Jake and Josie McDonald came over for an afternoon and hung out. Lots of playing went on. Towers were built, apartments were arranged, tag was played, trees were climbed and a funeral was performed. Their new pet catepillar died.
It was another great surprise party pulled off by the Diczok clan. Aunt Margie has never had a party, so her mother thought it was high time for it! We did it up right with a catered meal at a local hotel and the biggest hurrah was her daughter and granddaughter from Atlanta came. She had NO idea! It was a special day. Family is worth celebrating.
Friends of ours needed a babysitter, so they got two for the price of one! Stephanie and Olivia are great kid watchers! They did all but put them down for a nap, we all know that takes a "professional" momma! Everyone had fun.
Here is my brother Jason. He lives in China. He is such a cool guy, and I miss him. He left the USA when Olivia was 6 months old, to teach English. We get to speak to him a few times a year. Stephanie has always shared a fondness for him in her own special way, I think when she heard of his love for chocolate, it sealed the deal! Olivia brags about his MarioKart talents and for his adventurous life, but she would choose to have him here to make memories with.
Spring Break in Beijing, China..
The older he gets he looks more like his Father, especially his hands. I know this because one of my fondest childhood memories was getting up the guts to take my stepfathers hand. I also loved being his assistant when he worked on our house. I only lived with Jason for his first five years of life, but they were enough to last me a lifetime, God knew. There is a special place in my heart for him alone, that only he will have. I alone hold the memories for he was too young. I love how as adults we can still speak truthfully to each other about any subject and there is a mutual respect.
I love how he adores our Grandfather. I learned a life lesson from Jason. He was always a great listener to Grandpa, and asked the questions and offered his time and interest in the answer...this caused my Grandfather to bond deeply with him. I saw it more clearly years into my adulthood and applied the wisdom to my life. Thanks little brother.
He will never know the ties that bind unless he has his own kids...he was the youngest of all the various sibling relationships...but he tries. Someday I hope to see him in person again and hang on tight for a very long hug.
Last month we went and used a Groupon I had bought for Ol' Towne in Orlando. I had bought it back in October, thinking we might use it on our winter break to celebrate Stephanie's birthday, but we didn't and then with the Busch Gardens tickets, we had to fit it in! Most of it was so cool. There was one end of the property that resembled a carnival, and a few blocks of shops that were trinket shops like what you might find along the beaches. The girls loved the ropes course. They were harnessed in and it was four stories high! It took a lot of guts to climb across the variety of ropes. They also zip-lined across the park about 75 feet up in the air....so cool!
They both climbed the rock wall that was super high and tough! Steph made it to the top and rang the bell... her finers and legs were like noodles when she had finished.
This ride, Super Shot, was crazy! Olivia said "NO WAY!" It took you about 200 feet up in the air and then all of a sudden it drops all the way down in about 1.5 seconds.... so scary... Stephanie loved it. I agree with Olivia. "NO WAY!"
Food around here mean fun many days. If it is not for us, it is even more fun!
These cupcakes were made by our dear friend Krista. She makes them to sell and share!
This was my favorite!
Here is my "yellow chicken". We all love it so much. Basically it is a bunch of veggies, chicken and a concoction of spices I made up but with extra turmeric in it! We eat it over rice and with sour cream on top! EEEEyum!
Afternoon snack for the girlies...they definitely love fruit!
This is my valentines gift of a strawberry cake for my loves!
We cooked five meals for four families who were in need of some good home cooking. It was so much fun! Chicken pot pie, chicken noodle soup, quiche, chili, green beans, cornbread. We had fun delivering it too!
Strawberries are in and we have eaten flats of them!
My famous greek salad!
Most of the time we have this just as rice and beans for a budget meal, but we had some pork in this one! I guess no one is going to be concerned that my family will starve, and I love the gift of enjoying cooking so much. It would not be so great if I felt the daily burden of it!
Finn had a Jake the Pirate Party for this 3rd birthday. We went and had a fun day watching him open his "packages"! He is a blast. He loves Steph and Liv more than anyone other than Lila, his buddy he sees everyday! He had the costume from Halloween and wears it frequently. Love the wig!
He got this real Texan cowboy hat from his grandparents in Texas. He even had the attitude to go with it!