Monday, July 19, 2010

Rites of Summer...

We have many rites of Summer, such as making a trip to the water park, attending a fireworks show, making s'mores, attending a baseball game, going to a carnival, etc. etc. etc.

One of my favorite rites as a child is now enjoyed by all my children. And, I love to watch them having so much fun jumping off the lifeguard chair once they are gone for the evening.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Can you see what he sees?

Tank borrowed Uncle Kev's sunglasses.

Click on the pic: From his right lens, I see me taking his pic and our beach cart.

I'm then blinded by his dimples and handsomeness!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter!

We are celebrating Easter today with lots of smiles and sunshine! After an early rise hunt for Easter baskets and a glorious Easter Mass, we are spending the day outside with friends. The ice cream truck even came by too! We're looking forward to our last egg hunt of the season and dinner with the extended family later today.

Below is our Easter dessert from two years ago. Our friends at Touche Touchet have been making our Easter desserts for the past four years. We will miss them this year, but hope they are having a restful visit to the beach.

Happy Easter, All...Enjoy your cake and your goodies!!!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Character Greetings...

The kids always love the character greetings when we go to Disney World...what kid doesn't??? This year they were prepared and brought autograph books with them.

Tomorrow we are visiting another theme park. Because the only theme park they know is Disney, they think they are going to see Mickey, Minnie, Power Rangers, Toy Story, Cinderella, Snow White, etc.

I can't wait to see their reactions when they run into these characters...

We will be celebrating Springtime at the Park in Hershey, PA. Last year I had planned to take the kids there by myself since Mr. O was out of town the whole week they were off from school. I ended up canceling our plans because the forecast called for LOTS of rain. This year, you couldn't ask for better weather. Tomorrow's forecast calls for LOTS of SUN with a high of 83 degrees. SWEET!!!

Can you tell how much I'm anticipating all that chocolate???

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Hunt is On...

Today we attended our first community egg hunt for this Easter season. I love watching all the kids line up in anticipation of what treasures their eggs will hold.

The Hunt was organized by age group. The 2yo and 3yo kids went off at 10:15. The 4yo and 5yo kids went off at 10:45; My monkey and her favorite cousin were in this group. Here they are showing off their loot...

Banana and Tank's hunt started at 11:15.

Today's eggstravaganza was held at Claude Moore Park. Of historical importance, Vestal's Gap Road runs through this park.

George Washington documented many trips on this road in his journals. As a young surveyor, just 17 years old, he became very familiar with the wilderness here. This experience made him Governor Dinwiddie’s choice to carry a letter of protest to the contested French settlements in 1753. His subsequent trips in 1754 and 1755 underscore the important role this road played in the French and Indian War. Approximately 1,000 British Red Coats and Colonial soldiers from Virginia and North Carolina marched down this road.

When my kids start learning about American history in school, I really am going to enjoy taking them to many historical sites in our area.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Crazy Kid....

These were taken just after bath time last night...HILARIOUS!!! Tank can be such a crack-up!!!

♥ God, I love this kid...and my girls so much. ♥

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Do you believe in signs, signals or messages from above? I DO...I believe I received one late this afternoon.

We were getting ready to eat dinner around 5:30p. It wasn't quite dark out...Tank and the Monkey were home, but Banana was playing at a friend's home two doors down from us. I walked out the front door, and heard a lot of much that I jumped over to the driveway from the front landing.

There were two plump birds flying and sputtering in Ned & Nora's tree.

[Ned & Nora's tree is a VA dogwood that was given to us after they died from my colleagues at work. We had it planted in our backyard at our townhouse, where it thrived. When we put the townhouse on the market, we stipulated that the tree was coming with us. It was transplanted beside our front door, and it continues to THRIVE.]

Anyway, these two plump birds flew from that tree to another tree in our front yard, and watched me walk down to check on Banana. I so wish I had my camera or iPhone on me to snap a picture. They were so beautiful!!!

When I walked back, there was no sign of the birds. I promptly went inside, got a lot of bread, and spread it over the front lawn. I hope they come back!!!

Happy Eighth Birthday, Ned & Nora! Banana, Tank & the Monkey enjoyed your birthday cake tonight...

Love, Mom.



222 is still my favorite number as it was 20 years ago. It's ironic that my firstborns, Ned and Nora, were born on 02.20.02. Unfortunately, they were born prematurely at 24w, and lived only 10 and 15 hours, respectively. A morning has not gone by in the last eight years upon wakening without praying to them to watch over us.

Today, they will celebrate their 8th birthday in heaven! And, I KNOW our great friend, Meg, will CRASH their party!!! Meg passed on this past week after fighting a courageous battle with brain cancer for the last 7 years. We will miss her dearly as we do Ned and Nora.

Laugh with all the angels and saints today, Ned and Nora!!! We love you!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Surprise Visitors!!!

On Wednesday (02.10) we spent the morning and early afternoon at Magic Kingdom in Disney World...our first bonus day courtesy of the DC Snowmeggadon.

We drove back to our rental for some down time. Even though the weather was in the 50s (that was the high), the kids had a blast in the HEATED pool...there was NO way Mr. O and I were going to take a dip though!

We cooked dinner at "home" early that afternoon, and since everyone was in high form, we decided to head back to the Magic Kingdom for the SpectroMagic parade (7p) and Wishes fireworks (8p). We got the kids all bundled up, then shooed them out the door to get strapped in the car. They took 2 steps out, then tumbled over each other to get back inside. WHY?

They were being attacked by Ospreys! I didn't know what they were then; I had to send a picture of them to my aunt.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Out of the mouths of Babes...

This past Tuesday, we spent the day at Disney's Hollywood Studios. We were situated at our preferred spot for the 3pm afternoon parade by 2:30p. Once Mr. O and the kids were settled, I set off to get ice cream for the kids. This look from them made me RUN!

When I got back, the kids were happily ensconced in their seats slopping away at their ice creams. Within minutes, Mr. O jumped up! An elderly man was having some sort of attack behind us. Mr. O went to help him...I ran to a Cast Member to call 911, then back to help Mr. O and another lady lay him gently on the ground. We're not sure what happened to him, but we think it was a stroke or a mini-stroke.

The kids were never more than 5 feet from us...and they watched it all. Tank & Banana seemed to be okay with our explanations that the man was ill and needed to be checked out by the doctors at the hospital. Our Monkey was all out of sorts. She had more questions than any answers we can give her. I told her, "Let's pray for him that he gets well."

Monkey: Will you help me pray?

Me: Sure! Dear God....

Monkey: No, I don't do God!

Me: What??? What do you mean you don't do God???

Monkey: (proceeding to bow her head and fold her hands) "Dear, Lord, Thank you for watching over me and my family and PLEASE take care of THAT man!"

How endearing is that prayer from a 4.5yo...It made my heart swell!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snowmeggadon extended our Disney Vacation!!!

Last Thursday, we were back home in Northern VA. I recall sitting down to write a note to Banana & Tank's Kindergarten teacher & aide that they would be absent Friday, Monday and Tuesday as we were going away for a long weekend. I didn't tell them WHERE, but I'm sure the kids told them. :) I felt awkward that I was taking them out of school to have a fun family getaway.

As I was packing up for our trip, which was difficult for me as I've never flown with children, I received an email from the County that school was closed on Friday because of the impending snowstorm. I was pumped up since that was one less "unexcused" absence.

We left early Friday morning...well before the Storm started. It snowed Friday through Saturday.

THIS is the aftermath on Sunday!!! This is our Acura parked in front of our house.

32.4" of snow fell at our local INTERNATIONAL airport.

Mr. O and I saw this picture and knew there was not going to be any school on Monday and Tuesday...what a relief!!!

Another snowstorm was forecast (possible 10-20") for Wednesday. We were scheduled to fly out on Tuesday, arriving at 7p. Monday evening, we received a call that our flight was CANCELED. We also received an alert that schools were canceled for the WEEK, and would not resume until Tuesday, the 16th, since Monday was a holiday, Presidents Day.

Now, what to do? We had to be out of the place we rented on Tuesday. We found another house right down the street. We got confirmed seats on a flight for Sunday. We upgraded our Disney tickets...4 more days for the 5 of us for the grand total of $63! Awesome!!!

So, here WE are, having FUN!!!

Epcot passports for kids!!!

Animal Kingdom...
Magic Kingdom...
Hollywood Studios...Streets of NY...♥ We head back to DC on Sunday and hope we can dig out our Acura before Spring arrives...

We are fortunate that we were able to park in a covered garage at the airport....AND...We are THANKFUL that...

We have awesome neighbors that plowed our driveway for an easy pull-in from a long time away!!!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

A Work of Art....

Tank loves to draw, and many of his drawings amaze me. I think that is because whenever he hands me a drawing, I can instantly tell what it is. Take this picture for instance...

I can tell you that's a picture of Tank and his friends playing football...not bad for a kid in Kindergarten, huh? Do you notice the purple jerseys? Since his Vikings flag football team was UNDEFEATED last Fall, he is now a fan of the professional Vikings.

So, this morning Tank hands me his latest drawing...

...I had absolutely no clue what it was...I was totally stumped!!!

When he told me it was a drawing of our fireplace, I busted out laughing...

I think it's hysterical that he drew the Angel of Hope, the rubber duckie and the mouse. This drawing inspired to dress up the mantel...LOL! I mean, what is a mouse doing on the mantel???

Much better, right???

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

So tired...

Although I love seeing my children out gallivanting in the snow, I'm really getting tired of it. Even so, I was still mesmerized when I woke up this morning and looked outside. How beautiful!!!

Monday, February 01, 2010


I started off 2009 wanting to spend more time reading and less time in front of the tube. On my blog I listed 17 books I read during the course of the year. I probably read a few more than that but never got around to listing them...So, I'm guessing I read at least 20 books or so.

In 2010, I want to do better than that!

And, so far, I'm on track to doing that. Yesterday, I started my 7th book of the year.

If you see any books listed here that you might be interested in, shoot me a note. I'll be happy to give you a review or maybe even send you my copy.

Friday, January 15, 2010

My Shooting Star...

My little monkey is a crack-up...she makes everyone LAUGH...I mean LOL every day.

She's 4.5 years old.

She woke up this morning, and told me she had "THE BEST DREAM EVER!!!

Me: OK, tell me all about it!!!

Monkey: (gasping with excitement) Me, Mia and Sarah (her best friends) went to a FASHION HOUSE, and you made yummy chocolate milk for all of us!

She had me rolling with her joy...and I laughed and cuddled with her.

After we got on with our day, I had to pause and think...I get that she was hanging with her girlfriends, and they all love chocolate milk!!!

BUT what does a 4yo know about a fashion house??? And, then I laughed some more!!!

My dad has always said, "She's been 'here' before!"

Monday, January 11, 2010

How we rang the New Year in....

The day of New Year's Eve was spent cleaning up the house and prepping for our annual New Year's Day Open House. We had to get a lot done so we could sit down and relax as we watched the VA Tech Hokies play the Tenn. Volunteers in the Chik-fil-A Bowl. Our plan was to watch the first half with the kids, then get them to bed during halftime (9pm). The girls went down fine, but the Tank was really upset. I let him stay up to watch the rest of the game if he was quiet and didn't let his sisters know. Check out the happy camper...

He was quite the trooper, and cheered whole-heartedly the whole game (ended at 11p). Mr. O, on the other hand, faltered...

We were THRILLED that the Hokies won the championship...37-14!!!

The game was over around 11p. Tank was ready to hit the hay...BUT...I strongly encouraged him to stay up an hour to ring/bang in the New Year. He totally didn't understand why I was doing this...and thought I was bonkers when I told him we would go outside and bang pots and pans at midnight.

He still thought I was bonkers when we first went out there...until we heard other neighbors parading around our 1/3 mile Circle.

He's still talking about those crazy neighbors. And, I love to watch his face light up when I tell him we are crazy neighbors too!!!