Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Latest at Longwood

Grandmothers, these pictures are mainly for you. Mom, remember when we went to Longwood and all we saw were buds on the mums? Well check this out:

And this is one of the 1000 bloom mums. Amazing, it's all from one plant.

Sharon, the hibiscus blooms were gorgeous, so many colors and varieties. You'll have to come see for yourself!

Baby Care Advice

Step One: When baby is upset, gently insert binky. (Look closely, you can see the left hand getting ready for Step Two.)

Step Two: If baby is struggling with binky, use both hands and really CRAM it in there.

Step Three: Check to see if baby and binky are happy.

High Schooler on Halloween

Do high school kids still trick-or-treat? When is the appropriate time to give up trick-or-treating? Andrea didn't go at all in high school, but Chris did his first two years. Nik is a freshman, and is beginning to think he's too old, but the allure of the candy was too strong. I remember that time in my life, trying to judge whether the embarrassment of trick-or-treating while towering over the little kids at the neighbor's door would outweigh the enjoyment of the delicious bites of candy. And I remember the year that the embarrassment was finally so bad, that the candy wasn't worth it. Sometimes I just don't know when to give up, but standing at someone's house when a group of little kids walked up and asked if I was the Mom who was giving out candy was the turning point.

Nik's costume came together at the last minute. His Spanish teacher gave him the mask during school on Halloween, and he colored it after school. I bought the fancy cool sombrero in Nogales in the 70's and it hasn't been worn for any event until this year (good foresight on my part, I know). The sheet is recycled from last year. Altogether, makes quite a striking and very unique costume for this part of the world. We get a good share of Star Wars characters, princesses, and skeletons, but I think this might be the first time many people in Drexel Hill have seen something like this knocking at their door.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ward Halloween Party

We had your usual showing of rabble rousers, but thought these stole the show. First, a coupla cowpokes. Notice Allison's sleeve. Not quite sure if that's dirt from working so hard on the range rustling steer, or just a little chocolate from wrestling a brownie. Either way, you can tell who won - Allison's a toughie.
Next our two cats - Melanie as a spooky black cat, and Julia as the Cat in the Hat. Our two gorgeous, whiskered, feline fatales.

Halloween Parade

Lots of excitement here for Halloween. Melanie counted down the days as if Santa was coming. During the day, Garrettford had a parade of students, and the local middle school band (for whom many famous musicians have played, most notably Chris and Nik Hawley). Currently, it's Julia's turn to flaunt her stuff in a purple wool suit.
Melanie's big appearance came near the end of the parade; this is after the marching is done. She is one cute cat.

Longwood Gardens

One of the most beautiful places I've been. Fills my soul with beauty and joy. Some parts make me feel like I'm in a Jane Austen novel. This trip, we came to see the pumpkins. Mostly we were excited to see the glass ones, but we were surprised by this gigantic whopper. 1070 lbs - and that was second place. Woah. I guess first place was off for a victory parade or something.
And so excited to go somewhere with my mom - here are 3 generations of McGinnis women.

These are the glass pumpkins - hand-blown. Amazing. You can check out Longwood's website for more details. Some of these are illuminated from within, some are not.
Check out the cornucopia built for the display. It is mostly grapevine wrapped around a form, but everything is made from things found naturally in the area. Beautiful.
And these are two of my favorite people! Aren't they cute together?

More pumkins, these colors are beautiful, and fanciful. Looks like they from a real Cinderella's garden.

I think I'm being threatened!

Julia took on a new sport this fall. She played field hockey and showed no mercy, on or off the field. This is a picture of her threatening me with bodily harm if I don't let her hang out with her friends later that evening.

Punk rock girl

Hey, we're finally into the October pictures (but not Halloween). Julia has been given some tshirts that she likes a lot and I have a bit of problem with their size, or lack of it. To illustrate my point, I put one on Allison one day and transformed her into our punk rock grrrrl. Julia didn't quite get the point, though, and now likes the shirt even more. (A tired punk rock girl, but it's hard work being so cool!)
And I just couldn't resist adding this one. I love love LOVE that smile!

Rare appearance

One handsome dude putting in a rare appearance on the blog. Sitting, as usual, in his favorite spot - at the computer, where else? Even Allison knows where to look for Chuck when we need him. She heads right to the computer chair, calling "Daddun! Daddun!" (tranlates loosely to "Daddy" or "guy who's butt print is in the computer chair"). Melanie took this picture - pretty good for a pipsqueak.


You know that smile that just infuses your whole day with joy? Is this what you were thinking of?

Cluster Bloggin'

That's what I'm going to call this post b/c it will be a HUGE random assortment of stuff I should have posted over the past... month or more? It's been a long time, but well worth the wait. Let's start with just one of my favorite pictures ever.

When I look at pictures like this, I wonder how I could ever be upset or ill-tempered with any of the kids (from September).

Okay, so this isn't the best picture of us, but it represents a fun day we had just goofin' off together, wrestling and laughing and probably being really immature.
Oh yeah, here's Chris. He's always a big help with making sure Nik doesn't go too long without being tortured.

One day Julia and I went somewhere together and someone said, "You guys look SO much alike. I can just tell you are mother and daughter." Julia and I looked at each other, and just laughed and laughed.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


There are times when being a SAHM is WONderful and rewarding. And there are times when I never want to walk through the door of my house without another adult there to hold things together. This is one of those days. I got home from grocery shopping with Allison and was unloading groceries from the van, turned around to open the side door, and this is what I saw:


This thing is at least as big as the end of my thumb. But ultimately, a BEAUTIFUL creature, so amazing, so many details on each articulated part. After a mini photo shoot, I took a stick and (no, I didn't whack the spider) I broke the silk where the spider was hanging so I could gently move the spider away from the threshold to my home, but the spider ran up that silk towards my stick like lightening, so I ended up chucking the stick far away from me. Back to AAAAUUUUUUUGH! (Hope you're okay, Spiderella.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Surfer girls

So I promised more from this summer. One of the highlights of the summer for me was watching Julia and Melanie learn how to surf.

Julia's got it. She's got the stance and everything. Now if she could just drop the dorky parents, she might be able to have some kind of a life.....
(Excuse the bad photography, but you gotta remember the photographer is out in the gnarly surf, getting thrashed all around by the epic swell....)

Here's Melanie standing up on that stick like it's nothing. She yells out "COWABUNGA" every time she catches a wave."Little surfer, little one, Made my heart come all undone...." My teeny wahines!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bloggin' again

Hey, I'm finally taking a few minutes and posting a few of my favorite pix from the summer. Apologies to the boys, but we didn't seem to run in similar circles this summer. Nik and Chris spent a good deal of time at camps this summer, learning things like search and rescue skills, earning merit badges, and just generally being hapless with a good mixture of mischief and charm. The girls and I spent more time together, which I hadn't thought about before just now, but might be the reason I lamented the start of school for the first time this year. Our house is quiet these days, and Allison and I haven't quite adjusted yet. She roams through the house during the day calling out for her siblings, and I marvel that the food I put in the 'frig now STAYS in the 'frig (not so in the summer). Anyways, a few pix:

Allison at the zoo yesterday. She is so grateful for a dad who works hard to provide her with so many blessings. Mom is, too. Mom is truly blessed to have such marvelous times with the kids.

First day of school. Julia wanted this year's theme to center on Pink Hi-tops. The boys wouldn't go for it, but look how cute all these pink shoes are. Julia started 7th grade this year, and has again signed up for an enormous amount of activities. She handles it well, and only asks that we read her mind to know her schedule. Melanie started 1st grade and loves it. I've never met a first grader with more confidence. She handles being at school all day much better than her mom, who is sad about missing so much of her DoodleBug's life. Allison would LOVE to start school, any grade will do, but is stuck at home with Mom going to SongTime at the library, Gym class and swimming at the Y. She has spent so much time with me running errands that she knows just when to hand the cashier the credit card.

Look at these gorgeous girls! Such good friends!! We are so lucky everyone gets along well in our family. Many different combinations of siblings this summer made for lots of interesting and fun times. Many times over my prayers for more love in our family were answered abundantly!

I just love this picture and can't leave it out.
It captures so much of what we strived for this summer: tranquil, abundant, exuberant, transcendent fun.

Okay, that takes us from Sept back thru the beginning of Aug. Hopefully more time will surface soon and I'll post more from the rest of the summer. When I look back over the summer, I realize how truly blessed and rich my life is.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Miracle cure

You know you're in Philly when the pediatrician recommends WATER ICE as part of your kid's treatment. Allison has coxsackie (aka foot, hand, mouth disease) (which by the way is nasty; she is covered in sores - mouth, hands and feet (go figure) AND diaper area - I can't imagine how the poor thing functions.). Anyways, the doctor said heat will exacerbate her misery and don't expect her to eat much - give her ice pops, ice cream, and water ice!! Hilarious, but so of course the first place we stopped on the way home from the doctor's office was Rita's (not the Howden's dog, but the Water Ice place, THE water ice place) and Allison downed at least half of a watermelon water ice. We were sitting in the car on a 90 degree with the air conditioning on and she smiled a lot for the first time in a while and got goose bumps so I considered the treatment a success.