Thursday, May 27, 2010


When my sister and her family came up to visit, she made a few things for the girls and I. The girls sure are lucky to to have such a crafty Auntie and I'm lucky to have such a crafty sister!

She crocheted dresses for the girls' Barbie dolls!!
Many of my childhood memories of my sister are of her crocheting something. She would be sitting on the couch with a cat on her lap and making a lap blanket or an afghan or doll dresses or stuffed animals. Then she learned to cross-stitch and she would make all sorts of lovely pictures. She has always had the crafty gene and I love that she is so generous with her gift, usually giving the finished project to friends and family.
The girls love their dresses and have been playing with them non-stop!!
Thanks Auntie!!

For me-- she made this super-cute clothespins bag!

Oh my gosh! I just love this! She picked out fabrics she knew I would love (I do!), sewed it up and embroidered a lovely clothesline with laundry hanging. Totally made on the fly without patterns and I am just blown away by her creativity. I was going to make something similar for myself but hadn't gotten around to it, and I gotta say, I would have never come up with something as nice as this one!

I'm so lucky to have you for a sister! Thank you again for the great clothespins bag! Almost too nice to use, but I will use it and I'll think of you every time I do! I love you so much!!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Family Visit

Sorry for the disappearance-- it's been extra crazy around here. My sister and her family came up for a visit!! We had so much fun, the visit wasn't long enough and we were sad to see them go. I am going through the pictures and am wishing I took more-- it feels like we did so much together, but there's no proof in the camera. I really need to bring my camera along with me more, keep it in my pocket and take more pictures of the kids and the activities we do. The kids are growing so fast and the only evidence I will have of their baby faces will be in the pictures I didn't take!

On the first sunny day, we took everyone to our favorite PYO farm and picked strawberries!With all the rain we had, it was supposed to be muddy in the fields, so the kids all wore boots, but when we got there, it wasn't too bad, just a spot down in the lower area that had a mini-lake between the rows and of course the kids gravitated to that area. With 6 children and 4 adults picking strawberries, we picked about 45 pounds total! My sister's husband was skeptical about buying so much, but I assured him that it would get used up.

The next couple of nights, my sister and I made strawberry jam together. It was so nice to have a partner to make jam with and we made a lot that first night. We had a mango sitting on the counter that was ripe and ready to go and she suggested making one batch of strawberry-mango jam! We did and it was SO good! So good in fact, that the next day, I made sure to get some more mango and we made another batch with 2 mangoes in it. Yummy yummy yummy! We made 29 pints of jam together and she took half home with her for her family to enjoy.

We also went to Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. It had been a while since we were there.. I think the last time Andrew and I were there, we had just 2 kids at the time, and my sister and her husband had no children when they were there last. We learned that with 6 small children and only one public bathroom located on the far side of town and lots of walking uphill and downhill on cobblestone streets and sidewalks wasn't easy. But still, we had fun and took some nice family pictures. It isn't often I get to be included in the pictures, too!

It rained a lot when they were here, and they were frustrated about that. It's been unusually chilly and rainy this month of May, but what can ya do? We tried to make the best of it. I wanted to take them to that big flea market in Winchester, Va, but when it started to rain as we headed out the door, we changed plans and went to the big indoor flea market in Hancock, Md. It was a good decision, we all found lots to buy and we had fun.

I'm so glad they came up to visit and stay with us!! We love you all and miss you!!


Sunday, May 16, 2010


Twelve years ago I married this man.
Twelve years later, I'm still happy I did.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wake Up Call

Have any of you seen the movie, "He's Just Not That Into You"? I watched it last night and there is an eye-opening scene in there that has gotten me thinking and realizing that I was doing the same thing.

In the opening scene, there is a little girl playing in the sandbox and a little boy walks over to her and pushes her down and calls her names. She starts crying to her mother and the mother tells her that he did that because he likes her. The voice-over says that we are programmed from when we are little girls, that if a boy treats us like jerks, he likes us. So we put up with a lot of crap from boys because we -think- he likes us.


I remember in high school, trying to navigate that slippery path of girl likes boy/ boy likes girl stuff and one boy that I really liked used to hurt me. It was popular to try to smack the top of every one's butt with the tip of your fingers, I don't know what it was called, but we'd use the back and tip of your fingers to cause a sting where it landed. It wasn't a butt grabbing thing, but just something we did for fun. I did it and it was done to me, and it would end up in a chase where we'd try to get the person back. Anyway, the one guy I liked, he would do that smacking thing to my breasts. Ow!! I'd chase him a little ways, but damn, that hurt when he did that. But you know what? Instead of telling myself to stay away from him, I continued to like him. How twisted is that?!

Except for that one time, I didn't normally take any crap from boys, but I am guilty of soothing a little girl and telling her that he punched her in the arm because he liked her. Someone told me that when I was a little girl and I am continuing the cycle. No more! I have not yet said that to my own girls, and now I never will.

Andrew and I talk all the time about how we want to raise strong kids and teach them not to take any crap or let anyone walk all over them. We would like them to have self-defense or karate classes. We try to teach them that if someone really loved them, they would never hurt them. I hope that when they are old enough to enter into romances and relationships, that they choose kind-hearted partners and don't fall for the pretty-on-the-outside-jerky-on-on-the-inside kind of people.

There's also a scene in the movie where a girl discovers the guy is married, and her friend tells her that she could still have a chance with him. Like he was married but not to the love of his life, and that -she- could be the love of his life, which was all the encouragement she needed to call him up. Now granted, if the guy was really happy in his marriage, he wouldn't have cheated, but if she wasn't calling him, the temptation wouldn't have been there either. Goes both ways.

My husband and I were both ready to get married when we met. I was tired of looking and getting disappointed with the boys I was dating; Andrew was ready to settle down and spend his life with someone that would love him as much as he loved her. So when we met, we had both already lived our single lives and were ready to go to that next step: marriage. We were friends first, then we dated briefly before we were engaged. We had a long engagement and lived together before we got married. Then we waited a few years before having children, so we felt like we had our "couple time". There was no wishing we could do this or that, no looking back with regrets or wanting to hit the bars and relive our single days. I think we did everything right for us. Might not work for other people, but it was the right way to do things for us.

I can only hope that our kids will have a marriage like ours. I wish for them to find someone that loves them with all their heart, to find that special someone who only wants to make them happy and vice versa. I hope that by example, they'll see how Andrew and I are with each other, that they can look for someone with similar qualities. Andrew is the best person I could have ever picked-- he truly loves me and I feel it, see it, know it. I love him just as much and if there are any arguments between us, it's who loves the other more!

If you haven't seen it, go watch "He's Just Not That Into You". I'm thinking I can watch it one or two more times to see if there are other pearls of wisdom I might have missed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Shopping for the Kids

Over a year and a half ago, I used to work for a children's consignment shop, and then it kind of went sour and I stopped working there. I blogged about it here. I have since looked for other consignment shops, hoping to find something closer to home, but nothing is as good as what I had with her. A friend of mine tried to get me to go 50/50 on opening up our own consignment shop, but she moved way too fast on it and it was at a time when Andrew and I had absolutely no money to spare; how in the hell could I start up a business when I can barely scrounge up enough money to make the next car payment? Plus, she wanted to do it in one weekend and I just cannot fathom how to pull of a consignment sale in just 3 days, not after seeing first-hand how much work is involved with setting up a sale. My friend went ahead with someone else, and they lost money in the sale. Can't say I'm surprised.

Anyway, I still get the flyer from the old consignment shop whenever her Spring and Fall sales come up. I didn't consign or shop at the last 2 sales; I had gotten enough free clothing to last for quite awhile, but now, with Peter quickly out-growing his 18-month sizes, I really needed to shop. Yard sales are a great way to pick up kids' clothing for 25-50 cents apiece, but sometimes, it's hard to find the things you need when you need them right now! After much thought, I decided to go to her 50% off sale on Monday.

It felt a little strange to be there, but my kids needed things and I can't deny that her sale is one of the best places I have ever been to for children's things and at 50% off, I can find plenty of clothes for the kids at sweet prices. I sent the girls off to the racks and told them to find a few clothes each, and I went through the boys' clothes for Peter. I set a limit for no more than $100 to spend. Boss Lady was there and we hugged and caught up a bit, the usual chit-chat when you haven't seen someone in awhile. I'm glad we went, I found some nice clothing for the kids-- they all got 2 swimsuits/trunks each; several tops, bottoms, and dresses per girl; tops, bottoms, sandals and pj's for Peter. I picked up 49 items, so that works out to just about $2 per item. Not too bad, considering a majority of the things were top brand-name quality clothing and in excellent condition.

On the drive back home, I knew I made the right decision not to force myself to work there and bend to her new rules. A hour and a half drive really is a bit long to go one way and with 4 children it's just too much for them. Also, with no bathroom, I would be spending most of my time escorting the kids to the food store next door to use their bathroom. If one kid has to pee, I'd have to take them all with me, whether or not they have to pee. Then as soon as I got back to the shop, I can guarantee you that another kid will pipe up and say they have to pee and it starts all over again. Gretchen pulled her hair out in clumps each time we worked there and her hair is finally nice and thick again. And all of us suffered with the disruption in our meals and home routine. As much as I miss the freebies and the full amount of my consigned items, my family comes first, and it is best that we not work there anymore.

I will, however, try to consign with her in the Fall and unload the closet-full of clothes I have. I never did find anyplace here to sell them and selling at yard sale prices, when I know I can get more selling through her sale, is just not an easy thing to do. I took some clothing to a place that pays you cash right off the bat, but out of 25 outfits, they only took maybe 10 of them and when I asked why they didn't take the others, they just shrugged and never gave me an answer. I know it's not because of stains because I looked them over, so I asked if it was a seasonal thing and they told me they take all seasons any time. I didn't get much for the 10 items they did take. The frustration alone is not worth taking them there.

The kids are happy with what they got and they were happy to see Boss Lady, though they were disappointed not to see any of the other staff kids there (school hours). I am happy to have clothing for them that fit and some are even in sizes that they'll be able to use next year too, provided they don't have growth spurts and shoot up a couple sizes. Sylvia will at least be able to get the hand-me-downs from her older sisters anyway. Everybody is happy and I didn't have to break the bank for clothing.