a post before the new year

before 2009 passed us by i wanted to assure all of our blog readers, if there still are any, that we are still around and there is a wonderful explanation for the LONG silence in this online chronicle of our life.

first here are some glimpses into the past month or so...
a field trip to the pumpkin patch with wilhelm's school.
On our way to Baltimore for Thanksgiving we stopped in Pittsburgh, PA, and visited with our friend Shannon, a loyal blog reader, & enjoyed a downtown Spanish eatery.Thanksgiving dressing making in Baltimore with gran po. Wilhelm is getting the hang of it already.Having so much fun on the way there we stopped in Pittsburgh again on the way back and had the famous Primanti Bros. sandwich with Shannon, along with some quality, family pool time at our hotel.
Christmas Eve was incredibly exciting for Mr. Wilhelm Clarke. Since we are still hanging out in my parent's guest room we celebrated Christmas night at there house and instead of cookies left Santa bon bons (my mom was sick prior to Christmas so there was no time to bake fresh cookies, sorry Santa!).
Christmas morning was amazing this year. Santa brought Wilhelm a LARGE cardboard rocket that he can decorate himself and a remote control car. It was so joyful to see his excitement this holiday season. The only downfall, the masses of gifts that i now have to figure out something to do with!Our Christmas morning picture at Daddy Will and Gran's added another face this year, Ava Belle. And as usual this is the best snap shot we could capture with the cousins.

And lastly the explanation for the MAJOR break in blog post. Looking above you can guess, hopefully, what the news is (Alan typically doesn't lay hands on my stomach in pictures), we are expecting eargle #2. as i write today i'm about 4 1/2 months along, expecting an end of May delivery. the first few weeks/months were quite rough this time around with LOTS of sickness and i didn't feel like doing much of anything, except for what i had to do. the blog got a backseat to everything, but now we are in the upswing of the pregnancy and starting a new year so i'm re-energized. in the next few weeks there is a 3rd birthday, a trip to chicago, and of course finding out the gender of baby #2 on 01.07.10. Look forward to sharing with you our happenings. Before I loose the opportunity I had to post this. By far this is one of my favorite pics of 2009. Pictured is Nick the Gnome, the youngest son of our friends Joe & Jen in Chicago, on Halloween (no they don't regularly dress him like a garden decoration). He was woken from a nap to show off his costume and his mom snapped this beauty of a pic for everyones enjoyment. Thanks for the laugh Jen!

Here's wishing you and yours a bright 2010!


a look back at four years ago today

today alan and i celebrate our four year wedding anniversary. i truly knew from the first time i met him that he would have to put up with me for the rest of our lives. i'm so blessed to have such a loving husband who is not only the perfect partner in life, but a terrific father, person, and friend.


a day at the museum

If you live in Louisville, near Louisville, or ever visit Louisville, one attraction you have to take in is the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. Well I qualify for all of the above, and this past Saturday was my first visit to see the world's largest bat (please see picture above) and where the official bat of Major League Baseball is made.

For the past few months when I ask Wilhelm where he is going (if he is just aimlessly walking around or we're playing pretend) he'll respond by saying, "i'm going to work."

So I follow up with the questions, "What do you do?"

And he says, "Uh, I'm a baseball player. I hit the balls."

Therefore, Alan & I are convinced, or maybe praying, that he is the next child prodigy and will someday be in the major leagues himself. We thought since the Smithsonian was offering FREE admission to the museum Saturday it would be the ideal time to go, and continue to nurture the seed (dream) that has been planted in our offspring.
After picking Alan up from the airport, returning from The Great American Beer Festival, we headed downtown and hung out outside by the world's largest bat & took some pics. Alan's first father's day we gave him a book with bizarre national landmarks to take road trips to, this book included the Slugger bat. We've done a pitiful job taking pictures next to any of the featured landmarks during our travels, but i vowed (as i always do!) this is the start of something that we will do from this point forward!

The day included a short movie, factory tour and time in the museum.
This is Alan's amazing hand pointing to his childhood idol, Cal Ripken Jr., name on the museum's hall of fame wall of signatures. An absolutely legal thing to do.

Below is a picture i snapped in the factory, a slightly frowned upon thing to do, but i couldn't pass up the opportunity to capture something from the most interesting part of the day. This is where they store the pieces of wood & bats for major league players. From my hip i inconspicuously took this shot (which includes a Cubbie for all my Chicago friends). I tried to break the rules a few more times, at stations throughout the factory (it truly was neat.) but Alan informed me that he didn't want to get kicked off the tour. I'm still not convinced that they would have kicked me out, especially if i had summoned Wilhelm to cry, but i decided to keep the peace and put my camera away.*
*To clarify the tour guide stated that they didn't want pictures taken because they may distract the workers. At this location there were no workers, and that day there was just a skeleton crew working anyway.

After our tour this was Wilhelm's opportunity to show his stuff. He LOVED the batting cage. We are currently in planning for how to construct one of these in our house or at least somewhere on the property.By day's end he was exhausted and so were we. It was a terrific time had by all. Per Wilhelm, I think we are going to have to work on a baseball player costume for Halloween 2009. I'm just a mom trying to keep her little boy's dream alive!


a post of gianormous proportion

do bloggers get a summer break? whether they do or not, this one took quite a summer vacation from typing the happenings of life and instead stored up some photos to share of the last four months since i last posted.

one would think that after taking a blog vacation for the summer that i would take those energies and put them into finishing the renovations on our house, so we would finally be able to move out of my parent's guest room. that is a very nice thought, but the renovations continue! the reality is there is SOOOOOOO much to do and we have such little time to do the improvements ourselves, but we continue to chug ahead and hopefully by mid-October we'll be in part of the house (at least that is what i'm lead to believe today).
the end of last school year brought two graduations: Uncle Ben (alan's brother) from high school and Lily Grace from preschool.

when daddy's went out of town we had sleepovers.
and played LOTS of dress-up. i learned that my son needs a more versatile dress-up closet or more male cousins or sibilings.
the KY eargles joined LOTS of eargle's in knoxville, tn, for a family reunion on the lake. a fabulous time was had by all, late nights & lots of laughs. it was basically a big bunch of eargle awesomeness!
our niece ava belle is continuing to grow into a delightful little gal.
lily grace began kindergarten, along with her new glasses.
i took my first dip into baking for a LARGE event. a wedding at a horse farm in shelbyville, ky.
a beautiful day, that was amazingly exhausting with 10 dozen cupcakes (3 different kinds), 8 dozen bourbon balls, 5 dozen mini-derby pies and 12 dozen cookies (5 different kinds). i have another scheduled for october, and who knows what the future holds. hopefully better pictures of the product.
our wilhelm started a new school. much better than our last attempt. he absolutely enjoys each tuesday and thursday when he gets to go to his school.
recently we went to columbus, oh, to celebrate grandpa mccalla's 80th birthday and cousin carolyn's 60th birthday. it was a lovely weekend, which included the boys and i camping out in the backyard.
this is by far my favorite picture of the summer . it is a pic of us done by using my camera timer (never have done that before. i know not that difficult!) during one of our family movie nights.the eargle family blog is returning this fall with a new look and i can't wait to see what we get into! thanks for visiting and continue checking in on us.


loft moving weekend

starting today we are loading our loft in lexington and moving out! for those of you who know me well this is a blessing (it isn't the best atmosphere for a two year old and a stay at home mom). our tenants will move in next week, which will be our first venture into a life as landlords. more later on our eargle family's plans. until next time...


a tasty derby treat

this saturday marks the running of the 135th kentucky derby. in celebration a couple of my friends, radhika and priya, came over to make derby pies. hopefully it becomes a tradition for them to bake and share with others in years to come when they move away from the bluegrass state (i'm not rushing them away, but the truth is their time in ky is short because their husbands are only here doing cardiology fellowships at UK). since i was a little girl it has been one of my favorite desserts, who i am i joking i just love desserts! it also may be one you would like to add to your recipe box:

derby pie
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. self-rising flour
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 c. chopped pecans
  • 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
preheat oven for 350 degrees. combine ingredients in order given. mix well. spread in unbaked pie shell and bake for 35-40 minutes. let pie cool. cut and garnish with whipped cream and/or ice cream. enjoy!!!!hope it becomes one of your favorites too:-)


a welcome to our new niece

count it 1-2-3, three girls and counting for my brother and sister-in-law. ava belle palmer was born on wednesday, april 15 (a little earlier than expected), tax day!

we are so blessed to have our third niece here and look forward to when she is healthy enough to come home. congrats to justin and nicole on this new little darling & to lily grace and hannah kate for their new little sister.

a taste of eargle easter... better late than never

a week delayed here is a glimpse of easter with the eargle's, 2009.

wilhelm enjoyed a day of egg dyeing with his friend kiran and her mom, priya. it was a chore to keep the two from breaking too many eggs, but their technique still produced some vibrant easter eggs to enjoy.the night before easter we stayed at daddy will and gran's house. it was very important to wilhelm to leave the easter bunny some goodies. from start to finish the entire note to "rabbit," was dictated by wilhelm per momma (i think it was a ploy for him to have a few bits of cheese before dinner).after easter service at church on sunday we snapped some pictures of the kids in their "sunday best."and now for an amazing picture (and why alan can never deny wilhelm). as i was packing boxes to move (more on that later, just moving out of loft not to another state) i stumbled upon these easter pictures of a little alan clarke. scary!!!!


a self starter

for months now wilhelm has shown interest in using the potty. his initiative is quite encouraging to me and i'm optimistic that he will be a quick learner when we seriously start potty training in about a month. i'm going to take the next month to pray that the entire process goes smoothly and that my little guy will be excited to go sans diaper & say hello to BIG boy underwear.

it is hard to resist capturing his enthusiasm when he has a successful trip to the bathroom. i spared you the deposit into the potty and only included the grin of my little self starter. his momma is so proud!


a 60th birthday celebration for mom

friday, february 20th marked my mom's birthday. this year it wasn't just any birthday, it was her 60th celebration of her birth into this world. and my family wasn't letting it pass by without doing something to celebrate!

now my mom is a special lady all-around. she is an amazing wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. a person that always puts others before herself, incredibly generous with her time & money, and loves living her life for the Lord. simply she is someone i aspire to be like, in those ways, and am super lucky to be able to call her my mom. its hard to think that anything is good enough for what she deserves, but because my mom is who she is, she finds joy in everything others do for her. one other characteristic of my mom, is she is SUPER easy to pull a surprise on, and that is where her 60th birthday story begins.

along with 23 other family members and friends, i gathered at the Old Stone Inn Restaurant in Simpsonville, KY, awaiting the 6:30 arrival of my dad and mom at dinner. upon arrival they were escorted to the room where everyone was waiting to yell, "Happy Birthday." they were greeted with that sentiment and serenaded with the lyrics of the famous birthday song. needless to say my mom was taken aback and overwhelmed surprise. i think she described it by saying she was, "weak in the knees."our dinner was tasty and topped off with the three cakes that i made: carrot, apple, and devil's food. mom did a fabulous job blowing out her candles with the help of my niece lily grace.the night is one that i feel like she will remember for quite some time. here is a shot of my parents and some of their closest friends. unfortunately i was unable to get a picture of my mom & her brother, sister in law, her niece, melissa, and melissa's family before they had to travel back home two hours or so.this is a picture from the night that i couldn't pass up posting. it is my hunk of a husband posing for the camera. doesn't he just make you smile or possibly he makes you wonder just what he is thinking.anyway, happy 60th birthday mom! you are loved more than you'll ever know.


a valentine's celebration in chicago, and some visiting

the boys and i returned home sunday from a visit to chicago. we hadn't made it back to our old home city since august so we thought it was time to pay it a visit. from wednesday to sunday we enjoyed the greater chicagoland area (mainly geneva & west chicago) by spending time with great friends and indulging in regional foods.

our first half of the trip was spent with frank and lyndsey nicodem. they are our dear friends from christ community church in IL. i feel horrible, but i have no pictures of them to show. especially since lyndsey is expecting their first child this summer and her belly is expanding. i'm sure that we will have pictures in the future to share of them and the precious baby!

while in geneva i was able to catch up with some girlfriends from our old neighborhood. we all use to do a playgroup together with our ever expanding gang of children. it was nice to have a momma's night out to a movie and for drinks.

wilhelm and i also met up with another mom & son combo, our friends elisabeth and simon. its always a delight to see them, even if it is for a short time. unfortunately they will more than likely not be around for our next visit since they are preparing to move to little rock, arkansas. so sad for us, but excited for them and their new journey. (i took a few pictures of the boys, but none of them were good enough to post.)
our last few days were spent with the riconosciuto family: joe, jen, jack & nick. as usual the boys had a enjoyable time playing with each other and it was so wonderful to catch up with joe & jen. on friday night we went out for a dinner at one of our favorite eateries in geneva, FoxFire, and joe's sister robyn watched the boys. we celebrated valentines day by having a family fun night with two other couples & their children. it was delightful, with delicious food and 7 boys under the age of 4 there for the evening.a fabulous time for five days. hopefully the next time we visit the weather is a bit warmer!
****apologizes for the sideways pictures. for some reason blogger put them in this way.****