Disney World Day 1

November 17, 2016

At the end of October went headed to Disney for a fun filled week. Jilly was always promised she’d get to go back to “Rella’s Castle” when she was the “number 5”, so off we went.

We flew out pretty early in the AM and were up at 4:00, so it was a long day, but we enjoyed ourselves at Magic Kingdom. Benny didn’t say much about the trip leading up to it, but he was up first and so exited to leave. His exact works were “I’m as excited as heck to go to Disney!”. We road the Mad Hatter Tea Cups, Buzz LightYear, Tomorrowland Speedway, the carousel, the People Mover, the Ariel ride, and got to meet 3 princesses… Rapunzel, Tiana, and Ariel. Jillian was shy at first, but as the week went one she loved meeting as many characters as she could. We ended the say with a yummy dinner at the Liberty Tree Tavern. Jilly was at her limit by that point and fell asleep at the table. Our little sleeping beauty.

Jilly is 5

August 31, 2016

All About Jillian – Age 5

Mommy and Daddy’s special names for me: Jilly, Jill, Jilly Bean, Bean, Boo Boo Chicken

Biggest accomplishments in the last 6 months: Taking a shower, learning more of her letters, writing her name very well, and coloring inside the lines.

Favorite foods are: Fruit snacks, mac-n-cheese with broccoli, sweets, cheese curls, fruit – especially mandarin oranges, pancakes, waffles.

Don’t like to eat: Meat. She is still not a big meat eater. She’ll eat chicken nuggets, hot dogs and Lunchables on occasion, but she is pretty much a vegetarian.

Favorite toys: Anything she can color or draw with, her iPad, her little princesses, and her newest obsession is Shopkins and blind bags.

Favorite books: She still loves all books, but her favorite book we have is Ten Little Puppies because the first dog in the book looks like Maxie.

Favorite things to do outside: Ride her scooter and play ball with her dad and brothers.

Favorite things to do inside: Play her iPad, watch Netflix, color, and cuddle with mommy and daddy.

Vocabulary includes: The things that come out of her mouth are hysterical, but some of her funniest sayings are when she uses big words. Like, “That is hideous.” Or when she sees something that will be exciting to her or her family she says “My brothers would freak out if they got that game.”

Likes to “help” Mommy & Daddy around the house by: Helping with the laundry, helping to cook dinner, basically anything we ask her to do, she will. She’s a big help when I need something and I ask her to go get it. She’ll bring it right back. No detailed directions like her brothers would need. Ha!

Loves to travel to: Mexico and New York City

Favorite movies are: Ninja Turtles, Zootopia, Inside Out, Frozen

Favorite TV shows: Odd Squad, Fuller House, Goosebumps, My Little Ponies…basically a lot of what is on Netflix.

Couldn’t live without: Her iPad, having her back patted at bedtime, juice and fruit snacks in the car, hugs from mom and dad.

Doesn’t like: Having her hair pulled up in a pony tail, having her hair brushed, getting up early in the morning for school, and boys stuff.

Favorite characters: Ninja Turtles (mainly Raphael), Disney Characters (Princesses, Dory, Judy Hops, Anger), Cookie Cookie (Shopkins), Pinkie Pie (My Little Pony)

Right now she’s learning: The last of my ABCs, letter sounds, counting to 20, and my sight words.

She gets very happy and excited when: She gets to go grocery shopping with Dad, it’s the weekend and she has stay at home days, new coloring books, opening blind bags, she gets to go somewhere new.

She gets mad when: I have to wake her up for school, she has to stop what she’s doing to take a bath.

She is scared of: Monsters, zoombies, skeletons, and spiders.

The best part about being 5 years old is: She gets to go back to Disney. She always asked when she turned the number 5 if she could go back to Rella’s Castle. And she is…Disney is book for Halloween time!

During the next year she hopes to: Learn to read, count to 30, write and spell some words, basically master Kindergarten.

Comments from Mommy & Daddy:
Our Favorite “Jilly-isms”:

  • How she loves to sing in the car.
  • Her imagination, especially when she is playing in the bath tub or pretend talking on the phone.
  • How she still reaches up for my hand when were in a parking lot or in a store. I never have to ask her.
  • How when I pat her back at night she always like me to scratch her bare back under her shirt, never through it.
  • How she will ask me if we can do something together, just her and I for “quality girl time”.
  • How she always wears her rain boots to play outside, even if it’s not raining, or snowing, or if it’s 90 degrees outside.
  • Her love for bows. When we went to NYC the main thing she was concerned about was that I packed her bows.
  • How she says she’ll protect us with her Ninja moves! 😉

And just like that, my baby girl is a whole handful – 5! Jillian, you have no idea how much you are loved. You have stolen my heart since the say you were born and fill my soul with unmeasurable happiness. Because of you I laugh a little harder, cry a little less, and smile a whole lot more. I thank my lucky stars every day for the gift of you in our lives.

These pictures from your birthday night sum up your personality perfectly. You are silly, sassy, a princess, our comedian, and you continue to be our breath of fresh air. Happiest of birthdays to you our dear Jillian!

Last Sleep as a 4 Year Old

August 29, 2016

One of my favorite traditions with this little girl… her “Last Sleep Before Her Birthday” picture. The next day our Jilly Bean woke up as a 5 year old.

Check out last year:

First Day of School

August 23, 2016

It seemed like I had a long time to wait until all three of my kiddos would be in school. But man, did those 5 years fly. Jillian was born on Owen’s very first day of Kindergarten and as I laid in the hospital looking at my newborn baby girl, time was on my side. I had months and years before I had to send her off to school like I did that day with her big brother. Well, this week that day finally came. I wasn’t emotional when I sent the boys off to school. I was with her. Weeks leading up to the first day of K I’d find myself shedding tears. For almost 5 years she went with me daily to work. I got to carry her or hold her hand into and out of work every day. I got to listen to her stories and her songs on our commute. Once I sent her off to school, it was the first time in 7 years that I had a future ahead of me of a daily journey to work solo. Before Jillian there was the boys and even then, I use to commute to work with Mike. The car is very lonely now.

And not only did I have to send my baby girl to Kindergarten, I had to send my big guy to Middle School. A whole new world of lockers, changing classes, organization, waking up earlier to catch the bus, etc. I was just as nervous for Owen as I was for Jillian. I knew Benny would be fine. He’s got EPE down pat. This was the first year the first day of school had me filled with more nerves and mixed emotions than the kids.

They all did fine. Benny held Jillian’s hand as they walked onto the bus and as the bus pulled away she had a smile on her face awaiting the adventures of the bus ride.

The only big positive of all kids being in school is no more daycare payments. But that money now just gets funneled to pad the savings account back up after paying for braces, etc.

So, here are my 3 little loves on their first day of school. No pic of the boys together this year. Since they are no longer at the same school, that picture is now of the two EPE kids.

Jillian now gets her own daily communication folder!

Her spiffy new backpack and lunch box.  Unicorns and rainbows of course.

On the boys first day of school I bought them cards.  Well, they can read and Jilly can’t so I had to come up with something different.

I made a note like was in one of the “First Day of Kindergarten” books we read.

And this was the first year I had to buy Owen school supplies.  The elementary teachers always supplied them at EPE.

3 Back packs. CHECK. 3 Lunchboxes. CHECK. 1 Chromebook for Middle School. CHECK.

This years new kicks… a Men’s size 8!

And he wanted a new backpack for Middle School. First day of school outfit matches too!

Time to quickly get some pics of all 3 together before the Middle School bus comes.

Benny – off to 3rd Grade!

He loves neon and he wanted high tops really bad for back to school, so mom granted his wish!

And if the other two got new backpacks, so did this guy.

And here she is… our Kindergartner!

Excited and nervous all at the same time.

And of course, our Croc lovin girl got new PINK crocs for the first day of school.

Ready or not. Here she comes.

The two Thomas kids of EPE.

Silly picture is a must!

Flag Football

August 4, 2016

We just finished our third summer of NFL Play 60 Flag Football. Mike coached Benny’s team, the Steelers. He was also the Pony Commissioner. Owen was in his last year of Midgets playing on the Cowboys. The difference in their play was so much better than last year. Both boys started to grasp the game better. Lots of flag pulls, good defense, great job in the pocket as QB, and Owen had a few really nice touchdowns at the end of the season. Good job, boys!

When Benny plays QB, he gets really passionate and loud when yelling “Set. Hut”. I thought it was funny I caught it in a picture.

The boys and their biggest fan. She was a trooper going to all those games.

This was Owen’s last year in the minors for Little League. Mike was the head coach of this team so they were able to be the Yankees. Owen was very happy about that. Owen had a decent season. He struggled batting. He would have good hits but it seemed like almost everyone would somehow make it into a defenders glove. Let’s just say some kids made some amazing (and lucky catches) to get him out. He did very well pitching and in the outfield. He’s performance in those two positions earned him a spot on the Clarence Boyd All Star Team. He got to play both the regular and all star season with some of his good baseball buddies which made it fun. Baseball if over for now, but in a few short weeks, Fall Ball will start again. I’m hoping he can improve in his weak areas and be ready to go for a killer season next Spring for majors.

Here are some of my favorite pics I took this season. I need to start bringing my camera more often.


June 26, 2016

For an end of school year celebration, we booked a 2 day trip to the new Kalahari resort in the Poconos. So much fun. Our room was amazing. We stayed in the Royal Hospitality Suite which was HUGE. Double doors, kitchen area with island and 8 person table, a living room area with a fireplace, 2 pull down Murphy beds, a separate bedroom and bathroom for Mike and I, and a bathroom for the kids. So worth the extra $65 for the bigger room.

My kids LOVE pools, water parks, and water slides. Indoor water parks are great because it’s not too hot and no sunscreen. Jilly was a champ. She had no fear and rode all the big slides. Ben not so much, but we got him to at least ride one. He’s making progress on expanding his horizons to more than kiddie slides. We’ll definitely go back. The water park was big, but they aren’t done yet. It will be 2/3 bigger by 2017!

Last Day of School

June 16, 2016

Disbelief. I’m in a state of disbelief for many reasons, but it all circles back to one key element… TIME GOES TOO FAST. I’m in disbelief that the school year is over already. I’m in disbelief that my first born just finished his last year of elementary school. I’m in disbelief that my baby girl will be off to school in the fall and these will be her pictures too…she won’t just be the little sister proud to get her picture taken with her big brothers. I’m in disbelief that Benny will be the BMOC Thomas kid at EPE next year. Time goes so fast. Faster each school year. This past school year was a good one. Good grades all around and way more positive behavior notes than bad (only a few really). Progress keeps on being made. Still room for improvement, but each step forward is wonderful. I’m curious to see how it will be with three in school come August, but for now, I’m going to relish the summer months and just maybe time will slow down just a little for me to enjoy these three kiddos even more before we are thrown back to the school year routine.

And look at the differnce in this kid from this first day of elementary school to this last. Much taller, braces, even smarter, but still with the heart of my Owie Pies.

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.

Easter 2016

April 1, 2016

Sunday, March 27th was a double duty holiday for us this year. It was Easter and Mike’s birthday. The kids got goodies from the Easter Bunny and a few special things from Mom and Dad. Mike bought/downloaded a fighter pack to the Wii U for Super Smash Bros. We told the boys they had one more gift to find. They looked for something hidden and gave up. When they finally decided to play the game, they noticed the upgrade and were VERY happy boys. Jillian was thrilled to finally get a PINK booster seat for the van.

My Dad and Deb came over for dinner, then my mom, Steve, and my sister and her family came over for an egg hunt. The kids love this. Each kid has their own color so we can make it harder for the big kids and not so tough for the littles. Owen got the golden egg and was over the moon happy.

We got to sing Happy Birthday to Mike and we had to light the candles several times for Sal & Jillian. They wanted to take turns blowing them out. Finally the big guy got his turn.

All in all it was a nice day. Wish we had more of an Easter Break, but any holiday with all 6 of my favorite kids is a good one.