Monday, July 28, 2014

Easing into Monday

Happy Monday, everyone!  We had a half crazy/half relaxed weekend.  On Saturday, we traveled to western MA to attend a family reunion for Jay's father's side of the family.  It was great weather and everyone had a great time catching up with some of their favorite aunts, uncles and cousins.  The highlight for Jay is always seeing his grandfather, who just turned 94!(I think! might be 93.  I always get the age of his grandfather and my grandfather confused!  Either way, it's a blessing they're still with us and both are still very mobile!)

There were some really great family trees that people had put together.  The kids really enjoyed hearing some stories about their great-great grandparents.  Most of my kids are history buffs and really enjoy learning about their heritage.

On the way home, we made a spontaneous stop at Patriot Place and went out for dinner at Red Robin.  We don't actually go out for dinner at a restaurant very often....and we love to go to Patriot Place.  I was hoping to go to Bass Pro Shop because it's a fun place to look around, but it was late and Jay was really tired so we will have to plan another outing soon!
Gotta love mid-chew shots!

Andrew hid behind his milkshake!

On a totally unrelated note......

So have you heard that Coke has a new promotion...."Share a Coke Campaign"?  The bottles have people's names on them...lots of different ones to choose from!  It's supposed to inspire people to buy their own name and the name of their friend(or sibling:).  In our case, Andrew bought a coke for Jon, who posed for me with the Coke made "just for him"!   
Of course, the advertising ploy didn't completely work because Andrew said he saw bottles with Sarah, Luke, Peter and Kate in the case all together, and one with Mike in another case, but didn't buy them.  Someone is playing favorites, meethinks!;)
Andrew wouldn't pose with the Coke with his I took a sneak shot anyway!  Take that, Andrew!
Looking handsome in his Stop and Shop uniform!

Well, that's all for now.  Hoping to have a mostly laid back week!  My friend, Colleen, is treating me to a pedicure on Wednesday.(Can't wait!)

Our biggest day of the week will be Thursday, which is Peter's 13th birthday!  Another teenager in the house!  He is very excited about it and keeps mentioning it:)  (Luke keeps mentioning it, too, because his birthday is exactly one week after Peter's so he wants Peter's birthday to be over so his birthday countdown can begin!)

I hope your Monday is a smooth transition into the last week of July!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Weekend Memories

#1:  He Said
While on the Vineyard, we frequented our favorite ice cream spot, Ben and Bill's.  They have really great ice cream!  In particular, Jay loves their Bailey's ice cream and that's the only place we've found it so far!
At one of our visits, (yes, I said one bc we went every day...don't judge me:), I was perusing the menu, ( 50 cent word of the day! Makes me feel like a grown up for all the toddler talk I speak), 
and I noticed that they had vegan chocolate ice cream on the menu.....

Me:  Hey, they have vegan chocolate ice cream.  I wonder what it's made of?
Jon: Sadness and crushed dreams!

I managed to upload the pics from our Vineyard trip last weekend.  I can put all of our pics into a few different categories!  WARNING....I have quite a few!  But stick with me until the end to see a few of my absolute favorites!:)
#2:  Ice Cream Shots
One of our first stops after stepping off of the ferry!  Ben and Bill's:)

One of the few foods we let Peter "cheat" with on his gfcf diet.

My parents with Luke.

Kate crying over wanting cookie dough....failing to realize that cookie dough is what is in her cone!
It was past her bedtime!

ice cream day 2

#3:  "Up Island"
When we go to the Vineyard each year we tend to do the same things....and many of them involve food!  One of the places that we always go is to Menemsha, a little fishing village in the town of Chilmark.  We always order crab dip and crackers, steamers, and lobsters from a little fish market called Larsen's.  They cook the lobsters and steamers while you wait.  There are no real tables....just crates and lobster pots outside that people use to make their own make shift seating. 

For those non-seafood lovers in our family, right up the hill is a place called "The Bite" where we order chicken fingers, french fries and a few chowders.
Mom and Kate
Add caption

walking on the docks

Daddy and Luke

Peter decided to try to eat lobster...unfortunately he took a bite of the shell!!!

action shot!

me and Jon
Mike and Jon being goofy!

my parents

Jon and Luke....who was attached to Jon at the hip all.weekend.long!

#4:  Beach pics

Jay tormenting Jon!

...then Sarah!

Someone was a little sleepy and then promptly fell asleep in the car on the way back from the beach!

#5:  Flying Horses
The Vineyard is home to one of the country's oldest carousels.  It's one of those carousels that you grab rings and, if you get the gold ring at the end, you get a free ride!  Our kids were super lucky this weekend.  On the first night we were there, Sarah and Kate got the gold ring.(no camera that time!)  Then, the next day, Luke was the lucky one...extra lucky since this time I was ready!


Holding his free ride ticket!

#6:  Waxing Poetic

For about twenty minutes, this was the scene that I got to watch.  All of my kids, sans Andrew, who didn't join us on the Vineyard until later on Saturday bc of work, and Kate, who was playing in the sand right next to me, were in the water playing frisbee. They were all having fun...there was no fighting...and it was just one of those really blissful family moments that you just want to soak in and enjoy.  

#7:  My Favorites!
Still with me?!?  I hope the following pics make it worth the wait!!!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Playing Catch Up!

Well, it's Thursday and I've failed to blog all week!

We had a fun weekend on the Vineyard with my parents, but I haven't uploaded the pictures from my camera, yet.  I'm hoping to get to it sometime today and post the pics tomorrow.

Monday was an exhausting day!  Unpacking and sorting is always a challenge when you come back from a trip of any length.  Plus, Sarah and Luke both had physicals at 8am that I had planned before I knew we were going away for the weekend!  It was a killer waking up and rushing to get Sarah, Luke and Kate, (who was along for the ride bc all the older boys were working), ready and out of the house.

Since we went away for the weekend I only grabbed snacks and food for Peter when I went to the grocery store last Thursday.  So, after the doctor's office, we hit the grocery store.  With Sarah's help we made really good time.

By the time we got home and I put the groceries away, Peter was home and it was lunchtime for the littles and I was exhausted!  Other than a doing some laundry the rest of the day was pretty unproductive.

The midsummer blues have set in here-well, for me anyway.  As July closes, I know the summer is winding down and it is almost time to start getting ready for the dreaded 's' word.  As crazy as it gets during the summer with everyone home...or, realistically, everyone coming and going constantly!..I can't say that I am ready to jump into the routines and responsibilities(paperwork/deadlines/making snacks and lunches) of the school year.

Yet, at the same time, I'm burned out from trying to come up with activities to keep everyone busy and give everyone a summer filled with fun memories!  And, honestly, I do not enjoy 'pretend play' and I have clocked in quite a bit of time playing Autobots and Decepticons with Luke!  Ellie has been at day camp for 2 weeks so Luke is short a playmate.  Unfortunately, most of his other friends are at the camp, too!  Yesterday, I had my nephew over and it was a blissful 3 hours of getting to just listen to the boys play their great pretend battles!

That's the way I like it!  It won't win me mother of the year, but I'm ok with that!

I'm still struggling with the whole turning 40 thing.  We've also got lots of change coming this fall since Mike and Andrew will both be going away.  Jon will be starting college, too, as a mechanical engineering major.  With his busy school schedule(he has two different chemistry classes with 2 labs) plus plans to join the ultimate frisbee club and check out intramural volleyball, basketball, and campus ministry, and about 10 work hours somewhere in-between it all, I don't think we will be seeing him much!

Kate is looking more and more like a little girl and less like a toddler.:(  She hit the 2 and a 1/2 mark last month and it shows!  Tuesday morning she managed to get her own shorts on and was so proud of herself!  Sarah and I both felt sad!  The baby of the house is growing up!  I realized this morning that Kate's diaper rustling days will be coming to an end before too long.  While I won't miss buying them, it will deliver us to a whole new stage of life.

As I've been learning over the past couple of years, 
excitement over moving forward and starting something new 
and grieving over what is changing go hand and hand.

On a positive, less emotional note....

Sarah has taught herself how to sew through youtube videos.(Both my grandmothers would be so proud!)
She made matching dresses for her and Kate.
 And two skirts that she wore on the Vineyard....
Advertising for the Black Dog...Luke is apparently advertising a truck;)

Between the sewing and doing math...she is trying to skip another math class at school so that she can take two years of AP Calculus in high school...she is keeping busy.  Jay's dad is tutoring her and then she does lots of problems from each chapter.  When she is done with one chapter, she calls my fil and he comes back to teach her the next one.  She has to get through the book before August 13th when she takes a test.  If she passes, then she's good to go. If not, she will have to be satisfied with one year of AP Calc.  

(boo hoo, right?  Seriously, she gets her math genes from Jay's side of the family!  I use a calculator and usually can't help my kids with math homework after 4th or 5th grade!)

Well this post is all over the place!  I hope your week is a little more organized!

Friday, July 18, 2014

It's Friday...'Whoot, Whoot!'

#1:  She Said

Jay:  Look, Kate, you're swimming!
Kate:  No, Daddy, I holdin'!

#2:  Sweet Treat
Jay surprised me on Wednesday night with a piece of tiramisu and a canolli!  I didn't get a pic of the canolli before it got devoured.....soooo good and sweet!  I did share with Jay, Sarah, Ellie, Jon and Luke, so it was a sweet treat without the guilt!:)

#3:  Family Fun
While Jay and the older kids were away last weekend at Pro Life Boot Camp, my parents helped me take the kids to Fort Phoenix Beach.  They have some old cannons on display there that Luke and Peter especially enjoyed seeing!:) one looking at the camera!

#4:  Fixing up the Nest
I'm reading a few books right now.  One of them is called The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith....known among the blog world as "The Nester".  (I think the nickname is bc no one can figure out how to say Myquillyn!)  

I'm really enjoying the book, and it inspired me to get our dark colored ottoman re-upholstered into the lighter brighter colors that our living room has now.  Luckily for me, my friend, Carol, is an incredibly talented, crafty person.  We went shopping together for fabric, (girl time!), and she is already halfway done with it!  I can't wait to see the finished product!

#5:  #nobalance
One of my 'turning 40 reflections' has been realizing that I need to get a better balance in regards to taking care of my own needs.  This week, I've focused on exercise and tracking what I'm eating through the free app on fitness pal.  Week one has been a success...especially in regards to exercise.  I've walked multiple times, done a LesMills cardio workout, and a couple of 10 minute on demand exercise shows.  It feels good to fit in some 'me time'....I mean, seriously, it's amazing how hard it is to find 30 minutes a day to claim for myself!  Well...I've carved out 30 minutes for a week!  We'll see how next week goes!

#6:  Weekend Fun
We have a fun weekend planned!  Can't wait to tell you all about it on Monday:)  But before I wrap this up.....

#7:  Name That Girl
For anyone that guessed the baby pics from yesterday's post.......
The answer is:
2. Kate
3. Ellie
4. Kate
5. Sarah 
6. Ellie

Have a great weekend!