Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Becca!

Today Becca is six years old! She is a Kindergartener who is absolutely full of life. There is never a dull moment when Becca is around.

There is a twinkle in her eye that is both mischievous and delightful. She loves deeply. I can hardly believe that my little bugga-boo is growing up. Do you know how she got the nickname Bugga-boo? Her big sisters were saying “Becca becca becca” over and over so fast that it sounded like “Bugga.” So Bugga-boo it was. One time when she was only about 3 weeks old I had her doing “tummy time” on the floor of her room with her sisters around her talking to her. She was SO MAD. She did not like tummy time and she was screaming her head off. She got so upset that she flipped over onto her back! Amazingly enough, I was video taping her at the time and caught it on video!

Becca insisted upon arriving in this world in her own time. She’s as determined now as she was then. I was 5 days overdue when she was born, but had been to the hospital 3 times, 3 days in a row, thinking I was in labor. But NOOOOOOO. When we got home the 3rd time, my doctor called to schedule an induction for two days later. She said, and I quote, “Usually, when I schedule an induction, the baby decides to come all on its own.” An hour later, real labor started. I went in to the hospital the next morning, since the real labor had not progressed, but just was annoying all night long. When I walked into the hospital, the nurse, who had seen me for the past 3 mornings, took pity on me, checked me in, called the doctor, and got the induction started right then and there. My poor body took a while to kick in and Becca wasn’t born until 45 minutes after that nurse left. She wasn’t happy with me the next morning when she came to work. ;) We went home from the hospital 15 minutes before my originally scheduled induction. Hooray! And we were so thankful and happy to bring our 3rd baby girl home. We love you, Becca and Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday also to my Grandma and to my dear friend TN! Hope you have a great day!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Field Trips

I was trying to explain to Becca on Friday morning that I might not come to her field trip to BBF pumpkin patch if it was still raining. Elise & I would have already spent the morning at SR pumpkin patch in the rain and I wasn’t sure we would want to spend the afternoon doing pretty much the same thing. Becca looked at me with her big sad eyes and pouty lips and said, “It’s OK, Mom. You don’t *have* to come on *my* field trip.”

Oh, for goodness sake. I surely do now.

So I went with Elise on her field trip and it only poured on us for the first little bit and then it was just a drizzle, so it was not miserable as we anticipated. We had a good time and the best part of the day was sneaking off to the donut shop and getting cider donuts to share between the two of us. It was educational too, though. We learned that honey is really bee spit. (We learned lots of other things, too, but that’s the memorable tidbit.)

I didn’t take my camera on the field trip due to the rain, but I took this before we left:

Elise pumpkin patchIt’s not a great picture, but it commemorates our morning together. Isn’t she the cutest in that little hat?

After lunch and some snuggling to warm up, we headed to Becca’s field trip. The best part of that one was watching the pumpkin farmer launch pumpkins on a catapult and try to hit the outhouse. Seriously. It was hysterical! This was a purely fun field trip. I think the education comes later at school when they do all sorts of measurement activities with pumpkins.

Again, I didn’t take my camera due to the rain, but I took this of Becca and the pumpkin she chose after she got home from school:


Even though it was wet and a tad bit cold, it was a great day. There isn’t anything better than time with my girls.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Funny Story, Plus…

On Monday, Elise was looking through her baby book. She saw a picture of me, very pregnant with her. As in, the day before Elise was born. Very. Pregnant. Elise said to me, “Mommy, is that me in your tummy?” I said, “Yep, it sure was!” She gave me a little grin, as if she knew she was about to say something that would make me laugh, and said, “Did that feel weird to have me in your tummy, mommy?”

Yes, Elise, it felt weird.

Little do you know.


Sarah stayed home from school Monday& Tuesday with the fever/cough thing. Probably H1N1, but we don’t know for sure. She wasn’t very sick for being sick. She didn’t even oink. Ha ha. Couldn’t resist. She wasn’t allowed at school with a fever, so she hung out for a couple days. She finished this:


Anybody recognize that backyard? Hint: It’s not ours.

Last winter I came up with one of the best organizational ideas I’ve ever had.

_MG_3614Using a mesh shoe organizer for hats and gloves and scarves. It has 6 rows. Our family has 6 people. It’s mesh. Hats and gloves are sometimes wet. It hangs on the door to the laundry room. When someone outgrows something, it just goes to the row below. See how many ways that is pure genius? Love it. Got it out again this week. Cold weather is coming. Plus, I needed the stuff. I have to go to two pumpkin patches in the cold rain tomorrow on field trips. Oh, oh! Guess what the next blog post will be? ;)

Bethany finished her first major 4th grade project.


She’s mighty proud of that extra credit leaf collection.

Tell me this, why on earth is a leaf collection extra credit? Should not every 4th grader make a leaf collection? If it’s not being done in any other grade, why is it extra credit and not required? Makes no sense to me. Leaf collections are definitely on the top ten list of things that must be completed before Junior High. Also on the list (IMHO) are: rock collections, a major book report, tying one’s own shoelaces in a double knot in such a way that they do not come loose, and spreading peanut butter on bread. This list is not exhaustive. I reserve the right to add to it at any time.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Welcome Baby Reese!

A little bit of bragging

I’d like to take this opportunity to do a little bragging while catching up on my Photos-of-the-day.
October 7: My beautiful Katsura tree in the fall, with the morning sun streaming down. We have 3 of these trees and we LOVE them.
_MG_3207Is that gorgeous or what?
October 9: Sarah helped paint some sets for her 6th grade musical. She did a great job! And thanks to my dad for building “The Doors.”
October 11: I baked chocolate chip cookies. I used my mom’s recipe. I did everything the same as I always do. Mine are never as good as hers. My mom is the queen of chocolate chip cookies. Except this time, THIS time, my daughters said the cookies were (should I shout this or whisper it?) better than grandma’s. Whoa.
October 12: We had some gorgeous mornings here before the rains started. We pass by these trees every morning on the way to the bus stop. I just had to take a picture. The colors actually got more vibrant as the days passed, and now it’s raining and blowing and I doubt there are any leaves left, but I loved the fog the day I took this shot.
October 13: I’ve done a little fall decorating with the pumpkins and other treasures I found in the “Fall Box.” The porch looks cute this year.
October 14: I finished up the little baby book for our new niece. So cute.
_MG_3545   _MG_3548 Just one of my favorite pages. All Reese’s lovely mama has to do is add pictures and they’ve got a cute little baby-sized mini-book of Reese’s first year.
October 15: Hydrangeas are one of my favorite flowers. I know I’ve said that before. My purple & blue & pink flowers have dried into this luscious raspberry color for fall. I can’t get over the colors around this fall. God must have used all 128 crayons this year. ;)
October 16: FINALLY! Elise finally wrote her entire name all by herself! Woo-hoo! Way to go, 3-year-old!
October 17: Saturday was one productive day around our house. Bethany worked hard on her leaf collection for school. It’s not done yet, but she made some major progress.
Ed also installed our new faucet in the kitchen. The previous one was broken, plus for some reason had practically zero water pressure. So, we bought a really, really, nice one (as in, expensive) and it was almost a breeze to install and it is super and beautiful and not broken and we now have awesome water pressure! Kitchen faucets with no water pressure make it really a pain to wash dishes, let Ed tell you (if you want).
October 18: We skipped church this morning because Sarah was running a fever last night and had a cough and sore throat. She’s quite a lot better today, thankfully, and her fever has been gone since 9:00 a.m. Ed did go to church long enough to sing in choir, but then came home. A no-church day, combined with an off-lunch day, makes for a very different Sunday than we are used to. We had an early lunch, then all headed outside to rake up some leaves and work on the yard together. Not everything is done, but we had a good time working for an hour or so and now the girls are playing, Ed’s watching football, and I’m catching up on my blog. Here are a few pictures I took after we raked up the leaves and then the girls got to have fun in them. Notice how there aren’t very many leaves? Another beauty of the Katsura tree – tiny little leaves.
_MG_3567_MG_3569_MG_3571   (That’s where I was wishing I could turn down the brightness outside like I can in Photoshop so that they would stop squinting their eyes.)
_MG_3584_MG_3585  _MG_3586

Update: after I posted this, I noticed Sarah was back in the house from playing outside. She looked a little pale. I took her temp - back up over 100. :( She's staying home tomorrow, I guess.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I knew it would happen

Honestly, I did. I knew that once I started trying to say happy birthday to various people on my blog, I would forget someone (or more than one someone). And now I did forget at least one that I know about. So sorry, Susanne! I did remember to say Happy Birthday to my fab sis-in-law on Facebook, but somehow neglected to blog about it. So, a belated Happy Birthday tribute to Susanne...

Susanne is married to my baby brother and is his wonderful wife and the best mom ever to two of my nephews. Susanne is so easy-going, fun, caring, and so very compassionate. We miss her (& her great family that she takes such good care of) so much. My girls love their Aunt Susanne and I love Sus's laugh. I also think she makes the best corn casserole around and she can hold her own a lot better than I can when our family gets in one of their "intelligent conversations". We all love you lots, Susanne!

I must also give a shout-out to our newest niece, Reese Harper, born one week ago today. I don't have an adorable picture yet, but as soon as I do, I will post it. Congratulations E,J,K,C, & R on the newest tiny addition to your family. We can't wait to meet you Reese and we love you all!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Lessons from Haystack Hill

1. Halting chores in the middle of a Saturday afternoon to take a quick family hike is a good thing.

_MG_3461_MG_3462 _MG_3465 2. The sound of leaves crunching under one’s feet is surpassed only by the sound of Becca giggling while running and listening to the sound of leaves crunching under her feet._MG_3534

3. Fall is truly a beautiful season.

4. We live in a beautiful area and have an amazing creative God. Sarah noticed everything while we were hiking.


5. My 9-year-old still has the mind of a curious scientist. She looked for spores, inspected moss, and asked “why?’.

6. Fresh air does wonders for a mind bogged down with to-do lists, checkbook balancing numbers, tasks to organize, and future worries.

_MG_3514 _MG_3515_MG_3516_MG_3522_MG_3521

7. Sticks are cool.


8. Trail mix tastes amazing when one is on the trail.

9. My impressions of Elise are correct: that is one determined little 3 year old. She climbed the entire way up all by herself, and it was VERY steep!_MG_3488 10. Who needs Boston in the fall when you’ve got this right outside your own backdoor?


Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Fall Day

Once upon a time, a family moved to a new town, a new school, a new church. One fall day, some new acquaintances invited that new family on an apple-picking, goat-feeding, pumpkin-choosing outing. That  day was a special day in which new friendships began to feel more like old friendships, in which the new family thought maybe, just maybe, this new town was going to feel like home in every way. And every fall since, those same friends pick apples, feed goats, and choose pumpkins together on a special fall day. There are more kids and there are older kids. The friends feel like sisters to each other. The Fall Day is one of the best days of the year.

_MG_3439My girls, who have blood sisters.

I pray they are someday as close as I am with my girlfriends. And thankfully, I now have sisters through marriage. When I am with any of them, it feels like not a day has past since the last time we were together. I love them. But my girlfriends, the ones I talk to on a daily basis, the ones I e-mail and call when I need help with my kids or with buttons or with ideas for dinner or a prayer request, those girls are my every-day sisters. There’s not a bigger compliment I could bestow upon any of them.

Here’s a web album of our Fall Day, 2009. I don’t think I have pictures of all my “sisters”, but anyone my age you see on these pictures counts.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I would make a bad farmer

It’s true. I’m not into messy stuff. But even worse, I get tired of the harvest. Seriously. Any farmer that gets tired of harvest…well…that farmer wouldn’t make very much money.

I was informed by my family this weekend that we had more red tomatoes. Seriously? I’m so tired of tomatoes. What on earth is my tomato plant doing producing more tomatoes in October? Goodness. I thought I had made my last batch of salsa. Apparently not.


I’m really behind on my Photo of the Day business. So…here’s a little catch-up with the missing photos:

September 26: This little musical has been consuming a lot of my life lately:

_MG_3198It’s Sarah’s 6th grade musical. It’ll be performed November 19 & 20. Until then, I’ll be reading that book pretty much every day. It’s a lot of fun and a lot of work. I wouldn’t miss being involved for anything.

September 27: I am soooo loving my Bible Study this year!


September 28 was those pictures of Katiebug.

September 29: I’ve been walking with a friend a couple times a week and it was so cold one morning that the girls begged for hot cocoa when we got home. They love hot cocoa.



  September 30: Life has been so busy. This is how I can tell:

_MG_3197 Countertop full of JuNk. Ooooh. But see that? That’s a coupon for free chocolate. You can have one too. You just go to the M&M website on Fridays and sign up and you’ll get a coupon for a free candy bar in the mail. You can even use it on Dove chocolate. Mmmm.

October 1 was the picture of Ed & I from 16 years ago.

October 2 & 3: I was at our church women’s retreat. It was AWESOME. I’m still processing. I might blog about it more eventually. The main thing I want to remember from it is that God’s grace is like warm blankets, being piled high on top of  us in the cold of winter, over and over. And when we share God’s grace, or give someone else grace, we are piling those same blankets over them. What a great image.

_MG_3008Our retreat committee. Love these gals. They worked hard and prayed hard with me for this retreat for months now. It’s been good.

_MG_3161  Our local retreat center serves the best meals. That dessert is a classic and one of my favorites. They make everything so yummy and pretty.

October 4: Now that school is in full swing, our “wall of fame” is getting full. Fun stuff.


October 5: Last night I had a counselor meeting and those GEMS Counselors did it again – they had great ideas, lots of energy and willingness, and we were so productive! We pretty much covered everything we needed to cover. We planned our theme night using our theme resource book:

_MG_3189Our theme is on prayer. It’s gonna be good.

And so, now we’re to today, which is back to those tomatoes. Anybody want some salsa?