Monday, December 28, 2009

Snow...And Lots of It!

The Philadelphia area does not tend to get much snow. Some winters we don't get anything at all. Last week, much to our children's delight, we got over a foot. Some places near us got up to 2 feet! All the kids wanted to do was play in it. So, every day until it melted they spent an hour or so enjoying it. I, on the other hand, watched from the kitchen window! Growing up in Western New York and then living in the Pocono Mountains, I think I've seen a lifetime of snow already! haha

Our friend Josh helped the kids build a snow fort.
A few days later, they were able to dig a hole in the bottom
which they then lightly covered declaring
that it was their fort's secret emergency exit.
I kept seeing Daniel rolling around in the snow!

Here's Jay taking a flying leap into the snow in our backyard.
Needless to say, he was a little bit excited!

After the storm was over, the entire area was blanketed by a beautiful snow. I thought our house looked pretty surrounded by the snow and the blue sky.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Julia's Birthday Part 3 of 3

Today Julia had a Prince/Princess Birthday Lunch. She invited her 3 and 4 year old friends to a Prince/Princess Lunch. They were to come dressed up and have lunch with her in celebration of her birthday. Pictured: Sir Ben, the Knight, Grumpy Dwarf (aka Daniel), Princess Laura, Princess Darby,
Sir Zeke, the Knight, Snow White (aka Julia), and Cinderella (aka Ella Kate).

For lunch we had:
Ariel's Mac & Cheese Shells
Sleeping Beauty's PB&J Spinning Wheels
Cinderella's Magic Wands (Pretzels Sticks with Mini Marshmallows on top)
Snow White's Non-poisonous Apples
Belle's Royal Punch
Tinkerbelle's Mini-cupcakes with Fairy Dust

Then we did a finger puppet theater craft...Princess-themed of course!

They had such fun!

Julia's Birthday Parts 1 & 2 of 3

Yesterday was Julia's birthday. She's now four. She had quite line-up of
birthday celebrations.

First, on Saturday, we went to a friends' house to celebrate both Julia and Ella's birthdays. Ella is 364 days younger than Julia. After lunch, we went to Chuck E. Cheese. So, that was part one.

Part 2 was yesterday. We went to Chick-fil-a at her request and then came back
and she opened her presents.

She got an "American Girl" (or maybe it's a good replica of) named Amanda.
Now she can play with Hannah and her Samantha. :)

Here she is with the presents from her Nanie and PopPop. They left them here
for her when they were here for Thanksgiving.

Her Daddy burned her a cd with all her favorite songs on it.
She was so excited that she had her very own cd!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Way a Kid Brain Thinks

Check out the question I was asked yesterday after Daniel (almost 6) and Julia (will be 4 next week) had this conversation:

Julia: "Daniel, I saw birds flying the shape of an "S"!"

Daniel: "Cool! Mom, what does it mean when birds fly in an "S"?"

Me: "What?"

Daniel: "I know what it means when they fly in a "V", and when they fly in an "O" that means something is dead, so what does it mean when they fly in an "S"?"

I love moments when you get to see how a Kid's brain is working.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Is This Normal?

After arriving home following Bible study tonight, I sent the kids upstairs to get ready for bed. "Please do it efficiently," I said, "I'm tired and would like you to get to bed quickly." Some shuffling and other kid noises followed as they began to get ready for bed.
A few moments later, the boys came charging downstairs with the following news...Jay: "Mom, I punched out Daniel's tooth!" Daniel: "He did! See?" They were both thrilled.
Now, Daniel's tooth had been loose, but really, was the punching necessary? I don't know I just had a sister growing up...

The reenactment...Jay showing the punch and Daniel showing his newly lost tooth.

Monday, November 30, 2009


I love Thanksgiving. It is by far my favorite holiday of the year.
Here are a few highlights of the tradition...

This is at my Uncle Kevin and Aunt Patrice's house. We meet here each year for dessert, football watching and Christmas carol singing. The two favorite songs are "Silver Bells" and "12 Days of Christmas." Aunt Patrice always directs the mayhem.
Oh, and I think I counted 44 people. There are 3 sets of original couples (my Mom and two of her brothers); myself and 8 cousins (and some spouses);
and 21 second cousins (I think that's what they're considered).

This is my "Uncle" Joe (long time friends of the family). He has always entertained the kids (used to be my sister and I, now it's our kids) with his expansive train sets. I love watching the kids' faces and seeing it bring joy to Uncle Joe.

The cousins have such fun together. Our kids are the "big" cousins
and they take their role very seriously. :)

Daniel and my Dad

Julia and my Aunt Linda

Hannah and my Mom

And so the countdown begins for next year...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Few Fall Crafts

There is a book called, Leaf Man, where the author/artist creates pictures of different things using various types of leaves. It is so creative and interesting to look at, that we decided to collect leaves and make Leaf Turkeys. It was fun to look at leaves and try and figure out
what part of the turkey they could be. The kids had a blast walking around our
neighborhood and picking up leaves.
The first picture is Hannah's. She made several different turkeys, some of which are facing to the side. I was impressed with her creativity.
The second picture is Julia's. With a little assistance, she did a great job!
( I tried ironing them between wax paper but was quite disappointed in how they turned out...apparently wax paper isn't as waxy as it once was. The leaves move around inside if they aren't carried just right.)

Daniel had to "dress" Curious George for a costume party as a Kindergarten project.
Daniel LOVES Donovan McNabb (from the Philadelphia Eagles),
so he had fun dressing George like him.

This was a school project as well. Jay had to decorate the turkey so that the turkey could "hide" at Thanksgiving time. We chose to make the turkey look like a cow.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


So, this year is brought to you by a Chef, a Kitty, the Thing (from Fantastic4), and a Ninja.

This was our first year trick or treating in our's a jackpot! We actually quit when the kids were having a hard time managing their buckets! What fun!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


All eight: (starting at 12 o'oclock): Jay (7.5), Rebekah (4.5), Hannah (9), Erika (7 mos.), Julia (almost 4), Ryan (nearing 3), Daniel (nearing 6), Joey (4.5).
Erika (7 months), Julia (almost 4), Bekah (4.5), and Ryan (will be 3 in January)
We have to dress Rebekah and Julia differently and do their hair differently or else we spend the whole day mixing the two of them up. They are roughly the same size, have similar hair, and their voices sound similar.

So, the kids have gotten whatever it is that has been going around and have been pretty sick for the past 2 weeks or so which hasn't exactly lent itself to many picture perfect moments.
However, last week my sister and her kids (so, 8 kids 9 and under in one house) came for a visit. Thought you'd enjoy a few cute shots of the cousins all together.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Super Cute Ring Bearer and Flower Girl

Daniel and Julia were in another wedding this past Saturday (I think we should "hire" them out, they seem to be popular). This time it was for a cousin's wedding. Now, I am the first to admit that they are super cute, so I don't blame people for wanting them to be in their wedding.
Last time Daniel was the ring bearer (last December), he was quite upset when he discovered that he had to carry a pillow with NO rings on it. When the bride of this wedding asked him if he would be the ring bearer in their wedding, he asked if he would get to actually carry the rings. I explained, and she laughed and told him "absolutely." So, Daniel agreed to the job.

On our way to the wedding, Daniel was fussing about having to be so dressed up, to which John said, "that's my boy. Boys don't like being so dressed up, we only do it because the girls like it." But, oh, did he look handsome.

Julia, of course, loved every minute of it.

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so I had to rely on pictures from a few other people. I'm sure the photographer from the wedding got a lot of really cute shots. They looked completely adorable together.

Julia LOVED the flowers she got to have. She had two in her hair and a ball of them to carry down the aisle. Here she is at Krispy Kreme donut shop enjoying a donut and chocolate milk (I know, a risk while wearing all white) while we waited for it to be time for the reception.
Here Daniel is showing all of his stains on his shirt...grass stains, dirt, coffee...he's ready for his debut with Tide!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Let the Games Begin

This is how we all dressed on Sunday to commemorate the beginning of the new football season and to show our support for the Philadelphia Eagles. I was the only one who didn't have anything with the Eagles logo (so, I picked something that was the correct color), but I fixed that yesterday when I found a McNabb jersey for $13. Jay was a little disappointed that he didn't have a jersey, so I found one on the $13 rack for him, too. So, next week, we'll all be sporting our Eagles wardrobe.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Daniel Looks Like My Dad

We noticed when Daniel was quite little that he resembled my Dad (which by the way, they both have the same middle name). I think the similarities have increased as Daniel has gotten older.
Here is a picture of my Dad at age eight (I think):

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Day, Part 2

Daniel's first day of Kindergarten was Wednesday. He was so excited that he was up way too early, dressed, ate his breakfast, brushed his teeth with his backpack on, and practically ran all the way to the bus stop.

He had a great first day. According to him, his teacher is really nice,
and the bus goes REALLY fast.
After lunch, he and Julia sat down to watch Pinocchio and he was out in minutes. I woke him up when it was time to walk to the bus stop to get Hannah and Jay, and he was mad that he hadn't gotten to watch Pinocchio, denying that he fell asleep :)
He is eager and excited to go again tomorrow...I'm so glad.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The First Day

Well, I...uh, I mean, they, made it through the first day of a new school year in a new school. Here are Jay and Hannah standing in front of our house right before we walked to the bus stop. Thankfully, they were excited.

Here's the crew waiting for the bus to come.
The girl in the center is our neighbor and good friend, Danielle.
Hannah and Danielle were disappointed that they weren't in the same class at school.
I thought this picture was cute...Daniel and Julia sitting on the curb
waiting for Hannah and Jay's bus to arrive.Hannah and Jay both had glowing reports of their day, their teacher, their new friends...
I thought it was cute, though, when I checked Jay's bag to see if there was anything in it that I needed to see/fill out, I discovered all the supplies I had sent him with. When I asked him about it, he replied, "When Mrs. Jewett said to pack everything up and get ready to go home, I put it all back in my backpack." Apparently, he didn't realize that all that stuff just stayed at school :)

Tomorrow, Daniel goes to school, too. He's in half-day kindergarten, so he'll only be gone from 8:50-11:50. When I turned out the light in his room tonight, I heard his cute voice say softly, "Don't worry, Mom. It won't be too long before I'm back." Oh, I thought I was going to lose it. I laid down next to him and hugged him, and he added, "I'm going to miss you." Tomorrow might prove to be harder than today...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hannah's Sunflower

Hannah planted this sunflower from a seed back in the spring. Oh, how it has grown! We have enjoyed watching it's progress (once we figured out that that particular sprout was a sunflower, since they weren't labeled). Now it is huge...

I'm not sure why it is drooping...anybody have any suggestions? Also, we'd love to be able to make sunflower seeds to eat...any suggestions for that?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Trip to Western New York

I grew up in Western New York, but since getting married/having kids/being involved in multiple ministries, I haven't gotten back there much. Last week we made the trek up there, and had such a good time. Here are some highlights of the trip...
Mandie and Tim came one day and we took all 8 cousins (well, Erika didn't ride much...haha), to Midway Park. It is a small amusement park that has all kids' rides. The 7 kids rode and rode...they had a blast!
I was so proud of Hannah. She is not the athletic one (sorry, honey, you get it from me), but she took on and conquered all three levels of difficulty on this rockwall. She was determined to get to the top of the most difficult level, and before we left for the day, she did it!
Hannah with her toes in Lake Erie

John teaching the kids how to skip rocks on Lake Erie.
The kids, amazed, in front of Niagara Falls.

My Dad and Julia relaxing on a piece of driftwood on the beach of Lake Erie (notice Julia's toes in the sand!).

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mercer Museum

We live in a highly historic area. I enjoy taking the kids to see historical things, but with 4 kids, the admission price adds up pretty quickly. SO, I'm learning how to find free events or times. Last Friday we went to the Mercer Museum which is a castle filled (literally) with tools and simple machines that people in early America used to function in every day life prior to the industrial age.
I'm pretty sure that John and I enjoyed/got more out of it than the kids did, but at least it was a fun evening as a family...