Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Sharks and Friendly Hurricane Harbor

At the Guriguss' Shark Week kick off party complete with decorations, themed food, and costumes we were invited to come to Hirricane Harbor (water park) with everyone. So basically that party was going to continue tomorrow. This summer's party feels never ending as we have had an event everyday. Although this is not good for my waist line this kids are having a blast.

We got the house ready for the cleaning ladies were able to pack a lunch and blasted off to the park and we're still able to get there in time for the rush on chairs which is when we were able to find the Neilsens. Having friends there gave the park a better feel of security and fun. The older boys went off to do their fun in the slides etc and moms stayed close to the little ones as they played in the pool and pirate ship. The lazy river was enjoyed by all. I really enjoyed watching Sydney and Andrew float the river together hanging on my tube, and laughing. 

It was time to leave but I just couldn't tear the boys away. All three were in the pool playing with each other being so sweet to one another. I sat and watched to soak it all in. These are the times that really are the best. My heart was full as I watched them laughing together.  Finally the amount of people around reached critical mass that combined with the pain in my neck radiating through my body cause me to pull the plug and we took off. I only took one pic the whole day it was as we left the park. I whisk I could capture it all and jar it up and keep these moments forever. 

That evening at the Chiro the dr was telling me how ungrateful his little girl was etc. I couldn't relate. The boys (especially Zach) have showered me with thanks and are just so sweet. They are good to the core and I feel so blessed to have such a delicious bunch of boys. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Family day

We went to a bday party for Daniel Sanchez at a trampoline place which was a hit especially the jousting. Andrew was a cutie playing the dodge ball with the older boys. After a little while Andrew got tired and play the Jurassic Park game that was broken (it didn't need $$). So he could play endlessly. He discovered his own little piece of heaven. His brothers followed him into the trance of video game nirvana after cake and the party was ending. We stayed a little longer to take advantage of this unique and free opertunity. 

We went to the Sanchez house for the after pool party. The boys had such a good time hanging out in the pool where they stayed for the rest of the day until after 6:00 in the evening. It was a very nice evening and yet another cultural experience.
The adults although nice are a product of the area where the women drink and talk like sailors. I found myself associating with the children. Lol. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Newport RI 13th anniversary trip

My first time up to New England and I got to go to Newport, RI which did not disappoint. I had heard from a couple of different sources that Newport was a beautiful place to visit and there were old houses to tour. It sounded like a wonderful place to visit without children so it became our destination for our 13th anniversary trip.

We are so blessed to have Grandma E. fly across the nation to watch our boys while we took a few days to get away. It was hard getting out the door but a much needed relief from the stresses of arguing with the landscaper, PTA, church, job, and family. 

We set off on a trip filled with "first" for me. With each "first"  it was like chunks of all those stresses that were bringing me down fell off of me and I felt free to experience and enjoy more.  I have never crossed the George Washington Bridge, a chunk falls off. I've never been east of NYC as we cross out of the last borough another weight removed. We cross the state lines of Connecticut and then Road Island more stresses gone and by the time we reached our super cute B&B I was free from home cares and responsibilities. 

La Farge was the B&B that Josh found. I really questioned his choice and at a point in our hasty last minute vacation planning almost had him change our reservations. I'm so glad we came to this pristinely clean, old but with all the modern convientes, Victorian house inn.  Our room was beautifully decorated for the period and had the added bonus of a jetted bath. Josh was very pleased with himself for picking out such a good place. 

After looking at some maps and consulting with the inn keeper we took to Newport on foot. We walked to the down town area, peeked into some shops, and made it to our early dinner reservation at "The Mooring".  There I had my first main lobster. I've had Caribbean lobster before and wasn't impressed with the overpriced crustacean and really couldn't figure what the attraction was and then I had M

ain lobster. They can barely be called the same creature that is how different they taste. It was a wonderful dinner, and a perfect way to start our New England weekend. We totally indulged ourselves at dinner and equaled it out by walking to the opposite side of the island to do a portion of "the cliff walk" and walked back to our inn. We enjoyed the last hour of sun light walking on the tops of cliffs, looking out towards the Atlantic Ocean and at very old houses.

We enjoyed breakfast in the beautiful dinning room at La Farge and geared up for a full day of sight seeing.  We started off with shock and awe at the Elms House.  I was immediately impressed with the grounds, and neo classical french style of architecture.  The way it was set up and organized was well thought out and made for a seamless enjoyable tour.  It was truly designed to be a entertainment machine.  After that we went to the war for our Sailing tour around the bay.  It was like a private tour with a crew of three and only 4 passengers.  Josh and I raised the sails and remembered the early days of our marriage when went sailing in the Caribbean. It has been a long time and fun to reminisce of times past.  It is hard to believe that it has been 13 years that have past since we tied the marriage knot.  Our sailing tour was low wind and foggy which wasn't the thrilling adventure that I had hoped for but it was enjoyable to take with the crew.  One of them was a marine biologist and was extremely knowledgable and very fun to talk to.  All of the crew members were really well read and had some good book recommendations.  Before the fog rolled in we soaked up views of the bay and heard stories of forts, houses, and times gone by.  The boat was fun to be on it was designed to look like a old classic wood boat with it's two spurs masts being reclaimed from an old boat.  Really enjoyed riding on the water and felt a small effect of the infectious water bug.   We finished our day with more tours of grand houses and a fancy meal over looking the water on the cliff side of the island.

There is never enough time with you are having fun and our time was quickly coming to a close.  We were able to fit in a much desired tour of the servants quarters of the one of the grand houses, one more house.  We made our way to the warf area for lunch and gift buying for the boys and grandma.  Then it was time to say good-bye to a trip of firsts to the New England area and return from whence we came.  As we got nearer I got more excited to be reunited with our boys.  It was nice to have the break from some of the worries and stresses of home but I really loved getting back to my kids.  

Monday, May 2, 2016

Mom's Birthday

This year instead of picking out what I wanted for Josh to buy me, he instead had the challenge of picking something out for me.  First let me say and acknowledge that he did a great job of making me feel special on my birthday.  I did give hime some pointers along the way and I think that he was grateful.  It really was to me the thought that counted.  He peeped by going to costco and getting me things so that I wouldn't have to cook on my day (which is a huge gift in it self).  Then he tried to hide the items in our garage and fridge all of which i mistakenly came across and pretended that I didn't see them.  However all of these little acts and efforts in my behalf made me feel loved.  It was so nice that he was thinking of me.

The morning of I was surprised by all of my mend coming in and waking me with a birthday saraband and showered with presents.  I clad myself in the adornment that were my gifts; "the best wife ever" t-shirt, earrings, and a unity keychain (my favorite gift of all time!).  I also received a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Costco and they made me happy for more than a week.  Zachary had a Dr. apt and I enjoyed him as my lunch date for the day.  It was a really happy birthday and I have my sweet family and loving husband to thank.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Grandparent's day

We live in NJ far from our beloved grandparents. This area has grown on us and we enjoy where we live but the biggest drawback about where we are located is that any blood relations resides  either a 24 hr car ride or a expensive plane ride away. So when our cute little elementary school celebrates grandparents day by inviting grandparents to come and spend a portion of the school day with their grandchild it becomes a somewhat painful reminder that we don't get to see our grandparents as often or as easily as we would like. I decided that on the morning when Andrew's classmates grandparents were coming in we would spend it together.

We snuggled in bed for a little while and Andrew got to watch his favorite tv show followed by a special bike ride with just me and Andrew. I really enjoyed out time that we have together.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

5th Grade Play "Hakuna Matata!"

For years I have been looking forward to the 5th grade play that is such an all consuming event for the parents of the 5th graders.  Last year when Adam told me he had no interest in participating in the play next year I thought I would be omitted from this experience.  Then the 5th grade year started and the magical spell of peer pressure or the influence of a good teacher took effect on Adam and he decided that not only would he be in the play but he would try out of a part!  My expectations were already exceeded.

Our family helped out with the different fund raising events (teacher vs. students basket ball game, car wash/garage sale etc), volunteered to make costumes and help back stage.  By participating in these different events our family got to know others in the community, Adam had got to do things that started to help him reach beyond his normal state.  Before the show happened I personally witnessed changes in a lot of the students as they were ladened with more responsibilities, and expectations of personal control and behavior.  It was delightful to see the production of the Lion King jr. come together.  I volunteered to take on the last of making a large three steered bird head piece.  It was a challenge which I really enjoyed doing.  I was able to get it to a certain point but when it came to attaching it to the little girl that would wear and dance in it that is where I was stuck.  It wasn't until I brought it to the group that Dave Moshella figured our how to get this giant bird to sit comfortably on this little girl.  Collaborating with others and helping build something was a lot of fun for me and I truly enjoyed being apart of a group outside of my family.

Opening day came and the emotions were running high backstage.  There were tears, parents upset, costume repairs, and other minor dramas but despite all the chaos that was behind the scenes it went well on stage or so I was told.  I got to see the whole show on Friday evening with the whole family.  Adam did very well in his roll as a Gazelle.  Josh and I agreed that it was the perfect roll for him.  He got to be in several of the musical numbers that were sprinkled through out the play, he was with a group that he could follow, and he had a cool costume.  I like that I could see his face and loved the fact that he looked like he was having a good time!  Dress rehearsal was the toughest show for him and then after that he seemed to understand exactly what he needed to do and then with each show got more and more into his roll.  He let his shell crack a little and the audience, if they were looking at the gazelle on the far left, got a glimpse inside our very quiet, reserved, fun and happy Adam.  It brought me so much joy.

The ever awaited 5th Grade production of Lion King jr. came to a close and there were plenty of momentos, t-shirts,  remembrances, pictures, and videos to burn this event into our memories for the rest of our lives.  The moment that I will take with me is seeing Adam let it all hang out as he danced up on stage with gazelles on his hands and head.  For just a few moments in the closing number he had
"Hakuna Matata."

Monday, March 21, 2016

Andrew turning 5 years old

“PartyTime!!!Andrew is turning five years old!!!! To celebrate we threw a party for him with all of his friends at a bounce house place. He had a great turnout for his party which really was the more the merrier. His little friends that he has in his class play so nice together. After they played and it was time for the pizza and cake they placed a crown on Andrew's head, had him wait in the play room and brought him in while all of his friends chanted his name. He was beaming!  He sat down on a throne as everyone sang to him and he got to blow out the candles. It was great. Andrew loved all of the attention. When we got home he got to open the gobs of presents that he received. He decided to take most of them back to the store and then got to go on a shopping spree. If that were me I would be in heaven.”

“Five years ago today my third baby boy was brought into the world. He is happy fun bright kind social and lover of family. Andrew loves many things; octonauts, toy story, dinosaurs, sea animals, power rangers, ninja turtles, Legos (mini figures especially), Tank (our dog) and playing with his friends and his brothers. He is especially tall for an Engstrom boy and loves being with people. 

Andrew got to wake up and open his gifts before school and we celebrated that evening with a cookie cake and his favorite meal (German pancakes).”