A Group Of Stahrs

Our Family Life…All Together

8

You want to know what’s even worse than your oldest turning into a teenager?  Your baby turning 8.  I thought since I’ve been to 8 two times before it wasn’t going to be such a big deal.  But each year he gets older, it stays being hard.  I mean, he’s getting old, I’m getting older.  It’s just not fair.  I signed up for babies.  While I’m pretty happy being diaper-free, no more middle-of-the-night feedings, no having to worry about nap time (wait-I do kind of miss nap time), none of my kids stayed babies long enough.  I was robbed!

At any rate, Jacob turned 8 in March.  Here’s is official birth minute photo (in the car waiting to go into school)…

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He was so excited for his birthday, counting down all month, telling his friends (and teacher) all month how many days til his birthday.  His birthday fell on a Thursday which is when he enjoyed his star cake and presents and Skype calls.

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IMG_0007Jacob’s party was on a Saturday and he wanted it to be easy.  Jumping at the local trampoline center with his buddies (and his sisters and mom and dad), and pizza at home.  So that’s what we did.  We jumped for 2 hours!  Then we had pizza and enjoyed his Minecraft cake.  He actually sat down beside me when I was looking on pinterest for ideas.  He picked this one out.  He also supervised the making of the fondant figures to make sure they were correct.  I mean, I don’t know what a creeper is.

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A few days before his big birthday, Jacob and I went to the music store to have him fitted for his birthday present from us.  An acoustic guitar.  He’s been wanting to take lessons so we decided that turning 8 would be a good time.  We picked out a guitar that was his size, paid for the first month of lessons, and we were on our way with a pretty big smile on our face!

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The day after his big party was our annual mom and son date.  I so look forward to this every year.  We were going to go for breakfast and then to a movie but he decided the night before that he didn’t think he could wait to eat breakfast at the restaurant.  So we opted for a movie and then lunch.  We saw Home in 3D (which was such a fun movie) and ate at Chili’s.

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We also took his 8 year pictures.

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Yep, he’s all grown up!  We love you, Jacob.

Teenager

So in January, yes I’m aware of how long it’s been since January was here, Mazie decided she could just up and turn 13.  Just like that.  Overnight.  No warning, no asking, she just went and did it.

I’m still in denial…that’s why I haven’t blogged it.  It seems like if I put it up here, it’s real.  Nevermind the fact that it really is true and Mazie is actually a great teen.  Nevermind the fact that I don’t want it to be true even though it is.  I’m not ready.  But anyone who knows Mazie knows that it didn’t matter if I was ready or not.  She was doing it anyway.

So here you go.  All her birthday wonderfulness.  13 years.  Man, she’s old! ;-)

We will start with her birth minute photo…

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The littles got in the celebrating too.  They can’t give her all the attention…

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We had a small party at the local trampoline place.  She invited a few friends and it was just perfect.

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Her annual dad/daughter date.  They went to breakfast this year and then to see a movie.

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So part of her turning into the teens, we decided to make it a bit more special for her and let her go to my hair salon.  The lady who does my hair was so excited to meet Mazie and get to know her.  Mazie was over the moon excited when I had made her appointment.  She was so tickled with the fact that she was pampered for an hour.  I almost cried when I saw her come around the corner.  I held it in, though and just smiled and how beautiful she is.

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So there you have it.  It’s official.  Even if it was already all over facebook and instagram since January.  It’s officially official now that it’s been blogged.  Mazie’s 13 and still amazing.  We love you Mazie!

December 2014

I try to blog.  I really do.  But then I think about how much time it takes to sit here and create a blog and how many other things I should be doing and then I just don’t blog.  So for now, you get posts when I post.  It’s that simple.

But here is a wrap up of December.  Enjoy!

First, we will begin with my birthday.  I mean it is really important and all.  38.  A few years ago, it seemed like such a big number.  An old number.  But now that I’m here, it’s not so bad.  I mean, yeah I have to admit to being 38 and it sounds old but you really are as old as you feel.  And I don’t feel old.  Or at least what I would have thought I would feel like at this age.  I’m not really sure what I was expecting.  All of a sudden, I just turn into an old lady?  That’s not really my style anyway.  I’ll grow old by gracefully fighting it every step of the way.  I mean, 40 is the new 20 right?  Actually I don’t want to go back to my 20’s.  I kind of like it right now.  I’m good.  Am I making sense?

Ok so here are a few pixs from my 38th celebrations.  The kids were a little disappointed in not having a cake this year but it was ok since I opted for my primal fudge instead.  The mess says it all…

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And homemade cards/gifts are my very favorite thing…

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Jeremiah works with some pretty spectacular people who have become very good friends.  Once a month we all get together, sometimes with kids, sometimes without.  It always is a good time.  IMG_0144

During December the party was a bit of a going away from one of the crew.  So this one was a bit bittersweet.  These two happened to live across the street from us as well.  Jacob happened to love their oldest daughter but their second daughter happened to love Jacob.  Yep, our very first love triangle.  Also their twin boy and girl are just adorable.  I was given the name Missa Megan by the little boy who may have been a little excite to see me every once in a while.  You know I have a thing for little blonde haired blue eye boys!

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Jamie had 2 concerts with her choir club.  One was at the Ogden amphitheater.  This was all I was allowed to get for that one…

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But she made up for it by posing for the next concert which was at school…

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Christmas came and went and it was so much fun this year.  Pop Pop arrived in early December and joined us for Christmas this year.  The kids (and us parents too) were over the moon about it.

Jacob was in charge of making the reindeer food and placing the treats and milk out for Santa…

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So after watching Rudolf, the kid went to bed…

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The adults had to get everything ready quietly which was tricky but we managed…

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And then Christmas morning was crazy with hot chocolate, cookies, and presents…lots and lots of presents…

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And then Pop Pop went home.  Boo!

We did manage to do a little exploring of Utah while Pop Pop was here.  We hopped on the front runner (the commuter train around here) and took it into Salt Lake City to Temple Square to see the Christmas lights.  The kids were excited about the whole thing but Jacob was a little over the top with the train.  I have to say, it was simply amazing to see all the lights.

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It was a lovely holiday season.  That’s all I have downloaded from my camera.  More to come some other day…Thanks for looking!

Ten On Tuesday

1.  I didn’t blog in October or November.  If you follow the blog at all, you already know that.  I’m not really sure what happened to the time of October and November.  We were just enjoying being us and I didn’t really share it here.  I’m kind of torn between keeping the blog going and stopping it altogether.  Thoughts?

2.  Halloween was fun around here.  The kids were minions and Jeremiah and I were Gru and Lucy.  These pictures are from Jeremiah’s work party…Oh and by the way, just in case you were wondering, there is no costume for Lucy.  Apparently she isn’t a big enough character.  I had to piece the whole thing together (thank you Amazon).

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3.  Jamie had her first choral concert at school.  This year one of the elementary teachers and the music teacher decided to start a choral club for the elementary kids.  She was in heaven.  This girl does love to sing…

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4.  Thanksgiving was grand.  It was a lovely long weekend.  We had a yummy turkey dinner with too many sides.  But it was just enough to have leftovers one night, turkey pot pie one night, and turkey enchiladas one night.

5.  We had a fun little party with some even funner friends.  There was a lot of dessert, a little more drinking, a lot more laughing, and maybe some singing.  Everyone is tone-deaf when wine is involved, right?  It was a good night.

6.  My dad’s birthday is tomorrow.  Happy Birthday Dad!  We can’t wait to celebrate when you are here next week!!

7.  That means my birthday is on Thursday.  I have already received a gift and a card in the mail (thanks for thinking of me, friends).  They are both teasing me from the counter, as I will wait until my actual day of birth to celebrate. ;-)

8.  I have all of my Christmas shopping complete (aside from my own children).  This is pretty late for me.  I am usually trying to package all the gifts so they can be mailed.

9.  Now if I could get my Christmas cards addressed and mailed and the gifts mailed to various places across the country, I’d be set.  It’s a good thing I like to wrap presents.

10.  We are decorating for Christmas this weekend.  I’m so excited.  Again this is kind of late for us but I love doing it.  The real tree with it’s pine-y smell and all the lights.  It’s so magical.  This is my favorite time of the year.

Happy Tuesday!

Ten On Tuesday

1.  Mazie, Jamie, and I went to the Katy Perry concert last night.  My ears are still ringing.

2.  The girls had so much fun.  There were lights and costume changes and all their favorite songs.  My favorite part was watching the girls.

3.  I don’t think I embarrassed them too much.  Although I got quite a few eye rolls and “nice” comments when I was jammin’ to the music in between the acts.  I mean, who can sit still when DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince is playing?

4.  This weekend last year, we had a dusting of snow.  I’m hoping that the forecast for 70s will stay.

5.  Jeremiah was picked to be on the Materiel Leader candidate list.  If you are in or have been in the AF, you understand what that is.  Since I am not, I can not explain it but I do know it’s a big deal.  It was only a 30% chance to get on the list of 65 for 32 positions.  We will know sometime in December if he gets a position.

6.  Parent/Teacher conferences are next week.  I’m love hearing good things about my kids.

7.  Mazie has a college planning session with her counselor next week.  Can you believe that one?

8.  I start teaching the Junior Achievement classes to Jacob’s class tomorrow.  I’m so excited.  Jacob finally admitted tonight that he was too.

9.  Mazie wanted to bake a bunch of Fall treats for the school’s farmers market last week.  We were told 4 days before that we weren’t allowed to use our own kitchen unless it was commercial or the treats needed to be store-bought.  So I asked the chaplain across the street if the chapel’s kitchen might be of use and it was not.  So we went to The Sweet ToothFairy (who won on a Cupcake Wars episode) to see if we could get a discount on some goodies to sell.  They totally pulled through for us and donated over 150 cake bites!  Mazie was so happy.  At the farmer’s market she sold some.  But it wasn’t until we came home that she really made money.  She walked up and down the street with Jamie helping her selling what she had.  Thanks neighbors! You Rock!!

10.  Since I had already purchased the supplies we would need for all those Fall treats, I have to use them up.  So Mazie decided (thanks to a suggestion from Pop Pop) to have a bake sale this Friday.  She and her neighbor friend, Lizzy, will be selling the baked goods and using the profits toward their total they were trying to raise for the cancer hospital with their lemonade stands this summer.  They are at about $200 already.  They will be selling pumpkin whoopie pies, caramel apple cupcakes, applesauce cupcakes with maple buttercream, chocolate chip and sugar cookies, and brownies.  If you are around, check them out by the youth center and donate to charity!  I’m so proud of these two girls for doing this over the summer.

Happy Tuesday!

Ten On Tuesday

1.  On Friday when Jeremiah and I picked up the kids from school, Jacob got into the car and stated, “I can’t wait for Monday”.  It doesn’t matter if his reason was because the school just announced that all Mondays are now free dress, it was music to my ears!

2.  Tonight while going through our bedtime routine, Mazie asked if she could pick out her clothes after Jamie did instead of right away.  Normally whoever is taking a shower gets right into the shower and the other picks out clothes for the next day and gets ready to take her shower.  I asked why out of curiosity and Mazie said she didn’t want Jamie to see what she picked out and then copy her.  I told her that one day very soon she will miss that her little sister wants to be like her.

3.  We are thinking of letting Mazie go to a different school next year.  It’s a charter school for high school but they allow the kids to work on their associates degree while finishing high school.  It happens to be a STEM school also.  She has to go to the school for a year before applying for the degree program.  Opinions are welcome, of course.

4.  I found a yummy yogurt that is dairy, sugar, and grain free.  It’s by So Delicious and it is just that.  If you have had their ice cream, then you should try their yogurt.  Jacob asked me this weekend if he could taste my “Geek yogurt” after explaining that it is Greek yogurt and having a bit of a chuckle between us he tried it and loved it.

5.  Pinterest has been good to me with some yummy recipes.  I made some yummy homemade grain-free granola.  And everyone picks at it, including my picky pants husband!

6.  I had my routine check up at the dentist this week.  I told Jacob that I was cavity free and that my hygienist said I had no tartar and take very good care of my teeth.  He looked at me very seriously and said, “I’m so glad you are taking good care of your teeth.”  I couldn’t help but laugh. That kid cracks me up.

7.  Jamie had to apply for a job in her class.  All the kids had to apply for a job.  She chose to apply for Art Director.  She filled out an actual application and had to get 2 letters of recommendation.  She quickly asked Pop Pop to email something the night before he went on his big trip to Ireland (which he did, of course) and she asked the neighbor who is a second mom (between our houses either our kids are over there or their kids are over here).  Interviews were last week and Jamie got the job.  She was so proud of herself.  Of course, we were too.

8.  Jamie, Mazie, and I have our big girls night out coming soon.  I’m so excited.  More for the fact that it is still a surprise to the girls than the actual surprise.  Plus we get to have some girl time that we just don’t do often enough.  I have almost let it slip so many times but surprisingly have caught myself.  I’m really not great at keeping good things secret!  This is a new thing for me.

9.  Jamie joined the choir.  Her teacher happens to have organized it this year for the elementary students.  So when she came home with the paper giving the information about it, she was all for it.  One plus for the school that cut band and orchestra for this year.

10.  I love that Jeremiah can come home for lunch almost every day.  There are some days that fill up with meetings or whatever but for the most part he comes home, even if it is for a quick bite to eat.  Having his office only 5 minutes away is nice.

Happy Tuesday!

End Of Summer/Back To School 2014

So the kids were in Pennsylvania for almost 2 weeks this summer without us parents.  They were so excited about the whole trip.  Mostly because Jacob came up with the whole trip being named “Camp No Rules”.

Here are some pictures from Pop Pop’s camera of things they did in PA…

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Fun was had all over PA.  They went to Gettysburg, Knoeble’s amusement park, Hershey’s chocolate factory, Penns Cave, Color Me Mine.  They also had great fun with Stahr Mam and Pappy John but I haven’t gotten any pictures from that part.  They had fun seeing all the family and just hanging without us interfering.  Those pictures above are in no particular order.  Those were just the few I picked from a cd that had way too many to post.  I also have no pictures from their time with Gramma (what’s up with that, Mom?).

And this one is just ’cause I love my baby brother so, so much.  The picture was begging to be posted…

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While that doesn’t show their whole trip, just know they are still talking about being in Pennsylvania.  They really enjoyed their trip!

Pinterest has been fun for us this summer.  This is one of the activities I took pictures of.  We did the ivory soap experiment.  We put a bar of ivory soap (I’ve read this does not work with other bars of soap) on a plate and popped it in the microwave…

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Then we started the microwave for 2 minutes.  At 40 second down, the soap started to expand and continued for the rest of the time…

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When the time was up, we let it cool to touch.  The kids were surprised by the way it felt.  It looked fluffy and light but kind of crumbled to the touch.  It was smooth like soap should be and they could pack it back together but they couldn’t form anything other than solid shapes.

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It was pretty could to see.  Not really worth buying a pack of 8 bars to use one for this experiment but it’s soap.  It will be used up.  Plus the whole kitchen smelled of ivory soap for the rest of the day.

First day of school…Two weeks ago!  I can’t believe school has been in session for 2 weeks already.  The kids are loving this year so far.  After registering Mazie for 8th grade about 3 weeks ago, she was so ready to start school.  I can’t believe she is in her last year of middle school!

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After reading her bio on the school’s website, Jamie was so excited to meet her 5th grade teacher this year.  Plus she had just recently updated her eyeglasses so she was ready to show them off…

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Jacob was a little hesitant about starting 2nd grade until back to school night a few days before school started.  He met his teacher and quickly knew it was going to be a good year.  The fact that she happened to be pretty had nothing to do with it. ;-)

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So looking at these pictures, I’m left wondering how my kids got so old.  It’s a mystery to me, really!

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Ok, that’s better.  Now I can claim these kids! :-)

 

Jorden’s Freedom Wagon

I have a cousin named Jorden.  He’s a pretty cool little man.  He has Larsen’s syndrome which is a very rare genetic disease that affects his joints and connective tissue.  The van the family uses to get him to his activities recently caught on fire which means Jorden has no way to make it to his band practices.  Here is the article the local news posted on his situation…

Altoona Boy Needs a New Van to Get Around

So I asked his big sister, Brittany, if it would be ok to post the link for donations for a cool ride for Jorden on my blog to help.  I’m asking for you to donate anything you can for this family.   Every little bit helps and it would be such a shame if Jorden couldn’t continue to do his normal things.

Here is the link for their donation page.  I thank you in advance!

Ten on Whatever Day this Posts…

1.  I took Mazie to register for EIGHTH GRADE last week.  I’m still in denial.

2.  She was so excited until she saw that she was supposed to have Spanish II.  She never had Spanish I so we had to have her electives changed.  Now she doesn’t have Spanish at all but Art, Teacher’s Aide for study skills, and beginning guitar and none of her honors core classes changed.  She’s happy again.

3.  Last night was back to school night for the elementary.  Jacob and Jamie were very pleased with their new teachers.  Now they are super excited about starting tomorrow.

4.  Back to school tomorrow!  For a 2nd grader, a 5th grader, and an 8th grader…that makes us sound old!

5.  The kids and Jeremiah and I are running in the Color Run in Salt Lake City on Saturday.  It should be super fun!

6.  Jacob developed swimmers ear from being at the local water park last weekend.  It’s our first ear infection, surprisingly.  I hope it’s our last.

7.  Thunderstorms at bedtime could become nonexistent in my opinion.  For example, being beautiful all day long like today and then storming just as we are going to bed tonight is not funny.  I’m hoping that by the time I go to bed tonight it is all over.  To say that I’m not a fan of thunderstorms is an understatement.

8.  The part of going back to school that I like most is being able to go to the gym.  I didn’t do too badly this summer.  I ran regularly in the mornings with Jeremiah before work and did things here at home but it’s different going to the gym.  I need to get back into my routine with weights.  Anyone out there with me on that one?

9.  We are hoping someone rents out our Colorado Springs house soon.  We’ve had lots of traffic but no takers for that last 2 weeks.  If you know of anyone interested in a 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, 2 story with a basement house for rent, send them our way, please.

10.  Ok, so I lied.  There are only 9 things.  My brain doesn’t have room for a tenth thing this week since I couldn’t even get it on the right day.  So happy whatever day this posts! ;-)

 

Jamaica

July 10 marked 15 years of wedded bliss for Jeremiah and me.  We decided that we should do something for just the two of us and I reluctantly agreed on a week for us to go somewhere fabulous without the kids.  So we went to planning on our vacation.  We decided on a Sandals resort and after much research decided on the Negril, Jamaica location.  An all-inclusive resort in Jamaica?  I think I could get on board with being without the kids for a week for the first since having them.  Then I realized that they were going to Pennsylvania and leaving before our trip and getting back after.  Which meant I was going to be without kids for nearly 2 whole weeks!  What?! I had to figure out how to be ok without the kids for almost 2 weeks?  I literally had  to look at the Sandals website almost daily to calm my nerves as the days were leading up to the kids leaving for Pennsylvania.  And guess what?  I was just fine.  I knew the actual trip was going to be amazing and it really was.  It was the few days before and after that I was here at home without the kids that was really hard on me.  But, again, I survived.

So now onto the good stuff.  The few pictures that I took and that we purchased from the resort.  Let me start by saying, if you are thinking of doing a trip like this know that it is truly an all-inclusive resort.   We only paid extra for our one excursion which we set up before we got there, our beach sunset dinner for our actual anniversary day which we set up before we got there, and pictures and souvenirs.

Our room had a swim up to the pool just outside that overlooked the beach.  This was our view from our patio…

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We enjoyed breakfast here a few mornings…

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We spent every morning on the beach where we had chairs that were reserved for us with a cooler full of water.  It was nice letting someone pamper us for a week.  IMG_0019

We also had a couples massage.  The last time we had a massage was 11 years ago when we went to Hawaii.  I was in so much pain after because it felt like the therapist was taking out her problems on me.  I swore them off.  But I decided to try it again and it was amazing.  I have never been so relaxed.  The therapist that was massaging me said I had three knots in my neck.  I jokingly told her that they each had a name since I have three kids!  IMG_0037

We went on a tour of the island on a sunset cruise.  At the end of the cruise, everyone was doing shots on the bar.  That was fun.  Alcohol was completely included and there was a lot of it.  In fact, the one bartender would see Jeremiah coming and call out, “Hey Rum and Coke!”

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There were lots of critters around.  Peacocks would join us for breakfast, starfish in the ocean, little sand crabs.  We saw lots of crabs actually.  This one greeted us on our patio on day…

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We had reservations at the one restaurant one night.  It happened to be at sunset and we were seated right next to the beach…

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We did a few things that were way outside of my box.  We went kayaking.  Yep, I’ve never done that and was terrified the whole time but, when I finally was on the sand again, I was happy I did it with my love.  We also went snorkeling.  I was so scared going into it but was so excited.  It took a bit to figure out how to breathe with the mask and such but I got the hang of it and was happy there was a photographer catching us feeding the colorful fish with a piece of melon even if I was in a bathing suit…

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On our actual anniversary day, we set up to have a dinner on the beach at sunset.  It was just the two of us and it was amazing.  We had such a great time just enjoying the view and not having to eat in 20 minutes because a little one was going to throw a fit or start fighting with another one.

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It was a trip to remember and we will be going to a sandals resort again.  It was the first vacation we’ve taken that we both felt it was a true vacation and we didn’t need days to recuperate.  It was truly amazing.

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Next up, what the kids did while they were in Pennsylvania!

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