Thursday, May 28, 2015

Progress Reports

Oh my smart middle school babies!!!  They got their final progress reports yesterday.

Nicholas has all A's and one B+....


I love how his English teacher says he is "mature and responsible"!

And Julia has all A's!!!...


How awesome is that!!  I'm so proud!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Duggars

I stand by the Duggars. Yes, I am very very sad, hurt and disgusted but it doesn't mean I am going to write off the entire family. I do believe they are good people but most definitely naive.  What Josh did was despicable, but I honestly believe his parents did what they felt was best for him and their family at that time. Nicholas is about the same age Josh was when he molested his sisters.  How would I handle that same situation?  Would I race to the phone and dial 911 and have him taken away?  I honestly don't know.  I know my initial gut reaction would be to protect him and my girls with my life!  I would do the same as his parents did...get him help (although I'm not entirely convinced they got him the right help he needed and probably still needs) and get my girls help as well (which they said they did).

You know what really angers me though?  How judgmental and mean...I mean really mean, malicious and hateful people can be. I've been reading their official Facebook page and everyday I just pray they take it down.  I can't bear to read anymore of what people are saying.  Who are we to judge?  Were we there?  Do we know EXACTLY what happened?  Do we know EXACTLY how it was handled?  Yes, I feel betrayed like many others do.  I wish they never went public and started those TV specials ten years ago knowing they had skeletons in the closet.  But that's what I mean when I say they are naive.  I think they believed since he was a minor, it was a private issue and that it would be sealed and no one would ever find out.  I honestly believe they felt they dealt with the situation and had moved on from it.  I can't even for a minute put myself in the victims shoes as that has never happened to me.  Thank goodness.  But it did "appear" that they had moved on from that time and put their faith and trust in God.  They honestly believed God forgave their brother and son and so they did too.

If you have TV cameras in your face practically 24/7 for almost 10 years...how can you fake such kindness and goodness?  And you know what is making me really, really mad too?  People are saying that the Duggars are hypocrites for opposing gays and lesbians but they are OK with pedophiles.  Really???  Does anyone honestly believe that Jim Bob and Michelle are OK with pedophiles? No they aren't!!!  Of course they aren't!  Yes, they have traditional ideas and values. And that's OK!!!  It doesn't make them bad people to not believe in same sex marriages, gays, lesbians and transgender, etc.  What makes them wrong and others right?  Or others wrong and them right?  Because it doesn't.  It's OK to have different views and opinions.  It's OK to support people in office who share the same values and opinions as you.  It's OK!!!  We aren't all going to be on the same page...ever!!!

My wish for the Duggars is this...

That the show continues.  It would be a wonderful opportunity for "TLC" (which stands for The LEARNING Channel) to continue filming and show how the family is handling this scandal.  I most definitely do not want to see or hear from Josh again.  However, I do wish him the best and hope and pray that he is receiving the support, love and help that he needs at this time.  I would however want to see and hear from his sweet wife, Anna.   She was a very naive 20 year old girl who was smitten with Josh.  She never had a boyfriend before him and just went gaga when this boy fell in love with her.  She is a deeply religious person who I'm sure felt in her heart that Josh took full responsibility for his actions and I'm sure his sisters told her that they forgave him.  It's Anna's parents that should have been wiser and moved her in another direction.  Look at the mess she is in now.  Her husband is shamed...hated by many...lost his job...and she's pregnant with their fourth child...a girl at that.  She will stand by him for sure but at a huge cost.  And their children.  I feel so badly for their children.  I just hope and pray they are safe.

And most importantly, I wish ALL the Duggars peace and healing.  Even Josh.

I love the Duggars and will always stand by them because they are good people.

Agree?  Disagree?  It doesn't matter because this is my personal opinion.  I just wish the haters would find it in their hearts to be a little nicer and kinder.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is our unofficial start of the summer around here.  My kids are still in school though.  They don't get out until June 26th!!  Thanks to all those snow days.

Julia met a new friend in school this year.  Her name is Arianna and she is a sweetheart...



Her family had a cookout this weekend and they invited our family to go too. Danny and Nicholas had Red Sox tickets so just us girls went. They own a beautiful restored Victorian home right near Falls Pond.

Her mom gave the girls a kayak lesson before they went out on the pond...





It made me a little nervous they were so far out but they were fine...no tip overs...thank goodness!!


It was an absolutely gorgeous day.  They have a fabulous backyard...


Another sweet friend, Bella...



Summer is here!!


Friday, May 15, 2015

Dinner Fun

We went to Hibachi tonight for a fun dinner...


Yes, I think they really do like each other...at times...


Gianna and her cute friend, Lily...


The food was delicious...



and fried ice cream for dessert...


The chef squirting water into the kids' mouths...pretty much getting them soaked...

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Gianna trying to drink the water spray but she just pretty much got soaked...

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mother's Day

It felt like the official start of summer!  We opened our pool...the weather was really warm...and the sun was shining!  It felt so nice after the long long winter we had. It was a wonderful day to celebrate my Mom...


The kids found a way to cool off on the trampoline with the hose...


Danny and the kids bought me some beautiful flowers...


and my Mom bought me this gorgeous hanging plant...


My Gianna Mae wrote this for me.  She knows me so well...


Just adorable!  I love my babies...and I love being their Mom.  It is the best job in the world!!  Yes, it is challenging and difficult at times but it's also so rewarding. My babies love me unconditionally and I love them back unconditionally.

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The first swim of the season!  I bet is was freezing!! 

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Monday, May 04, 2015

Starpower Weekend

We had our last regional dance competition this past weekend in Springfield. Honestly, I'm happy about it because those competitions are so exhausting.  I do love seeing my beautiful girls up on the big stage though showing off all their training and having fun with their friends.  But boy oh boy those quick costume changes along with hair and makeup changes are just so stressful.

So Julia's solo didn't go as planned this weekend.  I just wish she had performed the way I know she can.  All I want is for her to walk off that stage with a big smile feeling good about herself.  And that didn't happen this weekend.  Oh well. She earned 4 3/4 stars for herself (out of 5 stars) which was nice.  Her duo was wonderful as usual and they earned 5 stars and 1st place!  All her groups did great too earning 5 stars as well.  Gianna was fabulous too and her two dances earned 5 stars!  Very proud of my girls.

Julia warming up for her solo...yikes...look at her beautiful extension!!


Julia received an invitation to the Power Pak convention too!  Here's what they say about it on their website..."Power Pak is an exclusive, dance intensive comprised of the most elite dancers from all across the country. Power Pak participants are hand selected and receive invitations at all Star Dance Alliance events."  Pretty cool!!  It's being held in Disney World this summer but we aren't going.  Hey, if she won a FULL scholarship... sure...we'd be there in a heartbeat!!




Gianna didn't compete yesterday so she was a big help with getting Julia ready for her dances...



I just love this costume...."Bar Flies" production...


Gianna warming up her perfect back handsprings...

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Here are some videos of their performances from the weekend.

Julia's duo "The Haunt"...


Julia's lyric "Birds of Prey"...


Julia's jazz "Dare to Enter"...


Gianna's lyric "Ship in a Bottle"...


Gianna's acro "Seize the Day"...



Friday, May 01, 2015

Middle School report cards

I'm so proud!!  Both Nicholas and Julia did GREAT on their 3rd term report cards!  Not always an easy thing to do in Middle School.

Julia's 6th grade report card...


And she was disappointed she got one B!  All A's and one B??  I think that's pretty amazing.

Nicholas got all A's and B+'s!!  He had a disastrous 2nd term.  Lots of reasons for that like many no school days due to snow and that meant a big disruption of school.  He didn't get to see his tutor for almost a month too because of the bad weather.  Also, he got sick and missed almost a full week of school.  He doesn't do well with that kind of a routine.  He needs consistency.  I think he got overwhelmed and just didn't know how to handle it. But we came up with a plan together (in addition to having all his electronics taken away to help give him some accountability and an incentive to earn them back) and it is working.  Yay!! Let's hope he can stay on track until the end of June.  And you know what else I am so proud of besides his good grades??  All those wonderful comments from his teachers!  He went from "talkative in class" and "disruptive in class" to "a pleasure to have in class" and "conscientious student".   He was so cute....he asked his teachers how his behavior has been in class.  He told them he was trying really hard to be good.  Now that's a good boy. He really and truly is a good boy.  I couldn't be more proud of him!