Friday, August 26, 2011


We're as ready as we're gonna get, that's only partly true. I suppose we could be much more prepared, I'm just not feeling the urgency. I have done the per my mother...I filled the car with gas, got cash and stored a little extra water. I have every sippy cup with a lid filled and in the fridge :) I laughed outloud at myself as I filled all 11 of them! I did buy one case of bottled water, figure we'll use it at the beach if we ever get there.

Just spoke with my best girl down in VA...they are bracing for a little more than we are expecting. Sadly she's by herself with her two kids while hubby is out on a ship...protecting our nation (or maybe just protecting the ship from the storm). If you think of her, and other military wives that are often "home alone" for these events, pray for their protection and peace!

The plan for now is to weather Irene here in good ole' PA than head out as early as possible on Monday morning...I'm hoping for beach time Monday...think I'm shooting to high??

Some hurricane activities are planned: make hurricane salad and hurricane cookies, paint with homemade watercolors (that is if I don't have to hoarde the sippy cup water for sustanence), watch a movie or two (read a book or 12 if there is no power for movies), make a giant fort and pack for the beach!

Stay safe friends!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


We are supposed to leave on Saturday for our family vacation to Ocean City, MD. We have been looking forward to it for months and have really gotten the kids all wound up about it this last two weeks. Miss M can't wait to spend time on the beach with Grandmom and JB just keeps telling us that he's going to "go simmin wif shauks and daafins".

Cue the hurricane and the stomach bug...the Miller's have plans that need ruining!! UGH!

Prince Charming would like to go down anyway, he sees some strange sense of adventure in being there for the storm. I think this mornings vomit situation slowed his roll. JB is having a quick recovery though, and if noone else gets sick Prince Charming is going to be ready to go!

When I called the realtor today she said "Well, we aren't evacuating so you can c'mon down if you want" Sounds like a real good idea to me...take the kids somewhere we've never been in the middle of a hurricane, there may be no power, the bay might come right up to the patio of our place, and there is a slight chance we'll evacuate.

Sounds like a great weekend to me...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A pigeon, an elephant and a pig.

As I was wrapping up my 13 year run as an elementary teacher a "newer" children's literature author was really climbing the ladder of success. Mo Willems had written a few books I knew, nothing overly impressive. Then the pigeon hit the bookshelves! I was skeptical at first, the illustrations seemed childish (they are books for children so I'm not sure why this bothered me) and the stories were very untraditional and even a little "sassy".

My last year teaching I had the chance to read aloud at a Barnes and Noble event, a fundraiser for my school. I love to read aloud so I jumped at the opportunity, even though I was 8 months fat, oops, I mean pregnant. I was to read four stories, I chose three I loved and then the librarian handed me "Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late". I still didn't love it but when I read it outloud, with all my best first grade expression, the kids roared with laughter through the whole book!

Fast forward four years and we get to today at the library. We try and go to the library every two weeks, if not more. We get as many books as they let us take out and we make quite an event of our time there. We have many favorites that we check out over and over, or authors that we stick with...but the kids new fav...Mo Willems and all the Pigeon books and the Elephant and Piggie books. We had two last week, one about hot dogs and one about ice cream. Miss M and JB had them both memorized within a day of taking them out and would sit and read them themselves and just crack themselves up! So cute!!

Today we picked out three more, the kids could hardly wait to get home, eat lunch and then read before nap. They didn't disappoint...we read, we laughed and then we read them again! If you haven't checked them out and you have a child in first grade or under...get out from under your rock and find Mo Willems :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Rainy Sunday=Bathtime fun!

We have had so much rain this August! I suppose we need it but it does get old after awhile! Yesterday I came down with a cold, right in the middle of Sunday School. Seriously, I was sitting there and all of the sudden I could feel my head getting heavy, my nose started to drip and I sneezed an undisclosed amount of times! I had to get up and leave, I'm sure my friend Pam was thrilled she had sat next to me :(

Anyway, we got the kids and came home, I needed to lay that heavy head down!! It was sunny and hot when I layed down...gray and rainy when I awoke! So we played at the house, ran an errand, made dinner and looked at the clock! Ugh...only 5:30 and the kids have already watched too much TV.

Then I remembered an idea I saw on Pinterest (which is my new obsession...I'm considering dedicating a whole new blog just to ideas from Pinterest and whether they work or not). So I whipped out some foil pans I happened to have, Prince Charming's foamy shaving cream and food coloring. Put them together and...tada...

The kids played for over an hour, they loved it!! The water turned all sorts of green from washing thier brushes off, but their skin didn't take that color on at all! As you can see from the last picture, it all washed right off and the tub is as good as new! It even smells like daddy's freshly shaven face :) I will say the post I got this from, Meet the Dubiens, says it won't discolor the grout...I think it did in just a few spots, but not enough to really notice. Prince Charming thinks with a good spray of shower/grout cleaner, it will come right off. You might want to test that before you find yourself in the midst of a remodeling job you weren't bargaining for!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

...well, I haven't died yet...

I'm 40 now, have been for a number of hours, although if you ask my mom it's only been about 50 minutes since I was born right after 10 pm. If you ask my siblings I've been 40 for a month now, I was a month overdue (like they would let that happen in this day and age) and my sibs made my mom a good-bye dinner, spaghetti, every night for weeks...

It was a very nice day, Prince Charming got up with the kids, who wanted to be in bed with me, so we all snuggled and watched cartoons together. I got breakfast in bed, yummy, and then Miss M informed me "you're stinky, I love you, I just don't love the smell of you". And Happy Birthday to me! Just for the record, I had bathed the day before and had really done nothing to work up as horrid an odor as Miss M accused me of...I think she's just sensitive :)

Off to church we went, only stayed for one service since I forgot to "duck" when I walked by JB's class. He saw me and there was no turning off we went to Kohl's where I got to pick out some new clothes than lunch at Red Robin. Dee-lish!!

Home for naps, off to Mom's for dinner and a fab dessert made by my sister Sue...torte with fruit and chocolate whipped cream...I don't know how many points that was, but I don't really care!! I lost 3.8 lbs. last week going back on Weight Watchers, pretty sure I gained them back today. Oh's 11:02, I'm 40, I'm alive...onward I go...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

only about 10 more hours...

I will be 40 in a matter of am I spending my last day in this young decade?? We spent the morning at the farm, picking peaches and petting goats, dogs and cats. The kids enjoyed the time and I always love doing whatever with my little family!

I'm not horrified by the fact I'm turning 40 but I am slightly annoyed! I hated 20...I remember vividly telling people "I'm no longer a teenager but I'm not an adult either". Don't know why that bothered me so much! I can't even remember turning 30, really, I can't. Prince Charming turned 30 a month before our wedding and we didn't do anything special. I remember thinking we didn't have any spare cash and everyone was already blessing us with shower and wedding gifts. A birthday bash seemed like too much. I don't recall Prince Charming really caring!

So tomorrow is 40...not liking the title "middle-aged" but I'm not really feeling much older than usual. I have no idea if and how we are celebrating, but you better believe I'll be putting sprinkles on everything tomorrow :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bounce U

I bought my first, and only at this point, Groupon at the beginning of the summer. I paid $15 for 5 passes to Bounce U. It would cost $20 for us to take the kids one time, so this sounded like a great deal. I figured, on a rainy day we'll have something to do. What a great plan...right!?!?!

Fast forward to August, I read my friend Dana's post "had a great time with my boys at BounceU". Uh-oh...where is that pass I bought in June????

I found it, between the fridge and the cabinet, covered in about 6 inches of ew only to discover that it expires on August 17. We have roughly 2 weeks to go two/three times.

We started the fun last night, family night. It was soooo great! We had been once before for a birthday party but JB was really limited with what he could do. He did much better last night, just a few months makes a difference in his physical capabilities. It's still a little much for him, but he hung in there :)

Miss M ran around for two hours like she had a job to do! We went with the divide and conquer theory and each took a kid and played right along side of them. We would catch each other here and there and switch kids, it was great. We didn't buy the pizza dinner portion of the program so during that time period we about had the place to ourselves. We had a family game of chase in the big bounce house and played a bit of basketball in the smaller one. I think the fav of the night was the giant slide, all four of us had a blast on that!

JB took one nasty slide and in my efforts to help him I think I broke my's killing me as I type!! The obstacle course proved tricky for both Prince Charming and I. It's not made for a 6'8" guy or an out of shape 40 year old woman. We both moaned any time the kids ran toward that one!! Miss M mastered it enough to go by herself, and she made a friend at the end who she preferred over either of us!

I have three more "free" passes to use by next Wednesday. I signed up for the preschool playdate on Monday morning at 9:30 am. If you want to join me I can get one of your kids in's only for kids 7 and under...comment me and the ticket is yours :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Random pictures I downloaded from the last two weeks :)

Went to a beautiful and fun wedding on Friday for Laureen and Jon. There were sunflowers EVERYWHERE and it was fantastic! And, the bonus of the evening, if you stuck around long enough you got to bring some home!!! We are enjoying two big vases of them in our house. I think the Garvens might have more sunflowers in their house than they do in all of Kansas!

Made these with the kiddos last week. Saw it somewhere, than my friend Kim posted that she tried it. They were perfectly simple for JB and Miss M enjoys any crafting we do. They are sweet and simple and took two days of "project time". Even Daddy liked this one!I got crazy at dinner about two weeks ago. Made my usual meatloaf but cooked them in muffin tins. Than I used mashed potatoes as icing and a little dollup of ketchup as a cherry. I thought they were adorable...the kids...not so much...why do I even bother????????

The other day I realized that we hadn't eaten very healthy for a few meals (read as "mom was lazy and made a lot of junk") So I was feeling guilty but still had a few hot dogs I didn't want to waste. My kiddos love hot dogs so I wracked my brain to see what I could serve with them that would be really healthy. Miss M is on a NO vegetable kick (has been for about a year and half now) and they've both been giving us a real hard time about eating dinner. So I made a "rainbow" of things that are healthy and that they like. Red strawberries, orange cheese, yellow apple, green cucumber and blue blueberries. I forgot the purple, don't worry, Miss M pointed it out repeatedly!

I ended up laying a blanket down on the floor and we had a picnic dinner, a hot dog for everyone than just noshing on the rainbow. The kids loved it and I felt okay about what they ate for dinner! I just went to the grocery store and stocked up on ingredients for some tried and true recipes, so we can get back to a more balanced diet. Hopefully there won't be too much resistance, if there is, you know what I'll do...just add sprinkles!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ivory Soap :)

When we first got married we thought it would be fun, on each anniversary, to give each other a gift based on what Hallmark (that seems to be who published the lists we found) said was the gift for that year. And it was fun, for about 5 years...

Year 1: Paper: we bought each other a plane ticket to visit an old friend in Michigan
Year 2: Leather: we each got a new pair of shoes (I know it's a stretch, but I recall we both needed shoes and had fun picking out a pair, with leather, that we might not have bought had it not been an anniversary gift)
Year 3: Cotton: we happened to be on a missions trip in the DR for this anniversary so we each got a souvenir/gift...Prince Charming got a DR flag for his office and I got a cute little sarong to wear over my bathing suit.
Year 4: Rice: we went out for chinese food
Year 5: Wood: we bought an entertainment center for the house

You can see that we were sometimes practical, sometimes extravagant and sometimes at a loss (ie Chinses restaurant in year 4). After year 5 the lists we found only went every five years, by the time we got to ten neither one of us wanted a gift made out of tin, nor did we feel like being creative. That year our present was Miss M. We had talked about going on a cruise to celebrate 10 years but instead God blessed us with answered prayer and I was 3 months pregnant and violently nauseous for our anniversary. But boy was Miss M the best 10 year gift EVER!!

So this year was number 14. We decided about a year ago that we were going to forego gift giving for each other for all holidays except birthday and Christmas, and those are up for discussion each time they occur. Now I am better at following that rule than Prince Charming, for our non-gift Valentine's day I got 2 dozen roses, he got nothing. For our non-gift Fathers/Mothers day I got flowers and a gift card to a favorite store, he got nothing. So for this anniversary I reminded him, we're not getting each other gifts, we'll go out on a good date instead.

So last night we went to Princeton. I thought we were doing a cheap fun meal, instead he planned a dinner at La Mezzaluna. It was fun, but not cheap. Dinner was delicious, and since we didn't waste any money on silly gifts that neither of us really need, he decided we could go for it for dinner. I was so glad he did, it was nice to eat in such a nice place. No people dressed as cows, no standing at the counter asking why you got fries instead of apples, no free coupon for a kids meal, no screaming children, sliding boards, or kids menus with crayons!

Then we took a walk, hand-in-hand, in the drizzle. It was silly and romantic and fun. We didn't really talk about the kids, just enjoyed conversation about life and even some dreams we have for our future (corny, I know).

When I got back in the car he handed me a gift...he told me he looked up year 14 and found it on the what did I get???? A bar of ivory soap :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

14 years

Today I've been married to Prince Charming for 14 years! We dated for about 2 years prior to the wedding so we've been together for 16 years. Before that we knew each other from church and school for about 8 years, so we've known each other for about 24 years (go ahead ask me...yes, I was 2 when I met him).

I'm not a big fan of the statement "I married my best friend"...although in my younger years I probably said such things. Now I just think it's stating the obvious, so why say it. I mean, really? I'm hoping we all married our best friends, but I never call him that. When I think of my best friends I think of Debbo, Trish the Dish, and Doodle, you know, my girl friends. But of course, Prince Charming is on the list, who marries someone they aren't friends with? Maybe I'm naive, maybe people don't marry their best friend and that's why everyone is getting divorced...anyway...

Here are a few high/lowlights of the last 14 years, in no particular order:
1. Chartering a plane on our honeymoon.
2. Driving to NC for a job interview, being offered the position, apartment hunting, all in about 36 hours, only to turn the job down.
3. Working together in the youth ministry we grew up in.
4. Moving to NJ to minister at Windsor Chapel.
5. Moving 4 times in 5 years.
6. Living in a free farm house for a year.
7. Adventures in Boston, Cape May, NYC, the Outer Banks, Niagara Falls, Gettysburg, the Dominican Republic, Lansing MI, Williamsburg, and the Jersey Shore!
8. Job interviews in NC, IN, NY, NJ, MD.
9. Saying good-bye to Prince Charming's Dad, my Nana and my nephew.
10. The struggle of infertility.
11. The joy of our first pregnancy and Miss M.
12. The surprise and joy of our second pregnancy and JB.
13. Buying our first home, almost losing it and working our tails off to keep it!
14. Joining a church that we love, where it feels like family!
15. Prince Charming has had 9 different jobs...sometimes more than one at a time!
16. The year of the newspaper!
17. Knowing that we are committed to each other, no matter what, forever...amen!

We celebrated with a simple day, doing what we love. Having dinner together as a family then going outside to play! We'll go out for dinner just the two of us tomorrow, but the real celebration is that God brought us together, has kept us together and isn't finished with us yet!!