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.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Happy Flag Day

 Give  us a theme and we will dress for the occasion.

 Leah's teacher sent me this picture of the students in her class that dressed up for Flag Day.
They are too cute.
Two more weeks for these too besties.
Funny story...Leah asked yesterday if she could be the flower girl in Uncle Justin's wedding. I told her that he would have to decide/ask her if he wants a flower girl. Then she tells me that she plans to have Linds be the flower girl in her wedding in the future. So that lead to a discussion about how Linds will be too old by that time, but that she may be her maid of honor. That then lead to a discussion about what a maid of honor is. The entire talk was just too comical. I love her little brain.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Spirit Filled Day

 I took a personal day yesterday to attend our friend Zeke's Change of Command Ceremony on Fort Drum. I wasn't able to go when he went into command so I was very excited to be able to attend yesterday. We were able to attend a small ceremony before the COC and our friend Lisa was given an award for her volunteer work and dedication to the troop as well. I am such a sap that I got all teary eyed when they spoke about her and her hard work along side her husband. The ceremony was very interesting and I really enjoyed all of the traditions, the Army band and watching our friend Zeke in his element. We thank you Lisa and Zeke for including us in this special day.
 In the evening I attended a fund raiser for Stage Notes. It was wonderful to hear all of the cast sing, have a good meal and enjoy chatting with some different people. Our two favorite babysitters/friends sang and sounded gorgeous too. We are certainly going to miss Johanna in the fall as she goes off to Florida Gulf Coast for college.
At least Sara will be in NewYork and comes to visit often. Yay.


I have a new addiction and it is just as expensive as smoking, but way better for your health. I'm addicted to Starbucks Refreshers and I'm not afraid to admit it. This past winter Roland won a $100 gift card to Starbucks and you would have thought it was a million, I was so excited. Needless to say it was spent very quickly with my new habit. So if you are looking for something to get me as a gift you know what to buy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Weekend Tidbits ~ June 7-8

 1. We participated in the YMCA Scavenger Hunt again this year. Can you say SO MUCH FUN? It really is such a fun family activity. We didn't come in as one of the Top 10, but we enjoyed every minute and got tons of exercise.
 2. I learned that I can't balance with my eyes closed. I think I may need to take some yoga classes this summer.

 3. Island Girl is almost complete. Roland added something new to the back. Do you see anything different?
 4. Went out for date night Saturday to my favorite place Ryan's Lookout. I really need to learn to go there and only order an appetizer, salad and bread. Otherwise, I am way too stuffed and uncomfortable by the end of dinner. Love that place though. Thank you to Mom and Tom for watching the kids AND keeping them for a sleepover. Bonus.
 5. These two girls are going to be lost without one another in three short weeks.
 6. Now that we have new comfy porch furniture we basically live out there. Yesterday afternoon we sat out and played games for over an hour. I love these times with my kids.
 7. Seth loves baseball (his mom doesn't) and he was able to participate in a special ceremony with all of the Watertown teams yesterday. He had such a great time with his new friends. He is #11.
8. We squeezed in every single thing we could this weekend and that meant no time for naps. By 6pm on Sunday night this is what I found...a very tired Bean.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Surprise Friday

 Friday was such a fantastic day, I'm sad that it had to end. Roland was supposed to come to town and we were going to grab lunch during my break. At 11:30 our secretary called and asked when I was leaving for lunch. I thought this was odd because I wasn't aware she even knew I was leaving. She said that my husband called and said he was running late. This was also odd because he would never call the office, he would call my cell. I took the opportunity to run to see a teacher I needed to talk to and on my way back to my room I saw two little girls walking in the hallway. I need Lasik so as I squinted I realized it was Leah, Lindsey AND Kristen. I was totally shocked and surprised and HAPPY. The girls wanted to see my classroom, visit and take me to lunch. BEST.SURPRISE.EVER. (besides my 10th anniversary surprise party/shrimp boil) The girls played on the Smart Board, on the white board and met most of the people in the building before we walked to The Castle for lunch. It was such a special morning and I loved every minute of it.
I feel blessed.