Where in the World is...?

Last week Max won the school geography bee. That's right... he WON it! The kid didn't even study. In fact, we didn't even know about it until the night before! The bee included 5-8th graders and started with preliminary rounds in their individual classes. Then the 1st place student from each class went to the all school competition. Max did great.. he pretty much creamed the competition (remember he's only in 6th grade). The questions were really challenging and I found myself cringing because I was sure there was no way he would know it... and then he did! The kid can hold random facts in his head like no other... if only he could apply that skill to remembering when I ask him to do something! It was a very intense morning and we were very proud of our champ. A couple days later he took a timed written test and the top 100 scores in the state will go to the State Geography Bee... we'll keep you updated.
Studying the map.
Thinking really hard. Actually he was totally laid back the whole time. Sometimes he was even laying his head down on his desk and looked really bored. It didn't even phase him!
Max with the 2nd and 3rd place winners, both 8th graders. 
I love that he's a whole head shorter than both of them!
With Mr. Miller, one of his favorite teachers.
Extremely proud (and shocked) parents.
His medal.
He also received this commemorative coin and a certificate.

As a side note: Immediately following this he ran back to his class to do the class spelling bee. Unfortunately he didn't win it this year and will not be competing in the school bee. I'm pretty sure the excitement from the geography bee didn't help his focus. He did place 3rd so if the other 2 are unable to compete he'll get to go. It's all right and he was okay with it... he's placed 4th in the school for the last 2 years... time to give someone else a chance. Abby also did really well in her class. She placed 6th out of 25. She was pretty disappointed but we are really proud of how well she did. She got out on the word "paragraph"- pretty tough word for a 2nd grader!


We are officially trying to potty train Afton and I am officially the worst potty trainer in the world. I hate potty training so I wait until they are old enough to really talk to, bribe, negotiate with, etc. Max was 3 1/2- and technically my two aunts did it for me... in ONE day (Thanks Aunt Kim and Aunt Melanie!) and I waited until Abby was about 3 1/2 as well. Unfortunately, Afton is sooooo ready. She's been ready for months and shows all the "signs" of being ready. The bad news is... I have NO IDEA how to potty train a 2 year old. What works for 3 year olds isn't working for her. So... .HELP ME!! I desperately need your advice and tips so we can get this over with... or maybe I could just have her go spend a day with Aunt Melanie?


We love to Ski!

My family loves to ski. Chris likes to start them when they are about 3 and takes great care in teaching them. And they LOVE it. It is a great activity for them to do together and they enjoy the time with their dad. On New Years Day they were able to go with their cousins. It was cold and snowy but they all had a great time. It was McKenna's first time and only Arianna's 2nd, but they did a great job and learned quick. Hopefully this can be  fun thing for them to do together again.
McKenna, Abby, Max and Arianna.
Abby and Max on the ski lift.

I actually have some great video of the kids 
skiing but don't have time to add them now... 
I'll let you know when I have them up.


This is the very first thing that happened New Years Day.
Should I be worried?

Happy New Year!

I know, I know... It's January 20th. I guess I'm a little behind. The truth is, we played a really great soccer game on New Years Eve (and by "we" I mean everyone else BUT me... I took pictures) and I couldn't narrow the pictures down so I just kept putting it off. I still can't decide which pics to use, but I've got to move on in my life so your getting 1 picture. That's right, just one picture of our very exciting and fun filled New Years Eve family soccer game:
Back, L to R: Hunter and Eric (my cousins), my Dad, Peter and Sam (my brothers), and the very attractive man is my husband, Chris. Front, L to R: a neighbor boy I don't know (but he is a VERY good player), Max and Abby (my cute kids) and Ben and Taylor (my nephews).

It was a good game and I'd like to add that the big kids are not easy on the little ones. Every one plays hard and has a great time. 

Meanwhile, back at the house... Afton enjoyed some one on one time with granny...
played in the dog kennel with her cousin Lizzie (I've never heard so much giggling!)...
and was spoiled by her Aunt Aubrey.
Coleman just enjoyed the "calm before the storm".
After everyone showered and changed we had a big and very delicious meal at my Dad's. It was quite a crowd. Here is the view of everyone from one direction...
and the other.
My Dad and Wendy
Chris, Afton and I
Sam, Saundra and Sarah
Abby, Taylor and Max (all with food in their mouths)
Lizzie, Ben and the always cheerful Luke.
Ashley ad Aubrey
Eric and Hunter (I never noticed that they have the exact same noses!)
Cassidy with her friend, Alyssa
and last, but not least, Peter!
It was a FULL HOUSE! 

We rang in the New Year at 10 o'clock with all the New Yorkers. I've always thought it was kind of lame to cheat on New Years, but it was awesome! The kids didn't know the difference, we weren't sitting around waiting and we were all happy and cheerful the next day. We will definitely be doing it this way from now on... and I'm sorry I thought all you cheaters were lame... You were so right!

Waiting for the ball to drop.
Almost time.
Happy New Year everyone (even if I am a little late)!!