Thursday, October 17, 2013


I've decided to move my blog and change its name. 

I feel like "Our Family in Phoenixville" is too revealing of where we live....for safety's sake, I felt I should move it.  So from now on please visit to see my updates. (Yes, I know in 10 years I will need to change the blog name again but for now that's all I could think of!) 

Just pardon my dust as I rearrange and set things up!  All my old posts should still be there if you're looking for anything in particular.  :)

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Catching up for now....

So the other day my mom sent me an email reminding me that I had not updated my blog since July 4th.  (I'm glad at least my mother still checks my blog for new posts....)

But, JULY 4TH!!  Where has the time gone?  And what happened to my new year's resolution to blog more often?  I just looked and I have posted exactly 22 times this year.  Stellar.

Sidenote:  This is why I rarely make new year's resolutions....they are always (as the boy I watch after school says) "an epic fail".

The truth is, I don't even know where to start.  And when I think about all that has happened since July 4th....I'm just so far "behind".  There have been vacations and fun summer activities and back to school and 3 family birthdays and parties and extracurricular activities and.....{sigh}.  They will never be captured on my blog. 

So.  I am just going to start with where I am right now and what we've been up to.

This fall has been unique for me, in that I have my mornings (M-Th) all. to. myself.   You would think I would be coffee shop-hopping and mall-shopping and just generally living it up.  But no.  So far it has been just very busy.  I have been leading a Bible study on Wednesday mornings.  I have been trying (TRYING!) to squeeze in some exercise a few of those mornings.  You know, I can't even tell you what all I've been doing but my house is still not nearly as clean and organized as I'd like and I still fall into bed exhausted every night!  But what I do know is that it has been full of good stuff....I'm happy and feel productive and love to volunteer and help out people who are needing help (which is what has also taken up some of my mornings) so I feel in general it is time very well spent.

This fall my life has definitely also made another taxi-driver mom.  The kids have all gotten involved in extra activities so it means a lot more running around for Chad and me....but I am happy to be doing it so that they can be participating in things they enjoy!  But I will say that the hours of 4-9pm have become completely insane around here!

I am very proud of Audrey this fall.  She has taken on a number of extras this fall (at her own initiative) and she is handling it all very gracefully.  She took the risk at school to try out for "select choir" and she made it!  So two mornings a week she is at school early for practices.  I am so excited to hear her and the rest of the kids sing at their holiday concert....although we get some sneak peeks (? sneak listens?) since I often hear her singing to herself around the house.  She also has begun clarinet through the school and she seems to be enjoying it quite a bit....and so far I haven't had to harass her about practicing.  She and a few of the other neighbor kids have even taken their instruments outside to make a little band. So far they can play "Hot Cross Buns".  ;)  She also joined Girls on the Run, which is a running club that focuses on positive choices, healthy behavior, body image and self-esteem and (of course) - running.  She will run a 5K in December at the conclusion of the group and I will be her running buddy!  And of course - she is keeping up with gymnastics at the Y on Saturday mornings.  She has turned our basement into a gym complete with a vault (our ottoman), floor (couch pillows), and beam (support beam of couch when the pillows are off ).  She also "trains" Carter & Chloe and they regularly invite us to their "gymnastics shows".  :) 

Carter started first grade and honestly....I was wondering how it was going to go.  He is a boy who likes to do what he likes to do....and doesn't like to do what he DOESN'T like to do. And school is really a mixed bag.  There is a lot of sitting and listening and reading and writing.  He is a bright boy but he doesn't love to sit around reading - unless the reading is lego instructions or something. :)  Anyhow, you get my point.  But so far, I have been pleasantly surprised with how he has handled being at school all day.  He goes happily and comes home happily.  He does not love homework....but he does it.  This fall he is playing soccer and he joined Cub Scouts.  This means a few evenings out each week, which is not ideal - but so far he seems to be handling it all pretty well.  In the meantime, I try to give him plenty of time to play legos or knex or baseball or whatever so he can have time to "do what I want to do"!

Then there is Chloe.  She is LOVING preschool this year.  She loves reading and coloring and doing crafts and singing and playing. I love to watch her making friends and learning to be increasingly independent.  This fall she is also taking gymnastics and she does very well at it.  One week there was a running/jumping up on a vault combo that she struggled to do for most of the class, so the teacher helped her with it.  The next week, when they started the same activity on the vault, she went up to the teacher and stated "Don't help me.  I can do it myself."  And then marched off and....did it herself.  This is completely classic Chloe.  She is very determined and persistent and does not easily give up - which I love about her.  Except for when she is using that skill to resist me, of course. :)  It is hard to believe that she will be a kindergarten student next year, and it makes me a little sad since she is my baby and all.

So now we are starting to look toward the holidays....hopefully I will be a better blogger as all the fun fall holidays come and go!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Summertime, and the livin' is {NOT} easy....

So I have avoided blogging for almost a month now.  Since my last post, I think my whole self has been in a complete state of shock.

Before summer began, most of my weekdays I spent the majority of the day with one child at a time.  Chloe was in morning preschool, Carter in afternoon kindergarten, Audrey in school all day.  After school I added a neighbor boy that I watched til dinnertime to the mix but it was only a few hours of having 4 kids to deal with. 

So other than the week we went on vacation, our home has now become a whirlwind of noise, playing, tattling, messes, bickering, late bedtimes, "Mom! Mom! Mom!" etc,etc,etc.....and honestly I've felt so overwhelmed by the changes I almost started feeling down in the dumps.  My life has been feeling completely out of control.  At least out of MY control.

Now, please don't get me wrong....I love my children dearly and I am glad we have the opportunity to spend time together this summer.  But not only am I {as the mom}adjusting to having everyone around, but the kids are readjusting to being together all.the.time.  Bossy older sister, oppositional middle brother, and pesky little sister have been out in full force.  So they are re-learning how to get along with each other and be kind and share space, toys and mom's attention...on a more regular basis . :)  But there have been a lot of tears and time-outs along the way. 

I finally feel like we are starting to get into a rhythm, knock on wood.  One of the keys has been KEEPING BUSY with a variety of friends and activities.  Another is to have some kind of expectations of the kids (well, that has been the key to MY sanity) the kids have a chore a day, are expected to clean up after themselves generally, and need to earn some of their screen time by reading and doing household tasks.  That has been a learning process too, but surprisingly, they have taken to these expectations pretty easily! 

Here's hoping we are on a better path and on to many fun adventures together....with as little tears and tantrums as possible!!
Our family on vacation :)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Hello Summer

So here we are.  The end of the school year.
I feel a lot excited.  And a little nervous.
I love the freedom of summer - to go where we please, when we please. 
To spend long days outside....or in the air conditioning if it's 100 degrees. 
To visit the beach. 
To swim in the pool. 
To go on adventures.
But it also means that almost every single time I go to the grocery store (or Target or ANY kind of errand), I bring 3 children along with me.
Have you ever grocery shopped with 3 kids?  (I know, many of you have....)
But in case you're wondering it involves 3 kids talking at once (each louder than the other) and asking "can we buy Lucky Charms/sour patch kids/popsicles/etc?" and running in aisles and hiding behind displays and wanting to help bag groceries and generally making my head spin. :)
I also have 3 kids of different age groups and maturity levels.  Different genders.  Which means one kid is begging to go to the mall (guess who?) and one kid is hating the mall (guess who?), and one just needs to get home for a nap (and again, guess who?)! 
However, we all enjoy the pool, and friends, and Dunkin Donuts, so I think it'll all work out in the end. :)
And luckily, I love them all to death, so even their frustrating points are bearable for me.

So, this past week involved lots of transitions. 
First off, Carter finished kindergarten!  They had a program and sang some songs for us parents.
Then the teachers handed out "diplomas".  This was after 30 + minutes of standing up and singing and the room was very hot and so Carter looks absolutely less than thrilled to be marking this milestone. :)
A few days later was the actual last day of school.  In the morning we took Audrey to the bus stop one last time as a 3rd grader.
The "bus stop girlz"
(This is probably how they would spell it since they are all so "cool" and all.)
Carter's went to school a couple hours later.  He posed nicely for this one picture with his friend Rebecca and then completely refused to even look at the camera.  In fact, he was running away from me.  I guess he is not into the Mom paparazzi.
Here is his back side view with his friend Melwyn.  It's the best I could do. :(
See?  I even tried to trick him into a picture with me but he moved at the last second.  Grrr.
Carter coming off the bus.  He is now a 1st grader.  Hard to believe!
Audrey coming off the bus.  She is now a 4th grader!  Equally hard to believe.
Every year we have a big picnic/play time with our neighbors on the last day of school.  
One mom set up a volleyball net.  Why do they all look like junior highers all of a sudden??
Another mom set up the water slide!  Always a big hit. This was Chloe's first time to try it!
The kids also decided to make a towel fort in the swingset.
At one point, I was talking and turned around and saw Chloe swinging all by herself.  I guess someone gave her a push, and she kept pumping.  Yay!  Now I don't have to stand there and push her the whole time!
Of course popsicles made an appearance.
So, after this last day of school, the temperatures have been in the high 70's and today it is raining cats & dogs.  Good thing we have this list to keep us occupied!
So far today it has been so yucky out that all we've managed to do is visit Target, play computer games, watch a movie, and play legos.....ugh.  Sure hope it gets nicer out soon!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Catching up....Chloe finishes school & the Dogwood Festival

This time of year has suddenly jumped into fast forward!  School is winding down so quickly that I can hardly keep up with all the activity!

In the middle of May, Chloe finished up preschool  for the year.  Unfortunately, she was sick for most of the last week and missed out on her spring concert.  (Actually, she probably doesn't care too much that she missed it but I sure was sad!)  Fortunately she made it for the very last day of school/school picnic.  They celebrated summer birthdays so she got a special crown, cupcakes, and a birthday balloon that day.  She was very excited.
Next year she will be in preschool 4 mornings a week.  Audrey & Carter will be in elementary guess what that means?  3 hours of time all to myself, 4 days a week.  Boy will that be weird.  They sure are growing up.  I still can't believe that Chloe will be 4 in about 6 weeks!

Mid-May in Phoenixville also means....the Dogwood Festival and Parade!
Chad took Audrey & Carter on wristband night the first day of the fair.  They had a super time riding all the rides over and over again with their friends.  We brought Chloe on Saturday when she was finally well enough to ride and enjoy herself.  And enjoy herself, she did!

Here we are on the teacups
And on the flying puppy ride.  Boy was it nice to see her smiling again!  It had been a rough week!

 Trying to decide if she wanted to go on this ride....
 We also enjoy the parade every year with our neighbors
Chloe & Mommy waiting for the parade to start.
The kids anxiously awaiting floats that throw candy....
Only in Phoenixville do you have a float that includes "the blob"....
Oh, and a really loud steam calliope...

I tried to get a cute picture of Chloe with Chad.  And this is all I got...
Okay, think I'm all caught up for now. :) 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Carter's writing

Now that the school year is winding down, the kids are coming home with some of their school materials.
This week Carter brought home his writing journal.
Some of the entries were ho-hum ("I am Carter.") and some were repetitive ("I have a cat. She is cute.  I love my cat.")

However, some were super sweet, like this entry:

This one revealed an area that perhaps we should work on?
MLK wants peace and harmony, and Carter be rich?  Not that money is bad, but....there are plenty of things I would like him to strive for more!

I thought this one was funny:
Mrs. Evan will be glad to know that not only is she nice, but she is also "thin". :)

I actually think his teacher would like this one even more:
I am so glad he thinks his teacher is the best teacher in the whole world.  Even if he has only had 3 teachers in his lifetime.... He truly did have a wonderful teacher this year.  She is fun and loving and understands boys.  She even came to one of Carter's baseball games!  We are glad he has had a good year and a good teacher.

Tomorrow he and his classmates make a trip to the elementary school to see what the next year holds for them.  I so cannot believe that my little boy will be in elementary school already!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Spring happenings

Just wanted to record some of the things going on in our home lately.....
A friend at church gave Carter an unused science kit they had.  He & Chad (& Audrey too) have had fun doing experiments!
I love that he was recording his observations in a little notebook!   Chad is teaching him well. :)

Chloe has had some fun play dates with friends.  I think one of the reasons she loves to play with Evie is because - for once - Chloe is the "big kid." 

And here she is playing with her best buddy from preschool, Fiona.  They had such a great time together!
We went to the Phillies game in late April and man, it was COLD!
We had to snuggle to stay warm!
This spring, Chloe has spent many hours playing out in the backyard.  She pretends this climber is her "car."  She also spends a lot of time in the play house, the sand box, etc.....Sometimes even dressed as a princess!
Carter started coach-pitch baseball this year.  He gets to bat without the tee this year! 
Audrey was in a local spelling bee a few weeks ago.  She did not win, but she did a GREAT job!! I was so proud of her!
To celebrate Audrey's spelling bee participation, we all went out for ice cream!  Cheers!
In late April, I went on the zoo field trip with Carter's school.  It was really fun even if it was a little stressful to try to not lose 3 busy boys!  (And I never realized how tall Carter was until he was standing next to these 2 friends!) 
While I went on the field trip, Mom-mom came and spent the day with Chloe.  They had fun coloring and making play-doh creations together!
On a warm day Audrey opened a lemonade stand.  Always the entrepreneur, she charged 25 cents per cup.  She even charged her siblings, although I did talk her into a "family discount" of buy one, get one free. :)
Some day she will have enough for that Kindle Fire she's saving for ....
My 3 little loves. :)
Happy Spring!!