Archive for the ‘Our Little Family’ Category

The weather was cold, dreary, and damp, but the love of family coming together to mark this special occasion in Ben’s childhood was perfect. Owen was an Altar Server for the mass, PeePaw Thomas did the reading, and the rest of the family was there to support Ben for all the hard work and preparation he did leading up to this day. Ben thought it was neat he was able to wear the same exact suit, shirt, tie, and shoes that Owen also wore for his First Communion.

When Owen had his First Communion, I let him pick he colors of the decorations for his party – Blue and Green. I thought Ben would so something similar. Nope… he gave me a challenge – Red and Orange. But I pulled it off, he picked out his cake all by himself too. It was a really really nice day for our boy. So happy and proud for him.

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!


Disney World Day 4

November 21, 2016

Day for at Disney was a full day at Epcot. We must have had too much fun riding rides, meeting characters, exploring the World Showcase, and eating yummy food at the Wine and Food Fest because I hardly took any pictures. Wine and Food Fest is amazing. I want to go back and do it again some day!

Disney World Day 2

November 19, 2016

Day two, which was Halloween, started out at Animal Kingdom and ended past midnight at Magic Kingdom at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I mean, what better way to spend Halloween night than at the happiest place on earth at the funnest Halloween party ever dressed as a family of super heroes! The party was so great. Very very crowded at first, and a little dicey, but after the fireworks it started to clear out and it felt like we had the park to ourselves. We walked right on rides, got TONS of candy, and had a special character meet with Belle at Gaston’s Tavern. It was the very end of the night and we saw the line was short to get pictures so we hopped in line. We were told we were the last for the night. Whoo… well Jilly was afraid to go up to Belle b/c Gaston was there too and he’s a villain. Jilly doesn’t like villains. Well, Belle walked over to her, knelt down to her sitting in the stroller, and coaxed Jilly over. She took her hand and it was so sweet. Belle took her time and they had a nice, special moment. Definitely a memory I won’t forget.

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.

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.

Christmas 2015

December 27, 2015

We had another nice traditional Thomas Christmas Day relaxing in our PJs. Lots of fun had playing with new toys. Big hits this year were the Wii U, new 49′ TV for the Wii Room, Play Dough, Benny’s Flat Brim Hat (mom finally caved into the trend), and the Frozen Microphone.

A funny from this Christmas was we wrapped Owen’s Steph Curry jersey in a gag box that was a fake advertisement for a video game in which you did chores…like rake leaves, clean the cat litter, etc. We weighted the box down with 2 bags of M&Ms. The kid really thought it was the video game and when he opened the box he thought the bags of M&Ms wrapped up in tissue paper was cat litter and he threw it across the room! HA HA! Once he saw this jersey he got it, but was it ever funny.

Oh and so in years to come I don’t forget… this was an odd Christmas weather wise. It was 70 degrees on Christmas eve. Sleeveless dress for Jillian and polos for the boys. No jacket required. We were a far cry from a white Christmas.

We hope you all had a wonderful day too. Happy Holidays!