July Family Vacation and More

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Toward the beginning of July, we made a little trip to Indy to visit friends.  Nostalgia.  That is the word I felt. Seeing dear friends and neighbors and our old stomping grounds got me nostalgic, sad and reminded me what I love/miss about Indy. For some inexplicable reason, I don’t think I took any pictures??

A couple weeks ago we went to Clifty Falls State Park for the CL vacation.  I took these photos from my friend, because I forgot to take pictures.  It went surprisingly well this year.  The 3 kids were already used to sleeping in a queen bed together, so they shared one in the hotel with no problem.  I put Simon’s pack n play in the bathroom, which worked out well.  I was much more relaxed this year probably b/c I went into it with very low expectations and didn’t try to put anyone to bed too early.  One morning we did a 2 1/2 hour hike in about 90% humidity.  We all enjoyed it.  As you can see from the pictures, we were an enormous group.

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I took these pics of Simon one day while we were rolling around on the kids’ bed.

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Auntie Danielle and baby Graham paid us a visit and brought what every guest should bring — home-made lasagna!

We were tired of Simon causing all sorts of trouble, so we hitched a baby swing to the roof of our deck. If Simon doesn’t love roller coasters when he gets older, it’s through no fault of Theresa and Silvia.

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I’ll swallow my pride. Joe predicted this one…the kids are back in the same room (after laboriously rearranging the rooms for the second time).

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The “garage swing” lasted about a week until it found it’s home in the backyard

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Doing what I do best…drinking cocktails, reading, and neglecting chores.

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Sundays, where we try not to work, but really Joe and the kids make a gigantic mess all day only for me to clean it up on Monday!

Exactly 1 month later…

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Here’s a little slideshow of our spring/summer shenanigans.  Simon’s been crawling up the stairs and climbing onto low beds.  He likes to hang out under tables, which forces me to keep it swept, so he doesn’t eat all the scraps….like a dog.

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We celebrated our anniversary on June 5th.  (Most of these pics are repeats of what I’ve posted on Instagram or FB).  We went on our (2nd) date since moving to Dayton.  Hit the Oregon District up again for dinner and a walk.

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Leo turned 6 in June so we had a couple little “parties” for him.  6 other kids came over to play and I gave them crackers with cheese and salami, apple slices and brownies.  Simple and not the least bit impressive, but my focus was on giving Leo a special day with friends.    In the picture above, you can see our new sandbox that Joe built.  We got rid of our little crab sandbox which the kids were outgrowing.

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Hiking in Yellow Springs with Oma and Opa. Of course Simon pooped all over Oma and the Ergo carrier in the woods.  (Hence why he ended up in nary a clothes, only diaper)

Doing a tiny bit of “school” on random days.  I planned to keep going through the summer, but we’ve pretty much taken the last 2 weeks off.  Except we’ve gotten in some math because Leo enjoys the challenge.  He’s learning some tricks and patterns in addition and multiplication.

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My almost daily habit of drinking a mocha on the porch swing.  Always a relaxing few minutes before somebody wakes up or interrupts me. 😉

Sweet little Simon napping next to his Jesus doll, which someone gave him as a baptism present.

I took Theresa and Simon out on a walk yesterday during Leo and Silvia’s first day of Vacation Bible School.  Then I tried meal planning on the couch and fell asleep only to wake up and find Theresa had also fallen asleep….on the floor!  Next 2 pictures are the kids at the Boonshoft museum, which Phyllis and I went to while Joe and Phil were out of town (on vacation…ahem).  Last picture is Theresa asleep at Mass.  She fell asleep in the car on the way to church, much to my surprise.  The girl just keeps passing out everywhere. 😆

May with the kids, family and friends

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Simon was finally baptized on May 7th.  Both of our parents made it.   My brother and his family and some friends, plus the godparents.  It was a beautiful day.

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Simon’s getting to be a little troublemaker.  Can it really be starting already???? He bee lines for the stairs so we’ve put up a gate.  He crawls all over and pulls up on everything.  He has just started to stand alone for a few seconds.  In the bottom middle picture, Theresa is pulling him by the legs.  Oy!  This kid takes a lot of crap.  But he’ll be terrorizing the big kids and their toys in no time.

We went to Fort Wayne for Mother’s Day weekend and then the kids and I stayed there while Joe went on a business trip to CA for a week.  We stayed with both sets of parents and had a nice time.  So thankful for their help! And so grateful for the time I got to spend with friends.

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Pizza party after the last day of co-op

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The big kids chasing Theresa with cousin Melanie in the background

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picnic with my family after playing at Shoaff Park

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Cousin Graham

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We had friends over to play and my friend brought a tea set so the kids loved having a tea party!

Leo and Silvia watered the flowers with a spray bottle. In the bottom pictures they are showing off a poem they memorized.  Every day this week we worked on memorizing a poem and a bible verse.  Leo worked on writing upper and lower case letters and learned how to write all his numbers this week.  We got together with friends twice this week and went on a long walk/bike ride.  We’ve had a lot of rain and several tornadoes touched down around our city, but we’ve had a few good days of sunshine and warmth. 🙂

Easter, family, books

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Leo just finished reading his first Magic Tree House book.   Below I caught Leo reading to Silvia all on their own.  I had to run get my camera.  Silvia will sometimes ask Leo to read to her now that he is able to read well enough. At first she was too impatient with his (lack of) speed.  Since Leo is improving by leaps and bounds on his reading, we have turned our focus to writing.

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Simon is 8 months now and started crawling a few weeks ago. He likes to chew on cords. He loves playing with doors. He pushes it open, crawls over to it, pushes it almost closed, crawls over, opens it…repeat. I am red in the face in the top right picture b/c I’d just finished a run.  Simon is going to be a math genius since we are starting him early on the abacus.

The weather has been pretty warm lately, so we’ve gotten out on some strolls/bike rides and gone to the park.  We also went to the Boonshoft museum on Good Friday because I thought we still had co-op that morning and drove downtown to find nobody there. So we made a detour to the museum.  The evening of Good Friday we drove 50 minutes to meet friends in CL at a park to do a Way of the Cross.  Afterwards the kids played while we waited for pizza and ate.  Leo and Silvia made new friends and were having the time of their life.  We were so amazed to see them playing with the other kids as they are so shy! I think being around the kids during the Way of the Cross warmed them up to new people.

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We drove up to Ann Arbor for a day and half over Easter weekend.  My brother was hosting and all of my side of the family made it.  The kids had a blast playing with their cousins and it was cool to be with all my family, even if it did feel like a whirlwind.  There was an Easter Egg hunt and a walk to a neighborhood park.  In one picture, Joe is trying to get Simon to grab the Easter egg up in the tree, but he wouldn’t do it.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve started a new goal of making Sundays a day of rest/family day.  It has been a challenge! There is always so much work that needs to get done around the house and projects to be completed.  So Joe and I worked hard all day Saturday and let the kids join us in the projects.  Pictured above: Sunday we had a lovely day outside playing with the kids and going to the park.

Colorado and Current Events

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A slideshow from our Colorado vacation.  Theresa turned 2 the day we traveled to CO.

Theresa is talking more every day.  She loves to play with Simon and is getting better at playing with Leo and Silvia.  She is doing some cute little 2-year old antics like dragging a step stool around the kitchen to watch me and Joe cooking or doing dishes.  She likes to help in the kitchen and has started helping Leo unload the dishwasher.  She’s been driving me a little crazy though lately as she has been clingy and wanting to be picked up frequently or sit on my lap whenever I sit down or am eating. I’m sure it’s just a short phase….

Simon is a tiny little baby who doesn’t like to eat.  Nevertheless, he’s a happy baby and  squirmy/mobile.  He just started doing something between a crawl and a scoot to reach the objects that he wants.

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This picture cracks me up because Joe is being attacked by all 4 kids.  Really outnumbered.

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We made it to an Ash Wednesday service.  Simon even got ashes.

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A day in the life: grocery shopping with 4 kids

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Sometimes they play together. Sometimes they fight (together).

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On Friday we met Joe at Huffman Park when he got off work.  We went on a family stroll to the edge of a peninsula. 

These sick winter months

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At the end of January we attempted a trip to Indy to visit friends. We were having a lovely time, had put the kids to bed and were playing games, drinking wine and eating no-bake cookies (Yum!).  As we started to get ready for bed, Theresa began coughing and then puked.  And then it just went on all night.  It is no fun having a puking child, but especially when you’re not at home.  Thankfully, our friends were so gracious and helped us clean up the mess and did lots of laundry. We left town early, but our former neighbor girls in Indy still wanted to come with us, so we picked them up. After we got home, nearly everyone in our house came down with some sort of bug one at a time.  Thankfully, most of us started feeling better after about a day.  Theresa was the only one that puked off and on for a week.

Before we knew what was to come of the night….

Theresa’s gotten the hang of the balance bike and wants to ride it instead of the stroller now. Which means our walks are a little slower 😉

Playing at the park a couple blocks from our house

She is saying “shhh” to me.  Whenever I start to sing she tries to “shhhh” me

Getting closer to crawling

One of the few snow days we’ve had.  Not enough snow for a snowman.  I tried.

He spent a while trying to break the ice free

Leo finished his Reading lessons book and is reading books now.  Mostly level 1’s and 2’s.  He can read Danny and the Dinosaur and Nate the Great. But I’m trying to find a book that will get him really  excited. I bought the Story of the World audio cds for us to listen to in the car.  Leo is enjoying it. He has had plenty of “history” this year as he has learned so much about prehistoric animals and the ice age.  But since history is so fun, I thought he’d enjoy Story of the World as well.  Also, I’m in the midst of figuring out a home school room in our house.  And trying to plan curriculum for him for 1st grade.

Theresa’s talking more profusely.  Stringing several words together.  And riding her bike.  Simon is getting more active and is very close to crawling.  Nothing new with Silvia.  🙂

Next post will be about our trip to CO.

Christmas and January 

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A washcloth makes a fun hat

Enjoying a mocha from our espresso maker at home since there doesn’t seem to be any opportunities these days to get out of the house by myself ☕️😍

We were all pretty excited for Christmas vacation in Fort Wayne, but 3 days split between families was crazy/fast

Opening presents on Christmas Eve with Oma & Opa

Watching their cousin open a present at Nana and Pops’ house on Christmas Day

Christmas night back at Oma and Opa’s

Monkey see monkey do. Probably dressing up like Mary

I think they’re going to be friends

 

New Year’s Eve party at friends’ house

 

Leo and Silvia doing “science experiments” from last year’s Christmas present kit

They look too happy to be in jail. (Boonshoft museum)

Order in the court!

 

Digging for fossils

 

Leo is kinda obsessed with the Ice age and pre-historic animals, so he was ridiculously excited when an Ice age exhibit came to Boonshoft. All the animals are animatronics

The kids had a 2 month break from co-op for the holidays, but were happy to get back into it.

I just figured out how to load pictures from my phone directly onto the blog, so hopefully I will update the blog more!