Sunday, November 30, 2014

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

We decided to take advantage of our new home base and visit New York for the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade. I looked forward to watching it every year on Thanksgiving morning when I was a kid, so needless to say, it was a bucket list item that was too close not to do.

Since we are only 2 hours from NYC we were able to drive up the night before and come home Thanksgiving night so Colonel Mustard could be back at work on Friday.

So....things to know about the Macy's Parade.

1. It is VERY cold standing on the streets of New York for 6 hours the end of November.
2.There are a LOT of people going to see the parade. New Yorkers are generally very rude, but some of the visitors were fun to talk to.
3. While it was exciting to attend the parade in person, it is not nearly as grand as it always seemed  on T.V.
4. The balloons are really cool, but again, not nearly as big as they seemed on T.V.
5. I am so glad we took the kids but it was definitely a "once in a lifetime" kind of thing--I don't know that I'd brave it again having been there and done that.

We took way too many pictures so I won't share them all, but here is your sidewalk view of the parade.

And dinner was spent at a nasty Cracker Barrel on the way home!

Happy belated Thanksgiving.

After dragging 5 kids through the streets of New York City, I am keenly aware of how close we came to having to move to this city. And I'm very grateful we didn't have to. So this year for Thanksgiving, I'm grateful for our new home in Delaware. It may not be everything we dreamed of, but it sure beats living in NYC with 5 kids!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


I had a breakdown today. You know, one of those full on crying in public for an extended period of time episodes. The cable guy, with a very concerned look, had to ask me if I was ok-- as I sat in the photo center at CVS sobbing while Katlyn stood beside me, and Ali lay on the floor next to me screaming.

It was picturesque--it really was. I'm certain everyone that walked past thought, "What the heck is wrong with that lady?" But I was past the point of caring what they thought, and past the point of being able to control my emotions. I was defeated. It was 1pm, and I had spent the last 5 hours attempting to get pics off my phone for a project Andrew has due in the morning. It (my phone) is the only source of pics I have right now and after hours of searching and dowloading apps, and receiving error after error, I restarted my phone one more time, only to be told that my memory had been compromised and I'd pretty much lost everything---insert point of breakdown--in the photo center--in the middle of CVS.

Now I'm certain, and you could probably guess, that my breakdown was not just the upset of a 6th grade social studies project. It was more a culmination of stresses which in that moment, came together and overwhelmed my somewhat fragile feeling. Yes, Colonel Mustard, I know. It's about time I get a new feeling!

So what did I do that got me from the CVS public cryfest to here? Well first, I took the girls to the car and cried some more. Then I prayed and restarted my phone again. Then we marched back into CVS --not even a little ashamed, and after another hour we marched back out with our photos in hand. We picked up Andrew, put together a project and fixed dinner.

Persrverance: The quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult.

Do you know the key to perseverance?


It is ok (well Colonel Mustard might disagree) to break down and cry SO LONG AS you pick yourself up and GET TO WORK!

An invaluable lesson taught to me by my unethical, child labor weilding, nazi parents. And I couldn't be more grateful.

When everything is falling apart at the seams, and I feel like I can't go on, their voices in my head chide me to get to work and focus on accomplishing the few things I have the control to change. Somehow, this action of exerting effort has the unseen ability to affect change in areas of which you have little or no control. Or maybe you are just busy and forget your problems until they solve themselves. The former explanation sounded more poetic though!

Thanks Mom and Dad. People might think I'm crazy, but one way or another, I can get it done.

So here's praying that I am a mean enough Mom to give my children the tools they need to pick themselves up off the floor at CVS and take care of business!

**And don't tell your father you were on the floor at CVS--ain't nobody got time for that!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Picture Updates...Just because

Just because...and just because I'm ill motivated today, feeling a little down and lost, and generally don't know what exactly I should be doing. So instead I'll ignore it all today, and while my muffins bake, I'll post some pictures to make me feel happy!

Girls' Nap Day

Last Day on the bus in Ohio.

The Long Timeout

Ava Ballerina

The Best of Fall

Conjoined Twins

Big Girl Hair

The Monkeys and the Ape

Movie is over.

Show me your moves

Family pic at Hill Cumorah

Family pic at Niagra Falls

My New Do

That's all she wrote.

Wish I were a toddler

Sunday, November 9, 2014


Ethan turned nine today--his last year in the single digits. (sniff, sniff) I'm telling you--I don't care what anyone says-- every year goes by so much faster than the last--it's sad.

My favorite little story about Ethan this year:

Before we left Ohio, a member of the Primary Presidency said that she would really miss my kids--especially Ethan. She said--I don't know what it is about him, but he has such a glow. When he walks in the room it's almost like the room lights up!

Not to discount the wonderfulness of my other kids--they are wonderful as well but I thought two things when she said that.

1. I was flattered that Ethan has made that impression on her.
2. I wasn't really surprised.

It's true. One of Ethan's talent's is his ability to bring peace and joy into a room just by being there. His love and concern for other people truly shines through his eyes. I certainly hope the he can begin to recognize this gift as he gets older. His influence for good can be far reaching if he will only believe in himself.

On to the Birthday festivities.

Ethan asked for a shark cake for his Birthday.

Giving the shark a taste of his own medicine.

Spanking line!

The opening of the gifts! 

Happy Birthday to our favorite nine year old! I love that you're a slow grower. Please stay that way so I can have little Ethan for just a while longer.