Friday, May 29, 2015

Our Memorial Day Weekend

We went to visit our good friends in Virginia for Memorial Day weekend.  We hit two parties while there, a birthday party and a Memorial Day party too.  It was a lot of fun and a long awaited trip by the children.

 We even got the first two swims of the year covered while there.  It was cold in the water, but not too bad once you got used to it.

Drew with the Birthday Boy
 The birthday boy said, when asked how being 4 years old felt, told me that it was so cool to be older than Drew now.  :)

The girls are way outnumbered between our two families.  Out of the ten kids (counting our Bobby) there are only these three girls, but how very pretty they are.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

AHG Award Ceremony

Genevieve was a Tenderheart this year, and Hannah was an Explorer.  Genna has been so sad to be separated from her sister this year (not only in this activity, but in German school and golf as well.)  She has been looking forward to this day for a long time.

Hannah with all the Explorers awaiting their awards

Genna got her Sacagawea Award this year and is bridging to become an Explorer during this ceremony.

The Troop Picture

My Girls

The Explorer Table

These are the dresses the Explorers made for Africa.  They learned to read a pattern and cut out the fabric.  They also learned to embroider or applique and added that to the trim or a pocket.  Moms sewed the dresses together.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

He's a lover, not a fighter.

Judah really likes to wear things around his neck and has also been enjoying cars and trucks lately.

Judah  runs to console anyone who is crying with a hug.  It cheers just about everybody up too, because who doesn't want a hug from this guy?  He is a sweet hugger like Genna was and is.  Though he will pull a punch (literally, fist closed every time) if someone is doing something he really doesn't like and the customary scream did not repel them successfully.

Snack with Mom

I love this smile!

Judah loves his Grumpy Cat.  Usually he waits in the bed, but sometimes Judah requests he comes for a car ride too.

Judah really likes to wear other people's shoes.

Hanging Out, Waiting for Mom to Read a Bedtime Story

Trying Out the Handicap Swing

He thought the big handicap swing was better.

Waiting for Food
 Judah is 21 months now.  He sings songs and dances.  Some of the amusing songs we have caught him singing are, "Bye, Bye Miss American Pie" and "I'm so fancy," which is the only line any of us know from that song.  He still generalizes for a lot of things...every color is blue, every shape is a triangle, and every Sesame Street character is Elmo.

Hugging One of His Best Buds

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Genna's Camp Out Birthday Party

Genevieve and I came up with the idea to have an outdoor camp out party in our backyard.  It seemed like a good idea, keep all the kids outside and out of the house.  Especially since there were going to be 25 kids there plus adults.  Then there was the threat of rain.  We prayed that the rain would hold off until 5pm which was when the party was going to be ending.

For food, of course, it was hot dogs on the grill.  We had fruit, veggies, and chips too.  And what is a camp out without S'mores and a fire pit.  (No pictures of the S'more fiasco because Brian and I were way too busy!)  I also made an allergy cake (pineapple) in a pan for my Judah and in case anyone wanted something other than chocolate.

Campfire Chocolate Cake:  I made my regular chocolate cake, but used store bought icing.  If ever I am dieting that is the way to go.  I love my chocolate cake, but do not love store bought chocolate icing.  Anyway, I used walnuts for the rocks, kit-kat bars for the logs, and two Starburst that I formed into a fire.  Overall, a very easy cake to make compared to some past cakes which is just what I needed to avoid standing in the kitchen for a long time.

Genevieve requested I make my fruit "cake" again like I did at her American Girl party two years ago.

Drinks were lemonade and punch which the kids sucked down very quickly because it got crazy hot.  It had been beautiful 60-70 degree weather for several days, but this is the day it warmed up to over 80.  I had Brian bring out a fan for me to sit under in our gazebo.

The favors were these Mason jars with lids, straws, and a chalkboard sticker to write names on.  They doubled as their drink cups during the party.

The chalkboard sticker came with a chalkboard marker that is erasable with water.
 Genna ran the games because I am the size of a house and had no better plans.  :)

Cake Time!

My beautiful birthday girl who is always so grateful had a wonderful time!
 And then it 5:03pm.  Prayers answered.  And the party came crashing inside!

Genna opened her presents and that was about it.  Immediately after the party, there was an American Heritage Girls camp out that Daddy took the girls to.  The rain ended up stopping soon after they got there.  All's well that ends well!  Although I think Daddy wouldn't have minded a bit if the AHG camp out had been rained out.  In the end he had a pretty good time, but he was worn out. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Peace on the Deck

The girls weeded for Daddy with the promise of Ritas for dessert on Friday.  Isaac was not feeling well with his allergies and took a 3 hour nap so he missed out on all the work.

I was working on preparing for Genna's birthday party in the kitchen when I heard the sweetest sound of all of my oldest four children in the same space giggling and getting along all together.  So often these days they separate into two groups.  It was nice to see them so happy together!  I had to take a picture to remember the moment.  Plus, Drew and Hannah in the same chair!  These days that is unheard of.  Hannah and Drew are my two bossiest (Cholerics) and butt heads a lot with their strong wills.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

My Little Angel

I caught this guy sitting in front of our altar with his puppy looking at a wooden picture of Jesus and Mary.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Happy 9th Birthday, Genevieve!

Genevieve picked biscuits and eggs for breakfast.  She requested that we do less schoolwork, so we eliminated some subjects for the day that we aren't in desperate need of doing to finish in early June.  Then she wanted to open her gifts that came in the mail when she finished school early.

I asked that Hannah and Isaac take her chores for the day and split them up.  She kept asking me if she could at least wash her own dish.  She said she felt "too pampered."  She is such a sweetheart!  I don't know what I would do without her!

She opened gifts from us after rest/nap time and everyone headed outside to play with her new Nerf bow and arrow.  Isaac has a similar one so that had a little game going.  I made churro waffles and eggs since we went out to dinner when daddy could join us on Sunday evening.  Then we went to Ritas for Italian the rain.  She kept saying what a wonderful day she had.  She is such a grateful child!  It was such a simple day and yet she was so very pleased and honored.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

"Why does that one get to have hair?"

Someone asked me that after church not too long ago about Drew.  I had to answer that his daddy loves it and won't let me cut it.  Truthfully, I love it too as does everyone else.  He's been inspiring mothers all over to let their son's hair grow a bit to see if it looks like Drew's.

One of the funny things Drew always says wrong that is not related to his speech issue is the phrase "figure out."  He says "figure eight."  It is adorable to listen to him tell me, "Mom, I just need to figure eight it."  I love it!

He's only been to two speech classes so far due to spring break, school testing, and our recent trip.  However, using a mirror she got Drew to bounce his tongue and make the /k/ sound already which he has never ever done before.  This was super encouraging, but so far at home we still need the mirror to repeat the sound.  No mirror and it still comes out like a /t/.  But that's okay!  One step at a time.  I'm hoping he can make a lot of progress in the next month and a half, before summer, since he does so much better in class than with me at home.

Update to his speech:  Since writing this (and forgetting to post it) Drew had another speech class.  When we got there, he told his teacher the two sounds that he was supposed to be working on at home, and then promptly asked her, "Can you teach me to say 'milt?'"  My eyes filled up with tears because just that morning he had me thinking he was saying "melt" when he was really saying "milk" and it took me a while to catch it.   She helped him for a couple of minutes and did get him to say "milk" correctly one time.  He was so excited.  During class he actually learned to use the /k/ and /g/ sound in words if he repeats it.  We're still along way from using them in spontaneous speech, but I was so proud of him that I took him to get an extra special treat, a smoothie, after class.  He came home and said, "Otay," to me and I asked him to "fix it."  He then said, "Okay," and his brother and sisters went crazy.  They had never heard him say a word correctly with the /k/ sound in it.  It was a priceless moment.

Drew got to go on his first overnight camping trip with Isaac and Daddy (for Isaac's cub scouts.)  He loved it.  The cutest story was about when they finally got into their tents and jammies.  He laid down in his PJs on top of his sleeping bag, arms down by his side, and said, "Dad, can I have a blantet?"  Brian explained to him how you unzip the sleeping bag and get in.  He got in and exclaimed, "Oh, I love tamping!!!  This is so great!!!"

I also heard a rumor that he trudged along without complaining, and that was better than some of the bigger kids on the hike.

Isaac had a blast too!  They've both been recovering ever since though.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Few Loose Ends from Our Trip

I found this floating suit for Drew at the thrift store and he loves it.  He got to borrow one at the end of last summer from his cousin and so I knew he liked this kind of suit.  He thinks it's his armor and encourages siblings to punch him so he can proudly announce that it "doesn't even hurt."

The place we stayed had a nice indoor pool.  We took the kids swimming twice during our stay.  Isaac was nervous that he couldn't swim anymore, but after I worked with him a few minutes he could swim across the pool without stopping or touching.  His stroke needs some work though.

Happy baby in the pool!
 Judah kept asking to get down when I first took him in the pool.  He didn't understand that he would sink.  So I took him under a bunch of times and he didn't choke once.  He also really didn't mind it, and it solved the problem of him asking to get down.

Judah was totally happy to hang out in the stroller while we walked around Williamsburg for a while.  The ring pop I got him made it even sweeter.