23 February 2014

I Think I Know Where We Live...Maybe

I know, I know, we have lived in Pennsylvania for about nine months (has it really been nine months already?  Wow, time is flying some how) and we are just now figuring out where we live.  In states with city planners (aka the west coast) the layers within a state are easy to identify: state, county, city.  In Pennsylvania there are lots of layers (if they can even be called that, more like splotches): state, county, township, borough, city, town, village.  And these aren't easy to figure out.  Our realtor couldn't even explain it to us.  I had to look up what municipality we lived in for a tax form and I had no idea what to put down.  I came across a Wikipedia page that explains it the best.  Here is where we live:

State: Pennsylvania

County: York
(those two are the only easy ones to answer)

Township: Newberry Township
(this is easy to answer, too, once you know about this level. FYI township abbreviation is Twp.  We couldn't figure out what Twp. stood for forever)

Borough: none

City: none
(Twps, Boroughs and Cities are all on the same level and you can only live in one of them.  Twps are more "country side" while Boroughs are main local areas and Cities are the large "metropolitan" areas, kinda.  Definitions very from each location, kinda)

Town: depends.  Weird I know, but it really does depend.  Our correct and technical town is Goldsboro (not to be confused with Goldsboro Borough).  The USPS renames us as Etters.  Why and how did this happen?  I don't know.  If you mail something, our town is Etters, but when Googling us Google will change Etters to Goldsboro.  We are both, but yet not...

Village: Valley Green.  We get this name because there is a golf course near us called Valley Green so they named a lot of clusters of homes, including our townhouse complex Valley Green.  So they decided to make us a village.  I never knew we lived in a village until today.

Here is a map of our county.  You can see our village in blue as a "Census Designated Place" near the top of our county in the Newberry Twp.
(Map swiped from,_Pennsylvania#Municipalities)

Barstools, Potty, Elephants, Klondike, and Dance Party

I never blog with any intent of making my life seem easy or amazing.  My intent is to help me record the good, happy memories of our family so that we can remember them later when our minds have failed us.  Just thought I would throw that out there.

We don't have a bar for our barstools in our home here so they have been primarily used as ladders or work benches.  They have gotten very dirty since being out here.  I decided to recover them and redo the cushion.  I didn't want them all the same fabric, but wanted them to match the areas of the home they are assigned to and to match each other nicely when together.

 The one on the left looks like an olive green in the photos, but it is more of a brown with a slight hint of green.

Henry is now tall enough to climb up onto everyone's bed and the couch.  He will still ask for help though sometimes when he is lazy or tired.

I had a dream about a week ago of having Henry use the potty.  I decided, what the heck, lets try it.  The first time I told him to go use the potty he knew exactly what to do.  He loves using it and getting a treat (a tic tac).  You can see him reaching for the treats that are up on the counter.  He knows that before a treat he has to grunt a few times to signify that he tried to use the potty.  He still is in a diaper and everything, but enjoys being a big boy like Charlie.  He has a sign for potty.  We are just working on him actually using the sign before he poops.

The English language is pretty messed up; it took me many years to become okay with that.  Today Henry was lying on our bed kicking Charles for the heck of it.  Charles sweetly told Henry to, "Knock it off."  Charlie promptly decided to help by knocking on Henry.  We tried to explain the phrase to him, but he kind of gave us this glazed over look of, "You are so confusing and I am just going to stop listening now."

I love the ways that little kids decide to say certain words.  Charlie says, "Elephant" so cutely.  He is telling me about the elephants in, "The Jungle Book."

Charles went on a Klondike campout with the Boy Scouts.  He wasn't thrilled out of his mind to go to say the least, but he bucked up and went.  Right after he got home we went to the church to help put together more of the ward dance.  Charles DJ'ed the dance and I talked to a lady the entire time.  Charlie ate food the entire time and Henry wanted to be held since he was so tired.  I did dance a little, but the combination of an extra 20 lbs on my bladder and dancing just didn't mix very well.  I was thinking ahead and brought the boys' PJ's since I knew they would fall asleep in the car.  Lo and behold, I was right even though Charlie kept telling me that he wasn't tired by saying so adamantly, "I awake."

16 February 2014

Washington D.C. with the Family

We got the work truck and took a fun trip down to D.C. with the kiddos.  On our way down and back we saw at least 15 emergency vehicles.  Charlie loved it!  We went on a nice cold day, but it still seemed way busy.  I can't even imagine how busy it must be in the summer.  We did splurge beforehand and got a nice stroller that fits both of the kids.  We figured that instead of hiring babysitter so we could take a few trips without the kids, we would just spend the money on a stroller.  Charlie loved that he could get in and out of his seat/standing area very easily.  We also loved it that the seats aren't side by side, but front and back since we wouldn't have fit in a few elevators.

We went to the Museum of Natural History.  I loved all of the stuffed large game animals and the Hope Diamond.  Charles loved all of the rocks and gems.  The boys could have looked at the stuffed animals for hours on end.  We looked at the giraffe and zebra for a good long while.

Washington Monument

U.S. Capitol

Charlie being silly while in the U.S. Capitol

Enjoying the ceiling in the Capitol rotunda.

Charlie finally realized there was something cool above him. 

 We went to the American History Museum and enjoyed everything there.  The huge steam engine was a BIG hit along with the train car that you can sit in.  We sat in that for a while.  Henry thought it was really moving so when he walked around in it he was trying to compensate for the "movement" and kept falling over.

It was a fun, super cold trip.  After all of the walking I truly felt 7 months pregnant.  I told Charles that we wouldn't be able to do another D.C. trip until after the baby comes because I am pretty sure all of the walking could send me into labor.

Valentine's Day and the Master Bedroom

Charles did an amazing 12 Days of Valentines for me this year like he does every year.  He always gets the best gifts that are always very fitting.  The boys and I did a few little art projects and things for Charles leading up to Valentine's Day.  On the 14th I had the boys paint hearts with watercolor in the bathtub for Charles.  They LOVED it.  I am sad I didn't get pictures or a video of them actually doing it though.  I hung them up above the tub to dry.  When Charles came home we showed him the hearts and I had Charlie sing I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home (it was the song he learned this week in school).  He did a fabulous job.

We decided it was time to texture and paint our bedroom walls since we bought a bed (yea for a real bed!).  I was SO ready to not ever see this awful salmon color again (if you can imagine it, the color actually looked worse in real life than what this picture shows).  Ignore the complete chaos in these before photos.

We didn't texture/paint the walls in the two closets since that is where we had to put all of our stuff, so that will be next to do, maybe this week.

 When moving the bed out from the wall and using a broom to get toys and things out from under the bed I found this crayon that had lots of dust bunnies on it.  Having wood floors means that everything slides under the bed very easily.  I found Henry eating a few dust bunnies during the cleaning.  Ick!

Here are the after photos (laundry doesn't even stop for home improvements, dang)! 
I hadn't taken the tape off of the walls yet, but it looks beautiful!  I absolutely love it! 
 Henry enjoying the new found sanity in our bedroom.

11 February 2014

Charlie's Little School

I started a little school for Charlie while Henry is asleep in his nap.  I did a bit of research on learning styles and how to teach little kids and have just been observing Charlie to see what he wants to learn and how he learns.  Some of the subjects covered are only supposed to be a general introduction into the concept and not a huge lesson or anything.  I have my box of materials that contains everything.

We set up school in the kitchen.  We pushed our table up against a wall so we have more room.  I have a flannel board up with the days of the week (I know he can't read, but it has helped him learn that each day is different and we only go to church once a week and he can't go every day like he wants to); earth, season, and weather; and calendar of events for the day.  Each day we then add a letter, shape, and color.  We do an art project each day that correlates with one or more things that he learned.

On the other wall we have a world map (hand drawn by me on the back of wrapping paper) where we learn about climates and animals.  We started with the dessert where it is hot and learn about one new animal each day.  Below the map we post a new photo of family each day.

I wanted to see what our school looked like from a third person perspective so that I could help critique myself.   I videoed Friday so Charlie was kind of in a routine of things.  You don't have to watch this, it is kind of long, I figured that Grandparents would be the only ones really interested in watching any part of it.  But if you do watch it I would love recommendations for improving my teaching techniques.
Charles came home for lunch so I stopped recording, but Charlie wanted to continue so we did.

Henry Learning to Feed Himself & Creeper at Walmart

Henry decided that it was time to start using a spoon.  After an entire bowl of cream of wheat he has a nice 5 o'clock shadow.

Have you ever seen the website, Peopleof  Let me tell you about the scariest/weirdest person that we saw at Walmart.  We went to Walmart the other day after Charles got home from work.  When we parked we saw the creepiest guy driving a raper van.  He had incredibly long, nasty hair and beard.   He purposefully ran into a huge pile of snow right in front of us.  A little weird.  As we walked to the store he just stared our little family down while he drove past us.  He was blaring some obscene music with his window rolled down in about 15 degree weather.  (This is Charles saying that the song was Rainbow in the Dark by Dio.  It's a song that only psychopaths and I know).  I thought for sure he was going to try to run us over.  I walked as close to the parked cars as possible so that I could dart through them if need be.  After we got to the front of the store we looked to see where he had gone.  He had gone back and parked right next to our truck.  Great...  The kids and I went ahead into the store while Charles hung back to make sure he didn't damage our truck or start a shooting rampage in the store.  Charles said that the rest of his appearance was even scarier than what I had even seen.  Nothing came of the guy, but it was a really, really weird experience.  I hate feeling vulnerable.

08 February 2014

Baby Blessing Dress x2

This baby better come out a girl because I just made two baby blessing dresses.  I made one and then I decided to make another.  I made up my own patterns for both and only have a vague idea that they might fit.

Here is dress number one.  This is the top part of the dress.  She will have a white onesie underneath it for sleeves.  The top is designed after a "pillow case" dress.

Here is the skirt for the dress.  I put a hidden draw string inside to be able to cinch it up to whatever size she is. 

Here is the back of the skirt with a decorative bow. 

Here it is all put together.  Charles gave some helpful input while I was in the design phase of this dress. He thinks that the dress is just beautiful and I should have a matching one. 

After making the first dress I found my box of doll clothes from when I was little girl.  Over half of my clothes were actual baby clothes.  One of the things that I found was this adorable antique white bonnet.  I just had to make a dress to match it.

 I decided to go with a very simple and understated antique white "Pride and Prejudice" style dress.  I wanted the attention to be on the bonnet.  When attaching the sleeves, I put both sleeves on the dress wrong, both wrong in different ways.  Ugh, that's what happens when I have two little boys running around distracting me.  I unstitched the worst of the two first and realized that the material frayed so badly that I might not have a dress left if I unstitched the other side, too.  So, the sleeves go up.  
oh well.... Babies sleep with their arms up anyway, right?

 Here is the back of the dress with a cute keyhole to be able to get her head in and a ribbon to help cinch up the neck.

If she doesn't wear this to be blessed in then she gets to wear it the next Sunday.  I really am into sewing right now if you can't tell.

02 February 2014

This Last Week

The boys sure love their bath time.  If you make the photo larger you can see the water splashing everywhere.

The boys are always finding fun new things to do in the bathtub.  This reminds me of the little puppies we had growing up who would play tug-o-war over a scrunchy.

 Charlie likes to gather up all of the chairs in the kitchen to make a train.  We took the caboose chair from our neighbor's sidewalk (a free giveaway).  The chair just behind Henry had the back broken off.

 Henry likes to "cook" his cars.

Along with knowing where the pots are Henry knows where the kid cups are.  Whenever he wants a drink of water he goes into the cupboard, gets a cup, brings it to me, signs "more water," walks over to the water dispenser and sits on the ground to wait.  He knows that he has to sit to drink water.  He drinks so much water throughout the day.  He asks me for water at least three times an hour and some of those times he gets his cup refilled multiple times.  Granted he only gets about 1-2 inches of water, but he drinks a lot of water.

Charlie loves to put his animal alphabet train together.  He has memorized which animals go together and doesn't need too much help anymore.  He is always so proud of himself for putting it together. 

Charlie and Henry really enjoy being "naked".  Charlie tells me everyday that he doesn't want clothes and wants to be naked.  His definition of being naked is not wearing a shirt.  Speaking of being naked...  Today at church Charlie was looking at pictures of Jesus during the sacrament and when he saw the picture of Jesus on the cross he said nice and loud, "Jesus naked!"  Thanks Charlie.  I am sure everyone within ten pews around us heard that.

Some good things that Charlie likes to talk about is being happy.  He understands that being happy provides more privileges.  When at Walmart he likes to go play on the little toys where you pay to have it go (he doesn't know that they do that though).  He knows that if he is happy when it is time to go home then he can do it again next time.  So whenever we leave he tells me that he is happy.  When Henry is crying about something or when Charlie wants to cry but decides to use his words to communicate he tells me that he is happy.  I really love having Charlie tell me throughout the day all of the times (at least 20) that he is happy.  It helps me to realize that he really is being happy and trying to control his emotions by using his words to communicate his needs and wants.

We bought a truck a while back.  It is the silver one on the left.  Charles brought the work truck home (dark silver on right) for the weekend so we could take it to the temple in D.C.  At work Charles creates new parts for the work truck and then they have to test them out.

Speaking of our temple trip to the D.C. temple, Charlie knows all about the temple.  We have lots of temple pictures in the home and he points to them all and says, "Mommy, Daddy, temple.  Henry, Charlie, stay."  He knows that the temple has something to do with church and it is Jesus' house.  He and Henry don't mind having us go to the temple or on dates because they love their babysitter and so do we.  She cleaned our entire house for us and she even took out the trashes.

 We went to Sweet Frog, a frozen yogurt place, for a fun family outing.  Charlie pointed out all of the frogs.

 Henry pointed out all of the balls which were really lights.

Charles getting his frozen yogurt. 

Me after we were done eating. 

Henry has learned from Charlie that it is fun to put diapers into the trashcan.  Charlie is going to be out of a job and not earning money if he doesn't watch out.

Charlie likes to be a goat and smash his head into other people's heads.  Here he started doing it to Henry's tummy.  They both thought it was the best entertainment ever.

I started regrowing store-bought used green onions.  They took a little bit of time to get going, but really took off.  I am really excited to use them.  I'll never buy green onions again!  Money saved.

 Here I am at about 29 weeks pregnant (just over 6 months).  I think this is the first official pregnancy photo this time, I am becoming a slacker :(

 Charlie wanted a photo taken just like Mommy.

 The content of the scriptures is true, but the way my scriptures look is not so good.  The actual cover of my scriptures is coming apart and chunks of pages are coming apart.

 Charles said that the price of repairing them (Charles repaired lots of books when working at the BYU library) would be more than just buying new ones :(  Nothing like having to transfer all of my scripture markings over, again!  I think the boys were the biggest factor in my scriptures coming apart, heck, Charlie ripped the first few pages of 1st Samuel right out about a year or so ago.

At church today Charlie's new nursery leaders (he is now in senior nursery!) told me that he is the best behaved little boy ever.  They just kept raving about how good he is.  I told them that he LOVES nursery and tells me all about it, right down to what they ate for snack.  They were surprised that he gives such a detailed report of everything.  He brings up nursery at least once everyday.