Thursday, August 27, 2015

Regina at playground

What happens when I ask Clare to watch Philip....

Two Pictures from Wednesday.

Our tomato harvest from the past few days.

A whole playground to explore, and Philip would rather sit on the bench and draw with a marker.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sunflowers = Goldfinches.

No matter what Regina thinks, the real reason I plant sunflowers is so that the goldfinches will come back.  

These flippy, chirpy little birds are like living pieces of sunshine.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ultrasound- 11 weeks. Not MY ultrasound!

his baby was saved at a pregnancy resource center when his mother chose life after seeing this ultrasound. We discovered later in the pregnancy this baby was a BOY! 
For everyone who is wondering what can be seen on an ultrasound of a 1st trimester baby. Enjoy!
11 weeks 4 days old baby. So much energy & life!!! Precious baby. 

Tub Time.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Garden Haul.

August has been the month for harvesting.  We have been getting this many tomatoes at least every other day!  Those are pierogies in the making behind her on the counter.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Fun at the Company Picnic.

Andy's company picnic this year was terrific!  I didn't get a lot of pictures, but in addition to the rock wall, (which Noelle scaled to the top more than once)

there was a bounce house, an inflatable racetrack featuring zippy little racing bathtubs and toilets - really! -  bungee bouncers, free snow cones and cotton candy (which my kids patronized liberally), tours of the plant, a delicious lunch and cookie bar, a prize raffle, and bingo.

As usual, Andy found himself in the bingo caller seat, with a few helpers.  Philip was hysterical - he repeated every number and letter Andy called, and his voice was clearly audible over the microphone, causing more than a few chuckles.

Bingo was the source of more than a few tense moments. . .

Happily, everyone ended the day as a satisfied winner!

Though it's hard to pinpoint their favorite attraction of the day, the photo booth WAS admittedly a huge draw . . .

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Birthday cake gallery

Forgive my shameless self-promotion here... whenever possible, I have always tried to make special birthday cakes. With the exception of Sarah's 12th and 14th, this is a sampling of some of my creations ...

Natalie & Noelle's 2nd birthday cakes

Scott's 10th birthday

Brian's 7th birthday cake

Clare's 3rd birthday

Sarah's 12th birthday

Sarah's 13th birthday April 3, 2004

If you rearrange the letters, it spells "Sippy Harry had a bath"

Theresa's 3rd birthday

Those fudge burgers were absolutely delicious.


Conor's 5th birthday cake

He wanted a Darth Vader, teenager with spiky hair,
rock star, motorcycle dude cake.

Andy's 35th birthday cake

Smaug the Dragon (from the Hobbit), jeweled underbelly and all

And then there's today's offering:

Happy Birthday, Conor.  I hope you like it!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

My Town.

There used to be a storefront at the mall that was remodeled into a make-believe kid-sized village.  The inner walls were lined with cubicles that were designated as the police station (complete with jail), the schoolroom, the ice cream shop, the dress-up parlor, the train station (with brio train sets), and many more.  There was an indoor "road" where kids could ride the little tricycles and pretend cars, and a grouping of tables in the center to have lunch, or for parents to chat.

We only went a few times before it closed its doors, but here are a few pictures:

Noelle liked to hang out in the library.

Natalie in the dress-up room.

This picture is from the schoolroom.  Theresa had been trying to play a school game where she was the teacher, Mrs. Poop-poop-a-loop.  The other kids weren't interested in playing just then, which hurt her feelings.  I found this on the chalkboard shortly after, which broke my heart, too.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Regina and I planted sunflowers in May and she's so happy that they've gotten so tall... she wanted  to show everyone how big they are.

I got it into my head that it might be a good opportunity for a group photo.

Alright, everybody!  Out on the high porch!

If I had everybody home, they would stretch all the way across the porch.  THAT would be cool!  Hear that, kids?  Next time we're all home, we're doing it.

Friday, July 24, 2015


Sarah had Fluffy Blanket, but there hasn't been another kid with a favorite blanket since then.  

Until Phil.

Blankie has a backstory.  

In 2009,  Scott had a car accident in which the car was seriously injured and thankfully, he was not.  He still won a trip to the hospital in an ambulance, and the ambulance crew had to cut his jeans off him, so he arrived at the hospital (and came home) covered by a loosely-woven hospital blanket stained with his own blood.

Flash-forward to 2013 - Philip is born in August, and during a shopping trip in those early months, in the baby department at Target, I saw a gauze baby blanket for upwards of $20.  $20 FOR GAUZE!!!  It doesn't even keep a baby warm, but it's supposed to reduce the risk of suffocation.

I remembered that blood-stained blanket that I'd been hanging onto, and thought I could do something with it.  I cut out the stains to make it into a large rectangle, and sewed a blue satin  border around the edge with pastel rainbow thread.

This was taken December 2013, when he was 3 months old.

I don't remember exactly how old he was when we realized that he was grabbing for it eagerly at  naptime or bedtime, but it was definitely a faithful companion by the time he was crawling.  It was when he started to walk, however, that Blankie became a liability.  He tried to toddle around with Blankie dragging under his feet, tripping him up. 

By that time, he had become so attached to it that I was fearful we'd lose it somewhere and he'd be inconsolable.  It was then that I sub-divided Blankie into one large, one medium, and three "Traveling Buddies."

Philip, 11 months, and a Traveling Buddy on the return trip from Illinois last July.

Sometimes we can find all five, sometimes only two or three.  One Traveling Buddy is permanently stationed in his car seat, and he knows that "Big Blankie" lives in the "kib." (crib)  The rest are dragged (and lost) everywhere on a daily basis.  He even came proudly into the kitchen today, pushing a doll stroller with Blankie in the seat, exclaiming, "Blankie - roller!"

July 2015, 23 months old