Category Archives looking back

Goodbye Hoffman’s Playland

Hoffman’s Playland in Latham, NY is officially no more. For 62 years, the Capital District favorite has been a treasure for families to go to. Many children rode on their first amusement park ride while at Hoffman’s.

Hoffman's Playland 2014

I remember going to Hoffman’s as a child with my parents and extended family. We rode on our favorite carousel horses, celebrated being tall enough for the bumper cars, and loved getting dizzy as a family on the Tilt O’ Whirl.

It was only natural that when NHL was born eleven years ago that we would want to take him to Hoffman’s with Nana and Papa. His first visit was in the summer of 2004. He was just shy of one and still unable to walk. Still, he loved riding on the Merry Go Round and other rides. We actually started a tradition that year where Papa would take NHL onto the horses for their annual photo together.

Hoffman's Playland 2004

Hoffman’s was a place where we could all be a kid at heart and let our hair down. We could scream at the top of the roller coaster hill, or watch the beautiful scenery while taking the classic train around the park.

Hoffman's Playland 2007

When JSL was born, we took both of the boys to Hoffman’s and continued the tradition. Of course, big brother loved showing JSL all of his favorite rides.

Hoffman's Playland 2008

A few weeks ago, NHL decided that he wanted to go to Hoffman’s on his birthday. We knew it would likely be our last adventure to the park several generations of our family have grown up with. It was bittersweet walking around and thinking of this piece of local history gone.

While we will miss Hoffman’s, I am thankful for all of the memories. We still do not know if the rides may be in another location next year, I know that the boys and I will always have the magical moments from years gone by.

If you have ever been to Hoffman’s Playland and have memories to share, I would love to hear them in the comments below.

It's Me

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Saying Goodbye to Elementary School

First Days of Elemtary School

Watching your child grow up often comes with mixed emotions. This week has given me so many of those moments all at once. Monday morning, I cried driving the boys to school.


It hit me on the ride over that it would be the last Monday I would ever be taking both boys to the same school. NHL and JSL will never be in the same school again. This was the last year. The kids saw that I had tears in my eyes and asked why. I was honest and told them. They were so sweet and held my hands on the way into school. Clearly, they knew that Mom needed a little TLC.

Of course, more emotions were there on the last full day that both boys would be in the same school. Over the last month or so, I have watched each afternoon as NHL and JSL would grab each others hands and walk to my car. They would go ahead of me and talk about gym, lunch, class time, and homework. There was something special about this time and I will miss witnessing it.

Brothers Holding Hands after School

Now, the school year is basically complete. I wanted to cherish all of this more, but living in the moment you often forget to do this. What hurts most is knowing there were days that I wanted this school year to be over, but in reality I never did. I liked knowing that the boys had each other in the same building if there was ever an emergency. I loved being able to see both of their smiling faces if I happened to stop by to help in one classroom or the other.

In September, things will be different. NHL will be off to a new adventure in middle school and JSL will continue along for the next four years in elementary school. As summer break is about to begin, my goal is to relax and enjoy the time with the boys. I want to have fun, explore, and help them to make special memories. We will try not to worry about the unknown that lies ahead of us with middle school and keep focused on summer and the next two months we have together.

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Thirteen Years with TechyDad

Thirteen years ago, I woke up and knew my world would be changing. After months of planning, it was time to get ready to be the bride on our magical wedding day. I still remember walking into our synagogue early that afternoon to prepare for photos and our ceremony under the chuppah. Most of the day was a blur, except that I can still see the smile on TechyDad’s face. Yes, thirteen years later I can still picture my husband’s face when he saw me walk out in my dress for the first time.

Our wedding table

There are days when I wonder where the time has gone because it seems like only yesterday when we were going to different florists, checking out caterers, and planning our magical Walt Disney World Honeymoon. While there are times that I miss those more simple days when we were newlyweds with few cares in the world, I would not change a thing. We have had our adventures together and we have two beautiful boys who are growing up before our eyes.

What I did realize when going to write this post is that we need to take more photos of US. Perhaps we make it a project for the boys. The two of us need to get out from behind the camera and document being a couple, not just TheAngelForever/Mom and TechyDad/Dad.

Thirteen years and counting

JL, thank you for accepting my Eeyore moments trying to make me willfully say Allons-y a bit more. I love you with all of my heart and look forward to adding more memories to our 13 years of being husband and wife.

It's Me

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Walt Disney World Honeymoon Memories

TechyDad and I were married in June 2001 and we went to Walt Disney World for a ten day honeymoon. It was simply magical. It was his first visit and he quickly fell in love with the parks. We stayed at the Beach Club Resort which was a fantastic location. We splurged and got the dining plan that also included behind the scene tours. So many memories and some scanned photos because these were pre-digital camera days. When I think of June and Disney, I automatically go back to that special time in my life as a newlywed at Walt Disney World.

Magical Disney Honeymoon

Focused on the Magic

Be sure to stop by Focused on the Magic by clicking on the button above to join in the Disney magic this week.

It's Me

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Time to Turn Seven

Dear JSL,

It is so hard to believe that my little guy is turning seven years old today. It just seems like yesterday when you were born, spent your days with me, and eventually went off to start school. Now, I look at you and you are a little boy who has a personality of his own and is almost finished with first grade. When I look at your sweet little face, the baby is almost completely gone and it pulls at my heart. While I want you to grow up and learn, part of me wants you to stay little and innocent forever. You are so sweet and always put others before you when at school and even with your big brother. Of course, being my kiddo you do have a stubborn streak and it has been nice to see you stick up for yourself recently. Along with that is your determination. Just this weekend, you decided that you will learn to ride your bike without training wheels. You want this and I know you will master it before long. No doubt I will be chasing after you when you set off full steam down the block.

Ready to ride a two wheeler

Here is a look back at your sixth year.

To celebrate turning six, pirate cupcakes were requested to share with your kindergarten class. You and I were also busy getting ready for your pirate craft party that would be a few weeks after your real birthday. It was the first friend party that you had and you were so excited to create pirate items and be with your friends. In May, we also became members of the miSci Museum where you adored going and exploring. (May 2013)

Birthday boy and pirate cupcake

The month of June was an emotional month. You were so excited about learning and writing at school. A lot of your time was spent making everyone special books. There was nothing stopping you and you just wanted to be an author and share your creations. Of course, you were also sad to be leaving kindergarten behind. You cried because you did not want to leave the wonderful teachers who helped you to come out of your shell during your first year of elementary school. (June 2013)

Ready for first grade

July was a busy month. You loved Independence Day weekend when we spent time at the lake with cousins and a lot of extended family. NHL went to camp for a week and you and I were able to do some fun things together while he was there. One of the projects we worked on was taking our the knitting loom that you asked for on your birthday. (July 2013)

Knitting Loom Crown

As the summer continued, it was time for you to go to camp for a week. You really loved the experience, but were not in love with the swimming part because people moving your items and them getting lost. August is also when you officially became a Whoovian. Suddenly, you were a Doctor Who geek that wanted to know everything and anything about The Doctor. This was a proud moment for Daddy because you fell in love with his sonic screwdriver and wanted to buy your own. (August 2013)

Doctor Who Geek in Training

Before we knew it, the summer was over and you were heading off to first grade. This was a big adjustment because it meant being on another floor of the school and eating lunch in the cafeteria. Later in the month, when I went to a conference in Atlanta, you sent a special someone along with me. You asked me to take photos of Timon during my travels. I did this and it seems to be a new tradition thanks to you. (September 2013)

First Day of School - September 2013

The autumn was a rocky time. You were upset with some items and had a difficult time expressing them. My sweet little guy suddenly was sad and did not want to go to school. You made my mission to stop high stakes testing and education reform more of a pressing matter after you went to the school nurse with chest pains because of math. It broke my heart watching you so sad about learning. Thank goodness your teacher has done her best and tried to help the situation. Halloween marked fun moments when we picked out pumpkins and you had a blast playing with pumpkin guts. (October 2013)

Pumpkin Guts Fun

As the weather started to change, we were very busy. You started to settle into Hebrew School and loved helping me to select new crochet projects. After Halloween was over, you also adored wearing Daddy’s bowtie and fez. You were so in love with the fez that he made you your own and you insisted on wearing it out shopping one day. You laughed so hard when someone yelled down an aisle that fezes were cool. (November 2013)

Fezes are cool

Chanukah started on Thanksgiving and was almost over before December started. Once again, you enjoyed helping us to light the menorah each night while reciting the prayers. The best part was watching your face light up when we surprised you with Disney Infinity. You adore using this and exploring with NHL. While you may fight over who gets to do things, both of you got along during those cold and snowy days over the winter. (December 2013)

Brothers play Disney Infinity

The new year brought a lot of cold. Eventually, snow came and we had fun painting it and trying to stay warm. You were also my main helper when it came to trying things out for my posts on Bedtime Math. You loved heading out to the store to get items and trying them out with me. I think a favorite was probably the foam dough that you played with for hours. (January 2014)

Snow patining fun

More snow, making snowmen paintings, and creating items for Valentine’s Day kept us busy when you were not in school. You love to make crafts, so we spent a lot of time with various items. Of course, you also enjoyed heading outside into the cold to make snow forts and sled around the area. It was so much fun watching you play with NHL and Daddy. (February 2014)

Let it Go No More Snow

I do believe even you got to a point when you were sick of the snow. You were ready to be able to run and play outside without worrying about falling on the ice. Purim was a nice distraction for everyone. You had fun dressing up like Hiccup and playing games at the festival that we went to. (March 2014)

Hiccup the Viking at Purim

Passover preparations kept all of us busy. You had fun learning the four questions for the Seder. Of course, our celebration was changed a bit when we had to schedule your surgery at the end of Spring break. You were so brave before, during, and after your surgery. I know it was not easy for you, but you were so sweet even when you were horribly miserable. In the end, we told you that it would make you breathe easier and so much happier later on. Thank goodness you truly believed us. (April 2014)Smiling through the exhaustion with his Monster friends

Here we are back in May with your seventh birthday celebration. While I may be sad that you are growing up, I am so proud of who you are and what is ahead of you. I cherish the time with you watching you smile and hearing your laughter. You are such a sweet, smart, talented, and compassionate little boys. I look forward to watching you grow, learn more, and become even more special each and every day. Always know that I am cheering you on and here for a hug. No matter how old you get, you will always be my baby boy and I will protect you as much as I can.

Happy 7th birthday sweetie and here is to many more happy and wonderful memories ahead.



Past B-day posts to JSL:

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