Thursday, July 30, 2009

Here, There, Everywhere

Gasperini-Ville has been on the move the last couple of days!
We just returned from a quick jaunt to DC to visit GG, who has been working there this week and staying in a suite at the Mayflower Hotel. Can you blame us for joining him??

As I pulled Big Blue, our beloved Pontiac Transport minivan, up to the hotel, the valets and attendants seemed a bit shocked--"You're staying ma'am?" This was probably all in my head, but let's just say that the hotel was way nicer than we would have ever splurged for, especially with 3 rambunctious boys in tow! GG's pristine bed was in disarray within minutes of the two older boys even looking at it. I couldn't halt their excitement, though, they were having too much fun. Why does mom always have to be the killjoy? :)

We ventured out to view the "other White House". Aside: ever since moving to our new house, M has affectionately called it "the white house", which indeed it is! :) We've laughed all along and thought it would be quite grand to introduce him to the real deal white house. Unfortunately, rain sidelined us into... shux Starbucks! :) I was thrilled to imbibe my Americano while the boys consumed some sandwiches. It was the perfect interlude before meeting up with an old middle and high school friend, sw. What an enjoyable time we had seeing her. She was quite gracious to put up with my excited crew for the rest of the night... Thanks sw! We had so much fun and hope to see you again soon!
It is a miracle this last shot was captured. M kept pretending like he was going to take our picture and then psyching us out by shooting the side of baby J's head. Turkey! At least we got one good one!

This morning we continued the fun with my dear college and post-grad roomie, bridesmaid, and friend, Jaime, who was so sweet to train into the city and back out before work! Thanks J! As always, we loved our time with you, even if we wish it could have been longer!! Fun fun.

We are now home and J and I are gearing up for an early morning departure to Ohio to meet up with some of our nearest and dearest!!! I am really looking forward to the trip and promise to check in at least once while we're gone. GG, M and T are eager to have a "guys': no moms and babies allowed" weekend. Too cute. I'm already eager to see them come Sunday night. In the meantime, J and I will be staying with my sister and her family, meeting up with great friends and meeting their new wee babes, and going "home" in a sense. Miss that place--more, I miss the people there. Good Ohio folk.

This will be J's inaugural plane flight. Pray for us!
God bless,

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fun With Crepe Paper and the Like

While most homes use crepe paper to hang as birthday streamers,
Gasperini-Ville has found many alternative uses for it thanks to our little man, M.
Frankly, it's been a saving grace around here the past week, particularly on sniffly afternoons when we couldn't be out breathing on others, but had to have some fun!

Crepe Paper Use #1: Bike decorating!

Crepe Paper Use #2: Making a pond in the living room (of course)!
(Yes, that's a stuffed frog and butterfly in the pond. You also miss seeing the rows of Scotch tape used to secure the one end to my wood floors. We love tape around here too.)

M imagined both of these uses--one after watching an episode of Caillou and the other, just from play. He's a clever guy, that one! Have I mentioned what a treat it is to watch him grow these days? He is such a blessing. Some recent changes we've been making to our discipline system have been so rewarding. I have truly been a calmer, more confident mother. Ultimately, I've been really able to enjoy my kiddos. What an absolute treat they are, time-outs and all! ;) The fruit of a peaceful home is JOY, for sure!

Next up for Gasperini-Ville fun-- Bug Pencils
How does a mama encourage her boys to hold pencils well and practice their letters? Head to the dollar store and pick up some buggy #2's!
M decided while practicing his name-writing that he'd like to make a grocery list for me (thanks PBS Kids). Too cute. We started out by writing "eggs" with me verbally direct the making of his letters. I *love* that "E" has an extra horizontal line--isn't that most precious? We next worked on "bread" and "jam". I was in mommy-teacher heaven! :)
For our final at-home creative showcase, we have "earth" by M. We took a picture to show Daddy later after he arrived from work. Mommy wasn't about to let earth's play-doh-y brilliance bake on our table all afternoon! :)
There you have it--the latest and greatest from our little corner of the world! God bless!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Who Knew?

Who knew that Busch Gardens could be such fun? We had a wonderful time on Saturday, complete with Elmo Breakfast and day at the park. Even better--we ran into a family we know from the pool and church and hung around together for most of the morning. Fantastic!!








If we weren't going to be so busy over the coming month, we would have gotten season passes for only 5 additional bucks! The best thing about it--its only an hour away! We will definitely be revisiting this hotspot in future summers--such fun we had. :)

Happy Monday,

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Lord's Day

Family fun at the pool Friday evening
(J was nearby with Mim and Pop!)

Today's New Testament reading was so good for my soul to hear. Thought you might enjoy it too!

Brothers and sisters:
I... urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace:
one body and one Spirit,
as you were also called to the one hope of your call;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.
Eph. 4:1-6

Hope you've had a GREAT weekend!
GG and I are off to a date night (woo hoo!) I promise to post Busch Garden pics tomorrow--we had a blast there yesterday! God bless!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

30 x 30 Trudging Along

For all the folks who jumped onboard our 30 x 30 challenge, congratulations!
You have officially surpassed us in your commitment, I guarantee it! :)

I am happy to write to you that I did workout today.
I'm ashamed to say that its the first time in 6(!) days!!!

Traveling over the weekend and our subsequent sickness have really hampered my motivation. I should change our blog's name to "Snots-Ville", seriously. No excuses, though. The sun was shining on Saturday and Sunday while we were at the hotel. There was nothing stopping me from lacing my tennies and hitting the pavement.
But I didn't. I used every excuse in the book-- "I need to spend this time with my family", "It's not fair that I workout and GG doesn't", "It's really hot and humid", "I don't want to get shin splints", "I'm so tired"... You name it, I thought it!

I normally enjoy getting out on a run while we're away. Running is one of the best ways to explore a new place and get a feel for a town. I will often find little nooks and crannies that I might never have discovered if it were not for running... I digress.

Poor GG has been working like a dog (I'll vouch for it) and has since abandoned his 30 x 30 goal. It just wasn't feasible. Not now, anyway! Until this big deal is a thing of the past, he'll just have to dream of exercise OR get up at 5am to get it done. We'll see which he chooses!

So this morning I accomplished 12 minutes of running outside (before GG left) and 18 minutes on the elliptical. I then conquered 15 Army push-ups and 5 with knees. Getting there... Now to focus on those 13 minutes of prayer time remaining. There should be absolutely no excuses on that front.

On an unrelated, sad note, here are pictures taken out back behind Gasperini-Ville this morning. We have loved our tranquil woods and it appears will be seeing them no longer. A developer will be building an addition onto our subdivision. So sad!!! I never thought this day would come... Sniff, sniff!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Today's Google Query

"How to unclog a garbage disposal"
Yikes!

*Report as of 10:11am: a few plunger-type suctions with my fist and the clog has been cleared--woo hoo!! No million-dollar plumber needed!
*According to ask.com, here is a list of things NOT to put down the disposal:
1) Rice and pasta- No matter how much water you run or how long you run the appliance, you can never break rice or pasta down small enough. Both items swell when they are in contact with water, so the small pieces will eventually gather in the trap and swell until it is closed.
2) Animal bones- The garbage disposal is just not strong enough to break these down small enough to fit through. Animal bones are the most common thing that jams disposals.
3) Grease- The grease will eventually solidify and clog a portion, or all, of your drain.
4) Egg shells- Despite what you may have heard, egg shells do not sharpen disposal blades. I’m not even sure how someone would think that would work. Mostly they just end up clogging the line.
5) Any kind of stringy or tough-peeled vegetable- This includes asparagus, lettuce, celery and potato peels. Maybe in a small amount the disposal can handle it, but I wouldn’t try it.

According to this wisdom, I broke Rule #4 and 5 (potato peels). Thus, I'm going to try to do better. Incidentally, the last time we had a plumber out, he recommended running ice cubes through the disposal for 30sec. or so every month to keep the blades sharp!?? Very interesting!

Have a clog-free and blessed day!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A French Toast Morning

In the August issue of High.lights High-Five (which the boys adore, by the way!), we came across the recipe for Maple-Cinnamon French Toast. Yum!! We all thought it looked like a good one, so we thought we'd try it out this morning. Here is a how to make Maple-Cinnamon French Toast, Gasperini-Ville style of course:


Step 1) Refer to recipe often and have Mom dictate. Gather ingredients--3 eggs, 1 Tbsp. maple syrup, 1/4 tsp. vanilla, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 Tbsp. milk, 4 slices of bread, and oil for pan. Try to touch every ingredient as it waits on the counter. Get excited!!

Step 2) Quasi-break eggs on the side of a big mixing bowl, spill half of them on your arm, laugh about it, and pour the rest in the bowl. Try not to spill any egg shells (success!) If your name is M, watch your mother and brother struggle to make this all happen and laugh your way through it. Add remainder of ingredients, taking turns between boys. Spill a little here or there, but overall, do a great job.


Step 3) Mix all ingredients vigorously.
Step 4) Dunk bread in "solution" and place it in the hot pan to cook.
Step 5) While you wait, wrestle with your favorite mate.
Step 6) Consume your feast with extra butter and maple syrup. Make sure to argue over who gets the red bowl for syrup, then who gets the red bib to catch said syrup. Mothers: divide the red items and conquer!


Step 7) Clean your plate and take a nice long swig of cold milk! You've done it!
Have a great day!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy 65th, Mickey and Molly!

Why are we so happy?
Because we just returned from an awesome weekend up in Pennsylvania to celebrate my grandparents' 65th(!) wedding anniversary!! We headed up there on Friday and were the first surprise guests to arrive... My grandpa heard voices outside, walked out the door, and immediately broke down into tears. And the tears kept flowing with the arrival of my Uncle Mike and Aunt Marsha from Michigan, Kelly and little Alex (first cousin once removed) from North Carolina --my first cousin, Mike, is awaiting Army deployment in Texas and couldn't make it :(, and finally, my sister, Jessica, and her family from Ohio! Every arrival brought additional smiles, tears, and hugs. We haven't all been together in ages. What chaos, but what fun!
Sweeties--J and his great grandmother "GiGi"

My nephew, Avery, hugging GGP "Geep"(great grandpa).

Crazy play with Pappy

All 6 great-grandsons (we are gender-challenged!) listening to Kelly read.

More crazy play with Alex--can you imagine how small
my grandparents' duplex felt with 6 boys running/toddling around!!

Our weekend was made perfect with the arrival of a special guest later Friday evening--our GG! What a trooper--he drove from a long week of work in DC to be there for this momentous weekend. You have no idea how special this was for me! Thank you a million, my love!!

Saturday began in idle fashion with a trip to Starbucks for Jessica and me and our families. How much I love being with my sis and her crew. She is a kindred spirit in so many ways... Just wished we lived closer!! Her twin guys, Andrew and Avery, and our boys get along great. They seem to really enjoy time together. We also love her hubby, Chad, who is amiable and so easy to talk to. He brings humor to every situation and keeps us laughing. :) I smile thinking of them all.

First cousins at Starbucks the next morning.

After 'bucks, it was time to get the family moving and we headed to a *beautiful* river park. The boys played baseball and monkeyed around on a primitive playground. We ate lunch and enjoyed the company of my grandparents, who were shuttled up the hill on a golf cart by a kind park ranger. How much I love meeting good people in the world like him. He was a gem!
Our day came to a close with dinner out and then an evening party later at my Aunt and Uncle's house (on my dad's side). Lo and behold, we ended up having a (almost) complete family reunion with both sides of my family. What heartwarming times...
Gigi and Geep with all 6 great-grandsons

My grandparents' legacy

The W cousins (dad's side)--we're all grown up!

The W brothers (my dad is in the middle--the oldest of 5)

What a great time... We all have colds now, but I'd do it again in a minute!!
God bless,

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Degrees of Togetherness

What a blessing it was today to convene with these lovely ladies and their 5 little cherubs! Jessica and family were in town, as well as Kerry and her crew. It's truly amazing how we're all linked--Amy (far right) introduced Jessica her hubby, Will, who was GG's best high school buddy. Amy and I linked up through a mutual friend here in town and Kerry and I have become friends through Jess and the wonderful www. Jessica also introduced Kerry and her husband, William. And what started it all? Kerry, Jessica, and Amy all went to high school together... Oh, the 2 degrees of separation we have going on around here!

All I know is that God is good at knitting His children together and giving us so much in common that eventual gatherings like these are like meeting up with family. How wonderful is that?!

Praising God for His goodness,

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gasperini-Ville Drudge Report

By golly, it's almost mid-week! Where in the world is B-mama and her crew???

We've gotten a slower-than-normal start to our week. Yesterday was a failed venture to the children's museum. I arrived and looked back to find all three cherubs peacefully sleeping. Red, who I was speaking to on the phone, gave some great advice--"Check out Member Mondays next week, turn your car around, and enjoy some Star.bucks and the peace and quiet." Excellent friend, isn't she?

I did just that--one about face, one Frapp.uccino Caramel Light (with whipped cream of course), and a long drive later, we were back home. No sooner had I pulled into the garage, but 2 of the 3 sleeping angels awoke, leaving me no choice but to back the car out again and head to the mall! We returned some baseball mitts and bought a batting tee instead, rode the mall train (super cute to watch J on his first ride!), and played in the children's area. My boys were the most hyper kids there, bouncing off the play structures right and left. I swear I give them energy outlets! Can you imagine having them home... together...? Oh boy, indeed.

To finish the venture, we purchased some football underwear for M. There is nothing cooler than wearing pictures of athletic gear on one's tush! :) T also got two new pairs of cargo shorts with the inside cinching elastic so they won't fall down (which they always do!) The sales going on right now are ridiculously good, especially for summer clothes.

Other tidbits to report:
1) Baby J has taken to the stairs and now can explore all floors of our home! Monday he decided it was time to start climbing and has tentatively proceeded forth since. Guess we'll be needing the downstairs gate sooner than later!!

2) GG is working like a madman and we miss him so! So this is what big firm attorney life is all about? The poor economy has saved us from seeing this side until now!! READ: We are grateful GG has an awesome job, but wish we could have him around a little more! One thing's for sure--absence definitely makes our hearts grow even fonder!

3) We sunk to new Cost.co lows today--heading there solely to eat lunch. Anyone who's ever taken a bite of Cost.co fare knows that you don't head there to dine. We did. Enough said. Mimi commented on this as we left and the two of us had a good chuckle. :) There are some days when I just have to submit to the idea that I'm completely pathetic and today was one of them.

4) We then proceeded to The Sil.ver Diner, another establishment hardly worth patronising, where thanks to Mimi's coupon, we drowned ourselves in sundaes and all for $5. Even Boo Bear (J) got in on some ice cream action. No wonder he refused his green peas tonight at dinner. We've spoiled him rotten! :)

5) We added swing #2 to the swingset today and now both boys have "tummy swings" on which to fly. Who do you think is happier--the formerly-belligerent boys or their relieved mother?


But who could refuse spoiling a guy this cute?

Little, Middle, Biggle