John and Dana

and our life with the munchkins!

Goodbye 2nd Grade, Hello 3rd!

Today was Kaelyn’s last day of 2nd grade! She had a wonderful year ๐Ÿ™‚ She continued to excel in reading and writing but also continued to improve in math! Mrs. Krewer was a fantastic teacher and I hope she’s still around when Ian gets to Dundee Highlands! The boys and I went to the school to see the end of the year bell ringing but didn’t get a chance to take any pictures of Kaelyn and the bell.

Here is one pic I took with my phone right as she came out the doors into her new found summer vacation freedom!

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Kaelyn’s Parties!

Well… being 8 and all, Kae decided to ask if we could have a friends party this year, because she thought she was old enough now and had enough friends ๐Ÿ™‚ We decided on having it at the Centre in Elgin. They have an awesome zero depth pool with water slides and things for kids of all ages and it was perfect because they provided lunch and drinks and 2 hours of fun in the pool! Baga and Papa helped wrangle the boys while Maga and Nana helped keep an eye on the girls. The girls had a blast and were EXHAUSTED sitting in the party room eating. They all looked like they were gonna fall asleep in their pizza! The boys and neighbor boys were totally amped up and ready for more party by the time it was all over. How do little people have SO MUCH ENERGY?! Agh. I don’t get it. Well enough of my yapping…pics from this party:

Kaelyn, Ella M, Ella P, Marissa, and Julia

All a bit sleepy after swimming.

Ian all sugared up with a cupcake the size of his face.

Jackson enjoying his cupcake and Gavin staring off into space. Oh boys.

On St. Patricks Day, we had Kaelyn’s family party at Maga and Baga’s house! We had loads of corned beef, cabbage, carrots, bread, and polish sausage (I’m probably forgetting a bunch more…we tend to make a lot of food and eat it too). Oh and can’t forget black and tan’s from my dads bar. It wouldn’t be an irish/polish celebration without mentioning the bar and the booze. ย ๐Ÿ™‚ Sloshy sloshy beer. HA. We stuck with the St. Patty’s theme but did a bit more rainbow than anything else. Kae got to go with Nana to Deerfields Bakery and got to design her cake. Again…enough with the yappin’…here are the pic’s:

Kiki’s creative cake!

Boys reading with Uncle Al

I just love her face in this one! Muah! My big 8 year old…wow…just wow.

ย We also got to celebrate another birthday! Nana Jean turn 87(??) this year so she got to celebrate with Kae and all the other March babies in the family (Aunt Gail, Uncle John, Aunty Ann, Matthew…I’m probably forgetting someone). March and May and September are big birthday months in our family!

I’ll be back shortly (a day or two) to update on spring break (did absolutely nothing and LOVED it) and Easter! xo

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4 Years and Counting…

I can still remember the jitters I felt when I turned the corner with my dad, getting into our line position for the walk down the aisle to meet my soon to be husband. The flowers looked amazing, the church was full with loving friends and family, and the music was strong yet not overpowering the moment. John looked calm and happy with his best friends by his side. My awesome bridesmaids looked stunning in their dresses and nobody fell into the baptismal fountain (we thought we would just jump over it ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). As I heard the wedding march begin, I grasped my dad’s arm a bit tighter and looked at him holding Kaelyn. Everything was as it should be. The ceremony went by quickly and effortlessly. No ugly Oprah crying from anyone, me included. Success!

The rest of the night was smooth sailing and one of the best nights ever! The music, the atmosphere, the people. It rocked. We were so thankful for everyone who came and knew a few guests were looking down on us from heaven. I don’t think we could have had a better day.

Happy 4 years! It’s been lots of fun!

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Come Back Summer!!

Oh my goodness, the past few days when we had 80 temps were just glorious. We played outside ALL day, grilled our meals and just enjoyed it. Well…now this rain/wind/cold snap has gotten my hopes crushed. I was just getting used to wearing shorts and t-shirts, and so were the kids honestly. And the cats! Yes they were loving it too. Here are a few shots from when we actually had warm weather. Sigh…this too shall pass.

Such a sweaty hammy.

She had to be in her castle with the bubbles. I loved her braids, she told me she liked them too. So we kept them in for a long time.

“Bubbles Bubbles Bubbles” is all John and I could say the rest of the day. *Finding Nemo reference…what would we do without Pixar???*

This weekend it’s supposed to clear up thankfully. I need the sunshine. I’m afraid my white shorts are going to have to wait a few weeks otherwise I’ll look like I’m not wearing anything at all. Ghost Mommy.

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How Old Are You? NOT TWO

Oh yes. Gavin turned 2 and he doesn’t want to believe it! Any time we prompt him he says “not 2”. Sigh. Such is life.

He doesn’t like smiling at the camera anymore. So this is the best we got.ย 

He’s a big little man now! I can’t believe how quickly 2 years flew by and we have enjoyed those years with him so very much. He’s learning how to say a lot of words, and loving that he can now communicate and we understand what he’s saying!

We’ve been busy the past week prepping for his party and Ian (and Mac) have been a HUGE helper(s) when it comes to making decorations. The theme for Gavin’s party is all about the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The kid LOVES bugs.

Water colors are FUN, MOM! (Buddy man got his head shaved because he’s a general sweatbox in the summer)

The kid loves brown.

Ok. So I had a dream that I would get all creative and “Martha-like” in one day. So….. that dream bit my ass yesterday. I was going to make a caterpillar out of big poofy tissue paper poofs. Yeah. I threw it on the floor after about 3 seconds. Mac however LOVED it. Dude couldn’t get enough of the poof. As for the caterpillar, balloons will have to do ๐Ÿ˜‰ And I’m OK with that. I can cook. I can clean. I can plant a garden. I CAN NOT CRAFT. Acceptance is the first step right?

I’m now going to have to go back in time for a few posts just to get caught up with all the busy things going on in our lives this past month or so!


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Easter Weekend 2011

We had a fairly eventful weekend starting with a day off on Good Friday! John was home and the kids absolutely loved it! I’m boring, he’s not….I’m the mean one, he’s not….I see a pattern forming. Womp womp. Such is life. So the kiddos played games, played on the iPad (John got one from work the other week, the kids LOVE it), and watched a few tv shows on netflix in the morning. Then they went with Nana, Papa and Uncle Pat to the Rainforest Cafe and to get new shoes (for their Easter present).

Gavininator

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iPad time for Gavin

Game time for Kae and Ian. He LOVED playing this with his big sister. She was fairly patient with him.

Mac had a relaxing day on Kaelyn’s American Girl Doll bed. Kit and Martha (her dolls) were not pleased.

Holy Saturday was a bit of a blur. The kids went with my mom and brother to my Babcia and Dziadzias house in Niles to color easter eggs and go to the easter basket blessing. They had a blast and were completely exhausted by the time they came home. John and I spent the day shopping for our Easter dinner and cleaning for our guests! This was my first official hosting of a holiday and it honestly couldn’t have gone any smoother. I pre-made a bunch of stuff so that I would have more time to spend with family on Easter morning.

Easter table. It was fun to put together!

Easter Egg hunt at Babcia and Dziadzias Easter morning

Not really in focus but he was focused on getting his eggs. Uncle Steve helped him and cousin Matt helped Ian out.

Ian having a blast

Bunny Katie (my cousin) and Bunny Kaelyn

Dziadzia loves the easter egg hunt! He’s very helpful too! I just love this photo so much.

All done with the hunt so now it’s time to chow down on all the goodies.

Drippy nose, drippy chocolate= Gavin

Of course, can’t put the candy down at all. Must keep it near him at all times. The kids are finally coming down off of their sugar high. Finally.

We came home after breakfast and tried to get the kids to rest but that didn’t happen. So then began our second event of the day, Easter dinner with the Rorks and Cathonys. It was very nice to be home and with family. The kids got their hunt on AGAIN while I got dinner set on the table.

Papa was helping get the hard to reach eggs for the older 2.

He ran all over the yard.

Kae filled her basket (14 for each kid max) so she was helping Ian find his eggs. He was so excited!

AMeat Trifecta- Ham, Turkey AND Polish Sausage (fresh and smoked).

Because 1 9lb ham isn’t enough, we needed to make a whole turkey and 2 links of sausage. I blame my mother for my feeding people skills. The leftovers have been quite tasty. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now I’m sure you are wondering why I put this picture up. Other than it being hilarious and blurry (sorry…). My cousin Collette (up front) and my lovely friend Katie (trying to grab the bouquet out from under Collette) both have/had things happen to them this weekend/week. Collette got ENGAGED on Saturday to the love of her life Jeff. And Katie is getting married this weekend to the love of her life Steve! I love them both dearly and am so happy for both of them! Can’t wait to celebrate with Katie/Steve this weekend and with Collette/Jeff AND another special couple whom want to remain incognito until all family is notifiedย in the next year! Woo!


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Christmas Day 2010

This Christmas morning the kids woke up and giggled all the way down the stairs to find all of their goodies Santa had stashed under the tree. We let them open their stockings while John and I woke up. That took about 2 seconds and they were ready for round 2 of present opening. The one thing the kids all wanted were those godforsaken Pillow Pets. So of course Santa went all out! Kaelyn got her ladybug, Ian got his dolphin (definitely not a comfortable pillow) and Gavin got a dog. ย The kids also got other miscellaneous things like more wooden train tracks, puzzles, LuLu the Kitty that doesn’t ever stop meowing, and some board games.

The boys got dinosaurs from Santa in their stockings.

Gavin looking for more.

He was being such a cutie pie Christmas morning!

Kae with her Dolly and Buttercup. The boys also got Mr. Pricklepants, Rex, Trixie, Lotso and Stretch, all from Toy Story 3 of course, in their stockings as well.

Oh man, there she is. 13lb LuLu. That’s all I have to say.

Gavin lovin on LuLu. Thinking that this cat doesn’t run away from me!

Ian got some extension pieces to make his Thomas and Brio wooden railway systems bigger. Little did he know a much bigger railway surprise was waiting for him at Nana and Papas!

After the opening of gifts at home, we headed over to my parents house to opening up stockings, gifts and have John’s special biscuits and gravy breakfast before Baga had to work. The kids got more spoiled with all the attention from Maga, Baga and Uncle Steve and loved seeing what was hidden under all the wrapping paper. By this point, Gavin was kind of over the whole “gift” thing but Kae and Ian had no problems helping opening his gifts.

Ramone, from Cars, was in Ian’s stocking. He has been sleeping with him ever since. He also changes color, totally ย just like the REAL THING! Too cute.

Kaelyn with her Selena Gomez and the Scene CD from Uncle Steve. She got this one signed by Uncle Dane today. Kaelyn also got the animals she wanted from the American Girl doll catalog, along with some more accessories and clothing for her dolls.

Gavin with his very own pop-up toy.

My dad got his Griswold Family Christmas shirt from us. It vividly brought back memories of putting our own cut down tree on top of his jeep and having it fly off the top of the car onto Rt.31. Oh the memories. Definitely one Christmas memory I won’t forget. It’s a bit full. Lot of sap. *spits*

I just love how this picture came out. Seabrook Island and Dad, two things that go very well together! Mom ended up getting some awesome new pj’s, perfume, and necklace. Dad got a rocking new esspresso maker and made some for all of us! It was truly a great Christmas morning. (also, his mustache is back…if anyone was wondering ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

After our Cathony celebration, we headed home and ย all took naps. We then headed over for round 4 of Christmas! The Rork Christmas! Nana, Papa, Megan, Pat and Al were all around to join in the festivities! Nana and Papa made an awesome roast, with tons of sides and drinks to go around!

Kaelyn opened up her big gift from Nana and Papa and it was her very own American Girl doll, Lanie!

Auntie Megan made Kaelyn and Lanie matching hats for the winter months!

During the BIG reveal! Ian and Gavin got their own Brio table and new track set from Nana and Papa!

The one and only time we will capture on camera the boys behaving so nicely and sharing.

Well Santa got a bit carried away. The boys love Toy Story and so does Mommy, so Santa decided to get them their awesome Buzz and Woody pjs for Christmas this year. He was able to find some Tangled jammies for Ms. Kiki too.

 

I’m almost finished wrapping up the end of the year posts. Just a few more to go and I’ll be all caught up! Next up blog: Downstate Springfield Trip to see Nana Nana and Papa Papa! We had a blast and are still full from all the eating we did down there ๐Ÿ˜‰ Healthier foods and exercise are on our agenda in the new year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Halloween Part 1

On Wednesday the boys got to decorate sugar cookies, decorate cupcakes, eat mummy dogs, Halloween mac n cheese and watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown during their special Halloween party with Cameron (and Janine+Babybug Tummyhog).

*Sidenote:ย I have a strong hatred for homemade sugar cookies.ย The dough is awful to make, if you don’t work with it the right way it gets angry and breaks, and I generally use all of my patience during the day with the kids soย  I bet you know where that is going I don’t have very much left to work with finicky dough. But Betty C. helped me Tuesday night *sound the angels singing* and things went SWIMMINGLY. (I pre-baked the cookies so they’d be ready for Wednesday just in case I decided to have a meltdown. I thought I’d prefer only John to see/hear my wrath if the dough decided it hated me.) John was certainly getting a kick out of it. I screamed/kicked/jumped every time I got a good cookie out of the dough! AND I GOT 32 cookies out of the batch!! WOOO! ย At this point in my life it’s the little things that get me through ๐Ÿ™‚

So we began icing our cookies first with Janine’s guidance and I worked on making some lopsided cupcakes! I enjoy my cupcakes lopsided, don’t you Convection oven cookers of America?!

Ian enjoyed icing his cookies!

Totally enjoying his cookie, pre-iced by mommy.

Slopping on his icing and grabbing another bottle to decorate THE SAME COOKIE!

Mummy Dogs for Lunch

FYI Make sure you have kitchen scissors to cut the dough, it makes the process MUCH faster when slicing the dough for the mummy wrap. Need the recipe, they are on Pillsbury’s website ๐Ÿ™‚

Ian’s Cupcake…which then got gobbled up by Mac. The never-ending saga of my life… At least we got a picture of it!!

Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of Halloween fun! Kaelyn’s Halloween parade at school, pumpkin carving, and trick or treating! Woo!

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Birthday Activities for the Ian-miester

So yesterday we had a bit of a cranky day with the boys, we left the house in the morning to drop off Kaelyn then just hung out inside. I was able to bake a cake for Ian who requested Chocolate Chocolate BIG cake. I tend to make cupcakes just because it is easy to do and to serve to the little ones. But birthday boy REQUESTED a BIG CAKE and I had time to make it.

For dinner we made homemade pizza crusts and the kids (and John and I) made our own pizzas!

Snarfing down some pepperoni before he decided to put it on his pizza

Watching what K was doing

Ian’s Creation

K’s creation with that crazy smile

Birthday boy blowing out his candle on his BIG CAKE

Thumbs up! Birthday was a success!


Next is his party! Can’t wait to see his face when he see’s his REALLY BIG CAKE ๐Ÿ™‚

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Three!

Today is Ian Michael’s 3rd birthday! He woke up at the crack of dawn and has been going going GOING (“napping” wasn’t in the birthday boy’s agenda) all day! He may fall asleep in his cake tonight. Oh well, it’s all for fun!

Update: Can’t seem to find actual birthday pictures, hoping to find some and post sooner or later!

September 22, 2007 – Ian Michael Rork 7lbs 4oz, 19in @ 4:14pm (4 is his lucky number!)

October 4, 2007- a few weeks old

October 11, 2008- Before we took binky away his teeth came in super high, and he preferred one side than the other.

September 24, 2009- Who do you think he looks like?! Rork or Cathony?

September 19, 2010

Happy Birthday to one of the smartest, sweetest, kind-hearted kids I know. Ian sure is a handful a lot of the time but who could blame him!? He’s gotta keep up with Kaelyn and make sure Gavin doesn’t steal his thunder. ๐Ÿ™‚ He loves his trucks, trains, planes, t.v. time, sleeping at night, and wrestling with daddy! We head to the Dr. on Friday to find out his stats!

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