Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mickey's Halloween Family Fun Run 5K

I signed up Jared, Shawn and I today for Mickey's Halloween Family Fun Run 5K. I am SO excited to run this with my boys. In addition, fellow Moms Panelists will be participating in the 5K with their children...this promises to be a day to remember!! I am VERY new to running, and have a LONG way to go. However, I've been doing the Couch to 5K program for several weeks now. I just know I can do this, and the sense of accomplishment that I know I will feel is what is keeping me going. The icing on the cake (that I refuse to eat because of the calories) is picturing myself finishing it alongside my sons AND my Disney Moms Panel friends!!! That image brings a smile to my face even when I'm wheezing along the trail. In fact, I just got back from "Week 2" (intervals of 90 second running, 2 minute walking, etc). Kasi rode her bike while I chugged along. I feel GREAT right now, even though my face looks like a tomato!

From the ESPN Wide World of Sports website, here is the description:

Saturday, October 2, 2010
7:00 a.m.

This 5K will take you on a one-of-a-kind Halloween themed course through the Magic Kingdom® Park. Adults, teens and tweens can be immersed in the fantasy of Halloween and dress up as their favorite character or villain! This is the ultimate race around the neighborhood - race to the finish to receive your "trick or treat bag of refreshments". Don't miss your opportunity to run on the only 5K course through Magic Kingdom® Park.

Mickey's Halloween Family Fun Run 5K features:

  • Only 5K course through Magic Kingdom® Park
  • Halloween themed Disney entertainment on-course
  • Event Weekend Transportation from the Event Host Resorts only

Each participant's Mickey's Halloween Family Fun Run 5K registration includes:

  • Race Registration
  • Ticket* to Mickey's Halloween Party for the night of Sunday, October 3, 2010
  • Commemorative Champion® T-shirt
  • Goody Bag
  • Personalized Bib (must register by August 2, 2010 for name to appear on bib)
  • Trick-or-Treat bag of race refreshments
  • Commemorative 5K finisher medallion

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Kassia: "Mommy, aren't you happy we live in a house?"

Me: "I sure am, we're blessed aren't we?"

Kassia: "Yeah, some people don't even have a house...Hobos live in the woods."

Me: "You're right, Kasi, we should be thankful for what we have."

It's been one of those weeks. You know the kind when life smacks you upside the head and says, " could be worse..."

In the past 2 weeks we've dealt with: Steve hurting his back, Sierra severely spraining her ankle, Malia having poison ivy, Shawn getting the stomach bug, my friend dying from breast cancer, my rear Suburban tire leaking, Sierra's college stress, my current 3 day long migraine, the clothes dryer and Steve's truck transmission both breaking. Of those things, the only thing currently "fixed" is Shawn's stomach. The transmission will be fixed soon to the tune of $2,500. Ouch. I know all of these things are all bumps in the road and they just happen to have all come at once. I considered waving my white surrender flag...a symbol that I've had enough. Right about then is when I met the woman in the laundromat (see previous post). That's when I received the first smack..."It could be a LOT worse"...(then the transmission broke to prove that point).

Today Kasi informed me that we could be Hobos. She's right, we have enough. We have a roof over our heads and we have each other.

I'm too blessed to be stressed...and this too shall pass. I'm counting on it.

Tomorrow is another's to it being a great one.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Guess How Much I Love You

I bought this book 10 years ago when Sierra and Jared left for their first unaccompanied plane flight to Tahoe. It was December, 2000. Sierra was almost 9 and Jared had just turned 5. The pain that my heart felt was nearly unbearable, and I needed them to know how much Mommy loved matter how far away they were. I read it to them before they left, then I tucked it into their carry-on for them to read often.

Through the years, I've read this book to Shawn, Malia and Kassia as well. It chokes me up every time. Tonight while snuggling with Kasi in her bed, I read it to her.

At the end of the story, Little Nutbrown Hare declares, "I love you right up to the moon."

Once he falls asleep, Big Nutbrown Hare whispers, "I love you right up to the moon--and back."

Kasi looked at me with her big brown eyes and said, "I love YOU right up to God and Jesus, Mommy."

I hugged her tight and said, "I love YOU right up to God and Jesus AND the moon and back."

When I said her goodnight prayers to her, I thanked God for my Kasi and told Him how happy she makes my heart. She told me she might "cry happy tears from that". Honestly, I am SO very blessed.

With all of the things that have been going wrong lately (broken dryer, Steve's transmission screwing up, Malia getting poison ivy, etc)...I am reminded daily how very much is RIGHT in my life. I have an amazing husband and five wonderful children.

Today while at the laundromat (note the broken dryer above), Kasi and I giggled while passing the time. We hugged and laughed while watching the clothes go round and round in the dryer. A lady there shared something with me that I think I will remember forever. She started by asking if Kassia was my only child. I informed her that, "No...she is my last...the youngest of 5."

She said, "I can tell that you two have a very close and special relationship, it is fun to watch."

I thanked her and she told Kasi to, "Be good to your Mommy, she's the only one you'll ever get."

Kasi smiled as I informed her that Kasi is very good to her Mommy. The woman then proceeded to tell me that she "HAD" four children. However, 14+ years ago, she was in a car accident. It put her in a coma and when she woke up a month later...she had forgotten the last 11 years of her life! *gasp* Gone. No recollection at all. No idea who her husband was, and no memory of or connection to her children. Gone. I welled up as I listened to her. She said that her Mom had raised her children, and that she gave the youngest up for adoption. She couldn't be a Mom anymore, because she "lost that piece of her that connected to them, that understood how to be a Mom, that understood WHO she was and who they were."

Then she said, "Your life can change in an instant. I would tell you to enjoy your children, but it is very clear to me that you already do."

I left the laundromat hugging my daughter even tighter. I simply can not fathom what this woman went mystifies me. I only know the depths of my love for my children, and nothing could ever change that. Ever. They don't have to "Guess How Much I Love" them...I strive to make it abundantly clear.

As Shawn used to say when I read the book to him: "You love me to infinity and beyond, right Mom?"

I'd say, "I love you to infinity and beyond--and back".

I highly recommend this book to every parent. Kasi told me tonight that she is, "Going to keep it forever so she can read it to her kids someday".

I might cry happy tears from that. :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Beachside Pizza Picnic...

Yesterday was a beautiful Spring day here on Cape Cod. Steve and Shawn returned from the Cub Scouts camp-out and I informed them that we were having a picnic. I ordered pizza's and we headed down to Chapoquoit Beach. It ended up being a bit chilly, but it was SO good for our souls. There's no place quite like Chappy, and being there with essentially no one else around but our family...that's a piece of paradise...

Here's Jared ready for a slice...

Shawn enjoying his pizza :)

Jared (too cool to smile for his Mom)...

Miss Malia enjoying the view...

Kasi girl :)

My Love and I :)

The crazy kids decided to put their toes in the water. Shawn's expression says it all...

My littlest girlies :)

Kasi is my beach bum...even in the VERY chilly April water, she was in Heaven.

Sunset at Chappy :)

Bring on the Summer, we are SO ready for it :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lovely Lu

I learned today of the heartbreaking passing of an amazing lady. Lu was an inspiration and was always so positive. She battled breast cancer for years, and I truly can not remember a time that I saw her when she wasn't smiling. Lu faced cancer with such immense grace...and she leaves behind a very large void.

She was the Mom of 2 wonderful kids, and my heart just aches for them. I know how much she cherished them, and their hearts must be just broken in half right now. :( Shawn was so saddened to hear of Lu's death, as he is friends with her son. He kept saying how bad he feels for him, and I how unfair it is. He said, "Cancer stinks". I agree.

Four years ago, Lu joined a few other friends and we rebuilt the PTO at Morse Pond school. Even though she was often in pain, she was always present, always involved and always smiling.

Lu leaves an incredible legacy for her 2 children. She taught them perseverance. She taught them grace. She taught them to never give up and to embrace & cherish each day. Through her example, she taught countless other people these lessons as well.

Heaven has a new angel today. She is free from pain and suffering, and will live forever in the memories she left behind.

Rest in peace, sweet Lu. You will be dearly missed. :(

Monday, April 19, 2010

An Early Mother's Day Surprise!

I was surprised with MAGICAL MAIL today!

Waiting for me on my front steps was a very special package, and inside were treats that made me TICKLED PINK!!

My new monogrammed mini tote (which I LOVE, by the way)...

I also love the Moms Panel note cards. In fact, I think I squealed when I saw them ;)

There were also 2 boxes of Eleni's "Conversation Cookies". These adorable cookies are hand-cut and hand-decorated. I just don't know if I can bring myself to eat them. Isn't the Moms Panel logo one adorable?!?!

I count my blessings each and every day that I am a part of the Disney Moms Panel. It is so fulfilling to be able to help others plan their Disney vacations...I get to help spread Pixie Dust! The icing on the cake (cookies) is that I have made such an amazing group of friends. In addition, Laura, Leanne and Tina are simply incredible.

THANKS, Walt Disney World Moms Panel Team, for making me smile.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Teachers Make a Difference!

Know a TEACHER WHO HAS MADE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIFE OF YOUR CHILD??? Your child can write an essay and win a trip to Disney! Trip for teacher +3 people AND a second trip for your child +3 people! Visit the link below for details!!

When I saw this contest, several teachers immediately came to mind for me. These were individuals who went above and beyond to make learning fun for my kids.

Then, my mind started wandering to my own childhood. Unfortunately, there are a couple who I don't even recall their names and others who squashed my enthusiasm each day. Contrarily, there are a few teachers who I credit with igniting a passion in me.

Mr. Scott Palmer at Concord Christian School in Concord, NH is one of them. Mr. Palmer was my 7th and 8th grade English teacher. He taught me the power of the written word, and helped me to put my heart onto paper. He encouraged me and showed me how to paint a picture with the stroke of a pen. Most of all, he believed in me and made me feel valued and important. A couple years ago, I tracked Mr. Palmer down via the internet and I took the chance to thank him. He is now a Principal, and I'm so happy for him. I only hope the children in his school know how blessed they are.

Miss Bonnie Noyes was my 4th Grade teacher at Conant Elementary School in Concord, NH. I think they broke the mold when they made Miss Noyes. I've never met anyone else quite like her. Her smile lit up the room, and she loved her job. Miss Noyes didn't have children of her own, so her students were her kids. She was passionate about teaching and about making learning fun. Looking back on my other years in school, I couldn't tell you which year I studied what. Fourth Grade was different. I learned about hawks and owls, deciduous and coniferous trees (including getting maple syrup from a tree) and haiku writing. I starred in a play, searched for owls while snowshoeing and studied Robert Frost. I felt valued and I learned to love learning. So far, I have been unable to locate Miss Noyes...but I can still see her smiling face.

One of my greatest desires is for my children to have a Miss Noyes and a Mr. Palmer in their lives. Someone who ignites a flame for them and teaches them that they are only limited by the bounds of their own imaginations. If your children have been blessed with a teacher like this, be sure to nominate them today!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Berry Cute

Kassia is a strawberry lover like her Mommy. In fact, we love all sorts of berries: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries & raspberries. Strawberries, however, are the very best. With the arrival of Spring, comes the first fresh fruit of the season. It's been great to be able to buy juicy strawberries, and we can hardly wait for the chance to pick them in a few months. This morning, as I was washing off the latest berry purchase, I came across a "conjoined" strawberry. It was 2 that had grown together, and was approximately the size of Kasi's hand!

She was VERY excited, and just happened to be wearing her favorite strawberry jammies! My "Berry Cute" girl informed me that it was the "juiciest one ever". ;)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools

From the moment I woke up this morning, I was greeted with April Fools jokes from the kids. I do not believe it will stop until they are asleep tonight. Here, for my future reading pleasure, are some of the days one-liners...

Malia: "Mommy, I broke your Blackberry." *she said as she giggled*

Malia: "Daddy, I broke your computer." *she said as she giggled*

Mom: "Shawn, I just got a text, we can't go to Disney this year..."
Shawn: "not cool, Mom"

Mom to Shawn: "Did I ever tell you about the best April Fools joke that I played on Daddy?" (Daddy denies that he fell for it, Mom assures them that he DID in fact fall for it). "One year, I called him in the middle of the day and gave him the phone number to the Roger Williams Park Zoo, but I didn't tell him what the number was. Instead, I told him someone needed him to call right away, gave him the phone number, and told him to ask for Mr. Lyon" (and I spelled it that way for him). Yes, people, he fell for it. He had called me back and said only, "Cute...ha ha." Shawn almost fell off his chair laughing about that one.

Kasi: "Mommy, I left my Bitty Baby in Hyannis."

Kasi: "Mommy, I left my jacket in Hyannis."

Kasi: "Mommy, I left my shoes in Hyannis."

Kasi: "Mommy, aren't I a good kidder?"

Yeah, and the day is not over yet... :)