Monday, August 25, 2008

End of the Olympics

Olympic Medal winners at NBC!

I am so proud to be an American. I have loved watching every minute of these Olympics. China did a fantastic job hosting, and the closing ceremony last night was beautiful. Sadly, I had to work on opening night, so I missed that performance. So many world records were broken and broken again by these amazing athletes. America finished in the lead with the most medals won, while China had the most gold. What an awesome way to show the world coming together in friendly competition. In our Sunday School class that Mike and I teach, the 12-13 yr olds, we were talking yesterday about anger and controlling our anger. Mike brought up a good thought, what if leaders of countries challenged each other to a game of chess instead of war when there are problems! It made me think of the Olympics and how all of that can be set aside and people so different from each other in culture can stay in the same housing and spend over 2 weeks together with no problems so they can have some friendly competition. Makes you think.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Baskets and Crayons, What more could you want?

Tyler is so funny now, he does things so we'll laugh. It's amazing to me how early kids develop a sense of humor. Tyler loves to be inside of buckets or baskets or under blankets. He's learned how to say "boo" and jump out at us. It's very cute! I am proud to say that my 19 months of pulling shirts over his head and saying boo every time his little head popped out has finally paid off! So anyway, I bought some plastic bins to store some of my things in because of a mold/flooding problem in the basement (I won't get into it right now, but soon) and they were in the front room just waiting for a tiny person to climb in! So here is Tyler in all of glory with his bagel, keepin' it real (that one's for you Mike!) in the plastic tub. When he does something cute and he knows it's cute, he does his "cheese" face at me to ask me to take a picture! He also tipped the tub over and though that was hilarious!

So of course, Brooke has to get in on the action because she saw how much fun Tyler was having, and had to get in on the photo op too! She's just a little bigger though, and barely fit. I just had to laugh. Since Brooke stole the plastic tub, Tyler had to move on to bigger and better things, like...the laundry basket! He's so crazy!

Tyler is so busy now, it drives me crazy. I don't know about everyone else, but I forget for the most part, from kid to kid what they are doing at what age, so it's almost a surprise to me when they do new things. I got used to telling the older kids, we color at the table on paper and they just do it. It's been a long time since something was colored on around here. Until yesterday. Tyler went a little crazy with a black crayon he pulled out of our junk drawer and then kept pulling out of the garbage can because I kept throwing it away. HOW does one little boy and one black crayon travel so far so quickly? The fridge, a dining room chair, the silverware drawer...

the dining room table(these are just remnants because McKee cleaned it up), and the garbage can.

So, being the mean mommy that I am, I made him clean it up. He has to learn some time right?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Family Picnic 2008

Once a year my mom's side of the family gets together for a reunion/picnic/camping at my Uncle Denton's house in Nunda, NY. We usually have a great time and most of the family comes. My mom is #9 of 13 kids, 12 are still alive, and there are 51 cousins. We have so much fun. My uncles all play together in a band, so there's music, and food and Uncle Denton has a pond near the camp site. My kids love going because they can run around and do almost whatever they want with my cousins who are their ages, and my cousins' children. We roasted marshmallows, fished, danced, and talked. Only 4 of the 6 of us were able to make it this year, me, Dave, Michael, and Matt. McKee was in Myrtle Beach with Damon, so he wasn't there either. Here are a few pics.

Monday, August 18, 2008


So the services this weekend went pretty well. An interesting fact is that Grandma was laid to rest in a mausoleum at Riverside Cemetery on Lake Ave in Rochester, NY. When we were there Friday morning for the service Mike spotted Johannes Van Den Berghe just a couple spots diagonal from Grandma's. John Van Den Berghe was our Stake Patriarch, and sealed Mike and I and Seth and Brooke in the temple. It was a little bit of a comfort knowing they are close by. I know it seems silly, especially since we know it's just an empty body, but it made me feel better. I found some pictures of Grandma the way I remember her better from when we were little kids. I thought it would be fun for you to see her they way I will always remember her, and not so sick as the last couple pictures.

Here's Grandma and Grandpa dancing.

This is Christmas of 1987 in their front sitting room.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I found the other pictures of Grandma

We went to visit Grandma in May just after she came home from the hospital with her cancer diagnosis. She loves babies, always has, and absolutely loved seeing Brooke and Tyler. She had alzheimers/dimencia for the last couple years at least, so she didn't remember who I was, or the kids, but it didn't matter. I'm so grateful for the chance I had to take these shots of the kids with her. I wish the boys had been there too, but they were at school. You can see the smile on her face.

Lee Caternolo

My grandmother passed away at about 12:45am this morning, August 13, 2008. She has been suffering from pancreatic cancer for many months now. It is a relief to know that she's no longer in pain, but sad to see her go. My heart breaks for my step-dad who is an only child and has now lost his mother, and for my grandpa, I can't even imagine losing the person you have loved for your whole life. I am grateful for the knowledge I have of the gospel to help me know and understand what has happened to her and where she is now. I can only hope that I will be able to share that with my family in some small way to help comfort them.

Here is a picture of me with Grandma and Grandpa on Sunday, August 3rd, 2008 when we were able to visit with her at home. She was a beautiful and caring person. She always kept herself busy with taking care of everyone around her. The sunset that night was beautiful. I love her and she will be missed.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm amazed

at the strength that these athletes are showing in these Olympics. Records are being broken left and right. And Olympic dreams are being born. Seth has decided that he wants to be an Olympic gymnast. I think that's pretty cool.

Friday, August 8, 2008

I'm a couple days off

Tyler is 19 months old, as of the 5th. I like the idea of kind of keeping track of what the kids are up to at different ages. I wish I had done that with all of them. Tyler is so smart. He's great at putting things together in his mind and really understanding what's going on around him. I wish he could talk sometimes because I think he would be hilarious! He has developed a sense of humor in the last 2 months and it's so funny to me to see him crack up about things. It makes me realize that Heavenly Father really sent us here to have joy, because laughing is part of who we are, it's not necessarily a learned behavior. His favorite past times are climbing on the dining room table, he's been doing that since he was 13-14 months old. He loves dancing and I caught him humming yesterday, that was so cute. He likes to run around in just a diaper, especially outside. He loves to be outside, he cries if someone goes out and he can't go with them. He sleeps pretty well, he really always has, his bed time is 7:30 and he sleeps until 7am. His naps are not as good as they used to be, but that's normal. He's only napping for about 2 hours in the afternoon, and I'm not 100% sure that he's sleeping the whole time, that's just how long I leave him up there. He loves animals, and thinks that most of them bark, it's very funny. He just had his first haircut a couple weeks ago and he looks so old now! He loves me and has a hard time when I leave, it's starting to get a little bit better, but it depends on where we are and who he's left with. I love this boy.

Before Hair Cut 18mos

After Haircut almost 19mos

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hooray for Better Days!

For all of those who were wondering if I ended it with the polka dot children's place cotton tights...sorry to disappoint, but I didn't! :) Mike came home and then we had McKee's birthday party (more to come) and the kids were better behaved, mostly. Today is much better, although as I typed that I heard Seth whining "Moooom, Brooke just kicked me." It can't be perfect I guess!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Am I the Only One

That has bad days with their children? Not just the normal bad days, because they are kids and they can be crazy sometimes. But the bad days where you are fighting back tears all day and are trying hard not to call your husband and ask him to come home from work before you might strangle someone, or jump off the washing machine with your daughter's tights tied around your neck? Not like a super hero cape, but more of a noose. Maybe year round school wouldn't be so bad...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Happy Birthday McKee

Wow, McKee I cannot believe that you are 11 years old already. You will be starting middle school in just a couple weeks, it's hard to believe. I still remember sitting in the hospital watching you sleep and being just amazed at the little life that your dad and I created. Wondering what you would be like and what your dreams would be. You've grown into quite the young man. You love to draw, and are very talented, you're so good at inventing things and learning how things work. Last I knew you wanted to be an engineer or a video game creator. I hope you always keep dreaming, you can be whatever you want to be. You are polite and thoughtful. You love your brothers and sister, most of the time. You do have a little temper though and sometimes have a hard time focusing, but when you do focus, you get things done quickly and do a pretty good job too. I love spending time with you just the two of us. You talk alot, and sometimes, too much, but I don't mind. We had a great time this year going to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. You said while we were there that you want to be in the musicals when you are in high school. I hope you follow that dream too. We just finished your soccer season and you did great. For the first time this year you really got into the game. You were focused and held your position, you knew where the ball was and you went after it. You scored your first goal, and that was so exciting for all of us to watch! Your face was priceless, you were so proud and we were so proud of you. As you are getting ready to receive the Priesthood next year I hope that you will continue to soak up the scriptures, to hear and know the stories and the lessons that are being taught. I hope you will understand how great you are and how great you will become. Understand the importance of being trusted with such a huge blessing and responsibility from your Heavenly Father. Know that he loves you and will help you and bless you in everything you do, if you go to him in prayer and faith. These next years are preparing you to be a man and someday a husband and a father, I cannot wait to see what the future holds for you. But, enjoy being a kid for now, playing and dreaming and driving me crazy! I love you McKee, I always will.

P.S. I forgot to mention what an amazing cellist you are. You've only been playing for 3 years and have already earned awards for your talent. I hope you follow through with it, and stick to it. You said one time that you want to be like YoYo Ma...You can definitely do that if you really want to.