Monday, December 5, 2016

It's My Most Favoritest Weekend of the Year...

The first weekend of December.   Chill in the air.   Small town America open house.  I love it.  Our little town gathers on the main street amidst fires burning from barrels and free carriage rides.  There are musicians on every corner.  This year I even claim one of them.  It's Ethan (and friends) who serenaded the wandering townsfolk to Christmas music.

 The elementary school decorated the Christmas tree this year with snowflakes each student designed and printed on a 3 D printer.  We looked for Ben and Will's, but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack.....or as Will would say "literally" a snowflake in a Christmas tree.

On Saturday morning we pick out the best Frasier Fir and bring it in the house.  We take a break mid decorating to attend the local Christmas parade.  This year Kevin and Ethan decorated his trumpet for the festivities.  It took a little bit of manuvering but the effect was worth it.   
After we warm up from the parade, we drink hot cocoa, listen to Christmas music (This year's favorite Pentatonix.) and decorate the tree. 


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

You know it has been a long time since you have blogged when

1.  You can't remember your password.
2.  You can't remember how to get to the blog.

Oh well.  I did it anyhow.  Take that google.

Here's a little bit of news.  Ethan turned 13 this summer.  He is taller than his mama now.  She can still wrestle him to the ground if she needs to though.

 Will lost his front teeth.  I always think kids are so cute at this stage.
 Ben, our only child who didn't suck his thumb, got braces.  Can you say kharma?  He turned 11 this summer.
 Kevin and I worked our fingers to the bone to dig out and replant the landscaping in front of the house.  We had the plans done last year by a landscape architect of our nephews and were blown away by the quotes to have someone come in and do the work.  We are pretty happy with the outcome.   I look forward to seeing how things look as they mature.

I had the day off from teaching today.  I spent it cleaning house mostly.  My friend, Kim, would be most disappointed in my spending a day this way.  However, it was necessary.  I promise.  I had to make space for the Christmas tree!

After a summer of our family room flooding at every raindrop, we had french drains installed this November. It has been so lovely to have a dry basement!  We are still in the process of putting things back together.  It's amazing the dust produced when they jackhammer the floor.  We still need to slap on a fresh coat of paint and move the furniture back then we will be able to live downstairs again for the first time since JUNE!

I will try to post again sometime, assuming I can remember my new password!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Flashforward to present's cold.  It snowed.  We played.  We shoveled.  Enough said.  

In the midst of all that, I had a birthday.  Below is the cake that Ethan decorated for me.  Gets the point across I guess!  What's the need of fancy flowers and other bells and whistles? Chocolate shavings....who needs 'em?

That's me opening one of my three pairs of boots this birthday.  Oh yeah.  Mama's toes are loving life this winter.  

Ethan has been expanding his talents in the kitchen after his semester in middle school Home Economics. We asked him to set the table and this is what we found.  Pretty impressive I must say!


Seems like a lot of time has passed.   Oops.

My life lately consists of school, home, basketball, getting ready for school, cleaning at home, going to basketball games, go to bed, get up and repeat.

Flashback Christmas 2-0-1-5

All three boys participated in the Christmas Eve program at church.  It was very sweet.  Will was so small that you couldn't see him at all only hear his little voice projected over the microphone.  Nice memories though.  If I were a scrapbooking woman, I would dedicate 2 pages to this moment in time.

Here are the boys in their Christmas Eve pajamas.  Ben has decided to no longer wear a shirt to bed.  What evs.  
We had the traditional shrimp and fondue Christmas Eve party with my family.  Then we were so excited to have some of Kevin's family with us on Christmas day!  The boys even waited until almost three o'clock to open their presents.  So proud of them.  
Finn enjoyed himself immensely! If you can put a dog to sleep does that mean you are talented or really boring??  I never did know for sure.  

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Winter Gala

As Kevin has assumed some new responsibilities on campus, along with that came the necessity for us to go to the Winter Gala celebrating 50 years of Penn State Fayette Campus.  Woo woo!  So for the second time in the last few months, my man and I dusted off our fancy duds, hired a babysitter and headed East.  We enjoyed cocktail hour and then were entertained by an "Emotion Artist" who painted to music as we watched and tried to figure out what in the heck he was making.  The first picture, I had decided early on, was going to be Yoda.  Then mid project, he flipped it upside down to display a rendering of John Lennon.  It was pretty fun to watch. 

Here I am with my date whom I dubbed, "Fun Kevin".  My typically reserved husband was dragging me out on the dance floor!

Halloween has come and gone

We had a beautiful night for trick or treating this year.  Thankfully the costumes were not bulky enough to bring on a full sweat (I am reminded of Ben in a Chewbacca outfit during on a 70 degree night!)  This year the costumes were not allowed to have anything to do with Star Wars.  They argued and pleaded, but I stuck to my guns (or light sabers) that we needed to BRANCH OUT and do something different.  

Introducing the MAD SCIENTIST.....aka Benjamin, complete with Mad Eye Moody eye from Harry Potter thrown on at the last minute just for good measure.  I do think it adds dimension!
 Ethan wanted to be an "English gentleman".  He is able to do a pretty good accent at 12, "Would you care for a spot of tea?"
 William wanted to be bacon or a volcano.  I opted for the latter.  His wig had battery operated orange lights and he carried a small tape recorder with erupting sounds so that he could erupt at any given moment.  It turned out to be one those costumes he is either going to embrace in 10 years or demand to know what we were thinking when we MADE him wear it.

We passed out candy and went to the local parade because Ethan was marching with the Middle School Band.  The English gentleman also plays the trumpet!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Long Overdue

The last weekend in August, yes, a wee bit back, Kevin and I went away alone together for the first time in twelve years.  Our lovely parents, Dick and Rosemary, stepped up to the task of tending to the little men (ahem, sort of little....Ethan is taller than me now).

My Mom's younger brother, Donald has always been a father to us.  The Varner cousins love spending time together.  So when a wedding invitation arrived for my cousin Martha's daughter, we really wanted to go. The timing wasn't the best...first weekend after school started, but somehow the planets lined up and we did it!

Kevin and I left right after school and drove until we got there around 2:00 am.  We sneaked into the beach house my sister and cousin had rented for the week and crawled into our futon mattress bunk beds.  Beggars cannot be choosers.

The wedding took place on the outer banks of North Carolina.  We had  checked into flying, but calculated that it would have taken the same amount of travel time to get there because the closest airport was almost 2 hours away.

Adult car trips are fun!  We listened to whatever we wanted, stopped when we wanted, chatted when we wanted, napped when we wanted.  Pretty fun stuff.   We were sad to miss the rehearsal dinner at the NC aquarium, but were lucky to be invited to breakfast the next morning.  Shrimp and grits in Manteo.  Super cool.

I have decided those southerners have it all figured out.  Seriously!  Life along the shore seems so lovely.

We then spent the day sitting on the beach, chatting with cousins galore and once even draggin ourselves away from our beach chairs to hike to the pier.

The wedding and reception were out of this world.  So beautiful and in such an incredible setting.
Uncle Donald and Kathryn riding their rickshaw to the reception

We chose to walk to Roanoke Island.

View of the bay from the reception
Under the big top
Meredith, Grant and Uncle Donald 
A sprinkling of Varner cousins
Uncle Donald and me
Some other random wedding guests :)
AND to top it off it was the night of the supermoon.  I mean, could they have planned it better?  

We arose at 5:30 am and started the trip home.  I worked on lesson plans while Kevin drove most of the way.  We were fortunate enough to find a little town in West Virginia having a farmer's market right around lunch time, so we stopped for a veggie wrap and quinoa salad.  Delish.
Goof balls, giddy on the town

 Second shout out to Dick and Rosie.  
I KNOW there will be an extra couple of jewels on your crowns in heaven.