We are a family of 5 humans & 1 canine. The Lang Family was officially established in 1998 when Mommy (Angela) met Daddy (Josh). We welcomed our first child, a daughter we named Caroline, in 2001. Two years later came our second little lady, Carmen. Benjamin, our son, blessed our lives in 2006. Jack is our furry family member.
Our family unit is now complete and on that phase of life where we begin to grow together, learn each other's flaws & perfections, make mistakes, build a home, create wonderful memories (and some not so wonderful memories) and make those critical decisions that will ultimately decide the course of the family's future (yeah, no pressure or anything).
This blog is a documentation of sorts from this point in time & on; the good, the bad, the pretty & the inevitable ugly.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter 2013

I hope everyone had a wonderful & blessed Easter holiday! We sure did (:

Friday night, we covered our dining room table with newspaper, rolled up our sleeves and got our egg dying done. Most the eggs this year were made into monsters & bunnies, with an occasional tie-dyed one popping up. They all came out super cute. We attempted to add vinegar to the dye to make the colors more vibrant but other than the lingering stench, we really didn't see any difference. Last year, we used Kool-Aid and were really happy with the way they turned out... & they smelled way better (;

On Saturday, we went to the Charleroi Annual Easter Hunt. It was a bit emotional for me since this is the first year that my two girlies decided they were too cool to participate. Ben had a great time though & even shared his eggs with a little girl who wasn't able to get any. Always a gentleman...
Later that night, I filled up about 50 eggs with pieces of candy and hid them around the house. Then we turned off all the lights and let the kids loose with their flashlights to find them all (: Definitely a fun, giggle filled time.

We woke up Sunday to about 200 plastic eggs hidden around the downstairs of our house, including 12 golden eggs that held some cash prizes. Their baskets were hidden as well. The Bunny left clues to help find the them in the letter he wrote.

They all got a Project Life mini album from Becky Higgins with some pictures of our family to get started. This was a HUGE hit! All three kids worked on them for about an hour & a half while the food was cooking. I also have a PLBH scrapbook so I didn't miss a chance to sit down & craft with my munchkins. Josh is our designated chef in the house anyways so he didn't need me (;

Carmen got the gymnast doll she asked for. She named her Gabby Douglas which I thought was the most adorable thing ever!

Yaya got the most awesome journal I have ever seen. I would have LOVED to have this when I was her age!

It came with the coolest post its, envelopes, dividers & so many other accessories to bedazzle it with! It also came with a stamper that I totally want to thieve for work purposes! Miss Caroline read the text really fast & got a bit confused. She thought that the Bunny brought her a stamper that read
"I <3 $h!%". It actually says "I <3 THIS".
So of course her mistake caused a few giggle fits that morning.

Benjamin got an Angry Birds video game for his Xbox 360 and a volcano making kit. We set the plaster that night, waited the 24 hours to for that to set, painted it, waited another 24 hours to let the paint dry, and then we were FINALLY able to watch her erupt. Needless to say, I think all of the anticipation led to unrealistic expectations of the pending explosion.
Vinegar & Baking soda fizzles.
It does NOT splatter 10 feet in the air.
... Try explaining that to a six year old boy.

And the natural disaster that took place in our dining room is below... it was much too calm for Ben's liking. I think he had the commercial for magic eraser in his head where the father & daughter make a volcano erupt all over the nice clean kitchen and then the mom walks in and hands them the cleaning supplies. Oh well, he got the point.

After all the visiting with Grandparents, Aunts, Mothers, In-Laws, Fathers, Sisters and Uncles, we came home & went to bed. All that running & ham made the entire family fall fast asleep.
It was another wonderful holiday with my favorite four people. I am blessed.


She's Got The Whole World In Her Hands

My sweet Carmen Girl had to present her class with a diagram, poster, or report on the Solar System this week. Of course we chose to make a diagram because that option is always the most fun (:

Materials Needed:
  • Shipping Tape
  • Duct Tape
  • Long Piece of Styrofoam Board
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Fabric (to cover the styrofoam board)
  • Toothpicks
  • White Paper
  • One Piece of Construction Paper (we used brown)
  • 9 Styrofoam Balls (different sizes based on planets & sun)
  • Paint
  • Glitter (to keep things glamorous)
  • Paint Brushes
  • Sharpie (she chose blue for her text)
We painted the planets & sun the first night to give it time to dry. We added more paint details the next evening so that the paint wouldn't mix. Before we attached the planets to the board, we covered it with our star filled fabric and kept it on using duct tape on the backside (keeping it hidden). By placing a toothpick in each planet, we were able to put the other end into the board to hold them in place. We used more than one toothpick on the larger objects (Sun & Jupiter). We made Saturn's ring using brown construction paper and glued it to the three toothpicks we placed around it. It held nicely. Next, Carmen wrote the title of her project and the names of all the objects on white computer paper. We cut them to size and shape and laminated them onto toothpicks using shipping tape on either side and cutting off the excess tap. The signs were placed on top of each planet & the sun. Her title was simply put in the front of the diagram. The finished diagram...

She was very nervous about having to describe her project in front of her classroom, so we did some rehearsals the night before the big day. Here is one outtake of her practicing in which she wasn't quite sure how to end her speech, so she did what any sweet-hearted girl who was scared to death would do... she made it into a prayer and ended with an "Amen." (: Fingers crossed that today went smoothly for her!


Hall of Fame

Sports do not build character. They reveal it.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring Portraits 2013

I haven't had the chance to upload the kids' new Easter pictures they had done but now that I'm free of the Facebook, I have more than ample opportunity to make new blog posts (: Enjoy! I know I did... one lucky momma right here to have three of the best looking kiddos around!


Monday, April 1, 2013

Facebook Free... for now.

I feel liberated. And free. I deleted my Facebook account. For those of you who use the social media network, you know how hard this can be. Panic sets in. How will I keep track of my friends & family, how will I share all the great stuff my family does, how will I know the latest gossip, who will I rant to when something is on my mind, who will give me my sense of approval in this world?

Overreacting? Of course. But your mind starts to go a bit crazy once you remove that lifeline from your world. I have been a user of Facebook since 2008. Every single moment of my life has been documented on that network. No lie. But truth be told, I'm sick of it. It makes me sad that my only communication to my dearest friends, some that I have known my entire life, only happen through status likes, photo comments & wall posts. I miss them. I miss meeting up for lunch just to catch up. I miss talking on the phone until it goes dead just to hear in detail how their date went. Why bother when you can see what everyone has been up to with just a few clicks of a mouse? I miss being a dedicated employee, who doesn't have to sneak onto the internet every 10 minutes to make sure nothing major has been missed. I miss being an attentive mother that doesn't feel the pressure to take constant pictures and upload them immediately. I miss enjoying those moments with my children instead of becoming their personal paparazzi.

What I won't miss is the constant comparisons to the lives of everyone on my list. No matter how happy  and content you are with your own life, you cannot help but become a little jealous of the new mommy who doesn't have to worry about ten pages of homework due the next morning, the newly married couple who is so overcome with new love butterflies that they have no idea that in a few years their date nights will consist of a twenty minute grocery run to Giant Eagle, or the friend that just got a promotion and a hefty pay increase while you are doing the work of ten coworkers & count yourself lucky to get a "Thank you". Don't get me wrong, I am extremely happy for all of the blessings in my life as well as the blessings of people that I know. I genuinely mean it when I congratulate them and am actually smiling when I put that colon, right parentheses. And 99% of the time, when I write "LOL", I actually giggle to myself. The problem is, I catch myself starting to devalue all that God has given me when I see someone else bragging about their blessing. Why? I'm assuming it's human nature but it doesn't do me any good even if it is. I have no reason to complain or compare in my life. I have everything I need or could want. I feel as though I am doing my family a grave injustice to continue putting these high expectations on them to be cute enough, funny enough, romantic enough to warrant a Facebook status update. I just want to live my life. I want to enjoy and relish in every single second. To make that happen, I must get rid of the distractions. So, see you later Facebook, or not. This is my Facebook free month. I will not, under any circumstances, reactivate that account. The question is, will that be the first thing I do on May 1st? I sincerely hope not. I've been free of Facebook since Saturday and have already got my butt out of the house to visit with one of my best friends, her family & her new little bundle of joy. And I didn't feel one ounce of resentment, just pure joy. You can't smell that new baby smell over the world wide web. That alone is priceless and has only reinforced my decision to steer clear of the site. At this rate, maybe by May, this family of mine will be completely "unplugged". (;


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Another Year Bites the Dust

Happy New Year to all of our friends & family! We entered the new year the same way we have for the past 14 years... together. "Together" has changed through time, starting at 2 and ending at 5; but it's together all the same and we wouldn't have it any other way. This year I wanted to start some new traditions but just like most things I do, I waited until the last minute (; I made a quick Dollar General run after work and found some birthday hats with balloons on them and some party noisemakers. I also grabbed a few white balloons to start a New Year's countdown. I had Josh grab 5 helium filled balloons at Giant Eagle earlier in the day... Here is how our night played out:

We wrote in sharpie on each white balloon the upcoming hour, starting at 6pm, & popped them accordingly. We all took turns doing the ceremonial stabbing (except me, I'm a picture taker, not a picture giver)...

- Six o'clock -

- Seven o'clock -

- Eight o'clock -

- Nine o'clock -

- Ten o'clock -

- Eleven o'clock -

Dad got to pop the last balloon since he has a height advantage (;

During dinner, we went through our Memory Jar that holds all the things we wrote down during the year that we didn't want to forget. LOTS OF LAUGHS! Those slips of paper get labeled by year and stored away & we get to start all over again (:

I also baked a Lucky Penny cake. I made sure to make a separate small cake that actually held the penny inside so that one of us would guarantee the find. I would hate to have to eat 3 pieces to find the coin & I surely would hate to see my kids' behavior after they ate their three pieces! So I served up the 5 potentially luck filled slices and we all dug in!

Benjamin found 2013's Lucky Penny! We all decided that he deserved it the most since he used his bare hands to tear his cake to pieces as opposed to using the fork like the rest of us normal folk.
Well done Ben, well done.

We played a few games of Crazy Eight & Headbandz (totally recommend this game to any family with kids, SO FUN!) to use up some more time before we moved on to the next tradition...

Our prayer balloons! This was something I saw on Pinterest but they were called wish balloons. We changed it up to better suit our family. We all scribbled our prayers for the year on the balloons then released them up to the heavens (: Caroline had lots of good ones, including letting the animals in shelters find homes & kids in adoption to find families. Carmen wants to have more patience and kindness, while Benjamin wants to see Guggies again and be a better athlete. Daddy had some surprising ones, including being a more romantic husband (hope God reads that one first!). I added my favorite prayers that I'll reveal in a different post, but one of them was for the Steelers to have a better season! (;
Hey, we're Pittsburgh'ers, what do yinz expect?!

When the final hour came, we made as much noise as we could with pots & wooden spoons... we actually lost a spoon on that fateful day thanks to Ben's enthusiasm (:
Even the furry Lang had some fun! He was a regular party animal!

It was one of the best New Years that I can remember so I'm
hoping it's a hint of things to come in 2013!


The best wrestlers win Young Guns (:

This weekend Ben entered his very first wrestling tournament!

It was North Allegheny Young Guns Novice Tournament and was only for kids with 0-2 year experience. Ben has 0 experience and we learned real quick that he was one of the few who entered without experience. This is his first year as a Charleroi wrestler. Needless to say, we were nervous for him. Especially after being told that kids train all year for this tournament! There came a point in time (right after losing his first match) that I thought it was unfair of us to put him into this tournament. I thought it would break his confidence. Another lesson learned... NEVER underestimate a Lang kid! His first match was gruesome. I actually had to turn away and cry. No lie. I hate to see his face in pain and anguish, it makes my stomach sick. I was almost ready to march down on that mat and yank him. But because of his love for the sport, I held my ground. All he has to do is say the words and he's done. When it's no longer fun & empowering, it's no longer needed. He got pinned in the 3rd round BUT was the only one to score a point against that kid (we called him "The Beast") all day until he was eliminated in the semi-finals with a pin! I was proud but still scared that we entered him into something over his head. This tournament was a 2 loss elimination so he had to lose one more to go home. He came off the mat tearful but ready for the next opponent, so Momma was ready too (: We gave him his secret weapon... a ziploc bag of pancakes. He LOVES them. Each Sunday, Josh will make 2 batches of pancakes, one to eat that morning and one to put in the fridge for Ben throughout the week. The kid loves them. Without syrup.
I don't get it, but who can understand the desires of a six year old boy, right?

We had awhile to wait for his next match since he was placed in the loser bracket. And by awhile, I mean 2 hours. The girls are troopers though. They bring their tablets & DS's and, for the most part, are complaint free. They're their brother's biggest fans and that means the world to me. We also kept busy by reading my Young House Love book I got from Santa. Yep, my girls are taking after me at a young age, we're DIY fanatics!

We also went and purchased Ben a t-shirt representing the tournament & it even had his name on it. In the back of my mind, I was hoping to bring a smile to his face after his next loss, which I assumed was going to be brutal again. I can admit that now.

Ben's number was FINALLY called and he went on the mat...


then he WON again...

and again!

Three in a row for my strong at heart son! I should have known better to lose hope in him. Experience has shown me that my kids will prove me wrong over & over, and always in a good way.

My zero-experienced wrestler made semi-finals!!!
I was beyond proud! When I say he won, I don't mean a 1-2-3 pin, I mean he wrestled 3 excruciating rounds for each match, pinned two & won one based on points. THEY WERE BATTLES!

Out of 17 wrestlers in his division, only 4 place. He had the largest division in the tournament, age 6 and under, 45 pounds. He fought hard and...


Celebrations were in order...

But, the celebration was over fast since this exhausted hero of mine slept the entire way home and then another hour at the house. So we had a low key celebration and ordered wings from Campy's when he woke up (;

He even gets placed on the state ranking website found here. It hasn't been updated yet, but we will keep checking (:

A rocky start but a fairytale ending... isn't that the making of all good stories?