Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Happy Birthday Beth!

Happy Birthday to one of my very best friends. I don't remember my life without you. We've fought, we've not talked for extended periods of time, but most importantly, we've always been there for each other! Because I'm a true Williams, and procrastinate on everything like most in our family, I don't have as many pictures as I wanted (and they are all out of order).

Beach trip after graduation

I'm not sure exactly when this was, but I think it was before we moved

date says 7/21/07... not sure of the occasion
 You are way to giving, but have finally learned to say no when you have more than you can handle. You have never been afraid to speak your mind, and everyone has always known exactly where you stood. I love you for it! Even if it once caused a riot! Luckily we did not live in a digital world and have everything we did online, we would have been in serious trouble!

Senior portraits

we even stood by each other in the class picture in Kindergarten

I think this was sophomore year

I tried to find a Smurfette's picture... the year we never won a game!

Like I said earlier, I don't remember a time in my life without you (even if there was a few months of me before you). From your name on the board almost every day for talking in Kindergarten to senior year and all the shenanigans we got into. Why did we insist we needed to hang out with those Andalusia boys? I'm old, (just ask MK... ) and don't remember specific details, but know we had lots of fun and did stuff we shouldn't have done. How much gas did we use on trips to and from Andy? I can't imagine what we would have done if gas was as much as it is now. Days and nights at the DQ that resulted in memories that are worth more than the paycheck we got.

we were pretty adorable

I'm not sure why were in the hamper, but there are several pictures from this day

we played softball a long time. I think we won some this year! (I don't know why this is sideways)

we sometimes let Mindy play too

You were the best person assistant ever! (haha!!) You love my children (okay, all children) like no other and have always treated them as your own. You were one of my biggest supports when Madyson was born and through out her life. There were very few people we would leave her with. You took the time to get to know how to care for her and that meant the world to me. You were our voice and didn't hesitate to be the go-between with her updates. You were there in the middle of the night when we had to rush to the ER. You took it upon yourself to clean our house and make sure all Madyson's stuff was in her room, so we wouldn't have to do it.

You were one of the 1st to know we were pregnant with Madelyn. You gladly stepped up to keep her while we were in transition to Florida (or was it just because you aren't so good at saying no?!!?) You are one of her biggest cheerleaders, despite the distance.

We can pick up where we left off, even when we don't talk for weeks at a time. Week-hubberton will never be the same now that we aren't there. Trips from Week-hubberton to Enterprise were always an adventure. Four-wheeler riding, Mafia parties, the list goes on!

It's getting pretty close to your birthday and I have to work tomorrow. I could go on and on!! I hope you have a fantastic birthday and Holden lets you have a restful day.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Where has time gone?

I started this on the 14th, worked on it some on the 15th and hope to finish it now on the 16th. 

Happy Birthday to Kook-a-Doodle Lulu! 
aka Kooky-Lou

It is hard to believe you are six years old. You are amazing, beautiful and so very smart. You amaze me daily with what you know. You are eager to learn as much as you can. You are very hard headed and do things in your time, which drives me INSANE, especially when we are on a time line.  

Look how much you've grown since last year
5th birthday

Every year on your birthday I ask you the same questions. It is fun to see how your answers change over the years. Here is what you said this year.

What is your favorite color? Pink and all the colors of the rainbow
what is your favorite toy? Isabelle
What is your favorite fruit? Banana and Strawberry
what is your favorite TV show? Cupcake Wars
What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Peanut butter with honey sandwich
What is your favorite games? Fun Loom
What is your favorite thing to wear? Dresses
what is your favorite snack? Gramfuls
what is your favorite animal? Bunny Rabbits
what is your favorite song? Let It Go by Idina Menzel
favorite book? American Girl Books (any)
 best friend? Paityn Hutchinson, Sarah Blockel and Henry Bravo
eat for breakfast? Grits and scrambled eggs
thing to do outside?  play soccer games
favorite drink? chocolate milk
favorite holiday? my birthday and Christmas
take to bed with with you? Josefina, Isabelle, Madyson Bear and Ice Cold
what do you want to be when you grow up? a soccer coach and a waitress
where is your favorite place to go? Alabama and New York
What is something Mommy always says? Go to sleep
What is something Daddy always says? calm down
What's your favorite thing about Kindergarten? my teacher and being the helper when Mrs. Aquino is not there

Anything else you want people to know? That my life if great

Facts about you for this year:
*American Girl dolls and books are your new obsession
*You love to read books in general- you really like Junie B Jones and Judy Blume books
*You love to play soccer and have become pretty good
*you dance and listen to music when ever you can
*you have some sneakiness up your sleeves. The other day you and Paityn tried to sneak her into the car so she could go home with us. I saw you conjuring up the plan. 
*you still love to yap but have gotten better about yapping when you aren't suppose to be
* you have your first crush and think your "Handsome Warren" is so cute. poor Henry!
* you love your technology and would be on your phone, Kindle or the computer all the time if we let you
*you were in your 1st wedding this past summer. You were the most beautiful flower girl ever!
*you had your 1st airplane ride when we went to NY/NJ for Spring Break
*you rode your 1st subway, train and ferry while we were in NY
*you started school and impressed everyone with how smart you are
*you read several chapter books simultaneously and know what each one is about
*you are a Daisy and sold cookies for the 1st time. Together we sold 500 boxes!
* you went to your 1st dance. Uncle Jay was night enough to stand in for Daddy while he worked
*you saw snow for the 1st time and had fun playing in it, even though it was crunchy not fluffy
*you were in your first parade. Thanks to Gigi
*you love animals, especially cats and dogs
*you sang your 1st solo during VPK graduation
I'm sure there is so much more that I have forgotten about!

Here are some of my favorite pictures of the year
You have made honor roll every quarter with all Es!

You have learned a lot as a Daisy

This is my favorite picture from Christmas. you were so excited to see Santa at school

I look forward to your 6th year and how much you will grow and learn! Love ya lots and lots.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Break 2014 part 2

Day 3
Wes had to work on Tuesday, so MK and I ventured out on our own. With advice from a friend, we drove over to Point Pleasant on the Jersey Shore. It was about a 2 hour drive. The way Garmin took us, was very scenic.

The beach was pretty empty. We ate lunch at Martells Tiki Bar then headed down to the ocean. MK began picking up sea shells almost immediately. I don't think I got any pictures of the shells, but here she is checking out the sand. 

I then talked her into putting her feet in the water to see how cold it was. This didn't end well! She pulled her pants legs up so they wouldn't get wet, but forgot to take her flip flops off. As she turned to come back towards me both flops floated away. This caused a MAJOR meltdown. Being the good mom that I am, I walked in the edge to get them. Dumb me, didn't take my flops off and they too floated off! I put all the stuff I was holding down on the beach by MK and walked back to get all 4 shoes. I was able to grab one of mine and one of MK's flops. I threw them back up onto the beach and went to grab the other ones. A wave came in and knocked me down. I am now completely soaked and freezing. I was able to grab my other flop and get safely back to the shore. MK was VERY upset as her other flop floated out to sea. As we walked back to the car (the long way because I was soaking wet and couldn't walk through the restaurant) MK told me it was the worst day ever. I walked bare-footed because I let MK wear my flops. As you can see from the above picture, it was very shell-y. We got back to the car and I magically changed clothes in the backseat. We then headed back to the hotel.

After I warmed up and Wes got back from working, we let MK go play in the snow outside the hotel. There was a big area between the parking lot and the road that still had tons of snow. Per MK, it was "slushy" not "fluffy" snow. It was a fairly warm day, so she didn't wear a jacket or gloves. She tried to pick up the snow to make snowballs but wasn't very successful. Wes did throw a few at her. She played about 15 minutes before the wind got to crazy.

Day 4
Wes had to work again on Wednesday and it was suppose to get super cold, so MK and I wanted to find something inside to do. A few people had recommended the Crayola Experience/Factory just over the border in Pennsylvania. I bought tickets online and we headed to Easton, PA. The Crayola Experience is 4 floors of Crayola fun. MK has told several people this was her favorite part of the trip.

 She played in the clay area for a long time. As part of our admission we got 6 coins. I wasn't sure what all cost coins, so I only let her spend one per activity to start with. She of course choice purple clay.
 She made crayons. Well she actually she typed what she wanted on the label and got to wrap the label around the crayon.
 This machine made a marker. She pushed all the buttons to make it put the ink in then it capped it and gave it to her.
completed marker

 We colored different space objects on an ipad then sent it to this wall. MK is pointing out her spaceship on the wall. It was very interactive and interacted several kids objects at the same time.
 There were several melted crayon activities. She used a crayon to make this ring. We also painted with melted wax. She did some melted wax spin art. The entire 4th floor was for activities with melted wax.

In the cafe they had a timeline of crayons. MK requested that I take her picture with Courage. He was born in 2008 like her. She asked that I take a picture and send it to Mrs. Aquino. 

Thursday was the coldest day we were there. There were a few snow flurries and VERY cold wind. We didn't do much other than get food on Thursday. Wes was off, so we just hung out in the hotel. We did walk to Subway and almost froze in the 2 minute walk. Later that night we went to Applebee's for dinner.

Friday we took Wes to the farm to get his truck. It was still cold so Wes ended up not being able to take plants. We ended up hanging out at the farm for a while. MK had a blast. There are several cats that live at the farm. She loves cats, so she was super excited that there were 2 very friendly cats that came up to her as soon as she squatted down. After we left the farm we ate at White Castle. We then went and watched Peabody and Mr. Sherman. It was a good movie. It was a cartoon so it kept MK's attention, but had lots of history in it. We were the only ones in the theater. After that we met a longtime friend (that I've only met once before) and her daughters for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. The girls were shy most of dinner. Poor Cynthia wouldn't eat with us there.

Since Wes didn't work Friday, he had to work Saturday. We were talking about it at dinner and decided to meet up with Cathy and the girls to go to the Statue of Liberty. Good thing Cathy went. I had no idea where to go!

Ferry ride from Jersey City to Ellis Island

Audio tour. She was the only one that listened to it this far in. She was very interested in the Underground Railroad because she had learned about it at school.

Cathy and her girls on the ferry ride from Ellis Island to Statue of Liberty

This was from the ferry.

This was from the base of the Statue

NYC skyline from pedestal of the Statue

looking up from the feet of the Statue. The clouds were moving and it made it look like the Statue was swaying.

looking up to the crown from the pedestal on the inside.

While at the Statue, we ate lunch. I had the most DELISH hot chocolate ever. It was white chocolate hot chocolate. I have never seen it anywhere else. I might have to make another trip to the Statue just for the hot chocolate. We missed our ferry from the Statue back to Jersey City, so we had to wait 45 minutes in the freezing wind. The temperature wasn't bad that day, but the wind was insane!

After the Statue, we headed back to the hotel and began packing. We had a very early flight and the airport was about 45 minutes from the hotel. We left the hotel at about 345 to get to the airport. It took longer to get through security at Newark than it did at Tampa that prior week. There was a nice lady in front of us that kept MK entertained while we waited in line. We had a layover in Charlotte, NC. It was just long enough to get to our new gate and grab a snack. Our seats were not next to each other on the 2nd leg. Luckily a nice guy changed seats with me. I'm not sure if it was a nice gesture or he didn't want to sit by a 5 year old! Either way, we were together.

Once we got home we laid around for a while. About 5 we headed to Charann's to get my check and grab a bite to eat. About the time we got there the Carters invited us to dinner. We headed over there and hung out for a bit.

Spring Break was officially over and we had to get ready for a full week of school and work.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Spring Break 2014 part 1

It's been a while since Spring Break meant anything other than less traffic on the way to work. With MK starting school this year, we had to make plans for her Spring Break. Wes is in the New Jersey/New York area, so we decided MK and I would fly up to see him.

Day 1
We started early on Sunday 3/8 with out flight leaving Tampa at 7:55 am. It was MK's first time flying.

 She was excited. She had a window seat and looked out the window a good portion of the trip. We had plenty of stuff to keep her occupied. I forgot to get gum but the lady next to me gave her some to chew as we took off and landed. Wes picked us up from the airport in NJ about 1030. Since it was still early in the day, we decided we would go ahead and spend some time in the NYC. We found somewhere to park near the train station in Newark and caught the PATH train to NYC. MK and I had to put on warmer clothes, so we added layers in the parking lot. There were mounds of snows everywhere. Snow was on the top of MK's to see list, so she ran up to the top of a pile and posed for some pictures. 

Once there, we had no plan. MK could see the Empire State Building as soon as we hit the street, so we walked toward it. We walked through Times Square, saw Rockefeller Plaza and headed to Central Park. We thought about going to the zoo at Central Park, but it was 330 when we got there and they closed at 430. So instead we grabbed some hot cocoa and headed back to Penn Station to catch the train back to our car. Mk fell asleep on two different trains, luckily she was in my lap.

stopping to pose for a family picture on the way to Central Park

Day 2
We got up fairly early and drove up to the train station and caught the train back into NYC. We decided we wanted to go to New York Public Library and then play it by ear. We also wanted to eat some NY pizza. We found what looked like a hole in the wall and had some delicious pizza. After eating we headed through Bryant Park to the library. On the way there we saw a statue, Wes asked "I wonder who that statue is of?". Mk replied, "some old dead guy, I'm sure".  It was hilarious! 

We went in a side door of the library right at the children's room. MK was in heaven with all those books! We just walked around and looked at the decorations then headed upstairs to the main floor. We saw that there was a library tour beginning at 2. It was about 1, so we decided to walk around for a bit and come back at 2. There is a ABC of Children's Literature exhibit.

 It was so interesting. I took lots of pictures. There were parts of the exhibit that kept MK's attention better than others. They had the original Winnie the Pooh stuffed animals on display as well as the parasol that was the inspiration for Mary Poppins.  At 2 we headed to the tour. It didn't keep MK's attention very long so I took her back to the children's area to read while Wes finished the tour. It was about an hour. MK found a book to read and headed to the reading area. She read half of it while we were waiting and wanted to take it with her.

She was reading about the 1st book. I don't remember what exactly it was.
interactive wall that you could spell 3 letter words using each vowel
Really old copy of Cat in the Hat

Part of the Alice in Wonderland display. her neck would grow up to the key then shrink back down.

this display is usually in the Children's room but it was moved upstairs to the Children's Literature exhibit
Original stuffed animals that were the inspiration for the Winnie the Pooh characters

After the library we headed to the American Girl store. This is 3 stories of doll heaven (or hell, depending how you look at it). The bottom floor features the Girl of the Year and tons of accessories for all the girls. There is also a book section here. MK stayed at the books for quite some time. We headed to the 2nd floor to find the American history through the dolls. Each of these dolls tell a story about what happened in their era of history. MK had the Josephina doll, so she got to see her in all her different outfits. They had 3 different Josephina books. MK thought she was going to get a doll or doll clothes, so she didn't want a book. She ended up with nothing. The top floor had a cafe that you can eat with your dolls. We didn't go in. There was also an area for the Bitty Baby by American Girl. They also had a photo area that you could take pictures of your doll and print a cover of the American Girl magazine with your picture on it.

After American Girl we walked around a bit more. We went in the NBC Studio store. They were getting ready to film an episode of Late Night. I looked into it before we went to see if we could do any audiences, but you had to be 16 for more and 18 for the rest. We watched some more ice skating. MK really wanted to ice skate, but we didn't do it. I tried roller skating with her not long ago, no way was I ice skating with her! We walked through the Lego Store. The one in Orlando is much bigger and better laid out. After that we headed back toward Penn Station to catch the train back to our car.

This post is long enough. I'll do another one with Tuesday and Wednesday. Sneak peak... we went to Jersey Shore and Crayola Experience.