Monday, June 17, 2024

A Quick Getaway and Happy Father's Day!

Last Friday, Phil and I played hooky from work (ok we used our Personal Days) and took the littles to Great Wolf Lodge for a night.  On our way, we had to stop by one of our favorite ice cream places for professional purposes, obviously:

If Mocha Chip is on the menu, mocha chip is what I get!  The kids all got mocha chip as well because I've trained them right.  Phil had Chocolate Mint Oreo.  We had Kiddie sizes which were huge and cost $5.95 (The Cottage charges $4.50 for a similar sized small...just saying!)

These are the only two photos I got of our stay but just know that they had a good time :)  

 I think it may be our last stay at a waterpark of this size because the kids are getting a little too old to enjoy it like they used to, which is a sad ending to that chapter of life.  They all still have tons of fun at huge outdoor waterparks, so the book is not quite finished.  Phil and I were thinking that the next time we go to GWL might be when we take our grandkids which is craaazy to think.

On Saturday after the Vigil Mass, we had our Father's Day dinner with lots of good food that I knew the fathers in particular would love.  

We had to say goodbye begrudgingly to our priest friend (and Maggie's godfather) who is taking a new assignment as a professor and chaplain at Ave Maria Law School. Maggie packed him up some food and wrote a message:

Sunday came and it was Father's Day!  Phil got some nice cards and gifts and felt all the love he deserves.  I thought Declan's 4th grade school-made tool box card was quite cute and clever:

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Week in Review: Fun Runs, Field Days, Awards Nights, Irish Festivals and Goodbyes

Happy Friday Thursday!  Wrapping up the school year certainly means lots and lots of events on the calendars!  The youngest three boys ran in the Youth Mile race in our town, and I walked them over to the track for their warmup.  They were "sponsored" by The Ice Cream Cottage - meaning "mom and dad told them to wear their Cottage shirts" and definitely had people talking.  Free marketing is the best kind of marketing :)

I was so proud of them because they all beat last year's times for some new Personal Records.

Brendan (age 7) won 1st place in his age group with a mile time of 7:57.

Declan (age 10) won 1st place in his age group (and overall fastest time of all the runners) with a mile ran in 6:26.

Xander (age 12) ran a 7:23 mile, and made it look easy.

I think this is the scientific proof we were all looking for; ice cream makes you run faster!

Andrew and Maggie came to cheer them on, and Andrew told them to bite their medals:

Maggie was babysitting our neighbor's daughter so she walked her over in the wagon.  Maggie had snacks for her and toys and had applied her sunscreen and then took her over to the little playground to play after.  I snapped this photo of her leaving and sent it to her as I sang the Reba lyrics:

"A single mom who works two jobs
Who loves her kids and never stops"

Maggie always loves to sing that song when she has to help with the littles or around the house, you know, because her life is so hard.  Ha!

Monday, June 10, 2024

Father's Day Gift Ideas 2024

Airpods - because music makes everything better :)

Ice Cube Trays - we keep a few "ice balls" in the freezer to make fun drinks

Shorts - it's summertime!

Electric Pepper Mill - we have this and love it, so easy to get fresh pepper

Crocs - to take out the dog or do some yard work or work at the shop

Under Armour Tshirt - again, summertime!

Pickleball Racquets - a current obsession

Manly Body Lotion - rub on a little of this after a shower and the scent lasts a long time

Peter Kreeft's new book - a favorite philosopher in our house

Running Shoes - for the Father's Day 5k race and all of the runs before and after :)

Friday, June 7, 2024

Week in Review: Pushing His Button, Heated Elections and Keeping Husbands Alive

This week was the 2nd Grade Wax Museum.

The kids dress up as someone famous, make a poster board (at school, God bless that teacher) and write and memorize a speech about their lives.  Brendan chose Buzz Aldrin because this ain't our first rodeo and we told him to pick a famous person who could wear a costume we already had.  Declan was Neil Armstrong two years ago, so Brendan said he would be an astronaut. Declan demanded that Brendan pick a different astronaut so that he wouldn't copy him and ruin his life, and hence our little Buzz Aldrin was born.

 At school when they have their Wax Museum, students and parents come and press a fake button and the wax museum figures have to recite their speech.  Brendan Buzz Martin's speech was verrrrrry long and so I overheard him telling Declan and Xander that morning:

"When you come to my button, just keep pushing it so I have to keep starting over and I don't have to say my whole entire speech."

That Buzz is a smart cookie!  I did manage to record him practicing his speech the night before:


My phone made this, so cool!

Alexander is running for Student Council Vice President for next year, and he made these signs to hang up all over the school:

He has his speech ready for Monday and we keep telling him to keep his hopes high but his expectations low because he is running against one girl and one other boy which means the girls will probably vote for the girl and then the boys vote will be split.  He really wants to win because all of his older siblings all held positions either on Student Council or the National Junior Honor Society when they were in 8th Grade.  Poor Xander has big shoes to fill and as a 5th child myself, I empathize for him so!

Phil sent me this funny-because-it's-true-meme:


Other than that, lots of end of school year things going on, lots of ice cream scooping and pickleball playing - my big kids are obsessed, and of course cheering for the Celtics...let's goooo!

Have a great weekend everybody!

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Life Lately: Unexpected Gifts, Field Trips and Silver Linings

Hey June!  This weather is staring off very wonderfully summery and though I personally prefer temps in the 50-60 degree range, The Ice Cream Cottage is thriving.  Look at what a talented customer dropped off:

Isn't that such a beautiful painting?  I can't get over how nice people are.  I will treasure this painting forever.

I've always liked Two Good yogurt, and this new Key Lime flavor is so good.  I just realized I'm also drinking Lime seltzer, so I guess I have a thing for limes.  No scurvy here!

My workout wrapup for the month of May:

Currently Phil and I wake up at 6 am and walk the dog for 45 minutes before work, then I walk or go to the gym later in the day (either on my lunch break or while the littles have swim team in the evening).  Then I eat lots of ice cream to make sure it's not poisonous for our customers.  What I'm saying is:

This weekend, Phil and I rode our bikes down the bike path in our town.  It goes 5 miles each way and is so gorgeous.  Seriously, every time I do it, I feel like I am on vacation.  We took the kids on a walk the next day there (they can't all manage riding the full 10 miles yet) and it was so fun!

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Memorial Day Weekend 2024 - Graduation Parties, History Lessons and Parenting Two Families

On Saturday, my family had a graduation party for this year's grads - a college grad, two high school grads and an 8th grader grad.  Unfortunately, Phil and I couldn't attend the party because we had to work at The Cottage to allow all of our kids and nieces/nephews who work for us to attend the party, but I hear it was a great time!

The Grads

Maggie's sister/cousin

My brother and his family came to stay overnight and he always loves to walk down to the historic fort in our town, so the littles and I (and Lucy Doodle) joined him on Sunday morning.  It's a 3 mile walk round trip, and though Phil and I often run/walk this route, we hardly ever stop to explore the fort so it was fun to do that.  We live in such a beautiful and historical spot and I don't take it for granted one bit!