Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Last Time

I found some pictures of how we celebrated the last time the Steelers were in the Super Bowl.
video
And I found a video of the kids waving their Terrible Towels!

My traveling mom

My mom is in Savannah, GA. She sent this picture to me, so I thought I'd share it. I think she is in her element: shopping and traveling. She enjoys them both. So, Mom, I hope you're having fun! Thanks for the picture!





















The Big Man went to work at 11 today, and MK went to the mall with CH and her mom, so T. Willy and I had a fun day at home. We played outside for awhile and enjoyed our time together. When MK came home, she watched T. while I went to the store to get Super Bowl snacks. I asked the Big Man to make a menu so I was sure to get what he wanted. It's Philly cheesesteaks and spinach artichoke dip for tomorrow. I'm hoping we'll have enough for leftovers Monday...hopefully celebratory leftovers and not sad reminders. The Big Man and MK have Steelers jerseys to wear, and I have a Steelers sweatshirt, but T. Willy only has a Penguins shirt which is a hand me down from MK anyway. We'll have to work on that....hopfully with a Super Bowl six shirt! (I know it isn't Super Bowl six - but if the Steelers win, that will be six championships.)

That's about it for us. Have a wonderful night, and GO STEELERS!!!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday night fun

So, if you remember this, you may remember that we are often looking for things to do in town. The Big Man works very late most Friday nights, so the kids and I fend for ourselves; interpret that as...I don't cook. So, I took the kids to Burger King, again. It has cooled off, so it was fun for T.Willy to play in the play area since we weren't outside much today. We took MK's friend, CH, with us and had a really fun time. The prize in the kids' meal was a red truck and the body and frame were detachable. We discovered that if we pinched the wheels, the body would fly. Oh, what fun we had! You can see more small town fun in pictures.

MK and CH line up the truck. The objective was to get it in the box on the right.

















It's in the air.















Score!!!


































We never did get it down to a science, but it was entertaining. It took many, many pictures just to get one that made it in. T. Willy had a ball in the playground. There were a lot of kids, and normally he shies away from that, but he went right in and had a blast.

So, that's it. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hi, folks!

My parents are traveling right now, albeit separately. My mom accompanied her friend to Savannah, GA to visit the friend's ailing father. So my dad is going to Ohio where one of his brothers lives, and he will visit with some of my cousins as well. I think he is also going to stop in West Virginia to see my uncle on "the farm" in Upshur County. They had both intended to leave yesterday, but snow and ice prevented their departures. So they're on the road now, and I wish them safe travels! I hope you stay safe too! Good night!

Soooo.....

After I posted the agonizing 25 things yesterday, I realized that I had not even mentioned the Big Man. It was about me, but there really is no me without mentioning him. So, I composed my 25 things about the Big Man.

1. He has no discernible accent. You may guess the North, but would have no idea where.

2. He has dimples on his shoulders which he gave to both of the kids.

3. He falls asleep as soon as he is ready. He can be reading in bed, and when it's time to fall asleep, he closes the book, turns off his light, and falls asleep. I have never done that.

4. While I get the exact same thing at Cheesecake Factory every time, he always gets something different. Even if he really liked what he had before, he likes to try something new. The same thing goes for ice cream. 9 out of 10 times, I will get mint chocolate chip. On the 10th time I get chocolate with the peanut butter ribbon. Cookies and cream would be his favorite, but he almost never gets it. He wants to see what else it out here.

5. He loves chocolate. He'll eat apple pie, lemon squares, etc...but he truly doesn't consider it dessert unless it's chocolate.

6. He lived near Pittsburgh until he was 10 and still has family there. He is a diehard Steelers and Penguins fan.

7. He keeps promises.

8. He loves to read.

9. He is comfortable with himself. We played "Battle of the Sexes" with some friends. The other men didn't know much about the women at all and kind of teased those that did, but the Big Man made it a challenging game. He really pays attention, and trust me, no one teased him.

10. He does not like to be cold. When he was a child, living near Pittsburgh, his grandmother knitted him a cover for his nose, just to keep him warm.

11. He played football in Texas back in the days when they thought too much water would make players sick. So they did NOT keep the players hydrated, just sips of water here and there. He has often said that he might have continued playing if they would have just given them water.

12. He got his driver's license when he was 15, because that was the law in Louisiana, and they had just moved there. (I believe it has changed since then.) He is the best driver that I know.

13. He just fell into the restaurant business. He was a Marketing major in college. His friend got him a job at the restaurant where he was working, and he's been in it ever since.

14. Hamburgers are his favorite food.

15. He hates spiders.

16. He loves iced tea.

17. As a boss, he does not play favorites. He is the same to everyone, regardless of any of the things that other people may not treat the same.

18. He has self-confidence that I envy. He knows exactly who he is.

19. As a teenager, he went on separate missions trips to Canada and Alaska for the entire summers. I believe the story goes that on his first trip, he didn't call home the entire time. Believe me, he did the second trip.

20. He has a certain laugh that only manifests itself when he is with his brother.

21. He was born prematurely weighing 3 pounds. He was supposed to be born at the end of November, but his birthday is September 2...fittingly on Labor Day.

22. He loves the band Journey. I mean loves.

23. He used to volunteer for the Special Olympics.

24. He put THOUSANDS of miles on his car when we were dating. His parents weren't so happy about that, but I always thought that at least it proved we were just driving and talking and not stopping for any monkey busines.

25. He is generous. When people say that someone would give you the shirt off his back, they are talking about him.

I have to say; 25 things about him was so easy; it was probably harder to narrow down to only 25 things. 25 things about me was excruciating.

So, I'll close with a picture of him doing one of the things he does best...driving.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The beach in January

We had the most fun this afternoon! We met with Dy and her lovely children and spent the afternoon at the beach. And by the beach (Noelle) I really mean sat in the sand and the kids went SWIMMING. Now, I know I live in Florida, but it isn't Miami. We had temps in the 20s last week!! But they had a blast together. So here are some pictures.

Dy and Emily. This is the only picture I have of Emily. She did not want to get her picture taken today.

















MK and baby Jason...seriously the most content baby I've seen.


















I got to hold him too. Thanks to MK for the picture.


















There goes my mother of the year award. I did NOT expect the kids to go in the water, but T. Willy ended up nearly immersed, although not by his own volition. The waves were really crashing. So he had to wear MK's jacket, because I did not pack a change of clothes, although I told myself I probably should. He and Jacob became fast friends, and here they are together. This picture makes me laugh, because they look so serious but were really having a ball together.


















And here is a group shot, sans Emily. It's a little blurry, but we were really just trying to get everyone to stay in the shot. John and James are the handsome older boys. James cracked MK up. He is brilliant, and she loved listening to him. John was a great shell finder. He found some beauties.















And that's it. I'm subbing tomorrow, so I'll hit the sack. Good night!

Going to the beach

Okay, we aren't going to swim, but we are heading to the beach today. Dy and family are in town, and we are going to visit with them. We are waiting until MK gets home from school, then she, T. Willy and I will go. He is so excited. Oddly enough, when I spoke with her this morning, she mentioned that there were sheriff's cars on the beach outside their window and suspected a body had been found. Sure enough, I looked it up in the paper, and that's what had happened. There aren't any details, but it is pretty unusual.

I have joined the Facebook band wagon, and was tagged to do a 25 things about me. It was not a comfortable thing to do for some reason, but I did it. So I am just going to post it here. Most of the people that read me here are on FB, so sorry for the duplication.

1. Ugh…I am doing this purely because I was tagged.

2. I sat next to the same person at my high school graduation and my college graduation. (Hi, Jeff!)

3. My children are 9 years apart. It wasn’t planned, but I wouldn’t change it. My daughter will start high school next year, and my son will start kindergarten.

4. I am job hunting. I went back to school in 2005 and earned a Master’s degree in Reading Education, because it was a high demand job. Now there are NO jobs. So, I sub for teachers whose jobs I wish I had.

5. My uncle lives on a farm in West Virginia. I wish I lived there. No one thinks I’m serious, but I am.

6. I used to get perms. Then I grew out my hair and realized it was curly….all that wasted time blow drying.

7. My favorite restaurant is Cheesecake Factory, but I don’t live near one. Any time I get a chance to go, I get the same thing – Thai Lettuce Wraps and Key Lime cheesecake….every time.

8. We live in Florida, about 30 minutes from the beach. We did not go to the actual beach one time last year.

9. I memorized and can still say the names of everyone in my 9th grade Science class.

10. I am addicted to my iPhone and refuse to seek help.

11. I broke a toe once jumping out of bed, because I thought my daughter was calling for me in the middle of the night. She was sound asleep when I hobbled to her.

12. I am not a beverage person. I don’t drink tea, coffee, milk, or orange juice. I wish I did.

13. Two movies make me cry over and over…in Steel Magnolias when Sally Field’s character is driving to pick up her grandson after her daughter has died, and in A League of Their Own when the telegram is being delivered to tell one of the women that her husband has died and everyone is wondering if it’s going to be for them.

14. My favorite television scene ever is from A Different World. When Dwayne stands up at Whitley’s wedding and pleads with her to marry him instead, I lose it! What a sap.

15. I rarely talk on the phone, but send and receive thousands of text messages every month. Don’t call me…text me.

16. I was on Facebook for quite awhile and didn’t get the big deal. Noelle and I exchanged one message and that was it. Then, Shelly Lasko found me, and it has exploded!

17. If I could do it all over again, I’d have moved to New York City right after college and tried to get into the publishing business, editing not writing.

18. 25…are you serious? I can’t believe anyone is still reading this…except you, Mom, thanks!

19. Some of my favorite school memories are sledding, then coming back to my house to play games. It was when microwave popcorn was new, and we quickly learned how bad it smells when it’s burnt.

20. My house would be perfect forever if it had a basement. There are no basements here…where are the kids’ toys supposed to go?

21. I’ve kept a blog for 3 ½ years. It is for my kids to read in the future and to keep friends and family updated on our lives, because I am horrible about calling (see #15.).

22. As you may know, I was never “cool.” Somehow my daughter is. She is the coolest kid I know.

23. I love songwriters. It helps if they can sing, but it’s not that important.

24. I am fascinated by left handedness. Don’t ask me why.

25. I am thrilled that I made it to 25. This was not easy for me.

I hope to post pictures of my visit tonight. Have a great afternoon!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

For those of you with snow today....

Here is what T. Willy wore to school today...well, he did wear shoes, but this is how he played outside after school.

















All that money spent on Christmas toys, and we had these sticks in our yard the whole time. He'd rather play with them. Oh well. We're enjoying the warm weather but have heard that it is supposed to get cold again over the weekend. Still, it's unlikely that we'll see snow. We've lived here over 11 years, I no longer hope.

Monday, January 26, 2009

MK-Self portrait

I was going through some pictures this morning and happened upon this picture of MK. She took it herself with the camera that my parents gave her last year for Christmas. Her dream is to move to New York City, attend NYU, and then become a photographer.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Today's picture

Due to the blog, I've made a few friends. I am dying to meet some in real life (Chellie! Bridget!) but I've actually met one. I met Dy through Melissa, and Dy came to visit our area in the summer of 2006. She had 4 beautiful children at that time, and now has 5. We spent a morning at the beach, and it was really great to spend that time with them. I learned via Facebook that she is coming back to the area this week, and we are trying to make plans to meet up again. So, I'm hoping to post pictures of that, but until then, here are some pictures of the last time we were together.

































Change of plans

My subbing was cancelled for tomorrow. The teacher was supposed to have jury duty, but she was released already, so she didn't need me. Then the Big Man was supposed to work at 10:00, but has to go in early now which means 5:00 a.m. It changes our day a little bit. So far, I'm still on for Thursday and Friday.

We had a movie watching weekend. We already miss football. We're finishing the last one now (I'm a little bored, can you tell?) then I'll take it back to the Red Box. Do you Red Box? $1 a night; you can reserve online, and you can return it to any location. It's a great deal.

So that's it. I'll look for a picture and download it later. Hope you're having a good night! And welcome home, Chellie!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

True story

So I was picking T. Willy up from school the other day. A man and woman were waiting outside with their child. The man was wearing camo pants and a camo jacket. The woman was wearing a camo jacket, and the little boy was also wearing a camo jacket. The next day, the same family was outside. They were dressed the same way. This is not an uncommon sight around here. What I found noteworthy....the little boy's name. Can you guess?
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Hunter

Changes

I bought some things to update the kids' bathroom a little bit. Today I finally got around to doing it. This is what it looked like the last time I did it.

















I still love that look. However, with a teenager and a preschooler, it never looked like that. White is so crisp and pretty, but in our house, it would only work in a bathroom that no one uses. So...here is the new look.


















I looked all over for a shower curtain that would keep me from painting. The paint is still in good shape, and I wasn't up for that project yet. The next time I paint, it will be MK's room or the laundry room. So, I found something that incorporated the colors I wanted. I'm hopeful that the wrinkles will come out as it hangs. I'll be on the lookout for accessories, but it's a start. Anyway, that's my project for the day. I hope you're having a fun one too.

Friday, January 23, 2009

More pink tutu stories

Let me describe MK to you. First of all, she is not perfect. I don't have any inclination that my daughter is a perfect angel who does no wrong. You can sense the "but" coming, I'm sure. Here it is. But...she has always been VERY well behaved at school. She is kind of afraid to get in trouble, so she has always listened to her teachers, turned in her homework, etc. She's not a straight A student, but she tries. She is, however, an individual as far as personality and fashion go. You might remember this:

















I didn't pick out the tutu; I didn't buy the tutu; she did that all on her own. She wore it to school the other day, and the assistant principal said that she cannot wear it anymore. This is the 3rd thing she has been called out for about her dress code. One of her fashion choices was to wear multiple bracelets...those little rubber ones that come in many colors. They were her "signature." She was told that she can't wear those, or at least as many as she was wearing. Then she was also told to stop wearing her fingerless gloves. She was told that they are "gang" related. Ugh. We have not had a problem with any of these fashion choices (even the pink tips in her hair.) But we've told her that if that's the rule, albeit spoken and not found in the dress code, we will abide by it. She can wear these things at home, just not at school, and no complaining about it, because that's just the way it is.

I am reminded of a series of the Peanuts comic strip that I read as a kid. Peppermint Patty's dad had gotten her a pair of sandals. She loved them, and then the school told her that she couldn't wear them. Big tough Peppermint Patty shed a tear over it. MK hasn't cried; it isn't that big of a deal, but it made me think of that.



















Today when I was subbing in band, we watched a video called "Canadian Brass." It was a group of brass players from Canada (obviously,) and they interspersed comedy with the music. In one of the segments, they were pretending to perform a ballet that they had played for, but being musicians in the orchestra pit, had never seen. In one scene, one of the men came out in a....pink tutu. I watched it earlier in the day, so I couldn't wait for MK to see it. I thought she'd get a kick out of it. So, I told her at one point to look for something that was just for her to appreciate. Her class was very large and not too well behaved, so we almost didn't get to it. But we did. As soon as it came on, I looked at her, and she was laughing and looked back at me, because she knew that's what I had been talking about. It was one of those fun mother/daughter moments. What I hadn't expected was that all over the room kids started yelling, "Maddie," as soon as they saw it. That made her face turn bright red, but she loved it. I was so happy to have been a part of it. Plus, two teachers asked me to sub for them next week, so I'll be busy Monday, Thursday and Friday!

Since I subbed today, and the Big Man went to work at 5 a.m., T.Willy had to get up early with me and be at his school at 6:20. He woke up very easily, even though he normally gets up at 7:45 or 8:00. Then he ate breakfast at school. So I'll include a picture of him eating breakfast. He gets a nap when I sub, so he makes up for the lost sleep. He hasn't napped for me since he was 2, but he naps just fine at school. MK was the same way.

















Tonight is pizza and movie night. I rented the movies and will go out later to pick up pizza. The Big Man is off all weekend, so I hope the whole family is looking forward to SLEEP!!! I hope you have a great weekend too!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A good day

I had a very good day. I was able to talk to many of my favorite people today, both on the phone and in person. I talked to my mom and dear friend, Shannon, on the phone and I had a 2 1/2 hour lunch with my friend, Doreen. We worked together last year and just hit it off. However, her husband is military and they are moving to either Utah or New Mexico in June, but we will try to get together again before she moves.

We also had a fun dinner. We have fallen into a bad habit of watching t.v. while we're at the dinner table. I suggested turning off the t.v. today, and it was wonderful. I also suggested that we go around the table and say something good about our days. T. Willy announced at first that he was not interested, but when it came to his turn, he wouldn't stop talking. We heard many details and it pretty much sounded like this..."And then, and then, and then." But it was truly fun. We also learned that MK has the ability to completely embarrass her dad and make him blush. Apparently he was unaware that she had, um, cleavage. He knows now.

I'm subbing tomorrow and will have MK in class. I am looking forward to it, because I haven't subbed in quite some time. I'd better go and get things ready for tomorrow. I hope you'll have a great night and a wonderful Friday!




Today's picture is MK and her friend. They took it while her friend was visiting this afternoon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The picture I promised.

MK turns 14 in May. I'm just wondering how much longer she'll be willing to pose for pictures like this.

My Secret Life

When T. Willy was a baby, I looked around for a way to make some extra money. I found "mystery shopping." It didn't pay a lot, but it was some spare money. What I liked more was that it gave me an opportunity to try restaurants that I may not have gone to otherwise. I have also shopped department stores, pizza delivery, cell phone stores, electronics stores and the best one..our local waterpark. Most shops reimburse what I spend and often pay a little bit on top of that. I think the waterpark simply reimbursed, but it was enough for 3 of us to go while T. Willy stayed home with grandparents. After I visit the location, I come home and fill out a detailed survey and mail the receipt. With the pizza shops, I would order a pizza to be delivered and then have to take pictures of the pizzas and upload them. The companies I've dealt with have been very professional and on the up and up. If you ever consider it, just remember...do not pay to shop. There are tons of free sites out there.

So...I haven't done any shops in awhile. But last week a woman called me out of desperation. She had two shops to be done this week, and I was on her list. I agreed to do them, because they are my favorite ones to do. With these shops, I am given a list of things that they have to do, and if they do them, I have rewards to give them. Tonight I went to two fast food restaurants. The first one passed right away. I was able to go in and give them their rewards...Mastercard gift cards for all of the employees working at the time. However, the second store didn't fare as well. They didn't pass, and they were disappointed. After the shop, I returned the materials to the car, then I went back in the store as a real customer. I saw the manager hand her "oops" ticket to a man standing in front of me. He asked her several questions and asked when it had happened. She said right now and pointed to me. I have never had this happen. He turned to me and said he was the district manager. He asked questions and I told him what had happened. Fortunately, I was able to tell him that one of his other stores had passed.

So that was nearly the highlight of my day. I still need to post a picture, but I'll have to look around a little. Have a great night!

Brrrrr.

It is cold here! I walked MK to the bus this morning, and it was freezing. The bus was early. MK just made it, but I know others had to chase it. She has the advantage of a friend who sends her a text message from an earlier stop. Have a great morning!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Today was spent largely in front of the t.v. I was riveted to the screen watching the inauguration festivities. I really enjoyed the historical significance of the day, as well as the city of Washington. I am so thankful to have grown up so close to it...close enough that we would get bored when they'd announce yet another field trip there. The history here is very different than in the Northeast, and I am glad to have experienced different things.

MK actually wore her tutu to school today. She is hilarious and definitely has her own sense of style. She said it was a big hit and believes it is a trend that will catch on. We'll see about that.

So I'll close with this picture for now. The Big Man took it with his phone, so I'm just "borrowing" it. Have a great day!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Legos and Tutus

We made it to the mall today. We quickly found a great pair of sneakers for T. Willy. Then MK had Christmas money to spend, so she had a good time looking around. She has wanted one item for a very long time, and she finally bought it today....a pink tutu. No, she is not a ballerina; she just wanted one.

















Then T. and I did a little project this afternoon. This was his first set of Legos that wasn't just a box of random pieces; it had directions to make something specific. So here is our final project. It turned out fairly well, especially considering it was our first time.
































Now it's time to start dinner and then make a trip to the grocery store later. I just went yesterday, but it seems that I always forget something. Have a great night!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

There is no joy in....

Philadelphia. Now we can just hope for the Steelers to win or no football fans will be happy at our house. We were so hoping for an Eagles/Steelers Super Bowl. MK wasn't, because she didn't know who to cheer for. She won't have to worry about it now.

Otherwise, all is well here. We have one more day off tomorrow. We are going to the mall to find T. Willy some shoes. Poor boy. He has 2 pairs of shoes. When MK was his age, she probably had 4 times that. He doesn't seem to mind, though. I'm just tired of pushing them on his feet...it's time for a larger pair.

I asked for some ideas about publishing my blog and have taken Chellie's advice. I bought some notebooks and sheet protectors and am just printing it. I am doing it bit by bit but am pleased with the results. Once I'm caught up, it shouldn't be hard to keep current. I showed it to MK and explained that it's my version of a scrapbook. I am not a crafty person, but I feel like it's a scrapbook of sorts. It has documented our lives since July 2005 with pictures and thoughts, and that's better than I would have done with a scrapbook.

So today's picture is just of me sitting on my bed while I'm blogging tonight. My smile hides my pain. Have a great night, and come on, Steelers!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Common Sense

This is a family blog. My parents, in-laws and dear friends and family read it. So you know that I don't go off on controversial tangents. That being said, I am going to post 2 pictures that may seem political.


















The Obama Train passed through Wilmington, Delaware today. My friend Jon left the warmth of his home to brave the cold to witness it. So, thanks to Jon for the pictures! (His pictures were better, but lost some sharpness when I "borrowed" them.)

I can only guess what the election of Obama means to the African American community. But I do have an idea what having a local senator serving as Vice President means to a tiny state like Delaware. I cannot tell you how many times I've told people where I grew up and they literally did NOT know that Delaware was a state.

Recently, I saw a conservative politician being interviewed. He was asked if he was hoping Obama's presidency would succeed. The man answered that of course he was rooting for Obama to succeed. All I could think was...what kind of question was that? Wouldn't rooting for him to fail mean that I was rooting for America to fail? Duh! That was just my thought for the day. Good night!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Obligatory post

There is not much to write about. We had a quiet day, but it was nice to have so much time with the kids. I got some work done around the house, and that always feels good. It is really cold here (for us) but from what I hear about other places, I certainly can't complain.

So here's a picure of T. Willy and his favorite hobby. He loves our phones. This is a picture of him with the Big Man's phone and his ever present "animal friend." Have a good weekend!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Still going

I am continuing my goal of posting a picture every day for a year. I nearly missed it last night. I posted a few minutes before midnight, but I had a lot of good things to do before I was able to sit down at the computer.

Today's pictures are of the family. We took T. Willy to lunch yesterday. I love this picture of him and the Big Man, although you can really only see T. His eyes look so vivid in it.


















Here is MK in her "skinnies." She was dying for a pair of skinny jeans, and the Big Man took her out and got these for her. She loves them. She also loves her boots. I took her boot shopping before Christmas, and she was so picky that we didn't come home with any. I found these after searching at pretty much every store in Destin. I wasn't sure she'd like them, but she did. However, when she wears them, she is taller than I am, and I'm not sure I like that.


















This was the first week in a long time that I didn't sub. I do have a day scheduled next week, so I'm happy with that. Work is good for my sanity. The kids have a four day weekend, so I'm really trying to come up with some fun things to do. The Big Man closes tomorrow night, so he'll be here all day to play with T. who will love that. He gets tired of the girls. Although he does like a girl at school. Her name is Kay-leigh. (He is careful to emphasize that her name has a hyphen.) Some kids were lined up yesterday, and he was telling me their names. One was Summer, and I said, "Oh, Summer is cute." He said, "Yes, but Kay-leigh is adorable!" Good night!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Farmer's (Grand)daughter

My paternal grandparents lived on a farm. I have very few memories of it being an actual working farm, but when I was young, there were cows and chickens. However, my grandparents were older, and I mostly remember a house in the country. My uncle still lives there, and I've mentioned before that it's one of my favorite places on earth.

For a long time, I have talked about living in the country. That dream isn't going to be realized for a long time, but I have found a substitute. Tractor Supply opened a store in our town. We visited it recently, and I walked in and had this thought: "I'm home!" The Big Man did not share this feeling, and I really don't know where it came from. I grew up in the suburbs. I live in the suburbs. But I dream of the country. One of my favorite books in the last few years was 50 Acres and a Poodle by Jeanne Marie Laskas. I loved this book. It said what I feel. It may never happen, but I will continue to dream.
















And here is a picture of me that day trying on hats at Tractor Supply. I suspect if I really lived on a farm, I would have little need for a hat decorated with shells. It did not come home with me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Good news!

I mentioned my cousin's daughter, Carly, here and here. Doctors found a tumor on her kidney last summer. Her mom sent this e-mail tonight, and I asked permission to post it here. Thanks to all of you for praying and asking about her! I included the pictures that Erin mentions, but not the video. Sorry.

We wanted to share with you the best news we have received in quite some time! Carly visited Children’s yesterday for an abdominal sonogram, chest x-ray and CT scan. It was a very long day, but around 5 p.m. we were called by our nurse and told that all of the scans were negative. Carly shows no signs of “disease” in her body and is HEALTHY again! We were thrilled to hear the great news and had been so nervous to learn if the chemotherapy had been successful. Our prayers have been answered and Carly is doing wonderful!



We completed chemo on the 22nd of December and were unfortunately admitted to Children’s on Christmas Day for a fever and high blood counts. After a few rounds of antibiotics, we were released in the afternoon of the 26th. We have since been waiting for yesterday’s arrival. We now are waiting to hear back from the nurse regarding the scheduling for the minor surgery to remove the broviac catheter. It is an in and out procedure, although they will put her to sleep. Carly cannot wait for this to happen, so she can truly enjoy her baths.



To celebrate the terrific news, we have rescheduled our vacation from last August and will be visiting Mickey Mouse beginning March 8th through the 15th. The kids are all so excited and are counting down the days.



Carly has enjoyed her special time with her grandmothers, but is definitely looking forward to returning to her preschool. She is excited to reunite with her friends and be back with her teachers, Ms. Fay and Ms. Sarah.



I have attached a few recent pictures. The first picture is of Carly at her last chemo treatment. The next is with her wonderful doctors, Dr. Leslie Doros and Dr. Jeffrey Dome (head Oncologist for Wilm’s tumors). The last picture is Carly with her proud parents! I have attached an adorable video of Carly sharing the news. Sorry about the large file!



Again, we cannot thank everyone enough for all of your prayers, support, friendship, encouragement, and love. Although the days following August 5th have been challenging, you have all made the journey one that we will never forget!



With all of our love and appreciation,
Doug, Erin, Matthew, Rachel and Carly Rae





















The Tackling Buddy

Here is a picture of TW with his tackling buddy (and froggy pajamas.)


















It has turned out to be a wonderful Christmas present. What a smart guy, that Santa! Of course, T. Willy has learned to tackle, punch, and kick it across the room. But the tackling buddy, whom we call Double Oh, doesn't complain.



















And, Chellie, these shoes are for you!


















Have a great night!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Look, Ma, no cavities

MK and I had a trip to the dentist today. I still do not like going to the dentist, but if I have to go, I'm glad we get to go to our dentist. It is about as pleasant as it can be. Plus, we had good checkups and don't have to go again until July.

It was cold this morning when I took MK to the bus. I usually walk her outside and wait until the bus goes by, but today I wimped out and watched from the door. I tried to crawl back into bed and go back to sleep, but I still couldn't get warm. Finally, after TW and the Big Man went to school and work, I took a nice hot bath. That really helped. It is supposed to be cold for the rest of the week. Before Christmas, I love cold weather, but after Christmas, I can't wait for it to get warm.

I am trying to get more creative with my photos, but today you get a simple picture of MK and her new toothbrush from the dentist. Have a great night!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Don't read this if you don't know the results of the Eagles' game

I was running water in my bathroom, and when I turned it off I heard, "I'm just taking pictures." I knew this meant T. Willy was using my phone. I kind of forgot about it until I was scrolling through the pictures. This is what I found:


















and this:


















I guess he can't get enough of the Eagles either. Fortunately, we get to see them at least one more week!

We also went out front and played some baseball. TW has a new Phillies bat and ball, so he was eager to play. It was chilly but a lot of fun. So here are a couple of pictures of that. In one he is batting, and in the other, he's pitching; although, he looks more like a quarterback.


































We've also played remote control cars, "Super Slammers," and football. He's painting now...and the Big Man doesn't get home from work until 6. I am going to need a nap!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Party day

MK went to her party last night and had a great time. When I picked her up this morning at 10, the girls were still asleep! So I brought a sleepy girl home. She perked up soon, and we had a good day together. She talked to me about some things that are on her mind, and I really enjoyed it. I try to "guide" her, but I know that I can't always tell her what to do or make her do what I think she should. There has been a situation with one of her friends that we talked about a lot, and she is really developing some good insight into it. It is good to see.

T. Willy and I went to a birthday party for one of his classmates today at a local park. It rained off and on during the party, so we didn't stay for the whole thing, but T. Willy had a good time. He can be very shy, and today was no different. But he did come out of his shell and left my side to play on the playground and did great. I tend to be overprotective, and I really try to combat that. Today I was careful not to hover. He did great. It was slippery and he fell a few times, but I watched him wipe himself off and keep going. It was a big day for both of us.

So here is a picture of T. Willy taking a swing at the pinata.













I'm still kind of cold, so I'm going to go and sit by the fire and get warm. MK is napping, the Big Man is at work, and T. Willy is playing. I hope you're warm and having a great night!

Friday, January 09, 2009

My gentleman

T. Willy and I stopped by the Big Man's restaurant today. As we were leaving, I showed TW how to hold the door for people. I explained that it was the way a gentleman would act. He balked: "I don't want to be a gentleman." However, we returned later to drop something off, and as we walked out, he immediately grabbed the door and held it for several people. "I'm a gentleman," he announced. MK and I got such a kick out of it.

MK is at a slumber party right now. It is a boy/girl party, MK's first. (Um, no, the boys are not sleeping over. They leave at 10.) When we left, the boys were in one room playing Rock Band, and the girls were running around the hall and dining room giggling like 13-14 year old girls do.

My last day of subbing in band went well. I enjoyed it so much and have managed not to have any songs from "West Side Story" running through my head.

And today, my mom made her second appearance on QVC!!! She was in the audience, but seems to be a lucky charm for those who go with her. The first time she went, they were selling a paint set. Her friend was chosen from the audience to demonstrate the painting technique. Today, her friend chose a shirt from the featured clothing collection before she went to the show. She put it on, and the powers-that-be noticed. She was then chosen from the audience to talk about it. My mom loves that her friends were able to do that, because she would not want that kind of attention, but enjoyed it for her friends. My mom did get some camera time during audience shots, though.

I close with two pictures. One is TW on his way to school today. It was very bright, so he's wearing his dad's sunglasses. The other is MK. We had some time to kill before dropping her off at the party, so we stopped at our local "Hot Dog Shoppe" for dinner. For some reason she decided to take a picture of herself touching her nose with her tongue. We are so proud! So I took a picture of that.



































Have a great weekend!