Our Giant Little 3 Year Old!

December 29, 2007 by  
Filed under Our Life

dscf5592-1.jpgOur middle child Ben is just about 3 1/2 yrs old but he is bigger than a lot of our 5 yr olds friends. John is tall but I bet Ben will be taller than his 6 feet 3 inches! We were at the doctors for flu shots (and to make sure Jamie’s ear infections were gone) and while waiting around there we decided to measure the boys. Ethan is no shrimp at 45 1/2″ and 45 1/2 lbs but his little brother is catching up in height at 43″ and he is about 2 lbs heavier. They wear the same sizes in clothes. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ben is taller than Ethan before they are teens, maybe even in the next few years at this rate!

I just did the height predictor at the Baby Center website and it says Ethan will be 6’1″ and Ben will be 6’3″. I think both will be taller though, I am only 5’6″ and they figure in the parents’ heights but my mom and dad are both tall so my genes aren’t all short.

Some Christmas Fun!

December 25, 2007 by  
Filed under Pictures


Merry Christmas!!!

December 25, 2007 by  
Filed under Pictures

We hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas today! Here are the pictures from our Christmas card. Unfortunately no one has received one because they haven’t come to our house yet! I’ve got all the envelopes addressed and ready to go so at this rate I hope they come in the mail tomorrow and I can send them out Thursday.


Christmas Eve Eve!

December 23, 2007 by  
Filed under Our Life, Pictures

John just called down a few minutes ago (around 11pm) and told me to run up with the camera. I never imagined this is what I’d find! Ethan is so cute. I don’t know how we’ll get the boys to go to bed tomorrow on Christmas Eve! dscf5941.jpg

Shrek Calendar Contest Winners!

December 23, 2007 by  
Filed under Past Contests

The 3 lucky winners of our Shrek calendar contest are:

Mama Zen, Daniel & Brook

We’ll be taking a little break from contests for the holidays!

Nigel Marven – Arctic Exposure

December 20, 2007 by  
Filed under Reviews, Tips and Tricks

With the writer’s strike in full swing and no new shows in our TiVo todo list I decided to do some searching and find a few good nature shows to watch with the kids.  As luck would have it, Ethan and Ben’s favorite wildlife presenter, Nigel Marven, has a new series on Animal Planet called Arctic Exposure.  The series follows Nigel as he takes us to  see all the amazing wildlife in the Canadian arctic as Spring arrives.  We all love the show and so far it has been very kid friendly and informative.

We will definitely be looking to buy this when it comes out on DVD.  In the meantime, check out the schedule and I recommend starting from the beginning because Nigel makes several visits to some of the animals to see how they are doing (like the adorable arctic fox cubs).

TIP –  If you have a TiVo, take advantage of your keyword search tool.  I performed a keyword search for “Nigel Marven” and saved it.  Now whenever one of Nigel’s shows is on any channel it will be recorded.  This is also a great way to record talk show appearances.

Backyard ice rink confessions

December 19, 2007 by  
Filed under Backyard Ice Rink, DIY Projects, Pictures

I’ve written a number of posts about how easy it is to build a backyard ice rink. Well, it is only fair that I post the story of my FIRST rink. A lot of work during that first winter has made it much easier the following years.

It all started when we bought Ethan hockey skates for his 2nd birthday. He had the skates, now all he needed was ice. So I went to work making a rink…unfortunately our yard is far from flat. Here’s the story…

Backyard ice rink frame I started by assembling the walls of my frame out of 2x8s, the same as I do every year (in fact I’m still using the same 2x8s). I then use 2x4s and a level to raise the walls and get everything square and level for a 24 x 24 rink. The plywood was actually the easiest part. I simply put full 4×8 sheets in place and drew a line along the top of my frame against the plywood. I ripped these pieces with a circular saw and then screwed them in place. I had very little scrap leftover. Notice the 2×4 bracing to keep the weight of the water from blowing out the walls.
Backyard ice rink frame
Backyard ice rink frame
After I had it all done I realized the re-assembling this every year was going to be a pain and it would take a LOT of water to fill and even longer to freeze completely. The shallow end was only 6 inches, but the deep end was 32 inches! I decided to take some of tax return money and invest in dirt and rocks. 80 yards to be exact. Once I saw the size of the pile I realized that if we were going to skate THIS winter I would need some help. Enter the Bobcat! Every DIYer MUST rent a Bobcat for a weekend once in their life. That thing was awesome. I made quick work of the pile and was impressed that my calculations were spot on and had no leftovers. I even had extra time and used the Bobcat to pull out some stumps and some old 400 lb cement footings. Did I mention this thing was awesome? Fill for the ice rink
A level ice rink

TIP – I called the usual rental places first and found the weekend rates for the Bobcat out of my price range. I then tried a local construction business and they rented me one for the weekend, delivered, for the same rate the other places charged for a day. Their Bobcat also was a tracked model, not the usual wheeled model, which saved my front yard from serious damage when the weather got sloppy.

There you have it. My neighbors (and my wife) thought I was nuts, but the end result is that each year I have a nice flat spot in the front yard for our rink. The problem will be extending the rink past 24 feet…maybe every DIYer needs to rent a Bobcat TWICE in their life!

A Simple Recipe for Indoor Winter Fun

December 18, 2007 by  
Filed under Family Activities

We got this ‘recipe’ from a magazine last winter and it was a big hit with the kids.


1 big rubbermaid snow and lots of it – the fresher the better
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1 shovel bath tub
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finally, add a couple kids and their toys

  • washable paint diluted in water
  • icicles
  • cups and bowls to make snow castles
  • spoons for excavation
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Shrek Calendar Contest: 12/17-12/22

December 17, 2007 by  
Filed under Past Contests

This week we are giving away THREE neat shaped 2008 Shrek wall calendars. They are shaped like Shrek’s head! John was supposed to put the picture up with this post but last night we were up VERY late with a sick kid. He was the one that cleaned up all the throw up so I’ll cut him some slack (he’ll add the picture later though)!

Here’s what you need to do if you want to be one of the winners:

  • post a comment for 1 entry
  • post about us in your blog if you want a second entry (remember to let us know)
  • the contest runs from Mon 12/17 – Fri 12/22 and the winner will be announced on Saturday 12/23/07 (US residents only)
Shrek calendar 200800000390back.jpg

Ooh baby baby baby!

December 16, 2007 by  
Filed under Our Life

dscf5917.jpgdscf5920.jpgJamie is starting to get a social life, two outings with kids her own age this week! These pictures are from this little guy’s first birthday party yesterday. I’m working on arranging a marriage between him and Jamie. She seems happy with him so far! The three babies were so cute together but unfortunately Jamie is the oldest and is a very determined hugger. She knocks the other babies right over with her big hugs and doesn’t want to let go. At least she has loving intentions!

(Ethan and Ben had fun running around with all the other big kids and again I failed to take pictures of them.)dscf5925_edited-1.jpgdscf5928_edited-1.jpg

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