Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Strawberry Yumminess And More Fun

I posted a picture of our Mama Chickadee in her house a while back, but it wasn't until last week that I discovered the one sweet little egg in there. We finally saw one teeny tiny baby wriggling around in there!

Just a few minutes ago, Bill and I were checking on the birdie house again, and I saw TWO little beaks squawking! I felt downright giddy! I know they're just common song birds, but watching those brand new little baby birds is amazing!

I went in to tell Jonah and Caleb good night and to turn out the light, and I could already hear the snores from out in the hallway! It wasn't even 8 o'clock and they were OUT! So cute! I opened up Isabelle's door and she was out cold too!
 love the pillowpal on his tummy!

I asked Ethan if he wanted to see the baby birds, so we ran outside to have a look...and there were THREE! Three little babies peeping and squeaking, waiting for their Mama to take care of them. She was right beside us, staring me down, so I backed away and she flew right in. So, so excited about three baby birds in Jonah's birdhouse!

This morning my parents brought Jonah home bright and early...okay, so it was 8:30- not that early, ha!...and we headed right out to the farm to go strawberry picking. Boy does that break your back after a few minutes, ha ha! We paid an arm and a leg for our berries and then headed to Hannaford's to pick up a carton of whipping cream and organic soy milk for milkshakes. I can't remember the last time I traipsed through the grocery store with all four kiddos in tow! It's so different now! Ethan and Jonah can go fetch things for me and Caleb carries heavy stuff "like a man."  =)

Oh, on the way to the strawberry farm, Caleb was having his turn in the front seat, and he suddenly asks me this: "Hey Mom, is that a sanitizer in the song?" Say what, sweetie? A sanitizer? His little brows furrowed as he tried to think of how to explain himself, and I listened to the song playing- it was a synthesizer! Oh did we all have a good chuckle over that one! Not too long ago he asked me when it was my turn to work in the concussion stand during baseball season....ah, I think you mean concession, sweetie! hee hee hee

Making the shortcake...

We had leftover pizza for lunch, and...strawberry milkshakes! Yum!

I hung out some clothes on the line while everyone read quietly, and then we were off to the pool. Some friends were there so that was lots of fun! I was glad to have put a chuck roast in the crockpot this morning, so we had pulled BBQ beef sandwiches tonight, and I didn't really have to do anything except slice the rolls and open a bag of chips, which is always an added bonus. I forgot to get cole slaw when we were at the store, so I tossed some strawberries and walnuts on top of some baby spinach- I always like to have something green at dinner.

We took turns whipping up the cream- don't they look overjoyed?
Sleepy kiddos!


Tomorrow I'm meeting up with a friend of mine from high school. We were in each other's weddings- I was 6 1/2 months pregnant with Ethan!- but then she moved away and we lost touch. Thanks to Facebook we reconnected last year, and now get to see each other for the first time in more than a decade! I hope my children behave well....   :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

School's Out & Summer's In Full Swing

The last couple weeks of school flew by! I captured some moments to help me remember these days before we officially welcome in the summer...

We may not have had the most summer-like weather for the last day of school but this goodie basket helped ease the pain a bit!

And the next day was all rain too, but we sure made the most of it! Swimming, swimming & more swimming! The Xbox Kinect games at the place were a big hit, too! They were so much fun- I was really working up a sweat with the dance routine! I must say however that I was definitely not a fan of the song choices, especially for young eyes and ears, but I chose the least offensive I could, um, two! HA!

I knew we had to leave promptly at 2 pm in order to make it in time for our new fingerprinting appointment (the one we had last week ended in tears- mine- and we ended up having to re-do some papers and reschedule). I don't know what happened but all of a sudden I only had twenty minutes to get to a place forty minutes away-yikes! That's never a good feeling, is it? I don't generally speed to make up for lost time. I figure it's better to be safe and a little late than to be really, really late because the police pulled you over. Or dead.

But our fingerprints are done now so our homestudy will be complete very soon! That's a big deal in the adoption world!

I'm sitting here alone on the couch watching Castle- he cracks me up! Isabelle and Caleb are asleep, Ethan is upstairs reading, Bill's in the shower, and it's just me, all by myself. Other than Castle just getting yelled at, it's quiet, still. Nice and cool, too. Jonah is with Mimi and Grampy camping tonight, possibly for two nights. It was Caleb's turn yesterday, so today we spent the day at the campground together swimming, playing in the sand, and canoeing. It was a great day! And we got to cross off a couple things from the Summer Fun List, too! I still don't like that feeling when I give goodnight kisses late at night and there's an empty bed. Boo, don't like it at all, even though I know they're having a great time.

 this poor guy did not feel fun!

HA! That's what I get trying to get a picture 2 minutes before we pack up!

I had a rough night last night so I went to the mall, which is somewhat unusual for me. That was nice, too, to be alone, no one bugging me for this, begging me for that. I was looking for new swim shorts for the boys and found everything but. I even found myself a new suit, and I LIKE it! 

I've decided that this summer I'm not going to abandon my love of lists and schedules! Every year when school gets out I think it will be so great, no plans, no schedules...and by the end of the first week I'm pulling my hair out. Not this summer! I did get lots of smiles when I told the boys that they didn't have to make their beds for the first week of vacation, but I didn't quite let them in on the new chores they'll be responsible for, hee hee! It's good for them, and their future wives will appreciate my efforts I'm sure!

Oops, now it's Monday, time for lunch already! And they're gettin' crazy! Time to go...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mother of the Year

If you asked my children to name the things I do that make them happy, you'd probably be laughing as hard as I am at their responses! This morning, for example, I announced that on the Day Before the Last Day of School, they were having PopTarts for breakfast...and you'd have thought I told them we were going to Disney World! They squealed and jumped up and down and thanked me no less than fifty times, ha!

The kicker?

They excitedly recounted the very day I had given them PopTarts two years before when we went camping- the S'mores kind, and they spared no detail! And even thanked me for those PopTarts!

Who knew we lived in a bubble? Oh well...I'm Mother of the Year.   =)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Celebrating Daddy

What a beautiful day we had for Father's Day yesterday! I was Super Mom, or rather Super Wife, and let Bill linger in bed till after 8...that's a BIG deal around here! I know how hard he works for us, and I knew he would appreciate the extra sleepy time. Bill is a wonderful father & I'm so thankful for him! We also have great Dads too- we love you Grampy & Grandpa!

Caleb and Jonah were hard at work in the kitchen making brownies for our decadent Black Forest Trifle, as requested by the man of honor, while I popped two Puff Pancakes into the oven and sliced fresh strawberries and kiwi. Yum!

We even had time to make our official Summer 2011 Fun List! We make one every year, but normally it's just on a plain old piece of notebook paper...this year I was inspired by so many bloggers who made beautiful lists I had to follow suit! It's hanging up in our dining room where we'll see it every day, and it's so cheerful and festive!
 pardon the skivvies...oh that boy!!!
don't judge me (#24)- my Dad lets them shoot cans & stuff, and they LOVE it!
i was also impressed with lots of their ideas!

The kids and I had talked about what we thought Dad would enjoy doing the most, and besides sleeping in, ha!, they agreed he would want to be outside. We decided we'd take him to one of our favorite trails that runs alongside the Merrimack River and then get started preparing our Father's Day Feast- we sure know how to incorporate food into every single event and holiday, don't we? ha ha
I held Isabelle off for as long as I could, but she wanted to see her Daddy!
 time to wake up Daddy!

Then it was time for church...we taught our 2nd & 3rd graders at church and talked about how God gives us the tools to turn life's 'lemons' into lemonade- it's never too early to learn that lesson, is it?

At one point during the day, I found myself wondering why we can never make it through one day without some sort of incident with the kids. I suppose that's better than on those days when it feels like we can't even make it through one hour! Usually it's just arguing or a general attitude problem, and even I overreacted and had a Mom-sized fit after church. It gets old. Fast. Maybe we should pay closer attention to the lemonade lesson!

The rest of the day was low-key, but we're low-key kind of people, so it was very nice. Our walk was great, dinner was fantastic, and we ended the day on a very good note!

Mmm, this always helps!  =)

Hope you had a great day, babe...I love you!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Take a Hike...NH style

Last week after our 2-hour long homestudy visit with the social worker, Bill and I escaped up north for a little adventure...hiking West Ratttlesnake Mountain.

For you locals, get on I-93 N, take exit 24, and follow US 3 toward Holderness, then left onto NH 113 East. (If you're familiar with Squam Lakes Science Center, this is a few miles beyond that.)

We may have even stopped by Dunkin Donuts for yummy iced coffee. And if we did, it would surely be blueberry for him and hazelnut for me.  =)

The trail wasn't steep but there were a million and one steps to contend with! It was a hot day and we were sweating!  It was pretty at the top, but not quite all that we expected...

I had a lovely chat with a couple originally from California. They told me that the reference book they were using called this an easy hike, and they laughed about that...they said they needed a geriatric guide book, ha! It was all those stairs that did them in!

We said our farewells and Bill and I wandered upon another trail leading upward. Then I saw this sign...
...and turned to my right to see this...
WOW! Now that's more like it! If you're hiking, keep moving upward until you see the sign!

We quickly realized our error and had a good chuckle over missing the "real" summit. This area was amazing, with wide open views and tons of crevices and dips for the kiddos to explore, though I must say the drop-offs scare me to death! I love hiking but I have this unnatural, heart-stopping fear of tumbling off the edge of the mountain! Let's just say I bite my tongue quite a lot when the boys are with me!

It was so cool when 6 hawks (perhaps falcons) started swooping and darting all around us! The boys would've loved this after having studied birds of prey in school! Guess I should've paid more attention because I couldn't remember which has the rounded wings or curved feathers....

Look! Proof I was actually there!

I love this photo of Bill!

All in all, this was a great hike and we'll go back with our children so they can enjoy the views too! I wouldn't recommend this one for really young kids or those with knee problems! And bring your bug spray- they were BRUTAL!!

I have to end with a shout out to our local faves, the Bruins....whew! There was a lot of excitement around here today! But oh my goodness, how horrible about all that has happened in Vancouver! Those poor people!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

More Memorial Wekend Fun!

What a fun-filled weekend we had! We enjoyed our first official trek to the lake on Sunday afternoon and had a cook-out that evening...there's really nothing better!

The next morning we were up bright and early (well, that wasn't actually the plan, ha) so we headed downtown for the Memorial Day Parade, where I took no less than a thousand pictures. Maybe not, but it sure felt that way! And I may have even had one or two of my subjects throw their hands up in protest on occasion...what's that all about?  :)

We have these freedoms because of your sacrifices- thank you!

Every year my Mom and Dad and I plant flowers on my grandparent's grave sites, so they came over to pick me up after the parade. Jonah and Caleb wanted to come along, so they squeezed in the backseat with poor Mimi- I don't do squishy backseats anymore, ha! She loved it!

There was an elderly lady fiddling with the water spigot, so of course Grampy volunteered to fill her watering can and carry it over to where she was planting. She was so thankful- it was sweet. Then my Dad motioned the boys over and told them to bring the tools. I guess the soil was compact and she was having a hard time trying to loosen it up. Jonah and Caleb ran over to them and got right to work! She was so kind and offered them a dollar each for their help, but they both smiled and said that was not necessary- they were happy to help. It was one of those ordinary moments that somehow seem more than ordinary, and I know I will remember it for the rest of my life.

 this is my mother's father and mother- I was in Spain when my Nana died, and I had a really hard time with that. The Christmas card I'd mailed her arrived the day after she died, and that was devastating! But she knew I loved her!

Grampy treated us all to cold drinks at McDonalds. I let the boys get a soda, gasp! I don't think I've ever done that that pitiful or what!? We sat there for a long while, and somehow the topic became my parents' first date up through their engagement. It was so neat! I was surprised though- some things I had remembered incorrectly, so yesterday, the record was set straight! I felt really, really happy listening to their stories. Of course, Caleb cracked me up when he knuckle bumped (you know, the guy knuckle to knuckle thing they do when they're impressed) when Grampy said that he was also dating another girl at the time. Insert loud sigh. For the record, I told him that would get him into more trouble than he bargained for, and Grampy agreed, ha ha!

Then we got to visit with Bill's family in the afternoon, complete with canoe rides, jumping off into the pond, catching bull frogs, and a big ol' cookout. Oh, and Jello Poke Cake- YUM!- but that's an old standby, so I'm still on the lookout for a few new summery desserts.

And...our home study is moving forward, which is very exciting! God definitely has a sense of humor- I'll explain later. I cannot wait to meet our new baby!!!!!!!
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