Tuesday, August 28, 2007


How on earth has this happened? How has Avery become old enough to go to kindergarten? She and I went to orientation today. I am certain I was more nervous than she was. So far, I am very impressed with MeadowBrook. Here is a picture of Ave on her first day. So grown up.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Last day of vacation :(

Sunny again (of course), so we packed up the cars and went to the beach down the street to try something new for the last day. Many more people, much bigger waves and much stronger undertow. We only stayed a few hours because Jack kept asking if "we could go home to our country"...he (and the rest of us, really) were all done. Here are a couple last day pictures. Overall, we had a great time, but it was equally as great to be home. It is always awesome to sleep in your own bed.

Vacation Day Seven!

Holy cow! What is that bright yellow thing in the sky? Oh wait...I think it is called sunshine. We haven't really seen it all week, so it was foreign to us. Everyone went in to town for breakfast, so I took the kids over to the beach. I mean, this is where we would have spent our whole trip if the weather had cooperated. Everyone met us over there when they got back. Dan, Scott, Crystal and Mema went on a whale watch today as well. Rumor has it that Scottie got a little green, so I am GLAD that I didn't go. The kids and I got to watch their boat come back from the roof deck on our house. That was pretty cool. We are all a little sad that today is our last full day of vacation. If the weather is nice Saturday, we plan to go to the beach a bit before we head home.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Vacation Day Six!

We went into town for breakfast. Newburyport has a magazine stand/breakfast & lunch place-complete with counter and seats that spin. We had some pretty great breakfast (and this is coming from a girl who doesn't care for breakfast that much), but I was happier about the selection of magazines, really. We wandered around the town a bit more and then because it wasn't perfect beach weather everyone decided to go to Salem. I stayed behind to set up the class I am teaching in the fall (I really did, you can even go ask my sister who reviewed it for me). Here is what I heard about Salem. Jack got about 3 feet into the pirate museum before he freaked out and Avery made it awhile in one of the witch museums, but some of the music was too scary and loud. Here are a couple pictures, though.

Tomorrow is our last full day of vacation. I can't believe it. The weather is supposed to be great as well as on Saturday, so we will probably hang around Saturday as well to catch the last few beach minutes of the summer for us.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Vacation Day Five!

It was Crystal's birthday, so she chose for us to go in to Boston. After one fight with Mema's GPS, we arrived at the Boston Aquarium. Big penguin exhibit.

Places like this are always a little difficult for me to go to-loads of people in a not so giant place-but the penguins are very cute and the kids liked it up until a point. Then we had the following happen:

Then this is what happens at the end of the day. I call it "The Many Faces of Jack"

We got home and had very fancy cheesecake for Crystal's birthday (if you are in Newburyport ever, you should go to Praline's bakery-its across the street from Starbucks) Well worth the million or so calories. I can't believe we only have a couple days left of vacation. The weather is supposed to improve just as we are leaving. Perfect. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Vacation Day Four!

The weather has been very strange here in Newburyport this week. Sort of cloudy and chilly with bouts of super hot sunny weather. Talk about a packing nightmare. Anyway, up with the sun we were again, thanks to the youngest member of the family. So he and I were on the playground at about 7:45 this morning...its a good thing he's cute.

Dan and the kids and I went to a nature preserve down the street-a fair portion of Plum Island here is a nature conservatory...this was kind of the headquarters. Couple of nice shots...

Then the four of us went in to town for lunch and then Jack and Avery turned into pumpkins so we came home. My sister and I joke about having "a limit"-the amount of time we can spend with each other before we want to tear each other's faces off...I think the 4 of us might have hit it this morning. Nothing a little quiet time won't cure. Oh! One of the best things I have found on vacation are these t-shirts from a company called Emotional Armor. Here is their website www.emotionalarmor.com The kids already have 4 of them that we found on sale. Great product, great company with a great message.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Vacation Day Three!

Holy cow. Day three already? This is going by too fast. Woke up to a bright sunshiny day today, so it was out on to the beach we went first thing for another walk. Honestly, I could walk for hours by the water...and I guess the past couple of days we have!

There just aren't that many people here this week-at least not out on the beach. Maybe everyone is school shopping. We did some shopping of our own today. Downtown Newburyport is a very quaint little place with lots of fancy schmancy shops as well as a lot of fun restaurants. Shirley and I got ice cream at 11:01 this morning when Gram's Ice Cream opened. And then we had it again after lunch. Whatever...we have walked for miles already this week. Plus, you just don't see peach ice cream all that often. Now I am sitting on the loveseat that is the kitchen nook, everyone else is upstairs being quiet (a freaking miracle, if you ask me), and I am writing this and having a drink that I think I will name the Newburyport Sunset (ginger ale, orange/pineapple/banana juice and pear Absolute). Life is good.

Vacation Day Two!

Avery and I went for a long walk on the beach and were eventually joined by Dan, Jack and Mema. This is the beach...
Our beach goes for probably half a mile or so and it connects to another beach right at this rock line that Avery is standing on. Lots of people fishing (at least there were on Sunday). We were out for a couple of hours-I think Avery picked up every shell there was. For some reason Avery and Jack got it in their heads that if we went in the water we would sink. Hopefully we can break them of that notion before the end of the week. It was really too cool to go in the water this day, but it was a great first full day for walking around and decompressing. Dan taught Jack to say "I hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave" whenever Mema walked away. Again, classy.

Scottie and Crystal showed up today, and John and Peg stopped by for a visit on their way home from Maine. We ate dinner on the top deck-here is a picture of the kids reaction to Dan eating lobster...

That is kind of my reaction too. Day two was fun and the day cleared up in the afternoon...so this is the sunset we got to see.
More tomorrow....

Vacation Day One!

First, these pictures represent our attempt to follow the Jack Griswold school of vacation travel rules...translated for those of you who didn't know him... means to get up really early, haul your kids out of bed, put them in their car seats and hopefully they stay asleep for most of the drive. The trick is to time it so you put them in their seats and go...not put them in their seats and then go back in the house to get some more stuff. They will wake up every time...still getting us out of the house at 6:00 am is a miracle, so I will take that small victory.

We got to the house in Newburyport about 9:30. This is the view from the 3rd floor deck. Not too shabby.

We had some time to kill before we could hang out (we got here so early, the house hadn't been cleaned yet), so we went to Gloucester to a summer festival. This is where the day got interesting. We were driving along and Dan was singing a song about how I was cranky because I was hungry and the song said something about me needing a hot dog, which eventually turned in to me needing a wiener (classy, I know) and out of Avery's mouth comes "I know what wiener is another word for...it means penis" After the shock wore off, and we stopped laughing, we asked her where she learned it...she looked at me and very matter of factly said "camp" There is money well spent, folks.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My nephew Matt is a genius

I mean I suspected it before, but its confirmed now. Check out these pictures...


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Another Jack Michael classic...

I dropped the kids off at camp on Tuesday and Avery threw a fit about something (yes, yes, I know my parents are laughing). Jack and I walked away and I said "Jack, sometimes your sister..." and he replied "Yeah Mom. She is freaking out my life" This kid kills me.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

LL Bean in CT

LL Bean is opening at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor, CT on Saturday. WOOHOO! Moose print rain boots here I come!

Out of the mouth of one of my babes

I picked the kids up from school the other day and Jack was being a bit mouthy (shocking) so I said to him "Jack Michael, you watch your mouth" and without missing a beat he replied "Penny Griswold you watch your mouth". How could I not laugh at that?