Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bella's 3 year old pics

Just a few months late, haha.

Apple surprises

 Anna left me this sweet note and decorated apple.

Not to be outdone, Rose created this treat with an
over-the-top mixture of honey and brown sugar
that was really quite good.

"September" by Edwina Fallis

A road like brown ribbon
A sky that is blue
A forest of green
With that sky peeping through.
Asters, deep purple,
A grasshopper's call,
Today it is summer,
Tomorrow is fall.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It happened this summer

June 5 -
"Lollipop" by the Chordettes is Bella's new favorite song. So it's no wonder she was drawing lollipops of all sizes on her drawing board today. Now to teach her more than two words of the lyrics...

June 12 -   
Bella: I crazy
Me: That's because you're mine.
Bella: Mommy crazy, Bella crazy. (Then, she fumbles with her fingers before holding them up properly.) TWO CRAZIES.

June 15-
 Beautiful day to be outdoors. Worked in the vegetable garden and picked two beautiful bright yellow squash. Ethan enjoyed cutting the grass and the girlies have been out all day. Kabobs for lunch kept there from being a break in play. :)

Bella's singing the beginning of the My Little Pony theme song, but the ahhh part is the line from Coldplay's "Paradise" - hilarious!

June 17 - 
After a superhero themed grill out on one of the first truly hot days of this mild summer (naturally), Brian, Ryan, and Dad went head to head in the First Annual Father's Day Mento Geyser Wars.  I think Brian's geyser won, but Ryan's performance was most America's Funniest worthy.

 So there's some kind of bird right outside our house that sings all night long. Loudly. The first night or two I thought it was kind of cute and interesting. Now I'm just starting to think it's psychotic.

June 22 - 
Fairy Rose had a lovely time at Fairy Garden camp

June 25 - 
Psycho Bird is at it again!

June 27 of the summer of extremes - 
Today is still at a beautiful 77, but the forecast for the next five days is 100, 108!!, 100, 104!, 104! - then it cools down to the nineties. That, my friends, is crazy. 

June 28-
Ethan has set up a spa. He charges 30 cents for a lotioned foot massage and an additional 20 cents for a pedicure. He's almost done with his second customer.

July 1 - 
Rosie won free birthday cupcakes on a Facebook contest.  I have the best friends.

via Brian ~ It appears that the alternator belt just broke on the van. Thankfully, Alicia was at church,so she has a cool place to wait for the tow truck. [Yeah, and the car broke down right after he lost his job and is still waiting to be fixed, but God was gracious, a church friend came and brought the part and worked on it, the out neighbor mechanic fixed it the next morning all at no charge.]

July 7 - 
Rose: I used to think heaven was like you can just ask and have a piece of cake or a cup of water or a cup of milk and someone would bring it to you. As often as you want. And you would never get fat!

July 9-
Iced coffee + donuts + grapes = a breakfast picnic at the lake!

My little sister Rachel's profound observation today - "Generally people are happy when they're eating steak."

July 11 - 
 I just wrote Happy 7th Birthday in the artificial snow on the door. Seven. How can that be? The way the years fly past us. It takes a mama's breath away.

Turn from old ways, lift your eyes
For the kingdom of God is here
(Hillsong, "The One Who Saves")

July 15-
 Brian asked Bella, "Who is the bomb diggity?" Bella replied, "I'm Green Lantern, I AM the bomb diggity!"

July 18-
Brian's grandma finally moved into her newly built apartment at Brian's parents' house today. 

July 19- 15 years married to my love.
 The girl who went to Men in Black on her honeymoon and Armageddon on her first anniversary, finally got to see a strictly romantic movie on her anniversary. Finally saw The Lost Valentine. Loved it.

July 21 - 
 Cleaned up the most epic throw up in my career as a mother. It covered half the bathroom, and took a whole roll of good paper towels to eradicate, in addition to the towel and bath mat that I just threw out. Crowned this eventful night by drink my coffee black for the first time. It really wasn't so bad, and Rachel and I are going to be thinner by Christmas or kill each other trying.

July 25-
 Brian's working and listening to elevator music. On purpose. He actually said, "What? Don't you like this song?" And I told him that if it was playing in an elevator, I would get off on the wrong floor.

July 28-
  We read the book, "What Do Babies Need?" So before we began, I asked Bella. She didn't hesitate. "Chocolate milk."

July 29-
Walking in the sun today, Bella commented, "It's a hot day." I smiled and agreed, and she continued, "Hot days make my hair wet." She paused, "and cold days make my hair dry." :)

August 1 - 
 Sign left on Ethan's door tonight:

Do not disturb I'm sleeping (consiquences bellow)
1.dropped from the killer canyon
2.drowned in beta lagoon
3.strung over Violent Volcano

August 7- 
Anna -
"You may kiss the bride." That's just not fair. The groom's allowed to kiss the bride, but the bride's not allowed to kiss the groom. When I get married, I'm not doing it like that. They're going to say, "You may kiss each other."

Every time we get out of the van, Bella has to run to her garden to "check her oh-ma-toes."  She eats every red one.  If there's more than five or so, she might share one. :)

from Brian ~ This morning at family worship, when we read the words, "And you shall be my people, and I will be your God," Bella (3) exclaimed, "Ah! [her word for yes] I will hug him! I will be happy!"

August 10-
 Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

 My poor little orange garden spider has no luck. Every night she builds a beautiful web outside my front door. And every night someone walks through it or, like tonight, a storm washes it away. She even got smart this time and built it beside rather than over the steps and slightly under the edge of the porch where I was sitting watching the storm. But the wind got so strong that it started blowing the web back and forth (almost into my face!), and about the time I moved to Brian's lap, then started getting soaked and running back inside, another web had bitten the dust.

August 12 - 
13 meteors in a little over an hour - 4 were absolutely epic!! 

Watched these with my sweet Anna girl, the only one I could wake up. :)  It was on her bucket list after all.  I saw three in about 30 seconds and came running in to get them, but we waited a good ten minutes to see the next one. But once we saw a really big bright fireball with a long trail, we were pretty hooked. We screamed after every big meteor then giggled because we were probably waking the neighbors in the middle of the night.  The ground was so wet we had to sit in chairs and got the worst crink in our necks.  And as we would slowly head closer to the door to come back in, we'd see another good one and watch a while longer. :) So grateful for that hour and a half break in the cloud cover.  What a wonderful night!'

August 15 - 
from Brian ~ Bella came outside while I was praying this morning. She must have heard me ask the Lord to bless me, because she walked over and placed her hand on my head.

August 18-
from Brian ~ Tonight as I put Bella to bed, she said, "I bless you, daddy!" She put her hand on my head as I placed mine on hers and repeated the words with me.

August 19 - 
 Bella picked so many of her grape tomatoes yesterday that I had to save leftovers in the frig. I warned her that they would be could and she cringed through eating the first one, then said, "My ohmato freaked me out."

There are so many mosquitos around our house right now that I'm sitting INSIDE being eaten just from people going in and out during the day!

Jesus is in me and Bella is in Jesus.... And Bella grow up, be like Jesus. And Rosie grow and be like Jesus, and Anna grow and be like Jesus, and Ethan grow, be like Jesus, and Mommy grow and be like Jesus, and Daddy grow and be like Jesus...And everyone will say, they be like Jesus! ~ Bella, age 3

August 20- First Day of School
Bella, while hanging around Brian's neck - "I will love you, and kiss you, and call you George."

August 21 - 
my sweet husband's facebook status:  This is for all the homeschool moms getting ready for a new school year this week. You're the moms that are up all night -- not because you are worried where your children are or what they are doing. Your children are all safely tucked in bed. You're up all night turning your home into an atmosphere of education. You're up all night making sure everything is just right - the curriculum, the field trips, the games, etc. You will have the fruit of your hands. Your works will praise you in the gates.





Monday, August 27, 2012

Squeezin' in Summer

We really had a lot of fun this summer.  Brian was out of work and had a good bit of free time.  We went to the creek and the water park and the neighbor's pool.  We had friends to dinner, and friends sleep over.  But we still didn't have nearly enough time for all of the lovely things we dreamt of doing.  The summer bucket lists still had lots of things on them (especially mine!  especially cleaning projects - bleh.)  Anyhoo, I reminded the kids that there really is still a month of summer and we're still working on checking things off. :)

Last week, we tried to to knock out a few wishes involving going downtown.  It sort of worked.  The coveted trip to the candy shop flunked a little, because it apparently went out of business recently, but we hit another store with a good variety of candy and the girls made a great karaoke dvd at the children's museum (just a few weeks left on that pass!), but we didn't get to splash in the fountains.    Hopefully we'll get another chance at that.

Yesterday I taught the 3s Sunday School  They were way too cute and very attentive - Moses has a great story!  We hurried home for lunch after a parent meeting for Ethan's new middle school class (middle school?!). I was locked in a debate about taking the kids to the minor league ball game that we had free library program tickets to by myself, but decided to try it with the promises of Brian's prayers, he's had such a lousy month with all the stormy weather, then caught the little big we passed around too.  It ended up being perfect.  I had picked up $1 team t-shirts on clearance last year and they got another t-shirt from the library program, as well as free kid meals (thanks Bi-Lo!).  Faces were painted, the Drive won in the bottom of the 9th, they received free frisbees for running the bases after, and we rode the trolley back to the parking lot (Bella did
a lot of cheering about this). I'd held off requests for treats during the game, promising a cheaper alternative after resulting in a slushie "picnic" (Bella asked, "I sit in you lap and have a picnic?" at the outdoor tables) at QT.  We arrived home in the gathering dark, and I happily succeumbed to thier pleas to try out their new frisbees.   Brian pulled out some tattered strands of energy and joined us - six players and four frisbees.  We even tried adding glow stick to the frisbees so we could see them better - that didn't really work, but it was fun trying and watching the glow stuff go slinging through the air.  The day was crowned  by earning Rose's much-coveted "Best Day Ever!" pronouncement. I agree.  It was rumored to be the best Sunday ever, particularly, and really had a stellar quality over the hectic, stressful Sundays that have too often been the norm.

Today I tackled a request from Anna's Summer Bucket List, Giggle Day.  Yes, you read that right.  Sometimes presenting yourself as the maker of family magic does backfire a tad.  Anna and Rose's lists were rather full of themed ideas that would require a bit of effort from someone (who could that be??). :)  So, a Giggle Day was requested, a day of giggles all day long.  And now, it needed to mix with school.  We took a school day, and began with a tickle fight.  Then we dressed in crazy clothes and hats.  Next came a breakfast with the cereal in cups and the apple juice in the sipper bowls and Bill Cosby telling a story about Go-Carts and parents trying to kill off their children by building playgrounds with see-saws and monkey bars.  We learned the bases with Abbot and Costello, then we studied hard, doing our reading from joke books, writing a book report on them, then doing grammar by mad libs.  We took a short history break from the giggles, but really, they were learning about the Celts in ancient Britain, one of Brian's favorite topics, how bad could it be?  Then hot dog pieces with spaghetti trailing from them and covered in cheese sauce surprised them for lunch, and they assembled for some Three Stooges.  Finally we embarked on some Bible study and shopping, but rounded out the day with pizza, ice cream, and Mr. Popper's Penguins.  Yes, Anna, I know it would have been better not on a school day, but I think we did all right.  She went to bed happy.

Soon I have some letterboxing, sleeping under the stars, a bonfire, and  using the telescope to squeeze in.  If you have a great location for a lemonade stand, let me know!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Her Dream Haircut

Think she's happy?

She's wanted her hair short for years.

She finally got it that way she's wanted it.

Rose thinks she's nuts for cutting off her hair, but she loves her anyway.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The Grandma list

Pappy and Grandma did some things together, but a lot of things seperately.  He went to breakfast at Hardees around 6, she went to breakfast at Brady's around 8.  He took me to air shows and hobby stores.  She took me to church bazaars and K-mart.  And Grandma had the coolest sisters.  Aunt Jen lived with Aunt Doll and Uncle Joe.  So we got to see two sisters for the price of one. :)  And they like to go "running" together.  And I liked to go with them.

  • Grandma trying to be practical while Pap simply gave me everything I wanted
  • the "craft" I made out of a pom pom, stickers, and a wooden ice cream spoon that was still hanging above the light switch when I went to college
  • bringing back little restaurant jellies and coffee creamers and leaving them in my spot in the fridge for me to eat with a little spoon and drink
  • sitting in the front seat of the aqua Valiant in the middle
  • staying with her after Pappy died to make it a little easier
  • watching The Price Is Right in the mornings and Murder, She Wrote at night (after Tom Brokaw)

Grandma and Pappy

Today is my Grandma's birthday, and somehow talking about that turned into an hour of my telling stories to my children about my Pappy. We were joined at the hip. He was my favorite person in the world. He died when I was ten, and we'd already made a lifetime of memories by then.
  • steam engine rides
  • the $13 of stickers that I "needed" 
  •  the way he always knew that my knee was hurt because his had been hurting too
  • White bread with grape jelly cut into four squares and served on a dixie paper plate in front of the TV at night, where he'd sit in his big green easy chair and Grandma would lay on the yellow sofa.  I would sit in his lap, then transfer to lying on top of Grandma's side.
  • The hole in the hedge that I found to shorten the distance to play with Chrissy and Cindy next door that quickly remained trimmed and open 
  •  how he said that we just couldn't go that long without being with me if he hadn't seen me for a week
  • The two wooden swings he built for my trees at his house and how he's hold my hand and pull back and then let go and send me flying on the half moon rope swing on the walnut tree
  •  sitting on the back porch on hot summer nights, the big box fan blowing and the bug zapper zapping to listen to stories of him and his brothers, the trolley they used to ride to Harrisburg to get models that were 15 cents and glue that was 10 cents (or something like that)
  • having my own bed in Grandma and Pap's bedroom, but always sleeping in the middle instead 
  • driving down past TMI to get our favorite Hershey's black raspberry ice cream cones
  • the smell of peppermint and pipe tobacco riding in his car,towel wrapped around bathing suit to watch him direct traffic at a fire
  • "Pappy and Alicia" carved into the tree at the air show
  •  asking him when he first fell in love with Grandma, and him replying that he'd loved her ever since she was a little girl
  • testing for aluminum cans with his pocket magnet
  • feeding the wild rabbit that one summer
  • all the good junk he brought me - the frying pan missing a handle turned bird bath, old desks for the teacher and my invisible students, a box of old ribbon from the cemetery where he volunteered and sheets of styrofoam for my "crafts"putting flags on veteran graves 
  • sneaking in to the hospital when I was 2 and he was recovering from open heart surgery 
    He was my best friend. "Who's the bestest, Grandma?", he'd say every night. And she'd reply, "That's our baby."  Brian says that he now knows why I never lack self-confidence, haha.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Creek Day

milk carton boats made the night before

Rosie's Tropical Flower boat .
Wish I had gotten a picture of all of the boats before they were subjected to the waterfall. :)

Ethan caught a couple of little minnows

Love this Bella smile

Anna was busy building
Their fort and harbor

Thursday, June 21, 2012


So many beautiful blessings, some bigger than others.

  • Good friends.  The kind you build a life with.  The kind that make your life better for being there.
  • A second set of baby birds in a second nest right outside the front door.  I put a new small feeder out with seeds they like and washed and rehung the bird bath near their nest.  Maybe that will help the parents be a bit less frazzled.  The nest is too high up for anyone to see into, but Brian lifted Rosie to see them yesterday right after they were born.  I asked if they were cute, and she said, not really. :)  They were naked with their eyes still closed and just a tuft of feather on their heads.
  • Christian radio.  I only listen to it in the car, and then only sometimes.  They seem to get stuck in song ruts that can last for years, but I'm happy to report that this new crop of songs has been blessing after blessing.
  • Cherry tomatoes.  Bella's been eating them off the vine in her froggy sandbox-turned-garden.
  • Fairy camp.  Rose has been enjoying creating a fairy garden this week.  I can't wait to see it tomorrow. :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

On Father's Day

Mrs. Darling : There are many different kinds of bravery. There's the bravery of thinking of others before one's self. Now, your father has never brandished a sword nor... nor fired a pistol, thank heavens. But he has made many sacrifices for his family, and put away many dreams.
Michael : Where did he put them?
Mrs. Darling : He put them in a drawer. And sometimes, late at night, we take them out and admire them. But it gets harder and harder to close the drawer... and he does. And that is why he is brave.
James Barrie ~ Peter Pan

Saturday, June 16, 2012


I woke with this song in my head. It's still in my head. :)

Come join the song, lift your voice
As heaven and earth give praise
Fall to your knees, at the feet
Of the Son of The One True God
Turn from old ways, lift your eyes
For the kingdom of God is here
Open your heart, offer all
For Jesus Christ is here now.

Went to a friend's party, and got to take the pictures. I love taking pictures.

the birthday girl
Always ready for a picture

Shopped for Father's Day lunch we're having tomorrow with Dad, Mom, and friends. Watched NCIS with Brian. Made 10 lbs of my fabulous (if I do say so myself) potato salad. I have no idea how 14 people, half of which are kids, are going to eat 10 lbs of potato salad. And now I'm listening to some kind of bird right outside our house that sings all night long. Loudly. The first night or two I thought it was kind of cute and interesting. Now I'm just starting to think it's psychotic. And I'm uploading pictures to Facebook. And this blog. And now I should finish the laundry and dishes so that I can sleep a little. ;)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bella's crazy like me

Bella: I crazy
Me: That's because you're mine.
Bella: Mommy crazy, Bella crazy. (Then, she fumbles with her fingers before holding them up properly.) TWO CRAZIES.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kenny Chesney - Don't Blink

This song simultaneously terrifies me and brings me instant perspective.  I think I might need to listen to it at least twice a day. ;)

Thursday, May 24, 2012