Maybe God wishes to teach me a thousand new things, move me from being in a thousand different directions to just ONE, and show me a thousand reasons to BLESS his name. Maybe that is why He moved me 1,000 miles away.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Boring week was a huge success!

The kids had a great time with Boring Week. They made a huge slip and slide out of the old tarp that Roy used in our old backyard to line the ground for the ice rink. They made boats out of whatever and tried to float them. They played Pirate Life. They played Indians in the backyard, caught fire flies, and danced with bats.

This week and next week are FUN SUMMER week! Jackson and Audrey both are celebrating their birthdays these weeks, and we have a couple fun things planned besides.
This week we plan on attending the Kutztown Folk Festival. Looks like a pretty fun time. I hope we are there for the reinactment of a nineteenth century hanging. I guess that should be interesting.... They have a hanging three times daily so we should be able to make one of them. George Washington and Ben Franklin will also be there (not at the hanging, I think they are at a different stage). I also can attend a seminar on how to talk like a dutch pennsylvanian. I think I will definately attend that one. We also plan on heading out one morning to the Philadelphia Zoo.

I'm looking forward to some good times out of the house, and putting an end to Boring Week; we will not meet again until mid August when I will bring it back out of hiding so that I can work on school stuff for the coming fall.

Fun week, we welcome you.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What kids should do when they are bored

Summer is officially here. I have a goal for the next 2 weeks.....I want it to feel like summer. I want my kids to come up to me and say, "Mom, I'm bored...what can we do?" For which I will reply, "Well, there is a whole house full of things and a yard out there and if you can't find something to do then I'll find something for you". Which all former kids know means..."I'll give you a chore".
Now, when kids get bored, for-real bored, they do sometimes get extra chores because they do things like pick on each other, or draw with sticks on the car, or use up a roll of tape on their face. So, how about helping me think of some GREAT summer chores....just in case they are needed.

1. clean up dog poop (my favorite to dole out).
2. sort socks from the pile of socks that haven't found their mate in weeks.
3. clean out the car (another dandy).
4. sweep every inch of the house (we have all hardwood floors -- this could take a while).
Please contribute to my list. I promise my kids will never know who was responsible for the horrible chore they were assigned. Well, Chloe reads this blog so she may look at you sideways for a while but Jackson and Audrey will remain oblivious.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Civil War Days

The only way to explain our Saturday is with a pictoral video presentation. Click on the rectangle on the bottom of the screen to watch in full screen if you so wish. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I'm painting my kitchen yellow. The kids are playing outside in the 95 degree sun. The baby is taking a nice nap. It all makes for a pretty good day, I'd say.
Stay tuned for a more interesting post in the near future. I'm working on a little compilation of pictures to share with northerners some of the strange quirks here in PA that are just part of ordinary life. It should be fun!

Monday, June 2, 2008

The next day, we met Art.

behind our house there are the most beautiful woods...the kind of woods that hold mystery, adventure -- these woods look as if they yearn for imaginative children to play in them. Now my family moves into a home which was previously lived in by a senior couple who never set foot in the woods beyond their yard. Of course, my three kids could do nothing else but play there. They enjoyed exploring the brown, quiet forest all winter. They pulled up green shoots which turned out to be wild onions in the spring, and gathered strange nuts and made piles for the squirrels (those that weren't used in their pine tree fort for "soups" and such.) One warm spring afternoon my kids were enjoying a romp outside after having a picnic lunch. Jackson came running in the house to tell me the owner of the woods was out working on his land and I should go talk to him. I then heard the story of how Art came roaring on his four wheel ATV at them and hollered, "Get off my land! Get off my land or I'll call the police! If I ever catch you here again I'll have you arrested!" Poor Audrey, who was clinging in fear to Daisy's neck for safety feebly asked Jackson, "Are we going to jail?"

I decided it was time for me to meet Art. He wouldn't look my direction when I approached him in his woods. He kept his face away and kept at his work sawing limbs off a small fallen tree that had landed in a neighbor's yard. Even after introducing myself as the homeowner and mother of the trespassers, he didn't look at me. He was reasonable, but quite cantankerous, as he told me he didn't want a law suit from a kid getting hurt on his land. I tried to talk to him, tell him what my kids were doing there, and attempted to have friendly conversation. I found out that this guy was alone, managing these acres by himself for the most part. He has had trespassers bothering things on his land and he also had a neighbor complain about a broken down shed he has on his property; they had called the city to force Art to tear it down. "It's been there for a lot of years and these people move in and tell me I have to tear down something on my own property", Art spewed. I agreed with his position on that matter, and told him I had no intention of suing him, and assured him that I'd have my kids respect the land boundary lines. "I wouldn't mind em playing, but I don't want to get sued" he kept saying. I told him my kids never messed around, they just ventured in a few yards. I think he wanted to change his mind...I didn't see it in his eyes as they never looked my way during our 10 minute exchange, but it seemed as if he wanted to soften a little, but maybe didn't remember how to.

It interested me how completely different Art and Steve were. Steve, the man who struck up a conversation over dinner at McDonalds was also a widower, lived alone, but he talked about his family who lived close by-- grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He looked by the way he dressed to be fairly well to do, and Art was the opposite. Art had a tree fall on his house destroying it completely a few years earlier. It actually is still there at the side of the road down the hill, three walls and the foundation still standing. From what I can guess, Art has had a few knocks against him besides the tree.

So, the kids ended up having an important lesson to learn about kindness: we should show kindness to people like Art, not just the Steves. We should respect with a good attitude the wishes of Art, even though those beautiful woods are so inviting. We should make every effort to be friendly and take the time to talk to elderly people when the opportunity arises, many of them are alone. The kids are a bit scared of Art, and I don't blame them. However, when I'm in the yard and he drives by on his ATV, we hope that we will have a fresh batch of cookies we can bring out to him.

The other day, Jackson said, "Mom, maybe if we are nice he will leave us his land as an inheritance!" So, I'm not sure that they all really get yet the lesson I was trying to teach them, but I'll keep trying.