and kids

and kids

Monday, March 30, 2009

4th Grade Buddies

In Kindergarten, you are assigned a 4th Grade Buddy. Once a week, that "buddy" comes and reads to you, plays different games and helps out with different projects. Because Tavis' class was a little small, he was assigned two different buddies, Troy and David. Those boys were so good to him. There was one time that 5th grade was having a sale to make money for a field trip. Before school they were going to sell homemade hakky sacks and cloth checker boards. Tavis was very disappointed that we didn't make it in time for him to get a hakky sack. When he got in the car after school, he said that David gave him his hakky sack since he knew Tavis really wanted one.

Last week Tavis got invited to David's bowling birthday party. He was also invited to another party for someone in his class at the same time, so I let him choose. He chose to go to David's. I wasn't sure exactly how that would be, but he had a great time. He bowled with 7 other (now) 5th graders and didn't even think twice about it.

It does a momma's heart good!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hat Day

In the last quarter of school there are many "activity days". Today was Hat Day!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

1605 Miles

In our travels to PA we logged 1,605 miles. It was a great trip, but it was also nice to get home. Mac was especially excited to get out of the carseat.

14 hours in the carseat in one day was a lot for a little guy! (and for mommy)
This ends my entries about our trip to PA! Thanks for reading!!!!

Random PA

A few more random pictures and memories from our PA trip - My mom with her Daddy out at the stables. Grandpa J's flag wall painted on the side of his garage. Jason and Gretchen hanging out on the front porch. Grandma J with the kids. And the always needed, picture by the "wheel".

Unknown Relatives

It has been 13 years since Jason and I have traveled up North to Moscow, PA. Besides my Grandparents, others that live up there are my mom's brother and family - Uncle Paul and Aunt Sharon with daughter, Dana (age 12) - and my mom's sister's family - Uncle David and Aunt Lorraine - with their five kids and their spouses and families. The kids had never met any of these family members and it was a wonderful time as I got to meet my cousin's spouses along with their children. Here are a few pictures:
Mollee and Dana Jackson (my 12 year old cousin) enjoying popcorn on a Sunday nightMe and my Aunt Sharon Jackson (Dana's mom, married to Uncle Paul - my mom's brother) Mandy Sverduk (my cousin) and daughter Corainda (a combo name of Carol, Lorraine and Linda)

Mollee with Amanda Laury (my cousin, Holly's, daughter) and my boys with Holly's son, Ethan Laury

Tavis and his new buddy, Jason Jr. (son of my cousin Suzanne DeLorenzo, pictured with me below)

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Grandma J, especially in the cold winter months, always has a puzzle going. Throughout her house she even has a few that she really liked and glued them together and framed them. Jason and I have enjoyed putting together quite a few puzzles in the past few years. We can set it up on the dining room table (which we never use) and the kids are very good to leave it alone. We have one going right now that is a Harley Davidson painting that is giving us grief and has been set up for too long. Anyway, Jason and Grandma J spent a lot of time working on a puzzle that we had brought for Grandma. We didn't finish it before we left, but we were sure to leave her all the green tree background to do by herself. As you see in the picture, Capps is also into puzzles. Even though he is only 4, he actually is very good at the big (1,000 pieces) puzzles also.Grandpa J, who is struggling with dementia, has discovered he likes Word-Find puzzles. While we worked on our puzzle, he sat and worked on his puzzles (which is great to keep his mind exercised).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Burn Pile

Figuring out the garbage at the Jackson home almost took me the whole time we were there. Under the sink you put anything that burns. Things that don't burn (glass, etc.), you put in the can outside. Food scraps (banana peels, coffee grinds, etc.) go in a bag that sits in the kitchen sink and then is taken out to the compost pile each evening. Then once a week, the things that will burn are taken to the burn pile. Of course, my boys were facinated by this.

"What's behind the curtain?"

"The Curtain" is legend in the Jackson family. All grandkids have been afraid of it. My siblings and I have been especially afraid of it thanks to big brother JR who always told scary stories about what was behind it. At the top of the stairs is a bedroom with a double bed. You walk through that room to get to another bedroom that has a descending ceiling with two single beds and at the end of the room (with about a 4 1/2 foot ceiling height) is a curtain covering space - not monsters, ghosts, etc. as legend believes. I don't know why it was so scary, but I can remember I was always thankful that Heather and I got to sleep in that first room sharing the double bed.

Well, my kids didn't know it was supposed to be scary. They actually fought over who was going to sleep there. Of course, the Princess won:

Daegan slept in the other bed to protect the princess:

And Tavis and Capps shared a bed with Mac (again!) set up in the Pack-N-Play

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Cookie Grandma

Grandma J has always been "The Cookie Grandma". Everytime she would come to visit she would have a few tupperware boxes full of different kinds of cookies she had baked the previous week. She enjoys baking cookies and we have always enjoyed baking them and decorating them with her. I have done a lot of cut out cookies with her - my mom doesn't enjoy baking so this was not something we did unless Grandma J was around. I love to bake and have tried to carry on the tradition as best I can. We always make a huge batch of cut out cookies (I think her recipe is about 10 dozen?) for Christmas, but my kids have never really gotten to do them with Grandma J. They definitely have never gotten to do them in Grandma J's kitchen. We didn't have time to make cut out cookies, but we went for the next best thing: Molasses Crinkles (a.k.a. Ginger Snaps) rolled in colorful sugar. Here are the kids baking with "The Cookie Grandma"


As long as I can remember we have always fed the horses next door to my Grandparents. Of course, my memory made it seem like a little bit of a longer walk than it was this past week. My Grandfather (a.k.a. Grandpa J) is a creature of habit. Every day he eats apple slices for lunch and takes the apple core and peelings over to Bandit, the horse that now occupies the stables next door. My children (mostly Mac), enjoyed helping Grandpa J with this task each day.


One thing the kids were hoping for was some snow. There has been a lot of it this year for the Jackson's, but we got to enjoy 50+ degree weather and sunny days. It was great for them to enjoy the huge yard and burn energy outside. The kids did enjoy the snow that had been piled at the end of the driveway from the plow. I think it was melted by the time we left, but here is the first day. Of course, it was snowing the morning we left!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

First Stay in a Hotel

Date: March 14, 2009

After 10 hours in the car, on our journey to PA, we stopped at the first hotel we saw that was close to a Cracker Barrel. It was a Holiday Inn in Martinsburg, WV. Thankfully, it was a really nice hotel, unfortunately, it was a really nice hotel ($). We didn't even use the Cracker Barrel because the kids ate free in the hotel restaurant. Jason and I had Prime Rib, the kids had their choice of pizza, hotdog, cheeseburger, Mac-N-Cheese, and maybe a few other options. It actually cost us less to eat this luxury meal than it did when we stopped at Arby's for lunch.
Mollee and Daegan stayed in Grandma's room
Tavis and Capps were in our room, and Mac was in our room in the Pack-N-Play

There was an indoor pool so I "forced" the kids to use it in their underwear, here are the boys showing off their muscles
The kids first stay in a hotel went fine. I think Grandma had some talkers in her room with Mollee and Daegan too excited to sleep. Jason was excited to have cable TV, but it didn't work very well to have it when we had three boys trying to fall asleep in our room. We were quickly reminded why we never let our newborns sleep in our room - hearing every noise each child made during the night. Capps talked in his sleep, Tavis snored and Mac had some nasal problems that made it sound like he had a whistle stuck up his nose.

We didn't push ourselves to get on the road very early. OK, let me rephrase that: Jason wasn't too eager to get moving. I was ready at 8:30, we left around 9:30. We arrived for Sunday lunch at 1:00. More to the story in the next blog......

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Break 2009

This week has been Mollee and Tavis' Spring Break. We have spent it in such a way that I know the kids will be talking about it for awhile and our memories will last forever. I plan to take the next week to share our "vacation" with you without trying to tell you everything and post a bunch of pictures in one sitting.

My grandparents live in Moscow, Pennsylvania (just outside of Scranton for all you Office fans). It is a 14 hour drive to get there, therefore, we have never taken the kids. Of course, they know my Grandpa J and Grandma J because they visit once a year, but we have never been to their house. Jason and I went for our first Christmas (2-month newlyweds), but that was 13 years ago and we haven't been back. It has been something we've talked about doing, but there were always the "I'm pregnant" or "I'm nursing" excuse that made the 14 hour drive even less-appealing. Last Saturday we loaded up in the van and headed to PA. My mom also decided to go with us since it had been a year since she saw her own mother (we didn't tell my Grandmother that Mom was coming and she was very shocked and excited when Mom also got out of the van).
We only went 10 hours the first day (after going all 14 hours on the way home it seems appropriate to say only 10 hours), but it rained the ENTIRE trip. Thankfully, that didn't result in bad traffic, only interesting potty breaks. We then had 4 more hours on Sunday and got to our destination for a big, yummy Sunday lunch.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day 7: No Fever!!!

Daegan woke up today with a grin on his face and as happy as a lark. He knew right away that his fever was gone. I was happy for that and was even happier to get out of the house and go to Target, even if I did have three in tow! It was great to see the outside world again! Plus, we were almost out of diapers and toilet paper.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fever Virus: Day 6

In my last blog I mentioned Daegan being sick with a high fever and headache, with no other sypmtoms. Today is Wednesday and everyday since last Friday he has awaken with a fever somewhere between 102.5 - 103. When I couldn't get the fever to respond to meds on Friday I took him in and he was tested for strep, mono, flu, and his white blood cell count was tested. Everything looked fine......but he wasn't fine! I spoke with the pedicatrician late Monday and he said sometimes these fever viruses last 5-7 days. I was to bring him back to get retested for everything if he was still bad on Thursday....

Today he woke up with a 101.6 temperature. Not as high as the other mornings, maybe we are headed in the right direction? I can't complain, he is the best sick guy. No complaining! Takes a nap on his own when he feels he needs it! Drinks tons of water! I just hate we haven't been able to take advantage of this beautiful weather.

....he just asked for a bowl of cereal, maybe that is a good sign!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Daegan's 6th birthday!

Today is Daegan's 6th birthday! In typical Daegan fashion, he is sick. Daegan has that special ability to catch any germ within 50 feet of him. We were going to celebrate at home with the fam on Friday night, but he came down with 103 fever. He insisted on celebrating anyway, even though he didn't want to eat anything. Daegan is the toughest 'sick guy' I know. We celebrated and he got some knight Legos and a Clone Wars plate set.

Today, Sunday, his actual birthday, he still had a 103 fever this morning. Mommy likes to torture the kids with a birthday breakfast picture, this is how good Daeg felt this morning:

We celebrated with my parents for a very brief lunch. Daegan requested ham and steamed broccoli (his favorite dinner items) for his meal. He didn't eat much, but he enjoyed a big bowl of ice cream with chocolate and strawberry sauce.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Today I got the wonderful chance to spend a day with my dear friends, Shannon and Kimberly. Shannon has been surprised by the pregnancy of a fourth child. Since she has given away all of her baby items, her girlfriends were giving her a shower. Kimberly and I traveled up to spend the day with Shannon. Before kids, Shannon, Kimberly and I would hang out together, share first pregnancy struggles, pray for each other, cry with each other, laugh with and at each other, etc.

Nine years later.....

Shannon is about to have her 4th, Kimberly has 4 and I have 5. We still stay in touch, but the "Girl Time" is non-existent. It was wonderful to be able to have a day without my kids (even though it was way out of my comfort zone to do such a thing). I left the house at 10 this morning and just got home at 8 to be able to kiss the kids goodnight and rescue my exhausted husband.

Monday, March 2, 2009

6th picture in 6th folder

My friend, Moriah, is a blogging expert and is always giving ideas for the days blog. Today she suggested an explanation of the 6th picture in your 6th folder.

And the winner is................

This is my Grandpa J with Capps. It is October 2006. We are at the Buddy Walk (for Down Syndrome Society). I was pregnant with Mac and couldn't actually go on the walk (too uncomfortable) so I stayed back with Grandpa J and Capps. The picture quality isn't great because it is a picture I scanned in for another project.

Thanks Moriah!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

NASCAR Fantasy League

Yes, I said NASCAR. I have never played sports, although I think I would have enjoyed playing if spectators were not involved. Jason is sure I would have been a good athlete, but I have terrible fear of being "in front" of people that I never tried to play anything. I really think I would have enjoyed track and possibly tennis, maybe even soccer since it was the 'family sport'.

I digress.

Back to NASCAR. I love sports! I'm a huge NFL fan. I've cheered for the Dallas Cowboys as long as I've been involved with NFL. I actually started to cheer for them as the underdog in 1989 (I think that was the year?) when they were 1-15. That was my 7th grade year and by my senior year they were winning Super Bowls. Jason liked College Football when we got married, but I 've gotten him into the NFL world (although he is not a Cowboys fan!). We enjoy football games all weekend long throughout the Fall. I also am a huge NHL fan, that is hockey for those of you that have no idea. Jason said it was a yankee sport (Dad from New Jersey, Mom from Pennsylvania), but he has slowly gotten into that also. Unfortunately, here in the South you don't get to see a lot of games if you don't have cable, but we cheer in our hearts. We are Colorado Avalanche fans!

I digress.

Back to NASCAR. Now I have convinced Jason to watch NASCAR. I'm a Kyle Busch fan. I guess you love him or hate him, but hey, he drives the M&M car, what is there not to like? [I'm a Scott Dixon fan for Indy races because he drives the Target car] The first NASCAR race was a few weeks ago and Jason and I got involved in a fantasy league with some friends that we recently found out also liked NASCAR. You pick four drivers each week and get points depending on their ranking at the end of the race. There are more rules than that, but I won't bore you with them. My race today was going well. My four guys were 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 8th (out of 40+ cars in case you don't know) for much of the race. I was feeling good. The guy I'm most interested in beating (Jeremy Armao) in the league had two of his guys' engines die so they were out of the race. YIPPEE for me! My guys ended up 6th, 7th, 8th and 24th and I'm waiting for them to post the scores.

I love sports! Maybe my way of picking who I cheer for is unconventional, but Kyle Busch won today (even though I wasn't able to pick him in my fantasy league and Jason was - UGH!).

..............................Ok, they rankings are posted, out of 19 guys, I'm #5, but I'm ahead of Jeremy!

and if you are interested, Jason is #1 - beginner's luck!

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