Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tiger Gets Her Diploma

Today my sister graduated high school.  It seems like just yesterday I myself was in high school and she was the adorable baby on the school bus everyone loved so much.

Bethany has plans to attend college in the fall for a criminal justice degree of some sort and when she's old enough she wants to join the police academy and become a police officer.

I didn't have any set career plans when I graduated and Bethany has known for sure what she wants to do for several years now.  I'm so proud of the young woman she's becoming and seeing what the Lord has in store for the next chapter in her life.  I'm glad to have her as my sister :) 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day Trip To DC

Today I kept the kids out of school, packed them in the Tacoma and headed to Washington DC for the day.  Tabytha, John and Jessi had been looking forward to this day for weeks.  Last night I packed bag lunches, Capri sun drinks and bottled water for a picnic lunch on the mall.  We met up with my friend, Jen, and her kids at the metro station in New Carollton.  We got our metro passes and waited for our other friend, Drea, and her kids to arrive.

We got on the metro and made our way to DC.  It was nearly noon when we arrived so we all decided to sit in a grassy area and have lunch before we went to the Museum of Natural History.  When we were done with lunch we gathered up all the kids.  11 kids between me, Jen and Drea, 10 of which were between the ages of 9 months and 5 yrs old.

During the last few steps before getting into the museum itself, Jessi started dragging and fussing and I realized I over estimated her ability to be able to handle all the walking we were going to do and SHOULD have brought the umbrella stroller for her.  As luck would have it, just inside the building, after going through the metal detectors, I spotted a wheelchair by the information desk.  I snatched it and put Jessi in it to keep her quiet for a bit.  It was big enough to have 2-3 kids in it at one time, so, I rotated all the little ones throughout the day so they each had a turn to rest their legs and have a ride.  It worked out perfectly and I firmly believe it alleviated any potential meltdowns we may have had with any of the little ones (remember, 10 children age 5 and under!!!)
Drea, Me and Jen and our kids

We did a LOT of walking and to be honest, all the kids were great while we were in the museum.  Although, with that many children we were constantly counting and recounting to make sure we had all 11 kids at all times.  We got a lot of looks throughout the day that's for sure.  I mean, come on, 3 women with 11 kids.  Jen pushing a double stroller with 2 kids in it, one baby on her chest and a child on her shoulders, Drea had an umbrella stroller holding the hand of another child and me pushing a wheelchair with 2-3 kids in it at any given time and a couple kids walking.  We certainly were a sight.

Two other friends of ours were coming from PA to meet up with us, but, a late start to their day and traffic prevented them from getting there to walk the Natural History Museum with us.  When the day was winding down Jen had to head back and Drea and I waited around for our other 2 friends to make it so we could at least see them and chat for a bit before we, too, had to leave and get back to our homes.

Me, Drea, Allyson and Bree with all our kids
Around 3pm our friends, Bree with her 3 kids and Ally with her 2 kids, finally made it to where we were.  We only had about half an hour with them before we had to go, but, it really was a treat to finally be able to meet these two women who I've built a friendship with through our mommy group on facebook over the past several years.

The day was drawing to an end and some of the little ones were spent and getting fussy so Drea and I said goodbye to our friends, gathered up the kids we came with and headed back to the metro station.  One or two kids dozed off on the metro.  Getting back to the parking garage Drea and I said our goodbyes and my kids and I headed back home.

It was a fantastic day.  John is looking forward to telling his teachers and classmates all about seeing the dinosaur bones.  I know this will be a day the kids are going to remember for a very long time.  I hope we'll be able to get back to DC this summer when Charlie can come and experience the fun with us :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter 2012

This year we spent Easter Sunday at my mother-in-law's house with Charlie's side of the family.  Charlie's mom, sister and I each brought a dish for dinner.  Mother-in-law made a ham and macaroni & cheese, sister-in-law made pineapple fluff and a cheesecake and I made homemade dinner rolls and cupcakes.

A few days ahead of time I also made Easter ornaments for a painting craft for the kids to do before dinner.  I brought paints, paint brushes and the ornaments.  I set up a folding table in the backyard, laid out newspaper and gave each kid a paint brush and some paint.  They went to town decorating the ornaments.  After all the decorations were painted they played around.  Sister-in-laws husband brought a small moon bounce for the kids to jump around in and my mother-in-laws neighbor had her grandkids visiting for the day and brought over some things to play with.

When dinner was ready we said goodbye to the neighbor and made our way inside, cleaned up the kids, said grace and enjoyed a delicious meal together.  After dinner sister-in-law hid some plastic easter eggs in the front yard and the kids had fun with a little easter egg hunt.  All in all, it was a wonderful day

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Friends And Fellowship

This weekend I had the opportunity to go on a Women's Retreat to the Skycroft Conference Center with one of my dearest friends, Drea.  A mutual friend of ours from a mommy group we're both in on Facebook flew in from Michigan to come, too.  Drea also invited her cousin, Anna, and another friend, Milbia.  The 5 of us carpooled to the retreat.

Friday morning I kissed Charlie and the kids goodbye and made my way over the bay bridge to meet up with Drea and Carol.  We didn't have to be at the conference center until the evening.  We picked up Anna and headed to DC to show Carol some of the sights.

After DC we picked up Milbia and made our way to the conference center.  Got our room keys and our whole group had dinner and started meeting other women there for the retreat as well.  The whole weekend was wonderful.  The weather was great and we were tucked away in the mountains.  Each session began with some fun 'getting to know you' games and praise music.  Our speaker was amazing.  I learned more than I anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed every minute I was there.  Getting to know other women in the church, spending the evenings after session with Drea, Carol and Anna and even getting in some quiet time of my own during our 'free time' Saturday afternoon.

I came home refreshed, recharged and closer to the Lord.  It was wonderful.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Monster Jam

Earlier this month Charlie told me about a monster truck show coming to Baltimore and wanted to take John.  John was sick the last time he got monster truck show tickets and took Jessi instead.  I got on the computer and searched for the best seats I could as inexpensively as possible.  After searching for awhile I found seats practically in the front row very reasonably priced.

The day finally arrived for the guys to go to Monster Jam.  The day started off well enough.  Charlie and John met up with another friend and his kids and they headed off to Baltimore.  As the show went on John started to get really grumpy and complaining about his ear hurting again (same problem that kept him from going to the monster truck show the month before)  Charlie thought the day was going to be a complete waste and there was nothing he could do because he carpooled with his friend and his kids.

John made it through most of the show and by the end of the show John had fallen asleep.  Conked out right there in his seat.  It was a difficult day for Charlie since John was showing signs of another ear infection, but, all in all, he's glad he got to take John out and do something special with his best buddy.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Baby's 1st Monster Truck Show

Last week Charlie heard about a monster truck show coming to the Wicomico Youth and Civic center in Salisbury, MD and wanted to take John. He asked me to find out ticket prices and show times. I found it and the tickets were very reasonable. I purchased a VIP adult and child ticket and got to pick the best available seats for my boys. Center of the arena 3rd row back. SWEET!

The tickets were ordered and now it was a waiting game until the day arrived. Well. The night before the monster truck show John began crying and complaining about his ear hurting. I gave him some children's pain reliever and put him to bed. He woke up twice during the night crying and saying his ear hurt. I told him when the sun came up I would take him to his doctor to get some medicine to make his ear feel better.

The morning came and I felt yucky myself. I took John to the doctor and found out he had a bad ear infection. Got a prescription and was on our way home. He said his ear hurt too bad to go to the Monster Truck show (which meant this was serious and he was REALLY hurting if he didn't want to go to see the monster trucks). He actually slept the whole way home from Easton and as soon as we got home he got sick into the trash can and put himself to bed.

Charlie was at a loss. He didn't know what to do. He didn't want to NOT go to the show and waste the money he spent on the tickets and Tabytha was away for the weekend with her mommom. I suggested taking Jessi. We already had kid size noise reducing head phones. He thought about it for minute and said he'd take her instead. It wasn't going to be a really big show and figured he and Jessi would get some good quality time in and make it a "father/daughter" day instead of a "Man Day" with John.

He got Jessi ready to go and off they went. Jessi was beyond excited to do something with her daddy that was just for her (even if she was the last minute substitution, lol). Charlie and Jessi ended up having a blast together. John spent the day sleeping and I spent the day resting on the couch with whatever bug I had picked up.

Charlie brought home 2 Monster Truck t-shirts, an autographed photo and a track flag for John. There's another Monster Truck show coming to Baltimore next month and, Lord willing, John won't be sick and Charlie can have his "man day" with his best little Buddy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A New Addition To Our Family

Tonight, when my husband called to let me know he was on his way home from work, he asked me "How mad would you be if I brought home a cat tonight?". I laughed it off and said there's no way he had a cat in his truck. He proceeded to tell me he DID in fact have a cat and he was going to prove it when we got off the phone and text a picture to me. Well, the text was a big blur of darkness and didn't resemble anything close to a cat.

I'm a "cat person" to the core. My husband is a "dog person" to the core. When we met he said he had a dog and asked if I had any pets. I didn't but said I love cats. He told me up front he's allergic and doesn't really like cats. Well, since I didn't have a cat when we met, it wasn't that big of deal knowing I wouldn't be able to have one again being with him. I didn't have any deep longing desire to have a cat again and was totally fine with not having one if our relationship went deeper and we ended up getting married. (which we did, obviously, lol

Charlie had talked about a cat at the lot that would jump up into his truck when he was unloading his cars and they developed a special "bond" in passing each day when he'd get back to the office. The cat had been abandoned nearby and found his way to the lot Charlie brings his cars back to each day and this is the cat he said he was bringing home. Someone was going to take him to the local pound but Charlie said he'd rather give him a home instead of taking the chance of not being adopted from the SPCA and possibly being put down.

I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty excited about him bringing home a cat. I didn't say anything to the kids so that it would be a surprise for them. When Charlie got home and brought in a pet carrier with the cat in it the kids went crazy. They were so excited and wanted the cat out of the carrier so they could pet him. We didn't open it right away. He stayed in the carrier in the living room getting used to the idea of being in a new home while we sat down to dinner. During dinner Charlie said one of the guys at the lot had been calling the cat "Boots" and the kids figured it was a good name and would keep it.

After dinner Charlie took Tabytha with him to Target to get Boots a litter box. While he was gone I got Jessi to bed (it was after 8pm at this point). Once she was settled in her room I opened the carrier door and let Boots come out and explore his new surroundings. I told John to leave him alone while he got used to being out of the carrier and sniffed around. He came up to both John and me and let us give him a quick pat on the back and he went on his way. I gave him some food (Charlie remembered that on his way home) and let him get settled.

Charlie and Tabytha got home and we set up the litter box. As soon as we were done pouring the litter into the box Boots went in to use it. He came to us already litter trained! What a pleasant surprise :)