Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our Town

A couple of weekends ago I was running some last minute errands late Friday night in an effort to be prepared for Saturday morning's festivities that were to take place in our town.  I ran to the grocery store, it's 24 hours, but at only 11pm on a Friday night it was practically empty except the employees and myself.
Then I took some of the items I had purchased over to drop off at a friends where they needed to be for the next day.  She lives directly in the square of our town.  And this is what the biggest stop light looked like at 11pm on a Friday night.  Incredible!
And I couldn't help but think this is one of the reasons I love this town.  Sunday afternoons are quiet and relatively unbusy as people are all in church.  Late evenings even on weekends the roads are practically empty as people take to their beds or at least make plans other than loitering on street corners.  It reminds me just a little bit of Rexburg.

It's one of the only towns where you can still find total solitude during certain times of day.  I wish more towns were like this.  And I wish more churches looked like this although this is really the town next to ours.  You won't find this church in Rexburg, but you will find it in rural Pennsylvania.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Party X 3

It's just another manic Saturday.  And as I plan as strategically as possible I can't help but love my friends.  Saturday morning included tons of work, but not without reward.  And so Saturday afternoon we went to Prestige Gymnastics for an adult only gymnastics party.  I was in heaven.  What a brilliant idea! 
Christie you rock my world.  And happy birthday Derek.
Then we raced home, I got a little freshened up, but just barely and then headed down with the family to a neighbor bbq.  These people are some of the funnest and funniest people.  Let the good times roll and of course they did.  Thanks to the hostess with the mostess - Dawn!
And last our whole family headed over to a Dancey Dance party with Panda and the gang.  Everyone dances their hearts out, jumps on the trampoline, plays in the sandbox -if you are little- and just lets loose.  Isn't it the best to have friends to do that with?  And after that broke up, we took four tired kids home to bed.  Some falling asleep on the car ride home.
As we drove into our neighborhood we could hear the bbq still under way.  So Travis said why don't you go back down and I'll finish putting the kids to bed and maybe meet you.  Well you don't have to give me permission twice and so I did just that.  And nothing makes a girl feel better than to pop around to the back yard and hear an excited chorus of "Mary's back!"

Nothing feels more rewarding than a hard working/hard playing Saturday!  Nothing!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What Is It?

And now for another installment of What Is It?
A. a half formed fetus                               
B. part of a brain from a Med School Lab
C. serious mold growth                            
D. an impromptu compost pile                 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Seizing the Moment

After many days of rain, my neighbor said the news reported
39 of the past 80 days had rain, my kids were getting restless. 
What could they do? 
I looked at Bella and asked what would you do if it weren't raining. 
She answered that she would be jumping on the trampoline. 
So I then said, go jump it's not like the rain is going to hurt you.  And guess what she did.
 And of course it only takes one strong leader to have a good attitude and set the mood. 
And quickly the minnions follow rank. 
And it becomes a happy mosh pit of jumping children.
But I could only snap a couple of pictures because
the inner child in me longed to play in the rain with them too. 
And so we jumped together. 
And I was glad that I had postponed dinner and laundry and
whatever else I had been thinking about doing because it was totally worth it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Field Trip

Despite living one county over my whole life long, I am often amazed at the little treasures I find while living here in Lancaster County.  One of those treasures happens to be Mt. Gretna.  It is a cutesy little town that caters to tourism with a sweet lake and awesome kid's equipment in the lake to amplify the fun. 

Additionally there is a great ice cream shop called The Jigger Shop, a roller skating rink, and a little camp called Gretna Glen.  Cue Wyatt's first grade field trip.  We went and spent the day traveling through four stations as well as opening and closing ceremonies with a halftime break for lunch, some of which were partially eaten by the ravenous squirrels.
Stations included Pond Adventures where they let the kids scoop out pond goop with nets in hopes of finding hidden treasures of a turtle, tadpole, minnows, and other stuff which we discovered.
We had a field games station, a hike around the lake learning the ins and outs about wildlife, and Wyatt's personal favorite the Animal Awareness station.  It was a blast and the rain held off till we were on the bus and then it poured. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

They Say...

breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
Well if that's the case let's make it yummy.
This is one happy eatter!

Monday, May 23, 2011

It Never Gets Old

Every year my husband and sons go camping at least once together without us girls.  The one guaranteed date is always in May and it is with our church to celebrate the restoration of the Priesthood of God upon the face of the Earth once more.  They attend firesides and camp and do all the things that camping entails but while they are away, the mice -or girls of our family- will play. 

We started an tradition of Bella having a girl's sleepover.  She invited four friends, three came, and two spent the night.  Our night included doing nails, hair, makeup, eating more unhealthy and fat filled foods than I consume in a week, and watching movies till late into the night.
Arielle, our friend living with us, and I painted four sets of nails with polka dots, swirls, stripes, etc...  They then got in pairs of two and did each other's makeup.  The piece d'resistance for the girls was that we let them do our makeup.  Let's just say I was covered in a thick layer of glitter gel.  Seriously my face was sticky all night, and although I don't normally wash my face before bed you can bet I did that night.  Then they came to the computer where they picked hair options from the princess hairstyles website, I previously blogged about, except for one little girl who let Bella do a handful of braids so it would be crimped the next day. 
I think everyone had fun, perhaps most of all Arielle.  But I was surprisingly thrilled to relive the girlish wonders of the preteen years right along side of them.  Somethings never get old and and I think girly makeovers may just be one of them.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Week In Review

Although they had to convince and cajole me, the kids wanted to learn how to play tennis.  So a trip to the tennis courts and an unexpected time lapse later the kids learned to hit the ball consistently.  It ended up being a lot of fun and made me think of all the backyard baseball and basketball games of my childhood, the Family Home Evening touch football games, along with a slew of games I'm pretty sure my grandma made up and have been passed down and played repeatedly. 

Market on the Square in downtown Manheim which is an event that hosts a pie eating contest, tricycle racing amongst the National Honors Society, the local fire company, and random other group teams enter, local vendors selling both food and crafts, and many kid friendly activities which change from year to year.
A trip to Grandma's house and while driving in the car I was allowed to catch this rare moment of peace between the two younger boys.
An end of school year party with the Steven Courtney Band - who rock by the way and I would totally recommend them for an assembly or party function.

A visit from Aunt Elizabeth filled with snack runs to spoil the kids rotten.  She allowed Issac to pick one drink and one treat.  And it was a biological chemistry that pulled this child to Mountain Dew.  I don't know that he has ever even drunk it, but he knew intirsically that is what he wanted and some Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape. 
And lots of rain!  But that didn't stop the playdates or the walks around the neighborhood.  We just added umbrellas and I got to catch Wyatt and his buddy's huddled walking - a new photo favorite of mine.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What They're Saying

And now for another installment of what people say:

Bella:  Dad do I look beautiful and attractive?
Travis:  Yeah Bella you're a babe.
Wyatt:  What's a babe?
Bella:  A woman in a print bikini.

Scene 2:  Elizabeth explaining something to me.

Elizabeth:  Well I had a side business.
My Mom:  You did?  What did you do?  Or should I say how much did you charge a night?

Scene 3:  Wyatt with our friend.

Wyatt:  I can make my butt sing.
Arielle:  I so don't want to see that.  (thinking he was going to fart)
Wyatt:  Then with dancing butt motions vantrilitizes (we're calling that a word) I'm a Barbie Girl with his butt.

Scene 4:  Elizabeth, Mom and I talking about the origins of Pon Haus otherwise known as Scrapple

Elizabeth:  What is Pon Haus made of anyway?
Me:  Shady meet.
Mom:  [Outraged]  It is not made of shady meet.  It is pork, cornmeal, flour, and spices.
Mom:  Sometimes they include the head meat in the Pon Haus.
Me:  And that is shady meat.
Elizabeth:  I don't think God intended for us to eat face.

...and my personal favorite:
Scene 5:  Bookclub with friends all talking at once trying to pick the next few months books

Woman 1:  What about The Boy in Striped Pyjamas
Woman 2:  I think we should pick Sh*t My Dad Says
Woman 3:  What is that book about?
Woman 2:  What book?
Woman 3:  The Boy Who Sh*t in my Dad's Pyjamas
All:  tons of laughing

And that's what they said!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Without Going Into Too Much Detail

Miracles occur.  Things that cannot be explained by science, genetics or any other knowledge that I know of happen.  I know this because they happen to me.  These things leave me in awe of the impressive and mighty power of our Heavenly Father.  I am reminded of this verse and often think of it as I see these unexplainable things happen...

"For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith."

And as the sweet words of this verse echo through my mind I feel overwhelming gratitude and love from my Heavenly Father and Savior.  I testify that they are a God of miracles.  For I have seen them.

Friday, May 13, 2011

It's Changed My Life

this website!
This was Sunday night.  I should have gotten a picture earlier in the day.
Bella is starting to take an interest in how she looks for school.
Which means I get to play dress-up most days.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It Feels Noteworthy to Me

So many of my posts have lately been a mere travel log of the events of our life.  At one point I would have considered myself clever or witty, those days no longer exist.  It's not that I'm not clever or witty anymore it is just that those things require a bit of thought-at least for me and blogging is one area where I am choosing not to think.  So what has the past week covered that I've missed...
Well Friday May 6th - Issac's Pre-K class had a Mother's Day Party.  Despite coming straight from the gym I ate total junk and loved every minute of my popcorn, Goldfish, Cheerios, M&M, raisins, pretzals, etc...trail mix.  I also loved the frosted sugar cookies.  Three times I loved those babies.  Shh.  Don't tell!
The kids had made pictures and written a sentence about why they loved their mom.  Well I rocked it out because Issac loves me because I play ball with him.  I was feeling good overall and far superior to the mother's who were loved because "my mom lets me have fruit snacks every morning when I first wake up." and "she gives me whatever I want whenever I want."  Oh this wasn't a competition?  Crap!
Saturday May 7th - I woke up at 7:40 just in time to drive a couple minutes up the hill to the first ever Manheim 5K @ 8:00am.  I was excited to give real running a try after so many miles spent on the treadmill and the course ran by my house.  There stood the kids and Travis cheering like crazy.  Oh and letting me know I was in 52nd place.  Well about two minutes into the race I tweaked a muscle in my back.  Blast me and my not stretching or warming up.  But 32 minutes and 3.18 miles later I felt like I had a really had a good experience.  With no watch and nothing but a good pace to keep me moving I average once again a ten minute mile.  I had totally forgotten that running in PA on hills is totally different than on a flat treadmill.  Note to self: Use hill setting on treadmill from now on. 

Then for one of my Mother's Day presents Travis, the kids, and I embarked on our Spring Cleaning.  With 6 1/2 of us at work it only took us four hours to spring clean the entire house.  Then we played in the back yard, flew kites, and enjoyed the perfect weather.  Later that night we went to see the youth of our church in the Road Show.  It reminded me just how awesome my ward is.  They were a total hit and the choreography was amazing.  Shout out to Camille! 
Sunday, Mother's Day and May 8th, I had a lovely French Toast Breakfast, a scavenger hunt to find three new purses and extra shelving to hang in my laundry room.  I would post pictures, but let's be honest, I am getting to the age where no makeup, bloated morning face, Mary pictures just are not worth sharing.  That afternoon we spent taking walks, trying to feed ducks - they weren't that receptive, and Travis giving Wyatt a bloody nose.  It was from a football and quickly forgotten amid the fun.  No worries.  Overall I lead a charmed life and so each moment does feel noteworthy to me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Any Given Tuesday

If the weather is nice, you'll find us at the park.
But no matter what on a Tuesday you'll find us at Roots.
When both the weather is nice and it is Tuesday
we'll have gotten yummy treats from Roots and taken a picnic lunch to the park.
Who knew snack foods could give children such happy delight?

No matter what though, if my kids and hubby are happy - I am happy!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Cinco de What-O?

Is it a real holiday? 
Well it's debatable. 
But I say it's a good time to celebrate. 
And so we have an annual party. 
Guess what?
It's tons of fun.
Need proof?
Here it is!
A little under, a little over action.
And then chug a lug the last of the punch at the end of the night.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Student Appreciation Day

Each year our school district's baseball team hosts a Student Appreciation Day.
Each child is given a coupon for one free drink, popcorn, cotton candy, and prize. 
 Every student gets an activity book and crayons. 
Aforementioned crayons ended up in my dryer, but we are not dwelling on that.

And you get to watch a baseball game, which for Issac is an interactive process as he stands behind the catcher's mound practicing swinging in time to every throw the pitcher makes.
And our family has a night of pure fun with free goodies. 
I love where we live!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It's That Time Of Year

Mother birds have built the nests.

We have contributed by making easy and nutritious food sources for the birds.
 Bagel Bird Feeder
And baby birds are hatching all around our yard. 

Now if we can keep all the neighborhood kids away from these precious birds.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bible Study Award

Wyatt has been going with a neighbor to their youth group/Bible Study.  They are a non denominational Christian Church whose youth group activities focus on games and learning Bible verses through the Awana Book, a national Bible Study Program.  At the end of the school year if you have gotten through the whole book you receive an award.

Wyatt had started the year late only being invited in October and I was claiming a very much hands off approach to this project since I felt like I had enough on my proverbial plate.  Travis decided to help with this but more than anything Wyatt worked through most of the book himself.  Each week memorizing a Bible verse.  Two weeks before Awards week, Wyatt found out from one of the instructors that not only do you work through the book but there is to be a review process where you are quizzed on all 30 verses mixed up and at random to ensure you really have memorized them instead of reading and regurgitating the verses each week.  Wyatt had one week to get through the whole book review.  His instructor told him it is rarely done, but offered him a bonus incentive if he would work hard all week and finish his entire review in one night. 

Wyatt, a sucker for a challenge, hit it hard especially that last Wednesday when he took his book to school to keep reading through during any free time he had.  And guess what he rocked it out.  So sure enough he got his awards and ribbons and his great instructor gave him a Lego 3-in-1 kit.  I'm so proud of Wyatt for working hard almost completely on his own.  I'm so happy I really did nothing with this and I'm so proud of Travis but especially Wyatt.  Boy - you are destined for great things.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Is It An Alien?

or my sweat imprint?

Okay big reveal!!!  My sweat imprint.  Yeah that's how you know you got a good workout with the trainer.  When you lay down on the mat for ab work and get up to see every wrinkle line of your tank top, your racer back sports bra, shoulder blades, etc...  Just call me one big sweaty beast!