Saturday, December 27, 2008


"Children will not trouble you long. They grow up- nothing on earth grows so fast as children. It was but yesterday and that lad was playing with tops, a bouyant boy. He is a man and gone now. There is no more childhood for him or for us. Life has claimed him. When a beginning is made, it is like a raveling stocking: stitch by stitch gives way til all are gone.
The house has not a child in it-there is no more noise in the hall- boys rushing in pell mell; it is very orderly now. There are no more skates or sleds, bats, balls or strings left scattered about. Things are neat enough now. There is no delay for sleepy folks; there is no longer any task, before you lie down, of looking after anybody and tucking up the bed clothes.
There are no disputes to settle, nobody to get off to school, no complaint, no opportunities for impossible things, no rip to mend, no finger to tie up, no faces to wash or collars to be arranged.
There never was such peace in the house! It would sound like music to have some feet to clatter down the front stairs! Oh, for some children's noise! What used to ail us that we were hushing their loud laugh, checking their noisy frolic, and reproving their slamming and banging of the doors? We wish our neighbors would only lend us an urchin or two to make a little noise in the premises.
A home without children. It can be like a lantern and no candle, a garden and no flowers, a vine and no grapes, a brook and no gurgling and gushing in its channel. We want to be tired, to be vexed, to be run over, to hear children at work with all of its varieties."
T.L. Haines, and L.W. Yaggy, The Royal Path of Life: Aims and Aids to success and Happiness, Eastern Publishing House, Philadelphia, PA, 1882

Friday, December 19, 2008

Another Susan

I have a growing collection of Susans. Susans are just lovely and useful friends. I already posted Miss Sue, there's my stylish and Southwest-fixated sister-in-law Susan, my California-grown froo-friend Susan, Susan of Narnia, and I could just go on and on, but today meet my friend Susan a.k.a. Suzy homemaker.

Gingerbread biscotti and homemade marshmallows.

I'm not kidding.

She is priceless, authentic and completely unedited. Last week at our MOPS Christmas Party, hosted at our home, she was making strong anti- fake fruit and flower statements and I could hardly contain myself as she dug herself in deeper and deeper, sitting just feet from my 2-foot tall pillar of fake-as-they-come cranberries. Not to mention a monsterous silk flower arrangement next to that. There was no recovering when we pointed them out to her. "Oh, I don't mind them in other peoples' houses, just not in mine!" She didn't say what she thought of my all-natural white Christmas tree in the dining room.

Susan puts all of us to shame with her organic everything, her from-scratch recipes and professional cake decorating. The Italian Mother in her is spoiling her beautiful boys for their future wives, no doubt. She is a great cyber-friend, too, discovering the most beautiful blogs for me to check out. One of these days she will start one of her own and put Martha out of business!
What makes everything she does so beautiful is that it is all laced with 100% pure affection.
I love you, Susan! SO glad you came into my little world!

Susan with the thrifted plastic Christmas arrangements that I bought just to decorate her MOPS table this week. She probably broke out in hives from contacting them and will mix up a homeopathic remedy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Lily Blessings

Miss Lily Grace was born on Friday and our prayers for time with her have been granted! Go to to hear her life story.


The last two weeks have been extraordinarily full, which is sayin' somethin' around here. Thus the bloggy lull. At times like these I get pretty whiney, leaving The Banker at a loss. Today after church he told me that what I needed was to go by myself to Longwood Gardens and have a meal in their yummy restaurant. He was almost exactly right, just forgetting that there are few things which I like to do all alone.
So I grabbed one of my favorite sons; the one I hardly get to see these days because of his basketball talents. (He won the game for his team recently, by the way. One of those last minute, all-net shots where the entire gym holds its breath with anticipation.) Anyway, he dutifully went along and even let me hold his arm from time to time, practicing in case I ever get to be the eccentric old lady that I am in training to become.

We listened to separate music on the way, but the company was great.
My Music. One of the very few Christmas songs I like.

His Music. I like it too, makes me run faster in the morning.

We ate THIS. Chester County Mushroom Soup.

We saw THIS.


I took THESE along, but never did read them. Reading is over-rated anyway.

We posed HERE. Such a nice boy.

We shopped HERE on the way home.

The boy honestly thought this hairband was a fancy sleep mask.
So now I've got my color fix and we're ready to face another week of Christmas prep. Hope to catch up on the bloggy lull right away.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Extreme Makeover

We girls had a great morning of serious treatment at the beauty shop on the morning of The Ball, and boy did we give them some RAW material to work with. They are some serious professionals.


Eyeliner is no longer optional... I'm just sayin'.

Everyone Should Have A Miss Sue

Sue is one of our very favorite people. She has the biggest heart for children and our kids' childhoods have been punctuated by regular and special events initiated by Sue. For about ten years now she has coordinated our Kids' Klub at church and has faithfully taught our kiddoes on a weekly basis since the time that our teenagers were kindergarteners. She is the kind of "back-up" that every parent should pray for. Our kids know that they can go to Sue at anytime and they will find a caring friend who gives wise advice and is so much fun to boot. She has executed the most spectacular parties which are the highlights of many a child's social calendar.

Sue and her sweet sister

She is a superhero- hauling busloads of rambunctious kids to camp each spring, planning service projects, and dressing up as just about anything if it will delight the kids and entice them to listen to her Bible story or memorize just one more verse. It is the highest honor to receive the weekly "Secret Seat" award and choose a prize from Miss Sue's box.

Oh, and did I mention that the girl can bake? Oh yes she can. When S. asked her to help with The Ball by baking her custom iced sugar cookies, it was Sue to the rescue once again.

Now these aren't just any sugar cookies. Sue makes each one by hand over the course of several days; first cutting and baking them, then piping the edges, then filling and glittering. She created TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY glass slipper cookies for the Father-Daughter Ball in honor of her own Daddy, who passed away at a young age.

Thank you, Miss Sue for all that you are to us!


After much delay; a Target Photo disaster, a virus throughout The Pink Victorian, and all important Thanksgiving preparations, we will FINALLY resume our regularly scheduled blogging. First matter of business: another installment in the Cinderella Ball recap.

I'll let the pictures say it all. In a few days the dozens of photo cd's ordered by Ball-goers will be shipped out. Our trusty photographers snapped thousands of beautiful pictures and editing the selection down to a mere few hundred was not easy!

Thank you Diane, Valarie, Allison, and Walter for blessing us with your eye for beauty!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Fairy-Tale Evening

It is going to require multiple posts to even begin to tell the story of The Cinderella Ball this past Saturday evening, and we are still recovering from the bliss of it all, but for far away friends who have been patiently waiting for a peek at the princesses and their daddies, here are just a few snapshots and stories. As beautiful as the girls were, their escorts' obvious love for each outshined all of the sparkle and glitter...

Tiny princesses, some of whom had never met before the Ball, spontaneously joined hands and twirled around the dance floor in a ring.

Older girls practiced their dancing with Dads who sang along with the music, or even shed a tear or two.

Every Cinderella had her own Prince Charming whose aim was to make a dream come true that evening.

A fabulous uncle outbid everyone to win his princess the American Girl Doll "Kit"!

A splendid grandpa escorted two grand-daughters and danced with both at once all evening. Their grandma had made their beautiful gowns just for the ball. How loved are they?!

In all, 220 guests were in attendance!

The Cinderella Ball was an evening to remember, and by God's grace the $3900 raised will be used through Shaohannah's Hope to place some lonely little one in a forever-family of their own, where they will experience the very kind of fatherly love that filled a ballroom...

Once upon a time on November 15th, 2008.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Of Course It Is

Just heard on the news that November 15th, the date of the Cinderella Ball, is
National Adoption Day. We had no idea. In fact, National Adoption Day is traditionally celebrated on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, but was changed for just this one year in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the death of President Kennedy. And for The Cinderella Ball, perhaps?. All we can do is smile at the undeniable fact that this whole endeavor is so much bigger than our feeble human efforts could ever hope to imagine! It did not even occur to S. to ask that National Adoption Day be rescheduled for this little event.
It puts us in mind of that great verse in Ephesians,"Now to Him who is able to do immeasureably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us,to Him be the glory...."
Oh, Let it be.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Forest of Cones

We fear that our friends may start to avoid us, but they did offer to help with the Ball in whatever way, so this is what they get....lost in a forest of paper cones. We thank these dear ones for enduring jammed staplers and sticky fingers in the creation of 200 paper cones for the candy bar. The girls are just going to love these!

Another big "THANK YOU" goes to Holly and Chris of who have so generously donated a collection of their adorable hairbows for the silent auction. They are so good at what they do. See for yourself! Their creations have been sold worldwide because any good do is enhanced by a great bow!

We will also auction 2 sets of Whimsy Wee Folks, soon to be available at .Let the Christmas shopping begin!

The Song That Started It All- Practice Your Dancing!

Shoes? Check.

2 Days To Go!!

About 100 princesses are fine tuning their wardrobe selections and making hair plans and accessorizing.
Everyone has been so resourceful...dresses have been found at Goodwill and Nordstrom and everywhere in between. Some have been swapped between friends or lovingly made. So many sweet stories of God's provision for even these relatively insignificant things.
In a world gone mad, how precious that this many men are taking an evening to make absolutely certain that their girls know that they are loved, loved, loved.
The Banker has in the past accused me of being dramatic...but we both know he likes my ways..Anyway, last night I commented that this event is something that S. and the others will talk about after we are gone. No pressure, but it has the potential to be that significant.

So if you are a Cindy Ball dad reading this, while she fusses over clothes, shoes and hair, think about what kinds of words that you could say that would outfit her for a lifetime of security and well being. In the whirlwind of schedules, take this Saturday evening to commemorate that she is loved unconditionally and everlastingly. She can never hear it enough. Go ahead and say it again. Recite for her all of your observations of her inner beauty. You set the bar for any other man who might lay claim to her heart. Make sure she knows she has a Heavenly Father who loves her even more than you do. And spin her around the dance floor, because soon the clock will strike midnight and she will be grown!
No pressure, and
drama has its purposes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Special Delivery

Three very special Ball guests were just dropped off at the house- American Girl Doll Kit and the AG Bitty Twins. An anonymous donor has lovingly given them to be bid upon at the silent auciton table. The funds raised by them will be used to provide a way home for some living dolls through Shaohannah's Hope, by God's grace.

Dear friends Charlotte and Jonna are putting their non-profit expertise to work for S. at the ball by running the silent auction table. Among other things, a vintage Longaberger basket signed by Dave Longaberger will be up for bid as well as jewelry, gift baskets, and experiences.
Got a great auction item you would like to donate? Call ASAP and let us know!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


The Banker upon finding one of our gentlemen eating applesauce by hand in front of the open refrigerator door:
"Son! You don't eat like that! That's how pigs eat!... (realization sets in)... Well, okay, that's how they would eat if they had refrigerators." A moment of discipline dissolves into laughter.

Later that same day; The Banker to our youngest cherub during an unexpected scary commercial:
"M., close your eyes and look at me!". How to obey and not delay with that mixed message? More laughter, but at least the commercial was forgotten!

Oh help us!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Sea of Humanity

Our MOPS group is growing beautifully and this week's steering committee meeting was definitely photo-worthy!

I don't believe any of the moms sat for more than 5 minutes at a given time and the innate radar surveillance of the various rooms in Kym's house would rival the Pentagon's abilities! While the itinerary of the meeting unfolded, people were fed, wiped, comforted, disciplined, lost, found, dressed and undressed. Mom Power!

While Moms strategized in the dining room, little girls danced in the kitchen, others played in the bedrooms and the swing set was in full swing!

Our chapter of MOPS began in September and we now have 32 moms registered, with about 45 of their offspring enrolled in Moppets. Fun Times!
Funny, but I don't think this is anything like the scene at The Banker's board meetings. Oh what very different worlds we live in! So thankful for God's grace and good chemistry!

Cinderella Spotlight III

Our multi-talented friend Valarie is going to be one of the photographers at the Cinderella Ball. Along with the photos snapped by our other skilled shutterbugs, hers will be put on CD for ball-goers to order for their own use, with proceeds going to Shaohannah's Hope. That way the mamas of all of our Cinderellas can get a peek at all of the fun that was had!
Val sings, sews, snaps, decorates, is cute as a button, and her Christian faith just oozes from everything she does. Thank you Val for sharing your energy to capture these memories for our families!

Cinderella Spotlight II

10 Days To The Cinderella Ball!
Early on in the evolution of the planning of the Ball, S. thought that white and earthtone pumpkins would be the ideal centerpiece for each table, but could not rationalize them in the budget or imagine how to transport them to The Grand Ballroom.
That disappointment was completely unknown to our friends Roy and Sherry at Gaventa Farm when they called Monday morning and asked if she might be interested in some of the pumpkins from their bumper crop, and yes, Roy could truck them up to the venue on the evening of the ball. Unreal!
So on Monday afternoon we drove out to the field to pick out the 50-plus pumpkins that will adorn each table, the candy bar and silent auction tables. Lovely!Thank you Roy and Sherry for helping to make a dream-come-true! Your offer was heaven-sent!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Birthday Shout Out

This birthday shout-out goes to our Kansas buddies Carri and Brian.
They are great with child, anticipating a birth day of their own in less than a week. A bunch of us were invited to celebrate Kym's b-day with takeouts after church and wanted to take an opportunity to remind them that we care.
Brian and Carri, we want y'all to know that your Jersey friends are thinking of you and praying for a joyful delivery. Can't wait to hear all about that little one!

Todd and Holly with sympathy shoulder pain.

PS- Carri: Had a rushed morning...not exactly Texas hair! How do they keep up with it?!