Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Overview.

I am still in a bit of a state of disbelief that today is actually Christmas day. Other than the presents we have opened, the traditional dinner prepared and eaten and the Christmas tree up, it doesn't feel like it should be Christmas. But, alas, it is indeed December 25.

Last night we opened our presents. It was wonderful chaos, and also really gave Rob and I glimpses the distinct differences between our boys' personalities. When it comes to unwrapping presents, David wants to jump in and help to open everybody's presents (in a hurried fashion). Aidan, on the other hand, will open one present and want to go play with it awhile before coming back to open more. I almost think he was a little bit overwhelmed at all of the excitement, the presents and chaos since he sat back for a little while quietly playing. The train table that we bought with their Christmas $$ from Grandma Kris and Grandpa Mark has been played with pretty constantly over the last couple of days. The table has allowed us to set up track that can actually stay set up (not like when it had been set up on the family room floor and I would make them tear it down and put it away each time). They got a wooden castle from their Uncle Dunny that has been a huge hit as well. :)

After we finished opening presents and let the boys play awhile longer, we put them to bed and went downstairs to watch Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, the movie I got Rob for Christmas. Aidan went right to sleep, but David was wound up tight--too excited to even think about falling asleep. At one point in the evening, I went upstairs to check on him (because I heard a suspicious noise) only to find him playing with his plastic Revolutionary War figures and canons upstairs in the bathroom! He had a little battlefield set up on the counter next to the sink, next to the crust from the piece of pizza he had pilfered to snack on while playing out the big battle.

This morning was fun. Aidan woke up first, of course, and wanted to go downstairs to watch "Bob" (which means, I want to watch VeggieTales). Rob coaxed me to get out of the warm comfort of our bed so I could see Aidan's reaction to his "Santa" gift, a Little Tikes car. Well, Aidan didn't even care that there was a car sitting in our living room. The first place he went was to the train table to go play with the trains again. Rob worked pretty hard to get him excited about the car and about the filled stocking inside. David woke up more than an hour later, so we got to see his excitement over everything later (after he had dumped everything out onto the couch to inspect).

Overall, today was really relaxing. The boys played and watched their new movies. Rob finally got the present I gave him to start working, and I fixed prime rib for dinner...yum! Sydney thought the prime rib tasted good too. While I was upstairs giving Aidan cuddles , and Rob and David were downstairs playing and watching TV, she jumped up onto the counter and pulled what was left off of the cutting board and carried it into the living room. I came downstairs to see her lying in the middle of the floor gnawing on it--as soon as she saw me, she knew that she was in trouble. Rob had to throw the rest of the meat away (I'm so stew or French dip sandwiches now), and I had to clean up the garlic cloves that were strewn across the floor. Syd's punishment was banishment out into the rain and she will have to sleep in her kennel out in the garage tonight (well, that's also in case she ends up getting sick again like she did when she dug the ham out of the outside garbage can earlier this year). Bad princess!!!

Well, I need to go give a certain 4-year-old some night-night cuddles. Hoping you and yours are having a very Merry Christmas and that you all are experiencing the joy of Jesus this holiday season.

Friday, December 22, 2006

You know it's time... potty train when your 2-year-old takes off his diaper immediately after he goes #1 or #2 and tries to parade around the house. Yeah...that would be Aidan. We never had anything like this happen with David. Frankly, when it was time to potty train that child, we had to convince him that it was his idea. Otherwise, he wanted nothing to do with the venture. Maybe Aidan will potty train more easily? We can only hope and pray! :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Music Makers.

David standing between his buddies Noah (left) and Mason (right) during their Sunday morning performance.

David's digging for bats in his cave...

David in front of our tree before heading out for this evening's performance.

Music Makers is the name our church has given its preschool choir, which just by chance, happens to be an all-boys choir. 9-15 boys between the ages of 3 and 5. As you can imagine, they must be angels and really easy to handle. From what I have been told, they can be chaotic, but they're cute and have been doing well at learning their songs. The children's music program was held this evening at the BCM (Baptist Campus Ministries) building on campus. The Music Makers choir started things off and the Praise Kidz (elementary choir) performed their musical immediately following.

Rob took David this evening since he had not yet seen our little man perform. I stayed at home with the sick boy (Aidan) and frosted cookies until he finally awoke from his nap. He woke up this morning with a little stomach bug but seems to be doing much better since waking from his nap--yay!!! Rob said that David did a very good job tonight and that he was tapping his toes and bopping his head to the beat of the music.

Sunday morning, when he performed at church, he walked out onto the stage digging for bats in his cave (aka his nose) and ended up eating it! YUCK!!! After they were finished singing the second song, David told someone sitting just below the stage (while holding out just one finger), "We have one more song left!" He said this quite loudly and ended up getting the audience to chuckle quietly. He was also fascinated with the microphone and tried to stay behind to talk for a bit: "Okay, okay, okay..." he said before being coaxed off the stage by one of his leaders. One of my favorite parts Sunday morning was when Noah put his hands in his pockets and yawned (audibly) as soon as the last word of one of the songs was sung. It was done in perfect time with the music!

I'm looking forward to their spring performance!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

So sad...

I think I'm allergic to my Christmas tree. :( Last night I noticed that my sinuses were getting plugged up, I felt really sleepy (like I do when I have other pollen allergies "hit" me) and felt like I was just getting a nasty cold. Well, I took a cold and sinus med earlier today that really helped clear my nose and got rid of the headache; however, when I was decorating that beautiful 7' tall holiday house visitor, my eyes started to burn and my nose started to run.

This is the first year that I have ever noticed an allergy to any sort of Christmas tree that I have been in contact with. It makes me so sad to feel miserable when I love getting a real tree. I love driving out to the tree farm. I love walking (or running like I do when I chase the boys) through the rows of trees looking for that perfect one. I love taking pictures of Rob and the boys cutting it down (and then having to pause to hold it up so it doesn't fall over on any of them). I love bringing it home and having to work over a period of 2+ days to make sure that it is not leaning in one direction or another. I love taking out all of the ornaments and reveling in the memories that surround each one--ones I have gotten as a child, ones we have bought for the boys or for each other, ones I or others have is such a sentimental moment. Lastly, I love the smell of a fresh evergreen permeating through my house. However, that beautiful specimen (it's a type of fir--a frasier maybe? Reminds me a bit of a noble) just doesn't agree with me. Oh well. I'll enjoy the beauty of it while it is here. Next year, we'll probably break down and get a fake tree. I shouldn't be allergic to that. ;-)

Monday, October 30, 2006


This girl had me in stitches with her silly antics yesterday afternoon during her photo shoot. Having clients like her totally make my job fun! We had a lot of "silly" poses, laughter, pretending to be sad and some semi-serious ones too. There are so many good shots of Mara, that it was really difficult to find just 3 to post.

Monday, October 23, 2006


We went to Oktoberfest out at Mountain Lake last Saturday. Man, it was so much fun! The photo collage is a compilation of images taken from that evening of our rowdy group. :) 8 adults crammed into our 7-passenger Tahoe (one of those times that I wish that we had actually gotten the bench seat for the middle row instead of the captain's seats, yes Rob, I'm admitting that you were right!). Rob drove. All you can eat food that was mighty tasty. Plenty of beer (or cider/coffee/water) for all. Fun times all around. Some of my favorite quotes of the night were when Jan kept insisting that he was Swedish, and when Horst was telling everyone about why the cows wore the cow bells--still laughing over that one.
One of the women in the band came up to me afterwards and asked how I became so lucky to be the only girl amongst all of those dashing young men in our party...It was a hard job, but someone had to do it. ;-) Thanks guys for a great time. Ready to go again next year? I know that I am!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Learning and growing.

That's something we're all doing right now--learning and growing. The boys are learning more each day about how the world works, more about God, his creation, academic related things. They are growing like weeds physically (well, Aidan is a slow-growing one), and above are a couple of pictures to show how big they have gotten. I'm learning and growing more as a parent, as a wife, as a friend, as God's daughter and whatnot. I'm growing more in Him (and am trying not to grow bigger physically). :)
I had a MOPS meeting this morning, and let me tell you, it was awesome! My friend, Jennifer, posted a little bit about what our speaker talked about (as well as someone the 3 of us had listened to at the Extraordinary Women's Conference in early September). During the meeting and while reading Jenn's blog, God gave me a little nudge, or maybe it was more of a swift kick in the pants, and made me realize that I'm not ministering to others the way He wants me to. I'm holding back in fear. Fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. Fear of rejection. Fear that I will inadvertently turn things around to what is going on in my own life. Just plain fear of being stretched or made uncomfortable. Some of this fear is definitely due to my trying to stay somewhat guarded and protect myself from being hurt. Really, I should be handing that over to Jesus and be walking in his strength, compassion and power.
Jesus, train me how to live today. Teach me to be there for others. Help me to be a better friend and to not be afraid to reach out and befriend others. Thank you that we do not have to fear because you are with us, you are our God and will strengthen us and help us and uphold us with your righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10). Train me to be more like you Jesus--I am giving my fear to you Lord. Mold me into the woman you want me to be and may people see you shining through me in everything. Amen.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


That's the name David bestowed upon a beautiful Monarch butterfly when we were up at Pandapas Pond this morning. I was playing fetch with Sydney, allowing her to swim and retrieve--two things she does quite well, and all of a sudden David comes up to me, ready to show me his prize catch. He was holding it gingerly by the wings and had this look of sheer bliss and delight upon his face. The butterfly was given the name of Punker because she was orange like a pumpkin (and I call him punkin) and he likes to have an 'er' sound be at the end of a lot of his made-up words.

My boy cried when Punker finally decided to fly away. It was hard seeing him so heartbroken. Maybe we will find more when we walk to the park later? This time we will come prepared with butterfly net in hand. :)

Photo Monday.

I was a busy girl Monday afternoon/early evening. :) Vicki and Jeff came over to have their photos taken--they just got married last week!!! And, Rob needed to have a picture for his webpage, so we got his done too. David had me take a few of him in his Halloween costume too, but I decided not to post any of those. He does make a pretty cute storm trooper though!
The sessions went really well overall; however, I had to do more editing than I had hoped since my lighting was a little bit off. Thank goodness for photoshop though! The proofs will be in tomorrow, so I can see if any color corrections need to be made, or if I'm good to go. Since Rob calibrated my monitor, I haven't been having too many problems though--unless it happened to be by user error. :) Like that would ever happen?!?! (ha ha ha)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Fall is in the air.

The air is beginning to get cooler, crisper. I can almost smell the change of season in the air. Leaves are beginning to change color. Signs of fall are showing up everywhere I look. Soon the mountain sides will be painted in beautiful orange, red and yellow. Leaves, as they begin to fall, will crunch underneath feet (and will make for lots of autumn fun!). of my favorite seasons.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Getting in the groove.

This past week, David and I started doing preschool at home. After the 2nd day, as we are trying to get our lessons done before bedtime, I was thinking to myself, "why in the world did we decide to start this week since I had other things planned?" Then I thought, "well...this is a good test to show that we can do school when we get the time!" I found this curriculum online called ABC, I Believe. Each week we learn a memory verse (this week it is Proverbs 6:6 as we are studying about ants), and we have different craft ideas, math, reading, and penmanship ideas (as well as some other things too). David loves having school. Well, he loves everything except penmanship. I think he would truly prefer to just write the letters whatever way he chose and however big he thinks they should be. Stay between the lines? I don't think he thinks that he should have to do that. :)

Well, school work is calling to us. I'd better not keep my little man waiting. We've got some new sounds to learn for reading and more penmanship practice.

Oh, the photo I posted today was one I took looking down Acorn Street in Boston. I had tried posting it with my entry about our trip, but was having problems posting photographs that day.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sweet angel.

These photos were taken a couple of weeks ago--my first photo shoot done at the new house. Malik was very cooperative and truly was every bit of the angel that he looks like in these photos. I love looking at how peaceful he looks in these pictures. Peaceful and sweet.

Friday, July 28, 2006


That is the word that completely describes our house right now. Boxes are piled high throughout the house, waiting to be loaded onto and off of the moving truck this coming Monday morning. Thankfully, we have hired a company to move the boxes and furniture for us, so packing and unpacking is the only thing we will have to do this time around. The kitchen will definitely be the first thing I work toward unpacking. I always feel a sense of accomplishment (and organization) once that particular room is out of the way.

Our Boston trip was so much fun! I really enjoyed getting to tour the city, to learn even more about American history, and of course, getting to visit with my brother Dustin and his girlfriend, Melinda. The weather was hot while we were there, and we walked LOTS! The boys liked the Children's museum, the Tadpole Park and Frog Pond at the Boston Common, their excursion to the zoo with Nana and Uncle Dunny (especially the lion roaring at them--Aidan is continually giving us his impression) and getting to see the seals outside of the aquarium. Then again, David also enjoyed climbing onto the fire hydrant he saw when we walked onto Harvard's campus, they both enjoyed seeing the various painted cow statues peppered throughout the city and getting to ride on the busses and choo-choos. My favorite parts were when Mom and Dustin took the kids to the zoo leaving Rob and I to be able to walk The Freedom Trail together and our last full day in Boston--going to the Boston Public Library with Dustin and seeing all the different exhibits, walking down Marlborough Street and through the Public Garden and then going to Revere Beach to see the sand sculptures from the previous weekend's competition (and to play in the water, but only Melinda and I ventured to do that). After leaving Revere Beach, we took the subway back to the Prudential center to go on the skywalk. The skywalk is on the 50th floor of the Prudential Tower and gives you an amazing view of the city, granted that the audio tour is geared for the daylight hours and not the dark, but oh well. :) Dustin and Melinda lastly took us to Finale, a wine and dessert restaurant that was so good . We all enjoyed getting to visit with one another, and Rob and I enjoyed getting to see a different aspect of the city that we hadn't seen up until that point. We took the subway and bus back to the hotel and settled in for the night before driving all the way back home the following day.

Well, I had better get back to cleaning bathrooms, one down and one more to go for this evening.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Beautiful baby girl.

I had my first newborn photo shoot yesterday, and here is one of my favorite photographs. I saw this idea for a photograph on a photography studio supplies website and was anxious to try it. Newborn shoots bring with them their challenges, but babies are so adorable, I don't mind. :) Thankfully Heather was willing to let Gracie be my guinea pig (thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!). I learned so much yesterday. Truly, each session teaches me something new and different, and helps me to grow. This new adventure I'm embarking upon is so exciting--that inner artist is really emerging.

We're leaving for Boston tomorrow. Well, actually, we will be spending the day around Lancaster, PA at Dutch Wonderland and will drive the rest of the way to Boston on Saturday. I'm really excited to get to see the city, and am even more excited about getting to see my brother--the only thing that would be better is renting a house on the beach for a week and just getting to relax and be. Maybe next summer...

Saturday, July 08, 2006

New do, movies and s'mores...

what can be better than that? :) This morning I had my hair cut and highlighted--had to try and hide all that gray hair that seems to be popping up all the time. My stylist was actually kind of surprised that I asked her really spontaneously to cut more than an inch off of my hair. Initially, we had agreed to cut maybe 1-1 1/2 inches off, but I think I had her take at least 2 or more inches off total. It's still just below shoulder length, so it's still long hair--I didn't do anything super drastic. :)

After I got home, we ran to farmer's market to check out the goods. Aidan helped me pick out some fresh garlic. David picked out some granola and we also got some cherry limeade and margarita/spritzer mix--yum! We ran into our friend Shannon at the lemonade stand (Aidan was trying to help himself to more, and he couldn't really reach the container--it was funny). I'm trying to plot a peach-picking adventure with my fellow peach loving friend so we can both have some to freeze/can to use until next year. After we get back from vacation, right? (I'm saying this here so neither of us can forget!) We also drove out to Crow's Nest to see what their hours were and to find out what they have available for picking right now. I need to get more blueberries and really want to get raspberries this year. David is finally eating jam with his sandwiches, so I can make some this year. Yeah!!! I don't know exactly what made him start liking jam, but he does now and that is a good thing.

This afternoon, post-farmer's market, was nice and quiet. Aidan went down for his nap, David and I pounded through 3 reading lessons. Oh, he is doing so good with our reading lessons right now. We're going through Siegfried Engelmann's Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and are at about lesson 32 right now. I really like the method outlined in this book, but have had to modify it to help keep David interested in what we are doing. I don't think he really saw the point in the beginning exercises since he already knows the basic sounds of his letters (thanks to the Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD!), but now that he is reading various words and short stories, the excitement is really starting to show. He is even starting to sound out words he sees on signs or around the house--it is so cool! Well, after reading, we watched a couple of movies that came today via Netflix, then we picked up dinner and headed out to France and Pierre's (the couple's home we are watching while they are out of town) to let the boys and Sydney burn some energy. They all love getting to play in the woods. I think the sticks, dirt and other treasures are what the boys like the most. Well, that and the fact that we got to roast marshmallows in the fire pit to make s'mores. While we were making s'mores, I was singing the VeggieTales "Marshmallow Song" to the boys. "Graham cracker, graham cracker, chocolate bar. Sitting by the campfire under the stars...Marshmallows, Marshmallows, sticky and sweet...put them all together and you've got a treat!" Aidan was giving me big smiles and was dancing along to the beat of the music. It's definitely a catchy tune.

Oh, but after giving Aidan his s'more, he wouldn't eat it! He got marshmallow goo on his mouth and hands and started saying "Mess! Mess! I make mess!" and was trying to clean off his hands. He doesn't like getting food on himself or spilling it on the table. He will literally stop eating whatever it is until you get him something that he can help clean it up with...he's funny, I know. David devoured his s'more though. Nothing stopped that one. :)

Yikes--it's getting late and we have to get up semi-early to go to church in the morning. Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, June 30, 2006

The Puz family.

As I promised, here are some of the good photos from their session last night. It was hard to choose only 3 to post! Enjoy!

Today we're hoping to go blueberry picking after Rob is done administering the final exam to one of his classes. We had hoped to go Wednesday afternoon; however, we had a couple of really tired and cranky boys. The 4-year-old was in an especially funky mood that day. Today is going to be better though. I just know it! :)

Freaking hilarious!

Yep--that's what this picture is. Matt and Tasha came over with their kiddos to have family portraits done last night. Maya was starting to become restless here and Evan was gold mining. This picture just totally makes me laugh. I'll post some of the good ones from their session soon. Just thought you all needed a good chuckle.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My 2nd Maternity Photo Shoot!

Yesterday, Cassandra came over to have her maternity photos taken. Tifini had actually highly recommended my services and talked her into contacting me to have her photos done. Oh my goodness, I have literally almost been in tears over how beautiful Cassandra's photos have been turning out! The highlights and shadows created by the lights have been amazing. We tried a lot of new poses and repeated some from my other maternity session--overall, we ended up with art! This is only one of the photographs that I have tweaked (I was actually attempting to create a watermark for my images in PhotoShop. I am so PhotoShop challenged--the things that should be so simple, seem to take me FOREVER.) Also...I'm exposure challenged. What my exposure meter indicates is the proper exposure (even reflected off my gray card) is always underexposed to my camera. If I slow down the shutter like I'm supposed to to get my camera to be happy, if my subject moves, even slightly, blur is created on the image. Ugh!!! Think I'm going to go and talk to the guy at the camera store this afternoon when we go to the farmer's market and see what I should do.
Photography is so amazing--and it's really starting to keep me busy!!! I had one session yesterday, one on Monday and have another one tomorrow and part two of yesterday's session will be done over the weekend--this time Cassandra's boyfriend will be photographed with her. I can hardly wait!!! But back to photography being's a venue for me to be creative. For me to feel like a true artist.
In the next couple of weeks, I am going to be creating a separate blog for my studio to post different photos there. That way, my personal and professional stuff will be kept separate to some extent. As soon as that happens, I will post a link here so y'all can see my work.
Today I'm hoping to get out and do something fun. Since it has been rainy, the boys are getting a little stir crazy. And frankly, they're driving me bananas!!! Right now they're having a lightsaber battle in the studio--better get 'em outta here and try to channel that energy in a more productive manner (and away from my equipment).
Hope you have a wonderful day!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Meet Pierce (and his Mommy too)

My boys both adore Ms. Churyl and her baby Pierce. They came over today for a photo shoot (so I could practice on a baby), and I had so much fun (I hope that they had a lot of fun too!). Here are just a few of my favorites from our session.

Friday, June 23, 2006

How does our garden grow?

In pots, of course!!!
Sydney, on guard duty in front of Tomato Row--4 pots of cherry tomatoes and 1 pot of Red Zebra heirloom slicing tomatoes.

I love to grow stuff, and when the first signs of spring started to appear, it was no surprise that I started getting that itch. The Gardening Itch. Gardening is in my blood. Both of my grandmothers have HUGE gardens, and my dad is a gardening kind of guy too. There is just something about growing your own fruits and veggies, flowers and other plants. David (and Aidan too) totally got into the process of gardening this year. We started some tomato plants from seed as well a few flowers, some cilantro and chives (although I also bought chive and cilantro plants from the local Farmer's market since my plants took their time starting). The bigger tomatoes are ones that we bought as starts at the Farmer's market. David even saw packets of pumpkin seeds that I had in my gardening box and insisted that he plant 2, which he really did plant himself. Well, what should happen is that both of the seeds took off and are now even getting blossoms!!! We had to transplant them into bigger pots last week since they were outgrowing the ones we had transplanted them in before. Now, I have to purchase something even bigger to put them in (they are the plants in the 2 orange plastic pots on the top shelf of the baker's rack)! He also planted some sunflower seeds that I have (I had to find the shortest growing ones for him). It is so fun watching both boys get excited at watching the entire process. From the planting, to the sprouting and to noticing blossoms and fruit.

We have already enjoyed a few strawberries that we have grown and even have a cherry tomato that has started changing color! David and Rob have been eagerly anticipating its ripening. David told Rob that he was going to eat the first tomato because he likes them now. He wasn't going to let his daddy have it. What a nut!

Next year, when we have a bigger yard, we're going to grow more stuff. Until then, we'll just enjoy what we have in our many pots! :)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Today was a truly fun day. The boys and I went shopping--had to look for a few photography-related items and also got a few shirts. We had lunch after we got home. I straightened up the house a bit and then Tifini came over for her maternity photo shoot. The 3 pictures posted are probably my favorites from our session. She's such a beautiful pregnant woman. Taking her pictures was so fun. Granted, I was really nervous since it was my first-ever maternity session, but I learned a lot. That's what's important, right? Well...that, and having some great pictures as a result. :-)

After Tifini's photo session, Rob, the boys and I hopped into the car and drove down to Christiansburg to the ballroom dance studio to look at dancing shoes. I found a pair that Rob liked (and that were comfortable for me). We had to eat dinner fairly quickly, I straightened things up and then Autumn came to watch the boys for us while Rob and I went to our second dancing class. Rob signed us up for the Latin I class through Blacksburg Parks and Recreation. We are having so much fun!!! Hopefully we can take Latin II next.

Tomorrow we're off to the zoo with my MOPS group. David is really excited about getting to see some of his friends. They're both pretty excited about the zoo too. David told Rob tonight that he was going to ride the zoo-choo tomorrow and wanted to be the one to pay for our tickets. He's such a funny (and fun) boy.

Friday, June 02, 2006

What a day!

My day really didn't get off to the greatest start. I mean, getting myself and the boys ready went well, but when it came time to run out the door it hit me...where are my keys??? I looked frantically through the house, through the bag I used yesterday--anywhere I had been. Light comes on. Oh, I think they are locked in the car since Rob drove home yesterday. Thank goodness for Onstar (although I forgot the number and had to go search for it online). I called Onstar, the guy who answered was really helpful, and nice to boot. When I have had this happen before (like, over a year ago), I have had not-so-nice people answer the phone and treat me like I'm really they really needed to do that since I was feeling pretty stupid when I called them anyways. OK...back to the present...the guy was nice. My car was unlocked within 30 seconds. What do you know? My keys were sitting in the console!

Well, I was late for our playdate already, so I ran by the camera store and after I paid my bill and was looking at the photos, I noticed that my $100 1GB CF card wasn't in the envelope. I'm trying to look and act calm, cool and collected. I didn't want to make a scene, but that is my ONLY CF card!!!!! The guy at the store called the developer at the sister store, they didn't have my card there. I got on the phone with him and described it in more detail (I think that the fact that my last name was written on the back in black permanent ink helped matters). But they wouldn't know until after noon where my card was, so I left and went to Starbucks. Meanwhile, my car tells me that I'm running low on fuel (like I wasn't personally at the time anyways). :-) I literally prayed that God would make sure that we made it to the gas station at the south end of Blacksburg so I could fill up and jump on the bypass to get down to Floyd County for our playdate with our friends. I also prayed for his protection because I knew that if I didn't, who knows what else might have happened with the way my day started out!

Our playdate was awesome though. My friend, Wendy, has a son who is almost exactly 1 year older than David, and her daughter is 6-7 months younger than Aidan. Everyone played so well together. My boys were in heaven having so much outside (and inside) space to run and play in. David is even dressing up with his cowboy hat now after playing with Benjamin (who really likes to play cowboys). We even walked down to the creek that is at the end of their driveway and played in that for awhile, the boys got to hang out with the chickens--Aidan even went in the pen with them and loved it! I had a lot of fun visiting with Wendy (and her husband too when he wasn't doing his own thing). The boys really didn't want to leave when it was time to go, but Aidan fell asleep as soon as I drove off, and David threw a fit half of the way home and told me that he didn't want me for a mom anymore. Oh well. I think he's over that now! :-)

Other than the shaky start to my morning, the day turned out to be a good one. I'm definitely thankful to the Father for that. He gave us the perfect weather for playing outside today (below 80 degrees for the most part with lower humidity--it had been really hot and pretty humid too, although I didn't notice the humidity too much until yesterday). My CF card was found and is now back in my possession (next time, I'll buy a cheap-o CF card to upload my photographs to so my stomach won't sink as far if it gets misplaced). I didn't have to water my plants today because God took care of that for me with the rain he sent later this afternoon/evening. I did notice, however, that almost all of my tomato plants have blossoms/fruit growing on them now! We're going to be swimming in them soon. One of David's pumpkin seeds bloomed too! He's really excited about that!

Well, I need to let my dog in, she's causing a ruckus outside--someone must be walking in the parking lot behind our place. I'm glad that she's so protective of the boys and of myself, but I don't think the neighbors like her barking much.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


I will get my Unit 1 photo project mailed into New York Institute of Photography possibly late this afternoon!!! I'm definitely a perfectionist and hemmed and hawed over this part of my course. Finally, I just decided that, "Hey! This is good enough, I need to get the project sent in sometime in this century." Plus, Rob had been hounding me--"Do you have your project turned in? Did you get the pictures taken?" and so forth.

Yesterday, after we went to Farmer's Market and ran a few other errands, we stopped by the studio/camera store that is in the downtown area (the one I have driven past on numerous occasions but hadn't been able to go in to check it out). I talked to the owner/photographer for awhile and made a new contact/mentor person in the area. In the process of doing that, I placed an order to have all of my pictures printed off of my camera's CF card and will pick them up this afternoon (and will take the photos for my project directly to the post office). Yippee! I'm pretty excited about all of this.

But...I need to go downstairs and check out what my two troublemakers are doing. Aidan has already broken the magazine for the CD player and the morning is still young!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My little pilot.

Captain David R. Crossler
After dropping my mom off at the airport in Roanoke, the boys and I decided that we were going to go to Toys R'Us before we went home (it was that and buy toys and later go to the park to play in the sand, or go to the zoo--toys and park won out). While we were in the Imaginarium section, we saw all of the dress-up costumes. The pilot one is what David immediately wanted. I figured, hey, he's got quite the imagination, why not?!?! We paid for the costume, drove home, I took it out of the package and one little 4-year-old is now in heaven.
"This is Captain David Robert Crossler speaking, welcome aboard!"
"We're taking off from Sydney, Australia and are going to Alaska--because I work for Alaska."
"Aidan is my flight, Nana is my flight attendant. Mommy, will you be my flight attendant?"
"Stay in your seats and buckle your seat belts--we're in turbulence."
These are just a few things that David has said since adorning his uniform. The above photo is one from our little ID badge photo session. He wants a plastic badge--kind of like Nana's...'s time for take-off. I'd better report for duty.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


That word totally describes how we have been lately. The best thing about it is though that it's not a bad thing.

This morning I had BSF. I'm sad that this was our last actual lesson was today--I was just getting to know some of my group members! Today, I even found out that one of the ladies grew up in almost the same part of Washington state that I did. What a small world!!! David loves BSF too. He has been talking about his teachers all week--it's fun to see him so excited. Plus, he starts spouting out random things through the week that, after I dig a little bit, I find out that he learned that in his BSF class. He tells me that the quiet time (they sit quietly and think about the story and about God--that's what David tells me) is his favorite part of his BSF class. I'd love to know what he actually thinks about during these times. Actually, I'd love to get into his mind any time through the day. You can tell that it's always going...he's always thinking about something.

Aidan's personality is definitely blossoming these days. He's very particular about certain things, and if it's not quite right, he lets us know. He's also becoming quite the clown! Plus, he and David are becoming buds. Now that is awesome. I love watching the two of them together. Playing. Snuggling. Wrestling. Sharing. It's so cool.

Well, it's time to start getting Aidan ready for bed so I can get some stuff done while Rob and David are in Christiansburg. David is at AWANA and Rob is running errands. Better make the most of the time I have. More to come later.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Birthday boy--Aidan is 2!

Aidan looking lovingly at Mr. Potato Head. This is seriously his favorite thing in the world right now! Aidan is even starting to dabble a bit in the "Picasso" style.

Our Easter eggs--"May the Force be with you!"

Signs of spring. I took this photo on one of our trips up to the park. I love seeing the trees all come in bloom. It's so beautiful!


Bob and Bobby--Aidan's favorite 2 characters. He used to call both of them, "Bob," but as of yesterday, Larry has now become Bobby. He got a Bob the Tomato pillow for his birthday from us and some friends of ours gave him a Larry the Cucumber toy that sings. Well...he now has to go to bed with both plus his "Ma-mo" (that is Elmo in Aidanese). Can't believe that he's now 2!!! Time is sure flying by.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Crazy day.

Yesterday the boys and I drove up to Roanoke to run some errands. Originally, my MOPS group had a social planned at the zoo; however, the weather pretty much dictated that we cancel plans for yesterday and reschedule for a later date. Well...I had still intended to take the boys after we went to Old Navy, LifeWay Christian Bookstore and Sam's Club, but David ended up wetting his pants as soon as we got to Roanoke, and a couple of other things happened (including rain pouring down) so we decided to forego the zoo on this trip.

David helped me pick out some presents for Aidan's birthday, and he and Aidan both enjoyed watching the video playing in the children's section at LifeWay. Plus, all the VeggieTales toys were near the TV, so Aidan was in Bob heaven. :-)

On our way home, David fell asleep in the car--he woke up at 4:30 yesterday morning and really didn't feel like he needed to go back to sleep. Aidan was playing with the VeggieTales bus he bought with his Easter money (from his golden egg) the entire way home. Yeah, I heard the VeggieTales theme song LOTS during that time! Well, anytime that David has a nap during the day means that we have a very late night ahead. I seriously don't think that he fell asleep until after 1:00 in the morning! He and I had cuddle time for about an hour while I was trying to get him settled down to go to sleep (instead of him doing his typical headstands and front rolls all over the bed), but I was so beat that I just went to bed in my own bed. We got up for MOPS this morning, much to David's chagrin--he would have preferred to sleep in this morning. Oh well, it was early-to-bed for him tonight, so hopefully he'll be bright eyed and bushy-tailed for Bible Study Fellowship tomorrow. He had fun at MOPS though--Aidan did too. It was the 2nd time ever that I've dropped him off in his nursery that he didn't cry and cling to me as I was trying to leave to take David to his class. I almost don't know what to do with myself when that happens. :-) Neither boy wanted to leave the church when it was time to go home. It's fun seeing them enjoying themselves so thoroughly, especially when I'm enjoying myself so much in my MOPS group!

Well...I need to take out my contact lenses and get to bed. Tomorrow I need to get up early and get out the door for Bible Study Fellowship. I meet my discussion group and my discussion group leader tomorrow, so that should be fun. Hopefully I'll get egg-dying pictures posted tomorrow. One little hint about the egg decorating theme: "the Force is strong in this one..."

Happy Belated Easter!

Easter was great fun this year. David is totally getting it in regards to why we celebrate this holiday. Rob asked him to tell us the Easter story in his own words that morning before we got ready for church. It was precious! He told us about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, that he was buried in a cave and that there was a big rock placed in front of it. Then, he said that on the third day, the rock was gone and that the angels said: "He is not here; He has risen..." (Luke 24:6) Granted, he did have a little help with the memory verse part--it was the one he learned for AWANA Cubbies last week.

The boys helped us dye eggs Saturday night. I will be posting pictures of the fiasco soon. My computer acted up last week, so I didn't get to work on my blog much (or anything else).

Easter morning, as soon as the boys woke up, they were ushered downstairs and started immediately on their egg hunt. Aidan hunted eggs in the kitchen, David's eggs were hidden throughout the living room. It was so fun watching them get so excited about finding their eggs...and to have them both find the treasures hidden inside. Both boys are candy hounds!!! Tomorrow Rob is going to take the rest of the candy onto campus so the boys don't climb furniture to get their baskets down anymore. I leave the room for 2 seconds and one of them is eating the chocolate out of their eggs!

Church was wonderful, as usual, and after we got home, Rob dropped Aidan and I off and he took David over to our pastor's home for lunch and an egg hunt. I put Aidan down for his nap and started getting our dinner put together. They came home, and we enjoyed a quiet dinner together ( quiet as it can be in my house!) :-) We had originially had friends who had planned to join us to celebrate our Savior's resurrection; however, sickness prevented us from doing so. We were still able to share dinner and dessert with one another, and had the opportunity to get to visit with 2/3 of the family for a bit while the sick party was resting quietly at home--she deserved it. Truly, we were more concerned about her health than our get-together, and her health was (and still is) lifted up in prayer constantly throughout the day. We're looking forward to getting to spend time together as families soon.'s when we celebrate Christ's resurrection and the hope of glory and eternal life we have in him. It is such a comfort to know that I'm going to be spending eternity with him in heaven, and that he loved me so much that he gave up his life for me so that I might have life. What amazing love.

Monday, April 10, 2006

It's official...

Spring is here. How do I know this (other than by looking at a calendar)? It would be due to my allergies acting up! Every since I was little, I can remember getting a "cold" sometime during the spring. I never thought anything of it really until this year though. Since flowers have started blooming, and the trees have been blooming, I've had a perpetual cold.

Truly, I don't mind that much though. The flowers blooming are so beautiful, and I love flower gardening. The only part of me that does mind the influx in pollen floating through the air would probably be my eyes--and that would only be when I'm wearing my contact lenses. Just a few minutes ago, I was sitting downstairs trying to read and could hardly get my eyes to focus. Yeah, I'm a little bit tired too, but not being able to clearly see details that I'm supposed to be noticing between photographs for my current lesson...well, that's not really normal. :) So, I just took them out and put my glasses back on. Ahhh...nearly instant relief!

Today was so beautiful. The boys and I went to the park for a bit before we went to Blacksburg Baptist Church for our MOPS playdate. We had fun out in the sunshine, playing in the dirt and exploring the trails. Maybe we'll make it back over there tomorrow after storytime at Barnes and Noble.

Last night I went on a little "date" with David. We went to Target to pick up ink for my printer, looked around at a few things that he might want to get Aidan for his birthday there, then we went to Barnes and Noble. David met a little boy named Bryce and they had fun playing with the trains. David found a book that he wanted me to read, so I read it to both of the boys and just enjoyed watching them interact. I'm sure he probably had more fun playing with him than he would have had it just been the two of us there. After we left BN, we came home, ate ice cream together and then got him ready for bed. I think that we might go to Dairy Queen, Ben and Jerry's or Cold Stone for our next date. He's generally happy with any of those 3 places. :)

Well...I need to get back to studying. I'm hoping to finish reading this lesson on film (which really doesn't totally pertain to digital photography; however, I am learning some valuable tools about ISO and exposure--the theory is interesting too) tonight so I can listen to that tape and get started on the next lesson. I was hoping to be able to get through this course in the shortest amount of time possible--I guess that my 6 month goal finishing time has been extended to 12-months. I really think that my 6-month goal was a little bit unrealistic.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

An oldie but a goodie.

This is a poem that I found while I was in high school. When I first read it, I knew it was one that I needed to make a copy of to look at periodically through the future. As I was writing my testimony for this Sunday afternoon at the MOPS Tea and Testimony event, I remembered that this particular poem is one that God used to remind me that I am worth something to him during one of the darkest moments of my life. I hope that it speaks to you too. Now without further ado:

The Touch of the Maker
by Myra Brooks Welch
'Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile.
"What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,
"Who'll start the bidding for me?"
"A dollar, a dollar. Then two! Only two?
Two dollars, and who'll make it three?"

"Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three..." But no,
From the room, far back, a grey-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loosened strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet,
As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said: "What am I bid for the old violin?"
And he held it up with the bow.
"A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two?
Two thousand! And who'll make it three?
Three thousand, once; three thousand, twice,
And going and gone," said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried,
"We do not quite understand.
What changed its worth?" Swift came the reply:
"The touch of the Master's hand."
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd
Much like the old violin.

A "mess of pottage," a glass of wine,
A game -- and he travels on.
He is "going" once, and "going" twice,
He's "going" and almost "gone."
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the touch of the Master's hand.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Today's inspiration.

Last night as I was finishing up reading the passages from April 3rd's Life Journal reading, 2 Corinthians 3:17 really stood out to me. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

It's so awesome knowing that we do have freedom in Christ. We don't need to try to carry our burdens ourselves. Christ wants us to give them to him. He wants us to have freedom in him!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Life in the circus...

Rob's look of triumph after one 'jug'
The crazy guy juggling raw eggs in my kitchen. cracked.
Smash...thought this might happen.Oh no!
This all started out with Rob playing with one little plastic spice container while the boys were eating popcicles. He's our in-house entertainer. :) Then, it progressed to 3 plastic spice containers all being juggled. Pretty cool. The boys were squealing with delight. Then someone (Rob) got the *brilliant* idea of grabbing 3 raw eggs from the fridge. "They're going to break," I tell him. He was feeling adventurous. He juggled them for quite awhile. Then, SPLAT! Oh no! Uh-oh! Rob had to then clean up his mess.
Definitely a fun moment in the Crossler house!

Natural Bridge

Aidan trying to climb in with the goats.
David playing in the gravel pile at the zoo.
Natural Bridge
The elephant coming closer to where I was standing so it could say, "hi."
David feeding the *mean* goat.
Our trip to Natural Bridge Zoo and Natural Bridge last Friday (March 31) afternoon ended up being tons of fun. The boys loved the zoo--then again, they always love zoos. The animals are always intriguing to observe, and the exploration factor is a huge part of the adventure for our boys. I think that their favorite part was getting to feed the goats. A bunch of them crowded up next to the fence and stuck their heads out just waiting to be fed and petted. The *mean* goat that David is feeding in the picture would get mad when other goats were getting the food, so it would put its head back inside of the fence and would butt all of the other ones away. It was really funny to watch. There were also tiny baby goats, sheep and this awesome fluffy looking donkey in the pen. We saw an elephant too. David was disappointed that we arrived too late in the afternoon to get to ride it, but I think he enjoyed watching it walk around (before he ran off to look at the camels, zebras and monkeys).
Natural Bridge was really pretty, and we enjoyed our slow walk to the waterfall beyond the natural bridge. Wild turkeys ended up snacking along the trail on our way back to our car, so that was really fun to watch. David started talking (loudly--sometimes I think he's like his dad in the respect that they really only have one volume. :) They're either on or off!) and the turkeys spooked and skuttled off into the trees. Saw LOTS of squirrels and some pretty birds too. It always catches me off-guard when I see a cardinal because I'm not used to seeing that brilliant flash of red since they weren't native to the area where I grew up. They are so beautiful though.
All in all, the trip was great. Enjoyed the 78 degree weather. David didn't have any other mishaps until dinner (the other one that happened earlier in the day was when he was sitting on our stairs at home when Aidan thought it would be a great idea to chuck Daddy's tape measure down the stairs. Poor David got clocked just below the eye and has a nice shiner to prove it!). At dinner he thought it would be a good idea to play with his butter knife. Not a good idea. It cut him (nothing more than a paper cut type of a wound, but the blood worried him). He was semi-calm until our waiter brought him a bandaid. Then, the boy freaked out a bit. Rob ended up taking him into the bathroom to talk to him and try to get him to start calming down before our dinner got to the table. Whatever he did worked, because David did pretty well the rest of the night.
I have a funny incident that I will be posting later. Stay tuned.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Waking up to something awful.

And I mean awful! Rob comes into our room this morning to tell me that I needed to get out of bed and clean up Sydney's kennel because she pooped in it last night. Talk about gross! I jumped out of bed, went downstairs and looked at it through the sliding glass door. Not a pretty sight. Apparently the ham she dug out of the garbage can (another naughty thing she did) made her sick and then she did her duty. After a bit of dry heaving, and LOTS of rags that we ended up throwing out in the trash, I got the kennel tray cleaned out--with Rob's help.

Let's just say, that didn't start the day off on that great of a note...

However, Dad called me last night. That was definitely a positive note. Rob laughed at me after I got off the phone with him because I was kinda giddy. He's back! Faux Dad is no longer holding Real Dad captive :) It had been really weird having phone conversations with him before now because it was kind of like talking to a stranger. I still have a lot to learn about him, but at least when I talk to him, it is like talking to someone I know. :)

And, to top last night off, we ended up sleeping in our new room! No longer do I have to look at all of my card-making supplies and computer stuff when I go to sleep or wake up. Granted, I am now looking at stark white walls and woke up to have painter's tape along the ceiling line that we haven't taken down yet, but it was so nice. That's the only way to say it. Our room is now a retreat of sorts again. A place to go and relax and unwind a bit. A place of comfort within the townhouse we're living in. We slept with the window open last night and were woken up with thunder and lightning, but the smells of spring coming into the house were wonderful. Think the boys and I will have to go out and soak it in this afternoon.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

He may have had a point...

David and his "no coloring on the walls" sign, that is. What do I walk out into the hallway to find Aidan doing? Nothing other than coloring on my walls with the Buzz Lightyear-light-up pen!!! What did the little culprit have to say for himself? Nothing but squeals of joy while running away from his Mama. When I grabbed the camera to take his photograph to post with this blog, he gave me one of his "I know I'm really cute" smiles and said, "Cheese!" as is illustrated below. :) Happy Wednesday!

Aidan being his cute little self.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Look what I found...

curled up on the top shelf of my armoire! Yeah, this child of mine is most definitely a MONKEY! David thought it was hilarious that he was curled up on top of my pants.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Trains galore.

Some pictures from our Saturday trip to the VA Museum of Transportation in Roanoke. So much fun climbing on and in the old engines and caboose. We're all looking forward to going there again.