Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year's Eve In Times Square

Wait, what?

Oh, yeah.  You read that right. 

Times Square. NYC on NYE. We had a blast.

There was so much goodness to the night.  We saw Bill's new office, had dinner with our close friends Mike and Mary Alice and their kids, and were treated to a special place to hang out, up close to all the excitement.

Here's a countdown at 11:59pm.

It was such a treat to experience this in person.  I've never been a big fan of NYE, and really dislike watching all the hub-bub on TV.  It felt completely different being there, but that is probably because we weren't with the general population and had bathroom access at all times.  AND, the weather was WARM!!  All pluses.

So, what say you?  Have you ever been to Times Square on NYE?  Would you ever want to go?

I wish you all a Happy and Healthy 2017.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016 Happenings

Oh, what a year it's been!

Time for my annual end-of-year video.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Innocence and Blessings

I snapped this picture last week.

It's a picture of Matthew in the backseat of my van.  Every weekday morning I have to drag him out of his warm bed at 6:30a.m. so we can drive his siblings to school for early band and orchestra rehearsal.  If not for them, he wouldn't have to wake up until 8a.m.  But he never complains.  He just grabs his pillow, runs barefoot to the car, and snuggles under a blanket I've left in there for him.

Most days the ride to and from the school is quiet.  We're all in the "still-waking-up" stages and I think our voice boxes are the last to come-to.  Today was no different.  Except towards the end of our ride.  As we neared our house I heard him from the back shout so incredibly joyfully,

"Hey! We're going on a field trip today!"

The thought had just occurred to him.
To hear his words come out with such excitement about something so simple was nothing short of a real blessing. 

It made me stop and think.

-Of how sweet and innocent his enthusiasm was. 

-Of how blessed he is that he's able to enjoy such simple things, without any heavy cares in the world.

-Of how blessed I am to witness the joys of my kids.

Sometimes these types of things hit you like a ton of bricks, like it did for me this morning.

Don't you love it when that happens?

Monday, October 31, 2016

October Weekend Review

Our October weekends are kind of a blur in my memory.  So here I sit with my calendar beside me and pictures that I snapped to hopefully capture some special moments, for goodness sake!

*The first weekend started off with special guests.  Our nephews, 3 year old twins Eric and Jason, and their big brother, 5 year old Michael came for a visit.  We visited the nearby river for some pebble-throwing, did some pizza-making, and shared our yearly tradition of pumpkin hunting!

*The big guy celebrated a birthday this month and it fell on a weekend.  The two of us went out to dinner and then came back for cake with the kids who were patiently waiting for dessert.

Awesome Dad with his awesome kids. (special thanks to Ann who baked the cake)

*Parade Season in full swing.  Ann's very first parade.  Isn't she cute?

Tommy and Ann
 Some people are at the parades for the goodies, not necessarily to see their siblings perform.

*Soccer Season

This guy.  Boy, is he fun to watch play.  You could even say he's a Hat Trick King.

*Our last parade of the season was yesterday and both our high school and middle school march in it.  My brother, sister in law, and nephew all came to see the kids perform and then came back to our house for dinner.

 They even brought a fun, interactive dessert.  Ghosts in the graveyard.  Make your own tombstone and dig in. Yum! 

 I may or may not have had some for breakfast this morning.
My big brother, Jim.
*We had trick or treating Friday night. (our township does that for some reason). Without boring you with the details, I neglected to get a picture of Matt and Ann dressed in their costumes!!  Maybe I can coerce them into putting them on after school today.
However, the high school kids do dress up for school.  This was our sweet Mary Kate this morning, inspired by Kate Beckinsale from the Pearl Harbor movie.

So, there is some of our happenings this month.  A good one, indeed.

Happy Halloween.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Everyday Happenings

We made it through September with the usual amount of crazy.  Here are some happenings that kept us on our feet.

*Back to school:

  High School

Billy and Mary (11th and 10th grade)
  Middle School
Tommy-7th grade

Ann-6th grade
Matthew-3rd grade
*Football and parade season for high school band

*Cross Country Season for Billy and Mary
Cute runner and handsome spectator

*Soccer for the little one

*Dorney Park (Thanks Mom and Dad for our day passes!)

*CCD has started.  I'm teaching 1st grade again.

*Pizza making - our new family activity.

Masterpiece central

*Big brother giving haircuts.

*Oh, and this happened.

 I'm very proud of this guy of mine.

Happy Fall Everyone!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


On this 17th anniversary of my dear Mother's death, I wanted to share this.

I remember back in my teens when this framed poem made it's way onto the dining room wall.  My Mom talked about how much she liked it.   I remember thinking it was "too wordy" and "over my head."

Time has matured me and now I do understand it's meaning.  It really is beautiful.  I'm going to print a copy and hang it on my dining room wall.  It will not only remind me of how she lived her own life, but I think it will also serve as the silent guidance from her that I've been missing all these years.


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence. 

As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy. 

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.