The Last Week in Pictures


Tuesday: My youngest turned 10! How did that happen!


Wednesday: Major windstorm knocked down this beautiful evergreen in our front yard. Thanking God that it only fell on our garage but damage was minimal!


Wednesday, continued: Can you believe the tree missed Dave’s car by mere inches?


Thursday: Dave home from China with a cold and a story of a Chinese pharmacy adventure.


Friday: Rehearsal for first musical! Hairspray! And did I mention this girl turned 16 two weeks ago?


Saturday:  My niece’s wedding!  A full day of visiting with family – including my two sisters from out of town.  It doesn’t happen often, but it’s so wonderful to have us all in the same place!


Sunday: Hairspray!! Even after missing a few rehearsals because of the windstorm, the kids did an amazing job!

Monday: Tree being removed from the garage roof.

Monday:  The tree getting removed.

Tuesday: Snow day! Deer looking for food.

Tuesday:  Snow storm and another day off of school!  Deer looking for food in the backyard.






I turn 40 today!

And I can honestly say I am not upset about it.  (I think in my mind I’ve always been 40, I just needed my body to catch up.  HA.)

My husband and good friend Jessica planned not one, but two!, almost-surprise parties for me on Sunday.  How wonderful to be fully loved by so many amazing people.  First was a tea party at a local restaurant, filled with beautiful women who are some of my favorite people in the world.  Many of these ladies I have laughed, cried, and shared life with over several years.  God has provided these women to me to comfort me, pray with me, bring joy, and teach me.

Then the surprise continued with a party at home with more of my family and friends.

Again, I am so thankful for the people God has brought into my life over the years.  My husband and kids are precious.  I’m thankful for God’s presence with me (even when I didn’t notice it), his provision, and his protection.   Thankful that He has brought me this far and has granted me more days to do His work and bring Him glory.


So here’s a few quotes that either made me chuckle or felt fitting for today…

It takes about ten years to get used to how old you are. 

~Quoted by Raymond A. Michel in The Leaf

A man’s age is something impressive, it sums up his life:  maturity reached slowly and against many obstacles, illnesses cured, griefs and despairs overcome, and unconscious risks taken; maturity formed through so many desires, hopes, regrets, forgotten things, loves.  A man’s age represents a fine cargo of experiences and memories. 

~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wartime Writings 1939-1944, translated from French by Norah Purcell

I’m not 40, I’m eighteen with 22 years experience. 

~Author Unknown


4 days without the kids!

My husband and I both turn 40 this year.

Our gift to ourselves was a mini-vacation.

We went to the Florida keys and it was really beautiful.  The weather was great and it was so relaxing and refreshing to be without the kids and “just a couple” again!  Since we’ve had kids, we’ve never gone away for that long before and I think we decided we need to make it a priority more often (yes, more often than every 13 years *sigh*).  You don’t really realize how much stress (good and bad) your kids induce in you until you get away for a few days!  And one night away really isn’t enough – we do that probably a couple of times a year but I always feel the pressure to get back home the next day.  And I forgot how nice it is to actually have a conversation without interruption!

My lovely mama was willing to come and stay with my kids and dogs, doing the school routine and everything!  And I think they had fun, too.  I am so thankful for her!

We stayed in Key Largo, at this hotel, and it was a perfect spot.  Highly recommend it for a couples’ getaway, particularly if all you want to do is relax and soak up some sun.  Key West was a 2 1/2 hour drive away – but when you have no kids with you, even a road trip can be fun!  🙂


So here’s to more “couple” vacations… I’m already thinking about our next one!  Got any suggestions?



Five Years Old!!!

One of my favorite things to do on my kids’ birthdays is to tell them about the day they were born.  I love it, and they love it.  It brings back so many wonderful memories for me.

My sweet little girl is 5 today.  Here are some pics to remember her “birth” day:

Me about 2 weeks before the big day!

I had a planned C-section but my water broke about a week and a half early.  All in all, Miss A came 3 1/2 weeks before her due date.  My water broke at about 12:30 pm, my hubby arrived home at about 1:30 pm and we left for the hospital immediately.  Dave says it was his favorite car ride ever because he was speeding *just a smidge* in order to get me to the hospital.  Let’s just say it wasn’t my favorite car ride ever.  I think we had to go over every pothole between here and Buffalo!  🙂

Anyways, she arrived about 3 hours later – I ended up having a c-section after I was fully dilated and pushing – with no drugs.  (that was never in the plans!!)

So cute!

The day I was discharged from the hospital, we learned she wouldn’t be coming home with us.  She was diagnosed (eventually!) with thyroid agenesis, which means she was born without a thyroid gland, and with severe reflux which was preventing her from feeding.  She was in intensive care for exactly 6 weeks.

9 days old - when we got the diagnosis

The nurses had put the little pink bow in her hair – isn’t it adorable!!  And she had some wonderful nurses!  I am so thankful for them and still think of them so fondly.  I still exchange Christmas cards with one of them!

Here are some pics from our time in Intensive Care:

A sign from her big sister!

Mama's lookin' worn out.

Dad with his "playoff" beard.

Homecoming Day! Hallelujah!

Finally she came home!  Those six weeks were terribly difficult, but I trusted then that God had a plan for those dark days – and I still believe that!  I wouldn’t change it.

She has brought us so much joy and is doing wonderfully.

I am so thankful for this girl!


If you’d like to read more about our time in intensive care, go here or here.

Layered Ice Cream Cake – A Birthday Tradition

This cake has become our family “biRthDaY” tradition.

I love this cake because it’s easy, it’s yummy, it looks fancy, and it’s customizable to the birthday kid because you can pick whatever their favorite ice cream flavors are!

Here’s the recipe:

Layered Ice Cream Cake

18 oreos

1 -2 T milk

9 ice cream sandwiches

3 pints ice cream (whatever flavors you want and would taste good together!)

8 – 12 oz. whipped topping, thawed

Coat bottom and sides of a 9″ round springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Line the sides with waxed paper, using spray to help adhere it to pan.  Finely crush 15 oreos, add milk, and mix until mixture just sticks together;  set aside.  Working quickly, unwrap and cut ice cream sandwiches into quarters.  Stack strips of sandwiches on end, side by side, snugly around the pan.  Spoon cookie crumbs into center of pan and press firmly.  Freeze for one hour.  Remove all three flavors of ice cream from freezer and allow to soften for 15 minutes.  Scoop the first flavor into a bowl, stir until spreadable, and spread into pan.  Repeat with other flavors.  Top with whipped topping.  Crush remaining oreos and sprinkle over cake.  Freeze overnight.

Here’s a couple more pics (sorry for the quality – I’m better a better chef than a photographer!)

Do you have a family birthday cake tradition??

Star Wars Birthday Weekend!

My son turned 8 on Friday.

This is a picture of him on his birthday at a local restaurant – at his request we went out for dinner so they could sing happy birthday to him!

This is a picture of him when he was about 5 months old!

He has brought a lot of smiles, love, hugs, and silliness to our family and we love him to pieces. 

Here’s a few more pics of the weekend – which included a Star Wars themed party with friends on Saturday afternoon and then a party with family on Sunday.  It was a busy weekend, but so full of fun.  My hubby was a huge help because he was in charge of managing all the VERY ENERGETIC boys! 

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Nine Years Old!!!

My girl is 9 years old today!


(nevermind my hairstyle!!)


I cannot believe it’s been nine years since this girl came into my life.  She is the most important job I’ve ever had (& her siblings, of course!).  And the most difficult.

It hit me the other day that we are halfway to being “done” with her full-time at home.  She will (likely) go to college at 18.  Wow.  It’s difficult for me to remember her being as small as she was in that first picture!!

And somehow I have a feeling the next 9 years could go even faster than the first nine!

So Happy Birthday to my dear one…  I love you!