Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lovin' My Man

I've just gotta brag about what an awesome hubby I have! We've truly been having "Adventures in Jacksonhood" lately and Billy has been so awesome in stepping it up to support me in the things I'm trying to accomplish. Every day he gets the kids ready, takes Will to and from school, brings Tom to me at work so I can feed him, cleans the house, does laundry, takes over breakfast, lunch, and often dinner (including these 3 meals for me), and watches the kids all day while I'm gone. On top of all that he still manages to get work done at home and he never complains. How he does it, I have no clue. But I really appreciate it and can't get over how lucky I am. Those of you who know and love Billy probably aren't surprised at this but I'm constantly reminded every day in a million little ways how lucky I am. I love ya, babe!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Trying to Collect Rent (dedicated to Andrea J. Noorlander)

So we've driven to Baltimore in an attempt to collect the rent on our house that is two months overdue. Why did this necessitate our driving down here? Only because our tenant has canceled her home phone. And her cell phone. So now she is unreachable. And she's moving out in less than two weeks. 

I hate renting. 

On a lighter note, we are able to visit with the DeWaals, with whom we are staying overnight. Tyler and Dave Schorr are considering organizing a Helios sales team in the Baltimore-Washington area; they'd do a great job, and we'll discuss the possibility tomorrow.

Speaking of Helios, we are organizing what looks to become a 10-person sales team in PA-NJ, as well as a 5-person team in UT and a small team in WA. Sales reps' boots hit the ground on Wednesday. Keep your fingers crossed. Better yet, pray for us!

And now for all the tens of you who read this blog--a political aside. A third party vote is not a wasted vote. If you aren't satisfied with either of the two "major" candidates, vote third party. I personally will be voting for Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party. Let your voice be heard--and voting for "the lesser of two evils" is not being heard; it's just playing into a system that is offering you nothing "good" to vote for! Reject that system--that's what voting is all about!

Will update: Mark today in your journals as the day Will first asked me, "Dad, how do Moms and Dads make kids?" Call me if you want to know what I told him. Suffice it to say, I didn't give him "the talk" (don't worry, dad, I didn't pull out the old medical charts like you did--"this is the penis," said the dad with a straight face while ten-year-old Billy mustered all of his strength to suppress the overpowering laughter). But I did give him a decent prologue. Even Sarah approved.

Kasia update: This girl likes donuts. And she loves the DeWaals. I made the mistake of calling Megan and Mia "Megan and Mia." She immediately corrected me: "No daddy, it's Meggie Moo and Mia Pia."  My bad.

Thomas update: Did I mention this guy can drool? And his gas is seriously potent. Even as I type, Amy DeWaal is in the next room saying, "Oh, Tom, that is bad." That's my boy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Perfect Fall Weather in Hershey (dedicated to Andrea J. Noorlander)

So the weather in Hershey has been fantastic. Perfect. You walk outside and just feel like pure, unadulterated energy is rolling through you, your cheeks and arms and legs massaged by the perfect balance of hot and cold. We've been on many walks, and spent all of yesterday afternoon at one of Hershey's many parks (the only ones there!) working on the laptop and reading and playing, all outside.

Will update: He told Sarah that the "builders" should have built the living room right by the tub so that he could watch TV while taking a tub. And the day before he told Sarah that he wanted to buy a scooter. "We should go to the scooter store to buy a scooter," he said. Sarah informed him that we didn't have the money. "Well," he said, "we should go to the money store and get some money, then go to the scooter store and buy a scooter." Why didn't I think of that? He's also becoming a great drawer, though he insists on coloring in completely all of the "ears" on his "people" so that they end up looking like sideburns. He won't change this.

Kasia update: She woke me up this morning by appearing like a fairy by my bedside. I opened my eyes and there she was, smiling at me from ear to ear, her chin resting on the mattress, her nose about an inch from my face. "Hi Daddy," she said softly...I love that girl. She loves oranges and insists on peeling them herself, and she only like old man cereals (like her dad) like Raisin Bran and Mini-Wheats. She loves to throw things away--I'll ask, "Who wants to throw this diaper away for me?" and she'll yell out, "ME!" Then she runs out and reappears a few moments later having "thrown it away." The trouble is, she doesn't know how to life the garbage can's lid. So hours later I'll be throwing something away myself and go to the garbage can only to find the items she's been throwing away during the day stacking neatly on top of the garbage. Did I mention I love that girl??

Thomas update: He's moved DOWN on the weight chart since his last doctor visit five weeks ago. He can say "Ma ma ma ma ma" and "Da da da da da" and "Na na na na na" which is the equivalent of several weeks of Tibetan language study. He hates sleeping. He has a horrible rash from excessive drooling. We have him in a bib all day, but it still soaks even the thickest of bibs and everything underneath. He smiles SO easily--even if he's crying and angry, if you smile at him, he'll smile back in mid-wail!

Andrea, I love you!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Day with the Kids (dedicated to Andrea J. Noorlander)

I've been away from the family for three-and-a-half weeks, and I can say with confidence that I won't be doing that again for a long, long time.

When I arrived at the airport (30 minutes early), I quickly got my bag and headed out to the curbside waiting area. A few minutes passed before a brown kid came running up to me. I did a double-take before recognizing my own birthright child, dressed in new, skin-tight dark brown pajamas. Behind him, in similarly fitted pee-jays (pink), ran Kasia, with longer hair than I remember, her arms out wide ready to give me a much-awaited hug. Man, I love those kids! The Sarah appeared, holding Tommy--who has grown a good deal in a month; he has more hair and is quite a bit more active and squirmy. People were staring as I hugged them all, but I was more proud than embarrassed.

On the way home, Kasia asked to listen to "Come on, come on, come on, come on," which, translated, means Track 3 on the new Def Leppard cd. Proud of my daughter's incredibly developed taste, I obliged, and we cruised home in the night to the melodic wailings of Joe Elliot & Co.

I spent the day with them, not doing much work (I figure I owe them that!). We watched cartoons, I threw them on the Lovesac and rolled them up in a blanket (this was a request: "Like a taco, dad!"). Will helped me unpack and arrange things, we all met Sarah at the hospital (where she interns as a social worker) to eat lunch on the lawn, and Tommy and I bonded, but not without a fair share of drool soaking my t-shirt.

I got into Penn State's grad program and start in January.

Helios kicks off its sales efforts next week.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Quick Summer Blog

We, once again, made the cross-country drive (taking the I-90 this time) to spend the summer in Montana, Utah, Idaho, and New Mexico and have successfully returned to Hershey, PA (on Route 66) to prepare for school to start. On our trip we managed to do and see a million awesome things - the highlights being the weddings of Emily (Billy's sister) and Daniel (my brother). Unfortunately, my camera was not finished vacationing and opted to stay in Utah while we returned home. But Billy's sis did have time to take a few pictures of us while we were there so I'm gonna post some of my favorites of the kids. Thanks to everyone who made our summer great!

We, once again, made the cross-country drive (taking the I-90 this time) to spend the summer in Montana, Utah, Idaho, and New Mexico and have successfully returned to Hershey, PA (on Route 66) to prepare for school to start. On our trip we managed to do and see a million awesome things - the highlights being the weddings of Emily (Billy's sister) and Daniel (my brother). Unfortunately, my camera was not finished vacationing and opted to stay in Utah while we returned home. But Billy's sis did have time to take a few pictures of us while we were there so I'm gonna post some of my favorites of the kids.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Welcome Thomas King Jackson

Just letting you all know that Thomas King Jackson joined our family on April 1, 2008 at 2:21 am, weighing in 8lbs. 9oz. and 21 inches. Oh, and I didn't get an epidural this time...and not by choice. Both mom and baby and the rest of the gang are doing great! For photos, follow this link:

More to come later!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Okay, Okay...I'll do it!

I have been tagged SO many times by different people and yet I've never sat down and actually done it yet so here goes...

5 Things I Was Doing 10 Years Ago

1. Going to Mountain View High School (Go Bruins!)
2. Breaking my arm while swing-dancing with Jeremy Shoemaker...oops!
3. Getting like 4-5 migraines a week...that was fun...
4. Driving a big, black Jimmy - that thing was a tank!
5. Watching "Breaker High" every day after school (did anyone else watch that show??)

5 Things on My To-Do List Today

1. Homework, homework, and more homework
2. Get diapers and fruit at the store
3. Turn in my taxes and get excited for my refund :)
4. Put away the clean laundry (which I didn't do)
5. Prepare, serve, and clean up 3 meals

5 Snacks I Enjoy

1. Cookies...any kind, really
2. A bowl of cereal
3. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
4. Cheddar and Sour Cream Potato Chips
5. Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream

5 Things I'd Do If I Were a Billionaire

1. Get a nicer car...but probably still a minivan even though I thought I'd never be a minivan mom
2. Pay off my mortgage
3. Start a series of schools in India for underprivileged kids
4. Buy lots of yarn and knitting supplies
5. Get new running shoes

3 Bad Habits

1. I always fall asleep during movies (sorry, Billy!)
2. Procrastinating everything until I'm stressed
3. Letting my kids watch more tv than I should

5 Jobs I've Had

1. Super-mom Extraordinaire
2. Sexy Zuka Juice Smoothie-maker
3. Secretary for BYU's Geology Dept.
4. Math Tutor for one of the cutest 1st graders ever
5. Telemarketer (for about 1.5 hours)

5 Things People Probably Don't Know About Me

1. I used to hate chocolate and now I live in Hershey, PA and eat chocolate almost every day!
2. Even though I'm currently getting my Master's degree, I actually don't like school.
3. I will watch certain cartoons (mostly Backyardigans or Charlie and Lola) when there no kids around because I think they're super cute.
4. I am voting for Ron Paul.
5. Of all the guys I dated, I dated Billy for the shortest amount of time before we got engaged.

I'm tagging - anyone that wants to do it because pretty much everyone I know has done it already!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Massanutten, VA

Thanks to Billy's grandparents, we were able to take advantage of their timeshare in Massanutten, VA for four glorious days of rest and relaxation at the beginning of January. It was a beautiful ski resort area where we could just run around and play outside, watch lots of movies, relax, and knit...okay, I'm the only one who knitted but it was fun.

The kids loved the great playground there and I love Will's cheesy face.

Kasia was content to swing for a while but soon got bored and then very muddy as she slid down the wet slide again and again.

Joe and Billy convinced Isaac that they used to play this game when they were little where someone chases you with a big stick and beats you if they catch you. The game lasted for a long time (probably until Joe got too tired) and lucky for Isaac, he never got caught.

No Jackson family trip to the mountains would be complete with out one of the famous Jackson family hikes. This small jaunt turned into a 4 hour excursion up the face of an incredibly steep mountain. Lucky for me, this prego stayed home. And nobody was hurt.

Don't ask me what Billy would've done here if either he or Isaac were to fall. Once again, glad I wasn't there.

The top of the mountain they hiked to.

A cave we discovered at the local pond. Kosh had no fear and headed right in (with Billy close behind). The boys weren't so sure but enjoyed listening to the echoes...

Thanks again, Bill and Audrey, for a great trip!

A quick catch-up

No, the Jackson family is not dead, nor have we gone underground. The reason for our recent blogging-world absence is simply that I am a mother with three children who has just entered the last trimester of her pregnancy who is also going to school part-time to get her Master's (I got an A- in each of my classes last semester for those who are curious) and was incredibly busy over the holiday season. I'm sorry. But now we're back into the flow in life (any other mothers that were ready for school to start again?) so I'm hoping to have a little more blogging freedom. Here is my attempt to quickly catch you up on the happenings of the Jackson family over the last couple months, in no particular order.

My little sis, Meagan (aka "May-May") came to visit us for a whole month! Billy had a business trip to take in India and we were all glad that Meagan came to help out. She stayed from Halloween through Thanksgiving and this picture is of her eating her first bite of pumpkin pie since she was a little girl. Billy was trying to convince her that it's not nearly as bad as she remembers...may have been successful?

Auntie Em (Billy's little sister) came up for a day and went with the kids to Chocolate World. We wish she could've stayed longer! She's so much fun.

Our first ice storm! I couldn't believe how much everything was absolutely covered in ice. This is the rose bush and grass in our front yard. School was canceled for a couple days and we had no power or heat for a while. All over town there were trees and things that had been knocked over.

Once it finally warmed up a little for the ice to start melting, it became extremely windy, blowing chunks of ice everywhere...which didn't help with the power crisis. This pic is our side yard - it looks like someone dumped out their ice cooler!

Uncle Joe (Billy's bro) came for Christmas and New Years. This is his beautiful gingerbread house. You'd never guess he was the artist in the family. Here are some more pictures of our gingerbread house making adventures (for some reason the only pictures we took of Christmas, although I did get a lot of video).

Sorry, too lazy to rotate...

Can't you just sense the sugar?

Billy's Cocoa Castle...

We had a great Christmas with way too many presents and a lot of yummy food - exactly what Christmas should have, right? We missed all our family and loved ones as we spent our first Christmas with just us since we were married but thanks to modern technology we were able to talk to or see most of you! Gotta love the holidays.