Tuesday, September 14, 2010

First Day of School 2010

I can't believe our summer has come and gone. What a wonderful summer we had. We did not travel anywhere and it was glorious. This was the first summer in many, many years we did not travel. We stayed in VA and did fun beach, pool, Busch Gardens and other lazy things. It was WONDERFUL!!!! I will post more about this summer.

Abby started 7th grade, Ben started 5th and Emma started 4th.

Mark was still on the summer sleeping schedule. He did not wake up until much later.

Here is a picture of Mark on his first day of "Mom's Morning Out". I have signed him up for one day a week. He had a blast. I felt guilty driving away, but when I returned and found out how much fun he had I will not be so hesitant this week.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

# 5 IS A GIRL!!!!!!

We are happy to announce the new addition to our family is going to be a baby girl some time in October. People asked me what I wanted and I always responded, "Oh, it would be nice to have either one, a boy for Mark to play with or a girl to end with." I guess subconsciously I really wanted a girl, for two hours after the ultrasound I continued to cry or get teary eyed just thinking about buying girls clothes or dressing a little girl. I think Mike got teary eyed just thinking about all the money that was going to be spent. We got rid of everything after Emma. So we are going to need a lot of baby girl's clothes now.

We told the children on Easter Sunday. I got Mark a custom made t-shirt that said, "I'm going to be a big brother" with his name at the bottom. We rolled that up and put it in his Easter basket. We had all the children go through their baskets and tell us what was in each of theirs. Emma was the one that helped go through Mark's. When she read what the t-shirt said Abby was the only one that really got the meaning. The children were really offended we had not told them sooner. They could not believe we had waited 3 months to tell them.

This is what they came home to on Wednesday after we had the ultrasound. I told them I would make cupcakes and whatever color icing and little decorations were on the cupcakes then that is what we were going to have. Abby and Emma were really excited, Ben just said, "Really, it's going to be a girl. I guess that's O.K."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mike's Father Passed Away on January 12, 2010

This post is very hard for me. Maybe that is the reason I have been putting it off.

After two long years of suffering with prostrate cancer which moved into his bones, Dave is no longer suffering. He is a great man and is deeply missed. From the very beginning Dave and Dea welcomed me into their home as one of their own. I can't tell you how many times he told me how much he liked and loved me and what a great influence I was on Mike and our children. I could go to him at anytime and get sage advice. People in Chesapeake still revere him as a former stake president for our area.

His memorial service was very special. President Monson came to his viewing. For those of you that are not LDS, President Monson is the president and prophet of our church. It is like the pope coming to a family event. We felt very special. Dave was the equivalent to an AP when President Monson was his mission president in Canada.

Last year as he was declining, Dave received a sweet letter from President Monson. He talked about having memories so we can enjoy May Flowers in the December of our lives. I know Dave had many sweet memories from an amazing life.

After Dave passed away we were blessed to have a surprise visit from President Monson at Dave's viewing. What a great legacy to leave your grandchildren. I was putting away the friend magazines after sacrament a couple of Sundays ago and as I was closing it properly and I saw a picture of President Monson and in the margin I saw Emma's cute hand writing - "I've met him". I had to smile.

This is a picture of Ben going straight up to talk to President Monson when he came in to the room. When he walked in everyone slowly moved to the perimeter of the room and Ben walked right up to him and stuck out his hand and said, "Hi, I'm Ben." President Monson then asked him if he could wiggle his ears as he was wiggling his own. Ben said, "Yes, but only if I move my eyebrows too." President Monson then said to work on that. He then asked Ben how old he was. When Ben replied that he was 10 he said are you going on a mission? Ben said yes (all the years of teaching my children to say yes sir and no sir are not working) I guess I should be glad he did not say yeah. President Monson then said, "Then I will see you in 9 years."

President Monson stayed and talked to us for 45 minutes even when his driver continued telling him he needed to go. He stayed and told us some neat stories. We could not believe he would spend so much time with us. At the end he looked down at the program at the picture of Dave and said, "I want you to know he loved and served the Lord his whole life and his mission president remembers him." What a great experience for our children.

We really miss Dave and the wonderful man we came to love. This has been a tough experience (but beautiful at the same time) for Mike's mom and his whole family, however we are grateful for the knowledge that we will be together forever as a family.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Christmas 2009

I know Christmas was two months ago but I need to make a post about it so I can order a copy of my 2009 blog book for posterity.

I took on my first sewing project ever! I made the children matching pajama pants. They actually like them and have even been seen wearing them past the obligatory Christmas eve and morning pictures. This is at Grammy's house on Christmas Eve.

Abby got a reading chair for her room along with new curtains and throw pillows. I cut out some circles with my cricut machine and we put them above her bed.

Ben got an air-soft gun that lasted all of two hours. Mike told him he would take it away if Ben shot (on purpose or accident) his sisters or his brother. Within two hours of that threat Emma came running in the house crying that Ben had shot her. I asked Ben if it was an accident he said, "No, Emma wanted to get more pellets and I kept telling her no and she was ignoring me so I shot her". It has been on a top shelf in the garage ever since. Mike said Ben might get it back next year for Christmas. Ben also got a digital camera. So he "shoots" stuff with that.

Emma got a Hermione costume and a digital camera. I finally finished her reading canopy and put it up in her room with some over-sized pillows for a present too. I like the canopies in pottery barn but they are $100 so when I saw this cool way to make them in the Family Fun magazine I thought there we go. She loves to move the butterflies around to open different sections.

Even though we got Mark some new toys he still likes to play with stuff he finds around the house. This is Mark exhausted at Grammy's house on Christmas eve.

Here is Mark with his real toys.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ben is 10!

Ben is an absolute sweetheart. He loves everybody and everybody loves him. He can turn a stranger into a new friend before you can blink. He is a great big brother to Emma & Mark. One cute thing about Ben - last week we put up our Christmas tree. We have gold ornaments and we have some plastic balls and some glass. As we were decorating the tree I kept hearing balls bouncing on the floor. After the fourth time I tuned around to find Ben bending over and dropping two balls simultaneously six inches from the floor to hear the sound they made when they hit. This was to see if they were glass or plastic. He would then know whether to hang it up high or low on the tree. Thankfully none broke before I caught his very discerning experiment. I love him so much, he makes me laugh. Our family would be so boring with out Ben here to keep us laughing. He is always full of interesting facts. I love when he shares his new-found knowledge with me.

We are so blessed to have Ben in our lives.

Abby is 12!

Abby is a great gift to our family. She is always willing to help and even volunteers to help do things. She is also extremely creative. She makes the cutest games for Ben & Emma to play. She made them a whole packet of original games to play during General Conference. I think I am going to submit one of the really cute games to The Friend magazine. Her creativity goes to crafts as well. She makes the most darling cards and gifts. She is always making us encouarging cards.

Abby has a very sweet spirit. I find her up in her room reading her scriptures or her personal progress books. I could not ask for a better big sister and role model for her younger siblings. We are extremely blessed to have her in our family.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


November brought Ben's 10th birthday and a trip to Connecticut to see our dear friends the Scharmans for Thanksgiving.

All Ben wanted for his birthday this year was a new bike. So we went out to dinner as a family. He picked Red Robin. We then went and got him a new bike. It was relaxing and fun to spend time together after a crazy season of sports. I am really enjoying having a more flexible schedule.

Our eight hour car ride to Connecticut went very well. The children, especially Mark were very good and we did not hit any real traffic. It was so good to see the Scharmans again. We hiked at a nearby park that has a waterfall on Thursday while the the turkey was cooking.

Mike & Clark trying to relax:

Mike didn't get too wet afterward:)

On Friday we went to an old cider mill and got the most delicious cider and apple doughnuts.
Then Mike, Abby, and Ben got to go on Clark's submarine. Mike loves submarines. He reads (on purpose) books about them.

On Saturday we went to Boston. I had not been to Boston since I was a little girl. I LOVED it. It is a beautiful city. It is clean and pretty. There is a lot of historical things to see and yet it still is in a big city. We got to see the USS Constitution, which Mike also loves. He has a big painting of it in his office.
Doesn't Mark look happy?

The children saying,
"Yeah, we are on a really old ship!"

We then went to Bunker Hill monument. We (as in four adults and eight children) then climbed the tower that has 294 steps.

We then went to the Old North Church and Paul Revere's house. We got there too late to go inside his house.
That is the Old North Church in the background.