open that bottle night!

This is like the week of the iPhone photo only posts. It is what it is.

So you know we don't leave our kids. Like ever. Naught but twice a year. Once for our anniversary and once for this event. We have gone for years. We love the wine. We love the people. And we always have ourselves quite the good time laughing the night away. There's always a ton of great food and then we have a game or two followed by the tasting of the wines that every attendee brings. The theme this year was Fire & Ice which was actually pretty difficult but we made it work out alright. I also happened to win both the games which was sheer luck, as it were. They even had prizes! These hosts I'll tell you. I especially loved how Jim was rocking a necklace his grandson gave him while simultaneously using a magnifying glass to read off the answers to the quiz. They crack me up...



We Ubered there and back which seeing as this was only the second and third time we have used Uber was nerve wracking for us. This stranger could just take us anywhere! We also tried something new and let the kids stay at my parent's house for a little sleepover. Which we then crashed of course because one just never knows what time Dom will wake up in the morning. It all worked out wonderfully even if David slept on Dominic and Letty was wide awake when we returned at 11:30. Figures we get this whole thing planned out expecting to be out super late and for once we weren't the first ones out of there.
Past year's OTBN here, herehere and here.




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a musical tradition: mary poppins!

Every year since Letty was two, her Uncle T takes her (and myself) to my brother's school's musical. It's become quite the thing we all look forward to. This year his school was doing Mary Poppins and we couldn't have been more excited to see a favorite acted out right in front of our very eyes! Which we did last Thursday. A school night, I know. But if anyone can stay up till past 11 pm and then get up for school before 7 am the next day it is Letteria.
The kids did such an awesome job I can't even with all that talent! The choreography which I mean I expected for "Steppin' Time" but for that ridiculously long word I can't even begin to spell? Supercali... you know the one. I can't even spell it and they had such intense moves for it. Go them! As always I get all nostalgic whenever I hear "Tuppence a Bag" because goodness Letty had that on her lullaby cd that played on repeat for the first two plus years of her life and therefore it was my nightly companion as well... Oh those long lost baby years! Anyways the show was awesome and those high schoolers nailed it. The end.
And of course after the show my brother and Sadie kindly let us stop at Sheetz for Letty's post musical milkshake tradition. Thanks so much to them for taking us along every year! Gotta give these kids some culture in with all their mystery egg videos on YouTube am I right?
Prior year's musicals here, here, and here! These nights go back before the blog! Oh the humanity!




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our weekend

I like to include Friday's in my weekend. And this past Friday was special in that I went down and took my niecee and Dom and I had a little day date. I took her to McDonald's for a Happy Meal because she had never had one, the horror. We hit up the wine store because well, Aunt Laurie had to do that. Then we went to Toyr R' Us and the kids just checked out every toy in every aisle... And then we wrapped it up with a cake pop from Starbucks for her and a coffee for me. It was wonderful.
After the kids got home we geared up for a night with our neighbors. Lots of laughs and drinks with four out of the six children falling asleep right where they lay. One of those nights. I'm no spring chicken anymore, but it was so fun!
Saturday was the day of the athleticism! Starting off with Letty's field hockey again first thing and then David's wiffleball tournament. Matt took them to both of these events and whoops we were not anticipating a two and a half our wiffleball session. I felt so bad for him because wow. Those kids. David's never played a game of baseball in his life but when it was all said and done he had a great time.
Then that evening was OTBN, more on that later as you can imagine.
Sunday we had brunch at my parent's with all the siblings and cousins galore and then Matt and I headed home for the what is now becoming dreaded Sunday routine. Pack the lunches. Get the clothes out for tomorrow. Do the pile of homework accumulated from Friday. You know the drill. We also did some house cleaning things... Matt was on a roll and did all the base moldings. Not for the faint of heart, that job. We also ran BB8 a bunch.

Let me tell you these past few days killed me. From Wednesday night on our nights were so late and long and totally out of the ordinary for us. We put the kids to bed by 6:30 last night in hopes everyone's batteries would be fully charged by morning. They slept and we watched the new Chris Rock stand up. We could all use a reboot. And the one who needed the most rebooting? This girl. Happy Monday all!




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ballocity at the works

When Matt decided to take off for President's Day so he could spend the day with the kids and I we knew we couldn't just stay around inside the house. The kids only seem to get on each other's nerves when they are cooped up inside. Just mine? The messes are greater, the yelling is louder, the fights are more intense. I love them for sure, but I love it even more when they all have fun and get along.

Which is how we landed on The Works in the neighboring county of Berks. It's a restaurant and bar but also an arcade but also a kid's indoor amusement playland. And Matt found a whole bunch of coupons so somehow the entire outing only cost us like $50? For a meal for five, two alcoholic drinks and the ballocity admission for five as well... Pretty much a steal. 

Ballocity is intense. It's just like the one we have here in Lancaster at Go N' Bananas. This was Dom's first time. Okay and Matt and I's as well. Normally I stay outside of these things and just hover from afar but with Dom going in we felt we too must go in. And go we did. We were exhausted practically immediately. Once we got the lay of the land and realized there was only one exit we parked ourselves near said exit and just kept our eyes on the kids. Which worked out fabulously. 

The kids tore around for over 2 hours and had the very best time. Their laughter and giggles could be heard across the mayhem of shooting balls from every direction. And they basically stuck together and hung out together, which makes my mama heart super happy.
We will definitely be doing more Ballocity trips in our future.... and a note to self? Put the kids in clothes more appropriate for August weather. Because those kids? They be sweaty. And also bring lots of extra waters. Because those kids? They be thirsty.




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the fire and ice festival

I just love the neighboring town of Lititz. It's a wonderful little place and they always have a lot going on. One such goings on is the annaul Fire and Ice Festival. Now I have heard the actual carving of the ice sculptures to be the coolest thing to see but Friday night I just wasn't feeling like heading out in to the wet for it. See also: crowds. But that didn't stop us from going the next morning, and dragging my parents along to boot. I think I read that there are something like 50 sculptures lining the streets of Lititz? There was a good amount to be sure. Some big, some small. Dom looked at each one and would yell, WHAT! A TRUCK!?! Only to repeat the excited sentiment half a block down at the next one. 

We walked. We wandered. We antiqued a bit. And of course stopped for snacks at the nice row of food trucks gathered to celebrate. 
I would love to see the sculptures all lit up at night, I bet they look awesome. Maybe when the kids are older and maybe when I've grown into less of a hate crowded situations type girl... Maybe then.






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our weekend

We were blessed with quite the nice long weekend and I'd like to vote for a three day weekend each and every weekend ruling! The prettiest of pleases. With a side of thanks.

Friday was sort of yucky weather wise and after the week we had (oh a week of weeks I'll tell you) we barely made it off the couch. The kids wanted to do a movie night and who are we to deny them that? They chose some Selena Gomez thing that only Letty ended up watching. Surprise surprise! As always in this house movie night involves popcorn. I even had myself a handful! If one can't cheat on the weekend when can one?
Saturday we met my parents for breakfast at a diner before heading in to the Fire and Ice Festival. More on that later naturally. 
After that Letty headed off to a birthday party at our local laser tag place. I took the boys to McDonald's as a consolation prize... They always feel so forlorn whenever Letty gets to go off and do some big kid thing. Then we cuddled on the couch back at home while I waited anxiously for pick up time. 
I saw on Twitter that our local greenhouse had a 25% off indoor plant sale so yeah dragged my brood over there and brought home these new beauties...
The weather cancelled our plans and forced another at home night upon us. The chance of 3-6 inches of snow will do that to one. The kids wanted to make a pizza like Merida's bulls eye and so that is just what they did. Matt made his buffalo chicken pizza too which my word it's been awhile.
It was a toss between game night or movie night but mom and dad changed the vote to movie night.  We use our dictatorship power wisely. They watched most of Bedknobs and Broomsticks, a childhood favorite of mine. And of course. Popcorn.
We decided to stay home from church on Sunday after David emphatically said he didn't want to do kid's choir anymore.... and maybe we should have made him since we did sign him up? But instead we chose to stay home... letting the kids play out back for awhile in the snow and then building quite elaborate Hot Wheels tracks...
We had lunch at Nonna and Poppop's then and I took no photos! The kids were all so amped and there as lots of Audrey cuddling to be had by yours truly. We ate until we were stuffed and then came home for naps! For some of this household that is. Bet you can guess who they are?
After naps and tubs Matt made dinner, turkey chili for the adults and a conglomeration of items for the younger three in the household. The kids had been talking all weekend about having a game night... which is something we have never had heretofore. The boys picked Jenga and of course it fell over right away as one can expect when a three year old is involved and then game night was over. Such a great success. We finished last night's movie and of course! More popcorn!
Monday morning while I ran the kids did this... A rare pause in an otherwise crazy weekend... Yes my children like to lay directly in front of a space heater. It's a thing they have inherited quite honestly from their father. You ever want to make Matt's night? Take him to the space heater aisle at Target. Honestly.  Weirdo.
On Monday's I typically go to visit my Grammy, this day being no exception. Matt had taken off work since the kids would also be off so he too came along. Unfortunately Grammy was still in bed, the dirty stay out, so we just turned heel and headed on our way.... To The Works. We hadn't been here since the days when Matt still listened to country music and my last name was of the more Italian variety... More on this later of course.
Monday night my entire family minus two came on over for dinner. We got to test out the new chairs! They were a big hit! We tried something new and let the bigger five kids sit in the kitchen for their dinner and I think that was also a big hit! Oh the fun we will have!
How was your long weekend? If it was in fact, long....







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