Thursday, May 31, 2007


J & E were both selected to represent their schools in the districtwide art show.
"Under the Sea" by E. is a study of Paul Klee
"Sun" by J. is a study of Georgia O'Keefe

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Reflections from the Pool

Ice cold water, children screaming, half-naked people walking around eating cheese fries. Yep, it's that time again...the community pool has officially opened. It is definitely the summertime place to be.

The older two kids love the slides and diving boards and just swimming around in the deep end. They started swim team today and came out of the water with blue lips and chattering teeth. It's a big commitment, with practice every afternoon til school's out and then every morning for an hour and a half. But they both just love the water and I love the way it structures our we're trying it again!

The twinkies are water bugs too. They have decided they are too big for the baby pool and now enjoy sending me into cardiac arrest by going as deep as they can in different directions! I am constantly wondering which one to save first. Sitting at the pool with them is not relaxing...but at least I am there with lots of other moms and the boys are getting worn out in the process.

So, slather on the sunscreen, pull out your beach towel and come for a dip sometime. The cheese fries are on me!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Picnic

Brad won the Bishopric Pie Eating Contest!

Sam & Luke won the 3 & under cookie eating contest!
Face painting was a hit!
All American Girl!

This Bud's For You!

My peonies burst into bloom this weekend...if you lived close by, Jake would deliver some handpicked, homegrown blossoms! For now, just enjoy this cyber bouquet.

See how my garden grows!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Butterscotch Brownies

This is one of my all-time favorite recipes...from a good friend, Susan Taylor, of the "Black-Eyed Susan" shop here in Yardley.
Melt 1 stick butter and stir in 2 cups brown sugar. Add 2 eggs and 2 tsp. vanilla. Stir in 1 cup and 2 Tbsp. flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan and dot with chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Cool and cut into squares. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ding and Dong

"There are two things in life you are never prepared for and they are...
TWINS!"--Josh Billings
Good luck this week, to my little sister, Heidi, who will be getting the best two-for-one special of her life...twin girls! Can't wait...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Our Pets

We have so many deer in our backyard this spring! They are very bold and the kids have almost been able to walk right up to them. (Unfortunately, they are learning about the circle of life when they see them as roadkill up the street.) Sam and Luke got pretty close to these two this morning...

Sunday, May 20, 2007


We've been rolling Em's hair in rags on Saturday night...doesn't she look pretty Sunday morning?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Our Summer Favorite

I know you all probably have your favorite chicken salad recipes. We cannot get enough of it around here. In croissants, on bagels, wrapped or straight out of the's my version:

Summer Chicken Salad

3-4 chicken breasts, poached and chopped

4 celery ribs, chopped

1 apple (I like Pink Lady apples), chopped

1/2 c. chopped pecans

1/2 onion, chopped

2/3 c. green grapes, halved

Mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Check this out...

All you mini-van moms and wannabes...please watch this. Yes, it is my car, in case you were wondering!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Book Recommendation

Has anyone else read this? I could not put it down! The Glass Castle is the memoir of Jeannette Walls, a big shot gossip columnist/journalist, who grew up practically homeless and very impoverished. Although parts were depressing, I loved the way she and her siblings ultimately rose to success. And, although her parents had their problems, Walls is loving and respectful. It's one of those books that make you appreciate your abundance.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Decade of Mother's Days

My thoughts....

Mother's Day 1997--"Woe is me...I'll never be a mother!"

Mother's Day 1998--"Why can't I have children? I'd be the best mother ever!"

Mother's Day 1999--"Adoption is baby is perfect!"

Mother's Day 2000--"Who says this mothering thing is hard? I must just be an exceptional parent...maybe I'll write a child-rearing book!"

Mother's Day 2001--"Wow...a two year old and a newborn...hmm, maybe I'd better read a child-rearing book!"

Mother's Day 2002--"D*#$^%$(S!"

Mother's Day 2003--"Maybe I could handle just ONE more child?!"

Mother's Day 2004--"Hooray...the twins are home from the NICU!"

Mother's Day 2005--"What was I thinking?!"

Mother's Day 2006--"How did Mom do this? I need to send her a GOOD gift!"

Mother's Day 2007--"Who just threw up?"

Friday, May 11, 2007

Introducing...My Mom

Mom with her adoring fans
(What else are daughters for?)

I am a little nervous to introduce you to my mom. Not because she is strange or embarassing or an alcoholic or anything. Quite the opposite. I just happen to know from years of experience, that once you meet my will like her more than you like me!

It's true...from kindergarten on, any friends who came to my house were much happier talking to my mother than playing Barbies with me! The (very) few guys who ever seemed remotely interested, completely forgot my existence once they were captured by her spell. And I guarantee, right now, that if you click over to her blog, you will never ever come back to mine!

My mom is the prettiest, wittiest, sparkliest mother of seven you ever met! She is the kind of woman who always wears lipstick, fingernail polish and perfume. And, although she will soon be the grandmother of 18, her zest for life and sense of humor keep her eternally young.

Mom is one-of-a-kind. When all the other Mormon moms were cross-stitching and canning fruit, my mother was being published in magazines, designing furniture and planning 3-week trips to Europe. One Christmas, she adopted two families who had escaped from Eastern bloc countries and set them up with food, clothing, and gifts for months. She created her own summer camp for the seven of us to was in the playroom every weekday morning and she taught us German phrases, scripture verses, fingerplays and took us on field trips!

Now that she's an empty-nester, Mom keeps busy helping Dad run his business, corresponding with long-distance grandkids, running an "Oma school" for the ones who live close-by, writing letters to the editor, organizing EVERYTHING, reading 2 or 3 newspapers a day, serving the ladies at church, planning and going on trips, surfing the net, perfecting her personal style and watching David Letterman.

I am eternally grateful to Mom for teaching me how to make homemade chicken noodle soup, pick out a good book, play "Heart and Soul" on the piano, sing lullabies to crying babies, shop for the perfect shoes, trust in the Lord and always, always, always look on the bright side of life.

She is queen bee of our buzzing hive, the brightest star in our constellation, the highest note in our family song. I am so glad I got to be there for her first Mother's Day and plan to help her celebrate many, many more!

Love you, Mom!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Happy Mother's-in-Law Day!

My husband doesn't know this...but I married him for his mother!
I have the world's best mother-in-law. In fact, I almost feel bad calling her my "mother-in-law"because that's such a loaded title, more like a punchline than a term of endearment. I like to think of her as "Mom L."--a friend and wonderful role model.
From the moment I met her, Mom L. opened her arms and heart and home to welcome me. This is wonderful, because her home is always a delightful place to be. Long before Martha, Rachel or Nigella...Mom L. perfected the art of homemaking. She is the original domestic goddess! She sews, decorates, quilts and stitches beautifully. I am in awe of her handiwork.
And her cooking...well, let's just say I only hope my sons rave to their wives someday about their childhood mealtimes as much as my husband raves about his! As many times as I have tried to re-create her cinnamon rolls, fudge, popcorn balls, turkey & dressing, Swedish tea ring, breakfast souffle or oatmeal cookies, I just don't seem to have that magic touch that makes it "Mom's"! (Luckily, when she comes to visit, Mom L. cooks up a few specialties to last us awhile.)
In the 17 years she has been part of my life, Mom L. has never said an unkind word. Although we've never lived in the same city or state, she has never made me feel guilty for "taking her son away". Instead she has come to my rescue when I needed help making curtains or cooking for a crowd or caring for newborn babies or entertaining a one-year-old in a spica cast or hosting a Christmas Eve party or sewing matching Halloween costumes or tending my foursome while I travelled abroad.
Behind every great man stands a great woman. Well, I married a pretty great guy...but the woman who stands behind him is amazing!
Happy Mother's Day...I love you!


Laura was our grocery bagger today. She had a darling face with pixie nose and big blue eyes, but right away I could tell she was different. Maybe it was the short crew cut she wore or her high-pitched sing-song voice. Or maybe it was all the inappropriate questions she asked me. "How old are your twins? Why are they crying so loud? When is their birthday? When is your birthday? What is your name? How many brothers and sisters do you have?"

And, although the twins were having their typical checkout meltdown and the cashier and other customers rolled their eyes, I looked Laura in the eye and answered every question and chatted like we were long-lost friends.

You see, I was thinking of Laura's mother. A mother somewhere praying that her different daughter was having a good day on the job. A mother who watched neighbor kids hop on the big yellow school bus while Laura got in a little silver van and went to school miles away. A mother who endured countless dirty looks in libraries, movie theaters and church meetings. A mother who spent thousands of hours and dollars on doctor visits, medication and social skills groups. A mother whose heart burst with pride at the sight of her daughter wearing an Acme uniform and bringing home her first paycheck.

"I don't like loud crying," Laura said as we were heading for the door. "But I know I'm supposed to be ok with things I can't change."

Good advice.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

So, I have not been blogging much lately because the weather is so nice and after being stuck inside all winter long...the kids and I are out there as much as my itchy eyes can handle. It is SOOOOO beautiful here in the springtime. My favorite season ever!

This week I have planting flowers. Everyone knows I am not great with green things (i.e. money, plants, reptiles), but I always want to try. So this year I planted lots of snapdragons, heather sage, some daisies and a few others I can't pronounce. The azaleas are blooming beautifully and the peonies should be on their way soon.

Next week, we start on the mini-vegetable garden!

Gab's garden tip: I just read that you should save the water after you boil eggs and use it to water your plants...

I would love to hear your favorite gardening tips, too.

Friday, May 4, 2007


Yesterday, Em taught herself to ride a 2-wheeler! I was planting some flowers and, within 15 minutes, she had taken off her training wheels and was riding around the cul-de-sac! Independent with a capital I...let's just get that helmet on her and hope she doesn't take after her dad!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

I Always Loved Writing Book Reports

OK, so I missed my April bookclub meeting due to an unfortunate biking accident...but that didn't stop me from getting the new pick for May! The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin is another children's book, but way over my head. It's a mystery filled with puzzles, word games, clues to help the reader find the solution before the characters do. I'm halfway through and enjoying it. That's the great thing about introduces me to books that I wouldn't necessarily choose on my own. I wish I had been familiar with The Westing Game when I taught sixth grade, I think kids that age would love it! Happy reading...

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Grooming Tips from J-man

So, my oldest child came in for his bedtime story smelling quite manly...

"What did you do in the bathroom?" I asked.

"Oh, I just used some of Dad's deodorant. And then I sprayed a little chlorine in my hair."


"Yeah, you know that man-perfume Dad sometimes for weddings and funerals..."
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