Monday, October 31, 2011

Candy Days

 Friday evening we had a Sheats cousins candy hunt. It was meant to be our nod to Halloween and satisfy a young child's "need" for lots of candy at the end of October. Everyone waited in the living room while Grandad and the Daddy's covered the Great Room floor with candy.

Aliza: Strawberry Shortcake, Josiah: Spiderman (thank you Caleb!), Caleb: Thor, Renee: Ladybug

Gideon: Cowboy

Anna found candy too!
 We had plans to have dinner with some friends tonight, but she didn't feel well and had to cancel. We stop by Matt and Chrissy's house every year for a piece of candy so after supper we headed over to their house. We had only been there a few minutes when Brian, Meghan, Caleb and Gideon walked up. After they left Aliza politely and genuinely told me that she really wished she could go trick or treating. I couldn't resist. Chrissy rounded up some bags and off they went.

Aliza is Foofa from Yo Gabba Gabba. This was one of her imaginary friends. I had bought this costume for her birthday present before she quickly went into the Strawberry Shortcake stage. So I had this costume stashed away. I was very hesitant to get it out today for fear that it would be too small. It fit quite well and she had a ball wearing it.

Oh yes!! Look who found Chrissy's candy dish.
As for trick or treating they got plenty of candy. From what I understand Aliza walked up confidently to every door and said trick or treat.

Friday, October 28, 2011

It Was Inevitable

There is significance to this picture and it is not that Anna is eating spaghetti and making a big mess. This is the first picture I took on my new iphone 4. I really wasn't going to do it, BUT the phone on my old blackberry quit working. Then it was inevitable. One must have a camera on their phone, right?!

It was a big risk when we took all 3 children to the AT&T store after supper one evening. We survived...even the children. Aliza informed me that she would teach me how to use it then continued with a detailed explanation of how to slide the arrow all the way across the bar to start. Then on the way home she piped up and asked, "Mommy, can I have your old phone?"

My brain started spinning when Jeremy was showing me everything it could do. This is one powerful piece of technology! I don't make it work hard at all! So far the data plan has been used very little. I have not added the facebook app. Yay me! I hope I keep it that way. I turned off a whole bunch of notifications. It only tells me if I have a call or a text. Now the camera and the video stuff--that is pretty cool. Tonight when my camera batteries died it was sure handy to pull out my phone and keep taking pictures.

Oh! I almost forgot. The screen is so pretty and clean I keep wanting to look at it over and over. Since there is no blinking message light and I rarely hear the alert since my house is noisy and I don't keep my phone attached to me I go look at that screen a bit too frequently.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Great Sweet Potato Harvest

 Josiah could hardly wait to meet his best friend, Caleb, and help Great Grandad harvest sweet potatoes. They both brought their shovels and got busy digging right away.

When Josiah picked up a sweet potato he walked over to Great Grandad saying, "Great Grandad, I have a present for you!"
 But it wasn't so very long until the best friends got to talking and playing and Great Grandad was the one doing the digging and picking up.
 So most the morning the 3 oldest cousins played a game of super heroes today. They all had special powers and Aliza was the evil villein. Sounds like a good old fashioned games of boys against girls to me!
 Renee wanted nothing more than to push Anna in the swing. She took her life into her own hands on more than one occasion dodging swings to get to Anna.

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Great" Memories

 This weekend the children and I got to spend some extra time with Great Gramma and Grandad while Jeremy was out of town. The weather was just perfect so we spent as much time outside as possible. Aliza and Josiah even talked Great Grandad into going back outside after supper. It was dark and I found them playing on the play equipment with flashlights! How cool is that?!

Josiah and Great Grandad started harvesting sweet potatoes.

I have to cherish the moments when Josiah is being nurturing to Anna.

Anna LOVED playing with the rocks on the driveway. She must have liked how they tasted too...

He's never far from this tractor when he visits Grandad's house.
 We had a picnic...
I thought I was brilliant for thinking of this idea for Anna. haha.

This is a Great Gramma and Grandad style picnic. A table filled with food in the background and a standing ladder for a table and wagon for a chair.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Anna--11 Months

 Seriously!? 11 months!!? I tried all day to get a picture. It's impossible. So here are a couple of Anna in motion.

I put shoes on Anna for the first time today. It slowed her down a little.

She's a talker!

Saying Hiiii on the phone.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Word Picture

 A friend of mind told me about this story after she heard it on the radio. I kept thinking about it and a few days later I called her to see if there was any chance she could find it in writing.

This story has helped me to maybe understand a little bit of what my sister is facing. She and her husband are waiting for the results of the second round of genetic testing on their baby.

I thought it was worth sharing.

Welcome To Holland
Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel.  It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy.  You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum.  The Michelangelo David.  The gondolas in Venice.  You may learn some handy phrases in Italian.  It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives.  You pack your bags and off you go.  Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy!  I'm supposed to be in Italy.  All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan.  They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease.  It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language.  And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place.  It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy.  But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips.  Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there.  And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever  go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

*     *     *

©1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved.  Reprinted by permission of the author.
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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Getting Into Everything

 As a friend pointed out to me today, Anna is "almost 1." I prefer to say that she is 10 months old despite the fact that in a few days she will be 11 months old. The point is: Anna is getting into everything and sometimes she can make quite a mess and I can find her unexpected places.

Anna ate the whole ice cream cone (without ice cream) that she found in the pantry.

She got in the sandbox all by herself. She's waving at me.

And this one took the cake. It happened on a day that I was babysitting my niece all day too. I made the mistake of sitting down. That mess is a pudding mix. She got into the box and apparently gnawed through the packet. The packet was completely wet--and empty. Anna went straight to the bathtub and thankfully no other child found the mess before it was cleaned up.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


 On Saturday we attended the wedding of Jeremy's cousin. The ceremony was beautiful and touching. The bride and groom are both fluent in American Sign Language and the bride is also fluent in Spanish. They had a portion of Scripture read in English, then signed in ASL, and then read in Spanish. The groom was born with Spina bifida. It was touching to watch them interact, declare their undying love to each other and wash each others feet as part of the ceremony.

Our whole family attended this wedding. I walked into the sanctuary and my heart started beating hard. The floor was tile! Josiah quickly discovered that the room echoed! When the processional started Anna started saying Hi to everyone as they walked in. Oh.My.Goodness. What a circus the back pew was! I kept Anna pretty quiet. It wasn't long before we whipped out the ipad for Aliza and the iphone for Josiah.
 The reception was leisurely. I brought something new for Aliza and Josiah. It's a good thing that tractors keep Josiah occupied. He was busy scooping lettuce from the salad.

Cute favor idea. Hot drink mixes.

Kristen and I wore very similar style dresses.

A pretty baby! The photographers took tons of pictures of my kids. lol.

Mr. & Mrs.

It was a fun weekend. Late nights and no rest times for the kiddos led to some adjustment to being at home on Monday! They had so much fun playing with Collin and all the toys at their Great Aunt and Uncle's house.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


 On Friday Aliza and Josiah thought they would try out a new word. Bored. They were laying on the kitchen floor moaning about how bored they were. So I helped them to not be bored anymore. Their job was to scrub the steps.

They had a bit too much fun. They ended up covering themselves in soapy bubbles. But the house smelled good and the steps are, ummm, cleaner, anyway. 

After lunch and after I convinced Jeremy that we were not going to wait indefinitely for his 
iphone 4gs to be delivered, we headed up to PA to visit my Great Aunt and Uncle on our way to a wedding. How many children get to interact with their Great Great Aunt and Uncle?! We visited in their home for a short while and then went to supper with them. Squire Side is the place I must eat at while in New Holland, PA! It's a cute place and the ice cream is yummy.

Uncle Allen coached Josiah on drawing a tractor...just like the one on his hat!

This stop made an extra leg in our trip, but it has been 2 years since we saw them. I'm glad we made the effort!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Annual Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

 If you've been following our family for any length of time, this post is predictable! Today was our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. We have visited Oakley's Farm Market for several years. It is fun to go to the same place with our children a year older each time. They enjoy it in a different way each time. Of course this was Anna's first visit to the pumpkin patch.

Discussing which path to take in the corn maze. The corn was very sad looking this year! It was so short Aliza could almost see over it. We had a dry, hot summer.

Lots of fun on the great big pipe slide.

I made pumpkin pancakes when we got home. That was a first for me. They were yummy with a little butter and syrup!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


 1. This cat showed up in our yard earlier this week. I'm not an animal person. I'll pet animals, but I won't pick them up. This little cat has hung around until all 3 of my children are comfortable around him. At first Josiah would not go outside, but now he will pet the cat. Anna is not afraid at all, but that just follows her personality! I traumatized my friend's child tonight when I told her that she could not give this cat some milk. I have enough mouths to feed. I do not need anything else that would even hint of making any demands on me. So this poor cat is welcome to hang around as long as it finds its own food and shelter. He has already gotten in to the car and our house...that does not earn him brownie points with me!

2. Jeremy is getting a the new iphone. I think it is called iPhone 4S. Yes, it is. I looked over at his computer to check. ha! Anyway, this means that he has offered to get me the iphone 4 (I think) because the price will be reduced. I have to decide if I want it. Now that's a quandry for me! New technology is great and fun. I'm sure I would get used to it and ultimately wonder how I ever lived without it. Being married to a tech guy and having tech kids should make me want to keep up with the latest and greatest, but I don't know if it is what I want. Right now I have set times of the day that I check email, look at facebook and poke around on the internet. I look forward to those time, believe me. However, I do not need or want my phone to be calling my name every moment of the day. I don't want to be having a conversation with someone and be tempted to do something inconsequential on my phone. Jeremy and I ate out last night when he made me this offer. As he did he had his own iphone out and was doing whever he does on it. I just had to laugh and cringe at the possibility of a date with both of us doing whatever we do on our phones. Ugh. Technology is so good and so horrible all at the same time.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

What Happens....

 ....when your boy wakes up and puts on his fishing clothes, insisting that Grandad is taking him fishing today?

You tell him that when said boy asked Grandad to take him fishing, Grandad did not mean today.

....when your boy says you need to go to Grandad's house to see if he is home to go fishing?

You say you will call Grandad to see what a good day would be to go fishing.

....when Grandad receives a call asking when he can take his grandson fishing?

Grandad says well, come on down! We'll go to the docks this morning!

...when Mama tells her boy that he can go fishing.

Little boy tells his big sister to hurry up and dressed. Mama hops in the shower and is out the door and on her way to meet Grandad in a half hour!

...when big sister finds out little brother is going fishing and she is invited?

She starts crying alligator tears that she wants to stay with Mommy.

...when Mommy says. that's fine you can stay with me?

Big girl calls her Grandma to see if she will have a pot of tea ready for a tea party when we arrive.