Saturday, February 28, 2009

Horse preview day

Today we took a half-day trip into Pittsburgh to see the new Horse Exhibit at the Carnegie Natural History Museum. One of the perks of membership is we were invited to preview this exhibit from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Since Ann-Marie's favorite animal is the horse, we made it a priority to go. There was a lot of information to absorb, but a couple items stuck out to us: the interactive exhibit of a horse's digestive system (yes, how a horse poops), an explanation of the use of "hands" as a measurement and Ann-Marie got measured - she is a Shetland pony, and a full-size horse armor. After a brief but exciting fire "drill", Ann-Marie got to make a horse puppet.

We cannot get out of the museum without visiting the dinosaur section, Evan's favorite. Above, Evan and Ann-Marie checking out some dinosaur information and below, Alec touching everything that would make a sound.

Not a very good picture, but there is a small area spotlighting Pennsylvania turtles, lizards, frogs, toads and such. We will be keeping an eye out for these this summer while exploring!

We really miss the (free) Smithsonian museums in D.C., but have already gotten our money's worth out of our Carnegie Museums membership. Our family LOVES a day out at a museum.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Evan's bowling party

Evan's bowling party yesterday was a lot of fun! He invited two of his friends....Jason, who goes to second grade at Patterson Primary with Evan, and Ian, who is a friend from church. Two aunts, three cousins, and a friends were also in attendance. We bowled two games and then headed home for pizza and cake.

The bowling cake I worked on turned out great and Evan loved it!
Evan's interests right now are the Steelers and Star presents were along those two themes.
We had a great time and I was pleased with Evan's choice of birthday activity (bowling) and the friends he chose to invite. What a nice 8th birthday!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Evan!

February is my family's big birthday month....the most important in our immediate family is Evan's birthday. In fact, I will hopefully be posting a link to my hometown newspaper in Iowa once they post the article about my Dad and step-mom having six birthdays in one week in of which is Evan. Anyway, the night before Evan's birthday I told him, "This is the last day you'll be seven!" To which he immediately replied, "Yeah, and I start my ninth year tomorrow!" Wow! Where did the time go?

Here is how Evan spent his special day (his bowling party with friends and family is Sunday, so there will be a part two!) Our special birthday child always gets to plan the entire day of meals. Evan chose blueberry pancakes for breakfast (thanks the the importing of blueberries from Chile in February, this is not as expensive as it could be!) Then he opened one birthday present, which was a Steelers jersey - Hines Ward. He got to wear it to school which was very exciting for him.
Darrell made a surprise visit to Evan's school cafeteria at lunch and had lunch with the birthday boy. I made him cookies to take to school with him also.
After school, Evan opened present number two - Mario Kart for the Wii. He was totally surprised and really loves this game!
Dinner was spaghetti and my homemade turkey meatballs.
Since Evan will be getting his cake on Sunday, Ann-Marie spent all afternoon while Evan was at school making five EZ bake oven cakes. When Evan was told what Ann-Marie did for him, he got a huge grin on his face and said, "I love Ann-Marie's EZ bake cakes!"

We spent the evening having fun at our small group with friends. More cookies were made to take to the small group kids. Now our first baby is eight! Happy Birthday Evan!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine Fun

We stayed in on Valentine's day this year, as Evan was still sick and Ann-Marie and Alec were battling colds. That didn't keep us from having our traditional Valentine's fun! This is the third annual Valentine's treasure hunt for the Jerome kids. Above, the kids holding their first clue.
The clue that the kids enjoyed the most was the one for the toilet:

"Everyone poops,
Everyone pees,
Go to the place
Where you do these."

O.k. not in very good taste, but the kids got a kick out of it!
The treasures were found in the washing machine. Each child received a small toy....Ann-Marie is displaying her newest littlest pet shop animals below.
For dinner, pizza was a winner. Homemade, of course, compliments of Mommy's dough skills and Daddy's creative toppings. Ann-Marie handled dessert by baking sugar cookies in her Easy Bake Oven!
At dinner we also went around the table and told each person what we loved about them. The kids really got into it. I really enjoyed what Evan told Darrell, "If you weren't my Daddy and someone else was my Daddy, I wouldn't love him as much as I do you!"

Mommy's new jobs

Time to fill you in on my new jobs (to supplement my most important jobs - wife and mommy). Last January, I began watching an infant in my home three afternoons a week. It worked out perfectly with our schedule, as Alec was still napping and Ann-Marie was in afternoon preschool. Then, a couple months ago, I was having a conversation with a friend who was re-entering the workforce. She has a first grade girl and a little boy about three months younger than Alec. I offered to be her childcare....sooooooo, this January I started watching David during the week. This has worked out very well, as Alec has a playmate, David comes along with us to our weekly activities, and both boys are on similar schedules. So here are some pictures from the last week of some of the fun we have!

We even got to celebrate David's third birthday with a small cake, balloon activities, and a present from Alec.

Now, an update on my fitness venture. It looks like mid-March will be the time that I will get to start teaching the Les Mills Body Pump class at the new Alexander's Athletic Club in Chippewa. It's been a lesson in patience, as I've been certified since August with nowhere to teach, except my "ghost team" in my basement! I've decided to also try to become certified in the Body Combat class, so I will be taking the class the first weekend in March to start the certification. So there you have update on my life!

Monday, February 9, 2009

And the Steeler craze goes on....

Silly me. I thought that by now, the Steeler craze would be dying down. I underestimated my son's interest (as well as the loyalty of this area toward their team.....EVERYONE seems to be sporting Steeler super bowl wear). Here are some clues that we will be living with this phenomena a bit longer:

- I took Evan to the public library last week and he checked out THREE books on the Steelers.
- Breakfast conversations revolve around Steeler football facts.
- Evan HAD to wear a gold dress shirt (yes, he has one) and black pants to church yesterday.

So, we will continue to support Evan's interest (fanaticism?) with the Steelers and listen with interest to everything he is learning about the team. If any of our family or friends that enjoy talking football want to borrow Evan for a couple hours, our ears could take a break!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Steeler parade

Darrell and Evan ventured into Pittsburgh today to try to see the Steeler parade. We weren't sure of what they would be able to see, but they found front row spots along the parade route. Here are a couple pictures from their view:
The crowds....over 300,000 I heard.....

Proud Steelers coach (above) and quarterback (below).....

Darrell and Evan were able to meet up with Darrell's brother, Mark, also, which made for a fun day. Evan told Darrell, "This was the BEST day of my life!" It was so neat to let him be a part of this celebration.