Blog Hop! Almost 355 followers woohoo!

It's Time to Mingle!
 Happy Go Lucky
Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.

This week's guest host is: Turtles and Tails
Turtles and Tails
There are no rules to this blog hop.  Just link up your blog's main page.  Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends.  We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.

Please leave a comment so we know to follow you back.

Grab our button if you want to share our blog hop with others. There will be a new list every Thursday, so be sure to come back every week.
We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other!

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Florida Trip Part 3--Family


Not everyone knew we were coming to Florida...Grandma Sue was one of the people we wanted to surprise.  And let me tell you, when we walked in the door she was shocked, we even made her cry because she was so happy to see us!  Grandma Sue is a very very special lady to the McInerney's.  She is the best cook there is, she is extremely funny, and she is very detailed.  She had us all laughing when she started taking out her teeth at the dinner table (after dinner of course, not during).  Mark and Julia could not get enough of this, they couldn't believe she could do it.  Oh, the laughter and giggles and the stuff the kids said!  At one point Mark looked at Grandma Sue's sister Aunt Connie and goes, "Can your sister do that???"  They asked her about a million times to do it again and again...it was hilarious.


Aunt Kat is very special to us too.  When I turned 30 John flew me and Julia who was only 5 months at the time to Florida for the week to celebrate!  It was the best gift ever because I got to be with Aunt Kat.  She made my favorite cake, my favorite dinner and spoiled us rotten.  Well, 5 years later, she did it again!  This time to all 4 of us!  She not only cooked for us for Thanksgiving, but on Friday she brought us on her boat, to a private isaland to fish and she made us a picnic lunch.  Then Friday night she had us back over for dinner and dessert.  And all the while she kept showering us with gifts, engraved towels for the kids, fishing poles for the kids, toys for baby Micah, a recipe book with all her fav recipes for me, and that's not even all of it.  She sure does know how to make you feel loved and special.  Quality time, Acts of Service, Gifts, and loads of hugs and kisses!  She's the BEST!


Uncle Philip treated us so warmly, let the kids play around the house, drove us places, cooked for us (he cooked the 30lb turkey at thanksgiving, ok maybe it wasn't 30lbs but it was HUGE).  He also took time to show John his collections and just gave us his full attention.  Thanks Uncle Phil.

 
We felt so loved!  Thank you!!!  We also got to see Aunt Rose, (Uncle philips sister), Ashley, (Philip's girlfriend) and Aunt Patti and Uncle Dick.  The kids gave us live entertainment and we all left with smiles on our faces.


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Florida Trip Part 2 The firehouse

 On Thursday, our 2nd day in Florida after we left the Ladouceur family we headed to Venice to be with John's family for Thanksgiving day.  Our first stop after checking in our beautiful hotel was to go to the fire house to see John's cousin Philip who is a Lieutenant.

The kids were SO excited about seeing a real fire house and fire trucks close up.  They got to try on all the gear and "drive" the truck (sit in the driver's seat).  They even got to see the ladder on the big truck go up, and meet other fire men and women.

It was so fun for them.  I think being a 3 year old and 4 year old is awesome because everything new you show them is just amazing and they enjoy everything.  This is why I would take them anywhere.  They were so good and so careful. 

Philip let them swing on the long ceiling rope and jump in and out of the workout tire (apparently the firemen have to train pretty hard and do lots of upper body work outs).

Each volunteer fire fighter gets their name on their hat...and the hats are so heavy!

Thank you Philip for the awesome tour and for letting us visit you at work.  It was so cool!


 We were able to have a hands on history lesson/field trip on our vacation!  It was amazing!

The kids will always remember their first trip to a real Fire house! 



Florida Trip 2012

On Wednesday before Thanksgiving at 4am we packed the kids in the car and we headed for Newark airport to go to sunny Florida to spend time with family and friends.

I would never have guessed a 3 year old and a 4 year old could do so well on a plane.  But we packed their backpacks with crayons, notepads, snacks, and candy and before we knew it, we arrived in Georgia for our connecting flight and then Tampa for our final destination and we were in sunny Florida heading to the Ladouceur home!

I finally got to hug Suzette after years of us not seeing each other.  I never would have thought it possible to see her on this side of heaven, but my wonderful husband John made it possible, and I'm praising God we got the chance to hug and have our families meet!

It was no surprise that Julia and Addie would be fast friends.  The minute we got there they were planning what to do in Addie's room and giggling and running all around.  I felt so bad because we left Addie's room in such disarray, but Aunt Suzette would NOT let us clean up, she is the hostess with the mostest!


I finally got to meet Brian and Ian and Addie in person for the first time and it was such a joy.  They are so fun to be around and John and Brian had a good old time talking and getting to know one another.  And Ian is such a little love bug.


We brought the kids to a park, had dinner back at Suzettes, and then made plans to have breakfast at Cracker Barrel the next morning.  We couldn't say goodbye on Wednesday it was too great seeing eachother!

Thank you Suzette and Brian for making us feel so welcome and for spoiling us!  You made us feel right at home!  We miss you guys already!
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My Top Ten


Thankful List 2012

This has been a GREAT year.  So much to be thankful for and so much has been given to us by God that we did not deserve, but in His love and mercy and grace He continues to spoil His children and bless us above what we could ask or think.  Here goes...

1. Celebrating 9 Years of Wedded Bliss with my Best Friend John this past August in Cape May and Lancaster.  I'm so thankful for my John, my spouse, my love, my friend.  I think each year I love him more and for different reasons.  This year I love him more because of his honesty and his diligence and his compassionate heart.



2. Getting Pregnant!  This is at the top of my list because like Hannah in the Bible prayed and prayed and prayed for a son, I have prayed and prayed for another baby.  It doesn't matter to me what the gender is because a baby is a baby, but I just knew in my heart our family wasn't "done yet," many people have asked me, "Kristi, would you want more than three?"  And my answer is and will always be, "Of course!"  Whatever God gives us we will take.  I'm so thankful that God heard our prayers...because me and the children prayed faithfully at night for a baby to be born to us, and God answered!  Making 2012 even sweeter.



3. Surviving the first 3 months of pregnancy!  Oh this baby, I love you dearly, but the first 3 months were so difficult.  I was so nauseous and so tired and we even had a bleeding scare one day.  Click here to read that story.  But my husband, my in laws, my mom, and my friends really supported me in ways I can't even repay them, and right around week 12 and 13 I was fine!



4. Julia and Mark...I have the best almost 5 year old and 3 year old around, hands down!  No, they are not perfect but man do they have spunk, kindness, love, joy and personality.  They fill my day with questions, fun, and LIFE and I want to freeze them and keep them this little forever.  Joogie you are my star.  Marky you are my superhero.  (I can't say you are my best girl or best boy anymore because we are having our newest arrival this Spring...and their will be no favorites, but there isn't a Julia Star or a Mark Ciro that I could love more!)

5. Our home/neighbors.  After Hurricane Sandy I can honestly say I love our home and my neighbors.  The kindness I felt, the comraderie, the love, I will never forget those 2 weeks of bonding with my neighbors.  John from across the street brought us ice and water bottles so our fridge would stay cold during the power loss.  Rubin helped John fix a part of the house that got a little damaged in no time.  The neighborhood kids played with each other.  And everyone called or texted to see how we were doing.  Rubin even told us which gas station to use during the rationing.  It was awesome to see everyone help each other out.  I love my home because it still stands after the storm and not one tree fell onto our house miraculously and we have the tallest and the most trees in the neighborhood.  I love that we have a wood burning fire place because it kept our living room warm.


6. Surprising my Mother in law for her 60th in August...this year we got mom good!  We were able to throw her a huge party and totally surprise her!  She had no idea what we were up to and it was so great to finally bless her because she is always giving to us and making everyone's birthday special.  I'm so thankful for such awesome in laws.  They are always there to help us when we need it.


7.  Celebrating my Dad for his 60th in New York at the Blue Water Grill.  The July day was perfect.  We walked around and then we got to eat a fabulous meal and bless my dad who hasn't been to the city in awhile and he loves NY.  There's just something great about being able to spoil your own parents after all they have done for you growing up!  I'm so thankful for my parents and their love.


8.  Celebrating Laurie and Kelsey's wedding in May.  It's great to see Laurie and Kelsey so happy with each other and so in love.  We pray for all of God's best for them in the future.  We were thankful to be a part of their big day and even the kids got to be a part of the day.


9. It was with fear and trepidation (and joy) that I got to homeschool Julia this year for Kindergarten and Mark for pre-school.  I'm thankful that I can be home, that God is keeping me home, and that I'm able to teach both of them.  You would think a teacher by trade, a woman who has a Masters in Education would be absolutely fine with homeschooling, but let me tell you it is with much prayer that I continue to do it because it is hard work.  Teaching a room full of kids is way easier than teaching your own child, I don't know why, but for me it is.  It's just another thing that God continues to teach me how to do, He continues to stretch me, grow me, and show me grace through this process.  I'm thankful that I have kids who are smart like their Father!




10. Lastly, I'm simply thankful that God has allowed me to have a family, to be a wife and a mom.  Enough said.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

--Ephesians 3:20


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Blog Hop 355!

It's Time to Mingle!
Happy Go Lucky
Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.

This week's guest host is: Upward Not Inward

There are no rules to this blog hop.  Just link up your blog's main page.  Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends.  We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.

Please leave a comment so we know to follow you back.

Grab our button if you want to share our blog hop with others. There will be a new list every Thursday, so be sure to come back every week.
We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other!

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Our Family Mission Statement


A few weeks ago, my husband emailed me while he was at work that he would really like our family to have a mission statement.  Basically a statement about our family to say how we roll, how we flow, how we do things here and what our purpose is on this planet, in New Jersey, in our neighborhood, on Joyce Street.

Every family has different dynamics.  Every family looks different.  And we want our children to know that from the start we have had a mission, a goal for the type of family we want to be.  Yes we belong to Christ.  Yes we believe in a traditional family where Dad is the head of the home and Mom is woman of the house  while dad is away.  And our children, yes they have a role too!  They are vitally important to our team!  They have a purpose even at the ages of 3 and 4.  We all do!

Here it is: Team Mac exists to be All In for Christ, represent God to one another displaying love, joy and grace and to live out the gospel to our community.

For all you parents out there, we actually did this with our 3 year old and 4 year old.  We had a family meeting (our kids love family meetings because they never know what to expect, the last meeting we had they found out I was pregnant!) in our bedroom and the kids piled on the bed and John brought up the easle we use during school time and he talked to them about what a mission statement is and then he wrote down their ideas.  Julia felt it was very important to love and share in families and Mark was all about the gospel (my little evangelist).  We made a huge list of all of our ideas together and the next night John and I narrowed it down to one sentence.  It was neat to work together.  Even the kids input helped.

My prayer is as our family continues to grow we continue to learn how to most effectively display love, joy, and grace to each other and to others in our community.  Our community is YOU!  Our community is our neighbors, our church family, our friends, anyone we come in contact with.  And God is good and He is faithful I know He will help us as we seek Him and try to honor Him with our lives.  Every family needs to share in love, bring each other joy (think of all the happy memories you enjoy creating for your kids) and every family NEEDS grace because we all make mistakes, and we all need forgiveness.  And that's what the gospel of Jesus is all about.


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Back to Normal?

Oh my word.  The past 2 weeks on the East Coast have been anything but normal.  Hurricane Sandy threw us all for a loop on Monday night and after 9 days of no power we got a snow storm Nor'easter to boot!

But now, we have power, heat, gas in the cars, and life is starting to feel a little more normal, but the fear lingers...will that ever happen again?  Will we ever lose power during the winter for that long?  Will we have odd/even days again of rationing with gasoline.

I have to be honest we had to live day to day and have a new game plan each day, and honey, I don't do well with that at all.  It was not my finest hour.  Nine days of what will we do next?  Will our power be on when we get home?  Can we afford to drive the car on such little gas not knowing if we could wait 4 hours in line the next day to get more?  Where will we sleep?  If it was just me and John that would be one thing.  We could rough it, sleep anywhere, and deal.  But with two little ones, a dog, and a home to look after (fallen trees/debris everywhere) keeping to a schedule/routine was key.

One thing I am very very proud of was that we NEVER missed a day of school for those 9 days (we even did school on Saturday because Julia asked to do it and we had nothing else to do so why not).  We needed something that we could do during the day that would keep our minds busy and our hands at work.  John would be chopping wood for the fireplace with Mark, and Julia and I would be huddled at the kitchen table with soup or cocoa as we did reading, math, and Bible.

It was nighttime that proved to be the most difficult...it got dark so early (the clocks changed) and we literally had to cook dinner over the gas stove with a flashlight to see.  Not such a big deal considering there were others who lost their cars, homes, and all their belongings I know, but a lot to get used to when you are used to light.

After 4 days of roughing it at night under 4 and 5 blankets and wearing scarfs and socks to bed and bundling the kids in two pairs of long-johns to keep warm, (the temp dropped to the 20s and 30s at night) I finally said to John, I can't sleep here anymore...so we were blessed to have two dear friends who housed us at night from Thursday to Sunday and also allowed me to do 5 loads of laundry (remember, me, the one who does one load a day...the laundry and the no vacuuming was KILLING ME! LOL I even made John drive us to Home depot for a broom so I could at least sweep!)

The kids never once complained about being cold, they loved having daddy home for almost 2 weeks, and they loved sleeping over the Lambertsons and Hechs, to them it was an adventure, to mommy and daddy we felt horrible, I know we should've been grateful to have people house us but it is very humbling to sleep over someone's house with your whole family and feel so displaced.  We made sure we arrived after dinner and left first thing in the morning so we could resume our routine of school and taking care of the house/puppy.

Finally on Wednesday, after Election Day the power came back on!  But you know what the power has been back for a week already and still things are not entirely back to normal.  I still find myself fearful of what will be next, and filling up my gas tank every other day, and cooking extra food, just to be prepared.  This has really rocked our boat.  But maybe it was all for good.

On Saturday John got to travel with about 50 men in 5 different teams aiding in relief to the victims of the hurricane in Staten Island which was very badly hit and shore areas.  He left at 6am and came home at 6 at night.  He couldn't even come in the house.  He took his outer clothes off in the back yard and came through our sliding doors.  His clothes and shoes were filthy with wet, moldy, dirt because all day long he threw out trash which was once treasures to a homeowner in SI.  He said he felt so bad for this elderly couple because they lost everything when the water surged through their home.  The 12 guys that helped this couple threw bag after bag out of books, clothes, furniture, and valuables because nothing could be salvaged.  And the gentleman checked every bag in hopes of keeping or saving something.  That is what I cannot imagine.  Here I was worried about when the power was coming on and this couple 2 weeks later still has no heat, no power, and no more "home".  They are still living there under moldy conditions and my heart goes out to them.

I think people all across the nation have no idea how bad we were hit in NJ and NY and CT.  Life will never be "normal" again.  Sure life goes on.  But we are all forever changed.

One thing I learned is that being busy does not make me a better mom.  I can't tell you how much I enjoyed just having no where to go and just sitting down and reading to my kids, playing bingo, drawing, painting, talking.  We had no tv and no movies for 9 days and it didn't matter.  We loved every minute God gave us with John too.  I feel like God allowed us to store up those hours to just have Daddy time.  Daddy time is very rare.

So back to normal?  Somewhat...and yet, I'm grateful for the experience and the friends who helped, and the comraderie I felt in my neighborhood.  It allowed us to step outside of our daily lives and actually check in on and talk to our neighbors.


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