I come from a long line of crafty and artistically talented people.  I am not one of them.

But, I do ok with basic elementary arts and crafts.  I even considered them my forte.   Until this week.

I was quite excited to do some apple stamping with the  kids after our trip to the orchard last week.  I’ve never done it, but wanted to for awhile.  This seemed like the perfect time… last week we did the short a sound in phonics, went to the orchard on Friday, so this seemed perfect for art on Tuesday.  The kids LOVE paint, so it was sure to be a hit with them.

I cut the apple in half so we could see the star.

Then I squirted paint onto paper plates.  Gave each kid a piece of apple and had them press the apple into the paint and then onto the paper.

oops… the three year old dipped the wrong end into the paint.

no worries… rinse at the sink and try again

I have no idea why, but it didn’t work.

I didn’t think there was any trick to this, just slice, dip, and stamp onto paper.

Yet, this is the result we got.



Anyone have any idea why the paint didn’t stick and transfer? I tried more paint and less, with no luck.

The crew was ready to revolt, so I had to think on my feet.

OK… I decided… scratch the apple stamping.  Mommy will try to figure out what went wrong and try again another day.  But for now, let’s finger paint.


“Wait… Mommy is letting us paint with our fingers?”  I didn’t have to say that twice.   The kids eagerly dug in with great enthusiasm.


So, even though in the eyes of the kids, the afternoon was salvaged, I’d still like to know what we did wrong, so we can try, try again.  Can anyone help me?

We came home with so much more than freshly picked apples…




we returned with smiles, laughter, and many fond memories

IMG_2650 IMG_2676 

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Every now and then at the circus, I find myself enjoying a moment of peace.  All too often that peace and quiet is the result of complete and massive destruction going on quietly in another room of the house… say an overflowing sink, or crayon art on the wall, or something else which seems to bind my children in complete quiet. 

But sometimes, sometimes all is calm and when I fearfully peek around the corner, I catch a moment like this.


or this

IMG_2630 (first one taken one afternoon last week and the second one taken Friday morning… I love how when I walked into the room his arm was around her as natural as can be)

And I do my very best to hold fast to those moments and savor them.  Because I know all too soon someone will be touching someone or taking her book or sitting on his blanket.  It will be “my turn” and  “she hit me!” and “he’s not my best friend” and I will want to throw my hands in the air and scream for quiet! 

So I cherish these moments and hold them close.  Because in the midst of the whining and arguing and chaos that exists each and every day, beneath that, there is love and comfort and it is my hearts prayer that these children will grow up not just siblings, but life long friends…

Last night I came home from Kids Quest (our church’s evening class for kids in which we teach them the questions from the Shorter Catechism), pizza in hand and Scott and I quickly tag teamed to get the kids in bed so we could hit play and watch the recorded Steelers game.  (I seriously think the invention of the DVR has got to go on my top 5 list of inventions that changed my life… I LOVE it)!    Pizza, coke, beer, terrible towels… we were set for one of favorite kind of date nights… Steelers Football.

And for awhile the date was going well.  We were ahead, the defense was holding them, life was good.  I started to relax.   

And then came the fourth quarter in which no relaxing took place as my stomach was in knots and I watched Limas Sweed drop a beautiful catch in the end zone.  And Jeff Reed miss a field goal (2 weeks in a row now) and our defense let the Bengals pound us down and score a game winning touch down in the last 14 seconds of the game. 

And just like that my date night was ruined. 

We sat in silence. 

One thing I love about my relationship with Scott is how well we know and get each other. 

And we both know that after the Steelers lose, there must, must be a moment of silence.  There is no small talk to be had.  No, “Oh well, let’s try again next week.”  No.  None of that. 

Neither of us want to talk about it or anything for awhile. 

So, what is there to do, but check my fantasy team.  I’ve had a rough start this year in fantasy football.  Last year I started great and actually made it to the play off round.  I was second place over all.   I say that to boost my ego, b/c this year I am 0-3.  And I don’t understand it.  I have a good team.  I had the 1 and 3 highest ranking wide receivers starting yesterday.  And they gave me a total of 14 points.  Not enough, I tell ya, not enough.

I opened live writer to write a post, but didn’t feel it.  Sure, I could have posted a pic of my kids at the library on Saturday with a real replica of R2D2 and Darth Vador and a host of other Star Wards bad guys…. but the force just wasn’t with me.  I could have shared pics and anecdotes from our semi spontaneous apple orchard trip on Friday afternoon, but it seemed too… chipper.

So, discouraged, I went to bed.

And that my dear readers is why it is now 3:00 on Monday and I am just now able to get a post up.

In my last weekend thought post, I mentioned my desire to teach my children to live their life in full and not let fear keep them from enjoying life’s pleasures.  Ironically enough a week later I found myself having to choose between sitting on the sidelines or facing my fear.


15 years ago I got on a Gerris wheel with my friends.  It seemed harmless enough at the time.  But the combination of the height and the swaying car sent me into a full fledge panic.  I don’t recall much, other than screaming at the top of my lungs, pleading with the attendant as I passed him, begging him to make it stop and let me off. 

No such luck for me (or for my incredibly embarrassed friend who was stuck sitting next to me during my loud panic attack). 

Ever since, I have avoided Ferris Wheels with great success.

Until the county fair this year.  As the day for the fair approached my son starting talking about how much he was looking forward to the Ferris wheel.  (enter feeling of dread and despair in my stomach).   My initial response was, “No, we won’t be going on that b/c Dad won’t be with us.”

But then we got there.  And he never begged or whined.  But I saw him look up.  And the words of my post the week prior, ran through my mind.  

“I don’t want to miss out on the smiles and fun God has planned for us b/c of fear or stress of what we’ll loose.   I want us to fully enjoy the moments we’re in.”

And I knew that I had to do it.  In fact more than that, I wanted to do it.  My friend offered to take my kids with hers.  But, I wanted to push that fear down and enjoy the ride with my kids.  I didn’t want to let my fear keep me on the sideline while she got to enjoy the look of delight on their faces. 

DSC08040So, I did it.  (with lots of pep talks to the kids about how we weren’t going to move AT ALL, AT ALL… we would sit very still the whole time… did you hear me STILL the WHOLE TIME!)  

At first I gripped the pole in the center and just started straight ahead silently willing my 2 year old not to move on my lap and praying the older two would sit still across from me. 

But, then I realized I was enjoying myself.  I didn’t feel sick or panicked.   And so I pulled out my camera. 

I am so glad I didn’t let my fear sideline me.  Not only did I get to enjoy the view from atop


but, more importantly, I got to enjoy the view with my kids as I got to enjoy watching them enjoy the view from atop. 


And that was, for me, the best part. 

Motherhood is a lot like that Ferris Wheel ride.  It pushes you do things you never thought possible, but in doing so, you get to experience the ride of your life.

Weekend Thought ButtonWhat are you thinking about this week? Why not use your last post of the week to highlight something a bit "deeper" then the average “Momblog” fair?  I’d love to read your thoughts.  Please feel free to write and link up a  “thoughtful” post below.  You can write a new post or link up one you wrote earlier in the week.  Please include a link back to here in your post.

One Sunday I picked my 2 year old son up from Sunday School and found goldfish in his bin.  He had saved some of his snack to share with Mommy and Daddy.  My jaw hit the floor.  His thoughtfulness both touched and humbled me.

Our church has a fellowship time between services in which you can have some cookies, popcorn, coffee, and lemonade.  Once my son was old enough to attend church with us after Sunday School, he got to come join us for the fellowship time as well.  Each week for the past two years he’ll grab three cookies from the table.  The first time I stopped him, telling him he only needed one.  Turns out the other two were for his sisters.  And every single week, he grabs 3 cookies so he can eat one with his sisters in the car on the way home.

He does things like this often.  Last week in Kindergarten his teacher gave them each a bag of Swedish Fish.  Knowing these are Daddy’s favorite candy, my son did not each his candy at school with the rest of the class.  Nor did he tear into it when he got into the van at the end of the day.  Instead he saved it until Daddy got home and then gave each person in the family a fish.

While I sneak cookies to enjoy in secret during nap time or after bed, he will save his to share with the family later.

I am so glad that my girls are watching him so closely.

http://www.dantobindantobin.com/pics/goldfish.jpgToday when I picked my 3 year old up from her Bible study class, she showed me a baggie of goldfish.  She saved some to share with the rest of us on our way home.   My heart melted and I was so thankful that she strives so hard to be just like her brother.
As I’ve returned to the classroom these past few weeks (though in a very different atmosphere), I can’t help but reflect on my years of teaching prior to becoming a stay at home mom.  I was blessed to teach for 3 years at a small, Christian school.  I learned a lot and grew from the experience.  I honestly think it shaped the way I parent today.

That being said, I can’t help but reflect on the single. worst. teaching mistake of my life.  I share it with you so that on those days when you do something truly stupid, you can comfort yourself with the fact that “at least it wasn’t as bad as what Crystal did…”


Seriously, brace yourself b/c it just doesn’t get worse than this.

It was my first year of teaching and I was very excited to have my kids read Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Being fresh out of college, and brimming with ideas, I was eager to involve the parents and children in hands on activities.  I sent home a letter at the beginning of the book asking the parents if they would be willing to come and volunteer with some real world experiences for the children.  We baked bread, we had a “Little House luncheon,” and we did some crafts from the time period.  I was so excited to let the kids engage in the activities they were reading about and to learn more about the time period.  Naturally, when I had a father volunteer to come in, I was elated.

Since he taught at a nearby school, he was able to come at the end of the day to present to the class.  I was so excited.  I remember him walking in the room and showing the kids what a muzzle loader looked like.  “This is great,”  I thought to myself.  Now they will truly know and understand what Pa Ingalls used to hunt in the book.  As he talked about hunting, and showed the kids the bullets, and then the rifle, suddenly, it hit me.

Like a ton of bricks.

What was  I thinking?

I let a parent come into my classroom with a weapon and I didn’t notify the administration.

As he showed the kids how he looked through the scope (please note the weapon was not loaded), I felt sick to my stomach.

Honestly, it wasn’t until I saw him holding the rifle, like a gun, that I realized the enormity of my error.

If I had been asked on a test for educational theory or practice, or any one of my education classes, “If a parent is coming to your classroom with a weapon do you think you should
a) seek permission first from your school administration

b) notify the parents first

c) say, “hey come on in and why don’t you go ahead and bring some ammunition too”

d) What?  Invite a parent to bring a weapon to your school?  Are you crazy?

I am confident, I would not have circled C.

And yet, there I sat that spring day with a class full of 8 and 9 year olds while a father showed them his gun and ammunition.

That afternoon with great angst and fear, I walked down to my principals office to tell him of my great ignorance and apologize for my error.  I was so nervous.  I vividly recall knocking on his door and then begging him for forgiveness as I confessed my idiocy.

He was so gracious.  He forgave me and then I recall him saying, “Crystal, in the future if you plan to bring a loaded weapon or any weapon for that matter, to school, I would appreciate knowing about it in the future.”    I can only imagine the conversation he had with his wife that night about the crazy, young teacher in the third grade.   I am so grateful, he let me stay and teach for 2 more years.

This year in addition to the farm animals, the kids enjoyed some other treats at the county fair. 




Cotton Candy


And a visit with Spiderman himself


So, what’s your favorite part of the fair?  The animals, the rides, the food, or the super heroes?

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Every fall, since my first born was only 5 months old, I’ve taken my children to the county fair.  We don’t by any stretch live in a rural area, so I am sure some of you country folk would laugh and heckle what we call a county fair.  But, for my suburbanite children and I, it offers a rare opportunity to see some farm animals up close.    It is a fall tradition we look forward to all summer long! 

Of the 6 years I’ve gone, this was by far my favorite year.  Not sure if it was because the exhibits were that much better, or if it was b/c my children were older and better able to enjoy and participate in the event, or b/c I wasn’t pushing a stroller or nursing a baby in the midst of the farm fun.  Either way, it was a glorious morning at the fair. 


 IMG_2511  IMG_2525


For more fall fun, visit Monica’s Fall Festival at Daily Dwelling.

I’m sorry.  Really I am.  I had every intention of posting a thought this weekend and here it is Sunday night and I haven’t posted since Thursday!! 

Last week was my first week back into the real world.  For the past 5 years I for the most part lived without an alarm.  I’d wake when the kids woke, and our day would begin, sloooooowly after that.  Now that we’re in Kindergarten I’m up at 6 and getting the circus crew fed, dressed and ready to start the day by 8 am.  We did it.  But, man was I exhausted by Friday. 

Top that with a fun filled field trip to the county fair on Friday morning (after completing our schoolwork) and an afternoon spent cleaning and cooking for a weekend filled with company, and well, you get one tired Momma. 


Friday night we had the pleasure of entertaining cousin Joel who was in town visiting during his R&R from Afghanistan.  We did our best to give him a hero’s welcome.  The kids had a blast clamoring for his attention.  And Scott and I appreciated the chance to talk and catch up with him…he even stuck around to help hang up my entryway shelf downstairs.  My entry way makeover is finally complete and I LOVE IT!  (I must add that I enjoyed watching my hubby, his cousin, and his Grandpa work together on a project for me).  What great guys!!  

Joel pulled out of our driveway and less than 2 minutes later my parents pulled in.  Saturday morning we woke early and Scott headed off for a weekend sailing race at the same time I headed out for a 5K to support the local pregnancy center.  (thanks to grandma and grandpa for babysitting) I got home in time to shower and get ready for my son’s soccer game.  (where he scored a goal… 2 weeks in a row now… yeah, I am one proud momma)

And really, the pace never slowed down all weekend… with a birthday party, church, football games… fantasy teams to catch up on, tailgate food to prepare….somehow it’s now Sunday night and I’ve gotta gear up for another week!!  Thought it was action pack, I truly enjoyed the weekend…not so thrilled with my boys in black and gold, but was glad my family got to watch the game with my parents.  Big thanks to mom and dad for sticking around till 7 and making a LATE night drive home just so you could watch with us!

IMG_2612 For those that did prep a weekend thought this weekend, you can link up below, if you still want.  I apologize for leaving you hanging.  I have thoughts mulling around already and hope to jot em down early this week, before my brain is mush by weeks end!!

In the interest of keeping it real and not pretending to be something I am not, I feel the need to come clean.

Remember how excited I was when my 2 year old was wearing underwear at her 2nd birthday?

Yea, I believe I received many a pat on the back and comments of “You’ll have to come potty train my kid.”

Well, I must come clean and say for the past few weeks she has totally regressed.  Yes, she goes on the potty several times a day, but she also goes in her pants several times a day.  This is quite frustrating as for several weeks she was doing wonderfully, even being dry at night on more than one occasion. 

But after peeing not once, but TWICE in Safeway a few weeks ago, and after my having to ask for paper towels 3 times during that shopping trip to wipe pee of the cart, the floor, and our groceries, I decided she’s in pull ups until she proves she is capable of big girl pants.  Because I am quite tired of mopping up pee, especially in public places.

IMG_2413After months of deliberating, praying, waiting, and a little second guessing, the first day of school finally arrived this week.   As you may recall we decided to home school, but with a twist.  We’ve enrolled our son in a home school tutorial that he attends two days a week.  So he has school at home with me three days a week, and at his tutorial 2 days a week.  In a lot of ways, it’s the best of both worlds.  Here’s a glimpse his first week at school. 


Doesn’t he look so grown up?


   The “Mom, really do you have to take this many pictures?” face


Here he is waiting for us to pick him up at the end of the day in the “dismissal room”  Doesn’t he look so little here? Who took my baby and put him in this big kid room?


And here’s our first day of school at home. 


The pledge. IMG_2444

Seat work


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** Updated with new quote from this very afternoon**

One of my favorite parts of motherhood, is watching my children grow and develop.  As they get older it is so much fun to see their individuality and personality emerge. 

This week marked some big milestones in the circus family life.  On SIMG_2379unday, for the first time in 5 years, I didn’t drop any of my children off in the nursery for church.  As of promotion Sunday this week, all of my kids are now old enough for the Sunday School program.  Our youngest was thrilled to go to the big kids room for the 2 year old Sunday School class. As if that wasn’t enough for one mom to handle in a week, the next morning I dropped my son off at the home school tutorial we’ve enrolled him in for Kindergarten this year! (More pics and stories to follow tomorrow on that milestone day)!

In the midst of these milestones, I wish to call attention to my middle child, lest she be overlooked.  She seems to be growing up right before my eyes and I love the girl she is growing into. She’s said some things this week that just cracked me up and I want to record them to look back and smile upon later.   So once again I am linking up with Mary’s Tiny Talk Tuesday.


This past week she’s taken to repeating




her big brother says.  All.The.Time.  She’s quite persistent too, one day I swear she went from breakfast to dinner repeating every.single.thing he said.  (And let the record show that my son talks, A LOT… so now I get a  dose of two times the talking)!   That evening he was talking about volcanoes.

Son: Mom, Do you wanna know what happens after the lava comes out of the volcano?

Daughter: Mom, Do you wanna know what happens after the lava comes out of the volcano?

Son: (huge sigh of exasperation) You don’t even know what happens after lava comes out of a volcano!

Daughter:  I know, that’s because you haven’t said it yet.


My daughter loves baked beans.  And I mean L-O-V-E.  This summer when we dropped the kids off for an overnight at their Nana and Pop’s my son packed at least half a dozen stuffed animals.  My daughter packed her aunt Karen blanket, her baby, and a huge can of baked beans (just in case Nana and Pop didn’t have any).  Every time we go to the grocery store she’ll ask if they are on sale so she can get a can.  And every time I make dinner she’ll ask if we can have baked beans with it.  Last week we had enchiladas, corn bread, sweet corn, and of course a side of baked beans.  After eating well over half of a 28 oz can of baked beans, she got up from the table, patted her belly and said, “Mommy, my tummy is so full of baked beans!  I think I could have a baby of baked beans.  Aunt Karen had a baby boy, but I could  have a baked bean baby!”

To continue the baked bean love, after I hit publish this afternoon, my daughter came out and saw a can of her beloved baked beans on the counter.  She said, “Mom, God loves us even more than I love baked beans!”


Gymnastics is going well.  She loves it!  I noticed at the first class however, that her leotard was a bit too small (I had gotten it for her last Feb).  I asked her if wanted a new one and she responded, “Well, will it still go up my butt?”  It took me awhile to figure out what she meant, but then I assured her, that no it wouldn’t go up her butt, that’s why I was getting her a new one.”  The new leotard arrived this weekend.  It is sparkly and red, white and blue.  She pulled it out of the box and her eyes lit up as she said, “Mom, it’s so pretty!”  Then she tried it on and exclaimed, “And it doesn’t even go up my but!!”


Speaking of butts, sorry… but I just can’t leave this one out.  It totally made me laugh.  She was sitting on the potty one day last week and.. ahem.. “passed gas”  She looked up at me and said, “That was just my poop singing!”   Now I’ve heard it referred to as tooting before, but never singing.


DSC02532  My children have been inundated with Chick-Fil-A from birth.   The first thing I ate after my daughter’s delivery was a CFA sandwich.  I have scrapbook pages in each of my daughter’s first year scrapbooks, dedicated to their first Kids Meals at Chick-Fil-A.  The first logo/graphic my son recognized was for Chick-Fil-A.  Anytime he saw a cursive C when he was a toddler, he thought it was the word Chick-Fil-A.   They’ve known and loved the Chick-Fil-A cow since they were babies and we’ve even dressed like one for the past 5 years.

IMG_5121Knowing this complete obsession and undying love fondness for all things Chick-Fil-A which they’ve grown up with will help you better appreciate the conversation my son and I had last week after enjoying the free Labor day Chick-Fil-A sandwiches.

Son: “Mom, I love Chick-Fil-A burgers without the pickles.”

Me: “Really?  More than their nuggets? 

Son: Yea, well it’s the same thing as the nuggets except the nuggets don’t have the bun and I like having the bread b/c its easier to hold.”

Me: “That makes sense, but they aren’t called burgers. Their called chicken sandwiches, because they are not burgers.”

Son: “Oh.  Then why do they have all the cows everywhere?”

IMG_8566 We have a plethora of Chick-Fil-A cows in our home.  Each kid has a small one in their bed, I have the Santa cow up in my kitchen at Christmas time, and we even have a giant one in our toy room.  And for the past 5 years my son thought that was because we loved eating Chick-Fil-A cows. 


I went on to explain the Chick-Fil-A marketing plan to my five year old.  The cows aren’t there to advertise eating more cows.  Why would cows want to be eaten?  I told him how the cows are there b/c they don’t want us to eat them; they want us to eat chicken instead.  Despite the misunderstanding, Chick-Fil-A is still (and will always remain) our favorite restaurant.

My child has been permanently scarred by a helium balloon.

I’m sure you think that I am kidding or exaggerating, but I promise you I am not.   Remember this?  Well two months after that traumatic experience, Scott took the kids to buy a balloon for my birthday, and needless to say my son (being the oldest child, and the overly cautious one that he is), was very nervous about the balloon flying away.  Scott assured him multiple times, that the balloon was not going anywhere.  He promised that he would not let go of the string and he himself would bring it into the house.  As they step out of the van, my son started freaking out about the balloon.  Scott couldn’t figure out what was wrong since he was still holding onto the string.   While that was true, the part of the string holding onto the balloon came undone and the balloon floated off into space. 

Ever since he’s wanted nothing to do with helium.   You should have seen me this spring as I bought a balloon for Scott’s birthday.  I had to check and recheck the string multiple times.  Still, he begged me not to get one.  And after his youngest sister lost her balloon at Trader Joe’s last month, he’s convinced the girls that they don’t want balloons when they go to the store.   Last week as we approached TJ’s he said to the girls, “Remember, we don’t want balloons when we go to the store, b/c we don’t want to loose them.”

He is so afraid of losing the balloon, he doesn’t even want it in the first place.

Balloons are fun.  They’re treats.  They are meant to brighten your day, add pizzazz to a party and a light hearted moment to a tiring shopping trip. 

But for my son they bring more stress than joy.   

And I wonder, how often we let fear keep us from enjoying life’s gifts.   Are we so afraid of losing what we have that we fail to enjoy it while we have it? 

I don’t want my life or my children’s lives to be like that.  I don’t want to miss out on the smiles and fun God has planned for us b/c of fear or stress of what we’ll loose.   I want us to fully enjoy the moments we’re in.

Weekend Thought Button

What are you thinking about this week? Why not use your last post of the week to highlight something a bit "deeper" then the average “Momblog” fair?  I’d love to read your thoughts.  Please feel free to write and link up a  “thoughtful” post below.  You can write a new post or link up one you wrote earlier in the week.  Please include a link back to here in your post.

Last week I captured this sweet father/daughter moment.


Which reminded me an awful lot of a very similar moment captured a year ago.

IMG_6556bw2Funny how life repeats itself, isn’t it?

Nana and MeI love my husband’s Nana.   She’s a remarkable lady.   I loved her for years, just based on hearing about her from her grandson and reading her sweet letters.  Then, I flew to California and met her.  And I loved her as my own Nana!! 

When I walked in her side door, I instantly felt at home.  I sat down at her table and never wanted to leave again.

Gana (as my kids call her b/c she is their Great Nana) is famous for her quince jam, her tacos, and her French toast (among many other things).

Being a mother of three boys, she is used to making food in bulk.  And her method of making French toast totally works for me!

waffled french toastI used to cook my French toast one at a time in oil in a frying pan.  Not exactly healthy or quick. Then a few years ago my in laws gave me a large waffle iron.  I squealed with delight, “Now I can make French toast like Nana!” 

Yes, Gana’s secret for French toast is to cook it in one of those large waffle irons (not those tiny circular single serving Belgium waffles irons).  The waffle iron seems to seal in the taste in the bread and I love the fact that I can cook 4 at a time. 

French toast

It might not look like your average French toast… it def looks like a cross between a waffle and French toast.   Call it waffle toast…or French waffles…or toasted waffles…whatever you call it, call it breakfast…because it is delicious!   I’m telling you, it’s tasty, more healthy, and definitely quicker than my old method.  It’s worth a try, I promise you!

"It takes a long time to grow an old friend."
- by John Leonard


Nothing says labor day weekend to me, then a house bursting at the seams with  friends.   For the past 8 years, we’ve spent labor day with my group of 6 best friends from high school and our growing families.    While we’ve changed locations over the years from rustic accommodations, rental homes, and friends houses, some things have remained constant.  If ya wanna see some pics of how the group has grown and changed through the years, check out this post

As the kids grow, it’s been fun to watch them interact with each other.  It adds an entirely new dimension to the gathering.

Believe it or not of the 34 pictures I snapped of the gaggle of kiddos (ages 5-1 month), this was the best one as it was the only one in which you could see each of their 14 faces (and the one with the least tears).kids 2009

This year the kids put together a talent show for the parents (much thanks goes out to Andrea for corralling them for this). IMG_2116

Check out their moves in their opening number.IMG_2118

Nothing like poker chips to keep the kids entertained.    IMG_2094

I find it rather poignant that while we are enjoying the comfort and familiarity of our lifelong friendships, our children are simultaneously cultivating their own friendships.   IMG_2220


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