Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Day Across the Bridge

Saturday was a nice, warm spring day...something we haven't really had around here.  My husband and sons and I left at 10am to cross the Bay Bridge and get to the youngest's arena football game by 11, but traffic was backed up and almost stopped and we didn't get there until 11:40.  Since my husband and son are the coaches, it was a bit chaotic at first, but they got the kids warmed up and we went inside and they played their game on time at noon. Dakota has a long way to go as a football player, but I think he had fun and I know that my older guys did.  Afterward, we went to Applebees for lunch and decided to spend the rest of the day on the shore.

The boys had never been to St. Michaels, so we went there first, walking around the historic district, playing ball in a park, peering in the river and having dessert at an old fashioned soda pop shoppe/bakery.  We got back in the car and went on to Tilghman Island where we climbed on the rocks, looked out over the water, saw deer in the fields and an eagle perched in a treetop.  We took a path, got pricked with thorns, crunched over dried leaves and pine needles and generally enjoyed the days.  We stopped for the prerequisite Dairy Queen on the ride home and arrived about 9pm exhausted.  We hustled Dakota off to bed then did our basket and egg hiding duty before heading in ourselves.  It was a wonderful, beautiful Saturday before Easter and the best part was getting to spend it with my boys.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Heading Toward Easter

This week, Easter week, we started off with a snow day...yes, a legitimate snow day!  None of those during the winter, but on March 25th we got a good 2 inches of snow, enough to make a snowman and pretend to sled, although the snow was so wet that the sled mashed down into it better than it slid on top.

Today we started the morning with alot of reading...Berenstain Bears Easter, a WWE biography on Rey Mysterio (Dakota went to that show on Sunday), a chapter of Leprechauns in Late Winter and then an audio   /video on The Easter Story.  Afterward, we made Resurrection Rolls.  You use Pillsbury biscuits, marshmallows and cinnamon sugar.  Heat the oven to 350 and also melt some butter.  Roll your marshmallows in melted butter and then cinnamon sugar.  Wrap them tightly inside the roll.  Seal it up good.  The marshmallows represent Christ's body and the roll is the cloth he was wrapped in before being put in the tomb after he died.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.  when the rolls come out they are still puffy like the marshmallow inside but, just like in the Easter Story, Jesus's body (the marshmallow) has disappeared.  Very cool!

The rest of our homeschool day consisted of the basic subjects and a large stencil project with the dollar store hard felt decorations and some poster board.  We used the decorations for the stencils and now that we have them on the poster board we are going to paint them and maybe glitter them too.

Tonight we have football practice and I surely hope they cancel due to extremely wet fields.  The snow has left the ground in front of our house saturated and I know it will be that way in Pasadena too. The boys will be extra cold out there if they get wet too and I don't even want to think about the mud involved.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Busy Sunday

Today was a very busy Sunday.  We got up early and I dropped Dakota off at Sunday School then rushed to Walmart to Easter shop and grab some things for Disney and Easter.  Then I rushed back to get him from church, grabbed a donut and coffee and headed with Dakota to Kohls to get some spring clothes for our trip.  A quick visit to CVS for posterboard and a few other things and back to church for lunch and an Easter egg hunt.  All this before 1:oo!

When we got home I got some quick chores done and my daughter Keri made stuffed shells for an early dinner.  Dakota was making his poster and after dinner he and his dad are headed to the arena downtown to see the WWE Wrestlemania event.  He is beyond excited!!   I finally got my tax money in and paid for our Disney vacation.  Just 14 days shy of our departure date and we are just paying!  That's not usually how I roll and it made me nervous, but the excitement level is sky high for me right now knowing it really is going to happen.  Nothing to stand in the way! We fly out April 7 and I am ready!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Quick and Easy Days

I am not sure how we are managing it, but our homeschool days yesterday started an hour late and ended by 12:30.  We are getting in Literature, Language Arts, Reading, Science, History, Art, Music and Math.  How is this happening?  I am not complaining, mind you.  It's fabulous.  But what used to take us from 9 to 12 and 1 to 3 is now taking half that time or less.  I guess "if it's broke,don't fix it" so I am just going to enjoy the time I can get to do other things.

Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Patricks Day in Ocean City

Ocean City must be THE place to celebrate this Irish holiday!  There were people of all ages, including the "red hat ladies" all in green.  Some had on kilt;, some had on striped tights and tutus; some had on turban hats or silly antennae.  There were even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle girls!  People were up early and feeling fine.  We rolled out a bit later than usual and knew right away that the traffic was going to be an issue.    Our first breakfast stop was packed so we ended up at the Bayside Skillet.  While this was a FABULOUS breakfast for my husband and I, the boys were not much on the crepes and omelets on the menu.  We finished, drove a little, then parked and walked about 15 blocks to find a good place to view the parade.

The parade was a blast!  Floats of all kinds, music, dogs, cars.  Everyone was having fun!  There were all sorts of things being thrown to the crowd and Dakota got a hat, beads, frisbees and a ton of candy and tchotchkes.  It was very green and very festive and the crowd was friendly and happy.  We all really enjoyed it.

After the parade we made our way to the boardwalk where big Brian went to the Purple Moose to watch the basketball game and the boys and I bought a sinful amount of Thrasher's french fries and spent way too much money playing arcade games.  Afterward we headed back to the hotel where there was more swimming and ping pong for Dakota, followed by a delicious late dinner at JR's Ribs.  The boys decided to go ice skating again and by 10pm we were all exhausted and ready to call it a night.

We had a wonderful weekend and I am looking forward to next year.  I hope we can take Nat with us so she can enjoy the parade too.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Down 'ne Oshun, Hon

If you are from Maryland, you know exactly what my title means.  If not, it means we are going to the far eastern shore of Maryland to Ocean City, a resort town with a boardwalk, lots of fun things to do, a large, long beach and, of course, the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.

Today we realized that we have two kinds of travelers in our family.  There is my husband, older son and I, who are road trippers and consider the journey part of the vacation.  Then there is the eight year old son.  He is a destination only person.  He hates the ride and only wants to get to the destination as quickly as possible and begin having fun.

We always meander when we are going somewhere.  Today we left the house around 10am and began the 145 mile journey to the ocean.  We stopped at a Dunkin Donuts and got breakfast to go.  We traveled east, over the Bay Bridge and into Cambridge, where we made our usual detour to Blackwater Refuge, where we saw beautiful bald eagles soaring over the marshes, herons, a turtle, osprey, geese, ducks and coots. We  slowly wound our way around the car trail and enjoyed the sights and sounds of nature.  Then we continued to Salisbury where we stopped for lunch at Arby's and decided on a pit stop at another of our favorites, the Salisbury Zoo.  The whole time Dakota was flipping out.  He didn't want to stop.  He wanted to be on vacation.  He didn't want to go to the zoo. On and on and on.  We tried to explain that we stop at so many places so we can enjoy the whole trip, but he just wan't hearing it.  He wanted to be there.  Ocean City.  Our destination.

So we did finally arrive around 4:30 this afternoon.  We got to our hotel and Dakota was just thrilled with our room.  He loved the space and the view of the ocean.  We weren't here 20 minutes and he had convinced Dad to take him ice skating.  30 minutes later we were all headed down to watch him in the pool. He played ping pong with his dad and brother for 30 minutes and then swam in the pool for about 15 minutes and then he and I played volleyball, me on the dry side of the pool and him in the water, for another 30 minutes.  I coaxed him out by offering to order Pizza Hut and finally got him into pjs and relaxing.  After dinner, though, at 9pm, he started going on and on about tomorrow's activities.  He just wants to get it all in, lol.  He wants non-stop fun and his mom and dad are wiped out from an excruciating week and just really, really want to chill and do nothing at all.

So tomorrow will come all too soon.  He has already wrangled out a promise for golf, more swimming, more ice skating and the boardwalk, complete with Playland games.  Sigh.  I really should have had this pint sized ball of energy when I was much younger :-)  He wears me out!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Weighing Heavy On My Miind

The past six months have been a roller coaster time in my life.  There have been times I am sure of myself and other times I am questioning everything I have ever been or done. Maybe I just care too much about what others think of me and what I have accomplished in my life or what I am setting out to accomplish.  I feel successful, having raised three well mannered, kind, good hearted children and working on raising the fourth.  I am a hands on Nana to my granddaughter and hope I can be just as close to my new grandbaby who is due in October.  I take care of my home, my husband and my family.  I am a good wife, a good mother,  a good daughter, a good sister, a good aunt, a good daughter in law, a good friend....I think. My life is going predictably in the direction I always thought it would, but it seems that maybe this wasn't what other people in my life may have wanted for me..important people.  I have never had a career outside of raising my family.  I have never made much money.  I always thought that I have worked hard for what I wanted, even though I didn't usually get paid for what I did.  I thought that others saw me as a go-getter and a hard worker.  A high achiever.  But it seems that some people see me as not pulling my weight, so to speak, in the effort to make life easier for all concerned.  I am, quite frankly, crushed by this revelation and I am not sure what to do with my feelings.  At almost 48, it's way too late to change the past, but how much of my future am I willing to sacrifice to make others proud of me?  I have always lived with traditional values.  I stayed at home to keep the home fires burning and to be there for everyone.  My husband was the breadwinner, bringing in the money to keep us going and being "the dad", the one we all waited for each day.  I have tried to help financially, walking that fine line between being a homemaker and a work at home mom.  It's not easy because you have to find a legitimate job and the time and when you take the time to work, you don't have the time to be there 100% for your family.  That's tough.  Am I being enabled by my husband to live a lifestyle where I am not contributing to the family sufficiently?  Is he having to work overtime and harder to make up for my lack of financial contribution?  These thoughts tear at my soul.  I love homeschooling my son and watching my granddaughter and the thought of helping to care for the new grandbaby in the winter.  I love being home for my husband when he needs me or wants me there.  I love that when my kids need me, I am available to them first and foremost.  But when some people look at me, do they see me as someone who is working hard at what she does? The thought that my husband puts in extra hours and is extra tired because I am not pulling my weight is just more than I can bear.  The guilt is overwhelming, the sadness overpowering.

I am trying to start a new career as a travel agent and I think I can be highly successful at it, but it will take time to fly.  Maybe, God willing, this will be the door to open where I can still do all the things that matter so much to my heart and still be able to add my paycheck to my husbands to help things around here. Can I have it all?  Maybe I am being too sensitive.  Maybe not.  All I know is it really matters to me.  It is weighing very heavy on my mind and in my heart.  It's my whole life laid out before me and how I see it.  Not being able to change the past and possibly having to change my plans for the future.....I have a lot to think about.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

100 Days

Yesterday we celebrated 100 days of school.  It was a few days late, but it was a perfect "snow" day activity.  We were supposed to get a foot of snow and everything around Maryland closed down.  Most of us, however, didn't even see a dusting.  Very disappointing!!  Anyway, we started our celebration after lunch, doing fun papers, playing Yahtzee and hoping for an extra Yahtzee to give us 100 points, doing a puzzle with 100 pieces, watching two 100 Days of School books on tape and reading I'll Teach My Dog 100 Words and Caps for Sale.  We hit a snag when we tried to find pictures from 1913, which I found odd. Google is usually much more efficient for me.  Then we hit another snag when I asked Dakota to draw a picture of what he thought life would be like in 2113.  He felt that nothing would have changed in 100 years and no matter how much I tried to make him understand the leaps in technology in just the last 20 years, he was convinced...or maybe he just didn't want to do the assignment.  Anyway, that led to an argument and after a time out for both of us, we came back together and made green eggs and "ham" (bacon) for our Dr. Seuss week and pancakes in the shape of the numbers for 100 for dinner.  All in all, it was a decent 1/2 day, and now we can move on to the rest of the school year, however long that ends up being.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Celebrating Dr. Seuss

On Monday we had friends over for a few hours in the afternoon to celebrate Dr. Seuss Day with us.  Dakota, Emily, Logan, Aiden and Falyn watched the Cat in the Hat cartoon together and then headed in to our brightly decorated table to find plates with candy chip cupcakes on them, along with bubbles and a new pencil.  In bowls around the table were bowls of colored icing and lots of sprinkles and sugars.  They got to decorate and eat a cupcake and got very silly with them and then each of them posed wearing a Cat in the Hat striped hat and holding the cat, himself.  We made crazy characters out of playdoh, filled out a worksheet with fill in the blank spaces to complete names of Dr. Seuss and Dakota and Emily were our guest readers, each choosing a book and reading to the group.  They did a directed learning activity to draw the Cat in the Hat and then finished off the day playing on the trampoline.  It was busy, but very fun!  We are really enjoying our Mondays learning with another family.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Packing it in!

Yesterday I had to help a friend and we didn't get a chance to do school and today I was worried about how much we would accomplish since we had to leave for swimming at 12:45.  To my delight, we finished everything and still had time for a lunch break!  Dakota read the Little Golden Book The Liion King, DK Reader:  John Cena and three stories from his children's Bible.  He did his math lesson, took his spelling test and did all his language arts morning work.  He did a Scholastic News on Dr. Seuss, watched a BrainPop video with me on Marie Curie for Women's History Month and then for science we watched the video on blood and took the quiz and did a cloze activity on the heart.  We reviewed the first part of Ancient Africa in Story of the World and then really enjoyed today's story on Anansi and Turtle.  We love African folktales!  We didn't do art or music today, but we have swimming for PE.  I also want Dakota to watch Rock N Learn:  Human Body in the car.  Wow! That was alot to squeeze in to three hours, but we did it and he was in a good mood and still smiling when we finished.  Success!!