Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Bruiser, An Imp & A Signer

Bruiser Brian

Little Imp Sean

Colin Signing "Mommy"

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I guess this is what happens when you move as much as I did as a child!

What American accent do you have?
Created by Xavier on

Western. Like Midland, Western is another accent that people consider neutral. So, you might not actually be from the Western half of the country, but you definitely sound like it.

And if you're not from the West, you are probably one of the following:
(a) A Pittsburgher - the quiz can't tell the difference;
(b) Someone from Canada (probably southern Ontario) who doesn't have a Canadian accent;
(c) Someone from northern New England who doesn't have a New England accent; or
(d) Someone from Texas or the Heartland who was born after 1980.
You are definitely not from New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Detroit, the Deep South, etc.</font>

Take this quiz now - it's easy!
We're going to start with "cot" and "caught." When you say those words do they sound the same or different?

HT: Jenn, that Southern Belle

Sunday, August 26, 2007

You're on Vacation

As you can tell from the title of this post...drum roll please...I'd like to welcome you to the Loveliness of Summer Vacations!

Now go get a froo-froo drink with an umbrella in it, sit back and read about these fun vacations!

Since the summer of 2000, my extended family has gone down to Nags Head, NC for a week in July for our summer vacation. 2007 saw my dad retire from Pfizer, my parents selling their house in Virginia, and relocating to Florida in the month of July. Needless to say, the beach wasn't happening this year.

Instead, we headed down to Boone, NC at the beginning of June and met up with my brother Michael and his family for an extended weekend of fun in the mountains. Lest you think it was all we did was sit around in a cabin for four days, let me dispel you of this myth! The highlight of the weekend, at least for the 3 boys (and little Allison, too) was seeing Thomas the Tank Engine at Tweetsie Railroad. We spent the day at this great park, and the kids (even the adults) all had a ball.

Who's ready to ride?

The Little Blue Engine chugging down the tracks...

Brian & Dylan taking a break from the scenery for a photo op.

We saw Sir Topham Hatt.

We didn't think we could top our Day Out With Thomas, but coming in a close second was going trout fishing,

First time fishing for Brian.

Sean is not too sure about this whole fishing thing.

I caught the only fish for our clan!

and creek stomping.

Chris went down to help the kids in the creek and got sucked in! He ended up being muddy from head to toe!

Brian and Sean were very intently making a "castle" for their mommy out of rocks.

Colin loves creek stompin'!

Chris, Colin and I relaxing in the creek.

My birthday happened to fall during our vacation this year, and the kids all helped ice my birthday cake. It was very cute.

I hope you enjoyed this montage of our summer vacation. We had a great time, and we're looking forward to going back again next summer!

Now on with the show...

Chari spent 57 days on the road for her Star-Spangled summer vacation. Wow! Starting back in May, they left their happy little home and traveled through Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, took a ride on the Mississippi River, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, to Niagara Falls for the 4th of July, back through Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota (and the first of 3 Little House days). I can't even begin to do justice to her narration, so you'll just have to check out the various postings. However, in each state they managed to pick up "fat quarters" for their quilting projects, and took sunset pictures each night - there are some mighty good-looking sunsets around this great country of ours.

Many of you have followed Theresa of LaPaz Farm, during her summer adventure in Alaska. She has written a beautiful summation of their time there and what they miss the most about Kodiak, AK.

Elena spent her vacation in Upper Michigan for a family reunion. There were lots of aunts, uncles and cousins running around having a great time and making wonderful memories together - especially loved the log cabin and all the folks sitting around the quilting frame!

Joanna (aka Mrs. Granola) took her family on a mini-vacation to the great state of Virginia this year. They were able to have a very special moment at Arlington National Cemetery, and a chance to visit the father of our country's home. Nothing like bringing history alive for your kids.

Mary has a great recap of family vacations past and present - it is so amazing to see pictures of Mary as a child in many of the same places she has taken her family and now has pictures of her children.

While Amy hasn't had a traditional "vacation" in awhile, the kind of vacation that she takes is one of the most awe-inspiring kinds of all!

Elizabeth's summer has been incredibly busy - traveling here there and everywhere. But through it all, she and her children have found incredible beauty that has really inspired her for this coming school year.

And finally, my sister-in-love, Terry has a wonderful video recapping Summer 2007 with her family. They managed to incorporate fun times with getting some of the best medical care for their daughter. You've got to love it when everything comes together in perfect harmony.

So there you have it - Summer Vacations 2007. I hope you have enjoyed your time here. I know I have enjoyed hosting this fair and reading what everyone has enjoyed this summer. If I didn't get your submission, please feel free to leave it in the comments section, and I will try and add it in.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Now I lay me...

After a chocolate filled evening last night, I brought the boys home to put them to bed. As we do every night, I had them say their prayers before hopping into bed. Brian said his prayers, and then Sean sat on my lap to say his:

Now I way me
Down to sweep
Pway da Ward
My soul to keep
Bwess me, make me good boy
Mommy, Daddy, Bwian, Sean, Baby Cowin
Gwamma, Gwampa, Gwampa Kelly
All fwiends, Thank you God
And thank you for Katie Foss, Misses Foss, David and Lala

Friday, August 24, 2007

Farewell to the Fosses

Not actually, since I know that I will be seeing Elizabeth and her gang between now and the time we leave (she doesn't have a choice - I'm going to camp out on her doorstep!). However, coordinating a time when Mike was going to be home and we weren't gallivanting around the countryside saying good-bye to the multitudes of people we know and love, was a difficult feat, but we arranged it nonetheless.

We decided that our little farewell get-together was going to be over dessert. Now, who can resist a lot of chocolate with your dear friends? I know we sure couldn't. The gathering began with Mike and Chris running out to pick up the star quarterback/wide receiver/kicker/safety from practice. This left Elizabeth and I with a house full of kids and a job to do. Chris, in his ever so brilliant way, designed a shopping cart for Elizabeth to add to her blog so that people who attended (or weren't able to attend) the 4 Real Conference, can purchase the CDs and DVDs. Together, Elizabeth and I figured out how to get it up there, and voila - people can now feel like they were there.

Tonight was not as hard as I thought it was going to be. Either it's because I know that I will get together with Elizabeth again before our journey south, or because of all the crazy kids running around - including Brian who was scared silly of Frodo the dog! I don't know, not sure which it was.

Regardless, I didn't cry - which I was fully expecting to. But then again, Elizabeth and I have one of those friendships that doesn't require us to sit down face to face every day. In fact, despite the fact that they live oh, about a half mile from us, I don't really see her very often. We talk on the phone though - a lot! It's really nice to have a friend like her who just "gets" it. She gets me, where I'm coming from, where I want to go, and she has always been such a great support for me. I don't really know what I'm going to do without her around, (okay, tearing up now) but I know she will always be my dear friend, and I can always count on her. I hope she knows that I would do anything for her also. If she doesn't, maybe she will after reading this.

Remember those summer vacations

Just a reminder that I'm going to be hosting the Loveliness of Summer Vacations here on Monday, August 27th. So please get your submissions to me by tomorrow (Saturday) so that I can weave them together. You can leave a comment with a link to your blog, or if you don't have a blog, send me an email at cindymkelly at comcast dot net (just replace the "at" and "dot" with the appropriate symbols and take out the spaces). Looking forward to seeing what you did this summer!

5 o'clock shadow?

Colin seems to be a little advanced for his age ;-)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

And so the good-byes begin

Wow. It's really starting to hit me that we are moving in 2 weeks. It's not because my house looks any different that it did before we sold it. No, it still feels like my house. It's not because I have been frantically trying to pack my house up while keeping 3 small people from unpacking everything. No, people are going to pack our house up for us. So what is it that has made moving a reality for me? It's the start of the "lasts".

Just last night I attended my "last" Covenants Committee meeting. I've been on the Covenants Committee for my community for the past almost year and a half. I've really enjoyed the opportunity to give back to my hometown in a small way. We meet the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. At these meetings we review the various applications for exterior home modifications that homeowners have applied for. Now, there are some people who really balk at having to ask "permission" to be able to do something to their home. They figure, they are paying the mortgage, why do they have to ask permission to make changes to their "castle". Well, I'm a big fan of Covenants and rules. I enjoy living in a neighborhood where I can feel confident that my next door neighbor won't paint his front door purple - or if he does, he'll be made to change it back! The standards that each of us signed up for when we bought our homes are what keep our property values up. They are what makes it nice to drive around the neighborhood. There are standards in most areas of our lives, and I was glad to have been a part of this committee whose job it is to help people make our community the best it can be. For those people who think we are Nazis out to squash them, here's what I have to say - there are lovely pieces of land that you can purchase somewhere else. There was nothing hidden from you about the standards of this neighborhood. You signed on the dotted line - nobody made you do it.

Okay, just had to get that off my chest. I know it was a little off topic, but it's one of those pet peeves of mine.

Last night was a regular meeting. We had the usual suspects - people wanting to build decks, patios, landscape their lawns. Nothing out of the ordinary. We also had the usual folks come through for a hearing - people who just didn't get around to mowing their lawn all summer and couldn't understand why they were being faulted for chest-high weeds, people who let their animals defecate all over the neighborhood and can't be bothered to pick it up, and chauvinistic Germans who won't be bothered to look at the women in the meeting but will only talk to the men. You know, a normal meeting. Until the end of the evening. When my fellow committee members brought out a cake and a card and thanked me for sitting on the committee with them. They all told me it was a pleasure working with them and that they would miss me. Now, I've seen a few people leave the committee since I joined, and we haven't had a "party" for any of them. Maybe I have touched a few lives. I'd like to think so. I'd like to think I've made their worlds a little happier for having known me. I'd like to think that I might have inspired one or two of them to pursue their faith a little deeper. I know that I'm grateful for having been a part of this group, and I know it's only going to get harder to say good-bye to the rest of my friends.

Tomorrow - farewell evening with the Fosses. This one is going to be a killer. Preparing myself for lots of tears.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

We're not in Kansas anymore

So for the past 3 nights we have slept with the windows open and had to snuggle under out comforter. In August. In Virginia. Say what???

Yeah, that global warming thing is a real killer...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Birthday Party #2

As a follow up to yesterday's post, here are the details on Jack-Jack and Christian's birthday party. Jack-Jack and Christian are 2 little boys, not related, who live on our block and are Sean's age. This year they had a joint birthday party in the alley. Huh? It might sound strange to some people, but it's part of life here where I live. My street shares an alleyway with the street behind us - it's where our garages or parking pads can be accessed. It is also the site where kids gather to ride bikes, play ball, draw with chalk, and have birthday parties (or block parties for the adults).

We hit the alley at around 6 p.m. There were enough beer-boiled hot dogs for an army - which would be great if my boys ate anything other than peanut butter sandwiches or chicken nuggets. The boys really enjoyed the red fruit punch however!
Then around 6:30 the party really got started. Firefighter Sam and his crew showed up - they were scheduled to come, no one set anything on fire!The firemen sprayed the kids with the hose again. Much fun in the water!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


So I've been completely behind on my just gets in the way sometimes, doesn't it? I did want to write about a couple of fun birthday parties the boys have been to over the past couple of weeks. I'll start with Campbell & Audrey's birthday in this post, and tomorrow will write about Jack & Christian's.

Campbell & Audrey are my friend Kary's daughters. Kary and I were pregnant with Brian and Campbell at the same time - our due dates were 1 day apart.In the ensuing 4 years, I added Sean and Colin to the mix, and just about 2 years after she had Campbell, Kary gave birth to Audrey. This year Campbell and Audrey had a petting zoo party.

When we got to Bethesda, the Pony Express was just setting up in the backyard. They were carrying pot bellied pigs, chickens, rabbits, ducks, and designer "silky" chickens (anyone ever see one of these before???) to the crates in the backyard.

And then there was the pony ride...

Brian, my heretofore shy guy, has really gotten brave in the past few months. He decided he wanted to take a ride on the pony. When Sean was asked if he wanted a ride he said, "No thanks". At least he's polite. So off Brian went to wait in line with all of the little girls. He had the opportunity to learn at the tender age of 4 how to be a gentleman. He was so patient and waited until all the girls had taken a turn before he got his turn. A number of parents even acknowledge how patient he was.You see Sean in the background - still not interested in going on a pony ride - "No thanks" was the litany I heard.

Then I went inside to nurse Colin, and when I came back out, this is what I saw...
You couldn't get this boy off the pony! He would get off, and then run back around, grab a helmet and ask for another turn. It was like he was addicted to crack! The owner even laughed at one point when he turned around and saw Sean standing there, patiently waiting for the man to lift him up onto the pony. I told Sean that we wouldn't be taking the pony home with us, and the owner handed Sean his business card - you can see Sean getting ready to hand it to me here...Meanwhile, Colin just had a ball spending the afternoon with David & Lala.
All in all, a really fun afternoon. The boys were exhausted, and happy.

And then there was their silly daddy...