Saturday, April 30, 2011

Everything he needs

Isaiah handed me this little zipper pouch like it was some sacred object. So I whispered to him, "What's inside?" And he whispered back, "Everything!"

Upon further inspection, this is what I found: a rock, Naomi's chapstick, Silly Putty, a round magnet, and a hair do-dad. Hey, at least he's easy to please.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Thursday, April 28, 2011


We rushed home from our Baltimore trip to throw ourselves into Easter. We died eggs Saturday night, and found them Sunday morning.
Even Sammy joined in the hunt. And then he ate a plastic egg.
After church we went over to Richard's brother Kevin's house for dinner. Ruth and her roomie joined us. Ruth did this photo shoot for us while we were there. Too bad the camera was *still* on the crazy, washed-out setting that we put it on for the aquarium photos days before. But, in the end, the camera setting didn't really matter since the kids were not cooperating.

Oh well. If you can't beat um, join um!

(Now, go back and look at all those family photos again. With the exception of the last one, there is one person who is perfectly posed in each shot. Naomi, of course. Always a perfect lady.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Break 2011: Baltimore

It all started with me telling Richard that I wanted him to take a few days completely off of work for Spring Break and just spend time with us doing fun things. And Richard honestly replied that he couldn't NOT work when he was at home - since home is also his office. "Fine", I replied, "Then we'll leave!" So, we did. Off we went to Baltimore where we scored a two bedroom suite hotel room, including kitchen and dining table, for the price of other one bedroom hotel rooms in the area. Below is a great picture of the view outside our window ... Or maybe not. But, it's there. Baltimore was just outside our window.

The first place we went was back to the National Aquarium (where we went with Ruth a few weeks ago) to let the kids take their time looking at the things we had rushed them through before.
This time we even checked out their Rain Forest exhibit.
Later in the day we walked around Baltimore's Inner Harbor to enjoy the ships and sights there.
The next day we headed to Port Discovery Children's Museum. Another "don't miss" Baltimore attraction.

The boys enjoyed running around from exhibit to exhibit, working in a pretend diner, building domino trails to see cause and effect, and blowing the train whistle. Naomi and Daddy climbed, crawled, and bounced their way to the top of a three story jungle gym thingy. Here is Naomi, triumphantly at the very tippy top.

Richard and I also escaped for a night on our own. We were supposed to see a Yankees/Orioles baseball game, but unfortunately it was rained out. But we enjoyed our seafood dinner and silly movie anyway.

The highlight of the vacation, by far, was on our last morning there. We went on an hour long "Pirate Cruise". We stepped onto the great ship "Fearless" where we were first dressed up as pirates. Even the littlest pirate, Sammy.
The kids were given pirate names (Nice Naomi and Pirate Poochy - Asher was cowering on Richard's lap at that point because of the hanging skeletons) and pirate tattoos.
It was a little chilly that morning, so Pirate Sammy stayed bundled up most of the time.

But the Pirate Parents took care of him.

This cruise was very elaborately choreographed. We learned to talk like pirates (Aaargh!), dance like pirates, and play pirate games (like limbo and pass the coconut head). Then we discovered that Mad Dog Mike had stolen our treasure! And we spotted him in his red dingy! So we shot water cannons at him.

Then we negotiated a trade with Mad Dog Mike - the treasure for a skeleton we had that he apparently admired. But in the end we tricked him (because, after all, we're pirates!) and didn't give him the skeleton.

Then we passed out the treasure! Naomi had the same ring as one of the main pirates!

And Asher even perked up a bit about the time we were shooting water cannons and joined in the fun.

It was seriously the coolest thing I've even done with my children. It was a total blast! One last photo (I think this is how pirates flip the bird).

The entire week was a complete success. We enjoyed being together so much, we bonded, we played, we laughed. It just was seriously fabulous.

No Spring Break will ever live up to this fabulous adventure. ...At least for a year...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


The new swing set (courtesy of this year's tax return) is finally up in the backyard! Just in time for a sweltering, soon-to-be-stormy Spring day. Next step - bark on the ground.

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Asher and Sammy

Asher and Sammy have a special bond. Isn't that the way it always is? Every-other sibling has a good relationship? You never get along with the sibling(s) that are right next to you in the line up, do you? At least not as children. Too much competition maybe. I don't know. And, yes, that's a huge generalization, but it seems to me that it often works that way.

Anyway, Asher and Sammy have a special bond. Something to do with silly faces made by Asher I think. Sammy loves each of his siblings very much and they all make his smile. But all Asher has to do is walk toward Sammy to make him laugh out loud. It's adorable.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Last week was seriously rough for me. I don't want to list off all my complaints so let's just leave it at... it was bad. I was overly emotional and felt very mentally weak. I snapped at my children and mostly just shushed them whenever they were near me instead of enjoying all the adorable, unexpected things that come out of their mouths. I fulfilled my outside-the-home responsibilities for the kids schools and church and other things like that, but I just walked through the motions. I did NOT clean the house. At all. It got pretty gross. And I used fatty foods to make me feel better (but it didn't even work!).

Anyway, I was finally able to start conquering these Blues on Friday. I started praying for strength. And that helped me react more sweetly to my children, and clean my house, and eat better foods. And doing those things helped me feel emotionally better and mentally stronger.

On Saturday I was able to enjoy time playing with my children on a rainy Saturday at home. We made Easter decorations together. And then in the afternoon my sister Ruth came over to play. We took the kids to Target and had to run back to the car in a drenching downpour. We were all totally soaked to our undies by the time we made it to the car. And we loved it. While we were at Target, Ruth bought this snow globe for me. The base says, "Never lose hope".

I admit, I lost it for a while there. But I've got it back, and it sure does feel good.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Angry Birds Birthday Party

This is Asher. He is turning 5. And he is an Angry Birds addict.
I tried to think of as many ways as possible that we could play Angry Birds for real. The first thing I came up with was to build our own little Piggy-castles using marshmallows and toothpicks. (Note the Angry Bird balloons -free printables courtesy of Tip Junkie)

When we were done building our Piggy-castles, we pretended Pretzel M&Ms were the Angry Birds and threw them at the castles to knock them down.

Then we went on a Golden Egg hunt. I lucked out that this party was around Easter and gold eggs were easy to find (at Target, of course) - but if it hadn't been Easter I would have spray painted last years multi-colored plastic eggs. Inside the eggs were candies and bouncy balls.

After the egg hunt we went outside. I had opened up a trash bag and drawn some Piggys and boulders and then hung my fabulous art-work on the back fence.
And we let the kids take aim at those naughty Piggys with water balloons and balls and mashmallows.
I even bought real sling-shots for them to use. They were actually way too hard for the kids to use by themselves, but I think they liked it anyway even with help. The water balloons didn't work in the sling-shots like I thought they would, but luckily I had some balls that worked great.

Then we went inside for cake and ice cream. The cake top is edible printing from this Etsy shop and was actually personalized with "Happy Birthday Asher" at the top. I made the cake and frosted it then all I had to do was lay this sheet of stuff on top and decorate around it a bit. Easiest birthday cake ever.

Next we watched a few YouTube clips/trailers of Angry Birds because Asher loves them. (Note more of those fabulous Angry Bird balloons. I really had wanted helium balloons, but the party store doesn't open until 9:30 and the party was at 10, so it just wasn't in the cards.)

The last thing we did was open presents. Asher got some fabulous toys, and this Angry Birds pillow which I made for him from an adult T-shirt that we found at Hot Topic in the mall.
The party was a blast for the children and adults alike. But most importantly, all of Asher's little 5-year-old dreams came true!

(I'm linking this to Get Your Craft On Tuesday at Today's Creative Blog and Tip  Junkie handmade projects

Friday, April 8, 2011

The List

All in preparation for Asher's 5th Angry Birds Birthday party tomorrow. Or, as Uncle Kevin insists we call it, his Angry Birdsday. I'm a busy, busy Mama today!