Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Matthew's 6th Birthday!

Matthew's 6th birthday was such a blast! We rented out the 50 meter pool (for free because of Matt being deployed you get one free kids party! How awesome is that!) and it was so much fun!!!! He had school and family friends over and I was lucky to have a bunch of my friends to keep me sane while Matthew's Dad was here for the afternoon with him. Mary was so great! she whipped out her camera and was taking pictures for me while I was loosing my sanity! She got some great shots I most defiantly wouldn't have been able to get while I was attempting to corral herds of children! Thanks Jessica and Victoria for cake cutting, plate passing out, and trash removal! You guys made the multitude of kids very manageable!!!! This is the really fun slide show Mary made us! LOVE ,LOVE ,LOVE it!!! Even with the pictures of my ex in there. Despite me not loving him being there I can't deny that he loves his son's and shows up when can and I will never remove him from family outings just because I would PREFER him not to be in the photo's. They are the kids memories and I won't have them feel like their Father isn't welcome here. Thanks Mary! Thanks Jessica and Mandy for making the party a blasty!! And keeping me sane! 16 kids and all the Dad's deployed.....oi! Couldn't have done it without all of you!!!!

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Today I woke up feeling very grateful, not sure what brought this on but I know that I do tend to faux complain (I find it fun to force you to commiserate with me) a lot and I figured I might as well let you in on one of the days when I just feel grateful. Grateful today that I woke up not tired for the 1st time in months and months, as though I actually got sleep, not just rest while laying in our bed. Grateful that when I got up our 11 year old was up, dressed, and quietly playing playstation without me having to ask him to do a single thing! Grateful that even though Matthew required more work than normal, and missed the bus yet again, that I kept my temper and was able to get all 3 older children off to school in a good mood despite this. Grateful beyond words for phone calls from Afghanistan! Phone calls that make a little 1 year old guy smile and saying "Ooooo-OOOoo" (hello). Grateful that we I came home laden with groceries that my sweet little one sat quietly playing in his car seat while I schlepped them into the house. Grateful that my freezer is so chock full that I had to reorganize very strategically to fit all the food in, as there have been quiet a few times as a single mommy when we a great deal less to stock up in the cupboards and freezer. Grateful that last night I was able to attend the Volunteer Awards dinner for my sweet husband and pick up his certificate of appreciation, spend the evening with 4 different families from football where we made really good friendships, and for a husband who is a great influence on these boys. Grateful for children who love my cooking and eating healthy that they requested Tilapia, asparagus, squash, zucchini, and mushrooms again for dinner, and they REALLY, REALLY love it! They have been so supportive of my weight loss and working out! I have my own cheering squad! Grateful for the Internet and web camera where I can see his smile and the fact that his smile still shoots tingles to my toes and makes my tummy flutter! Grateful for the man I have in my life who makes all of this possible! Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Seraphino's Photography Photo Shoot of Aidan

Once again I must rave, rave, rave about miss Amy Delia Smith from Seraphino's Photography! This woman will do just about anything to get "the shot" she or you are looking for! We waited until about a month after Aidan's 1st birthday to do this shoot because of him being sick on and off and on and off and scheduleing conflicts, but once we did! I would do anything to make Matt smile and this photo shoot did just that! Matt said he grinned from ear to ear and reading the comments he left on each picture on facebook just made me gigggle, knowing what he thought of each one. The wind wasn't exactly cooperative, but then again a 1 year old isn't the easiest of clients he was wanting down to play and then hated the feeling of the grass and wanted to smash that cupcake before we were ready and so on so there was a good deal of him fussing in between smiles and giggles and Amy was once again amazing to work with! She made every silly sound in the book and then some to get his attention and get the shots I so badly wanted. She's always so fun to work with! When we move I will be so sad to have to find another photographer like her! Matt sends his thanks from Afghanistan Amy!!!! Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Happy St. Patty's Day

We had to take a few pictures for Daddy for St. Patty's Day and they were just TOO MUCH to not share!!!
Why am I wearing a green mustache and glasses? Why not I ask? Why not! Just kidding, it was the only way Aidan would allow me to put it on him! It took some doing but come on, it was worth it! My little Leprechauns!

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The Social Studies Fair-o-rama

In our local schools students between the grades of 4th-7th have to take part in a social studies project/fair. For 4th grade it is optional extra points to take part in the Fair, but the older grades must. We figured if Cody had to write a 2 page paper and his grade could use a boost he might as well go full out and do the fair as well, then next year when Cody and Michael both had to do the fair they could switch and revamp each others projects and make things a tad easier since we could possibly be PCS-ing (permanent change of duty station) at that time and not really be able to dedicate the weeks it took us to get these done this past fall. Each student taking part had to write a 2-3 page essay on their subject (which has to be approved by their teacher), it also had to include a title page, table of contents, an abstract 2 paragraphs about what their essay will include, the main body of 2-3 pages, a conclusion page and then the bibliography. All in all it was between 8-9 pages.............for a 4th and 5th grader? Ya it seemed like a lot of work to me as well, seeing as not ONE OUNCE of this work was done or taught in class before this....yea. Then to accompany this, each student had to memorize their speech, and give it in a three minute oral presentation in front of the class and then judges in the auditorium, and be open for 3 minutes of questions....again...ya, a lot for this age when...once again none of it done in class, not even a single book from the library came home on either boy's subject. Then they had to purchase a tri-fold board from the school and have it decorated and chock full of information from their subject, and have a center piece. The board and center pieces alone took hours! Now you know the school said "The Student is to do the work but parental help is suggested". Suggested? My little heart broke when I saw the caliber of work some students turned in because of no help at home. One young lady turned in a piece of card board she colored on with crayons! She was so embarrassed. She sat with her head hung during the presentations. I literally teared up. If I hadn't helped these boys would have turned in something almost as sad. I can't believe that the school requires so much work to be done at home and none in class where the teacher could teach them A) how to properly research a subject B) how to write a research paper C) how to prioritize the information going on their boards D) how to give an oral presentation. They were judged on things ranging from the quality of information to creativity, artisticness, how well organized it was as well as their oral presentation and if they stuttered and so on. This project stressed me out! It stressed them out. I spent about $60 per boy on this between printer ink, paper, art supplies, gas to Alexandria to get the art supplies that aren't readily available in this area. There are families who could not afford this, don't have access to the Internet or a printer and don't have or GIVE the time needed to help their student to this level. Believe me the school and school board and I had MANY conversations about this, espesically since this state is failing in literacy and mathematics but is shoving a massive language arts/social studies project down the students throats and not teaching them how to do it but requiring the parent too. At this rate I might as well home school them! Now, mind you, my kids did AWESOME! What else would I expect of my boys? They picked subjects they loved, they studied hard, they spent endless hours prepping for this and then me and my little OCD self helped them organize it, type it, edit it, help them memorize it, did all the hot gluing, all the spray painting and things that a 9-10 year old at the time should not be doing. On the morning of the presentations Michael was sick, sick, sick. Good old Strep throat and fever were kicking his little bootey that morning and he was FORCED to come in and present or take the F with or without a doctors excuse note. Really?? Ya. So on the way into the fair he wanted to do it all himself and went to lift his center piece out of the car as I was getting Aidan in his stroller. The conversation went like this.
Michael "I'm gonna get this and take it in."
Me "No, no, no, hold on baby, I'll get that it's heavy and glass you don't wanna drop it, hold on."
Michael "I got it"
Me "No!!!! Michael no! Don't"
Michael "Mom! I gottttt...iiiiitttt--AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!"
As the glass center peice smashed to the ground and shattered. Poor boy! He burst into tears as the giant glass bowl filled with blue jello (to represent the ocean filled with hand crafted clay penguins, orcas, and marine life with varied shades of blue jellos we worked a good 6 hours on the previous night). He was devastated. This picture was taken after I cleaned up as much of the jello and glass as I could from the parking lot. Photobucket Despite the fever, little to no voice due to the strep, and being upset over looseing his center piece he gave a great preformance! I was so proud of him! You can see the fever in his eyes here. Poor guy! Photobucket Cody really didn't care about placeing at all. He just wanted to get those extra credit points but doing the board and presentation and so he gave it his all and ended up making 1st place in his categorgy! For a hot minute Michael was jealous and then he was the sweetest big brother and congratulated his little brother. Photobucket Photobucket After the fair that day Michael went home sick with me and sick or not....this is what my sweet oldest boy does..........he takes care of those around him! His little baby brother was sick too and this is how he spent the afternoon, like a Momma bear. I had to pretty much FORCE him to let me take care of my own baby. lol this boy will make an amazing Father one day. Photobucket When Cody took 1st in his category two of his best friends from football took 1st in thier category as well which meant they would all move on to the Parish (county) level. Cody really didn't care if he was moving on, but wasn't going to complain so off we went a few weeks later to Parish levels and low and behold....he took Photobucket So this meant once again moving on to the regional levels in Natchitoches. YAY!! Natchitoches! Any excuse to spend the day there. However this was going to make it diffucult for a bunch of us Mommies, seeing as soccer season was in full swing and this was going to take place over an hour away on a Saturday DURING soccer games for Michael and Matthew. Thank Heavens for good friends! Mary had the brillant idea to switch kids! She took my two soccer players and I took her son Kameron and another boy AJ with me. This worked out wonderfully! I got to take them and spend the day with the three Amigos doing their projects. We had to kill about 3 hours between presentations and judgeing so I took the boys around town doing our favorite things. Ice cream from "The Louisiana Purchase" store, lunch at a seafood place, and Fort St. Jean Baptiste. They had a blast! They learned how the French Soldiers used to live, they got to try and start fire with flint and charcoal material, play old school marbles, and hold an old musket. It was a great afternoon. Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Had to sneak a picture of Aidan and I in there! Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket When judgeing rolled around Kameron and Aj (who were a team) did end up placeing. Cody however did not. I held my breath for a second waiting to see how he would deal with the fact that his buddies placed and he didn't and this is what came out of his mouth...." I'm done??!! SAAAAAAA-WEEEEEEETTTTTTTT!!! I'm done, I'm done, no more social studies fairs wooooot woooottttt!!!" LOL evidently he was fine with it! Photobucket This project did end up teaching us a lot. A lot about how the schools here are pushing too much on students they have yet to teach these things too, requiring the parents to basicaly do the projects for them, how to win and loose gracefully, and how my military family always surprises me with it's support of one another! I couldn't have done this as smoothly without the help of another fantastic Mommy who took my boys and cheered them on during thier games and trusted me with her son. She made sure my boys had just as much fun with her and her kids as the other kids with me had that day. It was all in all a really fun experience. An experience I am NOT looking forward to repeating next fall but I don't really have a choice in that do I... lol Now that I've bragged on Cody and all that he did over those weeks I have to make sure I slip this in there too. Michael graduated from the D.A.R.E. program here and man oh man was he proud! I was too! This boy really has his priorities straight and I am so proud of him! Photobucket Image and video hosting by TinyPic<>

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Aidan's 1st Birthday

Nana and Grandaddy came all the way from Orlando for Aidan's 1st birthday since Daddy has to be in Afghanistan this year. We were so lucky that both Gramma and aunt Kelly came too! It was like a mini family reunion! It was wonderful. As previsouly posted we also celebrated Michael's 11th birthday late so that he could have them there for his party as well. It was a really fun experience. Very bitter sweet for me! My little tiny man has gone from being my teeny tiny baby boy Photobucket To a big boy............. Photobucket As a parent you love to see them grow but how does it go so fast?!?!?!? This last year as sped past us and while I love every new little thing he has learned I already miss feeling his little breath on my neck as he nuzzles into me, I miss seeing him root around when he was hungry looking for skin, I already miss the way he would sleep in my arms for hours and yet I love looking over at him now watching him walking around the edge of the couch stacking blocks! His birthday weekend was definatly a fun filled one but also a little more work than I had expected what with soccer games for the older boys, ER visits for Aidan, Cody and myself, house guests (yay!!!) making sure we had time for Daddy online, a double birthday party and all the prep work that this all required. I was so very lucky that my in laws were there to help! I hardly had enough to keep me busy. Someone of them was always wisking up a chore and helping me or keeping kids entertained and out from under my feet! Man I wish we lived closer to family and yet I love our military life where we move all This post and the next will be massive picture overload.....I don't know why I bother telling you that...almsost all of my posts are! Photobucket Gramma holding her birthday great grandbaby! Photobucket I'm ONE!!! Photobucket Grandaddy getting down and playing with Aidan at the boy's soccer game. Photobucket Aidan and Grandaddy Skypeing Aunt Amber, Uncle Jordan and Cousin Hunter. Photobucket the Robot cake I made for his party. Photobucket Nom nom nom! Photobucket Aidan and Grandaddy playing at Chucke Cheese Photobucket Looking at his like..WHAT DO YA'LL WANT NOW??? lol we were annoying him with the camera just a bit me thinks! Photobucket Fever started to rear it's ugly head and despite being sick grandaddy could get him to smile anyway! Photobucket PhotobucketPhotobucket
/cutesassafrass/Vdaypartythroughsocialstuidesfairregionals162.jpg" /> Playing with his gift from Gramma. Man he loves these!! Photobucket This video makes me giggle. I was totaly dillusional and thought I would have time to make two birthday cakes and cake pops for these parties and was in the process of it when we Mom said Dad would enjoy eating some of the cake bits I didn't use, so we sat them in a bowl on the ottoman and Dad was nibbleing them as he went in and out of the room, at some point Aidan crawled off and we found him standing at the ottoman devouring the entire it was really cute.

We ended the birthday weekend back in the ER with a fever of 105.3 and miserable, Cody had the saliva gland issue and I had walking but we still had a GREAT birthday weekend with our Nana (where did all the pictures of you go?????)
HA found one!
Grandaddy, Gramma and our super sweet Aunt Kelly who put up with allllll the crazys in the poor thing was over loaded with kids all over her and she just smiled and loved it all. Thanks again to Matt's wonderful family for making sure that we got to celebrate these birthdays together! I have the most amazing in laws ever! I am so thankful for the families I have! My Brothers and Sisters all called to wish the happy birthdays and sent gifts, I wish we had been able to all be together and most of all wish Matt could have been home for it but I am so grateful for skype and yahoo messenger and getting to see and hear him even if it was short we got to share it with him! I can't wait to share with you the photo shoot that we did for his 1st birthday with Amy Delia Smith from Seraphino's Photography! Just you wait!!! It's worth it !!! Happy Birthday to our youngest Mr. Aidan!!! Image and video hosting by TinyPic