Friday, June 24, 2016

VBS 2016

In lieu of a Photo Friday post this week, I'll fill you in on what we've been up to this week:

- Volunteering Vacation Bible School at our parish (CC's attending).
- Packing for the BEACH!!! (more on that in a minute)
- Trying to get my car fixed, because in a fit of perfect timing, it has started overheating at the drop of a hat. After three trips to the Volvo dealer, 6 hours of trying to entertain children in the waiting room, and two incorrectly ordered parts, we are now in possession of a brand new loaner that will get us to the beach and back. Whew!
- Completing some very belated spring cleaning in the backyard, most significantly: refinishing the deck. The yard will be mulched while we're gone, so we should come home to a yard that looks about a thousand times better than it used to.

Can you see why I didn't have a chance to take pictures this week?!

But I took some pics and video at the end-of-VBS finale. CC was so proud to stand with her class and sing her heart out. Sweet Pea and Little Man aren't old enough to attend, but they played in the child care room while I volunteered (so they consider themselves to have attended, too).

Direct link:

Tomorrow morning, we're off to the beach! I can't wait! We're meeting Tom and Carol and their kids there. It will be an amazing week -- if we survive the drive. Ciao!

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Little Man has been getting braver and braver in the pool, even though today was only the third time we've been swimming this year! I am half-excited, half-terrified of what he'll be doing by the end of this summer.

Today's big milestone: the diving board. He must have jumped off 20 times! This is the first time he's had the nerve to take the plunge. I love how you can hear CC cheering for him so loudly at the end.

Direct link:

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Dance Portraits

Look what we received in the mail today! CC's dance portraits from her recital last month. What a doll!

She is looking forward to dance camp in July, and another year of dance classes starting in September. She loves ballet!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Zoo Trip

Last weekend, we went to a new zoo with Dane and Hayden and Aunt Susan. It was a lot of walking -- I told MJ it was probably more than our kids have ever walked in one day, including Disney World -- but it was great! The weather was just about perfect for spending the whole day outdoors.

Bonus: in addition to all the animals, this zoo features a discovery area for kids. There was a large wall they could draw on with chalk and/or "paint" with water. Little Man could have painted all day.

There was a mud pie-making area, a garden, a huge treehouse complex, mist to run through, and -- the favorite -- a stream to splash in. The girls took it to an extreme!

Hayden and CC: my goodness. They are two peas in a pod. Despite their two-year age difference, they could play princess, dress-up, and (apparently) with water their whole lives together!

Last note: I recently upgraded my phone to a Samsung S7, and decided to put the camera through its paces while we were at the zoo. It was hard for me not to pull out my actual camera all day, but I have to admit the pictures are pretty decent! (Although the water pics were taken by Susan's iPhone.)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Father's Day

I know there was no post yesterday, but we had a great father's day! We were too busy even to take a picture. Which is unfortunate, because it would have been great to have a keepsake of MJ trying to open his gift: a Man Crate. It was literally a small wooden crate, sealed shut, delivered with just a crowbar. The kids (and I) thought it was hilarious to watch him try to open it. Ultimately he took it outside and smashed the crate to bits with a giant hammer. Crude, but effective.

The contents were a 90s Retro package: a handheld gaming device that plays old Nintendo games, plus a few games and a ton of candy that was popular in the 90s. Awesome! MJ seemed pretty happy with it, so I'm giving myself a pat on the back. The kids were more than happy to help test all the candy, and particularly liked the Darth Vader Pez dispenser.

We ended the day with a very enjoyable dinner on the patio of one of our favorite Italian restaurants. Delish.

Both our dads had nice weekends, too. We were able to see my dad this weekend, while visiting Jon and Susan (for Hayden's dance recital and a belated birthday dinner for Jon). And MJ's parents are kicking off a two-week historical vacation to Normandy. Cheers!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


I heard of a splash pad here in town that's spacious and shaded, so we definitely had to check it out! The kids were jumping up and down with excitement, especially Little Man.

"You know you're going to get splashed, right?" I asked him. "That's what a splash pad is."

He sobered right up. "I don't want to get splashed!" he yelled.

Sure enough, when we arrived and got out of the car, he put the brakes on like a stubborn donkey, and I had to carry him into the fenced splash pad area. I told him he didn't have to get wet if he didn't want to, but he had to stay inside the fence with me.

The girls had a blast. And eventually, Little Man touched the water! Maybe there's hope for him yet.

I even made it into an educational experience, teaching the girls such life lessons as how to pull their bathing suits aside to pee behind a bush (there were no bathrooms). And next time, I'll even remember to bring towels.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

CC's New 'Do

For the first time in two years, CC wanted to get her hair cut! Honestly, I think she was a tiny bit jealous of all the attention Sweet Pea's been getting over her new short style. But on the other hand, she dreams of being Rapunzel. Decisions, decisions ...

She went back and forth daily for weeks, but ultimately decided to keep it long. Still, we cut about three inches off, and then the stylist did a cool side-front french braid.

CC's happy that it's still long, and that it can still go up in a ponytail or a bun for ballet. And bonus for Mommy: shorter hair gets less tangled, so our post-bath brushings have been less dramatic.