Tuesday, November 24, 2009


As Thanksgiving approaches, I've been thinking about what I'm thankful for in my life.
I'm thankful I didn't marry Jon Gosselin...the creep. I married a good, honest, mature man who has been by my side for the past 21 years and loves me and his children with all his heart.

I'm thankful for Nicholas' kindness.

I'm thankful for Julia's sweetness.

I'm thankful for Gianna's wonderful sense of humor.

I'm thankful for our little yellow house and this fantastic community we live in.
I'm thankful for my job that allows me to be a stay-at-home Mom.
I'm thankful I can call my boss my good friend.
I'm thankful for my Mom and Dad's unconditional love.

I'm thankful for CeCe's joyful spirit and the love she has for my Dad.

I'm thankful Kerry and I share the same passion for dance as well as the same sense of humor.

I'm thankful for Kimmy who is my rock and is always the voice of reason.

I'm thankful for Ricky's quirky sense of humor and his big heart.

I'm thankful for Paula, Dena and Chieko for loving my siblings.

I'm thankful for my best friend who lives across the street and all my loyal, wonderful friends who have been by my side since high school.

I'm thankful for my new kitty cat who has helped with the loss of my Lucky boy and keeps me company all hours of the day and night.

And this Thanksgiving, I will give thanks to my good friend, Berta, who is now resting peacefully in heaven. Her friendship was such a gift and I will be eternally grateful that I had the opportunity to be a part of her life.

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Early Thanksgiving with Papa & CeCe

Gianna reading her Dick and Jane book to Papa....

What she didn't quite get was Papa's name is Dick, her favorite character in the book. It was pretty funny when she finally realized it.

It was a great meal. Thanks CeCe!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

75 fun facts about our Mom:

1. Shirley Joan Surette was born on November 13, 1934.
2. She was an only child but had lots of company with the many cousins, relatives, friends and lonely strays that Nana took in.
3. She broke her nose on a swing set.
4. She broke her arm falling off a horse.
5. Her father instilled the fear of flying in her by taking her up in tiny airplanes as a child.
6. When she was a child in school, they didn’t allow them to write with the left hand so now she’s ambidextrous.
7. As a teenager, she said her boyfriends would drop her off at the front door and there would be boyfriends waiting for her at the back door.
8. Her best friend today is the same best friend she’s had since childhood. 9. In the early 70’s, she started her own small business with her good friend, Dot, and the Children’s Clothes Closet was born.
10. On the side, she and Dot were known as the “town spies” peaking out the front window of the doings on Washington Street.
11. She loved to tell stories about her days at the store like the moms who never watched their children as they swung on the clothing racks like a jungle gym and broke them, the shoplifter mom who always got away with stuff, and all those women who would bring in the stained, dirty clothes.
12. When we were kids, you would often hear her harmonizing to John Denver throughout the house. To this day, songs by John Denver bring back wonderful, comforting childhood memories.
13. She used to walk around the house with twisted Kleenex up her nose when she had colds or her allergies were acting up…she probably still does this.
14. She went grey quite young and we have memories of her dying her hair in the kitchen sink every few weeks with that foul smelling hair color all over her head.
15. Growing up with Mrs. McGilicuddy was fun but somewhat terrifying as well.
16. 37% of Dr Lydon's home was furnished with beautiful items all because of her four children under the age of five and her constant Valium refills.
17. She was the ONLY mom who showed up to all the concerts and competitions with a HUGE silver 100 pound boom box to record us.
18. Considering mom has never been in a drum and bugle corps in her life, she has become the best marcher in the family!
19. She survived all those endless feshes, dance recitals, dance, marching band and jazz band competitions because she was so incredibly proud of her four children.
20. She is the most talented musician & artist in the family.
All the clothing she bought for us when we were kids was the best quality SYMS and Bradlees could ever offer!!
21. When she gets laughing she starts to wheeze and sounds like a car that won’t start.
22. By far she is the silliest person we know.
23. She cries easily.
24. Every day, around 3:00 as she laid on the couch in exhaustion, Mom would make Dini call Dad to ask him what he wanted for dinner.
25. Standard food for us growing up consisted of a breakfast of non-sugar cereals (except for Saturday mornings), for lunch grilled cheese and Kool-Aid or peanut butter & jelly on wonder bread, dinners of pork chops with that stuffing on top (eat at your own risk), red beets or sometimes if we were lucky, SPAM was served. Friday night dinners were a favorite… pancakes, French toast, or Eggo’s with Kerry’s favorite…maple syrup, and if we had cookies for dessert, only 3 were allowed.
26. And talking about dinner back then, when Dad yelled at us at the kitchen table for being too silly and one by one we were told to leave the table, Mom would leave too holding back her giggles.
27. And speaking of dessert, she often made yummy homemade cookies, brownies and cakes but she never cut herself a piece of that yummy cake. 28. She would only “even out the edges”.
29. She never ordered herself an ice cream cone either as she would “help” us with ours licking up the melted, drippy mess.
30. As kids, our birthdays were always so special with game filled parties, fancy wrapping paper with pretty curled ribbons and gorgeously decorated birthday cakes with yummy frosting.
31. I think we can all say that to this day, when we have problems bothering us at bedtime, we can still hear Mom’s voice comforting us saying "everything will look better in the morning", and it always does.
32. Dad might have had the "ring" on the staircase handrail going up to the 2nd floor, but mom always has that slow grunting walk up the basement stairs with a full load of laundry... then another, and another... and another...
33. What other Mom do you know that would allow a dozen teenagers to hang around her house and yard all day long and night - and enjoy it!
34. We have great memories of going out "looking for horses" on the weekends, and always ending our road trip/adventure with a chocolate ice cream cone from Bergson's.
35. You could always count on Mom for a good game of cards, Sorry or Clue.
36. She also made up the best games like the one where you put a name on your forehead or stuck a card on your head.
37. She also made up games for the long car rides and we all fondly remember "I see the green tanks!” on the way to the cottage.
38. Everyday when we came home from school, she would always ask “what was the Oldham news for the day”?
39. As teenagers, she loved to embarrass us when we came home from our dates asking us, “How did you make out?”
40. Mom loves getting her back scratched. As kids she would make up games that involved drawing on her back so she could still get a back scratch without us knowing it.
41. She used to swing a towel around frantically in the upstairs bathroom to get the steam out (probably after Kerry was in there for 3 hours).
42. The only good thing about being sick as a child was her back rubs and cool damp cloths (again the swinging).
43. She once ate apple pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner…all in one day. 44. She’s famous for her homemade cards with the magazine cut-outs.
45. She buys THE best gifts and always says "oh this is just a silly little thing" but it’s always something sentimental, funny, and beautiful.
46. She will never, ever in a million years, go to the door with her bathrobe on.
47. She has a love for rock and roll…and for Robert Plant….and no one believed Kimmy when she said she was going with her mother to a Robert Plant concert.
48. And no one was more bored than Dini when she accompanied her to that loud Black Crowes concert.
49. She was the greatest foster mom of all time, providing a safe, loving home for teenagers that no one else would dare take in.
50. She loved Glenn like one of her own giving him the mother and family he never had.
51. She gets car sick.
52. Her alto ego is Hailey.
53. When on the phone with Mom you usually hear…”uh, wait a minute, uh..hold on…Tiggy! Daisy!! Hold on…hold on…”
54. Or when she’s not paying attention to something you’re talking about and say “Mom, are you listening?” She’ll say…”whaaa…whaaa…and then she does this goofy laugh…haaaaa….”
55. She had to be hospitalized after Dini had her first baby. She couldn’t handle the stress of it all.
56. When you ask Mom what she wants for her birthday at first she’ll say, “oh nothing” but then she always comes back with some idea of a fun gadget or game.
57. Her favorite season is the fall and her least favorite is the summer.
58.She doesn’t like driving on the highway.
59. I don’t think she ever shuts off her radio in the kitchen.
60. She’s always been known as the life of the party.
61. She loves to buy raisinettes when she goes to the movies.
62. When you pick her up in the car, she gets in and her pocketbook always has envelopes sticking out with all kinds of yellow sticky notes attached to it like...go to the post office and then White Hen Pantry for bread and milk…
63. At home she has post-its and pieces of paper EVERYWHERE of things to remember and do.
64. She can’t throw anything away…I mean anything.
65. She always combs her hair before getting out of the car.
66. She always has these strange sayings like…”Sick a bed in a wood box”...or something like that.
67. You never know what her email address is because she has so many she never knows what it is either.
68. When mom holds to a promise, she commits to it like…"... And I promise you I will never, ever come to visit you in Florida! It will never happen Rick... I promise you this!"
69. She always let us kids be ourselves growing up and has always loved us unconditionally…no matter what.
70. She’s a great listener.
71. She’s a night owl.
72. She is the best-dressed, coolest, youngest-looking & acting 75 year old around.
73. Every birthday she wishes for a horse.
74. She is loved.
75. She is a fantastic mom!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Passing it on...

I found this on the kids whiteboard yesterday.

It's something I learned from my mother and now I've passed it on to my daughter...

I guess she does listen to me after all...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tooth #5 and something funny

My cute toothless little girl...three more loose ones on the top ready to fall out too...

I wish that front yellow tooth would fall out. She fell down when she was three and it turned brown, then yellow. Yuck.

Okay...for the something funny. Yesterday, I was in a rush driving somewhere and was yelling at cars for not moving along quick enough or for getting in my way. Gianna asked from the back seat why I wasn't being nice. She told me I should try to be nicer and stop yelling at everyone. OK. Lesson learned. So this morning she asked me if I dreamed about being nicer in the car last night. I said no but I would try. She told me to think about it and block my ears so it wouldn't fall out of my head. She's so literal it's funny.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I love when I find things like this around the house...

I must be doing something right.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Providence Bruins Game

My handsome boy played between the first and second periods yesterday at the Providence Bruins game. They lost 3-0 but it didn't matter. They had a ball!

I love watching him interact with his little friends. I don't get to see this much. I wish I could be a fly on the wall at school.

How cute are they??? Yes, that's me stuffing my face with popcorn.

And I thought Nicholas had a ball...well the girls had just as much fun. They ate popcorn and cotton candy that turned their tongues, faces and hands BLUE.

My crazy, funny little girl...

Julia chowing a whole bag of cotton candy in 0.6 seconds...I'm not kidding!

Gianna loved her hat. She wore it to school today. She danced and danced to all the fun music and wants to know when she can go to another game!

Julia tooth #4

She just lost another tooth the other day after biting into a piece of watermelon at school. No drama with this one though. She still has four more loose teeth in that mouth of hers and one is just hanging by a string. She's making lots of money!!

Oh, and don't you think she looks like Kerry in all these pictures?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Candy, Candy, Candy



I almost overdosed on Reece's peanut butter cups the other day. I ate one after another after another until I forgot how many I had eaten. Not good. Then I remembered our dentist was doing this...

A Halloween Candy Buyback Program

They were giving $$$$ for candy! It didn't take much to convince them...

to do this. For every pound of candy they turned in they would get $1.00 back. At first, they weren't buying it...so I told them I would match whatever amount they got. So eagerly they dumped almost all their candy into a bag to turn in for cash and other dental goodies (toothbrushes, floss, etc.). They turned in 3 pounds of candy! This meant they had $6.00 to split between the three of them. Not bad. They also got coupons for free slices of pizza at Papa Gino's.

I still can't believe they did it. I know I never would have done it at their age!

So maybe now their Mommy won't look like this...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Picture of the Day

Gianna certainly knows how to entertain herself while the kids are at school and I'm busy working.

Like this...

She is never, ever bored.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


What a great Halloween we all had this year. The weather was perfect, nice and warm with no coats needed, and it was a Saturday night. We always start the night off at our neighbors house. She opens her garage and everyone in the neighborhood brings over lots of yummy food and drinks for dinner. Then the dads fill up the wagons with the kids (and some adult beverages) and head off for candy. The moms stay back and drink lots of beer and wine. (Not sure how this day turned into so much fun for the adults.)

Julia was a girl pirate...(I think she just liked the picture of the girl on the bag who she thought looked really cool. Notice she is standing just like the girl on the bag.)

Nicholas was some kind of GI Joe guy...not sure...but love the pose...

And Gianna looked so precious in her Dorothy costume. She didn't complain once about putting it on either. Amazing.

Danny spent hours carving this...so cool.

After the kids came back, they dumped all their candy out to see what they got. Nicholas is doing lots of trading today with his friends.

Great Halloween!