Monday, November 15, 2010


We interupt the ongoing thread for an exciting update: we were invited to the Flyers game tonight, seats 4th row from the *ice*!!!!!! Ya, so this was our view (just a few minutes ago!), there was an empty seat after most people left their seats to watch the Eagles vs. Redskins (McNabb starting for the 'Skins), so there was an empty seat, then the woman who invited us to the game (check out the jersey name: Knapp; know any Amish hockey players?), then some corporate looking people, and then the ice, the game! Wow. It was so way fun; the Flyers scored twice in the first period and we got to see two goals scored right in front of us!!
Check out the new goalie:Me? That looks like me in all that goalie gear? Yeah, the score was 5-1 (Flyers, of course), so I asked the coach and he let me get some ice time.

We noticed a guy holding up a sign about 10 seats away from us. It looked like the sign was well done, but had seen several games (personally, I think he saw Chuck about to take his picture and posed). And by "well done", the signs are obviously hand made, like he has over the years used hundreds of Sharpies and spent many nights at home coloring.

Yeah, this guy is definitely posing; see that smile? (I think this sign is for short-handed goals numbers 4&5.).

I looked over and saw this guy *filing* his signs - he carries a filing box to every game, with his signs alphabetized, and he has this like 6th hockey sense about what sign to hold up and when. I mean, he wouldn't just hold up a sign that says, "You stink." His signs are more cerebral than that. I saw at least six different signs and this game wasn't even very exciting. He had signs to heckle the opposing goalie, the refs, signs to celebrate...there were dozens in his box. I think the Flyers organization should put this box in the Hall of Fame one day.

Side bonus: we stepped into Chickie and Pete's for more crab fries (big bucket, yum x 2), and watched the Flyers on a dozen TVs and the Eagles' complete routing of the Redskins on another dozen. It's so much fun to celebrate with Philadelphia fans (until they start burning stuff).

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Back to Cali

So back to our crazy huge gonzo day of fun (during our Out West vacation, if you remember where we left off the last post). August 12th some of us Hawleys started off at Cousin Jimmy's in west Phx-ish (really, his house is most of the way to California so it made sense to spend the night there before heading for the 'other' coast.), so of course the kids went swimming at Jimmy's before breakfast. After breakfast, we pointed the car West and headed for San Diego (including a geology and geography lesson along the way - does that count for homeschooling?). We left off in Snoozeville, and will pick up the story when everyone woke up.

Our quest for the Left Coast ended at Coronado Island, a sweet spot for Chuck and I because we honeymooned in the palatial Hotel del Coronado (seen in the background of this picture, behind the two beauties. You probably didn't notice there was anything else in the picture - those girls really are quite stunning.)
The girls were first onto the beach and immediately noticed the shimmering glitter of some gold-ish specks in the sand. It was sparkly and magical. The girls really thought they were somewhere special. I don't know if you can see the sparkle on their feet but this was about the only way we could capture it in a photograph (click on the pic and maybe it will show up better in a bigger version).

This is the place, although Chuck and I don't look quite like I remembered the last time we were here (10 years ago!). This place really*is* magical, and we were lucky enough to get married in December when the entire town was dimly a-glow with twinkle lights and there was a huge and beautifully decorated Christmas tree rising several stories in the Hotel del. We received a Christmas ornament as a little gift while we were there and every Christmas it goes near the top of our tree.

I was thrilled to be back on Coronado Island and remember all the things that were special about the last time I was there - twinkle lights all over the town, Chuck and I flew a kite on Coronado beach and almost got arrested (seems the Navy pilots from the nearby airbase might be disturbed as they tried to land their multi-million dollar planes - oh dear, I've just given away a military secret, haven't I? Now our Navy pilots will be in serious danger on their missions as kids around the world fly kites to confuse them. Rats. Well, continuing the list...), there's a great breakfast place just around the corner from the hotel where you can get an extra helping of grits if you tell them you are from the South (they acted like my lack of accent was no big deal!), and the hotel itself was extravagant and ornate inside. A great reminder of my immense luck and happiness in this life!

Anyways, the beauty of the beach is a true wonder here. These rocks were coated with some kind of little creature that if pressed slightly would squirt a little stream of water...

...(okay, you must take away our homeschooling points since we didn't even bother to find out what kind of creatures were on the rocks or what was in the sand.... so....I've been sufficiently shamed and just found out on that there is mica in the sand on Coronado Island, a mineral my kids love, but they seriously wanted to mine the beach while we were there - collect all those gold flecks and get rich; I'm sure they were thinking the adults were nuts for not cashing in on this obvious bounty, another reason to doubt that we know anything about running their world.).

Well, there is *still* more to this day; afterall, the Hawleys really like to eat. More on that later!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Goin' back to Cali

And thus begins our road trip to San Diego - in total style!

Along the way, Melanie wanted to see what those dark lumps were all over the ground, so they got out, and Chuck confirmed that - Yep, those are rocks.

As we were driving along, someone in the car who was old enough to know better (who definitely should have known that we were headed WEST from AZ to CA) looked out to the right (facing North), over the mountains and said, "Is that Mexico over there?" So we pointed to the left (facing South) and said, "That's Mexico, on the other side of that wall." That person wanted a picture to remember that he/she had officially looked at Mexico.

Somewhere between Yuma and.... whatever is beyond Yuma before San Diego (mostly nothing), we went through Snoozeville, where all road trip excitement wore off.

Lucky me!

More affirmation that I am indeed a lucky woman -
I am surrounded by beauty every day.

Beauty, beauty and more beauty...

And a side of cheese...

Another day in AZ

We visited Chuck's cousin Jimmy in AZ. His poor wife wasn't even informed of our visit. We showed up to her house as she was unloading twins from her minivan, and she didn't even flinch - she laughed! We could tell it was at Jimmy and his knuckleheadedness; this wasn't the first time she was surprised by unannounced guests.

Jimmy was a good sport, playing with the kids while chatting with us and trying to make things up to his wife (I don't suppose there's any real "making it up" -
he's in the hole too deep, and probably just digging!).
Jimmy has a pool in his huge backyard, and has built up some rocks on one side, about 5 feet high. The girls *all* loved jumping from the rocks and making a big splash. Here's Melanie, soakin' in the bliss.
Here's that daredevil Allison. She wasn't a bit intimidated by jumping from something twice her height. She jumped right in and swam (somehow) to the side over and over and over.

More daring feats by our 3.5 y.o. - a jump with a twist.

In my mind I'm goin' to Arizona...

And we went there in a plane, too!
Chuck was excited to get back to his homeland.

Check out this cool house we saw while cruisin' around.
What an awesome mural painting. It was really well done - the colors perfectly match the landscape there.

Chuck's old house! Can you believe it's still standing? After all it had to put up with - housing Chuck as a kid?? can you imagine? - it should be given a pardon and allowed to rest.

Tree Monkey

Allison called to me from outside. I came running out because her voice had that little note of desperation that sends my heart into a slight panic. I looked all around for her and finally looked up. I don't know if you can tell or not from this picture, but way up in the tree, is a little climbing monkey, who was only 3 and a half years old when this picture was taken. That's me, standing on the ground, and she is about 5 feet above me in the tree. I couldn't reach her. And the limbs aren't strong enough to hold someone my size (or so they appear). Finally she climbed down, but my goodness - that girl is amazing! She climbs that high or higher to this day, striking fear in the heart of her mama, and thoroughly pleasing her papa.

Happy Beach time!

Going all the way back to June to find some sunshine and warmth (I've been cold since about mid-September). We took a trip to Ocean City NJ with a couple of the Goodsons. They were great fun to have about. Emma and Melanie boogie boarded for several hours straight. Allison likes to play in the waves with her Poppy Bear holding her but mostly she's a Sand Piper, digging and collecting aallll day.

This is obviously a feigned snarl - who snarls at the beach? Certainly not a Hawley;
beach time is all happiness.
Check out the freckles on this girl - so dang cute!

Here are the buds - they had so much fun together. We will miss Ems if her wicked parents make her move!

Running in Lancaster (last one, I promise!)

I just got these photos from a friend -
I was reminded of the bright vivid colors surrounding us as we ran.
Isn't this gorgeous?

And while I ran (but mostly afterwards) I was surrounded by these gorgeous women!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Women - hide your passwords!

To all my married friends - beware of husbands hijacking your blogs! They are unscrupulous posters of entirely unapproved material. Honestly, isn't naptime one of those "off the record" deals??

Running is tiring!

Whew! Its hard to run in the cold! (Don't worry, I'm not ACTUALLY dead, my lungs just feel that way ;)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Marathon runner!

Ok, yeah, well, some people are running a 1/2 marathon, and I'm running a 5k. But still, it's the first race I'm running, so it's pretty exciting for us!

Wish me luck, temp at start time is supposed to be near freezing, eek!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Allison's scripture reading

Today we sat down to read scriptures together, and Allison took a turn (for the first time). She opened her Book of Mormon, and while turning pages, related the following: "Tigger bounced to the Nephites. They went here, and they went there, and they went through the chapel. Then grumpy Rabbit killed *all* the Nephites. The end."

And there you have it, the Book of Mormon's central message: Be good or beware of grumpy Rabbit.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Can barely remember this!

I was looking back through our picture archives to see what pictures still need to be posted and found this, from February.

We just got through (hopefully 'through' as in completely done) the 2nd hottest summer on record (8 heat waves = 3 or more days of 90+, of course the accompanying 90% or more humidity; several days in the 100s), and when I saw this picture my mind could hardly comprehend our little street covered in this cold white fluff. What a difference a few months makes.

(This is Nikolas working on a humongous snow fort the size of our front yard.).

Sunday, September 12, 2010


What a year for Chris - he graduated high school, started college, and turns 18 soon. Oh yeah, and he moved to AZ to live with his grandparents. Andrea moved out, and that same day, Chris moved in to take her place as the most spoiled Hawley kid on the planet.

We weren't too thrilled with Chris' senior portraits taken by a professional, so we decided this is Chris' official senior portrait, taken by a good friend on a great day in the woods.

Note the changes: hair, glasses - this is the way we remember Chris his senior year, the year he found 'style'.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hawaiian entertainment

At the beach today, Allison and I were sitting on big rocks, which were actually boats we were driving to Hawaii. I asked Allison, "What do you think we'll see in Hawaii?" Quick as a flash, no pause, she said, "Chickens dancing!" Of course! Doesn't everyone know that???

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Church fun with Allison

President Monson perfectly described Allison when he said, "Great big spirit, little tiny body."

One Sunday for the Sacrament, a yummy rosemary bread was used. When Allison ate a piece during that quiet, reverent time, she yelled, "YUCK! That bread is YUCKY!" It seriously reverberated off the walls. Subsequent announcement from the Stake President (visiting our ward that day, of course): we will only use plain white bread for the sacrament.

At the beginning of the year when the kids switched primary classes, I asked Allison about her new Primary teacher. She said, "She was grumpy and naughty. I captured her and I tied her up with a rope!" I guess they aren't getting along so well?

There are a couple of older women in our ward who usually sit together in Sacrament meeting. This past Sunday we sat directly in front of them. During the announcements, Allison looked back and called out to me, "Mommy, LOOK! There are 2 Ursalas!!"

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Preliminary pix from the recent snowfall

This is the view from our front door. Can barely see to any neighbors across the street. Our tree is just gorgeous in this heavy snow. Unfortunately, we lost a big branch to the heavy snow. Probably needed to be trimmed anyways.
This is the view from our porch. Dontcha love it? It was a beautiful day. The snow dampens sound. No cars driving, just peaceful and quiet. Everyone is mellow - no expectations, nowhere to go, no deadlines or appointments. Just gorgeous.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

3 down, 3 to go

Nikolas is the latest in a string of Hawleys to reach the 16th birthday!! We are half way there!! What did Nik do on his birthday? Well, he woke up early to go to the local middle school and recruit kids to join Civil Air Patrol. His squadron has recently made some positive changes and Nik feels like it's something other kids would really like. He has taken it upon himself to spend several of his days off school recruiting. Yea, Nik! I really am not worried about what this kid does when he's not at home!
Allison and I made a Hawley favorite for Nik's birthday - Dump Cake. Found the recipe in a "Toddler Busy Book". We all love it and it earned Runner Up in a dessert contest. I can't understand that because it has no frosting. But Nik loves it.
And we love Nik. He is a crazy good kid who's biggest problem in life is trying to do too many things super well. Oh yeah, he can get a little wild with his siblings, he of course likes to torture and tease the little ones (a rite of passage, I guess), but he's our 'go to guy'. We can always count on him. Turning 16, he is now eligible for his Learner's Permit, and dating. Fortunately, he has declared that he hasn't met anyone he's overly interested in. For now, we get to concentrate on his Eagle Scout project and more CAP (and try to avoid the DMV). Happy mama!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy Birthday, Baby! Allison is 3!!

My sweet little baby isn't a baby any longer - she is a full blown preschooler! Although she tells me "Beeb (Melanie) is big; I am little." What a wonderful little girl we've been given.
This is a Hawley tradition dating back a few years - squirting whipped cream straight out of the bottle into little mouths. Allison's head jerks back in surprise every time but she keeps asking for more! (Sorry for the blurry picture; it's an action sport.)

Allison got paint for her birthday, which was probably her favorite gift. Our birthday celebration immediately turned into a painting party and a lot of beautiful finger painting commenced.

Allison seemed thrilled at the feel of the paint (she is so texture oriented), and the fact that I would let her get so messy.

What a wonderful day. At 6am, Allison came into our room (as usual) and when we said, "Happy Birthday!!" she said, "The Goodsons are coming over?" I said yes, and then she said we had to go downstairs and clean the house for the Goodsons. That family room was perfectly tidy by 6:30am, waiting for those Goodsons who weren't coming over until 7pm. Allison's version of cleaning meant shoving everything that was in the family room into the dining room, which was fine since we had a couple of hours to fill until the party started.

Allison's birthday consisted of going to Ikea to play and going swimming at the YMCA, with pizza for dinner.

My favorite things about Allison right now:
She says prayers all by herself, and always includes her list of friends: Minta, Reese, Kyler and Caleb. Every night in her prayers, she says, "Please bless Daddy can get a job so Beeb and I can get a pretzel at the Y, and Mommy can drive us there."

She loves to be held. And every time I come home from activity, she says, "Hi Mom! How was your exercise class (or wherever I was)?" And then, "Were your friends there?"

She loves textures, loves to explore through touch. One day we were driving by City Hall and there is a big fountain outside with water flowing down it. She said, "Ooooooo, I want to *taste* it!"

She knows how to say things like, "Melanie and I" when it's appropriate. She knows the letters of the alphabet. She knows how to count (finally!) by pointing at each object and giving it only one number. She still gets stuck after 11, counting like this: "...8, 9, 10, 11, 8, 9, 10!"

When we got a new and fuzzy rug in the family room, she fell to the floor and just rolled and rolled on the carpet, rubbing her face and any exposed skin on it. She does the same thing in the sand at the beach.

She is tremendous at expressing her big feelings - a huge wonderful smile, loud raucous laughter, and big loud screams. Recently at preschool there was a yelling contest (not at my house, of course) and the mom was surprised at how loud Allison was. I wasn't, but I'm glad that she reserves that for home.

Allison is a great big spirit in a little tiny body, and it will be exciting to witness her growing up. I'm so lucky!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pennsylvania in May '09

This is one of my all-time favorite trees. Actually, it's not just a tree - it's a tree and a vine; each alone is beautiful, together magnificent. Dogwood and wisteria - the image is much more powerful than the names. I was just driving down the street on the way to the grocery store, such a mundane task, when I looked out my car window and saw this, so extraordinary. We are abundantly blessed to have such lush beauty surrounding us in the Spring. Such vibrant colors.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Julia!!!

Julia turned 13 this year, at the beach! What a lucky girl to celebrate her favorite day in one of her favorite places!! Again, couldn't get all the Hawleys together - the boys are visiting friends and relatives in AZ.
Happy girl!

13 things I love about Juicy:
1) That smile! She has one of the biggest and most genuinely happy smiles - ever since she was a little thing! A smile that stays with you long after you can't see it anymore.
2) She likes to sit on my lap (even now) and run her fingers across my knees until I can't stand the tickles any more. This makes her smile.
3) She *loves* kids, all shapes and sizes. She is a favorite babysitter among many of my friends' kids and I love that she enjoys making them smile so much.
4) She loves the beach! (me too!)
5) She is dedicated to helping. One day at the beach, Melanie lost her flippers in the surf and we figured they were gone. Julia combed up and down in the water, just like an official CAP Search and Rescue mission, until she found them.
6) She will clean up the basement all on her own, without being asked! She *loves* to be helpful.
7) She loves to sing! One day, I was upstairs and she and Nik were in the basement - Nik played "Let It Be" on his keyboard, and Julia sang that song at the top of her voice, with wild abandon. I love that she can give up her inhibitions like that.
8) She always (almost) does a good job at her chores. I can count on her to get them done every week. So consistent.
9) She splattered painted her room with her friends, then had the idea to paint their hands and put handprints in the middle of the splatters. Frankly, it looks awesome. I love her room b/c it is such a great expression of her colorful and sometimes scattered personality (scattered in a fun and good-natured way, of course!)
10) She talks to me about problems with her friends. She really thinks about and tries to solve problems and be a good friend (to me and her peers! Lucky me!).
11) She loves to read! (me too!) We read a lot of the same books!
12) She loves to help anyone at any time. Sometimes, she jumps in and helps without finding out if the person wants help, which doesn't usually produce the results she's hoping for, but she's always willing!
13) Her testimony - her testimony of the importance of loving others and connecting with them is so strong, she is a great example to us all!

Birthday Catch-up

Chris' 17th birthday, and possibly the last one he'll celebrate in our house for at least the next few years, so a very important birthday!We have a hard time getting all the Hawleys together at one time. My guess is that Nik was at marching band practice (where he spent the entire fall, after spending a huge part of his summer there). But we love to celebrate with whomever we've got, and it's not so bad to be a 17 year old boy surrounded by such beauty!
Nothing says "Happy Birthday" like a smiling monkey cake! Chris loves cupcakes, so I formed a rough monkey shape with them, and then piled on the frosting!

A little about Chris, since I slack off at Christmas and didn't get a letter out:
Chris wants to attend either the Air Force Academy (1st choice) or West Point. He has had a lot of training in military protocol, advancement and duties during his 5 years in the Civil Air Patrol - any moms and dads who haven't checked out this wonderful program should look into it. Great opportunities to develop leadership skills, learn practical skills - like actually flying planes, earning an FCC communications degree and interning at a radio station, etc etc. - and gain maturity. Chris has learned a ton of things, in many different areas, not the least of which are his search and rescue practical skills. He has amazing knowledge of things like survival skills - what plants are edible and which ones are poisonous, shelter making, in some ways like Boy Scouts on steroids.

This is an excerpt from a college application he's writing: As a member of the Hawk Mountain Ranger School cadet staff cadre I regularly lead squadrons of cadets varying in size from 10 to 40 cadets on search and rescue exercises and training sorties in a woodland environment.

Wow - Chris can really *do* that? Yep, he's good, even though he chooses when to turn it on and when to turn it off, he's that good. And that's why I think college will do so much for him. He has the skills and there I think he'll learn how to incorporate that maturity into everyday life.

Chris loves to sing, participating in the highest level of choir at his school. He has participated in plays and musicals there; you should have seen him in "Crazy For You" last Spring. All those years of goofing around with his brother, speaking in a British accent and parading around the neighborhood in a Pith helmet finally paid off, as he was selected for the part of Mr. Fodor - he was wonderful! Currently he's practicing for the musical "All Shook Up". He loves to play lacrosse, pick on his siblings, and teach me about all kinds of hip things that I'd have no idea about if it weren't the kindness of our kids 'cluing me in'.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

October continues

Word Girl! Continuing with our October pictures, we spotted Word Girl at a local elementary school parade! Quite exciting as we watch her on TV almost daily. She has a vocabulary a mile wide and is from the planet Lexicon, so we're lucky to have spotted her.
I realize this little picture of Pooh is of poor quality, but still irresistible!! We have a similar picture of Melanie; they could be twins!
This is the entire Trick-or-Treating crew: Minnie Mouse (a little punked out), Word Girl, a lion and a zebra friend we lassoed along the way. It was wet, literally raining a good part of the time, and there was a Phillies World Series game on that night (Allison didn't last long, only about 8 houses; then she came home and answered the door with me, yelling "Go Phillies!" to everyone.). There were not many kids out, but our crew made the usual rounds, and ended up with about.... 6 lbs each. Crazy nuts.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Stripling Warrior-ette (from Oct 09)

Going back in time again to capture highlights of aught nine, this is Melanie, our Stripling Warrior-ette, fighting for truth, justice and self-defense (although in sparring, it looks like the best defense is a good offense). This is during her test for her Advanced Yellow belt (yeah, she really is going for a kick to the head; she can kick short adults in the head and can kick her dad in the shoulder - yikes).After successfully, completing her test, this is Melanie's karate master tying her new belt on her. She's a toughie - true dat!