Friday, October 26, 2007

"Big Sisters are Mean" ~ Josie, Oct 26, 2007

While I was downstairs trying to learn my new scrapbooking software, Maddie and Monica were upstairs giving Josie a new hairstyle. Given, Josie loves the attention from the 'big kids' - but I think she's starting to catch on to the "Never-let-your-big-sister-mess-with-your-hair" rule pretty quick.

Above you will see my first attempt with the iRemember software. It took me about an hour...I know, I'm no rocket scientist - but at least I'm giving it a shot!!

Just to be sure you don't think I'm one of those permissive and unobservant moms - I insisted that Monica and Maddie give Josie her bath, complete with shampoo! One less job for me tonight. They all survived, wet and happy!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sidewalk Chalk

One of the greatest creations ever! Josie and I spend an hour a day (weather permitting!) outside with her chalks. The days are starting to cool off here, so it's easier to be outdoors for any stretch of time. Here's some of art we created in the past two days: (had to document them today - weatherman is calling for rain later today...finally!)

A tulip - My favorite flower

Mother/Daughter Footprints

Our hopscotch is small because Josie is learning how to hop on one foot!

More Flowers (Josie's Favorite thing to draw - or rather, for Mom to draw!)

Josie gives a big Hooray! for Mom

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sasquash, Beaver, Whatever

This is a bit of long story, so bear with me:

In 2000, we moved from Alexandria, VA to Reading, PA. We loved Reading. We loved our house, our neighbors, our neighborhood, and the schools. About a mile from our house - on a route we drove several times a day - there was a small waterfall fed by a creek. I loved this turn in the road - it always made me feel like I lived in the most beautiful place on earth.

One afternoon, in late summer, we were driving along and saw a large, furry, lumbering animal. Maddie yelled out “Mom, what’s that animal?” Being a good mom, I put things together in my head quickly (water + furry animal = Beaver) “It’s a beaver, honey,” I answered.

A few nights later, while riding with my friend Dee Dee and her kids, Maddie saw the creature yet again and screamed “Beaver, Mom!” DeeDee threw me an incredulous look and broke out laughing. “That’s not a beaver, it’s a groundhog!” She laughed for about 5 minutes. I tried to redeem myself, but it was useless. It became one of those private jokes that friends share through the years. I’m sure that DeeDee, Karlie and Derek still refer to the groundhogs as beavers, as does Maddie - who was properly educated that night 7 years ago.

Flash forward to 2004 when we discover that the road to our local commuter rail line is home to number of groundhog colonies. We’ll be driving along and James says, “There’s one of your buddies, Hon”. I still get such a kick from seeing them. I think they are the cutest creatures around!

Jump to 2007. We’ve lived in our house here for over 3 years. One day in early September, I notice our dog, Carson standing by the back door, his hair on his back standing straight up. He was still as a statue, so I knew he was looking at something other than the squirrels he usually goes nuts over. I look into the yard to see a groundhog making his way across the yard. He hung around for a while and then headed back to his place in the woods at the edge of the yard.

I was so excited, I called James at work:

Michele: “James, you are not going to believe this - we have a groundhog in the yard!!!!” I was practically screaming.
James: “Really?”
Michele: “Yes, Yes, and he is HUGE!”
James: “Good for you Hon! I’m glad one of your buddies decided to visit you at home.”
Michele: “Can you believe it?!”
James: “Yes!” then, muttering under his breath “Sasquash”.
Michele: “What?”
James: “Nothing, I’ve got a meeting in a few minutes, I need to get going”
Michele: “Okay, I’ll talk to you later, Bye”.

Since that day, I have seen the groundhog a lot. I excitedly call Maddie and Josie to come look each time I do. I even call my neighbor Nora, when he wanders into her yard. Still, James has never seen him and each time the kids or I mention the groundhog James does the same thing….

Mutters under his breath - “Sasquash, Yeti, aliens.” It seems my husband believes I’m seeing things…

So, this is for James, DeeDee, Karlie, Derek, Maddie & Josie. Please tell James the groundhog (beaver) does not reside in my head!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

For Grandmom & MaMa

We've all been waiting a while for this:

That's right, Josie's hair is finally long enough for pigtails!! For both of Josie's Grandmothers this is a HUGE event. Is she a cutie or what?!?!?!

Happy Birthday to ME!

On Sunday, September 30th, I celebrated my 45th birthday. Not as bad as one might think - I have much to be grateful for and I was thrilled to have a small celebration with family & friends. The cake pictured above was created by my talented daughter, Maddie and her friend, Monica. It was delicious!

I spent Friday night and all day Saturday at a scrapbooking weekend with my dear Marty - so that was part of my gift. James had the girls, including Monica, during that time and he made sure they were well entertained. On Sunday, we shared a wonderful lunch with Aunt Kim and cousins,Kate and Jack. Kate is also a September baby, so we usually share a cake. Monica's Mom, Elizabeth, also joined us for our delicious lunch of barbequed chicken & pork, ribs, corn on the cob and baked beans.

I was fortunate enough to receive birthday greetings from many friends and family. I thank you all for the warm wishes. Here are some more photos from the celebration:

Here's the two cake masters - Maddie & Monica

Monica and her Mom, Elizabeth:

Kim and Jack enjoying some cake:

My niece, Kate, who shares a September birthday:

Lovely Josie, enjoying chocolate (her favorite, just like Mom!):