Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

WICHITA

Activities: working out, going to the park, eating, drinking (adult and otherwise), opening gifts, watching Polar Express, breaking up fights between Zach and Matthew, playing the Wii.


Sherry, mom and me.

Sherry and I with Santa and Kakeman. We've watched them 30 years ago!
Mom and Grandma Agnes.
Coffee is always good.
The boys.
BATES CITY

Activities: opening gifts, eating and drinking (adult and otherwise), playing Lego Lava Dragon and Lego Pirate Code countless times, building with Legos, watching Robots and the Sound of Music (the one and only viewing for Scott), walking in the woods, eating a Fritz Railroad Restaurant in Crown Center, seeing the trains at Union Station, visiting with friends.


What time Adam and Zach woke up.

Scott is now a member of the elite Scotch Whiskey Society.
The Space Needle made out of Legos.
Playing one of the Lego games: Pirate Code.
Grandpa's chillin'

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

E-mail to Santa

Dear Santa,
I hope you have a wonderful flight. Is Rudolph ok? We will leave cookies by the fireplace for you. How many toys do you think you have? We have been a good boys, most of the time. I hope Kakeman doesn't hypnotize you again. We like Kakeman because he is funny. See you soon.


Love, Adam and Zach Dyer

Thursday, December 16, 2010

First Grade Christmas Program

Zach's first grade class put on a Christmas program. Each student memorized a poem, and said it in front of the audience. Then a group of students would sing a song in the front. The whole class sang a few songs and then we all sang "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" at the end. There was even a little reception following with cookies and milk!

Zach is the one wearing the Santa hat. The kids were supposed to wear their pajamas. Zach had a really cute flannel set with a penguin on it. But he insisted on wearing his Lego Star Wars bottoms, with a short sleeved pj top that did not match. We finally agreed on a plain red shirt.

Zach's poem was about Christmas smells:
"Ummm, the smell of Christmas is everywhere I go,

Evergreens and holly, and pretty mistletoe,

Gingerbread and cookies, and fresh pumpkin pie,

Smoke is in the chimney, curling to the sky."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Best Day Ever

What makes up the "Best Day Ever" for a seven or eight year old boy?

Go see a movie with Dad. Eat popcorn.


Go out to eat lunch. It doesn't matter where you go as long as there is cheeseburgers, nachos or chicken fingers.


Listen to a guy talk about Legos. Talk with other kids about Legos. See cool pictures of amazing things built with Legos including a 22-foot replica of the Titanic, Jurrassic Park, and a presidential inauguration ceremony.

Buy the book about Legos,(watch promotional video on YouTube) talk to the author and have it signed by him.

Have a sleepover with your friend. Zach got invited to spend the night at his best
buddy's house. Adam invited his bestie to sleep here. Have pizza for dinner, watch a movie and stay up past bedtime playing Super Mario Bros on the Wii.

Wake up early and play (the Wii, legos, soccer...it really doesn't matter).


Have something other than oatmeal or cereal for breakfast (pancakes, donuts, cinnamon rolls, biscuits and gravy, etc).

Related: if you want to serve the best lunch ever at home, you would serve hot dogs, macaroni and cheese and chocolate milk.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Baking by the numbers



19 pretzel rods

10 eggs

7 1/4 cups flour

4 3/4 cups sugar

2 cups powdered sugar
1 3/4 cups shortening
1 2/3 cups oil

1/2 cup apple juice

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cups syrup
1/4 cup water


2 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons butter

4 teaspoons vanilla

3 teaspoons baking soda

2 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon peppermint

1 apple

1 brownie mix
1 can pumpkin
1 can frosting
1 bag chocolate chips

1/2 bag white chocolate chips

4 crushed candy canes


4 hours bake time

55 sugar cookies
40 caramel, chocolate dipped vanilla wafer sandwich cookies with sprinkles
35 peppermint brownie bites
20 chocolate peanut butter cookies
14 chocolate dipped pretzels
5 mini loafs, 1 large loaf, harvest pumpkin apple bread.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mommy Guilt, part 2

"To Mommy, Love Zach

I rilly (really) like you so if you wood (would) stop yeling (yelling) at me I wood (would) do as I am told.

Love Zach!"


Related:
Sunday, October 3: Mommy Guilt

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mommy Homework

My homework for tonight. Must be done by the time Zach wakes up in the morning so he can grade it.
The word of the day is pizza. I had to trace it, write it correctly three times, draw a picture and use the word in a sentence. Then I had to cut out the mixed up letters and glue them in the spaces provided. Last was a series of math problems testing my adding and subtracting arithmetic skills.

Zach wrote a tough story problem too:


"Jina (Gina) has 18 lights her brother has 7 lights how miny (many) more dose (does) her Brother need to have 18 lights?"

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

What we're thankful for this year:
  • Thankful for Poosers and Sows, termites, bugs and the internet.
  • I am thankful for family, friends, and togetherness at Thanksgiving.
  • Facial hair because I know how much the women in my life love it.
  • I'm thankful for birds and bees and cottonwood trees and all of you and even me!
  • I am thankful for my family, birds, and good food to eat, bees and cottonwood trees. (Later this same person thought of a few more things): I am thankful for Indiana Jones, Skelly and Bones (the last two are characters from the Lego movie The Adventures of Clutch Powers).
  • I am thankful for my wonderful family.
  • Mothers and sisters, blue skies and sunshine.
  • I am thankful for little (and big) boys that make me laugh, a garage door that works, and Twitter and Facebook.
  • I'm thankful for family, friends, Legos, schools, shelter and cousins.
  • I am thankful for (1) wisdom of Agnes, (2) focus of Adam, (3) imagination of Zach, (4) love from Pam.
Each year our family writes what we are thankful for. At the end of the meal we read them aloud and try and figure out who wrote them.

And my favorite picture of the day:

2008: We are thankful for...

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Art Room

Remember this post? The Office, Kindergarten style.

Now that Zach is in first grade, it looks like he has decided to pursue other interests. This was on his door today.


(In case you can't read it: Zach's art room open Friday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Come in this Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, for free!!!! In the morning, afternoon or in the night)

If he partnered with Adam, I bet they could run a pretty good little business. Adam is the numbers guy, Zach is the creative one.


Oh second thought, maybe that's not such a good idea. Would they be able to get anything done with all the fighting and competition?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Motherhood: What would you say?

Reflections of Motherhood

If you have trouble viewing the video, click here to view it on YouTube.



Here's what I would say:


"He won't sleep in your bed forever."
"Take lots of pictures."

"Sometimes a cookie makes everything better."

"Who cares what the book says?
"

So...what would you say?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Oak Park 2010

Every fall we go to Oak Park. It's about the only place you can throw sticks, climb on fallen trees, skip rocks, jump in a pile of leaves (except for Grammy and Grandpa's house) and play in the dirt.

Photos from today:





Here's other Oak Park pictures from the past few years:


2009

2008
2007
2006

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Favorite Books

Besides this book, these books are the ones I see the boys reading. They are the blog books I print every year from blog2print.com. They'll read funny excerpts, and ask me to read from them too. These two posts seem to be the favorites: Why I do not go inside Starbucks and Not exactly a pottery barn Christmas.

And why wouldn't them like to read these books? They're all about them. It's like they are reading their own autobiography...at least since 2007.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010

Zach is on the left, a Storm Trooper. Adam is right, Darth Vader.

And the neighborhood:

Left to right: Elephant, age 4; Bumblee age 5; Vampire, age 9; Grave Reaper, age 9; Scooby Doo, age 3; Darth Vader, age 8; Wolfman, age 6; Storm Trooper, age 7; Viking, age 10; Alien, age 7.

MIA: Robot, age 7.


Here's the same group (almost) last year
.

Halloween 2008


Halloween 2007

Friday, October 22, 2010

Two things I have learned from my kids

We always talk about learning from other adults, but children can teach us a thing or two as well. I've learned a lot from my boys...here are two things I learned this week.

Zach :: Everybody needs down time

Aside from patience, I have learned that everyone needs quiet time, especially at the end of the day. When Zach arrives home from school, he does not like to talk. He walks in (he will say hi, and maybe ask for a snack), hangs up his backpack, takes off his shoes and just wants to "be."


Sometimes he'll tell me about his day. But more often than not, he will sit at the kitchen table and color or write, sometimes work on one of the 10 Lego creations currently under construction, or look at a magazine or book. Quietly.


Do not pepper him with questions:

"How was your day?"

"Did you have computer lab?"

"Who did you play with at recess?"

"What did you have for lunch?"


He will shut down and reply with the robotic "I don't know" or "I can't remember."


Think about it as a parent. When you arrive home after being gone all day and your children run to you and hang all over you...


"What are we doing now?"

"What are we having for dinner?"

"Tomorrow I have to bring this and this, so can we go to the store now?"


Or you significant other greets you at the door:

"You need to fix this."

"Will you be home Friday night? I made plans with the girls that night."

"Both boys need glasses."


It bugs me when that happens. I just need a few minutes to unwind, and then I will be ready to talk.


Adam :: Practice makes perfect

Ah Adam, my little perfectionist. Every week we practice spelling words. In his 2nd grade class, if you spell all the words correctly on Wednesday's test, the teacher sends home "Sharp Spellers' Challenge Words" to practice for Friday.


And these certainly are challenging. This week's words were echolocation, hibernation, mammalogist and nocturnal, just to name a few. These words were harder than usual, indicated by the words "VERY DIFFICULT" at the top of the list.


Adam practiced these words about six or seven times in two days. Normally it takes about three tries for him to get all the words spelled correctly.


If this were me, I would have tried maybe two times, and then said "good enough." These are extra credit words, I already aced the "regular" test.


Sometimes in the real world "good enough" doesn't cut it. Your work has to be ALL right, or it doesn't matter. Take the time to learn it, just like Adam.


Sounds like somebody else I know with the last name Dyer, first initial S...and it's not me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

LEGO + Wii = Lego Wii Remote


O.M.G. Could this be for real? Two of our household's favorite toys combined into one glorious mechanism? The boys could only dream of something so fantastic.

It's FOR REAL.


The Lego Play and Build Wii Remote is an actual device. Not only is it a working Wii remote, but it comes with Lego pieces that can be rearranged and connected to all of our awesome creations.


What if you were playing Wii's Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga game WITH the Lego Wii Remote? My head is exploding.

This $40 remote is a bit more affordable than the Star Wars Lego Collector's Millennium Falcon set, a set which would require a Lego loan since it retails for $1,459.94.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mommy Guilt

Scroll down for a translation of this note, or click on it to enlarge.
Monday at 8:43 pm

"Dear Mommy,
I missed you on Monday night. I wish you could be home at 8:43 pm. I do not like to sleep in my bed alone at night. I have been waiting for you for about 10 minutes now, I do not like to be alone in my bed."

Message to Mommy
Love, Zach

(found clutched in a sleeping Zach's hand when I got home that night)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Seven

Friday, September 24, 3:30 pm: Orange frosted cookies with CapriSun. Nothing like sugar right before the bus ride home!
6:30 pm: Dinner at McDonald's with friends. This looks like a rowdy bunch.
Four cheeseburgers. Four french fries. Ten chicken nuggets. Two Hawaiian punches. Two root beers. Lots of talking, wiggly and talking with our mouths full of food.

7:15 pm: Home to eat cake and ice cream.
Lots of talk about bodily functions, loud laughter and squealing. At one point Zach fell out of his chair laughing. Then a viewing of "The Adventures of Clutch Powers" Lego movie. More giggling after the movie. Finally quiet.

Saturday, September 25, 5:53 a.m.:
Adam and Zach are up, the other two boys followed about 6:30 am. The boys played the Wii, then biscuits and gravy and Cinnamon rolls. Off to the soccer game at 9 am.

Sunday, September 26: Zach got Legos and money for his birthday. Is anyone surprised?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Creamed Brains...it's what's for dinner.

No, it's not an early Halloween post. Creamed brains, along with Headcheese, Baked Heart, Casserole of Tongue and Fried Squirrel are just a few of the tempting recipes I found in my grandmother's 1934 Household Searchlight Recipe Book.

I'm all for using recipes passed down from generations, but I draw the line at any recipe that says "remove veins and arteries" or "clean and scrape hog's head," although I'm sure I would get used to it after a few attempts.

The Poultry section explains how to pick a good chicken..."It should be plump, have bright eyes and comb and soft feet." The chicken I get at the store doesn't have eyes, a comb or feet. And instructions on how to dress and clean the chicken remind me that I would not have made a good 1930s wife:

"Cut off head…cut a small slit in back of neck, remove crop and windpipe...remove organs, etc."


And then there's this when referring to how this cook book came to be:


"In this seven room house lives a family of specialists whose entire time is spent in working out the problems of homemaking common to every woman who finds herself responsible for the management of a home and the care of children. Preparation of food is a major project in every home."


Of course preparation of food is a major project when you have to kill your chicken first or soak your brains for three days.


Other interesting findings in this cook book:


  • When talking about refrigeration, the cookbook refers to a "mechanical refrigerator." Is there any other kind?
  • Cereal and ready to eat cereal are two different things.
  • There is no recipe for chocolate chip cookies.
Household tips include "one of the best ways to remove a fresh ink stain is to saturate the material with kerosene."

I also found a Gold Medal Flour certificate redeemable for 2.5 cents. Collect enough and General Mills will send you a check! Oops, I think it's expired: "Good until December 31, 1954." (click on the image to enlarge it).



Sunday, September 12, 2010

Let The Games Begin

September 11: First game of the season. Go Snakes!

To see all pictures,
view the photos on flickr. OK, not ALL of them, because there's 150...just a few more of the best.


I wish I could take credit for all of the photos, but I had a little help from a professional...although it IS hard to tell who took which photo.


Zach

AdamGoal for Adam!Goal for Zach! (I know this is out of focus, but it's the only picture I have of this exciting moment in the game.). That's Adam in the background.The happy coach and players.Zach tried to stop this from going in...just a little too late...goal for the other team.