“Will and Margaret are being maniacs”

There’s a little drama/Harry Potter spell casting in the Spencer house, regularly.

Keeping up with Maggie

There are so many hilarious “Maggie phrases”, conversations, and mannerisms, if only I would write them down more often! Here are a few that I can recall tonight.


  1. When Maggie wants to share a secret with someone she will say “I have to whisper”. Then she puts her ear directly next to yours and speaks in a whisper while facing away from you. This is extremely hard to hear and absolutely darling.
  2. Due to too many uneaten and complained over dinner times, we’ve instituted a new monthly menu schedule. (The jury is still out on whether the little kids are eating any more dinner but there does appear to be a little less complaining.) In February the Monday night menu included eggs. On a Monday night Maggie came into the kitchen. I told her we were having eggs. She said, “I don’t like eggs. I’ll have a banana and you can call it an egg,” and left before I could respond. She’s a quick one!
  3. Maggie understands the progression of her upcoming school career. She recently told me “after I’m in Ms. Katie’s class I will be in Ms. Rachel’s class. Then I get to go to kindergarten. I can’t wait to be in Ms. Tadrus’ class. I love her.” She might be ready but I’m not.

Merry Christmas

This year was one of our quietest holiday seasons. We had planned to spend Christmas at home and then join Anne and Brian in Effingham with Helen and her family. The “winter crud” hit hard on Christmas and Will and Maggie were sick for the remainder of vacation. Luckily Anne and Brian braved the illness and came for a few days to make things more enjoyable for all of us. The Pantazis crew came for a full day of St. Louis fun including the City Museum, lunch out, and holiday lights at the zoo. Here are a few Christmas highlights we actually documented.


Baking Peanut Butter Blossoms, a request from Amelia to honor Grandma Delores.


Christmas Eve, Will is starting to fade a little already.

Opening our packages from Melinda and Mike, our Christmas Eve tradition.

And then this pretty much summarizes the rest of winter break at the Spencers –



Helen and I have decided it’s not too hard to get together midweek from time to time, or that it is essential to do so to maintain sanity…If we both drive 50 miles we can be in beautiful southern Illinois with Faye, Holly, and Margaret, what more could we ask for? I’m going to document these wonderful, hilarious, and life saving trips.


SOS Trip #1 – Tuesday September 1, 2015 at Eldon Hazlet State Park in Carlyle, IL

Helen found a state park 50 miles away for both of us and it was a find! Luckily the pool was still open and we pretty much had it to ourselves. Faye and Margaret swam, we all enjoyed a picnic lunch, and Holly napped. Success!


SOS Trip #2 – Tuesday September 15, 2015 at Eldon Hazlet State Park (again!)

Why not? This time we took the girls on a little hike at the park, picnicked, and went to the great little creamery, Marcoot Jersey Creamery.

I think this picture captures just how Margaret feels about Faye:


SOS Trip #3 – Tuesday January 12, 2016 in Greenville, IL

With winter break over, it was time to get back on schedule. Helen and I needed a get together. Why not Greenville, IL?  It’s an hour drive for both of us and all we really knew was that they had a Federal Correctional Institution because you can see it from I-70. We met up at the public library, spread our germs all over the children’s room, and then went to a local coffee shop for lunch.

Holly was recovering from a winter cold, poor girl.

Faye and Maggie provided entertainment for the coffee shop patrons.


When we inquired about other things to do in Greenville besides the library we were told to go to Marcoot Jersey Creamery. So back we went, reliving a stop from our September SOS trip.

Ice cream on a 20 degree day – success!


SOS Trip #4 – TBD

Happy Halloween

Every year we are reminded that Halloween is a big deal in St. Louis. Neighbors decorate their homes, inside and out, adults get dressed up, jokes are shared in order to get candy when trick or treating, and the festivities continue for days! This year Maggie’s school party was Wednesday, Amelia and Will’s parade and party were Thursday, no school Friday, and Halloween finally arrived Saturday. Here are some of the highlights.


The Mark Twain Halloween parade is always great. The kids all walk with their “buddies”, kids they are paired up at the beginning of the year.

The annual Mark Twain Halloween Parade. Maggie's been in it for several years now!

It was a beautiful day.

Will is the ninja.

Ninja Will with his buddies


We went to the Science Center’s Spooktacular and met the Ghostbusters!

The Science Center's Spooktacular night - who ya gonna call?


We carved pumpkins.


And trick-or-treated with friends.

Happy Halloween!


A total success with our cowgirls and ninja for Halloween 2015!