Tuesday, October 31, 2023

October 2023 Wrap Up

 This month we held a golf ball fundraiser for our foundation.  One of our board members - Lori - held it at her farm in Ohio.  We made about $38K which was great!

Our basement remodel finished up this month.  We are so excited to finally have it done and have started using it.  It is great to go down the basement stairs into a beautiful room.  We finished about 800 square feet (about half) of our basement, leaving the rest of it for storage.  Just enough room for the kids to have their friends over and us to have another living space with a big tv.

Mat's parents came for a weekend visit.  While they were here we had fun with Cainan trying one of the hottest hot sauces on the market (from a show called Hot One).  He has a high tolerance for spicy food, but this one was even really hot for him

Cainan went to the homecoming dance with a large group of friends.  He has such a great crew, and they had a great time.  Finely and her best friend decided to go bowling again this year and had a great time,

We took a first college tour with the kids.  The first one was for Cainan - we took him to see Tufts.  Since we are sending two kids at the same time to college, and Finley's college visits come with an extra step in coordinating meetings with Disablity services - we were told to get an early start.  So we decided to use this fall to tour some colleges are are close to us in New England to get some feels for them.

Finley applied and got accepted into a Women in STEM summer program in Costa Rica.  After her experience in Kenya she wanted to do another, but this time gear it to what she wants to study in college. Right now she is thinking of going into Biology or Environmental Science, so this seemed like a good fit.  She will be gone for 3 weeks next July

Finished basement.  The stairs got a complete overhaul.  We had new treads put on, new handrails, and treads were stained to match the upstairs flooring

We installed a minisplit for air and heat down here.  It isn't a very big space and this thing is doing a good job so far.  To the left is a under the stairs closet.  And the other one is just a small closet where our air radon system lives
These double doors lead to the unfinished portion of the basement

The before pictures

Cainan trying Da Bomb hotsauce.  He said he felt like he was having an out of body experience

Mat's parents

Cainan off to homecoming
Cainan and his friends

Dogs in the woods
Finley's pumpkin from her AP Bio class.  She made a cell
Visit to Tufts.  This is the oldest building on campus.  This was the only building when the school opened and they had classes, and living quarters all here
Church on campus

Student center
This cannon on campus is painted often by students.  They also said it is pointing toward Harvard
This is Jumbo the school mascot.  Jumbo was the most famous animal in the world at the time of Barnum and Bailey circus.  PT Barnum was on the board of Tufts and when Jumo died, he had him stuffed and donated to the college.  In the 1980s the building holding the elephant burned down and all that was left was ashes.  Students scooped him up, put him in a peanut butter jar and that jar now stays in the athletic office.  It comes out as good luck for games
Green space
Engineering buildings

Admission building

Saturday, September 30, 2023

September 2023 Wrap Up

 We started the month back at the Lake in New Hampshire that we visited last year - same house.  We loved that house so wanted to return.  We had another great time.  We went over labor day weekend this time, so Mat really didn't have to work much while we were there which was great.  The weather was perfect and we spent long hours in the lake.  We took the dogs along and they were hilarious running in and out of the water and attempting to swim.

Also in September I spent 2 weeks with my parents in Connellsville.  My mom had rotator cuff surgery and Mat and I worked it so I could go in and help.  I was glad to have a chance to be there to help, but also to be able to see a lot of people while I was there.

Also this month we had a batch of baby snapping turtles arrive in our yard.  We let our neighbor's little kids release them into the marsh.

At the end of September, Cainan had his black belt ceremony.  He received his black belt in the spring, but they do a belt ceremony and presentation once a year.  We are so proud of that kid.

Cainan kayaking

Pluto watching the kids swim
Pluto and Blue digging in the sand
Pluto one time just decided he was going to jump in.  Then he really started swimming regularly

Finley floating around

Pluto on guard
Blue didn't love the water.  She would go in only so far.  But she loved the sand

Nap time
Breakfast with my mom before the surgery
One week post surgery - she was already out of her sling and starting physical therapy
Breakfast with my friend Wendy
I got to see my nephew Ethan in his marching band competition
My Aunt Sally turned 70 while I was there and they threw her a surprise party
Got to visit with my Aunt Renee
Went to a local used book store in town and scored
Sending the turtles on their way
Cainan at his black belt ceremony

Random dog pictures

Mat thought it would be funny to put a cracker in the oven- they were watching it quite closely