Monday, November 8, 2010

Annie at the pub!

I guess that title needs a bit of explaining. Annie has been learning Irish fiddling from Anne Hatfield, who is an amazing fiddler who tours with Lord of the Dance. Anne is from Joliet and plays Irish music with a group of musicians every Monday night at a local Irish pub. Anne invited Annie to join the group this week. So, here's our Annie (in the checkered bandana below) playing at the pub, next to Anne! (And by the way, if you click on the four little arrows on the bottom right of the video, it will make it full screen)

Here's one more song, called Orange Blossom. Forgive my shaky camera work at the start. (It will stop shaking around 25 seconds in.) And stick around to watch the last two minutes of the song, where the group plays faster, and faster and FASTER!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The dog ate our blog!

Not really, but since Chewie's arrival began five months of radio silence in the blog, I thought I could conveniently blame her. (Chewie did, by the way, chew up the corner of a student's paper I was grading last spring. I was embarrassed when I returned the papers, but I did note the irony of a teacher saying to a student: "My dog ate your homework.") Above, Nate and Chewie play tug of war, their favorite game.

The Renaissance Faire, 2010

We had a good, but busy summer, and it feels enormously intimidating to try to recap it in one post (which is probably why I haven't done one in a while!) So maybe I'll just start at the end, with the Renaissance Faire, which we attended a couple of weeks ago. We go every year, and since we're massive history geeks, we dress up! This year Annie and I were country lasses, Mark was a peasant, Nate was a jester, and Brennan was an assassin. (that's why you can barely see his face in the family pic above...he was being mysterious and covert. Or something like that.)

Doesn't Annie look all cute and grown up? We were afraid that guys would start flirting with her. Mark suggested carrying a pike to ward them off.

Nate and a much larger jester do some jester bonding in the pic above. Nate should have taken lessons on how to be a more playful jester, though. He had about five people ask to take his picture, which was fine, but whenever one of the costumed Ren Faire participants called out, "Prithee, jester, tell us a joke!" Nate would just say, "No!" We teased him about being a grouchy jester.

This past weekend we went to my nephew Greg's wedding, in Steubenville, Ohio. Here's Greg saying his vows with his beautiful bride, Ali.

Such a fun family reunion for my side of the family, and since our family weddings are big on dancing, we all had a ball. My camera battery died before I got any pictures of us dancing, but below is a pic of the kids at our table at the reception. Brennan has been practicing his Calvin and Hobbes face and (unfortunately) has gotten pretty darn good at it.

Annie took lots of video of the dancing, but needs encouragement to post it. C'mon Annie, don't be shy!!

I will try my best to get some more summer pics up in a week or so.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Meet Chewbacca Burke Schultz!

Nate has a new puppy! Chewy (short for Chewbacca) is a West Highland White terrier puppy and we brought her home yesterday. Mark and I started the day yesterday with absolutely no intention of buying a puppy. But one of our errands took us near the local pet shop, and turns out they had an adorable Westie (my all-time favorite dog) half price, and we started playing with her and, well, our hearts melted. In our defense, it WAS something we've been talking about for a few weeks. Nate's 9th birthday is coming up, and the number one item on his wish list is a dog (something he's begged for since he was about four) We've always told him he couldn't get one for all the usual reasons -- house too small, yard too small, too much work, etc. But Nate has proven himself worthy of a pet this year. Last June he bought a hermit crab when we were at the beach. The crab does nothing cuddly or affectionate. In fact, half the time I'm convinced he's dead, until he pokes one leg out of his shell and waves it around for five seconds. But despite getting nothing in return, Nate has loved his hermit crab, Jeff. He feeds and waters him, talks to him, takes him out for "exercise," even built a maze for him. We figure if he's that good to a hermit crab, he deserved to get his puppy. He is, as you can imagine, one ecstatic almost-nine-year-old boy right now.

We've commenced training already, and we'll have more on the adventures of Nate and Chewy later! Here's video of bringing him home yesterday. Nate had NO idea he was about to get a puppy. His smile around 2:00 minutes is priceless.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mardi Gras and Movie Nights

Annie mentioned our dressing up on movie nights in her last post, so I thought I'd include a couple of pictures. Above are Brennan (Merry) and Nate (Pippen - note the scarf!) all dressed up for a showing of Return of the King last week. I had read somewhere about a family that dressed up as the film's characters to watch films, and my kids thought it was a great idea. Mark was Aragorn and I was Rosie Cotton on this movie night. (no pics of us, sorry! And yeah, I know Aragorn didn't end up with Rosie, but you gotta go with the costumes ya got, right?)

Annie (below) came as Elf-of-the-Red-Robe-and-the-Black-Cat. She had been sick so the boys (who are the costume police) excused her. But just for that night! Speaking of dressing-up, we had a fun Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) meal at our home the night before Lent started. Mark had bought these masks in New Orleans as souvenirs years ago, so we try to dig them up every Mardi Gras.

What can I say -- we're a family that loves costumes!

Sunday, February 21, 2010



HIIIIII!!!! Heh heh! I MISSED U!!! Bet U didn't miss my huge annoying caps letters though...*burst into rambunctious laughter* HA HA HA HA HA HA *snort* HA HA ha....

Alright, I creeped you poor viewers out good enough; it's time for The Ramblers News *news news* That was an echo, if you didn't know. =)

ALRIGHT So, we've got some pictures here that my Mom would probably like to show you later in her own post. But she's not on here right now... And neither is any one else...
.....Because I am the only one who remembered this poor, abused little blog of ours... ='( But we shall nurse it back to health and keep you fellows updated, 'kay? YAY!

WOW, Lotsa days have passed by since that last post. Christmas??!! That was last Christmas!?!?! OH NOEZ!! Oh well. There isn't very much that HAS happened since then... We're an odd family. No big events, but lots of craziness on the inside... -_-' .

We're all enjoying our Christmas Wii. Mom is in love with this one Wii game called TANKS. You're supposed to be a little tank, controlled by a WII stick and you go around and battle other tanks. It's a two player game, so we keep challenging each other. So far, the best tank fighters are from Mom, to Dad, to Nate and Brennan. (We don't know which of the brothers is better.) I like to play too. We do a lot of shrieking and screaming (in fun, not madness!) when we play.

Brennan and Nate are beginning to learn how to type with all fingers instead of one. I already learned how to, and I had became faster then Mom!! I don't know about Dad though. He and I compete sometimes but something always messes up... Or at least that's what we use as excuses when we lose... Heh heh...

Hmm... Interesting topic... Interesting topic... *racks mind* We have been through tons of "movie nights" this past month. We have watched most of the Star Wars movies, and are now currently running through the Lord of the Rings with much enthusiasm. We have decided to dress up as if we were in the movie every movie night, so we're having fun doing that. The boys and Mom were hobbits. Dad was Aragorn. =) I didn't dress up because I had been sick and was wearing my robe. But since it was Lord of the Rings, I could get away with saying that I was a little elf in my red robe. You can get away with silly clothes like that because it resembles a lot of other clothing styles in the film. We had to persuade Nate not to run around in his underwear and act like Gollum while we were watching. That had been pretty funny. =)

Well, not much else to tell you all . But I hope you enjoyed it!! =)

Have a very nice day!!! OR ELSE!!

~Annie the Weirdo

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Our Christmas pics!

I've had so much fun reading the Christmas blog posts of Teresa, Catherine and Lorrie that I've decided (one month late!) to give you a snapshot of our Christmas.

About four years ago we stopped traveling to either PA or GA for Christmas. It just got too hard, between snowy highways,the difficulties of transporting all the family's gifts, and the tendency of our kids to inadvertently introduce nasty flu germs to relatives (I still feel bad about Nate infecting Cal and Luis with a nasty stomach bug right before their wedding. Sorry guys!)

The first year we stayed home (2005?) was great, at least up until Christmas afternoon, when I suddenly got hit with a wave of homesickness, and I starting checking airline schedules to see if I could fly to see everyone. But we've worked on making our own unique Christmas traditions, and now, to be honest, I love our whole Christmas day, and wouldn't trade it for anything (though I do wish I could magically transport our families closer!)

So here's our brief snapshot of the Schultz family Christmas in 2009.

A couple of days before Christmas we had a fabulous snowfall, and the kids made a snowman, who greeted passersby with Holiday Greetings (at least until the rain on Christmas night wore him down to a wee snow pile.)

We do a ton of baking in the last few weeks before Christmas, and the kids especially love my molasses cookies (made from my Mom's recipe) and Mark's homemade donuts (made from his Grandma Betty's recipe.) Mark always makes a triple recipe and yet somehow they disappear very fast. Strange...
Our church has the Children's Christmas Mass around 5:00 on Christmas Eve, and our kids are part of the choir. Since none of you could make it, here's a brief video snippet of what you missed! (You may have to click the play button a couple of times)

We took a family shot at the church in our Christmas finery before heading home. Nate and Brennan look serious, but Annie looks like she's up to something mischievous, doesn't she?
As Nate will tell you, we're an extremely fortunate family, because we get not one but TWO personal visits from Santa! Besides the middle-of-the-night visit we also get a personalized, one-on-one visit with the Big Man himself on Christmas Eve. About an hour or so after we returned from church, we heard sleigh bells ringing outside, followed by a loud knock on our front door. It was Santa! With a gift for everyone! Amazing that he found the time!
Santa couldn't stay long, naturally, so we sent him off with cookies and a bottle of wine (for that cold night ahead.) See you next year, Santa!
After he took his leave, we played some family games. Here Brennan keeps us guessing with Guesstures.
The kids somehow managed to talk us into opening just a few more presents Christmas Eve night. These were gifts that family members had sent them weeks ago, which had laid under the tree tantalizing them since then. .
Nate and Annie open their gifts from the Green family. (Thanks, Aunt Jessica and Uncle Rocky!) Grandad and Gee gave the kids a wonderful labyrinth game that we can all spend hours on. (Thank you G and G!)Then it was off to bed and lights off. The tree awaits her mysterious nightime visitors, and the baby Jesus arrives in the manger.
Christmas morning! Christmas morning was , as alway, magical and exciting. (In honor of Fred, I wear a Santa hat all day on Christmas.) :)
Pippen makes herself comfy amidst the new pile under the tree. We're just gratful she didn't climb up the tree and knock it down, like she did last year.

Nate and Brennan were very excited to receive models and painting supplies for their new Warhammers 40,000 hobby. (which GrammaLu and Grandpa Don helped pay for; thank you!) In case you're wondering, our history buff boys are wearing Yankee and Confederate caps. (Brennan, our Dudley-Do-Right, prefers the Yankee cap. Nate, our rebel, leans toward the Confederates, natch.)Nate also loved his Star Wars Lego video game, which Grammy contributed toward (thanks Grammy!) (Mark and I are trying to remember when our "no-videogames until you're fourteen" rule fell by the wayside. Last year, I think? Hmmm. At least, we console ourselves, they do like to read!)
Brennan got excited about a book from the 'Warriors' series focusing on his favorite character of Ravenpaw.
Annie was thrilled to get her very first iPod (which was something else GrandmaLu and Grandpa Don contributed to. Thanks again!)
The kids tend to be most excited over gifts they've chosen for each other.
Christmas afternoon we all play with our new toys, blast our new music (and Christmas carols) and read our new books (Annie knocked off two of her new books by 4:00 Christmas afternoon, and the rest by the next day.) And either before or after dinner we always watch our all-time favorite Christmas movie - the 1970s musical Scrooge, with Albert Finney. We tend to sing along with our favorite songs ("I like life! Life likes me! Life and I fairly fully agree!") Every year Mark and get all choked up when Scrooge finally sees the light. (*sniff, sniff*)

Our Christmas dinner is pretty unusual -- fondue! We have a cheese fondue with ham, bread and veggies to dip, followed by a chocolate fondue. Take a guess which our kids love best.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading! And we're hoping we can entice some family members to wander out to Joliet some year to share our Christmas. Whaddya think, huh? huh?

We'll close with our loveably goofy Annie, who can do a fairly good cat imitation in this video clip. Take it away, Annie!

Friday, January 1, 2010


OI! Annie 'ere!

Well, nothing real is going on... But I decided to sneak on here and give a few details.

ALRIGHT! So um... This Christmas was pretty awesome. Mom'll probably give more updates on that later. One present worth mentioning was... A WII!! 'Santa' brought it for us all! Though Mom enjoys it the most though! She keeps daring us to challenges, but we beat her every time! Kids always win at video games. It's a kid thing. Only kids would understand. =)

Hey, so I'm getting better at animation and paint! Wanna see some pieces of me work? =D

I'm going to add music soon. This is what it'll be, so listen to this while watch!

And here R some Pics that took an irritatingly long time!! *pants with fury* Eh... U didn't see dat.