Sunday, December 27, 2009


Bryn broke her much coveted "Uncle Michael" sunglasses a couple months ago. She has been DYING to get sunglasses ever since. And Elle...well...she has wanted sunglasses since the second we stepped on California soil. Apparently, the sun is VERY bright here. Luckily, Santa fulfilled their desires. Elle, as Sharpay from HSM and Bryn as somebody from Wizards of Waverly Place. I'm not sure who though.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dance Recital

The girls had a semi-dance recital last night. They had it outside in the parking lot open to all public to see.

Bryn is SO excited. These pictures were before the dance with them full of anticipation. They were supposed to dance at Winter Wonderland, but there was too much rain on the stage for a safe performance. There is really nothing quite like rocking out to "Here Comes Santa Claus"...Mickey Mouse style.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Fun

They made 3 snow hills for Winter Wonderland this year. To get the snow, they had a big truck with blocks of ice on it. They then put the ice through a tree chipper and voila...snow! The kiddos went down this slide at least 3 times.

Here are the 2 Ws.

And Elle.

And Bryn.

Then we went to Vine Street last night to see all the lights and shows. By far, the Grinch was the favorite. Even though Elle isn't familiar with the character, she could have stayed watching him all night. She told me not to worry because she could tell he wasn't real because of his gloves (which you can't see in this picture). Well done Grinch! Max did a stellar job too.

There was an Alpaca.
And of course, Scrooge.
Then we came home and made Marshmallow cuties for the first time ever from a recipe that my Grandma Ellingson always made at Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Not an Alien Head

You might this this is an alien head. It is not. This is most certainly 'Tiny's' head from Dinosaur Train. And she does have 2 eyes.
You just can't see them at the same time. We like to make our pinatas, and this was Elle's request for her birthday party today. It really cracks me up. I am in no way an artist (obviously) but I think it is still a blast to give it a try. And the pinatas always turn out hilarious and then you can't help but laugh when you see it. Seriously.
Elle takes some hits at Tiny. Tiny's right eye didn't last after the first hit.
And this was all that was left. RIP Tiny. he he he.

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A couple days ago, Bryn told me she couldn't get her granola bar and that it was "on the fan". I was a little confused until I saw this:
Apparently, she was throwing her granola bar around the living room and it landed on the fan. Slightly hilarious. I'm not exactly sure why she was throwing granola bars around in the first place, but in the second place...where was she throwing them? She cracks me up. And is certainly 'kilarious'.

Tonight, I brought out 3 pairs of pjs for the kids. Wade would NOT give this one up. He insisted on wearing them. I'm OK with that. I think pink complements his skin tone.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

With the Birthday Girl

Here are the ladies posing with their 100 year old Great Great Grandma.
If I remember right, she bribed them by using Cheetos (notice Bryn's Cheeto-face). My kids will do almost anything for Cheetos.
Unfortunately, this was as close as Wade would go, even with the Cheetos. But, hey...he's smiling.
Like I've said before, this woman is amazing. She remembers EVERYTHING and is quite with it. She kept saying how she couldn't imagine why a girl (one of her great grand-daughters) would wear a skirt that goes up to her crotch. She'll offer hair clips to anyone that has hair in their eyes. She won't let you eat chips out of need to put them in a container first. She makes scrapbooks all the time and has more spunk than most eighty year olds. I hope I'm that together at 100!

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Lemons, Bad Ants and 100th Birthdays

Bryn found the first lemon in the backyard of a house Brandon's parents rented in Arizona.

Elle wished she had one too.

So, Brandon found one for her.

This was of course BEFORE the bad Arizona ants starting biting their feet. We were searching for ripe lemons when Elle starting screaming and doing a weird foot dance. It took me a second to realize that something was biting her feet. By that time, Bryn started getting bitten as well. Luckily, we got all the bad ants off of them
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We were in Arizona to celebrate Brandon's Great Grandma's 100th Birthday! She is quite an amazing woman and I was glad we were able to make it out for such a momentous occasion.

Myriah, Elle and Bryn celebrated with strawberry cupcakes (with sprinkles on top). I hear they were pretty tasty.

And for the first time since before Wade existed, all the Cohens were together. Not a bad bunch!
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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Witches Unite

Yes...Wade was mistaken for a girl multiple times. I guess that what happens when you wear a unitard.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

First Field Trip

Elle (and all of us) went on her first field trip for Kindergarten. We went to the Avila Valley Barn Pumpkin Patch. Elle and Bryn both chose 2 pumpkins
Bryn didn't actually keep this one...turns out it was rotting.
Then the whole class (and us) went to the Avila Beach Park...yes that is the ocean behind us.
I am totally falling in love with this place. I can get used to this!!!

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Fun in the Sun

Elle is in Kindergarten!

Last week we found out that the kindergarten deadline in California is Dec 2nd! In Pittsburgh it was Aug 3oth, so she didn't start in PA. I started to make some phone calls and somehow got Elle into a great school (one that is apparently hard to get your kids into) because someone had just moved away. Anyway, she started kindergarten on Oct 8th and is absolutely loving it. She has an amazing teacher and fabulous friends. Way to go Elle!
This is Elle on her first day. I'm not exactly sure why she looks petrified...she really was excited...I promise!

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IKEA Half Marathon

Brandon ran the IKEA Half Marathon before we moved from Pittsburgh. He shattered his previous time and did a fantastic job.
The kids...cheering him on.

He just finished. I had 'camera difficulties' so I didn't get any good shots of him actually running...sorry!

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

We miss you Andersons!

Nothing brings family closer than riding illegally in a van.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Makeup Trial

On Sunday, I solicited help from two of the most makeup savvy people I know. Mary and Myriah. If you know me at all, you know I don't really wear makeup. Occasionally I'll pull some out for Sunday or something 'special'. But as I near the tender age of 31 (yikes), I wonder if I should take more control of my outward appearance. I mean, I take control over how my body looks and feels...why not my face? Here are the reasons holding me back:

1. It takes too long to apply and to take off (how annoying is mascara and eyeliner to remove anyway!!)
2. I don't know how to do it. I'm not joking on this. My previous makeup knowledge was mascara, eyeliner and very subtle complete lid/upper eye single color eye shadow (on a good day). I've never taken the time to learn how to apply makeup properly so that it will look right.
3. My make-up stash is sparse.
4. Do I really need it to look nice?

Anyway...Mary and Myriah taught me how to apply makeup correctly and I think it looks pretty good. So, I've decided to try a week of makeup so as to retain the knowledge they lent me. What does this mean? Every morning as I get ready, I take 5 minutes (at least) to apply makeup. Foundation (subtle stuff), blush, eye shadow (more than one shade), liner and mascara. The whole deal. At night, I wash it all off (this is a big one for me...even when I would wear makeup I'd wait till I showered the next morning to get it off and I don't normally wash my face at night (gasp!)). I've done it 2 days in a row (by myself!). By the end of the week, I'll decide if it is something I want to keep doing or not. The hardest part for me is getting the eye makeup off at night. Am I the only one that doesn't like washing their face? I guess that's where my kids get it :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

October CC 2009

The Cohen Chronicle

October 4, 2009

Don't call it a comeback.

The Cohens are officially moved in in California. It took a while, and they still are finishing their new "look," but we'll call them moved in. Their new house is much smaller than the behemoth in Pittsburgh, so they are struggling to put stuff away, but they have made great progress. Jodie is exceptionally excited to be in a smaller house. "Its so much easier to keep the house clean and clean up," she was overheard telling a neighbor. She also is a big fan of the hardwood throughout and the copious cupboard space in the kitchen. Elle and Bryn are overly excited to be rocking the bunkbeds, and were so excited their first night using them they didn't calm down and go to sleep for about 2 hours after going to bed. Honestly, who could actually sleep in bunkbeds with HSM sheets and pillow cases?! Brandon is also quite excited about the children's bed upgrade. You see, Byn went from sleeping in a Toddler bed to a Full, and Elle went from a single to a twin, so this means that if anybody is scared in the middle of the night there is plenty of space for a dad to keep you safe. The first night Bryn required one such service, and as she snuggled up on 1/13 of the bed, Brandon spralled in the other 12/13 quite comfortably. He said regarding the evening, "It was actually quite lovely."

The Cohens stayed for about 2 weeks at Grandma and Grandpa's (Brandon's parents). The Cohens are very greatful for the Cohens allowing them to stay there for the interim before their house became available. It, for the most part, was a wonderful time. First the drawbacks, there were 5 Cohens sharing the same space that 2 Cohens shared many years ago (Paul and Brandon), and even then it could be a little bit crowded at times. The positives of staying at Grandma's are innumerable. Reading Fancy Nancy anytime you want!? Who can compete with that, or helping Grandpa clean up the back yard while wearing full coverage ear plugs, playing what time is it Mr. Shark, doing puzzles with Grandma, swinging on swings, or riding bikes in the front yard? Not much.

In order to make the move, the Cohens enlisted the help of Bill from New Brunswick who works for a company based in Ft. Lauderdale, and is stationed in Maine. He pulled up to the Pittsburgh house in a magnificent 53' trailer, which required very fancy driving to back it up the hill in front of the house on Pittview. Bill is also a master packer which is fortunate because the Cohens recruited help (namely Boyd K) needed to return home before the truck arrived. Other than the fact that Bill showed up about 28 hours later than expected, it was a perfect experience. He helped to load all of the Cohens stuff into the truck, provided good conversation, explained some of the nuances of trucking, and the intricacies of teamsters. Brandon particularly enjoyed the explanation of how snow actually insulates the ground, which is why pipes don't freeze in years where there is a thick blanket of snow. Fascinating. The Cohens also shipped the Subaru through a shady company which was not the company that was reccomended by the Egans. (You see, All Auto Trust Transport offered $300 of free groceries, so the Cohens didn't want to pass that up...) Big mistake. Fortunately everything arrived in relatively good condition. With all their gear and auto packed and on the road, the Cohens were able to fly into San Jose, where they were picked up by Grandpa and Grandma and driven down to Atascadero. It was much better than driving would have been.

Brandon started work the Monday after they arrived, and things have progressed more rapidly than expected. Due to some health problems for the doctor, he worked with her for 2 days (one in each office) before taking over full time. There have been a good amounts of challenges, as all the staff was hired within the last 3 weeks, and Brandon is new to the California rules. Its been pretty crazy for him.

Jodie has been busy buying up the items that they sold in Pittsburgh, and has done an excellent job. Against their desires to not have cable, the Cohens accepted a trap by the cable company for internet, cable, and phone for the same price as the internet (which is all they wanted in the first place). With this issue and Jodie's need to do the 30 Day Shred with Jillian, it became necessary for the Cohens to get a tv, and for the first time in their married lives, they purchased one. It was a sombering moment sitting in pajamas one morning and clicking "proceed to checkout" on Amazon. Jodie assured Brandon, who is ridiculously, that they got a good deal on the 32' flat panel. You see, with the sale, free shipping, and all the $5 gift cards from Swagbucks, it was actually less expensive than a comparable 24". You can't argue with that.

In addition to the bunk beds, the girls are loving being here. The are very excited that they can ride bikes to Grandma's house, that there is a swing in the tree at the house, and that Aunt Myriah reads stories so well. (Incidentally, owls in Myriah's stories are always British....its amazing). They continue to share everything, except their "running shorts," which are those buns shorts that volleyball players and elite female runners wear. The most important part about them is that they make you "super fast," even if you aren't wearing shoes.

Wade on the other hand hasn't moved into the toddler bed yet, mostly because his parents are too tired to try. He's busy chasing Grandpa around, and anytime there are two Wades together you better look out. They make quite the duo, one-two punch, couple, or any other saying for peas in a pod, or pair that you can think of.

It's not so much the crowd, as the individuals within the crowd.

--Bertram Pincus

Until Next Month--The CC Staff

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Spaghetti Squash

The Challenge Begins

Brandon's favorite thing about Spaghetti Squash: the flavor
Rob's favorite: Father Abraham used to eat it.

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