Saturday, March 23, 2013

happy birthday wes

this birthday boy is pretty darn special.
happy birthday wes,
we are so happy you were born!

Monday, March 18, 2013


this little one loves her blankie.
e&b were belly sleepers so i don't think they ever really got the whole blanket thing. 
 for them it was just something i put on top of their backs to keep them warm.
but little j is a blankie baby all the way.
the way her little fingers holds onto it.  
how she nuzzles and rubs her eyes with it.  
how she puts herself to sleep with it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

liquid gold

around this time last year we visited a local farm for their maple sugar festival.  
ever since wes had been thinking and planning on how could have one of our own.  

he was convinced that the tree in his mom's backyard was a sugar maple...and he was right!  
one giant sugar maple that we hoped was filled with nature's candy. 

so he did his research,
bought the supplies (3 taps and 3 collection buckets),
and kept an keen eye on the february temperatures.  
you need days that are above freezing during the day, but that drop below freezing at night.  
this is when the maple sap starts a flowin'.

over february break we drove out west to tap the tree,
and had the expert help of pa pa cha cha to keep an eye on the collecting
and to change out the buckets as they filled. 
within a week and half later we had collected 15 gallons of sap!  

so we drove our west to spend the day with grandma and pa pa
for our very own maple sugar fest!
flannel shirts are required.
really they are.

these two kept a watchful eye on the sap boiling while 
sipping hot cocoa and trying to keep warm.
it literally took all afternoon to boil down the 15 gallons.  

we had some professional taste testers too.  
showing the kids along the way how the sap was turning into the syrup.  

it was amazing how it just kept getting sweeter and sweeter.  
even the steam smelled sweet!  

and since the process literally took all day.  
we had lots and lots of time for board games...

cuddles with grandma...

playing with cousins...

and watching movies! 

the following morning it was time for the much anticipated pancake breakfast,
served with our very own maple syrup!

some call it liquid gold...and now we know why. 
liquid gold indeed...and a golden memory for sure.  

a big thanks to our "maple sugar daddy" for this
wonderful fun project, special memory and the start of a new tradition!

Monday, March 11, 2013

ten on ten: march

i missed the actual tenth of march because jane and i were away for the weekend with my girlfriends. i wished i captured that day instead - lake winnepisaukee, mimosas, games, giggles, endless chatting and sweet friends - but i forgot.  so here is ten on eleven - capturing the beauty of an ordinary day (while wishing that mimosas with girlfriends could be part of an ordinary day).

1. creating
2. morning bundles
3. endless laundry
4. blocks
5. tummy time
6. packing, packing, packing
7.afternoon sun
8. all three in the middle row
9. bennett's cars playing twister
10. little friends' art show

Thursday, March 7, 2013

one of those moments

i relived this moment earlier today when i was writing the parent's devotion i author for our church.  the details came flooding back in a way that made me sweat and then smile.  i want to put it here so that i'll never forget it.  i thought you might enjoy as well...not for the pat on the back, but to remember these precious parenting moments when god's truth guides us, especially when its crazy and hard. 


We all know that grocery shopping with your kids is a wee stressful, right?  But what about shopping at good ol’ Market Basket…with your kids…9 months pregnant…on a weekend…a few days before a holiday?  If you are a Market Basket patron then you know what I’m talking about and you likely just started sweating (sorry).  Well this was my exact scenario this past Thanksgiving.  Shopping with my 2 kids and another one on the way, carrying a list a mile long, squeezing by  (i.e. belly bumping) fellow patrons, while  opening groceries along the way to keep the kids happy.  We were doing pretty good until about aisle 10 – and that’s when things started getting dicey with the onset of bickering, fussing and mama sweating that would naturally accompany a scenario such as this.  We suffered through the crazy long check-out lines, paid more money than I had planned and high-tailed it out of there, to the tunes of the kids’ fussing that they didn’t earn their twenty-five cent vending toy reward.  Ugh – I’m exhausted just remembering this! 

Well it got worse.  After loading the fussing kids into the car and unloading the groceries (while feeling the anxious eyes of the driver behind me waiting for my parking spot), I looked down and realized I forgot to pay for the pack of toilet paper at the bottom of my cart.  My enormous belly was obviously to blame, blocking my view of the item, therefore resulting in me forgetting to put it through the check-out. 

A moment like this called for a deep breath and little prayer.  What to do?  What to do?  Should I just leave it on the cart since I hadn’t paid for it, and let it get re-shelved when they return the carts to the store?   No – we sort of needed this sanitary essential at home.  Do I just take it home and promise to pay for it the next time I shop there? No – that would be stealing.  Oh how I was so very tempted to do this…so very tempted. 

I unloaded the fussing kids and told them we had to go back into the store to pay for an item I forgot.  They instantly replied that we should just forget it, take it, that no one would know.  And that’s when one of those precious parenting moments was before me.   When I could forget all about the crazy shopping experience – forgive all the crying and fussing -  and share one of God’s most basic commandments,  “Thou shall not steal” (Exodus 20:15).   Telling them quite simply that if we took it, that would be stealing.   That even if the store didn’t know or ever find out, that God would.  That being honest and telling the truth is essential. 

They didn’t hear me right away.  They didn’t want to go back into the store.  That anxious driver was definitely a wee annoyed that I wasn’t exiting my spot just yet.  But in that moment I knew we were doing right and simply prayed that my kids would remember this moment.   I know I will.

Friday, March 1, 2013

color day

here are a few highlights from "color day" here at home.
adding a bit of color and creativity to these bleak winter days.'

peeling & melting crayons for some crayon art

stringing fruit loops to make colorful cereal necklaces.
a tasty mid-morning snack!

stringing strands of yarn to make colorful webs!

dyed spaghetti for a colorful and yummy lunch

coloring the snow and jumping rainbows