Friday, November 03, 2006


Ha! Hooked another one!

Finally got the pictures up!

Here's a pot luck of pictures and updates...

I delivered the baby blanket (yes, the baby blanket) to Jakoby last week. He was (and I'm sure, still is) absolutely adorable, squeezable and sweet. Here are a couple of pictures.

Miss you, Kathy!

When I moved away from Big Run these boys were nine and six! I love this picture. It makes me feel so little!

In other news...

Halloween was a real success here. Elliot has been so terribly frightened by all things Halloween for over a year. He's been so truly afraid of skeletons and scary masks that he nearly broke my glasses trying to get out of the cart at Walmart when we went by the spooky section. I've been trying to reassure him while at the same time giving him the space to be scared. This is a real balancing act! Anyhow, we weren't sure how he'd handle the party and parade at school or if he'd even go Trick-or-Treating. I did talk to his Kindergarten teacher and she was fantastic about the whole thing. I'm sure she's seen everything...she's been a Kindergarten teacher for over 30 years! He had a wonderful time at school and even though he told me he cried on the bus because someone got out his ugly mask and was teasing him with it, he felt really good about the day. I think it helped for him to see the kids getting dressed, maybe. He did a great job going from house to house and only really hesitated once when he saw a skeleton head on someone's front porch. He went right up to it and stuck out his tongue! I was so proud! It was really hard to see him so very fearful for most of October!

Here are Claire and Elliot on Halloween. Kate and Christian were off with their friends by this point so it was really just the four of us. (Funny, sometimes it seems like we "lose" kids the older they get! We go from a family of 6 to a family of 4 quite often anymore. Don't know how I feel about that.)

I love this picture of Elliot. He looks like such a "guy".

Claire was so sparkly in her genie costume (Thank you, Mom, from the bottom of my heart for buying this as a birthday present so I didn't have to make it!) she was her own reflector!

In 1991, Christian was only 11 months old and we took him to get his first pumpkin at a stand in East McKeesport. This picture was taken of me then...

...and this is me now.

Here is Kate on the night of her Halloween dance at school. She was a flapper girl. Gone are the days of sitting on the front of Stevie Stumpf's pedal John Deer tractor in Big Run. (Stevie's the sweetie in the green shirt in the group photo above.) She's wearing my Halloween costume from last year!

I don't have the picture of Christian sitting on top of our car holding a pumpkin nearly as big as he was, but here he is now, nearly old enough to drive the car!

Now, look back at the baby picture at the beginning of this post and then scroll down to the good-looking TJ sophomore. Yep, that's about how fast it went!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I *heart* November

I do. I really love November. When I was a child, November was just the month that stood in the way between Halloween and my birthday and Christmas. But now, I appreciate November for what it really is. One last chance to breathe deeply before the Christmas madness seizes us. In November, it's all about potential. The holidays are not yet here, but they're so close. It's exciting. I even love the way November looks. Most of the leaves are off of the trees, the corn, if it's still standing, is dry and brown and things just look...November-ish. I always think of the line in the hymn, "All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin". Love it. Since today's November 1st, it's time for us to put out our Thank Tank. Years ago we saw this idea in a children's bulletin handed out at church. We use an old oatmeal or breadcrumb cannister and put in slips of paper that say what we're thankful for. (I know, poor grammar there). At Thanksgiving dinner (or sometimes the night before) we read the papers. It's very touching, sometimes even funny. One year someone was thankful for MONS. MONS?? What the heck is MONS? "Turn it over, honey!". SNOW.

It's getting increasingly difficult to not rush November. Tonight "The Santa Clause" is on TV...a great, GREAT, Christmas movie. But, do I watch it or wait until after Thanksgiving? We also have a tradition of "no Christmas music until after Thanksgiving". But, my Harry Connick, Jr. CD is right where I can get to it. The kids are going to be practicing holiday music at school, so it's hard for them to wait. But, I really want to slow down and be excited a little longer.

Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God's own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.
-Henry Alford, 1810-1871