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Shore House Weekend

Memorial Day weekend found us down near the shore and in our favorite shoebox full of memories.  Every year the bikes are the same.  The flags are the same.  The picnic table is the same.  Yet every year everyone has changed.


The boys can ride the big bikes now and ride to 711 for a donut.
The other day, Elijah and I were watching something pretty nasty (I thought) about nature and some guy touching snakes and whatnot.  Elijah said to me, I think it’s amazing how ladies can get so grossed out.  Mom, this is you: “Eeeeew!  Aaaah!  This guy is so whacked out!”  He likes to impersonate me and scare me on purpose.  I like to give him the I-really-think-you’re-funny-but-I’m-not-going-to-show-it glare.DSC_0356-001
Betty was all about Daddy feeding her at supper.
Steaming corn on the cob around the full table.
Yes, even roasted marshmallows on the potty.


A walk to the bay.




The love of my life.  We still make out, eleven years later.

Iced tea, watermelon and my camera.  A few of my favorite things.  Thankful for much.


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Thirty Thankfuls

The last month has been full of fun memories and thankfulness.  Thanksgiving day morning began a new (hopefully) tradition for our family.  We went over to the local highschool track near the Weldon’s house and ran a 5K.  Our own free turkey trot.  It was even complete with Indians and a turkey (i.e. Nadine).

Things I am thankful for:
1. Healthy bodies and the ability to run 3 miles with my kids and family
2. My amazing husband, who pushes me to get over just how I’m feeling and inspires me to do what’s hard, real, and lasting!
3. Monkey Bread

4. Enough mashed potatoes to go around for 29 people… twice… with leftovers.
5. Cousins who make the world brighter, happier, and more fun!
6. My own, personal barista, whom I love not only for his good looks, but also his finesse in coffee-beverage-making-skills.

7. My sisters, because my world would be all grey without them!
8. The laughter that comes at funky hours of the night when parents should be storing up energy for the following day, but instead decide to make memories together.

9. Boys who are warriors at heart.  I would feel safe in any dark alley with these guys.  (Notice the turkey bone weapon)

10. Gorgeous weather to take family photos!

11. Five healthy children with such distinctly different personalities that there are never boring moments throughout each day.

11. Imaginations of boys with sticks in tall grass.

12. Creative photo ideas!

13. Betty with her 3 teeth that make me grin and want to kiss her a million times!

14. Clothes to wear.
15. Family times.
16. Nadine Ruth, my tall girl who wears my shoes and loves life.
17. Elijah Watt, who figures out how to fix stuff for me, and asks me questions through writing notes to me.

18. Heather who lives so close now, and is a constant source of encouragement and inspiration to me as a wife, mom, and homemaker.
19. Sherry, who doesn’t live that close, but doesn’t let distance get in the way of staying close in heart.  She too is a huge fountain of inspiration and encouragement to me.

20. Re-enactments of battles long ago.

21. I will mention cousins again, because they are so special to us!

22. Elsie Rose, who smiles and sings and laughs so much each day, the world is truly a happier place because of her.
23. The way she sings, “Who broke the ark?  No one, no one!  Who broke the ark?  Brudder, no one!”  Instead of, “Who built the ark?  Noah, Noah.  Who built the ark?  Brother Noah!”

24. Betty Ann, who sits in leaves and still smiles.  She loves life.  She loves food.  She loves to be loved, and it’s such a privilege to love her.

25.  The way cousins interact with eachother, no matter the age.

26. Food to eat.
27. Jack Taylor, and his strength, twinkly eyes, and desire to conquer.  He’s tough, but his heart so wants to do what’s right.

28. My husband.
29. Our home and every inch in it, because we use every inch!
30. Above ALL of these things, I am thankful for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  I am thankful for His written word, the Bible, and that it is becoming more alive to me as I grow older.  Thank you, Lord, for this month, and for every day and hour we are given to live for you here.

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Special Twenty-One

Yesterday was the 21st, which means “date day” in our house!

It was Elsie’s turn to go out with me.  I was so excited to take her to the bookstore, drink hot chocolate, and do puzzles.

The first thing she told me when we got out of the car was, “This is a beautiful date!”  Her chatter didn’t really stop from there on out, unless her mouth was full of hot chocolate.  “Look at that big boy!  He’s eating a cookie!”  “Look at that big man, he has cake!”  We stuck to our hot chocolate and coffee.

Her favorite thing were the train tracks.  She probably was thrilled to have each and every train to herself.  We had fun pretending to get lost in the tunnels and run out of gas… or whatever trains use to fuel themselves.

This girl has an uncanny ability towards puzzles.  She has done and re-done her two puzzles countless times now.  We found this block puzzle that was pretty fun.  Not as fun as “regular” puzzles, though!  After reading a few books it was back to the train set!

I loved our date.  It touched a part of our hearts that doesn’t always get touched when there are four other kids, messes that need cleaned up, and the daily grind getting in the way.  Elsie is really funny.  I’m learning this more and more.  She loves it when she says something that makes me chuckle… which is often.  She loves to help.  She loves pink.  She loves to wear as many different patterns at once that is humanly possible.  I am so thankful to have had some special time together.  It was a beautiful date!


First Annual Kids’ Day

Last weekend we had a blast, celebrating our kids!

Kid’s Day Began with made-from-scratch monkey bread.  Then, after a morning nap it was off to Hibernia Park for a picnic lunch!

There was much creek-walking and rock-throwing.


There was pudding and jello-eating without spoons (that’s more fun, right?)  No matter that I forgot them.


Then I was determined to get a family picture.  We haven’t had one since the day after Betty was born!

Getting ourselves together, balancing the camera on a rock, then running back to everyone without falling in the water… is a bit tricky.

It was worth it, though!  Not bad, considering we’re all smiling at a rock.

Then we were off to the sprinkler park with pizza.  I’m not sure what’s more hot, the man or the pizza!  Definitely the man.


I have learned that Betty loves swings.


Then our last hurrah of the day: Going to the theatre to watch Cars 2.  The kids screamed with excitement!

The day was a success.  I’m excited to do it again next year!  Thanks to my friend Ruthie, whose family started this tradition and gave us such a fabulous idea!