Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

Landon spent his last day before Thanksgiving break making a turkey out of Oreos, donuts, candy corn and pretzels. Sounds like my kind of turkey!

We got to host Thanksgiving at our house this year and we loved having Lara and Tasha and their families join us for the festivities. Everyone arrived on Wednesday afternoon and we started a new tradition of "Pie Night." Everyone is always too full to fully enjoy pie after Thanksgiving dinner, so we decided to let them have their own time to shine on the night before Thanksgiving. It was a big hit and we all enjoyed lots of pie and cheesecake.

The next day we exercised and watched the Macy's Day Parade on TV. Jason did a stellar job and made most of the Thanksgiving feast all by himself! 

I put myself in charge of decorations for the table. We also used my parent's china set that I inherited...

We had six adults and 10 kids (although Chloe is now technically an adult too!) The kids table was a bit crazy but they were all done within 10 minutes and then left us to get some more playing time in!

The adults plus the older girls enjoyed great food and conversation!

The kids all got along so well. They were always coming up with some imaginative play, creating master artworks...

And even baking up some yummy treats!!

On Friday we all went to see the new Disney movie "Moana" and then celebrated Christmas with the cousins giving gifts to each other since we won't be all together on Christmas day.

And just before everyone left on Saturday, we managed to squeeze in some cousin pictures in order of age on the staircase. My mom would have been so pleased!!

Chloe (18), Paige (13), Abby (10), Tyler (10), Coldon (8), Landon (8), 
Reygan (5), Nolan (5), Willow (3), Maylie (2)

Sure do love this great family of mine!! 

Saying goodbye wasn't too hard this time since we know we will see everyone again in 6 weeks for our Disney Cruise to the Bahamas! Now that will be an exciting way to bring in 2017!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sugar Plum Dance

With all of the devastating events of last Fall, we didn't get our tickets in time to go to the annual Daddy-Daughter Sugar Plum dance. But this year we were prepared and got them in plenty of time so these two could go together. We thought about getting a ticket for Maylie too, but decided to hold off at least one more year for that little troublemaker!

Here they are, dressed to impress!

I told them to strike a different pose and this is what Abby came up with. Jason was a good sport to go along with it!

They enjoyed a wonderful evening together which included dinner, dancing, goodies, and playing with friends!

Here are a few of Abby's friends from school who were also there with their Dads.

It was a fun way to kick off the holiday season!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Volleyball Season

Well another sport has ended for our family. We went from 3 sports this Fall and now we're down to 0 which I am pretty happy with as we enter the holiday season. Abby had such a great season with two wonderful coaches and a fantastic group of girls who all supported each other. They had their last practice together on Wednesday, November 16th and we got a few photos of the girls after practice was over.

On Saturday, November 19th they played their last game and they won!! This means that Team "Tropical Storm" went the season undefeated. Such a great accomplishment and lots of great teamwork made this happen.

A big thank you goes out to their coaches Laura and Liz who were always very encouraging and made things fun for the girls. I hope we can get most of them together again in the Spring for another round of Volleyball!

Friday, November 18, 2016

All County Chorus

Abby auditioned for and made the Elementary All-County Chorus this year. She has had rehearsals once a week for the last month and they had their concert on Thursday, November 17th.

It was nice that she was right on the front row so we could see her well.

Here are the chorus members from Paramount  (plus one boy who snuck off before we could snag him for a picture.) Such a great little group of talented singers!
(Parker, Emerson, Abby, Rylie, and Sydney)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Maryland Science Center

On Saturday, November 12th we headed down to Baltimore to celebrate my niece's birthday at the Maryland Science Center. Both of our families have free passes to this museum as part of the ASTC Passport program which has paid for itself and then some!

We had to wait a while for Jason to park so the kids made use of the time to rake together a pile of leaves and play in them!

We had a pretty busy morning so we weren't able to get to the Science Center until pretty late in the afternoon which didn't give us a lot of time to check things out. What we did see was awesome though so we need to make sure we make another trip down to experience more of it. 

This was one of their favorite parts that we saw,..the bed of nails!! Pretty cool to lie on a whole bed of pointed nails and not feel any pain!

Afterwards we walked over to the Cheesecake Factory to help celebrate Willow's 3rd birthday. The Inner Harbor was so empty and we all realized we needed to make more trips down there when the crowds are so low. It makes the Inner Harbor even better!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Our newest member...

Abby has been saving her money for several months in order to buy a new pet. After doing a lot of research (one of our requirements for a new pet), she decided on a dwarf hamster.

We picked him up on Monday, November 7th and Abby lovingly names him "Hermie."

I told Abby that one of my biggest fears about getting a hamster would be that he would somehow escape into the house. Well my nightmare came true just three days after we got him. Someone, who shall remain nameless but whose name begins with NO and ends with LAN, left the top portion of the hamster cage open while looking in on him on Thursday afternoon. Since Hermie is like a monkey and can climb up and across his wire cage, he managed to somehow get through that opening and was discovered missing that night as Abby was going to bed. I got a text from Jason that night at Book Club telling me that the hamster was missing. I freaked out a bit while Jason and the three older kids scoured their bedrooms looking for Hermie. He was not to be found anywhere. They left out some food and flour marks on the floor to see if he would run by during the night and to track his whereabouts. I came home from book club and spent another little while looking for the little creature to no avail. We spent about 30 minutes the next morning looking for Hermie before school but still he was nowhere to be found and had not left a trace anywhere. I was beginning to think that maybe the dogs had gotten him after all. We got the kids off to school and then I went to check in Maylie's room when she got up. This was the one bedroom that hadn't been searched sine she was already asleep when the discovery was made that Hermie was missing. I scanned under the changing table with a flashlight, and lo and behold, there he was!! Hermie had been found. It took Jason and I another 10 minutes to chase him around the room before we actually caught him, much to Maylie's delight as she spectated from her crib. Here's to hoping that Hermie stays safely in his cage from now on!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Discovery Station

After voting on Election Day, we took the kids over to the Discovery Station in town. We haven't been for a while and had heard that they had added a new LEGO robotics area. It did not disappoint!! Landon and Nolan could have spent all day just in this area.

While the boys played with LEGOs, Maylie and I headed over to the toddler area. She loved this area and wouldn't sit still long enough for me to take a picture so this was as good as I could get!

After finally pulling them away from robotics, Nolan and Landon took a little flight of their own on a small Cessna plane.

This place is such a fun little gem in Hagerstown and since we can now get in free with our passes from Philadelphia, we will have to come here more often!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Peter Pan...the Musical!

On Thursday, November 3rd, the 4th and 5th Grade students at Paramount Elementary put on a great production of Peter Pan/Where the Wild Things are. The script had been written by the students and the songs prepared by their music teacher, Mrs. Sullivan. 

Abby had one of the lead roles of Wendy and did a phenomenal job!

She really enjoyed both the singing and the acting portion and seemed to be right in her element.

She had all of her lines perfectly memorized...

And did a great job singing as a group member and as a soloist!

It was a very creative production and all the kids involved did an amazing job!

Here is the whole cast!! I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to direct all of these students but Mrs. Sullivan did a great job with it.
Afterwards, Abby told me she was a little sad because it was all over and she had enjoyed the experience so much.

 She is applying for the Magnet program for the Arts at Western Heights Middle School next year. She is hoping to do either Chorus or Theater. 

Harry Potter Party

Abby went to a Harry Potter birthday party for her friend Ava and her mom sent me these adorable pictures from it. Her mom did an amazing job with the party and my Harry Potter obsessed 10-year-old loved it.

Here are the girls arriving at the party dressed in their Hogwarts best!

Playing a quick game of Quidditch with their brooms!

Escaping from Azkaban!!

Letting the Sorting Hat work it's magic.

I am currently reading the very last book in the Harry Potter series with Landon and Abby. They have loved this series and I will be kind of sad when it will be over for us. We will just need to find another fun series to read together!