Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope your Christmases were as enjoyable as ours. We spent a pretty crazy three out of four days traveling around to family. By the time Sunday night rolled around we were exhausted! We had a really great time with family and the kids were so much fun with everything.
Our constant yardsaling this summer netted this GREAT train set for Chase. He hasn't stopped playing with it since he got it!

With the help of Howard's sisters family we got Howard's parents a digital photo frame from the whole family. Steph sent in pictures of her family and we combined them with pictures from our family. It all got loaded onto a slide show that we played for them when they opened the gift. They loved it.
Chase's Me-Mom and Pop-Pop got him Lightning McQueen slippers which he is hamming up about below.

Us :-)

My family got together on Christmas Eve and of course we can't do that without getting a family picture!
We really did have a great holiday. The kids were given so much stuff which we are reminding them daily they are so blessed to have. Chase did awesome thanking everyone and waiting his turn to open gifts. This was the last year we plan on traveling on Christmas day. We are hoping next year to see family before and after Christmas and have Christmas day to relax and be together.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Helmet Story

The picture below is of Chase wearing his "helmet" for riding his bike. It is a mesh bag that holds all his Mr. Potato head parts. Out of the blue he decided he needed a helmet and this is what he came up with.

So...Daddy pulled out the motorcycle helmets and the boys hammed it up for me...

...And Chase hopped on his bike for some fun. :-) (We were laughing hysterically at the size of the helmet in relation to him and his bike!)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Snowflakes and Paper Chains

Here's a little trip down nostalgia lane for you. Chase and I spent an afternoon a few weeks ago cutting out snowflakes and putting together paper chains. We've got the paper chains all around the house. We used to make them with my mom years ago and I thought Chase might enjoy getting to use a stapler. The house looked Christmasey before we put the chains up but now it looks downright perfect. It feels like kids are here celebrating too and I love the whimsical feel that creates!

Of other news, our peanut crawled up five steps by herself (daddy is standing guard outside the picture)! Of course we didn't then take a pair of car keys and keep flinging them up a few steps to see if she could do the whole flight (She can)! So Alexa is officially gated into our living room unless someone can watch her. And yes, she's clapping because she was so proud of herself. :-)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Lights

We traveled about an hour away on Tuesday night to visit the Christmas Village. Talk about incredible. This first shot is blurry but it is of the view of the place as we came over the hill. The night was cold but we had a blast! There are over 500,000 Christmas lights, Christmas music playing, Rudolph, Frosty and Santa about, indoor and outdoor train displays and tons of little buildings like Santa's Toy Shop, Santa's Post Office, Santa's Fire House. Tons of windows where the kids can peek in and see scenes from the north pole. There are also story boards along the whole walking trail telling different Christmas stories. Did I mention that we had fun!!!

At the took us two fun filled hours to go through the whole place!

The Nativity. Chase was so excited to see the same thing that Nee Nee and Poppy have in their house!

Alexa loved the trains!

The indoor train display was really cool. Chase didn't want to leave, he loved it. There were about 4-5 trains running at a time and a trolley car scooting around the town.

Santa and his jolly elf!

The happiest reindeer around!

A parting shot...

We've tried to add ornaments to our tree each year that hold significance from that year. We decided to buy a wooden train ornament from the Christmas Village and have that be our ornament for this year. The kids were just mesmerized by the trains. Chase was so proud to put it on our tree.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


The pictures of snow that I put up in my last post are followed by this later in the evening. Chase had a blast running around in the snow for the next few days.

Our Christmas tree through the window...
How would you ever survive a snowstorm without your trusty mower?

She wasn't so sure how she felt about the snow.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Chase and I spent the week baking batches of Christmas cookies. He helped mix, measure and sample! It was fun and exhausting as we churned out 10 different kinds and made chocolate truffles too.

We make up plates for the neighbors every year. It gives us a nice excuse to visit!

We made a mess but Chase had so much fun and was such a big helper too. We listened to Christmas music and talked. Good times!

I've looked forward to baking cookies with my kids for years. I have great memories of my siblings and I baking with my mom at Christmastime. We always had this huge gingerbread man cookie cutter that my mom would use to make a cookie for each of us kids. We were allowed to decorate that cookie with as many sprinkles as we could fit on it. The cookie cutter was my grandmother's and this year I used it to make Chase's first cookie. When he realized he'd get to eat that big cookie all by himself his face just lit up. Traditions like this one are the kind of traditions I love. The cookie cutter has made its way through three generations now and hopefully I can keep building memories with my kids until I pass it down to one of them.

Today our little man is unbelievably excited because it is snowing!!! If snow doesn't put you into the Christmas spirit I don't know what else will!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Alexa!

Our little girl is almost 1!!! We celebrated early since her birthday is on Wednesday. Here's a bunch of pics from the day. I made both cakes because of Chase's egg allergy. They were really yummy! (Not to toot my own horn or anything!)

Alexa with her paternal great-grandmother

Alexa and her cousin Nonah

Riding her new bike

The party guests...

Her smash cake

The birthday cake

Me, my mom, my sister-in-law and our girls
The birthday princess

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fun Weekend

We took the kids for a fun weekend at a local train station. They got to go on a short ride and take in the sights. Chase loved the train and couldn't stop staring out the windows. He's really gotten into Thomas the Tank Engine so we thought he would enjoy this. Plus, he's getting a train set for Christmas so he'll have a greater understanding of the toy thanks to an experience with the real thing. It was nice to get out and do something different. The train car we were riding in was used from 1918-1925 so that was cool!

Monday, November 9, 2009


I wanted to write this post today because this picture shows two of my greatest blessings. We have bad days like Saturday (see previous post) but we have tons of really great days too. These two kids have taught me more about myself than anything/anyone else ever has. It has stretched me and matured me and humbled me. I thank God for them daily and today I am reminded to be ever more thankful as this sweet little boy fights for his life

I have followed this blog for quite some time but never posted hers to mine. My heart is so heavy for what she and her family are facing right now. This woman has blessed me with her honesty and humor about parenting. It's good to know I'm not alone with my struggles. I love her photos too.

And because her little Stellan is fighting for his life I cannot help but hurt with her, my sister in Christ, and pray for the whole family; and give thanks for what I have been blessed with.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday Morning Surprise

I was up off and on last night with a very congested and yucky feeling little boy. The last time I remember waking up was 5am to help him blow his nose. We'd both had a rough night and I figured I would let us all sleep until 8am because we could all use the sleep. Howard had to work this morning so he was already gone by the last time I got up with Chase.

Chase woke me up crying right before 8am so I got up to tend to him. When I opened our door I smelled the very distinct smell of mint. Not something you usually smell that strong in our hous! I looked in on Chase, who was hiding in his room, and found sprinkle stains around his mouth. I know enough to be very worried at this point! I raced downstairs and almost passed out. I hit our family room first, followed by the kitchen and living room. Oh my word! There was sugar, flour and sprinkles on every possible floor surface and the furniture!!!

I think the towel means he tried to clean up a little?

My baking cabinet was open and there was baking soda, flour, sugar, sprinkles, vanilla extract and peppermint extract(the source of the smell) poured out all over the floor. Thank goodness he wasn't able to open some of the extract bottles or it would have been worse! And my food dies were buried in the flour so he didn't mess with them!

The pictures don't even do justice for how much sugar and sprinkles was spread across the floor.

You can't see it in the pictures below but the entire floor was covered in little, white sprinkle balls.
It took me an hour to get everything vacuumed off. I needed that time to calm down because I could barely contain myself. It gave me time to think and pray and come up with a punishment that would (hopefully!) have impact. It also gave me time to gain perspective. Someday, not yet, I will look back on this and laugh and be grateful I took pictures. Just not yet...

Friday, November 6, 2009


Our little cutie-patootie is up and cruising all over the place. It won't be long before she's tearing after that brother of hers!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


You are all probably wondering what happened to us...Well, the Phillies were playing for a playoff position through October and so rather than blog we watched. Since the Phillies got all the way to the World Series we're still watching...and hoping... I'll be back soon with new stories and pictures. Tonight the Phillies play with a 3-2 deficit facing them. We'll be cheering and holding our breath and hoping for something incredible. ;-)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This is love & life...

Howard and I celebrated 5 years of marriage last Friday. So crazy to think that we are at that first milestone number already. It's been so good and, thank the Lord, it keeps getting better!

We don't exchange gifts and we had no plans for Friday (Saturday was our date day). I opened the pantry to get out the breakfast food for me and the kids and there was this wooden box with a note inside...:-) (Yes, I still smile just thinking about it!) Howard looked up the "traditional" gifts for the anniversary milestones; 5 years was wood. He found a wooden box at a dollar store and filled it with the soap roses you see here. The letter accompanying the box was better than any gift, but I'm not sharing the details of that! It was such a sweet start to the day.

Our Saturday plans were to drop the kids off at my parents and play some tennis together. (Something we rarely get to do anymore and miss) We were then going to head out for a casual dinner before picking the kids up. Did I mention we have children? Well, Chase got sick Thursday night, by Friday night Alexa and I were down and come Saturday morning we were ALL sick! Our plans were canceled and we spent a weekend trying to get well.

It wasn't what we planned but it was still good and special in a very different way. We talked and laughed and loved on our sick ones. What it all comes down to is that we were together and that was enough.