Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Jeremy is the fun parent… well, he is at least more willing to bend the daily schedule a bit and not be freaked out about it.  He could get free tickets to the Indians game, and he wanted to take Madison.  I usually look at parents with little kids at the games and think, “What are you doing?  They don’t need to be up so late!”  (Yeah, did I mention Jeremy is the fun parent.)  But we decided to leave Ellie and go out on a Madison date.  We got her all pumped up for it – she didn’t even want to get out of the car at Grandma and Grandpa’s when we dropped Ellie off!  We checked the forecast – rain possibly clearing by game time.  And we took off.  We stopped at Steak n Shake on the way there; Madison had her first taste of chocolate milk!  And she got to play with a fun little car they give kids.  As we talked about the game, Madison asked if there would be cows on the field… guess we are all country now :)

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We stopped once for a false bathroom break.  We made it to Progressive Field, just after the start of game time, just after the rain stopped.  It was a nice night.  We walked from our parking spot, Madison riding high on Daddy’s shoulders. 

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We found our seats waaaaaay up there.  (Even the usher said we didn’t have to go all the way up to row T.)  There was a LOT of empty seats; someone said there were only about 3000 people there… and it really didn’t look like many more than that. 

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We clapped and cheered with the music and fans.  Madison diligently looked through her program – spotting Slider and an ad to with a bulldog for Puppypalooza night. 


Then, we headed down and to the other side of the stadium to enjoy the playland.  It was an area that used to be club seats filled with all kinds of Step 2 toys – riding toys, houses, kitchens, restaurants, climbing walls, etc.  Madison loved it!  (Apparently, there is a line out the door most game nights because of the popularity… we can thank low attendance for the time to enjoy the place.) 

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Before leaving the play area, we stopped to get some tattoos.  Madison picked them out for us.  Jeremy was pumped when she picked Slider and not Chief Wahoo out for him.


We sat for two innings REALLY close to the field because no one cared at that point in the game if you moved your seat or not.  This is when Madison really got into cheering by watching some other fans.  It was super cute… and everything was cuter because she actually kept the pigtails in her hair all night!


We put her pajamas on before heading home at 10pm.  We figured she would fall asleep.  I think the bright lights and oncoming cars made it difficult.  She pretty much was awake the whole time.  It is a shame little kids don’t sleep in after a late night like adults do.  We were up by 6:52am this morning raring to go…. well, at least one of us was.  Have a great week everyone.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Meal time fun

This is a little bit of a pointless post, but here it is anyway.  Madison loves helping me make pizza.  She has started making her own personal pizza in a little corelleware dish.  It is fun to watch.  Ellie likes to eat – usually – and always like to eat food that is not pureed.  Tonight she had nectarines and a carrot to suck on.  I pulled the camera out because after Madison was done eating she headed over to entertain Ellie.  I thought I could capture it, but of course, either Madison evades the camera or Ellie gets distracted by it.  Either way, here is some of what we enjoyed tonight:

“Oh, Madison you are so funny, but Mommy just got the camera out, and I just can’t take my eyes off of it.” – Ellie


“What is this big thing they call a baby carrot?  It must be in the 97th percentile just like me!” –Ellie


“Hmmm… I have something in my mouth that is a good hanger for my finger.” –Ellie


I have few shots of me with Ellie since I seem to usually be behind the camera.  So, I asked Jeremy to take one tonight of me and my little Ellie belly.


(Go ahead and keep scrolling down… I did a slew of posts tonight while I had a chance to catch up.)


Almost every blog entry is dedicated to pictures and stories of what goes on with our little girls, but this one is all for me to record my “getaway.”  My college roommate, Rachel, came to visit the last few days.  She usually comes this way once a year, but I usually don’t get to see her because I have lived in Columbus.  I feel fortunate that this was another perk to moving in this area.  Rach arrived on Friday right before I put the girls down for a nap.  She was staying at my friend’s (Sandy) house, so she just hung out their until the girls were tucked into bed.  We caught up as I finished cleaning up lunch time messes, chatted over Ellie who took the shortest (almost) nap on record, continued visiting as we prepped for supper (Fresh basil and tomato pasta with four fruit crisp for dessert).  Sandy joined us when she got off work.  Our other college friend, Christi, came during supper as well.  After helping Jeremy with some of the bed time routine, I headed to Sandy’s to join the party going on.  It was fun to slip back into college friendships and pretend that I had few responsibilities for a brief moment in time.  Sandy, Rachel, and I went to an art museum, out to dinner, and home for an early movie at Sandy’s “home theater.”  Sad as it may sound, the night exhausted me. Rach and I barely made it til 10pm when we had to call it a night…. that’s what motherhood does to you, I guess :) 

Thank you to my wonderful husband for taking care of the kids.  I know that is his job too, but I also know when you work all week that the weekend is a precious commodity.  Not only did he take care of the girls, he cleaned up supper, tolerated entertained a total of six females around the supper table, and did not once complain.  He deserves a public thank you!

Machinery Sale

This is a very big event in this town.  If I were I tourist, I would not visit during this time.  But I am also the kind of tourist that hates crowds and traffic and big “events” to go to.  So, maybe if I were a different kind of tourist that wanted the full experience and to see lots of Amish and other country folk and didn’t mind the cars and congestion on a small block in a small town, I would come to visit.  At any rate, it occupied our evenings as people dropped things off.  Madison and Jeremy went one night to see the machines when we saw my brother dropping off his jeep for the auction.  The next time she and Jeremy went again to talk with his uncle, David, and Grandpa about what was good.  Then, the next day, we went once in the morning because Madison just loves being in the center of things – where the action is – and once again when Jeremy was working.  That is an intro and the pictures will give you glimpses into what went on.

There were lots of little items for auction, lined up in rows, where groups of people would move with the auctioneer to get the best price.  There was also a lot of farm implements and tractors.  Can you guess what doesn’t belong in this line up?DSCN3809

Yep, you guessed it… the tiny stroller.  Madison thought the big tractors were cool and even asked to sit on one.  (Actually, more than one, but we only had so much time before Ellie had to take a morning nap.)

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Ellie preferred the trailers where she didn’t have to balance on a seat out of my reach.

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Jeremy worked in a food trailer where my church youth group has worked for many, many years.  He manned the french fry station – my old stomping grounds.  Although greasy, it is not a bad gig.  My brother, Ben, manned the grill and as another church member (John) commented the “chatter box”.  The youth use it as a fundraiser for mission trips and other activities.  It was hard to get a good shot, but if you look in the little window, you can see him hard at work.  My brother is in the green shirt in the other picture.

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And that was what I photographed.  I did not take the trains of Amish buggies holding up traffic or the field turned parking lot behind our house or the random few people that walked right through our yard as a short cut.  You get the idea.  Overall, it was a good time, and maybe I would recommend to a tourist….

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wilderness Center

My mom called last night and invited us to join her and some of the other cousins on a farewell to summer trip to the Wilderness Center.  I haven’t been there in a loooong time, and I had never taken the girls.  It is comparable in a lot of ways to some of the metroparks in Columbus (like Highbanks).  Mom brought Cale and Landen, and we loaded the girls in the van.  Luke met us with Sam and Lilli.  When we got there they were all SUPER excited to be set free:


We headed down the trail hoping that Ellie would fall asleep and the others would wear out for nap time.  The kids LOVED it.  Lilli picked out a hiking stick for her and Madison. 


The boys (and girls) ran as fast as their legs could carry them. 

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Luke manned the stroller, where Ellie eventually fell asleep for a 30 min nap. 


They explored, snuck in tree trunks, and chased each other all over.  We even found a box turtle (which the “ranger” explained that we should have left where we found rather than carry it with us for awhile on the trail). 

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Grandma spent some quality time with the grandkids. 

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And we hiked, and hiked and hiked.  Eventually, we made it to the destination – a pond with geese and fish to feed bread. 

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Ellie even got to have some fun watching.


Some of the cousins started eating bread themselves.  After all that work, they were hungry.  Apparently, we had taken the LONG route there.  From my calculations, their little legs walked/ran/climbed a good 2-3/4 miles today!  After lunch, they painted for a little while before exploring the nature center and coming home. 

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It was a good time.  When mom asked if I had anything going on, the answer was no.  I think if anyone asks me that and the only thing I have “going on” is getting stuff done at home, I am in for any adventure.  It is so fun to spend the day exploring, playing with other kids, and hanging out with other adults. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Last night we had a chance to gather with some neighbors.  I had met in a few times in passing a fellow stay at home mom, Jenna, and her son, Mason.  And I knew that an older brother of a high school classmate lived down the street with his family.  And we knew another family through church.  But Jenna coordinated a gathering of some of us younger families to come for a barbeque.  It was a beautiful evening, and the fellowship (and food!) were what I needed.  I have been trying to find my place – both in the community and as a stay at home mom – and this gave me a few more connections to have.  The kids – 5 in all – played between yards, pushed strollers, rode bikes, and got to know each other as only 2, 3, 4, and 8 year olds can do.  Poor Ellie was relegated in the adults section.  As long as she got some puffs or cheerios and a little attention, she did okay.  This is pretty much her most of the time (taken earlier in the day, but depicts her life nonetheless), but she doesn’t look like she minds it!


Jeremy left after the apple crisp with a very tired Ellie, and Madison and I stayed to play and talk a little longer.  We were sent home with a new (old) trike for Madison to grow into and a “pusher stick” (read: old hockey stick) to use so we don’t have to bend over to push her on the sidewalk.  I tried it on the way home, but the girl has to learn to steer before you can really use it! 

As we walked down the sidewalk, my little socialite asked to go say hi to an older gentleman working in the yard.  I hesitated, but did say to him that it looked like he had quite a project going on.  I learned he had to add tile around his house because they were getting water in the basement.  His wife came out and asked our names and if we had a garden (seems to be a common question around here).  I said that we didn’t.  She invited us in to get some tomatoes; this made Madison happy as she had wanted to go into the house as soon as I made contact.  Well, I shared my recipe for the barley salad I had made.  And she shared her garden – cucumber, red pepper, green beans, cantaloupe, tomatoes, homemade applesauce, and some loaves of bread.  I invited her down anytime.  Her generosity was a blessing of neighborly love.  She (and her husband) were so welcoming.  It makes me want to be a little more like that. Madison and I marched home in the dark loaded down with food, toys, and a feeling of community.

Visiting Friends

My friend, Laura, and her family live fairly close.  About a month ago, she said she was having a garage sale, so I asked her to pull a few things out for me thinking I could make it there to pick them up.  It has taken a long time, but we finally drove out to pick up some hand-me-downs for Madison and have a play date.  She has two kids – Teagan, who loves to play dress up and have tea parties, and Everett, who loves to play “band song” and do whatever his sister is doing.  It was a good match for Madison.  It took her awhile to warm up, but by the end she didn’t want to leave.  She wore a pretty princess dress most of the morning.  In the afternoon while Ellie and Everett napped, the girls played outside on the swings and slide.  Meanwhile, I was able to catch up with Laura and her husband, Adam, who I went to high school with.  It was a good day.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Weekend Getaway

My side of the family planned a mini-vacation for this summer.  It was to a cabin in a town about 40 minutes south of us.  Although it wasn’t far, it was far enough and in a different enough location to feel like we “got away.”  The convenience of only being a short drive just made it all the better. 

There were breakfasts with assembly lines for cereal – pick your cereal, take it to your seat, get your milk and spoon.


Milk jug/critter holders to decorate…

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There was playing in the creek…

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hunting down critters…

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corralling butterfly, toads, and other land creatures…


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rescuing boys stuck in mud…


and tromping through fields..


There was rock climbing practice…

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Birthdays to celebrate (July – September)….


Whittling spears….

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sitting around campfires and sitting with cousins…



playing on the floor and being stuck in a high chair…

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and wearing a hooded sweatshirts for the first time!

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It was a good time – not relaxing – but well worth it.  It is so fun to see all the cousins playing and running and experiencing relationships.  Thanks, Family, for all your love.