Category Archives: Outdoors play

1st birthday, Home School Activities, Getaway Vacation

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Leo took these pictures.   He impressively got a frown and smile out of Simon.

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The girls love this thing.  Thank you Kroger! 

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Silvia got a visit from the tooth fairy this month!  

Happy 1st birthday to Simon!

I went on a vacation to the lake with my sisters and mom.  It was so nice to hang around other adults who can do everything for themselves. 😉 We went to Put-in-bay, the beach, the pool, putt-putting, and made delicious coffee shakes and cocktails every day.  We watched a movie and played games and read.  Ahhh…..just talking about it relaxes me again.

Top pic:  Leo watches the eclipse through our homemade pinhole viewer

All the sand pics: After listening to the intro to Story of the World, we did one of the suggested activities of burying items that will explain to future civilizations what our generation did for food, entertainment, transportation, tools.  I buried a bunch of things and the kids tried to dig them up like archaeologists.  It was fairly realistic since I forgot where I buried half of them….

Another Story of the World Activity:  Building a hut or shelter out of materials we could find and gather.  We just so happen to have a giant log pile in our yard, so this was pretty easy.  We also pulled up a little moss and leaves and weeds to fill in the holes. Then their shelter was a nice home for their fairies….(top middle and right pictures).

Snapped these pictures a couple days into our first “official” week of homeschooling.  I am mostly following a free Charlotte Mason curriculum this year.  Leo finished another round of swim lessons.  His swim instructor told me he swam across the whole pool and asked if I’d seen it…..Whoops.  Was either on my phone or walking around with Simon. Silvia has been taking a gymnastics class and loving it.

Co-op starts in a few weeks!  Looking forward to it.

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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. 

What we’re Learning

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Home schooling is going well so far.  Leo and Silvia are flying through the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons book.  Leo is probably able to read over 20 Bob books now.  We’re not doing them in order.  I just look at all the Bob books in a box at the library and pick out the ones that have sounds I know Leo can read.  Silvia gets frustrated that she can’t read most of the ones I pick out but she should be able to within a couple months.  She is only about 20 -25 lessons behind Leo. The Teach your Child book is just wonderful and Leo and Silvia are really getting the phonics down before sight words, which I’m happy about.

This week we had a play date with one of the families from the home school co-op who live down the road from us.   They have 13 acres, chickens in their back yard and a creek toward the end of their property.  Their house and property are beautiful and the kids had a great time playing with the boys.  One of her boys is in Leo’s class.  I’m very pleased to have gone there and hope this can be a regular thing.  I’m wondering about dropping Leo off to play with her boys sometime.  Or vice versa.  They’re probably getting to be that age.

Home school co-op has been enjoyable.  Leo is in a K class, and Silvia is in pre-K.  They do an art or music class together and then split into their own grades.  Leo also has a geography and science class.  Silvia has a letters class and a free time to do puzzles or blocks.  I am doing childcare this semester but will be teaching a few classes later on.  Even when I don’t have childcare duties, I tend to hang out in the nursery so Theresa can play and I can talk to the other moms.   It’s kind of a social time for me and the kids are always excited to show me the work they bring home in their binders.  It takes up all of Friday morning so it is good for getting us out of the house at least once a week.  With 2-3 nappers in the house, sometimes I feel like we can’t get out because someone is always napping! On those days, however, we may at least get outside and go for a (nature) walk or ride bikes in the front sidewalk and do yard work together.  Today, the  kids were excited to help me bag the leaves off the back porch and had fun jumping in the leaf piles I made.

Leo is listening to books on cd during his quiet time.  But he’s going through them too fast! He’s completed The Magician’s Nephew, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s birthday, a Winnie the Pooh one, Charlotte’s Web and is almost through Matilda.  Looks like I may need to get some more before his car ride to FL with his grandparents.  Also, Joe and I are reading a few pages at nap time or bed time of the 1st Harry Potter book.

On a side note, here are the only pics I got of the kids trick-or-treating.  That is Theresa the bat who wouldn’t keep her dang hood pulled up.  Below is big girl T sleeping in her toddler bed.  Although she still regularly falls out.  And Simon watching his mobile.  I think he rolled over for the first time in the middle of the night last night.  Haha

Simon is such a sweet and happy baby and has just started sleeping better in his crib. Praise God! And I’ll keep my fingers crossed it continues.

Settling into Life

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Putting up some pictures of what we’ve been up to.  I’ve been so busy that I haven’t actually taken very many pictures!

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From when Simon was probably a week old.

Theresa is at that goofy one year old age.  She is obsessed with putting on everyone’s shoes. She likes to put shirts over or on her head.  One day I took her to Aldi with a bathing suit top around her neck and the bottoms on her head.  I had kinda forgotten about it til we got back to the car and she’d finally thrown the bottoms off her head.

These are pictures from Silvia’s 4th birthday.  I took the kids to the Boonshoft Museum and we had a fun time.  Theresa is modeling her new bling in the last pic.  We didn’t expect it to be large and gaudy, but sometimes these things happen with online shopping. 😉

I’ve managed to get out some. The first full day I had with the kids by myself was when Simon was 1 week.  I knew we had to get out of the house or I’d go crazy.  So we went to the park (top 2 pics).  I actually brought an ice pack to sit on with a towel on the bench. lol  Still sore at that point. Bottom left is from a walk/bike ride the kids and I did to find a new playground in the neighborhood.  Bottom right was a nice day in which I took some books outside to read to Leo and Silvia (and Simon) while Theresa napped.

Simon smiles and coos and is a pretty happy baby.  He was sleeping well, but not lately.  He’s been waking 3-4 times at night for the past week, so I’m pretty tired!

We just joined the Y!  I am going to sign up for a 4 mile race on Thanksgiving and am starting to train for it.  Plus I really want to lose the baby weight so I won’t be in maternity clothes for another 6 months! The first night we went as a family on a Friday and just missed the childwatch hours.  So I did a run and then sat with sleeping Simon while Joe and the kids swam.

This weekend Joe took Leo and Silvia to a mountain bike trail to ride.  They were so excited and want to go back.  Joe took Theresa’s seat off the balance bike so she could walk around with it.  She was always upset that she couldn’t ride a bike like Leo and Silvia, so this is keeping her happy.

Life has been pretty crazy and busy, but I’m settling in, and so far no PPD.  We did some travelling the first few weeks postpartum and we realized it was too much too soon, and it’s getting more difficult to travel with 4 little ones.  I had help from my parents-in-law and my parents for the first week,so  Joe didn’t have to take off any time from work. I hope we can have a vacation at some point! The kids are all adjusting well to Simon.  Theresa has improved with her gentleness.  Probably the thing I find hardest is 1) lack of sleep and 2)all the housework.  Turns out there is just a lot of dishes, laundry, chaos and messes with a family of 6, and Simon doesn’t even add anything to dishes yet!