Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sweet Friends

On Sunday, before we got on the road to go home, we got to have lunch with some of my very bestest girlfriends. All of these gals are people I met through the family readiness group with the ship! They are the best of the best! I am so glad I got to spend a little time with them while I was there!
Me, Parys, Kathy, Andrea, Amy and Brittany.
Miss Andrea made sure to get her seat next to Ian.
And Isabelle had a special seat next to Ally. I am not sure who enjoyed that more! (I can't wait till you are here to play with the kids next spring, Ally!)
Here is my crazy girl, Brittany!
And the ever adorable, Parys. (too bad you can't see the rockin shoes she had on!)
And a picture of the two preggos! Amy is about 10 weeks ahead of me on this one! She will be having another precious little girl in February!
The triplets.
When Andrea and Ally were visiting here last, we got to go out shopping one day. The poor man at Banana Republic was shocked. He thought we were triplets. I could only be so lucky! So we made sure to get a picture of all of us together this time!
The kids were great all through the lunch. Ian enjoyed his time with Alex while we all chatted away!
It was so wonderful to have this short time with all of you! Hopefully we will see you all in a couple more months!

A visit with the Gang

This weekend we got to drive up to Virginia and spend some time with some good friends! We also got to take our final trip of the year to Busch Gardens for their annual Hallowscream event. This year we got to take Ally and Tyler along with us for the excitement!
(You can almost see all of us in this picture) Unlike most visits to Busch Gardens, the focus is on doing all sorts of things other than the rides. There are several haunted house type areas to walk through as well as characters like this guy that wander the park.
This picture doesn't really do this guy justice. He was on stilts and he was HUGE! It was quite fascinating to watch him move through the crowds.
Here is a quick picture of Ally and Tyler before we went into the first haunted house. They were trying to be very brave!
We also got to spend some time just letting the kids play with their friends. It always amazes me that they can go for weeks or months without seeing each other and then jump right back into playing like they have never been separated. These kids are more like family than friends...very sweet!
How could you not love these faces???
We celebrated Jayden's birthday a month early since we won't be able to be with him on his birthday. He LOVED his legos!
And Isabelle got a princess art set as her belated birthday gift!
One final shot of the whole crew...
Zachary, Isabelle, Kolby, Ian, Jayden, Bryan, Tyler and Ally
Next year, Zachy won't be the littlest of the gang!
Thanks for having us guys! We had a great time and look forward to seeing you all again soon!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

An ice skating adventure

Last weekend we got to attend an ice skating birthday party. This was the kids' first time ice skating, but they did pretty well.

Here is Isabelle with her entourage. The older neighbor boys were very sweet to help her out! Both of the kids used a little walker to help them out, but Ian was determined to be hands free! (That was fine as long as he was standing still...)
Isabelle caught on pretty quickly and they both had a great time!

Friday, October 17, 2008

One on One

Isabelle's cheerleading class is a small class. There are normally only two or three girls in the class each week. However, yesterday, when we came to class, we were the only ones there! It didn't seem to phase her in the least. She came to cheer and cheer she did! She amazed her teacher with her motion techniques! She is able to pop her motions very sharply! Miss Kathy told her that there are some high school and college age cheerleaders that still need help with that!

After working on motions, cheers and chants, they moved to the gym to work on stunting. This is something that can be a challenge with so few girls in the class. But Miss Kathy got a helper in to work with her and Isabelle was the star of the show! She climbed up on their shoulders like a pro!

And then they tried a few stunts that they hadn't done before!

Here is a Liberty thigh stand.

They moved on to a few stations where they focused on some upper body strength. And at the end of class Isabelle got to ride the "dolphin!" They had been pretending to be under the sea throughout class and this was the final activity. Normally, she would only get to do this once or twice. However, being that she was the only one in class, she did it forward...
And ended with a forward roll.
And she did it backwards too! (several times!)
It was a great week for her. Isabelle has never been one to mind getting the attention. Next week, however, we are going to try one of the busier weeknight classes so that she can actually stunt with her peers and learn what formations are and fun stuff like that! Then she can decide which class she prefers to go to!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Terrific Kid

Ian was selected to receive a special award at school this week! It is called "Terrific Kid." Each month, the teachers and students get to choose a student from each class to be their Terrific Kid. This month Ian's teacher allowed her class to vote on who they thought deserved the award and Ian was selected. He was very excited to be chosen! He received a certificate and several gift certificates to area sponsors. Congratulations little man, we are very proud of you!
(this is a picture of all of the 1st graders that were chosen)

Monday, October 13, 2008


This weekend we got a special visit from some friends. Andrea drove down from Virginia to attend a wedding, but we got to enjoy some special time with her also! She has known the kids since Ian was 3 and Isabelle was less than one. It is hard to believe how time has flown! The kids were very excited to see her! Andrea and her sister, Ally, (sorry Ally, somehow I didn't get a single pic with you in it!) were wonderful enough to bring Isabelle's friend, Kylea down with them! Both of the girls were VERY excited to see one another. They played princess dress-up, My Little ponies and all sorts of games..
until they looked like this! They both took naps both days!!! They had such a fabulous time!

Ian was disappointed that he didn't get any special time with Miss Andrea (a lesson learned for next time...he needs special time!) but he was excited that she had left a surprise for him when she left today! He found it when he got home from school and it made his day! Thank you so much for coming to visit! And thank you for bringing Kylea! We all had a fabulous weekend! See you soon!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

We have a surprise!!!

Can you tell what it is??? This is it! Our little Jellybean as the kids have named it!
Crazy, huh? We know, but we are really excited!
Our newest family member will be making his/her debut mid April!
That means that I have just hit the 12 week mark and I am really feeling very good! I have had some rough days along the way, but generally speaking, it hasn't been too bad.
The kids are pretty excited, but I think Isabelle is, by far, the most excited of us all. She is thrilled that she is going to be a big sister! Actually, she thinks that she is pretty lucky that she gets to be a big sister AND a little sister!
I will do my best to keep you all posted on how things are going along the way! We are hoping to find out what we are having right around Thanksgiving...and maybe, just maybe we will share!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fun with Nana

We took the opportunity to go downtown with Nana while she was visiting. The kids were very excited to find an open swing on the pier! And it wouldn't have been complete without a really goofy picture!
The kids made sure that she got to see the pineapple fountain. They were a little dissapointed that it was too cool out to splash in the water, but they still had a great time showing Nana the sights!

David's Promotion

On the 16th of September, David was officially promoted to Chief Petty Officer! He went through a 6 week induction period and at the end there was a ceremony in which he wore his new uniform for the first time and his anchors (the insignia of a chief) were pinned on his collar.

Here is a picture of David and Ian before the ceremony. David was kept awake the entire night before the pinning ceremony as part of the induction. You may notice that he doesn't have any insignia on his collar and he is also not wearing a cover (hat) on his head. That is part of the ceremony. All 31 of the selectees marched into the ceremony in formation, singing Anchor's Aweigh.

MCPON Herdt was the special speaker at the ceremony.
After the speaker was finished, the selectees were brought up on stage to be pinned and have their covers placed on them.
I got the privilege of pinning David. On the other side was Steve Jolly, a good friend of his from the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
Then his sponsor, Jamie Ydrovo, placed his hat on his head.
After we were finished with our part, we sat back down and David got to walk through the side boys and be saluted. (This is not a normal occurrence for enlisted personnel, but is part of the transition and the ceremony in this case.)

Now, he was officially a Chief!
At the end of the ceremony all of the chief's at the command came through to congratulate each of the selectees.
Because David (and Steve) had been up all night, we were doing everything we could to keep him busy and keep him awake. We knew that as soon as we let him go to sleep, we wouldn't see him again. So, it was Steve's idea for David to do a fashion show. Here is his dress white uniform...pretty snazzy, huh?
We got an early dinner at Chili's that night to celebrate!
(This is Steve, David, and his brother, Dan who came in from Chicago for the ceremony!)
The whole crew (including my mom and sister, Jilienne)
It was a fun day for all of us! Thank you everyone for being here to share in this special experience with us!

Isabelle Turns Four

Isabelle turned four last month. It is hard to believe it was a month ago, but September managed to pass in the blink of an eye!
Isabelle had been planning for over a year to have a princess party this year...complete with a "castle cake." So, Aunt Bean and Mommy figured out the cake idea. I think it turned out pretty cute!
Aunt Bean got Isabelle a Cinderella dress. Cinderella is her favorite princess these days, so she was very excited!
She also got a tiara to match.
She was more than thrilled to put all on before she finished opening gifts!
Grandpa had gotten her a whole set of princess shoes, so now her outfit was complete!

The princess sharing her crown with Aunt Bean.
And with Nana.
She also received the book Pinkalicious from Mr Steve and Mrs Parys. It is a daily read in our household now.
Parys went a little crazy and made and entire bag of gifts with the pink theme...including this GIANT bag of pink candy (that she sorted from other colors herself!)
We all enjoyed the castle cake and Isabelle enjoyed her princess party. Thank you to everyone for making it a special day for our little princess!