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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Let's Get it Straight

Thomas and Natalie bought a new house in Havre de Grace with more space and  closer to were they both work and also to church but no longer across the street from us. Because of the housing market being a buyers market they have rented their old house opting to wait a couple of years to sell it (waiting for a sellers market). They are moving as I type. Their third daughter is due to be delivered by C-section on or around July 8th. They are a family that deserves nothing but the best.

Since when we moved here 13 years ago our plan was to move in two years we thought this would be a good time to look at moving for ourselves.  Although it wasn't the move we thought it would be because we moved UP in size. Opting for a gated community. We've been looking at this community for a few years and even though it is not across the street from Thomas and Natalie it is halfway between them and Charlie and Michele because the housing market being what it is we decided to rent our old home to Charlie and Michele.
Our plan is to close around the first of July. Charlie and Michele hope to be moved in here by the first of August. Charlie will be getting his promotion in a new Firestone close by about the same time. We are so proud of them.

In case you thought we left Jennifer and Shawn out of this exciting summer of moves. There's is the biggest.  Shawn has decided that three deployments is enough (we all agree). With another one looming over their heads they have decided to end their time with the Active Duty Army and move to Maryland. We couldn't be more excited! He's working toward a job on post here with the Army but as a civilian doing the same thing he did on Active duty status. The people he worked for seem pretty excited to get him back. The pay is not great so they will be living with us for the time being (hence the moving UP in size of our house). The job has a good future for them but it will take some work. They have scaled down their belongings and I will fly out there this week and drive back with Jennifer and the kids while Shawn finishes up the paperwork.

We are all so excited for this next chapter and the great thing is as excited as we are the little ones are even more excited to be back together again. It's going to be cousin bonding time here in Maryland.
It's so true that you don't know what you have until it's gone. We all thought we would live our own individual lives and get together for holidays. Tom and I never planned on being such hands on grandparents, Jennifer thought she wanted to travel the world as a military family like she did as a child, Charlie wanted to get back to his Ohio roots and Thomas and Natalie had thoughts of moving back to Kentucky .
We are all here, right where we should be. Thanking God for our gifts because after all the most important things in life aren't really things.

Life Goes on and on

Sugar high!
So, it's not like nothing has been going on her. The opposite is occurring. I can't rightly say why it's been so hard to blog. If I had to put my finger on it I guess it was when Nik left us. New policy states we can't talk about it on social media so I won't go into detail but it did leave us with a bad taste in our mouths for 'the system' . That being said our birth sweeties have been our existence!
Wyatt and Piper  have been spending more time with us since mommy got a job she enjoys. A perfect job for her with the church and children, so happy for her,
We went to see Seussical the Musical and had to read
three Dr. Seuss books when we got home.

Promised to eat meal worms to make money for his school.

We all went to an Orioles game together sponsored through our church. We met up at the Firestone where Charlie works since it is in walking distance of Camden yards.


More tattoos
Pinky and the brain for our boys
Power Puff girl for Jennifer
Chief Wahoo and Papa Smurf

We also took time for ourselves and left all sweeties behind
to camp with my brother, Matt and sister-in-law Sue at Gettysburgh.
We had a great time

and the big news
Our niece Krystal and husband Josh
welcomed Landon into the family
So happy!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Guest Post: Grams Visits Texas and Branson Easter

A short month after Papa came to see us for "Jack's" birthday Grams came down to Texas for an entire week and made our Easter very special!! I thought Grams was joking when she asked me to write another guest post, but she wasn't and I knew this time I had more then enough pictures.

Ever since Papa left getting Grams from the airport has been nearly the only thing the kids talk about. Every time we left the house they thought we were going to get Grams.  So when we finally did go get Grams you would think they would burst.

We all got a special Havre de Grace blessing, Bomboys chocolate, the best chocolate ever! You can only get it in Havre de Grace and I have so missed it living so far away. Thanks Uncle Tommy and Aunt Natalie.

Always the helpful little/gigantic boy.

I had made so many plans when Grams came to see us, lots of stuff to see and do, starting with a great traditional Mexican restaurant that was suppose to have huge margaritas, they were small.  But the food was awesome and the company was perfect.

We can't pass up a fountain without making a wish.

New awesome tents for Easter from Grams and Pops.

The kids got the camera, this is "Jack's" view, the inside of the tent.

More pictures from Johnny's point of view, Grams and Lily talking to Papa.

I just though this picture was adorable, how cute are they looking at each other.

The chaos of Gram's gift suitcase being opened and emptied. 

My big boy sleeping in his giant pile of squishies.

Lily started to feel sick the day after Grams got here, you can tell when all she wants to do is be helped and "cuddled" instead of running around like a the maniac she is.

Johnny obviously enjoyed the breakfast Grams made for him since he took a picture of it, fruit with whip cream and a mug of oatmeal (the way my Gramma used to make it.)

Heading off to shop, I just love my little Cupcake all dressed up and the idea of shopping in three generations brought up lots of memories of shopping with my mom and the memories we will make doing the same things.


Tea party in her Easter tent.

My prince.

A few months ago Lily cut her own hair, a lot, and since then we have been trying to even it out, this time we have finally done it.

They don't even need money to enjoy these.

When Papa visited us in March he told the kids to tell Grams to take them into build a bear.  They did not stop talking about since he left, and did not let Grams forget it :) They all had a great time

Lily has developed an intense stranger danger, she won't go near or talk to anyone she does not know, she can be persuaded if her big brother goes with her.  So Johnny helped make her kitty.

Giving his new long horn a bath.

And princess kitty needed a bath.

Meet Princess Kitty.

Meet Double Horn.

Riding the train, Grams even set us up with some passes so they can ride another day after she left.

The next day Lily was having a rough time.  Grams I spent the night switching off with her, she cried all night and we had no idea why. They she showed a fever.

But we still got out to the big park and found some more stuff for Johnny's nature collection, it has been growing for 2 years, he loves nature.

Lily found just enough energy to swing a little.

Aren't they adorable?

This was what the kids did most of the visit, I have hundreds of kid taken pictures.

It was after Lily used up what little energy she had at the park that she started screaming out in pain and grabbing her ear.  We knew she had an ear infection so I called her doctor for a quick appointment, but they were closed due to a bomb threat, really! No threat on a military instillation gets taken lightly.
So off the the ER we were.

Pitifully waiting to be seen at the ER.  I thought her constant cries of pain would get us seen quicker, I was wrong.  We were there for 4 hours.

Just becuase one kid is sich doesn't mean the other can't be.  Fever and body pain all around.

Even though Lily wanted to feel better and push through, she just did not feel good, but Grams cuddles make everything better.

My creative boy, always finding a way to play.

We took mom to the best steak house ever, on a ranch, with a zoo! Called Cattlemens Steakhouse, they butcher all of the animals right there, that is good steak! 

Even the kids steak is awesome.

Visiting the bunnies, the kid's favorite part.  They also have a rattle steak pit, goats, and peacocks but I have no pictures of that.

It was all too much for my sick baby, sleep and antibiotics are needed.

We spent the next day at the outlets, not a lot of chances for pictures, except the ride on toys again.  Once Lily's was over she jumped into Johnny's while it was still going, think we got our money's worth out of that one. We got our money's worth a lot that day :)

As the kids started to feel better they still were not up for much, but riding in a stroller around the zoo seemed perfect. 

They loved this donkey, and I am not sure why.

Our El Paso zoo has the best prairie dog exhibit, they are so close and then you get to act like one.

See how close.

Pretending to be a prairie dog and seeing them up close.

One came right up and said hi.

There is also a new huge play area, where you get to be a monkey climbing in the trees.

This yellow dress is very important.  A while back Lily and I picked out some fancy dresses on line for her to have, most of what she picked was pink, but there was one yellow dress she really wanted that I did not get.  She never forgets and kept asking where he yellow dress was, so when Grams got her she took her out and bought her a yellow dress.  Now it is her favorite.

Can't pass up the adorable zoo photo ops.

After the zoo Sesame Street live, Making a new friend.  When I was a kid we loved going to the threatre as a family to see almost anything we could.  Now that there are young kids around we still try to go to theature, now it involves giant puppets.

Blue slushie, we did not expect it to turn our mouths so completely blue.

And of course cotton candy.

At first Lily did not like the characters, big versions of creatures she considers to be stuffed animals running around and singing.  Luckily Grams was there to protect her.  She eventually warmed up to it all and got excited.

Then promptly she fell asleep cuddled with her new pink snake.

Another shopping trip to Saddle Blanket.

The big day arrive and Jesus arose from the dead!! He who suffered and died for our sins overwhelmed my heart with joy with He walked again, breaking the rules of life and death and showing us all who is truly the one true God.

I love Easter, there is no day all year that offers such joy and reminder of eternal peace, which also gives me a chance to bring magic to my children.

The Easter Bunny came! 

John Robert's basket.

Lily Jean's basket

Yes the basket themselves are in there somewhere :)

Last year my husband bought this cake pan for me thinking it was very funny, I love it!! Any chance to remember the sacrifice of Jesus and eat cake, now that is awesome. 

The bunny preparing the Easter egg hunt, making sure kiddos are finding eggs for weeks to come.

Beautiful sunrise service by the mountains in El Paso.  It is so lovely and the weather is so perfect. Moving to see the sun rise and know that the Son of Man is also rising.

Grams and I spend months organizing perfect Easter outfits.  Another tradition from my own childhood, new cloths, signifying a new start. Aren't they adorable with cowboy hats and boots?

Hansom big boy knew how nice he looked, walked around with his hands in his pockets. He loves his fancy cloths.

Although fancy herself, Lily is still a crazy girl getting her pent up energy out.

After service we got home to find what the Easter bunny left.  

It is very exciting.

Lily got a My Twin doll, she was named Baby Lavender and looks just like big girl Lily.

Johnny got an entire set of puppets to go with the puppet stage he got for his birthday.

Tons of bows and jewelry, bubbles and chocolate, Easter is awesome. 

The loot.

"Look I'm a bunny"

Fancy man.

After the Easter bunny enjoyment we went to brunch at a great local traditional Mexican restaurant, so yummy but I apparently did not take any pictures, it is very unlike us.

We had a very busy day, after service, Easter bunny and brunch we went to the mini mall on post for an Easter egg hunt, tick or treat style.  The kids loved it and got tons of compliments on their outfits.

Texas Easter must include the splash pad. 

Fancy cloths getting all wet, best day ever.

The last day Grams was visiting us we drove the 1.5 hours to White Sands National park, it was totally worth it. Sledding down the hills of soft fine sand like it is snow.

Some dollar store sand toys made the day awesome, digging dolls and making castles.

My babies don't get sunburned, but they do get over heated and hot quick.  

Not to mention by this time the virus that took Lily down all week hit Johnny pretty hard and he got sick too, they both did so well to enjoy Gram's visit and play even though they were sick. 

We so loved having Grams visit with us. We made so many memories and it was such a relief to have her around, we miss Grams so much living so far away.  Grams has never turned the kids away when they want to cuddle or color or read.  My mother has always taught me the importance of making time for children, for remember how fast they grow up and how important it is to treasure the days we have with them now.  

Soon we won't have to miss Grams any more.  By June we will be living back in Maryland and won't be leaving again!! God has blessed us by providing a job for my husband in Maryland and making it possible for him to get out of the Army.  Everything came together quickly and smoothly and we are so relieved and excited. More details to come, but for now we give praise to a life we get to live near family and secure.