Thursday, April 30, 2009

Alec's surgery day

The best laid plans....we had Alec's surgery scheduled for today and were told to have him at the hospital at 6:15 a.m. We had lined up some very gracious friends to get Evan and Ann-Marie to school, and to pick up Ann-Marie after kindergarten. So what a surprise when Ann-Marie started throwing up at 4 a.m. this morning. Plan B: Darrell stays home with Ann-Marie and Paula takes Alec to his surgery. So off we go....

Alec's surgery went smoothly....the dr. said his right ear was very bad so it was a good thing we got it done. We were home by 10 a.m., in enough time for me to come down with the stomach virus. We think this is a case of the wonderful zoo trip that just keeps on giving. On the way home from the zoo on Tuesday, one of the children threw up in the van. Now all three families represented have had a run in with this stomach virus. Thankfully, it just seems to be a 24 hour virus. So today has been a recuperation day....which was very much needed.

Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Another Beautiful Zoo Day

We enjoyed a beautiful day at the zoo with another lovely family we enjoy spending time with. We stuffed two adults and five children into our minivan (we found out how much our van really holds.....a wagon and double stroller fits snugly in the trunk!) So off we went, with two of my children (Ann-Marie and Alec), a child I watch during the week, and my friend's two children = one 6 year old, 3 three-year-olds, and one 17 month old). Above are four out of the five posing at the zoo. The weather was perfect and we all enjoyed each other as well as the animals.
I had to get a picture of my mountain climber....she always climbs to the highest heights!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ann-Marie's 6th Birthday

Our little girl is six! The baby who was born almost two weeks late, but in God's perfect timing, on the birthday of Darrell's deceased brother's birthday. This is especially special for Darrell's dad, who has a happy event to celebrate on a sad memory day. We had Ann-Marie's birthday dinner on Sunday night and Pap came over. The menu, picked out by Ann-Marie, was spaghetti and meatballs, corn, and ice cream with sprinkles for dessert. She chose to open the presents from my side of the family, and enjoyed some things for her karoke machine, accessories for her EZ bake oven, and a Laura Ingalls Wilder craft book.

The birthday morning brought a request of oatmeal (a child after her mother's heart) and the gift from her parents. She was very excited to open a "just like me" American girl doll. This birthday gift was a birthday budget buster, so we had made a deal with Ann-Marie...she had been saving her allowance for this very doll (somehow a magazine got sent to our house and she immediately fell in love with the only curly-haired doll in the magazine almost a year ago) we used her allowance as well as some birthday money and we matched her the cost. She has named the doll "Lilly" and has already made the box it came in into a bed. M&M cookies were made for school and a lunch of Macaroni and cheese was for lunch. A simple dinner of pizza is scheduled for tonight, and then the birthday celebrations will be done!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

All Evan

Evan - Age 8.....a curious age; one moment showing us glimpses into the future, next moment we see glimpses from the past. He's growing so fast, this little man of ours. The boy who looks so much like my side of the family, has typical first-born tendencies, and a very analytical mind trying to find his place in the newness of "tween-hood". I really don't like the term "tween" but certain days with Evan make me understand why people use it.
Evan loves FOOTBALL (only the Steelers please), soccer, learning lots of facts, sharing his facts with anyone who will listen, talking, math, science, reading books and animals (still dinosaurs, but has been broadening his interests). Evan doesn't like macaroni and cheese, NOT being listened to, peanut butter and jelly, and being singled out in a crowd (unless it was his idea).
And thankfully, the only thing that Evan struggles with health-wise is his allergies (see above picture). This is a picture from last night. We went to Darrell's Aunt Helen's farm to visit and the kids LOVE playing in the old corn and getting corn cobs to feed the horse and sheep. Evan is highly allergic to the mold in corn cobs and that is what it does to him. Benedryl, a cold shower, and a full night's sleep fixed the problem.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A beautiful April day spent with friends

A wonderful day in my book is spending a day with good friends outdoors. We met that on Saturday as our Maryland friends spent the day with us, it was close to 70 degrees, and we went to Moraine State Park for a picnic and playing in the sand.

Notice my Steelers football fanatic - Evan is all about football!

And this is what a day in the sun does to two three year olds!

Ann-Marie's early birthday party

We held Ann-Marie's birthday party on Friday night because it was the night of the "Go Fish" concert at our church. The theme: Rock go along with going to the concert afterwards. Ann-Marie's actual birthday is April 27th, but it was appropriate to hold it early, since she was due on April 16th! Above, the preparations....we have a tradition now that we make the cakes at home and Ann-Marie loves to help. We had to mix the colors for the frosting just right to get it to look good. A guitar cake for my new 6 year old!

Our guests....our close family friends from Maryland and Ann-Marie's best Pennsylvania friend, Lizzie; with our kids, it brought the total to seven children, ages 3 to 8. We started with an arts and craft project of electric guitars (being creatively challenged, they turned into bass guitars, if you want to want to be exact.)
Then onto Karaoke....all the kids got a chance at singing with Ann-Marie.
Food was, baby carrots, pretzels and cake.....pleasing to everyone. And thanks to our friend, Chris (unofficially dubbed birthday pizza guy), the pizzas were ready on time! Darrell had volunteered at the church to be the "Go Fish" guys driver, which entailed more time than we had I thank God for good friends who stepped in and helped me out!

I found a sparkler number six candle, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but once it was lit it took a LONG time to sparkle out and caused lots of smoke....the evidence is in the pictures.

After cake and presents, it was concert time! Driver Daddy got to sit with us during the concert and we all had a great time!!!!! This will definitely be a memorable birthday for Ann-Marie. Stay tuned, only a little over a week until the official birthday (it will be much tamer than her party!)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Family Day in Pittsburgh

On Monday, we all went into Pittsburgh for a fun-filled day. Evan attended "Crazy Chemistry" Camp at the Carnegie Science Museum from 9:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. While he was there, we dropped Darrell off at Station Square to get some work done and I took Ann-Marie and Alec to the National Aviary (free admission because we have a FONZ zoo membership!) We found out Mondays are one of the best days to go! We got to see some cool birds, but also participate in story time (all about nests), craft time (make a nest) and "Flights of Fancy"; a really cool show about what birds eat....and the birds fly right over your head!

After a couple hours at the Aviary, we headed back to Station Square to pick up Darrell and have lunch. After lunch, we spent the last couple of hours of our day playing at the science museum.

Evan had a blast at Chemistry camp and the rest of us had a full discovery day! How we love to go into Pittsburgh!

On a side note, Alec went to see the ENT dr. this morning and is scheduled to have tubes put in his ears on April 30th. We'll keep you posted.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Happenings

Saturday brought sunny (but colder than it looked) weather for the annual Patterson Township's Easter Egg Hunt. Throw some eggs into piles of hay, divide the kids into age groups and let them dig!

The kids enjoyed huge doughnuts and drinks after the hunt.
Evan woke us before 6 a.m. Easter morning because he was so excited (funny, for a boy who doesn't believe in the Easter bunny). The hunt began at 6:30 when Alec woke up (we had to wrestle Ann-Marie out of bed....she's our later sleeper).

Finally, all dressed up for church.....

and after church, we met Darrell's sister and family, as well as Darrell's dad and friend at a local country club for a lovely buffet. Happy Easter!