Thursday, September 12, 2013


We have traveled down the road of contact lenses with Evan.

Yes, he's only 10.
Yes, he's a boy.
Yes, we're gluttons for punishment.

After careful consideration a momentary lapse of judgment, we decided that with the amount of sports Evan plays, we should consider trying contacts.  He can't exactly wear his glasses on the wrestling mat.  SO, a trip to the eye doctor, a contact lens fitting, and 3 [yes, I said 3] lenses later, we are on a roll.

He can wear a regular old disposable lens in one eye, but the other eye...not so much.

Astigmatism = Lots of $ and a really thick weighted lens [BOO!]

Thank goodness the ripped lens was the cheaper version - and it happened on only day 2.  Evan has gotten really good at taking his lenses out but mom still needs to help him get them in.  The eye doctor told me I was enabling him.  Oh, well.  I will pick my battles.

And tonight while sitting in front of my computer, I had a brief moment of panic that Evan went to bed with his contacts in.  I flew upstairs imagining him rubbing his eyes in his sleep and scratching his cornea, or worse yet, ripping the uber-expensive lens.

I flipped on his light and woke him up.  Only to find out that my 10 year old son was responsible enough to remember to take the lenses out and put them safely away in their case all. by. himself!

My little boy is growing up [sniff...sniff...]

Now if I could just get him to pick up his dirty clothes off the bathroom floor and his wet towel off his bedroom rug, we'd be all set...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wet & Wild

This time last Thursday, we were on our way to OH! Canada for a little trip to visit Niagara Falls.  Since none of us had ever seen the falls in person, we were all quite excited.  Our plan was to arrive around 11:30 Thursday night.  We actually arrived at the border closer to 12:30 Friday morning and then patiently waited in the customs line for ALMOST.  TWO.  HOURS.

Really?!?  There are that many people that need to be crossing the border into Canada in the middle of the night?  Who knew?

Our view from the hotel made that wait {almost} worthwhile.

The little bit we saw of Canada was beautiful.  And expensive.  And friendly.  And expensive.  And clean.  Did I mention expensive?

And I'm thoroughly convinced they think it's hilarious to soak their guests.  Every thing we did {okay, maybe not everything} was preceded by the handing out of a rain poncho.  We all ended up with three different ponchos.  Quite comical.



Poncho Incognito:

Poncho Cutie:

Poncho Ninja:

We also ventured a bit further north to Niagara on the Lake.  It was this adorable little town with quaint shops, including this yummy Irish Pub where we had dinner and about 15 ice cream places to choose from.  Do not be distracted by the claw my hand in this shot.  Don't know what that's about?  

Overall the trip was fun.  It was a wet whirlwind and we were exhausted, but now we can all say we've seen the falls.  Been there.  Done that.

Monday, August 19, 2013

24 years and counting....

So, this summer is almost over.  My sisters and I have been pretty dedicated to helping my dad clean out his house a bit [now THAT'S an understatement if I ever saw one...but we won't go there].  

We've come across some real gems as we go, but this is my favorite thus far:

Let me give you a minute to take that in....

the high hair (on both of us)

the Mr. T gold chains

the caterpillar eyebrows

the mullet

the skinny, toned arms

the shoulder pads

did you notice the high hair???


This was July 1990.

Our 1 year dating anniversary.

I was 15, almost 16.

Mark was 18(!) 
What were my parents thinking?!?

We went out to a really fancy dinner to a restaurant that no longer exists and I tried fried shrimp for the first time.  Crazy to think that this was 23 years ago.  I remember I had to have just the right outfit and going out shopping with my mom for this lovely white one.  HA!  

Too can stop giggling now.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Evan's Phillies Room (from 2011)

This post is two years past due, but that's okay, because I still think it's worth sharing. All three boys shared a room [their choice] until three years ago when Evan decided he was old enough - at 8 - for his own room.  We agreed and decided that the old nursery would be perfect.  It was being used as an extra playroom for the boys [because they needed two??] and it was time.  

Evan decided he wanted a Phillies room, so that's what we did...

We had to work with the white wainscoting around 3 of the 4 walls because we CERTAINLY weren't ripping that down after Mark installed it for the nursery decor.  I hated painting over the alphabet and star border that I had so lovingly painted along the top of the ledge, but if you look ever so closely, you can still make out a letter or two under the fresh coat of Phillies blue paint [and I sanded them, too!]  

I knew I wanted to incorporate an interactive scoreboard in the room.  I searched high and low for something to purchase online.  Everything I found was too small, too large, too expensive, not right, so I decided to create my own.  Mark helped put together the templates and then brought home a projector so that I could tape it out on the wall.  First I painted a large white square.  Then, I projected the outline of the scoreboard and taped it off with painter's tape before giving it two coats of green.  

The kids had fun helping pull off the painters tape to reveal the white lines underneath.

Then, I cut out numbers and words on my Cricut and used the negative space as stencils to fill in the numbers and words.  I also purchased cheap plastic green pocket folders and white number stickers.  I  cut the folders into green rectangles to fit the scoreboard squares and assigned the numbers.  I plan on adhering velcro dots to the wall and to the back of each number so that Evan can change the score as he  watches or listens to the games. [I don't have a pic of the number cards so I'll have to update once I get this part done - hey, it's only been two years!!!!]

I projected the Phillies logo and Phillies 'P 'onto the wall to trace them out and then painted them.

I had these 12 x 12 canvases [doesn't everyone have them laying around? Oh, wait - that's just me...].  I decided to make some quick personalized art accents using paint and some scrapbooking supplies I had around.  I really love how these turned out!

This desk has a story behind it.  It was passed down from my parents' house so it had a few coats of paint on it and it was pretty banged up.  I wish I had a BEFORE pic of it, because it was bad.  I sanded it and painted it dark blue.  The top had some weird thing on it that showed through the paint, so Mark decided to sand it down again and repaint it.  Except when he sanded it down, we saw this beautiful wood top and I had the brilliant idea to make it look like a wooden bat on the top and leave the rest painted.  Mark remembers this story VERY differently and claims that it was his brilliant idea to do that.  I'm just setting the record straight, people!!!!!

I will give Mark all the credit for working up the Louisville Slugger stencil on the computer and finishing off the top to look AMAZING!  I really think that's what makes the room complete.  He even put Evan's birth year on the "bat" - 2003.  Love it!!

This was Evan's very first night in his new bedroom.  I think he loves it, too! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Take Me Out to the Ballgame (but only if it's above freezing...)

The 2013 baseball season has come and gone in our house.  And it was an interesting one...
To be honest, I was a little nervous because this was the first year that ALL 3 boys were playing and, of course, they were in three different divisions: T-ball, machine pitch, and kids pitch.  I wasn't sure how we would juggle games on different fields at the same time, but it all worked out just fine.
Nathan's games were always on the same field and always at 6 p.m.  Evan's games were always on the same field and always either at 6 or 8 p.m.  Ryan's games were on different fields, but his games were always at 6 p.m.  And we only had an occasional Saturday game thrown in here and there, which was awesome!
The season opened with the parade down Main Street and as usual, there were WAY more people in the parade walking than there were people spectating!  As you can see, this pic was "pre-summer" haircuts...
Doesn't Ryan make the cutest catcher EVER??!?  The jury's still out on whether he liked this position because he actually liked playing catcher or because he didn't have to make much effort to actually get the ball...
Nathan's first stinking cute!

One of the strangest things about this baseball season was the ridiculously cold FREEZING temperatures we had to endure for all of Evan's night games.  I'm talking winter hats, gloves, scarves, coats, long underwear, extra socks and blankets kind of cold!   Some of those 8 p.m. games, we were on the field until 10:30 (thank goodness they were weekend games!) and the temperature would drop into the mid 30s/low 40s.  It was crazy cold, but it was fun.

Ryan is under there somewhere....

Can you see the "Feels Like" temp on this Weather Channel app screenshot??????

Nathan and Ryan both had decent seasons.  They both improved a lot and became decent hitters towards the end.  Evan, on the other hand, had a disappointing season.  His division changed this year, so he was one of the youngest kids on his team in a much more competitive game.  There were many games in which he sat on the bench for 2+ innings.  Mark and I struggled, too.  It was really hard to watch him be disappointed and discouraged every game.

More than anything, I think I was frustrated and disappointed in the coaches.  Yeah, I know they're volunteers and they are doing their best, but we're talking about 10, 11, and 12 year old kids.  Let everyone take a turn sitting out an inning.  Let everyone have as many opportunities to hit as possible.  Let everyone rotate and play infield and outfield.  These kids are not being drafted into the Major Leagues any time soon.  Let this Little League experience be a learning experience and let it be FUN!  I'm sorry, but there's no reason for anything different at this stage.  I am hoping and praying that Evan is put on a team next year with coaches who believe that!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cousins and Friends

Our kids are so blessed to have cousins their own ages.  When I was growing up, my cousins were all much younger than me and they lived far away so we didn't get to see them very often.  Needless to say, my sisters and brother and I didn't have much of a relationship with them.

All of our kids have a cousin who is close in age, some by as little as 6 weeks!  And what makes it so much fun is that they all get along with one another.  My kids WANT to hang out and play with their cousins.  They WANT to have sleepovers and bonfires and pool parties.  They just love being around each other.  

My sister has a great pool in her backyard and we had our first weekly cousin pool party this past a three weeks ago.  Yes, you read that correctly...a WEEKLY pool party.  It is planned as a standing date.  The weather better not stand in our way!!!