Our family loves to attend the annual Memorial Day Parade in downtown Sarasota. Usually Michael takes part in the parade as an honor to his brother Kyle who served in the Marines and then the Army as a Kiowa helicopter pilot. We lost Kyle on January 13, 2006 in Iraq. This year Michael opted to spend the day watching the parade with us rather than walking and we really enjoyed the time together. Here are a few pictures from the day and also a picture of Kyle with his helicopter that he sent to us shortly after arriving in Iraq. We are so lucky to have known and loved someone so brave and willing to fight for our freedoms.
I won a stylish blog award! YAY! This is my very first blogging award and I'm honored to display this award on my blog! I was chosen to receive this award by Paula Parrish; check out her blog at http://paulaparrish.blogspot.com/. Her business is called Natural Garden Soaps and she makes the most wonderful smelling all natural and handmade soap. Check out her webiste at www.naturalgardensoaps.com.
Thanks so much to Paula for choosing me!
Here are the award obligations. As a recipient, I am required to thank the blogger that gave the award to me in this post and link back to her blog. In this case that would be http://paulaparrish.blogspot.com/. I then share seven facts about myself and then present the award to six or seven of my favorite stylish bloggers.
And now the drum roll please…..I award the following six blogs with their very own Stylish Blogger Award and suggest that you check them out at the links provided! They all rock!
Okay, so here are seven facts about Tara 1. I planned to have 1 daughter and I got 4 sons. 2. I got married when I was 19 and just celebrated our 10th Anniversary 3. I actually enjoying doing laundry but thats about it as far as chores go. 4. I am just starting to run and hoping to run a 5k later this year. 5. I am an only child. 6. I love to read and usually once I start a book, I don't put it down until I am done. 7. I secretly hate scrapbooking, but I force myself so thta kids have something to look back on when they are older!
So, that about all. Please check out the above blogs and thanks so much for taking the time to read what I have to say!
I call it that because the kids bike, Michael runs, and mom does a little walking and as much running as she can handle. It's more that when I first started, but not much yet. My 5k that I wanted to do by my 30th in August seems very far off. But, I am pressing onward and hopefully I will get there. We have been trying to go every evening, and it's so nice to see the kids having fun riding bikes (minus the wrecks of course), and getting to walk/run along and chat with my hubby. It's the ONLY time of the day where Reece is just sits, sucks his thumb, and enjoys being still. If u have any running advice or positive thoughts please comment for me! I could use all of that I can get =)
Okay, so this one is going to be about me. It does affect my kiddos though, so I think I'll get away with it. I gave up soda in September and other than a few falls off the wagon, I have been soda free for 7 months. I did it partially because I know how bad they are for you and because I was hoping I would lose a few pounds because of it. But, mostly I wanted to see if it cut down on my migraines. I have suffered with migraines since i was about 5 year old and with the exception of my pregnancies with Trace, Austin, and Ethan, I have had at least 1 a week my whole life. I won't even get into how many and how bad they were while I was preggo with Reece, but lets just say IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN A SIGN OF WHAT HE WOULD BE LIKE! So, back to the reason for this lovely little post......it took a while (4-5 months) to notice a real difference but over the last 4 weeks, my Migraines have all but disappeared! I have had a few minor ones, but nothing like what I have suffered with my whole life! I can't believe it took all this time to figure this out and for it to be something as simple and easy to give up as soda!
A little background before I tell the story. Everytime we get in the car Ethan immediatly asks us "what do you want to count"? It doesn't matter what we suggest he always picks something else. It's either semi-trucks, dump trucks, red cars, white cars, barricades, or the dreaded power poles (there are LOTS of those).
So, this morning on the way to church he asks us and I suggest semi's, daddy suggests punch buggies, Trace chimes in with light poles (on Clark road). Take a look at how many light poles are on Clark the next time you drive down it. So, Ethan decided on grass, yes you read that correctly, grass! So he starts counting and he does great up to 12 but then he starts skipping around 21, 22, 23, 29, 30, 40, 56, and then he bursts out with "20 hundred......... I won.......BOO-YA"! I can only assume his brothers taught him the phrase BOO-YA!
maybe I'll get in a post a day, or at least that's my goal. I figured I'll aim high and even if I don't quite get there I'll come very very close. My goal is to get something on here that happens in my crazy house everyday. There may not always be pictures because that just takes too long and my time comes at a very high premium! You'll have to check out my FB for the pictures of all the crazy little things we do! I want to remember all these small things and since journals are not my thing, maybe this is. Prepare yourself for the good, the bad, the ugly, the gross, and possibly the scary!
Today we decorated for Easter at our house. My kids are very big on putting up decorations for every holiday. We start with Halloween, then Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's day, St. Patty's day, and finally we wrap up with Easter. Trace was sleeping over at my mom and dad's, so we had Ethan and Austin to help. I love to watch where they choose to put things! All the little stuffed animals in one place, all the plastic eggs in another! I always make some minor adjustments after they go to bed, but they are just so proud of themselves when they get done! How lucky am I to have BOYS that get as excited about decorating as I do? Quite!
The boys had their Jog-a-Thon last month at school. Ethan and I were able to spend the day counting laps, handing out Popsicle's, and even running a few laps with them. Austin ran 25 laps and Trace ran 35! I am so proud of them for running almost the whole thing (40 min) and keeping a smile on their faces (well, most of the time). They enjoyed a freezer pop after their races and Ethan lucked out because he got to have one with each of his brothers. It was lots of fun and the weather was awesome. This is definitely one of our favorite events at Suncoast!
Reece is a daredevil. There is no other way to put it. He will climb on anything no matter how high or dangerous. These are just a few of the moments I have been able to capture. The other times I had to rescue him too quickly to take a picture
We took Trace, Austin, and Ethan on a surprise trip to Disney over spring break. It was very last minute, but it just seemed like the right time and they had been begging to go. They thought we were going to the zoo so we just got them up really early and headed toward Orlando. When we were almost there I pulled out some Disney Character Silly Bands I had bought. I started giving them to them 1 at a time and it didn't click until I gave them the Mickey one. Trace was the first to catch on, but them I gave them a Mickey key chain and that did it! We had a really awesome day and the the weather was so perfect. It was in the 70's and a little overcast. I don't think I can ever go to Disney during the summer again after this trip! We rode pretty much everything including all of us going on Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Buzz Lightyear, Stitch's Alien Encounter. Austin and I rode Space Mountain together, which was so exciting for him and I! I love having kids big enough to do all these fun things with =) We came home very tired, very late at night, and with much emptier pockets, but we made memories that were worth every yawn that we yawned and dollar that we spent!
The Boys had a great time playing basketball at Sarasota Baptist. They started in December and finished up right before spring break. It was a really awesome experience all the way around. They ended us with the best coaches, Trace had Mr. Crump who is the principle at their school. It was such a great opportunity for them to get to know each other better. Austin had Mr. Longenecker who teaches 5th grade at Suncoast. What great coaches and role models they were for the boys. Ethan made a new friend too, Mr. Longenecker's son, Gavin. Trace and Austin learned so much about playing b-ball and the fact that they pray during practice and games just really makes it such a good and safe environment for them to be in. New friends, new skills, and fun! What more could you ask for?
Some of the things that make my sweet Ethan so special
* He loves to tell knock knock jokes and he told his first one at 2 years old. * He insists that he is skipping 4 and turning 5 this year and nothing we sat will convice him otherwise * He wears wranglers and cowboy boots almost every day * He loves his little brother and is so happy Reece is finally getting big enough to play. * He is so excited to start school in the fall and already has his lunch box picked out! * He can work my smartphone better than I can and loves loves loves to play Angry Birds * He can sing the ABC's, count to 15, knows right and left, and can write his name. * His favorite phrase is "I need to tell you something", and then he proceeds to ask a question! * He asks more questions than anyone I have ever met, but I love that he soaks up all the info he can and I don't mind answering every one of them. * Most of all he loves to pray, go to Sunday school, and talk about God.....what more could a mom ask for!
You probably already know our story, but here is the short version for those that don't. Michael and I met in 6th Grade at Sarasota Christian. We started dating as Juniors in high school and we were married Dec. 30, 2000. We had our first little angel Trace on July 18, 2002. Our second, Austin, on November 26, 2003, our third, Ethan on March 2, 2007, and finally...... our fourth, Reece, on Nov. 10, 2009. In between all of that Michael started working as a Sarasota County Sheriff's Deputy on Sept. 11, 2003. He is currently working a School Resource Officer and is really enjoying the change from patrol. I am lucky enough to get to stay home with Ethan and Reece, now that our older two are in school all day! We have had our share of trials over the last few years and as hard as these things were to get through, I think it has made our marriage stronger and helped us realize that we can survive anything.