Archive for July, 2013

Last Day of School 2013

July 29, 2013

Owen’s last day of school was bitter sweet and the night before the last day of school was a rough one for Owen. See, with the move we got to stay in the same school district, but we had to switch elementary schools. Owen was fine with this and had no objections through the whole house hunt and move, until it finally kicked in he wasn’t going to go to WCH anymore. The night before he was a mess. He kept saying he changed his mind and wanted to move back to Kent Dr so he didn’t have to leave his school. He said it was a total nightmare. =( I had never seen him that upset before. After some reasoning that he’d see all the kids again in a few years at middle school, that we’d buy him a year book, that he’d still be at River of God with his friends (most go to his new school), and telling him he can be a buyer in 2nd grade, he was in better shape. That letting him be a buyer thing was clutch. He’s never bought his lunch, only packed, so he thinks that is going to be awesome and he has remembered to remind me all summer too!

His little friends and teachers signed his yearbook wishing him luck in his new school. Luckily he got to see his support specialist in an extended summer program twice a week at his new school, so that was also a big help in easing his anxiety. Mrs. Ritter has been amazing for him. We are so going to miss her.

It was a rainy morning so we had to take last day of school pics inside since we don’t have a porch anymore. He’s our little man on his last day of first grade and his last day at WCH.

Oh – and Owen did a stellar job in 1st grade. His report cards were amazing and he improved his behavior and reading retention skills so much. We are super proud of him.

Our now second grader and our soon to be Kindergartner and their side kick sister.

And to see how he has changed:


July 23, 2013

A summer isn’t complete without a trip to our favorite amusement park, Knoebels Grove. This year we went with Mimi, Pop Pop, and my sister and her family. The boys had so much fun together. We had to split up for part of the day so the bigger kids didn’t have to sit and watch the babies ride rides. Speaking of the babies. I’m still dumbfounded they are as big as they are already. Sal & Jilly are little people now with minds all their own. Hard to believe last summer they couldn’t go on rides by themselves, now they can.

The highlight of the day was the flume. Owen, Alex and Roman decided to take the plunge. The look on Roman’s face after they came down the hill was priceless. And we almost missed it. After they got off the ride we decided to go check out the picture the park takes of you going down the hill. Well, to see your picture you needed to know what number they gave you. We thought we were SOL. We thought there was no way the boys remembered that… especially since it had been at least 10 minutes since they got off the ride. Then Owen goes “We’re 1909.” And sure enough they were. And because of my son with a super good memory, the park made a ton of money off us buying pictures and key chains with the pic for each of the three boys. Poor Roman is going to hate us when he’s older and we whip out that picture. But what a funny classic memory for our family.

The five amigos.

Let the fun begin.


Jilly is behind the wheel.

This is true love. Her 6’4″ daddy crams into a tiny car to take her on a ride.

Jilly’s favorite ride.

She loves carousels.

Rocketship slide.

This is Owen’s favorite.

Here comes Alex.

Now Roman.

The big boys take a stab at a game.

Success. We have a winner.

Actually 2 winners… they each got a prize.

Best Buds.

I was amazed that Sal could crank himself around the track.

Benny’s favorite ride. This was probably his last time riding it. Next year he’ll be too tall. =(


Little Bit likes to be behind the wheel.

Roman and Jilly switched so the babies could ride together. The laughter and giggles from these two towards each other was adorable.

Holding hands while waiting for the boats.

Jilly thinks she is a pro now at these driving rides.

We meet back up with Ben for some fun.

Happy to ride with Sal.

Winning tickets.

The middles.

Mimi and her 6 grand babies.

THE FLUME! Mike put quarters in to spray them when they came around the turn.

Laughing at getting wet.

No turning back!

Here they go!

Owen LOVED it.

Now start to check out Roman’s expressions.

I don’t think he liked it.

Owen’s still smiling. Roman’s still trying to figure out what just happened.

Alex is all smiles.

Owen is so happy.

The aftermath. Roman said he loved it. Not so sure about that buddy. If a picture says 1000 words, it was that you were not a happy camper, but glad it was over.

Here is the infamous pic!!

Yeah – he’s happy to be done with the flume.

4th of July

July 17, 2013

It was a low key forth of July. We did some stuff around the house, got all decked out in our red, white and blue, then had dinner with Mike’s best friend Phil and his girlfriend. Later in the night we went downtown to see the fireworks. The parking garage Phil parks in is has the most perfect view of the city fireworks from the top deck. We went last year too.

Mike got a little pack of fireworks at the store for the kids. Poppers, snakes, sparklers, etc. The sparklers were a hit, until Ben tried to pick a used one up off the ground and singed his fingers. He screeched – really loud. Then he told Mike it was his fault. That he shouldn’t have bought the fireworks because he knew they would burn themselves. Too funny.

Jillian was in awe of the fireworks. She watched intently, would do a little clap for big ones and say “YEAH”. I think watched her watch the fireworks more than the fireworks themselves. At the end she was sad that the “Boom Booms all done.” What a sweetheart.

Mike took this beautiful pic of me and my babies. I love it so much. I don’t have many pics of me and all 3 kids together so this was a huge treat for me to get this shot.

Happy 4th from our family!


WOW – says Ben.

He likes them.

Now he does cool tricks with 2 of them!

Snake time.

The boys were caught off guard when Mike tossed a bunch of poppers at once.

The view behind us… the state Capital building at dusk.

Even big boys like to light things on fire.


Jillian’s turn to try out a sparkler.

Pure sweetness and joy.

Owen showing off his trick.

Park Family Reunion

July 9, 2013

When I was a little girl, every summer the whole Park/Minard clan got together for a reunion at Sizerville State Park, just a few miles outside of Emporium – the town my dad grew up in and where my grandmother and great Aunts and Uncles still live.

It’s been a few years since we’ve all gotten together, so a two weeks ago we had a big reunion back at Sizerville. It was neat taking my kids back there to experience one of my fond memories as a child. In fact, I love Sizerville because it’s probably one of the few places that is still exactly as it was 30 years ago when I was little and it’s still just as wonderful as an adult as I remembered it as a girl.

We had the same pavilion spot we use to have all those years ago, right next to the creek and the kids loved it. They spent 90% of the day in the creek. First skipping rocks, then wadding their feet, and before you knew it, they were all in the water. The creeks down here aren’t as clean and nice as the ones up North, so this was a whole new experience for the boys and Jillian.

My gram really enjoyed seeing all her great grandkids, although, she probably doesn’t remember the day. Her Alzheimer’s is getting worse. She remembered who we were, but she forgot about Jillian. When Jilly walked up to her Gram was like “Oh – we have a girl now!”. She’s still as funny and feisty as ever. Hopefully we get to do it again next year.

Ben actually asked me to take this picture!

Let the fun in the creek begin – skipping rocks.

Hey Jilly…what’s up. Haven’t seen you in a while.

Not much Sal…just pestering my brothers and learning classic 80’s pop music from my mom.

Maybe we should go play with the big kids. But then we lose our comfy chairs.

Owen made it to the middle of the creek.

Sal munchin on snacks – double fisted.

The GGM & Jilly.

Listening to Aunt Mary Grace’s stories.

GGM giving her only grand baby girl some smooches.

They have made their way up the creek.

Little nature explorers.

Gannon joining in on the fun.

Digging for rocks.

Gannon – isn’t this creek so much fun!

The little guys want in on the action.

Jillian is joining them too.

Not to sure about this dirt thing mom.

What are you picking up Becket?

All of them in the creek.

Sure Ben, just sit right down in your clothes. It makes you happy.

Sweet Gannon.

Jilly getting her piggy’s wet.

Boys will be boys.

Sal’s going for the gusto.

Jillian trys to follow and steps into a deeper part. Daddy to the rescue.

As you can tell she did not like that.

Grammy will get me warm again.

The little ones thought the foot rests on Gram’s wheel chair were seats.

Gram got a kick out of that!

Pinata time!

Jilly knew exactly what to do with the bat.

Beckett took some good jabs.

Sal loves these things.

Time for the big boy to so some damage.

Becket entering a candy coma.

Gram and all of her great grand kids. Alex was the only one missing. He was at wrestling camp.

EP Carnival

July 2, 2013

Five years ago, the local fire department started putting on a carnival in June as a fundraiser. We went the first two years and had a lot of fun. The past two years we were in Wildwood during the carnival and didn’t get to go. This year we skipped the beach trip b/c of Disney earlier in the year so we were home for the carnival! YEAH! The kids enjoyed themselves, got to play some games with friends from school, and the family got a nice evening out in the fresh air. Jillian even got to ride the carousel, her favorite ride. Each year the carnival gets bigger and better and the community looks forward to the third week of June. I mean, what’s summer without a carnival?

Our trio – ready for the fun!

Benny got to pick the first ride… the dragon roller coaster.

Crazy House Photo Op

Benny was excited for the spinning bears.

“I’m ready!”

“Are they going to get this started?”

Owen picked the swings.

“WEEEEE down the fun slide.”

“That was awesome.”

Mike paid for the boys and the neighbor girl to play the water game.

Owen won and picked a prize for his sister.

Can’t you tell she was happy for her pink whale.

The boys and “Nads”.

We let them play one more game. Every player was a winner and we had the pleasure of taking these prizes home. =)

And for a little throwback fun, click on these links to see past carnival pics. Man have the boys gotten big!

Big Bath

July 1, 2013

In the new house, our master bath has a big Jacuzzi tub. The kids love it and I secretly do to. We almost built a house and that is the one thing Mike and I both agreed we did not want since we thought we would never use it. Our old master bath just had a stand up shower and it was just fine. Well, our new big bath has been getting a lot of use and Miss Little Bit loves it the most. If she could bathe in there every night she would. She slides herself back and forth and says “Weeee”. In fact, sometimes when we go to put her in her tub, she’ll run to ours.