Category Archives: parties

Does anyone else prowl their house at 2:00am?


A shout out to my fellow night owls!

I paused for a moment, last night, before pouring coffee from the “highly caffeinated” thermos at Rutters.  Only a pause though!  Dee and I were starting a 2-hour trip home from some friends’ house, at 9:00pm.  I know this just sounds like an excuse from a coffee junkie, but ,we needed to stay awake, right?  Our kids’ lives were at stake.  Back country roads, in the dark, with my man, Selah on my iPod, kids sleeping in the backseat, that “highly caffeinated” coffee warming my hands, and 2 hours of talking.  It was wonderful!

We tucked the kids right in bed when we got home, since they were already prepped.  I learned the jammies/teeth brushed trick from my friend Michele.  So smart!

We unloaded the car.  I did, mostly, since Dee’s incision was hurting.  My car always, without fail, takes twice as long to unload than to load!   The junk unpacks and multiplies itself in the car.   Creepy, really.

I stoked the fire.

I Googled “who won the Superbowl?” and found out that the Giants won.  Don’t hate me!  Just invite me to a Superbowl party next year!

At 12:15am I started cleaning my kitchen.  I never have time to clean up before church, and I was gone all day, so all my Saturday messes (including pie baking) were still lurking in my kitchen.

Dee watched some “Jurassic Park” and then went to bed.  He felt bad letting me work all by myself, but I gave him plenty of kisses and danced around the kitchen to show him that I was WIDE awake!  I sang along to Pandora, hung up jackets, and returned food items to their proper places.  I still wasn’t tired, so I thought I’d sit and read my Bible.  Try to get sleepy.  I know, that sounds bad, right?

I wrapped up the night morning by cleaning my bathroom at 2:00am.  Toilet, shower, and floor.  When I finally crawled in bed, Dee murmured, “Do I smell the orangey aroma of cleaning products?”  I think he found it romantic, actually, and was a little in awe of my crazy, super-mom powers.

Tonight though?  I going to brew some coffee, prop up my feet, and veg with Dee for two hours in front of “The Voice!”


Hide your Chick-Fil-A cows, unless you want a visit from my two-year-old!


Anyone else still have Christmas lights and decorations up?  Good.  I love you!

My holiday celebrations are just now winding down for good.  My Massachusetts family (including married, boyfriend, and close family friend) spent five days with us, and we partied hard!  We’re talking about coffee by the gallon, a Krumpe’s Donuts trip at midnight, and 4:00am card games.  Sleep?  Who needs sleep?  As my Montana brother would say, “Sleep is a sign of caffeine deprivation.”

I had the best Christmas ever!  Having all the families together was a blast, and of course I loved my gifts. I’m  not gonna lie, and say that presents don’t matter!  I got an iPod, docking station, new music, jewelry, Starbucks gift cards, books, chocolate, and a brand new COFFEE POT!  It holds 12 cups instead of 8, so I think it’s pretty perfect.  We blew through 4 pounds of coffee while my family was here, and that new little pot held its own!

(The coffee maker beeps at me to tell me when the coffee’s ready, and Cameron grabs a towel and runs over to fan the smoke detector.  It’s hilarious!  Another Cameron funny:  I was eating leftover sauerkraut today, and he leaned over my bowl for a whiff and asked, “What does sauer-crap taste like?”)

Cory turned six years old yesterday, and my Massachusetts family stuck around all morning to help celebrate his birthday.  We also took the kids to Chick-Fil-A for supper, for a special birthday meal.  I love that most birthday meal requests are foods that I don’t have to cook!!!  (Tony’s Pizza is the top favorite.)

Megan LOVED THE COW AT CHICK-FIL-A!  Yeah, I typed that all uppercase, because I was trying to scream like Megan.  She shrieked with delight when she saw the cow-person, and followed him around the restaurant hugging his legs and petting his face when he finally picked her up.  A few kids screamed in terror at the sight of the monster cow, but I’m almost positive that Megan made up for the fearful children with her sheer adoration.

Oh, speaking of cows, I didn’t tell the chicken restaurant that we just butchered and processed a roughly 550-pound cow during Christmas week.  What a day!  Dee helped his mom, dad and sister in the morning at the butcher shop, slicing steaks and roasts, squeezing meat through the ground beef machine (good old Hobart!), and wrapping everything up in butcher paper for our freezers.  We also brought 100 pounds of ground beef home to turn into meatloaf and meatballs for our three families.  All in all, it was a long, 12-hour day, but tons of fun!  My 34-week pregnant sister-in-law was amazing.  She worked her butt off like she always does, even with a huge belly, tired body, heartburn, and gallbladder stones.  My hero!

I hope you all had a very merry and love-filled Christmas too!  Happy New Year to everyone!  I’m not making resolutions, because I don’t believe in them.  I’d end up with  a puffed-up or deflated self, and I don’t want either!  Just Jesus.

Body pillows and green cupcakes


Along with my laptop, I also bought two laundry baskets and a fluffy green body pillow last night.  I’m excited about those purchases too!  (Can you tell I haven’t been shopping for a while?)  I’ve been carrying whole loads of laundry outside to the line with my bare arms.  Those laundry baskets are my new best friend.

And the body pillow?  I’ve been dreaming of a body pillow since I first got pregnant seven years ago, and realized that adding 25 pounds to your front side makes your back ache and your sleep illusive.  Every time I mentioned how nice it would be to curl up around a body pillow, Dee would say, “But Baby, I’ll be your body pillow!”  It’s just NOT the same.  Not even close.  So, finally, five pregnancies later, I broke down and spent $11.99 at Ross’ on a body pillow. I slept GOOD last night!  Dee may become jealous of that pillow and me, but I don’t care.  It’s soooo perfect!

While Dee and I were out shopping, the boys fell off the back of the dumpy trailer.  They were out helping Grammy and Pappy mulch the baby raspberry plants, and riding on top of a full load of mulch.  No broken bones or anything, but CJ hurt his hand and cried for half an hour.  When I asked him about it this morning, and mentioned how Cboy must not have been hurt as bad, CJ said, “Yeah, I cried better than him.”

It’s another holiday!  Dee plans on cranking out the hours in the basement, trying to get drywall hung and possibly the walls sanded.  We spent $600 dollars at Lowe’s last night, and with that bill plus my Best Buy bill (where I also bought a camera), we should really be more depressed than happy!  But I’m definitely HAPPY!

We’re going to watch fireworks too, and go swimming, and rent movies, and eat pizza, ice cream, watermelon, pickles and banana peppers, and whatever else we feel like eating and doing!

I tried to make festive, blue cupcakes this morning, to kick of the 4th of July weekend.  The plan was to ice them white and red for a patriotic dessert.  But, blue food coloring in yellow cake mix turns green.  (Duh, right?  Any kindergartener knows this!)  And the more blue you add, the darker green it turns.  So, we’ll be eating green cupcakes with white and red icing!  But after all, green is my favorite color, so that’s okay.

My kids got mobbed at their first Memorial Day parade.


I took my kids to a parade this morning.  They’ve never been!  (To a Memorial Day parade.  We’re not that uncultured!)  You should have seen their faces when I asked, “Do you guys want to go to a parade?”  They jumped with joy, faces all lit up, and said, “Thank you, Mommy!”

Now the only reason we went is because our hometown of Greencastle rolled their parade through town at 10:30am.  The other two towns close to us had parades at 9:00 or some other ridiculous hour. =)  Dee was doing backhoe work for a neighbor up the road, so I had to wrangle all the kids up myself.  I told them to get dressed, grab shoes, and hop in the car while I got myself dressed.  (And gulped the rest of my coffee down.  Which is just wrong.  Coffee should never be gulped.)  I didn’t even have to dress Moosies, since Kbug has taken over the diapering and dressing of her sister!  Mmm… life is so easy right now.

We parked right at the circle downtown, around 10:00am.  That meant we had 30 minutes to kill, in the 90 degree heat, but kids are pretty resilient.  We walked up and down the sidewalk a bit, hung out under one of the five trees on the circle, explored an alley, chatted about the trucks driving past, watched “I Like to Move It, Move It” (cow version) on YouTube, got flags, and had our picture taken.

A couple of times!

Right before the parade started, a female photographer stopped us on our way to grab a curb spot, and asked if she could take my kids’ picture.  She lined them up, flags and smiles (mostly) in place, and snapped a picture.   Said it was going on the front page of her paper tomorrow.

As we were waving our flags and watching the paraders march by, another photographer knelt in the street and took a candid picture of all of us.  Meaning big-bellied mama too.  I have to admit, I sort of felt like a freak show!  I was thinking, Are my kids really that adorable, or is it just that we’re an oddity — four kids and a pregnant mom?


As this nice young man was getting our names and ages to accompany his picture, the first photographer came over.  “What are you doing?” she asked, very jovial-like.  “You don’t want to put their picture in your paper!”  Guy photographer was a little unsure of how to respond, but he asked a version of “why,” and lady photographer said, “Because I’m putting their picture in MY paper!  There’s some kids over there — go take their picture!”

Again, more than flattered, I felt like a circus side-show.  But it was fun, and I was laughing at the whole thing.  Not to mention Kbug is thrilled that her picture is going to be in the paper!

And, maybe some people DO think my kids are adorable!  I know they’re uber-cute, but my vote doesn’t count.  I’m the mom.  If we do end up in a paper or two, I’m anxious to see how the “let-the-kids-dress-themselves” look appears in print!  Cboy was the only one wearing red, white, and blue.  Plaid shorts, and a blue Assateague Island T-shirt, with ponies running across the front of his chest.  Kbug had her pink Assateague Island shirt on, with matching pink shorts.  Moosies matched me, with denim and green.  CJ was wearing red rubber rain boots, with navy shorts and a teal polo (with a palm tree or two), so that sort of counts, right?  He was just missing the white.   Oh, I’m also interested in my look.  Will the “just-rolled-out-of-bed, no make-up on” look be as cute as my husband and sister-in-law insist it is?  The jury’s still out.

A rare case of Monday blues


Monday was a little sad today.  My family drove back home to Massachusetts, leaving my house fairly quiet, except for Moosies asking, “Is Anna coming back?  Can I see Auntie Anna?  I want to see her, okay?”  And Cboy kept saying, “I miss Lizzy” at random times all day.

Me, I miss them too.

I crashed on the couch for a nap while the kids watched cartoons.  But last night’s wee hours of cards and YouTube were definitely worth the sleepy eyes!

CJ had too many walks with Bompa and the dogs, I’m thinking.  He came inside this afternoon, missing his shorts and undies, and announced: “I went poop.”  Outside.  In the mulch.  “Bompa can just scoop it up with one of those little bags,” he said.  Sure enough, CJ had left a little pile of poop out in the tree line!  Well, Bompa was gone, and I didn’t have any of Bompa’s little plastic newspaper bags, so I made do with (doubled) Wal-mart bags.

I pulled a tick out of CJ’s ear at the supper table.  Maybe that will scare him out of pooping in the trees again?

I can’t write much tonight.  I want to go curl up on the couch and read a book and forget that my family lives so far away.  But first, my list of favorites from last week.  (For me, just because I know I’ll forget it all if I don’t.)

Gibbles field trip, where everyone got FOUR BAGS of potato chips!  Going to the park to eat all our chips and puffies.  Driving to City Park too, just because it was one of the few sunny days in weeks!  Ducklings, monster fish… and adorable kids lying on their bellies, swishing sticks and hands in the pond.  My peas popped up in the garden!  Creeks and rivers completely flooded, from all the rain.  CJ learned to pump (thanks Andrew)!  Easter dinner on Good Friday, with EVERYONE around the table.  Feeling my baby kick, and hoping Shelly’s new baby boy comes soon!  Seeing tiny buds on my maple trees.  Dee cut grass for the first time!  Spring cleaning with Anna.  Kbug singing in the choir on Easter morning.  My two-year-old baby girl in shorts.  Bunnies on our lap for school and movies.  Donuts at Krumpe’s, in the rain, one night before bed.  Bog boots from my siblings.  Coffee in the mornings, and at Starbucks too!  My home filled with noise and chatter and love.

My week by firsts


I’d never had my very own garden, but now I do!  This week we put peas and onions in the little plot Dee tilled up last fall.  I usually just help with my mother-in-law’s HUGE garden right next door, and do all my canning up there as well.  She’s still growing stuff for us this year, and canning stuff for us too.  (I don’t know how much help I’ll be with a brand new baby and two kids in school in August/September!)  But I wanted to try my hand at a small garden down here on our land.   We’ll also be planting lettuce, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and I’m sure at least one watermelon plant.  My kids have big plans and a lot of enthusiasm for this garden!

First time since I’ve lived in Pennsylvania that we’ve had SNOW at the end of March!  I loved it.

First time we’ve had baby bunnies!   Eight of them!  This really threw us for a loop, since Pumpkin (our rabbit) has been caught and in her cage for a few weeks now.  Kbug found the babies a week ago Friday, when she went out to feed Pumpkin.  She saw a mound of rabbit fur in the nest, came inside and told me she thought there were baby rabbits.  I said, “No way, there can’t be!  That’s not even possible!”  But it is, and there are.  I peeked under the rabbit fur (mother rabbits pull out their own fur to make a nest for their kits), and saw two rat-looking pink things.  Yesterday we looked closer and discovered EIGHT baby bunnies!  At least they’re cute now, with some fur.  I know absolutely nothing about baby rabbits, so we’ve been using Google a lot!

Oh, and we’re NOT keeping them.  Does anyone want cute baby bunnies?

On Tuesday we went to Monkey Joe’s for the first time!  It was a birthday party for some friends, and between us five moms, there were eighteen kids.  I think the place emptied out when we left!  Has anyone else ever been to Monkey Joe’s?  It’s an indoor bounce place, and I LOVED letting the kids run and jump and slide for two hours!  Buy one/get one free coupons made the price a whole lot more doable, too.

I pulled my maternity clothes out for the first time this week.  I dumped all five boxes on my bed, tried on a few shirts, and then piled everything back up in a mountain in the corner.  The shirts were still a little baggy, so I just felt fat instead of pregnant.  I’ll just keep stuffing myself into regular T-shirts!

This week one of my kiddos dumped a fifty-five gallon drum filled with trash all over my basement.  There were a few light bulbs amidst the rubble, and these he smashed with a hammer.  That was a first for me!  I deal with a lot of messes, but this was a big one.  I was NOT a happy mama that day!

We watched “Tangled” for the first time on Tuesday, the day it was released.  We loved it!  My kids have been counting down the weeks and then the days until “Tangled” came out on DVD.  There were tears a few weeks ago, when they saw the movie advertised at Bluebox, assumed it was out, and then had their hopes crushed.  (“Frying pans.  Who knew, right?”  Yeah, I have most of the lines memorized by now…)

And sweetest of all, I felt my baby kick for the first time!   From on the outside of my tummy!  I’ve haven’t yet felt super connected to this newest tiny being.  Maybe because I’m so busy?  It’s not the same as my first, sitting around day-dreaming about motherhood.  I’m already IN motherhood full swing, and the thought of adding a fifth baby to this household is overwhelming!  But these tiny kicks… they’re precious.  And I know feeling my baby kick and flip for the next five months will make me fall in love like nothing else!

Birthday Letter


                                                                   March 25th, 2011

Dear Moosies,

Happy Birthday, “Baby Shrek!”  I love you even more than forever after.

I love how you tease, and joke, and then giggle your head off because you know you’re adorable!

I love how you remember people, and talk about them, and wish they could come back and spend more time with you.  Watching you read books with Uncle Ben yesterday, and peel string cheese with him, an uncle you’re still getting to know… I was so proud of you for loving and trusting.

I never have to worry about you outside, because I know you’ll just follow your brothers and sister around!  They love you back, you know.  Kbug and Cboy stayed up late last night to blow up balloons, hang streamers, and decorate the house with stuffed animals for your birthday.  They were so excited!  Daddy had to tell them several times to calm down a little.  They loved giving you presents and making you feel special.

Kbug loves getting you up in the morning, getting you dressed, and making breakfast for you.  CJ loves the extra playmate that you are, and tries to get you to join him in all his adventures.  He’s a good fighter, as you know, just in case you ever need a brother to beat somebody up for you!  Cboy loves just being with you  He always has, ever since you were born!  Tickling, peek-a-boo, rolling around on the floor… he loves to make you smile and laugh.  He’s a good big brother, and I hope the two of you always keep your special connection.

I love your big smiles first thing in the morning, your hugs and squeezes, the way you talk non-stop, love to read books, and dance, and make funny faces (just like Cboy!), and the way you still have a big smile and hug for me at the end of the day.

I love the way you sing “Jesus Loves Me,” and “I’ll Fly Away,” the ABC song, and any other song you can think of!

I love the way you help put wet clothes into the dryer for me, and pull a chair over to the sink every time you see me washing dishes.  I love having you work with me! 

I love the way you smell, still my baby for another few months.  I love your chubby cheeks, and the way your hair falls over your bright, beautiful eyes. 

Just now I asked you if I could put you down, to finish this letter, and you said, “Uhh… NO!”  Since the day you were born, you’ve been fiercely attached to me.  I know our relationship will change over time, even hit some rough patches.  But I know that I won’t stop loving you!  Ever, ever, ever!  I hope you know that too, and that I’ll always love you as fiercely as I do now.