A Day In Morristown.

The night of Lexie's jazz band competition we discovered the wonderful town of Morristown (which is about a half hour away from where she performed in Nutley). We'd never been here before and because it was such a nice area we decided to drive back there again only this time to spend the entire day and enjoy some of  the sights that this town had to offer. 
And it truly is a quaint, and nostalgic feeling town. 

There is so much rich history here from the birthplace of the telegraph, to Washington's quarters. There are a few museums here too, but because it's almost a two hour drive to and from home there is only so much you can do in one day! 
We scoped out Historic Speedwell, and the kids had some time to play at the park which was right across the street. There is also a dam where the kids enjoyed playing with sticks, and throwing rocks into the water. I swear Chelsea can be a tomboy sometimes. 
Their seemed to be more white blossoms in this area compared to where I live (I see a lot of pink ones), and seemed much brighter, and more fuller. I could have taken pictures forever. We walked around Morristown's Historical National Park where I took pictures of Washington's headquarters, and the Ford Mansion. 
I love venturing out to unknown territory, and learn all about history without breaking our bank account. I never ventured out on any road trips like this when I was younger so it makes me even more grateful that I can do this with my kids. 

Morristown is definitely a place I would love to frequent more often, and visiting here was so much fun! Definitely coming back when time permits! 

Look For The Lovely.

After hearing about the turn of events that have been happening around the world such as the tragedy in Nepal with the earthquake as well as the riots in Baltimore it makes me so grateful to know that I am safe where I'm at in my home. In spite of all the trials and hardships that one faces focusing on the positive is the key to living a pretty good life, and as my friend Casey says..."look for the lovely." 
After visiting a sister from my church the other day we were all reminded that heavenly father looks out for us in spite of trials. Even if we feel alone at times all we need to do is just look towards him with love, and faith. As mothers we were all talking about our kids, and how we should protect them from the world. After all, they are innocent, and pure (until they become a teen, ha ha! ) We were talking about being prepared in case a catastrophe hits us in our area, and at the same time focusing on the positive. To not be afraid because we have the truthfulness of the gospel, and if we apply it in our lives more fully that we have no need to fear. But sometimes I can't help but to be a bit fearful for my kids future with all that is going on in the world as of late. Whether it's a moral war, or mother nature lashing out at the universe with earthquakes, and tornadoes I have been smothering my kids with affection and attention day after day after day. Just spending time with them, and putting aside all the unnecessary things of the world such as media time, reading (although I love that), and keeping the house in order. Making sure that everything is meticulously clean which in all honesty it pretty much is because I have a small house, but at the end of the day if there are toys scattered around or the laundry isn't done (which it never is), or there is a piece of dried oatmeal on the kitchen floor that can wait. There's nothing more important to me than waking up in the morning with my son climbing onto my bed telling me that he loves me, and that he's glad I'm his. Even if we lounge in bed for a half hour or so. That moment is priceless. So with the days being breathtakingly beautiful lately with blue skies and blossoms blooming everywhere, and so picturesque I have been venturing out capturing moments with the kids. I am really beginning to take this "it's the little things that matter most" saying very seriously. Even on my "off" days I still manage to end the day with it being a good one. And the reason why I manage for it my days to end good is because of my kids (including the one who lives out west)...
They are everything to me, and family has a lot to do with being happy.
So far this past week has been filled with nothing but pure sweetness. Every time we go for a walk Noah will pick flowers, and hand them to me so sweetly. He'll say, "here mommy this is for you." He did that a couple of times last spring, but for some reason he has been doing it every single time we've been out since this spring began. I think he knows our time is limited (as he'll be starting school in the fall) By the way...any of you sick of me yet talking about that still?? And so he's taking advantage of our walks during the day by picking flowers for me.  It warms my heart when he does that, because that shows me that he is aware and loving, thoughtful, and sweet, kind, and that he is getting the whole "expression of love" concept. 
It kind of makes me feel a tad bit guilty because even though our weeks are pretty great Sunday comes and sometimes all I want to do after three hours of church is rest, but at the end of the day it's all about family. Appreciating them, and most of all spending time with them. To never take anything for granted because you never know what can happen the next day. You never know when everything you love that matters to you the most will be taken away from you. To appreciate every single day, and the things that are right in front of us. Our children, mother nature, the great outdoors whether it's winter, or spring, and the beating of our own heart. Sometimes its those things that go unnoticed. Expressing gratitude everyday to our Father in Heaven is essential in my life.  To strive hard to focus on the positive things, and surround ourselves with goodness because in the end those are the things that are going to help us live a long and happy life now, and the here after with the Savior. 

And love.
Love will always keep us smiling. 

And for an even bigger smile watch this video. It'll make your entire day! 

Noah-isms // Jersey Edition.

It's a little ironic how the movie Jersey Boys has been coming on tv lately, not that I've watched it through and through (they show it late at night, and it's a good thing because it's R-rated, and I end up dozing off), but I know it's an excellent story of a few jersey boys hitting it big with their music. Noah has become a  bit of a jersey boy with a little accent and all. He can be a bit bold, and outspoken, but when I feel he is passing a boundary I don't like (like being in a hurry, or not thinking before he speaks, and says something naughty) I will nip it to the bud. Since he's the only one in our family who was born in Jersey I don't ever want him to use the excuse, "sorry, I'm from Jersey and that's just how I am." Oh no, he is going to be one of the nicest Jersey boys to ever meet! I myself should teach him by example to be courteous to others, and to always, always think before you speak. Not that jersey folk are harsh, because there are some nice people around my neck of the woods, but can run into some with an attitude, and you eventually learn to build up a tolerance, and  learn to let it go. And that's exactly what I'm teaching my kids, especially Noah since he is definitely fitting the "jersey boy" fit (in a good way!)

Lately his choice phrases have been nice, and sweet, and here are a few...

There are moments where I'll tell Noah when he gets older to marry a very nice girl, his response, "I want to marry Amber mommy not Sophia." (from the cartoon Sophia the First)

"Mom and I need to brush my teeth all the time so they don't look like the Grinch." 

"Mommy why do you have a hole on your belly?"

"Chelsea and I broke Sierras ballerina picture. Please don't be mad at us mommy, please... we're your kids."

Lately we've gone on a couple of road trips and I've been quite surprised with the behavior of Chelsea and Noah. Sometimes chelsea will sit in the backseat because Noah gets annoyed with her. After driving for an hour Chelsea asked, "can I sit up there now?" I then say, " Only if y'all dont kill each other." Chelsea, and Noah in unison..."We won't mom." They played I spy happily ever peacefully for the rest of the drive. 

When we came home from general conference a couple weeks ago I was feeling a little bit melancholy.  I was thinking about the girls not being with us because they were in Utah at that time, and began to tear up. I then heard Noah go up to Chelsea, and say, "aww, mama crying Chelsea." He then walked towards me and gently sat on my lap and said to me,  "you miss your girls mom. you miss my Sierra and Lexie? I'm here too you know. "

"Spring is here, and the weather, and sunshine, and birds. We need a tent mommy to sleep outside. We need food, pillows, and a rock collection."

Not sure how long I'm going to be jotting down his saying since he'll start school this fall, but I'm keeping tabs for now, and will share as long as I can keep up with his fast talking. He's a sweet kid that bites his tongue whenever he hears a curse word, (he's in a stage where he's beginning to repeat what you say), and replaces it with cookie. 

For example: "What the cookie? Oh Gosh cookie, cookie." Seriously need to watch those PG-13 movies he watches with his sisters! It doesn't help either when we are out and about walking the streets in Philly, or new york! I'm grateful he doesn't repeat the actual naughty word! 

Happy Monday guys! 

Thoughts On My Little Boy Growing Up.

This past Monday I sobbed all kinds of tears, and I'm talking on, and off all day long! I hated it because I ended up with a massive headache. I couldn't help but to let all my tears out as I was sitting looking out the window of the house that we have lived in for the past seven years where I remember Noah as a toddler playing outside, and going for walks.  My mind was filled in disbelief with flashbacks of him, and his sisters. He interrupted my thoughts (which was probably good), and saw that I had tears. I began to sob even harder as I hugged him. He immediately asked me, "are you okay mommy? Why you crying? You miss Sierra?" Clearly that was not the case, and although I do miss Sierra being around I was crying because my baby boy....
^^^ one month old ^^^
is now a little boy. 
^^^ five ^^^
Noah's kindergarten orientation was this week, and it was so surreal. I had all kinds of mixed emotions inside of me. Pride, fear, joy, and elation. Although I know he'll be okay I couldn't help but to think that I'm going to feel so alone! See...every five years I've always had a kid, and whenever I've sent off a child to Kindergarten I've always been pregnant, and let me tell you something you guys it felt weird that day taking Noah to orientation without a belly. 
I'll miss the constant feeling of cuddling with him in the mornings before we start our day, making lunches for him, venturing out to unknown territory, taking him to the playground, going to the beach, and five below to pick out a cheap toy. This "being a stay at home mom stuff" for the past 15 years has been a pretty good setting for me, and now...I have no idea how I'm going to use my time once he's in school. Luckily it's half-day kindergarten, but still those three hours can seem like an eternity. Although I won't be raising anymore babies my kids will always keep me busy, but I know there will be moments wondering what to do with my time. I think Noah is already preparing me for that. 

There are times when Noah will be taking a nap (which is extremely rare), wanting to play by himself with his legos, dinosaurs, and Optimus Prime. He's growing up, and is able to be entertain himself without me interfering. 

But I don't let him. 

I'll give him his space, but then I'll intervene on whatever he's doing and say "let's go for a walk, and ride your scooter", or "let's paint a picture together." He'll oblige, and we end up doing just

There are moments when I'll  joke around with the kids, and quote the father from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and say, "why you want to leave me?" It's jokes like that which keep me sane, and even though I'm getting used to Sierra being gone I still have my moments of missing her. As each season goes by the kids get taller, more vocal, smarter, and independent. Not something I'm used to especially when it comes to my little boy. Time is fleeting, and all I want to do is hang on to my son's youth. Wishing to run into a spring that he can drink from that will prevent him from growing up. Then again, after watching Tuck Everlasting I don't think I want to put any of my kids through that or myself because I'd want them to live a long life. So as each day passes I hang on to the happiest moments. I don't want to reflect on anything negative. This is what happens when you're nearing your mid 40's, and realizing that you may not have any more children. You just don't want to concentrate on anything that brings negativity in your life. The small, simple things such as Noah picking a wildflower for me on our walk, and your daughters randomly coming up to give you a big hug can become a pretty big deal, and I want to cherish those moments forever. With the weather being beautiful lately (in spite of the cold wind and rain...c'mon spring!) we have taken advantage of our time together. I soak it in, and wait for the sun to shine so that Noah and I can go play outside. 

Waiting for Chelsea to come home makes it more interesting, and although she loves school she's getting a touch of "summer fever".  I don't think it helps seeing all the fun things that Noah and I have done without her, but lately she's been uttering words such as, "awe...he looks so cute" and "did he have fun?" She doesn't sound too jealous anymore, and that is another sign that proves to me that she is also maturing. She'll be in middle school before I know it!

Let's not forget about Lexie who makes time fly even faster!! Her high school graduation will arrive quickly too! 

Ahh..the "mama" turmoil that we as mothers go through. Isn't it all worth it though? 

I know three hours of school isn't enough, but once he's in first grade that'll be a different story! He'll be there all day, and then I"m really going to have to figure out what to do with my time. 

My sister constantly tells me to utilize my journals/blog and make it into a book. I can also go back to school (if I have the desire because right now my kids come first), and of I sure have experienced a lot throughout my life, and maybe publishing a book in my future would be something that I would like to do. Who knows.   

Life goes on, and kids grow up. No matter how old my girls are, I will saturate them with love by holding them in my arms. Not too easy to give hugs and kisses  with my oldest being away, but having three left at home gives me a lot of moments to do just that.

Especially with this little guy. 
Every moment of being a stay at home mom, and raising babies has been so worth it. 

Just watch this video.  It'll  give you a whole different perspective on raising kids & being a parent! 

Have  a wonderful weekend, and enjoy spending time with your kiddos! They're only little once! 

Noah At The Garden State Discovery Museum.

Funny how the Garden State Discovery Museum is right behind our back yard, yet in the seven years we've lived here we've never gone! Luckily we had a couple of free passes, and since Jon had the day off...again (he really does have a job you guys) we decided to take Noah to check this place out. I have to say that this particular museum was pretty cool. The first thing Noah noticed as we drove in and parked was the painters palette on the building. He asked if we were going to paint. I said to him that there are many things that we're going to do here, and for him to explore. He grew excited, and as we walked in his eyes grew pretty big because he saw a fishing boat! 
It has been nice having Jon with me on our outings these past few days, because I kind of get tired of taking selfies of Noah and I just so we can get everything in the background because as a mom I have to document every single picture right? Besides, Noah enjoys having him around too. Especially when there are a lot of hands-on activities that I'm not very good at such as golf, and hockey! Jon was there to help him putt, and I was there to smile, and capture a photo of him playing hockey and then scoring a goal on the jr. flyers rink. 
And how about these pictures that Noah took of us after making us an ice cream cone...
And this section where they have a bubble machine to make giant bubbles... 

Like most museums we've been to such as Fascinate-U in Fayetteville (which was the first one we've ever been to), and the Please touch museum this museum was a lot of fun. I was so impressed with the way Noah was serving me lunch at the diner. He was such a cute little chef. He has learned a lot from when we've gone out to eat by observing the servers. He was cordial, and polite. He even made sure my pizza had a lot of cheese, and that my burger was fresh! 
Couldn't leave without playing a game of checkers with papa...
I'm grateful for museums like this where our kids minds can expand, and imaginations wander, and grow with knowledge. Watching him "build a house" on the construction site, seeing him behind a news camera, a desk, driving an ambulance, and digging for bones pretending to be a paleontologist gives me hope that he will grow up to do something he loves. Whether it's blue collar, or white collar, sports, or a cook he'll do so well with any occupation! 
There was so much for him to do here, and play with. He certainly didn't want to go home. I would say that it literally took us about three hours to explore the whole museum. It was nice seeing him play nice with other kids. He's such a good boy, and watching the way he interacts, and plays well with other kids proves to me that he's going to do well when he starts kindergarten in the fall. I don't think he'll have a problem making friends at all. He had so much fun, and I'm so glad we finally brought him here. It's a good thing we waited to take him at this age, because when we took him to the Please touch museum he was barely two. I'm sure his mind wandered, but still it's so fun to take them at an age where they are familiar with certain things because they have experienced it in the real world. Every section of this museum was so much fun for Noah. He already wants to come back tomorrow! 

See ya later alligator! 

Day Trip To Mystic.

Mystic is one of the most unique places in Connecticut, and one of my favorite places to go whenever I need to rejuvenate myself. It's quaint, with a tinge of New England culture. Although touristy, the people there are friendly and if you're into antiques, and beach wear the shops down main street are pretty fun. We tend to come here during the summer months, but this past Saturday we decided on an impulse to take a day trip with the kids. With school coming close to an end, and Lexie and Chelsea having almost every Saturday booked with school activities, jazz band competitions, recitals, and birthday parties we decided to just take off! We love everything about this place, and I just wish we had more time. More time to have gone on longer walks, or taken the kids to the aquarium, or the Pez factory in Orange, but with the four hour drive to and from there's only so much one can do in an entire day! My main goal, and purpose for this trip was the craving I had for Mystic Pizza. Yeah...the crazy things we do huh just for pizza! We love that place! In all the years we've been to Mystic that is the one place where we have to stop to grab a bite to eat, and it never disappoints! 
We took a walk all the way down main street passed the drawbridge, and went for a walk on the dock. There were moments when Noah would walk into a store and see something he liked, and wanted it! I told him we can't always buy him something every time we enter a store. He tends to get this way when we are on trips, and thinks he can get his way, but this time I put my foot down, and told him that we are not buying him anymore toys! He has way too many! We walked out of the store, and I found him like this. 
Luckily his resilience kicked in and got over it! So grateful for resilient children! I told him the next we come we can go to Mystical toys which is his favorite, but we didn't get there in time. We spent too much time on the dock, and the store had closed. We continued our walk and I captured a few photos of the kids, and we found an anchor! We've always had a love for anchors, and because the theme this year for our youth of the church deals with "embarking in the service of God"(hence the anchor connecting with that saying) they have become more popular in our home life! 

^^^ Mandatory picture of Noah getting out of the shot so he doesn't photobomb it, but to no avail. I captured it! ^^^
It was such a beautiful spring day, and a perfect day for a road trip! Wish we could have stayed an entire week! So looking forward to the summer months so we can do just that! 

***Other trips to mystic you can see here, here, and here.

Hope y'all had a nice weekend!

Happy Monday!