Thursday, August 10, 2017

It's what's happening: Sleepaway camp!

Somehow miraculously Jeff and I made it work to send both kids to sleepaway camp for a month this Summer.  Yes, a month!  From July 25th to August 20th, Ian and Sam are spending their time in Palmer, MA at a Jewish overnight camp called Camp Ramah.

I think its pretty awesome that Ian and Sam are able to have this time; to just be a kid, playing with other kids their age, doing games and activities, singing and dancing, and having fun in a structured environment.  The best part of all is, it's technology free.  No iPads, no cell phone, no xbox.

I love that they get to experience this. But boy do I miss them!  The house is super quiet.  And the camp photographer is not the best this year at taking photos.  Fortunately I have my friends Dawn and Susanne working at the camp.  They have been wonderful in sending me lots of awesome photos and videos and giving me great reports on what Ian and Sam are up to.

Reports from my spies:  Sam is eating nothing but noodles for lunch and dinner.  Ha!  Actually one morning's breakfast consisted of 3 (!) cinnamon rolls.  This bothers Jeff more than it does me.  You got to pick your battles, right?  As long as she is happy and eating something is all I want for her.

It's gotten to be something of a joke that Sam is eating so many noodles.  Susanne asked her at one meal where are her veggies?  Sam answered with "At home."   Dawn saw her holding an apple and commented on how much she loves apples too.  Sam replied with, "Don't get so excited, I am only holding it.".   Ha!   The best was when Dawn stopped her and recorded her reaction when she informed Sam of the unfortunate news that the camp ran out of noodles.  The reaction on Sam's face is priceless.  

Just another 10 days to go until I get to hug my babies again.  XOXO

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sun in the fun in OC,NJ

My summer feels complete now that we had our week at the beach in Ocean City, NJ.  For the fourth year we rented a place and spent the week with my cousin Leslie and her family.  This to me is what summer is all about.  Spending countless hours by the ocean, hanging with family, getting ice cream almost every night after dinner and walking on the boardwalk.  Does it get any more old school and wholesome than that?  I don't think so.

This year we had a new set of wonderful guests join us...Jeff's parents!  From Sunday to Wednesday they stayed with us in Ocean City and got a glimpse at all the things we love about our week at the beach. 

Here are some of the highlights:

1. Uncle Bill's.  This restaurant is a family favorite and we make sure to go at least twice during the week.

2. Ian and Max surfing.

3. Getting Jeff on the beach for two days. 

4. Getting Jeff's father on the beach!  Rumor has it its been decades since he has stepped foot on a beach.

4. Being with family --all of them, Jeff's parents, my cousin's family, and her extended relatives.  It's the best!

5. Ian and Max getting to an operate a surrey all on their own.  This has been a dream of theirs. 

6.  The weather was extra gorgeous.

There is something so calming about being at the beach.   It is peaceful and easy and relaxing.  I absolutely adore it and am so thankful we've been able to do a week each summer.  Ian has a dream to rent an additional house nearby for just our relatives to come.  He'll make a schedule and have everyone he is related to come to visit.  The more family he is surrounded with, the better.   I couldn't agree more!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Meeting SDW ♥

My sister had a baby!   Sarah Dylan Wronsky was born on June 7, 2017.  She is beautiful and sweet and everything amazing.  Sarah joins big sister Rachel who is 3.5 years old and thrilled to have a sister.   In fact, Rachel thinks of Sarah as her baby. She is very possessive about her. 

Lori and Ben had Sarah's baby naming in early July and we had the best visit meeting Sarah and spending time with the family.  Now there is another reason to add to the list for wanting to move to Orlando. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

I heart NYC!

Our summer got off to a smashing start.  We had a trip to NYC planned for the week after school got out.  The whole trip was created because of one very big, thrilling event.

We had tickets to Hamilton. Yes, those very hard to get, much sought after, fabulous Broadway show about the Founding Father without a father, first Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton.   I was able to get the tickets as soon as they went on sale in September 2016 for the June 27th performance.  It gave us all school year to look forward to this.  And boy were we excited.


 As the lights went down and the show started, I got very emotional for the first 5 minutes. I couldn't believe we were actually "in the room where it happens".   I quickly got over it and became mesmerized with all the songs coming to life. It was amazing.  The show which is close to 3 hours long felt like 5 minutes.  It was so very well done.   Ian couldn't stop thanking us for taking him and as soon as the show was over, Sam said she wanted to see it again. 

We followed up our Broadway show to Hamilton with tickets to go see Kinky Boots the next day.  The kids have been listening to this soundtrack all year too.  The music is so much fun and the show did not disappoint.

Part our visit was taking a trip to the lower East side and doing one of the Tenement Museum tours.  Unfortunately our tickets, which were purchased in advance, were for the wrong day.  Oh no!  We showed up at the right time, just one day too soon.  We didn't have time to go back the next day and was fortunately able to get a refund.  We did sit thru the introductory film that was on a 40 minute loop.  It was great and hopefully we'll return with the kids one the correct date our tickets are for.

We also met up with a family we know from our elementary school. The mom was Ian's teacher this past year and her son, who is in the same grade, is friends with Ian.  They had gotten tickets to see Hamilton the day after us and we found a cool activity to do when we were both in NYC.  We went to Gulliver's Gate, a miniature exhibit.  From NYC to the Taj Mahal, to a section of Israel, all major landmarks were recreated in miniatures with amazing detail and moving parts.  It was really cool and unbelievable to see how small these recreations were. 

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade had floats the went around the building.

This was the Vienna Orchestra. All the people played music with moving instruments.

 Afterwards, we went to lunch at a local diner in Times Square before parting ways for our respective shows.  The kids fought over this milkshake.  We said they could split it.  However, it was a true work of art and unable to be split.  So 2 straws it was and of course they were complaining the other was taking too long of a sip.

We were able to meet up with Jeff's uncle for dinner on Tuesday evening.  The last few years we've gone to NY we've met up with Uncle Larry.  It is wonderful spending time with him and hear his stories about his experiences on being a producer. 

I love New York!  And to top off our visit we even went to Ellen's Stardust Diner for dinner.  It's the place where the waiters and waitresses are all wanna be Broadway stars and haven't made it yet.  They are constantly singing to the customers in the restaurant all kinds of music.  It is so much fun!  It's very loud and Jeff could only take so much.  After about 25 minutes he had enough and met us back at the hotel.

Straight out of the vending machine at our hotel.  What are the odds?

I really think this needs to be a annual trip.  It's "the greatest city in the world".  :)

Monday, July 3, 2017

Can you hear me now?

It was a long, excruciating wait for Ian but the day finally came!  Jeff and I planned that at the end of 6th grade we'd give Ian a cell phone as a promotion from elementary school present.

It was fun letting Ian think the phone was never coming.  There was a day two weeks prior when his friend was over and I asked him if he thought it was absolutely necessary for Ian to have a phone.  He said "No."  Ian tried to explain how important it was for him to have phone.  That when he went to Robinson he might need to text me to tell me he is staying after school.  Without hesitation, I asked Ian's friend if he could use his phone if this need arose.  Ian's friend said "Yes.".  Problem solved Ian!  What Ian and his friend didn't know was that this whole time I had the phone already purchased and ready to give him. 

I bought a Robinson Rams hoodie and wrapped the phone (still safely secured in the box) around it.   As Ian was pulling out the hoodie and thinking this was the only gift he was getting, Jeff called the phone and had it start ringing.  It was a brilliant plan but got a little messed up in execution.  The phone started ringing a little too early as Ian was still reading the card.

Samantha who is 3 years younger very badly wants to be treated like Ian's equal. She feels she should have a phone too.  We told her when she is done with 6th grade that is when she can get one.  The next day, Sam created this sign and posted it on her door.

Sam wrote:  When Sam gets a phone    June 22  7:23pm   2020

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Buh-bye to elementary school!

Ian's elementary school career is coming to a close.  This is his last week at Fairview Elementary where he has attended since kindergarten.  That's 7 years!  It's been a wonderful experience and the great, amazing days definitely outnumbered the more challenging, difficult ones. 

I am proud of Ian.  His enthusiasm for school, love of learning, and exuberant personality came shining through the years.  I thought it would be fun do an exit interview and ask him about his time at Fairview.

Favorite year:  3rd grade

Favorite teacher: Mrs. Costa

Favorite special: PE

Favorite subject:  History

Least favorite subject:  Math  (especially surprising given that he is a bit of a math wizard)

Thing you won't miss:  Chinese (it was a mandatory class at Fairview for the last 6 years)

Thing you will miss:  Small amount of homework and recess

Best buds:  James, Mike and Evan

Thing you would do differently:  Not take Band this year

Favorite event to participate in:  Field day

What did you do at Fairview that you will remember the rest of your life:  Getting dragged to school on the 1st day of Kindergarten.   (We have footage of the kindergarten teacher taking Ian by the arm and air-lifting him thru the hallway while he is kicking and screaming to not go).

Something you accomplished you are proud of:  Not getting less than a 3 in academics on any of his report cards.

Favorite part of the day:  Dismissal

Favorite book read:  Freedoms Fury

Area of biggest improvement:  Going to school willingly.

What advice would you give a rising 6th grader:  Use common sense before you say something.

Which person at Fairview had the biggest impact:  Mrs. Costa

Next stop:  Robinson Secondary School


1st Grade

2nd Grade

3rd Grade

4th Grade

5th Grade

6th Grade

Friday, June 16, 2017

Another tale from The Crypt

In case anyone thinks The Crazy Man is only crazy, please know he is also very calculating.

In preparation for a move and the fact he will be throwing out a ton of stuff that is no longer of any value, he has a written a letter to his neighborhood conservancy office telling the executive director what a fabulous job the trash pick-up people do each week.

Mind you, this is the first time in all the years The Crazy Man has felt compelled to write a letter praising their work but he never really needed them like he does now.  He knows he'll be putting to the curb more trash than usual and stuff of various sizes most likely not approved for pick-up.

The Crazy Man feels if he can tell everyone who matters they are doing a great job, they will be most likely to pick up everything he throws out.

Yep, this is how he operates.  He is always thinking of the best way to make things happen in his favor.  And writing a letter is always his first step.