Wednesday, February 27, 2008

my week, in pictures

Feb. 19th, beautiful flowers from George:
Feb. 20th, the lunar eclipse. Obviously, I didn't have the camera on the right setting! LOL It looked good on the camera screen, at least!:

Feb. 21st, our kitchen shelf, full of hearts:

Feb. 22nd, the beautiful handblown glass bowl that was a Christmas present from James and Julie (my BIL and his wife):
Feb. 23rd, George and I got to go on a movie date! (Our first in years!) I didn't think to take the camera with us, but did get this of our tickets afterwards:

Feb. 24th, it's Girl Scout cookie time! Yum! :) These are my very favorites, Caramel Delites:
Feb. 25th, my poor sick boy. Nick had such a high fever and felt so horrible for 3 days. He slept right through this picture:

Feb. 26th, our fluffy, fluffy snow that came down the night before:

Feb. 27th, my special rocking chair. Looking at all those old pictures yesterday made me think to take a picture of this chair. Granny gave it to me when Em was a baby. Her father (Frank McCray) bought it for his wife when she was pregnant with Gran. That means the chair is over 100 years old now, and that four generations of our family have rocked their babies in it....

Monday, February 25, 2008

where i come from

Katie's challenge for this week was to post about "where I come from", however we wish to interpret that.

I have been a genealogy nut ever since I had to do a family tree project in 7th grade, so I decided to write about my ancestors, the family I come from. It is always fascinating to me, to think about all the generations of people who came before me, and how, without them, I wouldn't even exist.

My ancestors immigrated from Germany (on Mom's side), England, Scotland, and Ireland (on Dad's). Most of them settled in the north central part of Illinois in the 1860's - 1880's. The families lived there for several generations, and some continue to live there still. Some of my ancestors helped to found the small town of LaMoille where my parents grew up. (I even lived in LaMoille myself, for 3 months when I was in Kindergarten.) Though we rarely visit LaMoille now that my grandma passed away in 2001, I still have great affection for the little town, and feel like it is a part of who I am. Here is a picture of LaMoille's Main Street... I'm not sure when it was taken:

I wish that I had copies of all the ancestral photos my parents own, because I'd love to share them all. I only have a few of them, but will share what I can.

These are my great-grandparents, Henry and Lillian Kerchner (my maternal grandmother's parents). Henry was born in Germany, but his family moved to Illinois when he was a toddler. Lillian was born in New York City, and I'm not sure when she made her way to the midwest. When Henry grew up, he became a farmer, like his father before him. He and Lillian had 14 children, but 3 died in infancy, and 2 others passed away before reaching adulthood. Henry was killed in a corn-picking accident at the age of 50, when my grandma was only 12 years old:

My maternal grandfather's parents were William and Louise Fischer. They were both born in Illinois, but their parents were from Germany. William was also a farmer, like his father before him. William and Louise had 6 children, though 1 died as an infant.

These are my mom's parents, Fred and Esther Fischer, on their wedding day in 1937. My grandpa was a farmer, also. They had 5 children, and both of their sons farm. Grandpa passed away in 1990, and I still miss him very much. He would've gotten such a kick out of my kiddos (and his other great-grandchildren), and would've called them all "corkers". :) Grandma has had some health issues, but still lives alone in her own home at the age of 89:
These are my great-grandparents on my dad's side, his mother's parents, Frank and Margaret McCray. They were both born in Illinois, though all of their parents came from Pennsylvania (and from Scotland and Ireland before that). Frank was an automobile mechanic and owned his own garage. Margaret was a seamstress and sewed her own wedding dress. They had 2 children. Margaret died before she turned 50, but Frank lived to be almost 93, and we have a few pictures of him with me as a baby:
My dad's father's parents were Winfield and Sarah Hall. I don't know much about Sarah, but Winfield was born in New Jersey, where his parents and grandparents had been born as well. (His great-grandparents came from England.) His family moved to Illinois when he was 2. Winfield was a farmer, and he and Sarah had 10 children.

My paternal grandparents didn't have a wedding picture because they eloped. This is my grandma, Bernice, who was a teacher. As mentioned earlier, Granny passed away in 2001, when she was almost 96. She had lived on her own until a year or so before that, despite being legally blind since the 1980's. She was a very independant woman, who loved her family greatly. She was the one who fueled my interest in genealogy, and I miss her a lot, too:And this is my grandpa, Marion, who everyone called Bear. (He was Grandpa Bear to me.) He was an auto mechanic like his father-in-law and owned Hall's Garage in LaMoille. He was my bestest buddy when I was little, and I was devasted at 6 years old, when he died. He and Granny had 5 children: And this is a picture of my parents, Bev and Rick, on their wedding day:

As young adults, they left Illinois to live in Iowa, where my dad attended Iowa State University in Ames. That is where I was born, a year after they got married. Though we also lived in Madison, WI for 4 years (where my sister Christine was born), then Maryland for 3 months, and LaMoille for 3 months, we returned to Ames in 1974, when I was a Kindergartner. Ames remained my home until George and I moved to the Chicago suburbs in 1994, and Ames is very much a part of who I am. We still visit several times a year, but I often miss my hometown. (We've lived here so long now, though, that I would really miss the Chicago area if we ever moved back to Iowa.)

So, there you have it. That's where Janelle comes from. :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

the things boo says...

It's been awhile since I did a "Benjamin-speak" post. His vocabulary grows every day, I think, and he now uses little sentences when he speaks, too. I thought I'd share some of the more common phrases that he uses all the time ~ they are so cute, and I don't want to forget them!

"Mama! Sun up! Play!" - this is my wake up call most mornings :)

"No seep" or "no nap" - this is what I usually hear at bedtime, LOL. It is often followed by "Un! Hi!" (Run! Hide!), and me chasing after him!

"No sool, say" = No school, stay. This is what Ben says when the other two are leaving for school ~ he wants them to stay and play!

"Pee-buh jeh" = Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

"Sam ham" - this stands for Sam-I-Am, from Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham. Ben loves the book and the movie version, too!

"Een oh. Eh top." = Green go. Red stop. He says this a lot when we are driving and he sees traffic lights!

"EmNih" = Em, Nick. He usually says this as one word, especially when he's calling them to come play with him!

"Booyah!" - Em and Nick taught him to say this when he is excited about something. He also says "woo hoo!" and "Oh, yes!" LOL These always come with an arm gesture, too!

"Oh. Sure!" - Ben's normal positive response when we ask him to do something.

"Two" - this means there is more than one of something (could be 2, could be 3 or 4, etc...)

"Ee seh-sen" (Three seven) - this means there is a lot of something. When he counts, he goes 1, 2, 3, 7 :)

"Blue zoom" - he says this when he wants to go somewhere in our car (which IS blue)

"Say home" = Stay home. When he DOESN'T want to go somewhere in the car!

"Say?" = What does this say? He will point at words and ask this.

"Too loud!" - This can mean that something is too loud, but it usually means he just wants the tv or radio or whatever shut off (turning the volume down isn't good enough, LOL)

"Eee en" = The end. This means he is done with something, whether it's a book or a tv show or a game he's playing.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

more "photos of the day"...

Feb. 8, trying out my macro setting on the snowflake decoration hanging in our kitchen window:
Feb. 9, home of my favorite drink, Chai Tea Latte... yum! : Feb. 10, the valentine Mom and Dad sent to Benjamin ~ he LOVES it!:

Feb. 11, getting ready to pack my snowmen up until next Christmas: Feb. 12, Benjamin and his mystery spots... I know they are hard to see here. We think he might be allergic to Amoxicillan:
Feb. 13, some of the cookies the kids and I made:
Feb. 14, Boo enjoys some valentine chocolate!:

Feb. 15, more snow!:
Feb. 16, a cute little felt bag I put out for Valentine's Day:
Feb. 17, the boys playing in the hallway... they have lots of fun together!:

Feb. 18, I just love these fancy birdhouses:

Friday, February 15, 2008

my funny valentines (part 1)

All I wanted was a nice picture of my 3 kiddos on Valentine's Day. Easier said than done! LOL! It didn't help that Benjamin loves Nick's new Webkinz puppy as much as Nick does....

Here is how our photo shoot went. Go ahead and laugh ~ I did!

(For some reason, I can't get both this text and the slideshow in the same post... so see pics below! :) )

My Funny Valentines

Thursday, February 14, 2008

romance is in the air...

Well, not really. Not around here, anyway, LOL. We don't have the money to go out anywhere, and I'm sick anyway, so it's going to be a pretty low key Valentine's Day at our house. We did give the kids some valentine gifts this morning. Emmalie and Nick got their very first Webkinz pets, and Benjamin got a toy plane and a chalkboard/dry erase board that he LOVES! He spent all morning drawing on it:

And just a little while ago, I received an ecard valentine from George. It was very unexpected and sweet. :)

Nick made alien valentines this week, to give to his classmates. (We saw the idea in Family Fun magazine.) I thought they turned out cute! The message on the inside said, "I think you're out of this world!":

Em, Nick, and I made valentine cookies yesterday. It is one of our traditions, and we all love to decorate them and eat them! :) :

Oh, and I did manage to get Ben away from his new chalkboard long enough to make valentines for Dada, Em, and Nick this morning. He was very proud of his work, and told me who each one was for. Too cute! :

In honor of Valentine's Day, KatieJ wanted us to post something romantic. I've really been racking my brains trying to think of a story I could tell. It's been awhile since anything I normally consider to be romantic has happened to me. But then I looked at the photos above and decided this could be my story:

Once upon a time, in a land not too far away, a boy named George fell in love with a girl named Janelle. Not too long after that, she fell in love with him, too. George and Janelle dated for several years, and eventually became man and wife in a lovely wedding. Over the years, they had 3 beautiful, smart, and wonderful children. They all lived together in a nice house in the suburbs, and though life hasn't always been "happily ever after" like it is in the movies, it has still been a life filled with lots of laughter and lots of love. If that's not romantic, I don't know what is. :)

photos i love...

Katie also asked us to post photos that we love... they could be new or old. I had several in mind when she made the challenge, but they are older ones that I will need to track down first, so I think I'll post those another time. Instead, I'll post some more recent photos that were handy since I'm getting ready to scrap them. I just LOVE these pics of Em and Nick with their brand new baby brother... back before he was bugging them all the time, LOL!

All from September 2005:

Little did they know just what they were in for! LOL! (They still adore Benjamin, though, even if they won't always admit it!)

layouts i love...

I'm behind on some blog challenges that KatieJ has set, so thought I would try to get caught up! :) For one challenge, we were supposed to post at least one recent layout we've done that we love. I've been very busy scrapping lately (I've done over 150 pages in a month!), so I had quite a few to choose from, LOL! Here are some I've done that I've been very happy with: