Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Just One Year (JOY)

It was just about one year ago that Bill and I began a journey that will probably change us forever.

Before I introduce you to the little person that has invaded our home with sweet baby love, I wanted to share the journal entry I wrote back in October, 2016.

10/25/16
Today was the day we took our official first step in our foster care journey.  Bill and I attended an information session at a local foster care agency.

We met A and S who were very nice.
Afterwards, we went across the street to a diner for some coffee and dessert.  It was then that we decided to move ahead.

Bill had to take multiple work calls tonight so I was playing around on my phone.  On the USCCB website the readings were:

First Reading: Ephesians 5:21-33 (Our wedding's first reading)
Responsorial Psalm- Ps128:1-2 3-5   Blessed are those who fear the Lord. (I sure was fearful of what the Lord seemed to be asking us to do!)
Gospel: Luke 13 18-21  The kingdom of God.  What is it like?
It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden.  When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.
(There's an analogy to be made there, I think)

It may be the first official step, however, I do believe the seeds have been planted throughout my entire life.

KMS

Baby J came to us on October 11th.  She was 3 days old.
We still don't know much of her story, or how long we'll have her.  But for now, we are enjoying her and showering her with love. 




Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Senior Year Happenings

Happy All Saints Day, Everyone!

Yes, it's November and life goes on. 

*The mailbox is full of college ads.  Some addressed for Billy.  Some addressed for Mary.
We've done some college visits.  We even took the long Columbus Day weekend to travel to western PA.

First, we visited Penn State.  Billy's #2 in the line-up.  From there we headed to Pittsburgh.  We did, however, take a "pitt stop" in Shanksville, PA to visit the Flight 93 Memorial. It was beautiful and moving.


This picture above was taken at the memorial site looking up at the visitors center.  Between the two is a beautiful path, about a mile long.  A good walk for quiet reflection.  (or goofing around, if you're Tommy and Matt)
I was touched by this.

I'm so glad we all got to see this.

We arrived in Pittsburgh late that night.  The following day was spent site seeing.  The zoo was having a free admittance day so we took advantage of that.



Then we rode around the city a bit.  We had lunch and took some cool pics of the city.



The last day we spent visiting Pittsburgh University.  It was really nice, but very far from Mom home.

*Senior Year for Cross Country.  Here is Billy with his fellow senior teammates.

A tradition is the other teammates decorate their doors and trees.  I could do without the toilet paper.



That's all for now.  I guess before we know it, we'll all be blogging about the holidays!

Thanks for visiting here 😊


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Everyday Happenings

Happy Fall to all of you.  After a week of high temps....into the 90's for goodness sake.....I think it's finally cooling down today.  I'm looking forward to that.

Now, onto the happenings...

End of Summer + Beginning of the School Year =  Phone photo dump

 * August brought band camp.....Tommy actually likes it; it's my picture-taking he doesn't care for.



*We all went horseback riding.  The kids had never been and they loved it!  It's so hard to find an activity that all 5 enjoy, but this one hit the mark.





Afterward, we drove to Scranton, PA to check out the university and we stopped for dinner.  They were good sports for "posing for the blog."


*We had the first day of school

Billy, Senior!!! and Mary, 11th grade



Tommy, 8th grade and Ann, 7th grade

Matthew, 4th grade

*I already posted about Mary's piccolo solo here



Billy also had a little fun that night in the Riot Squad


*Speaking of Billy and Mary, they are in the middle of their Cross Country season.

Sugar fix after a race
*The middle school band had a car wash fundraiser.


Ann (r) with friend Amanda

* 4th grade at our public school means learning an instrument!!!  Matthew picked Alto Sax and it sure looks good on him.


*Matthew's soccer team went against our neighbor's CYO team.  These besties had fun playing in a real game together.  It was a tough loss for our team, but they remained friends :)
Matthew




*Ann wanted to see what she'd look like in my car's rear camera.


*And, someone got her driver's permit and is very excited.

 
That's all she clicked.  Into the crazy fall we go. 

Happy Weekend!

Monday, September 18, 2017

20th Annual S.S. Weekend

Flashback to Summer, 1998.  My lifelong girlfriends and I were planning our first annual overnight get-together.  Most of us were married or on our way to be, but we thought it would be fun for a girls-only get away.

Here we are, 20 years later, still keeping up with that tradition started long ago.  We usually stay at one of our homes, but this time, we went "on location" to a place we borrowed from one of the girls' family members.  It was a sweet home in the Pocono Mountains. 

We did our usual planning of the menu and drinks and stuffed ourselves silly all weekend. 



We visited nearby Jim Thorpe, PA, a cute little town with many adorable shops to see.







We even stopped for a wine-tasting break.  (Ok, not really a "break" since it was our first stop)


One S.S had a family gathering and missed this fun part
There was a small beach and lake a block away from the house that was beautiful.  Mary Alice and Peggy went kayaking. 


As always, it's hard to say goodbye at the end.  So many good memories each year. 

 What a gift to have these girls in my life all these years.
And you can't put a price tag on that.


Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Piccolo Solo

As you know, our Mary is part of her high school band.  She plays the piccolo.  It has been a dream of hers to perform the piccolo solo during their rendition of Stars and Stripes Forever.  The piccolo solo is usually played by someone in the senior class.  The piccolo soloist for this year was going to be unavailable for the first home game.  As luck would have it, she asked Mary to fill in for her.



She had been practicing for a month.  Her grandparents drove a long way to cheer her on. The kids were given strict instructions not to disturb me during the performance.   Ann was given the important duty of videotaping.  We were all set.

And here she is:


Isn't that the BEST??  Oh my goodness.

Proud to the MAX!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Avalon Vacation 2017

Avalon.  


Just saying that word makes me smile.



There is just something so special about being at the shore.  And Avalon is my favorite.  It is so pretty and peaceful there. The homes, whether they are the big palaces on the beach, mid-size "mansions", or quaint cottages, each have their own unique design and decor.  I never tire of looking at them. Late night walks allow me to sneak a peek at what they look like inside when they're all lit up.  (Wow, that sounds creepy now that I write that out loud.)

We had our usual highlights such as bike rides, shopping, arcades, pizza dinners, morning doughnuts, Carmen's restaurant in Sea Isle City, and an afternoon trip to nearby Ocean City, NJ for the boardwalk and rides.  The night before we left there was a huge storm which caused the beach block to flood!  Kids were actually swimming in the street!  Crazy.
 
My brother John and nephew Johnny went in on the house with us again and I honestly don't know how the two of them put up with the 7 of us all week.  Bill's brother Mike and family were also in Avalon the same week and having them with us at the beach definitely makes it more fun.  Plus, their kids are the cutest ever, so there's that.

I made my vacation video, like I usually do.  Definitely not my best work, but you'll get a glimpse into our week. The song was longer than the amount of video and pictures I took, so I had to get creative. I took stock photos of some of the places we visit there and added them in.  Lame.  Oh well.



Until we meet again, Avalon.