December 30, 2011

Christmas 2011

Like most of our trips home, Christmas was full and hectic. We spent our time running between our extended families. The boys loved spending time with their cousins from toddlers to teens, though they were sad not to see all of them. I have to say that we were all thoroughly exhausted after our weekend home. I'm so thankful to have had this week to relax and rest. I'm sad to see this vacation week was the first week in a long time where I actually allowed myself to do "nothing". I didn't organize {much}, didn't think about anything homeschool related, and spent as much time in my pj's as I could. The only appt. or activity we had to go to was a drum lesson. We loved our non-hectic week.

We're going to savor these last few days of stay-cation....especially the rare opportunity for Greg to have a day off that doesn't involve driving the 5-6 hrs to Roch. Oh, there was 1 more appointment I had to go to this week......I had a haircut planned. It was supposed to be just a trim, a little shape up. Instead, Edward Scissorhands my stylist went a little wild with non-stop cutting. I was stunned. At first, it looked a little like Prince Valiant {yeah, not the look I was hoping for}.  Upon returning home....and walking up the many stairs to our living area....I yelled a warning to Greg that "mama's not happy". He replied "oh,no" and knew to give me some space and time in the bathroom with my handy scissors. I really hate spending so much on a cut only to have to re-cut myself. So, now I'm sporting an unexpected super short 'do.

*per request....I updated with a picture. Yes, it's a fuzzy picture taken in the mirror, but I think it conveys the overall shortness of my 'do.

December 21, 2011

Current Smile Makers

 I'm pretty much caught up on Christmas stuff {not}. Except for some packing, cleaning, shopping, baking, and mailing that needs to be done....I'm in pretty good shape. That's my excuse for sitting in front of my lap top right now. I actually work best during "crunch time". So, as I wait for Greg to get home from work so that I can race out to do some errands, I started to look around and notice some things that currently make me smile. {is that a run on sentence?}

Can't get much simpler than our Christmas tree above. The first thing I do each morning is turn on the lights. I love the warmth and coziness that Christmas tree lights add to a room. We were coming off of a head cold and going into a stomach virus when we put the tree up.....still have not located the ornaments and actually don't plan to.

This is a corner of our tiny deck which is attached to our neighbor's tiny deck. We each decided to wrap lights around the rails. The lights don't match, but it doesn't bother us a bit. Thankfully, we get along well with our neighbor. In fact, if we need to share some complex gossip info we just lean over and knock on each other's glass door. You might find us out there in our pj's chatting about something or watching the dear. Makes me smile.

Grabbed our old porch sign out of storage. It used to hang on a cape cod style house that we once owned. It was supposed to hang on the porch at our Canandaigua house.....the porch that never got built. I think I may hang it on our deck or kitchen wall. Makes me hopeful.
 The boys love their little wrestling rumblers. I laughed when I noticed that Ferb {or is it Phinneas} had entered the ring. That's one brave little dude. Makes me giggle.
Sammy decided that he wanted to write out the Beatitudes for his grandma. Sam has always struggled a bit with fine motor skills. Writing literally makes his hand sore. He and Ross worked together.....through finger pain and frustration....and created this beauty made with love. Makes me so happy.

December 18, 2011

And Then It's Back

Since I am not currently on Facebook, I'm thankful for this blog as a place to share what's going on. By the way, am I the only one not on Facebook? I do know a couple of old friends who also do not FB, but sometimes I wonder.

Just when we think this virus has left our's back {maybe}. In the wee hours of the morning, Ross started throwing up again. More sheets in the trash...along with the mattress cover. We are getting dangerously close to our quick trip home. We have lots of family time planned seeing siblings and cousins. At this point, I'm not sure if we can make the trip.

I forgot about this little video the boys made the morning before they started feeling sick. Who would have guessed what was about to happen later in the day. Their 3 yr old cousin, Jack, loves to watch cooking shows so the boys have been making some videos for him......again, I really cringe at the sound of my recorded voice. Do I really sound like that?

Feel the need to say.....I let Sam put his hand in the flour bag because there was barely any left, and I could not find our rolling pin so we used a cup. Ok, I feel better now.

As I type this, the boys are giggling and wrestling......crazy, mixed up, unpredictable virus. One minute you are fine, the next on the floor. Sam says that the sight of sweet foods grosses him out. Y'know how whatever you ate before you got sick disgusts you? I'm guessing he ate a couple of those cookies before the car incident. Poor guy. He said he can't even eat the chocolate from his advent calendar. Ok, I promise my posts about the "the annoying virus of 2011" will cease soon. I need to share pictures of our tiny connects to our sweet neighbors. Anyway, I promise there will be fun posts coming soon.

December 14, 2011

Did You Know?

Did you know that when you are driving your kids to their Capoeira class one of them
just might suddenly purge the contents of his stomach all over the backseat of your car? It's true. It could happen....and yes, it happened to us this week. Seems the boys have a stomach virus.....which means we are quarantined for the week. Which also means that I am thoroughly sleep deprived from night time throw up sessions.....which always means that if you call, I may not make any sense {and I'm fairly certain that what I write won't}.

Did you realize that we have less than 2 weeks until Christmas? I'm in denial. I think it's because there is no snow, and the temp's have been mild. We were hoping to go into NYC this weekend to wander around the decorated city. I hope that everyone will be healthy by then. How long do you quarantine after a stomach virus?

Last night, Sam was snuggled on the couch. I sat at the end of the couch to hang out with him.....

Sam asked   "what are you doing?

"Rubbing your feet " I replied

"why?" he asked with innocence

"Because I love you and because you aren't feeling well"

There was a slight pause and then he asked......

"you know, the problem is not with my feet?"

Made me chuckle.

Hoping you and yours stay virus free this season! And hoping the stains and stink come out of my car :)

December 11, 2011

Just a Quickie

I've been loving this song lately. Just ask Greg, he'll verify that I keep playing it over and over. Nice little pause in the middle of the big "get ready for Christmas" hustle and bustle.

I've done my share of bustling {is that a word?} this month. Thankfully, Friday night I had a great shopping buddy{thanks, Rebecca}. As we both had been a long time since either of us had gone shopping with a girlfriend. It was wonderful. Especially since we both like a good bargain and we both like a good plate of nachos.....mostly because it felt like  shopping with an old friend.

December 6, 2011

Really Random

I woke up the other day with a bookcase on my mind. Now, this was a pleasant change....the week before was a bit rough {illness, unpacking, drama}. Waking up with thoughts of organization made me feel like I was getting back to my old self. So, while organizing I came across some old paperwork.....10 yrs old!

                        {Ruth.....notice your name was one of our girl choices! }

{the winners are circled}
 We had about 1 month notice before our twins were born. Everything was hurry up and wait. The boys were actually due to be born in July, but decided to enter the world at the end of May. During that "hurry up and wait" period I tried to prepare as best as I could. Names were essential....of course! As you can see from the first list, we were not positive that our twins were both boys. I'm so glad I saved these lists....I did not remember that Beckett was at the top of my list?? It's pretty obvious that Sam was my top choice {I've always loved the name "Sam"}. It's my father's middle name....Ross is Greg's middle name {and his great grandfather's name}.
This is one of our what shall we bring lists. I notice a couple checkbooks and cash....Bibles, too.

As I mentioned, I was dreaming of bookcases. Thankfully, Ikea is not too far away {though the drive is crazy}. We quickly found our bookcase {the Billy}, had our usual Ikea food, and ventured to the car. Ikea has guard rails that prevent you from getting to the parking lot, so while we waited for Greg to bring the car an older gal asked if we would watch her cart as well. She returned in time for Greg to help her with her load. This woman was so sweet....and thankful.....and a hugger. I can't tell you the last time a stranger hugged me. She shared a bit about her life, said some very uplifting and sweet things to us, and went on her way. It was such a nice afternoon. The simple things, right?

                                   {my yummy Ikea cake and loganberry juice}
                          {a typical day in our home school...shirts are optional}

December 4, 2011

Some More Words

Sometimes I just can't put my thoughts into words. Thankfully, I've found some great words that others put together......they do a great job of expressing my current thoughts.

This last one I threw in for Greg. This is literally his route to work each day {78}.

November 22, 2011

These, This & That

Our neighbor brought these cookies over yesterday. They are amazing. Some of the best goody filled cookies I've eaten.

I balanced off eating a handful of those cookies by eating this salad. I'm a bit addicted to this odd looking concoction of veggies {romaine, feta, olives, sweet pickles, and Annie's Cowgirl Ranch dressing}.

That pile of clothes is somehow going to fit into 1 piece of luggage. It literally takes me all day to pack. Today it was a slow process involving tea, long breaks between everyone's outfit decisions, and those cookies up above.

This bottle of Oil of Oregano has helped to brush off the beginnings of a virus. The taste is intense, but I really think it helped.

Happy Thanksgiving!!! I'll catch up with you all after the holiday, xo.......

November 20, 2011

What a Week!

I knew it was coming. I saw our schedule and prepared for the hectic week. Most of you know that I don't like to be busy during the week. We are all happier when we have an open and flexible calendar. We actually get so much more accomplished when our week is less cluttered. As I've learned from living in a small space....sometimes you can't avoid clutter {in your small space or your week}. I also wanted to upload some photos that were lingering in my camera.......
A couple of Saturdays ago we went to Waterloo Village {somewhere out in NJ bear country}. It was a beautiful, sunny day. We met up with a friend from the boys bowling league and hit the trails.
After walking through a very old log cabin and playing some games from the Pilgrim years, Greg and the boys declared that they would love to live back "in those days".
But, they obviously would miss all their modern conveniences, too. The boys have been enjoying playing the game Headbanz.

So, we got through the week. The boys tried a fun new fitness class {Capeoira}. If you click on the link you can see exactly what it is. They also went to a ZumbAtomic class. We are always looking for fun new ways to get moving.

I'd say the week was good.....until Friday. My Friday was exhausting....and frustrating.....and stressful. It rated high on the yuck-o-meter. While Greg and the boys were at CSB I went to run some errands and found this mug. I thought it was the perfect purchase for an imperfect day.

How do you deal with a bad day?

November 8, 2011


I'm feeling much better. Phew. Thank you for your sweet words and prayers! The fog is still lingering, but maybe that's just the season I'm in. I read another wonderful devotion {from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young} again today. Actually, it feels like "groundhog week"......we also made another batch of gingersnap cookies yesterday. We've also been trying to coordinate our Thanksgiving travel plans, enjoying the sunny weather, and playing lots of Uno......

{Mario & Luigi have been playing with us}

 The boys have been practicing their drum work. We really need to get a better 
practice pad/drum set. The one they are using is pathetic. Thankfully, they get to play on real sets during their lesson. I have to be honest......remembering to practice every day can be challenging {for me!} Greg is considering taking drum lessons {me , too}. You may see us on tour one day {ummm, probably not}.

This is what our coffee table usually looks like. I promise that I did not stage this. We are chronic strewers=leaver of books and games. I have found that if the books are on the shelf they don't get read{or found}. When they are strewed about they are picked up often. I usually have a couple on the kitchen table, as well. It makes the house a bit more messy, but it's worth it.
Our shelves in my little office area drive me bonkers. As some of you know, I've had to crowd everything from our old home into our new small space. Some days it overwhelms me. This week I went through my usual thoughts of "will we ever be settled in a home again?". I have dreams of decorating with white, blue, and green. I have visions of a cute bungalow somewhere. Ross has dreams of a garden.....Sam hopes for a yard and driveway. Greg sort of likes our current situation.....he does not miss yard work and house projects.

Day by day.

November 3, 2011

Day by Day

This week has been interesting. Not typical, that's for sure. We still have not re-filled our fridge after losing power {and losing food}. Early in the week, my endometriosis started
flaring up {or firing up, as it feels like my abdomen is on fire}....which caused us to re-think our week. I decided to cancel any activity because I feel as if I'm walking in a fog. Getting out among people, driving, and other things is not a good idea while in a fog. I've learned this through experience.

 I actually allowed myself to stay in bed until 9am today. It's odd....if I had a cold or the flu I would not think twice about staying in bed and nursing myself. With my endometriosis, I don't always feel that I'm allowed the same grace. I've not been on top of it lately. In fact, I've still not found a new gyno {I'm in a bit of denial}. I've experienced a good amount of stress the past few weeks. Stress that was unexpected, and totally unnecessary. I allowed it to seep into my life.....and I believe I internalized a lot. I do believe that stress can cause us to become sick....or worsen symptoms.

A couple days ago I woke up with heavy thoughts. I was feeling sad because I felt like I lost focus. I was having one of those "what is this all about" moments and feeling like I've driven off course a bit. It feels like someone in my life was put there to cause stress....or I've allowed myself to get stressed. It's been draining and distracting. I opened one of my favorite devotionals. One that I hadn't opened in a long time {Jesus Calling by Sarah Young}.

And this is what it said.....

"Do not be discouraged by the difficulty of keeping your focus on Me. I know that  your heart's desire is to be aware of My Presence continually. This is a lofty goal; you aim toward it but never fully achieve it in this life. Don't let feelings of failure weigh you down. Instead, try to see yourself as I see you........

When you realize that your mind has wandered away from Me, don't be alarmed or surprised. You live in a world that has been rigged to distract you. Each time you plow your way through the massive distractions to communicate with Me, you achieve a victory. Rejoice in these tiny triumphs, and they will increasingly light up your days. "

November 1, 2011

Suddenly Snow

We heard there was some unexpected snow we excitedly waited for some flurries. What we didn't expect was losing power on Saturday afternoon. That sort of took the fun out of the unexpected snow day. We layered up, made tea and popcorn on our gas stove, and went to bed at 6:30pm.

The next morning the power was still off.....and we soon learned that the power outage spread far and wide. I tried to stay in "pioneer woman" mode. I went through our food and cooked anything and everything on our stove top. Greg, on the other hand, went the "quickie mart guy" route. He searched for the only store open to find cold, watered down coffee....and beef jerky.

Thankfully, I located the boys snow pants and gear the day before (and thankfully, we had flashlights to find them this day). They made the best of the situation by playing and sledding.

The power came back on late Sunday while we were cooking a frozen food feast {had to empty the freezer} on our stove top. We were so thankful for heat and light. Our neighbor came over and joined us in our random feast to celebrate the return of our power {that I daily take for granted}. And now I am still catching up on laundry and life........

October 27, 2011

Cookies & Rugby

Here is a little video showing a bit of our morning. I threw in the last video of Greg, the boys, ans some friends playing rugby.

I recently read that molasses is good for Endometriosis. That reminded me of ginger snaps! So, when Sam suggested cookies I thought it was a great idea. Please excuse my high pitched voice....isn't hearing your voice on video fun {not}.

A fellow homeschooling dad often holds gym days for kids. This past Saturday, Greg joined him and taught the kids some rugby basics....

October 20, 2011

Another Weekend in the City

Grandma & Papa were visiting last weekend. The weather was we decided to take them into the city for some exploring.
First, we needed some energy. We found a great little restaurant. The food was amazing!
Many people came up to the table and said ....."twins? Ahhh, nice!". They would then pat the boys on their backs and smile. It happened over and over, and was very sweet.

We then headed out for some shopping on Canal St. Tons of people, tons of random items, and the smell of fish in the air.  Before we knew it, we had walked into Little Italy.
Again, tons of eye candy, fun music, and the smell of yummy food. Greg's parents loved it all.

October 18, 2011

Sunday in the City

 We've gone into the city the past two weekends. This was a couple of weekends ago. It took us 25 minutes to drive in......then we got stuck on 42nd street for an hour. Lots of people watching from the car.

Once we found a parking spot, we decided to walk around the Central Park area and just see what we would find. There was an amazing parade going through the area. Lots of music and charismatic dancers.

Within the park, we climbed our usual rock. It was such a beautiful day!

Right outside the park, we found a neat dessert truck{ Waffles & Dinges }. You could have homemade waffle cones with Nutella scooped into the bottom....topped with gingersnap ice cream. So good!

                                       {love that he's wearing gloves!}

 We passed by a couple of police precincts and fire stations. They always remind me of 9/11. We also saw a memorial wall for Steve Jobs......
                                     Lots of traffic heading out {42 nd st}. It was a fun day. I still have a blister on my foot to remind me of our day{and to wear socks next time}.  We went back into the city this past weekend......I'll save those photos for the next post.
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