Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Day With Great Grandma Buss

Matt's Grandma Gloria is a wonderful piano player and has been playing since she was a little girl. Someday I would love for my kids and I to learn to play too, but for now we get to listen to Great Grandma play at the Georgetown hospital the first Monday of each month. The kids really enjoy it and so do I. As they have gotten a little older they have also gotten braver. The first time we went awhile back the kids pretty much would walk by and peek, or Aidan would stand next to Grandma for a minute. Now, both of them are sitting on the piano bench next to her pecking away at the keys right along with her. I even had to tell them to quite their "playing" down a little because you could really hear it! Great grandma got lots of hugs while she was playing too. I like to sit back and listen and sip on the great coffee they have at the lobby.

Our future piano player

Asher practicing her piano skills while Aidan gives Great Grandma Gloria a hug.

This was the best shot I could get of the kids by the beautiful Christmas tree in the hospital lobby. Too bad the outfits I picked that day didn't match!

Aidan and Great Grandma

After our holiday concert by Great Grandma we headed over to Super Salad. I love that place! It was a wonderful lunch. The kids ate some, I ate a lot, and we had a wonderful afternoon together. I look forward do doing this again next month!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Well, snow has arrived in Round Rock, Texas. Unfortunately it was just flurries for about 20 minutes, but it was such a joy to play around in. When there is a chance of snow - any snow - everybody talks about it all the time. And when it arrives you better be out there enjoying it before it is gone! I am thankful that our whole family was home at the time and able to run out and play together. The kids had a blast.

Aidan catching snowflakes

Proof that there was snow! This is not doggy dandruff!
Look at the joy on Ashy's face! We were having races in our driveway. For this race Aidan was really sweet and wanted to let Asher win. What a good big brother!

Later that day we made sugar cookies, our first cookies of the holiday season. I think this year I may make one more batch of those since they were so yummy, lots of Mexican Wedding Cakes (Matt's favorite!) and Grandma Moore's cinnamon sugar pecans. The sugar cookies turned out great!! I was even able to make my first ever batch of homemade frosting that actually turned out right. The kids were the official sugar sprinklers, while I did the frosting part. Then they were both the taste testers. Later that night we shared some with our awesome neighbors: Katy, Elise, Lukey, Angelina, and Miss Debbie and Mr. Allen. It was a little chilly to be delivering, but still fun.

We had a bunch of different cookie shapes including a ducky, cross, tree, star, a bell, and hearts.

The taste testers seemed pleased with the way they turned out!

On Saturday we went to the parade in Georgetown. Growing up in Belvidere, IL in a town about the size of Georgetown, I went to MANY parades in town. I always loved it. I love being able to share that with my kids. It was VERY cold, but we bundled up with winter coats, hats, and a blanket in the wagon.

We are watching my favorite part, the high school band, walk by. I thought it was neat to be able to tell the kids that Daddy marched in this band in a parade just like this when he was in school.

Aidan was trying to say warm and Asher was finishing up a peanut butter and fluff sandwich while watching the rest of the parade.

We visited Bethlehem Village on the square in Georgetown. It was really neat for the kids to see what life was like at the time Jesus was born. Asher was given a headband that represented one of the tribes of Israel. That was neat too because she was named Asher after one of the tribes of Israel. Either way, she looked super cute!
I call this look Ghetto Eskimo.Matt is ready for lunch after the parade with a hot bowl of chili with a jalapeno face. Aidan actually had some jalapenos and seemed to like them.

While Asher napped, Aidan had it made watching Toy Story with his little DVD player, kettle corn, and a sippy while Daddy watched football. What a life!

I am loving our holiday so far. I really feel like we are having fun and making memories, but also taking it easy and not making it a holiday all about rushing around from this place to that. That is a perfect fit for our family right now. Hope you all are having a wonderful relaxing holiday season so far!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ready for Christmas!

We are ready for Christmas here in the Buss household. The kids have had their little tree (Matt and my first tree in our first apartment) up in their room since before Thanksgiving. We put our tree up and decorated most of it the night before Thanksgiving. I really liked doing this and think it is going to become a new tradition. We have put up the rest of the ornaments, as well as inside decorations and lights on the house too. We have about 75% of our presents bought. We have also been trying to watch the holiday cartoons on TV and read our Christmas pop-up holiday books that were Uncle Zach's, as well as a bunch of other Christmas books. Our project for tomorrow is to make sugar cookies. I love the holidays! Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Aidan's Belt Test

Today Aidan had his belt test in karate. He had to do several strikes and kicks as well as answer some questions like "what does 'karate' mean?" Don't know? Well then you can't be an Advanced White belt like Aidan. By the way it means 'empty hands.'

Here he is getting his new belt. The old one is tied on the floor in front of him and is supposed to stay tied or else he will forget what he learned.

Showing off his new belt

Aidan with his instructor. She has done a great job teaching him.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Karate Kid cont'd

Aidan was practicing for his belt test next week at karate class today. If he passes next week he will be considered an advanced white belt. Which means his belt will be white with yellow stripes. Here he is breaking a board.

Asher singing...

Here is a quick video of Asher singing "I'm bringing home a baby bumble bee." Sorry for the bad lighting.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Aidan's Wide World of Sports

Tiff and I have talked before that we don't want to sign our kids up for so many things that we spend all of our free time running from practice to games to whatever. Luckily enough since Asher is only 2 there isn't too much we can sign her up for.

So with that in mind Aidan had 2 big things today. He had a T-ball game at 9 and a Karate Tournament at 11:30. 'Karate?' you say. Yes he has been taking a karate class at the Clay Madsen Center in Round Rock for about 8 weeks or so. He was a little apprehensive at first but just like T-ball he got used to it and he began to enjoy it. And actually I think he might like it more than T-ball. His instructor is great, she is firm and doesn't let the kids slack off.

The T-ball game was an early one at 9, so both the kids tend to be a little tired when we are there. He did great though. He hit the ball off the tee 3 times with only one whiff. His fielding left a little to be desired. He tends to be a little shy about running up and getting the ball. If it rolls at him he will make a play for it, but if he really has to move to get it, there is a good chance that he won't. This is probably from watching the other kids tackle each other trying to get the ball. There are a few overzealous kids on his team. The other team today though only had a handful of kids so Aidan's team was divided to try to make the numbers equal. The only problem was with the shortened game they played 3 innings instead of the usual 2. This was a little upsetting to Aidan since he likes his routine and even more he likes his T-ball games to be done.

A couple of pics from the game today.

First at bat.

First hit, great camera work by Tiff.

Heading into home. As you can tell he beat the throw.

After the T-ball game was done we headed home for a quick stop for snacks, bathroom breaks, and a change of clothes. Aidan's first Karate Tournament was at 11:30 and we wanted to be a little early in the hopes that he could watch matches between other kids and adults. We watched one match between 2 adults and he paid attention, but he was ready to get this started.

A couple of quick notes about Aidan. Any of you that really know him know that he can be pretty overwhelmed by lots of attention. He can also become upset from a change in routine or being made to do something that he just isn't comfortable with or doesn't want to do.

With that said, Tiff and I were a little... no very nervous as to how he might react to this tournament. It was in a gym at a middle school here in town. There were 8 rings for the various levels and age groups. The bleachers, as well as most standing room, were packed with people watching. One of the things that we stressed to Aidan was that there was going to be a lot of people there but that they are not watching him. Which 99 percent of them weren't.

So Aidan lined up with the other 2-4 year olds at Ring 1. He had his mouth guard in, which he was not excited about, and was sitting patiently for his turn. There were several looks at us from Aidan which expressed his nervousness on the situation. I don't know about Tiff, but I was really nervous that he wasn't going to be able to do it, especially after the first match was between 2 girls that were both crying. I wasn't worried that he couldn't do it, but that his issues with attention and the unknown would cause him to shut down. It didn't.

Aidan putting on his pads. His opponent is standing next to him doing the same.

When it was his time to get ready he put on the chest pad, gloves, and helmet. This again could have been an issue since he had never worn the chest pad before and the helmet was a different kind with a plastic shield over the face. As he waited all dressed up with no place to go he seemed calm and collected. He didn't show any of those fussy signs of slouched shoulders or stomping feet. He stepped out onto the mat and stood on his square. At first he went a little early since Tiff had been telling him not wait for his opponent but to strike first. When the judges said go, he went straight towards the other kid and struck him right in the chest. The other kid, about half a head shorter than Aidan, looked to be having issues of the unknown himself. Start after start Aidan stepped forward and delivered a blow. The score was 5 to 0. You get 1 point for strikes and 2 points for kicks. At this time the 2 judges made an effort to help the other kid and led him forward and placed a strike on Aidan's chest. They did this twice which made it 5 to 2. I understand the purpose for them doing it and don't blame them. They wanted to help build the confidence of this other kid that was showing no desire to be there or do anything. For a moment I thought "surely they won't let this other kid win the match?" They didn't. Aidan must have been thinking the same thing because through the mask of his helmet I saw him look up at the judge that was helping the other kid. The look on his face was "how in the world is that fair."

So back to 5 to 2... just before they started the kids up again I yelled to Aidan "go for the kick!" I knew full well that a kick would push him to 7 points and the win. Sure enough he took one step forward, lifted his leg, and placed a kick right on the kids chest. 2 points, red wins.

Man I can not tell you how excited I was for him. He bowed and stepped over to the side, took off his protective gear, and got his trophy that says '1st Place.' And that trophy did not leave his hand until we got home after a stop at Pizza Hut to get him a pizza that he was asking for.

I think this is just before the kick to end it all.

Tiff and I are amazed as to how well Aidan did today. Was the match a little one sided? Yes. Do I care since the greater battle was between my son and his apprehension to the unknown? No.

A little later in the day I said to Aidan

Daddy: "Aidan, if you like karate you can keep doing it."

Aidan: "yeah Daddy, I want to get more trophies."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkin carving 2009

So we decided that tonight was our night to carve pumpkins before Halloween. We already had the pumpkins and I had been thinking about the designs I wanted to do for the kids. Aidan had picked out a 'bumpy' pumpkin with little to no stem. It was what he wanted and he was really excited when he found it. Asher's pumpkin was from a couple of weeks ago that I think Aidan had picked out since Asher was enchanted by the little pumpkins.

Last night I was searching around the internet to find some pumpkin ideas. When I saw Aidans pumpkin I thought it looked like a large cucumber, and reminded me of Larry the Cucumber from Veggie Tales. I mentioned to Aidan that I could carve his pumpkin to look like Larry, since he has been into Veggie Tales lately. He was down. So back to last night, I found these Mickey and Minnie Mouse templates and thought that they could be a good idea. Aidan and Asher were going to be Mickey and Minnie for Halloween. Aidan and Asher were already in bed so I went in there to ask him if he wanted Mickey instead. I had put them to bed no more than 15 minutes earlier and when I went in there he was out like a light. I tried to wake him up to ask him and got him awake enough to say yes to Mickey. So I was all set to todays carving.

Well as this afternoon rolled around Aidan mentioned that he was excited about Larry the Cucumber for his pumpkin. I reminded him about our sleepy conversation the night before, but Tiff said that he has changed his mind back to Larry that day.

We sat down in the kitchen floor with a plastic drop 'cloth' to start our pumpkins. Asher was interested in helping scoop out the guts. Aidan tried once and didn't think about doing it again. Asher did end up eating some of the pumpkin off of the 'cap' of her pumpkin. One of those things that we never had to worry about Aidan doing.

After the pumpkins were emptied we taped the templates on them and starting poking holes to trace the lines. Yes that's the big secret. So now you can do this at home. My intention this year was to use my Craftsman Rotary Tool (dremel). I thought that it would make it easier to do better designs. It helped a little. I didn't even use it on Ashers. So I ended up in the garage tonight using the dremel on the pumpkins. As I am typing this I have a fine layer on pumpkin on my face. I did wear safety glasses though.
I finally finished Asher's after she had gone to bed so she didn't get a picture with her pumpkin, but did see it while it was in the process.

Aidan and his Larry the Cucumber pumpkin.

Asher's Minnie Mouse.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The littlest gardener

Aidan and Tiff went to see Toy Story 1 and 2 in 3D yesterday afternoon. Asher was napping when they left but was up before they got home. After she was up we were trying to figure out what to until Aidan and Tiff got home. With the recent rains (and my lack of desire to do yard work) the flower beds needed a little work, so I decided to use this time for that. The weather was great and Asher loves to help us out with chores. Asher and I went out side to trim some bushes and pull some flowers that had become a little overgrown. I started with clipping some branches off a bush and would either hand the branches to Asher. She would then place the branches in the trash can. I then thought she might be ready for her own project, maybe she could handle pulling the flowers. I dug up her gardening gloves and put them on her. I placed the lid of the trash can on the ground for her to throw the flowers in and showed her what she had to do (notice how she shakes the dirt off the flower that she pulls up - she listened well). After the instructions I went back to clipping the bushes about 12' from her. She didn't really do too much on her own and actually spent more time smelling the flowers then pulling them up. In the end I pulled all the flowers, with the exception of the one that she pulled in the video, but either way we had fun doing it.

While Asher was sleeping...

Often wonder what Tiff and Aidan are up too when Asher is napping? I caught them in a middle of a shadow puppet in the downstairs bathroom. Funny stuff.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


As you well know last Monday night was a great football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the green bay packers. If you didn't, now you know. I was of course at home watching the game, but with a few added teammates. Joining me was the trio of terror (that is my new nickname for them). Caden (6 yrs), Jack Gabriel (3 yrs), and Zambia (1 yr) Tucker came to watch the game with me. Tiff had a meeting with some girls from church so I was on my own. My zone defense was put to the test. All in all the kids were good. Zambia went to sleep so she was the easiest of the 4 left (of course I had Aidan and Asher with me too). The 4 left all played well together and there was sharing as far as the eye could see. Having the 4 kids to watch while I was watching the game helped out. Instead of watching every play and stressing about whether or not Minnesota was doing good I just saw the big plays when they happened. I didn't actually sit down to watch the game until the end of the 3rd quarter or so. In the end the Vikings were victorious and I put the beat down on some babysitting.

Here is the crew.

Caden and Aidan working on a puzzle. With a couple pieces left to go Caden said "Aidan, we rock this puzzle."

Asher and Jack Gabriel baking some cookies. At least they weren't baking brownies.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Great Hair and the Karate Kid

I absolutely love doing Asher's hair. I literally jumped for joy when I was able to do a teeny little ponytail on top of her head and again when I was able to do pigtails. I try to do new things and was excited to try something new. After her bath last night I put her hair in little buns. I think there were 9 or 10 in all. She sat so good and handed me the ponytail holders while I was doing her hair.
This is what her hair looked like before she went to bed. And this is what it looked like when she woke up this morning. As you can see, some of it came out of the ponytail, but all in all it stayed in pretty good.

And this was the finished hair do...

Lots of curls!!

And now for the karate kid... It was week 2 of karate and Aidan had his stylin karate uniform on and he was ready to go. The jury is still out on if he likes it (did last week, didn't this week...) but either way he looked so cute!
Practicing a strike of some sort.

Seriously, does it get any cute than this?

This is his actual instructor. She means business and seems very good. Here he is practicing a kick. I think it is funny that they have to keep one hand up by their ear. They look shy doing that....

And Happy Fall everyone!!! I was beyond happy that it was in the 60's today. Hasn't been this temperature since April! Here are my cuties dressed in pants and long sleeve shirts and they even have their Halloween socks on!
And this is Aidan's absolute favorite thing to do with Daddy - wrestle! So in this picture you see "El Padre Loco," "Wrestle Man," and "Wrestle Girl."

A double stack piggyback.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Asher's Birthday Blowout

We had Asher's 2nd Birthday party at Petland in Georgetown today. They have a party room in the back where they will bring animals in for the kids to pet and 'play' with. It was mostly puppies, but there was also a parrot, bunnies, and some guinea pigs. Asher really liked it. We have a lot of pictures to post but here is a quick video of Asher blowing out one of her candles. Still can't believe that she is 2.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Good hustle

We had dinner at my parent's house last month and ended up in the backyard playing some football. My dad, Aidan, Asher, and I were running around tossing the two footballs (one for each kid - supposedly). Aidan was more into playing keep away from his sister. Tiff caught a hilarious moment on the camera as Asher didn't give up and hustled for the ball. Watch as she turns on the afterburners, wobbling all the way, and makes a clutch play for the fumble.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Back to Seaworld

Matt and I took the kids to Seaworld again as a little celebration for Asher's birthday (although she has no idea it is almost her birthday!) It was a lot of fun. We didn't feel like we had to see everything this time. Instead, we went back and visited our favorites. The sharks are always so cool to watch. Aidan was asking why they didn't just eat the fish in the tank with them and I told them because the fish that were in there with them were too big.... I don't know why! He thought that was a good answer though. We also visited the penguins which are super cute. Both of the kids were big fans of the penguins. I think it is neat to see the snow in the exhibit. We definitely had to feed the dolphins which were really playful this time and splashed the camera and me pretty good! The Shamu show was pretty interesting. About halfway through the show the whales stopped doing any tricks and the show stopped. They were just swimming around the pool. Then a trainer came out and talked to us for about 5 minutes and explained that the whales weren't listening to the trainers, so they were not going to get any reinforcement for a little bit (no fish or treats) and the trainers were going to just ignore their behavior. We told Aidan the whales had a time out for not listening which he thought was pretty cool. Then they began the show again, but it was much shorter, and there was no audience member participation which there was last time. Interesting.... We also fed the sea lions which is always fun. Aidan loved to do that! Asher was really cute because she wanted to feed them but didn't want to touch the slimy fish.... Aidan wondered why there were no squid to feed the sea lions this time and just fish and we decided maybe the sea lions were on a diet and were only eating fish now... We had lunch at a different place and it was pretty good and were able to listen to a girl singing and playing guitar while we ate. She was really good too! After making it through the first part of the day with no blow out diapers (like last time), no toys to buy (Aidan tried but we said no this time), and no extreme heat, we went to Aidan's favorite part, the wave pool and water park. It was definitely not as hot so there was some teeth chattering and lips were a little blue, but this time we could walk on the cement without getting burns on our feet! We had a lot of fun, and Aidan is pretty independent with his life jacket on. He even floated down the lazy river several times without a tube just hanging out next to us. That was really cool to see how he is growing up! He also loved the splashy area and made me go all over in there with him and get soaked. He used to hate splashes on his face especially and this time he was having a blast and loving it! Aidan and Ashy were also cracking up on the teeter totter in the water. Super cute! Aidan and I went down the slide together while Daddy and Asher hung out on the big lobster in the pool. She was all smiles on that thing. We got out of the water when Aidan started shivering a lot, and then headed to the treat store near the exit. Candy for the kids and a piece of cheesecake for Matt and I. Yummy! Kaleb, we missed you this time buddy, and look forward to next summer with you. I LOVE Seaworld and look forward to many years of fun there, especially when Aidan and Ashy are old enough to swim with the beluga whales like Zach and Kaleb did when they were younger. Matt, Aidan, and I even may even go back in October during their fright fest... sounds fun...
If you look closely you can spot a big shark behind us.

Asher clapping at the Shamu show.Super playful and splashy dolphins.

One of the rare times that Ashy actually picked up the fish. She immediately threw it in the water instead of waiting for a dolphin to come near, but it was still quickly eaten.

Aidan LOVED feeding the sea lions. He happily fed them all of Sissy's food too since she didn't want to pick up the fish.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A look back in time - bye bye Old Town

What a different start to the school year for our family! It is quite a change from last year when Aidan was going to Together We Can at my school, I was teaching 3rd grade, and Asher was going to Miss Claudia's.

I am so proud of Aidan for finishing up his first year at a big boy school. He just loved it and learned so much! I know it is a little backwards because I would consider that his preschool and this year he will not go to school and I will be teaching him and helping him get ready for kinder. He had amazing teachers. I will always cherish being able to see his class when I took my class outside for recess, being able to visit him at lunch during my planning time, and him being able to play in my room with my kiddos before school. My kids loved him and he loved them and above all it was so wonderful to know that I could stop in for a kiss anytime I wanted! I loved being at the same place as him, and in turn missed Asher a ton every day. I'm sure both the kids miss their friends and awesome teachers, but they have been having a blast playing together. Today they were wrestling around for hours it seems.

How did Matt and I win the childcare lottery by first having Miss Claudia, Miss Elaine, and Miss Mariana at Casa Sesamo and then having 3 awesome teachers for Aidan - Miss Coker, Miss A, and Miss Mackie? Our kids have learned so much and have been so loved by these ladies and I am so grateful as a mommy for all you have done for my kiddos!

It is sinking in now that I literally get to play with my kids each day and I am still figuring out how to get any cleaning done with a 2 year old and a 4 year old wanting to play play all day! We are having a great time, especially now that we can play outside some in the mornings before it gets to hot. Fall weather, we are ready for you!

I am so glad to have a calmer school year this year, but love the wonderful memories from my time with Aidan at Old Town...
Aidan ready for his first day ever of big kid school. Man, he's a cutie!
This is what Asher looked like a year ago. It blows my mind to see how much she has grown in a year! She is now talking up a storm asking us lots of questions and telling us about everything! She is such a big girl now!

We were walking in on our first day together at Old Town Elementary.

Aidan was pretty nervous his first day. Daddy and I were there for him and I checked in on him several times.

When we first got to school I sat down with Aidan in my classroom and we read some books.

This was towards the end of the school year when Aidan and I wore matching Madagascar Rain Forest t-shirts.
During the school carnival, one of my students won the prize of bowling with Mrs. Buss. It was a lot of fun for the kids and we all had a great time. Aidan loved picking up the bowling ball and throwing it himself which made me a little nervous. He did great though!
I was able to visit Aidan at lunch almost every day. This picture tells a lot about Aidan: he is putting something small in his pocket which he has literally done his entire life, he is eating yogurt which I think he would eat for all 3 meals if I let him, and he didn't eat any of his sandwich which was pretty much the case every day.
Me visiting with Aidan on the playground.
My class went out to recess first, but if I let them stay out a little later, Aidan's class came out and they were able to play together.
Aidan and his best friend Elena on the playground.
Field Day 2009. This tattoo alone shows how much my little man grew during the year. Before he wanted nothing to do with temporary tattoos and he was really excited about this one!

Daddy walked around with Aidan's class for Field Day and was able to take a picture of Aidan winning a game of tic-tac-toe.
Aidan and some of his friends waiting in line for a water game.
He was playing a game where some of the kids had to turn the cups over, and some had to put them back the right way. I know I loved riding on those things when I was in school!

My class waiting to play tic-tac-toe on field day.
Some of my sweet girls.
And hilarious boys who chose to put the temporary tattoo on their biceps to show off their muscles...

Us before we headed out on the last day of school. Aidan and I went back up there a couple more days to finish packing up, but this was the last day with students.
This is Aidan's little area that I set up under my computer. We had all sorts of little things for him to play with, many of which were given to Aidan by my class. He played here with some of my students before school. The kids would literally ask me as soon as they saw us, "Can I play with Aidan today?"
Aidan, Ashely, Kara, Elena, and Kaden (Madi had already left)- they were Aidan's TWC classmates.
Bye Bye Miss Coker!
This is my awesome class on the last day of school, which is why my room is so bare. I had awesome kiddos and I loved teaching them!
Finally finished packing up! This was our last day of school standing on Texas. Aidan really learned a lot about the United States from the huge map painted in the parking lot.

He also liked to stand on Illinois where Meme lives.
I came outside to pick up Asher for the last time at Casa Sesamo. She had so many sweet playmates. Miss Mariana was so wonderful and I could always tell how much she loved Asher.
Miss Elaine was also wonderful. Asher was very blessed to have her for a teacher and we appreciated her so so much!

This was a picture of Asher with Miss Claudia, our childcare angel. This picture was taken before my tears started to fall. I cannot say how important Miss Claudia is to our family. She loved our children like her own and taught them so much. We will be forever grateful for the part she played in raising our children. You are greatly missed Miss Claudia but never forgotten!Playing in Daddy's shoes when we got home.
Before I know it I will be blogging about Aidan's first day of kindergarten! Ahhhhhh!!!!!