Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kid Scissors

Recently I bought Avery "kid scissors", showed her how to use them, where to use them and how to carry them. Quite obviously I left out one key part...clean-up!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Visit with the Big Cheese

We ventured out to Chuck E Cheese's the other night when it was raining. Shaun really likes this place, I'm not as big a fan, although I have to say we had a great time. Since the last time we were there it had been expanded to be half again as big as it was, which, needless to say made it way funner. :)
Daddy doling out the prizes that were "purchased" with all the tickets he and Avery worked hard to accumulate. The important thing is that candy was included in the pile of loot.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ideal Man

On our date night this week, we were in a restaurant with TVs. Without noticing it (I never do), I sat down. Some time passed and I finally saw that the Red Sox were on and so I offered to switch seats with Shaun. He declined, gave me a little smirk and said, "How 'bout you just talk to me instead?" Ahh...a man who's been married a while...smart answer! His response reminded me of a card I saw at the store.

The other day I was pouring through birthday cards, which I find to be a highly entertaining experience. Although, I've found that if one strikes me funny, then its twice as funny if someone you share it with thinks its funny, too.

I was not purposely looking for "this" type of card, but it happened. I hope you are not too offended.

On the front there was a very handsome, shirtless man. He looked something like this:

On the front it said, "For your birthday, Here's the Ideal Man". On the side there was a little wheel to turn and different "quotes" appeared in a little box next to the man:

  • It doesn't take my brilliant mind to see how beautiful , unique and wonderful you are

  • Let's share our innermost feelings and then go shoe shopping

  • Just because I have a six-figure income doesn't mean I don't like to cook

  • Why watch televised sports when we could be spending quality time together

  • I noticed your car was dirty so I bought you a new one. Hope you like red

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Golfing Expedition

Last night Shaun and I snuck away for a few hours, feeling the need to reconnect. He enjoys golfing, or at least is trying to talk himself into enjoying golfing and I enjoy walking and talking, so doing the Back-9 (aren't you impressed with my golf lingo) is a win-win for us. Although last night wasn't a win anything for my golfer. BUT, its having fun that counts, right. (My words...Shaun would never think or say that winning doesn't matter about anything.)
I brought my camera and did some playing around with some of the different settings. An evening complete with flowers, sunsets and dinner out...nice!
The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. Psalm 33:5

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Whirly Twirly Wednesday

Its that time again...I know you've been waiting! :)

Avery's dance day got switched so there are none of her, although I hear parents are not really allowed in the room for the "big kids" anyway.

Amanda spent the time in and out of her own little world, but did manage to get out some energy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weekend In Review

This weekend was full and fun, beginning with a visit to the shore. The girls and I went with my mother-in-law to Essex, where we rode on a restored vintage rail car and a riverboat, both along the Connecticut River. The day was sunny and clear, just beautiful.

They thought is was the coolest thing. The train went nice and slow so they were in this position for much of the ride.

That night, my brother-in-law hosted one of his infamous themed-karaoke parties at our house. He is very creative and has wild and crazy friends so we always have a great time. Can you guess what the theme was?
Amanda got into the action and did a little singing into the microphone, but Avery was happy to hide behind her mask (once she got the courage to try it on). Very typical.

Sunday after church I took Avery to audition for a part in a local production of The Nutcracker. No picture of her wearing her little number because...well, I didn't want to be "one of those" parents. Plus, I was nervous for her! Plus, I didn't have my camera! :)

I'm trying so hard to be tempered, but this would be a dream come true for me. Shaun has taken me every year to see The Nutcracker on stage for maybe 17 years...I love it! And last year we brought Avery along and she was entranced.

We'll see, but seriously, how could they turn down a little three-year old??

Later, we went to a princess birthday party for my niece Allison (middle) who was turning four. The girls had a great time playing with their cousins and the adults enjoyed lounging in my sister's yard on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! Psalm 147:1

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fall Clothes

The weather has started to turn a little cooler here and as a result I've begun the dreaded process of putting summer clothes away and bringing out the new fall wardrobe for the girls.

We are unbelievably blessed with family and friends who willingly pass things on to us and Avery, at three, thinks its great. Today she wanted to try on the whole pile I brought down from the attic. Finally she settled on an outfit and I told her which friend or cousin had donated which item. She takes great pleasure in knowing who it used to belong to.

She's learning that its not quite as much fun to pass clothes the other way. When she sees something that she wore last year that does not fit her anymore but will fit her sister, she pulls a Cinderella-step-sister move and tugs and grunts and sweats until she's made her way into whatever article of clothing it is.

Tonight for example, she has on full length pajama bottoms that are now capri-style on her. BUT...she got into them! "See Mom, they fit. See? They fit." Ok, Girlfriend, whatever!

Anyway, I hope she and her sister are always so happy and excited about wearing hand-me-downs. Thanks to Maddie, Allie and Payton for your donations!

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
I Timothy 6:6-8

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


If you've hung out in the blogging world for very long, you've noticed that some popular themes are "Wordless Wednesday" and "Word-filled Wednesday". I like the idea of both of them but I need to come up with my own for all these dance pictures I'm going to have now. Whirly, Twirly Wednesday?? Way Cute Wednesday?? Hmm...guess I'll have to work on that!

Anyway, the new session of dance class has begun for both girls. Avery is in Pre-Ballet and Amanda is in Creative Movement. We realize Amanda is certainly on the young side, but towards the end of Avery's class last spring she was very enthusiastically participating and we thought she'd do well with her own class.
Avery was happy to be in a class with more instruction and learning and as a bonus we found out her buddy from church is taking the same class.

Amanda thought it was very cool that this was her dance class. I purposely left Avery home so it could be Amanda's special thing and that was not lost on her. She just acted different. We don't think her ballet career will be long, but she may have a good run on the football team. All for fun!

Can anything be cuter than a group of almost two, two and three-year old girls dressed in ballerina outfits, doing their best to follow the teacher? Not today for this momma.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Adventures in the Parking Lot

This afternoon Amanda and I ran to the store to pick up a gift. She's never my first choice to bring along as a buddy...sorry, but Shaun would say the same thing...but I thought she might be up for it since she'd just napped for 3.5 hours.

Anyway...as we were walking up to the car after being in the store for half an hour, forty minutes tops, I saw that the front passenger window was smashed. Hmm...I peeked in and confirmed my suspicion that our GPS system had been stolen. (My Mother's Day present...rats!)

I called Shaun to get his opinion on whether it was worth reporting and also to tell him where I was so he could drop Avery off before heading to his CE class.

Finally the policeman arrived (Avery was first to spot the cruiser), asked his twenty questions and did other police stuff. By this time Avery and Amanda had gone over the story roughly 47 times. "Window boke! Window boke! and "Somebody smashhhed the window?"

When the officer took pictures of the car Amanda said "Cheezze!" and she told him "window boke!" He thought she was so darned cute and, well...she is!

He dusted for fingerprints, took a statement and brushed off my seat. It was all very simple and easy. I was thankful for the peace God gave me immediately and actually, Amanda and I just kept singing our song Sonshine, Sonshine, I have a different kind of Sonshine...

The girls were enthralled with the whole process and it was a great learning experience for them that policemen are here to help us whenever we need them (up to this point, the policeman has been the one who makes and enforces the law about little girls being buckled in their car seats).

So far we are only out a couple hours and $2.00 in quarters at the car vacuum place. I suspect that amount may increase tomorrow when we call the window repair dude.

So let me ask you a couple of the questions he asked me:

Do you have any known enemies?

Is your GPS registered (with what, I'm still not sure) and do you have the serial number?

Sorry, no pictures, but here's one of that cute little girl the policeman was referring to. :)

Monday, September 15, 2008


Couple cute conversations today with Avery:

Riding in the car on the way to dance class:

Avery: Mom, is it hard to drive?

Me: Not really, you just have to be careful and pay attention. (Thinking 'oh, boy...I hope she does not get as anxious to drive as both her parents did')
Avery: But I can't drive 'cause I'm not a person yet, right Mom?

Me: (choke and explain)

Later...Avery answered the phone as she often does now. From the kitchen I could tell the person had just asked for me and I went in to grab the phone just as Avery was hanging it up. We don't have caller id, so if it was you she hung up on...sorry!

Me: Avery, when someone asks for Mommy or Daddy you ask the caller to wait just a moment please and then you come get Mommy, but you don't hang up the phone

Avery: Well...(arguing)

Me: Avery, when someone asks for Mommy, blah, blah, blah...

Avery: Well...(arguing. This in and of itself can be quite funny. When she is arguing she can't quite think fast enough yet so she just spouts off nonsense like 'Well, I couldn't because the leaves on the trees are green because they are and then she had to go to the store because she did and the lady called and they are green because they are.')

Me: Avery, (now with a stern look because she's arguing) blah, blah, blah

Avery: (with a resigned look) Well, I should have but I'm a little girl now.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Softball is Over

Our softball season has finally come to a close after kicking off in May. This was our 11th season as a team. We won the championship for our division, as well as first place for the regular season. Its a fun way to spend our summers...the kids love to dig in the dirt and occasionally run around the bases after a game and I keep score and take a few pictures.

Last weekend was our annual after-season picnic and tonight was the league awards banquet. Shaun was voted Coach of the Year for our division and I was so proud! No one can know the heart that he puts into the team each season. Formulating line-ups and addressing problem areas in the defense are things that he thinks about throughout the day.

A win or a loss, depending on the circumstances, will have him up at 3:00 in the morning. He keeps tedious stats on each player and knows the league rule book inside and out. He deeply cares about his players and wants to help build character in them and show Christ.

He is also highly competitive and wants to win and guys like playing for a winning team. I love to watch him in his element, passionate and wanting to have excellence in everything he does.

Congrats, Shaun on Coach of The Year! Very well deserved...thank you for always desiring to live life with excellence.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I had the luxury of waking up today without a weigh in my heart and a dreaded realization of what the date was. I was deeply affected by the attacks on 9/11 like every other American, but not directly.

My prayers today are with the families who are left behind. We are thrown so many numbers and statistics that it is hard to remember that behind each number is a family left behind. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives and children. Oh, so many little children.

Its important that we remember. Today, I remember. And I know with more assurance than ever that the God I serve is still on the throne.

Today, with my tears of remembrance, comes a deep thankfulness for my family, for my country and for my God.

God bless America!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Take A Picture, Mom!

My budding photographer often calls me in to a situation that she deems "picture worthy". This morning was one such time and who am I to argue that there is a "need" to take a picture. Amanda, sensing she may be getting into a situation requiring her cooperation, starts to throw a little fit for good measure.

Another such time. They are so squeezable first thing in the morning! Here they are chewing on a vitamin and watching their latest favorite "kid show", as Avery calls it, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Avery got a Memory game for her birthday and she loves to play. We've played several times in the past two months and she knows all the rules now. And she's been getting better and better.

This morning she beat me straight-up...16 matches to 8 matches. What?! I demanded a recount but it came out the same.

Later, I was telling Shaun about it. I could tell he was not convinced because a) he beats me at every game and b) I'm her mother, for goodness sake!

So, he challenged her to a game and they tied. He was dumb-founded. How is this possible, we both wondered? When we are playing with her she is chatty, wiggly and giggly and gives the appearance that she is paying attention only half the time.

Chalk it up to our first time with a three-year old, but we are both amazed at her capacity for information.

Side notes: the blue on her hand and face is from a face painting of Cinderella that she got at the dance studio's open house and her lower lip is still healing from when her tooth went through a couple weeks ago. The bruise on her head? Also healing nicely. Isn't it grand to be three??

A Heart Filled By God's Love

Last night I attended a Titus 2 bible study through my sisters' church. The idea of the study is based on the verse found in Titus 2:3-5 which states, "Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored."

It was a small group so we were able to have a good discussion and cover many topics. Several things that were said stuck with me and I'll mull them over more as I review my notes.

One woman was sharing that she has found that when she maintains her focus on God, she doesn't have time to look at or worry about the shortcomings of her husband. She went on to say that this life is really not about us. Its not about me, and I love to be reminded of that (somedays an hourly reminder of that would be helpful!).

Then today, I came across this and it just reiterated what I heard last night and know to be true:

Personal worship is an absolute necessity for a strong marriage. It comes down to this: If I stop receiving from God, I start demanding from others. Instead of appreciating and loving and serving others, I become disappointed in them. Instead of cherishing my wife, I become aware of her shortcomings. I take out my frustrations with a less-than-perfect life and somehow blame her for my lack of fulfillment.

But when my heart gets filled by God's love and acceptance, I'm set free to love instead of worrying about being loved. I'm motivated to serve instead of becoming obsessed about whether I'm being served. I'm moved to cherish instead of feeling unappreciated.
(Devotions for a Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. From "A Soul Filled with God" on p. 9)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Livin' Large

Guess where we were today? Yes...taking in another comped Red Sox game. Last night an email went out from one of our telecomm providers that there were tickets available for today's game. My boss jumped on it and got us two tickets!

As you can see from the ticket, we watched the game from one of the luxury boxes. To get to our seats we went through several security check-points and had to show our tickets. It was complete with all-you-can-eat catered lunch, leather couches and flat screen TV.

We chose to watch it sitting in the stadium seats right in front of the suite and oh, what a view! As an added bonus, the actual game was great. They came back to win it in the bottom of the 9th, with a dugout clearing celebration.

It was an experience that I'm afraid has ruined me forever. Never will I be able to sit with the common folk in the bleachers and not think longingly to my day in the sky. :)

I'm grateful I was Shaun's first choice for a buddy. He really wanted to go with me to the game, and I think that's pretty cool. We had a fun day hanging out together and I know it will be one of his life's highlights. All these special game opportunities makes me feel like I should dig in and become a real fan, not one of those "pink hats" my husband and his sports-talk radio guys talk about. (BTW, thanks Mom, for taking the girls for a very long, very last-minute day!)