Friday, August 31, 2007

I Love Routine

I thrive on routine and because of this, Fall is my favorite time of year. I can't wait for school to start (only 5 more days for the oldest and 10 more for the pre-schooler!!!). I love school, I loved it as a child and I still love it. It's no wonder I became a teacher? I love getting the school supplies, new school clothes and getting the house in order. I love seeing all of the projects my kids make at school. I love laying down with them at night and listening to the days events. I can't wait to have some quieter one-on-one time with baby guy. I've been "purging" and cleaning out the house. I'm much more a Fall cleaner than a Spring cleaner. The garage is full of bags to go to charity. I'm itching for the leaves to turn, to get my jeans and sweaters out and to get into "casserole" season. I've got my down comforter ready for the cleaners too. I want my favorite shows to start their new season. I want to get out my pumpkin/gourd collection. I want to make apple butter and smell it cooking on the stove. I'm so excited for the routine that the school year brings.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Home from Vacation

We are home from a wonderful vacation to the coast. The boys had a great time on the beach. We ate WAY too much junk food, read books, relaxed and played lots too.

No, we aren't all naked in the hot tub! It looks like it though....I do have on a strapless swimsuit:)

Monday, August 27, 2007

St. Moses of Ethiopia

Moses was a runaway slave and the leader of a band of robbers. When trying to plunder a monastery, he was converted by the abbot, and stayed on as a monk. He was ordained a priest in his old age and founded a monastery in the desert of Egypt, which grew to 75 monks. He foresaw his own death by a party of raiders. He sent the monks out into hiding. Some tried to urge him to hide as well, but he said it was right that he should die by violence since he had committed violence. (Matt. 26:52) Only six remained with him in the monastery. They were all run through with swords. St. Moses lived in the 4th century.

Today, August 28th is a VERY special day in our house. Baby guy arrived home one year ago today. He has blessed our family immeasurably. August 28th is also St Moses of Ethiopia's patron saint day. Before baby guy came home we had planned to give him the baptismal name of Gabriel. When I received my travel itinerary I sent it to my priest so he would know when I would be leaving. He emailed me backing saying, "You return home on the Patron Saint Day of Moses the Ethiopian. I do not think that is a coincidence!". We agreed, and happily decided to give baby guy the baptismal name of Moses!

Here are some pictures of one year ago today.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Swim Lessons

The two "big" boys finished swim lessons yesterday. They really learned a ton. Tuba had private one-on-one lessons with a great teacher who has worked with special needs kids in the past. He can now hold onto a kick board or dumbbell, kick his feet and move across the pool. He also has a much better understanding of how to stand up in the water when his feet get out from under him. He loves to dunk his face too! Mr. 4 yr. old went from not even wanting to get in the pool to jumping off the edge to his teacher. He had an adorable young girl for his teacher. She was animated and fun, yet firm....which was good. He loved singing the songs and doing "motor boat". He didn't love putting his face in the water but is now doing it.....somewhat willingly. It was a hoot to watch him with the kick board. He was hold his head completely out of the water! I'm really pleased with their progress and hope to have all three boys in classes this fall.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Childhood Memories

This picture is of my and my middle sister's kitties named Spot and Rainbow (can you tell which is which?). I think we were about 6 and 8 years old. We loved those kitties and we would put them in doll clothes, push them in the doll stroller, feed them in the baby doll high chair and as you can see put them to bed with bottles in little cribs. I have such good memories of playing with those kitties. It's been fun to play with Shiloh and think back about Spot and Rainbow too. The little cribs were made by my Dad and the bedding by my stepmom. I wonder where they are now? With a baby girl in the future I would love to have them. I'll have to investigate it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

You know you're old when....

Okay, so we were at the drive-thru at Starbucks tonight and the young little barista says to hubby as she hands him back his debit card, "Do you have a daughter named Ashley?". "No", he replies. "Oh, because I go to school with a girl who has the same last name as you". It took a few seconds to register that the barista is COLLEGE age and she thinks hubby is old enough to be her friend's dad! Yikes! He was so depressed....and then even more so when he realized that he really is old enough to be the girl's dad. is his 20 yr. high school reunion this weekend! Poor hubby.....I couldn't stop laughing.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Tailgate Party

Having Costco hot dogs and lemonade in the back of our Caravan....nothing better!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I love magazines!

So....I did something I don't think I've ever done. I quit reading a book right in the middle of it. The book is Wild Swans. It was too much politics and war....not my cup of tea. I really liked following the people's lives but the other stuff wasn't too interesting to me. Also, I've realized that my favorite thing lately (the last 2 years or so) is to sit in bed at night, read magazines, and listen to the TV at the same time. Here's the list of magazines I subscribe to (in order of favorite to least favorite:
Real Simple
Martha Stewart Living
Family Fun
Weight Watchers
Other magazines I really like and occasionally buy or just read at the gym are:
People (I never buy this but really enjoy reading it during a hard or boring workout)
I did put a couple books on hold at the library. The first one I'm going to read is Love In The Driest Season. I read an excerpt in Adoption magazine and it sounds really good.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

World Vision AIDS Experience

Coming to a city near you. World Vision's "Step Into Africa: Can You Survive The Journey Of A Child?" Check out the link at This is a free exhibit travelling the country. I have heard that it is amazing. Reserve your tickets now online.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Ugly got Uglier

Oh man! First, I have to say that I have a serious addiction to my computer! I haven't been able to check my email or use my computer for 2 days! I did call my mom and give her my password so she could check my email and make sure I wasn't missing anything important. I had a reminder to pay the mortgage (sent to me by me).....good thing I had her check! The last two days have been filled with visits from the water restoration crew and the insurance adjuster. There was water throughout my sew room, the laundry room, and into the family room. The water crew ripped out the sew room carpet (the rest of it), moved the washer, ripped up half of the family room carpet and set up GIANT heaters, fans and de-humidifiers. The have been blew non-stop from Mon-about 2 hours ago. Thank goodness they are gone! It was a lovely 90+ degrees in the downstairs which is directly below our bedrooms. The last two nights of sleeping have not been pleasant! Not to mention the entire area is ripped up and all furniture moved. Now the next step is getting the guy here who will put the carpet back down, put the trim back, clean the carpet. Then, Sat. a guy is coming to give me a bid on new flooring for the sew room and laundry room. The insurance will pay for new carpet but not new vinyl. They say the vinyl can be re-glued! I'm fighting this as some of the vinyl shrunk from the heaters. It is really old and needs to go. We are going to put in Marmoleum. It's so durable and doesn't have any off-gassing and no pollutants! I can't wait for it to be done and show the "after" pictures:)

Monday, August 6, 2007

The good, the bad and the ugly

The Good: We had a wonderful time celebrating hubby's b-day over the weekend. Friday we went out to lunch on the waterfront. After lunch we stopped a the park and played. We were unprepared for water play but we all ran through the sprinklers. I was wearing a skirt and blouse so I stood watching the boys (hubby included) throw off their shoes and run in the water. I sat baking in the sun for about 2 minutes before I thought "what is wrong with me?" and kicked off my own shoes. We had so much fun playing and running around. We went home soaking wet and smiling ear to ear. We then went to a friend's house for a party. On Sat. we went for a long scenic drive, ate really good pizza and ended up at church for Vespers. We made it a late night by going to dinner at good friend's house after Vespers.

The Bad: I am SO fat and bloated from all of the eating out and the "birthday season". Good thing it has come to an end! My house was a total disaster! I spent the day yesterday after church doing laundry, dishes and picking up.
The Ugly: We have discovered a HUGE leak of water in our downstairs! Yesterday I ripped up all of the carpet and padding in my sew room trying to discover where the leak was coming from. I moved all the stuff out of the room including a huge cabinet full of fabric. Today the plumber came, found the leak (a broken sprinkler pipe under our front porch), and ordered the parts to fix it. The water restoration team is on the way out to dry things up. The insurance person is coming tomorrow to "look at things". Let's pray this is covered and it can all be cleaned up soon. It is stinky, stinky, stinky and gross!

Only the kitty thinks any of this is fun!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Happy Birthday Hubby!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful hubby! We love you!'s the big 39!

1st Birthday

You've always been a winner!

I'm so glad we met...and married...and live happily ever after!

Thanks to your wonderful mom for raising you (and for being a great MIL).

Happy Birthday from your babies too. Don't you love the "family haircut"?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Cousins at the beach!

My nephews are visiting (staying with my mom) from out of state. We had a great time at the beach. Here's our wild day with 5 boys ages 16 mos. - 11 years!

Riding the boat to our island beach destination.

Are we there yet?

Snuggling Nana.

Playing "red light, green light".

Buns in the sand!

Playing in the sand.

Baby guy had a blast in the tide pools.

And so did the rest of the gang!

Building sand castles.

Headed home!


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