Happy Easter!

We have been continuing to enjoy unseasonably warm temperatures in central Pennsylvania.  I’m not complaining.  We had the most gorgeous Easter weather in recent history, with temperatures that were over 80 degrees!  I seem to remember snow on one miserable Easter weekend not too long ago, so I am thrilled about the heat.

We went to church and arrived just a little late.  Usually it’s not a good thing to arrive late on Easter Sunday.  We ended up parking miles away from the front door, but we did find somewhere to sit in the sanctuary.  Church was good, Nate and Ben behaved themselves in the nursery, and the big boys had candy in Sunday school.  Then we went home.

I decided to do a small Easter egg hunt in our yard this year, mainly for Nate.  Since he’s not yet two, I just scattered the eggs around and really didn’t hide them.  But we found that the big boys had trouble finding brightly-colored eggs that were in plain view.  Go figure.

I wondered if the big boys would be interested in gathering eggs, and guess what!  They still were!

Ben doesn’t eat candy, so we got him an Easter pinwheel instead.

Later that evening, we all went to the park.  We took Isaac’s bike (which he has outgrown) and tried to get the big boys used to the idea of riding without training wheels.  I hope this is the year we finally get them to learn how!

Ben loves being outside.  We’d like to bring his gait trainer to the park the next time we visit.

Nate was fascinated with these railroad ties for a few minutes…and then he became more interested in the small stream that runs through the park.  Why is he always interested in the one or two areas that are unsafe for babies??

I’m not sure why Jonny’s face looks like that.

Because we spent so long at the park (and because I had a great Easter afternoon nap!) I ended up starting dinner late.  The boys had noodles and chicken nuggets for dinner, and Mark and I didn’t eat our Easter ham for dinner until nearly 10 pm!  Oh well.  Maybe I’ll be more organized next year.

Halloween and Fall Photos: “Where You Live”

ben-in-leaves

We had a very fun Halloween.  I had the day off from work which is ALWAYS a good thing.  The big boys were so excited to get in their costumes.

trick-or-treating-2

Isaac had a grim reaper costume complete with a face mask that seemed to drip bloody fluid.  I can’t believe we let him get that!  He was under strict instructions not to drip any blood around little kids.  Not only was his mask scary, but he could barely see while wearing it!

trick-or-treating

Jonny was a racecar driver.  I got Ben a surgeon’s costume at the very last minute for half off at K-mart.  It claimed to be a size 3T-4T, but it was a very tight fit on Ben.  Even the hat was close to the right size for him!  Nate got to wear Ben’s penguin costume from last year.

bens-costume

We went trick or treating up and down our street.  Just a few houses after that, Jonny found a hornet crawling in his hair, and Isaac decided he’d had enough, and wanted to go home.  That was just fine with us!  We spent the rest of the evening handing out candy.

my-4-boys

We live in rural central Pennsylvania.  On Sunday we decided to take some outdoor family photos.  Unfortunately, the weather was cold and overcast and didn’t make for great photos.  We should have gone out on Saturday when it was sunny!  Still, quite a few of them turned out well.  We went to a nearby national park; a truly beautiful place.

mark-and-jon

mark-and-babies

My dad was visiting and was able to come with us:

dadben

Central PA isn’t too bad to live in.  I just wish it was warm year round!

fall-stream

“It’s a good night to look at pumpkins.”

At least that’s what Jonny kept saying as we had our annual pumpkin carving last night.

We bought our pumpkins almost two weeks ago, but because Mark and Isaac went to the Steelers game last weekend, we did most of our carving last night.  Isaac and Jonny did manage to trace their designs last weekend.  Jonny did a great job tracing his own design this year, although I did have to help him cut it out.  Isaac was able to work completely independently for the very first time!  Mark did all the yucky stuff for all of us (i.e. scooping out the pumpkin innards).

Jonathan was so excited!  All the photos I took of him last night are blurred because he was in a state of constant motion.

I found a Gyarados pattern online for myself.  For those not familiar with Pokemon, Gyarados is a flying water-dragon type creature.  I think it turned out well.  Mark did a creepy skull design.

Both Ben and Nate took very well-timed late evening naps allowing us to finish all four.  Here’s the final result:

I love pumpkins!

Happy Easter!

Easter 1

We had a quiet Easter this year.  We went to church, came home, and I took my customary Sunday afternoon nap.  The older boys played video games.

Easter 2

My sister Aliyah came over for Easter dinner.  It was nothing special – scalloped potatoes and ham (and grilled chicken for Aliyah since she doesn’t eat pork).

Easter 3

The ham was one that we got free for accumulating a certain number of “points” at our local grocery store.  It was VERY salty.  Or maybe it wasn’t very good because it’s only the second time I’ve made ham in my life.  In any case, I think it belongs on Mark’s blog even though I cooked it.  😉

Ben and me

Even though I ruined dinner, we had a good day together has a family, and for that I am grateful.

New Year Popovers

Popovers

Happy New Year!

We had yet another boring relaxing day at home. Mark made us a delicious roast beef tenderloin for dinner which we ate with green beans and rice pilaf. I didn’t want to make bread today because I felt lazy tired, so I looked through my trusty “Joy of Cooking” for an alternative – something we could eat with butter and honey that wouldn’t take hours to make. I found a recipe for popovers, and we made some. I’ve only had these once before when I was a very young child. They had an interesting taste and texture reminiscent of French toast. We all liked them (Isaac asked for seconds) and we’ll definitely make them again.

I haven’t really thought of too many resolutions for the new year except for one: I’d like to worry less about the future. Anyone else have any resolutions they’d like to share?

If you are interested in having the popover recipe, click below:

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Merry Christmas!

Christmas Isaac and Jon

I hope everyone had as enjoyable and relaxing Christmas as we did! Our older two boys were so excited, and couldn’t wait until it was time to go downstairs and open some presents (we told them they had to wait until 8 am, and they were actually very patient). Santa was far more generous than he should have been.

Christmas Ben sleeping

Ben, on the other hand, couldn’t be bothered and slept until the only presents left under the tree were his! Of course, his brothers helped him unwrap them.

Christmas Ben awake

Here are Jonny and Isaac in their brand new Legend of Zelda t-shirts. I wonder where Santa found those? Santa brought Isaac a brand new Nintendo DS, and Jonny got an awesome VTech kids’ digital camera (which Santa found at a great price).

Christmas Zelda Shirts

Best of all, Isaac missing two front teeth finally started growing in just in time for Christmas!   He is eagerly looking forward to eating corn on the cob again this summer!

Christmas front teeth

More Christmas Tree Photos…

As I mentioned before, we went out and got a Christmas tree on Saturday afternoon. We picked out a beauty, and for some reason Mark had a really difficult time cutting it down. That reason became clear once we got it home. It was huge! It didn’t seem quite so big in the field, but it barely fit in our house! The top was almost touching the ceiling! Mark needed a ladder to put the angel and the lights on it.

Tall tree

We finally got around to decorating it late Sunday evening, even though Isaac and Jonny were begging to get started before Daddy put the lights on the tree.

As usual, we let Isaac and Jonny put on the unbreakable ornaments on the bottom, while Mark and I put the glass ornaments on the top. Every year we buy a new ornament for the tree – something symbolic of the year that is ending. This year we got little soccer ball ornaments and put the boys’ photos in their soccer uniforms in the middle. We always have such a good time reminiscing about past years’ ornaments, especially those from each boy’s first Christmas. We also have an amusing assortment of ornaments the boys have made over the years in preschool and daycare.

Jonny decoratingIsaac decorating

Here’s our Christmas tree with its eclectic collection of ornaments. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Decorated tree