Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Our Little Thumb-sucker

So today I had my long-awaited ultrasound to answer a few of the questions about this pregnancy...like my due date and what we're having. I was so excited to find out that we'll be having another little boy! And my due date is March 31st. That's about 6 weeks before I have my finals. Things will definitely be interesting.

Anyway, I'm posting a few pics of the little guy for anyone interested.

I had trouble uploading a video so click here for a link to youtube to see it.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Isaac's Fall Party

On Friday I got to go to Isaac's Fall Party at school and watch him in action...or not. How come the wacky and wild kid who never stops talking that lives in my house is not the same one sitting in that classroom? I'm sure the teacher appreciates it but I found it interesting nonetheless.

The kids played a few rousing games, including "Toss the Candy Corn Into the Pumpkin" (I didn't see one kid make it), "Pumpkin Bowling" (Isaac opted to chuck his pumpkin through the air into the pins instead of rolling it), and a contest to see who could roll their pumpkin the closest to the big pumpkin. Then they ate some yummy looking snacks (why didn't they bring enough for the parents?) and ended with the grand finale of the "Too-tee-tah Dance". I didn't want to be the annoying mom taking pictures so I failed to fully capture what Isaac looks like with his thumbs up, elbows back, feet apart, knees together, bum out, tongue out, and spinning in a circle (try it, it's amusing).

Halloween in Hershey: Part 4 - Kasia

I am dedicating this post to Kasia, who took to Halloween like a fish to water. The first house was a little confusing to her but after that she had it down. She tolerated holding Billy's hand for the first little bit and then he was holding her back too much so she was off on her own. It was so funny to watch and we took about a million pictures of her. She would walk from house to house, kicking her little pink pumpkin bucket as she went, go up the walkway and say "Pees" (please) and then take her piece of candy and be on to the next. People at some houses thought she was so cute that they'd give her more than one piece (more for me!) but that started a bad trend because at later houses she would sometimes cry if they only gave her one. She's so funny! So props to Kosh on a great Halloween and enjoy the small selection of pictures.

Halloween in Hershey: Part 3 - Night on the Town

Our first stop on the trick-or-treat route was the local police station where they were hosting a "safe trick-or-treat" night. Little did we know that besides juice and cookies, the boys would be photographed for the local newspaper with one of Hershey's own police officers. They were so excited!

After that we headed to Elm Street. Now why did I not think that going to Elm Street on Halloween night might be a little freaky? Thanks, mom, for helping me draw that connection. Lucky for us, nothing scary happened...except for maybe one house that went all out in decorations. We tried to capture it as best we could. I think they had their entire family there in full-out costumes and it seemed just like a real haunted house. The kids loved it!

The kids actually had the energy to trick-or-treat for about an hour and a half (including Kasia) and got way too much candy. But then again, that's the point of Halloween, isn't it?

Halloween in Hershey: Part 2 - Costumes

Like I mentioned in my last blog, the costume part of Halloween presented quite a challenge.

Isaac had received a costume in the mail from his dad the day before and it was...scary. He said he wanted scary and scary is what he got...or gruesome. Call it what you want, he was most likely the freakiest little 5 year old in all of Hershey. I'm actually not sure what he was. I told him he was a zombie, which is what his dad later confirmed. He had decided, however, that he was a troll like the ones on the movie Willow. Only a child that is heavily influenced by Billy would decide that.

Will was a little trickier to dress. You see, he'd been wearing a different costume that we have in our dress-up clothes every day around town. He was a giraffe at parent-teacher conference, a power ranger at the grocery store...you get the idea. As a result, he kept changing his mind on what he wanted to be for Halloween. When it all boiled down to that last 30 minutes, he decided that he wanted to be Woody from Toy Story (thanks Mom). And he was a great Woody, topped off with Billy's cub scout hat from when he lived in Australia. He had a blast! Anyone who's spent significant time with Will knows that he takes his time in everything he does and this was no exception. He walked SO SLOW while we trick-or-treated and every few steps would take off his hat, hold it high, and say "Let's ride like the wind, Bulls-eye." (from the movie). What a nut!

Kasia was a cute little farmer girl complete with overalls, plaid shirt, curly pigtails, and freckles. It just doesn't get any cuter than her!

Halloween in Hershey: Part 1 - Pumpkins

So this last Wednesday night a sweet neighbor informed me that trick-or-treating would take place on the following night. That's right - Thursday, October 28th. Thinking that perhaps he was getting a little kooky in his old age, I went online to check it out. Sure enough, the government of Pennsylvania has decided that they have the ability to change the dates of holidays. I'm thinking now I need to double check when Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years will take place so that I can plan accordingly.

This type of change is not one that a mother is thrilled to hear (especially a mother with a big midterm and 2 presentations coming up soon). I had to do some major schedule reshuffling and Thursday quickly became "All-Day-Halloween Day". I didn't have costumes for all the kids, the pumpkins hadn't been carved yet, and I had a few decorations that I wanted to put up over the weekend.

This first part of my Halloween blog will focus solely on carving pumpkins. Will was the only child who had carved a pumpkin before and so we had lots of fun picking our own faces and cleaning out the guts. I also thoroughly enjoyed the roasted pumpkin seeds that I was able to make with the innards of our pumpkins. Ahh, childhood memories...

Here are the final products:

True works of art in progress...

Isaac is glorying in the guts of his pumpkin.

Can you guess who's pumpkin this was???

Yes, this was my design of choice because it's fast and easy and it's what I feel like I've been doing for the past 4 months...

This was Will's "Mean Pumpkin"...with a little help from his dad.

Isaac actually drew the face of his pumpkin himself but I carved it for him...like I would give a 5-year-old a knife.

Why is it so impossible to get a decent picture of 3 kids under the age of 6?

How cool are these?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Midnight Visitor???

The boys woke the other morning to a pleasant surprise -- a large string hanging from the light fixture in me and Billy's bedroom to our bedpost. They sat with wide eyes and awakened imaginations as I spun a tale about an enormous spider that woke us up in the middle of the night as it started to create a web over our bed. Afraid we were about to become dinner for the spider, I shook Billy who proceeded to battle the spider with the baseball bat he keeps under the bed. After a long and arduous fight, Billy was victorious and the spider agreed to never return. All that remains is this one strand of his web...

The actual explanation: we have no lamp in our room for the time being and so we have to use the overhead light to read at night. Due to laziness, we tied this string so we can turn the light out without having to disturb a comfortable position and risk re-awakening ourselves.

Sunday Dinner at the Jackson

On a normal Sunday, dinner at the Jackson household consists of the following: homemade waffles, eggs, sausage, and orange juice. And yes, keeping with the Nelson tradition, I do put peanut butter on my waffles.

However, this past Sunday was different. Call it a pregnancy craving or whatever you like, but I asked my hubby to make me Bigos - a Polish dish that he learned on his mission (a few of you have been blessed enough to have partaken of this meal with us in the past). I don't think I've asked Billy to make this since before Will was born since it takes most of the day to cook.

I was in heaven! The smell of Bigos filled the house and when we returned from church I could hardly make the mashed potatoes fast enough. In my selfish haste and excitement, I forgot to consider how the children would feel about this meal that may seem a little strange to them. After quite some time at the table, Will managed to eat about half of what he'd been given. Kasia would scream or violently shake her head if you tried to give her a bite. And Isaac ate 1/2 of a bite. I was baffled! What child wouldn't appreciate a meal that consists of chicken, kielbasa, cabbage, and prunes? I don't find it necessary to go into more detail, however, since a picture is worth a thousand words...

A Change for the Jacksons

After having settled in our new home here in Hershey, we encountered a few problems with an appliance that I've come to rely on heavily - the washing machine. How does a mom with 3 kids survive without a functioning washing machine for more than 3 weeks? For me, the answer lie in the basement of the house we're living in (don't worry, the rest of the house looks nothing like this). I posted about doing laundry here in my Adventure Journey blog, which you can read here:


Why am I writing about this now? Because a happy day has come! This past week we finally got a new washing machine...and a new dryer. It was like Christmas at our house. And not just for me, the main blessing-receiver in the story. Billy and the kids were equally as enamored. The children love to sit and watch the washing machine wash the clothes. And Will has become quite adept at loading it for me and helping to add the soap.

Ah, the simple pleasures of life...

The old laundry room I used to use was located through this tunnel of terror. No, this is not earthquake aftermath. This is infact the way to the washing machine.

Billy and the children happily watching the stains and soils magically remove themselves from their clothes.

An Outcry for Kasia

So, since my last postings I've had an overwhelming outcry for more pictures of my little princess (yes, she is a princess and she knows it - I am now the queen). This demand for what I've deemed the most beautiful girl in the world has made me realize something - I don't take enough pictures of her! Why is that? I'm not sure. I'll have to work on it. In the meantime, here are a couple of cute ones for those who are hungry for more Kosh to enjoy!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What Kasia and I do while the boys are at school...

Pretzels in Lititz, PA

Last Wednesday we decided it was time for a little family adventure so we headed down the road a ways to Lititz, PA - maybe one of the quiantest towns around here (how can you really say with dutch country so close?). In town they have the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery - the oldest pretzel bakery in America. Inside, you can make roll out your own pretzel and bake it in their oven (warning: the ovens are being updated now so if you go any time in the next few months this feature won't be working). We got some of their hard pretzels as a sample and I think they may be the best pretzels I've ever had. Seriously. As a perk, we also met the great-grandson of Julius Sturgis out in the garden. What are the odds? And for those of you who ever want to get some for yourself (or send some to me as a gift because you love me and know that I deserve them) they are now referred to as Tom Sturgis pretzels.

After pretzel making, we walked up and down the streets looking at the awesome shops along the way. I'm sure we'll head back there someday again because there's so much we didn't get to see or do (including an old-fashioned chocolate factory with samples). We then had a delicious dinner at Roma's (2 huge pizzas for $10). Nothing makes a trip like good food!

Okay, I know that two of those pictures are sideways but I'm too lazy to rotate them before uploading. What can I say, I have limited time.

Big Day for Isaac

As if moving to a new town and starting kindergarten weren't enough, Isaac decided to add a little more change to his life by losing his first tooth. Well, his first wiggly tooth to fall out, that is. I'm surprised he never misplaced it because he carried this itty-bitty tooth in his hand all day before I finally got him a ziplock bag to keep it in. He was so excited to put it under his pillow that night and even more excited to discover that the tooth fairy left him a whole dollar! He later confessed to being slightly worried that he would only get 35 cents like Grandpa Phil...

Look at that great smile! But that's actually not the tooth that fell out - the dentist pulled that one out much earlier this year.

There you can see the tooth that fell out. You can also see what Isaac looks like when you tell him to smile really big.

Back to School

This week was a big week in the Jackson household for all members. Isaac and Will both started school this week - hooray! After much stress and working with the principal, the superintendent, and more, Isaac is officially enrolled at Hershey Early Education Center (the school district's Kindergarten). His teacher is Miss Smith and he is LOVING it! Aside from having something to do each morning and getting out of the house, the highlight for him is getting to ride the bus to school. He always gets on the bus with the biggest grin.

Will's first day of school was Tuesday (he goes Tuesday and Thursday and wants to go every day...and ride the bus like Isaac). He goes to Hilltop Christian Nursery School and it's a really cute school. On his first day, he was up and ready with backpack, jacket, and shoes about 2 hours before he had to be there.

Kasia's life has changed as well - she now gets mommy all to herself a couple mornings a week. Not to mention free reign over all the toys without any big boys telling her what to do or attempting to wrestle with her.

Billy and I are thoroughly enjoying the peace and quite that comes with having the boys gone.

Isaac's first day of school.

Getting on the school bus. I wish you could see his face but I didn't want to be the annoying mom that's slowing down the bus so I could take pictures.

Will's first day of school. I know he looks grouchy but he wanted me to take pictures of his "mad face". He was actually really happy.