...a blog for the friends and family of dan, jen, worthy, william, calvin & christian

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sweet Visit

A few weeks ago, I was SO thankful that my oldest (not in age, but in length) and one of my dearest friends and her family came to visit us a couple weeks ago.  It was such a fantastic extended weekend for us.  Our boys and all three of her girls got along smashingly.  It was so fun to watch them pal around.
Monica & I
It was a time full of heartfelt talks, sweet laughs, periodic parenting and some sightseeing as well.
We headed downtown and after searching for parking went to the Washington Monument via the FDR Memorial (which I had not seen yet!).
captioned "Menace to Social Order"...
 William is doing a peace sign salute there.

This picture of Genevieve cracked me up.  
I just adore these gals!

Finally to the Washington Monument!
 Then off to the Lincoln Memorial.  The kids did a ton of walking.  
I never heard any complaining.
William inadvertently saluting Lincoln... his pointer finger was sore.
A few days later we went and saw the White House.

I love this picture of Monica.  Her father would be so proud :)
 We also hit up the archives... where pictures aren't allowed.  The older kids really enjoyed all the interactive exhibits there.  There were some wonderful, educational displays.
Morning before departure
What a joy to spend time together.  
I even got to braid some hair.
An excellent visit.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Motley Monday

Just a few random things...

This week we celebrated Pi Day.  We celebrated by making & eating pies.  The boys choose Apple, Chocolate Cream & Pumpkin Pies.  I finished the first two, but only got to the crust of the Pumpkin one.  Thankfully we had an outing to go to that night and could share the pies with friends. The younger three helped out, although I did limit it to one helper at a time.  Too many cooks in the kitchen...

Lately, Worthy has been into making Rainbow Loom bracelets again.  He's entertained himself for hours with how-to videos on Youtube instructing him step-by-step in construction.  It was a great rainy day activity.

This is usually what home schooling looks like for us.  It's definitely been a transition and I have a lot of thoughts on it... maybe I'll designate a post or two to that in the future.  

Nap Time.  
The most glorious time of the day.
Christian loves to pile all the animals into his bed and read himself to sleep.

Just a few real life snippets or our ordinary.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

National Gallery of Art visit

Last week we took a quick trip to the National Gallery of Art.  This wasn't exactly on our short list of things to do soon, but an episode of Doctor Who quickly thrust it to the top of our list.  There is an episode of Doctor Who (Matt Smith as Doctor with Amy & Rory... for Doctor Who-vians) where The Doctor meets Vincent van Gogh. It sparked our kid's interest and so we capitalized on that and headed to our local art gallery that has his work exhibited.  Pretty cool, eh? 
 The added bonus - it was a beautiful, no-coat needed, kind of day and we got an amazing and FREE parking spot too. 
The fountain centerpiece. 

I wish I had more artistic knowledge to capture in words how impressed I was with this painting.  All I know is I couldn't even paint one square inch of this if I tried. 
Just breath-taking.
I wish I could say that Worthy spent hours looking at this painting with wonder and awe. The truth is if I had caught this shot a split second later you would see him wandering off to sit on the bench.  The Doctor Who episode was more captivating than the real life stuff.
I don't advise taking four kiddos to the Art Gallery after a winter of being couped up.  Thankfully Dan was with us and between the two of us we were able to keep them from destroying anything priceless. Even with our preoccupation of keeping little hands at bay, we were able to appreciate the beauty.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Just like riding a bike...

I've really, really enjoyed winter.  And although I'm not antsy for Spring to begin, I'm content to transition into it.  The other day we had a beautiful Spring-like day.  Not winter coats, no gloves or hats.  It was wonderful.  So we walked down to our neighborhood church parking lot and rode bikes.  Ok, ok - so I just helped with helmets & bikes and entertained myself on my phone while the kiddos rode bikes.

So long Snow
William wanted to show off his torn pants
This is Calvin riding his European bike.  These bikes are SO great because the kids learn to balance long before they have to learn to peddle.  Christian has a smaller one too, but he was very excited to ride the tricycle instead on this outing. In a few weeks Calvin will be zooming around on this thing. 

William learned to ride on the bike that Calvin is using above.  The first time he transitioned to a bike with peddles, he had the concept down in two pushes.  So much less parental work!
Incidentally, if you have your audio up, you'll hear me tell "William" to stop it.  I was speaking to Christian who was pulling on my leg - I am constantly using all their names interchangeably.
By the way, we acquired a few neighborhood kids in these shots... we didn't multiply.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Star Wars - The Return of the Jedi (to our home)

This past year Dan's mom found a bunch of Dan's old Star Wars action figures.  She sent them home with us and we decided to give them to the boys at Christmas.  Well as Christmas approached, we realized that these toys may easily be overshadowed by all the new shiny stuff in boxes that they'd be receiving.  We ended up tucking them away in the attic for a rainy (or snowy day).  This past week we got a great chance to bring them out and drive away a little cabin fever.
It was so fun to bust these guys out.
notice C-3PO on the floating chair
Dan had the Ewok Village, a Star Destroyer/container and a Dagobah set.  I should probably mention that it wasn't just the boys obsessed with this. I love Star Wars.  Just love it.  I remember my mom getting me and my brother out of school to go see Empire Strikes back.  I also dressed up as Princess Leia for three or four years in a row. I have an older and younger brother so I was over-exposed to the original Space Trilogy and I'm so grateful for it.
Halloween 1978.  I was almost 4.
Trick or treating with our neighbors, the Little's.
We had a bunch of Star Wars figures growing up too (not quite sure where they are now...)  I vividly remember playing downstairs in the basement with the trash compactor.  Amazing.  And I loved visiting my cousin's house.  Cindy, Steve & Stacey had a bunch that we didn't and that was always a treat.
 So, needless to say... breaking out this treasure trove was a ton of fun.
 The next morning I woke up and found the boys already absorbed in off-world activities. Thank you George Lucas for your imagination.  
It's brought us endless fun and sparked our own.

Snow Day - Another!

We got another awesome snow yesterday!  It was a great afternoon to play outside in the snow.  We took full advantage of it!
Not much more to say, but thought the pictures could do the talking.

our little guy really does like all this white stuff

William is our first one to go outside in the snow and he stays out the longest.

 OK - it was SO bright outside.  Our blue-eyed boy is quite light sensitive and after hearing him complain awhile, I finally found some sunglasses for him.
And I didn't actually intend to take this picture, but really love it because of the reflection in his glasses.  See the Lightning McQueen?  It's not a toy on our walkway... it's the glasses decal, but it totally looks photoshopped in. 
Another sweet afternoon making the most of the snow.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Our Winter Wonderland Week

We've finally gotten a couple great snows.  A few weeks ago, I went on record saying I wasn't done with winter yet.  I still wanted two more good snowfalls before I was ready to transition into Spring.  Well, I got them... and now I'm ready for the tulips and lilies to awaken.  The winters here haven't been nearly as brutal as they were in Northeast Ohio (where I hail from).  We typically have much sunnier winters as well.  The overwhelming gray-ness doesn't abound here, which helps alleviate the winter blues.  Here's some pics of the boys enjoying the snow... maybe the last of the season.

teaching Christian to make snow angels
 I love that my kids love to sit and watch the snow fall.  
Christian is just mesmerized by it still.

Last night was had an awesome ice storm.  All the trees were covered in ice.  Driving the boys to school this morning was absolutely beautiful... and thankfully the roads were clear.

And part of winter is finding creative ways to burn off energy.  Worthy joined a friend at a jumpy house earlier this week and got a big old shiner as a souvenir.  He's weathered it well. 
He's holding up great.

Looking forward to Spring.