Archive for July, 2014

Thomas 5

July 16, 2014

These guys only get together about once a year… had to make this visit count with a picture of the five Thomas cousins. Owen, Ben, Abby, Jillian and Carlie.

Best 4th of July EVER!

July 11, 2014

Family. Pittsburgh. Pirates vs. Phillies. Fireworks @ Heinz Field. I don’t think it could get any better than that!

My family is PA divided. Some are Pirates fans. Some are Phillies fans. When my Dad and brother saw they were playing on the 4th in the ‘Burgh they put feelers out about getting together to go to the game. Yup. 20 of us. A big ol’ happy Park clan was going to celebrate America’s birthday taking in a ball game. It was my Dad and all his family, his twin brother and part of his family.

We tailgated a few blocks from the stadium. I was worried the kids may be too hard to handle but they were great. The Littles had fun playing in the van pretending they were expert drivers. The big kids, the BIGGER kids :), and us mom’s had fun with corn hole, ladder toss, frisbee, and just having fun. It’s not often we are all together.

We headed over to the game and quickly learned next time we might want to get the “all you can eat seats”. The boys LOVE ball park food. After we got our seats all situated the kids really enjoyed the game. It was the first MLB game for most of them, so they were really taking it all in.

And I am a patriotic sap…I got teary eyed when a soldier was reunited with his family, when the crowd roared for a veteran from the Wounded Warrior Project, and when the whole stadium sang “God Bless America” then chanted USA. Way to go PNC Park on turning up the patriotism.

Pittsburgh puts on a great fireworks show. The game ended at 8:30 but the fireworks didn’t start until 9:30. Most of the crew were beat and wanted to head out, but we stayed and kept Roman and Alex with us. We were told they shoot off the fireworks towards Heinz field so we headed over that way. The closer we got we noticed that people were actually going in. I have never been in Heinz Field so when I realized I was going to get a chance to go in and watch the fireworks, I was like a kid in a candy shop. As if the day couldn’t get any better… I was now going to be watching amazing fireworks in the home of my beloved Steelers. And amazing they were. The best I had ever seen. I almost didn’t want to leave Pittsburgh.

It was the best 4th – really. It was great spending time with family. Seeing my kids experience something new. Being in a city I love. Celebrating the USA. This day was definitely one of the best of 2014 so far.


Let the tailgate begin!

Of course you need Pirates Beer for the Pirates game.

Getting the games all set up.

The Littles playing chauffeur.

We’ve come a long way from siting on the couch at Gram’s in Grandpa’s white t-shirts after bath time!

My cousin Lesley and her youngest, Beckett.

Roman & Gannon

My Uncle Harry and his grandson, Gannon.

The boys and PeePaw.

Making a parking lot.

She was so happy to use her princess chair. I mean she is the princess… the only girl!

Traditional sibling shot.  Love these two.

Oh my – a Jilly and Aunt Jenny pic.

My Dad!

She’s so much like me. I loved pretend driving growing up.

Who are these handsome gents?

Frisbee!

Sal, Gannon and Beckett.

This picture cracks me up!  Our attempt at a picture of all the Park Twin grandkids. Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

All in one place!!!  Hooray!

Much better kiddos!!

Jillian is saying “Go Bucs!”

Beautiful PNC Park

Let the mass amounts of food intake begin. First up, Cotton Candy.

So excited for their first MLB game.

Owen insisted he get a hot dog. He said you can’t go to a MLB game and NOT get a hot dog. He’s right.

Mom & Dad Selfie!

Benny and Nachos.

This kid is TOO MUCH!  Add in the hat backwards… you’re killing me, Sal!

Jillian Selfie!

In this next series you would think they are excited about a good play.  No… the hot dog cannon.  True Thomas fashion right here.  Always thinking with their stomachs.

Mike helping Gannon got the T-Shirt Sling Shot.

Be still my heart.  The 4 big boys with their arms arond each other swaying back and forth and singing to “Take me out to the ball game.”

Fireworks are about to start!

Wildwood…. Oh it was good to be back. We took a year off in 2013 from WW because of our Disney trip. The boys were bummed, but we told them it was b/c of hurricane Sandy and the boardwalk needed to be rebuilt (not true in WW, but it was in other parts of the Jersey Shore). Well, when we got there Owen noticed that everything was still the same. Nothing was new… OOPS! The memory on that kid!

We had a really nice long weekend. The weather was great. Not too hot. A little chilly the first day but the kids enjoyed the pool. The last time we were there Jillian was only 9 months old. What a change. I had fun documenting her first trip to the beach when she could actually walk and play and ride rides. Seeing her do all those things on her own really made me stop and realize how much of a big girl she is now. She’d even go up and down the water slides without our help.

We had a lot of fun on the board walk riding rides, but I didn’t get to spend much time with Owen. He was always off with Aunt Susan or Mike riding roller coasters. Forget kid rides for him. He’s all about adult rides. No fear.

This trip I even had a chance to check something off my “bucket list” so to speak. I always wanted to ride a bike on the boardwalk. Now that Owen can ride a bike, he and I got our own bikes while the rest of the clan got a family bike. We had so much fun. Definitely a memory I will never forget.

We went to the water park this year in the afternoon instead of the morning. It was awesome. We walked onto all the water slides and the pool areas weren’t busy at all.  The boys even were big enough this year to do the rope swing and Shot Gun falls.  The 5 of us had such a blast there. We are a water park family. We’ll need to hit up a few others sometime soon!

Having a few days away to just have fun with the kids without the hustle of the daily routine was refreshing. I wish we had more time off work to do things with them, especially during the summer. They are all at ages now where there is so much to do. Makes me wish I had my summers off with them. A girl can only dream, right!

Note: Because we separated a lot on the trip I do have more pictures of Jillian than the boys. I still love them just as much… not trying to play favorites. It’s just she was with me more and I always have a camera! And Benny is still a little touch and go with the camera.


Someone fell asleep right before getting to the beach!

It’s chilly but the pool at our condo was fun!

Little Bit was psyched to jump in to her Daddy.

Benny just wanted to do cannon balls.

The pool tuckered these two out!

Patiently waiting her for dinner.

O would hold Aunt Sue’s hand on the way to the boardwalk each night.  I told him next year it may look shady b/c he’ll be so tall he may look like her boyfriend!

Aunt Sue and her nephews.

“I wanna ride that!”

She sure loves the Merry Go Round!

Owen and Aunt Sue riding one of many roller coasters.

Jilly and Daddy looking way up at Owen.

Being silly at the entrance to the White Shark Roller Coaster.

Time for the bungee trampoline.

O got it down pat!

The Thomas brothers. Easy to pick them out in the crowd.

Jillian taking a ride on the train.

Her most favorite ride…Jillian’s beloved Pink Elephants.

She would yell down “Hi Dad”, “Hi Grammy” when in the air.

SWINGS!

Beach baby ready to GO!

Benny trying to be a big helper.

YEAH!  Sand Castles!

She sells sea shells down by the sea shore.

Our three little loves.

Playing in the waves.

Standing on her own, feeling the water touch her feet. She was in awe.

This ocean is fun!

Punching the waves.

This boy could stay in the water all day.

All of the kids took their turn being buried in the sand.

Owen’s turn!

Jillian’s first of many times asking to be buried.

Soaking up the sun!  She’s a piece of work!

This girl loved it!

One quick dip in the pool post beach.

Our traditional picture on the boardwalk – 2014

These two…so cute waiting patiently in line holding hands to get on a ride.

Jillian was very proud to tell the attendant she was riding with her “Big Brothder” (she says it with a d in the middle).

I’d say this ride was a hit!

My one my favorite memories… riding bikes with my boy on the boardwalk.  Pure happiness.

WOOO HOOO – Raging Waters Time!

Mike showed her the ropes once on how to go up and get on the slide.

After that she had it down pat.  Such a big girl.

Look at the fun on this face.  She must have gone down those slides 50 times.

Last night on the boardwalk calls for Mr. Softee! She loves her “white ice cream”.

This picture makes me melt 1000 times over.  After dealing with a sibling that was not behaving, I made my way over to Jilly.  She looked up at me with her big blue eyes takes my hand and says, “Mommy – you ride pink elephants with me? Not Daddy, Mommy.” And she was so so so happy to be back on the Pink Elephants again with her mom. 😉

We followed it up with a terrific ride on the tea cups.

It’s not a vacation to WW without a trip to Mariner’s Arcade.

The start of Benny’s lucky streak.

Kid hit the jackpot!

All 3 kids ASKED to have their picture taken in this car! HA HA!

Lunch before heading home and this kid orders dippy eggs. His new favorite food!