Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Oh evergreen unchanging...for the most part. :) Even the most steadfast traditions change from time to time, as I am coming to find (and reluctantly accept). Of all the Christmas traditions in my family, the tree was probably the one taken most-seriously.
From the time that I could walk, my mother and I would go out every year into the woods (and I don't mean a Christmas tree farm...I mean the real woods...lions and tigers and bears, oh my woods) and we would hunt for our perfect tree. Because we were not on a Christmas tree farm, most of the trees that we found were a bit on side. But scrawny was just exactly how my mother liked them best. In fact, some years we had to cut down two little ones and tie them together with bailing twine in order to create enough branches to constitute an actual Christmas tree. Then we'd load it up in the truck and we'd head home to set it up and decorate.
I'm telling you, Charlie Brown has nothing on my dear mother. She would hang every strand of lights, ever ornament, every length of tinsel (not matter how mangy) that she had ever owned, on that tiny little tree. How those trees every remained standing I have no idea but they were perfect and beautiful and it was our tradition together.
One year I created a paper angel (I think I was in Brownies at the time if that helps you to put the time frame into perspective). My mother fell in love with that angel and since it's creation, it has been at the top of every Christmas tree.
I remember one year in particular, my mother had been very ill and was in the hospital. A few family members decided they would surprise mom and bring her a store-bought Christmas tree (live but full and beautiful). Those poor unfortunate souls didn't realize what they had done. I have never seen my mother so upset and angry. Hahaha. I still laugh when I think about it. She drug that tree outside and hacked off about two-thirds of its branches. Even then, she was not happy about it.
When Mike and I were first married we still had live trees. Now our tree is fake (pre-lit) and the only ornaments I can hang are a few non-breakable ones, which have to stay a good three feet up the tree.
But a few things haven't changed. My paper angel still sits at the top every year. I still sit for a few minutes every night and just look at the tree and soak up the beautiful feelings that it inspires. I still think of my angel mother and shed a few tears for the Christmas that is coming that I won't be able to spend with her. Traditions may change slightly, but the feelings that inspire them are constant. I hope that we all can enjoy our Christmas trees, whatever they may look like...and that, most importantly, we will cherish the memories with loved ones here and those who we will be with again one day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy 6th Birthday Caeden!!!

We sure love this awesome little boy!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Focus" is the Word of the Day

Today at school, the children were taken to a special demonstration of karate. Their teacher was asked to pick one student who demonstrated the most "focus" in class. Caeden was picked (don't worry, I'm just as surprised as you are-after all, this is the child I have to tell twelve times in a row to put on his pajamas)! So he got to go up and do a demonstration with the karate teachers. Using only his foot and some good ole fashioned "focus", he broke the board!! We were really excited about this. :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

If You Give a Nathan a Banana

He will take it down like it's his last meal!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Pleasant Surprise

I had the unexpected privilege of getting to see my cousin and his ADORABLE family this weekend as they were passing through Richmond. I must say, when it comes to cousins I really hit the jack pot. I have pretty awesome cousins on both sides of the family and my husband's family as well. This cousin in particular, however, has a very special place in my heart.
When I was really little I wanted to marry him. I know, I know, you're thinking "that's gross" or "maybe her hometown rests a little too deep in the forest". Let me just reassure you, if you ever met my cousin, you'd see that my crush was completely justifiable. James has always been that crazy, funny cousin who treated me more like a little sister than a cousin. We never lived near each other so our visits were not as frequent as some (though with his easy recollection of all my embarrassing childhood quirks, I'm thinking it's probably not all bad that he wasn't around during my dating years), I always felt close to him. All in all, he's just pretty awesome. His wife is awesome. His kids are awesome. It's like one big Harrington bundle of awesome-ness.
Our visit was brief but wonderful and reminded me of how wonderful family is!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Prayer Request

Well, in keeping with our 2010 Ramsey family tradition, Suzy will be going in on Tuesday for surgery. This is a very simple surgery to help with some eye issues she has had for several years. While it is not "major" surgery, it is always a bit worrisome for parents. :) Please keep our little Suzy-lou in your prayers that all will go well, that the doctors will be guided and that her recovery will be quick and as pain free as possible! :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Little Side Note

On my previous post.....even the most creative things will not make it "fun" to lock your keys in your car at the grocery store with four children. They just won't.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Making Life Fun

Parenting young children might be tricky at times, but this is such a wonderful age! This is the age where parents are cool! It is also the age where even very simple things can make a day "the best they've ever had". For example, yesterday the boys were out of school and we decided to take a trip to the mall and the bookstore and Target (three of their favorite places). To make this outing a little more exciting, I let the kids wear their Halloween costumes. They thought it was so fun getting to wear them out "just for fun" (the also didn't mind the attention they got from everyone telling them how cute they were).
So moms, what do you do to make your errands more fun? Do you take special treats to the store? Do your kids wear their pajamas? I would love to have more suggestions!! As a mom, I can't imagine anything being better than making every day "the best they've ever had"!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back to School

I honestly can't say exactly how I feel about two of my kids being in school now. I was super proud as I watched them get ready, put on their back packs and march to the bus stop with smiles on their faces. I was super happy as Caeden ran back to give me one last hug good-bye. I had to smile when he stood at the top of the steps waiting for Gavin to tell him exactly where to sit. They are so different, those two boys. I was also a little sad as I watched my precious time with them flying by. But mostly, I feel blessed to be the mother of four amazing children.

They just grow a little too fast!!!!

Friday, July 2, 2010


We've been busy in the Ramsey home! Summer is the season of birthdays around here. We started off with mine on June 1, I turned 25....again.
Then we had Gavin, who turned 7 (and that one is for real). I can't believe how big he is! We had his birthday party at Pump it Up (inflatable play place) and followed with cupcakes. Of course, I totally forgot to take my camera (also the birthday party favors, the candles for the cupcakes, the permission forms for my kids...I DID remember all the kids, so I'm taking credit for that). Inspired by a friend, Gavin decided that this year, instead of gifts, he would collect donations of new books, puzzles and games to donate to the Children's Hospital of Richmond. The next week we went and dropped the "loot" off. Gavin was so excited and loved the "happy feelings" that he got when he did something good for someone else. The hospital sent Gavin a nice letter thanking him, which now resides on our "good news" board (see previous post).

Next came Suzy, who turned 4 this week! I can't believe how quickly it's gone by. We had a little Princess party for her on her birthday. Mike also has a tradition that began when she was 1. He gives her one rose for each year. This year, Suzy's favorite color has been purple. Mike found her 4 purple roses. She LOVES them!

Now we are taking a deep breath.....for two weeks, and then we have Nathan's birthday....followed three weeks later by Mike's. Yeah. Summer is definitely birthday season!

Ps. Sorry that the pictures are out of order.....I'm not skilled at this aspect of blogging.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Just Five More Minutes Please....

Why do they have to grow so fast? I just need a few more minutes/hours/days/years of this precious time with them.

I wish I could save these moments
And put em in a jar.
I wish I could stop the world from turning,
Keep things just the way they are.
I wish I could shelter you from everything,
Not pure and sweet and good.
I know I can't, I know I can't,
But I wish I could.
-Collin Raye

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What Do You Get.....

When you have boys and girls together?

A dollhouse full of creepy things.

Fishful Thinking- Good News Board

A few weeks ago I saw this idea on a friend's blog. We LOVED it and decided to create our own "Good News" Board. The essence behind it is trying to highlight the positive things that you see happening in your family and outside of it as well. This has been a really fun experience for our family as we have focused on trying to find the good! For more information on activities for building a happier and more positive family, visit

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Have You Ever....

had one of those days? You know the ones I'm talking about...the ones where everything you touch seems to turn out like this?

or when you clean one room, only to find the next one looking like this?

or you feel like you will never see the end of this?

It's days like this that I like to pretend that I am here...

listening to this (meaning I'd need to own one first)....

and of course, I'd have this with me....

and maybe some of this too....

Of course, I would have to take them.....

because I would miss them too much if I didn't. And those of you who know me, know that there is no way I'd miss out on an opportunity to be with him....

but the rest of it? Yeah, I wouldn't mind leaving behind the rest of it for a day or two!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Nathan's Best Friend..... a locust. He must know how much his mother loves all things pertaining to plagues. Since he is still crawling instead of walking, he carries his friend around in his mouth instead of his hand.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Look What I Found.... one of my hanging baskets!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I know I haven't updated in a while. This is not because only a handful of people actually read my blog and that group is largely comprised of people who see me all the time anyway. It is also not because I am sick or injured or in a coma, or otherwise rendered incapable of blog updation. The real, and far less interesting, reason for my lack of blogging is simply that I haven't had anything to blog about. There hasn't been much going on around here, other than the usual. But here is a quick update on the fam to ease my guilty conscience.

Mike- Started a new job with Ntelos, as the manager of the Mechanicsville store. We are really excited about. His hours are much better and we are excited for the stability. It is also about 1/2 mile from our house, cutting his commute by a good 29minutes. It's been a great blessing, especially while he continues with school.

Gavin- Wow, can he really be almost done with the 1st grade? It sure has gone by fast. He is playing soccer and enjoying it. His first piano recital is next week. He's growing up so fast. He's reading like a champ and even has his own email account. What?

Caeden- Continues to be my little character. He loves to dress up as and pretend to be virtually every hero/villain that there is. He has even taken an interest in "Smallville" so now he runs around the house claiming to be Clark Kent. He is so funny. It comes in handy sometimes, ie: "Caeden, run get me a Nathan diaper, super fast like Clark!"

Suzy- She's on a big princess kick. She is infatuated with Beauty and the Beast. Boy did I have a time tracking down a copy of the movie for our collection. When Disney locks a movie in the vault they really mean business. She loves the scene in the end where they kiss, which is funny since Suzy is not known for her lovey-dovey nature. Still, it's quite entertaining.

Nathan- Hates baby gates. We have them, we rarely use them, they are almost always open. Why I even have them up is a mystery to me. He sits at the gate and cries, resulting in one of us opening it up and letting him in/out. Around here baby Nathan is pretty much the prince of the peach tree. He is into everything and has energy like you would not believe and each and every member of this house (Alice included) is totally infatuated with him.

Me- Oh you know, nothing much. I painted the porch..and a bookshelf. I have discovered a new and abounding love for Lean Pockets as they serve to break the monotony of lunchtime routine of pb&j. I stayed up until 11:15 (that's PM people) the other night. Yep.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What's in a Name?

Let me preface by saying that as a child, I named EVERYTHING! I grew up on a farm with many, many, MANY animals...each of which had a name. The fish had names....the chickens had names....random birds in trees had names. Need less to say, every toy that I touched was given a name.
My daughter names nothing. Well, I suppose that's not quite fair. She does name things. Her names are just a bit more...generic? For example:

white kitten

purple puppy

yellow duck

pink pig

do we see the trend??
So imagine my surprise/delight when Suzy decided to name her new baby doll that she bought at the dollar store yesterday. (Note: I am glad that she didn't catch on to the name I was using, which was Quasimodo--this doll is kinda funny looking). I had fully expected this baby to be called "Green Baby" or even just "Baby" but Suzy has decided to give her baby a REAL name. I am pleased to present to you.....


It's moment's like these that make parenthood so miraculous.

Marvelous March Recap

#1- Baby Nathan is on the move!! He is CRAWLING!
#2- Gavin is in his 4th season of soccer- team U7 Germany!
#3- Caeden is registered for KINDERGARTEN!!!!
#4- Mike won a sales contest at work...including a really kicking prize! :)
#5- Suzy was picked several times for being reverent in Primary (yes, Primary, not nursery...but PRIMARY)!!
#6- New Moon was released (sorry, had to include it)!
#7- Awesome visit from the Perkins!
#8- Amy and Andrew had their baby!!! Welcome Violet!

**now it's your turn!! leave a comment with exciting things that happened for you this month! terri...i know you have one!!! ;)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Yoga Baby!

My baby may not be able to crawl...but he can do an awesome downward dog!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Next Project: The Reinvention of the Grocery Store

Item number one: the new and improved grocery cart. You know it had to be a man who created our standard grocery cart...a woman would have made solid bottoms so that nail polish and eye shadows wouldn't fall out of the holes. My grocery cart will have a solid bottom. The biggest changes will be wrought in the child-friendly carts. Most of the ones you see today have the little car on the front with two seats.This is insufficient. While my store will continue to have the standard car version, we will also carry a modified version which will have a little mini-van on the front which will accommodate four children instead of two. In addition, the size of the basket will be increased (deeper and wider)because seriously, if I have enough kids to negate a cart of this size, what are the chances that I only need a small basket's worth of groceries?? Anytime I go to the store I end up with groceries stacked on top of the little car, hanging out the sides of the basket and stuffed up underneath...but no more! Space will abound in my new grocery-cart masterpiece. And finally, the piece de resistance...the decontamination chamber. All carts must drive through it between each use so as to keep them sanitary and sparkling.
Item number two: the isles. Gone are the days of bumping into multiple poorly-placed display stands. The isles will be wider (3 carts wide to be exact which will be much needed with our new family-friendly carts) and clear of displays. It will also involve a two-way traffic system with a passing lane in the middle.
Item number three: the layout. Why is it that produce and bakery reside on one end and then the frozen foods are on the opposite end. If you get your frozen foods first then they are thawing by the time you reach the fresh goods. If you get your fresh foods first they will be smooshed by canned goods and cereal before you can get to the frozens. So in my superbly set up grocery store, we will have the bakery and fresh produce next to the frozen foods....thus eliminating the dilemma that faces every well-meaning shopper.
We shall call it "The Store of Wonders".

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Could TOTALLY Survive.....

...a Lifetime suspense movie.
Now I am a self-proclaimed wimp. In fact, I consider myself to be a prime specimen of "fraidy cat". I have always thought that if anyone ever broke into my home or chased me down I would pretty much just curl up and cry. I'm not even sure I'd beg. I think I'd just cry. Of course, if my children were in the house this would change things....but I digress.
So, today, while home with sick kids, I was watching a movie on Lifetime. I can't remember the name of it...which speaks volumes for its calibre. But I noticed a few things...probably the key reasons why people in these movies always get themselves killed. It's almost hard to feel sorry for them when they are that thick. So I have decided that even I, the fraidy cat, could survive a Lifetime movie for the following reasons:
1. They never call the police. They always try but the line is cut. Seriously? It's 2010. You can probably text or tweet 911.
2. They continue to put themselves in the worst possible situations. If someone has been stalking/harassing/attacking's about not getting in the car with them? Or maybe you shouldn't be staying home ALONE..or at all...I'm thinking that the Marriott is looking all sorts of wonderful right about now.
3. They always grab a kitchen knife. Why? IF they don't drop it, they get it taken away. Why don't you just gift wrap it and hand it to the intruder? For proper home security I suggest long distance weapons, you know, ones that don't require me to be inches from the killer but hey, that's just me. If you are against guns then try a moat...with crocodiles...and maybe a barbed wire fence.
All in all, I would say my chances are good. Lifetime perpetrators beware.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'm Getting Published!

I know, I'm shocked too! Who would have thought that someone would actually want to print my writing! I tell you what though, I sure am thanking my lucky stars for this opportunity! :)
In all seriousness, I am so excited! I have enjoyed writing all my life. In fact, I still remember my very first work, written (by hand I might add) at the tender age of eight. It was a fiction work entitled, "Twister" and came in at a whopping thirteen pages of note book paper.....not too shabby for a third grader, if I do say so myself. I even tied them together with yarn and drew a picture for the cover.
From that time I continued to write, winning two creative writing awards in school and having a few pieces printed in the school's literary magazine. That was about the extent of my writing achievement.....UNTIL NOW!
A few months back I submitted an essay to a magazine called "The Motherhood Muse".
I am pleased to announce that my essay, "Lessons from Lamb's Ears" will be featured in their spring edition, debuting in April 2010.
I will make sure to post links when it comes out. Until then, join me in a small happy dance?? :)