Saturday, November 14, 2009

Kate's Baby Shower

Reagan and I took a girls trip up to Michigan for my sister's baby shower. We had a great time with Grammy the first day. When we arrived my mom had dinner waiting. We visited with her and my dad, Jon and Rachael. The next morning Grammy had made appointments for manicures and pedicures. After that we went to lunch and then to the mall. Reagan and I got our ears pierced and then bought new shoes. That evening we were out to Kate and Mike's house. We had dinner and had a chance to catch up and be entertained by Luke. He is such a cutie!! The next day was the shower. The restaurant(Fandangles on Pierson Rd in Flint,MI) was decorated beautifully.
The food was amazing and if you can ever go there to eat you totally should!!! All of Kate's friends and family came to celebrate with her and they are just the greatest group of people. After we ate Kate got to open her presents and received some of the most adorable clothes ever. I made Kate a baby calendar for the Baby's room. I know things get busy with two little ones so I was hoping it would help her keep track of those miles stones until she can put them in a baby book. It has room for pictures of the baby each month. I put a slide show in for those of you who asked me to see it. After the shower we went back to Kate's and because her boss at the restaurant completely blessed us by not charging us for the shower( I am still in shock over that) I bought dinner out for everyone. After we ate Christa(our cousin)Kate, Mike and I decorated Luke's big boy room. It turned out so cute. I have never seen such a little kid so in to John Deere tractors. It was so much fun!! Sunday came too quickly and it was time for us to come home again. When I arrived, Ron and the kids had the house all cleaned up beautifully and he had cleaned the carpets. It was so lovely to come home too. I sure am excited to see my new niece!


This year was a great Halloween, or "Ask strangers for candy on an obscure Night" night. We always trick or treat on the Thursday before Halloween. I have no idea why. I guess its a PA thing. Anyway as much as I tried to get costumes done early it just didn't work out, so a few days before I was running around trying to make costumes. Thankfully it all worked out. As is tradition now my friend Chrissy and her two children came over after school. The kids played while we made dinner and then we proceeded to get them all ready to trick or treat. Just about the time that is all finished the guys show up and we meet the neighbors on the street and the kids begin their night. The weather was perfect in fact I could have gone longer but the kids pooped out! Anyway I know you all just want to see the pictures so I will get to it. I didn't ask my friend if her kids pictures could be posted so I blocked them out.

Reagan was a girl football player for the Eagles of course, Rebecca was a ninja, Ryan was Mushu from the movie Mulan. The other children dressed as a shadow, snow fairy and shrek.

It was a really fun night. Everyone did really well and they got lots of candy!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


This amazingly gross creature was one of our family pets. This is Rocket the hermit crab. He came out of his shell one day and I thought it was to move into a bigger shell. I have never seen a hermit crab outside the shell and after 4 years figured out how to use the macro part of my big lens. It was so simple I feel like an idiot and I alone know how I made it work. I intend to keep that way!! I digress. ANYWAY, after Rocket sat outside his shell the whole day and didn't move I realized that he had come out to die. I took comfort in the fact that I could tell my two drama filled daughters that he didn't die alone, but there was no way on this Earth I was scooping him out. It was a perfect job for Ron. Rocket tipped over, I told the girls he died and there was much weeping. While Reagan cried she wrote this:

*Hermit Crab
*I got him on July 20th, 2008
*He died on October 9th, 2009

I hope to see rocket in heaven along with a bunch of my other pets. Rocket was a great hermit crab and I am sad that he is gone. He was a boy who loved to play with speedy.(Rebecca's hermit crab)I am glad Miss Janna gave him to me. I will see him in heaven and he will be as healthy as can be. I am so glad God put Rocket and Speedy into my hands. I can't wait to see you in Heaven, Rocket...Love Reagan

Isn't that sweet? So to help the girls focus on something else my friend Chrissy invited us over for dinner so the kids could play and we could get out of the house of death and despair. We were gone for 2 1/2 hours. Upon our arrival we went to pay last respects before bed and THE CRAB WAS UPRIGHT AGAIN!!!! I immediately started having flash backs to my childhood when my bachelor Uncle let my sister and watch Pet Cemetery as very young children. We also got to eat about a trough full of ice cream...Reagan was somewhat frustrated that she had wasted all of that emotion and those kind words on a pet that was not dead. Not the reaction i expected. I suppose if I ever die and happen to be raised from the dead I won't take it too hard when they are annoyed!!
So the girls go to bed with a happy heart, I go to bed and close my door fully expecting to hear a crab claw scraping at my door. I wish I was joking. Anyway, we get up the next morning and the crab is dead again...for sure this time as he is starting to smell. I don't know if Speedy propped him up the night before or what happened but he is definitely dead now. Well he was dead or murdered because the slight smell was enough for me to put him in a plastic bag for burial. Either way, we morn the loss of Rocket who was indeed the very best hermit crab a kid could have.
Oh and I had great fun telling Reagan to take him down to show my dad on one of his visits. I told her Papa John would LOVE to see Rocket. I sat at the stairs like a child and laughed to tears as I heard my Dad say...OK REAGAN, SERIOUSLY TAKE THAT UPSTAIRS I DON'T NEED TO BE BY YOUR CRAB!!!! ROFLOL it still makes me laugh. Yeah...Rocket he was a

Monday, November 2, 2009


I know it has been almost a month simply because I am looking at the date, but it really feels like just a few days since the last time I posted. Here are a few items you can look forward too:

1. Our trip to Michigan
2. Kate's baby shower and the gift I made. (I know some of you have been wanting to see pictures)
3. Swine Flu and the joy of caring for someone who likes to be cared for
4. Trick or Treat night...yes it's still on the Thursday before Halloween

so needless to say I will be playing catch up over the next few days!! I have it on my list to pull my camera back out so that should help me too. Hope you all are well and this bad blogger will redeem herself soon!!

Here are two pictures of Ryan waiting for Reagan to show us her moves in swim class:

This is Ry about to show me how strong he is.
Here is my cool breeze watching the kids swim!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Camping We Will Go

So yesterday was the big day. Time to get Reagan ready to go on her first camp out with the American Heritage Girls. Easy enough. Ryan and I go shopping for all the things on her giant list. One hundred dollars later we are through. After we get home I start putting things together and realize that she does not have enough clean pants so I throw a load of laundry in. Time flies by and it's time to get the kids from the school bus. Keep in mind Ryan just got off the potty a few minutes ago so imagine my surprise when I am ready to walk out the door and he is soaked in pee. Great. I call my neighbor and he goes and gets the kids. We race around the house trying to finish the packing and getting Reagan another shower since I don't know when she'll get to have one. I call my friend Angie and since neither of us knows where we are going we decide to follow each other. We pick a meeting spot and it's ready set go. I knew Reagan needed to eat dinner and since I didn't know what time they were doing what I take everyone through Wendy's. We go to pull away from the drive thru and i look in the bay...3 straws...4 drinks. I was just about to complain about this when I hear...SPLASH...Rebecca dumped what was supposed to be a small size soda but was more like a medium, all over the floor. Instead of quickly picking it up she stands there. Since I am buckled with stuff on my lap I start yelling...hurry up pick it up!!!! Too late. Entire cup all over the floor. So she grabs a towel and starts to clean it up. Now she's crying. I tell her I am sorry for yelling but she informs me that's not why she is crying...she has no drink now. I say don't worry about it you can share with Ry because he doesn't need a 2 liter for a drink. Now we are running late. I pull out of the parking lot and over goes my soda and my fries go flying. At this point I am like...seriously?? I get a call, it's Angie she has forgotten her own jacket and since she was staying with the girls she has to go back. We just bought ourselves 20 minutes. I stop at another light and hear...OH GREAT!'s Becs again...spilled fries. UNREAL. We finally get to the meeting place and i get out to pour some of Ryan's drink into Becca's cup and Reagan says the words I am starting to dread...OH GREAT! I look over and she has spilled her fries. Then she has the nerve to say...Bad things always happen to me....REALLY??? My car just got baptised in root beer and fries and bad things happen to her? I think not. Well God spared her a lecture because one minute later Angie pulls up. So we are on our way. The ride there was uneventful except for the last 20 minutes where Ryan starts to cry because he has to pee. He's hurts...which i have finally figured out means...I am holding it and I can't do this much longer. I tell him, and did I mention he had no nap, just pee you have a pull up's OK. He doesn't get it so continues to cry the rest of the way. We finally arrive at camp it's dark and pouring rain. Like Movie rain where you are soaked within minutes. Our tent is not ready so we put all of our things in on tent. Ryan is still crying because he has to pee and now he's getting wet, Rebecca admits she lied and did not go to the bathroom before she left and now has to go and Reagan has disappeared into the dark before I could give her some last minute instructions. I send Bec to the bathroom with some of the older girls, hold Ry, put him down, pick him up, put him down beg him to tell me why he is still crying and then it happens. Sweet relief he can't hold it a second longer and he finally pees. See, I told you your pants wouldn't get all wet. Thinking not much else can go wrong I kiss Reagan good bye help her get her poncho on, remind her not to get lost and we head back to the car. Becca informs me that the bathrooms/outhouse smelled so bad there was no way she was going in there. As we get back to the car, it's still pouring and I am soaked, I tell bec to go to the front of the car, pull your pants down and squat down and pee. I reminded her to hold her pants out of the way. I get Ry settled and her comes Becca around the corner soaked from waist to ankles with pee. She didn't know I meant she had to pull her pants all the way down. Now I just start laughing. It's so ridicules at this point all I can do is laugh. Thankfully I had one more blanket in the trunk so I told her to strip down and to wrap herself in the blanket. I get a few things switched around and I look in the back seat and she is sitting there half naked on top of the blanket. I said...don't you think you might get cold? She replies yes I am freezing. After a long exhale I tell her to WRAP herself in the blanket like a towel around her waist. We are finally headed home. The only thing left to do was have my car break down or get lost but thankfully none of that happened. What a night. This morning I took Reagan new shoes because hers were soaked and some new socks because by the time they got their tent set up the floor was wet. So glad she had a mat to sleep on. Tonight will be cold and the windows in her tent do not close. Hopefully all the other things I gave her to keep her warm will work. She is however having the best time ever. She was learning to build a fire when I left.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Reagan is going camping tomorrow night with her scouting program. Thankfully my Dad has camped in a tent before and gave me some advice of how to keep her warm. It has been quite chilly here at night so I am hoping it works. She will earn about 6 badges this weekend which is awesome for her, not so great for me. That means I have to sew them all on the vest. Ugh. However, I think I am going to find that boy scout store because they are smart and have this super sticky stuff just for badges. No sewing!! I am sure that will look about a million times better as I am a terrible sewer. I hope to hear some good stories from Reagan when she returns. I cannot go because I and Ron have to work at one time or another. I am trying to be super sad about that, but my version of camping has a camper in it with a bed and heat for heaven sakes. I seriously need to pull my camera out. It has been ages since I have posted anything with any pictures. I have been a little stressed lately and I think it's coming out in my posts!! I promise some more light hearted stuff soon.

On a totally unrelated note, Rebecca has been scared to death to eat in the cafeteria at school. It's been a couple of weeks that she hasn't been eating her lunches. She had herself so worked up that she couldn't eat anything. Well we partnered with her teacher and I went and had lunch with the other day. She was right it is loud in there. However, we were able to look at the situation piece by piece and come up with some tangible solutions to make it less scary. Today she came home, had a great lunch, wasn't scared at all. Thank goodness for teachers that work with parents! I know I couldn't have done it alone and I am blessed to have such a great teacher for Rebecca. She has gone out of her way to help Bec work this out. I have a debt of gratitude to Mrs. Flynn!! Hopefully I am not celebrating too soon. I am just so thankful that she ate today. I have been so stressed out trying to figure out how to help her. God has given amazing wisdom to us and to her teacher and a fantastic amount of grace and courage to Rebecca.

One more unrelated note. I am potty training Ryan. pray for me....

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why Family Matters

I have always wondered why my girls have a hard time telling other people how they feel. In fact, when it comes to other adults they often hide their feelings. For example, when Reagan was taking horse back riding lessons, the giant horse stepped on her little first grader foot and she didn't cry until 1/2 hour later when she got into the car. Why? She didn't want her teacher to see her cry. Rebecca is afraid to tell her teacher when she is feeling homesick or scared about her lunch time surroundings. Today it finally dawned on me. In the crucial years of their lives we didn't live near any family. My children haven't had other adults consistently present in their lives where they would learn to confide in someone apart from Ron and I. Even now we are closer but the relationships are surface at best and still the time we make is not often enough to foster a trust relationship. It makes me wish that our friends from Seattle were still so near. Our families have nearly the same dynamic, same core beliefs and the same interest in seeing each others children reach their full potential. How great it would be to have them be near so our children had other adults to tell stuff to as they grow in case they felt they couldn't tell us. I am, however, grateful that at this point my children share with me what's going on in their lives. I hope that as they grow listening to stories about recess and who threw up today, will lead to stories about more important things. For now I am grateful that our families get to be involved way more than they used to. I know that has great benefits of its own. This parent thing is so HARD!!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Did I Teach You That?

It has happened several times now and event followed by floods of tears. Reagan is upset because there was a project to do but she didn't get to participate because the other kids were in the way. Rebecca wants to try something new, but doesn't get a turn because she didn't speak up. Kids say or do things to them and they don't say a word. How did they get like this? My girls are afraid to stand up for themselves and seriously lacking assertiveness. I have always taught them to watch out for those smaller than them, be polite, take turns, don't be selfish, be kind, be careful what you say so you don't hurt another persons feelings. However, some of the message got lost in translation because they are becoming doormats for other children who don't care about their feelings or care if everyone gets a turn. I can honestly say that at this point I have no idea how to teach them the difference between being a nice person and standing up for themselves to be sure they are heard too. I know where it starts, but I didn't think it was obvious. I am a people pleaser. Worried about hurting someone Else's feelings or how they will react at my own expense. My children have caught on to that and I must say it's not what I want for their lives. It's so hard to walk this line between being courteous and being taken advantage of. Especially in this day and age. I don't think half of us realize what our children have to deal with at school. Kids are mean and rude and disrespectful and if you have any concern for those things at all, your young child is swimming up stream against all this nastiness coming their way. I am amazed at how much they have to deal with daily and yet still have to grow and learn what is right when all around them others do whatever they feel like. I am learning to stand up for myself because if I don't show them the proper way to be confident then they will never learn and have the same fate as I. I have never been more aware than I am now of how much we need to pray for our children. They face way more than we ever did and it is scary out there. However, I do believe that our kids can be light in this dark world but they can't do it alone. I get now, more than ever how I need to be the advocate for my kids, cover them in prayer and strengthen them as they face their day. The time is gone for my own selfish behavior and the day has dawned for me to step up and be the woman that my kids can look to for encouragement, strength, grace and courage. Most of all to be those loving arms that hug away a day of mean kids, contradicting truth and a battle that I can only imagine that they face.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Will Come Back to You

If you have talked to me in the last couple of weeks you already know that I have been struggling with the kids being back to school. I also realize that most of you think I am insane and I am OK with that. I am used to Reagan being gone all day. Although I hate that I only get so few hours with her and when she has something in the evening it's even less. However, this year Rebecca also started going all day. We've been back for a few weeks and yet everyday at lunch time I get a little twinge of sadness because I know she is not coming home to eat with us. The biggest change has been taking Ryan to preschool. That was my hardest day yet. Let's just say it was a very quick goodbye as I could not hold the tears back a second longer. Thankfully my dear friend Tiphanie was there to the rescue and kept me busy that first morning. So here I am in a new phase of life. I remember counting the days until I would have some time alone and now I look back and see just how fast it goes. So here I sit having zero idea what to do with myself. Well I have some idea, it's called "clean your house" but really who wants to do that when they are trying to redefine normal. Anyway, fast forward to today. At the front of Ryan's school is a fenced in playground. Nothing special but he always wants to stop in and play. So today we went in and played for a while. There is one toy that has a steering wheel some slides and stairs. Ryan dubbed it his school bus. While he was waiting to take his turn driving he sat on the "school bus." Then he looked at me and said, "Mommy I am going to go to school now, but don't worry when I am done I will come back to you." Those words have been in my heart and on my mind all day long. The truth of the matter is that if I am doing my job right as they go experience life and independence they will come back to me. They will come back for support, a hand to help them up with they fall and mess up, encouragement and most of all a soft place to land. If I am doing my job right then my kids will know like the song says that I am in fact the greatest fan of their lives. At the end of the day I am so grateful that it's only elementary and preschool and not college or marriage that I am sending them away to go and do. It means that I still have time to get the most out of every day and every moment. It means that I still have time to get it right, to build a relationship with my children so when they are grown they will indeed come back to me. Here are some pictures from every one's first day of school. Fourth grade for Reagan, first grade for Rebecca and preschool for Ryan.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

History Repeats Itself

School lunches are always a fun and passionate subject around our house. I think almost all of us can remember our school lunches and not appreciate all of them. I for one can remember egg salad sandwiches and my dear mother not caring how terrible it smelled by the time I got to lunch time. I can also remember tossing my lunch and a special squirrel God picked out just for me to dig it out of the garbage. Yes I got in trouble but that is a story for another day. Ron's passion lies in the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches his mom made for him. His working, tired mom that slaved over these sandwiches, filled with love I might add, for her teenage son. (see mom, I've got your back!) Ron insists that every day his mom would make his sandwich and then squish the bread together with her hand. I have heard that his mother has no recollection of this. Anyway, by the time he would get to lunch it would be all mushy and seeping through the bread. I would like to present exhibit A:

This is the peanut butter and jelly sandwich that Ron made for Rebecca this morning. This is the sandwich she found at lunch and could not get herself to even try to eat it. Clearly the apple did not fall far from the tree! Ron insists that he did not smash it but does admit that maybe he put a little too much jelly on the sandwich. I whole heartily agree!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Rebecca has become quite the willing model so I was playing around with my camera the other day and got these shots!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Another Milestone

I took the girls back to school shopping last week. They did really well and we had lots of fun. This is a first for us when it comes to shopping. At any rate, it was time to get Rebecca new shoes for school. However, she is out grown the Velcro phase and all we could find is tie shoes. She didn't know how to tie them so I told her she could learn or I could double knot them in the morning and she'd be set. So we bought the shoes. Two days later Rebecca comes to me and tells me she is ready to learn. As Rebecca's mom I have learned to wait for her to be ready to learn something. Once she is ready then the teaching can commence with little frustration on either part. I was not prepared though for how quickly she would catch on to this skill. after a few tries she had it figured out!

Rebecca makes the "X" and step one is complete!

Now it's time to make the bow.

It's finally time to pull it tight!

With that she is ready to show off her great work!! I am so proud of her.

Fun with Light

I have been enjoying my photography class although not getting to participate as much as I had hoped. I have been pouring over my lessons though and taking some time to play. My latest lesson was all about light. I took a few shots playing with the different features of my camera. Although I don't see myself shooting in blue too much I just love this picture of Rebecca:
It's been interesting to see how different colors work with different skin tones. Reagan cannot do the sepia tone pictures. It just makes her look ill. Its the same for Ron. I think it is their intense olive color skin. However, Ryan can't do black and white as well but seems to thrive in the sepia tone colors:
It seems the onslaught of puberty has hidden Reagan's smile more than it reveals it but I did get her to tolerate me while I tried to get the "catch lights" in her eyes. When you get this light reflection in the eyes it really puts life into the picture. After I showed her a few of her Eeyore pictures I was able to get this smile with the lovely catch lights in her pretty eyes:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New Stuff Coming

I know those of you who check this blog out are so tired of seeing nothing new. I apologize for disappearing for so long. Things have been crazy but I do have lots to share. The kids go back to school tomorrow so I will have some time to catch up. However, right now I have to run. First day of school tomorrow and I have to get the crew to bed. I will post soon with pictures to boot!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Day with the Fish

We recently took a trip to the aquarium! It was really cool and the kids had a great time, but we felt it was really over priced for the amount of exhibits that we got to look at.
However, I still wanted to share some of the things we saw. The first thing we did when we got there was check out the Dolphin show. This was lots of fun to watch.

We were a short time into the show when our first attitude popped up. I can't say I blame her, but Reagan and I have two different cameras. Mine shoots really fast and hers doesn't shoot until the dolphin was already back into the water. I finally convinced her to just enjoy the show and take pictures of slower moving objects!

Dolphin saying hello!

The dolphins went all around the tank and just sat there and looked at us while they blew bubbles! I thought this was really funny.

The height that this dolphin got was pretty impressive. Next we were off to see the sting rays and I believe there were a couple of sharks in there too. The tank was huge and just full of all different kinds of sting rays!

Later on in the day Ryan learns that the world is full of corners! There was quite a group of people that felt sorry for Ryan and thought I was evil. I base that on the AWW's Ry got and the dirty looks that I received. That's OK because what those lovely people forget is that if he doesn't stand there, they too will be annoyed by his behavior.

Ron and Bec stop to pose for a picture by the turtle tank. As you can see in the background Ry got out of the corner

The Jelly fish were most of our favorite part. Ryan screamed bloody murder so I took a quick spin and got out of there because those same people that were giving me dirty looks, were giving them to me again. Ugh. I just can't win!!! LOL Still Ron got some super cool shots.

This last picture has nothing to do with the Aquarium I just love this picture of my little royalty!!