Wednesday, November 28, 2012 take the girls to swim lessons the local YMCA

William, the budding photographer, took all of the photos this evening.

Some a little far away...

Others a little blurry...

A few with interesting lighting...

And another just right.

Perhaps with a little more practice we will be able to hire out his services.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 celebrate 5

...years....for Abbey!

To think that our #3 is already five makes me a little sad.  

However, you can see that she is ecstatic!

She has been waiting for the day of November 27th to come... FOREVER!

For the last week, she has wanted us all to 'practice' singing Happy Birthday to her.  Each morning she wakes us and declares that she gets to pick what everyone eats for breakfast, well...all because her 'birthday is coming up!"

And finally, today...she was so excited all day about her rainbow birthday party!

We invited four friends over for an hour and a half of coloring, painting, tie-dyeing, and fuse-beading.

My goal was to keep it simple.  I served a several fruits (a rainbow of colors) and fruit dip (clouds) and rainbow cupcakes.

And what party isn't complete without a game?  We played her very

As you can see all of the big kids came home from school in time to enjoy the end of the party festivities.

She had such a fun time with her friends.

After dinner at her favorite restaurant (Cici's pizza) we came back home to open the rest of her gifts.  She was showered with fun art projects, toys, and games from her friends and our family.

It was so sweet to see how genuinely excited she was about each item she received.  Even later in the evening as she opened the things that Mark and I got her, she stopped after each present and said thank you to Mark and I each time.  

Her gratefulness melted my heart.

I just love that little one of mine.  

I can see five is going to be a great year for her!

Sunday, November 25, 2012 be thankful

...for so many things.

Things like...

little hands

old farms

a crafty Aunt


sweet nephew and Grandma

goggles and Grandpa

shared screen time


lazy mornings





My heart is full.

For that I am so thankful.

Monday, November 19, 2012 take the children to get hair cuts

...all of them.  At one time.  By one lady.  In the same small shop.

Our new hairdresser is a super sweet young girl.  Who doesn't have any of her own children yet.

And she does a really great job cutting hair.

And she takes a really long time to get the hair cut 'just right'.  Because she doesn't have any of her own children yet.

Two hours long.


No perms.  No dyes.  Not even shampoos.

Just cuts.

Two hours worth of haircuts.

With four children in a small little shop.

You should have come.

It was fun.


getting ready for cosmetology school
spinning in the chair

teasin' Abbey's hair...workin' some magic


not cooperating
It was kinda like a hair cuttin' party.


Friday, November 16, 2012

...not to be woken up

....when Abbey comes down 'scared' in the middle of the night.

Our conversation went something like this....

Me:  Abbey, I don't want you to come down and tell me you are scared tonight.  If you wake up and can't go back to sleep than you can go and sleep with either Isabella or Will.

Abbey:  But I am scared of the monsters.

Me:  There are no monsters in our house because Timber scares them all away.  If you wake up, just roll over and go back to sleep.  Do not come and tell us about it.

Abbey:  But what if my lip hurts?

Me:  It will be just fine.  Get a drink of water and go back to bed.  Either in your own bed, with Isabella, or with Will.  Mommy and Daddy need to sleep.  I get cranky when you wake me up.

Abbey:  So....if I wake up and I am scared, than I need to go and wake up Daddy?

Me:  Exactly.  Exactly little one.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 hang with Isabella

...since she has not yet returned to school.

What's a girl who's been home sick for so long to do?

A little writing....

She's on Chapter 2 of a book she is writing...for fun.
 and some light reading? article on little Malala
I don't know about you but when I head to the doctor's office I take this opportunity to catch up on the latest gossip with the stars.  You know things like...US Weekly or People Magazine.  I think Isabella misread my memo on choice reading materials at the doctor's office and picked up Newsweek instead.

I, of course, was catching up on Facebook (on my phone) when my nine-year-old asked for the definition of blasphemy when I realized this err.  After looking it up, because I couldn't give her a good definition off the cuff (on my phone), I decided I had better catch up on my current affairs as well....sigh.  So much for catching up on the latest gossip on which famous soccer moms attended their kids soccer games (e.g., Reese Witherspoon) this past weekend....

This all got me thinking that maybe Mark's genes have been shining through a little too much lately in my dearest I wanted to impress a few of my own influences on her....

So we:

  • watched a movie while we did some knitting (multi-tasking), 
  • folded some laundry, 
  • went out to lunch 
  • rounded out our quick afternoon outing with a stop at Starbucks.

Movie.  Lunch.  Coffee.  Three things guaranteed to make one feel better.

Whereas reading and writing...are bound to give a person a headache.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 host an evening

...out for a few ladies in the battalion

In order to keep things simple and festive for the fall season, my friend and I decided soup would be our main course.  We knew the crowd was going to be rather small so we chose to provide only two soups, a salad, bread, and dessert.

Jolene made a delicious focaccia bread to complement our meal as well as an amazing Italian sausage soup.  She also made an outstanding pumpkin roll that reminded me of my dear, sweet Aunt Lena.  Aunt Lena always made the most delicious pumpkin roll every Thanksgiving.  (Well that is how I remember it in my head anyway...I suppose it could just as likely have been Easter or maybe even Memorial Day.  But Thanksgiving is I am certain this is the holiday Aunt Lena made her pumpkin roll.  But help me out Viele family...Didn't she serve it with whipping cream and Hershey's chocolate sauce?)

I made a potato soup and a fall-esque salad I concocted from pears, romaine, goat cheese, walnuts and red onion.  I made a dressing with maple syrup and apple-cider vinegar.  I am not sure if the salad was well received or not but those are all of my personal favorite salad ingredients and I would definitely make it again.

I added a few fallish drinks to complement our theme:  Mulled cider that I found here and Pumpkin Lattes reminiscent of Starbucks here.

mulled cider
pumpkin lattes
Finally, as a little token for our guests to take home...some pumpkin truffles.

burlap and baker's twine...cozy.  

Next preparation.

I am not quite ready for the end of fall and pumpkin flavored foods so  I sense some pumpkin scones will be on our Thanksgiving weekend menu...

Sunday, November 11, 2012 have our home recover

...and slowly we are getting back to normal.

Our life the past few days has been a bit like Groundhog's Day:  Someone gets a does of Tylenol or Ibuprofen every few hours, we play some video games, we watch some television, and maybe watch a movie, and we read...a lot.

This cycle repeats itself every few hours.  With the exception that Abbey gets her antibiotic (for her pneumonia) first thing in the mornings.  To make things crazy, and mix things up, I'll offer up popsicles or some Gatorade every now and then.

Grandma Crow took pity on my crew and sent them each a new book.  Its always fun to have some new reading material.  Especially for the one that does most of the reading aloud.

two more not feeling well; but enjoying some quiet time together.
On a bright note, today was a beautiful day outside and we all tried to spend a little time getting some fresh air.  Mark and Will threw the ball around in the backyard for a while and Isabella and I even managed a short walk to pick some 'pretties' (fall foliage) for a coffee I am hosting on Tuesday.

Maybe this airing out will be our key to wellness.

After all, tomorrow is another day!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 learn if lightening really can strike twice

...since I feel like it has struck our family again.

Turns out it is a proverb...Prov. The same highly unlikely thing never happens to the same person twice.

Abbey has another virus.  It looks like it is Influenza type A.  Again.  This is according to the doctor's report.  He noted they are seeing this virus repeat itself in some patients this season.

I had thought that wasn't possible.  Apparently it is this year.  With this virus.

Lucky us.

Or...he said she could have mono.

What poison would you choose for your kid?  I was personally hoping for a case of strep.  At least if strep was the cause of her ridiculous fevers I could grab an antibiotic for her and we would be on our way...and she would feel better in 24 hours.

Ahhh...but my hopes could not have been more crushed.

Since sure enough four days after Abbey showed signs of some tortuous virus, Audrey followed suit.

Same fever.  Same symptoms.  Same sleepless night last night.

Lucky us.

And guess what?

Will came home from school this are right.

Lucky us.

Same fever.  Same symptoms.

I guess lightening really does strike twice.

Meanwhile, the kids and I are spending plenty of quality time together.  We have played many games, read some books, and they have spent some time 'working' next to me.

As for me, I am hanging in there.  Thankful for good friends that take care of my responsibilities for me (Amy and the book fair this week) and family for sending a pick-me-up when I needed it (thanks Mom & Richard).

Just a little side no heed to the crazy lady you see creeping on your neighbor's roof this evening.

That would only be me, stringing a dozen keys along their roof.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 watch the election results roll in

...but I had no idea that William would be glued to the TV as well.

After dinner he asked if we could turn the TV on to watch the results.

As I was trying to impress a bit on wisdom on my little man; our conversation went something like this:
Me:  Let's pretend a state like Michigan has 10,000 votes.  And then let's pretend that that Obama wins most of the popular vote...then he'll win say about 10 of the Electoral College votes.
Will:  You mean 16?
Me:  Uh. Sure.  Definitely 16.  
a few moments later...
Me:  Now some states have more people in them then other states.  So they get more Electoral College votes than other states might.  Like...
Will:  California?  They have 55.
Me:  Yup.  Exactly (what I was going to tell you after I looked it up).
and after I double checked his stat...
Me:  And the candidate...
Will:  ...has to win 270 votes from the Electoral College to be the next President.  

Glued.  To.  The. Television.

As for me...I am most interested in watching the Empire State Building change colors.

Sunday, November 4, 2012 get an extra hour of sleep

...but my children didn't get that memo.

It seems, as I looked through Facebook this morning, that I was not the only parent of young children who experienced this early morning trauma.

Just for good measure, Abbey woke up at 6 a.m.  And hour earlier than she usually does!  Really.

As one of my dear friends noted...daylight saving time meant an extra hour of fun for us today.

What does the Crow family do with an extra hour of fun?

A lot of laundry
A puzzle or two
Some video games
An art project

A long family walk in the freezing cold

A nap?  Nope.  They were not to be convinced...

Followed by a movie (the new Tinker Bell movie) out of sheer desperation.

And two little girls in bed for the night at 6:30.

For real.

And two bigs kids hanging out quietly doing their own thing.

Someone pinch me.

Thursday, November 1, 2012 have a little fun

...dressing up again.

Mark's job is very serious.  And he tries seriously hard.  But sometimes...

Slash & A serious Professor Mcgonagall
when the work day is done....

Slash & Clark Kent
you just have to have a little bit of fun...

Slash & two companions who apparently use the same hairstylist.
The battalion had a Hail and Farewell this evening.

Costumes were required.

Hairspray was too.

I enjoyed watching, all of the people that Mark works with, enjoy seeing his 'other side'.

Good stuff.