Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why toddlers shouldn't be left alone with the candy......

It was trick or treating night in our neighborhood tonight. We had already planned on going tomorrow night in Pap's neighborhood so we could spend the evening with him. We told the kids that we would hand out candy to our friends tonight and we would trick or treat tomorrow night. Of course, Alec didn't understand completely and was very upset at giving all the candy away. There was a lull in action and Darrell noticed that Alec was missing. He found Alec hiding beside the couch chewing on something. Alec also had Evan's shoe nearby. Darrell picked up Evan's shoe, and a piece of candy fell out. Alec had been stashing candy in Evan's shoe and sneaking pieces to eat while we weren't looking. Evidence of the crime is shown above!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fall Weekend Fun with Friends

We had lots of fall fun this weekend with our precious friends, the Shullenbarger family, coming to visit. The pictures tell it all.....

All dressed up for Fall Festival.....
trying to get ready with six kids under age 7......

the only question here is how exactly did the motorcycle get into the church???
Evan's last soccer game of the season....

a Fall day at the my opinion, the best time of the year to visit!
and the required carving of the pumpkins...

with lots of pumpkin fun!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The things kids say.....

Ann-Marie likes to spell and write lists. We were sitting at the table today and she was asking me to spell her classmates' names. My patience was growing thin, so I was spelling the names a little faster each time. As I spelled the name "Hannah", Ann-Marie grew frustrated and said, "Mama! You're spelling too fast! My head is going to explode!"

Ahhhhhhhh, she put it perfectly didn't she? That's how I feel most days, don't you?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Girls' night in

It's a rare evening that Ann-Marie and I are home together ALONE (without boys in the house), but she stayed home from school sick so she couldn't participate in regularly scheduled Thursday night Jerome family activities (soccer and small group). So we decided a Girls' night in was in order. This always involves her getting to use her "play" make-up, which she applies herself. (Daddy has to be gone when this happens because he has a slight heart attack when he sees Ann-Marie with make-up on!) Then we do a tea party (this can never be done with the boys at home as they proclaim war on any "girlie" activities.) Then a lovely bubble bath for her and any dolls that might need relaxation or cleaning (the bath is also to wash off the make-up before Daddy gets home!)

The other activity planned for us this evening was working on Ann-Marie's Fall Festival costume. She is going to be a pink poodle this year, which involves the deconstructing of lots of pink bath poofs. I have fond memories of my mom making our Halloween costumes every year, so it's fun for me to work on Ann-Marie's costume with her. Both boys want to be superheroes, which were cheaper and easier to get from the store. So that's our girls' night in....maybe I'll go and have a real cup of tea now!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Janoski's Pumpkinland trip A.K.A. The day the GPS failed Paula

Today was supposed to be a wonderful day spent with my little Alec at a field trip with my MOPS group. Instead, it turned out to be an excerpt from the book "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day." (I love that book!) So instead of burying my head underneath the covers and going to bed at 8 p.m., I decided to "keep it real" and blog about my day. Hmmmmm, are you sure you want to continue reading?
I'm the Discussion Group Leader for our MOPS group and one of my duties is planning play dates. So today's field trip to pumpkinland was my doing. The day started out good, I was actually on time for once to meet anyone that needed to carpool from our church. Darrell sent me with his new GPS (I'm a Mapquest girl myself) and told me to "trust it." Two other moms met me at the church and they were already riding together and they also had a GPS. I had had several cancellations already so I figured there was no one else showing up, so we left promptly at 9:00 a.m. I was already well into my trip when I was notified by the church that I had left a mom who wanted to go. (Here's where the sick feeling started in my stomach! And I still have it because I feel AWFUL!)

So here's part of the chaos that erupted in my van within the first 10 minutes of the trip (and yes, I didn't pull over to use the cell phone.....God really protected me because I should have had an accident!)

*Paula calls Darrell: This GPS is taking me down 60...does it know that the Shippingport bridge is closed? O.k. so I should just press detour if it looks like it's taking me past the Brighton exit. Got it!

Paula gets close to the Brighton exit and successfully presses the detour button on the GPS...success....30 seconds later gets a phone call informing her that she left a mom at the church....failure.....10 minutes later realizes that the GPS has looped her around and she is now being told to exit the closed bridge.....failure.....all the while trying to listen to the GPS, retrieve multiple cell phone calls, and quiet Alec because he is on a non-stop conversation about playing with Maggie at pumpkinland. To make a long story shorter, I finally stopped and let the car that was following me take over and I SHUT OFF the GPS. A 30 minute trip took over an hour, 30 MOPS moms were graciously waiting on the hay wagon for us (because I had the MONEY), so we did get to spend 45 minutes before having the navigate our way home for lunch.
I wish it ended there and the rest of the day was smooth, but it was just one of those days. Ann-Marie ran a fever after she came home from kindergarten (and I found out after Jameson's mom dropped him off, so I had to seclude Ann-Marie so we hopefully didn't get Jameson sick). Alec had a cat nap in the car when I was lost in the morning, so he wouldn't nap (which he handled pretty well actually), and so I kept the kids home from AWANA to rest tonight. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. Good night!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday 10

I feel "challenged" by a precious friend, April, to participate in Tuesday 10 today. So here's 10 things you are hearing in our house lately:

1. Yes, Alec; Yes, Alec; Yes, Alec (this is said by mostly me, but also Darrell about 100 times a day since Alec has discovered he LOVES to talk but he NEEDS to be heard!)

2. What are you doing today? (most usually asked to Darrell by me as I have a hard time keeping up with his ever changing schedule)

3. Do you have everything in your backpack? (asked by the parent in charge of getting the two school-agers out of the door in the morning)

4. What should I pack for snack/lunch today? (see above)

5. Can I play the Wii? (obviously asked by Evan)

6. Nose! Daddy does faster! (This is a bedtime ritual with Alec - we rub noses after the hugs and kisses and he claims Daddy rubs his nose faster!)

7. Here's a pancake puff for you! (Usually the last thing Ann-Marie says to us before she goes to sleep - this comes from staying with Grandpa Shippy and Amma in Iowa in June where she saw the infomercial for pancakes puffs on their cartoon network station).

8. Can I wear my superhero outfit? Pease (please) mommy, peeeeeeeeease!!!!!! (Continually said by Alec since we bought him his Mr. Incredibles outfit last week.)

9. Let's play two truths and a lie! (Always asked by Evan or Ann-Marie at dinner - this is a game we came up with that helps them open up about their day in a fun way at dinner).

10. Do you know how much I love you? (Said multiple times a day in many forms by both parents to all three children.)

Thanks, April, for the idea....I don't think I've ever written down any of our family sayings so I've forgotten a lot of them over the years. So I'm extending the challenge: what's your family's top ten sayings?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

busy day

I don't want to forget what busy means during this season of life. I think "busy" means something different, depending on where you are at in life. Our family has recently moved from the infant/toddler busy stage, to school-age/activity driven stage. Both very busy, but in different ways. Today was a little busier than usual, but so much fun that I wanted to save the memories right away. We won't be in this stage forever!
This morning, Darrell had to work and I had heard of a church in Cranberry, PA that puts on a one-day full-size Candyland display. I thought that this might be the last year that Evan would even be a little excited to go, so we got out of the house earlier than usual to visit it. We called my sister-in-law, JoAnne, to come meet us there as it was close to her house. We had such a good time...I was very impressed by the quality of the set and the amount of thought they put into the activity. The kids were the play pieces and actually "played" a life-size Candyland game (and received a TON of candy).
Then it was onto soccer. I did something today that I always said I wouldn't do.....Evan had to change his clothes in the car on the way to soccer! Don't worry, he didn't have to even take off his seatbelt....he is that talented! We made it to his soccer game and Alec even got a car nap!
Then onto a planned event at Woodward's Orchard. It's a good thing it is close to where Evan plays soccer because the soccer game went late so we were very, very late. We still got to do a hayride and walk through the cornmaze. It was the perfect Autumn day today!
So I think tonight, bedtime for children and adults will be early....we are beat! But this is a snapshot of what "busy day" means for the Jerome family this year.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


We bought a Wii today....I can hear the kids and Darrell giggling as they try it out as I type. This was a 10 month process....yes, 10 months! Rewind to last January; Evan had just gone back to first grade after the Christmas holiday. His class had a class show and tell of the Christmas presents that they had received. Evan came home really angry and convinced that he was the only kid that didn't have a Wii. After we addressed his negative attitude, we problem-solved with Evan about how we could buy a Wii. He agreed to save his allowance and we would match what he saved. So, he had to save up for half of a Wii. He met his goal last week and Darrell found a place today that had them in stock! This was a wonderful learning experience for Evan and I'm so proud of him for sticking with it. Great job Evan!!!!! Now I'm going to go play!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

MOPS convention

This weekend, I was privileged to go to the MOPS convention in Grapevine, Texas (close to Dallas and Ft. Worth) with three other women from our church's MOPS group. MOPS means Mothers of Preschoolers, for those of you unfamiliar with the organization. When I first became a stay-at-home mom in 2004, I searched for a group for mothers to meet with. I found a MOPS group that I was involved with for a year, but it wasn't until I moved to Pennsylvania that I connected with a MOPS group that I really connected with and enjoyed. When I first began MOPS, I attended for several reasons: sanity (you get a babysitting for your children!), good food, interesting topics, and organized play dates and socials to get together with other moms. A little over a year ago, I decided to give more back to MOPS, since I had gotten so much from the group, so now I'm in a voluntary leadership position. Attending the MOPS convention with 4,000 other women really gave me a perspective on how broad MOPS international really is. Here are 10 facts about MOPS that I learned at the convention:

1. MOPS was founded in 1973 in Wheat Ridge, Colorado (it's only one year younger than me!)
2. There are 4,030 MOPS groups in the United States, 123 International groups in 30 countries and affiliates in New Zealand and Australia.
3. There are 102,700 MOPS International members.
4. There are 31,000 Steering Team Members (which I am one of) and 252 Field Leaders.
5. MOPS has expanded to serving mothers in prison and teen moms.
6. MOPS is not only for stay-at-home moms, as there are many MOPS chapters that have evening and weekend MOPS meetings for working moms.
7. MOPS partners with organizations such as Compassion and Samaritan's purse (Operation Christmas Child) helping impact families and children worldwide.
8. MOPS believes that better moms make a better world (isn't that true!)
9. MOPS publishes many resources and books on all aspects of parenting.
10. MOPS theme this year is adventures in mothering. So find a MOPS group at if you are a mother of a preschooler. If your family happens to beyond the preschool years, many MOPS groups are still looking for Moppet workers (to watch the preschool children during the meetings....often only twice a month) or for mentor moms to come along side young moms during this season. Check it out!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Jerome Barber Shop

Since we have lived in Pennsylvania, Darrell has been taking the boys to get their hair cut at Ron's barber shop in Ellwood City. Ron used to cut Darrell's hair, so it's a trip down memory lane for him, and the boys think he's cool because he hunts and has a stuffed bear in his shop. This fall, however, we have been very busy with activities starting back up and haven't been able to find the time to get to Ellwood City. The boys were looking shaggy. So Darrell thought it was time to invest in a new set of clippers and see if new ones would cut through Evan's hair (which is the THICKEST hair I have ever seen......he's like a duck, water runs right over it!) Darrell set up his barber shop in the living room in front of the t.v. and went to town. And he did a great job! Ron might be out of a couple customers!

And Darrell might have a new is in his family. His Grandfather used to have his own a barber shop in Ellwood City and Darrell's dad used to work there also. Darrell has actually run into some people in Ellwood City that still remember the barber shop.

Aren't they handsome!