Thursday, August 30, 2012

GVES Back-to-School Night at the YMCA

Last Friday, the PTA had a Back to School night at the YMCA water park, and the whole family could get in for the price of one PTA membership (a pretty good deal for $10, if you ask me, especially considering the normal admission price).  So we we had a fun, fun night playing in the water.  Michael LOVED the tall water slides, and we all enjoyed ourselves at the water park.  
Kids ready to get their swim on 

Kate has grown out of her swimsuit, but she still insists on wearing it, since she adores the flowers on it and the skirt.  Next year, I will have to insist that she wear her new one.  Kate is skittish in the water, but she enjoyed watching the boys.  

David enjoyed the splash pad as well.  
 David had fun in the water with the Puddle Jumper life jacket that the Y supplied.  Where have these been all my life?!  They keep child afloat while naturally keeping them in the swimming position.  We will be investing in these next year when the two younger ones learn to swim. 
Not many pictures of Michael, since he was a flash of lightning jumping from one exciting aquatic adventure to another.  He had such a great time!  

What a Great Daddy!

Jon is such a good Daddy.  The kids adore him, and he loves spending time with them.  Michael and Jon have bonded over a tank shooting game on the Wii, and they work together on that often.  They make a good team. 
There's nothing like a sweet little girl to take a big, tough man and make him an expert hair brusher.

This pic is dark, but it shows so clearly how much David adores his Daddy.  He ALWAYS drops whatever he is doing and comes running when he hears his Dad.  He loves him so much, and is definitely Daddy's little boy.  

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

School Preparations

Next week, Michael begins first grade.  This will be my last year home with Kate before she starts Kindergarten next year.  
Book bags and coats are cleaned and ready.

 School supplies are purchased and ready for "meet the teacher" night tomorrow.

Newer, bigger clothing has been purchased.  

Lunch boxes are scrubbed and ready for use again. 
(The younger kids have lunch boxes for our 2 days/week Bible study that we do.  One day for study and another for the preschool class I am teaching.)

Kate will be happy to be the queen of children again during the day.   

Michael will miss his morning electronics time, but he will love the structure of school again.   

And David is cool with whatever life throws his way.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Caution: Kids at Play

The kids have been spending a lot of time playing together lately.  They have their fair share of fights, but then they have moments where they all play well, and I smile.  
Thomas trains 

Duplo construction 

Cars and trucks 
(excuse the underwear shot.  David is learning to use the potty, and his Thomas train underwear has been his  sole uniform bottom of late.)

Friday, August 17, 2012

CRRL Summer Reading Program Party

Our local library has a summer reading program in which we participated. We celebrated with a party for the kids on Wednesday at the headquarters branch (our favorite one to frequent).  Daddy was able to stay home with David during nap time, so the two older kids and I enjoyed games, riddles, and popcicles as a reward for their diligence in reading.  We all love to read, so it seems like a win-win to get to read all summer then to get a party for doing so.    
Michael spent an inordinate amount of time on the riddle station.  These were hard even for me, but he was persistent. 

Kate enjoyed making a bookmark and getting her hand painted.   

This freaked me out, but there was a man there who had a snake for the kids to pet.  

One kid had it slithering all over him.  It was a non-venomous snake who didn't bite, but still- it was a snake.  Yuck! 

Kate enjoyed all the artsy/crafty things that they had.  

We visit the library at least once per week, and my kids are all becoming book lovers.  Michael read an astounding 177 books that we recorded.  Most of those were chapter books (Boxcar Children, Magic Tree House, etc), plus quite a few non-fiction books about science, nature, and history.  Kate has made great progress in learning to read.  She's doing well with long vowels, and she has learned many sight words.  She worked through Llama Llama Red Pajama this week, and did most of the words herself!  Unfortunately, those beginning readers can be quite dull, which makes them a little less fun to work though (ie "Frog and Toad went up the hill.")  Michael took off with his reading once he got into longer adventure books, and I have a feeling the same will be true with Kate.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Slow News

Not much going on here, since we're in the throes of potty training.  
David has done very well, considering he just turned two.  He's using the potty often, and he even went a whole day without an accident!  Still a ways to go, but we will soon be diaper-free!  Yay!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Lo, and Behold

My garden has been resurrected!
These two tomato plants shot up.  Guess I should get some stakes or cages.  

3 of the pepper plants are looking quite healthy. 

And the squash plants are blossoming.  
Maybe because of all the rain plus the angle of the sun changing as we get farther into summer?  I don't know, but I hope I get something in the end!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Pet Ducks

The kids have been working for a while on their plan to procure a pet.
They had it planned quite well to spend their entire fortune of $11.23 on buying their 2-3 duck families, but after much questioning, they slipped in a pond, a fence, and a heated winter home for them.  Most kids plan a lemonade stand, but mine- a duck farm and eventually, an exotic petting zoo. Michael is already in the preliminary stages of planning the necessary international travel to purchase these animals.  

Prolific Painters of Pinecones

The kids got into a painting kick last week, and they spent HOURS painting the pine cones I had as a centerpiece for the table.  
They were really colorful and lovely, and it kept them occupied for a long time.  
We really miss Abby and Olivia this week.  My kids ask for them daily. 

Big Boy Bed

David started sleeping in a big boy bed last week.
 He has done very well in it.

My baby boy is growing up!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Family, Friends, & the Fredericksburg Fair

This week, we have the privilege of having the Abby (11) and Olivia (9) with us while Jerry and Brandy celebrated their 20th anniversary.  What sweet girls they are!  We had lots of fun, and we miss the girls a lot now that they are home.  We had some fun adventures- went to the park, made ice cream, and had a blast at the Fredericksburg Fair (on $2 Tuesday).
5 kids wasn't much more work than 3, especially since Abby and Olivia are good kids and great helpers.  In fact, my husband mentioned that he would really enjoy a couple more kids...

The kids had fun petting animals at the fair.  We had a good laugh at Michael's expense when he stepped in a cow pie then scratched his leg with his shoe.  Ewwwwwww! 

The Rappahannock Model Railroaders had a train display set up, which the train lovers greatly enjoyed.

Yes, that's a camel in the background.   

We saw a clown show/ 

Fried Oreos?  Can an Oreo be improved upon?  We did not find out.

We bought a funnel cake to share.  The 2 older girls had not ever been to the fair, so we thought it would be part of the whole fair experience to have the tastes of the fair as well as the sights and sounds. 

Yay for funnel cake! 

When it started to get dark, the kids hit the rides.   

Kate only liked the super-slow rides.   

Michael liked the super-fast rides, as did Abby.  

We were so blessed by a kind lady in line who paid for our admission.  I checked beforehand on the fair's website to see if we needed cash, and it said they now take credit cards and have an ATM inside.  But since it was $2 Tuesday, they informed us at the gate that they only took cash for admission.  The ATM was beyond the gate, so we were going to leave and find an ATM somewhere and then stand in the long line again.  What a sweet, kind lady to pay for all our admission tickets!  And what a fun time we had!

Cook in Training

Michael has asked to be the sandwich maker in our house, and he has been learning how to serve others in the process.  What a big helper he is, and growing up fast!