Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Teen Number 2 In The House!

Emma turned 13 over our Christmas vacation!  We decided that this year was the year of just family,(as in no party with friends) and I was so proud that she never complained, or fussed.  She was even happy after everyone left, and thanked me for making it just family fun.

Happy birthday to our amazing young lady.  The flower, the independent, organizer and sweet sister. (William had a tumble on his face right before the family arrived)

Of course we had more photo fun.  :)


Monday, January 8, 2018

Wood Badge

7:30AM,  on a December Friday morning, I get a text message from my husband that goes sort of like this:

"Do you think we can host the Scout Christmas Party?"


I just said what?  My brain was yelling NOOOOO!  My fingers typed that faster than I realized. The party was Saturday, as in, the next day.  My big kids were home for the Holy Day of Obligation, and my thoughts were, well, if it's a Christmas party with the boy scouts we should probably put up the tree.  And decorate a bit?  And we did!  It took less than 24 hours (a record for me!) and we put up the tree and set up quite a bit for the Christmas party.  The kids totally rocked it.  I was kind of prepared for some teenagers and families to come over.  No big deal.

Except, as I realized about an hour before the party began, (at our home, because the snow outside closed our first location), it's not JUST a scout Christmas party. 
"Are there strangers coming to this party?"
"Yes, dear.  They are coming to award me and Eddie our Wood Badge."


oh. OH!  That is why.  That is why I said yes.  That is why I didn't freak out (as much) as I normally do when he asks me for something last minute.  My guardian angel.  Wow.


This award is a really big deal.  Tommy been taking classes, earning his tickets, camping, and working very hard for this Wood badge.  It is something that helps him be a better Scout Master, and the boys actually were part of the process.  He wanted to show them the results, and thank them as part of his ceremony, which is why we were putting it with the Christmas party.  (I promise, he does tell me stuff, but I very often get distracted and don't remember)  His patrol was invited, as well as Eddie's.  Some of these people came from 2 hours away, in the snow to be there for these awesome scout leaders.

We are so proud of our Daddy, such a hard worker, and always trying to better himself for these boys.  I am also so glad my Angel guided my hand to help me make this easier for my husband.
   He has also been asked to help teach this course to other scout leaders, and has encouraged many of the leaders in our group to take the course.  That man is the pied piper.  :)

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas Season 2017

Merry Christmas!  Happy New Year! 

Our vacation was a calm, family-filled time, and just what our home and my heart needed. 

Christmas Eve brought Tommy's brother Dan and his family to celebrate with us.  It was just starting to get bitterly cold, and Tommy still braved the weather and grilled some amazing steaks.
We played games, and enjoyed lots of silliness.

My kids complain because Christmas Eve is Sooooo loooong, so the kids all shared in their excitement, and the day went so much faster. 

These photo booth props were a hit this season.  Don't be too surprised if you see them again.

The good news is I was up on my wrapping ahead of time, and was able to get to bed at a reasonable hour.  The only problem is I forgot to tell the kids that they need to wait for us to go downstairs.  We knew we were going to get up early and do Mass on Christmas morning (our parish had 6 Masses, just on Christmas Eve!  It's just too crowded, and I love the feel of beginning our most special day with Mass) but 5:15 is a bit much.  He organized all the gifts, and I really tried not to be too grumpy that the culprit woke up the smaller kids.

I am ESPECIALLY proud and excited that all of my stockings are finished!  Everyone has a name, and I have the honor of saying I made them!  I need to figure out how to hang them better so you can see the names, but I am just tickled that I finally can say they are all up!

This Christmas I think we went a little overboard with gifts, but I will say the best part of this year was William.  His excitement over each gift, (giving, receiving, watching another open) was priceless.  He was all about the joy, and had so much happiness to share that day.  I took a lot of photos on Christmas, and most of them have that boy in his striped shirt with a face about this excited in each one.

Next stop was my sister Jenn's house for dinner.  My parents and a family friend joined us for the day. It was the calmest day we have had in a VERY long time.  And just perfect. 

Happy Birthday, dear Jesus!
2 days later we visited with the Reynolds side.  Grab bag, and family visiting from out of town is always special.

Tommy is thoroughly enjoying his new grab bag find.

As are the big kids.

Prayers of thankfulness and praise for a great vacation, and we are looking forward to 2018! 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Halloween Days 2017

Halloween!  This year was a marathon!  Our weekend began with a Halloween party at the Knights while the big boys camped.  This post is heavy on costumes, and cute kids.  Just forewarned.
Batman, the Dark Knight, Sleeping Beauty, Hermoine, and Lego Batman.

And, though the Dark Knight isn't happy, Mommy did attempt a lady bug, but determined that I am not the costume type.  Especially since my wings broke after this photo.

I love the simplicity of their parties.  Crafts, pumpkin fun, games, breakfast and a goody bag tailor made for each age.  Best part?  Not too much candy! 
Even though our next event was a school night, there was no way we were missing Halloween at the White House!  The school was given over 300 tickets, and we put our family name in the lottery to go.  We were picked! and got the last time slot: 7PM.  Great for the mood of Halloween, not so great for photos.

It was cold, and We had different costumes, for some. 
My teen is Error 404, Emma the Cat, Harry Potter, Lego Batman and Aurora!

They gave out candy, bandaids, stickers, photos of the White House and POTUS, and even Smokey the Bear.  NASA had a moon rock for everyone to feel!  It was interesting to see the Security wand the kids in costumes.  Even Lucy. Gave me the giggles, but I didn't want to be disrespectful. 
It was such a fun time, even though I had to do something I said I would never do: drive in DC.  Tommy works there, so it made sense for me to pick him up, but my hope was he would meet us outside of the city.  It didn't work out due to his job busyness, so I had to drive. 
I will admit there was a lot of yelling. 
And apologizing.

It was very cool experience!  We will definitely try to do it again next year! 
 The next day was officially Halloween.  The Penny Bazaar is the way the school celebrates, and we always try to help work a couple games, and enjoy the fun.

Lucy was warm and cozy in her costume, all day. 
And then, the event.  THE event.   

This is our second year with these sweet girls TOTing with us.  The planning that went into these costumes made me giggle.  Even down to the nail polish for "claws."  Love these girls.  Though they didn't share their Milk Duds with me.

This year, I decided to join the kids, and Patrick stayed to give out candy.  It was COLD, and I was grateful when Lucy's teeth started chattering.  And it ended up all the little came home with me, so Tommy was with the big kids.  Which means less candy for us to worry about!  :)