Saturday, December 31, 2011
every fan was blowing,
every window open...because it was 80 DEGREEEs out. Seriously. So not Christmasy.
We all know I love my summer temperatures but I love them in the summer (and spring and fall!). Christmas is supposed to be cold darn it. But love where you live, embrace the moment, be content with what you have...all mantras I adamantly believe in. So...
We wore our tees and tshirt dresses and joined family at Nana's house for Christmas lunch. Some family from Texas was there and we got to see a cousin we have not seen in 7 years! And, embracing FL for all it is - not just the hot Christmas but the abundance of old people and there sports...we played...yep. Christmas Shuffleboard. You're jealous, I know.
I joke but it actually turned out to be a nice afternoon of friendly competition and many laughs. And we followed it with our usual Christmas Eve traditions - candlelit service at church, ordering pizza on the way home, opening pajamas as the one gift, leaving cookies out for Santa. Good stuff.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
1)Mailed letters. 2)Ding Dong ditched with real Ding Dongs. 3)Sibling love. 4)Lasagna for an old lady who has no family in my grandma's neighborhood.
5)Gave out 8 bottles of root beet reminding people they are A&Wesome. Coworkers, teachers, friends parents, etc. 6)Saying nice things. 7)Treats for the postman. 8)Last day of a friends chemo deserves a treat!
9)See #5 but with chocolate bars and different people. 10)One of my favs - totally random. Tori picked a first name, Todd a last name, and Tristan a city on white pages and we mailed a Starbucks card to a total stranger. Hope it made her day! 11)oops didn't happen 12)cookies for our favorite mechanic 13)free babysitting for some friends so they could have a date night
14)Flowers, delivered to a neighbor whose husband is deployed. 15)another oops 16)quarters on a soda machine 17)donating books to the library 18)bringing hot chocolate to the Salvation army bell ringer at our local grocery store
19)helping Nana (my grandma) clean her house, its hard for her to do so due to back problems 20)left a gift card for the amount of one of the kids favorite books - Harry Potter of course - on the shelf for the next person who looks at it 21)another miss 22)quarters left at a laundromat 23) no picture but we worked hard to wish everyone we met that day a Merry Christmas! 24)a special treat delivery to the poor overnight workers on Christmas Eve at CVS
This is definitely a new Maddex tradition!!
***Real Christmas/Christmas Eve pictures coming this evening or tomorrow morning!***
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
* Christmas Games * Christmas Shuffleboard * Mint Cookies * Christmas dishes * Guard Dog * All Finished * Silent Night * Christmas Snacks * Funny Girl *
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
* FL Christmas * 9/11 Memorial * NY Christmas * Subway Stop * Broadway Sign * Babysitting Cutie * Reading Gift * Oops Double * Waldorf Astoria * Empire View * Office Party * Leaving Tampa *
Volunteer Hours: 100+
Gifts Wrapped: 240+
Students Assisted: 120
Wishes Fulfilled: Priceless
Upon delivery we were greeted with a surprise. The school we deliver to had a newspaper reporter and photographer standing by to do a human interest piece. We are not the only school to support Blanton and the woman there running it is nothing short of amazing. The story is mainly about their situation, students and staff but I am the girl in the white shirt in the back in the photo and was quoted. Kind of fun and great publicity for a school that could use all the help they can get!
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
So the trees, yes treeS, are up. The front porch is wrapped in garland and accented with poinsettias. The snowmen are out. The advents are in full swing.
And honestly I still feel so unprepared this year. There are ZERO gifts wrapped under the tree, various gifts in various stacks around the house, some still in the process of being made. Gifts that need to be shipped are going to be cutting it VERY close this year, ones that need to be ordered even closer! No cookies have been baked. No Christmas clothes have been worn. I really need to get on it. Oh and did I mention that the kids shower is leaking...right through the wall into Tori's closet. Cue plumber!
But in an effort to make myself feel better I am going to ignore all that and make a list of reasons to smile today. My favorite elf says the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear...but I don't sing. I list.
1. Duh - its Christmas. December. Magical.
2. Giving Tree - lots of stress this week but 117 kids wishes fulfilled, totally worth it
3. Coffee with Cinnamon Maple creamer. Amazing.
4. My beautiful new coat, ready to go. NYC Baby. 9 days!!!
5. My awesome kids doing random acts of kindness all month long. And ENJOYING it. More on this later.
6. The silent night (ok so its morning) I am experiencing right now, just me and the puppy sitting in a quiet house twinkling with Christmas lights.
7. Third Day Christmas CD - my favorite!! Though Michale Buble, you now come a close second.
8. Fun stuff coming up quick on the calendar - seeing A Christmas Story live with Taylor, J & T's Christmas party, Tori competing in the Mighty Mu math competition this weekend, NYC, and only working 4 days of the kids 17 day stretch of no school. That's 10 days of cookie baking,Christmas crafting, ice skating, bike riding, gift wrapping, movie watching fun.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Family * Kayaking * Running Again * Los Mariachis * Rainy Day * Giving Tree * Sewing Again * Red Cups * Front Porch * Furry Baby *
Friday, December 2, 2011
So the advent has begun, the craziness of Christmas has begun. And the cookie baking, carol singing, classic movie watching, Christmas tree decorating, Jesus birth celebrating part of me is LOVING it. But the mom who doesn't always get it right, who wants to give her kids everything they want but still not spoil them or make them materialistic...she's in over her head.
So this year advent in our house is an attempt to teach, or maybe reinforce things we've always taught, what Christmas spirit looks like, that God gave a gift of love and kindness and that we are to celebrate Him and His son by doing the same.
Enter 25 days of Random Acts of Christmas Kindness (Thank you Pinterest!)! Whether you celebrate Christmas because you are an American or because you are a Christian celebrating the birth of our Savior I encourage you to join in. Trying to think of 25 things we could do as a family and not spend hundreds of dollars stretched me in amazing ways. Sometimes its the little things that go a long way. So even if you are not counting down this season - join us in our random acts of kindness!
Um...ding dong ditched sounds terrible but its actually cute. A box of Hostess ding dongs delivered to a neighbor, we have neighbors with kids that will love it!!
"Some people are so poor, they only have money."
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
1 - I have really fun friends. And they are awesome in that they encourage me to think outside the box. From a mental and spiritual stand point I have always known this, they challenge me in new ways on a regular basis. But this weekend the challenge was physical.
2 - Scavenger hunts are like adventures for yuppies. Fun, creative, learning new information and a sense of accomplishment without the risk and expense that real adventure seekers have. Like a mini-vacation from responsibilities.
3 - I am out of shape. And I don't want to be. So for the 124,464,887,934th time I am going to attempt to start running. (I do have two sweet labs visiting who are making me get off my tush so that seems like a good segue into the great return to exercise.)
4 - Random Tampa facts.
Tebow is now a FL legend. And if you ask a random stranger on the street who happens to be wearing an out-of-state sports team to post in a football pose and you follow that with "Let's Tebow" they will automatically lunge for this prayerful position.
Rosalind was the lead female role in As You Like It. Her statue forms the center of a bench at the Plant Museum located at the University of Tampa. And posing like her is ridiculous. But fun.
12 clues, 11 locations, all over the streets of Tampa and we proved that not only could we complete it...we didn't do half bad. 9th out of 52! Next stop for the "Pink Ninjas" Great Urban Race...3.24.2012.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
- Because of Tori's spooktacular tournament Halloween weekend we had to squeeze in our usual traditions. But we got it done. Tori and Tristan carved their own pumpkins this year (werewolf by Tori, vampire by Tristan) and not to be out done Todd worked with his tiny pumpkin to make a silly toothed pumpkin. I snapped pictures, tortured kids with pumpkin goo and was excited about my spray painted pinterest inspired candlebra.
- We sent October packing with some Halloween fun. Both kids were mesmerized with the idea of having fangs and so we left the Halloween store with no costumes but two packages of fangs. After much discussion they decided to go trick or treating as what we call "Disney style" teen vamps. You know spiked hair, overdone makeup, knee socks with mini skirt for Tori and Rock On t-shirt for Tristan.
- November has meant lots of work for both Todd and I, tons of exams and projects for Tori, and the end of baseball season for Tristan.
-Todd took a quick trip to Colorado for his birthday to hang out with his brother Trent and to see his mom and the area he grew up in. After seeing his pics I was reminded why I hold the camera on family vacations. Lots of pics of random things...a computer they eventually used for shooting practice, airport terminals, his brothers house in detail, etc. No mountains or even a picture of he and his brother. So here are the two good ones - him with his mamacita and on a mountain where they went shooting.
- Meanwhile Tori headed off to the Florida Church of God State Youth Convention with 100+ other middle & high school students from our church. They listened to speakers, went to classes, completed scavenger hunts, ate junk food and rocked out to Sidewalk Prophets live.
-Back at home Tristan and I had a crazy weekend. Tristan's baseball tournament FINALLY finished, he spent the night at his grandparents while I headed to Peter Pan at the Straz center, and then we checked out LegoLand Florida. Honestly you can get more bang for your buck at a million other places in Florida - but we can now say been there, done that. And Tristan had a friend with him so that made the whole experience better for him!
Friday, November 11, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Tristan is playing his first season in the minors, this means the kids pitch for the first time. Tristan is a good little pitcher when he keeps cool. And he's a great fielder, having caught multiple fly balls and fielding some awesome line drives. The batting however is rough this season...the boys are getting complacent in knowing there are more balls than strikes and more than likely will get walked, so they stopped swinging. Tristan jumped on the bandwagon. Super frustrating. But it'll come.
Tori is playing her first season in majors. Some new rules make it more "real" and exciting. She likes to play catcher but most often plays 3rd base. Her hitting is either really really on...or she can't his the broad side of a barn...or she gets walked. Some girls have gotten to be fab at pitching, some, well see the above note about the barn! She works really hard at it though and has fun with the girls on her team, some of whom she is now in her 3rd season with. Her biggest issue...running. She's got crazy long legs that somehow go crazy slow around the bases. But her coach plays it safe and she did learn to slide right so she's still making it home!!
This is the last week of fall ball which means softball tournament, aka mass craziness. Tori plays games on Mon, Wed and a double header on Friday night. Followed by Sunday games if they are in the finals. Tristan has practice Tuesday and a game Thurs and Sat. So for those counting in the next 7 days that is anywhere from 6-8 games + 1 practice between the two of them. Awesome.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Weekend fun included:
-a baseball game and a softball game (really this was a given by now right?!)
-the fantastic brunch at Jackson's at Harbor Island in Tampa. Delicious food, gorgeous view and fantastic company to celebrate Taylor and Pam's (Taylor's mom) birthday!
- a picnic dinner at the park on the Tarpon bayou followed by some rollerblading, running and a family game of football
Adding to the normal chaos:
- Tori *may* have broken her finger. It is Dr.Mom splinted for the moment. Time will tell what happens next.
- Might Mu practice started this am.
- My dog has chosen this week to be sick, effectively ruining the carpet in my dining room that's not a dining room even more than it was prior to these incidents. Incidents immediately following my decision that the carpet could wait a couple months longer to be replaced so as not to have a big expense prior to to the holidays and our two upcoming trips. Awesome.
- Looking forward to a girls night out to see Addams family (musical) with Taylor this week.
- Do something day at church is just around the corner and my family is looking forward to serving at the local tent city.
- Seeing friends this weekend we have not seen in way way way too long.
- Halloween. Tori is leaning towards being M&M's along with two friends. Tristan is thinking vampire.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Tori was nominated for 6th grade student of the month.
She also was chosen as a student with the highest math scores in 6th grade for the "Might Mu" math team.
Tristan was named 1 of 4 students to represent his school in the Creative Olympic county competition. (They give kids random things in a bag and tell them they have to build something...built a bridge out of marshmallows, twizzlers, straws, etc to earn this spot!). And found out he can be a drummer this year.
All fantastic things. And I am excited for them.
But it also means more $ (for drum lessons) and more time and more random work day things I have to juggle (competitions during the day but not here, Might Mu practice before school weekly, etc).
So woohoo - my kids rock. Smart, creative, musical. Awesome.
But they're wearing me out.
Friday, October 7, 2011
But I am in love. Things fit. They look classic but still trendy. Perfection.
Except the price tag. For example...this shirt is simple, easy to wear to my usual mom stuff but still super cute. See here: Shirt. Especially in coral with jeans and maybe cute riding boots. But its almost $40. For a tshirt. Come on people. And here is the hate.
I hate that stores that make you feel semi-decent wearing something when you are not a size 0 cost a fortune. But if you are size 0 and can wear anything in the world and still look good there are 100's of stores with items priced at like <$20 all the time.
I might stop eating. No actually I love to eat so that won't happen but I might go run. For real.
PS - I did splurge and get two pairs of pants (on sale!) that rock. Comfortable, not hideous, and perfect for fall - even if fall is currently only taking place in my head and in a retail store near you.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Saturday, his real birthday, was kind of a funny day. Tori and I had committed to doing a charity walk in the morning thinking he would have a baseball game like every other Saturday morning. Of course he didn't because life is like that, but we still went.
This year we were running with a football theme so compliments of pinterest (if you are not on there yet get moving!) I had this fun idea to make a birthday break thru banner thing. Not the official name, for the record. So I crepe papered all across his door, back and forth, with a sign basically explain that football teams bust out of the locker room like this and today he was the star and could bust into his 9th year. Following phone call from walk site:
Me: Happy Birthday Baby!
Tristan: Thanks mom.
Me: Did you like busting out of your room this morning?
Tristan: Yeah...(insert odd pause)...but you're so weird. It was weird.
Anywho...the rest of the day was normal stuff. Dinner out, baseball practice, yogurt spot. Good. Instead of a party he chose to go to the Bucs game with "the guys". More on that to come. Waiting on pics.
So to Tristan, Happy Birthday little man. It is a pleasure watching you grow up. I love your gentle spirit, your knack for recognizing when someone needs a hug or a "its ok", and your caring ways. I love that you have a new best friend every week and even occasionally refer to Jake as one of the options (FYI - Jake is a dog). I love that you are shy and quiet in new situations but silly and loud in ones where you are comfortable. I love the face you get when you are thinking hard, where you put your face really close to the paper and your eyebrows burrow together. I love watching you play ball ... sometimes so focused and sometimes in lala land. I love how much you enjoy time with your sister now that she's around less. And I love your inability to say no to her when she wants to make a deal in Monopoly even though it makes you lose every time. And most of all I love that you are my son. Looking forward to seeing what the next year brings.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
One of the biggest changes though for Carter is that he is no longer an only child. Meet Collin, my newest "nephew" (okay so it's not biological or by marriage...but still family in my world!). I believe his mama is calling him Squishy or Little Squishy and really...don't ya think she has good reason? Adorable!! Thanks Jenni - for letting me take photos of your gorgeous boys but more than that for letting me be a part of their lives. Love y'all!
Friday, September 16, 2011
- Both kids are back in ball. Tori is playing majors softball this year for the first time (new rules!) and Tristan is playing minors baseball for the first time (first time kids pitch). Mon, Tues, Wed, Thus and Sat - gone. Just like that.
- Tristan gets a new teacher starting next Wednesday. After 10 day count they had to rearrange so one of the K teachers are moving up. Luckily Tori had her for K and we really like her but its still a bummer to be one of the kids moved a month in to school.
- Halloween preparations are in full swing. Costume ideas, party ideas, and frustration that they plan a big weekend tournament for softball right over the weekend we want to have a party.
- Work is busy, busy, busy for both Todd and I right now.
Really that's it. Our calendar is full of tedium - but the good kind. Baseball games, school open houses, church dinners, and birthday celebrations. And despite the temperatures screaming summer still I am thinking another week or two and I really will break out the pumpkins and the fall garlands, the cider recipes and the sweater box. Sometimes you just gotta fake it :-)
Saturday, September 3, 2011
And Max, well sometimes highly irritating and really yippy, is a great model. But he just does not have the range of expression my family conjures up. Nor is he this ridiculous.
The muscle face. Creepy but funny.