December 31, 2014

No More TV

Here's a reminder why I shouldn't let the kids watch TV!

December 25, 2014

Stella's Kitchenette

Christmas was good to our babies this year. Porter received a remote control car that he has been desiring for quite some time now, and Stella received a kitchenette that her Mommy has been desiring for her to have since before she was born! Check out the footage below:

December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve Stroll

Although it's a little wet outside, the temperature is in the 50's here in Orrville. We figured we couldn't pass up a chance to get outside and enjoy a Christmas Eve stroll through the neighborhood.

Wagon Ride through the Neighborhood

December 23, 2014

How Lovely Are Your Branches

Here's our beloved Christmas tree that has seen many years with the Stephen Clan:

Our Christmas Tree

December 22, 2014

Daddy to Ourselves

It's always a treat when we get to visit Daddy at his work and have lunch as a family. However, it's even better when can skip the work part and just have Daddy at home. We're looking forward to Wednesday when we will have him all to ourselves for 12 days in a row!

Visiting Daddy at Work

Check out the video below:

December 21, 2014

Living Room Wall Art

We have lots of house projects we're hoping to complete over our winter break, which will officially begin this Wednesday, December 24th. We bought our paint over the weekend, and we're excited to update the walls in our master bedroom and downstairs bathrooms.

Porter's Wall Art

We also got a paint sample for our living room in a dark olive green color. After putting the sample up on the wall, we decided quickly that this was not the color for us. However, Brian thought it would be a GREAT idea for Porter to use this paint for his very own living room wall art. I can't say that I was behind this idea (at all), but Porter's little alien guy is pretty darn cute!

December 20, 2014

Porter's Gingerbread House

Porter had a great time building and decorating this gingerbread house.

Frosting Galore

He started out being very conservative with the frosting, but as he was putting on the finishing touches, the creamy, sugary goodness overwhelmed him and he went WiLd!

December 19, 2014

Dish Soap Princess

After covering herself and the coffee table with dish soap (that she knows she is not allowed to get into), Stella made a visit to the Naughty Chair and then the bathtub. Now looking back on this, I realize that putting Stella in the tub was probably the worst idea ever. I really need to find a consequence that Stella doesn't love more than anything else in this world!

December 14, 2014

Cleveland Botanical Gardens in December

Today, we had a wonderful visit at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. We enjoyed our time there so much, that we actually became members! We're looking forward to many more visits in the future.

In the Desert at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens

December 13, 2014

Reading To, With, and Over Daddy

Stella loves to read with Daddy! Well, Stella loves to read her very own book to Daddy while he reads a different book to her. It's a very interesting arrangement that they have going!

December 11, 2014

Keeping Mommy Company

Here's Stella keeping me company in bed when I was under the weather:

Stella Bella

She really is a wonderful companion!

December 10, 2014

Listening to Christmas Carols

At Porter's preschool, they held a Journey to Bethlehem event where the children could learn more about the birth of Christ Jesus. It was a very nice celebration, and both Porter and Stella enjoyed themselves immensely. Before our "journey" began, we were blessed to hear Christmas carols by the Trinity United Methodist Church choir. Here are the babies cuddling with their Daddy and listening to the lovely songs:

December 7, 2014

Ornaments for Christmas

This afternoon, the kids made glitter ornaments to pass out to our neighbors and friends for Christmas. Their creations turned out to be quite beautiful!

Porter & Stella's Ornaments

By the time Porter and Stella were done making their ornaments, they were covered in glitter from head to toe! Actually, not only were they covered, so was their momma... and the kitchen table... and the kitchen floor... and the bath tub... and the poor dog!

November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

From our house to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

Porter & Stella Thanksgiving 2014
The elements used in this digital scrapbook creation can be found in Megan Mullen's "Fragrance of Fall" design kit.

November 26, 2014

Brian's Movember Facial Hair

Brian has participated in Movember for a few years now. Although I do think it's a great cause, I'm always counting the day until the first of December!

Daddy and His Babies

November 23, 2014

Stella's Museum Experience

While at our visit at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Stella especially enjoyed the exhibits where she could listen to audio through a phone-like device. Being on the phone seems to be a real interest for her. Heaven help us as she grows older! 

Stella Listening

Check out the video below:

The Dinosaur Museum

Porter has been asking to go up to what he calls the "dinosaur museum" for the last several days now. So we drove up to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for a fun-filled afternoon. He loved seeing all of the exhibits and displays.

Porter at the Perkins Wildlife Center

Also, with today's warmer temperature, we had the chance to walk through the outdoor Perkins Wildlife Center section of the museum. We got to see bobcats, foxes, some sleeping otters, a few different types of owls, and a bald eagle. However, Porter might have enjoyed this stone bear the best though. This kid!

Stella's Toe Jam

No explanation required. The title says it all.

November 18, 2014

Brian's True Love

To say that Brian LOVES fires is an understatement. Below, you can see him standing with a cord of wood that was just delivered by Barberton Tree Service. This is after he had already received at least a cord from my dad. I guess now that we have 3 fireplaces (which is probably the main reason why we bought the house that we did), we need wood to burn!

Brian's Cord of Wood

November 16, 2014

Decorating the Evergreens

We have 4 beautiful evergreens in our yard that have been demanding to be decorated for Christmas. In the cold, Daddy and Porter went to work on hanging bright green, red, and silver bulbs from these lovely conifers. 

Porter Holding a Christmas Bulb

With snowflakes falling, Daddy also added Christmas lights to all of the shrubs in our front yard today. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Daddy & Porter on the Ladder

Check out the video below:

November 13, 2014

Stella's Selfie

On Friday of last week, all of the contacts in my iPhone were erased. We're still in hot pursuit of the culprit, but enough evidence has been collected to strongly indicate one party in particular.

Stella's Selfie

November 11, 2014

Back in the Leaves

When Daddy got home from work, the kids were immediately back in the leaf piles. They just can't get enough!

These Kids LOVE Leaves

Fall is such a fantastic season, and I would know (being named Autumn and all).

Before the Weather Turns

Today is gorgeous! Before the weather turns blistering cold tomorrow, we wanted to get as much time outside as we could. Here are the babies playing in the leaves:


Also, the kids had a blast racing around in their Plasma Cars:

November 9, 2014

A Weekend in Lancaster County

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a conference in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The conference was wonderful, and I am so glad that I went (even though the drive solo was daunting).

1777 Americana Inn in Lancaster County

Also, while I was there, I had the luxury of staying two nights at the 1777 Americana Inn, a delightful bed & breakfast in the community of Ephrata. It was spectacular!

October 29, 2014

Stella's Ponytail

Check out the video below of Stella and her ponytail (around the 2:30 mark is when things get adorably hilarious):

October 26, 2014

Baby Rapunzel

Since Tangled is one of our all-time favorite family movies, we thought it would be fun for baby Stella to dress up as Rapunzel for Trick-or-Trunk. She was just as darling as she could be!

Rapunzel Stella

The Red-Headed R2-D2

Here's our little, red-headed R2-D2 getting ready for today's Trunk-or-Treat extravaganza held at the Orrville Christian Church.

R2-D2 Porter

Daddy even bought the full Star Wars series earlier this week so Porter could "fully connect" with his astro droid character. Of course, this was totally for Porter's benefit and had nothing to do with Brian wanting this collection for himself for the last several years now!

October 22, 2014

Presents in the Mail

Porter and Stella got some pretty awesome presents in the mail today! Check out the video below to see how these two little rascals got spoiled rotten (yet again) by their Great Aunt Darleen and Uncle Len:

October 19, 2014

Feeling at Home

It's hard to believe that we've been living in our home for over a month now. Although our to-do list is still lengthy, we're feeling more and more at home each day. We really do love this house!

Our Orrville Home

Our Cornfield Neighbor

Here's my good-looking family next to our neighbor, the cornfield:

My Loves

October 18, 2014

Porter's Bedroom Revealed

Check out the video below of Porter's "nearly" complete bedroom:

October 16, 2014

The Traveling Piano

When I was a young girl living in Portage Lakes, this piano sat in my bedroom. From there, it moved with my family to Munroe Falls where it has been residing for almost 20 years. Now, it has moved to our forever home in Orrville where it is loved on daily by my two little rascals. I am so happy that this piano was able to be passed on to our next generation, and it brings me delight to see it be once again used and enjoyed.

Stella on the Clavinova Piano

Here's Stella getting her jam on with the Clavinova!

October 13, 2014

Made for the Outdoors

This boy was made to be outdoors! He just loves to ride his bike up and down the driveway, dig in the dirt, climb trees, find worms, step on stink bugs, and even pick up sticks. We are so happy to now have a yard that is free from traffic and safe for our kids to play in and enjoy!

Porter Outside

Pesky Bushes

Those pesky bushes can't stop Stella from getting where she wants to go!

October 9, 2014

Mower Joyride

With this beautiful and sunny afternoon, Daddy took Stella on a mower joyride. She loved every minute of it!

Daddy & Stella on the Mower

Grandparents Day

Today was Grandparents Day at Porter's Preschool, and his Grandpa came all the way down from Akron to read him a few stories. Porter was over the moon!

Porter & Parker at Grandparents Day

October 4, 2014

The Day a Cow Got Loose in Our Basement

The title basically sums it all up. Check out the video below:

October 2, 2014

Porter's Preschool Pics

Porter's preschool pictures came back today, and they're great! Here's my new fridge magnet that I just adore:

Porter's Preschool Pic

September 30, 2014

One Room Down

Stella's room is the first one to be complete at our new house in Orrville! Check out the video below for not only a tour of her bedroom, but also 5 minutes of jam-packed cuteness!

September 23, 2014

Stella's Extra Accessory

Stella found Porter's underwear drawer today!

September 21, 2014

The Basement Floor: Before & After

When we got the keys to our new house, our very first line of business was to refinish the basement floor. Here in the Orrville/Wooster area, radon is a known concern. Although we do have a radon mitigation system that was previously installed in the house, due to the fact that there were cracks in the concrete of the floor, we felt we really needed to do something in order to protect our kids from harm. Here's the before video of our basement floor:



After two weeks and more work than we had ever anticipated, the basement floor is complete, and it is gorgeous! Check out the after video:

September 20, 2014

New Neighborhood Bike Ride

On this beautiful Saturday afternoon, Daddy and the kids enjoyed their very first bike ride in our new neighborhood.

Bike Riding Babies

September 19, 2014

Our First House in Orrville

Today, we turned in the keys to our first house in Orrville. Although we're very excited to get settled into our new home, we do have a great deal of love and appreciation for the rental on Elm Street. God supplied us with this house in a rather miraculous way, and it has been very good to us over the course of this last year. Here's a look back at the house where we began our time in the community of Orrville:

September 16, 2014

Moving Is Tough

Who knew moving from one house in Orrville to another would be so challenging? These last couple of weeks have been a little rough for us all.

The Rough Life of Porter & Stella

After searching for several days, I finally uncovered the camera. I'm hoping to post a few pics of the new house this weekend.

September 6, 2014

Video Tour of the New House

Below is a video tour of our new house!

Let the Moving Process Begin

We got the keys to our new house last night! Yay! Now that the moving process begin.

First Load to the New House

This morning, we made the first load in my Uncle Len's truck (which he was kind enough to bring to us all the way from Youngstown). We have the best family!

Uncle Len's Truck ROCKS

September 3, 2014

Stella's Bicycle Seat

Look what came from Amazon today!

Amazon Delivers Stella

Actually, the picture below shows what really came in the box from Amazon. Stella can now hitch a ride on Daddy's bike whenever she wants... as soon as we get her a helmet!

Stella's New Bicycle Seat

Check out the video below of Stella's first ride around the block on her new bicycle seat:

Brian's Dexcom

Brian's Dexcom came in the mail today! We've been waiting for this bad boy for awhile now.

Brian's Continuous Glucose Monitoring Device

If you don't know what a Dexcom is or why it is such an incredible device, THANK THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY. Type 1 diabetes is a rather unpleasant disease.

September 1, 2014

Porter's Paintings on Display

Here are a few of Porter's paintings we have proudly on display that were made while he was at preschool:

Porter's Masterpieces

August 25, 2014

Well-Coordinated Guys

Porter's first day of Pre-K was a success! His teacher said he did a great job and was very polite. Phew! To celebrate the start of a strong academic career, we had lunch with Daddy at his work. Look at these well-coordinated guys!

Daddy & Porter in Grape Jelly Shirts

Porter's First Day of Pre-K

We just dropped Porter off for his first day of Pre-K. He was so excited to get into his classroom and meet his new friends. There were no tears... not even by Mommy! I am looking forward to hearing his thoughts on the whole experience when I pick him up. I am sure he will have A LOT to say!

Backpacking with Porter

August 24, 2014

Pushing Porter

Check out this video of Stella pushing Porter on the baby bike:

August 22, 2014

Friday Lunch with Daddy

It's always a treat when we get to spend lunchtime with Daddy.

Daddy at Work

August 21, 2014

Porter the Pre-K Student

Porter will set off on a new adventure starting Monday. He will officially be a Pre-K student at Trinity Christian Preschool & Child Care Center! We are so excited for him... and a little sad that he's growing up so fast.

Porter at Preschool Open House

This evening, we had the opportunity to attend open house at the preschool and meet his teacher, Mrs. Hunter. As an early childhood educator myself, I can already tell that Mrs. Hunter is the real deal. I am so thankful that Porter hit the teacher jackpot and will be a student in her classroom!

Stinkers

Oh, these two! They keep me on my toes ALL. DAY. LONG.

Stinker Porter & Stinker Stellars

August 18, 2014

Stella's Radio Flyer

Stella is bound and determined to figure out this whole bike-riding thing her brother seems to enjoy so much. I bet in a couple more weeks, she will have it down!

Stella on Her Baby Bike

Check out the video below:

August 15, 2014

Officially Closed

What a morning! We have officially signed all 112-pages of closing paperwork on our new home in Orrville. We're now 30 days from the big move, and we couldn't be more excited!

Daddy & Baby

August 14, 2014

Campus Family Day

This evening, we had the opportunity to visit Daddy's workplace in celebration of Campus Family Day. While we were there, we got to tour the ever-expanding Smucker campus while also enjoying lots of delicious food.

Daddy and His Rascals

The food and tours were great, but I liked the 35% employee discount offered at the Smucker Company Store & Cafe the best. I finally bought the crock I have had my eyes on for the last year!

August 12, 2014

Our 18-Month Baby Girl

Stella's 18-month well visit took place today at her pediatrician's office in Wooster. She is now 2 feet and 7.3 inches tall (34th percentile), weighs 21 pounds and 13.2 ounces (39th percentile), and has a head circumference of 46 centimeters (43rd percentile).  Dr. Russell says Stella is growing and developing beautifully.

Stella (and Porter) at the Doctor's Office

August 10, 2014

Riding the Lodi Outlets Train

Check out the video below of our little family riding the Lodi Outlets train:

August 9, 2014

Sailor Dress Stella

I think Stella looks so lovely in her new sailor dress from Grandma Bev:

Stella's New Sailor Dress

August 7, 2014

Being Bad in Plaid

Here are my boys looking good but being bad in plaid!

My Boys in Plaid

Fully Engaged

This afternoon, our landlord wanted to come over and take pictures of the house we are currently renting so it can go up for sale in the next couple of weeks. In order to keep everything in perfect order before the pictures were taken, I let the kids watch Peg + Cat on the Kindle (which is a real treat for these poor, deprived kids who don't get to watch shows very often). As you can see from the picture below, they were fully engaged!

Porter & Stella on the Kindle

Stella's New Threads

Here's our happy baby rocking some new threads from Carter's. It feels like she is growing so fast; she is now in size 18-month clothing!

Happy Baby Stella

Check out the video below of Stella spotting a familiar face on the LCD screen. Around the 45 second mark is the best.

August 2, 2014

Our Day in Pittsburgh

What a day! This morning, we headed to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for a few adventures. Our first stop was to Ross Park Mall where we explored the closest L.L. Bean store to Orrville. We bought Porter his very first backpack which will come in handy at the end of this month when he begins preschool. After our time at the mall, we then journeyed to the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. The kids had a blast! There are so many exciting exhibits to enjoy, but Porter and Stella definitely liked the Waterplay section the best (as you can see in the photos posted below). 

Porter at Waterplay

For our third and final stop, we headed to one of my favorite places in the whole world, IKEA. Of course, I went in to buy just a few items and left with way more than I intended. I just love that place.

Stella at Waterplay

All in all, we spent over 5 hours in the car today. When we pulled into our driveway, we were all relieved and exhausted. I think the kids... and their parents... will sleep well tonight!