Drowning in Pictures

After we got home from visiting family on Easter, I pulled all the pictures off my camera. All 600 of them. On my computer is a folder labeled 1st for Sorting. As always, I just transferred the pictures off my memory stick and was about to walk away and tackle the many household chores when I noticed that the pictures in the album totaled close to 2,000.

So, I sat right back down and started the long task of sifting out the gems and deleting the rest.

I tackled Easter first.



Then, I started at the earliest picture in the folder. I was shocked to see it was from Christmas!




I need to sort through pictures more often.


Or take fewer pictures.


How does everybody else do it? I feel like I used to have a handle on it when I was only taking pictures of Elly. But with 3 kids, I take many more pictures and have considerable less time on my hands.

On a less whiny note, I did finish sorting all the Christmas pictures.


Next to tackle Elly’s birthday pictures.


Impromptu Liberty Bell Visit


On our way home from a visit to Mom Mom, we drove through the city on the way to the zoo. I casually pointed out the sky line of Philly and the pleading ensued.

Please, Mom, please take us to Philadelphia. Please. Pretty please. We want to see the city.
Please. Please. Please.

The sun was shining. The radio was pumping out good music. Directly in front of us was the exit to Center City. I couldn’t think of a good reason to say no. So, I said yes.

It turned out to be a great decision. Parking was easy; I found metered parking on 6th St right next to the park.

Two blocks away was the home of the Liberty Bell, so we walked over to see it. Elly and Brooke were amazed at how big it was and how large the crack was. They listened as I read inscription after inscription about the bell. Then, they started a banter of questions. Thankfully, the guide was eager to share his knowledge.


Malcolm, as usual, willingly went along for the ride. His favorite part of the whole trip was meeting dog after dog after dog in the nearby park.

Ringing in the New Year

Every year, Pottstown hosts a Polar Bear Swim and Bonfire. Having no desire to jump in a freezing Schuylkill river, we strolled into Riverfront park an hour after the party began.

The fire was still hot, providing much warmth on a (finally) cold day in winter. The Newfoundland we saw was quite content with the cold; happy to lay down and enjoy the cold.


While huddled by the fire, Elly and Brooke each ate a hot dog.


Six Phillies firemen stood on guard around the  bonfire with hoses in hand. Giddy as a kid in a candy store, I asked the firefighters when they were going to put the fire out. Two minutes was the answer so we stayed to watch the show.

Smoke billowed out of the fire pit in a huge torrent. We lost sight of the firefighters.


After a few oohs and ahhs, we headed back to the car.

Despite complaining of cold, Elly and Brooke stopped to check out the Rotary’s Free Library. They both found something they loved and had to bring home to read.

Once home, the kids had hot chocolate and the adults had hot tea. After a paltry amount of pleading from Elly, Dan lit the fireplace. He’s been itching to do that. It’s been two years now.

As always, we ended the first day of the year with a supper of pork and sauerkraut. If the old PA Dutch belief is right, we’ll be blessed with good luck. I shan’t complain.

Happy New Year!


Celebrating 15 Years

Fifteen years ago, Dan and I got married.

The first year was hard. I was very tempted to kill him over a load of laundry. Thankfully, I didn’t.

For years later we are still happily married and have a wonderful family to boot.

Photo by Nihart photography http://www.nihartphotography.com/

My best friend, who introduced us, can continue to pat herself on the back.

We will be celebrating the day by taking care of sick children.

And eating heart cake.

And drinking Celebration.

My 5 year old

Elly turned 5 years old on Tuesday.

My first baby has become a spunky, kind-hearted, and sweet little girl.

A letter to my Elly Angel:
Your Daddy and I are so proud of the lovely girl you have become. You are a wonderful, caring sister to your siblings. You welcomed both Brooke and Malcolm into our family with open arms. You ask to hold Mal every day, several times a day. You can’t wait to play with Brooke when you get home from school.

You are a wonderful daughter, brightening my day with your cheery disposition and kindness. I am amazed and occasionally frustrated by your conviction and stubbornness.

Here is a list of some of the things you like:

Your favorite color is purple.

Your favorite meal is french fries and spicy chicken (aka buffalo wings).

You would wear a leotard every waking hour of the day if I would let you. Periodically, we have long discussions of why leotards cannot be worn to school.

Like most other girls we know, you adore Queen Elsa.

You love mermaids and wish you could be one.

You are a natural born leader, taking charge of what games to play and dictating how to play them.

You enjoy making crafts at home and at school.

You enjoy school, but often put up a fight before school because you miss your family while you are there.

Any drawings that you make either has our family in it or a rainbow. Sometimes it has both.

It has been a fun 5 years, Elly. Here’s to many more.

Pregnant with Mal

It’s a ….

(Can you see the writing on my shirt? I bought it a half hour after the ultrasound!)

Dan and I are so excited!

His name has been set for months. (Oddly enough, we had no girl names picked out).

Malcolm Joseph

We are naming him after our maternal grandparents.

His nickname will be Mal as in Captain Mal from Firefly.

Despite measuring a little large, the due date of September 18th remains steadfast.

Elly is slightly disappointed that she will not have a baby sister. She was so hoping to name her Ariel. Yet, I think she will get over it.

A Post from Elly




Sunday Snapshots (of Elly in her Sandbox)

It was the first warm day. Spring hadn’t even officially started.

Yet, Elly didn’t let that stop her.

She’s been begging to play in her sandbox, but I have been telling her that it was too cold.

I think she was half surprised and half thrilled when I answered the same question she has been asking for the past month with a Yes.

Oh, the joy of sand.

Sunday Snapshots (of Christmas trees)

We have put up our Christmas trees.

Why yes, we do have multiple Christmas trees. 5 to be exact. Three are outside. Two are inside.

The artificial tree in our guest bedroom

The real Christmas tree in our living room

My first memory of picking out a Christmas tree was walking outside in our front yard and picking an evergreen tree. If Elly’s memory stretches back far enough, her first Christmas tree memory will be similar. The tree in our living room came from our backyard. Here is a shot of Elly when she was 2 years old standing in front of it. It was too big for the spot it was in and rather than just cut it down and throw it out, I thought we would get a little more life out of it by making it our Christmas tree.

Despite chopping it down, I still had a handful of evergreen trees to choose from when decorating.


I suppose I shouldn’t count the last tree, since it only has a single ornament on it. I am waiting for it to get a bit bigger before I start stringing lights on it. Until then, it can sport the Charlie Brown look.

The reason for so many trees: I just love Christmas trees. I love decorating them. I love looking at them. It is the best Christmas decoration. I would be happy if it were the only Christmas decoration we had.

Plus, by having more than one Christmas tree, I don’t care when the day after Christmas Dan is glaring at our real tree inside because it is now dry as a bone and dropping needles like mad. It can be tossed at will. I have 4 others to keep me company until the Wise Men Day.