About Me

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Just another stay at home mom trying to do it all, save the world, and not run out of coffee.
My published articles: exm.nr/gkA1yp
Twitter: @CarolBruckmann

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloweening it up

Friday night Jamie worked the A.L. Brown football game to make extra money and support our grocery habit. (Plus he just wanted to watch the game and likes wanding people.) The Town of Harrisburg canceled the Halloween party because of the threat of inclement weather, so my goddaughter, the kids, and I headed to a nearby nature center for Creepy Crawly night. We petted a snake, gingerly held millipedes (praying Elijah wouldn't crush one), and looked at all kinds of other insects and arachnids. Outside in the dark there was a Native American storyteller at a campfire. After the stories the kids were able to roast marshmallows on sticks. Caitlyn gave me hers, and it tasted very outdoorsy. We were both spitting it out, and I was contemplating just how dirty that stick could have been when she said, "I think I dropped my marshmallow on the ground." Mmmmm.... dirt smores.

Here are the kiddos dancing with the cool frog.

Saturday we hit up a Fall Festival at my friend Rebecca Ann's church. There were bounce houses, games, and easy candy to be had. At the end of the festival night people were literally shoving it into our buckets. For some reason Elijah was petrified of the little train ride, so I had to walk around in the middle of the track holding his hand. Meanwhile Jamie and Rebecca Ann ate funnel cake. Then Sunday we spent a tiny bit of time at the Concord air show until Caitlyn refused to obey and leave a bounce house, so we bounced on home!

Still determined to get my money's worth out of the overpriced Rapunzel costume, we met Jamie in downtown Concord on Halloween to trick or treat at the businesses there. The kids were super excited to see McGruff the crime dog and Eddie the Eagle from the NRA. That night we went trick or treating in the neighborhood with Caitlyn's friend who also happened to be Rapunzel. We even ran into Santa who apparently had a day off due to the economy and whatnot. Needless to say we have enough candy to fill several stockings hidden in the closet, and the best part is the kids still aren't old enough to know which candy is the good kind. MWAHAHAHAHA!

You can see more Halloween pictures by clicking here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Searching for the Great Pumpkin

For some reason there were only two families able to go "pumpkin picking" from our home-school group. Nevertheless we had a great time at Patterson Farm and did every activity a large group would do. I was concerned about Elijah running amok during the tour, so inspired by his love for apples I let him pick out the biggest apple from the country store before we started. He carried the giant produce around the whole day, eliciting much attention from the employees. Only when he was able to choose a pumpkin of relatively the same size did he relinquish his fruit. The only downside to our almost private tour was not having enough weight ti keep the tractor ride from bouncing us all around. The kids played for hours in the play area, enjoying the corn bin, duck racing, playing on the pirate ship, and racing miniature John Deere tractors. Elijah was slightly traumatized when a goat nibbled him and when he got hopelessly lost in what was basically a square corn "maze" (see video).

The pumpkins made awesome pumpkin bread! We love Patterson Farms!

You can see more pictures from the day by clicking here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


We have a friend at church who owns a company that makes signs and banners. Sometimes corporations will barter tickets to their events with him to get a better deal. Sometimes he takes the deal even when he doesn't want the tickets, although he does want the business. Sometimes he gives us the tickets he didn't want in the first place. That is how we ended up at Tweetsie Railroad.

The kids absolutely loved the day. Their favorite part was the train ride complete with a staged gun battle. We rode it twice, and Elijah was not at all afraid of the gun play. In fact ever since he keeps repeating "Gun. Bang-bang! Train. Choo-choo!" (Apparently we didn't need a speech therapist, we needed an amusement park.) The actors clearly ad-lib, and my cousin later informed me that they were likely all overbeveraged, which would explain a lot.

I, however, needed a Valium. I have a mortal fear of my children plunging to their death, so the chair lift up the mountain was a bit much. Jamie and Caitlyn went first, and Elijah and I followed. You are basically unsecured on that thing! Halfway up I started to relax and pull out my camera to document my calmness. Elijah started wildly grabbing for my camera and freaking out! Thankfully my talon like grip saved him from certain destruction. (The two of us took the bus back down.)

When I checked the weather report I neglected to factor in wind, but despite almost freezing we closed the park down. Caitlyn drove a car and accelerated right when Jamie stood up to take this picture of Elijah and me. Somehow he managed to not fall out of the car!

Beginning to feel that we might cheat death after all, I elected to allow Elijah to ride with Jamie on the Ferris Wheel of Doom and treat Caitlyn to a ride with me. The boys got on first, and the operator really messed with the wheel a lot, unloading passengers and saying "I've gotta balance this thing out." Gritting my teeth I waved calmly every time the boys whizzed by. Just before we were to get on the wheel lurched in the opposite direction. Nevertheless we got on as soon as the operator regained control. At this point we were the only four on the ride, and I sternly instructed Caitlyn that we do not move on the ride as the seat would flip. I did allow her to wave over her head to the boys when they would be behind us - mostly to prevent her from yelling at them when they were in front of us and causing Jamie to drop Elijah. I was most fearful when two maintenance men joined the operator and overheard him tell them, "Yeah, a minute ago that thing was just a 'flappin!" My mind screamed, "WHAT WAS A'FLAPPIN'?" But I remained calm as we managed to exit the ride without the entire wheel rolling down the mountain.

Yes, I might just end up a cool mom after all. You can see more pictures from the day by clicking here.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Busy Days

There's a perception from the outside world that stay at home moms have tons of time on their hands. I suppose if I wanted to take a nap in the middle of the day I could turn on Nick Jr. and give Elijah the candy jar, but that doesn't really happen. Now that Caitlyn is at the age where Saturday sports also take up a weeknight for practice things are really crazy! Thankfully Daddy handles soccer while I handle Elijah.

After today's game we hit the Town of Harrisburg Fall Festival. The lines were long, but the music was jumpin'. Caitlyn knocked the girl into the dunking booth on her first throw, and we think softball might be a better choice than soccer! She also tried to climb the rock wall. It was hardly worth the wait, so of course Jamie and I hyped up her two foot climb to make it more exciting. The best part was that the kids fell asleep on the way home!

Sunday's conversation with Elijah:
Me: Did you have fun at church?
Elijah: (blank stare)
Me: Did you learn about Jesus?
Elijah: (blank stare)
Me: Did you learn about the Bible?
Elijah: (blank stare) "Nack."
Me: Did you have a snack?
Elijah: (nods excitedly and starts dancing) CRACKA!!!!!

I am pretty sure he was referring to the type of snack and not my pale skin. I love these conversations!

You can see more October pics by clicking here (same link as last blog).

Friday, October 7, 2011

Home is where the heart is

I’m beginning to feel it in my heart. I feel…thin. Sort of stretched, like…butter scraped over too much bread. I need a holiday. A very long holiday. 
- Bilbo Baggins, from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring

They say home is where the heart is, but my heart is always pulled to where I am not. When I am home I long to be with my family who live out of town. When I go out of town I think of all I need to do at home. As my dad has battled cancer for more than two years I been acutely aware of the shortness of life on this earth and the importance of spending time with my parents. I am blessed to have three grandparents still, but I can't spend as much time with them and be as helpful as I would like - especially with my Grandma's hip replacement and Parkinson's Diagnosis. And with two time consuming small children when I do visit someone I bring most of my work with me! I'm heading into that "sandwich generation" and sometimes I wonder which piece of the sandwich to butter.

But I am so thankful for the busyness of life and all my dear family. I'm thankful that my husband lets me spend his money and my time to bring the kids up for a few days with my parents or grandparents here and there. My children adore them, and nothing brings me more joy than seeing their faces light up when my kids entertain.

Yes, life is busy, there isn't enough of me to go around, but I wouldn't wish for any other life.

To see more October pics click here.

Shalom Seekers