Thursday, October 8, 2015

Birthday Celebration in Greenville

Last week, we traveled to Greenville to see Grammie and Papa's new house and to celebrate all the September/October birthdays! As usual, the kids had a blast catching up with cousins.
Look at these kids! All the grands - from 11 months to 17 years!
Crazy cousins!
We are very thankful that Grammie and Papa's new house is plenty big enough for all of us.  Especailly because we were inside most of the time since it rained all weekend. We did not hesitate to fill up the new house with plenty of NOISE, TOYS and SHOES! 
It was a full house!
On Saturday night, we had fun celebrating birthdays for Mark, Douglas, Papa, and Laura. 
MEL helping Mark open his gifts.
More Legos!
Douglas and Papa
Papa's new "Soup Nazi" shirt from NYC!
We got Laura the vinyl of 1989!
 Poor Sailor June got her finger slammed in the front door on Saturday afternoon. It was bleeding pretty bad, so Scott and I took her to Urgent Care. Thankfully, they ruled out a fracture and gave her a stylish purple bandage. We only missed a little bit of the party. 
It was a very sad afternoon, but she was smiling by dinner!
Big Cousin Laura is a Senior!
Douglas got a new weight bench for his birthday, but really didn't need it because he got a workout lifting cousins!
 The new neighborhood sits right on this great pond with turtles, fish, and ducks. I'm realizing now that we took lots of pics of our walk to the pond, the dock of the pond, and the kids, but we took none of the actual water - ha! 
Matthew and Keaton
My boys
Love these peeps!

Looking forward to Christmas with this bunch!

Monday, October 5, 2015

11 months!

My girl is 11 months old already! 

Not too many milestones this month other than she seems to get a new tooth every time she opens her mouth!

 She's doing mostly the same stuff - just more proficiently. Crawling faster, pulling up easier, cruising around like she is on a mission! We have yet to witness her balance on her own. I thought for sure she would walk by one year but who knows? 

 She's getting more personality every day. She's playing peek-a-boo now and waving hello and bye bye.  She works the room with her shy smile and it is impossible not to kiss her cheeks when she giggles. 

Her playful side...

her serious side...
She's really into dancing right now. Her favorite song is (regrettably) "Watch Me Whip," and the boys love to play this song for her and watch her get down. Not sure why that particular song has such an effect on her, but she will drop anything she's doing and shake her booty every time that beat drops. It's maybe the cutest thing I've ever seen.

Although I tried to deny it, it turns out Sailor June is a sinner after all. She's perfected the toddler tantrum already, throwing her head back recklessly and screaming when she can't get in the boys room or when you take her crayon away that she was snacking on. 

Cutest Jailbird EVER!
She's also crazy about bubbles right now. Mark got a bubble machine for his birthday and every time its on, she gets so serious and concentrates on the bubbles like its her job to capture each one. It's so funny. 

 She's 100% bottle baby now, and she's holding her own bottle now like such a big girl! Sniff, sniff.

My keys are still her favorite toy!

For a baby that used to scream bloody murder for hours in the car and was "mad as a hornet" (as one nursery worker described her) when I left her ANYWHERE, she is remarkably mellow! She actually seems to enjoy car rides now, and is slowly getting much better about going to others in the nursery. This is such a relief to me! 

Getting ready to party in one month!
Love you, Sailor June!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Mark is 5!

My baby boy turned 5 years old on September 14th!
Look how handsome and grown up he is!
 Because the birthday cutoff in VA is extremely late (Sept 30th), Mark could have technically gone to kindergarten this year. Even though I think he would have done just fine, we decided he could only benefit from another year at home. His current schedule is Tuesday/Thursday preschool 9:00-1:30, Community Bible Study with mom on Wednesday mornings and Classical Conversations on Friday mornings.  He loves getting out of the house to do anything - quite the opposite of his big brother Keaton, who is my homebody.

Mark is so independent. His favorite phrase is "I can do it!" And he CAN! Everything from making a salad and start a load of laundry to running the dishwasher. He's such a good helper - with anything really - and he rarely complains. Except cleaning up his toys - He draws the line there when it comes to independent or helpful. ;-)

Mark loves to laugh and make others laugh, but he much prefers being the funny sidekick to the center of attention. This year for CC, he is required to get up in front of his class each week to do a short presentation. This has really challenged him, but he's getting the hang of it and is gaining more confidence each week. 

that smile! those freckles!
Mark's very curious about how things are built and the way they work. You can just see his little wheels turning behind that furrowed brow as he watches Daddy change the water filter on the fridge or install a baby gate. He loves building lego sets, making crafts, and gardening. 

Even though he's a much bigger boy than I like to admit, he still has a few funny Mark-isms that do not have the heart to correct - I just enjoy hearing them too much!

My favorites:
"Instruction Workers" = Construction workers
"Popkits"= pockets
"Glubs" = gloves
"Webbons" = weapons
"Sand Hanitizer" = Hand Sanitizer

 I did I little birthday interview with him. Here's Mark in a nutshell at 5: 

What's your name? Mark Maraca 
(the story here is that his preschool gives each kid a picture that matches phonetically with their name. Last year, Mark had the choice to be Mark Monkey or Mark Maraca - he chose Maraca! So this is his name now.)
What's your favorite food? muffins 
(Chocolate Chip Pumpkin are his favorite, and this is also one of the things he most likes to bake with Mom)
What do you want to be when you grow up? fireman
(this changes almost hourly)
What is your favorite TV show?  Paw Patrol
Who do you like to spend time with? Eli
What do you do really well? build puzzles
What makes you laugh? when Daddy makes silly faces
What is the best time of day? when we go pick up Keaton from the bus stop
What are you afraid of? caves 
(this was news to me)
Who is your best friend? Eli
What do you like to do with your family? go to Target and look at toys
What do you love to learn about? the Bible
Where do you like to go? Chuck-e-Cheese
What is your favorite book? Chase is on the Case
If you had one wish, what would it be? To go to Disneyworld or Legoland

Did I mention this boy is an amazing brother? Sailor absolutely adores him!
 We had his birthday party on the Saturday before his birthday and invited some of his favorite friends including Dominic Duck, Eli Easel (also attending the same preschool, obviously) and of course the Heath boys! 
Setting up for the party! He was so excited!!
Paw Patrol theme: hence, the "pup-cakes"
Sailor and her buddy Isabel!
A family shot before cake
All the birthday friends!
 On the morning of his birthday, Daddy woke him up early so he could watch him open gifts before he left for work.
Jay Spin-Jitzu! We've been waiting for this...
I was able to take Mark out for a special mommy/son lunch to Chick-fil-a, and then for dinner, Scott's college friend Jay and his girlfriend Stephanie joined us for dinner and more cake.

Another family shot
 I think that Mark was well-celebrated this year!

Mark Nathan, you are a joy to me and I cannot believe you are so big! I love building lego sets with you and cuddling with you before bed. You have your Mom's tender heart and your Daddy's servant spirit. You make me so proud to be your mom. I love you SOOOOOO much!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

School Starts!

And just like that, summer is over! I can't believe how fast it went! 
Keaton started 2nd grade at Belmont Elementary on August 31st.
This is the first year that Keaton was not a new student at a new school, so he was confident and super excited to start this year. He got the teacher that he wanted (Ms. Moss), and many of his friends from Mr. Krueger's class are in his class again this year. 
Walking Keaton to the bus stop.
New bus number and driver! It's all good!
See you later Keaton!
Mark had to wait almost weeks to start preschool, but thankfully it went by pretty fast. 
He started his last year at St. Matthew's Lutheran Day School on September 10th.

 He is only attending 2 days a week again, but will now be eating lunch at school, which extends his day from 11:45 to 1:30. We are also doing Classical Conversations on Fridays.
His good buddy (and neighbor) Eli Wischmeier is joining him at St. Matthew's this year and is in the same class. I'm so thankful to have someone to carpool with! I have a feeling my rides to school are going to be a lot louder this year!
They were so excited for the 1st day!