Tag Archives: birthday

She turned 5! And catching up on September



Silvia and cousin Graham had a fun mutual birthday party at Nana and Pop’s house in Fort Wayne. She was all too eager to put on her new nail polish and jewelry from Aunt Danielle and Catherine.

Baby Graham was not impressed with his birthday cupcake, but still had fun playing and enduring the torture from his cousins (Melanie not excluded). To pick out presents for their sister, Joe took Leo and Theresa to Goodwill. Leo did an excellent job finding a pony for Silvia. Theresa did an excellent job as well. However, Theresa was a little surprised that all those gifts she picked out were for Silvia…

Saturday morning coffee, back-yard jam-session!


Finally, all her hair fits in a pony, but it doesn’t last long.


This couch serves as Simon’s climbing wall. Lately, he’s been plopping off the back-side only to moan and whine 10 seconds later that he’s all alone and stuck.


Oh come on Simon, Theresa is a professional stroller walker….you’ll be fine…

Trying to make the best out of the dwindling days of summer, we picnicked at Garfield park. The older kids were not interested in soccer, so Joe set up races for Leo and Silvia, while the “babies” and I stayed in the shade.


It took several wipe-outs from Theresa before she realized that plastic wheels and tight-turns don’t go well together.

Silvia took a gymnastics class in August.  She really liked it and Simon and Theresa had fun playing in the kids area right next to her class. Leo completed a swim class in July as well.

The kids just finished the first 5 week semester of co-op.  They are both really enjoying it this year.  I taught 1st/2nd grade math which was one of Leo’s classes.  Next semester I’ll be teaching a humanities class for 3rd/4th graders.  I think my teaching partner and I will be doing a Little House on the Prairie study with them.

Homeschooling has been going fine so far.  My only problem is that I haven’t been as consistent as I’ve liked.  I unfortunately chose to remove wall paneling in our family room, which created a big project.  Our family room is still out of commission…which is annoying since it’s the homeschool room.  But I think we’re pretty much caught up on the days we missed and I am still really enjoying it.  I just finished reading what I think is the original version of Pinocchio to the kids.  It was over 250 pages, but excellent.  Numerous lessons to be learned from it.  Leo can swallow whole books in days if he gets into it.  He finished a Boxcar children book and a book on the Titanic.  I got 4 Rick Jr. magazines from the library and he read them all in 1 afternoon.  Lol

Silvia is 70% of the way through “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons”.  She’s been doing great with it and has begun to read some Bob books for extra practice.  I think she’ll finish the reading lessons and move on to real books in the next couple months.

Leo does copywork almost every day for writing practice.  We read short stories every week, play math games or Leo does a math worksheet.  Silvia and I use the abacus or play a card game in which we try to “make 10”.  I think Leo is at a 2nd grade level in math.  He can tell time and count money and add double digits.  I made the kids these jars to help them work on money management:

Being the antithesis of a “crafty” woman, this tiny project meant that the after-lunch dishes were neglected 🙂

As every adult knows, the amount of housework is never-ending, but for me, to work on anything other than my typical chores and homeschool is to get behind in some other area.  I suppose in my desperation for help, I will hopefully teach the kids chores at a young age as an investment in their future ability to help me keep the house clean and tidy.

We’ve been so busy with projects, visitors, trips, book clubs, bible clubs, CL.  Our former Indy neighbors stayed with us for a couple days.  It was great to have them.  I think that with our super-involved lives we live, I need to come up with a really good rhythm for our evenings.  Sometimes there are 2 or 3 events in a week that Joe or I attend.  It’s been great for building friendships though! There are so many intelligent, thoughtful, interesting women in the book clubs I attend.  And Joe is beginning to make friends in a Bible study.  🙂


1st birthday, Home School Activities, Getaway Vacation


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


The girls love this thing.  Thank you Kroger! 


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 😆

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.



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


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


A day in the life: grocery shopping with 4 kids


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


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. 

Settling into Life


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!


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!


June days in pictures


Leo had a birthday in June so we had some friends over and had a little party. Here are the pictures from that.  The kids like the new sports equipment he got. (T-ball and soccer net).  Joe has been kicking the soccer ball around with them several nights a week. Also, Leo and Silvia like to race around the outside perimeter of the house while Joe tracks their time.

My cousin discovered a cool park that we’ve gone to a couple times now.  I’ve never seen a sandpit as big as the one they have, but I forgot to get a picture of it.  It has a water pump in the middle so the kids can make little valleys with water.  Leo spends the majority of his time there.  They also have a splash pad and a variety of contraptions to climb. Here are the kids playing, although the last one is Theresa at a different park:

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We’ve been spending most of our afternoons outside playing in our backyard or deck. The deck is mostly shaded so sometimes I camp out there and read a book.  We’ll eat lunch out there and frequently read a book on the swing after the kids wake up from naps.  I was trying to read the boxcar children books with Leo, along with starting Harry Potter, but it was just too much reading and Theresa and Silvia were sometimes impatient.  I do feel a little motivated to keep working with Leo on literacy skills so he can read by himself.  Also, I just got some audio books from the library so I can delegate the reading to “someone else”.


Theresa can now climb up the slide by herself.

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They love to push Theresa on the swing and try to make her laugh.

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Purple hearts with letters written on it to practice letter sounds.

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Silvia working on numbers.  When they got it right, they could put the heart in their truck.

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counting, addition/subtraction and numbers

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I’ve really not been doing much “formal” educational stuff with them lately, so one afternoon while Theresa was napping, I worked on letters with Leo and numbers with Silvia.

During our weekend in Ft. Wayne, Leo learned how to tread water and “swim”…aka doggie paddle to the sides of the pool.  He was even brave enough to go off the diving board.  The last picture is with their grandma, who took them for two glorious days so Joe and I could have a couple days to ourselves before the baby comes and life gets even crazier.   I mostly just accomplished some things off my to-do list, but it was still nice to have some peace and quiet 😉

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