"I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete." John 15:11

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Jumping June

Graduation/Start of summer surprise for the kids - filled with things to do this summer
June was an exciting month for the kids. It was the first days of summer, which took some adjusting for everyone. Philip had two more sessions of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and now he is done for the year. He also participated in a week-long summer program at his school. Philip received a passport and the class visited a different country each day. He traveled to China, Peru, Djbuti, Jamaica, and the USA. They made some amazing crafts and he seemed to have a great time! This was his first time going away for a camp and bringing a lunch with him and he did wonderfully. I wish they ran more sessions this summer!

Andy had a trip to his birthplace - St. Louis! He came home with some team gear for everyone.

A downed tree in the neighborhood added some excitement for about a week.

Summer = fun with the hose

First pair of goggles for both kids - too cute!

We visited Philip's new school one day so they could do an assessment on him. He met the Kindergarten teachers and assistants and got to visit the classrooms. He said he looked at books about dinosaurs, monster trucks, and Hot Wheels, so he had fun, but I'm not sure how cooperative he was with the assessment itself!

The last two weeks of the month included our long-awaited, much anticipated trip to the beach. The kids have been packing up for the trip off and on since January. Every month or so they would go get grocery bags and fill them up with toys and things they wanted to bring to the beach to show their cousins. They were so excited when it was finally time to actually pack our suitcases!

On the way down, we visited some old friends in North Carolina for the weekend. The kids had a great time together - Philip especially loved playing with their 9-year old son. His room full of toys was like heaven for Philip! 

On Monday, we headed to the beach. The first week of the trip was spent with Andy's family. We shared a house with several of the families and all met up at Grandma's beach house each day for swimming and fun! While there, we celebrated our nephew's first birthday, had a talent show, and ran the Isle Mile. This was the first year that Philip actually ran the entire Kid's 1/4 mile - he did great!

Our family stayed for a second week at Grandma and Grandpa's condo and it was so nice to have some vacation time with just the four of us. The first week went by so quickly and this extra week made it feel like we were really getting away for a while.  We visited the beach a couple days and spent a lot of time at the pool. The kids both figured out how to swim on their own with just their floaties and they loved the pool. We had meals at some of our favorite restaurants and went into the marshes to get some pet crabs and snails that we kept for a couple days. One evening we went on a ghost crab hunt - Philip was especially good at spotting them!

Examining his new pets
Watching the workers maintain the golf course was the source of lots of entertainment that week

Last night at the beach - Philip loving his flounder


Best buddies
Philip has gotten very good at playing independently and using lots of imaginative play with his toys. He calls his weapons his "battles." He finally started taking the initiative to buckle his own seatbelt. I am so happy about that, even though it usually takes even longer for him to do it than it does for me to fasten both he and Julia in their car seats.

Julia is very sensitive to expressions and when she reads books, she wants to know why each person looks mad or sad, etc. It can be hard to get through a story with her - she is constantly interrupting to ask questions about the pictures on the page. She is certainly observant and inquisitive! She has started doing a little Julia growl when she doesn't get what she wants. She says, "Uh" or "Aww" in this deep little voice that is very endearing even though I would never tell her that!


Both kids are very concerned with traffic laws these days. Julia for one is always telling me to "Go" when we are at a red light. They both want to know all about why we do different things on the road. Julia says that if you drive too fast, the police officers will "slow you down." The kids also love to pretend to go to meetings. They usually pack up a bag, sometimes bring snacks, and head upstairs to go to their meetings. Sometimes I will even make them a little decaf tea that they are very careful to not spill in the meeting rooms.

As my belly grows, so do theirs

Things are going well for me. The pregnancy is progressing fine and baby girl has picked up her activity level. Philip asked very slyly one day if we could call the baby, "Sweetheart." Even though he thought he was being funny, it has stuck, so baby's nickname has become "Baby Sweetheart." After serving on the board of my MOMS Club for the last two years, I decided to step down this year while our family gets adjusted to having Philip in school and adding a new family member this fall. I will miss my extra Mom's Night Outs...I mean board meetings, but will continue to be part of the Club. That is all the news for now!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Marvelous May


May was the last month of preschool for Philip. Mommy was wishing it would last all summer - I loved the afternoon preschool schedule for our family! Oh yeah, and I am sad that Philip is growing up so fast - kindergarten next year - I'm already bracing myself!

We kept busy this month with our regular activities, plus a lot going on at the school. This month, they hosted a Mother's Day tea. The kids performed some songs and rhymes and then gave us a gift of a sweet beaded bracelet. Afterwards, we enjoyed the best of kid snacks (popcorn, pretzels, Hershey's kisses) and iced tea/lemonade. I loved watching Philip at school and even though he didn't actually sing or talk during the presentation, he did the moves, so I was proud of my shy little guy!

The following week, the class took a field trip to a pirate ship in Annapolis. They had enough room for the whole family, so Andy took the day off and we all went together. Afterwards we stopped at the Amish market and a frozen yogurt shop.

Finally, there was graduation day! The kids performed many of the songs and poems they learned this year, and then received their diplomas. It was too cute!

Future graduate

We traveled to North Carolina to celebrate the First Holy Communion of one of our nephews. It was also Mother's Day weekend, so we enjoyed spending it with Andy's Mom and some of my sister-in-laws.

On Memorial Day weekend, we went downtown to attend Andy's former intern's First Mass as an ordained priest. Afterwards we went to the National Building Museum for our first visit and out to eat. The following day, we went to a State park where they had a fun recycled tire playground and nice hiking area. The kids loved it!

Every parent's dream - a padded room for their kids to play in!

He insisted on bringing (and using) his roller skates at the park

Philip is quite obsessed with making funny faces in the mirror and can entertain himself for a long time when I ask him to simply wash his hands. He was laughing hysterically one day when I took him into a changing room that had three full-length mirrors - he had the best time! Literally overnight he picked up a habit of saying quickly, "Umm umm" when he is excited to tell us something.  He is starting to ask a lot of questions about what words mean when we are talking - learning new things every day! Philip has been busy making lists, including his plans for the summer, plans for what he wants to do with Andy after he graduates, birthday ideas for Daddy (in November), and a list of what we saw on a recent hike. He learned to throw a Frisbee really well and also made his first basket in a full-sized basketball goal.

Making a list while out hiking

Julia also has a good Frisbee throw of her own. The technique isn't perfect, but she can make that Frisbee fly! When we read books she is very concerned about where the character's parents are if they are not pictured on each page. She also notices anytime someone is not wearing shoes and wants to know where their shoes are and why they would be barefoot while outside. Julia has developed quite the potty mouth (not bad words - she literally likes to talk about the potty) and is being a bad example for her brother. Philip never really liked to talk about potty stuff, but Julia has gotten him into it, especially talking about Poopy Monsters everywhere we go. I thought that was supposed to be a boy thing!

Just too tired to go upstairs for a nap

Woke up with Band aids in her hair and came out to help me garden

These two have become such close friends! I love to hear their conversations and watch them experience life together.