Thursday, December 18, 2014

Karate Kid

In 2005 Brandon became interested in Martial Arts.
There was a class held at a local YMCA.
 He earned four different belts and made it to the green belt.  
He had four more levels to make it to black belt.
  At one point he broke some boards with a karate chop.
 Not too shabby for a 7 year old.
Brandon stopped doing karate when he began playing ice hockey.  
He tried doing both at the same time,
 but hockey is a huge commitment and it was tough to keep up with both. 
We let him choose between the two and he picked hockey.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Conversations with Zach {brotherly love}

Is Ahren moving back in?
I don't know. 
He didn't say for sure.

Tell him I love him and he better quit cigs.
It's disgusting.

 I think that's why he isn't moving in. 
I told him he'd have to quit smoking.
That's what I was thinking when you said he wasn't sure.

I don't like that he smokes.

Well mother, you know it's a process.
I read like 6 out of 100 people max are able to quit cold turkey.
The symptoms are to strong too handle.

He quit for awhile, but said stress makes him start again.
 It's rough out there.

(Yes, Zachary it is.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What does Christmas Eve look like at your house?

Christmas 2001
Probably the only time I wait to the last minute to do anything is on Christmas Eve. I got into the bad habit of wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve.  Although it isn't as hectic and stressful as it used to be when the boys were younger.  There are less (but more expensive) presents to wrap.   I like to wrap presents watching the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" starring Jimmy Stewart and drinking a glass (or two) of wine.
Christmas 2009
Christmas Eve is when we hide the pickle on the tree.  In the past the boys would rush down to find the pickle.  Whoever found the pickle first got a prize.  The pickle prize varied over the years from toys to games and now... money.
Christmas 2007
We also spend Christmas Eve with good friends of ours.  We have Chinese take out and unwrap gifts.
Christmas 2006

Christmas Eve is always the time we would take a family photo.  Not the easiest thing to do with three uncooperative boys and dogs that can't sit still.  Seems like each year it gets harder and harder to get a picture.
Wishful thinking on my part, but maybe this year the boys won't moan and groan!!

What do you do on Christmas Eve?
Take a look at what my friends on Tuesday Coffee Chat are doing this holiday.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Gator Crossing

Cape May, NJ has a fabulous Zoo.  It's not huge like some zoos, but it is very family friendly.
Each summer we spend a week in Ocean City, NJ.  Cape May isn't far from there, so we take a day trip to the zoo.  It's one of my favorite places to visit each year.
 Gators creep me out!  They always look like they are up to no good. 
Sneaking up on you, waiting to grab you in their powerful jaws.
I learned a few facts from a report my son had to do when he was in elementary school.
They can live 30-50 years old!  
Zoo's feed them rats.
It is Florida's official state reptile.
Even though some gators were taken off the endangered species list, they are still considered endangered because hunter cannot always tell the difference between the different types of gators.
Visit the National Parks Conservation Association to donate towards endangered species.
 Cape May Zoo 2004
Pictures courtesy of Todd Miller


Friday, December 12, 2014

4 Randon things about me!

Feeling Beachie
This week’s blog hop is from Hilary at Feeling Beachie co-hosted with Jennifer Farwell

The statements
  1. I can’t believe my baby is applying to colleges.  This has been nerve racking for me.  The thought of my last child leaving home.  
  2. Purple is my favorite color. (okay, I admit I could have come up with something more original).
  3. If I could stop working I would be spending my time with underprivileged children. My heart is huge when it comes to helping children.  I have an in-home day care - which I love!
  4. December is freaking freezing!!  Although February and March are much colder. BRRRR!

I'd love to get to know you.  Join Friday Four Fill-in-Fun!!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Otter Lake and a Teddy Bear

 We had a springer spaniel named Teddy and we took him camping with us whenever a campground allowed pets.  Otter Lake was one of our favorite campgrounds located near the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania.
The scenery and lake was gorgeous.  The lake also had a lot of DUCKS!
Springer Spaniels are known for hunting birds.
The term springer comes from the historic hunting role, 
where the dog would "spring" (flush) into the air.
I wish I had pictures of Teddy 'springing' off the dock to jump in the water.  
It was beautiful.
Teddy loved the water.  He would swim after those ducks until he got tired.  
After the swim we would dry Teddy off to keep him warm.
I loved snuggling with my Teddy Bear. 
 Even though he is technically not a lapdog, Teddy seemed to think he was.
 Teddy passed away August 30th, 2013.
My heart still hurts when I think of him.
I miss him very much.
 Otter Lake Camp Resort 2004.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Random Act of Kindness

I remember a summer day in 2005 when my boys went knocking on the doors of neighbors and volunteered to wash their cars for free.  It was their idea, not coaxing from Mom or Dad!

Of course they began with Mommy and Daddy's cars.

 What random act of kindness have you done?  
Tell you story at Time Out For Mom's Tuesday Coffee Chat.  
I'd love to hear about it!