Monday, June 30, 2008

Monday Meanderings

I am ready to start another week. CJ is away at camp until Friday. We are going to a wedding on 4th of July. That is about the only set-in-stone plans we have for the week. It is a very nice break. Last week from Saturday though Friday we only had Tuesday night free. All other nights were filled with baseball. Baseball takes a break this week---yahoo!!!!

I STILL haven't gotten far in cleaning out/reorganizing the schoolroom. It is one huge mess in there. I need a different approach to it. I have been trying to get one huge block of time to get in there. I am going to have to look for 20 minute opportunities instead. It is the only way I am going to see progress. I also need to start listing more things to sell on Ebay.

My cooking adventures are going pretty well. I am trying 4 new recipes this week. I would love to make some homemade bread but I have only found recipes that call for a bread machine---which I don't have. If anyone has a easy recipe I would greatly appreciate it!! : )

~Menu this week~

Breakfast: French toast, oatmeal, *NEW*cinnamon rolls, LaMuffins, pancakes

Lunch: Turkey sandwiches, PB&J, Pizza (frozen), pasta, l.o. (left-overs)

Monday--*NEW* Balsamic Chicken wings, Potato salad, corn-on-cob
Tuesday--*NEW* Chicken Quesadillas, veggie tray
Wednesday--Chorico and Fries. Chorico is a Portuguese's sausage. I buy the turkey kind since I don't eat pork. In some parts of the country it is called Chorizo. Instead of using frozen fries like I usually do I will be making the fries myself.
Thursday--*Homemade Pizza*
Friday--We are suppose to be attending a 4th of July Wedding
Saturday--Grill Nite. Chris will do the actually grilling and I will do the sides.
Sunday--Hot Chicken with Rice

Snacks available: fruit, yogurt, pudding, cheese & crackers, cookies (homemade), popcorn, popsicles , ice cream

Have a great week!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Dad!

Today is my Dad's birthday----69 years old!! My sister and I brought him out for dinner. Just the 3 of us. It is so hard to read him some times. We did get some smiles during dinner which was nice to see. After dinner we came back to my house and gave him a cake with the kids. He was almost in tears. Here's a picture of him with the kids.

That is him actually looking happy. He doesn't say much or interact with the kids too much but I always hear from my sister the day after he comes over how much he enjoyed the kids....GO FIGURE!!! The kids get VERY excited when Grandpa comes over. I think in part because he gives them a "tip" every time they see him ($1 each). This is something my Grandfather did and I love seeing my Father carrying it on.

Before he left he told us that he would like to see us have one more child (most likely through adoption). Chris isn't so convinced. Actually he said he is all set. My opinion....WHAT'S ONE MORE!! I am just leaving it God's hands. If He wants us to have more than He will change Chris heart, not me nagging. He did it for Emily!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Budgetting Thoughts

Tomorrow, Friday, is the first day of our Dave Ramsey financial fitness plan. I have been working numbers for the last couple of days. In the Total Money Makeover book that Dave Ramsey wrote he talks about baby steps. He has certain steps that need to be done in a certain order. Baby step #1 is to save $1000 for our emergency fund. Yes, we are that unfit that we don't even have that. But we will...soon!!! I am an all or nothing kind of girl. Also, I have the microwave train of thought too many times. You know, the "I want to wake up tomorrow and already be on step 3 of the plan."

I am going grocery shopping for the first time for the new month tomorrow. We work our months a little different. Hubby gets paid every other week and we also have another source of income that comes in twice a month. They don't usually coincide with each other. Chris' first check of the month goes towards rent. The second check of the month takes care a majority of our bills. I know it sounds kind of backwards but we start the month with the second check. Its just how the bills fall. I hope I didn't confuse you. I have budgeted $700 for the month for groceries. Included in this are baby supplies, household products, paper goods and hygiene items. Tomorrow will be the big shopping trip. I have allotted $400 for tomorrow's trip. I will also be going to the warehouse club to get my meat and bulk items. There is one thing I am not sure how to handle. What about when an item is on sale and I want to stock up. Example--I have a rain check for a 20 pound bag of rice for $6.99. With the price of rice going up I don't know if I should just go ahead and get 2 (or 3) because I don't know when I will see that price again. One of the blogs I read mentioned putting some money aside every month for when something like that happens. I might consider that. My other trips for the month are scheduled for July 7th, 14th and 21st. We are doing our budget in 4 week cycles.

My new hobby is going great....COOKING!!! Yesterday I made 2 banana breads from scratch. Yummy : ) Cooking from scratch is actually easier than I thought. I am also getting a little faster in the kitchen too! I am starting to get use to the timing of things. Believe me, my hubby could still cook circles around me but I am getting there!!! I think he is really enjoying not having to cook as much. In the last 2 weeks he has cooked breakfast once and dinner 3 times. What a huge difference.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

1 Year Ago......

The day Emily came home to us.

Emily helping Mommy with dishes.

I can't believe a year has passed since Emily became a part of our family. This year has just flown by. At times it still doesn't feel real. Let me tell you a little about our journey to getting our sunshine name Emily.

Chris and I always knew we would adopt. I remember talking about it on our honeymoon. We figured we would have four kids and then when they were grown we would adopt. Life doesn't always turn out the way you plan. I had 2 boys--CJ and Zachary 51/2 years apart. In between them I had an ectopic pregnancy. The spring when Zachary was 4 I had another ectopic. It didn't seem like we were going to get to 4 children. That summer I had 2 unexpected surgeries 7 weeks apart. It was during the time of recovery that I came to the realization of "what are we waiting for? We always said we were going to adopt." That is when we set out on our first adoption. We initially went into it to just adopt 1 girl. After going through our mandatory classes we found out that there are many sibling groups out there. They are harder to place. At that point we figured "3 kids--4 kids---what's the difference". We told the social worker we would be open to a sibling group. 2 weeks after we finished our classes we got our call for Jessica and Alex. They were 3 and 2.

Fast forward to about a year and a half ago. I started mentioning to Chris about having another child through adoption. Chris at that time was closed to it. He was happy with 4. I just kept praying and would mention it to him every once in a while. In January 2007 I got a call from our social worker, Ana. I was very surprised to hear from her. After some small talk she asked me if we would ever adopt again. I told her "I would, but Chris isn't ready." To my surprise she said "Oh really. (she giggled at this point) HE is the one who called me and told me I should set up an appointment to come out." I was floored. Chris wanted to surprise me with his decision to go ahead and adopt again. I told her I was going to talk to Chris when he got home and I would call her. Now it was on me. You know what happened? I got cold feet!!! I was the one now scared to change things.

Finally at the end of March I called Ana back. She came out and updated our info.. There was only a few slight wrinkle in our plan. Ana had concerns about it being number 5 for us and how Jessie would react. She would no longer be the only princess in the castle. We told her that one child does not dictate to us adding to our family. I also told her that Jessie would have no choice if I had gotten pregnant. Ana was also concern about the fact that I have fibromyalgia. She had known someone she had worked with that had it and they had to stop working. I told her "Yes I do have it. But that doesn't stop me from being a mother to the children I already have.". My Nurse Practitioner also backed me up. She wrote to Ana letting her know that even though I do have fibromyalgia I manage it very doesn't manage me. We ended up getting approved at the end of April. This time we asked for a girl under 1 1/2.

On Tuesday, June 21, 2008 I was in my prayer/devotion time. While praying I felt God tell me "Today is going to change the rest of your life". My first thought was Chris and I immediately started praying for him. He is law enforcement and I was afraid something had happened to him. But during my prayers a calmness came over me. I honestly went on with the rest of the day without another thought. That afternoon I left my house to go to a meeting. CJ was babysitting the boys and I was going to drop my mom off on the way. About 5 minutes after I left the house CJ called me on my cell to tell me that Ana called and wanted to know when were going to be home. I knew this had to be the call. I turned right around and called her back.

"I want to tell you about a 6 month old baby girl. Are you interested?" Ana asked. WAS I INTERESTED!!! ARE YOU KIDDING!!! She gave us the ins and outs of why and how she came into the foster care system, her bio parents and her health. I got off the phone ecstatic. I called Chris up and said "Hello Daddy of 5". He said "Hello. (pause) 5? What do you mean 5?" I told him we got our call. He was overjoyed!!

The social workers, Ana and now Emily's worker Lisa (who we had for the other 2) came out on the Thursday for the discloser meeting. We went up to met Emily on the Friday and we picked her up on Sunday, June 24, 2008. We had only 5 days to prepare for Emily. 5 DAYS!!! We did in those 5 days what people spend month doing when they are pregnant. Talk about nesting!!! We didn't have anything because we didn't know how long it was going to take or the age of the child. But God was good. And believe it or not, it all went pretty smooth.

When we initially met Emily on the Friday it was for an hour. Out of that hour she cried for about 50 of those minutes. Every time Chris even looked at her she would bust out in tears. The day came to go and get her. The kids, my mom and I met Chris at his work. My mom then drove Chris' care home while the rest of us went to get her. The wonderful foster family that had her had her all ready to go. I must tell you, this family was a God sent. They had been foster parents for 40 years and they had 600 (yes 600 that is not a typo) children come through there house. They adopted 8 children themselves. Emily was the last child they we doing and they were now closing their home to foster care. While getting Emily in her carseat the foster mom mentioned a couple of times how Emily did such a great job at church. Finally I asked her what kind of church. Come to find out they were Christians. Emily right out of the hospital went into this Christian home. I was so thankful to God that He had taken our little baby girl and place her in such a home that would surround her with His love right from the beginning. We got in the car and off we went.

To our amazement Emily cried literally for about 1 to 2 minutes after we left the foster family's house. The kids then started entertaining her and she stopped. Believe it or not, that was the extent of the transition time. I can honestly say, from that moment on there was no crying or anxiety. It was like she always was part of our family. I couldn't asked for a better transition. God is so good. Due to the testing that we have been getting for Emily we haven't finalized yet. We should be by the fall. At this point it really is just a formality.

People have all kinds of reactions to our family. Some stare trying to figure out why they don't all look alike and why we have a "dark" baby. Others come out and ask if they are all mine (which I do answer yes and please don't ask me which ones are real...I don't have fake children). I have had some ask if they all have the same father (which I do think is totally inappropriate and rude...especially when they do it in front of the kids). I will have the occasional puzzled look of why would I want to adopt another when I already had 4. But all in all it is usually a positive reaction.

One thing people do say to us when they find out we adopted 3 children is "Those children are so lucky to have you." I correct them and let them know "No, I am the one that has been blessed to have these children picked out for me."

Happy Gotcha Day Emily Grace!!!!

If you have ever considered adoption I would urge you to consider your state social service department. I read a couple of years ago that over 700 children in Massachusetts alone had been adopted that year. Every child deserves a Forever Family.


I am a little excited right now. 3 great things have happened today.

1. Zachary just got asked to play up a level tonight in baseball.

2. I just got a good used Kitchen Aid mixer for $75!! I have been watching for them on Craig's list. They listed it yesterday for a little more or best offer. I guess I was the best offer. After she emailed me to say yes I noticed the email address looked familiar. Come to find out, they are part of one of the homeschool email loops I belong to. Also, her husband has taught classes to my sons years ago. How funny is that.

3. I, well really my sister, just booked a trip to Florida for me, Jessie and Emily!!! We are going in November with my sister and a friend of hers (who is becoming a friend of mine too). My niece (my sister's daughter) and my MIL both live down there. It will be a great girls time away.

I am looking for a easy recipe for bread. I know one of the blogs I follow posted before pictures of a bread they made. I wish I remember who it was. If it's you...please let me know!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Day We Met a Princess

One year ago today we met Miss Emily Grace. It was love at first sight. Even though for the one hour we were there meeting her she cried for about 50 of those minutes. It was actually quite funny. Every time she as so much looked at Chris she would break out in tears. The foster family was afraid that was going to scare us off. The social worker reassured her that Emily made number 5 and things like that don't scare us off.

On Tuesday I plan on sharing our story of Emily. I hope you will come back then and read it.

The B Word!

Would you believe that in 16 years of marriage we have never really used a budget? Atleast not a serious one. Basically it has been a system of looking at the calendar see what is going to be payed this paycheck, make sure that is covered and the rest of the money is basically up for grabs. I have never budgeted for gas for the car (or maintenance and repairs), groceries (I did TRY in May), clothing, entertainment, or anything else for that matter. We just spent, hoped for the best and deducted it. I have thought about it time and time again about doing a program like Dave Ramsey. Have you heard of him?

I bought one of his books a while back, read through it and thought it was fantastic how these people turned there finances around. I just kept thinking to myself.....How would we ever be able to do it. Lately, my question isn't how are we...its WHY AREN'T WE!!! I truly do believe that we make a good amount of money a month, yet I feel we have very little to show for it. Dave talks about how 70% of American's live paycheck to paycheck. I had to take a good look at our situation and I know we are in that group. One missing paycheck, one major expense, on curve ball thrown by life and financially we would be in hot water (to put it nicely).

I realize I spend WAY too much on groceries. I think one time I had added up all the receipts and found in one month we spent $1000 PLUS going out to eat (not even good restaurants. Alot of pizza and fast food). Back in May I tried to do a budget of $800. That month was a bust. I have a bad habit of over buying (stems back to my childhood and going without food at times). We also had an unexpected Memorial Day cookout that I had to buy for too. This past month though all that money for groceries just wasn't there. And you know what----the month went great.

So because of this I have a new game plan for groceries:
Old way:
I was suppose to go grocery shopping twice a month. What I was finding though is we were still stopping at the store 2-4 times in between to pick up stuff we either ran out of or I forgot. Extra stops means we would pick up stuff we didn't need too.

New way:
I will be doing groceries in a 4 weeks cycle starting with this Friday, June 27th. The first weekend of the cycle will be my big monthly shopping. This is when I plan on getting all cleaning products, hygiene, bathroom, diapers and wipes. This is also when I will buy my meat for the month and do my warehouse shopping trip. My budget for this trip will be $400. Then for the next 3 weeks the planned budget will be $100. This will bring my total for the month to $700. Before I make my menu for the week I go through the fridge, freezer and cabinets to see what is left. I have been trying to make my menu according to some of the food I already have on hand. This is how I did this past month and it worked out fabulous!!! I couldn't believe that I actually spent that little for groceries. Also, we passed on the fast food. I did have 2 days planned into the menu this past month for pizza and that is the only time we got it.

We ate well this month too. The kids still had their snack food (yogurt, pudding, fruits, crackers and cheese and a pack of cookies)--just not as much. I also......are you ready for this.....COOKED!!!!! Yes, I did about 1/2 the cooking during this time (thanks to the inspiration of the 3 Mom's series I followed). And not only did I cook, I cooked some things from scratch!!! On father's day I made oatmeal butterscotch cookies for Chris. You know what he said. I was in the other room with Emily and he said to the kids "I like mom's new hobby." I yelled to him "what hobby would that be?" He said "COOKING!!" We all had a good laugh. Finding new recipes has now become a mission. When I think of something to cook I look it up on the internet to see if I can find a "scratch" recipe for it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

A couple of weeks ago I woke up and walked into the girls room.....this is what I found...

I couldn't believe they were playing hairdresser. How adorable.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!!

Yesterday I was thinking about how 15 years ago I was pregnant with CJ. Back then, I could never had imagined that all these years later we would have 5 children. I remember thinking about our life and daydreaming what it would all be like. And I would have to admit....our life is nothing like those daydreams......I THINK IT'S BETTER!!!! Oh sure, our life has had many twists and turns over the years. But each one has made us into who we are today.

I have mentioned it before that we were very young when we got married---I was 18 and he was 19. I was 20 when I had CJ and it was a month before Chris turned 21. Boy were we young. Right from the beginning Chris was an AWESOME father.

1. While pregnant with CJ, every night Chris would sing the Barney song "I love you" to him.

2. I had both CJ and Zachary by c-section. With both, Chris stayed at the hospital and took care of them since I couldn't (especially with Zachary. I was so over medicated that I was sick from it. I told them to lower the med but they didn't until the next day. It was awful).

3. When in the military Chris would work 24 hour shifts. He always came home and ate breakfast with CJ before heading off to bed.

4. Years later, he worked 3rd shift. When he would get home he would see CJ off to school and then stay up and spend time with Zachary before heading off to bed. He always got up for the day when CJ got home from school.

5. He learned how to cook. While pregnant I would have a hard time with raw meat. I remember our first Christmas together he made spaghetti because that is all I could handle with the morning sickness. He was a life-saver during nursing school. That is when he really became the chef of the house.

6. He ALWAYS put the kids needs (and mine) before his own.

7. He opened his heart to 3 children that needed a father. The day we met Jessie and Alex it was raining. The social worker pulled up to the house, got out and was trying to get the kids in without getting soaked. Chris saw this, opened up the door, went down the stairs, took Jessie from the social worker, took one look at her and said "Hello Beautiful".

8. He is not afraid to get silly with the kids. He plays statue, horsey ride, 4 squares, jump rope, baby dolls, basketball......he is like the biggest kid.

9. He brings correction and guidance (to even me when I need it).

10. He gets up in the middle of the night with Emily...even if he has to got to work the next day. This is not because he HAS to get up. He CHOSES to. I always wake up if she does. Many of times Chris will have jumped out of bed before my feet even hit the floor. When I do make it out of bed before him I can usually turn around and find him there. I tell him to go to bed. Most days he doesn't. I will sit there feeding her and he will be right there with us.

These are just some of the reasons why I think he is great. Chris grew up most his life without a father figure. I remember when we were engaged talking about kids. He told me "The fact that I grew up not having a father makes me want to be even a better father. I want to give my kids what I never had." I think he has gone way above and beyond that.

I love you Honey!! Happy Father's Day!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

We're Done!!

Yeah!!! Emily did it!!! She went 48 hours hooked up to the EEG. You know what---she did better than we could have EVER imagined. It is amazing what can happen with the power of prayer. Honestly, she pretty much could have cared less about it being on her head or having to carry around a backpack for all this time. The toughed part I would have to say was bedtime. She slept with me. I had a hard time sleeping because of the moving around and worrying about the wires and machine falling off the bed. She was funny 3:30 this morning she was fully awake. She laid there as close to me as she could and would rub my face, give me kisses, stick her finger in my mouth....and she would crack me up because she would try to act like she was sleeping with her eyes closed and a huge smile on her face. When I would pull her finger out of my mouth she would open her eyes and crack up laughing. She finally fell back to sleep at about 5---and so did I.

We should have the results of the test within 2 weeks. Once we get the results the social worker will mail us the paper work we need to sign for the adoption. We will mail it back and then she will submit it. She told us we are looking at August-September for finalization (which is just a formality to us...she is our daughter already in our heart).

CJ has been calling from Alabama. He is having a great time. He comes home next week on Friday. He is going to be heading over to South Carolina for some fun this weekend.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Emily---Wired Up!!

Just a quick update on Emily. She has been home for an far so good. She did AWESOME while they were putting this on. She has 24 electrodes on her head, gauze and then the stocking cap. The cap covers the wires and goes down to the backpack. Last time, when she had the regular EEG, they had to wrap her up in a blanket so she wouldn't move....NOT THIS TIME!! Chris and the tech couldn't believe how well she did.

At home she has been a great mood. Only when I changed her diaper did she reach for her head. She has been playing, walking and even bending down with the backpack on. The backpack has the recording device in it. It weighs a few pounds and it really is unbelievable how she is getting around with it. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. Here are two pictures I took when she got home.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Monday Meanderings

Emily is having a 48 hour EEG (brain waves) this week. She goes on Tuesday to be hooked up and it will be taken off on Thursday. Needless to say, it is going to be a tough 48 hours!!! I can't really schedule anything during that time. Please pray for her and for us. When they called today to confirm her appointment they told me that I am going to need a vacation when she is done with it.

Homeschooling---I plan on doing school throughout the summer. I would like to do some reading and math this week. Our routine has been way out of wack lately. It will be hard to work on that while Emily is having her test but the other days we sure can work on it.

Cleaning--I need to start weeding through my school room. I am planning to sell at a couple of book sales within in the next month. The first one is Thursday of next week and I would actually like to be ready early for it.

Monday--Leftovers from graduation party yesterday plus hamburgs on the grill
Tuesday--Taco Tuesday!!! Tacos, Rice, veggies
Thursday--American Chop Suey
Friday--Chicken Stir Fry with rice
Saturday--Pork chops, baked potatoes, corn

Breakfast will consist of panckakes, cereal, eggs and bacon, toast with fruit
Lunches will be pasta, turkey sandwiches, PB&J, Nuggets with fries, pizza

Have a great week!!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

It's HOT!!!

It has warmed up around here like gang-busters. It was almost 90 degrees!! I know many of you live in places around the country that has had 80-90 weather for months already so you don't know what I am complaining about. But you have to understand. This is New England. Friday's high was 58 degrees and then today a whole 30 degrees higher. That's a HUGE jump in one day. Friday I was in sweat plants---today a tank top and shorts. It's crazy. I heard on the news today that the average temp for today is 75. I like that kind of weather. I have Raynaud's so extreme cold as well as extreme hot affects me. I can't even handle the freezer section of the market. I have been know in the summer to wear gloves and a sweater while grocery shopping.

CJ got to his first destination safely. He called me this afternoon and he is having a blast.

Emily has a 48 hour EEG scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday. Please keep us in your prayers. The doctor's we have to go to to put it on is 1 1/2 hours away. My mother is going to go with Chris both days. Emily can't be left alone at all during this test. They recommended to me that when she is not sleeping I might want to put her in her stroller. Are they kidding me. Keep a 17 month old in a stroller for 2 days!!! I am not expecting to get much sleep during this time myself.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Alabama---Here CJ Comes!!!!

Is this the look of an excited kid or what!!!

CJ just left to go on his 2 week vacation with another family, The Rock's. Excited doesn't even begin to describe how CJ feels. He has been counting down for the last 3 weeks. This is going to be a great adventure and something I am sure he will remember forever.

As for me, I sit here with tears in my's bittersweet. I know that he is going to have a blast and I am truly excited for him. BUT I am going to miss him. He is a part of my everyday life (ice cream every night at 9, after all the other kids have gone to bed) and you know what....I enjoy having him around. Last night we went shopping, just the two of us. We had a great time. He looked at me and asked if I was going to miss him (is he kidding!). I told him tons. He said he was going to miss me too. Throughout the day he kept telling me I can't cry. Of course I did...atleast 4 different times. I would try not to let him see me though because it gets him upset.

To tell you the truth, I don't know if it is the fact that I am going to miss him or the fear of something happening out of my control that made me cry. I will admit, I can be an anxious person by nature. I grew up with a Mom that always went to the extreme paranoid case with everything. Example--when Zachary was a toddler I remember she seriously wanted to get him a helmet to wear while playing because--like toddlers do---he fell alot while playing and would hit his head on toys, tables, his brothers head and she was afraid he was going to end up with brain damage. I have tried very hard not to do things like that to my children. I keep my anxiety and worries inside. It didn't really hit me until Tuesday that CJ was leaving so soon. That is when the thoughts started trying to creep their way in. With each though I would pray. I remember hearing "you can't be anxious and trust God at the same time". Also, I know that God is with him and already there. Nothing is going to happen to him that God didn't already know.

I will have to tell you about all the wonderful places they went when he gets back. You know, I can't believe he actually left. When he was getting ready to leave I gave him a huge hug and told him that if he didn't want to go he can stay home.....we could double up on the Algebra instead for the two weeks. With an offer like that, can you believe he still went : )

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Well, not so wordless for me.
My niece, Laura, graduated from high school on Sunday.

I am finally getting around to posting about my "Mystery Date" Chris brought be on for my birthday. My birthday was May 13th. On the day Chris took the day off. Wendy came over with 2 of her kids. We had tacos (it was Tuesday after all) and then ice cream cake. The boys had baseball that night. It was a very laid back kind of day. Chris however had something up his sleeve. All I was told was to be ready by 10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning wearing a pair of black dress pants and a top. Chris borrowed my sister's MLC (mid-life crisis) sports car and off we went.

I should tell you here that I get very bad-- EXTREME anxiety traveling. We got into a terrible accident over 15 years ago when I was pregnant with CJ and I have never been the same since. Going beyond my 25 minute radius comfort level is tough for me. It is sad because we live in such a great spot. We are about 1 hour from Boston, Cape Cod and Connecticut and about 30 minutes to Providence and Plymouth.

Sorry, I go off on bunny trails sometimes. Back to the story. On the Saturday I was all ready to go---on time. To my surprise we headed to Boston. Chris brought me to the beautiful Langham Hotel. I knew we weren't staying overnight but I couldn't figure out why we would go there..until I saw the sign....."Chocolate Bar 12 p.m.-3p.m.". Did my eyes see right....chocolate bar? Oh-yes-they-did!! My Honey brought me to my dream----chocolate-chocolate-everywhere!!!! The whole dinning experience was based on chocolate...and I do mean EVERYTHING. They had chocolate soup, crapes, cotton candy, ice cream and atleast 50 different things to try all made with chocolate. And the thing that made this even more special to me is the fact that Chris doesn't even like chocolate!!!!

The Chocolate Bar

My Yummy Plate

Chris and I in the lobby of the Langham Hotel

Park across the street from the Langham Hotel. There is actually a parking garage underneath.

After our delicious time at the Chocolate Bar we decided to walk around Boston a little. I wasn't sure what was around that area. While we were walking we saw this

Carriage ride!! I just had to do this. So we went back into the hotel (which is the picture above) and asked if they knew where the carriage rides leave from. To my surprise we were about a 5 minute walk from Faneuil Hall. I haven't been there since I was 17. First we went on a romantic carriage ride.

Then we headed over to Quincy Market (Faneuil Hall is the brick building in the distance). We had about 1 hour to spend there. First we got character pictures done of the two of us. Then we walked around and watched some street performances. It was great!!

Right before we were ready to leave we went inside the food hall and got some real food (I use the word real loosely). This is one end of the food hall. It has every kind of food you can think of from Clam Chowda (notice how it is pronounced) to pizza, Philly Cheese Steak to Asian.

We headed home. As I was walking around enjoying myself it made me think about how I have let my fear of traveling stop me from enjoying something this wonderful. I asked Chris why he didn't just tell me we were going to Boston to begin with. He said "I knew you would say no." You know what....he's right. That man knows me so well. I love him so much.

This makes post 100 for me!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

That's My Girl!

Can you tell she is homeschooled....look how she is into that book.

Emily laughing because she realized I was trying to take a picture.

Emily has been getting Early Intervention for the last 7 months. The woman that does it, Sue, has a son that plays on CJ's baseball team. Emily was originally assessed last year in July when she was 7 months old. Sue called late morning to ask if she could bring the team by and do her assessment early (it wasn't due until next month) since they had a cancellation. I told her it was fine so Sue along with 4 other ladies came by to watch and assess Emily do things on command.

Sue and I were both worried how Emily would handle having so many strangers around. She is not really a sociable kind of child. Just having people around that she doesn't know will make her clam right up. Even when we are outside running around. If she is running and one of the neighbors says "hello" she will stop dead in her track and either run the other way or straight over to my leg. I really wish people could see how she is at home with us. She hams it up!!!

Well to our delight (and surprise) she did AWESOME with everyone here. She still took some time to warm up but she did FANTASTIC with the assessment. She is 17 months now. There was only one area that she did not preform at or above level. Expressive language she was at 12 months. They have to actually hear the child say words and babble. Both Sue and I knew going into this that she wouldn't do it in front of them. Language development is the reason why she started getting EI to begin with. I am happy to say that in the last 3-4 weeks though she has been making leaps with her noises. If you went back just a month or so ago she could go the whole day without saying a word. Now around the family she sings, points to things and has little baby conversations (especially with the dog).

Because of the language delay she will continue to get EI 2 times a month plus she is going to do a play group every Friday for 1 1/2 hours to help with her socialization (she doesn't do well with even "strange" children). We are very proud of the job she did today. She actually smiled for everyone and made a few sounds before they left. I am hoping someday everyone will get to see the playful, happy, smiley side of Emily that we get to experience daily. I am glad that she lets us be a part of it. She real does warm a heart.

I Tried Again

Chris had baseball with Zachary last night and CJ had a game too. I stayed home with the other 3 kids and decided to try my hand at grilling. All I can say is I will never again micro-manage my husband while he is grilling. He is the GRILL KING. The two on the right and the top one are suppose to be hamburgs and the two on the left are suppose to be chicken.

This I the food on a plate. I HAD to throw this out and start again. I was able to salvage one piece of chicken for myself.

On a positive note, my potato salad finally came out right for the first time this season (I believe this was my forth attempt). I made 3 new burgers. When CJ got home he took over the grill and made his own. Chris and Zachary ate at the baseball game because Chris was in charge of the snack shack last night.
Tonight I am going to make chicken tacos. This I do know how to make. However, it takes me twice as long to make any recipe then most people. Chris can wipe this meal out in the time it takes to make the rice---about 25 minutes. I am looking at a good hour. I heard I will get faster if I keep practicing.