Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mardi Gras 2010

Alternately Titled: A lesson in layering

Erin, Luke, Granny, Paw & I braved the mid 40 degree weather for a local Mardi Gras parade. We wore multiple shirts and socks as well as our gloves, hats and heaviest coats. This is quite a rare thing to have to do in LA, especially considering some years we sweat through parades!

As long as the wind wasn't blowing, it was bearable. Although Luke did wear down half-way through & bundled up with Paw in the chair. Erin & Granny kept their adrenaline up raking in the loot. Three bags overflowed with beads, stuffed animals, toothbrushes, candy, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and a soccer ball from the National Guard that Granny was quite proud to have scored!

And what in the world will we do with all that stuff? Well, 90% of it is already bagged up & ready to bring to Aunt Lynn to throw again next year! Recycling at it's finest. Or at least the most fun!

We all had a great time, and I can't wait until next Saturday for another one in our hometown!

Friday, January 29, 2010

At Least Someone Is Riding It

While I was straightening up from the apparent tornado that came through our kitchen this afternoon, Luke was out playing on the carport. I walked out to check on him, and find him with a HUGE grin on his face!

"Look Mom, I'm doing it!"

Don't worry beloved green bike. He has not forsaken you.

In the end, Barbie was just to hard to pedal.


Yes, I know it's just preschool, but it sure does make a Mom proud when her daughter bring home a progress report that looks like this!

I have to admit, I got a bit misty eyed!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

1 2 3 FOUR!

My dear son Luke is learning to count. I think he does very well to be 2 1/2 years old.

1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 17 14 17 14 17...

We started teaching him number sequences by counting the wheels on his cars. That is what he loves, what he understands. It's how he learned colors. He Loves Cars.

Last night, after Patrick read Luke his bedtimes stories (as he always does - my great husband ;) I overheard a conversation went something like this:

Patrick: 1 2 3 What comes next?
Luke: 5
Patrick: No Luke, 1 2 3 4. What comes after 3? What comes next?

On and on this went, until Luke would reluctantly say 4, then swap back to 5.

Forward to this morning, Luke and I were sitting on the couch after breakfast, he was still clutching his Hot Wheels car. He turns it over and looks at the wheels (I see him counting in his mind 1, 2, 3), then points to one of them. And he says very sincerely, "Daddy doesn't know what number this one is."

Gotta love 'em!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Children - The Hope Of The Home

A recent survey showed the following: Of children ages 11-18, in the last 3 months:
66% have lied to their parents
59% have lied to their friends
38% had unprotected sex
20% viewed pornography
8% used illegal drugs

Ephesians 6:1-4
Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. Honor your father and mother. This is the first of the Ten Commandments that ends with a promise. And this is the promise: If you honor your father and mother, you will live a long life, full of blessings.

Children are a great responsibility from God, but we have been given a guidebook to stimulate their behavior. A tool to help us train our children. Is is not the job of school, church, or a teacher to train our children. It is the parents job to teach them spiritual things. We have a goal to motivate their behavior. So they will have a long life, full of blessings.

We have a Godly requirement to teach our children about the Lord. God wants our children to know Him. We all want our children to be happy. If our children know Jesus, happiness and joy will surely follow them.

If we do what God says, there will be a glorious reward. The quality of life you will enjoy will please the Lord and He will enhance your  life. If we honor and obey, God's favor will be upon us. Who wouldn't want God's favor? I surely do.

While you may not think there is anything wrong with your children telling white lies, drinking on occassion, and all of the other things listed above, I have been wondering "What's wrong with not doing those things?" Would it be incredibly difficult? Yes, I certainly think so. Worth it? God knows so.

Don't let the world take your children away from you - don't let the world take your children away from the Lord.

Greenwell Springs Baptist Church
January 24, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

Home Improvement - Round 3

And this will be the last one for a while.
 I think.



Saturday, January 23, 2010

That's One Smart Blonde You've Got There 'Mam

Tonight, Luke had his bath first. Erin was in her room playing.
When I called for her turn, she walks in the bathroom with her notepad and says:

 "Look Mom."

1 + 1 = 2
5 + 5 = 10
backwards 3 + backwards 3 = normal 6
2 + 2 = 4

WoooWeee - That's a smart girl !

Mind you, this is the same girl who I asked some months ago,
"Do you want a pancake?"

She looks at me, with a blank stare and says,

"What's a pancake?"

Seriously. One smart blonde.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Home Improvement - Round 2

Ding Ding!

Here is a pictorial on my latest project, refinishing and old headboard.
And as Erin would say, "I did it all by myself!"

First, I took an old headboard from Mom's attic.

Next I removed the old latice work looking stuff that was stapled to the back. Then sanded it all and applied 2 coats of Minwax Polyshades.

I bought some 1/4 wood, quilt batting & fabric and cut everything to size.
Next I wrapped the batting & fabric around the plywood and stapled it down. Lastly, nailed it all to the headboard frame.

Now we finally have a headboard!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mothers - Heart Of The Home

Exodus 2:1-10

Moses had a great mother. She gave up her son for his well being and safety. Something all of us would like to think we would do. But set your 3 month old baby out in a basket on the river? Can you say "nile crocodile"? That, I can not imagine.

Of course she wanted to keep him close and love him, but she knew he would lose his life if she tried. She also knew the hand of God was on her child, she knew something was special about him. She knew because she walked with God daily.

When Moses was born, there was rejoicing in her home, but I'm sure a sadness as well; since all first born baby boys were to be put to death. But she was committed to God's protection. She was willing to turn and trust God in the face of fear. Fear that her son would be executed. She gave her son over to the Lord, and asked for His protection.

Jochebed had comfort from God's providence. She had faith in Him when she put her baby in the river. God knew she would put Moses in a basket. He knew where to stop the basket. He knew who would find it. God knew Pharoah's daughter would have compassion for this Hebrew child. And she certainly knew of the law her father had passed.

Of course in the end, Jochobed was called to take care of Moses. She was able to see him grow up. Watched him turn into the special son she knew he was. She turned her son over to God, and Moses lived his life for Him.

God will bless what we turn over to Him. Our spouses, our children, our finances. We just have to let go and trust.

Monday, January 18, 2010

3 Days

I have not enjoyed a book as much as "A Truth Worth Tellin" since Mrs Wilson let me borrow her Harry Potter books a few months after Luke was born. I finished it in 3 days, which is good for me lately, considering most books just sit there on the nightstand, not catching my interest at all.

It is written from the view of an 11 year old girl, growing up with a mother who has schizophrenia. She also befriends another girl, whose mother is not well, but she has a different disease. It's based in Louisiana, and the author is from Central.

Here are a few excerpts from it.

"Lord", I whisper, "I know you're thinking, oh great here's that Maggie girl wasting my holy time again." I admit, sometimes I do ask for silly stuff, like the other day when I prayed my breasts would grow. It seemed like such an important thing to ask for, but now, I realize that was something I should have just kept to myself. I am sorry about that, because I know you stay busy dealing with things down here and running Heaven and all. Anyway, I'll try to keep that in mind from now on."

There is no greater love on earth, than that of a parent for a child. It calls us to live for someone other than ourselves, and asks us to be deliberate in our choices. It demands more than we have to offer which brings us to our knees in search of wisdom and guidance.

If possible, I would create a world where you would never experience pain, where your deepest desires would become reality and life would meet all of your expectations. Of course, I'm not able to do that, but I can do something more valuable. I can direct you to the God who created you and knows the desires of your heart. A heavenly Father who offers strength and peace, and will walk with you through life.

It is great, I highly recommend it, and I will return it to the library in just a few days so you can read it too!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Morning At The Museum

Cold. Rainy. Yucky. Stuck inside again. Blah.
We loaded up and made the best of it by visiting the Arts & Science Museum downtown.

First stop was the Science Station. The kids loved the ball maze.

And this thing (which I'm sure has a name) that the ball clacks down each wooden step.

Next was the Discovery Depot where they imagined, played, cooked in the kitchen, climbed the clubhouse. Suprisingly, I was not asked yet again, for a train table. Because a train on the floor isn't quite the same thing.

Erin built a firetruck puzzle while her brother threw all the jumbo-sized dominos on the floor, then proceeded to take a "nap" on the bookshelf.

We took a tour of Ancient Egypt, saw a real live mummy and walked through a pyramid tunnel.

I'm sure we could have stayed much longer, but after passing a few birthday parties and the delicious smell of birthday cake - our rumbling tummies told us to head on our way.

It was a good morning, and no one cried or yelled. At least until we got in the car.

And just as a note (which of course my cheap self didn't realize) every 2nd Saturday of the month, they do not charge admission for children under 12.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Just For Me!

Happy New Years to me! Happy Valentine's to me! Happy Anniversary to me!
Happy New Years, Valentine's and Annniversary dear Ashleigh....
(Let's be honest, it will probably be my birthday gift too! But I'm ok with that.)

I got a new package yesterday. I patiently waited 6 whole days for it to arrive.

Woooo Hoooo! A shiny, new camera!

A camera whose flash works properly....that has more than 6 mp...that isn't prehistoric size and will actually fit in my pocket!

And now, I also have a daughter who doesn't have to keep asking, Where is my camera Mom?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Why People Follow Jesus

John 12:1-50

Why do you follow Jesus? Do you follow Him? There are several reason why people do...

Some follow out of  a passion for Him, a true love. (vs 1-4)
Days before Jesus was crucified, Mary Magdalene annointed His head and feet with an expensive oil. It was more expensive than gold today. It represented one years salary. She was devoted to Jesus and willing to give everything to Him. And some days we are reluctant to give 10%. A measly portion considering all He has given us.

Some follow to gain position. (vs 5-11)
All of the disciples are disappointed at the use of the oil, but Judas was the one to voice his displeasure. It was not because he actually felt pity for the poor that he spoke of, but because he was a thief, and would have loved to have his hands on the money it was worth. The disciples, even up to this point, were interested in who would be the greatest in His kingdom. They even argued about it in Mark 9:34.

Some follow to obtain prosperity and power. (vs 12-19)
The Jewish people wanted a king to save their city, not their souls. They followed Him in hopes he would restore their city to its former glory.

Some followed Him to investigate a phonomenon. (vs 20-36)
They were interested in what would happen to Him. If He was who He claimed, would he allow His own death on the cross?

Some follow Him privately. (vs 37-50)
Many of the chief rulers who beleived in Jesus, would not openly profess their faith in Him. They loved their relationship with men, more than their relationship with God! (vs 42)

Why do you do what you do? If you have a passion for something, then nothing will stop you from doing it. Do you have a passion for Jesus? Why do you follow Him?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Must Read

I know most of my fellow bloggers read MckMama's posts, but for those of you who don't, I'm copying & linking it up here.

It is so true, and although my dear son is making us crazy the last two days by simply being a 2 year old, I will miss it too. (Except maybe the excessive screaming at naptime today.) I think all the time, Erin & Luke can stop growing now. They are such sweet, wonderful (mostly) children, at such a great age...

So get a hankie ready.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I'm gonna miss this

"How do you do it? How do you stay so calm with four young children?"

Part of it is just how God made me, I think. I am pretty calm with my children. And, honestly, often I stay calm even in the midst of chaos because, frankly, it's better than the alternative. A shrieking, freaking out mama is not going to make an already stressful situation any better. So, for the most part, I stay calm and try to be in the moment with my children.

But how do I do it?

There is one little bit of inspiration that literally descended upon me almost two years ago, while I was holding Nuggey in the bathroom, that has completely revolutionized my parenting. When I keep this truth in mind, I find it as easy as apple pie to stay calm in the midst of toddler chaos.

I remember that I'm gonna miss this.

It was dark, during the end of bathtime, and Prince Charming was gone. I was doing dinner, baths and bedtime myself those days, as my husband worked late. It had been, undoubtedly, a long day with the kids. Big Mac was three, Nuggey was one and a half and Small Fry was a baby. It is as clear as day still, this memory.

I was sitting on the toilet, drying MckNugget off after his bath. Small Fry, unable to roll, was sprawled on the floor of the bathroom on some towels, wearing nothing but a diaper and a grimace. Big Mac was still in the tub. He was squawking to get out and Small Fry was bellyaching for attention. But I slowly wrapped Nuggey up in his towel, determined to stay calm, and cuddled him in terrycloth. I slowly rocked him back and forth in my arms and sang Rock-a-bye Baby to my second born.

As I wrapped up the song, I prepared to sit Nuggey up and attend to the chaos that was the other children. After all, there were baths to finish, teeth to brush, diapers to put on, jammies to find and beds to tuck children into. But as he sensed me about to right him, Nuggey tossed his wet head back in my arms and looked up at me. "Uh-gain!"

So I sang Rock-a-bye Baby one more time, but I told him it would be the last. Yet when I finished, he begged again for more.

I didn't want to do more. I didn't want to sing to him one more time. I was tired. Tired of children, tired of singing, tired of the day. I just wanted it to be over. But then suddenly, as if fairy dust was sprinkled from the heavens right onto my tired head, the entire reality of my future set in.

I'm gonna miss this.

I looked down at little Nuggey, his damp eyelashes long and dark batting at me, his tiny bottom cradled in my hand, his soft, chubby legs thrown over my arm, his body entirely dependent on mine as I held him in my lap, and I could see the future. Nuggey, a grown boy, sporting a football jersey and facial hair, walked out of the bathroom. It was going to happen, and soon. And while I knew there would be joys with that time in my life, when our young children are teenagers and beyond, it struck me like a ton of bricks.

When that time comes, I'm gonna miss this.

When Nuggey comes home from college, barely speaks a word to me and hibernates in his bedroom all summer, I'm gonna miss this. As my mind fast forwarded to the future, I knew that at that moment, I would give anything for 20 year old Nuggey to be a toddler again, just for one more hour, so I could rock him and sing while I stroked his wet head.

And here, years earlier, I was being given my wish. I was able to rock Nuggey, a nearly helpless babe in arms, one more time.

Given a new perspective from which to see, I sang Rock-a-bye Baby as many times as Nuggey would let me that night. Eventually Small Fry found her hands and started admiring them, and Big Mac grabbed a new tub toy. And I relished that time with my son in my arms, knowing that soon enough he would be all grown, and my arms would ache to hold him like a baby again.

I'm gonna miss this.

My mind cannot help but wander to those parents who have lost children. What on earth would they not give to hold their children again, even for a moment. I bet they would not complain about having to sing Rock-a-bye Baby one more time. Rather, they would probably give their right arm to sing it ten million times until their voice was hoarse and their eyelids closed in slumber.

And women with empty wombs who long and pray and ache for children? What honor am I doing them if I take for granted the fact that I have children, young children who are begging me to cuddle them, sing to them. I will love those women who long for a baby by loving my babies and not taking them for granted.

So, I determined right there and then in the bathroom to try to be ever thankful for the moments I do have with my children. I will not wish away their young years, always hoping to get more laundry done or other children dried off. I will relish each kiss, hug and song. I will leave their childhood behind with no regrets, no "I love you" unsaid, no cheek unkissed, no request to "Cuddle wif' me!" turned down. Even as the macaroni flies and the Sharpie stains my table, even when there are midnight wailers and globs of Desitin under my fingernails, I know...

...I know I'm gonna miss this.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Serious Bedhead

What do you do when your son wakes up with hair like this? I know of nothing that will make it lay down!

Sadly, I think a screaming, crying, sobfest haircut is in order.

Monday, January 11, 2010

As Happy As

A girl in the grass!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow Day

Well, not exactly snow. Not even much ice, except for the ditches (which the kids thought was really cool). But it was really, really cold (for us), so schools closed. Freezing temps never last past daylight here.

So here we are, inside needing something to do. Valentine's crafts! It's never too early to celebrate kisses and chocolate.

After our crafting, we went to the library and to visit Granny.
She passed on a great idea that her Mom used to do. Homeade "ice cream".
We will mix milk, sugar, and vanilla - put them in containers outside - and see if we have ice cream in the morning!

And how about that collage! YAY!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 7, 2010

In Anticipation...

...of SPRING!

Grow little seeds! Oh, please won't you grow?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Prayer Requests For Our Country

I received this email today from Family Research Council, an excellent organization run by Tony Perkins, our former Representative. Please take a few minutes to read what is going on in our country, and even more time to pray, email, make phone calls. (If you are local to me, contact info is on the right.)

Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith...Hebrews 12:1-2

Dear Praying Friends,

Every new year, pastors urge their flocks to rise above setbacks and discouragement to embrace the future with wholehearted Biblical faith. But Americans face extreme uncertainty. Few understood just how radical the new President and liberal Congress would be! Few believed the President could appoint the kinds of extremists he has chosen to impose his agenda of change upon the people. Never have our values been subjected to such a frontal assault by those in government. Please read "The Year America Lurched Left" (Investors Business Daily). 2010 will be pivotal. If God-fearing Americans arise to use every legal means to resist, there is still hope. Christians cannot be bystanders. We must find strength and grace to pray persistently and take obedient action to resist every decision that smacks of tyranny.

Health Care Takeover at a Crossroads - The House of Representatives will reconvene on January 12 and the Senate on January 19. Atop their agendas will be merging the health care bills, and passing a single bill to give the federal government control over the health care system and the health care options of every American. All citizens will be required to participate or be subject to fines and prosecution. Scholars say the bills are unconstitutional on their face. Thirteen state attorneys general are threatening to sue, saying the bill and process are "constitutionally flawed." The Senate bill, brokered in private meetings with the White House wildly violated Election Year promises of a more open government. Democrat leaders will forgo the Conference process, which would subject the reconciliation to scrutiny and debate, and will continue to hammer out their bill in private. The final bill will require 60 votes for Senate passage. The Senate plan still includes abortion coverage and insufficient conscience protections for health care workers. Pro-lifers are angry with Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) for compromising his stand on life and casting the 60th vote needed to pass the bill in exchange for his state's exemption from unfunded mandates. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) continues to insist that he and pro-life House Democrats will defeat the bill if it does not include his pro-life provisions (Get Insured or Else, Questions of Legality, Pro-lifers and Nelson, 13 State AG's, Dems to Bypass Conference, Bills Unconstitutional, Behind Closed Doors, Secrecy).

May God breathe upon God-fearing Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and all pro-life, pro-family and conservative activists and churches to create a massive coalition of Americans who will stand up and fight for their faith, their families, their homes and their historic American liberties! May this radical "lurch to the left" be met with effective resistance! May this unconstitutional health care takeover be soundly defeated! (Dt 30:19; 1 Sam 8:7-22; Pr 6:16-19; 28:4-5; Ps 94:15-18; Is 10:1-3; 33:22)

The Homosexual Agenda - On January 11, a non-jury federal trial will begin in San Francisco to decide Perry v. Schwarzenegger. Former U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson (under President George W. Bush) and trial lawyer David Boies (who represented Vice President Al Gore in the 2000 election dispute) believe they can overturn the California constitutional provision that passed as Proposition 8, and persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the will of the people in 31 states that have voted to keep marriage between a man and woman. Judge Vaughn Walker, whose previous rulings favored homosexual activists, hopes to televise the proceedings.

Meanwhile, John Berry, the homosexual activist appointed by President Obama to head the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has outlined the President's plan to pass the entire LGBT agenda before the "sun sets" on his administration: 1. Passage of Hate Crimes legislation (accomplished), 2. ENDA, 3. Don't Ask, Don't Tell (allow open homosexual behavior in the armed forces), 4. Repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). President Obama has named his first "transgender" appointment. Amanda Simpson, who underwent sex change surgery a decade ago, is now Senior Technical Advisor to the Commerce Department. Simpson said, "I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds, and that this appointment opens future opportunities for many others" (see California, Circus, John Berry, Transgender).

Praise God for California and 30 other states who have taken a stand for traditional marriage. May God burden His people to contend, endure and prevail in prayer and citizen action in this sphere of public policy at the national, state and local levels. And may God help us to reach those caught up in this sad lifestyle so plainly condemned in Scripture (Gen 18:17-33; Lev 19:15; Ps 9:7-10; Mt 19:4-6; 2 Tim 4:2-5; 2 Pet 2:4-10; Jude 7, 21-23).

Finally, in this new year, most employed Americans stand to lose income compared with 2009. While the House passed a bill to extend Bush era tax rates, the Senate failed to do so. Most Americans have thus received a substantial tax increase and can expect even more. May God help us to repent from our willful blindness, stir us from our lethargy and grant us power to prevail in prayer for our families and fellow countrymen in 2010. Thank you for praying!

P.S. Late breaking: Tomorrow at 2 p.m. Eastern, the New Jersey Senate will vote on their same-sex marriage bill. Please pray that it is overwhelmingly defeated.

Rev. Pierre Bynum
National Prayer Director

Family Research Council
801 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-393-2100
Fax: 202-393-2134

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

These Two

Are almost ready for school after being home for 2 weeks!

Erin was beside herself and could not wait to go back, armed with her gingerbread star cookies we made last night. She was also super excited because we got to bring a certain Mr Wilson to school today too!

And - I have to say I am SUPER proud of Luke for wearing his big boy undies to school today and he didn't have any accidents! One small step for Mom, one giant step away from diapers! (Yes, as a matter of fact, that is a spider on his head.)

Possessing The New Year

Some people may go through this new year and not possess it. Not claim it for Jesus. We need to desire God's provision. We should want God's best in our life. He wants His best in our life. Don't all parents want the best for their children? It was not God's will for His children to dwell in the wilderness. It was God's will for them to dwell in the promised land.

Deuteronomy 11:10 - 12
For the land you are about to enter and occupy is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you planted your seed and dug out irrigation ditches with your foot as in a vegetable garden. It is a land of hills and valleys with plenty of rain - a land that the Lord your God cares for. He watches over it day after day throughout the year!

We must depend on God's promises. Everything you need in the coming year, God has already given to you! It is a matter of faith to enjoy that which God had blessed us with. Our families, our homes, our jobs. Christians have already been given the hope and promise of tomorrow. He has given us the victory!

We need to delight in God's presence. God is the God of present tense. He is the God of yesterday, today, and forever! No matter what is happening in the world, He is still in control of all things. Even when things are at their worst and there is fear all around - know that nothing would be happening if God did not allow it to.

We should discern God's providence. If you belong to God, you are his precious possession. His eyes are always on us, caring for us. His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me!

What is your desire for the new year? Do you desire Jesus? If you do, you will be filled with Him!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Home Improvement

I have realized, that next month, we will have lived in our house for 10 years! Only 18 more and it will be all ours! Hooray!

Anyway - In this time, I have painted the living room, Erin's room, and kids bath (although I should have thought twice about doing that and will someday change it to a little calmer pallette.)

I decided to finally do something with our bathroom. We had a small water spot on the ceiling from the last hurricane, so I got the ceiling painted. It looked so nice & clean...why stop there? I originally purchased Behr Beachwalk. It did not match my greeny/gray doors at all. (So if any of you would like a gallon of yellowish paint, let me know.) In a hurry, I went to Wal Mart the 2nd time and got their Colorplace Creamware. The color is very neutral, although the paint is almost colored water. I wouldn't recommend it.

My budget is mini, for most projects I do, so I found an old, large, black frame from the closet & decided to frame a pretty damask fabric to hang over the tub. I had seen something of the sort on HGTV. I also found an 8x10 frame that I spray painted black and framed a smaller version of the fabric to hang behind the toilet. The candleholders and candles were 50% off from Hobby Lobby (thank goodness) as well as the fabric and greenery. The "new" soap dish came from Goodwill.

But alas, the bathroom is done. I am pleased with it. My husband is happy it's over :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years

Due to the extreme firework activity around our house on New Years Eve, and the lack of sleep Patrick & I always seem to get, we decided to spend a quiet night at the camp.

And (gasp) we actually purchased fireworks of our own for the first time in our nearly 11 years together. Yes-sir-ree, a whole $10 worth. We were, of course, extra careful to buy fireworks with no report. Who knew that meant they don't make the booming sound my children are petrified of? Apparently, my knowledgable husband does.

So here they are, full of fear & nervousness anticipation.

ooooh - ahhhh

This morning, although very cold, it was at last daylight, and we could wander.

This girl loves to walk in the woods & hear the crack of breaking branches beneath her very pink boots. She says "I am very good at walking in the forest." Yes, yes she is. This lady would be proud.

This little guy, prefers the road, scouting for big rocks for me to carry.

We had a good time, and as always, are happy to be back in our comfy beds. Listening to our dear neighbors - pop more fireworks - after 11:00 pm

Good Night - and Happy New Year!