Sunday, November 23, 2008

Trip to PA

We (our family and Bet, Justin and Company) went down to Pennsylvania this weekend for my aunt Barbara Ann's 10th Anniversary party. She lives in Italy, and I think it's been about 12 years since I've seen her or her two daughters. So we all met down in Lancaster County for a dinner on Saturday!
Friday night we shared a suite in a hotel in Bird in Hand, PA. The kids did their usual zombie impersonation when confronted with that stranger, TV!
Then, all ready to go swimming! That's the main reason we went to this hotel-- a heated pool for my little skinny babies!

Beat other swimsuit models all hollow!

Bethaney modeling smiles for Orianna...

who did a great cheesy grin!

Excited kids...

Photogenic children only look better when they're swimming!

Holding two water babies... Lily wanted to be with me even more than with her mother (for a short time, anyway). Made me feel special!

Spiky wet lashes.

A big girl who could hang on to the side of the pool.

Kicking boy! I haven't been able to go to Elliott's pool physical therapy for almost a year, but he still loves the water. I feel guilty not taking him, but it's half an hour further into the lake effect snow belt, and then I wouldn't know what to do with Marilla while I swim with Elliott. Oh, well, he enjoyed it this day.

The whole gang in the water. The water was too deep if they weren't standing on the stairs, but they had fun there!

Cheyenne was in tears when we took her out after two hours. Even promises of a swim in the morning weren't enough to console her.

Edible baby toes!

Marilla's foot was the pruniest of them all!

Beautiful Lily.

My aunt Charlotte feeding Marilla at lunch the next day.

Her husband, Don, with Evan.

Justin and Orianna.

Elliott with pumpkin torte dessert. It was a family-style buffet, and the desserts were excellent!

My other uncle, John (Hopie's husband), Charlotte, and Aunt Emma!

Charlotte holding Cheyenne and Cheyenne's second cousin, Aleana.
Barbara Ann's two daughter, Maya and Ayana (my cousins)
Marcello and Barbara Ann Lenci, celebrating 10 years!
Then, it was back to CNY and SNOW! We didn't even get in the driveway until Evan had run the snowblower.

I had to take pictures this morning when I went out to get the newspaper!

Just a couple of weeks ago, we were deep in water! Cheyenne loves the ditch when it's full of water. Unfortunately, she has started out this trek in boots that weren't waterproof. Ever the problem-solver, she just stuck Mommy's boots over the top of her wet boots when she couldn't untie the laces!
Striding through the river! I've had to try to get mud stains out of ALL her skirts and tights.

Elliott has been loving playing with Play-Doh toys... even when Mommy won't get the Play-Doh out! I don't know what all he's pretending they do, but it keeps him busy for hours!

And, while Elliott is safely ensconsed on the guest room bed with the Play-Doh toys, Marilla has free reign with Elliott's "truck-car". It makes a great sound when you push it back and forth so all the Matchbox cars stored in it roll back and forth a few centimeters!

I loved this picture of Cheyenne-- still proud of her Alaskan heritage!
Dana and Marilyn are here this Sunday night, and they'll be taking Cheyenne and Elliott home with them for a few days until we join them for Thanksgiving. I am RATHER looking forward to being a mommy of one for two days, and they are looking forward to a visit with G&G! I can't even wrap my mind around the thought of putting toys away and them staying there for a while! Rilla will do her part, of course, but she can't open doors yet, so at least their bedrooms can stay clean! Then, a wonderful Thanksgiving with both the Whites and the Vaughans, as the Whites are graciously hosting all my relatives, too! I'm sure looking forward to it!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Brother #2

For those of you who know my brother Cody, you know he strives to avoid the usual. In this vein, he is currently walking across the United States. He does, however, feel he should accomplish something beyond personal satisfaction, so he is using the trip as a fundraising tool for Doctors Without Borders. I know I can't wait for his phone calls to see where he is and how he's doing, so I made a blog to update people on his progress and give him an address to hand out to people he meets who are interested in sponsoring him or just following along as the story unfolds. So...

On more mundane Central New York issues, I am currently using Evan's business computer (shhh, don't tell the IRS) to write this, while Evan formats our computer. (Very scary background music should be playing in your mind, currently.) We have had many problems with our computer, including not being able to burn CDs. Yeah, my poor sister-in-law who trusted me to take her wedding pictures back in June STILL doesn't have a hard copy of the pictures. Despite repeated trips to Best Buy, it still isn't working. (Don't get me started on the arrogant snots comprising both the Geek Squad and the Best Buy customer service departments.) So, we're hoping a format will help. It's actually kind of scary to realize how scary it IS to basically delete your whole computer. As my dad would say, "Think of the pioneers!"... and they certainly didn't have computers. (But if it wasn't for computers, how would I follow the Pioneer Woman blog?) Hopefully, I'll have my computer back in the morning-- and Ashley might even get a CD at Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Halloween (Finally!)

I, of course, planned to upload Halloween pictures on October 31st, in between trick-or-treaters. They came thick and fast, though, and then life got busy again. So here, 2 weeks later, are my kidlets.

A laughing giraffe, a fairy princess with a maternal bent, and a fat pumpkin.

Elliott enjoying a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup... a WHOLE cup... all at once. They make out like bandits on our suburban street, but we have to give out a ton of candy, so it balances out.
The school parade. The kids weren't supposed to dress up, they made costumes in class to represent what they've been reading. Cheyenne's class had been reading about baby owls!

Cheyenne holding Mrs. House's hand. (She's the TA.) I wonder if anyone has ever been able to take a decent picture inside a school gym?
Rilla being patient during the parade--helped along by fistfuls of toys.
Elliott being dapper in his vest.
After the parade, we went back to Cheyenne's classroom for her Halloween party. It was a bit of a trick keeping a napless Rilla and a restless Elliott occupied while participating with Cheyenne, but we got through the hour!
This is Alex, who sits beside Cheyenne. He informed me he likes to get his picture taken, so here he is! Cheyenne and he are great friends-- after Mommy discouraged the use of the word "boyfriend"! I think it's so stupid that kids use that word at that age, so I always just corrected Cheyenne when she said that Alex was her boyfriend. I didn't want to make a big deal of it, so I just did it casually, and I haven't heard the horrible "B" word for a few weeks!

Cheyenne posing.

My three kids actually all playing together! The play food is enjoyed on so many levels--Elliott and Cheyenne actually pretend it's food, and Rilla likes chewing on it. Her favorites are the fried egg and the turkey drumstick-- with a chewy tomato for a healthy note!
Cheyenne in some elaborate store game some Saturday-- I am going to miss the great outdoors as we head into winter! They will still play in the snow, of course, but not like the full day marathons of the summer and fall!
Coy Grin Alert for Elliott at Mom and Dad's last weekend. He and Cheyenne spend HOURS looking at toy catalogs. At least in Elliott's case, he hasn't figured out they are actually toys he could buy--they're just great literature!

Marilla posing for Mommy. I decided to get some pictures of her on the day she turned eight months. I required a bit of work to get a background that didn't feature messy house, but she was a star photography model!

She is so pretty! (And doofy, as in the preceding picture!)

Later in the day, she gave me another photo-op. It was WAY too quiet under the table-- she had found a mini-Oreo from Elliott's Halloween stash. He must have dropped it at lunch! Anyway, here's the under-the-table world of a chocolate lover!