Monday, August 31, 2015

POLAROIDS THEN & NOW.

I will always remember the day my mom had her hand glued to her polaroid camera. It seemed like she always enjoyed taking pictures, and when she did it made her super happy. I miss those days, and sometimes I feel as if she didn't take enough, but the time spent with her without the camera were awesome too! Still...there's something about taking pictures that relieves all kinds of stress. At least it does for me. That's probably why I take so many, and looking back at these photos I remember seeing it in my mother.

She was always excited for the first day of school to start (second polaroid.) I vividly remember the new dresses she bought us, and how she kept telling us to stand still, fold our arms, and smile pretty. I also remember the first time when we got our first bike (third polaroid.) Technically it was for my sister, but after a while was passed on down to me. My mom knew how much I liked her bike so she obviously took a polaroid of me with it. 

Christmases were very rare in our home, and I honestly only remember two, but I will always remember the one when she took a polaroid of us with the little christmas tree standing on a tv tray (fourth polaroid.) She really made that Christmas special, and I will always treasure that moment. I now know why she would always take pictures of us, because I have been doing the same thing with my children for years now!

Times have changed since polaroid cameras, and even though I feel as if iPhones have really raised the bar with all the technology the've put into it with different apps and filters to make your pictures look nicer, there's nothing better than being nostalgic when taking pictures with a polaroid camera, an old school Nikon with film that you can develop, or in my case an instax camera. 

I have really grown to love my fuji instax camera. We gifted this one to Sierra for her birthday this year, and when she opened up the package she squealed with delight. She's always wanted one, just as I wanted one, and just as my mother had one, and now we all have one! 
When I first got my camera I wanted to try it out so one Sunday before church I gathered the kiddos, and we snapped all kinds of pics. They've never seen anything like it, and thought it was pretty cool. Lexie and Chelsea both love these cameras, and it  looks like this is one thing that's going to be on their christmas list this year. 

Nothing can ever replace tangible photos, and I really enjoy using my instant camera. The kids, and I have been going to town, literally, and having fun with it taking all kinds of pictures. I had to remind them that these photos are ones that cannot be "deleted" so if they come out with their eyes closed, looking possessed, or just plain weird to suck it up, and just treasure them. 
We have taken it to the beach, the playground, and Lexie even took it to EFY this summer. The people in her company thought that the instax camera was pretty cool. I love my kids, and will continue to take advantage of capturing moments, and making memories with them. That way they can look back at these photos when I'm super old and gray, and remember how much I loved taking pictures of them.  

Just as my mom did with me. These moments are priceless, and I am so grateful that my mother took the time out of her day when we were small children to capture these memories of me and my sister. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

ON GROWING UP, & FINDING JOY WHEN SCHOOL RESUMES.

As August is coming to an end I think about the days I spent with Noah. When it was just me and him. All day. I've been one lucky mama to have spent five years alone with him. Noah is definitely my last child, and in all honesty it's a little heartbreaking. I love my children. I loved them when they were little, and I love them even more as they grow older, but boy will I miss these days of just hanging with my little guy exploring the universe together. 

Time is such a thief, and I know that this year is going to fly. I'm going to try my best to slow down this school year, and find joy in all the grades that my children are in. Especially with it being Noah's kindergarten year. I want to hang on to those precious moments before they fleet away. I want him to be able to remember the things he will be taught, and to know that I was there in his classroom helping. I want him to know that i care about his education even if he's just coloring pictures of the alphabet. I want him to know that I was there every step of the way. I want him to know that I'm not one of those moms who was counting the days for school to start so that I can  have time to myself and have all the kids out of the house, but to know that I'm excited for him, and his sisters to go to school because of knowledge in what they'll be learning. I want him to know how excited I'll be to share my mornings with him before school.

School resumes next Tuesday for Noah and Chelsea, and this is the first year of having one of my kids attending PM kindergarten. At first I was a tad bit disappointed because I would have loved for him to walk to the bus with Chelsea, but after thinking about it I actually don't mind, and don't feel the need to call the school to make a change. I'm a stay at home mom which means more flexibility for me than those moms who have to rush kids to school because they have to work in the morning. So I am looking forward to spending my mornings with him like we have been for the past five past years except that I'll be sending him off to school at noon which means we'll have four hours to make pancakes together, go for a walk, and just talk to him about anything and everything. I'm all for it, and am excited not only for the time I'll have with him in the morning, but for him to go to school! 

It makes me feel good knowing that he'll be coming home at the same time & on the same bus as Chelsea. Even though they bicker she is very protective of him. I see it in her eyes. Especially when I scold him after he's done something naughty (which is very rare) I know that she will protect him from any bullies or mean kids. Unfortunately she experienced that last year, and luckily it only happened once. I'm glad she had the courage to open her mouth to tell me and her teacher about that issue. So I know that she will be there for her brother at least for one year to guide and protect while they attend the same school. 

Next year he'll have to fend for himself'! With three older sisters and a mom like me I'm sure he'll have no problem. Although it's bittersweet, I'm trying to find the sweet in the bitter part of realizing that he's growing up too fast. His words, and attitude are maturing. I do look forward to those moments because it's a sign that he's changing, and growing up to be the best boy he can be. 


Thursday, August 27, 2015

THE FIRST TIME WE MET LUCY THE ELEPHANT.

I will always remember the first time we ventured out to visit the historic Lucy in the fall of 2008. People weren't kidding when they said she was at least 60 feet tall! When my friend Maggie told me about her especially after sending me a postcard of "lucy the elephant" before moving up here I just had to see her for myself. The fact that she rests on Margate beach was a plus in my book. She was the perfect looking elephant, set on one of the nicest beaches on the jersey shore! 
It was late fall when we first set eyes on Lucy, and it was perfect because there were no tourists, and we practically had the beach all to ourselves. We did drive around Atlantic City, but in all honesty I was not impressed. Sorry, but Las Vegas takes the cake when it comes to blitz, and glamour. Not that I'm into all that, but I do love window shopping. Nonetheless we still drove around the city before stopping by to see Lucy, and she was quite a looker! 

I can't even begin to tell you how excited the girls were when we first moved up here. The first thing they said was, "we don't have to drive three hours to go to the beach anymore!" Besides jumping in the waves getting wet, and building sandcastles, the girls favorite part is digging up seashells. Which was all they did on this day being that it was 55 degrees! I think I really spoiled them by all the beach trips we took when we lived in North Carolina as well as the summer vacations we took in Seaside while living outwest. One thing for sure is that these girls love venturing out to the ocean whether it's summertime, fall or winter! 
I swear it seems as if this picture was taken yesterday. I look at it as if they are still middle school  and elementary age. Can you believe seven years have gone by since these photos were taken. Seven years! Where has the time gone! It's kind of hard to believe that the little one on the right will be in fifth grade this year, the one on the left will be a sophomore in high school, and the precious one in the middle is 20 years old, and will soon be serving an LDS church mission!! 

Time most certainly flies when you're having fun. I love my girls, and am so proud of who they are, and what they're becoming. It has also been such a blessing to add a little boy in the mix who obviously wasn't born when these photos were taken, but to know that these girls will set a good example for him puts me at ease, and I just love them all so dang much!! 

Sure is fun to hang on to these precious moments, as well as this moment when we brought Noah to see Lucy in 2011! 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

THANKFUL FOR SMALL LIBRARIES.

I love books. I love the way old books smell whenever I enter a used bookstore, or even a library. It has been interesting to explore various libraries around my neck of the woods, and the other day my dear friend, and I along with our kids went to her local library to check out some books, and I'll tell ya...we could have been there all day! 

One thing I loved about this small, quaint library was the fact that it's super old school. Although it's a small library, it's big enough to accommodate enough people without getting claustrophobic, and her girls always leave with a ton of books that they enjoy reading which means their book selection is not too sparse. They don't have library cards with a bar code in the back. What they have are cards inside the books where they stamp the date, and you sign your name! Love that! Totally reminded me of my school days when I used to go to my school library, and check out books to read. One of my favorites books was The Watcher in the Woods. It was (still is) such a favorite of mine that I ended up getting it for free for being a part of the Texas Readers book club. Sound familiar to any my local Kingsvillian peeps?? The Watcher in the woods was the first young adult book i owned in which i read over, and over again. Poor thing was so dog eared that I think my mother got rid of it. No wonder I don't have it, but I guarantee I'll get my hands on a copy so my girls can read it! 
We had such a great day, and what I love about my friends is the fact that if you're a bookworm, I love you even more! I think that's why our girls get along so well because they all are all voracious readers, and have similar tastes in the books they read. 
Even though Chelsea is a few years younger than her girls she looks forward to reading certain books on their level. There are quite a few that are still too "young adult" for her so she'll wait to read them once she turns 12. She will stick with the Lemony Snicket, and Fabel Haven series for now! 
This is one library where they have a special play area for the kiddies. I understand that the play area is there for parents with small children, and I think that's great, but man was it a distraction for Noah. All he wanted to do was play with cars, and eat animal crackers. Since we weren't checking out any books for him here, I went ahead and had him play for a bit, and he was in heaven. 
I know reading is important to young children, and starting them off young is great, but they still need their play time, and if he's happy I'm happy. So playing with cars, and eating animal crackers made him happy which made me happy! 

And to be completely honest...I think we have half of the books that are on these book cases at home so keep on playing Noah. 


How cute is this doll house! I was so surprised that Chelsea didn't play with it. Really surprised because every once in a while she'll still play with her bitty baby, and dolls here at home. Kind of puts a sadness to this mama's face knowing that she may be getting out of the doll phase soon, and putting Josefina back in her box (tear...)
And what's a library without a movie section. Once I read a book that has been made into a movie I will watch it. The book has to be super good though, and so far the Maze Runner series is awesome! So looking forward to the Scorch Trials when it opens on the week of my birthday!

I tell ya this library is where it's at. You may think that because it's small and in an area where it's too hidden to even know it's an actual library, or feel that it's up to no good, it's not! Just like you can't judge a book by it's cover, you can't judge a library by it's location, or until you've actually entered in. I'm so glad we stopped in to check it out! Cute as can be, and the one man staff was very friendly (she's hiding behind her desk!)
After we spent a couple of hours in here, we then went to my local library which is a bit bigger, and has no play area. We all checked out a book, and Noah chose this one. 
^^^ Here he is flipping through the pages looking at the pictures. ^^^

He has now become obsessed with dogs, astronaut lingo, and outer space attire. Guess I'm going to have to make him some kind of jumpsuit so he can pretend that he's an astronaut (as if i can sew...NOT! ). He also wants a dog, but I told him not yet! 

I'm so thankful for the little libraries that are still functioning today. It's a shame that small libraries are slowing becoming obsolete due to funds being cut. That says a lot about our generation today. Kids don't seem to be reading enough, and adults have substituted an iPad or Kindle in place of a tangible book. Not me though. I'm too old school for my own good. Heck, I still carry a pad, and pen in my purse, and write people's phone numbers down in it instead of my iPhone! Sure wish Jersey would create some kind of book club for the youth like the one I was in when I was little. I know that incentive will encourage kids to read more. Plus...who wouldn't want free books! 

I personally love books, and one of these days I hope to have a "library" in my home. A room full of books. Kind of like the one in The Book Thief. Loved the setting of llsa's library where Liesel would go to find comfort in words, and escape. 

Words are inspiring, and no matter how old i get there is no way that I'll stop reading. 

No way. 

And I will always encourage my kids to do the same. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

THE ROCKAWAYS.

Summer is quickly winding down, and Chelsea kept reminding me that daddy hasn't gone to the beach with us all summer. These months are too precious to waste, including quality time with our children, and even though I feel like I'm doing my part as a mother to spend time with my teen, almost tween, and five year old  (including conversing with my 20 year old long distance!) I know that with my husband, we can do more. And family time is the best!

With Jon working half a day on Saturdays it's pretty impossible to be able to put a full day in at the beach, but this past weekend I didn't care. Once I got home from running a few errands I walked into the house grabbed his swim trunks, and with a stern voice said, "I know we have bills, and that your work so hard so that we can have what we need, but you really need to find time to spend time with these kids. So can you please get dressed because we are going to the beach." After a long sigh he hesitated and said, "what the heck, let's go."As much as i appreciate my hard working husband I just had to put my foot down. Making money is good and all, but family time is more important, and I don't ever want to lose sight of that!

The kids were excited, and we decided to head out to Rockaway beach. I absolute love this area in new york. The sand feels like powder, and as soon as you approach the water the waves immediately cover your torso, and instead of jumping on the waves, they jump on you! I'm grateful that Jon finally came so that he can go knee deep in water with the kiddos. For some reason Noah trusts him more than me when we go in the water. Probably because he heard that "daddy is a better swimmer than mommy."
While the kids were in the water with papa I read a few chapters of this book, and so far it's pretty good! After a while I stood up, and because I forgot to bring my bottoms was only able to get my feet wet, and snapchatted a few moments with the kiddos which you can see here, at r_jorgensen. That's my user name in case you were wondering. ;-)
Before we knew it, it was 7pm, and the lifeguards began calling everyone to get out of the water. Not sure what the rules are here compared to jersey beaches, or if there is a "swim at your own risk" sign, but it was getting late, and so we sat down, and dried off for a bit. Noah laid on the blanket with his binoculars, and saw so many dragonflies, and shrimp flies flying around. He even saw a helicopter too! 
We decided to see if we can find that fish taco stand that I hear every new york blogger ranting about, but to no avail. Apparently they haven't been open all year, so hopefully they'll be open next year summer so we can try them out. 

We did, however explore the rockaways just a little. We drove around, and found so many cool places in the corners of hidden pockets between 98th street, and 117th. The place we wanted to eat at was closed which gives us another reason to come back, and so before we headed out back into the city I decided to get down, walk around with the kiddos, and snap a few photos. 
Just a few, because, you know...we were about two hours away from home, needed to grab a bite, and be on our way!  
Told ya! I only captured like two photos, but snapchatted the whole time at the beach. The sun had gone down, and I was surprised that my iPhone even captured these photos without the flash, and that they came out pretty nice, but in order for us to capture more memories, and explore more shops at Rockaway beach before they close here is to leave early in the morning when the roosters are up! 

Happy Monday, and enjoy the rest of summer! 


Friday, August 21, 2015

NOAH-ISMS.

So this whole summer has been extremely interesting with the things that Noah has been saying. He's indeed growing up way too fast for my own good, and I'm really trying hard to keep up with these "noahisms" of his. Even though he'll be at school for half a day this year, I'm going to try my best to keep in mind the things he says to me about how his days are at school. That should be interesting, and I do look forward to that! 

But for now, here is what he has been saying as of late...

Even though I'll miss my cuddly buddy in the evenings I'm happy to say that Noah surprisingly has been wanting to get to bed early! I don't know if it's because of all the activity he's been doing lately with playing tennis, and spending our days at the beach, and neighbors pool because that sun has been pretty brutal all summer. The past couple of weeks he's been wanting to sleep in his own bed, and just the other night he said to me, "mom, it's okay that I won't be laying down next to you, because I'll be right here okay. Across the hall okay?" Although my heart tore just a bit, I couldn't help but to laugh. Knowing that my baby boy is no longer a baby, but a little boy growing and learning to be independent! 

Taco bell is not the greatest place to eat, but every once in a while I'll grab some tacos for a quick dinner. Noah seems to enjoy them so one night we made our own, and in all honesty I'd rather have homemade tacos than Taco Bell. Noah was so funny, and while Jon was making his taco he said to him, "make sure there are tomatoes, cheese,  lettuce, and pickle okay dad." He must have had hamburgers on his mind because there are no pickles in tacos, but we corrected him, and we thought he was pretty funny!

So one day we decided to go for a drive not knowing our destination (we're so spontaneous that way), and we accidentally embarked on a cove near the Delaware River. Upon reaching this destination Chelsea kept saying, "where are we going mom I'm getting bored in the car driving everywhere." Noah then started saying, "I'm bored too." Now mind you that was the first time he's ever uttered the word "bored" so he doesn't even know what the word means. When I asked him if he knew what the word "bored" meant he said, "it means silly goose right mommy?" 

Now I love shopping thrift, and it never fails. Every time we stop at a goodwill store he'll say (while twiddling his thumbs) "mom, mom, I know we're just gonna look, but if we have any monies, can we see if they have any transformers? Only if we have monies okay mommy? It pleases me that he's not a spoiled child, and demands to have a toy bought every time we enter a store. I think I've taught him well. 

This made me laugh so hard, and wish I would have recorded it: 
One day Chelsea was so ornery and was making mean faces. Noah finally said something to her. He said, "Chelsea, when you smile like this (he smiles handsomely) you look pretty, but when you make faces like this (makes a frown face) you look ugly." Ugly is  harsh of a word, but so true. I told him to say "not so pretty" next time!

So i had a few hershey kisses candy on my dresser, and Noah kept eyeballing them. He then asked, "can i have those hershey "pail" kisses?" Not sure if that was funny to you, but it was to me. 

Guess you had to be there :-) 

Happy Friday, and hope your weekend is wonderful! 


Thursday, August 20, 2015

WILMINGTON BEACH, N.C. in 2007

Oh, how i miss my girls being adolescent, but at the same time it's fun to see them all pretty grown up now, and to reflect back on these memories. I don't have too many of these photos in their scrapbooks, but it sure was fun to go down memory lane in pictures through my iPhoto from 2007 recalling all the fun things we did for the two years we lived in North Carolina. I can't recall how many times we went to the beach while living there, because the three hour drive permitted our time. All I know is that we took advantage when we would go and would stay all day soaking up the sun!! 

So why aren't I in any of these photos (insert frown emoji face here)? Oh...because Jon and I were both taking turns behind the camera. Truthfully...he took most of these. I think. 
Wilmington beach is so awesome! I thank my lucky stars for having lived in North Carolina even if it was just for two summers let alone going to the beach. It's so interesting to experience all types of beaches on different parts of the coasts, and this one by far has been a favorite. 

I wish Jon and I would have been in some of these photos instead of being behind the camera. I just love the way he captured some of these moments. He's such a good photographer. 

Cute Lexie as always smiling and never causing trouble for anyone (or her sisters.) She was always so agreeable in taking pictures of her. 
I can't believe these were taken almost nine years ago, and look how young they look! Now they are 10, 15, and 20! What!!!!! There's the one and only, unique Sierra. My goodness does her face look the same even to this day! Her features never change! 
My baby girl...she's always been sassy, and since the day she was born has always loved the water. She has always been fearless, and no matter how many times we'd tell her not to get too close to the water she'd refuse, and get even closer (she still does that!) Luckily she's always had her sisters watching over her. Can't believe this puppet is 10 and a half now!! 
I wish I could remember or have logged in some of the things that were said as we took these photos. I'm grateful for words, expressions, and for the chance that I have to put this down in writing as opposed to my kids looking at photos that are glued on fancy scrapbook paper. I want them to know that this moment was, and will always be on the top of my list. I want them to know that I'm sorry I didn't get into the pictures with them, and play with them in the water like I do now. I want them to know that I will always remember this day forever! 

And all the days to come!

***All pictures were taken with our old Nikon N4004! Sure do miss that camera.   

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

TRANSISTIONING.

Whenever the kids receive letters, or packages in August that pretty much means that summer is quickly coming to an end. It means that it's the beginning of a new year to buy school supplies, underwear, socks, backpacks, and of course clothes. As much as I appreciate all that their grandparents do for our kids I hesitate at the thought of them opening up those parcels. That only means that it's time to make a list, prepare for school, and to slowly say goodbye to summer. 

Summer is quickly winding down, and I can't even begin to fathom that school resumes in a couple of weeks. Every Target, and dollar Tree store have had school supplies on display since the beginning of July. They even have fall items on display which is understandable I guess, because before we know it we'll be craving autumn weather, and carving pumpkins!

I remember the day Noah had his kindergarten orientation, and all I can think about was how well he adjusted to taking off with the other kids, and teachers to show him around. He did well, and I was so glad! I think about him making friends, not just any friends, but the right kind. I wonder if he'll be shy with others because in our house there's no such thing, and he's anything but shy! The fact that he didn't attend preschool outside the home makes me a tad bit nervous, and I hope that he'll remember all that he was taught here in the home. It puts me at ease knowing that because i raised him in the home for the past five years that there's no need to fear. 

One thing for sure is that I will finally make the time to be involved with the PTA, be a parent helper, and lose myself in service at school. The desire to keep myself busy while Noah's in school half a day will help keep me sane from the fact that I no longer have a small child at home to raise. The consensus for me, now that all my kids  are in school is to continue to be a stay at home mom, but at that same be active within my community by doing volunteer work, and possibly beginning to write a memoir about my life. Not sure how that will go, but I'll be working on that from time to time. Noah will attend school half a day this year which will help me catch up on some stuff, but I know that those few hours without him will fly by! One thing for sure is that I will be easing my way into the school year because I want to take the time to familiarize myself with Noah's kindergarten, and I don't want to rush his youth. I'm not as nervous as I thought I would be, and I honestly feel the he's ready for this transition. 

And so am I !

Monday, August 17, 2015

BEACH DAY IN SPRING LAKE!


As I was looking on my calendar last week I realized that we only have two weeks of summer left before school resumes on September 1st!! How is that possible? I seriously cannot believe how quickly this summer is going. I am really hoping that Jon will make it out to the beach with us this summer so that he can go out in the water and play with the kids. He is such a huge help with the kids when he comes, and they love getting in the water with him. I think it's because Jon will have them jump super high against the waves, but I'm not that tall or strong enough to do that to a five year old, let alone a ten year old! I don't mind getting in the water with the kids, but sometimes I just want to finish that book that i'm currently reading you know? There are so many books I'd like to finish, but instead I find myself putting it down to play with the kiddos. I don't sigh, or whine I just set it down gently, and go. 

Besides...how can i say no to this sweet face. 
This past weekend we ventured out to Spring Lake beach, and this time Lexie came with us with the rest of her summer homework in hand, but never opened up that AP history book! Chelsea and Noah kept bugging her to play in the water with them, and she did. She didn't even hesitate, and had so much fun with them. She is going to have a heavy load this school year taking all honors classes, and has tennis practice every day this week for two hours! So  going to the beach, and letting out all her energy with her sibs while jumping the waves was a remedy to any stress she'll incur in the coming weeks!  

Capturing these moments with the three kids I have left at home brought me so much joy. Underneath all the bickering they do as sibs lies a heart so soft, and they truly love each other. Lexie is a wonderful big sister to these two, and she reminds me of the time we went to Belmar with Sierra
 ^^^ Lexie took the time to help them build a sandcastle, and the end result was pretty cool! ^^^



^^^ The fact there is a park on the beach is a bonus for the kids, and we never leave the beach until they've had 30 minutes of play time! ^^^
No matter how hot, and humid it is, or what season we're in the beach is our favorite, and venturing out to the shore to listen to the sounds of the waves crashing is rejuvenating, and reminds me of the simplicity of life. Summer time is our favorite, and we are so grateful to live so close to one of God's beautiful creations! 


Happy Monday! 

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