are the two projects I finished for that night.  On the left is a square that I knit for a blanket we made for a little girl undergoing cancer treatment.  It's a pattern of tumbling blocks.  On the right are the mittens I knit for my Secret Santa project.  I used the Aethelwyne pattern from Knitting New Mittens And Gloves.

When I turned into Stephanie's neighborhood, I found myself driving behind Santa and one of his elves riding in the back of a very well-decorated pickup truck playing Christmas music.  It was a magical moment, with a distinctive Georgia flair.

The weekend before Christmas, we cut down our own Christmas tree at the same tree farm we visit each year.

We saw the perfect tree right away and didn't even need to look around.

We really enjoy visiting the tree farm each year.

Once the tree goes up, we can put our lights on and take the photo that we enclose in our Christmas cards. 
Christmas week was a full and happy time of preparation and celebration.

The boys and Lily spent some quality time together to exchange Christmas gifts and play.

Our darling did a really great job decorating the tree.

He was so cute in his Santa hat and is quite the expert at ornament placement.
 We were all so excited for Christmas to arrive, and finally it was Christmas Eve.

At the 8pm bilingual Christmas Eve Mass this year, I played in the handbell choir.

Here is G sprinkling reindeer food in the front yard.  He also spread some on the back deck.  It has oats for the reindeer to eat and some sparkles that glint in the moonlight to help guide the reindeer to our house.

We worked very hard to make delicious chocolate chip cookies for Santa.  When we had visited him in Marietta Square, G had asked him, and he had said that those are his favorite kind of cookie.  Here is Chipdip leaving cookies and milk for Santa.

On Christmas morning, Chip was so excited to open all of the presents that Santa had brought him.

He found lots of great goodies in his stocking.

Even while looking at the pile of presents that Santa brought, he was content to cuddle with his mouse named Huxley from his elf named Pajamas; the Lego Star Wars knit cap from his stocking, and his picture with his little cousin Jackson.

Christmas night, we opened presents from Bunnut, Papa Nick, and their dog Zozie.  They sent Chip and Daddy hot cocoa mix.  Yum!

Here are two happy campers on Christmas night.
 After Christmas day, it was time to play.

Chip got up about an hour before we did on December 27th.  In that time, he opened the new Lego kit (The Battle of Naboo) that he had bought with his own money the night before, put it all together, and played with it for a little bit.  He truly is gifted.

Here is a scene he had set up.  I started to ask him why they were all leaning forward, but thenI realized that they were running into battle.  He explained that they were all having a battle.  The legs on the very left are all that remain of a very unlucky droid.  Notice the group just below the Wampa who all have their lightsabers drawn toward each other.

We were particularly impressed with the way he had mounted Boba Fett so that he is flying with his jet pack.
 We were so blessed this year, because not only was Laura home for New Year's, and Nancy and Ciara drove down to stay with us (while Mark and Nathan went on to the Gator Bowl), but Vera and Bill decided to fly down, as well.

Ciara models the froggy apron I made her for Christmas.  I think she rocks the look!
 Time for the party!  Every other year, we have rung in the new year quietly, at home.  This year, we stayed at home but threw a party.  After what was quite a difficult year, we were ready to celebrate.


Notice the necklace he gave me for Christmas.  It's by local artist Ashley Buchanen, and it's called "Relationship."  I wear it with the man closer to my heart.

Partygoers Ciara and Nancy.

Partygoers Russ and Lori.

Partygoers Lindsay and Danielle.

Partygoers Jen and Jack.

Me and my sister Laura.

Mad Matt.

Make some noise, Lindsay!

Jennifer and Matt decided to drop by after midnight.  We are so "street."

So there you have it.  It has been a really, really special holiday season.  Lots of fun, lots of stress but lots of joy, and lots of love.  We really hope that your new year is filled with fun, joy, and love, too.  And just to sum it all up, here's that photo again: