Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Eve

We don't really play up the Santa thing at our house.  We talk about Santa as a fun tradition.  Even with our lukewarm Santa atmosphere, the girls were really excited to see Santa at the annual gathering of my mom's family on Christmas Eve.

(Years from now June will regret ripping out the clip I put in her hair.)

(And that is my darling nephew Bruce photobombing everyone's Santa pictures.)

The gathering is so large it is held in the gym of the church.  We set up tables and chairs for 100.  They were filled.  There was enough food for 200 people.

Grandma and Grandpa Ohio set up a giant bounce house for the kids.  And an xBox.  And a movie screen.  And a craft table.
My cousin painted nails...


Fun was had by all...

O Christmas Tree

We bought this lovely tree last year off of good ol' Craigslist.  It is big and somewhat lifelike.  It is somewhat pre-lit.  (Last year it was more pre-lit.)  This year a few strands of lights have lost their shine, so a few more strands were tucked into the branches.
We don't really have a theme to our tree... or maybe the theme is "stuff we like."

Our tree started out evenly decorated... the ornaments were spaced neatly around the tree.
And then the girls rearranged the ornaments...

By Christmas day, most ornaments were hung above the reach of Ruby and June... making our tree appear a bit top-heavy.
Oh well.
The ornaments are sort of magical.
My favorite childhood ornament...

From Andy's boyhood...

I made this from a map of the Chicago CTA.

And there are plenty of our kids' ornaments and antiques and fun momentos covering our tree.

Soon it will be time to take this tree down and tuck away all the little treasures until next year. 
Without the tree around, I guess the kids will have to go back to getting into mischief with other stuff. 

take a bow

Have I told you that Alli is taking violin lessons?  It's true. 
She has learned a zillion variations of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
She had her first recital at the beginning of December.  She played Twinkle wonderfully. 
And now we are all looking forward to her working on other tunes. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bread and Butter

This afternoon, I heard the PPPSSSTT of the bus' brakes, and I stepped outside to meet Alli and Ruby as they came home from school.  June sometimes comes outside with me.  Not today.  She was busy.

June was making something for Daddy all by herself.
When I came back inside, the bread was smothered in butter.  Thick.

She knows how to butter up her Daddy.
June was so proud of herself.  And I must say, she did a great job.  She did it neat and pretty even.  So I got the camera...
"Smile."  Click.

And see the shirt she is wearing?  It says "I (heart) Daddy!"  It is her favorite shirt.

Alli and Ruby were interested in June's creation.  June told them it was for her Daddy!  They teased her, which didn't go over well, and I had to put the special slice of bread back on the counter where it couldn't be reached... and I was charged with keeping it safe until Daddy came home.

And, oh was June excited when Daddy came home!

Daddy shared his butter, and we spread it on ten slices of bread... and we had garlic bread with our dinner.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Monday!

Monday... gray skies... overdue books... mountain 'o laundry...Andy's car is in the shop... blah.

And so I need to think about the things I am thankful for...

  • I am thankful for music.  Alli can play a song on the violin!  She is one month into lessons, and she is a master of "Mary Had a Little Lamb!"
  • I am thankful that June's birthday is getting closer.  June talks about her birthday every single day.  She has serious plans.  And I am glad she won't have to wait too much longer.
  • I am thankful for imagination.  Ruby draws pictures everyday and presents them to me.  Sometimes I find her art taped to the walls and windows.  She is so creative and prolific!
  • I am thankful for talents.  I didn't know all the talents Andy had when we got married (or maybe he didn't really have those talents just yet).  Andy is finishing a room in our basement.  He built the stud walls, wired the outlets and lights and switches, put up drywall... the man has skills.
  • I am thankful for my family, our kids, my parents and siblings, in-laws, grandparents... they are all good people and there is a lot of love... and many will be here for Thanksgiving in a few days!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Family Photos!

To see our family pictures that I took, click here.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekend at Betsy's

We went to the edge of Ohio last weekend to visit Andy's sister Betsy and her adorable family.  There was a birthday party for this princess...

And there was much cooing and loving on this little guy...

Like his hat?  I made it.  I'm sure he will thank me later.

To see more pictures from our weekend adventure, click here.



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Trick or Treat!

Monday was the BIG night... trick or treating! 

June was a baby duck.

Alli was a witch. This is the hurry-up-so-we-can-go photo...

(Aren't the wilted zinnia's spooky?!)

Ruby was going to be a ghost.  I made her a costume... I know, big deal, a ghost costume.  But Ruby changed her mind.

So she was a "Halloween Fairy" with a cat face...
and muddy boots.

Oh well.

Andy was a... uh... good sport.

I was a gypsy... but I neglected to get a picture of me in my getup, which I regret.

June found it easier to wear her treat bag around her neck.  She is all about efficiency.

I love how she is hugging the bag!

We collected too much candy.  Success!

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

adventures in the sink

The house was quiet (this is how many good stories start).  Then Alli came to me in a panic and said, "June is doing something in the bathroom."  "Something" is short for "something that is really naughty."
And so I sprang to my feet to assess the situation.
This is what I found...

Yes, June climbed into the bathroom sink, stopped the drain and had a little bubble bath.

Just her size.

That soap dispenser was full last week.

When she was done I wrapped her in a hand towel... okay, it was a little too small.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Word of the day: Perseverance

Ruby had a helium balloon (always bad news).  She let go of it in the office and it flew up to the one spot of vaulted ceiling in that room, so she couldn't reach the string.  She came and asked me to get it.  I was chopping tomatoes to freeze and my hands were icky... so I told her to wait.  In a few minutes, I came to help, and I found that she had her balloon.  Ruby saw my surprised look and said, "I used some perseverance and got the balloon by myself."
Of course.
I asked her if she knew what that meant.
"It's when you keep trying until you get it."

I was a proud mama.
Later, she took the balloon outside.  Bad news.  It will take a whole lot more perseverance (and an airplane, rocket ship, or the like) to get it now.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Last week June offered a cashier at a store her sucker (from her mouth). 
"You want some?" she asked him as she held it out in his direction. 
"I'm good," he said.

June is a sweetie... usually willing to share, always concerned about boo-boos, always making us laugh.  She will say "thank you" if you complement her.  If you don't notice her fabulous outfit, she will ask you if you like it... and she will tell you that she loves it.
June is tiny for her age, but acts much older than her age.  She can talk your ear off.  Questions, questions, questions.  All through the day she asks me what time it is... and when Daddy is coming home.  June dresses herself (or chooses not to... see below).
She likes to eat her lunch from her lunch box, like her big sisters.

June takes great care of her favorite baby doll.  He (she calls him "Boy Baby") is covered in bandages.  Tough love.
June pretends to read.  She tells some very imaginative stories... she told grandpa she rode a horse with her cousins this week.  (false.)  I asked her if it was real or pretend.  "'Tend."
This little girl is a drop of summer everyday.   

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

growing up

Remember when Alli cut her own hair the day before school?

It's growing out... or should I say up?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I know a stud when I see one

That's what I'm talkin' about.
Andy is working on our basement... finishing part of it.

The closet is framed out.  The walls are up.

There is drywall!  And outlets!  And a switch!

And lights!  Andy had to reroute some of the ductwork so there wouldn't be so many crazy soffets.

Here is the man at work...

The man has skills!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend fun

Last Friday there was no school... so I took the girls up to Grandma and Grandpa Ohio's house.
The girls couldn't wait to play in Grandma's playroom.  Alli says the toys there are REALLY fun (not like our boring toys).
We visited my Grandma.  We left with two bags of cookies.  She says she's done making cookies... she's even giving away her cookie sheets.  We'll see.

The girls made cupcakes with Grandma Ohio and took them to Grandpa's work.
I took photos of the teachers at Falcon Academy.  And I did a family picture for my brother Dan's family.
We had a pasta party for my marathon-running brothers... it was also a birthday party for my Grandpa Edwin.

Grandpa Ed invited a bunch of friends to the party.  What a collection of friends!  The range in age and ethnicity and lifestyle was quite interesting.  When we all sang "Happy Birthday," Ed got all shy and looked down and kept eating his dinner.  He did blow out the candle at the end of the song. 
My nephew Eldon couldn't get enough of the Jeep.

I had to Photoshop him out of Dan's family picture...

We had to head home Friday night because I was taking bridal photos on Saturday.
Busy.  Busy.  Busy.
Andy got to go to the OSU game on Saturday.  We don't own any OSU attire (which might be criminal in Columbus).
A red shirt from CVS had to do.  (And now I have an idea for a Christmas present.)
As soon as Andy got back from the game I took off for a women's dinner and broadcast.  The messages were inspiring and uplifting... and the company was wonderful!

My brothers Dan and Dave ran the Akron Marathon on Saturday.  Dan beat his best time by a minute... but I forget what that time was.  Dave came in 4th place... not his very best time, but his best finish at Akron.  Go bros!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Apparently Ruby has picked her pumpkin.
(These lovely pumpkins came from our garden!)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Back to School Pictures... finally

I am behind on the blog.
The girls are back to school... they have been for a few weeks now.  Anyhow, here is Alli's first day of school...

She is a little ray of sunshine on a very dark and wet morning. 
She is obviously getting older and cooler...

She didn't even turn back to wave at me.  Sniff.  She did wave as the bus pulled away.

Ruby started kindergarten a few days after Alli started.

Alli was eager to show Ruby her school... where to go... what to do...
Can you feel the love?

Ruby is tough to wake up.  Every morning is a battle... but I am the only one fighting.  She is like a rag doll.  Once she is out the door, she perks up and smiles all the way to the bus stop.

And she turns to smile at her mommy when she gets on the bus.

Both girls love school and adore their teachers.  Hooray for the wonderful teachers at our school (and all schools)!

June is adjusting to having the house (and mommy) to herself all day.

She spends a lot of time taking care of babies.  Can you tell which is her favorite?

The blue-eyed baby she calls Asena (named after her baby cousin).  June loves her blue eyes and bandages (several more bandages have been added since this picture... I'll have to get another picture eventually).  She also has some permanent marker drawings on her arms.

June and I are getting a lot done during the days.  And having lots of fun.   And reading lots of books.

Life is good.  And when the girls come home, there is always more fun (though maybe less stuff getting done).