La Familia Bell

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

A Start to the 2009 Holidays

Well we got a start on the holidays by taking the boys to get pictures taken with Santa. We also had dinne at Rainforest Cafe and then went to Build a Bear. Santa is right outside a snow globe and you have to go on the Polar Espress an through the snowglobe to get to Santa.

Brady wasn't too excited to get his picture taken with Santa but was there long enough to get a picture. Santa was great and while mommy was trying to catch Brady he said to Andrew that he had to be a good boy. I thought that's what I heard anyway - but the look on AJ's face was priceless - I heard him say to Santa "I will" and then he told Santa that he would leave him cookies for him and carrots for the reindeer. I asked AJ a few times what Santa said to him and he wouldn't tell me, he would get all quiet and try to change the subject. After a while I asked him again an he told me Santa told him that hehad to be good.

Dinner was at Rainforest and the best part was that on Wed. kids meals are 1.99. Sadly (at least the location we went to) the entress were not that impressive.

After dinner we went to Build a Bear where the boys got to pick out something to stuff. I liked the moose with the Christmas lights but of course neither of the boys did. Brady picked Frosty and AJ had a peace bear until the lady showed Brady how Frosty worked (lights up when you take off the hat) so of course he quickly had a change of heart.

Andrew really got into helping with putting Frosty together, pressing the pedal with the stuffing, warming up the heart for Frosty then bathing and combing Frosty. Brady just wanted to deal with the heart for Frosty and wanted nothing else to do with Frosty. Figure

It was a great night out with the boys!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Andrew's Pre-Kindergarten Orientation

Andrew had his Pre-Kindergarten orientation today. We went in and met his teacher Mrs. Baker and explored his new classroom and even met some classmates. Andrew wanted to take a book to show his teacher - I think it was an excuse to use his new backpack.
AJ and his backpack before we left
We had the opportunity to explore the classroom and AJ was very excited about all the new centers. There is a science center with lots of magnets, microscopes, scales and other scientific gadgets. There is an art center and a computer center. His day will be busy and hopefully he'll continue learning lots.

AJ's classroom - Mrs. Baker's and the welcome board

AJ got to explore and play with all the materials in the class. We also toured the school and AJ thought the cafeteria with the tables was really cool. The school will feed him breakfast and lunch free of charge. We got to check out all the state of the art classrooms including the piano room. AJ had lessons through Happy Piano last year and the new teacher was very impressed with that program and assured me that AJ will participate in the afterschool piano program during the 2nd semester, 1st semester he will be participating in the suzuki violin instruction program.
AJ the fireman
and in the cool cafeteria

High on AJ's list of things to see in his new school was THE PLAYGROUND!!! :) Of course, it got his approval - with the "white as snow" sand (his words) lol and of course, the monkey bars!!! They even had face painters and AJ wanted a doggie nose and whiskers.
All in all - a very good morning. I think AJ will be just fine on Monday - I know i'll be weepy eyed but I will take more pictures of AJ in his school uniform and post on Monday. I just can't believe my "baby" is growing up so fast and is now in school!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Patricia Alyson Bell (1952-2009)

Patricia Alyson (Tangney) Bell, 56, of Byfield and formerly of Lynn and Peabody, died June 27th at the Brigham and Women's Hospital from complications due to a stroke. Born in Lynn on Dec. 31, 1952 she was the daughter of Vernon and Florence (Beane) Tangney. Patricia graduated from Lynn English High School as a member of the National Honor Society in 1970 and attended Skidmore College in NY. Later she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She achieved her CMA Certification through the Institute of Certified Management Accounts and was the Accountant/Office Manager for over 20 years at Ashby Cross Co. in Newburyport. Patricia was also a member of the Newburyport Choral Society for 12 years.

She was the loving wife of Ronald Bell of Byfield whom she married on September 24, 1972 and is also survived by her mother Florence Tangney of Newburyport, children Brian Bell and his wife Millie of Bristol, CT and Christopher Bell of Byfield; grandchildren Andrew James Bell and Brady Michael Bell; as well as siblings, Carole Sheehy of Virginia, and Robert Tangney and his wife Linda of Freemont, NH.

A funeral service will be held on Thursday at 10 AM at the Twomey-LeBlanc and Conte Funeral Home, 193 High Street, Newburyport, MA 01950. Family and friends may call on Wednesday from 4 to 7 pm also at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made in Patricia's name to the charity of one's choice. To leave on-line condolences or for directions to the funeral home, please visit

Monday, May 11, 2009

The boys at the Doctor

Both Brady and AJ had their physicals today. Brady has his 1 yr physical and AJ had his 4 yr physical. I am still in shock that they are 1 and 4!!! Both boys had shots (not fun). Brady weighed in at a very healthy 22.8 lbs and measured off the charts in height at 33 inches tall. Andrew was in the 90th percentile for height at 43 inches and weighed in at 38 lbs (75th percentile). AJ was very forthcoming with information to share with the doctor. He filled her in on how much daddy likes to mow the lawn (not really) and how many lawn mowers dad has and what color they are and how dad lets him ride on his back when they play. All was fine until shot time.

Thankfully, both kids are very healthy. They both HATED getting shots and both wanted to be held at the same time. All in all an OK day though AJ keeps telling me over and over that he did not want to get shots. (who does really?)

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Brady's 1st Birthday Party

We celebrated Brady's birthday on Sunday May 3rd with our wonderful family and friends. AJ had a great time playing with Sarah, Donovan and Javi and Brady had a great time and was very mesmerized by his 3 baby friends - Juliana, Cassandra and Tiana. Brady got some very nice clothes and wonderful toys to keep him busy for a bit. Thanks Mike for the very LOUD LOUD lawnmower! :o)
Bradys' girls:
Juliana, Casandra and Tiana

Brady on his new ride and happy about his cake

Sarah and Uncle Chris and Jen showing off the cool shades
Here's the link to pictures. Click HERE to see!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Brady's 1st Birthday!!

Happy Birthday Brady! Today we celebrate his first birthday. I made a batch of mini cupcakes for Brady's class (and a whole lot of others) to enjoy during the day. Once we got home, Brady enjoyed a bottle of strawberry milk (his new favorite) and a full-sized birthday cupcake complete with a candle. And rather than blowing out the candle - which AJ was more than happy to assist with - Brady attempted to put it out with his fingers. Let's just say that wasn't a great idea. The big family party, complete with a Winnie the Pooh cake decorated by daddy will be on Sunday. I'm sure he doesn't mind!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The "Harvard" or "Juilliard" of Magnet Schools for AJ

While we were in Florida, we finally got the acceptance letter and phone call we had been anxiously waiting for. We applied to the R.J. Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts for Andrew back in February after attending the Open House the school hosted. Mom and Dad are very excited for AJ as this is a very popular magnet school and coveted program with over 2,600 applicants for only 24 spots. The school is moving into a brand new state of the art facility in August with smartboards in every classroom. AJ will continue with piano lessons and will also be introduced to the violin in pre-k. All students learn to play at least one instrument, and take vocal, dance, drama and stage craft classes. The school is partnered with a number of community Arts groups.

The school's focus/approach is on comprehensive training, cultural exposure and arts integration. The performing arts act as the vehicle in making academic content relevant and pertinent in the lives of students. The school offers a pre-k through 8th grade program and we feel AJ will really enjoy the challenge and diversity of the school and the program. We hope he continues to show growth in his love of music and we definitely know he's a little character now. Provided AJ is happy and successful in the program throughout the years he will remain in the school.

Check out the school HERE

Disney Vacation

We drove to Florida for a little sunshine and warmth and of course a visit or two with Mickey Mouse. The boys were awesome on the drive despite the length of time in the car and Brady sprouting 3 more (maybe 4) teeth! Our 1st stop was at South of the Border and both boys enjoyed the animal statues and posing for pictures for mama.

We had a great time with family on Easter Sunday and enjoyed a beautiful week at the parks and the pool at our resort. We only had the one day of storms that went through central Florida but we were unharmed.

Brady and AJ loved the pool as usual and enjoyed the character meals and the warm weather and spending time with Nana Aviles. As usual we had our fare of great food at some of our favorite Disney restaurants. Brian and I also had the opportunity to check out the preview center for upcoming DVC clubs that are opening up and we are excited and hopeful to be visiting the new vacation clubs in the future.
There are TONS more pictures of our week in FL - if you'd like to take a peek, click HERE

Monday, April 06, 2009

AJ & Brady's new "Play System"

A week after AJ's 4th birthday, Papa Bell and I put together the new "treehouse" that all of the grandparents gave to the kids for their birthdays. I did some of the initial prep work in the garage during the week - labeling EVERYTHING, putting parts out and assembling a few of the pieces. Sunday morning the Bells came down to visit and help me finish putting it all together. Sunday started out cool and windy but by noon it had become a beautiful day. After a few tweaks and some help from our friend Chris, the new swingset was complete. Yes, it took all day but we're hoping it will last for years to come. All I need to do now is add sand to the sandbox area and eventually mulch around the whole area. Thanks to the grandparents for their generous gift and to the Papa Bell for his help putting it all together! (And supplying us with a yummy dinner too!!)

Note the picture currently showing is from the manufacturer's website. Once we have pictures from the day I'll update this post...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Birthday Party

AJ decided a while back that he wanted a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse birthday party. Of course I was very excited as I love anything and everything Disney. AJ was very excited about his party and was actually quite helpful for the most part in trying to tidy up and putting his things away.

He loved the balloons and having his friends come to his party. It was quite hectic but fun to see the kids all running around and playing with trucks and chasing each other around the 1st floor of the house.
Daddy and Mommy made the cake for the party. This was definitely an adventure as we used fondant and it was a bit tricky to work with at times. Overall we were very happy with the outcome and everyone who saw the cake thought it looked great! We were up til the wee hours of the morning putting the final touches on the cake.

The entertainment for AJ's party was Curious Creatures - an animal show featuring soft and cuddly to gross animals. All the kids were pretty excited about petting the animals and AJ definitely had his favorites. For the average 4yr old the show may have been a little long but Buttercup - the closing exhibit had everyone back in the room in awe!

The kids loved the cake and the pinata and AJ enjoyed opening all his gifts and wanted everything opened so he could play with it right away! He got some great outfits for the summer and he even got a bathing suit which he kept asking for!

To see more pics from the party, click HERE

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

AJ is Four!!!

Well our big boy AJ is now four years old. It's hard to believe. It's amazing too to see how much he's grown, how much he has learned and what an amazing little person he is. He surprises us every day with things the things he says and does. Sometimes those same things can get us a bit angry too.
We started off AJ's birthday celebration on his actual birthday - March 25th. Daddy made cupcakes that AJ took to school for snack. AJ was very happy that his friends sang happy birthday to him. After school we took AJ to Red Robin - his choice. He walked into the restaurant announcing to anyone that would listen that it was his birthday.
He was very excited. He got to see Red from Red Robin, ate his favorite corn dog, melon and fries and once he was done with his dinner the crew of Red Robin came over and sang him their birthday song and he got his free sundae.

Once we got home we had a little cake for AJ and we sang him Happy Birthday - he even had Nana Bell and Papa Bell join in on the song. Even Brady got in on the fun and had some yummy cake!