Friday, February 27, 2009

Baby Cradle project

Today, we made a cradle with the daycare kiddos. It was super easy and a lot of fun!
We followed the plans found at

I estimate that the overall cost was $15.00. This cradle is STURDY! This is not plastic piece of junk that will break in 5 days leaving you out 40 bucks.

Adan cut out the wood and sanded, and the kids and I assembled it. The kids ranged in age from 3 to 11 and all had a great time.

My limits

As our homestudy draws to a close and the reality of adoption looms closer, I begin to wonder what my limits are. I would absolutely love a big ole family. Of course big ole family brings different numbers to mind for different people. What can I handle? 5? 6? 10 kids? I wish i knew what the future held. I want to start planning for it!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Old Friends

Last week when I went grocery shopping I accidentally got a case of cup of soup instead of ramen noodles. My husband was a bit perturbed because he likes ramen for lunch but we all got over it. As i was eating a cup of soup for lunch one day, I flashed back to jr. high and high school, when I practically lived at my best friend's hours and we would eat cup of soup for after school snacks. We became instant best friends when we entered 7th grade. I was 12. Our lives have taken on different directions since high school. I moved away, got married and had 3 children before she got married. Somehow we have managed to maintain contact even through I have lived in 5 states and 2 countries over the intervening 13 years. We aren't nearly as close as we were during high school when we were dubbed "attached at the hip". But there are times that I miss her. I ache for the bond that we used to have.

My soup memory brought on that feeling of missing her. I have not seen my friend in over a year. I haven't spoken or emailed her since I lost contact with her a few months after when I moved to KY early last year. I finally broke down and contacted an character from my past, who works with her. Yesterday we spent the day emailing back and forth. It's always nice to talk to her. It seems that no matter how long it is since we talked last, I am always comfortable with her, and her with me. It's as if we haven't seen each other since yesterday :) If I can dig up an old photo of us, I will post it!

Hopefully we will be able to institute a girls weekend once a year. That way, no matter where in the world I am, or how far apart we live, we can still connect in person at least once a year.

Picture Catch up!

Here are some pictures of the ice storm we had, and of our ghetto sledding attempt.

So after the ice storm, we saw a hill, and we saw that kids were sledding on it. So we grabbed a couple of trash bags and went over to sled. Who ever told you that you could slid down icy snowy hills on trash bags lied! then we tried the lid to my rubber maid tubs.. also a no-go. We finally gave up, although we did do some cool hill surfing on the way home.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lemony Snicket

Lemony Snicket... Oh, Lemony... you have left me with so many more questions than I had when I started. All my synapses are firing and you have left me so unsatisfied.

Who is Beatrice? Is she the orphans mother? Are you their father or their mother's long lost love? Why were you kidnapped as an infant? Who killed Olaf's parents? Who started the Baudelaire fire? What is the question mark? What happened to the Quagmires? Who was Ishmael? Is there history between Kit and Olaf? What is Mr. Poe's past? What is so important about the dang sugar bowl? Why did Beatrice steal it from Esme? How is Esme related to everyone else?

I am afraid this is going to have me preoccupied for quite a while. Where are the cliff notes??

Adan may be going to jail

When we first got married, he shot me in the butt with a bb gun. It hurt really really bad. I am going to write an essay about it and turn it over to my children's teachers, like THIS kid did.

My poor birthday boy :(

today was Alex's birthday party, on his birthday! How often does that happen? My poor son was sick yesterday, with a fever of 103.5. We dosed him with motrin and his fever would come down, especially after cool showers. Poor dude was miserable. Today we decided we would just have to cancel the party. He was so sad and crestfallen that we decided if he was feeling better right before the party we would go. So we went. And probably infected the whole bowling alley including our 12 party guests with strep and/or the flu. Yeah I suck. He was fine during the party, but once it was over, he just crashed. I ended up taking him to the ER. Thank goodness Adan was working, as he got us right in. (Which makes me feel bad for those "regular" people who have to wait to go to the ER. I suppose there are *some* perks to having a husband who works craptastic hours in the ER) He has been diagnosed with the flu and possibly early strep. boo hiss for being sick on your birthday. On a good note, he is pleased with his presents. He got 2 gift cards, a spider man with a sticky web thing, a venom with a long tongue, a nerf gun and from us a soccer ball and a goal net. yeah baby!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Our very first meeting

On Sunday, my second baby turns 8. He has his own ideas, and thoughts, and marches to his very own drummer.

That's him in my profile pic, approx. 6 years ago.

A few minutes ago, he walked up to me as I was talking to Adan, and said, "Mom, guess what?"


"Chicken Butt!"

He did not even crack a grin. :D

The following was written in 2002 when he was about 18 months old.

The First Meeting

We sit in the dark watching bright images jump out at us from the television. He snuggles deep into the space created by my hip and the arm of the couch. His fleece sleeper is soft against my skin and I can smell the Johnson's shampoo from his bath. As I rub the stubbly hair of his shaved head, it's hard to remember how it all started. (Of Course I remember the very beginning- I mean our first meeting!)

We walked AJ to the neighbor's house and I climbed into the car. We had everything prepared- clothes for both of us, diapers and a book to read, and Lire (this was before the Euro) in the ashtray for the tolls. We drove up to the tollbooth.

"Cinquecento Lire."

We handed over the Lire and drove through Soave's medieval city walls. I remember peering through the thick February darkness searching for the tiny sign that signaled the alley to the hospital. In between breaths I waddled up the steps and onto the elevator. Nurses clad in white greeted us.

"Buone notte."

As if in a dream, I climbed up on the table and the nurse examined my progress. While under the electrodes, She asked a series of unknown and indistinguishable questions.

"Dove in tensione?"
"Dove eravate sopportate?"
"Avete altri bambini?"
"Quanto anni avete?"

I answered to the best of my abilities and with our contrived sign language, she communicated to me that I was not progressing. Exhausted and frustrated, I left the room and walked out to the covered bridge between the buildings. I looked out the wall of windows. The sight took my breath away- Soave castle- surrounded by medieval walls and towers, back lit, stood out to me in the darkness.

I stood on the bridge, admiring my amazing surroundings. A nurse hustled by carrying two bags, and running behind her was a very pregnant woman, her breath puffing out her cheeks in her struggle to keep up. A few minutes later, the nurse returned and escorted me to my room. My room contained 2 narrow beds with a window on the far wall. I opened the window and leaned out over the crown moldings. I could still see the beautiful view of the castle beyond the trees.

My husband and I lay down on the narrow beds and tried to sleep. Despite the excitement we drifted off to sleep to the sound of the frogs croaking in the stream below our window. A few hours later I awoke to severe pain in my abdomen. I knew it was finally time.

I woke Adan up and we again waddled down the long corridor covered with pictures of babies. Again I climbed up on the table and was examined. This time the nurse gave me an encouraging smile. She escorted me down the hallway and into a dark room.

Through the haze of pain I thought I had walked into a B-rated hospital horror movie. The room had green ceramic tile on the floor, walls and ceiling. The only light in the room shone down upon a reclined chair in the center of the room. Gleaming stainless steel legs and stir-ups rose from the seat. At least 4 people stood around in the room, dressed in green scrubs and facemasks, conversing in low Italian tones.

I climbed onto the chair. The light blinded my eyes. One of the green clad figures put up some handrails on the sides of my chair. Then, pain, all around me and in me, filling my ears and blinding my eyes. In the background I could hear many voices, shouting.


I tried to understand, but the pain in my ears kept the Italian words from being translated. Moments later it was over. One of the green clad figures handed me the prize, my son, and we had our first meeting. I allowed a nurse to take him and clean him and weigh him and do all those necessary trifles. He was returned to me and we walked to the recovery room.

I held him as he drifted off to sleep. Adan and I counted his fingers and toes. He was all there. Our Alexander David.

Sitting in the dark with him now, I sigh with love. I know this peaceful moment will not last. In five minutes, I will have to put him to bed and we will start another round of our battles. He will snuggle into his bed, and trick me into thinking he will go quietly, just like he has done since that February morning in Italy. No matter how much he fusses, and how much I complain about his fussing, in 20 years, I will think back with tears in my eyes, to the bedtime battles we used to have, just like I look back at our first meeting now.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Glorious Day!

Today, we had rain showers in the AM and rain showers in the PM but we had a couple hours of glorious cloud-free sunshine in between. As Lucy and I sat in the car, waiting to pick the boys up from school, I drew Lucy's attention to the beautiful weather outside the car. She exclaimed, "I know! I could kiss the world!"

I think we need some sunshine.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Backyard Bird Watching for Babies

Okay maybe not just for babies. Everyone can enjoy backyard bird watching. Even cats! I built some nifty little bird feeders for our yard. Easy and inexpensive to boot!

Sorry, pics are dark and slightly blurry.. camera is on it's way out!!

NOTE! In the second picture, a black capped chickadee is present. In the third, a tufted titmouse.

First, head over to Lowe's or your neighborhood home improvement store. Pick up a 10' length of 3/4 diameter copper pipe. Ask the friendly associates to chop it into 3 roughly equal pieces. Pick up 3 end caps in the appropriate diameter. Get some copper tube glue. Mine was named Goop. Next head over to your local dollar store and grab 3 small plastic plates and 3 small bowls. The bowls will sit on the plates so you want to make sure there will be room around the bowls. Think tea cup and saucer.

Very simply, glue the bottom of the plate to the top of the end cap. Glue the bottom of the bowl to the top of the plate. Let dry. Mine took 48 hours to dry. Go stab the copper pipe into your grass. Top with end cap-plate-bowl. Fill with bird seed and sit back and enjoy your feathered friends!

I also recommend that you purchase a bird guide. We picked up 3 different ones at our local barnes and noble book store. I really love the book that is categorized by color. It is simple enough that even my children and day care children can search for the birds we see at the feeder. We have put the feeders right in front of the window, and put 2 little chairs for easy window watching. We even found a few sets of children's binoculars for those times when you need a close up look!

Lucy can name several birds by sight. Her favorite birds are the black eyed juncos. The juncos don't eat from the bird feeders; they eat from ground under the bird feeders. She makes sure to spread out bird seed all over the lawn when she feeds the birds!

No more Soda

So today is day 2 of no more soda. Yes, I have done this before, but this time it will stick! I found this interesting blog post about reasons to ditch the crack.. Reasons not to drink soda

The sugar cravings have already kicked in. Last night I ate the last 7 of my mini peanut butter cups. I gobbled them down like they were hot dogs at a competitive eating competition. Scary.

Monday, February 16, 2009

In the world, but not OF the world

*warning* Huge generalizations below. I know some very nice people who follow the ideals below. I am not personally attacking anyone... Just exploring my thoughts on the issues.

2 weeks ago at church, the pastor made the comment that we are supposed to be IN this world but not OF the world. He made the point that if we are not IN the world, we will not be able to carry out the Great Commission of telling others about the love of Jesus. This has been stuck in my head these last two weeks. In my online endeavors, and in my natural tendencies toward loving the off-grid, (hippy stuff, Adan would say) I have come across many, many people who are Christian, and secluded. I find that many in this sub sect are quiverful and homeschooling. Many who don't associate with anyone outside church families, or like minded families.

I think quiverful is a good thing, but I have questions. So if you are a quiverful family, you believe that God will "give" you children. These families generally rely on God for family planning and don't use any form of birth control. They believe that God will bless you with children if you are meant to have them or not bless you if you aren't.

My questions are these: How does adoption fit into this plan? Does trusting God for you children mean you should not adopt? Does it mean that the advance planning of doing a homestudy is wrong? Does completeing a homestudy mean you don't trust God, are not faithful? What about women who are infertile? Does this mean I should not have any more children? I have always felt very judged by this school of thought. Apparently, I am not worthy of more children if my body can not produce them.

I also think homeschooling is a good thing. I don't think it is right or perfect for every family though. I would love to homeschool, but I believe that i must let my husband make the final decisions for our family. He has good points and reasons, and it boils down to us not homeschooling at this time in our lives.

It always feels like this growing group of christians are so about being super mom and wife. It feels like if you aren't a long skirt wearing, long haired, head covering, cooking from scratch, cloth diapering, food preserving, homeschooling, sewing all the family's clothes, crazy person, then you just aren't good enough. I think any movement that makes others feel so unworthy can't be all good. Jesus wanted us to love our neighbors, not condemn them because they wear their hair shoulder length or choose to eat at McDonald's twice a month.

It seems that some of the people I know that are in this group are so secluded. They won't participate in any activities that include people who don't believe the same way they do. Now, I understand wanting to connect with like minded individuals. It is like the air after the rain to be able to talk to people who don't think you are weird and who don't question you every move. This doesn't mean i should foresake EVERYONE that doesn't share my same ideals. How can I fulfill the great commission if everyone I know is a cookie cutter image of myself. How can I be the hands and feet of God, if I never step out of my comfort zone, If i never get may hands dirty?

I have been wondering for a long time how I can help and make a difference in this community. I have decided that I am going to go to the red cross and try and start an operation school bell type of program here for this post. I will keep you all updated.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Alex showing off his Valentine's Day Miracle Chip. He bit the chip and the remains were in the shape of a heart. Although, it could be a Valentine's Day Nightmare as 2 minutes later it broke, down the middle. A Valentine's day broken heart.

Glorious Ride

Yesterday Lucy and I rode bikes to school. It isn't too far, only a little more than a half of a mile. Lucy sits on her trail-a-bike and we both pedal. It is good training for me because the route is a bit hilly, and she weighs 63 dang pounds. I haven't quite gotten the hang of my computer, so i am not sure how many miles per hour i was going, but I got up to 18 km per hour.. roughly 9 miles per hour. After I dropped Lucy off, i rode on up to the FCC office and passed out my hourly care survey. I hung out for a bit and then rode home.

All together it was about 3 miles.

I did discover that one should never wear pants with loose ankles, because the gears will catch the pants and either a)pull you off your bike as the gear rotates or b) rip a big ass hole in the ankle of your favorite sweats. Sometimes both.

The ride was chilly and calm and wonderful. It felt so vulnerable to be sitting on my bike in the left turn lane of a big street. To feel cars whizzing by me and around me. I think that road biking is a good way to support cancer. Cancer leaves you very vulnerable. You are dependent on your doctors and help from others, and you have no way to know what the disease will do to your body. In road biking, you are also dependent on the bigger and badder vehicles to make way for you, but you really can't stop them should they decide to make you road pizza. Yeah, i know not at all the same.. Cancer - deadly disease, biking - fun sport. I guess the ride made me philosophical.

I came home from my ride and had like 2 hours to myself. It was so peaceful here and I had a good personal devotional time. I wish every day could be like that!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Losing weight!

So I have had a number of excuses about why I could not work out. First I had a cold, and then the elliptical was broken, and then we did not have the chart that shows you how to use the free motion gym for various muscle groups. You get the idea. It basically boils down to me not working out at all. the only thing I have done is ride my bike.. if you want to call me struggling around the block while my 7 yo rides circles around me and cackles, exercising. For giggles i hopped on the scale this morning, and low and behold, I am down 3 lbs! Go not exercising!! I know that i will really be able to pull the weight off my frame once i get moving! New motivation!!

Hand me down felonies!

I saw this link on another blog, The View From Here, and thought it was highly amusing. I wonder if freecycle is going to have stop? Read Mom Felonies

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Valentines Day Cake

This cake rocks.. if i had the energy, I would so make this! Click on pic for step by step tutorial!

The box and the chocolates are made from cake!!

Knitted Shag Rag Rug

I am knitting a shaggy raggy rug for the day care quiet area. It is a huge stash buster. I am using up old knit cotton fabric from the "fabric closet" and some mystery content brown yarn as a base. I plan to update with pictures as I progress.

The pattern is really easy. I believe the finished product will be approx. 36" wide, but will update with true dimensions when done.

Size 8 long needles (I am using 2 circular needles because they are longer.
strips of knit fabric 1" wide, 3" long. Stretch can go either way, but i am using the stretch along the length.

To knit in fabric strips, lay a strip in between your needles. Half the strip should be hanging down the back of your work, and half hanging down in front of your work. *will add pic soon* Knit one. Flip the fabric strip hanging down the back of your work to the front. Knit one. Repeat.

Cast on 89 stitches.

Row 1 and every odd row K across
Row 2 and every even row k 1 then knit in fabric stitches across

I am knitting this in stripes!

Back of rug

Front of rug after 10 rows. Looks more like a fuzzy green caterpillar right now

Update!! 3/20 This rug pattern came from a book called fast and fabulous low sew bathroom projects by Reader's Digest. This rug is neither fast nor very fun but i feel committed now. DARN IT! I am currently only working on this rug as i wait to pick up kids from school so I do MAYBE 2 rows per day. My goal for April is to finish this dastardly piece of no fun knitting so i can move on to something i might not hate.

New pic for ya! Please ignore my messy dining room table, and my shoes. I stood on a chair to take a pic from above. Yes, my tape measure is missing inches 1 - 3. I burned them with the iron. I don't like beginnings. The rug currently measures about 25 inches wide by about 9 inches long. After 6 weeks. I rock.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Menus 2/9

Yeah, I am a couple days late.

As always, if you want a recipe, let me know!

  • Breakfast - fruit & cinnamon rolls
  • Snack, AM & PM - Graham Crackers & Apple juice
  • Lunch - hot dogs, french fries, apples slices
  • Dinner - sandwiches with deli meats, lettuce, tomato, & mandarin oranges

  • Breakfast - Orange juice, cereal
  • Snack, AM & PM - rice cakes & peanut butter
  • Lunch - sandwiches with deli meats, lettuce, tomato & mandarin oranges
  • Dinner - chicken noodle soup

  • Breakfast - tropical fruit, toast
  • Snack, AM & PM - zucchini bread, orange pineapple juice
  • Lunch - chicken noodle soup
  • Dinner - waffles, scrambled eggs, hash browns, grapefruits

  • Breakfast - peaches, honey muffins
  • Snack, AM & PM - celery, peanut butter
  • Lunch - waffles, scrambled eggs, hash browns, grapefruits
  • Dinner - personal pizzas, salad

  • Breakfast - applesauce, waffles
  • Snack, AM & PM - carrots, ranch, cheese slices
  • Lunch - personal pizzas, salad
  • Dinner - tacos, fiesta corn

  • Breakfast - peaches, pancackes
  • Snack, AM & PM - tortilla chips, Black Bean Dip
  • Lunch - tacos, fiesta corn
  • Dinner - burritos, green beans, salad

  • Breakfast - pineapples, English Muffins
  • Snack, AM & PM - banana smoothie
  • Lunch - burritos, green beans, salad
  • Dinner - chicken chow mein, mandarin oranges, fried rice

Training Ride #1

Today I did my first training ride for the Ride to Conquer Cancer. I put Lucy in the bike trailer and our neighbor Chloe too, and set off with Alex to tour the neighborhood. I made it about .75 miles... maybe 1 mile. BUT I was pulling about 75 extra pounds so that has to count for something right?? I figure I am just going to have to go out and ride every evening if I want to make it up to 10 miles by the end of March. I CAN DO IT! Now I just have to find some sponsors!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Rain Gutter Book Shelves

Large Finished Rain Gutter Bookshelves

I am redesigning my day care quiet area.... The before has a small book case, a crocheted rug, and 2 pillows. Everything was made by me and looks okay but i need spectacular :D

The new quiet area will have 4 pillows, a knitted shag rag rug, and rain gutter book shelves mounted on the wall.

Rain Gutter Book Shelves:
These were super easy to make. Just head over to the local Lowes/Home Depot and grab a piece of vinyl rain gutter. It came in 10 foot lengths. I cut mine into 4 pieces that were 2 feet long and 2 pieces that were 1 foot long. You also need to brackets per piece and 2 end caps. Once it is all cut, just screw the brackets onto the wall and then slide on the gutter pieces and end with the end caps. You can glue the end caps on but i chose to leave them unglued so i can take it all apart for cleaning.

they came out super nice. I think i will be putting some up by the kids beds as soon as we get the bunk beds built!

Quiet Area Before

Quiet Area Before

Large Finished Rain Gutter Bookshelves

Small Finished Rain Gutter Bookshelves

Moms never notice anything

Last night after dinner I walked through the day care room and I noticed something strange about the small book case. The top of the book case had been depressed and the sides were all cracked and, well, broken. Then the mystery bookcase breaker had decided to repair the damage with my brown packing tape. Brown is close to tan right??

So not only is the bookcase busted to hell, but then it was wrapped in brown packing tape. Grrreeeaaat. Well in my mind the only person who commit this kind of carnage and then try to cover it with tape would be Lucy. I interrogate ask her what the hizell happened to the book case. She looks at me blankly and says I don't know.

Lucy and the truth don't always have a close relationship so I ask again.. Again she says she doesn't know. As I give her the look of death, stare her down sigh dejectedly, AJ walks up and admits to sitting on the book case and trying to repair the damage. He claims he tried to tell me while I was on the phone but I told him to wait, so he just figured it would not notice if it was fixed. Sure.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Take THAT, Cancer!

Hi Everyone! My husband and I have commited to participate in the Ride to Conquer Cancer. The Ride to Conquer Cancer is a unique, two-day cycling journey that will take place from Louisville to Lexington and back on September 25-27, 2009.

We both have been personally touched by the devestation that cancer can cause. In 2001, we lost Adan's grandmother, Alicia, to cancer. Adan was very close to her, and it breaks his heart that she was never able to know our children. We have also lost two great-grandfathers, an aunt and an uncle, as well as 4 family friends to cancer. Two of our family friends, Jan, and Alex are cancer survivors. 2 of my friends in online support groups have children, Grace and Levi, who are surviving cancer. We have confronted breast cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer and brain cancer among many others. We are riding in memory of all the people we miss every day, for all the amazing things they accomplished, and everything they will never finish. We are riding for our survivors, in recognition of the fantastic care the received, and the life saving procedures that doctors around the country have provided. We are riding for a cure, for a future where cancer does not cripple the body and sadden the soul.

Our goal is to raise $5000 to ensure that we help individuals and families in our region conquer cancer. Your donation will help:

* Fund research that works toward a cure and offers our community access to the most advanced therapies.
* Ensure that prevention programs are in place to help reduce the risk of cancer for present and future generations.
* Provide cancer screenings to those who otherwise could not afford them.
* Fund the most up-to-date treatment options such as the da Vinci robotic surgical system and radiation and infusion therapies.
* Provide the emotional care and educational support patients and their families need in coping with and recovering from cancer.

Sponsor Us!

I am asking that you sponsor us in this Ride to Conquer Cancer, even if you are only able to pledge $10.00. Please look into your heart, and help us raise the funds to help conquer cancer! If you own a business, we would love a corporate sponsorship. We will wear your ad on our jersery on race day!

Remember, every deduction is tax deductible.

Sponsor Us!

Thank you so much for your support in this cause that is near and dear to our hearts!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

John Updike died

I feel very stunned by this news :( Lung Cancer claimed him last week.

Read a Bio

where do bad diapers go to die?

So i was reading an article about cloth diaper facts (found here).

One fact listed in the article is this:

"More than 92 percent of all disposable diapers end up in a landfill."

Where do the other 8% end up?? Do parents keep them as souvenirs? Are these the diapers that are tossed out the car window as you drive along the 405 freeway? Bronzed? Or maybe this video shows the real answer...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

brains, yum!

I am in love with this commercial...
My television is on.. and so is my computer, because that's how i roll.

Lucy is Smaaaaht!

So we are sitting here watching wonder pets.. yes, wonder pets. I wasn't really paying attention (cake mania 3 has been calling my name!) but i heard cow, and stuck in a tree. So I ask Lucy why a cow was stuck in a tree, seeing as they aren't known for their tree climbing abilities. she tells me "The cow was blown into the tree by a twister. That's a tornado. Hot and cold mix together and it goes around and around (with appropriate hand gestures showing me how the wind goes around and around in a conical shape) and picked up the cow and blew it into the tree."

Hmm. She's pretty smart :D

Monday, February 2, 2009

Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

On Gobbler's Knob this glorious Groundhog Day,
February 2nd, 2009,
Punxsutawney Phil, the Seer of Seers,
Prognosticator of all prognosticators,
Awoke to the call of President Bill Cooper,
And greeted his handlers Ben Hughes and John Griffiths.

After casting a joyful eye
toward thousands of his faithful followers...
Phil proclaimed that his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers
were World Champions one more time!

'And a birght sky above me
Showed my shadow beside me.
So six more weeks of Winter it will be.'

The following history lesson from stormfax weather almanac

In 1723, the Delaware Indians settled Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania as a campsite halfway between the Allegheny and the Susquehanna Rivers. The town is 90 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, at the intersection of Route 36 and Route 119. The Delawares considered groundhogs honorable ancestors. According to the original creation beliefs of the Delaware Indians, their forebears began life as animals in "Mother Earth" and emerged centuries later to hunt and live as men.

The name Punxsutawney comes from the Indian name for the location
"ponksad-uteney" which means "the town of the sandflies."
The name woodchuck comes from the Indian legend of "Wojak,
the groundhog" considered by them to be their ancestral grandfather.

When German settlers arrived in the 1700s, they brought a tradition known as Candlemas Day, which has an early origin in the pagan celebration of Imbolc. It came at the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Superstition held that if the weather was fair, the second half of Winter would be stormy and cold. For the early Christians in Europe, it was the custom on Candlemas Day for clergy to bless candles and distribute them to the people in the dark of Winter. A lighted candle was placed in each window of the home. The day's weather continued to be important. If the sun came out February 2, halfway between Winter and Spring, it meant six more weeks of wintry weather.

The earliest American reference to Groundhog Day can be found at the Pennsylvania Dutch Folklore Center at Franklin and Marshall College:

February 4, 1841 - from Morgantown, Berks County (Pennsylvania) storekeeper James Morris' diary..."Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate."

According to the old English saying:
If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again.

From Scotland:
If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,
There'll be two winters in the year.

From Germany:
For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far will the snow swirl until May.
For as the snow blows on Candlemas Day,
So far will the sun shine before May.

And from America:
If the sun shines on Groundhog Day;
Half the fuel and half the hay.

If the sun made an appearance on Candlemas Day, an animal would cast a shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of Winter. Germans watched a badger for the shadow. In Pennsylvania, the groundhog, upon waking from mid-Winter hibernation, was selected as the replacement.

Pennsylvania's official celebration of Groundhog Day began on February 2nd, 1886 with a proclamation in The Punxsutawney Spirit by the newspaper's editor, Clymer Freas: "Today is groundhog day and up to the time of going to press the beast has not seen its shadow." The groundhog was given the name "Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary'' and his hometown thus called the "Weather Capital of the World.'' His debut performance: no shadow - early Spring.

The legendary first trip to Gobbler's Knob was made the following year.

The groundhog, also known as a woodchuck (Marmota monax), is a member of the squirrel family. Groundhogs in the wild eat succulent green plants, such as dandelion, clover, and grasses.

According to handlers John Griffiths and Ben Hughes, Phil weighs 15 pounds and thrives on dog food and ice cream in his climate-controlled home at the Punxsutawney Library.

Up on Gobbler's Knob, Phil is placed in a heated burrow underneath a simulated tree stump on stage before being pulled out at 7:25 a.m. to make his prediction.

The groundhog's seasonal forecasting accuracy is somewhat low.
Phil's Winter prognostications have been correct only 39% of the time.