Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holiday Highlights

Putting out cookies for Santa (and Mrs. Claus), yogurt covered raisins, a guitar and a computer, opening every present in a different spot, "are we there yet?" ten minutes into the trip, cousins, hugging, being an angel at church, "what is baby Anna doing?" x 1000, mixed up Mr. Potato Head, the ride at St. Anne's Retirement Community, hugging, meeting baby Téah, one nap in seven days, plenty of pizza, books on tape, Hummel dance party, hugging, donut tower, more cousins, the music mini-van, cookies and candy, train ride at the mall, the right amount of pizza, ice cream sundaes with all the toppings, making dips, snowy smoked chicken, cake, hugging, sleeping in, happy new year!

Unwrapping the Computer 2

More holiday photos are on our new Flickr site.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

200,000 Lights

The crazy lights and music people are at it again this year. They've added 50,000 lights to their beacon of Christmas.

We just had to go back.

200,000 Lights

We can only imagine what they have planned for next year...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hi, Santa's Wife!

Evelyn is definitely in the Christmas spirit after today's ride on the holiday train and visit with Santa. Well, Santa was in the room at least.

Talking to Mrs. Claus

Evy was not too sure about Mr. Claus, but she and Mrs. Claus are BFFs. Sure, she gave Santa a quick wave on the way past, but then she hopped right up on his wife's lap and started a conversation.

When Evy got around to her Christmas wish list, though, Mrs. Claus convinced her to share it with the big guy too.

All I want for Christmas is...

She upped the ante from last year and requested a guitar and a computer.

Sounds like my list...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Preparations

The cold temperatures and snow this weekend really made it feel like the Christmas season. Over the last two days, most of our time was spent getting prepared for the most wonderful time of the year.

Evelyn wanted to start by wrapping some presents all by herself.

This Much Tape

And, there you go...

All Wrapped Up

Next, Evy was eager to see what was in the Christmas bins we pulled down from the attic. She also wanted to know how they all fit up there. I think it is a Christmas miracle.
On the Bins

By the end of the weekend the stockings were hung, the lights were twinkling and the tree was decorated. Evelyn put the finishing touch on the top.

An Angel on the Top

Only 18 days until Christmas!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Extravaganza

Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to spend time with friends and family. Evy was especially excited to hold "Baby Anna."

Holding Baby Anna

She actually got a chance to see all six of her cousins during the holiday weekend.

Cousins Couch

Cousins Indoor Picnic

After five days, 500 miles and two turkey dinners, Thanksgiving 2008 was a success. We'll do it all again in a month.

Substituting ham for turkey, of course.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Watching The Snow

Boy, it looks cold out there...

Watching the Snow

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dance Party

Evelyn loves to dance to her music, and sometimes she will even dig into her costumes box to dress for the occasion. Tonight was one of those nights.
Costume Groove

She has perfected a few moves, including the "Twist," the "Hop," and the "Spin around until you fall down." It's a good thing the living room is carpeted.

Still Dancing

She is also pretty good at the "I'm going to stand here and wait while you find me a better song."
Dancing Pose

Friday, October 31, 2008


Happy Halloween! Evelyn actually started her celebration on Wednesday at the library. She wore her costume to storytime which was followed by trick-or-treating throughout the building.

Indoor Trick-or-Treat

Last night Evy helped clean out her pumpkin to get it ready for carving. She thought it was "ooey and gooey," but that didn't stop her from playing with the pile of pumpkin guts.
Pumpkin Guts

All of those things were in preparation for tonight's main event - trick-or-treating in our neighborhood.
This Way to Candy

Evelyn almost doubled her house total from last year, making seven stops for goodies. That took a lot more time and effort than you might think.
Tired Turtle

Once we got back to the house she had a great time handing out candy, sipping apple cider and chatting with just about everyone. By the end of the evening it was starting to get cold, but Evy refused to put on a sweater.

"Turtles don't wear sweaters," she said.

They don't eat Kit Kats either. Lucky for me.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pumpkin Time


Fall Portrait

We continued our fall family tradition today with a trip to Trax Farms. Before checking out the pumpkins, Evelyn sampled some apple cider and took a spin on the tractor.

Tractor Drive

Then she searched the whole pile to find her perfect one.

Pumpkin Search

And then she posed with it.
Pumpkin Pick

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Zoo II: People Everywhere

It looked like today might be the last nice Sunday of the year, so we decided to go to the zoo. (And the Steelers are on a bye this week). Apparently everyone else in Pittsburgh had the same idea.

It was also free admission day. We didn't find this out until we arrived at the gate. We should have known something was up while we were sitting in 40 minutes of traffic. Either way, there were many more people than animals there today.
Welcome to the Zoo

The zoo has two new baby elephants. We were lucky to enough to see one of them. It's the small one.

Elephant Family

Just like last year, Evelyn posed on the giant turtle.
Turtle Seat

And waved to the sea lions.

Sea Lions Silhouette

We had fun despite the crowds. Evy got to see the lions and penguins, which is all she really wanted to do.

I wonder what the animals thought about so many people walking around, staring at them. I guess it gave them something to look at, too.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Justin Roberts Meets Jimi Hendrix

Along with The Beatles and Foo Fighters, Justin Roberts is among Evy's favorite musicians. We like him too, because he writes children's songs that adults can actually enjoy. You can only listen to "Baa, Baa Black Sheep" so many times...

Here is Evelyn's version of "Pop Fly," the title track from Justin's latest CD. You'll notice that her guitar is actually a Guitar Hero™ controller.

Jimi Hendrix was known for doing a lot of inventive things with his guitar - like playing it behind his back. And lighting it on fire. Maybe we should make sure our fire extinguisher is close by when she takes the stage.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall Flowers

Evelyn marked the recent changing of the seasons by planting some mums. She broke out her gardening gloves and watering can and got to work.

Planting Mums
Mini Watering Can

But the mums were thirsty and Evy needed some more serious equipment.

Big Watering Can

Friday, September 12, 2008


Evelyn turned 2 1/2 today and we celebrated by making cupcakes. She likes to spread lots of icing and shake lots of sprinkles on them.

Icing the Cupcake

I thought that since it was her half-birthday, maybe she should just eat half of the cupcake.

Evy disagreed.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Welcome, Anna!

Evelyn has a new baby cousin!

Anna Elizabeth arrived in North Carolina tonight.

Congratulations Aunt Jen, Uncle Dave, Jackson and Donovan!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Long Weekend

Evy enjoyed the three day weekend in celebration of Labor Day. Her cousins from New York came into town and the schedule was packed with fun.

Events included dinner and cake and then a family reunion (complete with another pinata). After that it was time for a return trip to Kennywood.

All three cousins won a prize at the fish pond.

Fishing Cousins

Evy and Ben cruised on the motorcycles (and helicopters and spaceships and planes and elephants).

Motorcycle Ride

We wrapped up the weekend with a Labor Day picnic. After feeding the ducks and inspecting the tractors, Evy had a chance to check the progress of the grapes in the arbor. She classified them as "good."


You'll notice that no naps were on the agenda. All three of us are still recovering...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Safety First

Evy helped out with the yard work this past weekend. She wore the latest in safety (and fashion) to do so...

Lawn Help

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Firemen's Fair

The local volunteer fire company has a carnival every year. This year it was held within walking distance (at the neighborhood elementary school), so we decided to check it out.

I still have no idea what all was there. We never made it past the fire trucks that were parked near the entrance.
Fire Engine

We walked around the fire trucks, looked inside the fire trucks, and even sat on the back of a fire truck.

It got dark. We went home.

Evy thought it was a great carnival.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


"Hey! No cameras!"

Nothing to See Here

"I realize I'm supposed to be baking with these chocolate chips, but there were some left over..."

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Missing The Point

Don't you think?

Sprinkler + Umbrella

Trike Riding

Remember the tricycle that Evelyn got for her birthday? It finally made it outside. We went to the "learn to ride" area of the park so Evy could learn the rules of the trike community.

Rule #1 - Wear a helmet.
Rule #2 - Conduct a thorough pre-trip inspection.

Pre-Trip Inspection

Rule #3 - Wave hello to all other trikers.
Rule #4 - Pedal. Pedal. Keep pedaling.
Rule #5 - Ring the bell with your thumb every 7 to 10 seconds.
Rule #6 - Have fun!
Tricycle Ride

Sunday, July 27, 2008


"For the last two years I've been told isn't nice to hit things. So you can imagine my confusion when I was handed this red bat and told to smack the pretty unicorn (which I had just finished petting a few moments earlier)."

Unicorn Piñata

"Well, if you say so..."

Piñata Swing

Friday, July 18, 2008

Beat The Heat

There are several ways to keep cool when it's really, really hot outside. Here are Evy's favorites:

Mini Pool Splash


Watermelon Slice

Water Melon.

Pool Snack

When I was a kid we had to wait half an hour after eating before we could get in the pool...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Kennywood '08

Evelyn was very excited to go to Kennywood this year. We had to start by taking a picture in front of Garfield, just to compare it to the one from last year.
Garfield Statue

Soon we were off to the fish pond. It's twice as expensive now, but the prizes are twice as good. Evy had fun catching fish all by herself.
Best Fish Wins Prize

But then the real fun started. This year Evy is tall enough (and her parents are brave enough) for some Kiddieland rides. She had a blast...

The Red Baron
Elephant Ride

She kept going right from one ride to another, steering everything from helicopters to motorcycles to bi-planes, but I think Evy had the most fun on the Auto Ride. She enjoyed being the driver while her parents took turns holding on tight in the back seat.

Driving the 98

Trust me, that thing goes faster than you think. Especially with Evy at the wheel.