Tag Archives: neighbors

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.  🙂


July Family Vacation and More


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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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



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.


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).


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


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


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!

These sick winter months


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.

2 vacations, a day trip and visitors….July


We started off July with a visit to Columbus for a 4th of July 5k run for Joe and a kid’s run in which Eliana and Leo participated.  Silvia bailed last minute.  The kids had a great time playing with our friends, the Bonds, and we spent a few hours at their house after the race.


All 5 of them playing at the park while the dads ran.  Waiting for the kids’ race.

File_000 (14)

Lunch at the Bond’s house


Leo and Silvia were enjoying giving Theresa wagon rides down our street.

File_000 (10)File_000 (9)

File_000 (8)

Leo participated in a free Safety around water class at the Y, which they didn’t actually teach much swimming, but he still enjoyed

File_000 (7)

It was just Theresa, Joe and I for 3 days when Leo and Silvia went to Ft. Wayne with their grandparents and cousins.


Thankfully the kids made it to the zoo this summer at the Ft. Wayne zoo


At the Ft. Wayne zoo with their cousin Zain


Their grandparents took them and their cousins to trampoline park

File_000 (6)

I sadly only have 1 picture from the CL weekend vacation at Clifty Falls State Park.  I guess we were just too busy DOING.

File_000 (5)

Our former neighbors from Indy came for another visit.  Jemima reading to Theresa

File_000 (3)

The homeschool co-op group we’re apart of hosted the summer Olympics.  Leo & Silvia didn’t win anything, but here is a photo op of them pretending like they did.

File_000 (4)

One of the games was the balance beam (in background)

File_000 (2)

Silvia and Theo are 5 weeks apart and played together some this past weekend at the 1st Rose vacation at Lake Erie


Theresa and Cora (who is behind her) are 6 months apart.  Not playing together yet


And here’s a few pics from the Lake Erie vacation.  It has been a very busy July.  August is looking like it’ll be just as busy.  Oh yea, and August will most likely include a new baby as well.  EEEkkk!