Monday, June 27, 2011


Sean had a great time in Los Angeles with Judy. He had the chance to go to Chinatown and Hollywood, and he spent time with all of her family as well. He loved it. He is currently in the air on his flight from San Francisco to Medford to spend the next six days with my mom and dad. Then I'll finally have all three of my babies back home next Saturday!

The only recent pictures I have are of Sean with some of Judy's family at Six Flags

and one that Sean took as he was boarding his flight from San Francisco to Medford (flew Los Angeles to San Francisco prior).

Friday, June 24, 2011


I finally got a picture this evening of the entire Oldsmar Hyperforce team. As you can see Erin is the only girl. This is just the team from our track. There are members of the Hyperforce team all along the east coast of the United States, and Bren and Erin have been lucky to meet many of them at the national events they have attended so far this year. It is such a great team.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Milky Way cake

This may very well be one of the best cakes you ever try. Especially if you love caramel and/or Milky Way bars. I'm not joking. This cake and icing have 11 Milky Way bars in them. I highly suggest you make this. Now.

The Milky Way cake recipe can be found here. Kuddos to the Pioneer Woman for this one.

The only thing that I do that isn't mentioned is to refrigerate it after you put the icing on it. It is amazing right out of the oven when it's still hot, but it is equally delicious after it's been refrigerated and firms up a bit. Try it both ways.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Erin and her cousins

Erin has been counting down the days until she would be able to see her cousins in Wisconsin (her only girl cousins), and she's finally with them. They have spent the weekend out at the track in Illinois with Brian, Bren and Erin, and in between mottos Erin has had a lot of time to play. Can you tell that she's happy to finally be with them? She's been waiting since February to see them, and she couldn't be happier. I'll have more pictures of the four of them together to post as Brian sends them to me.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Still here

I'm still in Jacksonville. Been here for the most part since Sunday with the exception of driving back to Tampa for class twice and then driving right back up afterwards. We've been waiting for a transfer from St. Vincent's to Baptist since Tuesday so that she can be under the supervision of her cardiologist instead of the hospitalist on staff at St. Vincent's. The pneumonia is now in both lungs (initially just the right lung) and it's documented in her chart as "worsening pneumonia". However, he WBC count is decreasing so it's rather confusing. Over everything is the assumption that her heart is likely failing again even with the pacemaker, and that is why we are trying to get to Baptist. It's frustrating. I'm at the hospital most of the time, but am running errands for her, taking care of things at her house (mail, trash, etc.) and just spending time with her, day and night. I sleep in the chair turned bed, and it's really not at all uncomfortable. I have no complaints on my behalf. Not even the 6-7 hours of driving back and forth to class on the days that I need to be there. It's worth it. She's worth it. Don't know for how much longer I'll need to be here, but I will be until she doesn't need me any more. I haven't spent this much time in Jacksonville since the boys and I moved away from here in 2001. It hasn't changed.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

In Jacksonville

I made the trip today. Grandma B is in the hospital with pneumonia. Keep her in your thoughts, please.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Sean in Colorado

I've managed to get a few pictures from Sean and AJ. They have been in the mountains for the past five days. Sean and AJ sleep in a tent outside of the RV at night, but I'm hearing that in the early morning when it gets into the 30s they are going into the RV to get warm and finish sleeping. The two of them, with AJ's mom, went white-water rafting earlier this week, and Sean said that it was an amazing experience.
Sean and AJ in the tent.
Their tent and the campground.
Sean and AJ

He'll be there until the 22nd when he leaves for Los Angeles and then Oregon. I'm hoping to get and post more pictures before then.

Seeing some of the pictures and videos brings back a lot of memories. I spent the first eight years of my life in the same area that AJ lives, and we spent a lot of time in and around the mountains. It's so beautiful there.

Check her out!

Yep, that's my mother running a 5k. Her second 5k in only a couple of months. Somehow I don't think this will be the last!
Congratulations, mom. I'm so proud of everything you have accomplished in the past 7 months.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

More letters

In another large yellow envelope that I just opened, addressed to Sean, are two letters and a certificate. One of the letters is from Representative Richard Corcoran of the Florida House of Representatives and the other is from the superintendent of Pasco county schools. Both are letters of congratulations to Sean for his FCAT score. Additionally, he received a Florida Scholar Award from the State of Florida.

So proud of you, Sean!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

A perfect score!

To say that I am proud would be an understatement.

I just received a letter (actually Sean received it, but I opened it since he isn't here) from Senator Mike Fasano congratulating Sean on achieving a perfect score on his FCAT this year!

I'm so proud of you, Sean. Like Senator Fasano said in his letter, "nothing can hold you back in school or in life"!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Midnight birthday for Mazin

Mazin knows that we do midnight birthdays here. He's been here for several. So on the eve of his birthday he made sure to remind me that he would be here for his midnight birthday. He doesn't eat sweets, including cake. The only exception is a cookie cake, so that is what we bought for him. And just like we do for everyone here we had his midnight birthday just before midnight on June 1 (his birthday is June 2).

School is out

The kids finished up the school year this past Wednesday, and they are already enjoying the late nights, sleeping in and playing with friends all day. Sean left Wednesday morning for Colorado. He'll be spending the next three weeks there with his good friend, Aurelia, and then he'll be flying to Los Angeles to spend five days with Judy (an extended family member whom we love dearly). From Los Angeles he'll fly to Oregon to spend a week with grandma and grandpa before finally coming back home on July 3. Then he and I are scheduled to leave for Peru on July 20!

Brian and Erin leave for Wisconsin to visit his family on June 15, and Brendan will join them on June 17. There is a National BMX race in Rockford, Illinois that weekend, and both Bren and Erin will be racing. They'll be flying with their bikes. All three of them will come home on Tuesday, June 21, and then hopefully I won't be left along any more this summer. I hate being here alone. It's not a break for me to have my kids gone. I don't like it.

This was an eventful end of school for Brendan as he finished up middle school and will be starting high school next year. So I'll have two in high school (freshman and junior) and one in 3rd grade. Erin finished up with straight A's this year, which surprised nobody that knows her. She has her gifted testing on June 14th (the day before she leaves for Wisconsin), and is ready for another school year to begin already. She is quickly progressing through the first of the Harry Potter series, and she loves it. She's already excited to move on to the second book. It's good that we kept them after Sean read them a few years ago.

I am taking three classes over this summer semester and then have three classes in the fall before graduating in December. We've made all the plans for the big celebration, and I cannot wait to celebrate with my close friends and family that have supported me throughout the past five years as I started this journey. It's exciting, and I cannot wait to find out where I'll be for medical school (hoping to stay here at USF).

More soon. I hope you are all enjoying your summer!

Daytona race weekend

And I'm not referring to Nascar. Because I despise Nascar. The race in Daytona that I am talking about is the BMX state race that is being held tomorrow, and the Redline Cup qualifier that is being held there Sunday. Brian, Bren and Erin are on their way to Daytona now, and will arrive in time for practice at their track tonight. There are a lot of racers from our Oldsmar track attending, so they should dominate the race. Brian, Erin and Bren are caravaning with our neighbor Steve and his two racers, Madison and Aiden, and another neighbor, Paul, and his son, Bryce. They all race, including the dads.

I'm hoping to get pictures throughout the weekend, and if I do I'll share. They'll be leaving again on June 15 for racing in Illinois and vacation with Brian's family in Wisconsin. Bren is even flying up to race. Let me just tell you that flying with bikes is not cheap. Even when they are dismantled.

Anyway, good luck to my two racers, and to all of the racers that will be there from Oldsmar!