Traditionally, at Christmas, we join Big Guy and Nonna for cookie making. This year, the calendar didn't coordinate at Christmas, so Big Guy and Nonna planned to make cookies with the kids another time. So on Saturday, they picked up the crew - with their aprons packed and ready - and got to work.

(I've sampled all the finished products, and they're delicious.)

prime time reading

On Friday night, the elementary school hosted their prime time reading event for kindergarteners, first graders, and second graders. The kids get to bring blankets and pillows and blankets and a parent to school to read books together and play some games.

I went with Anna.

Aaron went with Heidi.

Jesse perks

Last Wednesday, the kids had no school because of a teacher inservice. It turned out to be free pretzels if your name starts with J, so we included a stop at Philly Pretzel Factory in with our library and Home Depot errands. Usually, they give you three free pretzels, but Jesse got five! He must be cute.

On the Monday after the Super Bowl, Jesse and I popped into the Giant next to Target, and the cashier asked if she could give him one of the leftover Super Bowl balloons. Of course, Jesse was happy to receive.

It's good to be Jesse these days.

You and Me Tour

Aaron and I left town for a few hours on Tuesday; we drove west to Harrisburg for the Drew and Ellie Holcomb You and Me Tour.

My pictures are lame, but if you ever have a chance to see them together in concert, do it. I've been listening to Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors since our days in Nashville. I love the music they write as individuals, and I also enjoy the music they write together. (I also giggle that they admitted how they fight when they write music together.) Check out their new EP Electricity, and also, here's the music video of "Electricity."


Last Thursday, we spent the day in the emergency department down at CHOP with Lydia. She is very much fine; sometimes you have to go the children's hospital to guarantee someone can handle your issue without being sent from here to there (and subsequently being billed multiple times).

She's the last one of her siblings to have an x-ray. (Heidi and Anna each had one at birth, and Jesse had one when he had RSV.)

Child Life heroes.

Later, Philly.

We had a follow up visit at the King of Prussia office, and we brought that clown pretending to be asleep on the chairs with us for entertainment.

Fortunately, this issue is resolving without intervention, and we return to our boring medical lives - a blessing I deeply appreciate.


It snowed on Tuesday. The kids were dismissed from school early, and we enjoyed my favorite winter past time - playing and sledding in the snow in the dark.

(I gotta work on my nighttime photography. I prefer photographing in natural light, and there is none of that in the dark. Nonetheless, we had fun in the snow!)

Groundhog Day

Saturday was February 2nd, Groundhog Day. The Mennonite Heritage Center has a Groundhog Day Extravaganza with Harleysville Hank, another famous groundhog in Pennsylvania. We've never been, but we decided to check it out this year. The event begins at seven o'clock in the morning, and as it was only eleven degrees, we all wore our snow pants and jackets.

It was warm in the barn with hot chocolate and Mennonite breakfast cakes - funny cake and shoo fly pie.

Groundhog tattoos.

Harleysville Hank came out to tell us spring is coming early.

The kids were freezing; we didn't even wait in the line for the scrapple and apple butter.

In case you were wondering, Lydia was away at a "Winter Blast" camp this weekend. She wasn't excited or having any fun at all.