Mrs. Snapping Turtle

Remember when I told you about our fun visitors, one being Mr. Snapping Turtle? I stand corrected. It was Mrs. Snapping Turtle.

Unfortunately, when we were weeding our garden and planting some flowers last night, we found the eggs (these are not actual eggs found).

Shane thought they were styrofoam balls .. almost look like ping pong balls. I said, "maybe they are eggs", right as Shane was cutting one in half because he thought it was styrofoam. And he said, "yep. It's an egg." We (I) almost cried. So we buried them all back. Then, when looking online to see if they really were snapping turtle eggs, we found out they were. And found out another sad tid bit. The eggs cannot be rotated, or the embryos die. :-( We have no idea how many were in there or how many rotated, but we feel so bad. I cannot stop thinking about it.

The baby turtles have a long waddle back to the ponds too, and from this site, it says they still stand a tough journey back.

Praying that all the eggs were rotated back to normal and that all the baby turtles make it to the ponds safely.


I Introduce You to My Nephew:

Via 3-D Sonogram!

Eeek!! So exciting! I can't wait!!

(Supposedly he is 6lbs 14oz already! Not due until August 25th!)

Fun Visitors!

We've been getting quite the visitors at our new house:

Mr. Snapping Turtle

Miss Humming Bird

So . . .this was from June maybe? And I had to brighten the picture up so you could actually see, but all those yellow dots are lightning bugs! The one night we looked out and it was like a Christmas light show. They were all up and down our back yard. It was crazy. Must have been mating night.

Lots of finches! We've had other birds too, but these are the prettiest!

Lots of hummingbirds! They are the coolest birds ever! (Ignore the nastiness at the top of the feeder. I finally found a bottle cleaner long enough from Wild Birds Unlimited so it's clean now.)

And we actually got another feeder that they can sit on (so they don't have to flap their little wings like crazy when they eat). It's so neat to see them just sitting. Will have to take some pictures of that too.

Some things we've learned about hummingbirds:
1) they are so pretty
2) they are soooooo tiny
3) they have this cute little chirp they do
4) they will actually get really close to you. they want their food. (we might attempt feeding from our hands one day.)
5) when they fly close to you, their wings flapping is such a loud buzzing noise
6) they are very territorial. if one hummingbird is feeding, another will come and chase it away.
7) don't use red food dye (it doesn't matter. clear attracts fine. and supposedly the red dye might cause brain tumors in them).
8) you don't have to boil your mixture (4 parts water, 1 part sugar)
9) they aren't as expensive to feed as the other birds, but i have to clean their feeders every week (at least). it's pretty nasty.
10) they are afraid of bumble bees (a bumble bee was challenging a humming bird to the feeder. bumble bee won.)

Hope you enjoyed meeting all our visitors too!


Relay 4 Life 2010

Friday, Shane and I walked in the Relay For Life at Fairview Highschool. We raised $280 for the American Cancer Society (thank you to all those who donated!!)!

Personally, I have had several family members that have struggled with cancer.

Great Grandma - breast cancer
Great Grandpa - lung cancer
Grandma Jean - throat cancer
Uncle Kevin - throat cancer
Uncle Don - melanoma
Uncle Chuck - leukemia
Aunt Sharon - breast cancer
Aunt Patty - breast cancer
Aunt Debbie - cervical/melanoma
Aunt Cindy - cervical

Here is what I sent them while I was at the Relay (along with the picture up top):
At the relay for life walking for you. Cancer is a terrible disease and I'm trying to help fight it and find a cure. Raised $280. Stay strong and keep fighting. I will too. Love you!

One day there will be a cure, but until then we will all continue to fight back!


Nephew Countdown!

This Sunday marks only ONE MONTH until my Nephew is due! So crazy.

I won't lie, the anticipation was a little more intense for Bryce (my niece) because she was the first one and because my brother-in-law and sister-in-law were trying for two years (where as nephew was right away), but I can guarantee you that I am still freaking out about it and so excited and cannot wait to meet him! I will be spoiling him and loving him just as much as I do Bryce.

But since I don't have any pictures of the little dude yet, here are some of Bryce and Mommy:


July 4th - Backyard Fireworks!

So when we moved into our neighborhood, our neighbor came over and introduced her and her husband as the "crazy neighbors that have the huge fireworks display". She wanted to let us know that if we wanted to have a July 4th party, they would be having fireworks. Now . . . with Shane's fam being from the area, we were aware of the fireworks. They are a pretty big deal, but having front row seats to it all was something we were KINDA excited about. Wish we could have planned a bigger party, but maybe next year!

They put up "NO PARKING" signs along the entire side of the road.

This was two hours before the fireworks actually went off. The entire road is lined with cars by show time!

We had a few people over (my parents, Behren, KC, her parents, and Sommer, Bry, & Bryce), so Shane made a kickin bonfire and we had some smores. I also had some fruit, philly chili cheese dip, crackers, and brownies out too.

Decided to bust out some sparklers before the big fireworks.

We had a lot of fun with them.

Maybe a little too much fun . . .

Here are some pics of the fireworks!

The fireworks lasted for 30 minutes! And there were some pretty big ones!

It was so nice to be able to see some fireworks this year since most of Erie cancelled theirs . . . and to be able to watch them from our backyard was even better.


Name This Bug . . . .

Can anyone tell me what THIS is?!



Chautauqua Lake - 4th of July!

We spent part of our 4th of July weekend in Chautauqua! Shane's mom and step-dad have an awesome lake house there. We drove up Friday night after work, and headed to Watermark for dinner on the lake. Then we took the boat back to the cottage.

Here is Bryce all bundled up. It was cold on the boat at night!

These were so fun! Jamaica Me Happy was my favorite.

Saturday we got up to go to the big parade they have. Here is Bryce & Aly waiting for more candy to be thrown.

When we were in Disney, they had these awesome bubble blowers that I wanted to get, but they were like $15 bucks and I didn't know how I'd get them on the plane with all the liquid laws.
But then when I was at Walgreens to get some cards, I found a bubble blower for $3! It was quite the hit!

Bryce decked out in her red, white, and blue for the parade!

After OD'ing on candy and getting way too much (and sweating profusely in the 90 degree sunny weather), we decided to head back to the cottage so we could get ready to go out on the lake.

We drove around for a bit on the big boat, then had a relaxing cruise in these boats.

Then we went for a little swim (it was still FREEZING in the water)! So we didn't stay in very long. It was a great weekend and we had so much fun! Next year we will have to stay for the fireworks on the lake!



Erie always has amazing sunsets. Here are just a few from our front yard:


Austin's T-Ball Game!

A while back my cousin Austin had his last T-Ball game, so we all headed out to support him!

So intense and into the game!

I'm not sure if other people do this too, but for some reason the tongue sticking out has been a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation. I remember my grandpa used to do it when he was working on things, as did my dad, my uncle, my cousins, and myself.

Here is where the coach said "that was the best I've seen you guys in the outfield! You were great!"

The family watching and cheering!

Yay! They won. So did the other team. Gotta love t-ball. Everyone hits the ball. Everyone runs. Everyone gets a trophy.

It really is so great to watch my cousins grow up. It's crazy how fast time flies. When I wake up tomorrow, he'll be playing in the major leagues!

Daddy's Birthday!

Sunday marked my daddy's 55th birthday. Am I allowed to write that?!

A fun collage I made him with pictures from when he was younger, some pictures of his other birthdays, and some pictures of all of us together.

For his birthday, my mom, dad, and Behren came over to our house to have some steaks on the grill, accompanied with some champagne (the cork flew like 5o feet in the air when it was opened), fresh fruit, potatoes, ranch cucumbers, and of course . . . cake!
I called my mom up a couple days before his birthday to see if she wanted me to order the cake or if she wanted to, and she said she already ordered it. . . I was kinda bummed because I REALLY wanted to get palm trees on his cake. I don't know why, I just did (he really likes warm weather). Turns out, when I asked what she got on it, she said "palm trees and a tropical theme"! Perfect. (She got the cake from International Bakery in case anyone was wondering).

So then, Behren helped my daddy open up all his presents.

And my daddy shared some of his gifts with Behren for all his hard work.

It is sooooooooo nice being home (and having our own house) and being able to celebrate all these special occasions with my family! One of these days (when I win the lottery . . . after I start playing the lottery), I'll be able to actually take my dad somewhere tropical for his birthday! Or heck, maybe we could all just live somewhere like that! I love you so much daddy!! :-)


Mommy and Me Quad! 12 Mile Bike Ride!

If you remember, my mom and I signed up to do the Highmark Quad. (See here for details of the quad). We completed the swim back in April, and had the 12 mile bike race on Saturday, July 10.

Don't let the sweet jersey fool you. I'm really not that good. GE wanted to support us and get more people involved at work by providing us with jerseys to wear at the race. They were pretty awesome. And it was so cool to see so many people from GE (in their jerseys) doing the bike race!

Here my mom and I just finished! I didn't want to make Shaney stay the entire race (it's not like the swim where he could watch us the entire time), so he got there right as we were walking over to the "thank goodness there is water and powerade tent". (Shane is how we got pictures of this event and I am so thankful to him for capturing these memories).

I stuck with my mommy the entire time, and she stuck with me. We were each others cheerleaders. And when this little 10 year old kid passed us for the fourth time, we just looked at each other and laughed, and it was just such a great mommy and me experience.

I just love her so much, and I am beyond proud of her for doing this with me. She is already so busy with work (going above & beyond), busy taking care of her mother who has Alzheimer's (feeding her and spending the night with her so they don't have to put her in a nursing home) , busy taking care of her mother-in-law who also has Alzheimer's, busy taking care of her hubby and doggy and kitty, and busy taking care of the neighborhood kids that she takes to playgrounds and cooks for. So for her to take more time to do this with me is just so great and so inspiring. Never have I met someone who spends so much of their time helping other people. I look up to her in so many ways, and I love her with all my heart.