Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010!!!

Christmas 2010! Where did the year go? I have NO idea - but this was the best Christmas EVER!!! Mostly due to the fact that there were no bed bugs (like in 2008) and I wasn't 8 months pregnant (like in 2009)! And the fact that we have this most adorable 11 month old living in our house - well - do I need to say more?!?! The above picture was taken Christmas Eve - the night before the ripping of the wrapping!
I have ALWAYS dreamed of having a banister full of stockings - this year my dream came true! Six wonderful stockings all in a row! As we were hanging them Andy made the comment that there was room for two more (ha, ha, ha!!!). He's so funny!

Christmas morning was so much fun! Sarah really enjoyed helping Drew with his gifts. Drew was a riot! He was quite taken with the fact that people were ripping paper. He LOVES ripping paper! As each kid was opening gifts he was stuck at the first one....
He was too wrapped up in investigating the paper :-)!!!!Each kid was pretty pleased with their gifts - especially Daniel with this new human body book. He has been asking for this book for years! The heart makes a beating sound, the digestive system gurgles, he thinks it's great! He'll even sit and listen to everything being read to him - even though he doesn't understand all of it - I think he'll be a doctor someday!This is the one gift Daniel was sent to his room for....he was a little put out with it and, as he has been doing A LOT lately, clearly stated it wasn't something he asked for and didn't want it! I informed him he didn't need any of it and could go to his room until he could be thankful for what he was getting. He didn't recall asking for the TAG reader this past summer. When Sarah and Matt showed him what it was - he was then thankful and thrilled with the gift! Matt was too fast at opening his gifts for me to get any shots!!! He's a teenager now and buying him gifts this year was a real challenge! But he was great about the different things he got - his favorite being "War of the Worlds" by H.G. Wells! He's really into reading the classics - a shocker I know! I never thought this kid would actually ENJOY reading for pleasure!Drew is now 11 months old!!! WOW!!! He started crawling this past week and today started STANDING UP!!!! It's happening WAY too fast! The kids are having a hard time adjusting to his new found mobilness! He's into EVERYTHING!!!!! He got the above toy, Lil' Zoomers Spinnin' Sounds Speedway, from my mom and thought it was a good seat! He put himself in it! He is a riot! I can't believe in less than a month my baby will be one! So sad - but so glad he is FINALLY sleeping through the night - and it only took him 10 1/2 months! I love that sweet face!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Play!!

Usually, we just have the kids that attend our church sing a song for the four Sundays of advent and then a couple of songs for Christmas Eve. This year another woman that attends our church asked the "choir director" if she could put on a play. She wanted a big production - thankfully the choir director suggested she start small - VERY WISE MOVE! You see we only get a handful of "regulars" (and they are usually staff kids!). Often we get many kids from the neighborhood sporadically. Even today - the day of the play - we had new kids that had never been to a practice before today! But it was such a cute play and the kids did a fantastic job! It was the Christmas story centered around four different songs with different kids narrating.
Daniel played Joseph - and was mighty handsome! Sarah was a narrator and did a great job! My parents and Andy's parents attended the event and then came to the house for lunch. We had a great time visiting! Here are some pictures of the play!

It was so much fun helping out! I hope it becomes a regular part of our Christmas program!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


10 month old Drew!! He's all smiles!!!

I's been more than a month since I blogged! Life just carried me away. Who would have thought just adding one little person into the mix would take so much time! Plus we have been passing around a cold/ virus that has laid me up a day or two. I also had the adventure of taking Drew to CHOP's ER this past week. Nothing serious - he had developed what I thought were hives last weekend and weren't gone by Monday.
The offending hives - they were actually a lot darker and more purple/ red.
The pediatrician wanted to see him and low and behold there was quite a ruckus about them! They weren't your "typical" looking hives and five different doctors took a look at him. When no one could agree on what they were I was sent to the ER for blood work. We got to ER at 5 pm and didn't leave until 1:00 am. Drew was a real champ as they looked and prodded and took blood. The end result? HIVES! He had a virus that was releasing itself through hives. My firstborn does the same exact thing. I was glad that they were being cautious and tested for different things - better to be safe than sorry - but it sure was a long night!

School has been going full force and the kids have been really working hard. Last Friday we had the opportunity to go on a field trip with some other homeschoolers. We went to the Penn Museum at the University of Penn. It was great! Some of my favorite items were this solid and pure crystal ball. Amazing! It took years to create and is the second largest one in the world.
They have mummies and a sphinx and all kinds of neat old things! We had a really fun time and the kids were glad to get out of the classroom for a day of school! Daniel really loved the above tablet with hieroglyphics. He was just fascinated with all the objects found in the museum.

We are currently in the midst of decorating for Christmas. I got the living room thoroughly cleaned and the tree up - but we will decorate it as a family this Wednesday. Drew is a riot! Not quite sure what to make of this huge tree in his house! He is trying to crawl so it will be interesting to see what he does with a tree and crawling as I believe he will get the hang of it before Christmas is through. I will post pictures as soon as we are done! I love how our house looks all decorated with beautiful lights! I'm even putting a tree up in the schoolroom in hopes it will help "lighten" the attitudes that sometimes prevail during the school day!

Please continue to pray for my sister, Lisa. She will start her chemo treatments December 16th. She is going through the University of Penn Hospital for her treatment. They have a fantastic program and the best part is each patient is assigned a scheduler - that person makes all your appointments and deals with the details of treatment and tells the patient when to show up - Lisa has to make no phone calls or deal with getting things lined up at the right time or day. Such a relief to her and clears up her time to focus on getting well! They are sure she will be cancer free within one year. My prayer is that she draws closer to Christ throughout this year and learns to lean heavily upon Him. Thanks for praying!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


is extremely unpredictable. This past weekend Andy and I were celebrating the fact that it was two years since we found our first bed bug - and that we weren't finding them anymore! Though Daniel gave us quite a scare as he had three "bumps" that itched terrible. We feel they were mosquito bites but thoroughly check his bed and bedroom and didn't find anything and he hasn't had anymore - Praise God! It is amazing how those bugs have transformed our everyday lives, though. We don't really ever forget them and continue to check for them wherever we go. Even our home reflects the fact that we have had them as we have scaled down our belongings quite a bit. I love the newer emptier house - and often wish I could get it even emptier! But with four kids and a husband - there will be stuff! If you do not know what a bed bug is or what it looks like I highly suggest that you go online and find a picture of all five stages and signs to look for. They are everywhere - and have been in the news quite a bit lately! Even new clothing brought home from the store is not safe as several different stores have been infested with the little devils. You may inadvertently bring one home. They are now suggesting putting all new clothing into the dryer on high for at least 30 minutes. Most of our clothing comes from overseas where they don't really consider the bed bug a pest to be dealt with. Eggs can be laid on the clothing and you would never know until it was too late. You can't visibly see the eggs as they are tiny and clear. But high heat will kill them. If you are like me and don't know if you will be keeping the item (Drew outgrows clothes amazingly fast!) I put it in a large Ziploc bag until I know I am keeping it and then throw it in the dryer. If there is a bug on the item at least it will be sealed in the bag. But we are praising God everyday that we are done with them and praying even harder that we never have to deal with them again!

We were also thanking God for the fact that a dear friend had gotten news that he is still cancer free - two years! He had cancer surgery the same day we found out we were dealing with bed bugs. His wife and I commiserated together many a day as both trials threatened to suck the life out of both of us. God brought us both through our trials and we give Him the praise! Without Him we would never have survived!

This past weekend wasn't all good though as I received news that my little sister (we are 13 months apart) was diagnosed with breast cancer. Honestly, of the two of us I thought I would be the one dealing with the disease as she has always eaten healthy, ran and exercised and has just been plain healthier. We don't know the type or how far advanced it is as of yet. She has had an appointment with the surgeon and it looks as if the surgery will be November 22nd. She has to have an MRI first (Nov. 10th) and then they will know more about the cancer. They believe it to be slow growing and in the duct - I think that's the better one to have. Please pray for her and my mom (who is a bit of a mess). Pray also for my nephew as this is probably rocking his world. He's an only child and a quiet kid (12 years old). I'm praying he finds his way through this and learns to lean on God. I am also praying that this trial will draw my sister close to God as she hasn't really been walking with Him the last several years.

So life is unpredictable - but I am extremely thankful to God for His never ending love and faithfulness. Even though I don't know what the future holds - I know the One who holds the future! Praise God!

Monday, October 25, 2010

NINE months!

How did we get to this point so quickly?!?!? I really can't believe he is nine months old today! It's going way too fast!!! Before we know it he is going to be a toddler running around! I am trying to savour every baby moment!

He is getting very big! He is now sporting 5 teeth and has two more on the verge of pushing through! He is trying to move any way he can! He can get his legs back behind him like he's going to crawl - but hasn't put forward motion to it yet! He is also trying to stand up - pulling on anything that is close by - but just doesn't have the muscle strength in his legs to get up! He will be there before we know it! He isn't sleeping through the night like the others were at this point - he still wakes up around 11ish to nurse and then sleeps until 7-7:30 am. He'll get to the 12 hours like the others eventually! He is such a joy and we are incredibly blessed to have him on our family!

I use to take the other kids to SEARS every three months for their pictures. But then I was spoiled by Carisa's wonderful picture taking skills - and SEARS seems second rate now! We are getting family photos done this Friday - but I still wanted to get some pictures of him on his nine month birthday - so here is my attempt!

A Guest

Yesterday we had a guest in our house.This is Ladybug (not her real name, obviously!). She is a coworkers daughter and they had a scheduling conflict - so we got the privilege of watching her for a few hours! It was so much fun! The boys were extremely excited to have her over! She is nine months older than Drew. It was fun to watch the two of them interact together as they don't really see each other that much. Drew was really watching her crawl around - I am afraid he was getting far too many pointers! He was also watching how she pulls herself up - again - too many pointers. This morning he was really trying to pull himself up and when he sits on my lap - he tries to stand!!!!! UGH!!! He's going to be up and running before I know it!
Ladybug and Drew got along well - until Drew tried to horn in on Ladybug's snack! It was pretty fun to watch - she handled it really well and let him have a few of her crackers - he is big time into eating real food - though he still makes TONS of faces whenever introduced to something new - you would think he hated the new food - but he often likes it and will eat more.

Ladybug is a true joy! She is really funny and SUCH a girl! She has two older brothers and it is hysterical to watch this family with a little girl! It's going to be so much fun seeing them all grow up! Thanks for letting me watch your precious girl!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Zoo!

No, I am not talking about my house - though it often resembles a zoo! Today we went to the Philadelphia Zoo! My mom, Bruce (my step-dad) and all of us went for the day to see the Lego display. They were AMAZING! It was great weather and as an extra it was also Boo at the Zoo. There were several different stations that the kids could trick-or-treat and receive a little gift or candy. They even let some of us adults get some of the treats!!! The Lego's all centered around animals (of course!). I am amazed at some of the things you can get a few (well - quite a few!) Lego's to look like. They also gave away little cards about each of the Lego animals represented and told us how many Lego's it took to build each piece. My favorites were the penguins and the snake. It took 3000 to build each penguin and 6500 Lego's just to build the snake!!!! The biggest one they had was one of a polar bear - but that one is hollow. It still took 95,000 of bricks to create it due to it's size. It was a lot of fun and I hope to get back there one more time before they go - but they are only on display until October 31st. We'll try! Here are some pictures of our fun day!
One very tired baby! But he was great the entire day! Like his new hat? I LOVE IT!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Look at my little stinker!

Yes, he is a little stinker! NONE of my other children even attempted crawling until well past 10 months. He is only 8 months and is attempting to do it! I fear my days of a doorstop baby are just about nearing the end! But he is SO stinkin' CUTE! I can't stand it sometimes!