New addition for a New School Year

We welcome little Zelie Therese on October 16th. She was 8lbs 6ozs and 19 3/4 inches. She certainly made a place in the family with her robust cries. Max seems to be mesmerized with her presence and signs baby when she cries and greets her every day with a kiss. He likes to see that she has toes just like him, she has ears, just like him, and his favorite, she has a nose, just like him!
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Opie and Max here at our back to school picture time. Opie desperately needs a new blog name. I am thinking of changing it now that he’s a Freshman in Highschool. He has continued to thrive with the Maryland Conservatory of Music and has worked diligently on Beethoven, Bach, and Chopin all summer. He has also decided to join the Ice Hockey team and has been practicing his skills weekly. Max is adorable and I love to see him communicate with us. He signs about 40 words and is in love with the ABCs and Numbers! At any given moment, he busts out singing his version of the ABCs and chanting two, nine, zero, two…etc…
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MM entered the third grade this year. She’s been enjoying soccer and just can’t wait for each Saturday game to come along. She is a ball of energy every day!
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Bluebelle entered the fifth grade and has been enjoying all of her subjects. She is the first one awake and half the time tells me she’s half way finished with school before I’ve even had coffee.

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Moonbeam is now in the 7th grade. She worked with the Home School group over the summer taking several parts in the Romeo and Juliet play they filmed. We look forward to the viewing of the movie in the Winter once it is edited. She also decided one day to climb up a tree 7 feet and then fall down… sort of like Pooh Bear, hitting every branch on her way down and breaking her collarbone. She has been healing for weeks now and is ready for a thumbs up from her Doctor next week.
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Cookie, who also needs a new blog name, is now a Senior! She’s added many new things to her school year. She has taken on her first job and is saving money towards college. We’ve been very proud of her ambition to not spend any of it. She is also dual enrolled with the local community college picking up a few credits towards college while completing her High School credits.

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FALL BONUS to POST:
To add to the fun, some of the kids went to the pumpkin patch yesterday. Our house is full of pumpkins.
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Giving Thanks

We traveled to Atlanta and were able to see all of our family on both sides. There were 16 people for Thanksgiving at John’s parents house. The picture above is our family, John’s brother, Jared and his family, John’s brother and sister, and parents. It was taken with Jared’s new smartphone that takes panoramic shots. We were all impressed that everyone had their eyes open! The cousins had a great time playing and eating and eating and playing. On the way into Atlanta, we stopped by my sister’s new place to see her family and my parents who have been staying with her helping them move into the new place. While we were there, they handed our son an envelope revealing their news of a new baby boy cousin! Yay! Congratulations of the news of another sweet baby boy! Cute, my sister and I are due a week apart! We are waiting for our Level 2 Ultrasound on the Feast of St Nicholas, so now is a good time for me to begin the novena since we are anxious to see this little person! We’ve made it to 17 weeks now, and we are very thankful to hear a strong heartbeat continue each week we go in for a check. I am so thankful that John is home this year and not in Afghanistan. We are looking forward to this Advent season together.
Here is our family picture while we were at my sister’s house. My parents are in the picture along with Courtney’s “growing” family and her husband’s brother down in front. Our daughter Cookie is holding Christian, because if not, he’d be crawling away!

Happy 4th of July, 2012!

We started our day melting at the River beach while some of the kids fished with Dad. They love the boat! I am so happy to hear each time they catch a fish! When I asked Bluebelle how it felt catching a fish, she says, “Well, at first I caught a tree, then I caught a fish.”

With the convenience of the iPhone, I was able to keep up with the stats for who was ahead in the fish count.
First text: Bluebelle:1, Opie:0

Second text ( one minute later): Tied 1-1

Third Text: Bluebelle 1, Opie 4

They are getting the hang of this, even down to hooking the worm!


We left the beach around noon instead of continuing to cook, to get out of the heat and grab some ICEEs!

MM was sad to think about her big sister, Cookie, who would not be getting an ICEE. ( Cookie is attending a church youth camp right now) Afterwards we headed home to cut some lemon drop honeydew and get ready for the 4th!
The night before, the girls and I made the annual Flag cake and had it chilling waiting for three of their cousins to come into town. In 2010, we were in Atlanta with Nana and Guka at a Braves game! I really can’t remember if we made the flag cake or not.. surely we did! In 2009, we were together in Texas awaiting Matthew’s arrival. This year, everyone was thrilled to see each other. The kids had the 4th of July decorations on the table several days ahead just giddy with anticipation for their arrival. Even though we were in a burn ban county, we still managed to hear a few going off in the neighborhood. The kids got a kick out of the colorful explosions in the sky before heading off to sleep for the night.

Happy 4th of July!

A new place

We are quickly settling into our new place. We’ve been able to get so many boxes out of the house which is always a good feeling. Nana and Guka have been here with us getting SO many things crossed off the honey-do list. Thank you for all the prayers for us during this move!

Decorations were hung

( in about 30 minutes) with the three little girls, and even Cookie, completely thrilled with opening and hanging absolutely everything I have collected over the past 25+ years…. You’d never know this was our house a week ago.


Others.. ahem.. say the 10 yo boy.. was more engaged in watching Going My Way by the fire.
I baked last night and plan to finish this morning to pass out goodies to neighbors. I also have finished M&M’s Christmas dress, with the exception of those darn button holes. I say that because my button hole foot is no more and I need to ask my sweet friend to help me before Christmas comes. I’ll post a picture of the dress when I have the buttons sewn on later today.
Here is the picture we took for our Christmas card. When I ordered the cards online, they were with a pretty Kelly green background. When I picked them up, with no time left to redo, they were in an olive tone. The Photo center lady said “sometimes we do that to go with the picture.” Well, its the photo I was sending, not the perfect card, so I took them home and we stuffed the envelopes.
Merry Christmas!

Beginning of Advent


We lit our first advent candle ( from Saintly Soaps) tonight with the anticipation of what the next few weeks will lead up to. The birth of Jesus! I’ve managed to fit in a little smocking time and here is where I am on the Christmas Bishop I am making M&M.

The sleeves are finished. I am going to try to get this neck pattern finished in the next two weeks. I’ll keep you posted.

Yesterday, we attended the ceremony at the Veterans Cemetery for the placing of the wreaths. Gold Star Families placed their wreaths on their loved ones place killed in the last two Iraqi Wars, followed by those with family members there. Then the volunteers placed wreaths on the remaining headstones. It was very touching to see so many American flags flying in the cold wind and over 1000 people gathered on a day where there were so many other activities and shopping going on. Here is Cookie and Opie placing a wreath on our children’s headstones.


We didn’t know about this a year ago, but what a nice way to begin Advent.