Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Two little Marines....

I can't forget two more little party goers who were
also decked out in camouflage for the birthday bash!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Semper fi.....

Despite the rain, the party was a success.
The lunch menu was pizza and corn dogs. Could it get any better?
Party attire was camouflage, as was the cake.
The boys learned real first aid tips and rescue techniques.
The bandage up the soldier game was a hit -
toilet paper was the bandages!
While my prayers for sun weren't answered,
the ones for a fun time were!
Yes - it was a fun time for all.
As fun as it can be with a house full of ten boys, that is!!!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Blame it on the carni's.....

The carnival is in town this week and of course it has brought the rain with it (and a host of other things, about which I won't blog). The carnival comes to town the same week every year and never failing, it rains every year. We went from sunny days with temps in the 70's and 80's last week to cold and rainy weather this week.

Tomorrow is John's birthday party with his all his buddies. Though his birthday was last week, it was school vacation. John chose his birthday theme to be a "Marine" party, (U.S. Marine Corp). I had a lot of fun games picked out to play - all with a military theme. So much for having the boys run around in the back yard! I am not sure indoors is suitable, but what can we do?

I am pleasantly reminded that you can't order up the weather (though perhaps prayers will work). I should go rethink the party agenda. When plan A isn't an option, chose plan B! (that is If I had a plan B!)

Note to myself: There is a strong correlation between carni's and rain. NEVER plan an out door event for the week the carnival is in town!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

13 is the magic number......

It is 6:00 pm and John should have been here any minute. I am so excited. I just turned twenty-two, and he is taking me out to celebrate my birthday. A birthday and a new and more importantly, special boyfriend, what could be better? Of course I had been ready for a half hour, I am just waiting for my date!

It's 6:45 pm, and the phone rings. It's John telling me he is a little late (do you think?) and he will be there soon. Oh well, I am still excited and can wait. Good things are worth waiting for, right?

It's 8:00 pm and still no John. Oh wait here goes the phone again. This time there was a small snafu and he's on his way. I am a little nervous (and a bit annoyed) by this time, but I will take his word for it. Fifteen minutes later, John arrives dawning roses. We are on our way.

He picked out the restaurant. I have never been there. It is a few towns away. We pull up. It looks nearly empty. Perhaps its because it is a week night? We go inside. It is a quaint place - a converted quarry mill. To my dismay they stopped seating patrons at 8:45. It is 8:55.

While I am sure P.J. was a bit embarrassed, I am still happy to be out with him on my birthday. Really the best part of that year, for me, is him. Though this may sound crazy, I never thought I would meet someone as special.

I thought of another restaurant near by that was still open, and we had a nice meal. Was it a nice meal or just wonderful company? I think the latter is more fitting. Regardless it was an awesome birthday even though it didn't start out the way we intended. His original plan was thwarted for reasons that I am still not aware. However, I now know that time easily gets away from him and procrastination is his middle name. Though now I can control it or at least try.

Fast forward thirteen years - yes 13! We are now married. We just celebrated my 14th birthday together. Though our plans did not work out 13 years ago, John had a plan this year. Thirteen years later, John took me back to that same restaurant. However, this year he was on time (or should I say, WE were on time!) We went back to that quaint restaurant. We had a wonderful time. So much as changed in thirteen years, yet so much is still the same. He was my special present 13 years ago and he still is!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Last of the Mohicans....

at least for Thomas at our house!
Let's just say the T-man woke up from a nap with a very crazy "do".
Though I didn't have to do much to get this way, a little hair gell held it together.
As you can see, Thomas has the best hair for a Mohawk.
Don't worry, Mary, I won't make this a regular thing! =)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Its great to be.....


Eight years ago today, I received my greatest gift - motherhood.
John turned 8 today.
We celebrated his day at the park.
We had dinner at Bugaboo Creek.
Afterwards we had our family over for cake.
This guy loves a good party.
He brings so much happiness to everyone.
He is a gift!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

She must have known...

I love my Tuesday and Thursday night exercise class. Its a sort of boot camp - a combination of strength training and cardio. I always feel good after every class. I always look forward to going and tonight was no exception. I was preparing dinner when the phone rang - it was a call to tell me tonight's class was canceled. It may sound weird to some, but I was really disappointed. I have been going to this class for about 8 0r 9 months, and I just love it. As tired as I may be when I get there, afterwards I am invigorated. Needless to say I went for a run to get my exercise in for the night. I did NOT want to run. I looked forward to the motivation of the other woman in the class and running alone just wasn't going to cut it. I did it anyway.

I was running along the beach's walkway across from my house. Though it was a beautiful night, I just didn't want to run. My legs ached and my heart felt like it was beating out of my chest. When I reached my half-way point I felt like stopping. Maybe I would just walk. Then behind me I could hear a sweeping sound. Someone was catching up to me. She was going fast. She was then beside me. "You can do it. Keep going," she said. I did not know this girl. She was definitely younger than me. She was lean and visibly a runner. While I am sure she could have blown by me, she didn't. Rather she ran with me the whole way home. I did not walk. We ran. When I got to my starting point, she continued running. She must have known I needed a push. She was the inspiration which I needed. She must have known!

Mirror mirror....

what do I see?

We were just driving home from yesterday's events and I took this from the car.
I thought it was so peaceful looking.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The shot heard around the world.....

Happy Patriots Day! On April 19, 1775, Colonists took up arms in defense of their rights and clashed with British Regulars, thus igniting a war that would lead to the birth of our independent nation. "The shot heard round the world" began the American Revolution. Now that you have had your mini-history lesson, I'll tell you about our little historical adventure today. It began at 4:30 am, at the sound of my alarm clock. This was quite a feat for me. Generally I do not rise that early. Additionally, in the interest of time, I was unable to shower and primp! Within ten minutes the four of us where in the car on the way to Lexington, MA where we watched the reenactment of "the Battle on the Lexington Green." This was the beginning of the American Revolution. If you have ever heard, "the Red coats are coming...." this is what its all about. Afterwards we moved on to Concord MA, where we viewed the Concord Parade and visited the Old North Bridge where the first major battle of the American Revolution occurred. While I am not history scholar, it can be explained in further detail here.

While I wasn't looking forward to waking so early, it turned out to be a fantastic day. Big and little John love history and you can't get any closer to history than events such as these. Where we live, history surrounds us. My home town is the birthplace of two American Patriots and Presidents. There is so much for me to see and learn, and I am happy that I can do this with my children.

Here are some pictures from our day. Let's just say that Matthew woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like....

I am so happy to say that we were outside almost all day -
that is a sure sign of spring.
I hope everyone is enjoying this weekend with
similary beautiful weather.
The sun is surely a long awaited gift for many of us.
Enjoy. =)

21st Century?

Are you ever like me and take for granted that your children will understand what you are saying? So often I tend to use metaphors and similes and just assume they comprehend me. For instance today Matt was pleading with me to take him for a bike ride. We were in the car after Karate lessons, and we were on the way to get my oil changed in the truck. Finally after he kept asking and asking, I replied, "Matt stop asking me - you sound like a broken record." Matt's response was, "what's a record?" Then I thought for a quick second - of course he doesn't know what a record is! Afterwards, John suggested "why don't you tell him he sounds like a broken eight-track!" (can you hear the sarcasm?)
I guess I'll have to update my common sayings to be more contemporary. Perhaps I should just bring them into the 21st. century!
I will leave you with one picture from yesterday, Matt was playing basketball and got a bug on him!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Batter up....

Baseball season is in full swing, and this guy is ready to play!

Faces of Abby....

Charlie and Abby came over to play the other day.
While the boys played,
Abby agreed to let me snap a few shots.
Of course, this was after I agreed to
put some lip-stick and blush on her.
I guess it was a small price to pay
for the opportunity to take some pictures.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Her name is Joanie....

One might call her a grumpy old lady. One might think her rude or crass. She says it like it is, sometimes stirring the pot. Sometimes she is right and sometimes she was a pain in the behind. Some people think she is a “grouch,” and often she might act like that. There was, however, something about this “old lady” accounts payable clerk that I liked then and still do. Deep inside her old, weathered body was a huge heart, wanting to love and wanting to be loved.

Her name is Joanie and she worked in the accounts payable office, across from the hospital finance department, where I worked. When I first met her, I was a recent college graduate who came to work on her floor. She is a retired U.S. Army Sergeant. While she has an abrasive demeanor, she is one of the kindest people I know. She retired a couple of years after I came to work there and it wasn’t until then that I really got to know her. She has been retired for over ten years now. During this time, our relationship has grown far beyond that of two coworkers. In this time, I have come to know her as a friend. She is like a friend, mother, and grandmother all rolled into one.

About a month after she retired, I decided to give her a telephone call to see how she was doing. I knew that she did not have any family – her husband has been deceased for over twenty years. Until this time, I only knew her in the work environment – we had never talked outside of work. One Friday night, I gave her a call. Since then, only few days have passed when we did not talk. Our friendship has flexed through the years. While before I had children, I had much more time. I would often visit her a few nights a week. Upon the births of my sons, my time has been more limited. All the while, I have always checked in with Joanie, and I take the boys to visit when we can. We talk almost daily. Joanie has become part of my family, and she has also formed relationships with my family members as well. She has not only “adopted” me as her granddaughter, she has done the same for my sisters too. Additionally, her and my mom became friends. Every few months my mom takes her to her doctor appointments in the city. We have been kind to her, and she has been kind to all of us.

While she is up in her years, I cherish the time we have. I look forward to our talks each day, and I look back on our conversations of the past. Though she never had children of her own, she exudes motherly instincts. She is insightful, loving, sensible, and thoughtful. Over the years she has given me valuable advice. She has been my crutch. She has always been someone in which I could confide. She listens – never judging. She however will speak her mind, when she feels necessary. Even when some days get crazy, I will call her at 11:00 pm just to say hi! She loves that. She is 84, but she’s current on the times. She’s a Red Sox fan and a Celtics fan. She always knows the scores. She is funny, but most of all, she has a heart of gold.

Last year when I started caring for Thomas, I told Joanie that I was nervous that I would not wake up in time to be ready for his arrival. She put me at ease and told me that she would give me a wake-up call. She has done just that every day since then. She is my alarm clock – ringing at 6:15 am each morning. I now realize this act is reciprocal. I am awakened on time (though I could really just set my alarm!) and it gives her a daily purpose. In the event that she does not call me, she is rest assured that I will call her to make sure that she’s okay. Though she has never actually said this to me, I know she is comforted by the thought of it. In fact, there have been a few days when she has not called and I have called her. I call it her “well being check,” and she chuckles.

I am so happy I gave her a call that Friday night. I can’t begin to imagine how much I may have missed had I not known her outside of work. I feel blessed that I have had Joanie as a friend. The biggest lesson I have learned from Joanie is one of which she is not aware. I learned to not judge someone on the surface. Many other people that know Joanie do not know her in the same way that I do. They may think of her as a grouchy old woman. I am fortunate to know her as so much more. I know her heart, and her heart has opened to me.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Knock knock.... Anybody home?

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!
Give me a shout and let me know how your weekend was. =)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

If you give....

a boy an Oreo cookie, he's going to be very messy.
He will, however, enjoy every minute of it! =)

Genderblind = STUPID

There's a movement that has been accepted at over 30 colleges and universities across the country known as National Student Genderblind. Proponents of this organization believe that discrimination exists when members of the opposite sex can not cohabitate within campus residences. This issue does not speak to coed dorms or floors/wings or suites within dorms. No it is referring to individual dorm rooms. Advocates of this movement want students of the opposite sex to be able to share rooms. Surely this is not social justice but rather lunacy.

While it is natural to want equality among the sexes, clearly a rational person can acknowledge that there are physical differences between males and females. Genderblind members feel that it is oppressive to deny students the right to live with members of the opposite sex. Unless evolution takes these differences away, they will always exist! Why then would you want to send your child off to college to share a room with a member of the opposite sex? Supporters of this issue say students are going to have sex anyway so why not allow them to live together. This is just wrong. If this argument is used then why not let children drink alcohol, because they will eventually drink it someday! These notions are absurd - just plain stupid!

While this is not the norm at this present time, it is scary to think that it has already gained some acceptance from institutions of higher learner. It is idiotic at best. Check out this article for a further explanation. Is it not the left wing trying to gain support from young people? Why not promote an issue that directly involves them? It's scary, I say.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Here's to 5!

It surely was a fun day.
As if having a birthday party in a candy store isn't enough,
how about having a birthday party in a bakery/candy store?
Matt's party was surely a fun time for all.
All the children got to decorate their own ginber bread cookies with all the fixings (frosting and candy!)
I am sure they all went home with a sugar high!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

How 'bout some kung fu fighting.....

I can't believe that my babe, who will be 5 years old tomorrow, takes Karate.
He started a few weeks ago, and he absolutely loves it.
For anyone who knows Matt, this is the perfect activity for him.
It's definitely an appropriate channel for his energy!
I just love to watch him at his lessons.
While you may think I am a complete dork,
I even like washing and ironing his uniform.
This is kind of ironic, because for the most part, I loathe ironing.
Thankfully I never have much to iron, with the exception of our Sunday church clothes, or as Matt puts it our fancy church clothes.
While we dress up a bit for church, our attire is never fancy!
Matt is just a tee-shirt and sweat pants kind of guy so whenever he doesn't want to wear something besides his sweats, he calls it fancy church clothes.
I don't think khakis and a polo shirt meet the "fancy" requirement at all.
Today I am flooded by the feeling ,that while Matt is still my baby,
he just isn't a baby anymore.
Quite honestly, he has never wanted to be a baby at all.
He has always wanted to keep up with the big kids!
Five years ago was his due date, and I knew he would enter this world very soon.
He did just that, he was born on Sunday, April 6th.
He has been fighting ever since.
Fighting in a good, happy, energetic sense that is!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

28 and counting....

Happy Birthday!

To a beautiful woman!

From a few of the guys....

And of course, your favorite man (Einstein, sorry I didn't get one of you =)

And one from a princess, who likes her cake!

And who thinks she's a model too!

And this one likes ice cream, and so don't you!

And how could we forget this quiet little guy who by next year will be eating cake and ice cream too!

Happy Birthday from "the gang"!

They love you more than you will ever know!!!

Here's to Murry turning 28, may this be another Blessed year!