Monday, June 29, 2009

Is this really 'middle age?'

I look at the calendar and think to myself ... 'I don't feel a day over 27', yet sadly, those days are long gone. I normally wouldn't post something on my own birthday, but since Matt and the kiddos put together such a production, I think I should share.

Matt came home from work a little early today, handed me the car keys, and said, "Dinner will be ready at 6:00". I was so excited! So I hopped in the car and headed for the library.

After getting what I wanted I went to JoAnn's, another of my favorite retreats, just to look at some future possible projects. I then swung by the store for some milk, bread and eggs and pulled in promptly at 5:59 p.m.

Earlier Matt had asked what I wanted for dinner and I requested Papa Murphy's Take 'N Bake Chicken Garlic Pizza (something we dreadfully miss), but since there aren't any P.M.'s here, I asked him to just make pizza. So when I walked in and saw a chicken garlic pizza I was so pleasantly surprised. He said the recipe is secret (I'll get it out of him sooner or later), and assured me he made it himself. He'd made a great spinach salad and then we had an ice cream cake. I promise I'll get back to portion-control tomorrow:).

Then Wes and Kate paraded in with gifts: the Mormon version of Pride & Prejudice, some rabbit ears (we nixed our cable last year and decided to reinstate the rabbit ears and converter box), some Tic-tacs and Carmex. Boy does he know what I like, or does he know what I like! I was elated.

We then finished off the evening watching Forever Strong, a Father's Day gift to Matt from my parents. Wow, if you haven't seen this movie - it's a great one.

What a great day, interspersed with phone calls, video wishes via blogs, emails, cards .. it was just great! Thank you.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Night the Lights Went Out

I've often commented on the bounty of trees in the North East. And now we're experiencing the other side of what can happen with this bounty.

Yesterday afternoon Wes, Kate, Sophia and I were out enjoying an afternoon in our kiddie pool. We'd been out there a while and so I said it was time to go inside and dry up. As I was gathering our things to take inside (since it seems to rain at least once/day here, we've gotten in the habit of never leaving toys/clothes outside), I looked into the Northwestern sky and saw dark, dark skies moving pretty rapidly in our direction. Not more than 5 minutes of being inside the house a storm tore through our area/city. It was the first time I was scared about a storm since I've had children.

The lightning and thunder were not far apart from each other and the wind and rain were pretty ferocious. We stood at the window in awe watching our sidewalk turn into a small river and leaves and debris whip around the skies.

I turned on the radio and heard them give a severe weather report. Our power went out at about 4:45 p.m. Matt came in around 5:30 with all sorts of stories from his drive home ... traffic lights out, large branches down, power lines down and water everywhere. Since his study has been upper-atmospheric thunderstorms he gets excited about these things.

I told him he'd have to take over dinner, since non-conventional cooking is his expertise. So I gave him the thawed hamburger, spaghetti noodles, sauce and almost-finished-rising-french bread, and said, "do your magic". Oh he was so in his element. To those who don't know, he loves dutch oven cooking and anything that makes you have to improvise.

Needless to say our spahgetti dinner with french bread by candlelight was delicious. He fried up the hamburger and did the sauce and noodles on our outdoor gas camp stove and baked the bread in a dutch oven (having to mold it into a 'U' to make it fit).
The power still wasn't on when we went to bed but when I got up at 1 a.m., it was back on.

This morning when I went for a jog there's a certain route I usually take and as I got further along it I heard the hums of generators and then came upon a still not-working traffic light. There were whole trees with exposed roots all over yards and branch, leaves, and just a big mess everywhere.

Later in the day we took a run to the store and I missed the exit on the way back and had to come through the old part of our town. WOW! Destruction was literally everywhere. From the looks of it, our neighborhood was saved the fury of this storm. It appears the middle section of our town is still without power tonight, and as we weaved in and out and around closed streets and police-taped areas with lines down to make our way home, we were so grateful for our safety.
Limbs and branches line the street after being hauled there for what, I assume, the city will start to pick up in the coming days.

Here's Connecticut's Governor, Jodi Rell, speaking with Connecticut Natural Gas workers.

The headline in the paper says that the National Weather service is confirming that it was a tornado that hit. It looks like it's going to be a while for everything to get back to normal in some parts of town. (Storm photos are from

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Steve Songs

We just got back from a fun concert with Steve Songs. Those of you with young children who love PBS will appreciate who he is. We were surprised to find out that he lives in our very own city and gives a concert for the library every year. What are the chances of that? All along we've been neighbors (well not actual neighbors) to a celebrity!

It was the kick-off of our local library's summer reading program for children. The concert was a complimentary celebration that Wes and Kate have been looking forward to all month.

Thankfully the skies dried up today so it could be held outside and we enjoyed it with a couple hundred other young families with children bouncing up and down and singing to this one-man-guitar act. He really does such a great job and we loved it.

We left a few minutes early because Sophia was not enjoying it as much as the others. Kate was kind of disappointed because she'd been practicing a certain song that Steve sings about soccer and she wanted to go up after the concert and sing it to him. I'm sure it would've been really cute, but she was okay with it because we told her we were going to go for ice cream instead:). Wes meanwhile, was just all about the guitar. He kept saying, 'there's the guitar! there's the guitar!' What a fun night.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


An article in our local newspaper last week said it had rained 26 of the last 46 days. And according to my records it's rained at least once a day since then, so the standing water in our front lawn just keeps getting deeper.

I found another side effect of this when I went downstairs to do laundry today. Our cement floors are being penetrated by the ground water levels, so there are spots that are quite damp. I think this is why many New England basements aren't finished. So I'm trying to figure out how to move boxes in certain areas that aren't affected ... yet. But boy, it's sure beautiful outside - sometimes I feel like we live in the tropics.

I understand much of Utah has seen an unsually rainy few months as well.

***As a side note, Matt reads and sings to our children at bedtime and as I was passing their bedroom this is what I heard ...

Matt: "What do you want to sing now?"
Wes: "Frosty"
Matt: "We already sang Frosty."
Kate: "Mamma Mia"
Matt: "Okay."

Then Kate sings the first line to ABBA's Mamma Mia.

So I guess Matt's playlist expands a little farther out than my 'Wheels on the Bus' or 'Jesus Wants Me for A Sunbeam'. Should I be concerned? ;)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Strawberry Jam and Dress-up

Strawberries in our neck of the woods are so inexpensive this week that we decided to take advantage of it by bottling a few. Strawberry Jam is my favorite and unfortunately means it doesn't stick around very long, so I think I'll be off to the store again tomorrow to get some more. Now if only I had some homemade bread, store-bought just doesn't hit the spot sometimes ... but that project will have to wait for another day because of the state of my house/mind.
We also finally went through some clothes that a friend of a friend gave to us for Kate. They're 6-8 year old clothes which of course is a ways off but we sorted them and found a really pretty dress for Kate that we've decided to use as a dress up piece. She's pretty excited about it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

We have such great Father's in our lives ... we love them all!
Here's Daddy and his three little bundles of joy/craziness.

My Dad, Sophie and Kate
I don't have a picture of Papa on my current files, so I snagged this from Aunt Bonnie's blog (unfortunately it doesn't show his handsome face:().
Happy Father's Day to you all!

Friday, June 19, 2009

I have a friend who posts something almost everyday and I love to check her blog, even when it's just pretty normal stuff. I'm not sure I'll be able to follow suit, mainly because I read everyone else's posts and then am too tired to add mine, but here are some fun things we've done lately.

*Wesley finished his school year (Mar-June) of speech therapy. He absolutely loved it. I think part of it is the fact that he went alone, w/o Kate, and I'm sure sometimes as a twin you'd like something that's just yours. And that's exactly what's happened ... he's very possessive of 'Ms. D'Amato' and includes her in his daily prayers. He gave her some roses from our yard for their last lesson, I should've taken a picture it was so cute.

*Sophia's loving ice cream cones right now. I bought some cones the other day and she loves that this is a food I let her hold herself, just don't forget the bib like I did here!

*Kate has really matured the last couple months. Although a 3 year old can't totally be reasoned with, I'm able to explain things to her and tell her directions/consequences/etc., and she's fairly ready to accept them. She's such a great helper and loves anybody and everybody. She's still very determined, strong-willed, and bounces off walls when anyone comes to visit, but Matt and I are amazed at how she's growing up so much!

*Matt's been working hard while not officially 'working'. He doesn't have classes this summer but is keeping busy writing a paper and getting everything wrapped up at USU . He's also been a faithful attendee at the school gym, which is always very healthy:). He's really excited for our long visit to the mountains of home. He says his only concern is the 'getting there part', since we've never flown with three small children before. But we've gotten lots of great advice from friends who have/and regularly do, fly.

*We went to another baseball game at our local AA NBL affiliate. Since the Red Socks games are either impossible or way expensive to get tickets I've been looking at the $5 Yankee tickets or perhaps looking for a Mets game ... eventhough going south requires a lot more planning because of the mass of humanity that is New York City.

*I set a goal this spring to run in two 5K road races this summer and last night was the first. I had butterflies that whole day (it was a night race). This is the first run I've done in 11 years. I've been training for the last two months and haven't really enjoyed it, but setting a goal of running in two races has forced me to exercise consistently. The run was beautiful even though it rained the whole time. I wasn't the last runner. Close ... but not last. And I'm happy that I came in under my predicted time of 38:55 (32:45 actual). Thanks to Matt and the little ones for playing in the rain while waiting for me! (I was running so fast that Matt couldn't get a good picture:)).