Thursday, July 24, 2008

Nature's Bounty

Ahhhh delicious veggies from our garden. I need to go make one more loaf of zucchini bread before we leave for the beach. I have several friends who have promised to come pick veggies for us while we're gone and I hope they remember. I don't want our vines to stop producing before we get to enjoy the fruits of Mark's labor...especially the tomato fruits! We have eaten a grand total of 3 of our tomatoes so far and they have been so delicious. I am really excited to make some bruschetta and some homemade salsa and sauce.

We are in the midst of packing for a beach vacation. I did mountains of laundry today and have packed the kid's bags and am in the process of doing my own laundry before I pack for myself. I still have to get all of Randy's doggy stuff packed up for her week at Uncle Craig's house and have a bunch of odds and ends to gather. It may be more stressful to prepare for a vacation than it's worth! Peyton is so excited and keeps asking when we're going to leave. I am looking forward to seeing her face as she sees the ocean for the first time as a child, not a baby. It is going to be so much fun. Gotta run...more packing to do!

Monday, July 21, 2008

4th Birthday Party

It's hard to believe that my baby girl has been on the planet for 4 years! I look at her and can hardly remember when she was a baby. I love seeing how much she has grown and all the things she is learning each day. I'm amazed by her. We celebrated her 4th birthday this weekend with a Little Mermaid party. We had Ariel on the invitation and on the cake and water activities galore. The water slide was the hit of the party with young and not-so-young alike! It was hot but not so hot that we were miserable outside. I think everyone had fun and Peyton has had a lot of fun playing with her new presents. Mark says she needs a princess-ectomy! She is pretty obsessed right now with all of the Disney princesses and doesn't show any signs of slowing down. I think it's sweet. Happy Birthday Peyton!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Mark and I made the "kindest cut of all" on Friday as we cut and donated our hair to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program. This program makes real hair wigs for women who have cancer. It's a little different from Locks of Love, which makes real hair wigs for children. They only require 8 inches of hair which is a bit less than Locks of Love, and after growing our hair for about 18 months, it was time to take it off! We did Mark's hair at home. He bundled it into 3 ponytails and then I cut them off one at a time. After the ponytails were gone, he took the clippers to his head. It was so weird to see his head after all this time.

We drove to Mt. Solon for a hair appointment at Unique Touch later that morning and Liam, Peyton, and me all had hair cuts. My good friend, Lisa, who has cut my hair for about 13 years, chopped it off. I was planning to donate about 9 inches and wanted to keep it a little longer, but she and Mark talked me into giving more. I had about 11 inches to donate when it was over and I LOVE my new 'do. It is so easy to maintain and I feel so much lighter. The long hair had become a major pain and I felt like I looked old. Mark's dad told us that we both look younger! I'm not sure if I'll keep it this short because I can't really pull it up at all, but for now it's a fun change and I'm excited that my hair will be used to benefit someone who has lost their hair. What a wonderful cause!

Friday, July 18, 2008

VBS is over

VBS ended last night and while it was a bittersweet ending, I'll be glad to have a more normal evening tonight. Liam and Peyton are worn out from the activities of the week. Mark took the day off today to work on Peyton's birthday party preparations. We have a little house cleaning to do and all the food shopping. Fortunately we're only expecting about 16 people total so it won't be too stressful. We ran a bunch of errands this morning and now Liam is passed out cold and Peyton is doing everything she can to avoid sleeping, tapping on her headboard, playing with her stuffed animals, dragging every book she owns into bed with know, the usual! I am feeling the need to crawl into bed for a week! It is so darn hot and that combined with the lack of sleep over the past week is finally catching up to me. I'm glad we decided on water activities for Peyton's birthday because it is supposed to be around 92 degrees tomorrow! I guess that's the joy of having a summer birthday.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

From Baltimore to VBS!

I had an amazing time in Baltimore this past week. Mark spent his days at a technology conference while I walked around the Inner Harbor, watched movies in bed, read my Bible and other books, took naps, was really lazy, etc. It was time of rest and rejuvenation before the beginning of our Vacation Bible School. Mark didn't work the whole time. We did have some time to be touristy together and to eat with no kid-ruptions! I'll have to post some more pictures when I get a little time to edit them. We got home yesterday in the late afternoon and have been running ever since. We have VBS until Thursday and then we'll be prepping for Peyton's 4th birthday party on Saturday. We're only having cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and one neighbor, so it shouldn't be too stressful! It is really late and I'm editing some pictures that I took at Bible school tonight for the preschool craft. I need to run and finish so I can go to bed. Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Our Tea House Trip

Tea with Granna was a delight for the granddaughters (and for the adults too)! We had such a nice time at Mrs. Hardesty's in downtown Harrisonburg. Margaret, the owner, and Janice created a tea plate for the little girls that had a scone and some other sweets, cucumber sandwiches, and a few other goodies. They seemed to enjoy their food and really liked drinking their iced tea and lemonade out of their pretty teacups. Janice enjoys the experience of having tea and Peyton has always liked stirring in the sugar and sipping from the cup. It was really special to do this tea with Granna in a tea room setting and to let the girls get a taste of what high tea was like. I think we also (FINALLY) got a decent picture of the granddaughters for their Granna. I need to do a little photo editing before I print anything out, but I have some really sweet pictures of the girls. While we had tea with Granna, Liam went out to eat Mexican food with his Grandad and Dad and then they went to the park. I'm not sure that he would have enjoyed the whole tea experience yet, but I hope he'll try it when he's older.

We drove to Charlottesville to spend the day with the cousins yesterday. Laura and I gave the kids a bunch of options of things we could do and they wanted to set up a tent in the living room and play camping, so that's what we did. We ordered a large pizza and they annihilated it! I can't imagine how much they will be able to eat when they are teenagers! I'll have to go back to work to afford the groceries. We had a nice relaxing day with them and as usual Peyton didn't want to leave. It's nice to live close enough to do a day trip visit!

Monday, July 7, 2008

It must be my lucky day

It's 8:51am and my kids are still sleeping! I have eaten my breakfast in peace and consumed two cups of coffee without having to warm them in the microwave halfway through! What a blessing! Liam did wake up at 6:55 and played in his crib quietly so I got up and took my shower and by the time I was done, he had fallen back asleep. So I'm going to let them continue to sleep until at least 9am. We're driving to Charlottesville to hang out with their cousins today, so I don't want to let them sleep too late.

I have great pictures of our tea with Granna, but I need to load them onto the computer and do a little editing before I can post anything. I hope to do that tonight or tomorrow before Mark and I leave for Baltimore this week. I'm so glad we're going to get a little time away this week. The kids will be so happy to hang out with my mom and I'll get some serious sleeping and reading time!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cool Craft

This craft idea has been floating around in cyberspace and I had to give it a try with the kiddos. We bought small canvases from the craft store and I let each child choose a paint color. Peyton chose apple green and Liam chose red. I poured the paint into a plate and let them fingerpaint the canvas a solid color. Then we wiped their hands dry and they made hand and foot prints over their fingerpainting. This was the end result of Peyton's art. Liam's was too dark to photograph. I LOVE this project and can't wait to find a spot for it. I wish I had stripped the kids down to their skivvies because they got a bunch of paint on their clothes and it didn't come out.

Granna is hosting a tea luncheon for the girl cousins tomorrow at a local tea house. Peyton is SO excited to go have tea with her Granna. What made it even more special was the invitation she got by mail today. She was thrilled. I'm hoping to get a few nice pictures to post of our luncheon.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My sweet boy

We played in the water this weekend and I love the picture of Liam with the water droplets. He had just tossed a cup of water in the air and I snapped that picture. He loves the water and is pretty fearless about it. I'm hoping he'll stay that way and we can get him in the ocean this month. The little red handprint was a sweet mark left behind after we did a painting craft last night. I was helping Liam and he was using my leg to hold himself upright. I had two tiny handprints on my leg last night. So cute! (Pardon the way my leg looks, this was a self-portrait!)

It's about bloomin' time

My Easter lily has bloomed and it is so pretty. Peyton was so excited and kept smelling it! It has about 6 flowers on it and it's just gorgeous. Our tomatoes are all green and growing, but still nothing ripe. Mark's a little concerned with how top heavy they are and how much greenery we have on each plant. I'm hoping we'll get some really yummy ones after all his work getting them in the ground. The Farmer's Market has tons of squash and cucumbers, which we have in our garden, but I did find some ripe blueberries there today. The kids will be so excited because I used the ones we bought on Saturday to make a cobbler. I love them raw, but I really love them in a cobbler. I found a new recipe on and used that one. I need to buy a few ingredients today so that I can make some chocolate zucchini bread. We have too much zucchini as usual, and I hate to see it go to waste. I'm going to make a freeze some bread so we can use up what we have. We'll end up giving a bunch away too.

We turned off the AC yesterday after a quick storm and it is so nice today, balmy and cool. I am enjoying listening to the birds sing and hearing the sounds of the neighborhood, lawnmowers, the buzz of a table saw, kids riding bikes. It's a really beautiful day to have the windows open!