My New Boyfriend

I have a new boyfriend. He is about 3 years old, a redhead and is totally devoted to me.  DMP doesn’t mind much- he has his own boyfriend (Ollie the cat).

My bofriend’s name is Chester:


I can (and have) heard the collective groan from my parents and sisters- as a family we haven’t had much luck with doggies.  However, Chester is super-mellow, already potty trained (really!) and loves the girls, DMP and, most of all, me. 

Chester is a long-haired chihuahua but he isn’t yappy (we’ve hardly heard him”talk”) or jumpy. Really all he is interested in is a warm lap to snuggle on.  We feel pretty lucky he has joined our family. Cross your fingers that he doesn’t develop any “issues” as he gets more used to our family.


EJ is just over the moon about having her own dog. She is kind of disappointed that he doesn’t know any “tricks” (yet) like “sit” or “play dead”.  She has this to say about him:

I love Chester. He likes his tummy rubbed and he loves to follow Mommy and me. And he loves, sort of his drink and his food really really much. Right now he is licking his paw.  I love Chester!

Birdy loves that she has someone smaller than her to scold and the first thing she has said every morning since we got him is “I luff my puppy”. She thinks his name is Chihuahua.

Here is one more pic for the road- isn’t he cute and totally not naked buggy-eyed Chihuahua-like?


March 31, 2009. Tags: . Uncategorized. 9 comments.

Birdy’s Birthday- Round 2


Saturday was Birdy’s birthday party with my family. Mom, Dad, Aunt Cynj, Aunt Jen and thier kiddos were all able to come and play at our playground and have a party.  It was so much fun for the cousins to get together and play with each other in a space big enough for them to all run in.

The menu included yummy chicken salad sandwiches, grapes, veggies and dip, awesome potato salad from Aunt Cynj and chips and salsa made by Grandpa (well, the salsa, not the chips). 

My favorite part were the birthday cupcakes. They turned out waaay cute if I do say so myself:


They were chocolate-chocolate chip cake with peanutbutter fluff frosting– super yummy.  I also used regular canned chocolate frosting to get the half-and-half color effect.  I got the idea from a great book I ordered called “Hello Cupcake“. It has tons of easy and super-cute cupcake ideas and instructions- I highly recommend it.

Anyway- back to the party. The weather was great. The wind picked up, but it just made it easier to fly kites!


The kids also had lots of fun swinging, sliding and playing on the playground:




Then we all went to our house for pup-cakes and presents!  Birdy chose to eat her pup-cake like her cousin Gracie- “Look Ma, no hands!”


Birdy got a cute princess plate, cup and bowl set  and some wildlife cards from the Maughan cousins, the Wren cousins gave her a baby parrot that makes noises and that also has a bottle. Grandma and Grandpa gave her a big Dora house that she and EJ have literally spent hours playing with- mostly peacefully.  Aunt Kate and Uncle Matt gave her the perfect “noisy toy” a star that has Dora characters that talk. It is loud. And very popular.


A good time was had by all. Now she is a big two-year-old girl!  Here is one more for Aunt Kate:


March 25, 2009. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. 5 comments.

Birdy’s Birthday Round 1 (Plus Salmon!)

In what is becoming a scary tradition with us, we celebrated Birdy’s 2nd birthday twice. Once in Salmon with DMP’s family and once at our house with mine. 

Birdy is lucky enough to have been born on the same day as her cousin David (only 1 hr apart!).  They even got blessed on the same day – here is a pic- Birdy is just seconds away from bawling:


DNow they are both big two-year-old kids: img_2046

David came to Salmon with his Mom, big brother and sister, so we decided to throw a party for them- complete with a Winnie the Pooh cake:


The party was lots of fun. Wren had to help David blow out his candles and the cake turned out really, really tasty. 

We were all in Salmon to celebrate my nephew Danny going on a mission. I can’t tell you how proud I am of him. His talk was so great and I know that he is going to be a rock star missionary.  

It was also fun to see Grandma, Papper, Aunt Kathy, Charlie, and for the Philips Cousins to play together. Here are some more pictures of our great trip!

Birdy and Aunt Kathy playing Jack-in-the-Box- a BIG hit!

Birdy and Aunt Kathy playing Jack-in-the-Box- a BIG hit!

Birdy loves Papper!

Birdy loves Papper!

EJ, Birdy, and Philips Cousins. Getting these guys to sit still is HARD!

EJ, Birdy, and Philips Cousins. Getting these guys to sit still is HARD!

EJ LOVES her cousin Charlie!

EJ LOVES her cousin Charlie!

March 23, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 6 comments.

Red Furry Blob v. Kangaroo


So March Madness is upon us (apparently).  Since I work with many people of the male sporty-dude persuasion, I decided to join in. Especially when one of them was mocking that girls pick by how cute the team uniform is, or by whose mascot could eat whose.  Bingo- I had my strategy for creating my bracket (the eating, not the cute costume)

It was a lot of fun and prompted many discussions (tiger v. bear?  Red Furry Blob v. Kangaroo?  Sparky the Sun Devil v. Blue Devil?).  At the end of the day, I ended up with my guy Sparky to win it.  Partly because it worked out that way, and partly because he is only, like, my favorite mascot EVER (or at least out of the 5 schools DMP went to :>)

March 17, 2009. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

R.I.P. Bread Machine


Sigh.  It is with a heavy heart that I announce the death of my beloved bread machine. Even though I’ve only known it since December, I feel that we have a unique bond that is difficult to understand. With it, I made exciting breads like honey whole wheat, oatmeal, rosemary, Portugese sweet bread, and, yes, even just white bread.

It’s death was sudden and so unexpected. I was eagerly anticipating mixing and creating my most ambitious bread to date- Wheat Carrot Honey.  I went to plug it in, and with a dramatic beep, it died. Just like that.  Despite DMP’s best efforts revive it, we had to finally give up.

Now we will never have a chance to explore the untapped bread machine recipies on We’ll never explore the complexity of whole grains like spelt, or make awesome cheese bread.  No longer will it speed up the pizza dough making process for us so we can create exotic pizzas on our new pizza stone.

So it is with a heavy heart that we lay you to rest in the recycle bin. May your parts go on to benifit other appliances!  Farewell, sweet bread maker!

***1 hr later***  So DMP plugged it in “one last time” (I had done this several times already) and Wapaow- the bread machine is back from the dead. Maybe it was just resting?  Anyway, it is busy making chocolate chip bread (this AM’s carrot raisin is struggling to rise right now).   Faith-promoting miracle? I think so.

This whole experience has me thinking- I think I know where EJ and Birdy get their flair for the dramatic…

March 9, 2009. Uncategorized. 3 comments.


I love having girls!


P.S. I’d like to pretend that the extra-sloppy paint job was a result of letting EJ do the work, but nope- that is just how I roll, or paint, rather.  It comes off of your skin in the shower the next day anyway.

March 8, 2009. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Julia Dorthea Treter Kinsel

This is the beginning of an occasional series where I attempt to flesh out the lives of our ancestors.  This will likely lean heavily toward the Kinsel side of things (sorry Mom) since the Mongomery line has lots of stories and work done.


Julia “Dora” Treter Kinsel was born in Yurneschavo, Cries Schroda Province, Posen, Germany.   Here parents were Daniel and Julia Baumert Treter. She had 3 brothers and one sister-, Ferdinand, Edward, Ameal (possibly Emil) and Anna.

In 1964, when Dora was just 14, her family left from Hamburg, Germany on the ship Thuringia.  She and her family settled in Caroll, Ohio.  Her father is listed in both the passenger list and in the 1889 census as being a “farmer”.   During the 1800’s, many German immigrants came to Ohio to take part in the American dream.  Most of their neighbors  in the 1880 census are all from Germany or Prussia, so it perhaps wasn’t as much of a “culture-shock” as we might think to move from her home in Germany to Ohio.

Dora met Otto “Adam” Emil Kinsel, another German Immigrant, and they were married 11 Mar, 1883. They had 6 children- 5 boys Emil Otto, Edward August, Henry Willie, Alfred August and Otto Godfriedt.  Their oldest was their only girl- Matilda Dorthea.


Dora and her sons in 1946.

Adam died when Matilda was just 13 years old.  According to his obituary, he was “attempting to raise a bent” (i learned that a “bent” is an individual assembled section of timber that makes up the framework of a barn) with his wife and two brothers. One of the posts slipped and he fell and got caught between the plank and a sill.  His head was “mangled” and had a number of ribs broken.

I can only imagine what it must have been like for Dora- not only did she lose her husband, but her children weren’t old enough to really help out with the farm – their only means of income.  The 1900 census shows that they had a hird laborer working for them on the farm. That must have been a big help.

Dora died 2 September, 1950 at the age of 89.

March 6, 2009. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 6 comments.

A Brag- I mean BLOG Post about Birdy


Here is a little conversation that happened between DMP and Birdy this morning when he went into her room to get her up:

Birdy: (holding her hands out with her fingers and thumb touching) Look Dada, Circle!

DMP: Really? Very Good (picks her up)

Birdy: Oh No- Broke my circle- it’s ruined!

Amazing things about this- 1) she knows what the heck a circle is and recognizes its shape (Thank you tupperware shapeball) 2) She used the word “ruined” correctly.  Unfortunately, that isn’t such a novel trick- she’s been copying her dramatic older sister with that one for weeks now.

Speaking of copying the big sister, Birdy is interested in going potty and frequently announces she has to go- usually when EJ announces she does. She also is very interested in EJ’s big girl panties.  EJ recently got some new ones which resulted in this:


March 5, 2009. Tags: . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Our Valentines Day

We had a pretty fun v-day. What can I say melted cheese + Melted chocolate = LOVE


Birdy loved the melted cheese fondue best:


March 1, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.