Monday, January 31, 2011

Thoughts of the week ...

My daughter had some GREAT one-liners yesterday. Wish I could remember them. I would DEFINITELY pass them on. She's got a great thought-processor in that noggin of hers. :)

My son's parent teacher conferences are this week. Tuesday, actually. I wonder if we'll get another: "I hear a lot about the Badgers and Packers. I take it, he likes sports ... that's ok." :)

My wife works too hard. God love her. Thank goodness she's also a great mother and wife. This weekend was fun to watch a funny action movie with her on Friday night ... by ourselves :)

By the way - if you get a chance to watch "Hotel for Dogs" - do it. The kids LOVED it and are asking us to buy it. My daughter even asked if I could tell her friend down the street to buy it for her for her birthday. I asked if I could buy it for her and she told me, No, that she wanted her friend to buy it for her. :)

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole was pretty goood too. Too scary for my daughter, but my son and I watched it and liked it, too. Not everyone will like it, but we did. :)

Completely different subject: How did Clay Matthews NOT get AP defensive player of the year? Just wondering.

Anyway, I will get pictures up. I think I have a few :) Go Pack. Love. And God bless :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My son, tubing, and just plain fun.

I completely forgot that we had pictures from out tubing experience on Martin Luther King, Jr Day. Here are a couple that pretty much show how much the kids enjoyed themselves. I'm pretty sure my son likes to hang out with his buddy - that IS his "enjoying this" expression, after all :) And my daughter is just beaming with, "Can we do it again!?!", isn't she?
We fell right back in with the crowd this past Sunday for the Packer-Bear game. We went over to the same friends' house for a Packer Party. We had fun. (understatement) Of course, it helped that the Green-and-Gold came out victorious, but the company helped as well :) We just might have to do it again in 12 days when the Pack take the field in Dallas.
I can't help but feel good these days. It helps to have had a weekend like this past one, in which we were able to stay warm at home, enjoy our children's activities during the week, and (for me, at least) take pride in knowing that my alma mater and state teams had a pretty successful weekend. [UW-Madison Men's and Women's basketball both won on Sunday; Men's and Women's Hockey both swept weekend series; Wrestling won; and of course, the Packers won as well.]
Then again, even if it hadn't been such a fun and successful weekend, all I would've had to do is walk in and take a look at my son's (or daughter's) face while he (or she) sleeps ... :)

Nothin' better! :)

God bless my daughter. I love her :)

She's a princess. My daughter has thoroughly enjoyed the winter - even without much of an outdoor life. She plays the piano (in her own, special way - even "helping" Daddy when he's trying to learn on his own). Her friend down the street even came to a "jam session" the other day. Of course, my daughter went to her friend's birthday party and it turned into a runway session (on purpose, of course). The girls all looked good, but in my humble (and bias) opinion, my daughter looked the prettiest :)
In her down time these days, she can be found pulling any of her numerous stuffed or doll-like friends in her new American Girl wagon. Rebecca, Madison, and Abigail especially had fun on the first day she brought it home. Apparently, whoever created "Martha Speaks" is a genious, because I can't my daughter to watch much else these days, either. But, then again, I won't complain. PBS is PBS.
Good stuff :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Go, Pack, Go! Tubing!

It was a nice long weekend for the Vitense gamily. Saturday proved to be fun, as my son had his first basketball practice. It's definitely interesting going from watching a 1st and 2nd grade basketball practice to watching the Wisconsin Badgers play - but we did just that. Bo's crew beat Illinois at the Kohl Center - and that kept the day rolling.

We had some pizzas and appetizers for dinner while we got ready to watch the game of the week - Green Bay vs. Atlanta. And boy, was that fun, too. With the Packers' victory, we got excited and it set up our next "game of the week" - this Sunday versus our most disliked rivals - the Bears. Should be another fun one.

We made it to church on Sunday morning and then were also able to spend a nice afternoon at the Mall of America. Both kids got new shoes, which were dearly needed. Plus my wife got to exchange a present that ended up being not quite the right fit. We got pretzels and slushies. And the kids even got to use some of their left-over Christmas cash to buy some toys: an American Girl doll wagon for my daughter, and a Creative Imagination Lego House for my son. We came home and watched the rest of the NFL game(s). And my wife and I watched the movie "Inception" - which will now make me question my sleep and my dreams for a while.

Monday was another day off - to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King. And we enjoyed that on a tubing slope with some of our dear family friends. It was fun and the kids loved it. My daughter repeated, over and over, as we got to the bottom of the hill, "Let's do it, again!" :) And my son had several friends his age there with him to tube.

Alas, the weekend did have to end, and now we go back to the week ahead. Short week, thank goodness. My daughter is still loving gymnastics (that was today). And I'm sure it won't be long before my son starts asking about basketball practice (that's Saturday, again).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Eve's baptism - 1/9/10

Cousins galore at baptism (1-9-10).
Proud Mommy with adorable daughter; Proud Grand-Mommies, too.

A 3-year-old's (my daughter's) view of the pictures taken at the church :)
Proud Godfather (me!), Saturday, and a gorgeous baptismal gown, Sunday.
We went down to Iowa City this past weekend for my niece (and god-daughter) to be baptized. Besides the longer-than-expected drive down after work/school on Friday, the weekend was AWE-SOME! Spending time with by brother, his wife, and their two children is always so great. They always make us feel so welcomed in their home. It was really nice to be able to spend some time as 'just the eight of us.' on Saturday before the rest of the families came over. Then, having dinner with just about everyone on Saturday evening was a real pleasure as well. Sunday's baptism was nice - and my God-daughter did so well. She seemed to love the water. My brother and sister-in-law had a brunch at their house afterward. Everything was delicious and, again, so comfortable and inviting. My only wish was that our families lived closer so that we could do this more often.
God bless you, little one (and you, too, Big Guy, of course). We love you all.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I just read this book. And it was fantastic for me. Some might be turned off because it's about a high school football team in Texas - except that it's NOT ABOUT a high school football team in Texas. It's really about one coach and one program that treats other people (and each other) as uniquely built by God and builds relationships that change ... well ... everything. Though a Christian theme runs through (which makes sense - it's a Christian school), most of the stories are about football; and the book really talks about what happens in a football program (... and life) - and about putting rules toward how you practice/play/achieve (... and live?)

Four rules:
1) love you teammates (... in sport and in life?)
2) choose a great attitude (... doesn't this really make almost ALL the difference?)
3) play fast (... ok ... you got me on this one. I translate it to "play/work hard" all the time)
4) take care of your responsibility (... before you point the finger at anyone else)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year ... and more Merry Christmas :)

We enjoyed another Christmas at home in Sun Prairie with my brother and sister, nephew and niece. Or should I say that the kids enjoyed it? They enjoyed unwrapping many more gifts - and then playing with their cousins. Of course, we ALL enjoyed spending time together again. The four of us (me, wife, 2 kids) were down for almost 5 days. It was my brother and his family's turn to spend Christmas in Iowa with the Prices, so we met them in SP this past weekend for our own (smaller) family Christmas. Loved it! Everybody did.
Also got some more time with the Grandmas and Jerry. The only real bummer of the weekend+ was the Rose Bowl loss. But, no time for the blues, cuz the Pack came back and beat the Bears the next day to play themselves into the NFL playoffs.
It was kind of a neat week/weekend. My parents had gone to the Packers/Giants game on the previous Sunday. I got to watch the Badgers (on TV at home) beat the Goophers in men's basketball on Tuesday. My son and I went to his first hockey game at the Kohl Center on Thursday. It was his first trip to the Kohl at all, and we made it special. Dinner at Paisan's with the family before the game. Tickets three rows from the glass. Seats on the railing above the Badgers' players' entrance to the rink. He got high fives a couple times from quite a few players and even ended up getting a hockey puck courtesy of the security person who opened and shut the boards/door for the players. And we got a 5-1 win!
Then, as if that weren't enough, we got to watch the Rose Bowl in Wisconsin (albeit, a not-so-good ending). And my brother went to the Packers game versus the Bears on Sunday. Thank goodness the travel was so nice. Us BadgerCubsinMN got home early enough to watch all the Packer game, too.

Here's what our snow looked like before our trip back to Wisconsin. That's the kids in front of the "fort" or "badger den" on the side of the driveway. You can see that the snow piles around the driveway, sidewalk, and walk to the front door are almost as tall as my son - and almost all taller than my daughter. We had a record snowfall this December and I got my shoveling for the year in already. I've had a lot of help from our neighbors - which I'm ever so thankful for! :) When we got home, the snow level was way down - thanks to a slightly warmer few days and some rain. Unfortunately, the temps today are reaching the sub-zeros. Oh well. Winter in Minnesota. What-r-u-gonna-do?