Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Gift Of Sight Quilt

Last year, my bonus mom & I attended The Gift of Sight Donor Quilt Dedication Ceremony. We contributed a piece in my dads memory, as the only organ he was able to donate due to having cancer was his corneas. 
This year we were invited back again to see the unveiling of the new quilt.  The day of though, I was sick & unable to make it but my bonus mom went & sent pictures when she was done...

I think the quilt turned out beautiful & I thought the colors couldn't have been more perfect, purple is my bonus mom's favorite color :)

The Christmas Express

Back at the beginning of December, my sister found a Christmas village with an authentic narrow rail steam engine. A real live choo choo train!!! When my sister told me about it she said it was near Gainesville. I guess I just assumed between us & Gainesville, about an hour or a little more away. Well I was wrong & that is what I get for assuming she wouldn't have us drive nearly to Alabama for Christmas lights! LOL Well 2.5 hours later we finally pulled into The Christmas Express at Kirby Farms... we drove through Gainesville to get there but it was clearing on the opposite side of Gainesville than we live & I felt like we should have booked a hotel we drove SO far!

The kids absolutely loved the place, the train ride was awesome, the lights were great, it was even chilly that evening so hot chocolate was a must with our cups of ice cream.

The blurry family selfie

The sister, niece & nephew

The brother in law, sister, niece & nephew

MomMom & Garren

Fun lights... I will have to see if I can figure out how to attach a video from my phone

The train

Caden & his dark chocolate peppermint ice cream

All the boys riding the swings

Darren riding a flying saucer looking ride

Kellan also riding the flying saucer ride

Caden, Grandma, Garren, MomMom & Kellan riding the carousel 

Tricycles with Jumbo tires in a corn maze...

There was also a monster truck school bus that we all rode but I apparently failed to get a picture of.

The kids didn't want to leave but we had a 2.5 hour ride home so it had to happen sooner rather than later. It was a super fun night but The Christmas Express will not become a family tradition we travel all the way to Alabama for, lol... Just kidding, it really was still in FL but pretty close to the Mississippi line I think ;)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Santa Visit

My mom, my sister, myself & all our kiddos made our annual trip to the mall to see Santa. It was a bit early this year due to school schedules & such but we worked it out. We make a day of it, letting the kids play on the playground, ride the mechanical rides, eat mall food, ride the train which was MIA this year, visit Santa & have lunch.  We get lots of looks with 5 little kids in tow but we have a great time always!

Nana & the kiddos

Nadia & Chandler

Garren & Nadia

Garren, Caden, Chandler & Nadia

She is such a happy girl

Nadia & Garren

Chandler, Kellan, Nadia, Garren, Caden, & of course, Santa

My favorite Santa pic to date!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

We celebrated Thanksgiving a couple days late, it was our year (we alternate) to celebrate with Donna's parents & my bonus mom but because Donna had to work Friday after Thanksgiving Day & we couldn't leave town we postponed it until Saturday.

On actual Thanksgiving Day I put a pot roast in the crock pot & we spent the day putting up the Christmas tree & just relaxing. Friday I scurried around doing last minute laundry, packing for the weekend & black friday shopping online. As soon as Donna got home from work we loaded everyone, including the pup pups & kitty cats, up & hit the road.

First thing Saturday morning Donna headed out to pick up an early Christmas gift for her parents. Their swing had broken & she found a beautiful one to replace it with. 

The gorgeous new swing!

Once Donna got back we all headed out to her parent's place for the day. Her mom made an amazing Thanksgiving dinner. My bonus mom brought her delicious sweet potatoes & I provided a green veggie & a side I knew the boys would eat (they are still kind of funny about trying new or different things) We had a great day of visiting, eating, watching a little football & letting the boys run wild!

Garren, Kellan, & Caden eating all of the olives before dinner makes it to the table.

Donna, Garren, Warren, Kellan, Marie, Caden, & Tina.


The boys started soccer again, this time it's with a non competitive group that meets right at their school. They're focus is on teaching the skills of the game & their coach says they are naturals. If they are loving it & want to, we'll sign them up with the county team in the spring. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

2015 Family Photos

 No words...

A First For Us!

Several years ago the Dallas Cowboys were hosting Tampa Bay in Dallas on Thanksgiving. Taking the day after Thanksgiving off is a big no no at Fedex but Donna was able to convince her boss to let her off for this special occasion. Donna is a big Dallas fan, has been since high school, of course being from FL & the Bay area at that, I am a Bucs fan. Donna's best friend & I planned the trip to Dallas for Thanksgiving weekend. We booked a fancy hotel, bought airline tickets & of course tickets to the Thanksgiving Day game. The week of Thanksgiving Donna's boss received a directive from the Director that NO managers were to be off the day after Thanksgiving & at the very last minute he had to revoke her day off & spoiled all our plans.

Fast forward to the beginning off this years football season, I'm checking out the Buccaneers season schedule & low & behold Tampa is hosting Dallas on a regular old Sunday in November! I text Donna's BFF & ask her how I should go about buying tickets? She says no need, she has a couple extra season tickets we can use for that game. SCORE! We were both pretty excited as it's been a few years since we've been to a live game (before the boys came along) It was even more exciting for Donna since she would get to see her team.

Our original plan was for my friend & fellow triplet mom to babysit the boys. We don't leave the boys often & have always gotten a lot of grief from them when we have left them. I though a super fun playdate with their triplet bff's & their big sister would work like magic. They had been asking when they would see their friends again anyways.

Well a couple days before we would be going for the weekend Kellan threw up. The boys had had colds/allergies too & I didn't want to send them off to infect their friends. I asked Grandma if she would be available just in case they were still sick come the weekend. Good thing because shortly after arriving at my bonus mom's friday night Caden spiked a 102.5 temperature. Garren woke up with a terrible ear ache Saturday & by lunchtime he had a 102.8 fever. Donna whisked him off to urgent care since his ear had been bothering him too. Caden's fever hadn't come back & he said his ear didn't hurt & neither did anything else, he did however spike another fever that night.

So grandma ended up keeping the boys for us for the WHOLE day, 13 hours! It's a 2 hour drive from Grandma's to Tampa & we left early enough to meet for breakfast & get to the stadium early enough to find decent parking. 

Grandma did a great job of keeping the boys entertained, she made them pancakes for breakfast & took them on a long walk to visit some horses. She took them to get Garren's antibiotic prescription filled, to McDonald's for lunch & then to a playground. She said everyone was well behaved, took their medicine with no problems & even laid down for a nap easily.

Donna & I had a blast spending the day childless. I think we had forgotten what it was like to have a whole entire conversation without being interrupted by a child's needs, lol... Of course there is nothing like a live game at the Bucs stadium with firing cannons from the pirate ship & all the team spirit. Donna was not alone in her support of the Cowboys, there were probably just as many Dallas fans as there were Tampa fans at the game & it was a great game, especially since the Bucs won!
Sorry Donna...

Friday, December 4, 2015

Career Day, Nana's Birthday & Halloween!

Playing catch up again, I wrote this post but never got around to adding photos or posting... 

Oh & let's not forget it was also FL/GA Weekend... as in the college football rivalry game that cannot be missed. Of course Florida put a hurtin' on them Georgia Bulldogs! lol...

The village people, lol...

Kellan the race car driver

Caden the builder

Garren the firefighter

The boys school has Career Day instead of celebrating Halloween. It's Halloween really, with candy treats, spooky decor & all, I guess it was just their way of letting the religious kids dress up too. Garren wants to be a firefighter when he grows up so that is what he dressed as on "Career Day." Kellan wants to be a race car driver & Caden wants to be a builder. It was fun putting Caden & Kellan's outfits together although Kellan's had me stumped for a day or so. They were all so excited to show off their costumes at school & Kellan loved his so much he wore it ALL DAY & even wanted to wear it to bed, lol... They came home all sugared up & with a huge bucket of candy each (but not near as much candy as I sent into school)

Friday night we attended a block party & met some new neighbors. It reminded me of the neighborhood & families I grew up with. The boys made some new friends & had a great time & Donna & I actually got to enjoy some good ol' adult conversations.

Saturday was all about carving pumpkins (they don't last long here in the heat & humidity,) watching football, celebrating my mom's birthday & of course trick or treating.

The boys carved, but mostly stabbed their pumpkins with Nana & Papa. They were each very proud of their work & I discovered that our pups have a strong liking for pumpkin! Eason wouldn't even let me get the pumpkin cut open before he was trying to get at it. We watched the FL Gators put a hurtin' on the GA Bulldogs and had my parents, my sister & her family over for a birthday dinner to celebrate my mom & trick or treating.

I made a quadruple batch of chili for dinner & baked potatoes with all the fixins. Our family can put away some chili!!! My sister brought a delicious birthday cake for my mom from Publix (need I say more?! well maybe if you're not from the south, lol We had dinner, sang Happy Birthday, got our cake fix & then headed out into the night for trick or treating.

2 evil & 1 good minion :)

The trick or treat crew.

This was the boys first time trick or treating in not only a neighborhood but their very own neighborhood and it was spectacular!!! We loaded a stocked cooler in the wagon for some adult treats along the way. Our neighbors set up lawn chairs & some even had tables, towards the end of the driveways & handed out candy & other treats. Some people stayed inside & let the kids ring the doorbell. Garren & Caden along with their cousin Chandler & a couple of friends were so excited to run up & down the driveways & ring doorbells. Kellan was a little apprehensive about going up to doors & my niece Nadia was game for anything, especially with a sucker in her mouth along the way.  The boys loved seeing friends & neighbors dressed up & did their best Minion & Evil Minion impersonations. After about an hour & a half, Caden proclaimed that was enough trick or treating & he sat in the stroller my sister brought along for Nadia. Nadia was acting like a drunk teenaged girl by the end, she was so jacked up on sugar, she was singing made up songs & staggering through yards & driveways collecting more & more candy all while sucking on a lollipop.

It was really a great time & hopefully a tradition we will stick with every year, minus the sugar crazed toddler maybe, lol... :)


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