Sunday, November 18, 2012

Moving day...again.

Hello everyone,

It's moving day for the Chopko's for the 2,875th time.  Now,  it has not actually been that many times, but if you have been around to read our blog long enough, you know we've had a few moves under our belts.
Why moving?  Well,  long story short, the rental that we are in is getting put on the market as a short sale, and I imagine that for the owner of the house, moving us out means that it will be easier to show and sell without throwing a clause in there regarding the current tenants.   Apparently the management company we rent through would make the new buyers buy  buy out the remainder of our rental agreement.   I know legally our contract does not expire until June of next year and we could have stayed, but our Management company found us a really great house.  We didn't want to pass it up, so we decided to go ahead and move.     I'll post pictures of the new house later.   Right now, I'm enjoying the last few minutes of calm, before the (storm...I mean)  moving truck arrives.

Two things that I have learned about moving.  1.  Color code rooms for your move.  see youtube video here.    2.  If you don't have family around to help, (or people you can sucker into helping)  like us... hire help.  That's what we did, and honestly, it's the best $200 I am sure we'll ever spend.

Daily nuggets:

1. My parents are flying in to town for THANKSGIVING!  (Happy Dance!!!).
2. Jax is still ALL the colors at preschool.  Although, surprisingly enough he did end the day on green when we told him he would not be able to attend his first birthday party at Chuck e Cheese.  Just saying.
3.  Issy got a tooth pulled out.  Cavities ate half of a six year molar so it was just easier to just get it pull it out.
4. Bran is getting his college diploma in the mail very soon. I'm so excited to see him open that sucker. I'm currently on the market for a nice frame.
5. Me, I went to Breaking Dawn with a girlfriend on Friday night, and I LOVED the movie.  It was hands down the BEST movie of the series.  I don't want to spoil it for anyone who has not seen the movie, but Ahhhhh!  Great ending!

See you in a few days....when the FIOS get's turned on in the new house! :)


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Preschool Discipline

Recently,  Jax's daycare teachers introduced behavioral color charts for kids in class.  Issy had these in Kindergarten, and she responded very well to it.   I was really excited because I assumed Jax would be the same way.  Why I thought this?  I couldn't tell you.  He is so completely different than Issy.    He's got a mind of his own, and he knows what he likes and doesn't like.  I can't reason with him half of the time...which I love....and hate...and ultimately makes me giggle all at the same time.

The color chart goes something like this:    

Green = Great day!
Yellow = Warning.
Blue = discipline action taken
Red =  bad day!

I know teachers use this, and the colors and meanings may vary, but this is what Jax's chart looks like.    Everyday we get a little report from daycare with the way our children end the day.  When I ask him about his day and what color he was on the chart that day, he looks at me with his big brown, eyes and says:

"Mommy, I was all the colors today!"

He's so proud of himself.   His innocence cracks me up!  I'm thinking he's missing the meaning here....


What happened to Fall?

Let's talk about fall.  In case you didn't know it,  it is my favorite season of all.  I love the color of nature, I love warm coats, scarfs, hats.  I love pumpkin, apple picking,  hay rides, coffee, hot chocolate. I just love all of it.  In fact, it's the season when I feel the most alive!

Last night, I was robbed of my fall season.  We had our first frost last night, and our house was absolutely freezing.   I refuse to skip to winter this early on.   The thought of it makes me want to cry.  or scream, or both.  Okay, I probably wont do any of those things, but I will be pretty bummed.  

The oil man came out to deliver oil for our house.   Due to the cost of oil, we have very quickly adopted the New England ways in regards to the heat.  Normally, what I have heard from all of my friends around here, is that they refuse to the heat on as close to November as possible.    In theory, that's all great and dandy, but when I had to sleep in a sweatshirt and socks, and we had a little boy with freezing limbs crawl into bed with us.....Bran and I looked at each other in unison and said let's turn this sucker on.  Life is short, I want to be comfortable.

Daily Nuggets:

  • Brandon got his official graduation approval. (Happy Dance!).  He's looking at his options for a masters.  
  • The company I worked for just purchased another property in MA.    A few us were asked to volunteer (you read that right, asked to volunteer!)  with the process of completing the acquisition paperwork for this property of 96 units.  Normally a project like this is completed in a 2-3 month period with full time staff.   We were given two weeks!  After many hours of overtime, we completed the project yesterday.   I'm so relieved!  I can go back to forgetting normal things...and not EVERYTHING! 
  • I can go back to taking care of my kids, who have been looking pretty disheveled lately.  And let's not even talk about the house work and laundry.  Yikes!!!     This is where I might cry...and scream.  LOL.
  • Oh, and just a heads up....Issy is back at Girl Scouts and they are doing their fall fundraiser for their troop.  At Daycare Jacksons class is also doing a fundraiser for playground equipment.   You might be getting some emails from me in the very near future.
  • Weight watchers...what's that?  Actually...I said I would update you and as embarrassed as I am here is the cold hard reality.  Over the last two- weeks,  I have lost...and gained again, then lost....right now,  I am practically back at my start weight.  I have been pretty stressed lately over work, and have been eating a lot crap.   Still....I feel like when I say that I was "stressed", it's an excuse for not having more control.   And I get pretty pissed at myself.  I don't know if this will make any sense, but  I have come to conclusion that the only thing I CAN DO about it, is start over.... right now!  This moment.  Which is what I am doing... Beating myself about it, will not change the past.  As much as I hate this, I am accountable to someone other than myself, so I'll be back for an update.   

I hope your fall days are bright, happy and full of color!


Friday, September 28, 2012


I have some amazing, amazing news...

and NO, I am not pregnant.....

Okay, I'll tell you.

Come closer.

A little closer.

Are you ready for it?

 you sure?

I wont ask again....





I bet the suspense is....

Killing you.......

I thought so.....


Here's our fantastic, amazing, my heart swells over and over with pride and love when I think about it.

Here is goes...

After working full time, and dedicating hours upon hours of hard school work, all while staying on top of his "normal" father/husband/employee/friend/son etc. Brandon has OFFICIALLY completed his LAST COLLEGE class!!!!   Which means.... he is officially a college  GRADUATE!!!!   Yay!!!

I am so proud of him.  He's one amazing man.   I can't tell you how many nights he stayed up working on homework/ school assignments, and still managed get up the next day for work, then come home to his real, full time family life.   I seriously never want this moment.  The road we took, getting married too young, having the kids, a few pretty significant moves, lots of fights, and  giggles later and here we are.     I'm sure there were many nights, where the end was no where in sight, but he was persistent and made it happen.  My heart swells at the thought of how proud I am of Brandon!  

The day after his last class,  I took Bran out to his favorite place to celebrate.   This is one BIG amazing milestone for the Chopko clan, worthy of the Bangers & Mash from The British Beer Company.   We're so proud Bran!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Since Labor day...

This is what we have been up to....

Daily Nuggets:

We made it through the first few weeks of school.  I still can't believe Issy is now a 3rd grader! (tear)   I'm so proud of the beautiful, kind and brave girl.  

On Thursday, Issy was nominated the Art of the Week Student - the first one of the year!   She told us that to receive that, she had to be well behaved, a good listener, and understand the information.   Super PROUD moment for us!  She was so hyper when I picked her up from daycare, and couldn't wait to tell us the great news.

This week, I also attended the school PTO meeting.  It was a small group.    After all of the information we were given, I definitely have a new found respect for the PTO parents/teachers,  and everything they accomplish with such little help.

After our second vacuum died (since our move here, in 2010 mind you) we finally purchased a Dyson.  Let me tell you, it was worth every single penny.  I normally vacumm everyday anyway, but this bad boy has the ability to take my vacuuming to new heights!   (Okay, how sad that vacuuming has the power to make me this happy)

All of the test I had been doing for my stomach came back negative.  I'm not lactose intolerant, even though my stomach lining was inflamed when we did the endoscopy, the test came back normal.  I am officially a freak of nature, with a stomach ache.   I've decided to put the doctors on hold for a while.  Not only are we paying a ton of money for all the visits, but I was missing work all the time, and months later, I still have no new information.

I started weight watchers on Friday.  My problem with my regular diet is that I have zero portion control.   I am allotted a certain amount of food points per day.  On day one of tracking my food, I realized that I was eating twice as many points as I was allotted.  Yikes!    I downloaded a WW App, which helps me calculate any food, or recipe in seconds.   So far, I have felt like the reduction of food is shocking my system, by 8 pm I feel hungry again. No, starving is more like it.    Ugh.  


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Last weeks of summer

There's not much new going on in the home front these days.     Right now, we're just wrapping up our summer by squeezing in as much fun as we can, before it's time for the new year.  School is starting after labor day this year, which means we still have a few weeks to get our house organized.  

Family Daily Nuggets:

  • This weekend we took care of Issy's eye exam- she still has 20/20 vision!
  • Bran will be attending the MotorGP races with his Dad in Indianapolis  this weekend.  The adventure has already began fro Ray, who is riding his Gold-wing as we speak,  all the way there from Idaho.  They are going to have a fantastic time!   
  • Jackson has become quite the little singer these days and he loves to sing OUT LOUD everywhere we go.     I tried to get him to sing quietly, but he put on a very nice performance at the library while we were checking out.  The "Five Little Duck went out one day, over the hills and back again" is his new favorite song.   
  • Me. Well, I am addicted to Pinterest.  I need to get my hands a a pallet (or a few) to get my crafting fix in.  I need a pallet,  like a junky needs a fix.   My problem is getting these imaginary pallets home in my prius....  You know what they say, when there is a will, there is a way.   
  • Our new favorite show is currently The Big Bang Theory.  We caught it on TV a few weeks ago, when nothing else was on.   We thought it was funny enough to download the first season.  Now, were hooked.  

I leave you with this pic...of Bran and his Dad, Ray.   This picture was taken during their motorcycle adventure to Alaska a few years ago.   Amazing!  


Friday, August 3, 2012

Happy 30th Bran

Happy 30th Birthday Bran! 

This big birthday landed right smack in the middle of the week.  We made your favorite, sprinkle birthday cake, and "yummy dessert" coconut pie!  Yum!  
We continued the celebrating over the weekend by heading north, destination: Portland, Maine.  
We hit our favorite places, including Ken's Place and the Old Orchard Beach.  The weather couldn't have cooperated more, if we had asked.  It felt like 75 degrees the whole time we were there.   We spent the whole day playing at the beach with the kids.  Then, because we had not had our fill yet...we went back at dusk for a stroll along the beach.  I had secretly been plotting to light some lanterns off on the beach in Brandon's honor, however, seeing that the beach is JUST as popular at night, as it is during the day, we chickened out!  I was bummed, but in all honesty, the lanterns I bought, came with some pretty  hardcore instructions, like calling the coast guard.  Seriously?!   The coast guard?!   We ended up tossing a football around back and forth to each other,  while the waves rolled in front of us.  We had a great time....until the wrath of mosquitos attacked every bit of flesh that was exposed- which was not much since it cools down significantly at night.  However, we didn't really want to end the trip with a case of the west nile.  So, we left the beach just as quickly as we came.   

Bran:  I don't know what I did to deserve you, but you make our life, so, so amazing! Happy Birthday!  


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Daily Nuggets..

I know I've talked about this blog before, so now I'm wondering if you guys have  checked out the Beauty Broadcast blog yet?  I love the beauty tips and especially the beauty tutorial videos.  So much so, that I've totally revamped my entire "beauty regimen"  since I've started watching/following Emily's videos and blog.  In a non-creapy way I think that she's so cute, and I just love her happy personality.   If you haven't already, take a ten minutes and check out her blog,  but be warned, the first time I watched her videos on youtube, I was only looking for one specific video, but I ended up spending an entire hour online watching more videos.   Don't say I didn't warn you.  
Anyway,  the reason I bring her blog up is because,  at the bottom of every beauty post, she has a short section called "Daily Nuggets".  It's a section of little things she's doing, done, learned, wanting to try etc.  I love it, and I am totally going to copy this from time to time.     You know what they say...imitation is the best form of flattery!

 Family Daily Nuggets ...

  • Jax had a Doctor's appointment on Monday.  As of Monday, July 16, 2012, he is 41 inches tall and weights  42.5 lbs.  He's one big and tall boy.  
  • Issy learned to ride her bike over the 4th of July weekend.  We are so proud of her.  As a way to spend more family time together (and exercise), we bought a bike trailer for Jax and we've been riding around the neighborhood.  
  • I just finished the Fifty Shades of Gray books.  I read them in about a week, and truth be told, I got tired of the repetitiveness of the books and the writing.  It is a love story, but I think I enjoy Nicolas Spark's version of romance 100 times better.  It's good to venture out of your comfort zone every once in a while though, so I am glad I read them. 
  • Brandon's Birthday is coming up.  I'm super excited for him.  This year, he hits a BIG 3-0 milestone.   He didn't want a party, so I have a little weekend getaway planned for next weekend.  I can't wait. 


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Meet Oreo Chopko

She's a six week old kitten. And she now a part of our family.  Can you believe that?  I know, I still can't either.  Haha.  

 A friend of ours has a daughter that works or  does some volunteer work for an animal shelter.  Apparently someone brought in or found this liter of kittens.  They were tiny, sick and severely dehydrated.  My friends daughter "K" as I'll call her, brought them home and nursed them back to health.   Amongst the liter, was our little Oreo.  I had mentioned that I wish I had a kitten at work and that was that.  We got pictures from K and although I was persistent, Bran was dead set against it.    We talked about it for several weeks before I rebelled and got it anyway.   Because I am the one that rebelled and decided to get a cat, Bran tells me I am 100 percent responsible for Oreo, and all of her (hmm....messes).  I'm okay with that.  My friend's daughter had her eating solids, and litter trained her before I brought her home.  I was smart enough to say NO way until those two things were done. 
We brought her home on Friday, July 6th.  I get off early on Fridays (I try to anyway) and I waited for Brandon to get home so we could pick the kids up from Daycare together and surprise them.   Issy screamed when I told her, and stayed giddy as could be all weekend!  It was super cute.  Jax has been a little apprehensive, when the kitten comes to him, but he's fine if he  is the one that approaches her.  
And Bran, who wanted absolutely nothing to do with this kitten, has come around.  This happened on Saturday morning, when Oreo sat right next to him and watched about 15 minutes worth of Motor GP with him.  Her head bounced around in a circle, as she watched the motorcycles turn on TV.  Now, she finds him and lays on his lap or his shoulders to fall asleep.  Figures right?  

Look at her, she's adorable!  She makes us laugh ALL the time.  She so curious about EVERYTHING!   I'm seriously so glad we brought her home.  She has a vet appointment in a few weeks,  and I've already scheduled her to get fixed in a couple of months.    Sandy our dog, is super sweet with her. As a matter of fact, they play together and I think it's been good for sandy because she has one to interact with during the day when we are all gone.  

If you are wondering, Jax and Issy are the ones that came up with her name.  Issy liked the names Harper, phoebe, and Jax said "NO, she's black and white...see?  like a cookie".  Oreo! 


4th of July 2012

I was reading through some of my old blog post, specifically the 4th of July post from two years ago.  On that post, I write about how homesick we were and how much I wish we had family around.  That part about wishing we were with family has not changed, and I don't think it ever will.  The thing that has changed about how we feel this year, is that unlike two years ago, our feet are more rooted.  We've made some friends, and we are no longer "the outsiders" from Idaho.    I don't know if that will make any sense to some of you, but  I can't tell you what a great feeling  it is to be a part of a community. 

   This year I couldn't be more thankful for the good fortune we've had with our jobs, the incredible people we have met, and most of all how supportive our families have been through this whole experience.  Sometimes I feel like we are older and wiser, and then I look at the decisions we have made (like moving out here) and I realize that no matter how old we get, our decisions still effect everyone who loves us.    I don't know what the future holds for us.  I'd love to say that we know we will stay or we will move back, but those are heavy decisions that have a lot of factors that need to be considered.  What I will say is that if money was no object, our hearts belong with our families - regardless where that is.  

Where I was going with this is that I am just amazed at how much things can change in such a short span.   Two years ago, I never thought we would be here today.  Happy & Content.   I like this.  Our 4th was simple.  We got off work early on the 3rd, so we took advantage of the time we had to buy some fireworks for the kids.  The neighborhood has a block party every 4th of July so we hung out and watched the neighbors blow up fireworks next door.  

 Our neighbor had at least 30 fireworks that he lit up so we hung out for about an hour watching.   I feel like this was Jacksons first time really understanding what fireworks were.  And of course, he being a total boy, LOVED it!  The louder the better.   
 Issy was a hoot with the sparklers.  Another set of neighbors had music blasting, so she danced for about an hour writing lyrics or her name with sparklers.  She took had a grand time.
 Jax tried to play with sparklers, but that was scary.  Bran had to stay on top of him for fear that he would light his hair or clothes on fire. 
 Issy made he 4th of July hat at Daycare.  That hat was really cute, it actually looked like a firework had gone off on her head. She was so proud of it, and wore it pretty much all day. 
Here's a portion of our  personal firework arsenal.  Bran was letting Issy light the small fireworks, while I sat there and practically had a heart attack in silence. Thankfully all is well.  And I am happy to report that Issy still has all of her limbs in tact.

Happy 4th of July! 


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