Monday, June 30, 2014


 Let's just say it's been a wonderful ride. We are so blessed to have met and been able to spend almost 9 wonderful years with The Castana Family. It was an instant friendship from the moment we met. From watching our boys become friends to the births of our daughters, deployments, family milestones, vacations together, dinners and so many memorable moments that I couldn't begin to remember them all. I feel so blessed that we were able to share our lives with this family and to say that they will be missed is the understatement of the year. Friendships have come and gone throughout my entire life and that's ok it's all a part of growing up, becoming an adult, but I know in my heart that we will be friends our entire lives. Kris and I joke about living in a retirement community together some day, sitting back in our rocking chairs with our cocktails.
 I'm not sure who this move will be harder on the adults or the kids. We are all so very very close that there will be quite the void for a while until we all adjust. We are lucky to have had this long of a time with a military family and I am grateful for that time we were given.
 We are excited for all of the adventures awaiting Kris, Lee, Jake and Linds, but hope they know they will always have a home in Watertown, NY.
Best of luck, you will be missed more then you'll ever know.
This is also me signing off on my blog for the summer. I have two cute Charlton kids to make memories with so I welcome you back in September when I report all of our summer adventures.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

That's a Wrap 2nd Grade

 Today was Seth's final day in the 2nd grade. He has had the best year yet and his teacher truly ROCKED. I love everything about her and Seth never missed a day. He loved 2nd grade. This year Seth started reading chapter books, did all sorts of double digit addition and subtraction, learned about our community in social studies and so much more.
 Today we had the honor of being present while he received awards for perfect attendance and the principal's award for achievement in math and reading.
Thank you Mrs. Gonseth for a fantastic year and to all of Seth's buddies for helping to make the year so memorable.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"For Good"- Anna Kendrick and Kristin Chenoweth

I'm having a jumble of emotions this week. After Johanna sang this song on Monday night it made me think about my bestie moving on to bigger and better places and how much she has truly meant to me and impacted my life. Sorry to get sappy here, but this song fits us perfect. Thank you Kristen for being "my person". You've changed my life for the better.

Family Photo Shoot Sneak Peak

Perfect day, perfect location and most importantly the perfect family
So pleased with the outcome from this photo shoot.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Role Models

 On Sunday we were invited to Johanna's graduation party and then Monday night I attended her Senior Recital at Channelside. Two occasions to celebrate a wonderful young woman.

The senior recital was just awesome for lack of a better word. All three Stage Note seniors voices were truly memorable and the songs they chose rocked. It was a great night on the river.

Castana's LAST Trip to Lowville

Friday night the women and children headed to Lowville while the men had one last guys night out. The kids played in my Gram's giant tree and played kickball the entire night. They amused themselves excellently.
You have to LOVE my Gram.
 She is 86, still has cocktail hour nightly and can keep up with the conversation like no one else.

By the end of the night the kids asked if they could have a sleep over with Gram and they just wanted to chill out and snuggle.

Friday, June 20, 2014


Check out Mr. MVP for Game #1 of the season.
Seth found out at the game yesterday that he was awarded MVP for their first game.
 Proud of our little man.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Leah Bean's Pre-K Graduation Celebration and Gramp's 88th Birthday

 Yesterday was a very exciting and bittersweet day for myself. I was so excited and proud of Leah for working so hard in Pre-K. She is SO ready for kindergarten academically and she has blossomed quite a bit from her shy demeanor. The program was super cute and all of the kids sang their hearts out. I loved every single minute of it. I'm excited for Seth and Leah to be in the same school for the first time and for the new journey Leah will start. I'm sad to say good-bye for the last time to my old school. I went to Holy Family (now IHC Primary) for 9 years and I loved every minute. Both Seth and Leah had great experiences during their 2 years of nursery and Pre-K. I shed a tear as I walked out one final time. I feel blessed that the kids had such great beginnings to their schooling and we met great families who I think we will still connect with regardless of what school they will be attending next year.
 My shy little Bean sang her heart out and we smiled the entire performance.
 Special thanks to Miss Mary and Miss Sborro. Leah had such a fun filled and creative year.
 We had quite the cheering section too. Thank you to Mom, Tom, Gram, Gramp, Dad, Bonnie, The Smith's, Castana's and Judi for coming to see Leah graduate. We are blessed to have you all in our lives.
Judi did not want to miss her three big girls on their special day.
We continued the celebration at Tin Pan with an amazing breakfast and an extra celebration for my Gramp who turned 88 yesterday. Sorry, I cut Ro out of the pic.
The next week is going to be SO tough. Lots of "See you soons" that I am not ready for. Pause to cry. I am not good with change.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mini Vacation to PA

 It wouldn't be summer without a trip to Knoebels. When Kris and Lee got their orders to move overseas the first thing we did was pick out a weekend to travel to PA before they left. Once word got out that we were coming for a visit all of the Smith Sisters decided to come home and also Kristen's friend Erin joined us with her two boys. We had 6 women and 7 children in tow. It was a bit chilly, but no rain and we were able to ride tons of rides. The littles tended to stick together as well as the big kids. So we decided to divide and conquer to keep all parties happy.
 This was our 4th or 5th time at Knoebels and we absolutely love everything about it. Well... minus the boat incident, but that is a post all in itself.

 Leah, Lindsey, Jake, Luke, Alex, Sam and Seth
Crazy moms on the Stratos FEAR.
 Funny story... It took 60 seconds to climb to the top of this ride and 3 seconds to come down. All of the kids are standing close and watching and as Kristen and Erin drop, Kristen yells SH#@ and then covers her mouth real quick. Proud mom moment for her, teehee.
Until next year Knoebels...we will be back for sure.