Archive for the ‘Mike & Stacey’ Category

Disney World Day 6

November 23, 2016

Day 6 was our last full day at Disney and the day one of the events Jillian was most looking forward to… Breakfast at Cinderella’s Castle. It did not disappoint. This is the best character meal by far because the food is excellent and it’s not a buffet. Jillian LOVED meeting the princesses and was over the moon ecstatic to meet her favorite princess in pink, Aurora (Sleep Beauty). We also got to meet Merida before leaving Magic Kingdom. Mommy and Jilly were both big fans. Merida and Jilly talked about how their brothers pestered them. Ha!

We finished our last day back at Hollywood Studios. Owen got to make a light saber and the kids got fun light up drinks at the 50’s Prime Time. Great restaurant.

Oh – and as you can see in the one picture, Jilly is crying. She was sad it was her last full day at Disney. She said she wanted to stay for 100 days. Bless her heart!

Disney World Day 5

November 22, 2016

Day 5 was a hot one in Florida. We spent the day at Magic Kingdom, took a break and went swimming in the pool at our resort, then went back at night. This was quite an experience because we were able to see Magic Kingdom turn from Halloween to CHRISTMAS!  I’m not a huge Christmas person, but there is just something about being there at that time of the year that totally gets you in the spirit.  And this is going to sound silly, but when we went back at night, we were able to see them light up Cinderella’s castle for Christmas and it was breathtaking. Like, it gave me goosebumps and and my jaw dropped. Nothing much “wows” me in my adult like, but that certainly did.

Oh – and we had a small brush with a famous football star.  I was having Mike take a picture of Jilly and I in about the same place as our last visit when she was a baby. We noticed there was some production event going on behind me and it was Charles Woodson with Mickey and Goofy filming a segment of some sort.  Pretty neat!


My baby girl graduated from preschool on Thursday. I can’t believe it. I was pregnant with her at Owen’s graduation and that seemed like yesterday. My head and my heart are having a hard time dealing with the fact she’s almost done with her time at PHEAA. The years have gone sooooooo fast. She’s such a special little girl and her teachers love her. She’s so well behaved and she’s such a joy to have in class. They tell me all the time at pick up. I did shed some tears during the ceremony. But, I put the big smile on my face because my girl was so excited for her graduation and on Thursday, the night was about celebrating her. A bittersweet time for this mommy, but a “super happy” (in Jillian speak) time for her. Gosh I love this little girl.

All dressed and ready to go!

She was so excited, but a little nervous…normal for our shy girl.

Her graduation head shot. LOVE. So so pretty.

The Class of 2016

Her favorite thing in class “…doing art.”

When she grows up, she want to be “…my Dad. He cooks and drives.”

The graduation had a Lego theme because it’s a popular toy in class. Jilly’s pink Lego and picture of her with her Lego creation.

The stage is set.

Here they come.

She was showing her nerves and shy facial expression.

Then she saw mom and dad and smiled.

This is her saying “Hi, Mom.”

She was happy to see us.

Big sigh of relief.

Singing songs.

Taking their seats.

Getting her Friendship Award.

They asked the kids in class what makes a good friend and said their response during the friendship awards. Most kids had abstract answers like “I play Legos with my friends.” Jillian’s answer was perfect and so her. She said “Being kind to others makes me a good friend.” Ahhhhh. And her teacher commented on how kind she really was.

Proud of her medal.

Getting her diploma.

Proudly showing off her certificate.

Don’t know what this look is for, but it’s hysterical.

Yellow carnations for a special surprise.

What will it be?

The kids sang “You are my Sunshine” then gave all their moms the flowers.

Jilly gave me the biggest hug when she gave me my flower. It was perfect, and made me cry.

All the graduates.

Our graduate and her family.

Mom and Dad are so proud of our girl.

Mimi and Pop Pop.

Grammy and PeePaw Thomas

Grammy and PeePaw Park.

Proud Big Brothers

This pic was Jilly’s request. She wanted a pic with her flowers (gift from Dad and Brothers) and Bear (gift from the daycare with a TRU gift card).

She’s official.

A little party for her at home.

She picked out this cake.

Kindergarten Here I Come.

Opening a few gifts. Her brothers helped read the cards.

New York City

March 17, 2016

We have been meaning to get to New York City for probably over a year. We finally had a free weekend with basketball over so off we went. We went to Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Nintendo World, Rockefeller Center, American Girl, and Central Park. It was great. It was Ben and Jillian’s first time to the city. They thought it was really neat, although the boys first observation was there were soooo many banks. Like on every street corner. We are already talking about going back. The fam wants to see a Yankees Game and Jillian wants to go to the Zoo (we only peeked in from outside of the Central Park Zoo). I also want to go back and see a Broadway show. I’ve never been to one. It’s on my bucket list.

Oh – and so I don’t forget this Benny Funny from the trip.

I preface this by saying their were a lot of Asians on our tour of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Ben says “Wow… I’m surprised so many people came all the way from China to see the Statue of Liberty.” The way this kid’s brain works and how he observes the world is so unique. Only Benny!

The boys excited to be at the City…well, across from it.

Benny helping Jillian see if the Ninja Turtles are in the sewer.  HA HA!  He knows they are fake but he played along b/c he knows how much his sister LOVES them.

Ferry time to Ellis Island.

Ellis Island. Such a neat place.  Kind of surreal to think of how it was 120+ years ago when the immigrants passed through those same halls.

Jillian asked for this picture. She wanted one of just herself in front of the Statue of Liberty.

The nicest park ranger EVER!  She gave us great info, stamped these brochures for the kids, gave them Jr. Park Ranger stickers, took Benny in the back room for a drink of water, and gave Jillian her banana!

It was very windy!

Such an amazing view and perspective of the city. One I hadn’t had before. And it was a beautiful day!

Just after we crossed into the city, we saw an NYPD Precinct.  Police cars were just randomly parked out front.  Totally different life in the city.

Cool mural in the lobby of the hotel.

View from our room.

Whenever this girl finds a pen and paper, she scribbles and doodles.  She could do this all day.

First time in Times Square.

She loved the gift shop.

She got excited about every pink souvenir she saw.

Benny and Jilly’s desert from John’s Pizza of Times Square.  Great brick oven pizza!

We found the Yankee store in Times Square. Owen called this a Giant Booger Picker… such a boy!

Jillian found Hello Kitty!

The M&M Personality Scanner in M&M World.

Owen got pink… because he’s a sweet as sugar!

Benny got Mega Mix.  Perfect for this crazy boy!

She was praying for pink. When it came up pink she gasped with excitement and turned around.  It was so cute. Everyone around us was smiling and laughing along with us.

Nintendo World!

Every handheld Nintendo game ever made.

Each main game console from over the years.

Playing Mario Kart on a HUGE screen that filled the wall.

Rockefeller Center

The Met Life Building.  Owen and Mike said it was Blue & White for the Yankees!

Benny thought this little snack store in hotel was the neatest.

Jillian’s first time at American Girl!

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

We just missed the Today Show hosts on Saturday Morning.

Neat creations at the Lego Store.

Rockefeller Center made of Legos!  Pretty cool!

A quick stop back at Nintendo World.

The boys finally got their hot dogs from the street vendor they begged for!

Radio City Music Hall… aka where the NFL draft is.  At least that is all my boys cared to know.

Central Park!

The boys got a kick out of this. Protesters against Donald Trump…they were chanting “Dump Trump”!

Central Park Zoo…the seals (hard to see from this far away in the picture).

Riding the carousel in Central Park.

Selfie at the request of my husband!

The Little League baseball fields.  It would be so cool to play baseball there.

Not quite like Shaeffer Field.

Owen spotted a framed Jeter Jersey when walking the streets and had to have is picture taken by it.

Benny wanted in the action too.

Subway Selfie!

Cool tile design in the Subway.

Jilly wanted to sit by Ben. They are buddies.

Was looking for the Ninja Turtles in the Subway too, but no dice.  She was really hoping to see them since they live in NYC.

Family Photo Shoot

January 18, 2016

I have been waiting for years to hire a professional photographer to take our family pictures. I wanted to make sure the kids would cooperate before I took the chance. This year was looking promising, so I took the chance. The session didn’t go as smoothly as planned. The big kid ended up giving us the most problems when usually it’s the younger two. But, the end result was good. Linz Hester Photography did a great job. Here are a few of my favorites.

December Wrap Up

January 2, 2016

December was a month full of getting ready for Christmas and the start of basketball for both boys. We also celebrated my brother Dan’s 30th Birthday and of course the annual Park Family Christmas.

Benny had 4 baskets in his first game. He did great!

Dan’s 30th and the Park Family Christmas

Hard to believe they were playing baseball in the backyard w/o coats in December.

Family Feud.

This fun game you play with your phone. You can’t see the word, but those around you have to try to get you to guess it w/o saying it. The kids were good!

Owen’s first basketball game for the 4th Grade Travel Team.

NYE @ Phil & Lora’s

Paulus Orchard

January 1, 2016

As 2015 has come to an end, I’m trying my best to blog October, November and December.

Every Columbus Day we have off work and the kids have off school so we try to use the day for a fun family activity and it’s usually the Farm. This year we decided to go to the Orchard instead of the Farm for something different and it was a good decision because the Orchard had more for bigger kids. We went with good friends of ours and their kids and we all had a great time. The weather was beautiful, the air was fresh, and lot of laughs were heard. A great day indeed.

SU Homecoming

December 5, 2015

September 19th was my 15th Homecoming Reunion at Susquehanna! Say what?!? I clearly just graduated didn’t I? Oh wait…I may look pretty much the same, have the same handsome man by my side, but then I remember after my few second daydream that it is 2015 and I have job, mortgage, a 9 year old, a 7 year old, and a 4 year old. Yup… definitely out of college 15 years. I hadn’t been back to campus for quite some time and neither had Mike, so we decided to make it a family affair and take the kiddos back to where it all started and give them a proper tour of SU…or at least what still remains the same as a lot has changed over the past decade and a half.

The boys loved it. They thought it was so cool. Owen wanted to spend the night but I told him it’s not a hotel. As much as I love the school, I miss what it was and am sad at what is becoming. It would be neat for the kids to follow in our footsteps, but the community culture, administration, and hefty price tag are going to steer them elsewhere. But it was fun to dream for a day. Dream of what the place meant to us and reminiscing on all the good times we had there, and dreaming of what the experience would be like for the kids to go to SU. But reality set in once we hit 11/15…back to Enola and thankful not only for our SU memories, but for how far we’ve come since our days there.

The kids checking out the new chairs. They are now scattered all over campus.

Owen by our freshman year dorm.

Mike going back to his tour guide days and showing the kids around.

Encore is now Benny’s Bistro.

Jillian liking the computers in the lab. I use to be a monitor in that lab 1 night a week for a work study job.

The whole fam.

Owen sitting in our favorite classroom in the BCO.

Benny liked this room too.

The kiddos at the entrance.

Our anniversary weekend back where we met.

Playing games at the kids tent by the football game.

Testing out the upgrades in the remodeled library. Study areas with white board walls and lots of pillows on the table benches.

Moon Palace – Cancun, Mexico

November 28, 2015

To celebrate Mimi’s 60th Birthday, we went a few weeks early to Cancun, Mexico – all 12 of us to mark the occasion. We stayed at the Moon Palace and it was such a great resort for kids of varying ages. Lots of stuff for the little kids to do and enough to keep the big kids entertained. The pools were amazing, the boys LOVED the Wired Lounge (a big arcade and video game room), the food was good, and the kids drank their fair share of strawberry daiquiris, no wine! HA! We even went up to Beach Palace, a sister resort to Moon Palace, for the day. That was a nice change of pace. Jillian and Ben LOVED the water slide there. Jillian must have gone down 50+ times. On our last full day there, Owen did a scuba diving lesson in the pool. That was a neat experience for him.

I learned a lot about my kids on this vacation. I learned that all three thrive in an environment like this. They were so well behaved and really liked to be able to pretty much come and go as they pleased. I learned that Owen is a social butterfly. He’s not shy or afraid. If he wanted to do an activity, he just jumped right in. He really made the most of his vacation. And all inclusive resorts are great for Benny because he actually tried new foods. And Jillian is a pool girl. We took her down on the beach but she wasn’t a big fan of the water. She was at home in the pool.

And we were so proud of all the kids. Our connecting flight home was delayed and we sat on the tarmac for 2 HOURS and the kids didn’t complain once. All 6 of them were excellent. We couldn’t have asked for more.

It was a wonderful vacation with family. So many memories were made. We will definitely go back to Moon Palace someday. It’s a resort that is perfect for our family.

October Recap

November 5, 2015

Here is what else we were up to in October.

My little chap stick addict.

We spent weekends watching Owen play fall ball. He had the opportunity to pitch a lot at the end of the season and did fairly well. We were very proud of him.

An impromptu Tuesday night dinner at Applebees and Ben wanted to make the most of his time so he brought his homework with him to finish while we waited for our food.

Mike and I headed up to the Wilkes Barre area for his cousin’s wedding. He was a groomsman.  It was nice to see him all dressed up in a tux.

My furry girl likes to be where I am. While working on the computer, she was snoozing right behind me on the chair.

Jilly was the PATHS kid of the week at school for making good choices and following directions everyday.

To make a long story short… our vehicles had some minor body damage. Some our fault, some not.  We had a claim about 2 years ago and didn’t want to file a new one for fear our rates would go up or we’d get dropped.  I also didn’t want to pay out of pocket for vehicles with 7-8 months left on the lease that I knew I wasn’t going to keep.  So, before we dropped the cash to get them fixed, we thought we’d go see what we’d get to trade them in on brand new vehicles.

See our good little car shopping buddy…

And because the vehicles had little mileage and for the most part were in good shape, they gave us more than the pay off for the trade in so we got 2 new cars…. SOLD!

Good-bye CRV & Odyssey.

Hello to my Salsa Red RAV 4 XLE (can you believe it’s not white!)

And Mike’s new Sienna XLE.

Don’t they look great in the driveway!

And Jillian had her first dentist appointment. She did great!

No cavities!

She even wrote her name on the star for the monthly prize.

Her Halloween parade at school. Her friend, Emmie, was Glinda the Good Witch. Perfect combo.

Some fun projects the kids brought home from school.

The real Maxie Girl cuddling with Jillian’s stuffed Maxie girl.  <3

We went to Jenny and Croce’s for a day and had a a good time spending family QT together.

The kids even played “Beandoozled”… a jelly bean game where you spin a color and it will either taste like something yummy or gross. For example Brown could be chocolate pudding or dog food.

Benny taking his bite to see if he got the bad luck of the draw. I think it ended up being rotten eggs!