bowling time!

My brother-in-law and his wife asked if we wanted to join them for bowling earlier this week and since Matt had off all week too we figured ok yes! It ended up turning into a night affair including delicious bar food too…. An old favorite that Matt and I hadn’t eaten since we lived in this neck of the woods so that was even more fun! David actually seems pretty good at bowling! Won’t even go there with the scores though…. Sensitive subject!

olsen christmas

I was determined to make this day a better day. The laser tag was put away… vanilla ice cream was available… and Dom did better, until he didn’t. But we tried! Matt’s aunt and uncle couldn’t make it was he is recovering from surgery so it was a smaller than usual Olsen Christmas. We relaxed and did gifts and ate…. Even got gifts from the Olsen’s who live in Florida. I’m sure those videos I sent were thrilling! Final Christmas celebration in the books!

christmas afternoon and evening

After far too much screen time we took the Olsen Train over to my parents’ for an afternoon of gift opening! These kids got all the things! We all did! We let the kids go first but taking turns and then the adults got to open their gifts after. And of course there is the annual kids in front of a tree picture….

christmas morning

It is always over too quickly right? I think next year we may do the whole take turns opening gifts thing because man I think it was like three minutes and done. The kids actually slept in sort of late for them on Christmas…. As in like 7. They tore right into their gifts as Matt got the coffee and the trash bag, as dads do. They all wanted suitcases which was a big part of the morning but the biggest was the Occulus. Lots of art things for Letty, Fortnite stuff for David, and toys toys toys for Dom. 

a christmas eve!

How happy I am to say this is back! I really missed this event last year…. My parents hosted their annual Christmas Eve party once more! See also I sort of don’t mind an excuse to dress up! There’s a ton of food and fun festive drinks and people pop in and out during the night…. We see friends and family and then! Then! Santa! He even visits! He arrived to a bunch of excitement and questions from the kids and then instead of reading this year the kids sang a few songs before all visiting with him… the kids and their friends will be talking about this night for so long! Thank you so much to my parents for opening up their home to everyone and being so fun and festive!

the in between…

In between doing all the big things are… all the things. Lunches out. Good sky. School festivities. Birthday celebrations. The loss of a first tooth. Sports. Facial injuries and gift giving. Pick up lines and coffee. Time with friends and crafting. I mean truly, all the things. It is the season of life, or so I am told….

festive fetter time

We do this, Toniel and I…. Find a time in a very busy month to have a night of festivity. Festive clothes. Festive activities. Etc. We made a craft, did cards for the teachers in our lives, watched Elf, had cookies and hot chocolate and popcorn. All the things! As we tend to do! It is tradition! And of course she spoiled us rotten with thoughtful presents as we not so patiently wait for summer!

annual cookie baking day

Oh always a favorite, this day! My mom’s most favorite to be sure. I’m being highly sarcastic. This day is a bit chaotic. I tried to make it less so by refusing admission to the boys and I think that did help, somewhat. But a lot of cooks in the kitchen always makes for a wild time…. But we did it! All cookies baked and decorated and ready to go for Christmas 2021!

cinderella a second time around

Most people go and see shows multiple times right? The tickets to see Cinderella with my family were purchased ages ago…. But when my friends started discussing going with our girls I couldn’t miss out! So here we were again, seeing Cinderella. A great show! And apparently we just made it because they had to cancel performances before and after this date so I consider us lucky. We had lunch beforehand and then off we went! Arriving just in time for the start of the show! Love that these ladies all love the theater!

candylane a second time around

Back we went! This time with all the family! It wasn’t nearly as crowded either which made for a whole lot of rides this time. We got there right as it opened to visit with Santa again…has Dominic been naughty or nice? He at least has the decency to hesitate… we rode quite a few rides before grabbing a quick dinner and heading home. It was a late night for us all but I’m glad we got back again!

letty’s first concert

Last week the middle school had all their concerts… and the one I cared about the most happened to have a certain daughter of mine in it. Dressed in her finest with three songs to sing, Letty was ready! My mom came with us too which was extra special. Matt got her flowers... I mean all the things. They sang a song I cannot spell (Kye Kye Kule?) , a version of Silent Night and A Few of My Favorite Things. We were just so full of pride for this girl. As any parent would be. And of course it was such a good concert and all the kids did so great! 

dominic’s birthday party

Last weekend we celebrated this guy’s birthday a little early with our family. Missing a few of course but still I’m glad for those who could get together! He chose a Fortnite theme which really left me hanging as far as ideas go…. I think we sort of pulled it off which I guess if you know Fortnite maybe you can see it and if you don’t then it’s just a colorful affair! The kids played before dinner, which of course Matt nailed, before it was gift time! Thank you all for spoiling him as always, I assure you he does not deserve it! Then there was singing and cake! And yes I did not fight that battle and let Dom change into pajamas halfway through so he could get “cozy”. Third child. 

a saturday of all the things

Last Saturday I tried to fit in all the things…. Registering David for baseball (the sport that never ends) before heading north to my friend’s ice cream and candy shop’s open house! We had to have lunch first though and we ate like kings! The kids all got milkshakes at Janelle’s shop and they picked out all the candy… for themselves…. For their teachers. And of course we had to hit up Cabelas on the way home. After a short break at home we headed out for a night of Christmas lights! A scavenger hunt and of course seeing the light show put on my the kids of a local school! I know there will be many more nights of lights to come! 

And it was in the mid sixties. Heaven in December. 

who dominic is at seven.

Being the youngest of his “triplet” cousins it sure feels as though he is already seven. Which of course, he most certainly was not. Until today that is. Time is moving at a break neck speed and I can’t quite believe my youngest is here already. Seven is a year I distinctly remember as a kid. He’s almost half way done with first grade for goodness sake! How is this a thing!?

all aboard the polar express!

This has to be done every year of course! Tickets for the kids…. The movie… hot chocolate and of course popcorn all in Christmas pajamas! Bells handed out to all! This is such a great Christmas movie and it’s even better with family and cousins!

Small nod to the matching Christmas/Disney pajama bottoms we accidentally received…. Love them!

a festive afternoon off in the city

The kids had a random half day off last week and you know me I had to fill it up with all the things! Luckily I know someone who shares my affinity for elf culture (read: doing all the things Christmas as much as one can) and so we combined efforts for this afternoon! First up was of course lunch because one needs sustenance…. Then we saw Lancaster’s tree before heading to paint Christmas ornaments at Potteryworks. Which had its fair share of drama with Dom threatening to break the ornament and kicking me in the shins…. Reminder to future Laurie don’t do ornaments! I took over his and got him a simpler one and we moved on. I am looking forward to seeing them next week after they are fired! Then we went down the street to Lancaster Cupcake. All the things in one short afternoon! 

the in between

You guys. This season of our life. It is nuts. Completely crazy. The kids and their extra-curricular activities have taken on a whole new level and I find that fact shocking. Letty has tutoring two days a week, basketball 2-3 times a week, hockey once a week, artists in action once a week…. David has coding club, gym club and basketball just started…. Dom thankfully doesn’t start with basketball token January and I am thanking all those chickens before they hatch about that. It’s just all the things. In the busiest time of the year. So we are here for it. No wonder the days fly by? So in between all of that there has been a lot of little things… and gorgeous skies….holiday craft days at school… basement renovations….because why not?

gingerbread houses with the family

Way back in the day my dear readers (if you have been around that long) we always did gingerbread houses with our neighbors even after they were no longer our neighbors. After that stopped because life is busy and all that we just did them ourselves. Us Olsen’s. But this year my mom said she would be interested in doing it together which I mean, duh. So we joined forces with my sister and made an afternoon of it! The boys rode Lena’s bus home from school and Letty walked (gasp!) and I only freaked out about that for like…. A half hour internally. All babies accounted for we started our decorating! Beth and I thought it would be best to have the houses assembled beforehand which it really was for the best but my kids thought they missed out on something. Eye roll. 

They decorated. They ate a ton of sugar. They had fun. And with cousins! Which is my favorite!

pop’s birthday and a snowflake ornament

These days are flying by and as much as I hate it I know we are getting all the things in! Double booking or triple booking whatever we are doing it. Last Sunday was my dad’s birthday which of course we got together for dinner…. And matching pajamas…. But before that and gifts and singing we had a craft courtesy of my mother, snowflake ornaments!


Oh the theater…. The theater…. What happened to the theater? 

We all know what happened. But we got back there! To. The. Fulton. For Cinderella, of course. Letty and I haven’t been here since Mamma Mia and we have really missed it! So this past weekend what a treat it was! All the older (ahem, relatively) ladies in the family met up with John and Sadie in our Sunday’s finest. The Fulton always does a wonderful show and this was no exception! I didn’t really recognize many songs other than Impossible but that didn’t stop the entertainment!

the first candylane visit of the year…

Repeat: who knows what the month will hold? So given the chance and even though it was cold we headed up here after David’s basketball practice to hit three main things. Santa. Reindeer. Lights. If a ride or two could happen in there then so be it. But those three were our goal. Santa moved to an outdoor location which I quite like. The kids got their photos taken from afar but this time with no masks and there was  little interaction. Way better than last year. We met up with my sister and family and mom and headed towards the reindeer! They had been there a little bit more than us so they headed home while I took the kids to see the light show. Super quick in and out but we saw what we needed to see. 

a festive thanksgiving break.

I typically go all the places on these little breaks off of school. I want to make it so fun and make memories and do all the things. This year I decided to just stay home. The kids have been pushing buttons and just generally being unappreciative so I figured why do it all? We literally had no plans other than Thanksgiving at my parents’. So we got a lot done around the house of the festive variety. Less screens. More fighting. You know, typical sibling stuff. And a lot of ibuprofen for me. 

Of course there were some things we had to do… like get David’s expander out! And a lunch beforehand. And then leaf play at Nonna’s for a bit…. Lots of cookie baking and movie watching… making snowflakes and reindeer food and ornaments. Matt got a lot of work done on a project in our basement… We got so much off our festive list this past break and I appreciate that because you just never know what things will pop up in the next few weeks am I right?!

our thanksgiving!

This year our Thanksgiving was slightly different from most…. My Long Island family couldn’t make it so it was just little ole us… you know, the group that gets together all the time…. And that’s ok! It just didn’t feel very “special” since we literally got together five days in a row around this holiday and all the time. So. My sister and I had some plans… Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving (bust on my end for not being able to find it except for clips on YouTube), Cupcake turkeys and an Indian corn craft. It broke up the day I will say. 

And of course there was allll the eating of allll the things. All the family time! Somewhere in the midst of all of this our Elf on the Shelf arrived bringing matching pajamas which Christmas miracle of all miracles, the cousins had the same ones! And not a single one of my kids questioned how that was? But alas! Another year with Cornelius!

washington dc, the second day.

Sunday morning we got up and packed up and got our coffee all before heading out to see The Capital Building… they were decorating the Christmas tree! Too bad we juuuust missed it. At ten we were in the Air and Space Museum which sadly was half closed for renovations. Bummer. To iep and her girls left at this point and the rest of us headed across the mall to the National Gallery of Art for a quick gander… saw some things before heading over to Chantilly, VA to eat quick and then go see the really BIG Air and Space Museum. This has been on Matt’s wishlist for literal years but we never find ourselves nearby. It did not disappoint. The hanger alone is enough to see but the shuttle? Wow. Truly such a great experience to see it in person. There was so much more to explore in that area that we will definitely go back! Matt might go on his own though so he can truly enjoy. 

washington dc, an afternoon.

Once everyone had their food secured in their bellies we did some site seeing. David enjoyed this all immensely as he has been learning about the government in school. Eating it all up, as it were. We went past The White House, The Washington Monument, The WWII Memorial and then made our way down to The Lincoln Memorial….. all before traipsing back to our hotel where we started our day. Lots of steps for some of those littler legs but they were troopers. We were able to get tables in our hotel restaurant to eat… even though the food left much to be desired at least we didn’t have to walk anywhere and we had our own area of the restaurant. Then it was back to our room for drinks and just chilling out, boys in our bedroom, girls in Toniel’s room…. The adults in between. Let me tell you I am a major fan of connecting rooms. 

washington dc, a morning.

Well we did it again! A weekend away with friends! This time instead of Philly we headed more south to our nation’s capital. Visit some museums, see some monuments… mission accomplished!

We got there Saturday morning and made our way right the the Museum of Natural History. Which to be clear is quite the massive place and there was just so much going on. So many people. So many kids to count. Always on to the next new thing and we had to divide and conquer. Not even sure they learned anything but they sure tore around!

Then we hit up Shake Shack for lunch which didn’t seem like a long walk from The Mall but it was. Starving children do not make happy children. But I did enjoy my first time there!

moments in between…

We have the Halloween costume that is worn daily…my first time volunteering in the middle school where I caught up with Letty for a quick second… I went with a mood when I did some fall shopping for myself… we all got our hairs did… I spied on the boys at work a few times… celebrated Carper’s birthday… and then Avery’s birthday… and of course, had a few Starbucks! Dinner out for our anniversary… Lots of eating out with friends… Evan’s birthday party where all the kids got to join in on the fun and a sneak peak at our basement!

a holiday home tour! the reading room.

Previously known as: the play room. But now that the kids are more independent and into different types of things I am slowly reclaiming it for a reading nook. Not that I have been finding the time as of late to read but if I would the nook would be ready for me! The kids still have basically the bottom two shelves all around which they choose to trash on the daily… but we are getting there!

a holiday home tour! the foyer.

Are we sick of these? How many times can I share before it is too many? I tend to find them useful for those times when I am decorating and cannot for the life of me remember where I put a certain decor item… when you have 18 bins and nine trees you need to document. At least I think. So if decor and the holidays are not your thing I’ll see you on the flip side….and I mean that in the most respectful of ways. It is not for the faint of heart!

The foyer is always a favorite. The flocked tree in the mirror…. The garland… it is also the cats’ favorite tree. Ahem. Thanks for that Nera. The foyer shelf below the window makes it official that all my neighbors know I am crazy well before it is appropriate to be so but I just love the colored lights up there! And then of course there is how it looks at night…

the wrap up of fall sports.

Just way later. Baseball ended in mid-October and that feels like a lifetime ago while hockey has had an ending here and then a real ending there. That happens whenever your on more than one team. Thank you to all who have come and supported these two in all kinds of weather… we stick together…oh wait. And try and you for all the good photos sent to my by Shauna!

And all that to say let’s start in with basketball! For all three. Yay. 


This caused quite the stir in our town, did it in yours? The township had is scheduled for Friday night but the weather was so terrible our development made the executive decision to postpone it to the actual day of Halloween, a day with a beautiful forecast. The family came over and pizza was eaten and costumes and layers were donned all before six pm. And off we went! Probably the best trick-or-treat yet! The kids had so much fun and got so much candy… the littlest ones enjoyed themselves and the eldest helped them along the way. We saw old friends and new friends… and did I mention the amount of candy?! Such a great night and so many memories made!

the national aquarium

We celebrated fifteen years this year. A decade and a half. So in honor of that Matt and I planned on going away without the kids for the second time in our marriage. Our plan was Inner Harbor and Fells Point. Dom however had other plans. We just didn’t feel right leaving the kids in case one of them got it next because that is how the stomach bug goes right? Anyways all part of this was the aquarium. The kids had gotten money from my aunt and uncle for Easter and we decided we would get a family pass to the aquarium with it instead of say, toys. We hadn’t gotten down there yet so this weekend was going to be our first. So we still went away, Matt and I, just with the kids and only for a few hours. 

They had never been to the aquarium before and loved it! David couldn’t wait to rush on to see the next best thing, Dom could have watched those fish swim in each and every tank all the day long and Letty same, with a touch of fear of abandonment. We saw some dolphins from afar and David touched a jellyfish the brave boy! The kids can’t wait to go back again! 

annapolis day two

Day two we all actually slept in. Like, till 8. Who are we? We meandered down for coffee and a view by the water before getting dressed for the day. There were. Few sites we hadn’t seen the day before so we hit them up before an early lunch and a departure home. It was a quick trip but such a good one! Thank you ladies for being you!


I did a thing. Again. I left my kids with Matt for the night. Gasp! Laurie how could you!? I know. The mind reels. This year Janelle and Toniel and I decided our fall day away would be to Annapolis. We had all heard such good things! All the fall, colonial-type vibes with lots around within walking distance of our hotel! It was supposed to rain but thankfully that held off and we had the most gorgeous day! Walking the town, stopping for food and drink and some history, etc. oh and we stayed in a really old hotel that I’m fairly certain was haunted. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy type haunted. 

pumpkin carving night

Always a chaotic night. Put it up there with Christmas cookie baking. And then to make it more of a thing we also took our annual cousins in their costumes photo too. And a ride in Pop’s kubota. And dinner. On a school night. But we got it all in! We can do hard things!

Nonna is simply the best. She had all the messy bits cleared out and ready to go so all we had to do was get to carving. Which makes life as a parent infinitely easier. Spooky music on and carve away kids! And see also, Tenley. This season she has been the Belle of the ball! She is at such a fun age and loves all the things!

hersheypark in the dark take two

This time, with friends! And not quite in the dark. Toniel had an extra pass so Matt was able to join! Which he was so pleased about! We didn’t have too long but we were able to get some rides in and a drink or two before the candy trail before we had to go on to the next thing but I’m glad we were able to hang with them for a little!

our annual gettysburg trip

Annual and probably last. David queried, is it really worth it to drive an hour and a half each way just to look at some monuments and climb some rocks? Cut me to the core why don’t you Dave. Jeez. This year I told him yes it absolutely is worth it and then after listening to them argue throughout the park I think he may be on to something. 

But first we stopped and got a burger. I love the theme here, choosing a burger from the north or south. We dodged a bit of rain while eating and it cleared up in time for us to do our park thing. Visit the same few monuments, climb the same observation tower and have the same anxiety, hit up what is most certainly not Rapunzel’s tower and finish the trip with the rocks at Devil’s Den. Right before the rain started again. 

At least it was a pretty day while the rain stayed away and we didn’t have sports. A nice break!

lots of the in between

We have been busy this past month, clearly. Doing all the fall things of course but all the sports things sprinkled in there too (more on that later as one does). Our pool closed and Sorellina got her little fix so she stops looking for make suitors…. Both very traumatic things if I do say so… the boys had their book fair and we got to have lunch with them too! There was good sky and a sleepover…. All sorts of confusion happening with Christmas decor but Halloween movies… I had my first tiny bite of being a substitute teacher… lots of good eats and school photos and David’s fall party. And of course most important of all our anniversary! Oh October. You were a month!

hersheypark in the dark!

Always a classic, this amusement park at Halloween. The lights and the music. The costumes and the candy! Oh my! We were able to go together with all the cousins which as you know I love being able to do! The triplets have now all sized up and can go on the wooden rollercoasters which opens up a bunch of options for my siblings to be the fun uncles/aunts as their mother can only handle so much before turning a bit green….we did quite a few rides before heading towards the trick-or-treat trail where they got all the Hershey’s candy! I call it a successful night!

trunk or treat with ice cream!

I know that inside these four walls Christmas has already arrived but on these dusty blog walls we have some serious catching up to do! And we will get there. We will. 

A few weeks (who knows how many at this point) my friend’s ice cream truck was parked at a local trunk-or-treat so we of course had to get the kids in some semblance of a Halloween costume and go visit her! Letty came a bit later right from practice as a field hockey player. Desperate times! It was super crowded but the kids still had fun with friends and the extra candy was a nice little bonus. 

mikayla rae is seven!

And I’m just not sure how that happened. I remember being seven… how are these kids already there?! Time you thief you! Her birthday was actually the week prior to this day of days but as crazy fall schedules go this is when we could get together to celebrate. Just prolonging the birthday love! 

Kayla chose “sunset” as her theme… how very bougie of her! But yet I am not surprised she knows what she likes and that is that! Rob made a delicious meal right away and then we headed out to watch her soccer game. Quite the cheering section that girl had! Then we headed back to their house for cake and cookies and presents galore! And those cookies? Not only were they gorgeous but also delicious!

the millersville homecoming parade

It has been a few years since we have gone to this, and even longer than all five of us were there. But the stars aligned and baseball and hockey were both randomly postponed so there you have it! Parade time! We got excellent parking thanks to my brother for saving it for us…. The kids got a lot of candy and we saw all the fire trucks and the marching bands galore! It’s such a good parade even if this year is a little smaller than usual!

an etters farm day!

We did this last year and it just had to be repeated! Much to Toniel’s manfriend’s chagrin I am sure! The same group of usual suspects went, totally somewhere around 21 of us! We had the kids choose their pumpkins first and get the messy bits of painting out of the away before they took off into the corn maze. And take off they did! I’m not sure how many times they all went through it but there was definitely a lot of squealing and running happening. Then the tractor rolled up with a wagon full of hay for quite the ride! In my mind Zach hears none of the racket coming from behind him he just zens out to Enya or some such thing! After all that fall fun was done we headed to a nearby restaurant that someone could handle a party of our size. What a night! Doing all the things! Thanks so much to Zach for having us and to Toniel for organizing it!

youth field hockey night

Last week all the youth field hockey girls got the chance to play on the turf under the lights between the JV and varsity games… and they loved it! Their names were announced over the loud speaker…. Letty hustled and scored two goals and they won their scrimmage! Then they got hot chocolate and tiny little cupcakes before cheering on the varsity team before their game! It was a late night but a good one!

all the in between…

Oh all the in between. Not to be confused with the upside down…. There has been a lot of good foods, baseball, field hockey, friend time, final swims and staring longingly at the pool that will soon leave us….there was the elementary school’s annual fundraiser, Race for Education, lots of quality time with the boys while I’m working….the start of trumpet for David and basketball for Letty…good skies, good burgers, good drinks, fall things and then random summer things….tie dye and ISS views…. All the things!

apple picking on a day off

The kids had off last Friday and you know I just can’t let that go! We need to do all the things! We hit the gym, the library, the Farm Show and then it was time for fall things! Apple picking and checking out the sunflowers before some apple cider donuts! Not sure what I’ll do with the apples because this place charges a flat rate for the box but I’ll think of something! Maybe a cider?