Sunday, June 27


We went away for a couple days on a mini-family vacation. We stayed in a little, log cabin, just cozy enough for my husband and me, and our three boys. We really needed a break from our routines and to re-bond together as a family and it truly is one of my favorite things to do as a family.

My husband and I start the day (the day we leave for vacation) with our normal routine. I wake up and go over my packing list over a strong cup of coffee and breakfast. I neatly cross off what I already washed, folded and carefully packed yesterday and into the wee hours of the night. He wakes up, throws some stuff in a bag, eats breakfast and wants to know what he can pack in the car and what time we should plan on leaving. I point to a pile of bags in the corner as I say, “I think we should leave around 12:00.” I have learned over our years of marriage that when I say, “around 12:00,” he actually hears “12:00 o’clock sharp...on the fully loaded, family happily singing songs and pulling out of the driveway at 11:59.” In my head, I am would be nice to leave around 12:00, give or take thirty minutes, but I am not going to ruin the morning stressing out about when to leave until everything is packed and accounted for.

My husband really likes to be on time, or better yet, he likes to be early. I come from a family who invented their own Time, thinks being fashionable late is still in fashion and “early” isn’t really in our vocabulary. I don’t think that we are merely insensitive to other’s schedules, but I have come to understand (through a lot of thought and self analyzing) that we are overly optimistic in what we can accomplish in a given time frame, we underestimate the obstacles that could detain/interrupt us and we think we have super powers, can stop time or something of the sort.

I have gotten better over the years and my running late has shortened each year. And to be honest, my husband’s sense of time has been proven over and over again ~ when we get stuck in traffic or jumped in the car and realized we needed to get gas, etc. He will just give me a knowing grin and I smile back at him with a “you were right” look. He is growing on me. It is a good thing!!

He actually left early with our oldest son to drop his car off and to drive on ahead with him. They had a pleasant ride listening to the carefully picked vacation music that my husband put on his iPod. And I casually but methodically packed up the rest of the car and pulled out of the driveway at 12:20 with the two little boys bundled in the back seat and, yes, we were singing songs.

More on our camping adventures later.

Sunday, June 20

Lions and Tigers and Bears...Oh My!

Where have I been………Camping! I was busy packing for our little family vacation, went camping and now unpacking. Here are a couple shots from our trip until I can scrounge up enough energy to put something in writing! Hope your summer is going great!!

my two little ones


my oldest son

my husband

Friday, June 11


It is hard to keep a loaf of bread in this house. It is literally gone before I can put the plastic tab back on. I am thrilled when our favorite brand has a “Buy 1 get 1 FREE” deal. As the boys get older, I might consider making our own bread. We’ll see. For now, I keep loaves stocked in our freezer in the basement.

I’ll never forget the stares and comments that were divvied out while I was helping my mother with groceries when I was a teenager. Heads would turn as we loaded up a grocery cart-and-a-half (sometimes two) of food for the week to feed our family of seven (two adults and five teens). And these were the days before Maryland had an abundance of warehouse clubs to shop in bulk.

Tuesday, June 8

cowboy boots

I always wanted to have a little boy that could care less when he threw on his trusted cowboy boots. Well, I got one....twisted shorts, baseball glove and all. This little catch has been planning his birthday party since January. He keeps reminding me that he would really, really like a Roy Rogers guitar when he turns five. His birthday isn’t until October!

Wednesday, June 2

a canopy of love

The family got together for Memorial Day at my parents' place this year. My father outdoes himself each year which keeps the whole family on their toes. This seventy-one-year-old man still pushes himself like he is twenty-five. He always has, he always will. The family jokes around about the fact that, on the morning of any family event, my father will inevitably get an idea for something…..“Something That Would Be Great!” He then decides to build it……right then and there! My mother is usually inside the house swiftly straightening up and setting out the necessities, when off in the distance she inevitably will hear the sound of a drill, saw or hammer. My mother has come to accept this tradition as gracefully as a loving wife can.

So this year, he had two inflatable pools, for the grandchildren, ping-pong, bean bag toss, Mischke Pool, slip-and-slide, another game he made, badminton, a bubble table and squirt guns. But that wasn’t quite enough, for my father. See, it was going to be one of those hot, humid Baltimore days. So naturally, that morning, my father built a huge canopy, out of two-by-fours and some canvas, to create some shade in the back yard. If he had time, I am sure he would have screened it in, added some flooring and maybe a set of French doors. To top it off, he also set up an industrial sized fan (which he pulled out of Mary Poppins' duffle bag) to create a breeze, a breeze for the entire neighborhood.

I couldn’t help but marvel in amazement when I saw what my father built for us, his loved ones, truly a canopy of love.

So as it came about, it actually made the day much more pleasurable as we rested in the breezy shade and watched our children swim, splash, slip and slide, squirt, squeal and smile!!!! Thanks, Dad, you really are the BEST!!!