Friday, December 31, 2010
On January 1, Steve, Jared and Shawn did the "Run and Dunk", starting the year by jumping into the frigid ocean...crazy guys. On January 3rd was the official "Launch" and I started answering questions on the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. As of today, I've answered 1,062 questions and I look forward to another full year of spreading Pixie Dust! Also in January, Sierra turned 18 and Shawn continued to battle migraines (he finally conquered those a few months later).
In February we participated in Disney's Give a Day, Get a Disney Day program (see post: http://fivetimesblessed.blogspot.com/2010/02/give-day-get-disney-day.html) . We also went for a ski trip to Maine with our friends the Johnson's, where I saw Tedy Bruschi on the bunny hill while his son skied with my girls. On February 24- 27, I represented the Disney Moms Panel for a PR Event at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grand Re-Imagining. There I ate dinner with Garrett Hartley of the New Orleans Saints and interviewed Tedy Bruschi, Adam Vinatieri and Shawn Johnson on the red (green) carpet. I also did the Richard Petty Driving Experience and drove a race car 112 miles per hour, 8 times around the track. It was quite a thrill!
March brought Sierra's Art Show and touring Suffolk University with her. I also enjoyed dinner with Disney Dads Chris and Bernie.
In April, I joined Disney Dad Chris to film a commercial for Disney and Chevy. He and I helped a local blogger who was driving to Disney World over April vacation with some "must-do" tips. Shawn went on a Cub Scouts camp-out with Daddy. We had an impromptu beach-side picnic dinner at Chappy (take-out pizza) in an effort to will Summer to get here.
With May flowers came another Art Show for Sierra, Kindergarten orientation for Kassia, Jared starred in Beauty and the Beast as Cogsworth, my Dad came to visit (to take Sierra to dinner for her graduation early since he couldn't make the ceremony), Sierra went to New York City, I had a kidney stone and Steve celebrated his birthday.
In June Sierra had her Senior Banquet, Jared went to Six Flags, Sierra graduated High School and attended college orientation. Lots of family members came from far and wide to watch her graduation, including Mike and Megan, my Mom, Scott, Darin, Julie, Stan, Aunt Sharon & Uncle Tom and many more. In addition, Jared received recognition for earning Honor Roll throughout Junior High. Sweet Kassia turned 6 years old the day after Jared and Shawn spent the day at the Tedy Bruschi Football Clinic at Gillette Stadium.
July brought sunshine and beach days, Shawn's 10th Birthday (and a sleepover in the newly finished Tree House with 10 of his friends), Sawyer joined our family, Marc and Josiah visited, Malia turned 8, I had dinner with Chris and Bernie and Jared went to church camp. We had a family reunion in Boothbay Maine, which was wonderful! I saw all of my cousins on my Dads side, visited with my Mimi and then enjoyed a relaxing vacation at sweet Justamere on Bear Pond. We returned home and held an Ice-Cream for Breakfast Social to fund-raise for Give Kids the World.
With August came our fun annual camping trip to Washburn Island with our wonderful friends Jordan and Kelly, a visit from my dear friend Lori and her daughter Madeleine, a 40th Anniversary party for Steve's parents, and a 40th Birthday party for a friend of ours. It was with great sadness that we said "goodbye" to Summer for another year. We sure love our beach days at Chappy.
September brought many "firsts" and one big "last" for me. Sierra started College, Jared started High School, Shawn began his last year of Elementary School, Malia made Team in gymnastics and Kassia started Kindergarten. Jared went to Six Flags with church and I had dinner with Chris and Bernie. September was hard because my last baby went to school. :( To make myself feel better, we went to Disney World! Ok, we were going anyway, but it DID make me feel a lot better. ;)
October began in the Happiest Place on Earth. Together with fellow Moms Panelists we presented a check for $7,500 to Give Kids the World!! Steve and I celebrated our 11th Anniversary at Disney, which topped off an 11 night trip. Pure Magic. We came home to Field Trips, a bad back injury (for me) and my Birthday and Halloween.
In November I began subbing at 4 Elementary schools, attended another Chevy Event for Disney with Chris and enjoyed Thanksgiving.
December has been another Magical month. I completed a phone interview with a blogger for the Disney Moms Panel. Then on the 10th, I headed to Disney to welcome the newest Members of the Panel and spend the weekend with some of my dearest friends. I visited with my Dad, Jared turned 15 and Scott came for Christmas. Jared and Sierra headed to Tahoe for Christmas and Andrea and Johnny visited here.
2010 had COUNTLESS other special "little" moments. I've learned through the years that it's those little moments that are the most Magical of all.
I'm looking forward with much anticipation to 2011 and all of the JOY that it will bring. I'll continue to serve on the Moms Panel, spreading Pixie Dust and Happiness. Most importantly, I'll enjoy watching my children grow and making memories with them along the way.
Friday, December 17, 2010
15 years ago I learned how a baby boy could fill my world with wonder and joy. Since that very day, Jared has been one of life's greatest blessings. His heart is genuine and his intentions always good.
The upcoming year will likely bring a part-time job, Drivers Ed, girlfriends and more. No matter what life brings, I know that he has a solid moral compass and he'll continue to make me very proud to say that he's my oldest son.
Happy, Happy Birthday Jared Chaloner. May you always know how dearly you are loved.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you :)
Saturday, November 13, 2010
I've been clinging to that quote this week.
Last Friday, November 5th, Kasi started having a rough time with school. I had volunteered in the morning and when it was time for her lunch, she started crying. Turns out, she cried all through lunch and didn't eat at all. At first I thought she might be coming down with something, because her tummy hurt. She just kept saying, "I miss my Mommy". It threw me a little, because Kasi had loved school up until this point. She would say, "School RULES", and was so excited to go each day. The weekend was rough, because she told me she didn't want to go to school anymore. I chatted with her and thought we were all set to face the next week. Nope. She ended up crying the majority of the morning on Monday, Tuesday and part of Wednesday. The only explanation she gave anyone, "I miss my Mommy". *sigh*. Thursday night she cried herself to sleep in my arms, and just kept saying over and over that she didn't want to go to school. I asked her if something is happening at school to upset her? Is someone being mean to her? She simply said, "I don't like missing you." I rearranged volunteering in Shawn and Malia's classes and made pinkie promise to her that I'd have lunch with her and we'd walk one lap of "Mileage Club" together. I walked 3. She cried when I left her on the playground. :( We survived the week. Last night, she started crying again:
"Mommy, how long is the weekend?"
"2 Days, Kassia, why?"
"It's not long enough, I miss you and I don't like missing you. I miss hanging out with you and being your buddy."
I knew it had to be more than what she is expressing on the surface, and through lots of chats she has shared that she misses me during the morning, "Language Block" at school. Mrs. G is going to make some adjustments to her "group" of kids (she didn't have a friend in her group before). I hope that makes a difference. In fact, I'm desperate for it to. It doesn't compute that she would start missing me now, 2 months into school. She was fine in September and October. The fact that the morning Language block is when it hits her makes me think something during that time frame isn't making her comfortable, which in turn makes her miss me.
I've lost TOO much sleep these past 8 nights. I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with solutions to what could be going on with my girlie. I know 4 things:
1) She has always been shy and super attached to me. I called her "Velcro" when she was a baby for a reason, she is Mommy's Girl through and through. We were both blessed that we had the first 6 years of her life together...no daycare...just Mommy. It makes sense that she misses me...and it's not nearly as much as I miss her.
2) I miss her smile. It absolutely breaks my heart to know she is crying at school every day. Knowing that she sobs on her way to lunch and is so upset that she can't eat...kills me. :( I hate, hate, hate knowing that she is sad. I hate more that I can't seem to fix it. I know it HAS to be more than missing me, she's just not articulating that yet. :(
3) I WILL get to the bottom of this. Mrs. G is fantastic and is working with me on this. We'll try different solutions and we'll figure this out. Somehow. We have to, because my heart can't take this much longer. She has been teary for 5 school days and has now cried herself to sleep 2 nights. It's not "drama" either. These are genuine, super-sad little girl tears. Every Mommy prides herself on being able to comfort her children...to "fix" whatever is wrong. It kills me that I can't seem to fix this.
4) I know that "Every Flower Blooms In It's Own Time, Just As Every Person Does." Kassia is her own unique person and her feelings are very valid. She will blossom when she is good and ready. In the meantime, she requires some extra attention and love.
These photos taken a few weeks ago, make me smile and I need that right now. Fact is, I need to see my Kasi Girl smile.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Laura had shipped me boxes of "door prizes" which all had the Moms Panel Logo on them. There were "post-it" type note cubes, notebooks, magnets and more. The weather was rotten (lots of rain), so I think that played a role in how many people showed up. There were several though who clearly were on a mission to gain more Disney knowledge. One was leaving in 2 days for a whirlwind trip. We chatted with her and convinced her to head to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. I'm anxious to know if she enjoyed it as much as we felt she would. Another person is leaving this upcoming Thursday. Her little one is a big Toy Story fan, so we gave her tips on all the best Toy Story "must-see's". One lady sought my input regarding the Disney Dining Plan, so I gave her lots of thoughts on it (we get the plan on most trips). I loved being able to give her examples of actual prices for buffets so she could make the comparison and see how it would save her $.
All in all it was a fun night. It's always wonderful to chat Disney and being able to hang with my bud Chris made it that much better. We enjoyed reconnecting with Annie from Annie's Traverse Travels ( http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1679441223643&set=a.1275768572079.2043285.1165917380#!/anniestraversetravels ) and look forward to helping out at more Chevrolet events in the future if the opportunity arises.
Come join us!!
Passing along info from: Annie at StowedStuff.Blogspot.com
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
As mentioned several times in my blog, we went to Give Kids the World Village on October 1st to make a donation:
The Village touched my heart in ways that I may not ever be able to fully describe. However, I promise to try...soon...
Friday, September 24, 2010
When you come home from spending 3 hours in the company of 2 great friends, and you can honestly say that you laughed so hard you cried...those friendships have earned the right to be called priceless.
That one word defines Chris and Bernie and what our Moms Panel friendship and bond means to me. These guys are 2 of the best and I'm blessed to be able to call them my buds. :)
Monday, September 20, 2010
I've posted previously in my blog about Give Kids the World Village in Florida and how members of the Moms Panel are joining together to raise money for this incredible organization.
Along with Give Kids the World, we are asking you to "Say Yes". I'm sharing the following information from their website so you will know what your donation will do for a family:
"One person can make a difference! Say "yes" to help make the Give Kids The World experience extra special for the wish families we serve.
”$25 says YES to unlimited ice cream served in our Ice Cream Palace for an entire week for one family. Imagine; ice cream for breakfast! And the only hard part is choosing between a cone, cup, sundae, or banana split!
$50 says YES to a welcome basket for one family. Each basket includes milk, juice, and snacks in the fridge and gifts including an autograph book for the kids to capture signatures of their favorite characters.
$75 says YES to our Gift-giving Fairy who delivers gifts to each child in the family, every day of their stay. Stuffed animals, DVD’s, games, souvenirs, and more – all the things that make a child’s face light up with joy.
$100 says YES to Christmas every Thursday, complete with visits from Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides, and yes, even snow in Florida!
But that’s not all – there is a special entertainment program every night of the week where kids can become pirates or princesses, take to the stage to show off their talents, and play the world’s largest CANDY LAND game – all this and more!"Please Say YES today!
So far we have raised almost $6,000 through Ice Cream Socials and collecting donations. If you are one of the people who gave, THANK YOU for saying YES!! Know that you have blessed a family and a very special child with your generosity.
If you would like to donate, please click: http://www.firstgiving.com/wdwmoms
Thank you so very much :)
Friday, September 10, 2010
Having both tried three times to be on the Panel, we developed a close bond during the application process in September of '09. We discovered that we had a lot in common beyond Disney. She was originally from New England, we have sons the same age, we share an uncommon love for Star Wars and many other similarities. She is a very special person and I'm blessed to call her my friend.
Recently, Kathie and I had the opportunity to record an episode of the "Be Our Guest Podcast" together. It was SO much fun. Listening to it last night, I was couldn't wipe the smile off my face...and I woke up today with it still there.
If you'd like to listen to that episode to hear what we have to say about the Disney Moms Panel, click: http://beourguestpodcast.podbean.com/2010/09/09/episode-262-disney-moms-panel-2011-preview/
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
As you likely know, I've spent the last 9 months proudly serving as a member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (www.disneyworldmoms.com) . While helping people plan their Disney vacations has been indescribably wonderful, one of the most heart-touching parts for me has been being able to be involved in an upcoming event.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Last night it hit me hard that Kassia is going to Kindergarten tomorrow. I knew this would be hard, but I don't think I realized quite how difficult. I started thinking back to this Spring when she and I were going around the block together, with her piggie-tails flying in the breeze, and how that had affected me even then. (See blog post: http://fivetimesblessed.blogspot.com/2010/03/piggie-tails-in-breeze.html). I got all teary and headed to bed. Steve soon joined me, asking what was wrong. We ended up talking about how Kasi is going to school, and that led to how all the kids are growing up too fast. Shawn is more than half way to 18 and Jared is going to High School. When we moved to the Cape, Jared was home with me for a year before going to Kindergarten...and now he's going to High School?? How did THAT happen? Yeah, so as you can imagine, I cried some more...and Steve's eyes weren't particularly dry either.
I decided that someone needs to create a "pause" button. I would give anything to stop time right now, the day before my last baby goes to Kindergarten. I know how very blessed I have been to be home with my children. I made sacrifices giving up my career, and we've lived "tight" financially through the years...but I would not trade these years for anything in the world. They've been priceless. It ends tomorrow, and I can assure you...I'll be having a very hard time letting go. I'm not just letting go of my baby, my 2nd grader, my "last-year-of-Elementary school boy", my Freshman in High School and my College Freshman. I'm letting go of the last 11 years of staying home to take care of kids. I'll be searching for a job again, this time with different requirements: It'll need to be the same hours that the kids are in school so I can be here when they get home. I don't need to make a ton of money, and have a big fancy title after my name. Nope. I need to continue to snuggle my children, hold their hands and hear, "I love you, Mommy". I'll just have to wait until they get off the bus from now on to do it...
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Those of you who know me, are VERY aware of how much being a Member of the Disney World Moms Panel means to me (www.disneyworldmoms.com).
I recently answered a question on the forum about what it's like to be on the Panel. You can read the input of 9 Moms at this link: http://disneyworldforum.disney.go.com/questions.aspx?qid=95756&pid=94&cid=97
My answer: "Being a Moms Panel member is the realization of one of my fondest dreams. I'm a HUGE Disney fan & I’m so honored to be able to share my passion & knowledge with others. In addition, an unexpected, indescribable blessing for me has been the friendships that I've made with my fellow Panel members. These will, without a doubt, last a lifetime. I'm truly having the time of my life. I look forward each day to seeing what new questions are waiting & I invest a great deal of time, effort & thought into my answers. Information is frequently changing & being updated, so when necessary, I make phone calls to Guest Relations & verify facts on the website. Accuracy is essential. I love sharing my opinion of the best places to dine, a great room location at a particular Resort or favorite parade viewing spots. I especially enjoy answering questions for first time vacationers who are traveling with a large family. Some of my family’s most cherished memories were shared at Disney World & I enjoy helping others to create similar ones of their own.
My advice to people who want to apply to be on the Moms Panel would be to just be yourself. When answering the essay questions, don’t treat them like a resume. There are a lot of WDW fans out there & the Park facts can be memorized. Speak from your heart and let your Disney passion shine through. The Moms Panel family is an amazingly diverse group of incredible people. Just like a regular family, everyone brings their own special contributions to the group. What makes YOU unique?
The third time was the charm for me, as I had applied in ’08 & ’09 as well. I just knew in my heart that this is what I was meant to do. If you share our love for Disney, have the knowledge, passion & desire to help others…I encourage you to apply. You never know, with a little bit of pixie dust, you could be joining our Moms Panel family soon!"
The search begins soon!!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
See the above link for information about the Moms Panel's support of "Give Kids the World Village".
If you'd like to donate to Give Kids the World in support of the Moms Panel, please click:
THANKS and God Bless :)
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Anyway, today we were running around crazy trying to get ready for our annual camping trip to Washburn Island. The girls were playing rhyming games in the car to pass the time. I had a ton of errands and so decided to grab the girls breakfast on the go. I told them we were going to Dunkin' Donuts, but that I wanted them to have a bagel with cream cheese instead since its more filling. Kasi was on-board with an "everything bagel". Malia decided to be difficult (big surprise), and said she doesn't like their bagels. She has never tried them.
I told her, "Dunkin' Donuts bagels ROCK, they are the best ever."
Without hesitation she said, "No they don't, they smell like DIRTY SOCKS."
With that, everyone's appetite was spoiled.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Give Kids The World Village (GKTW) http://www.gktw.org/ is a 70-acre, non-profit resort in Central Florida that creates magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. On Friday, October 1, 2010 myself and a group of special friends will visit the Give Kids the World Village and we'll make a donation. Our group plans to raise money through neighborhood "Ice-Cream Socials" this summer. Jared and Shawn will be visiting the Village with me to make the donation.
We held our Ice Cream Social on July 31 from 9:00am-10:30am. A total of 54 family members, friends and neighbors joined us to help Give a Scoop of Hope.
**The FABULOUS SMITTY'S ICE-CREAM donated a big tub of Vanilla Ice-Cream for this special event!!
Our family provided all the fix-in's for ice-cream sundaes.
We raised $214 in cash and checks, and helped raise awareness of this amazing charity.
Thank you again to all who attended our event. If you weren't able to make it, but would still like to help GIVE A SCOOP OF HOPE...please visit our online donation page:
You can also read more about the Disney World Moms Panel and our donations to Give Kids the World by reading the Disney Parks Blog: http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2010/08/moms-panel-it-takes-a-village/
Thanks and God Bless
Thursday, July 22, 2010
The Mickey Moms Club sent out, "Walt Disney World Resort Summertime Kits."
Included in my package was a cute lunch box cooler, luggage handles ("to show other travelers who the real Disney fans are"), a photo album, Toy Story 3 bandanna and Toy Story 3 bookmarks.
The luggage tags will be perfect to help our bags stand out in the crowd :)
A cute little photo album. :)
My new lunch tote. :)
THANK YOU Leanne, Laura and the rest of the Disney Moms Panel and Mickey Moms Club Staff :)
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
My best friend, Trina, has 2 Labs. She warned me how fast they grow and told me that I should take LOTS of pictures. I've already taught him to smile :
LOL, sorry...I couldn't resist. He does look like he's smiling at me a lot, and when he wags his tail...his whole hind end moves with it.
Sawyer continues to be a VERY good boy. Now that he's sleeping more (and I moved him to the playroom a few days ago)...life is good again.
He has HUGE feet and will probably be a very big dog. :)
He loves to chew on the bottom of the rope swing (which needs to stop).
The current thing I'm working on with him: He HAS to figure out how to go down the house stairs soon. I've been carrying him down and this boy is getting HEAVY! Guess that's one way to get a daily workout in...
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
We had a fun night, sharing laughs and chatting about our favorite subjects: Our families, Disney World and the Moms Panel :)
Bernie treated us to dinner this time--(Thanks again, Bernie)-- and we closed the place down.
Chris and Bernie are two of the COOLEST, SWEETEST guys I know. They are fun and genuine. Their love for their families shines through in every conversation. I consider myself blessed to call them my friends.
I can't wait to see them again. If not in September, then we'll definitely be together for the Moms Panel Reunion in October. :)
Friday, July 9, 2010
EIGHT years ago today my life was forever changed when I was blessed with my beautiful daughter, Malia Kensie. She can brighten up a room with a flash of her smile, her giggle is contagious, she's full of spunk & determination and has a heart of gold. I imagine God had a lot of fun when he created her...a head full of gorgeous red curls, angel kisses all over face and eyes that sparkle and shine.
Happy Birthday, to my Miss Malia Love:)
Monday, July 5, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Josiah enjoyed the swing-set and the tree house with our kids.
While Marc and and my brother Scott chatted about the new I-Phone.
We enjoyed steaks on the BBQ and after dinner, Josiah and Shawn played with Sawyer for a while...
Then we headed to Smitty's for an ice-cream. No trip to Falmouth is complete without a visit to Smitty's ;)
Marc and I chatted well into the evening. He shared his experiences while on his PR Trip for the Main Street Electrical Parade, and we talked about the upcoming October Moms Panel Reunion. Marc has such a genuine passion for Disney World, so he's always fun to talk to.
We enjoyed having them visit and I look forward to seeing them again soon.
Friday, July 2, 2010
We loaded the kids into the Suburban and told them we were driving, "somewhere cool near Boston." We were actually headed for the town of North Oxford, MA.
Here they are merrily rolling along with no clue where we were going:
Had to snap another one to get Shawn in it too :)
When we were about 15 minutes away, we stopped to give them a big clue. It was a little jewelry box with an engraved Red Sox tag inside. The tag said: "Sawyer" and had our phone number on it. Not understanding what it meant, the girls were quite annoyed that we had driven nearly 2 hours for this:
Once I pulled out the collar for it to attach to, and explained that we were getting a puppy...the excitement was off the charts:
Steve and I had been talking about getting a dog for a couple years. We knew we wanted a male chocolate lab and were waiting for the right time. We decided summer would be the best time to train him and get him used to our family. I suggested the name Sawyer as a nod to Disney's Tom Sawyer Island. It seemed like the perfect name for a boy of mine: Full of adventure and a lover of the outdoors.
We arrived to find our baby waiting with his 9 siblings. He was sitting in the corner, observing us for a few moments. Once I picked him up, he kept kissing me over and over:
and gave me hugs too :)
He settled down nicely in Daddy's arms :)
We took him outside to play and Jared snuggled with him for a bit:
Shawny did too. :)
We had brought a toy for him, and Malia and Kasi played with him with it. :)
Then we said bye to his brothers and sisters. They were all gorgeous dogs. :) In all there were 4 chocolates, 4 yellows and 2 blacks.
Heading out to the car, Sawyer was completely comfortable in Daddy's arms.
My THREE boys :)
Happy in his new home :)
Sawyer is SUCH a good boy and is fitting in nicely with our family.
Shawny and Sawyer. :)