Monday, December 31, 2012

Feel the Beat

Zachary loves music.
Tyce loves music!
Zachary has decided to go to college to get a Bachelors Degree in Audio Production.
Tyce sings songs in daycare.
For Christmas, Zach got 'Dr Dre Beat' headphones.
For Christmas, Tyce got his very own DJ audio board.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

White Christmas

The day before Christmas it snowed a few inches.  
We haven't had a white Christmas since I was a little girl.
This is the view I woke up to on Christmas morning.


Friday, December 28, 2012

My boys are NOT normal!

Do you know how hard it is to get a photo of these boys
without the funny faces or goofy poses?!

I never did get that 'perfect' shot.
But the photos I did get are perfect to me!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dancing Eggs on Christmas Eve

Our family spent Christmas Eve with our 'other' family.  Our best friends - the Feltenbergers.
One of the gifts we gave to our friends was 'Dancing Eggs'.

I found this video that quickly explains the game.

There are two dice - one red, one white.
Roll the red die to see what you have to do to get an egg.
Roll the white die to see where you place the egg on your body.
Do NOT drop an egg!
The person with the most eggs, wins!

The family in the video were a lot nicer than the participants in our game.

It was all out war when everyone was trying to grab the bouncing egg….The big guys were pushing the little ladies out of the way while running around the table….. The boys were giving full body checks into the walls…..  One glass of tea was spilled, one wine glass was shattered….


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Where's "The Pickle"?

 Hiding the Pickle on the Christmas tree is a tradition our family has had since the boys were small toddlers.  The boys would rush down the steps to find the pickle.  Whoever found the pickle got an extra gift, so of course they tripped over one another to get to the tree first.  Winning the pickle prize was quite an accomplishment.
The typical prize would be a game or toy the boys could share.
As they grew, the pickle prize lost it's luster.
The boys no longer cared if they won the prize or not.
This year the Pickle Prize was $40.00
It's amazing how the mention of prize money will have teenagers moving at the speed of light.
But I hid the Pickle really, really well….
The tree almost tipped over….
and they searched and searched….
and we have a winner!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Hockey Drama

Sunday night my son played in a hockey game with his high school varsity team.  Sure the games get a little rough when the crowd / fans / friends egg the players on.  Yes, it is the job of the referees to make sure the games do not get out of hand.

Last night the game DID get out of hand. Why?  I blame the referees. Once in awhile you do get a bad referee. It happens.  However, when a game gets out of hand: players start checking dangerously, kids are getting hurt, tempers are heightened and fists are flying.  This is when I have a problem!  During this game the referees didn't make calls that should have been made, and when they did call a penalty it seems as if they penalized our team and favored the opposing team.

Our team suffered injuries that caused two players to leave the game.  Brandon was checked into the boards and his head bounced off the wall.  He got up dazed and confused. You could tell he didn't even know where his own bench was.  (After the game he was walking around as if he was drunk).  The player who did the checking should have been called for interference because Brandon didn't have the puck.  Nothing was called.  It took everything I had not to jump over the glass and kill throttle yell at the ref.

After another period with putting up with this nonsense, our coach went off on the referee.  The referees kicked him out of the game.  The teens in the stand went nuts and were throwing out words that even I didn't know existed!

  • A woman in the stands made an offhand remark about our coach not being a good example to our players.  He had every right to do what he did!  He was protecting our kids!  A job that the referees should have been doing all along. 

Within the last few minutes of the game a fight broke out.  I mean a fight!  The referees just stood there and didn't make a move to try to break it up.  My son left the bench, jumped the wall, went on the ice and tried to pull back his teammate.

I wasn't too surprised when Brandon was ejected from the game.  Brandon had a different reaction.  He got into the refs face (not one of his finer moments) and screamed at told the referee that his skills as a referee were lacking. (This version has been edited towards a PG13 audience).

  • To top it off, this same woman was cheering when the fight broke out and encouraged her son to "kick his ass".  
  • I was about to loose my temper (which really isn't that hard to do).  I left the bleachers before I punched that big mouth woman to go stand by the glass.

Even though my son had the right intentions, by leaving the bench during a fight is a major no-no in the hockey world.  He was given a misconduct penalty and 3rd man in penalty.  (Third man in means he jumped into a fight between the two players).  Depending how the penalties are reported to USA Hockey, Brandon could be facing up to a 30 day suspension. This includes his travel team, not just his high school team.

This may even be a mute point. We are taking Brandon to the doctors for his concussion.  Mostly likely we will be headed to the ER for a MRI and Cat Scan.   I will keep everyone updated on Brandon's condition.

Letter to my Dogs

Dear Teddy,
I do not mind rolling down the window for you when we are in the car. I don't even mind that the air rushing up your nostrils makes you sneeze. What I do mind is that you always pull your head into the car to share your sneeze ON me.  Keep your head in our out, that's all I ask.

The stuff in the trash can is NOT your food. Oh, and your expression of shocked innocence when we accuse you of dinning at the garbage buffet is not nearly as persuasive as the forensic evidence left strewn around the kitchen.  And blaming the cat doesn't work!

I truly believe you have a drinking problem.  After slurping from the bowl your jowls are dripping wet, therefore drenching my kitchen floor.  The kitchen floor is so clean because of all the mopping that has to be done to clean up your stream of water.

You are a very fit dog for an 11 year old dog.  I'd like to say it is because of the walks.  Ya know, the walks we have been taking where you sob, whine and tremble because you think I will give in and take off your leash.

And another thing: I do not wake up the same time every day! On days we don't work, we're allowed to sleep past our normal waking time. So stop licking my face because your internal clock says it is time for breakfast.  Don't dogs DO weekends?

I have to admit you are the only who is waiting at the door for me to come home, you follow me wherever I go and you are always curled up at my feet.   You are the best dog a person could have!  I never thought I'd love another dog as much as I love you Teddy.  But when Ellie Mae came into our lives she stole her spot in my heart.

Dear Ellie Mae,
Here is a news flash: Our next-door neighbors LIVE THERE. They have a right to mow their grass without you chasing their lawn tractor.  I do not understand how you are brave enough to chase a tractor but will run and hide from the vacuum cleaner and thunder storms.

The trees in our back yard cost a lot of money, but there is nothing of value hidden under them. Stop digging for buried treasure!

Our doors, no matter how your try to claw through them, will not open at your will.

One last thing: toys are SUPPOSED to have stuffing IN them.  It would be nice if the stuffing stayed there instead all over the living room floor.

Both of you do make me crazy sometimes, but then I watch the two of you playing together and it makes me so happy.  You both have your own wonderful personalities, loving, playful and protective.  I suppose life just wouldn't be the same without you. I want to thank you both for bringing me so much joy into my life.
Love you both,

Sunday, December 9, 2012

St. Peter's Village

St. Peter's Village is a small community with Victorian homes built in the 1860s.  Iron Mines, near  French Creek National Park, helped start this small community.
 In 2003 St. Peter's village was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Which is significant because ordinances prevent new construction in and around the village.
 Todd and I stopped at the local bakery.  It smelled wonderful!
 I got an Apple-Cranberry Tart.  It was delicious!
On the way back we stopped at an antique shop.  I loved the row of quilts on display.

 Thanks for stopping by! I hoped you enjoyed the tour.  


Thursday, December 6, 2012


I was decorating our Christmas tree earlier in the week. I got the lights up, only to find out that half of them didn't work anymore.  I had to take off the lights, go to the store to purchase more and begin again.  It took two days to decorate the tree.  My boys and husband magically disappeared, but the cat stayed to help.  
I had extra decorations that I gave to Ahren (my oldest son) and Melissa.  It is their first Christmas together.  They talked about getting a tree, but forgot about buying ornaments.  :)
I haven't been to the gym since… well… since Thanksgiving.  I gained back all the weight I lost. Brandon (youngest son)  kept harping until I gave in convinced me to go tonight. I feel tired and achy much better. 
Zachary (middle son) is back in school. He is healing nicely from his surgery.  I took him to a follow up appointment where the doctor sucked out blood and crusty stuff from his nose.  Yuk!  My stomach did flip flops watching it.  Zachary was clammy and flushed.  The nurse wouldn't let us leave right away until his heart stopped racing.  Poor dude almost passed out!
This weekend Todd and I are Christmas shopping for the boys.  Did I ever mention that I hate crowded places.  I get very claustrophobic.  Hot tempered people shoved into stores with no room to maneuver isn't my idea of fun.  My husband thrives in the holiday shopping scene.  Me?  I'd rather shop on-line.
Have a wonderful weekend!

First day of school.

I taught Sunday school to pre-schoolers from the time my boys were infants until my youngest turned four. In fact, that is what sparked my career in running my own daycare/preschool.

Sunday school was the only school the boys had until they enrolled in a 4K program (some call it Pre-Kindergarten) in the public school system before moving onto the full day Kindergarten.

After first day I had asked the boys, what I am sure every parents asks:
"How was your first day of school?"

Zachary's reply:

"Mommy!" he exclaims . "God makes brown people too!"

Brandon's reply:
"Mommy", he says quiet seriously. His little forehead scrunched up. "They forgot to talk about Jesus."

I love the innocence little children have. How sweet would the world be if we could remain so pure?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Finders Keepers, Loser Weepers

When we moved into our house in 2005 we were excited!  There is something about having a huge mortgage payment owning your own home. One of things we liked about the house was that it had a finished basement.  Our first home was an older one that had a dark, musty basement.  You couldn't' make it into a place where the family could hang out.

A few days into the move we finally began unpacking items in the basement.  I plugged in lamps and the TV. To my surprise, the outlets did not work.  WHAT??  Todd unscrewed the outlet plates, only to find out the electric was never hooked up.  The former owners had a contractor install outlets with out running the electric and did not disclose it at the time of sale.

Fast forward a few hours
I opened the hall closet to put some things away.  On the floor was a popcorn tin.  Still being angry about the basement.  I was very childish. I kicked the can!


It was summer.  I had sandals on.

I thought the can would be empty.

What the heck?  Since when is popcorn in a tin card hard? right?

I opened the can and was jumping up and down like a child at Christmas who just received the best present ever surprised.  It was filled with gold dollar coins!!

My sister was helping me unpack.  "Tiffani", I screamed! "I found treasure"!

We took the can and dumped it on the floor… stacking and counting the coins.  $1,300.00

Wahoo!!!!  It was like winning the lottery.

After the excitement died down, I began to think rationally.  I called my realtor.

"Hypothetically, if we find something in our house, we get to keep it?"



The former owner was shady.  I wanted to stick out my tongue and taunt "Finders Keepers, Loser Weepers".

"But it's $1,300.00.  I can't keep it."

Our realtor called their realtor and the former owner came within minutes to pick up the pirate booty.

The man took his popcorn can without even thanking us.

I know the man did us wrong, but I know we did the right thing.

Monday, December 3, 2012


I suppose when you have a teenage drive in the home having a minor accident comes with the territory.

It was a nice day outside and I wanted my day care kids to ride bikes in the driveway.  I asked Zach to move my car and I would move Todd's car.  Normally Todd's car wouldn't have been there, but he got a ride with a fellow co-worker that day.

I parked Todd car on the street while Zach took my car around the block because he isn't good at parallel parking yet.  After I parked I went inside the house to get the kids jackets one.

Meanwhile, as Zach pulled in behind Todd's car, he hit the gas pedal instead of the brake.  Zach walked in the house and said very calmly, "Mom I hit Dad's car".

I was expecting a fender bender, not what I saw when I walked out the front door.  The right-front of my car was up on the curb and the left-front was smashed into the rear of Todd's car.

I was either calm or in shock, because all I kept saying was "Oh my God!"  Zach replies "I guess Dad should have drove to work today".  Sorry Todd, but I had to smirk.

My car sits up higher and hardly had a scratch on it.  Todd's car, however, had a smashed trunk and bumper.  

I called Todd at work and I have to give him credit it for handling it well (considering he just got the car in May of this year).  All he said was "I guess I should have drove to work today." :-D


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Picking Our Tree

Todd's best friend, Eric owns a garden center - Colonial Gardens.  Every summer they take a trip to the Pocono mountains and tag Christmas trees.  The trees that they tag are then cut and sent to Colonial Gardens in November.  This has been an annual tradition between the two for many years.

Because Todd helps Eric tag trees, we get a free Christmas Tree.

Todd and I picked out our Christmas tree on Saturday!

I love Fraser Fir trees (which are the most popular sold Christmas tree in the U.S.)
 I love the smell of a real tree… I do not like the mess of a real tree.
There is no compromise with Todd though. He refuses to get an artificial tree.

However, I would settle for a small tree decorated with Flyers hockey ornaments.  :)