Sunday, November 24, 2013


  Monny is now 13. Over the summer, his voice cracked, squeaked and then got really low. He now sounds like a man and those who have not seen him in awhile are taken by surprise when he talks to them.

 Monny is a simple child. He likes video games and TV. He will sit and look at books, but considers reading to be 'schoolwork'. If told to go outside to play, he will generally be found collecting small insects from under rocks and then feeding them to our 'resident spiders.' Evidently there is something very fascinating about picking a small bug up with tweezers and tossing the helpless creature into a web where its predator eagerly awaits to wrap it up and suck its guts out! I have never personally participated, but Monny seems to find hours of enjoyment in the activity. He is our resident nature 'expert'. Watching nature and science documentaries will produce random facts that spew freely from his mouth at the most unusual times. But he knows his stuff so you gotta respect the kid!

  There is one other activity that really makes him smile and it is probably the most precious to watch. Monny adores the little guy we babysit and the feeling is mutual. If Monny is around, the rest of us pale in comparison. When the little guy arrives in the morning, his face lights up when Monny walks into the room. Since Monny and Jah'mere did not grow up with little ones around, like our older kids did, we were not exactly sure how they would do if they needed to make adjustments to accommodate a baby. Turns out, there was no reason to fear. They will do anything for him. Make his lunch, change their TV show to Sesame Street, clean up his toys, give him the world and all their attention..whatever he wants! Watching this 18 month old for the past 10 months, has taught the boys about being unselfish and about the reward of baby hugs and smiles.

  When asked about future plans, Monny has said he'd like to be a pilot. He has recently expressed an interest in gymnastics and playing the drums. One of our goals is to help him develop some new interests to help use his time more wisely. We are currently looking into gymnastics and have considered the drums. Monny would also do well with a pet and would benefit from the unconditional love and dependence of one as well. That is still being discussed.

  Finally, although Monny was 7 years old before I ever heard him initiate an "I love you, Mom", he is now my most affectionate child and comes to me for a hug first thing each morning. Monny is a lover and not much of a fighter. A little more attitude has set in with the teenage hormones. But for the most part, he is an easy going kid who just wants to hang out do anything but school!

Morning hug

Teaching his little buddy about all things nature


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Making Up (Time) is Hard to Do

I have been extremely negligent in blogging. Who knows? Maybe by now everyone has given up on reading any more posts and it won't matter that it's been 5 months since I last wrote. But since I keep this as a somewhat personal journal, I am going to proceed anyway! Much has happened since I last posted. To try to sum it all up in one post would make for a VERY long read. Therefore, I am going to break it up into several smaller posts, highlighting each family member. Since the youngest one in a large family often feels overlooked, I think I'll start with Jah'mere. Jah'mere is now 11 years old,in 5th grade and still homeschools. He enjoys crafts, legos, computer games and being with people. He is a gentle and sensitive young man who loves the old and young alike. Jah'mere's idea of the perfect day would be to eat at a different restaurant for every meal, with stops for snacks in between, and to spend the day with all of his family and friends. He values family time and as the youngest of a busy family of older siblings, finds family time much too rare. Jah'mere enjoys playing with our neighbor children whenever he possibly can. He thoroughly enjoys helping with the little guy we babysit and is learning quickly how busy a toddler can be! Recently, Jah'mere helped to assemble a couple of scrapbooks from old magazines and photo albums. He is looking forward to delivering them to a nearby nursing home and taking a few minutes to visit with the residents while he's there. On December 16th, he is hoping to test for his yellow belt in karate. A wonderful woman in Mount Joy holds a free karate class each Monday at a local rec center. Since spring, Jah'mere has been attending her class, albeit not every week, and he is finally ready to take his first test. Although initially a little bored with class, he has begun to take more of an interest as his abilities are growing. I'm honestly not sure which he is looking more forward to, passing his belt test, or the Christmas party they are having afterwards! Another of Jah'mere's favorite hobbies is baking. He has become quite the brownie maker in our home. He enjoys helping me in the kitchen and does a good job measuring and mixing ingredients! Last week for Veteran's Day we baked cookies to share with some of our favorite Vets. Jah'mere took great pleasure in rolling and cutting each of the cookies to get them ready to bake. He is a talker and a people pleaser. He has stories to tell and they are NEVER void of detail. He loves to sing..and sing...and sing. Give him a topic, he will compose a song! Reading and math are two of his LEAST favorite things to do. However, he loves to be read to and this year we are getting to do more of that. And there you have it...A Mere in a nutshell.

Picking apples

Holding the little guy we babysit, while working on schoolwork

Mere and Maw-Maw on a Ocean City, Md's boardwalk
(for those who may wonder, I did try to type in paragraphs, but it wouldn't save that way!)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I'm Baaaaack!!!

    I have saved all of my posts from the past 4 years and have decided to return to my original blog. It's easier..I'll leave it at that.
  So, here I am again. I'm back and will be posting more pictures soon!!

                                                         Here's a preview...

Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 12 2012 Highlights (In no particular order!)

12) Shawn FINALLY got a pickup truck-something he's been wanting/ needing for a long time

11) Jordon graduated from Art Institute of York with honors and a 3.72 GPA. He applied and interviewed for several jobs. He continues to work at Darrenkamp's and will work a temp job at Donnelly for 4-5 months in 2013. 

10) Jarrod became a licensed driver, when he passed his test in February.

9) Jada attended REACH workcamp for the first time. Jarrod also attended again this year and had the challenge of being an older brother, watching his younger sister spread her "social butterfly wings".

8)Fall brought football back in full force with Jarrod playing at the Varsity level and Monny playing "B" squad in the midget league. Donegal High School ended their season 9-2. Monny learned a lot about football, made new friends and enjoyed consulting with his  big brother at games and practice. His favorite part: having Jarrod take him home after practice ('cause they would always stop at Sheetz for drinks!)

7) Jah'mere attended a week long Drama Camp at CBC in Marietta. Although he missed 2 days, due to illness, he had a great time learning, making friends and performing on the last day.

6) Shawn and Jarrod attended their first Penn State game

5) 6/7 th's of our family began worshiping with The Refuge Community Church ( a church plant of our previous church- Living Water). Jordon continues to attend and help to lead worship at Bainbridge Church of God!

4) We were blessed to enjoy several family getaways this year: a weekend trip to  Rehoboth Beach and day trip to NYC (just the 7 of us), a weekend to Ocean City, Md. (Shawn and Nita), camping at Pinchot with Shawn's brother and family and a day trip to Blue Marsh and 4 day stay at Camp Hebron with Nita's family

3) Shawn and Jordon both got their first tattoos at the Hot Rod and Tattoo Convention near Philly!

2) Our family met an amazing group of people at Isaiah 61 ministries ( We have had the privilege  of serving alongside them several times each month, since February.

1) Jada was asked to audition for a performance/ competition dance team @ E-dance center. She made the team and is practicing, as an alternate, 5 hrs. a week on top of her normal 3 hours of tap and hip-hop practice.