Since the last time I blogged, boy have things changed. It has been a summer of changes in the Austin household. We've had Ashleigh's prom -- which she looked gorgeous. We had a visit my very bestest friend Cindy and her husband Mike and my mom. They all were here for Ashleigh's graduation from 12th grade. It was an amazing week filled with lots of celebrations and top it off with the graduation.
This summer saw all of our girls employed - Molly even had a short term job helping her dad mow lawns. She decided that the $10 for 45 minutes of work wasn't worth what she was doing so she quite. Ashleigh worked for the government at a local nursing home doing recreation. She didn't really want to do it at first but quickly found out that she actually liked it and fell in love with some of the residents. As that job was coming to a close she decided that she wanted to work at the community living residence that I work at so she was hired as a caregiver. She does a great job and the residents love her. They love the youngsters being around and paying attention to them. Both Hannah and Lauryn work there as well. They work in the kitchen and Hannah worked a ton of hours. She has decided to take a trip like her big sister Ashleigh did this March. She is going to Spain and Morocco.
Chris, Hannah, Ashleigh and myself went with our youth group again on a Group Workcamp and it was once again - AWESOME!
In August Hannah turned 16 - can you believe it! Chris and I took her out to dinner and we came back for a party with friends and it was a great day. I think her favorite gift was her battery charger her dad bought for her - hahahah!!!!
Now we've started school and another change. We have 1 daughter in aspect of the education system. 1 in elementary school, 1 in jr. high, 1 in high school and 1 in university. Who would of thought. You can see in the pics the girls on the first day of school. I had to work on Hannah's first day and Dad forgot the pic so we'll get one of her 3rd day tomorrow.
So, now we press on and support everyone in all of their endeavors. We are in the midst of volleyball - practices, games, tournaments. Some are deciding if they will continue to other winter sports and some have already made those decisions. It is so amazing to watch these girls grow up into the incredible human beings that they are. What a blessing and an honor to be their Mom - Thank You Lord!
NEVER TOO OLD TO NEED MOMEveryday I am reminded that no matter how old you are - you are never to old to need Mom. They always come to your rescue. A couple of days Ashleigh informed me that someone else had a prom dress like the one she was going to have made. Thankfully the only put out so far was the cost of a pattern (Did you know that a pattern for a formal dress is $33 these days - It's been awhile since I bought a pattern I guess) Well, when you've dreamed of your prom for so long to think you might knowingly have the same dress or one very similar is unheard of. So Ashleigh found a dress that she "LOVED" on-line. When I investigated it I found that the dress was not sold in Canada. Ashleigh wanted to pursue a seamstress to have it made. As she ran out the door Saturday morning I was a bit overwhelmed. Sounded so easy to her. I went back on the website where she found her dress and put our postal code in the zip code search - hoping that I misread the information given to me previously and that a store would have popped up locally in the last hour. But, that didn't happen. I then put in my mom's zip code and low and behold there was a store in her town. Not only was it in her town, but it was right by her house. I felt a bit releaved because I had a good idea that my mom would help us if she could. Ashleigh called her Nana and everything was put into motion to purchase the "PERFECT PROM DRESS". I looked on-line to find out to properly measure someone for a dress. I did it right - I just read the tape measure wrong. When Mom saw Ashleigh's waist size she e-mailed back and said that couldn't be, that was her size. So we remeasured and I was only off by 5 inches. Thankfully Mom caught that. The only glitch in the whole thing is Ashleigh had to decide on another color of dress but get this - if she wanted blue it had to be ordered and couldn't be guaranteed to be in before June 12 - Prom is June 18. Too tricky. But, if she wanted the red dress, they had only 1 dress in the store - it was Ashleighs size and red. Well, it was a no brainer - the red was just as gorgeous. No matter how old or how far, Mom's will always be there for their kids! Thanks a bunch Mom for helping me out and making Ashleigh's prom dress come true!
IT'S BEEN AWHILEI know it has been awhile since I've last posted anything. While I haven't been posting I was away for 2, yes I said 2, weeks vacation with the family. Ashleigh was away on a school trip to Paris and Barcelona for the same 2 weeks. She enjoyed the sites in Paris, didn't like the cold weather. She loved Barcelona and the people. She stayed the second week with our friends the Howards, who are there enjoying Stephens sabbatical. She had an awesome trip and flew all the way from Barcelona, Spain to Bangor, Maine via Munich, Washington D.C. and Detroit. Kind of a round about way but she made it.While she was away we were all in Jackson, N.H. We were having a glorious time at one of our favorite places. There was lots of snow, sun, skiing, sunburn, soaking in the hot tub, sipping coffee, shopping, sitting, socializing, sleeping, and eating!!!!! The first week we spent in Jackson with our PEI friends. The second week the Austins spent alone in the mountains. We took one day and went to Stowe, Vermont. We visited the Trapp Family Lodge (You know the Sound of Music people - yes, they are real). We saw the youngest member of the Trapp family - Johann - who now runs the family business. There are a couple of the other siblings living close by that come to the lodge and visit and lead music in the evenings. We also went to the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream factory and learned all about their ice cream. MMmmm! Did you know if you work for them you can bring home 3 pints - a day! WOW - that's a lot of calories. Tried a new flavor - Creme Brulee - it is to die for. Our last few days away we spent in Portsmouth with our very dear friends - like family -The Carlisles. We had a great time while we there and hope to see them again soon.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS!!!!!Woo Hoo!!!!! We all love to do well at something and we all love when we accomplish something. As parents, we all love to tell about our kids accomplishments. The last couple of weeks we have accomplished a fair bit!ASHLEIGH - She turned 18 and got her drivers license all in one week. A big thing for me to see my baby turn 18 and realize she is 18!!!!! I tried to prepare myself for months. I read somewhere that encouraged moms to lament your children growing older but celebrate it - so I did!!! Everytime I thought about her as a little girl and how I miss that cute little face I would think about her now and all of the exciting things she is about to do and become. On her birthday I kept making a big deal about her being a "young adult". I think it worked! She also had her grad pictures taken and THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!!! HANNAH - She finished her first semester of high school with excellent marks and that was her hardest semester. She should cruise through this semester. Her synchronized figure skating team finished second out of 7 teams in Skate Dartmouth and 2nd at the PEI Provincial competition. She has also become quite an accomplished earring artist!LAURYN - Lauryn just finished her first season playing basketball for her school. She has never played before and she made the team. She has gotten quite tall - About 5'8' and used her heighth to develop into quite a decent post player. Her team won their division and came in second in the province. When they were playing the semi-final game for the provincials her team was only ahead by 1 point in the second half and the coach put Lauryn in. I was a little nervous when I saw that but (yes, this a proud momma talking) she rose to the occasion. She scored a basket putting them ahead by 3. She stole the ball and got 2 critical rebounds - Yea for Lauryn. He put her again with a 1point lead and she did the same thing again. Lauryn also got all of her 6 needed scales for band completed before the last day they were to be done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1MOLLY - Molly has managed to finally get over the flu. She has been sick for 2 weeks and last weekend finally got some antibiotics and decent cough med. that helps her sleep. and her mom sleep as well. Her biggest accomplishment - getting the pill down. Oh that is a story and one I hope never to have to repeat! I was a little shocked at our Little PRincesses behavior! But we finally did it.As I look at their accomplishments it makes me feel good as a mom - I think I (along with Chris of course) have 4 awesome accomplishments!
WHAT CAN YOU DO IN JUST 8 DAYS!It's only the 8th and boy have we been busy. On Friday nite - the 2nd - we had a youth group lock-in. We used the theme "LOST" and based it on the TV show. We had a terminal set up complete with check-in and boarding passes. They then boarded a plane - yes, the youth room was set up like an airplane - that even included an inflight movie and snacks before the crash. At the rear of the plane we even had a slide they had to slide down to get out of the plane and onto the "island" It was a great night. We had only planned for about 70 because there was a big hockey tournment in town and were pleasantly surprised when there were 126 - yes, you read that right - 126 teenagers, from 7th grade to 12th grade. I had to leave early because on Saturday the 3rd we had to go to Halifax.On the 3rd at 6:30 in the morning it was snowing quite a big and so Chris left the lock-in a bit early to go with Hannah and I to Halifax. Ashleigh & Molly came along as well. There were no plows on the road the whole trip and it was pretty hairy at times. Hannah had a synchronized skating competition and it was well worth the trip. They finished 2ndout of 7 teams. We did a quick trip to the MicMac Mall and then headed back home.The 4th saw us in church in the morning, at the skating rink at the park in the afternoon and at the Super Bowl party at the MacKenzies that night. I was pumped as I am a HUGE Payton Manning and Colts fan. I have rooted for Payton since his days at UT. So, needless to say I was some excited, pumped, thrilled, psyched, etc... when they won. Most of the people at the party were Bears fans and a bit of trash talking came our way but they were quited pretty quickly - like right after the 1st quarter. As I was enjoying my team that night my body began telling me "illness" was inevitable. Feb. 5 is my birthday and when I woke up I felt attrocious! I had to get up no matter how bad I felt, not to make the donuts, but to do the payroll. I am only the one to do it and no one would get paid without me! So I went off to contaminate everyone at work and pay them. I spent the rest of the day and night on the couch. My family headed out to buy my favorite take-out and discovered the restaurant closed till March. So we ended up with fried chicken from the local grocery store - it was good anyway!The 6th I spent in bed - again - and we had all the usual family "busy"ness going on. The 7th we had youth group and a workcamp meeting. Today I was back at work, kids were at school, dentist appointments, Chris was working, grocery shopping and the best part - I had a real birthday party today with the familiy. They are so awesome! They cooked me dinner and my cool, sylish daughters had picked out some cool and stylish gifts for their mom!!!!! So, that's our first 8 days of February - how have your's been?
OH WHAT A NIGHT!!!!Yesterday I bought a pair of ice skates. I haven't had a pair of skates in so long I can't remember. We were having a skating night for youth group at the outdoor oval at the park downtown and I wanted to skate. So, off Chris and went to look for a used pair - no luck! Our friend who owns Play It Again Sports showed me a pair of these new Jackson skates that look almost like sneakers and fit a bit like a pair of ski boots. The are so very comfortable on your feet. I did pretty good last night for not being on the ice in a LOOOOOOOng time!Tonight Chris, Molly and I headed out with our skates to the oval. It was a beautiful, crisp, clear night. Not many people at the oval. We skated together for about 30 minutes. The quiet of the night and most noise was made by our skates on the ice and our breathing! It was awesome. We would join hands and skate, talk and skate, go fast and fling Molly forward and sometimes just skate together but not talking and enjoying just being out! We are blessed with great health, a great place to live and an incredible family! What could be better. Oh what a night!
ANOTHER LINCOLN STORYOur family has a most beloved family member with LOTS of fur, 4 paws, a cold nose, a most loving dispostion but also a nack for giving us lots of Lincoln stories. Lincoln is now 11 1/2. We've had Lincoln longer than Molly!!!! Our girls don't know life without Lincoln. Last Thursday Lincoln became quit sick. He has been sick before but by Friday night we realized that this was different and he was going to need a visit to the vet. So, on my weekend off (finally) Chris and I headed over to the vet college to have him checked out. Well, Lincoln had to be admitted to ICU because he was so sick. They quoted us a price of $600 for 2 nights in ICU, meds, an x-ray, and ultrasound. The vet called on Sunday morning and told us he wasn't better. Chris and I finally had to the conversation about when is enough for a almost 12 year old dog. We decided that we wouldn't be able to pay more than the estimate. Monday morning Lincoln still wasn't better and they wanted to keep him and our bill was now way over the estimate. We told them we couldn't pay anymore than the $600 and if they couldn't help him because of that we were going to have to bring him home. Get this - The vet asked us if we were on welfare!!!! HAHAHAHA!!!! Because we couldn't pay more than that they assumed we were on welfare. I think if we had let them keep going with tests etc... we would be on welfare. They came back and graciously kept him another day and didn't charge us more than the original quote. Chris and I were emotional wrecks all weekend. This was our dog that we loved dearly, and we were made to feel so bad for not being able to put out this endless supply of money. On Sunday when we weren't sure what was going to happen to the dog we took the girls up to see him after church. They did well but were very emotional. Lincoln looked very pitiful and still was sick but seemed to enjoy having us there. The vet tech. said he whined a lot after we left. On Tuesday morning Chris went up to the vets - we were not sure what the outcome was going to be. After the girls left for school Chris finally came home WITH Lincoln. He looked so much better and was even hungary. We got to feed him his first meal since last Wed. 1/4 cup of boiled white rice and 1/4 cup of cottage cheese! After he ate it he looked at us like "come on, where is the rest." If you know any of Lincolns other stories involving food, you know he wouldn't be satisfied with that. Lincoln had pancreatitis and for now is doing well. We were unable to find out what was causing it but he is home and doing really well. Not totally out of the woods because if it should reoccur he'll probably have to be put down. When the girls came home from school they were so surprised and excited. They have made over him and spoiled him. I think he will glad when Sun. comes when we can introduce some of his own food back in his rice and cottage cheese diet. That will be the real test. So for now we have pup back and we will enjoy every day! For those of you who have lost a pet my heart goes out to you - your house is never the same.
CHRISTMAS 2006Christmas Eve I had to work. I left a list of 'things to do' for everyone else at home and when I got home everything was ready and looked great. We had done all of our cooking on Saturday. Ashleigh and Hannah even learned how to make Adirondack Salad and Pimento Salad (old - I mean really old - family tradition that I won't let my family break). We all dressed up for church and had a great time at the Christmas Eve service. It is always the familys favorite service. After the service we had the Austin grandparents, Vances, and other family friends in for lots of eats, conversation and laughs. It was a great night. In the picture the girls are showing off their Christmas Sleep Shorts that they got to open. They all slept in the same room - another tradition they love. They were kinda noisey at first but soon had vision of sugarplums dancing in their heads.
Christmas morning everyone got up at 6 a.m. We got our Santa gifts and opened our stockings. You can see that Lauryn got a personal DVD player, Ashleigh got an IPOD, Molly got Webkins and Hannah got a sewing machine. It was lots of fun. I had to head off to work for 7 a.m. and the presents had to wait until I got home. The girls had packed me breakfast to take to work - it way what we always have for breakfast and that way I didn't miss out. It was nice to be at work with the residents - some who were heading out for the day and others who had no family. Around 2 pm. the girls and Chris came in to the Lodge and visited the residents that were there and gave them handmade ornaments. The residents were thrilled to have the company and it was great for the girls to do something for someone else on that day. It was fun. Then it was time to head home and open the gifts - WOO HOO!!!!!!! We opened gifts for a couple of hours and then headed off to the Vances for a yummy turkey dinner. I was very hungary and could hardly wait. After dinner we opened a few more gifts and then had a loud, exciting game of Catch Phrase. If you've never played it, I highly recommend it for a good laugh or two or three. It was an awesome time and full of tradition which I think is so important for our family. No matter where we are the girls can count on Christmas always being the same - and we even try a new thing now and again. Christmas' were always that way in our home growing up - I can hear the music, smell the food and hot cider, taste the red onion dip and know I would be sleeping in new p.j.'s on Christmas Eve. It's magical!