Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Kiki's last day

My sister Kim, here on referred to as Kiki lives in California, right in the the center of the action. We kindly refer to it as La La Land. She is a teacher and often comes home for several weeks in the summer. My kids absolutely adore her. Gabby remembers back in the day when she still lived a short 3 hours away. Bella wasn't born yet, but each year she seems to grow a little bit more in awe with her each year. Gia looks at her like just who do you think you are?

Of my three kids, Bella is a spitting image of Kiki. And I mean spitting. They have the same mannerisms and Bella acts pretty much how I remember my sister acting when we were kids. In am not really sure if this is a complaint to her or not.

Sunday was Kiki's last day in town. So we invited our selves to my husbands best buds house to go boating for the day. Boating has become one of my favorite past times. Nothing beats a warm, sunny day then cruising on water looking at gorgeous houses, then docking on the sand bar for snacks and drinks.

When my sister and I were younger, my parents had a speed boat on a popular lake in the area. We use to boat almost every weekend in the summer. It is a dream of mine to be able to have a small small cottage on a local lake so my kids can grow up as water lovers like me. My parents sold the boat after my sister finished college. They bought a place in Florida on the Gulf. As much as I love the boat I love the condo better.

Now if we could just get Jared's grandma who owns a little outdated, in need of some major TLC cottage on a lake just 35 minutes from us to not sell the lake cottage we would definitely have the best of both worlds. Lena wants to unload the cottage, but unfortunately we are not by any means financially ready to purchase a 2nd place. I hope this property stay in the family, so that we can all enjoy it for the next 50 years and have many more summer days like Sunday.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I know I did.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Art & Craft Day

For 2 years I have wanted to do this art project with my kids. TWO YEARS! Ridiculous that I have waited this long to go at it. I have waited so long that Gabby's hand barely fits on the canvas anymore.


Today was the first time I have given Gia real paint and not just brush and water to paint with. She just loved it.  

Bella usually can't sit still long enough to take her time. She is always on the go, but today she was the last one at the table because she was enjoying herself so much. 

Gabby is the household artist. She loves to paint and be creative. She must get this from Uncle Wes, he was always so good with his hands.  

I think Gia loved clean up time as much as paint time because she was the first one done and spent more time playing in the sink then actually painting.  

Here is the finished projects for the day:

Hand prints on the bathroom wall.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dancing Queens

Today was one of the priceless days, you know, the ones that you wish you could just bottle up and get it out on a bad day. Today total YELLOW! Today my parents took, my two older daughters, my sister and me to the "city" to see Mamma Mia.




My parents are so good about helping to pay the expenses for my children to experience the finer things in life. I am so grateful for this because raising children is expensive. I remember being young, maybe 3rd grade and my grandma taking me on a bus trip to Chicago to see Peter Pan live. This is probably where my love for the shows started and why my mom pays for my children to go to the shows.


This was my second time seeing the Broadway version and it was just as good today as it was 2 years ago. I love going to Broadway shows. It is my goal to take my children to as many shows as possible to get them to appreciate the arts. This was Gabby's 2nd time going. My parents and I took her to see Hairspray about a year ago. Today was Bella's first show. I wish I had a video recorder to tape just Bella's face and body. That girl sang and shimmied in her seat the whole 2+ hours.



After the show Jared brought Gia and his parents to meet us for dinner. My little baby was so adorable in her new dress I just had to post these pictures of her.

Maybe next year sweet pea...

I am not the typical mom. When we drive around town running errands the music in the car isn't the wheels on the bus go round and round, it is Broadway show tunes. Currently we are all listening to Wicked. All three girls know how to sing along to Mamma Mia and I love it. Even Gia Pia. I can't wait until it comes back to town and she can go along. Oh how she would have loved dancing in the aisle singing along with cast at the finale.

Any of you bloggers have a favorite show? I have so many it is hard to pick just one. If I had to pick a top 5 they would be: (in no particular order)
~Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat ~ seen 3 times
~Rent ~ seen 5 times
~Phantom of the Opera ~ seen 2 times
~Mamma Mia ~ seen twice
~Wicked ~ only once...on my list to see again

My list to see:
~Jersey Boys
~Les Misérables
~Avenue Q
~The Producers
~A Chorus Line

My least favorites:
~Lion King
~Beauty and the Beast

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A camping we will go, a camping we will go, High Ho the dairy oh a camping we will go....


We just returned from a mini vacation to a state park camping with two sets of neighbors. I am not sure that vacation is the right term for sleeping in tents and peeing in outhouses, but non the less it was a trip away from modern day technology.


This is the second year we have done this. Six adults and nine children in total. Fifteen people is a lot of people to camp with, or should I say feed,especially when the kids out number the adults, but I wouldn't do it any other way.


Really it is quite amazing when you think about it...On August 8th we will hit the 3 year mark on our "new" house. When we moved to Cambridge Drive we had hopes that this was the final move of our life. We knew we loved the house, the school district, the cul-de-sac road, the convenience to town, the closeness to parents and in-laws,; but what we didn't know was how wonderful the neighbors were. In 3 short years, I have made two of the best friends a girl could have. Honestly, I struck gold.


My neighbors are like family to me. Not a day goes by without me talking to one if not both of them. We walk into each others homes without knocking, we drink coffee while our children play together, we shop, gossip, paint, swim, cookout and travel together. God answered my prayers when we moved in that day.


Cambridge Drive is a small, quiet street. Eight house to be exact. 16 kids total. The youngest being my number 3, and the oldest leaving for college tomorrow. 8 boys and 8 girls. Each one of my 3 children have a friend within one year of them, making playtime so much fun.




My hubby and I are not campers. Neither of us camped as kids, but when the neighbors suggested it last year we thought why not. We really thought we should let our children experience something that we never were able to. We left Gia with Grandma and Grandpa for she was barely one, but this year we thought she should experience it with us.


As much as I hate to say it, I think we are slowly becoming a camping family. Our children love it, Jared and I not so much. OK- not 100% true, I love everything but the night and Jared well he does it for me because he knows I want the kids to have life experiences I never had. What might surprise you, is it is not the sleeping that bothers me....it is the dark woods with those damn raccoons.


Cooking is definitely my thing. Nothing beats a meal cooked over a campfire. There is just something about it that you can't recreate at home on the stove. I have become a huge fan of cast iron and can hardly wait to get my hands on a frying pan for my stove top.



While camping this time around, Jared & I celebrated our 12th anniversary. Never in a million years would I have guessed I would be camping with my children and neighbors on my anniversary, but it was truly priceless. We actually went hiking. I had no idea the Midwest could have such beautiful hiking trails. It was a wonderful way to celebrate another year of marriage. I find the it almost ironic that on our wedding day we climbed up and down hills, through grass, mud and dirt while taking turns carrying Gia on our back. It kind of represented what a marriage after 12 years is like...ups & downs with lots of curves and dirt. In this day and age, 12 years seems like a long time. It appears as though most people don't make it past 5 anymore(but that is another post, on another day).





The highlight of the trip was the evening "owl" walk. A park ranger gave us a 10 minute lesson on 4 types of owls in the area. We then walked through the woods at 10pm without flashlights in search of these owls. Talk about being out of my comfort zone....but it was so neat....my kids are still talking about it. We actually learned how to call for them, and by the end of the hike we heard them all call back to us. Sooooo, soooo cool!

All in all, the cool July temperatures, rain, and raccoons haven't scared me off just yet. Next years trip was planned while floating on tubs down the river. So I guess this makes me a camper after all. That and the fact that I finally learned how to pee in the woods and not pee all over myself at bedtime. :)


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

summer fun

It was another beautiful, warm summer day. A full day of swimming with the kids in the pool. It truly is my favorite summer activity. I swear I could be a mermaid. I love the fact that my kids love the water as much as I do. Growing up I had a pool from 6th grade on. It was wonderful! Each morning I would eat breakfast and put on my swimsuit and swim till lunch. Then I would come in switch swimsuits eat lunch and go back out until dinner. Dinner was usually something on the grill and would be eaten outside on the deck. After dessert my dad usually would swim with us until the bugs starting eating us and the sun started to fade. This was the daily ritual and on special days my dad would drive home for lunch and swim with us. My mom was a teacher so we were able to be home and outside each and everyday.

I love the fact that when we moved to Cambridge Drive 3 years ago it was within walking distance to my parents house. Now we bike over to grandma's and swim almost daily. Some days we eat lunch and dinner by the pool. Grandpa still drives home for lunch but usually doesn't swim. The biggest difference between the past and the present is the pool temperature. When my sister and I were growing up the heater to the pool may have been turned on 3 times a summer. Once to initially warm the pool from the winter. And once in June for my birthday and August for my sisters. Now, the heater is turned on each morning so grandpa's little angels will be warm. My sister and I laugh about how grandpa will keep the water warm for my girls, but not for his own girls. Secretly I love this because who wouldn't want to swim in 90 degree water? But lets be serious he is only doing it so that when he comes home from work and we are still swimming he can join us and not freeze his 60 year old bottom off! :)

My sister is visiting from California for the next 2 weeks. She is also a teacher and often spends many weeks home in the summer. When we picked her up last week the girls were filled with joy.

Here they are eating lunch after picking her up.

She drove here this summer because she wanted to site see the USA. She went along with 2 other friends. One of there stops was Arkansas. Here she bought them all hog noses.

I guess we know what they are going to be this Halloween. ....The 3 Little Pigs!

Enjoy your summer days...they seem to be flying by and I mean flying :(

Thursday, July 9, 2009


This is a record for me, two post in one day. The first one was kind of dull and boring, but after reading some blogs from my blog role I now feel the need to write a better one. You see one rainy day a month or so ago I was reading comments written on a blog by other blogger's. I came across this older lady who left what I found to be a witty and thought provoking comment. I did the logical thing and clicked on her name. What I found was a gold mind. I swear I read every archived blog she had ever written in a few short hours. I was immediately drawn in. Being a newbie blogger I never left any comments. Then one day she wrote about a lurker. Everyday I found myself wanted to read more about this interesting person. Her and her husband (a retired military man) were starting a new chapter in there lives. You see they had lived in a cozy house up on the top of a mountain and they were in the middle of selling it and moving to Florida when I started reading. I loved reading about their life in the mountains and looking at the pictures. The way she wrote about her home and her husband made me wanting more. Any of you who really know me, know how much I love older people who have good strong marriages. The more I read about both her and Sarge the more admiration I have for them. From what I have read Miss Bee has overcome many a thing that a lot of other people would of run from. These two could write a book about life. I am so glad I decided to come out of the closet and become a daily reader and commenter. Miss Bee always leaves me a comment and she loves The Real Housewives of New Jersey, how can you not love that? Please check Miss Bee out. She is truly a gem. Her and Sarge are daily reads for me.

If any of you have a good blog to recommend to me I would love to check it out.

Have a super weekend and check back for pictures from my upcoming travels.

Hope to see you all soon!


Time is flying by. I just realized it has been almost a full week since I have posted anything new. Life is pretty dull right now. I have no new pictures or any great stories. This weekend we will be taking Gabby to her last summer swim meet. It is in an outdoor pool and should be a lot of fun. We will also be meeting up with my sister who is visiting from California. The kids are also going to be having a slumber party with their baby cousin Sam. The following weekend will be our annual camping trip with the neighbors. Good times are ahead.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Firecracker, firecracker, boom, boom boom....

Happy 4th of July .....

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?" ~William A. Ward

I have and want to start by thanking all the men and women past and present for serving in the United States Armed Forces. My father-in-law, his brother and his father all served years in the army. Thank you, Roger, Dick, and Thurman. We love you and thank you for being Veterens of the United States Army.

And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
~Lee Greenwood

I also would like to take a moment and shout a big HELLO and THANK YOU to Mr. Aaron Yoder, son of my very good friend Dawn. Aaron is a 22 year old man serving our country in Iraq. We are so proud of Aaron, his unit and all of the men and women over there with him.

Below are some pictures that Aaron has posted on Facebook. I thought I would share them with you all to give you a little insight on his day to day life.

Megatron (my truck), or offically known as a Caimen MRAP

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone. ~G.B. Stern

Happy Birthday America!