Wednesday, June 16, 2010

3rd Grade

Gabe had a wonderful year in the 3rd grade. He loved his teacher Mrs.. West and was excited that one of his favorite friends Gregory was in his class again. In the beginning of the year he set a goal to make honor roll all four semesters, and he did it! He was very proud of himself. He also received many awards this year at all the awards assemblies. He received student of the month, computer achievement award, outstanding achievement in Math, music award, and the excellence in physical fitness award. He also was so proud to bring home his EOG scores. He got a 4 in the math and a 3 in reading, he just missed getting a 4 though. I thought is would be neat to take a picture on the first day of school and then again on the last day to see how he changed and grew.

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First day of school

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Last day of school

June 2010

We are looking forward to a great summer and excited to see what 4th grade has to bring!

The Graduate

Teresa had a wonderful time in preschool this past year.  She loved her teachers Ms. Barb, Ms. Tammy, and Ms.Tina, you could see how much these ladies enjoyed working with the kids.  She met some great friends, and made some great memories.  She is completely and totally ready for kindergarten and can not wait to go to the “big” school with Gabriel. 

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Kindergarten here she comes….

Friday, June 11, 2010

I’m Jammin….

The girls and I (Gabe was still in school and very disappointed he missed out) had the privilege of meeting up with a wonderful family for a morning of strawberry picking.  The girls had a blast picking berries, playing with the Pollard kids, and I enjoying catching up with Beth.  It was a great afternoon that even ended with delicious ice cream from Bergey's.

 

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I had wanted to pick enough to try and make some jam, but what was picked that day didn’t last long around here.  We were than blessed by a wonderful local family that owns a farmers market.  The Powell family opened up their fields for FREE to any local church members.  So my friend Diane and I went out one early  Saturday morning  and picked, and picked , and picked.  I came home with a good bit, with hopes of getting a few jars of jam out of them.

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I gathered my supplies, did a little googling, and set out to make some freezer strawberry jam.   I have never made jam or canned anything so I was a bit nervous on how this was going to turn out.  Of course the girls wanted to help.  So they all took turns mashing, stirring, and adding the sugar.  The process was a bit easier than I thought it was going to be.  A little time consuming and I made a nice mess, but it was all worth it.  

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I found these cute tags online and made these to give to Gabe’s teacher as an end of the year gift.

( I can’t remember the website that I got the tags from, but they were a free printable)

The jam tastes delicious and I love to hear the kids say “ Hey Mom, can we have some toast with that yummy jam you made”. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

EMS Provider of the Year

On May 14th Jason had the privelege of being honored as the City of Chesapeake’s EMS Provider of the Year. It was a great night that we shared with great friends and Jason’s parents. I was so proud of Jason and glad to see him get recoginzed for all his hard work. This kind of thing is totally out of his comfort zone though. He is probably one of the most humble people I know. He is always putting 110% into what ever he is doing and believes that no matter what you should always do your best. He has high expectations of himself and takes his job seriously. Being a firefighter/paramedic is truly the profession for him. That evening they also honored a good friend of ours with the Firefighter of the year award. Jeff has ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and had to retire from active duty last year. In my opinion the department honoring Jeff with this award is another example of how the department really has that “brotherhood” feel about it. Of course there are some “work politics” but for the most part, in my opinion, they really “take care of their own”. I know that when Jason joined the department 10 years ago we met some of our greatest friends, and for that I am thankful.

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Jason, Jeff, and Forrest

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Jason and his Parents

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Mother’s Day 2010

Okay so I know I am a month behind on a Mother’s Day post but since this is my “scrapbook” I wanted to make sure I documented the great weekend we had.

Teresa’s school had a nice Mother’s Day tea the week before Mother’s Day. Teresa was so excited for it and it was so cute to see all the nice things they made for the occasion.

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Over Mother’s Day weekend we traveled up north to our friend’s house for their daughter, our goddaughter’s First Communion. Danny and Jen live outside of Washington D.C. so we decided to stop on our way up on Friday. We went to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum and the American History Museum. It was a bit crowded due to all the school field trips but it still was a fun time. We enjoyed seeing the dinosaur exhibits, the hope diamond and the exhibit on mammals at the NHM. I am pretty sure I enjoyed the American History Museum more than the others. They had a neat display of the Inaugural gowns of the first ladies which I enjoyed, Gabe and Jason not so much. They also had Julia Child’s kitchen on display which again I am sure I enjoyed more than the others, especially after watching the movie “Julie&Julia”. We also saw the ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz, Kermit the Frog, Brian Botanio’s ice skates, and Natasha Lukin’s gymnastic leotard. We really could have spent an entire day at each museum but we were only able to stay a few hours. After the museums we walked by the Capital building, Lincoln Memorial, and did a drive by of the White House. It was a fun afternoon and I am so glad we took that opportunity to see the sites of D.C.

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the Hope Diamond

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Saturday of that weekend we had Ava’s First Communion. We were so glad to be able to be there for this special occasion. I still never will forget Ava’s baptism. I was so embarrassed. They didn’t have her baptized during a Mass, just a small service with just a few people. And Gabriel SCREAMED the entire time. Not just a little fussing but a full on fit and there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t take him out because I had to be there and there was no one that I could give him to either. The funny thing now when I look back on it is that the entire time Danny’s dad was video taping. I kept thinking…really are you even getting anything the priest is saying or are you just doing this to torture me so we can forever have documented the awful fit Gabe was throwing. Thankfully this time around everyone behaved themselves and it was great to be able to celebrate this special occasion with her.

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Danny and Jen live on a great farm in Maryland. We all had a great time but I think that Teresa enjoyed herself the most. She loved being able to play with the chickens, rabbit, goat, and pony. I think her favorite thing was to walk down to the creek and play in the water. It was so pretty there that weekend and I had a chance while the little girls were taking a nap to take some pics…

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I wish this picture would have come out better. These four guys (Jason, Pete, Danny, Antoni) have been friends for years and now all these years later they have 10kids +1 on the way between them! It is always so great to get together with them…no matter how much time passes it is like it was just yesterday that we all saw each other! The blessing of those “forever friends”.

On Mother’s Day we left early and drove to see my parents. It was great to get to spend the day with my Mom. We were able to visit for a few hours and then we were on the road home. It was a whirlwind weekend but so worth it. It is times like these, spending time with great friends and family, that matter’s most!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunscreen

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Just another day in the life!!

(the call in the middle is Jason trying to call after I sent him a picture)

I guess she wasn't watching Dora after all, and this is what I get for trying to put away Mt. Washmore!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jennifer’s Journey

Back in April I traveled home one weekend to support one of my oldest and dearest friends who has been diagnosed with Lung Cancer.  When I first learned of her diagnoses back in February I was just devastated.  This is not supposed to be happening to one of my friends, especially someone as kind hearted and loving as Jen.  These things only happen to other people…I was only supposed to hear other people’s stories of this happening to their friends.  But here I was having to face watching my dear friend go through such a trial.  In these few short months she has taught me so much about so many different things.  She has faced this trial with such grace and strength.  Of course there have been times of weakness, I mean really a person can only be so strong.  This journey has taught me about how important it is to tell those you love, really how much you love and care about them.  To tell them how much they mean to you on any regular day not just wait until they are struggling through a hardship.  It has also shown me the importance of making time for those who are important to you.  Not to wait till “next time”, or “when I am not as busy”.  Besides that it has also shown me the awesomeness of God, how if you truly ask him into your heart he will pick you up and carry you like that poem “Footprints in the Sand”.  The incredible sense of peace that Jen keeps talking about I know can only come from God.  Also how a positive attitude can make a world of difference.  How the “woes is me” frame of mind is nothing but negative energy and when going through a struggle who wants to waste your energy on that.  Now of course everyone has their moments and that is normal and expected but I guess what I am trying to say is that we all have two ways of handling a situation and I see how choosing the more positive way of thinking can make a world of difference. 

The turn out of the walk was just remarkable.  Hundreds of friends, friends of friends, co-workers, and family members all came out to support her.    I can only imagine how overwhelming it was to her family to see so many people come out and support them. It was great to see and catch up with some people I have not seen in years.  Almost like a mini high school reunion.  The best part was getting to hang with these girls…

 

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It was so neat to see how even after all these years we all just picked right back up like we saw each other yesterday.  Also how we were all still the same, even after getting married and having kids.  We were able to go out to lunch afterwards and if someone had rewound time it could have been all of us sitting there like we were in high school. But instead of talking about boyfriend drama and high school drama, we were talking about careers, husbands, and babies!

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One with Jen! :)

 

As much as I wish we would have never had to have an event like this for one of our friends, it was such an awesome experience and a memory that will last a lifetime. 

The Sunday after the walk I had the privilege to be Jen and Shaun’s daughter’s godmother.  When they told me that they had decided to get their kids baptized I was so honored to be asked to be a part of such a special occasion.  Thankfully Jen was feeling better so I was able to spend more time with her and her family.  Here is my most favorite picture from that day….

 

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It was a wonderful weekend filled with many emotional memories.  I am so thankful I was able to make the trip and show my support for someone I feel so blessed to call friend!

Monday, May 17, 2010

So much to blog about and so little time

Gosh I have so much I want to blog about but finding the time has been difficult.  I was thinking about giving up but then I read  this and again decided that this was a wonderful way to document our lives.  So I am going to challenge myself to at least a post a week.  It is funny though because this all goes along with the feeling lately that I have had about the priorities in my life.  What is important to me and what I want to invest my time with.   I have a few other challenges that I am giving myself that I will hopefully write about also, if I get brave enough to put them out there in cyber world.  But for now I must get Teresa off to preschool and then tackle a huge shopping trip to Sam’s.  Fun times ahead…… 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

I thought in honor of it being Earth Day I would write a post documenting our garden thus far.

Now I must be honest in saying that every year in the early spring Jason and I get very ambitious with our garden plans. We make a list of everything we want to plant and I make the promise that I will make sure it gets weeded and watered while Jason is working his long hours. Then some time around the 1st of August when it is hot and humid my enthusiasm weans and the weeds start taking over. I also have visions of me freezing, canning and preserving our “harvest”. I really do have these visions of myself making homemade spaghetti sauce from our tomatoes and having my pantry filled with mason jars of food I have canned from the garden. Now to give myself some credit I did manage to make some pesto sauce and freeze a few jars. I give those women who actually do all of that a ton of credit. I hope one day have a freezer and pantry that would make Ma Ingalls proud.

Anyway this year again I promised Jason the weeding would get done and if he planted snap beans I would learn how to freeze them and I wouldn’t let all of the potatoes rot. So this year we have planted broccoli, which I hope does well this year. The last two years the weather got too warm too quick and ruined all the plants. We also have potatoes, onions, beans, carrots (first year with these…we’ll see), and basil already planted. Jason just started the seeds for the tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. I would love to plant zucchini and squash but they take up a lot of room and we are already extending the garden this year. I am really hoping we get a great harvest this year and I am looking forward to the first garden fresh vegetables because there is really nothing like them!

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Lettuce

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Potato Plant

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Broccoli

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Beans

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Onions

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A blossom from our apple tree.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Really, did I just do that

I had one of those awful Mom moments the other day. After I realized what happened I kept hoping that maybe,just maybe it wasn’t true.

I ran over Gabriel’s IPod with the lawn mower. Yup that’s right I ran his IPod over with the riding mower. If that thing hadn’t exploded into a million pieces I would have collected it and taken a picture.

What happened was, I was getting ready to cut the grass. Gabe and Teresa were at a friends house and Faith and Lauren were taken naps. I thought it would be nice to listen to some music while I mowed since I didn’t have to keep an eye on anyone. Remembering that my iPod wasn’t charged I decided to use Gabe’s. Well I guess in a moment of complete mind loss I placed it in my lap, decided to take my coat off and then I heard it. This big clank that for sure was not a great sound to hear while you are cutting grass. I looked behind me and saw this silver object go a flying and then I looked down and saw the earphone wire hanging out from under the blade cover. I insistently checked my pocket (which is where I thought I had put it) and then remembered OH NO it was on my lap!!! It must have fallen off when I took my coat off and then went right under the mower. UGH!!! I felt horrible! Not only did I feel bad just for the fact that I ran it over but because I had just gotten on him for leaving it around. I told him he better start putting it back where it belongs because if not it was going to get BROKEN. And here I am the one that breaks it.

I thought for sure when I told him what had happen he was going to get upset. When he got home I told him I had something important to tell him. I then broke the news…and this is what he said to me “ Mom that’s okay I don’t use it that much anyway” then he paused and said “well I do but it still is okay”. I said “really you’re not upset, I really am sorry” and he then said “no really Mom it is okay it was just an accident”.

I have to be honest and say I was really proud of him in that moment. He didn’t have to react that way. He could have been upset, demanded that I get him a new one but he didn’t. Just an “it’s okay Mom”. Well and then followed by “did it explode into a million pieces, what did it look like, what did it sound like” :-)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spring Soccer 2010

We just ended soccer season and I have to say while it was great to see the kids play and they had a ton of fun, I will not miss 4 nights of practice and 2 games on Saturday. This was the first season that we had two kids in sports. Overall it really wasn’t that bad and thankfully due to great friends carpooling worked out great. I’ll tell you it really does take a village!!

This season Gabe played with a new coach and some new players. At first I was concerned because there were a few kids that were on the younger side of the age group and some inexperienced players but I’ll tell you what this was the “little team that could”. It took a game or two for the team to mesh and learn to play together but once it clicked they really had a some great plays. Gabe played great for the most part, he had a few times where it seemed his head just wasn’t in the game, but hey we can’t be “on” all the time. He scored some goals and was one of the players that scored in the final game to earn us our first victory! They may have only won one game but that last game they really played with some heart. I could tell they were all really driven to end the season on a high note and boy did they! I wish I had gotten more pictures of Gabe playing but either the camera battery was dead or I was too busy chasing the girls around.

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Goooooo Golden Dragons!

This was Teresa’s first time playing soccer EVER! She has kicked the ball around the backyard and has spent many hours at the field watching Gabe play but never actually played on a team. She was super excited to get to play and thought she was so grown to get to play soccer like Gabe does. She was thrilled on her game days especially if anyone special was coming to watch her play such as my sister or Jason’s parents. Overall she did well . She loved that her friend Abbi played on her team and her team did really well. She had some great games and some games were I think she just enjoyed sitting on the sidelines eating the halftime snack. The funniest story of the season was from the very first game. Teresa was out on the field and the whistle had blown to end the game. Teresa got a hold of the ball and instead of stopping dribbled the ball down field and kicked it in the goal. Of course when she turned around we all cheered for her and she beamed a smile like “wow awesome I just scored a goal!”. And according to her she did…I never told her that the game had ended and it didn’t count.

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Goooo Lemonheads!!!

Here are a few pictures of what Faith and Lauren enjoy doing during the games.

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Here’s to another great soccer season!! See ya in the fall!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My “baby” turns 2

I can still call her a “baby” right even though she has turned 2. I have to say these past 2 years have flown by incredibly fast. I remember when I was getting close to my due date with Lauren and the “panic” set in about how was I going to manage having 4 kids and 3 of them being 3 and under, I just kept giving myself short term goals. I would tell myself things like”Okay think small…let’s just make it through the summer without any major issues or catastrophes and by that time Lauren would be 4 months things would get easier” or “Made it through summer now lets just make it through the fall and the holidays”. Well before I knew it Lauren’s first birthday came and went and we were all still standing and I have to say thanks to wonderful friends and family the transition wasn’t so bad. Of course I had my days and nights were I thought I had completely lost it and wondered how God thought little ole disorganized me could handle this huge responsibility. Now here we are and sweet Lauren is 2 and as loving, smart, and adorable as any 2 year old can be.

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The day she was born was a pretty scary experience. Due to a prolapsed cord we had to have an emergency c-section. I had to be put under general anesthesia because I hadn’t had time to get an epidural and they didn’t even have time to administer one in the OR. I remember being rolled down the hallway with all these nurses, my wonderful doctor Dr. Roberts, Debbie the midwife, and Jason experiencing the most fear I had ever had. It is never a great feeling when your doctor says to your husband “yeah I am a little nervous too” . My last memory before Lauren’s birth was seeing Jason’s face as they closed the doors to the OR and seeing the worry in his eyes. I am so thankful that my dear friend Shannon was there to be such a great support to us. I am truly blessed by her friendship. After I woke up from the anesthesia I was so overjoyed and thankful to hear that everything went well and that Lauren was about as perfect as perfect can be. I often look at her and say a prayer of thanksgiving because I know that if her umbilical cord had been compressed for too long of a time the outcome could have been very different.

This year for her birthday we were thankful that Jason was off work and the weather was beautiful. We took the kids to the Sound Park in Harbinger which was a really fun time. We road bikes, swung on swings, and Gabe got to ride on the skate park. We then went to Jason’s sister house for a cook out and cake. I was especially excited that my sister Meredith made it down from New Jersey to celebrate with us. It is always nice when the cousins all get a chance to get together and play. Here are some pictures from the night:

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Jason and all the cousins

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Lauren was so excited about the Dora cake I made her for her bday! The look on her face made staying up until 1am finishing it totally worth it!

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Lauren you are such a joy and a real blessing to our family. I love how one minute you are trying to keep up with your older sisters and then the next you want to cuddle and snuggle like a baby. You have amazed us with your vocabulary and have no problem letting us know what you want or expressing how you feel. Some of your favorite things to do are: swing on the swings, play with your baby dolls, go for walks, watch Dora, and read books. You absolutely love our dog Casie and can often be found laying next to her playing with her hair. I love when you come up to me and say “I’m hungry” which is probably about half of your waking hours. I would say your favorite food is pineapple and I love how excited you get when we buy one at the store. So much so that you insist on holding it the entire ride home. We love you so very much and look forward to watching you grow into a sweet loving little girl!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Weekend

We had a wonderful Easter weekend this year. The weather was absolutely beautiful and it made celebrating this meaningful holiday even better. We were blessed to have Jason off from work on both Saturday and Sunday so we made sure to do a lot of family activities and plenty of down time also . On Saturday morning we went to an Easter egg hunt at Teresa’s preschool which is also the church that Jason’s parents have started to attend. It was a fun time and Teresa enjoyed seeing many of her classmates.

Once we made it back home and Lauren went down for a nap the rest of us headed outside to enjoy the weather and get some yard work done. Jason and the kids worked in the garden and I cut the grass. I am really excited about the garden this year. So far we have planted potatoes, onions, broccoli, and beans and Jason and Faith started the seeds for the tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. Ahhhh I can not wait for a garden fresh sun ripened tomato…yummy!

After working in the yard for awhile we came back in a dyed some eggs. I actually had to go to the store and buy eggs for the first time since October because I wasn’t sure how the brown and green eggs would turn out. I have to say there is definitely a huge difference in taste…fresh eggs taste so much better!

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On Easter Sunday the kids enjoyed their Easter baskets, Lauren probably a little too much because every time I turned around she had a new piece of candy in her mouth. One of my favorite parts of Easter Sunday mass is when we sing during the responsorial psalm “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it” It was even more special this year because I have been singing that song with the girls so Teresa was so excited she knew all the words and could sing along. It was just precious to see her smiling face singing her heart out.

After church we went to Jason’s parents house for dinner and another egg hunt.

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Jesus Christ is Risen today…..Alleluia!!!