A WICKED Birthday

On a WICKED birthday, why not start out with Chocolate Chip Pancakes? Emma is a wonderful artist, she loves to draw and paint. So....Emma created this edible piece of art by "painting" her pancakes red with strawberries. It is too cute to eat. Let's call it a FUNKADELIC pancake!
Celebrating Emma turning 9 wasn't WICKED but WONDERFUL! It started out with a gift from her mommy of a beautiful GREEN dress. She is so grown up and lovely with her cute sandals and gold handbag. The PINK bow is just a perfect touch. Emma is simply DEVINE-LICIOUS!
Emma's hair gets shorter and shorter. We LOVE this new-do! We can really see her sparkling eyes and beautiful smile. Emma looks like a Princess going to the theater. Well.....that is just what she did.
Emma and her mommy rode in their "carriage" to the Oriental Theater in Chicago. The excitement in their carriage was SMILE-LICIOUS for they were seeing the musical play WICKED. It is a pretty wonderful, crazy, mixed up story of two sister-witches who manage to get in heaps and leaps of trouble!
Emma already knew most of the music to WICKED by "heart," singing it every day. At summer camp she has a girlfriend who saw WICKED and loved it. They talk about it all the time. Emma says that her favorite song is called POPULAR. I bet she loves the way Galinda, the Witch "pops" her voice during the song, making it extra special.
Emma's favorite line in the play was, "Dear Mumsie and Popsicle." Mumsie and Popsicle are much more fun to say than mommy and daddy. Emma ordinarily loves monkeys but in this story she found them to be a little creepy. Emma confessed to singing (out loud) her favorite songs along with the actresses in the play. Can't blame her! After all maybe some day she will be an actress on the stage singing and dancing or perhaps she will be an artist painting in Paris. Emma can be anything that she wants to be. But for now it is fun being a Princess and going to plays spun with magic.
As you can see, Emma had a wonderful WICKED birthday, with souvenir catalogue, CD and a green monkey to remind her of this special occasion. Let's all sing Happy Birthday to Emma!
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What Do You Do With A Crab?

Two weeks ago at Ocean City, 12 large crabs were running 54.00. And now they are a premium 200.00 for a bushel. Well that is a lot to crab about, pardon the pun. A zillion years ago we lived in Reno, Nevada and those were the years when we believed in LARGE families. So in addition to our tribe of seven we added a variety of critters and animals as pets and science projects. We even inherited Shakespeare my parent’s Old English Sheep Dog that they didn’t want to take with them on a road trip. Excuse the diversion, back to our own pets: dogs, dogs, dogs, stray cats, goldfish, rats, guinea pigs and Hermit Crabs. Each and every one of these familiar pets had an unseemly totally unjustified death but none more innocent than Hermit and Crab. Some caring, pet-loving kid in our family decided that Hermit and Crab needed a little fresh air and exercise. After all a glass jar house, the beach it is not! Unnamed person took Hermit and Crab outside to relax on the grass and stretch their legs, hmm claws. Who would have known that this hallowed piece of grass would soon become their cemetery! Hermit and Crab skittered as only Hermit Crabs can do and promptly, yes, promptly fell down an unoccupied gopher hole. They were never seen again. Perhaps they dug their way to China! So what does one do with a crab?
Why buy a Crabbie sandbox, of course!
No more pinchy claws, no more steamy $200.00 a bushel prices, no more falling down unmanned gopher holes, no more guilt or angst. Just................
Pure unadulterated pleasure for little and big, young and old, friend or foe and just about anyone who wants to be a kid again.
We love Crabbie
Want to join in on the fun?
Come and Play with Us!
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Bonding Bruder to Sistah

Little Spirits slip and slide down the chute of life, spilling out upon the broad shoulders of Planet Earth. Like endless drops of rain, spirits spill pell-mell, tumbling everywhere. Is life random or predestined? One shimmering Spirit drops into the calloused brown hands of a woman living in squalor, a make-shift tent for shelter in the hot Sudan sun. With staccato quickness another Spirit slips quietly into the waiting arms of a Chinese couple who lost their only child in the devastating Sichuan, China earthquake. In Pakistan the newly born infant is lifted high above the head of the proud father, dressed in his best salwar kameez, who ritualistically drops the new baby into the upstretched arms of male family members. No mother is present. At this same moment, high in the red sandstone plateaus of America a gentle Spirit arrives at his earthily Native American home. He will quickly receive his totem, the Spirit of a particular animal that will protect this child on its long Earth-Journey. In Baltimore a street-wise, homeless 16 year old girl labors to birth a baby born addicted to her own addictions
. Magnificent Celestial Spirits dropped to Earth on this day to experience Mortality.
What does it mean to have a baby bruder? Fascination, wonder, curiosity, scary, change, restaint, sharing, touching, softness....
and the first budding wings of Love.
We will share this walk on Earth as a family. I will protect you.
This little Spirit slipped into our home, warmly welcomed and immediately cherished. All is well with our little part of the world.
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Delightful Bookend Days

These posts started with a family of three and we close with a family of four. Each of us are grateful for the birth of this beautiful son, Luke Hunter.
Lazy-dazy clouds fill the Charlotte horizon. Each day has a new story to tell if one just takes a moment to look UP. The sky is amazing. An artist's hand covers us from above.
The swimming pool is a short walk from Kayla's home. Each home has a true "front porch" where inviting chairs and tables sit in grace. There is always some person (s) simply sitting. Sitting, resting, relaxing and ready for casual stroll-by conversations, such is part of the southern charm.
Ready or not, the fast flying chute awaits the fate of Kayla and daddy.
Fast Flying Kayla
Grandpa was in on the fun. He and Kayla had their own "high jinks" on the chute.
Oops how did a grownup person land in the kiddies pool ? This really big person takes up too much room.
Kayla decided to water this strange looking aquatic plant!
Speaking of plants. This beautiful bouquet was left on the porch in honor of the arrival of Luke.
Meanwhile back at the wall, hmmm, house, Grammy was finishing up a little painting in Luke's new room. The pretty blue walls feature a menagerie of little critters like turtles, lions, giraffes and of course lady bugs for good luck
Kayla sleeps in a fairyland of wispy fairies and whimsical butterflies.
Hanging from the ceiling are more gosmer butterflies and sweet fairies, all swaying in the breeze.
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A Sparkling New Future!

Hunter and Kayla are waving a few celebration sparklers on the Fourth of July! and a little extra sparkle for Hunter/daddy as he starts his professional role as a dentist, extraordinaire!
A very nice red brick business sign welcomes all to his dental practice in Monroe, North Carolina. This is a more rural area, with beautiful trees surrounding the back of the building. Hunter has joined a practice with two older dentists. They were thrilled when Hunter accepted his offer to join the practice and have the future possibility of buying it.
The building is very spacious and easily accomodates three dentists. The practice is open four days a week. Imagine after ten years in school, Hunter will practice his profession four days, giving him lovely long weekends.
Hunter is very impressed with the office, co-workers and fellow dentists. From the first day he felt welcome and knew he had made a very good decision to join this particular practice.
The dentists are very generous with their time and talents sharing dental care at affordable or no cost for those who are needy, generous guarantees on work and generosity in other areas of the practice.
Hunter has excelled in his schooling, hospital residency and will do the same as a practicing dentist. A dream has certainly come true.
Monroe is a small southern town which finds some areas in decline and other areas in re-growth, prosperity, pride of ownership and small town ways of living.
We drove the streets of Monroe, which had quaint little stores standing shoulder height next to older, dilapidated businesses. There were several streets lined with Painted Ladies, fine Victorian styled homes painted in happy colors! This was one particular beauty!
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Our Mermaid Princess, Ella Paris turns Four

Ella Paris was born in Paris, which is a magical place to be born. As you can see she is a very charming, beguiling, Mermaid-Princess.
When a Magical Mermaid Princess has a birthday, she must have the most chocolatey of chocolate cakes, complete with star wands and pink fairies.
Ella Paris has three special little Mer-brothers in her family. They have just emerged from the swimming pool and are ready to share Ella Paris' chocolatey cake.
Mermaid Ella Paris has many land friends who joined her on her celebration day. This must be a very special birthday because there are so many pretty chocolate cakes and lots of fun presents.

Ella Paris' lolo (grandpa) is taking her for a ride to her favorite part of the lake. Do you think she will jump into the water and return to her mermaid friends in the Star Fish Castle?

My goodness, Mermaid Ella Paris is on another boat. Maybe this boat goes faster. She is waving good bye. She has had a marvelously wonderful fourth birthday.

Kayla's baby brother, Luke Hunter Gickling

My name is Kayla and I want you to meet my new baby brudder. I liked the name Luke the best, so mommy and daddy named baby brudder, Luke Hunter Gickling because I said too!
Being a Big Sister is a Very Important Job, so I decided I better inspect Luke if we were bringing him home. He has the longest fingernails ever, longer than mommy's fingernails. Daddy will clip them shorter. He has long fingers and toes.
Doesn't mommy look beautiful with baby Luke? I let Luke hold my Pink Bear so that he would know that I love him lots and lots.
I was given the very important job of pushing baby Luke's bed down to the nursery. Big Sisters help anyway that they can. Grammy and I went to the nursery and watched them weigh and measure Luke. He is BIG!!! 8 pounds is alot and 20.5 inches is even huge-er!
Mommy, Daddy and Grammy had another surprise for me. I have my very own baby brother to take care of. His name is Chase. And he has hair that is brown just like Luke. I have my very own pink diaper bag, bottle and diapers. And see the bracelet on my arm. The nurse gave it to me to wear when I am at the hospital. It matches Mommy's bracelet.
I discovered the spinning stool that the doctor sits on. Baby Chase loved being twirled around and around. Oops he fell down a couple of times, but he doesn't cry very loud.
Baby Brother looks like a little angel in one of my books. He smiled at me and opened his eyes. He is glad I am his sister, I can tell.
Daddy has been smiling all afternoon. Daddy will love Luke just like he loves me. Aren't I lucky to have such a nice daddy?
Grammy was smiling all afternoon, too. Maybe there is a secret I don't know about.
What I love most of all about my baby brother Luke are his teeny tiny hands and perfect little fingers. Do you want to hold him?
Well, I am tired after such an exciting day, so it is off to bed. Pink Bear and Baby Chase are tucked in bed with me and we are dreaming of our new baby. Tomorrow will be another adventure! Sweet Dreams!