Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. " Isaiah 9:5-7

Thursday, December 23, 2010

thankful thursday

Today I am thankful for my three boys.
Yes, they are crazy and loud and demanding of my time and energy, but they are such a joy!

This month, in an effort to s-l-o-w down our frantic pace of life, we've been sitting by the light of the Christmas tree after dinner snuggled up under blankets, sometimes with a cup of hot chocolate and a bowl of popcorn, listening to the first book in the Chronicles of Narnia series on CD. They have [I have] really enjoyed this time together.  Thanks, Dad, for letting us borrow the CDs!

I am getting excited for Christmas now because I know how much fun these guys will make it. 

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Crafts

Disclaimer: Family members who may or may not be receiving these as Christmas presents, you may wish to skip this post, a.k.a. DO NOT OPEN UNTIL DECEMBER 25th! For those of you intent on peeking {JILL}, try to act surprised for the boys' sakes when you open them...

These gifts are fun and easy projects to make with your kids [at least school-age]. I cannot take credit for them. Evan actually made them when he was in kindergarten and it has taken me two years to get around to trying our own versions.
For the first project, you'll need Christmas balls, tree hooks, white acrylic paint, a sponge brush, and various colored paint pens.

Use the sponge brush to spread white paint over the fingers and palm of one hand of your child.
Have them hold their hand with their fingers flattened out and place the ball in the palm of their hand so that their fingers will be on the sides of the ball when it dangles. Have them slowly place their hand around the ball and set aside to dry. I say SLOWLY because you run the risk of creating two-headed snowmen if your child moves their hands around ~ trust me, I know :)

When the paint is dry, use the paint pens to draw snowmen faces, coal buttons, and scarves. You could also add your child's name and date on the back if you wish. Once that paint is dry, add the tree hook, some ribbon if you like, and it's ready to gift.

For the second project, you'll need empty film or diabestic testing strip canisters, white acrylic paint, sponge brushes, black paint pen, orange ribbon or felt, glue, glitter, pipe cleaners, pom-poms, and tree hooks.

First you have to paint the empty canisters white. Don't worry too much about coverage ~ you'll be covering them
with glitter later.
Once they're dry, use the paint pen to draw eyes and a mouth. Cut the orange ribbon or felt into a small triangle and glue on as a nose. Let dry.

Using a q-tip or small brush, spread glue on the entire canister, avoiding the eyes, mouth, and nose. Sprinkle with glitter, covering completely, and let dry.

Cut pipe cleaners to about an inch to an inch and a half and bend into an arch. Using a glue gun, attach pipe cleaners onto snowman's head and add pom-poms over its "ears." Add tree hook to top of earmuffs and it's ready once it's dry.
These make great family or teacher gifts. I must say as a teacher that I still have every single ornament a student ever gave me and I love getting them out every Christmas and remembering who they are from.
Happy Crafting!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

thankful thursday

Today, I am thankful for my handsome hubby, Mark.

He is my best friend and a wonderful husband.

He is an excellent daddy to our boys.

We know he loves us dearly.

He's a hard worker.

He loves the Lord.

We know he'll be there whenever we need him.

And he's a handyman to boot! T-Minus 24 - 48 hours until our heater is up and running again [keep your fingers crossed!]

Who could ask for anything more!?!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

wordful wednesday

I interupt this regularly scheduled "Wordless Wednesday" for an emergency "Wordful Wednesday."

It has been entirely too long between posts lately and I'm so excited to be spending the evening baking and blogging! It's funny how as I look back at my post counts over previous months, I can gauge the craziness of my life at the time.

Few and far between posts = CHAOS!

And yes, we've had some chaos around here. Nothing earth-shattering, but still chaos...

I had to finish up my grad class, which included a research review paper.
[Insert gagging emoticon here]

Nathan had the stomach bug followed five days later by stomach cramps so severe we thought he had appendicitis and spent 5 + hours at the ER to find out it wasn't. Did I mention that this was the same day my paper was due? Yeah...

Money seems to be flying out of our bank accounts at warp speed lately.

And frankly, I think my hands have been too cold to type. In the coldest spell we've had in a long time [0 degree wind chill], we have not been able to use our heater. Why, you ask? A little problem with MOLD in the ductwork! It's a lovely mess that my wonderful hubby has taken on with gusto. And to the tune of $600, we [read: he] are replacing the fiberboard ducts with aluminum ones. Thank God we have a wood burning stove and a gas fireplace. Even with those and the space heaters in the bedrooms, though, it has been TOUGH to get out of bed in the morning!

Did I mention that this paper was 12 pages long?

Oh, and to top it off, my sinuses have been horrendous [MOLD, perhaps?] including a bulging eardrum which has been painful and annoying.

At work, my colleague is retiring next week and I've been coordinating a surprise retirement breakfast for her this Friday. That's 50 - 60 people plus all the food and drinks we'll need plus collecting money for a gift and putting together a little scrapbook for her.

Yep, life is crazy! :)
Hope you're enjoying crazy, too!

Can't burn my cookies....and in honor of the usual "wordless" post, I'll leave you with this photo...

Friday, December 3, 2010

quote of the week

About two months ago, when Mark was cleaning out our unfinished basement, he brought up a present for the boys....

a 4 foot long snake skin.

The boys, of course, thought this was pretty cool.

I, however, did not.

I decided that a 4 foot snake skin was reason enough to avoid the basement altogether. That meant sending Mark down to bring up decorations and sending Evan and/or Ryan down to get things out of the freezer. I know, I'm a great mom, aren't I?

Don't get bitten by any snakes while you're getting the frozen peas out for dinner, okay?

Fast forward to tonight. We decided to make s'mores by roasting marshmallows by the woodstove as an after dinner treat. I figured it's been a while since Mark discovered our snake skin and we haven't seen any more evidence that he's living in our basement, so I joined the boys and had some yummy s'mores. Who could turn down s'mores made with Carmello bars?

While we were down there, Mark turned off the lights to better set the mood and Ryan begged him to turn them back on.

R: Dad, I do NOT want to get bitten by that snake! He's going to get me!

Nathan turns to him with an 'are-you-kidding-me-look' and says:

Ryan, snakes can't open doors!


I think my fears are subsiding, but I'm still going to be on high alert for any signs of snakes in the basement :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

life by numbers

19 = number of days since my last blogpost (sorry!)

25 = days until Christmas

12 = days until my latest metacognitive research review is due
(sounds like a good time, doesn't it?)

6 = number of pies baked at our annual pie-baking extravaganza Wednesday before Thanksgiving

7 = number of mini-pies baked by my boys and their cousins

3 = number of pumpkin rolls baked for Thanksgiving festivities

4 + 1 = days we just had off for Thanksgiving
~ LOVE the bonus "1st day of hunting season" day off

7 = hours spent shopping by myself yesterday with ALL 3 BOYS!

2 = number of meals we ate out while said shopping

4 = number of Free Frosty coupons we cashed in at the end of the long day of shopping to treat ourselves for our good behavior ~ even Mommy :)
3 ~give or take an hour~ = number of hours spent trying to tweak a Christmas card template (curse you, Photoshop!)

Billion + 1 = number of things I feel need to be done this time of year!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

thankful thursday

Today, Veteran's Day, I am thankful to my Pop-Pop Spence,
and my Pop-Pop Tom, who both defended our country in WWII.
They are truly heroes.
Have you thanked a vet today?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

no scrappy share

Remember this post?

Yeah, well, I do, too. And I'm dying to get into all my fun new paper.
However, I've been a bit busy with other creative endeavors these past few weeks....
Nathan's birthday party invitation:
Ryan's book character pumpkin for the contest at his school library:
[Can you guess our character????]
And putting together costumes for
1 Indiana Jones....
1 Mario Brother....
and 1 Wyatt from Super Why...

Hopefully, I'll get to scrap again soon....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

thankful thursday

Today, I am thankful for my sister, Megan.

She is a wonderful wife to Jim, who doesn't realize how good he has it.

She is an amazing mom to Abby, Chris, & Alex.

She is a terrific sister to me, Jill, & Michael.

We have tons of fun when we're together.
I don't know why I ever washed her hair with Vaseline
or threw shampoo bottles at her
or thought she was annoying.

Megan likes to have a good time....

And although she's probably going to kill me for these,
apparently, she likes to dress up....

a lot.

Happy Birthday Megan!
I love you lots! :)

Party on, dude :)

P.S. No revenge postings allowed ~ hahaha!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

our very own jack o'lantern

Evan lost his second tooth in as many weeks this past Friday. He is our very own resident jack o'lantern. Good thing, too, since we didn't get around to carving one this year ~ hahaha!
And by the way, the new but apparently not much improved tooth fairy almost blew it again.
Lucky for her, trying to wake Evan up in the morning is like trying to wake a hibernating bear and she was able to buy some time.
We've hired her only on a trial basis.

Monday, November 1, 2010

happy birthday to nathan

Four years ago today, Nathan Mark was brought into this world an astonishing 6 1/2 weeks early [I was induced due to Rh complications]. I'll never forget the MFM doctor coming in to see me before delivery to tell me what I could expect with such an early preemie.
Well, Mr. Nathan is quite the scrappy fellow and blew her predictions right out of the water. He weighed in at a whopping 6 lbs. 2 oz.! He was the BIG kid on the NICU block for the ten days he had to spend there.

Who knew that he would steal our hearts with his big brown eyes and cheeseball smile?

Nathan, we love you and are so thankful that God placed you in our lives.
We don't know what we'd do without your sunshine :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

thankful thursday

Today I am thankful for beautiful sunsets right out my front door:

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

wordless wednesday

I caught a Logan smile! :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

quote of the week

Ryan: I'm the King of Food!

Except for basagna [rhymes with lasagne].

I don't really like basagna.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

i fired the tooth fairy

Evan lost his third tooth this week. We were play-wrestling [READ: mommy was trying to snag a hug] one day after school and he yelled, "Stop!", stood up, and spit his tooth out. Now his tooth was loose, but this still was kind of a shock for me.
The night he lost it, we both completely forgot to put it under the pillow for the tooth fairy. So on Thursday night, I made a point of remembering to put it in the pocket of the little tooth pillow my mom made him and placing it alongside of his pillow after I kissed him goodnight.
Fast forward to the boys' 6:45 a.m. wake-up call.
Evan, who is normally as hard to wake as a hibernating bear, pops up from his pillow to check his tooth pillow. And....the. tooth. is. still. there.
Mommy, who is normally not quick on her feet, literally or figuratively, declares, "That's IT! I'm calling the tooth fairy! I can't believe she FORGOT to take your tooth! I'm going downstairs to call her right now and telling her she's fired!!"
I took the tooth pillow downstairs, pretended to make a phone call, and switched out the tooth for DOUBLE the monetary gift [READ: guilt offering].
I returned the tooth pillow to Evan and told him the tooth fairy was fired. Not sure if he totally bought it, but he smiled.
Crisis averted.
What will we do upon the next lost tooth?
Hire a new tooth fairy, of course.
She better tie a string around her finger or set her Blackberry alarm or something...

Friday, October 22, 2010




yes...that is my kitchen ceiling!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

thankful thursday

Today I am thankful for one of my best friends, Andrea.
I can tell her anything and know that she'll love me anyway.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

wordless wednesday

my little monster...

Monday, October 18, 2010

goggle boy strikes again....

Goggle Boy, in the hopes of going incognito, dons his basketball pajamas.
No one will ever discover me now. I blend right in with those 6-foot + tall basketball players.
However, his plan is foiled when he is noticed in the crowd by some discerning Phillies fans [a.k.a. Evan & Ryan]
Nice try, Goggle Boy.
Better luck next time!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

happy birthday to me...

I can't wait to dig into these new papers! My mom gave me $20 'pin' money to spend on myself last weekend and I took it upon myself to order my very first order from Studio Calico.
SO exciting!! Thanks, MOM!!
BTW, anyone know what 'pin' money is?? I'll have to post the definition another time...

Friday, October 15, 2010


Don't you just love a good surprise?

Something that you aren't expecting that just completely brightens your day?
I think if I won the lottery, I would send surprises to different people every week.

I sent this out to my college roommate last week. I hope I brightened her day :)
I made the was so fun to make a girly card and I love the way the banner turned out.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

thankful thursday

Now I know where Evan gets his humongous forehead!

Today (everyday) I am thankful for my mom.

She is a strong, beautiful woman and I love her dearly.

She is goofy and funny and loving and honest.

I am thankful that we got to celebrate our birthdays together this past weekend
~ our birthdays are only 3 days apart!
I am especially thankful that she is still here to celebrate another birthday.
I love my mom :)
What are you thankful for today?