Thursday, September 12, 2013


We have traveled down the road of contact lenses with Evan.

Yes, he's only 10.
Yes, he's a boy.
Yes, we're gluttons for punishment.

After careful consideration a momentary lapse of judgment, we decided that with the amount of sports Evan plays, we should consider trying contacts.  He can't exactly wear his glasses on the wrestling mat.  SO, a trip to the eye doctor, a contact lens fitting, and 3 [yes, I said 3] lenses later, we are on a roll.

He can wear a regular old disposable lens in one eye, but the other eye...not so much.

Astigmatism = Lots of $ and a really thick weighted lens [BOO!]

Thank goodness the ripped lens was the cheaper version - and it happened on only day 2.  Evan has gotten really good at taking his lenses out but mom still needs to help him get them in.  The eye doctor told me I was enabling him.  Oh, well.  I will pick my battles.

And tonight while sitting in front of my computer, I had a brief moment of panic that Evan went to bed with his contacts in.  I flew upstairs imagining him rubbing his eyes in his sleep and scratching his cornea, or worse yet, ripping the uber-expensive lens.

I flipped on his light and woke him up.  Only to find out that my 10 year old son was responsible enough to remember to take the lenses out and put them safely away in their case all. by. himself!

My little boy is growing up [sniff...sniff...]

Now if I could just get him to pick up his dirty clothes off the bathroom floor and his wet towel off his bedroom rug, we'd be all set...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wet & Wild

This time last Thursday, we were on our way to OH! Canada for a little trip to visit Niagara Falls.  Since none of us had ever seen the falls in person, we were all quite excited.  Our plan was to arrive around 11:30 Thursday night.  We actually arrived at the border closer to 12:30 Friday morning and then patiently waited in the customs line for ALMOST.  TWO.  HOURS.

Really?!?  There are that many people that need to be crossing the border into Canada in the middle of the night?  Who knew?

Our view from the hotel made that wait {almost} worthwhile.

The little bit we saw of Canada was beautiful.  And expensive.  And friendly.  And expensive.  And clean.  Did I mention expensive?

And I'm thoroughly convinced they think it's hilarious to soak their guests.  Every thing we did {okay, maybe not everything} was preceded by the handing out of a rain poncho.  We all ended up with three different ponchos.  Quite comical.



Poncho Incognito:

Poncho Cutie:

Poncho Ninja:

We also ventured a bit further north to Niagara on the Lake.  It was this adorable little town with quaint shops, including this yummy Irish Pub where we had dinner and about 15 ice cream places to choose from.  Do not be distracted by the claw my hand in this shot.  Don't know what that's about?  

Overall the trip was fun.  It was a wet whirlwind and we were exhausted, but now we can all say we've seen the falls.  Been there.  Done that.

Monday, August 19, 2013

24 years and counting....

So, this summer is almost over.  My sisters and I have been pretty dedicated to helping my dad clean out his house a bit [now THAT'S an understatement if I ever saw one...but we won't go there].  

We've come across some real gems as we go, but this is my favorite thus far:

Let me give you a minute to take that in....

the high hair (on both of us)

the Mr. T gold chains

the caterpillar eyebrows

the mullet

the skinny, toned arms

the shoulder pads

did you notice the high hair???


This was July 1990.

Our 1 year dating anniversary.

I was 15, almost 16.

Mark was 18(!) 
What were my parents thinking?!?

We went out to a really fancy dinner to a restaurant that no longer exists and I tried fried shrimp for the first time.  Crazy to think that this was 23 years ago.  I remember I had to have just the right outfit and going out shopping with my mom for this lovely white one.  HA!  

Too can stop giggling now.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Evan's Phillies Room (from 2011)

This post is two years past due, but that's okay, because I still think it's worth sharing. All three boys shared a room [their choice] until three years ago when Evan decided he was old enough - at 8 - for his own room.  We agreed and decided that the old nursery would be perfect.  It was being used as an extra playroom for the boys [because they needed two??] and it was time.  

Evan decided he wanted a Phillies room, so that's what we did...

We had to work with the white wainscoting around 3 of the 4 walls because we CERTAINLY weren't ripping that down after Mark installed it for the nursery decor.  I hated painting over the alphabet and star border that I had so lovingly painted along the top of the ledge, but if you look ever so closely, you can still make out a letter or two under the fresh coat of Phillies blue paint [and I sanded them, too!]  

I knew I wanted to incorporate an interactive scoreboard in the room.  I searched high and low for something to purchase online.  Everything I found was too small, too large, too expensive, not right, so I decided to create my own.  Mark helped put together the templates and then brought home a projector so that I could tape it out on the wall.  First I painted a large white square.  Then, I projected the outline of the scoreboard and taped it off with painter's tape before giving it two coats of green.  

The kids had fun helping pull off the painters tape to reveal the white lines underneath.

Then, I cut out numbers and words on my Cricut and used the negative space as stencils to fill in the numbers and words.  I also purchased cheap plastic green pocket folders and white number stickers.  I  cut the folders into green rectangles to fit the scoreboard squares and assigned the numbers.  I plan on adhering velcro dots to the wall and to the back of each number so that Evan can change the score as he  watches or listens to the games. [I don't have a pic of the number cards so I'll have to update once I get this part done - hey, it's only been two years!!!!]

I projected the Phillies logo and Phillies 'P 'onto the wall to trace them out and then painted them.

I had these 12 x 12 canvases [doesn't everyone have them laying around? Oh, wait - that's just me...].  I decided to make some quick personalized art accents using paint and some scrapbooking supplies I had around.  I really love how these turned out!

This desk has a story behind it.  It was passed down from my parents' house so it had a few coats of paint on it and it was pretty banged up.  I wish I had a BEFORE pic of it, because it was bad.  I sanded it and painted it dark blue.  The top had some weird thing on it that showed through the paint, so Mark decided to sand it down again and repaint it.  Except when he sanded it down, we saw this beautiful wood top and I had the brilliant idea to make it look like a wooden bat on the top and leave the rest painted.  Mark remembers this story VERY differently and claims that it was his brilliant idea to do that.  I'm just setting the record straight, people!!!!!

I will give Mark all the credit for working up the Louisville Slugger stencil on the computer and finishing off the top to look AMAZING!  I really think that's what makes the room complete.  He even put Evan's birth year on the "bat" - 2003.  Love it!!

This was Evan's very first night in his new bedroom.  I think he loves it, too! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Take Me Out to the Ballgame (but only if it's above freezing...)

The 2013 baseball season has come and gone in our house.  And it was an interesting one...
To be honest, I was a little nervous because this was the first year that ALL 3 boys were playing and, of course, they were in three different divisions: T-ball, machine pitch, and kids pitch.  I wasn't sure how we would juggle games on different fields at the same time, but it all worked out just fine.
Nathan's games were always on the same field and always at 6 p.m.  Evan's games were always on the same field and always either at 6 or 8 p.m.  Ryan's games were on different fields, but his games were always at 6 p.m.  And we only had an occasional Saturday game thrown in here and there, which was awesome!
The season opened with the parade down Main Street and as usual, there were WAY more people in the parade walking than there were people spectating!  As you can see, this pic was "pre-summer" haircuts...
Doesn't Ryan make the cutest catcher EVER??!?  The jury's still out on whether he liked this position because he actually liked playing catcher or because he didn't have to make much effort to actually get the ball...
Nathan's first stinking cute!

One of the strangest things about this baseball season was the ridiculously cold FREEZING temperatures we had to endure for all of Evan's night games.  I'm talking winter hats, gloves, scarves, coats, long underwear, extra socks and blankets kind of cold!   Some of those 8 p.m. games, we were on the field until 10:30 (thank goodness they were weekend games!) and the temperature would drop into the mid 30s/low 40s.  It was crazy cold, but it was fun.

Ryan is under there somewhere....

Can you see the "Feels Like" temp on this Weather Channel app screenshot??????

Nathan and Ryan both had decent seasons.  They both improved a lot and became decent hitters towards the end.  Evan, on the other hand, had a disappointing season.  His division changed this year, so he was one of the youngest kids on his team in a much more competitive game.  There were many games in which he sat on the bench for 2+ innings.  Mark and I struggled, too.  It was really hard to watch him be disappointed and discouraged every game.

More than anything, I think I was frustrated and disappointed in the coaches.  Yeah, I know they're volunteers and they are doing their best, but we're talking about 10, 11, and 12 year old kids.  Let everyone take a turn sitting out an inning.  Let everyone have as many opportunities to hit as possible.  Let everyone rotate and play infield and outfield.  These kids are not being drafted into the Major Leagues any time soon.  Let this Little League experience be a learning experience and let it be FUN!  I'm sorry, but there's no reason for anything different at this stage.  I am hoping and praying that Evan is put on a team next year with coaches who believe that!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cousins and Friends

Our kids are so blessed to have cousins their own ages.  When I was growing up, my cousins were all much younger than me and they lived far away so we didn't get to see them very often.  Needless to say, my sisters and brother and I didn't have much of a relationship with them.

All of our kids have a cousin who is close in age, some by as little as 6 weeks!  And what makes it so much fun is that they all get along with one another.  My kids WANT to hang out and play with their cousins.  They WANT to have sleepovers and bonfires and pool parties.  They just love being around each other.  

My sister has a great pool in her backyard and we had our first weekly cousin pool party this past a three weeks ago.  Yes, you read that correctly...a WEEKLY pool party.  It is planned as a standing date.  The weather better not stand in our way!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

SWAT and More Mustaches

I know I always say I work with the best people e-vah, but here is further proof...

On one of the last days of school we have a fun lunch where we order out and have fun.  My peeps took it to a whole 'nother level this year with the addition of mustache straws in my honor.  We were all laughing so hard that I almost peed my pants trying to get this picture taken.  

And I know I promised this wouldn't end up on Facebook, well...this isn't Facebook, now is it? [Joe!]

We are known as the SWAT team when it comes to reading assessments [School Wide Assessment Team].  Three times a year, the six of us, plus some occasional helpers, administer an oral reading and retell assessment on E-V-E-R-Y student in the building.  That's about 400 kids.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all they do to help me do my job and help struggling readers.  

Anyway, I bought them all special fly swatters and labeled them 'Greatest SWAT Team Ever' as a gag gift.  I think they liked them...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cool Guys

We've been busy enjoying the routine of a no-routine summer :) 

Love it!

We are getting ready for our family trip to the Outer Banks - doing laundry, shopping,, know...all the fun stuff before vacation that becomes a chore when you have to do it in reverse when you come home. 

The boys all got to pick out sunglasses today.  

$ 2.99 (are you out of your mind?) at The Children's Place outlet.

They actually all picked the same pair, just in different colors. I love when they do brotherly things like that :)

And they look much better in these than they did in mine earlier this week...


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Saturday, June 15, 2013

How I Became The Best End of School Year Mom Ever

Don't let my post title throw you off.

I definitely rival the infamous Jen Hatmaker in her now famous, posted and reposted on Facebook a billion times, blogpost titled "The Worst End of School Year Mom Ever."  

Have you read this post?  If not, you need to click on it right now and go read it.  Go ahead...I'll wait. You might want to grab a tissue because you'll laugh so hard, you'll cry.  

Every. Single. Mom. that I know who has read her post can totally relate to the end of school year, dragging-our-butts-across-the-finish-line feeling.

And I'm pretty sure it's compounded when you are both a mom AND a teacher...  

My kids' sneakers have holes in them.  

Their reading logs most certainly have not been signed on a nightly basis. We've got baseball, people.

Ryan's backpack zipper bit the dust last week.  We safety pinned it and told him not to unzipper it past that point.  Yeah, that worked for like a day.  Then, we resorted to having him carry a reusable shopping bag to tote his things back and forth.  

Any other time during the school year, I insist on the kids eating a good breakfast [read: a bowl of cereal]  They revolted.  And instead of fighting that battle, I let them eat what they wanted.  There were many days in those last weeks that Nathan went to school with only an apple or a banana in his belly.  Evan's breakfast of choice was usually a cheese stick.  I'm sure he was starving by lunch, but I told him that was his choice.  And Ryan...well...Ryan would complain about all the choices and then end up eating a bowl of cereal that "he hated."

And I almost forgot that I needed to [as all super moms do] send in a class birthday treat for Ryan's summer birthday.  I probably could have let it go and Ryan wouldn't have noticed, but with him being the middle child and all, I didn't want to give him more to work out with his therapist later ;)

So, on Thursday night, I emailed his teacher to see if it would be alright to send in a treat on Friday.  Mind you, Friday was the last possible day to send in said treat because it was their last full day of school and I waited until the last possible minute to email his teacher, too.  

Thank goodness for technology!  She responded almost immediately 'That'd be great!'

And then I had to drag my butt off the couch and rummage through the cabinet to see what I could whip up.  I'm such a good planner...

Our school district has adopted a 'Healthy Birthday Treat' policy. Sugary sweet cupcakes and candy are not permitted - you know, because kids are obese and all.  However, snacks such as low fat Jello pudding and low fat ice cream are allowed.  Really?!?  They do realize that more sugar is added to low fat products to make them taste better, right?!?

Anyway, all I had was a banana cake mix and some left over cream cheese icing.  

I decided to throw caution to the wind and break the rules.  Can you hear Beavis and Butthead chanting 'Breaking the law, breaking the law'?  Ha-ha!

I baked those cupcakes, iced them, and even gave them a good dose of rainbow sprinkles. 

Take THAT healthy snack nazis!

Ryan woke up the next morning and was thrilled with his treat.  When he came home [without a single cupcake, I might add], he said his class LOVED them and said they were the best treat ever!

And THAT is how I became the Best End of School Year Mom Ever!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Goodbye, Hello

Today marked the end of the boys' school year.  I feel like every year goes faster and faster.  Other moms tried to warn me back when I was a harried mom of three children ages 3 and under that these boys would start growing and that I'd miss those little people pulling at my legs and throwing fits in stores.  I don't know that I miss all that fun stuff, but I sure do agree that life is flying by and my boys need to stop growing up so quickly.  

We celebrated with our 2nd Annual Jumping Off The Couches 'School's Out For Summer' Dance Party when the boys came home.  

Don't tell anyone, but I think I look forward to this tradition more than they do-hee-hee!  

Goodbye Kindergarten, Hello 1st Grade!

Goodbye 2nd Grade, Hello 3rd!

Goodbye 4th Grade, Hello 5th!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fonts R Us

Ryan brought his sketch book to Nathan's teeball game the other night.  Mark and I were cracking up when we saw what he was working on. 


Yes, fonts.

That's what every 7, almost 8 year old boy does in his notebook, right?  

Love this kid!  

Note the EESF-extra extra small font and the EEESF-extra extra extra small font.  Haha! :)

Girls on the Run

Last Saturday, my sisters, Evan, and I were my niece's running buddies for her Girls on the Run 5K.  More like Abby was our running buddy because she could have run circles around us.  Evan was pushing me along and actually had to loop back for me quite a few times.  Love him!

It was a beautiful sunny day that turned hot very quickly.  I made our running headgear so we looked super cute as we sweated our butts off.

Believe it or not, this was my second 5K!  When my mom passed away last year, my sisters, Megan and Jill, and I decided we needed to take better care of ourselves.  We all used a 'couch to 5K' ap on our phones to get us up to speed - literally.  I have never seen myself as a runner in any sense of the word.  I avoided running to train for field hockey back in high school and college and I sure as heck wasn't going to just run for the sake of running!  Well that all changed last year when we all decided this was something we could do.  And unbelievably, I have found that I actually enjoy running and feel so much better about myself when I am regularly running.  

Megan said on Saturday she was wondering what our mom might say about all of us running.  It would either be 'You're all crazy!' Or 'Good for you! I'm proud that you are doing this to take care of yourselves.'  

I like to think it would be a combination of  both reactions. 

My mom would be proud of us but she would definitely think we are crazy! :)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mustache Party

I really don't know when or where my obsession infatuation with mustaches began.

Looking back at some of my old blog posts,

there's this post about our family talent show act dancing with stick-on mustaches to the Funky Monkeys' song "Mustache."

And this post with my boys' green smoothie mustaches.

And this post with Ryan in full mustache and eyebrows.

I think you get the idea.

April 2013 marked a pretty big milestone in Evan's life ~ he turned 10 years old!  Double digits!  I cannot even believe it's been 10 years since we were blessed with our first....

Anyway....what better way to celebrate than to have a Mustache Party?!?

It was just our family, so I knew I could be goofy.  They don't expect anything less.

I downloaded and cut out these great mustaches that I used to string from the ceiling to the half wall between the family room and kitchen.  This photo makes them look a little like bats, but in real life, they  were pretty cool.

I also used these mustaches to adorn our photos hanging on the wall.

There was a mustache cake.  Yes, you must turn your head to view.  For some reason, this pic didn't stay rotated in the upload??

And straws with mustaches.

Oh, and of course, EVERYONE had to put on a mustache at the start of the party.

I stole this idea from my niece's 1st birthday party (thanks, Kim!).  I tried to find photos of Evan from every year since his first birthday and strung them up on a clothesline along the mantle.  It was a fun trip down memory lane and makes me realize how quickly my first baby is growing up!