Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lobster Bake

The hospital where the Mr. works treats us to a "Lobster Bake" each summer.  The Mr. and I think it's 
quite a treat!!

As for the kids, the jury is still out...

 Wiggles cringes every time we even put the lobster near her.

 Grins was quite put off by it at first, but eventually did try a piece, stating 
"It tastes like chicken! Can I have more please?"

 The Mr. and I, of course, dug right in!

After lunch, we headed down to the beach to see if the clams were spraying.  And apparently, since Wiggles hadn't eaten much lunch, she decided to see if the sand would fill her up instead....

Have I mentioned how beautiful it is here?  

Monday, August 29, 2011

Morning Devotional

Every morning at 6:30am, the children and I (and the Mr. if he is still home, which is rare), hold a morning "devotional".  We sing a song, say a prayer, read scriptures, quote a verse we are working on, and then read a story from the Friend magazine.  It is a wonderful time that we look forward to each morning.  Lately, Grins has been particularly excited about it, and I will come around the corner to see this:

Grins carefully lays out each person's scriptures and even opens them to the correct pages!  What a helpful little darling boy!  We are so blessed to have him in our family! :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Whirlwind Summer

Even before Hurricane Irene showed up, our summer has been a whirlwind!  Now here we are, in the last week of August, and I am finally sitting down to sort out my summer pictures!  (Better late than never!)  As there are far too many pictures for one post, this will be the first of our "Summer Series" (for family journaling purposes).

Last week, we took an impromptu trip to Sebago Lake with some friends.  We left our house right after breakfast, spent the entire day at the lake, and got home just in time for a very late dinner.  And Angel and Grins insisted it wasn't NEARLY enough time at the lake.  (Wiggles, though, had certainly had her fill - especially since I lost my balance while holding her on an inner-tube, and we capsized!  oops!)

Angel, Grins and I swam out to the 'rope' (there is a rope segregating boaters from swimmers to prevent injury) several times.  I'm not sure how far out it was, but it was a bit of a swim and I was impressed that they wanted to keep going over and over; long after I felt worn out! :)  At the end of the day, as I was cleaning up our beach toys, they actually swam out by themselves!  Had I realized they were going, I wouldn't have let them - but they ended up proving themselves as swimmers (to my intense relief!)
The children were kind enough (or I was crazy enough to humor them) to offer me a "spa" day, complete with hot sand bath, foot massage, and nearly-complete burial.  I think I am still finding sand in my hair!  (Poor Wiggles - if only she would keep her braids in, at least on the windy days!  She is such a free spirit!) :)

The entire day I marveled at what a tremendous opportunity we have to live in this beautiful place!  We are just moments from beaches, lakes, and vacation sites galore!  If our family were only closer, this would truly be Heaven on earth!  And, despite how much we miss our loved ones far away, we are savoring this moment and the opportunity we have to live in such a spectacular place!  If I had any doubts during winter, I can now appreciate why Maine is "Vacationland"!  It seems our entire summer has been one long vacation, and I have loved (almost) every minute of it!

Where a kid can be a kid...

Last week, we were invited to Chuck E. Cheese for a birthday party.  This was a first for my children - and I was a little put off by the noise and chaos of the environment - but they did have fun on the rides!  The Mr. even showed up at the very end and got to enjoy one of the games with them!
Angel taking Wiggles for a helicopter ride!

 Poor Mr. had a headache, but the kids were having so much fun on the 'rocket' ride he had to join in!

Wiggles on a horsey ride!  She's afraid to go on a real horse, but she loved this one!

 Apparently, Wiggles is a Barney fan!   And....so is Grins?

 Angel and Grins racing with Tyson, the birthday boy, in their midst!
Wiggles was completely mesmerized by the singing, dancing mouse!  She was not quite sure whether to jump up and hug him, or run away screaming!

A Glimpse of The Mr.

Though the kids and I have had a busy summer travelling around the country, playing at the beach, and swimming in the lake, the Mr. has had an equally busy summer at the hospital!  His current schedule involves him working 14 days (12 to 18 hours each) straight with no days off (not even weekends!), followed by one day off (which is usually spent sleeping! Poor guy!)  Then the cycle repeats.  It is quite rigorous, even for my hard-working, energetic husband.

Though I miss having a husband around, it has been especially difficult on the children, who frequently go several days without seeing the Mr. at all, as he leaves before they awaken in the morning, and returns after they are asleep for the night.  I certainly don't know how military families survive a father's deployment!  It seems unbearable at times!

Fortunately, we do occasionally get a glimpse of the Mr, and we know how to make every minute count!  A few days ago, he managed to get home while it was still light out, and the kids immediately put him to 'work' swinging with them, playing "wrestle mania", and riding the Daddy horsie before bedtime (all activities Mommy fails miserably at!)  It is so precious to see them run up and greet him every time he comes home from work (and they are awake!) - as if they haven't seen him in years!  We're ALL so glad when Daddy comes home!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Digging in the dirt

With our recent gardening and renovation efforts, we have uncovered some 'treasures' in our backyard!  I don't have room to store them all, so I'm going to find most of them a good home...so I thought I'd document them this way because some of them are pretty neat.

The whole collection:

A bottle filled with gold dust - did we hit the jackpot?

Miscellaneous jars and bottles

A really neat little jug

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company

A Lightbulb

A bottle with silver dust....


Measuring bottles: 2 oz, 6 oz,  1/2c

Atlas EZ Seal

Father John's Medicine Lowell, Mass Made in USA
 Hines Honey and Almond Cream  RS Hinds Co  Bloomfield, NJ USA

6 1/4 fl oz Squeeze Trademark

Pluto Water  America's Physic  2318 Root 26

Vaseline  Chesebrough, New York

 Dioxogen / Horlick's Malted Milk Slough, Bucks, Eng / Listerine Lambert Pharmacal Company

Citrate of Magnesia / FW Kingsman & Co Druggists NYC / REM / Kathleen Mary Quinlan / EMO Portland, ME

Dr. True's Elixir Ext 1851 Dr J F True & Co Inc Auburn, ME

A& P Extracts / Twitchell Champlin & Co / Dolan Flavoring Co Portland, ME / John Wyeth & Bro / Foss 2 oz fl Liquid Fruit Flavors Portland, ME / Three in one

 Armour Laboratories Chicago

My favorite: This little plate! Can you believe it's still intact, with just a couple of chips?
The inscription on the back reads: Imperial Porcelain, Bishop Stonier England

I like to imagine the wife of an early colonial settler, whose wedding china this was, carrying this across the ocean from England to America.  It was one of the very few possessions she brought with her.  Then I imagine it being passed down from generation to generation until it's the last remaining plate.  Then, somehow, somewhere along the lines, it is lost.  Perhaps a daughter was playing tea party out in the woods (what is now my backyard).  Or a son using it to carry his mud pies.  Whatever the story, I find it intriguing.  One of the things I love most about living in the East is the rich history which prevails here!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Family Home Evening

Last week at Family Home Evening, we talked about Testimony.  While we were in Utah, "Oma" (The Mr's mom) gave each of the children a "testimony glove": a white glove with a small picture on each finger, each representing an aspect of our testimony.  Oma had explained each picture and what it represented, but since the Mr. wasn't with us at the time, I thought it might be fun for the children to present the lesson.  The children did a marvelous job teaching, and we concluded with the older two bearing their own personal testimonies.  This was a very tender moment for us as parents....and also quite entertaining on Grins' turn around.  Here's how it went:

Angel - "I know that God is our Heavenly Father and He loves us very much.  I know that Jesus is real and that He died for us and suffered for our sins so we can repent.  I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. I'm grateful that we have temples so our family can be together forever.  I know President Monson is our living prophet."

Grins - "I know that God is our Father and He loves us very much, because we're his kids.  And when we get to Heaven He's going to give us 100 big hugs and kisses because He loves us so much.  I know that Jesus is real and He died for us so we wouldn't have to die.  And He'll give us hugs and kisses in Heaven too.  I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet because he translated the Book of Mormon into English, so we wouldn't have to read it in German.  I'm glad we have temples because then my mom and dad could get sealed in the temple so they'll never get divorced.  And I know President Monson is alive."

My children are so precious and wonderful!  I love hearing things from their point of view, and I treasure these tender moments we have with them!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Girl in a Whirl...

Have you heard of "Dr. Sue" aka Vickie Gunther?  I hadn't, until my grandfather send the following poem my way.  I was feeling particularly inadequate, and this served as a much-needed reminder that none of us are perfect.  I hope you enjoy it is as much as I did.

The Girl in a Whirl by 'Dr. Sue' 

Look at me, look at me, look at me now!
You could do what I do if you only knew how.
I study the scriptures one hour each day;
I bake, I upholster, I scrub, and I pray.

I always keep all the commandments completely;
I speak to my little ones gently and sweetly.
I help in their classrooms! I sew all they wear!
I drive them to practice! I cut all their hair!

I memorize names of the General Authorities;
I focus on things to be done by priorities.
I play the piano! I bless with my talents!
My toilets all sparkle! My checkbooks all balance!

Each week every child gets a one-on-one date;
I attend all my meetings (On time! Never late!)
I'm taking a class on the teachings of Paul,
But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all,

I track my bad habits 'til each is abolished;
Our t-shirts are ironed! My toenails are polished!
Our family home evenings are always delightful;
The lessons I give are both fun and insightful.

I do genealogy faithfully, too.
It's easy to do all the things that I do!
I rise each day early, refreshed and awake;
I know all the names of each youth in my stake!

I read to my children! I help all my neighbors!
I bless the community, too, with my labors.
I exercise and I cook menus gourmet;
My visiting teaching is done the first day!

(I also go do it for someone who missed hers.
It's the least I can do for my cherished ward sisters.)
I chart resolutions and check off each goal;
I seek each "lost lamb" on my Primary roll.

I can home-grown produce each summer and fall.
But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all,
I write in my journal! I sing in the choir!
Each day, I write "thank you's" to those I admire.

My sons were all Eagles when they were fourteen!
My kids get straight A's! And their bedrooms are clean!
I have a home business to help make some money;
I always look beautifully groomed for my honey.

I go to the temple at least once a week;
I change the car's tires! I fix the sink's leak!
I grind my own wheat and I bake all our bread;
I have all our meals planned out six months ahead.

I make sure I rotate our two-years' supply;
My shopping for Christmas is done by July!
These things are not hard; 'tis good if you do them;
You can if you try! Just set goals and pursue them!

It's easy to do all the things that I do!
If you plan and work smart, you can do them all, too!
It's easy!" she said, and then she dropped dead.