Friday, December 21, 2012

Let it Begin...

Tonight is the start of the holiday festivities. The start of gifts, food, laughter and chatter and most importantly it's a time for family. We are looking forward to the next 5 days greatly and we hope that each day and night go by slowly so we can enjoy time with the one's we love.
My plan is to relax and not run around for the next 10 days of vacation. My plan is to sit and enjoy the awe and joy on my children's faces. I am a very lucky lady and I truly appreciate all of the special people in my life. The people who take the time to stay in contact any way possible. In this busy life we lead it is very hard to stay in touch. I am so lucky to have wonderful people in my life that sent us beautiful Christmas cards, people I stay in touch with via Facebook, Instagram, text, email, snail mail and even by phone. Thank you each and every one of your for letting me be a part of your life. Cherish this time because each day goes by in the blink of an eye. I tell Leah all the time to stop growing because she and Seth are growing way too fast so I'm trying to savour it.
Here is to a fantastically fabulous Christmas 2012.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's Almost Christmas

 Since the finale of The Littlest Elf  we  felt as if we could finally breathe and truly spend some time together as a family and at home all cozy snuggled up by the fireplace watching holiday movies. That is until...Roland got the flu. :( We decided that we wouldn't let it get us down and after quarantining him and washing every blanket and hard surface in the house we decided to have a special movie night with popcorn and chocolate covered flies. We even let Rocky snuggle on the couch with us. (he never gets to do that.) I introduced the kids to the movie Elf and we all laughed and laughed and it was just what the doctor ordered. Laughter and family time.
By Saturday Roland was feeling much better, but still not 100% so we sent him to his parents house to rest while Sara babysat and I went out to celebrate Kristen's 35th Birthday. We started with a couple of Tom & Jerry's and then a delicious meal at Karen & Jasper's. I really missed my hubs, but was glad that he was able to rest and recuperate. 
 Thank goodness by Sunday Roland was almost back to himself and able to attend Seth's winter music recital. He was so excited and not shy in the least in front of a huge crowd of people. All of the kids in his group sang and danced beautifully. I definitely got teary watching him up there. We couldn't be more proud.

 Now that we are one week until the big day I have been asking the kids to help out with lots of goody making in the kitchen. Yesterday they helped me make Peppermint Bark for some special people.
 As you can see they loved beating the candy canes into a pulp. Love those smiles.
 Today was Pajama Day at Leah's school and she was over the top excited to get to school this morning. It was a big three year old fashion show as we walked into the hall. I can't wait to hear all about it this evening.
The largest news of the day is this Subaru pictured above. Roland picked this brand new vehicle up in Syracuse this morning. It will now be Roland's work vehicle. The next step...get rid of his old car. Stay tuned...
What's up the for rest of the week you ask? Tons and tons of celebrations, one more chance to celebrate a 35th birthday (and not mine), Christmas with The Buckingham's, Christmas with The Puccia's, Christmas with The Charlton's and that's all before actual Christmas Day. After all of that we rest and hopefully ski. Bring on the snow.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Future Stage Stopper

 Here are a few of the pictures from my phone of the BIG weekend. I'll have to download the rest from my camera this week at some point. It was a wonderful weekend full of young talent and Roland and I have never been so proud of our six year old. I actually got very teary as I drove Seth home on Sunday afternoon after all was said and done. I told him how incredibly proud I am of him and then the flood gates opened. He told me he was sad that it was all over. What a kid.
 I have plenty of videos to share as well.
We brought Leah to the Saturday evening performance and she LOVED it. She sat the entire time and was thrilled to see her big brother on stage.
 What an amazing and memory filled weekend.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Sneak Peak

Thank you Poppy for not fully retiring so we can carry on this amazing tradition!!

Monday, December 03, 2012


Let's see what is on The Charlton agenda for the week, oh yes, elves, elves and more elves. It's the crazy hectic holiday elf week the kids have worked so extremely hard for. They have 3 more practices and 5 performances between now and next Sunday. Seth came home last night and totally crashed. He was snoring so loud that I had to laugh OUT LOUD. He loves every minute of it, but he is tired. We are trying to embrace it because it will be over in the blink of an eye. Huge thanks to our carpool partners in crime and to all of the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins that are helping out this week with Leah duty and who are coming to a performance. We love you all.

Piggy Tails

Despite the constant whining this chick is so stinking cute.
Love you Beaner.

Quality Time with Beaner

 Seth had a super sized Sunday elf practice so we decided to take Leah to The Crystal for dinner and Tom & Jerry's. The Crystal is very special to Roland and I as it was the location of our first official date way back when. When I was 17, Roland and I were invited to a wedding of a co-worker from Super Duper. He asked me to be his date and asked to take me out to lunch before the wedding. We were both so super nervous about the date that we decided on The Crystal for who knows what reason. It is still very special to us. It means a lot that we can share it with our children. Leah loved it and her special alone time.
Making Daddy extra pretty.

Festive Weekend

 Friday night was our only night off from elf practice so we took full advantage of some down time and stayed put. We built our gingerbread house, ordered in food and watched Christmas movies by the fireplace. It was a picturesque family evening and we loved every minute of it.
Saturday the elf madness returned. Seth had a four hour practice followed by being in the Sackets Holiday Parade and then a visit with Santa. We returned home, lit a fire and watched another Christmas movie. We are definitely in the spirit.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Power Ball

I had the most interesting conversation with my Gram on the way to work today. She informed me that she had bought her Power Ball ticket and then entertained me with her decision of what to do with the millions once she wins.

HER PLAN: Use the money to pay off every family members mortgage, car payments, credit card bills and student loans. Then, she plans to put money aside for Seth and Leah's college and graduate school. She plans to take everyone on a big trip and pay for Justin's year in Europe. She also plans to take everyone on a vacation and let us all buy new houses or fix up existing ones. The leftover money can be divided up among her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I love this idea and love that she thinks of other people than herself. Now if she wins, what an amazing life we will all have. If she doesn't we will still have an amazing life knowing someone cares about us all this much.

Over the River and Through the Woods + Wrap Up Vacation

 We made our annual trek into the woods last Saturday and we had the  most amazing time. The weather was perfect, we all found wonderful trees and we even got to go on a horse drawn sleigh ride. It was holiday bliss at its finest.
 Sunday was not so blissful. On our way home from Syracuse after a successful day of shopping we hit nasty weather and it took us an hour and forty five minutes to get home. Thankfully it was still light out, but it was our welcome to winter.
 Needless to say it was a fun filled and busy vacation so by Sunday this is how we felt...exhausted.


My bestest friend from high school came home for a visit and we were able to secure a sitter and go out to dinner with him on Friday night. It was so great to sit and talk for hours and hours. It is wonderful to have friends that you can go months and months without talking to yet pick up right where you left off when you see them again.

Gobble Gobble

 It was the BEST Thanksgiving that I can ever remember. We started out by walking in The Turkey Run followed by a relaxing afternoon of food and family and ended with a wonderful evening walk and some Christmas movies. Everyone was in great moods and it was the best.
 We are so fortunate to have my grandparents come down and spend the holiday with us when they are 85 and 87 years old. We are truly lucky.
 The men carving the bird.

Friday, November 16, 2012


The month of November is dedicated to "thankful thoughts" on facebook, but I don't often get into it on there so here are my "Thankful Friday" thoughts...
* catching mice
* a cozy warm house
* a great though stressful at times, secure job
* clean slates
* upcoming holiday food and family gathering
* Uncle J's arrival
* sun shiny days
* a jump start to holiday shopping
* friends celebrating special anniversaries
* a special friend becoming a surrogate
* fountain soda Friday with a friend
* wonderful and hard working students
* upcoming vacations
* family trips to SYR
* finding time to read on my kindle cozied up under the covers
* watching my kids play make believe together
* we are so proud of our little elfette
* Seth brought his new holiday music home to practice for his concert and it ROCKS
* people who help us when we can't do it all ourselves
* Seth and Leah's patient teachers
* family near and far
* hugs and smiles on tough days
* unexpected kind texts
* online holiday shopping
* fabulous family pictures
* playing hair salon with Leah (priceless)
* Movie night with the hubs tonight
* a dear high school friend coming into town next week
* holiday decorating approaching
* kick butt true friends who love to have fun

I could probably go on forever, but you would get pretty bored so here are a few for this week. Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bum Award

The official BUM Award for the month of November goes husband Roland! You might wonder what is he getting this prestigious award for? Let me tell you a little bedtime story.

On November 13th I was awoken at 4:30am by Roland who was in a serious panic. He tells me that someone is in our house. I'm up, but not awake. I jump to my feet, shut off the fans so I can hear better. I hear nothing, but I'm still pretty much dead asleep after a long day of conferences. I turn the light on, grab the phone and listen in a panic. Roland grabs a flashlight and the bat from under our bed and waits at the top of the stairs, listening. He hears noises again. At this point he is scared, scared enough to tell me to call 911. Holy crap I've never had to call 911 before. Within 5 minutes there are officers outside our house searching the premises. Then they come in and search the entire downstairs. They find nothing, but are happy to have checked it over for us. Better to be safe then sorry.
Fast forward 3 hours and I get a call on my cell phone from Ro. He thinks he figured out what the noise was that sounded like someone breaking into our house...a mouse fighting for his life.

Side story: Ever since we put on the addition out back we have had a mouse problem from time to time because it was built without a full basement under it. Last Friday night while Ro and I watched a DVRed episode of Glee we see a tiny little mouse run across the carpet (gasp). To make a long story short we trap the mouse behind the entertainment center and set traps. He gets away so we set traps in all the cold air returns. We catch one Monday night and then last night apparently a new mouse gets caught and fights for his life trying to get out of the trap causing enough noise to wake up Roland who then thought we had a burglar. Who knew a disgusting mouse could cause so much drama?

Main Idea of the story...I'm flipping tired today since I've been awake since 4:30am.
2 mice dead, don't mess with us!
Don't try to break into our house either. We have a bat and 911 on speed dial.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Catching Up

 The germs are slowly fading and our house is starting to get back to normal. Thank goodness because our good friend Jen Voss turned 35 last week so we needed to get together to celebrate the occasion. We had a full meal of her choosing, the kids had a blast together and we had tons of laughs. We even rented Just Dance 4 and got our groove on.
 You would hardly believe that it was November this weekend with record highs of 68 degrees outside. We took complete and total advantage of the wonderful weather and got outside as much as possible.
 I took Leah and the boys to the track and they had so much fun. Seth is fully obsessed with football so he was in his glory.
 Leah was happy wandering around taking care of her baby.
We also had Seth's first play rehearsal last night and he was smiles from ear to ear.

Friday, November 09, 2012


 It has been a long week filled with germs, movies, neb treatments, laundry, doc trips, wiping tears, playing Uno, sleepless nights worrying, cleaning, playing Beyblades, quality time with our little boy and THEN he turned the corner and we think he is on the mend now. After staying home for 6 days I think the germs are on their way out. It could have been much worse, but we made it through with lots of team work. We are grateful that he is on the mend and we are ready for a much more active and fun weekend ahead. While I was home this week I had time between loads of laundry to get on Pinterest (a guilty pleasure). I found some more fun quotes that I fell for.

My students at school and my children at home know that when a song comes on that I LOVE I break out in song and dance. It might not be pretty, but boy does it make you feel good. Music is key.

Have a fabulous weekend. We plan to celebrate someone turning 35 years YOUNG, spending time as a family and seeing some friends from out of town. Yay for the weekend.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Lazy Sunday's

 Both of my boys were pretty spent this Sunday. Seth has been battling bronchitis so the coughing has been tiring him out tremendously and Ro had a few too many beers at his aunts 70th birthday party so he was tuckered out too. It was a quiet afternoon for this mom.


 This kiddo is SO over being sick. He has been to the doctor three times in a week and missed three days of school. The cough makes him so tired, but what a trooper he has been.
Probably not a smart parent move, but Seth had his heart set on going to his audition for The Littlest Elf last night and he mustered up enough energy to get dressed and sing his song to the director. We will know later this week if he made it. If so there will be show details to follow. For today we are home and heading back to the doctor to get him checked over.
Get out an vote today too! I got that text from my brother in Florida bright and early this morning.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Happy Birthday Ben and Charlie!

 On Saturday afternoon Leah and I left Gram and Gramp and headed to Castorland for Ben and Charlie's birthday party. It was at this new place called Time Out and it was so much fun. It was the perfect place for kids to run and play off some energy. They had a mini trampoline, gigantic bounce house, zip line and all sorts of other toys and games.
 The party was pirate themed and they even had a scavenger hunt for the kids to find all of their pirate gear. They all looked so stinking cute in their outfits.
 Arrrgh!A pirate for a day.
I have to say that the zip line was super fun. I was under the weight limit so I was able to try it. If you don't mind the short drive this was a fantastic place for a party. Google Time Out in Castorland, NY and try it.

Sleepover with Gram

 Seth has been battling bronchitis for almost a week so by Friday Leah and I decided to head to Gram's for a sleepover to get her out of the house and away from the germs. She had a birthday party in Castorland the following day so it was perfect timing. We read books, got in our jammies and just relaxed.
 On Saturday morning Leah decided to pick on Gramp. She untied his slippers and messed up his hair. She thought she was just too funny.
I'm so happy that I am able to share these sleepover memories with my kids. I have such wonderful memories of my childhood with my grandparents.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Happy Halloween

 Poor Seth has been battling an ailment all week long. He has been to the doctor twice and although he wasn't feeling 100% he pushed through and was able to celebrate Halloween a bit. While the meds were working he had surges of energy and then when they wore off he was exhausted. He didn't even stay for his Halloween party. Once the parade was over he wanted to come home.
 In the evening the kids bulked up to stay warm and were evenly excited to hand out candy as to receive it. We got all of the Frankie's out of the attic to scare the trick or treater's too!

 The tradition continued and The Castana's came down to trick or treat with the kids. Nana Mary and Papa Drew were even in town visiting so we got to spend some time with them as well.
At the end of the night Seth was thrilled with all of his new treats and then ended up totally crashing because he was so exhausted.