Next up after our church festivities was a trip to Akron.  We had plans for pictures and lunch at my parent’s house.  Stephen had brought our tripod so we could use the timer function for photos.  The kids helped him get set up by posing.


Soon, it was time for the group shot!  We don’t get all 12 of us together very often.


The kids (and maybe some adults) wanted to do a silly photo.


Here’s my niece and nephew being goofy with their parents.


Here’s a couple of serious family shots.


Next up was egg hunt #2.  The kids really enjoyed running around my mom’s yard.


After lunch, the kids wanted to collect, wash and paint rocks.


Grandma didn’t have paint, but markers did the trick.


After the rock project, my mom, one of my sisters and I took a nice walk.  Soon after, it was time to head out to our last stop for the day.

We had a great time visiting at my mom and dad’s house.  It was fun to see everyone.

Tune in tomorrow for our 3rd and final Easter installment.

 Posted by at 9:28 PM

We decided to go to church service at 8AM.  Even with getting dressed up, we arrived at church 20 minutes early.  At home and again at church, I tried to get a great photo of the kids.  Hmmm…..


After service, we enjoyed a pancake breakfast.  Nick was in the Sunday School Program at 10AM, so there was time for playing after breakfast.


Nick was paired up with an older student for his part in the program.


After the Easter program, Nick tried on a friend’s hat.


As we left, Nick wanted to hang up his name tag.  It’s so fun that he is very into letters and trying to figure out words.


I’ll have part 2 of our day tomorrow.

 Posted by at 9:39 PM

Today was the practice for tomorrow’s Sunday School Easter Program.  After the rehearsal, we enjoyed some activities for the kids.

Here’s Nick enjoying a craft and Sally enjoying some daddy time.


After pizza was enjoyed, the kids played a few rounds of Duck, Duck, Bunny.  If you were tagged, you had to hop around the circle back to your seat.  It was fun.


I love mid-air shots!


There was also a brief story time.  The kids were definitely getting antsy waiting for the hunt!


Soon enough, it was time to begin.  We had about 20 kids and each of them could hunt for about 19 eggs.  We had one room just for the 3 and under crowd to make sure they weren’t trampled.



It was nice and sunny outside, so many of the eggs could be found in the courtyard.


It was a great day for photos.


Every once in a while, Nick had to stop and count his eggs.


Then, he’d get excited to find more.


We had lots of happy hunters.


After the hunt, the kids had fun opening the eggs.


It was our first time participating in the church egg hunt.  We’ll definitely do it again next year.


My birthday week of celebrations started last Saturday.  Stephen and I went to the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.  It’s only about 6 miles from our house, but we had never taken the time to go.


It’s a nicely done museum.  I’m not a big fan of reading at museums and most of this museum involved a bit of reading.  But, I really learned a lot and enjoyed it.  One of the sections of the museum is artifacts.  It was my favorite part since I like looking at things.  I was most surprised at all of the famous entertainers who changed their names from Jewish ones to Christian names.   Here are just a few examples:

  • Woody Allen – Allen Konigsberg
  • Jack Benny – Benny Kubelsky
  • George Burns – Nathan Birnbaum
  • Mel Brooks – Melvin Kaminsky
  • Rodney Dangerfield – Jacob Cohen
  • Judy Garland – Frances Gumm

It makes me sad that people felt like this was necessary.  But, I’m glad that these people were able to be successful.

The other thing at the museum that really struck me was how many Jews were killed during the holocaust period.  I can’t even imagine six million people being killed.  It really makes me sad.

We ended our museum trip with dinner at Moxies.  We had a gift card and enjoyed our dinner out.

Stephen made me birthday brownies.  These consist of brownies, layer of homemade caramel, fudgy frosting, and then topped with toffee crunch.


On Sunday, we shared them with my lifeguarding class and at my Grandma’s house.  The brownies were a hit, but the kids enjoyed their time with Great Grandma much more.


Tuesday started out with flowers with friends.  The day ended with a family trip to Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream.


On Wednesday, Stephen and I met my family for dinner.  Mom, dad, my sister Carol, my brother Frank, and his girlfriend Darla made the trip up from Akron.  We enjoyed dinner at Paladar.  It was delicious.

I tried something new to me.  I had the pork chop with cornbread stuffing and crispy green beans.


April 3 was also Darla’s birthday.  We made sure to get a photo of the birthday girls.


My birthday week concluded tonight with gifts from the kids.   They got me a pizza stone and paddle.  I think they secretly picked it out so I would make pizza more often.  Coincidently,  I had just read a dough recipe that I’m anxious to try.

All in all, I had a great birthday week.


I’m not sure whether the workout was really super hard today or if maybe I was just in a weird zone.  But this really kicked my butt!

I did about 10 minutes on a stationary bike before meeting up with Jen and my partner in crime.

Here’s what she had in store for me –

2 sets of the following:

  • Hack Squat 50lb x 15 + 15sec. hold  – After 15 reps, the hold really burns!
  • Prone Leg Curl x 20
  • Push Press 15lb x 20
  • T-Pushups on bench x 20 – I’m surprised that I can actually do these.  I don’t have the best pushups, but I am able to do the T.
  • Fire hydrants x 20ea. leg – I just love the name of some of the exercises.
  • Step ups x 40ea. leg
  • Curl to Press 15lb x 20
  • Cable Torso Rotation 30lb x 20ea. side
  • Back Extensions (center, left, right) x 12ea.
  • Ball Chest Press 10lb x 20
  • Straight Leg Crunch 15lb x 30 – I was holding a 15lb kettle bell for this.  I like the shape of it for this exercise.
  • Bicycles 2 x :30sec w/ :15sec rest
  • Plank 2 x :30 w/ :15sec rest – I held the planks as long as possible.  The first one I did the full 30, but definitely not on the second.
  • Stretching

It was really 2 sets of 3 different circuits, but I’m not exactly sure which exercises went together.  I definitely was thinking that an hour was a really long time about 25 minutes into the workout.

I’m really glad that I’ve been able to maintain this strength trainer workout in my exercise schedule.  Although I’m already sore from today’s workout, I know it’s good for me.  I have more stamina and I am getting stronger.

I’m already wondering what will be in store for us next week!

 Posted by at 8:50 PM

Today, I had my last scheduled swim lesson with Tabitha.  We spent the entire lesson working on the butterfly and breaststroke.  I can do all of the parts of both strokes, but I still need lots of practice putting it all together.  My breaststroke has certainly come along way.  For the butterfly, I really need to work on the kick.  I can kick and kick and not travel anywhere!

Now that the lifeguarding class has ended, I’m going to try to figure out an exercise schedule that involves the pool 1-3 times a week.  I’m not sure if I will continue with the water aerobics class, but I definitely want to add swimming laps and drills to my workout schedule.  I want to be more proficient on all the strokes.  I also want to be prepared to take the Swimming Instructor class if and when it should become available.

I really like how I feel after a good swim and I am looking forward to a regular swim schedule.

 Posted by at 9:15 PM

I turned 41 today.  It’s just a number and I don’t really feel any older.

I spent most of the day at home with the kids.  We had 2 extra visiting this morning.  They brought me these beautiful flowers.


Nick drove me nuts most of the day.  He was particularly winey all day.  It was extra tough since I have laryngitis.  It’s hard to read to kids and have normal conversation when you never know if actual words will come out when you speak.  I used to get laryngitis all of the time.  I’m glad it’s not as often and for shorter periods of time these days.

We ended up ordering a pizza for dinner.  Then, we headed out for my surprise.  After a trip to get Nick’s glasses fixed again, we went to Mitchell’s Ice Cream.  It’s turning into a birthday tradition in our household.  They have great ice cream.  It’s made locally.  And they have a train set for entertainment.

All in all it was a good day.  I’m looking forward to dinner out tomorrow to finish my birthday celebrating.

 Posted by at 8:11 PM

My partner in crime and I were at it again on Thursday.  Jen did not disappoint and had a full workout planned for us.

We completed the following:

2 sets:

  • Band Lunges x length of gym
  • Bus Drivers 45lb bar x 20ea
    • I’m not sure how to describe this one, but I basically was taking a 45# pole from one side of the floor up and over to the other side.  My shoulders took 3 days to recover.
  • Dr. Seuss Pushups/Regular Pushups x 1 minute
    • My partner in crime requested these.  I tried the Dr. Seuss pushups which was a rhythm – up up down down halfway up neither up nor down to the pushups.  I wasn’t really able to do them, so I stuck with regular pushups.  I’m not very good at them either.
  • I/Y/T/A Raises 5lb x 10ea

Then, 2 sets of this:

  • Hip Drop Plank x 30 seconds
  • Barbell Single Arm Row 45lb x 20ea
  • Cable Single Arm Tricep Kickback 20lb x 20ea
  • Box Squats x 50
  • Cable Good Mornings 50lb x 25
  • Lunge with Knee Drive x 20ea
  • Ball Jacknives x 20

I can tell that I am getting stronger.  It’s making the workouts more fun.  I took today off and it was the best decision as far as workouts go.  I really needed a day to just rest my body.  I’ll be back at it tomorrow.

 Posted by at 7:25 PM

Today, I passed my lifeguard test.  I’m pretty psyched.  I’ve been stressing about the test for the last 3 days.  It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

We were given a study guide.  I took it seriously.  I went through the entire study guide (about 80 questions) twice.  The first time I just answered all of the questions.  The second time I looked up most of the answers in our book and noted the page number where most of the answers could be found.  It turned out to be a great way to study for the written test.  I ended up spending about 2 hours on the written portion.

In addition, I spent some time re-reading through the skill sheets.  After the written test, we went to the pool and were given scenarios.  We needed to activate the emergency action plan, enter the pool with the proper entry, make the appropriate save, etc.  We each had 3 different scenarios to react to.

I won’t say I was worried for nothing.  I was prepared because I wanted to pass the first time.  I didn’t want to have to re-take any portion.  I love it when I meet my goals.

I’m going to join the staff at the J.  I’ll start out with an orientation and be put on the sub list.  I’m not sure how much I will actually work, but I’m thrilled to have this important set of skills in my repertoire.

 Posted by at 10:12 PM