Thursday, September 27, 2012

Heinz Field

A couple weeks ago, we found out there is a program that runs for a few weeks in the fall that allows free admission to many Pittsburgh attractions.  Today, we toured Heinz Field (along with the Nina and Pinta ships, but that's for another post).  For those of you unfortunate folk who don't know what Heinz Field is . . . it's the home of the PITTSBURGH STEELERS!!! Oh, yeah!

They only let 50 tourists in every hour from 10 am - 3 pm.  I wasn't very hopeful.  My only positive thought was that school is in session; although die hard Steelers fans would probably pull their kids out of school for such an opportunity!

Long story, short.  We were able to take a tour at 1 pm!  Poor Bud thought he was going to get to see Steelers players or watch them play.  Maybe some day, Bud.  I'd love to take all the kids to a game.  They love watching the games with us at home. 

We had the nicest woman leading our tour . . . Meet Nancy! (Bud and Butterfly are pictured on the middle left of the photo.)

The tour started in the Great Hall.  This is where they keep their {ahem} SIX superbowl trophies.

Around and around and around the spiral ramp we went . . .

There were over 20 people in our group.  My kids insisted in staying up front close to Ms. Nancy.
I was surprised how bright it was with all the cloud cover.
The view was spectacular inspite of the gloomy day.
Mr. Rooney bought the Steelers for $1,800 that he had won betting on the horses.  I learned something new today.

Up to the club level . . .

When the Knight and I were given game tickets from his previous employer in previous seasons, this is where we sat (seats right outside the door on the left of the photo).

The kids in the North Club.

Checking out the view from the North Club.
I was most excited about the rest of the tour.  Probably because I have already been everywhere they took us on the beginning part of the tour.

Next was the press box.  All press boxes must be the same.  Reminded me of the press box we saw at the Daytona International Speedway last November.

Ms. Nancy sure knew a lot about the stadium and the Steelers.

AND . . . drum roll.  The locker room!

This is about 1/4 of the locker room.

Troy Polamalu's locker!

The kiddos and I -- not too bad after being rained on all day.

Not sure of the significance of this sign.  We were a little preoccupied trying to take the above photo when Ms. Nancy was explaining it.  However, Bud wanted his picture taken with it.

This is one of my favorite pictures of the day.
We had a great time in spite of the rain. We were all decked out in our #43 gear (Troy Polamalu).  Surprisingly, not many others were dressed in Steelers apparel. 
We did have a little issue on the way back to our vehicle because of our Steelers apparel.  We were approached by a strange looking group of people (as in a man wearing Olympic-type track clothes carrying an American flag over his shoulders like he had just won a marathon strange).  They were [adults] on a scavenger hunt.  The first group said they needed a picture with someone wearing a Steelers jersey. [Ok. We can do that.]  Then they said something like, "they are wearing Polamalu jerseys" and wanted to take pictures of the back of our jerseys. [I'm thinking "Anyone who KNOWS Polamalu would recognize his jersey from the front." But anyways.]  They then proceeded to tell us there was another group of people coming shortly behind them and to not let them take pictures with us.  I told the kids to walk quickly. HA!  It was partly because it was raining and even with an umbrella, I just wanted to get back to the van after 3 1/2 hours of walking downtown.  Wouldn't you know it.  The second group spotted us. {sigh} Except this time, a creepy guy [FYI: I prefer strange over creepy.] said, "We need to get a picture hugging a person with a Steelers jersey. 0_o  Needless to say, we sprinted away after that awkward moment.  I could hear someone else in their group say something about they are wearing Polamalu jerseys, but it was too late!  We were long gone.  Can I say, I despise scavenger hunts.  Always have.  Always will.  I'm usually [forced to be] on the asking side, but it was very awkward being on the being asked side.  Just another part of our very memorable day downtown.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


The kids are really enjoying being cousins to someone.  Bella is their first and only cousin.

When Aunt Mel and Bella came back through after visiting Uncle Josh, we took a couple more pictures.  Oh, and everyone had to have a turn holding her.  Not sure everyone was completely awake this morning. They kept zoning and staring off in the distance.  I lost track of how many times I said, "Smile!"

Bud and Butterfly took some time to talk to her again too.  It's so fun to hear her try to talk.  I told Bud to tell her about his new bike.  It was cute to hear him talk to her.  "It has training wheels . . ."

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Special Visit

My sister and neice came for a visit.  Actually they'll be back.  Long story, short.  My brother-in-law is doing some work east of us, so we're a convenient stop on their way to and from visiting him.  No matter the reason, we're thrilled to see them.

They came in Sunday afternoon.  I wormed my way into working the nursery that night and had Bella all to myself!  Her and I had a great time.  She was fed, dry and happy, so we talked and smiled for a while.

She's a talker!

They headed out this morning to see Josh.  We took a quick cousin pic.  We'll have to make sure my kids are showered and more presentable when they come back through!  I'd like to have a better picture.

The cousins
Had a few problems uploading the video directly to the blog, so I uploaded it to youtube. Thankfully, it uploaded successfully!  Enjoy my beautiful, intellegent and adorable neice!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What a Grandparent Wouldn't Do

My parents came to visit this past weekend.  The kids have been asking to put the old swingset up at the new house since spring.  I mentioned it to Papaw before he came.  That's all you have to do . . . mention something the grandkids want.  If it's feasible, it will be accomplished!

Papaw securing the swingset.  Notice the level ground under the swingset?  That took hours!  Parts of our new yard are a mess.

Patches and Toothless seem to remember the swingset and were enjoying hanging out on it.

I couldn't get a good picture of them all, but I still think you can tell they are having a great time!
Bud wasn't so sure about this new trick Butterfly wanted to try.

She got it figured out!

He must not have thought it was too scary because he did it too.

Sparkle got brave and was swinging back and forth!
Thank you, Papaw, for all your hard work getting the swingset up!  Thank you, Gramma, for getting us caught up on laundry and helping clean the house!

Friday, September 7, 2012

It's That Time of Year Again!

Our summer was busy, but I don't feel like it flew by as fast as other summers.  I prefer routine, so I'm usually ready to start school for the schedule it brings.
School books arrive in late July.  K5, 3rd Grade and 6th Grade this year.
The dreaded project before school could begin was the bookcases.  I REALLY should have taken a before and after photo to give this project justice.  It's pretty much done except for the extra stuff on the top shelf (which I chose to crop out of the photo).  I won't say whether or not I threatened the children with their lives if they dare to make a mess of it like they did last year.  But let me just say, I threw out a kitchen-size garbage bag of stuff, so you can imagine how cluttered the shelved had become!
Tada!  Organization make me happy if you couldn't tell!
LOVE my label maker!

Can't believe my little Princess Sparkle is in 6th grade!!

Princess Butterfly poised and ready to begin!
(We really need to buy a blind to get rid of the sunspots instead of pinning a blanket over the window.)

My baby, Prince Bud, couldn't wait to start Kindergarten!
He asked for almost a week straight, "Can I do school today?"

We've logged almost two weeks and school is going {fairly} smoothly.  I say that because we've had emotional breakdowns.  Plural.  And Mommy is still trying to find a way to keep up with lesson plans and grading and make sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to be doing without taking too many breaks!

Prince Bud forming the letters Uu and Ii out of play dough while listening to his teacher.
We tried a different set up this year since we had to add a student.  The picture at the bottom of this post shows how I came up with this idea.  I choose not to dwell on the fact that our schoolroom is the Sanford and Son version.  It's functional, and we don't need it to be anything else.

Bud's work station with Mom & Dad's books stored up top.
(You can see a little of Princess Butterfly's station to the left.)

Princess Butterfly's station, again, with Mom & Dad's books stored up top.

This week I made a cushion for Butterfly since the stack of pillows she was using [pictured above] wasn't working out.  I'd love to find adjustable chairs and tables!

Princess Sparkle is quite the Ar-teest!  I'll have to post some of her work.  Here she's working on a school art project.

Here's Sparkle's workstation.  That girl is a pack rat and sits on her feet like her mother.
I'll have to try and remember to post a couple more pictures of the school room.  When you walk in the door, Sparkle's desk is on the left with the built-in bookcases on the front left wall.  My desk is along the front wall next to the bookcases with a window above it -- my only sanity.  If only the sun would shine 365 days a year!  Butterfly is to my right. Bud is on the right as you walk into the room.
Here's my inspiration for the layout of the schoolroom.  Pinterest is my friend -- the brain I always wished I had.  It's where I go for all my creative needs.