We love Fall! September is my favorite month, beginning with our Anniversary.  This year we celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary- so much has happened in those seven years!

In September Lily started her next session of Soccer, and she is still loving it.

IMG_8334                The first day of soccer was “Groveland Day” our small town festival day of rides and games and all sorts of fun things for kids.  It was also one of the hottest days! The kids had fun taking pony rides, making pine cone bird feeders, seeing Curious Creatures, going in the bouncy house, checking out the fire trucks, and riding the mini train.  Jen and Mike were nice enough to join us for the soccer game and the first part of the day too! IMG_8343IMG_0805

The fire department gave out these hats, and they certainly got a lot of use!  And yes, our children have plenty of toys but nothing is more fun than a big box!


Of course, September is the time we start visiting all of the farms! Although this year, we never really stopped, because we visited our local farm weekly for our CSA share, and we visited a few other farms for blueberry & strawberry picking and, there was the Market Basket disaster so we visited a few more farm stands for produce this year.

I think this was our busiest farm tour yet.  Starting with Strawberry Picking and ending with Christmas Tree cutting, we visited

Rogers Spring Hill            Turkey Hill Farm

Boston Hill Farm              Cider Hill Farm

Russell Orchard                Parlee Farms

Stasinos Farm                   Applecrest Farm

Crescent Farm                  Maple Crest Farm


This was our first time at Boston Hill, we met Maghan, Dave and the kids and Mairin came along for the fun!

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The September weather this year was awesome, it was actually pretty hot the days we went to Russell Orchard and Cider Hill.  The Cider Hill day surprised us, it was not forecasted to be that hot and we were not prepared.  So, this is why Kellan’s face matches the pumpkins!


Russell Orchard is one of our favorites! IMG_8425IMG_8440

They have one section of older, more classic apple orchard trees, rather than the standard rows of small trees that are grown more systematically.  We love the look of the older trees and some of them are really picture perfect.

We have taken the kids’ picture in front of this tree veery year!





Sometimes apple picking gets tiring. Your best bet is to crawl right into a shady tree and take a little nap!


If that doesn’t work you can just lie right down anywhere you feel is right.

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That hollow tree amazes me, it still produces perfect looking apples despite having basically no trunk. The kids played in and around that tree for a while, it is really cool to see!



September is also “harvest time” at Grampy’s house! His concord grapes are delicious and each year there are more and more.  We tried making grape sorbet and our own juice this year, both of which came out pretty good! The kids love picking and eating all the purple grapes.


Thanks to Jen and Mike, we were able to take one weekend away from apple picking to celebrate our anniversary.  They stayed with the kids, which the kids LOVED, and we went to Rockport for a night away.  We can’t help ourselves though, the next morning we went to yet another farm, but this one for antiques! Steve’s uncle was set up at Todd Farm and we were caught, had to explain that yes, we get a babysitter to go to the flea market.   Thanks Jen and Mike for watching the kids AND doing our laundry while we were gone!


Happy Anniversary to us!

We began some house renovations in late summer/early fall as well.  The middle window is new, and was formerly our closet.  It is now a bathroom! Having two bathrooms is pretty great! Kellan also now has a closet in his room.  We’ve been very busy helping Barry as he guides us through these renovations.  He puts us to work on the tasks we can do and then Steve will work with him some days to get the larger part of the project done.  I’ve been the official painter/stainer and have been busy this summer and fall staining the doors and woodwork to match the rest of the house.  Also, the mauve colored trim is gone and I’ve painted all the trim in Newburyport Blue.  Steve worked with Barry up on the roof for this one, and now the outside of the house is put back together.  It was quite a project, as we found that installing a tiny bathroom leave very little wiggle room for working, and no room for mistakes.  We found that there is ONE sink in the universe that will fit correctly in this bathroom!


Only way to end the summer is with one last ice cream stand visit!


The kids really had a great summer.  Their school is open year round so they kept their same schedule of two days per week with lots of fun mixed in.  We visited Storyland, York’s Wild Kingdom, lots of beaches and parks, the zoo, aquarium, Squam Lake Science Center, several Trustees of Reservations properties, Lake Winnepesaukee, Echo Lake, and….I’m sure there was more!

Lily seems so grown up lately, her vocabulary and memory are really amazing.  I hope she is able to put it all to good use once she gets to school.  She continues to never tire and is constantly energized, from the minute she wakes in the morning until she completely exhausts herself, still playing in her bed.  Kellan is learning so much as well, he’s hot and cold with his moods- he has bouts of energy where he’s a wild man, running, yelling and crazy, and then he has his times he just wants to cuddle and relax (and eat, mostly).   Unlike his sister, he likes his sleep and still takes a long daily nap.  He’s a grouch when he wakes up (he may or may not take after his mama).  He’s accident prone and will literally run into walls at times. We’re lucky to have two smart, healthy, beautiful children to enjoy these summers with.





LOVE this photo! Kellan has become just as much of a ham as his big sister, loves having his picture taken (most of the time).  He will still protest sometimes but we let it slide if we can get one of these shots once in a while!

I forgot to include in the earlier posts the biggest deal of the summer! We found this great swingset and after a very difficult process, Daddy delivered…. ” the best day of my whole life!!” according to Lily.  Kellan was pretty fired up as well! They LOVE their swingset!  Thank you to all of our family who helped us out with this, this is a gift of endless hours of fun!


We started our farm tour early this year and took a group trip to Smolak Farms. Many more farm trips to come !


We had a great day trip to York’s Wild Kingdom in Maine.  The kids LOVE this place! We even got Kellan on the little roller coaster and a few other rides.


He’s not quite tall enough for the go carts, so Lily and Daddy took that adventure on their own.  He did love the paddle boats, although those little legs did not do any paddling!



Every time we go to a yard sale or similar event, people give the kids something.  I don’t know what it is, I know they are cute but it is really almost every time, someone will just approach them and offer some little token or toy. These sunglasses were a big hit!  Thank you, random stranger!


This summer, millions of people participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.    To raise money for the disease, you  challenge friends to dump a bucket of ice water on their head and donate at least $10 to the cause. If you don’t do the ice, you are supposed to make a $100 donation.   Steve was challenged by a friend whose father is currently battling this horrible disease.  He gladly accepted, made the donation, and made tiny ice buckets for the kids.  They probably completed about 10 challenges (sans ice)! They had fun dumping water on their heads though.


Out to lunch with Mariah


Brady is getting as big as Lily!IMG_8074

Making ice pops!IMG_8079

The kids had fun helping in the yard this year.  We’ve been making a lot of changes to the yard and they have really jumped right in to “help.” Let’s see if this eagerness to help with yard work continues into their teens!  IMG_8083

College friends reunion for Labor Day!



Farm time! Why wait until fall?


We were excited to get a day off to go out sailing with Beth and Barry (and Gaby).  The kids aren’t ready for sailing, especially since it was a bit choppy on this particular day, but w braved the “high seas” and headed out for a nice sail out of Marblehead.  Steve took control and we had a nice day  on the water! Thanks Beth and Barry!IMG_8248IMG_8247IMG_8244

Kellan may be 2, but he finally just got his first haircut!  Hair grows slowly in this family.   He was SO good and sat still for his haircut.  He was also SO proud of himself after, and is still talking about “me and Daddy getted our hair cuts”.   IMG_8233IMG_8230

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Couple more cool kids in the tunnelIMG_8203IMG_8183IMG_8165IMG_8151IMG_8143IMG_8132IMG_8125IMG_8113

We had such a fun summer it’s taken a few months to sit down and write about it!  We have a calendar next to Lily’s bed that we write on every night with what we did that day.  She loves this, and doesn’t let us miss a day.  Looking back, there are very few days without an activity.  These kids keep us busy! We’ve also been busy with the non-exciting things like work and such.   Then of course, house projects!  August 17th marked one year in the house, and we’ve added a bedroom, moved a closet, painted all but one room, upgraded the electric and water, and are almost finished with the new bathroom.  We’re really enjoying making this house our own, and making memories here!





This has been a fantastic summer in terms of weather.  There has been just enough but not too much rain, no super humid 100+ degree days, and it has been cooling down at night.  I don’t know what that means for the coming fall and winter but for now, we’re enjoying it!


We’ve been spending a lot of time outside and improving our  yard in various ways.  It already looks much different that when we moved in.  The kids have their own little “fairy garden” which Lily likes to put colored glass beads and fun miniatures, and Kellan likes to dig in the dirt and move rocks around. They are pretty much always 6 inches from each other, even outside!



The summer has been filled with lots of parks, beaches, day trips, and fun! These kids have fun anywhere really, though.

Like at Market Basket, they installed a new “rocket ship”!  Too bad this is the only time she has been on it though, due to the ridiculous standoff going on there.  We hope to get back to the rocket ship and to normal grocery shopping soon.  We have been spoiled by living 2 minutes from the grocery store, and now with this situation we are lost without MB. I  certainly never thought I’d miss the place, but I do.

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We had a fun Fourth of July weekend with friends and family.  The kids got to see their first fireworks show, which they mostly loved.  It was after 9 and they were exhausted but they had fun!

We had a BBQ with our college friends and they were thrilled to eat hot dogs and squirt the adults with water guns!

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This month we had our big family vacation together- all four Monaghan kids, spouses and children, which meant 8 adults and 6 kids living in a house for a week.  This should have been 10 adults, but Mom and Dad decided not to go….or rather, Dad’s doctor decided he couldn’t go.  I think most of our readers  know (how many readers do we have? ) that just before the vacation my Dad was having some chest pain/shortness of breath and after a few tests ended up having an emergency open heart surgery.  As you can imagine, 6 hours of surgery does not lend well to heading to Storyland with 6 kids under age 6, so they stayed home to rest.  Dad had a quadruple bypass and is recovering well, but it is a slow recovery, especially for someone who does not enjoy sitting still!  He is tough as nails and was up as soon as he was allowed.This was the first day he was home!


Despite the scary health situation, we had a great time in North Conway.  The house was huge and the kids loved exploring a new place.  We visited Storyland and Echo Lake, two favorite spots from our own childhoods.   We even got out without the kids (Thanks Maghan and Dave) for a fun night out with Jen, Mike, Brian and Christin.  I think my mom also celebrated her quietest birthday yet, as we were all away.  Happy Birthday Mom!


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Extra credit to  Jen and Mike for coming on this vacation without kids and even going to Storyland.  I’m sure that this is the #1 vacation spot to relax, unwind, listen to loud kids, dig holes on the beach, and generally provide entertainment at all times.  We all had so much fun and I’m glad the 4 Monaghan kids, spouses and more kids were able to go together.  When we were little, we used to go to the beach for vacation, and we have so many fun memories of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and friends from those vacation houses.  At the time we expected they would join us for everything, and now that some of those relatives are no longer with us, it’s nice to have those memories of all those fun times.

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Is that a princess? Jen did Frozen princess makeup for the girls!


Ice cream party at the make your own sundae place.  Kellan wasted no time eating his with his face.


cuddly cousins

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We happened to be in North Conway at the same time as “Thomas’ Day Out” a big event where Thomas the Tank Engine comes to a train station and parents dump out their wallets for Thomas related merchandise such as a $10 balloon and a $25 ride on the train.  We did not get there in time to participate fully but the kids were excited to just see Thomas pull into the Station.   (Cost=$0, winners-=Crowders)


Kellan had been a little nervous about swimming at the beginning of the summer, but once he got to Echo Lake he suddenly decided he LOVED swimming.  He kept jumping in and splashing, saying “I Swimmin all by myself!!” over and over.  Mike dug the kids a big hole and they kept jumping in it and screaming.  I think it’s safe to say they enjoyed it.


The water was warm and the views are beautiful!  We even took a drive to the top of Cathedral Ledge later on to see the view from above.  Look how much the kids loved it!! Unfortunately just as we got someone to take our picture, it started to thunder and they were terrified.  Despite their concerns, we made it safely back to the car which was about 30 seconds away.


On the way home, we saw a bear eating strawberries in a field on the side of the road! The Hickoks had seen the same bear in the same place earlier that day! I guess he was really enjoying those strawberries. He did not mind the thunder at all.  Kellan is still talking about how he saw “a tiny bear”.  Perspective is lost on a 2 year old, this guy was at least 6 feet tall.


July also meant a few trips to the beach.  This time was in Rye, to meet up with the Nicolas, and most importantly for Kellan to see his buddy Victor!

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I can’t get enough of this picture.


July is blueberry picking time and our kids happen to be expert blueberry pickers.  They get right under those berries and fill the bucket pretty quickly! $48 later, we had enough berries to make the amazing pie we had at the 1785 Inn and about 14 other blueberry related recipes.  IMG_7999

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There were more than a few trips to the park, to my parents house to swim, to the beach, a lake, to playdates, and so much more it’s hard to remember.IMG_8070 IMG_8068

Somehow during the  month of July Mairead turned 7!  She has continued to amaze us for 7 years and we’re looking forward to see what else she has in store.  Unfortunately my photography skills on this day did not amaze anyone! Happy Birthday Mairead!



More fun at the beach!





In June Lily finished her first season of soccer.  She loved it and can’t wait to get back in the fall!


She was SO PROUD of her medal and wore it all day for several days after receiving it!



IMG_5911 Jen even got a chance to do some of the drills with her! Thanks Jen!IMG_5899

This last picture was from the 2 hour mini-camp she attended after the season ended.  This happened to be the hottest day we’ve had this summer (unofficial).  I asked her if she was sure she wanted to go and she couldn’t wait to get out there.  She ran her little heart out despite the heat.  Halfway through, they turned on the sprinklers for all the kids so that was a lot of fun (and a lot of screaming!)

IMG_0146This little guy turned two in June!  This was his birthday celebration ice cream, which he wore proudly!


Cici graduated from 8th grade this June! We can’t believe she’s headed to high school in just a few weeks.  her biggest fans were there to cheer for her as she received her diploma!  Lily did really well sitting still in the hot gym for the ceremony.  Kellan was lucky there was a back door we had easy access to, and we came in and out as his attention waned.

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We had a fun day celebrating Kellan’s birthday with family.  Our family has grown so much we had a “big” party with just the immediate family!


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The only cake fitting Mr. Kellan is one with dirt, rocks, mud, and trucks! I made a chocolate and peanut butter cake with chocolate pudding for mud, graham crackers for dirt and chocolate rocks.  He loved it and it tasted pretty good too!


June means strawberry picking, and our children LOVE strawberries. We met some friends at the farm and Steve even had the day off so he could join us.  Lily was very good at picking the “cute” strawberries (very tiny ones) and Kellan was very good at picking the berries, filling the basket, and then dumping them out.  It took a while but we did get enough to take home and enjoy!IMG_7507

This is what our daughter is doing at 9pm when she should be sleeping.


June means Father’s Day, and we had a nice day with boy Grampys at Todd Farm and then the Clam Box.

See that horse the kids are petting? That’s in Lily’s room now.  She spotted it and ran over to hug it, and both kids attacked it.  The man selling it asked for 15, then 10 as I said no thanks.  But apparently these kids are just too cute and he said they could HAVE it. For FREE.  And then there is no getting around it, we’re loading the giant horse onto the stroller and pushing it to the car and now we have a horse in Lily’s room.  Sometimes there are downsides to having cute kids.  While we appreciate the generosity, the thing startles me when I go check on Lily at night and find she’s moved the horse so it’s staring at me when I open the door.  Maybe Mairin would like a nice horse for Christmas…..



We are so lucky to have these amazing men in our lives! Growing up with a wonderfully caring father is the best way to learn the type of father you want for your own children.  Great dads learn from great Grampys and our kids are lucky to have an amazing father and two wonderful grandfathers. All three spend their days putting their family first, and that’s all we could ever ask for.

Summer Fun….


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We had a fun filled June and July was even busier with more fun adventures!

Little Mister turns Two!



Our sweet little Kellan just turned TWO! He is such a sweet, lovable little guy and he’s so fun to watch.  Kellan gives very sincere hugs and even pats us on the back or rubs our arms during a big squeeze.  He still loves to ask for kisses and will often stop what he is doing to come sit on one of our laps.  He is growing very fast, mostly wearing clothes between 3-5T and size 9 shoes.  He is very healthy and now weighs in at 33lbs and measures 36.5 inches.  He’s a big boy but still our baby.

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Kellan has been adding new words daily and is almost getting sentences together. He can piece together 3-4 words that make sense, such  as the most often, “Mommy hungry cereal bar. Peaaas” His little please and thank you are just too cute, but even cuter; “Yav you” and “Bess You” (I sneeze a lot).   He says most of his Ls like Ys so love is Yav and Lily is Yeeyee.  A little “Yav you my Yeeyee” is almost enough to make you cry.  One night I was going out at their bedtime and Lily was upset and wanted me to stay- she was overtired and crying.  Kellan came over and was patting her back slowly and then saying “hugs Yeeyee” trying to make her happy .  He is a very sweet brother most of the time, as Lily declared when he was born, they are “best friends in the whole best world.”




Kellan’s other best friends go almost everywhere he goes- Chahlee, Bacon, and Glowa.  Translation- plush Charlie Brown, his blue blanket, and a glow Seahorse that plays music. The Glowa was formerly known as “elephant”  I don’t know why he decided it’s an elephant, and I actually hope he never stops calling his blanket bacon.  He does love to eat so it’s fitting that he sleeps with “bacon.”  Somehow his blanket has made it through two years almost completely intact.  Lily’s was made by the same person and was just as beautiful as this one but it is far more worn.  I think it is mostly because when Kellan is put in bed, he goes to sleep.  When Lily is put in bed, she plays, and at a young age, she would just pull at the blanket until she fell asleep.  Regardless, it’s sweet that they both have their precious blankets that help them get to sleep.


Kellan is mostly mild tempered but does get worked up when he’s excited about something.  They will play a game of superheroes or something else that involves running in circles around the house, and he can’t stop himself he’s so excited.  Come visit when he wakes up from nap, on the other hand, and you will see a different boy.  He takes time to wake up and is not as “get up and go” as his big sister. He loves to play trucks, cars, and trains, and has recently started to show an interest in Batman etc.  The Batman interest is mostly due to spending time with Jack and Ben, who he idolizes.  He has never seen a batman show or movie and only recently got some of the toys, but gets excited and will pretend to be batman or superman and run around with his cape on.


Kellan loves music and will point to the ipod and demand music, or the TV for videos. He would watch “If You’re Happy and you Know it” all day.

He also loves this Sesame Street song with

Kellan loves all the standard “boy” things, Batman, trucks, cars, trains, mowing the lawn, and getting dirty.  We went to a playdate last week and the mom had Munchkins (his favorite)  for the kids.  I asked him to tell Daddy what he had to eat at his friend’s house, and he smiled and proudly declared “dirt!”  He will get out of the car and immediately sit down and scoop up handfuls of dirt. There have been a few days this summer that I have washed his legs off with the hose before bringing him in for a bath, or I strip him down at the door and right into the tub he goes! He also picked this summer to decide that he didn’t like baths, not great timing considering he is at his dirtiest!

If Steve starts to do any kind of yard work, Kellan immediately joins him and starts “helping”.  If Steve has a shovel or rake, Kellan grabs his too. It’s so cute to watch him try to be like Daddy!

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Playing with his new drill from Jen & Mike!


He still falls a lot, and runs into things.  He only goes to school 2x a week and has been there 8 months, and he has had 7 incident reports for falls and injuries.  None for behavior, which is good, but seriously, most of the other kids have not had any incident reports. He almost always has a bruise on his head and several elsewhere.



This is such a fun but very challenging age, as he tests out new things and we chase him around trying to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself.


Kellan loves his teacher, who he calls Bibbie (Debbie) and his friends at school.  There have been very few days that he returns from school in the clothes we dressed him in, because he either falls in the dirt, gets paint on himself, spills a drink or his lunch, etc. etc.


We’re lucky, Kellan has had a very healthy two years with only limited ER visits! So far, just Croup, mystery 105 fever, and a quick trip to rule out concussion due to the giant egg when he hit his head at gymnastics.  He hasn’t had an ear infection and only a few small colds.  Lily was sick far more often by age two.  Maybe all the dirt he eats/touches  help with his immune system!

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Happy 2nd birthday to our sweet, handsome little boy!




IMG_7112May was full of soccer, parks, playing outside, and having fun with family and friends.  Can’t ask for much more.  We celebrated Mother’s Day at my parents and we had a beautiful day.  Lily and I had her soccer game in the morning and they made me a nice breakfast. By the time dinner came around it was pretty hectic, as you notice Jack and Ben are already in their PJs (and robes, because they are Obi Wan Kenobi or some other character of the day).

My mom and her four kids and 6 grandkids!


My mom bought some “turf” and set up a mini golf section of the yard for the kids.  Kids with metal clubs actually went better than I expected!


Happy Mother’s Day Nana!


More Soccer

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We visited Daddy at work one day and arranged for the first meeting of the Chamber Children! Lily is the oldest and then Kellan, Stella, and Owen were all born in 2012.  It was a busy year at the Chamber (and an expensive one for our insurance!)  We got them all to work in the President’s office and finally got a picture together, although none of them are looking!


Warmer weather of course means ICE CREAM! Much like our farm tour in the fall, we like to visit as many ice cream stands as often as possible in the summer.  This one works great because it is right next door to Grampy’s house!


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Kellan set this little bear up in his high chair and started feeding him with the spoon. It was so cute, especially when he would offer the bite to the bear and then take it himself.  He kept saying “want some, bear?”



I am not now, nor will I ever be ready for this!



The day my parents came to the game, there was a visit from the Fire Truck, which was very exciting!IMG_7078

May was also Pediatric Stroke awareness month.  As most of our readers know, our niece Mairead suffered a stroke when she was just three days old.  Mairead has made incredible strides and we are so proud of her! To show support, Maghan and Mairead put in purple streaks (extensions) in their hair and my mom even found a purple hair spray she wore throughout the month.  Lily just happened to have a purple braid and flower to add to her hair so she was happy to support the cause for her cousin!


Nice weather means time for the grill and more importantly (to Lily) time for corn on the cob.  Ever since she was about 1.5 and she grabbed mine out of my hand, this has been her favorite!



A fun project for outside- I ended up with this old crib end from one of John & Jenn’s estate finds.  It is not usable so I removed the hardware, sanded it down, filled the holes and painted with outdoor paint and chalkboard paint.  Now it’s on the deck for the kids.


Lily was playing with the chalkboard but was more fascinated with the landscapers who came to remove a dead tree.  He even let her sit on it and use the scooper! Kellan loves trucks, especially “diggas!” but was terrified in person and would not get on.  Fun from a distance for him.


We visited the Lawrence airport with friends- this is a great place to watch small planes and helicopters coming and going.  It has a small restaurant for breakfast and lunch so we also enjoyed pancakes while we watched.  It was loud at some points but very cool to see up close.



We had a nice visit with Bill and Megan in Vermont.  The kids were even very well behaved for the 3+ hours ride, and they were happy to have little friends to meet.  Their son is about 8 months older than Kellan, and their nephew is about a year older.  The three boys had lots of fun together while Lily played with their niece, who is just a little older than her.  Lily said she’s the nicest girl she ever met! Hard to believe we’ve been friends with Bill now for almost 15 years and have remained good friends despite only going to college together for one year, and always living a few hours away. IMG_7119

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a rare shot of Grampy!



Rainy day fun- daddy made a car out of a big cardboard box.  The kids played with it for two weeks before it came apart.


our little gardeners helping out in the yard….


There were lots of bike rides! Lily is getting pretty good at her bigger bike (not pictured) and Kellan mostly loves to push his bike down the street.  he’s finally learned not to run directly into the street and will look out and say “car coming?” every time.  It’s a very quiet street and usually there are no cars but we’ve been trying to teach him to be careful.   Now, he’s sure there will be cars and will constantly check.  If a car does come he yells “Car Coming!” and will even push my legs to get me on the grass.  My little hero.

We are lucky to have a quiet street because even though there is plenty of space in the yard, the kids like to play in the driveway and in the road.


Visiting the MSPCA with Daddy


In May, Little Miss Mairin turned one! She is such a cutie and so sweet.  She loves to go around giving kisses.  She and Kellan had a bit of a rough patch when she first started moving around, as he got jealous of the attention she was getting.  But now they are buddies, and of course the older kids adore her as well. Brian and Christin had a very cute party for her at their new house.  Happy Birthday Mairin!





The four boys at the party had their own little cookout going on, it was adorable.  Kellan was not quite 2, Jack and Ben are 5 and Ian is 3.  They enjoyed hotdogs in their man zone for some time away from the girls.

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All the kiddos (and Brian of course, so Mairin didn’t fall)



Hey our gardens are looking pretty good! Steve has been very busy in the yard and I have spent more hours gardening this year than in all previous years combined.  That is still not a lot of hours but I’m making an effort.  Considering I’m allergic to everything that grows outside, I have an insane fear of bugs, and strong dislike for dirt, I’m surprising myself this summer!





The months are flying by! I am trying to catch up on the posts to share Kellan & Lily’s adventures.  But also to keep track for our own benefit! It’s nice to take a minute to look back at all they do, and all those adorable pictures.  It’s interesting to see how quickly they grow, even month to month.

Speaking of growing, we always have a birthday or two to celebrate! In April we celebrated my sister Jen and my brother Brian. The kids were right there to make sure they go their hands on that cake! I don’t even think Jen had any!


April meant the state of “Spring” which means slightly warmer weather and thankfully no snow.  The kids were out “helping” us get the yard ready and get their outdoor toys out to enjoy!


Two little monkeys visiting the MSPCA!

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In April Lily began soccer, which she loves! She didn’t miss a game and she loved it all. She even did pretty well understanding the concept.  She is pretty good at it too, she definitely gets the idea of what to do and knows the basics of dribbling, etc.  The U4 level is called “Clinic” so they don’t have games, but basically a practice of fun drills each week.  The fun part is that parent participation is required, so one of us was out there with her each week.  It is fun to participate or watch, because all of the kids are doing different things, usually not what the coach asked.  The coach was from Scotland and had an accent so that made the kids even less likely to listen to him. They did try at times, but there were also times when kids were drifting off the field, visiting their parents, sitting on the ground, twirling around, doing different drills, throwing grass, etc.  Each week, there were less kids participating, unfortunately, probably due to emotions or lack of interest.   Lily didn’t miss a game, even when the first few weeks were about 50 degrees and raining.   She also had quite the fan base, with someone coming to see her play each week- her biggest fan was Kellan of course, but John came to almost all the games, and my parents, Jenn and Cici, my sister Jen, and our neighbor Brooke and her mom also made appearances!  She has quite the entourage and she was so excited to have “her people” come see her play! Thanks everyone for coming out!  She is already asking about fall soccer and when Kellan can start playing.IMG_6752IMG_6755IMG_5457


The weather in April was nice enough to start enjoying the outdoors.  We met up with some friends for a nature hike in the woods of the park near our house. There are some great trails along a small lake, and it was a beautiful day.  The perfect conditions led to complete meltdowns by all 8 of the children with us.  I don’t know what it was that day but after many falls, a few stuck strollers, some bug sightings, a snake, being hungry, having to go potty, and lots of wind (yup, wind) all the kids lost it at different times.  However, it was a beautiful place and all of the kids did enjoy at least some part of the day.  At the end there are swings and a kids’ playhouse so they all enjoyed that! And, of course, snacks.

Kellan did enjoy the rocks.

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After, we had some very tired kids on our hands!


Next was Easter! The kids loved Easter – what is not to love? As usual, we had two Easters, one we hosted at our house and one we had at my parents house.


Lily talked about an Easter Egg Hunt for weeks prior, and luckily it was a beautiful day for it.  They had quite the viewing section and had a really fun time picking up al the eggs, and an even better time eating the candy form those eggs!

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We like to visit as many local parks as possible, and this one is a new favorite. Steve had the day off so it was nice to have him with us for the day.  Action Cove, in West Newbury, is one of those wood play structures that forms a circle so basically makes a fence to keep Kellan inside! Also, there was a fenced in dirt/truck pit, so it was perfect for him. Lily had fun running in circles around the structure, and she made some friends along the way to play princess and all sorts of other imaginary games.  Kellan was getting tired as we were leaving and about 5 feet from the exit he fell and cut his eye on one of the trucks.  This kid is a danger to himself and others.  If it were about 1cm over it would have been much worse.



We took a trip to Salem to help Grampy say goodbye to his workplace from the last 37 years.  Retiring? No way.  They’re renovating the building and moving to a temporary location for a few years.   The courthouse has not been updated (save for the fancy bathrooms) in decades (centuries?) and this was the last day of work as they moved everything and everyone out.  The kids had fun yelling and running through the halls and eating pizza with Grampy’s friends.  It was an interesting visit for Maghan and I, as we have been visiting my dad there for our entire lives.  The four of us sat in these same seats when we were this age, and most of his coworkers have known us since we were kids.   My Dad has outlasted most of the people who worked there when he started, but they all knew us as infants, and they are like family now.  A group of his coworkers attended all of our weddings, and one of his judges (an of course friend) married Steve and I as well as Jen and Mike.  It’s rare now to work in the same place for a lifetime, and with many of the same people.  (for better or worse!)    It will be interesting to see the new courthouse, hopefully in 2-3 years.


Lily wasa t the Museum of Science with Grampy Crowder so she did not attend this field trip!

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The Easter squash.  Does he look familiar? This is a magical squash, because we decorated this for THANKSGIVING as a joke for my mom.  It’s the same indestructible squash that shows no signs of deterioration.  He has worn a pilgrim hat, a Santa hat, birthday hats, bunny ears, a crown (for Mother’s Day) and maybe a few more.  Maybe we have issues and have carried this joke to long but maybe it’s kind of funny.



Beth helping out with Easter at the kids’ table


Lily getting ready for soccer and the boys getting ready for T-Ball.  So.stinkin. cute.


Brian got all into the Easter Spirit.


Stone Zoo!


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