Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

It's New Year's Eve, and here we are at home, which is where we always are for this occasion. Well, everyone is here except Chelsey; she's staying at a friend's house tonight.

John and Matt are playing golf on the PS2, and Evan is loving it. Kyle is watching TV--we're getting ready for Shrek 2 in a little bit. He of course has that on DVD, but it's a little more special when it's on TV (**quick edit--yes, we're watching Shrek--along with 3 or 4 other shows!). Right now, he's chatting about his trains and Scooby Doo characters. I love the way he combines characters from different shows to create his own episode of a unique show. And the voices are usually right on--his version of Daphne's voice is quite humorous.

I'm, obviously, on the computer, but I plan to head to the kitchen soon to clean up the mess we created. Chelsey and I created a quick dessert for her evening, and then I attempted to make tonight's dinner a little different for our "celebration," so we had a variety of items, which means a variety of a mess.

It's hard to believe there are only 4 more days left of vacation. Actually, that's how many days before I "have" to go back to school, but in reality, I have sooo much to do before then (grade an enormous amount of papers (procrastination) and prepare for next week). Next year, I'll definitely remember to not do something the final week before vacation that will leave me with a lot to grade.

We've been playing the Stars Wars Battleship game quite a bit--the boys like it. There are 4 different missions. The first 3 are similar to basic Battleship, except one doesn't sink ships; they're neutralized and destroyed! We've been playing the 1st mission which is identical to the Battleship we all know. I'm not sure we'll ever make it to the 4th level--advanced. There are extra buttons and blue pieces that go along with that level. The first time we played, it was John and Matt against Kyle and me. Since then, Kyle and Matt have been battling each other, and I serve as a neutral coach. My job is to help them enter the coordinates after they set up their fleets and ensure that they are entering the correct coordinates throughout the game--Matt seems to have trouble seeing some of them; they are hard to see (don't know why they have to make them transparent), but it makes me wonder if his prescription for his glasses needs to be changed a bit. I'm thinking of putting stickers with the coordinates on top of the plastic. I also will occasionally point out things like how there is no way a ship can be hiding in a spot that is surrounded by 4 white pegs! Overall, they do fairly well with it; they'll be ready to play independently very soon. It's a lengthy game for us--I watched the clock today--it took a little more than an hour, and they do quite well with it, but it's a long time for the coach!
Forget the kitchen; Shrek is on!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas pictures

The Christmas card picture

Evan's favorite gift

Evan adores giraffes, but like other stuffed animals, he wouldn't touch this one. He did, though, give it many kisses.

Kyle has been wanting Electronic Battleship for a few years. This is Star Wars Electronic Battleship! We haven't played yet; the directions are rather lengthy.

Matt and Kyle checking out Kyle's new digital watch. Digital watches for the boys are sort of a Christmas tradition.

Matt likes to post signs on his door. This DO NOT ENTER sign flashes.

Evan seems to like the barn so far, although he doesn't care for it when we turn the sound on...we'll give him some time before we try that again.

Chelsey, Kyle, and I went to Lafayette today so that Chelsey could exchange something. Kyle's mission was to try and find a PlayStation 2 game that he has been wanting for quite a while. I didn't get it for him for Christmas, because I couldn't find it. So today we first checked at Meijer, then Target, then K-Mart, then Best Buy, then Game Stop in the mall, and finally, a Game Stop next to Wal-Mart; except for the last stop, all these places required getting back in the van. Both of the Game Stops were packed, but at the second one, someone actually asked us if we needed help. I told him that we were looking for Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga for PS2. He kindly went and checked on the computer and came back and told us it didn't look like it had been made for PS2!!! After all that searching! Needless to say, Kyle, who had been demonstrating extreme patience, was disappointed. We went to Wal-Mart and bought Shark Tale. Amazingly, he didn't have that movie yet, and it was relatively inexpensive.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Evan Watching Blake's Video

Evan and I watched the video that Kristie posted of Blake (go to her site and check it out--very cute). After watching it, oh, I don't know, 25 times, I decided to video Evan watching it; he appreciated the entertainment! His favorite part is when Blake says "train."
Thanks for the free entertainment, Blake!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Christmas Picture

Nothing like waiting to the last minute! Every year, I take a picture of the kids for our Christmas cards. Before digital cameras, I would buy a role of film and use the entire role trying to get one good shot. In the past, it was kind of tricky getting both Kyle and Matt smiling and looking at the camera at the SAME TIME. Chelsley has always been really good at just holding her smile throughout the entire photo session.
Matt has gotten much better, but Kyle, he still needs to work on it. He tries so hard, he really does, but that's part of the problem--he tries too hard. Tell him to smile, and he'll usually give some cheesy smile and his eyes will be closed tightly. Tell him to open his eyes and as he's straining to open them, his mouth also opens. He concentrates too much on what his face is supposed to be doing. It works best if we just try to make him laugh.
Because of Chelsey being away at college, getting a picture this year hasn't been very easy. When she is home, she sleeps in fairly late, and by the time she's up and "ready," it's just about time for Evan's nap.
So I decided that it had to be done today. Due to the fact that it was 2 degrees out today with a windchill of around -20, the picture had to be taken inside. Not a big fan of indoor pictures.
Evan did a good job...John just kept saying the latest expressions that Evan thinks are hilarious--"You did great!" "You did fantastic!" and "You did wonderful!" Even with that, he still was a bit squirmy.
After about 30 takes, I think we got something, but I'm not thrilled with it. The boys were willing to keep trying, but Chelsey thought that the ones we had were "fine" and decided that she was no longer going to participate. Hmm.
I then uploaded the pictures to Wally World for one hour development. Just as I was getting ready to head out the door to pick them up, I get a call from them saying that their machine wasn't working, and it would probably be sometime tomorrow afternoon before the pictures would be developed! I told them to cancel the order (I might try to squeeze in another session tomorrow)! Our cards will not be reaching their destinations by Christmas. Oh well. It's nice to make it last a little longer!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hanging with Ky

When I got home today, Kyle came up to me with a question that he and John had rehearsed; it was asked in a very formal manner, but basically, he wanted to know if I would go to the basketball game with him. The thought of heading out in this freezing weather wasn't very appealing, but I do like going to games. It cracks me up that he now enjoys doing things like that. When he was younger, that was pure torture for him...and us.
After Chelsey graduated, I thought that my game days were pretty much over. It's not that I went to a lot--she didn't play high school sports--except soccer her sophomore year. She did, though, play in the pep band, was on the dance team her senior year, and sang the National Anthem a couple of times. In elem. and middle school, she played v-ball. She decided not to play in high school...ouch.
I'm very competitive---it hurts to lose. I played b-ball in Jr high through my sophomore year and v-ball all four years in high school. In v-ball...we were good. We lost the state championship our JR year, but won our SR year. The year that we lost, oh, the pain on the bus ride home. We listened to the song "Yesterday" by the Beatles on the long trip home as we shed our pathetic.
Back to the game--it was great! We led the entire game--that is until the final buzzer. With 2 seconds left, the score tied, the other team brought in the ball from under our basket, a kid threw the ball from around the foul line all the way down to the other end of the court, and it was one of those golden moments. It's just too bad it wasn't for us. I think I saw the mother of the kid who made the shot...some woman had her hand over her mouth, another woman was hugging her...I was happy for her.
Kyle looked tired and was yawning during the 4Th quarter. It was, after all, after 8:30! He was fairly quiet during the game, just kind of taking it in. At one point, when the score was low, he was relating the score numbers to different levels on his Star Wars PlayStation game. There's a girls game tomorrow night, but I'm not sure if he'll be up to going 2 nights in a row.