Monday, March 7, 2016


This girl!

So - she has broken a bone along her right thumb.  From falling at school.  CPS would probably be at our door if every broken bone she has ever had didn't occur at school.

So - she is in a soft cast (after much begging) for the next few weeks.  It is her writing hand, so that should make things interesting.  At least she will be out of the cast before softball season starts.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Out with the Old and In with the New

Today, we finally replaced our mini van.  It has been a long time coming.  We bought our minivan in 2004 - when Arlington was 1 1 /2 years old.  We were living in California, and decided we needed a bigger car.  We knew we were going to be expanding our family, and we were getting ready to drive across the country to move to Florida, so a nice big comfy van was going to come in handy.

Today - at 12 years old, 218,700 miles, and many (many) dents later - our time with that van came to an end.  This is the only van the kids remember - and they have spent quite a bit of time in there.  Finley came home from the hospital in this van.  I picked up Mat and Cainan up from the airport when he came home from China in this van.  We have taken countless trips in it - especially back and forth to Pennsylvania to visit family.

It is a Toyota and has been a great car.  It has never had a major problem - just minor quips along the way.  It is a beast and has taken a beating with three kids and two dogs.  It has hauled more wood from Home Depot than you can imagine.  It worked hard.

So this weekend - now that the winter seems to be behind us - Mat and I decided it was time to retire her.  I knew what I wanted - either another Toyota or a Honda.  The top two brands in minivans for many years running.  We need something big, and something safe - we still have many years of hauling kids around.

I did find a Toyota Sienna I really liked.  It was red, and had enough things that we needed.  It drove beautifully.  And then Mat and I test drove a Honda Odyssey and liked it just as well.  It made the decision very hard.  We left the Honda dealership, went to dinner with the kids, and made our final decision.

And the Honda won.  Mostly because we got a little more for our money, and it was a 2016 instead of a 2015.  Small minor things which in the end - don't make much of a difference.

Besides - it was blue.

So this morning, we cleaned out the old Toyota (that was gross), and went and picked up our new van.  Here is to another 12 years of minivan driving!

Our old van - she was well loved
 The new baby:
 It is an 8 passenger.  We didn't chose that - it comes that way now.  But that middle seat can be taken out:

 Lots of buttons for me to push......and screw up

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Bad Blogger

Has it really been so long since I have blogged?  I am having a hard time blogging on here.  Don't know why that is.....  Just busy I guess.

I have started a blog for my book challenge reading, so you can check that one here:

Let's see - It has been a busy time:

We had our first real snow storm of the year.  And hopefully the last

Mat turned 42.  His parents came up to our house for a visit and celebrate his birthday.

Arlington turned 13.  Can that be true?  Did she really turn 13?  I have a full blown teenager?  Impossible.

We went to PA to visit our families.  Mat couldn't go because he had to work, but the kids and I went.  We had a really nice time.  We celebrated Arlington's birthday, Valentines Day, and Chinese New Years all in one day - it was pretty cool.  We saw my cousin Kirsten perform in Guys and Dolls.  We went to a WVU basketball game.  We did some shopping.  It was a pretty full week.

The set of Guys and Dolls
My mother in law made all these little cakes for Valentines day

 I got to meet my newest nephew, Wolfe
 Arlington entertained her cousins
At the WVU game.  Aunt Renee got seats close to the front so Finley could see

I took a month long job as a sub as a school nurse at a local school.  Because I have lost my ever loving mind.

Mat had a chance to go to Washington DC and go to a summit with President Obama.  It was by invitation only, and he went there representing Autism Speaks.  It was very cool.  I got to watch it on TV and saw him there.  He then had a meeting with the FDA Commissioner and NIH head, and had a chance to mention Finley and our foundation.  They were very interested in the work we were doing and took his contact information so keep in touch with him.  Fingers crossed.

I think that catches you up.  I will try better to get over here and blog more!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Vacation Day 13

Yes - we are still on vacation 13 days later, and we still have all three kids.  It was amazing.  Truly.

This is our last full day in San Diego.  We didn't have much planned for this day, so we ended up at Balboa Park to check out the Air and Space Museum there.  (one of their many museums), and we walked around their gardens for a little while.  The weather was rainy, so we couldn't do much outside, but it was okay.  At this point we were tired, and a little worn from the incident a few days earlier, but we had a good time.

In the afternoon, we got to see our old neighbors and friends, the Geall family.  They had moved to the San Diego area over the summer, and we were all missing them very much.  Especially Finley.  She missed having their sweet girls right next door when she wanted to play.  And we missed having them as great neighbors.

The kids played at our condo for a little while and the adults caught up.  Then we all went to dinner at a fantastic Mexican restaurant for the evening.  It really did lift our spirits.  Laughing and catching up with friends makes a big difference when you are feeling low.

The next day - Jan. 5th, we headed home.  I had made 1000 phone calls, and found out how I was going to fly without my driver's license, and the TSA was actually really helpful.  And the people at the San Diego airport made it painless.  (they were very sympathetic more than anything, and I was grateful.  You really won't meet nicer people than San Diegans).  We had a smooth flight home, and our neighbors picked us up.  We were in the house a little after 9pm.

It was a great vacation.  I am glad we could knock another place off Finley's vision bucket list and take the kids on a great adventure.

Enjoy the last of the pictures

 Mat thinks the Dr. Seuss author was from San Diego

 The Gealls
 A special present from good friends.