Friday, October 31, 2008


How great is Halloween!? A day that you can dress up and be anything you want to be! My children decided they wanted to be a football player and princesses. Ryan has actually wanted to be a football player since last Halloween. We borrowed a jersey, pants and a helmet from a neighbor. He has been so excited since we brought them home and has been wanting to wear the jersey everyday! He received quite a bit of fanfare tonight while seeing other football players and several people commenting on his great costume. Lydia and Emily have really gotten into the whole princess thing this year. As a result, my brother and his wife gave them princess dresses for their birthday. I had put them away to save for Halloween and they decided they wanted to be a princess several weeks ago. In addition to their dresses, they received crowns and fake jewelry for their birthday that they wore tonight. Over and over they would say "I am so pretty!" "We are so beautiful!" They received compliments at some houses on how pretty they looked--they beamed!

We stopped at a house where an older couple lived. They each came to the door and the wife knelt down to talk to the kids at their level. After taking her fistful of candy, Lydia asked the lady "What is your name?"

"Gail." said the lady

"What is your first name?" asked Lydia

"Gail." was her response again. "What is your name?" she asked Lydia.

"My name is Lydia." Lydia said as she turned to Emily and said "this is my friend, Emily." Turning to Ryan "and this is my friend, Ryan and my friend Mommy." pointing back to me. During this introduction, I said "Emily is your sister, Lydia." Gail realized the girls were twins and Ryan was their older brother and found Lydia's introduction quite funny. Lydia, our social butterfly!

The kids collected a TON of candy (which none of us need) and were pleased with their stash! It was a great night!

Three for tea

I am such a lucky person! Today was such a neat day! First of all, since I work 4, 10 hour days, today was my day off. I started my day by putting Ryan on the school bus. At 10:00 I reported to Ryan's classroom where I volunteered until 12:20 (I am able to volunteer every other Friday for approximately 2 hours each time--I would volunteer every Friday, but Mike works every other Friday and I can't take Lydia and Emily with me). I love volunteering there! The kids are great and I enjoy spending that time with Ryan. I also really enjoy helping Ms. Clark (Ryan's teacher)--she is really great and he really likes her!

After my volunteer work Lydia, Emily and I went to Ms. Hardesey's Tea Room to meet my friend Rabia and her daughter, Frances. Ms. Hardesey's Tea Room is an old house in downtown Harrisonburg that has been converted into a restaurant/tea room. We had an official tea party today. All three girls dressed in their best princess dresses and pretty shoes and sat at the table with their tea cups. They all laid their napkins on their laps and drank their Tutti Fruity flavored tea out of the kid sized tea cups and saucers. Rabia and I each had our own tea in adult sized tea cups and saucers. We ate lunch and finished up with apple spice and cinnamon scones. It was so much fun and such a neat Halloween tradition that hopefully Rabia is up for doing each Halloween with our girls.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pajama Day!

My class had their Halloween Party today since tomorrow (Halloween) is my day off. This afternoon, after circletime, lunch and naptime, we had our party. In addition to having our party of chips, cupcakes, fruit and veggies, all of the kids dressed up. Instead of wearing their trick-or-treat costumes that could potentially get torn or stained, we encourage the kids to wear their pajamas to "dress up." They LOVED it!!! Lydia and Emily's class dressed in their pj's as well and . . . yes . . . Ms. Stacey dressed up in her pj's today too. Any day that you can wear your pajamas to work is a good day!! We had a blast and everyone took a ton of candy home! The picture above is of "my" kids eating at their party and the picture below is everyone "laying down" in their pajamas. :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Kids are so funny!

Last night I sat with my three children while we watched the timeless classic, "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown." My brother, Paul and I used to watch this every Halloween without fail! I popped popcorn and all three of them were soaked in to the Halloween festivities that were going on in the program.
This evening, on the way home, Lydia and Emily (on our way to pick up Ryan) were talking to each other about what was going to happen over the next two days. They were talking about the Halloween party they are going to have at school tomorrow and the fun time they are hoping to have while they trick-or-treat on Friday night. I heard Emily saying "We are going to get candy, cookies . . . rocks."
Rocks? I thought. Why would she be saying rocks? Then it dawned on me, Charlie Brown always gets rocks when he goes trick-or-treating.
"Are you guys going to get rocks when you go trick-or-treating?"
"Yes!" they both chimed.
Too funny!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A first for the kids and me!

Yesterday was a definate first for me as well as Ryan, Lydia and Emily. We saw a helicopter land two feet away from us. I have seen helicopters land several times, but they have always been either on television or far away. Home Depot was having their safety day and the Aircare helicoptor came along with fire trucks, ambulance, etc. As it was landing, the air from the helicoptor was blowing dirt and grocery carts around. The kids got scared of the noise and wind. We put them back in the van until it landed and turned off. They were able to get inside and look around. Very exciting!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Gus Bus Birthday

I hate to admit that I am just now blogging about something that happened last Saturday! Last Saturday we were invited by Rabia and her two children to accompany them to The Gus Bus Birthday Party. There is a reading program here in Harrisonburg called The Reading Road Show. The Reading Road Show provides book bags to the area preschools and daycare facilities that are filled with books. These books are swapped out each week so the children are exposed to many different books over the course of the year. In addition to the book bag swapping, the Gus Bus is part of the Reading Road Show and comes to the preschools one day a month, inviting the children to climb aboard. The Gus Bus is a Bookmobile type vehicle that is designed for children. Mr. Mike drives the Gus Bus and reads books to the children while theyare on the bus and sings songs with them. They LOVE it!!! It is such a wonderful program that is now in it's fifth year. This non-profit program celebrated it's fifth birthday last Saturday by inviting all of the vehicular friends of Gus's. Gathered at the convocation center were buses, tractors, cranes, race cars and dump trucks that the kids were able to climb over and through and pretend to drive. All five kids had a wonderful time!! The highlight of the day was having fun with the James Madison University gymnasticteam. They brought mats out to let the kids flip and walk on a balance beam. I believe the kids flipped for 45 minutes anyway:). They also had a scavenger hunt for the kids. While climbing on the different vehicles you were to look for small stuffed bunnies. Each bunny was numbered--you were to identify where you found each bunny. After compiling all of the bunny locations, you took your paper up to collect you prize. Ryan picked a moose mask and Lydia and Emily picked Reading Rainbow shirts. We finished off the day with a $1.00 hot dog for everyone and some free ice cream--we then went home for naps. It was great!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Great Fall Weekend

--This post did not work out the way I wanted it to:)--make sure to read all the way to the bottom . . . .
This weekend we had the priviledge of camping with our friends, Becky and Stuart Settle and their boys, Lucas and Mason. We camped at the Charlottesville KOA which is halfway in between our house and theirs (they live in Richmond). The weekend could not have been more beautiful! The nights were a little chilly, but during the day it was very warm and pretty. We hiked and biked and the kids played on the playground. We are hoping this is the first in a long line of camping with the Settles!After our fun weekend of roasting marshmellows and hotdogs, and great fellowship around the campfire; we went with Becky and Stuart to a fall festival at Carter Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville. It was just that, an orchard on a mountain. Being in our camper, we were not going to be able to drive our camper up the very narrow dirt road that goes up to the orchard. We parked our camper at a visitors center right across the street from the entrance to the orchard and unloaded all the camping stuff from the back of Becky and Stuart's van. We piled the children in the back to drive across the street and up the mountain (about 1 1/2 miles--they were very safe). All of the kids had a ball picking apples from the trees and eating apples while walking around the orchard. We all had a great time!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


For those of you that have known me for a while, you know of the freakish infatuation I have for Ryan Klesko (formerly of the Atlanta Braves). I became an instant fan of his in 1995 when I saw him play baseball for the first time. I have been to see several of his baseball games and even named my cat Klesko. Tonight, I was finally able to meet him! My dad and I (Mike wanted to go, but had to work) went to Ashland Virginia where a Bass Pro Shop was having a grand opening and there were several race car drivers that were the main attraction for the majority of the 2,500 people who showed up for autographs. Early on in the evening I figured out that there were not many people there to see Ryan Klesko and we thought we could quickly walk up to his booth, get a signature and a picture, and be on our merry way. Nooooooooo!! Bass Pro Shops decides to put all the fishing celebrities (Ryan is now part of the fishing celebrity because he hosts a show called Grand Slam Adventures which is an outdoorsy show. Ryan retired from baseball after last season when he played with the San Francisco Giants) with the race car celebrities. You could not just go to get one person's autograph, you had to wait to get up to the table with ALL of them. I pleaded with one of the managers of the store to let me get up there just to meet Ryan Klesko. "He is the one I came to see, not the race car drivers!" Of course, my wishes were not met and I too stood in the long line (with my awesome dad who waited with me!) just to meet Ryan. (BTW, no I did not name my son after this man. Ryan was a name that Mike picked out). The autograph signing was to go on from 6:30 to 8:30. At 8:00 we were still about 170 people back in line. At 8:30 the race car drivers left the building, leaving so many fans waiting for their autographs. Ryan was scheduled to stay until 9:00. When the race car drivers left MANY of the fans left as well. We scaled over the strategically placed rat maze flags and became about number 20 in line. I had taken an old baseball card for him to sign.
I said hello, he said hello back. I asked if he would sign my card. "Sure!" was his response. After he signed my card I asked if I could shake his hand. "Sure!" again, with his winning smile!! I shook his hand and then realized I would like a picture shaking his hand. With all the people there and the set up of the table and line, and me throwing my camera at my dad at the last minute while asking if I could shake his hand one more time, you can only see my hand in the picture and my reflection in the glass window behind him (pic at top of blog). Ryan was telling me to look at the camera, but in my rush of nerves, I did not get turned around fast enough. Oh well, I know it is me shaking his hand in that picture:). I say he is STILL the best baseball player ever!!!