Monday, December 12, 2011

Cup Stacking Champion

Evy went to a Radio Disney event at the mall and was chosen from the crowd to participate in a head-to-head cup stacking competition. She won.
Cup Stacking Champion

Her prize included a Radio Disney bag and four tickets to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's Family Holiday Pops Concert at Heinz Hall the following weekend.

We got all dressed up and headed downtown for the concert. The kids enjoyed the music and the guest vocalists, which included the woman who was the voice of Ariel from The Little Mermaid. They also liked the 25 foot tall Christmas tree.
25 Foot Tall Christmas Tree

For those of you keeping score at home: Evy + plastic cups = symphony music.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Visiting Santa

Evelyn wrote her letter to Santa yesterday. She included her requests (baby doll and Barbie), Brandon's request (trains) and a few full color illustrations.
Adding Some Color

Then we were off to see the man himself. This year's visit went better than last year's. Brandon took a seat, pretended to smile for a picture, and blurted out "trains" when asked what he wanted (as he tried to slink down off of Santa's lap).

Visiting Santa 2011

Evy is an old pro. She chatted up Mr. Claus as long as she could.

More pictures of Santa are on Flickr.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ready for Christmas

The halls are decked, the stockings are hung, and the lights are up. We're ready for Christmas even though it's only the first weekend in December.

Hanging Ornaments

Santa is going to need his hat back in a few weeks.

Santa Brandon

More Christmas preparation is on Flickr.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Break

We had a fun and busy Thanksgiving weekend that included turkey, electric trains, family photos and Brandon's first ride on a Mule. The vehicle, not the animal.

First Mule Ride

More pictures from Thanksgiving are on Flickr.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dinosaurs and More

We had a chance to visit the Carnegie Museum of Natural History this weekend. Evy and Brandon became paleontologists for the day.
Fossil Dig

In addition to the fossil excavation and dinosaur bones exploration, they were able to touch a mastodon tooth and explore the M is for Museum hands-on exhibit for kids. Did you know that the Carnegie Museum has the largest collection of Jurassic dinosaurs in the world? And the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton that exists?

More museum pictures are on Flickr.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Evelyn and Brandon turned Halloween into a week long event this year. They picked pumpkins, dressed up for dance class, trick-or-treated at the library and the mall, marched in the kindergarten parade, carved pumpkins, and trick-or-treated in our neighborhood on Halloween (in the rain).
Halloween Costumes

Evy visited more houses than ever before. Brandon made it to three before returning home to pass out candy and play trains while still in his costume.

Lots more Halloween week fun is on Flickr.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cinderella Goes to the Mall

Sometimes even a princess needs to go shopping.
Cinderella at the Mall

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

43 Hours of Fun

How much fun can you fit into one autumn weekend? How about a road trip, two birthday parties and a fall festival.
Pumpkin Bowling

Plus a concert with your favorite band!

The Concert!

More fall fun is on Flickr and new photos have been added to the end of the Justin Roberts in Concert set.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Airplanes and School Busses

Wings Over Pittsburgh 2011 was this past weekend. Evelyn was her brother's tour guide since it was Brandon's first time at an air show.
By the Trainer

Evy was excited to get back into the cockpit. She also took pictures, talked to pilots and collected free stuff.

Brandon liked looking at all of the planes on the ground and in the air. But he really liked the school bus ride that took us from the parking lot to the air show entrance.

Pictures (ours and Evy's) from Wings Over Pittsburgh are on Flickr.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Another Tuesday

Another Tuesday. Another day off for Evy and Daddy. This week we decided to visit the zoo!
Welcome to the Zoo

I could get used to these kind of Tuesdays...

More pictures from the zoo are on Flickr.

Monday, August 29, 2011

First Day of School

Evelyn started Kindergarten this morning!
First Day of Kindergarten

She had a great day and can't wait to go back. On a "fun" scale from one to ten, Evelyn gave her first day of school a one hundred. We hope this level of enthusiasm lasts for the remaining 179 days.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

All on a Tuesday

I took off work on Tuesday for some middle of the week family fun. It started with getting the kids' pictures taken at Target (Evy had a good time), and then we took our lunch to the picnic tables at the Allegheny County airport to watch some airplanes and helicopters.

Watching the Liftoff

Brandon thought he might like to fly in one of the planes, but we weren't allowed to set up a lesson for a two-year-old. Instead we surprised the kids with a trip to Kennywood. Brandon was able to ride the planes in Kiddieland with Evy as the pilot.

Checking Their Six

It was a really fun weekday for everyone. Pictures from our busy Tuesday are on Flickr.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Birthday Boy

Brandon turned two yesterday. He'll tell you that he's six, but trust me, the kid is two.
Happy Birthday Brandon!

He opened presents, tried to play with each of those presents, and then ate cake and ice cream. It was a great way to celebrate.

Brandon's second birthday pictures are on Flickr.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Heart of Summer

It's 97˚ and humid outside, and Evy and Brandon are soaking up the sun with a bunch of mid-summer activities.

Sprinkler!!

In the past two weeks they have been running through sprinklers, going to car cruises, attending the firemen's carnival, celebrating a family reunion, taking swimming lessons and much more.

Pictures from the heart of summer are on Flickr.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Night Riders

We visited Kennywood on Sunday afternoon to finish up a fun-filled wedding weekend. Evy and Brandon rode the train, took adults for a drive on the Auto Race, and tried out just about every ride in Kiddieland.

Pachyderm Hugs

It was an evening filled with cousins, Potato Patch fries and another late bedtime.

More pictures from Kennywood are on Flickr.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Flower Girl

Evelyn was very excited to be the flower girl at my cousin Valerie's wedding this past weekend. She's been looking forward to it for a whole year!

V/G Wedding 12

It was a great day and it lived up to her expectations - from the fancy dress and shoes, to the limo ride, to the aisle walk/petal drop, to the reception dancing.

She had a blast. You can tell by the pictures she took in the new Flower Girl! (EvyCam) album on Flickr.

So did we. Our photos from the wedding are on Flickr, too.

Congratulations Valerie and Greg!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Fourth!

We kicked off summer with a fun fourth of July weekend that included a picnic, some s'mores and a big parade. The big parade included old cars, marching bands and candy throwers. And lots of fire trucks and emergency vehicles with loud sirens.

Evy's Siren Protection

Brandon's Siren Protection

More from the fourth and the beginning of summer are on Flickr.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Beach Week 2011

We just got home from a great week at the beach. Evy and Brandon had fun building sand castles, jumping in the waves and playing mini golf.

Evy & Brandon on the Beach

Lots more pictures of beach fun are on Flickr.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Feels Like Summer

Even though the calendar says it's still spring, Evelyn and Brandon have already enjoyed a few weeks of summer activities. Sunny and 94˚ during the beginning of June helps.

They've already been outside in their size-appropriate inflatable swimming pools.

Watering Can Shower

They've picked strawberries right from the farmer's fields.

Strawberry Fields

And nothing says summer like the taste of corn on the cob.

Vertical Cob

When the season really changes next week they'll be ready to go. More pictures of summer practice are on Flickr.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Last Dance

Evelyn has attended her weekly dance class for the past nine months. During that time she has learned to pliƩ, shuffle ball change, and other stuff dance people do. Yesterday was the last class of the season - a chance for the dance finale and to get a trophy for her commitment.

Dance Trophy

Even though her teachers say she has very nice technique, Evy hasn't committed to dancing during the fall season yet. We'll keep you posted...

More dance finale pictures are on Flickr.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Children's Museum

Brandon and Evelyn went to the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh yesterday and they had a blast!

Aboard the Neighborhood Trolley

Highlights of the trip include the Smart car, colorful projection dancing, various art projects and a bubble making seesaw. Both kids plan to go back very soon and neither would stop talking about how much fun they had.

You know you're having a good time when you need a wardrobe change in the middle of the visit (right after the waterplay area).

Lots more pictures from the Children's Museum are on Flickr.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

End of the Season

After her last soccer match, Evelyn and her teammates gathered for a ceremony to celebrate the season. They each received a medal for their participation.
By the Goal

Evy hasn't committed to playing during the fall season yet. We'll keep you posted...

You can see all the highlights from this soccer season on Flickr.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Preschool Graduate

After two years of preschool, Evelyn earned her diploma and is kindergarten bound.

Preschool Graduate!

Let's not rush it. We have a whole summer to go before she starts working toward her next diploma.

More preschool graduation pictures are on Flickr.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Welcome, Jay!

Evelyn and Brandon have a new baby cousin!

Jay Thaddeus arrived this past weekend.

Congratulations Aunt Julie and Uncle Tim!

Pictures from our first visit to see baby Jay are on Flickr.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter!

Eggs and baskets and chocolate bunnies and fancy outfits and ham and late bedtimes.

Easter Portrait

Sounds like a happy Easter! More on Flickr.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Farm Fun

It has been raining lately. A lot. Fortunately, the weather cleared for a day so Evelyn's preschool class could enjoy a day at Round Hill Park. Brandon was able to join in the fun, too.

Siblings Pose

The kids checked out the animals, including some goats, cows, horses and a big pig. They even got to feed the ducks and geese. Evelyn spent much of the morning holding her nose (it was a little smelly) and Brandon showed off his mooing skills. Then everyone took a turn on the slide and swings at the farm playground.

More farm fun is on Flickr.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mia Hamm's Records Appear Safe

Evy played in her first official soccer match today.
First Soccer Game!

She had a lot of fun being part of the green team. She ran around a bit, kicked the ball a few times, ate some of the halftime snack and cheered for her teammates.

Evelyn was concerned about one thing - the condition of the pitch (and the condition of her cleats). It was pretty muddy out there.

Maybe her aggressiveness, competitiveness and goal scoring prowess will be awakened with a drier field and some nicer weather next weekend. More from Evy's first soccer game is on Flickr.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools

Evelyn couldn't wait to unveil tonight's dessert. Sponge cake. A new recipe.

It actually looked pretty good. I could tell she took some time with the icing, and who doesn't want a piece of cake after dinner?

Sponge Cake

It was a little tough to cut through. Plus, there was a lot of giggling coming from everyone else at the table. You see, it was an actual sponge. A couple of them.

April fools!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Evy is Five!

Evelyn turned five on Saturday. She celebrated with balloons, a guitar cake and some fun presents.

Evy & Her Cake

She woke up on her birthday morning and thought she might be a little bigger than the night before. But by Sunday afternoon she decided that five didn't feel a whole lot different than four.

Not yet anyway.

More fifth birthday fun is on Flickr.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Princesses on Ice Skates

Evelyn's birthday extravaganza has begun! We took her to Disney on Ice Princess Classics yesterday and she had a great time.
Castle Finale

More pictures from the ice show are on Flickr.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

1.5 Years

Brandon is 18 months old today. To celebrate he ate homemade mini donuts and had his picture taken with Furry Bear.
Brandon - 18 Months

Happy half-birthday!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Weekend of Surprises

After Evelyn got home from preschool on Friday, we hopped in the car and headed east on the turnpike. We didn't tell her where we were going but she eventually figured out that we were off to help Grandma celebrate her birthday. Evy immediately wondered if we brought clothes to wear. We told her it was a surprise for her, not for us.

Evelyn loves birthdays. Brandon loves cake. It was a perfect plan.

The next day we took Evy on a quick trip into Harrisburg. We handed her a concert ticket to see if she could figure out the next surprise. Her jumping and skipping let us know that she was able to read Justin Roberts & the Not Ready for Naptime Players on the front. "I'm so excited!" she shrieked as she hopped up the stairs to join her second kiddie mosh pit.

We've said before that if you have kids you should check out Justin Roberts' music. Someone has been paying attention - his latest album has been nominated for a Grammy. Evy has been a big fan for a long time now. In fact, we first learned that she was paying attention to music when at 16 months she started belting out his song "Imaginary Rhino" while it was playing in the car one day. And she has been strumming a fake guitar and singing her own versions of his songs since she was two.

From the Kiddie Mosh Pit

She jumped and danced and showed her cousin William the finer points of children's moshing while she sang all the words to every song they played. The band even honored her request for fast songs and anything with a kazoo as they dedicated "Day Camp" to her. She almost burst with excitement.

After the show she gave some high fives, some hugs, and got some more pictures with the guys. On the way home she decided that it was a great weekend. The problem now is that when I surprise her with my leftover cheese curls from lunch it probably isn't going to get the same reaction as before.

Lots more concert pics of Evelyn's favorite band are on Flickr.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Out In the Snow

Since the temperature finally rose above 25˚ this week, Evelyn and Brandon bundled up and went outside in the snow. Evy couldn't wait to shovel the walkway and make snowpeople.

Evy's Snowgirl

It was Brandon's first time out in the snow. He sat down. And that's about all he could do in this outfit.
Brandon in the Snow

A little more winter fun is on Flickr.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Kiddie Mosh Pit

Evelyn loves music. If the iPod or the radio aren't filling our house with songs, she is busy playing, singing or humming her own tune. And her favorite musician right now is Justin Roberts. If you have kids and you haven't heard of him, click on his name and go to his website. You won't be disappointed. He writes great songs for kids that adults can enjoy, too.

So imagine how excited we were when we found out that Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players scheduled a concert date in Pittsburgh!
Yellow Reflector

We went. She sang. She danced in the kiddie mosh pit. She made song requests. She met Justin (and Gerald and Liam) afterward and chatted with each of them for a bit. Then her favorite musician even signed a few things for her - "To Evelyn, the most rocking girl in Pittsburgh!" She also wanted a picture with him.
Evelyn & Justin

After she finally said her goodbyes to everyone (they were almost finished packing up their instruments at this point), we walked back to our car. As she was getting into her seat Evy proclaimed, "That was the most fun I've ever had in my whole life!"

Of course we listened to Justin Roberts' music for the entire drive home.

More pictures from the concert and our other winter activities are on Flickr.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Holidays

Evelyn and Brandon had a great time over the holidays. They celebrated three Christmases, two birthdays and one new year. They also had the chance to visit lots of family and friends, and had their pictures taken many, many times.
Evy & Brandon

A lot more photos from the holidays are on Flickr.