Friday, June 27, 2014


Opa said it best recently - is there any month better than June? The whole summer is before us, the weather is beautiful (not too hot yet), there is so much to celebrate (birthdays, weddings, graduations), and there's a vacation mindset all around. I don't know what I was worried about with keeping busy this summer - we have really crammed a lot into the first half of summer (on purpose), and keeping busy has not been a problem. Of course, there have still been a few challenges: weather too cold for swimming lessons made those a challenge - but David still LOVED them and is really progressing, rainy and stormy weather hindered Girl Scout camp as well. But overall it has been a great month.

(Still figuring out how to combine pics from camera and phone - I notice that I can read the captions fine from my reader and in blogger, but going directly to the blog online and some of them you cannot read...)

This child is obSESSED with books! I dug out the old board books for her (the ones that are left) and she is constantly begging someone to read with her. The great thing about older siblings is that she has several potential readers (for baby books, anyway). This has been fun because I think I mentioned that Luke is only recently interested in books - so it seems super cute for her to be interested as a toddler.

Brian got me a pedicure for Mother's Day and I went to the salon with my mom. She wanted to take a picture to show Katy what she goes through to have the beautiful nails that Katy is always admiring.
Over Father's Day weekend, Brian and I, Melanie, and Mom and Greg attended a wedding in Cincinnati. Dad and Sue watched the kids, and then we got to celebrate Father's Day with them. Then Brian and I took Anna back home and the big kids had an adventure in Dayton for a couple of days with Grandpa and Grandma Sue. They had a great time, and Anna and I enjoyed some quiet trips to Costco, the pool, and the library while they were gone. These pictures are ones that my dad sent me...
There's a small airport near their house and they went a couple of times to watch planes take off and land, and then some of them are on display so you can actually touch and take a look. We've been meaning to take them to the Air Force Museum sometime - but they probably enjoyed this as much as anything! They talked and talked about it for days.

Dad and Sue RAVE about Entertrainment Junction, if you are ever in the north Cincy area. It is a kids' museum that is train themed with all sorts of intricate models that demonstrate the history of trains. They also have a Coney Island exhibit with working rides!

The kids also loved this new-to-them spray park.

Luke came home exhausted but happy.

David finished his Tae Kwon Do class, they had a fun demonstration for the last class. It was more like TKD-themed fitness than actual martial arts.

As a combined Luke & Mommy birthday celebration with Aunt Mel, Oma, and Opa, we went and picked strawberries and spent some time at the Velvet Ice Cream Factory. It was beautiful and relaxing and the kids really enjoyed it. One of the best parts of picking strawberries is that it makes for great photos.

She just kept picking them off the vine and shoving them in her mouth, before I could get the leaves off. Precious.

Velvet has a beautiful facility and grounds, you can spend some hours there.
Luke eats his ice cream with his whole heart.

(This is from actual birthday, pics are out of order) I have been seriously slacking in the cake decorating department! I totally improvised this design at the last second, because I had no plan. The best part of Luke's birthday was his genuine enthusiasm about everything. He was especially thrilled about opening presents, and was sincerely excited and thankful for each one. I think 4 will be a good year for him.

On our way out of Dayton on Father's Day, we stopped to see my grandparents, which is always a treasure. Katy has been really into making things out of duct tape and made my grandfather this wallet for Father's Day. He was really impressed, and I thought it suited him perfectly.

Anna loves to carry around her baby, push her in the stroller, and feed her graham crackers, etc. It warms my heart to see her toting around this doll that Katy used when she was a toddler too. (Although Katy was never much into dolls, Anna seems to have a little more interest).

During the day on Luke's actual birthday, we went to the zoo with his friend Rebecca. The kids had so much fun and I got to see the new Africa exhibit, which was really incredible. It was hot and crowded (for a Monday!), but all that matters is that he really enjoyed his birthday. When he opened this shirt from Aunt Mel (which says, "Everything is Awesome," a line from the Lego Movie that they saw with Dad and Sue), he read it: "Happy Birthday, Lukey [last name]." He's been showing his sweet nature since his birthday, it's like he flipped some sort of 4 year old switch.

Mommy and Anna selfie on the carousel! I love that she is smiling behind the thumb in her mouth.

So Brian and the kids planted a raised garden this year - they planted broccoli, cucumbers, strawberries, and now peppers and watermelon. I think we just lucked out with the spot, because the little box has done better than expected! We've harvested all the broccoli, two cucumbers so far, and this is our first strawberry of the season. The kids have really enjoyed checking on it each day, and I think they all ate more broccoli than they would have eaten store bought.
Up next...our annual trip to Kentucky, an early anniversary celebration for Brian and I, and then surgeries. We've certainly enjoyed our summer so far...

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