Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Back to School Throwback Link-Up Party

With so many back to school posts floating around, I thought it would be fun to do a little back to school throwback!

I know you’ve got some old back to school photos laying around!  Probably not with a little sign or chalkboard – a simple photo sufficed back in the day.

So do you want to see mine?

Here you go…

The first day of kindergarten 1989…


Check out that homemade back to school outfit.  My mom rocked, y’all!  I loved that romper-ish thing.  So much so, that I even wore it for school pictures a few weeks later.


Good gosh – I had lost SIX teeth by picture day!  I don’t think Trenton is anywhere close to losing any yet. 

Okay, now that I’ve embarrassed myself with no-teeth, big-hair pictures, it’s your turn.  The link up is below.  Have fun checking out everyone else’s throwback pictures!

If you don’t have a blog but still want to join in the fun, you can post your picture(s) to instagram with the hashtag #creativelybloomingbacktoschoolthrowback, or post them to my blog facebook page HERE.



And One in Pre-K

Trenton wasn’t the only one that we sent off to the first day of school yesterday.

It was Charlotte’s first day of Pre-K!


She has grown up so much!


I was a little worried about how Charlotte would do because she can be very shy in new situations and with new people.  But the back to school picnic and open house helped calm her nerves and get her used to the people that she would be spending her mornings with.  I dropped her off yesterday morning, and she never looked back.  Not even for that little tiny wave that she likes giving me.


  Charlotte had a wonderful first day of school.  She was a little bummed that her class didn’t have time to go out to the playground that she’s been eyeing every Sunday at church, but she said that she did a lot of other fun stuff.  She made a fish, played a bean bag game, colored a picture, played with blocks, and ate snack with a new friend.  She also told me that she drew a picture, but when I asked her what she drew, she said that it was a surprise and she was going to give it to me for Mother’s Day.  Wow!  That is quite some time to wait!

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The four hours following pick up were spent trying to keep Charlotte busy so that she would quit asking every five minutes when Trenton would be home….

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Have a Kindergartener

And just like that, I have a kindergartener.


Wasn’t he just starting his first day of preschool last week?


Trenton was so excited about this morning.  So excited, in fact, that he didn’t fall asleep until sometime after 10:00 (I don’t know when exactly since Jarrod and I had already gone to bed) last night.  But he was up bright and early ready to go this morning!

I was a little worried about getting everyone out of the house by 7:30, but things went really smooth this morning.  I made and froze bran muffins and pancakes over the weekend, and made some omelet muffins that are in the fridge.  That helped a lot.  So did making Trenton’s lunch, setting out everyone’s clothes, and getting backpacks packed last night.  And that first picture?  Yeah, I dressed the kids in their first day clothes yesterday afternoon and took pictures.  I knew that we didn’t need the stress of posed pictures this morning.

I did manage one picture in front of the house this morning though.

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(Charlotte will get a post all to herself tomorrow about her first day of Pre-K.)

I love Trenton’s smug look.  As if to say – “Don’t worry about me.  I got this, Mom.”

Trenton is going to the Catholic school where we attend mass.  Between a back to school picnic over the weekend and open house yesterday morning, Trenton was ready for drop off.

I wanted one picture with my little man though.


Drop off is in a coned off area in the parking lot.  I could tell that Trenton was getting a little nervous.


The principal says a couple words each morning, the junior high students raise the flag, and the students say the Pledge of Allegiance.  Then it’s time to go inside – without parents.  Trenton’s teacher told the moms that they could get one more hug in, and as I walked over to Trenton, I could tell that he was trying to hold back the tears.  As was I.  I bent down, and Trenton gave me a hug and a kiss.   A big thing - because according to Trenton, it’s not cool to kiss Mom anymore.  My little boy is growing up too fast, but I was glad that he still needed and wanted Mommy this morning.

Trenton is riding the bus home from school.  The bus was 15 minutes early today.  Luckily, we had just walked out the door when the bus pulled up.


I asked Trenton about his day, and he said that he had a lot of fun.  He told me about lunch (he didn’t have time to eat his cheese stick and two little girls sat next to him), the playground (“we called the van an army van”), and about learning that God made nature.  When I asked him about the rest of his day in the classroom, he told me that they made a rule poster, he had show and tell,  and he “forgot the rest.”  Code for he probably got called out by the teacher.  While we were at Rita’s eating our after school treat (note to self – have Trenton change out of his white uniform shirt before eating red Italian ice), he opened up a little more about his day.  Apparently we need to work on actually being quiet during quiet time and raising a hand to talk….  Thankfully it’s pretty typical stuff, and he said he wasn’t the only kid that got called out.

One day of kindergarten down, and 179 to go.  Here’s to a fun year!


Get ready to dig through those old picture vaults.  Thursday I am going to host a Back to School Throwback link up.  I want to see your old back to school pictures!  I’m sure I’m not the only one with funny kid pictures, so get to searching so I don’t have an empty link up!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Mixed Emotions

As I said in the beginning of my last post, this summer has been really long.

We moved out of our Monterey home.

We moved cross-country with three kids and a dog, spending a total of 14 days in hotel rooms.

We moved into our new Pennsylvania home.

We’ve done a lot of fun things this summer.  Friends and family have visited us in our new home.  We’ve explored our new hometown.

But there have also been the not so good times.  There has been tattling, whining, crying, and fighting.  And sometimes my patience wears thin with all of it.

Trenton and Charlotte start school on Tuesday.  They have been counting down the days and so have I.  Trenton is going into kindergarten, and I’ve told myself that I’m not going to be one of those moms who gets all emotional.  I’m ready for school to start.  I’m ready to spend some one on one time with my kid who doesn’t whine or back talk yet.  I’m ready for Trenton and Charlotte to have some time apart from one another so maybe they won’t fight quite as much when they are together.

Last night I went to parent orientation at the kids school.  And I almost became that emotional mom that I said I wasn’t going to be.  We were walking down the hall on a tour of the school, and I was holding back tears.  Hearing that we drop the kids off in the parking lot for morning assembly and don’t get to walk them into the school – I was almost in tears.  Seeing that Trenton has graduated from a cubbie to a locker – I was almost in tears.  Sitting at the little bitty desk with his name on it, in his little bitty chair filling out paperwork for him to ride the bus home – I was almost in tears.

I didn’t cry when I dropped him off for his first day of preschool three years ago.

First Day of Preschool

But we’ll see what happens on Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Out of the Mouths: 4th Edition

Summer has been LONG.  We have all had a lot of together time, and patience is starting to wear thin.  But funny quips like these always seem to put a smile on my face.

Talking with Trenton:

Trenton: Daddy, it looks like your hair got cut.
Jarrod: Why yes, buddy, I did get a haircut.  You are the first one to notice.
Trenton:  Did you get your hair turned gray too?

(Cleaning up after a project)
I can’t get this paint off the chair.  My fingernails are too short.  A girl needs to do it.  Their fingernails are longer.  And that’s why they need to do all of the cleaning.

Evelyn, I see some boogers in your nose.  But don’t worry.  I’ll teach you how to get them out because I’m a nose picking expert.

Charlotte, remember the most important rule while our friends are here – no tattling.
(If that’s not pre-meditation, I don’t know what is!)

My robot only has one arm.  I’m pretending that a shark bit it off and he’s waiting to get a poletic (prosthetic) one.

photo 1 (37)

(I picked up Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron at the library and put it on after dinner one night.  I had to step outside for a second, and when I came back in, a newborn baby Spirit was being licked off by his mother.)
Trenton:  Mommy, did you know that wild horses shoot babies out of their hineys?!?!?!
Me:  Out of their hineys?  Oh wow!  I didn’t know that!
(I had totally forgotten about the whole horse birth thing being shown, but I was glad that I was able to play it off and there were no more questions!)


Charlotte’s Chatter:

Me: Charlotte, make sure you eat all of your egg.  Not just the white part.  The whole thing will help you grow big.
Charlotte:  Well, you know how I grow big?  I stand on my tippie toes!

Evelyn, if you want to go to sleep, just go to sleep.  You don’t have to cry about it!

Why do girls names change when they get married, but boys get to keep their names?  That’s just not fair.  I’m keeping my name the same when I get married.  I’m never changing it.  No!  Never!

Me: You can’t wear your swimsuit like that.  It shows your boobies.  And boobies are private, remember?
Charlotte:  Why do boobies have to be private?  They are just bumps on your chest.  And Trenton and Daddy get to show their boobies.  It’s not fair that boys get to show their boobies and girls don’t!

Why can’t Daddy drive home from the restaurant?  Are his hands slippery?

Charlotte:  Trenton is going to tattle on me after he finishes his volcano.
Me:  So you’re tattling that Trenton is going to tattle?
Charlotte:  Uh huh.
Me:  So really what you’re telling me is that you did something to Trenton that you weren’t supposed to, and he is going to tell on you?  But you’re tattling on yourself before he has a chance to?
Charlotte:  Oh.  Nevermind.

I think that you and Daddy should take a bath together in this giant bathtub.  Me and Trenton and Cullen and Bennett all fit so I think you and Daddy could fit.  You guys could have so much fun!

photo (46)

Family Fast Talk:

(While watching Iron Will)
Trenton (to Charlotte): This movie is about a really really long dog race in Alaska.  (It’s really not in Alaska, but he saw snow and thought it was.)
Charlotte:  What state are they racing to?
Trenton:  They can’t race to another state.  Alaska has water around it.
Me:  Trenton, do you know where Alaska is?
Trenton:  Yes!  It’s in the water.  Next to Hawaii.

photo 2 (35)

Trenton: What are we having for supper tonight?
Me: Daddy is grilling chicken, and I’m making zucchini and potatoes.
Charlotte (from the other room):  What?  Daddy’s growing chickens?  Are we really going to have a chicken garden?  That’s so cool!

(The next day)
Trenton:  You know you can’t plant chickens, right?
Charlotte:  Yes you can.  You just need chicken seeds.
Trenton:  There are no such things as chicken seeds.
Charlotte:  Yes there is.  And I’m going to plant them.  And garlic bread seeds too.

Charlotte:  How many vitamins do we get when we grow up?
Me:  Still two.
Trenton:  Well I saw Mimi eat three.  So do really really old people get three?

photo 3 (20)

Charlotte:  After we move to Pennsylvania, I want to move to where the desert and pyramids is.
Trenton:  We won’t need electricity if we move to the desert.  The sun can make all of our stuff work!

Charlotte:  What do you do if a bear tries to eat you?
Trenton:  I know!  Call 9-0-9!

Trenton:  What happens if electricity touches you?
Charlotte:  You get electronic.

Trenton:  Is that the dairy that we went to?
Me:  No, this dairy has Holsteins.  The one that we went to had Jersey cows.
Charlotte:  From New Jersey?



Wanting more?  Here are links to previous Out of the Mouths posts:
First Edition
Pregnancy Edition
Third Edition

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Low-Key Weekend

Jarrod spent last week in New Jersey at a training for work. 

Five nights without Daddy home plus nearly two months of being with my kids all day except for trips to the commissary and running a couple other errands had me worn out!.

So Saturday I took some “me” time.  I went and got my hair done, got a pedicure, and ate lunch on my own.  I still had a couple non-me errands to run (remind me not to hit up the commissary the Saturday after payday again), but I enjoyed the time pampering myself.

While I was out, Jarrod took the kids to a free lacrosse skills clinic.  Now, Trenton and Charlotte went in knowing absolutely nothing about lacrosse – other than the fact that their friends Cullen and Bennett really like the sport.  They had a really good time at the clinic though.  They even want to get some of their own stick thingies (Kate, I obviously need your help with terminology) so that they can practice in the backyard.  There isn’t a lacrosse league for young kids around here, but the coach told Jarrod that they are planning to put on these clinics once a quarter and if enough interest is sparked, they’ll try starting a league.

Youth Lacrosse

Trenton and Charlotte had free tickets to the Renaissance Faire for Sunday (our library’s summer reading program rocks!), but we woke up yesterday morning to pouring rain.  We braved the rain to go to church, but Jarrod and I decided to that we should skip the festival.  Even though it stopped raining around lunch, we just wanted a low-key day (and we hadn’t told the kids about our original plans, so there was no protesting from them).

Matching Smocked
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And just to keep it real, here is the first picture of Charlotte and Evelyn together.  It’s just so sad that we have to clean up Legos before we go to church!

photo 1 (36)

I got started on a project for Charlotte’s room yesterday afternoon.

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Trenton and Charlotte shared a room in California, and I really didn’t decorate it.  So now that they are in separate rooms, I’m working on decorating.

We decided to venture out for dinner yesterday evening.  There are quite a few choices for restaurants in the medium(ish) towns on either side of us, but I told Jarrod that I wanted to drive through an area that we hadn’t seen yet.  So I pulled up Yelp, found a place that got good reviews, had a kids menu, served alcohol, and was open on Sunday (apparently somewhat hard to find in small PA towns), and we were off.

The restaurant was about 45 minutes away, and we loved driving through the little towns along our route.  Yelp didn’t fail me when it came to the restaurant.  It was a little fancier than we expected, and we were a bit worried about the kids at first, but they did really well.  And they were really excited when after we finished dessert, the waitress brought out complimentary chocolate chip cookies to take home!

On our way down to the restaurant, we passed acres upon acres of orchards along with a farm/orchard stand.  The stand was still open when we were on our way back home, so we stopped.  Trenton and Charlotte picked a watermelon, and Jarrod found a tray of peaches.  Good ‘ol summertime!

Peters Orchards - PA

It was good to wind down and relax a bit this weekend.  I think it was exactly what everyone needed!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Watch Me Grow: 7 Months

Someone turned seven months old over the weekend!


Evelyn is at such a fun age.

Well, it’s all fun except for when she’s up in the middle of the night.  Evelyn managed to catch a terrible cold a few weeks ago that was probably made worse by teething.  I put a baby vaporizer in her room, but she kept waking up in the middle of the night unable to breathe through her nose.  Not fun for a baby who wants her paci.  So we had a few nights of sleeping on the couch together.

Once she recovered from the cold, sleeping got pretty much back to her normal.  Which means waking up 2-3 times a night for Mommy to put the paci back in her mouth.  We need to start lessons on getting the paci in her mouth herself!  She sure knows how to put just about anything else in her mouth!


By not increasing the doseage of Evelyn’s reflux medication for over two months, she is slowly being weaned off of it as she gains weight.  She still has days that she spits up, but sometimes I think it’s due to the extra saliva she has from teething.

Speaking of teething – still no teeth.  Trenton and Charlotte were both slow teethers, so I’m sure Evelyn is just taking after them.

Evelyn has mastered staying in a sitting position.  She can’t get there on her own, but she can stay there!

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She’s also started the inchworm/army crawl.  And it’s normally to try to get to something that she shouldn’t have.  Her favorite are cords.  Lightly swatting the back of her hand and the word “no” seem to have no influence on this child.  And we thought we had our hands full with the first two!

Evelyn is LOUD!  When she “talks,” she wants to be heard by everyone in a two mile radius.

She is also the squirmiest, most easily distracted baby I have ever seen (I affectionately call her my “Squirmy Wormy”).  It sometimes takes 30-45 minutes for her to finish off a bottle (if she even finishes it).  She flips over, turns around, tries to see what everyone else is doing, and makes a huge mess while doing so.  Girlfriend likes to let her formula drip out of the side of her mouth and go hang out in her neck crease. 

This girl loves my necklaces.  I probably shouldn’t let her play with them, but it gets us through church each week without any loud outbursts (I don’t let her put them in her mouth).  Thankfully I normally don’t spend a lot on jewelry (a lot of my stuff comes from Target), so she hasn’t broken anything yet.

I still can’t get over how fast these past seven months have flown by.  Evelyn is growing into such a fun, independent (she can play on her own for quite a while), feisty little girl.  Even though I wish she would slow down, I can’t wait to see what the next few months bring for her. 

Weight: About 18 1/2 pounds
Height: About 26 1/2 inches
Drinking: 24-30 oz. of formula a day plus a little water out of a sippy
Eating: Three meals a day consisting of pretty much any fruit and veggie we or Gerber have made.  Her favorites are squash and avocado/banana.  We’ve also started Baby Mum-Mums and puffs.  She does great with the Mum-Mums.  The puffs go in her mouth (sometimes), she “chews” a bit, and then they come right back out.
Sleeping: Goes down around 8:00-8:30, wakes up for a paci 2-3 times a night, takes a bottle around 4:30-5:30, and goes back down until 7:00-7:30
Naps: Evelyn takes about a 1 to 1 1/2 hour nap in the morning, going down between 9:30-10:00, and a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon, going down between 1:00-1:30.
Clothes: She still fits into a few 6 month dresses, but is in 6-9 month clothes for the most part.
Diapers: Huggies Little Snugglers size 2 during the day (we’re trying to use up the last few in that size) and size 3 at night
Words/Sounds: Evelyn uses mostly vowel sounds, but throws in a “ba” every once in a while.
Hair: Evelyn definitely has more hair than both Trenton and Charlotte had at 7 months.   Although she may look like her older sister, it doesn’t look like Evelyn will have a same blonde hair as Charlotte.  Her hair is darker than Trenton’s was at this age too.

First time in the big bathtub:

First time using a sippy cup:

First finger food:
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Sunday, August 10, 2014

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Yesterday we went out to the Children’s Lake (the same place I took pictures of the kids a few weeks ago) for the Boiling Springs fishing derby.

This was the first time Trenton and Charlotte had been fishing, and they were rearing to go!


Charlotte nabbed a trout right from the get-go, but it got away with half of her worm.

But she and Trenton kept right on trying.


Trenton and Charlotte had a few more bites, but still weren’t reeling anything in.  And Jarrod and I aren’t big fishers, so we weren’t much help.

Luckily the people next to us, who had already reached the trout limit, took pity on our kids and helped them out.

Jarrod obviously didn’t want Trenton going in the water!


We didn’t come home with any trophies, but Trenton came home with two trout, and Charlotte came home with one.


Too bad there wasn’t a trophy for cutest baby.  I bet we could have won that one!



*And for those of you wondering – our lunch date yesterday and the picnic today went great.  So great in fact, that I was too busy enjoying myself to snap any pictures!

Friday, August 8, 2014

My Least Favorite Part of Moving

You know how you sort of kind of forget about how hard it is having a baby around?  You’re so excited about having this new bundle of joy to welcome into your home, but you’ve forgotten about how much the lack of sleep totally sucks until you’re right in the middle of it again.  Don’t get me wrong, the lack of sleep is worth it, but it still sucks.

Well, that is how a PCS move is.  You sort of remember that it can be a pain in the rear, but you’re so excited about moving to a new place that you really don’t care.

And that takes me to my least favorite part about transplanting every 2-3 years.

Friend Dating.

Y’all, I totally stress myself out about this.

I’ve made wonderful friends everywhere we’ve been, but those first couple months are hard.

And that’s where I’m at now.

Last week I was really down and out about the whole friend dating situation.

I was supposed to attend my first spouse night last week, and I had to cancel at the very last minute.  I was in tears over the situation.  What if women thought that I was a total flake for cancelling?  Would they still want to be my friend when I am finally able to make it to an event?

I’ve met a few nice people since we’ve moved here.  Our neighbors are all great, but most of them are older.  I talked to a few other moms at swim lessons, but nothing went past there. 

And let’s talk for a second about friend dating when there are kids in the picture.

Sure, having kids gives me plenty of opportunities to meet other moms.  But it also leads to a whole other list of stressors.

What if our kids don’t get along?
What if my kids decide to act like a bunch of wild animals?
What if the other moms thinks I’m a helicopter mom?
What if the other moms thinks I let my kids run wild?
What if I can’t even talk to the other moms because my kids interrupt us 5,378,242 times?
What if the other kids are mean?

Oh yes, all of this goes through my mind.

But I think things are looking up.  I saw a mom at the library the other day that I met a few weeks ago when our boys attended a Lego event together.  The kids played again, and we exchanged numbers.  Score!  My first PA friend dating number exchange!  Tomorrow we are having lunch with the family of a guy that Jarrod works with.  And on Sunday we are going to a command family picnic where there are sure to be plenty of other wives in attendance.

So there you have it.  Friend dating in a nutshell.  I’ve made wonderful life-long friends at each of our duty stations, and I’m sure I will here too.  It’s just the getting there part that’s hard.

GuamMOMS ClubJenny & Staci   Ding Out

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Blueberry Graham Pudding Dessert

As soon as we walked in the door Saturday after picking blueberries, Trenton and Charlotte wanted to make something with our loot.

I had a raging sinus headache and didn’t feel like going to the store, so I went searching the pantry and fridge to figure out a dessert to make with them.

This is what I came up with:

Blueberry Graham Pudding Dessert

Blueberry Graham Pudding Dessert

1/2 sleeve graham crackers, crushed
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding
1 3/4 c. milk
6 oz. Cool Whip
2 c. blueberries, divided

Crush graham crackers in food processor.  Set aside.  In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar until smooth.  In another bowl, mix pudding mix and milk until well blended.  Fold into cream cheese mixture.  Fold in Cool Whip and 1 3/4 c. blueberries.  Alternate layers of crumbs and pudding.  Top with crumbs and remaining blueberries.  Chill before serving.  Yield: 6-8 servings.  Recipe can easily be doubled. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Weekend Review: Washing, Shopping, Picking, and Bingo-ing

The weather was sort of iffy here all weekend, but we managed to pack in quite a bit of fun.

We were planning on going shopping for school supplies Friday afternoon after Jarrod got home from work.  All three kids needed baths, and since Evelyn has just about outgrown her infant sink tub, I threw her in the big bathtub with the two big kids for the first time.

Trenton and Charlotte loved it.  Evelyn wasn’t quite so sure…


Once Jarrod got home, we headed to Target armed with our supply lists.  One problem though – Charlotte was more excited about this lovely get-up that was on an end cap right next to the purses than she was about finding the school supplies…

Shopping at Target
“Can I get this?  It’s just so beautiful, and I think it will fit me.  Please, please, pretty please?!?!”

Ummm….that would be a big fat NO, sister!

We finally convinced Charlotte that the “dress” was for grown-ups, and went on about our business shopping for school supplies.  After a quick trip to Old Navy and dinner at Red Robin, we went home to settle in for a family movie night.

There was a good chance of rain for Saturday, so I made sure that we had an indoor option and an outdoor option for our plan of the day.  Luckily when we woke up the sun was out, and the radar didn’t show any showers nearby. 

So we chose to spend our morning at Paulus Orchards in Dillsburg to pick berries.

Paulus Orchards - Blueberry PickingPaulus Orchards - Blueberry Picking

The last time we picked blueberries was when we lived in Virginia.  Trenton couldn’t say blueberries.  It came out “boobies.”  For a good laugh (and get a recipe for Blueberry Lemon Dump Cake) click HERE to turn the clock back three years.

Trenton and Charlotte are a lot more efficient berry pickers now, and we wound up with nearly 11 pounds of blueberries!

Paulus Orchards - Blueberry Picking

Our original plan was to pick both blueberries and blackberries, but the lure of the play yard was just too much for a few kiddos!

Paulus OrchardsPaulus OrchardsDSC_3268-1

So we didn’t wind up with any blackberries, but I have a feeling that we’ll be back soon to pick some.  And then probably again to pick apples.  And possibly to pick a pumpkin or two also.  It’s so nice out there, that maybe we’ll just build ourselves a little lincoln log cabin and live there!

Paulus OrchardsPaulus Orchards

That afternoon, Trenton, Charlotte, and I got busy in the kitchen whipping up our first blueberry dish.

They were pretty motivated to eat all of their dinner that evening since this was waiting for dessert!

Blueberry Graham Pudding Dessert

This morning we went to church, and then came back here to clean up around the house.  I made some blueberry jam this afternoon, and after dinner we went to play bingo at the local fire station.


Trenton won $30 in a game.

Charlotte was a great sport about it.

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We even told them before we started playing that any money they won would be split between them.  But that didn’t seem to matter to her.

Her mood turned around by the end of the night’s $300 jackpot game though!

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I’d say that’s a pretty good end to a fantastic weekend!