This is the best cleaning schedule around!

This is the best cleaning schedule around!
Perfect for busy moms!

July 29, 2010

Gone in a flash

hospital pic

It was a beautiful hot sunny day, just like today. Daddy and I woke up super early, packed the car and began our trip to Riverside. Within a matter of hours we would be welcoming our sweet baby boy into this world. He was to be named Gauge Rylen Shipman. I remember that we stopped at Kroger on the way down because we had to get something out of the back of the car. We sat in that parking lot mulling over how we were going to spell your middle name. It was a big decision. Rylen is a combination of Daddy and I's middle names (Ryan and Lyn). After we made the momentous decision to spell Rylen with an 'e' we began to pray. We prayed that you would arrive safely and that you would be perfect and healthy.

About 8 hours later....we got that wish. You made your grand arrival at 3:59pm weighing in at 7lb 13 oz and 19 in. long. I will never forget your sweet puffy little face, your long skinny legs, and the way that you gazed into my eyes!! It was as if you and I had known and loved each other FOREVER!

beautiful Gauge

Today, my little turn 3 years old. How could that be?  It seems like just yesterday that we were painting your nursery and picking out your little lamb bedding. This week we finished your "big boy" room. Wasn't it just yesterday that you learned how to walk or say Mommy? Now you run, jump, and play hard all day long. You not only say Mommy, you now sing me songs and tell me stories.

sidewalk chalk

I have said many times before that you are the "cherry on top" for our family. You completed us. You bring so much joy and laughter to our home!

You go by many names:
Little Bird
Big Man
But.....most of all Mommy's Baby Boy.


You are:
and I LOVE it!!


Happy 3rd birthday Sweet Boy! I love you more than words could ever express!

July 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Strike a Pose

Puma collage

July 22, 2010

Holy Cow!!!

Sunday Morning, I was sitting on the computer while the kids were in the living room watching cartoons. All of a sudden Grace says "Mommy, come look out the window!" I assumed it was yet another groundhog or skunk (we have quite a few of them lately) in our backyard. I walk over to the window....pull back the curtain....and much to my amazement, this is what I see.


That's right! Probably over 100 cows in our backyard and field.

Shawn runs outside in an effort to try and prevent them from further grazing into our yard, landscape, and garden. Meanwhile he is on his cell phone trying to get ahold of the farmer so he can come help his cows find their way back home.


No one was answering!!! That left only one option. He would have to drive down the road and try and find the farmer....while I was left with the task of trying to keep them contained. Let me just tell you, this site was totally worth making the finals on America's Funniest Home Videos. At one point I thought I was doing really well....then they started migrating down toward the road and pond.

I took off running that direction to try and head them off.....clapping, yelling, and waving my arms. At one point I noticed one cow had horns (which totally freaked me out), and another two cows were doing something I'd rather not witness again.


Eventually Shawn found the farmer. He pulled in our driveway, got out of his truck and started walking toward the cows. They immediately started going back the way they came. Amazing!

According to the farmer, this is why it happened. It was a hot steamy day, and the cows were miserable. They spotted our woods (shade) on the other side of the fence. This looked to irrisistable to them and they trappled the fence to get to our woods. Once in our woods and enjoying the shade....they got a wiff of the Alfalfa growing in our field....and proceeded to go have themselves a snack.

This whole process was frustrating and tiring.....but now that it's over and looking back on's quite hilarious!

July 19, 2010

End of the season

This, Grace's first summer of T-ball has been so fun to watch.


I have thouroughly enjoyed watching my sweet little girl go from not even knowing how to hold a bat, to hitting a double.


From watching the ball roll past her and not even running as fast as she can to retrieve it.


Grace, you have improved so much this summer. Mommy has loved every minute of watching you. I am so proud of you for sticking it out....though the heat, frustration, and exhaustion.
I love you baby girl!


Congratulations Indians on a wonderful summer of t-ball!

July 13, 2010

Family Fun

Normally, on July 3rd we travel down to Columbus to Red,White, and Boom. This year it wasn't in the I turned to my Facebook friends for some alternate evening activities. A few people suggested that we go to the Balloon Festival in Ashland. This is something we had never done that's what we decided to do.

family balloon

We took my parents and hit the road to Ashland. Parking at the event was only $5/car and FREE to go in to the festival. Those are the kind of prices I like. The only thing I would have done differently would have been to pack sandwiches, etc. so we could have our own picnic rather than buy the pricey food there.


We found our prime piece of grass real estate and spread out our blankets in anticipation of the big lift off.  While we were sitting there waiting....Keith, Trish, and their kids (Shawn's brother's family) came walking up. She had read the suggestions on my Facebook page and thought it sounded fun too. Neither one of us was aware the other was coming. Too funny...or shall I say, great minds think alike!

The kids had a great time hanging out with their cousins and yelling in unison "UP, UP, AND AWAY!" for each balloon that lifted off.
kids at balloon 
festival collage

The day was absolutely gorgeous. It wasn't super hot, there was a nice breeze, and the sky was crystal clear...not a cloud up there. 

Balloon collage

Perfect for watching some hot air balloons rise, and then fade off in to the distance.


At one point....even creating a super cool Balloon Eclipse!


In addition to watching the gorgeous balloons take flight; the kids got the opportunity to pet some alpacas and play on some jump houses. We had hoped to take a tethered balloon ride, but the line was at least a few hours long.

We topped off the evening with a nice trip to the local Friendly's for some hot fudge/peanut butter sundaes!!!

July 10, 2010

Right now we are

in the process of redoing Gauge's room. It will be going from a lamb decor nursery to a full fledged "BIG BOY" room. Here are some sneak peeks for you.

Gauge Dresser

Gauge Bed

lisence plate

July 9, 2010

Blowing Bubbles

Come with me; forget your troubles.
We'll take some soap and make some bubbles!


We can make them big or small;
It isn't very hard at all.

Bubbles2 collage

I can't be angry, sad or blue
When blowing bubbles-now, can you?
Bubble collage
Just blow your blues into each one.
We'll watch them sparkle in the sun.

We'll send them out into the sky.
There go your troubles!
Picnik collage

~ Poem by Ericka Northrop

July 6, 2010

Gone but never forgotten


James C. “Jim” Richardson, age 77, of ---------, went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, afternoon, July 3, 2010, at his residence surrounded by his family following an extended illness.

On October 24, 1932, Jim was born in Teetersville, Kentucky, the son of the late Henry and Flora (Marlow) Richardson. When he was a child, he experienced the loss of his mother, and he found loving care from his step mother, the late Gladys Richardson.

Before turning 20 years old, he and his brother, Bill, moved first to Detroit, Michigan, and a short time later to Morrow County to find work wanting to avoid the coal mines of Kentucky.

Soon after moving to --------------, Jim asked a young lady, Betty Lou Rogers, to join him for a ride in his Packard Convertible. He and the car were difficult for her to turn down, and after that ride Jim knew he found the love of his life. They would be married on October 3, 1953, after dating for several months. Together they have shared nearly fifty seven wonderful years of marriage.

Despite being a man who enjoyed being on the move, Jim also was a loyal employee with General Motors, working as a machinist and drill press operator for over thirty four years after he started working there in 1957. After several injuries, he retired in 1991. He was a member of the United Auto Workers Association.

The son of a Baptist minister, Jim had a deep faith in the Lord and he had attended the ------------ Church. Also, he was a member of the Masonic Lodge of -------------.

With a love for the outdoors, Jim always looked forward to spending time on any one of the boats they had on Lake Erie with his family. They enjoyed fishing there together, and also at Cumberland Lake and in Florida.

Putting his family first, Jim would drive back and forth from the Lake to work in Ontario every day of the summer if he could, so his family could spend more time there. He also loved to spend time with his grandchildren and watch them play ball or participate in any activity, and enjoyed taking trips to Kentucky with Nathan and Lacie.

A favorite past time for Jim would be bowling, as he thoroughly enjoyed bowling in leagues, especially with his son, Tom.

~ ~

Today, we will hold calling hours for Grandpa...followed by his funeral tomorrow.  We will grieve, but also rejoice because we know we will be with him again. There will be tears, and laughter, and many many memories shared. A few of my fondest memories of Grandpa are:
His sense of adventure
His hearty laugh
His loving smile
The way he smelled of Old Spice cologne
His attendance at our sporting events
When he let me steer the car, while out on their paper route
Our many trips to Kentucky to visit my Great Grandma
The umpteen nights that we spent the night with him and Grandma
The time he and Grandma went with our family on vacation to Florida......
and the ocean wave that knocked him over....but didn't mess up his hair!
The funny way his cocked his hip out when he stood
boat rides on the lake
How he taught me to memorize my first scripture verses

.....but most importantly

His unwavering love for his grandchildren!!

I love you Grandpa!

July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

gauge flag


July 1, 2010

What does

The song "Wise Man/Foolish Man"
American Idol 
have in common?

A couple nights ago as Shawn was giving the kids their baths, they were singing "The wise man built his house upon the rock...." He asked Grace, "Why was the man foolish?" Grace replied "because his pants were on the ground!" Trying not to laugh, Shawn said "where did you hear that?" to which Grace replied "American Idol...remember when you let me stay up late and watch it?"

If you're not an American Idol fan, click HERE to see what she was referring to.

Hmmmm, guess no more American Idol for her! lol