Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Ray of Sunshine

Whew, what a week so far...

Sunday - Mom's memorial service
Monday - 1st Day of the FCAT for Joshua's grade
Tuesday - Finally went back to work after being off for almost 2 weeks
Wednesday - Attending the Children's Hospital memorial service honoring all of the children that passed away last year...oh my about heart-wrenching.

So today, Thursday, seemed like a good day to relax in the tub. My only problem is that our master bathroom has a shower only, and so that means taking a soak in the kids' bathroom. Which, well, unless I wanted to share a tub with 3 half-naked Barbies, and an assortment of little boats, meant I had to clean up the bathtub. After all that hard work, I opted to sit out in the sun with a good book instead of filling up the tub, but it was nice to hang out in the super-cheery kids' bathroom for a while.

Keep in mind, last summer, Keith told the kids they could pick the paint color for their bathroom...neither one of us expected that they would pick Home Depot Orange (I'm sure it's called something else, but really, at first it looked like I was going to be selling hardware out of their bathroom). The color has really grown on me, and everyone that comes to our house loves it (and our Yellow Submarine shower curtain).

Mom's Memorial Service

My mom's memorial service was on Sunday. It was a nice, small service, just what she would have wanted. These are the gorgeous flowers that our church sent to our house. Don't look too closely at that sink full of dirty dishes in the had been a long, busy week.

While cleaning Mom's house, my sister and I came across Mom's old Salvation Army uniform. She was very active in the Salvation Army as a young person, which set the tone for her to continue to find ways to volunteer in the community no matter where she lived.

Mom's brother, Uncle Butch, sent a lovely arrangement that looked and smelled amazing.

Candy's girls, Amber and Alexis, helping to greet guests to the service.

My oldest niece, Mary, getting ready to play the horn for the service.

The girls playing a musical tribute...they are such mature young ladies.

Kindof blurry, but there's us three girls after the service was over. Candy (40) is the blonde, Pam (29) is in the middle and I'm on the end (36).

Adventurers Investiture 2012

Last Sabbath afternoon was Adventurers Induction. Which means that once again, Adventurers has come to an end for the academic year and the kids have all graduated to the next level.

Megan and one of her BFFs.
This is the second year that I've led out in Daniel's group, the Eager Beavers. I think the stress of Mom being sick, kids having Wednesday night homework, and no longer having a close-friend relationship with one of my co-leaders had really put a strain on my desire to lead-out again next year. I've decided for now to step down and let others lead. But we'll see where my heart is after a month or two of summertime.

Megan's group, the Sunbeams, saying the Pledge to the Christian Flag.

Joshua's group are the Builders.

The kids are really proud of their hard work. They love the trophies that they earned and their performance awards.

It was a fun year!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lake Mary's Community Day

Catching up from Easter Weekend...

My mother passed away on Good Friday in the wee early hours of the morning and I'm pretty sure I didn't sleep at all that Thursday night into Friday morning. By Saturday, I was feeling pretty physically and emotionally exhausted. It was the Easter service at church, and I really didn't want to miss it. Keith was working in the Children's Welcome Center at church, and so I joined a friend and her husband in the sanctuary. We made plans to meet later at a park to play.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that the park was having a free community event.

The Central Florida Zoo brought animals to check out.

The kids got to check out a fire engine and an ambulance.

Joshua and Bradley trying to take each other down.

We love bouncy houses! Daniel enjoyed coming down the bouncy slide.

More bouncy house fun!

Bradley and Joshua geared up to climb the rock wall.

Bradley and Megan...they have such a sweet friendship.

Joshua working his way up the rock wall.

Megan catching up to Joshua!

Mmmm....cotton candy. I thought it was funny that a huge bag of cotton candy only has 2 servings.

The kids were all tired and we crossed Lake Mary Blvd by way of the big bridge to head back to the minivan.

After trying unsuccessfully to get a picture of all the kids looking in the same direction, we decided to let everyone make a silly face. So fun!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring Break in Daytona Beach

The kids were on Spring Break from school a couple of weeks ago, so on March 21 -22, we decided to invade my mom's house in Daytona Beach. More specifically, Nana lives in Ormond Beach. Mom had been feeling blue since her doctor's appointment back on the 5th (also of March). That was the day we saw the oncologist, and he was very honest with us about her cancer progression and updated us on what kind of grim prognosis we were up against. He was so compassionate, and we could tell that he just hated that we were running out of options. Keith was working on some stuff for school and had a late evening class planned, so it would have just been me and the kiddos anyway.

Pam and Bruce and their kids (Aidan and Austin) and Candy's kids (Mary and Amber - we weren't brave enough to bring the baby) and my herd all went to the beach. It was not as warm as I was hoping, and it was quite windy. That certainly did not stop the kids from jumping in the water.

Megan digging in the sand. I see my foot...there's proof that I was there!

Down in the water...from left to right...Joshua, Austin, Amber, Mary and Aidan.

A little later, Megan and Daniel attempted to get wet.

Daniel was more into digging than anything. Thank goodness for these buckets from the dollar store that I had picked up for games for Megan's birthday party just a few days before this trip.

Bruce and Mary spotted a crab, so we called all the kids over to check him (her?) out.

Daniel is so funny! He makes me smile every time I see him laugh.

Overall, it was a great day at the beach. We went back to Nana's house to clean up and have lunch. Then we left so Nana could nap.

Pam took us just a few blocks over to Rainbow Park, where the kids ran themselves silly.
Some more silly than others!

The park had dozens of caterpillars crawling everywhere. It seems like every time I'd put my hand somewhere, a caterpillar would crawl across me.

The kids all had fun and were soon hungry again, so it was back to Nana's house to check on her and make plans for dinner. While at Nana's house, Candy came to pick up her kids and we grouped everyone together for a picture.

Mary had some sort of silly slipper day coming up at school, and when we opened a closet in Nana's house, we found bunches of silly we tried them on and picked our favorites to wear through the house...I have the pigs.

After all the kids went to bed, Mom and I stayed up and chatted and listed to the music of American Idol. The next morning was the visit from the Hospice Admission Nurse - mom was officially entered into the Hospice care system to receive comfort care at home.