Dominic, aged 8 months: This kid. This just happens to be what he was doing while I was forcing some house chores on my eldest. Safely asleep with his sound machine on high after just a rough morning of crawling and eating and crawling some more.

David, aged 3 years: He never was one for inside loud noises. Blenders, vacuums, drills, saws. You name it and his ears are covered. He has long since stopped the hysterical crying and then the running away that followed after. Now he just sits there and covers his ears and says: it's too loud!

Letteria, aged 5 years: Who knew cleaning could be so enjoyable?! She loves it. Having the handheld vacuum helps with this immensely. She takes care of all the crumbs and wipes down doorknobs and thinks it is just the best. She always was task-oriented, following up the completion of each chore with a: what's next?!. And she loves to help! For a cost. The price yesterday was a lollipop.

Past weekly shots here.


just call me stoltzfus

I am sure that there are other counties out in the world that do this, but to me, freezing corn is very Lancaster County of me. Very PA Dutch if you will. I know quite a few Lancaster County families who make a day of this, requiring every female in the family to present themselves armed and ready to spend an entire day doing this....This corn freezing business. 

Luckily, I never had to do it, as I hail from New York. But! Matt! Matt does not hail from such a place, and he happens to have a sweet corn tooth. He stalks local farms for the beginning of sweet corn season. He will drive south to another state entirely for some early season ears. And lastly, he will freeze it. Multiple dozens of it. Last year was our first foray into anything with any sort of scale to it (scale meaning 20 dozen). This year we again did the same quanitity, and again included my sister and her husband. Yet this year, we streamlined it. Only requiring 3.5 hours from start to clean up. 

I believe most people do this outside from husking to boiling to kernel removal, however I have an issue with black flies and so we bring the party inside after husking. Husk. Boil. Then per my girlfriend's recommendation, give them an ice bath in the sink (she's a Lancaster County native, born and raised!). After they have cooled off the kernels are removed and then stuffed into quart sized ziploc bags. The end!

And before you knew it, the carnage in the kitchen had been wiped away. The cabinets washed down. The floors steamed. The corn in the freezer. Even if the children were still in their pajamas.  But just look at that beautiful clean island. Heart eyes.


a boy's first air show

There is a small airport nearby, the Lancaster Airport, that among other things, boasts a semi-annual Community Days weekend, that includes an airshow and planes and lots of food trucks and lots and lots of people. My Facebook newsfeed was just riddled with photos of my friend's children at this event over the course of the past weekend. It's free so that pretty much brings all the boys (me) to the yard. 

Matt and his brothers were frequent air show attendees when they were kids but this was all new terrain for me. People actually bring chairs? I blended in nicely with my big girl camera and even felt like she was a bit under dressed for this occasion (I saw one lens that was a foot long!). I dressed the boys in the best "air show" wear that I had (mainly plane and helicopter t-shirts), and Letty decided that her best "air show" wear would be her Frozen dress from her birthday. We paid the $5 for parking and went off with nothing but visions of grandeur in our eyes. 

There were plenty of planes and helicopters for the kids to admire, and even a few that they could go inside of, which is pretty awesome even for an adult. Turkey Hill was giving away free ice cream and tea samples which might have been a bigger hit than the big military plane... Maybe. We waited patiently at a spot we found near the yellow rope for the air show to begin.... and we kept waiting. We waited there in the heat on the tarmac, baking in the sun for 45 minutes. And then we decided that we were spent of this and we wanted air conditioning. By the time we got to the van the first plane went up to do it's tricks (a full hour late) and so at least we got to see that.... Which, while tame to Matt's standards, I thought was pretty cool.

As we were pulling away Letty thanked us (without any suggestions from us) for taking them to the air show. David decided that planes are now his favorite. And Dominic just fell asleep.


a first birthday party|twinkle twinkle lena girl

A few weekends ago my niece had her very first first birthday party. Yes her birthday was actually when we were in Maine, but of course we had to have a party! Friends and family gathered on the hottest day of the year (I rarely exaggerate) at my sister's house in her newly finished basement for a twinkle twinkle little star themed party. My sister and her husband did an excellent job decorating and planning...Obviously. It was perfect. Lena girl has now transitioned from baby to a toddler without so much as a fuss. There was a lot of good eats, cake and singing, present opening (which was like a feeding frenzy my-lanta), and bounce house having. This girl is such a ball of personality I can't even stand it. She has more of it in her finger than I do in my entire body. I can't wait to watch her grow and I just love her so very much. The little girl that made me an aunt! How you do make me smile.

And after sweating for almost four hours the kids went straight into the shower before straight to bed. Maybe summer being almost over isn't such a sad thing? And besides - then fall!