Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Memory Lane...

I took a little walk down memory lane recently and came across this picture. One of my favorites. I love how the girls are entwined( for lack of a better word) in this photo. There love for each other is evident in this picture. I don't see that much now that they are older. I know it is there but I don't get to witness it as much. Here are ten things I miss from that age.
1. All three of my girls lived in my home.  We all slept under the same roof.  I miss that so much now that Sydnee is away at school.

2. Natalie and McKenlee were best friends at this age.  They did everything together.  It was always Sydnee and the little girls.  Now it seems that it is the older girls and McKenlee.

3.McKenlee in our bed every night.  I know that sounds crazy because when she was little we couldn't wait to get her out of our bed.  (She slept with us every night until she was eight, please don't judge. lol)  But now I would love to go back in time and cuddle with that tiny little thing.  That tiny little thing is 5'7 now and I can usually only manage about a 15 second hug before she is off doing her thing.

4.Watching my Natalie drag her white blanket around.  In this picture Sydnee is 10, Natalie is 6 and McKenlee 4.  Natalie carried her blanket around consistently until she was about 11.  It went every where with us. The times when I would have to wash it she would stand at the garage door and cry until it was done.  She called it "bumpy."  She still has it on her bed but it is no longer her constant companion.

5. Sydnee bossing her sisters around.  When Sydnee was around this age she went through a stage where she thought she was the Mom.  She would constantly tell her sisters what to do and even tell me how I should respond to their behavior.  Of course, at the time it drove me nuts but now when I look back it makes me smile.

6. Watching them play with the neighborhood girls.  It was around this age that I started letting them play outside with the neighbor kids unsupervised in our two front yards. (ours and the neighbors)  Of course they had to be together, they were not allowed by themselves.  Back then though it wasn't an issue because they wanted to be together all the time anyway.

7. Natalie being taller than McKenlee.  Up until about 2 years ago Natalie was taller than her younger sister and always out weighed her by exactly 10 lbs.  Two years ago that all changed and now McKenlee is four inches taller and out weighs her sister by exactly 10lbs.  Sydnee still has an inch on McKenlee but I know that is only a matter of time.

8.  Being 33.  When this picture was taken I was only 33.  I would love to be 33 again.  LOL

9. Christmas mornings.  I miss the Christmases when my girls believed in Santa and all the magic believing entails.  We used to follow the Nordic Santa Tracker every year on line to see exactly where Santa was throughout Christmas Eve and leave out milk and cookies.  We used to make reindeer food with oatmeal and glitter for Santa's reindeer. Oh how I miss that.

10. I miss their little voices.  Whenever we watch home videos of the kids when they were small it is their voices that melt my heart  the most.  Their sweet little voices.  Funny things they say or words they would mispronounce.

Yes, while I love the young women my daughters are becoming everyday. I miss the little girls they used to be.  I'm so thankful that pictures and videos and memories allow us to re-visit those time.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Jesse's Girl...

Someone sure was glad Sydnee was home from college for Thanksgiving Weekend. Sydnee has always been Jesse's favorite girl.
Getting in some cuddles.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Turkey Trot...

This year since I have been working so hard (working hard the last five weeks anyway lol)  I invited myself and my girls (plus Thor) to join our neighbors and friends Greg and Eileen and their daughters to do the Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot this year.  It was a 5k and it started at 7:30 in the morning.  This meant I had to be up at 5:15am so we could get there by 6:30 for a 7:30 race.  OUCH!!  It was so much fun.  According to the newspaper there are more than 17,000 people who do this race every year.  There are three different races two 5k's and one 10k.  There were 5600 people doing our race.  This was only my second time doing a race, I did the Gasparilla 5k a couple years ago.  I'm still really intimidated by the crowds especially when it first starts, but after it gets going I love it.  This one was really fun because most of the course was through residential neighborhoods so people came out on their porches with their coffee and cheered us on.  There were quite a few homes that had small bands set up in their driveways playing music for us.  I loved this!!  What I loved most of  all was doing it with my girls.  I was really surprised they would be willing to get up that early to do the race with me.  You know teenagers they don't like early mornings.  I definitely want to do this race again.  I think Dave was sorry he didn't do it with us, he was really worried about the house not being ready for  all our guests that would be arriving later in the day.  So he stayed home and straightened up.  We were home by 10am though so we all helped get everything ready.

Here are the kids. Megan, McKenlee, Thor, Natalie and Sydnee

Eileen explaining the race route to the kids.

Greg, Eileen and their daughter Megan.  Their other daughter was with a group  of her friends.

The kids when we first got there, can you tell the sun had just come up.

My girls and I (I''m not looking real pretty here lol the hair slicked back look is not for me)

Sydnee and I

I was trying to get a picture of the crowd behind us.  There are so many people it's insane.

Here is one of the several bands we passed playing music for us. 

The old people.  LOL 

Later in the day our family came over and we enjoyed a wonderful dinner that went off without a hitch.  I'm just disappointed I didn't take any photos later in the day.  We had fifteen at our Thanksgiving table and everyone enjoyed the day.  The best part was that my last two baby hamsters were adopted by my Uncle's granddaughter's family.  Yay!!!  Just kidding the best part was a day spent with family reflecting on our blessings but the hamster adoption was a definite bonus.  LOL

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dave and I with Mr. Claus...

Sunday my Mom wanted to check out a Christmas Bazaar that is advertised every year at the St. Pete Coliseum. Dave and I had nothing going on Sunday so we said we would join her. We couldn't talk either of the girls into going with us so we were just a party of three. The Bazaar was OK, more like an indoor flea market. Santa was there and since we didn't have any kids with us I told Dave that we needed to get our picture taken. He being a good sport indulged me. Santa indulged us too by asking us what we wanted for Christmas. LOL

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Natalie's Homecoming

Natalie had her Homecoming Saturday night. She was very excited and spent a lot of time finding the perfect dress and shoes. I thought she looked beautiful but of course I am very prejudice. Two of her friends and their dates came over before hand for snacks and pictures. It always makes me smile when I think of the difference in personalities of my two older daughters. We always hosted before dance snacks for the kids for Sydnee as well. Sydnee being so much more outgoing than her sister and always surrounded by groups of kids would have close to 20 kids here for snacks and pictures. Natalie the quieter more reserved of my girls was more comfortable with just a couple of friends. I love that they are so different. I'm curious to see which sister McKenlee will follow more closely. She is definitely outgoing like Sydnee but a bit more of a home body. Time will tell.

Dave and I with our girl.  I asked him later "why did you stand in front of her?"  Oh well. LOL

Thor was on the Sophomore Homecoming court which is why he is wearing the black sash.

Natalie and Thor.

Couples picture.

Natalie and her friends Erika and Lyndsie.  Beautiful girls inside and out.

This one was my favorite.  I love their happy smiles.
Snacks before the dance.

Monday, November 12, 2012

In the Kitchen...

I was reading a blog recently where the author was talking about the up coming Holidays.  She was talking about how she loved being in the kitchen with the women in her family and working together to create the meal that everyone looks so forward to.

This really struck a chord with me.  For many years now I have hosted Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner in my home.  Just because I host it though certainly doesn't mean I do all the cooking.  Everyone brings something and then my Mother and my Grandmother are in the kitchen with me cooking right a long side me.

My Mother is always in charge of the turkey because my family enjoys stuffing made inside the turkey.  Not me, in fact I find that whole stuff bread up a turkey kind of revolting.  I make for myself and my children good ol Pepperidge Farm in a bag stuffing that you make on the stove top.  But the other members of my family are much more traditional and prefer it in the bird.  My Mom also makes our family tradition broccoli casserole which I know how to make but it just tastes better when she does it.   My Grandmother is in charge of the gravy and the cream sauce for the cauliflower. She is also good for a pie or two which she makes with her homemade pie crust.  I have said for many years I need to learn how to make her pie crust.  I haven't done it yet.

Just a couple years ago I made a homemade cranberry sauce.  Before that we had always just served it out of the can.  My homemade sauce was a hit and I have made it ever since.  I guess you could call it my dish.

Oh yeah, and let me never forget that my wonderful husband is the official potato masher.  He does them by hand with an old fashioned hand masher and they turn out wonderful every time.

I had never thought about it to much before but after I read that blog I realized that it is these moments that make the Holidays so much fun.  I love cooking with my Mom and my Grandma.  There are a lot of laughs as we whip it all together.  We tease and joke the whole time.  I'm so glad that my children will have memories of our family all together in the kitchen making the meal together.  I know it won't be long before I am the Mother and the Grandmother in one of my daughter's kitchens.  Hopefully, I will have mastered gravy by then or we are all out of luck.  lol

Here's to the Holidays, I can't wait!!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Crazy McKenlee...

Remember here when I talked about what a crazy character our McKenlee is.  Well here is another shining example of my crazy girl.  This is a picture from Natalie's Homecoming. (post coming soon)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bullet Points...

I hate going to long in between blog posts so I am going to cheat and do bullet points once again.

* Last weekend we headed to Ikea and purchased McKenlee's dresser.  Now her bedroom looks like a bedroom.  Yay!!  In January we will get her night stand and Natalie's night stand. (The one Natalie has now is an old hand me down.)  We also purchased 12 chairs to go with our banquet tables for Thanksgiving.  No longer will we be struggling to figure out how we are going to seat everyone.

*  I had a trip to the ER last week with what I thought were heart palpitations. (very scary)  turns out I have been experiencing something called PVC's.  These are benign in most cases (if you have no other risk factors for heart disease or additional symptoms) but they sure feel weird.  They are brought on by several things my two being caffeine and stress/anxiety.  I have cut out all caffeine (boy that was tough) and my stress is getting much better.  The two toddlers that I watch have been so sick and miserable for two weeks.  Poor things just really whiny and clingy which has been super tough when there is two of them and one of me.  They are starting to feel better now thank goodness and I saw a big difference yesterday.  So I am confident that once they get back to their happy self's I will be feeling much better.  Of course, it also eliminated a lot of anxiety to know I wasn't having a heart attack.  LOL

* Natalie's Homecoming for high school is Saturday.  She found the prettiest dress and cutest shoes I can't wait to see her all dressed up.  Some of her friends are coming over before for snacks and pictures.  I'm looking forward to it.  I missed it last year because they had Homecoming really early last year and Dave and I were on our cruise.  So I didn't take any of my own photos.  She is very excited.

*  Next week is McKenlee's last week of fall ball.  It will be nice to be only juggling one daughter's sporting events for a little while.

*  Our weather is cool again Yay!!  I love it...

*  Been working on my time for the half marathon.  I can now do 4 miles at the under 18 minute mile requirement.  I am actually averaging about 17 minutes.  Gives me a little window for the other NINE MILES.  lol  Yeah, I still have a long way to go.

*  Dave was unable to get the week of the kids spring break off work.  I am so disappointed.  This will be the first spring break in years that we haven't gone away. :(   Trying to plan something for the first part of June.  I am just disappointed because we usually go North for spring break and because it is in late March it is usually cold.  We so enjoy having that week of cold weather before the LONG, HOT, Florida summer.

I guess that's all for now.  Tomorrow is Friday am I am ready for this weekend!!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween Fun...

Halloween here on Elmhurst was a blast. I filled a crock pot with taco meat and spread out all the fixins. Our friends brought cupcakes for dessert and we filled bowls with candy for the trick or treats. The girls painted and carved their pumpkins, very last minute. (I was starting to worry they were not going to get around to it.) Our friends and neighbors came over and after eating we headed outside to enjoy the evening. What's nice about having older kids now is they go trick or treating with their friends so for several years now I have just gotten to pass out candy to the kids. I love it. I love seeing all the children and their darling costumes. Here are some photos from our evening.
Natalie (my school girl) and her friends.

My friend Jenn's daughter's Minnie and Little Unicorn.

The kids hanging out after the trick or treating.

The pumpkins, McKenlee wanted to paint her pumpkin this year.

Me and Minnie passing out candy.

McKenlee and Megan cowgirls.

McKenlee and her friends.

The Drama Queen and Vampire (my friend and neighbor Marianne) passing out candy.

Our friends Robbye and Ludo and their daughter Aidan who have trick or treated
with us every year since Aidan was a baby and I babysat her.

Aidan and I with our annual picture in front of the tree.