Friday, September 30, 2011

My Morning Giggle

Me: *talking to Bay* "Get yourself dressed, woman! We are going to be late for school!"
Bay: "I'm not a woman yet!"
Me: "Oh yeah? What do you think makes you a woman?"
Bay: *mumbles, all embarrassed* "Boobs."
Me: *thinking*...I know some adults that wouldn't be classified as "women", if that were the case... *giggle*

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Charter School

Josh and I had discussed placing the children in the local charter school several times, before we actually applied. I had no idea that we would get called so quickly, however, once we actually filled out the intent to enroll!

Deciding to pull them out of public school, when we were already three weeks into school, was not an easy decision. I felt horrible, making them start over and make new friends...however, I felt that it was the best choice for them. I knew that it would benefit each of the children, in different ways. When we went on the tour and saw how the school was ran and got a feeling for the school, we knew that we were making the right decision.

Little did I know, how hard it would be to find their uniforms! However, after some searching...and searching...and searching...and a $130 speeding ticket later...I found a few. I'll have to work on getting more for them, but they have enough to start out with. I LOVE uniforms and it has made it so much easier to get them ready in the morning!

Driving them to and from school has taken away a chunk of my day. That part is hard on my already demanding and tight schedule, but I'm finding ways to make it work. The extra homework that I'm needing to help with on a daily basis has also been a bit of a challenge for me. However, sacrifices must be made, in order for the kids to have the education that we want them to, right?

Pictures from their "second" First Day Of School...

I don't know...they all wanted to pose on the skateboard...

Ry had a friend already going to the charter school and they planned their outfit to match, right down to the ponytails...

I promise...she dressed herself.

I have no idea what Bay is doing...

I was most worried about this one starting at a new school...but she's rocked it!




I love these little munchkins!
They are now beginning their second full week at the new school and have adapted quite well. Bailey tested into a 6th grade math class and is bringing home math that is stumping her father. Thank goodness I already took math in college, or I'd be at a loss... I'm so proud of her! Ry is at the top of her game in math and reading. No big shocker there, but I'm still proud, nonetheless. Luke is trying to get used to the stricter rules and can't be as rambunctious as he used to be allowed...but all in all he's doing well.

Avery...Avery has completely shocked me. Floored me. Flabbergasted me. If any one child has impressed me the most...it would be her. The best way to explain it, would be to show you the reading level she tested at, in public school:

"Mat is at the well. What is his wish? I wish. I wish. I am a bat rat. See that. See me, Sam.
Meet Mat the Bat. I will wish at the well. See me, Mat the Bat. I am Sim. I am a bat rat.
Who is that? He is a bat rat. That is his wish."

Now, this is what she is expected to read and IS reading, at the charter school. She needs a little bit of guidance from time to time, however for the most part she is reading it fluently, on her own:

"Mesopotamia means "between two rivers." It is between the Tigris and Euprhrates rivers. Mesopotamia was on the continent of Asia in the place where Iraq is today. Mesopotamia was called the "cradle of civilization" because it was where civilization began. the first written story came from Mesopotamia. It was called "The Epic of Gilgamesh". Some of the first written laws and traditions came from Mesopotamia. The first written laws were called the Code of Hammurabi. Traditions are ideas and customs that are passed on to kids and grandkids."

I love that Avery's reading is tied in with another area of study. That way, these words aren't just memorized, but the vocabulary behind them is really brought to life for her.

All in all, the four of them are really happy. They are being challeged quite a bit more, but are doing well in all of their subjects. The uniforms took a while to get used to, but now they don't seem to mind them. They have all made new friends and seem to have fit in really well.

We know that we made the right decision, for us. :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

**SKYDIVING**

I. Did. It.

I'm so proud of myself. I've said for years that for my 30th birthday, I wanted to throw myself out of a plane and know what it felt like to fly. Well...now I know...

...AMAZING.

We arrived at the airfield at 10 am on Saturday morning and had to watch a 20 minute video. The last half was prep information, telling us what would happen while we were up in the plane. The first half was letting us know that...well...we could die. That didn't make any of us nervous at all. Uh. Uh.

After the video, we had to wait while a few of the earlier people completed their jumps. It was nice to see them all come back with smiles. And walking back with no broken bones. ;) While we waited to get suited up, Josh and the kids, Coby's family and Dustin joined us.

Avery and Bay practicing for their jumps. :)

Peanut...ever the comedy act!

Luke and Avery checking out the inside of the practice plane.
When it started getting close to our departure time, they called me, Coby and Bek back, to get suited up and to meet our instructors. I was paired with Colin, Bek was paired with Sam and Coby was paired with Avery. I'm still trying to figure out why they paired me with the guy that was a foot shorter than me...because I knew it would make landing a tad challenging...but you'll get to see that in the video. :)

You put your right foot in...and do the hokey pokey...

The instructors cracked up when I told them that the harnesses felt like the world's most uncomfortable diapers.
L to R: Sam, Bek, Me, Avery, Colin, Coby

Bek ready to go and my super wedgie. ;)

Me and my munchkins, while our plane was being fueled up.

The girls, ready to go!!
L to R: Coby, Me, Bek

Me and the Man
Guess we'll never know what he would have spent all that life insurance money on... ;)

Dustin and Bek

Most of Coby's cheering section.
L to R: Maison, Vern, Coby

One last hug from Mommy

Ry cried all morning. She was pretty sure I was going to die.

I forgot to hug Josh...till he called out to remind me. Whoops!


Then it was time to board the plane...and GOOOO! Once we were boarded, reality started setting in. Nerves kicked in a bit and I was trying to hold it together. While in the air, that is when the final preparations were done. Colin had me sit on his lap (yeah, I'm not kidding) and he strapped our hips together and then our shoulders. Then I scooted as far forward as I could, so that I was sitting directly in front of him. The straps were so tight, that I was loosing feeling in my legs a little bit, but I wasn't going to say a thing! I wanted to be securely fastened to the man with the chute!

Yep. Totally sitting on Colin's lap and trying not to feel awkward about it...
There was a lot of teasing mid-flight, as we all tried to ignore what we were about to do. I asked Colin how many jumps he had made and when he said just under 1,000, I felt pretty good. :) Then Avery (Coby's instructor) started teasing that they had just picked up Sam (Bek's instructor) at the temp service that morning. I start laughing and added, "Yeah, he probably worked in a vet office yesterday. He's just giving this a go today."

Then...the plane leveled out...they opened the clear door...the two solo divers that had come along for the ride with us dove out...

...and reality hit me.

I blinked for SECOND and Coby and Avery were gone. I never saw her exit the plane at all. Then, Bek's camera man was hanging on the outside of the plane and Bek and Sam scooted toward the door. Within seconds, they were flying through the air and I realized...I was the only one left.

*GULP!*

There was no time to think. Or be scared. Or back out. Within seconds later, we were at the door, with my toes over the edge of the plane and a couple seconds after that, Colin nudged me out. I closed my eyes as I felt myself pitch forward, but as the cold air smacked my body, I opened them and found myself staring at the ground, 13,000 feet away.

I assumed that I would scream. I assumed that I would yell expletives through the air. I assumed I would be afraid. I was none of that. I was amazed. I was caught up in the experience of flying through the air at speeds that I had never traveled at, before. I was feeling the cold air whipping past my skin and laughing inside at the permanent smile that the speed had plastered on my face. I was enjoying the beautiful surroundings. Then Colin pulled the rip cord, with no warning...WHAT A RUSH!! As we settled to a slower pace with the chute out, I told him how amazing it all was. He released our hip connectors, giving me some feeling back in my legs. Then he released the chest strap, so I could breathe a little easier. At the point, I begged him not to release any more straps...after all, he was the one with the chute... ;) He promised that he wouldn't, and he proceeded to show me how to steer the chute into several spirals, as we slowly descended. As we came in for the landing, he told me to bend my knees, until he told me not to, as he was going to try to land on his feet. I knew this was going to be comical...the whole height difference and everything. But, here...why don't you watch all my fun?


Crazy, isn't it? Here are some of my favorite shots that the camera man got, while we were flying...

"Yeah...so, uh...we're going down there, huh?"

BOMBS AWAY!!

Care to try for a flip?

BEST. PICTURE. EVER.
Upside down...under a plane.

Superheroes!!

See? No warning that he was pulling the ripcord!

Floating in, for the landing.

Colin and I...safely on the ground!
Well, now that's it's over, every one's burning question seems to be, "Would you do it again?"

To which, the only logical response is...

"HELL YEAH!!"

Monday, September 19, 2011

I Got Ink'd

I know, I know...I have A LOT of updating of my blog to do, with all our recent changes and fun! :) But, I wanted to start with this, because it's still sore and at the forefront of my mind. ;)


Obviously it is still healing. The coloring is shades of purple, with a white center. The pink you think you're seeing...that's my skin irritated and yelling at me. ;)
 I have wanted a tattoo for as long as I can remember. I've always known that as soon as I was done having children, I would have daisies (five open and one closed) put on my back, for them.

But...

...tattoos hurt, ya know?! :) So, for my first tattoo, I decided not to go with something so big and so involved and get something a bit smaller. A purple, forget-me-not flower, on the inside of my left wrist. Beautiful and small... but still painful! ;) ...and I can still cover it with a watch, when I finally get to work as a nurse.

I didn't get this tattoo to fit in. I didn't get this tattoo to stand out.

I got this tattoo, because it encompasses so many things for me. I was given a pot of forget-me-not flowers at Mom Garrard's funeral. Purple is Mom Doyle's favorite color. I never want to forget my amazing 30th birthday and the fears I overcame. When looking up flowers and their symbolism, I loved the meaning and stories behind this flower: "The flower symbolism associated with the forget-me-not is true love and memories. In 15th century Germany, it was supposed that the wearers of the flower would not be forgotten by their lovers. In a medieval legend, a knight and his lady were walking along the side of a river. He picked a posy of flowers, but because of the weight of his armour he fell into the river. As he was drowning he threw the posy to his loved one and shouted "Forget-me-not". It is also told in pious legend that the Christ child was sitting on Mary's lap one day and said that he wished that future generations could see them. He touched her eyes and then waved his hand over the ground and blue forget-me-nots appeared."

This tattoo represents 30 years of memories and people that I never want to forget. Each and every person and experience has helped me become the person I am, today. Thank you, to those who have played a role in my first 30 years. Every time I look down at my flower, I will think of you...and smile.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

In My Next 30 Years

In my next 30 years...I'm going to cross more things off my bucket list. :)


In my next 30 years...I'm going to be more aware of those around me and help out where I can.

In my next 30 years...I'm going to stand up for myself more.

In my next 30 years...I'm going to keep working on being healthy and progressing in my running.

In my next 30 years...I'm going to really realize that loving myself is not related to the number on the scale.

In my next 30 years...I'm going to learn to let go of the past.

In my next 30 years...I'm going to learn when to say no...and not let the guilt eat at me.

In my next 30 years...I'm going to live my life for what makes me happy.

In my next 30 years...I'm going to realize that "mistakes" is simply another way to spell "experience."

In my next 30 years...I'm going to order dessert more often.

In my next 30 years...I'm not going to take life so seriously. Or people so seriously. People come and go. Bad days come and go. Life goes on.

In my next 30 years...I'm going to trust myself. At the end of the day, I really know what is best for me.

In my next 30 years...I'm going to have fun and learn to laugh..at myself. Heaven knows I will never be short on material! ;)

Friday, September 9, 2011

School Time

School has been in session for a few weeks now. All of the kids are loving it and adjusting quite well. I love that they are so excited about school and really want to do well. I can't wait to see how much they grow and change over the course of this year!

Bailey

Ryleigh


Avery


Luke


My three big girls. Where does the time go?


Kindergarten started a week after the older kids.
Peanut had to get in on the picture taking action, too! One more year, until that tiny one starts preschool! Then what will I do with my days???


Monday, September 5, 2011

Just FYI

I may act tough a lot of the time...but it's because for most of my life I didn't have a choice being anything but. You may think that things that you say to me...or about me...or things you do to me, don't hurt, but they do. I may not always show you, because I don't want to be perceived as weak or someone that cares about what you think, but in reality, no one wants to be looked down upon by other people.

I am not perfect, but I do my best to make the right choices. Notice that I didn't say your choices. Just the right choices. For me.

Love me anyway, or walk away. There is no need to tear me down. I am hard enough on myself...without your help.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Six Years

Jared Luke Garrard
May 18, 1982 - September 4, 2005


Another year has flown by and still, your absence is felt. There is a hole in Josh's life, where his little brother used to be, that can never be filled. There is a hole in our older daughters' lives, that used to filled with a teasing uncle, who always made them laugh. There is a hole in our younger children's lives, that they aren't fully aware of.

We know you are no longer in pain and are happy. It's comforting to know that you are with Mom and you both are watching out for us. Until we see you again, know that we love you and miss you always. <3


Friday, September 2, 2011

My Cousin

WINCHENDON – Sean D. Caron, 25, of 274 Spring Street, Winchendon, died Wednesday, August 31st.

He was born in Concord, MA on June 4, 1986 and had lived in Winchendon for most of his life. He was an excellent craftsman and carpenter and enjoyed working with his dad. Sean enjoyed and loved riding Dirt Bikes, fishing and flying remote airplanes. He loved his pickup truck and most of all loved “Buddy”, the family dog. Sean attended Murdock High School.

He leaves his Mom, Vicki L. (Spence) Caron and Dad, David N. Caron of Winchendon; his paternal grandparents Arthur and Eva Caron of Winchendon; his aunt Shelley Hazer and uncle Kaleem Hazer Jr of NJ; his uncle Frank Spence of Maynard, MA, his aunt, Suzanne D’Amore of Gardner; his aunt Helen Doyle and husband John of Utah and many cousins in California, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska and Massachusetts. He was predeceased by his maternal grandparents, Richard and Elsie Spence of Maynard, MA, and his uncle Paul Caron of Colorado.

--------------------

Sean's death was a surprise to all of us.

It was a reminder that tomorrow is not a guarantee and at any moment, someone you love can be taken away. Don't wait until tomorrow to call someone you haven't talked to in a while. Don't wait until tomorrow to tell someone what they mean to you. Don't wait until tomorrow to appreciate the people in your life.

Don't wait.

Because tomorrow might never come.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Reflecting On The Last Decade

In two weeks, I will be 30 years old.

30.

I remember when 30 sounded soooo old and I was terrified to celebrate that milestone. Now...?

Bring. It. On.

Life is only getting better! If only I had such a sense of myself at 20, as I do now. If only I knew what I wanted, recognized what made me happy, stood up for myself and had the confidence that I do now...a decade ago.

The last ten years brought about a lot of changes in me. I don't know that there is any other decade in your life, when you transform as much, as from 20 to 30. I became a parent, many times over. I learned what it means to fight for your marriage and make it work. I buried a brother and a parent. I learned who in my life will stand by me, when the going gets tough. And I learned who won't. I've slowly figured out what makes me happy and how to love myself...most of the time. That is still a work in progress that will probably continue long after I blow out 30 candles.

I'm not dreading my birthday. I embrace it. I'm ready to move past the spectacle of my 20's, holding fast to the lessons I have learned and dive head first into whatever the future holds for me.

No, I'm not scared to turn 30...but 40, on the other hand, is a whole different story... ;)