Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Pettys in real life...

How many times do you see the actual truth on social media? I mean the real truth. Everything looks perfect when scrolling through Facebook. School pictures, smiling faces, fun activities, "Elf on a Shelf" (gag), cute videos and the list goes on. Well my post today will not include ALL that perfect stuff.

It is time for a little feature I like to call

The Pettys in real life...

Pinkie Day was yesterday. We took Pinkie Day on the road to see Daddy in Richmond. George had to work yesterday so I took it easy all day with the children and we headed out last night around five. It was a rainy and dreary evening. The children stayed up too late. Emmett and Carmen stayed up til 11:30 watching Star Wars Rebels with Daddy. I was bored and was too excited about blogging to enforce a bedtime.

So you can imagine that today was a bit rough because we were all so tired! Even my dear niece, who is finishing up her first semester in college, stayed up too late last night! She joined us for mass today and our Costco trip.

Let's start with mass...

I was disappointed to find out that a priest that I love is not even at that parish anymore.
Then mass started and John realized that he didn't have a drink. So all you heard echo through church was, "driiink, driiink" (in a whining, crying type voice) Then Carmen starts. She won't stand up when she is supposed to. She whines along with John in a highly audible and disgusted voice, "why do I have to stand up?" ugh. Then John starts messing with her dress and kicking her. Now I am thinking how the heck do I take them both out at the same time? That's a first.

I think at one point I was flailing around in exasperation in the pew waving my arms back and forth and huffing and puffing in distress all the while thinking no one noticed and that it was all happening in my head. It wasn't. At that moment, 6 pair of eyes from a very well behaved family simultaneously peered around at us from a couple of pews ahead. 
Well, George ended up taking John out. I gave him the silent look so he knew what to do. :) A few minutes later, it was adorable! The two of them walked back into the pew and had a wonderful time together the rest of the mass. They actually had to come to the pew in front of us because while they were gone, two ladies filled the pew. It was fun watching George and John in front of us, though. George was helping him and pointing things out on the altar. He was reminding him to put his hands together in prayer, it was so cute. John read books and was such a good little boy. Carmen got herself together mostly and it all ended up pretty good.

On to Krispy Kreme for donuts and coffee. The employees at that Krispy Kreme store are rude and grumpy. I don't want to go there anymore because of that . You are serving donuts and giving away free hats and balloons to children, people! Can you please crack a smile at least once? I don't mean to get all squeaky and overly happy like some zealous Chik Fil A employees I know, but a SLIGHT smile is not asking too much.

Next, it is time for Costco. Now my plantar fasciitis is acting up so much that I am not even looking forward to the free samples.

Say no more..

That was it. We just had to get my niece back to her dorm and get our stuff from the condo and go. We did just that and now I am home with my feet up and enjoying a roaring fire.

Here is real life. It was a bad couple of days. I wish I could have seen my husband more. I wish he could be home with us. I wish I enforced an earlier bedtime last night. However, a few minutes ago, my dear friend who has been in prison for the past 9 years called me like he normally does once a week. I found out that he has not been outside in the light of day and feel fresh air for three months now. Three months!

So the Pettys in real life may not have been that impressive or at their best this weekend.

But, you know what?

Life is good. Life is full. Life is a gift.   

Here are a few reasons why...

Carmen and John having a fun time in Costco

George made me my favorite bread from his sourdough reperotoire.  Cinnamon raisin.  And this particular loaf was special because it looks like a fish.  See it? 
The cover of a book Carmen made for Daddy and me when we got home. She put it in a box and came up to me with a proud and happy look on her face and said, "Merry Christmas, Mommy"
So that's that.  The Pettys in real life.  It could be worse.  Imagine not seeing the light of day for three months.  It could always be worse.  

Now if someone could teach the Krispy Kreme employees that so I could get a smile with my donut.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Pinkie Day Thanksgiving

Forget Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving, we had a Pinkie Day Thanksgiving!

Yes, we are still celebrating Pinkie Day, even though I have not posted since August.  The children lost interest in doing their videos simply because we never found any Pinkie Day Pals.  So they caught on and got to be like, "who are we talking to, anyway?"  I don't blame them.  :)

I realized in order to get your blog out there, you really have to pay to have it listed somewhere.  I have not done that yet.  So, in the meantime, we continue to celebrate Pinkie Day and hope friends and family will share this blog.  Someday we may meet other's who can benefit from the Pinkie Day idea.

On to the topic of the day...

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with our little family in our home.  Just us.  Daddy has been home ALL weekend.  He came home with the turkey on Wednesday night and he is leaving to go back to work Monday morning.  We have had a great time together this week.  We are so happy that George can be home for this long weekend, as well as Christmas and New Year's long weekends.  Phew, it makes things much more bearable.

We watched the Macy's Day parade and always reminisce and tell the children that Mommy and Daddy's first year married, we went to NYC and saw the parade on Thanksgiving and ate dinner in the city and saw the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.  Great memories to share with our little offspring!

George also had a long weekend leading up to Veteran's Day and he took Carmen and John to Tennessee to see his family.  It was a great time.  Emmett and I hung around at home since we were just in TN in September when Emmett visited his grandfather for 2 weeks.

Last week one evening around 6pm, I drove by an elementary school with the children.  It was dark out already so we could see into the cafeteria.  There were still children in the school waiting for their parents to pick them up from the after care program.  I told my children about that and explained that they actually probably see their daddy (and even mommy) more than those children who are in school ALL day straight into the evening. It was quiet in the back seat as I explained, and I think they were counting their blessings as they thought of those children in school for such a long day away from home.

So we are all counting our blessings this Thanksgiving at the Petty homestead.  As for me, I am trying to stay positive and not wish the time away until I can live with my husband again full time.

The children are doing great in school.  We are healthy and happy.  That is saying a LOT in today's world.  We are an intact family in a world in which people, families and relationships are crumbling around us.  So we will stay strong and love every minute that we are together.

Ahhh, had to get a picture of John at the dinner table.

Emmett made the sweet potatoes this year.  He did a great job and was such a big help in the kitchen.  He takes after his father. :)

My view from my side of the table.  I like it!  George smoked the turkey in our fire brick oven and it was amazing!

Proud of my table.  Especially proud of my homemade dinner rolls, carrot pudding and egg nog mashed potatoes that everyone ate up fast.

HAHA I must include the photo that George took of me today because he thought my hair looked funny.  Here is the caption...
"You are going back to work MONDAY?  Get in time out, kids, NOW.  Mommy wants to eat in peace."

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Pinkie Day Video Episode 13

Happy Pinkie Day!

Lots of hustle and bustle this weekend.  We are packing to leave for our trip to NY.  Unfortunately Daddy can't join us as he has to work, but he is home for the weekend.  In the video, you will not see the purple truck!  It broke down yesterday and thankfully, George's roommate was selling his Honda so we snatched it up.  Ah, what memories with the "purple truck", as it is so affectionately named.

George has had that truck since before we were married.  Every time I get in it, I remember being a newlywed in the Extended Stay America in New Jersey.  It is amazing how the sense of smell is such a strong memory trigger!  Either that or there is a pair of rotten, dirty socks in there that we haven't found yet.

Seriously though, we are all attached to that truck and sadly, its days are numbered.

Without further is Daddy's homecoming today!  So exciting that now John can actually say, "Daddy" now.  Have a great weekend with your families!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pinkie Day is for Moms, Too

Well, here it is one month since my last post.  I have been beating myself up about how long it has been since I have updated Pinkie Day, but one month isn't as bad as I thought!

Looking back, it was actually 4 days before my last post that our second foster daughter arrived.

So needless to say, I have been much busier than usual.  Everything is going so well with our family and we are happy to have our 2 teenaged foster daughters living with us.  The only down side is that I have less free time to spout off my wisdom on the computer!

Well, George is home this week for the whole week leading up to Carmen's birthday on Saturday.  I think Carmen may actually explode from excitement.  She doesn't even know that her grandpa is coming for a surprise visit!

Now about the title of my post.  I had a special Pinkie Day on Saturday.  Sometimes I forget how much I miss George because I am trying so hard to keep it together for the children and make sure they are ok.  I kind of just don't pay attention  to how I feel or I just put it on the back burner.  It is so important for spouses to focus on each other, as well.  Sometimes it seems the children always come first, rightly so.  However, it is not a bad thing to put your relationship with your spouse first sometimes, too!  After all, the relationship is what came first, even before the children. It is not just children that need nurturing.  The spousal relationship does, too.

So Saturday, I got a text from George stating something to the effect that a package was delivered to the garage door and to check it and let him know what I think.  Well, it so happened that at the same time we got a package at the front door so I told him it already came.  I decided to have Emmett check it anyway and Emmett came back and said nothing was there.  I then forced myself to get out of bed to go look just in case Emmett missed it.

About forcing myself out of bed...

See, the hard thing for me on Pinkie Day is literally getting out of bed.  Before you call a therapist, let me explain.  I feel like I got through the whole week and did the best I could do with the children.  I feel like I held it together, got everything done that needed to get done and got to all the appointments on time.  So by the time Pinkie Day comes, I just kind of shut down and can't really wait another minute for George to get home.

I guess you could say that I go on strike.

I have a sit in.

I organize a protest.

Whatever you call it, I just want him to come home!

This past Pinkie Day was no different.  I hung out with the children in bed and they were playing in my room while I was trying to muster up energy to get up and do laundry and make breakfast.  I didn't expect George home until later in the day.

However, when I went out to check on the package in the garage, much to my surprise, there was my very own husband in the driveway, just walking around and looking at the flowers.  Ah!  What a relief.  And what a treat for me.  I got to see him all by myself.  No videoing, no pictures, no "Look! Daddy is coming!" No standing back and watching him hug the children first.  Just me losing it because I was so happy and relieved to see him.  :)  With the way I acted, he may want to just greet the children first from now on!  haha

I do LOVE seeing the children greet Daddy after a long time away.  It brings joy to my heart to see the love overflowing in their hearts as they see his little purple truck reach the summit of Summit Drive.

But I must never forget that Pinkie Day is for me, too.

With that said, enjoy Pinkie Day Episode 12!  After I greeted George in the driveway, we came inside and I got this sweet and tender video of the children seeing their daddy.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Father's Day Interview

It's Father's Day year round for us!

Happy Pinkie Day AND Happy Father's Day!!! 

Well, the cake below is not for Father's Day.  It is for my birthday, which was this past Monday. :) Lest you doubt that I have forgotten that it is, in fact, all about ME!!  Our friend, Nancy, made it for me and brought it over and everyone sang.  AND I actually got to eat off of our special plate! It is a tradition established by George when we were first married.  He bought the plate and said we should all eat our birthday cake off of it.  However, me being the mom who makes all the cakes, I don't usually participate in this tradition!  I boycotted making myself a birthday cake this year.  


After the birthday fun in the morning, it was time for George to go back to work. :(  I hated him leaving on my birthday but was glad he would at least be there for some of it.  I captured these adorable pictures of John saying goodbye to him.  

We spent the whole weekend with no van so we had to go to mass in shifts and we hung around at home.  It was great to have an excuse to actually not go anywhere. The weekend before was SO busy with parties and such that it was nice to stay home.  

Now to today...

I did a little Father's Day interview with Emmett and Carmen.  It is quite adorable to get these candid, honest, and heartfelt thoughts from children!   

You will notice in Emmett's that he answers "Daddy makes me feel..... sort of happy."  Don't be alarmed!  He explained that he was thinking about doing work with Daddy in the yard and he ends up looking like a "sweat bomb" and he only sort of likes doing work in the yard.  Oh my, too cute.  If there is one thing George teaches them, it is the value of hard work and industriousness.  By the way, I just looked up "industriousness", and it is actually a word.  Phew.  It is also cute that Emmett thinks he works at the UVA hospital instead of VA hospital.  

So happy Father's Day to all you father's out there.  Hope you get some time this weekend to enjoy your children and appreciate all the blessings life has to offer through the eyes of children.  

Friday, May 30, 2014

A WHOLE Hand!!

"Is Daddy staying a whole hand?" Carmen asks with excitement.  I answer, "YES! Plus 2!"  Carmen responds, "He's staying a whole week!"

OK, that was adorable.  In our language, this makes perfect sense to us, since this is the life of our family.  We count the days until we will see Daddy on our fingers.  Pinkie Day is TODAY!!  Pinkie Day is the best.  Well, Carmen suspected that Daddy would be home for a week and so she held up her hand to ask.  She knows on her fingers the days of the week and when Pinkie Day is.  It is adorable.  It is a simple thing but it provides the children with such security, joy and anticipation.

And now it is Friday of Pinkie Day Week.  George is still home and won't be going back to Richmond until Monday morning.  One of the great things about his job is that he is able to take more time off.  Every four or five months, he gets a week off.  This started me thinking about how much time families actually spend together when the dad or mom is living at home and working 9 to 5 jobs.

When George is home for a week at a time, we spend so much quality time together.  Also, our children are not even attending a traditional school, so when Daddy is home, they are home all day, as well.  I can adjust my school schedule to accommodate family time with him.  Families with both parents living at home (AND sometimes both parents working AND with children enrolled in a traditional school WITH after school activities) can be far less likely to have the amount of family time that we have.  It is interesting to think about.  I also reflect on this because so many family and friends have expressed care and concern to us over the almost 2 years since George has been traveling.

I guess I want everyone to know that no matter what the situation in your life, you can always make the most of it and make it even better than it may look from the outside looking in.

We are making memories this week.  George is watching John grow and reach milestones.  He is spending time with the children working in the yard.  He took them bowling last night.  George and I even had a "date" all afternoon.  We went to monthly foster care training and stopped at a friend's house on the way home.  We were actually in the van by ourselves!  That alone qualifies as a date to me!  Even if we just drove down the street and back.  :)  We had an amazing party at our home on Sunday evening.  We made pizzas for our guests in our homemade fire brick oven.  I rolled out pizza dough balls for over an hour!  George manned the oven and baked pizza after pizza.  It was great fun and a huge success!

For those of you not on FB, below is a picture of what I looked like while hosting that party.  I got very few pictures from that get together but managed to end up with this one.  I believe at the point this picture was taken, I was explaining to everyone that the pizza making table would work kind of like Subway.

We spent Tuesday together while we took George to a doctor's appointment in Charlotteville.  We went to the park and then to Spudnuts for yummy donuts.

During the week, George even joined us for story time to listen to a chapter of Peter Pan (although he drifted off to Neverland during the first page).  He also watched Star Wars Episode 1 with Emmett and Carmen (although he drifted off to Neverland in the first few minutes :)

Tonight we have friends coming over for pizza.  Tomorrow we are going to a homeschool picnic.  Sunday, Carmen and I are going to a bridal shower.  George took Emmett down to VMI to see some friends in the alumni office who are retiring.  Emmett came home so excited because he got ice cream, too.  When going out with Daddy, ice cream is usually in the picture somewhere.  :)  Come to think of it, there was ice cream after bowling, too.

What a blessing it is to have time with those we love.  Being separated so much allows for more creativity and expression in how we actually spend time together.  With us, there is no boring day- to-day.  There is always the anticipation of when our next adventure will be and who will come along for the ride.

Have a great weekend, everyone!  My computer is telling me to "plug in or find another source" so that is my signal to sign off and get outside and help with the firewood....

Til next Pinkie Day!!!  See you in June...

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Pinkie Day weekend April 26

I have been learning how to use Blogger since I got my new phone in March.  It is so confusing! I think my pictures are in 20 places on the Internet now!  From Picasa to Google + to my regular storage on my phone and my laptop.  Just getting this collage in this blog post was quite a feat!  So please appreciate Carmen's Pinkie Day gifts to Daddy this week.  She has a book from the library that shows you how to draw Dora.  She did a great job!  

We had a wonderful Pinkie Day weekend.  We are enjoying the fire brick oven that George made a few weeks ago.  We have made pizzas in it every time he is home.  He makes the sourdough crust from his sourdough starter he has on hand.  He uses nice and healthy whole grains, as well.  Everyone LOVES it.  This past weekend, we had two of his college buddies over after the race in Waynesboro.  We had a great time visiting and relaxing all day and right on into the evening since Howard and Jenny came over, too!  

George made this chicken in the fire brick oven!  We also made a chocolate and marshmallow pizza. :)  

George, Rufus, and Doug

Emmett and Carmen made a mini golf course on the driveway!

We had such a great weekend at home.  The children played and played and spent time together.  We had nowhere to be and no activities to tie us down.  The children were able to have free play time and be creative while the adults visited!  It was a great time.  

We all waited for Emmett while he made a banner for his upcoming 1st Holy Communion Day.

This girl loves her daddy. 
Emmett is making his banner for Banner Day.  All the children in the diocese make a banner to remember this special day.

Emmett was so focused on doing it and so serious about it that he didn't want us to look until it was all done.  

So happy that spring has arrived at our house.  I LOVE our dogwood tree.  I just had to take a picture of it in full bloom.