The girls had their first week of school this week! Abby is in first grade with Mrs. Moore (an awesome teacher we've been trying to get for years- and one of the sponsors for patrols), Marly is in 3rd grade in Mrs. Cogswell's class (another favorite who was runner up for teacher of the year last year- she even has people praying and writing notes to each one of her students each year). She was super excited this week about a science experiment to do a gender reveal for her baby. It's a girl according to the exploding volcano! Ellie has a new teacher, Mr. Smith who seems to be very nice. He's new to teaching after a navy career. She loves being a patrol! It's going to be a great year! It was an odd week for Voss and I. Still no school for him. He's still rockin' the waitlist. I'm going to have to put him in my 2nd choice, which I'm pretty bummed about. It's just the hours, really- which I know is selfish. I'm going to have to figure out how to be 2 places at once since his school will start the same time as the girls 4 days a week. We had a few bum days, where I just sorta answered emails, cleaned and piddled around the house. It was needed, I think. We hosted a rager, last minute play date on Monday. It rained so hard Sunday night, it knocked the power out around town- including the indoor playground where the play date was supposed to be. I had the first MOPS girls night- a pool party. There were 5 of us there, which was nice. Good conversations. Voss and I had a pool play date with my doula, Sherry. It was nice to catch up with her. We had dance practice then I met the Hershorins out to celebrate Brian's 40th. Friday we went to Adventure Landing for more water park fun. The older girls had friends spend the night Friday night. I got off easy because we went to the dive in movie at TCC. It was fun for all! The following morning, the Bentons picked us up and Ellie was fitted for point shoes! My friend, Emily met us there. Super neat having a ballerina help with the fitting. We celebrated with lunch after. It was a rainy day. Ellie convinced Phil to take them to the daddy daughter dance that night. They had such a nice time! Voss and I went to McDonalds. He has this nasty rash on his leg. I thought it was getting better. I think it was a bug bite that got infected or some chaffing from his bathing suit. But over the weekend I've noticed it spreading so it's time to have the dr take a look. I finished reading 1,000 White Women. It was pretty interesting. I'm excited for the conversation. Today we went to mass then bfast then just took it easy. I walked Spot over and visited with my parents. Marly and I played Trouble. Ellie and I tried to read a chapter of HP but Abby and Voss worked on potions and tried to destroy their room so we didn't get too far. We've been reading a lot this week, though. No activities yet and not much homework. The Hershorins had us over for dinner so we ended up having a Sunday Funday. Gotta get into the routine!
We drove to the Panhandle for a beach vacation. I sat in the back with the kids and watched movies. It was a great drive! We stopped at my brother’s place about a block from the beach in Panama City. It was crazy seeing all the hurricane destruction on the way in. We got settled at Matt’s place then walked to the beach. He was out fishing with his old neighbors so we just made ourselves at home. Afternoon at the beach then pizza for the kids while playing old school Nintendo! Later, we did an adult dinner at a fish house down the street. The Bushwhackers did us in! Matt got up and made us a nice breakfast then headed off to work. We headed west to Navarre where my parents have an awesome condo right on the beach. It was pretty rough out there on the gulf. You could see storms in the distance, but it stayed dry for us. We found some boogie boards and the kids loved the rough water! We drove over the bridge for dinner that night- oyster poboy for me! We went back out to the beach and pool after dinner. Tuesday was a lot of the same thing- beach and pool, lunch then more beach and pool. We found a new dinner spot down the street at a hotel that had a lazy river! Ice cream during an evening thunderstorm! The kids were so excited to watch Descendants 3 in their rooms. Matt met some friends doing training in Pensacola at the condo. We got to meet them and entertain them until he made it through traffic. After they had dinner, we stayed up and chatted with Matt. He spent the night then headed out early to get back to work. I really enjoyed visiting with him. It’s so nice having him in FL. Wednesday was more beach and pool. Ellie convinced us to set up under the pier and it was an excellent decision. That shade is fantastic! My cousins, Dane and Rachael came after lunch. We had such a nice visit with them. We walked over to Juana’s for an early dinner. Back to the beach and pool to watch the sunset. Big hugs good-bye to the cousins! Phil and I enjoyed a late night pizza date watching the Rock (and me reading One Thousand Women). This morning we had one last beach and pool fest then packed up and headed out. We got some fried shrimp for lunch on the way out. We were home in time for Phil to go to tennis and me to go to dance practice. We did line placements and danced for 3 hours! We went for a nightcap, but didn't stay out too late. I was wiped! Friday morning bright and early we had meet and greet at school. We dropped off school supplies and met all the teachers. We picked up Spot on the way home. The rest of the day was kina a bum day. Unpacking, cleaning, Spot was all wound up. I kept the TV remote in my pocket because I felt they watched too much TV. Three of the kids spent a few hours at my neighbors house. It was awesome to have a break! Ellie and I folded clothes and read a few chapters of Harry Potter. The kids had dinner at the pool that night. It started pouring before Phil and I could order. We ended up getting take out Tijuana Flats and watching Stranger Things. Saturday was an easy morning. I slept in. Phil made poached eggs. We did some yardwork then headed to the beach. We apparently hadn't had enough. It was a hot day but the ocean felt great. The Kuders were staying out there so we hung out with them and the Smiths. We ended up staying for dinner inside, which was nice yet very expensive thanks to all the wine! We stayed way too late. Getting up for mass was tough this morning. We hadn't been late in a long time. Breakfast after was full of attitude. The guys napped, Marly wrote out positive things in her life to offset the brewing negativity. Ellie cleaned out the car. I took Spot for a long walk down to my parents house for a visit. We took the boat to the pool for a quick dip. It was like a bath tub- yuck! The airater broke! Fried chicken for dinner, packing lunches then the family rosary. A stormy night to help the girls get a good night sleep for their first day of school!
Another week of checking off bucket list items. I kinda saw it as our last week of summer since we head to the beach next week. We had a little play date with Ainsley then I headed to see Sherry for my last facial in training. She really is that amazing!! Ellie and Marly both went to babysit in the farms while I took an extra to an afternoon pool date. Tuesday we did the tumultuous trip to Walmart for school supplies. Happy to get that out of the way! We went to the Cummer Art museum that afternoon. I think that was the first time we’ve been on a free Tuesday afternoon when it hasn’t rained. So we got to run around and draw in the gardens. Anne and I did a live video in our new MOPS group. We went to my parents that night for a pizza dinner and to meet some of their friends. I went to Claire’s for a late night girls night watching Center Stage then lighting lanterns off their new dock. It took a while, but we got one going successfully. Such a soul lifting night with wonderful women and let’s not forget the foot massages by Sherry! Wednesday we helped the Cochrans in the pool that morning then headed back for more roller skating. We had our last piano lesson of the season and attitude was at an all time low. I cut the lesson short, it was that bad. I was glad Phil took Ellie to water polo for me. I stayed up late watching the Democratic debates! So many candidates! I’ll have to read up on them all. Thursday we rode the skyway with the Spencers to Sweet Pete’s for ice cream then played there during a thunderstorm. We went to MOSH on the way home and hung out with the dinosaur exhibit. Marly went to her pal, Addy’s pottery painting Birthday party. It was an exciting day because the girls found out their teachers. It sounds like everyone got lucky and got the best teachers! Maybe I’ve mentioned that I’m going to MomCon in September. That’s the big MOPS conference that I’ve been to in the past. Well, it’s finally in Orlando! We have a group of 22 moms going! My friend, Jarvis posted a video of us doing that 1 Vibe dance at the last MOPS meeting to one of the leadership FB pages. Well, the CEO of MOPS invited us to dance on the stage! Y’all, 5,000+ moms are at this conference! Let’s not even talk about the live streaming! Of course, Jarvis got her fab friend to choreograph a dance for us! We had our first practice Thursday night. It’s awesome! Friday I went back to Walmart to return some school supplies (now that we know teachers the list has been adjusted) and get paint. Ellie has been begging to paint her room. I helped tape it. She and Marly spent the whole day painting. I tried to not be involved. It was still stressful. But, it turned out great! We went to First Friday. I snuck out for more wine and dance practice after at Rachael’s. Saturday, the kids had their first piano recital. I was not expecting much after that last practice but they did such a great job! I am really proud of them! We did some yard work and packing then went to a friend of a friend’s for a cook out. I’m so flattered to have been included. We were wined and dined for sure! Sunday we got up and went to mass. Ellie served and we were asked to bring up the gifts (Marly’s dream)! We dropped Spot at a neighbor’s and headed West!
Now that swim team is over, we have no real place we need to be. It was time to go back to our summer bucket list and see what needs to be checked off. We had a last minute play date on Monday. Those are always the best. Nothing fancy. Ellie still had water polo. I had book club that night to discuss the #Momspringa book. We drank and discussed til late. My amazing neighbor took Ellie and Voss to see Lion King. I watched some Applegate kids. We ended up keeping Poppy for a while so Abby could have a play date. Marly and I did our own date with nails and facials and scrabble. That night was the swim team banquet. Marly cleaned up with the high point age group award and the coaches award! Voss also got a coaches award. I'm so proud of all my strong swimmers! We stayed and kept the party going until late. Poppy ended up spending the night with us. For rainy day Wednesday we went roller skating. We used our library passes. Piano that afternoon practicing for the recital! Thursday the Cutlips picked us up and we went to Ichetucknee. It was the perfect, overcast day out there. No gator sightings this year. That's totally fine with me since we get enough of that at home. I had a nice, peaceful float even signing Amazing Grace to myself among the beautiful Florida scenery. Coke float on the way home to prep for the late night girls night at Tracy's. More laughing and soul enrichment. You know I was tired on Friday! But we got Sawgrass passes and continued the party out there. That's definitly the way to do the beach! That was on Abby's bucket list. Another overcast day. I took an afternoon snooze then rallied for the Dive in Movie night. It drizzled but wine and Swedish fish makes any pool party fabulous! Saturday morning we went tubing and through a thunderstorm to the pool. We were at TCC almost all day. We were home for a bit then back for a farewell party for the Helms. I've been hiding from Spot in the mornings. I just needed a break from those walks and 5am wake up calls! My sleep didn't improve with a stressful text battle with my sister. Oh family! Sunday Funday was fabulous with mass, breakfast, rough boat ride to the pool (no luck for me on that obstacle course!) and then a lava cake bake off at the Applegates ending with the rosary. Summer fun for sure!
The final week of swimming! Ellie went to Thou Art Exalted camp this week. It's an art camp for rising 4th and 5th graders with a religious twist. I called it attitude adjustment camp because they had different character traits to work on each day. Perfect for this age group! We still had swim team each morning. Lots of fun things prepping for the River City meet this weekend. We went to Summer Waves on Monday as a team. There was a breakfast, poster making and even a visualization drill. I did take over Tuesday for MOPS. We had a new member mixer at TCC. The Hershorins and Foxes joined! We turned it into a date night and even got to see the space station across the sky. It was really neat. I went to the Blessed is She girls night on Wednesday night. We watched a video on female friendships then had wine, dessert and discussion. It was pretty neat. I also did a last minute pool party girls night with Trexler, Shad, Anne and Weiss. It was nice to catch up. Swim champs began on Thursday. We were short on volunteers so Ellie and Marly were put to work. Ellie was a timer and Marly helped with clerk of course. It was a great evening! Friday afternoon/evening was IMs for Ellie and Marly. My friend, Laurie watched Abby and Voss for me. We made it just in time for the reception and art show for Ellie's camp. We had dinner with the Bentons afterwards. We had Saturday morning off. Phil played golf, Abby and Voss went to a Birthday party. The older girls and I pulled weeds and packed up for an afternoon of swim. That was the bulk of the race. Ellie beat a few of her times. Marly seemed to swim slower. Not sure what that was about. I was bummed because she was ranked pretty high, especially for freestyle (top 10!). But she didn't keep that title. She didn't seem to notice. My neighbors helped watch the younger two so they didn't have to come out at all. We stopped at La Nap for a drink on the way home. That's probably what started our Saturday night trouble. We went to our friend, Matt's "Wetting Down" ceremony to celebrate him becoming a commander. There was some flip cup happening at 1am. Lots of bad choices there, but so much fun. You know Sunday morning was tough when we had to be back out for warm ups at 7:30am! Despite my headache, it was a fun day. Lots of team unity! Phil and I even participated in the parents relays! We didn't rank real high, but it was still a good season! We went to TCC for an after party. But the rain pushed us out. I ended up taking the girls to mass. Everyone was over tired after a long swim weekend! Go River Rats!
The kids went to their favorite week of vacation bible school this week. I am embarrassed to say that it was at the First Baptist Church downtown. I am sorry Catholic friends. Please stay with me. It was FREE. The frills were amazing- incredible crafts, snacks, songs and activities. The kids have been talking about it since last year. So, who can argue with a free pro-God week? (Apparently some moms in some of the Catholic FB groups I'm in.) Anyway, it was a great week. Monday I was a little lost. I didn't make any plans, really. After drop off I went by CFA and cashed in one of my free breakfast cards then went to Stitch B*tch club to work on ripping some monograms off of Voss's old outfits. It was just a chat sesh, which was nice. Of course time flew. We went to the library that night and Ellie had her friend, Charlotte over to spend the night. If you brought a friend to VBS you got a special treat. The older girls were really into that. Charlotte and Addy and my nephew, Alex came with us on Tuesday to VBS. Drop off and pick up is nuts since it's such a huge church, but I figured out the details last year- arriving early and picking up late to grab an already paid meter spot. Tuesday, I met some fellow moms of four for a kid free avocado toast breakfast. It was so nice to have adult convos. I was hoping for swim team and gym time that night but it rained both Tuesday and Wednesday nights and it all was canceled. Wednesday I went with my doula, Sherry again for an amazing facial at FSCJ. I was having a minor allergic reaction to something on my face and neck and it felt great to have cold creams and massage for almost TWO hours! Sherry has the gift of touch. I love her! I brought both my nephews to Tracy's for a pool party after VBS. Rowdy crew but so nice to hang with the ladies for a bit. The rain came at the perfect time as we headed to piano. I snuck out that night with Rachael to check out the Open Mic Poetry night at the Silver Cow. I've had this on my calendar for months and finally made it to one. It made me feel really good about the diverse art scene in Jacksonville. It also got me out of my funk! Thursday I went to the gym (really trying to lift weights a few times a week), cleaned up a bit and tried to read my book for my free time. I'm all in to Jodi Picoult's Nineteen Minutes. I can't stop reading it. Friday I got a pedicure and met Phil for an early lunch. It was an excellent ending to my week of freedom! That night I met up with some Sacred Heart and camp friends to see New Kids on the Block. First, I went to the wrong dinner location to meet up. The concert was just okay. I remembered that I wasn't a huge NKOTB fan back in the day; and it's not like their music got any better. I did enjoy Naughty by Nature and Salt N Pepa, though. And of course it was fun seeing everyone. It feels like every woman my age was there! Saturday we went to the beach for the day. The Smiths and Cochrans met us out there. It was hard to leave. We made it to Corked Crew that night. Busy party weekend! Sunday was super low key. We went to mass and had a large group for breakfast. But then we didn't leave the house the rest of the day. I read, Phil played tennis, the kids cleaned their rooms. We needed a catch up day for sure!
And all of a sudden, it's July! Wow! I'm dragging my feet this summer to slow it down. We've been doing a lot of nothing. Lots of YouTube watching, rain storm watching, playing on my phone. I read my bc book, finished Michelle Obama's book and listened to the MEN podcast. Good stuff all around! We had a swim meet on Monday. We went to Orlando on Tuesday- just for the day. My friend, Liz was in FL and we visited her for the day then stopped at McDs for dinner to catch up with my cousin, Natalie. It was a good visit all around. Wednesdays are full with piano and water polo after swim team. We had the last kids eat free. Thursday was the 4th of July. We spent the day at the pool with swim team, then back for lunch and swim via boat then later for the carnival and fireworks. TCC did not disappoint. It was amazing! Happy Birthday, USA! Friday was more swim team then extra kids for play time. First Friday that night. Saturday we played in the Malivai Washington tennis tournament. It was so muggy. I should have had a bloody to chase to wooblies away. My pal, Kristen and I played okay, but it's just the beginning! Still an awesome, tournament. Phil and his partner won, so that was cool! Dinner at my parent's that night after a wicked rain storm. Mass this morning then Jack's Birthday party. The Freemans are wonderful hosts! Another fabulous summertime week!
Here is a week with Marly & her blog. so Ellie did this on Monday were you pick a name from a bowl & who ever you got you had to right a very nice letter to your secret person & you have to secretly put it some were in there room & you can not tell anybody your person. Also i had to do a swim meet then on Tuesday we went to Quinn's house and we played in her pool & for LUNCH we had PIZZA&WATERMELON&juice me & Quinn played dress up & then we played with her circus stuff! then on Wednesday, we went to kids eat FREE & i celebrated my birthday & i got a big piece of CAKE!!!!! and then we went to target & i got a squshy it was white but i got to color them & there was a teddybear,donut,hot dog & they had to dry over night! & that is a week of Marly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hi, it's Ellie, this week my mom said that I could right the blog from my perspective. Here we go! On Monday morning Abby, Marly, and Voss all went to VBS at St. Matthew's while I went to water polo practice at TCC . Mean while my mom was at home with Spot,cleaning. Later that day my mom hosted book club. On Tuesday we went to VBS and after noon swim practice. On Wednesday we had VBS while my mom got facials with her friend Sherry. Later we had piano and we drew some pretty awesome pictures. Then we went to swim team and had dinner at TCC. After dinner I went back into the pool to play water polo.On Thursday we had VBS and we picked up the two older Applegate kids and Nora for the swim meet at Deerwood. When we got home we heard that spot had busted through the screen on the porch and got out. Luckily one of our neighbors had kept spot at their house until we got back from the swim meet. Friday was the last day of VBS and there was an ice cream party at the end for every one. Later that day spot got out again, someone put him on the porch and because of the hole in the screen he got out and ran into the mud on the other side of the road, once we got him we washed him off and he will be spending a lot of time in his crate now. Later we went to a dive in movie at TCC. On Saturday my dad played Tennis while we spent the day at the pool. On Sunday we went to church with the Applegates and invited them to brunch with us and the smith's. After my dad played tennis while we went to Dreamette with the Suters.
It took a bit to ease into a summer routine. I'm not even sure if we're there. I drop the kids off at swim team in the morning (which is a whole new world for me- no more wasting away in baby jail in full sun AKA the baby pool, while glaring at the fab moms in the shade reading or playing on their phones). I made it to the other side! Besides, there's no baby pool anymore anyway. Emma and I walk our dogs and talk like adults. Sometimes I bring Spot home, change into my suit then head back to the pool for another hour of play until lunch. I'm trying to do salads and healthy options. No plans usually in the afternoon, other than a dentist appointment and piano one afternoon. We got a lot of much needed rain this week. We did kids eat free on Wednesday- a fun party night in the middle of the week. Water polo was canceled due to rain for Ellie that night. Friday morning during swim team, Phil and I went to Bobby's retirement ceremony right on the TCC lawn. It was so neat to be there for that. I worked hard to finish a silhouette order on some fanny packs. Once I finally finished we headed to the Suters for a play date and did our nails with Tracy's professional collection and stamps. Dinner poolside at TCC then back early for the swim meet on Saturday. It was neat to have all 4 kids swimming. I kept feeling like I was going to miss a race. They all did so well. Ellie and Marly have the speed this year. Being top in their age groups is going to be nice. We stayed for lunch and relaxed in the Grove. It was so nice. We came home for a bit of a break then Phil and I headed back for dinner with the Freemans and Smiths then to FYC for the Trader Vics party. Not as impressive as usual, I think. Being moved inside really takes the glamor out of it, especially on such a nice night. Fun running into my parents, especially since my dad and Phil were dressed alike. Ha! We went to the Smiths for pepperoni rolls and to check out their monstrocity of a dock afterwards. Sunday was tough thanks to that late night. Mass and breakfast at TCC celebrating Phil for father's day. We actually took an afternoon nap then headed out to TCC in the boat. Early bedtime for most. I walked over to celebrate my dad for Father's Day- an evening wine night watching some golf. Late night Chinese take out with Phil to end the weekend. Hello summertime!