Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What time is it???

Well, Emma could tell you. She can tell time now!! We've been working on this for about a month and we just got her test back and she got a 100%. It really was a hard test. She had to read a clock to the nearest hour and half hour. Thanks to PopPop she can even tell time to the nearest minute (with a little coaching). She can also tell you which event happened first if you give her three different events and their times. She's come a long way, since she started with NO prior knowledge of this subject. She didn't seem to think this test was a very big deal, but I just about jumped out of my skin when I saw that grade!! I know how hard she (and her mom and me and PopPop worked) to get that grade!!!
Emmzie, I'm just so proud that I had to tell everyone!!

The "Fort"

Our home is located in a valley between two ridges of mountains. It's a beautiful place to live, you can see the ski slopes from our neighborhood. You can drive East or West and see some beautiful sights, especially in the fall when the leaves change color. The negative to all of that is the land is very rocky. Most people don't have basements unless they blast for them. We fit into the "no basement" category, but we do have a great crawl space that's about 800 sq. feet. I was cleaning it out a couple of weeks ago in preparation for a yard sale and the kids were helping me move stuff around. It occured to me that they were standing up in the crawl space. They were very helpful in moving things around because it wasn't killing their backs or knees. So I decided to get rid of enough stuff to be able to clear out a play area for them. I finally finished the project today and they are thrilled with their new "fort."

I added some carpet remnants from when we got new carpet a year ago.
The crawl space is even climate controlled so we can even play in here in the winter. McKenna's going to love it when she starts crawling.I put a bunch of big toys in there that were taking up too much room in the house.

They all thought it was so cool, because it was just their size!
Now we've got a new place to play when it rains!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Typical Tuesday

Just a glimpse of our day...

Morning snuggle time with McKenna. Make sure you hear Abby singing to her (if you can ignore all the noise the boys were making). Abby was making up a song for McKenna. When Abby prayed at lunch time today she told God that McKenna was her best friend.

Making Chocolate Chip Muffins for snack time.

Christian and Nate mixing the muffins.

Christian "reading" Abby his new Dora & Diego (our latest obsession) book.

Window markers!! This was the first time we had ever used window markers. They were a huge hit. The clean up wasn't that bad ... no worse than bath tub crayons.

The trio literally spent hours today coloring with these window markers, so I'm putting them away for a week or two so they'll be new and exciting all over again!

A new song we learned today!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Fence

The fence installation has begun!!! Yippee!!! (Read my previous post to see why this excites me so much). On Saturday Ryan and our neighbor Mike (whose fence you see in the background...he's done this before) started putting up fence posts. It was a beautiful day and we are so grateful that Mike gave up his entire day to help us!! They spent the majority of the day figuring out the logistics of things. My dad would be so proud of all their measuring and leveling. I think they actually had four levels that they were using.
The guys got six posts installed before a thunder storm rolled in and they got lots of holes dug!!
On Sunday we actually skipped church so we could get some fence panels hung (we're in a time crunch to get this fence installed because it's "fireworks season"). Unfortunately it didn't end up being a very productive day. Thanks to some confusion over brackets (and three trips to Lowes) we only got two panels hung by about 7pm. Now that we've got it figured out the hanging of the panels should go rather quickly, Ryan doesn't seem to think it's that hard.
So next weekend is the BIG weekend. We've recruited some help and we're going to try and get it all done, well at least get all the posts in (Ryan can hang the panels by himself if need be). I'll keep you posted on our progress!

Fireworks Season

For those of you who may not know, my husband Ryan works for a fireworks company. He has been with TNT Fireworks (a.k.a American Promotional Events Inc.) for seven years. He manages their distribution center for the North East region and he also manages a sales team throughout that same region. As you can imagine the summer months are a very busy time in the fireworks industry. We always refer to May, June, and July as "the season." You'll probably hear me refering to "the season" a lot over the next couple of months. "The season" means working very long hours for Ryan. In past years I can even remember some nights when Ryan never even made it home because things got so hectic.
We never quite know what a season will hold for us. For the past seven years every season has been different. It just depends on the ever changing state laws, whether there has been a drought or lots of rain, and then of course it depends on whether their international shipments are arriving in a timely manor. Ryan always try to prepare for "the season" ahead of time, but much of it is totally out of his control. A typical day for Ryan during "the season" will start at 7am and end sometime around 11pm or later.

"The season" seems to have started early this year. Ryan has already begun to work longer hours and I can tell he's feeling the stress of it already. It's always a difficult couple of months for our family, since Daddy doesn't get to spend much time with us, but we're happy that this year Aunt Amy is living across the street so we'll get to have some extra special time with her. So this summer when you see displays of fireworks in Target, Walmart, Sams Club or Costco, think of us and say a prayer for us!! Don't forget to pick up some TNT sparklers for your 4th of July celebration!!


I ran over Emma's booster seat with my car! Yup, it's in the trash now. I must have been a little upset about it because I didn't even take a picture of it (which is unusual for me since I take pictures of everything these days).
I had taken all the Marshall kids carseats out of my car last week because I went to a yard sale and bought a train table for Nate and had to fit it in my car. I was putting them back in the car and forgot that I left Emma's sitting behind the car. I remembered as soon as I heard the crunch. Oh dear!
Now I have to go buy another one. At least it wasn't a carseat. They cost a whole lot more. Do you know how many car seats I've had to buy in the last year??

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Life is so beautiful

Sorry, but Nate declined to be included in the picture taking.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


This is what happens when you take a nose dive out of the wagon! Poor little nose! Ouch!

Miss you Dada!

Ryan is traveling again this week and Christian really misses him. Especially since he got a boo boo on his nose. He wanted to show it to Daddy.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Just had to share.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

N & C's Lawn Mowing Service

N & C servicing their equipment (they've seen their PopPop do this).
Getting to work.
Looking good :)
I can't wait until they're 12 and can do this for real!!!
Taking a break after some hard work!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pit Bull

Did I get your attention with that title??
Here's the deal:
New neighbors moved in directly behind us.
They have a PIT BULL.
We have no fence.
They don't have a fence.
Apparently there aren't any rules about this in our township (I called).
Got a fence estimate = $10,500
Can't afford that, nor do I want to spend that kind of $ on a fence.
So what do we do???
Neighbor says the dogs never bitten anyone.
I don't care, it only takes once.
It's a PIT BULL for heavens sake.
Five precious little lives run around our yard almost everyday.
So I guess we're going to have to put up a fence.
A tall one!
And we're going to do it ourselves.
(with some help from some people who know what they're doing)
I told the kids: "If the dogs are out, we go in."
Abby is now afraid to play in the yard.
If you think I'm over reacting read this.
or this
or this
I could list hundreds of these links if I had the time.
Quite honestly I feel like moving.
Will I ever be able to relax in our yard again, even with a fence?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Roller Skating

Ryan and I took Emma, Abby and Christian roller skating on Saturday night! Our church was having a roller skating party, so they got to see lots of their friends. Emma really got the hang of it after a few times around the rink, although she stuck pretty close to the wall!
Once Abby figured out how to keep her feet from going in opposite directions she had a great time. She and I made one lap around the rink and I think once was enough. She didn't like having to get so much help and my back probably couldn't have made it around again (I was basically holding her up the entire time). So Abby skated around on the carpet and did a great job with no assistance from anyone!
Christian's skates were so heavy that he had a really difficult time and was quite clumsy. He still really had fun with lots of help from Daddy. He gave up on the skates after about 30 min. and headed to the moon bounce.
Mr. John (Emily's Dad), Emma and Ryan
Emma had a sleep over with her friend Emily on Friday night and then spent the day with their family. Emma got to go to a park, ate out for lunch, went to Funcastle to ride go karts and then they met us at the roller rink. Emma had quite a busy day and she couldn't stop talking about it all night. We are so thankful for the sweet friendship Emma and Emily have developed and their entire family has been such a blessing to Emma in many ways.

I couldn't resist posting this picture of Pastor Mike and John.

70 Degrees!

Addie, Bryson, Christian and Tanyon getting ready for a race!
We have been lovin' this seventy degree weather. On Friday it was 77 degrees. Oh how I wish it would last!! The best part has been that we've been able to spend lots of time with our friends.

Christian loves playing with his friends Bryson and Tanyon because they love all the things Christian loves especially trains!! The boys made a terrific train track and then headed outside to play for a couple hours!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

McKenna's New Friend

Today McKenna got to meet her new friend Gwen! Gwen is the Furnish's new little girl. She and McKenna are six weeks apart and you can tell that McKenna was born first. There is a significant size different between the two girls. It's hard to believe that McKenna was the size of Gwen just six weeks ago. My little girl is growing up so quickly.

Our Spelling Champ

Just a few of Emma's spelling words this week:

1. expected
2. feathers
3. gathered
4. together

Keep in mind, the girl is only in first grade and she knows how to spell these words. I must say, I'm impressed!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Happy Two Month Birthday McKenna! Updated!

It's hard to believe that McKenna is two months old today. She's already changed so much. We have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, so we'll find out then how much she's weighs. McKenna has started to stay awake for longer periods of time during the day and she has started to coo and babble a little bit. McKenna also smiles now in response to my voice. I'll give you another update on her tomorrow! Our lives are so blessed!
McKenna's check up was today. She's a fussy girl right now because of her shots, but I was thrilled to find out that she weighs 11.2lbs. That means she gained two pounds in the last month! WooHoo! Remember that it wasn't that long ago that we were worried about her gaining weight.

Catching Up

To all of you blog junkies out there who check in daily, sorry I haven't really had anything new or interesting to post. Our lives have been pretty quiet for the last couple of days, which is great! So here's a few random pictures to keep everyone happy!

Nate loves his cousin McKenna. Today I heard him call her "tiny girl." How cute is that??
Christian helping me with laundry. He uses his green bucket as his laundry basket, fills it up and then throws all the clothes over the railing down into the family room. Then Abby collect all the clothes and puts them in the washer. Are they well trained or what?? Actually they usually love helping with laundry because they like to throw the laundry down on top of one another.
Emma took this picture of McKenna. She'll be happy to see that it ended up in the blog. That girl is something else. How many other seven year olds do you know who totally know how to take a picture on a digital camera and then ask if it will be posted on the blog? I'll bet there's a few million forty year olds who still don't know what a blog is and Emma even knows how to log on and leave her own comments. She's so smart. I got her a book making kit this past weekend and she spent over an hour yesterday writing a dinosaur story. I just might post it when she's done. I think it's going to be really cute.
The things I do for a few extra minutes of sleep: Abby and Nate arrive at my house around 7:30am on the days they stay with me. That seems awfully early to me these days since little Miss Mckenna is still figuring out how to sleep for longer than 3 hours, so the night before I lay out their pillows and blankets on the living room floor so they can have a picnic. Then I set up the breakfast tray and put their breakfast in little sealed containers on it. I fill their sippy cups and put them in the fridge ahead of time. The next morning Ryan sets out their cups and turns on the TV to the Disney channel. When Abby and Nate arrive they hang out in the living room eating their breakfast and watching TV. This usually buys me an extra 20-30 min. of sleep before they come trotting upstairs to wake me up. Abby usually wakes me up to tell me that Nate made a mess with his breakfast and I usually don't care as long as it's not before 8am.
A typical morning at our house.
Reading books with daddy before bedtime!
I love Nate so much! How can you not??? Look at that sweet face. How blessed I am to be able to love and kiss and hug on that boy!
I'll have you notice that there are three pictures in this post with no binkie!! We are making progress. Nate actually reminded me today of the "no binkie" rule at church (the one I made up). When we arrived at playgroup he asked me what we were going to do about his binkie. I had forgotten. But he was a great sport about leaving it in the car.

I never know how wise it is to leave Christian alone in the same room with McKenna, but sometimes I just have to for a minute or two. Christian was alone with McKenna for about 3 minutes today and this is what I found when I walked back into the room. He had gotten his pillow and put it next to hers and he let her have his new blue doggie that our neighbor Ms. Peggy just gave him. He was being so sweet. Talking to her in a soft voice. My little boy is getting the hang of this "big brother" stuff.