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Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Daddy often says that Tater is not allowed to get married or have children until we are dead - he's a bit protective of his little girls! So the other night at dinner, G-Baby was eating her Gerber puffs and Tater, in all seriousness, said "When you and Daddy go to live with God, I'm going to have a baby and feed her those things." Ears, ears, ears!

Baseball, Anyone?

On Saturday, we went joined in on a community night with our church and ventured out to enjoy a local minor league baseball game. It was a nice time to connect with friends and get to know others better. We had the pleasure of sitting in a grassy area rather than the stadium seats, which allowed for the little ones to move around. It was a good idea, but we learned some lessons:

1. Get a sitter for G-Baby. There was no way to bring a stroller into the ballpark and she kept rolling down the incline!

2. Get a sitter for Bruiser. He ran ALL night - and usually away from me or Daddy when the other one was busy getting food or keeping G-Baby from rolling down the hill. NOT FUN!!!!

3. Get to the game earlier - I think we walked a mile to get in! Luckily, we had the front pack AND the backpack carrier in the van - totally not planned but very useful!

4. Fight the battle early on and don't let Tater wear flip-flops. She tumbled within 5 minutes of being there and scraped both knees and the tops of her ankles (we don't know how!) and created enough of a stir that even a paramedic came to see if we needed any assistance! Luckily I carry a first aid kit in my "mommy bag."

In spite of all that, we had a good time and are looking forward to a return trip - hopefully with less children!

Tater (band-aids on the knees!) and her friend

Smile Boy before he threw his french fries (and ketchup) at our seatmate!

G- Baby and her birthday buddy - they were born two days apart!

Women Rule!

Tater and I were laying in bed this morning watching the news and trying to wake up. (Did I mention that it is summer vacation - and I'm on vacation - love it!) Suddenly she turns to me and says:

Tater: Are we womans?
Me: Yes.
Tater: Are they (Daddy and Bruiser) mans?
Me: Yes.
Tater: And you and me are in charge!!!

That girl is gonna go far in life!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Old Fashion Summer-Time Fun!

After days of rain and chilly temperatures, guess what? It's raining again today! Tater did get to go to her first swim lesson, which was at an indoor pool...rain can't stop us! Our town offers a great recreation program throughout the year and take advantage of all the activities we can. In the winter, Tater has participated in Tumble Tots - for free - and I took an exercise class for a minimal cost. Now, in the summer, they are offering free swim lessons at the high school pool. I wasn't expecting a lot for free but they did a great job...Uncle J and Aunt H would approve!

As promised, here are the pictures from Saturday when Daddy set up the Slip-n-Slide. We found it at my least favorite store (Walmart) for only $5! If it lasts a few uses it was worth it! Tater and Bruiser had a blast, although neither of them really wanted to slide. They had fun getting wet and splashing.

G-Baby discovered the grass!

Bruiser was drinking the water from sprinkler - too cute!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Welcome Summer!

It hasn't felt like summer around here yet. The weatherman said it has actually rained for 27 out of 30 days in June...crazy! But there is a bright light ahead...and yes, I mean sunshine! This weekend was great...finally! Yesterday was hot, humid, and sunny - just like summer is supposed to be! Today wasn't so sunny, but still allowed for plenty of time outside!

So, to make it officially feel like summer, we set out to spend the weekend doing summery things - strawberry picking, water play, a baseball game, the zoo, ice cream from the ice cream truck ... you know, a summer's worth of stuff packed into one weekend! Hey, you never know when it's gonna rain again!

Here are the pics of strawberry picking. We didn't tell the kids where we were going - called it a "mystery trip" just like my parents used to do with us! They had a blast! Tater was good at finding strawberries to fill our basket. Bruiser was good at finding strawberries to fill his tummy! Every time we turned around he had another half eaten one in his hand. It wasn't until much later that we discovered he was eating the WHOLE strawberry - including the leaves! No ill-effects, fortunately! And tonight we enjoyed homemade strawberry shortcake with good friends!

There's one on the way to his mouth!

Hey, Mommy even made the blog!

If you look carefully at the box, you'll see white strawberries - that's what Bruiser wanted to pick! Daddy weeded them out before we paid!

There's G-Baby!

Keep checking back this week - I have tons of pictures from the weekend and I think it might take all week to cover those two fun-filled days!
Tomorrow: Slip-and-Slide!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Quote of the Day ( a few weeks late!)

Tater just spent the past two weeks with Papa and Mimi for the first of her summer visits. She and Mimi actually had a great visit and enjoyed being together while Papa was at work. This is a big step for Tater, since we all know her world revolves around Papa! And even though she had a good time with Mimi, there were those occasional times when she had a rough moment or two!

Tater: I don't want you for a Mimi anymore! Bruiser can have you!
(Tater stomped away and then turned back.)
Tater: No, he doesn't want you either! We'll have to figure out what to do with you.
(Mimi tried to get her talk more about it and was cut short.)
Tater: No talking, no talking, no talking!

You'll be relieved to know that they made up in short order and life went on a usual!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Early Literacy Edition!

You knew it wouldn't last! Bruiser had enough of his pesky little sister!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Editor's Notebook: There's something special about baseball

(Taken from Papa's editorial at The Reading Eagle)

The game was almost over. The only reason we were still there after seven innings was the fireworks that were coming at the end. There's only so much baseball a 4-year-old can handle, even with ice cream, cotton candy and funnel cakes. But we had made it and were waiting for the lights to go out and for the real show to begin.

The players for the visiting Harrisburg Senators were congratulating each other for an impressive 11-0 win over our Reading Phillies at First Energy Stadium and were walking off the field. One of the players in catchers gear walked toward the box seats on the third base side, next to the visitors' dugout. He reached out his mitt toward a little girl, and she took the ball in both hands. For her grandfather her face lit up the nighttime sky.

My faith in baseball has been weakened in recent years. Friday night, it got a boost.There's a reason it's called America's pastime. It's America's game, a real field of dreams. It's exciting and relaxing, all in one package. It's a time for fathers and sons - or grandfathers and granddaughters - to talk and share and cheer and laugh.

But throughout its history, baseball has been damaged from within: the Black Sox scandal of 1919, the Pete Rose suspension for betting on games, strikes, steroids and more recently bad language shouted at a victory celebration. For a brief moment last Friday night, all that didn't matter.I don't even know his name. Don't know if he is a good player who will become a star or someone who is just hanging on and chasing an impossible dream. Don't know if he respects the history of the game or not. But on this night, a minor league catcher made a little girl and her grandfather smile.

It happened so quickly that I didn't have a chance to thank him. To be honest, I was so captured by the expression on her face that he slipped away before I knew who he was. But what happened that night is a large part of what baseball is all about - fun and children and going home with a baseball. For any player who doesn't understand that, it's an assault on the game itself. Like it or not, these players are role models. They have a responsibility. And for those who are talented enough and lucky enough to move from this Double A level to the big show, that responsibility doesn't stay behind.

Millions of dollars in salaries and bonuses don't change that. Too often, we all get caught up in those millions that players are paid. A baseball costs around $10, so the monetary value of what happened that Friday night wasn't significant. But, you see, it's not about the baseball; it's the memory. And on this night, an unnamed young man hit a home run without swinging a bat.

From a 4-year-old little girl and her grandfather: Thank you.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Father's Day (Belated!)

Just a little tribute to our Dads (aka Papa and Pop-Pop!)

A common sight with my Dad!

Loving being a Grandpa...who knew someone so little would steal his heart!
A classic quote: "Hello, hello, hello, Precious!"

Four generations of Sprout men!
(Daddy, Bruiser, Pop-Pop, and Poppy)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Whose's Having A Birthday?

Our kids now have an inchworm - just like Daddy's!

Gotta love those socks and shorts!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Couldn't Resist...

I was skimming through old pictures, searching for pictures for Father's Day, Daddy's birthday, and more, when I came across this picture of Tater. She was so sweet - all puffy from her kidney relapse - and so little! Where did the time go?

Anticipating Father's Day

It was amazing to go back through the years and the moments and remember the times! Here are few shots of Daddy with the babies - oh, how tiny they were!

Daddy and Tater
Daddy and Bruiser
Daddy, Tater, and G-Baby
Happy Father's Day, Daddy!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

They Make Insurance For A Reason!

You know how you pay those monthly premiums on your car/house/etc. insurance? And you know how every month you groan and moan about spending the money? Well, I learned just how wonderful insurance can be!

We have been in a bit of a car world nightmare these past few weeks. Daddy has a car that was made in 2001 - and it needed a bit of work (think the $2000-3000 range - yeah, I know!). So we debated about fixing it or getting a new one. Paying the one-time repair costs won out over the monthly car payments, as nice as a new car seemed to Daddy!

So, with such large bills looming, we didn't need any other expenses at the moment. And everything seemed to be okay...until yesterday. It was an overcast day, I was rushing to get out of work, run a quick errand, and make it home for my afternoon book club. Well, with all that on my mind I didn't notice how close the car next to me in the school parking lot had parked. I started to back up and ... BANG! Yup, I hit that car. So I got out and checked the damage. My car was fine - paint transfer on the bumper. The other car? Two scraped and dented doors from my nice big mini-van bumper. *sigh*

So I headed back into the school, had the secretary make an announcement to see who's car it was, and braced myself to suffer the consequences. I got lucky - the car belonged to a fellow teacher, who is a friend, and who's husband owns a body shop. She didn't even bother to look at it and decided to let her husband check it that night.

So the "damage"? Amazingly, my little mistake was going to cast $1000 to fix! She asked if I wanted to pay it or submit it to my insurance...ha, ha, ha! Like I have $1000 sitting around! So, I called my insurance company today and they were SO nice (If you are looking for an insurance carrier, call Liberty Mutual - we love them!)! The repairs will be covered and most likely my premium won't be affected since it was my first little mistake! Thank you, God, for those monthly payments!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Link of Note!

Check out Tater fishing -Uncle Nailbag will be proud!

Picnic at the Boat Launch

On Saturday, we spent the evening relaxing (as well as you can with a 2-year-old!) with a picnic at the near-by boat launch. We ate some yummy tacos and sweet strawberry shortcake - all packed in a real picnic basket! Then Daddy and Bruiser went to explore the beach and the boat launch while G-Baby hung out with Mommy!

Coming up the boat ramp

Looking at the little bitty fish

Picture Pretty!