June 30, 2007


Hi all! Well, it has been a very hectic two weeks - some very happy, fun moments, and some very sad, emotional ones. We spent four days in Orlando hanging out at Disney and then drove to Williamsburg, VA and went to Busch Gardens and the big waterpark they have. Then, it was off to Annapolis to take my oldest son Zach to the Academy to begin his plebe year. Plebe summer is a very intense bootcamp atmosphere and let me tell you, even though I am a career Navy officer myself, leaving my son there was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Zach really wanted to go to the Academy and even though he had numerous scholarship offers, this is the one he chose to accept. I am very proud of him and know he will do well, but this will not be an easy path over the next four years. It is a military academy, designed to make him into a combat-ready officer - and that scares me to death. Having spent several months in Iraq myself, it is hard for me to think about my young son going over there as well. But, I am proud of who he has grown up to be and know he will excel at whatever he chooses to do. I would like to share some pics of the last few weeks, especially the ones at the Academy. Those of you with military backgrounds or affiliations will really appreciate the intense emotions of that day. So, here goes: This first pic is my three kids, my mom, Zach's best friend, and Zach's girlfriend of two years, Nikki. We are heading into a 3-D ride about Mickey and his orchestra which was amazing to see! Then, there is a picture of Kayla posing with Cinderella which is her ultimate favorite princess so of course she was thrilled to death! Isn't she cute!

Cinderella doens't look too bad either!

Here we all are with Pluto who is one of my favorite Disney characters. We waited in long lines to see these guys but it was worth it once we got in there. There was Mickey, Donald, Minney, Daisy, and Goofy plus all the princesses - how fun! Then, is was off to Busch Gardens - this is us right in the entrance of the gates - one of the few pics of all of us. And, the big water ride - I could not believe I actually caught them coming down the giant hill but there they all are in the front row! I don't do rides with hills since I am afraid of heights, so I am the official photographer most of the time (which I like and am perfectly happy doing)!

Now for the photos of the Academy. I was not sure if I could share these but then decided it might actually be good for me if I do so here they are! First, I should explain about Induction Day or "I" Day as it is known. This is the first day of a very intense seven weeks of training. I dropped Zach off in the morning, and twelve hours later, I was allowed to swear him in to the Academy and spend thirty minutes with him saying goodbye. It was very hard - harder than I ever imagined. My other children Tyler and Kayla had a hard time saying goodbye to their brother - I am blessed with children that are very close to each other and this is a big adjustment for everyone. So, here I am swearing him in with Zach wearing the official plebe uniform (not very attractive, I know). Then, just a pic of Zach. Lastly, the goodbye picture which really hit home for me. You see, the emotion was so real, it was amazing really. Gosh I miss him!
Well, I hope I did not bore you guys with this long post - not much about stamping or scrapbooking, but what I did the last two weeks nevertheless. I hope to be adding some projects over the weekend once I get settled back in. So, for now this is it!

June 25, 2007


Hi all,

Just a quick note to let all of you know that I am currently in Virginia and will be driving to Annapolis today because my son will be starting at the Naval Academy on Wednesday and I will be swearing him in! What a nice honor - I swear my eyes filled when he asked me if I would (as if I WOULDN'T!) We have enjoyed spending the last week and a half together at the different Disney parks and yesterday we spent the day at Busch Gardens Williamsburg which we all agreed was the best one yet! Not crowded at all, the weather was beautiful and of course, I was with my children which was really fun. I am liking this whole retirement thing although I don't think it has really hit me yet that I don't have to go back to work - LOL! I am sure it will once the bills start rolling in.....but for now, it's pretty wonderful!

I will be back in Jacksonville this weekend and hope to have some really nice pics of the ceremony to share with you. Until then, Happy Stampin' and talk to you soon! Toodles!