Monday, December 24, 2012

Up north.

The einsteins had their last day of school friday. It seemed later than everyone else, but we were safe and happy, so we don't mind.
The next day we woke up early early (before the worm even crawled outta its wormy bed) and slowly made our way north to visit family.
We had a yummy Christmas lunch at my in-laws house and got to see our nephews and niece, which was SO much fun, especially for the einsteins. 
It was a perfect day, and they spent a lot of it outside.
 A few hours later, we headed down to visit John's grandpa on his little farm. Or is it a ranch? What's the difference? And for that matter, he got rid of all the animals for now, with feed being so expensive and all, so what would an animal-less farm be called? (Besides the dog, of course).
Well, anyway, he decided to take Emma out on the tractor. 
It's not just any old tractor. 
It's a rite of passage.
John's mom drove it, John drove it, and now she has, too.
And had Evan been a little less exhausted, he would have, too, but it made it all that much more special to Emma to have her own tractor-riding day with Granpappy Joe.

 Whoa! Check out that hunk o' manliness out there!
 Okay, back to the tractor...





 (I know - I took a few kazillion pictures, but it's her GREAT GRANDPA! On a TRACTOR! With his GREAT granddaughter! What were my options there?!)
 The tractor (which I completely fell in love with) is a 1952 Ford. It still has two original tires on it, and he still maintains it and fixes it himself. Can you believe they still sell parts for it?? I guess a lot of people restore them, so it's pretty easy to get the pieces from stores. 
personally, I like it un-restored. :)
 check out this air filter. Just a mason jar to catch the grass and such. 
No big deal.
LOVE!





 In a shed on the farm, he had, hanging on a wire, a catfish head that he caught when he was just 15 years old down in the creek nearby. It's just been hangin around for decades. (Did you get that joke?)
I was fascinated.
And his fence posts along the back property are decorated with its new ancestors.


I seriously fell in love with this place, that we had visited forever, and not thought twice about. But once you get stories and history and legends, it becomes more than just a place. It becomes your ancestry, your past, and your passion.
We left Grandpappy's house and headed up to see his sister, who we almost missed! AGAIN!
But we got to visit with her a nice while before we got back on the road and headed home with 2 sleeping blessings in the back seat, and merry Christmas cheer throughout.

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Just around town...

I love this. On the way to my dad's house, we always pass this fence. It was a little short, so they just stuck an old box spring in there to make it fit.
Perfect.
I actually love this. Gives it a bit of character, no?
(and besides, how would I know where the right turn was without it?!?)
 During a trip downtown to donate some goods, we walked down to the old train tracks.
 Ev was hammering a big ol' nail thingamuhjig into the track. He's so manly. 
 Em was on a hunt for treasure. She found old rail tacks, rusted chain links, and grabbed a couple heart-shaped rocks for the collection.
 Santa was at Chik-fil-a...
 ...and the missus was at the Wondertorium. 
So, basically this post was really all about nothing, but you just come here to see those two adorable children anyway, yes?
:)

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Little wrestler

He's got a daddy that did it.
An uncle, too.
But I still don't like it. I cant even go watch practices.
So hubby was nice enough to take pictures when Ev was torturing some other little boy, not the other way around. 
Sigh.
I suppose this is the start of boyhood.
Where the road begins to fork and mommas that feel like jumping off the bleachers to pull some kiddo off my sweet little baby are not allowed to go one way, just walk alongside on their own path, where predatory children are safer from these crazy momma bear instincts.
:(
But he loves it, and is always asking when he can go back.
And, hey, check out that cute little singlet!
(size XXXS, if you must know, and could you NOT want to know that?!?)

Way to go, Ev.
I'm so proud of you.
(from way over here!)
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The building of the Gingerbread












happy christmas eve!

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Heartbreak

On Friday morning, I got a text from one of my class parents asking me to give her daughter an extra hug for her in light of the events in Connecticut. When she told me what happened, I had wished I didn't ask.
My heart sank into my chest, and my mind immediately began praying loud prayers of help, grace, and peace for all the families hurt so tragically by this terrible event.
As I sat there thinking of all these little ones in my care every day, and my own two at school, I couldn't imagine the pain that erupted in that community that morning.
 (Photo from Yahoo News)
(Photo from Yahoo News)
(Yahoo News)
This young man killed 20 6&7 year old babies and 6 adults. They were all shot more than once, some up to 11 times. ELEVEN times. 
I try to understand why this happened. I try to make sense of it, but it is just another one of those events that we have to give to God to heal us all. 

Every morning as I drop the einsteins off, I give them a kiss, tell them I love them, and catch and blow kisses as I pull away from the doors. I absolutely CANNOT deal with the thought that Friday morning could have just as easily been the last day that I caught a kiss in the air from my little girl, the last big chapstick covered kiss from my baby, the last time I would see those sock monkey hats bobbing up and down as they ran for the gymnasium doors, the last time I would leave that school parking lot.

We are praying for all the lives affected by these senseless events, and healing and grace above all.

Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Rachel Davino, 29
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeline Hsu, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
James Mattioli, 6
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Jack Pinto, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6
and
Adam Lanza, 20



Go to Him, little ones...




The whole story...


NEWTOWN, Connecticut | Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:48am EST
(Reuters) - Worshippers filled Sunday services to mourn the victims of a gunman's elementary school rampage that killed 20 children and six adults with President Barack Obama due to appear later at an interfaith vigil to help this shattered Connecticut town recover.
Twenty-year-old gunman Adam Lanza shot his way into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Friday morning, firing away at students at staff with the civilian version of a powerful military rifle. Victims were hit multiple times and at least one was shot 11 times, authorities said.
All the dead children were either 6 or 7 years old, feeding more emotion into a revived debate about whether stricter gun laws could prevent future mass shootings in the United States.
"If this doesn't shake the consciousness of the country about doing better to protect our children, I don't know what will," said Pedro Segarra, mayor of Hartford, the state capital.
A light mix of snow and freezing rain greeted worshippers on a cold and gray morning, church parking lots filled with cars. On Saturday, Jews gathered at Congregation Adath Israel of Newtown to express their disbelief at the massacre and show support for the survivors.
Obama was scheduled to attend an interfaith vigil with the families of the victims starting at 7 p.m. EST (0000 GMT).
At the Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church, early Mass was packed. The priest's announcements at the end included news that the Christmas pageant rehearsal would go on as planned, but without 6-year-old Olivia Engel, killed on Friday before she could play the role of an angel.
Makeshift memorials that began appearing in the hours after the shooting continued to grow on Sunday and new ones kept emerging in this affluent town of 27,000 people surrounded by wooded hills about 80 miles from New York City.
The largest memorial, festooned with flowers and teddy bears, sat at the end of Dickenson Drive where Sandy Hook Elementary stands, and residents and visitors streamed past a police roadblock to add to it.
At the memorial, a woman knelt down and sobbed violently.
As the children walked down the street in the rain, carrying their toys and signs, a man sat on the back on his parked car playing a mournful tune on a violin to accompany them.
Further up the street, an American "Flag of Honor" hung with the names of the dead. Poinsettias, roses and lilies lay beneath it, alongside candles and stuffed animals.
"This is a time to come together," said Carina Bandhaver, 43, who lives in nearby Southbury.
The children who survived will not have to return to the scene of the massacre when school reopens later this week and instead will attend classes at an unused school in a neighboring Connecticut town about 7 miles, school officials said. Classes elsewhere in the town would resume Tuesday, except at Sandy Hook.
GUN DEBATE
Connecticut's Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy on Sunday became the latest public figure to call for new gun control measures. "These are assault weapons. You don't hunt deer with these things," Malloy said on the CNN's "State of the Union."
Gun rights advocates have countered that Connecticut already has among the strictest gun laws in the nation.
Obama's appearance will be watched closely for clues as to what he meant when he called for "meaningful action" to prevent such tragedies.
The president arrives after authorities released the names of the dead on Saturday and more details emerged about the victims and the rampage itself.
After killing his mother, Nancy Lanza, at home, Adam Lanza shot his way into the school and started firing at the children, most if not all with a powerful rifle - a military-style Bushmaster .223 M4 carbine - at close range. He also killed six adult women at the school and himself, putting the death toll at 28.
Malloy, referring to the shooter, said: "We know that he was a troubled individual, and that he went to school with a number of weapons which he used on his victims and ultimately used on himself. ... I'm sure we'll come to know more about him and his problems and his family."
Lanza had struggled at times to fit into the community and his mother Nancy pulled him out of school for several years, to home-school him, said Louise Tambascio, the owner of My Place Restaurant, where his mother was a long-time patron.
His father, Peter Lanza, issued a statement saying the family was in a "state of disbelief."
"We too are asking why," the statement said.
Nancy Lanza legally owned a Sig Sauer and a Glock, both handguns commonly used by police in addition to the long gun, according to law enforcement officials.
U.S. lawmakers have not approved a major new gun law since 1994, and they let a ban on certain semiautomatic rifles known as assault weapons expire in 2004. Malloy lamented that the assault ban was allowed to lapse. He also said a lot of guns used in crimes in his state were actually purchased in other states and brought to Connecticut.
Though Americans have seen many mass shootings over the years, the victims have rarely been so young. An appalled and grieving nation learned more about the dead.
Emilie Parker, another of the child victims, was studying Portuguese with her father, Robbie Parker, who opened up about his daughter in an emotional news conference in which he turned both glowing and teary.
"This world is a better place because she has been in it," Parker said.
Vicki Leigh Soto, 27, saved her first-grade students' lives by putting herself between the kids and the gunman. Britain's Independent on Sunday newspaper splashed her photo on its front page with the caption "The Heroine of Sandy Hook."
(Additional reporting by Edith Honan, Emily Flitter, Dave Gregorio, and Chris Francescani; Writing by Daniel Trotta
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Monday, December 10, 2012

December Goings-On and such

Boy, this month is a little bit flying by, no? It's a third of the way gone. And while that means that we are that much closer to Christmas break (and the einsteins being HOME!!), it also means that Christmas is almost here and I'm not sure I'm ready. I feel like there's so many things I want to do first!! Like our movie night with popcorn watching "The Nativity Story" all together in our family snuggies?! And our hot cocoa by the fire singing along with Mitch?! Curses, you flying-by time! Slow down!!
It was a high of 37 today.
THIRTY-SEVEN.
And while it was uberly freezing cold...
(opening advents)
 ...just days ago we were outside in shorts and tees in the eveningtime, wearing cones on our heads, because, well, that seems to be what we do around here (remember the rain helmets??), and waiting on hubby to come running by during his half-marathon run that day.
SHORTS and TEES, people!


 Emma and Maria by the tree, just hangin out being gorgeous again. 
I think I have this photo of sorts every year. 
 Dobby.
Have his owners come to claim him yet?
I mean...it's been two years now...

 Sweet Harley in all his wrinkly, stinky goodness.
 Now here's a broken heart caught on film...erm...digital film, that is.
Ev's school called for us to come and get the poor thing. He was in great pain because of his ear.
And when I say great pain, I mean kicking and squirming like a woman in labor. You can't get comfortable, you don't want to be touched, but you want to be touched. you don't want anything but you want something.
It was excruciating for us all.
He screamed and screamed and screamed.
I was able to finally get some Motrin into him just in time to calm the pain by the time we got in to the doctor.

 He already had bronchitis, so we was on an antibiotic. How could this be an ear infection? But it was. So, now, we are on TWO antibiotics and a steroid, and some bits of candy for the poor baby boy that feels so yuck.
By that evening, he was feeling much better, which was great, because it was the night of the Christmas Parade!












 Our friend, Jackson was parked next to us, and they had fun watching together.
(Yes, I am dorky enough to plug in some lights for the parade viewing!)






 Some more advent.
(Don't you LOVE Lego?!?)

 Round 1 of the cards have gone out! Round 2 needs to wait until my tongue is moist again...


 And, we shall end this one on a photo of the two headed monster I found in my kitchen this morning.
No big deal.
Just the cutest monster ever.
EVER.

What have you been up to? 
Any good parades your way?
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