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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Playing Catch Up

Hey there everyone!  So it has been a long time since I wrote last.  It is amazing how fast time flies.  Things are good.  We are still living in New Jersey, but hoping our next station will be closer to family and friends.  Cort will be 12 years old Saturday and starts middle school next Thursday.  Elizabeth starts 3rd grade next Thursday also.  Cort is interested in running cross country for his school.  I hope he does.  I loved doing it and I only did it my senior year. If he starts now by the time he is in high school he will be very good. 
 Cort and Elizabeth.  They are growing so fast. 
Since my last post (May 2013) we have lost several members of our family. My brother-in-law Frank lost his brother Dee.  Dee was an amazing man.  He was a great friend, an awesome nurse, a talented musician and a funny guy.  He is missed dearly. My kids still talk about Uncle Dee and I will make sure they continue to.  Also, Scotty, our beloved lab went to heaven on January 18, 2014. It was a very, very difficult day. For weeks after I looked for him at the door when I got home, and was sad when he wasn't there. In August 2014 we started to look around at getting another lab. Through family and friends I was put in contact with a breeder in Pennsylvania. She was waiting for her female chocolate lab, Missy to go into heat. She finally did in October and our puppy was born on January 4, 2015 (1.4.15). We drove all the way out to the middle of PA the beginning of February to pick our puppy.  We had pick of the liter.  Seeing all those little puppies, it was hard to choose but Raider won out.  We decided to name him Raider after our high school mascot, Rockledge High School Raiders. He is quite the little stinker. He believes if he can reach it, it is his...this includes things on the counters, tables, beds, etc. Nothing is safe anymore. He is a lot more stubborn than Scotty ever was but he is very affectionate. He still climbs up into my lap like he weighs nothing. In all honesty, he weighs about 65 pounds and he is 7 1/2 months old. His Daddy, Smoky, was a big, beautiful black lab and I think Raider is going to take after him. Oh, and he likes to talk back to you. It is so funny having such an opinionated dog.

Raider at 4 1/2 weeks old
Such a lovable face

He's growing so fast
4 1/2 weeks old.  We had
 pick of the liter and we picked him.

The silly ways he sleeps

His dad, Smoky

Trip to Walmart with Mommy

I am attempting to drive and this is where he decides he wants to sleep. 
He is such a cuddly dog. 

The kids and I have had a busy summer.  After school was out we immediately hit the Jersey Shore with our good friends Erika, and her kids - Dominic and Angelina. and Crystal, and her kids - Lily and Addy.   It was a fun day jumping waves and then walking the boardwalk.  

 Seaside Heights, NJ

Seaside Heights, NJ 
 Crystal with Addy and Lily
The gang getting ice cream at White Dottie on the last day of school.

Elizabeth and Angelina on the last day of school, our new little 3rd graders.

We have also been traveling this summer.  We spent three weeks in Florida visiting family.  It was a wonderful trip and we had a great time.  In August, the kids and I went to Pittsburgh to visit family and be there for the annual Fiumara Family picnic.  It was awesome.  We had such a great time with family.  I also took the kids to Kennywood and the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.   We were there for a week but it went by so fast, I could have stayed another week.  LOL. 
Here are a few pictures from Pittsburgh and the Fiumara family picnic.
Elizabeth helping Uncle Fred cook.  She is definitely learning from the best.
Cousins - Berto, Nancy, Elizabeth and Cort
The picnic is underway....
Siblings - Uncle Fred, my mom - Carol, Aunt Carmen and Uncle John
My cousins - Bert and Anita/Sarah and Dustin
Uncle John, Aunt Patty, my mom - Carol, Aunt Anna and Uncle Fred
Mom's friends from grade school.  She was so very happy to see them and spend time with them. 

Well I think that is all for now. I promise to do better posting things regarding life here in New Jersey and the kids. 
My love to all. 

Friday, May 31, 2013

The Random Things They Say.......

My kids, like most kids, are always saying the craziest things.  I have been trying to document them.  Here are a few recent ones...
Last week we found a squirrel dead on the sidewalk in front of the house.  Judging by the broken branches we decided he probably fell, perhaps a head trauma.  We left him alone and went about our day.  Later that afternoon when the kids got home Cort asked if we could bury him.  "We should say a few words Mom."  I agreed and got to work digging a hole in the backyard.  I was wondering in my head how I was going to pick up this dead squirrel and bury him without freaking out my kids (while I was freaking out inside my head).  I decided to put him into a couple of plastic Wal-Mart bags.  After the hole was dug we went out front and I used a shovel to put this poor little squirrel in the bag and then I proceeded to knot the bags several times.  We brought him into the backyard and put him in the hole.  I started to put dirt over him.  I asked Cort what we should name him.  He said he thought Clumsy was a good name.  I had to agree.  It was perfect.  So we buried Clumsy and said a few words.  Then Elizabeth went and got some rocks from the driveway and we made a heart in the spot where he was.  Elizabeth had a difficult time saying goodbye.  She told Clumsy she loved him and she would miss him but that her Pap-pap was in heaven and Clumsy should look for him. 

Poor Little Squirrel
Here Lies "Clumsy" 

Elizabeth saying Goodbye

On to the next day...
I was at a friend's house who was explaining to me that she slept on her couch the evening before because she had flying squirrels in her attic.  She had the same problem the year before and was waiting for someone to come and get them out.  Apparently they are endangered so they must be caught and released.  I found this all very interesting since I have only seen flying squirrels on TV.    Later that night I went home and told the kids about the flying squirrels in our friend's attic.  Cort was intrigued by this.  He said "Wait, maybe Clumsy thought he was a flying squirrel and that is why he fell.  He realized he wasn't"  I laughed until I cried. 
For the record, I now know how they came up with the idea for a "Pillow Pet".  If you just velcro his legs together, he's a pillow.  Open them up, hes a flying squirrel. 
Super Fly


Cort will be 10 years old in a few months (shocking, I know) and like all military brats at the age of ten he will receive a military ID card.  I remember my tenth birthday. I wanted my military ID card, a watch and to get my ears pierced.  In my house we had to wait until we were ten to get our ears pierced so ten was a big deal for several reasons.  Anyhow, Cort has been talking about his ID card for several weeks now, asking if they will "card" him to get on base or if he goes into stores.   Elizabeth had been quietly listening to our conversation when out of the blue she says enthusiastically "Cort, I can't wait until you get your ID.  Then you can drive me EVERYWHERE!".  Cort says "It's an ID, not a drivers license."  Elizabeth's poor little face was so sad.  I guess she thought she was getting a chauffeur when Cort turns ten. 

Elizabeth came to me the other night and told me:  "I want to take care of Scotty every day and every night.  I am practicing to be a vet so I need to start taking care of animals to learn. I am going to take care of animals in the whole wide world.  If they are bleeding, if their tummy hurts really bad, if they only have three teacher's dog only has three legs.  It got hit by a car.  I'm even going to take care of 'cheetos'".
I love that she says cheetos instead of cheetahs. It cracks me up. 

"Cheetah's" Not to be confused with "Cheetos"


The kids were having a discussion regarding houses when they grow up.  Cort has decided that he would like a house with a basement.  He is going to make the basement his own personal sandbox by filling the entire thing with sand.  I'm so happy he doesn't really like being in the basement here.  I would have to make sure he wasn't smuggling sand down there. 

Cort:  "Mom, I like Dodgeball.  Why don't we play Dodgeball at school?"
ME:"Because people can get hurt."
Cort: "Oh."
Me:"There is a movie about Dodgeball, it's pretty funny."
Cort: "What's it called?"
Me: "Dodgeball."


As we are standing the dark....

Cort:  "Mom, can I play my Xbox?"
Me:  "I don't know.  What time is it?"
Cort:  " night."
Me:  "Really?  All this darkness, I thought it was 10:38 in the morning."
Cort: "Haha, oops." 



Saturday, May 18, 2013

What I have learned

Several months ago I started to think of all the things I have learned in life, whether it has happened gradually, or quickly, years ago or more recently.  I decided to write it down.  This is what I have come up with so far...
What I have learned...(so far) ...
...that fate intervenes when you least expect it to.

...loving someone isn't always easy.
...the love you have for your child is greater than anything on this earth.

...I can always do more to show the people I care about how much they mean to me.
...I dislike doing the laundry.

...There are some things you never get over.
...even if you only know someone for a short while, the impact of their friendship on your life can be profound.

...Time and distance doesn't matter when it comes to friends and family.  They will always be there for you, just as you will always be there for them.

...Your sleeping child can stir up all kinds of memories and emotions making it nearly impossible for you not to cuddle up next to them and hold them.
...some people you simply outgrow as time passes.  It's not right or wrong, it just happens.

...As each day draws to a close you must remember to make sure those you love know it because waking up in the morning is not a guarantee.
...I hate doing laundry.

...My chances of winning the lottery would be a lot higher if I actually played.
...Some things you will never forget, no matter how hard you try.

...It's okay to play hooky every now and then, skip work/school and just...hang out.
...When you are in a hurry, you will hit every red light.

...I still hate doing the laundry.
...If you spend all your time thinking "I just have to make it through tomorrow", pretty soon the tomorrow's will be gone and you will only have memories of hurrying up for nothing.  Enjoy every single moment, of every single day.  They go by so quickly.

...It's easy to make friends, tougher to keep them.
...Elizabeth will always fall asleep early and without drama on nights when she doesn't have school the next morning.

...Regret is the worst thing in the world.  Do everything in your power NOT to have them because sometimes, it is too late to do anything about your regrets.  They will just haunt you.
...Wind chimes make me smile.

...I have more pictures than walls, and that is okay with me.

...I have more knick-knacks than shelves, and that is not okay with Henry.
...It's always easier to do something with a friend, even if it is just cleaning.  Not laundry though, laundry always stinks.

...The bigger the house, the more to clean, the more stuff to put in it. Same goes with purses.
...Have I mentioned I absolutely hate doing the laundry?


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Moving on

Last week marked four months since we left Virginia, three months since we moved into our new home. 

I am enjoying aspects of New Jersey that I had forgotten about such as the country roads, the scenery, and all the farms.  I love my drive to work.  The majority of it is spent on back roads with lots of farms and big, old houses.  We love the town that we have settled into.  We live in the borough which has just 1,400 residents.   Funny story actually -  I came home from work one day to find an electric company repairman working on the wires outside our house.  The (VERY nice) neighbors across the street had their power knocked out when a branch fell on the wire and pulled it off their house.  I was surprised since it didn't affect us.  Anyhow, I had to park next door since they were blocking my driveway.  I walked over to the gentleman talking with the electrician.  He was dressed casual in comfy pants and a sweatshirt.  I explained to him that this was my house.  He said "oh, you are the one with the hotrod?"  Embarrassed I apologized for the loudness that is Henry's car.  He said he actually liked the sound of it.  I laughed.  He pointed out his house, diagonally behind mine.  I reached my hand out and said "Hi, my name is Jennifer."  He shook it and said, "Hi, I'm Bill...........the Mayor."  And that's how everything is in this town.  People are friendly, they know each other and they look out for each other.  At Christmas time they had a tree lighting ceremony on main street.  We walked down to where it was, following a crowd of people singing Christmas Carols.  Once we got down there the people gathered, still singing.  The tree was lit and Santa appeared.  Cort and Elizabeth both got to visit with him.  They were so excited.  Cort couldn't figure out where he put his sleigh.  He spent the whole walk home trying to look on the roof of other houses. I realize this is probably the last year that Cort will look for such things but for now, I am enjoying it.  Anyhow, afterwards they gave out cups of hot chocolate and the kids played on the playground by the pond.  It was awesome. 

I miss things about Virginia that I knew I would miss such as my friends, our Church, Cub Scouts...  I also miss things I didn't think I would miss like the F-22's.  It is much quieter here.  I miss watching them do crazy things in the air.  I didn't realize just how cool it was until it was gone.  I miss our fenced in yard.  No fence here which means we have to walk Scotty.  This usually falls to Cort or myself.  I can tell you that last night when it was 8 degrees out I really hated not having a fence. 

I also miss the shorter drive to Florida.  We drove home for Christmas and you really notice those extra hours.  As is typical the drive down to Florida wasn't bad, the drive back to New Jersey was hell.  It's a very long story involving suitcases flying off the roof of the car, 18 wheelers running them over, I-95 traffic stopping so we could collect the clothes all over the highway and then just when you thought it couldn't' get worse, my Expedition decided it didn't want to accelerate anymore.  Needless to say I am so grateful the drive is over and everyone is safe.  Since the drive my Expedition has gotten eight new spark plugs courtesy of the mechanic I used to date.  :-) 

Our new house is beautiful.  It was built in 1926 and has beautiful hardwood throughout.  Scott isn't quite as impressed by the hardwood floors as me.  We still have more boxes than I wish we did but thanks to a full basement and full walk-up attic the house isn't cluttered with boxes.  That being said it is possible this is why it is taking me so long to unpack.  ;-)  Very few things have been hung on the walls which I am hoping to rectify this weekend.  I received several new collage frames for Christmas and can't wait to put pictures in them, old and new, and hang them on the walls.  I also need my shot glass holders hung.  I unpacked several boxes the other night and my giant dining room table is covered in shot glasses.  I told Henry I think if we were to fill each one, we would probably not survive.  He laughed.  I figure we could have one hell of a party one day - everyone gets their own shot glass.  I actually decided to count them one night - 154 is what I came up with.  Craziness.   Some of them are from my mom but a good majority are ones I have collected from places we have lived or visited.  Slowly the house is coming together.  As is typical there are things that need bought for a new home, such as curtains.  I finally bought curtains for the kitchen windows.  Now I just need curtains for the dining room.  My old curtains which I love won't work.  There are five windows in our dining room.  See why it is taking me a little while to find/buy curtains?  :-)  I also am looking for a solution to the sunroom.  Don't get me wrong, I love the sunroom and all the light that comes in.  I love being able to watch the kids play out back while I type.  However there are times during the day where the sun is so bright I can hardly read my monitor.  Mostly though I dislike the sunroom in the evening.  The back door which is off the sunroom is glass.  Then there are four large windows down one wall, and five large windows down the other.  It kind of creeps me out that people can see in.  I am working on it though.  It is a balance between budget and functionality. 

Okay, enough of all that.  Let's tell some stories about the kids:

Elizabeth had a five minute argument with me yesterday regarding her name.  She told me there is an "f" in her name.  I said there wasn't.  She said when she sounded it out, it sounds like there is an "f" in it.  Listen, she told me - "Elizabiff".  How can I argue with that logic?  I guess it is good she didn't argue that it started with an "W".  For a long time she called herself "Wizabif". 

Her newest thing is her journal.  It started out as a Minnie Mouse notebook my mom gave her.  When she filled it up I bought her another notebook.  She carried it to the store the other day and spent the entire shopping trip writing down prices of things.  I told Henry we could set her off in Walmart and keep her busy forever.  
Cort is doing well, enjoying school and making friends.  Mostly he talks about Kadi.  Her and Cort have become best friends and I am pretty sure she is his "girlfriend" which at nine really doesn't mean much.  We were over their house this past weekend for dinner and to hang out.  Cort told Kadi's mom that he wouldn't hold Kadi's hand since her dad was home.  Oh boy, am I in trouble.  :-)  He got a skateboard ramp for Christmas.  I will post pictures soon of that.  Hopefully we won't be on a first name basis with the ER staff because of it. 

We had some snow the other night.  It wasn't much, just an inch but the kids went out and played nonetheless.  It took them longer to get dressed to go outside than the entire time they were outside.  We are supposed to get more snow tomorrow.  I hope we do.  I am hoping for several inches, especially since it will be the weekend and I have no where to be.

Below are a few pictures of various things.  Enjoy!

Shot glasses

Cort climbing the tree at Kadi's house

I love that he is in the tree and she is looking at him like "really?"

DOG PILE - on Kadi's mom.  hehe
The kids (and Kadi's mom, Kelsey) playing in the trampoline

Our house

Our street, quiet after the snow

The trees above the garage.  So pretty

Well when he asked if he could clean off my Expedition what was
I going to say, "No".  Ya, right. 

The sunroom/my office
slightly messy

Another shot of the sunroom, with the back door
to the left

Kitchen into the sunroom

Kitchen, with my new curtains
The door from the kitchen into the entry way.  The basement
door is to the right. 

Looking the other way - in the entry way.  Small door goes into kitchen. 
French doors go into living room.  This is great for keeping the heat in.

The nifty "stain glass" tint we bought at Home Depot.
I love it.  It's so pretty, doesn't allow anyone to see in, and it looks pretty with the wood. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Relocating and all that comes with it

So it has been f o r e v e r since I last wrote anything and I apologize.  I don't know where time has gone.  It seems to disappear more quickly each day.  Since my last entry:

1.  Cort turned 9 years old and started third grade.
2.  Elizabeth turned 5 and started kindergarten.
3.  My little sister and brother in law (Dani and Frank) had a little boy.
4.  Henry passed his promotion test and will put on another stripe.
5.  We moved from Virginia to New Jersey.
6.  Cort has become awesome at building legos - both from directions and using his imagination.
7.  Elizabeth can ride her bike without training wheels.

Certainly much more has happened in the last three months but these are the things I remember.  :-)

We moved to New Jersey the middle of September.  It took us quite a bit of time to find the perfect house and for the house to be move-in ready.  In fact we just moved in last Thursday.  Currently we are still in a state of "which box do you think the movers would put that in?"  It is a slow process and always challenging as each house is different but it is fun too, decorating and setting things up.  Our "new" house was built in 1926 and has beautiful wood inside of it.  All the floors, doors and baseboards are the original wood.  We now have a basement and an attic which is interesting, although it can be exhausting when climbing three flights of stairs trying to find something.  I am looking forward to having the house all together so I don't have to play "hide and seek" with our stuff.   The kids are enjoying their new schools and have made friends fast.  Cort has a field trip tomorrow to a cranberry bog which should be interesting for him.  Living in Cape Cod when we were younger I find cranberry bogs to be pretty cool.  I remember in the winter waiting for them to freeze so we could go ice skating on them.  :-) 

We miss our friends, Cub Scouts and our Church in Virginia quite a bit.  I still haven't found the "perfect" Church but I will continue my search.  I know that like St. Vincent's, it will just happen and I will know when I walk in that it is where we belong.  We found a new cub scout pack although I haven't contacted them yet to join.  Now that we are in the house I am hoping to get Cort back into scouts sooner rather than later.  As far as our friends, well naturally they can't be replaced.  We miss them all dearly and hope to visit Virginia again, perhaps next summer.  In the meantime technology will help us to keep in touch. 

Henry's new job is proving to be a challenge as he is used to being in the middle of all the action, and now he no longer is.  So far it is a slower pace that he is not used to.  I think in time it will all work out - at least I hope so.  I have started working again, currently as a nanny for a nearby family.  It is only part time but I am enjoying it so much.  They have three children although the older two are in school during the day so I am mainly just with the little guy who is 19 months old.  He is so sweet.  I look forward to the time I spend with him.  In some ways it is a blessing since I miss having the little ones around.  He fills that void a little - as goofy as that sounds.  Its like a grandparent thing - I can spend time with him and then give him back.  :-) 

I have reconnected with some friends here that we have kept in touch with since the last time we lived in New Jersey (2004-2006).  It has been wonderful to see them again, see the kids and how much they have grown.  It makes me feel old.  We are working on making new friends although that too has been a slow process since we just got into our house and don't really know any neighbors ....yet.  I know in time it will come. 

That's all for now.  Its time for a glass of wine and a show.  My mom flew up here a couple of days ago to help us get settled (and spoil the kids, of course).  It's definitely been a blessing as we have gotten lots unpacked.  I wish family wasn't so far away.  Anyhow, here are a few pictures of the house.  I will post more soon, I promise.  So long for now.... 

Our "new" Home

My huge kitchen

The kitchen and the sunroom