The Kozel Family

The Kozel Family

Monday, April 28, 2014

Spring Break Trip for Joanna and Lily

As my spring break occurred several weeks after Wyatt's this year and poor Ken doesn't get a spring break, Lily and I decided to go on a "ladies only" trip for our vacation week.  I was planning on visiting Parkersburg to celebrate my mom's birthday, but alas, she was already booked in Holland for the week.  

After speaking to my dad and finding out he was going to a fishing cabin with his bff Rocky AND Rocky's daughter (aka my bff Rachel) AND her family, I just had to invite us along!  It was a fantastic decision.

LOVE this one.  So sweet.

Papaw in his element.

The Long and Wiseman crew--Oliver caught his yellow plastic fish every cast!

Lily's first fish of the day.  She loved looking at it, but wasn't too sure about touching it.
After fishing in the pond behind the cabin, we decided to drive down to Bemis for some trout fishing.
If you look REALLY closely, you'll see the Long/Wiseman crew on the bank.  I swear.

Dad and I went off on our own for a bit and I managed to catch my very first trout!  Lily spent her time crawling all over the rocks with Oliver and giving Rachel a run for her money.  ;)

Dad was pretty bummed that we didn't think to take a picture of me with my trout, so I had him take this picture as soon as we arrived back at the cabin. 

 The cabin was great.  We were definitely NOT roughing it!
Lily:   Rachel brought you this ballerina outfit.  You wore it EVERY day we were at the cabin until I finally hid it because it was so filthy.  You danced for all of us!
On Tuesday we had some snow.  It was pretty cold all day so we stayed inside.  We also took a trip into Elkins for a Kroger and McDonald's run.
Once it warmed up, Lily and Oliver enjoyed an egg hunt.  Thanks to Sheila and Rachel for all of the goodies!

On Wednesday, we went to a neighboring community called Davis for some lunch and playtime.  We had intentions of checking out some of the cool local shops but apparently Davis is closed on Wednesdays.  Who knew?

This is my favorite part of going to any cabin!  (See previous post.) 
Chowing on some pizza mountain pies. 

Lily rocking the look.
 We don't get to see the Longs nearly as much as we want, so this trip was wonderful.  Lily and Oliver are only 3 months apart, and I want them to grow up as good friends.  I think we're off to the right start.   

Sunday, April 27, 2014

March Revisited

Well, March was interesting.

We visited with some PA friends at the beginning of the month.  The trip corresponded with Ken's birthday, and as these are some of his very favorite people, he was happy to be at the cabin for his big day.

And so it begins...Ken would LOVE to own one of these suckers.

This is how you sled ride at the cabin.  Bonus:  No walking up hills.  Downside:  Potentially getting thrown from the sled on the sharper curves.  Thanks again for that one, Tony.

Had to include this pic.  Yes, Tony is actually holding Lily.  Monumental, considering she has pretty much screamed and cried every time she's seen this man since the day she was born.  She's come a looooong way. 

Two (actually three!) of our favorite people.  :) 
The cabin is amazing for me.  We sit around the fire and reconnect with most of the main reasons we miss PA.  Every time we leave I am counting the days until we return.  This trip, Lily discovered the joy of fire.  We'll have to keep a close check on that, but truthfully she doesn't fall far from the tree on that one.  For me, there's nothing that compares with shoving a stick into the fire and stirring up some stuff!

I ate way too many mountain pies and too much taco dip (as always) and left a very happy girl.

Soon after our cabin trip, I was lucky enough to be the only one of the family to be completely floored by a nasty stomach flu. Sparing details, it put a damper in about a week of my March activities.  I'm sure the kids and Ken had multiple adventures that will remain an undocumented mystery to me.  

The rest of March improved, thank goodness!  Wyatt and I went to his classmate's birthday roller skating party and had a blast. I stayed OFF the skates (I'm sure my dad is grateful!) and Wyatt very quickly acclimated to rolling around the gym.  It was nice to spend some one-on-one time with him.

At the end of March, Wyatt went to Parkersburg for his spring break.  Grandma and Papaw planned a ton of fun activities.  A trip to Columbus, OH to visit COSI and swim in a hotel, bike riding, and watching a Superman I and II marathon with Papaw were some of the highlights of his stay.  He loved every minute of his time there!

Other March happenings:
Playing at the park with the cousins.  So glad it's FINALLY warm enough to do this!!  No pic of Wyatt, as he was up on the courts playing basketball with Ted.

Spending time with more cousins!  I know I keep saying this, but I'm just so happy that extended family-time is now a regular occurrence.  It's a REALLY good thing.  I swear Wyatt is here, too!  Hmmm...I need to do a better job of catching him in the act of hanging with the fam!

The end of March also brought in the beginning of baseball season.  Wyatt is playing on the Cardinals, which is fantastic because of his obsession with the color red.  More of that to come in April!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


March has certainly come in like a lion!  Yay for snow days because it means I am the blog-updating queen!

This past weekend we went to Pittsburgh to celebrate Amelia's third birthday and Bennett's baptism.  Wyatt discovered Minecraft (thanks, Addie and Emery) and was holed up in the basement with Em for most of the visit.  Lily spent her time playing with her Mimi and getting carried around by the girls.  Ken and I got to have some great visiting time with the fam.  We both ate way too much food.  Lily and I spent lots of quality time in the church restroom during the baptism--good times all around! 

Yesterday we went to a gym with the Tuels to run around some and then we hung at their house for a while.  I also got a new phone, which meant that Wyatt and Lily spent almost 2 hours being VERY GOOD in the Verizon store.  I only had to grit my teeth twice which, considering the circumstances, was pretty amazing.  

March looks like it will be a great month! 

February Wrap Up

It's Tuesday (and snow day #2 for the week) so I thought I'd play catch up.

Wyatt's basketball is officially over for the year.  His team had a great season, and they came in second in the playoffs.  Wyatt learned the tough lesson that losing stinks, but second place isn't too bad.  :)  All of my game pictures ended up blurry (I guess there was just too much action for me and my poor camera) but here are a few that were ok.

We'll say he made this one.

Getting his "Best Defensive Player" award.

Papa, Amelia, and Lily were awesome cheerleaders!

The Bulldogs--very tired after the championship game

It was a brutally cold and snowy month with most of our time spent inside.  As a plus, we spent a lot of time with the Tuels in February!
At the Wow Factory again.  Wyatt is making a napkin holder to look like a taco.  Lily is doing her thing.  The Tuels were on the other side of the table.
 Ted and Wyatt are really enjoying each other.  I love that they are growing up together.

The older boys playing Madden.  The younger boys NOT standing in front of the TV screen.

Other February events:  
  • We went to Dinosaur Days, a traveling robotic exhibit that I thought was overpriced for what it ended up being.  Nonetheless, the kids LOVED it so I guess it was worth it!

We saw our friends there and had a great time playing together.

  • Wyatt, his friend Brodee, and I went to Olive Garden and then to see the Lego movie one day.  It was fantastic!  I would go back tomorrow to see it again.  A few days later, Brodee and his grandparents took Wyatt to Wisp for some tubing fun.  It was about 60 degrees that day (WOW!). Wyatt loved it--I think we're going to have to plan a tubing trip next winter.

  •  We bought land!  We are now in the midst of doing everything else before we actually break ground.  (Planning, planning, planning, budgeting, planning, and planning.)  The search for a new home has been an interesting and stressful one, and I'm afraid to actually buy into the fact that we are making progress.  I keep waiting for the bottom to drop out of this somehow.  For now, however, we are full speed ahead!  It is a great piece of property--2 acres--and closer to Fairmont where we both work. 
View from the front to the back
View from the sledding hill in the back to the front of the property
  • Ken and Lily made cupcakes!  
Thanks for the memories, February 2014!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Happy birthday, Wyatt!

     Wyatt is officially 8 YEARS OLD.  Crazy! 
Kozel Family Tradition:  The birthday person gets to use fancy toilet paper. Wyatt was pretty excited to see this when he woke up this morning!

     On Friday, we had the Tuels over for a pizza/movie mini-party to kick off the birthday celebrations.  We watched the first part of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and the kids played some.  Wyatt picked out Superbowl-themed cupcakes for dessert. 

Oh, Seahawks...why can't your colors be white and ivory?

Once the evening had progressed and everyone was zonked, the Tuels went home and left Ted here to spend the night.  The boys had fun looking at an I Spy book before conking out around 10pm. 

     On Saturday Wyatt had two basketball games.  Ted cheered Wyatt on during the first and Grandma and Papaw came to the second.  Both were barn-burners, with us losing by ONE in the last seconds of each game.  Boo.  Wyatt was bummed, but at least we had birthday party #2 to look forward to in the afternoon! Nona, Papa, Aunt Anita, Amelia, Bennett, Shelly, Shon, Bailey, Lizzie, Uncle Mike, Aunt Lorraine, Lisa, Mikey, Great Nonnie, Grandma, and Papaw came to celebrate with us. 

A lot of people in a little townhouse.  Good thing we're all family!

Wyatt wanted cookie cake again this year.  He ate it on our "special day" family plate we made at the Wow Factory. 

           Today, on Wyatt's ACTUAL birthday, we had a two hour delay.  Wyatt was thrilled!  After school we went out to his favorite restaurant, Rio Grande. 
While I was snapping this picture, we heard, "Kozels!"  The Tuels were just finishing their meals!  They stopped over at the table to say hi and wish Wyatt a happy birthday.  :)

Always gets the same meal:  beef enchilada, beans, and fries. 

Lily was pretty happy about her food coming to the table!

As the restaurant staff was singing, one of the waiters grabbed a spoonful of the whipped cream and smeared a bit on Wy's nose.  Good times!
     We came home and Ken and Wyatt spent the rest of the evening building a new Lego treehouse.  It was a good day.  Happy birthday, buddy.  We love you! 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Snow Days, Snow Days!

Happy February!  Well, this is our second snow day of the week and it's only Tuesday!

For posterity, let's recall our recent school schedule:
January 1--NO SCHOOL (holiday)
Jan 2--We had a full school day!
Jan 3--NO SCHOOL (weather)
Jan 4-5--weekend
Jan 6,7, and 8--NO SCHOOL (weather)
Jan 9 and 10--full school days
Jan 11-12--weekend
Jan 13-17--full week of school! (Sort of...)  I had an observation 1/2 day, a full day of training, and a 1/2 day of special activities followed by an early release, so I was only in my "classroom" for 2 1/2 days this week. 
Jan 18-19--weekend
Jan 20--NO SCHOOL (MLK holiday)
Jan 21, 22, 23, 24--NO SCHOOL (weather)  Wy had a 2 hour delay on 24th but I was off!
Jan 25-26--weekend
Jan 27, 28, 29--NO SCHOOL (weather)  I had to go into school for a 3 hour training on the 29th, but Wyatt had no school at all.
Jan 30--2 hour delay
Jan 31--a full school day!
Feb 1-2--weekend
Feb 3 and 4--NO SCHOOL (weather)

UNBELIEVABLE!!!!  Talk about some quality family time!

How on Earth, you ask, have we managed to enjoy this much time together without some sort of felony occurring?  We've filled up these days with trips to the WOW Factory to paint pottery, the library, Eat n' Park, the movies, WVU basketball games, and various playdates with the Tuels and our neighbor Pepper.  To be fair, we've also each had a few bouts of time out.  Most of these days it was too cold to really play outside, but we were able to go out a few times.

Snow bunny!

I can't believe I've lived without Carhartt's until this year.  I was sweating even on our negative degree days!

The dirt pile is an epic snow slide!  No sled needed!
        On Monday, January 27th, Grandma and Papaw surprised us by getting a hotel room in Morgantown so we could use the pool!  We were SO pumped to swim, so we zoomed on over once they checked in.  Much to our surprise, the hotel had drained the entire pool and refilled it the night before, so the temperature of the water was a solid 62 degrees.  That's not too bad for a breezy spring day, but it's pretty frigid for a pool!  The Tuels had joined us, so the adults watched the kids run back and forth from the almost boiling hot tub to the icy pool and back.  They started using the pool as a dare.  (e.g. "I double dare you to stay in the pool for 14 seconds!!)   We decided to look for other options.  So, a couple of phone calls and a few minutes later we were off to another hotel.
      The new hotel's pool was MUCH warmer, and we had a blast with the cousins.  After a nice swim we all went to BW3s (with Grandma and Papaw taking a slight detour--oops!) and then Wyatt spent the night at the hotel with the grandparents.  The next morning I bundled up Lily--it was -8 degrees out!- and we met Wyatt and the GPs back at the hotel for breakfast and a morning swim.  Another great time!  Once we checked out and came home I realized my engagement ring was missing its diamond.  AAAAAAHHH!!!  Amazingly enough, the hotel sales manager found it on the floor of our room!  I bawled like a baby when I picked it up, and I hugged the manager like I was on one of those "reunited" shows and she was my long lost relative.  The diamond is now safely tucked away in an envelope awaiting a new setting.  Whew! 
       So, that drama over, we return to our regularly scheduled snow days:

To commemorate our first snow day of February, we made snow cream.  It is a very strange version of chocolate ice cream.  

Enjoying the snow cream.   Ted and Sophie tried it today and they liked it, too. I'd like to make it next time with fruit juice instead.

Enjoying a WVU basketball game one weekday evening in January.  It didn't start until 7pm, but what did we care?!?  It's not like we had to go to school the next day!

Lily dressed herself one morning and added stickers on her pants for a little pizzazz.

This is Wyatt's attempt at looking like a "weird alien".  It's weird, I'll give him that.
          The forecast is calling for a wintry mix tomorrow morning, so we'll see!  When we were out and about today most of the roads were still fairly terrible.  I'm sure Wyatt wouldn't mind having his birthday off, too!