Monday, April 30, 2012

Cainan's First Tball Game

This past Saturday morning was Cainan's first t-ball game.  I wanted to post the pictures yesterday, but I couldn't find the camera cord.
He did great at his first game.  You could tell he was a bit unsure about the whole thing at first, but he jumped right in there. He wasn't thrilled that he was a purple team, but what can you do.  I thought he looked really cute in his little uniform.
He picked #6 for his number since that is almost his age. 

The games at this age are 30 minutes of practice, and 45 minutes of playing.  Everyone gets a chance to bat and they practice fielding.

 He will have a game each Saturday until the 2nd week in June.

  I will be anxious to see if after it is all over he will want to do it again next year.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sweet Sunday

Today I sit on the couch tired from a long, yet productive and fun, weekend.

Aunt Betty is safely on her way home now.  We were so glad she was with us for the last 4 days.  We haven't seen her since Christmas.  I am glad she was able to come and see us and the kids, and she helped me a ton while she was here.  We organized Finley's closet (it looks amazing) and we planted about 50 new plants.  She was a great help.

And of course - the kids loved having someone who never says "no" to play with.

Arlington has her 2nd Lacrosse game today, and she did amazing.  She is really getting the hang of the game and was in there and really showing great effort today.  She was tired when it was over, but we were proud of her.  Lacrosse is a hard game to understand, but she is picking it up well, and she seems to enjoy it.

Finley had a birthday party today, and she had a great time.  I am pleased to say that I was able to leave her at the party so I could go to Arlington's game.  She stayed with the other kids and participated - big step!  It was at a gymnastics center, which she thought was neat, so that helped.

Tonight I am trying to figure out what camps to send the kids to this summer OR what activities they will do.  The activities are harder because our summer is broken up with a vacation, a trip to the LCA conference, and the big Fundraiser in August in Pennsylvania.  I would love for the littles to take swimming lessons and Arlington to go back to weekly tennis lessons.  But they might miss quite a few with our travels.

Arlington is doing Camp Invention this summer for one week, and she is looking forward to that.  I am trying to figure out what she might do besides that.  I would like her to do something outdoor, but a lot of the "variety camps" are unbelievable in price. 

I think that Cainan and Finley will do a gymnastics camp.  It looks like a lot of fun.  The place where we went for the birthday party today was really nice, and they offer a very reasonable camp. 

This coming Friday is our first fundraiser in our new town.  I am looking forward to it.  We are going to play Bunco, eat sweets, and have a few laughs all in the name of raising money for our RDH12 fund for Sight.  We have around 40 people coming - the number we were hoping for.  I promise to take pictures.

Tomorrow the latest newsletters go out in the mail (from our RDH12 group).  I am a bit behind on sending them out in the mail/handing them out, because I was waiting to attach our August 25th race brochures. 

This post is turning random.

Tomorrow back to school.  This week brings more guest with the arrival of my mother, sister in law, Tricia, and her two boys "E" and "J" on Thursday.  We are looking forward to their visit.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

First visit of the year to Six Flags New England

Today we decided to hit Six Flags because they were running a fantastic deal for Season Passes.  For the price of a one day admission you could get Season Passes PLUS free parking for the year.

But of course - there was a catch.  We had to go to the park before April 29th to turn in our online purchase of tickets into our actual season passes to get the free parking.

Aunt Betty is in visiting, so off we went.  The weather was chilly, but not terrible.  We were comfortable all day in long sleeve shirts and jeans.  The sun was shining, and it seemed like the cool weather would keep a large amount of people away from the park.

Apparently I was not the only one who thought the free parking was a sweet enough deal to drive the 1 1/2 hour trek to Six Flags on a cold day in April.  Me and probably 100,000 people thought so too.

I have never seen the park so packed.  Plus, on top of that, there was some enormous cheerleading competition going on, so the park was full of girls with extremely large bows and too much makeup in the park.

We are used to just kind of hopping from ride to ride - at least for the little kids.  But today, the park was so crowded, that we found ourselves spending most of our time in line waiting to ride the one minute long rides.

The kids had a great time.  Six Flags has changed a lot from last year.


This deal with the Season Pass.  Awesome.  We love going, and we live pretty close, so to get the Season Pass for such a low price, it was great.

Friendly staff.  I have never been to an amusement park where the workers actually act like they LIKE their jobs.  They are all very pleasant.  Okay - they aren't Disney World, but who is.

Large amount of kiddie rides - there are two areas in the park that have about 10-11 kiddie rides each.  Plus, now that my youngest are 45 inches, there are things in the regular park they can ride as well.  So there are a lot of things for us to do there.

Shows - this park has some pretty great shows.

Rides - in general, this park makes Arlington VERY happy.  She can ride everything except maybe a handful of rides now at almost 50 inches.  So she has a blast.

There is a water park included in the cost and it is pretty big.  They have expanded it this year and have included more areas for little kids, which is great.


If you don't have free parking, look out.  Parking cost $20!!  What.the.heck.  It isn't even that expensive in Disney World.  And I am pretty sure that is a $5 increase at least from last year's parking cost.  There is no free parking near the park, but there is a $5 lot at a business down the street.  It isn't a far walk, and probably worth it.

The cost of food is outrageous.  Mat got a small slice of pizza and a side of fries (no drink) for one of our kids yesterday and it cost $9.  And the drinks- if you get a souviener cup (which you can fill the rest of the day for free) it is $15.  Holy moly.

They have taken out a lot of the brand names around the park.  The Thomas the Train section of the park - that was well loved by the kids - is completely gone.  That was one whole kiddie land they took out with about 6 rides.  They didn't replace it with any new kiddie rides, but expanded their water park instead.  That didn't help us much yesterday.  They used to have one section of the park after the "Wiggles"  but they changed the names of all those rides as well.  Rides are the same, but no longer "branded".

Arlington was reduced to tears when she found out the pizza is no longer from Papa Johns.  They took that out too.  She is so funny, but she loves the garlic dipping sauce.  The pizza is not generic, but yet.....$9/slice.

So there you have it.  It was interesting to see how much they have changed things in just one year.  Some for the better, some for the worse.  I think the price hikes in parking and food will turn a lot of people off.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Mole hill, Mountain, mole hill

A week and a half ago, I started to panic.  We are having a fundraiser here in our town called Bunco.  (for those of you unfamiliar it is a fun dice game that really just lets us gossip and hang out with our friends).  A friend of mine, Maria, came up with the idea about a mouth ago that it would be a good fundraiser to start with here.

And it is!  We have almost 40 people signed up to come to our fundraiser which will take place next Friday, May 4th.  We were excited to be on our way.

But a week and a half ago, we were without a place to hold this fundraiser.  I had been turned down over and over again by sweet, "following the rules" people around our town.  Each person would say "we are sorry but we can't hold a fundraiser here" and give me an idea for the next move.

But I just kept getting a no.

Who knew it would be so hard for a registered 501(c)3 to have a fundraiser?  It apparently is very hard.


I panicked on Facebook.  And you know what?  My new friends here in town came to my aide.  Quickly.  Before I knew it, at least 8 people were on the phone making calls to various churches and town meeting places asking to help us out.  The reached out and found many places we could hold our venue.  My mole hill that became a mountain, slowly began to shrink again.

Today, I got the final word that a local church was going to waive their fee and let us hold the fundraiser there for no cost.  The person who got us this church has never met me in person.  The church doesn't know us at all.

It didn't matter.  They saw a little girl who was losing her site and her parents who were trying to raise money to save it.  They didn't look any further.  They saw a need, and they jumped.

And tonight, we breathe.

It is hard because not many people know us personally, and they don't know what we are doing.  The world is not as trusting as I would like to believe.  I could give them all the proof in the world that we are a legitimate non-profit, but at the end of the day, they still need to protect themselves.  I get it.

I am hoping this will be our chance to get started.  A chance to show people Finley and what we are trying to do.  It will give us a chance to talk and start to spread the word about LCA, RDH12, and our race for a cure.

So thank you, to Amy Kinne, and Maria Davis, and all the people who took that extra step for us this week.  That said come he** or high water, we were going to raise money for Finley.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I love having company.  This is something you love when you live over 600 miles away from any family.  Mat's aunt is in visiting starting today through the weekend.  We are so excited she is here.  The kids could hardly contain themselves today knowing that Aunt Betty would be coming to see them. 

Next to their Papa - Aunt Betty is the most "fun".  I put that in quotes because here "fun" means "letting the kids do whatever the heck they want".

It is great having her here.  This is the first time she has been able to see our new house.  Plus - the best part?  She LOVES to garden.  So I am enlisting her help these next couple of days to make a bigger dent in the yard.  Yay.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

March crazy good weather brings April flowers

Today I had a really fun Garden Club meeting, and worked in the yard all afternoon trying to make a dent in the weeds.

While I was out there, I was admiring the last of our spring flowers.  Some of these flowers will bloom from now until the end of summer, but most are just here for a short while in the spring.  I have already missed some that are done blooming.

I am not a big fan of "just spring bloomers".  But some of them were here in the yard already, so I just re homed them and kept them for a little spring color.  I just wish they would last until my summer blooms came out so that there wouldn't be this period where I am sad the spring flowers are gone and overly anxious for the summer flowers to appear.

I grabbed the camera and took the pictures of the things blooming in the yard right now.  And a few things getting ready to bloom....


Daffodils - a few are still hanging on:
 These flowers are from my tulip tree:
 Here is the whole tree:
 White lilac bush:
 Purple lilac bush:
 No idea:

 Different purple lilac bush:
 Pretty little ground cover:
 Small little daffodil:
 Bleeding heart:
 Azeleas - most of them have stopped blooming and are boring green bushes:

 This next one I am pretty excited about.  This is our crab apple tree:
 Do you know why I am so excited?  Because this is the tree that fell over last October in the bad snow storm.  Mat stood it back up and look at it now:
 This next one is by far the prettiest tree in our yard.  We have two.  They are red buds:
 Red bud up close:
 Lily of the valley:

 Magnolia on the magnolia tree:

This next one doesn't have a flower yet, but I love the leaves.  And it is an amazing flower in the fall:
 This one I scared Scooby when I saw it because I did a little screech and a happy dance.  My very first iris is starting to make its appearance.  Can't wait!:
 I did a little screech about the next one too.  I thought the squirrels had dug these up last year.  I had to move 5 of them because they were getting too much sun, and I didn't think any of them survived,  This week, they started to appear, and it looks like 4 of the 5 made it.  They are Jack in the pulpit and are AMAZING.  And I think they are protected, so I wanted to save them if I could:
Here is what it will look like, eventually:
Then it will get these berries:
Hope you enjoyed our garden tour!!  Can't wait for those summer flowers to start to show up.

Monday, April 23, 2012

It was like SO high school

I know my family will forgive me for not having pictures on this post today because I actually WENT to work today. 

Today I was the substitute nurse at our local high school.  I have never been at the high school as the nurse before because - in reality - I have no DESIRE to spend my days with teenagers.  I have three children in my house that I will have to watch go through the teenage years, so I don't really want to deal with other people's teenagers.

When we lived in Connecticut, and I was offered my school nursing job, I was given a choice.  I could work in the high school, or I could work in the elementary.  It was a no brainer.  I would not touch the high school nursing position with a 10 foot pole.

Teenagers are getting a bad rap from me, I can see.  But my whole nursing career, the only other time I worked with teenagers was when I first started.  It lasted for about 6 months and I was extremely grateful when a position became available on the school age floor in the hospital.  I was outa there.

My mother, my brother, and my sister in law are all high school teachers.  They are amazing at their jobs and were built to deal with those ages.  I......was not.  I love my littles.  The hugs, the fact that bandaids fix everything, and most things in my office are "magic". 

But I lost my sanity, and agreed to work in the high school today.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous.  These are kids who are almost adults.  They drive, have attitudes, and use bad language.  And they aren't big on hygiene by personal choice.

I was pleasantly surprised today by the kids.  Every single kid I saw had manners.  No one gave me a hard time.  They all said please and thank you.  They smiled and joked.  A group of girls at lunch in the nurses office for goodness knows what reason, but it was kind of neat.

They didn't bother me.   I actually didn't see more than 20 of them while I was there, which was surprising.

Although, I did find it interesting that every kid that came into the office had a pair of headsets in their ears.  Every single one.  Oh, and they were all towering over me like they took some kind of steriods.

Okay, okay - I am just short.

Mostly all they wanted as medication for headaches., that was about it.  You can tell they don't sleep much.

I survived.  And if they call me again, I will go back.  I am glad I said yes, because otherwise teenagers in my mind would by "like so not happening".

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Short and Sweet

Today is the last day of Spring Break.  The kids were sad going to be tonight knowing that tomorrow we will have to get dressed and ready in the normal hurried fashion.  We got a taste of what summer vacation will be like, and we are more ready for it than ever.

It has rained all day today.  Just poured.  I was not sad, though, because we haven't had real rain in weeks, and our plants and grass are really suffering.  It is supposed to rain until Tuesday, which is fine by me.  At least it isn't snow, which is what my parents are expecting in Western PA.

Today Mat and I saw "Cabin in the Woods".  Our great little babysitter came to spend a few hours with our kids, so we could go.  We had seen "Hunger Games" on Friday, and both movies were good.  Hunger Games was better in my eyes, but Mat really enjoyed Cabin in the Woods.  It is by his favorite TV write - Josh Weadon, so that makes sense.

Tomorrow I am subbing for the high school in our town.  I am unsure how I feel about that.  For one - I have never been inside the high school before, so I have no idea where anything is.  I am not comfortable with just "jumping in" when it comes to nursing, but I am told that it is the easiest of the 4 buildings to sub.  I think they told me that just to get me to say yes, but it worked.  I only have to be there from 9-2, so I think I will survive.  My biggest concern is that it is the first day back after a long vacation - the kids are definitely not going want to be there.

We have about 44 more school days left.  We are almost to summer

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring Break coming to an end

We have had company for 1/2 of the week.  My parents have come in to visit, and help get the yard more in shape.  And because of that, I have let blogging slip a bit.  I know no one minds.

Today Mat took Arlington and Cainan to Boston's Comic Convention.  When we lived in Connecticut they would go to the one in New York and have a great time.  And before kids, Mat and I used to go to San Diego Comic Con, and it was amazing.  I used to meet a lot of Hollywood stars there.

Mat said the Boston one was fine.  Not as big as the NYC one, and definitely nothing like San Diego.  But the kids had a great time. 

Finley didn't have any interest in going, so she stayed home and spent the day as an only child.  I think she liked that a lot.

We played about 100 games of Old Maid with her.  She helped make some bread with my mom.  She helped my dad vacuum.  Then we took her to a local Butterfly place to watch the butterflies fly around which she loved.

It was a good day.  Tomorrow my parents go home.  It is supposed to pour down rain.  Mat and I are getting a baby sitter so we can see a movie, and Arlington has a lacrosse game, unless it gets rained out.

Monday it is back to school for the home stretch.  We have less than 40 days to go to the end of school.

Enjoy the pictures Finley wanted me to take of the butterflies!