Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happy Together

Most days, Mikey and Molly are content to play together. This is one of my favorite pictures from this month - just coloring on the floor by my feet.

Christmas time was good this year. The four of us were happy together. It was quiet, we didn't have any family or friends over, but it was cozy.

We didn't even cook a Christmas dinner this year.

It was super hard to be away from my family and friends. Harder than I thought it would be. But, we made it, and Chris is on his way to the Outback Bowl with Kevin and Bo. Here is a picture of us tailgating this year. It is Chris, Kevin, me, Mikey, Mom Keller, Dad Keller, Bo, and Molly.
The kids and I went downtown to look at the ice sculptures as they melted down the sidewalk. We would have taken pictures, but we sent the camera with Chris to FL.

Oh, Molly is the queen of opposites lately. If Mikey and I are slowpokes, she is a "fastpoke". If we are going downtown, why aren't we going uptown? Some of them are pretty comical. I'll listen for more of them tomorrow.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Our first letters to Santa

Dear Santa,
I would like a green Care Bear with a rainbow, a sleeping bag, and a light pink towel with a hood.

I was good. I shared my toys with Mikey and listened to Mrs. Pritchard, Ms. Lonni, and Mrs. Johnson at school.



Dear Santa,

I would like in my stocking a nice, red, juicy lollipop, a nice juicy candy cane that tastes like peppermint, and apple, pear, banana, and orange and strawberry candy canes. One more piece of candy - a fruit roll up!

I want a pice of train that has a rolie thing on top. I want a Lite Brite, new Play Doh, a Christmas tree ornament, and a sleeping bag with a pillow.

I'm good at jump roping, putting my toys away, doing my speech, and I like to read books and work at school.



(Mom's note: We are taking the letters to Santa's mailbox downtown, and he really send you a handwritten letter back in the mail!!)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

"Mom. Mom? Mommy....Mom! Hey, Mom...Mom? Mommy!"

I feel like my mother. She used to hear that all of the time from the three of us. It seems like my name is all I hear from my kids anymore...if I had a dollar each time they called for me, I could quit work! Today I told them I was changing my name, it wasn't Mom anymore - it was a secret, and I wouldn't tell them. Mikey promised that if I told him, he wouldn't tell his friends. I wasn't buying it. Finally, I picked a name and told them. Now, my new name is Babe. I couldn't decide between Babe, Toots, or Hot Stuff. Maybe next time I get tired of hearing "Mom", I'll be Sweet Thing. :-)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The House is Disappearing

The kids and I made our first gingerbread house on Sat. afternoon while Chris was at school. OK, so maybe we didn't make it, but we did assemble it. The directions didn't call for a hot glue gun, but we used one! I hot glued it together (no waiting time before we could stick on those candies!!), and the kids went to town. Twenty minutes later, the candy was all on, the sprinkles were sprinkled, the gumdrops all dropped onto icing, and we were done! Well, I think as much candy made it into the kids' mouths as on the house, but we were proud. I'd take a picture, but it wasn't THAT

We proudly displayed the house in the living room on an end table. Over the past 3 days, more and more of it is missing! The kids know it is glued together, because we went to buy a new glue gun to make it. Therefore, they know not to eat that part. However, the candy stuck on the icing? Going, going, GONE! The house is a bit naked. I just turn a blind eye to the missing candy. After all, if you are going to fuss over a gingerbread house with kids, why bother making it?

Oh, and tonight I went to the cookie exchange (9 dozen), and I also got a tray of cookies from the parents at school today. I am on a total cookie sugar-high, trying to type. Some of them are so yummy I won't put them on the neighbor's tray - they are staying right here in the Solo household. Chocolate peanut butter truffles, anyone?

Friday, December 08, 2006

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

I love getting Christmas cards. We move a lot, being in the military, and some of my friends I only hear from at Christmas, it seems. They have moved, we have moved, they had another baby, we did And my favorite part of the cards? The pictures and the newsletters. In the pictures you can see how much the kids have grown, and who they are beginning to look like. Oh, and how they were posed. That is always pretty comical. Oh, and if you don't get a pictures at Christmas? I guess you just didn't rate high enough on the list to get one. :-)

The very best part of cards? THE NEWSLETTERS!! Oh, everyone has such a perfect life and a perfect family and a perfect year at Christmas, don't they? You never hear: "So-and-so got suspended from school this year for..." or "Our son is turning out to be such a nerdy dork!" "Our daughter is totally spoiled and throws tantrums all the time, and she is almost 14!" Another thing you don't hear - "We have moved, and are settling in, but it is difficult." NO, everyone who moves loves their new house, their new neighbors, their new friends - they never say "I had to find a pediatrician, and don't really like the one we have...." or " We still haven't managed to find a dentist, but we'll cross that bridge when we really have to!" One of these days, I am sure I will get an honest newsletter, one that tells the whole picture. As soon as I do the same... ha ha

I am excited today, though. I have some friends coming over to stamp Christmas cards. Yup, friends. Well, one that I meet up with every week, and the other two are potential friends, I guess you could call them. We'll see. I am thrilled to get out my stamps, my inks, my paper cutters, etc and get busy. I had better go clean up this dump before they see I actually LIVE like this. See? That should go in my honest Christmas letter, huh?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream!!

Today I took the kids to The Creamery. Can you believe the price of a cone went up again? $2.50 a cone...and there is only one size cone. They pile as much ice cream up as the cone will hold, and that costs $2.50. Now, it IS a lot of ice cream, don't get me wrong. I would just like to pay less to receive less. After all, I ate as much as I could, and look how much I still had to throw away! I suppose I could go down to Cold Stone Creamery downtown, and eat fancy ice cream there, and not be-atch about how much it costs. But I can do that anywhere. While I live here in Happy Valley, I'm sticking to The Creamery on campus.

Back when I was in school, (no, I didn't have to walk to school, uphill, 2 miles each way...) the cones cost $1. Inflation. Wait, now that I think about it, I DID have to walk to classes, about a mile each I hate to think about how long ago that was.

Mikey still goes to speech once a week, and I still laugh at what comes out. For example, he has always called the garage the "ba-gwage". Chris and I will probably call it that for the rest of our lives. Dessert is "bessert". Once he was pouting after dinner, and I asked him what was wrong. He said "I just want bessert in my mouth..." So, now we only have dessert on Fridays. Other nights, don't bother asking. At least not until the kids are in bed!

Oh, big news. I've finally finished raking the yard! Now, for some of you, you might think "BIG deal..." It IS a big deal. In the afternoons when Heather called, most days her message was "Well, I guess you're outside raking. Call me when you come in..." Just in the back yard, we have 25 trees that drop leaves, and at least a dozen bushes and trees to rake around that don't drop their leaves. The borough sends a big leaf sucker truck around a few times a week during the fall to pick up the leaves. Their last trip was on Thursday, so I had to be done by then. I finished, we had a huge windstorm on Friday, and the neighbor's leaves (who didn't rake at all the entire season ) blew into my yard. UUGGG!!

Here is our leafpile. It really doesn't do it justice, since I also had leaves picked up that I had raked a couple times a week all fall. I was one tired chickie.

Monday, November 27, 2006

One of my favorites...
Enough said.

Packed and Ready

The kids packed what they thought they would need for two nights in Pittsburgh, and here it all is! Right down to a fake potted flower from her bedroom, a bottle of vitamins, their mouthwash, tissues, toys, blankets...I just wish they had thought of clothes!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Quick update.

I did join the gym yesterday. Tuesday and Thursday will be my weight days, with MWF being my cardio days. I'm pretty friggin' exhausted, but am waiting for Chris to come home.

He had an exam tonight, so he didn't even get to see the kids. I feel badly for all three of them on these nights.

We met Mark's mom and dad at the Creamery today for ice cream. "Pop Pop" asked the kids if they wanted ANYTHING else... he'd get it for them! He spoils those kids rotten. Which I appreciate, because they don't see my dad often. Mark's parents have become grandparents to my kids. Which I love. Because I love Mark. At one of the football games his sister looked at the kids, and the first thing she said was "Look how big they've gotten!" I wanted to say - "You've never seen them before...." until I realized that she has seen them, in pictures. Either from Mark or at his parent's house. And that made me love the Keller family even more. For keeping up with my kids.

While at the Creamery, Mikey asked to go to the bathroom. Well, he had been in there for longer than it takes him to pee, so I said "Are you ok in there?" He said back (in between grunts) "Can you turn on the fan?" I just laughed. I love that kid.

I'm so full of love tonight, can ya tell? I just talked to Mona, a friend from middle school that I keep up with. She came to visit us once a year out in CO. I love her, too. And I never hesistate to tell her.

I am one of those people that think you SHOULD tell people when you love them, if you get the chance. Or if you take the chance. Never take them for granted. Especially friends. I'd rather have 5 friends that I can call if I ever need them than 40 people I can call for a party. I guess that's why I'm so loyal to my friends. Because I appreciate them.
I have a friend going through a hard time with her husband right now. And I like the fact that she calls me. Because that makes me her friend. I am the one she can call when she needs to cry, laugh, or just sound things out. And I like knowing that friends love me as much as I love them.

OK, this has turned into a long update. Sorry. I'm going to shower to try to relax these muscles of mine that haven't been used in way too long.

Love you guys.

Monday, November 13, 2006

He can READ!!

Mikey read his first word today - map. I was so proud! It was on a mailbox-type of thing on the street, and he asked me what it said. I looked around and couldn't find a word that he was talking about, and he said "That one. Map." I looked around, and there it was! Map! No pictures or anything, just the word. I am one proud mama.

Fat or fit?

I am going to join a gym. Probably tomorrow. LOL No, I mean it. There is a gym about 50 yards from school, and I can go while the kids eat lunch. I am actually pretty excited about it! I just have to remember that the other girls working out are 1/2 my age and have had no children, so I can't compare myself. Personally, I think that is a good reason to go and just feel good about myself in general!

There are free weights, machines, and classes, although the classes are Sat. and Sunday evenings. So, every now and then, ask me how the gym is going...or if I am going.
But don't look for any pictures to be posted!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

They are lucky to be alive.

We went to Wal-Mart today. Nothing strange there. We had a list of things to buy for the Operation Christmas Child boxes. Nothing strange there. We pushed, shopped, and bought a few extra things (NOT on the list) for the boxes. Again, nothing strange there. Then, we went to the check-out. Here I am, feeling all warm inside buying gifts for kids with less. Lots less. I let the kids get some extra things for the little kids. I'm smiling, holding my head high, teaching my children a life lesson, right? (Picture a smug Susie here...)
So, we are checking out, and I hear two little ANGELS saying to the lady in the next line "Stupid lady!" I think to myself "that CAN'T be MY two kids.....CAN IT??" So, I look up from talking to the cashier about the weather, and there they are, popping their heads up and down, looking at the lady in the next line, taking turns (at least they were taking turns) saying "Stupid lady! Stupid lady!" OK, something strange there.
I made them get OUT of the card, march their butts over the the lady, and apologize. I was absolutely mortified, to put it lightly. I stayed calm until they were in the car, buckled in, and ready to drive the 100 yards to Sam's. Then, I blew. Picture one pissed mommy and two crying kids in the Blazer. Not a pretty sight.
I stopped, drove to Sam's, and threatened them within an inch of their life. Shopping in Sam's was pretty peaceful, since they were forbidden to SPEAK! Needless to say, they got no ice cream cone at Sam's today. As the lady they apologized to said as she looked at me "It gets easier, it really does...." I was so flustered, I accidently left my bags and had to walk the 10 feet back to get them. Sometimes, I wish I could take home the groceries and leave the KIDS.
It does get easier, the difficulties are just different. There are always challenges to parenting. I just pray I can face them and teach the children along the way.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mikey Wants a Squirrel

Mikey and Molly were watching the squirrels play in the front yard today. I'm chatting on the phone with Kristen when Mikey calls for me. He wanted to go outside, catch a squirrel, and bring the animal in the house. I told him that he couldn't, because the squirrel would bite him, but we could go up on campus and FEED the squirrels, because they will eat out of your hand there. He replied that no, he had a bucket ready to go outside to catch the squirrel, and would it still bite him? I told him yes, and got off the phone to see what he was up to.
He came back upstairs, took his coat off, and said he was ready to go to campus to catch his squirrel. He would put his bucket like "this" and the opening "there" (with huge arm motions while squatting down) and we could bring it home! I told him that we couldn't bring the squirrel home, that the mommy squirrel would miss it. He solved that by saying we could bring them BOTH home, the baby AND the mommy!! I just said "No, honey, squirrels live in trees....but hey!'s time for CLIFFORD!!"

If all else fails, there is always PBS. Besides, I love those happy giggles while Clifford is on. Clifford and Curious George are their afternoon treats on these more frequently cold, drizzly afternoons. Their treats, and my 60 minutes of peace and quiet. Just enough time to blog and relax.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Kids Stuff

In the above picture they were at a Halloween party that we went to - and Mikey wanted to be Prince Charming. I managed it with some curtain tassles and some tie-back cord from Wal-Mart, with a few safety pins. The cord went like a Miss America sash, and the tassles around his shoulders. Hey, it was cheezy, but he was happy, everyone knew who he was, and it was cheap and easy!

I was thinking of things the kids say that make me laugh...

Molly wants cornflakes, but asks for snowflakes.
She likes to play frisbee, but says quizbee.

Oh, and their favorite song for this week? "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy" They belt it out when it comes on their CD in the car! Very cute.

Molly is the biggest girly-girl. Is she even my daughter?? Every day, she wants to wear a dress with tights. Sock tights. NO jeans, and if I am lucky, she'll wear some leggings and a fleecy shirt. So, if any of you see any sales on dresses with matching tights, let me know where to look! She's almost up to a size 4 now. Long legs, tiny body.

The two kids are at the front window watching the leaf sucker. Twice a week the machine comes by to suck up any raked leaves and take them away. The kids like to watch the thing come around, but miss the leaves they can play in. We have to tarp our leaves out of the back yard still, so there will be PLENTY of leaves once we do that. You can't even see the back yard due to the depths of leaves.

Mitchell, our cadet from USAFA that we sponsor, flew in for the weekend for a visit. I'll post some pictures if he and Chris ever get up today. :-) I think the bars must have been a good time last night, and Chris forgets that he's not still 21.

Sitting here watching the kids play, I remember how much work it was when Molly was born. Mikey hadn't even been walking for a month, and didn't speak for SO long. He was a fat little thing, and she was in that bucket carrier forever, so I was trying to carry both of them if I was in a hurry...and getting up to feed Molly, and Chris was in AFIT...and now they are so much fun. They play all of the time, sometimes for hours without interruption, and especially since we moved, have become the best of friends. They aren't really concerned that they don't play with that many other people - they have each other. I don't really remember much of Molly's first year, but am thankful that I have them both so close together now. They really are my pride and joy. I just hope I don't spoil them rotten.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Quick Quip

Tonight Mikey was trying to get me to give him some dessert before he finished his dinner. Here were his best tries:

"Mommy, if you give me a fruit snack RIGHT NOW, then I will let you stay up LATE. PAST your bedtime!!"

Then, I got on the phone and in the background he starts singing "If you give me a fruitsnack, I will let you play with my toys in the morning, if it isn't a school day..."

Have I mentioned lately how much I love that kid??

And no, I didn't give him a fruit snack. But Chris laughed so hard he did. Usurped again.

Happy Halloween!

Last night was one of the best moments of my life that I can remember. It ranked right up there with taking the kids to their first PSU game...we went trick-or-treating. It was a quiet night, the weather was absolutely incredible (we didn't even need jackets!!), and we left holding hands and flashlights while the kids darted up the sidewalk to the next house. They both "got it", and dashed from house to house, knowing the faster they went, the faster they got the candy! Mikey wanted to hit the townhouses, realizing they were closer together, but we talked him out of crossing the bigger street. They took off at a trot, Molly with her Cinderella dress fanning out behind her, and Mikey with his flashlight to see where they were going. After 4 houses or so they slowed down, and after the dozen houses on our cul-de-sac, and another 6 or so down the side street, Molly was being carried, Mikey was carrying her ghost full of loot, and we were headed home. Mikey would have been happy to carry on down the next street, but Molly was pooped. We even trick-or-treated at a police car that came down our road. He was a younger policeman, and had candy for the kids. So, they kids said "trick-or-treat" and he had baggies of candy corn for them. However, they would't approach the car. I laughed and explained we have taught them NOT to take candy from strangers, especially in cars.... He then said "Oh, yeah... I didn't think of that... here, YOU give it to them..." We had already said to the kids how nice it was the policeman was out to make sure we were safe, so they knew he was alright, they just got shy.

I can't even explain the joy in my heart taking the kids around. It was like I have the whole American Dream. The husband I adore, and who adores me. Two kids that are happy and healthy. A house on a cul-de-sac where everyone knows everyone and everything about them. Perfect weather on top of everything. The excitement on the kids faces and the spring in their step (at least at the beginning!). Four jack-o-lanterns on the front steps all lit up and glowing.
Who wouldn't want to be ME!?!?

Well, take a look at this messy house, and I'll see some hands going up... hee hee

I leave you looking at the tree at the entrance to our park - 3 houses down, and 2 over. Beautiful, isn't it?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

More pictures from the weekend...

We went to watch The Wiggles here at PSU. The kids loved it, and couldn't believe it was the REAL Wiggles. The light sticks they couldn't live without, and "Aunt Tico" bought them some. It was fun to hear them call her Aunt Tico, even though I call her Keeko. Everytime they said it, we just laughed. This is the first time they are really old enough to call her anything, so I wonder if it will stick.

After The Wiggles show, we ate a dinner of Chinese and vegetarian sushi downtown, and went to watch the Homecoming parade. The college kids saw us coming with the wagon, and let us right up front! The students are very good about the kids - if we are going somewhere and holding the students up, they are very patient, smile at the kids, etc. I hope they are just as polite to senior citizens. Living in a college town certainly has it's advantages...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Mikey's Soccer Game

Mikey's soccer season is ending this weekend. He has had so much fun, and we have had so much fun watching him! Katherine and Stella came up for the weekend, so she took this picture. I'll post more of her good ones, since mine are still not so clear. On the happy side, I DID get a digital camera for my birthday (thanks, Chris!!), so I just need to learn how to use it. Here are some more pictures from our weekend. It is wonderful having my sister back in my life. OK, bookclub, you can quit with the "aawwwww......." ;-)

We had a great time at the game on Sat. - The weather was perfect!

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Who out there is in Catasauqua, PA??

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Fall has arrived!!

Here is our wonderful house on our wonderful street with the wonderful leaves. Lots of leaves. Lots of leaves to rake. The kids love them.

Mikey loves jumping in them, Molly likes walking through them. They like the sounds of them. Isn't that the best part of fall? Well, besides college football....hee hee

I watched a friend have incredible strength today. Our friend from college, Todd Humble, died of a heart attack last week. The viewing was last night, and the funeral was today. I was in awe of Gina and how well she handled everything. It made me wonder, could I have done that? Would I have handled that the same way? Is that what I would do? It made me thankful that I don't have to answer those questions yet.

If there is any good that came out of today, it is that the Drill Team realized we need to do better at keeping in touch and seeing each other. Time is precious, and so are friends. We need to treasure both.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Five Weird Things About Me

I was tagged by Erin to come up with 5 weird things about me, so here goes:

1. I am actually very shy. OK, go ahead and laugh. I hate walking into a room full of ppl I don't know, desperately wanting to make a new friend. I put on a good front, and laugh a lot. My shyness sometimes comes across as being aloof. I am NOT aloof. ;-)

2. I can only clean and do dishes with rubber gloves on. My skin is really sensitive to water, so I rarely take a bath, just showers. Therefore, if I am ever over to visit and you want help with the dishes, I'll happily dry, or hand over some gloves!

3. Talents? NONE I don't have a single talent in the world. I have God-given gifts, like teaching, but if I had to be in a talent show, I couldn't do anything but stand there.

4. I'm scared of heights. Won't even sleep on the top bunk. I have sat at the top of Beaver Stadium, but didn't like it. I have this feeling that I will either fall or be pushed, and that will be the end of me.

5. I can bake up a storm, but can't cook at all with no recipe. If my family could eat baked goods for dinner, we'd be in good shape. Well, actually, we'd be in HORRIBLE shape. Thank goodness Chris can whip up a quick dinner.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Our big trip

Last weekend we went to Richmond, VA to see Heather. I hadn't seen her in over two years, and she had never met either of my kids, so we were both pretty excited, to say the least. It's amazing to think we talk at least a few times a day, and she had never met them in person. So, we loaded the car, stopped for gas and a coffee, and realized the DVD player was broken. It is almost 400 miles to get there, so we went across the street to Best Buy and bought a new one. JUST what Chris wanted to buy this month...but it is easier than not having it for such a long trip.

We were off. We had a crummy atlas, but it got us there. It rained a lot of the time, there were two tractor-trailor accidents in I-81, and total, it took us almost 9 hours to get there. We were SO ready to get out of that Blazer! Rebecca immediately wanted to read to my kids, but I told her they may not want to sit for a story right away. They were so enthralled with her reading, they just sat in the recliner and listened to the whole story. Mikey thought the sun rose and set on Rebecca all weekend, and Hayden played well with the kids, too. Hayden, Molly and Mikey played Hide-and-Seek for at least an hour on Sat. afternoon! Here is a picture of Hayden and Molly hiding together:

We just had fun BEING together. The guys took the kids to lunch and a nature reserve while we went shopping and out for lunch together, and then we played at home with the kids while the guys went out for a beer and some nachos. It was fun to just hang out. We ate, put the kids to bed, watched a little football, and laughed together. Here is the birthday cake Heather had for me a week early, and Rebecca had even made me a cute card.

The trip home was easier - pretty weather, I bought a new atlas (even though we went to same way!), we didn't have the accidents to deal with, and everyone was just happier in general. I can't wait to go again, or to have them come up here!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Ben and Pia came over to play with us last week, so of course, Christy came out and we all ended up in the leaves. The kids love hearing the sound of them as they crawl in them, walk in them, throw them, and rake them. Reminds me of the time I got in trouble with the campus police because I was sitting in a pile of leaves on campus. Except I was 20 or 21, not 3 or 4. Leaves are just the best. I'll post more pictures as the leaves continue to change here on Pickwick Avenue.

Monday, October 09, 2006


Leave a comment! I would love to know who is checking in from Australia, Alabama, North Carolina, Ohio, Minnesota, etc. Wow, I have the power to reach the WORLD!! hee hee

Feeling un-needed sometimes.

Molly had her first playdate last week. Without me. It was a lot harder on me than it was on her - she was nothing but excited, and I was nothing but nervous. I had to let my baby ride home with someone else from school to play, and I was going to pick her up. I didn't really know the parents, I had to get directions to their house, and she would be there for 2 hours!

Mikey was all out of sorts because he couldn't go. The first individual playdate. So, I convinced him that WE would have fun on our own until we went to get her. We walked from school to the bank for cash (essential to have any fun at all!), and then he decided we should WALK to the Creamery on campus for ice cream. Now, to get to the Creamery it is at least a half mile, UPHILL. I tried and tried to convince him we should drive, that he would get tired, that it was a long way, etc. etc. etc. He said "If I get tired, I'll just keep walking." So, off we went. We held hands, talked about our mornings, sang songs, and walked. He never even needed a rest. As we sat eating ice cream and drinking chocolate milk in the Creamery he said "Mom, these people think I'm a college kid." I asked him what he meant. He replied "They don't know I'm a little boy. You are the only one here that knows I am a little boy - they all think I am a college kid like them!" He is the sweetest 4 year old boy on this Earth.

So, we walked down to school, got the car, ran home to change, and went to get Molly. She and Becca were just on their way out the door for a wagon ride with her mom. Becca lives on a paved road that is hilly, and Mikey wanted to ride her little tricycle up the hill so he could ride down, too. Becca's mom pulled the girls up, and I walked with Mikey on this tiny trike. Becca's mom pulled the wooden sides off of the wagon, got in with the girls, and they were off, screeching and laughing all the way down. Mikey started heading down, with me walking behind him. All of the sudden he stopped, stood up, and looked at me with an expression that I had never seen before. I realized he was holding the handle bars! I sort of laughed, and said, "Wow, I'm glad you could stop yourself! Let me help you..." I went to help put the handle bars back in the bike, but the front wheel came off in my hand! Then, I tried to pick it up to carry it, and the seat came off, too! So, the tricycle is in 5 pieces - the handle bars, the seat, the front wheel, the two back wheels, and some metal ring from around the front tire. At this point, I am laughing uncontrollably. Mikey is begging me to quit laughing - he is too embarassed. I assured him I was not laughing at him, I was just so happy that he wasn't hurt! We walked down the hill to the house, carrying the bike in 5 pieces, and I didn't quite know what to say to the mom. I looked at her and said "Ummm.... I think I need a tool...." She assured me it was ok, that it had happened before. I was relieved, but at the same time I thought "You put my kid on a death trap to ride down the hill??"

The funniest part of the whole day was when I was retelling the story to my sister, Katherine. She and I laughed so hard we were crying, and couldn't even talk to each other on the phone, because we couldn't stop laughing and crying! It was a great way to end my day.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Age. It's just a number.

I remember when we were in college. Adults seemed so OLD. Now, I have to face the fact that we are those adults. Two of my friends got promoted to Lt. Col. this weekend, and they aren't the two most mature people that I know. They are two of the sweetest, most fun friends I have, but the first word to describe them wouldn't be mature. So, I guess I have to admit, we are old.
We ordered a cake for Kevin, since he was coming to town. After all, what is a promoion without a cake?? I went to order the cake at the finest bakery in town, Wal-Mart. As I was standing there, I saw that you could order a cake with a photo on it. Now, that is a little more exciting! So, I packed up the kids and came back home. I dug and dug, and couldn't find the picture of Kevin in Jodi's bra on top of his winter coat. That was one of our finer nights in college....
I told Chris what I wanted to do, so he started digging for pictures. He found one of Kevin at the Skeller with is mouth full of food, cropped everyone out, blew it up, and ordered the cake. I love that guy, have I mentioned that lately? So, here is the fruit of our combined effort.

Here are some more pictures of us, with Kevin and Mark (who flew in from Colorado Springs for the occasion) at Mark's parent's tailgate yesterday. I have known Kevin and Mark since the fall of '87. Now we are old. Officially. However, old friends stick by you through good and bad, and we all have dirt on each other. They are the brothers I have chosen, not the one I was born with. It's great being military - you choose your friends to be your family. And I love them.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Bugs Bite

On Saturday we went up to campus to an exhibit called "Bugs Bite' put on by the Entomology Department. Yes, I had to look up the spelling. Anyway, it was pretty neat. There were Hissing Madagascar Cockroaches, which were creepy, and all sorts of bugs there. A lot were mounted, some were alive, some you could hold, and some you could EAT. The insect deli was pretty crowded. We all said we weren't
The kids each made a Bumblebee hat, which is cute, and received stickers, tattoos, etc. as we walked around. Oh, we did watch a cockroach race. Four were competing, and it was pretty cool, too.

Then, we went to Fun Unleashed. A little bit like a Chuck E. Cheese, but it costs $9 just to get in the door to play. The kids loved it, and we stayed about an hour and a half. Let me tell you why I probably won't go back for awhile. I took Molly to the bathroom. The first one was busy, the second was full of poop and toilet paper, and the third had no toilet paper. I swiped some from the bathroom that was clogged, and let Molly have her turn. We then went to wash hands, as you do, and there was no soap! I told the lady at the front desk the bathroom needed toilet paper, soap, and a plunger. She thanked me, and went about running the register. Ten minutes later, I told another worker. She thanked me, and continued strolling the place. When we finally left, not one employee had even gone to check on the bathroom! So, I'm in no hurry to go back. Yuck.

Oh, I ordered our new carpet today!!! Hooray! They will call me when it comes in to arrange an installation time. I can't wait.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


We went to DelGrosso's Amusement Park here in PA. This is a picture of Mikey and Emily, the sitter who lives next door on The Scrambler. She filled in on the rides we didn't want to go on! The kids had a ball, and Mikey loves to ride anything that goes FAST! Let me tell you a little bit about the park...

I wish I had a lapel pin camera to show you what I saw! Everytime I saw a new "sight" I'd think "OH!! If only I could show that to..."

I saw mullets, a rat-tail, a lady with one round eye and one Asian eye, and a lady with a hair line that had receded more than Chris's! The amazing part was she had it pulled up in a ponytail on TOP of her head, so you could see the receding hair line went all around her

As Chris said "Welcome to central Pennsylvania" all I could think was "These people could be in Southwestern Virginia!!"

The kids had a wonderful time. The funnel cake was absolutely delicious, and we came home tired. Fun, but not as good as The North Pole. THAT place rocks!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

And we have begun...

Mikey has started soccer. He has had practices twice a week for two weeks now, and loves it. Poor thing inherited my grace, so he spends a lot of time tripping over the ball, but he is happy. I was hoping to make some new friends with the other moms, but most already knew each other and hold their own conversations, while the questions I try to ask about their interests receive very short answers. Oh well. Hey, I have a son to cheer for! He is getting to be more aggressive about getting the ball, and is starting to remember to not use his hands. Molly is content to sit on the sidelines with me, or kick a soccer ball around with Chris, and wait for the team snack to be handed out. We all agreed to bring for siblings, too, so no one has hurt feelings.
Sorry the blog was so long coming out - we have had internet problems for the past week and a half or so. I have so much to tell and share about our latest adventures here at PSU! If I can get online tomorrow night, I'll fill you in.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Pickwick Picnic

This past weekend was our annual Pickwick Picnic. The entire street of Pickwick Avenue gets together, brings a dish, hangs out, and cranks the ice cream. So, here we all are and you can see how crowded we are!! It is a short street that has a lovely cul-de-sac, and everyone is so friendly. In all of our moves, no one has ever come over and knocked on the door to say"Welcome to the neighborhood..." until we moved here. I had people coming to visit for weeks with hot muffins, fresh vegetables from their gardens (knowing we don't have one since we just moved!), and even a phone number of a dentist they recommend!! Chris found us such a great place. Yeah, it's not our retirement home by any means, but the neighborhood is the best one yet. I wonder if we could buy the last lot left and build our retirement house there??

Monday, September 11, 2006

Out with the old, in with the new.

I was busy during the game this week, so I didn't watch very much of it. Good thing, since we got blown away...
Anyway, I was outside cleaning the deck. Our neighbor's lent us their pressure washer, so I started the deck. What a difference, huh? We spent the better part of the day out getting paint, looking at carpet, scheduling a measuring and an estimate, peeling wallpaper and broder, etc etc etc. It takes an awful lot to make a house a home! But we're getting there.

Friday, September 08, 2006

How Sweet It Is...

To be loved by you! Every day Chris packs our lunches for us. As I get myself ready in the mornings, he is getting lunches together in the kitchen. He has started sending notes in the kids lunches, too. Today, I was hoping that maybe I'D get a note. No such luck. I was a little bummed, and went up to the office to drop off some papers. Sitting there on the counter were these flowers that had been delivered from the local florist. Our director's dad died this week, so I was sure they were for her. Apparently, so was she! But no, my husband sent them to me at work today. For nothing. Just to tell me he was glad I had a great first week of work. And that I am the world's greatest mommy. (I don't want to tell him that all of you daddies think otherwise!) I have had the discussion with book club about who we love more - our husbands or our kids. I still think that Chris and I come first, and the kids are little satellites of our great relationship. Not that there is a right answer. After all, it is a different kind of love, isn't it...
But I sure am glad I have his.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


That is my camera, Missing in Action. Therefore, no posts or pictures in days. Sorry! I have taken pictures as late as this morning, but now I can't find it. If you could see the state of this house, you'd understand....I'm hoping for a new one for my birthday. Camera, not house!!

I just wanted to update you on some news -

Amy in Colorado Springs is having a BOY!! She found out today, and now I can start on some birth announcements for her.

Brandy in Colorado Springs is already a week overdue with Delaney. I am checking my email religiously for any news!

Katherine in Colorado Springs is doing well with her sunshine, and is due in less than a month.

Laura in Colorado Springs is 15 weeks and is starting to show!

Liz in Colorado Springs is growing hers just fine, and will separate from the Air Force when she has the baby.

Geez, after re-reading all of that, was it something in the water?? Glad I got out of town....

We took the kids to DelGrosso's Amusement Park yesterday for Labor Day. Check it out on the internet, and I'll post our pictures tomorrow.

Today was our first day of school. Both of the kids had great days, and mine was incredible. It makes the year look very promising. Today I had my Tuesday, Thursday group, tomorrow I meet the other one. I'll let you know how it goes.

We seem to have a lot of new's here...

New town
New friends
New school year

The thing is, I LIKE the new's....even though I still miss the old's....

Sunday, September 03, 2006

We ARE.... Penn State!!!

We went to our first game since we had kids yesterday, and had a fantastic time. We bought tickets, they got traded, and we got the best seats we could have dreamed of. We were on the 27 in the FRONT ROW. We no longer cared that it took us 45 minutes to drive a mile and half, we no longer cared that we were paying a sitter, we no longer cared that it was raining, and we no longer cared that we were pretty much drenched even with the rain ponchos. WE WERE AT THE GAME!! And look at our view!! For the record, next time - we're walking to the stadium. We can take the bike path that comes out at JoePa's house, and be there in less time than it took us to drive. Let's go Lions!!

We did meet an interesting couple. While we were waiting in that traffic, we got cut off by a car that decided they didn't need to wait in the line. Chris gave them a short honk, but let them in. They stopped, got out of their car, and said they live a few blocks from the stadium and have an extra parking spot - they are so sorry they cut us off, would we like to park at their house?? So, we followed them and parked there, and drank a beer with them. They offered their bathroom, but we didn't need it. However, I went inside just to get out of the rain. They had gone in, I thought to go to the bathroom. When I walked in, their entire house smelled like one big doobie. I almost got a bad case of the munchies just standing in the kitchen! So, as we walked to the game I talked to the girl, who could barely keep her eyes open and focused. I wonder how long they made it at the game.... Chris laughed and said they probably ate their way out of the stadium and went home to nap. You meet all types here in Happy Valley. They sure were happy!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Rained out.

In a nutshell, that's it. Molly has the cutest cheerleading outfit, and she hasn't even worn it yet! All of the pep rallies, food vendors, JoePa, cheerleaders, and players speaking were called off. So, the kids are in bed, it's cold, raining, and I am STILL looking forward to the game tomorrow. I am in charge of a dessert for the Keller's tailgate, so I am thinking of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies so ppl can just put them in their pockets and head into the game. Either that, or a pineapple cream cheese cake. It is nice and light, and summery. But, I think summer is about over here. I guess I'm making the cookies.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Back to School

I don't have any pictures today - I had an in-service from 9-4, and didn't take any when we came home. I REALLY like the staff at school. We laughed a lot today, which is a good sign. I got teased a lot, which is also a good sign.

Not a good sign? The one that will say "SOLD" across the street at Tanja's house. They sold their house today, and even got a little over asking price if they would leave the washer and dryer. So, I'm happy for them, but selfishly sad for me. They close on their new house next week, and are relieved to have sold this one first.

Other big of my bridesmaids just told me she is getting divorced. That is a bummer. Another bridesmaid had an uncle die yesterday, and she is in Germany and didn't make it home. That is a bummer.
So, here is a list of things that make me happy. Why end this evening on a bad note?

1. new school supplies
2. pink levi's on sale
3. towels just out of the dryer
4. waking up, looking at the clock, and realizing I can go back to sleep
5. getting mail from friends
6. stripes
7. curling up with a good book
8. keeny beeny ice cream from The Creamery
9. vacuuming

Tomorrow is the beginning of the check back!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Mikey's Open House

This is Mrs. Lebold, one of Mikey's teachers. His other teacher, Mrs. Lee, is from Seoul, but she was busy with another child and couldn't pose. You see how much Mikey likes having his picture taken! He is hard to catch happy in front of the camera, so it seems most pictures are of Molly the Ham, with Mikey running away or hiding in the background.

Mikey was lucky to get into this class. Out of the 16 kids, 14 are returning from last year, and there are two new ones - Mikey and Stacey. Mikey jumped ahead of a long waiting list, but as the director says, "My staff is my first priority.." Hey, that's why I took a lousy paying job. My kids educations comes first, not the pay. That, and now that I am there, I LOVE the staff and the school. Everyone is always so happy, laughing, carrying on, teasing each other. The parents really like the school and are happy their children are there. I consider providing young children with a sound, Christian education my ministry. Teaching 3's is just so YOUNG. Tomorrow is the first staff in-service, so I'll let you know any new epiphanies tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Wink, Wink
As you can see by the second picture, Molly is learning to wink. When she is just sitting, she is pretty good at at. When she tries to do it in a picture on her own accord, she is just scrunchy-faced. But adorable. Chris says she is practicing to be in her sorority. We went to McLanahan's today to check out the PSU apparel. The kids had these hats on and attracted quite the crowd they were so cute. Needless to say, they have new winter hats. Today was also Molly's Open House at school to meet her teachers. Ms. Lonnie is on the left, and Mrs. Pritchard is on the right. God bless them.

Cute quotes from today's bathtime:

Molly: (singing) "A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, CUPCAKE!!....ha ha ha ha ha ha" (She laughs at her own pathetic jokes - at least I know she takes after me)

Mikey: (pretending to be reading a tub book) "So he took his frog to school. Then, the frog DOODOO'd ON HIS BAND-AID!!! ha ha ha ha ha"
Why is it boys love to talk about bodily functions?? And, why is it they never outgrow this??

Monday, August 28, 2006

The First Scab
You know how as a kid, if you had a scab, you just HAD to pick it?? Well, I found my first "scab". Everytime I walked by this border at the top of the steps, I'd just give it one little pick. By the end of a week or two, it looked worse than the original border, if that is possible. So, upon the advice of my little sister, I squirted the border and wallpaper with a mixture of Downy and good ol' water. Boy, that paper scrapes right off! In just a few hours, I had done two whole walls!! What were the kids doing this whole time? Playing. A little bit unsupervised, but all was well. They weren't playing in the street, they were in their rooms for the most part!
So, now I have the hallway going down almost done. Just a few more walls, and a zillion miles of border to go. At least I have the tools! I even took the railing off - I'm so proud of myself....

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head.....

Today it rained. All day. A steady, cold rain. We let the kids go outside to play in it since it wasn't thundering or lightning. Mikey LOVED the "river" running down the gutter and ran down the street in it until we called him home. We came inside, dried off, popped popcorn, watched some TV, and played some games. Candy Land and Go Fish were very interesting. What a great way to spend a rainy day...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A New Toy!!

We "bought" a scooter from Chris's mom, and charged it up. Let me tell you, the kids on the street LOVED it. Chris was definitely the 'big man on campus' today as they lined up for rides around our cul-de-sac. (Did I just say sac? LOL) The street was having a neighborhood garage sale, but since we just moved, and don't have much to sell, our gains monetarily were little, but we managed to meet a lot of neighbors. We have a street cook-out in two weeks, so then we can actually sit down and talk to them. They clost down our end of the street, we all pull out grills and tables, share food, the kids play.... sounds like some ideal place, huh? Well, it IS. It is Happy Valley, and there is only ONE WEEK UNTIL THE FIRST HOME GAME!!!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday is the Farmer's Market

Every Friday since we've been here, we've gone to the Farmer's Market. It's not huge, but it's something to do. Our adventures start at a hotdog stand called The Happy Dog. The kids each eat a hotdog while I eat pizza from Brother's Pizza next to the stand. We then walk towards "the market" and pet the pigs. These are statues that were erected (ha ha, I said "erected") for the centennial of State College back in 96, I think it was. Anyway, we pet and climb on the pigs, and continue on our way.

The market is less than two blocks long, and it runs between College and Beaver Avenues, the two main streets in town. They have had vegetables, fruits, flowers, and some prepared baked good that the Amish bring in. All we needed today was a basket of raspberries, some whoopie pies, and a few zucchini to make some bread.
So, we stopped to smell the flowers, bought what we found we couldn't live without, and left for yet another week. Next week is our last week before school starts - good thing the hours are from 11:30 until 5:30!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Just Another Day in Paradise....

It seems that every day here we are more settled in. The kids love going the 100 yards to the park to ride bikes and play on the playgrounds, the kids play with Pia and Ben most days, I head up to school to work on my classroom. Today was my big Open House to meet the kids and their parents. Very encouraging. The kids were sweet, the parents very friendly, and everyone was so excited. It is the First Pre-School Experience for most of them, and that thrills me. To be able to get those kids pumped to learn, and try new things, and make messes to clean up, and learn about manners, taking turns, standing in line, not crying when Mom or Dad leaves....I just can't wait.

Tonight I am going to try to get my craft table set up here in the basement. Quite a daunting task when you look at this place, so I had better get busy.