Monday, August 30, 2010

Day one

Today Audrey started first grade.

She was SO excited. And she had a great day!

Mommy, on the other hand? Well, I had a few good boo-hoo moments. For some reason, Audrey being gone ALL DAY seems so ... I don't know, it is just a big deal to me.

I just kept reminding myself that my job is to help my children becoming increasingly independent ... and that my children are always in God's loving hands.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sick, sick and sick

That would be Audrey ... Carter ... and now Chloe.

UGH. UGH. and more UGH!

I hate being so housebound! But if there is a silver lining ... at least they are sick this week, and not next week for Audrey's first week of school.

Say a prayer for me! Please!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Week in review

So I have been on an unintentional blogging hiatus this past week. Too, too busy to blog. And I kinda wish I had taken more pictures of the various activities ... but sometimes I just want to stop trying to capture the moments with the camera and just live the moments instead.

So this past week included:

A visit with my Aunt Deb & Uncle Dave who were in town from Illinois. They were kind enough to house me for 2 years while I was in grad school. It was so great to see them and catch up with them! We had a beautiful evening with them and the rest of my family out on my parents' deck (until one of my children had a massive overtired meltdown but moving right along ...)

Fun at the pool with some friends ... will we go again before school starts? Don't know but I know the kids are wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin'...

Chloe turned 13 months. She is changing so much lately ... but that's another blog post.

Lunch with the kids at Chick-fil-A. For free. Gotta love FREE.

Fun with our little friend Micah who came over while his Mommy got her first ultrasound of his new sis or bro!

A trip to the store for a new backpack, lunch bag, etc. Audrey is oh-so-excited to start school!

A really fun Mexican fiesta with our neighbors. (Have I mentioned that we have great neighbors??) Now this event I did take pictures of!

Daddy & Chloe

I am amused at how Chloe just runs with the big kids like she's one of them.

No fiesta is complete without a homemade taco pinata filled with everyone's leftover candy and cheap crap toys. The kids were none the wiser... ;)

The kids waiting for their turn to swat the pinata.

Audrey takes a swing.

Carter with his loot.

Next up was the bike obstacle course.

And last was ... a messy science experiment?
What happens when you mix a 2 liter of diet coke with 7 mint mentos?

A big huge geyser of diet coke.
How does this fit into the fiesta theme?
Don't know but the kids LOVED. IT.

Last night we took my parents out for their 40th anniversary. Only this was their 41st anniversary this year. What can I say, last year this time I had a newborn and we just couldn't manage it. So this year it was ... we went to Maggiano's and ate way too much food but it was amazing as usual! Happy 41 years Mom & Dad! And a big shout out to my brother Andy who watched all three kids for us. He deserves a prize.

So after such a fun week ... well, now comes the downer. Audrey & Carter woke up this morning with fevers (there is virus going through the neighborhood and looks like we caught it). Actually, Audrey isn't all that bad so far, but poor Carter is definitely down for the count. Today he was watching TV and next thing I know this is what I saw:
He slept from noon until 4:30 and then was back in bed at 8. Poor little guy. :(

Looks like this week will be off to a slow start. Maybe that's just what we need after a busy one and as we prepare for school to start next week!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

This time last year

This time last year, I was staying in the hospital with this poor little thing who was battling viral meningitis at 3 weeks of age.

And today, I am praising God that this is what she looks like now. Every time I think about taking her to the hospital for all those tests and not knowing what the outcome might be, I get weepy because I am so thankful that she is alive and healthy and happy and smiley and a great big joy to our family.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A day at the farm

This summer the moms in our church have been having a once-a-week playgroup on Friday mornings. Our attendance has been really hit or miss but this week the group was going to the Upper Schuylkill Valley Park, which is a cute little farm right on the Schuylkill River. There are a few random animals and birds which - to a grown-up - are not all that exciting. You know, turkeys, deer (which I could see hundreds of down the road at Valley Forge National Park), owls, bunnies, guinea pigs, goats, foxes, etc. I pondered not even going since the sky was looking pretty gloomy. But this morning as we pulled into the parking lot Audrey yelled from the back of the van "Ooh, I love this place!" So glad we decided to go! The kids had a really fun time with some friends, and as the pictures will show - the best part was not the farm at all but splashing around on the riverbanks! Seven out of eight children came home wet. :) The one dry child was Chloe, because Mommy doesn't let the one year old play in the river!

Getting a better view of the goat ...
(although I personally like the view of the 4 cute backsides better than the goat!)

Chloe enjoying the ride ... maybe next year she'll be climbing the fence too.

If there's a puddle to be found, the kids will find it!
Fortunately they wore their boots...

We were riding down a hill and instead of holding on tight ... Chloe kept putting both hands way up in the air. Like I've said before - I think she is gonna be a rollercoaster kind of girl...

The kids running for the water. I love the view here!

As previously stated - glad we went with the boots today...

Throwing rocks into the water was a favorite activity.

Audrey and Abigail wading in together.

Chloe really wanted to join in on the water fun.

One soaking wet little boy!
Oh well, it's only yucky river water, right?

I'm writing lots of these summer fun posts because before you know it, our lives will be - school, homework, bedtime, repeat. Gotta soak up all the fun because our summer days are numbered!

Warning: Grossness alert

You just had to look with a title like that didn't you???

The latest quote of the day from my smart little boy:

[I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. Truly.]

Carter, after using the bathroom: "Mommy, my poo-poo look like the Washington Monument!"

Umm, why ... yes, it kind of does. Ick! (and a quick flush of the toilet ...)

Yes, he is a little smarty. And DEFINITELY a boy.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A new 'do

Somehow I managed to get Chloe's wisps of hair into 2 little piggytails today.

Does it get any cuter than that?? I could just eat her up with those little sprouts coming out of the side of her head!!

Although it makes her look like a different kid ... a more grown-up one. She is changing like lightning this month. Seriously - she started walking and has turned into a full-blown toddler. It's like walking has opened up a whole new world of independence for her.

I enjoy her growing up ... I just hope that things don't change TOO fast. :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

New friends

While we were in Ocean City, the kids made some new friends.

Their names are Shelly and Sebastian. The kids liked them so much they wanted to adopt them into our family! So ... well, how can you say 'no' to 2 cute and cuddly ... hermit crabs?

Audrey's hermit crab, Shelly, was named thus because - well, because she lives in a shell.

And Sebastian, Carter's hermit crab, was named after the crab in Little Mermaid. (Can you tell he had some help from his sister in coming up with that name??)

Audrey & Carter are doing a great job of taking care of them so far. As I said to Chad - If you're going to have a pet, it doesn't get much easier than a hermit crab!

Thankfully, Audrey's moment-by-moment commentary on what the crabs are up to has ceased after a few days of non-stop running into the kitchen exclaiming "The crabs are climbing their cage!" or "Carter's crab is eating all the food and not leaving any for Shelly!" or "The crabs are sleeping!" or "They knocked over the food dish!" etc, etc, ad nauseum. :)

The kids and their cage of crabs ... those are 2 happy little faces. The kids, that is - not the crabs!
The hermit crabs are probably dreaming of the sea ... but at least they have pretty purple and red painted shells to live in with 2 kids who love them a lot!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summer Vaca @ Ocean City, NJ

This year we spent 5 days in Ocean City, NJ. I know it is so cliche to go "down the shore" for vacation when you live here on the east coast ... but I just love it. It is the perfect vacation to take with kids. There's the beach - with water fun and the biggest sandbox any kid could want to play in. There's the boardwalk - filled with rides, mini golf, arcade games, and lots of yummy food. And the whole attitude in being there is just chill. No hurrying, no big agendas ... just lots of simple fun.

We took Chad's parents along with us this year and we all had a fun time together. Chad and I even got a night out by ourselves! Our place that we rented was a bit farther from the beach than we would have liked, but it was clean, nice, and affordable. No worries.

I uploaded a lot of pictures here because I just want to remember lots of the highlights. Sorry if it is overkill for anyone reading ...

I want to try to take a picture like this with the kids every year that we go to the shore. I think it will be fun to see how everyone changes! However, this is the best picture I could get this year ... one posing child, one scowling child, one crying child. Ah, memories.

Playing ...

Perfecting the fine art of the drippy castle.

Carter was happy to fetch water for Audrey over and over and over again.

Chloe loved the beach!

Writing in the sand.

Doing fancy jumps into our own man-made "pool"

Riding the rides at Jillian's

The hot air balloon ride seemed to be a fave.

The picture quality here is awful, but just look at the kids' faces! Joy!

The family and one uncooperative boy.

Carter's getting his first mini golf lesson from Mommy. I have to say - I stink at most "sports" but I am half decent at mini golf. ;)

Maybe he needs more lessons. I don't think that is how I taught him to hold the putter ... but he was having too much fun to care about his golf form.

Miss Audrey golfing.
Chloe was taking a walk on the boards with Grandma and Grandpa.

Align Center
Chloe's walking really took off while we were away. She had great fun walking around this counter and playing peek a boo with Grandma.

Chad and I on our date having some much needed time alone.

The kids with Grandma & Grandpa before they left.
Really, Chloe does love Grandma, despite the fuss she is making in this picture.

Boo hoo that vacation is over for the year. :(
But we are already making some plans for next summer - potentially a week at the shore with my parents and a trip to the Poconos with Chad's family! Hope it all works out! :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"It's a sunny day ... "

"... and I thank God for the weather." Anyone remember that old song? It totally describes today. Warm, sunny ... and not hot and humid for the first time in I don't know how long. If more summer days were like today, I would like summer a whole lot more!

We just finished up a busy week of sandy, dirty vacation laundry, trips to the pool, playing with friends, and VBS. Fortunately, we didn't really have anything scheduled today so we ended up having a low-key but fun day.

This morning we headed to the park and played with the kids there for an hour or so, came home for lunch, and Carter & Chloe took naps (Carter slept three hours. Perhaps this is why he was running around like a banshee at 9 pm this evening?) Then we went to Chick-fil-a for dinner and some fun in the play area. Now that Chloe is walking, even she got in on the fun there. After that we headed to Milky Way Farm and checked out the farm animals and had some of their delicious homemade ice cream. It was a beautiful night to be outside and it makes my heart happy to make a few more fun memories with the kids.

Amazing. Everyone is looking AND smiling. :)

Walking around the farm.

We even saw a few hot air balloons in the sky.

Stinky pigs.

Stinky chickens.

And a stinker boy.
But a cute stinker boy.

Enjoying some ice cream.

Do you think she liked the ice cream? ;)