Wednesday, July 24, 2019

backyard fun

The last day of school for the girls was relatively uneventful.  They both cried - Kylie because she would miss her friends, and Summer because she would miss her teacher.  But those tears soon dried when they realized all of the fun that was to be had this summer.

Roscoe was feeling pretty good about warmer weather too :)

We began the summer with a project.  Last fall during a big storm our trampoline hopped the fence and landed in our neighbors' yard.  The legs became slightly bent and the netting was shredded in multiple places.  Not wanting to get rid of our slightly used trampoline, we salvaged what we could and decided to create an in-ground trampoline.

The kids were so excited and helped however they could (which often meant that they were on London duty so Josh and I could get some work done).

After a solid day of removing the top layer of sod, we began to realize just what a huge undertaking this project would be.  We recruited the help of a friend from church who owned a tractor with a backhoe.  Oh man, he saved the day!

It was SOOO much work - made even more difficult by a long stint of bad weather, kids being home all day everyday, the Memorial Day holiday, and travel plans - but it has been so worth it.  The kids play on the trampoline every single day.  Good job, Josh :)

Our spring seemed to last a lot longer this year than normal so we were incredibly grateful when it finally warmed up!  

London was fascinated by the blossoms on the trees and the petal dust in the grass.  It was so fun to see how London reacted to to everything outside: leaves, blossoms, dandelions, grass, etc.  She really enjoys being outside and this time she could wander the backyard however she pleased, as opposed to the previous fall when she was just learning to sit on her own.

The fun was just beginning!

pre-k grad

The end of the school year was extra exciting for a certain 5-year-old boy.  It marked the end of an era, with the promise of a bright future ahead.  

The end-of-year program showcased what the kids had learned throughout the year.  Jackson got to recite a bible verse that he had memorized (Psalms 118:24).  

I was amazed by his newfound confidence!  Last year he hardly cracked a smile or sang a single word during his entire program.  This time it was quite a different experience.  We were both thrilled about that.

At the end of the program each child got to walk across the stage and give their teachers a hug.  The Pre-K kiddos wore their little graduation caps and collected a "diploma".  I got a kick out of Jackson - so stoic and nonchalant when it was his turn to take the stage.

But he was all smiles once he reached his teachers!  

And just like that we have another child done with preschool.  I wish I would have been more diligent about documenting the little details of Jackson's school year.  Here are just a few fun noteworthy things:

- His teachers' names were Miss Dianne and Miss Shannon, but he pronounced them Diamme and Shammon.

- He also mispronounced a few of his classmates' names, including Drude (Drew) and Bucket (Beckett).

- He had half a peanut butter sandwich (no jelly), an applesauce, a Go-gurt, and some pringles almost everyday. 

- Whenever I picked him up after school, he would greet me with a giant smile and a hug. He was just as eager to ask about my day as he was to tell me about his.

- When it was warm enough to have outdoor recess, he liked to play Power Rangers or Zombies (?).  When they had indoor recess he LOVED to play basketball in the gym.

- He liked to be in charge of selecting songs on the way to preschool each morning.  Some of his favorites included "Seven Years", "Uptown Funk", and various songs from the Trolls soundtrack.

I can't believe this boy will be starting Kindergarten in a matter of weeks!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

easter 2019

We had some of our favorite people come and stay with us for Easter weekend.  The excitement is almost palpable during the days leading up to Grandma and Grandad's visit.  This time the excitement was at an all-time high because Uncle Kramer would be coming too!  Kramer even brought his fish.

The weekend went by fast but we made it a point to spend a little time at TopGolf.  We played a little shuffleboard while we waited for our bay to be ready.  Jackson was a pro at it, probably because he's used to sliding Hot Wheels cars around the floor at home.

Chynna, London's birth mom, was able to be there too.  It was so special to have her with us.

We sure love these guys! 

We sent the kids on a little scavenger hunt around the house so they could find their Easter baskets.  It's always fun watching them work together.

We had a wonderful time celebrating Easter with family.  I love Easter; it's one of my favorite holidays.  I'm so grateful for Jesus Christ, for his love, compassion, kindness and sacrifice.  Because of Him I'm able to live life to the fullest with these amazing people.

april happenings

We kicked off the month of April with Spring Break, staycation style.  We tried to venture out and do one fun thing each day.  The biggest hit was definitely bowling.  It was interesting to see the kids' "methods" when rolling the ball down the lane: Kylie, though left-handed, would bowl with her right; Summer preferred to drop the ball {dangerously close to her toes at times}; and Jackson liked to roll the ball granny style.  

A close second on our list of favorites was exploring Holliday Park.  Although there are 3 playgrounds, a nature center, and a splash pad in the warmer months, the kids preferred the hiking trails.  Josh and I really like hiking too so we invested in a carrying backpack for LoLo.  Worth every penny.

Spring was a little late to arrive this year so I was thrilled when I started seeing blossoms on the trees.  I love spring.

I'm not sure what these two were chatting about but it must have been interesting.

Some of us were still in hibernation mode :)  When Josh was napping one Sunday afternoon, London found the perfect spot to place Jackson's teddy bear.  I had to capture it.

I'm slowly building my photography business but I'll admit I'm not as diligent as I should be.  I did, however, offer spring mini sessions (a 15 minute stylized photo session for families).  The kids were more than happy to model the set up for me.

We celebrated Easter (more on that later).

After a year and a half of leading the Activity Day girls at church on my own, I finally got a co-leader!  She is so dang fun.  The girls loved the healthy habits activity that she led: a scavenger hunt, yoga, and smoothies.

As the school year began to wind down, the kids got to participate in various spirit days.  Jackson was super excited to wear his Captain America costume for Superhero Day.  We even made a quick trip to Barnes & Noble after school - just me and my favorite superhero.

Amidst photo shoots, school events, yard work and all the other things spring brings, we took Roscoe to the vet for his semi-annual checkup.  He rarely gets to ride in the car, much less ride shotgun, so he was pretty pleased about that.  Never a dull moment, I tell you.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

{our} march madness

The world slowly started to thaw outside.  Although it stayed chillier than is typical for March, we were all happy to venture outside whenever we could.  It was odd bringing London out for the first time because she was walking.  The last time we had brought her outside the previous fall, she was barely sitting on her own.  Suddenly she had places to be.

Her 15 month checkup went by without a hitch.  Still short and stocky :)

I decided to take an Ancestry DNA test.  I still haven't delved too deep into the results but I still found it fascinating.  When Josh saw that my results came back 52% Great Britain and Northwestern Europe he said, "Well, I guess you're not exactly HALF black, are you?"  Good one, Josh.

While the weather may have been atypical, our family's pattern of sickness wasn't.  One kid got sick and passed it to me, I passed it to another kid who passed it back to me, etc. It felt like we were sick for months.  At one point we had Influenza A and B in our house, not to mention the sporadic days of symptom-less fevers mixed in.  After missing an entire week of school, Kylie and I were over it.  Nothing heals the soul like some good ole Starbucks.

Summer had a music showcase one evening at school.  It was fun to watch her share what she had learned throughout the year.

In addition to her weekly music class at school, Summer began attending a ukulele class once a month at the public library.  She enjoyed it but she quickly realized that it would require some practice before she felt comfortable with it.


I am still the Activity Day leader at church so I get to hold bi-weekly activities for the 8-11-year-old girls.  They are so fun.  I often find random selfies on my phone at the end of the night.  

Josh, London and I went out for brunch one morning at a place called Rosie's in downtown Noblesville.  It definitely lived up to the hype.  Not only was the food delicious but the restaurant itself has a really cool rustic vibe.  It's a new favorite of ours.

The end of the month marked the beginning of Spring Break.  Although we weren't traveling anywhere, we were excited to trade in our usual cares for ones like How early is too early to pop open the whipped cream?