It does not snow in Maryland. Maybe flurries a couple of times a year so when they were predicting a major storm coming through the whole state paniced. They even cancelled Jennifer & Shawn's flight to Chicago a full day before the snow was even expected but that's a story for another blog. Anyway in the eight winters we have lived here we've only had one real storm so we didn't take the threat seriously. I guess we were wrong. Gratefully we had plenty of milk and bread, Jen made it to Chicago ahead of the storm via car and cash from Mom & Dad and Natalie's parents & brother made it here from Kentucky just in time for the excitement. Thomas & Natalie's house at the very beginning
I sent this picture to my brother and asked if he was ready for a picnic.
He wanted to know if we were serving "cold cuts"
Our sidewalk after shoveling. The spiral trees lining it are totally covered and the lights shine through the snow.
The crisis is over now. The sun is out and the snow is already melting.
Oh my Goodness, I have been been having such a hard time finding the time and energy to post! I Did Not just spend the whole day sitting on the couch with my computer, the tree downstairs needing the last of the ornaments hung. NOT ME I Do Not Let Ella pick out Sami's clothes in the morning, even when it means pink tights, pink capris and pink slippers with a T-shirt. NOT ME I Did Not complain so much about missing my grandson that Charlie now sends me multiple pictures of him from his phone every day. NOT ME
I Did Not let Jack have the whole box of Cheerios to snack on to have him feed them to the dogs. NOT ME
I Did Not spend $17 on a dinner for Ella just because she wanted "pink steak" NOT ME
I Did Not spend the entire week working on Sami's sitting skills just to make sure she could sit for her six month pictures at the end of the month. NOT ME
I Did Not just add this picture because she is so darn cute! NOT ME
No, the house is not on fire This was how my mother "decorated" the house where I spent most of my childhood. It was over a hundred years old and was beautiful with hardwood floors and high ceilings (my brothers used to have contests to see who could jump up and touch the ceiling, leaving dirty fingerprints where they couldn,t be cleaned). The part that sold my mother on it was that it had 13 rooms and six of them were bedrooms. With five children and her mother moving in it was a dream for her. Of course the fact that it was the coldest house in the world (in MY opinion) with NO heat in the bedrooms and only 1 and 3/4 baths for eight people didn,t matter that much to her. They got it for a steal in 1969 for $20,000 and sold it for $80,000 in 1984. She really wanted to sell it to another large family but it really was a lot of house for one family. It ended up being split up into offices and I get sad when we drive past it now and remember what it used to be.
We all take turns hosting holidays. Jennifer hosted Easter (see HERE) and for the last few years Natalie has hosted Thanksgiving. Last year even though we all brought dishes she spent $350 and way too many hours and even though we had a great time when Tom mentioned a buffet at a CHOKE restaurant she jumped at it. So we became the family that went out to eat for Thanksgiving. We spent over an hour and a half sitting around the table, getting up to fill our plates time and again (prime rib or pink steak as Ella says for her, myself & Jen, sea food for the men and turkey all around). We had a wonderful waitress clearing the table and filling our glasses as we ate and it was sooo relaxing. We all agree we should make it a new tradition. Of course Ella wouldn't let it go by without buying and cooking the biggest turkey her and Pops could find (16 pounds) so we had it for lunch one day and used it for sandwiches over Thomas & Natalie's house along with pies and drinks for dinner Thanksgiving night. It was a very a wonderful day, the only thing missing was Charlie, Michele & Wyatt who were stuck in Ohio.
We cooked "the biggest turkey ever" the day before ThanksgivingElla wanted a wing from our "sandwich " turkeyPops, Jen & Shawn GOOD FOODUncle Tommy taking Jack for seconds. . .and two high chairs
Ella eating her third helping of prime rib Shawn belonged to the clean plate clubSammi just hung out, she did start cereal this week and at 5 months is 16 pounds, that's in the 80% , her length is in the 90% but her head is only in the 15% so completely opposite of her sister who was always in the low % in size with a big head.and Natalie was stress freeJack and I shared a glass of water with lemon then dessert
Jack giving Ella a kissThen it was time for comfy clothes and hanging out at Thomas & Natalie's Jack and his new big boy hair cut, most of his curls and the blond are GONE
Thanksgiving is the appointed time for focusing on the good in our lives. In each of our days,we can find small blessings,but too often we overlook them,choosing instead to spend our time paying attention to problems.We give our energy to those who cause us trouble instead of those who bring peace.Starting now,let’s be on the lookout for the bits of pleasure in each hour,and appreciate the people who bring love and light to everyone who is blessed to know them.
I DID have my appendix out on the day I was suppose to have my mammogram,
one day short of Tom's 6 week surgery follow up
(Jen took him & he got another 6 weeks off from work
and the ok to lift up to a 25 pound grandchild!)
and 3 days before a week end get away with all the kids and grandkids.I DID read stories and hold babiesI DID sit in the van for 3 and a half hours with three grandchildren
and a pregnant daughter driven by a
man driving for the first time
in 6 weeks out of major back surgeryI DID NOT eat anything without it tasting like
a salty metal can.Not that I would eat
Jen's pregnant lady snack anyway.
No wonder she threw up in the back
of the van on the way there.
I DID enjoy my grandsons sharing and enjoying a snack together.I DID NOT go in the hot tub with Ella, one of our favorite vacation things to do
but Aunt Chel was a great stand in! I DID enjoy spending time with these beautiful babies!I DID NOT roll around the floor with the grandkids I DID NOT get to ride in the bumper cars or go carts but Ella & Uncle Shawn sure did have fun.I DID get to start the Christmas season with a visit by Santa (Uncle Chuckles). Look at Jack trying to see his sleigh.
I started this post a month ago and had intentins of showing all the veterans that are in our family and how proud I am to be a 'Military Family'. Like with so many other things though life got in the way and I didn't get it fiinished. I realize now that is the reason we have a special day to remember our Veterans. We all get too wrapped up in our day to day life that we forget to thank those that gave us those freedoms. For all those out there. THANK YOU!This is Thomas in a project he once did
showing all the places we were stationed
Jennifer joined the Reserves in High School because she had such respect for her father's choice of careers
This was taken in Europe during training shortly after Tom finished Basic Training in 1982
This was the first time Shawn met his son on his return from his second tour in Iraq.
I Did Not let Ella eat still frozen peas for a snack, she wanted them and they're healthy what more can I say but NOT ME oh ya I Did Not put her in pj's and a skirt for her Halloween party NOT ME but isn't she cute!
I DID NOT rush together a package for Wyatt and his parents so that I could send Mommy pumpkin coffee and then forget to mail it for four days, NOT MEI Did Not just post this picture of Charlie at work because it cracks me up NOT ME I Did Not let Ella lick the Crisco covered spoon when we were making cookies, NOT ME and then let her use her hands to "drop" the cookies on the sheet instead of a spoon, NOT ME I Did Not let our sweet natured Sammi cry just because I wanted to get a picture of her in her costume, NOT ME
I Did Not pull the stool up to the sink for Jack to wash his hands and then wonder a couple of hours later why there were puddles on the counter NOT ME
IDid Not take pictures of Samantha's very first big girl bath to realize my hair was in every one of them, NOT ME I Did Not 'blue screen' my third laptop, my S-I-L's, he said we need to figure out my browsing habits NOT ME