Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What happened??

It's been a month. And we have been doing a lot of things. That don't include blogging apparently. So here is the short form...first in words, then pictures. 

Tori got new glasses, the kids and I had a week off for Thanksgiving, we put up our Christmas tree, and the Giving Tree too. Todd and Tristan went to a cowboy bonfire, we made cookies, and Todd went all the way to Colorado and back. We started our Random Acts of Kindness countdown, hit the trail, wrapped up the first of the gifts, and Tori and friends decked out for the Harbor Very Tacky Christmas. The gifts started pour in for the the Giving Tree and the rain started pouring while we visited Christmas Lane in Dover. We are planning parties (for Tori and friends) and attending others (Todd's networking group party!).

More December activities and hopefully more time to blog...coming soon!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Super kids.

Report card week - all A's for both of them!!

Tori named 7th grade student of the month, out of like 400 kids!!

Tristan's baseball team ended in second place earning runner up medals at the last game!!

Tori and her partner won an honorable mention (one of only two) at the model UN conference at a local junior college. They were two of only 8 students from her school sent to represent various countries. Their platform, resolution paper and debate topic was access to primary education for the country of Tunisia.

And now we are officially on fall break.

My kids are kind of super. At least I think so :-)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Strike 3!!

Strike 3. Last out of the Inning. Way to go Tristan!

PS - Videos of Tori to come.

I'm Glad You Came

I love when the boy sings. Even if I miss part of it. And its a bad video. 

Ups and Downs.

Life has ups and downs. This is about as obvious as the fact that the sky is blue and the grass is green. But sometimes I appreciate it more. The process of it all. This is one of those weeks.

I had a couple of nights I was just in a funk. And all I wanted was sweat pants, flavored coffee, and good show that Todd and I could cuddle up to. Granted I did not want to talk to him because I was crabby, and lets be real, not so nice when I am crabby. But I wanted him there. And I think for the first time in too long, even in my funk, I could recognize how awesome it is that he is just there. All the time. Even when I dont think I need him or want him there. Still there. He doesn't read my blog...but if he did...I would tell him how awesome that is.

And we got a new president. Wait, no we didn't. I was hoping we would but we didn't. And quite frankly, sorry my Democratic pro-Obama friends, I don't like him. And I was bummed. But I took enough time to step back and appreciate my dislike. Or rather my ability to dislike. To have been a part of the process, to live in a country as great as the one I live in, and to remember that it is neither Godly nor mature to just jump on a bashing band wagon. So I dont have to like him. Or be excited about the decision we made as a country. But I remain, proud to be a part of this great nation.

There were also some awesome ups this weekend! Tristan pitched an AMAZING game on Tuesday night. A game that took place in absolutely amazing cool cool that I got to wear my favorite sweater and sip on a delicious salted caramel mocha latte while watching it (delivered to the bleachers by Todd - um I mentioned he rocks right?) And I got to take some pictures of one of my favorite families. I had coffee with my daughter before school one day. I loaded new songs on my phone and went for a beautiful run around the bayou...and I am headed out tonight on a road trip with my sis to help my cousin celebrate a quarter of a century! And I don't feel guilty because my families weekend is filled with super fun stuff too - hayrides/bonfires, birthday parties, baseball games, etc!

Happy Friday! Make your day be full of ups and downs and may you cherish the ride!

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Baseball Life by Tristan Maddex

Tristan was given an assignment in class to write about something he currently does or likes and imagine it "BIGGER". This is what he wrote:

 I started baseball when I was about three. Now I play for the Little League and I'm the star pitcher for my team. We are the Hurricanes. I am going to be pitcher for my middle school. In my high school I am going to lead out team to 14 wins and 6 losses. Then I'll play there for 2 or 3 years and be what everyone goes to the game for. My parents will be so proud of me. I'll be the best pitcher in the history of pitchers. I'll have curveballs, sinkers, change ups and probably booger balls to!! I'll make all the other teams look awful and we'll look stupendous. Then I'll be accept by the Tampa Bay Rays before I even get to the minors! I'll be a legend!!! I'll be everything the Rays need. I'll probably start as a back up pitcher but then the pitcher might brake his leg and I'll go in and get 3 strike outs in a row. I'll finally be starter pitcher and I'll lead my team to victory against the New York Yankees in the World seireis. And all be everywhere. I'll be a ZILLIONAIR!!!!! I'll be the world's best pitcher and always be remembered. 

Tristan Maddex - 4th Grade

(All punctuation, misspellings, and grammatical errors are his)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Twins, Dog Sitting & Celebrating a Decade

Little stuff first... Tori has a new friend named Kelly and she is an answer to prayer. She had previously managed to find the most religiously diverse group of friends humanly possible...literally Mormon, Jewish, Catholic, name it. And I LOVE that. I love that she has gotten all these perspectives on belief systems that are not ours. But I also prayed that God would give her a friend at school that also believed what she believed. And then our church got a new pastor. And he had a daughter. And she lives close by, attends the same school, even rides the same bus. Her name is Kelly. And they have been inseparable...constantly sleeping over at one house or the other, going to football games together, the beach, etc. And shopping. Apparently "matching/coordinating" is still cool in 7th grade. After a visit to the new H & M at a local mall they came home with these (please excuse the disheveled Tori)!


My parents got a dog. And I like dogs so I think this is great. Her name is Macy and she is the female version of the dog we grew up with, in fact I have mistakenly called her Chipper multiple times. Oops! Anyway she came to stay with us a week...and Max, who is crazy, was so excited. I mean way too excited. My little 8 lb psychodog scared sweet Macy to death when she first got here but within hours they were friends. And Tori had a new friend too as Macy spent most of her weekend with us on Tori's bed or at her heels.


So amidst the baseball and school projects and work schedules and general juggling we hit a major boy turned 10. I repeat, my baby is a decade old. And he is turning into the neatest little guy. He is witty and funny. He is sweet and gentle. He is generous and helpful. He is athletic and intelligent. He is creative and artistic. And he has the best laugh. Its been a good decade. I can't wait to see what the next decade brings.


On the Pinke side of our family we celebrate decades with a all boys/all girls trip...a tradition that started with my mom's 50th. So when Tori turned 10 the girls went to St.Augustine. In discussing where Tristan would go the boys opted to stay close to home but do some "guy" things. So Tristan's weekend of fun included Firehouse Subs (his favorite), shooting various guns at a range in Lakeland, Wing House, cleaning guns at my brother's house where they spent the night (after kicking Taylor out - sorry Taylor), and a day long fishing trip. The fishing trip was a bit of a bust since the fish weren't biting much but they did come home with a few grouper filets and some grunt, all frozen for a future fish fry. And yes, the picture below of Tristan, is with an assault rifle that appears bigger than him. My brother built it and Tristan was REALLY excited to use it.





Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Racing Thoughts

It's been awhile since I wrote but it has be BUSY. I feel like I barely have time to catch my breath these days much less write a legible post with pictures.

So pictures and a real post to's the racing thought version of what's happening here:

Coworker out of town, covering both our cases, baseball/softball 4 nights this week, company the 5th, gotta pick up the dog we are watching, crap I should consider meals, clean uniforms?, working on it, clean scrubs would be good too, you're working late TONIGHT?, oy, where did I put that permission slip, my baby is 10!!, new carpet looks great now if I could just finish the bathroom, deliver those gifts, coffee please, out? what?, I REALLY need to get to the grocery store, you need your uniform clean again? didnt i just wash it? did someone feed the dog, you have five minutes to be out the door, is this game ever going to end, toris catching, nerves frying, tristans pitching, eek, oh my gosh its 11 already, good lord my bed is comfy.

This weekend on the other hand is the first in awhile that is slow. So pics of current baseball/softball season, birthday boy and home improvements are on their way!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Worship Team

There are moments in life that are etched across our mind, never to be forgotten. Often they are large moments, milestones, in which we remember every detail - the sights, the smells, the company we were keeping at the moment. We all have them - the feeling of a diploma or degree in your hand for the first time, the moment you saw your soon to be spouse only an aisle's walk away from the rest of your life, the second your children looked you in the eyes for the very first time....

But sometimes the moments are less big. And no one else around you even knows it's a moment. Those might be the best kind.

Tori is part of the worship team at church for the first time this year. And honestly I was kind of annoyed by it at first. It meant weekly practices, one more thing on an already overly busy calendar and more songs to hear on repeat in my house.

But then I went to watch her. And she was so....I want to say present. In that moment I saw this young woman who is being deeply influenced by strong Christian women around her, who is embracing her faith as a way of life, and who was worshiping with her whole heart this God she clearly loves deeply.

Sometimes as a mom, and one with OCD tendencies, I get caught up in the day to day. The packing lunches, doing laundry, getting kids delivered to various activities, etc routine. And I recognize my kids achievements and I love on them no matter who they are or what they did that day. But sometimes I miss the big stuff. I miss that beyond that little girl who cares what others think about her and is constantly bickering with her little brother, there is this amazing young woman blossoming and growing and trying to find her way.

I am thankful. Thankful that I have amazing kids. That God is using them. That God is constantly reminding me to see the big picture. That he is working in my children's lives and spirits and molding them - both through Todd and I but also in spite of Todd and I. I am truly blessed.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Thirty Two.

For those following along I challenged myself to run 31 miles before turning 32. Well I didn't make it. I was doing really well...was at 25 miles with 5 days to go...and then work happened. My boss went on vacation, the kids went back to school, and I was trying to juggle a 50 hr work week with a new back to school routine and it just didn't happen. So I am going to set a new goal...35 miles in September. When plan A and B and C fails...well just keep swimming :-)

In all honesty my 32nd birthday was a rough day. Long day at work and bad house news (for those of you that dont know we had a leaky water pipe, had to drill through the cement slab and tile in Tristan's room to fix, repaired pipe but tile needs to be fixed still, not fun!).

I did go out for a lovely dinner with friends (Thanks West Family and Super Angelle who took 3 kids to dinner on her own!!!). And on Saturday we celebrated with family.

And that was a blast. The Rays lost and the game was fairly dull until the very last inning but it was still good times. And the weather was PERFECT (compliments of our friend TS Isaac) for the tailgating we did before hand!

This is my brother, he turned 29 as I turned 32. And he looks mature here with his beautiful wife. And he has a good job. And he has a folder for everything under the sun, most organized person I have ever met, he got it from our mom.


But mere moments later I am reminded he really is going to be a 9 year old boy trapped in an aging body for the rest of his life. And how do I know this? You know how nasty wet willies are? Well imagine a Rice Krispie treat (that has been outside for hours) willy? Yep. He did it. Thankfully Tristan was sitting closest. And he really is a 9 year old boy. So he thought it was gross but funny.


29 years we have celebrated together now. It was a lovely family day!



Another year begins!

7th Grade:
     - Classes: Language Arts, Algebra I, Science, Spanish, Robotics, Civics, and Office Aide
     - Friends she Hangs Out with Often: Kelly, Dabney, Tori, Caroline, Rebecca, Leoni and Savannah
     - New things: braces, singing on the youth worship team, entering a robotics team competition
     - What she wants to be when she Grows Up: Architect...or Artist....or Chef....or so many cool jobs.



4th Grade:
     -Teacher: Mrs. Hickman and Mrs. Ianello
     -Friends he hangs out with Often: Isaac, Caleb, Calvin and Anna (neighbor)
     -New things: Chorus this year, Kids Krew leadership team at church
     -What he wants to be when he Grows Up: a baseball player or a computer guy 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Almost done?

With summer! The list on the other hand...still chugging along!

Super Hero Rescue - done.
Living Room Camp In - done.
Sand Sculpting - done.

Friday, August 3, 2012

31 before 32...

Accountability. I hate it. But I need it. So to the few who are here - hold me accountable. I promise I wont be mad :)

August 24th I turn 32. This month, prior to turning 32 I will run 31 miles. For some of you this is nothing. For me its a lot.

I am down 2. 29 to go in 21 days.

I'm on it..

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Thus Far

I have completely sucked at blogging this summer outside of bucket list pictures!

Inspired by a friend (Hi Angelle!) to update here goes...

The summer bucket list continues to drive activities and we can now add the following to the "done" list:
Threshers Game. (I forgot to take a picture - boo!). Decorating cupcakes. Homemade popsicles.



The kids started something we are calling "A Postcard Round Up" as a summer project and it is going so so well. They have received 40+ postcards covering 20 (21 including Florida) states, DC, Canada and Mexico. And compliments of facebook helpers have many more coming soon! They have LOVED getting mail and they have flipped through the cards comparing pictures and states about a dozen times. I highly recommend this project!!


I have my own summer list though its more of a "to do" list then anything else but I am checking stuff off. Finished curtains for my bedroom, got some new decorations for my dressers, redid my laundry room to make it more function with backpack hooks, shelving, and wall pockets!



Funny story, I bought the kids initial letters before I had finished mounting the board and hooks. They were laying on the counter next to each other but in reverse order - T-V and Todd says "I know you like signs and letters and labels but I really dont think we need to label the tv." My OCD might be worse than I imagined if he actually thought I was going to label our tv.

Other than that our summer has been pretty low key. Lots of beach time. Hanging out with friends. Getting frozen yogurt. Sleep overs. Church activities. Reading books. Playing board games. Lawn work. Etc.

Looking forward we have some fun stuff planned and some getting ready for fall stuff planned. Still on the docket - Jolly Trolley, Sunset Cinema, Rays game, planting, biking and batting cages! Tori gets her braces on next week, a trip to Ellenton Outlet mall during the tax free weekend, and open houses at school bring us right up to the 20th when the kids go back. Summer is just too short!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Check check check check.

Letter writing.
Postcard roundup.
Fort building.
Flea market.

Real post coming soon!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Bucket List X's

Slowly but surely.

Soap Carving - X
Dollar Store Shopping - X

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tropical Storm Downer Debby

Tropical storms kind of suck. But they suck less (and less frequently) than the 9 months of frigid temperatures and massive snow I remember from my childhood up north.

But it's getting crazy. Yesterday I got off work at 4 and home at 7. I tries to leave at 430 after an all clear from the tornado 6 miles away was issued. But after trying every spoke leading out of the parking lot only to find flooding I went back in. Below are a few pictures of the flooding.

You have to love Pasco county. Can I just tell you that while some people had tragic losses yesterday and some buckled down in safer areas there were literally dozens upon dozens of people declaring this Gods free swimming pool. Bathing suits, towels and even some adult beverages made Debbie more party than problem for many residents.

And because I work in good old Pasco I got home ... Someone came by with a big old metal cutter and yanked down some chains on the old hospital parking lot so we could drive thru the shut down area to a higher surrounding road.

Glad it's passing soon!!!

Look carefully in the second picture. Yep that's a car in the middle with just the top peaking out. This was within walking distance of my office in the hospital.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Super Nerds & $1 Night

Tori is off to middle school camp for the week. In this high tech world in which we live parents get updates on the fun via twitter. Encouraging kids to be a part of all that is going on cell phones are not permitted and so these tweets are the only updates we get! The theme of camp is good vs evil - superheroes! So the kiss has to prepare their own costumes. Tori and her friends teamed up to be Super Nerds.

Meanwhile back home Tristan is going to baseball camp while Todd and I work. He is loving it. And then yesterday we came home and went to another game. Compliments of living in the baseball Mecca of the free of world we have a zillion farm teams locally. And Tuesday's happen to be $1 night at the Clearwater Threshers games. So seats, hot dogs, popcorn, drinks, and ice cream for 3 all less than $20! Now that's some good cheap fun. Add to that some friends and perfect weather and it was a good night!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Love

A week into summer I am reminded why it's my favorite season and the one in which i am at my best ... As a mother, as a wife and as a person in general. I have to be creative to keep everyone entertained on our minimal budget. I sleep better. And honestly the sun, and the water and sand that often accompany said sun, somehow make me a happier person. Now I am not going to lie - the laid back schedule and pared down work hours also go a long way.

We needed some haircuts Wednesday and the stylist that has been cutting my hair for a decade now is oh so conveniently located on Clearwater Beach these days. So after some quick trimming we headed out to the beach. Tristan skim boarded. Tori jumped waves. They played together happily. I repeat, these are magical words that need much emphasis and repeating, played together happily. And as every mother knows that makes me so so happy.

We also started the summer bucket list - VBS is in full swing, water balloon fight has been had and the first day of two Harry Potter marathons took place while I worked Tuesday.

Add all that to a super fun weekend including pool time with Aunt Jenni and the boys, fathers day fun and maybe even drive in movies and summer is shaping up to be nothing but fantastic.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hit like a Mack truck.

Just wanted to "jot" this down before I forget. This past Sunday was grad Sunday at our church so the youth students/leaders form a choir and band to lead worship. And both Todd and Tori were up there. No offense to Todd but I barely noticed him this morning. And why?

Because it hit me like a Mack truck that my baby girl is so grown up. She was standing singing side by side with people who can drive. Who are applying to college. Who have boyfriends and girlfriends and jobs.

And she was singing with all her heart. You could literally see the joy of worshiping in every part of her. Her entire body was moving and she sang "bless the lord oh my soul, worship his holy name, sing like never before oh my soul, worship his holy name. " and she literally sang like I have never seen her sing before and I lost it.

You hope your kids share your faith. And you teach them what you believe and you tell them why you believe what you do. You tell them that other people believe other things and you teach them those things too. You remind them some people don't believe in a God at all. But we do. And you live a life in front of them you truly hope reflects your beliefs. But you never really know what sinks in. What they absorb because its the mantra they have heard all their lives and what they actually feel and experience.

Today I watched as my baby girl experienced worship. You can't really teach that.

So proud to be her mom.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Last Day

So the kids last day of 3rd and 6th grade have come and gone. Yearbooks and tshirts were signed, teacher gifts were handed out and the last bell of the year signaled the start of summer.

And then it rained. And rained. And rained some more.

But in the spirit of tradition we headed out for ice cream despite the monsoon.

While it may not have been the sun soaked and sandy first weekend of summer I had imagined it was still nice. Tristan and I baked cookies while Tori hung out with a friend. We got a little pool time with some friends visiting from TN. Todd and Tori sang with the youth choir this am and we are enjoying an evening with neighbors tonight.

On this weeks agenda - begin checking off the bucket list items, attend VBS and meet the new pastors family!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Random Kid Stuff

I was trying to decide what to get Tristan's teacher for an end of the year gift. He suggested Outback, because its his favorite so of course it should be hers. When I said I was hoping to do something cuter than just a plain old gift card in a plain old card he said "Put a note on it that says hope you get to spend a lot of time out back with your kids this summer." LOL. I might have screwed him up already.

Tori had an awards ceremony last week. Much like a graduation they lined 'em all up alphabetically, announced them by name, they shook hands with the principal, the counselor and then took a pile of stuff from the random lady I did not know.

Victoria Maddex - Mighty Mu math team, Principal's List, Published Author

Then they handed her a trophy with her name spelled wrong, a certificate that had Principal's List "all year" written in the grading period section and she went back to her seat. I am SO proud of her. But why do they torture students and parents alike with these ceremonies? Just send it home with her! We'll celebrate for real here!

That's about it for now...tomorrow is the last day of school and then summer fun begins!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Bucket List

Catch Blog Up: Check
Lighten Work Schedule for Summer: Check
Sign a million field trip forms: Check
Confirm that each child has multiple bathing suits: Check.

Signs of summer are closing in! With only 6 (technically 5 1/2) days of school left its that time of year again. The time where this mom needs to step up to the plate and make sure I don't have two very bored kids making me one very crazy mama. Compliments of creative friends, an awesome local menagerie of cheap things to do, and the power of pinterest I present... the Maddex Family Summer Bucket List. Its gonna be a good summer.


For the most part its self explanatory but here are few explanations if you are interested in stealing some ideas:
  • Tijuana Flats tiles - if you go into your local Tijuana Flats and look up you will see lots of crazy tiles. If you bring one in painted they will put it up, at least for awhile. Think of it as the world's cheapest art gallery. Tiles are approx $3 a piece at your local home store. 
  • Famous Art Recreated - creative learning right here. This requires an internet search or library book of famous artists and the "styles" they represent. Then the kids can make their own painting in that same style - Impressionist, Cubist, Modernist, etc. 
  • Read with the Rays - this is an awesome program between the library system and the Tampa Bay Rays. Kids read books, completing certain time guidelines, get it signed off by parents and then a local librarian, in order to move around the bases. Reach home plate - get a free ticket to a game! 
  • Ice Cube Super Hero Rescue - freeze a giant block of ice with action figures in it, use water guns to "rescue them". In our house it will be done race style. But doesn't need to be. 
  • A Day in the Life Of movie - the beauty of that old digital video camera we completely do not use anymore. Encouraging the kids to find the things that are interesting or silly about their life, by making a movie about one day in their life. 
  • Postcard Round Up - we are going to send FL postcards to every out of state friend/relative we can think of with a request to send one back. Good way to collect postcards and learn a little more about other states! And practice our letter writing skills! 

So that's it! We always love company so if you want to join us on any of our Summer Adventures let us know!

PS - its a  loud and colorful list so it can be printed and placed in an 11x14 frame that will allow the kids to use a dry erase marker and check items off as completed! 

Roll Out the Red Carpet

Ladies and gentlemen roll out the red carpet please. Tori turned twelve and FINALLY got her birthday party after a delay due to illness.

Tori wanted a movie night sleepover so we literally rolled out the red carpet, hung the theater curtains, stocked up on junk food and celebrated movie star style!

They watched a movie, ate tons of junk, played a couple games and went home exhausted with diva glasses and Starbucks card. And mama sighed a huge sigh of relief that another year of girl birthday drama has passed!